Monday, August 20, 2007

Vignette of Courage

For a change of pace, we decided to go to SeaWorld in San Antonio. The weather seemed like it would cooperate - Hurricane Dean was still in the Caribbean and Tropical Storm Erin had passed to the south of us. It was a window of opportunity that we could not ignore.

We were right. The weather turned out to be beautiful and not too hot. Despite being in the middle of the summer, the roads to San Antonio and the park itself were not crowded. We got good seats in the shows we wanted to see and got to ride all the rides we wanted to ride. This includes their new ride: Journey to Atlantis.

The title I chose for this posting refers to something we saw at the park. While we were walking from the Rio Lobo raft ride to the Great White roller coaster, we passed an attractive young woman with her family. The striking thing about her was the fact that she very obviously had lost her left breast to a mastectomy. She made no attempt to hide it - she wore a blouse that was essentially a tee-shirt. In all other ways, her behavior and that of her family were completely normal. Few other park visitors even seemed to notice her or her condition.

From what I have read in the popular media, the mental and emotional effects from loss of a breast is described in horrific terms. Yet, here was a woman who belied these articles.

I applaud her courage.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 18, 2007

It's the Weather, Again...

For the past two weeks, the weather has been beautiful.  It even managed to get hot!  It took about a week for the standing water in the Main and East pastures to dry.  The ground still has a tremendous amount of water in it;  in many places, when you walk on it, it still feels spongy.

We are keeping the herd to the Main pasture. It is the drier of the two. Constantly walking on wet ground is not good for an animal's hooves. Grazing is not a problem this year. The herd is barely keeping up with the growth in the Main pasture.

This means that the East pasture is growing out of control. The grass is three feet tall - great for baling, if the land would support the weight of the equipment. If the weather holds, we will probably direct the children to take the herd out there every day until school starts. Getting them to cooperate, however, is a different story. Now that the weather is hot, neither wants to leave the house.

Speaking about the weather.... The blocking loop in the jet stream, which was bring us a string of low-pressure storm systems, has moved. This loop allowed our weather to get hot and dry. The loop also had the effect of preventing the formation of tropical storms across the Atlantic. Only one very weak one, subtropical storm Andrea, formed during the time the loop was in place.

In the last two weeks, four have formed. The first, Tropical Storm Barry, formed and died, The second, a tropical sotrm named Chantal, quickly spun north across Bahama. The third one, Hurricane Dean, formed in the mid-Atlantic is churning westward accross the Caribean - it is expected to hit Jamaca today, cross the Yucatan and hit Texas by the middle of next week. The fourth one, Hurricane Erin, formed earlier this week in the Gulf of Mexica and has already clobbered a line from Corpus Christi through San Antonio and out into the western part of Texas.

Where Dean will hit is still open to question. The National Hurricane Center, has the following perdiction this morning:


Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Little Dry Weather

We actually had a few days of dry weather. Today, for the first time in months, I could walk to the East Pasture and not walk through standing water. The ground was actually firm underfoot. The herd has kept the main pasture grazed down, but the East Pasture is grasses and weeds two to two-and-a-half feet high!

I let the herd graze in the East Pasture. They stayed about an hour, then headed back to the main pasture. You could not see where they grazed. I plan to take them out there again tomarrow for a while. I ought to take some pictures...