Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Wet and Not-So-Wild Weekend

Avoiding eye contact with people, aliens, and cameras

Can you tell that the kid isn’t a morning person?

The best-laid plans of mice, men (dads), and moms too often can get waylaid by the weather. That’s what the Mister and I experienced as we tried to enjoy our first Sam Houston State Family Weekend with our younger son last Saturday.

Come along for the ride as I recap most of our unusual day.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

The museum is minutes from our son’s dorm.

One of the highlights of our visit was checking out the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and grounds (the Mister and I are history buffs). 

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

The kid tries his hand at tomahawk tossing.

Before we entered the building, our son got to test his skill with a tomahawk. Good athlete that he is, he hit the target twice and probably would’ve sliced off at least a toe with his third effort.

Sam lived a colorful life.

Sam lived a full and interesting life.

After the kid’s weapon wizardry, we went into the museum to learn more about his university’s namesake. All three rooms were packed with photos, paintings, artifacts, and information; it was fascinating!

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

Santa Anna . . . or Elvis? The kid wasn’t quite sure.

What most intrigued our son, though, was a talking diorama of the injured General Sam Houston interrogating Mexican meanie Santa Anna after his defeat at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.

Note the sword behind Sam

Check out the sword behind Sam.

More specifically, it was the sword behind Sudden Sam that sparked the kid’s interest. Oh, how he wanted to touch it! I told him to fight that urge, as I turned away. Next thing I heard was a loud, female, somewhat robotic voice saying, “Get out of the diorama!”

Yep, the kid had touched the sword, which set off a sensor. Embarrassing yet so funny that I’m sure we’ll be reliving that moment again and again and again. Hey, son, get out of the diorama!

Bowers Stadium

Bowers Stadium (note the ominous clouds)

After we ate a catered lunch and dropped the kid back at his dorm (supposedly to study), the Mister and I walked to Bowers Stadium to watch SHSU hopefully defeat rival Eastern Washington (they were nationally ranked #4 and #3, respectively, in the Football Conference Subdivision).

Along the way, it was drizzling a bit. Unbelievably (for me), I actually had not only found two ponchos (just in case) but also remembered to bring them with us! Really, folks, that’s pretty miraculous when you’re suffering from CRS (Can’t Remember Stuff) disease.

Again, note the clouds.

Again, note the clouds.

Once we got to our seats, that drizzle turned heavier. On went the ponchos just in time, as the dark skies opened up with torrential rain, thunder, and scary lightning. Naturally, we left our metal seats and looked for an overhang. All of them were packed with soaked people.

When the announcer said the game would be delayed for at least an hour, the Mister and I decided to bag it and spend time with our beloved baby boy at his dorm. Eventually, the storm moved out, and SHSU came away with a victory, by the way.

A crowded desk

A crowded desk

Although we would’ve loved watching the game, we enjoyed being with the kid more. He insisted we watch the first season of “Seinfeld” (he’s become addicted).

Father and son get the comfy digs.

Father and son get the comfy digs.

It was just like old times with our son . . . except for the cramped quarters and soggy shoes and socks. While the Mister napped, the kid and I had fun tossing around his Tigger ball. Later we threw a little football and mini discs. Just like home, except that the mess stayed while I left. I liked that part a lot!

After we had eaten dinner, made a Walmart stop, and enjoyed some great SHSU volleyball, it was time to bid adieu to our bearded boy and drive the 90 minutes back home. As I hugged him tightly, I was glad we got the chance to see how comfortable he is in his new environs, as well as enjoy some of what makes the campus unique (thanks to General Sam).

Next time we get the chance to see the Bearkats’ football team in action, at least it will be indoors against Stephen F. Austin State, the Battle of the Piney Woods, at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

No ponchos necessary!

iPhone Photo Friday

I never tire of all this beauty.

I never tire of all this beauty.

Yet another sensational sunrise accompanied me during my four-mile jog this morning. What a great way to start TGIF! Enjoy, y’all!!

Bucolic Disc Golf

Such a restful setting for a basket during an oft-stress-filled game

Such a restful setting for a basket during an oft-stressful game

Usually the most-scenic parts of disc golf courses are trees and lakes. But River Pointe Church’s land also features a fenced-off cow pasture. Players whose discs go off-line have to recover them from this out-of-bounds area.

Most of the time, the toughest aspect of that retrieval is trying not to get hung up on the barbed-wire fence; we rarely see any animals near by. However, during last Tuesday’s Southwest Handicap Mini finale, some of the four-legged clientele were up close and personal with one of the baskets.

The kid ignores the background.

The kid ignores the animal background.

At first when I was walking towards the basket from across the course, it actually looked like the cows were on the wrong side of the fence! What a relief to see that wasn’t the case. I sure didn’t want them messing with my beloved baby boy (as well as the Mister, who would have been the one rescuing him while I snapped photos)!

A great putt!

A great putt!

Despite all the chain clanging, the bovine peanut gallery paid udderly no attention to the players. Even Hiral’s stunning birdie putt turned no heads.

Talk about your tough crowd!

One-Word Wednesday

Our younger son came to town from SHSU to play in the Southwest Handicap Mini finale . . . and help his dad celebrate his birthday.

Our younger son came home from SHSU yesterday to play in the Southwest Handicap Mini finale . . . and help his dad celebrate his birthday.

Visit!

Unfortunately, the course at River Pointe Church got the best of him.

Unfortunately, the disc golf course at River Pointe Church got the best of him. But he had a good time with his buddies, and we loved seeing him again.

Mini (World Record) Fame

Skying high to catch the frisbee during a ?? event last Sunday.

Skying high to catch the frisbee.

Remember this photo from this blog post?

Well, it just so happens that the dog, Davy Whippet, and his owner, Rob McLeod, set a world record for the longest flying disc throw caught by a canine later that year (2012). Apparently, Rob felt that the best photo snapped of his four-legged buddy was the one above. So he got me and the “Guinness Book of World Records 2014” peeps together via e-mail.

Jazzy cover

Jazzy cover

Guess whose photo is published in a book for the first time? Yep, little, old me!

Pretty cool!

Pretty cool!

Check out page 40, the first of the “Dazzling Dogs” section. There’s my pic halfway down (albeit flipped horizontally).

The close-up version (which looks better in the book)

The close-up version (which looks better in the book)

Autographs anyone?

Not that you can tell which photo is mine.

Not that you can tell which photo is mine.

Plus I got a photo credit. And $125 that was wired to my bank from London. Yep, the one in England!

I’ve had photos published before in various newspapers, magazines, and catalogs. But this is the ultimate for me, so far.

Looks like my 15 minutes of world-record fame has been sealed forever!

Oh, What a . . .

Love those reflective sunrises!

Love those reflective sunrises.

. . . beautiful . . .

Here comes the sun!

Here comes the sun.

. . . morning!

Here’s to a beautiful day!!

Nature’s Disparity

Hi, cutie!

Hi, cutie!

Last week our front yard was a study of contrasts.

Hanging on to the butterfly plant

Love this side view

Near the front door perched delicately on our butterfly plant was a little dragonfly. It was nice enough to stay still and pose for me.

Juxtaposing that beauty?

Ugh!

Ugh!

This ugly cicada exoskeleton, which was hanging on a nearby rose bush.

At least I didn’t have to worry about it moving while I was snapping its pic!

Living the Suite Life

Notice the circled ticket price! Yowzers!!

Notice the circled ticket price. Yowzers!!

Here’s a dose of very unwelcome reality: Our hometown Houston L’Astros have lost at least 100 games for three straight seasons, including this one. We’re a whopping 38 games behind the first-place Oakland Athletics in the American League West Division (and, yes, I’m still protesting that stupid, forced move from the beloved National League). We easily have the worst record in major league baseball, winning a paltry 34 percent of our contests.

But they’re still our team, and I support them! Of course, being a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, it’s easy for me to root, root, root for the wretched, pathetic, and pitiful. That just comes with the territory.

Mind you, supporting them doesn’t mean that I attend many games. After all, Minute Maid Park is well out of my 10-mile comfort radius. So when the Mister told me that we had tickets for last Saturday night’s game against the Angels, I hesitated to agree to go. Until he added the kicker . . . our company’s bank provided our seats. In a suite!

Sweet!

Quite a view from the not-so-cheap seats

Quite a view from the not-so-cheap seats

Having suite tickets means great parking, sharing nicer bathrooms with fewer people (it’s on its own private level), and all the food and drinks you can consume. The menu included pulled pork, chicken tenders, hot dogs (of course), salad, and amazingly good cookies (which is why I ran nine miles that morning).

Buy me some peanuts and . . . .

Buy me some peanuts and . . . .

Plus there were snacks like popcorn and one of my all-time faves, Cracker Jack. What’s not to like?

Well, of course, the Astros lost once again. I guess sometimes you just have to take the sour with the sweet suite.

One-Word Wednesday

I snapped this whopper of a caterpillar Saturday morning. Google indicates that it could be a heterocampa, which becomes a moth.

I snapped a pic of this whopper of a caterpillar during my run Saturday morning. Google indicates that it could be a heterocampa, which becomes a moth.

Huge!

Battery Recharge

Back to his usual position on the supersofa.

Back to his usual position on the supersofa.

Look who brightened up our weekend!

When we Skyped with our younger son last Thursday night, we talked about him catching a ride with RJ’s dad, who was picking up his roommate the next day to bring home for a visit. The kid decided that he wanted to reconnect and recharge. It was great to get a hug in person!

Netflix streaming has led to addictions.

Netflix streaming has led to addictions.

The first thing he did was plop on the couch and queue up the final season of “Scrubs” on Netflix. The kid loves watching that show, and on more than one occasion, I’ve been caught up in his marathon viewing sessions. This was no exception.

Zzzzzzzz!

Zzzzzzzz!

Of course, he is a college student. Mainly, a tired one. After a couple episodes, he succumbed to the allure of soft pillows and snoozed for a few hours.

A crowded card: Hiral, Chris, Adam, Eric, the kid, Steve, the Mister, and Marcus

A crowded card: Hiral (hi!), Chris, Adam, Eric, the kid, Steve, the Mister, and Marcus

With the next day being Saturday, only one activity could fit the bill: Disc golf, of course.

The Mister putts.

The Mister putts.

The Mister and the kid joined bestie Eric and five others for a round of 18 at the nearby River Pointe Church’s course.

Easy-peasy!

Easy-peasy!

Even though he hadn’t played much since we moved him in at SHSU, my son managed to win by a stroke.

Talking strategy

Talking strategy

It was fun watching the collegian interact with his older buddies again. And it always tugs at my heartstrings to watch him and his devoted dad together. Those two are closerthanthis!

After that, he played a round at Tom Bass with his other disc golf bestie, Glen (the highlight was that the Mister and I got to visit with the ever-lovely Kelly and a snoozing baby Jonas; little Glen was napping in his room).

Until we meet again, this smile will have to do.

Until we meet again, this smile will have to last for awhile.

Before we knew it, we were taking RJ and our son back to Huntsville on Sunday afternoon (after watching a thrilling Houston Texans victory). The kid got a chance to relax, knock the rust off his disc golf game, and even do his homework and prepare for the week (yes, I actually witnessed him studying!).

And the Mister and I got to spend time with our beloved baby boy once again. Totally win-win!