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Monday, August 30, 2010

Redneck Fun

Sunday afternoon, my friends and I were standing around after church trying to figure out the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. there were eight of us, which is too many for a good ride on the boat. You would think this would leave few other options when you consider where we live. C came up with the best plan: put on some old shorts and t-shirts and go splash around in the river.

Remember, that we live in dry western Oklahoma. A day at the river for us is like a day at the creek for most people in wet areas. We spent the most time in a spot that was only about a foot deep. We had a great time in the river! It seems completely crazy and redneck, but I always have the best time when it's just a silly afternoon with my friends.



And our afternoon was plenty silly. One of the couples has just moved to this area, and they found this gem in one of their barns. We aren't exactly sure what type of creature it is supposed to be. Some suggestions were a moose, reindeer, a dragon (it has a funky tail), and possibly even a giraffe. And yes, it was present for the entire trip, though it didn't provide any actual assistance with floatation.

Lucy even waded with us. C thought it was about time for her to have a bath, and a river is as good of a place for a dog bath as any! She even helped some of the group chase a giant fish around (I quickly hopped on a tube and floated away as quickly as I could!). She loves to splash in the water.

Any time "city people" come here, they ask what we do for fun. They can't possibly imagine that there are entertaining things to do here. I think it is far more fun to be a "country kid" than a "city kid." Our possibilities are unlimited! If we can come up with an idea and a plan, it can usually be done. And if it can't be done, we always have a lot of fun at our failures. In the city you are limited to to the entertainment that is provided to you. It doesn't take any imagination to go to movie or a bowling alley. However I would guess that putting on a kiddie moose floatie and splashing down the river is a rare occurrence in this world! I'm hoping that it will happen more often in our part of the river!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Painting Progress

He's not smiling because he loves to paint, he's smiling because he's almost finished painting! He started up on the roof this morning...


...and his brother came to help with the trim this afternoon. Notice the matching straw hats.


Near the end, the silliness is getting a little out of hand.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Road Trip!

I have been a bit lazy about posting my vacation/wedding photos from a few weeks ago. It isn't due to lack of photos; it's mostly due to lack of motivation. We had an amazing time! The drive was long, but that is the best part of a road trip. It's fun to see the landscape (which is mostly corn, where we were), and get so bored that your conversations turn into hilarious nonsense.


After the wedding, our first entertainment stop was Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. It is on the shore of Lake Erie, so I got to see my first Great Lake! The park is filled with amazing roller coasters. I believe this one is the Mantis, where you basically stand up for the entire ride. I was surprised at how cool this was. Instead of whipping your neck around, a lot of the shock is absorbed by your knees, making for a much better ride.


Our next stop was Chicago. We rode this ginormous Ferris wheel during our day there. Another highlight was eating lunch at a little cafe on the pier. We sat outside! Fellow Oklahomans know what a novelty this is. It is far too windy to enjoy a meal outside here. At no point did I worry if my napkin would blow away or that my French fries would blow into my lap during a wind gust. I would love to go back to Chicago and explore the city. I would also love to spend another day at the Navy Pier, just sitting there and watching people. Chicago seems like a fun city.


Another of our activities was "exploring" the downtown area in search of Millennium Park and the Cloud Gate. By the time we found it, I was hot, sweaty, and sticky, but we got lots of super cool photos. I was so impressed by the amount of small, neighborhood parks we found during our tour of downtown. Everything was so trimmed and clean. And everyone had a dog trotting along on a leash in front of them. It made me miss Lucy.

We had a great time! But after five and a half days away from home, I was glad to be back. And after a few moments of pouting, Lucy was glad to see us, too!

Sneaky Boss

My boss made my day today.

I had plans to meet Pound Fries (which is a silly name, so I'm just calling her Lisa from now on) for lunch at a popular local cafe, and when I walked in I saw my boss sitting on one side of the room and the HR director sitting on the other. They all said hello as they left, and Lisa and I went on with our lunch.

We had a great time chatting about her new job and my upcoming wedding, and when it was time for the bill, the waitress told us that our ticket was already paid. My boss had sneakily paid our check when he paid his. That made our day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Greenies



Lucy will only eat two kinds of treats. She likes dental Greenies and Milkbones. Dental Greenies cost $1 each for a "petite" dog (Lucy is closer to "medium" but I'm not willing to pay more than $1 for a dog treat). Milkbones are more like $5 for a big box. For this reason, Lucy usually eats Milkbones. She only gets Greenies when they come in free samples or when I'm feeling frivolous (which is rare). I thought she deserved a Greenie today, so I made a special trip to Atwoods for her (okok, C. also needed jeans).

I think my dollar was well spent. It made her very happy. Normally she won't eat in front of me, and she hates having her photo taken. Today, she devoured her Greenie in front of me while I took her photo. I think it put her in a better mood for a little while. If she has to take lots of pills, I might invest in the bag of Greenies. You can tell by looking at her poor, swollen paw in this photo that she deserves a bag of Greenies.

Evil Wasp

Lucy and I had a stressful Monday morning. I had the day off, so I was sitting around in my relaxy clothes, minding my own business. C. called to ask if I would run the water hose across the driveway to the cattle tank. I am a good little farm wifey, so I did as I was asked. Lucy and I unrolled the hose and dragged it across the driveway. I had the hose loosely draped in the tank when I felt a stinging on my hip. I looked down and there was a wasp! He had the nerve to sting me! It hurt really horribly, but I was in the process of being productive, so I was going to finish arranging the hose securely and then return to the house to attend to my wound.

Just as I was getting the courage to continue with my job, I felt another sting on my arm! I had seriously upset this wasp somehow! As I started to swat him away, he went in for a third time. I don't know what I did to this deserve this, but the wasp was not happy with me! Lucy just stared up at me with a confused look. She could not figure out why I was jumping around, crying and screaming like a little girl. At this point I decided to let the wasp win, and ran back to the house as quickly as I could. I called C. and informed him that I would not be returning to that part of the yard; the wasp could claim that as his territory as far as I was concerned. However I was brave enough to return outside to turn on the water. This seemed safe enough, considering the faucet is attached to the house.

When I got back inside I Googled "wasp sting" and discovered that WD-40 soothes stings. I tried it, and it works! I was amazed. It seems a little risky, but I was in pain! I needed something strong. I think it might be true that WD-40 and duct tape can repair the world!

Yesterday, I went on a jog after work, and was sad that Lucy didn't accompany me as she normally does. She didn't get up from her spot under the shade tree. Then she didn't even get up when I offered to let her in the house after I got home. She also completely ignored the cats and their food that I left out for her to freely steal. C. finally convinced her to come inside later yesterday evening (he can convince her to do anything) and we noticed that her poor little eye was swollen. Then, upon further investigation, we saw that her poor little leg was swollen even worse than her eye. We realized that Lucy wasn't giving me a pathetic look because I was acting crazy, the wasp had stung her, too! I was worried because she looked so sad and mopey. I wanted to give her Gatorade, but C. said that might not be a good idea. Then I asked if I could spray some Benadryl on her, and he also shot that idea down. He said that people remedies are probably not a good idea for a dog. We decided that she would have to make do with an full bowl of water and extra treats for the night.

This morning C. took Lucy to the vet where she got a shot and some pills to make her feel better. I hope he gave her more treats when they got home. Do you find it odd that I didn't find it necessary to drag myself to the doctor after some nasty wasp stings, but we rushed Lucy to the vet as soon as it opened the morning after we discovered she was in pain? She's a spoiled dog. But she's fully deserving of it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More Shopping Carts

Yesterday I wrote about my frustration with people abandoning shopping carts in store parking lots. This is pretty annoying, but I neglected to mention the other frustrations associated with shopping carts.

My mom reminded me how incredibly irritating it can be when you have grabbed a cart with a clunky wheel that rattles the whole time you're shopping. Unfortunately, you usually don't realize how bad it is until you're too far away from the door for it to be worth the effort of going back and switching carts. Once you've put some items in your cart, it's too late. You're stuck with the clunky wheel.

Then there are the carts that shock you as you push them throughout the store. This has been a recent development, and it's quite a pain. When you don't hold the plastic part of the handle, the static buildup from the metal cart shocks your hands!

What are your biggest shopping pet peeves?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shopping Carts

Does it annoy you when shoppers abandon their carts in the parking lot after loading their purchases into their cars? It is one of my biggest pet peeves. I find it to be incredibly lazy, rude, and inconsiderate. I get especially peeved when I see someone push their cart out of the way, look around to make sure no one saw, then walk away. If you wouldn't do it when you know someone is watching, then you shouldn't do it at all!

If I see an abandoned cart in the parking lot when I arrive, I usually take it into the store with me. If I see one in the parking lot on my way out, I push it to the nearest cart corral. It’s not that hard! I get very frustrated by people who refuse to take responsibility simply because no one is holding them accountable.

My frustration about the shopping cart issue is the main reason for my love of Aldi. This company focuses on providing high quality products at low prices to their customers. They do this by streamlining their processes and reducing costs, which they pass on to consumers. Their inventory is displayed on pallets in the stores, so they can easily rearrange displays and don't have to invest in expensive shelving. They don't accept credit cards, so they don't have to cover credit card fees in their overhead. You bring your own bags and bag your own groceries to reduce overhead, which helps keep prices low. You see very few employees in the stores because they don't need extra staff to round up wayward carts, bag groceries, and stock shelves.

My favorite feature, though, is their "cart rental system." Their carts are all linked together outside the store. Before you go in, you insert a quarter to release your cart, and when you finish using it, you reconnect the chain and your quarter pops back out. I love this system! You never see abandoned carts in Aldi's parking lots. If people have invested in something, they take care of it. Unfortunately, I think that is a value many people have forgotten.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Family Wedding

Julie and I just returned from a long road trip to attend our cousin's wedding in Ohio. I went with my parents and Julie and C. drove separately. We traveled through Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and a little bit of Ohio. Our dad was extremely impressed with the beautiful farmland in the midwest. The irrigated corn in Oklahoma isn't nearly this tall and only produces one ear per stalk. Our dad is 6'3" and this corn still towers over him and has two ears per stalk!


My parents and I arrived on Thursday evening and assisted with the wedding preparations on Friday. Both sides of the family pitched in and helped prepare for the ceremony and reception, then the bride and groom invited everyone over to their house for supper. They have a nice backyard, so everyone sat around and ate and got to know each other since it was the first time many of the family members had met. Here's the groom doing his part to beautify the wedding arch:


When we arrived for the wedding, there were a lot of motorcycles parked at the VFW post where the reception was to be held. I was a little confused by this, but apparently this was one stop on a poker run. I really hoped all of the participants wouldn't fire up their motorcycles in the middle of the wedding ceremony! Fortunately, that didn't happen. The wedding went great!

The wedding was outdoors on Saturday afternoon at 4:00, and it was just lovely. The wedding ceremony took place under a pavilion next to a quiet stream and the reception was at the VFW post right next door. The weather cooperated perfectly and we couldn't have asked for a better day.



The reception was also excellent. The event was very casual, with a home cooked meal for dinner. The meal was catered by friends of the bride and groom. We had burgers, beans, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, and lots of other good food, then, of course, wedding cake for dessert! My dad said this was the best wedding reception food he had ever eaten...because he got full!

Here are a few more pictures from the wedding festivities.

Julie and me after the wedding ceremony:


The bride and groom's first dance:


The bride's dance with her father:


The groom's dance with his mother:


The groom and best man being "serious:"


And, finally, the happy couple!

Recipe Binder


I have lots of pretty cookbooks. They have wonderful, magnificient recipes. However, for the most part I am too lazy to attempt many of the recipes in these books. I prefer to go online to Tasty Kitchen or Pillsbury and print the recipes. It's much easier than digging through a book. As you can see, I have acquired a pile of recipes that has stacked up and become tacky over time.



So I came up with a solution! I found a cute little polka-dotted binder and some plastic cover sheets to organize my recipes. Now when I want to make something, I can just take the plastic sheet out and magnet it to my [lovely] metal cabinets. It's super handy.


I even got matching dividers--which I later found out was pointless because you can't even see them between the recipes. But that's ok! Because I know they match, and that's all that matters!


Now my paper recipes aren't tacky anymore! They have a handy little system that hopefully requires very little maintenance!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

...And the Winner Is...

Thank you to everyone who entered the CSN Stores giveaway this weekend!

(Drumroll, please)

The lucky winner is (selected by the random number generator at Random.org) comment #9, Kendra!

Congratulations, Kendra! I will contact you via email today just in case you miss this post and then you will get to choose what you're going to buy with your $50 gift certificate!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Basketball Storage



I got a new bookcase because I am trying to make one of the rooms in my house less tacky. Bookcases automatically make things classier (as does covering the yellow walls with white paint). This particular bookcase is intended to store board games, however I am having a hard time putting brightly colored board games on my pretty bookcase.
One day I came home from work and noticed C. got things going for me. He decided the bookcase would be a good place to store his basketball. Maybe it's time to follow his lead. I'm sure the bookcase currently feels sad that I'm not allowing it to serve its purpose of storing things. The basketball is currently making it feel useful.
Or maybe I'm putting too much thought into this.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dinnerware

How do you feel about dishes? Do you have casual dinnerware or fine china? I love dishes, but I don't have any fancy ones! Blondie and I debated, for a brief moment, whether or not we should register for nice china. I didn't see the point in requesting fancy (expensive) dishes that can't be washed in the dishwasher and are incredibly difficult to replace if you break one. And we would break way more than one. We can't be trusted with nice things. Blondie once broke a vase at my house without even touching it! He denies it, but I assure you, he was completely at fault.

I already have plenty of dishes, so we decided to forgo the fancy dishes and register for stuff we actually need. My everyday dishes are plain white plates, and I use them on special occasions too. They work fine and I don't think any of our guests have ever cared that they're not fancy. I'm pretty sure they're more concerned about what's on the plates than the plates themselves.



They came from K-Mart several years ago and some are chipped and scratched now, but they serve my purposes well. Over the years, I have acquired more white pieces that complement my cheap china. I got this nested set of bowls at Pier 1. They must have been on sale, because I generally think things at Pier 1 are too expensive, but I don't remember the price of these.


I received this gravy boat as a gift. It came from Crate & Barrel, which means it was out of my price range and I would have never purchased it for myself. But I needed a gravy boat, so I was very glad to receive it.


Julie talked me into buying this Fiesta platter. I needed a white platter to go with my white bowls and this one was on sale. I guess it is probably my nicest piece of "china," you know, since it has a brand name and all.


If you're in the market for a some new dinnerware, or any kind of kitchen stuff, check out CSNStores.com. They have over 200 stores that offer lots of unique items for your home and family. Their cookware site has lots to choose from! They have everything from individual pieces of your fine china pattern to affordable casual dinnerware.

Thanks to CSN Stores, one lucky reader of Lame Adventures will win a $50 gift certificate to any of CSN Stores' online stores. CSN Stores offers everything for your home, including furniture, home decor, housewares, outdoor items, baby and kid stuff, school and office supplies, shoes, bags, luggage, pet supplies, and health and fitness equipment. CSN Stores is a one-stop-shop for just about anything you might need.

To enter: check out CSN Stores' 200+ stores and leave a comment to tell me what item you would use the $50 gift certificate to buy.

For additional entries (leave separate comments for each):
  • become a follower of Lame Adventures
  • post a direct link to this giveaway on your facebook status
  • blog about the giveaway; leave a direct link to your post in the comment
The winner will be selected by a random draw. Make sure your comment gives me a way to contact you if you win. If I can't get in touch with you, I'll have to select another winner!

The giveaway ends at 10:00 pm, central time, on Monday, August 9, 2010.

Due to shipping issues, the giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.

Nobody paid me to say nice things about CSN Stores, but CSN Stores is giving one of my readers $50 worth of stuff. Lucky readers!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Burrito with Cheese

It seems like it has been very trendy to make posts with detailed recipes so you will be able to follow it step-by-step. I thought it would be fun to show you step-by-step instructions on how to make one of my favorite meals.

C. has been on the tractor a lot lately, which means I am on my own for supper. I don't like heating up the kitchen and making something complicated for one person, so I typically pull something simple out of the freezer. Recently it was frozen burritos.


The key is to start by placing the frozen burrito upside down on the plate so the burrito will cook evenly, then set the timer for 1 minute, 30 seconds.



With approximately one minute left, turn the burrito over so it is correctly positioned on the plate.

And yes, real people's microwaves have popcorn butter splashed on the walls. That's what microwaves are for.




With approximately 20 seconds let, remove the burrito from the microwave and cover thoroughly with sprinkle cheese. More is better, don't go light on the cheese. Shredding cheese is a waste of time. Buying the stuff in the bag is much more convenient.



Make sure to eat a good-sized pinch of cheese directly from the bag. Return the burrito to the microwave to finish cooking.



When the burrito is finished cooking, you could add fresh vegetables to your plate, but the easiest option is to dump some Fritos on your plate and grab a Dr. Pepper. This is how frozen burritos were meant to be eaten.



Keep in mind that frozen burritos, Fritos, and Dr. Pepper have absolutely no good nutritional value. It's also important to remember that they are most likely filled with tons of fat and calories. It is advisable that you get out your running shoes and hit the road after giving the burrito an appropriate amount of time to settle in your stomach. However it is completely understandable if you would like to follow your burrito up with a pudding cup and watch trash tv for the rest of the evening.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Last Day of Painting (For Now)

Blondie has spent lots of time this summer painting my house. My house has been needing to be painted for a couple of years now, and Blondie stepped up to the challenge. I joked that I would not marry him until he painted my house and built me a fence. He is going to have to earn his keep!

His progress was delayed by several weeks of rain and professional committments recently, and today has been the first day he has been able to get back to work in a while. Unfortunately, it will also be the last day that he will be able to paint for a while. He's having a minor surgery tomorrow and will then be recovering until he returns to school on August 10. Painting will be intermittent after that.

He sent me an email this morning that said, I am painting very intensely today. It is a good thing I have Yogi there to help me." His message was accompanied by a few photos. Here is one, taken from the scaffolding:


 This picture made me smile. I'm pretty sure Yogi is not much help, but he's probably good company!