Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Sleepless Night

Reflections on wood floor

It's 6:26a and I've been fully awake since 4a so I thought I would take this time to finally do some catching up on my online activities. Prior to 4a, I spent more time coughing or trying not to cough than sleeping. And when I did sleep, I had to sit and sleep b/c once I went horizontal, my throat starts to tickle and then the coughing ensues. :( I really, really am tired of being sick. Usually I am not down for too long but Mark and I have been under the weather since Christmas Eve. Enough already.

So the nice thing about being awake is that I have time to do things. Like notice how pretty the Christmas lights look, reflecting on our old wood floor in the living room. So I fixed up my digicam to my new SLR-size Gorrilapod and practiced some shots.

Things that are happening right at this moment:
  1. It's raining! Yes. Really raining. With lighting and rumbling thunder, too! It's been wonderful to hear it and to see the water collecting. We've gone without rain for too long so this is a real blessing.
  2. Mark put on a pot of beans in the slow cooker last night and now it smells delicious. And makes me want to eat.
  3. I'm listening to some of my favorite, favorite jazz. Stan Getz, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Charles Mingus, and many others. Very nice.
  4. I am checking out all the pictures that my Flickr friends have added. Wow, I've been slacking on that; there are tons of photos to see.
  5. I am thinking I should also post something on my La China blog. Haven't done that in a while.
  6. I am also thinking I have not made a single earring since my little vacation started and I had said I would definitely do that. Yikes. Only got today to live up to my word on that point.

Okay, I am done drinking another cup of Theraflu so I'm going to try and close my eyes and see if sleep comes my way. I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gift wrapping trappings

Very nice

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Well, I finally finished all my wrapping! Hooray! And I made a little time to finish off my David Balacci book I've been reading for about a month. The Whole Truth, it's awesome. I hope everyone is ready for Christmas and enjoying time with family and friends.

This is a gift tag that was on a gift from my sister's family to our daughter Melissa. I L-O-V-E beautifully crafted things such as this and it's always hard to decide if I will keep things or not. I have about 7 or 8 hatboxes of old letters, cards and other mementos that I have received and I love going through them once in a while. I may put this in a box. ;)

I am so blessed with all that I have in my life. I lack for nothing materially; I have a career I am passionate about at a company I have grown to love as if I've been there 20 years. And most importantly, I have a wonderful man with whom I share it all. I could not ask for any more or for a better person to be my partner. I just want to give thanks for all I have.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I love chicken!

The BEST chicken fingers ever!

Is this my idea of Christmas cheer?!? You bet! :) We had a gift exchange so the team at work decided to do it during lunch at Clear Springs, which is a restaurant I'm sure I have mentioned before here. It's on Highway 46, between Seguin and New Braunfels. Their mountainous plate of onion rings draws the crowds, along with all the other great food they have. I just can't eat like this too often; that's for sure.

So this is a regular order of the chicken tenders plate. It was divine! I got garlic mashed potatoes and the corn to go with it. I ate three pieces and took the rest home for dinner...for BOTH me AND Mark. LOL. It was still finger-licking-good.

I have been wrapping Christmas gifts but we are mostly done. Except I have four boxes for Mark that are awaiting me...they've been sitting on the couch...I don't think he realizes they are HIS! Better go wrap 'em up before he reads this. I'm off work the rest of the week so I hope to have many photography opportunities. I hope you are all doing well and that you are not too stressed this week. HAVE FUN!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Kitty, Kitty

Blue eyed kitty

It's been so busy! Here's a pretty kitty I met while visiting Mark's brother. That's one of the nicest things about the holidays -- seeing relatives you just don't get to visit with during the rest of the year. Life just gets you busy and then before you know it, it's been a year again. We had a great time with them, however.

Gifts for family have been bought, wrapped and shipped as of today. What a relief. I was just so unmotivated this year but not because I didn't want to find something special for each person. At any rate, it's done. Now I can take some time to enjoy pulling together some small things here and there for Mark and some local friends. I love looking for just the right thing. It's so fun!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Activities

Stocking Central

Well, I finally got into the spirit. Normally, I am all about Christmas but this year was a bit different. So, I am behind in terms of shopping, wrapping and decorating. Mark boosted me along last week by bringing down all the Christmas boxes and we got started sorting through things.

Here's one of my favorite things to do this time of year...fixing stockings for family members. I love finding little goodies to put in there! We kicked off gift-giving yesterday by spending time with my stepdaughter with dinner and a gift exchange. She will be headed up north for a few weeks so we did an early Christmas and had a really, really nice time with her.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Cool clouds 3

I shot this one a couple of weeks ago on the way to work on Alt 90 right past Texas Lutheran University. It was one of the most unusual skies I had ever seen and I tried in vain to capture the full effect of the rolls of clouds. It was fascinating.

Check out other sky watchers for more cool photographs of our great skies.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Moon Over Seguin

Moon Dec08 A4

Nothing takes your mind off being blue or feeling overwhelmed like staring a the big, beautiful moon. Before I go dig through more decorations boxes and then head to bed, I want to post a shot of tonight's moon. I would have missed this opportunity to see its beauty if a friend from work had not taken the time to call me to let me know that tonight would be a great night to get a few shots. Thank you, Alison!

Thanks to my wonderful man for fixing my tripod for me! I couldn't have gotten these shots without it honey. You rock!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This toy is a bit scary.

I saw this on one of my few shopping excursions this year. At first my sister and I just liked that it was a "Tini" toy, since my step-kids and close friends call me that. But then I see the dog is kind of over the top. Toys these day sure make our stuff look tame. LOL

Off to a Spurs game. Go Spurs!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fall Along the Guadalupe River

River Drive, Starcke Park

We love to drive along the river, especially next to the golf course at Max Starcke Park. My eyes were so drawn to the colors and I would have walked along except for my fear of allergies. LOL. It's no fun to have to think about pains such as that when the view is so wonderful. We've been staying out of the great outdoors until Cedar Fever season is way past. That stuff is so fun for sure!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Guava-Mango Pop Tarts in Seguin

Hmm, what do you think?

Who would have thought it. Not only is there an exotic fruit flavor of Pop Tarts, but it's right here in our local HEB! HEB stands for H.E. Butt Grocery Store, a huge chain here in Texas. If you want, you can read a history of the store on their website.

So last week, Mark and I were cruising through the frozen foods section when I spied this unusual sight in the clearance carts. I like mango and I like guava but I don't know what to think about both flavors in a Pop Tart. I didn't try it. Has anyone out there tried it? I was just surprised to see it in little ol' Seguin. :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pecan Trees in Fall

Stormy sky behind a pecan tree

In contrast to the recent big, blue skies, we did have some cool dark days here and there. On the day I shot this, it was a cool gray in a dozen shades. I really liked it. Though I can't capture it really in a photograph, the pecan trees looked crisp and oddly golden and alive against the sky. Speaking of trees, the leaves are falling and piling up nicely everywhere. My plan is to wait until all leaves are off before raking. If I rake now, they'll be back! And with some wind action, maybe there won't be much to worry about later. ;)

I'm off to do more online Christmas shopping. Yesterday Mark and I did THREE stores in 1.5 hours at the Quarry in SA and we were tired. LOL. I used to be quite the in-store shopper but not today. We had a good laugh about it and went on to Big Kahuna where we had some really wonderful Vietnamese food. If you want to see and read on that, visit my La China blog.

Golden Fall Color

Redbud leaves

This redbud is next to the red Crepe Myrtle from the previous post. If you look at both trees and they are aligned with one another so that you see a great mix of gold, green and red, it's just really breathtaking. I can see this mix when I see at our kitchen table because I have a direct line of sight out our front door. And when I see our fall colors, it makes me happy and very appreciative of the beauty around us in the world.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Some Signs of Fall

Crepe myrtles against the sky

We don't get fall colors here in Seguin like I knew in North Carolina, but we do have a splash here and there this year. I love this red color of the crepe myrtle in our front yard.

Still trying to play with the camera and I'm really enjoying it immensely. I love the zoom (15x) and the Smart Feature. Most of the time, I turn it on and really just point and shoot. Literally. It handles almost all my settings just right. That firmware update also made all processing super fast. I love it.

Currently it's about 42F degrees, but feels like 34F. Nice. I love this cold weather. And the Spurs are ACTUALLY 20 points up on the Nuggets at halftime. Also nice, considering the way we've been playing lately. :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm a lucky girl

Flat tires are never fun.

Thanks for the picture Laurie! Now I know how you guys must feel with me pointing a camera at you all the time! :)

There I am with a flat at work. These very nice CMC men came by to provide assistance by putting air in my tire so I could drive it to a shop, though my good buddy Tod did offer to change it for me and Mark even said he'd come to the mill to change it. Gosh, so many options! It all made me really appreciate my husband and my friends. Thank you for makiing me laugh about it all! It was the most stress-free flat I've ever had. Mark even headed over to Lippe Tires to make sure they knew I was swinging by there so they stayed opened and fixed me up in about ten minutes!

By the way, if you have never been to Lippe, I highly recommend them. Their staff and service have been great over the years for us and the pricing on tires are pretty good also.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

December is almost here!

Gifts ready for a tree

Sorry! I'm being bad about blogging...I know it. I'll try and get back into it soon. We've had a great four-day weekend! I don't know the last time I had so many days off. I have enjoyed seeing family and friends, watching a ton of college and pro football and basketball (despite losing to the Rockets last night....badly), exercising, reading (Baldacci's The Whole Truth), talking photography and digicams with my best friend Sonia (I hope you get the Z1015 too!) and preparing for Christmas. Fun stuff.

And nothing like a little pressure. The bags of gifts have been sitting in our office, right by my desk since JUNE!!! My sisters are so industrious, they get together during the summer in FL and do their Christmas shopping (most of it) and then they even wrap 'em up. We happened to be visiting last June so Mai sent the gifts back with us. Can you imagine? June. Sigh. I am still working on figuring out some gifts for several family members. LOL

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Prepping Dessert

Making our first pecan pie

Tonight we are baking our first pecan pie together. It's fun! And it smells delicious; I can't wait to try it tomorrow. I'm sure there are many ovens heating up this week as we all prepare for the big feast tomorrow. I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with family and friends time, good eats, fun football and great weather (whether that be snow, ice, hot, humid....whatever!). And a nice nap. At least that's my plan. :)

Baking pecan pie

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Welcome back, Sterling Silver Dancers!

Sterling Silver Dancers from Seguin

Remember the Seguin ladies who were invited to dance at the Spurs games last season? Well, they are back by popular demand. :) It was nice to see them perform at the game so early in the season. I understand they will appear once a month. You ladies looked great and most importantly, you looked like you had fun! Cheers to you for getting out there. We loved seeing you and cheering for you. Go Spurs!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Moon over Seguin

Moon 1

Last week we were driving home and I saw a gorgeous moon hovering over Seguin -- so low to the horizon that it looked absolutely enormous. I couldn't believe I didn't have my digicam (I didn't think I'd need it going to the gym, lol.) so we raced home so I could pick it up and Mark went searching with me for a good shot. We found a spot and I set up the tripod to practice on the new digicam and liked some of the shots but I still need to learn more about all the settings. This one wasn't so bad so I thought I'd share it. I didn't touch it up besides cropping some of the dark sky out of it. It was chilly that night!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Still Blooming

Purple bloom 1

The weather has been gorgeous lately but the allergens are still bothering lots of people. Plus I think there is some bug going around b/c several people I know are sort of down with a slight fever, stomach aches, general aches, sore throat, etc. I slept most of yesterday since I just felt wiped out. Today I'm much better but Mark's kind of sickly. Poor thing.

So, despite the cold nights, we still have a few blooms hanging around including the mystery purple flower on the vine. I can't remember what the name of it is. We bought it hoping it would climb along our fence in order to block out the neighbor's big ol' trash bin. It's still trying to spread itself out so maybe by next year. We also have a few yellow blooms left on the Esperanza as well.

Esperanza 2

I'm enjoying the camera a great deal and am learning how to use it better with more manual controls. I updated the firmware (1.03) and it fixed the processing problem so that is no longer an issue. If anything, it really revved up the processing, uploading, and general operation of the camera. I am glad b/c I had decided if the firmware didn't fix that problem, the camera would probably need to go back. I took the cam to the Spurs game last Friday against the Rockets (yay, we actually won!) and then I also practiced some moon shots (still need some more practice). I'll try and post some this week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Tower at sunset

One more of the tower. I just loved the way this one turned out.

Check out this week's sky watchers for some great shots. And have a wonderful weekened everyone. We're off to see the Spurs and Rockets. :-\

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Water Tower Workers

Tower workers 3

On my way home from work, I drove here and there to practice using my camera some more when I spotted some activity on the water tower they've been fixing up for a while now. It's looking better but still have a little more work to go. I can't imagine working as high up as these gentlemen. Not too long ago, I saw on the news and in the paper that one of the tower workers had gotten injured when he fell while doing some of this work. Dangerous stuff but they sure make our towers look great!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Guadalupe Valley Regional Hospital

New wing at hospital

Here are a couple of night shots of some of the construction at our local hospital. It's nice to see construction still healthy in little Seguin. Good sign for the economy I think. Plus our hospital really needs to grow and improve. Many people go to San Antonio for some medical needs since there are a lot more options in the bigger city.

New wing at Seguin hospital

I also posted about the imaging department this past July.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fall Colors

Rust 2

I was checking out the camera after snapping shots of the squirrels when I noticed the cool colors on the display when I passed by the paint cans we have on the deck. I took several shots and I really liked the coppery colors with the blue in them.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Shot with the new digicam


They are still everywhere, which makes them quite an easy subject. Here's a shot from the new camera. Still playing around with it but I think it's going to be a keeper. I am going to download the new firmware update and that should help reduce the one thing that is odd about the camera: the "long" processing time every 3rd or 4th shot. It has not been a problem for me and hopefully it won't become a problem. I better get on the ball snapping shots to test the camera, right?

Sports note: the Spurs FINALLY won tonight. It took double overtime, but we finally got a W in the win column. :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My Vote Counted!

Voting site

We went and voted! I hope you did also. I love living in a small town like Seguin. I've lived and voted in big cities and now I fully appreciate a voting site three blocks from home where I can park right out front and have seven or eight voting officials waiting to help me. It rocks!

At our voting site, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, you can vote electronically or on traditional paper ballots if you wish. Both are offered and the officials really have always been very nice and helpful. Now, I shall go join Mark, who is flipping between the Spurs/Mavs game and voting results.

Me voting!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Merry Christmas to me


Surprise, surprise! Christmas came early for me this year. Thank you honey for my new digicam. It is so cool and I can't wait to see how I handle it this week. All my cameras have been Kodaks and they've been really good to me. I'm not ready for a fancy SLR and with the z1015, there are already plenty of things I see I'll have to learn. It allows more manual control than my z612. And did you see that? I've now got 4 more megapixels and the zoom increased by 3. Of course, what I need to do is go out and try it out to make sure I can take advantage of it all. And we have a Spurs game next week so I can try out the zoom at that time. Oh, the video image is awesome. I was amazed by the crispness.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Skywatch Friday

Ground & Sky Color

Same field, taken at "ant level" this time. I couldn't get into the dirt as I had my work clothes on so I couldn't see in detail all that I was getting in the photos but I loved the way some of these came out. I loved the colors. And then I saw the clouds and it thrilled me to catch the cool sky - what a treat!

Check out other Sky Watchers to see what they have captured for us. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Silos from afar

From the same spot where I shot yesterday's picture, I took several pictures of the silos. There are many cool silos around the Seguin area as we are surrounded by great, big fields, ranches and land in general. I love looking at all the different types and configurations of silos.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sepia Ground

Sepia Ground

The other day I took a different route home because it was such a beautiful day and the sky was perfect for picture taking. I found a really nice spot and snapped several shots. Here's the first. I set the color to sepia to see how it would look and I ended up liking this a lot. I shot this with the camera almost on the ground and held in my hands. To me, it looks like a ravaged land. And that is partly the case. This looked like it had corn in it at one point but with our extremely dry summer, the crops did not far well at all.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Woodpecker with Pecan

Woodpecker with pecan

Sorry I have not posted in a while. First of all, I just haven't felt inspired. Secondly, I had been enjoying the great weather outside! Third, the great weather also meant some bad allergies (boooo!) and some bad headaches that turned into migraines. So, little energy and motivation to post.

But, I did spot our woodpecker again from our kitchen window the other day. It seems when the weather turns cooler, we start seeing the woodpeckers more often. Here is one trying to get that pecan open. He carried it around and banged it against the tree trunk and hopped and climbed up and down the pecan tree. It was very fun to watch. Then he disappeared high up in the tree and so I don't know if he ever got that pecan cracked. I hope so! Because the squirrels are eating up all the other pecans! We are really being overrun by the squirrels lately!

Woodpecker with pecan

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pumpkins #3


All over town, you can find more pumpkins as people start decorating for the holidays. Not just Halloween really, but also Thanksgiving, which is already next month!!! Yikes! You know what that means. Time to get going on Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Theme #2


In honor of the season, I think I'll keep adding to my pumpkin collection. I had a difficult time picking my favorites so I'll share them with you this week. I like this one mainly because of the beautiful stem still on it. You might notice most store bought or even the ones in a patch have the stems trimmed down close but I think they look so much more interesting and beautiful with long stems. Adds character.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Spurs Time

Spurs v. Trailblazers

Friday we go to our first Spurs game. Despite it being only a pre-season game, we are still very excited! Nothing like going to the SBC Center to get into the spirit of it. Their first game of the season will be against the Phoenix Suns on October 29! This is a snap I took last year I think, maybe 06, I forget. I thought they were real at first and was very impressed. But upon closer inspection....fake. Not so impressed. But still cool. The shoes belong to the camera man doing a shot of the pumpkins for a TV spot. You know how they show "things" during the commercial breaks. He kept pretty close to the pumpkins, hence the shoes. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red Barn

Red Barn 2

Once I drove by this red barn, I knew I wanted to go back to snap some shots of it but I really wanted the sky to be blue rather than cloudy. So I waited and Friday I was finally able to get a few shots in though I'm already thinking I want to go back for more. Just something really neat about barns, old or new. I like them. We have lovely ones all around us and if I had all the time I wanted, then I'd be stopping the car more. Instead, I pass by and make a mental note, "Come back later for a shot." :)

It's another beautiful, beautiful day in Seguin. Gosh, you could not ask for better weather to be outside. I'm about to go wash my car; it's been ages. LOL. Hope everyone's enjoyed the weekend and I hope you have a great week!

Here's another shot of the barn that I like:

Red Barn 1

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fruit Stand on FM78

Fruit Stand on Hwy 78
Yesterday was a gorgeous day and we got out of work a little early so I drove a different route home in order to see what photo opportunities I could find. Here's a little fruit vendor located down the road from the mill. He's on FM 78 near the Chevron and 1620. I'm glad the weather is beautiful for the seller now. The hot summers were brutal on them I'm sure.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Finally getting a bit of rain

Well, better late than never! Here's my shot for Sky Watch Friday. This past week, we actually got some cloud AND rain action around the area, though Seguin could have used a bit more rain. But, we'll take what we can. The weather has also been cooler and I'm really enjoying that. The mornings have been nippy, lower 60s, and the days are in the upper 70s or lower 80s. It's getting to be the kind of weather I love!

For other wonderful sky shots for this week, be sure to check out the Sky Watchers page.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Working Girl


Just been working so I thought I'd show you my desk. I'm just very happy to actually BE at my nice to be home three straight weeks! :)

Sonia and I were trying to update some training laptops before they get shipped out for more classes, hence the abundance of laptops.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Treat Tuesday

Treat Tuesday Lives On

Sorry I have been a bit busy with stuff and haven't been keeping up here. Plus I have not been particularly inspired lately with my camera. It's not that I've stopped snapping shots; it's just that few of them excite me. I don't know what this rut is but perhaps it will soon pass.

On a brighter note, yesterday we tried out Treat Tuesday at work. If you are a Hoops & Yoyo fan, you should know what this is. I love those little characters. Basically, these are the guidelines:

  1. Bring a treat. This can be store bought or homemade (by you or anyone nice enough to do this for you).
  2. Have fun.
  3. Do not think about calories or how many minutes you have to bike in order to burn off the pie AND donut. Just enjoy them.

It was so much fun and we enjoyed socializing with everyone. Our office is sort of small so we tried to keep the group to our team and a few frequent visitors. We'll have to see what to do next time as the word got out a bit. Anyway, treats included three pies, Pinwheels (yum!), cheese, crackers, sausage, Shipley's donuts, Donut Palace donut holes, chocolate covered cashews....that may be it. It was all fabulously fun!

And for you, Dennis, who asked if my new friend Jessica has a blog....she does! Jessica wrote and said you visit her blog anytime. It's called KWED - Jessica's Weblog.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spurs Time

2008-09 Spurs Tickets

It's hard to believe that it's already pre-season time for the NBA but I'm not complaining. This is one of my favorite times of the year for sports because you have so much to choose from -- college football, pro football and soon, pro basketball.

Last weekend, we had our annual Divide-Spurs-tickets-while-getting-stuffed-at El Ranchito get together and had a blast. We share season tickets with others and it's always a big event to do this dividing business. LOL. There are guidelines, game-selection strategizing and some good luck getting to pick first is always nice. This year, I drew number 1 again so we were pretty happy! It's pretty serious stuff and when I started getting involved in the selection lunch, I was impressed by the process our group had in place. It's all fun. Here's to a great season NBA fans. And hopefully our boys will win the big one this year. It's another odd-numbered year so that's a good start. ;)

[Alan, I have gone by the feed mill a couple of times hoping for a great shot but the lighting has not been working with me the times I went. I'll keep waiting for a good shot for you. I haven't forgotten!]

List of games

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Skies at Clear Springs

Lately we have had really beautiful weather -- clear skies, low humidity, cold mornings, warm days and lots of sunshine. I love it. Now if it would stay in the 60s or 70s during the day, I'd be in total heaven.

Be sure to check out other Friday Sky Watch pages. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Making a new friend

Me & Jessica again

One of the nicest things about this blog is that I have gotten to meet some really wonderful, friendly people in town. This is my newest friend, Jessica. She works for our local daily, KWED's Seguin Daily News, and she told me she loves to check out my blog. I was so, so flattered and happy to know she likes it so much. We met at the archeology dig a couple of weekends ago, where Jessica also snapped some photos of the grounds and activities.

It was wonderful to meet you Jessica! Remember to email me if you want to go photographing together. :-p

Monday, October 06, 2008

Giant HEB Cart

HEB cart on wheels

Saturday, on our way to meet friends at El Ranchito, we were headed up College Street by the high school when we spotted this gigantic shopping cart. Naturally, we pulled over so I could snap a shot. This gentleman was just about to unload the vehicle for a 2pm parade as part of the Fair this past weekend.

Check out the chrome