Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

ICE: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown: I guess you were right, Linus. I shouldn't have picked this little tree. Everything I do turns into a disaster. I guess I really don't know what Christmas is all about.

Charlie Brown: Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

Linus: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.

Linus: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"

Linus: That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Frost Flowers

Driving into town, Himself and I noticed along the road what looked like cotton batting blown up against weeds. A curious thing... that got even more curious as we drove for miles still seeing it. We finally just had to pull over and see what it was.

It was ICE!

Incredible, beautiful ice formations around the base of plants. Wow! Each one was like a delicate glass sculpture. They were so amazing I had to take some photos to share.

When we got back home I searched "frost" and found this in the Wikipedia:

"Frost flowers is the name commonly given to a condition in which thin layers of ice are extruded from long-stemmed plants in autumn or early winter. The thin layers of ice are often formed into exquisite patterns that curl into "petals" that resemble flowers.

The formation of frost flowers, also known as "ice flowers," is apparently dependent on a freezing weather condition occurring when the ground is not already frozen. The sap in the stem of the plants will expand (water expands when frozen), causing long, thin cracks to form along the length of the stem. Water is then drawn through these cracks via capillary action and freezes upon contact with the air. As more water is drawn through the cracks it pushes the thin ice layers further from the stem, causing a thin "petal" to form. In the case of woody plants and (living or dead) tree branches the freezing water is squeezed through the pores of the plant forming long thin strings of ice that look uncannily like hair i.e. "frost beard".

The petals of frost flowers are very delicate and will break when touched. They usually melt or sublimate when exposed to sunlight and are usually visible in the early morning or in shaded areas.

Examples of plants that often form frost flowers are white crownbeard (Verbesina virginica), commonly called frostweed, yellow ironweed (Verbesina alternifolia), and Helianthemum canadense. They have also been observed growing from fallen branches of conifers and contain enough hydraulic power to strip the bark off."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So sorry I'm late...

I’ve noticed more and more a time shift is happening in the world. Actually, it’s not a shift in time but a shift in people being on time.

Movies, concerts, meetings, and even to church there are people traipsing in 10 to 20 minutes past the starting time. The other day someone came be-bopping into church service 45 minutes late! Please!! The service in only 60 minutes long!

You interrupt the event’s focus (and no sweetie, you’re not the focus). And folks who were there on time do not appreciate you crawling across them as you drag yourself into the middle seats that are now left.

Let me just put it out here.

People who consistently run late are rude and self-centered!

On a side note: event hosts – STOP asking the people who had the good manners to be on time to “scoot over to make room”. We set our alarms and got ourselves there on time. Why should we be the ones who have to make concessions? There were lots of seats when we got there.

Let these selfish, lazy, inconsiderate people be as ‘inconvenienced’ as possible rather than enabling their rude behavior.

Maybe they’ll learn to tell time…

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Little Bird at 3.5 months - her 1st Thanksgiving

It’s been 7 weeks since I last saw Little Bird and my how she has grown!

We were able to have lots of “Little Bird Time” since we got to babysit her for a full day! What fun!! I went up the day before to get the routine down… including how to put her down for naps. Yeah…right! Like I was going to not hold her as much as I possibly could!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Heroes for Today: Football team of Maryville, MO high school

Here is a whole bunch of heroes - the players of the Maryville, MO high school football team. Let's hope they remember into adulthood how good it felt to do this. It might have changed some of their lives...

His team trailing 46-0, Matt Ziesel scored a touchdown.

Matt Ziesel, a freshman on the St. Joseph Benton High School football team, has Down's Syndrome, and so hasn't played an any of the actual games, never mind scored a touchdown... until now. St. Joseph Benton coach Dan McCamy 's team had the ball but were losing 46-0 when he approached opponent Maryville High School's defensive coach David McEnaney, asking Maryville to let Matt Zeisel, a 5'3", 110-lb running back, score a touchdown. Demonstrating great sportsmanship, Maryville agreed, and the moment is captured here in all its video glory:

As he headed across the field to talk to McEnaney, McCamy wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. He asked the players to avoid physical contact with Ziesel but to make it as real as possible for him.

“The (Maryville) players, they didn’t hesitate at all,” McEnaney said. “They jumped right on board.”