Author Archives: admin

Trip to Brenham, Ice Cream Town, October 18/17

Just trying to catch up here. April Baxter, Evelyn O’Hara, June Chism and I drove with horses and pickups to Brenham, a wonderful little town that had decided to honor News of the World with a day of celebration and readings. Wand Waters arranged it and our splendid hosts were Joyce and Ralph Lilly, who had fifty acres outside of town where we could put our horses. The local theater group did readings from the book, I signed a lot, and we got to say n the old restored Ant Hotel. It was two days of unrelenting fun and since Brenham is the town of the famous Blue Bell Ice cream, there was a great deal of that too!

This was the audience in the theaterwhere I spoke.


Signing books. that was a velvet wrap I ordered from a catalogue and the room in the hotel was so cold and I didn’t know how to shut off the air conditioning and I couldn’t find any blankets so I ended up turning the velvet wrap inside out and sleeping in it. It looked okay for the next day, surprisingly.

Then we all drove on to the 7IL ranch which is east of Brenham, camping out in a terrific storm and got in one good ride and then went home.

April at 7IL

April’s beautiful Andalusian named Indira.

After that I was in Thousand Oaks California and then my granddaughter’s wedding and then Austin and finally home. My granddaughter Faith has her law degree, married a wonderful guy who is an identical twin who was his best man so that people got really confused.

Instead of putting up a photo of the wedding, here is my dear Faith when she was six, at Fiesta in San Antonio, I sat her up on the tailgate of a truck that was taking the mariachi band to the parade. She was in the children’s float.

Wedding pictures to come later when I get them but nothing can beat Faith and Los Mariachis.



Catching up November 7th/17

I have been traveling quite a lot and so have neglected this blog, this sort-of journal, this musing on a lighted screen. I received a book in the mail and promised to present it here; a story of two young African American captives taken in the 1870’s. Have not finished it. It is self-published. Take a look at it on Amazon.

We had to cancel our trip to New Mexico, June got tossed off Missy during an exciting event at the hog trap, and then Missy punctured her poor eye somehow — it had to be running into a branch — and this required daily drip of antibiotic. Here is the horrible picture.

Missy is okay now — Quarter horses are very resilient — but she has lost 50% of the vision in that eye. That’s a tube containing the antibiotic drip going into her head! Okay so nobody wants to see this before breakfast or even after but those of us who have animals have to get into medical care a lot.

And so here’s a happier picture. Will catch up later. Time to sail away into the world of the imagination.

October 2/17


Harvest time. In the general store I found a box of local pears, I think it is the Gring family that has the pear trees and I don’t know how they got a crop since we had about three months of drought. They are excellent, so unlike the generic pears you buy in grocery stores.

And the cotton harvest is in.

Those are called ‘loaves’ and they are big as mobile homes. Big as freight train cars.

And I got a new rug which demarcates the “music room” in one corner of my little doll house.

Am working out ‘Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms” on whistle, Kim Donoho suggested it, she’s got it on guitar and asked me to learn it. Also known as “My Lodging’s On The Cold Ground”.

And just to round off this blog post here is a picture of dogs laughing at cat videos.





September 9/17 Horseshoer and eggs


Denise Lynn is my farrier and here Buck is getting new shoes. She said he is so quiet and good that she ought to pay me for the privilege of shoeing him. He’s been very quiet since Dolly died. Actually it is kind of worrisome.

And Denise brought me some green eggs from her arucana chickens. Good breakfasts!

Just read a review on Caroline Woodward’s blog of The Defiant Mind; Living Inside A Stroke by Ron Smith. It sounds good, I am going to order it.

Flooding; Houston and the coast Sept 1/17

My little town is giving and donating an amazing amount. These trailers are parked across from the general store; one left yesterday and this one is going today. People are giving hand over fist — and they are not asking for money but for flood buckets, clothing, baby formula (I have been told it is very expensive) lawn chairs, blankets tarps etc.

Some of it is going to the Houston depot and others to the coastal depot for Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass, Rockport. Aransas Pass is where it first hit, they said winds were 130 mph.

So Doug Rodger in Ontario (Canada) asked me to make up a flood bucket for him and he would reimburse me. Here it is, Doug!

This trailer load went to Houston.

I went into Bandera (30 miles away) for dental work and while there went to True-Value to buy stuff for the flood bucket and got a message on my phone to fill up with gas, as the one gas station in our little town was going empty. So I pulled into long lines of cars in Bandera also filling up. I guess they all got text messages too. A woman in front of me at the pump, driving an ancient looked like a 1957 chevy pickup totally rusted came back to me and said they only had premium, “Don’t hit the regular, it messes up your card”.  then she wrote on a piece of paper and taped it to the pump “Premium only” to warn people. Afterwards I went into the store and a sign said CASH ONLY; everything was down, the internet, phone lines and wifi. Interesting. Like some kind of post-apocalypse novel. I still don’t have wifi here at the house. Everything else is working.

Texas National Guard convoy truck, an M1078, flooded its engine and was pulled out by a Monster Truck. This was Houston.

I got an email from somebody I know in England and he was sneering at Melania Trumps’ shoes and her FLOTUS hat. Not fifteen minutes before I opened my email to read this, I heard on radio that two grandparents and four great-grandchildren had drowned in their car trying to get out of Houston. Pulled them out dead. I guess we all have different priorities in terms of what we pay attention to.

Houston flooding

These are flood buckets, you fill them with cleaning supplies and disinfectants, rubber gloves, sponges, flyspray etc. They will be sent to Houston via our church (Methodist). June Chism and I went to Kerrville Home Depot and filled one each. Home Depot people sent a guy to go with us to find all the stuff on the list.  Adds up to about $80.00.

As I was checking out there was a woman behind me who was very taken with the idea, said she had not heard of it but wanted to do one as well. I told her to get in contact with her local church as that is who is collecting and sending down most of them. She said she was going to do just that.

Then my old friend Doug Rodger in Canada e-mailed me and said he wanted to send the money for me to fill another and so I will. I have to go to Bandera today for several things and will do another flood bucket for Doug.

On the list of things needed and other instructions for the buckets, send by PDF from our minister to all church members about the buckets, there was this:

UMCOR does require that all patriotic symbols be removed from the kit contents. For example if an item in a kit has a stamp that contains the American flag that stamp must be removed, covered, or blacked out.

So June and I stopped at a Hobby Lobby and bought a whole lot of American flag stickers and plastered them all over both buckets, top and sides.

For Doug’s bucket I will put a Canadian flag on top.

Eat unspeakable wastes, cruel snobbish fiends.


Pushkin’s ‘The Bronze Horseman’.

And all of a sudden, just like that, I started to hate statues.

‘The Bronze Horseman’ (ending) by Aleksandir Pushkin, ca. 1833

The poor madman circled around
The foot of the black statue’s mass,
He gazed into the brazen face
Of the half-planet’s ruler, proud.
And was his breast oppressed. He laid
On the cold barrier his forehead.
His eyes were veiled with a mist-cover,
His heart was all caught with a flame,
His blood seethed. Gloomy he became
Before the idol, looming over,
And, having clenched his teeth and fist,
As if possessed by evil powers,
“Well, builder-maker of the marvels,”
He whispered, trembling in a fit,
“You only wait!…”- And to a street,
At once he started to run out –
He fancied: that the great tsar’s face,
With a wrath suddenly embraced,
Was turning slowly around…
And strait along the empty square
He runs and hears as if there were,
Just behind him, the peals of thunder,
Of the hard-ringing hoofs’ reminders, –
A race the empty square across,
Upon the pavement, fiercely tossed;
And by the moon, that palled lighter,
Having stretched his hand over roofs,
The Bronze Horseman rides him after –
On his steed of the ringing hoofs.
And all the night the madman, poor,
Where’er he might direct his steps,
After him the Bronze Horseman
Keeps on the heavy-treading race.

8/2/17 Weird places and things in airports and hotels

airports are great places for weird sculptures and stuff. Hotels have peculiar chairs and sometimes people. Am omitting the people. Have been meaning to put this up for some time, since I started my book tours.


And so this was in the airport in Atlanta, I think…

And this was a giant dinosaur skeleton in Dallas Fort Worth airport

These were strange crown-like things along the airport highway in Tucson

And this is me in Easter egg hotel chair last April in Orlando for Harper-Collins 200th birthday bash. It looks like I wear the sane clothes all the time which is about right. Why not?

Summer Reading Recommendations July 22/2017

My 102 degree F. book corner!

That’s what it is out there today. Books for curling up in the air-conditioning, with cat, dog or animal of your preference.


What you might call ‘historical fantasy’, River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. Can’t recommend it highly enough. I was so happy when all chores were done and I could get back to it.

Strange sci-fi fantasy — Again highly recommended — John C. Wright’s Awake in the Night Land. A world of people locked into a gigantic construction which allows them to survive a far, far future dead earth and a dead sun. A believable female protagonist goes out into the Nigh Lands to save her brother. Great huge things like mountains creep closer by the day. I think it has been out for about ten years.

Post-apocalypseThe Dog Stars. Starts out very well and then slides off and loses probability.

Dystopian —- The Weaponsmaker 88.3. New.

Poetry —Thomas Merton of course, The Master. Individual poems, ‘Night-Flowering Cactus’, and the long poem ‘The Early Legends,’ which I could read over and over. Naomi Nye —anything from The Yellow Glove and Going Going.

Too funny to pass up/July 20/17

Sorry, couldn’t help myself. The office whiner, in that long endless babble of whines. Too cute.

And so we do not get to hear what Bill thought about all this, probably he stared resolutely at his keyboard and said uh huh uh huh.

Billy the donkey is finally all well. Tried to start a book post for discussion on my Facebook but only one taker. I haven’t been on Facebook for about six years. My page was started by one of the cousins so all us cousins could keep up with each other. But it has undergone some kind of exponential growth and now all kinds of new features are invading every facet of your page. They send you ‘memories’ without your permission, people I never heard of are sending me and everyone pictures of their breakfast, ads ads ads. Once in a while I hear from my cousins, Thank God.

So I’ll do book talks here. Sorry, no replies, I can’t take time to moderate. I am looking for new and unknown good books, which means I have to read them but whatever!

Happy July. It’s 100 here every day.