Friday, December 18, 2015

Attwater...Final Days

Our little Christmas tree representing the states and the refuges we have volunteered our time. At the top, is Texas. To the right is a stained glass prairie chicken made by our biologist, Rebecca. Then the Maine lobster. The garlands are from Mardi Gras and the Saints symbol...Louisiana. Below is a bison (Wichita Mtns...Oklahoma, and Sully's Hill...North Dakota. The moose, Arapaho...Colorado. Little mementos. The patchwork at the base was made by Peggy from Moosehorn.


Wallace with the jackhammer. Darrell wanted the top layer taken off in order to put a little house over this part of the well.

Just about finished.

I drive the skid steer over with this load of dirt to fill in the hole and then we level it up.

Russ is working the concrete, Darrell mixes the last load and goes to pour it in.

Then Russ finishes it off.

After taking the braces off, this is what we now have.

Now the little frame that Wallace and Russ built gets set down for placement.

Next we insulate it, marking my corner (perfect fit) ha ha. The whole inside is insulated, even the roof.

All it needs now is paint and it is finished. 

Russ took the paint can out and finished it up.

Our ladder labels finally came in, so Darrell and I spent some time cleaning the areas and attaching signs all over those ladders. We think they are now safe for the next inspection. The funny thing about it is one of the two extension ladders got all the labels upside down!!!

The guys putting the extra window on the excavator. That took all of us to get that thing back on.

The skid steer needed a new seat put on, so we got that done. Now it has a comfy seat to ride on.

One of our days was interrupted when we had to go help our law officer get freed up from getting stuck.

The guys were out in the dump truck doing another errand, I was in the skid steer leveling out some gravel they had dumped when they got the call for help.  

They went over in the dump truck, got that stuck...then called in the tractor for help.

The chains are getting dragged out to hook up on a hog trap that was illegally placed on refuge property. (That is why the law officer was here).

Here the guys are hoisting it over a barbed wire fence to put it on a trailer.

Their deer feeder was also confiscated.

There were a lot of gravel trucks coming in this day.

Our roads are really a mess right now.

Hoping it does not rain until after our exit.

It's hard to say just what we do here at the refuge as the day is filled with all kinds of stuff...this just gives you an idea of some of them.

We have had another great time with all our friends, and it gets harder and harder to leave them as we go off to another refuge where we have friends waiting of us.

Here we are having our going away luncheon, which happened to be on Wallace's birthday.

We have been blessed by so many beautiful sunsets over the prairie.

We will spend some days at Christmastime in the Valley before we head to Louisiana.

Until next time...

Monday, December 7, 2015

Whas Up!!!

Here we are taking up a cattle guard that is no longer needed.

I in the loader and Wallace in the skid steer had just settled down for a long winter's nap...oh...that's another story isn't it!!! I am in the loader intently watching for directions from Darrell, our supervisor here at Attwater National Wildlife Refuge. He and Russ, another volunteer, have chained me up, now I lift and drive it over to load it on the trailer. After Darrell puts down a culvert, Wallace, in the skid steer, gets to level the road.

Here I am unloading the cattle guards at the Renz now we have uprooted 5 or 6 of them, and stacked them at the barn.

On my way back in, I stopped to get this photo of the windmill.

I saw several prairie chickens in this area.

We have been getting lots of rain, leaving potholes in the road.

I am scooping, emptying the load in the dump truck...the guys take three truck loads out, empty them in the areas needing filled...then I level the loads out.

Now you get to see me in action...a very short clip.

Have I mentioned lately how much fun we have here?

We do a lot of other stuff too. The guys are installing a running board which will make it a lot easier to get into the truck!!!

Another thing we did was driving the recyclables to Brenham. 

A basket was requested for the Polaris. Here the guys are installing that.

Of course, some of these things require purchasing giving us the excuse to stop for lunch somewhere while we are out. We time it right!!!

We have insulated pipes, cleaned equipment, swept and organize the shop (never ending), and various other things.

I try to let my pictures do the talking...but with this smartphone, it hasn't been easy!!!

While I was out working on the roads, Darrell and Wallace installed this sign for a new trail. We had painted the 4X4's earlier.

I mentioned earlier, we are having a new road put in (not by us). It is being widened with a new parking lot for visitors. They are to be finished up by the end of December.

Talked with David at Big Branch Marsh, another refuge where we will be going next...that is North of New Orleans. You may recall, we have been there before...this making the third time. He is eager to have us back!!! He is keeping our spot open for us. It is so nice to be LOVED and wanted. We always find it hard NOT to go back to places like this. We miss Maine so much, another place where they know how to treat us. Oh well....

This catches us up.

Until next time...

ps Welcome Doug to our blog. We appreciate the readers who join in as members. It really isn't painful!!! We have a lot of ghost readers out there!!! 

Saturday, December 5, 2015


It has been said, "Let's say WHO we are thankful for instead of what we are thankful for."

We drove to the Valley to have Thanksgiving with our youngest son, Mitchell and his family.

Here in Reynosa, Mexico. Mitchell needed to return papers from his visit when working with partners about ocelots.

We had happy times and sad times when we sent our oldest son, Wally, to West Virginia.

That is where he wanted to move to be with a friend.

And our middle son, Bruce, is living near Dallas now. We are spread out a bit.

Our granddaughter is growing tall like her dad.

She is ten years old, soon to be eleven, and she comes up to my chin.

We walked over the bridge into Reynosa when I got this shot of father and of my favs.

Joaquin is taking swimming lessons and the only thing left to work on is the butterfly, getting those arms up straight is hard to do.

This is part of our Thanksgiving spread.

Mitchell requested my old fashioned dressing, and the yams (all the marshmallows melted into the yams) is always requested.

It was quite a feast.

I am so thankful for family!!!

It is always hectic when so many are together, but I would not have it any other way.

Just wish all our sons had been there!!!

This is how we ended the day.

Until next time...

Friday, December 4, 2015

Trying to Figure It Out

We have been busy around here, and taking pictures with my Smart Phone!!!???, can't seem to figure it out how to get them transferred to a place where I can put them on our blog!!!

Keep coming back and maybe we will be posting soon. Any ideas?

Until next time...