Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Giraffe

We went to the zoo yesterday and had a just fabulous time.
There were the normal attractions; elephants, bison, snakes, etc
but the best attraction was the young giraffe.

Boy was this little guy friendly.

And hungry...or maybe he was just curious. But he was up on that fence LOVIN' the attention from all these little kids. HA! A blue!

And boy was Yahoo enjoying this giraffe too!

Yap got a bit to close and got a bunch of giraffe slobber as a souveneir.

Yahoo REALLY wanted to pet this giraffe and she wasn't about to let something as little as a fence stop her!!

Thanks Mr. Giraffe! You were, by far, the most popular attraction at the zoo yesterday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wheat Art

If you've been around this blog for a while you've probably noticed I haven't been drawing lately. One of the reasons is because I've been busy this month taking an art history class at the local community college in order to get the credits I need to renew my teaching license in the state of Kansas. I've been reading and writing like crazy because this class is basically a semester long class crammed into four weeks. Even though I'm doing a lot of reading and writing I have been able to do a little artwork in this class.

This is a monoprint. Basically I painted this composition onto a piece of plexiglass with water soluble paint, in this case high quality watercolors. The paint is allowed to dry and then placed on top of a very wet piece of heavy water color paper. Then a rolling pin is rolled back and forth on top of the plexiglass to transfer the design to the paper. After this one was dry I went into it with some colored pencils to add more lines around the sun and most of the black at the bottom.

The wheat crop has been on everyone's minds here this summer, mine too, and artists are often influenced by their environment and community. I've just had a lot of different wheat designs on my mind lately and have somehow wanted to express some of the anxiety over a drought and poor wheat harvest.

This is a canvas I've just started. I painted the entire canvas red using acrylic spray paint and tonight I just finished drawing on the design with a white pencil. I'm hoping to get into this painting this week. It's been a while since I've painted and I'm probably kind of rusty. I'm thinking of painting with only white and having a very stark painting. We'll see how it works out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Old Ford

Found in Downtown Garden City, Kansas.

By golly, you could be Mater's brother.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Old Time Wheat Harvest

Wheat harvest is just about finished in this part of the country. About one more week is the estimate. Although the drought has been bad and the harvest poor the local farmers have had a better crop than they expected. Better, but still not good.

Every year the locals get together for a day and have an old time wheat harvest to show how it used to be done.

No, this combine isn't an's just waiting to finish the job that the old time machines start.

I can't imagine harvesting fields of wheat with this little guy.
And look at that tractor! No cab, no air conditioning.

But there were three old time harvesters running in the field and dumping in an old grain truck...not a huge semi truck like farmers use now a days.

Looks hot out there doesn't it? Well, it is. The temps have been in the 90's and 100's for the last few weeks. Today's high is 106. (After I finish typing this post we are going to the pool!)

It was funny because there were probably 50 people out in the middle of this hot wheat field just watching the harvesters run. I'm sure they wouldn't have been so cheery if they'd been harvesting this way everyday for two weeks.

 This was a chance for some of the guys in the area to share some of their old toys too.
 Antique tractors and antique cars.

I was really looking forward to the old time harvest as being a wonderful educational experience for the boys. Honestly though it was too hot and dusty and we were all in a raging bit of a grumpy mood  so we didn't stay very long.

The most interesting thing for the boys to do was pick up wheat the old harvesters had missed. Yip and Yap kept holding up handfuls at me and hollering, "Is this enough wheat to make some bread Mom?"
I kept answering, "Not quite."

So a couple large handfuls of wheat are sitting in the back of my car and maybe this week will try to thresh it and grind it into flour and use it in some bread. I think the boys will be pretty disappointed with how little flour they'll get though! Maybe next year it will be a bit cooler on old time harvest day...I hope!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Devotions - Goodness of the Lord

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27: 13-14

I don't like to watch the television news. I don't like to read newspapers or listen to the news on the radio. Have you ever noticed how thoroughly depressing current events can be? Wars, disaster, crime. I get discouraged just thinking about it. When I read or hear about something terrible in the news I begin to lose faith in humanity. I think, "God created man with tremendous gifts, yet this is how we choose to apply them? Through crime and hate and selfishness?" It makes me want to crawl back under the bedcovers and never come out.  

King David must have felt the same way about the current events and people in his lifetime. He had plenty of enemies and troubles yet he still had faith that he would see "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." And you know, once I start looking around the people around me I do see the goodness of the Lord in them.

There were people in our community watching over our house when we were gone over Memorial Day weekend that we didn't even ask to. A teacher friend of ours has watched my kids a couple hours a week over the summer, since she knew I had no family near, so I could have some time to myself. Recently a woman here in town donated a whole bunch of candy to the summer library kids program. None of these things were grand gestures but little things that one person could do for another. But none of these people had to do these things but they did out of the kindness of their heart and not for any public recognition.

Stop and think; in what ways have you seen "the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" lately? It's there, don't worry if you haven't seen it lately. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Dear God, Thank You for giving me faith in mankind. You have given each and every one of us gifts. Use those gifts in us to show your goodness to everyone we meet. Bless those wonderful people in our lives Lord who return to me faith in mankind. Amen.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wow, my garden is ACTUALLY growing!

I was starting to have doubts that I'd ever get a garden to grow in Kansas but, much to my surprise, things are looking pretty good. Things are growing!

I have a tomato...that't going in tomorrow's dinner. I don't know what tomorrow's dinner is yet but it will definitely be tomato related.

Oh look! More a comin'! Maybe I will get to make tomato soup this year!!

And a zuchinni...that's going in tomorrow's dinner too....zuchinni and tomato...hmmm, what else?

I have an okra! I've never grown okra but now I have one and just have to figure out how to cook it!
Tomorrow's appetizer perhaps?

I just love the fact I can fix food from my own backyard.

However, this one has DR and I puzzled. After all our cucumbers were wiped out by hot, high winds this plant was left. We think it's a pumpkin. Buuuuut we didn't plant pumpkins. 

Hmmm...where did this plant come from??? Ah, HA!

 The culprit? We think this came from our Halloween jack o' lanterns that went into our compost pile which went into our garden! We'll see how it grows!  

We do need to get this garden mulched though for as hot as it is getting. Hopefully I'll find some straw to get on it soon to help hold down some of the moisture.

Do you have photos of your garden? I'd love to see what your garden is looking like.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Foody Friday - Cabbage Rolls

The All-American Cowboy Grill : Sizzlin' Recipes from the World's Greatest Cowboys

For Christmas this year I received The All American Cowboy Grill cookbook as a gift. I hadn't looked at it much but I dusted it off this week and found a surprisingly good cabbage recipe that I tweaked a bit to accommodate the ingredients I had available.

Don't like cabbage? Don't worry, the HONEY in this recipe will help you love it!

Cabbage Rolls

1 lg. white cabbage
1 t. salt

1/2 onion
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 cup ground meat (beef, venison, pork, your choice)
cabbage cooking liquid
1 cup of chopped cabbage
1 (or so) cups of cooked rice
1 t. salt
1 t. ginger
1 t. pepper

2 T. honey
cabbage cooking water for basting

Cut the base off the cabbage, and cook in salted water until the leaves are soft. As the cabbage head cooks the outer leaves will fall off. Gently lift them out as they release and allow to cool on a plate until you have about a dozen cabbage leaves. Take out the remaining cabbage and chop up. Reserve the cooking water.

To make the filling, in a skillet, heat a small amount of oil, add onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are clean but not brown. Brown the ground meat with the onions/garlic. Once the meat is cooked add 1 cup of cabbage cooking water, chopped cabbage, rice and spices. Cook over medium heat until heated through. If the mix is too thick add some more cooking water.

Flatten the cabbage leaves. Lift a spoonful of filling onto leaf, roll up, tucking edges around mixture. Place side by side in lightly sprayed 9x9 dish. Drizzle honey on top and dot with a bit of butter. Bake rolls for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Halfway through baking turn over (if you can) and baste with cabbage water.

Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Knee High by....

What a gorgeous green field!

Yep, despite a drought, the Kansas corn is already knee high...

...of course the beautiful green field can only be attributed to irrigation rigs.

Wheat harvest is in full swing here with just another week or so to go.
The yields are bad but at least there is something in most of the fields to harvest. The custom wheat crews are moving through at a pretty good clip.

Believe it or not though this field was planted to wheat that never came up. For months DR and I have watched the soil dry up and blow away. Today I could see the blowing dirt two miles away. It's a pretty sad sight.

Overall the farmers are doing pretty well though.

Now, if we could only find a market for yucca plants we'd have ourselves a Kansas Gold Mine!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It rained here yesterday!

Okay, perhaps the use of the word 'rained' is a bit of a stretch.
The precipitation event was more like a ten minute heavy sprinkle.

But there was just enough moisture to justify breaking out the umbrella to play in it.

Note: We've had this umbrella for six months and have never had to use it.

And of course the umbrella became an object of argument and Miss Bossy walked away with the prize. Who knew an umbrella was such an attractive toy?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meet Jack.

Meet Jack.

When Yap was almost three, and still not potty trained, I bought Jack.
Jack could pee in the potty and he was supposed to help Yap with the whole process.
It never really worked though. Jack wasn't much of a teacher. However, Jack and a preschool Yap soon became inseparable.

Now at the age of six, Yap doesn't need to carry Jack around everywhere anymore but he's still Yap's special toy. They sleep together every night.

Poor hasn't been easy living with us though.
He's been to the ER for numerous stitches after being pulled, tossed, fought over and loved.
 Just today he had to be stitched up twice.

He's braved it through a couple of reconstructive surgeries too. New stuffing and all and he will probably need another before his days are done. His bright blue terry cloth skin has nearly faded to white and he has become rather thin and fragile.

But Jack has always stayed postive through his trials and ordeals in our household. He's braved moving to new homes with us, has gone to Show and Tell a couple times and has rode along on numerous road trips. With courage he's faced the battle of the washing machine and always lived to play another day.

But I'm afraid Jack won't be able to put up with too much more wild romps. Soon, it may be time for him to retire...I'm sure Jack with handle the separation from us just fine.

Though I can't say this one will handle the loss of Jack quite as well.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Marker Monday - Freezer Paper and Paint Fun

A big thank you to my brave friend Melissa who did both of the following projects with a group of toddlers and preschoolers. All the kids LOVED these projects!

First, salad spinner paintings. Melissa picked up this salad spinner at WalMart for about five dollars.

This is so easy and really, for a painting project, it is pretty mess free.

First take some freezer paper and cut into circles to fit, not too snugly, into the bottom of the salad spinner. Place the waxy side down.

Drop in or swirl some piant on the paper, place the lid on and give it a spin.
Hint; it is possible to spin this too fast and the painting will fold up on itself. Don't get too crazy!

Simple and easy but a neat result. Even though Yahoo is only two years old she was able to spin this and create some nice paintings without eating the paint! 

The next project Melissa shared with us were Painted monsters.  

Tear off a large piece of freezer paper and fold it in half to form a nice crease right down the middle. Again, place the shiny waxy side down on the table.

Drop a variety of colors of paint right on the crease staying a couple inches away from the edges of the paper.

Then fold the paper up and push the paint with your fingers away from the crease. Pushing it in different directions (straight, down, diagonally) will make your monster much more interesting.

If it helps break out the rolling pin and using gentle pressure push your paint around.

Unfold your paper for a painted monster.

If you are really in the creative zone you can add monster details once your monster is dry.
Related Posts with Thumbnails