Monday, September 28, 2015


Not the physics kind of mass that deals with force and acceleration.  That kind of mass used to be fodder for nightmares in my college days.

The kind of mass I am referring to here is of the Catholic variety.

No.   We have not succumbed to Pope-palooza.  We have not converted to Catholicism.  But we did attend a mass of sorts Sunday.

John's band from high school was invited to be part of Bernstein's Mass which was performed at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.  The Mass was performed both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

David and I watched the Sunday performance. This was quite a cultural experience for two very uncultured people.  We went.  We listened.  We enjoyed.  But we probably would not need to go back for another performance.  The entire performance could be described as bizarre. 

John was so excited to participate in the production though.  That part of it was really great. The band actually wore their marching uniforms for the performance.  That might be the only time he ever wears it given that he does not usually march with the band.  I failed to get a picture of him wearing it.  Sorry!

Someday he will be glad there are no pictures of him wearing a marching band uniform.  I speak from experience.

We made it to Kentucky Kingdom one last time before it closed for the year.  We had a beautiful day riding coasters.  David managed to join us for the fun too.

Not much else happened around here this weekend.

Hope your weekend was good!

Unusual Sights

Ducks on a treadmill at the state fair

Barbie and Ken married for the two hundredth time

Hamsters in fuzzy rainbow socks

Crazy Hair Day

Jeep ride without hair ties

Strange creatures sitting on my couch

Say HI to Pokemon (aka Grant)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Farm Fun

A new load of sand made for renewed interest in the sandbox. 

It also made for really dirty clothes.

Sunday was perfect for riding horses.

We stopped to play in a clearing near one of the creeks.

About ten seconds after I took this idyllic picture both Grace and Emily found themselves unceremoniously dumped on the ground by their trusty steeds.
I'm not sure what spooked the horses, but both girls ended up on their bottoms. Neither was hurt thankfully. They remounted, and we finished our ride with no more problems. 

You just never know with horses. Like a neighbor once told us...if you want a reliable ride, take a four wheeler. 

We fished our pond on Sunday. Grant had the most luck. He pulled the biggest catfish. David pulled a second catfish.

We also caught some bass and a lot of bluegill.

Some were not quite big enough to keep, but all of them were big enough to excite our kids.

I rendered my second batch of lard. The question now is should I fry fish in lard?  I've got to do some research on that question. 

I hope you had a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather this past weekend too!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lazarus Shall Be Thy Name

39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

This story from the Bible was all I could think of as I heard my old Explorer rumble to life a few weeks ago.    I'm pretty spiritual like that. 
With the help of a new battery and a little air in the tires, it rolled into the sunlight for the first time in many years.

And if you think Lazarus "stinketh" after four days in the tomb, you should catch a whiff of this bad boy after seven or so years in storage.  It stinketh indeed. 

The mice took up residence under the hood.  Wasps selected the doors for their homes.

With a good scrubbing and a little TLC, Lazarus has come back to life.

Meet Lazarus.

My kids are thrilled to have a car smaller than a barge to drive now.  I'm thrilled my big white bus is no longer our driver's ed car.

Doesn't she look good driving Lazarus?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


According to John's ROTC instructor, I cannot be done since I am not a turkey.  So I guess that makes me finished...not done.

I'm really referring to my ever evolving kitchen.

2000 - This is how it looked when we bought the house.

2009 - Painting and counter tops were the first steps 

2013 - Water damaged the cabinets and we had to repair them resulting in a new look

2015 - New Appliances finished the new look

I swore I would never buy stainless steel appliances.  It seemed like a one way ticket to insanityville given the number of kids, dogs and cats living here that all like to lick, touch or otherwise mess up my seldom clean house.

I found a new appliance finish I fell in love with last year.  It took me a year and a dying dishwasher to finally decide to go for it.  The look is called Slate by GE.  I'm not a huge GE fan, but I like the color.  Not a fingerprint or a smudge do I see.

The only thing better would be if our new appliances would prepare the food for me!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Flowers and Cakes

Look what I found in my kitchen this week. The unexpected kindness we receive is the gesture with the most meaning. Thanks dear.

Look who baked a cake. 

And iced it himself. 

Not to be outdone, grace made cupcakes. 

We're on a straight sugar diet this week. 
Don't judge. 

Again. Because I like them that much. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fall Recital

Here is proof once again of exactly how out of control life is. 
(as if you needed any more proof)

Waaaay back in June or July (I can't remember exactly) I recorded all four kids playing one of their piano pieces.  I try to do this about every six months.  I have failed miserably.

Anyway, I finally documented their absolute brilliance at piano playing.  

Just sayin'.

The only problem was I could not download the files to my blog.  In spite of the fact I have done this a dozen times, the ability to download this time eluded me.  But.  Today I made up my mind to conquer my techno disability.  And I am happy to announce I found a way to compress files and download them here.

And so, without further delay and for your listening pleasure I present the Shupe Conservatory of Music Summer Fall Recital. Enjoy.

Performing first is Grant Shupe.  As you will note from the video, he is my fourth and (thankfully) final piano student.  This simply means I am completely over it and am only going through the motions with him.  It might show just a little.  Or a lot.  He's sweet though and doesn't seem to mind my weak attempts.

Performing next is Grace Shupe.  She is a serious student who plays to her own beat (at times literally).
She enjoys her music.  That is all that matters.

John Shupe will now perform an original piece he composed last year.  He isn't quite finished with it, but I think it is an amazing start for a first attempt.

Performing last is Emily Shupe.  She has come a long way.  What a joy to listen to her play in her sweet gentle manner.  I will miss the sound of her music when she goes to college. Oh, and if you listen at the very start of the video you will clearly hear her gently whisper the words "I hate you so much." to her mother.  Yup.

Thank you for attending our recital.   If you have managed to watch all four videos, you deserve a gold sticker for your eternal patience.  Thank you for loving our kids enough to share in their accomplishments.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Just for fun

Just ran across these pictures taken while white water rafting in Fort Collins.  John, Emily and David are on the left side of the picture.

I volunteered to stay at the campground with Grace and Grant.  Though they might have pegged the fun meter that day, I'm not sad that I missed it.  I'll stick to canoeing.  Much calmer.

And we had our own version of water fun that day...

Maybe not as exciting, but a whole lot safer!!

Also found....
our trip information when we pulled into town the last day.

Total driving time - 140 hours (and 48 is that even possible)
Gallons of diesel used - 715
Miles driven - 6442.5
Average MPG - 9.0

And we lived to tell about it.  AND we are all still speaking to one another.   That's a pretty good trip.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Random randomness of the most random kind

Friday night fun at the football game. Varsity is 3-0 so far this season. Last week's game was played in the pouring rain and the place was still packed. Go Bulldogs!

David rolled John and Emily out at 6:00 Saturday morning to work at the farm. Progress is still being made on the barn project. The job of the day was to clear trees so new water and electric lines can be buried to the barn. Fence starts going in in a couple weeks. It's exciting to see the progress each week. 

Grant found a toy tucked in the back of a cabinet. 

Meet Wee Boy. 

He can be filled with water. And then as you would expect...

He wees. Who makes such a thing?!  I guess people with the same twisted sense of humor we posess seeing as how we bought it!

In a show of solidarity I shared via text a piece of cake tonight. Cake even when shared across the miles makes bad things not quite so bad. 

Any time dear friend. Thinking of you today. Chin up.