Thursday, December 15, 2005

Wagons Ho!

Well pilgrims, it looks as though Cerra and I are going to be on the trail again. We're excited to announce that I've been offered, and have accepted a position as an application developer with Distinctive Software Systems (DSS), a small software company in South Jordan, Utah. DSS specializes in database driven applications for medium to small businesses. I've already begun work and am staying with Nolan while Cerra finds us an apartment . We're going to miss Mom and the animals, but we're just a short, cheap flight from Idaho, so we'll be visiting often. Cerra and I are very grateful to have been blessed with this great opportunity for me to work doing what I love while earning a good salary and for Cerra to return to college full-time. Thanks to all our family and friends for your support as we've taken these first steps together this past year. Of course, special thanks to Mom for all that she has done and does for us.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Ericksen Sisters

Mom recently went digging through a box of audio cassette tapes that my grandmother, Ella left in her possession when she passed away. In this box was the object that motivated Mom's search, a copy, on tape of a record that Grandma and her sisters, Pearl and Ruby recorded back in 1935 in Salem, Oregon. Grandma would have been 16 or 17 years old in '35, depending on the month the recording was made. The original recording was most likely engraved on a shellac disk, as vinyl disks were not widely available at the time. Due to the material used and the age of the record, the recording has quite a bit of noise on it (lots of pops and hisses). I've digitized the recording and I'm currently working on cleaning up the noise. The Ericksen sisters recorded three songs. The second song: Twilight on the Trail, is the only title I'm confident about. I thought someone might be able to help me put a name to the first and third tracks, and that you all might be curious to hear what I have so far, so I've uploaded all three songs to the web. Take a moment to listen by clicking the links below, and please help me out if you know any of the missing titles!
  1. June and Roses (???)
  2. Twilight on the Trail
  3. Tonight (???)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving

It's something we all share
Whether we realize it or not
Every man, woman, child
The poor, the sick, the afflicted
The wise, the blessed, the successful
The wicked, the proud, the ignorant
The peaceful, the merry, the giving
The slothful, the melancholy, the angry
The loving, the willing, the wealthy
Any soul that has breathed this earth's sweet air

That
Is a debt of gratitude
To Him we owe
If a man could see what is potentially his
He would gladly suffer the worst this world has to offer
This wonderful plan
Has only our eternal happiness in mind
Truly all
The good, the bad, the indifferent
Is a gift from God


Cerra Hawkins

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nothing Too Small

Today brought about a miracle provoked thanksgiving. At about 10:30 this morning, I went outside to feed the kittens, and one was missing. I called and called for him, checked every car - they get locked unknowingly in cars sometimes - and looked all over for him. I couldn't find him anywhere. Kathleen got up about 11:00am and I told her that Baloo was missing. She gave me suggestions to look - places I had already searched. A moment latter, Kathleen was gazing out the sliding, glass door, like she does so often, when she said, "I can't see very well right now, but I think I just found your missing cat."

I ran outside to behold a black spot in the lawn. I knew it was him and I knew he was dead. He looked like a dirty, black dishrag lying in the grass. As I approached him, I looked for signs of life. There weren’t any, no noticeable chest movements, nothing. When I got up to him, he was wet head to toe and had by then frozen. I put my hand on him - cold as ice. I picked up his body by the knap of the neck to examine him before taking him to his "final resting place" - the trash can. I looked at his face - his eyes were half open along with his mouth and his tongue was hanging slightly out - and thought to myself, "I hate looking at lifeless faces."

Just then, he whimpered and cried a little. "He's alive!" I cried to mom as I bolted toward the house; he started screaming a horrible scream by then. We both ran inside with him. Mom grabbed a towel and we wrapped him in it. I started vigorously rubbing him - he would scream with pain every now and then and then return to a seemingly lifeless state. We warmed my rice-packs in the microwave. Kathleen then put him under her shirt to try to get him warm. In the five minutes it took for the rice-packs to heat up, her chest was as if she were holding an ice pack against her. We got the rice-packs ready and then pulled him out from under her shirt and put him under mine. I then put the rice-packs on top of him.

In a matter of ten minutes, he had the rice-packs cold - I mean cold. I put them back in the microwave to warm them again. Up to this point, he would start wailing an ear piercing cry but for a moment, and then return to a state of labored breathing and limpness. After about ten or fifteen more minutes, he started shivering and crying a little less often. Mom back came in the house at about 11:30 and we put 45cc of warm saline under his skin. He was very slowly, but surely "coming back to life". We also put an electric heating pad under him, on top of my skin. About five minutes later, mom had me get her stethoscope and she listened to his heart and lungs. His heart was 120bpm (normal for a kitten is about 160bpm), but he had stopped skipping beats and they were strong beats. His left lung sounded clear but his right was crackly – he was lying on his right side when I found him. He was still limper than a rag-doll and a little touch and go.

By 1:30, he was starting to try to crawl out of his blankets and heating pads and lose the look of shock in his eyes (glazed over, partly opened). At 2:00, he climbed down from the couch and drank quite a bit of formula and water. We took him to the vet a little after 3:00 to get some antibiotics to prevent pneumonia. He has slept most of the day – understandable – and is still not walking very well, but he is alive, eating, drinking and going potty. I think he’s going to make it.

His life is small and insignificant in the “great scheme.” We would have been just fine with the loss of this cat, but, for some reason, God touched this little creature and let him live. This brought great joy into this house today. Mom and I both feel like we were a part of a miracle. I felt peace, joy and love knowing that brief sadness I would have felt was spared because I am a child of God. I know that He hurts when we do and pains to see His children suffer – even if but a little. I truly feel that we were blessed to be reminded of His great mercy and love.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bus Driver Cerra!

I am training to get my CDL at work so that I can be a substitute bus driver. I haven't taken any tests yet; I have only been reading and attending trainings. Next week I am going to take a general knowledge test.

On Monday's "Staff Training Day," I was with the bus drivers all day going to their trainings. The last part of the day we all loaded onto a bus to practice/brush up on techniques learned that day in a big, empty parking lot. I didn't think that I was allowed to get behind the wheel. Then the transportation specialist said, "Cerra, it's your turn."

I was excited. The first thing we did was pick a reference point from a given distance and then move the bus and stop that distance from something using your reference point. I was right on. Which wasn't very exciting because it's a fairly easy task, once you know the concept.

After that, we practiced the serpentine course. That is a line of cones that are 3-6 feet longer than the bus you are driving and you slalom the cones and get as close as you can to them without knocking them over.

(I found this picture on the www. It kind of gives you an idea.)

You go through the course backwards and forwards. Surprisingly enough, the course in reverse is much easier than forward.

We use small buses at our school, but the distance between the wheels are pretty close comparing the overall length of the two. The tailswing on the bigger buses is greater though.

Anyway, I got to try this course too. I didn't knock over a single cone nor have to change directions to make it. I did it both in reverse and going forward. I had a lot of coaching, but it was still a great learning experience.

It was my first time behind the wheel of a bus. It was super fun! Soon I will make you all call me "Bus Driver Cerra" like the children will.

Yet another blog...

So, anyone tired of the word "blog" yet? Well for those of you with a geeky streak, I've launched a new effort in this arena. Digital Jet-Pack is dedicated to my ranting about all thinks tech. I'm hoping to spare Dillon & Cerra readers from involuntary exposure to my techno-babble and to use the site as a marketing tool for my development services (can you say "will work for food"?). Because Digital Jet-Pack will be listed in the blogger.com directory, it will not be linking to sites like Farm Fancy or Sasha's Window to avoid risk of their comment system being abused. For the time being, I've also disabled comments on DJP to avoid having to spend time moderating them. So all you tweakers and closet nerds, drop by to get the straight dope on the latest geek-chic.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Gym Membership

I got a gym membership yesterday! Ever since daylight savings ended, I haven't been able to run outside; it's dark by the time I get home.

I convinced my work to sign up for a corporate membership with a local gym a couple of months ago. It drastically reduces the monthly fees for the employees. I am only paying $15/month for 24 hour access.

I want to start going every day before work, but even if I miss a morning, I can go at lunch or after work that day. They have locations in Weiser and Ontario (where I live and where I work). I am going to get into great shape! YAY!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

As of last Friday, no one in this house had given Halloween a second thought. On my way out of the door from work, a coworker told me there were left-over pumpkins from the kids' field trip and to help myself to them. Sweet! Free pumpkins! I took four, so now I had seven pumpkins total - three little ones from our garden this year and four medium ones from the school. I was stoked to carve them!

Saturday was packed. We worked on the goat/horse shed ALL day - we didn't even stop to eat. When night fell we went to Sizzler to celebrate Kathleen's new job, gorged ourselves on the all-you-can-eat buffet and then went to bed.

Sunday morning we went to church - Dillon stayed home sick (I think it was the buffet). After church I was so excited to start carving pumpkins. I kept trying to sell the idea to Dillon and Kathleen to do it with me, but they weren't buying it. So I set out to carve alone. I laid out two trash bags on the kitchen floor, put Napoleon Dynamite in the DVD player and stabbed my first pumpkin. I didn't even have it all the way hollowed out when Kathleen asked me to go with her to deliver 10 chickens to the Winegars - a great family in the ward. I went with. Their two kids love me and the third is beginning to (he's only 8 months old). Orin (the six year old boy) asked his mom, "Can we go over to Cerra's house?" Afton (the eight year old girl) thought that was a great idea too. After a bit of convincing from them, she relented.

We brought the two kids back home with us while John, Deana and Lee (dad, mom and baby Winegar) went home teaching. We went out to the goats and watched Orin ride the yearling billy. It was so cute. He's so stumpy and stout. He's literally a "goat roper".

After that we came in and started carving pumpkins. The kids didn't know they were going to get to do that. They were so excited. Even Dillon couldn't resist the fun and drew a "scary face" on one of the pumpkins for me to carve out.

Before they left, the kids asked if the could come over trick-or-treating the following night - you need to make prior arrangements out in the country before go or you won't get any candy. So I went to the dollar store on my way home from work and bought a couple of candy bars. I bought some extras just in case, but they were our only two. Afton was a fairy princess (my all time favorite costume growing up - I think I sported my wings made out of panty hose and wire coat hangers and my flyswatter wand at least three years. Aftie's costume was a lot better than mine ever was - she was precious looking. Orin was Davie Crockett. I guess he was Santa last year. What a funny kid! They came in and let me take pictures of them - too cute!!!

All in all it was a quiet Halloween. I enjoyed myself thoroughly though - I carved pumpkins, drank apple juice and hung out with two really fun kids...Did I mention that I carved pumpkins? Well, I did! I wonder if there's a future in it for me... Talk about a dream job!!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Fat and Happy

Today was a memorable day for Gizmo; today he caught he first mouse! Every day he goes out into the neighbor's pasture to "hunt", but alas, he returns with nothing due to his crossed eyes. This evening Mom and I were moving the tarp to cover the new ton of hay that was just delivered. I grabbed it and pulled; a mouse went scurrying around frantically on the tarp. I screamed like a little girl. The tarp was lying just so that he wasn't finding his way out very easily. "KITTY - KITTY - KITTY!" I bellowed in a high pitched voice - I don't know why I thought that terrible sound would lure anything to come to me. I frantically looked around and saw Gizmo. I went running over to him. He looked up at me with his big, blue, crossed eyes and ran. I tried my best to slow down but at the same time catch him fast enough so the mouse wouldn't get away. I finally cornered him, grabbed him and ran with him over to the tarp. The mouse was still there! I was surprised. I knew my chances of setting Gizzy down and having him even see the mouse were few and far between - let alone get him to catch it. I slowly set him on the tarp. *WAP* He bolted like lightening. That mouse didn't stand a chance! And just as fast as he caught it, he ran away with it. He was so proud of himself. Normally Gizmo is very needy and neurotic, but tonight, he is fat and happy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Run, Forrest! RUN!

Well, I have been running now for about 7 months. When I started running, my shoes were bad - so you can only imagine how they are now. I recently have been getting knee and hip pains with each run - not good!

Last Wednesday Dillon took me into Ontario and bought me new shoes and a watch for a surprise. It was great! He said he considered the shoes an investment for avoiding a knee replacement down the road. They are Saucony Jazz X shoes in lavender and silver (shiny!). They are super cute, and soooo comfortable. They have no stability (which I need in my running shoe) and maximum cushion (which I also need in my running shoe). They also hava a "patented grid technology" for cushion, and, unlike Air Nikes, it won't pop. (I had my old Nikes for about a week before I popped one of the air sack-thingies - it sucked) They are the perfect width, so I don't have to buy a shoe that is 1/2 a size too big just to get it wide enough. And they are super light weight. Saucony only makes running shoes; that makes them pros. They are also less commercially popular so they are cheaper than say, a comparable Nike.


My watch is a Timex Ironman Triathlon Sleek watch. With it I can tell time (I know! That's awesome, but it gets EVEN better), time runs and split that time into laps, set 3 alarms at one time, count down the time and count down the time with intervals. I like it a lot, and it's pink! (another huge plus).

And after all of this, Dillon still wasn't done. He decided to make me a "Running Journal" for our blog that I can post to. It's super fun. He also made it so that my last running stats will be displayed on the home page (see the image below). This adds a little pressure to my runs...but I still dig it. Be sure to keep track of my progress and cheer me on!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Kittens...

The kittens are at that age where you want to keep all of them. They are old enough to have their own little personalities, yet not old enough bite or scratch hard. And their faces are to die for - so puggy and cute. They are so curious as they discover the new world around them. They aren't fully coordinated yet, so it's even cuter to watch them fall around while doing so.

Even Winslow can't resist them.

We brought them outside today to play - they still live in the garage. They loved it. It was a nice, warm, sunshiny day. They met the chickens for the first time too. They thought it was great fun to chase the chickens...until they got pecked a couple of times.

We've become kind of lazy in our names for this batch. The back and white ones are "Cowboy" and "Cowgirl" - pretty boring. And the three black ones are Balooju (Baloo Junior), Baloojutu (Baloo Junior II) and Fooju (Footie Junior). Baloo and Footie were two cats from the previous litter. I think the novelty of kittens is wearing thin...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Women's Fitness Celebration

Part of my birthday present for the last 3 years from Doug and Kathleen Craven (Dad and Step-Mom) has been entry into the Women's Fitness Celebration. It's a 5k through downtown Boise stroll, walk, or run that falls on the third Saturday of September.

This year it was Kathleen, Megan (her daughter), Susanne (her best friend from California) and me who went. It was a great time. We all wore tiaras and sashes - being the princesses that we are. My sash said "Miss Taken"on it. I was going to be "Miss Demeanor" but they wanted me to be "Miss Taken" because I am so recently married. I really liked the idea of the whole thing being an ode to Dillon on my part, so I changed my mind. Kathleen was "Miss Behavin'", Susanne was "Miss Chief" and Megan was "Miss Chievous".

We had a great time. I was going to run, but got a cold the Wednesday before and was still sick for the race. They ran a block with me at the beginning to make me feel good. Every year the give out t-shirts when you sign up. The logos on them are different each time, but they all say "5k stroll, walk and run" on the bottom. Two years ago I circled stroll on the t-shirt I got - because we strolled. Last year I circled walk. This year I wanted to circle run, but didn't run. Susanne said that I had better circle it because we ran (the block), but I think I'll hold out until next year when I run the whole thing.

Here is 20 minutes of video of the event. I didn't see us on there, so that made the footage rather dull to me. It gives you an idea of what it is like though.

We are always recruiting more people participate with us too. So if you are going to be around next year, you should! (Sorry Paul, you have to be a girl!) I tried to talk Kathleen (Hawkins) in to taking her new knee out for a spin...maybe next year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Happy Birthday, Baby!

My darling wife was born this day waaay back in 1982. Smart, kind and beautiful, she's the finest person I've ever known. It may be your party sweetie, but I've been given the best gift of all. Happy twenty-third birthday dear, I love you so.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Evel Knievel Doesn't Hold a Candle

I've been wanting to ride Starberry (we now call Star "Starberry" because she is a strawberry color and she likes to eat them). We've ridden her before, but she's not completely comfortable under-saddle and she chomps on the bit constantly. We couldn't get her to relax. Today I asked Kathleen if she would hold her while I sat on her bareback. I wanted to "hang out" on her and have her comfortable.

I went out to her corral and haltered her. I brought her out to the lawn and Kathleen held her while I used a chair to get on her. At first, I was just sitting on her while Kathleen held her and she ate grass. Then Kathleen used part of the long lead rope to give me some reins. I controlled her a little and then let her chill and then did it again. All while Kathleen had a hold of her just in case.

We walked around the side of the house to the front. Just as we stopped, Max (the best dog in the world) jumped out of the creek. Starberry spooked and took a big, fast side-step. It was just like a magician pulling a table cloth out from under a bunch of china. I landed with one foot perfectly on the ground and the other still on Star. The reaction seemed so delayed from all of us. I kept my foot on her a while longer and then took it to join the other. I felt the the look of shock on my face and saw it on Kathleen's. We both started laughing hysterically in relief. We hunched over each other's shoulders laughing away. Then Kathleen pulled her head up and said, like an 'oh, yeah,' "Are you okay?"

"Yeah, I landed on my FEET!" I said, still cracking up. Then we both we went back to laughing.

The last (and only) two times I had ever fallen off a horse before ended pretty badly. This one was so crazy! It happened so quickly, and we were both so grateful that no one was hurt. Star seemed to share our 'what the crap just happened?' feelings. I don't think she found it as funny as we did though.

Kathleen grabbed my leg and boosted me back on Starberry's back. We walked around a little longer, and then I got off. We brushed her, loved her, let her eat greens and then put her away.

As we speak, I am talking to my agent about stunt work for the future. ;-) Seriously though, I feel very blessed for how that potentially disastrous event turned out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

They Only Come Out at Night

I got a late start to my run last night and am thinking I should do it more often. I wasn't even a quarter mile into it when out of nowhere there was a skunk in front of me. It seemed as though we both startled each other. I dashed to the other side of the road while he shot up and poofed out his tail. "How fast can you suckers run?" I asked him as I cautiously scurried by. He didn't come after me though. He went into a small, empty ditch pipe pretty quickly. I thought that was neat. I have never seen a skunk free and "in the wild" before, and I was glad that I didn't have to take a tomato bath that night.

All along my run, there was even more scurrying in the bushes along side of the road than usual. I heard a screech owl a couple of times.

Nearing the place where I turn around to go home, I saw "the biggest ass dog" I had ever seen! It was a deer. It looked like a HUGE, scary, hungry wolf for a few seconds though. I got a good blast of endorphins from thinking it was. After I realized it was a deer, I got excited in a different way. I awe in the sight wildlife.

I LOVE to see wild animals free - even if they are just skunks and deer. I could watch them for hours if they'd let me - it's true, ask Dillon.

It's tempting to make a habit out of going running later... I probably won't though; just in case it isn't a deer next time.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Summer...Come and Gone...Almost

Well, summer was fun, but it's almost gone. It was a nice summer, even though I didn't get down to Utah. That would have made it a great summer, but it was just nice.

I had six weeks off of work in June and July - the school closes in the summer. That was a needed break. I feel like I got a lot done.

We built a goat loafing shed - well, started to anyway. Nolan came up for a weekend with his girlfriend, Heather, and we dug holes and cemented the posts in the ground. It's coming along slowly, but surely. The young and old men from our ward came out for two nights and finished a section of the roof and put up a fence in no time at all. It was great. Kathleen and I have been working throughout the summer on it. The billy goat loves it!

I chopped my hair off. One day in April I went in to a beauty parlor and had it whacked. I donated my hair to Locks of Love. It was fun. I have never had my hair this short and I like it a lot. I am growing it out a little (probably to my jaw line) for Dillon's sake. I think he misses my long hair.

We had three - yes I said three - batches of kittens this summer. What a mess!!!! There were - and still are - cats everywhere! We had 7 to start out and added 12 kittens over the summer. We are now down to a mere *sarcasm* 14 cats total. People! I cannot stress this enough - have your pets spayed or neutered!

I took up running - it's really kind of a waddling; most runners would be insulted that I call what I do running :-) - about 5 months ago. I like it a lot. I have never been a good runner, but I have noticed huge improvements. When I started - this is really sad - I couldn't even run a full 1/2 mile without stopping and walking. Now I am running 3.1 miles in a little over 30 minutes, - this is really good for me - and I run the whole way. Sometimes Kathleen will ride the bike with me while I run. It's nice; it keeps my mind off of how much my legs hurt or how tired I am. My resting heart rate is now down to below 60bpm, so I am getting in shape.

We planted a garden. I am just barely getting to enjoy the fruits of my labor with the strawberries. The chickens devoured them the second they turned red, but I have since learned to enjoy pinkish-white strawberries. They are still better than store bought like that. We got a tons of yellow squash, zucchini and cucumbers. Kathleen makes a killer vegi dish with the squash and zucchini. Mmmmmmmmm. We are anxiously awaiting the corn. It's almost "done" - as Dillon would say. The tomatoes and beans didn't turn out so well - actually, they didn't turn out at all. I think the beans were under watered and the tomatoes were over watered. Who knows?... We have some little pumpkins too. That should be fun for Halloween.

Paul (my brother), Doug (my dad), Kathleen (my step-mom) and I went to the "2nd Biannual Craven Family Reunion" up above Hailey, ID. It was a lot of fun. The campground was really nice. There were deer that would come and hang out. They only required a distance of 30 feet or so from people. It was neat. We went on a 2-4 hour hike (depending on who you were and who you got separated with). Paul and I got separated together. We had a lot of fun - I did anyway. Paul wore nylon basketball shorts and was covered in stickers! We had to stop every ten minutes to pull them off because they were poking him so bad. Then in a matter of seconds, it seemed, he was covered again. It was funny - to me... Towards the end of the hike he said, "The searing pain has turned into a numb, tingling sensation." Those stickers were everywhere! It was nice to spend some one-on-one time with my brother in the mountains. The camp had a horse shoe throwing court(?) (is that the right word?) equipped with horse shoes and posts to throw them on. We also had a boulder throwing contest. This rock weighed like 40lbs at least. I am pretty sure I won... Mine went like 5 whole feet! It was a good time. We were only there for a day, a night and a day, but in that time I got to meet people that were related to me that I didn't even know existed.

Kathleen just got back from SLC visiting Nolan and her brother Alan and his family. She came back with the cake top from our wedding. It was such a fun surprise. Ana Maria - Alan's wife - had saved it for an entire year + in her freezer so that we could eat it on our anniversary. It was so neat! I made Dillon reminisce about our last year together and our wedding before he could take a bite. It still tasted delicious! That's how good Carol is! Her cakes, even at a year old, are divine!

I am back to work and am sorry to see the summer end, but I will just complain until the next one starts. :-D

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Weekend in review

We had a busy few days and this is the first chance I've had to post for a bit. Saturday morning Cerra and I dropped mom off at the airport. She took a trip to Salt Lake City to visit the family. We came home and poked around the house. Cerra played with the animals and tended to some chores while I tinkered with the computers. About 3:00 we headed out to meet the Panike family and go boating at a nearby reservoir. Linda (Mrs. Panike) was ill and stayed home, which was disappointing because Cerra and I just love her. But we were pleasantly surprised to find that Hayden (the Panike's son) brought Kimball and Carlie Palmer along. Kimball and Carlie are from another great family we go to church with, and Cerra teaches Carlie's Sunday school class. Chris (Mr. Panike) was at the helm of his bass boat most of the afternoon, whizzing Cerra and the kids around the lake on skis, knee-board and tubes. Toward the end of the day, Cerra took the helm and dragged Chris around the lake for a few laps. By 7:00, about when we pulled the boat out of the water, everyone had been towed a few times and had their fair share wipe-outs.

Early Sunday morning, we were awakened by the sound of the five kittens Dweezle had given birth to while we slept. Great, more cats... anyone need a mouser? I wasn't feeling well and reluctantly stayed home while Cerra went to Boise to attend church with Doug Craven's (Cerra's dad) family. The reason for attending church in Boise was a farewell for Devan, Doug's step-son, who is going on a LDS mission to Singapore. Coincidentally, Linda Panike was born and raised in Singapore, and it's likely that Devan will meet some of her family and friends there. I spent Sunday recovering from a long week, and my dear wife was home by 6:00.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty uneventful work days. The only thing of note was Mom's safe return from her trip to Utah yesterday evening. Cerra picked her up at the airport, and it sounds like she had a really fun time with Nolan, Alan, Ani, all the kids and the kids' kids.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Flowers

Today is such a beautiful day in the country, not a cloud in the sky. The flowers are looking especially nice. I was outside today taking pictures and I couldn't help but take tons of the flowers. This sunflower is growing in our garden and is about 8 or 9 feet tall now and just barely blooming. The wild sunflowers were a pleasant surprise for me this year. I've been wanting some around and only seen them at the neighbors'. The little blue and gold flowers are in a dense cluster of flowers that is about 2' x 2' in our garden. I think Kathleen just dumped the seed packets in a pile and started watering. :) They sure are cute little flowers though. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I absolutely love the color combination of yellow and blue - if you couldn't tell. I especially like that combination when it's a brilliant yellow sunflower in front of a bright blue sky... mmmmm preeeeeettttttyyy. Notice the picture of the three wild sunflowers on the top right. I really like how this picture turned out with all three in the picture at different focal points. I think it has a cool effect.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The penguin has landed...

Time to geek out a bit. Cerra and I spent some time yesterday getting a Linux system up and running. We used an old Pentium III 450MHz system that was gathering dust. Cerra slapped in a new DVD-ROM (the optical drive had been cannibalized some time ago), we made a boot floppy (yup, the motherboard is too old to support booting from CD), installed from the CD and shazam... we have Linux. We chose to use a distribution called Ubuntu (based on Debian) because of its stability and robust support cycle. I've installed Apache, MySQL and PHP and now have a nice little testing server on my LAN... and I just wrote this post from the new server. How fun is that?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I think I'm in love... again

As far as love goes, Dillon is number one... but a close second has come along. ;-)

Seriously though, this animal is incredible. Her name is Star. She came with that name and it's perfect. She looks like a fairly tale story when she runs. Her tail streams behind her like a proudly soaring flag while her strong neck stands erect. She whinnies to me whenever she sees me. We run around the corral together, and she shakes her head in excitement as she follows me.

I have never met a horse I have liked so much - most of them have been geldings though (neutered, male horses - for you city folk), and we all know boys are harder to deal with.

When I first saw her, I wasn't all that impressed; she was cute but nothing to right home about. Now I think she is the most gorgeous horse to walk the Earth, so I think her personality has a lot to do with it.

She is a three year old appaloosa and mustang (they think) mix. She was an accident. The people who had her before said that her mother escaped, came back and then 11 months later she came along. She is green broke (just barely trained to ride) but very malleable - she aims to please.

She is supposed to be pregnant now and due to foal in April. Her stallion is a beautiful black one. He's impressive without getting to know his personality.

We share apples and hang out together. I love this horse!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Still Madly in Love

Today is Dillon and my anniversary. We are still so madly in love. This has been a great year for the two of us.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Straight-jacket anyone?

Friday morning and I've just finished my daily "web-crawl" (email, news, online job search). I've been strategerizing how on earth I'm going to budget enough time for the five web site projects I need to tackle. Couple that with the time spent fixing Windows for friends this week and my anxiety over finding a good job, and we get a serious case of stir-craziness. Cerra has spent a lot of her free time this week glued to "The Sims 2". We need to get outside!

Fortunately, we're slated to spend some time next Saturday boating with the Panike family, some good friends from church. In the mean time, I'm hoping that next week proves to be productive. Productivity always relieves stress and makes me feel better.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Welcome to our blog!

Hi all! Dillon and I have created this blog to keep our family and friends up to date on our lives. Please comment on any of our posts - we love to hear from all of you!