Isn’t that a lick!

The blanket was thrown over him and rapidly lifted up.  Here’s Purrkins’ expression.

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In The Swing

My Dad and are taking a photography class together and it started this week so be prepared for more pictures as I learn.

20140906_0008As I sat in the swing at the lake, I looked up.  Guess I’ll be getting ‘in the swing’ of things soon…I hope.

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Surprise!

I expected my birthday to include a visit with my mother-in-law, a trip to Best Buy then back home in time for my dad, mom and daughter to visit.  But, that’s not what happened.

Walking into my mother-in-law’s house I was surprised by the additional guests that included my son, daughter and her boyfriend.  We ate, they sang Happy Birthday to me, I opened some cool presents (including what I was going to get at the expected trip to Best Buy), then we headed on.  It was a perfect birthday celebration.

We stopped at Best Buy anyway to pick up a keyboard and mouse to go with my new 25″ monitor.  Then headed back home.

As I turned the corner from the hallway into my dining room I heard in unison “Surprise!”  My dad, mom, son, daughter, daughter’s boyfriend, brother, sister-in-law, aunt and three cousins had decorated my house, brought drinks, plates, a special birthday hat and made my favorite homemade cake.   I was truly surprised.

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Within a short time, we all gathered around while my mom read from her autobiography the portion about the day I was born.  Next, I began opening the stack of cards and present they brought for me.  Finally, I made a wish, blew out the candles and we each had some homemade cake with real whipping cream my mom made.  But that’s not all…the present I unwrapped is a story all by itself.

The present I got is a dress made so that we could re-create one of my childhood photos.  Last year my dad saw a photo of me taken when I was 10 years old holding one of his radio controlled airplanes and he told me that he still has that plane.  We thought it would be cool to re-create that photo someday and within a few days he brought the plane to my house where it has been for over a year.

A few weeks ago Keith and my dad were discussing my upcoming birthday when Keith mentioned that I was still wanting to re-create that photo.  Instantly,  my dad knew that’s what he wanted to make happen for my birthday.  He came over to my house while I was at work and cleaned the airplane making sure it was ready for the photo.  Then my dad enlisted clerks at various fabric stores to help him compare fabric in the stores to the fabric of my dress in the picture trying to find the closest match.  After he purchased the fabric he then needed to find a seamstress and my Aunt Claudia volunteered for that task.

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So, when I opened that present and saw that dress I immediately knew the plan –we were going re-create the photo!

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I nervously put the dress on hoping it would fit and it fits perfectly.  My aunt is amazing!

Next, we decided on the location.  Since the original photo was taken while we lived in Wichita Falls, Texas but we live in Oklahoma City now we opted to go to a nearby park.  We loaded up the RC airplane and scoped out a good spot.  It was a bit windy but several of us worked to get the angles close to the original.

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See what you think of the results, click the image to zoom in.

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I had a great birthday, spent time with people I love on a fun project.  Thank you to all involved, it was a perfect gift for me.

Spacious

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Projects always seem worth it once they’re completed and you’ve rested.  I’ve wanted the cabinets over the kitchen bar and the box lighting removed for many years.   We kept the storage space by moving the cabinets to the utility room.  Thanks to my husband for all his work, it looks great and I love it!

On Dasher

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Strawberry sorbet

Homemade strawberry sorbet made with splenda.

Texturizing

Once the holes where the electrical connections for the light were patched, those areas needed to have texture added.  Using texture in a can gets the job done but its quite messy.  See for yourself…

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Glad I could hide behind my camera for protection or Keith would have texturized me.

Ahhhh, R&R

It was a week of R&R.

Remodeling the kitchen.  I have wanted the cabinets over the bar and the big box of lights in the kitchen removed for many years.  This week Keith said he’d begin the project in the fall when it was cool since it required working in the attic.  I was pleasantly surprised when I came home one day and the cabinets were down and then the next day the big box around the fluorescent lights was gone with a handwritten message on the ceiling from my husband.

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Reunions are a great opportunity to stay connected with family.  Over the weekend Keith, his cousins and their families came to our lake place.  After a day of play, we all gathered around the TV and watched old family movies that we recently converted from film to a DVD.

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The remodel and reunion made for a great week.

On this day

The sound of Taps’ 24 notes and a salute to my uncle.

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Rest in peace Ron Baxter (1943-2014)

Day is done, gone the sun

From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky
All is well, safely rest
God is nigh.

Fading light dims the sight
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright
From afar, drawing near
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise for our days
Neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky
As we go, this we know

God is nigh.

Original lyrics to accompany Taps (source: Wikipedia Taps)

Unforgettable

Our vacation finally arrived!  We flew to Kalispell, Montana and enjoyed several days with our daughter, her boyfriend and his parents.  In addition to wonderful company, the scenery and activities were memorable and fun. The hospitality we received was amazing and unforgettable.

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Cedar Waxwing, a fruit eating bird found in Montana year-round, flying at the pond.

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A doe and her fawn near the house. They were nearby every day.

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Keith learning how to fly fish at Lake Rodgers near Kalispell, MT

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Fly fishing in a Clackacraft boat at Lake Rodgers

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Lake Rodgers. Beautiful!

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Geese, lily pads, leeches, eagles and more at Lake Rodgers.

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Hoary marmot seen on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road in Glacier National Park

We went horseback riding, whitewater rafting, sat around a campfire at night and, of course, ate huckleberry pie and jam.  The sun rises about 5:45 am and sets after 9:30 pm and there was enough light in the evening to still see until 10;30 or so.  Montana is a perfect place to visit during the summer so that you enjoy its perfect temperatures and beauty.

Independence Day

After a wonderful meal and dessert that included black berry cobbler with home made vanilla ice cream (Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream recipe), we enjoyed conversation with friends and lots of fireworks.

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