Friday, February 3, 2017


One of the best things ever to happen to Austin is the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where they have done extensive research on our native plants in each part of Texas, have lots of wonderful demonstration gardens, host art shows and plant sales, teach classes, and have one of the best/worst (if you are trying to be frugal) gift shops in the world. Then there's the cafe, a beautiful aqueduct system, and a stone tower with the best views around. It's also a great place for kids and, since it's only about five minutes from my daughter's house, we arranged a play date there for the two Cals. Here is a brief sampling of their adventures:

Do you see the giant bird nests behind the far mosaic wall?
Tweet-Tweet! One little birdie, sharing with the other.

Apparently none of the public parks they take Big Cal to in Cincinnati have sand boxes, so they weren't sure what he would think about this giant sand pit. He LOVED it. Could've stayed there all day! Little Cal was happy to just sit and observe, which was fine with us since, the first time we put his mama in a sandbox with bare feet, she totally freaked out.

The most surprising event of the day?

Running into old friend Nurse Nellie (from back in our Bahrain days) and her grandson Wyatt, who just happened upon us in the sandpit. Nellie told me that later, when they got home, Wyatt said, "Wow! There were a lot of Calvins at the park today!"

All this, and perfect weather too! In January.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


We had some very special house guests this week -- our nephew Geoff and his family. His wife Jessica and our Alexis had babies within six months of each other. But, way before they were even ready to have children, each couple, unbeknownst to the other, had decided that if they ever had a son, he would definitely be named Calvin. This week, the two Calvins finally got to meet one another! It was an adventure-filled few days for them both. Here's a sampling of what happened, just on Monday alone:

Playing On The Slide At The Library
Story Time
Our Funny Children's Librarian and Helper Helen
Decorating His Mitten During Craft Time
Toy Time
Lunch At Mima's, Wearing Uncle John's Hat
Nap Time
Dinner with Lexi, Nate and Calvin II at The Salt Lick
Goofy Goober Faces
Friends Forever -- They did this completely on their own!
It's been a long day, huh Papaw? But, a really, really good one!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


I sometimes think the majority of us must go through life seeing it as an endless blur of just okay. So-So.  Nothing memorable to get excited about. Could it be that we're just not paying enough attention? Over the last week or two, I've made more of an effort to "embrace the moments", and you know what? It's fairly astounding just how memorable your average day becomes, once you really start paying attention to the moments -- perhaps even writing about them or taking pictures or making sketches that you can scroll back through whenever you need a reminder.

There was that moment when we discovered that, if you just ask for it, most Chilis restaurants will still make their original soft tacos for you -- the ones that actually had chili in them -- even though they haven't been on the menu for years. So yummy!

There was a gorgeous sunrise that one of us enjoyed every second of, while the other sat right in front of it, but with eyes glued to his facebook news feed, which just made him more and more depressed.

And, of course, there were many, many moments like these, which always make my heart go pitter patter.

The one thing that's been missing, however, has been any kind of creative effort. Not really sure why it's been such a long dry spell. Yes, we do spend more time with family now that we have Little Calvin, and yes, there were the holidays and lots of house guests lately. Still, I could have found the time if I'd really wanted to. So I finally did, and it feels so, so good! I keep the latest work-in-progress open on my art table, adding a bit here and there whenever I have a minute. Every time I pass by, it puts a big ol' grin on my face!

So, nothing monumental, but perhaps, momentous? For, as they say, it's the little things that count.