Thursday, December 29, 2005

Texas Part 2

Our second adventure of the Texas trip took us to Waco. We went to see the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, the surveyor shown in the picture below is in front of the Hall. It was pretty cool, lots of information about how the Rangers developed over time. There was one odd thing, there were guns all over the place in the displays, but I did not see one bullet or even a shell anywhere.

We also saw the suspension bridge, which was the longest single span of its kind west of the Mississippi when it was built in 1870. Why no pictures? Because it is hard to take a picture when you are driving the Wrong Way on a One Way bridge that runs parallel to the historic bridge. It is also hard to get a picture when you are making haste to get out of a place before the local authorities notice what you did. The few locals we saw just shook their heads and laughed. Glad it wasn't busy!

Back to the food subject. The Wurstmarkt in Harker Heights, Texas is worth the trip if you are in the area. They have excellant Jaegerschnitzel, Kroketten, and a wonderful cold salat with red cabbage, sauerkraut, and cucumbers in dill sauce.

I tend to take some odd pictures at times. This could be one of them. It is a picture of some city, somewhere in the USA from the left side of the plane between Houston and Charleston. It was a very clear night. I watched cities go by for a long time.

Overall it was a good trip. We learned a lot about the program that we will be teaching and got to know each other enough so that we can work together. Next trip is Louisiana in January.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Well, the traveling has begun. I made it to Texas this week and am learning a lot about this program that I will be training people how to use. I don't know how long the traveling will last or where it will take me yet, but I do know that there are a lot of locations on the list, the people I am working with are a fun bunch, and I am doing what I can to be an excellant instructor.

This is an interesting part of Texas that we are in... I am sure it must be. I haven't found the interesting parts yet, it is pretty flat and dry looking, but I will keep looking. Saturday we drove a few hours south to San Antonio and played tourist at the Alamo. Here is the front of the old fortress. Overall there isn't much to look at, but the history is a nice read and looking at the structure is pretty cool. We also went to the Imax theater and watched a show about it. Same scenes from any movie you may have seen elsewhere, but Really Big.

We also did the river walk in San Antonio. It is beautiful and busy with food and shopping opportunities, if you haven't been, you should go sometime. This is a picture I took along the way. The cyclamens were pretty and then the river background made it a very nice picture.

I didn't get a picture of the Coyote Ugly bar that the guys wanted to check out. It lived up to the reputation. I was the DD (and will be on every trip so that I always have a rental car available), which got me free Pepsi's and the guys had a good look and were appropriately embarrassed. HA

These trips will have an unfortunate focus on food. I am alwasy interested in finding a good place to eat and so are the guys. This is a picture of Rudy's Bar B Q. It is located at exit 254 off of I35.

Absolutely delicious brisket and ribs! The cole slaw and creamed corn were good too. The place was packed with people, mostly locals it seemed coming in to get To Go bags. It was really fun too, your food is served on butcher paper in a plastic soda bottle carrier. I should have taken more pictures, it was fun and very tasty. I saw another Rudy's on down the road by San Antonio, so I hope to find the chain again someday.

I might find more things to take pictures of before I get out of here, so consider this part one. We leave next Friday, just in time for Christmas, I have a direct flight so no stops in Chicago or anything. I am so lucky that Billy is willing to take care of the house, of course I cleaned as much as I could before I left, but I only had a few days notice!
Have a nice week every one!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Farm Gourd

Sorry about the long delay in posting. I had been waiting for my new camera and then it was dark everyday when I got home. The sun finally came out so now we have pictures.

Here are the last two gourds I have painted. I used some more DD lessons to do the sunflowers and got freehanded with the farm scene. Folk art, my style. I have another one that I used stain on, but I haven't done anything else with it, so that one will have to wait.

The new camera is pretty cool. It is a Konica Minolta D1mage Z3. Here are some examples of the wild zoom. I can get right on top of stuff. The picture on the left is from the front porch looking toward the birdfeeder that you see in the next picture. A little fuzzy because I wobbled, but what a zoom. That first picture also shows a woodpile on the right hand side by the fence. The last picture is from the other end of the porch and shows a bird sitting on that wood pile. I just think it is fun.

The last couple of pictures are of my holiday decorations, before the tree gets put up in the house. The crazy tomato of summer have been recreated as a Christmas tree in the yard. Ok, crazy, but you have to see it (in person) from the driveway, it looks good, really. grin

Besides that, I have new job news. I happened to be in the right place one day and ended up with an opportunity to teach the Army how to use a program they bought. We will see how that goes, I expect good things. I am off to Texas to learn how to teach it this week. Future postings will very likely include pictures from my adventures. Billy and I are in Charleston tonight, I needed a ride to the airport in the morning and he needed an excuse to go to Olive Garden. We both won on that one. Well, I better get off of here, getting kind of long winded.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Bird Feeder

Mom let me know that she has been checking this site everyday... and that I haven't updated anything. SO since I have an audience of at least one, I thought I better add the latest project. This is a pretty good size gourd that I got from Mom, which seemed to be better suited for a feeder than a house. It is supposed to be flowers and ladybugs in the grass. There are butterflies on the otherside. I don't think the birds are using it, but there are a few "normal" feeders in the yard too. I need to get some more started, Christmas is coming you know.

It is Thanksgiving and I have nothing to do. Kinda nice this year, but I sort of miss the mess. HA We are on our way to Bill's sister's house for dinner, so I better get going.
Updated 26 Nov
Turns out I was wrong on two parts, Dave chimed in to let me know I have at least two viewers and the birds ARE using the feeder. They actually sit inside to snack. Once I get my Christmas present (camera with 12/4 zoom) I can take some pictures of the birds.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bill Joins Up

This week was pretty uneventful until Thursday. A normal day for me is pretty much work and sleep. This Thursday started with a dental appointment, then my supervisor came down from Fairmont to complete my annual eval... only 6 months late, last year was 11 months, but next year looks promising for on time delivery. I will miss the back checks though. HA After lunching with him and talking about the past year and the future, my day was pretty well shot.

Then I had to get to a hair cut and make it to Concord by 6pm for Bill's induction ceremony. He was asked to join Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society for education. The man is so smart. The ceremony was kind of odd, the chapter chancellor read us a story. We were all inspired to make a difference. Bill's sister joined too, she is in graduate school now, heading for an administration position, which she said "No Way" to a few years ago and Bill is repeating now. She brought their Mom along to see the ceremony. Good thing, she had a camera. I'll add a picture when they get developed. I really need to pick out a good digital camera. After the ceremony we went to eat dinner at the local eatery.

That was my busy day. Today, I baked bread and fed the dog. More my speed. Hey it was a holiday!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Surviving It

Well, I survived an unplanned 5K. Back on Wednesday M. reminded me about the Pipestem Pumpkin Run and said that A. was considering doing the 5k walk. I haven't been walking at all lately, but I usually do hills when I am active. A. has been walking on a treadmill quite a bit, but not hills. I figured we would be a great pair out there on the course. Well, I am not sure if I was much help to her, but I know she helped me keep moving. We kept up pretty well with a couple of other women on the course, a man passed us, but he had a young German Shepherd towing him along, I told him I needed a sled dog too. HA We finished in 47 minutes and 19 seconds. Good enough for 6th and 7th place trophies for the walk division. Not horrible or in last place.

High points: We made it to the halfway turn around before the 10k runners caught us and the finish line before M. finished his 10k, only 70 seconds later and 2nd in this age group. Their kids ran in the fun run too, so everyone went home with a prize.
Low points: I was totally wiped out when I got home. More preparation is definately an asset to competition. I sat on the porch with the dogs for a little while and thought about curling up to take a nap right there, but figured Billy would think I had fainted and freak out, so I went in the house and landed on the couch for a while.
It was all worth the effort though and I hope to keep moving. Half of my closet is waiting for me to drop a few pounds.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Visit to the Vet

Jake had some sort of run in with something on Monday, probably very early in the morning. That night we discovered he had a 4 inch cut in his shoulder, just below his coller. I got him to the vet in the morning and they shaved his shoulder and stitched him up with a drainage tube dangling out. It would have been better if we got him there earlier, but the cut was under his hair and he wasn't even acting hurt, he even ran with the four wheeler to feed the cows. This picture is after the drain tube was removed on Saturday.

We gave him a bath to see if there was any more damage and didn't see any, but I knew he was hurting some when he didn't do the normal after bath shake, he started to a couple of times and then stopped. Well, he is home after a day with the vet, he took over Bill's chair, and looks like he is staying there for the night. He does Pitiful pretty well, don't you think?

Updated 5 Nov 05

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bird Houses

Well, it is has finally warmed up again, for a couple of days anyway. Billy and his brother are working on the final bits of siding for Grandma's building, I am going out to clean up the garden when I get done here, and then I might do some more painting.

I started on the gourds last night. I think they turned out all right, Billy asked who came in and painted them while he was dozing in his recliner. Glad I am not aiming for perfection, LOL. Here are a couple of pictures of what I did, the sun is out so I took them outside. I might add a bee or butterfly in a bare spot.

I got 5 gourds from Mom: these two painted blue, one painted green, and two that are still natural. I have a couple dozen more gourds that I grew a few years ago out in Billy's building so I have lots of supplies. These that I am working on still need to be sprayed with a sealant, have hangers installed, and drains and entrance holes drilled for the birds.

Some people might recognize the pictures that I painted as from a Donna Dewberry book, I found a Plaid craft outlet store in Georgia and picked up some ideas and supplies from there. I watched a DVD of her painting and know that what I am doing is not perfect, but that is why I define my brand of Folk Art as "art done with not a lot of talent". I am still planning on using stain and engraving or cutting to make some designs, but I bought all this paint stuff and even cleaned up an old tool box and painted it to have a place to keep all of my supplies, so I figured I would start with the paint. Well, I better get outside before this nice weather disappears again, have a great day and keep smiling!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Back to Work

Well, vacation is over. I have been traveling and loafing around for the last couple of weeks. Mom and I joined Kim and Kathy and a bunch of other ladies in Arkansas at a multi-location craft fair. We had a great time. We saw a lot of crafts and got lots of ideas, most of us didn't buy much though. I saw a lot of gourds decorated in just about every possible way, but I also noticed that I didn't see to many people carrying them around. Mom said the prices were pretty high, $50 for some of them. I suspect they didn't sell to well. My thought is that the crafters looked at those gourds and said "I can do that for less". Of course they won't, but they also won't buy any either. I got a welded trellis for my Trumpet vine and a couple of light switch covers, one with an eagle on it for the living room and one with a comical frog on it for the kitchen, and some packaged food mixes. Oh, and Mom's Christmas present, but she might read this so I better leave that one out of this story.

I have a few pictures to get developed yet, yes, developed. I am hoping to find a good price on a decent digital camera after Thanksgiving. Until that I still have this cheapo to use and some pictures to share of stuff that Bill has been working on. He has built a couple of trailers in the last year or so. This first one started life as a pop-up camper. We stripped it down to the frame in the first picture and extended it just enough to be 8 feet long to its finished size in the second picture. There is enough room for his four wheeler between those fenders, barely. It looks pretty good, tows well too. We have taken it to Mom's a couple of times with no problems at all. It is a little different now, he added 2x6 rails and some tall orange markers so he can see it in the truck mirrors.

This is Bill's latest project, that is him and Jake on the four wheeler. This one also started out as a pop-up camper, but was a lot lighter weight, we actually thought it was a boat trailer it was so different from the first one. I mean, compared to that picture above of the stripped frame, this one was narrower and had only a rectangle frame with a couple of cross pieces. Anyway, Billy added some extra bed supports and an extruded metal bed so that he and his brother can use it with the four wheeler to take hay out to the cows. That should work a lot better than driving the truck out there when it is wet, or making several trips with the four wheeler.

I will have some other project pictures soon. Mom and I got started on my idea for kid size Tipis, it has been challenging, but looks promising. I also discovered One Stroke painting during the trip and picked up some supplies to get me started on that. But I suppose I better just focus on getting to work on time in the morning. At least my schedule is only 4 days this week!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cool Find

Do Not look at the image below until you are ready to time yourself.
Ready? Now... Find the Man in the Beans.

The man is really there.

Doctors have concluded that if you find the man in 3 seconds that the right half of your brain is better developed than most people.

If you find the man between three seconds and one minute, then the right half of your brain is developed normally.

If you find the man between one minute and three minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowly and you need to eat more protein.

If you have not found the man after three minutes the right half of your brain needs exercises like this to make it stronger.
The man is really there. I thought this was pretty cool. Okay, I didn't make it, but I did use SnagIt to get the picture.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Finding Blogs

Dave asked about how people find blogs. A general search on a subject might find you one, but I know of a places to find them on purpose.

Google has a new search engine to help find blogs it is at it seems to find just about any kind of comment though, I got book reviews on my search.

Another one is at it gives you blogs from your area, if there are any. There were none for Athens, here or in Georgia, which seems odd, so that link may not be real useful. I did KC too and found some old links, which would be another problem, lots of old blogs are sitting around not being read.

The link with the best connections seems to be which has lists of recently updated blogs. Once you find one that interests you they sometimes have links to other bloggers with the same interests.

The last one I use more often than the others It has links to what is currently Hot in the news or blogs that is getting attention. Some of the links are really well put together and informative and some are not worth looking at. Ever. It depends on your perspective and morales at times. So be careful and realize that all "news" should be verified, one person's opinion might be just that and not really news.

Well, that is my list of where I find things when I am looking. Have fun and Be Careful out there. Later.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Needs Work

Hello, I hope everyone is doing good today. This post is things that need to be done. This picture is of a bunch of birdhouse goards I grew a few years ago. They are all in a bin in that red building. I really need to get them out of there and do something with them.

Well darn, I was just thinking that now everybody has a yard, I could make Christmas presents, but that isn't true any more. By the way, based on the idea that everything happens for a reason, aren't we all glad that Steve decided to get back into coaching? I am only guessing that he would be working recovery in N.O.L.A. if they were still in Arkansas.

The following is a picture of the cats. Brandy is the white one and Slinky is the grey one. This is another project that we need to get to work on. I would really like the extra dirt dug out, concrete poured, and a new raised cat feeder. Some of that might happen this year yet, we will see.

Well, that's All Folks!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Test Post

Hello, I am testing this to see if posting from an email really works.
Is anyone else gotten hooked on Martha Vision lately? Her shows are on TLC at 6 and then the prime time show on Wednesday. I can hardly believe I have been watching it, Bill can't either. LOL Well that sort of fits with my current craft attack.
Today's Making It is a recipe, and I will even stick with my Chocolate Cherry theme of the last posting.
Except that was cows and this is cake. HA
Chocolate Cherry Angel Food
1 Angel Food Cake Mix
1 can of cherries packed in water
Some Water
1 measuring cup of at least 20 ounces
Put the entire can of cherries in the measuring cup and then add enough water to have 20 ounces in the cup
Add this to the cake mix in an extra large bowl and follow baking instructions from box
1 container Cool Whip
1 small package of instant chocolate pudding
1 cup of milk
Mix the pudding and milk until thickened and then add the cool whip mix well
Frost the cake
Refrigerate until serving and if there is any left.
That is it. I hope you like it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Cows

While I am here tonight I will add a couple more pictures. First is the yard and yes I like to point out the features. It actually turned out pretty cool because if you notice the shade and sun areas split the frame and the marigolds fill a gap. You might not realize it, but I removed the light pole from the picture, it would have split the end of the house off.

Next are my cows. I like red angus because they are different, I can tell them from Bill's and Rob's cattle very easily. The red cow on the left is Cherry and standing next to the black bull is her bull calf, Chocolate. The red heifer on the right is Q, her name comes from the question mark on her head. She had horns, so hopefully her calf won't, but we will see.

What is cool about this picture? There were two black cows in the picture between the red ones and the bulls were nowhere near this location when I took the pictures. I removed the black cows and inserted the bulls. I almost messed up because I had trimmed the cow picture before I thought of inserting the bulls, no I didn't save the original. SO when I put the bulls in I had to pull them all the way to the front, it worked. OK enough of this for the day.
Ok, this is the third edit --- same story different format.

Making It - that will be the idea, pictures of stuff Bill and I have made or seen around the world. With some commentary as I see fit, or the subject comes up. You are welcome to share anytime.

Bill and I are getting pretty creative as we age, that must be it, don't know what else we are doing to make it happen. Here are some pictures of recent projects. The red building is old, but the towering tomato cages are new.

The brown building is new, and not quite finished, and so are the colorful windows. We are going to be trying to keep that building from freezing real hard and I thought that putting the plywood back in the windows would help... then of course I had to get creative and try to apply some folk art.

By the way the definition of folk art as I see it... art for people who aren't terribly talented. I have more ideas to put together and will share as we can.