Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On the road

All packed and ready to go

Hi folks. I'm up in Dallas this week. Wow, New Year's Day was a blur and now it's Wednesday already. Hope everyone's having a great week so far.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Lunar New Year!

Persimmon cakes

Today is a big day for many Asian people -- it's Lunar New Year and this year is Year of the Ox, one of twelve Chinese zodiac animals (sort of like Capricorn, Taurus, etc.). Though I had to take off for Dallas today, we took time to celebrate the new year together before Mark dropped me off at the airport. I had a wonderful weekend with my darling man -- even went to the Hong Kong Market in Houston for some goodies. These are persimmon cakes; I'll have to let you know how they taste as we haven't tried them yet.

Below is a shot of the flags we saw as ate lunch at Pho Saigon in Houston, on Bellaire. (BTW, the food there is FABULOUS!) I included the shot because I am so happy to be Vietnamese, American and Texan (and I'm still North Carolinian, though I'll never be a Tarheel -- those of you who know of the NC State/Chapel Hill rivalry understand where I'm coming from on this.). LOL

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a great new year. I love having the opportunity to celebrate two new year's days. And as my niece Clair said this evening, it's not every year we get to have two celebrations in one month! (Lunar New Year's day changes each year based on the moon phases.) Good thinking Clair!

Flags at Houston Memorial to Soldiers

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sky Watch Friday

Gray skies above United Methodist Church

Here's something we haven't seen in a while...gray skies! It's been sunny and beautiful lately in South Texas. BUT we do need rain around here so I wish it would get here. This is a shot from our front porch of the church across the way.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Be sure to check out the other Sky Watchers!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vogue Shoes

Vogue Shoes, Seguin

Here's a shot of my favorite place to shop for shoes. Sure you could go to a huge department store, discount outlet megashop or some other impersonal place to buy shoes. But I prefer to be able to park right in front of the store (sometimes on the side if it's "crowded") and also to have nice conversations with people who live in the same community I do. The staff at the store is wonderful and caring. They don't just sell you shoes. They talk to you about the shoes and what you do and what's best for that and whatever else that might come up. It's fun! And it makes me feel good that they take the time to make sure I have what I need. Without smothering me.

On the last trip, I got Mark a new pair of cross-trainers for working out. And I eyed some shoes I am going to put on my birthday wish list. I love shoes! Oh, and when I went, there was a big sale so I got his shoes regular price, and a pair of black pumps for 1/2 price. Cool! :)

Window shopping for shoes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lunch on the Square

Lunch on the square

Last week I met Mark for lunch downtown on the square at Amy & Kathy's. I posted about this little eatery already back in 2007. It's a great place -- sandwiches, soup, pasta salad, great desserts. I was sitting at our table and thought Mark's silhouette looked cool with the store front and square behind him. I enjoyed watching traffic and people go by as we ate. It sure was a nice break from work.

I remember it was a beautiful day; perfect weather for parking around the block and walking over. I thought, how nice it is to work near home so that I could meet my honey for lunch. It was one of the nicest days for me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

MLK Banquet

MLK Banquet in Seguin

Saturday evening was a special night out for us. We attended the MLK Banquet at the coliseum and had a great time with friends there. Dinner, a few speeches and a fabulous musical presentation by the group Spiritual Voices. They performed a tribute to Dr. King and then they wrapped up with selections from Porgy and Bess. Very nice! We had such a fun time!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Moore Bees

Cold River Apiaries

This is one of the small bee yards that David Park has in Moore, Texas. So technically it's not Seguin but since some of the bees are here now, I thought you would not mind. It was so pretty out there. Moore is located south of San Antonio along Interstate Highway 35. David told us his dad also keeps bees in Devine (north of Moore) and his cousin in Moore also operatest an apiary. David is a FOURTH generation beekeeper! Isn't that cool? I thought so.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Bees, New Home

Our new bees

I am happy to report that the bees are here! And now it's official. We are big time beekeepers now....twelve hives. :) Well, for us that's big time. We went from two in the backyard to an additional ten kept on an acquaintance's property out in the country. This is the spot Mark picked out and he worked last week to prepare the area for our new bees. I will share some more pictures this week but since they are not technically of Seguin, I may post them on my La China blog in case you want to read that one. Or, if you prefer photos only, you can check out my Flickr photo set of our beekeeping activities.

We picked the bees up on Sunday from a really awesome beekeeping in Moore, Texas. David Park owns Cold River Apiaries and he spent a lot of time with us; not just getting the bees ready for the move, but also just talking to us about beekeeping and also about his operation. We learned so much and had a really fantastic time! And he gave us a jar of the honey his bees produced....DELICIOUS! You can really taste the difference from Cold River Honey and the brand we get from HEB. Hopefully, our new bees will like it here in Seguin and start producing some honey for us. :)

Hope everyone's had a good week so far. I just got back from two days in Dallas at our corporate office. Had a blast, really! But glad to be home. And tired. I'm going to go read a few chapters of my James Patterson Cat & Mouse book and then roll on to bed. Good night.

Friday, January 09, 2009

400th Post - Woo hoo!


I finally made it to my 400th post! I was going to post earlier this week but I wanted my 400th one to be special and not just some rush job. Work was busy this week and tiring too, so saving this for Friday made it a special treat for me.

This is a shot of part of the Goodrich House, a property owned by Second Baptist Church. It's located on Goodrich Street, behind the church, and behind the house is Walnut Creek. We use the church for celebratory events and sometimes even for a youth sleepover. It's a nice old house with wood floors and lots of windows. And this wonderful chimney. I just love the brick work and the lines you see in the chimney and siding. It's one of my favorite photos.

I love red brick. I grew up in North Carolina and brick is used a lot there for building. I went to North Carolina State University (go Wolfpack!) and on campus, there must be millions of bricks used for buildings, walls, courtyards, etc. As a matter of fact, we have a beautiful area near the main campus library that is a hub for campus life. We called it the Brickyard. I love that place.

We were leaving the Goodrich House one day after an event and I remember the day was just beautiful. Crisp, chilly day with endless blue skies. And I remember looking up and seeing how beautiful the house looked against the sky. So I took out my camera and shot a ton of photographs. That's what blogging has taught me. How to really see all the wonderful, beautiful things around me. I have learned to better appreciate many things since I started this blog and I am really happy that I am still photographing and blogging.

Thank you everyone who has visited here. And for those of you who have left comments, for those who have seen me around town or at work and talked to me...thank you for letting me know you enjoy the blog and the photos. It was what kept me going. Just when I get lazy or tired of doing this or I start to wonder if anyone cares what I post, one of you tells me in some way that you like this. And that fuels me. So thanks! :)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lippe Tire Company

Checking for damage

No, the Camry is not back in the shop. This is a shot I snapped when we took it in for the Lipple Tire guys to check things out for us after I ran over a huge piece of tread on the highway one night. I love Lippe; they are really great (I've mentioned them recently). I have always been fascinated when I go to a shop and the car goes on the lift. It's so cool. Big, heavy car...lifted up high like it weighs nothing at all. Pretty neat.

Luckily, there was no bad damage that made it dangerous to drive but I did manage to do some harm to something that now flaps once in a while. Going to have to take it in to Shanafelt. Now there's another great business in Seguin. I'll snap a picture when we take the car in. They handle body work and do a great job. And they have a really neat business sign that I really like for some reason. It's very nicely done. And yes, even I think it's funny to like a sign so much. LOL.

Today was another busy, busy day at work but I am enjoying my new role tremendously. All of a sudden, we have projects coming out the ear. I felt so exhilerated, overwhelmed and totally exhausted all at once most of the day. It certainly makes my day fly by fast. And I actually forgot to eat breakfast again (a yogurt at work). Well, I remembered once my stomach started growling at me around 10:30 or so.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Big Bird


Lately I have seen plenty of big birds around Seguin, including a variety of hawks but also many vulptures and buzzards. I don't know all their names so I won't try but if you want to share with me what this bird is, that'd be nice. We saw him out in the country on a ride out to one of the bee sites. He was so regal out there. Mark turned around so I could snap some shots from the car but I wish we could have gotten even closer.

Yesterday I wrote it was 83F degrees. Today it said 48F on the way home from church. Cloudy and windy. I'm not complaining! I love it!!!! :) Tomorrow's suppose to be pretty cold and possibly rainy, which we really need around here. I hope everyone has a great week.


Saturday, January 03, 2009

A little beekeeping in the new year

Mark building frames for new hives

Here we are in January and it reached 83F degrees today; can you believe that? Amazing. It's not that I don't like warm weather. I just like a little seasonal weather. Anyway, I know a friend of mine up in Indiana wrote that she sort of missed the warm Texas weather so sometimes maybe we just want what we don't have at the moment. The cedar and juniper levels are high so it's still giving plenty of us fits with the sneezing, congestion, drippy noses and stuffy heads.

So what do you do in such warm weather? You work on frames for the bees! :) Mark is getting things ready for more bees. We've decided to add ten more hives but we won't be keeping them in our yard with the other two hives we have. Mark's found two locations out in the country on land owned by people we know or have met through another friend. It's very exciting and I'm so thrilled that Mark's decided to increase his beekeeping activities. It's nice to see him doing things he enjoys so much.

He's gotten some boxes prepared and lately he's been putting these frames together with the wax sheets. The frames go inside the boxes and then the bees will continue to build upon the sheets once they are in their new homes. There is another beekeeper nearby who we will buy the bees from soon. I can't wait to visit his place and see what kind of operation he has!

Yep, that's my feet. It was warm enough to walk around bare feet today.


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009 Everyone!

Ringing in the new year

I am still not sure how 2008 managed to get by me so quickly but here we are again at the beginning of a brand new year. It's exciting to think of what is ahead for me and for Mark; but I am also overwhelmed by all that happened in the year past. And I am so grateful.

Mark's home now and we get to see each other and actually spend quality time together more than when we both worked in San Antonio, him at such a demanding job. He's pursuing his research and writing, beekeeping, a workshop-building project and other interests that had to take a back seat for work. I had a fabulous year at CMC and still L-O-V-E it. I have learned so much about so much! LOL. I have developed friendships and laughed so much and enjoyed it all...sometimes it makes me wonder how I deserved all these rewards. I will share something with you now that means more change and more learning for me in 2009. Today, I officially become the Global IT Training Manager for our company and I am so thrilled to have a chance to contribute in a leadership role. I will have a mentor who is pretty amazing so I know I will learn much from her. I'll keep you posted on where this new job takes me. I'm a little nervous but in a good way; it'll keep me on my toes. And so will Mark. Thanks, honey, for your loving support!

A final word on how we rang in the new year last night. Our church, Second Baptist, has a Watch Night service that starts at 10:30 p.m. We were joined by Wesley Harper Methodist Church friends and we sang and gave thanks for all the blessings we received in 2008. The singing was fantastic, the fellowship was awesome and warmed my soul and then the food we enjoyed filled our bellies and when we got home around 2:00 a.m., we were all ready for bed. It was so nice to see all our friends. I have not been to church for a couple of weeks since I have been under the weather and I really missed seeing everyone. When I was with them all last night, I felt warm, as if I was wrapped in the arms of everyone there. If you haven't ever been to a service at Second Baptist, I invite you to come as my guest. The people are amazing. Mark and I were hooked by our second visit! Pastor Flakes is an awesome man and the youth ministry is really doing amazing things for the kids of our church. I think 2009 is going to be a great year for all of us. I hope it will be for you also!