Tag Archives: Kansas

Five reasons why today is a good day to be me

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1.  It’s Friday and I’m not at work.

I am a teacher and am on spring break.  I really don’t think any further explanation is necessary, do you?

teacher spring break

2.  Spring has sprung!

I’m not a fan of winter.  Or cold.  The first snow is kind of exciting, but then I’m done.  This winter seemed to have been especially long because we had NO SNOW DAYS off from school.  Can you imagine this atrocity? The only time we received a good amount of snow was on the weekends.  What good did that do us?  None, I tell you. Of course, we could have had 10 million feet of snow like Boston.  No, thank you.

winter is over

3.  The sun is shining.

I know you may think this is a repeat of number 2, but alas, you would be mistaken.  Just because it is spring in Kansas, does NOT mean the sun would be shining.  We have our fair amount of rainy, cloudy days in spring.  Sometimes we even have SNOW. A couple of years ago we had snow in MAY.  That’s just not right.  However, today the sun is shining, birds are singing and the future looks bright.

future looks bright

4.  It’s March Madness!

Not only is it March Madness, but my two favorite teams play today–The Wichita State Shockers and the KU Jayhawks! I have been hearing some smack about their mascots–the WuShock and the Jayhawk.

house united

I don’t understand this hatred because frankly there are much worse mascots.  Consider Xavier’s blue blob:

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Or let’s take a gander at Delta State’s Fighting Okra:

fighting okra

I don’t want to hear anymore about the ridiculousness of the WuShock and Jayhawk because your view is unfounded.

The only bad thing about this tournament is that WSU and KU are on a crash course to play each other this weekend. If they both win today, then they will play each Sunday and one team will be eliminated soon into the tournament. This match-up has been long awaited by many people in our state of Kansas. I would like to see them play each other, but not in these circumstances. The only thing I can say is let the best team win!

5.  God loves me.

Once again, this needs no further explanation.

So what makes a good day for you?

Who are you rooting for in the NCAA tournament?

Just a Couple of Turkeys

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Our town has a couple of turkeys.  I know you’re thinking, “My town has MORE than a couple of turkeys!”  But, no really, my small town has a couple of real living and breathing turkeys that have decided to make our town their home, and our townspeople have adopted them as our unofficial mascots. Ironically, the turkeys appeared in town a short time before Thanksgiving.  Whether they thought their chances of becoming Thanksgiving dinner were less here in town since it’s illegal to fire a firearm within city limits, we may never know.  But I do know I was very surprised when I first saw them the day before Thanksgiving. In the midst of Thanksgiving preparations, I decided to go for a run so that I could create a calorie-deficit so my pie-eating could be guilt-free the next day.  As I wound my way through town on my regular running route, imagine my surprise when I came upon these two birds: turkeys while running They really weren’t too concerned that this strange human being who was breathing heavily and sweating bullets was taking photos of them.  They just nonchalantly crossed from one side of the street to the other, gobbling as they sauntered away. Of course I, knowing that tomorrow was Thanksgiving and what most people were going to dine on for their holiday dinner, wanted to yell at them, “Run for it!” Quickly I learned that these birds had been hanging around our town for several days.  Soon they were being spotted from one side of our fair city to the other. turkeys stopping traffic

Stopping traffic

turkeys by pizza hut

Heading to Pizza Hut for lunch

Turkeys by city building

Paying their water bill at the city building

turkeys peeking in school

Peeking in the windows of the elementary school

turkeys by train

Waiting on the trains just like the rest of us common folk

One night a few weeks ago, my husband was outside and quickly came inside stating that “something” was in the trees across the street from our house.  That “something” was our two resident turkeys who decided the trees were a good place to roost for the night.

turkey collage

How the turkeys got up in the trees is a mystery. They returned the next evening to roost again.  I stood in my driveway for several minutes as they strutted around the bottom of the tree and flapped their wings.  However, they didn’t get up in the tree until after I went in the house and wasn’t watching them, of course.  Apparently the magic of tree roosting is an Ancient Turkey Secret.  They could show me but then they’d have to kill me. A few days before Christmas, the turkeys wandered through my yard. I think they had heard that I had already bought ham for our Christmas dinner so so they felt confident that their chances of being “invited to Christmas dinner” were pretty slim. turkeys in my ditch Our turkeys even have their own Facebook page and currently have over 300 followers.  They also have been featured on one of the local news stations. These fowls are the most popular thing to hit our town of 1600 residents since, well, perhaps ever? A couple of days after Christmas, I was headed out of town and spotted the turkeys over by the arboretum which is one of our town’s claims to fame (besides the turkeys, of course).  They were counting their blessings that both Thanksgiving and Christmas had passed and they were still in possession of all of their feathers. turkeys by arb I don’t know how long the turkeys will call our town home. If they ever come to a tragic end, I do know that will cause sadness and grief for their fans.  But in the meantime, we will continue to enjoy the antics of our fine-feathered friends.

The State Fair: Pigs, Pronto Pups, and Parking Lots

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A few weeks ago we went to the Kansas State Fair.  The fair is something we only go to every 10 years or so and we had “just” been there about four years ago, but I had bought the youngest daughter tickets to go see Hunter Hayes in concert.

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It was a beautiful day in the Land of Ahs.  Abundant sunshine with temperatures in the 70s.  Usually when we attend the fair, it’s either raining or 100 degrees, so this was definitely a change for the better.

Mr. Caffeinated Ginger dropped me off at the front gate so I could procure our tickets while he, daughter, and daughter’s friend drove off to find a parking spot.

I picked up the tickets at the will-call window and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, about 30 minutes later, they appeared.  Apparently they had to park literally a MILE away.  The next time we come to the fair I bet I’ll be the one parking the car and he will be the one dropped off to the get the tickets.

We entered the fair and after handing out cash to the teenager, we were quickly abandoned by our daughter and her friend.  Apparently they didn’t think it would fun to hang out with the parents.  Pshaw.  Whatever.

One of the main reasons to attend the fair is the food.  None of it is actually good for you, but that all part of the fun, right?

First off, was my personal favorite–The Pronto Pup.

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For those of you naysayers who are thinking “That’s just a corn dog.” Nope.  It’s bigger and better.  It’s like a new and improved version of the corn dog. And for $3.50, it’s one of the more economical grease-filled delicacies you can purchase.

We then checked out the vegetables and fruits on the display.  Some of them even came with hair.

veggie collage

We missed out on seeing the butter sculpture because there was a huge crowd jostling for viewing positions.  I wanted to see this year’s monstrosity, but valued my life even more.  So sorry, you’ll just have to use your imagination on that one.

The baby animals exhibit is one of my favorites. I tried to smuggle a baby goat out in my backpack, but Mr. CF made me put it back.

baby animals collage

The rest of our afternoon was spent traipsing through the RV exhibits (I wanted to take a nap on one of the beds, but apparently that is a no-no), dodging older people on their scooters, trying to find the Dillons exhibit with free ice cream (they were out, gosh durn it), and me really wishing I had worn better shoes as I had forgotten that going to the fair means walking approximately 723.2 miles.

But a huge highlight, if not THE highlight of my day, was the pig races.  You haven’t lived if you haven’t seen the pig races at the fair.  Pigs such as Lindsay Loham and Michael Mahoganey race around a small track in order to win the prize–an Oreo!  You would be simply amazed at the masses of people these pig races attract.  I bet you can’t see such fine entertainment like this in Las Vegas or New York City.

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It was finally time for a meet-up with daughter and friend to give them the concert tickets.  Once that was accomplished and an after-concert meeting place was established, Mr. CF and I headed for a rumored margarita garden which, of course, was at the opposite end of the fairgrounds from where we stood.  However, our efforts were rewarded when we found that garden to be a thing of reality and not just fantasy.

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After enjoying our refreshing drinks, we went to a show by a comic/hypnotist.  He was funny, but it felt like deja’ vu so I’m pretty sure we’d seen him before on one of our every-ten-year trips to the fair.

We then rode the Sky Ride to the other side of the fairgrounds to meet up with the teenagers. Being scared of heights, I’m not sure why I thought riding this would be fun.  But I made it through without tossing my cookies or losing my flip flops.

By the grandstand we enjoyed everyone’s favorite fair food–the funnel cake.

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The lights and sounds of the midway are always more alluring at night.

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The concert soon ended and we were able to meet up with our daughter and her friend fairly easily.  As they extolled the virtues of Hunter Hayes, they also expressed that they were starving because they hadn’t eaten all day.  (Seriously?? How do you go to a fair and not eat??  Isn’t that the whole point??)  So we traipsed the mile through the darkened parking lot to find our vehicle.

We moseyed our way to the nearest Taco Bell, whose dining room conveniently closed five minutes before our arrival. So we went through the drive-through and proceeded to attempt to eat tacos as we drove home.  Good times, people, good times.

It was a fun day, but my feet and legs wanted to make sure that I put on the calendar that 2024 will be the next Year of the Fair.  They can’t handle another one until then.

Where I’m From

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When I went back to school several years ago to get my education degree, we had an assignment (I don’t remember in what class) to write about where we were from (I also don’t remember the purpose).  Nevertheless, here is the result.  My parents, as only parents would do, have it framed and hanging on their dining room wall.

 

Where I’m From

 

I am from parents not ready,

     to parents with open hearts.

I am from older brothers, who either

wanted to protect me or torment me.

 

I am from tractors, combines,

and wheat trucks heavy with their loads of grain.

From large gardens with their bounty of tomatoes,

lettuce, potatoes, and green beans which

seemed to take forever to snap-snap-snap.

 

I am from Sundays spent in Bible class and worship,

and hours spent playing tag in the churchyard,

coming home to a meal of roast beef, mashed potatoes

and gravy.

 

I am from hand-me-down clothes and

homemade cooking.

Holidays spent with extended family,

leaving sugar cookies and milk for Santa,

awakening in the morning to an orange in my stocking

(which in another life was my dad’s sock),

to a new shiny red tricycle with matching wagon.

 

I’m from summer birthdays celebrated with

grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends

with special cakes in decorated shapes made with loving

hands by my mother.

 

I am from strong Christian faith, good work ethic

and unconditional love.

 

sunflowers