Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pictures from our walk

I am a dork. Karin left a comment on my last post about there not being any pictures...and while we didn't take the camera...we did take Kev's cell phone. I did take 4 pictures, which are below. Now, lat night, as I remembered those pictures, I thought that it would be pretty easy to upload the pictures straight to the computer because a USB cord came with the stupid phone, so it should be easy-peasy, right?


After messing with the phone for 30 minutes, I did what every person does...I asked my kids to help.

And, after Andy and I messing for several minutes, we decided to bluetooth the pictures to his smart phone and then he could email them to me. But, guess what...bluetoothing didn't work for some obscure reason that we no longer cared to solve. So, I resorted to texting Andy the pictures and then he emailed them back to me. Something that should have been so simple turned out to be a major production.

And with that, all of you had just better appreciate these pictures!

One last vent about cell phones, except this one is really more about digital cameras. Point and click digital cameras are nice and all, but they aren't really designed for many outdoor shots in the bright sunshine. You simply can't see the screen. I'm amazed these turned out at all! New on my Christmas list is a SLR digital camera...I so prefer the viewfinder and not the LCD screen.

Vent over...Here's the pictures. Everyone, get ready to ooh and awww.

Flat Kansas.
The trees are growing at the bottom of the spring. You can't see these trees if you are up on top of the canyons--well, you can't see them from the trail and you can't see them from where we were picking up rocks.

One of our "waterfalls". This is the type of rock we picked up--just not pieces this big.

This was the coolest drop off. It was probably 3 feet to the bottom of the draw. You can see where years of water have smoothed out the rock. One rock. It was so cool. this point, I gave up using the cellphone to take pictures. But, at least you get a small idea of some of the beauty we enjoyed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Saturday fun

What did you do this weekend?

Pick up rocks.

Yep, that's us. Exciting lives! We ran out to the ranch on Saturday to get some rocks for Mom's landscaping that Kev is going to do. I love going out to the ranch. I'd love it even more if all that beautiful land belonged to us! But, it doesn't.

Kev and I went out to the canyons on the east side of the ranch and picked up probably 2000 lbs of rocks. Sandstone. Four of the rocks took both of us to lift. We drove the 4 wheeler down to the bottom and loaded it up, then hauled the rocks back up to the trailer, unloaded them, and back down for another load.

After we finished, we decided to walk through the canyon--just for fun. We found some beautiful springs surrounded by cottonwoods. We found some areas where rain had washed and exposed "waterfalls". (But they "fall" only when it rains.) We found some wild grapes, 2 lizards, and a horny toad. Kev saw a coyote that we spooked, and we both saw some antelope. The wildflowers are starting to bloom, so we enjoyed the early flowers and I even found some cowboy roses, my personal favorite.

After our walk, Kev touched base with Dad, who was heading over to the "500", a pond, to fish. Since Kev had thrown in his pole and fishing stuff, we decided to head over. I do not fish. Fishing is boring and icky. So, while the guys were fishing...I read a book, killed a tick, and took a nap in the sunshine.

After a couple of hours, Kev quit fishing, because we had to unload the rocks down at Mom's. Dad conveniently stayed fishing...he's really good at getting out of hard work like that...on the other hand, he had built fence that morning, so maybe he's due a little "R & R".

Kev and I got to Mom's and she helped us unload the rocks--but not the heavy rocks. Kev and I did those. We just didn't carry them very far. They were heavy!

As we left, Kev told me it had been a great birthday for him, he got a great gift, and he got to spend the day outside.

It was a good day. And we finished our day with grilled steak for supper. A great end to a pretty good day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Surprising Kev

I finally did it. It only took me 20 years, but I finally surprised Kev with a gift.

Oh, I've bought him lots of gifts over the years, but he's not an easy person to buy for. He's not picky, or materialistic...which probably makes it harder to buy for him because he just doesn't want much.

But the worst part of trying to buy a gift for Kev is that he always guesses what I got him before I give it to him.

For example...several years ago, I bought him a reciprocating saw, or a saws-all. Kev's brother Dan went to the store with me and helped me pick out a good saw for Kev. I smuggled it home, got it wrapped and put under the Christmas tree. A few days later, Kev said, "Can I open my saw and use it now? It would sure come in handy." He'd figured it out. He does it all the time.

It makes it very frustrating for me because he's always surprising me, and I want to do the same for him. And this year, I succeeded!

Since we moved here, Kev's been bow hunting on the ground and a few times, he's been burned by the deer. They've spotted him. So, I got the idea to buy Kev a Ghille suit. I found one I liked in Cabela's, and ordered it for Kev's birthday. I had it shipped to work so he wouldn't see the box and somehow guess what I'd ordered.

Now, he's never mentioned wanting a ghille suit, so I wasn't sure this would pan out. I was so afraid he'd open it, grunt, and tell me he didn't need a ghille suit, and to send it back. (He's done that before.)

But, no! He was thrilled! He'd been thinking about looking at one, hadn't mentioned it. He tried it on and offered to go lay down in the pasture to see if he "disappeared". He's now eager for hunting season again, just for the chance to wear his new suit.

And, I'm excited because finally, after 20 years, I got to surprise him with a gift he likes and didn't expect. And that made us both happy on his birthday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

a text conversation and a crisis

Life with a teenage girl is never dull. Take for example this text conversation we had yesterday, as Miss Kat was on her way to a track meet. The final meet of the year...

11:43 a.m. Thursday.

Miss Kat: Can u get me some money somehow? I didn't eat lunch and I forgot mine.

Me: am I going to get money to you? Are you running? If so maybe Andy will come to the meet and bring you some money.

Miss Kat: No I'm not. Kim is here. I didn't eat Mom!

Me: What am I supposed to do from Dodge? (I'm thinking...Girl, why didn't you plan yourself. And, seriously? This is a crisis?)

Miss Kat: Give some to Andy. Just like 5 or something.

Me: Let me text him (to see if he's going to the meet).

Miss Kat: Thanks.

I texted Andy. Who had decided not to go to the meet since Kat wasn't running.

Me: Andy isn't going...So, I guess you will have to figure something out yourself...Sorry.

Miss Kat: Mom! I didn't fricken eat lunch! This is freakin stupid! He just doesn't want to do anything.

Me: Kat, it's not his fault. YOU should have eaten. You'll live till you get home...sorry babe. (And I'm thinking...SERIOUSLY, this is ANDY's fault? SERIOUSLY? Good Lord. Just who raised this child?)

Miss Kat: We didn't eat at school!

Me: Oh, ok then... (as I was thinking...SERIOUSLY? I guessed on earth is this MY problem?)

Miss Kat: I'm hungry

Me: I'm sorry maybe you can bum some from from a friend...either that or do without.

Miss Kat: That's frickin' retarded.

Me: you have any other ideas? (as I'm thinking. are getting on my last nerve with this attitude. Serves you right.)

Miss Kat: What do you think?

Me: No idea...ask someone to help you out (all the while I'm thinking...Girl, why is this everyone's fault but your own? You knew you had a meet today. You knew when you were leaving town. You knew you needed why is this suddenly MY problem? Good grief, who ARE your parents?)

Miss Kat: Then can you please get me some Bob Evans Macaroni?

Me: How, I'm in Dodge! (and I'm thinking...What? Why the shift from help me, and it's all Andy's fault to "Buy me some Bob Evans Macaroni?" Did I miss something in translation?)

At this point. The conversation ended. Since I am the epitome of thoughtfulness and concern for the physical health and mental well being of my child...I thought about how I could get her some money or food.

Then it hit me... Faye and Frosty, friends from Big E, were going to be there watching their grandson run. So, I called my Mom and asked her if they were still going. Then I explained the crisis--er, problem--and asked if Mom could call Faye (who happens to be her best friend and who's number Mom's phone automatically dials when it's picked up) and ask Faye to loan Kat some money for food. I could then pay Faye back either this weekend or get money to Mom to get to Faye.

So, Mom called Faye, who said "sure". Then Mom called me back. I then texted and called Miss Kat back and told her to find Layton's Grandma who would help her out. Unfortunately, Kat never replied to my message. But, Faye found her and saved the day. God bless Faye...

Although, it was really tempting to just let Miss Kat go without lunch...just to teach her to plan and to be responsible and to take care of herself...yeah right...think it will ever happen? Yeah, I don't think so either...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My other "new" old crap

At the auction, I didn't just limit myself to the Kitchen old crap. I also bought a box of linens. Dresser scarves and table toppers. All stitched by Clarice, all done on linen. I didn't get the set I really really want, about 10 people bid on it and it went to high to fast. The "one that got away" was a tablecloth and matching napkins. Cutwork, which means part was stitched and then holes were cut out between the stitches. I've done a little bit of it, but nothing as big as that tablecloth.This table topper, which I did buy, is a work of art.
Handmade lace and beautiful stitching. This one is the only one which had some use/abuse...see that little 'basket" below the small group of flowers? It's the only thing like it left. I'm going to pull it the rest of the way out.

See those french knots? They are beautiful. All the same size and shape. It's hard to make that many perfect french knots. Take it from someone who knows. I'm pretty good at french knots, but these are all perfect. Not to mention the hand crocheted lace...

Another favorite table runner. Hand lace and hand embroidered.

Variegated pink floss. Satin stitch all over. It's very full and all the stitches are tight.

This table topper is very unique. It didn't come out in the picture, but this piece is more of an almond color. the flowers are all different in all 4 corners. Each flower is done in the blanket stitch.

More Lazy Daisy stitches and lots more french knots.

I haven't figured out exactly where I'm going to use these pieces, but I am proud to own them and I'm glad that they are in my home. Someday, I hope to leave some of my needlework for my kids. And, if they have to be sold someday, I hope they go to someone who appreciates the time, work, or skill it takes to create something like this.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"New" old crap

I went to an auction on Saturday. My Mother was nice enough to go with me since Kev didn't want to go. The auction was for a lady who was a friend of my Grandma Woodruff. She's still alive, but at the age of 95, she's in a Nursing Home, and her family had to sell some of her estate. Nursing Homes are very expensive. When I saw the sale bill, I knew I had to go to the sale. I didn't know that I'd buy anything, but I felt a compulsion to go, and so Mom and I went.

I wound up buying a few things, more "Old Crap."
Most of what I bought was old Kitchen crap. But, when I saw that spoon with the green handle, and the rolling pin with the red handles...I knew I had to bid. Mot of this stuff was in two boxes that I bid on. The sifter...the old cake decorator...the green jar...I just had to bid, and I won! I haven't managed to get these hung up on the walls yet, and I may wait until I get my picture (Mom's Kitchen) finished. The jelly jar is one of 6 that I got. The green jar was with them. I assume the green jar is also a jelly jar, but I've not seen a green jelly jar before. I bid on the entire box of 6 jars just for that green jar! I know, it's a sickness...but I really wanted that green jar!
Isn't this old cake decorating kit cool? Instead of a pastry bag, it's all tin.

I actually bought 2 sets of enamel pans. this set of red and white ones and a set of brown and tan ones. The brown and tan ones are in now in our camper ready for summer camping trips.

My last Kitchen purchase was this set of Fire King cake pans. They are impossible to find these days. Mom has a set and I used them for a lot of my 4-H cooking and for layer cakes when I was growing up. I really prefer baking in glass pans simply because they don't rust and I think they are easier to clean.
Great treasures came home with me. And...I think I'll just have to go to a few more auctions...even if Kev says I don't have enough wall space...what does he know...he's a guy!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Miss Kat shines...

Usually, when I blog about Miss Kat, it's about her driving me nuts, or something along those lines. After all, it's not easy living with a stubborn, independent, strong-willed female teenager who is 1000 times smarter than her parents. And if you think I'm exaggerating, just ask Miss Kat. She'll tell you how difficult is is to live with the meanest parents in the world who are woefully small minded and not very bright.

But, today, I'm not going to write anything negative about Miss Kat. Because yesterday, I watched her run.

And when she runs, it's poetry in motion.

Kat's been frustrated in track this year. The girls have had a couple of really good relay races in which they either tied school records or meet records. And, they were looking forward to breaking those records. But, the track meet in which they thought they had nailed the record...that track meet ended early due to a thunderstorm that rolled inconveniently in 2 events before the medley relay. The girls lost their chance to get the record.

The next week, their coach decided to shake things up, and broke up his potential record-breaking team. Two of the girls were moved to the hurdles, and another to the 400. Kat remained in the relays, but she became anchor for the team and was placed with slower runners. Instead of winning relays, the new team placed lower--anywhere from 5th up to 2nd.

Yesterday, Kev and I went to the League track meet in Jetmore. We missed the 4 x 100 relay, which placed 2nd overall. We did get to watch Kat run both the 4 x 200 and the Medley relays. In the 4 x 200, (or 800 meter relay as we called it in the dark ages...) Kat was the anchor. When she got the baton, she was in last place. By the time she finished her leg, she had moved up to 4th place. She just ran the pants off the other girls in her leg and just passed girl after girl and if she had a few more yards to run, she'd have passed the girl in 3rd place.

She did the same thing in the Medley. In the medley relay, the runners run 100, 100, 200, and the anchor runs the 400 meters. Kat was supposed to run the 400, but she's strained a thigh muscle, so coach had her run the 200 instead. And, again, she gained so much ground and time, moving the team into 3rd. Unfortunately, the girl who did run the 400 pooped out and dropped them back to 5th place. Hey, she'd just run the open 400 dash 15 minutes earlier, so she was tired!

But, it was wonderful watching Kat stretch out those long legs and flat run. It was amazing to see how smooth her stride is, how relaxed she looks running. She's a beautiful runner and I was so proud of her.

I hope she continues to run, although right now, at the end of track season, she says she's not going out next year. I hope she changes her mind, because I think she's got potential to break some records. Besides, she's beautiful when she's running and I like watching her shine. It makes me think that maybe all the angst of living with a female teenager just might be worth it in the end.