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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday 03.25.2015

Bandstand in San Pedro Springs Park
built in 1899
One of things I love is gazebos.  This one has been preserved and restored and is still in use today.  It has been a popular venue of the park since its construction.  Local lore is that it was moved from Alamo Plaza; however, newspaper accounts discount that legend as they reported on its construction.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Uncle Moneybags!

Thanks to an article on I found out that today is Monopoly's 80th birthday!
According to the article Monopoly was "born" March 19, 1935, when Parker Brothers acquired the rights to the game from Charles Darrow. My memory was refreshed when the article pointed out that the game was based on actual streets and things related to Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Interestingly, the article recaps these places today and suggests new places that would take their place on the board game if it was re-created today.

I received my first game' the Christmas I was in the second grade.  I think it was a gift from Santa, but I had no idea what it was about.  I do remember having a rousing game in the living room of my Dad's parents house that year with adults and kids duking it out to negotiate property deals.  Monopoly is the only game I ever remember my Dad playing with us (he was quite involved in the game that night, what a wheeler-dealer he was!).  He shared later that he and his sister entertained themselves with prolonged games of Monopoly when they were growing up. I know they were very poor, but apparently they had a Monopoly game!

Happy Birthday, Monopoly!  Whether you are a board game or e-game, we love you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday 03.18.2015

Hey, Lacey!  I'll give you extra kibble if you help me sweep up these leaves.
What did you say?  You'll take the extra kibble and I can sweep up while you nap?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Beside the still water

He leads me beside still waters.  Psalm 23:2b
Sometimes I feel like God isn't leading me.  I think about the peacefulness of those still waters and long for it.  Then I realize that God can't lead me beside the still water if I'm in it thrashing around.  Time to get out of the water and sit down quietly, beside the water. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

I know it is spring

Typical of the weather and season changes in the place where I live we have gone from bleak winter to blooming spring within a day or two.  I'm not complaining about the cold weather or abrupt change.  Some years it warms up in early February and by this time in March it is hot, air-conditioner weather.  The lingering of winter was not a problem, really.  But when it left, it left. Early this week it was still sweaters and boots, build a fire in the fireplace, drizzling, and chilly wind blowing.  Today it was 80 degrees and will remain in the lower 70's for the next few days.  I am sure it is spring.

The first hint of the nearness of spring was several weeks ago on a cold, dark, drizzly drive home.  I glanced over and saw the first redbud trees beginning to bloom.  Good grief, I thought.  Have they no shame - it's freezing cold and here they come like it is spring already!  But they gave me hope that the cold days would soon be over.

The next sign was revealed to me yesterday evening.  As I drove to handbell practice I passed a baseball field with little leaguers practicing; when I returned after practice the field was full of softball girls and their dads involved in practice.  Ah, the first games of the season must be near.  As I drove on a little way I got a whiff of freshly mowed grass, what a welcome smell! Spring is in the air.

Tonight I didn't need the warmer temperatures to tell me it is spring.  I went outside and started moving plants around, watering them, and beginning the spring clean up; when I get motivated to do those things I know the season has changed.  But wait, I found more signs as I worked.
The mountain laurel is blooming!

The pansies and violas have put forth more blooms
The biggest surprise was the iris!  Two blooms and another one forming!
Yes, the signs are everywhere.  The only thing missing is the bluebonnets.  I have yet to see the first one, but hope to over the weekend.  We've had rain, so I know they are there but running a little late.
Happy Spring, may it come to each of you soon!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday, 03.11.2015

Old barn with farm equipment
Sorrento, Louisiana

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Straggly Beauty

I'm not sure how long this straggly looking petunia has been in this hanging pot that I can see through my kitchen window.  I think I planted it last spring and it survived the summer heat to linger on into fall and winter.  Let's just say it has never been a beauty and I did not give it much attention.  But this afternoon I realized that in spite of its straggly appearance it has been giving me a few constant blooms all this time.

Beautiful fuschia blooms with dark etching-like veins.  The Master Gardener gave these blooms a little extra care so I could enjoy their delicate beauty on a chilly March afternoon. Maybe I need to give them a little extra care, too.  They are straggly, but ooh soo lovely!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Night Fixins

Most Friday nights the fifth grader is with me and I either cook to his tastes or we pick up fast food.  But tonight it's just me.  I had some leftover rice and some bacon that needed to be used up, so I decided to make fried rice.  I didn't have any green peppers, but did have red.  And, I thought I didn't have any green onions; however, as I added the chopped white onion to the pan I remembered that I had green onions growing in the little herb garden on the side of the house!  Using the red pepper gave it a different taste; however, it was still tasty (just a little different). Nothing healthy here on this Friday night!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday 03.04.2015

Ogunquit, Maine
overlooking the Atlantic Ocean
Fall 2011


Saturday, February 28, 2015


Stained Glass Sanctuary Window
First UMC, Kerrville Texas
In late January I attended a choral workshop in nearby Kerrville.  I went for the Friday night and Saturday sessions, driving home late on Friday and back on early Saturday so I didn't have to board the dogs.  It was a very enjoyable time, although by Saturday afternoon I was ready to move onto something else beside working through choral music!  Our clinician was Mark Hayes, a well known composer, director and concert pianist; he was excellent! 

One of the pieces we worked on was a piece he composed titled Namasté. The piece is beautiful; I hope that our choir will someday purchase this to share with our congregation.  But I was especially intrigued by the description of Namasté that was written inside the cover of the music, reading it over and over.  

The word, Namasté (pronounced Nah-mah-STAY) comes from Sanskrit, the classical and spiritual language of India.  It is a customary greeting often accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest.  The gesture Namasté represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that connects us.  We acknowledge or "bow" to that divine spark in each other as a sign of affirmation and respect.  As a point of spiritual practice, we try to see the divine image in everyone, especially people who are different from us or people we don't like.  Romans 12:10 tells us, "Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself."  Imagine a world where the spirit of Namasté was practiced all the time.

There is a Divine spark within each of us that connects us. How unfortunate that we don't realize this or forget it when caught up in the daily trials of the relationships in our lives.  I echo the writer's final thought...imagine a world where the spirit of Namasté  is practiced all the time.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Winter snow

The Quadrangle
University of Mississippi

Knowing full well that the Southeastern US is pretty much snowed in I pulled up the Old Miss web cams this morning wondering if they would give me a glimpse of a winter wonderland.  I was not disappointed!  What a beautiful sight!  The misty-like clouds hanging over the campus, the bare trees covered in snow and the undisturbed area in the middle of the Quadrangle combined into a perfect snow picture.  I thought about the winter silence I wrote about earlier this winter.  I'm sure it was there and in many places today where the snow had fallen like a blanket bringing the silence with it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday 02.25.2015

Reflection of the Exhibit Room in the Watersaver Garden's pond
 Lucille Halsell Conservatory 
San Antonio Botanical Garden