The great outdoors

I love being outside! This category contains all kinds of stories/photos/observations about the great outdoors.

Fall back

Happy first day of fall!

I realize I’ve been absent from here for a while. Turns out that transitioning from college life to real-world life is a little time consuming. Going to class for two hours a day in college is perfectly fine, but going to work for two hours a day is not. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of hours working this summer. But I love my job so that’s ok!

I figured since today is the start of a new season and now that I’m fairly adjusted to this new season in life (just look at the metaphors and analogies!) it’s time to return to my blog. There’s more to come, but for now enjoy the beautiful sights of fall in Arkansas.

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Monthly roundup

I told myself that this would never happen. I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those bloggers that fell off the face of the earth for indefinite periods of time only to resurface and say, “Oh I’m so sorry! But my life got busy and this and that and blah, blah, blah.” But it’s happened… again.

Here’s the deal.

I graduate in less than two months. And while I am ready to be done with school and homework, I am definitely nowhere near ready to leave the friends family I’ve made over these past four years. I am determined to soak up every minute I have left with the absolutely wonderful people in my life. And if my blog posts have to come less frequently in order for me to do that, then so be it.

I still love y’all. Promise. But y’all are just gonna have to hold yer horses for a while.

So, as is (somewhat) usual for me, here’s the monthly roundup of the last month of my life. It has been full of adventure!

 

My friend and I went to the historic district of a nearby town last month and explored. It was so fun! The area was beautiful and charming and there were advertisements painted on the sides of buildings. I’m a sucker for old advertisements painted on the sides of buildings. Just to let y’all know.

It snowed. Once. And it melted the same afternoon it came down. That’s been the only sign of winter we’ve seen all year. And as much as I like snow, I ain’t complaining. Bring on summer! I’m ready for warmth and sunshine!

The sunsets have been beautiful! This is good for my soul. (But let it be known that sunsets in Kansas are still 4597230958 times better than they are in Arkansas.)

I’ve been learning lots of useful things in school. This is from my freshman-level art history class. It’s my favorite. Can’t ya tell?

And even though I’m totally slacking off in class (and not ashamed of it), I’m still keeping up my grades (see, Momma?). In fact, this was the highest grade I’ve ever made on a test in college. Thank you freshman-level art class that takes almost no effort to pass.

I went skeet shooting last weekend with some friends. It was a blast! I’ve shot trap before (once) but this was my first time shooting skeet. I was terrible. But it was great fun. It’s my goal in life to be a good shot someday. Then I won’t feel like such a poser. I swear, what kind of country girl can’t shoot a gun? Oh right, me. Farm girl fail.

That’s about all for now. I’ll do my best to keep y’all updated as much as possible, but like I said, I’m gonna enjoy the heck out of every last minute I have until graduation! I only have 79,719 minutes left. That’s 55 days.

That’s too soon.

Daily anti-joke: kskristy style

I set the oven mitt on fire again today.

You’d’ve thought I’d learned my lesson after the great muffin disaster… yeah, not so much.

Somebody send me back to kindergarten, or cooking 101, or wherever it is that they teach you how to not set kitchen accessories on fire.

Please.

The structural integrity of my house depends on it.

 

But do y’all know what’s better than setting an oven mitt on fire?

 

A beautiful sunset picture.

And that was your daily anti-joke: kskristy style.

For those of you who are completely confounded and confused, perplexed and puzzled, let me explain. An anti-joke is is a type of comedy in which the listener is set up to expect a typical joke, but the joke ends with such anticlimax that it becomes funny in its own right. The lack of punchline is the punchline.

I’m sorry. I really think anti-jokes are corny. But certain friends of mine have had a negative influence on me and fill my life with anti-jokes on a regular basis.

If you’re reading this, you know who you are.

And y’all better enjoy this one moment of glory because I will never tell an anti-joke again.

Amen.

Instead, I’m going to work on finding a 12-step program that helps people who suffer from destructive behaviors like repetitively igniting oven mitts.

Wish me luck.

Recaps, reviews and resolutions

Everybody’s doing it. You know, writing a “Here’s-what-I-did-in-2011-and-here’s-what-I’m-going-to-do-in-2012” blog post. And I’m finally jumping on that bandwagon. I’m only four days late.

I run on my own schedule.

 

2011 was a fun year! And because I’m sure y’all have already read a bunch of these kinds of lists and I don’t want to bore you, I’ll just rattle off a few quick highlights. I’m sure this is probably more for my benefit/nostalgia/enjoyment than yours anyway.

–2011 saw more snow days for my little Arkansas university than it had seen in 30+ years.

–Said snow days occurred as a result of one heck of a crazy snowstorm everyone dubbed, “The Snowpocalypse.”

–Then came, “The Rainpocalypse.”

–I failed at baking brownies, coloring, cards, and drawing the state of Kansas.

–The highlight of the year was definitely completing an internship in Spain!

–I decided to take the LSAT and possibly apply to law school.

–I started my senior year of college.

–I got to TP a basketball court.

–2011 closed out with a (semi)-winter storm and plenty of Christmas and New Year’s parties.

 

Now… for 2012.

I’m not much for resolutions. It’s not something I’ve ever really done and I’m much more of a go-with-the-flow person as opposed to making a plan and sticking to it tooth and nail.

I jokingly told a friend that I had made a one-day resolution to cheer for the Denver Broncos when they played the Kansas City Chiefs even though I am a huge Chiefs fan. I only did it because I didn’t want the Oakland Raiders to go to the playoffs, which they would have if Kansas City won. A few minutes after the game started though, I figured out that if Oakland lost their game to the San Diego Chargers, it didn’t matter if Denver won or lost; Oakland would be denied a playoff berth. (If you’re unfamiliar with the NFL playoff system, let me tell you, it can get a little crazy!)

So I said heck with the Donkeys, uhh… Broncos, and cheered all-out for my Chiefs!

And it all ended up working out ok. The Chiefs won and Oakland lost! Yay!

But, I digress.

Back to New Year’s resolutions.

Which I don’t really make.

With the exception of sarcastic one-day resolutions pertaining to football games that I actually make for selfish reasons.

And then break ten minutes into them.

I have problems. I know this.

But for real. A couple days before the new year, I downloaded a year in photos app for my iPhone. Y’all know what I’m talking about. Take one picture a day, every day, for 365 days.

Now, I’m really not a fan of such long-term commitments, mostly because I don’t like planning and being tied down, but also because I’m pretty sure I’ll break them. Nevertheless, I’m attempting this one. And by attempting, I mean keeping up with it as long as I can and not caring too much when I miss a day.

I’ve kept up with it so far though! Four days… impressive, I know.

Here are the first three photos and captions. (I haven’t uploaded the fourth to my computer yet. It and subsequent photos will hopefully follow.)

 

New Year’s Cookies! This is a family tradition. Every year my aunt makes these delicious German treats. This year I had at least six of them. I lost count after that, so the final tally isn’t exactly known. Oh well, it’s better that way. I’d probably rather not know how many I ate. I tend to overindulge a bit during all the holiday parties.

I have problems. I know this.

Being a cat is rough. Just ask my cat, Turvy, and he’ll tell you all about it. He gets to spend all day inside and stick his head in the bag of cat food and eat whenever he wants. And he’s supposed to be an outside cat. Pshhh. My mother spoils him.

Family Christmas supper at the local restaurant. This was like the twelfth (and final… thank goodness) family Christmas we’ve had this year. I love my family. I really, really do. And I love get-togethers and parties! But we like to eat in my family, so there is always tons of food at our get-togethers and my stomach has finally said enough.

The flip side is that in a week, I know I’ll be back at school dying to have a home-cooked meal again, so I really shouldn’t complain.

And that’s all for now, folks!

I hope y’all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year’s with your friends and families and that you can approach each day in 2012 as it comes, with a smile on your face!

Rain and sleet and snow, oh my!

I’m back in Kansas! (And all the people said, “Amen!”)

My last fall semester of college is over and I’m spending my last Christmas break at home in Kansas. (And all the people said, “Amen!”)

I’m sorry. I’m just a little excited to be home. I’ll get down from my pulpit.

Yesterday was my second day in Kansas, (and all the people said… never mind) and I woke up to the sound of rain and this view outside my window.

Now, if any of y’all know anything about Kansas, you know this is a rare sight. And when any little bit of rain comes along you do a little dance and jump up and down and shout thank you at the sky.

Not really.

But for real, rain is a good thing (Luke Bryan, anyone?) and we are always thankful for the moisture.

However… yesterday I was not so happy with the rain.

I was being selfish and I wanted snow. Lots of snow. I mean, it was snowing an hour north of where I live, so why couldn’t I have snow too?

Life is so unfair.

I’m totally kidding.

It rained and rained all day long and we got over an inch! (That’s a big deal.) But let me put it in perspective. If it had snowed all day instead of rained, we would have had a foot of snow on the ground.

Boo. I wanted snow.

Sorry. I’ll stop whining too.

As I was going to bed last night, the rain had changed over to a sleet-y snow something but I had little hope left at that point. But when I woke up this morning, I saw this!

And this!

And this!

Now let me explain something to y’all. Snow never comes straight down in Kansas. It’s never soft and pretty like you see in the movies. It always blows in sideways.

What the heck does that mean, you ask?

Wind.

Lots of wind.

It seems like we can never get any snow in Kansas without a gusty north wind. Yesterday was no exception. We were in a blizzard warning all day and we might not have gotten a lot of snow, but we got all the wind. Thank you Kansas, very much.

If you look at the last photo, you can see how the wind blew across my driveway and created a little ripple effect in the snow. It sure looks pretty, but it’s a pain if you actually have to be outside in it.

But I got to stay inside all day yesterday and I was a happy camper.

Now I just hope this snow will stick around until Sunday so we can have a white Christmas!

Life post LSAT

It is finished.

It’s been finished for a while. Nine days to be exact.

(I’m talking about the LSAT, in case you didn’t know.)

I’m just waiting for October 26 when I get my score back. I’m trying not to over-analyze how I did; I know I didn’t bomb it, but I don’t think I knocked it out of the park either. I’m leaving it at that and just trying to not think about it.

My life post LSAT has been just as busy. I spent 13 hours in a darkroom over the course of two days last week trying to stumble my way through developing film and prints for an assignment that was due today. I had no idea what I was doing but my photos still turned out well (praise the Lord) and I even had fun (a little bit).

My assignment was to shoot several rolls of film around my little college town’s historic downtown area. I took my dSLR along with me because it’s like my trusty security blanket compared to this newfangled film camera.

You know you grew up in the digital age when you think a film camera is “newfangled.”

But anyway, I found this old abandoned church and I fell. in. love.

I just love abandoned buildings. Remember the old house I explored in Kansas last Thanksgiving? Check out the photos here in case you missed it.

Well, this church had a tree growing out of its walls. It was so interesting. I took the RAW file and played around with it in Photoshop just for fun. I usually don’t use a lot of actions, but I ran one that I thought might give the photo a fun look. After I tweaked it a little bit, I really liked it.

Here it is. Feel free to tell me what you think.

I just wish I could have gone inside and explored more! What a beautiful building.

Until next time,

kskristy

A fall Friday afternoon

Let me take y’all back to last Friday.

It was the day before the LSAT and I had been telling myself all week that I was going to take at least one full-length practice test before Saturday. And surprise, surprise, I hadn’t done it yet. I told myself I was going to do it that afternoon. No excuses.

But something came up. An immediate pressing issue. An urgent situation. That I had to give my full attention to.

Some friends invited me to go to a pumpkin patch.

How could I say no? It was a beautiful fall afternoon and y’all know me… I’m all about ditching my responsibilities to have fun.

It’s a problem.

So I went and I had a blast and I didn’t regret not studying for even a second.

Meet my lovely friends.

Meet our pumpkins.

The albino one is mine. I loved it right when I saw it. I’d never seen an albino pumpkin before. I figured “albino pumpkin” probably wasn’t the technical term so I Googled it when I got home and I actually couldn’t find a scientific name for it. There are other nicknames out there like ghost pumpkins and snowballs. But no real name. Sad day. You let me down, Google.

Look at us being all matchy, matchy.

I was happy in the pumpkin patch. Can ya tell?

I can’t even tell you. That place was good for my soul. It was way out in the boonies of Arkansas at the end of a dirt road. The guy who owned the place had the sweetest southern drawl. The patch covered five acres of wide open land. There was dirt.

Yeah. That’s right. There was dirt.

I think that was the most exciting part for me.

It wasn’t good, rich Kansas dirt, but it was the closest thing to Kansas dirt I’ve seen in over two months.

All in all, it was such a great day. I loved spending time outdoors in God’s beautiful creation with some of my favorite people.

Ellipsis list…

I miss…

…my blog. It’s been over a month since my last post. I’m so sorry about that! I’ve missed y’all.

…Spain. I found this picture on Pinterest yesterday. (you can find the original here:)

This is Sunflower Valley in Valencia, Spain.

Holy cow beautiful.

I never knew Spain had such beautiful sunflower fields. I was only six and a half hours away from this place while I was in Málaga this summer. Why didn’t I know about this?

I love sunflowers. They remind me of Kansas.

Minus the whole cliff in the background thing. That’s not like Kansas at all.

In this past month I have…

…started my senior year of college. And come down with a major case of Senioritis, which I’ve actually had for the past three years. I put off my homework and all I want to do is have fun times with fun people. Can I major in that please?

…not studied for the LSAT. And I’m taking it on Saturday. Is there a problem here? My logical reasoning skills say yes.

…got an iPhone! Actually, I did that this morning. It’s fantastic. And a time waster. But hey, I don’t care all that much about my homework anyway so we’re all good, right?

Which brings me back to… I miss…

…my Kansas phone number. I had to get an Arkansas phone number with my new iPhone and I just realized that for some reason I was really attached to my old Kansas phone number. Is that dumb? Yes? Ok, I’ll get over it.

Thanks for loving me even though I miss trivial things like phone numbers and don’t blog for a month.

Y’all are wonderful. I’ll be back soon. In less than a month, I promise!

España – the final photos

I am home. It is wonderful.

I love you, America (in spite of all your national debt problems).

My flights went well all the way back. In fact, I’ve never had flights go so smoothly. There were no delays and my layovers weren’t long either. Sitting on a plane for eight hours was the worst of it all and even that wasn’t too bad.

Thank you Lord for traveling mercies.

Anyway, as promised, here are my last photos from Spain documenting the Camino de Santiago.

But first, a brief rundown of what the Camino actually is.

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage walked from wherever you start (one trail starts in France, one in Portugal, others in various Spanish towns) to the city of Santiago de Compostela. It is believed that the remains of St. James are buried in the cathedral there.

The Camino de Santiago (literally translated to mean The Way of Saint James) is seen by Catholics as a sort of penance for their sins. They believe the suffering they incur on the walk is a result of their sins and upon arriving at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, they confess their sins and are pardoned.

Of course, not everybody walking the Camino is Catholic or believes in the pilgrimage as penance. People come from all over the world to walk the Camino, and while some do it for religious reasons, others do it simply for the adventure or the challenge. But (fun fact) everyone must claim some sort of “religious purpose” when checking in at the Pilgrim’s Office at the end of their journey, otherwise the compostela, or certificate of completion, can be denied.

I went on the Camino as part of my internship. My co-workers and I went to scope out footage for a possible documentary on the Camino. And that’s about all I can say regarding our work. I’ll let you know more as the project develops.

Now for the photos.

 

This is my credencial. My pilgrim’s passport. The stamp on the left was my starting point. You can see I started in the town of Sarria. That’s 112 kilometers (70 miles) away from Santiago de Compostela. As we walked, we would stop in cathedrals and restaurants along the way to get a sello, or stamp. When you get to the Pilgrim’s Office, you must present your passport and it is checked to make sure it has the correct stamps. Now I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I know if you miss a stamp somewhere, you don’t get the compostela, so they’re kind of a big deal. (No worries, I got all my stamps.)

This was towards the beginning of our journey. As you’ll see in the upcoming photos, most of the Camino was out in the wide open spaces, winding through fields and trees, but as you can see from this photo, we also walked through towns.

If you read the bottom of the big brown sign, you’ll see the word, albergue. Albergues are hostels along the Camino for pilgrims to spend the night in. Because we were part of a large group, we never stayed in an albergue. We spent the nights in tents at campsites or in public gyms.

These markers were all along the Camino. The told you what province you were in (located at the bottom of the marker) and how many kilometers were left to walk until Santiago de Compostela. At this point, we still had a long, long way to go. People also put rocks on top of the markers. I never found out the reason for that. I assume it’s just rite of passage.

There was beautiful scenery along the way.

This reminds me of Colorado.

This reminds me of home.

Poor girl needs to be milked.

More cows!

And sheep!

Northern Spain was very agricultural. There were corn fields all over the place along with quaint little farms and dairies. It almost felt like home.

I love this shot of the trail.

I don’t remember the Spanish name for this monument, but in English it’s called the Mountain of Joy.

I was joyful in front of the Mountain of Joy because I thought I was almost to Santiago de Compostela. It was the last day and I was tired. And as it turned out, I had another 5K to go.

It hurt, but I made it.

The whole walk was a lot more painful than I expected it to be. In my mind, walking would be no big deal. If we were running the Camino, that would have been a different story, but walking… pshh, piece of cake.

Ha.

Take 70 miles in five days, add a 20 pound backpack, some not so awesome shoes and hilly terrain and you’ve got one tired girl… with nice calves. There’s always a plus side to everything!

The Camino was definitely different than anything I’ve ever done. And while it was a lot harder than I thought it ever could be, I’m so glad I did it.

And now I’m so glad to be home.

Thanks for hanging with me on my crazy journey through Spain. I appreciate y’all reading and following along.

Much love,

kskristy

España photos – day 4

Well it’s day 6 of my internship in Spain, but this post is all about photos from day 4. I’m getting behind already! Thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) the last two days have been work days so I haven’t had a chance to take many more pictures.

Back to day 4…

Some of my wonderful co-workers/friends took me downtown and showed me around on Wednesday afternoon. I had a blast seeing downtown Málaga. I am definitely a country girl through and through, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a big city every once in a while! Wednesday was definitely one of those days.

So without further ado…

 

Roommate! This one is for you! It’s just like Cali!

 

This stuff is the bomb. I know… it looks like plain cherry jam, but for real. You can’t know how good this stuff is until you taste it.

I’m in love.

I eat it at least twice a day.

Sometimes without the bread.

 

And then sometimes I tell myself that cherry jam straight out of the jar is not a sufficient breakfast so I make myself a proper meal.

 

Most people in Málaga live in apartments. To me, this looks like a high-rise complex straight out of 1970s America.

 

Now this is downtown Málaga. The building on the far right is a hotel. I’m not sure about the other two, but they sure are purdy… I mean bonita. (I’m having issues giving up my country slang. It’s a problem.)

 

This is Málaga’s official statue. Sadly, I can’t remember the story behind it… something about buckets and fish. The end.

Howdy y’all! Mah name is Kristy and I’m fixing to be y’alls tur guide through this here fine city of Malagie, Espana. That’s “s-pan-uh” folks. Let’s git ‘er done!

I’d make a fantastic Spanish tour guide, can’t ya tell?

Sorry.

 

This wall is in the middle of a parking garage. Wild, right? It was built by the Phoenicians to protect the city over 3000 years ago and got buried and forgotten about until modern technology brought about the need for this newfangled thing called a parking garage. Lots of dirt, some shovels and a few bulldozers later and voila! Houston, we have an ancient wall.

Bam.

 

This is city hall. No big. Our city halls look like this in Podunk Kansas too.

 

Well hello there tree. I almost thought I had discovered a new species when I saw you, but then I remembered you actually do exist. In every other place except Kansas, America. Thanks for reminding me there is more than flat land and dead grass out there in this world.

 

My, what big roots you have!

 

One of my lovely new friends was kind enough to ask if I would like her to take a picture of me with the tree. It felt strange being on the front side of a camera for once.

Always the photographer, never the photographed. That’s my life story in a nutshell.

 

Poinsettas grow on trees. Who knew? Not this Kansas girl. I didn’t even know what a tree was until about two pictures before this one.

 

This stone is from the time period when the Romans had control over Málaga. I’m not sure what it says. It’s written in Latin. I’m having enough trouble with Spanish right now. I think I’ll save the Latin translations for some other time… like never. That’s good too.

By the way, I hate the CD case in the shrubbery. It ruins the picture. But  my arms weren’t long enough to grab it. Sad day.

 

This is a Roman amphitheater that was also constructed during ancient times, forgotten and buried and later unearthed.

It’s the circle of life. And it moves us all. (Name that song lyric!)

 

France had to throw it’s flavor in the Málaga melting pot too.

And just fyi, I hated the Louvre. I thought it was kind of boring. And I got lost. But I do like to pronounce the name, “loo-vrah.” Makes a stuffy art museum way more fun.

 

I was genuinely impressed by Málaga’s creativity when it comes to renovating buildings. They put up a giant sheet that looks like a fun house and go to work behind it. Very cool.

 

I’m a sucker for old houses. Plus, I like the cross hanging from the top floor on this one.

 

Another picture of myself in front of another tree. I see a pattern developing…

 

Look at the branches on that thing! How amazing! We are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

 

I’m afraid this is my artsy-fartsy creative side coming out but I absolutely LOVE the perspective and the lighting of this photo. And I love how it gives you a sense of the narrowness of the streets. Totally serious on this one.

 

I’m definitely a fan of this door.

 

They really, truly had a bar named Cheers in downtown Málaga.

As I walked past it, I could almost hear Woody saying, “What’s shakin’, Mr. Peterson?” And Norm replying, “All four cheeks and a couple of chins.”

Favorite quote of the whole series right there. One of the many.

 

This is the most-walked (and in my opinion one of the most pretty) streets in Málaga. It’s called Calle J-something. Sorry. I forgot. But I got the Spanish word for street down pat. Calle.

 

 

The anti-government protests that started in Madrid a few weeks ago made their way to Málaga. And they’re still going on.

Except of course, when I asked the protestors in my bueno Español to go play hide-and-seek for a minuto so I could snap this picture.

They said they’d love to.

 

 

My friends took me into a couple of Spainsh clothing stores. I admit I was really curious to see what kinds of clothes they would have. They say whatever is popular in Europe will show up in the States in a year or two… but if this full-length denim romper pantsuit (is that even what you would call it?!?) is a preview of what’s to come, I think I would rather walk around naked, thank you. Just as long as I could wear my beloved boots.

Oh my dear, precious heaven for my feet boots… how I love and miss you so.

 

 

This, however, is a part of Spanish culture I embrace with open arms. Espresso. Mi amor. My love.

It was so hard for me not to chug that whole glass.

Side note, the restaurants print diagrams of the strength of their espresso on napkin containers. You just tell the waiter which one you want and he mixes up just the right amount of espresso and milk. Muy bueno!

Side, side note, the orange juice in the background was literally squeezed right when it was ordered. It was unlike any other orange juice I’ve ever tasted before. So, so good! Muy, muy bueno!

Side, side, side note. there are churros behind my espresso. Churros are basically fried pastry dough, which are best when dipped in hot pudding-like chocolate. Spaniards like to eat them for their metial. Metial is an afternoon snack, which in Spain happens around 4:00-5:00 p.m.

I’m a fan.

 

These are my lovely new friends and I at a bar that was built in 1840. The barrels behind us contained all different kinds of wine. I had one that was aged five years and very sweet. Muy bueno!

Sorry for the bad picture quality. It was so dark in that bar, this was the best possible result. I thought about scrapping it altogether, but my little not-legal-in-the-States-yet self couldn’t bear to delete my ever first photo taken in a bar.

 

This is a ginormous ferry that sails across the Mediterranean to a little town on the northern coast of Africa that is evidently still owned by Spain. Very cool. I want to go!

 

Speaking of the Mediterranean…

 

Now, this has nothing to do with downtown, but it was my first official purchase in Spain. Well, besides groceries, but those don’t count. Well, besides the churros and espresso too. Those do count.

Anyway… the fan.

I’ve always associated decorative fans like this with Asian cultures. But they are actually quite common in Spain. A lady’s gotta stay cool somehow in the hot summers of Southern Spain and no air conditioning!

I’m a fan of this too.

Ha.

No pun intended. Maybe.

 

And these are boys that go to the school I can see from my balcony.

They have been practicing the actions to this song ever since I got here. Evidently this school always has some big end-of-the-year shebang with lots of song and dance.

Can you guess what song they are dancing to?

The YMCA.

Not even kidding.

I asked the people I work with if they can understand the lyrics and they said no, Spaniards just like 80s music from America.

Fun fact… that end-of-the-year shebang is going on right now. No joke. The YMCA is blaring through my windows. And it’s 1130 p.m. here. That’s Spanish culture for you. School programs end at midnight here. I would have loved that when I was a kid! I was never allowed to stay up past 10.

 

Thanks for hanging in there with me through all those photos (and ridiculous captions… I don’t know what’s gotten into me tonight). There will be more to come in a few days!

 

Much love,

kskristy

 

 

Have hope

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.”   –Psalm 39:7

 

I have been following the severe weather outbreak across the Midwest over the last several days and the devastation is appalling. Tornadoes are nothing new to this Kansas girl, but even with as many storms as I’ve been through, I still can’t get used to seeing broken homes and broken lives. Scenes like those in Joplin, Mo. are absolutely horrific and my heart hurts for the people whose lives have been so abruptly changed.

I can’t say I know how they feel. I’ve never been personally affected by a tornado. My home has never been shattered to pieces. My possessions have never been blown miles away by the wind. I can only imagine the pain that follows having your life smashed and scattered, leaving you to try and pick up the pieces of whatever you can find.

I imagine a lot of people are feeling lost and hurt. And waiting. For an absolution. For redemption. For peace.

I believe the Lord allows everything for a purpose. We may not know what that purpose is right away, maybe we will never know. But it’s during times like these that we need to put all our strength and faith in the Lord and hope in him.

I remember when an EF-5 tornado wiped the town of Greensburg, Kansas off the map on May 4, 2007. Greensburg is only an hour from where I live in southwest Kansas, so the storm was a pretty big deal in our area for a long time. I traveled to Greensburg a few weeks after the tornado ripped its path through the town. Here are some photos.

Sorry for the low quality of the images. My computer crashed a few months ago and I lost some of the images stored on my hard drive, these included. A friend was able to recover some of them for me, but they were super compressed. It happens. But I think you will still be able to get a pretty good idea of the state of shambles this town was reduced to.

This one really hurts my little farm girl heart. These used to be such pretty combines…

And farming implements. Tossed together and tangled like toys in a child’s toy box.

Even though the homes of the people of Greensburg were crushed, their spirits were not.

They had hope.

They knew the process would be long. And hard. But they began rebuilding.

And now, four years later, they’ve come a long way.

Here is all that was left of Greensburg High School four years ago.

Here is the new Kiowa Country High School. The towns of Haviland, Mullinville and Greensburg consolidated and built this new, state-of-the-art high school at the site of the old Greensburg High School.

They even put in a wind turbine to generate power.

There is still a lot of work to do in Greensburg. Amidst the brand new hospital, high school, Dillions grocery store and Best Western hotel, trees can still be seen with missing limbs, stairs still sit on foundations and lead to nowhere. Signs of lives once lived and destroyed but never restored.

But slowly and surely, the resilient people of this town are rebuilding. They are making their town better than it used to be. They keep hoping.

I pray the people of Joplin, the people of Canadian County, Oklahoma and everyone else effected by this year’s tornadoes have the strength to keep going.

I pray they have hope.

 

Much love,

kskristy

Rainpocalypse photos

Hey y’all! I know it’s been a week since the rain stopped (although it’s raining here again today) and “The Rainpocalypse” is kind of old news, but I’ve just finished editing the photos I shot last week. Dang papers sucked the life out of me last week. But just three more days, two more finals and I am done with school for the year!

I figured I’d let the photos speak for themselves in this post. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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