Monday, July 27, 2009

Bank picnic

One of the things I love about living here is that every year the Converse County bank hosts a fabulous summer fun picnic in the park. They have hot dogs galore (some years they've even had brats and hamburgers), tons of drinks, tons of bags of chips, and tons of fun.

We started with dinner (something you did from the years they had brats, the brats were always gone by the end of the night)
Lilly had a hot dog and some white cheddar popcorn

Then we had ice cream sandwiches.

Then we were messy so we cleaned up a bit.

Then we wandered over to the balloons and got a balloon and since there wasn't much of a line yet for the tattoos or face-painting we stood in line for those. Lilly got a tattoo of a butterfly on her arm.

And a ladybug on her cheek, which took all of two seconds to smear.

Then we decided to check out the bouncy's. We thought she might be too young for some of them but that she could do others and would enjoy it. Boy were we wrong!

But watching the others play was a good opportunity for making friends.

Then with daddy along to reassure and help Lilly tackled the obstacle course.

She wasn't doing too bad by the end. she says the bouncy things still aren't her thing.

Then we watched all the kids zipping down the slide and she wanted to try it. so her and daddy climbed the slide and slid down! She enjoyed the climbing but didn't think much of it when it was her on the slide coming down. Maybe next year she'll enjoy these more. There were kids barely taller then her making their way up the rock climbing blowup. I have hope for her for next time.

Entertainment was provided in the form of some gymnastics and a dance by the local gymnastics girls team.

They also did handstands.

Then we had to get snowcones! This was the one thing she thoroughly enjoyed last year. She enjoyed it no less this time.

Down to every last slurp!

Then since we'd found uncle Rick we all walked back to get more food and she got to swing a bit between their arms

She got Cheetohs this time! and double fisted it!

Then we enjoyed some of the live music provided by the local band and danced till the sun went down! (If I can figure out how to do a video on here I'll put a dancing one on.)

And we're all looking forward to a wonderful time and tons more fun and food next year!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm a little fruity!

Well we all knew I'd lose it someday. What happens when a woman buys a few fruits to try out her "new" old dehydrator that she just inherited from grandma and the husband says "I'll take your dried fruit to work with me." ?

Lemon (citrus didn't work well), honeydew, cantaloupe, plums, cherries

After giving him a dirty look and "politely" explaining that he can take fresh fruit while it is in season she decides that since fruit is in season and on sale and since hubby obviously doesn't have a problem with dried fruit that she is going to buy some and dry it for winter. Yummy snacks, topping for oatmeal, cereals, ice cream and so many other things. hmmm

So she goes to the store, and what does she see?? Fruit! And lots of it! And all sorts that she loves! soooo.....

She buys the fruit and gets it home

She vaguely wonders if she might have gone a tad bit overboard but hey this is fun right?

She sets her apricots that she canned last night off to the side.

Places her azure order up out of the way (ordered with Michaela and Millie)

And begins. The blueberies and cantaloupe make it into the first dehydrator (got at a garage sale when I mistakenly thought the trays would fit into grandmas)

Some nectarines, peaches, and cherries make it into grandmas and the rest of the fruit is all sorted through for firmness and ripeness. New batch tomorrow hopefully!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Slaughtering chickens

Warning! Contains graphic photos!

Well I talked my friend Millie and her family into coming down and helping me process my chickens. neither of us had done this before.

I had caught the four chickens the night before and had them locked in a pen. Millie's hubby Joe was wonderful and wrung all of their necks for us. Then we took the four down by the BBQ grill and got the scalding pot ready.

The chickens waited patiently

Then I scalded the chickens while Millie and Joe started plucking.

Here are the chickens waiting to be gutted (Joe did the gutting!)

And here they are after gutting and having their feet removed

And here is one of mine all cut up and in bags

Monday, July 13, 2009


The water pretty much took out enough of the corrals that we will have to rebuild most of it.
The quick paint map I made below has the barn in blue, where corral fences are/were in black and red lines where they've been wiped out.

First fence (far right of map)

Next fence in (second to right on map)

Third fence (third from right on map)

Corner by the upper Corral

Fence to the left of the barn

Other end of the fence on that side

Fence along the tires

Barn flooded

One more along the road

Flash flood

It was a hail storm, electric storm, and torrents of water all in one. We had about 2 inches of rain, golf ball sized hail, and lightning strikes all within 1 hour. And the wind, can't forget the Wyoming wind...

You've heard the statement that things will look better in the morning?? They do and they don't! lol There is quite a bit of damage and most things are gone. I have no garden, no sunflowers, the peonies and rhubarb that we planted 3 days ago are gone. I don't know if my lilacs, plum, or cottonwoods will survive. There is no point in planting the willows that I had. We lost the six chicks, the rest seem to be doing okay. There is a few leaves left on two of the cottonwoods and we will see how they do. The evergreen saplings look slightly rougher but are all in great shape considering. Other than the 6 chicks we didn't lose any of the other animals so far. They were all soaked to the bone last night and it remains to be seen if any will have lasting effects but they are all alive this morning. Other than the rabbit that was in the flipped hutch the others managed to stay dry and safe. The chickens, turkeys, dogs, and goats were all soaked.

At one point during the storm the back door blew open and Tim's dog Sarah came rushing in drenched. I have no idea why she wasn't in her dog house! She has one! At another point I was in the living room and Lilly started crying in the kitchen less than 20 feet away and I couldn't hear her over the storm. To top the fun off yesterday was Tim's birthday and I threw a party for him. We had 7 extra people here when it hit. There were points last night we weren't sure that they were going to be going home that night.

The ranch got it worse. I have no idea how the cows are doing but the corral at MIL's house is gone. I haven't been down there to see yet I was waiting for Lilly to wake up. I did get up this morning however and take a drive down the road in both directions from our house and we also took a drive after company left last night although it was almost dark.

Hail flows in our back yard last night

Is there a pot of gold?? I think we need one.

Our back yard

Irrigation ditch behind our house and along the road last night

irrigation ditch this morning

what's left of my plum tree

The willows that were to be planted

The cat that hunts and got caught in it vs. the lazy cat (this is the muddiest I've ever seen this cat and he is nuts about staying clean!)

Waterfall on the road last night (there were idiotic teenagers driving across this!)

That same waterfall by mornings light

the undercut of the road

The creek and fenceline, as you can see by the grass on the posts the water was HIGH!

The brand new culvert by our place that the county just put in.

Ironically the thistle survived...

The irrigation ditch from the hill. You can see where the water level was by all the washed mud

These are drifts of hail covered with mud and grass. My B-I-L has a picture of him standing next to them last night and they reach his waist.

Some of our pasture area...the grass is gone, the cactus survives *grimace*

I will post more later after I have pictures of the corral and some of the damage on the ranch itself.
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