Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Things I love About the Rain

It's raining!! Rainy days are my favorite, except when it's been raining for 3 weeks straight, it's 20 degrees out, or I just washed my car--none of which relate to today's rain! Last night when we went to bed there was lightning in the distance, but I didn't really think there was much to be said for it. When I woke up this morning, it was drizzly. You know, the kind of drizzle where you just want to stay in bed and watch movies all day? That kind. It has been switching back and forth between drizzle and rain all day now and I LOVE it! ..I just wish I had a window in my office so I could watch it, but then again, that would probably put me to sleep!

On my way home from lunch, I started to think about what I love about rainy days, besides taking a nap, of course.

Here's something I love about rainy days..

a drop in temperature

getting to use my ridiculously expensive umbrella that I bought to match my rain boots

leaving the door open to listen to rain and feel the cool air

And now for some things Bridger doesn't like about the rain:

Having to sit on the front porch until I can get a towel because she was on top of the dog house again (I'm going to get a picture of this someday)

Having to stay on the towel because she's too muddy. Look how mad she is at me, I just kicked her out of the kitchen!

Have a wonderful rainy day! (well, if it's raining for you, of course!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Such a Good Weekend!

This weekend I traveled with my mother-in-law, Connie, to Houston for a wedding shower for one of Brandon's cousins. As much as I dread the 6 hour drive for just one weekend, it was worth it.

I got to spend the majority of the weekend with my folks and we had fun. Saturday morning we did the usual and made our trip to Victors and after that, my mom and I went to get our nails done! This is basically a tradition between the two of us!


Afterwards we went to a few stores, but I was proud of myself for not buying anything!

Living in West Texas, I sometimes forget how intense the humidity of Houston actually is. I mean, I know it's bad, but I forget how bad. It was SO humid and SO hot! It was so hot that when my mom and I returned from our little adventure (don't worry, Cinnabon was part of it), we found this little guy..

You may not be able to see it very well, but he is soaking wet. My dad had been watering the front yard and he was playing in the water. He watched us for a little bit shaking every once in a while and just looking around under his shower. Then he ran over to the tree to watch us some more. You might be able to see that his tail is not very fluffy because it's so wet.


After all of that fun, I went inside to get changed for Breanna's wedding shower. The shower was so nice, such a nice home to have it in and she got all kinds of gifts. Here are all the women in the family who could be there.
Even though my weekends are normally used for catching up on my sleep, it was refreshing to visit family and have fun!

I thought I would be completely wiped out by the time we got home, but it seemed that I was full of energy! Brandon's boss, Dean, called him in the evening and asked him if we wanted to come to his son, Wes' baseball game. It got delayed because of the game before it so it wasn't supposed to start until 9:00--and for 9-10 year olds, that's pretty late! So we went and it was a BLAST! He is on the 'allstars' team for one of the little leagues here in town and it was such a good game. The way it works here is at the end of every season each league in the area, including surrounding towns, picks a group of kids in each age group to play on the allstar team for that age group, then all of the allstar teams play each other to find the best league in the area.

The games at this level are not allowed to start a new inning after 11:00, so Wes' team was sweating bullets being the home team at the bottom of the inning around 10:55 and down by 3 runs, and knowing that if they lost they would not advance. They pulled it off though! The final score was 15-14! Well worth staying up past my bedtime to watch!

They play again tomorrow and Wednesday so maybe we'll go watch and I'll take some pictures!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Look what I did!

I know, I know, I change the look of my blog more than what could be considered healthy.. So you may not be as impressed as I am, but I'm pretty darn impressed with myself! I've been wanting my blog to look something more like this (more professionally done) for a while, but I didn't have one clue how nor did I want to pay someone to do it. So I didn't.

I've had a little bit of extra time so I've done a bit of research and I think I have it the way I want it.. for now. I'm sure I'll be adding things here and there, but isn't it cool, that I was able to do it for myself for free? If I would have paid someone to do everything it would have cost me anywhere from $75-$120.. for a website that I don't pay for? Yeah. Right.

Well, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Sad Day for the Finch Family

You may remember a while back when I posted about Mr. and Mrs. Finch and their nest in our kitchen window. Well those little guys did as nature instructed them to do and procreated. We had three little bitty eggs that were nurtured and cared for, probably by Mrs. Finch, Mr. Finch was probably out with his buddies. They grew and hatched into 3 lovely little bald baby birds!

For the past week or so, I have been listening to them chirp and I've loved it. Brandon thought it would be annoying to have them 'screaming' for food all the time, but I happen to like it. They are not loud by any means, and they only get excited when they know mom or dad is close by with a delectable worm or bug, and even then it's a sweet little cry, much like a new born baby--how could you get upset about that? From our side of the window it is very hard to see because, well, it's the back of the nest. But Mr. and Mrs. Finch left me a little peep-hole in which I check on the babies everyday.

Yesterday at lunch, I was walking on the sidewalk going back to our stairs and something caught my eye. It was one of the little babies, let's name him Paul, dried to a crisp on the pavement. Poor little Paul must have gotten a little too adventurous and fell out of the nest (either that or I will have to have a talk with the parents). I was sad. Sad because at that time, I actually didn't know how many babies were in the nest because they were so small that I couldn't see them. I rushed upstairs to see if there were any survivors and I got the best glimpse of the remaining two (Charlotte and Ben--although I don't know the gender of any of them) I had ever seen.

After work, I grabbed my camera and tried to get some shots of these little ones, but actually the video is a little bit better because of the focus. I've never put a video on here before, so I hope it works out! Also, sorry there is no sound.. I tried to be quiet so maybe you could hear their chirping, but I don't think that worked (I told you they weren't loud)!


video

Charlotte and Ben

I wish you could see them, in person because it is so hard to get a good picture of them.. Their heads are about the size of a nickel, maybe, just to give you a perspective!


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our First Time to the Movies

A while back I started thinking how Brandon and I had never, ever been on a date to see a movie at the movie theater. In fact, he and I had only been to the movies twice since we were dating, once with his family, and once with mine. To some, that may come as a shock. Not, that either one of us has really ever been huge on movies, but you may be wondering what else there is to do in Abilene. I really don't know, but we always manage to come up with something.

All of this thinking about the movies got started when I got a new wallet and during the transfer of all my belongings, I found a gift card to the movies for one movie ticket. Now, to tell you how old this gift card was, it had the logo of Spiderman 3. I looked it up on IMDB and Spiderman 3 came out May 4, 2007--a whole 6 months before we even met and I'm sure I got the card a month or so before the movie came out. I don't even know if the original amount on the card would cover the cost of a movie ticket anymore, or if the money on the card is even still there since most gift cards seem to self-drain after an extended period of time.

Another reason that got me started on thinking about going to a movie was that our State Farm agent just sent us a Visa gift card with $10 on it. So, I decided, we were going to spend those gift cards to go see a movie.

The movie of choice? The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.


The movie was very funny and pretty cute in the end. Brandon said it was gay, but admits he did laugh quite a bit. It's a chick flick without being overkill.

Since it was our first time to the movies as a date, I took a picture, but was too embarassed to use the flash in the dark theater, so here it is, all dark and fuzzy.
It turns out, the gift card I had wasn't for this theater so we did have to buy one ticket, but I think we'll just have to go again sometime soon to use that gift card!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Surprise

So this morning, I was walking into the kitchen for some breakfast before I left for work when I felt something on my arm.

I looked down and was startled to find this
right in the middle of my living room! Now, I do realize posting this photo will make me look somewhat like I don't clean the house, but I kid you not, this happened over night! I cleaned every inch of that house just the other day! The web attached to the door frame from the kitchen and to the chair at our table. In other words, in a very frequently trafficked area of our house.

So I ran to grab my camera and since it is just a point and shoot, and I didn't want to get too close to the arachnid, this was the best picture I got, the rest were just blurry. I sat staring at the spider as it continued to finish up the construction of its web trying to figure out exactly how I was going to get rid of it (Brandon had already left for work so that was out of the question). I knew I didn't want to touch the web, nor did I want to risk trying to smash the spider in a paper towel only to have it run over the top and on to my hand, so I did what any other person would do, I grabbed some 'Fantastic' (all -purpose cleaning solution) and began to spritz him. He freaked out and ran over to the chair to try and rub it off of him. When I was sure he had been slowed down, I moved in with my wad made up of 3 paper towels, 3. Not 1, not 2, but 3--I had to be certain I wouldn't touch the spider with my actual hand.

After I threw him away, I cleaned up everything else and headed off to work 10 minutes late (it took me that long to get up the courage to grab the spider with a paper towel).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Brandon's birthday party and office furniture

Yesterday was Brandon's 24th birthday so we celebrated it in style! I went to HEB when I got of work and bought some steak and potatoes, plus all of the ingredients I would need to make Mom's chocolate sheet cake.

Of course, I had to put 24 candles on the cake, it was the only thing that seemed right. Dad, remember what I did on your 55th birthday? It was pretty sweet!
We ate our dinner inside and then moved outside to the back porch to relax. After a little while, I went to go get everything we would need for the cake and ice cream and made Brandon take pictures.It's hard to see, but I had the cutest shirt on, another one of my graduation money purchases. :)

I look like I'm afraid I'll catch on fire or something.

opening presents.. the one thing he wouldn't stop asking if he could do since last week, I don't care what he says, he still has little kid traits!


This is the gift from me, a new scope for his deer rifle. Every time I tried to take a picture of him with one of his presents, he looked mad. So when I said something, this is what I got.


He really was excited though, he had to check it out.

and then lay it next to the gun to see what it was going to look like.


Now on to the office furniture. You may remember from a previous post that I have been in the process of getting our lobby up to par with the designs we are putting out. I think I told you that we got new carpet in December (they had never replace the carpet from when the building was built in the early 80s) and then we had some painters come in and paint colors that I picked.. Well, all of our furniture finally came in on Wednesday! I was out at a job site when it came in, and one of the ladies in the office called me to tell me it was all here. I grabbed some lunch at schlotsky's (the kids meal, cheese pizza and a chocolate chip cookie is my new favorite food group) and headed back to the office. I ate my pizza so fast so I could start putting together the furniture.

It took me about 2 hours to do two chairs and two tables. Once I was finished, I was placing the little bit of decor that we had, then I was off to the stores to find some more!

Here is what it looks like right now, we are still waiting for our artwork for the walls (obviously) it's going to be 4 custom graphic prints of some details of some of our buildings with a large matte and an even larger frame. Plus, I need to find something for the other wall as well.


Ok, look at that mirror. Can you guess what it used to be?

any guesses?
Well, I'll tell you. The CEO of our company used to own some convenience stores with his ex-wife. When they sold them, they kept all of those security mirror things and ever since, they've been sitting across the hall in our storage area. I took one, cleaned it up, took it apart so that I could retro-fit it to do what I wanted it to, and turned it into a mirror! I wasn't really sure about it at first, but it has really grown on me! I thought it was pretty inventive and cool. It's very contemporary, and the fact that it was a re purposed item, makes it 'green.' Ha!

Those vases are on the reception desk so it helps to complete the look in there. So, that's about it!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Reason I've Given up on the Carwash

It has happened twice so far. I get my car washed because I'm obsessed with keeping it clean, and within 24 hours we have a storm headed our way threatening everything from rain, to hail, to even tornadoes. This would normally be fine if you kept your receipt because you would have the opportunity to have a 'rain check' and get it washed again. The only problem with that is, you get your 'rain check' wash when the forecast has no rain in sight, and then that night another storm blows through. I love storms, don't get me wrong I've grown up in Texas with storms all my life and they are wonderful, but I wish there was a way to keep my car clean through them.

On Monday, as a storm was rolling in, Brandon and I were about to get in bed when he remembered he needed a spiral and 1 AA battery. I looked at him like, are you serious? and then I said, "Are you serious? Why don't you wait until the morning and then go to Wal-Mart?" then he continued on about how he needed it so bad. So after a few minutes of him trying to convince me, the truth came out, he wanted to go drive around in the puddles to wash off his truck. Funny how his thinking is the direct opposite of mine, I want to avoid driving in the rain at all cost to prevent all of the dirt from the road being thrown up onto the car.

So we went driving around in the puddles, and yes, we did go to wal-mart to get his spiral and AA battery. When we got back, his truck did look surprisingly clean considering the 4 inch coat of mud it had on it.

Well, for the past few days it has rained either in the evening or late afternoon which is pretty standard. So, yesterday I was on my way home from work after a pretty good rain, but nothing really extreme, and I thought I would take some pictures of what it's like when it rains in West Texas in a city without storm drains.

Notice the street to the right looks like a raging river.


This one is a little blurry, but I thought it was cool because you could see the water spashing up from my tires. I was having a blast soaking other cars coming the other way because I was bigger. I was seriously laughing out loud by myself.. does that make me weird?

This one is also a little blurry, you have to remeber that I was driving during all of this.. I wanted you to see the red water from all of the red dirt.

And this is what I came home to. Poor, poor, pitiful Bridger. See the dog house in the upper left corner? Yeah, she was on top of it instead of inside of it when I got home. She was completely soaked, shaking, and crying while I was opening her kennel. I wish I would have gotten a video of it for you to watch because it was so pitiful and so cute.

I hope you have enjoyed the fun I get to experience when I drive around here in the rain!! TODAY IS BRANDON'S BIRTHDAY!! We're having cake and ice cream tonight, so I will take some pictures!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Texas Treasure.. for anyone but me

Mom, you're really going to like this one.

Brandon sees horny toads all the time out at the ranch he works on most days. He even caught a baby one time that he said was less than an inch long. He, unlike myself, enjoys catching all of the little animals that he finds, except of course when it's a rattlesnake, in which case he kills it.

So one day last week he caught a really big horny toad and took a picture of it. I knew there was another benefit to getting him an iPhone!

I named him Henry.. but Brandon told me that I always name random animals Henry. I don't know, it just seems to fit, and when one Henry leaves my life another is soon to follow.

He's massive! I totally wouldn't have even touched him.

So on to another story.. we went over to Brandon's parents' house some time last week and Brent told Brandon to go look at all the clothes. Well, some of their friends had brought over a huge pile of clothes and boots from a relative that had recently passed away. They were trying to get rid of things and wanted to see if anyone they knew wanted any of it.

Brandon found a pair of boots that fit and a couple pairs of jeans that will be great to wear out to the ranch because they already have holes and stuff in them. All of the pants were slim fit, which is not Brandon's cut of choice, but they definitely work for keeping him from wearing his 'church jeans' to work.

After he found some things he would keep, I begged and begged him to try on this one pair of jeans... there was about 4 of the same pair, so any would do. They are the darkest colored Wrangler slim fits, with a splash of polyester for stretch and comfort--except the were starched thoroughly and were as stiff as a piece of wood. He finally gave in and tried them on. When he got them on, I kept adding thing to his outfit just for some entertainment. I hope you enjoy!
You are not mistaken, those are eel skin boots, straight out of the 70s
and here's the whole outfit.. Brandon is making Kirk keep the vest for hunting, other than that, the outfit was just for my enjoyment.

Tomorrow is Brandon's birthday, he's going to be 24! I will try to take pictures with my actual camera and not my phone, but we'll see!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Water Park


So, probably not what you were thinking, right? Well, for the past few weeks, our toilet has had some issues with filling the tank back up after you flush. This has become quite annoying as it has progressed from happening occasionally to every single time. You had to take off the cover to the tank and jiggle the little thingamajig (i'm not even going to try to get technical here) that senses whether or not the tank is full (you know... the little floating thing). I knew this was going to probably happen at some point, I just hoped it wouldn't happen as a result of me jiggling it.

So I was sitting on the couch Saturday evening and I heard a strange noise, then saw Brandon run out of the bedroom soaking wet saying he needed a wrench.

The floaty deal (I live in west Texas, that's acceptable) had broken off when Brandon tried to get it to fill up and water from the pipe was shooting at a very high pressure straight up in the air. This wouldn't normally be as big of an issue because if this happened to you, you would probably just reach down to the water valve near the floor, turn the handle and turn off the supply until you could fix it. Well, you forget that we live in a house that was built in the 40s (maybe earlier, I'm just guessing) and probably hasn't been taken care of since. It also hasn't been updated since then which shows by the fact that there is not one piece of Sheetrock in the whole house and we have ceiling tiles. So when you live in a place like this (I mean, really I'm not complaining, we hardly pay anything in rent) and something like this happens, you reach down to turn off the water and remember there is no handle to the valve, its been broken off for who knows how long--hence the frantic tone when Brandon said he needed a wrench.

This may have not even been near as bad as it was if his tools were at our house, but they aren't anymore. He and his brother have been working on the boat together over at his parents' house and that's where his tools are (we wouldn't need them at the house). So he runs down to his truck to get something from there. I of course, am bubbling over with curiosity of what it actually looks like in there.. I mean, I'm standing outside the door to the bathroom listening to the high pressured water spray and soak everything in there, so I peaked. I opened the door about an inch and a half and all I saw was water spraying everywhere like some sort of thing straight from a water park.

By this time, I'm running through my head what all is in there and what is getting soaked. Right about that time, Brandon comes running back in with a pair of some kind of pliers or something like that... all I know is they were covered in crude.

He pushes his way in and slams the door behind him yelling for me to get some towels. At that moment, I look down and immediately notice the river running from under the bathroom door, around Bridger's food bowl and straight into the closet, straight for my shoes!! I grabbed a stack of towels that hadn't been put away yet and saved my shoes in the nick of time!

I heard the water pressure gradually get weaker and weaker until there was no more sound. I slowly opened the door to the bathroom to assess the damage. Brandon was standing there soaking wet with a big smile on his face, there was about an inch and a half of standing water on the floor strategically dammed up by my towel placement (I had to protect the shoes) and everything was dripping. All in all we lost a magazine (one I had been meaning to throw away because it was a wedding one, and well, I don't really need those anymore), water damaged about 4 books, lost about half a package of toilet paper, completely soaked our shower curtain, ceiling, mirror, light, cabinet, and soaked every towel we own to the point where it is just dripping.

Thing could have been much worse, but that's why we have renter's insurance! Oh, and the girl below us got enough water in her apartment to nearly soak her rug, that's how much it was. At least you now know our bathroom has been cleaned at a pretty high pressure.

We definitely created something for us to do on a night when we didn't have anything planned AND we now have a perfectly working toilet! We had to do laundry because we didn't have any towels for sunday morning so after Brandon fixed the toilet, we went and did 2 loads of towels at his parents' house. The part that broke was the cheap $3 way of fixing a toilet, Brandon assured me he got the deluxe part instead at a whopping $10.. I'm just glad that we could afford such a high expense since the last time this happened (which I bet is what cause the knob to break off in a panic) the person couldn't spare the extra $7!

Bridger didn't seem to mind too much about all the commotion. This is her newest lookout point for lizards. I'm pretty sure she sat here in and out of sleep for about 4 hours. And please notice how she has moved the guard rails to make the perfect spot for her head.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm really turning into a country wife

So, I have been out of the office for the past two days at job sites and running errands. In fact, yesterday things started to die down so I thought, I could maybe get a quick one in about what I've been doing the past few days. I sat down to the computer and wondered why everyone was saying, "see you tomorrow!" Turns out, it was 5:30--quitting time! Of course, I immediately shut down my computer and headed home to get started on my dinner plans!

So here is some of the stuff I was going to post about the past few days:

Softball Sized Hail
Dad, I know you're dying to know about the storms the other day. I mean, I'm pretty sure since I haven't called to tell you anything just terrible, things are ok, and the are! I was driving back from a job site we have northwest of Fort Worth (it's about a 3 hour drive straight through the country) and I knew I was up against storms. Thank the Lord for the people who created the iPhone and all of the very useful applications. I'm not kidding here, I have become so reliant on that little device! The GPS has gotten me out numerous times, and the weather is just so convenient to have right there whenever you need it, unless of course you are somewhere out in the country and you don't have cell phone service.

Every time I made it to a little town I would have just enough service to check the radar and keep myself updated. It was a beautiful show of lightning for most of the drive. I luckily missed the brunt of the storm because of my timing, but I got to watch it from a very short distance. I wish I could have had the opportunity to take pictures of the lightning, if I knew how the heck you do that and if I had my camera. But, unfortunately I don't have a clue how to, nor do I even have a camera with that type of capacity.. all I had was my trusty iPhone and I wasn't about to close out the radar, sorry guys.

So, as I was driving in town, watching the lightning strike the windmills (probably one of the coolest things ever), my dad called me. He wanted to ask how the storms were. Everyone knows my dad and his love for the weather, so I always know that if something were to get bad, I'd probably at least hear about it from him 350 miles away--he's always looking out for his kiddos! :) So he tells me that they are reporting softball sized hail! Softball sized hail? holy cow! I've played softball, and those things are huge when you think about it in the packed ice ball falling from the sky sort of way! At this time, I was about 45 minutes away and my only thought was, oh no! my poor little car!


When I made it back to the office, I was pleased to find that my car made it out unscathed. It turns out the storm snapped many power line poles in half in a town about 10 minutes from here. So what about the softball sized hail? It was in a town about 50-60 miles from here.. every single home there was damaged.. all 452 of them! So my little tahoe made it out ok this time!

New Office Furniture
Few of you have been in my office to see the little bit of renovation we've done as a result of me working here and taking over--funny how you can change your name, but the Kercheval mentality never leaves you.
So anyways, since December we've gotten new carpet (carpet tiles from Interface Flor--they are the only company I would recommend if you are considering tiles, and they do have a very cool residential line), new paint, and now we are slowly getting new furniture for the lobby. All we have ordered so far is one chair and one end table, we will be ordering two more chairs, another end table, and a coffee table. I went to Pier 1 yesterday to get some décor (please note the accent for effect) for the lobby because I am a member of their design concepts--their program for design trade members that gives you 20% off of everything, all the time. I grabbed some pillows, lamps, and accent pieces and came back to get a preview of what the lobby will look like when it's complete.

We still need artwork desperately, but rest assured that is being worked on as we speak. I will show you what it looks like when it's all completed!

..now on to the good stuff..

I took all of these pictures with my iPhone, just so you know.. but I needed proof!

Frying Chicken
I found a great recipe from my newest best friend, the Pioneer Woman and I decided to try it (go to her website for the actual recipe and for better pictures). I have never fried anything before, ever, but Brandon was thoroughly impressed.

I started by soaking the chicken tenderloins in buttermilk (that's right, I'm doing it the right way). ..and yes, that is an Angel Hair Spaghetti box in the background, don't judge me..

Then I rolled them in my seasoned flour

After that I put them in the skillet to fry!

Here's the finished product! Brandon was very impressed, apparently he loves homemade fried chicken, who woulda known?

Well, that's all for right now, I have more to write and more pictures, but I'll save that for another day!