Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Space and Rocket Center After Hours

Out one Sunday afternoon driving around. The U.S. Space and Rocket Center had already closed, but we walked around in the area at the entrance and made a few photos. Above, looking over from Calhoun Community College. You can see the Saturn V and Saturn I rockets with the Space Shot amusement ride in the background. For more info, click here
and here.

The huge Saturn V rocket reflected in the windows of the entrance of the Davidson Center for Space Exploration that also houses another Saturn V displayed horizontally. The Saturn V is the rocket that was used in the Apollo program to get the astronauts and payload to the moon.

The Saturn V is 363 ft tall, taller than the U.S. Capitol Building. You can see the Saturn I in the background. The Saturn I was also used in the Apollo program.

A different view of Saturn V.

Checking out one of the Saturn V engines.

Engine views.

Saturn I with nose of Space Shuttle Pathfinder in background. The Saturn I is located beyond the entrance gate, so I didn't get any closer shots this visit.

Space Shuttle Pathfinder displayed with solid and liquid fuel tanks near U.S. Space Camp area of the facility.

For some other photos and an interesting visit to the Space and Rocket Center with a small visitor of ours check a previous blog post "One Small Step..."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

LillieBun: April 2001-May 18, 2011

My dear LillieBun crossed the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon. She was a dear, little, spunky bun who graced us with her love and personality for ten years. She had slowed down a great deal and had some arthritis that was limiting her movement, although she would occasionally manage a binky in the playpens. She had become a little old fragile ladybun and I had been expecting this for several weeks, but until yesterday she had not gotten to the point of needing that final trip to the vet. Last night I knew that I'd have to take her today. She liked being held, but had never liked being picked up and would usually kick and squirm until she was comfortable and felt secure in my arms or on my lap. As I picked her up to hold her before putting her in the carrier, her efforts at protesting being picked up took all her strength. The trip to the vet wasn't necessary.

We will miss her.

Friday, May 13, 2011

One More Sun Halo Photo

Same halo, same day, different time and location in yard, some clouds had moved in

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sun Halo 05/07/2011

Sitting on the front porch spinning today. The sky is a bit hazy. I looked up a few minutes ago (about 1:45 CDT), saw this halo around the sun and made a few photos. Here are a couple. The dark area at the top of the first photo is the edge of the roof.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are We Being Served?


I caught Matilda sitting with her front paws on this former skate boarding accessory as if waiting to be served. It looks rather like she's bellied up to the bar and waiting for a vodka martini. I originally placed the piece in her playpen to provide some agility opportunities. She and Gabby do sometimes hop over it, but in its present position, they like to scooch under it as though they have found a hiding place as in this previous post:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All Powered Up

Our power came back on around 1:30 a.m. on Monday. At that time, about 30% of the residents of Huntsville had power restored. They expected to have another 25% by Tuesday. At the moment, I do not know how much of the city has power, but there are still a few spots without it and the utility company is asking people to conserve both electricity and water.

We were so fortunate that we did not have any damage or injury from the the wave of storms that came through here. There was a terrible amount of destruction in some areas of the county, neighboring towns, and other parts of the state. The main impact for us was having no electricity for four days. Camping at home, basically. John set up the charcoal grill and the Coleman stove and other camp gear into a neat little kitchen on the patio. Those years of working with scouting and living history came in handy. We had volleyball and badminton games on the front lawn. Our oldest son is rather dependent on electronics for his entertainment and was frequently found in one of our cars using the inverter to charge up his computer battery in order to watch DVD's. One day he got careless and forgot the time, running down the battery in his dad's car. My van had little gas for a couple of days, so we were trying to be very conservative with fuel consumption. Having to run the car engines in order to charge batteries was not something we cared to do. He needs to find something that doesn't require electricity to keep him occupied. Of course, we had a battery powered radio, but it was nice to turn it off at night and just enjoy the silence. Flashlights and lanterns made reading and spinning my main activities, so not much changed for me. John and my daughter's friend laughed about how I just spent the evening spinning by candle or lantern light, much like when I was at the living history museum on dark winter days with just candles and the fireplace.

Volleyball antics 4/30/11

So many people have suffered so much because of the storms, I feel reluctant to admit that there were aspects of the power outage that I enjoyed--the dark, quiet nights and beautiful stars, the natural night sounds of little musical night critters. Birdsong during the day seemed so much more prominent and varied, too. There was a peacefulness that we don't often experience these days. In addition to the lack of electronic noise, there was little traffic noise because of the dusk to dawn curfew that has been in place since Wednesday evening. And most of all, neighbors coming together to help one another and share company. It took John and me back to the years when we were growing up in our small hometown in Tennessee. Nights were quieter and darker. Folks visited back and forth across their yards. Some of my fondest memories of those times are the evenings when my parents and the couple on the other side of the hedge gathered to sit on our front porch or under the neighbors' huge weeping willow tree. I would lie on the glider with my head in one of the adults' laps and be lulled by the quiet conversation and the sound of insects and usually fall asleep. The group would usually break up when it was time for my father to leave for work. He was a dispatcher for the L&N Railroad and always worked the night shift, leaving our house around 10:00 p.m. I'd get to wave to him as he pulled out of the driveway and passed the house, headed down the highway to his destination at Bruceton, some 40 miles away.

John's experiences were similar, but a bit different, having grown up on a farm about a mile out of town. The neighbors were a bit farther away, so less prolonged nightly visiting, but he had the dark sky, the sound of the night insects, the livestock, the creek gurgling, and the extended family gathering in the evenings before bedtime, and the lack of so much electronic sound that we have in today's life.

All the families and businesses that have suffered due to the storms have been in our thoughts and prayers and we have been truly thankful that we came through unscathed. Despite our years in scouting, we don't camp much these days, too many critters to take care of at the Huntsville bunstead. This was an opportunity to slow down, enjoy each other, enjoy nature, and be thankful.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


We're alive and well at the Huntsville bunstead. I have finally found a place with internet while I actually have a computer with me. I tried to post to the blog yesterday on John's iPhone, but after I got everything typed in, it "couldn't contact blogger."

Things are rather primitive here. No power yet. Limited cell service. We're cooking on the grill and Coleman stove in the backyard. Rather like camping at home.

I'm looking forward to having power once again for numerous reasons, of course, but also so that I can get back to reading everyone's blogs. You can email me at or (best bet) and I can actually respond.

Take care.

Bunnits and the bunnies