Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

outside my window

I found this little guy perched on the bush outside my office window. It makes me happy to get to see him every day at his post while I am at mine.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

a visitor

while photographing muffins at work, this little guy walked up and sat on my lighting equipment.

Monday, November 16, 2009

T4 Bacteriophage Plush Toy!

The perfect way to accent your couch or add extra pizzaz to any room, microbiology plush toys! I found this and had to share it. Everyone needs one! This website also has plush toys for most of the well known microbes. its awesome!

"I want to do for microbes what Walt Disney did for rodents." ~Drew Oliver

Check the whole collection!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Leather Work

Recently, I have been just working a lot- not very exciting. But this summer I did a cool leather project. For those who were not at camp, I figured I could post a couple pics since I don't have anything to post about recently.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The proven hope God gives is found in the fact that He changes us when we ask Him too. Hope that He does indeed gift us with unquestioning confidence despite pain; and a deep running river of calm trust in the face whatever tempests might come. He transforms us- lifting our minds above limited perspective to gasp the limitless possibilities of the heavens.

Far beyond the physical pain, one of the hardest things is ongoing internal agony. But what joy that we are never left alone with this. God is our shield and constant deliverer. He does not save us from the fire, but in it the midst of it. No matter the circumstances or the outlook, He does provide what is truly best for us.

He empowers us with His strength to meet every hardship. Just like the Pentecost for the apostles and the latter rain will be before the time of trouble- we can trust Him. Even stronger then our own instincts for self-preservation is His fathomless care for us.

As He helps to grow, we can surrender those self-persevering instincts and desires for a pain-free life. With His grace, we can let Him carry the knowledge of our horrific experiences and trust that all His promises are still true.

We are called to lay down our ambitions for the singular purpose of following in His steps. If He leads us towards what we are most afraid, we must simply let go and let Him carry us through it and we will be alright.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This past weekend Caitlin, Shaila, and I got to camp in the awesome Catskill wilderness in NY state. It is a few hours north of NYC, but mostly forgotten and beautifully primitive.
God blessed and helped us find the perfect campsite. and it rained before and after we camped, but we had great weather while we where there. yay for God taking care of everything. it was so refreshing to be out of the office and enjoying the awesome outdoors. :)

home sweet tent

Here is the view looking out of the tent. yayness

caitlin contemplating the cold water at the swimming hole

shaila (really she is a pro surfer, she just hasn't realized it yet)

filtering water tasty water

enchanting water

fire! :D

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Rain-Color Song

Sunset is almost here and I’m off work. With glee, I hoist Bird to his post on my shoulder, snatch my guitar bag, and make a quick exit to my car for our ritual. A short drive finds me parking by the hill at CA and trying to coax Bird to go outside with me for the third time today. I’m demanding on little indoor-loving birds ;)

I find our favorite patch of grass and pull out my guitar while Rabbit settles into his preening. The clouds shroud the sun and obscure the sunset colors that I often look to for music inspiration. This evening the air is tingling fresh as it sweeps over summer grass, heralding the promise of rain. Mmm. It more than makes up for any sunset splashed across the sky canvas. A gentle thunder rolls from one horizon to the other. My fingers pluck the strings while dark blue clouds tumble and dance towards me. I lean my head back and breathe deep the scent-colors of coming rain and evergreen. Intuitively, my fingers find chord-colors to match. Another gentle thunder softly calls across the expanse. I echo it with my lowest string while I play the waltz of scent-colors on the higher strings.

Looking up and to my left, I see a beautiful streak of rain like a blue bride’s veil shimmering. I accompany it as it flows in the wind. The breeze, now steady, carries only the scent of almost here rain. Bird notices and stops preening. My fingers tease the strings in a quickening syncopated style as little raindrop feet patter towards me. Bird starts to worry about getting wet as I hurry to conclude the rain-color song. Now big drops of sky collide against the Earth. I stash my guitar in its bag and rush for the car. Bird leans forward with all his might as if to say “Faster Mom. Faster! I’m melting!!”

Just as we duck inside the car, the veil of rain is upon us. It encompasses the little valley in a cleansing deluge deserving of its own unique song. It is all one long symphony with numerous movements in the ongoing and changing theater of nature.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

chicken identity(s)

I found this pic and had share it. That is totally something i can see my own green chicken doing- very confused and lots of identity complexes, but altogether really a sweet rabbit. ;)

by the way, i took him for an hour hike on the biology trial. i had a circus going on ontop of my head and both shoulders and bunny danced, begged, pleaded, anything to get me to him back to him house and away from the humid and buggy woods. poor him. what is he to do with such an odd human that exposes him to the grand outdoors away from the conditioned house.

also, have been eating two types of food for 4 weeks to save on budgeting. (well, free bulk food leftovers from photoshoots at work, bagel anyone?) anways, so now bird is now so angry with me that he doesn't even beg for food more as soon as he sees that im still eating the same that I have been making for the last few weeks.
"mom, you're eating that? again?! what am i going to do? your supposed to be my cook. why do you keep making the same thing?" and of course he doesnt like his bird food because it comes from a bag, its not fresh made, and its not gourmet. yeah, he is close to revolt and taking over the world. if no one hears from me for a few weeks, you know bird finally took over. i just hope he wont try to drive my car!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Live video from the Space shuttle

i found something interesting. :)
you can watch live video from the space shuttle if you go here:

then just click on the link "live video"
i just got to watch a live tour of the inside of the shuttle and the crew. it was pretty cool. i love thinking about all the math, physics, programming and everything that goes into pulling off a mission like that. ooo. happy. i want to learn lots more about everything and then i can appreciate it even more. on Wed. they will start doing spacewalks to work on the hubble telescope. yay.

There is another section: "the hubble story, slide show" and there are matching audio clips of a 6 time astronaut explaining what it is like to space walk and to ride the shuttle during a launch. ...some of the people got into the program by starting out in engineering. hmm. i need to win that lottery for lifelong free tuition. hehe.

when i used to live in FL, i would sometimes go to cape canaveral to watch the shuttle launch. awesome stuff. just watching that and filling awe that science and math can really take you places. far away, exciting-type places. the power of those rockets, and if there was even a small miscalculation the shuttle wouldnt work successfully.

mmm. happy thoughts. and ode to get a free pass to all kinds of super happy engineering programs. just think, many of the things that you imagine when you sit in bed, bored at night. with lots of math and physics, you could stop being so bored and work on bringing those ideas to tangible life. ooo. and then when you run your simulations in your mind to see if they work, you could just run that on Fluent program and get a print out of all the happy math to go with it. and a list of things to improve and stuff like that. the possiblities.

alright. well i stop rambeling and get ready to put in another full day at both of my jobs tomorrow. but one day, yes one day when i have money, back to school for engineering i go! (i love art and the other stuff to have only done engineering while in college, hence the need to go back and collect more) ok. im done. but everyone really needs to go watch the live video feeds. it will inspire you!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finger Painting in Hickman

Well, I only finger paint a 1/3 of the time. Tis fun. (and helps blend the colors a bit better then brushes). Here is the picture the mural just before I started working on it.

...and after I worked about 14 hrs.

I am looking forward to getting to work on the next section. :D

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Sunday i got to go the Choo Choo Forge in downtown chatt. with the blacksmith club. (perks of being a sponser). it was great. I highly recommend it.

here is their smaller forge. they have 2 inside and 2 outside. and lots of anvils. its amazing!

and a view of the wonderful shop. it is packed with tools. oooo. aahhh. :D and the walls that are not covered with tools, have lots of neat metal art on display. i will show pics of those in a different post.

tools everywhere. *huge grin* it was such a TREAT to get to play with so many tools. i had forgotten how refreshing it is to have access to a good workshop. very happy!

making the notches to start drawing out the lip of the tongs.

hammering the flat part for riveting and drawing out the lip of the tongs.

tongs before they are riveted together.

I even got to use the famous and super excited power hammer. *grin* i SO want to make one of the these. it really speeds up the work, the hammer on this is 25lbs. i am drawing out the reigns (handles) of my long set of tongs. and then i used a treadle hammer to hammer the square stock round. so many nice toys. yayness.

the top pair of tongs is the first set that i made. the bottom pair were made by someone else. the handles are short because the whole pair was made from a single, short piece of square stock.

my second pair of tongs. the extra long handles will let me get metal out of a campfire. i am hoping to teach simple blacksmithing over the campfire this year at summer camp. (i can use some granite for our anvil for an old fashioned and cheap approach to smithing. yayness for sharing the joys of metalwork with my kids.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quote from the Potter's Shop

Sunday, i got to see an artists guild down in GA. it was very inspiring! the view from their studios was impressive.

There was a blacksmiths shop, fiber art (the lady raises sheep for wool for her art), silk artist (moved here from France), and a pottery shop (both her and the blacksmith lady teach are master artists and teach at an international trade school over in NC during the summer).

I found a cool quote on the wall in the potter's shop (double click pic to see full size)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Chatt Rail Yard

After Christy asked about names, I had to update this post ;) Names are as follows:

Oswald the first

Fredrick- well fed and even nostalgic

Reginald- an accountant at heart

The three sets of wheels are the base of the train. so they are named after binary:
0- base 10
1- base 10
Hexi- for base 16

Carl- a creative and constructive individual

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

From the Archives: Tree Fun

I was sorting through some old photos on my laptop from June of last year. And I came across pics from my tree top picnic/ almost camp out. (something about nearby lightning from a sudden storm)

Joe testing out my device: a mini-cross bow that I rigged with fishing line for setting up rope. Once we shoot the arrow and attached fishing line over a high branch, we pull up a thin rope. then we use that pull up a climbing rope. Then simply use ascenders and go on up to the top :D

I love very tall trees, especially in the dark. yay for rope and verticalness.

Sir Zack heading up to the kitchen/ camping area. Note the plastic bin above his head. that's the kitchen counter. Inside that you can see a white plastic thing, that serves as the kitchen sink, literally. I hauled up a container of water, like a big Camelback, so we have 'running water'. to the left you can see something under a blue tarp. That is the bathroom. (i was trying to design and test gear for future week-long stays in the trees without having to come back down) my goal is to one day set up a camp in the top of a giant tree in a rain forest. and then stay up there for a few weeks researching all the plants and wildlife in the canopy. hehe. talk about a fun trip!

Enjoying my food at the tree top. I used stuff sacks to stow our gear so we would have some 'closet space' for the extra rope, hammocks, and stuff like that.

Jes and Joe perched on a tree limb 60 feet up at my "tree top cafe" eating pasta and bread. Note, the safety line, we were anchored at all times because my motto is "All about safety" ;) hehe. Also, the lantern over her shoulder is hanging from a lightweight chain used to hang hot stuff including the stove.

Here is my stove design. (I forget to get a pic of it up in the tree). Basically, i use chain to hang it up to diffuse the heat, since rope would melt. The chain clips to the metal grate and creates a little area to hold the cooking pot, which is also wired on for good luck. Since most of the weight is on the grate, the stove simply hangs underneath in its little holster. the holes let in air for the flame. and you an easy adjust and light it while everything is set up.

Home sweet tree. You can see two hammocks on the left, and all the safety lines for ascending/ rappelling and hoisting gear. For future plans, i have been tinkering with ideas to get a dry cell battery that is lightweight. but that would be me enough power to run my laptop and some Christmas lights at nite. Theoretically, I can eventually get some solar panels to recharge that battery. Then I could be able to run my electronics in the tree top. and to extend my goal, get satellite internet so if i ever do get to take that dream trip to study wildlife in the canopy, i can keep up with my research and communication while i am perched out in the field. :D