Monday, February 26, 2007

A Short Trip and a Scare

We went to Munday on Sunday

Munday is a little town with a population of about 1,500 in north-ish Texas, where David's niece, Sabrina, her husband Todd, and their two children moved to, late last year. It was a career move for Todd, for it meant a promotion to be Principal at the Elementary School there. Sabrina is also a teacher and now teaches in the same elementary school. It certainly is quite a change from Abilene, which has a population of about 115,000.

The first thing that caught our eye as we rolled towards town was the underpass that led into town. It has murals etched in the sides of the walls of the underpass on both sides. On one side was the American Flag, and where the stripes were, there were silhouettes of the townsfolks. The developers of the underpass had taken photographs of the inhabitants of Munday earlier and had done the flag as a tribute to the townspeople.

On the other side of the underpass was etched a cotton field with a big cotton ball.

Munday is a quaint little town which is undergoing a "beautification campaign" and this could be seen especially on Main Street, where the sidewalks had been redone, and some buildings restored.

More photographs of Munday HERE at the photo blog.

The church where we attended service was small but cosy, with pretty stained glass behind the pulpit. Sabrina and Todd had bought a 100 year old house just in front of the church, which they had been working hard at restoring. We took a peek inside after service and it was a beautiful house! David and I are very jealous of their porch-turned-sunroom.

After that sweet trip, we were driving home when we saw some smoke rising into the sky from a long way away, and in the general direction that we were headed home to.

You can imagine the panic rising in our chests as, instead of moving away from the smoke, we somehow seemed to keep driving towards it, until when we finally got home, THIS was how close the fire was. ( That's our Airstream in the foreground, and house on the left ) We were almost freaking out by that time, and I had been praying silently but rather furiously.

It was still quite some miles for us, and as it turned out, when they had a piece on it on the news later that night, that it was a "controlled burn". Thank God! But man, did they scare us silly.

"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;"
Isaiah 32:18

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I feel like Dorothy with her pigtails aloft

I started out posting about some other things

that had happened earlier this week, but the wind out here is getting pretty ridiculous, so I thought I'd post about that instead.

Stuff is flying around outside and crashing into each other, the wind is howling, there is a dust, dust everywhere, potted plants are getting toppled over, the dogs have retreated into their houses, the reception from the satellite dish is getting cut off ever so often, there have been some tornado watches around us since last night till this morning, we seem to have lost broadcast from one local TV station since morning, I have to push against the side door ( which faces the west ) with quite some effort just to get it to open, the sun is out, but the atmosphere is tinged brown from all the dust... etc. etc.


The sun is now blocked out by all the dust in the air, and everywhere you look outside, there is a strange brown glow because of that. We are out in the country where it is mainly open land, with nothing to break the wind speed for it to be even slightly weakened as it hurtles at us. At times I can even feel the house shudder..

The latest weather conditions at a weather station near us has measured constant wind speeds of 40 miles an hour ( 64 km/h ) with gusts up to 56 miles an hour ( 90 km/h ) and the weather forecast for today is as follows :

Strong winds. Sunny. Areas of blowing dust through the day. Highs in the mid 60s. West winds 40 to 50 mph with gusts to around 65 mph.


So it looks like there's yet more wind at higher speeds to come. But one thing i'm thankful for is that, although we're getting such bad winds, the actual storm system is not passing through us, but rather over northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas. That's horrible for the people over there, but I don't think our house can take all the battering.

Some idea of wind damage we may be facing :-

The Fujita Tornado Scale

Category FO

-- Gale Tornado Category 40 - 72 mph--
Light damage: some damage to chimneys, breaks branches off trees, pushes over shallow-rooted trees, and damages sign boards.

Beaufort Wind Force Scale

Beaufort Scale #8 ( Gale )

39-46 mph
Twigs and small branches blown off trees.

Beaufort Scale #9 (Strong gale)

47-54 mph
Minor structural damage may occur (shingles blown off roofs).

Beaufort Scale #10 ( Storm )

55-63 mph
Trees uprooted, structural damage likely.

Beaufort Scale #11 ( Violent Storm )

64-73 mph
Widespread damage to structures.

Lord, keep us safe through this weather. In Jesus' name, Amen.

“I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest.”

Psalm 55:8

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Fat Tuesday Post

Okay, so this post has nothing to do with Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday,

but it's got lots of food photos in it :) ( so it may take some time to load )

My Valentine's Dinner for David
February 14th 2007

Pasta with Chinese Kale
Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy
Mincemeat Pie ( David's favourite ) with little hearts
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

My attempt at a Chinese New Year's Dinner
February 18th 2007

Vermicelli with vegetables and fried eggs
Stir Fried mixed vegetables
Kung Pao Chicken
Mandarin Oranges

"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me."
Matthew 25:35

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year's

( Everlasting Peace Year after Year )

It's Chinese New Year's eve morning here in the States and night time in Malaysia. And it's the year of the PIG, my year! *homesickness rears its head*

Here's wishing everyone 新年快樂 ( Happy New Year ) and 年年有餘 ( May you be blessed with great bounty every year ) from David and me!

Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

PSALM 21:13

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day Post - Ode to Walter and Frances

I said I would post an entry

when David's Dad got in the papers... which he did today! A special valentine's article about his parents .. How sweet

Here it is, courtesy of the Abilene Reporter News Online:

Click here to view a larger image.
Reporter-News photo by Victor Cristales

Walter Woods, 87, of Abilene, holds a photo of himself and his late wife, Francis Smith Woods, whom he married twice in 1941, at his home in Abilene, where painted portraits of his family hang on the wall. Woods said he will make his yearly Valentine’s Day visit to his wife’s grave today to deliver flowers to the love of his life.

Two Weddings, One Wife

For romantic widower, Valentine's Day still special

By Charles G. Anderson Sr. / Special to the Reporter News
February 14, 2007

Any man who would marry the same woman twice within five months - with no divorce in between - must be a romantic.

And Valentine's Day must be special to him.

Meet Walter Woods, 87, of Abilene.

Twice in 1941, Woods married the same woman. The first time was on Feb. 10 in Ingram, in Kerr County. The second ceremony took place July 3 in California.

The first marriage was kept a secret because Woods' new bride, Francis Smith Woods, was a schoolteacher in Junction. In those days, women could lose their teaching jobs if they got married.

Woods was a senior at Abilene Christian University, where the two had met as classmates. The couple kept the marriage a secret from everyone, even family. Woods had obtained a marriage license at Taylor County Courthouse and enlisted the aid of a buddy to carry out his scheme.

''I had a friend at the courthouse who hid our record to keep the newspaper from seeing it,'' Woods recalled.

After a wedding night in Kerrville, the new Mrs. Woods returned to Junction to teach. Woods left for San Antonio to join the Army Air Corps but was turned down for health reasons. So, instead of the Air Corps, he headed to California to work in a defense plant.

The couple married for a second time on July 3 in California.

''When the school year ended, my wife persuaded her parents to bring her to California to marry me,'' Woods recalled.

Woods said the couple was afraid to tell their parents of the earlier marriage and kept that news a secret for several months.

While in California, Woods started a lifelong Valentine's Day ritual that lasted until his wife's death in January 2005.

Woods said he always drove to McFarland's store in Los Angeles to buy chocolate-covered nuts for his Valentine present.

''The store's motto was 'Nuts to You,''' he recalled. He also picked up a dozen roses for 35 cents.

Woods misses the love of his life. His ritual of buying chocolates and flowers has been replaced with a new yearly routine.

''I visit her grave each year on Valentine's Day and leave flowers,'' he said. ''I stand a few minutes in silence and think about how blessed I was to have such a wonderful wife.''

Monday, February 12, 2007

I have to at least post an entry before Taco Tuesday

Hmm... the past week has been pretty mundane.

Sigh.. I seem to have fallen into this "weekly recap mode" which I really want to break out of. BLEH

Let's start off with...

1. Happy Valentine's Day one and all!

How are David and I celebrating this? We have absolutely no idea whatsoever. Let's just survive Taco Tuesday without any major heartburn first.. BUT I am planning on baking some heart shaped something or anothers for David..

He had gotten me some orchids this weekend from Sam's and they are GORGEOUS. I protested coz I told him I'd only kill them, but a lot of the time he won't take no for an answer if he wants you to have something nice. :) At Walmart the other day, he wanted to get me roses, but when we reached the checkout counter and handed the roses over, the heads of like 5 roses fell off. EGAD. We were like, "no thanks, maam, we're not taking those...!"

2. Gaming Front

Travian and more Travian!
- an online browser MMORPG war game with villages, guilds, foot soldiers, troops, catapults, rams etc, kinda like Rome Total War.

We got me a Desperate Housewives' PC Game only to find out my video card isn't sophisticated enough for it. Darnit, and I was really looking forward to playing it too... Sam's getting this one back!

Styrateg - a turn based RPG, pretty cool. Downloaded it for free from Game Giveaway of the day site.

3. Jumbledmind's Promotion Party

I wasn't there, but it looked like fun. And all the food!
Read all about it right HERE

4. Spring is around the corner

Though it may not feel like it right now. Got some hanging vine plants as well as some tomato plants which are flowering already. Right now they're kept in the house till the weather gets warmer. Then it'll be full bore gardening mode for me.

5. Movies watched this week

The Black Dahlia (erk! What a mess. Beautiful to look at, but what a mess of a story )
Smokin' Aces ( along Pulp Fictionesque lines )

"Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God and anyone that loveth is born of God and noweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is Love. So beloved. Let us love one another."

~1 John 4:7-8~

Monday, February 05, 2007

Recap Mode

Having a headache right now ... but on to happier stuff

Last week, David and I brought Cherryl to Albany ( our county seat ) for dinner at their very famous Beehive Restaurant ( Fort Griffin General Merchandise ) for her birthday. The Restaurant/Steakhouse was named one of the Top 10 Best Small Town Steak Houses in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine. Heck, it's even got some gaming RPG thing going on! It was great, and I had some lamb, which I hadn't had in 10 years.. The taste/smell wasn't as strong as I had remembered, and it was quite good, actually.

The facade of the restaurant is that of an old time cowboy saloon early frontier type thing, and the inside is all wood floors/walls, so it was pretty neat. They're supposed to be opening a branch of their steakhouse in downtown abilene real soon ( from what we heard ) which would be a good thing coz david's dad loves the place.

Elaine ( L ) and Cindy ( R ) at Logsdon Chapel

On Girls' Day out on Friday, Cindy and I brought along Elaine, who had come to Abilene for a month from Taiwan for a vaction as well as diving into learning the English Language. Brave girl! We brought her to the Asian Noodle House for lunch and to the Hardin Simmons Chapel where David and I got married, to show her the beautiful stained glass WALL

Also, I had been cooking pizza and buffalo wings for dinner the past 2 days - what with superbowl season and all, and so now david has boy food leftovers for late night snacks. YAY! Ooo.. i have to remind him there's also turkey burgers that I grilled, that are in the freezer section.....

Side Note:
Superbowl XLI players from Abilene or with Abilene connections :

Indianapolis Colts:
Running Back Dominic Rhodes ( former Cooper Cougars )
Long Snapper Justin Snow ( former Cooper Cougars )

Chicago Bears
Strong Safety Danieal Manning ( formerly from Abilene Christian Uni )

Last but not least, the last 2 days have been pretty mild, and it looks like it's going to be pretty mild for another few days before another icy blast comes along. If only if could always be sunny days with a temperature of 68 - 72F, then it would be perfect.

"God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you're ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done."
(2 Corinthians 9:8)