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#Hashtag

If you don’t already know, we got a kitten. A hairless one. A sphynx. His name is #Hashtag and he is 12 weeks old…almost 13.

Background: Andrew has been talking about a pet for a long time. We contemplated a black pug for awhile. At some point, we were interested in Russian Blue cats. But I was adamant that I wouldn’t have hair in my house and that a lot of our friends are allergic to cats so they wouldn’t be able to come over as often. As for a dog, that was an easy no because we aren’t home during the day and I would hate to take a dog out in the middle of winter. A cat was a little more logical, but then I wasn’t sold on the litterbox situation. Plus, hair. Hair everywhere. I’m kind of a clean person. Andrew says we live in a sterile environment and it’s mostly true. Hair would kill me.

But Andrew found a solution. Sphynx don’t shed because they don’t have enough hair to shed. Of course, they’re a special breed so they come with other complexities (like needing to be bathed and being cold), but the hair was the key factor. It took four years of Andrew talking about them before I finally agreed. I found a breeder nearby and she had a one week old male kitten. It was perfect. We had to wait until he was 12 weeks. That wait was brutal.

 

Hashtag

 

 

I fell in love with his blue eyes and frowny face. His color is seal point, which mean he resembles a Siamese. It’s a very pretty color.

 

Hashtag

 

Hashtag

 

These are all pictures that the breeder sent us periodically. While we were waiting, we did a lot of research. We both read a book specifically about caring for Sphynx cats and kittens. We learned how to clean their ears and eyes. We learned how to keep them warm and give them baths. We learned how to clip their toenails. And we learned just a bunch of stuff about cats.

Also, if you know Andrew and I, we are pretty certain we aren’t having children. So a pet would really be the center of our lives. Our friends know this and they know that this was a pretty big step for us. We had been talking about a Sphynx for a long time and they were always encouraging us to get one. So…we had a kitty shower!

 

Kitty Shower

 

 

My friend, Amy, planned it and it is easily one of the best things somebody has ever done for me. It was legit. It was a real shower. She had all of my favorite foods and drinks (sushi, fruit, brownies, cheese, Radler, popcorn, peanut butter M&Ms). We played games. There were gifts; we got some really great gifts. My parents were there!

 

Kitty Shower

 

 

She decorated our club room. She had invitations. She used my favorite color: aqua. She used gold which is currently my on-trend favorite color.

 

Kitty Shower

 

 

We had a lot of awesome friends show up and other people sent gifts. I was so happy. A good number of the people at the shower were actually some of the first people to meet #Hashtag. Amy actually was the first person besides Andrew and I, which is totally appropriate.

We had a blast, but it made waiting for him even harder! Finally, we were able to get him. We had the house cat-proofed. We had a pheromone dispensor so he would be more at ease. We had toys and litter and food and clothes. We were ready. I even made quilt for him.

 

Hashtag Quilt

 

So here he is. This is picture overload.

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

#Hashtagthesphynx

 

I worked from home the first day and Andrew took vacation the second and third days. Then it was the weekend and we were home with him. We were worried he wouldn’t be used to us being gone, so we took a few hours each day to leave. He does not like us being gone. He howls! We have to trick him into going to sleep before we leave so he won’t make a ton of noise.

Also, he meows ALL OF THE TIME. If we aren’t paying direct attention to him, he meows. We can be sitting next to him and if we aren’t petting him or looking at him or talking to him, he meows to get our attention. He’s a little (LOT) spoiled. It’s been two days since we haven’t been home all day and I think he’s doing OK. I went home over lunch the second day and I plan to go home again today. I won’t be able to the other days this week. We’ve been trying to spend a lot of time with him at night.

He sleeps with us pretty much through the entire night. Right between us or buried under the covers between us. He’s pretty cute when he sleeps. He also loves to sleep on laps. He sleeps on Andrew’s all of the time while he playing video games and he’s slept on mine twice while I’ve been sewing.

He has toy mice that he loves. They were the popular gift at our shower and it’s a good thing because he LOVES them. He’s already lost one. We introduced the laser pointer to him last night and that was extremely fun. He’s so cute trying to chase it.

Tonight…he gets a bath. 🙂

I know that I totally suck. I have been so busy lately, that I haven’t even really thought about this blog. I’ve heard that as you get older and as you advance in the workforce, time just starts getting away from you. Well, I think I’m beginning to see that. If that sounded negative at all, I totally don’t mean it that way. I’m 100% in love with my job and my life right now. I don’t feel overwhelmed (most of the time) and I still have plenty of time for the gym, myself, and sewing, but the time I used to have outside of that (that I used for this blog) has definitely gone away. So I’ve been sewing, but mostly on things I can’t talk about yet. Still I have some things and events to show off, so here’s my lengthy catch up in no particular order. 🙂

 

Yoshi

 

I crocheted a Yoshi for Andrew. This was by far the lengthiest crochet project I’ve ever done. It was probably also the hardest, but I think I’m at the point where nothing is really hard when it comes to crochet. He had a ton of parts. One head, one nose, three patches, one eye piece, three spikes, one shell, one tail, two arms, eight fingers, two legs/boots, one body, and a chest piece. I used a pattern I found on Ravelry. It was a really great pattern. I won’t be making another crocheted item like this for a long time, but I am super proud of it.

 

Dresser Runner

 

 

Pebble Quilting

 

 

I think I showed a picture of the top of this before it was quilted. Anyway, I quilted it and bound it and now it sits on our dresser. I love the Peppered Cottons. They feel so nice. I catch myself running my finger across it as I walk past the dresser. I also love the tiny pebble quilting. That was fun.

 

HSTs

 

I think the same goes for this one. I showed a pic, but not a completed one. So that’s it. 🙂 This hangs on my quilting room wall.

 

Mom's Bed

 

So I didn’t make this, but my mom did and it’s so pretty that I wanted to show you. She pieced the quilt top, Jessica Toye quilted it, and my mom just recently finished the shams. I think she’s also planning to make some decorative pillows out of the leftover scraps. Also, she has a wall hanging that matches to quilt as well. I think it’s super pretty.

 

Baby Quilt

 

And here’s the finished baby quilt for my second cousin’s new son, Colt. This Yellow Brick Road pattern goes together so quickly. I just stippled it.

 

Knit Cowl

 

I think I mentioned before that I am trying my hand at knitting. This is my second project. Well, it was actually my first but I completed it after my second one. It was supposed to be a scarf, but I got so freakin tired of that pattern. Knitting takes forever! I completed Yoshi faster than this. Like 10 times faster. I used the Wheat Scarf pattern by Tin Can Knits. I’m going to take a knitting break for awhile.

 

Hour Basket

 

Hour Basket

 

Hour Basket

 

Hour Basket

 

Hour Basket

 

Ok. So those are all pictures of the One Hour Basket. I made the first two and Debbie made the last one. These are super easy and fast and very very useful. They fit fat quarters perfectly. I plan on making a bunch more for an upcoming event. They call for canvas and I would agree with that unless you add interfacing (like SF101) to quilting cotton.

 

Featherweight

 

 

So I bought a featherweight. 🙂 It’s a 221 and was made in 1952. It’s in excellent condition and I’m totally in love with it. I haven’t sewn on my regular machine since getting it. I highly recommend getting one if you ever have the chance. It’s so portable and so fun and just has the perfect stitch. I love how simple it is. It’s basically the same as my treadle except with a motor. It even winds a bobbin similarly. Not only is it in great condition, but the case is, too. The case has a special Singer cover that has really kept it pristine.

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

Pleated Purse

 

Pleated Purse

 

 

So that’s a lot of Pleated Purses from the School of Sewing Book. I made the top one in the tote version. That’s my third one because they are awesome. Then Debbie made one at a retreat I hosted along with two other bags. It was a bag day for her. She also started the One Hour Basket, but finished it at home. Then I taught a class with three wonderful students who all finished their bags! They all turned out perfectly! It was only a four hour class and we finished a little early. That includes cutting. It’s a very fast project. I have another Pleated Purse in my mind to create using laminated cotton. I’m sure you’ll see that at some point.

 

Kim

 

 

This is also from the retreat I hosted. Kim is making her first quilt and she’s killing it!

 

Cathedral Window

 

I made this pillow for the Handmade Birthday Club. Denise likes V&Co. fabrics and so do I. I’ve wanted to try an easier version of cathedral windows and these are definitely it. I used Johanna Masko’s technique. My friend took her class at Quilt Con and helped me understand it. Unfortunately, Johanna only teaches her technique, she doesn’t have it published. I’m glad I was able to figure it out, but it would be nice to have a tutorial or pattern.

 

Coasters

 

 

I also made matching coasters since I had some charm pack squares left over. I found this tutorial on Pinterest.

So there you go. That’s what I’ve been up to. I have a fun announcement to make soon so look forward to that. Also, May just wrapped up so I have a Me Made May recap to post soon. Hopefully my neglect of this blog is over.

This last weekend was a really fabulous weekend for me.

First, I took Friday off. It was my birthday, but that’s the reason I took it off. I left Thursday after work to head to my hometown, which is around four hours away.

I woke up Friday morning, drank some coffee, watched some Fons & Porter, watched some Sewing with Nancy, and worked out. (Note: My mom DVRs those shows and I LOVE watching them when I go home.) Then I went to visit my grandparents and spent the rest of the morning and afternoon with them. My grandparents live right across the street from each other. It’s very convenient. And they are only a few blocks from my parent’s house. Of course, everything is only a few blocks in Republic. It was great to get to visit with them and they didn’t expect it, so that was nice.

After that, I got cleaned up and met up with my dad and we drove into Belleville. My parents took me out to a birthday dinner at one of the few eating options in Belleville; a Mexican restaurant. My meal was great and it was excellent to spend time with my parents. Also, we ran into quite a few people I knew while growing up there, including my old drama coach who had big impact on my life. The entire reason I can get up in front of a large crowd of people and be comfortable speaking is pretty much solely credited to her.

And speaking of speaking to people…after dinner, I went to my mom’s quilt guild, The Heart of the Prairie Guild, and gave a lecture and trunk show about modern quilting. I certainly enjoyed talking about modern quilting and I think they enjoyed the presentation. Also, they were so sweet and had cupcakes and ice cream since it was my birthday! I even got a present from one of their members. Isn’t that sweet?!?

 

Birthday Celebration

 

 

It was a pretty great birthday for me. By the way, I turned 27. 🙂

On Saturday, we woke up early and had to be back in Belleville so I could teach a class to some of the guild members. I chose to teach (with permission) the Fractal Radiance pattern that the KCMQG released. Three people planned to make the small quilt top and the other four were going to make the pillow.

It was a super successful class and everyone (except Gretchen because she was the absolutely best hostess with the mostess) completed their top.

 

Fractal Radiance Pillows

 

I’ve never seen this done in batiks and I think it adds a dimension that solid and regular prints don’t. And the shades of blue together are perfect. That’s such a classy look. It reminds of the first Fractal Radiance quilt I made. I like that some marbles and tiny prints are combined with solids in that one.

 

Fractal Radiance Pillow

 

Fractal Radiance Pillow

 

Ok. So these two ladies are my heroes. They and a some other women just got finished making 97 quilts in the month of February! How crazy is that?! Every February, they do mission quilting all month long. Last year they made 93 quilts. All of the quilts are made by machine, tied, and machine bound. I’m still in awe.

Again, one of these is batiks, but in a brighter palate and I still like the dimension. It’s kind of perfect for Spring! The next one really reminds me of a crazy quilt. Isn’t that cool? I love how different fabrics really change the look of this pattern.

My mom and my aunt chose to make their quilt tops in just solids, which was quite a step out of her quilting box for my aunt. But I’m so glad she did because they turned out perfect!

 

Fractal Radiance

 

 

Aren’t they totally awesome? I really really love how this quilt works up in solids. Gretchen is making hers in shot cottons (like my first one) and I can’t wait to see it, too! I love how my second one looks in prints, but I really really love solids and shots. But that’s not a surprise. 🙂

Mom is going to do some fun and dense quilting on hers that I’m pretty excited about. Cathy is thinking about adding a border to hers to make it a bit bigger so it can be used as a couch quilt.

So after an awesome class, I spent some time at the local fabric shop and then my mom and I headed home to spend some time with my dad. We went for a drive and just hung out. It was relaxing and nice to spend time with my parents. My mom made my favorite, stroganoff, for dinner and the grandparents came over. It was a great great day.

On Sunday, I took off early and made it to Lawrence in time to see my great friend Jaime’s thesis show, Color Machine, at KU and attend her reception. The end product is absolutely amazing and if you have a chance this week to see it, do it! I helped her a bit on the project and it was super amazing to finally see it displayed.

It was a perfectly incredible weekend and Andrew made it even better by taking me to one of my favorite restaurants (Providence New American Kitchen) for dinner. 🙂

Happy birthday to me!

 

I just had the time of my life. No joke. I will never forget the time I had this last weekend at Sew OK.

I don’t know where to start. I guess at the beginning. Prepare for a very long post.

Forever ago, like back in February or something, Krista of Krista Stitched texted me and asked if I had heard about it. I hadn’t, so I quickly Googled it. Then I Googled how far it was to OKC. Then I told Krista, “Let’s do it.” We both signed up that night.

Then we waited forever. As it got closer and more details came about, I got more and more excited. There was a pattern swap, a charm square swap, and a handmade item swap in the works. There was going to be a bus trip. The teachers and speakers were awesome. The sponsors looked amazing. There was going to be a bunch of open sew time. I was excited and I started planning everything I would need.

 

Luggage

 

 

Here’s what I packed. I had a whole bag full of projects. I took my regular sewing machine and my serger since I planned to work on some clothing. Krista and I left after work on Wednesday evening and got into OKC right at Midnight. We had decided not to stay at the Skirvin hotel where the retreat was being held. It was expensive…like crazy expensive. Krista is having a baby and my budget is already tight, so we wanted to save some money. We chose to stay at the Best Western Plus only 10 minutes from the retreat hotel. Best decision ever! The hotel was great. I was skeptical and so was Krista, but it was clean and perfectly nice. We had no issues. It was in a good part of town. The breakfast was one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I had packed sheets, a towel, and quilt in case it wasn’t and I didn’t need to use them. I ended up using the quilt because I knew I’d be cold, but the sheets and towel and everything were very clean. We saved a TON of money. Plus, we barely spent any time there because we sewed until late and left early to sew some more! I am so happy that decision was justified.

Anyway, we did not need to be anywhere until 11:45 the next day. We got around then drove around OKC. We got familiar with downtown and the areas around it. OKC is a pretty cool city. I wasn’t aware of how cool it was. I’d like to visit again and see some things. We stopped at a local bakery, Brown’s, and grabbed a snack and then we headed to the hotel to meet everyone else. The first item on the agenda was a bus trip. The first stop was B-Sew Inn. They are a Baby Lock dealer and carry a ton of notions. It was a super great shop. I ended up ordering a new manual for my Baby Lock. I wish we had one here because it would really be nice for me since I have a Baby Lock. But…if all else fails, OKC is only like five hours away. 🙂

After that, we went and had lunch. I won a slice of pie from Pie Junkie! It was SUPER delicious, so I’d definitely recommend it. That was my first win of many throughout the weekend. Our final stop was Oklahoma QuiltWorks. I was super impressed with this store. Their selection was fabulous. I really enjoyed shopping there and I think everybody else did, too. I picked up some Tula Pink fabric that I had been looking for along with a couple of fat quarters and some trim. They had some really cool trim.

 

Pie

 

Then it was time to check in and get open sewing started! Krista and I set up a table near the door. One of the first things I’m pretty sure that everyone noticed was the giveaway tables. Yes, tables. Plural.

 

Giveaways

 

The sponsors were super generous! Susannah Kate and Jemellia went all out getting sponsors. They deserve an award. A very serious award.

 

Giveaways

 

Those were the small and medium prizes.

 

Giveaways

 

These were the large ones. I know, you are like, “HOLY CRAP!” Those were my thoughts exactly.

Then there was the swag bag. I know, now you are like, “Come on. For reals. That’s not right. You’re just making me feel bad that I didn’t go.” Yes, that’s right. You should feel bad and you should go next time. There were charm packs, fabric, patterns, coupons, etc. in the swag bag. Plus, the bag itself was pretty sweet. I didn’t get too much accomplished the first night. My uncle sort of lives in OKC. He drives a semi for the family business and his route always goes through OKC. Plus, his girlfriend (basically, his wife) lives there, too, along with her children and grandchildren. He’s grandpa to them. Anyway, I went to dinner with him since I hardly ever get to see him. It was really nice to get to see some family. 🙂

The next day, the first thing I did was finish up some sashes that I had almost completed the night before.

 

Sashes

 

My friend is getting married and I am hosting her bachelorette party. FYI – Why is bachelorette not a word? Fellow feminists, why are we not all over this? Bachelor is a word, but I get a little red squiggly line under bachelorette. Word thinks it’s a word, why doesn’t WordPress? Ugh. Anyway, I wanted to make these sashes because you can’t buy nice ones in the store. These are classy. I just printed letters (using Word and it’s fancy Word Art to print out outlined letters. I think I used size 225 font. I don’t remember which font though. Then I glued those to freezer paper. Then I took my fabric and fused Wonder Under to the back and the freezer paper to the top. I cut out the letters, removed the freezer paper and the Wonder Under and ironed them onto the ribbon. I sewed through the ribbon at an angle and voila! Oh, I also cut the ends of the ribbon to be pretty. I’m going to secure them with decorated safety pins. I didn’t even stitch down the letters. They are fused on well because Wonder Under is awesome. Go Pellon! (I’m not paid to say that.) So that was my first finish. You might want to keep track of the finishes…it becomes important later.

Caroline Hulse of Sew Caroline was the speaker. She talked about how she got into her business, her patterns, and her new fabric line with Art Gallery. Caroline sat at our table and I’m very glad she did. She’s a very talented and sweet lady. I can’t wait to see what she does next. I also really liked to her about her journey because she doesn’t have an artsy/crafty background. I don’t have an artsy/crafty background. I like to see those people do well. Anyway, she’s super sweet and I’m very excited to make her Sugar Pop Top, which I promptly bought after getting home.

Sew Caroline

 

Moving on. I quickly sewed the waistband of a skirt that was already completed. Pictures of that to come later. Then I took a sewing break and make a pincushion ring.

 

Pincushion Ring

It took all of like five minutes. I used trim I bought at Oklahoma Quiltworks. My mom and I had picked up the bag of ring bases when she last visited. We had both planned to make some. I just used hot glue, which was super easy. I had to buy a bottle of water just to get the cap, but it was worth it. I needed to drink the water anyway. The tutorial I used is from The Cottage Mama.

After that, I started working on block that I had designed but hadn’t yet tested. It’s just 2 1/2″ strips, so it was pretty easy. I still need to do some tweaking, but for the most part, I was pleased. I plan on making more for a full quilt. The block is large so it shouldn’t be too difficult. I just need to decide if I want to buy more fabric like that or use different fabrics. We’ll see.

 

Block

I had to take a break for lunch and then our curves glass with Dana of Old Red Barn Co. We got some sweet stuff here, too. We were given fabric, Best Press, and some tweezers. This kind of changed the game for me with curves. Like totally changed the game. I HATED templates and curves with a passion. The cutting, pinning, everything just sucked. Not anymore! Dana taught us how to pieces the drunkards path block without any pins. I still can’t believe it works. It also works super well. I whipped those blocks out and within a couple of hours, I had a pillow top that I quickly turned into a pillow sleeve.

 

Pillow

 

There it is. I used purple and yellow charm squares that I got through a Flickr charm square swap. I had been saving them for a project. This worked out super well. Pretty cool, huh?

After the curves class, I started to work on a chambray Tova top, but got distracted again by dinner, getting my fingernails painted, and then a Baby Lock Tiara. There was a Baby Lock Tiara set up for us to play on. Krista was doing some serious playing on it and I convinced her to show me. Well, since I had brought a small sandwiched quilt, I just started quilting it. Shortly thereafter, like an hour or so, I had a finished quilt minus the binding.

 

Quilt

 

Are you still keeping track of finishes? Well, add one more because I completed my Tova top that evening and wore it the next day.

 

Tova Top

 

Krista’s mom made her a maternity shirt out of the same Robert Kaufman chambray that I made my Tova out of. I love Tovas. I have three now. I wore one on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Haha. Anyway, that was Friday. Oh, plus I won a Noodlehead bag pattern. I’m pretty excited about it.

If you think Friday was awesome, wait until Saturday. It was AMAZING!

I started off Saturday working on another Tova top, but this one with rayon challis and as a dress. Carolyn Friedlander, who was sitting right behind us, was also wear a Tova. We bonded over our love of Tovas. I had to stop for lunch again (damn meals), but it was worth it because Carolyn took us to a really great burger restaurant called S&B. Krista and I went with Carolyn and Amanda of The Cozy Pumpkin. It was a super great lunch even though the service was sub-par, which I later found out wasn’t the norm. The slow service did affect us a little bit because Carolyn’s class began at 2 pm and we were cutting it close. Carolyn left early to get back and we made it back just in time.

As with the curves class, the Social Tote class with Carolyn was AMAZEBALLS! I will admit that it’s not a beginner pattern, but it’s very cleverly put together and the instructions are well written. I’m glad we had some help on the first part, the interior of the tote, but I was able to figure out the rest pretty much on my own.

 

Social Tote

 

Ta da! It only took about four hours, which I consider to be really good time for a complex project like this. The only change I made was to sew the binding down by hand. I just like that better because I’m TERRIBLE at sewing binding down by machine. TERRIBLE…trust me.

I went back to work on my Tova, took a break for dinner, and finished my Tova before we left for the evening. Other happenings during the day included a TON of giveaways.

 

Fabric

 

I won that FQ bundle and some more fat quarters.

 

Fabric

 

 

 

Then I won this! Can you tell that I was pretty happy about it? I know I look weird, but I swear that I was just really excited!

 

Stuff

 

Ok. Were you keeping count of all of the stuff I finished? Well, if you weren’t, that’s OK. The number doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I won a gift certificate because I was the “most industrious!”

 

Gift Certificate

 

 

Awesome, right? I’ve already spent it. I immediately came home and picked out fabric.

Even with all of the giveaways and stuff, it was kind of a sad evening because it was the last time we would see some people. We packed up our stuff so it would be easy to load up the next day, which is what we did. On Sunday, we loaded up our stuff and had planned to do brunch with some people, but the restaurant was so busy that we ended up meeting up with my uncle for brunch instead. I was OK with that because it was nice to see my uncle again.

We got on the road and stopped in Emporia to see Krista’s family and made it home by dinner time. I was pretty exhausted, but I managed to unpack all of my stuff. I have to admit, I don’t have room for everything we were given, which is pretty awesome. I will find room.

I had the best time. I met so many great people. I can’t even begin to name everybody that made the weekend super special, but a special shout out goes to Jemellia and Susannah Kate because they worked their asses off and it turned out great. They could not have done a better job. It was just fabulous. Obviously, Caroline, Carolyn, and Dana have to be thanked because they did a fabulous job presenting and teaching.  I definitely have to thank Krista for bringing this to my attention forever ago and for going with me. She was a super great roommate, table mate, and road trip partner. I miss everyone, but I made a bunch of new friendships and I plan to stay in touch with people through blogs and instagram. Some I will see at Quilt Con and others I’ll have to see next year. I’m signing up again the minute I can!

 

Stuff

 

 

 

My aunt, uncle, and cousin from California decided to visit my family in my hometown. Of course, I took a couple of days off of work to spend some time with them.

I don’t think this is unique just to my family, but when we all get together, it seems the focus is on food.

 

Sopapillas

 

These are sopapillas. My grandma has always made them, but my mom, sister, aunts, and I wanted to learn how. Luckily, my aunt Haryla is also a pro at making them. Ours turned out just like Grandma’s used to. Basically, they’re just flower, milk, and some baking soda made into a dough that you let sit for 15 minutes and roll out really thin and cut into squares. Then just fry them in really really hot grease. The secret is to “bob” them. Meaning when the dough hits the grease, keep pushing it under. This is what makes them puff up. Not all of them puff, but a good majority do. They taste good not puffed, too.

We ate these with beans and green chile gravy. My sister, when she was little, used to call sopapillas “chicken bread” because it looks like fried chicken. For a while, we didn’t know what she was talking about until the next time my grandma made them. Now we all call it chicken bread.

 

Mexican Food

 

 

I guess my family likes fried things, which also doesn’t make us unique. For another dinner, my mom made fried tacos and chile rellenos. My aunt and uncle brought some AMAZING enchiladas. This was quite a feast. Surprisingly, not a lot of people know about fried tacos and chile rellenos. I’m not sure how my family learned about them, but it’s how we’ve always ate tacos. Basically, you stuff the corn shell with the seasoned meat, cheese, and lettuce. Then you fold it in half and fry each side. It’s not deep fat fried…just fried like fried chicken. The same goes for the rellenos, but those are only stuffed with cheese and then breaded. They are SOOOOO good.

Besides food, my family also likes to collect vehicles, but not in the white-trash-leave-them-on-your-lawn kind of way. Our vehicles are all nicely stored in our spare shop and various garages. When I was 11, my dad/grandpa bought me a car. I couldn’t drive it (legally) until I was 14, which was the worst. Kids always can’t wait to drive, but wait until you see what my dad bought me. It made the wait even worse. (Not that I actually waited.)

 

Trans Am

 

 

 

For those of you not familiar with cars, that’s a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. It’s in really good condition for a car that has over 100,000 miles on it.

 

Trans Am

 

 

I have a lot of nostalgia for this car. I drove it until I was 16 (I think) when my dad bought me a 4WD Ford Ranger after I tried driving the TA to school in a snow storm and got it stuck in a snow bank. Don’t worry! The snow bank didn’t damage the TA. It was the snow bank or skidding across the highway. Obviously, I chose the snow bank. I still drove this car quite a bit throughout high school and occasionally in college, but since graduation, I have no reason to have it in KC. For one, I don’t have a space to store it. Second, I can’t really afford to tag and insure it. Third, I don’t know how to maintain it. I’m not a mechanic by any means and old cars always have something that needs to be tweaked. Therefore, it’s sitting and we occasionally get it out to drive it and make sure it still runs. Grandpa got it out this last weekend and I drove it around. It started right up, so that’s a plus. The air conditioner and everything on the dash worked. Everything seemed fine…except for the brakes. It needs some new brakes, but there’s no point in putting new brakes on it. The brakes still work…sort of. I love this car and I hope some day I have the means to drive it more often.

So if you haven’t figured it out yet, my hometown is pretty small. And you know what else small towns are great for (the list is very short)?

RUNNING!

I’m not a huge runner, but I do enjoy it once in a while. Lately, I’ve been going on a long run (four miles) about every week and a half. That’s a long enough period where I’m not sore after the run and I don’t hate my life while I’m running. It’s a good break. Anyway, small towns are great for running because you don’t have to worry about being bothered. You can just run and run and run and you don’t run into stop lights, cars, people, etc.

 

Republic

 

 

I snapped a couple of pictures on my run. This is the welcome sign on Main Street.

 

Republic

 

This is where the family’s business office is…sort of. It’s not used on a daily basis anymore. Grandma and Mom occasionally have to work down there to do payroll, etc.

As you can tell from the pics, the town is nothing to brag about, but my family is there so I’ll keep visiting.

Finally, I spent a significant amount of time while I was back home working on a project that I’ve mentioned before. That’s all I’m going to say right now, but there will be a big reveal post soon!

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