Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Grass Will Soon Be Green On Our Side of the Fence

Jerry and Mavis came down today to help put in the lawn! I'm pretty sure the highlight of the day was the straw cannon! Bobby drove the truck, Sara loaded the bales and cut the string, Jerry fed them in and shot them out covering the grass seed with a nice layer of straw to help protect it while it grows! Even without the grass the yard is looking awesome, Bobby has been busy moving dirt and smoothing things out to get it all ready. He is getting to know the rental people quite well between the bobcat rentals, the trailer to haul Jerry's tractor, and the straw cannon. And the lawn mower now has a trailer hitch which he hooked up a seeder to plant the seed and some sort of contraption to work it into the soil. My contribution to the day was a couple of batches of homemade runzas (sorry Josh), pasta salad, and a pumpkin dessert. Mavis brought down some, straight from the oven, zucchini bread which Bobby claims is just for him but don't tell him I've already had a slice YUM!
Good friends, perfect weather, and a big job completed!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Light the Night

Year number five.
$5,000 raised this year.
$36,000 raised in 5 years.
BNSF keeps the traveling trophy for top corporate fundraiser.
An evening to remember those who lost the battle and those who are still fighting and surviving.
Another year to help fund a cure for blood cancers.
Good time!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall = College Football

Yes, that's our daughter, a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, the girl who has been wearing Jayhawk adorned clothing almost since birth, and here she is wearing a K-State Wildcat shirt on her way to a football game with Evan, his family, and her friend Maggie. And this time it's not a shirt she borrowed from Evan, she bought this one! Wonder what she'll be wearing October 14th when KU and K-State play? And speaking of football rivalries, here is a picture of the Michigan State vs Notre Dame game sent from Susan's cell phone. This is the September 18th game where MSU won in overtime with a faked field goal. Josh & Susan, their friends Katie & Justin attended the game along with 110,000 other fans!

The Wave (or Nod)

One of the things I love about living in the country, OK so it's only 6.5 miles outside of Lawrence (pop. 92048), but it seems like the country with the gravel roads, cows, hills, and creeks.
I digress.
Anyhow it makes me happy every single time when people follow that old country neighborly tradition of giving you a wave when they pass you on the road. Sometimes instead of a wave you get a nod.
Or, if you happen to be a dork like me and you're out taking pictures of the country roads for your blog and a car comes up behind you, well, you might get something besides the traditional country wave which reminds you that after all, you are only 6.5 miles outside of a big town and you're holding up traffic!

A dairy in the neighborhood.

Yep, we have a neighbor on the next road over that has a camel and a zorse (part zebra, part horse)!

Strolling Down Memory Lane

Early in this home building process someone suggested that since we'd have lots of big ticket purchases this year we should keep track of all of our sales tax to hopefully help lower our tax liability come income tax time.
So this weekend I started inputting into a spreadsheet all of the receipts we had saved in a basket since moving into the new house. I'd input a few and then stop at one that would bring back a good memory from a fun summer.
There was a Smash Burger receipt from lunch the day I spent with Josh & Susan visiting a wedding florist. And an On the Border receipt which is their favorite place to eat when they come back to Kansas, I guess Lansing, MI is kind of short on good Mexican restaurants! During their August trip back I got to eat at OTB twice, a lunch while Susan and I were out shopping and one evening Josh & I enjoyed the patio while having a drink and appetizer.
There were several Hasting's receipts for books we read during the weeks we went with no television or internet. Those were some very quiet and pleasant evenings.
There was a Spin Pizza receipt from a lovely evening spent with the Girls Night Out ladies. The weather was perfect and we sat outside visiting for hours while other diners came and went.
There was a receipt for the wooden pellets that Bobby uses in his new Traeger grill. This grill has produced some of the best meals to ever be served at our kitchen table! I'm not sure what that says about my cooking abilities but Bobby has become a great griller! There were melt-in-your-mouth ribs and corn on the cob that we dined on with Josh & Susan, and then Sara & Evan joined us after their kickball game got canceled because of the storm. Only one small problem, the power went out so Sara & Evan had to eat them cold and by candle light. The rest of that evening we all spent on the back porch listening to the rain and thunder. Bobby also grilled some knockout pork tenderloins and stuffed jalepenos that we had when Teresa & Charlie came for a visit. Good eats and good company!
There were lots and lots of Home Depot reciepts for items used to get the Pebble Lane house ready for sale. It's going to be like a brand new house when Bobby's done with it. I'll be sure and post some pictures once we have that FOR SALE sign in the yard. I'm betting once it's on the market that Bobby will avoid Home Depot like the plague!
There was a Henry T's receipt from a late dinner we shared with Sara & Evan after we had spent the early evening with Evan's folks, his sister Nichole & Dave and some of their friends at Rick's, a favorite local hangout with cold beer, pool, and shuffleboard.
So who knew? That a routine boring task inputting numbers into a spreadsheet could result in a flood of memories and a reason to smile! Hoping that smile comes back at tax time too!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Look What Popped Up Now

The past couple of weeks the ditches and right aways around Douglas County have been filled with black eyed susans. I was wishing we had some on our property and woke up Friday morning to find an outbreak of yellow flowers on the dirt pile. Was so excited thinking they were some of the black eyed susans, so I pulled out the binoculars for a closer look, upon closer inspection they appear to be some kind of daisy since they don't have that distinctive brown center. I think they add a nice spot of brightness to the view of the 'back 40'!

The traveling branch: you know I'm married to a prankster right? Well the other day he thought it would be funny to put a branch on the back of Sara's Escape. Not sure where the branch went after that, but tonight the branch mysteriously appeared on my Escape.
The prankster claims innocence!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Ron's (Bernice remembered)

People asked if I would be sad to leave the old house since that's where the kids grew up. My honest answer was no, the actual house is just lumber and building materials. All of the memories of those years are stored in my heart and photo albums and leaving the actual house behind will not take them away. Bobby felt the same way; that is until he was painting Sara's old closet and found where she had written her name and glued a collage of pictures on the closet wall....that made him kind of sad. And I can picture the little girl that she was, and imagine her up in that closet being creative, so yeah, that makes me kind of sad too to leave it behind. I thought it would be a good idea to put a few of those Pebble Lane memories on this blog, kind of an electronic scrap book. We moved into the Pebble Lane house in September of 1989 and my first memory of Bernice was seeing her up on her roof putting up Christmas lights along all of the peaks. At that time she was 63! By the time this picture of her house was taken in 2000 she had given up climbing up on the roof but still kept her house decorated brightly for the holidays.
Bernice was the matriarch of the neighborhood. She kept an eye on the comings and goings of the neighborhood from her lawn chair on the driveway. She would always pull out extra lawn chairs for neighbors who stopped by for a visit and when the weather was nice it was common to see neighbors, both adults and kids, gathered in her driveway.
Bernice kept close tabs on all the neighborhood kids and was always interested in their activities. I can't help but think her close attention to them kept the mischief to a minimum since they all knew their parents would be visiting with Bernice in the evening and getting a full report! As the kids all got older and no longer went to daycare, Bernice could always be counted on for a ride to school if you missed the bus!
The neighborhood had a tradition, a 4th of July potluck. It was always a fun evening and Bernice made certain that every neighbor knew of the planned time and location, she would always bring her famous cheesecake. At Christmas time Bernice always made lots of yummy homemade candies that she would share with the neighborhood and not just once either, she would make several batches over the holiday weeks and would drop off a box from each batch. Come to think of it, any time Bernice was baking she would share the bounty! I remember lots of cookie and cake deliveries.
Bernice was the 'go to' neighbor if you needed your plants watered or newspapers and mail picked up while you were on vacation. As a result, she was the recipient of many postcards and souvenir trinkets that neighbors would bring her back from their travels.
Bernice loved the Westminster Dog Show and would always call ahead of time to remind us that it was on television, she would sometimes call during the show too to point out an especially handsome dog. She had three different dogs while we were neighbors and I think they all enjoyed the Dairy Queen treats she would bring home and share with them!
Bernice often told me how much she enjoyed watching Josh & Sara walk to and from the bus stop because, unlike most siblings, they would walk together and talk to each other all the way up the street. That always made my mom heart proud.
Bernice took up a hobby of making stained glass items. And like everything she did, she was a perfectionist and her efforts turned out beautifully. Her windows were filled with sun catchers and she was generous with those too!
Bernice had beautiful flower beds, one summer when digital cameras were the new technology I took pictures of her flowers for her and emailed them to her brother in Las Vegas. Between her well kept flower beds, golf course like lawn, and multitude of Christmas lights Bernice exerted a lot of positive peer pressure on the neighborhood! I know there was a year or two when Bobby may not have felt like dragging out the ladders and lights to decorate the house but he always did it and joked that he had to keep up with Bernice!
In one of those small world coincidences, we discovered early on that I had worked with Bernice's brother Ron at Sante Fe in the early 80's. Whenever Bernice would share news of her brother and his family she would refer to them as the Ron's. Her fond nickname for them always made me smile. The first Christmas after Bernice had passed away Ron's wife Caroll made copies of all of Bernice's candy recipes and mailed them with a nice note to each of the neighbors, I thought that was a very sweet gesture and a tribute to Bernice's relationship with the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Welcome to the Dog House - It's a Ruff Joint

Josh & Susan were home for a couple of weeks in between jobs and school. They were able to accomplish a lot of wedding errands while here. After a day of cake tasting and visiting florists, they went to Bass Pro and Susan found this great rug for Bobby. So now the shed officially has it's own welcome mat and name! And later that week Teresa brought us this squirrel to replace Rollie the raccoon who met an untimely death on a windy day. All this and a stereo make the shed a fun place to spend some time!


Here is the view from my chair this evening while watching television. The different shades of blue in the sky made me question my sanity for being inside on such a gourgeous evening, so I grabbed the camera and headed outside.Fall colors are beginning to appear everywhere.

And Fall colors are starting to appear indoors too!