Posts Tagged With: parents

Home…away from home

Well guys, it’s that time of year again.

Fair time.

For some of you, the state fairs in your respective states come and go with no chance in your daily life. Not me.

As the daughter of a beef cattle farmer, I’ve spent about 2 weeks every August working in a steakhouse at our state fair that’s run by the Missouri Cattlemen Association for almost as long as I can remember. We serve more than 1000 steaks a day, not including burgers, BBQ brisket, and all-beef hot dogs. It’s a frenzy of feeding hungry, tired and hot people for 12 hours a day in the heat of the summer. Luckily, we’re in an air-conditioned restaurant instead of one of those little stands that sell corn dogs and funnel cakes.

Yup, it’s fair time again. Beef House, here we come…

Still, it’s a crazy time that I’ve come to enjoy in a unique sort of way, and after I got married and moved to Kansas City, I thought my days at the fair were pretty much over. Of course, last year at this time I was pretty much unemployed so I came to work to earn some extra money. And now I’m self-employed. So I “took some time off” to come stay at my parents’ house for the next couple of weeks.

It’s a like a vacation.

A vacation where I work 12 hours a day standing on concrete next to a giant grill.

How relaxing.

But the money will be a good addition to our savings account after it took such a hit with the down payment for our house.

And it’s good to be home…away from home.

Last night was the second night at my parents’ house without my husband, and while I miss him (miss him a lot!), I have to admit how nice it is to spend time with my parents.

Moving away, even though we’re only an hour and a half or so apart now at our new house, was hard for me, as I’ve always been a family girl.

I went to a college about an hour away from home but came home most weekends because I wanted to see Wyatt and I was still involved with so much in my hometown. Seeing my parents was something I grew very used to, even after I “moved out,” per say, and I even took it for granted I think.

Then I got married, (which is great!) and moved away, for real this time. Which was awesome and hard all at the same time. Harder than I thought it would be. And more amazing to live with my husband and best friend.

Kansas City became our home.

But then again, this house that I grew up in will always be home, too.

It’s my home away from home, I guess you could say.

I love that the rooms are all so familiar and even the furniture holds memories. Last night as I sat on an old couch my mom wants to get rid of, I was reminded of the night I cried, sitting there with Wyatt, because it was the night after we’d gotten engaged and it all finally hit me. (I didn’t cry at all the night he actually asked me. I think I was in too much shock…and just so happy!)

In a happy shock after our engagement, how can I not love the house that holds so many special memories?

I love that my mom stocks her shelves with all the foods I used to love when I was living here. It’s a treat to have all those loved snacks that Hubs and I don’t buy for ourselves on an everyday basis.

And I’ve enjoyed building a project with my dad, going through old boxes of stuff for a future garage sale with my mom, and just talking with them about more than just, “this is what’s new with us.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love our house in the city, er, the suburbs now, but I also love it here. And yes, I am counting down the hours until I’ll see Hubs again, but I’m also thankful for every minute here.

There are no views like this in the city, that’s for sure. This place will always hold a special place in my heart.

What about you? What do you love about coming home? How do you cope with being away from those you love? What are your favorite memories of the houses you grew up in.

And

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Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What I learned from my Jimmy, who got too hot today.

Today I had to drive all the way down to Blue Springs to get the water switched to our name for the new house. Exciting, and also super frustrating since it takes all of five minutes for them to do it, and I had to drive an hour and 20 minutes round trip to do it.

Grr….

But the real issue today was the heat. Yes, it was hot outside. But it was also hot under the hood of my Jimmy. Really hot to be exact.

As in, the temperature gauge was hitting the red line and screaming “Red Line!!”  at me and I saw steam coming out from under my hood.

Ok, the gauge wasn’t screaming out loud, but I swear I heard that in my brain, so I’m sticking to that story.

Good thing I was being a half-way responsible driver and paying attention to such things, right? Well, by paying attention to such things, I mean immediately turning off the A/C and pulling over as soon as I got to a half-way close parking lot to where I was going. Not responsible as in I actually knew what to do when I saw the steam.

I didn’t know what to do at all.

So I freaked out a little bit.

Naturally.

Of course.

But only on the inside, I promise.

On the inside, I could feel myself shaking a little bit as the adrenaline sunk in of almost having to pull over on I70 when it was 90+ degrees outside.

Outside, I was cool as a cucumber as I pulled in the lot, parked, and shut off the engine immediately, grabbing my belongings and hopping out of the car as I started to dial my phone for help.

I wanted to call Hubs, but he was at work and doesn’t always answer right away since he’s often in a meeting or helping someone else on the computer and away from his phone.

So I wanted to call my dad but he was at work and doesn’t always answer right away since he’s a farmer and often has his hands full with cattle or corn or something.

Hmm…

So I took a chance and dialed my dad. I knew he was done with harvest and had been working around the shop yesterday so I bargained that he might be able to answer, and he did! It went like this.

“Hi, I have a problem.”

“…What?”

“My car overheated. I’m in Blue Springs and there’s smoke or steam coming out from under the hood.”

“Ok, where are you?”

“Blue Springs!”

“No, are you off the road?”

“Yes, I’m in a parking lot.”

“Ok.”

“I think it’s steam coming out of the hood, but I don’t know what to do. Pour water on it, open it, what?”

I think the conversation then calmed down some as I came to understand that my car wasn’t going to explode in a steamy fire or something. Ok. I’m not a mechanic, but I’m pretty sure I knew it wouldn’t do that. But it didn’t hurt to hear it from someone who REALLY knew it, you know what I mean?

I also called Hubs at work, and he answered right away, too! Hallelujah! And he agreed that we should get it checked before I tried to drive home. So I called AAA. (Thanks, mom and dad for paying for that!) and went on about the five minutes worth of business I had to do in City Hall. Then I set out to waiting for the tow truck guy to get there.

Spoiler alert: He was late.

In the meantime, I decided my phone was about to die and that would make this all that much more overwhelming and awful so I trotted back over the building I’d parked my steamy car behind and made my way to the first office I saw inside with someone in it. I knocked and a nice, older man answered. While I explained my situation and that my phone was dead, he offered me to use their phone. I said I’d actually really like to charge mine if he didn’t mind.

He didn’t mind.

So I plopped myself down in a chair and pulled out Wyatt’s charger I’d been using in the car and waited silently and awkwardly for about 10 minutes for my phone to fill up a little more on battery. Then I thanked the nice man and headed back outside to find some shade and keep waiting for the tow truck.

When he finally got there, he opened the hood and said this.

“You’re not low on water, at least not much. I can add some, but I’m not sure what that will do. There’s got to be something else wrong with it. You want me to tow it?”

No, sir, I don’t want you to tow it. I want you to tell me what’s wrong with it.

But I realize that isn’t really his job.

So I took his suggestion to drive to a little shop a few blocks away and have them look at it. On the very short trip there, Jimmy got super duper hot again. He was steamy and smelled awful. I felt awful. I was steaming, er, sweating, so I probably smelled awful, too.

The people at Fleming Auto Center were very busy. Dangit. But also very nice after I explained to the nice man at the counter that I could wait for them to work me in this afternoon, but I’m not sure what to do as I think (because my dad told me so) that I just need water in the radiator even though the tow truck guy who recommended I come here said I didn’t need any.

So he went out and looked for me. And instead of just looking at the little plastic reserve tank, which had plenty of water in in, he opened the radiator. Thank you! And said, “Wow, youare bone dry.”

So he added a gallon and a half of plain ol’ water, and my temperature gauge stopped screaming “Red Line!” “Red Line!” at me every time I nervously glanced over at it. Woo hoo!

And the nice man who carried 2 jugs of water out to my hot car on that hot afternoon didn’t charge me anything at all. He did say, “Keep an eye on it, now, and pull over to let it cool off if it gets much over 210.”

I didn’t tell him I was going to watch it like a hawk the entire way home and call my husband to come get me because I was tired of dealing with this on my own if it so much as climbed a line or two closer to that 210 halfway point to the red, screaming line.

I did thank him, and assure him they would be the first place we’d visit with car trouble once we move down to Blue Springs. And then I got the heck on the road home.

What did I learn?

1. It’s hot.

2. I should have worn my hair up today.

3. ALWAYS keep spare hair ties stashed everywhere. My purse, the cup holder in the car, the pocket of my shorts, the glove box, my wrist, Wyatt’s wrist, wyatt’s shorts’ pockets, the wrists and pockets of random strangers…what?

4. Trust my instincts. If something feels off. Pull over even if you’re almost there. If I’d waited an extra block to turn in, steam might have literally come billowing out from under my hood, drawing major attention and worse, hurting my engine.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Yes, I won’t become fast friends with every strange man I come in contact with, but today, I didn’t have the option to be overly cautious, shy, or embarrassed to speak up. Both nice strangers today didn’t have to help me, but I needed them to step up and do the right thing, which they did, and I’m so thankful they weren’t creepy or scary or rude to me.

6. Jimmy’s getting old. Put “buy a new car” on the top of our next major to-do list.

7. I can handle stuff like this. I made it all the way down to Blue Springs on I70, which I hate, and dealt with all this crazy, quite calmly, for the most part on my own. Then I made it all the way back home on I70, which I hate, keeping one eye locked on my temperature gauge the whole time, dealing with lunch hour traffic. I didn’t need someone to come save me because I was able to keep it together and just do what I needed to do. Maybe I’m growing up after all.

I mean, a girl can’t rely on her dad, husband, and AAA for everything, forever, right?

But I’m definitely thankful I can call them when I need them.

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Our stockings are hung…by the kitchen with care…

It’s Christmastime here in our tiny apartment. I’m used to having a whole big farmhouse all decorated in greenery and snowmen. But here, we have neither greenery nor snowmen.

What we do have is Christmas spirit! Or rather, I have that and Hubs just plays along to make me happy. Don’t get me wrong, he had fun decorating our tree, but he certainly wouldn’t have fretted too much if we had decided we didn’t have room for a tree.

But…never fear, because Christmas is here!

Ta-da!

Yup, that’s our first Christmas tree, folks. I’m proud we decorated frugally, so I’ll share what we learned in this adventure.

First of all, make stuff yourself! Like these trees! (That I’ll post about later!)

Yup, I like paper crafts. And pine cones, from my parents' yard at home, in our fruit bowl.

It’s part of the little scene on top of bookshelf #1

Candles are from my mom's unused decor box. They're several years old, but certainly still look pretty.

And the nativity set? Another tip, “re-use.”

I bought this YEARS ago during a sale of wood-carved products from Bethlehem at my church. It's all we have for now.

I also have a tree like that on the shelf in our living room.

I got the idea from here.

With our "love dove," candlestick, and our freshly printed free subway art, of course, see how we re-purpose?.

The print is from here.

And I HAVE to show you the adorable place mats my mother-in-law made for me. How adorable are they?

Sooooo cute!

And our second kind of paper trees, the folded ones I made, and I’ll post about, with our growing collection of Christmas cards.

It's a wintery forest in our pass-through! Oh, and there's the poinsettia that may or may not make it until Christmas...

I got the ideas for the trees from the mothership, Martha, of course.

And we also have stockings! But as the title of this post suggests, we had a bit of a dilemma when deciding where to hang them, as we have no fireplace.

But we got a shelf from my parents’ basement. (It’s a wonderland of usable stuff down there, though my mother’s probably horrified I’m admitting how much is down there. Sorry, Mom!)

Hubs painted it white, and I sanded it down to give it that vintage look I like. It’s old enough to really be vintage, it just needed a little love.

The stockings we made for each other. He made mine several years ago. I made his a few weeks ago.

See, we can even make our own stockings! His is made from an old pair of jeans. And since we don’t have a sewing machine and Hubs would have FREAKED if I’d tried to smuggle it home, I had to sew it by hand, which took…awhile.

Here’s the whole look that greets you when you come in our front door by the kitchen now:

Decorated with candles and a free picture frame (from the church) to which I added a cute Christmas scrap-booking paper I already had, and a framed, free Christmas printable.

Print from tatertots and jello.

Closer look at the frame. Love it!

Cute!

There, our stockings are all ready to be filled up with fun little gifts.

And in the spirit of giving, I’m going to GIVE you all a little tour of our tree.

Here's our initial ornaments. I can't remember where or why we have these, if they're from you, thanks!

Here we go, a cute little “S” I got from the church I volunteer at.

You'll also see the red swirl ornaments Hubs picked out for us to buy, and a preview of the paper hearts I made. And the craft ribbon I had that we used as a garland.

Here’s one I made last year at school.

It's glow in the dark!

And the ornaments from my childhood that I collected as a kid but that haven’t been hanging on our family tree in a long time:

I have the whole series of these little books. They open and close and have such cute little scenes in them.

Oh, and you want to see the ornaments I made?

My paper hearts! I love how they turned out. I'll post instructions soon.

Here’s some more…

I bought this one ($2) because it reminded me of "happy wife, happy life." Or a happy hubs... (It went with a matching Merry Christmas one, but I liked this message even better than just wishing a Merry Christmas. I'm wishing y'all a Happy Everything!)

Oh and just to make sure I represent,

Am I happy Pujols left? Nope. But can he do what he wants? Yup. Besides, my man Molina is still there! And that's all I'm going to say about it. Oh, and don't forget the edible decorations, the candy canes!

It makes my heart happy to have our tree up and looking so festive. Who cares if our ornaments and decorations are a bit skimpy and we only spent 5 bucks on our tree. I say it’s beautiful!

Happy home.

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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