Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gourds Gone Wild

Last year we planted some gourd and pumpkin seeds that we'd saved from the year before.

This year AD didn't want to plant anything.

But we had a volunteer - or is it really volunteers - come up.

I took these photos on Sunday and they are looking kind of droopy.

But we had some rain early Monday so they are happier now.

There are lots of flowers on the vines and I spied this almost fully grown gourd already.

You know what all this means don't you?

Fall is just around the corner. Yea!

Monday, August 29, 2011

More Weekend Celebrations

Following G1's birthday on Friday, we continued celebrating on Saturday night when he won not 1, but 2 feature races at the local dirt track.

He wins in his turf car pretty regularly and is the currently the leader in the points.

Saturday night he won his very 1st B Mod race.

While his car is technically a Sport Mod (one step below a B Mod), he races with the B Mods because the track doesn't race a Sport Mod class.

It was an exciting night to be sure!

Son, G3, G4 and Girlie were there too making it a real family celebration.

L to R: G4, Daughter, Girlie, G3, AD, G1 and a track official

Not to mention a pretty good early birthday present for Daughter, G1's mom.

She's celebrating a pretty special birthday today. It's not one of those that ends in a zero. 

It's the one where her age is exactly double of G1's.

Friday, August 26, 2011

In the Words of Kenny Chesney . . .

. . . "Don't blink . . ."

Today is G1's 19th birthday!

I can hardly believe it.

Where has the time gone?

It seems like it was only yesterday that we were sitting in the hospital waiting for his arrival.

That day the television was filled with news of Hurricane Andrew as it made its final landfall in Louisiana.
Today we are watching as Hurricane Irene approaches the east coast of the U.S. Please keep those in Irene's path in your thoughts and prayers.

On a lighter note, my blogging friend, Leilani Lee's, latest post on her blog, Ozark Oddments, included a funny little birthday dittie in honor of her husband's birthday. It's from a local kiddie tv show she used to watch from back in the day.

I don't think she'll mind that I include it here to share with G1.

It's hard to imagine that this is G1's last year to be a teenager!

Like Kenny said, "Don't Blink."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gymnastics, Donuts and Cookies

Girlie participated in her 1st gymnastics meet last Friday.

Her scores were very good.

Everyone received a medal and scoring sheet.

Although there was no mention of 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, et cetera, from the order that the participants' names were called we're pretty sure Girlie placed 2nd.

We are very proud of the ability she is showing in this sport.

The next morning she asked to go to "Christmas" Kreme for breakfast.

It's fun to watch the donuts going down the conveyor .

It's even more fun eating them.

Then we were off to the Williams-Sonoma store.

They've just come out with Super Hero cookie cutters and were hosting an event to raise money for the "No Kid Hungry" program.

Spiderman even made an appearance. Girlie and G5 weren't too excited about him being there so Spidey, being the considerate super hero he is, kept his distance.

Each child could decorate 2 cookies from the collection. G3 did an outstanding decorating job, don't you think?

This Granny and Spidey gave everyone a big "thumbs up"!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fair and Rodeo Week

August 6-13 was Fair and Rodeo week in Coffeyville, KS.

Joe Nichols on stage
This year's concert headliner was Joe Nichols. AD knew I'd want to attend the concert and so he bought fair passes for the both of us.

When we headed to the fairgrounds the sun was shining and it was hot.

The opening band was late coming on stage although I don't know why. They were from Texas and they were pretty good.

The sun went down and the weather started to change. There was lightning in the distance but no thunder.

We stayed in our seats hoping Joe Nichols would come on stage before the weather turned bad.

Unfortunately that didn't happen. He was supposed to hit the stage at 9pm but it was 9:45 or so before that happened.

Joe was about 1/3 of the way through his first song and the sky opened up. Everybody scattered. I really felt sorry for the poor sound guys trying to get all their equipment out of the weather.

We stayed underneath the stadium for a bit but the rain continued so we left along with everyone else.

On the upside the rain was badly needed.

Jr Ranch Rodeo Branding Competition
(A real branding iron was not used.)

On Sunday AD and I attended the Junior Ranch Rodeo. We watched several events but it was very hot and I began to feel bad so we left.

On Tuesday night there was a demo derby. AD has attended almost every year. This was my first time to go with him.

We went to the rodeo on Wednesday and Saturday. It had rained quite a bit so the arena was pretty muddy.

The little mutton busters were fun to watch. Most of them fell off their rides so they came away pretty muddy. But they had soft landings.

My favorite event has always been the bull riding. Those guys are incredibly brave! So are the bull fighters a.k.a. rodeo clowns.

I took a lot of photos over the week. This one was hands down my most favorite of all. It was taken just as the sun was setting over the stadium during the demo derby.

It was a fun week with lots of memories made.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Racing Thru Summer

Most of you know that G1 and G2 race dirt track.

I haven't talked much about their accomplishments this summer.

Both have won several mini-sprint/turf car races at the local track and G1 is currently the points leader there.

This summer G2 was offered the opportunity to race a Southern Sport Mod in the NCRA series.

He won his first Sport Mod race on July 30. Not bad for a 16 year old.

Weekend before last both boys raced in the
I-44 Riverside Speedway Mini Sprint Nationals in Oklahoma City.

G2 came away with the win in their class and G1 placed 3rd. 

The boys are really racing through their summer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Kansas Landmark

When we took Son and the Grands to see Tow Tater in Galena, Kansas the other day, we were also fairly close to where Big Brutus resides just outside of West Mineral, Kansas.

Daughter and her husband had taken G1 and G2 to see this humongous piece of equipment a few years ago and we thought Son's kiddos, especially the boys, would enjoy seeing it too.

For those who aren't familiar with Big Brutus, I dare say he is the biggest attraction in southeast Kansas. While his working days are long past he stands as a tribute to the mining heritage in this part of Kansas.

He is the second largest electric shovel in the world.

L-R: G3, G4, Girlie and G5 standing in the dipper.

His dipper capacity is 90 cubic yards. If that's about as clear as mud for you like it was for me,  that's roughly 150 tons! In ONE scoop!

According to the brochure Big Brutus stands 16 stories (160 feet) tall and weighs in at a mere 11 million pounds. His maximum speed is/was .22 miles per hour.

He didn't actually dig the coal but removed the dirt and rocks covering the coal seams. Then other equipment was brought in to remove the coal. Eventually the high cost surrounding the use of Big Brutus forced him into retirement.

Today the land has been reclaimed and returned to a useful purpose. The mining company donated 10,000 acres of land surrounding Big Brutus to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another Cafe Along the Mother Road (Route 66)

A couple of weeks ago AD and I made a trip to Oklahoma City to watch G3, G4 and Girlie play ball.

I've been wanting to stop by a particular little cafe that's located on Route 66 for sometime now but it had just never worked out.

It finally did on our trip home.

For those of you from Oklahoma, do you recognize it?

 How about now?

The Rock Cafe is not only famous for the fabulous food on the menu

or for being located on Route 66.

The owner, Dawn, was also the inspiration for that cute little blue Porsche, Sally, in the movie CARS.

Not only that, The Rock Cafe has been featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

And it's no wonder! Did I say the food is out-of-this world good?

So, if you decide someday to take a trip down (or up) Route 66, I can highly recommend the Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma and 4 Women on the Route (see my last post) in Galena, Kansas.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Getting Our Kicks on Route 66

Our Oklahoma City Grands came for the weekend last Thursday evening

They came on Thursday so that we could get up on Friday morning and make a trip to this little gift shop / cafe in Galena, Kansas. Galena is a very small town (the population is reported to be just over 3,000) and is filled with really friendly folks.

The draw for us wasn't just to have lunch. It was mainly to visit this guy.

Does he look familiar? Maybe you're familiar with his animated alter ego, Tow Mater from the the Disney Pixar movies, Cars and Cars 2.

The Grands were really excited to see Tow Tater* in the flesh  rust.

Son was pretty excited about seeing this guy too. Maybe even more excited than the Grands. That's a pretty big grin on his face.

Photos were taken from all angles. Notice the sign. It announces to visitors that Tow Tater* was the inspiration behind the very popular Tow Mater.

Melba is one of the owners of the gift shop / cafe. She'll come out to greet those who stop by and invite them in to tell Tow Tater's story and show you a couple of books which substantiates his story.

If visitors are in need of sustenance after their trek to Galena, they'll find that the cafe menu is pretty typical. The prices aren't so typical though.

The meat on each single burger contains is .6 of a pound of beef. That's a pretty good sized burger considering the price. I ordered the cheeseburger and fries at a cost of $4.75 (plus tax). Both the burger and the fries were excellent.

I should say here that this isn't 'fast food' like Mickey D's or other chains. There was a bit of a wait - not too long - but that time passed quickly as we visited with other folks that were there for lunch.

AD totally enjoyed talking to some of the guys in the cafe as he chowed down on his $6 double cheeseburger and fries. That $6 burger we see advertised on t.v. from another chain doesn't hold a candle to the one he had.

A sweet surprise was in store for the Grands. A local couple that happened to be in the cafe that afternoon came back to our tables after paying for their lunch and let us know that they were seeing to it that the kids could each choose an ice cream treat - as long as they cleaned their plates finished their lunch. I told you those Galena folks are friendly.

The kids got right on it. And they really enjoyed that ice cream, especially G5.

Other fun activities went on throughout the weekend and posts of some of them are upcoming. They're going to have to wait until AD and I get back though. We're going to take a few days off and make a trip to Branson.

See you soon!

*According to Melba and the documentation in her scrapbook, Tow Mater's inspiration truck had to be christened with a slightly different name due to copyright laws. A contest was held and a little girl's idea of 'Tow Tater' was picked as the winning entry. Now that's a story she'll enjoy telling to her children and grandchildren someday.