Finishing Halloween

November 16, 2015

Now that it is almost Thanksgiving, I’d better hurry and post these cute Halloween photos of my grandkids, also known as Donatello and Raphael (two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Hermoine (from Harry Potter).




Recently Overheard

November 14, 2015

Sometimes I can amuse myself just by listening to people say random things around me:

  • It is finally cold enough to lay in the sun.
  • Genesis 3, The Fall of Man.  Did a man fall down?
  • I think the word “create” that you had initially used gives a little too much credit to the originality of his contribution to my project. It was more like I modified their plasmid, mailed it back, and they plugged it into their assembly line of virus production.
  • After this therapy I’m going to need therapy.
  • This is so stressful!! (watching the Rangers)
  • (groan…) I feel so miserable.  I need Tylenol and ice cream.
  • Let’s go to the fair on Thursday.  Old people get in free that day.
  • Panko?  What’s panko?  Just turn the toaster upside down.
  • Watching football is enough to make me believe in reverse evolution.

A Visit from Stan

November 11, 2015

Shortly after we returned from our trip to CA and OR, our long-time friend Stan came to visit. Yes, I could have said “old” friend because Stan will turn 90 next month. We met him at the train station and he spent last week with us.



We convinced him not to rent a car.  Rachel or I drove him where he wanted to go.  He read several books, we took a short trip to the park, and Gary and he watched football all day Saturday.

On Sunday he wasn’t feeling so well, but did attend church with us, then Taco Bueno, then a drive down to Hillsboro so he could spend the next week with Cindy and Denny.  Unfortunately, he experienced some further problems and one of his sons had to come to Dallas and fly back to California with Stan.  We hope and pray he is doing better.

(second try) Trip Report: Gary and Linda to CA and OR

November 3, 2015

(second try on this post!)

I’ve finished organizing my photos and put them into an online photo album. I used captions with the photos to tell the abbreviated version of our trip.

This trip took a lot of planning (well, I guess most trips do) because we wanted to see so many people in a short amount of time–lots of emails and phone calls to connect with folks and make arrangements.  In the end, we saw everyone except for one family that we had tried to make plans with, and added two other “random” friends that just happened to be in the area.

Gary’s parents were with us too.  We booked flights to coincide with theirs at the Oakland airport, got a rental car, and then we were off.  We enjoyed great hospitality from the Hights in Concord before driving on to Santa Cruz to enjoy even more great hospitality from the Dunmires.  Truly we were treated like royalty while we were in California!  The main point of going to CA was to attend High Street Church’s 50+ anniversary celebration–this is the church where Gary grew up and was our very first supporting church.  They’ve been faithfully helping us for 40 years!  Many of the old-timers made it back for this celebration so we and Gary’s folks had a wonderful time seeing old friends.

Then we all flew on to Portland–in separate planes and we visited scenic Salt Lake City on the way!  There Gary and I rented a second car and drove ourselves to David and Sarah’s house during rush hour traffic.  It was so great to see Micah and Emma–they had changed a lot since we saw them in January.  Emma learned to talk since we had been there. They seemed to be happy that we came.  A highlight of our time in Portland was a family dinner including Gary’s sister, Teresa, and her daughters and grandkids.  That meant Wendell and Judy had all their descendants there except Andrew and Isabella.

I had just a little time for birding, but got some new lifers, so that was fun, too.

This online album has a lot of photos, so take some time to click though them and read the short captions.  If nothing else, you’ll enjoy the cute kid photos!  To get started, click on the link below and then use “slideshow” mode for full screen.

We’re Home. First the Bird Report

October 30, 2015

We are back from our 10-day trip.  In summary, it was a good trip and all was well at home when we returned.  We thank God for traveling mercies.  It seems it was still summer when we left (hot and dry for 4.5 months) but it turned into a wet fall while we were away (local flooding tonight).

I’ll be posting photos about the trip in the upcoming days.  But to start with, the birding report.  I didn’t bring my scope along–too big to carry–but this would have been a good time to use it.  We just did the best we could with my binoculars, my camera, and Gary’s monocular.  I saw 60 species on this trip in both CA and OR.  This screen shot from eBird shows the tally after Gary and went through the checklists to make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything. (click the images to make them bigger)

2015-10-30 22_22_17-Detailed Month Report

I added 8 lifters!  Yay!  One reason there were so many lifers is that this was my first time to go birding in California, so naturally there were new birds.  My life list is now at 399.

2015-10-30 23_13_02-World Life List


Here are a few of my better photos.


Western Gull (lifer)


White-crowned Sparrow


Yellow-rumped Warbler


Pygmy Nuthatch (lifer)




Brown Pelican


Heermann’s Gull (lifer)


Once I saw this tree, I knew I would see this:


Acorn Woodpecker (lifer)



My Cute Girls

October 19, 2015

We are about to leave for a trip, so this won’t be long, but I do have some recent photos to share of my cute girls:


First there is Emma, who is learning to make a necklace.  She looks so determined.

Emma with beads

Emma with beads (3)

Emma with beads (2)

Then there is Isabella visiting Insectapalooza.  Gotta love a girl who isn’t afraid of tomato worms.



And then there are the two little butterflies:

Camera Roll

And one more cute girl hanging out with me at the public concert we performed in on Saturday.


I never wear pink or purple, but those were the prescribed colors so I found a top at the boutique.  The men wore shades of blue.



Drought, Floods, Drought Again

October 18, 2015

You may remember that last May it rained and rained. It rained almost every day in May. The good news was that rain officially ended the severe drought. The bad news was there was significant flooding in many places. Our local state park was one of those places. It closed in mid May and just partially opened again yesterday.  They told us the full park is not likely to be repaired until next spring.

And now we are in drought again.  The place was pretty ugly due to flood damage, drought, and fall “colors.”


There were a couple fall wildflowers



Almost no birds to be seen.  So, so dry the birds don’t even want to hang around.  But we did find dozens of these spider webs on the ground that are made by web-funnel grass spiders.  Kinda cool.





October 15, 2015

We are still coughing here. Ugh. Maybe we’ve had a cold, allergies, the flu and more allergies all in a row. Not sure why the coughing won’t stop.

And we’re still sweating. Temperatures in the upper 90s and no rain. It is starting to feel like a desert.

I broke Rachel’s glasses smack in half while trying to clean them.  We went to the glasses store and ordered some new ones but it will take two weeks.  In the meantime I’ve taped hers back together (kinda).  She’s blind and miserable without them.

Then the Rangers lost.  Beat themselves, really.

Rachel’s car had a flat tire yesterday.  Gary changed it while I read the instructions to him from the owner’s manual.  I wonder how long that nail has been there?  We took the car to the shop today and they will see if the tire can be repaired or not.




I need a vacation.


Trip to the State Fair

October 8, 2015
15-10-08 The Great State Fair of Texas

Gary took half a day off work and we went to the Fair for free.  Free for old people on Thursdays, and Rachel got a discount too with a coke bottle.  It was hot, but there were air-conditioned buildings to cool off in.  All went well until Rachel nearly passed out from a coughing fit at the end. Click on photo above then use  the slide show mode to see the captions.

A Little Better

October 3, 2015

…but still coughing like crazy.  And still tired.

Friday the weather finally cooled down enough to actually go outside and feel comfortable. We went for a walk at the nearby Nature Center since the State park is STILL closed for repairs from all the May flooding.  There are a few fall wildflowers to see.  Hardly any birds.












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