Saturday, April 30, 2011

Praying for Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the Southeast

What a horrific week it has been for the state of Alabama (really, the whole Southeast)! When I got home from work on Wednesday afternoon I saw several friends' facebook posts about the terrible tornado that had just hit Tuscaloosa. Entire neighborhoods and a major intersection near the campus were completely wiped out! It's just heartbreaking to thing about - so many places I frequented during my time as a Bama student are gone, destroyed in an instant.

But Tuscaloosa wasn't the only victim. Tornados have wrought destruction throughout the entire state. My grandparents in Madison are still without phone lines and power - but at least they still have their home and their lives. So many others across the state and throughout the Southeast have lost everything, and the deathtoll and number of people still missing are staggering. Some little towns were completely obliterated. How terrible!

One good thing has come out of this tragedy, though. Arch rivals have drawn together to support one another in a way that is amazing to see. A group from Auburn University has been working tirelessly to help raise support and provide much needed resources and relief work for the city of Tuscaloosa, home of the University of Alabama. The state has united in its grief and relief work in a way that I have never seen. It makes me proud to be from Alabama, and less inclined to dislike everything about Auburn. They may still be my arch rival when it comes to football, but maybe it's now limited to football.

Please pray for all those people in the state of Alabama and across the Southeast - for those who have lost loved ones or everything they owned, for those who are still without power and phone service, for those who may be looking for someone who is still missing, and for those who are giving everything they can in relief efforts. It's going to be a long cleanup and recovery effort, but the south will rise again!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Heart Faces - Pet Week

I know this picture was featured in my last two posts, but it's Pet Week on the I Heart Faces blog, and I had no better pic to enter than this one of Brodie smiling as he sits on an old John Deere tractor in a field of bluebonnets. It's one of my favorite pics of my photogenic pup.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Lots of fellow bloggers and facebook friends have been encouraging people to watermark their photos. So I thought I'd try it. I kind of like my new watermark, though I might need to make it a little bigger to serve its purpose. What do you think?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bluebonnet Adventure 2011

On Saturday, Rachel and Brodie and I drove down to Ennis for the Bluebonnet Festival. I think this year's "crop" of bluebonnets was even better than last year's. We quickly got our map to the best trails and started driving, oohing and ahhing over the amazing fields of blue along both sides of the road. Seriously, the blue seemed to go on forever (with little patches of red indian paintbrush thrown in for good measure) - it was absolutely gorgeous.
We took a picnic lunch and found the perfect spot - a field full of wildflowers that was not fenced in (and thus accessible for us without trespassing), with only a few other people, and far enough off the road for Brodie to run free. We had a great lunch and then took lots of pictures while Brodie bounced around chasing bugs and sniffing flowers. He had SUCH a good time!

Then we continued driving, looking for our favorite picturesque location from last year. And we found it! It was so beautiful! They had an old John Deere tractor out front that we couldn't resist taking pictures on - I LOVE the ones of Brodie on the tractor; I just wish that the ones of me with him had turned out better. The one of him with Rachel is adorable - I should have made her go back and take one of me with him like that! Oh well.To end the day we finished the drive back to Ennis, passing a field with several longhorns in it, so we had to stop and take a look. Then we walked around the downtown Ennis area, checking out the craft booths and snacking on a spudzilla (or twister tater) before driving back home. It was an amazing day with brilliant weather, great company, and God's beautiful creation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Raising Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. Every spring they cover the sides of the road and fields to the point that the grass looks blue, and people stop their cars on the side of the interstate to take pictures of their kids in the little blue flowers. And like a good transplanted Texan, I try to take pictures in the bluebonnets every year as well. This year, I actually found bluebonnet plants for purchase at Home Depot, so mom and I planted them while she was here for spring break. I have really enjoyed watching them grow from a pot full of their trademark greenery to a bunch of large blue flowers and even more little buds. I know that bluebonnets usually don't last much past the beginning of May, and I will really miss seeing the blue fields along the side of the road, but I will miss the little patch of bluebonnets on my balcony even more.

All in the Name of Chasing Squirrels

To say that Brodie LOVES to chase squirrels is an understatement. He is constantly watching for them on our walks, and when he sees a squirrel, you better hold on tight because he hunches down like he's stalking and then takes off - he has almost ripped my arm out of the socket a couple of times. Wow! If he trees a squirrel, he leaps in the air repeatedly and barks his extremely high pitched "critter bark." Twice now, he has actually climbed a tree in pursuit of a squirrel. And yesterday, I was excited to catch his climb on "film". He makes it look easy. I know I'd better make sure he stays on the leash, or there's no telling how far he'll go - up the tree or down the road - all in the name of chasing squirrels...