Friday, July 31, 2009

A Step Back In Time

I recently mentioned that I like pretending that I live in another time, back before television, cell phones or the internet. It's quite easy when you live in the middle of nowhere.

A couple of weeks ago we traveled to Kenton, Oklahoma to show our City Cousins around. It is a teeny-tiny place that seriously makes me feel like I've traveled back to the early 1900s.

Kenton Baptist

The two, precious churches are my favorite part of the entire town. The are just so dang cute and old fashioned.

Old Methodist Church


What do you guys think?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seven Falls

Prepare to be overwhelmed by pictures from my vacation.

I took pictures of everything I came across. I think I can home with about twelve million picture files to wade through, but that's okay. I live in the flattest area in America. Of course, I'm going to take advantage of beautiful mountain scenery!

The first day of our trip we stopped by Seven Falls. Neither one of use had ever been there before and we just happened to stumble upon it as soon as we came into Colorado Springs.

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I was way amazed by the view way before we got to the waterfall. The rocks leading up to the entry were even pretty!

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Cute little chipmunks were running all around. People would feed them and they were actually quite friendly. Isn't this the funniest sign ever? (Well, not ever, but I like it.)

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We soon discovered that we had to climb like a million stairs to get to the top of the waterfall.

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And I do mean I million. (This picture makes my tummy feel all flippy floppy. We were way far up in the sky!)

But it was totally worth it in the end.

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It was probably one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I recommend it if you happen to ever be going through Colorado Springs.

We posed for a few pictures and then happily headed off for our next adventure.

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Don't worry. I've still got three more days and twelve million pictures to talk about. This vacation is going to fill up the blog for a little while.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Shattered Dreams

I live in the area that was hardest hit by the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Hundreds of families watched as everything they had worked for was ruined by the wrath of mother nature. I cannot imagine the fear one would feel if they looked outside to see this:

dustbowl
(Sorce- Google images search for "dust bowl")

I have met people who actually survived the "dirty thirties." Their stories are amazing, a real testament to the courage and tenacity that Americans show during harsh times.

Last week, at work, me and Clay stumbled across the remains of an old, abandoned house.
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The walls had fallen in, but the foundation remained as proof that a family had once made the place a home. We explored a bit, in awe of the things we found littering the ground around the skeleton of a house.

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There was an old Ford, tarnished by rust and surrounded by old tumble weeds. Dust would often leave a engine useless, clogged with dirt and grime.

I thought back to how proud that farmer must have been when he first bought the vehicle and how it must have made him feel to leave it when times got hard. It must have been heartbreaking for him to watch everything he had worked to build fall apart under the hot sun.

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There was also a collection of old, glass bottles. Many were intact- dirty, but not broken. They were all shapes and sizes. There were clean bottles, green bottles, and even some yellow bottles.

Looking at the bottles, I suddenly thought- "This is how those people were: dirty, but not broken, strong and substantial."

I only hope that I would be as brave and strong as the Dust Bowlers were if I ever encounter such a harsh situation.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bliss

We made it home from our vacation.

We had an absolute blast. We saw waterfalls, mountains, and cute little towns. I explored wilderness trails and rafted through the Royal Gorge.

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I spent lots of time talking to the love of my life. We sang along to the radio and laughed until our stomachs hurt.

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It was amazing...

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I'll be posting more pictures in the next few days, but it's going to take a while for me to edit them all. Believe me, I took A LOT of pictures.

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Probably too many, but we were making priceless memories. I wanted to catch every one of them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Youth

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"Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing."
Aristotle

Friday, July 24, 2009

Curtain Call

I might be mistaken, but I believe Colby just told me that harvest is finally over.

I could be hallucinating though, because I've been dreaming of this day for about a month.

I would get whiny about harvest and Colby would say, "Just wait, we are going to go on vacation when this is all over. We will go somewhere nice and cool- the mountains."

His words would calm me for about ten minutes and then I would once again grow sick of riding around in circles. I mean, have you ever sat in a combine for twelve straight hours? Do you know how many times I've had to "squirt the dirt" while riding around with that man? They don't put public bathrooms in the middle of wheat fields.

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Anyway, I think I might have survived it. Either that, or I'm having a very realistic dream.

The combines have been cleaned and put back in barns. All the wheat in the four state area is cut and I'm so very sick of eating Pizza Hut on the back tailgate of a pickup.

Vacation time has finally arrived and we are leaving for Colorado Springs sometime today.

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You might not hear from me for a few days. Believe me, it will be okay- I'm getting a much needed change in scenery.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sizzling Summer

No matter how hot it gets, there is always one thing that the heat is good for- slip and slide fun.

Here are some pictures of J. and a second (or third, maybe forth) cousin at our family reunion last weekend:

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And my oh my, did they have a great time.

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Don't worry, they were both wearing sunscreen. You should always wear sunscreen.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is This Normal?

I spent most of Saturday afternoon riding around with Colby fetching water for his cows. The windmill is broken and they were getting thirsty in the summer heat.

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I didn't really mind because I got to spend lots of time with my favorite man. Plus, it's way far out in the country and I like to pretend I'm traveling in a covered wagon.

(Just don't take me away from my Sirius radio. I have certain needs and those include crystal clear music while cruising down bumpy roads.)

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I encountered one small problem though. One steer got a little mouthy with me. Does he look a little grumpy to you?

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I mean, you would think he would appreciate me and cut out the attitude.

Oh wait. I don't think anyone appreciates me.

Never mind about that last part.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Living in the Middle of Nowhere

I promise that I could win a contest for living in the middle of nowhere.

Actually, I have before.

I don't really live in Oklahoma. I live in the panhandle of Oklahoma, an often ignored area that blends in more with North Texas then the rest of the state.

We have to travel about sixty miles to reach the nearest Walmart. Our county has one grocery store. Our schools are tiny. (I think I've mentioned before that I graduated from a class of seven? That's true guys).

But we have the most amazing sunsets and stars ever.

Plus, you can see signs like this all the time:

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And that's something special.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Images from the Prairie

How would you like to visit the Oklahoma prairie today?

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Not a lot of people live around here. If the cows ever got smart and decided to rebel, they would be able to take us out with no problem.

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Don't worry about locking your cars. This is a safe place where everyone knows each other. It's rough growing up around these parts. You can't speed down the road without you parents finding out with-in an hour.

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Honestly, sometimes I expect to see a covered wagon traveling across the landscape. There is places around here that haven't changed a bit in one hundred years.

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You're welcome to come back sometime soon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Grasshopper Whisper

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I cannot explain how sick of harvest I am. Seriously. I met this little (actually huge) guy last weekend in the field. Colby has been cutting wheat for about five million years... or something like four weeks. He keeps telling me that they are almost done, but then something else comes up. It is actually storming outside right now. That would be perfectly okay, but they can't cut in a storm.

Here is the update on my brother: I bailed him out of jail on Thursday. He's is probably going to get out of most of the big charges but we will find out next week when they charge them. I'm pretty aggravated at him right now, but I'm trying to deal with it calmly. We haven't explained the whole situation to our boss at work yet because he's been on vacation.

I do have some happy news. I get to go on vacation next. We are going to go rafting in Colorado Springs on Saturday morning and then ride a train up Pikes Peak on Sunday morning. I am so completely excited!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

J-Bird

It's is amazing how one little girl can totally light up my day.

Sweet

I cannot believe that my baby sister is almost seven. It absolutely blows me away. She's getting so smart and will be starting the 2nd grade in a month.


Loud.


Where has time gone? I'm suddenly feeling very very old. Ek.

Ugh. Ek. Dang.

I have a problem.

My alarm clock will be going off in about an hour and a half. It's 2:58 AM and I'm awake. Tomorrow we are supposed to be going to work early to beat the heat, but I've ran into serious trouble.

I slept from 10:30-12:02... At 12:02 my phone started ringing the wonder "Barbie Girl" ringtone I have set for my little brother. I groggily answered, wondering what in the hell could he possibly want.

"Marla, I'm sorry but I'm not going to make it to work. I'm going to jail."

I was stunned, but he quickly reassured me that he was defiantly serious and knew he was in big trouble.

He informed me that he was being booked for an minor in possession. My brother has never drank once in his life. He's a wonderful kid- never been and trouble and refuses to do anything drug or alcohol related.

You are probably wondering how he's now ended up in jail. Well, some of his old friends from high school have gotten a little wild since going to college. Clay often goes to parties to hang out and then drives all the drunk teens home.

Last night (tonight, several hours ago, or whatever) the party Clay was at got busted by a bunch of cops. Clay and the whole rest of them were all booked and taken to the county jail. He know has to wait until morning to find out what fines he will be paying. Obviously, he won't be going to work with me in an hour.

I spent an hour talking to my parents and then another two hours tossing and turning. I have a huge suspicion that I will not be asleep before that alarm clock goes off. Our work tomorrow involves about three hours of driving through the dang desert. I have a feeling that I will not be awake enough to operate a motor vehicle.

Ugh. Now I have to decide whether or not to call in tomorrow. Should I explain that my stupid kid brother got his ass thrown in jail? Should I say we are both deathly ill? Who do I call three hours before they open the office?

I think I'll just say we are having a family emergency that we will explain later. And then make Clay explain the whole situation.

Oh yes, he took a breathalyzer, so he will be able to prove that he wasn't drinking.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jake, Wanna Go For a Ride?

At the mention of the word, go, Jake immediately perks up. He get an intense look in his eye, the one that all Border Collies get over something. He absolutely loves going on car rides and quietly rides in the back, looking out the window the entire time.

Intense.

Last weekend, I took him and Jamey to pick up Colby from the field. Believe me, he rides so much better than her. She is constantly singing, yelling, or making wild animal noises. He sits calmly and watches as the countryside passes by.

Yes, I can drive.

It is so obvious that he loves riding in the car. In the picture above, we were sitting, waiting for Colby to get off the combine. The vehicle doesn't even have to be moving and Jake will be smiling away.

I hope life is treating you all well.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Heart Faces- Pets



Enemies

Dreamer and Jake have a very tumultuous relationship. He likes chasing her around and she likes kicking at him. I guess everyone is happy for a little bit.

Head over to I heart faces to check out other amazing entries. I promise you'll be impressed.

Snowstorm of 2006

Several days ago, I posted about our cat Blizzard. Dear, sweet Kenzie taunted me a little bit about us Southerners not being able to handle the snow, so I'm here to prove that it was a serious snow storm. (Plus, what else do I have to talk about on a Monday? Nothing.)

The following pictures are probably going to suck. I took them in 2006 with my crappy point and shoot. I then got a new computer and don't want to search through old picture CD's to find the original copies. These might have been copied and pasted straight off facebook, but I wound never admit to being such a bad blogger. Hang in there though, I'll go back to high quality combine pictures tomorrow.

During the 2006 Snowstorm

This picture was taken during the storm. For some reason, I thought it would be cool to capture memories while the snow was still coming down and the wind was blowing. I was right; I froze my booty off.

This storm was never expected to be bad. It was supposed to drop a couple of inches and move on. It actually stopped right over the Oklahoma Panhandle and dumped several feet of snow all on one area.

Fence

I decided to venture out again the next day. We had animals to take care of. We ended up having to melt snow to water our dogs, cats, and horses. This picture shows how big the snow drifts actually ended up being. The bare spot on the ground is where a car was parked in our drive way.

Food Shed

This is our food shed, where we store feed for the horses and dogs. It is about nine foot tall. Notice the fact that this drift goes up over it. We did have ten feet of snow everywhere, but there were places where it really piled up.

No fun.

After four days of being stuck in a house with no electricity, we decided to travel to town to check out the damage there. We live in the middle of nowhere, but tons of people travel through. Hundreds of truckers were camped out around town and most were stuck for several days after the roads were opened.

Oops.
They tried to get out, but there is only so much you can do about a huge snowdrift like this one.

Beer Run

Luckily, some of the local gas stations opened in shifts on the fourth day. They didn't have electricity, but everything was good and cold inside of the store. They calculated prices the old fashioned way and took cash only.

These truckers don't look that happy about me take a picture of them with their purchases. I don't remember them being upset at the time, but I might have been totally clueless.

Brrr... These pictures make me appreciate the fact that it is summer a little big more.

Take care.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Horror!

I've mentioned before that I work with my younger brother. We get along wonderfully and the set up usually works quite great. He's happily takes my orders.

Because he's a total push over, but that's another story.

Yesterday, he was watering trees at a rest area. Suddenly, he let out a loud yell and took off towards the parking lot.

"Oh my God, there is a flesh-eating zombie over there!" (Okay, so that may have no been exactly what he said, but he totally freaked out.)

"What?" I was fanning myself, trying to cope with the 104 degree heat.

"There is something moving in the grass!" He was being so loud, I was worried that something had reached up and grabbed his leg.

Begin the brave, loving sister that I am, I hurried over to where he was pointing, eager to find his new friend. Clay immediately started making excuses, realizing that he had been a big baby. "I think it was a bird in the grass."

I laughed. "Why did you freak out then?"

"I don't know I thought there was a snake or something." He leaned down and pointed at the ground.

This is what we found:

The Animal That Made My Brother Scream Like a Little Girl

Flesh Eating Zombie


Yep, it totally looks like a flesh-eating zombie to me.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

10 Things About Me

Hello friends,

It's time for some random facts about Marla. Because I'm a weirdo like that.

1.) I have a fear of getting my teeth knocked out. I've actually had nightmares and woken up thinking they were really gone. Just the idea freaks me out.

2.) I love cooking. I'm just starting to learn, but I look looking up new recipes and cooking for my family.

3.) I'm currently writing this on my BlackBerry at work. We are driving to a campsite and I hate not being somewhat busy.

4.) I love love love reading blogs. I don't know why, but I love getting inside other people's lives. Some of you are very interesting.

5.) I had the biggest church on Justin Timberlake when I was twelve. I thought he was just about the cutest man ever. It makes me laugh now.

6.) My music taste has improved somewhat since then.

7.) I love taking pictures. My camera is pretty much always with me.

8.) I graduated from a tiny tiny school. Seriously- I was one of seven in my class. I formed some great relationships, but I was happy to leave.

9.) My car is always super dirty. I drove it down a muddy, dirt road yesterday and there is now mud on the roof. I have no idea how long it will be there.

10.) Luckily, I'm a neat freak everywhere else. I can't concentrate in a messy environment at all.

Congrats for making it to the end! As I bonus, I would like to show you an adorable picture of me!

Baby Marla

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blizzard

Blizzard

This is Blizzard, one of the many wild cats that live in our yard.

She has a very unique story. In late December of 2006, an incredible snowstorm hit our area. For two days, snow fell from the sky, covering the land. The wind howled, causing huge snowdrifts to develop in our yard. It was so bad that we lost electricity for three days and had to crawl over a drift to leave our house.

The storm was devastating to our area. Thousands of cattle waded into snowdrifts and suffocated. Many families were without food or heat for days.

I personally about killed my three younger sisters. We fought over several card games while waiting out the storm. Eventually, the wind stopped blowing, the power lines were repaired, and life started to go back to normal.

We had to deal with giant snow piles for days. There was one drift blocking our front door. After twelve days, my dad heard a loud meowing outside our house. It sounded like it was coming from inside the drift! He hurriedly dug, finding a dog house beneath the pile of snow.

Inside the dog house was a scrawny kitten who looked terrible. She just kept crying and crying, obviously unhappy. Being trapped inside a snowdrift for twelve days sent her over the edge.

She still walks around meowing. She always looks panicked and will not let anyone get close to her. She has some serious mental scares from the entire ordeal.

But that's why we call her Blizzard.