Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I am in  HEAVEN!!  Friday D went and picked our beef from the processor.  We have been waiting for the this for a long time!! It makes me happy to know the meat we are eating is antibiotic free and lived the life cattle should live...out in the pasture, eating grass, flirting with the ladies. 
I grew up on meat like this, but my family sold off the cattle years ago when my grandfather and  dad's health started deteriorating.  I've miss it! 
There was some worry that since the trip up to Dodge wasn't a pleasant one, that the meat would be bad, but we've had steak 2 different days and hamburger for lunch today, and it is AWESOME!!   I was in awe when I didn't even have to drain the fat off the hamburger after I browned it.
I know this sounds nerd-ish, but I keep opening the freezer, just to look inside it! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Run, Toto, RUN!

9-25-10  Tornado South-east of town

As we headed back into town from our butterfly adventure, we heard J in the back seat say, "Whoa, that looks weird....almost like a tornado....it's moving...er....uh..I think....It IS a tornado."  Sure enough.  I'm not sure if actually touched down or not. I didn't think it did but other pictures from other people it looks as if it came pretty close.  Only here in Kansas would you have a tornado warning as your discussing Halloween decorations and costumes!!

Dancing With Butterflies

Saturday afternoon we headed to the farm and as we were pulling into the driveway I saw what I thought were thousands of dead leaves blowing down the highway.  Then realized it was not leaves, it was HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of MONARCH BUTTERFLIES!!   We pulled in and
the boys ran to get grandpa and we just sat outside watching them.  They were all headed south.  It was so amazing. Flock after flock after flock of them.  I never was able to get a good picture of them. They were very determined to keep flying and none ever landed, but it was such a beautiful and breath taking sight. One I don't think any of us will forget. It was like something out of a movie.
We came home and recorded our sighting online.  We learned that Monarchs east of the Rockies migrate 2500 miles to the Oyamel fir trees of Mexico. Others that are west of the Rockies will head to southern California to the eucalyptus trees of Pacific Grove.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

State Fair Results

It was a great year at the State Fair.  And crazy.  And exhausting.

 T took his Florida White, Runny Babbit. Runny is an old guy being 4 years old now, but that didn't stop him. He came home with a nice Best of Breed ribbon from the open show and a blue ribbon from the 4-H show.

J has been working on his meat pen for about 4 months now. It was the first time he's ever done it, and learned a lot from it.  He didn't qualify it for the 4-H show, but got Grand Champion Meat Pen in the open show! (A meat pen is 3 rabbits who are to look exactly alike or as close as possible in body type and be pretty much the same weight.  I think J's were all within 2 oz of each other.  It sounds easy, but it's a challenge.)

 J took his Sr Buck Californian, Truman and came home with a Best Opposite Sex in the open and a blue ribbon from the 4-H show.  Truman does well on the table. He's J's showmanship bunny so he usually goes to all his shows, but he also gave J some NICE looking babies so he can just sit back and relax now. (Babies above in the meat pen are his boys and J's already been practicing with one for showmanship!)  Truman was J's first HOME BORN winner so he's got a special place in our hearts.  He's kinda of spoiled. ;-)

 For Havanas, J took his Black Havana Doe, PR8.  She came home with a Best of Breed from the open show as well as a Best Opposite Sex and a Best of Variety from the 4-H show.

 He also took his Black Havana Buck, Charlie.  He got  a Best Opposite Sex for the open and a Best Opposite Sex Variety for the 4-H show.  Charlie was J's Best In Show winner from the Dodge City show, and just might have done better had he waited to molt. He was in horrible coat condition.  Most of the rabbits there were blowing their coats in some shape or form.  People with allergies were really suffering in the bunny barn!!

 J also participated in the showmanship contest and got a blue and also the judging contest and got a purple. He was really excited about that one as its his favorite and he's really improving.  They take 4 breeds of rabbits with 4 rabbits in each group. They have numbers in the ears and they have to judge and place each group.

The boys also took some other projects.  T took his Strawberry Coffee Cake and got a white.  J took Mint Chocolate Cookies and got a red, the boat harbor picture got a red, and he received a purple on his chess board.
I'll need a year to recover from this years State Fair....and I'm not even sure that will be enough time!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Terror At The State Fair

I used to love the Ferris Wheel.  Well, I used to love ALL the rides, but every year as I've gotten older my tolerance has gotten less and less.  I had NO tolerance this year at ALL. 
But it's not so much the ride that bothers me. It's the shaking of the cart. It's the thought that any moment my cart is going to come unbolted and send us crashing to the ground. Its the thought of getting stuck and having to be rescued from the very top. It's the thought...well, I'm sure you get the picture.
 I was excited for my ride on the Ferris Wheel as it was the only ride I was going to go on.  I hate the sick feeling and headache I get after the rides and was just going to stick to taking pictures this year.  Started feeling anxious as I got on the cart and by the first half turn I was panicking.  No really---I have pictures:

My family, however, enjoyed the ride. I think the most fun for them was watching ME. They laughed a lot. I felt more comfortable when I had my hand on the bar, and the other on my sisters leg. She thought it was funny to rip my hand off her leg and make the cart shake.  ACK.

Oh geez...I'm sitting next to her and she's going to throw up.

HEY!!  People really CAN turn green!! (T DOES seem a bit concerned about me, doesn't he?)


I did finally relax a bit and look out the cart just as we were making our last loop around and pulling in to get off.  

I was kind of aware they were taking pictures, but I thought they were of the VIEW and not so much me. Oh well. And I'm not sure what happened to my hair...it looked really nice when I left our house at 5:30 that morning. Err...or maybe it didn't and I just THOUGHT it did!  That's what 2 full days at the fair, lack of sleep, and a near death experience on the ferris wheel will do to you.

Next year, I am JUST taking pictures...they can go on it without me. Getting old stinks. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Meet Paris.

Paris is 9 years old and was adopted as a "Daddy is leaving for a month so maybe this will help take your minds off of it" type of thing when D was active reservist.   I had wanted a kitty for a long long time, but D wanted NO cats. However, a few hours of quilt tripping and begging  really can pay off. She came into our lives at a time with lots of tears and anxiety, and she was just what the boys and I needed at that time.  She gave us something to concentrate on, and take care of.

She was a born in a garage and was an alley cat of sorts. Her story today though is she was born from royalty and these humans are lucky to have her.  The day she came into our house was the last time she's ever had her feet on the dirt outside, and she doesn't leave the house unless we have to drag her to the vet...where I might add they know her by name and she's famous for her "wonderful" personality.
She has never caught a mouse...eww, she says.....hates kids, hates strangers, and pretty much hates everyone except for D, who didn't even want her in the first place.  She's IN LOVE with that guy and spends a good 10 to 15 minutes EVERY NIGHT purring while laying on his chest, looking at him like he's so sort of God. She pouts like a child, and recently spent almost 2 weeks under our bed while we were on vacation.  I am convinced she only come down to eat and drink enough to keep herself alive, and then went back upstairs.  My sister called worried about her because she had yet to see her while she was checking on things, and found her upstairs where she was greeted with a growl and a hiss.  Grouchy and snotty as she is, our house would be strange without HER MAJESTY'S presence here.

Meet Anna.
She's 6 years old.  We brought her home with her head hanging out the car window like a dog. She's a tomboy.  She spends most of her time outside.  She climbs trees and catches anything that moves, and then be-heads it and lays it on the front mat.  I was pretty grossed out by this until I read they do this as show of hierarchy...she's gifting us with her catches.  Still gross, but now I thank her as I call..aka... scream at the boys to remove her headless gifts. Anna is much more friendlier than Paris, though after she was picked up by the ears and pulled around by her tail, she keeps pretty clear of the daycare kids.  She scratches at the door like a dog when she wants in or out, increasing the pace and adding a few annoyed MEOWS the longer she has to wait to be let in. 

She's probably getting low on her nine lives.  One time she was gone for nearly 4 days and we were devastated. I was walking around yelling her name and heard a faint cry from the garage...coming from an old couch. I ran and got D who quickly ripped the couch apart.  She had gotten in through a tiny tear and had gotten her claws stuck in the fabric and was stuck inside.  She was hungry and skinny and didn't do much for a couple of days after that. Another time she came home after being missing for about 3 days and was COMPLETELY GREEN.  We THINK it was that fertilizer that they spray in the yards in the spring and fall, but still are not totally sure what she got into.  The only TRUE problem I have with Anna is she likes to sleep...in my houseplants. If Anna were a human, she would wear boots, and play football, not care about hair or make-up, and out spit and fart all the boys.  She LOVES to torment Paris, and pounces and chases her, which ends up in this nasty growling rolling match usually. After which she watches Paris, almost with a smirk on her face while Paris has to spend HOURS getting her fur clean again and put back JUST right.
Anna is awesome and I'm happy she's here, headless creatures and all!

Monday, September 6, 2010


Here's video from J's first shot ever from a shotgun! hehe 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our not so planned Sunday

Today we were going to go to church, come home to a nice, hot, lunch already made the crock pot,  sit down and enjoy being a family.  It was going t be a great relaxed day. That was I had planned in my head anyway. 

Nothing like getting  call at 7am from your mother to tell let you know there are COWS on the road, and they are YOURS.  Well, actually, it was only ONE cow, and he's not really a cow...he's a steer...who still thinks he's a dog, but that's another story.

D and I get up and out there, where we find he has in fact decided the grass is greener on the other side, and is on the other side of the highway, pigging out.  D slows down to about 10 miles an hour, I hang the coffee can full of cake out the window, shake it around and OFF WE GO.  I prayed no one we know drives by, as I am know we look SILLY for multiple reasons:
1.  We are "herding" in a Ford Taurus.

2.  We are moving a Jersey steer...right smack in the middle of beef cattle country, I might add,  across a highway, where many of my childhood pets were squashed flat as pancakes.

3. We don't use ropes...we use coffee cans.  Food orientated, YES we are!

We get him back in, and I already know what D is gonna say.  "Me and the boys have to get this fixed this morning."  There went my planned Sunday.
(The spot he keeps getting out at is string of electric fence that's no longer hot, so all he does is steps through the wire. We've had the barb wire to replace it, just hadn't done it yet.)
The men tackled the fence, while I relaxed and did my thing, walking around, taking pictures, getting in the way.

Hoof prints in the driveway....NOT suppose to be there!!

Chewy is in timeout while they fix fence. He looks worried, doesn't he? 

Rosie is supervising while they work.
Seriously, kid, do you know what your doing??

"Why do they always give the pee-wee jobs??" "It's a right of passage, little man!"
"Don't look over..she's at it again" "Does she ever JUST STOP?"
"I'm NOT looking."

I'm sure his mother is so proud. ;-)

 So there was my not so planned Sunday. Not like I had hoped for, but still a good day.  As I write this, the men are upstairs eating lunch, and I just heard something about going back out to shoot guns for a while.  D got a new gun, and they've been anxious to go out and blow some stuff up.   My Sunday may not be over yet!

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's that time again!

Smelly clothes, grass stained pants, ogre acting, testosterone fed men, camera hauling mamas, junk food fueled 10 year olds,  .....It's FOOTBALL SEASON!

Last night we drove to J's first Jr High Football team. He's been waiting for this moment, well, since he was born I think.  He was up and ready and just WAITING for the bus to get around the corner.

 Jake is #84--He's the guy in the middle of both pictures.

It was a good first game, considering they lost 32-14.  J had a really nice tackle towards the end of the game, stopping a runner from scoring.  I sat there watching, clutching my camera, totally missing capturing the moment, while D sat beside me muttering, "Don't let him by you, J...get up there...."  (I'm thankful I married a quiet guy.  If he were one of those yelling cussing dads, I might have to sit someplace else...like the car.)
I got full play by plays of the game, complete with who did what body function on the field,  until just about half way home, when it became VERY quiet in my backseat except for the occasion snore.

As a mom, I've come to realize I will probably never understand football.

But to get them that pumped up and to keep doing it over and over, it has to feel something like how I feel when I get a buy one, get one free deal at the greenhouse......right, Mel? =)

T's first game is next week...stay tuned for more football action!