Wednesday, May 28, 2008

John in China and other things

Here's a most recent photo of John taken last Saturday in Shanghai old town. Interestingly they have Dairy Queen, Subway, Burger King, and WalMart all in Shanghai. There really isn't any safe water, though,...even the local people have told him that. So, he has to brush his teeth and clean contacts with bottled water, as well as drink it. He has the rest of this week in classes at Shanghai University, and then the rest of the time will be spent working in a Chinese company as an intern.

If you have kids, grandchildren, friends, etc. who are going to be away, but if they and you have computers, you can communicate with them wonderfully through Skype. This is free. You can text in real time, talk, and if you have a camera you can see each other. Raf and I were musing about how this could not have happened in the 1960's when we were John's age and how wonderful it is now. Funny how much better I feel when I can hear John's voice. I believe a lot of our servicemen use this to communicate with their loved ones back home, too.

Sunday, after church, Raf and I went to Bass Hall in Fort Worth to see the opera, Lucia di Lammermoor. It was a wonderful performance. Then we ate at an Italian place, Taverna, in Sundance Square. The Vault is one we wanted to try, but it wasn't open on Sunday evening.

Right now I am in the midst of typing a memoir of my aunt's, Bessie Mae Ficke Clark, so our family can share it. It tells tales from my father's growing up with his 7 sisters in Wheeler, Texas, and in Braymer, Missouri, in the 1920's and 1930's. It's been very interesting so far, and it's astounding that my aunt typed this 7 times, one for each of her siblings.

Well, that's all the news that's fit to print. See ya in the funny papers!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Americans in China

Here are the ten American students studying International Business at Shanghai University in China. John is in the back in the middle.

In God We Still Trust

Here's another photo of John in China. He's doing real well now and enjoying himself. He is taking intensive Chinese and international business. Later he will be working with a Chinese company.

Sorry I have not been visiting blogs. I guess I thought I had my head together, and I just don't all the time. I haven't drawn in over a week. Anyway, I'm thinking of all of you and hope you haven't forgotten me. I will return to the art side of things really soon, I hope!

And NOW:

The song you are about to listen to is from a Las Vegas Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate resounding standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it! Everyone who loves America should be thrilled to hear this song! Although Diamond Rio has never before done a statement song, they felt compelled to record "In God We Still Trust." But guess what?
Sadly, major radio stations wouldn't play it because it was considered "politically incorrect". Consequently, the song was never released to the public. So America , see what you think. If this offering speaks to your heart and you feel to share it with friends and loved ones, please do.

Monday, May 19, 2008

John in China

Here is our John and two other American students in China. If you're interested, check out his Facebook page for more photos. BTW, thanks to Robyn is Australia, I am using Skype and loving it! Great to talk real time with people around the world.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Day in Fort Worth

Tuesday we went to Fort Worth. We do this about once a week, because Mineral Wells houses all our needs but not nearly all our wants! We began by going by the diocesan office to pick up a copy of the DVD of Archbishop Gregory Venables' speech to the diocese. This we will show to our parish next week.

Then we went by the liquor store, then we ate a Kincaid's it may close soon, and they really do make great burgers!

Then we went to Barnes and Nobel to get a book and magazine fix. I found a copy of Painting with Watercolor, Pen & Ink by Claudia Nice, plus a couple of art magazines, and novels, of course, and Raf got photography magazines and a motorcycle magazine. Then we went to the nail place to get his 4 nails done...he finger picks his guitar...but the gal who usually does them was not there, for the second time, so I went into Imprints to buy some origami paper for a project. And Raf plans to get his nails done in M-dub from now on!

Then we got luscious ice cream at the Marble Slab Creamery and went to Half Price books for books on tape and CD. Oh, and at Barnes and Nobel we got the movie Once. If you have not see it, you must. It is the best movie we have ever seen!

Then we went to Central Market which is part of HEB. The food is wonderful! Here are photos from the market:

Our son-in-law, Darrell, came by to visit. He surely is a keeper! I make popovers for breakfast some. And it is traditional to have them on Christmas morning. I had bought at pan at WalMart, and they were sticking to it terribly, even when I used Pam or shortening, and THEN the popovers got where they would not pop! I made three batches over the course a couple of weeks, and they were all flat. So...I got new flour (the flour I was using was Mexican flour...don't even remember were I got it), but I got Gold Medal. I got new eggs, and I tried ONE MORE TIME...and here are the results. I am so glad. I would hate to think how the grandchildren would feel if we did not have popovers for breakfast on Christmas morning!To all of you who are interested, our grandson, John, is doing well in China, thank God. We also have another traveling grandchild. Dani is in Washington DC and New York City this week on a school trip.

Well, that's all for now. I AM going to draw again soon, but I DID finish the baby blanket!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dallas Museum of Art

We spent Sunday, Mother's Day, first at church, where a mission representative from Malawi came to speak to us during coffee hour. From there Raf and I ate at Baker's Ribs for a quick lunch...then off to Dallas to the Dallas Museum of Art to see the J M W Turner exhibit...over 140 of his works. They were also having a showing of Onderdonk's bluebonnets and other of his impressionistic work. We also viewed a wonderful fiber and fabric collection. The museum was terribly crowded because everyone...and his mother...were also at the exhibit. When we parked in the parking garage, the driver's side window refused to raise, and it took Raf over 30 minutes to fix it. It's going in tomorrow for the Ford people to really fix it. After the museum we ate with my lifelong friend Helen. Helen and I lived two doors down from each other in Stephenville from the time we were small until after our freshman year in high school when my parents and I moved to Mineral Wells. Yesterday I spent the day making a baby quilt for a friend's son's new baby. These photos were taken with my phone, so they are not spectacular by any means. Today we are going to Fort Worth to Central Market and the bookstore. I haven't done my Cactus for Cactus Monday, but I will. . .In front of the Dallas Museum of Art.
Helen at Patrizio's Italian Restaurant in Highland Park Village. This is a wonderful place to eat!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Remembering Mothers

Anna Margaret Clifford Seibert and Rose Elizabeth Bowden Ficke Sparks

In going through a bunch of old photographs, I found this one yesterday. This is Raf's mother on the left and my mother on the right. This was taken at Carolyn's house on Christmas of 1997. That was over 11 years ago. Our mothers were both healthy and more or less in their right minds.

Both of them are gone now, and it was a blessing to find this photo of them looking so lively and happy.

Several of you have asked if we have heard from John. Yes, we have had several short emails. Evidently he is having a problem with the computer setup at the University of Shanghai. He also sounds very tired, which, of course, is jet-lag, among other things.

You have also asked what he is studying. It's the Chinese language and international business, and he is interning at a Chinese business.

Now, off we go to church in a few minutes. Then, this afternoon, we are going to visit the Dallas Museum of Art to view the 146 Turner paintings and eat dinner with my old friend and classmate, Helen.

So, Happy Mothers' Day to all you gals!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Show and Tell Friday, John, and Angels

For Kelli's Show and Tell Friday I scanned a greeting card my mother received from my grandmother, probably in the late 1940's. Mother's name was Rose, so this was appropriate, but Grandmother signed her card "Mrs. Ficke". She never was Mum or Mother Ficke, although that was probably as much Mother's fault and Grandmother. I don't think they ever liked each other. Daddy was the only son. He had seven sisters (I even have a quilt with seven pointed stars that my grandmother called the "Seven Sisters"

We followed John's flight across the Pacific. Interesting that we found a page that's very like those little screens on the airplane that show you where you are. He should be in Shanghai now...should have arrived there about 5 this afternoon China time. There's an 11-hour difference in time. He probably hasn't even gotten into his dorm yet. Can't wait to hear from him! Anyway, thought I'd post a two-year-old photo of him with his godfather, Remo, at church on Christmas Eve.

BTW, the contractor showed up and should call us today about an estimate. I'm ready!!

Auntie "E" sent this, and I thought it was read cute:

Angels Explained by Children

I only know the names of two angels, Hark and Harold.
-Gregory, 5
Everybody's got it all wrong. Angels don't wear halos anymore. I forget why, but scientists are working on it .
-Olive, 9
It's not easy to become an angel! First, you die. Then you go to Heaven, and then there's still the flight training to go through. And then you got to agree to wear those angel clothes.
-Matthew, 9
Angels work for God and watch over kids when God has to go do something else.
-Mitchell, 7
My guardian angel helps me with math, but he's not much good for science.
-Henry, 8
Angels don't eat, but they drink milk from Holy Cows!!!
-Jack, 6
Angels talk all the way while they're flying you up to heaven. The main subject is where you went wrong before you got dead.
-Daniel, 9
When an angel gets mad, he takes a deep breath and counts to ten. And when he lets out his breath, somewhere there's a tornado.
-Reagan, 10
Angels have a lot to do and they keep very busy. If you lose a tooth, an angel comes in through your window and leaves money under your pillow. Then when it gets cold, angels go south for the winter.
-Sara, 6
Angels live in cloud houses made by God and his son, who's a very good carpenter.
-Jared, 8
All angels are girls because they gotta wear dresses and boys didn't go for it.
-Antonio, 9
My angel is my grandma who died last year. She got a big head start on helping me while she was still down here on earth.
- Lynn , 9
Some of the angels are in charge of helping heal sick animals and pets. And if they don't make the animals get better, they help the child get over it.
-Vicki, 8
What I don't get about angels is why, when someone is in love, they shoot arrows at them.
-Sarah, 7

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Our "Baby" is all grown up and gone to China

This morning our John left to study in Shanghai, China, for two months, or one college summer semester. He will be taking 6 hours of Chinese and 3 hours of international business and will have an internship with a Chinese company. He found this photo a couple of months ago of him (the baby), Raf on the right, Raf's mother, Margaret, holding John, Raf's dad, Ralph, at the back, and Raf's sister, Mary Lynn, on the left, taken in the summer in our back yard in 1987. John was about 6 months old at the time. Now he's 21! Go safely, my precious child, and come back to us safely.

Illustration Friday's prompt last Friday was "Seed". I finally got around to drawing a seed...or at least the fruit containing the see of the mulberry tree. This reminds me of John because he, as well as an assortment of birds, likes to eat the mulberries.Right now we are awaiting the contractor to look at the bathroom and the sheds to see about repairing them. We've waited for several days. It is now 3:30 pm, and he said he would be here today right after 1 pm! I keep thinking, if I had just showed up at school whenever I felt like you suppose they would have kept me as a teacher? Of course not! Yet, so many people do not care about time...if it's other people's time! Or money!

Oh, well, that's my rant for the day!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Quick Pix

One of the bloggers I have met online turns out has family here in Palo Pinto County. We got to talking online and discovered we were each having a gas well dug on property we didn't know we had the mineral rights for. Today she emailed to ask if we knew how it was coming. The last time we spoke to the land man he told us they were waiting for the pipeline to come through. So today when she emailed me, as we were waiting for our grandson to come home from college and get ready to go to China to study for two months, we drove out to the well. I only had my iphone, so the photos aren't great, but the separator, water tanks, and compressor are all ready, so I suppose the pipeline is comin' soon! I hope. We could use the $$! Anyway, more tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Recent Photos

Our roof is done!!! There were 4 roofs under there, and our roofer, a woman, did it all in record time. There have been a lot of fly-by-night roofers going around, and we are only the second roof in the neighborhood of several hundred houses to get it finished! Revelation Roofing is Great! Girl Roofers Rule!

Here are some photos from the past couple of weeks. The first shows our bishop, Jack Iker, and his wife, Donna, at the celebrate of his 15th year as a bishop. Bishop Iker and Donna have known each other since kindergarten! He is a strong, courageous man with a strong, courageous woman at his side.
There are photos taken at the convocation of delegates of the Diocese of Fort Worth when Archbishop Gregory Venables , Primate of the Southern Cone of the Anglican Communion, came to visit. We met in the gym at St. Vincent's Cathedral School.
We ate at La Peeps in Bedford, Texas, Saturday morning. It was good, but not as good or as arty as La Peeps in Nashville!

The rmmga gathering in Glen Rose was sandwiched in between the convocation and Evensong with Archbishop Venables. This was the best D/FW gathering thus far! Great job, Stan!

The first evening of the gathering we ate at Anderson's Cafe on the Square in Glen Rose, Texas.

This is our Christmas cactus that bloomed last week.
Here are Raf (top) and Willy (next) singing at our St. Luke's Coffeehouse Concert Series.

Turtle is resting..shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Tonight we go to Chili's for Joey's 19th birthday. And to wish John well as he goes to China to study. I am so proud he has been chosen to go, but I'll hold my breath until he gets back. Please pray for his safe return.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy 31st Anniversary to us!!

This is a Claret Cup Cactus flower for Cactus Monday.
I found this plant while we were in Glen Rose at the rmmga D/FW-8 gathering. I was told it is a spiderwort, and if you get it in your yard it takes over.
I'll get some photos of in a day or two of our weekend with Archbishop Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone of the Anglican Communion.

We went to Glen Rose, Texas, about 2 pm on Friday for the gathering. Then about 10 pm we drove to Bedford, Texas, and spent the night. We got up at 7 am Saturday, and after a meal at La Peep, we went to St. Vincent's Cathedral for the convocation with the Bishop. We ate lunch there and went back to Glen Rose where we stayed until about 11 pm. Then we came home. Sunday we went to church. Then Raf had training for Lay Eucharistic Visitor, and then we went to Fort Worth to hear the Archbishop again at the Evensong at St. Andrew's.

Today the roofers woke us up about 7. They had begun yesterday, and at this writing they are finishing up. We had pancakes for breakfast and then had to go to WalMart for groceries. Remember that's our only grocery store...ugh!!! I want to go to Central Market SOON!

I am going to fix fried chicken, salad, and lima beans for supper.

Today was also Raf's mother's birthday. Tomorrow is Joey's 19th birthday and Kathi and Steve's anniversary, and Thursday is Darrell and Carolyn's anniversary. The 19th is Christi's 38th birthday. So, May is a busy month.

Well...until tomorrow!


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