Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Activities

Independence, Kansas is home to the oldest and largest celebration in the state of Kansas - Neewollah (Halloween spelled backwards.) The celebration dates back to 1919 when the idea was developed to give young and old positive activities to participate in instead of the typical pranks that were a part of that time.

The celebration has grown into a 10-day event and in the final 3 days there are parades to entertain residents and visitors alike.

Our family began going to Neewollah when Son was in high school band. The parade on Saturday includes bands from around the area who are also in town to compete in a band competition.

Last year I didn't get to go. The weather wasn't cooperating and we really didn't want to stand in the rain to watch any of the parades.

Besides the parades there are carnival rides and many food vendors to tempt your taste buds. 

Thursday AD and I drove up for the Doo Dah parade, kind of a kiddie parade for adults. One of my favorite parts was this sweet dog who rode on the bumper of a fire truck. At intervals the truck would stop and his trainer would give him a sign.

The dog would jump down, go over to the trainer, then return to the truck to pull a rope and ring a bell attached to the bumper.

All sorts of craziness goes on during the parade. This group did a take off of a current tv commercial. The sign on the front says, "Will we save Doo Dah by acting psycho? Does the little piggy cry wee, wee, wee all the way home?"

On Friday AD and I returned for the Kiddie Parade. That parade lasted 57 minutes. I timed it because I wanted to come back for the big parade on Saturday.

There were a number of bands that participated in the parade, most of them from middle schools.

Pets were another part of the parade. There were lots of pooches dressed up for Neewollah and I even saw one cat.

Of course there were many, many kids. This young man's costume was my favorite of all. I don't know if there are any prizes given for costumes but if there are he should have won the grand prize!

What parade would be complete without horses. This little trick rider rode standing on her horse for the entire parade.

This rider needed a helper. Seems he'd lost his head.

Unfortunately we didn't go back for Saturday's parade. It was scheduled to start at 11:00am and G1 and G2 were competing in the final enduro race of the year. I was afraid there wasn't time for us to get back and get everything loaded up to get to the track. Maybe next year. . .

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Wishing each of you

a wonderful weekend

filled with treats

and lots of fun times

with your friends and family.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Girlie's 4th Birthday

Last weekend I drove to Oklahoma City for Girlie's 4th birthday party.

The morning of the party I took Girlie clothes shopping for some of her presents.

She picked out 2 dresses, one pair of pants and one sparkly top to try on. We left with one dress, the pants, the top and one other special item that Girlie said she really, really needed.

I hadn't been shopping with a little girl in a long time.

It was a lot of fun!

I think Girlie had a good time too.

Her party was later that afternoon - princess themed.

That one special item Girlie really, really needed - it was this necklace.

This is the dress Girlie finally decided on. I think the clincher was that it also came with a matching dress for her baby doll.

I look forward to more shopping trips with Girlie.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Almost the Weekend

Although I took this photo, the truck isn't ours. I sure wish it was though!
There's just something about a rusty old truck. . .
It's almost the weekend and I'll be off to Oklahoma City early Friday morning. I hope each of you and your families have a wonderful weekend whatever your plans!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Equal Time

This past Friday and Saturday night, the local dirt track had their "End of the Season Blowout." It's the one that G1 opted not to race in. But as 2010 Points Champion for the mini-sprint class, he was asked to carry the flag during the opening.

But this post about G2. Gotta give him equal time. It's only fair.

The first night of racing was qualifying for Saturday's races. AD went but I stayed home. (Too much to do.) G2 won his race and so he started on the pole for Saturday's race. (They didn't invert the field this weekend.)

Starting on the pole, I thought the chances of G2's placing anywhere but first were slim and none. And I was right. He burned that track up!

So he celebrated on the infield with a burnout. Personally, I would call it a dust-out.

G2's in the middle of all that dust somewhere. I wonder how he could breathe. I'll have to ask him.

The car that you see in the picture is one of the other drivers. He's just 2 or 3 years younger than me.

And here's G2 getting his photo taken with his trophy.

Next week there are special races as a memorial to one of the local racers from back in my day. Both the boys will be racing but I won't be there. AD will. I'm headed to OKC for Girlie's 4th birthday party.

Friday, October 15, 2010

No Stars In My Eyes

There's been a buzz around my hometown for several weeks now. It seems lots of people have been "star gazing." Sometimes at night but sometimes during the day.

While I've been in town a few times, I've never seen the stars in question.

Today I got an email from a friend. She sent me a couple of pictures of one of the stars. Can you tell who it is? 

Here's a better shot. That's right, it's Ben Affleck. He and his wife, Jennifer Garner, have been in town while Ben is filming a movie. This is BIG news for this town.

They've been spotted at one of the local cafes several times. Jennifer and their daughter were spotted in Walmart. A couple of weeks ago a friend of mind saw Ben filming at a local grocery store (he was in the shave cream aisle) at the same time AD and I were having dinner just down the road. Yesterday Ben was spotted between a local burger place and the county courthouse. That was when these 2 photos were taken.

One of the local news stations did a small story on Ben being over in Pioneer Woman's neck of the woods doing some filming there several days ago.

I'm not sure how much longer he'll be in town. I don't think wishing on a star would even improve my chances of spotting Ben or Jen!

However, I'll be interested in seeing the movie when it comes out. It will be kind of cool seeing my hometown on the big screen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

2010 Points Champion

I haven't written many posts this year about G1 and G2's 2010 Racing Season.

The last points race at the local race track was last Saturday night. G1 led the points in the mini-sprint class for most of the season but G2 caught up with him and for a week they were tied in points. It was a stressful time for this Granny! You want both boys to do well and you cheer them on but you know there can only be one points champion.

G2 gained points and was leading them for a few weeks, then ran into a couple of bad breaks. G1 was now back in the points lead. Last Saturday night was crazy. Both boys won their heat races which meant they would start side by side. They love each other and always have each other's back but they are competitive.

Because the track chose to invert the field for the feature race, the boys ended up starting on the 4th row. When the checkered flag fell G2 had won the race and G1 came in second. But G1 had enough points that he came out as the 2010 points champion in the mini-sprint class. G2 came in second.

G2 has won a points championship before so it was a sweet win for G1. There's 3 special races left - 2 mini-sprint races and a 200-lap enduro race. G1 has opted to race one of the mini-sprint races and the enduro race. G2 plans to race all 3.

I'm very proud of the boys and I had fun this year but I'm also glad the season is almost over. There's talk that G2 might race in a different class next year. While watching the boys race would still be stressful, it would make cheering for them individually much easier.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Sunrise Looking West 

Sunrise Looking East

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Brownie Heaven!

I have seen the following recipe on two different blogs, Picky Palate and Kevin and Amanda and I've tried the recipe both ways. Although both are out-of-this world wonderful, I prefer the one from Picky Palate.

The best thing about this recipe is that each cook can decide for herself (or himself, as the case may be) what special ingredients they want to include. Kind of a "make your own signature" dessert, if you know what I mean.

The list of ingredients is fairly simple: one brownie mix, oil, eggs, chocolate chips, hot fudge topping and ice cream. It kind of screams wonderful right there, doesn't it?

How you make this your own recipe is by choosing your favorite brownie mix, hot fudge topping(I used dark chocolate - OH. MY. GOODNESS!), semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (heck, I'm thinking peanut butter chips or mint chocolate chips would work depending on your favorite ice cream), and your choice of ice cream (I used chocolate fudge brownie ice cream this time but I used cookies 'n cream ice cream another time.)

First you stir the brownie mix together with 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil. Mix it by hand but be warned that it is a VERY thick batter.

To that mixture, add a heaping 1/2 cup of your favorite ice cream (I just measured 3/4 cup ice cream. After all, wouldn't that be a heaping 1/2 cup???), 1/4 cup hot fudge topping and 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips.

It will take some muscle to mix it altogether but you'll get it done.

Spread the brownie mix into an 8x8 inch baking dish* that has been coated very well with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F. oven for 45-50 minutes or until the brownies test done using the toothpick method.

*If you prefer thinner brownies I'm sure it would be perfectly fine to spread the mixture in a sprayed 9 x 13 inch pan but the baking time would need adjusting.

Cool, cut into bars and enjoy!

Note: Amanda spread half the mixture in her pan, added a layer of whole Oreo cookies, then spread the remaining half of the brownie mixture over the Oreos before she baked them. The first time I tried the recipe I did it that way. They were delicious but I just prefer the brownies without the added Oreos. Go figure!

Ice Cream Sundae Brownies

1 box brownie mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup of your favorite ice cream
1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup hot fudge topping (chilled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix the brownie mix, 2 eggs and oil until combined. Add ice cream, hot fudge topping and chocolate chips. Mix in until evenly distributed. Spread in an 8x8 inch baking dish that has been generously sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake brownies for 45-50 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.

Cool completely, cut into bars and serve.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dalton Defender Days 2010

Please note that the following photographs were taken during  Friday evening's 6pm reenactment of the Dalton gang's raid on Coffeyville, Kansas. Regretfully there are unwanted shadows on several of the photos.

According to history, the Dalton gang devised a plan to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas on the same day and at the same time. The date was October 5, 1892.

It was a day like any other day. The people of the town were going about their business.

The Dalton gang rode into town a little before 9a.m. 

Bob and Emmett Dalton entered the First National Bank 

while Grat Dalton, Bill Power and Dick Broadwell entered the C. M. Condon & Co. Bank.

One of the townspeople alerted others that the gang was in town.

Those who were on the streets ran for cover.

Several men secured guns from two hardware stores to defend the town. A shoot out ensued.

The gun battle lasted less than fifteen minutes after the robbers had entered the banks. When it was all over eight men were dead (four of the defenders and four of the Dalton gang) and three were wounded.

Lucius Baldwin, Charles Brown, Marshal C.T. Connelly, and George Cubine were the four defenders who died that day defending their town.

The bodies of Bill Power, Bob Dalton,Grat Dalton and Dick Broadwell were laid out on the street for all to see.

Emmett Dalton survived the raid even after receiving a total of 23 gunshot wounds. He was tried and given a life sentence in prison at Lansing, Kansas but was pardoned after fourteen years. Upon his release from prison, he moved to California and became a real estate agent, author and actor. He died at the age of sixty-six.

Bob Dalton, Grat Dalton and Bill Powers are buried in the same plot Coffeyville's Elmwood Cemetery. Two of the defenders, Charles Brown & George Cubine, are buried nearby.

Interestingly enough, Frank Dalton, the brother of the gang members, was killed in 1887 in the line of duty as a U.S. Deputy Marshall.