Thursday, December 3, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
We arrived in Miami early this morning... absolutely no problem getting off the ship and on to the hotel. We are sitting in the lobby waiting for the room now.
Transiting the Panama Canal was an awesome experience... so glad we were able to do it. Incredible to see how enormous ships are moved so easily and quickly up through the locks and then down again. We could hardly tear ourselves away from the deck - just like everyone else on the ship!
Grand Cayman was hot hot hot and incredibly humid. We walked down to Seven Mile Beach and sat on a small dock watching the fishes swim in impossibly transparent water. Then we walked back and went on our Atlantis Submarine trip. Forty people sitting back to back down the center of a small submarine, facing the portholes. Crowded but light and bright enough to prevent claustrophobia. We dived down and saw thousands of reef fish of all kinds, blue and yellow and black, striped and spotted, big and tiny. The biggest creature we saw was a turtle (not sure what kind), munching on something. We dove to 108 feet. I'm sure this is the deepest I will ever go in the ocean and it was exhilarating.
Will write more later. And I'll start posting photos too (of which there are many!).
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sent from my iPhone
Amy Nicolai 713.301.0030
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
We have found a sitter for our beloved Mo. This was probably the biggest hurdle since we didn't want to board her. Our friend Ev had graciously promised to watch her at their house, but she does already have two cats who own the house and she would be defending Mo constantly.
Adding a new layer of adventure, we plan to take the bus from the Downtown Transit Center to the airport instead of parking there. This saves about $90 in parking fees. The bus runs non-stop from downtown to Terminal C and costs only $1.50 each way! We will leave the car at my office and take a taxi from the nearby Renaissance Hotel to the transit center. I will check it out tomorrow but believe that the taxi will be about $10.
I am looking forward to getting on the "road" and seeing new things.
More to come!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Hopefully all will go as planned. I'll let you know!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I love this photo of my dad. It embodies so many memories. I am thinking of him this evening, because in searching for something else, I ran across a list that we made together at the kitchen table, in September 2004. Somehow the conversation came around to the various jobs that his father, my Grandpap, had done during his life. Grandpap died when I was about 6, but I remember a tall man with huge hands, who seemed a bit grim. Photographs show broad shoulders, large features, strong-looking. He died young, in his early 70's I think, in about 1961. Here is list of the jobs that his father had, in the order that his son remembered them:
- farmer (this would be in rural Pennsylvania, in a narrow valley near Tussey Mountain)
- road builder
- coal miner at age 12, in Elizabeth
- carpenter at the power plant in Saxton
- timber hauler
- tunnel and bridge builder
- led a rigging gang in a steel mill in Monassan (not sure I got that right, sometimes my writing is hard to read!)
- coke screener in Johnstown
- railroad bridges
- treasurer of the school board, Hopewell Township
- state inspector for highway construction on Highway 70, from about Town Hill to Breezewood
I also know that Grandpap was a devout Democrat - one time we found the precinct lists. He was away from home a lot, which left my Grandma to raise her five sons mostly on her own. The farm provided most of the food they needed, but cash was needed too. Grandpap's jobs brought in enough! Interesting how many of them are in the construction/engineering area.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Whenever I cook or bake Mo wants to be involved. She carefully smells everything but rarely actually tastes.
By the way - the Vanilla Dinner Rolls were really excellent! I highly recommend the cookbook, The Bountiful Kitchen by Barry Bluestein & Kevin Morrissey. This book is a staple in my kitchen and a source of inspiration.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
This wonderful statue is framed by a bauhinia vine, in the Arbor Gate Nursery just outside Tomball. I highly recommend this nursery - fabulous demonstration gardens, interesting plant selection, friendly folks, and good prices. Arbor Gate Nursery
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
We have had more than 10 inches of rain in the last 24 hours - and 8 inches since midnight. Fortunately no water in our house but I understand that others in our nieghborhood weren't so lucky.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I had a lovely peaceful dinner this evening at The Brass Monkey in St. Pete Beach, Florida. After a long meeting, it was so nice to sit on the second floor balcony and look out over the Gulf of Mexico, sipping iced tea and waiting for my "colossal" fried shrimp. They arrived in good time, accompanied by the recommended fresh green beans and boiled red potatoes. The size was indeed large and they were perfectly fried with a crunchy coating that probably had panko crumbs in it. The server was attentive and cheerful with helpful suggestions. He brought extra horseradish for the cocktail sauce too.
Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the sunset but no doubt it would have been awesome. I highly recommend this spot if you are anywhere near Tampa or St. Petersburg.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Strength of preferences
- Introverted 89%
- Intuitive 25%
- Feeling 38%
- Perceiving 44%
- very expressed introvert
- moderately expressed intuitive personality
- moderately expressed feeling personality
- moderately expressed perceiving personality
Famous INFPs include Homer, Virgil, William Shakespeare, A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh), Helen Keller, Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers' Neighborhood), Dick Clark (American Bandstand), Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis, Neil Diamond, Tom Brokaw, James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small), James Taylor, Julia Roberts, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Lisa Kudrow ("Phoebe" of Friends), Princess Diana, and J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter author).
Famous fictional INFPs (that I connect with) include Calvin (Calvin & Hobbes), Deanna Troi and Wesley Crusher(Star Trek - the Next Generation).
You can do it yourself if you want: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp .
Here is a link for my type... http://typelogic.com/infp.html.
Friday, April 10, 2009
After a long and polite online chat with Santu at HP, we concluded that it has to go in for repair. Unfortunately that would be $398 plus tax. And I can get a new one for not too much more than that. The company has an EPP deal so looks like I can get something very nice for less than $800.
What is curious is my desktop ALSO died a BIOS death not too long ago. Strange. DH is blaming my aura. What do you think?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I like driving down to the island. There are long stretches of rural and even fairly wild terrain. Around Kingsville, there are places where I could be in Africa. And there are a couple exotic game ranches so I might even see a zebra or a few impala.
Happy Easter to all of you. Hopefully you can spend it with family and friend.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
- finished up stage 2 of the limoncino project. Stage 2 involves straining out the lemon peel and adding sugar syrup.
- planting out the milkweed plant and cosmos flowers bought yesterday
- installing the trellises that I bought yesterday for my pole beans
- researching the next "big" trip - the Trans-Siberian Railway... ordered a book, read online for a couple hours...
- booked the car (Nova Car Hire is highly recommended) for DH's trip to Italy in May
- made waffles for breakfast!
- finished up the taxes. Will re-do to see if I can eliminate the $2,000 we have to pay.
All in all, a busy productive day.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
This is the first time we have actually witnessed two butterflies hatching at the same time.
Even in discouraging times, the miracle of daily life is intense.
Without this where would we be...
Saturday, March 14, 2009
We have had a couple days of cool, rainy weather here in Houston - very welcome because we are running a deficit of almost 7 inches this year.
These little evening primroses (or buttercups, for Texans) are weighed down by the rain. They look like dancers to me.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This snapdragon is something of a surprise to us. You may recall that last year we bought a bunch of plants for just a couple dollars. Apparently among them was a snapdragon. I've never actually grown one before so I didn't recognize the young plant until it began to form buds.
I love the color the flowers take on in the afternoon.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Does anyone else have this tradition?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
This is the doorway to the Basilica di San Lorenzo. Amazing to contemplate that the church (according to Wikipedia) was consecrated in 393 AD!!! The building that we see is more Renaissance than anything. This facade looks unfinished to me - I really must read up on it and find out why.
I've been remembering our November 2007 trip to Italy. So many wonderful moments. One of the many unfinished projects is to create a memento of that month. My tenative title is "A Drive Around Italy". I'll use Blurb and their wonderful software called BookSmart. Two previous creations were successful for their purpose, as family gifts.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Mo is on the mend. She still has 6 more LymSulpher dip baths to go, and assorted antibiotics, ointments, and drops to be taken. Apparently adopting a cat from the wild is expensive (we are up to $400) but she is such a joy.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
This is Mo, who joined our household officially on the day after Christmas, 2008. She is the youngest of the feral kittens who lived in and around our beach house on South Padre Island. After her father Faithful died on Christmas Eve, my husband and I decided that we needed to help this little one. She was wheezing and "sneezling" as DH says, and although always the smallest, now truly too skinny. So we took h er to the vet in Port Isabel, who perscribed some medicines and tested her for FIV and leukemia. She passed those tests. We brought her back to Houston, and then she went with us to Fort Worth for the weekend too. But by Monday 12/29 she was declining drastically. I took her to a vet here in Houston, who said she was critically dehydrated and was 24-36 hours away from death. The team at Houston Cat Hospital did a terrific job and she has bounced back very well. I suspect that by the time we go back on Monday 1/5, she will have added at least a pound to her beginning weight of 2.5 pounds (still not much for a 3 month old kitten).
Her official name is Motorino (little motor, in Italian). She has a great purr.