Saturday, August 27, 2011


Mason celebrated his 4th birthday this summer. The main thing on his wish list was a spiderman ring. Yep. . . a dollar store, plastic ring. And wouldn't you know it, they couldn't find the one he wanted. However, in a story book happy ending, he got several kinds of rings, which were far and away his favorite gift at this party. I am pretty sure that in the coming years it will take more than a 50 cent ring to excite him. For right now, however, it is nice that he can be happy with the small things.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Seeing Double

Today was my yearly eye appointment. I switched eye doctors this year, so Randy and I would share the same doctor and could coordinate our appointments. I got a thorough eye exam today and ordered a new pair of glasses (no line progressive scratch resistant bifocals). Fortunately, I have vision insurance. The bill was slightly less than $400 with my insurance, $850 without. Does that seem extreme to anyone? I liked the staff and know they used the best and newest equipment on me. I selected a very basic, no brand name pair of frames. I value my eyesight and am glad to be able to afford this quality care. . . but really? A fancy set of frames could have pushed it to $1000!
And don't even get me started on the cost of dental care. I also have dental insurance. Last year our dentist sent Randy to a specialist for a difficult root canal ($1500) and then he had to have a crown put on ($500 give or take). This week the entire tooth, minus some shreds came out. This was an important back tooth that "had to be saved". We are fortunate to have an HSA account for the amount not covered by insurance. What does the average person do about these kinds of costs? I know we could go to Wal-Mart for glasses and save a little. And many people give up on saving their teeth and just get dentures. But why do people have to make those kinds of choices? I am just a little overwhelmed right now at the high cost of living. On our way to the appointment today, we stopped for lunch. I commented that gas prices were going up. As we passed a gas station, the price of a gallon of petro was $3.33. After lunch (60 minutes later) the price was $3.49.
I guess I could rant and rave more, but what good would it do? It just makes me wonder where will it stop, and how are average people going to live?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wildlife spotting!

Down the road from our cabin in Divide, we spotted herds of elk. It was amazing to observe large numbers of these majestic animals grazing in fields, at dusk, like we would see cattle in Missouri. We watched them several evenings and never got tired of the view!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Who is that masked man?

On Sunday, Randy's work hosted an employee safety picnic. There were some high school students providing face painting. Mason wanted to be Spiderman, which I thought would be a tattoo like image on his cheek. When the artist started rubbing on the red paint it was too late to go back! He was very proud of the paint, but it soon began smearing as Mason ate a snow cone and then the heat of the day began to make it run.
Maddison wanted to have a dolphin painted on her face. It was a little more subtle (show above was the early stages). I liked this picture of Maddison so much, I decided to publish it instead of the full blown dolphin face. It was a good day and some old fashioned fun!

Happy Anniversary

August 14th is a special day in our family. Randy's parents were married on August 14th, Randy and I were married on August 14th, and Jessica and Scott were married on August 14th. To celebrate, Jessica ordered this cake (lemon with raspberry). Jessica and Scott have been married for 2 years, Randy and I for 32 years, and his parents would have celebrated their 60, I believe. Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Play Me Some Mountain Music!

My brother David, pictured with his wife Kathy, loves music. He brought along his guitar and we spent one evening doing a sing along. It was old fashioned fun meets new technology. He has an app on his IPad that has guitar notes and words to almost any song imaginable. He took requests and we provided a less than stellar choir for him(okay, I did, I really can't sing!). Jessica was the lead singer, with Martha, Kathy and Scott joining in. I lip synced so I wouldn't ruin the evening! It was so much fun. We are planning another family get together soon, and I hope music will be a part of that event, too. I have to say that my mother would be so proud of David and his musical ability. She also loved music, and was especially fond of John Denver. As we sang some of John's music, I thought of my mom and the legacy of her children. It was a special evening!

Head in the Clouds!

Yes, we took the long and winding road up to the top of Pike's Peak on our recent trip to Colorado. It was a frightening drive for someone as scared of heights as I am. Once on the top it was worth the drive. The clouds were so close you could almost touch them, and we got to watch a storm come over the mountains. The views of the valley were not as good as we would have liked because of the fog and clouds. It was one of those things I am so glad I did, but I am not so sure I will want to do it again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


While in Colorado, we got to spend an evening visiting with relatives. Hosting the meal was cousin Mary and her daughter, Katie, pictured above. Other family not shown was Joe, Delaney, Casey, Beth, Irene, Kendra, Ken, Chad and Aunt Ellen. Ellen is my mom's older sister. We got to seem them yearly while we were growing up. I wish we were closer!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Giuseppe's Old Depot Restaurant

For lunch the first day in Colorado Springs we chose to eat at this rennovated train station. We had been there before and enjoyed the atmosphere. The food was good as was the company. We met my brother, sister-in-law, nephew, niece and great niece and nephew. It was a beautiful day and a fun place to officially begin our vacation.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Kansas is a rather visually boring state in my opinion. However, along the highway on the way to Colorado, this beautiful field of sunflowers caught my attention. I would have loved to stop and take better photos, but alas, photography is not a good reason for my husband to stop the vehicle. I was able to snap this from the car so I could remember the moment and the beauty of it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mr. Bobblehead

Let me introduce you to Mr. Bobblehead. He is a friend of ours that went with us to Colorado. He sat on the dash of the truck and was a willing participant in pranks and photo opportunities during the trip. Here is how he came to go along with us: Before the trip, Randy was cleaning out his truck and found this little happy meal pal of the grandkids. He showed it to them and told them that Mr. B (shortcut for a long name) would ride to Colorado with us, and we would think of them everytime we saw him. They liked that idea. Somewhere along the way, I started taking pictures of him. We decided to make a "Flat Stanley" out of him (character from children's books). We took Mr. B with us to the restaurants, hotels and sites. Feeling a little foolish at times, we explained to a variety of people what we were doing and why. With no exceptions, everyone "got" it. Several offered to take our photo with Mr. B along the way. It made the trip extra fun, and we vowed to put a photo album together when we got home to give to the grands. I think part of our motivation for this game was missing Maddison and Mason being with us. In 2009, they drove with us, along with their parents to Colorado. Since they couldn't make it this time, we decided to take a little of them along with us. In the picture above, we are loading bags to take into our first hotel room (Colby, KS). Jessica decided to take a picture with Mr. B, her honorary brother! I now have the Mr. Bobblehead book on order and hope to surprise Maddie and Mason this week with it. I will post a picture later of the book. We are planning a fall trip to Boston, and have a little plastic monkey (a safety monkey from my husband's work) that will be going with us on that trip. I guess it is true what they say about getting older and reverting back to youth!
If you are planning a trip soon, and have children or grandchildren, I would highly recommend this little game. It is lots of fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Arthur Bryants of Kansas City

On the way to Colorado, we stopped at Cabela's in Kansas City (KS). Close by was an Arthur Bryant's Barbecue Restaurant. I have often heard of Arthur Bryants and wanted to try it. NO ONE told me how much food they served. My husband got a burned ends sandwich, and I got a pulled pork sandwich. We decided to share fries, and try some baked beans. We had enough food to feed us for several meals. We definitely should have shared a sandwich. The food was good except that neither of us liked the beans much. They were way too smokey for my taste. I am not sure if I will ever go back there, but I am glad that I finally got to try it. I will say that they had the nicest people working for them! The menu said: Bread loaf, $2.50. I asked what kind of bread it was. The employee tossed a whole loaf of sliced white bread down in front of me. (Like wonder store bought, different brand). I guess I was expecting a home made mini loaf. We both laughed! All in all it was fun.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Just a quick note to say that I have been taking a little break from blogging. Last week we took a road trip to Colorado and spent a great, relaxing week visiting with family and sight seeing. Our trip companions were Jessica and Scott. We had a great time and I will post some pictures and adventures soon. We traveled with a little buddy, Bobblehead, and he will be featured in some of my photos and texts. The great thing about doing a blog for my own enjoyment is being able to step away from it for a while. It is refreshing to take a break every now and again! This has been a week of adjustment as I have returned to work and all things related to work. See yah soon!