Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I'll try to do some updates later, let everyone know all the crazy things been having to deal with out here, maybe tomorrow. I'm off tomorrow, but do have checkup in the morning, then eye doctor in the afternoon...hmmm, maybe tomorrow morning BEFORE all the dr.'s appointments.
Oh well, at least I can let everyone know we haven't been catching any of the ick's that have been going around. Kids passed last 6 weeks and we're working on next 6 weeks. Football season is over, but basketball season has begun and Nathan is manager for the team. He thought he wanted to play, but decided he would be Manager instead. Sonya, well, she's being Sonya! And poor William has been called to Federal Grand Jury Duty and he goes on Thursday to see if he gets picked. Had to go buy him a whole new outfit for the occasion, first time I've seen him in a coat and tie, since I couldn't get him to wear one for our wedding. LOL!
Better go, gotta get moving this morning. I'll do more updates as I can. Later!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Sonya taking aim with the Corn Cannon! Get em, Sonya!
And now Nathan gets to take aim, too! Behind Nathan's head you can see the Pumpkin Blaster. Boy, never knew that shooting an ear of corn or a little pumpkin out the barrel of a pressurized air cannon could be so much fun! Destruction at it's best, when no one gets hurt and still something goes BOOM! No wonder it's what all the kids want to play with when they visit Fiddlesticks Farms!
And finally sliding down the tube slides!
Boy, we had fun out there opening day! Only problem was that Nathan and his Daddy went into the "so extremly difficult, don't expect to see your wife and daughter for at least a couple of hours" part of the Corn Maze, while Sonya and I went into the "so easy my 7 year old daughter got us through in about 10 minutes" Corn Maze. Which left said daughter and I going to do everything several more times while poor hubby was left to trudge after the lost son for about an hour and a half in 90+ degree weather, with no water, uphill, all the way, through the blazing desert and quicksand, with a naggy wife on the dying cell phone asking "how much longer are you going to be in there?" He, he, he! I'm glad I went with Sonya!
Well, next post I'll have to post my pictures of when the Monarch Butterflies came through our little town of Rankin on their way to Mexico. There were thousands of them roosting all over town for about a week! It was AWESOME! Until next time!
Monday, September 7, 2009
So, let's see, everyone in the AddNikki household has caught a cold. It started with my daughter, her nose started running, then she started coughing, then came a little fever and now the poor girl looks like Rudolph because of her vigorous nose wiping. Poor girl and picture day is tomorrow!
Well, she promptly give it to her big brother, who's case isn't as bad as hers. But then my hubbie came down with it, oh man, He actually came home early from work he felt so icky!
And now, on my one holiday off when the kids still have to go to school, I'm sitting here suffer from it! Now I did have to go to work for a while today to get ready big day at work tomorrow, but I'm feeling so icky, I came home, gonna take a nap, then go back up there to finish up.
Why can't I be sick on my hubbie's day off or something like that. I don't know when a good sick day would be. Preferably never, but I do usually get just about everything within the first 2-4 weeks of school. Guess since the kids don't run around with everyone all summer, when they all start mingling after school starts, they just give each other everything that they hadn't already had over the summer. Does that make sense?
Oh, well, guess it's time for that nap, might not be able to have a really good one since my nose is just running like a faucet. Til next time!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Don't you hate when you come back from a day off of work and you have post-it's all over your computer. My number one pet peeve right now. The sticky stuff leaves a residue on my monitor and is a pain to get off.
I hate being sick with a stubborn stomach bug!
I hate the B.R.A.T.T. diet!
I hate hypocrites! People who complain about a person doing or not doing something, and then do or not do the exact same thing. My number two pet peeve!
People who set up an appointment with you and then you take off the time to meet them, and then they don't show up or call.
Did I mention I hate having the stupid stomach bug?
Oh well, as you can probably guess, I have had the stomach bug and he's been sticking around now since Monday. My son got it and he was out sick on Wednesday, so I had to take a vacation day to take care of him. Guys just don't know how to take care of themselves, especially when they are sick. But I did get some time to clean and rearrange my daughter's room while he took a nice long nap, so that worked out and boy was she happy with the result. Now if only she will keep her room that way!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I got plenty of Happy Birthday wishes and thanks to everyone for those, they were greatly appreciated with the day I had yesterday. The insurance adjuster was supposed to show up yesterday, and since my hubbie wasn't going to be off work in time to meet him, I took a 1/2 day off work so I could be at the house when the insurance guy was going to show up.
I'm glad I did take off work cause my stomach was just being awful and not cooperative at all yesterday, and doesn't feel much better today. So, as I was running between the potty and waiting on the insurance guy, my hubbie showed up and asked where was the insurance guy, I didn't realize it was already 30 minutes past when the adjuster was supposed to show up.
Well, hubbie wasn't to happy about that so he gets on the phone calling our agent and having him call the adjuster, then the adjuster called us and pretty much said "Ooops, I forgot. Can we reschedule for tomorrow?"
So, the adjuster had better show up today during my lunch time cause I'm not taking any more time off if I can help it.
And why do we have to have an adjuster come out anyway, you may be asking? Well, after the contractor fixed the busted sewer pipes, he said it appeared that the "stuff" might have gone up under the house and affected the footings that our wood frame house sits on and that, of course, would make the house unlevel and could cause cracks in the floors, walls, etc.
Those of you who have ever had foundation problems know the troubles that can come with it, so I don't really know if I want him to find something or not, if he finds something, then it will have to get fixed, but what all would that involve?
Something else I need to ask him is, what do I do with my backyard now? I'm afraid to even let anyone go back there. We have no grass where all the work was done and well, there is several blocks worth of sewer "stuff" mixed into the soil now. What do I do? Can I put grass seed out, grow some new grass and everything will be OK, or should I be worried that something in the "stuff" might cause health issues for the family or the pets? (Especially if it all dries out and starts blowing up into the air, etc.)
I just don't know, that's why I want to talk to the adjuster, he might not have all the answers, but maybe he can reassure me about some of those issues.
Oh and another thing, our contractor happens to know one of the City Council members and he mentioned our sewer troubles and that it appeared to be caused by one of the city drainage pipes breaking and making everything drain into our sewer pipe, etc., so my hubbie and I are on the next City Council meeting agenda to present our bill from our contractor to the City Council.
They may not pay it, or they may pay all of it, anyway, at least it will get the city thinking more about possibly retrofitting the pipes around town before they all start breaking and having problems, etc. If us going before them and bringing attention to this issue helps prevent more families from having the same problem, then I'll do whatever I can to help
Monday, August 17, 2009
Yesterday morning hubbie was doing dishes, I had just finished a shower when he hollared at me to look in the backyard. Well, I looked and didn't see anything, so he told me to come to the kitchen window and look from there. If I didn't know any better from the odor, I would have thought we had black gold bubbling up from the ground. So, any of you who have had the same problem have figured out that we had a busted sewer pipe. Oh joy.
So we spent the next few hours on the phone tracking down our insurance guy, then the guy who might do the job, then the lady who works for the city, then back to the guy who might do the job, then back to our insurance guy to double check and make sure that "No, your home owners insurance won't cover it cause it's not IN your home" then calling the guy who might do the job back and ask, "Do you take payments?", and he said yes, so, now my backyard looks like a war zone.
There is a HUGE backhoe back there (think goodness I have a big double gate in my fence or they would have had to take down part of the fence to get it in), and then in the lot that we own next door is another not as huge backhoe that the city is using to dig up another pipe. So there is a big trench down the middle of the backyard and a big hole dug up on the other side of the fence.
From what my hubbie said that the contractor said, the city drainage pipe plugged up or something causing my pipe to backup and eventually break causing all the backed up stuff to bubble up into the yard, therefore my backyard smells like, well, kind of a cross between the litter box and my doggy's poop. Oh joy.
So, don't know what's going to happen, will my insurance cover anything-don't know yet, will the city pay for it since it's their pipes that are supposed to be maintained by them that caused the problem to begin with-don't know that yet, and am I still going to be sane after it's all over with-don't know that yet either, but I'll keep ya posted!
Friday, July 31, 2009
It's so cool and I am such a Stephanie Meyer fan. The Twilight Series books are so complex, fascinating, and just awesome! If you haven't read them, well, might have to get on a waiting list at your local library, but they are worth it. Even if you don't think you like the whole "Vampire" genre, believe me, these aren't Anne Rice's Vampires from the Interview With A Vampire Series.
In a way, the Stephanie Meyer's writing reminds me of J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter Series. They both have done extensive research for their books and have added their own twists to common legends and myths which for a person like me, who has studied many of the legends and myths in both series, is very fascinating and makes for a very fun read.
Oh and here's another site to go and visit, but only after you have read Twilight. It's Stephanie Meyer's official website and it's in regards to a project she was working on called Midnight Sun, click HERE if you're interested. After I read her letter, it's sad that people do that to each other, but I think she's right that it's best that she posted what she had written before the draft made it through too many other hands and was ruined.
And a quick question, anybody out there read the Sookie Stackhouse Series? They are the series of books with titles like Dead to the World, Dead in Dallas, Dead as a Doornail, and the like by Charlaine Harris. Now this is the book series that the HBO series "True Blood" is based on and they are a little more gory, but they are quite fun books to read. The HBO series is a bit more gory and sexy then I think the books are, but hey, what can you expect from HBO?
Well, better get going, got to get to work, hope y'all have a good weekend and good reading!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
We turned on the outside light and slowly raised the blinds and we were able to get a few pictures of it. I had thought that if the outside kitty food was up on the steps right by the house, we wouldn't get assorted critters trying to eat the cat food, but obviously I wasn't right about that.
So, we've moved the outside kitty food to a new higher location that hopefully the stinky visitor and any stinky cousins won't be able to get to but that the momma cats and their kittens can jump onto fairly easily. Anybody know if skunks know how to jump?
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Lots of Red, White, and Blue on my house...
Who wasn't to happy about it, but he sure looked cute!
Secondly, William and the kids went to town yesterday and while he was there I asked him to look around Wally-World and see if he could find me a new patriotic t-shirt to wear to the Rankin Volunteer Fire Department Street Dance. He called and said there wasn't much left but he did find me something. Below is a picture of the T-shirt. It seemed to be a nice shirt and I was going to try it on when a couple of somethings caught my eye...
Can you see what bugs me about this shirt? I know it's a little blurry but hopefully you can still make out what's on the label in the picture below. Considering what is on the front of the shirt I wasn't expecting to see on the label "MADE IN PAKISTAN" and it's not just in English but in Spanish.
Is this what it's come down to? Our own Patriotic clothing is being made in a country that is not entirely friendly to the United States. I mean, let's see if I remember correctly, isn't the Taliban still fighting some of our U.S. soldiers in that area? With the news media mostly focusing on the war in Afghanistan now and the withdrawal of American troups out of certain Iraqi cities, I don't remember everything involving Pakistan, but isn't their President not that cozy with the U.S.? Aren't our soldiers trying to fight the Taliban that are on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border and the terrorists/insurgents have been using the Pakistani border towns as bases?
Well, I don't know what you would do, but I'm not wearing my new shirt today. I'll just find a shirt from a couple years ago that proudly says "Made in America" and only in English. Sorry, but I don't believe that phrase should have to be in English and Spanish. If you are buying a Fourth of July t-shirt to wear, then I would assume that you have learned the predominant language of the new country of your new residence. I mean, if I went to Mexico and wanted to pick up say a Cinco de Mayo shirt, I wouldn't expect it to have care instructions on it in English.
Ok, enough of my little ranting today, just wanted to toot the "I'm American" horn for a moment on the day we set aside to celebrate the good ol' U.S. of A. and it's also the day that my family celebrates the day that Nathan came home from the hospital when he was a newborn. Yea! We'll celebrate with some cake and ice cream later today, then we'll go to the street dance, have some burgers and hot dogs, then we get to head over to the football stadium parking lot and shoot off our load of fireworks and firecrackers! Imagine the best fireworks show you've ever seen and extend it for several hours instead of just 15 minutes. It's AWESOME!
So, like I said earlier, everyone have fun, be safe, and enjoy your Fourth of July!
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I know that this person doesn't read my blog, but even if they did, that's alright because I think it would help reassure this person that I'm not some non-believer. Quite the contrary, I consider myself a veryFaithful person, but I don't consider myself a Religious person.
What's the difference? Well, let me explain when I decided I couldn't be a Religious person anymore. When I was younger, say mid-teens I went to church on a regular basis and some older friends of mine had decided to become Missionaries and believe it or not I was even thinking about that too. I couldn't think of anything better then spreading the word of a loving and caring Heavenly Father through the word of his Son, Jesus Christ. And then our Preacher of many years retired and our church hired a new Preacher.
I went to his first Sunday sermon and left knowing I would never return. Our last Preacher spoke of God's love, of Jesus' kindness and acceptance of all people. Our new Preacher spoke about how anyone not of our faith was going to you-know-where and that they were all terrible sinners and we needed to do everything in our power to convert them.
At the time I had many close friends of many different faiths and they were all very Religious people. I couldn't believe that the loving God that I had been taught about throughout my life would condemn someone to you-know-where just because they had found a different path to believing in Him. So, that was when I decided I would be a Faithful Believer since I didn't feel comfortable being a Religious Believer.
I don't believe in having my children taught that people of other faiths are evil and wrong. I mean just because the Dalai Lhama isn't of my Religion, he's not going to Heaven? Or how about the Pope, he's Christian but not Baptist, so that means he's gonna be turned away from the Pearly Gates? I don't believe so.
I just decided that if Heaven was going to exclude all my friends and family who didn't practice my Religion then it just wouldn't be Heaven and the kind and loving God that I believed in wouldn't allow that type of Heaven to exist.
So, I consider myself a Faithful person, just not a Religious one. How do I practice my faith you may ask? Well, everyday I give thanks to the Heavens above that I have two healthy children and a healthy husband. I give Thanks when we all return home safe and sound, because I know that there are people who have someone they love who isn't coming home that night.
I send up a prayer of thanks when I have to mow my lawn because I know there are many who are physically unable to do so or don't have a home of their own anymore. I'm thankful for having a good job and great co-workers, because I know there are many who don't have jobs during this tough economy.
I say a prayer over the checks I send for donations to the various Vetrans organizations and when I put change in the Salvation Army buckets at Christmas and for the money I put in the Fill-the-Boot campaign and of course when I fill out a card showing I donated money around Labor Day for the MDA Telethon.
Everytime I donate I say a prayer that the money I give will bring a wounded Veteran a little closer to getting the prosthetic limb he or she needs since they were severly wounded by a roadside bomb or that one more person without a home will find help at the local Salvation Army shelter or that a scientist will be brought one step closer to a cure for MD or MS.
Just because I don't go to a church every Sunday, put my money into the plate they pass around, sing hymns and listen to a sermon that may or may not reflect my true beliefs, doesn't mean I'm not a Faithful Believer, it just means I don't believe I have to go to Sunday Service every Sunday to practice my beliefs, I try to practice it every day. And I try to show my children every day by my example.
So, far I've been very happy with how they have turned out. My son has friends of many faiths, including the son of the Hindi manager of the motel and my daughter plays with children of every race and religion equally. Just like in the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children", red and yellow, black and white, she plays with everyone. Now if I could get them to clean their rooms and help ME around the house more, I'd be doing real well. Guess that's just one more thing for me to pray about I guess, while I mow my lawn on Sunday morning, watching cars pass by full of people on their way to Church.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Only parents who have gone through this really understand, but after he was born, it was quiet, too quiet. After an eternity of a few seconds, he finally made a cry, then a cough, then another cry and then some more coughs.
I was only 36 weeks pregnant when my blood pressure started to go up, I was ordered to rest over the next 5 days, and I did, but I was ordered back to the hospital for monitoring. My blood pressure didn't go down very much, so my dr. told me when he came by at lunch time, I wasn't leaving without my baby. Well, I did.
See, he was born at 36 1/2 weeks which is when most baby boy lungs start to develop in utero and my little Nathan's lungs weren't quite ready. Guess my body knew what it was doing since during 21 hours of pitocin induced labor, I only dilated to a 1. That's why he didn't have the lusty cry that most healthy newborns have, he was having trouble breathing.
So, after the delivery nurse allowed me a quick look at my newborn son, off they went to the nursery and I spent the next 45 minutes surrounded by the surgical staff, anaesthesiologist, and my dr. and his associate, all working on me, but I felt totally alone, wondering what was going on with my baby. My hubby couldn't be with me because of his hospital phobia, but at least he was able to be outside the nursery, because he got to tell me what happened later.
I had been in the recovery room, my body tilted head up at about a 30 degree angle, when my hubby and a dr. came in. William held my hand while the pediatrician told me my son was having trouble breathing and they were going to have to put him on a ventilator and Teddy Bear Air (otherwise known as CareFlight) my newborn son to another hospital because the hospital I was at didn't have an NICU ward.
My little 7 lbs. 12 oz. boy didn't want to have the ventilator tube shoved down his esophagus, so he proceeded to yank it out 2 times before they came to me and asked for permission to tranquilize him. Of course I said yes and off they went to get back to work on my son.
After a few more hours, I was finally put into a room and my husband kept going back and forth giving me updates on how our son was doing. Finally, after another eternity it seems, the flight crew brought my son into my room. He had a tube coming out of the umbilical cord stump, band-aids on his heals where they drew blood for the pku(?) test, a ventilator coming out of his mouth and taped to his face, and he was still, just so still for a newborn, and only wearing a diaper, spread eagle in a rolling incubator.
They explained that he was going to be fine. He was going to a hospital about 30 minutes away, by car, faster of course by helicopter, and they were associated with Cooks Children's Hospital. They said that Cooks had been full but the hospital he was going to only had a few intensive care babies, so my son would get lots of attention which was better then an overloaded NICU.
I didn't say much, I really couldn't because I was just staring at my poor little boy and I started getting all choked up and silent tears started to fall. The lady in the flight crew noticed and asked if I had even had a chance to hold my son yet. I shook my head no and they decided they had to figure out a way for me to at least touch Nathan.
After fiddling with the hospital bed and maneuvering me as best they could, since I had just had major surgery, they lowered one side of the incubator and I was finally able to put my finger in his little hand and feel my son's fingers close around mine.
Needless to say, today is a wonderful, yet bittersweet day for me. Joyous that my son was born and that he ended up being just fine, yet bittersweet remembering how difficult the rest of the day, and the next several days were until I was finally out of the hospital and could go see my son at the other hospital.
Nine days after my son was born, he was able to come home, on the 4th of July. That's the day I truly celebrate, the day my little boy came finally came home!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
When Oscar and I found him on our front porch, he was totally covered with fleas, the bad ones out here that they call "sand fleas". There wasn't an inch on him that didn't have fleas. So, of course he had a flea bath and we gave him food and water, but he didn't want to eat. We then gave him fluids through a bottle that night and throughout the day yesterday, but I think he was just to anemic from all the fleas and probably had a bad case of worms and his poor little heart just couldn't take the shock.
Sometimes I wonder why things like this happen, where you try your best and it's just not enough. But I think that he was sent our way so that in his short life, the poor little stray received some love and care even if it was for just a few days. As the saying goes, some people (or animals) come into your life, make footprints (or pawprints) on our hearts, and we are never the same.
Monday, June 22, 2009
And I think I've introduced you to Joy, she's William's Marbled Bengal kitten. In this picture she's probably 6 months old, but size wise, she's larger and heavier then Jadzia, who of course is a full grown domestic cat. You can't really see all Joy's pretty markings in this picture, but I love the cute expression on her face, plus you can see her slightly rounded ears. To get a better idea of what Bengal Cats look like, you can go HERE.
Just note that Joy is still a kitten and hasn't gotten all here stripes and colors yet. Kind of like how Dalmations don't get their spots until they get a few months old. She has gotten darker in the last few months, but I don't think she's going to quite as dark as the kittens on the website.
And of course everyone knows about Oscar Mayer Hill, my mini weenie dog. Don't you just love his little Patriotic outfit! Too bad he didn't, now his hat is being proudly displayed on my concrete dachsund that I got to go on my front porch. Being that the statue is of a regular size dachsun and not a mini, it's bigger than Oscar is. I'll have to get a picture of the two of them together for comparison.
Now we also seem to end up with some extra's running around all the time. Like the two little ones below. Sonya's calling them Dora and Diego. Their momma had them in our storage shed and they've gotten very used to us. I'm sure us feeding them and making sure they have a big bowl of water hasn't contributed to that one bit. Yeah, right.
I'll admit, we're suckers for cute little critters. Guess that's why we couldn't stand to see those, previously blogged about, poor baby foxes just lying around in the heat, knowing that if they didn't get some help from someone, they weren't going to make it. Haven't seen the game warden lately so, don't know if they did make it, but we at least have the peace of mind knowing that we at least tried to help.
And on that note, on to our latest little poor pitiful critter. Oscar and I were doing our walk about the house and we were greeted at the front porch by a little black baby kitten. He was absolutlely COVERED in fleas and is very skinny, but at least after his bath he's flea free, and hopefully after a few good meals, he won't be so skinny. But we just have to see how he does tonight. When he starts to get a little better, we'll try to get him in to our vet for a check up when we take our other latest addition in, Stubbie.
She's just like the little orange kittens above, except she's missing about 1/2 her tail, hence the name Stubbie. She's a very sweet, very chubbie kitten that Oscar loves to try and play with, but he does get a little rough with her, so he has supervised visits with her until she gets a little bigger. Joy on the other hand adores her and treats her like she's a well loved little sister. In other words, they beat up on each other most of the time and play the rest of the time.
Now add in the bunny Bridget, that Oscar remembers we have every now and then and tortures us with his constant barking, until we distract him and he forgets about her again for a few days, and we've ended up with quite a motley crew of critters running around and in the house.
So, keep our little black foundling in your thoughts and prayers, and my sanity too for that matter and we'll enjoy our little slice of chaos out here in Rankin. Until later.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Yanked my hand out and stepped back so fast almost fell over! I was afraid it was a spider or something like that, but only saw one tiny hole so took a quick look back and saw several wasps starting to fly out of the bush. OH, %#$@! Hollered at the kids to get in the house, grabbed the dog, grabbed the kittens and ran in the house after the kids. Didn't know what those ticked off things were going to do!
So, inside I grabbed a bowl started filling it with cold water and ice and dunked my hand in to stop the burning, stinging pain, and yelled for my husband to go get Benadryl, and lots of it. Which, thankfully one of the little Rankin stores had it and I ended up in a Benadryl induced la-la state for the rest of the day. But, thank goodness, doesn't seem like I'm allergic to wasp stings, I am to just about everything else, so it was better safe then sorry.
Now for the rant, after all that trouble, you would think that most people would say, don't worry about mowing the rest of the yard, after the wasp killer spray kills them off, I'll finish the yard for you. Well, the unnamed party didn't. So, I'm still pretty ticked. I mowed the lawn last weekend and with the rain we had last week, everything grew pretty fast, so it really did need to get mowed again. It's just getting to be that time of year where the lawn needs to be mowed on a weekly basis. But here it is Monday, and only 1/2 my front yard is mowed. Oh well, I know what I'll be doing tonight.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I'm sorry they are so little, I'll have to pull them off the disc my husband burned for me and repost them later. Also, sorry there aren't more interesting shots, my hubbie ended up taking the pictures since I ended up helping under the big tent ALL DAY Saturday.
So, consider this just a sneak peek until I can get the other pictures edited and the video all edited too, have to figure out how to do that with my video editor. Enjoy for now!
Me and the kids and little Oscar!
Sonya playing in a Bounce House
The Big Tent, I'm in there somewhere, just look for the pink shirt.
Friday, May 22, 2009
William is setting up our little home away from home, that way we'll be close to all the fun and the kids will have a spot to hang out in while I'm helping out and William does whatever he's going to do. He hasn't been picked to do anything specific, yet, but as soon as someone sees him just sittin' on his behind, I'm sure they'll start askin' for his help.
I'll add more to this post later as I get pictures etc. and I'll also keep a running update on the progress of everything on the World Championship Barbados Cook Off Fan Club facebook site, so keep checking back for all the fun!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
...baseball caps and t-shirts, to mugs and drink coozies, Bubba shows up everywhere this time of year.
Monday, May 18, 2009
There was nothing that he couldn't do or figure out. One of his sayings was "improvise, adapt, and overcome". Another one was "I'm here for a good time, not a long time". No one had any idea he would be taken so soon. He was never sick, never showed signs of ill feelings, ever.
If you would like to participate in the First Annual Running Against The Wind Memorial 5k Run/Walk for Bill "Hoss" Lindsey as either a Runner, Walker, Sponsor or to Volunteer, please contact Owen Yocham at (432)693-6545 or via email at email@example.com.
You can pre-register from now til May 22, 2009 by mail or in person and the pre-registration fee is $15. On May 23, the day of the race, you can register until 8:00am and the fee is $20. The Race will start at 9:00am at the Dub Day Arena in Rankin, Texas.
We want to thank you in advance for your help and support of this matter and look forward to seeing you in Rankin!
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The schedule for this year is as follows:
FRIDAY, MAY 22ND
SATURDAY, MAY 23RD
The Barbado breed originated in Texas. The breed originated from Barbados Blackbelly sheep which were crossed with Rambouillet and mouflon. One of the uses of the Barbado is as a trophy animal on game ranches due to its large curled horns. It is typically tan, tan with a pale or black belly or pied. The coat varies from short hair to coarse wool with a large amount of kemp fibers. Males show the horns for which the breed was selected and the females are polled.
The Barbado should not be confused with the Barbados Blackbelly although the two are related. Barbados Blackbelly exhibit the distinctive color pattern of the breed, tan with black belly and face, which is often times absent in the Barbado. In addition, both sexes of the Barbados Blackbelly are polled while the males of the Barbado are horned. Also the fecundity level in the Barbados Blackbelly is very high with the average litter size being between 1.5 and 2.2.
Ok, now that the "technical" details are over, it's time for the fun stuff! Every year, at least for the last 16, Rankin puts on the World Championship Barbado's Cookoff and Rodeo. It's always the Friday evening and Saturday before Memorial Day. On Friday, the Barbado's cookers have to check in and pick up their Barbados, I get to help with that part this year and have to admit that the handling of raw sheep does not thrill me. So, it should be interesting.
That evening while the cookers are getting their Barbados on the grill or in the smokers, etc., there is live music and dancing. So, it's a pretty festive time, people are going back and forth trying to find out secret recipes to the best barbado, trading advice, or just trading beers, but everyone seems to have a good time.
Saturday is the big day. Cookers have to pick up their sample trays at 9am and then their is the Cooks Meeting. This year, besides the Barbado Cookoff, there will be cookoffs for the best Salsa, Chicken, Ice Cream, Bread, Fajitas, Ribs, Chili, Spam dish, Beans, and Brisket. My husband won first place a few years back for his version of my Dad's ice cream recipe and I won first place once in bread for my homemade Cinnamon Rolls.
And there are all kinds of other things to do besides cook. For the people just hanging out or helping the cooks, there is a Moon Tournament (a type of dominos game, not what some of you dirty minded people were thinking, even though wouldn't mind seeing some of the cute cowboys who compete in the Rodeo part of THAT kind of competition!), Horse Shoes and Washer Pitchin', and after some of the adults start getting a little tipsy, the Mud Pit Tug o' War.
Since I did mention the Rodeo, it starts after the Tropy Presentation with Mutton Bustin for the littlest cowboys and cowgirls, then on to the Steer Saddling and Bull Riding. I think there is supposed to be a Bull Fighter competition too, but I don't see it on the schedule, maybe it was added after this schedule was printed.
For the kids, there is the Lil Bubba & Lil Babette Pageant, well, I think it's mostly for the proud Mom's and Dad's, but all the kids do get trophies, so they don't mind being in it too much. This isn't like a beauty pageant where the kids have to get all foo-fooed up like those little beauty pageant princess's, that sort of thing. They can just wear their usual casual clothes, their favorite outfit or anything like that. Just someting they're comfortable in. As shown below by my little cuties from the pictures a friend took of them last year:
Since my little ones come from Irish stock (my hubbie), they do tend to burn pretty easily. So, they get slathered in sunblock and Sonya loves going around town with her pretty parasol. Keeps her cool, not sunburned, and she just looks cute with it! Now if you notice, Nathan has 2 trophies, one for participating and one for actually getting 3rd place in the Lil Bubba contest. Since there were only 4 boys in his age group, he was bound to get something! I think he might actully be too old this year, or he might just THINK he's to old for it, but that's ok. He'll be glad to know that I won't make him enter if he doesn't want to.
I've been thinking that there should be some other things for the kids to do, something fun, wholesome, and can be done no matter what the weather. I saw on one of my favorite blogs (The Long and Short of It All!) about the annual Wiener Dog races and that gave me an idea. Maybe some of the 4-H kids would like to help set up a Pet Race. Wouldn't have to be all wiener dogs, since there aren't that many wiener dogs around, but could be open to all types of dogs.
We'd probably have to have weight catagories, like toy, small, medium, and large, so that it would be more fair. Since 4-H has a pet show during the same time that they have their usual Stock Show every year, I know that they have lots of pets and this would give them one more chance to show them off!
Just an idea that I might have to bring up next Chamber of Commerce meeting, the proceeds from the Pet Races could go to 4-H, since they would be the ones having to help out. Hmmm, I think they would go for it, the older 4-H'ers could us it as one of their volunteer projects and I think all of them would have fun. I'll have to get a proposal and more info. before I present my idea, but I think the other Chamber members might go for it. Anything that would help keep all the kids entertained and out of trouble would be great!
Well, better get going, still got laundry to do and gotta clean the carpet, my little wiener dog doesn't like using his potty pads while I'm at work. So, lots of little messes everywhere. Ugh, I need to get rid of all my carpet.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Oh, and don't forget to notice Nathan's hat, it's this years hat from the World Championship Barbado's Cookoff and Rodeo. I've mentioned it before, but now that I've joined the Chamber of Commerce, I'll actually be volunteering my time during Barbado. I've also decided to have all my entries on my blog this week be about the Barbado and what all goes on.
There are all kinds of things to do, people to see, some shopping and of course all the good food. Now, being a judge can be a bit risky, that's why I've only judged things like the bread contest and the ice cream contest. Those are things that are hard to get wrong, but I've heard that when someone does an actual Barbados wrong, ugh! Hopefully the judges have strong stomachs and have taken some Mylanta.
Well, untill next time!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
So, to catch everyone up on everything. Let's get the most painful thing out of the way first, my appointment with the endodontist for a root canal, or should I say triple root canal since it was on my # 14 tooth which has 3 roots on it. I'm just glad that my endodontist is petite with small hands so that my poor mouth didn't have to stay all stretched out for an hour and 1/2. Thank goodness!
To be honest, I'd rather have a root canal then labor pains or really bad cramps, at least with the root canal I can ask them to turn up the nitrous oxide a/k/a laughing gas and can just sit back relax and kind of zone out for a while. Not so with the labor pains or other feminine pains that can be so painful you just curl up in a ball and pray that the 3 Aleve hurry up and start working, but enough of the painful stuff and on to the interesting stuff.
Look at what my husband found next to our shed back behind our house after he got home from picking up the kids yesterday afternoon:
Anybody know what they are? I certainly didn't. I had gotten home just a few minutes before my hubbie and kids and I was working on getting the water hoses out so I could water the front yard and the kids had gone into the house to start their homework when my husband hollered at me to come look at something by the shed. I went towards the shed and noticed 4 little black things trying to hide in the sliver of shade that was left up against the shed. It hit 101 degrees yesterday so I'm sure that the concrete slab that the shed sits on was very hot from baking in the sun all day and I could tell the little things were hot and exhausted.
As we examined these little things my hubbie and I were trying to figure out what they are. I asked were they some kind of wild dog, 1/2 breed coyote or what, all he knew was they weren't the raccoons leaving tracks in the mud that he saw over the weekend. Then, upon closer examination, I noticed that their paws were like a dog's and that they were panting, so I could see itty-bitty teeth. Well, whatever they were they needed help. They were hot, tired, and probably very thirsty, and we couldn't see any sign of a mama anywhere, so we called our local Animal Control person. While we waited for him to show up, we moved them into our doggie crate so that they would at least be in some shade and might cool off a little bit.
When our Animal Control guy showed up, he had no clue what the little animals were either, but he hasn't been on the job that long, so it's understandable. Anyway, he went ahead and took the animals with him so he could find out what they are and find out what he would be able to do with them. Maybe there was some kind of animal sanctuary, humane society or something like that which would take the litter of critters.
Well, about 45 minutes later, he brought them back. Why, I don't really know except that he didn't know what he could do with them, but he did find out what they are, so without any further interuptions, I introduce a Gray Fox Pup:
This little one was not happy to have his picture taken, but they're still pretty cute. They are about the size of 6 week old kittens, and I can verify that since I currently have 6 week old kittens in my other shed that is up near the house. But on to our little conclusion about the foxes.
We ended up calling the County Animal Control Officer who has more experience with handling wild animals and what the laws and regulations are regarding them. So, she made a few calls for us and called us back to let us know that the Game Warden was going to contact us. He did and we found out that since currently there is some kind of Rabies Quarantine in effect in our county and many of the surrounding counties, if we are in possession of an animal that is part of that quarantine, which foxes are, then we could get fined $100 per animal that we have in our possession, but he knew we were only trying to do what was right and get wild animals back out into the wild, when he came to pick them up at about 10pm last night, he only gave us a written warning.
Now don't go and get all upset about us getting a warning, the man was going back to his office with a litter of fox pups, so he had to have some type of paper trail and believe me, I know all about having to keep the paper trail going since I work for the government too! Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, and CYA, that's our motto in my office!
Anyway, hard to believe that the little critters pictured above will turn into the Gray Fox shown below, at least I think they will. The Warden told us that he wasn't even sure what he could really do about them or where they would end up since he had never had this happen before. If we were like most people around here, which are mostly ranchers or farmers, then they would have just been shot without a moments hesitation, no matter how cute they are. But my husband and I both hope that they will be given to some animal sanctuary, maybe a rescue agency that will take care of them and then maybe release them some place where they might be needed. Maybe an area currently overrun by varmints like field mice, rats, or even rabbits or ground squirrels. Natural pest control is always best!
And speaking of varmints like rabbits, while I was waiting around for the Animal Control Officer, I noticed why we probably had a fox family running around our back lot:
Can you see the eye on that baby bunny glowing? It was very cute and less then 10' from me just grazing away on all the weeds in my back lot. It's momma was about 20' away to my left and they both just were grazing away without a care in the world. I guess they knew I wasn't the one they needed to worry about.
Well, guess I better close for now. If I hear about what happened to the baby foxes, I'll let y'all know! Until later!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Normally I come home from lunch and we make our rounds about the house, water plants here and there, dead=head petunias and check on the kittens and their momma in the storage shed. Then we come in, I make my lunch while Oscar eats his, then he comes and sits in my lap while I eat my lunch. Just Momma and Oscar time and he loves it.
Well, yesterday, I had to leave work at 4pm so I skipped my usual lunch hour so I could leave early so I could take Sonya to have her dance class to have pictures made. They had 3 costume changes, 10 little girls running around, and no air conditioning in the building. So needless to say, it was pretty chaotic, but the girls sure were cute and can't wait to see their recital at the end of the month. Oscar was very happy to see me when we got home, but not happy that I had been gone so long, so he didn't let me get much sleep last night.
Which wasn't too good, since I had a dentist appointment today and again, had to skip lunch, and will have to take shorter lunches later this week to make up the rest of the time, and now I'm pooped and missing Sonya's first Pee-wee game of the Season and Nathan's first Little League game of the season. But I'm just too tired after barely getting any sleep last night, plus the stress of the dentist appointment, plus the novacain, and add to that the pain pill I'm about to take since the novacain is starting to wear off and you get one momma who's gonna be in bed in about 45 minutes.
But who ever heard of a Little League game running from 8pm-to whenever, on a school night! Oh well, Oscar is very happy I'm home, right now he's sitting on his little butt, begging for me to pick him up, snuggle up with him and let him get a nap. Well, he's just gonna have to wait a little bit longer, I gonna get in something comfy, grab some popcorn, and find something to watch while I chill in bed and wait for the pain relievers to start working. Then the puppy and I are gonna crash for the night. Just gonna have to hear the play by plays tomorrow.
Oh, and as for the dental prognosis, I get to have my first (hopefully only) Root Canal on the 13th, oh joy. At least they aren't going to have to extract it (it wasn't as bad as they thought it looked on the x-rays) which the dentist said would really hurt since it's on the top. Guess I'll have to take his word for it.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Here's my rosemary plants planted behind my Russian mealy sage and my dark purple petunias. I bought the petunias at the Garden Club plant sale this year and the sage was from last years plant sale and it came back so pretty this spring. The rosemary is called Tuscan Blue and should have some pretty purplish-blue flowers over the summer. And even better, the deer don't like rosemary!
This is my front porch. I ordered the little fake topiaries since they have the lights already on them and I thought it would make for a nicer curb appeal. Also, since I don't have any hand rails around my porch, I use the window boxes to help add a little more interest and definition to the porch. I bought the hot pink petunias at the Garden Club Sale, too.
This is the south side of my house that gets TONS of sun, all day! And any plant that can make it over there can be listed as one of the toughest plants on earth. So far, the only plants that have survived are a couple of varieties of lavender, now which ones, I'm not sure. I planted about 5 different varieties over there last year and it seems like only 2 of them survived. Today I dug up and rearranged the lavender as well as planted 2 "knock-out" rose bushes and transplanted my 2 "Climbing Joseph's Coat" from the carport flower bed to the south side of the house, too.
So, that was a lot of digging and moving around for this weekend. I'll be lucky to get out of bed tomorrow, but I'll sure have a lot of mileage to add to my Walk Across Texas Team-the Petal Pushers (the Garden Club team, obviously). Hope everyone had a good weekend and til next time.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Isn't he SO CUTE! Let's all go AWWWW! The puppy looks just like Oscar did when I first saw him, no wonder I just had to bring him home. Since then he's had Parvo and completely recovered from it, but today, he had his surgery so that now he won't be trying to have so much "fun" with our poor cat Joy or with Sonya's poor pink stuffed bunny rabbit.
So, now he's very upset with my hubbie since my hubbie is always the one to take Oscar to the vet and every visit to the vet has involved some type of shot or pain and right now Oscar doesn't really like being with my hubbie. Right now Oscar likes being snuggled up against me as close as he can get. Have to admit it's kind of nice having a hubbie who is off every other Friday so that he can take care of that kind of business for me and that way my sweet little weiner dog doesn't associate me with the pain of going to the vet. But boy, what a grudge my little doggie holds against my hubbie!
Now on to my 2 legged children and all our escapades this week. Nathan has had Little League practice Monday - Thursday for the last 2 weeks and Wednesday they actually had their first scrimmage game. Nathan made several good hits and I thought they looked pretty good, but they ended up not winning. Oh well, now they've had a look at what the other team is capable of and they can change their tactics accordingly
Sonya has also had a practice session, one practice session. She was supposed to have a practice yesterday, but since we had some wonderful thuderstorms roll in, her practice was called off. Which was actually better for both of us since she had already gone to dance class from 4:15-5:30. After dropping her off at dance class, I had gone to the Chamber of Commerce meeting (my hubbie and I finally joined this year) and hubbie had gone with Nathan to his Little League practice at 5pm. Good thing the Chamber meeting is right across the parking lot from where the dance class is so I just had to sneak out at 5:30 and get Sonya.
Good thing I snuck out at that time cause I was able to tell everyone when I got back into the meeting that it was starting to sprinkle. That started a mad dash to the door by 3/4 of the members in attendance since it had been a nice day and this is a VERY small town, so people have a tendency to leave their cars unlocked and the windows down.
I'm glad I was able to go to this meeting, I've missed the last few for some reason or other, but this is the last meeting before the World Championship Barbados Cook-off and Rodeo that the Chamber sponsors every year. It's loads of fun, there's lots stuff to eat, lots of stuff to see, live music and off course, all the different cook-off's!
My husband won 2 years ago with my Dad's recipe for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and then I won last year in the bread category with my Homemade Cinnamon Rolls. You win a really cool cast iron brand (I'll have to get a picture of them and post them later) for your trophy and also some prize money! Woo-Hoo!
Anyway, it's really a lot of fun, lots of people getting together, guys grilling over open flames (of course the Volunteer Fire Department keeps a truck out there all weekend, just in case), a mud pit tug of war, and did I mention lots of food!
Well, hopefully I'll work on getting some good pics from around Rankin soon and I can make my blog a little bit more personalized, show y'all where the Barbados takes place, some of the other interesting sites around etc. Oh and speaking of interesting sites, please note I have added a new link to a cool wiener dog site called The Long and Short of it All. They have all kinds of cool information and fun stuff about all things dachshund. So, I hope y'all have a good weekend, and until next time, enjoy exploring The Long and Short of it All!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Only bad thing would be all the work I'd be coming back to. Oh well, a 3 day vacation would have a high price for me to pay with all the extra work that'd be sitting on my desk when I get back. I'll just have to day dream about a tropical vacation some where, I guess. Maybe someday...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Eulogy to Bill 'Hoss' Lindsey: 'The place where I worship is the wide-open spaces'
by Ed ToddMidland Reporter-Telegram
Published: Thursday, April 16, 2009 1:14 AM CDT
RANKIN -- Up Midland way, a pickup, counterpart of the Old West's buckboard wagon, displayed on its cab a "Happy Trails" sign that, considering the occasion, seemed somewhat ironic. But it was a sign, perhaps an omen, which a person, consciously or unconsciously, might look for on the way to a funeral to visit a grieving family.
Farther south, on the 55-mile drive to Rankin, population 800, a gathering place for a farming, ranching and oilfield community of folks, a prowling roadrunner, the chaparral, ran across a bar-ditch (Texana for "borrow ditch") and under a barbed-wire fence in search of a live meal. The critter was hard at work.
Closer to Rankin, another sign was "right on": A flight of birds, likely lark buntings, swooped low over the roadway. And a lone bird peeled off and banked to the west: "Gone West" -- aviation's tradition of honoring a fallen aviator.
In this instance, the fallen soul was a rancher, 48-year-old Bill "Hoss" Lindsey, the third of four sons of DeWayne and Janey Lindsey, Upton County ranchers and community stalwarts.
"There's not a harder-working people or better neighbors anywhere," said Tommy Owens, whose ranches neighbor the Lindsey ranches at four places north, east, south and west of Rankin and have for 45 years. He and wife, Edra, were "right there" to share the family's grief when they first heard of Bill's death. "I was raised that way -- to help your neighbors," Owens said. "We never had a cross-word."
Spring had arrived in West Texas: The mesquite was blooming, signaling planting time following a mild winter. But on his South Dakota ranch where Bill Lindsey died, snow was plentiful. He and his brother Daymond, who was up there to help with calving, had been working on building living quarters in a barn when Bill Lindsey collapsed.
In an instant, Daymond dropped to his knees and tried to revive his brother by pounding on his chest, breathing into his lungs.Throughout the years, the Lindsey ranchers have restored life to lifeless lambs on their sheep ranches, the father said, by using similar techniques. Not all survived. Just "for a moment," the father said, Bill gained consciousness but quickly faded.
The oldest brother, Tom, flew there out of Midland, and he and Daymond drove their brother home, with great dignity, in a modern-day covered wagon -- a van. The youngest brother, Shane, especially close to his fallen brother, came into Rankin to be with his parents. (Daymond, a house-builder, and Shane are in the construction business in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Tom ranches in Upton County.)"We feel an obligation to care for our own, to bring him home," the father said.
At the March 31 afternoon funeral, hundreds of mourners from West Texas to South Dakota filled the hilltop Rankin Park Building's auditorium and hallways. Others were just outside the westward-facing building, which, like the vintage Upton County Courthouse, seemed to address the distant plateaus and mountains in this semi-arid country.
"He made you feel like you were the first person he had seen all day," Johnny "Hotrod" Kidd said in eulogizing the personable Bill Lindsey. "And he was looking (just) for you."Bill brightened lives. He "honored God" through his toil on ranchland from Texas to South Dakota, through love for and devotion to his schoolteacher wife Denna, their children Will and Lauren, and their brothers and parents. And, in tossing in tidbits of humor, Kidd said Bill could eat a hamburger and, at the same time, enjoy a "chew of tobacco" without confusing the two, without mixing them up.
DeWayne Lindsey would say later his son "got to talk to (God) everyday out on the ranch."Bill's diligence would prompt him to "rip the sleeves" out of his long-sleeved shirts so he could work harder, longer and freer, Kidd said. And he over and over demonstrated a "spirit of not quitting and overcoming."The Lindsey sons are "very talented boys" and, like their father and mother, hard workers, Tommy Owens said. "DeWayne taught them well."
As did their father before them, the Lindsey boys played high-school football for the Rankin "Red Devils."And Bill Lindsey "could do just about everything" and did it well, "a talented guy, good humored, laid-back," Owens said. "You never heard him say anything bad about anybody."
After the burial at Rankin Cemetery, there was a bountiful community feed, a late dinner near suppertime. Visitation continued.
The mother, the cheerful and ever-toiling Janey, was absorbed in grief and tears, weeping."That's one hard-working woman," Owens said. "She can fix those groceries for dinner." In ranch-work, "she is just as hard-working as the boys and DeWayne."
The pain of grief had stolen her cheerfulness and her marvelous conversation and gab. She became mostly reticent, speaking quietly of her beloved "Hossie," her dearest Bill, whose great-grandfather Jeff Langford had named "Hoss" after the stout but gentle Hoss Cartwright character on the 1959-1973 Western television series "Bonanza." They would watch the mostly 1960s show together on the Lindsey's "south" ranch.
By mid-afternoon long before dusk, the sorrowful father was standing strong, sentimental and tearful. To their bones, DeWayne and Janey Lindsey knew only the passing of time would soothe their grief, which would never leave mind and heart.The father could look all around and into the vast horizon, surveying this old country of more dust than rainfall, scrub country yearning for moisture for its denizens: The people, livestock and wildlife. To ranchers, grass is more than "money in the bank." It is their livelihood. "There's beauty everywhere," DeWayne Lindsey said. "You just have to look for it."
At the cemetery southeast of town and across the railroad tracks, Tommy Owens, strumming the guitar, sang an old favorite: "The place where I worship is the wide-open spaces." It was a tribute to Bill, to his God and to the land.
The week of his father's funeral, Will, fresh out of college with a degree in animal husbandry, headed north to take over his father's South Dakota sheep and cattle operation."We still run sheep and goats in this (Rankin) country," Owens said, "... and coyotes."
Just west of the cemetery, a breeze was spinning the bladed wheel of the old-style Aermotor windmill to bring up groundwater for livestock: Picturesque.
On that old hardtack soil fit for coyotes and varmints, cacti and mesquite, sheep and goats, there is even more beauty between sunrise and sunset: The colorful wildflowers giving grace to weeds. Among their vast numbers are those yellow daisies, the DYCs known by botanists as "damned yellow composites," and the lovely five-petal globe mallow.
Like his parents, brothers and neighbors, Bill Lindsey loved this old land on which he toiled and thrived.
"'I'm not here for a long time,'" Bill would say from his younger years onward, the father recalled. "'I'm here to have a good time.'" Bill Lindsey did enjoy life and, along with his hard work, rode those "Happy Trails."
Ed Todd is a writer for The Midland Reporter-Telegram.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
In the mean time, here are a few pictures from Easter this morning. The first is of Joy, who wasn't to joyful about being woken up bright and early this morning to the sounds of kids wanting to dig into candy and hunt for Easter Eggs.
The second one is of Nathan, William
and Oscar seeing what goodies the Easter Bunny left for them!
Then we have William holding the 2 troublemakers to keep them out of the chocolate goodies that they so desperately wanted to dig into. As well as Sonya cheesing it up for the camera, but wanting to check out all her loot.
Then we get to the aftermath of all the goodies! Two very wired full of sugar kiddos, especially Sonya if you couldn't tell by the sugar-crazed look in her eyes.
Now, on to wishing my hubbie a very Happy 12th Anniversary! Can't believe it's been 12 years since we got married, and can't believe I almost forgot to wish my hubbie a happy anniversary today!
Well, actually I can, we were having to help one of our outdoor kitties give birth last night, so he and I both were completely exhausted this morning. She just wasn't pushing like she should of and to make a long story short, she had the last kitten at about 11:30 last night, and she finally had the last afterbirth this morning about 8:30. Needless to say, ASAP, she is getting spayed! No more kittens for her, worst deliveries EVER, but all 4 kittens are ok, so far.
So, I have to plea exhaustion for forgetting in the hub-bub of the miracle of birth, and Easter, about my anniversary.
Oh well, we didn't have anything planned anyway, hard to find a sitter for an afternoon or evening outing, so can't tell ya when the last time my husband and I actually went out for an evening out with just the 2 of us. Maybe we'll be able to go out next year!