Thursday, May 15, 2008

some sad news and some happy news!!!

I have terribly sad news... I had to let Izzy the caterpillar go. She just wasn't eating in captivity. How sad...

But Froggie is doing great! We just bought him some more crickets and it's hilarious watching him eat them! I wish I were a frog!

And I almost caught another frog at work a couple days ago. But he got away. Frogs are sure fast sometimes!


And I'm going to be an Aunt again!!! Yay!


And for all you who live in Idaho, I'm coming to visit in July for a friend's wedding. (Yay Sheena!) I'll be there about a week. I'm super excited! I love flying! And I'm more homesick than I ever guessed I would be...

Monday, May 12, 2008

New "family members"...

Hi all!
So I don't want to blow your mind, but I caught a new pet!!! (Well, several, but I let some go.)

Here's the story (stories): I was at work (I have a job!) at the nursery (where I work temporarily - up to 4 weeks) watering plants, and we have toads! Big ol' ugly brown warty toads.

I was kind of bored one morning, so I decided to try my luck at catching a toad! (I'd never caught a frog before, but Hal said the worst they can do is pee on you, so... why not?!) I caught one! I snuck up all sneaky like, and just caught him! But he was ugly so I let him go.

Later, I was telling one of the other girls that I work with that I'd really like to see a green frog, not just these ugly old brown toads...

Then the next day we were watering plants and she walked over to me and said "come see what I found" very calm like. So I put down my hose and followed her to... a frog! A bright lime green frog! I caught him! And one of the owners of the nursery helped me find a container to put him in to take him home... and here he is! He's kind of changed colors since I brought him home. He's not quite as bright. I think I might have something to do with the fact that my house isn't as humid or hot as the greenhouse was...
Can you see his goosebumps? (I know it's just his skin, but it looks like he's cold, doesn't it?)

Later the same day, I was watering some other flowers and came across some caterpillars on some of the plants. Now, I figured we probably don't want to sell bug eaten flowers... call me crazy... so I picked off the caterpillars and put them in a container. One of the managers saw me and told me to just squish them, but I couldn't! They were too cute and green! I caught 4 caterpillars -- one of them was like 3 1/2 or 4 inches long and hugely fat!

So, I brought home my frog and my caterpillars. I turned all but one of the smaller (it's like 1 1/2 inches long) caterpillars loose on my neighbor's tree that's growing over my fence. (I hope they eat the whole thing!!!) And made homes for Froggie (I couldn't pick a good frog name, so that's it for now...) and Izzy the Caterpillar.
Izzy doesn't seem to be eating well in captivity, so I may have to release her... I hope not! I've always liked caterpillars!Have you ever looked under a caterpillar? They've got the coolest little suction feet and neat teeth, too!

Aren't they cute?! No offense taken if you don't think so...
I do think they are cuter than Penny was, though...
What can I say? We collect weird animals.

I'm hoping to catch another frog while I'm at the nursery. Anybody have name suggestions?

... and I have no idea why I decided the caterpillar's a girl and the frog's a boy... they just are!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

News!

Shocking news from Wichita Falls!
Thursday morning (May 1st), a T-38C Talon crashed on the Sheppard Air Force Base (that's right by us, we can get to the entrance to the base in like 5 minutes) killing 2 airmen. Neither of us know the men who died, but a lot of people in our ward know one or both of them. (One of them was the scoutmaster in a nearby ward & had 3 little kids.) It's pretty sad.

While Hal was watching the news Friday night, they were doing a report on the plane crash, after the report they said "the Altus Airshow will continue as scheduled." Airshow?

We immediately looked it up! There was an Airshow! On Saturday! Gates open at 10 am! We decided we had to go, of course! (For those who don't know, Hal lived in Altus, OK when he was a kid. And Altus is 1 1/2 hours from us.)

So, I went to my very first Airshow! And went on an military base for the first time! (Both were not so new and amazing to Hal.) I don't know the numbers (or are they called names?) of the planes, and even if Hal told me, I wouldn't remember! I could maybe be able to figure out what they could do: transport, refuel & transport, fighter, spy...anyways...

It was neat! Some of those planes are HUGE!!!
This one below was one of my favorites. I love the nose that lifts up over the cockpit!We were there for a few hours and saw many things including:
a cannon pulled by horses & we got to watch them fire it, too! They are dressed in historical clothing and the horses were picked and trained based on a training book from like 1920;
a Parachute jumper
who had a perfect landing, even though it was super windy! The national anthem was sung during his descent;
a Bi-Plane demonstration, this is the plane that flew around spewing smoke, I loved it!;
T-28 Trojan Phlyers Demonstration (they did all sorts of cool "Top Gun" tricks, with the song playing over the speakers for us to hear);
Some top secret plane! There's signs all around it saying Do not enter! "Use of deadly force authorized" and men carrying machine guns walking around it!

There's something INCREDIBLY intimidating about seeing soldiers everywhere carrying huge guns.

Not pictured are things like a "fight" between two planes: the pilots knew each other during the cold war -- one was Russian, one was American; lots of planes driving by on the runway, including one huge one that did a "tactical take-off" for us, meaning it took off like straight up (it looked awesome!); several formation fly-bys; a spy plane; and lots other planes!

I just have to say, for my first airshow, it was pretty neat! I loved almost every minute of it! I can't wait to go to another one! I want to see some awesome tricks!!!

We forgot to put on sunscreen before we went out on the airstrip, though and are both very sorry afterwards!

They had the roads around the base restricted, so we couldn't drive around and see where Hal went to school or where he used to play. We did see the corner where Hal used to live, but the house was torn down! And we got to drive by a ditch where he used to catch frogs.

On the way home, we were talking about how it'd been a good day and we'd had fun. And then it got even better!!!
We were like 8 miles from Wichita Falls, on a road we usually don't drive out, 'cause there's nothing out there... When we saw camels! A whole field of camels! We stopped at the rest stop to go potty (I was dying!!!), and turned around to go back and find the camels. It took us a while, but we figured out how to get to the access road beside the highway to so we could stop and visit (and take lots of pictures).
I counted at 17 camels in this part of the field. There were at least five in the next field over. I wonder how many camels this guy has?! I want a camel! They seem to thrive in the desert of Texas.
video
There were even baby camels! Aren't they adorable?!

It was better than the zoo!!! Which is saying something! I love zoos! I got to feed them and pet them!!! YAY!Their noses feel kind of like a horse's! And boy do those long lips have excellent control!

video
You can hear the freeway roaring by in the background, and if you really listen you can hear them chewing!

video
Doesn't it look like she's going to spit at us? She certainly looks annoyed! But she didn't, for good or bad... I would have liked to be able to say I got spit on by a camel! Alas, I can only say I fed them and felt their noses.

It was a good day! We had a lot of fun at the Airshow, in Altus, and seeing camels! Too cool!