Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another California Trip - Part 1

As a combined anniversary, birthday, and Mother's Day gift, Rich sent me to California for ten days. He said he knew of nothing else that would give me so much pleasure! What a gift! Precious time with Jeff and Jeremy and their families, my siblings, my mom, and very dear friends. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it!

The first weekend I spent with Jeremy, Renee, and Maddie. Jeremy was certain I'd like to help with Maddie's bath!  She's a slippery little thing!

I loved playing with her. She's a fun little girl. A charmer for sure!

Squash - a new vegetable. Hmmm, not so sure, she says!

Well, maybe not so bad! She enjoys her food! She pays very close attention when people are eating around her, watching them chew and talk. It was fun to watch her reaction as Renee held her at the stove while Jeremy cooked. She really seemed to sniff and smell. A foodie in the making!

She's an arm full for this Grandma. She's my motivation for getting back to the gym. Need to lift weights so I can lift her!

Out on a walk with Cole and Maddie - our oldest and youngest grandchildren.

Maddie was dedicated at church on Mother's Day and Jeremy and Renee received a very sweet children's Bible as a gift. Renee began what they plan to be a family tradition of a Bible story at bedtime.

Nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby! Remember when Jeremy and Renee were told she wouldn't be able to close her eyes to sleep??? Well, they close almost 100%!

A highlight of my visit was lunch on three separate days with very dear friends!

Fearless Foursome - Rockwell Science Center colleagues. We were a pretty good team - even if we say so ourselves! We worked like the dickens and kept that executive suite hummin'! Susan, Phyllis, Jeanette, and me.

Fab Four! Lucy, Janet, Betty, me. We've been together in church since the 1970s. Lots of water under our bridges! I've discovered just how precious history is in friendships!

Oldies but Goodies! Not speaking of age, of course!!  :) Kathy and I had a great lunch with Sharon and Sandy, also sisters. Sharon was my high school friend and Sandy was our sister, Cheryl's friend. They had a cousin, Gary, who was Kathy's first "crush". We met them soon after we moved to CA from Iowa in 1956 at Fairview Heights Baptist Church.

It was really precious time for me to reconnect with these dear gals! Love YOU all!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weather 'n Blooms!

Rich LOVES, LOVES, LOVES weather! He took these cloud photos in about five minutes yesterday (Wednesday). Pretty spectacular!

From the back deck.

Looking at Brett and Esther's home.

Looking the opposite direction.

From the front porch.

It was a stormy day but we were grateful for the rain!

Our "bloomin' yard". What a gorgeous sight it was when I returned from California on Monday. Rose bushes just "exploded" with blooms and our new Asiatic Lily is in bloom! I'm itchin' to get back outside. I hear weeds calling my name!

This makes my heart sing ...

For the Beauty of the Earth
For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Amen and amen!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lovin' the Garden!

In the midst of everything else we've been involved with in the last several weeks, we've been working in our yard. Seems like it takes longer that it used to to get a little work done.

Columbine - and something we can't remember the name of - that we planted last summer. They are truly gorgeous and flourishing!

I separated hostas this year and they are very happy!

Rich planted these gorgeous calla lilies and hibiscus. Love, love, love the colors! He misread the card on the pots and we discovered - too late - that they are not winter hardy for our temps so we'll have to come up with some way to protect them this winter. Any ideas???

The weigiela is starting to bloom.

We reworked our front flower garden. Took out a very large plant that didn't survive winter and planted this stunning rhododendron. Also planted Asiatic lilies that are perennials. We struggled to plant dahlias as a border. The soil here is horrible black clay and requires lots of amendments. It took about 15 minutes to clean out the clay core from the bulb digger, for each of the 15 holes!! It was solidly packed in and didn't make me very happy - to say the least!  Also planted dianthus. The little girls planted them in their front flower garden last year and they are gorgeous now, so we hope for the same results.

Thoroughly love working outside. Our time to do that here is so limited because of the weather. We still deal with not having a year-round growing season and the joy of working outside year-round. Really trying to make the best of it this year!

What did you plant in your gardens?

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Kansan Day Trip - Part 4 - The End

Our last stop for the day was a visit to the town of Greensburg. Greensburg was nearly blown off the map by a F5 tornado on May 4, 2007. 95% of the town was destroyed and 12 people were killed. Horrible! Rich and I drove there a couple of months after and it was shocking. Pres. Bush visited there as well as several celebrities. The town is rebuilding. It is encouraging. Here are some of the remains.

Denuded trees and vacant lots.

Steps to nowhere. Wonder what this building had been????

Rebuilding ... The new Main Street with cute new shops.

New water tower.

Greenburg's claim to fame has always been the Big Well.

It's a loooong ways down there.

I worked with a man who, when I would say, "well....", would reply "it's a hole in the ground". This is a BIIIGGG hole in the ground.

A new museum is in the planning stages. It will be good for the town. Notice how the pole was bent in the storm.
Here are some great signs from a cute coffee shop in town.

On the way home, we drove through Pretty Prairie, another very small town. We wanted to see the farm where Allen grew up.

Debby lived in Japan, where her parents were missionaires until she was 16. They relocated to Pretty Prairie where her father pastored a church. This gorgeous church is where Allen and Debby were married. The stained glass windows were beautiful.

12 hours later we returned them to their home. What a fun day we had. Thanks guys for letting us "horn in" on your monthly adventure!

A perfect finish to a perfect day - a beautiful Kansas sunset!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Kansan Day Trip - Part 3

Back on the road again ... looking for Sun City and ready for that pie.

Here it is! Sun City - in all its glory! Population? Debby said a little over 60! Certainly isn't like the Sun City retirement resorts we know about. Retirement? Yes. Resort, no.

Complete with a hitching post.

This is Buster's! As we drove up an "older gentleman" called out, "Do you wanna a beer?" Rich replied, "Do you have pie?" Well, the other man couldn't hear and this little conversation went back and forth. Good for a laugh. They had two portions of chocolate pie and apple crisp left from lunch. We were in luck!!

This is pretty much what you'd expect a place like Buster's to look like - complete with animal heads.

We were told people come from all over to eat here. People had been there earlier who came from east of Wichita and Tulsa! Must be good food. Will have to make another trip! When I asked the hostess to take our photo, she insisted the best place was in front of the mirror, behind the bar. So here we are!

The town has two churches; Sun City Baptist and The Father's House of Worship.

Post Office.

Signs of the past and present!

Leaving Buster's Allen checked our route with this gentleman who suggested a different route than the map. Debby kept asking, "Is it pretty? We want pretty."  He said we'd like it, so off we went.

Leaving town we saw this old boarded up home. Must have been quite beautiful in its day.

And across the road, this property owner is expressing his opinion!

This reminded me of the TV program, "If These Walls Could Talk". Plenty of tales would be told, I'm thinking.

This new route took us into open range, across cattle crossings. It was indeed pretty!

Last stop would be in Greensburg.