Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Post # 2 for today - The Quail Story: (as told by Terry)

So I’m driving Nancy home from the doctor’s office shortly after noon on a Friday. She had just gotten done with a medical “procedure” which left her rather groggy. OK, so she was drugged out, incoherent, and babbling nonsense. Not in any shape to be driving herself. I pulled into the driveway and told her to wait in the car while I went and opened the front door, and then I would come back to get her.

I went to the front door, unlocked it, and opened it up all the way so that I could walk Nancy through it without fumbling with the keys. As I walked back to the car I heard a rustling in the hedge outside the front of the house. I looked to see what it was, and I saw a family of quail in the bushes – two adults and several tiny babies (chicks?). Cute, I thought, and went back to get Nancy.

She was still pretty wobbly on her feet, so we walked slowly toward the house with me supporting her. As we approached the hedge, I was getting ready to point out the quail to her, although in her state I didn’t really know if she would have any idea what I was talking about.

But as we got closer, all of the sudden Mama Quail freaked out and made a beeline for the street. The babies tried to follow her, but she had taken off too fast. They darted around in circles in panic for a few seconds, and then one of them hopped up on the step and started heading for the (wide open) front door. The rest saw where he was going and apparently thought it was a splendid idea, so they began to follow.

NO, I yelled, and I started to make a move to cut them off. But then I realized that I had a wife that was going to go down like a sack of potatoes if I let go of her arm. So I stood there and watched helplessly as a herd of wild baby quail made its way into my home.

I finally got Nancy into the house, and it looked like the chicks were all still in the living room, running around and trying to figure out where they were. I figured if I could make my way to the other end of the room I could possibly herd them all toward the front door and back outside. But just as I was about to implement my strategy, Shredder made her appearance.

Shredder (our cat) is kind of pathetic as far as interactions with other species go. She’s pretty much afraid of other animals, including other cats. Back in California, I once saw her jump in fright at the sight of a mouse running by. But now she had that look in her eye that she used to have when she hunted lizards in our back yard. If the other creature weighs less than three ounces, she’s fearless.

She now had one of the baby quail cornered in the dining room. As I quickly approached her to head off what was certain to be an ugly scene, she gave me a confident look which said, “It’s OK – I’ve got this. You get the others.” I scooped her up, and she wailed in protest as I took her to the back of the house and locked her in the guest room. When I returned to the living room, the quail had dispersed to all corners of the house.

Nancy mumbled something about sorry I can’t help but I’m going to bed and she stumbled off to the bedroom.

I had taken a couple of hours off work so that I could drive Nancy home, and now I was supposed to be getting back soon. Last year I had to call in late one day when we had a bee infestation in the house. I’m not sure how they would react if I called in now to tell them I was going to be late because my house was being overrun by quail. I’ve definitely got more wildlife excuses than anyone else at my company.

For the next forty-five minutes I did a systematic search of the house, pulling furniture away from the walls, overturning chairs & couches, etc. I found one quail trapped at the end of the hallway where all the doors were shut and running back and forth in a panic. It was actually trying to squeeze underneath the door and into the bedroom where Shredder was imprisoned. I got a hand towel and used it to pick the chick up so that my scent wouldn’t get on it, and took it back outside. Then I found another in our shower, another underneath a stack of newspapers in the dining room, and another underneath a hutch in our dining room.

One by one I caught each of them and took them outside. The entire time the mother was standing in our front yard squawking angrily. The babies themselves were pretty quiet until I picked them up; then they would start peeping loudly. The last one was the hardest … I actually had to catch it twice. The first time I took it outside and set it down on the ground, and it jumped out of my hand, turned around, and ran back into the house. Smart bird.

The first thing everyone asks me is did I get them all. I hope so. I know how many I got out; I’m not really sure how many ran in. But it’s been a few days now, and we haven’t heard any peeping, Shredder hasn’t brought us any surprises, and there haven’t been any funny smells.

Wow - I have so many choices of things to post about since I'm so far behind.

Plus we're going to Prescott this weekend with some friends, so we'll have even more when we get home. Here are some of the ones that I have available now. Tell me what sounds interesting and I'll see if I can post more before we promises though.

  • Still waiting for Terry to do his final edit on the Quail story, then I'll post that one
  • Amy & Andrew's going away party (photo here of them playing Wii with Michelle)
  • Our trip to CA to help Amy take her stuff over there. (I have lots of thoughts on what I miss and don't miss about CA with pics to go with it.)
  • My latest version of the branch on the wall
  • Recent decorating projects
  • Recent painting projects
  • An evening walk at the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) and Tempe Town Lake
  • Jed Gray and Michael Haugen's graduation party
  • Mother's Day treats
  • Amy leaving
For now, I'll post a few of my favorites from the events above.

The word "Dream" above was bought on clearance for $5 at Target. It seems it was somehow a "Mother's Day" item, so was on sale after the holiday. It sits on my nightstand to greet me before bed. I like it!

There are bits of paper and other items that were found on the construction site at TCA encased in these amber lights.

The fountain at TCA.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

SOOOO looking forward to vacation...
Sad news...

Some of you know that we were excited about planning to go to Hawaii this year for a belated 30th Anniversary celebration with a few other couples. So even after 2 of the couples changed their minds, a few months ago we booked our 7-day cruise at a higher price than we were hoping for.

Then after the 3rd couple had to cancel due to an upcoming wedding and we found out that airfare was going to be nearly double what we were expecting, we decided to postpone our Hawaii trip until prices are more reasonable.

Now the good news...

Terry and I have been talking a lot about where to go and what to do for a special anniversary trip instead of Hawaii. Of course, we have a list a mile long of places all over the world that we'd like to visit, but money doesn't grow on trees so we have to be realistic.

We own a timeshare that we have used a lot in the past, but over the last few years we've hardly been able to exchange for any resorts in the areas that we want to go to, so we had pretty much given up on being able to use it anymore for preferred vacation destinations. BUT, we decided to check a few possibilities for exchanges and we were actually able to exchange for a 2 bedroom unit with a loft that sleeps 6 people in Lincoln, New Hampshire for the week of September 27 thru Oct 4th!!!

The resort is on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway and is called "The Village of Loon Mountain". It's in a ski area in the famous White Mountains of New Hampshire. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! New England in the Fall has been one of my top 5 choices for vacations for as long as I can remember and we're finally getting to go. The more I think about it and do research, the more excited I get and the longer I want to stay. Between the natural beauty of autumn, the cooler weather (while it's still in the 100's here), history and architecture we won't know where to begin. We're hoping to do day trips from the timeshare, but also spend a few extra days in Boston or other spots. We've just begun to do the planning. It will be hard to decide where to go with so many awesome choices.

One of my favorite seasons is autumn...the sights, sounds and even smells are so captivating and exhilarating. I'm sure this will be one of our best vacations EVER.

Now, because of the size of the unit, we'll have space if a few friends want to join us for all or part of the time, but even if they don't, we'll still have a blast. If you have been there and have any suggestions on places that we shouldn't miss, be sure to let us know. I'll keep you posted on plans, and then of course, will have lots to post afterward or preferably during vacation.

Aren't these photos spectacular!!! They just take my breath away. I found them here at I can't wait to get there and take some awesome ones of my own. I have lots of photography techniques to learn before September...can't wait!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hann Menagerie:

Check out this photo (click to enlarge) of the 2 baby hummingbirds in this tiny little nest that we found on top of one of the fan lights on our patio ceiling fan. We love hummingbirds and have been wondering why we've had some hanging around our patio even though we haven't had a bird feeder up. This explains it. Now we need to go get a hummingbird feeder so the mom doesn't have to go so far for food.

We also had another visit from some feathered friends on Friday. I didn't take this photo, but it's just to show how cute quail are, for those who've never seen them up close. They're somehow just a bit comical with that plume bouncing up and down on top of their heads as they walk.

Anyway...I can't tell the whole story because I want Terry to write it, since he's the one that truly experienced it. Suffice it to say that we had 4 little baby quail running around INSIDE our house with Terry trying to catch them and keep Shredder (the cat) away from them. Imagine that picture! Now tune in later to see the whole story. I'm just sad that I was still in a semi-drugged stupor after my "procedure" on Friday so I didn't get any pictures of it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Today is my sweet husband's birthday. I love this photo that Amy took of him the other night. It's just so Terry.

I'm also including a few pictures from before I knew him and one from the year after we were married (when he had the ZZ Top beard).

I'm so thankful that he's my husband. God has blessed me with this wonderful man for these last 30+ years. He's romantic, loving, kind, patient, talented, funny and so much more. He's a great dad who has always loved, supported and encouraged the kids in whatever interests they had.

To top it off, he puts up with all the get-togethers that I like to plan and he even tolerates my crazy family. Now that's patience!!!

When I was a teenager my sisters used to always tell me that my boyfriends weren't good enough for me (o.k., I did make some pretty poor choices early on). Then when I started dating Terry they told me he was TOO good for me. And it's so true. I'm so glad that he's stuck it out with me for so long. My mom just loves him and reminds me all the time what a great catch he is.

They celebrated his birthday at work today by decorating his desk with streamers and balloons, enjoying chocolate cake with his team and he got a gift certificate for a free lunch at the cafeteria at work (which has pretty good food). His choice for his special day was to have a nice quiet evening at home, so I made his favorite meal of barbequed ribs, mashed potatoes and green beans. Yes, that's really his favorite. (No steak, no seafood - what is he thinking?) We also had chocolate cake. Then he opened his presents. Kevin and Amy both called, which was a real treat, then we relaxed for the evening.

So Terry, when you read this, know that I love you forever and I hope you had an extra special day! You're still as cute as you were in that little red wagon!

Friday, May 02, 2008


Open Door Fellowship 24/7 Prayer

A month late, but I finally posted the pictures from the Open Door Fellowship 24/7 Prayer time. See slide show on the right side of this page. Our home group visited one evening and had an amazing time there. The stations that were set up were very thought-provoking and meditative. There was a map set up with push pins to represent the military troops that people knew both in the US and overseas, so we could be praying for them, as well as all the other troops serving our country.

They also had a station with prayer requests written by inmates in the Phoenix jails and prisons. We had a chance to write a personal letter to one or more letting them know that we were praying for them. Many of them asked for protection for family members that were left behind or healing from drug or alcohol abuse.

Another station helped us understand the correlation in how our relationship with our earthly father impacts our perception of our Heavenly Father in both positive and negative ways.

Unfortunately, I spent much of my time taking pictures, and not as much time as I wanted to pray. It was a beautiful place though and I really appreciate all the work that went into it for us to enjoy.

I've been kind of melancholy lately, which is quite unusual for me...can you think of why that might be?

Well, besides the Phoenix Suns losing in the playoffs again, and the very hard things that some of our friends have been going thru, the last of our kids are moving away.

We only have Amy, Kevin and Andrew (Amy's husband) so it's a small family anyway. Kevin has been in the Air Force for 3 years and is now in Omaha with nearly a year of active duty left (if all goes well). Who knows when or if he'll ever come to live here in Phoenix. Add to that the fact that Amy & Andrew are moving to L.A. in just a week or so (the day before Mother's Day) and that probably explains a lot about my current disposition.

Needless to say, we're really sad to see them go. I'm sure all you parents feel like me in wanting to have your children nearby no matter how old they get. I remember my mom saying to me once, "No matter how old you get, you're still my child." Not meaning that I am still a child, but that she will always love me and want to share life with me just as much, no matter how much time passes. That is SO TRUE!

We will surely miss the times we've had with Amy & Andrew and continue to miss Kevin... laughing and joking together, day trips to see Grandma Irish, playing Shanghai and Traveling Pictionary, family celebrations, extended family gatherings, watching the Suns, eating meals together and just hanging out. We look forward to every minute that we will connect by phone, online or especially in person. I'm already trying to find reasons to go visit or have them come back here. Do I hear road trip anyone?

Of course we're so happy for their journeys and the fact that they are all pursuing their dreams, but it doesn't really make it much easier to have them away. We're leaving it all in God's hands and are thankful for the precious time that we'll have with them in the months and years to come.

So, now that I've spent a good part of my morning on the computer, I REALLY need to get out and shop for all that's needed for Amy & Andrew's going away party, which is this Sunday.
I have done practically NOTHING...probably because I'm in denial to the fact that they're leaving. Unfortunately, it's not a very good idea to invite 50 or so people over for a party, then not have anything there for them, so I'd better get moving.

Enjoy every moment of your day and the time you have with those you love! It is a precious commodity.