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!!

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.


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!! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thank You

Tuesday, December 2nd, our family was hit with another hard loss. Within 6 hours of being exactly a year apart with my Dad, my father in law passed away.

Chuck and Diane, with all their children: Danny, Tony, Chris and Sarah

Lying in bed this morning found me with my heart full and my eyes open, with my fingers needing to write.

How do you say THANK YOU, to a family who made the journey from Hungary to America, risking it all in a time that was treacherous, to find a better life? 
He was 11 years old when his family fled their country.  I had known this since I had entered this family, but at the funeral home, listening to Chucks sister tell part of the story, the hair on my neck stood up and I REALLY finally understood. She talked about being a little girl, 8 years old, and her mother telling her they were going to for a walk and that she needed to put on 2 layers of clothes. And of them stopping at her grandmothers house, and her wrapping up food for them. Her mother crying, and her grandmother saying "You act like I'll never see you again." They couldn't tell anyone they were leaving.  And she never did see her mother again. It took them a year before they made it to Kentucky, where Chuck would later meet Danny's mother.  This story has been on Tristen's heart, and in the hunting section of Wal-mart,  I felt him also grasp the full story. "If anything had been different, I wouldn't be here, would I?"

 And because of Chuck's family, and their journey, my husband is first generation born American.

How do you say THANK YOU to a man who fought in Vietnam, not meeting his daughter until she was 7 months old.  A man who wasn't born in America, but He KNEW what it was to be an American. He was one of the most patriotic people I have ever met, and his knowledge of world history was just absolutely crazy. 

How do you say THANK YOU for raising the man you would marry? The man who would help me bring my babies into the world?

How do you say THANK YOU to a man who adored your children? (Well, not just mine. He adored ALL 13 of his grandchildren!) He taught them about food, and about chess, about saving money and being thrifty, about stamps and coins..  He taught them to be yourself. 

How do you say THANK YOU to a man whose most important thing in life was his family. He was happiest with kids running around playing, and adults with bellies full, sitting around socializing. 

Chuck and Diane with kids and spouses: Me with Danny, Stacey and Tony, Chris and Penny, and Sarah..we were missing her husband Don.

How do you say THANK YOU for the life he lived? For the example of determination, and grit, and hard work. 

How do you say thank you? I have no idea.


 Thank you, Chuck Bruckner.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


This past Saturday I completed my 3rd 10K in a year.  After my last one, I experienced some health issues we've figured out, but I wasn't really sure I'd ever be able to do another one. (Quick--stop reading, Melanie! ;) )

But--I did!!

I didn't beat my fastest record, but I did beat my time from this race from last year. And I ran the fastest mile I have EVER ran. 

The difference between the miles is pretty comical. Mile 1-3 I felt like I could finally call myself a runner, and kept up with the pack.  After the 5K ended and I took the 10K turn off, I kinda questioned why I do this to myself! HAHA
Miles 1 and 4 were my fastest.  The 5K course in it town, mostly on paved roads, which the 10K'ers do, but then it splits and the second half of the route is cross country.


See..totally not kidding!!


I was so happy to see this pumpkin! Only 2.2 more miles to go!!

After this part, it was all super sandy dirt roads with a bridge that makes me dizzy as I cross it. I passed mile 5 and then kinda fell apart at 5.5. . I'm not really sure what happened, if I just needed a little more fuel or if I just went to hard in the beginning, but I might have went faster if I had crawled. =P It was also very unseasonably hot that day, and that certainly didn't help.  Was thrilled to cross that finish line.

These pictures were taken from the photographer that was there.


Taken right at the starting line. See me in the pink shirt and black pants?


See how I'm going one way, and my foot is going the other? THAT'S what GoRun was talking about! Perfect picture of it!*shaking my head*  BTW--my feet felt GREAT!! Not even ONE blister!!


At the finish line!! 6.2 miles! I did it!!!  I'm ALIVE!!!!This was quickly followed by "Good Lord..I need to sit down." =)

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Hello? HELLO! Is this thing on?? I'm not sure I have have any readers left out there, but here I sit.  I thought I'd update everyone on my journey.

My weight loss has come to a stand still since my Dad died. Because until recently...I honesty did not care.   I'm grateful I have gained hardly any weight back,  but it sure isn't moving the other way either. So..it IS time to get busy again. It's for sure a 2 steps forward, one step back thing.

I completed a 10K in Garden City Saturday.  I ran A LOT.  I have been working on a running program, and until this, I had only done 2 miles. I'm not really sure what I was thinking when I signed up, but I did finish and managed to take a personal record by taking off over 3 mins off my time from a 10K almost exactly a year ago. Maybe soon I'll actually TRAIN for a 10K and see what I can do! HA!


You know the saying sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out? Well, this picture makes me laugh..because ALL I SEE is my mom!! ;) The older I get, the more she blinks back at me when I look in the mirror! This is the AFTER picture..see how red I am??  HAHA

I got REALLY tired around mile 4.5-5.  The road we were coming off of seemed like it would never end.  And then a song came on through my headphones that reminded me of Jamie. And of my Dad. 

My heart and lungs are strong enough to do whatever I ask them to do. I'm alive.  I suddenly felt super silly for feeling tired, and told myself to NUT UP, BUTTERCUP.  I plowed through those last few miles and felt great as I crossed that line.

My recovery time has been much easier this time. I had some butt/ back of the thigh pain, and was super stiff. But--no blisters, no shin pain, no knee pain. God Bless you, GoRUN, for my new shoes!!

I also realized that while I may  not think much is changing scale wise, I CERTAINLY would not have signed up to do 6 miles, "just for fun" a year and a half ago. 

Progress is STILL progress, no matter how slow, or what form it shows itself! Must keep telling myself this!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Feels Like Fall

Today in SC Kansas, it feels like falls.

The boys have started school.  I have a junior and a freshman in my house. Tristen had the normal freshman jitters, but after the first day of not being able to find his classes and almost walking in to the girls bathrooms, he claims its "just school" now.  I don't really enjoy sending my boys to school. It nothing to do with a school issue. I just like having them around. ;) This year I get to sleep in bit longer. For the first time ever both my boys are in the same school in the same town we live in.  Now, the time Tristen was getting out bed, was the time he was getting on the bus in previous years.

This season also found us with another first. For the first time since Jacob was a 4th grader..I have no one playing football. My feelings change a lot on this. As tired and worn out as I'm feeling these days, I'm mostly thankful, mixed with just a bit of sadness.

Tristen sent off his German Chocolate Cake Friday morning to the state fair, and was THRILLED to see it earned him a blue ribbon!

Our family recently went to Kansas City and took in a Royals game. Tristen and Danny are huge fans. Jacob and I..well, we enjoyed the experience. ;)  Out of the 4 of us, 3 of us are not city people, and couldn't wait to be back at home to our sleepy little town.  It WAS fun!


Pre-game--hoping to get a warm up ball.

My garden has really produced this year!! I have many jars of canned jalapenos, banana peppers, and okra. My freezer is full of pretty tomatoes that I'll turn into salsa when things slow down a bit.

I'm sure every family goes through this, but Dan and I are on a mission to de-stress our family as much as possible right now.  This has resulted in a step down on a board, downsizing on a couple of things,  asking for help, and the admittance of "if it doesn't get done right now, the world will not end,"  and not feeling guilty about saying NO when asked to do something I don't have time for or just don't want to do.  (I'm getting better at this one.)  My boys didn't complete their record books for 4-H this year. Guess what.. I'm almost positive they will still grow up and be productive members of society. 

Back in January I started a running program and then had to stop for health reasons. I have recently found one that I LOVE, and have really taken off with it.  I'm slow. Painfully of slow. But I love it.  Recently I started having some knee issues, and decided I probably needed new shoes. So, my very loving, tired of hearing her complain, husband drug my butt to GoRun to be fitted.  I wasn't sure what to to expect, but the very sweet girl looked at my shoes, and how they were wearing, watched me walk away from her, and then back, and then made me run on a treadmill while a high speed camera recorded my feet.
I'm not sure why it bothered me so much. But I was MORTIFIED! and HORRIFIED.  Its really no wonder my knees had been hurting. Or that my ankles just haven't snapped right off.


I over pronate. When I run, I turn my foot out, land on the side of my foot, roll it in, and then step and repeat. Danny loved it, and made sounds like we were passing a really gruesome accident on the high way. After trying on a stack of shoes, I put on the ones that were MADE FOR ME. They have taken away every ache and pain I had. Like walking on clouds. I highly recommend getting fitted! I just wish I would have done it sooner!!

And this past weekend, we partied hard as this little cutie turned one year old.

Michelle, Tarquin, and Jayden Michael, the brown eyed ball of sunshine.

I'm constantly amazed at how fast life can change in a year, both good and bad.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Dodge City Days 5K

Saturday morning my best friend Lori and I headed to Dodge to participate in the Dodge City Days 5K.

Why is this a big deal? Well, you would just have to know our track record for girls day out isn't very good.  I know we've made it to at least one, in crappy weather and we should have probably just stayed home that time! Someone always seemed to be sick, or the weather uncooperative.   The last time we planned to do something together, we were suppose to go Christmas shopping. We buried my Dad that day instead.

I got to her house, 30 mins away, around 6:20am, and then we headed to Dodge.

Those of you that are familiar with Dodge City, the course was UP second street (street by the steer.),  around the school, through part of the civic center, around some residential area, back down by the school, and DOWN second street to where we began. 




Feel the burn!!

I had a certain time I wanted to hit. I didn't hit it, but had just over a 15 min mile through the entire race. Which I don't find bad for a occasional run/ mostly walker going up and down hills, but I was still a little bummed.  I stayed with Lori for about 10 seconds as we started. Ever see a Yugo race a Corvette? It was a bit like that.  Me: I'm running. I'm staying with everyone. Look--there's Lori. Hi, Lori!!..This is going to ROCK.....Ahh, lordy....my lungs are burning... do blood clots burn? ...can ankles snap off??...that 80 year man just passed me...walking is cool... No shame in walking.

The hills were wicked and my calves were burning just  walking to the line to begin. As I got into it, I was SURE my phone app wasn't working and that I was probably at LEAST half done.  About that time, the app kicked on, telling me I had gone 0.60 of a mile. =-O I'm sure my tears were just mistaken for sweat. hehe

Hills or not...it was A BLAST!!! 

Lori got 1st for her age group, and I didn't come in last.


While walking the strip of sidewalk that had farmer's market type tables set up, I found a lady selling Iris bulbs, and came home with Mariachi Music, Vandal Spirit, Silver back, Keeping up Appearances, and Feature Attraction. I can't wait to see how they all do!

Thanks for the great day, Lori!! =) When can we do it again??

Sunday, July 20, 2014

County Fair 2014

Whew!! Thank goodness this week is over. I feel like I have been ran over by a train, and guessing from the kid in his bed, sleeping at 12:51 in the afternoon, and the other 2 men flopped on the couch, they are feeling the same way!

Here are our results from the fair!

For level 2 foods, Tristen made a German Chocolate Cake, Orange Chiffon Cake, and Peanut Butter Sandwich cookies.  He was awarded Champion level 2 with his German Chocolate Cake.  This is his Dad's favorite cake, and we've now tried several different recipes. This one, though, is a keeper and the new favorite!  He got to take it to the auction. His other goodies got state fair blues.

He also entered a flag case, and got reserve.  This flag case will be given to my mom, to put the flag in that was on top of my dad's casket.

Rabbits he was awarded both Grand and Reserve with Tort Dutch.

And his steer got a blue.  The steers are a long and dramatic story, but I'll just say we are all kind of glad to be done for a while. He also got a blue in Beef showmanship.

Jacob took a rocket this year. It was a level 5, and about half way though I wasn't sure he would be able to complete it! Things flying across the room usually are not a good sign!   (There wasn't even a level 5 to mark on the report you have to check in into the fair. Only through 4. It was pretty wicked!)  He did, and flew it successfully. Despite a few problems, he was still awarded Grand Champion with it.

He made fishing pole holder for our house, and got Grand on it. He's run out of places to put things for his room..his mother may or may not take this to her advantage with "suggestions" on projects to make!

He took 3 rabbits...2 which were really really young, and one that was really too old. He's been working hard on them, just doesn't have much show wise right now. Those that he took got blues.

His steer also got a blue, as well as blue in Beef Showmanship.  Jacob was awarded the small animal herdsmanship award.



 I entered 3 pictures, one receiving a red, the other 2 blues. I took a plate of pretty green peppers from my garden, and got a blue, and took 2 jars of Monster Energy Jelly. I was hoping for a blue, figured I would get a red, because its just really a strange thing, but couldn't believe it when Tristen sent a text saying they had slapped a grand champion ribbon on my jars! I also took 4 rabbits to our fair. My Havana doe got Grand. I have been itching to get her to a show. She's a senior now, but hasn't been able to get to a show because she was born at a weird time. Too young for this show, out of coat for this one... I'm not sure I'm going to keep her to show, or if I should just get her bred. Hmmm. Anyway, the reserve went a a little chocolate mini rex of mine.

All and all, it was a good fair. I think we just have so much going on, both on the schedules, and in our hearts, that we just weren't all there this year. I usually love fair week.  I also think having a fair board member in our family adds to it. Though the drama doesn't really involve me, I KNOW about what goes on or what issues come up. I think people would really be surprised and shocked at some of the things these guys deal with.

On to next year!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Real Update

I thought it was about time to update about this little family.

Our biggest and most exciting news is...I will have a new kitchen soon! Ours in in major need of updating.. And I'm not talking about new paint or hardware. All the existing cabinets will be ripped out, as well as the floor.

I also should tell you...Melanie and Sara..close your ears...I hate this stuff. HATE!!!  Where most girls get excited over picking out all these fun things...I can't stand it. It overwhelms me.  I think I've made all the decisions on things--except for our new wall color.  This stuff is really hard for me for some reason.

So, the wood, the crown molding, the bead board, are all ordered. I've picked out counter top, back splash, pulls and knobs, and flooring.. to be picked up next week.

I need some wine.

I also should mention that I don't do well with mess and disorganization of my life...this should be interesting! 

Our area has been blessed with rain. Not enough to break us out of the drought category, but enough to surely help, and to make the plants and grass super happy.  I am once again doing containers for my garden, and tripled what I had this year. I haven't been disappointed, and I'm not sure I'll ever want to put a garden in the ground again!! I added 3 pots of sugar snap peas, which are about done now, but did fabulous, watermelon.-we've got 5 set!-- spaghetti squash, jalapenos, cabbage, and corn. I repeated the banana peppers, green peppers, okra, as well as several pots of herbs.  My tomatoes I stuck in the mineral tubs. Last year I put them in little pots. They did ok, but are doing really well in the tub! I also grew cucumbers for the first time ever. My dad had a giant metal pot he always tried to grow them in after he was unable to do a garden. I say tried, because he never could get them past a certain point. My mom gave me the pot early this spring and I figured out I'm pretty sure Dad's problem was a water issue.  I always water them for about 5 seconds past what I think is good...that pot is hot, and dries out fast.  Anyway, I've picked 5 now. They make me smile, and reminds me of him.  He's probably really happy, or really irritated with me! ;)







Jacob has had a busy summer so far.  Every morning he runs out to care for 4-H steers and the bucket calf. And then checks his string of traps. He's licensed with the State of Kansas as a nuisance wildlife controller. Its one of those things you probably wouldn't think of being too much of a need, but the kid stays really busy.   He recently snagged a 45# beaver and has even trapped a few at our local lake for the city.  He recently went to a 4-H camp as a counselor, got home, did laundry, packed and left the next morning for our vacation. And works part time at our local grocery store. I hope he still has this energy when he's my age! ;)

Tristen is in full summer mode, and has the tan to prove it!! Still undecided if he will play HS football in the fall.  He's loaded up on Dutch babies at the moment, all in the super cute bounce around stage,but are starting to crap in the water bowls, so the cuteness is about over. ;)  Still trying to finalize fair plans, which is coming up fast!

Danny is nursing  what I think is a mean case of whiplash at the moment. He was was helping halter break 4-H steers, and Jake's steer kinda went one way, Dan pulled the other, and then they both kinda released into each other. I thought they had actually bumped heads, but they didn't. Dan immediately knew he was going to be sore, and sure enough. He's kinda doing the whole body turn to look to the side.

Thanks for checking on us!!! It feels good to be blogging again! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Vacation Weirdness

I'm not sure I've ever confessed this before on here. So here it is: I love cemeteries. Ok..yes. That DOES sounds really bizarre..and creepy. Not just ALL cemeteries...Because, you know THAT REALLY would be weird.  I love the the really old ones, or the old sections of cemeteries. To me, if feels like a history lesson.  I love to just wander through and read the dates, and how detailed they used to be with the stones. Such as: Aged 35 years, 2 months, and 3 days. I often wonder what happened to the family. Do their ancestors know they are here?  What killed the person? Was it an accident? An outbreak of something we are now vaccinated against? A defect that is considered a routine procedure to fix today?

While vacationing in Galveston Island, we had drove by one that  had caught my attention, and I later stumbled across it on a tourist page...did you know you can actually pay to TAKE CEMETERY TOURS?? Anyway, I finally convinced my family to stop.

**Insert sarcastic humor from Jacob: "Hey man..what did YOU do on your vacation? "Oh you know..the usual...walked around a creepy cemetery."**

This is Calvary Catholic Cemetery, and has some of the most amazing headstones I have ever seen. And I also found it very sad. Due to flooding from hurricanes, a lot of the stones are broken and fallen over. Some have been moved in flood waters and just left where they landed when the water receded.   You will be walking around and there will be a random stone. Some are just laying in the walkway, or they would be toppled over or just part of a broken stone. We also saw stones just laid flat down together and clusters of stones propped up against other stones.











There are also quite a few mausoleum's, which I had never seen before.  Some are sloped inwards on both sides towards the center from the floods, with cracks in the stone, and it seems any moment they will fall in. You almost don't want to walk close to them.  Some of them I found just weird. They were so short, with  roofs sticking out of the ground and little round 4ft wooden doors that would have been perfect for a garden gnome.  I read later...These doors would have been 6 to 7 feet tall but the level of the island was raised after the Storm of 1900. So, the rest of the mausoleum is buried. (Obviously some of the mausoleum's were either built after the raising, or manually raised up with the raising of the island,  but others were just left buried.)  Many of them had broken windows-- gone for many years, and if one gets enough nerve to peer inside, you can see the vaults where the people rest, and beautiful old ornate stone floors...and birds nesting inside. (An estimated 6 to 10,000 people died in the Great Storm of 1900. Google and read about it sometime. My great-great grandmother survived this storm. My mom said my great grandmother would tell the stories she had heard from her mother. Terrible stories. Imagine--had she taken shelter in a different place, she may have been one of the many who perished...and entire generations of people in my family, wouldn't have even been born-- myself included.)




Because of this raising of the island, this means this cemetery is "layered."  After the storm, another layer of coffins was just added on top of the other. Weird, huh?

I hope the creepiness of this post didn't cause me to lose some readers! ;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Galvestion Island 2014

About a month after my Dad died, I quietly obsessed in my mind about going to be the beach. One random morning, Danny sits down for coffee, and says "Let's go back in June. Book it!" We didn't really have the extra money, nor did I feel like I could take any time off work since I had taken a week off just in December, but by the time he came home for lunch that day, I had the process started for staying in the exact same house we had the year before.  It felt a little like we were going home, and that is exactly what Tristen blurted out as we turned on Seawall for the first time.


I find it a little funny how a born and raised Kansas girl can love the beach so stinking much. But I can tell you for the first time in 6 months, I felt like I was at peace. Total, beautiful, much missed, peace.


The seaweed was high. I read that its the worst its been for 10 years. And they were not kidding. Some find it gross and annoying.  I don't really mind it. It kinda fascinates me, and it helps the ocean Eco-system. It makes fishing from the shore a bit tricky though. Every night there is a crew that comes through in the middle of the night..like a street sweeper, and scoops it into giant piles away from the shore. It will dry out and disappear. Its so important to the ocean life it is illegal to take it OFF the beach.


On the trip up there, my guys had decided a stop in Dallas was a must to Gas Monkey garage,(From FAST AND LOUD, a show on Discovery.) and then on to the Gas Monkey Bar and Grill.  I was a little out of my element, and  I'm pretty sure the waiters were reading lips taking our orders, because it was LOUD,  but everyone had a lot of fun and the food was fabulous!(I may need to wax my chest...I think I spouted some chest hairs while there!!) We also stopped there again on the way back for lunch.


The boys had the Gas Monkey Burger, which they claimed as the "BEST BURGERS-EVER!"

I skipped the burger and had a Backyard Salad. Yum!

Every morning found me up early and on the top deck with my cup of coffee. I watched sun come up, storms roll in, sea gulls looking for food through the seaweed, and pelicans flying overhead. I went on a walk one morning, just as the sun was starting to light things up. Just me and my thoughts and the water..oh..and the seagulls.

One of the "must do's" on our trip this time was to fish off of a pier. So we headed to Galveston Fishing Pier around noon on Friday


  It was pretty slow for a while, but then....






We ended up catching 20 fish while were there, which included 3 Black tipped sharks, several cat fish, a couple of croakers and some sand trout! I am THRILLED to be able to say this Kansas girl has caught a shark! =) We ate dinner at a place called Jimmy's on the Pier, with a breathtaking view of the water.

BTW--Jake's not sick..he's texting. ;)

Saturday  a friend I graduated with came up and ate lunch with us.  Nothing fancy..I made us sandwiches, but it sure was good to see him!  Later that afternoon we went into Seawall and tinkered around the cute little shops. We also toured a local cemetery, but I'll have a blog post all for that one later.  That evening, Danny and Jacob went down and got several pounds of crawfish. Again..one of those experience things we've always wanted to do. Danny and Jacob LOVED them. Tristen and I...well, we won't be repeating, but can say we have tried them now! I couldn't get over how cockroach like they were, and how they were just boiled whole...guts and poop and all. I ate a few tails, and then made a sandwich.


Sunday we did our traditional vacation putt putt golf. This is the first time I have ever played, but I am happy to say that even though I came in last, I DID score a hole in one, with a rocking pink golf ball, on the second hole!



We left Monday. One our way out of town we toured the Texas Seaport Museum, and got to walk around the stunning 1877 tall ship ELISSA. She was rescued from a scrap yard and was meticulously restored.




Historic high water levels at the museum. See that spot way above my 5 foot 5 inch kid? That was from The Great Storm of 1900. Can you imagine?

We then ate lunch at Joe's Crab Shack...but not just ANY Joe's.. ours was set right on the water, so we watched shrimp boats come in and unload.  The bird watcher in me was AWESTRUCK by the birds that swarmed the boats coming in, knowing that a good meal wasn't too far off in the future.  After lunch we headed to my Uncle's house, (my mom's brother) to stay the night. We left from there the next morning, and headed home.

Yes..the waitress seriously wrote that on Dan's bib. HAHA





And every night...every single night!!..this happened:



Yes.. Kansas people!.  But its so much fun..until you get peed on. 

It was a wonderful laid back and peaceful trip! Just what the Dr ordered!

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) its always ourselves we find at the sea. 
~ e.e. cummings