Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'd Rather Eat Poo!

We had a nice visit to the zoo yesterday. It's not a huge zoo, but it is beautiful to walk around and see the animals. There is a new playground being built in front of the zoo that looked like a cool place with lots of different climbing areas. We'll have to go back in a few weeks to check that out.

As I was pushing the stroller around the paths I was thinking what I would blog about. Nothing out of the ordinary caught my eye. Lots of families on a Saturday morning looking at the usual animals. I didn't even get my camera out for the first half of our tour.

At the last exhibit, I saw my topic for this post. Goats. We purchased a pack of crackers from the zoo to feed the goats. Meredith fed one goat that came up and would just about take your hand off for one of the crackers. Randy tried to feed a goat that was sitting alone on the side. The goat sniffed the cracker and then walked off. He didn't even lick it. It made me wonder what the crackers taste like. He walked over to some poo laying on the ground and tasted it. He sat down next to his snack and seemed to smile at us. It was like he was saying, "That's what I think of your crackers."

I decided not to taste the crackers.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

One A.M.

It's too late. Or is it too early? Why am I still up?

I've spent the past two hours in my office listening to quiet music and working with some old photos in Lightroom.

We were going to go camping this weekend, but it turns out EVERYONE in the Upstate camps the week of July 4th. Earlier this week there was also a forecast of rain, so we have postponed our camp out a month or so.

In the morning we are going to head out to the zoo. Later, the kids are going to a birthday party while I stay home with Brenna. Even later than that, we'll head over for Liberty Idol.

Have a good weekend. I'm sure I'll have a story to share after the zoo trip.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Too Much Effort

It's 9 in the morning and I sit down at the kitchen table with my cup of coffee and a cookie. I've been up for five minutes. Cari is sitting across from me and makes a remark about my breakfast choice.

I tell her that I was going to get a poptart but the cookie was easier because I didn't want to wait on the toaster. I still haven't taken a bite of the cookie when she suggests I get a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

I sip my coffee and stare at her. She's waiting for my response and I say, "That would take too much effort."

"What, to lift a spoon to your mouth?"

I felt a need to defend myself after that attack and ended the conversation by saying, "I would have to get a bowl, pour the cereal in, then some milk, and then yes, I would have to lift the spoon to my mouth. Like I said, too much effort."

I ate the cookie.

Monday, June 23, 2008


The early bird gets the worm . . .


It's the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Don't be Disappointed!

I had plans for my day off on Thursday. Once my plans failed, I had back up plans. After my back up plans failed I got disappointed and started to pout. I sat in the office and stared at the computer for a while. By ten in the morning Cari and I decided to take my car to get the brakes fixed. Since we were going into town we decided to get lunch and head to the park. I grabbed my camera.

After we ate lunch at the park, I got my camera out and headed into a wooded area. Meredith followed me over and started posing for me.
Randy doesn't like taking pictures as much as Meredith, in fact he tries to avoid the camera now. I'll have to bribe him and get some more of him soon.
There was a trail leading through the woods that we all followed for a short hike. The trail was part of a disc golf course. We've seen a couple of these and now I'm looking for a place I can buy some of the small discs to try it.

Not far along the path we came to a small creek and three bridges. Why they need three bridges, I'm still not sure. It's a city park, so someone was probably trying to justify their job as "parks bridge builder". Meredith and Randy took their shoes off and started stomping around in the mud and water.
Cari was taking pictures of Brenna sitting on one of the bridges while I watched the other two in the water. She had set up a really nice shot so put my flash on a tripod and stood next to the bridge.
Before leaving we sat on bench near the disc golf tee and tried to get a picture of the five of us. It's REALLY hard to get five people all looking at the camera at the same time. But I did get this one of Cari with Brenna.
I caught myself in a good mood as we drove home from the park on Thursday. Even though three planned activities didn't come through, this day did not disappoint me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More Time Please

I was talking to Cari during lunch today and I listed all the things I would like to do tonight. It was really enough to fill two days off from work. I said, "I could really use an extra day to do this stuff."

She replied by telling me I would use that day and then still ask for more.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Ride

For our anniversary this year, we went on a horse back ride. Neither one of us had ever been riding before and we weren't sure what to expect.

After checking in and signing papers that prevents us from suing them, I was lead into the stable area. I was introduced to a huge horse named Goliath. I was told to lead him out. Goliath snorted at me as I entered his personal space. I let out a small laugh.

As I took charge of an animal that could stomp me to death at any moment, Cari was getting to know her horse for the day, Maggie.

We went to a small ring to practice riding and giving the horse direction. Goliath was a retired carriage horse from Charleston and was very easy to ride. My first thought was to hold on tight, but as I got comfortable, I loosened my grip.

Cari and Maggie developed a different relationship. Cari was instructed by our guide, "Get her to walk by kicking your heals in." I watched Cari attempt to kick. The horse stood motionless. "Kick! Kick! Kick! Don't stop!", hollered the guide. Cari bounced in the saddle as she kicked the horse. Finally, the horse began to walk. I believe this was more because of the horses desires, not Cari's.

We went for about an hour ride through some trails and woods on the property. This included some up and down on steeper hills. We didn't have any incidents or injury on the trail. The horses behaved well and we had an outstanding time.

Riding horses is a blast.

Here's a few photos from the day. It was REALLY hot that day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008


No fresh tomatoes at Firehouse Subs. No fresh tomatoes at McDonald's. They have signs on the doors warning you and spreading panic across the land.

That's not really a problem for me because I almost always bring my lunch with me. I tend to pack it up the night before to make the morning easier but the other morning I didn't have my lunch made and I was running late. While I was in the shower, Cari was downstairs making my lunch for me. After getting ready I grabbed my lunch and ran out the door. When lunch came around, I sat down and looked at my sandwich. Cheese, turkey, and a slice of fresh tomato placed between two pieces of wheat bread.

I kept looking at it while I picked up my cell phone and called home. "Hey, there's a tomato on my sandwich."
She sounded confused when she replied, "I thought you like tomatoes on your sandwich."
I quizzed her, "How is it that McDonald's and every other place can't find a healthy tomato, but you found one?"

That's when she educated me on which tomatoes are safe and which ones are not. Turns out she wasn't trying to poison me.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An old photo

I was going through some of my photos in Lightroom this morning and came across this one. I made this in December and I don't believe I've shared it with you yet.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wheat Field

I drive past this field everyday as I come and go from work. Last week I threw the camera in the car on the way out and hoped I would find a good side road to pull over on.

After a very frustrating day at work, I drove toward the field and found that side road. The road winds through some woods and hills and comes out on the back side of the field. The sun was still a bit higher than I would have hoped for, but I needed to stop and forget about my day.

I've never stopped and looked at a field of wheat up close before. The first thing that jumped out at me is that crickets LOVE the field. I pulled my car along side with the windows down and three jumped in. I got out of the car to get a few shots and with every step, countless crickets would shoot out from the ground. As I looked closer, I noticed them hanging all over the tall shoots of wheat.

The second thing about the field is the song that it sings. You may not know about the song unless you've spent some time standing next to a wheat field on a quiet day. It's the sound of wind brushing the dry stalks against each other. It's a quiet rustling sound. It's a song that will take your frustrating day and carry it across the field and over the hills.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Slip and Slide

On Saturday, before we went geocaching, we set up our own slip and slide in the front yard. Cari and I unrolled the plastic and pinned the sides down.
At first it was just Randy and Meredith sliding with Amanda and I watching. I kept thinking they weren't going fast enough. Amanda ran into the house and grabbed the liquid dish soap from under the sink. Ten minutes later I was rubbing soap on my chest and sliding so fast that I went beyond the plastic and tumbled through the grass. When I looked up from the bottom of the hill, Amanda was fully dressed, sliding down the hill. We ran back up and soaped up the kids, the plastic, and their rafts.
Where was Cari during all this action?
Um... she was inside making us lunch and holding a baby. Then after she finished making us lunch and setting the table we refused to come in. I know it sounds rude, but you just don't understand how incredibly fun this is. If you don't believe me, come on over and we'll set it up again. What do you want Cari to make for your lunch?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Poison Ivy and Other Toxic Plants

Before Amanda left we wanted to show her what Geocaching is all about. I loaded up the coordinates in the GPS and typed up an info sheet as taught by Rake.

This trip would take us down to some parks in Anderson near the lake on a pretty day. Amanda had never been geocaching but roughly knew what to do from reading this blog.
One of our first ones of the day was my favorite one. There was a hole in the trunk of a tree that you had to fish the cache out of. Using a stick and swishing it around the little hole, sunlight reflected off of a wire. At the end of the wire was a capsule. There was a family having a picnic nearby, so the kids and Amanda blocked the view while I grabbed this one.
A few caches later, and Amanda found her first cache. It was buried in some rocks at the bottom of a STEEP hill.
Cari and Amanda were excited to be near the mall to find this one. . .

It was a miracle that the kids and I prevented the girls from actually getting INTO the mall.

Before dinner, we wanted to find one last cache. It was in the woods and there was no trail. Amanda and I decided to tackle this one by ourselves. As we stomped through the brush, Amanda kept pointing at various plants asking if it was poison ivy. Some of it was, some of it wasn't. I was holding the GPS as we created our own path through the thick woods. We were moving pretty quick until we came up on a small creek. The problem was the creek was fifteen feet down a steep hill from where we stood. If we went down, we wouldn't be coming back the same way. We were still making a plan, and by "we" I mean "I", when Amanda jumped down and caught her fall by grabbing a tree.

She was standing in enough poison ivy she could have made a salad. I stood at the top not wanting to jump. With her down there, I was forced to follow. At the bottom there was a flat area of wet sand near the creek. In the sand we saw human footprints. In the prints, you could see the outline of toes. WHO WOULD WALK AROUND HERE WITHOUT SHOES ON? We were five to ten minutes in a wooded area with no trails. At that point, we decided to abandon the cache and exit the woods immediately. We climbed the opposite bank from where we had jumped and saw a road. We got to the road and followed it back to the parking lot.

As we walked along the road, Amanda was scratching her arm and it made me think of all the poison vines we were pushing through. "So how do you like Geocaching?", I asked her.

She smiled and said, "It's fun."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Can't Get Warm

It was 94 degrees today.

That's why it was funny when around eleven this morning, Meredith asked for a drink. She said she wanted HOT CHOCOLATE!

Cari and I eventually stopped laughing and told her it was too hot for that. Meredith came back by saying how cold she was in the house.

I looked at the girl with disbelief and said, "If you can't get warm then go outside, it's almost 100 degrees out there!"

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I learn. . .

. . .just at my own pace.

My rose garden has been looking worse as each day passes. Large chunks of leaves have been turning yellow and the flowers have not been opening. I had watered them every day since planting. A website suggested that over watered roses would turn yellow, so last week I stopped watering.

The rose tree got much worse last week. I cut back the yellow and the next day more of it turned yellow. It looks like crap.

After cutting grass on Monday night, I went over with a small shovel and removed the top layer of clay to reveal the soil I had placed around the tree. BONE DRY.

When I dug the holes for the roses, I filled it in with planting soil and then covered the top with clay dirt to blend it with the rest of the area. Every night I watered it that first week, the water ran straight over the clay without soaking in. At the time, I didn't realize that was the case.

I scraped the clay off with my hands and formed a dam around each rose bush. Then I flooded each pit three times with the hose. After the third time I checked and saw that I had not removed enough of the clay. I dug my hands into the orange mud and scraped more clay away from the good dirt. I was covered to my elbows in red dirt. I worked the garden until dark Monday evening.

When I got home Tuesday afternoon I got out of the car and walked straight to the garden. I feel stupid for watching my plants die last week. Thankfully, they already were looking much better Tuesday evening. I flooded the pits that I had created, twice more.

It only took me a week to figure out that yellow and brown leaves and dead flowers was the roses' way of saying, "I'M STARVING!" It's a good thing I learned it when I did.

Monday, June 02, 2008

This Place is Huge!

I was such a tourist when we took Amanda to the airport yesterday. You would have thought I've never been out of the county before. As we drove through Atlanta, and then as we sat still in traffic in Atlanta, I wondered. . . why don't they use ALL the lanes?
Maybe they save some for Monday.

We parked in a parking garage bigger than the mall and then headed into the Atlanta airport. This is an amazing structure.

A man checked Amanda's bag from the sidewalk and then her suitcase took a conveyor under the sidewalk.

The girls knew where to go, so I just followed. We left my sister in law at this security checkpoint. I watched as she navigated the maze of ropes.
Cari and I waited around for a bit to be sure Amanda didn't miss her plane. I took a few pictures inside, which I'm sure drew attention from some undercover agents, and then we headed back to the car.
Thanks to Cari's fine navigational skills, we found a different highway home and avoided the section that choked five lanes down to one.

After our trip to the big city I went home and took a nap. All the cars and people were giving me a headache. Did I mention that Amanda got home before we did?