~Living a life of sophisticated domestication deep in the heart of Texas~

Monday, May 31, 2010

On this Memorial Day 2010....

"Since they kissed the lads they loved so dear and sent them to the front..." 

Just wanted to share this lovely postcard c. 1906-1911 in remembrance of those who have given their all, in order that we can celebrate our freedoms. 

Our hope and prayer is that all wars will end, that all our men and women will safely come home again~ to stay.

Blessed be....

Shawn & SGTex

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our very beginning....

Jerusha Day!!!

In the spring of 2005, SGTex and I became acquainted with each other on an Internet religion board. We’d kinda swoop and dip into each other’s conversations, keeping an eye on what the other was saying on various topics, but it wasn’t until the subject of monkey bread came up that we actually engaged each other directly…

Anyway, back to our topic.  I’m very interested in genealogy, and it was on May 30, 2005, we were chatting on the board about his ancestress Jerusha.  Our conversation became involved to such a degree that I wondered if we might take it to email, which evidently is exactly what he had in mind. Well, we did, and that is how we became involved, way back when. The most amazing month followed, I kid you not. Whew.   So in case you were wondering, that is how our time together began.

Thank you kindly, Jerusha. I’ll be forever grateful….

photo: The Guitar Juan Gris, 1913 (150 Kb); Oil and papier colle on canvas, 61 x 50 cm (24 x 19 5/8 in); Private collection, Paris (DC42) / Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris / (SGTex named his guitar Jerusha- a gift from me)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

While there's life, there's Hope....

Maybe you've heard all about Baby Bear Hope, alone and lost in the Minnesota North Woods over this past weekend.  She and her mother Lily became separated when Lily went to investigate some tracks.  By the time she returned for her cub, 50 hours had passed, and Hope was nowhere to be found.  A torrential rain complicated matters, and it seemed like Hope was lost, until a cub was spotted by a homeowner who lived near the area.  The cub got away, but a search was on, while the world waited and prayed (on Facebook!)  Later, Hope was spotted in a cedar tree, and it has since been reported that she was rescued, stowed away in a pet carrier and returned to her mother! 

I haven't seen the video yet, but you can bet I'll stay up to watch it. All of this has been rather heart-wrenching, thinking about Lily, discouraged and confused, how it must have been for Hope to find herself alone for so long. I can't even begin to imagine how those who were searching felt when they finally discovered little Hope in that cedar tree. Wow.

Talk about a happy ending...which is actually pending, but I'm betting that these two bears will sleep in and awaken with a sense that all is right with their world...

photos borrowed from Lily The Black Bear fan photos on Facebook, Crys Davis, Sarah Peterson Dykstra
"Lily the Black Bear is part of a long-term research project run by the North American Bear Center (http://bear.org) and the Wildlife Research Institute (http://bearstudy.org) out of Ely, Minnesota."

Monday, May 24, 2010

What not to wear....

Okay, this is *not* what I was going to blog about today, but gee whiz, no matter how many times I slap myself, I can't seem to shake off the urge to say something.  Really. 

I had heard that the Chinese are irritated with people in Shanghai showing up downtown (see how that goes--up--down--lol) in their jammies during the 2010 World Expo.  In fact, they've hired women (who wear red banners) to stand around on street corners and stop/scold pajama-wearers and send them home to change.  Apparently, the Chinese don't want to give visitors the wrong impression. 

Anyway, this is what Venus wore yesterday at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, the fashion capital of the world.  It must have shocked the socks off her opponent, Switzerland's Patty Schnyder, loser. 

I can only imagine, as Venus triumphantly walked away, that many in the crowd were thinking like me, "Now, there goes a winner." 

photo courtesy of CBS news online 05.24.2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Okay, so I'm a day late commemorating a very bad day....

I know, I should have posted something about Mt. St. Helen's May 18th eruption yesterday, but things weren't really, what shall I say, "conducive" to blogging, so here I am today.  If I checked back to last year at this time I probably said something about the mountain going off, but I'm not checking the archives.

This evening I thought I'd sit down after dinner and post some sort of a fluff piece (I know, we get a lot of that here, lol), as I'm in a good mood and all is right with my world.  But then I remembered the mountain, so here's a shot of her having a very bad day, the likes of which she'd not had in a very long time, and we all hope to never see her do it again.  To tell you the truth, I was in California at the time and missed out on May 18th.  Not too much later, though, I got to experience her 2nd eruption.  It wasn't as bad as the first, but I don't have a lot of good things to say about that day.  It was one horrific mess, and I don't want to ever go through that again.

So, what is happening at our house?  Other than long hours working at The Job, SGTex is getting some gardening underway.  I'm impressed!  Tomatoes are great.  Zucchini is blossoming.  Hyacinth bean vines coming up.  Morning glories starting to do their thing.  Okra is still in hiding.  I'm not sure about the peppers.  Four o'clocks are elusive.  Nasturtiums better *not* turn out to be all leaves and no blossom again.....Passion vine is growing like crazy up the front porch railings, just as I'd hoped.  Globe thistles are taking off and should be just right next to the garden gate, maybe discouraging the neighbor puppy from gaining entry, lol.  Our wisteria bloomed after all (yay!) and we've got climbing roses that are really, really pretty, in spite of the fact I have yet to find my rose pruners :+).  I'm very lucky my man is an excellent and willing gardener!!  He's brought in the most gorgeous bouquets.  You should see the huge vase by the altar with a beautiful floral mix of spring colors.  (Thank you, Dearling!)

Puppies are pretty well-behaved and are inseparable, best buddies.  They are so cute.  Really!  Our wedding plans are underway-- see our updated news for that. 

I guess that's about it for now.  I think it's time to play a little Mah Jongg and then call it a very good day, as good days go.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Májiàng, Majiang, Mah Jong, Mah Jongg, Mahjongg....

....is a game I've always wanted to play for the longest time, and I've wanted authenticity, more like the American 1920s parlor version. 

Give me a lace cloth-covered table, and let me sit, gossiping with other bored-looking, beautifully dressed modern women, drinking martinis with pretended indifference, all the while contemplating my strategy, lazily fingering the beautiful, delicate tiles with perfectly manicured hands.  Now that's one way to spend an afternoon (if you've nothing better to do, that is--;+) thankfully, I do! lol)

For the longest time I've shopped the antique stores and eBay, searching for a set from the past, and they're either too pricey, have to come all the way from the Orient, or they're missing some tiles or instructions.  I finally did find a site online where I might, someday, if I'm lucky, be able to acquire a nice set, and then learn to play, perhaps gathering a group of like-minded, Mah Jongg-lover types with nothing better to do on an afternoon.  Or evening, when they can bring their men along.

But meanwhile, back at the desk, I guess authenticity isn't allothat, so I'll just settle for the online I'net version.  It's simpler, free, quite sufficiently mind-numbing, and one doesn't have to get all dressed up to go do it.  Besides, I really can't stand gossip, actually do prefer my husband's company to that of a bunch of bored/boring women, and I prefer mint juleps to martinis....

photo courtesy of ubcvault.ca

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"I'm not alone, I'm free....

.... I no longer have to be a credit, I don't have to be a symbol to anybody; I don't have to be a first to anybody."  Lena Horne

I spent quite a bit of time looking for the right picture, and frankly was overwhelmed with the selection!  Obviously a woman of class and great talent.  Here she is at the Waldorf Astoria. 

I don't know a lot about Lena, but feel compelled to say something to mark her passing from this life into the next.  I'm sure she's already missed by many.

A sense of humor, a powerful voice (that she complained about--what??!!), a magnificent smile....One tough lady who obviously looked life straight in the eye, grabbed each day and gave it a hard shake, haha!!!

I'm glad she had such a long life.....  It's good that we'll get to remember Lena, thanks to surround sound and the silver screen.  And Netflix ;+)

Bye bye, Ms. Lena Horne.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

An exercise in free exercise...

Another National Day of Prayer, downtown at tiny Minter Park.

Curiously, this time our Interfaith ceremony appeared to be the only public observance in town. I suppose Pray Big Country (the consortium of local clergy who always used to stage Christian-only events as directed by Shirley Dobson's NDOP Task Force) decided to heck with it if they couldn't hijack the City Hall venue. Moreover, the fountain whose blessed white noise we so enjoyed in prior years had been shut off, maintenance timed just right by, er, City Hall.

Attendance was a bit sparse, no doubt affected by a goofy rumor that the whole bit had been canceled by President Obama. Oh, well! This remains a terrific improvement, IMO, over those days in the late 1990s and early 2000s when, clasping my beads and chanting softly, I roamed the periphery of a crowd so pointedly lacking in religious diversity as to represent unlawful use of government property.

06 May 2010: An appropriate level of news coverage as prayers for America were offered by participants representing several faith options, namely Baha'i, Anglican, Muslim, Protestant, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist, Roman Catholic and Jewish. There was a spirit of peace and respect, as always, and the earnestness you'd expect of folks gathering to pray for America in a time of hope and progress and controversy and reform and hardship...i.e., those forces that affect us all the time.

When it came to the Buddhist part, I put up the poster Shawn and I had assembled minutes earlier, simply NAM_MYOHO_RENGE_KYO, and said this:

"Buddhism teaches that suffering proceeds from desire, which principle is aptly illustrated by America's addiction to petroleum. Because of that appetite, we are immersed in the great sorrow of war, and have once again incurred ecologic and economic disaster. In fact, the oil spill is very much an allegory for karma, that ruinous defilement that only diligent effort can clear away. The Buddhist formula for achieving this is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, a crystal of perfect wisdom distilled from the Lotus Sutra that invokes the power of the living law of the universe. Anyone who's so inclined is invited to join me in chanting for transformation of the national karma."

I chanted daimoku for about a minute.

I would be remiss and a dufus if I didn't thank dear Shawn for all the support and encouragement she affords in this matter that matters to me, and humbly ask her to come along ASAP and bless the Interfaith Council with her eminently valid point of view.


photo of SGTex courtesy of: R.Erdrich/Abilene Reporter News 05.06.2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"You may all go to hell...and I will go to Texas!"

Hey, I didn't say that--Davy Crockett did.  Well, he said it first, anyway.  When I think back to the *packing up and getting me from there to here* process (what we now call the 'Meanwhile Time'), I'm almost very certainly positive I must have said words to that effect---or worse. 

Lots has changed since then, and for the better.  I remember days and weeks and months of boxes and bubble wrap and newspaper and decision making and all that goes into moving.  It makes me exhausted now to even think about it.  I'm very thankful that's all said and done.  And I did it for a Very Good Reason- the best in all the worlds ;+).

Maybe it's on my mind as we approach our 5 year mark, as it was just about now in 2005 that I began to notice someone who called himself SGTex....Hmmmm....and by the end of May-- well, it was then that SGTex and I began our Adventure....

Counting down to Jerusha Day, Mister... ;+)

P.S.  I love you, Baby.

uber cool photo courtesy of texasdarkside.com/deathstar

Sunday, May 2, 2010


I had the strangest dream last night..one of those undreams.  A big old manse of a place and a wonderful kitchen with a farm sink and marble facade, more like it belonged on a fireplace, but here was this amazing structure, cool to the touch.  I remember that so vividly.  A huge wall of paned windows on the right floor to ceiling and the light pouring through.  Green, green grass lawns extending into the distance. 

Well, for some reason I decided to clean the marble and I took a rag and started to polish it with some sort of powder, and the brown streaks and shadings started to disappear and all that was left behind was the white and silver and gray, a beautiful slab of old marble with a few cracks here and there.  One more strange thing was that there was a sort of wire scrubber like we use these days and a thread of that got stuck on a nail near the floor, and I remember pulling that away. It was strange how vivid it all was.

Anyway, I was so pleased with how it turned out, I went into the attached drawing room and beckoned my friend or lover or whoever it was (I never saw a face but just knew there was someone significant there) to come see how lovely it was.  They came and saw my accomplishment and thought it looked nice, too.

So, that is all I have to say about that.

What's really going on in my mind and heart right now would be a little TMI, so I'm writing here, playing our songs at top volume and hoping while I'm doing this with one part of my mind, listening to the music blasting in another part of my mind, some control of what's left will start to creep in and I won't go totally off the deep end. 

Ever have a day like that?  Or a week?  Or a month?  Or a lifetime?

Is this blog post getting a little dark?  Maybe so.  But it's MY dark, so tread carefully.   

Perhaps this is just a bit of Beltane backdraft.


photo courtesy of damnfinepictures.com blogspot 2008