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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Day Trip

It's been a while since I had an honest to goodness day trip and today was the day!  I've been looking forward to this all week and I was not disappointed - day trippin' is the best therapy ever!

The day started early  - I was rolling out of bed at 4 a.m. to be rolling out of the driveway just after 5 a.m. to be in Navasota, Texas by Bentley's 8:30 a.m. ring time.  Even though it is hard to start that early I've come to enjoy these early morning drives in the darkness, just me and the dog driving in dark and silence.  The morning dawned beautifully with a slow sunrise, a few bluebonnets, and a little fog hanging over one area.  I tried to enjoy it as much as I could, but was keeping a close eye on the clock as I was panicked that we were going to be late.  I shouldn't have worried as we pulled into the fair grounds just after 8 a.m., making it in 3 hours.  I only had to make one quick pull over stop to get Bentley untangled from the doggie harness which we will not be using again!

After the show we headed back into Navasota.  Last year when I came to the show I had thought then that I needed to come back and explore!  It is a wonderfully historic town and I picked up a lot of fodder for Doorway Into the Past! 
Built in 1930 this was the Navasota High School, today it is the district's administration building

Bentley is a good traveler and he was a good sport about exploring the sites I wanted to visit.  He entertained himself with smelling the wind and the ground.  At one point we were in a large grassy area and I just dropped the leash and let him snoop around while I made pictures.  I wasn't worried about him getting too far away and he will come on command.  He needed a little reward for being so good!

I've been wanting to visit the W C Mercantile store since I bought native Texas alpaca yarns from them at the International Quilt Festival.  They are right on the main street of Navasota in an old building, of course.  So many yarns, so many beautiful colors.  I loved the squeaky old floors and was reminded of the comforting feeling I always had in the shop in New Braunfels where I took my first quilting classes. 

Besides yarns they also offer fibers for spinning and there was a group of ladies in the back with their spinning wheels taking a class.  As I checked out I discovered that they had a small weaving loom that makes strips 15 inches wide (I think I see another trip back to Navasota in the future to get this!). Yes, I did buy some more alpaca yarn as well as several skeins that reminded me of the vivid reds and blues seen in stained glass. I got so excited that I forgot to check the fiber content - it is 100% wool so I've got to find a light open pattern to use for it.
Bentley was a good sport in the yarn shop, too.  He tolerates the stroller and sat on the very end most of the time.  He was tethered in so he couldn't jump out, but he did try to dig out!  I had flashbacks to the stories my mother used to tell about how I detested riding in a stroller!
I have more stops to make in Navasota, but they will have to be saved for another trip.  It was time to move on so we made the drive back to Giddings and ate a late picnic lunch before doing more exploring. Navasota and Giddings both grew up around the railroad and the trains continue to chug noisily through both.  I've gone through Giddings so many times and am always prepared to wait for a train.  But that isn't too bad as there are lots of old buildings to look at while you wait!
One stop on today's agenda was the Lee County Courthouse. It is undergoing a restoration program and I can't wait to go back after it is done.  This delightful architectural gem was built in 1899 and underwent a restoration in 1982.  The current restoration is being done in cooperation with the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program.  
The afternoon wore on and I knew we had miles to travel, so we finally had to leave Giddings.  Driving home we were in the sun and traffic was slow.  But it didn't matter as we were finishing up a wonderful day trip, the best therapy in the world!

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

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