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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
Saturday, 25 August 2007

This is my South Park picture. Yep. This is how I see myself as a South Park character.


Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 10:48 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Alison's Drink Review - Initial Post
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: Drinks

Okay - for those of you following my blog with diligence *wild cackle - yeah right!* you know that I have a bar in my house. I mean a real honest to goodness bar with just about any kind of alcohol they make. Not all varieties of the same thing - I just have my favorite varities such as Chopin Vodka for shooting or martinis and Sky Vodka for mixed drinks. I tend not to keep brands I don't like around. Occasionally I run out of things, like Apple Pucker is out right now, but overall, I keep a well stocked bar so I can offer guests just about anything they could want - with very few acceptions.

To that end, I have tasted many a yummy drink and have decided to start posting to my blog the various recipes for those drinks that I like OR think people should try. This is my initial post so here goes: 

Almond Cooler


  • 1 1/4 oz Dark rum
  • 1 shot Amaretto
  • 2 oz Coconut cream
  • 2 oz Orange juice
  • 2 oz Pineapple juice
  • 1 oz Grenadine
  • 1/2-1/3 oz Banana
  • 2-3 cubes Ice

Mixing instructions:

Blend all except ice for 10-15 seconds. Add the ice cubes and blend for another 10 seconds to break up the ice cubes slightly. Serve in a Poco Grande or Hurricane glass garnished with a slice of orange and a Maraschino cherry.

Now - if you aren't into Dark Rum, then use golden rum - I prefer Mount Gay from Barbados. Check out their website at . This has got to be the rum that inspired the line "Why is the rum gone?" in the Pirates of the Carribean movies. They've been making it since 1703 and it is definately a time tested product. Excellente!

I would use Mount Gay in this drink hands down - well, I'd use it in any drink for that matter or heck be pirate and drink it straight.

Another tip - if you really want this to be super pretty, serve it in a hollowed out pineapple cup like they do at all the big resorts in Hawaii. OR in coconut shell cups - available cheaply from Oriental Trading Company.

Make this drink like you would margaritas - in large batches because everyone will want one - they are awesome.




Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:29 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007 12:36 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 14 August 2007
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: Reality

There are days when I think that some people working in the district have absolute shit for brains. Some days are better than others. I try to remember what my mother told me “Don’t hold other people up to your own expectations for yourself.” It’s true, and I do that all the time and I know I shouldn’t. Just because I can do it doesn’t mean that the other person should be able to do it as well as I can, or as fast. It’s frustrating though waiting for the proverbial ‘light bulb’ to appear over their head so I know they understand. Some people haven’t paid the electric bill in decades.


On the good news front, my ‘sister’ Shurree is considering moving to Kansas from Kentucky. It’s a huge step for her to take and I am doing my best to provide her with support without trying to sound too excited. I don’t want to get my hopes up that she’ll move here and end up disappointed when and if she doesn’t. I’ve sent her all kinds of job information, spreadsheets on cost of living and potential savings, and the cost of moving. It doesn’t sound daunting to me since I moved from California and gave up everything in my world to do it – good paying job, friends and family, church, and choirs, et all to come to Kansas. Shurree’s move is a thousand miles closer and she would be leaving an underpaid job she loathes. She’d miss her friends and family, but as she has often told me, she’s different from them – as in she has higher education (multiple degrees) and doesn’t aspire to breeding or living in the same town as her forbearers. She’d only been a one day (13 hour) drive from home, whereas it would be a minimum of two days drive to reach my parents.


Yet, understanding that she has never lived farther from home than two hours, is tough for me. Less than two months out of high school I moved to Europe – half way around the world. I had my reasons – and now – I think Shurree has hers. I hope she is doing this for all the right reasons and not because I am pestering her. Baby steps I keep telling her. She could live here for a few years, decide this isn’t big enough and move on to Chicago, Dallas and Denver, and then eventually Los Angeles or New York. At least I think I have persuaded her from not trying to jump from Corbin straight to New York City. That would just be setting her up to fail – which is never a confidence booster. I think she could be very successful here in Kansas. Good paying teachering positions or local editor, opportunities to get a Masters degree or more. Starting small and working her way up is the best option for long term happiness and solid success in business – but try telling that to someone who absolutely hates where they are and feels like they are chaffing at the bit.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007 9:28 AM CDT
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Saturday, 4 August 2007
Kansas Facts and Trivia
Mood:  bright
Topic: Reality
Kansas Facts and Trivia
  1. A ball of twine in Cawker City measures over 38' in circumference and weighs more than 16,750 pounds and is still growing.
  2. A grain elevator in Hutchinson is 1/2 mile long and holds 46 million bushels in its 1,000 bins.
  3. South of Ashland the Rock Island Bridge is the longest railroad bridge of its kind. It measures 1,200 feet long and is 100 feet above the Cimarron River.
  4. At Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine waterbeds for horses are used in surgery.
  5. Kansas won the award for most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.
  6. Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States.
  7. At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.
  8. The first woman mayor in the United States was Susan Madora Salter. She was elected to office in Argonia in 1887.
  9. The first black woman to win an Academy Award was Kansan Hattie McDaniel. She won the award for her role in "Gone with the Wind."
  10. Kansas inventors include Almon Stowger of El Dorado who invented the dial telephone in 1889; William Purvis and Charles Wilson of Goodland who invented the helicopter in 1909; and Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville who invented the first frozen carbonated drink machine in 1961.
  11. Smith County is the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states.
  12. Amelia Earhart, first woman granted a pilot's license by the National Aeronautics Associate and first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean was from Atchison.
  13. Dwight D. Eisenhower from Abilene was the 34th President of the United States.
  14. Silent comedian Buster Keaton, of early film success, was from Piqua, Kansas.
  15. The three largest herds of buffalo (correctly called bison) in Kansas are located on public lands at the Maxwell Game Preserve (McPherson), Big Basin (Ashland), and Buffalo Game Preserve (Garden City).
  16. Fort Riley, between Junction City and Manhattan, was the cradle of the United States Cavalry for 83 years. George Custer formed the famed 7th Cavalry there in 1866. Ten years later, at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the 7th was virtually wiped out. The only Cavalry survivor was a horse named Comanche.
  17. Wyatt Earp, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok and William B. "Bat" Masterson were three of the legendary lawmen who kept the peace in rowdy frontier towns like Abilene, Dodge City, Ellsworth, Hays, and Wichita.
  18. The public swimming pool at the Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City occupies half a city block and holds 2 1/2 million gallons of water.
  19. Cedar Crest is the name of the governor's mansion in Topeka, the state capital.
  20. Barton County is the only Kansas County that is named for a woman; the famous volunteer Civil War nurse Clara Barton.
  21. The Arkansas River may be the only river whose pronunciation changes as it crosses state lines. In Kansas, it is called the Arkansas (ahr-KAN-zuhs). On both sides of Kansas (Colorado and Oklahoma), it is called the Arkansaw.
  22. Civil War veteran S.P. Dinsmoor used over 100 tons of concrete to build the Garden of Eden in Lucas. Even the flag above the mausoleum is made of concrete.
  23. Handel's Messiah has been presented in Lindsborgeach at Easter since 1889.
  24. A monument to the first Christian martyr on United States Territory stands along Highway 56 near Lyons. Father Juan de Padilla came to the region with the explorer Coronado in 1541.
  25. Hutchinson is nicknamed the Salt City because it was built above some of the richest salt deposits in the world. Salt is still actively mined, processed and shipped from Hutchinson.
  26. There are 27 Walnut Creeks in the state.
  27. There are more than 600 incorporated towns in the state.
  28. Morton County sells the most trout fishing stamps of all the Kansas counties.
  29. Fire Station No. 4 in Lawrence, originally a stone barn constructed in 1858, was a station site on the Underground Railroad.
  30. The Hugoton Gas Field is the largest natural gas field in the United States. It underlies all or parts of 10 southwestern Kansas counties as well as parts of Oklahoma and Texas. The gas field underlies almost 8,500 square miles, an area nearly 5 times as large as the state of Rhode Island.
  31. The Kansas Speleological Society has catalogued at least 528 caves in 37 Kansas counties. Commanche County has at least 128 caves and Barber County has at least 117 caves.
  32. Kansas has the largest population of wild grouse in North America. The grouse is commonly called the prairie chicken.
  33. Milford Reservoir with over 16,000 acres of water is the state's largest lake. The reservoir is located northwest of Junction City.
  34. The Geodetic Center of North America is about 40 miles south of Lebanon at Meade's Ranch. It is the beginning point of reference for land surveying in North America. When a surveyor checks a property line, he or she is checking the position of property in relation to Meade's Ranch in northwest Kansas.
  35. In Italy the city of Milan is 300 miles northwest of Rome. In Kansas, Milan is less than 25 miles northwest of Rome, in Sumner County.
  36. Between 1854 and 1866, 34 steamboats paddled up the Kaw River (Kansas River). One made it as far west as Fort Riley.
  37. In 1990 Kansas wheat farmers produced enough wheat to make 33 billion loaves of bread, or enough to provide each person on earth with 6 loaves.
  38. Holy Cross Shrine in Pfeifer, was known as the 2 Cent Church because the building was built using a 2 cent donation on each bushel of wheat sold by members of the church.
  39. Kansas produced a record 492.2 million bushels of wheat in 1997, enough to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread.
  40. The American Institute of Baking is located in Manhattan.
  41. A 30 foot tall statue of Johnny Kaw stands in Manhattan. The statue represents the importance of the Kansas wheat farmer.
  42. The graham cracker was named after the Reverend Sylvester Graham (1794-1851). He was a Presbyterian minister who strongly believed in eating whole wheat flour products.
  43. The rocks at Rock City are huge sandstone concretions. In an area about the size of two football fields, 200 rocks, some as large as houses, dot the landscape. There is no other place in the world where there are so many concretions of such giant size.
  44. George Washington Carver, the famous botanical scientist who discovered more than 300 products made from the peanut, graduated from high school in Minneapolis in 1885.
  45. The First United Methodist Church in Hutchinson was built in 1874 during the time of the grasshopper plagues. The grasshoppers came during the construction of the churches foundation but the pastor continued with the work. As a result, thousands of grasshoppers are mixed into the mortar of the original building's foundation.
  46. A hailstone weighing more than one and a half pounds once fell on Coffeyville.
  47. The Oregon Trail passed thru six states, including Kansas. There were no Indian attacks reported on the Oregon Trail as the travelers passed through the state.
  48. Russell Springs located in Logan County is known as the Cow Chip Capital of Kansas.
  49. The world famous fast-food chain of Pizza Hut restaurants opened its first store in Wichita.
  50. Sumner County is known as The Wheat Capital of the World.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007 11:01 PM CDT
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Thursday, 26 July 2007
Which obscure musical are you?
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: Quizzes

Again, no surprises here. This happens to be one of my favorite musicals / movies of all time, with one of my favorite singers / rock stars of all time - David Bowie! Again, I have no idea why the quiz isn't appearing in its normal box and red line format, so here are the words.

Which obscure musical are you?

Your Result: Labyrinth  86%

Goblins, puppets and David Bowie in tights.  What more could you ask for in a musical.  And music by David Bowie himself.  You must have a taste for fantasy, masqurade balls and the death of Glam Rock

I just love this movie. Have you seen it? Just got to love David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King. Jennifer Connolly is great in this movie as well.




Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 8:12 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2007 8:28 AM CDT
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Tuesday, 24 July 2007
My baby is so awesome and I love him
Mood:  happy
Topic: Matt is Awesome

I wrote this huge post about how awesome my husband is an it didn't save...bummer.

Well, in a nutshell, he picked up dinner and a movie on the way home. We watched the movie snuggling together on the couch, and he is planning on taking me to the movies this weekend to see the Simpson's movie and the weekend after that to see the Bourne Ultimatum. Two date nights lined up for two weekends in a row while the children are at his parents house in Pennsylvania.

He is totally awesome. He thinks about me during his day and goes out of his way to do small things to make my life better.

I couldn't be happier with him or my life. He makes every day an absolute joy and I am so utterly blessed to be his wife.  We are so lucky. Our refinancing application was approved. We hopefully get to close escrow next week. It's wonderful.

Thank you powers of the universe for bringing Matt into my life. Thank you for giving me another chance at happiness and fulfillment as a wife and mother. Thank you for the simple happiness and joy I feel in every day that I am with him. 




Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 8:40 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007 8:58 PM CDT
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Takes Over
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Surprise

My copy of the Deathly Hallows showed up on Saturday at 10am thanks to UPS and pre-ordering.

I spent all day on Saturday reading the book. I finished it a 11:45pm on Saturday and immediately started to read little bits over again. Matt read the whole book on Sunday. We agreed not to talk about it until we could both let it set in.

So, last night, we talked about it. We both read books differently. I try and figure stuff out as I am reading, like when the silver doe appeared, I questioned it and thought about who could have sent it. Not Matt. He just reads and accepts it as something that will be explained later - of course a zillion chapters later it was.

We were both surprised by the amount of characters that were killed off, some with just a line saying they were dead.

We were both happy with the ending - not the last chapter, but the ending. The last chapter about the future was cool, just not enough for me. I wanted more. But of course, I always want more.

We were both surprised certain characters used unforgiveable curses and nobody said a thing about it. Granted it was a war, but yikes, such Dark Magic.

We both laughed our buts off in certain places. Some places in the beginning were just damn funny. A certain line of Hermione's made both of us nearly roll off the bed with laughter. Do you know which one?

So - Harry Potter took over our house this weekend. I started re-reading it last night, slowly, reading it with relish and detail.

I am very sad the series is over. Happy that the story wrapped up, but sad to know there will be no more books about some of the best characters ever.

Well, at least I have two more movies to look forward to.

Cheers to you JK !! Laughing

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 6:37 AM CDT
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Thursday, 19 July 2007
Wide Awake To Greet The Day
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Being Happy

So despite being utterly tired and wired on Pepsi, I am doing better today at least at this time of day than I was nine hours ago.

I remembered to take the drill and a screwdriver to work. My hutch is up over my desk and it starting to look somewhat like an office. I still have boxes everywhere and I fear it will take quite some time to get everything put away where I want it. Considering the maintenance guys haven't put my desk drawers together, I've done a good job at getting through at least three boxes of stuff. How did I get so much stuff?!!! What's scary is...I actually use all of it! No kidding!

I am going to do my best to make the office a nice place by the end of the day and then tomorrow I'll bring in the digital camera and take pictures to post on the photo album. I do have to say I have the nicest furniture of all the budget techs and pretty much the biggest office besides Ronda and Linda. I don't see it as being spoiled though, not in the least. I put up with a lot of discomfort in my old office at a desk that didn't work for me for over four years. Honestly, I felt it was my turn to get something nice. Jennifer got new furniture, then she got moved to my office and Kimmie got the new furniture. Elizabeth, Kim C and Kim Mc all got reclassified and although I have taken on more responsibilities, I haven't. I am not holding my breath on that one either.

Anyway, I don't want to sound bitter, I just am happy I got new furniture as some sort of compensation for having to move and not getting reclassified. Oh well. Water under the bridge and all that.

I need to bring in some more pictures of Kyle since I only have three of him and I have five of Michelle. I need to even that out a bit, although there are far more pictures of him on the website. Still, no favorite playing here!

Ahhhh...back to work.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 12:33 PM CDT
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Sleepless in Wellington
Mood:  down
Topic: Tired

I am so incredibly tired I don't know even where to begin.

Last night I actually went to bed before 9:30 and I THINK I fell asleep before 10pm BUT I know I tossed and turned throughout the night. I woke up to go to the bathroom at like 3:15 am and have been up ever since. Not fun in the least.

I don't know what the deal is. Is our bed too small? I certainly feel I cannot stretch out and am confined to a small place. I want my elbows and knees out at angles that just seem to collide with Matt's elbows and knees. My back is killing me. I feel stiff and achy, totally unrested like I didn't even sleep. Do we need a new bed? I've considered a sleep number bed.

Anyway, I couldn't take laying there anymore not sleeping so I got up and hopefully when Matt gets up to go to work, I can go lay back down and sleep another hour if that's possible. What I really want to do is take a sleeping pill and call into work and tell them my brain is fried and I need to sleep.

I really CAN'T do that though as the tension at work is THICK to say the least. The proposed budget book is due to the printers first thing in the morning and my office furniture still needs to be put together. I'll be wearing my grubbies today to put the rest of the furniture together and move my things out of Ronda's office. What a totally clusterf**ck that was!

Perhaps I just have too much on my mind for me to sleep?

There is a lot going on, none of it bad, just a lot going on.

  1. We are in the middle of refinancing the house. Application and appraisal fee are in, and the company is processing our paperwork.
  2. We've hired a new girl at work and I am supposed to train her how to do my job so she'll be my backup. This is important because I'd like to take an interruption free vacation for once in five years. Don't misunderstand me - I've gone on Spring Break when district offices are closed and nobody is working and have been uninterrupted. But unless I am more than 2,000 miles away and without a phone (like the Delaware trip in 2004) I have been called on every single vacation I have ever taken to answer questions and fix something at work. That's not right and not fair, and it pisses me off.
  3. The kids are going to Matt's parents for two weeks next weekend. I need to get their sizes and have them pick out clothing for school before they leave. They get back three days before school starts which doesn't leave much time.

Matt just got up...I am going back to bed.

Well, here it is 6:19 am. I went back to bed for an hour if that before the alarm went off. I've taken a shower, had a few mini breakfast quiches (the ones the size of large marbles) and now I am drinking ice water. Showered, fed, watered...I just need to think about what else I need to get done today.

  1. Take a check to Cessna Credit Union.
  2. Remember to take the electric screw driver and hammer to work so I can finish putting my furniture together at work.
  3. Need to mail my Aunt Mary Ann's book back to her
  4. Go to Bank of America at lunch today and close our CD so we have money to pay escrow closing fees. MAJORLY IMPORTANT!!!

My foggy brain can't think of much more that I need to do. Geesh!

Okay...time to get ready and leave. Sealed 





Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 4:48 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007 6:28 AM CDT
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Friday, 13 July 2007
Mood:  happy
Topic: Being Happy

Well, here it is July 2007 and I am already planning my vacation for the next year. I really have to plan ahead to consider the children’s visitation schedule and my various days I get off from work for federal and school holidays.


Something totally fun…a co-worker who is the Latchkey Director at College Hill saw the tie dye shirts on the website’s photo album and has asked the children and I to come be a part of their Tie Dye Day next summer. She has asked that we bring our shirts and do demonstrations and help the children do their shirts. I think this will be a wonderful experience and told her to put us down for that day. I’ve put a tickle reminder on my calendar and will have to make sure that we have the children on that day next summer.


I am planning on taking a whole week off this Christmas. Spring Break is a week off in March which is standard and I don’t have to use vacation days. What I really want to do is a houseboat trip to Lake Ouachita in Arkansas in July 2008. I had hoped the children would be able to come with us, but I don’t think they will if we plan to be gone for July 4th. They spent it with us this year which means next year we don’t get them for the 4th of July. I think they’d be really bummed out to learn we are going to go on a houseboat trip without them. Yet, with Matt’s very limited time off we have to plan his vacations around scheduled holidays to make the most of it. He gets all of one day a month of personal time that has to be used for vacation and sick.


I am looking at Hill’s Lake Escape again as they have very nice houseboats that outstrip any other ones I have been on or seen on websites. They make the ones on Lake Mead in Nevada look like trailer trash. It is expensive though for a week during the summer around that holiday. It’s basically $6,500 for seven nights Sun – Sun. I’ve worked out a plan for renting a six bedroom houseboat that comes with two full bathrooms, washer, dryer, frig w/ice maker, Jacuzzi and wet bar on the roof under a party awing, and a water slide. I’ve already recruited Joey who said he’s going to take a main deck cabin, just four more cabins and a couch to fill. I’ve put together a theme night menu which should be fun. I’ve learned a lot since I did the theme menu on the Delaware vacation and Sam’s Club will be helping a great deal on this trip. I won’t be making everything by hand from scratch as this isn’t about gourmet food; it is about fun and variety.


I am going to invite everyone I know to see if we can fill this boat with a diverse group of people. We are looking for an all adult trip – no children would be preferred – with everyone being between the ages of 21 – 40. Single or married doesn’t matter to us. We just want a group that is into the outdoors, swimming, fireworks, and partying. We might name this vacation “Cruisapalooza” – I’m not sure. I am contemplating getting t-shirts made for everyone that we can tie dye on the trip. I’ve got a fertile mind and a whole year to plan. Without having to bring the children we’ll be able to put the seat down in the back of the pathfinder and bring all kinds of cool things with us.

Posted by amiga/trippiehippie at 6:39 AM CDT
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