Thursday, August 31, 2017

Top Ten Thursday: On the Brink of Fall

We are on the brink of Fall!  Fall is my favorite season of all.  I absolutely love it.

1.  Apple Picking!  I love apple picking!  The smell, the walking around with the wooden buckets, the bees.  I love it all.  I still need to use my new pie pan and I think an apple pie would be perfect.  The fam and I will be visiting Cider Hill Farm.  It's close to home and they have apple cider slushes.  Who doesn't love a slush?!
2.  Pumpkin Farms and Corn Mazes:  I am known to get lost in corn mazes.  Not for a few minutes, but not quite a few hours.  One of my favorite corn mazes to get lost in is Gary's Berries.  They have a pumpkin patch you can take a ride to and a ton of things to do.  On Friday nights, they have fireworks and $1 hot dogs. 
3.  The smells:  I love autumn smells so much.  The apples, the cinnamon, the fallen leaves and pumpkin.  If I could keep the fall smells in my home all year long, I would. 
4.  Roller Derby Recruitment:  For Fountain City Roller Derby, Fall is our recruitment and training season.  I, for some reason, was trusted with the job of recruiting new members this year.  I make sure they make it through training and are ready for draft in December.
5.  Holidays:  Halloween!  Decorating is so great and fun for this.  My children are a little older, so they don't dress up anymore. :(  Our trick or treating days might be over for the older two.  Also, Halloween movies are the best.  Especially, Hocus Pocus.  If you haven't watched it, you should. 
Thanksgiving:  So much food!  I love preparing a majority of the dinner!  The side dishes and desserts.  I love decorating and making things for the kiddos to enjoy.
6.  Boots and Scarves:  It's just cool enough to start wearing these items again. 
7. Soup season!  I love soup and chilis.  I have so many recipes.  Honestly, I could eat soup every day in the fall and winter.  I know the kids would get tired of it, so I have to have some variety and add other foods in. 
8.All things Pumpkin:  Pumpkin Spice makes everything nice.  I go to stores and get all the seasonal pumpkin stuff.  Same thing goes for Apples.
9. Football Season
10.  Being outside and enjoying the weather.  The beautiful fall colors.  Campfires.  Hayrides.  Bonfires.  All the amazing outside things to do in fall.

Link up over here.

What are your favorite fall time activities?!?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

writer's workshop: what's your story?

Photo by Zaftig Unicorn aka Kate the Great

Hey Thursday peeps!  How's your week been going?  I am hoping less "exciting" than mine.

Thanks for coming over to visit from the Writer's Workshop link.
This week I decided to write about my Facebook profile picture.

I am not a huge Facebook fan.  It’s an incredibly big time suck and too political now.  Does anyone know my views on politics on Facebook?  No, they don’t.  I do not post about politics on Facebook.  I don’t post a whole lot on Facebook.  I share events and roller derby related items; sometimes pics of the kiddos and little stories about them.  Mostly, I post in groups because of derby things or Girl Scout things.

My Facebook picture is a derby picture.  Of course, right?  Honestly, that is about the only time I get my picture taken, other than the occasional selfie. 

This picture was taken at an event called Winter Wonderslam.  It was a winter themed WFTDA mashup mini tournament.  My team, Resting B*tch Face won 2nd place!  My team was pretty amazeballs and we had a guest playing with us for some of the games; V-Diva from Gotham Girls Roller Derby fame. 

I made some awesome blocks and played well.  This is what made we want to start playing for KCRW.  I think this is a ruleset I can excel at much more than others.  Plus, it is super fun and you can make big hits.

What’s up with your Facebook/Twitter profile pic?  Tell me your story and link it up with MamaKat’s Writers Workshop.

Monday, August 21, 2017

46 seconds

I don't think anyone has heard, but there was totally a solar eclipse today.
The clouds didn't get the message and it thunder stormed a good part of our morning.  It was making me anxious that the event would be missed.  Can you imagine all the made people that scrambled to get their eclipse glasses and to get the day off?

I worked today.  I really wish I could have gotten the day off.  Not for the eclipse, but because of what happened.
We walk in like any normal day.  The front part of our office was okay. The back part of our office not so much.  Someone had decided to break in.  They broke one of our locks.  Found our public access computer and helped himself to our temps lotion and watched himself some porn. Well, how do I know it was a guy?  He left us a little present under the desk.  Yep.  He did that.  All under the desk.  He also took our Emergency Management Backpack.  A BRIGHT RED BACKPACK!!  So I'm sure he had intentions  take more.  He left food all over the place.  He got our temps extra drinks she keeps in our office and drank those.  I can't say much more about what happened, but I'm super grossed out and feel violated that someone would do that, in our workplace, in a public space.

But this made it better.  The eclipse.  It was amazing and beautiful.
Nobody argued over science today.
We had one pair of eclipse glasses for the office.  We all shared them and took turns looking at the sun.  I took my lunch break at 1.  Totality was at 1:08.  It lasted 46 seconds.
It felt peaceful.  It felt like everything was alright after the morning.
I know I sound stupid, especially with the United States falling apart like it is.
You have to find that calm.

I did get to see Baily's Bead and the diamond ring effect. 
The clouds were there, but they cleared perfectly to see the totality.
The cicadas went crazy and it became so loud.
It was dark.  Not pitch black.  It was an eerie dark.

Every Soul A Star is a book by Wendy Mass.
It is about three teenagers and their time leading up to a total solar eclipse.
I would say the recommended grades to read this in would be 4th to 8th.
Even as an adult, it's a super quick read and it has fun facts about eclipses and astronomy in general.

And now it is storming again. 

How did eclipse viewing go for you?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

First Day of School 2017

Sixth Grade:  Peyton is going into the Sixth grade.  I remember going into sixth grade.  Being in sixth grade meant we were at the top of our school.  I went to the same elementary school from Kindergarten to Sixth Grade.  I watched during all those years the things the sixth graders got to do.  We had our own separate field day and helped with the younger grades during their field day.  We went to Wildwood camp.
I ended up in Mr. Nerstheimer's class.  He was a first year teacher, but a lot of us sixth grade girls knew him as the cute camp counselor that took his charges to the pool.  Yes, this is a true story.  We all fawned and adored over him.  Then, a lot of us found out we were going to be in his class.  Gasp.  He might have been cute, but he could be a butt of a teacher at times.  I guess all teachers can be that way.  The year turned out great and we were finally out of elementary school!  Mr. Nerstheimer is a librarian at a private school now.  He has been in education a long time because I was in sixth grade a long time ago.
Eighth Grade:  Alli is going into Eighth Grade.  I had a very strong dislike for middle school.  Middle school is just that horrible period of time where there are too many transitions.  I went to Hocker Grove Middle School.  It was also known as Hooker Grove because there was a lovely trailer park right next to it.  And no, I'm not saying that all hookers live in trailer parks or all people who live in trailer park are hookers....but...
I purposely made on of my teachers mad by wearing a certain T-shirt.  Back in the day, there were coed naked t-shirts.  I had a coed-naked volleyball shirt and I thought it was the most hilarious thing.  I would wear it to school to see how long it would take this one teacher to notice.  Sometimes she did and she was furious and other days she didn't.  I was doing scientific inquiry. 
I somehow survived my eighth grade year.  I won a couple of awards, which I was truly shocked about.  I was more than happy to tell that place to go away forever.
Senior Year:  Tanner is going into his Senior Year of High School.  I graduated early so I only had to survive half of a year of school.  I had enough credits to graduate early and did a correspondence class to finish my last .5 credit of English.  I loved not having to go to school everyday and just having to go back in May to graduate.  It was easy and simple.  I'm sure nobody even noticed I was gone, I tend to blend into my background.  And of course, I do not have a picture of his first day of school. :(

P.S.  I guess I'm a crap mom since I didn't post these pictures on social media.  But hey, they are here.  Where they should be.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

writer's workshop: The Great State of Kansas

Kansas.  The home of the first Pizza Hut and the largest ball of twine.  Exciting, right?

I have a dilemma writing this.  I live in Kansas City.  If you look at a map, Kansas City is in both Kansas and Missouri.  I live on the Kansas side, pretty much because I like to pay higher taxes.  I work in Missouri.  I am in Missouri every week day and most weekends I cross the state line.  I am seven to ten minutes from Missouri depending on traffic.

So, some of these great things will be in Kansas.  The others will be in Missouri.

1:  That great eclipse everyone is talking about...well, my work in Kansas City, Missouri, is at the edge of the totality zone.  I don't even have to leave work to see this monumental event.  My home in Kansas City, Kansas has 99% coverage of the sun and my children's schools have a whole day planned around it.  Also, if you are a Girl Scout, they have a patch for that.

2:  Kansas is in the middle of the country.  So if you are taking a road trip somewhere, you start in the middle.  You aren't driving east coast to west coast and vice versa.  You can always make a loop and not come back the same way you made it to the destination.

3:  Amelia Earhart was a Kansas native.  Her home town is about an hour north of Kansas City.  Josh Gates, host of Expedition Unknown, has done a few episodes on her and seems a little obsessed.  It is a huge mystery, so I can see why people become obsessed. 

4:  History nerd alert:  Kansas played a large part in the Civil War.  It was nicknamed "Bleeding Kansas" after it was admitted to the United States as a Union State while Missouri was admitted as a confederate state.  Of the 30,000 men that Kansas had that were of military age, they sent 20,000 to fight with Union forces.  Kansas suffered the highest causality rate of all states.

5:  Kansas City has more BBQ than any other city.  This is on both sides of the state line.  My favorite BBQ place is Gates BBQ, they have a restaurants on both sides of the state.  Don't be surprised when you are greeted in a loud voice "Hi, may I help you?" 
The Gates family cemetery plot is in a cemetery about a mile from my home.  They are buried in the back section and you can go see it. 

6: Kansas City, the whole city ignored Prohibition in the 1920s.  It lead to lots of illegal clubs and brothels. A lot of the buildings still stand today. One of them is even named Prohibition Hall. 

7:  Kansas City has so many fountains.  So many.  One of my favorites is the Muse of the Missouri.  You could totally drive past it if you weren't paying attention.  Like a lot of things in Kansas City.  One of the leagues I play roller derby for is Fountain City Roller Derby. 

8:  I really love fall in this area.  It is beautiful.  The weather is perfect.  We have corn mazes, apple cider, pumpkin picking...all the fun fall activities. 

9:  The Sunflower Farm.  This place is so amazing that I couldn't even get in there last year.  I did go in 2015 and it was amazeballs.  The popularity went up like a million times over the next year.  Why wouldn't it?  It really is that awesome.

10:  Kansas and Missouri are not fly over states as assumed by a lot of people.  There are a ton of things to do, there are a ton of things to see.  Anyone that visits me, I will keep them super busy with things to do

top ten thursday: movie quotes

Movie Quotes!  I'll leave it up to you to figure out why they are my favorite!  Also, out of all these movies, which one is my absolute favorite of all time?

Empire Records

AJ: What’s with you today? Yesterday you were normal and today you’re like the Karate Kid. What’s with you today?
Lucas: What’s with today today?

Wizard of Oz

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.


You're gonna need a bigger boat

A League of Their Own

There's no crying in baseball.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.

Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

Try not.
Do or do not.
There is no try.

Hidden Figures

Here at NASA, we all pee the same color.

Cast Away


Napoleon Dynamite

Deb: What are you drawing?
Napoleon: A liger.
Deb: What's a liger?
Napoleon: It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic.

The Devil Wears Prada

By all means, move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills me.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

pnw adventures: lake crescent

Lake Crescent is amazing.  It is super clear, but super freezing to the touch.
Lake Crescent was formed by glaciers way back when.  It was, at one time, a river.   A major landslide happened causing it to be dammed up thus creating the lake.
The lake is the second deepest lake in the state of Washington.  It's official depth is 624 feet.
Most of the lake is a sheer drop off from the shore.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Girl Scouts: service project

My Girl Scout Troop meets at one of the local fire stations.  We get to meet there because of our girls uncles is a fire fighter there.  As thanks to the station for letting us meet there, the girls stained their deck. 
We meet up early one Saturday morning.  It was the end of July, so we expected full on heat and humidity, but the girls got lucky somehow and it was nice as a fall day out there.
The girls did a majority of the work themselves.  The adults did help on a few portions to even out the spots.
They had to take a break between the coats and someone brought them donuts.  Super happy girls!
It took around four hours to complete the whole project, which wasn't bad at all.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

pnw adventures: hoh rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest is another stop within the Olympics National Park. 
The Hoh Rainforest is on the completely other side of the park from Hurricane Ridge and there is no direct roads there.  You have to drive all the way around.
It's about two hours from Port Angeles.
You pass through Forks and figure out why the writing is so simple in the Twilight Books.
Forks is simple, yo.
We decided to take the Hall of Mosses Trail.
It's almost a mile and you think it won't take you that long to finish it...
It takes a while to finish it.
The Rainforest gets around 12-14 feet of rain a year.
It was not raining while we were there, thank goodness, the trail would have not been as much fun.
There is a campground there.  It is close to the Hoh River, which is what the highway follows to get to the visitors center and the trails.
There was a hornet warning before we entered this area.  We didn't see any hornets though.
The trees are unbelievable big.  Most of them you couldn't see the tops through the canopy. 
And yes, I do know there are even larger trees out there in the world.
The Sitka spruce and western hemlock are the most dominant trees in the forest.  There was a pull off for the largest Sitka tree somewhere along the road.  We did not pull off.  I'm sure it was amazing,
The forest was pretty magical in the way it looked.  I think you could get lost in it for hours if you went off trail.
Apparently there are a lot of animals that inhabit the area.  Violett made sure to let them all know we were there.  There are tree frogs, bobcats, cougars, black bears, elk, etc....
Hiding in the tree.
Banana Slugs are fun?  They are also being pushed out the area by the Black Slug.  The Black Slug is an invasive species from Europe.
"Walking" across the creek

Friday, August 4, 2017

tanners 18th birthday

Tanner turned 18!  I still can't believe it!
He will be starting his senior year of high school.
We need to get his senior pictures done and plan his graduation party!
I don't think he is excited as me.
Let me tell you a story about this grill.
My mom wanted me to help her put together a grill because hers decided it didn't want to function anymore.  I went over to her house to help her put it together.  I took out one of the parts and it was dented so horribly that it could not be pieced together correctly.  So we loaded the box of grill parts into the car and returned it to the place we purchased it from.  We were able to exchange it.  I had to keep my mom from having a slight melt down.  The girl at the store said it would only take 30 minutes to put together.  Yes, it took 30 minutes plus an hour and thirty minutes more.  NBD. 
The instructions did not have any words.  Most places are going IKEA style and think words are not important.  I put two parts on backwards.  Thank goodness, they were easy to fix, otherwise my mom would have flipped out more.  We got the grill finished around 11 pm.  We both had to work early in the morning.  We didn't need sleep.
Tanner's Birthday dinner was the night after the grill fiasco. 
He got his favorite root beer.
Also, dinner was his choice.  He requested steak, baked potatoes, mac and cheese and chips and dip.  We did add a salad to the menu but he didn't partake.
Because he's silly
Alli and Scarlett made him a party animal card.
Cupcakes for dessert.  Since I had ran out of time the night before, Alli made them for me that day.
Because home made is sometimes better than store bought.
We almost started a fire.
Tough job blowing out 18 candles.
Let me tell you about that blue frosting....well maybe I won't.
Frosting was her friend.
The girls were playing minecraft
Dis is Sofie.  Sofie doesn't like photographs.