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



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Welcome Summer 2017



Happy First Day of Summer! Where I live the temperatures have already soared into the upper 90's and there is lots of sunshine and those big fluffy Texas only clouds.  All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico from now until early October, and, yes there's development out there already. Time for watermelon, iced tea and summer evenings swatting mosquitos.  The long days of summer stretch before us - get out and do something fun!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Little Elephant

[IMG_1642_edited-1.jpg February 2017, temporary location

This cast stone elephant is charming, isn't it?  It is one of two that are part of the Hertzberg Circus Collection.  For many years it and its companion stood in front of the former San Antonio Public Library at 210 W. Market Street.  Everytime I walked by the building it never failed to make me smile!

The little elephants have a long story that, thankfully, has a happy ending for them. Harry Hertzberg was a local attorney and avid circusana collector who left his extensive collection to the City of San Antonio when he passed away in 1940.  The collection was then housed in the former San Antonio Public Library building and the first elephant was installed at the front; the city continued to add to the collection doubling its original size.



Five elephants were cast by local artist Julian Sandoval.  A fellow circus collector commissioned one for Mr. Hertzberg as a gift; it was displayed on Mr. Hertzberg's lawn until his death. The second elephant was donated to the collection when its owner passed away in 1989.  It was installed opposite the original elephant in front of the old library.

By 2001 the circus collection contained 40,000 items and the cost of maintaining the museum was prohibitive. Per the terms of Mr. Hertzberg's will the collection then passed to the Witte Museum. One elephant was installed in front of the museum and named "Cinnamon Candy". Countless children (including my oldest grandchild) posed for pictures with this little elephant.
IMG_2465_edited-1.jpg Cinnamon Candy in her new location, 2017

A re-painting of the elephant was sponsored by the Bolner family, owners of Bolner's Fiesta Spices in 2006; conservation work has also been done to preserve the elephant. When the Witte underwent a major renovation the elephant was moved to the side of the museum, close to the temporary entrance.  When the renovations were finished the little stone elephant was moved to its new location in front of the B. Naylor Morton Research Center. I'm not sure where the other elephant is - time for a trip to the museum!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's amaryllis time!

This year's amaryllis crop is booming and more stalks keep appearing! It's so uplifting to pull into the driveway and see the line of bright red flowers greeting me along with the 2 pots of red geraniums!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blog Revival

After much debating I've decided to revive this blog again.  It was my first blog and as I read back over those early posts, I know I've come a long way with creating my self - at least my writing self!

Almost 2 years ago I switched over to using a Wordpress format with the same blog name and posted simutaneously for a while.  I just couldn't abandon this blog.  Even with not writing anything I still get more views  here than on Wordpress and more than anything I want people to read and enjoy what I share. And I still feel this way, so I'm going to start posting here.

I may use some of the same content found on Wordpress, but may vary the content.  Please read along with me!

And, just a reminder that I have 2 other blogs.  Click on the pictures in the side bar to reach Tales of Wagging Tales and Doorway Into the Past.

Where are these stairs? Mission Concepcion, click here to read more

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Determination


I wasn’t too surprised when I saw this little viola growing through the crack in the cement.  Violas are very hardy and are prolific re-seeders.  I’ve often had them “come up volunteer”, as my grandmother would say, in a spot close to where they were planted the year before.  They don’t require a lot of water or any special care; they just grow and flower until the season is over. Even though the plant itself is strong it still had to grow and establish itself in virtually no soil while relying on rainfall to nourish it.  It wasn’t stepped on and crushed or plucked hastily out of the tiny crack. In spite of its circumstances it survived and thrived!

Even so, when I saw it the word “determination” immediately came to mind.  After some consideration I decided the correct description should be “perseverance”. The viola determined that it would grow there and so it did, it persevered.   Job went through some real trials and lost everything except his life; yet, God showed him mercy and favor after his time of perseverance.   The New Testament relates of Paul’s struggles and the hardships he endured for the sake of the Gospel; yet, he also persevered and gave thanks in all circumstances.

In the last week I’ve thought about this little plant whenever I felt weakness or inability to complete a task.  It has survived and thrived in spite of all obstacles and it never complained once.  It just kept growing and blooming. Good advice from a little viola!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Capitol Glass

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Rotunda dome in the House of Representatives


I've always loved stained glass whether it is in a church or a public building.  Just like with quilts it is the colors and shapes that pull my eyes to it.  I don't know which came first - my love of quilts or my love of stained glass.  I see quilts in stained glass and I see stained glass in quilts!
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Panels on the lower circumference of the rotunda dome in the Senate Chamber


On my recent trip I visited the (New) Mississippi State Capitol twice.  The first time I did the self-guided tour and afterwards realized that I needed the guided tour to see everything, so I returned again at a time when I could catch the tour.  I'm so glad I did because this building and its stained glass is something to behold!
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This is the ceiling of one of the hallways.  I knew I would fall on my face if I tried to walk while looking up, so I just stopped!



 
These three panels at the top of the Capitol's main staircase recently were removed and underwent an extensive renovation.  I vaguely remember seeing them on a previous visit to the Capitol in December 2002 and they were rather dull.  They still caught my eye and I commented on them to my Dad and he agreed that they were quite impressive.  There were a lot of people in the Capitol that day so I couldn't get too close.
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These three panels were designed by Louise Millet of Chicago and are located on the first landing of the grand staircase. They represent three iconic figures of the state: the American Indian, Mississippi, and the pioneer.  They were hard to photograph because of their location, but I did get this detail of the pioneer - isn't he still handsome after all these  years?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Southern Traction Company

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 The Southern Traction Company provided interurban transportation between Corsicana and Dallas from 1912 to 1941. Its sister company, the Texas Traction Company, provided service between Dallas, Denton, and Waco; in 1917 they would merge to form the Texas Electric Railway. The interurban trains would stop to pick up passengers when flagged down and offered affordable and more frequent service than the steam rail lines.
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Car number 305 was one of 22 passenger cars that ran on this line. Travelers were offered a choice of a smoking or non-smoking section, one toilet, and a water fountain.  After 1932 there was no conductor and cars were configured for pay-as-you-go commuters. Just to note that there were 2 seats on either side of the narrow aisle where travelers were squeezed together much like passengers on an airplane today!
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The Visitor Center didn't open until later in the morning on the day I was visiting, but I looked through the windows and they had a nice display of memorabilia and informational resources.  I'll stop in on my next visit. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mimosa Time

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Albizia julibrissin Mimosa, Silk Tree origin: first imported from China 1745

It's that time of year again - mimosa time! No, not the orange juice kind, the tree kind!

The blooms aren't as profuse as they usually are, but the fragrance is super strong! This poor tree is so crowded by the gigantic oak tree in my back yard, but it keeps faithfully blooming every year. I can't bear the thought of cutting it down and not having these lovely blooms every spring that remind me of my grandparents' trees.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday 05.10.2016

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Signs from the past in the Gruene General Store, Gruene Texas (Gruene is pronounced like the color green).

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday 05.04.2016

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Indian blanket (sometimes referred to as Indian pinwheel) Gaillardia pulchella (Asteraceae) growing in profusion along Texas highways right now!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Common Prayer 1943


At a recent used book sale one of the first things I found was a small Book of Common Prayer.  I’ve always loved reading prayers from this book and had browsed online for a copy, but was so confused about the many versions that I gave up the search.  When I saw this little book I knew it was mine, especially after I saw the inscription on the fly-leaf dated 1943! I quickly checked and, yes, it was a copy of the 1928 version of the Book of Common Prayer that was published in 1935 by the Protestant Episcopal Church; just what I wanted.  I had to wonder about the giver and receiver of this book and what it meant to each of them, as well as how it ended up at the PTA used book sale; I’ll never know.

The Book of Common Prayer is a collection of prayers and liturgy assembled for used in Anglican worship. The first version of the Book of Common Prayer was published in 1549 as a result of the Protestant Reformation with a second version following in 1552.  It was banned during the time of the Puritans control of England.  The fourth version would be issued in 1662 and is still the official version used by the Church of England.   Today the Episcopal Church uses a version approved in 1979. (If you would like to see a timeline click here)

While the “thees” and “thous” may be a little too heavy for some readers, the prayers and liturgy are very poetic and graceful.  Reading them slowly and thinking about the content is very peaceful, much like slowly reading a Bible passage and absorbing the message.  Many of the prayers are based on Psalms incorporating familiar passages.  There are prayers for just about every life circumstance, birth, death, marriage, sickness, thanksgiving, Advent, Lent and Easter.  There’s liturgy for every event in the church from confirmation to ordaining a Bishop!

 
 
Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour,
and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee,
we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who hath taught us to pray unto thee.

(from the Book of Common Prayer, 1935)