It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Different Sunday Morning

I'm not sure why I decided to do this, but this morning I did something a little different. Sometimes you just need a change of routine and a little peace and serenity in your life.  I found mine this morning when, instead of going to church, I took Baylee and my camera to San Pedro Springs Park. 

I don't know what it is about this place that attracts me back to it.  I came here several times making pictures for the post as it took me a while to walk around to each of the areas; after all, it is 46 acres in size.  Maybe it is the fact that it is surrounded by the busy city.  Or it could be that all that history that has taken place here is sending me vibes!  At any rate I love to come here, even now when the fence is in place for the swimming season. 
This morning there was almost no one in the park and Baylee and I felt like it was our own private place.  I even dropped her leash, but she wanted to stay right with me.  She is not much of a walker, so we stopped frequently and walked slowly, enjoying the morning.
I had not noticed this charming water fountain before.  There was no date, but it was made in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Can't you just see a gentleman wearing a hat and a pinstriped suit holding the button for a lady carrying a dainty little parasol to get a drink?

We walked around the pool and then came to sit on the rock wall that overlooks it. This was the perfect place for a photo session with Baylee.  She was more than willing to pose as she was perfectly happy to sit and enjoy her outing without having to walk.
What was Baylee staring at?  A big black dog!  People were beginning to walk through the park, but even so there was just peace here.  I had to think that this was what the earth was like when God created it, before people came along to mess everything up!
A group of people approached the little gazebo, one of the ladies was wearing a white ankle length dress but the others were casually dressed. I suspected there was a little early morning wedding taking place.  When I heard applause, I knew that probably the groom had kissed his bride!

My different Sunday morning was perfect; sometimes it is good to do something different.  Time to be out of doors, time to be with Baylee, time to enjoy the beauty of a summer morning.  So peaceful, I knew that God was with me.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It must be July

The last few days our temperatures have finally started to creep up into the upper 90's and we will probably cross the 100 degree mark over the weekend.    It feels like July, finally.  We've had a cooler than normal spring that lingered over into early summer; the temperature gradually crept into highs in the lower 90's and surprisingly stayed there.  Now, no one complains about that kind of weather, but now that the hot weather is upon us everyone is almost welcoming it as a sign of normality.  In addition, we've actually had a little rain that has been wonderful except that it did bring the mosquitos.  There's nothing like trying to hold the garden hose in one hand and slap the mosquitos with the other to make you feel like it's summer.

Several weeks ago I got an e-mail from one of the many quilting supply distributors that I like to shop from.  It reminded me that there were only so many days until Christmas and the time to start my Christmas projects was now; Christmas in July it told me.  Really, I thought.  I don't need that kind of reminder.  I had a quick vision of the many unfinished and un-started Christmas projects that are  stored away in my unused sewing room.  They are all things I want to make and have honest intentions of finishing, but not at the present time.  Not for Christmas 2014 anyway.  The twins just turned 3 and I still need to finish their Christmas stockings and hope that will happen this year.  But anything else will not happen, not even the beautiful tree skirt that just needs to be basted and quilted.  I deleted the e-mail.

Then a short time later I got another e-mail from another quilting supply distributor.  This one was reminding me that July is the time to get started on my fall and Halloween projects.  I did take a few minutes to look at the tempting fabrics - pumpkins, leaves, and cute little novelty prints with little black cats. I could just feel all that fabric under my fingers.  Hmmm, I think I have a few fall projects under way and stored away, too.  What about that cute print of Halloween cats that I was going to stitch into a wall hanging or the one with the appliqued pumpkins on the fence that I abandoned because the fence wasn't straight enough to suit me?    Oooooh, I thought.  But I quickly came back to reality.  Really?  Do you really think there is enough time to make anything for Halloween this year.  E-mail deleted.

But now I know it really is July because the football camps are starting up.  A week from this Sunday is the opening of pre-season professional football.  I know, it is only pre-season and it's the Hall of Fame game, etc. etc.  But it is football and soon summer and the heat will be over and then it will be fall.  Until then, I know it is July because it is almost 10 p.m. and it is 90 degrees outside.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday 07.23.2014

Astrodome/NRG Stadium at twilight

Friday, July 18, 2014


That's right, whew!  I feel like a bear that's emerging from hibernation.  After a long winter of sleep she's coming out into the light, blinking, looking around, taking deep refreshing breaths and thinking oh, that's right, this is the world. A few stretches and it is time to go back into the bear routine.

I think I went somewhat underground while finishing up one of my last classes.  While I enjoyed writing the paper on genetically modified food and doing the presentation on Enron's fall, I had to focus every minute of non-work, non-sleep time on them.  No time to write posts and no time to read posts, or anything else for that matter.  I barely even glanced at the news, but I got both assignments done and got the A!  But while I focused on them I neglected other things and found myself absolutely absorbed into doing the work. 

Creative conversion of the crate into a grooming table!
I did manage to show Bentley at two local shows last weekend, with bathing and grooming occupying my thoughts briefly.  Then it was back to finishing up the presentation.  Monday night the class was over and I had to then quickly prepare for the Thursday night class and submit assignments.  I faced a busy week at work and preparing to head to Houston for more dog shows (no showing, just steward work) again filled my thoughts. 

After a bleary-eyed drive to Houston last night I was up early this a.m. and ringside at 7 a.m.  But it was a good day, especially since for the first time I was working at the ring where the long haired dachshunds were showing!  So, the bear has come out of hibernation and remembers that yes, there is a life out here.  She yawns, stretches, and lumbers off ready to find a comfortable place for a good nights sleep.  Time to resume all those other activities tomorrow.
Ready, set, show!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday 07.09.2014

Art Deco
Briscoe Western Art Museum
(originally San Antonio's first Public Library and later, home to the Hertzberg Circus Collection)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Celebrating the Fourth of July

Here's what was on my grill tonight!  I've spent the day working on a paper about the ethical issues of bioengineered food and I'm fairly sure that everything (except maybe the tomato) is a product of genetic modification!

I can hear the pop pop pop of fireworks right now and know that American's are celebrating our freedoms!  I'm thankful that I'm an American and live in the land of the free and the brave!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday 07.02.2014

Detail of leather saddle, South Texas Heritage Center, Witte Museum

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Little Rainbows and Big Blooms

I'm in the final weeks of school, set to graduate in August.  Plans for more school?  Maybe, but tonight was my short class and we all bolted out the door at 8 p.m.  While I was in the building the wind had picked up sharply and the clouds had changed from light and fluffy to dark and fragmented.  As I got in the car I decided that since it was still early that it might be prudent to fill the car with gas tonight.  So I pulled into the station by my neighborhood.

As I started the pump I stood gazing across an open field, over the rooftops of houses, wondering about the weather.  The wind was still blowing strong. Then I saw it, just the end of a very light rainbow stretching from clouds to the rooftops. Usually these appear when there is rain, but these clouds were not rain clouds so I was puzzled.  It was faint, but I kept my eyes on it while watching first the small strip of yellow color dominate, then the pink and then the green.  Rainbows always remind me of God's promise to Noah and to mankind that never again would he destroy the earth. 

The normally boring, time consuming task of putting gas in the car was no longer tedious.  The exhaustion of the day seemed to disappear during those few minutes I spent peacefully watching the rainbow's color display, feeling the evening breeze on my face, and loosing myself in thought.  God's promise/God's love/so refreshing!

No, I don't have a picture of the little rainbow, but I do have this crepe myrtle to share.  Since we've had rain recently the crepe myrtle's have just exploded with color.  In all my driving around it has been fun to spot them, white, pink, purple, red showing off their colors. This one is in the front of the building where I go to school.  Last week before class I took the point and shoot camera out and walked back outside to make pictures; I'm glad I did because yesterday morning we had torrential rains and tonight there were very few blooms left.  Not to worry, I had almost 5 inches of rain in the rain gauge after the storm, so I'm sure in a few days the blooms will reappear.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday, 06.25.2014

Produce (and dog treats) from the Farmers' Market at the Pearl Brewery

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Friday Night

Mow the yard and smell the fresh cut grass.  Light the grill and let the aroma drift all over the neighborhood.  Watch the food finish cooking in the almost darkness.  Summer night at its finest!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wednesday 06.18.2014

footbridge, - The University of the Incarnate Word

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Slow and Easy Way to Cook

I recently bought a second crock pot.  That sounds extravagant, but it made sense and I'm glad I did.  I originally had an avocado green crock pot (can you date it?) that was a wedding present.  It worked great and I cooked many wonderful meals in it.  When I began on my second life I bought a new crock pot, one that the crock lifted out and was easy to clean.  I've used it a lot, but it cooked way too fast, even on the low setting.  I think that had an effect on the food, too.  So my solution was to buy another crock pot.  Plus it made sense to have two so that I could use both at the same time to do a complete meal if I wanted to. When I went shopping I knew that I wanted one that would really cook on low and would turn itself onto a "warm" mode when the meal was done.  And, I got exactly what I wanted!

I made baked beans on my first use, and they were delicious! Today I put in a roast and it was perfect.  I didn't get a picture of it, since we were busy helping plates so we could commence to eating, so here is the empty pot waiting to be cleaned (yes, the crock and the top go in the dishwasher!).  I put in potatoes with the roast, made fresh green beans, coleslaw, rolls and we had some mighty fine eating! 

Following is the recipe I like to use for crock pot roast.  It is in Southern Sideboards published by the Junior League of Jackson, Mississippi.  The dear lady that submitted the recipe is Mrs. W.W. Westbrook, Jr. and I give her all the credit!

Slow and Easy Chuck Roast

3-4 pound lean boneless chuck roast, that has the fat trimmed off as much as possible
Sprinkle Cavender's Greek Seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning, and one package of onion-mushroom dry soup mix over both sides of roast and place in crock pot.  Add 1/2 cup water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  The gravy can be thickened, if needed, with flour or cornstarch.  Serves 6.

I added potatoes on top and you could also add carrots if desired.  The chuck roast is a cheaper (budget friendly) cut of meat, but cooks up nicely.