Wednesday, December 29, 2010


For Christmas, Travis (and Pam) sent us tickets for the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA - about a 5 hour drive.  He also got us into the AFA Tail Gate which was awesome in that we were up close and personal for pre-game preparations.
 As part of the package, we got shirts and a barbecue, beer, pop or water and a lot of fans to rub elbows with!!  It was actually pretty fun, even though we didn't see a single soul that we knew!!

We got to meet the Peregrine Falcon (mascot):

After we ate, the cheerleaders showed up to practice, then the band and of course, the Bird was greeting everyone and posing for pictures! 

 Interesting enough, the Bird (or one of the jump team dressed as the Bird) parachuted into the stadium - just like Travis did back in 2000 - (left).  YUP!!  That's Travis as the Bird as he parachuted above us on his entry into the stadium!!!!  If you asked him today.... he'd likely say it was the 'funnest' thing he did while at the Academy.
Back to the present:  We enjoyed the cheerleaders practicing along and with the band:

Then for the game.... they were first on the scoreboard, but were down by one point (6-7) by halftime.

Then came the halftime show....  a B-52 flyover at 1000 feet (felt like 100)
and of course the band:

then my battery gave out!!!
Any of you that watched can attest to the fact that it was a good game and kept you just a little worried right to the end when AF got an interception on the 1 yard line, which shut down Georgia Tech with seconds to go!  It was a close game (and COLD!!!).

Probably the worst thing that happened was that we had to go through security on the way in, and they confiscated by full bottle of Propel....  but worse that that, Dad had to throw his trusty sidekick, his pocket knife away!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I've had some pretty wonderful kitties over the years, mostly siamese, but Spotty ranks pretty high.  She has now gained the status of my in and out cat.  She's probably the most loving and gentle cat I've ever had.  I'm putting this first picture on for Riley who's coming to visit soon and I know he and cousin, Brenden like to see Spotty when we skype!!  Here she's snuggled up on my side of the bed (she knows better than to migrate over to Grampa's side, cause he doesn't like to share with a kitty).

Can you pick Spotty out when she was a kitten with her brothers and sisters???

A few months ago, Spotty was limping and needed to lay low for a bit.  Initially we couldn't see anything wrong, but after a day or so, her paw swelled up.  Here she is with her 'mitt' of a paw! 
A few days later, the fur started falling off and you could see 2 distinct wounds that were 'weeping'.  From the pattern, we think she got bit by a snake of some sort.  It took her a couple of weeks to get better and a month for the fur to grow back.  I'll bet she'll be more carefull next time she encounters a snake!!

Unfinished business (or perhaps I SHOULD say - FINISHED business):
A couple days after my last post, out came a can of paint to finish the horse shed.
One morning there was a Kodak moment.  Eeyore was in the shed and all three horses were lined up in front of it just after sunrise.  It was picture perfect.... but I didn't have my camera with me.  By the time I ran in and grabbed it, they were making their way to their feed buckets and the moment was lost.  This was 2nd best, but I'm waiting for that perfect shot!  The most interesting part of this photo (besides the shed!!) is the sky - it looked painted, like there are brush strokes.  I would have cropped more of the sky out otherwise.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


For Thanksgiving, most people have traditions.  Over the years we've developed favorite foods that we mostly have ONLY for Thanksgiving:
    Turkey with a Pennsylvania Dutch-style Potato Stuffing,
    Candied Yams          fresh Green Bean Casserole,
    Cranberry Orange Relish        Mashed Rutabaga, and for dessert,
    Fresh Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie.
We tend to start from scratch, and the pecans and pumpkins are harvested from right here on our little Texas ranch.  If I'd put up some green beans in early summer, we could have had home-grown string beans too.  So this year we had our usual fare, but we totally enjoyed sharing it with 2 airmen from Sheppard AFB who were spending their first Thanksgiving away from their families.  I didn't know who Mike would come home with and was pleased when he called on his way back home with Megan and Megan 'too'. 

What a godsend they were.  They helped prepare food and set table, and they got a taste of life in "Texas-country".  They helped collect eggs and feed hay to the cows .... and since it had rained, they even got to take back some Texas mud with them.  We certainly enjoyed their company since our family was spread out and wouldn't be home for dinner.  Incidentally, we're STILL eating turkey!!!

Very loosely related to 'traditions' (the title of the post) is our new (to us) nesting boxes for the chickens.  Our friends, Neta and Junior Lackey, were instrumental in the early arrival of chickens to our little ranch.  A neighbor was looking for a home for 9 cornish hens and had asked them if they could take them.  Well, not only did they give us the chickens (indirectly) ... and find us the tailless rooster ..... but Neta's dad had chickens and Neta had his old wall-mounted nesting boxes!  She's had offers to buy the nesting boxes, but didn't want to give them up yet.  After finding a home for the chickens (with us), she asked if we'd like her heirloom nesting boxes. 
They've been up for a couple of weeks now, and the hens seem to be taking to them.  I find at least half the eggs there now.  They started in the lowest row of boxes and now I find eggs in the top row.  We've gone from the blue crates                            to nests on the wall:

If you can see, there are actually 2 eggs behind the exiting hen... the bigger one she just laid, and the small one is a 'seed' egg - a small 'pullet' egg I leave in there.  They like to lay on the seed egg and sometimes I will find up to 3 eggs with it!! 

Besides cracked corn, maize and wheat, I've found that chickens LOVE pumpkin and watermelon!!!  Check out the enthusiasm when they find a surprise in their yard:

It looks like a chicken convention!!!!
Note the iridescent green feathers on my black chickens.  Mr Rooster has them too as you can see below in the previous blog entry!!