Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Well, howdy there! This has been an interesting couple of days. Yesterday we went to Fort Worth because we needed stuff...books and magazines, liqour, decent food, homopathic vitamins, and to look at windows to replace the holes in our house.

Today we went back for fun, BUT we stopped back at the window place, Pella Windows, and ordered our new windows. It will take 4-6 weeks to get them in, but they will be triple paned with shades between two of the panes. They are lovely, functional, and translucent. That will lighted our room AND keep the cats from attacking the blinds!

Eddie, a friend, sent this video link to me. Mineral Wells is on the news in Oklahoma about our Famous Water. AND tomorrow night on Conan O'Brien Was (Not Was) is going to be singing their new song about Crazy Water. We're becoming FAMOUS!

Today we went back to Fort Worth. First we ordered the windows! Then we went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, specifically to the Japanese Gardens, and then to the Amon Carter Museum.

I sketched several things at the gardens, and I'll post them tomorrow...when we take a day of rest before a hugely busy weekend. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

As the Prairie Heats up~more of the Anglican saga

Orthodox Anglican Bishops

As I stated day before yesterday, we attended the 15th anniversary celebration/Evensong and reception for Bishop Jack Iker, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, at which time Bishop Robert Duncan, bishop of Pittsburgh, preached. It was a very positive, inspiring message and celebration of the wonderful job of shepherding Bishop Iker has done as he leads the faithful through the "valley of the shadow" and into the Light of Christ.

Yesterday, the female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC), Kate Schorri, visited a Dallas parish to bless a garden and hold a question and answer session with those in attendance. Well, now I wasn't there, but I think this sounded like more of questioning the questioner, as on several issues she appears to have turned the question into a reply of sorts, and refuse to actually offer an opinion. If you are interested in reading more, please check the following blogs:

On top of all this, Kate decides to tell Archbishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Southern Cone, that his visit to Fort Worth will be an "unwarranted invasion". Check here for details of her letter:, and his response which says, to this effect, "Bishop Iker, I'll see you on Saturday." Saturday is when he will visit with the delegates to our annual convention.
Archbishop Gregory Venables

As you can see, the matter is becoming more heated as we approach November 2008, when the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth will vote to leave TEC. And we will!

So, please, say a prayer for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth as we prayerfully make ready to join other orthodox Christians around the globe and say, "Enough". We shall be the Church Victorious, with Jesus' help!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cactus Monday ~ Barrel Cactus

Barrel Cactus, Echinocactus, for my second Cactus Monday sponsored by Teri C.
They have that name for a good reason, they are shaped like a barrel with long yellow spines. They are sometimes referred to as the compass plant because to prevent sunburn they grow south. This types of cactus also produce small suckers from the base of the plant. It produces flowers late in the year after most types of cactus have already flowered.


Would you forget the worst moment of your life? This question was raised in the recently published novel, Fear, by Austin, Texas, author Jeff Abbot, dealing with PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Fear by Jeff Abbott

Raf and I discussed this. My first thought, and one I continue to believe, is no. I can truly say I have had only one truly bad moment, and that was when my daddy was killed in an automobile accident when I was 18. That happened, and my life changed forever, but would I choose to forget it? No, that would mean forgetting a portion of Daddy, and I would never, every want to forget the smallest detail. Would I change the fact that he died. Of course, but that can not be done. You can't, as Aslan said in the Chronicles of Narnia, ask, "What if". If didn't happen, and we must go on and live with the what, not the if.
Bishop Jack Leo Iker and Bishop Robert Duncan

Tonight we heard Bishop Robert Duncan preach at the 15th anniversary celebration of the consecration of Bishop Jack Leo Iker, our bishop and the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, as a bishop. This was also Bishop Iker's 34th year in the priesthood, and Bishop Duncan's 13th year as a bishop. It was a grand celebration. The procession into the church was accompanied by the song, The Church's One Foundation. The hymn's third and fourth verses speak so directly to what is happening in our many Christian churches throughout the world:

Though with a scornful wonder
men see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed;
yet saints their watch are keeping,
their cry goes up, "How long?"
and soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war
she waits the consummation
of peace for evermore;
till with the vision glorious
her longing eyes are blessed,
and the great Church victorious
shall be the Church at rest.

Bishop Duncan commented on the fact that we must go through these trial in order to be the Church victorious, that we are here to "shepherd" and to "fish" and to preform the Great Commission of Jesus Christ: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

So as we stand on the threshold of becoming the Church victorious, we must know that the "toil, tribulation, and war" of the Church are all about us, and we know that we are armed in battle, through Christ Jesus. We also know that we are being led by a great and courageous shepherd, Bishop Jack Leo Iker, and we are blessed to have such a strong, prayerful, God-fearing man to lead us into this battle and beyond to the Church victorious. God bless Bishop Iker and his wife, Donna, friends from kindergarten who have been married 40 years this June.

So to tie this in with the Fear factor of Abbott's book, we here in the Diocese of Fort Worth are not afraid, because we know that Jesus is with us to keep us strong, to hold us up, and that Bishop Iker, as his human presence, is here to guide us away from fear and into the Light of Christ. So these trials will not be/are not our worst moments, but rather, they will be our greatest moments for in these trials we are made strong people, stronger Christian people.

God bless us, everyone.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

IF--Wrinkles + Trees

Illustration Friday's prompt was Wrinkles, so I wrinkled up a newspaper. Can't say I like it, but I tried: pen and ink

T'was a beautiful day outside yesterday, so I tried to sketch the trees in the yard. Not happy with this either, but oh, well: watercolor pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another Stopped Up Ear Day...Ugh!

Well, my ears are still stopped up and my equilibrium is off, so now drawing for me...nothing but sitting and reading. So...thought I'd try to entertain here. You may have seen these, but they are worth a repeat! This first is from my oldest daughter, Kat, and the second is from my cousin, Ron.

In its January 22, 2008 edition, the Quebec City newspaper, Le Soleil, had a topic about generations by age group.

Generations are grouped as follows:

- The Silent generation, people born before 1945.

- The Baby Boomers, people born between 1945 and 1961.

- Generation X, people born between 1962 and 1976.

- Generation Y, people born between 1977 and 1989.

Why do we call the last one generation Y. I did not know, but a caricaturist explains it eloquently below...Learned something new!


I hope by tomorrow to be back to cleaning the studio and drawing. BTW, we're having another storm tonight...Tornado Alley in the Spring!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Knitted Dolls

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about..
For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside.

She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.

He asked her about the contents. 'When we were to be married,' she said, ' my grandmother told me, the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and knit a doll.'

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

'Honey,' he said, 'that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?'

'Oh,' she said, 'that's the money I made from selling the dolls.'

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Monday Madness

First of all a tip of the cap and a sparkling kiss to my Glitter Sisters. I wasn't able to meet them in Sedona, but if you're interested, check out the blog and see what happened. It looks wonderful. Here's to you girls!
The next bit of madness concerns my Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergera, which is a native of southeast Brazil. Well, the silly thing only had a couple of blooms in the winter, but here it is on past the first blush of spring, and I've got blooms! So I thought I'd better sketch it. This is done with pen and ink and watercolor pencils.
Now, check out the exhibitions at Kew Gardens in England:
Making a Mark: Two New Botanical Art Exhibitions at Kew

A funny from my friend, retired Marine Carroll:
No Sex Since 1955!

A crusty old Sergeant Major found himself at a gala event hosted by a local liberal arts college. There was no shortage of extremely young, idealistic ladies in attendance, one of whom approached the Sergeant Major for conversation.

"Excuse me, Sergeant Major, but you seem to be a very serious man. Is something bothering you?"

"Negative, ma'am. Just serious by nature."

The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and said, "It looks like you have seen a lot of action."

"Yes, ma'am, a lot of action."

The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation, said, "You know, you should lighten up a little. Relax and enjoy yourself."

The Sergeant Major just stared at her in his serious manner.

Finally the young lady said, "You know, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but when is the last time you had sex?"

"1955, ma'am."

"Well, there you are. You really need to chill out and quit taking everything so seriously! I mean, no sex since 1955! She took his hand and led him to a private room where she proceeded to "relax" him several times.

Afterwards, panting for breath, she leaned against his bare chest and said, "Wow, you sure didn't forget much since 1955!"

The Sergeant Major, glancing at his watch, said in his matter-of-fact voice, "I hope not, it's only 2130 now."

And on a more serious note and heart-warming note, at little story from Raf's "Aunt Neller":

A sick man turned to his doctor as he was preparing to
Leave the ex amination room and said,
'Doctor, I am afraid to die.
Tell me what lies on the other side.'
Very quietly, the doctor said, 'I don't know.'
'You don't know? You, a Christian man,
Do not know what is on the other side?'

The doctor was holding the handle of the door;
On the other side came a sound of scratching and whining,
And as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room
And leaped on him with an eager show of gladness.
Turning to the patient, the doctor said,
'Did you notice my dog?
He's never been in this room before.
He didn't know what was inside.
He knew nothing except that his master was here,
And when the door opened, he sprang in without fear.
I know little of what is on the other side of death,
But I do know one thing...

I know my Master is there and that is enough.'

Please check this out and DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK:
Check out Casey's site or go to Apefluff. This book has plagiarized both art and words from the internet. This is so bad!

And lastly, I will be sending Texana stuff to Michelle, Leenam, and Merel, a the book, Home to Italy, to Gillian. thanks for participating. We need to start some for of chain give-away soon!

Peace be with you all this week and forever!

A Give-Away and a Magnolia Leaf

Give-AWAY:Tee at Empty Boxes was playing Pay if Forward, PIF, and I signed up. Above are the neat gifts she sent me. However, I had no one sign up here to continue the game, so I am changing the game. For the first three that sign up, I will send some "Texas" items. You don't have to send anything on to anyone. And for the fourth person, I will send a much loved copy of Home to Italy by Peter Pezzilli.
While in the Texas Hill Country, I found the leaf below. It was so interesting, I took several days drawing it. I wish I could tell you which sort of magnolia it is, but I don't know.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Storms and Energy

In conjunction with my post yesterday about the storm in Mineral Wells...and there was a tornado in Weatherford. But, of course, that's what you get if you live in Tornado Alley! Anyway, a classmate and friend, Carroll Cawyer, sent this first photo to me taken April 3, 2008, at Fort Stockton, Texas. For anyone who has never been to Texas or doesn't understand Texas, this photo speaks volumes!
This, on the other hand, is from my cousin, Ron Johnson, taken on his farm in Midland, Texas. He has just had two oil wells dug on his property. We have discovered we have mineral rights here in Palo Pinto County, and our gas well has been completed and is waiting on the pipeline. This part of the country is in the Barnett Shale. Midland is in the Permian Basin.
And on a totally different subject, a joke, sent to my by Raf's cousin, Barby Koebley:

A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him.
The waitress asks them for their orders, and the man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke," and turns to the ostrich, "What's yours?"

"I'll have the same," says the ostrich.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order "That will be $9.40 please," and the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke."

The ostrich says, "I'll have the same."

Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the waitress.

"No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad," says the man.

"Same," says the ostrich.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, "That will be $32.62."

Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. "Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?"

"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp.? When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there."

"That's brilliant!" says the waitress. "Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!"

"That's right. Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there," says the man.

The waitress asks, "What's with the ostrich?"

The man sighs, pauses and answers, "My second wish was for a tall chick with a big butt and long legs who agrees with everything I say."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Texas Weather--HAIL

Just a few shots to show you how much damage we had last night. We had hailstones the size of softballs. Broke multiple windows. The roof is damaged and water was running down the inside wall last night. So, we are back and will be cleaning it up. John and Joey will be helping us.
Backyard...note hummingbird feeder is "mostly" intact.
A "green" yard.
Front yard.
Back yard
North side of the house boarded up.
Front leaded glass window.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pregnancy, Estrogen, and Women

Cartoon by Cathy Thorne

A male friend and classmate sent me the following. Thought I'd share!

PREGNANCY Q & A & more!

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q : My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q : Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q : Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q : Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.



1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You 're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: 'How's my driving-call 1- 800-'
6. Everyone's head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from 'outer space.'
8. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
9. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.


10. Cats' facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.

AND, #1


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hill Country: Ball moss, bittersweet, milkwort

Today is our last day in the Texas Hill Country. The wildflowers are just now starting to show their beauty. Here are some I have drawn.

This is a Slender Stem Bittersweet, Hymenoxys Scaposa, which has shown itself in just the past few days.This is also coming up all over the place. It is the White Milkwort, Polygala Alba.
My naturalist friend, Jim Dillard, told me about this one:

"Ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata) commonly grows on trees, fences, and utility wires. It is not a true moss; it's related to pineapple and ornamental bromeliads. However, it does not taste like pineapple at all (according to some Aggies).

"Ball moss is an epiphyte, which means that it grows on other plants but does not take nutrients from them. The "hold fasts" or "pseudo roots" of ball moss anchor it to the surface on which it grows. Unlike true roots, the false roots do not take up water and nutrients. The leaves and stems of ball moss, like those of other bromeliads, absorb water and nutrients from the air. This characteristic has earned bromeliads the nickname of "air plants." "
This is a photo of the Ball Moss.
And finally, a photo of what the Texas Hill Country looks like. Today was cloudy, but because we are so close to Austin and San Antonio, there is a lot of pollution in the air. Also, here is a wonderful website to view all the wildflowers of Texas:
And I still need three players to Pay It Forward! Check here for details!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Austin, Fredericksburg, and Wimberley

Today we went into Wimberley and ate the Wimberley Cafe. This was the first breakfast outside the trailer, and it was so good. I had migas. Wish our local cafes sold them, but they don't! We were shocked to learn that Nuestro Mundo, Florencia Reed's business, is no more! Then we went to Hill Country Guitars to discover Kevin Davis, the owner, wasn't in. Raf shopped, but we wanted to see Kevin. Went to Bella Vista Ranch Olive Farm, and they weren't I have to order my soap online! Boo hoo! BUT, big BUT...we got our massages at Touched by Angels. Jessie was there, but Kim has had surgery and won't be back for a while. Anyway, we feel a whole lot better now!! If you're in the area, this is a MUST!!

Here are three shots in Touched by Angels.

Yesterday we went to Fredericksburg and on to Kerrville, and Raf fished. Then we ate German food at the Lindenbaum.
Saw some beautiful irises and took these photos for Robyn. They aren't as yellow as I've seen, Robyn, but they were very pretty.

Sunday evening, we went to the home of Al and Cea Evans who host a song circle in Austin. We had a great time, as you can see!

Al is singing here.
Kelly is singing here.
Here's Wendy. Actually, this is Wendy's Song Circle at Al and Cea's house!
This is Albert Besteiro who sings solo and also in a band call Del Castillo. They are a wonderful Latin band, and Al is one heck of a musician...and an all around nice guy.
Here's Alec. He's 12 and can play like an angel!

Cea is playing here.
Mr. Besteiro came with Al. Here he is by one of Cea's sculptures. Check out the house for all her great art!
This was last Thursday at the Bistro in Johnson City...just found the photo.
Glad you came along to share our trip.

Come play PAY IT FORWARD WITH ME. I need three players to make a handmade item and then also stick in some local stuff. Check out how to play here.


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