Emily’s bear

We got some pictures of some of Emily’s most recent artwork.

leland bear

According to our information, she is currently calling the bear Leland.

The front is nice. I like the back, too.

leland back

Pretty cool, right?

I’m sure this bear is a nice bear, but bears do have teeth.

leland teeth

There is a bit of a color cast to this image that I couldn’t get rid of.

Just remember, he’s keeping an eye on you.

leland eye

I’m looking forward to a visit to the artist’s studio.

Sunset in the east

We happened to look outside at just the right time to see the entire world bathed in a warm, yellowish glow. I grabbed the camera and went out onto the deck.


As I stared up at the clouds, I noticed a bright silver speck moving silently and quickly across the sky. Something about it seemed unreal.


The jet is barely visible slightly below and to the left of center here. I zoomed in a little to make it more visible.


The passengers in that silver cylinder didn’t realize what kind of show they were putting on.

The show lasted a few minutes and then it was gone.


Handcycles to the gap

The top of Fouche Gap was the finish line for a handcycle race Friday.

bike finish line

They started a few miles away down in Texas Valley and climbed up what I call the back of the mountain. It’s as steep as the front.

These guys impressed me.


What impressed me is not just that they have the upper body strength to crank their way up the mountain, but that they have the endurance in their arm muscles to do it. Legs are adapted to long, heavy work, but arms usually aren’t. These guys’ arms certainly are.

The race was one stage of the Clocktower Classic, which, according to the Website, is the only timed stage race in the world specifically for handcycles. They had done a 26-mile race the day before. That was two laps around Rocky Mountain, which divides Little Texas Valley and Big Texas Valley. I have ridden one lap from our house, down the mountain, around the loop and back up. They are riding another stage Sunday, the day this post is scheduled to post. I’m also impressed that they can do this kind of racing for multiple days.

Sly and the maple

Several years ago we planted a Japanese maple in front of the house under the kitchen window. The ground is at basement level there, so we have to look down to see it.

This is what I saw on Wednesday.


The maple is the fullest and healthiest it has been since we planted it. I admired it for a while and then noticed a black blob in the shade at the base of the tree. There was Sylvester looking up at me. You can just make out his eyes in the original, but I’m not sure you can see them in this version.

Here he is in closeup.


For the last couple of weeks we have had nearly perfect weather. It has been mildly warm during the day, and the air has been dry enough that it cools off at night. But in the last two days, it has been more like summer — hot and humid. It was about 83 F when I took Sylvester’s picture; the forecast is for 90 F on Friday.

Before long we’ll all be looking for a cool place to wait out the heat.

Drywall in the bedroom

The drywall contractor started work on Tuesday. I went up Tuesday morning to point out a few places they needed to leave wiring exposed (bathroom floor heat thermostat wires, garage door opener wires, and wiring for under-cabinet lights in the kitchen). I thought they might start in the garage, but they were working in our bedroom.


As you can see, they put the drywall in right over the top of the windows. They come back later with little router-type tools to cut the excess away. They have hidden the top part of the window where we have equal-leg arches. Framing around those was one of the things I wanted to do before they started, but now I think I’m going to have to frame and trim them out later. I have some ideas about how to do it. It will be interesting to see how well the ideas translate into reality.

Here’s Leah standing in the door to the bathroom.


She said the bedroom looked smaller with drywall up. I think that’s to be expected. I have noticed that the appearance of a house bounces back and forth between small and large, depending on the state of construction (or which pill you have taken).

We finally picked out hardwood. It’s going to be a fairly dark, reddish, cherry-stained oak. We worried about getting the floors too dark. Neighbor John and his wife used very dark flooring for their new house down Wildlife Trail from us. We didn’t want it quite that dark. I think it will work out. We also found some wood-look tile that matches the flooring very well. We’ll use that in the kitchen and the bathrooms. I’ll probably buy the the tile in the next few days, since I can store it in our current garage. I’ll have to wait on the hardwood until we have a working heating/air conditioning system in the new house, since hardwood needs to acclimate to its future environment.

The drywall contractor estimated it will take a week or so to finish. I’ll call the tile installer in the next few days to let him know when the drywall should be finished, and then we’ll have to hurry to paint before he starts. He’s a pretty busy guy, so we may not have to hurry that much. I hope he knows a good hardwood floor installer. I also have to contact the electrician. Once the drywall is all in, the electrician can hook up some outlets to the breaker panel. Then the power company can install our meter and hook us up to power. Then the HVAC contractor can finish up his work, and we’ll have a cool house.

Then all we need to do is work on our own coolness.