Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cat Magnet

If this doesn't make you laugh out loud, go back to bed. You need a nap.

Fireworks in Hanover, Kansas

fireworks in hanover,ksFourth of July celebrations have started in the heartland. We went to a display in a tiny little town, Hanover, Kansas tonight and saw the show of a lifetime. It was indescribably amazing. There was so much firepower, you could feel it through the ground. It was a full half hour of nonstop booming and sizzling, bright lights and smoke covering every inch from the ground up.
We had a great spot to watch from, on a slight hill close enough you could hear the whooshing of the shells and the rush of flames sounding like a waterfall. Everything was synched to music beautifully.

I think the entire population of 3 counties came to Hanover. It was a fun evening of cook out food, miserably bad bluegrass ( and I like bluegrass!), a fireworks hanover kansasvery good rock band and and incredible pyro event.

About the bluegrass, they tried. They really did. But I doubt they'd ever even heard Rocky Top since they managed to turn it into a somewhat wistful, "wishing I was there" song instead of the lively tune it is. Same with some Irish jigs they tried. I wanted to send them all tickets to a real blue grass festival in North Carolina or northern Georgia. Unfortunately, it's not the first time we've gone to an event since living here, looking forward to some good bluegrass and been painfully disappointed. I think people here enjoy what they hear; I'm glad I've heard better.

fireworks hanover kansas

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Hills of My Ancestors

Lying here, in the shadows of the hills of Steele City, Nebraska (pop.81) are my ancestors. Strong, resilient people who for better or worse, were committed to the unforgiving land of the plains. Original homestead pioneers, their sons and daughters, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and more in generations too far removed for me to remember are here. Veterans, farmers, teachers, mothers, even a circus performer inhabit my family tree.

Why the first ones chose this land to make a home has been lost to faded memories and time. Now, I am one of the last of this family living here and remembering them, and even I will not be staying.

In this valley, there's a place in this peaceful spot for my return if I choose, in a section with this view. As a child, on yearly visits, my grandfather would stand in this spot, holding my hand, and he and I would just be silent. Then he'd squeeze my hand and we'd leave. I come here sometimes and just drink in this view. It nourishes me and connects me with hearts I never knew but somehow feel.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Night on the Town

We made the trek to Lincoln for dinner tonight to celebrate. It's been so long since we were in a "nice" restaurant, we felt like goobers in the big city. But we survived, remembered how to behave in public and had a lovley evening. We went to a brewery/restaurant in the trendy Haymarket district of Lincoln. Talk about feeling one's age. It's right smack in the middle of University of Lincoln land. We had an outstanding meal and discovered a new favorite snack. It was outrageously priced on the menu and we enjoyed every morsel.

This is Lahvosh. It's an Armenian flat bread, sprinkled with mushrooms, bacon, turkey and ham. Everything is then smothered in melted Havarti cheese. The flat bread was crisp, like a cracker. Who needs pizza when you can have Lavosh!
After dinner the car found it's way to the only Barnes & Noble in Lincoln. Both of us need a book store fix and it had been a while.
We were again reminded of the intensley small town life we currently live, when we tried to buy a fancy schmancy coffee drink for dessert. Have you tried ordering from an unfamilar Starbucks menu board, with a perky 20 year old barrista asking if you want tall, grande or venti when you can barely discern the difference between latte or espresso? And then do you want a double shot or energy or cream base????? Talk about goobers on the town. I finally figured it out, got a really decadant Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino Light Blended Coffee with a double shot espresso. Whew... the drama... I mean from the other side of the counter. All the eye rolling, giggling and looks of sympathy from the black aproned coffee queens as we sorted out what I wanted. This, by the way, is a Venti. The only way to go.

What keeps me going

I love my job, but some days I just don't want to be at work. Writing about canine fungal infections and walking dandruff can really wear on the creative sensabilities, you know?

Today is one of those days. It's the Viking and my 35th anniversary. I'd rather be whiling away the day in some romantic setting. What keeps me going, is the little mental retreat I take every time I gaze to the right of my monitor and see love. The background is a poster of my favorite Monet print, my family and today, a new symbol of love. The figurine reads "love, everlasting and true". And so it is. This is what keeps me going.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spring Storms in Nebraska

Another storm is moving in. I've had it with tornado sirens and magnificantly fierce lightening. I hope this one keeps moving. It gets a little cramped in the closet.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


First, a couple of blasts from the past, so you know where we started.

Here's where we are today.

I can't even guesstimate the hours this has taken. I do know it's been 3 10 cubic yard dumpsters, 3 big boxes of the largest black garbage bags, 4 large boxes of white kitchen garbage bags and an unknown number of trips hauling it all down to the curb. If it had not been quite so exhausting as it was going on, there might be a few more photos of the mountains of bags and miscellaneous stuff that faced the trash men every Thursday morning for the last 9 weeks.

For me, it's been a major physical challenge, as I work a full time job, commute almost 2 hours a day and then have spent the majority of both weekend days in the house. It's been all I can do to keep the laundry done.Thanks to my own hero, the Viking, we've had meals everynight and the cat boxes cleaned! That's major, btw, when you have 4 cats.

The job also ate up a full 2 weeks time of a visiting granddaughter, 4 full days of other relatives, and a couple of weekend friend helping days. Mind boggling. Some day soon I'll share some interesting finds with you all that seem to be beyond reason. Like.... in a house where only 2 people live, and one has passed on, why are there extra sets of teeth whose owner can't be identified?????

Here's one of the infamous and wonderfully helpful Recliner Man facing the first of the monsters, when we all thought one would do the trick. What fools we mortals be.