Monthly Archives: January 2011

Happy Kansas Day!

Today is my home state’s 150th birthday!

In Kansas, we call this day Kansas Day. When I was in elementary school, we threw a birthday part for Kansas every January 29th. We had cake, we colored cards, the whole shebang. It was awesome.

And to this day I still remember the Kansas facts we studied in class.

And because I think everybody should know more about little ol’ Kansas (other than there are no trees and it is flat as a pancake) I’m going to share some of those facts with you today.

Kansas became the 34th state to be admitted to the union on January 29, 1861.

The state cookie is the snickerdoodle.

The state motto is “Ad astra per aspera” which means “To the stars through difficulty.”

The state bird is the western meadowlark.

The state animal is the buffalo.

The highest point in the state is Mount Sunflower. It stands at 4,039 feet. But it’s not really a mountain. It’s pretty much a bump in the ground with a sign that says “Highest Point in Kansas.” Big whoop. Kansas is flat, remember?

And that’s about all I remember from class. But I looked up some interesting facts about Kansas on Google this morning and here’s what I found.

(Why didn’t they teach us these in school?)

Kansas won a national award in 1981 for most beautiful license plate design. Here it is.

Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States. I can vouch for this. I live close to Dodge City and it is always windy in our area. Always. Forget Chicago.

At one time it was illegal to serve ice cream on top of cherry pie in Kansas. (Thank goodness they got rid of that law! I love my cherry pie a la mode.)

The state’s official nickname is The Sunflower State.

And that being said…

Here is a picture I took a few years ago of some wild sunflowers that popped up in our garden one summer.

I love sunflowers. I think they are absolutely beautiful!

Happy Kansas Day!


When it snows in Arkansas…

…the whole world goes crazy.

Or at least it seems to.

I woke up yesterday morning to this view outside my window.

Now in Kansas, this is no big deal.

Actually, I take that back. It is sort of a big deal. See that picture? There are no drifts. Where I come from, that’s rare. When it snows in Kansas, the wind always blows. A lot. So we always have snow drifts. Big ones.

But then we jump in our Chevy’s and bust right through them.

So it’s not a big deal after all.

Anyway… this meager dusting of snow was enough to cause an uproar with all my southern friends (and my Californian roommate).

Facebook was overrun with status updates begging for professors to cancel classes. The roads were surely impassable.

And I’m sure most Arkansans thought they were. There are no such things as snow plows down here.

But that’s where these guys came to the rescue.

Our maintenance crew works so hard. I appreciate that they stood out in the cold and the snow and shoveled that sand. You can’t see it from this angle, but the road they are on has a pretty significant slope to it. Without that sand, the snow probably would have been packed down in no time by professors driving to class and who knows what could have happened on that hill.

Thank you maintenance crew!

But… this is a university full of junk food-loving college kids and so rain or shine, snow or ice, the Coke man always makes his delivery.

I personally don’t like pop all that much, but I’m sure half of the students at this university are relieved to know they won’t have to make it through the weekend without their beloved carbonated sugar. Thank you Mr. Coke man.

After snapping these photos, I put on a pot of coffee and pulled out the box of leftover pizza from my fridge.

Welcome to the life of a college student.

Does anyone remember the promotion Domino’s Pizza had going a few months back where they encouraged people to send in their self-shot photos of the pizzas they ordered?

I’m seriously considering sending this one in.

If that doesn’t say delicious and nutritious, I don’t know what does.

Personally, I think the grease stains make the photo.

Please don’t judge me when I tell you I ate this whole thing.


And I may or may not have enjoyed it.

But, of course I ate it like everybody should eat a piece of Domino’s pizza.

Crust first.

Ever since Domino’s remade their crust I have been on cloud nine.

I mean, who doesn’t love garlic and butter smeared all over a chunk of fatty baked dough?

Sign me up for that.

Or a psych ward.

Just kidding, sort of.

And did you know that Dominos now prints instructional sayings on their pizza boxes. They call them pizza proverbs.

That’s alliteration at it’s finest, people.

And that’s wisdom at it’s finest.

Or maybe not.

But while we are on the subject of wisdom and pizza and the finer things in life, let me just say that I also have a theory about coffee. I believe coffee tastes good all the time, but I think it tastes even better when it’s in a cute mug.

Look at this.

Now that looks fine, but wait until you see the entire mug.

Isn’t that happy?

My wonderful Californian roommate gave me that mug for Christmas and it has become one of my favorite mugs.

Thank you sweet Roommate!

Eventually I had to go to class yesterday. I even drove my car to Walmart and back without incident (thank you, Lord) and thoroughly enjoyed the snow even though I almost slipped and busted my face in the parking lot last night.

This afternoon the maintenance crew was hard at work again… clearing the parking lot.

Thank you again, maintenance crew!

The funny thins is that the forecast is calling for another round snow on Sunday.

Here we go again…

Paint the town red… and the kitchen gray

Let me just say right up front that I did not paint the town red over my Christmas break. In fact, I didn’t do much of anything over break.

I know, I know… life is rough.

However, I did paint… my kitchen.

And it was due time too. I’m pretty sure that kitchen hadn’t been updated for over 20 years. It’s definitely been longer for the floor.

Here’s the before shot in all it’s color discord glory.

Can you say hello linoleum? Yuck.

And I’m not quite sure why peach was chosen as the color to best compliment that lovely shade of green. But it’s definitely, shall we say, unique.

Here’s an after shot of the wall opposite those lovely cabinets.

And because I was a burned out college student living in a constantly vegetated state during Christmas break I forgot to get a before shot of this wall. But trust me, you would have loved it. It was covered in white and peach floral wallpaper. It was lovely.

After the walls, we moved on to the cabinets. Our plan was to paint the actual cabinets the same shade of pale gray we painted the walls, then coat the doors in a slate gray.

Well… it turned out a little, uh… I’ll just let you see for yourself.

Somebody tell me what this looks like.

I’ll give you a hint, it protects electrical circuits in your house from damage caused by electricity overload.

Yep, we turned our kitchen cabinet doors into breaker boxes. Awesome.

So after staring, and contemplating, and scratching our heads, and squinting our eyes, and trying to figure out what the heck we did wrong we decided to reverse the colors.

We decided this was MUCH better and finished painting the whole row of cabinets.

Tres magnifique!

This is so nice compared to our old cabinet colors. Even though we can’t do anything about the flooring and countertops right away (newsflash: flooring and countertops are expensive) at least we were able to move the kitchen somewhat into the 21st century. And the new paint brightens up the room a lot.

I’m all about natural light.

Funny story about the calendar on the wall. It has Scripture printed on the photos and I was flipping through them one day and found out that the company who printed the verses evidently didn’t know their Bible too well. For two of the months, they listed Scripture from Revelations.. with an s. It’s Revelation.. without an s.

This may or may not be a small pet peeve of mine.

I’m working on it.

Much love,


Oh give me a home…

Hello from Arkansas!

I made it back to college on Tuesday and have been loving every minute of it! These first few days of the semester are always fun. Everybody is excited to see each other and hang out after a month of being gone and nobody has a lot homework yet so it’s kind of like one big party!

Wait, isn’t college like that all the time?

It is for me. Homework? What’s that? How have I survived three years of classes again?

Never mind…

I was skimming through some photos today that I shot over Christmas break and I got a little nostalgic for my beloved Kansas.

I love the “big sky country” and I already miss my big Kansas sunsets.

You can’t see this in Arkansas. At least not on campus. Too many trees.

I even miss the ice and snow.

The weatherman was calling for a big snowstorm in our area of Kansas a couple days before I was supposed to leave for Arkansas and I got so excited. I was actually going to have a chance to play in the snow! I haven’t played in snow for years.

Well, a quarter inch of ice, half an inch of snow and two days later and I was headed down the highway.

Old man winter may have missed my house with his buckets full of snow, but the road department definitely did not forget to ice the roads. Six hours of slush and dirt and salt later, I arrived in Arkansas.

Anyway, the dusting of ice and snow made for some nice pictures from my last day at home.

I’ll especially miss the deer that came to graze in our field every night. There were usually at least 10 of them out there during the evening and sometimes I would just stand at my window and watch them. What beautiful creatures they are!

Seeing them always reminded me of the Kansas state song.

Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play…

But.. just fyi: we don’t like antelope in Kansas. They tear up our fences.

So we’ll just keep the deer. I think they’re prettier anyway.

Why I love Kansas: reason #8

Hello from Kansas one more time!

This will likely be my last post from my home state. I head back to college in Arkansas in just a couple days. That is if I don’t get snowed in. The weatherman is calling for a little bit of a snowstorm in Kansas today and tomorrow. And when it snows in Kansas it’s not the softly falling winter wonderland snow most people picture. Snow in Kansas is more like a winter blizzardland. The snow here comes down sideways (explanation: there is always a lot of wind). Nonetheless, I am excited. I love snow and we haven’t had any yet this year… in Kansas or Arkansas.

It’s about daggum time, I say.


Last month I wrote a post about a photography tip I like to call shooting blind. If you missed it, you can find it by clicking here. In that post I showed y’all a shot of a cracked tv I found in an old abandoned house and promised to show you more in a later post.

Well wait no more my friends because that post is this post!

And all the people said amen.

Let me tell you a little bit about this house and then I’ll show you the photos.

I was driving around in the country during Thanksgiving break (because that is basically all there is to do out in the country) and happened upon this house. I had my camera with me (because I have learned the hard way too many times that a photographer should never ever ever go anywhere without a camera) so I decided to park my car and go exploring.

The acreage the house was on was a photographer’s dream! Or it was this photographer’s dream at least. There were a couple of dilapidated barns in addition to the house, and everywhere I went there were fantastic little details of a life once lived there. From tvs, to fur coats in the closets, to ripped up hymnals.. I was up to my ears in wonderful old relics. I hope you have as much fun looking at these photos as I had taking them!

Please excuse the lack of consistency in editing styles… I got a little carried away in Photoshop.


I encourage y’all to go out there and explore. (Take your cameras!!) Let me know what you find!

Happy photographing,


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