Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Growing Season

IMG_0573The weather this spring is beautiful.  We’ve had the right amount of rain and sunshine to promote a very healthy growing season.  Luckily, one of our plants is bearing fruit!  A baby banana pepper appeared this weekend.  Very exciting!  We are using worm casings this year, which we have never used before.  So it is a trial year for our garden, but it is off to a good start!

Dus and I have been quite busy.  I’ve made some recent posts to our outdoors blog; check it out! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Organics…Delivered!

IMG_0004

During the summer months, Dustin and I have an abundance of fresh organic produce.  There is  just something about growing your own food that is incredibly satisfying.  However, in the winter we are left with few options.  The organic section at our neighborhood market, Hy-vee, is pitiful.  It is always such a let down to go back to chemically produced food.  It just doesn’t taste as good, and tastes even worse when you think about how far it was trucked in, and the damaged that occurred to produce it.  I discussed my quandary with my Spanish Professor and she offered up KC Door to Door Organics as a solution.  I had never heard of this company, but wow are they great!  They work with local farmers to provide organic produce to KC citizens.  While not all produce is locally grown, most options are.  After all, it does get quite cold in KC in the winter.  We received our first box two weeks ago; it is pictured above.  The smell that greeted me when I opened the box was divine.  It smelled like fresh earth and citrus.  Delicious!  They deliver to your door once a week, or less often if you prefer.  It is also surprisingly affordable.  For a bitty box it is $25.00 per week.  Don’t let the bitty name fool you, this box is teeming with tantalizing produce.  Also, if there is an item that you don’t think you would be particularly fond of, just let them know.  Your box is just that, your box.  You can put whatever you like in it! 

IMG_0002  Should you order, don’t forget to put out your box on delivery days.  They reuse them…less waste.  YAY!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Countdown to our 7 Days in the Canadian Wilderness

image Oh yes, in just short of 8 months we are heading 16 hours North to the Canadian Wilderness.  For those of you not good at math, that puts us in Canada about mid August.  I know everyone is wondering why me of all people would want to leave the summer heat to venture somewhere where a jacket is required; one word answers that, fishing!  Dustin has been to Canada twice for fishing excursions.  He speaks of these vacations as his best ever; now, I get to share some of those memories! YAY! 

Brian and Dustin have talked a lot about making another trip to Canada, but have done nothing to get the ball rolling.  When they spoke of it, it was going to be a guys only trip.  I told Dustin if he gets to go to Canada, I get to go to the White River and get a fishing guide.  Well, Dustin sure couldn’t have that happen, so next thing I know Sue and I are invited along.  Aw, how sweet.  This was a few months ago when we all talked about taking this excursion together.  It was just mentioned in passing until Brian went to the Sports Show.  He immediately got Dustin on the phone and told him about some places he had found.  Dustin and I spent a good few hours looking on the net at different places.  After much talking back and forth, Dustin and Brian decided on Peffley’s Wilderness Camp.  From what I have read, the boys made an excellent choice.      

imagePeffley’s is located on Lake Wabaskang (the nearest town is Perrault Falls, Ontario, which is about 16 hours from my door) with access to five other lakes.  Another great feature is this a boat in only camp.  There is no road access, so this makes it a true wilderness adventure.  I can hear the woods around me now!  Yes, I am getting excited. 

For those of you interested in the fishing, hop over to Antlers & Gills.  I will have a detailed post up tomorrow talking about the kinds of fish and what we are taking with us.

Dustin and Brian sent off our deposits last week making our reservations official.  WOOP!  We are in a 3 bedroom cabin on a bluff that overlooks the lake.  Can you get any better than that? 

In the meantime, I need to get on my passport!  I sure wish it was April, because now I really have the itch to fish! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I’m Starting to Miss the Snow

IMG_0136 As most of the people in Kansas City know, we had a deluge of snow over the last part of December.  For the first time in years, it actually SNOWED ON CHRISTMAS!  We had a very white Christmas indeed.  As a matter of fact, it was too white and prevented us from having the Christmas we planned.  Shana was stuck at our house most of her visit.  We didn’t get out and do anything fun for fear of smashing our car in a ditch!  However, now that the snow is almost completely melted, I am longing for more.  After all, if it is going to be cold it might as well snow!  The dogs had a blast playing in the snow.  When it was all said and done, the snow was nearly up to Venus’s belly.  Now that is a lot of snow!  Bailey and Dallas could not run easily and ended up jumping to navigate through the inches of fluffy snow.  I will say, I do not miss the shoveling.  I’m not quite sure how many times I shoveled, but it was quite a few.  IMG_0128Bailey enjoyed the shoveling, however.  She offers a lot of entertainment as she tries to bite the snow flying from the shovel.   She even performs back flips.  Very nice!  I would go ahead and venture a guess that the pups are ready for another good snow storm as well.  Not to mention, a lot of snow would cause a cancellation of classes.  Now, that is something I could live with.  This week, the last of the snow should be gone from the yard, without another snow storm in sight.  *tear*  I have rather enjoyed wearing my boots, scarf and mittens. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Samuel Adams Coastal Wheat

CIMG0005 Another day another quality beer from the folks over at Sam Adam’s.  Dus and I found this new brew a few weeks ago and have been enjoying it sense.  Both of us enjoy a draft Boulevard Wheat from time to time so the appeal of a wheat beer brewed with lemons was quite tempting.  From the first whiff through the aftertaste, the scent and flavor of the California lemons is mouthwatering.  The refreshment is crisp and balanced with the Sam’s signature malt subdued by the citrus of the lemons.  The color is hazy as with other wheat varieties and is a twist on the Hefeweizen variety.  It packs a punch at 5.2% and is a little heavy, but delicious nonetheless with a 3.5 out of a 5 star rating.  Pick some up and tell me what you think!    

Introducing!

Well, Dus and I finally decided to start his hunting and fishing blog, Antlers & Gills. We've done a few posts and it has actually been quite the learning experience for me. While, I am not a hunter, I do love wildlife and helping write for this blog is giving me a chance to read and understand wildlife habitats and behaviors. It is very cool when you read about something and then see it occur in natural habitat.

For those of you interested check it out. For those of you not, well check it out anyway ;) I can promise you there will not be any horrifying photos!!! For me, it is back to studying. Mondays are always so busy!

Antlers & Gills

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Working the Land

IMG_0003

This year, Dustin put a little more effort into prepping for deer season. In years past, he’d put out his cameras with a little food and maybe a mineral lick here and there. He’s harvested deer every year on this property, but never the big buck he seeks. The thing is, there are big bucks that travel the property, but they never seem to stay. A lack of food seems to be the culprit of this problem.  Lucky for us, Jared happens to be a skilled farmer so he offered to lend his expertise and equipment. He’s such a good guy! I had to snap the pic to the left because it was just so funny for me to see the boys farming it up. One professional and one who doesn’t know what the hell he is doing made a pretty darn good team.

Through research, Dustin and I decided an Evolved Harvest blend and Red Top Turnips were the best choice for a winter food source. Weather has been quite strange this summer, so we planted the food plot the last weekend of August.

The completed plot looks great. We have our fingers crossed that it yields well and the bucks start coming when other food gets scarce. Next year, we plan to do a summer and winter plot so the deer have good nutrition all year and want to stick to the property.

We have some great trail cam photos of some decent bucks. However, Dustin has been in the woods for two weeks and has failed to see any of the big boys. He plans to take off the first couple of weeks in October and then resume again for pre-rut. Hopefully by then, the food plot will have some yummy grub and the doe will come to eat. Come “The Rut” where the doe are, the bucks are.  We’ll keep you posted.

On that note, I am trying to encourage Dustin to make a hunting blog. This year, I made him a hunting journal and I think it would be great for him to pass on his experiences and things he learns to other hunters. This hunting stuff pays big bucks (no pun intended) if the right person finds you. If I ever find a job, we plan to invest in a camera so Dustin can film his hunts. Another great idea for the blog! When we begin the outdoors blog I’ll let you know. We plan to include hunting, fishing and camping tips.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hello? Is Anyone There?

I've been on a blogging hiatus. Well, actually a total hiatus. School began for me a month ago and it has really consumed a lot of my time. This week, I am having a brain block and am struggling to get essays wrote in Philosophy. Perhaps a change of pace is the cure, hence why I am writing here.

Some life changes have occurred since last I wrote. I am now an unemployed student living off Dustin's generosity. Ha! It sucks badly, truth be told. My unemployment has not yet kicked in so times are a struggle for us. While, I am applying my tail off for numerous jobs, none have came through. As a matter of fact, I have only interviewed for one that I would have considered taking. Its a tough market right now and I am being quite picky, actually. After the last disastrous job I had, I want to be sure I make the right choice.

Hunting season is upon us, so that means I have a lot of alone time. This is good for several reasons, more time to bake, more time to study and more time to work on me. While Dustin is in a tree stand I don't have to worry about him or take care of him. That is a welcome relief :)

Look for more posts in the following weeks as I try to get back into the hang of blogging. I do want to make another announcement before I sign off today. I am starting to offer Dog Walking services in Lee's Summit and surrounding areas. I come to you and take your dog for some good fun and exercise...the dogs love it and I do too. My service is called A Pup's Strut and you can call us at 816-729-0977.

That's all. Until next time...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A little fishing, camping and dipping

This past weekend started at 1100 AM on Thursday morning. How great was that?! Too bad I had to go home and rush to get the bags and coolers packed for our float. Brooke, Matt and Dustin all arrived a short time later and we were headed to the Eleven Point River by 230 PM!

Photobucket
He's so thrilled for the drive!

Good thing we got an early start because Dus forgot his tackle box. Keep in mind, he's the fisherman and we were going on a fishing trip...normally a tackle box would be the first thing I think to pack. So, Dustin and myself had a quick detour to Bass Pro in Springfield, MO. We also stopped off for a HORRIBLE meal at McAllister's. All in all we were delayed about 40 minutes.

We arrived at the campground and could not find Brooke or Matt. Needless to say, cell phones were not an option. Dus and I kind of looked at each other and said hmmm. We drove up to the next campground and didn't see them. Knowing we all agreed to stay at Greer, Dustin and I headed back there to set up camp. Lo and behold we found the rest of our party. Turns out Dustin and I drove right by them. We're so observant.

After setting up, it was time to get all the fishing stuff ready. After all, that was the point of this trip. It took awhile...

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

All of us were pretty exhausted so we called it a night once all the fishing stuff was prepared. We wanted to get early the next morning to hit the river to fish.

Turns out, the Eleven Point is a hard river to wade with limited access from the banks. We froze in the water while not even getting a bite. After an hour or so we headed back to camp for a DELISH Mountain Man breakfast expertly prepared in the dutch oven by Chef Matt.

Over breakfast we decided to head to Greer Spring and then up to Richard's Canoe Rental to see about getting a canoe for Friday and Saturday. We had quite the treat in store for us at Greer Spring. I'll let the pictures back me up on that statement...

Photobucket
It was a mile hike through the woods and bluffs to the spring

Photobucket
We loved this bark on this tree

Photobucket
Our first glimpse of the spring although we'd been hearing it for about a 1/2 of mile

Photobucket
Wonder what lives in this cave?

Photobucket
This shot shows a little deeper

Photobucket
Dustin channelling his inner caveman.

Photobucket

Photobucket
Love the fog...and Dustin's butt!

Photobucket

Photobucket
About to get wet!

Photobucket
Slippery!

Photobucket
Completely worth getting wet

Photobucket

Photobucket
The spring bubbling up from the cave

Photobucket
The mouth of the spring. Daily, it pumps 220 gallons of 55 degree water into the Eleven Point

Photobucket
Dustin wanted a closer look

Photobucket
After Brooke and I's dip. She was brave and hopped in first!

After the spring we went up and rented a canoe and did the Cane Bluff to Greer crossing float. The river above greer is wide and deep. It was perfect for fishing because if we didn't paddle we didn't move much. We caught a lot of fish but the catch of the day came as soon as we were about to end the float. Dustin landed at 15" rainbow trout. He was a beauty, but unfortunately he was too small to keep. Once we passed Greer Spring we entered the Blue Ribbon Trout Area. That means only ONE 18" or larger fish is allowed.

We ended the day with a great dinner at the campground washed down for a few beers. So that was day one...a great day. I have more pics from day two, but haven't developed the camera yet! I will post those as soon as I do! Gosh looking at these pics makes me want to go back. I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lower Interest Rates FTW!

Photobucket

Yesterday, my credit union called with good news. Very good news. Not only did they give me a killer interest rate on a debt consolidation loan (I had it with Citi Financial at 29.99% and they lowered it 3.9% for 6mo then 8.9% thereafter), they opened me a new savings account that pays me 6.9% annually! I couldn't believe my luck because that damn Citi loan keeps me up at night! As if that wasn't good enough, the guy calls me back and asks if I'd like to lower my interest rate on my exsisting car loan. Um, YES! They lowered that another 2.25%. SWEEET! This was such welcome financial news. We needed it.

On the same subject of saving money, I must say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Aldi's. This store has had such a bad rap with me forever, but I have no idea why. Dustin and I started shopping here earlier this year in order to save money. Boy have we saved. A cart full of groceries is maybe $50 at Aldi's. The same cart would be over $100 at Hyvee. All items we have purchased have been top notch...no complaints. Healthy options are even available. If Aldi has a bad rep with you, go in and give it a try. I'm pretty sure you'll have a different opinion once you come out with your cart full of cheap groceries!

aldi Pictures, Images and Photos

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Venus turns 10!

Yesterday, we celebrated Venus's 10th birthday. It doesn't seem possible that she is ten! I still remember the day she bit my toe and I took her home.

Photobucket
Venus's cake from Three Dog Bakery

Photobucket
She was so happy to get her cake; she did a celebratory birthday dance!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Venus really is my best friend and the best dog I could ever ask for. Here's to you, Winky, mommy loves you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Saturday at LOTO

This past father's day weekend, Dustin, Bailey, Dallas and myself headed to the Lake of The Ozarks. Dustin's father has a small cabin in the Gravois arm; Dustin wanted to go for father's day and a weekend out of town sounded great to me!

We loaded up and headed down on Friday night. Getting a man, myself and three dogs ready to get out of town is quite the time consuming procedure so we arrived a little later than we had planned. We were greeted with a spectacular lightening display. Very cool.

Saturday morning we woke up early to go check the catfish jugs and take the dogs for a boat ride.

Photobucket
Bailey Beans

Photobucket
Dallas Dudley

Photobucket
Tasha, one of the Dallas and Bailey's pups born last March

Bailey seemed to be the only dog that really enjoyed the boat ride. Tasha was feeling a little under the weather because normally she likes to go. Bailey attacked the water that was splashing up in the boat. It was entertaining.

Photobucket

We cruised into the main channel to check out things and then headed back to the house for some lunch. Lunch was scrumptious and prepped our bellies for some cocktails.

Dustin and I headed out sans doggies to check out some of the bars on the lake shore. Our first stop was Coconuts. Color us impressed.

Photobucket
21 and over pools, for the win! Photo Credit

It was really shaping up to be a perfect afternoon. We spent a few hours in this pool enjoying the weather and drinks before we decided we wanted to check out another place on the main channel. It was called Lazy Gators.

Lazy Gators was nice, but I am not sure it was worth paying a cover charge. Shaded cabanas with misters...nice touch. Infinity pools are always good too. However, the staff was rude and seemed more interested in their side work than actually serving drinks. The clientele, well it gave Dustin and I lots to laugh about.

Photobucket
The infinity pool on a slow day. Photo credit

After absorbing all the good laugh out loud fun at Lazy Gators we headed home. It had been a fabulous day of lounging and sipping cocktails. Just what the doctor ordered. We topped off the night with a crab leg dinner...yum-o!

Unfortunately, the next time we'll be able to get away to the lake is Dustin's birthday weekend. We're hoping his brother and his fiance can make it down to celebrate with us. I'm already to spend another lazy day at Coconuts or Lazy Gators!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You CAN Have A Good Time In Iowa

You heard it here first, good times can be had in Iowa. Well, when lots of booze fuels the fun of course.

Dustin and I ventured to Iowa this past weekend for a wedding. Andrew, Dustin's buddy made it official with his fiance, Cassie. They had a fabu wedding; Dustin got to see a lot of people he hasn't seen in years. He really enjoyed that.

Turns out it is a small world after all. One of Dustin's coaches in high school turned out to be a guy that grew up with my dad! How crazy! Even more, he teaches classes at Title Boxing where Dustin and I currently work out. Teaching the 6AM class has lead us to never seeing him there, however he is starting to teach the 530PM class on Wednesdays and Fridays. SWEET!

Photobucket

Photobucket

We stayed at the wedding for a few hours, but wanted to go out and check out the night life of downtown Des Moines. After changing, we called a cab and he was there within 10 minutes!! That would never happen in KC. Pleasantly surprising was the nightlife for a small town. Since we were visiting we bar hopped so we could take in all the local flavors.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Oh yes, lots of booze was consumed. All that alcohol lead to a brutal drive home on Sunday. Home never looked so good.

Our next trip to Iowa is planned for later this summer. Supposedly, one of the 50 things to do before you die is to attend the Iowa State Fair. Well, come August we plan to check that off our list!