Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lake of the Ozarks

A few years ago, Danny and I decided to let our boys pick where they would like to go for vacation...within reason...the summer going into their senior year. Jacob picked going to Lake of the Ozarks, where he wanted "a house on the water, in the middle of nowhere, and he wanted to fish for a whole week."

I found myself in a bit of a panic after we started in on the roads, and my phone switched to "SEARCHING" for service.  It had NOTHING.  I found later that if you went out to the middle to end of the dock, you had a few bars and at least could send a text out.  We also had no internet.  Dan and I discussed the feelings that came with being totally cut off, and came to the conclusion that it must be left over "sick-dad syndrome."   We've taught ourselves to not be far from our phones or out of reach for so long, in case something happened.  After the first day, I realized it was just fine to be out of reach, and actually enjoyed it by the time we left.  And--who REALLY needs internet when you are at the lake???

Our house really was in the middle of no where. It took 30 mins of winding roads and hills to get us to and from town.  I'll add that about halfway there, my motion sickness kicked in.  I never felt sick when we were going TO town, but always did going BACK to the house.



Front door





This was the view when you came out our front door.


I went to bed and woke up every morning to THIS view!












Jacob caught this guy on some fishing line, with a hook, and some cheese. He spent hours hanging it from the dock, or from the bridge. 


We had 2 hammocks at the house. T doesn't enjoy fishing as much as the rest of us, so he spent a lot of time rocking back and forth, watching. 


THIS HILL!!! Was crazy!! Going DOWN it felt like you were going off a canyon. And we had to take our trash up to a dumpster...at the top of this hill and around another decent sized hill to an intersection.   It was a quarter of a mile up and back...and let me tell you...if you ever want to feel  what it's like to be an 80 year old cardiac patient with Emphysema, just go here to the land of hills and stairs!! WOW. 

We had an amazing time. We ended up catching about 100 fish in our time there.  We also enjoyed lots of other wildlife. As we went down to one of the roads going to our house for the first time, a red fox ran into the trees. We saw lots of deer, Pelicans, Egrets, chipmunks, lots and lots of different birds I've never seen or heard before, a flock of geese with goslings that just casually swam right by us one day, a big alligator turtle with 2 little babies that would sun on a log, and swim by like we were casual neighbors,  and a cotton mouth snake who must have lived close, as we saw him several times. We also saw a pair of cardinals in the exact same spot every time we went to town. We even started looking for them, and always found them. 



The morning after we arrived, Jacob got up early to fish, and was chased down our bridge by a hummingbird. I guess he thought Jake's red hat was a tasty snack.  The next time  we went to town I picked up a cheap feeder, and was delighted to see them visit and keep pretty close.  The day we left, I went to get the feeder and stood still by it, while a hummer sipped for the last time about a foot from me. He thought I was rather annoying but they certainly were not afraid of us. 





To save on our budget, we only ate out twice. It was only suppose to be once, but we ate at a place no one was really impressed with the first time, so we decided it didn't count. ;) I had menus planned for the entire week, and we cooked our meals at the house. I found it fun before the trip to plan out and came up with a few new things to try. One being:

Smore's DIP!

Layer Hershey bars in a small pan. Cut large marshmallows in half, put on top of candy bars, covering the top. Put in the oven at 425, and cook until the marshmallows brown. Serve with graham crackers. It was good stuff!

We did just a few touristy things--I have lots of pictures, so I'll save them for another post!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Praire Fire Spring Half

Last Sunday I checked off a bucket list item. To finish a Prairie Fire race.

Back in December, during a random evening I was feeling very ambitious, I signed up for the back to back challenge. This means I would do a race in the spring, and then one in the fall, and come home with special swag if I completed both.  And I love me some swag.   So, I chose a 5K for the spring, and a half marathon for the fall.  


The weekend and race were amazing. Lori and I took off on Saturday.  We shopped, ate new food, and giggled randomly in the darkness when we should have been sleeping.

The race was just a wonderful experience. This was the biggest race I've ever done. With the 5 and the half, they announced there was 2,400+ runners.

I ended up taking over 4 mins off my last 5K time.

Which I will take!

This winter, after an attempt to run on a really cold day, I noticed I was wheezing.  Not long after I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma.  (Yes, my post before this was about my cholesterol. I'm a mess.) This has taken me a little bit of getting used to. All this time I was convinced the reason I couldn't breathe was because I was fat and out of shape..which is still true!  But I ended up being a little shocked at just how much AIR I WASN'T getting. It makes a world of difference when you can breathe!





These are the only race pictures that will see the light of day. My other ones...well, ..have you ever seen the beginning of Turner and Hooch? I look like the dog running in slow motion.  Don't remember?? Here..









Lori won 1st in age group!  



I'm excited for the fall race!!! Remind me I said this later!! ;) 








Friday, April 3, 2015

I Lost

A couple of weeks ago, Danny and I had went to our local health fair to have a lab work up.  We placed a $5 bet on who had the better cholesterol levels. I knew I had that bad boy already in the bag.

I lost.

By a lot.

***I STINKING LOST!!***

ME!! The vegetable loving, greek yogurt eating, walking miles, race loving, ME ...LOST to my 3 at a time Jeno pizza, hostess donuts by the bag eating, bacon loving,  husband

=(

I opened up that envelope and ugly cried at my table. Danny quickly assured me he was SURE it was not so much as my diet, as it was my genes, and to make an appointment with our Dr.  He was right.

This scares me so much.  My grandmother and my father lost their lives from cardiac issues, as did one of my grandmother's brothers, at a really young age.

This wasn't going to happen to me. Come on! I don't smoke, eat pretty healthy already, I've lost weight, read labels, I give Danny so much crap for what he eats. I exercise pretty faithfully spring-fall..(Stupid winter)

I feel a lot better now that I have a plan with my Dr.

 I was so stinking blindsided by this, and I really should have actually been expecting it.

I've also begged both of my siblings to go get theirs checked.

Danny's cholesterol numbers and some of his other tests weren't that whoopy either, so our kitchen has had a major food purge.

Let the adventures begin!!

Please pass the oatmeal...and the fish oil.

Bottoms up!!




BTW--have YOU had YOUR cholesterol checked lately?


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring is HERE!!

I swear I'm here!!!  Super busy, yet...there seemed nothing of importance to write about!!!


But Spring is here, and that is something to celebrate!  It felt like the longest winter of my life...but we were also grieving for the second winter in a row...that makes for some really long and dark days.  I'm also convinced I suffer from seasonal depression. Just when I think I can not stand it anymore, here comes spring!!

Let's see..  Golf has started for both  my boys. That means our routine is shot, and we are trying to figure out the new one!! 9 more weeks until summer, and this mom can HARDLY wait!!  Tristen has his first job, working at the same place as his Dad.  Jacob was recently made part time supervisor at the grocery store he works at. I've got all the cool weather crops in my buckets, and will get my tomatoes and peppers in just as soon as they hit the shelves.  Danny has his potatoes in the ground. The guys will be going to a pig auction this weekend, to pick up pigs for fair projects.

With spring comes babies, and we have several nestboxes of baby bunnies.  Danny recently built is own barn, for his own project, and is already wanting to add on and expand.

We recently went to one of our favorite shows...The Windy Plains Spring Fling. This year it was held in Garden City.  The last show I went to was in October, and that was just Tristen and I. The last show we went to as a family was almost a year ago. I was happy to load all of us up, and head out, with no thought at all at winning anything. I just wanted to see the people and be stuck in the car with my family for a few hours!!

Jacob no longer has rabbits, so he asked to take comments for a judge all day. He seemed to really enjoy his time.  I received a 1st place Black SR buck Havana in one show, always getting beat my friend Sarah. Her rabbits are killer. (She later won BIS in BOTH shows in the Open, and also added a reserve or 2nd in the other)

Tristen won breed and best opposite Dutch in both youth shows. He was a bit shocked to see several exhibitors of Dutch and several varieties show up. (There aren't very many Dutch breeders in Kansas, these people had come in from Colorado)   He won with a set of blues in one show, and a tort buck and a black doe in the other.   He was trying to convince us to leave, before the Best in Show judging. He was tired, and "Dutch usually don't win BIS."   Sarah and I both tried to tell him that yes, they do..and that we were not leaving.

The first show he put his tort up. I heard them announce the 1st and 2nd Reserve, and then I heard Best in show today will be the DUTCH.

Tristen's jaw hit the floor.  And then the "we told you so's" started in.


Tristen and Judge Blaine Maier

This is Tristen's very first Best in Show and he won some cash. The tort was DONE and refuses to sit still any longer.

His tort, Wiggle, has done well for him every time he has shown him.  But a few weeks after his last show, T and I were feeding in the barn, and heard someone start choking and coughing. It was him. The idiot had a mouthful of feed, got a drink, and choked up. I'll save you the details, but had we not been there, he would have been found dead in his cage, with us wondering what in the world happened.

Sometimes I think a kick butt show is almost better than a really bad one--Sunday found Tristen busy evaluating, culling hard, and breeding even harder, making soon-to-be hopefuls for the fall season.

I also came home with a breeding pair of mini satins, and a obber sweet Champagne buck, for a family in our town who is just starting in rabbits.   And a very cute Havana doe I can't  wait to grows a bit more so I can breed her!

On the way home, I thought about just how many places, experiences, and people we have met...that  all started with a couple of 4-H rabbits  named Carly and Bulls-eye.

Happy SPRING!!



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Vacation

The weekend after Christmas, my crew packed up mid morning and headed to Kansas City for a little mini Christmas vacation.

In a funny turn of events, I was laying on the bed girl talking with my sister on Thanksgiving Day, and it mentioned that we had got tickets to surprise the boys on Christmas morning. She acted shocked and then started laughing...she had gotten Tarquin tickets to the same game for Christmas!!!

So we met up and enjoyed a nice meal together Saturday evening.  After our dinner, the guys and I headed to the Plaza to see the lights. I have heard about these lights for many years. This is one of the things Danny always talks about when he talks about his childhood Christmas's.  It was so beautiful!! We were even stopped in the road for horse drawn carriages to cross...and now I've added going and doing that some year to my bucket list!!






Sunday was the big game. We headed over to Krispy Kreme, where we got a few hot donuts, and off we went. I quickly felt like I had stepped into the twilight zone. I just THOUGHT Danny and the boys were hard core fans. I was wrong. It could be SO much worse!  We drove by lots of tailgaters. Drunk and drinking tailgaters. At 10:30am on a Sunday!





The game was a dream come true for 3 out of 4 of us. The other one of us...well, I enjoyed the experience.  But I'm not a cold weather person. Or a crowd person. Heights bother me. And loud and obnoxious drunk people annoy me. (Sheesh--I sound like I'm 100 years old, don't I?)  But it was amazing to be with my guys!!



This is how I spent 85% of the game. If I tilted my head back a little, I could see the game just fine. My feet were numb and hurt so bad. They finally got back to normal about halfway home from KC. I even wore running pants under my jeans and thought if I wore my boots instead of my tennis shoes, they would be warmer. They were not. 

 
This is what $10.25 hot chocolate looks like. I was cold. And desperate. And weak.
 I'm so ashamed.


Remember what I said about crowds? And heights? ;)

All and all it was a great weekend!! Oh, and they won!!
GO CHIEFS!!!







Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

I'm sitting here at my table, the day after Christmas, and can't believe another one has passed already.

This Christmas was different AGAIN, with losing Danny's dad just a short few weeks ago. I feel like we still are trying to figure things out even still from losing my dad a year ago. I crave the holidays that feel whole and complete. Maybe they will again someday. Or maybe they won't ever be again.  For the second year in a row we had sympathy cards mixed in with our Christmas cards. I have many of moments of didn't we just do this? and I can't believe we are doing this again.

That being said, I think we did great this Christmas. I carried on my theme from last year. Took pressure off and if we didn't REALLY want to do it, we didn't do it.  We didn't get lights hung on our house. Christmas still came.  I didn't want to make cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. Danny threw in 2 rolls of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls when we were last minute shopping and called it good. Christmas still came. We laughed a lot. Some of us cried. We watched a lot of movies. Baked a lot of cookies, and one of us cried like a baby during Silent Night at the candle light service.  (Is there anything more beautiful?)

Danny and I were about to burst with excitement about one of the gifts we got for our boys. Our daycare elf, Mistletoe Max, stuck around to help deliver it,  Tristen has a love/hate..mostly hate..relationship with Max, so it was just icing on the cake I found a cute little elf jersey in the Halmark store.


Anyway, back to the gift: We got them Kansas City Chief tickets!

And Tristen thought his ticket was a "stupid letter mom wrote from the elf" and almost didn't read it!! HAHAHA

Danny got me a Garmin watch to help with my running...so...I guess I HAVE to start running more now.  He also gave me a skillet that says "Peace Love and Taco grease, some warm winter boots, and an Ipod dock so I can listen to my music MUCH louder while in the kitchen now!!


I was also SHOCKED when this CA-UTE little chair was carried into my living room. It was made by some of my favorite people in this entire world, and had been part of a scheme with my mother.  I had been drooling over this chair on Facebook and still can't believe IT'S MINE!!!

My boys scored as well, but the favorite gift came from Grandma Glennda.  She got both of them a little remote controlled drones, and feared they were too old for them.  They literally messed around with those things all stinking day. I don't think any boy/man is "too old" for "toys" like that! We got Tristen a big drone, that records while it is in the air. Its pretty cool, and has already had to have been rescued several times from our Mulberry bush in our yard.




One of the best parts of our day was going out to check on the cows.  We have 2 girls who are due anytime, and they've been checking bags and watching them close.  Jacob told us Tristen's cow, Black Out was closer than his, but that he didn't think it would be soon.  We loaded up, and went out. I said I thought there was going to be a baby. Jacob disagreed.  I won.  There was cute fluffy little black bull calf out with his momma at the bale.  We don't know for sure, but I'm guessing she had him more on Christmas Eve..probably right after Jacob checked and claimed nothing was happening. hehe He was really clean and dry and was running around when we were out there.

To:Tristen Merry Christmas Love, Black Out

So--Tristen following his Black OUT, Burn OUT, theme....meet SLEIGH OUT.  



Hope you all had a VERY Merry Christmas!!

"Sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see." The Polar Express

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Great Santa Run

I have NO idea why, but from the moment I saw an ad for Wichita's Great Santa Run, I wanted to go.  Keep in mind this was back in September, when I was a lot more active. Before doing The Santa Run, I hadn't done anything since Thanksgiving Day. And before that, the run in Haviland. But decided--WHAT THE HECK!




There were 380ish people running this race. It was the biggest one I have done to date. It was also the most FUN!!! Christmas carols where blaring, Santa was there, EVERYONE was dressed in Christmas attire, hot chocolate was flowing, donuts were appearing--you just couldn't help be anything but in the Christmas spirit!!

There were Santas, and reindeer, and tutus, men in Christmas themed boxer shorts,  Christmas trees, and bells...And everyone had a smile and a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!







This fireman had lights that worked all the way around his air tank. I bet he was exhausted when he was done. 

I started off strong and then decided to just enjoy the experience..  which is code for...I totally fell apart. HAHA!! It wasn't the worst 5K I have ever done, but it wasn't my fastest. BUT--it was THE BEST TIME I have EVER had at a run. SO MUCH STINKING FUN!! I figured that made up for it!  Nothing like stepping over antlers and Santa hats that had fallen off other runners.




COOLEST MEDAL EVER!!

I've got several posts in my head. Just need to work on getting them here. I promise I'll update soon!! In the meantime..hope all of you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!