Sunday, July 31, 2011

Elaina Ruth

Austin and Megan gave us quite the surprise last week when they announced the birth of Elaina Ruth Horne!  They kept the pregnancy a secret, so we were all VERY surprised.  I’m heading to GA this week to meet this new baby girl!  Sara and Emery headed down there immediately, and Emery is impressed with her new baby cousin.  She got some good baby holding practice in for brother Camden.  Austin and Megan are doing well, and we are all “tickled pink”!
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

More hummingbirds...

I never get tired of watching the hummingbirds around our house.  I recently bought the third 25 lb bag of sugar, although friends in the area say that right now we're in a lull of activity.  Apparently the hummers feed insects to their babies and don't visit the feeders as often.  Once the babies are ready for nectar, I'm not sure how I'll keep the feeders full!  We have four 32 oz. feeders placed around our porch, and I have to fill at least two, and sometimes all four feeders each day.  Late in the evening right at sunset and for a little bit after, things get very busy on the porch.  I have spent time taking pictures of the hum of activity, but my next challenge was to try and "catch" a hummingbird in flight with the camera.  I wasn't sure if my camera would actually accomplish this, but I was pretty happy with my first day's attempts.  Please, before you think I'm great, these were from almost 200 pictures that were taken.  Thank God for digital photography, I would never have been able to attempt this with film!

Bonus pic:
Lucy and I had gone out to the garage and the kittens came running, but apparently they didn't realize I had Lucy with me.  This was the end result of Onyx coming face to face unexpectedly with Lucy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ooops, I forgot one!

Sara, Ryan and Emery came to visit us in Owensville a few days after I got home.  Again, Sara did a great job of chronicling the visit, so I'm just posting a link to her blog.  We loved having them, and can't wait till they return!

Now I think I'm sorta caught up....

Saturday, July 16, 2011


It might look like we are trying to quickly replace Gus, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Mark and I have been talking about getting a couple of kittens all spring, and I decided when I came back from SC it would be the right timing.  Given that it is good to be home while they are little, I still felt that we needed to go ahead and get kittens, even though we are still grieving Gus.  Also, Mark is having a terrible time with mice in his car!  He’s had to replace the air filter with almost every oil change, and this week the car is at the dealer after the entire AC system was plugged up with nesting material.  I don’t know if Toyotas are less mouse proof than Hondas, or if his lab mice are seeking their revenge through their brethren, but he’s spent a lot of money this spring on “mice repairs.”  So he’s endorsed getting some “mousers.”  Since I’m allergic to cats and neither one of us wants to deal with a litter box, these are outside babies.  We’ve been keeping them in dog crates at night, and with the heat the crates got moved to the basement, since it was just too dang hot in the garage.  During the day they’ve been staying on the porch, rarely venturing off, at least not yet.  The calico is named Scarlett, and the black one is named Onyx.  Scarlett came from the Franklin County Humane Society, and Onyx was a freebie from a few miles down the road.  People don’t seem to frequently spay/neuter around here, and there were so many kittens to choose from!  I was heart set on calicos, but could only find one.  Black cats are another favorite of mine, although Onyx actually has very, very dark striping on him.  He’s younger and smaller than Scarlett.  I’m enjoying spending time with them, and they are both total lap kitties, who come running when I walk outside.  They still aren’t too sure what to think of Lucy, but are becoming better acquainted with her each day.  Through this process I’ve found a low cost spay/neuter clinic where I have started volunteering.  People, PLEASE spay or neuter your animals! 


A few days after I returned home we lost Gus.  He was only ten years old.  He had a tumor which was removed in May, and we were hoping that would be the end of the cancer.  He passed away quickly, without too much struggle, and I was deeply thankful that I made it home in time to see him again and to be with him.  He was a wonderful dog, and he will be greatly missed.

South Carolina, Part Four

Next stop on the whirlwind tour was Charleston, for a visit with Sissi.  Sara, Ryan, Emmy and I headed to Kiawah’s Beachwalker Park for a day on the beach.  Emery is quite the beach bum, spending a total of seven hours on the beach and didn’t seem ready to leave when the rest of us were.  She and her daddy played all day, and I’m not sure which one of them enjoyed it more!IMG_0187
Sara did a great job of documenting our day at the beach, so in an effort to not make everyone go through the same pictures twice, here’s a link to her blog entry, if you haven’t already seen it.
Sissi and I did some babysitting while Sara and Ryan had a date night for their 5th anniversary.  The next morning Sissi and I left early to walk the Ravanel bridge in Charleston.  This is a  beautiful suspension bridge that goes over Charleston Harbor.  It was built with a walking/biking pathway which is two miles long to go the full length.  We walked it up and back, and stopped at the apex to have someone take our picture.
Here’s a picture of the bridge from the Battery
The next day while Sissi was at school I toured downtown Charleston.  It was a hot day!  I took tons of pictures, but realized that Monday was trash day “South of Broad”, so there were lots of large trash cans to try and shoot around.  I focused on door and gates, which are so traditional for Charleston, and so beautiful.





And of course, the obligatory Rainbow Row
the famed pineapple fountain
A few nature shots while I was there
Angel Oak
Gotta love the Spanish moss in the trees, and the trees draping the roads!
 These were shot in the marsh across the street from Sis's house


Thursday, July 7, 2011

South Carolina, Part Three

Next on the list was a few days at Lake Winfield Scott.  This is a campground we’ve gone to often over the years, and it is also where Sara and Ryan got married.  We didn’t camp, but rented the one cabin at the campground while my parents met us up there with their camper.  My brothers and niece came up for a short time as well.  We did a delayed celebration for my father’s 80th birthday.  Emery decorated the cake, which didn’t survive the drive too well!
Emery enjoyed playing in the creek behind the campsite
And so did the rest of us!
Poppy caught a crawfish
Emery splashing through the water puddles
Hanging out around the campfire.  Ryan's mom, Nancy, came up and visited with us as well, and we all enjoyed having her!
 Helton's Creek falls
Scenery on a hike from the campground
This is a native azalea in bloom

Scenic view of Lake Winfield Scott
We had a hiker take a picture of us at Duke's Creek Falls, and she only took one (who does that in this digital age?)!  She caught me with an eyeblink, but it's the only photo I have!

South Carolina, Part Two

June was a very busy month in South Carolina!  We managed to do many things.  Mark flew in to spend a week and off to Falls Park we went.  Emmy had the best seat in the house!
Feeding the geese
Climbing over the sculptures at the Children’s Garden
Helping Boppy and Daddy dig potatoes from the garden.  What a dirty girl!
While Mark and I were there we helped Ryan paint Emmy’s new room.  Sara ordered her bed, bedding, and Emmy moved into her new big girl room.
We also went blueberry picking with Donny and Nancy, Emery’s other grandparents.  Em loves blueberries!

After the blueberry picking we spent a few hours on nearby Lake Keowee.