Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shout Out for Couple's Costumes!

This year, Susannah over at Simple Moments Stick invited me to send a submission to her annual couple's costume post!  My favorite costume that Tyler and I have ever dressed as by far was Carl and Ellie from the movie, UP!  

I mean, come on, we even played music from Up! in our wedding.  This costume was a MUST for us.

Not only did Susannah feature our costumes as Carl and Ellie, but there are TONS of other great costume ideas from many other creative bloggers!!  


I think my favorite may be Sheldon and Amy, which one is your favorite!?

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Catching Every Oklahoma Sunrise

As a natural night owl, for most of my life I did not see many sunrises.  
In college, I pretty much only met a sunrise if I was staying awake all night.
Now, being a night owl still holds true...and good thing since I get off work at 5:30 in the morning, and I often see sunrises now due to my schedule.  Sometimes if I have to work late, or if I go grocery shopping after work, I am still out and about when the sun is rising.  Over the past month, I have seen some of the most beautiful sunrises, and a few wonderful sunsets, and I thought I'd share some of them with you!
As a side note:  why don't we in the English language have ONE word that can describe a sunrise and a sunset sky in the same word?  It would be a word that would change my life.

Sunrise and Thunderstorm in Midwest City, Oklahoma
This sunrise is my favorite I've seen in 2014.  When I came outside after purchasing some groceries after work, I noticed the clouds were beginning to turn into what appeared to be a very vibrant and unique sunrise.

I found the nearest parking lot with the least inhibited view to sit and watch.  

On the left side of this cloud were deep blue tones and a lot of lightning.  On the right side of this cloud, pinks and purples gradually infiltrated the sky.

Oklahoma.  This is where thunderstorms and sunrises meet.

The way the colors fade together is just perfect.  It looks like an artistic exercise in blending perfectly from one color to another with all the perfect gradual shades in between.

Sunset in Norman, Oklahoma 

Since I travel to work at different locations, I get to see sunrises and sunsets in many areas near Oklahoma City.  These pictures are from a field of wild sunflowers growing behind a business in Norman.

Various Sunrises and Sunsets in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Downtown Skyline

On our way to visit Tyler's parents, we saw this beauty.  I just can't help but to stare at these kinds of sunsets that look like dancing fire in the sky.

Are you ever just so enamored by the sunset or sunrise sky that you have to just stop and stare for a little while?  Maybe even watch it in its entirety and transitions?

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How to Dry Your Clothes without a Dryer

This past week has been an apartment disaster.

We've been without a stove, dryer, found a SCORPION, the air conditioner didn't keep our apartment cool for like a day, and the pumpkin Tyler picked out decided to rot prematurely.   Like, bad.  It was gross.  Really, really gross.

So to start it off, last Wednesday we had some sort of power surge that I was pretty sure had fried the stove and dryer.  We had checked the breakers, and since the stove was still lighting up the clock (sometimes) but wasn't acting normal, it just seemed like it was totally fried.  

It ended up actually being the breaker looking like it was flipped in the right direction, but it just wasn't ALL THE WAY on, which made me feel like a doofus when I told maintenance I checked it and then that was actually the problem.

So with that in consideration, we had no way to cook.  And if we were to do laundry, it meant we had to air dry it.  And since the apartment has a dryer, of course they don't supply you with a clothes line.

So it was like reliving my days in China, where I also had to dry my clothes without a dryer and without a true clothesline.  Well, there was kind of one inside.

Because having a dryer is so convenient and most of us forget about drying our clothes using more traditional methods (aka AIR), I thought I would show off some of my "drying clothes without a clothes line or a dryer" methods.

This method is "the pull-up bar."
This method works best with quick-drying materials that can be hung on a hanger.
The cousin to "the pull-up bar" is "the shower curtain rod" method for drying.

I call this drying method "the doorknob."
It works well for thin materials or those that come equipped with straps.

Just know that if you choose to use doorknobs to dry your socks, just make sure you aren't using the front door, as the neighbors might get the wrong impression.

 This method is the "outdoor hanger on a nail."  It is best used with thick materials that will dry slowly, and also best used if the outdoors are dry and warm.  If the outdoors are not dry and warm, you may expect an abnormal smell to come from the clothes after a few days of "drying" without really drying.

 The "outdoor doorknob" is a variant of "the doorknob" ideally the method that is used with a thicker material that must be outdoors to dry quickly.

This method is the "I've run out of places to hang very slowly drying heavy clothes" place.  
Rotation is a key factor to air drying clothes with this method.

To those of you who currently live or have lived using the "air dry" method for an extended period of time, how would you describe laundry days without a dryer?  

I know for me, air drying clothes was something that meant you couldn't do all your laundry in one day (due to the space of a Chinese apartment, there are limited places to hang wet clothes - and putting them outside means they'll smell like smog).  Laundry was something that was a process all the time - there weren't times when it was all "done," and there was usually something either dirty or wet.

And to those who do live with a dryer, what would you do for your laundry if you couldn't use it for a week?  Let the laundry pile up, let it air dry, or go to a friend's place?

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Camping and Kayaking Trip 2014

You may remember that last September, Tyler and I went camping and kayaking in southeastern Oklahoma at Beaver's Bend State Park.  

We had such a great time last year, that we've basically decided to make our trip there an annual event for Tyler's birthday, which is today!  We enjoyed our annual trip for his birthday weekend before last!

We arrived in the evening with just enough time to pitch our tent and gather firewood.  
This campsite has been pretty full each time we've gone, so there's basically no avoiding having other campers on either side of you.

For dinner our first night, we used the campsite grill to make brats, corn on the cob, and had some other snacks to go along with it.  I got the grill and food going (so proud of myself for getting the charcoal going by myself without help) while Tyler lit us a campfire.

A fine Eagle Scout he is.

After dinner, the time made it so that I had been awake almost a full 24 hours, so as much as I wanted to stay awake and enjoy the campfire, I was actually falling asleep in my lawnchair.

I took a few naps there, then eventually moved to the tent.  I used a different sleeping bag than normal, and I was so tired I couldn't figure out how to get in the sleeping bag, so I just slept on top of it.  Haha!  #NightShiftProblems

My view out of the tent the next morning.  I really enjoy waking up in a tent when the rain trap is open and I can see out.

Tyler is the breakfast man, so he used his nifty Coleman camp stove he got for Christmas to make us breakfast and coffee.

This is how we do coffee when we camp...

-   h o t   w a t e r   -

-   f r e n c h   p r e s s   -

 -   c o o l   c a m p   m u g s   -

 Really.  He's the breakfast king.

Do you see that beautiful Autumn?  Do you see it?!

There were some really interesting looking mushrooms near our campsite.

 I saved this cute little leafy guy from dying in the heat in our car.  I'm sure he liked crawling on the tree much better.

After breakfast and packing up, we headed off to rent Kayaks from our favorite place to rent called Lucky Dog in Broken Bow.  I'd have to say the place is preeeeetttyy redneck, but that also means they have fewer rules and we can do whatever we want.  We just pay them, they take us to the river with the kayaks, and pick us up when we're done.  Its hard to find places in the US that don't over-complicate things for silly safety reasons, and that's why we like this place.  I mean, there were other groups who had to wear helmets, which is ri-dic-u-lous.

This time, the river was a bit more full, which made it easier to navigate in some ways, and some of the other (very small) rapids were more fun as a result.  It is fun how rivers, although the same, still change quite drastically with just a small change in water level.

Just before I took this picture, we went over one of the taller rapids.  The water was gushing so much that when you went down, your kayak filled with water.

This old guy was taking pictures of everyone who came down the particular rapid we went down.
I'm not sure how he planned to use the pictures, and didn't offer to send them to me, or tell me what he was going to do with the picture he took of me, or even ask me if I wanted to approve that the picture wasn't awful.  So I took a picture of him wearing his silly bathing suit.

We took a break right after that spot to eat our lunch and watch other people go through the rapids.  

It was humorous to watch those who tried to be careful and go through the rapids slowly, which in turn meant they would flip their kayak.  Some were even paddling backwards trying to go through slower...not really the best way to make it through without turning it upside down.

Like this guy in the middle whose kayak is upside down.

The water was really shallow here, so I pulled the kayak on a rock and waded around a bit.

 The scenery really is beautiful here.  Loved these red flowers.

The last bit of the river was quite uneventful.  The water was much deeper, so there were no rapids and we had to paddle to really get anywhere, where as earlier in the river you really just had to steer and let the water carry you.

There were a few beautiful trees, and several large birds along the banks.

Still water meant I could row over and take some nice flower pictures.  
Wildflowers are truly better than those from the flower shop.

After kayaking, we utilized the nice campground showers we found in the RV park and then headed back home.  Luckily this long trip is along the way to my grandma's house, so we stopped to visit her for a little while before returning home.

Have you had any fun adventures this month?
Do you have any traditions for yours or your spouse's birthday?

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Copyright 2012-2014 Saxon Smith (Let's Drink Coffee, Darling). All rights reserved.
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