Janice Williams Loves Austin And sometimes I write about it.

December 9, 2015

A New Sarah Bird Book

Filed under: Reading,Writing — Janice @ 11:26 pm

I know I have written here before about my deep love for Sarah Bird and her writing. I won’t go into the whole history again, but I learned about in her in 1988, I think. My best friend Beth had told me to read The Boyfriend School. She had discovered it and thought it was great. I was traveling for my living in those days and I went into a phenomenal book store in Ann Arbor, Michigan, right by the campus. That was a beautiful city and a great store with the old fashioned ladders going up to the top shelves. I was hunting around and decided to look for Bird and I found one paperback book called Alamo House. It was her first novel, before the Boyfriend School, so I got it and finished it on the plane home. I couldn’t put it down.

Side note:  A writing teacher later said I wrote a bit like Sarah Bird. She said that without knowing if I even knew Sarah Bird’s work, much less knowing how big a fan I was. That was a huge HUGE boost to my fragile ego.

So since in 1988 I have been most faithful and have gone to a bookstore each and every time Sarah wrote a new book. I had a paperback of the Boyfriend School and eventually was able to replace it with a hardback copy. But in all these almost 30 years, I have never had Alamo House in hard cover. Everything I read said that it was just completely unavailable. Now that the Internet let’s us know at the click of a mouse where things are available, I can find it on the web for about $35 now. Tonight I was at Half-Price Books and found Alamo House, hard cover, FIRST EDITION MIND YOU! just sitting there on the shelf priced like a normal book. AMAZING. Did I mention it has the original dust jacket, too?  I didn’t have to look twice, that’s for sure.

Alamo House is now joining everything from the Boyfriend School to Above the East China Sea on my Sarah Bird shelf and I’m thinking of rereading the whole stack of them, starting over at with book one.

sarahbird

Diary for a New Year

Filed under: Normal Life,Writing — Janice @ 1:11 am

I have become immersed in sites that have planners and calendars for the New Year. There are some complex, multi-tapped, works of art out there. A little spendy for me to buy, use two weeks, and then forget, so I will by pass them. I bought a calendar at Big Lots! for $2 and it will work in here in my office where all I really need is to know the day and the date at a glance.

I did order and receive my 2016 Daily Diary from Moleskine. I’m so glad I discovered these. I think this will be my fourth year with one. They have good thick paper so even when I write with a fountain pen or a Flair pen (do they still make Flair pens?) it doesn’t soak through. The color for this year is a hunger green. I’ve had a brighter green before, and red, and purple. I like green because it reminds me of prosperity and I plan on having that a lot in the new year.

Have you ever heard about bullet planners? I’ve been reading up on them on the Internet and they can be done on a blank notebook and don’t require the commitment of a big hunk of cash so I may try that method a bit this year, too. And then about February I will resort to my old style of sticky notes, Google calendar from time to time, and “Oh I’ll remember.” Fortunately I have very very few commitments in my life. I could put “work” down on my dayplanner from 8 to 5 every day. And then I would laugh and laugh when I saw the 8 every day when I got to work at 10.

I promise this year to write in my handwritten diary every day. I can’t keep the promise to write HERE every day or even every week, but I have the habit and routine of my diary pretty well ingrained in my life. It’s by the bed, I turn on the light, get under the covers, write in my diary, put it away and read a while, put mentholatum on my lips (oh come on … you have your quirks, too), put in my earplugs, and I happily say my thanks and gratitude and go to sleep.

As for the others, I am not going to sweat it. I have never had a boss raise the issue of my organizational abilities and I don’t have to punch a time clock or visit clients at certain times on certain days. I have a creative job in a creative environment and, so far knock on wood, they have allowed me my freedom to be less organized. I am rolling with the flow this year and not stressing over things that have been this way for years and years. Not worth it. Happy New Year. It’s on January 1 this year, right?

September 2, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

Filed under: At home,Normal Life,Writing — Janice @ 10:26 pm

Here it is Wednesday night, almost midnight, and I haven’t done my Tombstone Tuesday blog over on my other site. Will it get done this week?

8ball

I would like to be one of those bloggers that we all love so much that tell all the details of their lives. They tell us when they are mad at their friends, family, coworkers…  I would love to be one of those freewheeling writers that confesses my sins and gripes in gory detail, but I think the truth WOULD NOT set me free when it comes to a blog. I am ever aware that not only do my family members and friends read this, but my real name is up there and anyone could Google it, not just now, but forever more. We all know jobs have been lost or certainly applicants have not been hired over things on the Internet, so I do try to be cautious.

Not that I’m mad at anyone or have anything to confess…

Except… Bluebell ice cream is back in the stores in Austin this week. Monday I went to CVS. Tuesday I went to Sprouts. Tuesday Mark went to HEB. Today, I struck gold. Finally. I really wasn’t even thinking about it this evening, but the Walgreen’s on South First has a big flashing sign and it said, “We have Bluebell.” I figured it was all just a come-on and I’d get to the freezer and they would be sold out, but they weren’t. They had Homemade Vanilla and Cookies ‘n’ Cream so I bought 10 gallons and came home and ate them. Okay, I bought one gallon and truly only ate one spoonful. I love frosted Cokes and ice cream with syrup on it, but I have to be in the right mood and tonight I could live without it. If I am lucky enough that Mark doesn’t finish it off tonight, I will hope to be in the mood tomorrow. Or it may be my breakfast.

Time really does get away from me. I feel like work keeps me so busy from Monday through Friday that I am just hanging on for the weekend to be able to catch up on laundry, rest, housecleaning, etc. I say that, but I went to see the awesome Cornell Hurd Band tonight at El Mercado on what may become a Wednesday night residency for them. Monday I went to see the LIttle Elmore Reed Blues Band at the King Bee and had a great time and stayed until the very end of that incredible display of talent. So obviously there is time for extracurricular activities if I make them a priority. 

I’m going to ponder the other blog post and maybe attempt it tomorrow. Or put it off to the weekend with everything else.

August 18, 2015

I Miss Letter Writing

Filed under: Childhood Memories,Family,Writing — Janice @ 12:40 am

I was at the grocery tonight and I wanted to by a letter-writing tablet. My mother probably had to buy one every time we went to the store when I was growing up. A letter-writing tablet is the half-page size tablet with NO lines, but it does have the one page with lines so you can put it under the page and write straight. And these are the plain white pages, no butterflies or fancy designs. I’m glad they still sell them. Mother used to use up a tablet every couple of weeks. The letters flew between her and her mother, her dad, and her three sisters. Mom’s regular routine, as far as I could tell, was to get us fed and off to school and then she could enjoy her coffee, her cereal, and writing her letters.

I still enjoy getting letters. I don’t enjoy writing them as much. But even if I did, the letters just don’t seem as special when we have email and phones and Facebook to keep up with one another all of the time. There is little I can put into a letter that won’t be old by the time it gets to someone.

I did send a card to my friend Beth in Canton, Ohio, recently. I don’t even remember what the card was for, but after a month or so, it was back in my box, stamped NO SUCH ADDRESS-UNDELIVERABLE. (I am hearing Elvis singing in my head, Return to sender…) I emailed Beth to clarify her address. Her address is exactly what I wrote on the envelope. I am kind of stumped. If you write a letter and address it correctly, what else can you do? Well, this time I got Beth’s work address so when I get around to sending it again, I’ll try sending it there.

Back in my teenage years, some of the letters Mom received were read aloud or we might all just read them when we got home from school or work and looked at the mail. But there were some letters, I know, that were just between sisters and they would write “Advertisement” on the envelope, which meant, “Keep this one to yourself.” You could have a little more confidence in your words being kept private when it was a letter. With an email it can be forwarded so easily, or mistakenly sent to everyone when it was supposed to only go to one.

Now I am in possession of hundreds of these letters to and from Mother and her sisters. They are interesting to read to see what day-to-day life was like back in ancient times (the 70s). The mundane becomes the most fascinating.

I love the letters, but I wouldn’t want to return to only having the letters. My mother and her sisters (ages 84 to 92) are all adept at email and Facebook and keep in even more constant touch now. Their travel and communication was limited 40 years ago, but the travel is even more restricted now. It’s comforting to know they still have the open and instant lines of communication.

August 1, 2015

Am I Back?

Filed under: Family,Genealogy,Normal Life,Writing — Janice @ 10:35 pm

I like have a blog and I like having an outlet. To vent. To create. To blah blah blah. And I have missed my blog. I haven’t even looked to see the last time I wrote, but when I broke my arm on June 2, that put a stop to any creative typing. I was stuck with slowly only typing the bare minimum of work I had to do. The cast came off a couple of weeks ago, but I am still trying to be back to “normal” with the arm and be able to use all the twist and torque I once had. You don’t realize how many muscles and tendons a hand, wrist, and arm have until you can’t use them all. My typing is getting stronger (probably because I am GOING to do it and make it stronger), but I still have difficulty with turning my palm straight up. I can’t accept change with my left hand, for instance. Or pour an aspirin from a bottle into it. I looked up some exercises to strengthen hands and arms and I am doing them and think everyone should do them.

Otherwise it was a flooding spring and now a long hot summer. We are into the really hot miserable time where any sane person would only stay indoors. But after two months of no yard work, I did get out today and pulled weeds and trimmed bushes and watered some thirsty plants. I wasn’t out too long, but it still took its toll. I was glad to retreat to a cool shower and fans and air conditioning.

It has been a year since I wrote the book for my family and took it proudly to the reunion. The reunion is coming up this next weekend and I will go empty handed this year. I always approach the reunion with dread and anticipation. The dread is mainly for the heat and the feeling that I want to do MORE—talk to more people, soak in more history, be by myself more and be with other people more. I have a deep desire to be able to just sit and play cards and sit in one spot at the reunion, but I can’t stop myself from getting around and visiting and meeting people, too. There are people I don’t like and I usually get stuck talking to them, but I try to remember that everyone has a story and everyone is interesting in some way, so I try to find that. I’ll be trying to keep an open mind next weekend.

Okay, I’ve written, a blog is done. I’m not even taking the time to go find a picture to put with it. Spending more time and putting more effort into it will come with use. Just like I’m exercising my hand and wrist and arm, I hope I will be exercising my creativity and perseverance and storytelling. But no promises. I may not write again until Christmas.

January 1, 2015

My New Year – 2015

Filed under: At home,Writing — Janice @ 11:14 pm

It is January 1, 2015. I guess I didn’t do so well on the Holidailies this year, but, hey, I did better than I would have if there were no Holidailies. It at least gets me motivated for a little while.

That is sort of how the New Year and New Year’s Resolutions are. I’m trying NOT to make any real New Year’s Resolutions, but it is so hard not to hear myself in my head saying things like, “I’m going to start…” It just comes with the territory when December starts slipping away. I wish I would have that sense of newness and change and growth with each new month, or week, or even DAY! As it is, the year will likely slip by before I have a chance to write another novel, complete another genealogy of a different family, lose x number of pounds, or climb Mt. Everest. (Those last 2 are of equal difficulty.)

I am excited to have my diary in hand for 2015:

moleskine

I have had some great difficulty over the years finding the right diary. I had found a great diary at Border’s Books and used that style (really chunky and thick with a big spiral bind) for several years until, boom, Border’s closes up shop. I hunted and hunted and finally found the diary online, but it is made in England, apparently not sold in the US and it was a little spendy for me to have it shipped from the UK.

Two years ago we were in a bookstore in Alpine and Mark found me the perfect diary. I had already discovered and loved Moleskine journals, but didn’t know they made a diary with full pages for each day and with real dates in it, too (not a generic Jan. 1 for any year). It was a great diary. Last year I had to hunt a bit before I realized they were on Amazon and ordered one about a week into the New Year. This year I am prepared and diary (and accompanying notebook for the purse for my brilliant ideas) is in hand. Purple this year. Last year, red. Two years ago, green.

I like the continuity of size and shape. My mother has kept diaries FOREVER and for the most part they are the exact same style for the last 30 years. It is quite a sight to see them in her bookshelf. We refer to them when we are trying to remember what we did on a certain Christmas or where we might have gone on a vacation. They are handy. Mother has threatened to burn them all and we’ve talked her out of it. I know there are entries that would sound like Little House on the Prairie to my nephews and their future children, so I hope they are preserved. I doubt if mine have enough of interest to anyone but me, but it is a part of my nightly ritual to document my day in my diary and I rarely forget to do it anymore.

I will go write on page 1 tonight, with good penmanship and thoughtful quotes, as I always do. We won’t be a week into the New Year before it becomes an unreadable scrawl and I write things like “Worked. Okay day. Going to bed early.” and call it complete.

Happy New Year! I resolve to write in my online blog every day…  haha, No! No resolutions about that for me here.

December 2, 2014

The Beginnings of My Blogging

Filed under: Reading,Writing — Janice @ 11:10 pm

 

This is what my computer looked like when I moved to Austin in 1999. Packard Bell. Does it even exist anymore?

I read an entry last night on the Holidalies as I try to keep up and write every day in December (and read some new blogs, too). I read one that made me remember my earliest days of blogging so I thought I should share.

When we lived in Dallas I worked at ABC Radio and we had a computer in the control room. We weren’t supposed to USE it for anything (seriously, we didn’t have email for us on it and they didn’t want us doing any show prep or looking up news while we were on the air…. it was the EARLY days of Internet in the control room). But, like all the jocks on the air, I was using it and exploring the Internet because it was very new to us all.

Somewhere along in there, I discovered blogs. They weren’t called that then, they were online journals or online diaries mostly, I think. Somehow or another, I started reading several on a regular basis. I went back to the beginnings of their blogs and read every entry. I loved the feeling of eavesdropping on someone’s life. It truly was like a slow moving soap opera with some laughs and some interesting stories. I particularly liked Astrofish by a guy named Kramer and Anhedonia by a girl named Jette. I guess it later became Celluloid Eyes. Part of what I liked was that they were in Austin so I could relate to the Texas part of their story.

Only a little bit of time went by as I read their journals and others. I sent a note complimenting Jette’s. I don’t know if I did for Kramer or not. Then, boom, suddenly I am offered a job in Austin and we are moving there. Wow. I wanted to write Jette and say, “Guess what? I’m moving to Austin!” but I thought that would be way too creepy and stalker-y so I did not. We just moved and I continued to read.

One of the things Kramer often wrote about was his long walks around town, especially around Town Lake as he went fishing, exploring, or just to lunch. He also posted some pictures on his blog so I One day I was driving to my job and was on Barton Springs and who did I see walking along the sidewalk with his shirt over his shoulder? It was Kramer. I wanted to honk and wave, but I realized he wouldn’t have a clue who I was.

I truly don’t remember what happened between moving in May and November of 1999, but somewhere in there I did let Jette and Kramer know I was a reader and now I lived in Austin. They, along with other writers of the community, decided to have a get together at Texpresso (one of the great bygone Austin businesses) of writers AND readers of the Austin blogs. I was so excited, I would finally get to meet these interesting people.

Early November we got together. The three of us and maybe a dozen others. It was really to meet these cool new people in Austin and see what they were like in person. During the chatting and discussion, Jette said that I really needed to write my own blog (journal). I wanted to, but had NO idea how things on the Internet worked and how you got an online diary. They were all much more tech savvy than I was. She told me about Diaryland.com. I checked it out and soon my diary was launched.

FIFTEEN years later, yes FIFTEEN, I still have that online diary. Somewhere along the way I quit telling people about it and I don’t often write in it, to tell the truth, but it is still there as my true DIARY of what goes on day to day with a little more explanation in case someone stumbles upon it and needs to know the major characters. A few of those people from those days might be able to hunt it down if they wanted to. I don’t go passing the address around because I don’t know what I wrote 10 years ago. Maybe I wrote about YOU and I don’t want you finding it!

I started THIS blog in 2007 when I was laid off from my job. Initially I thought it would be part of a bigger picture I had for myself and my post-radio future. I would write about local music and events and have a calendar, too. Sadly, I didn’t get too far with that idea. It’s still a good idea, but others are running with similar ideas and doing them much better so I won’t be trying that again. I’m still not tech savvy enough to make it really good.

I found out I enjoy the blogging. I always either over think and don’t write because I’ll never find the right examples or express things just the way I want or under think and just jump in here and write stream of consciousness. But at least that puts up an entry.

Jette started Holidailies a long time ago and I have participated sporadically. I think I ALWAYS say I’m going to participate and then (like my NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo ambitions) I fall apart 3 days in. Jette, by the way, has moved on to new endeavors, like her amazing blog Slackerwood, and Kramer is still doing what he does, being my personal astrologer and cheerleader and blogger at Astrofish. I thank them both. What a great welcome they gave me to Austin and encouraged me to do something I love to do.

November 30, 2014

Creativity Boost

Filed under: At home,Normal Life,Writing — Janice @ 9:07 pm

I have been feeling particularly inept when it comes to creativity this weekend. It is a real frustration. I see myself as a creative person. I feel like I am the kind of person that can DO things. But I’ve been stymied on the most minor things.

I had to make a trip to Home Depot yesterday so I was thinking of what I might need from there. Well, one thing I thought of was the little ceramic caps that go over the bolts on the base of the toilet. We had our bathroom remodeled over a year ago and that was one thing they didn’t do when they finished. So for a year those bolts have been there, ugly, taunting me. I would do something about it.

I looked high and low at Home Depot, but couldn’t find what I needed because they were hidden among a gazillion other little plumbing needs on a big wall. I had to get a clerk to help me find what I need. Well, first off, he says, they don’t make them ceramic anymore, they are all plastic. Yuck, I didn’t want plastic, but that’s all there is. I bought them and brought them home.

The installation of the little caps was pretty straightforward, but still more than I had anticipated. You are supposed to remove the nut and the washer and put down a piece it has included and then put back the washer and nut and then put the cap on and it will CLICK and stay firmly on that first plastic piece. The first bolt had the nut on tight so I moved on to the other side. The nut there was loose (and I was smart enough to know that it probably shouldn’t be loose). I could loosen it completely with my fingers. I put down the plastic part and put back the washer and nut and twisted the nut. And twisted and twisted. Then I realized that the bolt was turning just as much as the nut. I needed tools.

I know my father or Mark could walk into the garage and pull the perfect tool from a toolbox and be back in the bathroom in a minute. I had to look high and low and figure what would work and finally settled on a pair of pliers and a pair of vise grips. I went back at it and finally got it tightened enough to satisfy me. So I was going to push on the cap and then move to the other side. I tried, but the bolt was too long for the cap to fit down on it completely. I’ve googled around about this since then and find that the bolts do need to be hacksawed or cut after the toilet is installed. Fine.

By this time I was already frustrated beyond my tolerance and I just balanced the other cap on the bolt and called it good. At least it looks okay until you try to mop around the toilet and it goes flying off. But I’ll worry about that the next time I mop . . . May?

I had a couple of other instances of those simple tasks that I thought would take a minute and be an easy fix and it took way longer than it should or I couldn’t do it at all. I don’t know how these do-it-yourselfers can choose a project, make their list, go to Home Depot, come home and get to work, and by the end of the day they have a whole new closet or painted living room or landscaped yard.

So, to get my creativity in gear, I have done 2 things. Tonight, I signed up for Holidailies, the web portal that encourages bloggers to post daily in December. With that obligation and my rule-following nature, I hope I can get in gear and write some of the things that come up in my head each and every day. I WANT to live up to the titles I give myself in my head (WRITER and STORYTELLER).

The other thing was a little bit of clearing. I have an office that makes it LOOK like I am a hoarder. I am not, in any way shape or form, a hoarder (okay, except for genealogy stuff. And family related stuff. And books.). I was, however, at the home of a hoarder recently and it is enough to scare me into a little bit of clearing. For over a year I have had a huge bin of tapes in my office. These were reel-to-reel tapes of my earliest days in radio, cassette tapes for the next 30 years of me in radio along with cassettes of music and interviews and who knows what, and video tapes of TV shows and family events and my graduation from UNT, etc. The bin also had about 100 little records.

I “inherited” a reel-to-reel player and my plan was to move the tapes that were reel-to-reel to digital so I could preserve them and listen to them. I had a dickens of a time making it work and getting the sound to the computer. I did get one tape moved and boosted and edited. I wasn’t sure it was worth it. So today I went through and threw things away with abandon. I threw away almost all the reel-to-reel tapes because I really can’t stand to hear me in my earliest days anyway. Why go through that? If I did get them moved to the computer I would probably never allow anyone else to hear them so what’s the point? I threw away hundreds of cassettes, too. Many of them were completely unlabeled, so how important could they be, right? I kept a couple dozen that I might throw away at some future point, but I got rid of a lot.

And I threw away video tapes. I once worked for a video production house and I acted and did news on a few projects. Again, I don’t want to see them and I don’t want anyone else to see them, so they went into the trash. All in all, I filled up the recycling bin (I hope they all count as plastic) and I downsized the pile of stuff to a much smaller box (that can be lifted, unlike the bin). I didn’t do anything with the little records… I wasn’t ready for that yet.

Next on the list will be to get this giant reel-to-reel player out of the house and delivered to someone else with this brilliant idea of dubbing off their tapes to the computer.

I am hoping that that little bit of clearing, the little bit of free space on the floor in my office now, and the commitment to creativity, will make December a little bit brighter when it comes to the neurons in my head.

August 16, 2014

Love Letters

Filed under: At home,Family,Genealogy,Writing — Janice @ 1:15 pm

I have returned to blogging. For the last 12 months I have been working on a book for my family. It was completed, printed, released, and is done. A great accomplishment. It took up so much of my time and energy that I haven’t blogged in forever. I want to return to it.

Now that I am THROUGH with that family (ha, that’s a joke, I’ll never be through) I want to dig in on some of my other family history and maybe put a book together on some of them just so all the info is together and simpler to read. That started me into a box of memorabilia to see what I had. Of course, the first things I come across are still the Cunningham family, but it is love letters and a diary from my great-grandmother.

The community of Newburg had a cotton gin, a grist mill, a blacksmith, and a post office in 1898. It was at that post office that – I assume – both my great-grandmother, Henrietta Cunningham, and her beau and my great-grandfather Ed Hallford each got their mail. I’m sure they only lived a few miles from each other, but they corresponded as if they were across the country.

C_Hettie_toEdHallford_loveletter(5)

This letter was written April 20, 1898. The couple married in October of 1898. She was 22 and he was 25.

C_Hettie_toEdHallford_loveletter(1)

I love the formality, even though they had probably known one another most of their lives. She says, “Mr. Ed Hallford, kind friend, As Edra is going to the city in the morning, I will write you a great long letter tonight as you did me.” Edra is Henrietta’s younger sister (she would have been only 16 at the time) and I assume the “city” is Newburg since that is where the letter is postmarked.

C_Hettie_toEdHallford_loveletter(2)

C_Hettie_toEdHallford_loveletter(3)

C_Hettie_toEdHallford_loveletter(4)

I don’t know how letters like this one were delivered, but perhaps someone was going to see the Cunningham family and Ed sent this along. It is a long single piece of paper, folded in half and then into thirds. On the outside is written:

HALLFORD_EdtoHetnote2

On the inside:

HALLFORD_EdtoHetnote1

I also have a few pages of what seemed to be a short letter from Ed to Het and from there it turned into a diary and also has a list of figures added up on it. Amazing that a scrap of paper like that can survive 116 years without being thrown away. The diary portion was written in August of 1898 and there are several mentions of Ed visiting, along with other people.

HALLFORD_EdtoHetnote

The piece de resistance, another item I didn’t even know I had, is a “family record” written by my great-grandmother with the dates of births and marriages and the HAIR from my little grandfather’s head, back when he had hair!

HALLFORD_hair

The little lock at the top is tied with string and ribbon and pinned with a straight pin to the paper. On the back of the paper it says “Arla’s hair clipped April 8th, 1901.” Looks like she would have been almost 9 months pregnant with my Aunt Det and maybe Arla was getting his hair cut for the first time. I assume the other lock of hair is his, too, but it may not be. Since she wrote in the details of Papa’s conversion to Christianity, she might have taken a lock of Aunt Det’s and just didn’t get it identified.

It is interesting to see that my great-grandmother used “Henry Etta” in writing her name on these documents. I have seen her do that in some other places, but it is generally accepted that her name was “Henrietta.” But since her brothers and sisters had middle names, maybe her name was Henry Etta after her father Henry.

These items were in an envelope my mother had written “SAVE” all over. It’s taken me most of the day to scan and ponder and scan and ponder and scan and transcribe and then to write the blog.” At this rate, I will never ever get the next book written. But maybe I’ll know a little bit more about what I possess.

March 31, 2014

Getting There

Filed under: Bluebonnets,Cemeteries,Writing — Janice @ 9:57 pm

Well, I keep saying I have everything set up on my new computer in order to do my jobs and my fun stuff and then I think of something else I need. I just installed the Windows Live Writer. It does make it a little easier to get the blogs written and sent to the site and it makes the pictures a lot prettier, so I am glad to have it up and running again.

I did have dinner tonight with my “muse” Diana. We talked about writing and children and money and life and it was really great to see her one-on-one again. I think we talked on the phone last summer and were going to get together on my porch when the fall weather cooled things down and here we are having already made it through winter and it will be too hot on the porch before we know it.

Diana is about to finish her master’s degree in a specialized study of Texas music history and Texas writers. It’s a one-of-a-kind degree and she’s the perfect person to blaze the trail. It’s the kind of degree I would love to HAVE, but I’ve seen all the work she’s put into it and I don’t think it’s the kind of degree I want to work toward. I think my school days are over. I admire her for taking it on.

I am not a photographer, but I feel like I need to insert a photo for interest. This was taken about a week ago in LaGrange. I love their old city cemetery and the bluebonnets there are incredible. This doesn’t come close to doing it justice or really showing you how thick they are. I will have to purloin Mark’s good pictures one of these days.

2014_03_24_LaGrangeBluebonnetTRIP (20)

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