Sunday, July 29, 2012

A conversation with the grumpy old bastard


A conversation with my husband:
I must preface this story with the fact that my mom used to call my dad a "grumpy old bastard" on a regular occasion.  Mainly because he was.

Gene: (growly)
Me: You grumpy old bastard.
Gene: You always get to call me a grumpy bastard, what name can I call you?
Me: Fluffy Bunny.


Me: Don't do that dammit!!
Gene: Alright you fluffy bunny.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat 100 times.
That never gets old.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

hi ho a painting we will go

My world has been pretty nuts the past couple weeks, but I've still found a little time here and there to paint.  I decided to take a 100 day/100 painting challenge to increase my skill level in a short time (if that's possible - sometimes I think I have 2 left hands).

I'm really working towards an art exhibit at a local art museum in the next couple years, but first I need to settle on what is my style.  I thought I might be able to find that in 100 paintings.

Below are a few of my recent paintings, some part of the 100 painting challenge.


Tinkerbell on the left is a gift for a little girl. :)  I direct copied someone else's work.  Sometimes you just want to paint. 

Top right is a feather I found in my yard.  I believe it's an owl feather.  I LOVE painting feathers.  I'm only so-so at it so far.

Bottom right is a simple little cottage painting.  I painted it after watching a video on youtube.  It's "ok".

A cow from up the road.  I really fought with the cast shadow on his neck.

Really like this one.  My own design.  I love feathers AND the union jack.  I saw a painting that made me think - "Hey, mash the 2 together to see what happens".  I like it.  I might play with this concept a bit more just to see what I can do with it.

This is my own design too - well, pretty much.  I looked at a lot of nests from other artists.  Nests are hard son!  The little deer is from a photo I found online.  Put the 2 together and sweet lil' sweepy fawn.  aww.

This is a painting of a photographer.  He's part of a group I'm in and the photo version of this is his avatar.  Every time I saw it, I kept thinking it would look cool in paint so I asked and he approved of me painting it.

This was really one of the first times I've painting something where I felt like I created a piece of artwork.  It's not as popular of a piece as others are (because they are "cute"), but that doesn't really matter to me.  Art is subjective.

I'm going to have opportunity next week to paint a little more than usual so I'm excited about that, but in the meantime, back to editing photos.
*cracking whip sound*

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

High as your eye by the 4th of July

It's true you know, that saying about high as your eye by the 4th of July.  Corn is an amazing plant.  In May it's a wee little sprig of nearly nothing, and 6 weeks later you have a beautiful 8 foot (free) privacy fence all the way around your property.

This is only the second time we've had corn since we moved here.  One year we had so much rain they couldn't get the corn in, so we had beans 3 years in a row.  Not nearly as exciting as the corn is.

Here's the thing though.  This year we're experiencing a drought.  And a hot one at that.  We've been a little luckier than most because we're down here in the bottoms so it takes a little longer to dry out, but just up the road 3/4 of a mile, the corn that is about 3 feet higher than ours down here is already starting to dry out and die off.

It's not quite time for that yet and so I fear the worst - that most of this years crops (corn, beans, tobacco, wheat, etc) is not going to do well this year.  Gas, feed and tortillas are going up!

In the meantime, I hope you'll take a moment to do a little rain dance or possibly go wash your car and condem us to a little rain.  It's blistering hot out.

2 weddings in, 2 days (Friday and Saturda).  Both 108 degrees - without the heat index.  We could use a little relief.

Boo kitty, however, says "Corn is dumb.  I'm cute.  Now rub my belly."

It worked!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Night on the town

Months ago, Groupon had a special on dinner at Pierpont's at Union Station in downtown Kansas City.  Having never been to Union Station my whole life (I've lived in MO almost 25 years now!), and also being addicted to really yummy food, I jumped on the deal.

This weekend, we made a point to make reservations for an early dinner and it was so worth it!

The decor is incredible.  I wish I'd brought a wider angle lens.  I wish I didn't feel so self conscience so I could walk around and take tons of photos.  Instead, most of these were taken from our table.

Gene had the pecan crusted trout - which was surprisingly good.  I say surprisingly because I traditinally hate most fish, but this didn't taste like fish at all.   Now I'm thinking I might try cooking some trout on my own.

I had the lobster thermidor. 
So good!  I think Gene was regretting his choice after he tried mine.  Sorry dear.  I did give him the last bite though.  Would it be uncouth to suck on the shells? ;)

We shared a creme brulee with fresh berries.  Again, incredible.  The bottom was speckled with lots of fresh vanilla bean caviar.

Oh look.  Feet.
Bet that took away your appetite.
Had to share my CUTE shoes that are actually comfortable and I can walk for more than 9 feet in them.  They are some adorable vera wang wedges that I got for a song.  First pair of heels I've been able to wear in several YEARS.  Maybe it's the weight loss, maybe my feet are better, maybe it's the shoes, maybe it's all that.  I wore them all night.

On our trip to the restrooms downstairs, I spotted rows of wine in the wine cellar.  Gonna say I'm a little jealous.

I need a bigger house.

After we left the restaurant, we explored around the station for a few minutes.  I wanted to see it since I hadn't before.  So beautiful - it reminds me of England train stations.

One last stop on the way out the door.  What's Gene pointing at?  Only a bullet hole from the Union Station Massacre in 1933. Prettyinteresting story that changed how the FBI works.

If you get a chance, I say make a reservation at Pierpont's.  Probably one of the top 5 places I've ever eaten.  So worth it, and the price was not unreasonable.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The porch that never was!

I thought I should take a moment and give you an update on the never ending porch project.  It's going, but it's going slow.  It's been painfully hot here and it's hard to go outside and work when it's 100 degrees at 7 p.m.  WITH Missouri humidity.  I find that even on coolish days, I have to stand in the shade if it's not imperative that I'm needed.  I've always been this way - no worries. 

If I'm hot, I look like I'm about to stroke out.  So if you see me beet faced, just say hello and move on. I'm not stroking out (yet).

This, my friend, is what $2,000 looks like.  Well, most of $2k there were a few more stacks later.  That's $800 more than when we shingled it 5 years ago.  Hmmfpt.  Next shingling job will be done by a bunch of illegals trucked in after a hail storm.  We're NOT doing it again.

It was hot, but we managed to get the last section up on the 4th.  There was a lot of cussing as we realized some of our 4x4's had twisted.  Effing treated lumber.  It's a pain to work with.

It doesn't look like a lot more, but here you can see all the support ceiling joists are up.  That was an all day project.  Gene did most of the hard stuff.  This was a "stand in the shade" kind of day. :/

Work was slow so they sent Gene home 3 hours early.  No, he's not very happy about it either.  He came home and cut the tops off of the posts on the front and put in joist hangers.  Joist hangers are the metal brackets that support the weight of the joists.  They also help the joist to not twist.  If you're building a deck, for safety reasons, you really should have joist hangers.  You don't want to have a party with 40 of your closet friends and have your deck collapse.  YIKES.   Even though it's not required for the short width of the deck (8 feet) we are still adding extra support joists down the center to help keep the lumber straight and keep it from twisting.

Boo kitty says "heyyyyyyy girlfriend".

You can see the tops of the posts are gone now.  YAY.  I hated those up there.  They looked raggedy and hodge podge like we didn't know what we're doing.

We don't know what we're doing but no need to announce it or anything.

You can see better from here that all the joists are installed in the floor.  That was a big project. We found out that since we're running our decking diagonally, we have to put our joists closer together.  This means more wood.  The place we've been buying wood was out of what we needed, this is when we realized that there was WAY BETTER wood at another lumber yard (Bearcat Lumber fyi) for about .06 more. 

*heavy sighs*

Live and learn.

Every project we do has been a learning process for us.   I'm sure it's not 100% perfect (I know it's not!) but what I do know is that whe it's done, it will look nice and will add value to our home.  If it means that it's only 89% as good as it should be, then I say a B+ is still pretty damn good and I'll take it.

Can I hear a "hell yeah" for a B+?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cute people!!

Engagement photo portrait Maryville Missouri

So cute together. Trust me.

I bet they get sick of hearing that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are you a list maker?


I find that I can barely function without some sort of list.  When I have a period of not getting any work done, I'll realize it's because my list is under something on my desk where I can't see it (usually a cat).

If I don't have a list of all the mundane AND important things in my life that I must get done, then I just can't remember them.  It's especially frustrating when you don't remember to write something important on the list and it gets forgotten... like school events. :/

I finally bought myself a white board JUST to keep track of my albums.  It's hanging inside the pantry door (which is right next to my desk).  I write down every person that's getting an album, what next step needs done, and when that's done it get's a big check mark.  I'm amazed at how much this has helped my productivity.  It's so satisfying to get to erase a job completely.  That means it's done and out of the house.

It also means I got paid for it!  woot!

But here's the thing.  After sharing my lament on facebook, I realized that this is probably genetic in some way.  Several of my relatives piped in to tell me they are exactly the same way, as are their kids too.

And that reminded me of poor Tanner.  That kid has it pretty bad for only being 17.  It's nothing to go into his room and find several post it notes stuck on his door frame reminding him to take the basic necessities with him.  It's also not uncommon for him to have to drive all the way back here to pick up something he forgot.

I feel your pain, brother.

Just today I forgot to mail a package to Lebanon.  I figure one more day won't kill 'em.  (it wasn't on the list).

So, I'm fairly confident that this trait came from my mom's mom.  My Grandma Leona.  You know Grandma, you did a lot of wonderful things for me, but I'd have been a lot happier if this was a recessive gene.

Are you a list maker?  Has my grandma infected your family too!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Where do boys get their super skills?


How do some men just "know things"?  Especially things they haven't particularly been exposed to.

Tanner kind of surprises me at times, the things he knows at (almost) 18. 

Remember me talking about that LTD that used to be Gene's grandma's?  It's been sitting my yard a couple months now.  (note the weeds around it - I have to hire someone to come out and trim because no one will do it)... ANYWAY...  The chickens are in love with it. It's their new favorite places.  They hang out underneath in the shade scratching in the yard until they get a nice little hole dug to lay in.

Which at least they've stopped doing it in my driveway.  When you hit one in the middle of the night, you about break an ankle.

So anyway, this car has sat there taunting us.  We've been so busy with work or building a porch, that we just haven't had time to dedicate to the car and get it running.  So much talk about draining the tank, replacing hoses, will the carburetor need replaced?

Finally, about a week ago, I told Gene that we should let Tanner get started on working on the car.  He likes to work on his car and he could surely do the basic stuff.  Gene agreed.

I told Tanner that he could get started on it, and we went out and first got a battery for it.  Can't do anything without that.  Found out that the battery in it, had not been replaced since 1995!

Gene and I left Tanner to it to work on the deck, and within an hour heard the car start up!  This car has not moved in OVER A DECADE.

Another hour worth of fluid changes and he was driving it up and down the road.

How did he know how to do that stuff.  Gene knows a few things about cars - he works on glass for a living.  Explain it and he can do it.  Same with Tanner's dad.  But as I sat and I listend to Tanner talk to both his dad and Gene on how to get the car going and I only understood every 3rd word, I got to wondering exactly when did this happen?  Is it just a genetic thing?

But hey, I could talk about the difference between tan, buff, ivory, and ecru and they'd probably look at me like a monkey looking at a football.

However, I think that their super genetic skill is probably a lot more useful than being able to pick out winter white verses off white.

Friday, July 6, 2012

WANTED: Dead or Alive


LWC aka "Little White Chicken"

1. Little
2. White
3. a Chicken

Wanted for the theft and wanton eating of one "Boo Kitty's" krunchies from his food bowl on a regular basis.

Reward if captured alive.

NOTE:  There's really not a reward.  Kill my chicken and I'll punch you in the face.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fireworks Day



18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man. ”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.


Four years ago today, those words were spoken at my wedding.  A bible verse picked by Gene.

I married the best friend I've ever had in my entire life.  I always thought that idea was kind of silly, but now I understand completely.   I hope you are lucky enough to be married to YOUR best friend.  If he (she) is not your best friend, I hope you are working at making that happen.  It's rewarding.

To celebrate today, we attempted to work on the deck, which was very hard considering it was 100 degrees still at around 7 p.m.    Oh, and some of our lumber is effed up, so we gave up and called it a day.

However, we did go eat pizza, lay on a blanket and watch fireworks.  Over all, I'd call it a good day.

9 out of 10 bucks prefer Harley Davidson


I stumbled out of the bedroom a couple mornings ago with a note next to my camera "look at your pics".  It seems that a young buck happened across our yard.  (I'm sure it was a surprise, as we live in a cornfield right now). 

He sniffed the chickens.  They didn't like each other.

But he did take a liking to Gene's Harley.

Might be wise if he didn't repeat this adventure come November.

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