Wednesday, June 30, 2010

She has a story to tell

When we worked in Kansas City, each morning we'd get up at the butt crack of dawn, which for the record, for me is around 5:15 a.m., get ourselves around and head out the door around 6:15 so we'd be to work before 8.

It was a long ride. We needed entertained.

Entertainment came in the form of a radio host called "Johnny Dare". Some of you locals probably have heard of him. He's described as a shock jock, but really, he's just more like a teenage boy in a 41 year old's body.

Anyway, he goes on vacation and comes back to tell an interesting story. He had taken his dog Barger and himself, along with his Jeep and drove west. He is in Utah if I remember correctly and photographing rock formations when he stumbles upon a rattle snake. He uses his tripod and a rock wall to "jump" over the snake, dog in arms.

But for me, that wasn't the interesting part of the story. The most interesting part, was how he told that they just drove and took photos.

I instantly started thinking about what an adventure that could be. Setting out due west with no real "plan". Taking photos of what life presents you along the way. That has stuck with me for several years.

So when we went to S. Dakota, one of the things that really fascinated me were the animals. As you know, I love me some chickens, and I have this unusual cow fetish. Apparently other people have noticed this. But what I don't see enough of, is the wild.





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It all started innocent enough.



We were driving into Devils Monument, and I spotted a deer. I wanted to take a few pics so we stopped where we weren't supposed to. I got out and slowly started walking, thinking that they would bolt any second. But that didn't happen. I creeped closer and closer, shooting off a photo ever 15 seconds.



Adrenaline.


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I had gotten closer to a wild deer, and gotten the best photos of one I ever have in my life.






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I just wanted to sit down in the grass and watch her and the sun sparkle off of her whiskers.


But alas, we were in trouble. We had stopped in a no stopping area. Oops. Otherwise, they were pretty ok with me being out in the park, harassing the "locals"





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We saw the prairie dogs, and again, I got out, getting closer and closer. They make hilarious warning noises. What you can't see is when they throw their arms in the air and scream *eeeeeEEEE!*




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I kept wondering if my face was going to get ate off, but I lucked out.



The next day, we went to Custer State Park. It's well known for it's herds of buffalo.



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Now, to be honest, the buffalo is one of the few animals I'm really really scared of. It's a funny story of when my ex and I were at a drive through animal park in Branson. As we crossed a tiny "bridge", a buffalo was a foot from my side of the door. We crept by him, but apparently it ticked him off so he head butted our car! I screamed! I peed my pants a little and wanted my mommy. (ok not that last part)

It left only a small dent, but I did get a chuckle out of telling people the dent was put there by a buffalo.

Since then, I've been a little paranoid.

Forgive me.

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Even that didn't stop me. I wanted to get some real Americana, up close shots.



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I didn't even die in the process!



Throughout the park we saw other critters:



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Pronghorn antelope







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Wild turkey (what you don't see is the wild deer that was messing with the turkey!)

We missed the burros and I'm sure many other critters.

Later, we saw some wild bunnies:



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I want to kiss his face.




But I'm kind glad I missed this:

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Whew. I'm pretty cool with that.


Where am I going with this?

Well a couple weeks ago, I talked about a sign, and how I felt like I'd been given a sign. That sign was this trip. No, it wasn't a rattlesnake sign (thank God), it was a sign that I should be doing something else.

Don't get your panties in a twist. I'm not giving up blogging, or photography, or even weddings. I like shooting people, but I realized that I LOVE shooting animals and nature and the great outside! While I was there, I really wanted to just sit for hours and watch and photograph, but I couldn't because I had an impatient glass man with me, and well, I don't really blame them. Watching me photograph a deer for 3 hours probably would get boring no?

My mind wandered back to the story of Johnny, taking his camera and his adventure across the country. The plans started to form in my head and before I got home, I was talking about a second trip.

Alone.

Me, a long lens, my jeep, (probably a pistol), and an adventure.

I just feel like something is missing, like I have a story I need to tell. Like a sabbatical of some sort.

The tentative plans are already in the works. Well, the plans in my head anyway. Nothing is concrete but I'm feeling like next summer I'll be traveling west again looking for a story. I don't know what that story is, and I don't know how it will be told. Will it be just some blogging? Will it be a private book? or will it be something bigger?

I don't know the answers to any of those questions yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to know.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You're daily dose of da cutes

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Did you just call me a chicken Sh-t?

Warning:
Entirely too much talk about chicken poop in this posting.


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{Don't mind me, just layin' an egg}

A few days ago, I was out talking to the chickens and I noticed something unusual. There was some chicken poo that wasn't chicken poo.. it was just blood. It was right under a chicken, and I made an assumption. I tried to catch said chicken so I could get a look at it's rear (insert ewww here), but I couldn't catch her.

I'd also had one of the older chickens with really runny poo, then I saw one of them vomit.

Someone is sick.

I did a little research and the best I came up with was coccidiosis, which is basically a parasitic disease that is not uncommon in chickens, often in chicks, and comes from a parasite in the dirt or droppings.

I decided to call the vet, after being warned that we were not spending a fortune on saving a chicken's life. hmmftp. I spent $13 (har) and have medicine that would last 40 chickens for a week.

Anyway, in return we can't eat any of the eggs for 2 weeks. Since we have only 2 laying hens, that means around 30 eggs down the garbage disposal.
:(

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There just seemed to be something poetic about a little fluffy butt feather stuck to a perfect egg.

And then I ground it up in the disposal.



Last night we had a little field trip. I would like to free range the chickens but I don't trust the drivers, or that someone won't stop and still 1 or 12 chickens, or that they'll get into my fledgling flower bed.

Best way around that, let them out right before their bedtime.

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This is what I'm greeted with, every time I go outside. You see, I'm the biped that brings them treats. They are like Pavlov's dogs. "Blond biped bring food! Run to door!"




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{yes there is lots of chicken poop out there. It's what they do!}


I open the door and they stand there for a moment, probably wondering if it's some sort of trap.


Then someone says:

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"Oh look, a bug!" and off they go.

**No flowers were injured in the creation of this post.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tips and Tricks - 3 new ones!

I haven't shared any tips and tricks with you for a while, but I have 3 great ones, one of which I discovered today.

  1. Ladies, instead of using shaving cream to shave your legs, use some old hair conditioner that you don't like, or have left over, maybe some hotel conditioner. I did this the other day with some that I tried out but didn't like. Not only did it shave closer but my legs were conditioned and smelled great too!


  2. Tonight when we were out watching the chickens free range for the first time (yes we are sad lonley people) the bugs were eating us up! I came inside and did a quick home remedy google and found out that most bugs hate the smell of vanilla extract. A little on your wrists and behind the ears (and I put a little on my knees too) will do the trick! It actually worked really well, wasn't sticky, and didn't smell like chemicals. I think I will keep my small bottle in my purse for the summer!


  3. This is for the girlies with big bewbies like myself. Sorry A cups, sometimes you're not the cool kid. Anyway, I hate the summer because I sweat under the boobage area and it makes my bra wet and chafes me. Well, a few years ago, I tried tapping just a little deoderant under them and it fixed it! I stay dry all day. Whatever works on your armpits should work under the boobs. Sorry if that's TMI for some of you :p

Share any awesome tips you have!

My life by bullet points

Keysa and Andy

  • I had a wedding on Saturday, Congrats to Matt and Elizabeth!
  • I had an engagement on Sunday. I don't know how I let them talk me into it, as I normally don't do that. Keysa must have caught me on a good day. LOL. This is one of their pics. I'll have more soon, but I'm betting those 2 weddings ahead of them are anxious.
  • We set up the swimming pool. Correction, Tanner set up the swimming pool, almost completely by himself. Go Tanner! He did a great job too. I don't think it's quite warm enough yet, but I'm itching to get in there!
  • Today is Monday, so that's cleaning day. Monday is always cleaning day - and you know what, I still like Mondays! I got so much accomplished today .... laundry, all the dishes, cleaning the counters, new hummingbird feeder food, got the oil changed, ran errands, but the biggest accomplishment today was cleaning out from under the bathroom and kitchen sinks. I "built" a shelf out of wire cubes and then sorted all my bathroom stuff in clear plastic shoeboxes. all while listening/watching antiques road show. I took out a garbage bag full of just .. JUNK. I just wanna open my cabinets and feel the zen radiate over my body.
  • This week with Flylady, it's the living room/dining room/entry so I'm gonna kick some butt on this dining room/living room this week. My house has gone from kinda cluttered to pretty damn clean in less than a month. *however* I still haven't tackled my scrapbook room or the guest room yet. Oy!
  • The chickens had a field trip today. I wanted to let them free range a bit. I can't let them free range all the time because I'm just worried they'll get into the road, or my flower bed. So around 8 p.m. (one hour before bedtime) we let them out. This was the first time they have been out since they were chicks. They LOVED it. I will probably start doing this every night, maybe a little earlier once I know they'll go back in the coop with no problems.
  • I did something the other day I didn't think I'd ever do. I found a nest of baby mice when I moved a tarp. This is something I'd normally dispatch to a man, but since he's gimpy I had to take care of it myself. So I got a shovel and put them in the chicken run and didn't look back. I felt kind bad, but got over it when I realized that I deal with it now, or trap them later.
  • Wednesday is my B-day. Nope, I'm not begging for gifts or attention. I hate it when ppl drop the hint for weeks. Dude you are not SEVEN, it's not a big deal anymore. I just mention it because I'm making Gene sit through Toy Story 3. I'm sure he'll have a blast :p I'm going to be 27 if you were wondering ;)
  • Sunday is my second anniversary! I can't believe it's been *two years*. We'll officially no longer be newlyweds. Doesn't mean I can't still act like it tho!
  • Gene is doing pretty well. I think he figured out finally that he wasn't just going to get cut open and then be jogging laps 2 days later. Seriously, he thought it was going to be a cake walk. He was cut open in TWO places? Men, sheesh I swear sometimes.
  • I'll stop now, before I just sit around and try to think about things to talk about. *yawn*

Friday, June 25, 2010

But daddy I want it noooooow!

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I want one.

Yes. I want a long horn steer. They can't be that much harder to take care of than say, a chicken, right?

I'd never ever seen a long horn my whole life, until we went to SD. Very weird. I was almost excited about that as I was the random critters everywhere.

In other news, I really want a set of horns to put on my jeep. Gene won't let me. I just want a *small* pair. No more than say, 2 or 3 feet across. I could be one of the cool kids then!

What?
No?

*sniffles*


PS. Gene is home, and doing fine. He's whining a lot. Anyone have a cattle prod they can spare?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The suckiest alarm clock EVER

You know how sometimes you city folk get woken up by your neighbor who thinks he needs to mow his yard at 6:30 a.m., or maybe the maintenance guy gets the leaf blower out at 7:15?

Yeah, it doesn't work like that out here.

This is what woke me up at 7:00 a.m.

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{Photo taken last summer}

Who do I complain to?

Doctor Giblet cobbler

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Everyone knows that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and at my house, it's blueberry cobbler. Man I got so many points for that.


But the fastest way to a man's stomach is to gut him like a fish.

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{He's faking it - don't get your panties in a wad}

Gene's in surgery right now getting his 2 hernias poked and prodded. They're opening him up and stirring his guts up like a big internal cobbler if you will.

I'm so poetic ain't I?

(Yes I know I used ain't. Yes I know it's not a word.)


They have this scary reading material:

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Can you imagine what kind of "services" there are here? Like hosing off your innards and scratching around your gizzard.

I hope there's not pictures.
In full color.

Oh I'm getting dizzy.


PS
Had a great time listening to the guy next door toot up a storm for about an hour. I know HIPAA protects *him*, but what protects *me*??

PPS Gene will be off work at least 6 weeks. I predict the divorce will come around week 5. I'm taking donations for a good attorney.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Even clouds get their own sunset

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Our weather has been crazy.

No, *extra* crazy. Rain nearly every day, I haven't looked at weather.com for a month without there being some sort of weather advisory on it.

One of the few up sides to this, is that we have been getting some incredible clouds and you know me. I love me some cool cloud photos.



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The clouds looked more like explosions than clouds. In fact, some of the clouds were billowing so big, you could watch them just like something had blow up in the atomosphere. They were some of the craziest colors I've ever seen in NW MO. Yellow, orange, purple, pink.


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These photos were taken shortly after the sun had gone down but the sky was still light. I would guess by the angle, and the way the light hit it, that the clouds were getting their own personal sunset.

Catching up!

  1. Spoiling my husband by homemade peach AND blueberry cobbler for dinner. He doesn't deserve me.
  2. Speaking of husbands that belong to me, mine has to have surgery. He has not one, but 2 hernias that have to be fixed. About 3-4 months ago, I noticed a lump on his groin area. Yes folks, I see my husband's groin area. Sorry for all of you that just got a mental picture. Anyway, being the mildly hypocondriac that I am, I started doing some internet research and crossed my fingers that it wasn't something horribly bad like cancer. Most research pointed to hernia. Then, about a month later he had another one pop up under his belly button. He met with a surgeon and he'll have it all fix and have a gut of steel (most literally) come Wednesday.

    He'll be home for 6-8 weeks.

    Kill me now.
  3. Had a wedding on Saturday for my clients dear friends Abbey and Anthony. She was the first bride to book me Wayyyyyy out from here wedding day (almost 1.5 years) so it was very bizarre seeing her wedding day finally come. She was absolutely gorgeous. Anthony was funny and happy as always. I wish every couple were like them!
  4. I've been decluttering like mad. This week is the bedroom zone so I started on the closet. I have a whole garbage bag full of clothes to get rid of. I have to decide if I'm having a garage sale or not. I wanted to have it at a local place but they don't have anything available all summer :(
  5. Finally saw Avatar over the weekend. Not that I was just dying to. I'm not a big movie person. Gene wanted to see it because of the special effects, which were really amazing and quite good. I liked the storyline too, I especially liked it when they called it "Dances with Wolves" (which I also saw for the first time recently).
  6. First day of summer! It was a scorcher, then it rained, well, it started with rain, the a scorcher, then ended with rain.. as per usual.
  7. My Blog anniversary is today! WOO! Three whole years! I think I'll have a giveaway this week, so spread the word and check often.
  8. Need to get the pool out. We've been lazy on that. It's 5,000 gallons, it'll take a whole day to fill up. OR, I could just let the rain fill it, that'd just take a couple days. ;P
  9. I think Tanner is homesick. I miss you too Tanner! (He reads here :)
  10. Gotta go, supper is about ready! Homemade rolls too!

Friday, June 18, 2010

HmmmmmmmmmmMmm

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My humming birds are back. I'm happy, they give me lots of laughs, especially at dinner time. Their feeder is right outside my living room window.

One of the best pieces of advice we got from a friend was DON'T buy feed from the store, you can make it yourself! So I started googling and found the recipe below. I thought I'd share in case you didn't know either!
  1. Make sure your feeder is cleaned thoroughly before adding new solution.
  2. Boil 1 cup of water. *Caution!
  3. Stir 1/4 cup of white granulated sugar into the 1 cup of heated water.
  4. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  5. Cool, fill your hummingbird feeder, and serve!
  6. Any leftover nectar can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.




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Now if someone could just give me a recipe to keep the ants out of it!

Chasing Sunsets - the sequel

Chasing sunsets





Chasing sunsets





Chasing sunsets





Chasing sunsets





Chasing sunsets




The storms roll in, and the storms roll out. It never hurts to have a reminder that despite it all, it is kind of beautiful here, especially right at the magical nightfall.


Chasing sunsets

Thursday, June 17, 2010

South Dakota - Day three

Good lord, yes, I'm STILL talking about SD.
I'm almost done. I swear.

I couldn't NOT share more photos tho. It's what I do.


When we went to Devil's Tower, we stopped outside of the park to take a few shots. A woman noticed our Missouri license plates and since she was from KC, she started talking to us. While I'm off shooting some flowers or some such, She tells Gene about a local drive through animal park and convinces Gene it's a MUST SEE.

This was one thing he was very excited about.

The next day, it was the first thing we did. Although I do prefer my animals au natural, he enjoyed getting to see the animals up close and personal. Oh, and despite them telling you not to through down your window, I did anyway cuz you know, I needed a good shot!


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I swear, it's not just a dog. It's a wolf.





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A rare white buffalo. I thought they were protected??





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The elusive and rare, "raccoon". Oh, I'm on quite familiar terms with the rascal racoon.





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But mainly there are bears.




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Lots of them.




The best part, was the baby bear cubs. Aww.. I want one!

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"Ok, watch me, put your right foot in, then your right foot out. Then put your right foot in and shake it all about."




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"Huh, what is 'right'? What is foot?"




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"Oh oh, can I play?"




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"I know the hokey pokey."





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"Pwease"




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"Now listen here, I said right foot! RIGHT FOOT!"





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"See, dis is mah right foots!"



I want a bear.

Oh we're getting a bear.


I know that Gene would give it a 5 out of 5 stars for getting to see lots of animals, and getting to be a bit lazy about it in the process. (sorry dear). I however give it about a 2.5 stars. Three stars because I like to see things as they live in nature. It reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt, and how the teddy bear kinda got started. Teddy Roosevelt refused to shoot an old injured bear tied to a tree by his hunting mates ... for sport. He said it was unsportsman like.

To me, it's kinda the same thing, only with a camera instead of a gun. Like shooting fish in a barrel, you can't miss. What's the sport in that eh?

They lost another half a star when I found out that they "claim" they own the copyright to my photos. I didn't find this out until after I'd already paid them to go inside. Technically, they don't own the copyright, I do. I always will. However, they do own property rights and neither of us could make money off of said images without permission from the other. A stalemate as you will.

This is why I've chosen not to name the park, and also why I've chosen to put my wartermark in ugly spots on the photos. Hmmpft. So there.

Would I go again? Probably not. Would Gene? Probably not either.

Now later, I'll show you some REAL animal shots!

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