Friday, July 29, 2016

Oklahoma City National Memorial

One of the sites we wanted to visit while in OKC was the National Memorial. This is a place to remember the victims, survivors and rescuers of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. The memorial was beautifully done and sobering to say the least.

The Gates of Time, monumental bronze gates that mark the entrance of the memorial.

The Survivor Tree

The surrounding buildings still show damage from the bomb.

The Memorial Fence, visitors are still able to leave small items that are periodically collected, cataloged, and stored.

Field of Empty Chairs

Damaged foundations still stand.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Museum of Osteology

One of the places we visited while in Oklahoma City was the Museum of Osteology. It was on one of the "fun places to visit" lists I found online and they were right! It's basically a building full of animal skeletons. Everything from the smallest shrew to the biggest whale.

There on the front door was an interesting sign that I had to read twice because it seemed so out of place on the front door of a museum:

 We asked the lady at the front desk about it and she said they mount heads as well as do the "cleaning" of animal kills. And by cleaning I mean they literally let beetles clean all the flesh from the bone. They had a display case right in the entry way of the building with two skulls being cleaned by the beetles, a bobcat on the left and a coyote on the right. Creepy yet fascinating.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Anniversary Trip

Awhile back we decided we needed to go somewhere special for our 15 year wedding anniversary. I mean that's big, we need to celebrate....and without kids! So we started researching destinations. I knew it would only be a couple of days since we have a large family vacation coming up. We looked at Hawaii, Key West and Chicago and decided they were too much money for only a couple of days away. So we looked at places within driving distance and found downtown Oklahoma City. It has a great downtown with quaint restaurants, shops and entertainment so we booked two nights in the nicest hotel we could find.

We stayed at the Colcord which was by far the fanciest hotel I've stayed in. So luxurious! They had Champagne and chilled glasses waiting for us in our room when we arrived which was a special treat. They really went out of their way to make our stay as special as it could be. It was right in the middle of downtown and within walking distance to nearly all of the places we wanted to see.


For this trip I wanted to make sure we tried unique, local dining experiences.  No chain anything. So we got onto Google and searched for highly rated restaurants in downtown OKC. What we stumbled upon was definitely the best meal I've ever had. We walked the 1.2 miles (in the 100 degree heat no less!) to a restaurant that specializes in South American cuisine. It was called Cafe Do Brasil and the food was lovely. Finding vegetarian meals can be difficult but I chose this place because they had several veggie selections. My food was colorful and delicious! Sean enjoyed his seafood bake too.

We visited several places that I will blog about in the next week because there were far too many pictures. Just walking around downtown we encountered several fun things. One of which were the bike rentals. With our car in the parking garage we decided to walk everywhere which is fun in theory. In reality I had already developed sores on my feet from the first night walking to the restaurant (I packed pretty shoes, not walking shoes). Plus it was the hottest week of the year which made it difficult. If we had gone anywhere farther than a mile from the hotel I think we would have utilized these rental bikes. They were $5 for 24 hrs.

On the last evening we decided to walk to Bricktown which is their entertainment district. It was a lovely area with fun dining experiences and a canal that runs through it. We ate at the brewery and went to see the new Star Trek movie (which was really good!). We decided we were out of our element while walking the streets after dark among the "young" crowd. There were so many loud people! It was a nice experience nonetheless.

 The best part of the trip was spending 48 hours alone with my best friend. No kids to get snacks for, no hay to haul to animals, no dishes, no cooking. It was splendid and we sure appreciate my parents watching the kids and Jessica watching the animals. Looking forward to the next 15 years.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

2016 Garden: The Year of the Flower

In the past I'd had some rather large gardens. Gardens full of over 20+ crops. Gardens that took hours a day to maintain. I needed a break this year. A break from weeding, watering and smashing squash beetles between my bare fingers. I wanted something that was fun, happy and easy. I think I accomplished it this year. I dug three rows, two for zinnias and one for tomatoes. The zinnias have come in so lovely, they are by far my favorite garden flower. So easy to grow: water, mulch and forget about them. I did mulch this year with the contents of the goat house (hay and manure) so things are well fertilized. I find myself just going back to the garden and looking at the flowers. I nestled six tomato plants, one cucumber plant and a bell pepper among the zinnias, and they are all doing wonderfully. What a relaxing garden this year, I might need to do this again in the future.


I've been making this wonderful vegan "cheese" sauce that consists of potatoes and zucchini and found myself buying 4-5 zucchini a week. I felt guilty buying this when I could easily be growing it in my backyard so I started a small zucchini garden over by the blackberry bushes late in the season. I was worried they would be attacked by the dreaded squash bugs but I haven't seen them at all. I'm thinking it might be because I planted them in a new garden. I'm hopeful they stay away.

The flowers on the deck are doing great. I do love double petunias. The year of the flower has been fun. I do think more flowers next year would be fun.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Chicks & Goats

The chicks are around 6 weeks old now and have entered their gangly, teenage weeks. They get loaded into their cat carrier and taken outside during the day to peck at the grass and go nutty over every insect they find. Then at night they come back inside to their brooder in the living room. It's working for now but next weekend they will move into the hen house. I'm ready for them to be out of my house (although I will miss the tiny peeps).

The laydies are super inquisitive about the chicks.
The goats wanted to be photographed too so here they are (minus GoatMan who's a grumpy old man).

Saturday, July 16, 2016


Last week we had to have our Sophie put to sleep. You might remember back in January she had a goose egg sized tumor on her neck that we had removed. We were hopeful that the vet got all of it and that it wouldn't return. Well, return it did.....and with a vengeance. We talked about our options and another surgery wasn't in the cards. The tumor had tripled in size from the original one in January and was growing very quickly. It was a very hard decision but it was time to say goodbye.

She'd had a good life and was nearly 13 years old. I remember the day I got her. I'd went into the Humane Society with my friend Jessica. It was common practice to stop in there and say hi to all the dogs and cats. The building used to be somewhat near me but has since moved to the other side of town (which is a good thing!). I remember seeing a beautiful reddish retriever sitting in a kennel. We already had one golden retriever and I thought it would be so nice to have another big dog for Cisco to play with. We brought her into the play room to get to know her and she climbed up on my lap. She was eleven months old and not a puppy anymore but she still thought she was a lap dog. I took her home that day and, boy, has it been a ride ever since.

She was good dog with our babies. This was one of my favorite videos from when the kids were tiny.

We had the vet come out Thursday and she was put to sleep in the back yard under a shade tree. We'll miss her.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Eating popsicles on the deck in the sun. We love summer!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday Wesley!

Wesley is turning 9 years old today! He's such a sweet and caring kid that has quite a sense of humor. He keeps up laughing. At nine years old he's very much into video games like Terraria and Minecraft. He loves to read and draw and is super excited to download as many books as possible to his Kindle he got for his birthday.

He had his birthday party this past weekend and his Aunt Betsy and Uncle Blake came with cousins Emery and Bennett. Aunt Jessica was there with Alex, Abby and Evie along with Noni and Papa. It was great fun! Happy Birthday Wesley!

He wanted a Terraria cake, he got a Terraria cake with a giant fondant Eye of Cthulu.

Wesley has been asking for a metal detector for awhile so he got one for his birthday. The yard will never be the same.

Craigslist enthralled the boys.