October 27, 2010


Ladies and Gentleman
I'm in shock, serious shock! Today, for the first time in 12 years I had the pleasure of spending two hours with one of my best-friends from high-school. The time went so fast and I still can't believe that I got to hug my "sister", Angela DeLegge!!!! Two hours simply wasn't enough time but she has invited me and another friend to visit for Thanksgiving. I'm hoping I can work it out but right now it seems like a dream to have seen her, hold her, and hear her voice in person.

Its not just that I haven't seen her; its also the fact that I lost touch with her and the entire "family" for a decade. Two years ago was the first time I was able to connect with the DeLegge clan and I have missed them greatly and now it seems like its within my grasp to go "home" and see them and its right around the corner. Did I mention that there are two, count them two, precious little girls for me to corrupt with LegoMania????

I hope that I NEVER, NEVER lose contact with people I love for this long.

Sorry, I don't have photos but all I could think about was getting into my car and racing down the road. Honestly, until I pulled up next to her I didn't believe I was finally going to get to see her after all this time!!!!! Lets hope I can go "home" for Thanksgiving because then I will take my camera and take photos to share with everybody :)

October 22, 2010

Orange Kitten Therapy!!!!

As promised .......................... we have orange kitten therapy!
We start out the day with feeding time.

After we eat ........................................................... we clean out fur.

Then it's playtime and we have lots of toys to choose from:

Mom (aka Too Many)

The tree and rock in our backyard

Aunt Angela's G-6 which also serves as a place for naptime!

Speaking of naptime, if we are cold there are six of us to we can huddle close together to keep warm.

Our mom is a very good mommy and has been bringing us rodents to eat in the evening.

There are a few other things we like to do.......

Watch Aunt Angela play with the trash fire

Hide in the grass, can you find us in these pictures?????

We hide in the grass because some of us are really shy (AKA WILD which we are sure makes our human “mom,” Anne, very happy)!!!!! But don't worry mom Anne, those of us that aren't shy don't like “others” (aka anyone not Aunt Angela) so we run up the tree and/or scatter like leaves in the wind when “others” are around.

We hope that you have as much fun as us during your day and you are always welcome to come out, sit on the back porch, and watch us play “Lion Pride” which Aunt Angela has yet to get a picture for documentation.

October 14, 2010


Remember the 24 hours of entertainment? Well I forgot to mention something very important; on my drive to Council Grove I decided to listen to Manheim Steamrollers Halloween II CD. This inspired me to pull out the purple and orange plastic tub which contains my Halloween decorations!

As I was unwrapping breakable decorations, I started remembering who I was with and where I was when I found these decorations. Come with me while I take you down Halloween Memory Lane.

Lets start with my newly acquired console with record player, freshly decorated for Halloween.

The green and purple foam haunted castle is one of the many acquisitions I obtained last year when I went post-Halloween sale shopping with my good friend Anne and her wonderful mom. I actually forgot that I made this purchase until I pulled it out of the tub.

Here is my “Santana” black cat which was another of last years acquisitions. I didn't forget about it. Anne and I did some pre-shopping and we found this in Jo-Anns and it plays Santana's Black Magic Woman. I HAD to have it but it was too expensive. Jo-Anns was our last stop that shopping day and I was sure they were all out of this great toy/decoration and that it would still be to expensive. Fortunately they weren't, the price was just right, and he came home with me! Tzani isn't sure she likes him but now that he has been played several times, she seems resigned to deal with him until he goes back into the tub until next year.

This particular acquisition is a complete loss to my memory bank. It sort of made the opening of decorations like Christmas or my birthday because I didn't know what it was. In addition, I'm not sure where I got it. My first thought was maybe it was a gift from Anne but I don't think so...... perhaps I bought this at that closing-out sale I went to last spring. Irregardless, it's making it's debut on the console.

On to the ceramic trick-or-treat bag, this was actually a surprise gift from my mother when I lived in Colorado. Shocking isn't it??? I look at this bag and I have to touch it to make sure it's real. This is a reminder that my mother does have good days (although infrequent and rarer than finding an endangered species in the wild) and occasionally I get a reminder that she does in fact "love" me.

This is one of my “favorite” decorations. The first year I was back in Kansas working on my MS (before the by-pass to PhD), Anne made the shocking and horrifying discovery that while I was in Colorado the person I was dating had helped kill my Halloween spirit. This was the first year that I went shopping with Anne and her whole family (minus her dad) for Halloween. I found this and I had to have it. It makes me think of the 1920's and has a hint of class that I feel the rest of my decorations lack. I love it so much that it was a part of my permanent decor in my Manhattan apartment. You could see it directly to your left as you walked into my apartment.

The button came with a Halloween card that Anne gave me that first year back in Kansas . I love the button as well. The lights on the Witch's motorcycle light up and flash. Every time I look at it, I smile, and I think about the love Anne has for me and I'm grateful that she helped me find my Halloween Spirit again; I really can't thank her enough for doing so.

This plastic, recycled Trick-or-Treat bag is an acquisition from this year. I saw it in Dillon's the other day and since it has a spider on it I decided to bring it home with me. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the bag but then I had an epiphany.

Last Christmas, I discovered that Anne collects The Night Before Christmas books. I think this is a very interesting collection and I thought about that for awhile. A few months ago, I was with Anne and family and I bought my first Halloween shirt and I told her I was thinking about starting a new tradition of buying a Halloween related book as part of my Halloween traditions and when I was in the Dusty Bookshelf this week, I did so. Now the Trick-or-Treat bag holds my only (for now) Halloween book but I'm sure that before I know it, I will need another bag to hold my Halloween books!

I realized while I was decorating that the decorating is NOT just about getting ready for the holiday but about the memories that are associated with the decorations. I'm even looking forward to Thanksgiving which is when I traditionally exchange the Halloween decorations for the Yule decorations. Yes, I hold on to Halloween as LONG as I can and being a graduate student allows me the excuse of being too busy to do it before then. Additionally, I'm considering decorating for another holiday, perhaps.....Ostara (Easter for those non-pagan inclined)!

I hope that you all have happy memories associated with your decorations, regardless of the holiday and what you may call that holiday.

Before I close this blog segment out...... perhaps you are wondering about the first picture. The ceramic haunted house was a Halloween gift from a former friend and roommate from many years ago. It is another of my favorite decorations not because of the memories of that friend but because of where it's been and that it survived the "too-much stuff exodus!" The group of witches, also survived the "too-much stuff exodus" and I have had them for several years. Actually, I think I bought them from a dollar store when I lived with the previously mentioned roommate in Salina.

October 12, 2010

Country Livin'

Originally I planned on writing about the odd places that my indoor cats sleep but then I had an interesting 24 hours so I thought I would blog about that and include some country livin' pictures.

My interesting 24 hours began on Friday evening. I drove with my friend Ju-lin to Cottonwood falls to attend a singles event (Singles in Agriculture). Ju-lin took some pictures of the beautiful countryside on our way there.

Once we arrived in Cottonwood falls , I spent about 20 minutes driving around because I didn't map quest the location of the Emma Chase Cafe. I successfully found the Cafe and we stretched out legs before looking in the window. All of the people were elderly (60+) but after some debate and general talking myself into it I thought I would attempt to meet these singles. We walked and were greeted by the owner of the cafe she asked what she could do for us and I said I was looking for Sue. She said, "I'm Sue," so I proceeded to talk to her like I had already talked to her. Turns out she wasn't the "SIA Sue" I had previously spoke to; the "SIA Sue" was literally sitting right next to me during my entire conversation with "Owner Sue" but never said a word (NOT ONE)! So we ordered some food and after some private investigation (looking around and being observant) I noticed the "SIA Sue" name tag as she was leaving the Cafe. We decided to try the Emma Chase Music Hall down the street and we enjoyed some bluegrass music by the local musicians. I attempted to talk to the "SIA Sue" but luck; she wouldn't make eye contact and every time I tried to say something to her she gathered her group around her and would start talking to them (I eventually gave up and drove Ju-lin back to Manhattan and did some late night work in the lab).

Here is a picture of the Cottonwood Falls Courthouse.

On my way home from Manhattan (1 am on Saturday), I saw two opossums, one raccoons, and one doe close to the road (all living). (I took the below picture Saturday night out by "my" house)

The following afternoon (around 3 pm) my rural mail carrier stopped by after her mail rounds and on her way home to ask me about a yellow lab that is two sections (approximately 2 miles) behind where I live. She stayed to talk about her horses and jerks traveling to fast down dirt roads (a UPS semi drove by her car and kicked up a rock and broke her back window).

After she left, I decided I should get myself together and drive to Council Grove to pick up some weatherization supplies from Adams Lumbar. Here is a picture of one of the steel-works on the 177 highway into Council Grove (Ju-Lin took this picture for me on Friday)

Before I left, I decided to stop at Dairy Queen and reward myself with breaded, fried mushrooms; a fish sandwich; and a moolate (cappuccino flavored). While, I was hanging out by the drinking station waiting for my order, a gentleman with a Kansas wildlife and parks hat on said "hello" to me. I responded and just when I turned around to ask him a question he spilled fluid down the front of his shirt and was trying to clean himself off and one of the DQ employees called my number so I decided to just take my food and go.
I finished my evening with a trash burning.

By using the flash, you can see the details (including two of Too Many's kittens; Can you find both of them?).

By the way, the kittens are starting to follow me around the property but a more detailed version of their exploits is scheduled for another blog so be on the look out for it.
Have you had an interesting 24 hours you would like to share?

October 7, 2010

Summer Family Time

The other day, I realized that I have been neglecting my blog (again). So I downloaded over a hundred photos from my camera, organized them, and began planning my plan of attack on how to get my photos posted and talk about the various activities.

I want to start out by recapping some of my summer “family” time.

In June, I spent a day with Anne and her family participating in Washunga Days in Council Grove. I found a great link which gives the history of Washunga Days from the Kaw Indian perspective.

Here's Matthew (showing off his new cowboy hat) and I.

Anne helping Matthew collect candy during the parade

Matthew collecting candy all by himself! My "job" was to sit on the side of the curb, take pictures, and point out where the candy is.

I managed to take a good picture of a storm moving in toward the end of the parade.

In July we went to the air-show outside Kansas City. Unfortunately, not all of my photos turned out as well as I would like but here are a few of them.

“GI Matthew”

A really blurry picture of Anne and Phil; I feel bad that I'm still working on the settings on my very, simple digital camera. However, most of my pictures are turning out well so I guess I'm getting the hang of it so perhaps I will have better pics of Anne and Phil at some point.

The “Flamin Mamie.” I have always been intrigued by the girls painted on combat aircraft. I did a little research and didn't learn much but apparently these are called "Bomber Girls."

I realized when I posted these that I did more than this but I didn't get pictures of everything. I'm going to need to work on getting better pictures and documenting what I do so I can share especially now that my family is moving to Fort Hood; I wish them the best but I look forward to seeing them in their new home.