Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving, 2013

I really stink at taking "selfies!"

We had a pretty quiet day for Thanksgiving this year, the Koenig's were in Houston with Jeff's family, and the JR Forsythe's were in California hosting Ashley's Dad and sister, so John and I were on our own.  We're having our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday this year, so for the actual day we took a drive through the hill country for several hours.
A white llama who didn't care at all that he was getting his picture taken.

I was hoping to see a lot of fall trees, but they've already started turning brown up the way we went.  We went through Sisterdale, Comfort, Fredricksburg, and several other little towns up that way. Have you ever been by Bell Mountain? There's a little community called Willow City there and a winery that we passed by.  We're going to have to try their wines (sounds like they make some reds and reislings) if we can find them anywhere.
 Enchanted Rock

That evening John made the best smoked pork chops that he's ever made -- oh my! So good. He's really getting good at using that new smoker of his.
Sunday I'll have more "Thanksgivingy" Thanksgiving photos...we're frying a turkey. Oh boy!

Getting ready for Joss.....

Jeff, Colleen and KT have been getting Joss's bedroom ready, so last weekend we went over on Saturday to help with a few projects.  John helped Jeff and KT paint, and I helped Colleen with the bumper that will go around the crib.  We made KT's almost 4 years ago, so it was kind of nice to continue the tradition!
 Jeff teaching KT the fine art of painting with a roller....
 It's a beautiful soft gray.....
Colleen picked out some really great prints in a soft flannel -- so much fun to work with.  I almost finished, but had to take it home with me to do the final stitches. I've gotten out of the habit of working too hard, you know! But, it's done now! I think it turned out beautiful!

Colleen made little Sydney a new scarf when we were done for the day! She looks like a little fox right now, so this fabric was perfect!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Movie Review --- Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I've really been looking forward to this movie and it was well worth the wait! If you've read the books, you should be satisfied with how they move the story along, although they can't put all of the rich details that the novels provide.

Katniss and Peeta are back in District 12 and living in the homes that are provided to them by the Capital of Panem, as a reward for winning the last game.  President Snow shows up as Katniss is about to embark on a winners tour of the districts with Peeta, threatening her family and the entire District.

As I was watching, I realized that the real hero of this tale is Peeta.  He's been the instigator of everything that Katniss has done since being chosen as a tribute, and that continues in this episode.  Don't forget that his real talent is NOT baking, its his artistic ability, and he uses it. Very well done.

I loved Effie's butterfly dress!
The movie starts out right away, so don't expect any movie titles or star names rolling across the screen.  It picks up right where the last one left off.

And it ends just as abruptly -- leaving me wanting more! Darn! I guess I'll have to wait it out, but I hope they don't take two years to make the next movie.  Excellent couple of hours out of the rain! Go see it, but be sure you watch The Hunger Games first.  Or better yet, read the books!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Around the yard....

I picked a couple of the Meyer Lemons the other day -- they are so large and beautiful! I've used one of them on a couple of drinks and they are perfect.  I'm still amazed that we really grew these things.  There's probably about 6 more out on the tree, too.
 A full bed of garlic went in this week - Silverneck and Transylvania varieties.  I'm going to cover them with a layer or two of those beautiful burr oak leaves in our yard for the winter.
 This is the burr oak -- the colors are just gorgeous, but the leaves are all falling so fast, I think the tree will be bare before Christmas.
 Our peach tree is turning a gorgeous color of orange! I just love trees that show off their fall colors.
 A close up of my peach leaves!
One of my goals this year is to add a few trees that have a variety of colors in our yard. After exhaustive research (about 15 minutes on Google) I found that these type do the best in our area of Texas: Smoke Tree, Japanese Maple, Poplar, Chinese Pistache, Rusty Blackhawks Viburnum, Ginkgo or Maidenhair Tree, and Fringe Tree.  I'll be looking thru the nurseries for some of these in the spring.

The New Puppy!

So, I know I told all of you I didn't really want to get a puppy, we would be looking for a young dog about a year old, but.....
This really great deal just came along thanks to Colleen's inter-office email, and it was exactly the kind of dog we were looking for.  She will be mid sized, not too big, not too small when she's grown, and a dog we can have in the house with us and be a companion, not just a watch dog. Anyway, Colleen sent us a message about these pups, and we decided right away that we wanted one of them, so she made all the arrangements because they needed to find homes quickly (I think the owners were moving and couldn't manage the whole lot of them in their new digs.)

Meet Sydney, a mostly-red heeler with a smidge of border collie (I really can't see any iota of border collie in this pup, but that's what the owner said.) She's 9 weeks old.

She's a lovie! Was a bit shy the first few hours when Jeff brought him home (have I mentioned what a great son-in-law I have?) I mean really, how lucky are we that Jeff is willing to go pick this baby up for us and shop for puppy stuff and then drive all the way out here to bring her home to us? Yes, VERY lucky.
She quickly warmed up to us and especially to John. She's been at his side since she came home. She has slept through the night for the past two nights -- which I was not prepared for.  I was sure we'd have to get up and take her out a few times in the night -- so imagine my surprise!
She's met all the cats (they're withholding their approval until they see how she comes along), the chickens (they were sure she was a fox!), and the guineas (Sydney's more afraid of them then they are of her.)
Come meet her next time you're out this way!
 Keeping John's feet warm....
 Playing in the leaves with KT....

One tired pup!

John Spends a Day Under Anesthesia .....

John finally had his knee worked on Tuesday morning, orthoscopic surgery with miniscus trim and some arthritis scrapped down.  We had to be at the day surgery place at 5:30 a.m., which if you know how far we live from there, meant we had to be up at about 4:00 a.m. to get ready and have time to get there. Arghhh!
We were the first people there -- the building was almost totally empty -- but the front desk person arrived about 15 minutes after us, and from then on it all went fairly quickly.
This is me staring at this bed while John's changing into hospital gown. Snicker! He's all like, "Why do I have to take everything off if they are only working on my knee?" Oh the mysteries of the hospital P&P manual......

John changed into his little hospital gown (tied in the back, of course!),was prepped and hooked up to the IV by 6:30 a.m. and he had answered the same little list of questions from about 6 different people! Funny! "Correct, the left knee." (with a warning not to say, "Right" in answer to that question!)  The nurse came in and gave him a little magic in his IV and they wheeled him away.

By 8:30 a.m. I was called back in to the recovery area where a very fuzzy John was waiting to go home.  A few final orders and then we loaded him on to a wheelchair and out to the car.  We drove through the parking garage gate and on the way home.  Whew!  That's over but the recovery was expected to take about 3 days.
In the car on the way home - ice on the top of the knee.

I think the worst part of the whole thing was John getting all of that anesthesia out of his system, he was a bit loopy most of the day -- it finally was gone by about 7 pm that night.  Some pain that day, so it wasn't that hard to convince him that he needed to take the pain meds, but he hasn't needed them since.  He took just Tylenol the next day and nothing today.  No pain other then some stiffness from the incisions (he has three holes in his knee with a couple of stitches in each one.) These should be healed and he can take all of the wrappings off Friday.  Here's hoping that he will have relief now from the knee pain he's been in for the past couple of years.  I'm glad he finally had this done.
John with Jeff's fancy knee icing machine!

Now...keeping him down in the chair for a few more days will be my biggest challenge.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Movie Review --- Thor 2: The Dark World

We've finally been to see a movie again. I can't believe how long ago its been, but there really hasn't been much that we've both wanted to see until now.
Thor 2! I liked it a lot, it was a real mix of action and comedy...oh, the comedic little gems that they peppered throughout the movie were priceless!
From the pant-less Dr. Erik Selvig, who you might think is teaching a class here at this blackboard (but you'd be wrong),
to the Intern, Darcy and her new intern.  (Oh yes, an intern for the intern.)
Loki was surprisingly likable in this movie, which is a trick in itself....someone please remind Thor he should never, never, never trust Loki.

They had some cameos by the Borg Queen (pure geek excitement!!!) and Captain America. And when Thor enters Jane's apartment and hangs up his hammer on the coat rack, I almost spit popcorn all over the theater. Just hilarious....
Go see it - you will love it.  Stay for the credits (there are two, one early on and the other after the end of the credits) if you want, but I didn't think either one was really worth the wait -- those credits go on and on and on..... you'll see why these movies cost so much money.  Good grief! So many people to make a movie? Whew.

Oh, and for those of you who may watch Face Off on the Syfy channel, like I do (one of my favorite shows ever), Roy -- this is what a dark elf looks like.  Note the ears. Now, if you had just done a dark elf instead of whatever that was you did, you might have won the season. Tsk!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Many faces of Mercury....

He's always happy to pose!
 Merc moves around the room following the beams of sunshine...
 He warms up and falls asleep....
 Unless someone teases him with a feather on a stick....
Lookin' good in pink!

Scenes from our travels home....

We left California on Monday and made it to Salt Lake City, UT, the first night.
 Snow on the ground in California
 We went by Donner's Pass
 The Bonneville Salt Flats

 Close up of the salt.  We passed the Morton Salt Company later that day.
Tuesday's travels took us through to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the night. We spent a few hours in the Arches National Park, but it wasn't nearly enough time.  I'm bound and determined to come back this way some day and spend a week, there's so much to see.  We found a really neat town, Moab, that seemed all set up as a kind of base camp for people to stay in and spend time in the area.  Next time, for sure!

 The start of the monument mountains...
 The plants all look so twisted and have to be tough to live here!
 Layers of sandstone...

 The Monitor and the Merrimac
 The Window

 Ghost Rock
 We found out these green layers are clay
 The Three Gossips
 Balance Rock

Wednesday was a straight trip home, and we arrived around 8:00 pm.  Whew! I love going, but I'm always glad to get home (aren't we all like that?)  I wish more people could get out and see this beautiful country we live miss so much from an airplane window.  So completely gorgeous.
 We had lunch in Van Horn, Texas - this is John Madden's favorite place (Chuy's) when traveling through Texas.  His name is all over the place.  It was good to get some good old Mexican food again!
They make their enchiladas flat, which is kind of different, but still delicious!