Saturday, May 01, 2010

If only it could talk

We stayed the night out on the Flint Hills near an old farmstead.  The home had been completely removed except for part of the foundation.  The bottom part of the barn was mostly complete and in exceptionally good condition. 

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The cave, however, was almost completely intact.  The stones were cut and laid by someone with masonry skills.  The curves up to the top are perfect with the keystones right down the middle.   We wondered how many times the family took refuge from prairie storms in this solid shelter along side the food stock.

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Friday, April 30, 2010

My first catch this season

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She was full of eggs so she lived to be caught another day.  It was a fun fight, though.  She had to be close to 4 lbs.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Techie stuff

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This is my new way to connect up when traveling.  It seems Dan and I are more dependent on internet than we like to admit.  Dan likes to check weather and news and, of course, I have my blog. 

One of the reasons I started the blog was to keep family and friends posted.  When we travel, I feel better knowing,  for those who want to check, there is an update.

We have found it does not fit into our travel schedule to drive around looking for internet hookups.  So, after studying cell phone tethers, air cards and the Autonet, I decided on the latter.  I happened onto a handsome rebate opportunity and only had a couple days to decide. 

It is simple to hookup.  One drawback is that is does not have a battery so it has to connect to the vehicle’s power. Most of the lighter sockets anymore are made for electronics and work even when the car is not running so it hasn’t been a problem.

I’m still experimenting to see how much data I use to send pictures, etc.  I have the cheapest plan at $29.00 a month for 1 gig usage.  It is an independent plan through Verizon which seems to have good coverage. 

At least I was certainly surprised when I had a very good hookup last night in the middle of the pasture that is not near much of anything or anybody.

Hills are alive—with the sound of wind

We thought the wind would subside after sunset.  It did not.

Our only concern was that it would blow up a storm.  It did not.

So, we had a beautiful night out on a little ridge overlooking an old farmstead.  I awoke this morning with a clear (and windy) sunrise.  We ate a hearty breakfast, had  perked  coffee, pretending we were cowboys on the range.  Then battened down the hatches and are headed back to civilization. 

It is a beautiful area.  Lots of history and lots of native grass waiting for a load of cattle coming this weekend. 

I have a few more pictures.  Also, a little more about my new electronics that I’ll post when we get home.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Asparagus – how did it get there?

One of the first things we did, even before we built the house, is plant an asparagus bed.  That was over 30 years ago.  Actually, the original bed should be broken up.  It would produce better.

It isn’t our only bed, although the only one we planted.  We have small beds all over the place.  There is one in the flower bed by the house that produces gigantic stocks.  There are two places in the pasture, one under a cedar in front and three places under pines in the windbreak.  Cutting asparagus is like gathering eggs.  You never know where some will be hiding.  My guess birds have helped spread the joy.

No complaints here.  We eat the vegetable like meat—it is that filling.  Here is our favorite way to eat it.

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Grated parmesan cheese was also added at the last minute.  We also like asparagus stir fried with cabbage and mixed with noodles for a main dish.  Or, creamed asparagus over toast or….

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trying to stay green

Can anyone be totally green?  Probably not.  Living off the grid is an option, but we’re not thinking we want to do that.  There are books by people who chose that lifestyle that might be interesting, though.

I guess publicity about Earth Day made me think about how we do our part.  All of it together does not seem like much, until I think how it would be if everyone did small things and how it would add up.

We recycle and have for a long time.  When we first moved to our current location, we did not have trash pickup.  We have it now, but we pass because we have our routine.  Glass, metal, newspapers, steel, cooper, old cars, we know where to take it all.  About three or four times a year, we head to the landfill or dump.

There is also an electronics recycle place in Topeka called Extreme Recycling.  Their main page states so far in 2010 they have diverted 2,388,330 pounds from area landfills, all electronics.   This is an important find for us because with the changes in television, we will have sets to recycle in the near future, not to mention a couple dvd players that quit working, old cell phones, even a lap top that the experts say can’t be fixed.  It is always good for me if I believe someone gets some good out of my cast offs.  Extreme Recycling also has an EBay store.  I like that.  Maybe my old computer will show up there.  At least the battery would have value to someone who owned one like it.  That would be fine by me.

We do other things such as hang out clothes to dry, partially heat with wood and grow garden.   I admit we are able to do these types of things because we live out.   But, like I said, little things add up.