Oz Girl Update and an Owl in the Barn!

The job search is going rather well. I've applied to two county jobs; both seem promising, and one in the DA's office in Wichita sounds really interesting. I realize that quite possibly hundreds of people are applying for these positions, but I'm hoping my qualifications will put me on the interview list. Let me tell you, searching for jobs online everyday takes oodles of time, as does creating new cover letters and tweaking the ole resume every time I apply to a new job. I'm winded and I haven't even gotten up out of my computer chair! :-)

Hubby made it home from Seattle on Friday. The grass was clamoring for attention; he replaced the belt on his riding mower, and hopped to it. The yard looks lovely now!

Saturday afternoon and evening were full of thunderstorms with heavy rain and high winds. The weather radio woke us up all Saturday night, sometimes 10 minutes apart, with new thunderstorm/tornado/flash flood warnings. Often we would get up and look out the windows, just to make sure there were no serious threats, before we would very tiredly crawl back in bed. It was a long night with little sleep.

Today we travelled to Wichita - Tom to fill out paperwork at Spirit for his broken crown (long story there) and me to shop for some new dress shoes for job interviews. I found a great lil pair of BCBgirls black button pumps at Dillards, normally $89 marked down to $58.80 AND in my size... 5-1/2!! Let me tell you, it is very hard to find big-girl shoes when your feet are still little-girl size!

And finally, our big excitement for the day... a barn owl in our shop/barn, entangled with fly tape. We caught him without much incident and got almost all the fly tape off, and he flew to freedom just a little while ago.

The fly paper wrapped from his front side to the
underside of his left wing and tail feathers.

I think this was one very happy owl when he flew away! :-)

Where Did Oz Girl Disappear To??

I've meant to put up a new post all this week... I apologize I just haven't had the time. Life is getting in the way of my blog, imagine that!!

Hubby gets home from Seattle on Friday; he's been gone all month. So needless to say, there are lots of last minute things I am trying to get done around the house. First and foremost, I'm trying to finish the remaining kitchen cabinets. I have half of the upper ones disassembled, priming and repainting. I want to finish them and get the cabinet doors back onto the framework before hubby gets home! I need to color my hair, there's some serious root growth going on - ugh. And there's a myriad of other things that need done.

Also, my job search has become a hot priority, and with this economy, it's no easy task. I've applied to several Sedgwick County (Wichita) positions and had to head into Wichita for testing this morning. I am crossing my fingers and hoping, hoping, hoping.... I am running out of my savings and I'm starting to lose sleep over what could happen. Chrysler Financial doesn't take kindly to missed payments, and I've never missed a payment on ANYTHING in my entire life. I really don't want to start now!!!

I hope that life will settle down just a tad by next week, and I can get back into some semblance of my routine, and visit everyone else's blog to see what is going on in your lives!

My Blog Design

Yep, I'm one of THOSE. Can't stop fiddling with my blog design. So does that mean I'm indecisive, or does it mean I relish change? Is it a negative or a positive?

Heck if I know, but I will say that I'm having a blog designer create a fresh, unique design for me. I'm on the waiting list, so it will be a month or so before my fresh, new and fun design is up for everyone to see.

So until then, I may just keep fiddling with the design, you know, just because I LIKE CHANGE!

Aunt Dee Dee's Final Day in Venice

My sister's recent email to family, regaling us with their last day in Venice:

Hi all,
it's 2:41 am PST. It's nearing lunch in Venice. Obviously, I'm wide awake, and suffering from this thing they call jet lag. We ended our Venetian stay on Friday with a dreamy final afternoon, during which we meandered around from famous bar/restaurant to another (sometimes with aperitifs, sometimes with acqua pura), soaking up each magical second as it ticked away towards the inevitable return to reality. I enjoyed a glass of port in Harry's Bar, a surprisingly small, bright, and evocative bar previously frequented by Hemingway and Bogart (separately, they weren't a couple of course). I thought it would be more of a tourist's cliche, but it actually seemed bright and relevant (and pricey, like all of Venice).

Then we strolled along the lagoon waterfront until we were back at San Marco Square, where we parked ourselves on a velvet cushioned marble bench against a column, with a small little antique table serving as a repository for an elegant silver tray of water, drinks, and the typical little bowl of chips (or olives) that comes with a table drink order in Venetian bars. The orchestra was playing a medley of music from The Sound of Music when we arrived, which happens to be the only musical I like. We lazed in the sun, enjoyed the music, people-watched, and ended up buying two little tumbler style glasses with The Florian's logo/crest etched on the side. The Caffe Florian has been open since before the United States was even an idea: it opened in December of 1720. How cool is that!

Finally, I gave in to the ultimate tourist activity and we went on a gondola ride. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

After not sleeping a wink (just me, Doug was snoring softly), we got up at 2 a.m. in order to shower and make our 3 a.m. vaporetto connection to the airport. From
Venice, we connected back to Amsterdam, where there was an unbelievable and anxiety-inducing mob-scene to try to get through the passport control to our gate. There had to be several thousand travelers in a big clot. Finally (DUH) they opened several more windows and we made it through in time to get to our gate and once again go through the security x-ray process. At this gate, every female passenger received a thorough pat-down. After this limb by limb examination, I felt like I'd lost the last of my innocence. Fortunately, I was too tired to care much about it.

From Amsterdam, it was a ten-hour haul to Seattle. I watched The Secret Life of Bees and Yes Man. I dozed a bit, but you know how airplane sleeping is. We amused ourselves by watching the three litle kids in the aisle to our right. As they boarded the plane, one of the boys (who seemed to be of sufficient age where such behavior would be shameful) was sobbing inconsolably about some lost item back at the gate. His parents encouraged him to get off the plane to go look for it, but they also told him he'd have to stay at the airport alone if he did that. We thought that was funny.

In Seattle, and we had to go through more customs/security/passport verification/x-ray/baggage navigation, etc. until we were finally at the gate. You'd think a two-hour layover would be ample time, but it's amazing how you can start wondering if you have enough time to make it once faced with all the screening processes. But as Doug said, it's nice to be back on familiar ground, where you can understand the language, know all the rules/customs/culture, so to speak (should we ....? is it considered rude to .....? how do you say....? are we supposed to be in line for this? etc.)

The same family boarded our connecting flight to
San Francisco, only now it was the other boy who was crying. Must be a family tradition; but seriously...WHAT BIG BABIES they were! They must spend the majority of their school hours either stuffed in lockers or picking out turbo-wedgies. (Note by Oz Girl: I'm laughing out loud here... I think she should start her own blog... give me your opinion!)

We arrived home and it was a refreshing sight to see our stinky little dingo's furry face and wildly exuberant tail
(see photo below). I was coming up on 24 hours of consciousness, with 20 of those hours in transit, but I couldn't stand the thought of leaving our luggage untouched and waiting for me (what's second to packing, as far as things I hate to do? UNPACK!!), so I dredged up the wispy remnants of my energy and unpacked before falling into the shower (20-hours travelling sure can leave a person gamy) and pouring myself into bed. Doug and Bleu were next in the shower, and by 8 pm our entire reunited pack was shower-fresh and snoring softly. I loved Venice, and we really did have a happy and VERY memorable week there. I wish somebody would invent a device to capture the subtle (and some not-so-subtle!) smells and atmosphere, and well, FEEL of a place, but as it is, all I have are about 300 photos. My next project will be to create an online album to share with you guys (not all 300 pictures, no worries!)

WHAT?! Only 300 photos for the entire trip? I'd say she's a rank amateur!! LOL

Heck, I took 385 photos last night during a storm just trying to catch some lightning. I didn't catch any "jagged" lightning hits, but I did manage some photos of flash lightning, where it just lights up the whole landscape, or part of it. Click here to see.

My sister's furry dingo, aka Bleu
Check out those ears... alas, he's deaf, but what a sweetheart!

Oh, to be In Beautiful Venice!

My sister and her husband are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary in Venice this week. Doesn't that sound like the most wonderful way to celebrate an anniversary?! Here is her email to family yesterday:

Hello all! So! I just captured three pairs of shoes at a very reasonable price by Venetian standards, where shoes are crazy expensive. Well, everything is expensive, you just have to get used to it, and enjoy the experience. Actually, all the shoes were in the 50-100 euro range, so it wasn't bad. And other than my glass ring, it's the only thing I've bought for myself. Italian women are very skinny, and I feel like a moose and won't even consider trying on any of the styles in the windows. I even skipped gelato yesterday. Plus, they're just not my style, a little too la-ti-dah.

Yesterday we did a day trip to Padua and Vicenza. Doug rented us a little Fiat, and we set out with a rather limited map from the rental agency. Fortunately, driving is on the RIGHT side of the street here. But by the end of the day, I still was completely FRAZZLED with the hard-to-read street signs, all jumbled up together, displayed at the point of decision making, and in a smaller font than American directional signs. So many times we were having to scan this big display of signage at the point of making the choice of direction. AGGHHH!!! We lunched in Vicenza at a spot that has had a restaurant in operation since the 1200's. Doug had the specialty, which was a type of salt-cod. I had a steak, because they didn't have chicken on the menu (wink, ha!)

Afterward, things went a bit awry as the guy ringing us up insulted Doug to the Italians behind him, not realizing Doug could understand the gist of what he was saying. That stung my tender-hearted sweetie a bit, and I worked hard to cheer him up. But then, we realized we'd misplaced the parking ticket, which meant a mandatory 26-euro fee! So we had to retrace our steps all the way back to the restaurant and there it was next to the table. I waited outside, but when Doug came out with the ticket in hand, he was cheerier, and he must have had a friendlier conversation with the guy.

But truly, yesterday in the car was the low point for me. Remember (mom and Susan) when we were in Puerto Rico and we ventured out that one day in the car? And though we enjoyed San Juan (oh, the tres-leches!), it was nice to get back to our beautiful little resort? That's how yesterday was. And plus, with the rainy weather yesterday to boot, I bottomed out yesterday evening and spent the evening in the hotel in tears feeling miserable. *sigh* only I can go to Venice and be depressed and miserable.

But after capturing the shoes this morning (after thinking about them for the past three days), and heading off to buy some final souvenirs today, I think it will be a better day. Plus, the sun is shining. Yay!

Wednesday night, Doug found a local pub owner who was broadcasting the most important Manchester United/Portugal UEFA game. His name was Oscar, and when we got there, he recognized Doug from Doug's earlier reconnaissance discovery of the place, and in all seriousness said to him at the door as we tried to walk in, "sorry, we closed." Tee hee, I loved his humor! We had a table right in the front of the big-screen tv, and had fun watching the game with Portuguese fans. When we went to leave, Oscar insisted we stay while he made us a special dessert, which was basically flambe'd strawberries with a scoop of vanilla gelato, and oddly, peppercorns. I assumed they were little bits of chocolate and the first one I bit into had my eyes watering and my uvula screaming. But it was good, and we were so grateful for his warmth. We all hugged goodbye and I gave him the double cheek kiss.

Wednesday afternoon we/I spent in San Marco square at the oldest music cafe there, sorry, name escapes me WAIT, the Florian (I bought two little glasses from there with their name/logo etched into the glass). I stayed for three (four?) hours (to maximize my 6-euro music fee charge) and enjoyed the afternoon sun, the people watching, and the beautiful music. Doug left to go make a phone call and do a few quick things, and several hours later he finally returned, having made a wrong turn from the hotel back to San Marco Square (a very simple 5-minute walk that we've made at least a dozen times now!) Oh my, bless his heart, I think we've finally, tacitly, settled the question of who is the better instinctive navigator. Left on his own, he's gotten completely turned around at least twice now, and comes back all sweaty and panting from having run all over Venice trying to get back to the hotel. *giggles* that's my little Norwegian.

Well, I'm down to 3:45 on my computer here, so this is my final missive from beautiful incredible Venice. Pictures to come soon.


Jazz Up Your Ordinary Grilled Cheese Sandwich... With Garlic!

A few weeks ago I was browsing the internet for an innovative grilled cheese sandwich recipe. I never really found that ONE unique grilled cheese recipe, but I did find some bits and pieces that I hodge-podged together for a grilled cheese sandwich that was sooooooooooooo good (yes, THAT good), I couldn't wait to make another the next day. Give this recipe a try, and tell me if you don't agree, it's THAT good.

Oh, and .... you really must like garlic. :-) Hey, garlic's GOOD for you!

Garlic Grilled Cheese Sandwich
First, mince a few cloves of garlic and mix with 2-3 tablespoons of softened butter. How many cloves you use depends on how much you like garlic. I lovvvvve garlic, so I think I used 3 cloves to 2 tablespoons of butter.

Next, spread your garlicky butter over two slices of sourdough bread. You can use any kind of bread you like, but I think the sourdough imparts a special taste all its own.

Sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese over the garlic butter, on each slice of bread.

You can use whatever kind of sliced cheese you want in the sandwich, but here's what I used:

a half-slice each of Colby-Jack, Mozzarella, Sharp Cheddar and Baby Swiss.

There's multitudes of other cheeses you could use, e.g. provolone, pepper jack. I plan on sampling different cheese combos in the future.

Grill over medium heat using a cast iron pan, approx. 5-10 minutes first side, and only 5 minutes the second side, as your pan will have heated up thoroughly by the time you turn the sandwich.

On a side note, I love my cast iron cookware and don't know how I'd cook without them. They disperse heat evenly, and once they are heated through, your food cooks in the most lovely manner.

Just a precaution: sometimes the parmesan cheese crumbs will pop as they heat up. Nothing too serious, but just in case it startles you...

Oh, remember what I said earlier about the need to love garlic? Your house is going to smell like garlic, which I consider such a good smell, but some of you may think not so good.

If you make up the garlic butter ahead of time, this sandwich makes a quick great lunch on the weekends. Now that the weather is warming up, and we're all busy with outside work around the house, this sandwich will satisfy that worker bee hunger and keep you going the rest of the day!

If you try it, let me know what you think, good or bad. :-)


P.S. This sandwich may resemble something served by Mimi's Cafe (CA restaurant). I personally have never been to Mimi's, but I did see online where they may serve something similar. If you try my recipe, and you've eaten at Mimi's and had THEIR grilled cheese, let me know if this tastes similar (or not!) Either way, I absolutely loved this!

From Tiny City Lot to 27 Prairie Acres...

I've had a few people ask me how I ended up moving from Ohio to Kansas. The simple story: I met my wonderful husband and we were married a year later. He certainly wasn't moving to Ohio, sooooo I moved to Kansas.

You just know there's a bigger story behind all that, don't you?

I will attempt to summarize this story ... how a city girl with dreams of country living managed to finally find the right guy, who just happened to be living in the country, and so fulfilled two of the city girl's dreams ... the right guy, in the right country place.

Tom and I met on the big ole internet in February 2007. Yep, you got it. On the internet. We are one of those online dating sensations, a real success story.

But I will tell you straight up, there are plenty of nightmares out there in the internet dating world. I'm not going to go into my personal online nightmares (yes, I met more than a few world-class a-holes), but I will say that I had almost given up trying to meet a nice guy via online dating sites.


Isn't it a good thing I listened to my mother, and checked out an online dating site that catered to the horsey loving folk.

Mom likes to watch Oprah from time to time, and she just happened to watch a segment that was showcasing women entrepreneurs. One of these women had started this dating site for people who loved horses, EquestrianSingles, and since we had a horse when I was a teen, and mom knew I still loved horses and longed to live in the country, she thought maybe, just maybe, it might be worth my time to check this website out.

I didn't even look at the website for a few weeks after mom told me; then finally, one boring snowy Saturday, I looked at some of the profiles that were posted, men and women alike. Researched it, assessed it.

The people on this website (for the most part) appeared more real, more genuine, more down-to-earth. I decided to give it a try. What the heck? It was pretty cheap, so what could it hurt?

For the first two weeks, I received emails from a few interested chaps, but nothing really clicked. Then, an email from Tom on February 11. So, you're wondering... what was his line to me?

Good morning,
I liked your profile and pics. Why does Ohio have to be so far away?
Tom :)

We emailed back and forth for two weeks. It was obvious we were getting along famously, at least via email. So the next test would be a phone conversation.

After two weeks, I decided it was "safe" to give him my phone number. He called me on Sunday morning, while he was driving to a team roping event. We chatted on and on and on and on... until he was at his destination. Then he called me later when he was on his way home. It was obvious that we had nooooo problem talking on the phone. Actually, we seemed to have difficulty shutting our traps and hanging up!

And so it went, for about 6 weeks. Constant emails and phone calls.

Then, finally, at the end of March, he flew to Ohio to meet me. We were both slightly nervous, excited yes, but nervous all the same. Little did we know we had nothing to fear. We hit it off famously when we met face to face and we had the funnest, most wonderful weekend.

From that point on, one of us would fly to spend a few days together; we tried to meet every 4-6 weeks. Needless to say, it started to get expensive, and getting the time off work became difficult as we used up vacation days!

It didn't take us long to realize we really worked well together, we loved each other, and we needed to be together every day, not just once a month or so.

And so in early 2008, I put my lil house in Ohio up for sale .... I flew to Kansas mid-March to marry my sweetie...... and I finally sold my house in late June! We moved my furniture to Kansas on July 4/5, 2008 and I officially became .... Oz Girl!

I'm the luckiest gal in the world. 

I was able to leave a job that was literally sucking my soul from me; it was the most draining, negative and corrosive environment that I've ever known.

Not only was I able to leave that horrible job and stress behind, but I was now able to live in the most beautiful, calm, relaxing and quiet prairie land smack-dab in the middle of the United States. Where, instead of hearing the traffic sounds, I hear nature sounds. Everyday.

The chirp of so many different birds, the chorus of the frogs, the call of the pheasant, the yip of the coyote... our dogs barking and cats meowing, and the horses whinnying.

The whisper of the wind through the trees and the rustle of the prairie grass.

The hum of the tractors as they plow their wheatfields... ok, so that's not nature's sound, but it's still a pleasing sound.

Along with nature's rhapsody, night time brings a visual feast... the bright fireglow of wheat field and pasture burnings, and the clear constellations of stars and a full moon that mesmerizes, without the distraction of glaring city lights.

We both realize that we are living the dream ....  an authentic county life on 27 acres in the middle of vast prairie land.

No neighbors peeking in our windows.

No solicitors knocking on our doors.

We don't hear the sound of cars revving their engines
late at night, or early in the morning. 

And we don't take any of this for granted.

We are thankful every single day for this
little slice of paradise that we call home.

I hope to grow and learn and create a more authentic country version of myself as my time here grows into years.  Plant a small vegetable garden and flowers around our house... learn to ride again; it's been over 30 years since I've ridden horses on a daily basis... have a small flock of chickens and guineas.

But sometimes I hedge against getting more animals, as it translates into more responsibility!

I'll keep everyone "in the news" as we do our country thang.

And if you have a dream to live in the country, then make it happen! Forget all the reasons you "can't"....

If you dream it, then dare to do it!

Featured Blogger ~ Cindy Beck, the Funny Bone Tickler

Every now and then, I'm going to feature a blogger I've found who deserves more attention than they're getting. I lean toward humorous blogs, because, well, we all need a laugh everyday. Life is serious enough. Funny blogs are the perfect relief.

Cindy Beck's blog, Write Up My Alley, is that humorous relief you're looking for every week. She's got a great sense of humor, and she's even been published in several of "The Cup of Comfort" series, along with her newest short story in "My Dad is My Hero". You'll see links to all her published short stories on her blog, in case you want to purchase one of these books.

So, grab your cup of joe, and head on over to Cindy's blog for a quick funny bone tickle. Here's my favorite short funny stories:

The Dog, the Cat, and the Three-Year-Old
'Nuf said. I think you have an idea where this story is going...

Adopt a Hamster
Cindy summarizes the holidays on a monthly basis, but with her signature humorous twist. Of course, some of these "special" days are funny in their own right...

Please Press One...

THIS has happened to all of us!

Let Cindy know how funny you found her story(ies) by showering her with your comments and becoming a follower of her blog ... let's show her some bloggy love!! :-)

ANOTHER Award?! For ME?!

Oh my, I'm blushing... Martha from Menagerie has bestowed upon me the Kreativ Blogger award. I'm soooo flattered but I admit I don't have an acceptance speech prepared, well, because I didn't realize I had even been nominated! How exciting.... two awards within weeks of each other. I'm just so special, aren't I? giggle. giggle. snort. snort.

So without further ado, here are 7 things I love that most people don't know about, before I can finalize acceptance of my very special award....

1. I love low-fat Pringles. At 2:30 a.m. With milk.

2. I'm fastidious, absolutely OCD, about my kitchen sink not being spotty. To hell with the rest of the house and all the dog hair floating around.

3. I persist in using an old fashioned screwdriver instead of a drill. I'm weird old-fashioned that way and my husband thinks I'm nuts.

4. The dogs, the cats and the horses love me best. Wouldn't have anything to do with the treats I give them, do ya think?

5. I wish I had a 400mm telephoto lens for my Nikon D60. I really, really do. Gotta put it out there, ya know, just in case someone wants to gift me with one.

6. I've discovered recently that I love my sweat pants. I even bought a "good" pair of sweat pants, so if I need to run into town and I don't want to change into my jeans, I have a pair without paint or stains. Yup. My good sweats. Is that an oxymoron???

7. I wish I had a 400mm telephoto lens for my Nikon D60. Oops, did I say that already?!

Ok, now you know the REAL me. Aren't you just so glad that you know me better?

One more thing... I'm supposed to pass this award to 7 more bloggers that are exceptionally kreativ. Now I know that some of you aren't into these awards, or perhaps you already have this award, so if I've declared that you are a Kreativ Blogger, just smile and accept your award graciously; since you're so modest, I wouldn't expect you to post this award on your blog!

Write Up My Alley... by Cindy Beck
Goats in the Garden
One Crafty Mama
Life with Dogs
Bluff Area Daily
Janie & Steve's Utah Trails
The Journeys of Cactus Jack Splash

These are all great blogs, and there are even more that deserve this award, trust me! So even if these recipients prefer not to post their award on their blog, I'm advising my readers to gander over to these blogs and check them out. You just never know, one of these could be the next-great-blog that you want to follow!

Oh, and thanks for the congrats in advance. giggle. giggle. snort.

I'm Baaaacccckkkk!

I've returned to bloggy-land after my self-imposed exile of the last week. Mom just left this morning to head to Ohio. She's anxious to get home now.

While she was here, we accomplished much. I'm thinking I shouldn't say just WHAT we accomplished, as I'd like it to be a surprise for hubby when he returns from Seattle at the end of the month. Although it won't be quite the same surprise he had for me when I returned from Arizona a few weeks ago, you know, um, that big fire ...

No, my surprises are actually quite pleasant, and probably not as photo-worthy as his fire. And since I didn't take any photos at all this week while she was here, that means I have no BEFORE photos, before we worked our magic transformations ...

I will say that we were busy, busy, busy, and we fell into bed at the end of each day, our muscles sore and achy, but in a good way. You know how that feels, when you've accomplished much. Even though your body may be screaming at you, it's a wonderful feeling when you've crossed multiple projects off "the list".

I will say that we washed and hand-waxed his extremely muddy truck on Tuesday. What an enormous undertaking that was. I think about 1/4 of the way through the waxing, we wished with all our little hearts that we were DONE. Talk about sore arms and shoulders!! And would you know, some silly lil birds had the audacity to POOP on this mega-clean truck? Now I will have to wipe the bird do0-doo off before I pick him up from the airport, else he will never believe that we spent HOURS on shining his truck!

I know, I know.... it's a RANCH truck, and it will get dirty again ... so very, very dirty. But doesn't it look oh so nice now??!

Bloggyville on My Mind...

Just a quick post to let y'all know I haven't drifted away from blogging!

Mom arrived on Sunday, on her way back to Ohio from Arizona. She was only planning to spend one night and hit the road early Monday morning. But the weather up Illinois/Indiana way wasn't very promising, and she decided to stay an extra night and leave Tuesday morning.

Now she has decided to stay through Saturday, which is great! We're working on a few house projects, e.g., painting and such. Methinks she is already a bit antsy this morning as I blog just a little bit...

So if I'm a little remiss in my blogging, please excuse me. I'll be back later this weekend, I promise! And a thank you to some of my newest followers. I'll be visiting your blogs soon, and I can't wait to read all about the days and weeks of your lives. :-)

My Town Shoot Out: Animals in My Backyard

It is "My Town" shoot out day, where both professional and amateur photographers show off the best of their towns. The theme this week is animals that live in your part of town. If you are new to this concept, and want to join us next week, check out Patty's or Reggie Girl's blogs for more information.

Here is some wildlife that is native to our area of Kansas; there are many more that my camera has not captured yet. We have many raptors in our area: American Kestrel, Common Nighthawk, and the Red-tailed Hawk, just to name a few. Someday, oh someday, I hope to grab some great photos of these awesome raptors!

Eastern Meadowlark

Barn Swallows

Pheasant (click to enlarge)

Ducks on our pond

Ducks in flight

Wild Turkey

Other birds native to our area: Eastern Bluebird, Great Blue Heron, Greater Prairie Chicken, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Bobwhite, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and Upland Sandpiper

White-tailed Deer (click to enlarge)

Coyote (click to enlarge)


Other indigenous mammals: Pronghorn, Bobcat, Raccoon, Opossum, Armadillo, Badger

Ornate Box Turtle

Cottonwood Borer


Cattle in neighboring pasture


Baybee, our fearless indoor cat

Barack, and his mom Fluff, our barn cats

Trixie Lou, our couch cuddlebug

Tori Mae, champion frisbee catcher

The boyz, lovely pasture decorations...ok, they are rode occasionally!

Ringo the rat catcher

And the House Turned Into a Giant Hairball!

When one has two furry girls running around the house...

you absolutely MUST have one of these, and use it often!

And so, after 4 days of no electric power, it's fairly obvious that the first thing I did was vacuum, vacuum and vacuum some more!

When I lived in an Ohio town, the most we might be without electric was a few hours? And so now I've had my first experience with electricity from the rural co-op. When the electric goes out, it can be DAYS until you have power again. Whew, what a rude awakening for this city gal! Thank goodness the hubby had a small generator to keep our food cold, and allow this blog junkie some time on her computer.

The electric was restored late Tuesday, time enough for me to do a few loads of laundry. Yesterday was spent cleaning this hairy house, I kid you not. I had to change the vacuum bag there was so much dog fur. Blech! What was this hair-phobic gal thinking when she got two long-haired dogs??!!

Here's a photo of my buddy before I got the hairy gals; you'll note he was a short-haired dalmatian. I do believe I'll return to a short-haired model in the future...