Sunday, September 28, 2008

If an apple a day

keeps the doctor away, I think we'll be good for quite some time. What do you think?
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Kim's mil blessed us at the beginning of the month with a large quantity of apples. And then last week, my friend, Margo, and I went with the kids to pick MORE apples. This is what we came home with that day. What were we thinking?

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Thankfully, my mom arrived Friday and has helped me with some of the apple duties. Ack..... though the one tub is almost empty, we still have the other tub to deal with this week. And thankfully, I have a Pampered Chef Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer - love that little toy!

In the meantime, we've been making applesauce and freezing that for this winter. Yum...
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And then there is the first batch of apple jelly. Isn't it pretty in the jars? Love that color!
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I've made up baggies of apple pie filling for warm and tasty apple pies this winter.
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And, I even threw some in the dehydrator for something later on.
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And the most fun and delish part? Of course, caramel apples.
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I realized while making these that these are the first homemade caramel apples my children have ever done. Usually, we just cheat and buy Happy Apples from the grocerer every fall. *ooops* They aren't the prettiest - see the bubbles on the side?

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But, I know they'll taste delish! As soon as I finish this blog post, I'm going to check!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The "Castle"

If you clicked the link in yesterday's post about Coronado Heights, you might have wondered why I didn't post a photo of the castle. (Well, I was playing with it in Photoshop LOL) On top of the hill at Coronado Heights is a castle.

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I'm not sure of the significance of this structure as there were no historical markers telling the story of Coronado or the story of the WPA project from the thirties. Everything was just there and you were left with your imagination and own knowledge of history to help you along the way. We mostly just enjoyed the scenery and the wildflowers along with the amazing view. There were yucca plants which had gone to seed, sumac and all sorts of other wildflowers along the way.

The seed pods on the yucca made for interesting photos. :)
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Not sure what these blue flowers were, but they were pretty.
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Oh, and we can't forget the wildLIFE we found. I was thankful that we only ran across amphibians and no reptile varieties of wildlife. ;)
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Monday, September 22, 2008

America, the beautiful

and Kansas too. Before we moved here, we had so many people comment on the fact that Kansas is such a flat state. I was expecting that to be true, but have been completely surprised since living here. Maybe it's just our part of Kansas, but Kansas isn't all THAT flat. Now, if you go further south and further west, yes, you get to FLAT parts of Kansas. Around here, there are plenty of hills and valleys and as my dad would say, there are even a few gullies here and there.

On Friday, we took a field trip that led us to Coronado Heights. It was rather neat to go over there. We'd studied in history about Coronado, the Spanish explorer, who was misled by the Indians of Mexico when they told him about the Cities of Gold. I think it was just a lie to get him and his men out of their community. But, alas, he took off on a journey to find the Cities of Gold. He went through what is now Arizona and discovered the Grand Canyon, on to New Mexico and eventually ended up in Kansas. It is said that Coronado Heights is the point where he gave up in his search of gold and turned back south. With a view like this, I'm sure he saw far enough north that he still didn't see the Cities of Gold so decided to just call it quits and return.

Back to Kansas being flat... or not so flat. The beauty of any of it is the fact that no matter where you are, you have an amazing viewpoint of being able to see for miles and miles in any direction you look. Here are a few pictures I took on Friday to show you some views of Kansas - both the flat views and the hills in the distance. :)

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Hi cows.... *waves* let me zoom in to see if I can see you better! Wow, you're really far away!
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If we were going to stay in Kansas, I'd want to move out in the middle of nowhere to farm property like this. Look at all the room to roam.
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The area on top of the hill was set up as part of Pres. Roosevelt's Work Phase across the nation in the thirties when so many parks were constructed. There are picnic areas and other things on the hill. Maybe one day, we'll travel back down there and spend some more time, maybe even taking a picnic lunch so we can eat on the side of this huge hill. ;)
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Neurobics

Ever heard of neurobics? I had not until a recent news report on the radio. It really peaked my attention because it was talking about easy ways to exercise our brain that take us out of our ordinary habits, but yet keep our brain active by trying to figure out the new situation. One easy exercise is instead of brushing your teeth with your right hand, brush your teeth with your left hand. Now, that sounds so easy and almost trivial, doesn't it? But, tonight before you go to bed, I want you to try it. It is harder than you think. The exercises are about retraining your brain to think differently and not in the mundane ways that keep us set in routines. Another exercise might be showering, drying off and getting dressed with your eyes closed. Now, granted, I haven't tried this yet for fear it might leave me in a crumbling slump on the floor of the shower or all tangled up in my pants somehow, but I do believe I will try it. Another example was taking different routes to work or the store - something out of the ordinary that breaks the routine. All of these "exercises" make your brain work differently and therefore make your brain stronger in that regard.

You can read more about neurobics at this website or use "The Google" and do a search for more information. Maybe you'll find it as interesting as I did. Or maybe not. ;) www.neurobics.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Who knew?

When we moved here two years ago, there were two trees inside the fence in the backyard. Both looked like they'd seen better days. DH eventually pushed one over, it was so rotten and dead. The other looked to me to be a Bradford pear. I encouraged him to cut it because it had been broken at some point and trimmed to an ugly shape. But, he wouldn't do it so I haven't paid much more attention to that tree. A week or so ago, Devon came in the house bringing me a pear. I asked him where on earth he got that and he said from the tree in the backyard. My stupid question of that day was, "What tree in the backyard?" (There's only one back there. *rolleyes*) So, it was then that I realized that is NOT a Bradford pear, but a regular pear. It didn't bear pears last year, so I had no idea.

So, for the past few days, we've been enjoying fresh pears from THE tree in the backyard.

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Look at the beautiful clear sky we have today! It's a perfect almost fall day!
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And because the sun is so bright and beautiful, I decided to try a sun flare photo. :) Too bad there wasn't a pear to photograph on that side of the tree.
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We, humans, aren't the only ones enjoying the pears. I ran over one yesterday and made a squashed pear salad for the honey bees.
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Look at the bee in flight in this one.
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And on a totally different note, take a look at my dahlia that is blooming in the side flowerbed. It's almost neon yellow! The boys think it looks like one of those squishy balls. I agree!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just a few things

All throughout our busy day, I kept thinking of stuff and thinking, "I can blog about that later." Well, now later is here and I've forgotten most of those thoughts. Isn't that always the way it goes?

We've had a rather weird day. But hey, normal days are boring right? This was a kind of stressful day because it seems Devon was having an off day where nothing was going right for the poor kid. I got really upset with both of them for breaking my Willow Tree mother and two sons figurine. I probably went a little overboard, but dang it, it's my stuff and it had special meaning to me. Now, my one little guy is without a head and it just makes me sad. What can you do though? *shrug*

So, moving on, what else?

Downy Wrinkle Spray


Have you ever tried this stuff? Oh my... I'd heard about it or seen commercials about it, but never tried it. A week or so ago, I decided to buy it and see what it does. Today, I got my shirt out of the tight squeeze in the closet and thought yuck, it's all wrinkled. But, I pulled out the Downy Wrinkle Spray and gave it a go. Um, can I just say it's my new favorite friend! Worked great! I will be using it again very soon. Wonder if my iron will ever see the light of day again or if it will be forever banned to its spot under the kitchen sink?

Did I tell you about the antique piece of furniture I want downtown? It is a possum belly kitchen cabinet. It's turn of the century, but not turn of the 1999-2000 century, the other one before that. I love it. It's just unique and the first one I've ever seen. It's been refinished in more of a wood finish and I have her agreeing to knock $99 off of it for a grand total of $500. I LOVE IT. Have I said that? I found another one similar in an antique store in a neighboring town, but it still has green crackled paint on it and it was $900 so I'm thinking that's a good deal. There's only one problem. We have a small house. BUT, it's a temporary house. There's no place for my possum belly in this house. BUT, there is a place for my possum belly in my other house in another state. So, the puzzle can be solved by just going and putting money down on it and having her keep it in layaway for me. Oh sure, I could go buy it straight out, but there's that whole issue of where the heck do I put it at this point in time? So, if I put it on layaway and let her keep it in the store for a month or two, then our trip home to MS will be spent hauling it to store at the folks' house. Sounds like a good plan huh? She knows I want it. Today was my fifth time going in to look at it. She just laughs at me when I show up in the store and look at it again. Today, I took a friend in and showed her. A few weeks ago, I took mil in and showed her. Both agree that it's my style and I need it. I love when people agree with me! :D Anyway, I'll keep you posted!

What else? Oh, now I remember the other thing I was going to post about, but I've talked too much already. I'll save that for tomorrow - in the meantime, I'll write the subject on a sticky note so I won't forget. ;)

*Edit* Oh, and I was going to show you my attempt at taking photos of the rising moon tonight. They aren't that great, but it was rather cool driving out in the country, climbing into the bed of the truck and attempting a few shots. Tricky situations like this really remind me that there is so much more I need to learn about my camera! Zoinks, jinkies and all that!!! And it also reminds me of the list of lenses that I'd like to have. *doh!*
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Rip Van Winkle, is that you?

I took my camera outside today to take some photos of Jeep parts I bought for dh over the weekend. That's a whole post in an of itself and for another time. Anyway, Devon was out there helping me put the VW back into the garage correctly from where I'd driven it last weekend. If I don't put it in there just right, there's no room to walk around behind it. Anyway, (Gosh, I say anyway a lot, don't I?) I was being a good little wife with the hubby's things.

Devon and I got ready to come inside so we started walking to the door. Just as we got there, the door opened and this is what we saw.

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I am sure the whole neighborhood heard me laughing my hiney off after we overcame the shock of the unexpected. ROFL

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Homeschooling - not uninterrupted

I am not the schedule following homeschool mom. We get our work done on a daily basis, but adhering to a strict schedule is just not for us. Besides, occasionally, we have interruptions - phone calls, computer chats, appointments, etc. Or, sometimes it's a canine interruption when the dog decides that big comfy language book looks like a perfect pillow on which to rest his head and so he parks himself there. Such was the case this week.

Hey Barney, could you move?
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Ok, fine, what exactly is it that you want me to do?
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But, I was so comfortable. I suppose now you'd like an apology. Do these sad apology eyes work?
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Sure, Sweet Doggie, you're forgiven.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fall temps and Rain

The weather here already feels like fall! I am loving it, but thinking it probably won't last. The next few days there are thunderstorms forecast so that should be fun. With the track of Ike, we may get a little rain from him. Should be interesting to say the least.

I've been a fruit freak lately. I had major cravings for fruit a few days ago so went to the grocery store and stocked up on some things. Then last night at church, someone had set out a box of pears with bags to take a few. I took a few, then picked up some fresh apples from the tree in front of the parking lot. Surely, I've gotten my full doses of fiber this week. ;) LOL

Nothing else is going on that is too exciting. The inlaws left Sunday morning and we've been trying to get back into our routine. It would have really helped had we been in a routine in the first place. *guilty*

Yesterday, I offered my photography services to a complete stranger. That felt so weird, but I'd love to do some more portfolio building in case this is a direction I'd really like to take someday. I was at a convenience store when I flopped my wallet open exposing a family photo where my driver's license should be. She asked about it and stated her bf was leaving soon and they'd thought of photos first. I then went into a spill about me. We'll see if she calls. I'd be absolutely delighted if she does, but I'm not really anticipating it. Still though, I was proud of myself for not slinking away from the topic. Ya never know, right? ;)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Not a Moment Alone

but a WHOLE DAY ALONE!!! That's what I had yesterday and wow did it feel weird! lol I enjoyed almost every minute of it though. Yesterday morning started off with a brunch downtown. Jill, it was exactly as you thought it would be. ;) It was with the Christian Women's Club and they were honoring Women with Military Connections. It was nice and a sweet sentiment, but I can't say I want to attend another one. I'm just not cut out for all that type of social stuff. It's a good thing DH isn't some hoity toity general in the Army and I don't have to attend any hoity toity wive's affairs because I am much too cynical for that kind of stuff. That's putting it nicely, I believe. ;)

From there, I came home and checked the computer for directions to the mall in Wichita and then I headed out! I spent the afternoon shopping and just enjoying being away from home while the boys were spending time with my inlaws.

I went out to eat before heading home. I had a nice quiet dinner at Carabas. I know the whole wait staff felt sorry for the poor woman eating alone, but if they only knew my story, they'd have understood. lol

Speaking of eating, I bought a book yesterday in Barnes and Noble that has made for an interesting read so far, Skinny Bitch. Getting through the part where they talk about meat processing plants was quite a task. OMGosh... yuck!

Ok, moving on....... If I want to do anything else alone, tomorrow is my last chance for a while because the laws are leaving Sunday morning. :)