Thursday, December 31, 2009
Happy new year, everyone! Hope you have a very safe and wonderful evening. Be careful out there!
Shot this sky last Sunday evening as we were driving out to a friend's home for dinner. It was so spectacular and beautiful. Great thing Mark drove so I could shoot out the window! :-)
Check out Sky Watch this week for other great shots.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
These are some snowflakes I quilled out of paper I had. Then they were glued to card stock and crafted into a little card for friends and family. Yay! I finally ventured beyond Valentine's hearts like I normally make for folks! :-)
I've been having some technical issues these past couple of weeks. Well, quite a few actually, so that's why I have not posted. Hopefully I am on the mend though I seem to be pushing my luck tonight since this post is not looking quite like I planned. So I will say goodnight for now. It's nice to back though.
Friday, December 18, 2009
This was a shot I snapped when I was roaming around, away from the bees that Mark and a friend were placing at My Father's Farm, an organic vegetables farm that is now home to ten of our hives. I haven't had time to take more pictures of the farming operation but I will soon. I have been wanting to take a closer look at what's currently growing in the garden. I know I saw great looking cilantro when we dropped off the bees. :-)
Be sure to check out other wonderful sky shots today at the official Sky Watch site! Have a wonderful day, everyone!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We made it to the post office today during lunch so that we can get these boxes shipped off to family and a friend. Today was the last day to ship in time for Christmas using parcel post and even with that they couldn't absolutely guarantee it'd get there in time. This year, we noticed that with priority mail, if our box exceeded certain measurements, they were going to tag on some surcharge. WHAT?? When did that happen?? I guess I should have thought to read the US Postal Service site or something. I just had not heard of that and on some of our boxes, it more than doubled the priority mail cost. Needless to say, those went parcel post. Hmm...might be time to look at FedEx and UPS next year. :-)
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Today we attended the CMC Christmas Party and had a very wonderful time. Even during these touch economic times, the company still held to tradition and I think that does a lot for employee morale. We are very active in the community and I am so proud to be a part of it.
I won a door prize and so did my friend Sonia! But more than that, I really love seeing everyone together and I always have a great time working the gift table where we distribute gifts to each employee and their family. Fun! I got to work with a friend and I also met someone from another department. I am very thankful for a great group of coworkers at CMC Steel Texas! It's great to be able to enjoy this cool event.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Despite a bit of a slump, I still love my Spurs. Going through pictures for posting, I wanted to share something fun that makes me happy to kick the week off right! Here's my favorite mascot ever - the Coyote rocks and so do the wonderful Spurs. They are a great part of the community, not just in SA but in all the surrounding areas. This was at a fan appreciation event last week and I am really glad we went. That day had been a really rough day for me at work and it lifted my spirits to be with Mark, having fun at the Spurs event.
Hope everyone has a great week!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Good morning, everyone! What a wonderful Friday it's going to be for me. I am on VACATION today! Though I'm not traveling anywhere, I have a packed day and a busy weekend lined up for myself and I'm looking foward to some Thien time.
It's pretty cold outside and we wait expectantly for some white fluff to fall from the sky. I so miss seeing snow but I'm not going to hold my breath today. I'm just happy it's cold. I can't really get into the holidays if it's 80 degrees! :-)
This is my Skywatch shot for this week. This is off FM 775 on the outskirts of Seguin at My Father's Farm, which is a farm growing all sorts of organic veggies they take to local markets. (That's a separate post for sure.) This is the bees' new home and in the shot, Mark and our friend's son, Chris, are unloading the ten heavy hives and placing them on their stands. Here's a shot of them placed -
As some of you know, we recently drove to Mississippi to pick up some bees from JN Russell of Russell Apiaries. Very fun time - roadtrips with Mark are awesome! Snacks, laughs and lots o' bees. But NO stings! Yay!
Check out the other Skywatchers also! Great shots this week.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Before we left on our pick-up-the-bees trip, I went to Green Gate to pick up a pretty poinsetta for our daughter and her husband. If you haven't been to Green Gate lately, you should go soon. Christmas is one of my favorite times to go because of all the beautiful plants they have for gift giving and decorating your own home. The poinsettas are always lovely, as was the case when I went so it took me some time to decide. In the end, I went with pink since I know Melissa likes that color and it's pretty unique. I love pink, too!
I posted about Green Gate and a certain bird back in 2007 also.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Yesterday a big group of us from work met at Bill Miller in order to celebrate a friend's birthday (yay Terry!). It's located along Interstate 10 and should be seeing a lot of business from all the workers building the Caterpillar site.
I noticed all the activity in the back room and watched several workers getting pies into pie boxes and found it fascinating. They were moving pretty fast - I would have worried about dropping pies. I am getting clumsier by the year it seems. lol. Anyway, there were all sorts of pies ready to go for ordering in, taking out for now and taking out for Thanksgiving! I opted for vegetable beef soup (very yummy) and a baked potato. For Mark, I took soup and a peach cobbler to go.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving break with family and friends. May it be filled with love and happiness as we are blessed with so much to be grateful for in our lives.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The weekend before last, we went to Corpus Christ for another presentation about the research Mark is doing for his books (book #2 in process). The library system there is celebrating their 100th birthday and all year there are keynote speakers visiting their fair city, with former first lady Laura Bush headlining. :-) Pretty neat stuff. We had a great time on our little getaway. Mark gave a great presentation about how to use local resources in doing African American genealogical research. We had local customers as well as library staff in attendance so it was a lot of fun.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
It's another beautiful south Texas sky for your viewing pleasure. :-) Isn't it a great looking spot? I snapped this on one of our jaunts around the countryside around Seguin. I always enjoying exploring new areas (and even familiar ones) with Mark. It's one of the ways we like to relax - cruising and talking or listening to music. Check out other Sky Watchers this week for more great sky shots.
I just got home from Irving this evening and I must say it's been the best trip I've had in a very long time. I actually was there to do training observation and assessment. Nice. I love doing that sort of work. And writing up trainer evaluation. So the big news for me is that I am transitioning from my current role to a new one that will allow me to focus on what I love -- trainer development and training delivery. Monday my replacement and new boss will be joining the company. I am VERY happy about this! And because I have an abundance of that great feeling right now, I hope that you will also have a wonderful day tomorrow that will bring you the same happiness that I feel right now. Have a great one!
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Here's our cleaners we like to visit. Mark's been going to them for many years now and I take my things there also whenever I need special care for my clothes. This is family run and they are really nice folks who remember you and if you forget a Spurs pin on your lapel (several times), they will keep it safe for you. :-) We like frequenting family operated business like City Cleaners.
Friday, November 06, 2009
Gosh it's been a tiring week and today was another eventful and draining day at work. It's the weekend, however, so that's a chance to relax and do fun things for ourselves. This evening we started with another great workout at the Wellness Center, a yummy pizza (yah! no cooking!), a great visit from my step-daughter Melissa, playing online, finishing up my James Rollins book and watching the Spurs (though they are losing, again!).
I was going through some pictures I snapped recently and I liked this one enough to share. I shot this downtown on River Street, just outside the doors to City Cleaners. I'll post about them soon since we like taking our clothes there. As you can tell, it was a gorgeous day with a beautiful sky to go with it.
Tomorrow's fun? Bee activities and then lunch with a great friend from SA. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Hello everyone and happy Friday. The Caterpillar plant is coming along nicely and looks to be quite a big and great looking site. And lately, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous here! It's been a great fall so far with an awesome amount of cool days of sunshine and slightly chilly nights. I love it like this. As you can tell from the green of the grass and the amount of water in the retention pond, we've been getting a decent amount of rain finally. Things are blooming still and everything's beautifully lush.
I pass this site going to and coming home from work. All I have to do on the way home is pull up to the light at Kingbury, roll down the window, point and shoot. Hence the power lines. I could have edited out them out using PhotoShop but most of the time, I like to keep my stuff simple and unaltered. :-) Maybe next time, I will park and cross the road for a clear shot. Maybe. It's a busy intersection.
Be sure to check out other Sky Watchers if you want to see some cool shots of skies around the country and world.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Guess what time it is, Spurs fans?? Basketball season! Last night we went to the first game of the season against the Hornets. We beat them and we looked great though defense was not so great in the second half. The guys looked energized, Manu looked great and Timmy only had to play like 22 minutes. Unfortunately, we lost to the Bulls tonight. And we looked pretty awful. Still, I love my Spurs.
Here are a couple of shots of great friends at work who are also big Spurs fans like me. :-)
Sunday, October 25, 2009
This weekend was a fun one with plenty going on around town and for us as well. Before I prep for the work week, I thought I'd post about some of the fun I had. I shot this while sitting at the reception for our friends, Jessica and Tim -- congratulations, you two!
Mark and I met up with Sonia and we had a lot of fun in New Braunfels at the Conservation Plaza. I'd never been there so it was neat to check out the old buildings and decorations. It was a pleasant enough evening though a touch on the humid side. We are suppose to get rain over night so I'm glad it held off for the wedding though a few sprinkles did come down after the outdoor ceremony was done.
Mark and I also drove around the countryside a bit to spot a new bee yard and a potential new bee yard. It's so exciting to think we're going to get more bees and that we'll have a good spot where there's plenty of food sources for them. When it's all worked out, I'll let you see a shot. And of course, you can always check out the Gretchen Bee Ranch blog for more information on the bees. It's always interesting to me and I seem to learn something new every time I visit them with Mark. Today I saw them acting in a way I had not seen before and Mark told me they were robbing a hive. More than likely that hive won't make it but he still has four good ones out in the country.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Happy Thursday, everyone! Lots of butterflies and moths have been meandering through the area as of late. I just feel terrible when they kamikaze themselves in my windshield. Elevate, butterflies! Elevate.
Do you think these two are sharing or fighting for the right to enjoy the bloom solo?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Shot this one with the Blackberry so it's not a crisp one; however, that's fine as I would not want to pull out the real camera and make everyone self-conscious or whatever. So I snuck this one as I was walking on the treadmill off to the side. It's hard to get a good shot when you're walking! LOL. So, I love that there are two walkers reading books. If I tried to do that, I would become so engrossed, I'd forget to walk. I tried watching football on Sunday while I was on the step machine and when Brady threw the 40 yard pass to Randy Moss, I caught myself stopping mid-step and beginning to yell at the TV! Yep, I better just use my time on the machine to listen to music or simply think about things.
We are really enjoying the Wellness Center here in town. Not only do we feel better, but we also get to see friends there. We're going to really try and stick with it by encouraging each other to go, even when we're tired or just feeling lazy. It's amazing to me how great I feel when we go to the gym and I get so excited about it but then it's so easy to get out of the habit of going. Crazy. Well, now we have a goal in mind so we're going to shoot for that. I should do before/after pictures.
Anyway, if you haven't been to the Wellness Center, then you should check it out. The staff is great and the facility is super clean and the equipment new. There's such a great variety to choose from -- regular treadmills (and fancy ones with individual TVs), all sorts of step machines, all sorts of bikes (with fancy tracking software, racing software, etc.), indoor pool, hot tub, racquetball court (did that in college, not interested in getting smacked by that mean ball), classes, weights, and so on. Oh, there's a juice bar as well. It's really cool!
Monday, October 19, 2009
The past several days have been wonderfully cool and low in humidity around here and I love it. If my allergies didn't get all crazy, I would spend even more time outdoors! LOL. This past Saturday, because I knew we were going to check on the country bees, I geared up by doing not one but two nasal rinses and took Zyrtec AND an Aleve-D. Still managed to get a bit of a headache but it was worth it to enjoy the great outdoors a bit with Mark and the bees.
On our way back from the bee yard, we have to travel on some country roads and as we pulled up to a stop sign along the way, we noticed two bikers. It was a friend of ours from our San Antonio Library days! She and her husband were scoping out the route for an upcoming ride and there they were. We pulled over and had a great visit -- it really is amazing to me that I look out the truck window and there's a friend I just would not have expected to see riding a bike out in the country near Seguin (she lives in SA). Hi Letty & Gilbert! It was GREAT to see you guys. :-)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This time the prettiness was photographed on my drive home. Right around the corner from us on Camp Street is this great big mass of vines and on the vines are some of the most amazing flowers you'll ever see. I have been wanting to stop and shoot these for some time (like every year they bloom for the past 3 or 4 years) and yesterday I decided it was time. And the lighting was nice I thought.
I love the vibrant colors. With all the rain, everything is so green, so lush. And the layers, textures and numerous elements of these flowers just amaze me. There are different varieties in different colors. If I could find one potted, I would take my mom one. She has such a green thumb and I think she'd love the uniqueness of this. Do you know what it is? (Without clicking on my Flickr b/c I put the name there.)
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
...at the Mill! These flowers are blooming at the Mill and I love looking at them. I don't know what they are called though so if you know, tell me please! :-) Lately we have finally started receiving steady rain so everything is green and lush and flowers are everywhere. I'm glad since this is a little extra goodness for our bees! Speaking of which, the ones here in the city are MEAN. You know what that means...
Hope everyone's having a great week. We are half done with the week already!
Friday, October 09, 2009
Made it through another week and it was a pretty great one overall. And to celebrate my uplifted spirits, I chose this shot because this little guy looks happy to me. Work is still a bit rough but I'm just trying to get through as many projects, assignments, etc. as possible without getting all stressed out. So in an effort to de-stress, I have made it a point to do things I have always enjoyed doing but moved away from for a while. Here are my highlights fo rthe week:
- Took pictures. Even if it was just with my Blackberry! Not at all satisfying but it allows me to document something significant in a pinch. Wouldn't want to be a photo snob, right?
- Spent a little time each day reconnecting with a friend.
- Called family members. Got a lot so I still need to make the rounds.
- Set aside time each day to meditate, pray and center myself.
- Met Hope for lunch. What a sweet lady! Hi Hope! :)
- Met Josh for the first time. He's been an online friend and so it was wonderful to meet such a nice person and great photographer. I love his work.
- Went to a SPURS game!! Yes, it was preseason. And no, we didn't win. But I had a blast with Mark and we enjoyed seeing the new players.
- Sold out on our honey. Can you believe that?!?
- Laughed a lot. I love to laugh. I don't like it when I realize I hadn't laughed all day. Luckily, if this EVER happens, all I have to do is tell Mark and usually he has me in stitches pretty fast.
- Started a book -- Ice Hunt by James Rollins. So far, so good.
And now? I shall go check out a new website to see if I want to print some of my photos for Christmas gifts. I'll let you know what I think later. Goodnight and I hope you all have a really wonderful weekend! Tomorrow's suppose to be gorgeous!
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Who says you have to be a man to appreciate this thing! Check out this fancy toolbox. I'm not even sure you can call it that. Perhaps it's more of a work center. Not only are there drawers for your tools (if I had it, I'd put all my bead stuff in there!), but it also has a CD player (yes!) AND a mini-refrigerator on the bottom left!!! How cool, right?? Check out that price tag. We spotted this at our local Home Depot. :-)
Monday, October 05, 2009
Hello everyone, I have two pictures for you today. The pink flamingos just make me happy because I love pink and on Saturday, when it was all dreary, the burst of color along College Street really brightened the day!
Mark and I worked on our bee business a bit this weekend and had so much fun! We have launched a new blog (check out Gretchen Bee Ranch and see what you think), designed a special tag and packaged some of the honey we are selling. I probably won't blog much about the bees on this blog anymore now that they have their very own site. I just love the way the honey looks with the natural lighting.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Last week we were happy to be a part of my stepdaughter's happy evening as she married her high school sweetheart. And now they are awaiting news of where her husband will next be stationed with the Coast Guard. They are very happy and we wish them all the best in life.
Well, here we are at the start of another week and it's nearly October! I'm not closer to getting some relief at work so that's a tiny bit of a setback in terms of a return to my happy-happy state. Oh well. I remain hopeful that in this economy, surely we can find some great workers out there! Please send good vibes my way. ;-)
Monday, September 21, 2009
We bottled up some of the honey yesterday and had a great time. It's a lot of fun to work with and learn from Mark about how to do these things. And now we have some cool ideas for Christmas gifts that may involve some intense crafting! :-) Watch out You're So Crafty!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Is it me or does anyone else see the great states here in the honeycomb? :-) Today was extraction day finally since rain, travel and illness prevented us both from doing it sooner. It was my first time to extract so I wasn't sure what to do or expect but I had a blast. Tiring, but I think it was because we were both not at 100% as it was. Luckily for me no stings! No so lucky for Mark since one of the backyard hives was pretty mean. He got multiple stings but handled it well, as always. One sting on me and I puff up. Needless to say, we suited up appropriately today and were sure glad we did. Above is honeycomb Mark pulled out from one of the feeders. I loved the colors of it all so I took a ton of shots I really enjoy looking at now. Below is Mark pulling out some frames for extracting.
Here's a shot of Mark uncapping a small frame. I learned that means breaking the wax seal on top of the frame so that the honey can flow freely. It was really neat. And occasionally, we'd chew on a bit of the wax and honey...just like gum. Once the frame is uncapped, you place it in the extractor, which you can see in the bottom picture. You put four frames in at a time and then there's a handle for spinning the frames round and round, flinging the honey to the side of the drum and then it drips down to the bottom.
And then...the wonderful honey starts to flow. Oh my gosh, it was wonderfully sweet! Even though it was a really tough year for the bees, there was a good amount for them to share with us. Sadly, though, Mark did mention he has lost several hives. Don't know if it's the heat, drought, colony collapse or what. Or maybe all of that. At any rate, thank you little bees for our delicious harvest!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Last night I didn't get into SA Airport until after 9pm due to the wild weather. Lightning up in the Irving area prevented us from taking off so we sat on the plane for over an hour, I believe. It was sure nice to get home. This is a fun-filled weekend for sure. Date night with friends, including bowling -- we love bowling even if we haven't done it often. Tomorrow is our church in the park (Starcke Park if you want to join us, down at the bowl near the falls) AND a bridal shower. And then a special dinner -- king ranch casserole. I'm gonna be busy! :-)
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Rain actually arrived today AND it made it to our house - it's wonderful! AND on top of that, it's suppose to rain the rest of this week. AND I got some really cool cloud shots from our deck out back. I'm not complaining about the rain at all; I must, however, share with you the irony of its timing. After months of drought and heat and praying for rain, it looks like the week Mark decides to extract honey, we have 50% to 70% chance of rain. Everyday. Makes it hard to get to those hives in the country, right honey? :-)
Monday, September 07, 2009
...how I love gazing upon you. The beautiful moon called to me last night when I went out to turn off the water on the lawn (poor lawn...it's still dry, dry, dry). I grabbed my tripod and hung out on the back deck for a while to try all sorts of manual settings to try and do justice for the moon. It was fun since Smokey was out there keeping me company and Mark checked on me once in a while. What a fun way to end a wonderful weekend.
Having an extra day to catch up on things AND also to relax made such a great difference. I am so relaxed, I don't even dread going back to work! I am full of positive energy and, dare I say it, excitement! Yes, excitement. I hope to have some very nice news to share soon. Something that should mean a return of happy, happy and more crafting, photographing, blogging, socializing...
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Happy Sky Watch, everyone. Tonight it is actually raining in Seguin AND over our house. The sound of thunder and raindrops sound wonderful. I love falling asleep to those soft sounds.
Check out other sky watchers for some great shots and have a wonderful Friday!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I believe we are on day fifty-two or -three of our blazing hot 100+ days. As I write this, Mark says the temperature is 103! 103 at 5:18 p.m. is just too much. This makes me think back to when I lived in NC. It'd be time to gear up for school and though it was hot, we knew that within twenty or thirty days, cooler weather would arrive. Then the beautiful fall. Hmm...not here I'm afraid.
Friday night we actually did get about ten minutes worth of a good downpour so that was very nice though we need many more of those to fight the drought. I haven't given an update on the bees in a little bit and Alan's comment about the beehouse made me think I should write about them.
Here they are doing something that astonished me, and to be honest, mesmorizes me everytime I go out in the backyard -- they are drinking water! Have you ever thought about the fact that they do that? And have you seen them do it? I enjoy watching them because I'm amazed they found the water bucket we left out for Smokey since he's outside so much. All day, you can find at least several of them drinking from there and it's pretty cool to watch. If you want to see a video, you can watch this clip. I have other bee clips there as well. Enjoy!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Tuff Shed paid us a visit this past Friday and Mark now has his workshop/beehouse in the yard! Ready for customizing. I had to work so Mark had the camera to document the event for me. It's incredible that a 16 by 20 foot shop will be made from that bed of materials the guys brought to the house.
When I saw this shot, the first thing that came to mind was that it'd be a great dance floor. :) Just kidding. The guys were grateful for the solid foundation on which they built up the workshop. Most of the time, people don't prep for their new building so it makes the guys' jobs more challenging. I'm very impressed with Mark's work because I know that workshop is not going anywhere. Good job, honey.
And the finished product! I love it and can't wait to see how Mark finishes it out. Smokey loves hanging out underneath, naturally. Steps will be placed and then tables need to be built inside. First priority -- the beehouse part! I can't wait to see how the honey extraction works.