31 March 2015

Texas wildflowers

They're back! Springtime wildflowers are popping up all around us --- All of these are growing within a quarter-mile radius of our home except for the blanket flower which I found in Rockport. And this is just the beginning . . . 

30 March 2015

photinia shrubs & trees

There are several ornamental trees and shrubs in our yard that we had never seen before. They are a hardy evergreen with both bright green and red leaves. In the spring they have clusters of white flowers and in the autumn there are small red berries that birds enjoy eating.

I finally found out what they are: two varieties of Fraser or Red Robin photinia. They look like Christmas year-round!

28 March 2015

bits of shells and other stuff

I brought home some pretty bits of shell from the Gulf, as well as the remains of a starfish, a tiny crab skeleton, and a bit of polished sea glass. Several were sketched on the previously posted pages; the rest are here.

25 March 2015

at the beach

On the second day of our recent visit to the Gulf of Mexico, we left Rockport and headed to Mustang Island where our kids would be camping a few days. To get there involved two bridges and a ferry to Port Aransas.

The skies were overcast, it was breezy, and the water colder than normal for this tome of year. And we loved every moment there! Found lots of interesting bits of shells and remains of a few sea creatures while wading. Lots of gulls, sand pipers, pelicans, and one friendly blue heron.

23 March 2015

more from the Gulf

Last Saturday we took a drive to the north shore of Corpus Christi to see the USS Lexington. An aircraft carrier from World War II, it is maybe a third of the size of the carrier our youngest son served on. But still so much to see that we missed some of it.

Bill loved his own time in the Navy, serving on a subtender, and enjoyed the self-guided tours. The Lexington was used as a training ship when we lived in San Diego so it was like seeing an old friend.

Later, we spent some time in a harbor in Rockport where we were staying. While looking out towards this pier, I saw a fin in the water. The others teased me about sharks . . . until Misty saw it. There were two wild dolphins swimming back and forth under the pier!

We ate supper at The Boiling Pot --- Quen liked it when they spread paper out on the table and handed out crayons to draw with. But what a shocked expression on his face when our food was brought out in a large bucket and dumped right on the table! The shrimp, sausage, and veggies were wonderful . . . and Quen enjoyed his peanut butter & jelly sandwich!

20 March 2015

trip to the Gulf of Mexico

Last weekend our son Matt and his wife Misty invited us to join them in Rockport, Texas to celebrate our grandson Quen's 8th birthday. I'm a bit slow in finishing and posting sketches.

We stayed in a private beach house only a couple of houses from the gulf; the above scene is what greeted us as Bill and I took an early morning walk.

The Gulf is so much bluer here than in Galveston! The water temperature is much cooler than normal for this time of year but beautiful.

18 March 2015

rose trimming

In central Texas roses are usually trimmed back in late February, but this year has been cooler than average and very wet. Also, I have been away from home a lot recently.

I finally got around to cutting our roses back to make way for new growth . . . and found this perfect rose bud from early December still looking as fresh as it did before the plant went dormant. I also love how the leaves turn red and reddish-purple on this particular plant.

11 March 2015

peanut concentration


Every day I took Jayna and Josiah to school last week, Judah would grump that he wanted to go to school with them. Normally he goes to his own "school" (daycare), but I preferred to keep him with me.

Bill drove down the end of the week; we took Judah out for a special day of his own on Friday, including lunch at Five Guys. He loves the peanuts!

06 March 2015

drawing for grandsons

It's Eagle Week again at Fort Bend Christian Academy where our oldest son teaches physics, and he and wife Carrie are off to Seattle with one of the teen mission teams. Leaving me as "granny nanny" again for their three kids.

During Eagle Week the school sends mission teams all over the U.S. and in other countries, doing various service projects. Kids unable to go on these trips do local projects in Sugarland. The past few years Jason's team has gone to Alaska to work behind the scenes for the Iditerod dog sled race but the timing didn't work out this year. So they are in Washington state.

I drew Josiah's colored marker pen and Judah's stuffed dinosaur just to see them smile.

03 March 2015

strawberries . . . in winter?

Even knowing we now live in a different gardening zone, Bill and I still marvel at some of the discoveries we are making. Like roses continuing to bloom off and on  all summer, autumn, and half-way into winter. Or the strawberry plants we set out last spring blooming all of February and even starting to set fruit! The first one is turning red in spite of temperatures some nights near freezing.

02 March 2015

weekend sketches

While driving to Brenham, we always enjoy looking at the gorgeous Texas Longhorns raised around here. Awesome beasts!

This past weekend Bill saw one sitting in the pasture like a dog --- such a funny sight! So I drew one in a similar position later.

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