31 July 2010

The Will to Live! AKA The Little Tree that Could

Rewind 6 months....

Virginia was in the midst of the worse winter in this area in 100 years. This is how our best Magnolia tree looked as I headed out to brush the snow off and relieve some stress.

As I walked out of the house, I heard a loud Crack! and this is how our Magnolia looked after the snow had stopped. I figured there was no reason to brush the snow off it anymore. I assumed the tree was dead, but I left the trunk so I could use the base for a birdhouse stand.

Much to my surprise the trunk was NOT dead. It had a strong will to live. As spring came it began sprouting leaves and branches profusely. This is how it looks today!

It may be more of a bush now than a tree. Time will tell. But is will make a nice backdrop as I landscape that side of the yard next spring. That is my project area for next year.

22 July 2010

Another Place Off My Bucket List

Last week I took a one-over night trip to Pennsylvania with some ladies from our ward book group. The main reason we went was to see this house, "Falling Water" designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It's probably one of the most famous houses in America, and I studied about it in college.
The house is built in the middle of nowhere of Pennsylvania. It's built over a waterfall, uses only natural building materials, and was built to blend into the surrounding hillside. We were surprised to learn that an average of 700 people a day tour the house, even though it's off the beaten path. It's on the Smithsonian's list of 28 places to see before you die.
Coincidentally, Falling Water is located about an hour away from the crash site of flight 93, from September 11, 2001. There isn't a memorial yet--it's in the process of being built-- so all there is is this corrugated tin building with information and displays.

The last stop of the day was the sight of a devastating flood in 1889. Our book group read the David McCullough book about the Johnstown flood, so it was especially interesting to go to the museum and the site of the dam that burst and destroyed the town of Johnstown.

When we read the book about the Johnstown flood in our book group, we were surprised we hadn't learned about it when we studied American history.
Here's our traveling group, all of us from our ward book group. Not pictured is Jessica, the lady on the left's daughter. She took the picture for us.

05 July 2010

Quality Grandparent Time in Texas

We've been spending the week in Texas, celebrating Kiera's second birthday and the fourth of July. It's hard to believe our week here is almost over; it went too quickly!
Kiera calls Grandpa "Pappa"........

and Grandma is "Miya" .

Kiera got some serious loot for her birthday. I put one of her gifts in this Disney Princesses gift bag, and she's been having fun playing with the bag.
We gave Kiera this princess tiara and I made her the tutu. Her mom and dad bought her the little princess castle.
Kiera loves to wear sunglasses and has several pairs.

We went for a walk around a little pond on Sunday evening.

When we got home Kiera and I played a few duets at the piano. She's well on her way to becoming an excellent page turner.

Today we went to the beach at Galveston. It was Kiera's first experience with the ocean and she really liked it. I thought she might be afraid of the waves, but she wasn't.
We also went to the pool, and Kiera cried when we had to leave.
One gift we gave Kiera for her birthday was a picture of us to put in her room, so she'll remember her Grandpa and Grandma after we leave for Virginia tomorrow!!