It has been a busy week at the Huber household.  Layne and Elissa and Brody flew in on Tuesday to spend a couple of weeks with us (so expect a lot of Brody pictures).

picture of Daelynn the  Magnificent shipping label
a recently encountered shipping label
picture of Brody and Daelynn
Brody is not sure what he thinks of Auntie Daelynn
picture of brothers at the airport
Layne and Davison
picture of Lori and Brody
Grandma Lori and Brody
picture of Daelynn, Brody and Lori at the airport
Aunt Daelynn, Brody, Grandma Lori
picture of Daelynn and Brody
Daelynn and Brody

Yard pics

picture of mexican sombrero bush
purple flower bush
picture of roses
this caption left intentionally blank
picture of a ripe blackberry
the blackberry
 
The birds appear to be eating the blackberries way before they get even remotely close to ripe. I managed to find this one hidden under a leaf. It’s probably time for some netting.
picture of monarch butterflypicture of monarch butterfly

Bilbo 2.0

On Friday, Bilbo had a grooming session.  

picture of moppy dog
this would be the pre-grooming Bilbo
picture of nattily groomed dog
the groomed Bilbo

 
There will not be any further pictures of Bilbo, as we returned him to the Poodle Rescue Society. He was becoming increasingly stressed and abruptly antagonistic to people who startled or crossed him. We are hoping that there is a better home for him out there. Or, in HR speak, “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”  


Back to Brody

picture of Brock and Brodypicture of Brody and Brockpicture of  Brody and Brockpicture of Brock tickling Brody's toes

Fruit Blossoms

picture of watermelon blossom
Watermelon blossom
picture of guava blossom
Guava blossom

Ben’s BirthdayI don’t have any pictures from my birthday party (maybe Lori might). We had the traditional birthday trifle with ice cream.

picture of father, son and reading glasses
Brock, Dad, reading glasses

 

Someone’s been using my cellphone

In reviewing cellphone photos for this week’s update, it was immediately evident that someone (likely Heidi or Davison as they weren’t in any of the pictures) had taken lots of pictures with my iPhone.  Here are some of the pictures.

picture of Brock and Danaya
Brock and Danaya
picture of sisters smiling
sisters
picture of Brock
Brock
picture of Danaya
Danaya
picture of Daelynn reaching for the phone
gimme da phone
picture of Brock and Danaya
Brock and Danaya share a chair
picture of Daelynn and Mikaela
we appear to be short on chairs
picture of Danaya
Danaya

New Refrigerator

When we purchased our refrigerator back in 2013, we also purchased a 5 year full coverage plan on it.  We’ve recently been having an issue with the fridge that numerous repair guys have been unable to solve.  So, Sears has labelled it a lemon and provided for a replacement.  This replacement comprises of a credit for the amount that we originally paid for the first fridge – that we can spend at a Sears store on a new fridge.  Warranty-wise, this new appliance takes over the last two years of the original warranty.  We can spend more than the credit and pay the difference if the refrigerator chosen is more expensive than the original.  As might be guessed, it ended up being more than the original.


The new fridge has LED lighting and quite a bit more space.

I love opening the fridge.  -Brock

Frogatorium

It appears that one of the attractions of our yard to neighborhood kids is that frogs (or maybe toads, or maybe both – do frogs and toads get along or are they like rival gangs or something) like to hang out in the damp dark space where our water meter and shut off valve are located.  While working in the yard today, there were a couple of times when girls came by, got out frogs and played with them.  One of those times; they took a couple of frogs off to the detention pond.  I was tempted to say “Hey, put those frogs back”, but then I remembered that I don’t like frogs, so kept quiet.

picture of frog habitat
the habitat
picture of frog habitat cover
the cover

Lanier Library Lecture

We’ve been enjoying the nearby Lanier Theological Library, usually going there on Tuesday afternoons and evenings.  I went to a lecture on Saturday night, featuring a University of Cambridge professor that they had brought in for the weekend, one event being the Saturday night lecture on the topic Jesus and Geography, in particular looking at the the validity of the gospels in their geography as validated by extra-biblical sources (i.e. Josephus, rabbinical literature, etc).

The speaker was Simon Gathercole, and it was a pretty good time.  The chapel was full, so I was in one of the two overflow seating areas in the library.  After the talk there was a question time in which the speaker was asked to answer questions ranging from the basic (“Are the Tyre and Sidon in the New Testament the same ones referred to in the OT?”) to the interesting (“Since Josephus was originally a Jewish generally, but then became a traitor who ended up on the Roman side, can we trust his writings?”) to the complex and open-ended (“Can you explain Isaiah 53?”).  Answers to the above by the way were yes, yes, and a rather longer explanation than I wrote down.

The host (Mark Lanier) and the lecturer had a really good rapport, and there was a good deal of banter back and forth during the question time.  One of the exchanges that was really fun was when Mark corrected Simon with “It’s pronounced ‘I-Zay-ah'” – versus the more academic/English pronunciation.

picture of the to the Lanier library
the path to the library
picture of gate in rock wall
One of the gates
picture of light tree
light tree by the library

It was a busy week at the Houston Huber Household.  Probably most important was that I completed the green card process, getting my permanent work authorization for the States.  No pictures to show of that.  In other news…

At a local Barnes & Noble store, I picked up a ‘build your own gliders’ kit (from their half price table).  After some tweaks to the tail ailerons, it flew pretty well even though it was sort of windy.

picture of lad throwing toy glider
Davison with the glider
picture of boy with toy glider
Brock with the glider
picture of girl and pet dog
the requisite Bilbo picture

Flowers and Fruits

picture of young grape bunch
next step in grape development
picture of mature pomegranate flower
mature pomegranate flower
picture of young pomegranate fruit
pomegranate fruit (really small)
picture of a rose flower
rose
picture of a rose bud
rose
picture of a rose
rose
picture of cocoa red roses
roses
picture of strawberries on countertop
strawberry harvest
picture of growing green tomatoea
tomates
picture of orange daylilies
yots of yilies

Flood Aftermath

Danaya and I took an alternate route to the chiropractor on Wednesday, driving through one of the communities that has been hit hard by the flood.  There were a lot of houses in this community with piles of debris (drywall, carpet, etc) out front.  I drove through again this morning, and a lot of it had been cleaned up already.  There were some streets that were still in cleanup mode.


Zach Winters house concert

On Thursday night, I drove Danaya and Daelynn to a house concert featuring a musician from Oklahoma named Zach Winters.  It was held in a large very soggy backyard (like step on the grass and sink into a couple of inches of water) and was a whole lot of fun.

picture of back yard concert
Danaya and Daelynn find a dry place to sit
picture of Zach Winters in concert
Zach Winters in concert
picture of Daelynn and Danaya with Zach Winters
Daelynn, Zach, and Danaya
picture of filament light bulb
One of the filament bulbs at the concert

On Sunday night, we were awoken by a major storm that dumped a lot of water overnight.  There was lightning and thunder all night long, some of it amazingly close and loud.  All of us received periodic public announcements to our cell phones providing tornado and flash flood warnings.  Both Mikaela and Heidi have old cellphones which are no longer in service, but apparently are still eligible for public service announcements.  At 2:00 am, I had a worried set of kids (Mikaela, Heidi, and Brock) and a distressed dog in the living room.  The detention pond was pretty much full at 6:00 am (see following picture), but by 8:00 am was down quite a bit already.

dark picture of pond
6:00 am picture of the park and detention pond
picture of green space
The view of the park and detention pond 5 days later
picture of water in atreet
the cul-de-sac underwater

At our place, we got (received, experienced, were deluged by) 15 inches of rain as measured by one of our garbage cans.
picture of rain filled garbage can
15″ overnight

 Work was closed on Monday, but for us the rest of the week was normal.  About a mile or two north of us is Cypress Creek.  It crested a couple of inches short of the all time measured high water mark, something like 127 feet above normal levels.  It closed major roads in our area for 3 to 4 days but didn’t really impact us.

In other news, 

picture of pomegranate blossom
further progression of the pomegranate blossoms
picture of tawny daylily
Tawny Daylily
picture of Gardenia flower
Gardenia
picture of strawberries ripening
strawberries
picture of unripe blackberries
blackberries ripening
picture of pecan blossom
pecan tree blossom
picture of bearded Iris
Bearded Iris
picture of rainbow pinks
Rainbow Pinks

And in another news, Lori and Bilbo had a big altercation this week.  Bilbo is now undergoing obedience and submission training.

Pomegranate Blossoms

I had to return my Pomegranate Orchard Otharized Professional badge, as the pictures that I posted last week labeled ‘baby pomegranate’ actually turned out to be the pomegranate bud and flower as shown by the following two pictures.  I guess that the fruit comes after the pollination process.

  
  

Painting The Roses

Although I had captioned a picture last week about painting the roses (referring of course to the Alice in Wonderland movie), it was all in jest.  However, one (and only one) of the roses actually is mostly red and part pink, looking indeed like it had been partially painted.

  
Baker Davison

Davison made a dessert this week called a ‘pavlova’.  It consisted of a meringue crust, whipped cream and sliced fresh fruit.  It was delicious and allowed Davison and Brock to stay up past their bedtime as it took an extra long time to cook. 

 
 Mentor/Mentee Meet the Family event

For the past 1.5 years as part of a work-sanctioned give-back-to-the-community program, I have been mentoring a middle school student.  This consists of meeting once a week during a lunch hour for 30 minutes.

This past week, Lori and I went to a dinner and speaker event and had a chance to meet my mentee’s family.   Mentor (sitting) and mentee (standing) in the picture. 
Some additional yard pictures

 

picture of rose flower
Rose
  

picture of daylily flower
Daylily
  
picture of wild garlic flower
Wild Garlic
  
picture of zucchini blossom
zucchini blossom
  
picture of blackberry blossoms
Blackberry blossoms
  
picture of tropical  flower
Tropical Milkweed
and last and least…

  
 

It’s been almost two weeks since we dropped Daelynn off at the airport as she jetted off to Calgary for three weeks.  Being a contrarian, or possibly better described as a photo-oddarian, I enjoy taking pictures of people taking picture of other people.  (If I end up getting a couple of the iPhone packing kids in on the act and positioned people correctly maybe we could get into recursive photo taking).

So without any further blather, her are some pics of the photo shoot at the airport.


  

We are having fun (and doing work) in the yard.  Here are some pictures that I took yesterday.

 

Picture of gladiola flowers
Gladiolas in the front yard
  
Picture of blooming rose bush
Front yard rosebush blooming profusely
  
Picture of orange rose
Our new climbing rose
  
picture of small peach tree on bloom
our smaller peach tree with lots of blooms
  
picture of Brock and pink rose bush
painting the roses … pink
  
picture of young grape cluster
The start of some grapes
  
picture of dark red rose
The cocoa red rose bush we planted last year
  
Picture of young pomegranate fruit
A baby pomegranate
  
Picture of bottlebrush flower
A bottlebrush flower
  
picture of climbing rose
The climbing rose that we planted last year; hoping it will grow more this year
  
picture of yellow flowers
Some, uh, yellow flowers
 

I forget the full name of our dog.  I do know that both “Bilbo” and “Fergus”are both part of it, and that he is usually referred to as Bilbo or Bo.

He is pretty laid back and so far hasn’t learned or been taught many tricks.  He must be an old dog.   
    
   

A couple of weeks ago the lawn grass appeared to come to life within a couple of days, which of course means it is Yardwork Time.  There has been lots to do .  I’ve had two long weekends in a row.

I hope to do some more posts about the things we’ve planted, but thought I would post some of the pictures that I took around the yard today.

 

picture of rose
Rose about to bloom

 

picture of rose
Rose flower

 

picture of rose
Pink Rose

 

picture of Hibiscus flower
Hibiscus flowers

 

picture of peach blossom
Blossoms on the peach tree

 

After supper tonight, Danaya and I sat down to play a game of Martian Rails.  It is a game in the crayon rails series, but is set on the planet Mars.  This post is more for Ben’s family who owns a wide variety of such games.  Crayon rails games are games where you build your rail network by drawing on the map with your particular color of crayon (mine is usually orange), and then pickup and deliver loads round the map.  Track costs money (especially on Mars), so you typically start with a small layout and then grow it as the money is earned. 

In tonight’s game, we were about a third of the way through when your track covered about half the map, and money earned was spent just as quickly on track and train upgrades.  Danaya had sixty million in hand, but I had just lined up my next three runs based in the cards in hand, had built the necessary track extensions, and was out of money.  I had a load of tourists on board headed for Syrtis Major and had just stopped at Pax Grove for a load of UN peacekeepers (to run down south to Isher for a big payout).  Here were my three load cards, track built, and about 120 million in income awaiting.

  
Then it happened.  Danaya delivered a load and in drawing her replacement card, she drew 3 event cards.  The first card, Earthlings, Go Home lost me my load of tourists.  I counted it out and figured that it had set me back about 3 and a half turns; both Danaya and I had already upgraded to the 16 milepost locomotives already.

  
Then Danaya read the second card, Green Mars North, which flooded a bunch of the northern canals wiping out 4 of my bridges in the process.  The bridges cost 2 million each to rebuild, but I was living in the edge and had spent my money on the tracks that I needed (some of which was for a number of turns down the road).

  
So there I was, broke and stuck on a section of track that only connected three cities, having no tourists, and no money for bridge repairs.  After a good laugh, I conceded the game.  Danaya won with 60 million in cash having connected to only three of the major cities, and having already circumnavigated the planet with her track.