Thursday, July 31, 2008

Guadalupe Regional Medical Center

Are you being served?

Seguin has a hospital and it's getting modernized and expanded. There's some construction I will try and photograph soon but for now, I will show you the pager I received upon signing in at the Imaging Department recently. I guess I haven't been to a hospital for myself really so I don't know when this started but I think it's pretty neat. I was the second person in the waiting room, if I recall correctly, but I still got my own pager.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

CRICKET, not croquet, anyone?

Croquet anyone?

Yes, here in Seguin! I am so glad to have had a chance to see these men out playing again. I haven't seen them in a while. I just love that you can catch some cricket in town. Who would have known. What's even more unbelievable to me is that it was in the upper 90s and they were still out there. Yikes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Seguin-Guadalupe County Public Library

Seguin Library

Lately I have made more time to read and I have really enjoyed it. Sitting with a book is about the only time I am still and quiet and it's very relaxing and a great way to unwind. Mark gave me the new David Baldacci book, The Whole Truth, and I'm looking forward to it as soon as I finish the Sigma Force series that I started.

The Sigma Force series (5 books) is written by James Rollins and if you enjoy action-packed adventure thrillers, then you should give him a try. The first novel I read, Map of Bones, was a roller coaster and when Mark asked me how I was enjoying it about 15 minutes into reading, I had already been to about 3 or 4 countries and lives were already in jeapordy. It made me want to keep reading. After this, I'll catch up on the Baldaccis I've been missing.

One of the fun things about reading this series is that I have a new, albeit unofficial, discussion group with a friend at work. Thank you Tod for introducing me to James Rollins. And in return, I introduced Tod to the world of library cards. :) He's now a member with all the benefits of library patronage at the Seguin library. I always intend to snap some shots of the inside but I keep forgetting so I'll try again next time. Mark worked as Director of the Library for several years before moving on to another job with the City of Seguin and then he moved on to City of San Antonio.

I was in Iowa Falls last week and of course we checked out the library. (Also checked out the library in Des Moines but didn't catch any in Reno, Fallon or Tahoe) I must say, for a city of five to six thousand people, they sure had an impressive little library. Though it was built in 2000, it still looked and felt new. And it made me want a new one for Seguin. Very much. What would it take to do this?

Iowa Falls Library sitting area

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Traveling Thien

N. Tahoe Lake near Incline Village

:) I'm cheating. It's not really Seguin behind me, is it? Does it count since I'm a Seguinite at Lake Tahoe?? I loved the weather there. Chilly at night and early morning, then warming during the day. Still, it's good to be home.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

San Geronimo Cemetery Angel


One last look at the angel. I liked this shot a lot and after I applied the nice effect, I thought I'd share it. I did this frame using Picnik on Flickr in case you want to try it also.

I'm back home now but beat. I think 5 days, 4 nights, 5 flights, 10 connections, 4 hotels, 2 vehicles, 2 work sites and 3 states later, I am just tired. However, it was a very successful work trip and I think it was all well worth the fatigue to meet such nice coworkers and to finally have faces to go with folks we conference-call with for months during a Kronos rollout project. Not to mention getting a chance to see some beautiful country I haven't seen before! I'm not complaining. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Angel on blue

You get two for one today as I didn't have connectivity in Fallon, Nevada last night. Here's the angel from afar with a beautiful blue sky as her backdrop. Below is a shot of San Geronimo Cemetery. Don't forget to check out the other Sky Watchers and have a great weekend!

San Geronimo Cemetery

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

San Geronimo Cemetery

Angel B/W Closeup

We saw this angel watching over the plots. I thought she was quite beautiful and peaceful.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Riverside Cemetery Cross

Cross in color

This past weekend, I went with Mark to visit the Riverside Cemetery, which I have posted about before back in March. It's a neat old cemetery that is in the care of the City. I checked the City of Seguin site and you can see a .pdf map of the cemetery on their page.

We were there looking so we could snap some photos of a family plot for a lady who had contacted Mark. It's always feels like an adventure when we do things like that and I really enjoy helping him whenever I can. He's still working away on his book. Hi honey!

I had several other cool shots from our visits to the Riverside Cemetery and the San Geronimo Cemetery so I will share them this week. There's a certain peacefulness we experienced as we walked around exploring headstones and grounds. I also enjoy stories Mark would share with me of well known families in Seguin -- fascinated stories he learned from all his local history research. Very interesting.

I'm in Iowa Falls tonight -- it's so pretty here! Everything is so green and the corn fields are FULL and lush. I sure wish I could take some of this back to us in Seguin. :) Tomorrow we will head to Des Moines after work. Talk to you then! Goodnight.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

That's us

July 20, 2001

We're having a lovely anniversary weekend just relaxing, being together and celebrating our marriage. This is a shot of us at Sebastopol here in Seguin. I posted about this historic landmark back in July of 2006. Please visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife site for a really great history of the house.

After the ceremony in Seguin, we went to Florida to be with my family and there, we held a private traditional Vietnamese ceremony so that everyone could be together and get to know each other a little more. Poor Mark, he endured several cameras and hundreds of photos. What can I say, we love to take pictures. But after a while, even I got tired. :)

Our Vietnamese ceremony

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Local Florists

Gerbera Daisy macro

Locally, we have several florists in town who do a great job. I usually get flowers from Dietz because Mark has worked with a lady who works there and she always does a wonderful job on the arrangements I receive. I remember one Vietnamese New Year (Tet), Mark even worked with her to have a special arrangement for me that included good luck peach blossoms that are to find around here that early in the year (Tet usually falls either February or March). I loved it and was so surprised that she was able to find some in bloom! I thought it was really special they did that for us.

I received a surprise this morning at the door. An arrangment came for me in honor of our 7th anniversary, which is tomorrow. The arrangement is beautiful - full of vibrant colors and textures! The flowers are from another florist, Kolbe, and they are in a quaint shop across the street from us on Austin (right next to Gift & Gourmet). This is a shot of a deep pink Gerbera Daisy I really like. I am always amazed by the centers of flowers. So intricate, all these little parts that make up one flower. It's truly amazing.

Thanks honey for my gorgeous flowers! You're the best husband ever and I am so happy to be together. I can't imagine being happier.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

The Extreme Makeover

You can drive around town and not check out all this activity around another one of our water towers. This one is on Kingsbury Street a few blocks from our house. It is getting a makeover and I like to look at it everyday I drive to and from work. Sometimes the curtain is up, sometimes down. What I love the most is that cool "hat" it has on top.

Here's the tower picture I posted in May: Tower. And be sure to check out our new Sky Watch Portal!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Yellow Smart Car

The Smart car in Seguin

With gas the way it is and environmental concerns becoming more and more of an issue, it's a very good idea to start looking seriously at the Smart car and hybrids now more readily available on the market.

I have spotted three Smart cars in different colors: blue, red and yellow. I've been trying to snap one for a while now. They are always on the go. :) If you want to read a bit about the car, check out this article.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Granma & Granpa

Horse mint

Mark heard from his cousin today about his uncle, who is elderly and is now living with family since Mark's aunt passed away. He's on my mind so I wanted to write about him and Mark's aunt. We call them Granma and Granpa and they lived in Burnet, north of here, past Austin and Marble Falls. It's so lovely up there and we used to love visiting Granma and Granpa. In the brief 12 years I have known them, I have grown to love them so and I miss our times together.

We'd head up there and enjoy a day or two of talking, walking out in the fields, tending to bees, playing a board game Granma just LOVED (she'd have the board waiting for us), eating great home cooking, swimming and just being together. They are quite a pair and it's hard when times change and we get older and we lose loved ones. I still miss Granma a lot. But memories of her also make me smile.

This is horse mint and we haven't seen much of it around here this year due to the lack of rain. Bees just love this and since Mark and Granpa kept bees together and even sold honey under their own label years ago, I wanted to dedicate this post to them. I love to hear their bee stories and it always makes me wish I had been there with them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



Can't post a long one today but I did want to share a shot of Smokey at least. Ever the faithful kitty, always there to escort us around the yard. Or to chase us in a little game of tag. Or just to sit with us as we enjoy the deck. If only it wasn't a sauna outside. :(

Monday, July 14, 2008

Flowers and Bees

Bees at work

Sorry I didn't post over the weekend. Would you believe I didn't even get online yesterday? I pretty much slept most of Sunday away because of a migraine. Luckily I was up and about by about 7p but just didn't feel inspired to post. I hate it when that happens. I always feel like I'm missing out on all sorts of things in life when I have to sleep, even when I don't have a headache. Do you ever feel like there's just too many things you want to do just for the joy of it that going to sleep just gets in the way. Like reading a really good book, watching a really interesting show or movie, talking with your sweetie, looking at pictures or blogs, and on and on.

All of that to get to this point. I didn't even go outside Sunday so when I walked to my car this morning to go to work, I was just awestruck by the purple vision also known as our purple sage bush next to the car. WOW! How did I manage to miss that it was about to burst into a sea of gorgeous little flowers? I wished I didn't have to go to work so I could just stare at it for a while but I was already running late so no time to even take the camera out for some early morning light photography.

This evening when I got home, I was happy to burn in the sun a little while to try and get some nice shots. There were bees all around the bush! It was so fun to watch them. And none of them minded me since they must have been pretty happy with the pollen. It's been so, so dry that they have not had much to gather. Poor things. This little gal had her head in the flower for so long that I would have thought she was dead except her little tail would swing from side to side now and then. Funny. I even got a good video of them. I enjoyed the scene for about 10 minutes and then the heat really got to me so I escaped indoors. Flowers sure make the space around us beautiful.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

July 4 Sky 6

The past two weeks were awesome because we actually a little rain and didn't have to water at all. The days were so interesting. Instead of sun, sun, sun and more sun, we had days filled with unexpected skies --- fast-moving clouds of all shades of white, gray and blue, patchy on-and-off rain several days in a row AND puddles. We had not really seen puddles since April!

This was shot while we stood on our back deck one evening to watch the storms rolling through town. It's always fun to watching fast-moving clouds pass over our pecan trees. Be sure to check out other fellow Sky Watchers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Post #300

Hummingbird from Tuan

Sorry I have not posted in a few days. One of the main reasons is that I couldn't find the right post to share for my special occasion of making it to the 300th one. So I looked a lot of photos and tried to find a special one but didn't feel any of them were right. And then I was chatting with my brother Tuan and I thought of what I wanted to share. My photography inspiration!

Tuan is my older brother and he's the best brother and friend any person could ever have or hope for. He's always been there for all of us whenever we need him and it doesn't matter how many miles are between us all. I have a pretty big family, eight kids. He's second to the oldest and I'm second to the youngest and we're both born year of the Rooster. And we've always had great times together, even when those times are bumpy.

I wanted to dedicate this post to Tuan because for as long as I can remember, Tuan's always with a camera. And I've always thought it was so cool that he photographs his life -- travels, marriages, births, school, friends, everything. He has a great eye and I often think, "Oh, if only Tuan was here, he could teach me so much about photography and we could have so much fun doing this together." I miss living close to each other; he's on the west coast.

Well, this hummingbird shot is one of the first shots Tuan took with his new camera and he said I could use it when I asked him. Thanks bro! You should have heard us on the phone, talking about his new Nikon D300. Very nice! It's a lot more camera than I can handle at this point but I'm impressed and I can't wait to see what else he will share with me.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Progress on the puzzle

Making progress on the puzzle

We have been making some progress on the puzzle and have really enjoyed just having time here and there to work on it. I'm thinking what's left will be a real challenge since it's just different shades of green. :) Luckily Mark is ever so patient and I must give him most of the credit on the puzzle. Good job honey!

This evening, we went for our first long walk since Mark hurt his back a while ago and it was great. Humid and sticky but it felt wonderful to walk. Walking solo is okay and I have music to keep me company but I much prefer having Mark with me! I'm just really glad he's feeling better.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

You're So Crafty

You're So Crafty on Austin Street, Seguin

Even though it has nothing to do with the crafting I'm talking about in this post, I have the Beastie Boys' She's Crafty song in my head and playing on my mp3. LOL.

So, I finally went with my friend to check out You're So Crafty in advance of our July 18 visit, where we can craft until midnight. Yep, you read right; I said midnight. This wonderful little gem has been open a little over a year now according to the nice lady who showed us around. I have been meaning to check them out and I must admit I wasn't sure how much crafting could be squeezed in the house but I was pleasantly surprised. I am now very excited to see that our little town has a cool place to get crafting supplies at reasonable prices and to hang out while crafting.

You can check their website for lots of information about the shop, classes, events and they even have a blog. Very nice. I mentioned crafting late -- it happens every 1st and 3rd Friday each month. I have a new sewing machine and since I haven't touched one in over 20 years, I was thrilled that I can pay for some one-on-one instruction at the shop. I'll let you know how it goes. I am making an effort to get back into some of my favorite hobbies to maintain balance in my life and not work too much. Or spend too much time on the computer. :) So with that, I will take leave of you to do something crafty.

Scrapbook materials were priced nicely.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Sky Watch Friday - Happy Fourth!

July 4 Sky 5

Hi everyone. The sky was doing amazing things today and into the evening so as we drove down Court Street from HEB area, I thought I had to try and shoot the sky. It was beautiful and as usual, there's no way to do it justice but I tried to catch what I could. It was very cool to see the changing colors and clouds. We have finally gotten some much needed rain this past week and I thought we'd get some today but it held off though the clouds did look pretty interesting. Bottom left of this picture is where the clouds were darkest and it happened to be over the area where the fireworks are going off right now.

As I type this, I can hear the booming from the fireworks show down at Starcke Park tonight. We decided to skip it this year and just relax at home. I'm doing all sorts of things (craft, blog, read, listen to my music) and trying not to distract Mark too often since he's busy busy on his book. :) BUT, we did go outside to see if we could see any of the fireworks and I caught a few. This one is my favorite. Check out other Sky Watchers!

Fireworks I saw from our yard

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Prepping for our big parade

Prepping for the Parade

Seguin is known for having the Biggest Small Town Parade in these areas. Friday is the big day but people start claiming their spots by placing lawn chairs out by Tuesday. I compare it to people staking out camp sites at Brackenridge Park in SA.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Fireworks Super Store

Super Store!

Anybody need some fireworks for this week? I'm not sure how well these businesses are doing since many counties have a ban burn due to the extremely dry conditions.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mockingbird Activity

Mockingbird side view

About a week ago, I said that one of the baby mockingbirds was dead in the yard and that I didn't know if there might be more. Well, we've seen plenty of activity this past week to indicate that there may be more in the nest given the number of times Smokey has been chirped at and buzzed.

Today I snapped several shots of our bird duo scolding Smokey because he was sitting on the porch, too close to their crepe myrtle I guess. It was really interesting. The one bird (pictured above) perched on the redbud tree and chirped loudly at the cat, who was watchful but not stalking. Then I noticed another bird on a wire up high, with a morsel of food in its mouth. I think this one was guarding us so the other one could get to the nest. Very fascinating to watch. Only when I uploaded these photos and zoomed in did I realize this bird's also got something in his beak as well!

Here's a shot of one of the birds in the nest, which is up too high even for Mark to get a good look. I've been trying to get a good shot of the birds in there for a while now. Glad I could see the eye at least on this one.

Snug as a bug up in the nest