Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Over the RAINBOW!!!

We had a line of thunderstorms roll through about 5:00... lots of rain, some lightning and thunder, wind, and apparently in some spots... hail! By 7:00, the storms had passed our area. We settled in to watch a movie, and I caught a glimpse of sunlight on the hilltops across the valley. The next thing we knew, the sky was filled with bright orangey-red clouds... and the thickest, brightest rainbow I think I've ever seen! It didn't last long - maybe 10 minutes... and it was gone and thick fog and mist set in. But I grabbed the camera and caught a few pictures to share...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Caitlyn & Erin!

Our great nieces are growing up! Caitlyn was 9 last week... Erin will be 11 this week! Saturday, we celebrated both birthdays at their Nana and Poppy's with cake and ice cream. Happy Birthday, girls!

Monday, March 16, 2009

iReport on Workamping

I have watched story after story about joblessness and the failing economy, and I know there are jobs out there for Workampers. So I put an iReport on CNN last Saturday... and they posted it right away! It includes a photo of Mom and Lee on their bicycles in Maine... and the iReport has been visited over 713 times in just over a day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Trip to Little Rock

Friday, March 6th, we traveled to Little Rock to "play tourist" for the day. It was a very warm March day - but quite breezy. We visited the Central High Museum, built and operated by the National Park Service. True to form, it is top-notch in design and content. If you haven't visited, you should... the Crisis at Central High occurred a little better than two months after I was born... in some ways we have come so far... in others, not far at all. The museum is both informative and humbling.

Impressive and magnificent are the only words I can think of to really describe the Central High School building and campus. Meticulously maintained by the NPS, this building is amazing, especially given the fact it was constructed in 1927! What an honor and privilege it must be to attend school there. The gas station in the photo is the Magnolia Mobile that sits at the corner across the street from the high school. It has been restored and is now a facility for meetings and special programs, I think.

Directly across from the high school is the Washington Hospitality House. There were papers taped to the front porch windows that looked like they had announcements on them, so nosey me - I walked up on the front porch to read them! Out pops this lady, who is a descendant of the Washingtons, and she is so glad to see me and begins to explain that her parents bought the house in 1972, and she rents it out for meetings and small groups. She wrapped her arm around me and held me close for a photo or two... she was adorable. Notice her sequined Obama shirt - I complimented it, and she said, "Oh, YES, we CAN!"

After our tour of Central High, we drove through the Quawpaw Quarter and stopped at the Governor's Mansion. We drove down several of the streets and stopped at Villa Marre, which is featured on the old television show, "Designing Women." It IS a beautiful building.

From there it was on to the Historic Arkansas Museum downtown (formerly known as the Arkansas Territorial Restoration). We didn't tour the village because the timing was off, but we did visit the museum and tour an exhibit of approximately 100 swords - “A Double-edged Weapon: The Sword as Icon and Artifact.”

Then it was on to lunch at Big Whiskey's, a walk through the River Market, a short stop at the Clinton Store, and then a tour of the new Arkansas Nature Center, located on the river and operated by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The Center is very well done, with dozens of mounted specimens and several tanks of live ones (mostly fish)!

We took the trolley to the Clinton Library and the Heifer Headquarters, but we did not get off there... we rode the trolley back to the River Market and then over to North Little Rock, where we toured the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. That was neat! They had free admission because the women's SEC tournament was being held at Altel Arena. We enjoyed the exhibits... my favorite were a grizzly bear and a polar bear, both killed in Alaska by Ben Pearson with a bow and arrow. I didn't enjoy that the bears were killed, but it was amazing to see the size of these creatures, especially the polar bear.

There is more to see and do in Little Rock, but that was a full day. It seemed ironic this Thursday as the snow and sleet fell that we had wandered the streets a week earlier in short-sleeved t-shirts!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Boys of Summer...

Our family will be getting two new boys this summer. My niece, Jasmine, is expecting a baby in late May, and my cousin Natalie and her husband, Darrell, will welcome their second child in July. His big sister, Olivia, is already practicing her "bossing!" My 96-year-old grandmother has fired up the "baby blanket" production line and produced several blankets for both boys.

Last week, Mom and Lee hosted a dinner for all of us, and Mam-ma took Jasmine her latest creation. She is looking forward to welcoming her first great-great-grandchild. Neither he nor the Norton baby will ever be cold!