Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts

Friday, June 8, 2012

Unexpected Guest


Yesterday I had Gabriela pot a couple of ferns for me to set onto plant stands beside our fireplace.
I had discovered a bag of potting soil that was left on the patio after its last use.
Later, I checked to make sure that she had sufficiently covered the roots and moistened the soil.
I was a bit startled when the soil moved!



I almost felt guilty disturbing the new tenant.





But he had to go.


Gabriela had a little difficulty taking him outside. She kept getting "sprinkled", so she dropped him a couple of times, which piqued Rhodes's curiosity.
I quickly cleaned up the drops, but apparently Rhodes could still detect some of it, as he was sniffing around the area.

Toads and frogs have a reputation for urinating on anyone who picks one up; but I wonder if this isn't just a defense mechanism.

Our Wonderful Creator has made so many interesting creatures. I'm glad that we had an out-of-the-ordinary encounter with one yesterday.
We were wishing that we could find a more appropriate habitat for this one, but we were already late leaving the house for a track meet.
Perhaps we'll meet again under more convenient circumstances.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bittersweet Day

Graham caught an anole with his hat while we did our school work on the patio this afternoon.

After sixteen wonderful days, we had to face the inevitable departure of my sweet parents early this morning.
I think that I may have cried about three or four times throughout the day.
I miss them already, and they're only half-way back to Pennsylvania.

Despite our sadness over saying good-bye to Grandma and Pap, the children and I had a marvelous, lazy school day. Our spring break lasted longer than normal, since we don't like to spend the grandparents' visit on a rigid daily schedule.
(We have all year to do that!)
So, we'll be easing slowly back into a routine and taking advantage of the splendor of early spring in these parts.

After a late breakfast, we started our day with Bible reading, followed by a little history lesson on a famous home scholar from the past, as well as some good music:


(Takin' it back to the "old school")





Graham and Gabriela have been studying one of my favorite topics in science:
birds.
It's been a long time since we've gone out to the patio with binoculars, field guides, and nature journals, so today seemed like a perfect opportunity.
All we ended up seeing, though, were a few black vultures.



The dogs enjoyed our time outside.

Gabriela teased Penelope with her pen.

Caelyn came out briefly to shake her bathroom rug.


Rhodes loves a reason to bask lazily in the sun.

Penelope, whom we affectionately call "Menina", occupied part of her time by taunting a beetle.

I was wishing that we had brought our weather field guide out with us. I wasn't able to tell the children, off-hand, which kind of clouds these are.

Between the freeze a year ago, and last summer's drought, we're losing many trees.

I called to check on my parents' progress on the road.

Rhodes was "reppin'" our home team.

After we finished our school work, Graham and I did some online research of how best to rid our yard of a long-time nemesis. Incidentally, we learned yet another reason not to eat Splenda.

The Resident Exterminator
(He kept asking to blow up the ant mounds, but that idea didn't sit well with me.)

Spring means more grilling, so Craig Grayson did a thorough cleaning of our grill this afternoon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Pieced Project, or Coaches Are Effective


Some things are just easier and more enjoyable when there's someone standing by and cheering me on.

Like push-ups.
And childbirth.

Back in 2002, I was burned out on quilting. It was stressful for me because it's just not one of my strengths. I had joined a quilting circle (Did blogs exist then?) with ladies who really knew their stuff, and I couldn't hang!

I stuck around long enough to do a few swaps, and as a result, I have a few quilts' worth of blocks to (some day) put together.
At times, I take them all out just to admire the work and reminisce. Then they go right back into their ziploc bags for future consideration.

Since "meeting" people like Amy and Penny and countless others - and ever since I participated in the very fun scrap swap - I'm inspired anew.
But alas!
I still sort of stink at quilting.

The Houston Quilt Show and my friend who took me there have served as fresh inspiration.
Still, I'm a child of the generation that helped usher in the age of instant gratification; hence another excuse to not make quilts.

They take time.

I like to make "stuff" and "things" that don't take very long.
So, Amy's recent (brilliant, fun, perfect) idea to make a mini pieced project for Sew & Tell was right on time for me!
(And she even stood by and cheered me on! Bless her!) 

Equally on time was this tutorial (I really like her style).

"Mind the Gap!" I love this fabric. I used it for the back of one of the pot holders. The London Underground is one of the most crowded situations I've ever experienced; but it was fun! This project reflects my frequent tendency to make major blunders in my sewing. In this case, I forgot to add the second layer of insul-brite; so I'll be hanging with the seam ripper today.

Caelyn was impressed that the recipe on this fabric can actually be read. I may try it, just for fun.

By the way, if you're needing more inspiration, Sew Mama Sew is doing an entire month of daily ideas for making Christmas gifts, etc.

OK. Gotta go. 
I can't wait to see what everyone else did for Sew & Tell...


Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up


Craig and I recently had our bikes serviced so that we might begin to explore the territory around our neighborhood. I was so excited when he sent me a text on his way from work on Friday, telling me to "get changed" for a bike ride.

I hadn't ridden for a while, so I'll just say that after a moderate ride, I was hoping that my weekend wouldn't involve much sitting.
The soreness didn't last long, thankfully. I enjoyed "breaking in" my new seat.




We had a marvelous evening ride, complete with some bird spotting. My camera is broken, so I'm having to use my phone for now. (Please forgive the quality.) Sadly, I didn't get any bird photos.

At one point, we came upon a flock of water birds that flew up and circled overhead, leaving me motionless in awe. 
It was magnificent!
Just as they began to take flight, Sara Groves's rendition of "Breath of Heaven" began to play in my earphones.
The piano intro was the perfect segue to what seemed like a choreographed dance in praise to our Creator.

It brought tears to my eyes.

I felt a little like this guy.

Suddenly I realized that Craig hadn't stopped with me. 
It took some effort to catch up with him.



At this point, we realized that we were approaching a private residence, so we turned around and headed back.


Although I was thrilled to move to the Houston area, I was afraid that I might never see anything green. To my great joy, I learned of this place, and our family headed into the city for their get-acquainted-with-the-outdoors event.

We enjoyed a birds-of-prey demo, which was the biggest highlight for all of us.










Craig couldn't wait to see a falcon, since he's wanted one for several years. This one is rather young and still in training for doing demos; but we enjoyed every minute!

We got to see this hawk "hunt" for the "prey" on this leather lure. What a treat to get a close-up view. It was literally right beside us.

This is probably cheating, but our boys were glad to see an airsoft booth at the event. I'm sure they meant this for younger children, but Craig Grayson & Graham couldn't resist the challenge of target practice. Graham walked away with the record for the most targets hit in the least amount of time.


Craig Grayson did well, too; but he couldn't keep up with his younger brother.


He's always a good sport, though.

Gabriela wanted a turn, too. She did well, considering that she hadn't shot before.


There were many other exhibits, including this wildlife center that had a few reptiles on display. We miss our ball python, "Kaa", which we gave away when we left Alabama.




The Hunter's Education booth was a favorite of the guys. They're anxious to get "legal" in the state of Texas.

Craig was intrigued by this gentleman's tales of hunting in South Africa.



I'm still amazed at the idea of electric cars. This booth was advertising "charging stations", two of which are already available in the city.

Snow cones in the shade

On Sunday, we were privileged to join our friend, Leo, in watching his son's team play (and beat) the Texans here at Reliant Stadium.

With my puny iPhone camera, I managed to at least show proof of Stefan talking with his uncle/coach, Steve Wisniewski, before the game.






Football fans really are a rowdy lot. My ears were ringing long after we returned home.
We had loads of fun, though.

We were especially grateful for the stadium's roof, as it rained quite a bit yesterday.
After the game, I ended up taking off my shoes, which were irritating my feet. We had a long walk in the "cold" rain to where Craig had parked, but I felt like a kid splashing barefoot through the puddles and dodging rocks.

A shower never felt better.