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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Hand Woven

One Sunday afternoon in early April Sawyer and I headed downtown to the Starving Artist Show.  (Click here to read about Sawyer's first trip downtown).  Each year it is held on the grounds of the beautiful La Villita Historic Arts Village and is an opportunity for local artisans to sell their works.  It is fun to wind around through the many vendor booths and look at all the different art and craft items.  There are many forms and styles of work in just about every medium imaginable. Of course, I always come home with a few things! 

This over-the-head-open sided  poncho came home in my bag this year.  My eye was caught by another poncho on display that featured "Fiesta" colors-pink, yellow, green, turquoise with a touch of orange.  But, ultimately it was the colors in this one that won me over.  Blue, purple, light green and a touch of orange-red.

The booth keeper walked up as I admired her products and started the conversation with the statement, "I'm a fiber artist and everything in this booth is hand woven."  At that point I was engaged! We spoke quite a while about fibers, spinning, weaving, and knitting.  Since the weather was lousy and attendance was low she was free to visit with me, and visit we did!  She was delightful and very willing to share her knowledge and her passion for her work. Her expertise was far reaching and she spoke of future projects as well as an upcoming show that the local fiber artist guild was presenting.

I'm not sure how old she was, but she looked very old.  Her face was lined and had the leathery look of a woman who had spent much time out of doors and not much time on her complexion.  Her eyes were those of an old person, a little watery and bleary, but judging by her beautiful weaving must have been very strong.  In the course of talking I noticed her hands were also very worn and her fingernails a mess, what nails she had.  Then she mentioned hand-dying fibers to knit with and I thought, a ha, that's why her hands are a mess!  But it didn't matter how she looked, she was a very informed artist.  She was also very tech-savy and pulled out her cell phone with the card reader attached when I handed her the plastic card to pay; her smart phone was loaded up with apps and she knew how to use them!

The poncho is woven of chenille and polyester "feather" (similar to satin ribbon with one selvage trimmed off) so it is very soft and warm without being overly heavy.  I was glad that I got to wear it several times in April due to our cooler than normal weather. I love the colors and the way it feels when I wear it; I will always remember the hands that wove it and my conversation with its maker.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Shopping

After church it was time to do a little shopping.  Vegetable shopping at a Farmer's Market.  It wasn't a very big market, but the produce was still fresh and good.

 I've already sampled the spinach and it tastes nothing like the stuff in the bag from the grocery store!  The pasta is delicious, very nutritious, and only sold at markets and craft shows.  I also bought two fresh crab cakes that came home in a bag of ice; I can't wait to cook them tomorrow.  Can you guess what I'll have to go with them?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Do you really think that?

I work for a great man.  He's kind, decent, and has a good head on his shoulders.  But I don't know what he was thinking recently we were going over things in his office and were discussing a little project that our operations manager had me working on.  Due to other necessary tasks I had not had much time to devote to the project and the ops manager was getting impatient.  So here's what my boss suggested. "Why don't you just get all this together, put it in a box, and take it home with you.  Then in the evenings when you are just sitting around not doing anything you can work on it a little at a time.  Then you will get it done."

Yes, that is exactly what he said to me.  Does he really think that I go home everyday and just sit around doing nothing?  I was so stunned I didn't really know how to respond. I did get the project done, but on company time.  I have to think that he is really living in another world to think that I just go home and do nothing.  I can't imagine not having something to do when I get home; in fact, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


I had made this picture at one of the local parks, while walking the dogs (yes, that is Bentley in the immediate foreground).  As I stood there looking ahead I was reminded about the road of life. We can see ahead on the path, but usually only for a short distance.  Sometimes there is a curve, too. Or there is a choice when the path splits into two paths.

In a book that I've started reading (and intend to someday finish) the author makes the statement that our future is determined by the choices we make today.  While this is true, I also think this can be turned around to the past:  the choices we made in the past determine who we are now.

I often find myself thinking "what if I had..." or " I should have..." in regard to my past decisions, but then I remind myself that the way it was was the way it was and there is no going back to do things differently.  I know that those choices I made have made me the person I am today and that was/is the way my life was meant to be. With that realization I know that I need to remember that the choices I make today are the ones that determine the future.
A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunday Outings

Last Sunday afternoon our entire family met for lunch and then spent some time at the San Antonio Zoo.  The weather was pleasant, although a little warm, and we enjoyed our time together.  Our time was spent walking around, seeing the animals, and exploring the newly renovated section of the Zoo that now features a carousel.


Lions and tigers, oh my!
As we walked around I thought of two other places in close proximity to the Zoo where visitors have enjoyed spending Sunday afternoons for many, many years.  The headwaters of the San Antonio River attracted early native Indian tribes as a ready source of fresh water.  After the establishment of San Antonio groups would come by buggies and horseback to enjoy the lush vegetation and flowing water from the underground springs.  Brackenridge Park was established in 1899, and even before it officially opened large numbers of visitors would arrive to picnic and spend time together. 
WPA picnic bench in Brackenridge Park with San Antonio River behind. 
This is not too far from the headwaters of the River.
Several Sundays ago I visited San Pedro Springs Park to make pictures for a post on Doorway Into the Past.  There were people picnicking, swimming and walking dogs on the trails. There were people everywhere and I wanted pictures without people.  As I sat on a stone wall overlooking the pool, in my mind I saw the old postcards that I had seen of people enjoying an outing in the area that I was looking at.  Girls sitting on the bank of the lake had their skirts spread around them, gentlemen in coats, ties and hats were standing under the trees talking, and a canoe of young men were paddling on the what was then just a lake.  A hundred plus years later people were still enjoying themselves, relaxing in the natural beauty of the park on a Sunday afternoon.  So, maybe it wasn't so bad that they were there to be in the pictures!
Today we have television, movies, the internet and countless forms of media to entertain us.  But just like generations before us we will head out to a park, the zoo, or some walking trails when we just want to relax.  A Sunday outing is one of life's simple things, isn't it?
Creative play at the park!
And, I have to add that while I was sitting on a bench at the Zoo, guarding the girls' wagon and waiting for family to go through the Lory Landing I realized that I had been staring at....a WPA marker!  The Zoo was the benefit of many WPA improvements, unbeknownst to me until the visit last Sunday!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

3 Things

After I had to give up my beloved flip phone and joined the modern world with a smart phone I put an e-Bible app on it.  I liked the idea of being able to read a verse or two when I wanted to, maybe while eating my lunch or when I had to wait somewhere for just had a few minutes.  A lot of people at church were using their phones to read scriptures, so it seemed like a good idea.  However, the app I chose never seemed to work right and their web site was of no help, so I never really used it. It was time to move on.

Today after some app browsing I went with Bible Gateway because I've used them online and felt they would have a good app.  After it finally loaded I opened it up and when I reached their home page there was a verse of the day:

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Three simple things to follow on a daily basis.  Be joyful, patient, and faithful.  I had to think that that's all we really need, isn't it?  If we were a little more joyful, how happy the world would be.  If we were a little more patient, how easy the day to day would be.  And, if we were a little more faithful how different the world would be.  I am reminded of my church's mission statement that also has 3 simple things to strive for:  Love God, Serve Others, Change the World.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday night findings

Here's a few simple things I found while outside tonight:
I found 2 little marigold plants, one yellow and one orange that had come up in this pot of petunias.  I just love little things that "come up volunteer".  The petunias were also volunteers that had been transplanted into this pot last fall. 

They are a little bedraggled, but that's okay.  They were cheerful during the winter. 

I have two tomato plants, one in a big pot and one in the ground.  I discovered 7 little cherry tomatoes tonight on the one in the pot.  Strangely there are no more blooms, so while I am grateful for these I do have to hope for a few more.

I'm not sure what kind of bird this is, but I've seen and heard them many times.  They are tiny, but have a loud, cheerful song. I was a little far away, but zoomed in anyway since he was one of the things I found tonight.

Lacey is my little garage kitty.  When I go out she is always right where I am, rubbing on my legs or whatever I'm working on.  What a sweet little girl!

I love chrysanthemums!  These have bloomed for years in planters by my front porch.  They bloom, I cut them back, and then they bloom again.  They are most prolific in the fall, but I usually have a few blossoms year round.  A few weeks ago I had cut these back, and tonight I have the first blooms. These same plants were what inspired me to start this blog.

Finally, I was playing around with the aperture on the camera and snapped this just messing around.  It had such a neat effect, that I thought I would share it, too.  The amaryllis are just about done; I will be sorry to see them fade as they have greeted me every morning and evening with their cheery red blooms.