Just Another Storm in Oz Land

I raced to beat this storm home after work tonight, barely making it. I had about 10 minutes to snap a few quick photos; if you click to enlarge the above photo, you can see the wall of rain close to the horizon coming our way!

About an hour and a half later, after a driving rain that dumped 1.5 inches on already saturated ground, this is what it looked like near our pond. It was overflowing all over the place, of course, but the sun came out for about 3 minutes while I was there and made the water look like glass.

Spreading the Bloggy Love

Lately I've been the recipient of several wonderful blog awards... with a new job and all my storm whining and subsequent clean-up (and we had yet another severe, house-rockin' storm last night - I am so sleep deprived right now it isn't even funny), I haven't properly thanked the givers of these awards. Matter of fact, I just discovered these awards were gifted to me in late June/early July. I am such a bad, bad bloggy friend.

First up, we have the Kreativ Blogger award from Shortmama at Family of Shorts. I think this is the 2nd time I've received this award, although the button looks a little different. In any event, I thank sweet Amanda for bestowing this award upon my blog. I don't feel like I've been very creative (or kreativ) lately - maybe if I had a few alcoholic beverages my creativity level would shoot through the roof. Hmmm, worth a try, don't ya think?

One of the rules for this award is to list 7 things that my readers may not know about me...

1. First and foremost, I'm not very good with these list thingamajiggers.

2. My dogs might tell you that I take them outside whilst in my jammies. They. Are. Liars. Then again, no one sees me out here in the country, so who's gonna prove it?!

3. The horses like me better than my hubster. Yes, I use bribery. It's simple. Treats = Love.

4. The cats like me better too. Hey, same equation works with them.

5. Yeppers, the dogs like me better too. Matter of fact, they just admitted they were lying about the whole jammie incident. They just remembered which side their bread is buttered.

6. Hubby likes me best too. Pshaw, of course I feed him too!!!

7. In my 20s, 2 of my girlfriends and I choreographed a dance and then surprised a local band by jumping on the stage to dance with them. If I remember right, the song was "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer. We did this several weeks in a row, the crowd loved it, and a friend took photos. This was a big deal for a shy girl like me. If I ever dig out my photo box in the bottom of our closet, I will post one of the photos. Ha! You know that's a lie.... that box will never find its way out of the closet....

The second rule is to forward this award to 7 more bloggers ... but you know me, I just offer it up to everyone who reads my blog. I'm lazy generous like that.

I was also gifted with the "Love My Friends" award from Smart Mouth Broad at Words of Wisdom From a Smart Mouth Broad. Isn't it purty??

The Love My Friends award is given to those bloggers who aspire, inspire, and share the most beautiful of human attributes; art, wisdom and friendship. Deliver this to eight friends who must deliver it to eight more.

What?! SMB knows how much I aspire to be like her, so why would she tag me with something I have to deliver to other people? Once again, in the spirit of my overwhelming generosity, I bequeath this lovely award to all my wonderful readers.

I am sure y'all are tired of my generosity laziness; I promise you, in the near future I will gift some of my newer readers with a wonderful award. I will go the extra mile. I PROMISE.

I have a few more bloggy friends to thank for some sweet awards. Keep your eyes peeled for a post later this week to thank those friends in the manner they so richly deserve.

Until then, I leave you with these photos of our stormy Kansas skies last night.

The first three photos are looking towards the northwest.
The last photo is eastwards.

Severe Storm DESTROYS My Cheap Facelift

Click photo to enlarge and see damage; compare to photo in prior post

Four days after I posted the lovely pics of my "cheap facelift", a severe storm all but destroyed my flowers. The morning glories (above, right) are shredded. Compare to the previous photo - they were quite full and lush, and they had just begun to flower. The petunias in all the pots are also shredded, particularly the pot to the far left.

I was so disheartened... I told hubby that it depressed me and made me feel like "why should I even put forth all this work to plant my flowers if a Kansas hailstorm is just going to ruin it all"? He just laughed and told me I would not make a good wheat farmer. I guess I get his point. I cannot begin to fathom a wheat farmer's depression when a storm wipes out his crop for the season -- guess it would give him a good reason to drink. LOL

I've trimmed up the flowers as best I can, so I'll just wait and see if they bounce back over the coming weeks. I hope so!

In other news, I started a new job July 8th - so if you've noticed I've been absent this past week, that's the reason why. I only had the benefit of 5 days training, then I was let loose on my own. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it might be - actually, I rather enjoy it. I'm secretary in the Rehab department of a local community hospital. The hardest part has been learning the ins and outs of insurance pre-certifications and referrals for HMOs, but my common sense and logic has now taken over any of the minimal training I received, so I'm doing pretty good. I'm enjoying my interactions with the patients and the physical therapists alike.

At this point in time, the job is only temporary for 8 weeks; the lady I've replaced had foot surgery this past Wednesday. There is, however, reason for me to believe it could possibly become a permanent position for me. I have my fingers crossed and I am hoping!

Last night, in celebration of my first full work week, I bought a 6-pack of beer and enjoyed a cold brewski after vacuuming part of the house. (I vacuum frequently with 2 long-haired girls in the house!) What I didn't realize is that one beer would hit me right between the eyes and I'd be snoozing before 8:00!!! Am I a lightweight or what?! I think a large reason was that I lost sleep the prior 2 nights - one night due to the storm (power was out all night) and the second night I just didn't sleep well for some odd reason. And whether it was obvious to me or not, I'm sure I experienced some amount of stress with my first full week at the new job, so that probably served to make me tired too.

Now I am well rested today. And ready to tackle some storm damage clean-up! I've already started a few piles of branches....

Cheap Facelift in a Difficult Economy

Flowers - hey, it's what country folk do to old, dilapidated
farm buildings and antique cream separators.

I'll take another pic in a few weeks when the
morning glories
start to bloom!

Isn't my steer pot the coolest?! Hubby got it for me. :)

Lazy Sunday

Yesterday our weather was most accommodating in providing a lazy day. We had overcast skies, in fact they were stormy looking skies, but there were no storms in our forecast. The temps were in the low 80s and there was a lovely breeze. The bugs seemed to be almost non-existent.

So we took a walk around the pond - it was a very pleasant walk since hubby had just mowed all around the perimeter on Thursday. On our way back to his shop, he suggested we grab a few chairs and some fishing rods. I volunteered to go to the house for some beers, and we were all set to do some serious relaxin'.

To-do list for pond:
1. get some moss-algae eating carp
2. build a dock
3. get small rowboat

Hubby caught half a dozen or so assorted bass and bluegill

We topped off our lazy afternoon by grilling some burgers and dogs, and having a margarita or two while we watched the horses in the pasture. All in all, one of those exceptionally nice days!

The Adventures of Instant Gramma

Instant gramma. Yep, that would be ME. You see, when I married my hubby, I became a brand new gramma seemingly overnight since his oldest daughter has 2 kids - Falynn and Cash.

Sweet Falynn is 5 years old and ornery lil Cash is 3 years old. They are both cute as cute can be -- I wish I would have snapped a few photos while they were all here last night. But alas, I did not think of it. Bad gramma!!

They stopped here to spend the night, enroute from Texas to home in Wyoming. Poor Cash has an ear infection, so he wasn't feeling very bright and cheerful. He and Falynn did have fun last night, playing with the dogs and catching fireflies outside. The weather cooperated as evening came, and it was very pleasant to sit in the back yard while hubby grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

At some point in the middle of the night, a bright light in the kitchen awoke me -- I sat up and peered through our bedroom door to see Cash standing with the refrigerator door open, staring into the vast cave of coldness, looking for something that we probably didn't have. As I got out of bed to help him, I saw him pick up the pitcher of grape Kool-Aid .... I ran to take it from him. The vision of grape Kool-Aid all over the kitchen floor and walls and refrigerator made my groggy body wake up FAST.

Poor Cash was crying - I could tell his ear hurt. He wanted a drink. Ok, I can handle this. I raised a child, right? Being an instant gramma should be like riding a bike -- it all comes back to you.

As I began to pour him some Kool-Aid, he turned and walked out of the kitchen, back to their bedroom. Um. Ok. Now what? Was he sleepwalking??! I decided to wait a few minutes to see if he would return. After about 3 minutes, no Cash. I didn't hear a sound from their side of the house.

So I returned to bed.

A few minutes later, I hear him. He's back in the kitchen. Only this time, he's crying even louder. I jumped up again to see what I could do ...

Cash: Where's my drink?

me: I thought you didn't want it.

Cash: Where's myyyy drinkkkk?!! (you know the way a 3 yr old can drag out every letter in a word)

me: Here, I'll get your drink. You left the kitchen - where did you go? I thought you didn't want your drink.

Cash: I had to go to the bathroom.

me: Ok, but you didn't TELL me. I didn't know you went to the bathroom. I thought you went back to bed.

Cash: Where'ssss myyyyy drinkkkk?!

At that point, I quickly poured his grape Kool-Aid before had a total meltdown. Mom showed up to put some eardrops in his ear. He took a small sip of the grape Kool-Aid and then marched back off to bed.

It's been so long since my son was 3 that I must have forgotten the proper way to understand and communicate with a 3 year old. Maybe I was closer to the mentality of a 3 year old when I was in my 20s. And now that I'm in my late 40s, I'm assuming I'm just that much further out of touch with the workings of a 3 year old's mind.

Maybe it's not so much "instant gramma" as "doesn't-have-a-clue gramma"? I'll get it all figured out.... hopefully before he's 15.

Oz Girl's Spankin' New Blog Design!

My new blog design is finally complete, with fun new sidebar images, my own Oz Girl signature, a blog button that you can add to your blog roll, and my very own smiling cowgirl avatar!

Big *applause* to Hannah of Sherbet Blossom Designs for a job well done! If you've been dreaming of a new blog design, take a hike over to her website and check out her portfolio of designs. This girl does some awesome work. And she's got very reasonable rates too. Be prepared to wait awhile for your design. After all, good work is always in demand. AND Hannah just found out she is having kiddie #3, so you can just imagine she hasn't been feeling peachy keen lately. Do stop by her blog and offer your condolences congratulations!

Now I just need to get my blog roll updated. Then I'll be ready to "follow the yellow brick road" to even more future bloggy fun!