Saturday, February 05, 2005

Two Saguaro  Posted by Hello

Saguaro Cactus Posted by Hello

Saguaro Cactus

The Saguaro (si-wahr-oh)cacti are the largest cacti in the US and are only found in the Sonoran Desert, in Arizona and Mexico. Occasionally they grow as high as 50-60 feet in wind-protected valleys, and can weigh up to 12 tons. Saguaros may live for 200-300 years, although they lack the tree-type rings that would make exact dating possible. They develop their first "arms" after about 75 years and a few have been seen to grow as many as 50 before they die. The waxy creamy-white saguaro blossoms (Arizona's state flower) bloom for the first time when the cactus is about k25-50 years old.

This was taken from the Arizona Almanac, Facts About Arizona. We hiked in the Tonto National Forest outside of Phoenix on the Saguaro Nature Trail. It was a truly beautiful area. There were many Saguaro cacti as well as many other species which I will post later.

The temperature was 68 but it felt like 75. The dry air definitely makes a difference. We are having a wonderful time!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Surfing in Arizona??? Posted by Hello

Having A Happy Birthday!

It's been a great day--just hanging out. We are going out to eat and then back to play poker. I am feeling lucky!

It's been cloudy all day but warm.

View from the tennis court Posted by Hello

Plenty of cactus Posted by Hello

Barney's Big Adventure

Barney became a member of the Cook family as a tiny kitten and has not had a lot of "street" education. With four people going in and out of the door, Barney the Siamese/barnkitty mix, slipped out the door. This was just as we were headed to bed. So, it was back in our outdoor clothes and a full blown Barney Search Party was initiated. Of course, as you can see by the picture, we first had to make sure Barney wasn't hiding in the condo.

All ended well, as Lynn finally found Barney strutting down the street several blooks over.

I love you, You love me, We're a happy fam-i-ly--that's Barney!

Barney is King Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Oranges for grab Posted by Hello

Laughing and Reminiscing

Lynn and Dan are helping out a neighbor. Kayzie and I have been reminiscing and laughing. The trip down was wonderful. We love to fly if its clear. We looked down the whole trip. We actually saw our place from the air as the jet hadn't reached its altitude.

We watched Lynn play in a tennis tournment--he's good!

Beautiful day

We're not in Kansas anymore Posted by Hello

We're here!  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

This will be interesting

OK, loyal readers. I am going to try something new. I experimented on our trip to Colorado Springs over the Holidays. What may that be, you ask? I am going to blog our trip to the sunny dessert, Phoenix. Hopefully, lots of photography and a few stories.

I am in the process of multi tasking (running around like a chicken with its head cut off--hey, this is a very true comparison--it's story that won't get told). I have a long list of "To Dos" so I will get to it. Plane leaves Thursday morning! I am very excited to have warmth, sun and no worries--right Kayzie & Lynn?

Stay tuned......

Monday, January 31, 2005

The Land Down Under-Milford Lake

I mentioned last night I wanted to write about the land under Milford Lake. I thought about this subject off and on today as I delivered the route and, oddly enough, it evoked feelings of sadness.

So that I don’t ramble, I am going to limit what I write tonight to thoughts about the valley before Milford Lake. The Republican River flowed through a beautiful valley of rich farm land. The Lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1954 and work began in 1962. My Dad was an “upland farmer” meaning all his farmland was located on more hilly terrain outside the river valley. The “river bottom” farms were considered more fertile and were often easier to farm because they were flat. However, they were easily flooded if the river went out of its banks which it often did. It was this valley land that now is the bottom of Milford Lake. My uncle, other relatives and neighbors were displaced by the lake. It was a traumatic time for those families.

A mile from where I grew up the road descended into the valley. The very small town of Alida was down that road perhaps another mile. There was a grain elevator and a very large concrete grain storage tower. In high school we would often jump off the school bus to run in the scale building to buy a package of peanuts and a bottle of Pepsi to dump them in. On that same road to Alida there was Curtis Creek (now an arm of the lake). It was a picturesque area and we would have outings there when were in grade school. There was a very high bluff that we would climb. The top of that bluff is now above the lake water and off the side is considered a good place to fish.

A farmer donated some land near the river for a baseball diamond. In the summer, if we weren’t harvesting, on Saturday night all the neighbors would meet at the diamond. The game was fast pitch soft ball. Teams from other communities would play our local guys. I “worked” in the concession stand.

There a many more memories of the area because of its proximity to home. After the lake filled, we would go out in a boat and talk about what was under the water and observe how the shore line cut through old farmsteads. It is a very odd feeling, perhaps akin to burying a treasure. When my Dad was alive, we would sometimes sit and talk about the time before the Lake. Sure wish I would have recorded those conversations. Someday when I am retired, I will write as much as I can remember because that valley now has a flat top.

Milford Lake is the largest body of water in Kansas. Needless to say, we have been on the lake often over the years because our families still live close by. It is a beautiful lake with clear water and good fishing and boating.

In writing about it last week, I researched its construction. Even though I grew up very close to its location, I was away from home during the final phase. The history 
page on the Lake web site proved informative and interesting.

I reminisced about the small town of Alida and its concrete grain elevator. I had forgotten that a local chiropractor wished to make it into a restaurant and hotel but the Corp of Engineers calculated that the base would not support it after the water was in. It took six separate blasts over two days to bring it down. Before this happened, my brother had the opportunity to go to the top and take pictures. Someday we need to dig those out, Wayne.

The town of Broughton was also lost to the lake. According to the history, this town had an unusual reputation:

many grew marijuana in their gardens to mix in with their cigarettes. This was before marijuana became illegal. Finally the situation received national recognition when Paul Harvey (a well known radio personality) stated, "Come to Clay County, Kansas, marijuana capital of the world."

Being a naïve farm girl, I probably thought this stuff was just---weed.

There is a picture of the control town on the web site. Dan actually spent part of a year working on the tower before leaving for college. We have all been in the conversation of what we were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated. Dan was hanging on one side of this Milford Lake Dam control tower on November 22, 1963.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Bierrocks aka Runza

My birthday is this week. At our office, the person who is celebrating is required to bring the treats. Since I will not be at work on the exact day, I told everyone I would bring my treats tomorrow. It is the custom that I make Bierrocks.

I have used the same recipe for years. It is such a good one, that I decided to share it. I did not have the celery tonight so I substituted celery salt. It was OK, but celery is better. Also, I don't measure the spices so go by taste. I will say, don't be afraid to be generous.

1 recipe large loaf bread machine dough (usually requires 3 cups flour)
2 lbs hamburger
1 head cabbage chopped (mix in a little lemon pepper if you have it)
1 short stock celery chopped
1/2 onion chopped
garlic pepper, salt, pepper

Brown the hamburger, drain most of the grease. Add the onion and saute with the already cooked meat. Add the chopped cabbage, celery and spices. Cook until cabbage is done. Taste to see if you like the spice mix.

Divide the bread machine dough into 9 or10 little balls & roll out thin. Hold in the palm of hand and spoon in the meat/cabbage mixture and seal on the bottom. Be generous with the mixture so they don't end up being too bready. Let rise a little & bake until brown. Wipe top with a little butter

We like to eat them with ketchup


Sunday morning brunch worm Posted by Hello

Down the hatch Posted by Hello