Thursday, January 30, 2014

Random Thoughts on Thursday

Sorry, I know I am supposed to be sharing our tour of West Baden Springs, but it's not quite ready yet, and I just wanted to reach out to whoever is still out there reading my blog, or more truthfully waiting for my to post something.

Even if you are not from my neck of the woods, I still think the entire month of January can be summed up in one word: WEATHER!  Snow, Wind, Cold are other popular choices with Delay, Postponed, and Closed in hot pursuit.  It's been a challenge, especially on the farm.  All the cows, kitties, and one very spoiled dog are faring well so far, but it's been a lot of work on Tall Guy to make sure at least the cows are cared for and have the fuel and shelter they need to survive these bitter conditions.

When I haven't been surviving enjoying this enforced family time (no school), I've been sharing space with some great guys working hard to finish the addition to our home.

I thought, today, I would just throw out some random thoughts and ideas for future blog posts, perhaps again...I'm having a deja vu moment here..... and then try to climb back on this horse.  So here we go...

*  Just saw this on Facebook, and it brought tears to my eyes as I watched the 8+ minute video, then I promptly shot out a couple messages to a couple of my local communities to see if we could do something like this with our girls.

This Will Forever Change the Way You Look at "Selfies."

*  I so need to learn how to go beyond the "Auto" setting on my camera.  There are just so many fun, cool, amazing moments to be captured, and I want to learn more.  There IS a BUT here.  Miss Sarah from This Farm Family's Life shared a site with me that I am going to go back to and start reading closely.  The entire content of this new blog (for me), Click It Up a Notch, is great, but here is what hooked me:

"Why I Am Putting Away My Camera This Year"

*  So excited and, well dang it, PROUD of our fellow RFOA pal Jennifer Cambell for her new adventure into Ag writing for Prairie Farmer.  She writes on her blog, From My Front Porch, goes by Jent to her friends (my husband calls her Boots), and it pulls out all her talents to talk about farmers, farming, livestock and all that goes on in front and behind the scenes.  Here is her latest and greatest , and do you want to see some awesome symmetry?  The Brian Scott she mentions in this article used to hang around my classroom door and wait for his future wife to come out so he could walk her to her next class!

UAS: Big Benefits for Farming Operations 

Ok, and now for some possible titles for future posts on this blog:

Seriously????  How Many Shades of Sage Are There in the Paint World's Color Spectrum?

Measure Twice, Cut Once.....or Twice....Sigh.

51 Has Been a Royal PAIN in the Neck and A$$! (or Why Is Down So Far?)

I Hate Clutter......REALLY!

The Life of a 5th Grade Girls' Basketball Mom

Will This Carpet Ever Die?

Photography Adventures with Miss Bear

I Miss My Blog Friends

"What's for Supper Mom?" One of the Top Three Dreaded Questions I Have to Answer When Asked.

and maybe "Tall Guy! Why Is There a Mink in My Freezer?"

There, and I should have added "Trip to French Lick: Part 2."  Gonna go work on that later today.

Love and hugs to you all, and stay warm where you are!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

French Lick Trip: Part 1 Wet and Lazy

Ask anyone in Indiana about 40 and over what comes to mind when you hear these two words: French Lick, and you might not get the answer you are thinking right now. 

Any person born in Indiana (I try really hard NOT to use the word Hoosier because of my love for Purdue), should give you back two more words, actually a name:  Larry Bird.

Yep, this is where the great one grew up and played ball, and let me tell you, it’s pretty darned hard to find a piece of ground flat enough to put a basketball hoop and even half a court. 

As a flat-lander, I keep forgetting that southern Indiana is full of hips and hollars, even mountains or at least with road grades that would challenge any Colorado native.  Sheesh!  I have nightmares about driving up steep roads and tipping over backwards, and I drove up and down two of these roads several times while staying at French Lick.

We packed up the van, my folks, and met my niece and her family down there for some family fun after Christmas.  It was a nice and uneventful trip all the way down 41/63 untill we turned east just north of Vincennes.  WOW!  Lots of “snake roads” as we call them winding around farms, creeks, rivers, towns, and these really tall things that come out of the ground; I believe they are called tall hills!  I vote them in as mountains. 

We stayed at the French Lick Villas, just up the “hill” from the French Lick Hotel, and I mean UP!  Like dropping the van down into the lowest gear to get up and then go down these roads.  While these villas are not brand new, they were full of space and we had side by side condos so we could run back and forth as needed.  This first picture is of the French Lick Hotel, and we were about eye level with its tallest spot!

Where we stayed:

So what does one do at French Lick?  There is quite a list of activities to choose from, but we were there with our girls and a 2 year old, my great nephew, so we didn’t hit every spot.  

Here is a list my cousin Nancy gave us of places to try.  Her family loves coming down here for gatherings and get-aways.

French Lick Winery - behind the CVS, has a nice Italian lunch menu

Rowboat Cafe - restaurant - wonderful breakfast place - we always go at least once depending on length of stay

33 on the Brick, Downtown area, nice pub owned by Larry Bird I think or was at one time.  Nice menu and has family side, BBQ ribs are great

Hagen's on the Don Ross Country Club, nice place to eat, not overly expensive depending on what you order - kids can go, you can also go over to French Lick Hotel and catch the shuttle so you don't have to drive out there

Amish Buffet by go cart track (I think).  Dan has eaten there and says it's wonderful.
3 pizza places, have had pizza from all they are good.

Miniature golf course I think but have never been in that, can't miss it lots of rocks out front and its close to turn to go up the hill to Big Splash I believe.

Bowling Alley at French Lick fun.

Priest at the church is really interesting too, we usually go to Saturday night.

Power Plant is nice bar at French Lick but not kid friendly.  

Walk through French Lick & check out shops Christmas decorations last year were very pretty.

 West Baden, a must see

I tried to link to a lot of these places because we only made it to two!  Believe it or not, we made a day of it at Big Splash.  Tink, Bear, and Little Man had a blast, and we older folks walked away without too many sore spots.  

The main attraction for everyone but Little Man was the five tubes you could ride through (after climbing up about three stories, most of the time carrying your two-person tube!).  

Try being almost 52, and walking up these steps too many times to count with a two person inner tube!  I swear it was a good three story climb!

Tall Guy and Grandpa even got in on the fun!  There is also a lazy river and some fun water play areas for the younger crowd.  You do have to measure up to go down the tubes so check this out before taking your kiddos.  Anyone close to but not making the height requirement will probably not be a happy camper.

Next post will take you on a tour of West Baden Springs Hotel.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Life without Internet is Like..........

Life without internet is like……….

How would you fill in the blank?  It’s one thing to “unplug” yourself, but it’s a whole different world when it is not your idea.  My how times have changed!

I’ve been sneaking on the internet here and there since December 26.  That’s when we lost internet and more importantly WIFI here at the house.  Not really sure why, and I was back on for about 5 hours last Wednesday, but when we came home from a quick run to Lafayette that night, no one could log on to the system. You could insert a Charlie Brown scream at this point!

I know this is probably stating the obvious, but we are quite dependent on the internet around here.  From paying bills to getting notices about school, practices, and meetings, the internet has become an important life line.  I had a situation where we had sold a cow for the freezer, and I needed to get ahold of everyone to tell them to call in their meat cut preferences.  Well, I had done all of this on Facebook, and I didn’t have everyone’s phone numbers.  I tried to go through the White Page phone number finder on my phone, but my signal wasn’t strong enough, especially with the snow storm raging to get enough signal to make it work.  I finally ended up messaging a friend to FB this mutual friend to get in contact with me on my phone to get it all figured out.  CRAZY!  What happened to using the good ol’ phone? 

Tall Guy has a cousin who emails rather than use Facebook.  We were friends on Facebook, but I didn’t have her email, and trying to get information out about the family Christmas was a challenge.
Speaking of Tall Guy, he is a unique piece to this puzzle.  He has a cell phone, but it is not a smart phone, and he’s being rather determined about keeping his cell phone for as long as possible.  It is sooooo agonizing to try and text on that thing!  He would rather people call him than text or email him, but I am afraid he is going to be left in progressive dust of future communication. And just to be......well……..a guy about it all, he will grab my phone to look at the markets and weather apps!

As long as I don’t go over my data plan, I think I will make it until I can be unlimited on the internet.  I can still check Facebook, post Instagram pictures (you can follow me there.  I’m ibcfarmgirl), and communicate, but for now, I’m writing more blog posts on Word and waiting to do the copy paste thing once my connection is solid……

I may take up meditation or yoga until then to find my inner calm!

We had to make a run to Illinois and left the internet guy here.  When we came home, we had internet!  Tall Guy had 83 emails waiting for him, and he is almost beside himself as to how to cope with that number.....

Silly Tall Guy! ;-)  He should get a smartphone!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy 2014! The Year of the Polar Bear!

Happy 2014!  I’m saying this as I type my post in Word (because my internet went down Dec. 26!) and right now this is what I can see out any given window. Not the program but any actual window in our house!

Yep Welcome 2014 Winter Storm #1!

I haven’t heard if this storm has been officially named, but if anyone is up a stump on it, I have a few suggestions…..Just sayin’ (Editor's Note:  Apparently this storm has been dubbed "The Polar Vortex".....hmmmmm )

Why no Internet since December 26?  Not sure, but we were able to sneak away to French Lick last week, so we had it set up with our internet company to come out Friday.  The tech guy was sick, so we set it for Saturday, and the truck broke down about 5 miles south of me.  Insert a Charlie Brown ARRRRRGGGGGGGG!

Thankfully I was able to figure out how to get my NEW smartphone to be a mobile hotspot, so I will jump on the internet and post this as soon as I get it finished and proofed.  Trying very hard to not go over my data limit, but it could be tight by the time the internet guys can make it back out here to fix the problem, whatever it is…..whenever the roads are cleared….probably looking at Wednesday at the earliest!  Sigh….
So how was Christmas for you?  We had a great one, and the best part was spending it with all our families!  We were able see Tall Guy’s nephew, GI Joe, newly back from Afghanistan, and my nephew, GI Josh, before he goes back over for his THIRD tour with the Army….. Have to ask you to keep him in your prayers; he will not be sitting behind a desk over there, and his Nana (that’s what my niece and nephews have always called me) is more than a little concerned.

On the HAPPY NEW YEAR getaway to French Lick, we were four generations with my niece, her husband, and my great nephew coming along for the fun along with my parents.  What a beautiful place!  I had never been there, and it always amazes this flat lander that Indiana can be so twisty, turny, and STEEP!  We had to down shift to get up to our condos and to BIG SPLASH! Serious hills and mountains there along with the historic West Baden Springs Hotel and other fun spots to explore.  Other than Big Splash and the other pool at our place, we weren’t too adventurous, but we did meet two of my cousins who just happened to be staying at West Baden and let us sneak a peek at the rooms.  Very Nice!

So now we are back to a serious winter wonderland.  The cows have all been bedded down, Sadie has a whole bale of straw in her dog house that she shares with at least one cat, and the rest of the cats are hunkered down in the tool shed and hay barns for the next 48 hours.  Hope this post finds you all safely hunkered down, warm, and safe as this 2014 gets off to a frosty and frozen start!

P.S.  I started trying to launch this post FOUR DAYS AGO.  I still do not have internet in the house, but the weather has calmed down enough so that I can get out via the hotspot on my phone.  The girls have still NOT gone back to school yet, thought we are hopefull about tomorrow.  Even they are ready to go back!

I will post more about West Baden Springs and French Lick when it doesn't take so much data time to edit and add pics.  Happy 2014!