Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

This past year has been fulfilling and fun.
We are looking forward to this new year and are very blessed and Thank God that our family is busy and strong. This summary of our past year .... We have enjoyed all of the fruits of our years of labor...The Grandkids are growing quickly and their parents are providing them with a good life... I think we as parents gave them a good foundation. We are very happy in our Adventurous lifestyle and have kept busy and away from illness. DH has got to accomplish more in the past year than ever before, spending the winter golfing and hunting in AZ, meeting new friends, Attending National Drag Racing events, participating in the Baja 1000 Rally and fishing in Mexico, a fishing trip to Catalina Island and walking on the beach in Carlsbad Ca. for his birthday. Hiking in Glacier National Park and lunching in Canada, catching the biggest Walleye of his life in North Dakota. Hunting this fall, he harvested 63 Pheasants from Nebraska fields. We visited several friends and a few casinos along the way too. We attended a Tea Party Rally in Iowa to be informed and learn more about the Constitution and making positive changes for the good of our country. The weather was tolerable for the most part, minus the dust storms and flooding rains in AZ. last winter. We avoided most of the summer heat but got caught in a bit of a tornadic wind by Omaha Nebraska this fall! I like to think I have done a good job keeping DH busy and interested in life. We fit together well...because some of his activities were made possible through some of my interests! I.E. my love of Drag Racing and now my wonderful drag racing family! I have gained peace and satisfaction from guiding us along and watching him play! We have a very special German Shorthair companion, KayCee Marie...that we both love and adore! People ask about what New Year's Resolutions I have! None. I just Thank God for all we have and all of you! I will just keep on keepin' on until it's not fun anymore! As we start the next Chapter of Adventures, we want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year! We'll see ya next trip!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another Chapter Begins

The newest Chapter of the adventure began this past Monday. We left the Subaru in Storage, hooked the Suburban up to the coach Tuesday morning after semi arranging things and headed south on I25. The first long day ended at a rest area on I 40 for the night. Not a terrible night but not my choice of spots, we needed to be safe after discovering we had no tail lights! Yesterday we got a head start and was on the road just past daylight. We weren't expecting to get very far due to high wind warnings and an impending storm. To our suprise, we were able to put over 300 miles on and get to Deming New Mexico before calling it a day. The wind wasn't too bad but I was ready to be done. I had watched to weather map all day whenever I had service and knew the storm was coming, so it was good to be off the road and in a park. We took a trip to Walmart to pick up a couple of things, DH found the blown fuse for the tail lights and I promptly got grit in my eyes, I had forgotten what it's like to be outside in blowing desert dust! We were suprised to have a call from some friends in the Escapees Club that we had only talked to on the net or phone. They were stopped here too and staying right down the road. They are from Oklahoma.... We have had fun chiding about the two state's football rivalry this fall and they are on their way to the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix on Saturday. We will watch Nebraska in their bowl game on TV tonight. It was nice to finally meet and put faces with their names. We went to breakfast and hung out today.
It was a blast, even if it was snowing! I really thought I was escaping from the north having not seen any snow at all this year, but apparently god had other plans!Carol taught me a bunch of things about my photos and organizing them and other stuff in my computer and the men visited as we sat in my warm cozy coach! She is a professional Photographer and I am so glad we met. We have son's that were in Iraq at the same time, among other things that we are learning about each other. The waitress at breakfast said it doesn't snow in Deming....that's why we have about a half inch on the ground and watched a blizzard! Today we had rocking winds, and then snow..and then a blizzard and now the sun is out! Go figure. I think we will continue on tomorrow to Eloy. I'm hoping the weather system will be behind us. We have 267 miles to go to get to our New Year's eve destination and tickets to go see a friend play a show in Casa Grande AZ. I'm looking forward to listening to him play and partying the night away! hahahahaha I'm the designated driver! I don't think it will be appropriate golf weather and we will continue on over to Yuma the first of the week. We are very glad to have met some more new friends and they will be at Yuma, so will see them again soon!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Belated Christmas!

We have been crazy busy for the last 3 days! Delivering presents, and spending a couple of days with my sons and their families. We had a fantastic time at my best friend's new house and Santa Clause was very good to everybody.

A friend shared this thought with us, and I'd like to pass it on to all of you......

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

We had a college student from China join us that is attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
It was nice to be able to visit with her, she spoke pretty good English, but didn't understand a lot of words. After presents in the morning, she said that our family got more presents than she received in 18 years! The culture is a lot different and more modest in their celebrations. They don't celebrate Christmas, so she was very fascinated. I got DH and both boys remote control helicopters this year. They are fascinating and it was a good time watching the boys play with something other than guns and Cabelas stuff.

We all ate too much. Many goodies and a big dinner. I had a good time in the new kitchen! Thank you Mary and Karen! We are truly blessed.
The day was complete with being able to share the day with Izzy and Emma...they are as spoiled as KayCee Marie! Good thing our travel plans are written in Jello...was planning on leaving this morning, but due to all of the other stuff I was having to remember, I forgot to call the insurance company on Friday and take the coach out of storage. Will wait til tomorrow and in the meantime, I have today to rest! I woke up as usual before 6 and looked outside to find everything covered in White! We didn't have a white Christmas, but it snowed just a skiff last night and all of the trees are frosty and beautiful this morning. We hit the road tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Small Hen Party

Today was the day for the annual hen party. The day that I called a get together with three of my old high school friends. We've remained friends for a lot of years after high school and try to get together whenever possible, which isn't real often since I spend a lot of time away from here now.
A good time was had by all...we had coffee and cinnamon bread and fruit....I'm glad I have some recent pictures to take with me on the road, and it's great to have cell phones and computer access to keep in touch through the year.
I'm baking two dozen Cinnamon rolls in the morning and then tearing my kitchen apart. Lots to do tomorrow.
All ready for Christmas and I am holding my breath that the weather will not make it difficult for those who have to travel tomorrow and Friday. I'm getting excited to see everybody and trying not to think about all I have to do to get ready to travel. DH had his last hunt today, he took our old neighbor and went on a goose hunt to Grand Island but didn't score any. The end.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Road Trip in the Sandhills

We've spent the last couple of days visiting our Grandkids in St. Paul Nebraska. While the kids were in school yesterday we went for a road trip north into the sandhills of Nebraska and made a circle on some of the roads that I used to drive when I worked as a Food Vendor in this state. That job gave me the opportunity to see a lot of country in 4 states and although I had a lot of windshield time traveling from one account to another, I enjoyed the countryside and vowed to revisit these places one day when I had time to stop and look at things and could share them with DH. The bad deal of the day was that I forgot the camera, but got a couple of pictures with my phone that I needed to share with my son. This is Richard B. Abbreviation for T. Brown. My favorite drummer. He has played in a hard rock band for years, and now has mellowed some and their music is the proof of aging like a fine wine!
The opportunity presented itself and we dropped the kids off at school and treked north on State Hwy 11, a small two lane highway to Burwell NE, the home of Nebraska's largest rodeo. On the way, we stopped in the town of Ord and drove around a bit. There has been tons of changes there since I have been there. On up the road, we took a break at a working Chalk mine, but didn't have time for a tour. Then on to Burwell for lunch and also just a few more miles out to the Calamus Reservoir. I thought that even with the freezing temps and frozen water, we may find wildlife and birds. There was still an open place on the water in the center, and it was filled with geese. On the drive across the dam, we spotted a bald Eagle soaring around, scoping out the edges of the lake for morsels of food. We stopped at a old fashioned 50s diner for lunch and then since we were passing through the town of Sargent, we stopped to scope out the venue that will host my sons new band, Whiskey Richard, for New Years Eve.
It seems like a long way up there to play for one night, but it is his hobby and passion to play the drums. What ever makes him happy.
I haven't heard this new group of guys, and I won't hear them this time and we will be in AZ by then, but at least I can say that I have been there and the advertising is proof! He couldn't figure out why we were in Sargent yesterday! That's just me, ya never know where we're gonna turn up! We traveled over 200 miles and back to St. Paul in time to pick the kids up at 3:30...we headed back home last night, another 100 miles that seemed farther late at night and in the dark. At least it wasn't freezing rain like it was the night before. Needless to say, I'm not getting a darn thing done today....I'm wiped out!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wind is Definitely NOT My Friend!

I wonder if anybody has ever gone crazy from listening to the wind blow? Well let me tell ya, I think I'm pretty close! We have had severe winds and gusts up in the 50mph range today...all day! I'm getting pretty sick of listening to it. It was about 19 degrees this morning and the others in this house went hunting anyway. I think they are already crazy. They didn't get any birds, and I thought they would probably end up in Kansas for sure. I took a trip around town to do some errands, and on the way back home I had to dodge a big red plastic box blowing through the air! I didn't stick my nose out the rest of the day. It's getting a little (lot) too cold for me now. Temps are dropping lower and lower at night. Down to 7 tonight and maybe 3 in the morning. It's hard to believe that a friend and I went shopping on the 10th of December and didn't wear coats! It was a beautiful day. I am starting to track the weather patterns and I'm holding my breath that things remain calm from Colorado south, so we can make a run for it. If the winds blow like today, we won't move. Too many things get broke and it's too expensive for my liking, it's easier to sit it out. I'm hoping we don't have to back track to the east and then south to avoid Raton pass...but if we do, it'll take us into Amarillo and I kinda like to stop there anyway! Our schedule is pretty full from now to the 25th. We got all new tires on the Suburban on Friday and have an appointment to get some issues repaired on Tuesday next week...just another thing to check off my list. Getting my ducks in a row! I have baking to do for the next few days and a little shopping to finish up. I won't attempt stores on the weekends now, they're much too crazy. DH is getting a new toy if I can sneak away long enough. (shhh!!)He's fascinated by these remote control helicopters that he's seen in the mall....and I figure it's something you get someone who has everything!An inside toy. Me? I'm wishing for an I Pad and a Kayak!!!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Pretty quiet on the home front these days. We attended one of our Grandson's Christmas Music and P.E. Program. He is in the 3rd grade.
It was interesting to see how they combine different activities now and back when our kids were in school all we did was stand there and sing. They really had fun and it was more enjoyable for the spectators. Our Granddaughter Addison kept us entertained all evening too! She wanted to go down and help Jaron juggle in the worst way! He doesn't like to sing, but he sure can perform! !

This week here it was announced that we would lose our Duckwalls store. I am sad, this is one of the only stores left in town and it was nice. Kind of a small Walmart. The future of this community is becoming more uncertain, thank you recession and downed economy. We lost yet another important person in our community this week. An employee of our convenience store passed away. Pat was always friendly and helpful and she had lived in this town as long as I can remember. We are most definitely seeing an end to a generation and it's sad. I hate to see all these endings. On she beginnings front, it's a mere 20 days until Christmas and 21 days until we hit the road again. I'm starting to gather, organize and store things away. I spent the day yesterday fixing a complete Thanksgiving dinner...nevermind that it was a week or two late. I didn't have any left overs and found a recipe for a brined turkey, soaked in Apple Cider, Salt, sage and vegatables for 3 days, then dried off, rubbed with butter and seasonings and roasted. Not difficult and it is delicious. After all that work we spent the evening watching the Cornhuskers play in their final Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma. A really close game and the Huskers didn't perservere in the end. The only word I have for that is Frustrating....Good game Boomer Sooners! They played the Oklahoma Fight song so much I woke up with that in my it's time to move on. I have almost 60 days until NHRA Racing begins. The first race of the season, the Winter Nationsls are in Pamona California, and I may go that weekend. DH likes the motorcycles and I like Thunder Alley and the smell of Nitro in the morning! I'm looking forward to our next adventures.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Day After...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey Day, eating, relaxing and visiting with family and friends. We drove all day on Wednesday to Kansas City, and spent a wonderful day in Missouri at my Sister in Law's house, even though it never got over 35 degrees.The hearty kids took advantage of the sprawling 6 acres and still played outside most of the day.
We had a big turn out with over 20 adults and about 20 children. The house is nice and big, and a full basement..thank goodness.
The adults had their usual Pitch marathon and we had a wonderful meal.
Our nephew returned from Afghanistan and it was wonderful to at least spend the day with him. He looked healthy, fit and had great news that he wouldn't be re-deployed for at least 3 years, if he stays in at his reinlistment time.
Our family has grown leaps and bounds, most of the nieces and nephews have children of their own. It was a great day to be Thankful. After a nice breakfast with our oldest son and his family in K.C. we spent the better part of Black Friday driving back home. Once again we have hunters here and DH is gone hunting and will continue well into this next week.
I'm spending the time organizing our photos and completing some projects. It's hard to believe that in 30 days it will be time to hit the trail again!
We are truly blessed.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Goooood Morning Nebraska!!!!

The frost is most definitely on the pumpkin, and on my back yard, the sunrises are pretty awesome too!
The time change is still getting to me, or at least that's what I blame it on. It could just be my motor mind is in gear and I don't want to miss anything. I've been waking up at 5:30 and always up before 6.
Its still dark! It has ben a good start to my days, in that I get my exercise in and morning chores and still have a lot of the day to do things I need to do.
The rolls are in the oven this morning, as I'm getting ready for grandkids and their mom to arrive this afternoon.
They will spend the weekend here with us, hunting with grandpa and we will watch the Cornhuskers on tv. There's a front coming in bringing some freezing drizzle for tomorrow but Sunday is supposed to be nice.
We've been invited to a special shopping event Sunday evening at DH's beloved Cabela's, so I'm browsing and making a list. Just one of the benefits of a black Cabela's card. The discounts won't hurt a bit this time of year, when we will be buying from them anyway! I have all of my medical appointments done now. A very good report from the Doctor at least.
I sent DH off to see his Dr. this morning. He already had his bloodwork done so it should be a short appointment. Now I am planning for the trip to Missouri next week and our Thanksgiving gathering. Time is definitely marching and as soon as we get back from Missouri, it'll be time to start planning for the move southwest. I better get up and do something, the day is getting away from me!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hunting and Hibernating

DH is busy with the first one, and I'm handling the hibernating part! The weather here is a lot colder now. We dodged a big snow bullet, as it was forecast for last night and I got up this morning expecting a white ground but was pleasantly suprised to find that it missed us.
We did however get a nice rain last night and we need the moisture here, it's been really dry the last couple of months. I'm not ready for dreary days like it has been today, and is very chilly.
It makes me want to curl up in a blanket and I don't get anything done. Corn harvest is officially over, and the hunting season for Pheasant is in full swing. This is DH and our friend from CO. The little dog is his King Charles Spaniel, Henry. DH won't admit it, but he is quite partial to this little fella! Every picture I have seen, he's holding Henry! Deer season opens in the morning and my son will be in his blind before first light.
DH and KayCee are busy hunting with my oldest son at Dan's brothers place so I have a weekend of peace and quiet. The last couple of weeks have been tedious ones as I've had dentist appointments a week apart and am so glad that's over as I want to feel like doing things again. I need to get busy and create the yearly Pheasant recipe, but haven't felt like it. Today I baked cookies in my new oven and trying to get used to it. I'm heading out to do a little shopping tomorrow. Everybody is boasting big sales like black friday. I did the black friday shopping thing once a couple of years ago, and won't do that again! I can't believe how crazy some people are. This time here in Nebraska hasn't been all fun and games, as we've really been busy going through drawers, nooks and crannys and getting rid of old papers and junk. DH has shredded 20+ Walmart bags full of old paper. I dismantled my old office. Now that I'm not working and I have a laptop that's portable, I don't use my office only to collect stuff. I can't believe I've saved all this! Trying to get the boys to take their stuff home that I've saved for them...and that's like pulling teeth! Stuff is the nice word! So far no luck. Several small repairs inside are in the works and by the time we go to Yuma, I will be ready for a break.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beautiful Sunday Drive

Every year in the fall I like to take one last ride on a nice day and get some pictures of the Harlan County Reservoir and the Republican River Valley. Yesterday was a beautiful day. I fear they are numbered now, and things are only going to go downhill weather wise.It is a stark contrast to last year when we were already dealing with cold wet weather.
We drove to all of the familiar places, stopping off at a bridge over the Republican River. Plenty of water running this year. It's been an exceptionally good year for the river. The sun always gives the trees such a dramatic look.
The Methodist Corp of Engineers Campground is very empty now, but one boat was just leaving the dock to take advantage of one of the last days on the water.
The Rotary Club has taken the time to adopt an area by the campground and make an Arbortorium.
One lonely dandelion peaked through the leaves and I spotted one of the prettiest Maple Trees ever. It looked as if it was on fire!
We carried on across the dam, and up to the Patterson Point Shelter House, where we had a picnic lunch in the sun! Where does the spoiled brat KayCee sit?
Anywhere she wants to, obviously! She is getting very excited now to be outside and she loves to run and hunt, but there's always time to stop and share mom's lunch! There's still lots of leaves on the trees, and crops in the fields.

A cold front is sweeping across the state today and tonight, so this week will start to feel more like fall. I'm beginning to prepare for a weekend full of company, and the next month will be extremely busy for us. Yesterday was just a nice way to commemorate another beautiful day in Harlan County!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall in the Sticks... n Bricks

We're having an absolutely great fall season here in South Central Nebraska! The leaves are falling and that's lots better than ice and snow!
That will all come soon enough. We could in fact use some precipitation here now. Corn harvest is in full swing and ahead of schedule, if the weather holds for the rest of the week, they will be farther ahead than ever!
Sunday we spent the afternoon with our twin grandbabies, walking around a lake, feeding ducks and playing at the playground.
They are about 18 months and growing like weeds. You can't tell they were premies. Here at home I have been busy cleaning up and cleaning out.
I can't believe how much junk I have. DH has been busy with all kinds of small projects around here, plus a few rounds of golf and preparations for the Pheasant Season. Last weekend he helped our chapter of Pheasants Forever with their Youth Mentor Hunt. It's nice that they take time out with kids that don't know about hunting to keep the sport alive.
Our son in Colorado called just now, and he is just returning to Colorado Springs from Elk Hunting in the mountains above Glenwood Springs....finally successful after 4 seasons. Way to go Kyle!
It's another beautiful day, our house looks good on the outside from the new paint job, I took a walk this morning and got some pictures. Yesterday I didn't have the camera ready and had a herd of 17 turkeys walk next to the house. Gotta love small town America!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Summing up the Summer

It was a blast! We had a very good travel season. On the way out of Arizona this year, we took time to stop at the Grand Canyon and tour the top part of the state. We still have things that we need to see, but there's always next year.
We experienced our first Earthquake that was a 7.3 at Mexicali Mexico, and felt it south of Phoenix. DH got to drive race cars in a Vintage Car Rally down the Baja Penninsula, and we both used our passports to go into British Columbia north of Kalispell Mt. this summer.
Stopped over in Kansas for DH to have a 40th high school reunion and stopped in Colorado to have a small family reunion and get our Aqua Hot heating system it's annual service. We have done a lot of maintenance and updating to the coach this year. All new tires, all new shocks, 4 chairs recovered and new windshield drape. All fluids and filters changed before putting Betsy in the shed this year, and carpets and tile steam cleaned. The outside polished and sparkling. She's ready to go down the road the end of December. Lets see, we stopped in the northern part of Wyoming for a month. Loved the Deer Park in Buffalo and the Chris LeDoux Dedication in KayCee. Traveled across the southern part of Montana, looking for wildlife and tried our hands at a wet process mining for sapphires around Philipsburg. Just found small ones. We made our way to the Northern Part of Montana, and of the whole season, Kalispell, Big Foot and Glacier is my favorite location. I love the weather and sights in Glacier National Park and the surrounding area.
Cruising on Flathead Lake and meeting up with a musician friend of ours for a visit. We pressed down and back to the east across North Dakota where about mid way through the state, DH caught the biggest Walleye he's ever hooked into! Continuing on East, we traveled into Minnesota where we stopped at a couple of casino rv parks and made a nice donation, helping with the fact that they didn't build those places on winners! The trek from east back to the west into South Dakota occured right before some severe storms and flooding. We barely escaped! Then on through Iowa to attend a freedom Rally/tea party event in Onawa Iowa with a good friend from home.
It was very good to see him and the rally was pretty interesting and entertaining. It was a good reminder for all of us to vote no matter what or who for, and I have already got my absentee ballots filled out ready to go in the mail.
On our way back across Nebraska we got caught in a nasty storm by Omaha, and the angels must be looking over us, because we escaped that with no damage, and several other rigs in the area sustained damage. We touched base with kids on the way across the state, dropped into Kansas and slid into McBs along Interstate 70 for the annual service work...on down the road into Colorado and hung out in Colorado Springs for a couple of weeks before tucking Betsy in the Shed.
It's been a full and active summer. My stint as "Julie the Tour Guide" is over for now. Here at the Sticks and Bricks, we are doing maintenance, cleaning and repairing little things to get ready for the upcoming hunting season. My title has morphed into "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer." Flathead Lake and Nothern Montana is on my favorite's list. I could go back there in a heartbeat. I have learned a lot about my Native American Heritage and much about history and geography of our beautiful land. We are looking forward to the next wave of adventures and great experiences in this grand country of ours. We are extremely fortunate and counting our blessing to have experienced so many awesome things this year.