Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Speaking of cruise...

We had a great time on our cruise. Even though it was only 3 days, and the time seemed to fly by, it was definitely a much needed vacation.
This was our ship...Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas. Our previous cruise experience was with a different company, and we'll just say that we won't be going back to them. The RC staff was so nice and friendly, the food was super yummy, and it was just hands down a better cruise company. We can't wait to take another!

Our first day was spent at here at RC's island...Coco Cay (aka Little Stirrup Cay, part of the Berry Islands which are part of the Bahamas). We had a great time just relaxing at sea in the morning, and then did a midday sea kayaking tour. Once we got the hang of paddling (so that we didn't go in circles), the kayaking was lots of fun, but definitely an upper body workout. The next day was spent at Nassau where we did the snorkeling tour and then a little bit of shopping. Three days is much too short of trip really, but it was priced right (aka cheap!)

This is Raymond, our awesome waiter. He was soooo nice and fun....making sure we had exactly what we wanted to eat and offering advice whenever he saw us of what activities he would recommend we do...some of which were much more reasonably priced than the scheduled tours. We also had wonderful table mates. K suggested we request a large table so we could meet lots of people, but only 1 other couple showed up. They were awesome...we always found ourselves talking instead of eating, and we ended up spending several evenings socializing with them after dinner. We even have plans to visit them when we are in DC next fall. All in all it was just a great vacation, and we would highly recommend RC to anyone thinking about taking a cruise.

Awesome birthday gift

I got the bestest birthday gift ever (yes, my birthday was several months ago...but, well, I'm slow, ok). DH gave me a Canon D10 and it is awesome! My wonderful Canon 700 that I carry everywhere is a great little camera, but it is starting to wear out....the on-off button only works when it wants to. So I was thinking it was time for an upgrade, and since I have been taking so many pictures (stimulated by Becky Higgins Project 365, renamed Project Life for next year) I even had K in agreement. But there are oooohhh so many cameras out there...what's a girl to do?? Well, around this time we also decided to take a short cruise during our vacation at the end of September, and in looking at the activity choices, there was a lot of snorkeling to be had. On our first cruise in '96 we had done the swimming with the stingrays thing, and quickly discovered that the only way to get good pictures was an underwater camera...and boy are those things pricey when purchased on the tour boat! Then when we went with the in-laws to Mexico a few years later, I brought along my own disposable underwater cameras, but quickly went through both of them at Xel-Ha and then couldn't take any more underwater pictures the remainder of the trip. So I started looking around at digital underwater cameras. There are a few out there, but most seem to have really mixed reviews. And while they don't cost that much, it still seemed like a waste to buy one and potentially have it be ruined the first time underwater. But then, lucky me, Canon releases their first underwater camera. Yes, its a bit pricey, and yes, its a bit bulky and silly looking, but I love it. And it is a really nice general camera as well, so when my old Canon finally bites the dust, I'll already have a replacement. And as an added bonus...the D10 is cold tolerant as well...we had 12" of snow yesterday and I had it out quite a while last night in the snow and today in our -15 wind chill taking pictures, and it never froze up or gave me the low battery warning the whole time.

Soooo, on to the picture. This is one of my favorites of the 300 or so taken snorkeling in Nassau. These striped fish were so much fun...I was shooting away at the coral and fish along the bottom, and often when I looked up I would find myself in the middle of a large school of them. They would just swim past me like I was a normal part of their environment, and if you weren't paying attention you would even on occasion bump into one. We had a great to buy our own snorkeling equipment!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Not Fair

It's not fair! If I'm lucky, I can occasionally be found to have one critter or another cuddled up with me (Henry).

But every time K sits down he has at least 1, and often a whole swarm of critters (Serine, Meow, Pia, Fasciae, Maggie & Henry). Do you think it might be because mommy has been seen with needles around here?? I guess it is probably better for my allergies...but it's still not fair.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crazy week

We had one crazy week this summer...first Chelse (the horse) injured herself..not unusual for her, but she must have really been in pain as she chose to just lay down in the was hot and she became dehydrated and subsequently colicked. So frustrating when I have to call a working Vet in to fix something. Then the next night Elle (the duck) was not feeling well...I suspected she was egg bound, so she got to soak in a hot bath in the laundry room sink. Then, since things always happen in 3's, the next night we got home to find the neighbors cows up at the fence visiting with the, these cows weren't concerned about the strange ducks they were encountering, but as soon as I walked out to take pictures they turned and ran...and were all back home by the time we got the neighbor called and he and his cattle dogs arrived. Ahhh...the excitement we experience out here!

SIlly girls

Buffy and Elle standing on the foundation wall...contemplating whether they should get into my flowers or not I'm guessing.

Puppy in the Window

Isn't he so cute? Ardee was quite jealous that I was out talking to the neighbor without him. I did finally let him out, and he was a good boy and didn't lick their little girl too much!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Momma Kingbird had a nest on our porch again this year. Aren't they adorable??

Duck Go-Round

All 6 of the girls in the kiddy pool...makes it a bit full!

Harvest 2009

Just a few pictures from our wheat harvest this summer. We were lucky enough to get home from work just as they were starting, so we got to ride along for a while the first night. Then the second night they got started a bit later, so watched them cut as the sun set and then into the night. Farmers for a day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wheaty sunrise

So this is rather old (I'm trying to get caught up) and the wheat pictured here is just starting to change colors (it has now been harvested and is on its way to feed the world), but I thought it was a gorgeous picture of the sun rising over our big field.

Gobble Gobble

One afternoon we were surprised to look out and see this turkey hen walking along the north side of our house. She hung out in the yard for quite some time until the ducks spotted her and ran over to the fence to 'chat' with her. This is what I 'LOVE' about living in the never know what you will see.

Silly Horsey

It's a bit hard to see, but the horse standing in the drive is supposed to be in the pasture with the others...being mostly blind gets poor Chelse into lots of trouble. Luckily this time after she went over the fence it stood back up so the others couldn't follow along. One winter day in early 2008 we weren't so lucky and spent several hours hunting all over the area trying to find them.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

a real garden

We are hoping to have one anyway...if successful it will be our first beyond a few tomato and pepper plants. Got everything planted a few weeks ago, and then one night a couple weeks ago I go out to check on it to find cucumber beetles have devoured the cucumbers, watermelon and beans. A bit of replanting later plus nightly check for more beetles and it is looking better. We are hoping that we'll have enough veggies to can/freeze.

One last look at San Fran

We had an awesome room at the Parc 55 hotel. We had a corner room, but the corner actually jutted out a bit so that we had windows on most sides of the room. The room had a sitting area, a desk, a dressing area and then a huge bathroom. Behind all of the curtains below are windows, so we had great views of the city day & night.

San Fran activity #3

On the third day we headed North for a walking tour of Muir Woods. As you can see it was another dreary, overcast, rainy day...and we were out in it. We were both soaked and cold after our 3 hour hike, and again I didn't get very good pictures.
Golden Gate Bridge
The sign at the entrance into the woods, you can see our tour guide below the sign.
About the only picture I have of the redwoods since it was so dark once we got into the woods.
A banana slug crossing the trail.
K and I inside a burnt out redwood tree.

San Fran activity #2, part 2

The Monterey Canning Company on Cannery Row
An adorable see otter statue
Honestly, there are several sea otters in the picture out amongst the kelp.
Our tour guide with a piece of bullwhip kelp.
The lone cypress at Pebble Beach.

It was a very long day and not all of the sights were thrilling to us, but next time we'll rent a car and stop where we want to.

San Fran activity #2, part 1

Day #2 saw us headed South for a tour to Monterey. It was cold, rainy and rather dreary. Most of my pictures out the tour bus either are blurry from the speed or the raindrops on the window. But I did get some worth sharing.

A sea stack seen on our way south.
A lighthouse between artichoke fields and the ocean.
Gorgeous bougainvillea at a Thai restaurant in Monterey.
Several cormorants on the rocks outside Monterey aquarium.
These sweet geese swam their gosling right up to us.

San Fran activity #1

Our first evening we went on the Alcatraz tour. It was fun, but quite cold. And some idiot (yep, that would be me) forgot to bring the spare camera battery, so I didn't get many pictures.

K's favorite part of San Francisco

Yep, he could spend all day watching the silly sea lions on Pier 39.

Rockies from above

This was my first time to fly over the Rocky Mountains during the day without are some of the ski trails.

And some neat scenery.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

all 4 boys

Karl and Lenny in the pool, Darth and DB on the outside waiting their turn.

2 of my boys

Lenny & Karl enjoying a swim in their big pool. The Khaki's are decent flyers, so they don't typically use the ramp to get into the pool.

My babies are growin' up

Here are the girls a few weeks ago taking their first swim in the kiddy pool. The one outside the pool took a few more days than the others to figure it out, but now they all enjoy splashing in the pool.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

sunrise over the flint hills

Now that we are driving in to work as the sun is coming up, we are witnessing some gorgeous KS sunrises.