Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Father's Day Trees...

For Father's Day Ashley gave Bryan 17 little maple trees. When she gave them to him they were about 4 - 6 inches tall. I wish I would have taken a picture then. But I didn't. Monday Bryan planted them down by the pond in the pasture. We will be able to see them from the house. Today I took the camera with me when I went to water them and took a couple pictures. I will try to take a picture from the same spot and on the same day every year. It will be fun to see them change and grow. Fall pictures will be nice because the leaves will have started to change.
 Now I realize in the above picture you can't tell that there are trees there but there are 17 each about 12 - 18 inches tall. In between the cottonwoods on each side of the picture.
I will use this fence stake to help gauge the growth.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stew, Apple Crap and Cookies...

This morning was rainy and cold. Jayme had spent the night at our house. When she got up she said she was hungry for stew, so we started that for lunch, then we made "Apple Crap", which is really Dutch Apple pie in a cake pan but Bobbi refers to it as "Apple Crap" so the name stuck. I had apples that I needed to use. Then Jayme wanted to make molasses cookies so we whipped up a batch of them. We used Halloween colored decorator sugar to roll them in and they turned out wonderful. The house smelled amazing, like there were three very wonderful candles of Fall burning. I sent Ashley a text saying the stew was cooking and then she came out to eat that and watch a movie. Unfortunately, Bobbi had to work and then attend a wedding that we tried to talk her out of going to. We missed her and tried to get her to skip the wedding but she is nice and went to it. 
Apple Crap
Molasses Cookies
Jayme, movie watching (or napping) could be either.
Ashley and Oliver (he becomes needy when they come home)
Thanks, girls, for wanting to come home. I love the time I get to spend with you.

Date Night...

Bryan and I have never been the type of couple that plans, on their calendars, specific "date nights". We just do stuff together. Well, last night when he got home from work, we finished putting the metal corners, that we had made, on the hay wagon. (see "New Toy" for more information). 
I think they look pretty amazing. 
After that we went down to the pond, built a fire and roasted some brats for supper. Then we took the hay wagon out for it's maiden run. 
It is a sweet ride.
Good thing Bryan keeps the trail mowed otherwise we would have drowned in wild sunflowers. Don't even get me started on how much those things drive me crazy! They take over everything!
As we got toward the end, Bryan asked me to drive because something was making a weird noise and he wanted to see what it was and try out how the ride was. I tell you what, this is not a view that every woman wants of herself! But that is life. On with the story.
We finished the ride, which was extremely fun and a bit hilarious since it was just us two, and then decided to get the catfish equipment out and go down to the pond. It had cooled down a bit and the coals were still burning away from our supper so we just added some wood and fished by the fire. Perfect. When we first added the wood to the coals, it was very smoky and Bryan and Mae were over looking at an annoying family of muskrats. I happened to catch that and the sunset all in this picture, which I love.
Sometimes the best times are the unplanned, unscheduled, at home, just being together times.
It was a great date night. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

New Toy...

Bryan got a plasma cutter. He has been talking about getting one for, oh, just about ever. Because he welds and blacksmiths, it is a natural tool to own. Well, last night we finally had time to go out to the shop and try it out. New brand of fun. Power over a sheet of unbendable metal. For those of you who don't know what a plasma cutter does, it uses air and electricity to cut metal and it can cut it faster than I can cut cardboard with a pair of scissors. Very fun, because, you can cut out any shape you want. Of course I took pictures.
We were both surprised at how small a machine it actually is. 
The first cut.
I really like this picture. 
A little nervous, but I cut out some shapes. I wore the welding apron because, Bryan might be calm when the sparks set his shirt on fire, I am not.
My second try. That little machine can do big things.
 Bryan had rebuilt an old hay wagon so that we could do hayrack rides when people come out. In the process he thought it would be nice to make some sort of corner brackets for the wagon. So we drew some up and cut them out last night. Then he heated them up and bent them. It was too dark to put them on the wagon but, I am sure that is a project that will get done tonight. 
Hayrack wagon pictures coming next. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Destination: Chicago - On Sunday Ashley and I set out early in the morning for Chicago. This was the first thing I saw as I drove into town (well, technically not the FIRST thing) anyway...
Detours: ALL OVER THE PLACE. And Construction - Everywhere.
These are on Hwy. 2 in Lincoln.
But we are pretty sure that Illinois used up all the traffic cones, barrels, whatever those are called, that they own. We drove 46 miles in an hour and a half on the way home. And I am pretty sure that they eliminated one lane of Interstate 80 for about half our trip. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of our favorite sign. A large orange one that read "Flagger". Then, there was a little man, "Flagger", probably, walking along the interstate with his orange vest on and a "Slow" sign in a wagon and I was pretty sure he was our "lead car" for that 46 miles. We had a good laugh about that one.

Details: Ashley's life in an envelope - Unfortunately, I fell down on the photo taking end of this trip. Too busy talking, eating and shopping. But she accomplished what we went for and that is that she got her Visa applied for without any trouble. We were done with that before 9:30 a.m. and then we had a whole, very fun day in Chicago. 

Dinner: Or lunch, as we say - L'Appetito at the Hancock Building
It was a beautiful day in all ways. The weather was wonderful. We were a great disappointment to all the people who think that you need to eat pizza when you go to Chicago. We didn't. But we did eat at Big Bowl, L'Appetito, Weber Grill and of course, we got coffee at Starbucks.

Done: Applying for a Visa - One more thing that Ashley can check off her list of things that need to happen before Spain becomes home. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Rib...

I just read a book called "Havah" by Tosca Lee. I must say I felt like she did an amazing job with this book. I recommend it. That being said, after reading it I decided that Bryan should, from now, on refer to me as "The Rib" anytime he is talking about me. He says that it is no fun calling me a nickname that I like. So, not sure that is going to happen. I told him I would refer to him as "Preacher" (Clint Eastwood - "Pale Rider", for those who don't get it...oh wait, he is a preacher so it fits either way. Sometimes I just randomly yell "I love you, Preacher, we all love you!" just like the girl in the movie.) Hence, the reason I added that to my title on my blog.
In other news... I am going into town today to help Bobbi move into her own place. Help Ashley move some stuff here. Jayme is staying where she is. So many changes. So many different emotions. Ashley and I were supposed to head to Chicago today but are postponing that until Sunday. We couldn't get a room in the hotel we wanted so we just put it off for a couple days. Hopefully we will be able to get over the Visa hurdle and then have some fun! More on that later.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

George Fayne and the Missing Eggs Mystery...

Why not "Nancy Drew and the Missing Eggs Mystery". Because when my sister, Jenny, her friend, Margaret, and I used to play "Nancy Drew" I was always George Fayne, the tomboy, with short, dark hair, cousin to Bess Marvin, Margaret, blonde, friends of Nancy Drew, Jenny, titian haired sleuth. Where was I? 
Oh, yes, Missing Eggs Mystery...
George was hanging the freshly washed sheets out on her clothesline. The breeze was snapping the sheets like the sails on Nancy's sailboat when they took it out on the lake. Suddenly she heard an almighty dinn coming from the barn. "That must be one of my chickens." she thought. "I wonder...sometimes I only have two eggs in the nest in their house and I wonder if one of them is laying eggs someplace else. I should sneak in there and see." She wished that her cousin, Bess, and their lovely detective friend, Nancy, were around. But they weren't so, George raced back to the house, grabbed her trusty Olympus camera and headed out to the barn. She opened the door as quietly as she could and as she snuck in, on stealthy feet, she encountered a huge cobweb. George fought her way through that and what did she see? Alice, the chicken, perched up high on some hay bales cackling up a storm. "I have found the source of the dinn!" George thought. 
As she stood, teetering precariously on a bale of hay, taking pictures of Alice, who should come strutting in but D. Biddy, the elusive hen. "So," thought George, "this is where she is laying eggs, too!"
George quickly snapped a picture of D. Biddy and then hurried out to see if her theory was correct. It was! There in the chicken house were Roselie and Bella, using the nests like good little chickens.
George deduced that if she waited awhile and then checked back in the barn she may find an egg there and would know from now on where to go to gather them. So she hastened back to the house, did some laundry, washed the dishes and then went back out, again armed with her camera. And there, just like she thought, were the missing eggs! 
Nine of them. Unfortunately, George didn't know how long they had all been out there so she threw these away but from now on she will check the nest boxes and the barn! 

For those of you who have never read a Nancy Drew mystery, I'm sorry for you. You have missed out on one of the great joys of girlhood. We lived on Nancy Drew. (and not the modern ones! ewww)
I mean, who can resist books that have lines like this in them - 
"There's nothing worse than a threatening note that demands you stay at home, when you're just not the stay-at-home kind of gal!" 
"When threatened with a hairbrush by a vicious woman, remain calm and speak in cold level tones."


Part of what I do at church is make stage props for certain themes. This past week I have worked on making huge masks for a weekend coming up. I just thought maybe someone might like to see the progression of what it takes to get these things done.
This is a 4'x8' sheet of insulation foam. (We use this stuff for a lot of things!) I had drawn out one half of a mask on paper for my pattern, then transfered it to the foam. 
I use a small hand saw to cut the foam. Then using acrylic polyurethane I basically do what we used to do with small squares of tissue paper and bottles. I cut pieces of tissue in the color I want and then start painting them down onto the foam. On this particular mask I wanted the more organic look and only did one layer so the green wouldn't be solid. The black mask has 3 layers.
Once that is done and dried I begin to add on my embellishments.
Done. This black one has a built out nose area just to give it a different look.
Corner detail on both masks.
Each mask probably took me 5 hours to complete.
So just a little peek into my backstage life. In some of the other pictures I noticed that you can see other giant stuff I have built. (gas can and the back of a giant coffee cup) Our stage is so huge that these things don't really look that big once they are out there.
When the masks are on stage I will take a picture of that and add it to this. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

For this purpose...

Yesterday, Sunday, was a busy day. First Bryan, Jayme and I went to church. Ashley and Bobbi were getting ready for a friend's wedding. They had gone the night before. Then Bryan, Jayme and I went to lunch, Bryan changed clothes and we headed out to Country Pines so Bryan could do the wedding out there. Immediately after he was done with that we headed back in to church because we had a baptism service that evening. So busy day. But wonderful day.
Several years ago Jayme was a cabin leader at Maranatha Camp. During that week she led a little girl to the Lord. Then a couple weeks ago that little girl, now 15 and a sophomore in high school, called Jayme and asked her if she would baptize her. I can't really explain how proud I was and am of Jayme. It was just so amazing to see that her quiet faith resulted in a person coming to know Christ and then seeing that publicly communicated and Jayme having the honor of a part in that, too. At the exact same time that Jayme was baptizing Bree, I was given the honor of baptizing my friend, Carmen, Bryan had just baptized her husband,Tom. Knowing that we all three were doing this was just a bit overwhelming in a good way. Thanks to Brian V. I have some pictures of Jayme.

It is for this purpose that we live.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Catfish at last...

It was a beautiful, calm evening and after eating out on the deck, Bryan suggested we go try catfishing again. So down we went to the pond. I have learned that I am not a patient fisherman. I just want to catch fish. So...when you catfish you pretty much just throw the smelly stuff out there and wait, and wait, and then I start to mess with my camera and look at things through the binoculars. As I was "glassing" (that is the Whitetail Diaries word for looking at things through the binoculars!) things, I happened to look at my bobber and see that it was twitching. So hand off the binoculars and wait until it goes under. That fish was mine. I thought is was just a small thing since it really didn't make much fuss but when I got it closer it decided that it didin't want to come in. Not small. Ok, I will take a large mouth bass off my lure, I will take a bluegill off the hook but touch a catfish, NO. So, Bryan reached down into the water and hauled him up on the bank.
Nice, thanks Bryan. You do the work, I will take the credit. 
Seriously twice as big as Oliver (or Toto, as he likes to remind me. See how I did that, Jill?)
We set the timer and put camera on the table so that I could get in the picture with the fish since I caught it.
Can you say "red-neck live well" 
I mean this picture speaks for itself. Nice.
I decided that I could hold it if it was on the scale.
It was fun and sometime I will cook and eat that thing. It is currently in the horse tank since we didn't want to clean it tonight. Hopefully, Montana and Dakota don't get too freaked out when they go to get a drink.
Possibly there is a fish fry coming up on Friday. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Monday...It's Labor Day...

I mean it is the official holiday on the calendar that gets people out of working at  their jobs, but every Monday is "labor day" at our house. Bryan has Mondays off and he labors. And by that I mean he works very hard at keeping our place nice and repairing things for other people and planting trees and you name it, he is laboring at it. I love this picture. It is just so him.
The girls and some of their friends are coming out to eat supper. Yay! 
I love it when we have these impromptu times! say...

We went to the Nebraska State Fair. We always go. At least one day of the fair, we go and then we wonder why we go. But we go because it is tradition and we have fun together as a family. This year it was in Grand Island for the first time in 141 years. It has always been in Lincoln prior to that. It was weird walking around and not recognizing the area or set up at all. It made me think about how we really did get into the same pattern of how we walked around the grounds and what we looked at. It just wasn't the same. For instance... Where were the little pens where you can pet the goats and feed the llamas, goats and sheep? We always did that . Where were the big fish tanks that have the game and parks fish displays in them? We always looked at those. Where were the horses in their stalls? Didn't ever see them. I am sure that all this stuff was there somewhere but it was just so different and possibly part of our "tradition" is the sameness of where things were and how we walked around because this didn't feel the same. I felt lost and a little confused. Or maybe that is my age... On the plus side we drove to Grand Island from Lincoln in about the same amount of time that we usually sat in the long line over the viaduct on 27th Street waiting to enter the fair when it was in Lincoln. Bryan got to eat his Grater Tater for the year. We got to eat a turkey leg and try Honey Ice Cream. And we got to go to the fair one more time with Ashley before she leaves. (You are going to get a lot of that until they actually leave, sorry, but it is just how life is.) The weather was amazing. Listening to the girls laugh, talk and tell stories is worth the heat, cost and time. You can't put a price or limit of time on that. So bring on the food on a stick.
Bobbi "driving" the National Guard truck
again, Bobbi.
After I took this one of the uniformed men came and sort of hung around just staring at us. So I said hello, Bryan said hello and Bobbi asked him a question. We tried to be polite and ask stuff but it just wasn't working so we moved on.
The end of the day, at a horse show, waiting for it to start.
Bobbi, Jayme and Ashley
Probably, and I don't mean to brag here but...Probably the most amazing, funny, loving, fun girls ever. 
Glad we took the time to go to the fair. Just to spend the day with these three.