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It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like….

Well, Christmas of course. Two weekends ago, Bob and I spent the weekend decorating the tree and putting up Christmas lights together on our home. Hanging the lights on the house was with the kind of pervasive warm-fuzzies that you only see on Halmark movies. Decorating the tree – – not so much. First, when we put up the tree, half of the bottom tier and the whole top tier didn’t light up, so we decided to make the trek into Hamilton (the next city over with a decent selection of stores) to go buy a different pre-lit one. Bob has always had trees and a house with colored lights on them, and I’ve always had trees and a house with white lights. So, we compromised. I get my white lights on the tree, and Bob gets SOME colored lights on the outside of the house. That seems fair, right? haha.
But back to the shopping. We find the perfect pre-lit tree that we love at Meijer. And we pay quite a bit too much money for it. And we bring it home. And I start to put away the old tree. And when I wiggle it, the whole top half comes back on. This is simultaneously a moment of “Dang it” and “Sweet! I loved the old tree!” So, we took back the expensive tree and did a patch job on the bottom tier with some white lights from kroger and finally started decorating the tree.
Originally, Bob had complained about my Christmas tree because he thought it looked too planned in previous years. I mean yes, the first year I had it all of the ornaments came from walmart and I did have a color scheme on it. But this year, I think he realized that of all the ornaments on the tree, most of them were inherited or given to me, and therefore have meaning. It was really nice to decorate it together, and yes, I let go of my OCD tendencies a little bit and Bob hung ornaments, too. We don’t agree about the giant glittery bow at the top of my tree being an adequate tree topper, but maybe someday we’ll find an angel that we both can agree on.

It’s really so nice to be with my person all of the time.
and my puppy.

pipertree

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Over a Year….

So, I haven’t written a blog post since September of last year.  September of last year I was dating my boyfriend, Bobby. 

I’ve now been married to him for four months.  Hi husband. 

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September of last year I had just adopted a little fuzzy white dog.

Piper just turned 5 and has been my buddy since I got her.

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September of last year, I was living in a Condo that I bought with my Dad when I graduated from undergrad.

Since then, I sold that condo, moved into an apartment, moved out of that apartment and bought a house with my new hubby. Image

 

Along with a host of other MAJOR life changes…. I just hope I can be better at keeping up with this from here on out. 

It’s Been a While

Hey all. I just wanted to post a little something on here to prove that I haven’t forgotten about it!

Sneak peek - liies

I’ll catch up soon. I (maybe) promise…

My new addition - Piper

A Mammoth Adventure

So, I splurged on a xD memory card reader, and so I have access to my photos again!  Yay!  So, this is a little delayed, but still happening.  Last Friday-Sunday, Bobby and I went camping at Mammoth Cave National Park, and it was my first time officially going on a camping trip.  For someone who considers herself to be an outdoors person, it is quite a travesty.  I’ve slept in a tent a couple of times, but I’ve never “been camping.”  Bobby’s family are all campers, so he had all of the equipment and things, and we took off early Friday morning.

We stopped a few times on the way down there, Historic Bardstown, KY and Lincoln’s Boyhood home. Both Bobby and I are the type of people that, unless we are in a hurry, we’ll stop anywhere and at anything that looks interesting.  If we ever travel out west, we would be the type of people that HAVE to stop to see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, etc.   After stretching the 3 and a half our drive out to something around five hours, we finally arrived at Mammoth Cave.

Requisite Park Sign Picture

Let me explain the goofiness of this picture.  Bob and I had to figure out how to use the self timer on my camera, which we found out was 10 seconds long.  Sadly, the distance between the car and the sign was huge, and that meant one thing – – Bobby in a dead sprint, in flip-flops after hitting the button.  So he got there, but only just barely. . . so we have this wacky, Bobby only partially turned around, picture.  And I love it.  After we took this one, some hikers came out nearby and the mom offered and took our picture for us, and it’s a nicer photo, but it’s just not the same and not as funny.

So, we got to our campsite and put up our tent, and got settled in a bit.

Home Sweet Home

We gathered wood and got working on building a fire.  Well, the leaf litter was a little too damp to use as kindling, and I remembered that I had a notebook in the car, so my poor notebook got sacrificed for the cause. But, we still couldn’t quite get it to catch.  Bobby and I were kneeling by the fire, blowing on it until we turned blue.  I truly felt like I was going to pass out… and then *LIGHTBULB*  I left Bobby there, blowing on the fire, and ran over to the tent.  I got out the little, battery operated fan I bought for the trip (P.S.  it was 95ish on both days.  yuck.), turned it on low, and aimed it at the fire.  And it took off.  And so I won the most resourceful camper of the day award.

Our first cave tour wast the star chamber tour, a lantern tour.  I was so excited about getting to go on some of the different tours, because my family has never made reservations in advance for the tours,  we never got to go on the exciting ones.  We made our reservations a month in advance.  Bobby grabbed the lantern for us, and the lanterns really made everything seem really different.  You couldn’t see far at all, and since flash photography wasn’t allowed, we didn’t really get many neat pictures.

Caving by Lantern Light

Except for this one and just a few others.  It combines my love of taking pictures of feet/shoes and of taking really different pictures :)

Our next stop, the next day, was the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky.  It was going to be kind of a surprise for Bobby, but I’m AWFUL at keeping surprises a secret.  I kinda feel like it’s a surprise as soon as I tell you, so why wait?  :)  But anyway, the museum was really cool and made me want to drive a sports car.  Go figure.

Vette

After we got back from the Corvette museum we had another tour scheduled – the River Styx tour.  Another 2.5 hour, 30 people tour.  I think I’m spoiled.  I’ll never want to take any of the 100+ people tours again!

Historic Cave Entrance

The tour started out on the same route as our lantern tour, but of course it look significantly different with the lights turned on, rather than by candlelight.   After walking for a while, we finally got into an area that we hadn’t seen on the other tour.  If I had had a nicer camera, I’m sure the pictures would’ve come out better, but this is one of the better ones.

Don't Fall!

When we got all the way down to the bottom level of the cave we got to see the River Styx.  Bobby is a mythology buff, and so we were joking that it would’ve been funny if they left a boat tied up down there and a place to collect coins to “pay the ferryman.”  After climbing  up a million stairs back to the entrance, and then up a bunch more to get out, Bobby and I decided it would be a good idea to hike to the mouth of the River Styx, where it comes out above ground.  We thought that since it was only a half a mile hike, that it wouldn’t be a big deal, and we might be able to cool off afterwards in the water.  Nope.  This is how close we could get to it.

The Mouth of the River Styx

That’s a good, long distance.  So we hiked a half mile down a very nearly 45 degree angle to get to an overlook of the cave mouth, and then up that distance.  A half of a mile straight up in 95 degree weather stinks, just so you know.    But the overlook was really neat, Bobby particularly enjoyed the tree at about 3 o’clock in the picture, a gigantic sycamore that had roots going all over the place in the valley bottom.

We rounded out the evening with getting cleaned up and going out to dinner, and that was nice.  We went to a steakhouse called Sahara in Cave City, and thought the ambiance left a lot to be desired, it was probably the best steak I’ve ever tasted in my life.  Including any that Bob had cooked himself.

The next morning we got up early and packed up.  After taking off the cover of the tent, we found this fellow nestled between the tent and the cover.  He’s a very large Catydid.  In another picture, I have Bob’s hand beside him, giving a proxy for his size, which was the size of Bob’s thumb.

Our (not so little) Friend

After leaving Mammoth Cave, we headed south to Lost River Cave in Bowling Green.  Lost River has a boat tour of a cave that I went on when I was younger.  It was much cooler than I had remember it being.  Literally and Figuratively, as caves stay in the low to mid 50’s all year round.

Old Pictures and Signs

One of the most interesting things about Lost River Cave is that in the 1930’s until the 1960’s it was used as a Night Club playing Swing Music.  How neat, right?  The tour guide said that the sobriety test for getting into and out of the club was simply the hike in/out…. a windy, narrow trail up the side of a cliff.  I would’ve loved to have gotten to go there, to hear the cave echoing with music.

Overall, the trip was really a blast, and I certainly enjoyed my first real camping experience!

Photo-less

So, I’ve been without MY camera for two weeks now (It was stolen from my car around then). I used an old one on a most excellent camping trip to Mammoth Cave National Park this past weekend. I’ve been all jazzed about blogging about it until I realized that my computer’s memory card reader “doesn’t do” XD memory cards. Boo. I don’t have the cord for old camera, so until I fork up the dough for a new USB cord or memory card reader, I’ll be photo-less. *sigh* Look out for an update soon.

Angola Balloons Aloft

I haven’t gotten a chance to post in a while, I feel like I’ve been busy, but I really haven’t gotten a chance to do too many outdoorsy type things.  So, this past Friday (July 8), Bobby and I went up to Angola, Indiana to check out their hot air balloon festival, which couldn’t be a cooler idea for a festival.  It was held at the small airport they have there.  Also, it couldn’t have been a hotter day.  Or it could have been but that would’ve been just miserable.  Bobby and I grabbed some dinner at some of those wonderful festival food vendors (He- A pork burger and a brat, me – walking tacos), chatted with some locals under a tent to escape the heat/bearing down sun, and then headed to our folding chairs out near the runway.  The launch was supposed to happen at 6:30 pm, but was really much closer to 7:30 due to some concerns about the wind, which soon died down to the required <10 mph speed.

First in flight, headed away from the pack.

The first balloon off the starting line was this yellow-green-blue number which turned out to be quite the star of the show, first to leave, first to get back, first to light up at the balloon glow later on.  Slowly but surely others got off the ground, too.

More in the air

The views became more and more breath-taking with each look.

A sky full of balloons

And very soon, I was giddy and bouncing up and down.  I was incredibly into this.  Every part of me that ever wanted to be a photographer was happy, I have to say.

We were both pretty excited...

And they kept coming!  I think there were 26 or 27 balloons?  Just dazzling.

You can see it in his eyes...

You might be able to see a solid black balloon in the reflection in Bob’s glasses.  We were both pretty confused about this.  Why have a black hot air balloon, that seems pretty boring.  When It took off we saw why.  It was actually a penguin and penguin chick.  Too cute.

As I said earlier, the first balloon back was the blue/green/yellow number, and others slowly followed suit as the sun began to fall.

Glow.

I had never been to a balloon launch before, and I’d never been to a balloon glow either.  When the balloons began to light up I was stunned.  It was so beautiful.  Pictures really can’t do it justice.  But I tried.

Finally dark.

I really hope I can go back next year.  I was really a major life experience for me.  I’ve always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride, and this was pretty exciting, just to be that close to such amazing things!

Happy Fourth of July!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend and enjoyed time with their family, friends, and the ones they love.  I found this giant sunflower in my grandma’s back yard.    Enjoy!

Ray (flowers) of sunshine