Friday, July 30, 2010

Dodge City, Kansas

The Husband and I left Denver Monday morning and headed toward Dodge City, Kansas. We avoided the interstate and took the back roads. It was a lovely, lonely drive.

We arrived in Dodge City and I immediately put The Husband in jail:
I did relent and have him released so we could go to dinner. We ate a Casey's Cowtown Club. The service and the food were quite good. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for the night.

Tuesday morning, Wyatt Earp was working the front desk at the Best Western. He was very polite and quite efficient during our check out process. He is also in charge of quality control for the free, hot breakfast. It is comforting to know that if Wyatt won't eat it, it is not served to the hotel guests!

We stopped at the Boot Hill Museum before "getting out of Dodge!"

Almost immediately, The Husband put me in jail.
This jail is very old:
We then toured the Boot Hill Cemetery. We like cemeteries. What can I say?
Cemeteries tell the story of our nation. Point in fact, did you know that women who worked in saloons were called "soiled doves?"

After the cemetery, we headed to the Longbranch Saloon. Unfortunately, Miss Kitty was not on duty.
The museum has lots of great artifacts in their collection. If you are ever in the neighborhood of Dodge City, Kansas it is worth stopping for an hour or two.

We left Dodge City on Tuesday morning. You won't believe what we saw on our drive from there to Tulsa, OK. Check back on Sunday to "read all about it!"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Colorado Renaissance Faire

We attended the Colorado Renaissance Fair on Saturday, July 24th. It was such a fun time. We were greeted by a jester, a fairy and a wench at the front gate!
We entered the festival grounds and saw a lovely fairy talking to the children and dispensing "fairy dust."
Afterwards, we saw a beggar, who was mean and funny at the same time.
We saw "Charles Dashing" and "Prince Charming":

We made new friends:

We saw King Henry VIII and his court, but I was too slow to get a photo.

I've told The Husband we are going to "dress" next time we attend a Renaissance Fair. But, I'm having a hard time deciding if I want to be royalty or a wench!

har de har har

The weather was perfect for a day outdoors. Temperature ranged from mid-70's to mid-80's, which is why we were in Colorado and not in Oklahoma!

If you have never been to a Renaissance Faire, I encourage you to try it at least once. The actors are great, but the most fun is watching the crowd. The people who attend in full costume are worth the price of admission, trust me!

Monday, July 26, 2010

What Do You Do With Your Old Buttons?

Why not sort them by color and pretend they are sherbert?

View # 1

View # 2

I thought this was a clever and cute idea. These are found in Booth 477 at The Brass Armadillo in Denver, CO.
Someone, please go buy them!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Fun Day in Denver, CO

We had a fun day with Cousin Charlene. 

It started with a lazy morning of reading the paper, checking the computer, taking a long walk (The Husband, bless his heart!) and generally just relaxing.

We had a quick lunch at a local pub and from there stopped into Applejack Wine & Spirits. Let me just say, this is quite the liquor store. It was fun gazing upon bottles of fine scotch priced at $2,500, as well as bottles of French wine for the same jaw dropping price. Of course, there were cheaper bottles - $300, $500, $750, etc. but we also didn't purchase any of those. $10.99 was the price I paid! 

We moved on to my new favorite store - The Brass Armadillo. Their home page describes this unique chain of antique malls as the "ultimate antique shopping experience." For me, it was not the ultimate experience (Round Top, Texas was that), but it was pretty darn close!

There are Brass Armadillos in five cities - Des Moines, Phoenix, Denver, Omaha and Kansas City. Whenever we are in one of those cities, we are planning to go shopping. (Tosha: Get ready!)

We bought several neat things that I will share with you in the coming weeks.

After we spent 4 hours (yes, 4 hours!) in the Brass Armadillo, we went to Emil-Lene's Sirloin House for dinner. This was a great meal. My filet was "melt in your mouth" good and The Husband and Cousin both had excellent prime rib. It was a quiet meal. We were all too busy eating to talk! I would heartily recommend this restaurant. For my Oklahoma based blog readers, think of the old Avalon Steak House in Creek County when it was the best place in the area to eat. That's the vibe of Emil-Lene's!

We drove home while admiring the beautiful Rocky Mountain foothills. 


Friday, July 23, 2010

New Mexico Again

Ok, I confess. The Husband and I have run away from the Oklahoma heat at every opportunity this summer. The family cabin in New Mexico has been a god send. This was our third trip so far!

I don't, however, want you to think our time at the cabin is all sugar water and hummingbirds:

Sometimes, there is hard work requiring big equipment and manly men:
The cabin caretaker & The Husband digging up the septic line.

Most frequently, however, there are good friends and fun times:
The Husband, me, Ellen & Peter (l to r)

The Husband has known Ellen and Peter for 39 years. We had not seen them since 2004, so we were both very happy they could carve out a few days from their summer vacation to spend with us!

We are now in Denver for the weekend to visit with The Husband's cousin. Should be fun!
The Husband & Cousin Charlene

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Left Overs

What do you do with the left overs? Do you eat them? Or, do you throw them away?

I'm a left over girl. I'm happy to have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner until they are gone.

The Husband is not much of a left over person. When he was still working, he would take them 2 or 3 times a week for lunch. Since he is now not working, we have ended up with a lot more left overs in the refrigerator.

I've decided I must be more conscious of the quantity of food I prepare. I plan to make an effort to reduce the recipes I fix to servings for two. Do you modify recipes to reduce the serving size?

How do you handle left overs? Does your spouse/family love them? Or, would they rather you throw them away?

Monday, July 19, 2010

News Flash: I Cleaned Our Pantry!

Recently, every time I've opened the doors to our kitchen pantry, I've heard a little voice that said "This needs to be cleaned out and re-organized."

I finally said to the voice, "All right, all right. I'll do it!"

I took a few pictures that I will share with you. The quality is not very good. I absolutely must begin researching a new camera! (Any suggestions from those of you who have a camera you love and that takes photos worthy of publishing on a little blog?)

Before - #1
Before - #2
Before - #3
I took every item out of the pantry and used 409 on every shelf. Some shelves were really icky. How does that happen? And why don't we clean them as soon as they start to get icky? Can we say procrastination?
I threw away any item that was past the "best by" date. I didn't think I would find very many items that needed to be tossed, but I was surprised and a bit appalled.

When we had our kitchen spiffed up, I had the contractor cut some additional shelves for a few of my cabinets, one of which was the pantry. I installed an additional shelf in the center section and begin placing the surviving items on the cleaned shelves.

After - #1
After - #2
After - #3
I'm very happy the pantry reorganization has been completed. Now, I need to do the same for the cabinets with my dishes!

Are you happy with the state of your pantry? Or, do you also hear a little voice every time you open the door?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Vintage Western Purse

Recently, I purchased a vintage western purse at a neighborhood estate sale.

The front:
The side:
The back:
The only problem with the purse was the lacing on one corner was loose and the seam on a small inside pocket had separated. I took the purse to a shoe repair shop and they fixed both spots.

Can you see where they re-laced the corner? It's not perfect, but it will do.
I purchased the purse on 1/2 price day at the estate sale. It was marked $45, so I paid $22.50. The repairs cost $10. For a total of $32.50, I now have a neat vintage western purse that has years of life still left.

I don't usually buy used purses, but I couldn't resist this one. Do you purchase used purses?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Job Specific Yard Art

I had no idea the firefighters in Woodward, OK were yard art connoisseurs! We drove by the station recently and snapped a couple of photos.

See part of the fire department sign and the truck through the window?
Now, look closely under the flagpole:
A fireman and a fireplug! How appropriate...and cute...and subtle, very, very subtle!

I've been following and playing The Yard Art Game for a few months. I wonder how many points the Mistress of the game will give me for this report?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Update on Buford

As I reported on June 26th, Buford - the mascot for Harvard Meats - was injured in an encounter with two children.

We recently stopped in to purchase some of the fine meats available there and I took the opportunity to inquire about Buford's condition.

He is currently recovering inside the facility. His horns have been re-attached.

I was not aware until this visit that Buford has also suffered from a broken tail. He was a bit embarrased to let me take this photo, but finally gave permission:
I had planned to tell all Tulsans to go visit Buford and give him a hug or a pat, but he is very skittish now and has posted a sign on himself asking that people "don't touch please." I can't say that I blame him.
Buford did seem to enjoy my conversation with him. The fact that I was interested in his recovery seemed to perk him up.

Go now and visit Buford! Cheer him up and buy some meat! You'll won't regret either!

NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with Harvard Meats and was given no compensation for these posts. We patronize the shop because they are a locally owned business and they have great meat. These posts are simply a by product of my strange sense of humor!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Parsley

My parsley is being eaten up, and not by humans! Three caterpillars are the culprits.
I have to admit, they are pretty:
But destructive:
Those stalks were full of parsley just yesterday! 

Does anyone know what kind of caterpillars these are?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A New (Old) Lamp!

I went to a garage sale a couple of weeks ago and purchased this lamp for $5. It's a great old, heavy lamp with an oversized shade.
Here is the lamp without a shade:
And here is the lamp with the new shade:
I confess, the new shade cost more than $5. But, doesn't the lamp look great?

I'm linking this post to the website Between Naps on the Porch. Have you ever been to this site? It's a fun place, filled with great ideas and beautiful pictures.

The site hosts two weekly blog parties, Metamorphosis Monday and Tablescape Thursday. This is the first time I have participated in one of the blog parties.

Please, take the time to visit Between Naps on the Porch. You won't be sorry!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'm Plotting A Dognapping!

Meet Chance, our neighbor's Border Terrier puppy. His momma, Molly, gave birth to him 4 1/2 weeks ago.
I've threatened to steal him. I confess.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Critter Report

I neglected to include critter stories in my 4th of July cabin report for family and friends who read this blog and visit the cabin.

Critters are always interested when people are at the cabin. They hope we'll be silly and leave the trash out or, oh joy, dog food! One night while we were on the porch, Dillon chased off something that was messing around with the trash cans. And, one morning it appeared as if something had tossed the empty dog's bowl around.

The Husband and I were the last people at the cabin and, on our final night, I stayed up late feeding the fire and finishing my book. It was totally quiet and I was engrossed in the story. I heard a noise, looked up and there was a big, fat racoon sitting in the flower bed and staring through the screen at me. I stared. He stared. I moved. He scampered away.

I continued reading. Thirty minutes later, I look up and he is sitting on his haunches on the path at the front door. I stare. He stares. I walk toward the door. He runs to the nearest tree. I open the door. He scampers up the tree.

Fifteen minutes later I'm on the last pages of the book and "bang, bang, bang." I take the flashlight, go around the corner of the cabin and he's tipped over the trash can. I wave the light in his eyes and he leaves.

I'm enjoying our little game.

A few minutes later, I finish the book and go to our room in the bunk house. I'm in bed for about 20 minutes and "bang, bang, bang." Again, I take the flashlight and run him off.

I'm tired of the game at this point.

Sometime during the night, The Husband gets up and when he opens the door to our room, there that fat and sassy racoon sits, peering through the screen door into the porch. The Husband steps toward the cabin door and the coon just looks at him before he ambles off into the night.

Persistent little critter, isn't he?

The next morning I get up around 5:30am and open the bunkhouse door and there is no sign of a racoon. However, I do get an overwhelming whiff of skunk! Never saw one, but the smell was very strong.

A friend who lives in the area year-round told us she had a bear at her house the night of July 2nd. She said her old Rhodesian Ridgeback went after the bear like he was still a puppy. Good for him! We were fortunate we didn't have a bear nosing around the cabin, like the nieces did last year.

Moral of the story is, put the trash and dog food in the pump house at night and if you sleep in the bunkhouse and have to get up during the night, you need to be sure to make noise and carry a flashlight to scare off the critters.

Have fun!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hello. I'm Back!

I haven't posted for a few days because I was away over the extended holiday weekend, without access to the Internet.

We took an unexpected trip to the family cabin in New Mexico. The roof of the cabin is being replaced and the workers needed some supplies for the job that had been purchased in OK. Niece Amy and her family were planning to spend the 4th at the cabin, but they had no room in their vehicle to transport the supplies. You know how it is with kids, packing for a short trip involves taking most of your household goods with you! Enter Uncle Steve and Aunt Cindy, who volunteered to transport the supplies in exchange for being able to stay at the cabin and escape from the Oklahoma heat.

As a side note, we drove through El Reno, OK and saw this sign:
We are going to find the race schedule and go back!

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know that we stopped for the night in Amarillo, TX and had dinner at The Big Texan. Here's The Husband immediately after arrival. He's happy!
No, we did not attempt to eat the "free" 72 oz steak dinner, but four challengers did while we were there. A challenger named Nelson managed to EAT THE WHOLE THING in 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Here is his victory fist pump!
The Big Texan is a fun roadside attraction. We've always enjoyed the meals there, which is why we continue to stop when we are in the area.

We arrived at the New Mexico cabin early on Friday and, after a trip into town for groceries, commenced relaxing and having a good time with Niece Amy and her family. Her boys are almost 5 (end of July) and 3 1/2. It was good for us to spend quality time with the boys on this trip. They live an hour and 1/2 from us, so we don't get to see them as frequently as we would like. Aunt Cindy learned that one way to their little hearts is via bacon! They were so cute asking for pieces the morning I cooked breakfast!

Here we are on a short hike, which the boys love to do.
Everyone did their own thing during the day and at night, after the boys were in bed, the four adults had nice dinners together. Amy enjoys cooking and is good at it, so it was a win/win for everyone.

Amy's family attended the 4th of July Fiesta parade in Las Vegas, NM on Saturday morning. On Sunday, the 4th, we were invited to shoot off fireworks with old family friends at their ranch not far from the cabin. It was fun for everyone to visit with each other and view the fireworks. The boys enjoyed yelling "fire in the hole" once the fuses were lit!

I will tell you that while the fireworks were pretty, the stars were absolutely magnificent! We were in a big, mountain pasture with no city lighting for miles and not a cloud in the sky. As the evening progressed, more and more stars popped out in the big, big sky. It was awe inspiring and made me realize how much beauty city dwellers miss every night.

Here is a photo of the roof project. Hard work!
And, last but not least, here's a photo of Hermit's Peak. We see this peak out of the kitchen window. Do you see why we like to go to the cabin?
How was your 4th of July?