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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Black Widows + a hog + 100 degree weather .....

warning:  pictures of a dead pig that is being skinned ... is being shown on this blog.  :)  Yes, a pig was killed in the production of this trip.  No harm done to anyone else.  There are literally tons of hogs running wild and people need to get the numbers down as these hogs ruin the land & procreate like crazy.  Proceed with caution... :)

To finish off our summer vacation to Kansas City .. my parents drove the girls & I down to our property in Mineola.  It was an 8 1/2 hour drive. 

When we got to the cabin, we left to grab some lunch at East Texas Burger (best hamburgers! and peanut butter pie!) and Walmart to get some groceries.  When we got back, Mike, my dad & the girls left to head to the hunting stand to get situated early for hog hunting!  There is really only room for 3 people on the stand, so Mike got them all situated, drove them down in the four wheeler and left.  The feeder has a timer to set off at 6 p.m.


When Mike came back from dropping them off, he said "I have a few black widow spiders I need to kill!"  WHAT?!!  Black widow spider??  SPIDERS?  I freaked out a little.. my grandma was bit by a member of the black widow spider family years ago in Thailand.  She was sick for a very long time.  He showed me where they were (under the roof and by the area in which I can never remember what the name is ... starts with an S?).  He grabbed a broom and swept it down.  It had an EGG nest.  AUGH!  Mike smooshed it lightly so I could grab a picture ... but it came alive again.  This time it was road kill... er... foot kill?  There were two more on the other side of the cabin. Double freak out on my part.  He also mentioned when he went to turn the water on there was a black widow in that box as well.  ::thud::  So, I dreamed spiders all night long for a few nights.  Mike did spray around the cabin, in the cabin for bugs -- but it still didn't ease my fears that there were black widows in the cabin (which we didn't find any), and that the girls were going to get bit in the middle of the night.


After this so called black widow massacre, he set to work on building a pulley system on the tree.  I laughed and said "you're really that sure they're going to get a pig?"  My man of few words said "yep."  By then it was 6:00 ... time for the feeder to distribute the apple scented corn that drives the hogs crazy.  I went back in the cabin to seek refuge from the hot, humid weather.  At 6:15 Mike pokes his head in the door "the gun went off!"  A few minutes later Katie texts Mike and said "Grandpa got a small one!"  So, Mike took off with the little pull behind that we use when we have to carry anything heavy with the four wheeler. 

By the time they all came back, Katie had a story "Grandpa said he would count to three... he didn't count to three!  He counted to one and then shot!"  and my dad said "I counted!!  She didn't shoot!"  There were two pigs, one for Katie to shoot and one for my dad.  The other pig got away b/c Katie was waiting for the #3in the count to indicate it was time to shoot!


The pig is about a 100 pounder .... not too big, and not too small!


The place where the bullet entered...


Maddie went to work washing down the pig.  I was a little worried how she would do when it came time to butcher and skin the pig.  The last time she saw an animal get gutted was when Mike got a deer, and it was past sundown. She was probably 5 years old, and she was instructed to hold the flashlight so Mike could see.  Within seconds of Mike gutting the deer, we hear the noises of a little girl puking. Lovely.  However, this time she did remarkably well!

Our only problem this night was the bees.  There were bees galore everywhere.  Mike had used three cans of bee/wasp killer already that day and I had one final can left to use (oddly enough.. Walmart was out of all the cans for days!).  So, we had the job of keeping the bees off of the body of the pig AND off of Mike.  ::shudder::  Thankfully he's not allergic to bee stings, and also thankfully, he did not get stung by any bees!



My dad with his win ...

Maddie wants a picture too!


Mike finds the bullet and shows my dad ...


Look at that lovely bokeh around the pig!  A photographer's dream!


The following night Mike takes the girls.  Along with the two rifles, they take a Vera Bradley bag full of things such as sunflower seeds, water bottles, beef jerky, headphones (to emphasize the noises... or something like that), and anything else they need.  They take two pillows and a blanket to cushion their butts on the hard chairs.  Note to self:  leave a different backpack up at the cabin...

However, this night, they stayed 3 hours, and didn't see anything.  :(



I went on the final night with Mike & Katie, and we did see five pigs!   I was in the middle of the three, and Katie said "did you see that?" and so I looked... the next thing we saw was movement and out came pigs!  However, none of them came near the feeder.  Mike had a great view to shoot, but Katie didn't.  He wanted Katie to have the practice, so he didn't take the shot.

It was so hot out.  It was the sort of hot that you have sweat dripping down your face, your neck, down your shirt .... the "ugh, I can't stand it out here any longer" type of heat.  Maddie went swimming at the lake beach with my mom!

Before we left, Mike finished a few things at the cabin.  I forgot to show off our floor in the bathroom!  Mike officially has everything pretty much done in the bathroom now!



He also put up some lights that match the rest of the bathroom fixtures.


Since we have grapevines growing around all the trees on our property and everyone else's property .. these are the grapes that are showing up.  I really dislike those grapevines.  They're a nuisance!


Mike also managed to put up the insulation up on the loft -- so it will be much cooler (and warmer in the winter)!


The girls were passing time and looking through all my pictures on the laptop.


And since it would be quite normal for me to report.. I have no clue what Mike is doing here.   Installing ... something.  To do with ... something.


and here is another look at our small but amazing cabin!  I love coming here!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Recreating old photos ....

While I am here in Kansas City, the family got together and had a big brunch.  Most of the cousins were in town ... and someone (no, not me!)... had the brilliant idea of recreating a photo that was taken probably 24 years ago!!

So, my brother & I, and our cousins Kasey & Zach set out to recreate our "photo."  Which, was a disaster.  One was almost crying .... one was standing way off from the center -- away from me .....  ahh.. it was a disaster in the making.

So we decided to recreate it.  This was the result!


Excuse me while I laugh my butt off some more.... HILARIOUS!!! 

We only had to take this shot maybe 75 times b/c we couldn't stop laughing!!

So, at your next family gathering.... get some old picture and recreate it!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A trip to the ER .... while on vacation!

Well ... after being in pain for 3 days, it was time to take Katie to the ER.  My in laws took Katie to the ER and my mom met them there (she works at the hospital).  I had a photo shoot of my friend Kizzie and her family ... and I knew they had already left their home and traveled from far away for this shoot, so I stayed behind to do their shoot and then would meet up at the hospital.  I was thinking they would be sitting for hours in the waiting room....

By the time the shoot was over (it was a pretty fast shoot, but we had great light, very cooperative kids, and it was so easy to do!) I was driving down to the hospital.  When I had gotten there, Katie was about ready to go to the ultrasound.  They were emptying a bag of liquids in her so her belly would get nice and full (her bladder really) so they could see if there was a cyst in her... or if it was appendix.


She has my phone here .... we discovered we had a signal in the ultrasound room, but not in the ER room... so she was texting her friends. 


Turns out it was a bleeding cyst (called a hemorrhaging cyst) which was causing her a lot of pain.  No white blood cells in her blood, and her appendix looked fine.  They released us to go home with a prescription for pain, but not before giving her a nice drug that within seconds of getting it, she fell asleep.


This is the picture my dad took of Kizzie and I.  We are at the Independence Square in Missouri.


Oh wait .. this is much better!  However, I think I like the picture of myself better in the fuzzy unfocused picture!  :)


Friday, July 20, 2012

Coconut Water for kidney stones ....

My dad told me that he learned while in Trinidad and Tobago that people there drink coconut water to help with kidney stones (make them smaller.. break up kidney stones, etc) ..... since Katie was still in pain (day 2), I figured I was going to flush this girl down with lemon water (made w/ distilled water), cranberry juice ... and coconut water.

Boy did she dislike me today.


We didn't do much of anything at the house other than play cards, play with Tay when he came over, and make Katie drink tons of liquids....  that evening I had another photo shoot, and was walking around Independence Square looking for back drops, I came across this on the ground, which is all over the Square indicating where what building stood where back in the 1800's ... a lot of it is from Mormon homes/businesses so you get an idea of how it was back in those days.


Can you see it on the ground there?


Thursday, July 19, 2012

I love Corrie ten Boom

I saw this quote on my friend's Facebook status this morning, and I loved it!  Corrie ten Boom is one amazing lady, and I absolutely loved her book she wrote.

I went to a picture I took of a Mountain Laurel flower at the Alamo this spring, and added the quote.  So beautiful, and SO true!!!


While in Kansas City ... an emergency trip to the doctor

So Katie woke up this morning .... in pretty bad pain.  She kept rubbing her lower right side of her belly.  Then rubbed it towards her belly button.

My mother in law touched her in the appendix area, and Katie doubled over in pain -- she was definitely hurting!! 

Katie hadn't had her kidney stones move in six years ... maybe five?  So we thought kidney stones.  Then we thought appendicitis.  Then I freaked out.

She looked so bad. She couldn't sit or move quickly at all, and every move she made she was in pain. She would lay down on the bed before we left and closed her eyes. Roxy the dog laid down besides her.  (bad picture.. crappy camera phone)


Got her into her old doctor's office .... and while the doctor and some of the older staff remembered us, it wasn't the way I would have wanted a reunion!!  The doctor ran some tests... and all came back normal.  It was either a kidney stone ... or the beginning of appendicitis ... or who knows what was wrong with her.


So she went home, and took a LONG nap.  Woke up feeling just a tiny bit better .... but now the pain is moving towards her belly button (which the doctor said might happen if it ended up being appendicitis).  So, we are watching her.  What a fun vacation so far!!

This is after the dr's office... :(


While on our trip, I get to love on my three nephews who live here in KC.

This evening we watched our adorable 2 year old nephew Taylor.  Tay for short....  man, what a firecracker this kid is!  I blew up some punch balloons for Tay ... and after a few minutes, he fell in love with these balloons! 

I think I will call him Repeat from now on.  He repeats EVERY.LITTLE.THING.YOU.SAY!!  I said "Where's Maddie?" and he said "Where's Maddie?!" or I might say "Uh-Oh!" and he says the same thing.  So darling...

Maddie had to run away from Tay a few times ... he had a weapon as a balloon and man was he strong!



He was also a road runner.  He moved so fast.. this was what I shot in most of my pictures.  ZOOM!





Silly Maddie & Tay!!


Katie had to get in on the action as well.. she was starting to feel a tiny bit better ...


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kansas City Temple

Yesterday I went to the Kansas City Temple with my mother in law.  It was so beautiful... 






Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Airplanes & Vera Bradley

Yesterday the girls and I hopped two planes to Kansas City ... home. 

Home ....where our families

and our many many friends live...

Where the girls were born. 

Where memories were made.

Where our favorite restaurants cook our favorite dishes .....

Home... with five Vera Bradley bags & purses....

Home... where it's hotter here than it is in San Antonio!  :(


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The pink hair... after girls camp!

Well....  Katie came home from Girls' Camp.  Here is a picture of her cute pink streak of hair ....  It's slightly less pink now,  but she's still rocking it!



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