Monday, July 30, 2012

Dumpster Divin'

David and a friend have a new side business.  It's a roll-off trash service for people who are moving or remodeling or otherwise have need of disposing more trash than your trash cart will allow, but not enough for one of those huge construction dumpsters.  The cart is brought to you and left, then picked up whenever you are ready.  Today one was used by an auction company.  We picked it up after the auction, and Nosy Rosy (me) was just dying to see what was in that dumpster.

When we got home, I donned the appropriate dumpster diving apparel and started poking around.  There were some dishes right on the top that I thought could be donated to Goodwill.  I just hate to waste perfectly good stuff.  Just beside the dishes though was the treasure of the day.  An egg beater!  With a red handle!  I think I actually shouted "Score!".  One of many moments when David might have reason to question my sanity.

 But look!  Isn't it cute!  It's currently hanging out with my rolling pins and Mason jars, under a picture of my great-grandma and her chickens.

I find auctions depressing.  All the stuff that someone held dear or used, just laying out there in the yard.  And then an entire dumpster of stuff that no one wanted, even a bargain auction rate.  Among those cast off items, I found a little treasure.  And when I see this egg beater hanging out with my other tools of the American woman's kitchen, I will think of the lady who lived in the country house that the city has swallowed up.  A little farm hold-out in a faster paced world.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

My Aunt Connie really likes chicken livers.  I know - this is weird, right?  I can't honestly say that I've tried them, but I admit the thought doesn't do much for me.  Sorry Con!  For her birthday this year, my mom found a great place that also happens to have chicken livers!  

 Here's the before picture.  Think she can tackle that plate of fried goodness?  This is not a place to go if you aren't hungry.  My own plate was piled high with chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  It was delicious!
And here's the after.  She gave it a good effort, but in the end, the chicken livers proved to be too much for this birthday girl.  Good thing for that to-go box!

This place also had huge cakes that were about a foot tall, pies with giant mounds of meringue, and cinnamon rolls as big as my head.  We certainly didn't have any room for one of those delicacies this time!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Face Lift

My very first house was a very nice place, but the kitchen....  It was in good shape, but the previous owners certainly had different taste than I do.  They'd tried for a southwestern look, with turquoise laminate countertops and what was supposed to be a terra cotta colored back splash and trim.  It was actually pink.  Oh the horror!  I'll have to find the old pictures and show you. I used to keep a "before" picture on my refrigerator so I could see how far it had come.  My aunt and uncle painted the cabinets a nice clean new white, installed a white beadboard back splash, and replaced the pink laminate trim around the counters with nice white wood trim.  It looked a thousand times better.  With all that done, I could easily pretend that the turquoise was green.  I enjoyed my bright sunny kitchen for about 5 years before I made plans to replace the green with a more neutral tan laminate.  It was on order when I happened to see that a two-story colonial house that I had admired was for sale.  Long story short, the order was canceled, the for sale sign went in the yard, and we moved into that two story colonial.  

 Said colonial, which became known to us as the Fremont House, had a lovely (if smaller) kitchen.  The counters were a bit dated perhaps, but at least they were a neutral color.  I had great plans to paint the kitchen cabinets after we moved in, but well, they match the rest of the woodwork and I grew to really like them.
 Last summer, I replaced the shiny copper colored knobs with their oil-rubbed bronze cousin.  We started talking about replacing the counters, sink, and faucet.
 After a spell of looking for other houses (another long story), we've decided to stay put and finally do a small face lift on the kitchen.
I thought picking out new counters would be the hardest part, but I'm finding the faucet to be a bigger challenge.  I's such a tough life!  Hopefully there will be updates to come!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kinetic Contraption Race

It has been almost unbearably hot in this neck of the woods, but we tore ourselves away from the air conditioning long enough one Saturday to check out the Kinetic Contraption Race that was part of Duck Days in Ozark.

I really think Todd and David should enter this next year!  The race is in two parts, land and water.  This entry seemed to work fairly well on land.
 In the water, he stayed upright, but the pedaling looked like an awful lot of work to me!  He made it to the end, albeit very slowly.
 This was by far the most spectacular of the three entries.  A giant duck, complete with webbed feet.  They had quite a crew as well.  For the land portion of the race, two bicycles were attached to the back to help power it.  They stopped before launching into the water to take those off.
 The launch from ramp to water was pretty exciting.  I kind of expected the whole thing to fall apart, but it held together.  A little breeze on the water made it look pretty hard to steer, but they also made it to the end.
This lady should get award just for tenacity.  After the land portion of the race, it did not seem her craft would make it to the water.  She sat out for a while, made some adjustments, and into the water she went.  The cooler immediately came undone and the bike slowly sunk and tilted.  She got off, fixed things back up, and got back on while still in the water.  She was making some pretty good progress when something went quite wrong.  I had looked away and missed the moment, but when I looked back, parts of her contraption were floating in all different directions in the water.  She gave it a good shot though!  

I've been thinking of what we can use for our contraption.  I'm thinking the kayaks in some way will need to be incorporated.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

To Grandma's House We Go

I've enjoyed having Fridays off in June and July.  Most weeks I've gotten to do something fun like go to the pool with friends, lunch with Mom, Aunt Connie, and Grandmother, or visit my cousin and Grandma. 

 Most babies are cute, but there is something extra special to me about these babies of my cousin.  It might be the squeezable cheeks or the red hair, but I think they are just the coolest.
 Marshall was very interested in Grandma's glasses!  If he could just reach a little farther!
 I loved hearing Maverick's little voice say "Great Grandma".  Just so sweet!  He found an old piece of exercise equipment and tried using it as a pogo stick.  It was pretty funny!  My mom showed him other things to do with it, and it was on.  He thought that was the best toy ever invented - even better than his ipod!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weekends in May

We've been enjoying David having most Saturdays off.  We went to both days of Arts Fest, once to hear a bluegrass band (bluegrass is my secret love - shh!) and back the next day for steel drums.  

 If you closed your eyes and listened to the steel drums, you could almost pretend you were on an island somewhere.  It was quite lovely!
 We also checked out the fancy new farmer's market near our house.  How about this Airstream for a snazzy  food truck?
 We hosted a little Mother's Day brunch at our house, but I got busy after everyone arrived and failed to take pictures with people there.  I seem to do that a lot!  I just have a few pictures of empty tables instead.
 I decided I like the regular, less fancy older farmer's market, so since the first visit to the new one, I haven't gone back.  I like the sellers at the old one, and where else could you get such a happy bunch of sunflowers?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jackson Hole and Grand Teton

On to Jackson Hole!  We loved loved loved Jackson Hole.  I wish I had pictures of our hotel and the restaurant where we had dinner, but I was too busy enjoying it.  Jackson Hole is just a really cool town, and I would love to go back some day - maybe when it's a bit warmer!  I think it was the coldest leg of our trip. 

 We found lunch at a Great Harvest Bread Co. with the friendliest owners.  We learned that they have family in Missouri and are back in our area quite often.  They were so nice that we returned there for a warm up and cinnamon roll the next day.
 The foreign tourists thought David's modeling of the antlers was so funny that it started a trend. ;)
For this picture, we had to climb about 4 feet of snow.  I was kind of afraid I'd hit an air pocket and fall right in!
Our drive in Grand Teton started pretty gray, but the sun eventually broke through, making for a beautiful day.  Wouldn't it be fun to kayak this lake in the summer?!
Looking down on the little town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  We had a wonderful vacation!  It was the first trip that the four of us took together, and by the end we were all still getting along.  I'm so glad we did it.  What a great time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Birth of a Business

A small business…

A couple of months ago I was approached by friend whose tire work I have done for awhile.  He questioned the profitability of the tire business and said he wanted me to think about helping him out with a little business venture he was scheming up.  This friend is someone who it is very difficult to say no to.  After some cussing and discussing I told him I would help him out but that it would have to be in my free time before and after work and on the weekends.  A partnership was established and Ozark Mountain Roll-Off Service was born.  This will serve folks who are doing small residential remodel projects, cleaning out rental property or foreclosures, and special events that will generate a large amount of trash in a short amount of time.  The trailer and 5 dumpsters were purchased from a guy in Wichita Falls, TX. Hence the Texas name on the side of the containers when they arrived in southern Missouri.

 So far we’ve had one customer.  An auction serve that wanted the dumpster available to clean out a house that was to be auctioned off.  A big thank you goes to Dan P. for these fantastic pictures that will be used for promotional literature.


Yellowstone, Part Two

We headed out pretty early the next day and spent a full day seeing the many sites of Yellowstone.  It was not the least bit crowded.  I doubt there were more than 30 people in the viewing area for Old Faithful.

We started to take a path just off of the Old Faithful boardwalk, but soon found that it was closed due to a bear sighting the day before.  We just missed our chance to be eaten by (I mean SEE!) a bear!
 I believe this is Sapphire Pool in the Biscuit Basin area.  I couldn't believe the intensity of the color, especially against the gray of the rock.
 I was a teeny bit disappointed that Grand Prismatic Spring was not very visible from the board walk.  The aerial pictures I'd seen were incredible.  It was still pretty impressive though!

 I took a parking lot picture as proof of the lack of crowds.  Compared so some of the sights, like Old Faithful, this lot looks quite full!

 We spent some time at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  It was quite a sight!  There was a very friendly man with powerful binoculars watching (I think) peregrine falcons.  He was very nice and let us look through the binoculars.  I never could find the darn birds, so I just had to pretend. ;)  We learned that he was starting a new job there at Yellowstone the next day.  He seemed pretty excited!
 You can't tell in the picture, but I'm standing on a little bridge with the water rushing underneath.  Kind of a weird feeling!

Seemed like there was an incredible view of the falls with each bend in the trail.  We didn't even begin to see all that Yellowstone has to offer, as I think that would take quite a long time!  We were glad to see some highlights though!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our First Day at Yellowstone!

When we arrived in Yellowstone, it was pretty gray and cloudy.  We stopped at the Yellowstone Foundation for a bit of information.  It was in a cool old building that had been a general store, but I failed to get any pictures.  We were there in April, which is really before the Yellowstone season gets going.
 There were some good and bad points to that.  The best part was that nothing was crowded.  There wasn't much traffic and the parking lots were empty or nearly empty.  The bad part was that parts of the park weren't open yet, like the road to Yellowstone Lake.  We learned that it's not just the amount of snow that causes the roads to be closed, but how packed it is due to snow mobiles.  It takes a long time to chip away at that or for it to melt.
 The volunteer at the welcome center suggested roads for us to drive where we were the most likely to see animals.  We watched and watched for a moose or bear, but didn't see either.  We did see lots of elk, who were obviously not concerned about us at all!
 I think the most interesting thing we saw that day was the Norris Geyser Basin area.  I've just never seen anything like it.  I though that Badlands looked otherworldly, but this doesn't even look like it is really on earth.  A very strangely beautiful place - and stinky too!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Devil's Tower and a Long Lost Twin

Next stop was the Devil's Tower National Monument.  You can read the legend of how Devil's Tower came to be here:

At a rest stop just outside Devil's Tower, I saw this unsuspecting fellow who looks a lot like our friend Kevin.  It wasn't easy to get a picture without him noticing, but here's my best attempt!  We may have been giggling a little too loud - the poor guy probably thought we were nuts!

We enjoyed several picnics along the way...looks like we've already cleaned up from this one!

Have you seen the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Marie takes a sculpting class and makes a sculpture that she believes to be abstract, but everyone thinks is SOMETHING else?  She tries to donate it to the church, but the nuns won't take it after the shock of seeing it.  Anyway...we kinda thought this wind or smoke sculpture had some of the same, er, qualities. ;)