Sunday, April 25, 2010

Strawberries and computer issues

So yeah pictures. I have 1 million 457 thousand of them. And all were stuck on the memory card of my Canon. I have an 8G card that I had never used but sent with the hubby (he took my camera) when he and the child went back to San Diego for Spring Break, you know on March 15th. Freaking Texans and their jacked dates for Spring Break. Regardless that didn't matter here or their when it came to the pictures. The point is I don't do anything fancy to get the pictures off of the camera. The cord that attaches to the camera is always attached to the computer, I just plug it into the camera and download them. Simple, that's the only way I can function. Of course this time, and I don't know if it's because it was a large memory card (8G, we normally use the 2G) or what but 3 different computers kept telling me that the camera was busy. Yeah the camera should be busy, downloading my damn pictures. But it wasn't, it was just busy ignoring me. Modern technology, it will be the death of us all.

I broke down and admitted that I may need a fracking card reader not long after I tried hooking it up to the 3rd computer. And did I buy one? No. I lag, what can I say.

Yesterday I took the family to a place called Marburger Orchard to pick strawberries. I had a friend who posted on her Facebook that she had taken her boys there on Friday and I thought it'd be a nifty way to do a family day on Saturday. It's a wee bit north of us, just 5 miles south of Fredericksburg. It's a really popular little tourist spot, kinda like the uber Hill Country spot. I knew it was a bit of a drive. Like 60 miles. I didn't tell the hubby exactly how far we were going and he was starting to bitch by around 35 miles. Of course I had never been so I was hoping at this point that it wasn't going to be lame. Not that the drive wasn't beautiful (it's wild flower season and if you've been to Texas and seen them well, you know) but the hubby drives 180 miles round trip to work 5 days a week. His patience for any sort of driving is very thin. His patience for me is not that much better. But look, it's bluebonnet season!

Now I knew I'd want to bring a camera so I took the trusty older point and shoot so I knew I'd be able to get the pictures off of it. And I did. They aren't as awesome as they could be but you get the idea. We made it, it was AWESOME. The hubby was very pleased with the result. The weather was absolute perfection (a rarity in Texas, seriously) at about 72 degrees and bright blue. Today it's 86 degrees and very BRIGHT. Painfully so in fact. So we hit the right day and there were only about 8 other people there. I'd hate to go when it's crowded although I don't know if they actually get crowded since it's so hella far out there.

These were the fields, just gorgeous

And just beyond that row of strawberries were the cows. Because, you know, a drive to the country is nothing without the cows right?

I didn't actually realize they were even there until they moo'd and it sounded like I was standing under a cow. Seriously, my subdivision used to be a ranch and there are still cows where the ranch owner kept land at the entrance. You know, to sell after all the subdivision was built so that it could be turned into a strip mall. Crying shame, it's lovely with that ranch land there. But I've never actually been close to cows, we just drive by on the way in and out of the subdivision. Over the Hedge, that movie is us, seriously. Except ours isn't flat, it's Hill Country. And it wasn't a forest, it was scrubby ranch land with lots of oak trees. But the cows at the orchard, surprised me. I was cool though, I didn't panic because I knew that those strawberries would be long gone if cows had access. I can understand why they were grazing right there though, it must have smelled like heaven to them. Cruel and unusual punishment huh?

That first picture is one of the poppies that they planted at the end of each strawberry row so it looked pretty. And lordy were they gorgeous, blooming like nuts and the flowers were like tissue paper. That little point and shoot did me right, I would have taken a ton more pictures had I the other camera but it was not to be.

So you know what I got today, the day after we go to Hill Country? A card reader. More pictures to come, I just took 30 minutes to down load 2 months worth of pictures. Don't get too excited though, you know I never edit. The only thing I took out was the top of the hubby's head that was in the bottom of the cow picture. Bad composition, totally my fault, had to edit.

Coming up next post, spring. We have it and it's got some astounding flowers this year!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Babysitting Mossy and Fatty

My kid (2nd grader) had a huge (for a second grader) class project. She normally has homework every night and the teacher stopped it for 2 1/2 weeks so that they could concentrate fully on their "Woodland Animals" project. I love these projects, the kids get so creative with them. She was assigned lizards, not a specific one mind you, just lizards in general. Um, ok, that's kinda widely varied but we can work with that. She had to know things like where they lived (it was easier to point out where they didn't live of course), what they ate, life cycle, predators,etc. The basics that an 8 year old would know, then build a either a poster or a diorama (which is what my kid opted for, she loves her crafts).

I have a guy who works 'for' me, we call him my Minion. I really don't consider myself a boss, he's supposed to be an assistant of sorts but since I taught him everything about mass spectrometry he considers me his boss. Whatever. He's actually a biology major with a chemistry minor but since he's damn smart and very intellectual to boot (those don't always go together, trust me) I forgive him that minor infraction. He's very into plants and reptiles and in his free time he builds terrariums. Big, huge frig off beautiful ones. I knew he has bunches of lizards so I asked him if we could borrow one to bring into the kid's class during her presentation. It just so happens that he was going to be on vacation in Seattle at the time of her presentation so we ended up borrowing the lizard for 2 weeks which was fine and happy for me. He made is a 12x12 temporary terrarium that was BEAUTIFUL like the day that I called him to pick up the lizard. Seriously, the pictures don't do it justice since I couldn't get one of the whole thing. I had to keep the humidity up so the walls were fogged over and made pictures nigh impossible to take. I took one with all of the orchids I got on clearance at Lowes. Since their flowers were gone I bought them all for $2.50 and $3.50. They are put in his terrariums often so I just went and bought them all, a total steal since they were so healthy.

My Minion gave me Fatty, a seriously plump and durable Gold Dust Day Gecko. He and his family went to Hawaii awhile back and since they are not indigenous to Hawaii and have basically taken over, the Hawaii government doesn't care if you take them out as long as you fill out the paperwork. So he came home with a bunch. Apparently there are even some loose in his house. I spent the last few years of high school with a free range chinchilla in my bedroom so I don't find this odd at all. Not all parents agree with me though I'm sure. We called fatty Fatty because, if you notice, his tail is where his fat storage is. See how it hangs down like it weighs too much for his body? Yeah that's because he's Texan. Just kidding! Kinda. He is a bit on the plump side. All of my Minion's terrariums are huge, like 4'x4'x6'. Fatty had been in one of those and free range ate the plethora of crickets that were in there. Apparently my Minion feeds well huh? He had just purchased a mossy frog at a reptile show and had him in a wee little terrarium so that he wouldn't get eaten by all the other larger lizards and whatnot in the full sized terrariums. The one he was in was so small there was no place for a light so my Minion put the mossy frog in the terrarium he built for the kid, just in case if got cold while he was gone. So we ended up with Fatty and Mossy for 2 weeks. How cool is that?

I was barely able to get a decent picture of Mossy, his toes are in the top picture, but he is just the coolest thing ever. My Minion said he wasn't sure Mossy would survive at all. Dude, I'd have been seriously bummed if the frog had died. Obviously the gecko wasn't anywhere near fragile but he said even if he had kicked off it'd be no biggie. I must get over these attachments to all living things....

I know this picture is not the greatest but I had to have the hubby slide the top of the cage open to get the pic and hold his hand over the part where Fatty was since Fatty, for all his fatness, could and would take off at the speed of light and provide waay too much prey entertainment for the dogs. Do you see Mossy's eyes in that photo? You have a very clear view of them. They are the exact same mottled green and black of his body with just a little tiny black center dot that I think is his pupil. I could be wrong though, they change often and are just way uber cool looking.

I totally fell in love with this frog. Yes, I know I have strange taste in pets. My dogs are all severely brachycephalic and chinchilla? Pink snake? Why? Yeah, I know. Next on the list is the mossy frog. Which, apparently, is new to the market, rare, hard to get a hold of, and kinda expensive. Sounds like something every woman wants huh? No, not really. It's ok though, I have a minion that knows the hobby well and can steer me in the right direction. Even better, he can build me a mossy terrarium! It's the little things in life now isn't it?

Oh and ya'll probably want to know how the kid's project went huh? She was the hit of the day in class. I taped the terrarium shut (because yeah, 22 8 year olds and loose reptiles oh hell no) and got permission from the VP to let them in the classroom. Ah the lengths we parents go to for our kids. I'll have you know though, all the info and research she did all by herself. We quizzed her incessantly until she had it all memorized. Oh yeah, she kicked butt. Which is good since she knows that's the only reason her mama goes to all that trouble and gets the real deal for show and tell. Really, the things these crazy parents do nowadays, freaks!