Archive for May, 2009

Spring Babies

May 26, 2009

Every year during that wonderful transition between winter and summer comes a season which brings all things new…chicks, puppies, kittens, calves, foals, ducklings and so on. This is the time of year that I have a hard time keeping my eyes on the road because I keep watching all the baby calves frolicking in the fields around me; there is just something about the regeneration of life that is so fascinating.

At our place we haven’t had any babies since Sadie was a pup {3 years ago} and since most of our cats are getting up there in age {Sugarpie is going on 15!} I decided it was time for some new family members. I found an ad in the paper for free kittens at one of the local veterinary offices so I grabbed a carrier and went to go check them out. I wish I had taken my camera with me because there were kittens everywhere! I believe there were 12 total…how could I ever pick out just two? We wanted boys {to eliminate the procreation of more babies next year} so that narrowed the field down a little, but after that it was all based on looks and personality. There was one little grey tabby sitting very quietly in his cage while the others scurried around on the floor and when I picked him up he was incredibly calm…one down, one to go. The other little one I chose was a fuzzy white and cream bloched kitten with a big forehead…so cute!

As I drove them home with their carrier in the backseat, suddenly the oh-so-calm grey tabby started wailing and he did not stop until we got home, the other one just sat there thinking nothing of his new brother’s crys. We fixed them up a place to live in our laundry room while they get used to things and we’ll gradually introduce them to the outdoors and the other cats.

Now, what to name them? I decided to name the grey tabby Hyde after his quick personality change in the car ride home and Ben named the other kitten Sylvester.

Here are my little boys on their first day exploring the back porch!

hyde

sylvester

Life on the Farm

May 20, 2009

Ok, so I don’t actually live on a farm but we have all of the elements of a farm, just on a smaller scale. I walked around this morning and took some pictures of the things that I see and have to take care of on a daily basis…chickens, cats, the garden, etc.

First I went out to the big garden where my dad is growing everything from sunflowers and pumpkins to corn and lettuce. The sunflowers and pumpkins are in preparation for my wedding in September where they will be used as the main decorations. Here’s our first little baby pumpkin, it will grow up to look like this someday.

babypumpkin

More babies…here’s a couple yellow squash.

babysquash

A cabbage head that is just about ready to pick.

cabbage

Don’t forget the purple coneflowers. {one of my favorites}

coneflower

Then there’s our chickens…

chickens

…they give us about 4-6 eggs daily, we never have to buy any.

eggs

Here’s a couple of kitties that were feeling photogenic today…this is Schmoo.

schmoo

and this is Chubby {probably staring up at a bird in the tree}.

chubby

Last but not least, my lovable Sadie girl…she was waiting so patiently for me to toss the golf ball for her to fetch while I took her picture.

sadie

Welcome to the Association of Former Students

May 20, 2009

Last Friday was graduation day for me; I am now officially a Texas A&M Former Student! It’s quite a liberating feeling, knowing that I will never be in school again {that is, unless I decide to get my masters someday}.

The whole family came to see me walk. {as you can see here I’m about to cry because we were staring into the sun for this picture}

family

My wonderful future-husband and future-mother-in-law came too!

mark&mom

Last Day as a College Student

May 14, 2009

Today will forever be remembered as my last official day of being a college student…it’s a very sad day. Of course I have so much to look forward to in the near future; I’ll be marrying the love of my life in just a few short months, and not to mention I’ll be searching for a job in this wonderful economy. But still, I’m going to miss having minimal responsibilities, staying up all night finishing projects, being with all my friends and having free access to the rec center.

Speaking of the rec, I had my last workout there today…to me, this is probably the most depressing thing about graduating. I just love that place so much, and now that I have my perfect routine all worked out I have to abandon it and go back to running the track in Rogers. But I made the best of it; I visited all of my favorite machines {bike, leg press & rowing} and did a good ab workout in my hidden spot where nobody bothers me, then I headed out to the pool and laid out for a while…a great beginning to a great day.

After saying my goodbyes to the rec I stopped at HEB to pick up some avocados and cilantro to make my guacamole for our little graduation party that we’re having tonight. While I was there I found blackberries on sale for $1 each! They are usually at least $2, so I grabbed three. I washed them off when I got home and found the biggest blackberry I have ever seen…it was so delicious, haha. {forgive the picture quality, it was taken with PhotoBooth} I can’t wait to go home and pick the wild ones that are growing on our property. Photo 10

Well that’s all for now, the day is still young and I need to get ready for tonight and whip up the guacamole.

Coppertone or Hawaiian Tropic?

May 12, 2009

I must admit, I have an addiction to sunscreen…I don’t necessarily like to apply it all the time but I LOVE the smell! Anytime I get a waft of it I am immediately transported to some remote beach, lying in the sand, soaking up some rays. Needless to say, choosing which sunscreen to buy is a very important decision. You can find just about every SPF and type of application in every brand, so what it comes down to every time is the smell. You could go the inexpensive route and purchase the store brand, which works just as well as far as sun protection but the smell is lacking. In my opinion it comes down to two brands: Coppertone and Hawaiian Tropic. Both of them smell so amazing; I actually stood in the store and kept smelling one, then the other, then the first one again…but I finally made a decision.

I chose Hawaiian Tropic. It has just the slightest hint of cocoa butter which is what I think sets it apart from the rest. I can’t wait to lather up and head to the pool this afternoon for some much needed tanning time!

Best Weekend Ever

May 6, 2009

This weekend marked the end of my two weeks of school madness filled with tests, final projects, presentations and studying…lots and lots of studying.

I was scheduled to take my LEED exam at a testing center in San Antonio on Saturday morning so I drove down Friday night to stay with Mark for the weekend. Luckily, he didn’t get home until 9:00 from a golf tournament in Austin so I had a good 2 hours to myself to study uninterrupted. The next morning I woke up early for a little last minute cramming, then Mark drove me to to testing center because he knew where it was and I didn’t want to get lost. I wasn’t too nervous about the test; the more I thought about it the more worked up I would get…so I just stopped thinking about failing and focused on passing. Once the exam began I got more comfortable and I did the best I could; it was when I finished that I got the most nervous. On the LEED exam you press submit and it instantly tells you whether you passed or failed; I was so afraid to make that last click of the mouse. I started to second guess myself and I almost went back through and looked over the questions again but when I do that I usually end up second guessing myself and get more questions wrong so I just clicked submit. I had my eyes closed, waiting for the screen to come back up; I almost didn’t want to look. But then I did…I frantically scanned the page and found that one little word that I was looking for…PASS. I did it! I ended up getting a 179 out of 200 and you need a 170 to pass. I almost couldn’t believe it. I had been working so hard for the past two weeks and I really needed to pass this exam as a reward for myself; to prove to myself that I could accomplish this on my own.

It was such a relief to have the stress of school and that exam be lifted, I had nothing else to worry about for the rest of the weekend. So Mark and I took a day trip to Austin to begin our apartment hunting and have dinner with his friend from work, Paulo, and his wife, Amanda. We found a couple of apartments that were possibilities but we’re also going to look into renting a house as long as we can keep it within our price range. We’re hoping that Mark can make the move to Austin sometime mid-August and then I’ll move in with him once we get married in September. After we were completely exhausted from driving around looking at apartments we went over to Paulo and Amanda’s to hang out with them for a while. We tried to catch a movie and dinner at Alamo Drafthouse but we were a bit late so we went to Kerby Lane’s instead, also pretty good.

On Sunday we took my macbook pro to the Apple store to see if they would give me a new battery for free. It’s health has dwindled pretty quickly this past semester {not sure why} I can barely seem to keep it above 40% and a full charge only lasts about an hour. Luckily I paid the extra $$$ and tacked on Apple care when I bought the computer so they gave me a fresh battery free of charge. When I turned it on again after the battery was replaced it was so cool to see its health at 100% with zero cycles, hah! That didn’t last long of course, I’ve already got a couple of cycles on it thanks to spending time in studio yesterday.

zero-cycles

Since it was such a nice day outside {high of 91} we spent some time lounging by the pool. I’m such a big fan of summer; I love the smell of Coppertone, laying out and wearing shorts and flip flops. It’s definitely my favorite season, that’s for sure.

Sadly, the weekend had to end eventually, I drove back to College Station Sunday night and headed to the rec for a quick workout before going to bed. I’ve decided that since I only have a few final presentations between me and college graduation I’m going to do some sort of physical workout every day. I only have access to the student rec center for another week and a half, which is really sad because I love that place. Oh well, everything must come and go and the next few weeks will be filled with change so I might as well embrace college while I’ve still got the chance!

Nature: My Other Love

May 1, 2009

Have you ever loved something so much that when you’re finally experiencing it you’re almost too giddy to truly enjoy yourself? This pretty much describes my love affair with the outdoors. Growing up on acreage in a small town has shaped my innermost self more than I could ever know. Only now, living in a city, do I realize how much I miss being outside; maybe it’s because the only time I get some fresh air is during my ten minute walk to and from the parking lot every day. I’ll do anything to have a little more nature in my day; I try not to walk on sidewalks, I would rather walk through the grass and I would rather sit out on my patio than watch tv.

Last semester when I took a sociohorticulture course we talked about the therapeutic benefits of nature. There was a study done on hospital patients recovering from heart surgery; some had rooms looking out onto a hardscape or other buildings and some looked out onto treetops or a garden. The patients that had the green view recovered more quickly, requested less pain medication and were more positive and kind to their nurses.

Just now I was trying to focus on studying but my brain wouldn’t have it, I was fidgety and easily distracted. So I started some laundry and put the clean dishes away {normally this is when I would scrounge the kitchen for a snack too but I’m refusing to buy any more groceries for the rest of the semester and I don’t have anything except for oatmeal and lunchmeat} but nothing was helping me to get out of the study-block that I was in. So I grabbed all of my study material, pen, highlighter and water bottle and went out onto the patio to try a change of environment. The sun had just set behind the trees and I could hear all of the bugs and frogs happily chirping away in the creek just behind my apartment. It was a tad humid but every now and then a slight breeze would flow by making everything absolutely perfect. I will probably remember every single detail of what I studied in that hour before it got dark, it’s so amazing how nature and fresh air can affect our well-being…I love it.