Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bishop's Palace

It was built in the late 1800's and survived the hurricane of 1900.

The home was built for the Gresham's, and was later bought by the Catholic Church where the bishop got to live...some people call it the Gresham's Palace.

They lived here with their nine children.

It is truly a masterpiece!!!

It is located in Galveston, Texas.

Talk about eye candy. Everywhere we looked there was something interesting and beautiful.

This is the entryway with its marble columns and calla lily chandelier.

The wood is mahogany.

Wallace is listening with the audio device. I found it hard to take in what with the device, camera and wanting to see every nook and cranny...I have forgotten some of the neat things about it such as this on the wall of the parlor...some kind of linen...the photo below.

Mrs. Gresham was an artist and must have loved calla lilies. These were embossed in the wallpaper which, I think was linen.

The fireplace and pulpit above it with its beautiful mahogany staircase is seen as you enter the house from the entryway. On the pulpit is the Great Seal of Texas. Mr. Gresham was in the legislature. Look up and you might think you are in the Capitol Building.  

Even the flooring is beautiful (parquet).

What a nice welcome for everyone who visited.

One of the fireplaces has pure silver used in several places and I think it was in this room. The plaque in the center top of the fireplace and the figurines on either side holding up a block of marble. 

There is a baby grand piano to the right of the photo with a calla lily lamp.

The ceilings are 14 feet high and some have beautiful lighting as well as paintings.

This was the bishops room, formerly one of the daughters. The bishop chose it because of its access to one of the balconies.

And the Sacred Heart Church is seen from that balcony.

It has been said, "designed by an Irish immigrant, built for a lawyer, lived in by a bishop, and guarded by winged lions."

This place is a must see.

We walked all around the outside taking in the details!!! And it does not lack details...inside or out!!!

Of course these are just a few of the pictures, you need to see it for yourself to really enjoy.

It is now lunchtime and we are starving for some seafood and here, it comes straight from the gulf!!!

Fisherman's Wharf where we sat outside and enjoyed the great outdoors.

We ordered the Captain's Platter which had a little of everything on it. Now I'll bet you are starving for some fresh seafood too.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Seat Time...Part Two

So, guess who gets to wash the excavator now? Russ and Wallace.

It is clean and ready to roll again, and roll it did.

Another job we did was clean up behind the shop. This is part of the stuff we took to the metal place. (excuse the finger in the shot). We had a lot of bent fence posts we piled on the trailer.

I am in the skid steer and Wallace is in the loader.

Here Wallace is piling all the old culverts that the road crew has dug up and loading them on the trailer. Darrell is now in the skid steer, he removed me because he needed to push those culverts into the loader and it was not a safe condition.

Now with all the metal on the trailer, we took it to be recycled.

In the following photo, check out all those fence posts!

The fellow with that machine knows what he is doing!!!

It is interesting to watch how he maneuvers it around. Looks like fun.

This was our last day of work for the week. I am in the loader. I loaded the dump truck, Darrell is watering it down, Wallace is taking the skid steer out and Darrell with Russ takes the dump truck out to the site. 

I had removed the cattle guard and placed it to the side, then Darrell knew he needed to take over. He got the loader stuck in the gets better!!!

Here he is chaining up to the skid steer without success. They tried to pull it out with the dump truck and got it stuck.

Darrell needed to go get the excavator. With Wallace in the loader and Darrell in the excavator, Wallace pushed on the gas while Darrell pulled on the loader. The loader is now free.

We are getting close to closing time. Darrell takes over!!! He scooped out most of the dirt from the truck, he pushed the truck while Wallace drove it out. Now it is free.

Darrell puts the huge culvert in the hole where the cattle guard was...fills it in with the dirt and packs it down.

Yesterday, Darrell took two more loads of dirt and finished the job.
Even with all the set backs, we got a lot done. The sandy soil is awful.

I have to brag a little on my handiwork. A cattle guard was removed here with dirt pushed up on either side and it was bumpy. Darrell wanted me to get the skid steer, scoop up some gravel and even it out. He said I did perfect!!! That is what I like to hear.

Until next time...

Seat Time

We drove to Houston to pick up an O ring for the excavator as it was time to change oil.

Doggett is a really BIG, nice new place.

As it was time for lunch and Olive Garden was right on the way back, we stop to indulge. (the refuge allows this).

The gnocche (sp) soup is wonderful.

The next day, we are joined by Russ and Butch who are volunteers that come once or twice a week.

Filling up the truck to go out in the field. Yes, we know one headlight is out...that is on the list to fix.

Filling up the ATV sprayer with chemicals to spray on after we have mowed down some invasive plants.

Darrell is our supervisor and we work with him. He certified us on heavy equipment, and today he is teaching us how to mow with the new implement that is attached to the excavator.

We are watching and waiting our turn. Rebecca and Steve are here also to practice.

We are mowing down along the creek...we want prairie. This is in front of our observation deck on the tour route...those trees and shrubs need to come down.

Wallace is taking his turn and does a right fine job of it. 

Each person gets to spend 15 minutes of mowing time, then the next person gets in.

This is me and Rebecca on the observation deck and that row of trees is what we want to clear out.

After the mowing, there is a chemical application that is sprayed on the cuttings that kills it.

So with 15 minutes of practice each, Darrell sends Wallace and Russ to continue mowing.

Have I mentioned that we have been getting a lot of rain here?

Wallace managed to get stuck and between the two of them, they darn near buried the excavator!!! This picture is taken from inside "my" tractor.

So, Darrell and I come to the rescue. Darrell brings down the dozer and I in "my" tractor. No photos of this as we are too busy now!!!
The dozer is planted and chained to one side and I am chained to the other side...with Darrell at the wheel of the excavator, we managed to get it out. I will say now, Darrell is an amazing person and if it can be done, he will find a way to do it. There were some harrowing times as my tractor was pulling and spinning and sliding sideways!!!

This was the amazing sunset that evening. We see many beautiful sunsets from the comfort of our little home on wheels..looking out on the prairie.

This big buck walked slowly in front of our rig but I was not quick enough getting the camera.

We have had a couple of doe wandering around here and he knows it.

I had to take a selfie since I hadn't learned how to turn the camera view with our new smart phone. Anyway, in the background you can see some of what is going on at the refuge. We are having a new road put in...we are not doing it, someone has been hired to do it and they are getting in our WAY!!!

It is hard to get out to do things we need to do because they have torn up the road...and it is WET. They are supposed to be finished by the end of December?!?!

Looks like there will be a part two to Seat Time. Something is going on and this post is long enough anyway.

Until next time...

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Round Toit

Have you ever been given a round toit?

This is a tree cookie Wallace cut when we were in Maine. He cut many of them for a program at the refuge.

I chose to put toit on mine.

Another volunteer here at Attwater refuge has invited us for several years to come out to his property in Brenham to fish. We finally got around to it!!!

What a beautiful drive to get there.

We saw the pond from the road as we approached.

Get ready to wet a line.

Our hosts were ready for us!!!

The first thing we did was go for a ride in the four wheeler. Butch showed us around the property.

The property belonged to his wife's parents and it is jointly owned by the siblings now.

This is wife Peggy. She was the first to catch a fish...a bluegill. 

She is quite the fisherman.  We certainly did enjoy meeting her and fishing along beside her.

Here I am with my first catch.

We are trying to show the beautiful colors on the fish.

We threw these back as we are after bass!!!

And guess who snagged the first bass? None other than Wallace.

Butch was having some aches and pains with his back...he works too hard out there, so he mainly just watched us.

Wallace with his prize and I soon followed.

He put on a salt water lure that caught the fish and I quickly changed what I was using when I caught this one.

This is Butch...he is helping me by tying on a hook.

We started out using worms until Wallace caught the first bass, then we all changed baits.

To the right is Peggy with her big bass.

She caught the biggest one and put it back as brood stock.

Butch started out fishing from the pier.

He comes out to the refuge once a week to volunteer. That is how we met up with these nice folks.

I caught three and Wallace caught the two biggest ones on the left.

With the fish batter that was introduced to us while in North Dakota, we had these delicious fish for supper.

Thanks to our gracious hosts for a wonderful day of fishing and getting to know one another....Butch and Peggy.

Until next time...