Thursday, August 29, 2013

Surprise! You have company...

About three weeks ago Andrea mentioned to me that Barry would be gone to Billings, MT and I wouldn't have to work because his Dad was coming to help out. Then she said, "you should go with him!" So it started the ball rolling on thinking about coming up to Bozeman and spending the week with Mom and Dad. So Barry checked into me riding with him and it turned out I could but it would be a lot of driving and when Bryan and I talked about it we decided to maximize my time here and I found a very reasonable ticket and flew up on Tuesday. Eric was the only one who knew and he met me at the airport Tuesday morning. We got to Mom and Dad's at about 10:15 a.m. Dad came to the door and I just asked if they wanted some company this week. Mom was at Bible study and when she came home Dad had her come out on the deck and we surprised her too. It was great.
We enjoyed the wonderful weather while we waited. Then we all ate some lunch.
We talked and talked. We all went to get groceries.
Mom took Pip for a walk after supper. Dad and I sat on the front porch and talked.
The weather was amazing and the views were spectacular.

Wednesday morning I took my coffee out on the deck and watched the sun come up. It was cool and clear and beautiful.
Later in the morning Dad and I went in and got groceries for the Pulgogi dinner that we were going to have on Thursday. He had to get a board to fix the bed I was sleeping in. Mission accomplished. I made a strawberry/rhubard pie dessert. Eric and Lisa called and said they were coming over for the evening to visit.
That afternoon a storm came howling in and it poured rain for about a half and hour. Then it blew away and the evening was amazing. It was so great to see Eric, Lisa and Evan. Kellen sent pictures of Oakley with her new little Nebraska jersey that I gave her.
Adorable. Unfortunately I didn't ger to meet her or see Kellen and Holly because Holly had started school and her mom was here for a visit to them in Billings. Andrew and Ali are in California, Jillian just moved to Redding, CA, Justin had just left for Africa, Lauren is in Portland and Evan is the only one left at home. It was good to see him.
Thursday morning Dad, Mom and I drank our coffee out on the deck. It again was amazing weather again. I did some chopping for mom for the Chop Cheh we were going to have for supper.
Dad and I went over to the college and he showed me around. We picked up some chopsticks for the evening then went home to help mom make the dinner. I fried up the veggies, mom got the meat ready while dad and I were gone, she made some noodles, and then we put it all together.
I had to take pictures of the recipes because mom has had this cook book for as long as I can remember. You can tell by the splatters on the pages which ones are the favorites.
Eric and Lisa had picked up some Iho's Kimchi to go with our supper. Mom made delicious cucumber kimchi. I went for a walk that afternoon on the path near their house. I was hoping to see wildlife but I only saw the wild flowers. It was a very nice walk.
When I got back from that and cleaned up it was time to fry the pulgogi.
The house smelled amazing. The the family began to arrive. Eric, Lisa, Bruce, Betha, Weston, Trent, Sydney and Camden. Evan came after his football practice and meeting. We ate a lot of food, did a lot of talking and just had a great time in general. My pictures of this are so-so but I really wasn't thinking about it too much.
Mom, Eric and Dad getting ready to eat.
Everyone talking and the noise levels go up.
Camden, Sydney, Betha and Bruce
Evan and Camden playing some beautiful music after supper.
Trent and Weston icing the areas of their bodies that hurt due to the fact that they are boys and they hit each other...
Dad and Evan icing his foot that he hurt in football. A lot of icing going on.
We, adults, all sat out on the front porch and enjoyed the amazing evening. We talked and laughed. It was really great to see everyone that was still around. We moved around to the back deck because Trent told us to come watch the amazing lightening. It was amazing.
On Friday we woke to the mountains covered in a haze of smoke. But almost before the sun was up Dad and I took Pip for an early morning walk.

Mom had some flowers that Betha brought to her so we went outside and talked while she planted those.
Dad was working on some college stuff.
Later in the morning I went in to town to have lunch with Eric and Lisa. We had a great time. I wandered around downtown for a few minutes then headed back for my last afternoon with mom and dad. Mom and I sat and worked out a quilt design and got quite a kick out of ourselves and our mistakes. But I think we got it done.
After supper it was a lazy evening of crossword puzzles and reading. Then I noticed the sunset in the smoke and had to take some pictures. The color was amazing.
And a picture of the signpost at Dad and Mom's.

Dad was reading about Will Rogers and that sparked a conversation about a hotel that he worked for in Durango, CO called the Strater Hotel. That name sounded familiar to me and then I remembered that is where Bryan and I are staying in October when we take a trip to the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival. 
It was amazing to hear his stories from back then.
We got up early this morning and went to the airport. All my flights were on time and very easy. Then when I got to my car in the airport parking lot I saw this.
I know the basics so I began to get the stuff out. As I was doing this project many, many cars drove past me and stared. NO one even asked if I needed help. Now, admittedly, I got the tire changed by myself but it amazed me that no one even checked. 
I stopped at Sapp Bros. to get the tire fixed but of course the hole was in a spot that prevented it being fixed. Also the traffic on I-80 was insane because there is a game tonight so I turned off and went back roads to get home. I finally got home at about 3:30. 
Flat tire aside, it was a wonderful and worthwhile surprise trip. I am so glad I went. It had been far too long since I had been in Montana.
Thanks to eveyone up there for the great visit.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Gentlemen, Start your engines...

When Bryan and I went on our Anniversary weekend he bought an old gumball machine to turn into a fish tank but it was in way better shape than we realized. He looked it over, all the parts were there and it really just needed a good cleaning. It remained a 5 cent gumball machine.
So cute to see it sitting there.
Friday Bobbi did my hair. She is amazing at what she does. I always leave feeling so much better and it has to do with the great person whom I have gotten to spend several hours with. 
Friday night we went to the Beatrice Speedway Championship Races. It was so fun. Ashley, Jayme, Bobbi, Travis, Jill, Bryan and I and a bunch of other friends. Travis made the girls try fried gizzards...
They weren't that impressed. 
At one point during the races one car bumped another car and caused he and another guy to crash into the wall. The yellow flags came out (In case you aren't a race person that means everyone has to stay in the order they were in at the flag, slow down and no funny stuff) So they are trying to get the cars off the track and one of the drivers climbs out of his car and as the car who hit him is coming around the curve he runs out toward it, that driver revs his engine and hits another car, the driver on the track goes over and kicks the offending driver's car. Everyone clapped and cheered and the black flag came out and the offending driver was kicked out of the races for the evening. The wrecked driver takes off for the pit area after the ejected driver and they start having a fight. The track officials went over and broke it up. Almost as good as a hockey game.
These four were taking a picture so I took one from the back at the same time.
The neighbor kids came on Saturday and asked me if I wanted 21 cantaloupe...well maybe 3 would be nice. I gave them a bag of gummi bears because they didn't want money. You would have thought they struck gold. Pretty sure they thought they got the better deal.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Card Table Cottage

I have looked at a lot of antique stores for a cheap, old, sturdy card table. (new ones aren't as nice and solid) They all seem to cost too much for making a card table house. Last week Bobbi cleaned out the garage at their house and there it was...and old, sturdy card table...FREE!
I snagged that baby right out of the pile of junk for the dump.
It isn't pretty but, hey, I am just going to put a cover on it. 
So I set to work sewing the cover together out of canvas. I made a couple errors on the corners but gussets and darts are a wonderful sewing invention. 
My original plan was to appliqué the designs on the sides but then I thought..."It's canvas, I paint and that would be so much easier!!" So after wrestling with just a flower pot on the front porch of it I switched to drawing and painting the rest of the stuff on. I did sew a slit in the mailbox so that kids could deliver mail to Card Table Cottage.
Front "porch"
Around to the side of the house on the left. 
The "backyard".
Around the side on the right. As of this morning I didn't know what kind of dog I wanted to paint on this side but when I found out that my sister Jenny's beloved 17 year old Jack Russell Terrier, Buzz, had passed away yesterday I decided to do a memorial to him. 
I am so pleased with how it turned out. I think the kids will have fun with it. If not I may camp out in it myself...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Let's see where were we?

Last weekend Bryan and I took off on Friday morning for St. Joe, MO. There are lots of antique stores down there and we just enjoy it for a get away. We stayed at a place called Whiskey Mansion Bed and Breakfast. It was a really cool huge old house and the man who ran it was really nice and made us wonderful homemade bread in the morning. I would stay there again.
We found some fun stuff. Mostly I found great old books that needed a home. On Saturday we went down to Leavenworth, KS (about 30 miles away) and checked out their flea gets 1 flea on a scale of 1 - 10...But at one store there were "garage sale" type items mixed in with the antiques and I found a set of Williams Sonoma alphabet cookie cutters. They were all there and the $3 I paid didn't break the bank. I also found a cool book from the 60's that when you turn the sections for the pages it makes a bunch of different stories. And the chairs we found for Ashley were at the Treasure Box in the basement. When Bryan asked about them the guy said "Well, a guy offered us $100 for them last week so we put them in the basement with a hold on them and he never came back so you can have them." Bryan said "What do you want for them now?" the guy says "give me $20 bucks." SOLD. I thought he meant each. Nope $20 for all 4. The Barbie cookbook I got for Bobbi because she is learning how to cook. Don't worry I got her a real one too.
After we got back to St. Joe from Leavenworth we decided since it was such a nice evening that we would go mini golfing before supper. I started out well but then...
Bryan beat me...both games. But we each won a free game. I won mine after the first game and that is why we played again. Then Bryan won one after the second game. We decided to save it for another time. It was such a fun weekend. 
The weather lately has been amazing. On Wednesday evening it was so nice and cool that Bryan and I set out around the trail to trim up the trees that grow along it. Ok he trimmed and I drove the EZ-GO and took pictures.

On Tuesday Amiah and Hudson started school for the year. 4th grade and Kindergarten. A whole new routine for Boden and I on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. 
Yesterday Alicia and the kids came out for a visit and lunch. We had such a nice time.
Satchel and Navy. Someday, she will figure out how to drive that car and then watch out!!
Bobbi had spent a whole day at her house cleaning out the garage (10 years of mess in there...) and among the things in there was an old card table. I have been looking for one so I could make a play house out of it but they are so expensive! Free out of the garage junk works for me...
So I started that today. I made a small error on the angle of the legs but I'm getting that adjusted and when all the stuff is added on the outside it should be pretty cute.
Old table..
New play house cover. More pictures later when the flowers, mail box and windows are added.
I just remember so many contented hours spent under a card table house. 
That's about it for our week.