Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas 2020

I found it especially important this year to remind myself of all the wonderful things that have happened this year.   Around Thanksgiving, it became clear we weren’t anywhere near back to normal.  Lockdowns were not going away.  That meant that some things that have been tradition were not going to happen. Still there were a bunch of happy memories made this year.

Topping the list were graduation celebrations with family and friends.  Then road trips with Dan, road trips with friends, and road trips to visit family and friends.  Remodeling the PW, which I don’t think I’ve ever shown the completed project because, as usual for us it’s not quite complete.  The garden was wonderful so we were able to preserve and share with neighbors and friends.  Dan has been busy all year with his backhoe doing one project or another.  We have enjoyed others pets and our own kitty. We have enjoyed conversations on  porches,  around fires and by phone.

There has been aspect of luck for Dan and I this year.  Many times we could have been exposed to the virus.  We have worn masks when out and about since the very beginning, but who knows.  As I said, it just might boil down to luck.

Over Christmas, we were able to spend time with Kim, Marc, Adam and Evan.  Aaron was not there because he is in Air Force Basic Training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio but he was able to be in touch.  

About a month ago, I had this thought that it might be fun to have an outdoor bonfire on Christmas Eve.  Several days later, I talked to a friend who lives in Wilson Kansas and she said she was thinking a big bonfire would be fun on Christmas Eve.  I told her I had the same thought.  She said if two people are thinking the same thought, it is a good one and if three people are thinking the same thought, it’s from an Angel.   When I mentioned it to Kim, she said they were in.  So, the plan was made for what I like to call a “Pop up Christmas Eve Party” mainly because it wasn’t finalized until the day of because of the weather.  We just had a few neighbors and family down and it was really fun.  All outdoors on a 17 degree night.

I am thinking there will still be more celebrating.  I’ll let you know.  In fact, I am thinking I will make a New Year Resolution.  That would be to post on this blog once a week.  I think each Friday would be a good day.  Let’s see how long I can go with this resolution in 2021 because I’ve made them before and failed.  I’m feeling good about at least 50 posts on this blog next year.   Until then, Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year.  I appreciate you loyal readers who hang in there with my musings.  I truly appreciate your support. 


Monday, November 30, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

There were two big reasons why we enjoyed a special day at the Hoobler family's home despite the recommendation from the Kansas Governor to forgo celebrations this year. 

 The first reason is our grandkid's Great Grandma Betty. Betty lives in Pittsburg Kansas and is thriving in her 90s. She is in town visiting her daughter Pam and Norris and it just seemed a good time for a celebration she could be a part of because... 

 Aaron, our oldest grandson, is leaving in a week for Basic Training at Lackland AFB near San Antonio. As you will hear, Aaron signed up for the Air Force in May 2020. But, because of COVID restrictions, his name is just now come up for training. Thanksgiving is the last time most of us will see him in a while, but we are all happy and excited about his future.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Life Rings

We purchased and built where we live now in 1977/1978. The trees around the front of our home were planted around that time. We lost one to a lightening strike. Other than that, they have thrived for 40 plus years. We ordered most of the trees as saplings from the County Extension Office. However, the tree in this video was given to us by Paul and Irene Hoffsommer. They had a little tree farm in their back yard and gifted us this pine for our windbreak. Now, one by one, these Austrian pine trees are dying from disease. However, they continue to serve as we cut and split their wood for heating in our stove. When they are all gone, I am saddened I will no longer hear the wind whistle through their big branches or watch Mockingbirds use the very tippy top for their stage.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

One Minute Garden 2020

It is a fact that I'm slow with editing video, but six weeks since my last post is taking it to a  new level.  There are projects in the queue, though, specifically a roadtrip--hopefully before long.

Until then, here is our "One Minute Garden" from 2020.  It was an exceptional year for produce.  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Persimmon Tree

 We have three wild persimmon trees in our pasture.  These were probably "planted" by wildlife eating fruit from a persimmon tree by a nearby home.  Just like any other fruit tree, the yield varies year to year.  Fruit on these trees have disappeared almost overnight when they ripen.  I am sure the squirrel and raccoon have something to do with that.  This year, however, they will be mighty full if they strip this tree and the other two near by.  

I've tried to make persimmon jelly in the past.  It wasn't as tasty as I had hoped.  So, the critters can have at it!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Dan's Hummingbirds

Anyone who sits at our dining room table during the summer gets a front-row seat to the hummingbird show.  They eat and battle each other to eat from sunup to sundown.  

This timelapse was taken in a two-hour timeframe.  Concentrate on the level of the sugar water.  We couldn't believe how fast it dropped in only two hours.  We think they are immigrating through right now so we have even more around.  

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Fish Pond

Most evenings when we are home, Dan heads to the pond to feed the fish.   All he has to do is rev up his ATV engine and the cat fish come swimming to him.  I think I read someplace that fish can feel vibrations--can fish actually hear?  

Last evening was a clear, wind free evening.  It was time to finally get up my nerve to fly the DJI Phanton 4 drone owned by our neighbors.  They sent it home with me several weeks ago telling me to fly it just for fun.  Compared to my tiny DJI Mavic Mini, this drone is huge.  It went well.  I could tell by the quality of the camera footage, this is definitely a higher end drone.  It was also very responsive, so I apologize for the jerkiness.  On the downside, it is also loud--no stealthiness when flying this one.  

Still trying to make these videos interesting.  At two minutes, there is a fine line between seeing drone footage as interesting or boring.  

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Clinton Kansas Fox Family

As many of you know, the town of Clinton sits on a peninsula on Clinton Lake near Lawrence.  For several years, among the houses on the three short streets, a family of foxes thrive.  They move between the residents, playing, scavenging, and in some cases causing havoc.

Our friend, Irma invited us to come over for coffee and watch them play at a new six-inch driveway tube she and Ron installed.  Here are a couple things to watch for in the video.  At least one of the fox gets entirely inside the tube--remember only six-inch--which demonstrates how easily one could penetrate a chicken pen. Irma said she saw one of them emerge face first which means it came entirely through the tube!

Watch for momma arriving with some sort of food and one of the youngsters rushes over and grabs it and immediately it's gone.  No wonder she looks thin and haggard.

Last year we were driving through town and felt like we might have hit one of the tiny babies on the road.  We were never sure because it ran off the road.  There is a lot of traffic headed to the lake so probably it happens each year. 

This video is two minutes--a bit longer.  I'm learning each time I edit videos.  I think this one might be a bit better but still not as good as I would like.  If you have the internet ability, watch it in HD. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Will the Real Susan Stand Up

We've lived here in this pasture for 42 years and I'm not sure we've ever seen a crop of Blackeyed Susans as this year.  We wonder if it was the unusually wet summer last year.  The pasture is beautiful but hard to get a picture.  I'm not real happy with this video.  I tried three different times, but the tiny flowers are hard to capture. 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Milkweed Intrigue

You, my loyal readers, have probably noticed a change in direction on my blog, primarily to do with my recent fascination with video.

I don't know how long I will be stuck in posting videos here, but with a drone that takes fairly decent content (if I edit it right) and a new little gimbal for my beginner's level video camera I might be posting on here for a while.

So far, I have stuck to short videos of one to two minutes because of how long it takes me to edit footage.  If writing a blog takes time, it is nothing compared to editing video--for me anyway.  But, I haven't abandoned writing.  Just hoping you will stick with me through this phase--and hoping Dan will too!