wide open space – part 1

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We got invited: to a ranch in central Nebraska. Some folks my husband met over the last year. My friend Karen told me not to go. The so-called Sandhills are only a 4 hours drive from Lincoln, but they are different, she said…….. There is a certain picture I have in my mind when I think about a ranch in the Midwest.
Excitement and anxiousness.
We were welcomed and treated like family and best friends. Our first ride with the four wheelers gave us a brief view of that wide open space, and that all belongs to one single ranch! An amazingly, beautiful landscape ….

I could have not asked for more Midwest country experience!

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Follow me for part 2 … Not only the landscape or the unreserved handling of guns took my breath away …..

wide open space – part 2

wrangle up the cattle

…. A horse trailer, dogs wandering, horses roaming and the smell of bacon. Waking up at a Midwest Ranch in central Nebraska. It’s the “Branding” weekend.

Everyone gets together for a hearty Breakfast.

cowboy breakfast

Now my kids roam around too. In between the horses and the dogs. I have spent days on farms in Austria but never had they been just straying through the country. Always kept safe within the paddock or the barn. The horses come and go, while Omelets are cooked in a ziplock (plastic bag) under boiling water, bacon and Hamburger are roasted in the pan under the sky. Coffee in beer glasses and beer as fresh as it can be. Good Morning in the Sandhills.

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have a guess ... what does my 3 year play next too?

have a guess … what does my 3 year old play next to?

Some head out with their horses and others with the ATV’s to wrangle up the cattle for the marking and the branding. Each calve gets 2 immunizations, a marker, branding and the bull calves are castrated. My husband has a quite easy job, he holds the door open or closed, but he needs to be quick. The team works fast and hard. I am glad that I am only taking pictures and not caring a bowl of so-called mountain oysters (calf testicles)….

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branding

At the end of our last day we take the kids on a last short ride with the ATV’s. While I am opening a gate, my friend and my 5 year old are turning. Unexpectedly Joshua hits the gas thumb lever by accident and they crash right next to me into a post of the fence. ATV flips over, both are falling off. Silence. My husband and I are running. Our friend seems fine first. Joshua. I pick him up and he says right away his stomach is hurting. I am worried about both of them. He seems to be fine otherwise. No blood. But he’s all pale and gets quiet after a while. Shocked. I refuse to go back on the ATV. I’m a mother that has all the strength to carry my almost 6-year-old boy through the Sandhills. No matter how far … Dennis gets our car meanwhile to the road where I am waiting. We instantly know we have to see an ER, worried about internal injuries.

Everyone’s in the car. After a couple of minutes my friend realizes that her arm is swollen and bruised, her chin hurting and a finger bleeding. 45 Minutes drive to the emergency room…. Lights behind us! The sheriff. Dennis gets checked and has to sit in the Sheriffs car for several minutes….And gets a Warning ticket for speeding. I look out the window and look at some terrifying clouds. Some minutes later back on the road. Sirens in the trunk. It’s my NOAA weather radio. Tornado Warning… driving fast again. Arriving in the town of Ord, there’s no current Tornado Warning there but again the formations on the sky look terrifying. We head inside the small hospital, glad to know that we are safe and not on the street anymore. Hospital staff examines both. It takes only several minutes until we get the tornado warning. All patients and all of us have to head to the shelter. I’m hoping for a basement. It’s a room in the center of the house with no windows. Scared. Having pictures of Oklahoma in my head. Silence. No one’s talking. The nurse explains to a women that attempted to get out of the shelter that we have to stay in here in case something happens, they know where to look for us. I don’t feel safe anymore. All I want to is being home and safe with my kids. There are several tornadoes on the ground that night. We are in the shelter for what feels like an eternity … 1,5 hours.

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Don’t we all have a certain picture in our minds about a country, about the Midwest, about Nebraska? We experienced everything that I ve ever imagined within one weekend. It was intense, I was scared (although – both my son and my friend had luck and they only had several bruises) but it was one of my most amazing weekends out in Nebraska. I ve learned so many things about livestock, farming, ranchers and american culture, hospitality and the beauty of the Sandhills!

Are you up for an adventure? Here is a working ranch in Nebraska that offers that kind of experience.

Howdy!

Don’t let the days go by

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“Don’t let the days go by”… Gavin sings. A night in Council Bluffs at the BUSH concert. We were amused by the fact that most folks took their camping chairs to the concert and there has been only a specific area in front of the stage without chairs. Gavin is full of energy and it was hard not to rock like in my early twenties. We ended that night with a stroll around the Riverboat casino (as law once allowed casinos only on a boat). The days go fast and I ve decided once more to dive deep into the american culture and stopped at a drive in, for a so called Blizzard ice cream….

AWesome IMPRESSIONs of the day

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Long days

It has been too long … I know. Days during an overseas move are long, crazy, emotional and intense. I usually get up by 6.30am and head to bed around midnight and still there’s a lot more work ahead of me …..

Get a look on how our days look like in between organizing an entire move:

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Running errands

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Laundry and preparing another meal

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Emails, phone calls and reading the news in between

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Picking up the kids and taking them to swimming lessons

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Dinner and drawing

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Getting Groceries for the next days, stopping at the newspapers section and being irritated by the variety of some magazines

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Preps for our teacher presents and answering more emails

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Garage Sale culture

Garage Sale

Garage Sale culture is AWesome. It is easy, convenient,  practical and a lot of fun. During our last days in Austria 2 years ago, we tried desperately to sell our almost entire household goods within 3 weekends, but my experience was that people were more irritated about the reason for our huge sale then anything else …

In a couple of days we are having ourselves another Garage Sale here in Nebraska, and I am curious to see the difference.

There´s nothing you can´t find on a Garage Sale Weekend. There a lot of things you might not want to use though, but their are also lot of things that are unique and have maybe something to tell. “call information if you want the damn phone no.”

something to tell

Nebraska´s biggest Garage Sale:  Last fall I ve been even traveling out to the Sandhills Byway to shop around Nebraska´s Junk Jaunt. Almost 500 miles of Garage Sale, collectibles, vintage and other fun things. Not only I got to shop for great things (like an old Radio Flyer wagon), I also got to see a Dust Devil … (a whirlwind). The Junk Jaunt is a great way to experience Nebraska.

Junk Jaunt

Now I got to prepare for my own Garage Sale.

Howdy!

Melanie

Wiener Blut – 10 and 1 on top

Got home from a dinner last night with my lovely neighbors and friends from the “street” and had to think about two questions:

 WHAT WILL YOU DO FIRST IN VIENNA? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO?

I have been so busy with planning our move, and being to melancholic about leaving Nebraska that it never crossed my mind until now, to think about what I am going to do first in Vienna – here are my first random thoughts (more to come – I am pretty sure):

  • I think about FOOD right away. Extra-Wurst-Semmer´l and some real dark bread.
  • a typical warm summer night, eating ice cream and strolling around the 1st district with all those historical landmarks and end up at the MuseumsQuartier with all of my friends.
  • surprising my husband – once more – with a romantic picnic on a rental boat at the “old danube” including sunset and mosquitos!Vienna Danube Picnic
  • going to a fully packed, totally sold out movie theatre (have you seen my Instagram with my husband sitting alone at the movie here in Nebraska?)
  • roam around NEUBAUgasse and looking for new spots in town. Taking a picture in front of our old apartment.
  • riding the tramway and listening carefully to the announcement … “Endstation Hietzing, umsteigen zu den Linien U4, 60,  bitte alle aussteigen”. waiting for the "bim"
  • taking the kids to the “böhmische Prater” (amusement park from the late 1880´s) and riding the “Raupe” and my favorite marry-go-round.
  • a night out dancing and eating a “Käsekrainer” at 3am at one of the remarkable Würstlstand (Hot Dog Stands). Süss oder scharf?
  • Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee … every authentic coffee house from Diglas, to Prückel, to Sperl, everywhere – for sure not at Starbucks.
  • promenade along the crowded “Naschmarkt” – Fleamarket and looking for some finds and chocolate at ZOTTER.
  • sitting on a blanket at the city hall square, drinking a glass of wine, and listening to classical music. Hello Vienna.

Bussi Baba

 

 

s t o p – and enjoy a day in Nebraska

Packing, sorting, emails, calls … STOP … right here and enjoy a day out in Nebraska, was my thought. It wasn´t sunny, but it wasn´t raining either. So my husband and I went to Omaha for a day. Strolling around and drinking coffee together. Spending a lot of time in one of my favourite Antique stores in Omaha – the Fairmont Antique – negotiating about a piece that I fell in love with. I´ll write more about that unique piece another day. And we couldn´t resist the Fairmont Antique Diner and some Elvis Presley from the Jukebox…before we headed to a fun Bowling evening with our friends.

Today we are heading back to Omaha. Our car needs to be checked, before it get´s on the road and meets us back in Austria. I am excited that we take our super huge Family Van with us. I just wish I could keep my Nebraska plate.

Howdy today. (another Nebraska plate I ve seen on our way to Omaha – I even more wish I could have that one): Howdy in Nebraska

Howdy in Nebraska

slicked hair and my heart will catch on fire

As a kid my grandma took me only once to the movie theater, because of John Travolta. She adored  his dance moves. She loves Grease. So do I. Many times I have heard that inner voice telling me that I am a Rockabilly by heart. I ve always idolized Elvis Presley and no doubt I would have been one of the fainting and screaming girls those days. I adore the coolness of James Dean. My legs always move with Buddy Holly. Yes, and in the 90´s I had my first teenage-crush on … “Dylan McKay”  and his hair style.

Last night my inner voice got heard. I danced to J.D. McPherson. Thank you!

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/band-to-watch-jd-mcpherson-20121120

PS: My gra´ma was not happy that day. Not so many dance moves  in “Look who´s talking now”

 

 

SIMPLE AWESOME INSTAGRAM´S

Today – just simple – a few of my favorite Instagram´s …

follow me on my new AWesome Instagram AUSTRIANWALNUTPROJECT.