Black Hawk, Horsey, and Family

Sunday, October 5, 2008

After a rather long night spent in the car, Mari and I took a 3 hour power nap and were up for the day. While Don dozed, she and I hung around watching How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer. I would give it a 2.5 star rating. It was ok, but I must admit I was a little disappointed with it. At times it seemed to not flow well. Of course, the lady who played the grandmother did a phenomenal job and I think that was my favorite part of the show.

It was a tough show to watch because Mari kept zipping around in my mother-in-law’s house: getting into everything. I kept chuckling and laughing because she was getting into many things that I had no idea even existed! Everything was so new to her and her tiny fingers wanted to explore it all!

By 10:15, I went in to get Don up. We had to be at his mom’s school in an hour. We got dressed and picked up their Subway order and went to school. I kept trying to keep my eye on the mileage because I would be running around Salina later. We get there and it was nice to see all of the familiar faces. The halls were filled with giddy excitement. After all, it was career day and it isn’t every day (or even every career day) that a real life Black Hawk lands on your playground. There was also a firetruck, a couple of police cars, a seadoo, and a horse attached to a trailer.

The kids were being corralled into lines to form an “M” for a picture. Their school name begins with an M, and all of the kids were decked out in maroon shirts, while the teachers wore black shirts. Don wanted to get on the roof, and I was curious to get on up there. “I must conquer my fear, I must conquer my fear!” I cautiously climbed the ladder, hands clenched tightly, legs trembling. I was very near wetting my pants when I got to the top. I looked down and got the scary-tinglies. I hiked my leg over the edge and walked on the roof. Talk about a total freak-out for nothing! We were on the roof of a one story school! LAME. I felt brave enough to walk to the edge of the roof to get my photos. I gingerly walked around exploring the area, feeling like a rebel for being somewhere that not many people get to go (or rather want to go). Ho-hum! After we grabbed the picture, I had to get down. Again, I was a fraidy cat, but I made it. We eagerly went to the Black Hawk and explored the outside of it. We sat Mari in the pilot’s seat and she had much fun exploring all of the controls. Susan, the pilot who is also a teacher at the school, invited Don to take Mari’s place. She gave him a quick rundown of the helicopter while I walked around to the other side to sit and explore myself. I was quite surprised how bare it all was. Just the very basics, but it got the job done. Sit in a helicopter, check. I can mark that one off of my list. (Hot air balloon is still on my list.) I gave thanks to the servicemen (and women) there and we headed towards the 23 year old horse.

Mari made friends with him, gently petting his mane. We perched her on the saddle and grabbed a photo of her. This was her first time on a horse and she seemed rather comfortable on it. How fun! She was all smiles! We headed inside to enjoy in some conversation while the teacher’s ate. They were celebrating a birthday and I tasted this delicious dessert: pretzel crust, a cream cheese/whipped cream filling, topped with strawberry jello with large chunks of strawberries mixed in it. It was heavenly!

Later on, we headed on over to her Gigi Skip’s place for the meal portion of lunch. She had a nice buffet smorgasbord of goodies!! She said she whipped up some incredible chicken and noodles. I also had stuffed cabbage and baked beans. Oh, and I can’t forget about the salad with a homemade vinaigrette dressing. It was so good, I not only had seconds, but thirds as well. Mmmmmmm!! While Mari had already eaten her squash with mango, she was still hungry, so we fed her some cantaloupe. After lunch, she cheerily explored her living room while we looked through old photos of the family. Some of these pictures were so old, the frames they were matted on were falling apart. There was a picture dated from 1919! We also saw an old picture of Don’s grandfather that if I didn’t know it was an older photo, I could’ve sworn it was him on a horse. It looked so much like Don, I had to do a double take. I didn’t notice it immediately, because my attention was focused on the little one since she’d climbed onto the fireplace and was making her way towards the fireplace tools. But, when I got back, I exclaimed to Don, OMG…that looks like you! Who is that? He proudly said, “My grandpa Jim.” He has a special love and attachment to him and while I’ve never met the man, I feel like I know him. I love how the love for that man still keeps his spirit alive. Gigi said she is going to try to get all of the pictures in a book for us, and I can’t wait! Hopefully we can thumb through those photos for years to come. We had errands to run, so we had to bid adieu and be on our way.

We were off to Target and I’m still amazed when we go to Salina. I take for granted many small luxuries, thinking they’ll be wherever we go. Turns out, not so much. Case in point: I was looking for a sleep sack. I was certain that I’d seen some at Target, but no, there weren’t any. We were also putting together a baby gift for some good friends of ours and I was surprised that they didn’t have gripe water. Really??? No gripe water? I was certain they’d have it at Walgreens, so I made a mental note to go there later. The next day, before heading out to the football game, we had to wait for Joann’s to open, because they don’t open until 10AM on Saturday. 10????!!?? Wow.

Anyway, we got home and I was getting the cranky cranks. I was tired and stuffy and I know I desperately needed a nap. But, I had to go on my run. Instead of laying back down, I changed clothes and threw on my sneakers. I kissed my family bye and told Don that I might be back in an hour or two. I headed on through town, up the hill, then stopped at the coffeeshop for some water. It was about 3 miles at that point. Then, I ran down the hill, crossed the street and ran on the dike/trail. I’d misread the sign and thought that from the beginning to the end was 1.1 mile total. Instead, it was displaying the interval from each of the different starting points. So, from where I started, it was .3 miles, the next marker was .8 miles, followed by 1.1 miles. I ran the full distance and cut back another 1.1 miles before heading back into town. About an hour and a half later, I was on the front porch chatting it up with my father. I went inside to clean up and we headed to La Casita for dinner. This was the first “Mexican” restaurant we went to when I first went to Salina. At the time I was unimpressed and I continued to be unimpressed. I do like the comraderie of that place, though. There were quite a few people from my MIL’s school and eating there is always full of fond memories for both Don and myself. I think my favorite thing is making my own salsa while munching away on the chips. We even dipped our finger into the mild sauce for Mari to taste. She seemed to like it, sticking her tongue out demanding we give her some more. Funny girl!

After dinner, we swung by Walgreens to get the Gripe Water (yaaay, they had it!) and while there I picked up this lip junk called Chicken Poop. Funny name, but this stuff is great! Not as peppermint-y as Burt’s Bee’s, but it is REALLY good. I’m going to have to ask my MIL to throw in a few sticks for me when she ships Mari’s Halloween outfit. (She’s going to be Glinda, the Good Witch from the North! In a few years I’ll dress her as Elphaba!)

We got home and the family swung by to say hello. Mari got to interact with her little cousins and we were able to catch up with a lot of the cousins as well. We were so exhausted, that by 9:30 I’d lost my shine, but the party was still going strong. I grabbed my camera and started snapping some photos to help me stay awake. We were all yawning and I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of how tired we all were, but 5 years ago when I first met this family, the same cousins we’d hung out with were all night owls and we were ready to go right along with them. LOL! My, my how life catches up with you, huh? Anyway, I’m so very, very glad they came over and we were able to spend some quality time with them.

The next morning we got up to head on over to Manhattan for Texas Tech v. K-State football game. Going in, Tech was ranked 7th and last time we were ranked that high, we didn’t do such a good job. It was so neat to go visit Don’s alma mater. I’d never been before and it was really cool checking it out. We stopped by Aggieville (the area around the school, full of retail shops, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars). While we were there, we had to pick up school apparel, because Lord knows that we have a dresser full of red and black and just a handful of pieces that are purple and white. After we were shopped out, we decided to head to the game.

Never in my life had I parked in a field that was probably a cow pasture before football season. It was interesting. I was thankful that we had the Equinox! We trekked on over to the stadium and even the parking lot near the stadium reminded me of the parking available at Lubbock’s fair. Just lots of dirt. The parking lot immediately adjacent to the stadium was paved, though. People in Kansas like to convert old school buses into tailgating machines! There were so many of them painted purple and each had a funky name. I guess like boats, you have to name converted school buses. Oh, and a sprinkle of them had a 2nd deck built atop the roof made of converted wooden decks. I wish I would’ve grabbed a photo of that!

Anyway, we went inside and I must say, the stadium is really nice. I liked all of the screens. They were so large and very clear. I was jealous and immediately though Tech needed such screens in their stadium. Throughout the game, I was quite surprised that the vendors weren’t going into the stand to sell their stuff. Then again, the aisles were really narrow and there wasn’t much room for maneuverability. I liked the traditions that K-State had and I was totally jealous of their cheer that was mixed with a cool song. It was complete with arm motions. I learned the movements so I can teach it to Mari. I suppose it is only fair that she know that since I’ve been singing the Tech fight song to her since he was a few minutes old! A cool first: It was Harley day at the game and I’ve never been to a football game where there was a sea of Harley’s circling the field. Talk about ready to rumble! Ha ha! Leading the pack was Willie, the power cat mascot. Fun stuff. Tech won 58 – 28, but we stayed for the very, very end. We even sat through the halftime show, which was pretty good. I was a little disturbed by the dance team gyrating along to the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and “Hey Jude.” Mari was a champ. She actually took two naps during the game.

After the game, we headed back to Salina and gorged ourselves on some Cozy burgers. Mmmm…cute and good little Cozy burgers. Yes, I ate six, an entire bag. Even though we stunk like Cozy, we headed on over to enjoy the rest of the baby shower. Good thing we went to Target earlier in the day to get some goodies for our friends. We hung around there for about an hour until we went back home. While there, I made some hairbows for Mari and wrapped the Christmas gifts for the Tennessee family who will be there for Thanksgiving, and they celebrate Christmas at the same time. I was horribly sneezy that day and when it was time for me to sleep, I had trouble breathing. I was so congested and I feared that Mari would have problems too. I put some saline drops in her nose and thought twice about putting some in my own. I laid down and minutes later I was sleeping soundly for a few hours until I got up from draining so much. Oh well. I’m just glad that I got a full stretch of 5 hours of sleep.

What a busy weekend, but well worth it!

1 comment:

chae said...

OMG, she is soooo cute!!
She always is and growing up so fast!

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