Friday, July 15, 2011

CH Ambassador

In July 2010 we posted 5 videos on YouTube of Otis using his wheelchair. With over 450 views on most of his videos and one having 1,011 views, he has become a Cerebellar Hypoplasia Ambassador. You can view his videos on our channel by entering arjay752 on YouTube.


In October 2010 we received an Email from a woman in New Jersey who was fostering a CH kitten, named Leo, for a rescue organization. She was interested in building a wheelchair. We've kept in touch regarding Odie and Leo's progress. She is now Aunt Sharon, and we look forward to visiting her next time we go out East.


This is Asha. He is a 7 week old kitten with CH. His family has contacted us in the last few weeks about how to build him a wheelchair. We've been exchanging information about the wheelchair, as well as, developmental expectations. The posts of Odie's progress is an inspiration to them. During the course of our Emails they requested information about where to buy things. Being the Internet, we weren't even sure if they were in the United States. Can you believe that it turns out that they are in Austin, Texas! That's only 40 minutes away. We plan to meet sometime. Below is a cute video they sent of Asha's first time trying out his chair. A video they sent of him without his wheelchair shows that he can run around like a wild man, but can't stay upright for long. The chair will give him the practice he needs for walking and keep his muscles developing. Isn't he cute!

video

We just wrote to two more people today. Roy says Odie's videos are getting more views then his UFO videos. I suggested we make a video titled, "A Cat In A Wheelchair Sees A UFO". Maybe that would help Roy's video ratings! Odie won't mind sharing the spotlight.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Texas Cooking

In March, Roy and I had the opportunity to be public judges at the Texas Men's State Chili Cook-off. Johnson City has hosted this event for the past 8 years. We judged only 10 entries out of many. Beer was provided for refreshing the palate. Competition chili doesn't have beans in it, and is judged on several criteria such as flavor, red color, appearance, and aftertaste. This got Roy fired-up to try his hand at preparing Texas chili. He studied the recipes of locals who had won international competitions, and then modified them to create his own. He experimented with different ways of cooking with Serrano and Jalapeno peppers. We feel he's perfected a recipe good enough to win a championship.


In the last two months, Roy has been studying smoking meats. A fellow RVer taught Roy how it's done. He has prepared smoked beef brisket twice and smoked chicken. With the other RVer having moved on, Roy is now the resident expert!


The wood they use in the smoker is from a local tree called a Honey Mesquite. The tree to the foreground is a Honey Mesquite, and it looks like several in the background are as well.


Here is a look at the leaves. Remember the tree branch from an earlier post that had long thorns on it. I didn't know it at the time, but it is one of these.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Watermelons


Remember the picture of my little thumb-size watermelon from the July 4th posting. This is it two days later! I was researching growing tips, and came across the history of watermelons. I found it interesting, and thought you might enjoy it, too. Here is the history, as reported by Buzzle.com:

Evidence shows that watermelons originated in the Kalahari Desert in Africa thousands of years ago. Hieroglyphics excavated in Egypt reveal the fact that watermelons were cultivated and harvested in Egypt 5,000 years ago. Gradually, watermelons found their way to Mediterranean countries via the sea trade. Watermelons were cultivated in China during the 10th century and today, China is ranked number one in the production of watermelons. In the 13th century, cultivation of watermelons had spread throughout Europe. The term “watermelon” was first mentioned in the English dictionary in the early 17th century. The African slaves brought watermelons to the United States. Today the U.S. ranks fourth in the production of watermelons.

Wasn’t that interesting!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Big Yard With A Mini-Oasis

The park is our big yard and the area to the forefront is our mini-oasis. We've planted a few flowers, and established a bird feeding area. We have our spot in the shade of a Texas Live Oak to enjoy the activities.

Look what discovered our oasis! It may have been hunting birds, getting some moisture, or just enjoying sunning itself in the driveway! It isn't poisonous, but it is definitely the biggest snake I've seen outside of a zoo. We think it is either a Bull Snake or Rat Snake. With Roy encouraging it to move on by tapping it's tail, it climbed the tree across the driveway. Hopefully it won't want to be a regular visitor. This is the first time we've seen it, and we've been here since the first of January.

I should have grabbed the video camera, as you'd have been amazed at how easily the snake slithered up the tree! It's a little creepy walking under the tree now knowing the snake is overhead somewhere.

This is what I consider our other side yard. It's up a neat little rise of rocks. The Lilies you see are called Rain Lilies. They just seem to pop-up out of the ground overnight after a rain. The blossoms only last a couple of days.

The 4 vines are from my watermelon plant. The big fuzzy plant to the forefront is a wildflower my neighbor enjoys.

Check out my baby watermelon. The vines have lots of flowers, and we're all dreaming of having some homegrown watermelon! We've been enjoying donations of radishes, tomatoes, and squash from the community garden. Life is good :-)