Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sad News

Today's post is a sad one. On Friday, my dear Grandmother passed away. She was one of the most special people I have ever known. She was kind and loving, and very supportive of me throughout the changes in my life.

She was a talented quilter, a square dancer, and an avid gardener. She used to email me pictures of the flowers out of her garden, which is just too cute - a woman of 92 emailing pictures. Very sweet. She had a fantastic sense of humor, and was always quick to laugh. She made delicious fudge, and sewed me my very own square dancing dress once. She and my Granddaddy would drive down every year from northern West Virginia to North Carolina to sit through an interminable dance recital just to watch me dance for a few minutes. Her house was always full of love.

I had taken some pictures of flowers in our yard last week to email to her, but didn't get the chance to send them to her in time. She donated her body for medical research, so there won't be a service. So instead, I thought I'd post the photos in her honor.

We love and miss you, Grandmother.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Sky Is Falling!!!

Know what this is?

Me either. But I looked it up on the internet, and apparently it's water that falls from the sky. It's called "Rain."

Yes friends, it FINALLY rained last night! We got a big storm! Noel and I sat on the porch and watched the storms.

The lightning was really impressive - it lit up the night like it was midday:

(That was taken at 9:45 pm).

Guess what doesn't photograph well with a regular camera?

Lightning bolts. It turned out weird, but I kinda like it. :)

We're so excited to have gotten some rain! The plants are just soaking it up - hopefully we'll have more coming in the near future!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Space...the Final Frontier....

And here we go, as promised! Pictures from our trip to NASA!

Now, we weren't so sure about what we would find on the tour, because we went there the week that the shuttle landed for the last time. We weren't sure if there would be scads of space engineers weeping into their pocket protectors or what. Fortunately we saw no sad astronauts.

But there was plenty of other stuff to see! Including the astronaut training area. They have pods that look like portions of the space station that the astronauts practice maneuvering around:

I thought it was neat that each piece of equipment has the sponsoring countries' flags above the module's name. There are a lot of surprising countries participating in the space station - not only Russia, Germany, Italy, and France (which you'd expect) but also Brazil!

We saw landing modules and space suits:

And this creepy looking robot thing. Sorry - this was the clearest picture I could get of it. It's a huge gold spider that's used for doing work on the outside of the space station. The multitude of feet make it easy to maneuver. And also make it extremely creepy.

So one of the things I was most excited to see was this android. Boba Fett!

This last picture is just for you, Rachel. Heh heh heh.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life has been busy! So I've got lots and lots of pictures to upload. You've probably heard a lot about the drought here in Texas. It's really bad here - we've had about 17 days of 100+ degree days in a row (which even for here is hot!). We also haven't had rain in ages.

It's really sad to see fields of ruined corn.

Our garden's been doing well, although we've been watering it like we're trying to drown it. This picture was from about a month ago - we still have okra and bell peppers left, but everything else has died down already:

We got a LOT of squash and okra! And the nice thing is, it's about time to start a new garden for the fall! We have squash, sugar snap peas, and tomato seedlings that are about ready to plant. We'll probably put them in the garden box on Saturday. It's a good thing to be able to grow your own veggies, especially with the costs of food supposedly going up a lot in the near future!

Life on the farm is still really good. We do have our daily challenges though:

Noel had just finished washing his truck when one of the cows came by and left a present right behind the wheel. HA HA HA! Nice.

So last week, my job sent me to Nashville for work. We stayed at a hotel near the huge Opryland Hotel, and for dinner we went to one of the hotel's restaurants. The inside of this hotel is AMAZING. There's a little river with boat rides, a massive garden/conservatory inside the center of the hotel, and gorgeous water fountains:

They even have fountains that squirt water, with colored lights! It was just incredible.

Noel's son Logan came for a visit too. We did lots of fun stuff, like going to NASA (photos coming soon) and the zoo (photos in just a minute). There was also some MMA style wrestling on the floor.

I feared for the furniture.

Anyway, we went to the Houston Zoo, which is a really impressive, very large zoo in the middle of downtown. We saw the aviary enclosure with faux ruins:

(I want faux ruins in my house).

In other news, I learned my new superpower: I can talk to giraffes. There were several giraffes, and I talked to one of them - "Come over here, handsome! Let me get your picture!" Well, guess what? He came over! And licked my fingers! And Noel got to pet him!

Confession: This following picture is from the aquarium. They have a white tiger. For some reason. It's gorgeous!

We also got to see the tigers at the zoo. One of them was feeling a little warm, so he went for a swim!

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion....

looks tired.

Speaking of kitties, check out this retrospective picture of Samson as a baby:

So sweet, so innocent.

And now, he's a much bigger boy! He and Loki sometimes try to kill each other, but then will settle in and take a nap together.

He looks so cute and precious. And then he looks like a turkey: