Thursday, July 31, 2008

Not a Drop!

It looked promising for a few hours, but no rain. However, the clouds were beautiful and did provide some shade. My potted plants have all dried up and my shrubs are now starting to show signs of major heat stress. I water my plants regularly, but nothing is a substitute for rain.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Erika and Kayden

These are recent pictures of my niece Erika and her son Kayden. Aren't they adorable!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hoping for a green thumb

Yesterday on our way home from Hot Springs we stopped by my brother's to pick up a plant. This plant has been around for as long as I can remember. Andy replanted it and it just got to big for him so I took it on. We have a 9' ceiling in our Den so I thought we would be okay. It is already almost touching the ceiling. I don't have my dad's green thumb so I am hoping to be able to keep it alive. Andy repotted it and Troy has repotted it again. It is leaning a little in this picture because the base is a littlel small. We will have to get a bigger one for it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Camera Shy

I have been trying for several weeks to get some good pictures of the hummingbirds that frequent our feeders, but to no avail (they will not stay still). However, Debbie took these pictures, which I thought turned out pretty good. We both need to take time to read the camera instructions more closely to determine the best setting to capture these speedy visitors. Also, I should be getting a telescopic lens this fall so I can take pictures from a distance and thereby, prevent scaring these guys off their perch.

Formatting Fun

I have spent the morning playing with my blog format. I have rearranged some of the entries and changed the page layout. Hopefully, it will be easier to navigate through. I have combined slideshows under one label and separated the web links from the blog sites. It has been an interesting morning.

The Journey So Far

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fun with Photos

Troy and I have been playing with Adobe Photoshop. The above pictures are ones Troy edited. These pictures were taken during our trip to Florida. The last picture has very subtle editing. It has highlighting around Alex. Kinda neat what you can do with that software.


Troy and I are very excited about having grandkids. We currently have a grandson who was 2 months old on July 24th. Adam, Justine and Brody live in New Hampshire which seems like a world away from us. We have not yet had the opportunity to meet our grandson, but we are now ready to have him come and stay some with us (Granny and Papa). Tabitha is pregnant and we are eagerly awaiting the end of January. Granny is already preparing. I was going to put the baby bed in a room by itself and fix up the room for our grandkids to stay, but I couldn't bring myself to imagine actually having a baby in the house and it be anywhere but right in the room with me.

I was fortunate enough to get a baby bed and a bedding set from a friend of mine and I spent the day putting it together. Since the bedding set was Disney I had plenty of collectible stuffed toys to add to the arrangement. I love Mickey.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fungus Fun

Mildew will grow on anything in ARKANSAS.
Yuck! mildew up close.
After some intense powerwashing, the mildew finally relented its grip.
Squeaky Clean We spent the day with Tabitha and Sean. Debbie and Tabitha visited while Sean and I powerwashed their house. The mildew was harder to remove than I had predicted; but with me applying the bleach and Sean blasting the mildew with water, the job got done. Note the two "before" pics compared to the "after" pics; I think we did a pretty good job.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I cannot tell a lie!

I chopped down the cherry tree!
This was the last of the original trees that were in the backyard when we bought our house. It had started to look stressed last year and this year had only a few scattered leaves. It stood too close to the house to take a chance on it falling on its own, so down it came with the help of a neighbor and a long chain that ran from his tractor to the tree as I was cutting. I just finished cutting up the downed tree and it looks like it will take several trips to the brushpile to clear all this mess. I especially love working in the 100 degree plus weather.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Atlantic coast visit

Having failed to find the seaweed I went to the Gulf to collect, I was forced to cut across Florida and search for it on the Atlantic coast (and yes I did find it there). Here are a few pics of the St. Augustine and Daytona Beach area. I plan on attending a seaweed conference back in this area at the end of October. I hope the hurricanes are all gone by then.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Heavenly Message

Here is some sky writing we saw over Orlando, Fl. The complete message was "God loves you." I am sure everyone in Disney World was able to see the message as well.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Birds

We saw plenty of birds along the gulf coast while searching for seaweed. I like the pelicans the best.

One dog's journey

This is our minature daschund, Candy. We took her with us to Florida this past May. I think she enjoyed the trip, but I am not so sure she liked the ocean. She looked like a minature seal in the waves.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Landmark Baptist Church Camp 2008

This week it's church camp! Lots of food, fun, fellowship, and above all good services. Brushy Creek is located on Lake DeGray, out in the middle of nowhere or at least it seems like nowhere. It is actually just around 8 miles off Highway 7, but a long 8 miles -- Beautiful country though. We love it!. Troy taught lessons on Tuesday and Wednesday (which I hope to get him to post). I was only able to attend Tuesday night. It made me homesick for the days when I had my own kids at camp and I'm looking forward to the days I will see my grandkids there.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Niagara Vacation

Just reminiscing about the vacation Debbie and I took a few years back while we lived in New England. We knew if we were ever going to visit Niagara Falls, we had better do it while we were up North. I highly recommend it. The Falls, both the American (top) and the Canadian (bottom), are breath-taking. We liked the butterfly sanctuary that is located there as well.
Isn't my wife beautiful?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

I had never been on jury duty in my entire life and always wanted to know what it would be like to serve on an actual jury. One of my favorite movies was the old version of Twelve Angry Men with Henry Fonda and of course, there were the old lawyer shows I grew up watching reruns of like Ironside and Perry Mason. So needless to say, I was sort of excited to receive my notice in May that I was going to be on jury duty for the next 4 months.
Well, the first case that went to trial was this past Monday and I, along with 11 of my peers, was chosen for the jury. However, the excitement of the being on this jury was short-lived as it became apparent that Hollywood had taken quite a few liberties with how a trial really works and just how mundane the proceedings and lawyers can really be. Adding to my disappointment was the fact that the content of this case was far from the stuff of a John Grisham novel.

Then it came time to adjourn and deliberate the facts (or at least I thought)of the case behind closed doors. What a nightmare! Opinions replaced facts; the feelings of the jurors carried more weight than testimonies of the witnesses. I was appalled, disgusted, and praying my life would never be placed in the hands of a jury of my peers. Not that I can think of a better or more fair system on the planet, but serving on a jury in and of itself ought to be a deterrent to crime. I survived leaving disillusioned and with a migraine and with the instructions to call back Wednesday night to see if I needed to report back on Thursday for another case, which I did and I was.

So I reported this morning to court no longer wanting to be chosen from the pool of jurors. Twelve people were chosen from the 70 in the pool and I was not among them. I was elated and ready to go home. However, the lawyers exercised their challenges and 5 of the original 12 were rejected. A second drawing was done and (you guessed it) I was chosen! I was asked a few questions to which I thought my answers would possibly get me rejected from the jury, but it did not. Two in a row! At least the case wrapped up in one day and it is behind me now. How many more cases can there be between now and the end of August? How many more times will my name be drawn? All I can say is be careful what you wish for and compared to the service others are rendering for this country, what do I really have to gripe about if I serve in 20 in a row?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Another Invasion

Manduca sexta (adult form)

Checking my tomato plants and finding one plant nearly defoliated, here was the culprit-- a tobacco hornworm. The genus name, Manduca, means "glutton" in Latin and I can see why the name was chosen for this pest. This one worm took out half of my tomato plant in one day.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Frost in July

Thought these pics would help to cool things off in the middle of July. I took these pictures last winter of the frost that had formed on my truck windshield and roof. The ice formation patterns were amazing, don't you think? I had never seen frost form in this way before or since.