Say, “Professor Simons,” Emma.

May 24, 2015

World’s cutest video.  I’ve watched it at least 10 times, and posted it on Facebook. I bet it goes viral! :-)  Gary watched it over Chromecast, nice and big!

Click on the triangle to start the video.


And if that isn’t enough, see the next one with the strider races:


I heard that Isabella saw 30-40 dophins on her boat trip–that sounds like a lot of fun.  Andrew also sent a photo of a statue of Charles Wesley who was a missionary to Savannah, GA back in the day.

photo 2 (1)


As for Rachel and Gary and me, we’re doing nothing that I know of for Memorial Day, probably just reading email and waiting for it to quit raining.  Between January and April we had over 15 inches of rain, and it’s been raining about every day of May so far!

Progress Report

May 22, 2015

It was 9 weeks ago today that Rachel called the plumber for the sewer problem, and it looks like they finished the process today (although when we were there this afternoon, the steam roller was still there).


Still no renters, but two seemingly very-interested-in-buying parties.  And it’s a seller’s market here at the moment for homes in this price range.  We’re asking God to give Rachel wisdom.


Gary got word that a new publication has found the light of day, and it is the lead article in the journal volume.  Here’s the link to the .pdf if you are interested.  The co-authored article starts on p.6.

Still having more rain here.  The Texas drought is officially over, at least in the eastern half of the state.  Our roof still isn’t fixed because it keeps raining and there has been no opportunity to do the repairs.




Look Who’s On Vacation

May 22, 2015

Andrew, Laura, and Isabella managed to get flights to Georgia: one regular price, one for $10, and one for free. Isabella sent me a list of what they planned to do: (BTW, pretty advanced list for a girl just finishing first grade, wouldn’t you say?)





Andrew just sent these photos, so it looks like they went on the dolphin boat tour this morning–I hope they saw some!  And they probably saw some birds, and they ate lunch, so it seems they are making progress on the to-do list.

photo 1

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photo 4

Little Update

May 19, 2015

Rachel and I continue to pack and empty out her house. But we can’t finish the job until we know what the renter situation will be. We continue to pray for God to provide a good renter.  Today we went through the kitchen and removed all the Grandma Judy pottery. It has now been incorporated into my kitchen.


In other news, I got some grandbaby photos today: Emma’s 2nd birthday with a ladybug cake and Emma and Micah roller skating!




Then Andrew Skyped to say that they were going to Georgia for a Memorial Day vacation and I got this photo during the call.

Video call snapshot 9

Sunday evening I went birding at Joe Pool Lake to check out the Painted Buntings and the flooding.  Here are some photos.











More Rain

May 17, 2015

Wow, our drought must be officially over by now. We had buckets coming down during the night. No wind, so the thunderstorm moved very slowly and kept us awake for a long time.  I woke up with the power went off and again when it went on and several times during window-rattling thunder.

The clock has battery backup, so it came back on and had the right time–sort of! I can’t figure out how to change it back to civilian time!


In other news, I’ve found a wonderful page on Facebook called “the worst bird photographs ever.” I’m now a contributing member and here is one of my collection:


This pretty scarf was a Mother’s day gift from Micah and Emma.


Speaking of me and my fashionable ways, I broke down and bought myself a new purse.


Friday Update

May 15, 2015

It continues to rain here. We’ve been in drought, but I think it must be coming to an end. Area lakes are filled back up and some are overflowing.

The bad weather has meant the hole in our roof has not yet been fixed. But two good things happened with regard to this problem. First of all, I phoned the insurance company back and the adjuster listened to my story of the wet ceiling and said he would send an additional check without even making another trip out here. Nice! Secondly, our neighbor put on a new patch on the roof and it seems to be holding well and will stay there until we have have multiple days of dry weather in the forecast.

The city’s plan to repave Rachel’s driveway, sidewalk, and street didn’t happen either. Yesterday we saw they had the rebar set up, but today it had turned into a reflecting pool!

20150514_145052 20150515_163801


In other news, we’ve learned of the latest rage in preschool toys–no more tricycles, big wheels, or training wheels.  Micah and Emma are out running around on striders–also known as prebikes and balance bikes.  They are little two-wheelers without  pedals!  We checked them out online and saw a video of the Grand Prix of Striding!  I wish the hill where these babies live wasn’t so steep!


Today’s Progress

May 11, 2015

Well, the insurance inspector came today and took a good look.  He asked me if there was interior damage, and I said no.  He was a bit surprised.  He wrote us a small check to go on top of the pretty big deductible.


Then this evening I called our neighbor, Dave DelMedico, to ask if he could come do the repairs, or suggest someone who could.  While I was on the phone with him I decided to look in the piano room for damage–ugh!  Yes, there was a wet spot on on the ceiling.  I had actually only looked in the living room but the hole in the roof was right above the wall dividing the living and dining.  I’m sure we would have gotten more money if I had noticed that sooner!  In fact, I think I need to call the guy back and mention that.

So, it seems the tarp isn’t holding completely AND they’ve predicted several days more of rain.  Fun.

In other news, the commercial plumbers came and finished the cement work on Rachel’s sewer.  I tried to get her to initial it, but she chickened out.  The city still needs to come do the repaving or their part.


We packed a couple more boxes at her house, emptied the refrigerator and cleaned under it, and turned it off.  Making progress, a little each afternoon.

In other news, we took Gary to the airport for a short trip to Waxhaw.  We have to pick him up at 10pm Wednesday.

Mother’s Day and Dried Nasal Mucus

May 10, 2015

As I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve been downsizing our financial records. I have nearly completed the process, saving the full complement from the last 7 years, but reducing older piles by 95%.

In the process of doing this chore, I’ve found a bunch more stuff that needed to be sorted through. A couple days ago I came across evidence that I used writing assignments to teach (and to punish) my kids when they were misbehaving. I found this set of writings from some where around 1994 (approximately ages 15, 13, 10) after a Sunday lunch at Taco Bueno with our Kimball church friends.  Click on these scans to read what these repentant children came up with:





Yes, child, I do forgive you.

In other news, it seems the Lord has protected our cars once again.  This happened while we were at church this morning.  Both ours and Rachel’s cars had been parked there.  I dread cutting down our shade trees, but it seems they are coming to the end of their lives.




May 8, 2015

You remember the laundry basket full of papers to burn from the last post? We’ve burned 3 or 4 full baskets so far and have one more to go.

I’ve got some grandbaby photos to share. First, Isabella played catcher at her coach-pitch baseball game this week and also got her first hit!



Sarah sent me this photo of Micah and Emma climbing in the bushes near their house.


Still no progress on getting our roof fixed. Still waiting for the insurance adjuster to come and that is scheduled for Monday. So far, it seems that the tarp patch is holding even though we’ve had quite a bit of rain.

Yesterday was a good day for Rachel:

  1. After 8 weeks of fighting with it, she now has a working phone.
  2. After 7 weeks of waiting, the sewer is fixed at her house (except new concrete has to be poured still)
  3. After 6.5 weeks, her car has been fixed (again) and now is working correctly

Still several unresolved items in her life, but we are grateful for these things being taken care of.

Time Hurries On and Stuff Piles Up

May 5, 2015

Since Rachel moved back in with us several weeks ago, we have become increasingly aware of how much stuff we have. We are struggling to fit part of her stuff into our house and have to do so without benefit of the space in the apartment since we have renters. That has made me look for places I could make empty.

I decided to tackle two file drawers full of old finance papers. Anything older than 7 years I am drastically reducing, just keeping the bare minimum for those years (small pile on the left) and throwing away the documentation. The result was two full laundry baskets of papers to get rid of.

That is too much to shred, so Gary had a better idea.



In other news, I saw an unusual bird yesterday and got this photo. I thought it was a female Orchard Oriole, which lives here in the summer, but the ebird police said it was a female Baltimore Oriole, which only migrates through here.




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