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Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It's been unusually cold here in South Carolina for the past couple of weeks. This afternoon it got up to a balmy 40 degrees. However, I looked outside and noticed that the pond had a thin layer of ice sparkling in the sun and took this picture. That doesn't happen too often here in the warm South but it was beautiful, like crystals in the water!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Big Snow of 2009

This morning, we woke up to reports of school closings! This is the snow we received last night. In all fairness, some areas got up to 1" of snow and there was some icy spots around. . . This is very typical of what happens here in the South and it is very cold for the South, about 26 as I write this. When they start talking about snow here, I have one word of warning, DO NOT go to the store for anything as everyone in the South has a tradition that when the forecast is for a possible snowfall, that is the signal to go to the store and stock up on bread and milk. I made the mistake of going to a store once not knowing this and saw lines to the register going all of the way back to the end of the store! Unfortunately, USC Upstate where Michael teachers has classes as usual so he's getting ready to go.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My African Violet

I'm not one to have a lot of indoor plants as I have a hard time keeping them alive! About two years ago, I was given this African Violet plant that was blooming beautiful purple white flowers. After those flowers were gone, it did not bloom for almost two years. Then suddenly earlier this year, we had a bloom and now we have three! It sits in the kitchen on the counter corner with a little indirect light from the window and the fluorescent lights from the kitchen. What beauty to enjoy during the drab days of winter!

Hope for spring in subfreezing temps!

Late last summer I started some cold weather crops, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. We had hoped to have something for Christmas but with the cool weather they just didn’t do much. In fact after Thanksgiving, they were still small and I figured maybe in the spring we’d have something.

We’ve had really cold weather this week. It was 12 here this morning and for South Carolina, that’s very, very cold. I peaked outside and happened to look down and wow, we maybe WILL have an early spring crop! I saw growing plants and tiny heads of broccoli. I’ll be shocked if they survive the cold but right now it’s looking good!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Book of Mormon goal

We did it! Last January Michael and I set a goal to read out loud the Book of Mormon cover to cover in 2008. We actually finished January 4, 2009 but we did it!!! We love the book of Mormon and have both read it many, many times but never out loud together (usually over breakfast). With all of the seminary years studying by myself, it was nice to share this together.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A day at the zoo

Maggie is helping me with this blog about our day at the Brevard Zoo! It was a fun day and cool in the shade as we watched a lot of animals. As we were coming into the zoo, we got to handle a snake!

We saw a lot of beautiful birds. Maggie's favorite was the Hyacinth Macaw that could almost talk to us.

Later we went into the bird area and got to feed the rainbow colored Lorikeet. There were a lot inside but a lot of children tried to feed them.

Matthew and Maggie were able to coax several to suck nectar out of our cups.

Grandma's favorite birds were the parakeet

and the scarlet Ibis.

We saw a lot of birds of prey and this showed the wing span of some of them compared to Maggie. In fact, they had a scale that showed how fast they could pick a carcass to the bone by how much you weighed. Some could do Maggie in about two hours! Ugh!!

We got to go on a train ride around the zoo

and we were the caboose!

Afterwards we rested and goofed off while we looked at monkeys and lemurs!

Maggie learned the difference between a crocodile and an alligator! Alligators have flatter jaws and crocodiles have bumpier skin and live in Australia. While alligators live with Maggie in Florida.

Our favorite part of the day was feeding a giraffe named Raffiki! He has a long tongue that reached out and curled his tongue around our crackers!

At the end of the day, we were tired but had a great time!

A camera of Michael's dreams

A strange thing happened this fall that helped Michael get the camera of his dreams! When we first got married, Michael said he dreamed of one day having a dark room and doing photography as a hobby. Of course, now with the digital age, no dark room is needed Even though we have a perfectly good working Nikon Cool Pix 4300 digital camera that we had bought about six years ago he has been drooling over the newer digital cameras for a long time.

In fact, I sent him a review from consumer report about the new Nikon D-90 DX 12.3 MP Digital SLR Camera and he was immediately sold but I couldn’t see putting out a lot of money for a new one.

Then fate took over! We went to Albertson, NC for Eleanor’s birthday the first part of November and I took the my camera and took several pictures. I was sure we had packed it up and brought it home but we could not find it anywhere. After 2-3 weeks of off and on searching, I gave in and we ordered the camera of Michael’s dreams as a big Christmas present (and doing our patriotic duty to help out the economy). We got a great lens to go with it and he was a happy camper.

The day finally came when the camera arrived. He took it out and read the manual and studied all of the parts and gadgets and was in camera heaven. Of course, the next day, I went to get out some notebooks of music we had taken to Albertson and there in the music bag (the only thing we never unpacked) was my camera!

Oh well, he’s happy and so am I. Maybe I will get to use the new camera on some occasions!