About Me

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Texas, United States


"Spring...An Experience In Immortality"

 Spring has always been my favorite time of year and the first buds and blooms always turn my thoughts to digging in the dirt and hopes of beautiful fragrant flowers soon. 

Seems the emergence of the growing season, when earth awakes again, has inspired a lot of others to express feelings about Spring also and some of their thoughts are below. These photos include those I took last spring on a wildflower tour and the results of what I planted in the dirt last spring. I just planted my annuals last week and am afraid the wildflowers are not going to be as abundant this year for lack of rain. I will be

headed back to the hills soon to check them out and take more scenic shots. I've started a series of longhorn/bluebonnets paintings I intend to give for gifts and I need some more original backgrounds. I can always add a few flowers if I can't photograph enough. :)

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want —oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
Mark Twain

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also."
—Harriet Ann Jacobs
Morning Glories are glorious.

"The force of Spring
powerful beyond measure."
—Michael Garofalo

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” 
 Pablo Neruda 

"Spring—an experience in immortality."
—Henry D. Thoreau

 “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” 
 Ernest Hemingway

"Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again." ...(Please send them to Texas soon!"
—Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"...
"It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...” 
--Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
That blue patch in the distance are bluebonnets. 
This is typical Texas Hill Country

“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” 
 Leo Tolstoy

"Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom."
—Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” 
 Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg 

"Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny Spring day."
—W. Earl Hall

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” 
 Rainer Maria Rilke  

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
—Robin Williams

“I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.” 
 Virginia Woolf  

"An optimist is the human personification of spring."
—Susan J. Bissonette

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything." (Sonnet XCVIII)” 
 William Shakespeare

"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."
—Ruth Stout

“I suppose the best kind of spring morning is the best weather God has to offer.” 
 Dodie Smith, I Capture The Castle

“It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what.” 
 John Galsworthy, The Forsythe Saga

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley

I do get lots of butterfly's but they are difficult to photograph. I also get
many monarchs on their migratory way back to Mexico every fall. 
They love the lantana we have in the flowerbeds and sometimes there
are dozens of them feeding at the same time.

This is one of the revolving "Bevo's"...mascot of the University Of Texas.
I've intended to do a painting for my daughter who
graduated from there and this is the year I plan to
get that inspiration done...and trust me....Bevo's going to
be standing in the Hill Country in a field of bluebonnets after
I relocate him. I never thought a football field was
any way comfortable for a cow...they cut the grass too short.


"I Believe In The Beauty Of It All...Not The Ugly!"

Titled "Bible Stories" this print copyrighted by H.Hallett & Co. 1880

My preference in wall art has changed very little over the years. I have always loved peaceful paintings and beautiful artwork. I have several 19th century lithographs of scenes depicting "angels"...the one above appealed to me when I found it in an antique shop many years ago. I thought, yes, children form their own ideas of what God  and spirits are all about by the stories they are told and spiritual experiences they may  have.

My preference in art did surprise a couple of men friends who were a tad spooked when they first viewed it, I suppose because it didn't seem to fit my free spirit personality...but most of them eventually adapted to the diversity. Women never seemed surprised. 

This very old lithograph above I found in a junk shop almost 40 years ago and have contemplated many times as to what the angel was reading and whether the baby was sick. The edges were in pretty bad shape but the framer did a fine job of restoring it.  I wish I had thought to copy the artist name and other info on the tattered bottom of the print he covered up because I've never seen another copy.  Since I have retained a belief in angels, it is especially meaningful to me because I gave up almost all the other aspects of the religion I was taught as a child and came to question and finally leave behind as an adult acknowledging I have no idea how or who we are supposed to worship as a "Creator." There are just too many different versions out there for me to decide so I pray to the "Original." Some call me "heathen," I call me being honest with myself.
This antique sepia engraving of this famous painting of Saint Cecelia, the patron saint of music, I also found in an antique shop many years ago. It is the same as the larger colorful print that hung above my parent's bed the entire time I was growing up. That was the painting that inspired me to take piano lessons for 11 years so when I died I could go up in the clouds and play a piano proficiently with angels pouring roses over me also. Yes, I was a "little" strange as a child and there are those who still think I am a rather strange adult. So be it. I blame an "angel," one I believe saved my life and confused my mind almost 70 years ago and who still haunts me on occasion. He sent me on one heck of a lifetime tour of searching for answers I decided lately don't exist on earth. I finally made peace with that pesky spirit and whatever kind of Supreme Being  may or may not exist but still believe in an "afterlife"...and hope it's reincarnation.  I  feel over 70 years of "religious" and "living life to the fullest" research gave me all the answers I needed to know to unbelievable questions instilled in me at an early age. I have all the faith and knowledge I need to find peace with what I now believe whether others understand why...or not. It no longer matters to me what others think about the way I think about God. It's a very personal thing we all should decide for ourselves.

I still don't know what is wrong with my last sacrament crucifix. It's been well treated the last 57 years.. My god-mother gave it to me when I was seventeen years old and it's hung on every bedroom wall I've ever lived in. If you asked me why, I'm not sure I could tell you, other than I never found a time I wanted to forget the deceased beloved aunt who was very happy when she gave it to me. So was I. Over 30 years ago the right arm of Jesus began slowly unpinning itself from the inlaid pearl surface and though a number of folks have examined it, no one seems to know why that arm continues to lower. I don't know either. There is no visible defect. I thought a while back maybe Jesus just wanted to wave at me so I would occasionally wave back if I was feeling silly.  Now I sometimes wonder if Jesus might think it's time for everyone to un-nail him from that torture device.  Protestants did long ago and I too have long preferred a bare cross to an agonized Jesus hanging on one. I never liked bleeding hearts or hell fire and brimstone religious art either. Ugly, evil, and demonic, have always repelled me to turn my back in did Michelangelo's huge "Last Judgement" rendition in the Sistine Chapel I detested. 
I have long assumed the masterpiece anguished artist did also at a time to 
renounce Hell and the Pope was forbidden if you didn't want to get your head chopped off. I would have never made it through the Renaissance with my head intact. 

The small colorful hand carved cross at the lower left I bought in Assisi Italy I fell in love with when I went there to check out Saint Francis who has always fascinated me. My beloved Grandma had a huge print of him preaching to birds and animals hanging in front of the bed I always slept in when I stayed with her, it was peaceful to contemplate the attentive birds and animals. I was glad she kept the huge glowing bleeding "sacred" hearts in her bedroom. They made me frown and shiver and that made her laugh....but I did love all the halo's I supposed artist paint to convey someone "holy". This colorful little cross I bought from a nice old wood carver is a replica of the San Damiano cross Jesus supposedly converted Francis from. I like it because it doesn't show Jesus bloody or in agony ...just there with his arms spread in a clean Roman tunic and people with little halos painted all around him and one seemingly dancing above his head. The original circa 1100 crucifix  is huge and hangs in the  Basilica of Saint Clare in beautiful Assisi. Francis always fascinated me because he  created a "miracle" rose that still grows there without thorns I inspected in manicured flower beds...and he supposedly "communicated" with animals. Nice "miraculous" ideas I still love the thought of. 
Saint Clare sure loved Francis a lot according to ancient legends in Assisi.

My grandmother left me the pressed copper plaque of Saint Anthony in her antique dresser filled with her rosary's,  prayer books, and antique family photos. Why? She had 16 other grandchildren who always seemed to me to be "holier" than I ever was. I didn't expect it and I don't know why, other than my grandfather told my father that after she told him to give them to me before she died in her 80's. He still remembered her request  in his 90's. Grandma Kolojaco was the only genuine saint I've ever known personally and I adored her and she knew it all the years we shared.  

These two wall decorations I have kept since childhood simply because they were pretty rewards I won for something regarding my youthful perception of catechism.  They probably cost a nickle or dime when I was a kid but I still love the protruding bubble glass over Jesus as a boy you don't see much of these days.  Mary "interceding" for us with a bouquet of flowers in her padded etched gold foil glory is nice also. They are the only rewards I ever received for my perception of anything religious and I have no idea what that may have been way back then. I do know it's changed a lot over the years. My love of what the Prince of Peace stood for, and pretty objects, and peaceful artwork, and beautiful angels has not changed and I doubt it ever will. They still captivate me.
I bought this print at a garage sale some years back, framed, for a couple of dollars, just because it was beautiful and "my thing." No artist name visible.

My views haven't changed much these years some folks have considered me a "heathen sinner" for losing faith and giving up my religion and willing to speak my piece in all matters regarding honesty trusting lifelong instincts. I still want and pray for the same thing I was taught Jesus wanted and made his life's service...Peace! So much of humanity don't find a whole lot of it here on earth any more than Christ did for preaching it. 

I wish I knew why and how to fix it...but I don't, and obviously no one else ever has either. Some folks who call themselves "atheists" claim there is nothing divine or rational out there to believe in but I still think there must be. Even though I no longer believe much of anything the Bible says...I know there is "something" out there in another realm...what? I have no idea, except for the "spirit" I once witnessed twice in one day as a child and who helped me out of serious trouble with calming words more than once when I was too scared to think and least expected it.  

I will turn 75 years old on the first day of spring, a day my Grandma told me she was taught as a child was "special," but I never asked her why. I was a child and didn't care yet. I had too many others things on my busy mind. She told me she prayed I would be born on the equinox but she thought I was born a day early...I found out over 30 years later I really wasn't. My grandmother prayed for a lot of things she believed.

I've decided three quarter's of a century old is not going to be nearly as bad as I thought it might be 50 years ago...but if I don't let all those roller coaster years of "sinful" wonder rest in one else is likely going to for me. I have been blessed in so many ways I find I have no choice left except to be mighty grateful to whatever "divine" powers there might be. All I really ever wanted to be was a Mother and I will be ever grateful I was very blessed in that respect with healthy, creative, and intelligent kids.
Artist: Margaret W Tarrant   1888-1959 

This is one of my favorite old prints because my long time best friend gave it to me decades ago and said she bought it in this lovely frame for my birthday at a flea market because it reminded her of me. Diana knew well over the four decades we have known each other what my preference in art was. I especially love the hazy field of Easter lily's and a more contemporary Mother and child. Margaret Tarrant painted a lot of angel like fairy's also and beautifully illustrated much of Hans Christian Anderson's works.

A heathen is defined as a "non-believer" and they can call me a "heathen sinner" if they wish...but I certainly know what I believe in...the beauty of it all...not the ugly.


Wondrous Sky's Over The Texas Hill Country

I live at the edge of the beautiful Texas Hill Country "they" say once used to be an ocean. I have to believe it was  because I have found rocks out there with little fish fossils and petrified shells embedded in them. In the early spring when the cold fronts from the North keep clashing with the warm Gulf fronts from the South it produces spectacular colors in the sky from our deck. They only last briefly when the sun is in just the right position and I sometimes run to get my camera so I can keep the fantastic view to enjoy later. Below are the reasons why I keep pointing the lens  to the hills...sometimes in early morning...sometimes in late evening.

This sky I took on a very windy day when the clouds in a brilliant sunny blue sky were whipped into looking like little popcorn clouds. I still like to look for images in the clouds and I found a number of whimsical "faces" in this shot when I set it as my desktop image. That is where I keep the memorys of the beauty of my own personal ever changing colorful sky. Never are two exactly alike and I love that unique aspect. 


"Cranky Old Man"

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in magazines  for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this 'anonymous' poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you're looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . ... . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .'I do wish you'd try!'
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . ... lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. ...Babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future ... . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I've known.
I'm now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It's jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. .... . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!