Saturday, September 20, 2008

20 Sept., 2008 -- Happy Birthday, Kelly


Seventeen! Did you get a birthday cake?

These ants found a chocolate chip cookie! Wonder if they were going to
celebrate a birthday, too. They sure are strong!

video

They worked in teams, scouting the route, sometimes pushing from the back to dislodge the cookie off of high-center. Lloyd broke it up into smaller pieces, and more ants arrived to carry off the tidbits, never abandoning it or letting go while he did that.



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Friday, September 19, 2008

19 Sept., 2008 - Grandparents' Day


Dad said, "Looks like he's in a parachute!" Cam flapped his arms, just like a real airplane.

Grandparents' Day at Cam's elementary school in Jefferson City. Doughnuts & oj & coffee & milk, fine treats. Gazillion kids and almost that many parents/grandparents. Winding through the halls & up the stairs, trying to keep up with 8 year old's pace... even Dad - "Hey, Cam, wait up!"


This is Cam's drawing of Grandma Airplane's airplane.


I had arrived at the house at 7 a.m., after a 3 hour drive, to find three of the kids and half of their parents up & dressed. Two dogs overwhelmed me at the door, bird got transferred to my shoulder, then Grandma Airplane, bird & 2 dogs got the honors: "Hey Cam, wake up!"



Kelly was drawing stick figures, Ralph was engrossed in his cell phone, Samantha was munching on a bagel. (I didn't get her photo this morning, so I had to retrieve one from this summer. This is SammieJ's typical activity).


Samantha walked off to catch her bus, Ralph was delivered by one parent, Kelly by the other one, I drove Cam to his school. Four different schools this year. Chaos.


After all that, I stopped in Osage Beach to see my pal Val, and mended her downspout. Now her elegant home has that redneck touch. (It's temporary, don't panic. If she gets some white duct tape and covers up the silver, it won't look so bad.) During that soaker rain last week, the downspout came apart and somehow unloaded all the rain off the roof into her basement rooms. So carpet and furniture were all in disarray with huge fans drying everything out.


She's still a little gimpy from a broken hip, from July when Jasper Cat knocked her off her feet; has a cane, but doesn't need it all the time. We had coffee and solved all the world's problems.




Our excavation Cats were busy at the airport this morning, clearing more trees and brush. This is the west end, runway 08.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

18 Sept., 2008 -- Cat in action

The Cat took out trees in the fence line on the east end of the runway today, and they burned brush that piled up yesterday. Lots of work still to do at 1MO.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

17 Sept., 2008 -- New Jeans

Wow. The only picture for today. Bought some new jeans, and they're too long (well, THAT's a new situation! Yeah, right).
Spent the day in Springfield, got home in time to go bowling, and tomorrow go back to Springfield for LD's eye exam, then in the evening my flight physical.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spiders and Butterflies!

We went out to the back yard Saturday evening and picked a few things out of the garden. We took a couple cukes over to Denny and Linda's back deck and I had walked back to our yard (to wash our last non- rotten pumpkin we picked) and LAD was investigating D & L's swing set,
then finally came running thru to our yard and when he did he scattered a huge batch of Monarch butterflies that were apparently trying to roost in the trees and his activity appeared to stir them up (or at least that's when I noticed them!) So we stood around and watched the sky swirling with "beautiful butterflies". LAD was very excited. I had to go inside for the BIG camera, the Canon point and shoot just wasn't cutting it! I got a few nice shots, considering I had my white balance on preset and didn't realize it until later. It actually really saturated the colors, so it turned out OK. I'd never seen so many flittering about, it was quite fascinating! And luckily I spotted this big fat spider and her (his?) big fancy web _before_ I walked thru it! I pointed it out to LAD and he came up and looked at it, then backed off. He was worried I was going to touch it
as I was getting pretty close to it to take the pictures. No worries, I'm not going to touch it. I'm sure it's quite harmless, but still, no. I think spiders are the one crawly type critter I like least. Not afraid to see them, etc, just eullllll (uninteligible sound that can't be spelled). I think it stems from living with brown recluse spiders while growing up. They get into places (clothes, sheets, coats) that you don't want them to get and eullllllll. Can you say shake, shake, shake everything. Eulllllll....

16 Sept., 2008 -- New CATS on the Block




Huh Huh Huh... WAR cats.

I think I can run it.

Yeah, I can run it, no problem, uh huh, yep.

It's MINE!

15 Sept., 2008 -- Harvest Moon, autumn bound




Well, I did fake it a little. When it came up over town, it really did look that big. Harvest moon, so called because it's the moon closest to the autumnal equinox on Sept. 22. According to Space.com: '"Full Harvest Moon." While this Moon is, on average, no larger or smaller than any
other Full Moon, there is a FALSE impression that this is the biggest, brightest Moon of the year.'

Canada bound: from Austin, Texas. He said they didn't get a drop of rain from Ike.



Furnace bound: Jody & Lloyd clearing up some stuff at the airport before it gets pushed into a pile by the excavation crew that's beginning to move in their equipment.






Butterfly bound: this little fellow will become a monarch butterfly. Seems a little bit late in the season to still be a worm, and he's only an inch long. Look at those antennae! He's chewing on butterfly weed seed pod.




Jan has started a blog! Now we'll see the 4 Js. http://4jwhitehills.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ike in IA

We didn't get any rain out of him, except that on Friday/Saturday, I think it kept weather pushed in here that might not have stayed if he hadn't been approaching, but it's ok, we got about 3 inches rain and needed it. Now I have to mow the grass. DamnIt.
Here's our sky on Saturday evening. This photo is, of course, facing south, slightly south east actually, but it filled the whole south part of the sky.
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This is looking west, with pretty blue skies to the north!!
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Today we had temps in the very low 60s and wind from the north. Hopefully it will warm up for a few days!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

14 Sept., 2008 -- WIND Wind wind













Ike visited us at about 3 this morning, rocked and rolled and rained and roared. Peak gust at 4:30 a.m. of 56.4 mph. Tore the heck out of the elephant ears and bent all the flowers over. It didn't tip over the bbq-er, or turn over the mobile home. Jan sent the pictures of the huge tree that split in her yard.



The eye passed through MO to the east of us, and that's good, because the most severe winds were on the east side of the eye. Another five inches of rain in about 5 hours.











I worked on the Flight Simulator software again today, installed it on a different donated computer with XP and a faster processor. Problems solved for now.











Led the war kittens out into the wilds for a hunt; they lurked and romped and chased each other and a rabbit (or some critter rattling about in the weeds), and wore themselves out.


I win!