Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Creepiest Bug in Texas

We have some big bugs in Texas.
It is Texas after all.
This titan was found wandering our floor by our cat, Hobbes.  
After much squealing and jumping about, I was able to herd it into a container.
Note to self--they can climb walls (((shudder)).

If you are at all interested in such things, you should know that this Red Headed Centipede (Scolopendro heros) is neither a bug nor an insect.
The saying "All Bugs are Insects, but Not All Insects are Bugs" is decidedly unhelpful, unless you know the difference between the two.

Here's what 
has to say about the matter:
  • Insects’ bodies are usually made up of three body parts but the bugs have no specific number of segments.
  • The insects undergo metamorphosis, either complete or incomplete. The bugs however do not undergo metamorphosis.

Even that isn't helpful unless you're into life cycles of bugs and insects.
This large, scary creature is actually more closely related to lobsters, crawfish and shrimp than it is to June Bugs and Butterflies.
However, when Eric said, "Hmmm, dinner??" when I sent him this picture, I declined to make it a part of our evening meal.

In fact, I kept it overnight and released it this morning.
Far, far away from the house.
Like snakes, they eat things we consider pests.
Also, like snakes, they pack a wallop when inflicting a bite.
Thus, the "far, far away" when releasing.

If you want to read more about this critter, here's an excellent place to start.

Monday, July 29, 2013

I'm Baaaacccckkkk!

Best. Week. Ever!

l-r: John, David, Stephen, Nick, Keegan, Devin, Josh, Jacob, Chris, Paul
Dee, Megan, Hailey, Hallie, Hailey, Kellie, Ally, Jenna and Yours Truly.

There really aren't enough words to describe the week I had,
but I'll give it a go.

I had a joyous, glorious, fun-filled, early mornings/late nights, spirit-filled, tearful, belly laughing, sore backside, thought provoking, stellar weather, open windows, great sports, new friends, old friends, God-moments, glimpse of heaven, ice cream every day, sort of week.

The End

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Road Trip

Tonight, 9 people will arrive at my house for a sleepover of sorts.
Tomorrow morning, we will get up, load up two 12-passenger vans and head north.
North to Waco and then Dallas for more people.
Further north through Oklahoma and then finally Kansas.
Wichita will our final destination for the day.
We'll bed down for the night at a church.
Saturday morning we'll get up, brush our teeth, grab some breakfast and head to Iowa.
What's in Iowa?
Spectacular is what's in Iowa!
But what's Spectacular?

What I will say is that it's a week long camp for high school age kids.
It's a camp full of sports, arts, crafts, music, friendships, and God.

It starts each day before I'd like to really be out of bed.
Each day ends wwaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy after my bedtime.
I usually start my evening nap on the sofa at 9:30 and then wander to bed about 11:00.
Lights out at this camp isn't until 12:30!
I have to stay up until then, because I have to make sure my campers are all in their room.

While this camp is for the campers, I'm very excited about it as well.
I wasn't lucky enough to be able to go to camps when I was a kid.
I don't have lifelong friendships that come from spending the week with people I barely know. 

Discovering common interests and goals,
Common weaknesses and triumphs,
Common sadness and silliness.

I'll know several people there, but I am getting the chance to see a woman I haven't seen since my high school graduation. 
We weren't friends in high school.  
In fact, we were enemies of sorts.
There was a boy involved.
No surprise there.

Anyway, thanks to Facebook, I was able to apologize after all these years.
She was kind enough to forgive me.
We've been friends on Facebook ever since.
I can't wait to finally give her a hug.  
Share a meal. Share a laugh. Share a song.

Oh wait, this camp is for high schoolers!
I was in high school once.  That counts doesn't it?

I'll do the whole drive in reverse on 27th.
Prayers and good thoughts for safe travels would be much appreciated.
We grown ups will be a bit sleep deprived on the way home.
Can anyone say Coffee, Coffee, Coffee?

See you in 10 days or so.
I hope you have a lovely week.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

When an Arrow is Not Just an Arrow

Good morning all,
While searching for a photo of an arrow on the interwebs this morning, the picture of the young man you see above was the first picture that popped up.
He really has nothing to do with my post, other than to point out that the internet is a strange and wonderous place.  
You never know what you'll get when you type in a search word.

The real arrow for you to look at is the red one.
It points to a new widget that Linda suggested.
(waves--Hi Linda)
I suggest all bloggers have one, as I follow many blogs that are like my own.
I am a hit-or-miss sort of blogger and folks often click over here, only to see that I haven't added a new post (again). 
Now, you can add your email to the little widget and it will send you an email when I've actually added something new. 
I seriously doubt the email gets used for any nefarious purposes by me, Google, or the government. 
We all know that if you've ever bought anything online, that the world has access to your information--they just have to be good at looking for it.
I'm not.

So, please add your email if you like.
Until then, somebody please get that boy up top, a bandaid.
If I have any young readers, let me suggest that you not get involved with this boy.
He's a 'bad boy'.
He can't be changed.
He might be beautiful to look at, but he'll break your heart.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Office Assistant Misses His Chance

 While out on his lunch hour, Hobbes came across a newcomer to the area.
While I found her to be quite lovely and hoped to get to know her better, he was standoffish.

I think her long legs, perfectly placed feathers and beautiful blue head intimidated him.

"She's not all that pretty, I've seen prettier."
"Besides, girls like guys who play it cool.  You watch, she'll be back by here looking for me tomorrow."

I think his too-cool-for-school attitude backfired.
She hasn't come by here again.
He missed his chance.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Devil is in the Details

This is a Rustic Sphinx Moth

Sphinx Moths are often thought to be 'baby hummingbirds' by those that are not familiar with either moths or hummingbirds.  Many of their species are out in daytime, feeding on the nectar of flowers. The confusion is easily understood.

While beautiful and many in number (124 species in North America alone), their caterpillars are voracious eaters. 
The Tomato Hornworm (named for the ''horn'' on its backside) is a common giant caterpillar found to be devouring your tomato plants every summer.
Just one or two can make a plant all but disappear in one day.

This particular species is fabulous at camouflage. 
 If Eric hadn't disturbed its resting place under our trampoline, we would never have seen it. 
 It fluttered into the grass and then onto a tree.
Once on the tree, it becomes nearly invisible.

I spent so much time taking pictures of it, that I began to see things.
I swear I see a devil on its back.
I also see a monster.
Do you see them?
If you see the devil, the the monster is right above it.

See either one of them yet?
If not, 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Six Months in Fast Forward

Well, here I am again.  
I decided to get over my "I've missed so much, how can I go forward?" question.
While each of these pictures deserves a blog post of its own, I simply cannot make it happen.
Blogger and importing photos from my cranky computer have made it impossible.
So, here's the Cliff's Notes (a gold star for those who know what Cliff's Notes are) version of the last 6 months.

photo credit:
Jenna got her first job at the most amazing pizza place ever.
We're hooked.
I'm hooked on their Brussels and Jam pizza.
Don't knock it til you try it.
She's making amazing money, which will help pay for books and inferior pizza at college this fall.

Quinn made District in high hurdles this year.
I still have trouble watching him run.
Hurdle wipeouts are brutal to witness.
Luckily (knock on wood), he's never done it.

Dad turned 85.
One year for his birthday, he got a baby boy.
Joel's not a baby anymore, but I have no idea how old he is.
He probably likes it that way.

Jenna graduated from high school.
We had a big party.
This was the fruit and cheese platter.
For some reason, I failed to get a shot of the actual food.
Eric convinced me that I'd have better time if we had the whole thing catered.
We did.
I did.
Creek Road Cafe, rocks!

(l-r) Rachel, Morgane, Jacob, Jenna

(l-r) Rachel, Morgane, Jenna

Jenna with Grandpa and Grandma

A rare shot of me
She's taller than me.
Has been since 6th grade.

(l-r) Eric, Aunt Nora, Grandpa, Quinn, Jenna, Grandma, me

Aunt Nora got to come to graduation!

Uncle Joel and Aunt Jody got to come, too!

Moving on from graduation------------

By some miracle, I raised one bunny to releasable age and weight.
I really kept her too long, but the weather and my own anxiety about releasing this wee baby kept me from it.
I finally relented and released her because I was leaving town for a week and didn't want Grandpa and Grandma to have to look after her in addition to the rest of my animals.

This is where I went for a week.
I was a counselor at our church camp for elementary age school kids.
Jenna was a CIT (counselor in training) all week as well.
The weather was stellar and my little girl campers were amazing.
They all got along, no one got hurt, and no one was homesick.
That's a trifecta in my book!

While we were gone, this terribly handsome man turned 50.
We missed his birthday!
As luck would have it, he missed it to.
He was in Orlando on a business trip.
Thankfully, someone found out about his birthday and he was celebrated more than once on his trip.
Cake and all!

July 3rd marked the 6 month point for Preston and Katie's wedding.
This is one of their engagement pictures.
I'm certain time will fly, as it has done for the last 6 months and the wedding will be here before I know it.

Hopefully, I won't get 6 months behind again.
My next few ventures will be as follows:

1. A trip to Iowa for another church camp.
I'm driving a 12 passenger van.
God please keep us safe.
Heaven help my backside, too.

2. We (without Preston, boo--he's working 2 jobs and going to school) will be headed to Chicago and Milwaukee for Jenna's choice of vacation.  We let the kids pick when they graduate high school.
Chicago will be sightseeing/eating.
Milwaukee will be to see Sarah, Ryan and the babies!

3. Back to Iowa again.
This time to take Jenna to college.
It's terribly bizarre to have so many mixed emotions about his event.
God, thank you for the person that invented Skype.