Alaska in Nebraska

January 26th, 2015

Although the weather has been extremely nice the last couple of weeks, right before our nice stretch, it felt like we were living in Alaska! And, not only did it feel like it, but it looked like it too. I shot these photos outside our place at Johnson Lake on the Saturday before it suddenly became warm. The next day, there was no way I could have walked out on the ice and not have fallen in!

Everyone always thinks of lakes for water skiing, fishing and swimming, but I don’t think most folks even think twice about what happens at a lake when the dead of winter sets in. Well, this is what happens. As the ice melts and re-freezes, and more water is let into the lake, the ice buckles up and leaves this awesome display of nature! I think it’s just another beautiful feature of the lake that is saved for those of us who are brave enough to venture out in the middle of winter. And now, I’m sharing it with you! Hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I do!

Alaska in Nebraska

Alaska in Nebraska

 

 

 

 

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Beautiful Nebraska Sunsets

January 19th, 2015

You can’t beat the sunsets in Nebraska. Friday night as the sun slipped down on the horizon, the sky was painted gorgeous reds, oranges, purples and pinks! I wish I could have captured this spectacular show, but I was driving down I-80 and didn’t think that it was a good idea to stop on the side of the road to shoot a photo.

I planned to take some pix on Saturday night, but the sky was not the same. Still pretty, but not as beautiful as it had been the night before. But, as I drove home on Sunday night, the sky lit up as if it were on fire! The wait was well worth it as the sky was painted with vibrant reds, oranges and yellows! I wished that it would have lasted longer. That’s the thing with sunrises and sunsets. You have to take the photo exactly when you think it is the most beautiful, as it changes almost instantly! You can always keep taking pix, but you can’t go back and capture the one you missed.

You can’t help but thank God for a beautiful day when it ends like this!

Fiery sky

Fiery sky

Sunset jets

Sunset jets

Sunset silhouettes

Sunset silhouettes

Sunset on the farm

Sunset on the farm

Nebraska Sunset

Nebraska Sunset

 


Doodling Helps You Pay Attention!

January 15th, 2015
Fancy Feather

Fancy Feather

 

Black & White

Black & White

After a hectic summer and fall, things have finally calmed down, and I’ve had some time to doodle around in my sketchbook again. I’m looking for a way to actually use these doodles for something, but have not yet discovered it. These “doodles” were done when I actually had the time to sit down and work on them, unlike most of my scribblings that are done while attending meetings.

 

 

 

 

 

I have read different studies showing that doodlers actually remember more than non-doodlers when asked to retain information delivered during a boring meeting or lecture. I can attest to this fact. If someone made me sit in a meeting and told me that I could not lift my pen for an entire hour, I would bet that I would remember very little about what was said. If I am able to doodle as well as take notes, I listen much better and retain what has been said.

Meeting doodle

Meeting doodle

I remember in college doodling in history class and getting “bad looks” from my professor, which in turn made me be a “sneaky” doodler. What this professor did not know, was that I really WAS listening to him, and keeping my hand moving is what made it easier. If I am forced to sit in a chair and not move, my mind soon wanders to everything but what is being said! This is exactly what the studies tell us! When you doodle, you don’t daydream! Doodling in contrast, requires just enough cognitive effort to keep you from daydreaming, which if  unchecked, will jump start activity in your brain that will keep you from remembering what is going on. Doodling forces your brain to expend just enough energy to stop it from daydreaming, but not so much that you don’t pay attention.

So the next time you’re doodling during a meeting and get that “look” from the person giving the presentation, you can tell them with confidence that you’ve been paying attention to every word. I can attest to this!

K by Kathy

K by Kathy


Town Takeover

January 8th, 2015

The small town of Hampton has been buzzing for the last few months. Not that there isn’t something normally going on, but with a 3rd train track being built through town, the railroad crew has made their camp in downtown Hampton, and it seems that our town has been taken over by railroad workers!

The mainstreet going through downtown Hampton normally has one, maybe two cars or a pickup parked in front of a business or two when I leave for work between 7:00 am and 7:30am. When making my way to the post office on Monday morning at 7:10am, the entire block was packed with pickups! I was lucky to even find a parking spot close to the post office to drop off some letters in the mailbox that morning! It is a strange phenomenon to have  so many vehicles and so much action happening any time of day in our  little town, let alone so early in the morning! Normally, you could shoot a cannon down mainstreet and not hit a thing, unless JeanAnn’s stray cat happened to be wandering across the street.

This large crew is making the old lumberyard on the northeast end of mainstreet their office away from home while the new tracks are being built. Not only are they giving our town a new feel, but they are keeping the C-Store busy serving meals over the noon hour and Conlee’s Restaurant hopping in the evening for supper and probably a few drinks! I haven’t heard much talk about all these new arrivals in town, so they must be behaving themselves, as with most small towns, a new face or two, indeed causes heads to turn and tongues to wag.

Funny how 25 pickups showing up can change a town of 450! If this many pickups showed up in a larger town, they would probably not even be noticed! That’s small town living at it’s best! By the time we’re all used to the “traffic”, they will probably be done with their job and will have moved on down the road. It would  be fun to hear the railroad’s take on our town. They probably think it’s weird to be the only ones parked downtown each morning. I would hope that they are enjoying Hampton’s small town hospitality!

 


Bundle Up! Really?!

January 8th, 2015
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Yesterday was the coldest day of 2015. Granted, it was only January 7th, but still, it was very cold! When I started my car to let it warm up a few minutes before taking off for work, the car’s temperature read 23 degrees after sitting in the garage all night. By the time I got to work, it read 3 degrees. BRRRRRRRRR! I grabbed a bottle of water out of the garage frig, and discovered that it was full of ice. How can the cold get inside a refrigerator? And more importantly, why do we live in a place that roasts us in the summer and freezes water inside a refrigerator in the winter?

Watching the morning news, Brad Anderson from 10/11 reminded everyone to “bundle up”! Are you kidding? Are people so dense that someone needs to tell them to wear more clothes because it is going to be cold? This is one of Doug’s biggest pet peeves! Each morning in the winter, the weatherman tells us to “bundle up”. I guess some folks may need this reminder, as the Lincoln schools actually closed yesterday because of extreme cold weather. This seemed ridiculous to me until my daughter, who used to work at the Child Guidance Center in Lincoln, explained that many parents are not home when their children leave for school, or even if they are, do not dress their kids appropriately for the cold temps. A child walking to school in sub-zero weather with no hat, gloves or even a proper coat is a recipe for disaster! I get it. It’s just sad to me that our society has become so lazy or stupid that they can’t even dress their kids appropriately for the weather!

Despite my complaining, I really do enj0y winter. At least for awhile. I look forward to tackling inside projects that I never have time for in the summer. Who wants to be inside cleaning closets when the Robins are singing and the sun is shining? It’s much easier to sift through boxes of junk when it is 6 degrees outside and the wind is howling! Despite my usual enjoyment of winter, I have found myself listening up when I hear news people talk SAD. They say seasonal affective disorder is a real problem with some folks. I’m starting to think that I may be one of them. I feel like I need to go sit in a window like a houseplant and soak up some sun! Somehow though, it’s not the same as sitting on the deck and soaking it up! I suppose I could “bundle up”, brush the snow off the Adirondack chairs and plop my butt down for an hour or so. Guess I’ll just try to enjoy winter. In 71 days, spring will arrive, and then we’ll be complaining about having to mow!

 


Colorado Creations

December 30th, 2014

Any of you who regularly read my blog are either wondering what happened to me, or have given up on me. I would like to profusely apologize for not updating my blog, as I’ve had lots of ideas bouncing around in my head, but not enough time to write them down! I’ve missed sharing my ramblings with you, and hope to get back in the saddle again, starting right NOW!

Rod, Cheryl, Kathy & Doug

Rod, Cheryl, Kathy & Doug

Colorado Owl Creation

Colorado Owl Creation

Rod's Colorado Creation

Rod’s Colorado Creation

Back in October, Doug and I spent a few days in Breckenridge, Colorado with some friends of ours from Johnson Lake. We had a great time site seeing, shopping, attending a glass etching class and wandering in the woods in the forest. My favorite day was our last day in Colorado when we wandered the paths near an old gold dredge. Our friend, Rod is a wonderful artist, who like me, likes to take found items and create artwork out of them. As we wandered the woods, we found wonderful pieces of colored glass, stones, iron, pine cones and all sorts of “treasures”.  After filling our pockets, as well as Doug’s and Cheryl’s with our stash, Rod had the idea to make this a challenge. Each of us would create something out of our treasures. His rule was to use only 10% of anything other than what we found in the woods to create our masterpieces.

After announcing the challenge, it became a race to see who could find the best “stuff”!

I found an old rusty coffee can to store my stash, and could not have carried another piece of glass by the time we headed to the car.When I got home and laid our my findings, I wasn’t sure what I would make out of them, but I found a large piece of wood that looked like the shape of an owl. An owl, it would be. I kept adding parts and pieces, and following the 10% rule, used two eye screws and two pieces of chain. It was a lot of fun. As you can see, good or bad, this is what came of my treasure hunt. It was so much fun!

Doug & Kathy

Doug & Kathy

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Old Gold Dredge

Old Gold Dredge

Enjoying the mountains!

Enjoying the mountains!


A Nice Warm Bed

October 3rd, 2014
I love fall sunrises!

I love fall sunrises!

I love fall! It’s my favorite time of year! But, the downside to fall, is the darkness that lingers longer and longer each morning. This morning, when the alarm went off, the bed was just the right temperature. There was a chill in the house, which made staying all bundled up in bed very inviting! It was hard to convince myself to drag the ol’ body out of the sack.

There is an upside to mornings in fall. Since the sunrise is later and later, many times the sun is just coming up when I head to work. Fall sunrises are the best! I think I’m kind of obsessed with them, as I always carry  my camera with me and love to stop on the side of the road and shoot the sun just coming up.

While talking about staying in bed, why is it that on weekday mornings I cannot wake up? The alarm goes off at 6:30am and I hit the snooze one time, and sometimes two until I finally give up and get up. I can instantly go back to sleep, no problem. But, on Saturday morning, when I could sleep as long as I want, I wake up at the same time that my alarm would normally go off, and cannot get back to sleep to save my soul! I think it must be because I immediately start thinking about all of the things that I want to get done that day, and my mind is then “on”. It’s hard to shut it back off once it’s on.

It’s not just me that has trouble getting up. Sophie, our dog hasn’t even been stirring until everyone is up. She isn’t even barking at the paperboy when he delivers our daily paper. It’s just not right to get out of bed when it is still dark outside. I’m glad I don’t work in a bakery or restaurant where you have to be up and be ready to go before the crack of dawn. Absolutely not my thing. Thank you to all those folks who love to get up and get at it very early each day. 8am is way early enough for me to be at work and get things going. I’m getting sleepy just talking about about getting up………


Breaking Up is Hard to Do!

September 25th, 2014

Now that I have your attention, let me explain. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not had many people touch my hair throughout my lifetime. Again, explanation. How many hairstylists have you had in the course of your lifetime? I was just counting, and think that I can add them up on one hand. Yes, five hairstylists.

Letting someone cut or highlight your hair is a scary thing. At least to me it is. I think this is why I’ve not given many the chance throughout my life. Once I find someone, if they seem to do a pretty good job, the job is theirs until something happens to end the relationship. Yes, it is in fact a relationship. A rather personal one I might add!

I cannot remember who cut my hair when I was a kid, but the first stylist that I remember as an adult was Beth Alberts at Main Street Salon in Hampton. Who doesn’t love Beth?! Well I did, and do, but she moved away early in my adulthood and LaVonne Braun took over the shop. Another great hairstylist! But after taking a job in Henderson, it became hard to fit LaVonne into my schedule, so I tried to a stylist in Henderson.

After my job move to York, I “trained” another stylist and stuck with her for many years. One day I desperately needed a haircut, and she was not available, so I randomly picked one in Grand Island one Saturday morning. I loved the job that this stylist did, but it was not always convenient to drive to Grand Island for a haircut, so I went back to my old stylist in York.

Here comes the “breaking up” part. I’m sad to say, it’s time to move on. Too many “short short” haircuts, two many heads of “oh so blonde” hair when I only wanted highlights. I hate to do it, and breaking up is truly hard to do, but it’s time to say adios. I’m now in a new relationship with a stylist, who after one haircut and one highlight, really seems to understand what I want! Yea! I’m still in the honeymoon phase right now, but have high hopes that this is a relationship that will last for many years to come!

The weird thing is that my old stylist won’t even receive so much as text from me to let her know that we’re done. I know, it’s seems sad, and even rather mean, but I think that this is how breaking up is done in the hairstyling world. Heads come and go. So sorry, but it’s time for this head to go……….


Mean Girls

September 19th, 2014

We’ve all known them, and if we’re honest with ourselves, at least myself, we’ve probably been the “mean girl” once or twice in our lives. (Yes, to anyone reading this that I was mean to, I am truly sorry!) What brings this all up you might ask? I was getting my daily facebook fix one day this week and saw a post by a younger friend who has junior high/high school girls. She was lamenting  the drama that comes with girls this age. From the posts that came after the initial one, she is not alone. Many mothers told of the same experiences with their daughters and tried to console her, as I did.

Boy, do I remember this! Not only from personal experience, but as a mom of a daughter. When the “mean girl” phase begins for your daughter,  in about 7th grade, it not only takes you back to your life in junior high, but makes you want to lash out at the little snots that are making your daughter’s life such hell! You want to be a “mean mom”, but you don’t. Now, I may being dramatic, but when you are this age and the friends that you’ve had since you were in first grade suddenly turn on you, it does leave you a little baffled! I still wonder what happens that begins the process where one girl suddenly convinces the rest of the click to not talk to so and so. What is this all about?

Even though it’s hard on you as a 7th grader, it is twice as hard on you as a mom of a 7th grader. I’ve tried to explain this to my daughter, but I don’t think you actually “get it” until it happens to you. The hurt that happens to your child always hurts you as the parent twice as much as it does the child. As a mom, of course you want the best for your child, which includes good friends and no drama. The funny thing is that while you are still all revved up about the “mean girls” not inviting your daughter to a party, she has forgotten all about it and is off having fun with her other friends, the ones who actually will be her friends for life.

That’s the thing. It starts in junior high, but continues throughout your life. You wouldn’t think it would be so, but the drama continues even as an adult. You end up having friends from first grade that are friends for life, and those “mean girls” that you wanted so badly to be your friends, really weren’t your friends in the first place. They get left behind, which is a really good thing. And hopefully, as an adult you can avoid the drama as much as possible.

This whole conversation is making my heart beat to fast. Thank God I don’t have to be in junior high ever again!!


Help in the Dressing Room

July 24th, 2014

I decided to check out the summer sales at Schweser’s over my noon hour last week. I found a few things that I wanted to try on, so I headed to the dressing room. As in most clothing stores, there were two comfy chairs parked outside the dressing room for those waiting. Also not unusual, an elderly man sat in one of the chairs with his legs crossed, looking rather bored.

Before I made it to the dressing room door, a cute little lady came out sporting a sassy new skirt. What I was not prepared for was the conversation that ensued.

“What do you think of this skirt Ralph?” 

“ I think that it’s a little old for you”. This coming from a guy who looked like he’d been collecting social security for at least 20 years, if not more.

“Well, I do have a shrug at home that would go nicely with the skirt”. What? I’m lucky that I know what a shrug is, let alone Ralph! But, little did I know that Ralph must have been a fashion designer or some sort of runway expert, as he proceeded to explain that the skirt was too full at the hips and too high in the waist!

Are you kidding me? All I could think of was if my husband Doug were sitting in the same chair waiting for me. First of all, this would ever happen. Not just because he would not want to be there, but also because I would not want him to be there either. Why inflict such pain and suffering on each other? And as far as knowing what a shrug is? Phhht! He is lucky to  know what capris are. (Or does he??!!)

Anyway, after listening to Ralph critique each outfit his Mrs. tried on, I thanked my lucky stars that I don’t have a husband who wants to follow me around and provide commentary on dressing room escapades! Thank you very much……..



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