Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Goodbye Oak tree

We had a beautiful old oak tree, but this summer after our New Zealand trip we came back and the leaves were brown.  We thought it was the drought that killed it, there are many many dead trees around the Houston area.  We got it cut down last week.  Sad to see it come down, even though we have more trees, that old one was special.  Chris counted the rings (see picture below).

the tree guy climbing the tree, it had a huge trunk and then branched off into two bigger sections

it had already started shedding it's branches and bark, with the help of many woodpeckers and squirrels

 the bare branches

not an easy job

 afterwards.....  Chris has a friend who wants this for firewood

the tree guy said the tree actually died from a fungus, not the drought as we thought

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Citizenship Day

Today I officially became a United States citizen.  I registered to vote and need to apply for my passport too!

The United States is my home away from home, and I have come to love it here too.  I have been here a third of my life now, over 12 years!

We had to be there at 7am, and the oath ceremony did not start until around 9.  It was a moving experience though, that over 1000 people from over 110 countries were new citizens there too.

America the Beautiful
by Katharine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet

Whose stern impassion'd stress

A thoroughfare for freedom beat

Across the wilderness.

America! America!

God mend thine ev'ry flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd

In liberating strife,

Who more than self their country lov'd,

And mercy more than life.

America! America!

May God thy gold refine

Till all success be nobleness,

And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.