Monday, August 30, 2010

Cranes and Butterflies

Outside my office window this morning was evidence of the hard work the crane erectors did on Friday while I was off work. The crane in the middle is now taller than the Capital building and will soon take on a new shape as they install the cross bar, forming a very large T across our skyline.

During my afternoon walk I spotted this beautiful butterfly on some flowers out in front of our building.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

60th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday was a fun day as we spent time with family celebrating my parents' 60th Wedding Anniversary. Here are a few shots of the fun. The first pic is all five of us kids with Mom and Dad, then Mike, Matt, Emily and I and lastly is our Wire Fox Terrier, Tucker who came along for the ride.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kansas Castles and confession of a plant hoarder

This morning I think I experienced a bit of Heaven here on Earth when I peered out of my office window and saw this awesome site! Not only was that erection crane standing taller than any other structure in this city, but the rising sun was peeking through the Capital dome and a building down the street. Don't ask me why this touches me so deeply, but it does. I think that so often we tend to overlook the natural beauty of our downtown structures. To think that it went from this
Kansas State Capitol, c. 1880 and this Kansas State Capitol, 1889

to this today.

While on my morning walk and snapping pictures of the tower crane being assembled I notice that this guy on top of the capital dome was shooting his arrow straight at....

Yup, you guessed it! From this angle it looks like he's shooting it straight at the top of that crane!

So now on with the rest of my story about being a plant hoarder. Have you ever had one of those pothos or philodendrums that gets so long that you just keep winding it around and around and around itself until you finally look closely and discover a really, really long length of stem without any leaves on it? Well that's what happened to me yesterday when I got tired of picking off dead leaves and decided to take this plant outside for a pruning. Take a look at how LONG the two main stems were. One was at least 20 feet long!

If you zoom in on the pic below you'll get a better idea of the magnitude of that stem!
So what's a girl to do with all that? Cut it up and put it in a vase of water to make MORE plants!!! Just can't make myself throw any living thing away. Anyone else have this problem?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kansas Statehouse Erector Crane Assembly

Ok, call me a sap, but I've been absolutely mesmerized by the activities outside my office window this week. We are fortunate to have the pleasure of watching as the tallest crane in North America gets assembled. This slide show is of the assembly of the crane that will actually erect the huge tower crane. It is a mystery so far what they will actually DO with the crane, but it has something to do with the ongoing (10+ years) renovation of our statehouse. I hope you appreciate the music because it represents my feelings as I witnessed the true majesty of this powerful metal object being assembled by true experts. It made me think of how we too were assembled by an expert and how He wants to use us to assemble His flock.... okay, enough of the sappiness and on with the show!

Friday, August 20, 2010

View from my office

Today I'd like to share the view from my office. I am one of the lucky ones with an awesome view of the sunrise through the dome of our State Capital building. They are preparing to erect the largest crane in North America right outside my window (well mine and 899 other workers!), so I thought with this momentous occasion coming up next week I'd start toting my camera to work. While I was snapping pics I also got a couple of my African Violets and my Fox Terrier socks. Enjoy!

If you zoom in on the street pic below you'll see the orange cones blocking off all but one lane and most of the parking out front. Usually park down there on the corner across from the circle drive, but decided with all the construction and potential for accidents I'd start using the employee parking lot.

Below is my little cubicle. Yes that towel on my chair says "Looney Tunes" and I suppose it's what we all feel like every now and then, huh?

One of my African Violet blooms

My traditional breakfast at my desk.

My socks!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I just gave blood and feel good about it

Today I did my little part to help someone who in the future needs some blood. It makes me feel good to know that the 400 ml of red blood cells (or whatever it is they took during the procedure where they recirculate your blood back in to your body... I want to say pherisis, but am sure that isn't exactly right) will make the world a better place for a person. These days it's not always easy to find a way to help that doesn't require time or energy that I don't always have, so I was very happy to be given the opportunity to do this during working hours. They actually come to our building which houses about 900 state government workers. The place was buzzing with excitement... well maybe that was the sound of the blood exchange machines. Another good thing? Gotta give them credit for their awesomely positive attitude and Nutter-Butter cookies!!! (my favorite!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Canning Pears is a Family Affair

Today I was joined by my husband and daughter in lively conversation as we peeled, sliced, cored and canned the hundreds of pears that grew on the tree next to the driveway. Although very tiring and at times amusing, it was nice to have all three of us in the room together chatting like old times. Our son-in-law had to work today, so we didn't get to chat with him, but I'm sure the animals of our great city needed him (he's an animal control officer). So, just sit back and enjoy the show... well it's late and instead of making a slide show I'm just including a bunch of pictures below...

and what were the doggies doing while all this was going on? Well besides begging for pear peelings....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oodles of Pears!

Here are some pics of the pears ripening down in my daughter's basement. We are planning on canning, baking and pear-butter crock potting on Sunday when hopefully they'll all be ripe. I found a ripe one today in the batch I took to work and was in Pear Heaven for the couple of minutes it took me to savor every last bite, well except for the one bite I shared with a friend to tempt her in to taking some home!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mamarazzi Monday (better late than never)

I came across this blog tonight and was drawn to it because the writer is an Army wife currently stationed in Germany. Having lived there twice that kind of peaked my interest. I look forward to reading more of her blog posts and getting to know her and other military wives. Not that I ever was one, but I was an Army brat and also served in the Army in Germany, so that's gotta count for something, right?

Anyway, I posted the picture of Mary and I picking pears on her blog. Go take a look and enjoy her fine writing and photography style.

Time to tuck this one in bed...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Buffet is FINALLY DONE!!!

Woohoo the buffet door handles and knobs came in the mail yesterday while I was pet-sitting my granddogs, cats, guinea pigs and fish!!! The first thing I did when I got home this morning after greeting all my pups was to tear open the package and mount these babies. What do you think? Did I tell you how incredibly difficult it was to find handles with a 4 1/4" distance between screws? Now that they're on the buffet I kind of wish they would have come in a bronze color, but under certain lighting conditions the floor has hints of that grey brushed nickle look to it, so I think all in all they're so much better than the old broken handles.

In the lighting below you can see the grey tint in the flooring.
Notice below how the shape of the door handle mimics the inlay on the drawer?

These are very sturdy and well made.
If you're looking for a huge variety of knobs and handles try looking through the supply online at  Shipping took a while, but they ship from a variety of locations. The prices were much lower than our local hardware stores, including the big ones and none of them had the right center size.

Pickin Pears

Here I am with a friend on her truck picking pears off the tree beside our house. What we thought would be a fairly simple task turned out to be a three hour long ordeal yielding hundreds of pears. The thing with pears is that you can't let them ripen on the tree or they'll get mushy, so we had to pick as many as we could. A bunch of branches had to be removed, many with the pears still on them. Hey, that's a really easy way to pick pears if you ask me! I kept saying, "yeah, that branch needs to be cut off too!" Now the tree is pretty thin, which hopefully will result in fewer, but larger pears next year.

Here we are with our bounty and tired, sore bodies. You can click on the pic to enlarge it to see the piles of pears in those bins (the pears folks, not my pear-shaped body... well more like apple shaped these days!)
Thank you Mary for the use of not only your truck, but your physical strength and good laughs! Oh, I just noticed our neighbor across the street on his riding mower (look over my right shoulder.) He got so worried about Mike standing up on the truck with the long-handled tree saw that he brought over his that has an extension handle on it. Thanks neighbor!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Buffet and bookcase are done (almost)

I was hoping the new door handles and knobs would arrive soon, but no such luck, so I took pictures of the buffet sans handles/knobs anyway. At least you get the picture of what it looks like, then I'll post another after they get here. Silly camera doesn't always like to flash when it needs to, so excuse the darkness in the shots of the new (old) wine cabinet. Notice something is lacking in it? Yeah, we don't spend much money on alcohol around our house and when we do it's usually for a special occasion, not to set in some wine cabinet, but we both fell in love with the artsy whimsical, yet sort of Tuscan style and the price was right (way below half price!), so at the suggestion of our SIL I put some table linens in the cubbies. We're still not quite done with the dining room, but at least it's more like home now. I'll live with the roosters a bit longer until time to paint the walls, but it just looks too cluttered for my current taste. That Daddy-O of the Patio plaque has a place to hang on the wall, but I'm not quite ready for that either.
If you zoom in on this bookcase you can see the huge variety of cookbooks in my collection. I've got everything from special diet books to vegetarian to full-fledged Southern high fat cooking!
Below is the wine cabinet. Notice how the fruit design kinda sorta matches that of the rocking chair. I just realized that more than half of my dining room furniture came from the same place, Once More Decor (sorry, no web site found) in Topeka, Kansas. Great place to find quality previously owned furniture!

Ta ta for now!