"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What did you do this weekend?

Warning! This is a very image loaded post!

This past weekend was Parents' Weekend at Stephen F. Austin State University. So what did we do? We made reservations at the Fredonia Hotel and went to see a football game.

We saw young men painted like this.

We saw the new scoreboard at Homer Bryce Stadium.

We saw football of course.

We saw the sun set behind game.

Sunday we went to the Mast Arboretum.

Why did we do that? Well, the September/October 2007 issue of AAA's Texas Journey ran a story called Lone Star U. The article touted the highlights around the state that are worth your while to investigate if you get the chance. Under the Horticulture section, SFA's Mast Arboretum was recognized. "East Texas plants and flowers are showcased on 10 acres. The start attraction is the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, with 6,500 azaleas, as well as camellias, Japanese maples, hydrangeas, and ornamental trees and shrubs. Free."

We have toured the Mast Arboretum many times over the last four years and we are very fond of it. It has so many areas that I would have to post for days to get all of the scenery in. I will post some other pictures of some of the butterflies later this week after I get them cropped a little better.

Finally, the reason we drive to Nacogdoches on what seems a regular basis: the proud senior, my Munchkin
For those of you that are not familiar with this scene. This is the fountain on campus of Stephen F. Austin. It is in Centennial Plaza. Every year we take the First "Official" school picture of the Munchkin here. It is our tradition and this is my last year to be able to do it. I will post all four of them together later in October so that you too can see how she has changed in her four years at college. It is both a proud feeling and a sad feeling all at the same time.

And one last picture of the Munchkin.....we love you and we are both so very proud of you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This is what scares parents

As many of you know, I have two daughters. I know that I talk about Munchkin more than I do Trouble, but Trouble is almost 24 and has been out of the nest a lot longer. That doesn't mean I don't worry about her any less. This is what I have been dealing with all day from my office:

Second escapee captured after allegedly killing female guard

Yes, at approximately 10:30 AM this morning I received a breaking news bulletin from our local news that two prisoners from Huntsville State Prison had escaped and killed a female guard. I have been watching the streaming video feeds all day as they have had the entire City on lock down.

Huntsville is a college town as well as a prison town. The campus is just a few blocks away from a portion of the prison grounds. The Walls Unit, where the executions take place, is just three blocks from the end of the campus. Huntsville is the headquarters for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (the only State agency that is not headquartered in Austin) as well as the county seat for Walker County.

While there are a number of other things that the city would like to be known for, such as this 66 foot tall statue of Sam Houston that can be seen from I-45, the truth is that everyone in Texas knows whre the prision is.

To understand why I am also concerned, you must understand that Huntsville State Park and the Piney Woods of East Texas (The majority of the commercial timber growing and wood processing in the state of Texas takes place in the Piney Woods region, which contains about 50,000 km² (12.5 million acres) of commercial forestland. This area includes at least 17 state parks: Atlanta State Park, Caddoan Mounds State Historic Site, Caddo Lake State Park, Daingerfield State Park, Governor Hogg Shrine Historic Site (Quitman) , Huntsville State Park, Jim Hogg Historic Site (Rusk) , Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, Lake Livingston State Park, Martin Creek Lake State Park, Martin Dies Jr. State Park (Jasper) , Mission Tejas State Park, Rusk and Palestine State Parks, Starr Family State Historic Site, Texas State Railroad State Park, Tyler State Park, and Village Creek State Park. Four National Forests - Angelina (Angelina County, Nacogdoches County, San Augustine County, and Jasper County) , Sabine, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston (Huntsville) - are found in the "Piney Woods" of East Texas. These National Forests include some 634,912 acres (2,569 km²) in 12 counties.) There are a lot of trees and areas that a person(s) like that could potentially hide in.

Thank goodness that the departments involved are always ready and have the resources to track these people down. It was still very hard to feel so helpless as I watched the streaming feeds from the news helicopters and not worry.

I am glad that they caught him. I feel deeply saddened that the female office on horseback was killed while trying to recapture them. My prayers and sympathy go out to her family as do my thanks for her doing her job.

Yes, I have heard from Trouble twice today and all is well. Soon, I will have pictures from her campus to post as we head north up I-45 to see her soon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

You're a Rainbow Trout!
Believing strongly in the equality of all races and in gay rights,you are a true egalitarian. These stances have made you a target amongst some groups of people, but it's all in a day's work for you. You try not to fall for their schemes hook, line, and sinker, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Some where over you, bluebirds fly.
Take the Animal'>http://bluepyramid.org/ia/aquiz.htm">Animal Quiz at the blue/'>http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Harlot - Enough Said!

Twisted Yarns did a great job with this event. I believe that there was approximately 300 Harlot fans in attendance. The woman in the last picture wearing the beast cancer tee-shirt drove for six hours from Sedona, Texas to see the Harlot! That is dedication and support! I couldn't get a good picture of this one young man that had a professional series camera . He was wearing a kilt and beautiful Aran socks and he was working on a beautiful piece in grey wool with a braided cable across the edges. He was very charming and had as much fun attending as he did taking pictures. He was captivated by young baby Gus that was seated in front of me with his mother. The high school was a wonderful place. They had a coffee shop that they kept open during the entire event and afterwards and the coffee was only fifty cents a cup. It was flavored coffee too!

Perhaps I will post my pictures of myself with Stephanie later, but for now, enjoy these. And for the record, she told us that she mailed the squirrel home yesterday so we did not get to see it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday Temptations

September 18: Houston, Texas
7:00PM @ The Carl Wunsche Sr. High School
900 Wunsche Loop
Hosted by Twisted Yarns

Yes, today's Temptation is the Yarn Harlot herself. I am so excited.

I have reservations to have her sign my copy of this book too.

What will I take to work on? I will be taking a pair of socks in this yarn (4253 - Fog). Pattern - my own design.

I will also be working on this, as featured on Dances With Yarn's site. I will be using this yarn.

Tomorrow will be a picture heavy post, as I will be taking the camera with me and will do my best to photo-document the event.

Wheel of Time Series

Everyone has read a series that they fell in love with. I have read many of them, starting back with Nancy Drew. As an adult, I have been a sucker for Sci-Fi books and the Wheel of Time series was/is no exception.

I was very saddened to learn that the author, Robert Jordan, passed away on September 16, 2007, from a rare blood disease.

These are not simple books. They are all at least 1,000 pages per book and can average 1,500 pages per book. I have read the first three all the way through and I am almost finished with book four. I have the next three books standing by on the bookshelf. I will be acquiring the remainder of the books (paperback) by the end of the week so that I can rest assured that the collectors have not grabbed them all. I might have to be more like several of my fellow knitters and get them on audio so that I can knit and listen at the same time. The only problem is that my imagination will not be able to "see" as clearly as if I were reading and having to visualize the story myself....

My thoughts are with his wife and family as they grieve and move forward. The entire WoT community most likely shares this sentiment as well. God Speed sir.

Monday, September 17, 2007

WNBA Season Ends

For those of you that don't follow the WNBA, the following will sound like LALALALALALALALALA.

We have been following the season quite steadily, especially since Houston has a team. The playoffs are always wonderful and this year was no exception. We had games that went into triple overtime and injuries galore.

The finals were just wonderful! I had been cheering for Phoenix all along and I am so glad that they won!

Until next season.....watch for us on the television....we have season tickets in row six right behind the announcers......

"Have you seen her?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tropical Storm Humberto

As if Texas hasn't had enough rain this summer, we now have to be on alert for Humberto.










One things is for sure. Wifey and I will be home in time to batten down the hatches and get prepared. We have a survival kit and we will be getting the important paperwork gathered and into the watertight box. Everything will be ready as it always is during hurricane season.

And what will I be doing after we have everything taken care of? Knitting of course. I have approximately 20 rows left to finish the SITM second sock. I will also be working on one of the afghans listed in the UFO KAL. It is crochet and I can do it quickly. If, for some reason, there is a power failure, I can continue to work on a few more items from the UFO KAL until there is daylight or power restored.

Not to fret. If you have lived in Houston for more than ten years, you too have prepared for a hurricane and know all the steps. We will be fine and I will report back some time tomorrow.

UPDATE: Hurricane Humberto decided to visit High Island and Winnie. Houston was spared, so today will be just another "normal" Thursday. We will watch the reports when daylight hours show the damages and help with donations if they are needed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tuesday Temptations

Okay, I just realized that I totally skipped last week's entry. I did post pictures of the favorite yarn submission for the SITM KAL Contest #2 and of my favorite way to use old stash. I hope that counts for something.

I have been in a real funk of sorts for the last two weeks. Munchkin and Trouble have returned to their respective colleges and the house has settled back into our "normal" routine. But something is still not quite right. The weather has been awful still as well. I have not been able to do any of my normal outdoor work at all this summer and we have even lost several plants to root rot from all of the rain. I have tried to remain focused and direct my energies to the inside of the house.

I am pleased to say that after this weekend, I am starting to feel like my "normal" self. I especially want to share a story of a special event that Wifey and I helped stage. It is so romantic that I have to share it. It is my offering for today's post because, after all, September 11th is a somber day and we need to share some love when we can.

Wifey and I have a couple (B & D) that will be celebrating their 20th anniversary as a couple on September 12th. They are both wonderful women and we love them dearly. Now as most friends go, we all four get along wonderfully and have enough in common that we can spend time alone with either of them and all is well. For instance, B and I love to watch the WNBA. We scream and yell and generally love the sport of women's basketball. While we do this, Wifey and D listen to music, swim (weather permitting), and cause trouble for us. On other occasions, D and I shop all day (clothes and jewels) while B and Wifey do the house jobs that we won't do.

This story goes all the way back to when I asked all of you your opinions on Wifey and I exchanging rings early. We did, and the pictures were taken at B & D's house. I had taken D to the Jewelery store with me to look at a few rings before we selected the one we have. D fell in love with an emerald cut 1.23 carat diamond. For weeks she went on and on about how if B loved her she would get that ring for her. Now for the record, D had the most beautiful ring you can imagine and there was nothing wrong with it. It had two rows of diamonds with a 1/2 carat marquis solitaire in the center. Total carat weight of the ring was 1.5, so not shabby at all. The new carat weight is 2.23.....

D had to take a two week business trip and then a two week trip with her parents, so B decided to cook up a huge surprise. She asked us to take her to the see the jeweler. We were happy to do so. She immediately purchased the stone and made a deal with the owner to hold the stone until closer to the actual anniversary. This is where we come in. Once D got back from her trips, I made her go the store with me several times. They cleaned her ring and helped us get all of the parts ordered so that we could break the mount for the marquis and get the new stone mounted. I took D to the jewelery store on the 24th of August on the guise that she had to help me pick out a watch for Wifey.

We got there and the owner cleaned our rings. She brought back all of my stuff and nothing for D. She told D that the main post had a significant crack and that before she went on her cruise that it should be fixed. "No problem, I'll pick it up on the 1st." Wifey and I had also been asked to set up a romantic dinner reservation at The Rainbow Lodge. We set everything up. We went to our normal happy hour from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM and then headed to the restaurant.

We had a room with a fireplace. Reason, it was able to be closed off with two doors from the rest of the dining rooms. I had asked for this from the owner, as she is "family" and I had explained that some of her guests might not like and public displays of affection that might erupt. We ordered wine and chatted about their upcoming cruise to Tahiti. We ordered dinner and started with our salads. The meal progressed and she didn't suspect a thing. We ordered dessert and I excused myself to take out my contacts. Wink wink....

I located the evening manager that had been conspiring with us and gave him a box of Godiva chocolates. The ring had been carefully placed in the box. The significance with this is that on their very first serious date, B had given D a very expensive set of gold earrings in the exact same manner. These were nicknamed the Chocolate Earrings and the story is so sweet every time you hear it. The waiter came in with my dessert and then reappeared with a silver try with a dark velvet cloth on it. He came to her right hand side and told her that they were out of the bread pudding she had ordered but they had substituted "this" as he uncovers the box and sat it in front of her. She looked so surprised and then she slowly opened the box. There, nestled amongst seven other pieces of candy was her "new" ring. She was trembling as she placed it back on her hand. She did lean over and kiss B and then sniffled. She pretended to be very mad at all of us but was just speechless the rest of the evening.

We had a night cap and left them at their house at about 10:00 PM. They are on a plane at this very moment headed to Tahiti to celebrate the big day. We wish them well and can't wait to see them when they return in two weeks.

Remember to kiss that special person and tell them how much you care for them. Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pictures as promised

This is a picture of the Hot Damn Afghan in Lion Brand Homespun (Acadian).

This is View One of the Leftover Yarn Afghan.

This is View Two of the Leftover Yarn Afghan.

You will have to pardon the picture quality. These were taken in 2003 with my trusty Kodak Advantix Camera. I used my trusty Fujitsu ScanSnap S500 to scan them in and convert them to JPEG files.

Take a close look and tell me what you think......