It seems I often jump the gun and say things are going to happen and then have to retract what I said.

The latest retractions: the adult shelf canopies still aren't up and Jan. 7 is now the planned date for the Dinah Bowman birding map to be installed. It needs to be done when we aren't open to the public since it is 8-by-7 feet and will take a lot of room at the entrance. It will be hung on the right side foyer wall.

Unfortunately, I won't be here to see it hung. I'm finally taking some vacation. I swore, (yes, I know, I shouldn't do that) I was going to take some vacation after we moved back so I could collapse. That was two months ago. If all goes well, some of you will see it before I do, I'm just glad I saw it before it was framed.

I'll have a chance to visit my aunts and uncles in Alexandria, La. before going up to Shreveport to stay with my sister. We went last year so that Howard and my sister could rant and rave while watching football games around New Year's.

Since my niece graduated from LSU, my sister and her husband are avid LSU football fans. Howard is a dyed-in-the-wool Ohio State University fan so they will be screaming and hollering throughout the game on the 7th. I may be an avid Hooks fan, but football does absolutely nothing for me.

I'll take some quilting magazines to read, or very likely switch over all my names and numbers from my 2007 appointment book to my 2008 book and take a good romance book to read. I'll manage to share the room with them, but I can't really share their enthusiasm for the game.

I also plan to see the latest addition to the family, a little fellow named Thomas, an adorable cuddly 5 or 6 month old, my nephew's son. They live in Monroe, La.

I'll be on vacation for a week and an half while we have a lull in our activities. We are gearing up for another big event on Feb. 24.

We will have a formal dedication of the Clif Moss Nature Education Center and recognition of major donors to our library and unveiling of our art work. This includes the Dinah Bowman birding sites map and a special honor will go to the 51 sponsors of birds that made the painting possible. I'll have more to announce in future columns.

If you haven't browsed the Clif Moss Nature Education Center, please do so. You will find a wide variety of books that could interest you. There is a reference section and the juvenile collection will be increasing, but the vast majority of the 350-plus items can be checked out.

The mission of the Moss Center is to provide materials, exhibits and programs which educate the community about the natural history of South Texas and Texas, past and present. Birding will be a special emphasis since we are in the center of major migratory flyways.