Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Day

The cranes hanging by the golf course continue to fade and fall back to earth. I saw these two the morning of Christmas Eve next to a frozen birdbath on the golf course.

Another winter at Flint without Dad.

But he is here: in the horse across the street that is oddly entranced by me one morning, in the little things at Flint that are constant reminders, in the odd double meteor blazing across the sky, in the flurry of brilliantly red cardinals we now have (including four sitting on the back of the swing Christmas morning), and in the snow or even just some little white snow flurries that seem to grace every Christmas Day!

Bird in the Hand

I held a cardinal in my hands today.

A beautiful male cardinal with his little heart pounding so fast. He had been trapped on theh patio of the little house (screen door open) and was having a hard time finding his way out. He kept flying into the screen and I was worried he would hurt himself. I tried and tried to direct him with no success. Jake's interest was no help

either! He finally flew to the golf clubs and was kind of between the screen and the clubs, flustered and weary. I started talking to him with a soothing voice and crept up on him slowly and he allowed me to grab him. He was so beautiful and his heart was just pounding! I held him close and let him calm down. I wasn't sure if he was hurt or not. I went over to the other house to show mom through the window - I didn't know if she had ever seen one up close. She came out of the house and admired him for a few seconds. I walked over to a bird bath as to set his feet down on it, and he flew immediately away - just fine!

Maybe a visit...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

RIP My Little Girl

I had never done this part before, just handed off a little one to Daddy to take care of... A different level of finality for sure!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pick a state, any state!

Well, maybe just Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico... With the cool gas station lights installed on the garage, we finally decided to hang the better part of our various road signs on the exterior of the garage. It's a great look!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bluff all the way across!

Continued the bluff project from Labor Day which cleaned off a whole other section of the bluff. This section is below the garage. Still need to do some additional clean-up and landscaping. But you can walk the whole way without getting in any dirt!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Labor Day

Boy, you ain't kiddin'! While the guys worked on the new addition to the blue house, we cleared away new bluff below the garage and I laid a wide path all the way around the new back porch. I redid the rock stairs (the new back porch partially covered where they used to sit) back in August.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Drunk Drivers

While mom was in Denton getting Baby William's room ready, some drunks took a flying leap off the road and down into our property. Down into the creek, in fact. They did quite a bit of damage and it's a miracle they are alive. However.... the guy who pulled them out did the most damage and trashed/ripped out several trees. Trees can not be replanted and mom had just spent quite a bit of money getting that area cleaned up - made the area so much more beautiful and enjoyable...

A before shot from July 4th and an after shot AFTER the clean-up from the wreck when I got here.

Planting rocks... again!

Another new bed off the golf course! Scrounged what rocks we had left to make this bed. Looks much better with the path edged!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Deck for the Garage

In between the new back porch build and the blue house addition, Steve had time to build a deck for the garage. Necessary once parking in the garage, the deck will provide a safe walkway for mom. He ended up making it deeper to provide a covered workspace for projects and even covered it so we could still work in the rain. Gorgeous approach using the rebar and dad's fancy columns (meant for another project at one time).

Monday, July 5, 2010

I extended the garden path the rest of the way to the new garage and made a few complimentary beds.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010


    Perhaps this many boxes means I bought too many... The Castle strikes again! I went in with the plan to spend less than the previous year - but ended up spending more. However, I must say, I believe we got less for the money in this economy.

    They see us coming every year - whichever family member goes! I went the first time - and got crucified for how much I spent. Then Mom went and had the owner help her pick out the fireworks... The next year Dad said he was going and would put a stop to this ridiculous phenomenon - he spent more than all of us!!! Ha!

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    New Construction

    Steve has begun the new screened porch on the back of the main house. Unfortunately, it won't be quite ready for the 4th - a special screen that is better suited for pets is still on order. It will create a whole lot more room for the cats to spread out and offer amazing outside views with ceiling fans and no bugs when we eat! It is absolutely huge and connects to the old porch on the creek side - will be really nice! We will still get to enjoy it for the 4th - just won't be screened in yet. I helped Steve for a couple of days put braces on the joints in the beams - holy cow, that's a lot of nails!

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Parting Shot

    Made a couple of new beds around the golf course. One was to keep the dirt around the new tree intact. In the process, I finished out the end by the garage adding another bed for interest. I found that really cool rock with the hole cut in it when I was digging through a pile of rock for the rocks I used to make the new beds... so, built-in rock koozie on the golf course!

    Friday, May 28, 2010

    Of course, he found his way into the hole...

    Upon arrival this trip, I found an amazing site. As I was cleaning up the golf course getting it ready, I found one of Dad's cranes had gone exactly the way of nature. Last year during the 4th I used the 1000 Cranes belief in Japan to make a few strings of cranes in memory of dad - several people participated making the cranes. I strung them together and hung them out in a tree on the golf course. The intent is much like the Tibetan Prayer Flags that are hung in the Himalayas (most notably on Mount Everest). They are exposed to the elements and eventually return to the earth from which they came. A beautiful cycle of life and death with a peaceful ending. They have been in the tree for almost a year now and one of them broke free from the string and found its way into the cup of the first hole. Hole in one? A nice little sign from Dad.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Starting the Day off with a Bang... or a Boom Boom!

    The day started with a now rare opportunity to see Space Shuttle Discovery fly overhead on it's deorbit. The moment I saw the possible groundtracks I had no doubt it would be the second landing opportunity to KSC (orbit 238) because it showed the path NE of Tulsa. I had hoped it would be like the time I saw it fly low over downtown Houston at night - much like an airplane coming in for a landing. Another time it was supposed to fly north of Houston and was too low on the horizon - but I heard the sonic booms.

    So with those possibilities I set two alarms, and awoke to see the first deorbit opportunity did not happen. Napped some more and then Mom and I headed out to watch the second landing opportunity. But we were looking North as reported and the shuttle actually went south of Tulsa. Of course we heard the sonic booms which was cool enough because the orbiter viewing was only a contrail. Here is a video sent into one of the Tulsa news stations.

    Monday, April 19, 2010

    His Name is Jake

    Looks like the puppy might be staying... and now he has a name. He swam across a raging creek section today to earn his stripes - he is a good dog. Well, he is a puppy... Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions, but after throwing out a few more since I got here, we hit on one we liked. I was just rolling off names that sounded good and came out well - especially when yelling for him... or at him! Poor Amy, he just hangs all over her all day - that is, when he is not following us around! Bruiser was a cute name - but just doesn't roll of the tongue well. And quite honestly, I was a tad embarrassed screaming Bruiser across the neighbor's field! He needed a name, and "puppy" just wasn't working either. So Jake it is!

    Sunday, April 18, 2010

    Personal Best

    Much of Saturday was spent shopping and gathering necessary hardware for repairs, so Sunday I was obsessed to get a big chunk of my list done... even in the sprinkling rain. And that I did!

    Spring continues to fill the air - quite literally... As I was adding another layer to the rock wall on the bluff (one more pallet of rock absorbed by the grounds at Flint Creek) I was trying to concentrate. But the singing of the birds was so loud, varied, and shockingly abundant... so much so I found it hard to concentrate on my stone placement. At times it sounded like I was in a tropical zoo! So many songs - some from right by me, others up higher in the trees, and a whole other symphony on the other side of the creek! I wish I would have recorded them...

    I even fit in a round on the green after cleared it off and replaced the flags. I shot a personal best 41 which is only one over par - three birdies (one on the most difficult shot)!

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Six Week Surprises

    Spring 2010 - Still some coolness in the air in the evenings, but spring is definitely blossoming at Flint.

    I suppose six weeks might be too long between Flint visits... had a few surprises waiting for me this time. First off, we have a storage closet on the back of the smaller house. As you can see, something apparently got locked inside. All kinds of things from the top shelf had been knocked over (including numerous not very cheap light bulbs of which I had already cleaned up when I took this photo) - and not just knocked over, but any cardboard that something was in is absolutely shredded!!! Mom said that one of the little orange cats was missing for a couple of days... certainly smells like a cat got stuck in there! ;)

    So later I went to grill us dinner and found what looked to be a poodle under the grates. I was halfway scared to lift it up and see what was in there. Upon further inspection, it was three different colors of attic insulation. Some little mouse apparently was making a nest - but did not seem to be used. Odd. There must have been hundreds of little insulation tufts... she would have had to make that many trips carrying one little tuft at a time. Wonder which house and where she removed the insulation from.... :/

    Wednesday, March 3, 2010

    Five minute ISS pass at Flint Creek

    There was an amazing pass of ISS overhead tonight. It lasted five whole minutes with a maximum elevation of 65 degrees. However, at Flint with the darkness of being in the country, even its 10 degree initial and 14 degree final elevations were still quite high in the sky. With a magnitude of -3.4 it was brilliantly bright! Most satellites seen in the night sky are a magnitude of 4.5 (weak) to 3.5 (bright). The -3.4 magnitude is due to the size of the ISS (now at Assembly Complete) and looks much like an airplane flying overhead - although with NO blinking lights! Through the binoculars it was absolutely booking and even looked like it was going 17,000 mph!

    The picture was taken with only a small Coolpix on sunset setting. I was braced on the split rail fence.