New pages

If you haven’t noticed already, I added two new pages to my blog. Tto find them look above the Eye on the Western Sky banner at the top of the page. They are next to About me. Check them out when you have time.

Contact me at if you have any questions. Thanks!

Pinterest has created a monster

While I was on maternity leave last summer a friend invited me to a new site that she called liquid crack or something of the sort. I was on painkillers, so it’s all still a little fuzzy. Anyway, out of boredom one day I signed up and dove in head first. I literally sat for hours looking at stuff, pinning ideas to my own boards. It was a great escape from daytime television and a screaming child.

Now, months later, I’m still pinning, but not nearly the frequency I was at before. I’ve managed to fill 29 boards with 1,129 pins. Ideas for several Christmas presents came from the site, and I actually finished them and everyone loved them. This past weekend, I actually made a project I had eyeballed on Pinterest a time or two for myself.

My barn wood coat hanger I made with hooks I found at Home Depot and barn wood I scavenged from a falling down barn on our property.

Mine is a little different from the one I pinned, but fits into our decor. I needed a storage solution for our non-existent mud room by the backdoor.  It already had mud and was a room. All it really needed was a place to hang Carhartt’s and coats. Mission accomplished.

Feeling good about what I had done with the first coat rack, I made another with the scrap left over, and hung it in our bed room. The hooks are a bit different, but the wood had just enough character to make me happy.

Another barn wood clothes hanger I made.

Double the confidence from the first two projects compelled me to start planning for a third. I had pinned a barn wood growth chart for Shaun’s room that used simple house numbers as measurements and marks for inches. I went hunting for a perfect piece of barn lumber and managed to find one on Sunday morning while Shaun was napping. Hours later I had my plan of attack and while he was taking his afternoon nap, I proceeded to tape and spray paint my barn wood. Complete and utter EPIC fail. I didn’t even take a photo of it. I didn’t even show my husband. I had proudly showed the two coat racks I had made before and even got his seal of approval. It went straight to the scrap pile. I did find a solution and started over. I even brought my creation in the house, however, I’m not ready to show it off yet or even hang it in Shaun’s room. Time will tell if it continues to reside in the house..

My campaign for a new camera

I have been campaigning for a new camera with my husband since before Thanksgiving. I noticed a black Friday ad that had a Canon T3i for a pretty good price (I thought) from I even stayed up to see how quickly the package would be sold out since it went on sale at midnight. In the end he talked me out of it (I think he was scared of the $600 price tag), but I’m still on the trail for a new camera.

I bought my last camera with my very first tax return after having my first “real world” job in 2003. It was a Canon Powershot G2, that had a whopping 4 mega pixels. It allowed me to take a lot of photos for both work and for personal use through the years. Heck, I have gotten some great photos out of it. It came with a 8 MB card and a 64 MB card, so between the two cards I can only take 40 some photos. It also takes video, but only 30 second clips that are very fuzzy.

Same model as my camera. Photo from

After missing out on the Black Friday deal, I have been searching the internet for a good deal on a Canon EOS Rebel T3, and as of late have found some that could fit the bill. Plus I have our tax return burning a hole in my pocket.

My husband is a little harder to convince. I don’t think he likes the price tag as much and would be happier if I spent $100 now for a simple point and shoot digital camera. Me, not so much.

Cameras are an investment, and if taken care of and protected they should last for a long time. A camera like what I want, would be perfect for taking family photos and videos as well as photos for other purposes. Now just to come up with the perfect argument for winning his vote on getting a nice camera! Likely I may not get any more Christmas, birthday or anniversary presents for years to come if I come up with a good bargaining plan.

The camera I want. Photo from

A $7 taco

I caught an episode of Two and a Half Men recently and the scene showed Alan playing what I would call “credit card roulette.” Pay this card with this card, and then this one with that card. But what do I do with the last bill to pay? Hmmm…

My finances aren’t quite that bad, but I still have some credit cards that I wish I would have never gotten. I was a stupid college kid living out-of-state and trying to live on my own when a Discover card offer flashed in front of my naive eyes. I jumped on it and used it to pay everything from meals out with friends to entry fees at the rodeos. Shockingly they gave me a $2,500 limit way back then and I didn’t even have a job! Sucked me in, and it didn’t take me very long to get it up to its limit.

I still have that card, and it’s still got a balance on it along with crazy interest. I’ve been trying to get them paid off, but seems like a never-ending battle. Sure I could get serious and cut out all non-essential items out of my budget and sock it way to pay off that Discover bill from college, but what fun would that be? Still seeing several hundred dollars go out of my account to pay off credit cards should be some incentive to get rid of them, right?

I haven’t used my Discover card for years. Last three cards they sent me I never activated and shredded. Within the last two years they have upped my limit at least 4 times, maybe 5. I guess it makes the balance I do carry on it look not as bad – at least in my eyes anyway – now that there is a lot more than $50 of credit (like I used to have in college) remaining on it.

Today in my mailbox was a letter from Discover, and guess what? They upped my limit once more. Why keep upping my limit? Do they think they are going to entice me to use it? Not a chance. No way, no how. Heck, I’m still paying for that $7 taco from college.

Smells like rain

When I went out this morning to feed my horse, I immediately thought the air smelled like rain. Then I realized I had too heavy of a coat on and started to sweat since it was probably 50 degrees and I had on my winter Carhartt on.

Out of curiosity I looked up the weather forecast on my Blackberry and found it was 80 percent humidity. That’s unusual for my part of the world. Our humidity normally ranges from the middle teens to mid-twenties. It’s usually very dry here in Western Kansas. (I know, state the obvious!)

I wish it would rain so that the grass would grow.

I wish it would rain so the wheat would grow.

I wish it would rain so they could grade my road.

I wish it would rain so my poor horse wouldn’t have static cling.

I wish it would rain so I could consider planting flowers in my yard.

I wish it would rain so my pick up could get dirty again and I can spend $13 to wash it.  (Not really, but I’ve learned not to complain about mud.)

I wish it would rain so the pastures would grow and turn green. (Yes, I know I mentioned that before, but grass is important when you have cows and horses.)

This morning while working Gary Allan’s “Songs about rain” came across my Pandora stream, and it all just seemed to fit. Not necessarily about rain in the physical form, but rain is in the lyrics. Good enough for me. Plus Gary’s not bad to look at.

Same old, same old

The older I have gotten, the more I like a pattern. However, I also welcome change as it can get old doing the same thing over and over.

My job often requires travel and flying by the seat of my pants. You know where you are going, but have no set schedule, just a list of things to get done. In the office, the schedule is pretty much the same day in and day out for me, as there are deadlines each day that have to be met in order to get the paper out the door on Friday.

Wednesday I got into the office late after being gone for two days to help put on a Canola meeting in Enid, Okla. I had a company vehicle full of stuff from the meeting that needed returned to the office while the rest of my co-workers went on to another meeting in Nashville, Tenn., the Commodity Classic. (See our coverage here.) I decided when I arrived at the office in the dark all the stuff could just remain in the car and I would unload it in the morning.

Apparently, leaving the vehicle in the closest space to the back door managed to throw off the parking lot dynamics that morning before I made it in.  It’s amazing how a little change in the environment will disrupt some lives. My initial reaction was not a very nice one, but I bit my tongue.. We have the same sort of reaction whenever we close a door in the editorial department and disrupt the flow of traffic through the office. A couple more steps might just cause war to break out.

I try awfully hard to get along and understand the other side of the story, but sometimes all you can do is shake your head and go on. People don’t change very easily and disruption causes hate and distention in the ranks, but goodness be a little flexible sometimes!

However, I have no worries that someone is going to kipe my parking place. Maybe it’s because it’s the farthest away from the building.

My parking place:

I had to share this photo too because my pickup is CLEAN!