Wednesday, April 29, 2009

42 Game

Ladies Gathered in the Afternoon
home of Mrs. A.L. Keeling
family photo
42 Game
A.L. Keeling Home
China Marker & Watercolors

Living Room
A.L. Keeling Home
family photo
The pungent smell of fresh perked coffee, tuna fish sandwiches, chow chow, and newly baked yeast rolls, cake and pie greeted visitors as they stepped on the porch of the Keeling home.
Entering the wide front door into the entry hall, the smells grew stronger and the sounds of final touches on refreshments being readied in the kitchen drew visitors to that room in the back.
"Anything I can do to help?" They each asked the hostess.
"No, not a thing. Just go put your coats on the bed and find a table."
And they wandered off to chat with other guests and decide who would sit at which table. Who would be the head table. And what was the news and gossip of the day to be shared over a hot game with dominoes.
Almost every afternoon, there was a gathering of ladies, somewhere, in Calvert. Except Wednesday, which was reserved for church gatherings.
Some days, they met for a sewing club, when all the ladies sewed something, from darning socks to making elaborate smocked pillows, dresses, lap quilts, etc. Anything that they could work on while they sat in their chairs and visited.
On Wednesdays, it was Bible Study or church ladies in their groups.
There was a time, during the War, when ladies gathered to roll bandages for the Red Cross. They met at someone's home, or they might have even gathered on the sidewalk by the bank and in front of Mack Rembardt's Furniture Store. The bandages had to be rolled and they had to knit and do what they could for the War Effort.
Some days, they might meet for a tea party, formal if there was an occasion like a bridal shower, or less formal to just get together for afternoon tea.
Some of the ladies of German descent would gather for afternoon lunch at 4 o'clock. And their friends and neighbors were invited, too.
But the most lively gatherings were the 42 parties. These preceeded the afternoon Canasta parties, when that game became popular. But a lot still preferred the 42 gatherings.
At the Keeling home, card tables were set up in the den, the hall, and the good living room, depending on how big a party it was to be. They just needed the card tables, pretty table cloths, dominoes, a score pad and pencil, and, of course, the little bell that was rung when it was time to change tables.
The biggest parties were at night, with the men also invited. Lots of noise and laughter as they shuffled the dominoes around.
After the games were going, there were refreshments served on special party dishes. Coffee, of course, with all kinds of sandwiches-tuna fish, boiled ham, pressed ham, pimento cheese, were popular-chips, dip, various kinds of things like chow chow, mints, and chocolate covered nuts, assorted nuts, yeast rolls, Jello salad, and pies and cakes.
I was bored. As a child, I wandered around, bothering people or getting under the tables and drawing on the underside of the table, or writing my name, or wiggling enough to disrupt the game. Later, they tried to have me join in. I hated all that counting and games in general. I would always rather use the dominoes to build a domino house. Sometimes an old set of dominoes, with one or two missing, would occupy my time, building a house, or I might color in a coloring book. I would usually wander into the kitchen and wait, sitting on the kitchen stool, for time to eat and go home.
But, everyone else loved those 42 parties.
I got in on the Canasta parties, but I just never did care for games. I would rather just sit and talk, nibble on something, and listen to music or watch tv or listen to the radio, before we had tv.
At my grandmother's house, the games were lively, too, when they had tables set up in the good living room, the den and the hall. With the men included in the night 42 parties, there was a lot of fun going on. When my grandmother lost her hearing and grew older, they stopped going to the parties. Poor Grandma would just sit there, or she would constantly say, "Eh?" because she couldn't hear. They got her a hearing aid but it didn't work. She would turn it all the way up and it would squeal loudly, hurting everyone's ears, but she didn't hear it. That ended a lot of her partying.
Our house was small, so we didn't have a lot of parties. We had some, but the ones I remember most are the Canasta parties and some birthday parties.
I don't recall Mrs. Smith doing a lot of entertaining, except for family. She went to parties at other people's houses, but didn't have the 42 parties and other things like Mrs. Keeling.
The top photo shows a group of ladies during a gathering at Mrs. Keeling's house. I recognize me, when I was about 4 years old. I recognize Mrs. Smith, Ossee Rushing, Hermena Conitz, and I think that is my mother. I'm not sure about the others.
The middle picture is my mixed media painting about a 42 party. I was just trying out drawing with china markers on watercolor paper, and added a bit more watercolor to finish it. It is not easy to draw with china markers on rough watercolor paper! I like the way that parts of it came out-especially the lady on the right. I wasn't trying to make it look like anyone, but it looks a lot like our next door neighbor, Mrs. Porter. I thought that the one with the back showing would be Mrs. Keeling, the lady on her left reminds me of my grandmother, with my mother beside her. The lady facing us reminds me a bit of Mrs. Wyser. But just a bit. I didn't really have anyone in mind. They just happened.
I like the way the lighting turned out and the effect of the limited colors.
The bottom photo is of Mrs. Keeling, in her good living room. This is where a couple of card tables were set up for the big 42 parties. It is also the room where I got married.
I never did master playing games. As soon as I would learn something, I would just wipe it from my mind, hoping I would never have to do it again!
Kevin talked about 42 being the national game of Texas on FaceBook. And it was a rainy afternoon. All this made me think of the afternoon 42 parties and gatherings in Calvert.
If you missed the PBS series "We Shall Remain", the episode about the Cherokee, you can see some of it online. I was thinking that it was to be shown Tuesday night, for some reason, but it was actually on Monday night. I looked it up and found that it was going to be on Wednesday at 2 a.m.-but there was quite a bit on the PBS website. I tried to wake up and watch it, but kept falling asleep. Thank goodness I thought to record it so I can watch it later.
I was surprised to see what looks like the Vann House in Georgia on the program. Look for the pretty brick plantation house with the white trim. They didn't say that was it, but I've looked at it so much, this looks a lot like that place. My great-grandmother's mother was a Vann, so that was of particular interest to me.
KAMU tv repeated the program. Houston PBS did not. However, they are going to have the episode on the Apache several times.
If you went to Calvert High School in Calvert, Texas, I started a Yahoo group for you! Join Calvert High School_Trojans at Yahoo. You can add photos, links, etc.
If you enjoy my blog, join my Followers at the top of the page, or subscribe.
Thanks for reading and sharing!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Homes Tour Memories

Model A built by Alfred Conitz

E. Conitz Sr. home from the back
Hulda Conitz Keeling and Asta Viemann Hawkins

Wall Detail of House I've Never Been In
carved wooden knot

Bedroom of House I've Never Been In

Alfred & Ellen Conitz's washpot
Today is the big spring homes tour in Calvert. I worried about the event when big storms hit in the wee hours of the morning. But, it looks like it turned out to be a nice, warm, spring day.
Hope they have a good attendance this year. Lots of music and events going on, besides the home tour.
I couldn't go but I thought I would share some of my "Pilgrimage" memories with you. (That's what they started out calling it when they first started having the homes tour. This year it is called "Showcase Calvert 2009")
People were excited about sharing their history and showing off their posessions and homeplaces when the tour of homes and interest in antiques first started. There was lots of painting and cleaning and getting ready for the influx of tourists that everyone hoped would come to discover Calvert. At that time, we lived in the little house near the school, which wasn't very antique. But Mama urged Daddy to mow and clean up the yard, anyway, thinking of what the neighbors and visitors might think. Daddy finally bowed to Mama's wishes, while going about his usual business and not really wanting to get into the spirit of the event.
Just before the event, Daddy said that he had some antiques too and he was going to display them . Mama had a fit and told him not to do that. The neighbors weren't too happy about it either. But that made Daddy just that much more determined to show his antiques .
He put the old iron wash pot from the back yard, on the front lawn. And pulled the old truck that he had built out of the shed out by the horse pen, and put it in the front yard. He also pulled the old baggage wagon that he had rescued from when they tore down the Calvert train station, from under the carport and out where tourists could see it.
Mama and the neighbors were not amused!
But Daddy was proud that he was participating by showing his antiques.
The rest of us tried to act like we couldn't see the items in our yard, since he wouldn't move them.
During the Pilgrimage, Daddy enjoyed visiting with all the people downtown. And Mama helped with the open house at the Methodist Church. I don't remember when they started the art show at Reba's Calvert Arts & Crafts, but, when they started that, she was involved with the art show and helping at Conitz Dry Goods Store, as we all were, when we were in town.
The red and black Model A truck at the top of the page, is the truck that Daddy built. He took part of Mrs. Peterson's old car that was cut in half by a train, and old parts from various cars, including one that had a rumble seat, to build a truck. When he built a shed in back and started hauling old cars home, he announced that he was going to build his own car. Everyone told him to quit that foolishness-he couldn't build a car. But, he spent a few years doing it and eventually had a truck that looked like the one on the Walton's tv series. It was black, as were most cars.
Daddy announced that he was through, started the car, asked us to ride to town. We all refused in fear the thing would wreck or blow up! But, Daddy drove the truck to town to show it off, then drove it back home, just to prove that it would run. He tinkered with it a bit, put it in the shed, up on blocks, and never drove it again. He just had to prove that he could do it.
When the Pilgrimages started, each year, Daddy would drag out his antiques. Even when they moved to the new house. And it did pay off.
One year, during the Pilgrimage, a man visiting town, saw the truck and bought it. He fixed it up, painted it red and black and drove it in parades.
Daddy was grinning from ear to ear, every time the man came to Calvert and took him for a ride in the truck. The photo of the truck was taken on one of those visits. Daddy is beside the truck, Mama and her sister are also in the picture, and the owner and his friend are behind them. The man belonged to a Model A Club and owned several old Fords. I think the name of the club is the Brazos Valley As.
The picture of the E. Conitz Sr. home is the house where I started life. We lived there until I was almost 4 years old-in the upstairs part. Great-grandpa, E. Conitz Sr., and his son, Gus, lived downstairs, that is until Emil died when I was 1. Gus continued to live there unitl he died about 10 years later. Mr. and Mrs. Burns rented the downstairs part while Gus had his special places in the house, like his basment room and the attic.
The Victorian houses in town were not all that unusual to me since I had grown up around them. Now, of course, they are very interesting.
In the picture is Hulda Conitz Keeling and her cousin, Asta Vieman Hawkins of Houston and Galveston. Hulda did grow up in this house, with all of her brothers and her parents.
During one early Pilgrimage, the house was not open as part of the tour, and was basically abandoned. My mother and her sister wanted to see what the house looked like, now. My grandfather still owned the house, but had not rented it out since the last people left a big mess. At this time, the yard was all grown up in weeds, so we waded through, hoping to look inside. The door was open and the screen door was just hanging. So we went inside.
They were horrified to find that fluroescent lights now replaced the hanging light fixtures and chandeliers. Hardwood floors had been covered with bright turquoise shag carpet. The wood paneling had been torn out and replaced with turquoise and green sheetrock. The staircase had been painted with white paint that was now peeling and turning yellow.
We learned that the nest to the last renters didn't have utilities, so they used the wood paneling to build fires in the middle of the music room floor. Wires were hung across the house for hanging clothes and for dripping blood from chickens they killed. The floor also became a bathroom. When my grandfather discovered it, he made them leave. The next renters cleaned it up and put in the "modern touches", but they didn't stay long, either. After that, my grandfather didn't want anymore renters. He offered to sell it to me, cheap, but I didn't have a job there, or money, or a way to take care of all that needed to be done to the house. Besides, I had a little bit of a fear of the place, as I do of all old places, especially if there is no one else around.
My daughter begged to stay when we got ready to leave after looking around the abandoned house, saying that this was her house! I had a creepy feeling and just wanted to run out of there. My mother and her sister just shook their heads and looked like they were going to cry. "What happened to all that beautiful wood paneling!" They asked, over and over.
Fortunately, the house was bought by someone who was able to do a lot of work on it. It was changed, somewhat, but, at least, it was preserved and was liveable again.
It has been sold again a couple of times, and each owner has made their own changes. But the house lives on as it was, in my memory and pictures.
At the time that the house was built, prior to 1900, Emil Conitz Sr. was partners in a lumber yard, among his other interests including his grocery store. So the house was built using the finest materials available.
It would be nice, now, if we had kept the old places, and could have kept them as they were in their better days. The ladies in the family always wanted a new house, or new things, wanting to get rid of the old things. It was the men who wanted to stay in their comfortable old homes, but finally would give in to the women, and move on to new places with them.
We didn't usually go on the homes tours, since we were in the houses at times, anyway. Better to stay out of the way and let the tourists have plenty of space. Occasionally, we would be asked to help out in one of the houses, and that was always nice.
I really liked dressing up in the Victorian attire, and even had a lady in Calvert, Dot, make several dresses that I designed. And, of course, it was nice that we had the dry goods store so that I could get my material and patterns there. Just made changes to make those clothes look like the Victorians might have worn.
More on fashions another time.
After we moved away from Calvert, I had this dream about going back and looking around the town. New people had moved in and changes had been to the homes (which has actually happened, of course.)
Someone, in the dream, asked me if I had seen the inside of the home that they had just fixed up. I can tell you where it was, but there is no house there! I think it was the back of the Foster house, beside where their barn used to be. I can see the house across the street, too.
I went in through the kitchen and they invited me upstairs to see the bedrooms. We had to walk through the bedroom in the drawing above, to get to the other bedrooms and bathrooms. This bedroom has really stuck in my mind, so I drew it.
There were windows across the east wall, covered in sheer white ruffled panels. A writing desk or dresser was the only furniture on that side of the room. There was a low wall to divide the room, pale yellow, topped with white wood. At the opening, there was a white carved wood feature, like a knot. That is the detail that I have added below the drawing of the room.
A hardwood floor was exposed as a sort of hallway through the room. The opposite side of the room had a row of closets, painted soft green, and a matching floral rug covered the floor on that side of the room. The bed was there, covered with a chintz type of floral spread.
I don't know why that room has stuck with me so much. I could see the house across the street through the sheer curtains, and that is very familiar to me.
I guess I went on my own homes tour, in my sleep!
At one time, I thought about going block by block, and telling about each house on the block, maybe taking a picture to go with it. It would have been introducing people to, not just a place, but a way of life-Calvert. I never got around to doing that, and, now, I find that I have forgotten a lot. Should have done that some years ago. I didn't think that I knew as much as my relatives knew. But, now that they are gone, what they knew is also gone.
Since I can't go to the event in Calvert, today, I can still remember. Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane.
It was on this day, April 25, when Calvert was getting ready for tourists, 34 years ago. We laid Jamey to rest on this day. There was to be a big art show in town at the newly refurbished utility building on the weekend. I took Jamey's drawings, and displayed them on Daddy's baggage wagon. I couldn't be concerned with my own things. I was still wondering "What happened? Is this real?"
A couple of days later, a tornado hit the town and demolished that building and others. I was going to wait out the rain in the car, that day, since I was sitting in the cemetery at his grave, when the rain started. We didn't have things like tornado warnings. When it started to lightning, I rode around north of town. When I got back into town and the rain let up, there were tractors and farm equipment all in the highway, and their building was gone. I drove past the cemetery and a piece of tin had scooped the ground and crumpled against a fence, just where I had been sitting.
When storms blew up last night, I watched the weather channel, remembering this time all those years ago, and hoping that there would not be another tornado. For a while, it looked like a hook was forming on radar, so I didn't attempt to sleep until it had all moved on. I hoped that there would not be storms or damage in Calvert, before their big event today.
Greta Watkins of the Frame Gallery in downtown Bryan, reminds me that next Friday is the big First Friday in downtown Bryan. There is always lots to do there. Entertainment, food, art, music, carriage rides. You can see more on the Downtown Bryan Association website.
Get Well Wishes go out to all those on the sick list! Hope everyone recovers quickly!
Be sure to see the Face Book group, Calvert, Texas.
Also, click on the link at the top of my page, to join BrazosValley_Sketchers.
You can also subscribe to my blog and join my Followers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Remembering This Day

pencil Drawing by Jamey age 9

Sunset at Indianola, Texas
personal photo
This time of day, 34 years ago, I was getting a knot in my stomach, a feeling of panic, frustration, and helpnessness. And this is the time of the day that it happened. For a few more hours, that anxiety continued while men searched and afternoon sun streamed into my kitchen window- turning into a nightmare that went on and on, and has only eased a little through the years. Now, it still seems like a dream- a horrible dream that can't be real. Only it is real. It did happen. I was told, and he never came home, so I guess they are right.
Each year, it is a time when I would like to just pull back into darkness, pull the covers over my head, cry, or something. But, often, I had to keep going and look at other peoples' little boys who were, well, being little boys. Full of life and mischief and, sometimes, giving me a hard time. Maybe I helped them some, although I couldn't help mine anymore.
Time has passed and now there are grandsons with their lives and activities. Legos, Hot Wheels, car magazines, "Sponge Bob", and the things that boys like, are so welcome. But there is always that memory of the time that doesn't seem all that long ago.
The afternoon sun is streaming through my window across my drawing table where Simba is sleeping. Boys are playing computer games. Supper is cooking.
The cemetery is there, as always. Out of sight, from here. But we know that so many are resting there. We remember.
The 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl is over. We're all looking forward to 23, which should be about in July. Barbara sketched in Port Lavaca, Michael sketched in Calvert, and I sketched in Bryan.
It looks like Sao Paulo, Brazil had the biggest turnout, again, with 154 people out sketching. They also brought donations of items to give to the poor. That was a really nice thing to do.
Hopefully, we can get some groups together in our area for next time.
You can see work and photos from all over the world on the Forum on the World Wide Sketch Crawl website. Or you can just click on the logo in my sidebar.
Plan to be in Calvert Saturday April 25. That's the day of the annual spring homes tour. It starts on Friday night with a heritage program at The Foundry, with several of the descendants of famous Texas history noteables appearing. You do need tickets for that.
There is also a quilt show, a street dance, lots of music, food, entertainment, shopping, etc. And, of course, the homes tour. You will also need tickets for the tour, but everything else is said to be free.
You can see the events on the Calvert Chamber of Commerce website at
This year's tour is called Showcase Calvert 2009.
Be sure and look at the things in my sidebar. The storks are especially interesting this year. More eggs in the nest at the educational site with the webcam in Poland, so maybe they will have more babies to survive this year. They didn't have any last year. Check out Stork Sites in my sidebar.
If you have German or Polish/Prussian ancestry, you might enjoy this site. I'm going to add it to my sidebar.
Der Familiename Konitzer/Conitzer
Robert Gates, Defense Secretary, was in town for Aggie Muster on the 21st and a dedication for Becky Gates' child care center at A&M, the next day. Gates, former president of A&M, made a wonderful speech during Muster at Reed Arena. I watched on tv, and used a lot of Kleenex! Really a touching service.
Just after Muster, Greta Van Susteran was broadcasting from the George Bush Library. I didn't know she was coming! I would love to meet her. I thought she would be there again last night because she was interviewing Barbara Bush that night. I guess she recorded it, though, because she was in St. Louis for her broadcast.
I know that students went to the Library to meet her when Greta was here previously. They were on tv. I don't want to be on tv. I would just like to meet Greta.
Oddly, Greta reminds me of one of our schoolmates in Calvert! I went back into my old Trevlac and found a picture of the younger student. They do look similar. I know. Greta is not from our part of the country!
I can't get over what they are planning to do to the MSC. Why on earth would anyone want to go in and just destroy that wonderful place. It is a big part of Aggie tradition, and now, someone wants to change it. Just unbelievable that anyone would do that.
My favorite day is to go to the MSC, have lunch with roast cooked in wine in the cafeteria, with it's beautiful etched glass; go to the craft shop downstairs ( they did away with that, unfortunately and turned it into a frame shop, at one time); tour the 4 art galleries; buy books and art supplies in the book store; maybe visit the recreational facilities downstairs with the bowling alley, etc. I even like to walk through that corner where the post office is. And, of course, we have to sit a while in "the living room" and just look at the piano, the furnishings and flags, the lighted collections, and Rodney Hill's wonderful wood carvings.
It's so reassuring to know how many people have walked through that beautiful area before. And watch the students and visitors enjoying the space. That it has been here for so many years and will remain.
I guess it won't remain much longer, and doesn't seem like it will be a welcoming place anymore. Looks like it is going to be turned into mostly office space and meeting rooms.
I always thought it would be wonderful to be able to come back and stay at the hotel in the MSC while visiting the campus. Of course, I'm not coming back. I'm still here! But that is a dream I have always had. (Would have been even better if I were staying there with a former student husband. That never happened, either, sadly.)
I wonder why they can't just spruce the MSC up with fresh paint, or whatever, and leave a good thing alone. (Seems like they just did that not long ago.) Especially since Aggies are so keen on tradition. I felt like the new people would not understand Aggie traditions and, sure enough, here they go, changing things.
I always made it a point to take students to see the MSC when we went to A&M on field trips, and hope they would be inspired. It always inspired and relaxed me.
I think that is about my favorite place in the whole world.
My computer has been giving me fits, lately. I updated it and it was even worse yesterday. I was about to pull my hair out or throw the machine out a window by last night. But, I restrained myself and just unplugged it and left it off all night. It worked better today, but some things still don't seem to work like I think they should. And, my tool bars at the top are all changed. I still have to figure out how to get my old toolbar back. I'm not so sure it is the computer, but it's the internet companies.
When you hear that they are going to lay off lots of people, you can't help but wonder if that might have something to do with the problem. Or it is all these people who know computer things, just trying to confuse people like me!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Softly Call The Muster

Family Photos
As Aggies gather world wide to remember fallen Aggies, we think of those who are no longer with us.
In the MSC, there has been a display of pictures and memorabilia from the families of Aggies who have died. Now, people are gathering at Reed Arena in College Station, on campus, to participate in the largest of the Aggie Musters. One of the most solemn of Aggie traditions, Aggies gather around the world to observe this occasion.
We will watch Muster on tv and listen for the names of those we might have known.
Top Photo: Emil Conitz Jr. Emil didn't get to attend A&M. His father thought it best for him to go to business school in Galveston although Coach Kyle tried his best to get him to come to A&M to play ball-baseball in particular. They wanted him to play so badly that offers were made. The story is that they even promised to name the football field after him. Since he didn't go, it was named for Coach Kyle. Emil graduated from Galveston Business College, just months before the great 1900 storm. He opened his dry goods store in Calvert in 1901 and operated it until he died. He loved the Aggies, though, and supported them all his life.
On Sundays, family drives often led to campus "to see the boys" and he looked forward to games. H encouraged signs in the store windows, supporting the Aggies as traffic flowed through Calvert on Highway 6.
The photo was taken in his store, when Emil was in his 90s, after the head coach at A&M gave Emil the Aggie cap and an elevator pass so he could be sure and see the games at Kyle Field. They called him the oldest Aggie fan. He was giving a gig em sign for me as I took this picture.
There couldn't have been a more loyal Aggie. I'm sure that he was one who bled maroon. He died at age 96.
Middle Photo- Jamey-"My little Aggie"-
He didn't live long enough to go to college, but we all had hopes that he would be the first to go to A&M and graduate as an Aggie. In this photo, he was dressed in his Aggie sweatshirt and giving an Aggie gig em sign. He died at age 11, after this photo was taken.
Bottom Photo-Alfred Conitz-
Alfred graduated from Calvert High School, just in time for the Depression. The class of 1929. It had not hit yet, but he went to college, and made his father proud by going to A&M. He intended to be a cotton classifier. And he was so proud of being on the freshman football team. But, then, the bottom dropped out of the cotton market, so there went that career. And the Great Depression struck. Other students were dropping out, so Alfred did too, and went to work.
Like his father, though, he was always crazy about the Aggies. He liked the family rides to "see the boys" and played around with the Aggie sayings and traditions. At family dinners, we always thought he was speaking German by asking people to pass the cush or pootie or gunwadden. In recent years, we discovered that we were not learning German at all, but it is what they called food items in the dining hall at A&M! Cush was dressing, Pootie was turkey, gunwadding was bread, sky juice was water, sawdust was sugar, etc. He liked to tease and no one told us younger ones any different.
He kept his wool Aggie uniform. And he backed the Aggies completely. He had his wife and sister in law play favorites on the piano like "There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight" and the "Aggie War Hymn". And woe be unto anyone who talked of anything but the game during the Aggie football games, especially the big Aggie-Texas Thanksgiving Day game.
While he didn't remain at A&M to graduate, he was a loyal Aggie until his death at age 72.
I'm sure that they were never remembered by having their names called at an Aggie Muster, but, surely, they were as loyal as any Aggies can be.
So, on Aggie Muster, I am remembering them.
It's going to be another memorable Muster at Reed Arena this evening. Robert Gates, Defense Secretary and former president of A&M is going to be here along with other dignitaries. The candle lighting and roll call, and the Ross Volunteers marching in the darkness is always amazing.
You can watch on KBTX tv and also KAMU tv.
Watch the storks!
They had 5 eggs in the nest, the last time I checked. Unfortunately, there are 2 plastic bags in the nest, that those of us who have been watching the storks are concerned about. Hope someone can get those out before they harm the parents or babies.
Look on my sidebar under Stork Sites to see more stork sites. They are fascinating!
Calvert is getting ready for their big spring tour of homes April 25. A lot of free things going on there including music and a street dance at night. There will be a quilt show. Several descendants of figures from Texas history will be there on Friday night for a presentation and there will be a tour of homes. You will need tickets for those two events.
The weather is supposed to be perfect, so be sure to go to Calvert and enjoy the weekend.
If you like the tv program, "Last of the Summer Wine", you might enjoy this website.
This is also a solemn day in Texas history. It's San Jacinto Day. There are observances being held for that memorable time. On FaceBook, the Sam Houston group page told about observances recognizing that historic battle in the Houston area. This is the battle, after the Alamo, that turned the tide for Texas Independence, when the Texas Army defeated the Mexican army and captured Santa Ana.
There is an impressive monument, the San Jacinto Monument, which we toured as students in Calvert-many years ago. If you haven't been, you should make it a point to go. The Battleship Texas is also on display there.
A day of rememberance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Party Day

We Want Our Rights
private photo
Who Are These Ladies?
Tax Day. Tea parties all over the country, protesting what is going on today. There were even two here, one at Veteran's Memorial Park, one at Tanglewood Park, and an event, complete with tea, on campus today.
The ladies in the photo above blazed the way for the rest of us to vote. I would imagine that they would be doing what they could today.
I wasn't able to go because of the knees, etc. But I did watch what I could on tv. There were a couple of signs that were impressive. If I were making signs I probably would simply say "Save Our Country" or "Bring Back Our America". It was great to see Glenn Beck at the Alamo. That would have been something to see.
Some people who do not watch the news much thought it was going to be an actual party with tea and cookies and little party sandwiches. You have to watch a lot of news, read, and think to stay on top of things today.
I'm afraid that those who are in control aren't going to pay a bit of attention and don't care what the people want or what is right.
Here is a link to a video that you might enjoy.
There is going to be a World Wide Paint Out in September, sponsored by the International Plein Aire Painters. I think it is a 3 day event Sept. 11, 12, and 13.
More details later.
I still have to post my pictures from the Sketch Crawl last Saturday. I had to see about my grandson and his surgery and then do that dreaded income tax stuff, first. Back to painting. And blogging. And all those good things.
Hope this day wasn't too painful for you!
This little bit probably won't help a thing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl Port Lavaca, Texas

22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl
by Barbara
April 11, 2009
Barbara didn't get to come to join us in Calvert or Bryan for the Sketch Crawl Saturday. But she sent me her sketches to post. These are also on the Sketch Crawl website, . Look under Forums, 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl, and they are listed under Port Lavaca, Texas.
Barbara said, "Sketch Crawl Day results from my day. The hardware store is ink pen, and the group eating at Skillet's was ink pen and watercolor. The cool, strong winds didn't help with the hardware one done outside. Or, the one eye. But it was fun."
I've made a mess trying to post my pictures from Sketch Crawl. I've spent all day today and part of Easter Sunday, trying to load my pictures, organize them, etc. I ended up thinking I was organizing a folder on Flickr, and found that I had deleted a whole folder and lots of pictures that I didn't mean to get rid of. I just wanted to move them to a different place! Didn't see anywhere that said how to do that! So, I'll have to start over from back at the Plein Aire Workshops, all the art work I had added there, etc. I could chew nails!
I need to finish getting my own sketches ready to load and put on Flickr, then on the Sketch Crawl website.
I did take time to look at a few of the many locations that have added their results to the Sketch Crawl site. It's really interesting to see what people have done. Really enjoyed the results from Georgetown, Texas, not so far from here. They had several children participating, which I thought was really cool!
Go to the site and enjoy all the sketches.
Our sympathies go out to the family of Erin, the former Mary Branch student, who lost her long battle with cancer. Certainly a sad time, but what a terrific young lady. Her accomplishments in her short life are just amazing.
I'll try to post my sketches and pictures tomorrow. It may get delayed, though, because the oldest grandson has ankle surgery tomorrow-again.
And I may have to think about finishing up that dreaded income tax sometime soon. Math! It's not my thing at all! Why can't we just draw them a picture or something! It's pure torture for us right brained people. Everybody else, too.
We had a quiet Easter. Oldest grandson had to work. Youngest is still getting over his flu. He's too big for Easter Egg hunts and all that. He and his mom made cup cakes and decorated them. His mom baked a small ham for dinner yesterday. We watched tv and ate, then went to visit at the nursing home for a while. Took Thelma an Easter cupcake and a Coke. Rode by the little dam at the Municipal Golf Course on the way home.
It turned out to be a pretty day after morning rain. We got about a half a birdbath full of rain, which is badly needed, they say.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Winecups at Sunset

Winecups at Sunset
6" x 8"
My e-mail got hung up yesterday, so I tried many different ways to send out my blog. Nothing seems to have worked right. I finally figured out today that, perhaps, one e-mail file I was trying to send was too large and it wouldn't go. I deleted it all, and everything seemed to start to work again.
I apologize if you got my blog more than once, of if you didn't get it at all.
Please be sure to scroll down and read Wednesday's post, if you didn't get yesterday's blog.
A mail box beside a country road. Winecups blooming in the grass beside the base of the box. Sunset driving long shadows from a house across an open field. A nice time of day. A nice time of year. Spring in Texas.
The little painting above is done with oil paint on stretched canvas.
Please let me know if you see anything of interest to you.
The Circus arrived at Reed Arena yesterday! Much excitement!
This isn't the full three ring circus, but is a new concept that Ringling Bros. is using, with just one ring. There are still elephants, big cats, and all kinds of acts and clowns to delight all ages.
It ends Saturday.
One more day to Sketch Crawl! Saturday April 11, 2009
Join us!
If you are in the Brazos Valley area, meet at Mud Creek Pottery on Main Street in Calvert about 8:30 a.m. or the LaSalle Hotel in downtown Bryan, also about 8:30 a.m. Meet in the courtyard or the coffee shop. After 10:00 a.m, in Bryan, register at the Frame Gallery, 216 N. Bryan Ave.
Once we meet, we can see if we have a group, where we want to sketch, and if we want to work alone or with someone else.
Just bring yourself, paper and pencil or pen, or whatever sketching, painting, or journaling materials that you prefer. Also bring any personal items you need like a hat, sunglasses, folding chair or stool, or camera. Of course, you should bring any money that you want to spend.
The Sketch Crawl is FREE, but you might want to buy something to eat, drink, etc.
The weather forecast is calling for possible thunderstorms starting to move in on Saturday. That should not affect us. The stores will be open so we could find a place to work indoors. I'm thinking of several possibilities.
In Calvert, you have all those great show windows to look through at Mud Creek Pottery, if you need to work inside for a while.
Of course, there are always restaurants where it would be nice to spend some time and enjoy something to eat or drink.
It really is a nice day for anyone who likes to sketch, draw, journal, or doodle.
Let me know if you have any questions.
I'm anxious to see what everyone does, as well as to participate myself!
Have you watched the storks, yet? Look for links to stork webcams in my sidebar under Stork Sites. They are fascinating!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Evening Primroses

Evening Primroses
6" x 8"
I've gotten some comments in the past few days, that are advertisements or spam. The link that one gave doesn't even go to a website. So, I've done something that I really hate having to do myself. I went in and changed my settings so that people have to complete those security letters before they can post a comment.
I hope that doesn't prevent you from making legitimate comments on my blog. Hopefully, this will stop some of those annoying spam things and, maybe, one day, we will be able to have our blogs without that type of thing happening. I noticed that so many people have added this feature. I hate to do those because they are so hard for me to figure out, usually! (I dislike puzzles as much as I dislike math!) But, hopefully, this will help avoid nuisance ads or worse.
The little 6"x8" oil painting above is a country scene in spring, complete with mailbox and dainty pink evening primroses. They are in bloom here, now. Some people call them buttercups, but buttercups are yellow. They are a really delicate looking flower.
Only 2 more days until the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl starts.
I looked at the Forum on the Sketch Crawl website,, to see where people will be participating on Saturday. It looks like there are 55 foreign countries, and 47 different locations in the U.S.A. that have registered on the website, so far. There are 8 locations in Texas. That's over 100 places where people will be out sketching, drawing, painting, or journaling their surroundings on Saturday. I think that is exciting, and I can't wait to see what everyone does.
Here in Bryan/College Station, plans are for us to meet about 8:30 a.m. at the LaSalle Hotel in the courtyard, or the coffee shop. After 10 a.m., we can register at the Frame Gallery, just so that we will have some idea of who is participating and where they are working.
In Calvert, meet at Mud Creek Pottery on Main Street, about 8:30 a.m.
People in other communities can form their own groups, or they are welcome to join us in Calvert or Bryan. Or wherever you might be.
After we meet, we can see if we have a group, and if people want to work together or spread out on their own. And we can decide on where we want to work.
We will spend the day recording our surroundings with art. Those who wish to have lunch together might do that.
Participants can work all day, or for a few minutes, if their time is limited.
If there is bad weather, we can always go indoors to work. There are plenty of restaurants and shops with seating, even the library, that would be a nice place to sit and draw. Rain should not keep us from participating on Saturday. The weatherman said there might be thunderstorms on Saturday, but it is supposed to be worse on Sunday.
Easter decorations and traditions would be interesting to look at as subjects, possibly.
Please help to spread the word.
These are some of the places that have registered for the Sketch Crawl. Maybe you can find one in your own area to join, if you aren't local to Bryan/College Station.
In Texas, North Texas, Austin, Houston, Waxahachie, Georgetown, Port Lavaca, Bryan/College Station, and Calvert. There is also an active group in Dallas, but I don't see them listed this time. They were listed in previous crawls.
In the Unitd States, Oklahoma; Ithaca, NY; Tttumwa, Iowa; Baltimore, MD; Manchester, CA; Corvalis, OR; San Jose, CA; Albuquerque, NM; Portland, OR; Savannah, GA; St. Joseph, MO; Taos, NM; Placer & Nevada counties, Northern, CA; Lansing, MI; Cambrige, Mass.; Rocherster, NY; Griffin, GA; Owosso, MI; Northern Indiana; Bozeman, MT; Atlanta, GA; Honolulu, Hawaii; Phoenix, AR; Albany, NY; LaGrande, OR; Washington, DC; Las Vegas, NV; Mobile, AL.
Also, NYC; Greenville, SC; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Moscow, ID; New York City; New Orleans, LA; Chicago, IL; Salem, OR; Tucson, AR; Seattle, WA; and Phoenix, AR.
In other countries, Ipswich, Australia; Frankfurt or Mainz, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Singapore; Anwerp or Bruges, Belgium; Seoul, Korea; Oxford, UK; Brussels, Belgium; Vienna, Austria; Firenze, Italy; Hamilton, NZ; Moscow, Russia; Porto, Portugal; Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil; Bogata/Chia, Columbia; Sydney, Australia; Lisbon, Portugal; Italia; Rome, Italy; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Treviso, Italy; Vancouver, BC; Kanagawa, Japan; Barcelona, Spain; London; Beijing, China; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
Also, Tamworth, Australia; Banalore, India; Paris, France; Belfast, Ireland; Osnabruck, Germany; Drogheda, Ireland, Salvadore, Bahia, Brazil; Wellington, NZ; Bologna, Italy; Shanghai, China (Puxi); East UK; Salzburg, Austria; Kuala Lampur, Malaysia; Hyderbad, India; SE Wales, UK; Salsburg, Austria; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Manilla, Phillipines; Berlin, Germany; Milano, Italy; Israel; Sweden; Blue Mountains, Australia; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Aukland, NZ; Bremen, Germany; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Stockholm, Sweden.
If you are in any of those areas, and want to sketch with a group, you can contact them on the Forum under 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl.
Remember that Sketch Crawl is FREE and open to anyone who likes to draw, paint, sketch, journal, or even doodle. Just bring yourself, sketchbook or paper, pencil, pen or whatever you like to draw with, personal items like a hat, sunglasses, or folding stool or chair, and any money that you want to spend.
At the end of the day, people can get together, if they want to, to share their work and experiences.
We will post our work and experiences on the Sketch Crawl website, and personal websites and blogs. And this should give us some good material to do more finished work from.
Hope you are looking forward to this event, too.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Robertson County Bluebonnets

Robertson County Bluebonnets
8" x 10"
Bluebonnet time in Texas is an exciting time, bringing lots of visitors to see the state flower in bloom.
I've had this scene in mind for a while, finally got it painted, and dry enough to scan.
This scene is on a little hill with a drop off, covered in Bluebonnets, on the left. A dirt road leads off the highway to a wooded area behind a wooden gate. On the right, a farmhouse peeks above the raised lawn. In the foreground, there is a rock lined flower bed with cactus growing in the bed.
The blue Texas sky is dotted with whisps of white clouds.
I have a companion piece that isn't finished, to go with this one. Another 8"x10". This one has an old two room school house in it.
Hope you enjoy the Bluebonnets. They will soon be replaced by fields of red Indian Paintbrushes.
Flu symptoms are a bit better today. The young one went on to school today. He had to go because of the TAKS math test. I hope that, feeling bad, doesn't hurt his score on that test. He came home yesterday and said that he felt so bad, he couldn't think. Hopefully, he is better today. I was so sick at my stomach, sneezing, dizzy, etc., myself until this morning. But I did manage to fix soup and toast, and urge him to eat Jello, take in plenty of liquids, etc.
I was going to make some homemade croutons to float in soup by just toasting some bread with a little butter on it, then cutting them into cubes. But, I ended up just cutting them into strips and letting him use those to dip in his soup. Pretty good! He really likes to have Cheetos or toast with his soup, and what we had was crackers. So, I had to figure out something to go with the soup. He can't have milk, until after Thursday, if the doctor says it is okay. She thought he had a stomach ache from a virus or milk, before the recital last Thursday. I thought it might be anxiety. But, as it turned out, it seems he was getting sick and by Saturday, he seemed to have classic flu symptoms. By late Sunday, I had his stomach ache!
If you are in the area, go over to Stark Gallery in the MSC at A&M and see the Faculty Art Show. Another group of art teachers have their work on display at the Art Center in College Station.
And I'm thinking of where the best places are going to be to sketch Saturday, during the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl.
Hope that you are going to join me!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Tartan Day and San Jacinto Day!



Cecelia I

Cecelia II

Happy Tartan Day!
Happy San Jacinto Day!

If you have a tartan, I hope you are wearing it today. If you don't have one, you can have some fun and design one of your own using the Tartan Designer in my sidebar.

The site has changed since I used it previously a year or so ago, but you can still use the free demo to make up your own tartan.
There are other sites where you can look up your surnames and see if there are tartans. I have links to some of those, also in my sidebar.
I didn't find one for my Scottish surnames. However, there was an Arnot clan, at one time. It is no more because the last heir didn't have anyone to carry on as chief. So, without a chief, there is no clan. The family became a sept of something else, but I'm not sure what, since it depends on which area my ancestors came from. I've only found back as far as one ancestor whose parents or grandparents are the ones who came from Scotland. Can't go back across the pond, so far.
So, I thought it would be fun to design a taran. I like purple, so that's what I came out with. The bottom two designs are my creations, using the Tartan Designer online. I did 3 more, just for fun. They all look pretty dark, until they are enlarged.
You can use that site to actually design a pattern that can be made up, and made into kilts, scarves, etc. You can even register your own tartan design.
I always feel like I should make these things myself, although I don't have the patience.
The top tartan design is one that you can actually buy. This is called the Confederate pattern. The other pattern is something that a lot of Texans, especially, like. This is called a Bluebonnet design. There are many others that include designs for organizations, states, cities, etc.

Today is also San Jacinto Day. There are activities at the San Jacinto Monument that you might like to participate in, if you are in that area.
Last night, I did get to see part of one of the Alamo movies, "13 Days To Glory", I believe it was. It was in the wee hours of the morning.

I didnt' make it to the Brazos Valley Art League meeting today. The flu seems to be going around at our house. Ashton was sick all weekend and had to come home from school this morning. TAKS tests for Math are tomorrow, so he needs to be well by then! And I woke up, with a tummy ache and sneezing, which is how his flu, or whatever it is, started. I guess we are going to pass this around. Just so I am well by Saturday for Sketch Crawl!

Brandy in Tennessee sent me a photo of the eaves of her house, showing a vent cover, similar to the one that I asked about on the house in Calvert yesterday. She said that her's is iron painted white, and is a decorative covering.

I think that the ones in Calvert are white wood. They look like they might have even had hands on them. We thought that they might be covering a vent, or a hole where there was a stove pipe at one time. But we also thought that the theme of clocks around the house must have some significance.
Possibly, it might help to look up records to see when that house was built and who built it. I feel sure that the Pierce family lived there in the 1930s and probably earlier. That is an older house, but I don't know the dates on it. Or original owners. If it was built there or moved from somewhere else.
Wouldn't it be neat, if those do actually have clock works behind them, to restore them so that they are working clocks! That certainly would be different.

You can enjoy the old houses in Calvert, and the atmosphere, along with activities there, Saturday April 25 when they have the homes tour, Showcase Calvert 2009. Looks like they are planning a lot of activities. Should be a nice day. And there is a two day quilt show along with the tour. See yesterday's post and my sidebar for links.
Looks like we are having a day of soup, crackers, Jello, and hot tea while the temperature drops outside.

Cecelia III
Design for a Tartan

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Architectural Mystery

Calvert, Texas Architectural Feature
What is this?
This is one of those mysteries that is going to bother me until I figure it out or someone tells me the answer. I hope it's the latter and soon. I've been looking, thinking, and researching for a while, and I still don't have an answer. Maybe you, or someone you know, can solve this.
This feature is on the south, north, and west sides of the home that once belonged to Sid and "Lizzie" Pierce in Calvert. There is a porch on the east side. It looks like clocks.
What is the significance of this feature? This is a very old home in town and, when I used to go there to see Mrs. Pierce, the house was not painted, and trees and shrubs cut off the view of most of the house. Mrs. Pierce was proud of her garden and how well things grew for her.
When plants were cleared away with the latest owners, and the house painted and worked on, that brought out these clocks that I had never seen before.
In the research that I have found, possibilities include that someone was a timekeeper, or did something with clocks. A custom from another country like Germany.
They certainly look like clocks, to me. I feel sure that there is some significance to them, either from the first owners or the builder.
I've mentioned this mystery before, but, this time, we took a picture of it, in hopes of finding an answer.
I wondered if anyone noticed this when they did the documentation for the National Historic District in Calvert. I haven't found anything, so far.
I did notice that there is some incorrect information on the documentation that is on the Texas Historical Commission site, where they list some of the historic homes in Calvert. I sent corrections to them, but I don't think it was ever fixed.
I hope someone out there has an answer!
Attention Storkwatchers! The storks are back in Poland! They are fascinating to watch on the webcams! Watch them at . You can see a video of their arrival at .
Check out the other links under Stork Sites in my sidebar to enjoy more storks.
Hope that all goes well for the bird families this year.
Speaking of Calvert and historic homes there, Calvert is having their spring homes tour and festivities, Showcase Calvert 2009, April 25. Check out the activities at
The date has been set for the Victorian Tea and Gala in Calvert. The fall event will be October 17. You can see the plans for that event at the same link as above. They're planning some different things at different locations in Calvert.
Bryan/College Station is joining in the rest of the country with a Tax Day Tea Party on April 15. This Tea Party will be at Tanglewood Park. For more information, go to .
You can find links to events in my sidebar.
Wear your tartan tomorrow for National Tartan Day!
Brazos Valley Art League meets at the Art Center in College Station at noon tomorrow, Monday.
Join in the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl
Saturday April 11
See my sidebar for more information

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday Night Date

Friday Night Date
8.5" x 11"
There was a comment on FaceBook today stating that they remembered the days when weekends meant dating and hanging out with friends. I still remember those times, too, although the person reminiscing is a lot younger than I am.
I did this little pencil sketch a while ago, remembering a Friday night date when I was a teenager in Calvert.
A younger girl in our group had a date with a boy from the next town. He didn't have a car. But his friend had a car. The guy with a car was willing to double date, but he didn't have a date. So, the girl asked me if I would like to go. My friends all told me to go. I was a bit hesitant because I was shy, couldn't think of clever conversation, and this was the first boy from out of town, that I had not grown up with, who I would be going out with.
We went to the Eloia to see a movie, which was okay because we didn't really have time to go out of town and be home by 10 p.m. The movie did the talking for us, so we didn't really have to say much. I think he was just about as shy as I was.
So, here we are, in my drawing, sitting in the car after the show, parked in front of the old abandoned movie theatre beside the bank. The sign from the Eloia and the street lights light up the night. Notice that the car is not parallel parked. At that time, our wide Main Street, which was also the highway, allowed cars to just pull in. You can see the other couple in the back seat through the rear view mirror, and their knees on the seat of the car.
My date was really cute , but, as I said, I think he was as shy as I was, so there wasn't much talking. Thankfully, the other girl was lively and talkative, so I just listened. Imagine my surprise when my date leaned over and kissed me! I didn't know what to do! It was a sweet, tender kiss and I almost passed out!
In our little group, we had talked about what to do if a boy tried to kiss you, and how to kiss. But, at this time, I was at a loss as to what to do! What do you do with your nose. And should you let a boy kiss you on a first date. All those big questions that people encounter as they grow up and start to date.
I worried about my manners and felt that I didn't know what to do or order when eating out. And I felt so stupid, waiting for a boy to come around and open my door for me. I thought that I didn't have enough experience at eating out. I was very uncomfortable at this business of dating a stranger. I had dated before, but it was always with the boy I started going out with in elementary school, and had known all my life.
On top of that, what if they didn't like you. Or you didn't like them. Or if you did something stupid like tripping and falling or if you needed to go to the bathroom! And what about the other couple. What if they didn't want to go home yet, and you needed to be at home earlier. So many problems!
Yes, I remember dating and hanging out with friends on weekends and every day. We were a small school in a small community, and most of us grew up together and are still friends. It's sad to think of those who are no longer with us. We did have some good times .
Congratulations to Kathi Appelt! See her link in my sidebar under Artists and Authors. There was an article about her latest book in "The Texas Observer". See "What The Woods Knew" by Robert Leleyx dated April 3-09 at Interesting review of her book, "The Underneath".
Lots of things going on locally tonight. Hope you are involved in some of them.
In downtown Bryan, they are showing the movie "Grease" tonight as part of the First Friday festivitites.
At Rudder Hall on campus, Karl Rove and Juan Williams are appearing. That should be very interesting.
Monday April 6
National Tartan Day-Wear your tartan! If you don't have one, look in my sidebar and you can find a link to a place where you can design your own tartan. I still like the one that I designed last year on that site.
Brazos Valley Art League-meets at noon at the Art Center in College Station.
Great News for Stork Watchers!
The storks are back in Poland!!!
Go to my sidebar and see the list of sites under Stork Sites. Mama and Papa stork have returned to the nest where all the babies died from a fungus a couple of years ago. That was so sad! Last year, the adults didn't return to the nest at all. But, now a pair of storks has taken up residence in the nest, and the webcams are working.
Join us for the 22nd World Wide Sketch Crawl
Saturday April 11, 2009
Thanks for reading and sharing!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More Pics From the Plein Aire Workshop in Calvert

Plein Aire Painting Workshop
Calvert, Texas
Saturday Feb. 21, 2009
Barbara brought me some of her photos from the plein aire painting workshops in Calvert with Virginia Vaughan. These are from the last workshop on February 21.
Look for the next workshop in October. But, if you can't wait until next fall, check out V....'s website for more information on her workshops and appearances.
Top Photo: V.... gave some hints for using cameras as she painted.
Middle Photo: SuZan on the sidewalk beside Mud Creek Pottery in Calvert, while Kerrie chose to work in the street to paint the Masonic Lodge. Kerrie had on a cute hat with a critter on top. SuZan had to fight a bit of a breeze.
Bottom Photo: V.... explains her painting techniques while Cecelia, Sonny, and Toni watch the sunrise demonstration and take photos.
I left my computer unplugged all day yesterday and got a little painting done. Finished 2- 6" x 8"s, did a little more to another, and finished a Bluebonnet painting, 8" x 10". Since they are oils, they are too wet to scan, yet.
Haven't yet started my 16" x 20"s that are ready to go. I bounced around a long while, trying to decide what to do. I'm thinking of a Blue Norther on one, a painting of the little dam at the local Municipal Golf Course, with the old clubhouse across the little lake at sunset. But, I can't remember exactly what the clubhouse looked like and I think the photos that I took of the dam are at the wrong angle.
That is one of the most interesting places here, I think. In years of drought, we would go for a Sunday ride from Calvert to Aggieland to "see the boys", get doughnuts at Shipley's, and go back home. As we rode past the little dam, we eagerly watched to see if water was flowing, for that would mean that the lake wasn't dry. It was an anxious time. The lake did get down pretty low, but eventually came back.
I'm not sure what they did to the dam or the lake, but, now, there has to be a really big rainfall for water to flow over the dam. It always seemed to be flowing as long as there was water in the lake, back in the older times when I was growing up.
I remember in the evenings, when the ladies and gentlemen, would walk up the wide steps, dressed in formal wear, for a dance or whatever the event was that evening.
In those times, I remember the formal wear when people went to dances and dinner at places like the Blue Room just north of Hearne.
I'll have to put some of those in my painting of that particular country club.
Another day.
If you are in the area, be sure to go out to First Friday in downtown Bryan Friday evening. Sounds like a lot of fun. They are going to be running transportation from A&M to downtown Bryan to the event, so students can enjoy the evening. Sounds like fun. Wish they would run a bus out to my house! And bring me back home. Just kidding, of course, but not being able to drive due to my eyes, keeps me from doing a lot of things.
I have a few more pictures from Barbara to share with you. After that, maybe my paintings will be dry enough to scan.