Friday, March 4, 2016


Guess where we're going tomorrow?

To a baby shower! Know who it's for? For our very own Little Goober, that's who! 

Grandpa John picked out and bought that green package all on his very own, in memory of two other kiddos and their obsession with super-soft "bwankies" with satin edging.

Come to think of it, if Little Goober turns out to be anything like his Unkie Austin, we probably should have bought two identical bwankies, since the only way we ever managed to get one of his washed was to do a quick switcheroo when he wasn't looking!

Family starts arriving today, and we party all day tomorrow.

Happy Dance! Happy Dance!

Thursday, March 3, 2016


There's a new guy in the neighborhood who has taken to stopping by our place several times a day. I can hear him call to me from inside the house.

He acts as if he owns the place!

I guess he kinda does.

One of these days, when he spreads those massive wings and swoops down close to intimidate me, I'll gather my wits and pick up my jaw in time to snap a picture of it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


While we're on the subject of American women who are so unhappy with their current lives that fleeing to war-torn Afghanistan seems like a sensible way out to them, have you seen the previews for Tina Fey's latest?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


Have you read this book?

Well, what are you waiting for? Just don't plan on accomplishing much of anything else, once you pick it up.

The book actually takes place in Afghanistan, but the wedding scene in the first chapter might just as well have been the one we attended in Sudan. And the way the beauty school, and the salons that resulted from it, allowed the women to open up and be themselves, bonding with one another and finding strength in those bonds? Why, it was Steel Magnolias all over again! 

Some things are just universal, I guess.

Monday, February 29, 2016


You've gotta have thick skin to be an artist. Especially if you plan to share your work with the world. My mother-in-law was an artist who entered many a juried show. We remember well her telling us "It's a very subjective thing, and all depends on the judge. I've had paintings that didn't get accepted at all in one show, only to turn around and win one of the top prizes in another." In the short period of time that Hubby has been sharing his photography with the world, he has already had some experience riding that rollercoaster!

The Wimberley Valley Art League hosts juried shows at our community center several times a year. A friend and long-time member warned us that people rarely sell much of anything at the show, but that it was a good way to get your work seen. The first time Hubby entered anything, two out of three got selected to be in the show, and one of those got an Honorable Mention. He was disappointed. I had to take him by the collar and give him what for. "How many pieces didn't even get accepted into the show? And of the 40 or 50 that did, how many got awards? Only seven or eight, that's how many -- and you were one of them! On your first try, you gooberhead!'

A couple of months later he took some of his photos to one of the local galleries, and had another rollercoaster experience. They hand out little green "People's Choice" stickers to the people who come in to browse, and encourage them to place the stickers on their favorite pieces of art. John stopped in periodically to see if anything had sold, and noticed that one piece had accumulated a few green stickers. He was tickled pink! Another time he arrived to find one of permanent artists holding court in front of that same photo. We edged up behind them to hear what he was saying. "I just don't get it. Why would anyone put a sticker on what is obviously a one-click process in Photoshop?" Hubby got an evil grin on his face and started edging through the group. "It took a lot more than one click", he said. "Are you sure about that?" "Positive!" Finally the light came on for the other guy. "Oops. My bad!"

It took him a while, but several photos he had taken in Barcelona had turned out so well, he just had to share them. So, last week he finally got the nerve to enter another of the juried shows at the community center. Again, two out of three got accepted to be in the show.

On Friday we attended the opening reception, and he was crushed to discover that, not only were they hung off in a corner by themselves, neither one had won a prize. "But they were so much better than that first one which did win an award!"

Last night he was sitting in bed, reading emails, when he suddenly burst out laughing. "Guess what? I just sold one of those photos in the art show!"


And, just like that, the twinkle-eyes were back!

Sunday, February 28, 2016


I know I said that, as a rule, we don't tour churches when we travel. "You've seen one, you've seen 'em all", says Hubby. Barcelona proved him wrong, for that is where we found the one church that, not only took our breath away, but also had us longing to go back in 2026 -- the 100 year anniversary of Gaudi's death, and the date they have chosen to celebrate it being mostly finished.

Most cathedrals are so drab and drear, but this one was anything but! 

 And, as was his custom, Gaudi drew inspiration from shapes and forms he found in nature.

Trees Reaching For The Sky

As I understand it, Gaudi left lots of notes and sketches and some models, but no actual plans for this massive undertaking, so it has been up to each successive generation of architects and artisans to interpret these notes to the best of their ability.

You lookin' at me?
One of my favorite bits was this little schoolhouse Gaudi had built on the construction site, for the children of all his workers.

I could live here!

Can you even imagine devoting your entire life to a project, knowing you would never see it to completion?

P.S. Speaking of its completion, check out this cool little video!