Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!

WOW!!! The last time we attended a real live Air Force football game was when Travis was a cadet at the Air Force Academy (AFA)!!! He graduated in 2001, has been through pilot training, F-16 training, weapons training, survival training and multiple other kinds of training since then!! He's been to Iraq and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia and Germany and he'll soon be on his way to Italy!!! A lot of water under the old bridge!!!

Anyway, this year, Air Force was in the Armed Forces Bowl, and they played at TCU Stadium!! The 'T' is, of course: TEXAS!! We were only a 2 hour drive away, so Travis gave us tickets for Christmas!! He couldn't be there, so he sent us to take pictures and cheer for him!!! And WE HAD A GREAT TIME!! We bought some long johns and bundled up in our AF clothes to buck the 42-46 degrees we anticipated. By the time we parked, walked to the stadium and found our seats, it was kick-off time!!! The officials came out on the field... the coin was tossed, and AF received:
Our seats were at about the 16 yard line, and we sat behind the Cadet Drum and Bugle Corps (below, left). For the AF, the game got off to a great start ... TWO TDs (unanswered) in the first quarter, and we could see the TV broadcast on the scoreboard (below, right). (for detail, click on any small pictures to enlarge)

Houston was obviously off their game... here we are giving them another opportunity to score:
Then at half time these 4 groups marched onto the field to take their oath of office for the USAF, USN, US Army, and the Marines - new recruits!! You can also see the University of Houston Band at the ready in their bright red uniforms.

Then a VERY nice half-time show featuring 3 bands: Houston (red), AFA Drum & Bugle Corps (blue) and the Army Drum & Bugle Corps from Fort Hood (camo & behind the AF)... Shown on the right are the Houston majorettes ... performing in very brief uniforms!!! BRRRRRRRRR!! (click to enlarge):

Immediately after the game, the AF team assembled directly below us and sang the school song and cheered. (below, left) The final score appeared on the marquis (below right). Note the position of the flag compared to the picture in the first quarter!!! We had a bit more breeze in the second half.

All in all, it was a great game, reminiscent of Parent Weekends past!!! A GREAT Christmas present, Travis and Pam.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Dreamin' of a White Christmas

In OLNEY, TEXAS???? I'm wondering WHEN the folks around here last had a white Christmas! Last year I don't remember a single snowfall! I remember a couple the year before, but not for Christmas!! I had a feeling we might see snow for Christmas. Late evening on the 23rd I heard some pretty good rain, and figured it could turn to snow during the night. We woke up to snow falling and a heavy dusting ...

As the day went on, we had horrendous winds and swirling snow.... and then the power went out. Many of my planned activities were put on hold .... like baking cookies, homemade rolls and bread, doing laundry, vacuuming! So we worked on other projects. The temperature outside fell into the 20s and Mike dusted off the kerosene heater in the garage to keep the house temperature comfortable. My 'in and out' kitties (2 little calicos) enjoyed the day sleeping inside. I brought a nice wool blanket out for the corner of the porch and Sam and the other kitties were safe out of the worst of the snow and wind. They all huddled together. It finally eased up around 4, but we still had no power. But it allowed for some nice pictures:

Left is the Live Oak off the front porch, laden with snow. Right are the doors on the side porch outside of our bedroom, blasted with wind and snow. (click to enlarge either picture)

Left is a view of the side yard (click to enlarge) with large drifts. Right is Mike shaking the snow off the laden branches of the Live Oak. Mike cleared the car windows in anticipation of attending the Christmas Eve service at church, but we couldn't get out of the driveway.

As you can see, we were set up for a beautiful white Christmas which paralleled the famous
"Twas the Night Before Christmas when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse" (with 8 cats outside and 3 in the house, I guarantee NO MICE!!!)
This beautiful sunny snowy scene depicted the poem further as evening approached still without power....

"The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Gave the lustre of midday to objects below"...

Though still without power, we nestled in with a fire in the fireplace and our kerosene lanterns to a quiet evening with cheese and summer sausage snacks, our traditional glass of Bristol Creme Sherry or Bailey's Irish Cream and read the Christmas Story (Luke in the Bible) and played a few games of Backgammon. And then the power came on at about 9:15 pm!! My super-thanks go out to those 'linemen' out in the wind and freezing cold trying to get to the problem location with nearly impassible roads and blizzard conditions. As a result, we had an old fashioned Christmas and made many memories!!!

Visit us again very soon for our next entry of our very own special Christmas-time child!!