Saturday, March 28, 2009

Unpredictable March

march snow in nebraska
Here's how Southeast Nebraska is ending up the weather week. This week we have had sunny days in the upper 6o's, days that haven't gotten out of the 30's, tornadoes, foggy crips mornings and now snow. There are gorgeous,tender little green shoots coming up in the fields and farmers are turing the dark,burnt looking earth. One was actually burning off his fields this week as I was on my way home from work. And this morning, snow. For me, it's just a mental slap in the face. For others who have lived in this region longer than I, this is to be expected. One thing I have learned while living in farmland, farmers must never forget the ultimate power of Mother Nature and they have to be the most optimistic of souls to pin their lives on her whims.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roadside Giants

Here in Nebraska where I live, yesterday there were tornadoes in my part of the state and blizzards in the other side of the state. Work was nuts and my entire family must have had a bottle of crazy water. It's definitely time for a road trip.

Much of the personality of the US has been absorbed by massive chain stores, restaurants, look alike malls and developements. For some people, I suppose this is comforting and eases the anxiety that a move to a new location may bring. For me, it's not really comforting, it's distressing to know that individualism is dissappearing. Even if it is corporate individulism, it's still a loss.

Happily, there are still interesting things along the way, remarkable icons that haven't been zoned out of existance. Here are a few from my own travels.

This is the largest coffee pot in the US. It's just outside of Omaha, NE on I-80. It's 110 ft tall and use to be a water tower. I've heard that at some times, it actully "perks" and there's a flashing light in the top and steam from the spout. I drive by this one several times a year, maybe one of these days I'll see it perking along!

Next up, a glorious giant peach in Gaffney, South Carolina. It's out in the middle of nowhere and sort of looks like a big golf ball. It's always a lovely color. I think the painters in Gaffney should be complimented on how skillfully they have perfected the blush on this peach.
Proudly proclaiming itself as the peanut capitol of the world is Ashburn, GA. Heading to Florida on I-75, you can't miss it! It's probably a good thing that it doesn't emit a warm peanut aroma, cause in this part of Georgia all you're apt to find are boiled peanuts by the roadside and to someone not born in this part of the world, there's not much less appealing than boiled peanuts. Trust me on this one. I tried them. Once.

Finally, back north in Bemidji, Minnesota we have Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. How can you not love Paul...strong, dark, tall and handsome. Everything a folk hero should be. And Babe, well she's blue. She's a little crosseyed, but you can count on her.

Hit the road. See what's lurking in your world that refused to be covered in a facade of sand colored brick and stucco.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Princess Luna

Her Royal Highness, Princess Luna

Project 52 Week 11 Photo Tag

So my "evil" sister photo tagged me. I think most people don't care for seeing themselves in photos and I'm no exception. I don't know what deviltry happens inside the camera, but the person I always see in the photo sure doesn't resemble the person I see in the mirror!

But, I am a pretty good sport, so I'll play. Photo tag is all about on the spot photos. So although it's taken me three days to get it posted, here I am as I was "tagged". At work on a Friday afternoon.

Now, who do I tag....hmmm..... maybe my neice who's been missing from her blog for far too long. You know who you are! So whenever you read this, drop what you're doing and take a photo of yourself. Come out from behind that sewing machine and smile for the camera.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Congrats to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman

Congratulations to Ree Drummond of Confessions of a Pioneer Woman blog! She won an astounding 3 awards in this years Best of the Web competition. The web's best blogs have been recognized for the last nine years with "The Bloggies". A geeky Oscar. She won for Best Photography, Best-Designed Weblog and Weblog of the Year.

I'm like thousands, soon to be millions I'm sure, who read this blog daily. I like spying on her life. 99% of her recipes inspire me to get creative. 100% of her photographs inspire me. She's my daily lunchtime companion and doesn't even know it.

Someday,I'll bet she becomes an Oprah guest. Then there will be the cover of People and Time. I hope it doesn't go to her head. Nah, she'll still be writing about dog kisses and cows.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Project 52 Week 10 Unexpected Surprizes

This weekend, cabin fever was setting in again, the wonderfully rich sausage from Frank's in Wilber was gone and both the Viking and I could hear the kolaches we passed over on our last visit calling to us.

Isn't Wilber just the cutest little town?

Remember those inviting little kolaches from a couple of weeks ago? We decided to forego breakfast and have kolaches once we got to Wilber.

First surprize, they weren't really very good. The filling was delicious, but the roll part was just straight, bland white bread. I was expecting a richer roll, like a cinnamon roll. I don't know if this is a typical kolache or just the result of an uninspired baker, but it was a little dissappointing. I decided right then that a nice layer of cream cheese frosting would help redeem the poor little kolaches.

When we got home, I made the frosting and alas, it didn't help tremendously. The roll just wasn't that good. However, a loaf of homemade rye bread we picked up is fantastic. We still like Franks.

Still feeling adventurous, instead of heading straight home, we decided to head north on a road we'd never been. It took us through more of the same farmland that surrounds us, and we were happy with our adventure. Then the second surprize of the day! Driving past a rustic sign for Bluestem State Park, we saw this as we drove by.

We backed up on the road (remember this is the middle of nowhere farmland) turned into a gravel road and within seconds saw this.

A very large lake with a very large, very loud snow geese party happening. The migration is still in progress but we had no idea this lake existed.

It was a wonderful event to see, this stop over on their long flight. We got out of the car and just watched a bit. They're a chatty bunch. It really made me wish I had a better camera and a wide angle lens.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Project 52 Week 9

So, I've gotten a little behind in my weekly image goal thanks to an impressively bad cold that's been trying to consume all my energies. It's managed to span a good part of almost two weeks and finally seems to be on the way out. I still don't sound it, but I am improving day by day.

I missed time from work and probably should have taken a couple more days off, but couldn't. So I did the next best thing, went to work, tried to keep my germs mostly to myself and head straight to bed when I got home. It's hard to be productive and creative when your brain and body seem to be moving through oceans of vaseline.

One unexpected perk of being so sick, gorgeous flowers from my daughter one day!