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A couple months ago, back in my spring semester at Union, my mom and I found a vintage dress pattern at an estate sale. We thought it might be fun to try making it, and since it promised to be an easy pattern, we tried it out. I made my first dress during spring break and loved it. If you don't already know, my mom is an artists and one of her main products is fabric. We decided that it would be fun to make a vintage dress out of some of her fabric. 

When I came home for summer I started work and never seemed to have time to spend a whole day sewing. Finally, after our trip to Chicago to get my visa, I had an extra day before going back to the kiddies (I spend summers working at a huge hospital day care). We washed the fabric, ironed it, and laid out the patterns. Surprisingly the whole dress making process didn't take nearly as long as the first time I tried it. The best part was that I sewed my dress while mom sewed hers. My mom has always said she hates sewing and doesn't think she's good at it, but I am here to tell you that she is wrong. Sure, she didn't go to 3 summers of 4H sewing camp like me (laugh all you want but I can sew anything now!) but she did a great job! Here's a few photos from the process!

Oh, and one more thing. This is probably my last post for a while, because I'm going to be studying abroad! Visit my blog here or go to ayearinspain.weebly.com for the school year!
 
 
My favorite place in the world is Oklahoma. I've been going there several times a year since I was a tiny tot to visit my grandparents who live in the beautiful farmland outside of OKC. I've visited during stifling summer heat, droughts, floods, and blizzards, and never have I wished I was elsewhere. The red dirt, the slightly southern accents, and the stunning sunsets draw me in and I never want to leave. However, what I love the most is the people I get to see while I'm there. Since we were tiny they've played with us, taught us (how to drive, how to make egg noodles, and how to play Carrom), and shown great interest and support in our lives. Last week Logan and I drove down for our summer visit and they took us to one of the coolest museums I've been to: The Museum of Osteology (America's ONLY skeleton museum).

At first I was unsure how I would feel about the whole thing because although I'm a science geek, I like to stick to physical science, like astronomy, geology, physics, or chemistry. But if you start talking Anatomy and Physiology, Bio, or any form of life science, I'll get out ASAP. A&P was a struggle in academy simply because just talking about anything body-related makes me want to pass out. But I decided that an entire museum of just plain bones couldn't be so bad, after all they are all dried up and bleached and clean. And it was awesome! I wish they had a place like that here that they could have taken my class to! 

The museum had two levels with a space in the middle that went straight to the ceiling. This is where they hung some giant whale skeletons and had rhino and giraffe skeletons that you could touch. 
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In the glass cases all the way around, they had smaller skeletons of every animal you could thing of, snakes, shrews, alpacas, bats, birds, and some animals I hadn't even heard of! They also had some human skulls and skeletons but it was a little unclear if they were real or reproductions. Many of the teeth, however, are not original bone. They've been added and look much nicer than you would think.
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The smallest skeleton I saw was this teeny tiny shrew. I don't even know HOW they put it back together. The hugest one was the giant whale hanging in the middle of the room. It's a humpback whale which, although is not as big as a blue whale, was pretty massive. They had a video that showed how it was put together and hung from the ceiling beams. 

Ok, now remember how I hate blood and body stuff? Despite that, one of the most interesting things in the museum was a video compilation about how exactly the bones are prepared. See, the museum is adjacent to a place called Skulls Unlimited. Not exactly somewhere you'd go for a fun shopping spree. Basically, it's a company (which owns and operates the museum) that takes bodies and does the dirty job (literally) of, well, stripping them down to the bones. And then cleaning, bleaching, and reassembling the entire skeleton. And it is QUITE the process. They mostly cater to hunters, schools (for educational purposes) and random people who find animal bodies and just want a skeleton. They say they've done every kind of animal and have even reassembled some human bones.

As much as I would love to explain every shocking and disgusting detail (and I would- it's fascinating) of the process, I'm going to let my friend Mike Rowe do it for me. Yep, Mike Rowe came to the company and filmed an episode for his hit Discovery series Dirty Jobs. In a letter he wrote (which is displayed in the gift shop), the original cut was just too, well, dirty, to air on the discovery channel. So they cut some more until it was viewer-appropriate, but Mike felt that it didn't do the job justice. Yep, Mike, we're basically on a first-name basis. Click here to watch the clip from the episode. In short, as much "stuff" (no need to use a more descriptive word here or I'll get queasy) is cut from the bones and then they are placed in giant tanks of beetles, which eat any leftover stuff. Then they soak them in a peroxide solution so they come out squeak

Here's a few more photos from the day. The hummingbird was by far the cutest skeleton (skeletons can be cute, right?) and this fellow with the tusks was one of the strangest. The egg display was so cool because of all the different colors!
I would give this museum a 10 on uniqueness, informativeness (is that a word?), and display. Not that anyone is asking. But it was so awesome! I'd highly recommend it to classes for field trips since it's not too big and super educational! We had a great time while we were down in OK  are we were sad to go. 
 
 
When the family was all together a few weeks ago, we cut and cleaned rhubarb for Megan's wedding jam. Arielle is going to 
 
 
 
 
The summer heat is starting to take a tole on our little flower garden, but I've managed to save a few buds here and there by bringing them inside for my own enjoyment. The summer is flying by- I can't believe tomorrow is July (and Logan's birthday!). Working full time and taking a class really makes the weeks go quickly. 
 
 
My backpack for next year arrived in the mail yesterday! My friend Rachel, who's going abroad also, ordered one too so we are going to be backpackin' it up! It has a ton of storage space and will be easier to tote around than a rolling suitcase. Hopefully we can also get some hiking and camping in. 
 

Cat Nap

06/19/2012

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Happy Fathers Day to my dad, the best one I know! Thanks for always being my traveling-adventure buddy and giving the family so many opportunities to see the world!
 
 
Today we went to the Kauffman Gardens with the family after church. I haven't been able to see Megan all week since she was off work so it was fun to get together and enjoy the lovely flowers. 

It's been a very busy last couple of weeks. I've been working full time, taking a class two nights a week, and working on my student visa. Plus for work I've been having to take extra classes for us to stay certified. Last week it was one four hour course of CPR/First Aid. Next week it's Head Trauma and the next week is SIDS. Not a lot of fun to learn about but it definitely makes me feel safer with the kiddos. 

Monday and Thursday nights my dad and I take a three-hour ground school course. Even if neither of us finish getting our pilot's license, it's really fun to learn about planes, aerodynamics, rules and regulations, and how flying works. It would be fun to take a few actual lessons in a plane though. After 40 hours and a couple of tests, you can technically receive your private pilot's license. 

Needless to say, the last 6 weeks have really flown by. I can't believe I've already been home from school a month and a half. I actually miss UC quite a lot, not just because of my friends and Mikey, but because I just love taking classes and learning new things. Still, I'm so glad it's summer and I can have a break from sch
 
 
Today we went out to a prairie reserve park for a short hike and we found so many pretty flowers! It started out as a nice walk with a breeze despite the slightly humid day, but before long the camera batteries died, we saw a water moccasin, my mom squealed, and we were ready to head home.