Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Doings

This is the first Christmas season in a while that we have gotten into the spirit. Since we usually go out of town for the holidays, we don't do much preparation at home. This year was different. We scheduled two parties and starting decorating.

Walt decided to host the San Antonio Watercolor Group's annual Christmas meeting and pot luck supper. We had a lovely group and a bounty of good food. Luckily, the weather held because we seated folks on the deck for dinner.
Next up were our "John Jay connections" friends. I decided to do a chilli supper. I got new dishes and a big pot and moved forward. Once again, the weather cooperated. We set up 3 big tables on the deck. We ate, drank and were merry.


How nice to have good friends who will help you. After leading the way in Hobby Lobby saying, "Buy this...This will work...Must have...", Margie Nichta, seen below, directed the decorating committee. I dropped out quickly (not so much my thing), and she and Walt finished up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When Old is New Again

In the modern days of Thomas the Train, when hundreds of train cars are available in wood, metal and plastics, it's hard to believe how simple toys could be and were. What you are seeing are Walt's toys from his childhood...the "war years" when metals were available only for the war effort and plastic wasn't a factor yet. Here shine the glass replicas of the vehicles of the day.

Originally, these beauties came filled with tiny, BB-like candies. Eat the candy, then a child is left with the toy. These are the only toys Walt remembers playing with. He played with them inside the house and outside in the dirt. Most are in perfect shape, but there is a wheel missing here and there. He must have been very careful with them and protected them to still have them more that 60 years later. Compare this number of toys and the present condition with a six-year-old boy of today.

We decided to display them for the first time in our antique cabinet in the great room. My attention was drawn to them today because the sun from the new upper window spotlighted them amazingly. Also shown for the first time is our collection of mustache cups that were the pride and joy of Walt's dad. The sunlight hadn't yet reached them, or had already been and moved on from that shelf when I walked by. Guess I'll have a new picture to look forward to.

Monday, November 26, 2007

November Fun

Get busy, and you forget or just fail to update. Novermber was a fun month and deserved some postings. First off, the weather was super...until Thanksgiving. I took advantage and spent a lot of time in the yard. Also enjoyed reading on my lovely covered porch surrounded by sunshine and mild temps. The first weekend I helped out with Marcia and Jorge's Art Stroll. I can't do any art, but they let me take up the money. This year Marcia's sister and her mother were on hand as well. I call them them the "sassy" Loews. It was fun. At the same time, Walt was helping out Mary and David with their home tour. (Gee, we have INVOLVED friends.) That effort got us invited to the party afterward. Also attending was SA's former mayor and the sister of the present mayor. Does that by any chance make me important? I guess not, but it does give me a tiny bragging right.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Live Oaks Get Hair Cut

On the way home from Mom's on a Sunday afternoon, we notices some tree trimmer working on live oaks at a shopping center. Using small equipment and tall ladders, they were carefully trimming out the dead and removing moss. We stopped and asked them to take a look at ours.

A week later, they were cleaning out our trees. These guys worked so hard. One was a monkey that climbed way up where I thought no man would go. A really good job. We are so glad to have them done.

They also dug up the youpon trees that were really getting out of hand. Suckers kept coming up and we just couldn't keep up with the growth. For the time being, we'll let the bed rest to see how many youpon come up again and get rid of them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Birthdays are Wonderful.

Birthday's are WonderfulI did have to cook my own birthday dinner, but I made it a simple affair. Mom came over and you see her on the porch visiting with Walt's new pet, C P (clay pig). I have some new pets too. BB (big bird) is the apple of my eye. I saw her sister about 3 years ago and have been looking for one for myself since then. We found her and CP the day before my birthday and adopted them on the spot. .

Such Imagination

This bird house was a surprise. Look closely. It was made from a toilet tank part.

Better Late than Never

I took these pictures when Mom and I went to Corpus to see Willie Bodden who was residing in Spohn Hospital for the week. The time laspe is due to figuring out how to get the pictures from my phone camera into the computer. First you have to have a data cable and some special software. It would not have been a problem if I had the picture service, but I didn't want to spring for the service when I didn't think I'd use it. Shame on cheap old me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Signs of Fall

I know it is fall because there is a pumpkin outside my door. It called my name over and over again until I picked it out of the big pumpkin box at the grocery store. At first I thought I'd cook it, but then I saw my trusty spider all alone in the flower bed and thought they might enjoy a season together.

Other fall things are occuring too. In the last two weeks I have baked three lemon pies, two apple pies and one chocolate pie. I've also started cooking stew.
Oh, the leaves are starting to fall too.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

News Item

O J is back in the news. What struck me was that he had to give up his passport. First thought: What if your bail depended on your being able to find you passport to give up? Could I find mine? Could you find yours? Ok, so most of you are organized and can find it. Go look. Is it still valid? If not, you'd better see about getting it renewed. I renewed mine last year...on line. Very simple. Only the cost hurt.

Everyone needs a valid passport. You can never tell when your grandmother is going to get on "The Price is Right" and win a trip for two to some exotic place. If she invites you, you'd have to have a passport. Then there is the possibility that you would be invited to participate in the international video game championship to be held in Norway next summer. Without a passport, you'd have to drop out of the contest. What a shame. Worst would be to miss a date with George Clooney in Italy. And on a more practical level, you do need that passport to give to the authorities when you are arrested for that exceptionally bad hair day that offends the whole world. I know you would be so embarrassed that you'd want to flee the country. I know that; the FBI knows that.

Order your new passport now and be prepared.

Monday, September 03, 2007

New Hairdresser

Finding a new hairdresser is tough. I started out asking for recommendations. First requirement is a location close to home. A lady and Curves recommended one really close. I went. Once was enough. My second attempt was to try my friend Margie Nichta's hairdresser. Her location is near Mom's house, so that is good.

You can see the result. She got more bounce out of me than I have seen in a long while, and I really liked the color job. The pictures are from the day of the appointment. Now, will I be able to produce the same effect?

Missing Hairdresser

Jo Starr has been my hairdresser for 22 years...ever since moving to San Antonio. She is my husband's cousin, and I dearly love our visits. The only drawback is that she lives and works in San Marcus. I have to drive a long way. Worse, she decided to get a new life. Sold her business and ran away to Alaska with an exciting dude!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Seldom does the entire family get to visit San Antonio, but we got to have them the last week of summer. Mason works and goes to school during the week, and Dijea works weekends. That doesn't leave an opportunity for the whole gang to travel south. Mason was between semesters, so they opted to visit. While I had them here, I managed to get a new family photo. The one that resides on Big Grandma's fridge is from Christmas two years ago. Time to replace.

We enjoyed the boys and their folks. They are a pretty good bunch of kids.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Indulge me, please, as I share a couple of things I love.

I’ve just finished a remarkable book titled, The Girls, by Lori Lansens. It is only her second novel, but it is wonderful. I would never have picked up this book to read except that my sister recommended it. (My sister is one of those persons I love.) When she tells me to read a book, I know I’ll love it.

The back cover quotes another author who says, “…From the first paragraph you know you’ve begun something very special.” I couldn’t agree more. The author takes what most of us would consider an insurmountable human condition and elevates it to a joyful living. It’s the fictional autobiography of conjoined craniopagus twins. I promise, it is not a tear jerker; instead, it is an affirmation of the joy of loving. Aunt Lovey is my favorite character. If I were starting out as a new grandmother, I’d asked to be called Lovey by my grandchildren.

On a more frivolous note, I recommend the movie, Hairspray. What fun! I laughed and laughed. If you liked Grease when you were young, you’ll like this musical now.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Surprise Find in the Garden

All the summer rains have made for a very growthy back yard. While Walt wielded the lawnmower, I took to the garden with a tree saw on a stick to try to cut away all the morning glories. They are trying their best to take over my garden. I am happy to say that I cleared a bunch of junk out of the garden, enough that I should be able to start pulling the weeds that were underneath. All in all, great things were accomplished.

As I walked up to the deck to take a break and have a cool drink, I spotted this lovely surprise near the back steps of the deck. I summonded Walt, and he agreed it was worth a few "Henclicks". Beauty is never hard to find in the garden.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Generation Gap X 2

The oldest and youngest of our family shares a book. Big Grandma is 86 years old and reading to her youngest great-grandson, 2 1/2 year-old Tommie Charles Bodden, who lives in New Zealand. It is his first trip to America and his first meeting with Big Grandma and his American family. All his great-grand cousins came to call. It's big deal!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A New Friend

My New Zealand brother-in-law has been friends with the Clarks since univerisity. When he learned that Dave was attending a conference in San Antonio, Tony suggested they get in contact with us. They did! We're glad!

I've loved getting to know Debbie. We have so much in common, and she is so open for adventure. I've tried to show her some San Antonio that isn't just downtown. We visited Mission Conception, the railroad station at Sunset Station, Central Market, Brackenridge Park, a cowboy boot store and Shoemakers Inn. We've driven the King William area and walked the river there too. The downtown stuff like La Villita, the Mercado, the Alamo, riverboat rides and mall she has done on her on.
One of my favorite things about her is that she is a big coffee drinker. She also likes to take photos...right up my alley! She has discover fire hydrants, and photographs every new kind she finds. But mostly, she is a pure joy to sit on the porch and talk with.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


All the hype about lucky 07/07/07 couldn’t convince me that today would be lucky: but, after the day I have had, I am convinced. This day turned out to be a truly happy day for me. It began when my husband woke me up and told me to sit up. He stacked pillows behind my back to make me comfortable, then handed me a fresh cup of hot coffee. How cool is that! The second cup we had sitting under the cover deck watching it rain. Another cool treat!

While Walt cooked breakfast, I picked up the front page of the paper to see Tony Parker and Eva Longoria – wedding day story. That made me happy. I think they are such a cute couple, and we have enjoyed following their romance as we watched the Spurs’ games. Eva is from Corpus Christi, and she and I went to the same high school (only years apart).

I looked up and spotted my beautiful vase of gladiolas I bought for myself yesterday. HEB has them on sale for three bunches for $10 this week. There are ten stems in a bunch, so that makes each stem cost 34 cents. What a bargain! That made me happy too. I decided I’d stop and get another bunch on my way home from Curves for Mom tomorrow.

I walked outside to pick the okra and tomatoes. There was a lovely butterfly flittering about the flowers. The creature followed me to the tomato patch. That made me happy too. Then I picked tomatoes until I couldn’t carry anymore and took them inside. I went back for a second bunch. I picked 19 nice tomatoes today. WOW! What a treat!

Not done yet. I walked out the back door this afternoon and a hummingbird was hovering over the feeder. I expected it to fly away; instead, it just kept flying around me. No more that three feet away. That made me happy too.

Too bad 07/07/07 only comes once a century. I could use a bunch more happy days.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

My First

Those who know me know I am an opinionated woman. Dah! I do, however, try to restrain myself and not share every opinion I have.

I get emotional about toll roads, especially the one being proposed on Highway 281, my neighborhood feeder street/road. I have attended many of the public meetings to lend support to the opposition. Last week, there was a public meeting on the Loop 1604 proposed toll road. I not only attended, but I also took the microphone for my two minutes.

I carefully planned and wrote out my words. Most of the people on either side of the question delivered calm and thoughtful ideas...except for one cowboy hat wearing, tee-shirt and shorts attired old man who was "mad as hell" and "sick and tired" of all of "them." He delivered a purely non-factual, highly emotional attach on every one connected to the project. Inapporpriate and embarrassing!

I mention this only to follow-up with the next morning's news article. Although factual in the account of the meeting. the article cited this man by name and included his picture. Why does the media focus on the bad behavior and the polarizing remarks.

I emailed the reporter and asked him. He didn't reply.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Return to Normal

We enjoyed the month of May enormously. My sister, Susan, who lives in New Zealand visited for a month. What a joy to have her. She totally spoiled our mother, and now I am instructed to do things "the way Susan did them" by the mother who used to think I could do no wrong. OK, so I have to give her credit! Not a bad thing.
Her being here brought in all sorts of company to visit her and us. Dijea and her boys drove down. Friends from Corpus came, and so did our cousin Lois. Susan went to Dallas to visit my girls and my grandchildren. She also went to Fredericksburg with Lois for a "girls luxury weekend," had a pedicure, and two massages. We tried to pamper her a bit too. She also gained weight, dispite going with me to CURVES while she was here. No more fajitas and breakfast tacos for a while!
Now there is not so much to do. Life is less brite withour her sunshine. We miss you, Girl!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


These signs sent me into uncontrollable laughter! Certainly, these signs are unnecessary considering the bridge, completed in 1957, stands 273 feet above the water. But maybe the Texas Highway department wanted to show off its sense of humor.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Big Ben

Walt and I took our first trip since starting the remodel of our house in October of 2005. We headed for Big Bend. I had never been there, and Walt han't been since he was a kid. We thouroughly enjoyed it, especially all the blooming flowers and cacti. We ran over 2 rattlesnakes, but they survive still. We did some hiking and lots of driving. We saw surprisingly large mountains, some beautiful grasslands in pockets, wonderful rock formations and enormous emptiness and uninhabital space, in my opinion.

Indian Lodge

Fort Davis isn't very big, but it makes for a great get-away. For historians, the Fort itself is the attraction. It had to have been a rugged assignment in the days of its operation. It is remote by today's standards, but must have been the end of the earth for the soldies of the 1800's.

The For Davis State Park is delightful. I highly recommend a stay at Indian Lodge. It was built in the 1930's by the work program, and the facility retains all of the charm of the era but the comforts of today...air conditioning and private baths. Expect amazing views, great hiking and a short drive to the McDonald Observatory. But I suggest finding a weekend before or after the summer heat.

View from the Top

If you turn right 90 degrees while viewing this landscape, you will see the newest Ft. Davis observatory marvel. From this you really see into the heavens. Interestly, even the scientists don't get to look directly into the telescope lense. A scientist is given time with the scope focused on a particular location, then the telescope is focused and the stream is view on a television feed. The scientist might be in Maryland or some other country.

Wouldn't it be fun to actually be the guy in the chair looking through the telescope! The whole, rounded top with the telescoped moved in the older version, but in the newer model only the mirrors adjust to find the image. An amazing machine to behold.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Lucky Us

Not everyone gets to keep his love ones happy and healthy to 86 years. What joy.