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One of the coldest winters in south Texas ever! Jan 16/18

I have lost my water despite letting the faucets drip all night. Last time I went down to the pumphouse and set a catalytic heater under the pipes but I am too busy and tired to go and do it again. One can get along fairly easily for a few days without running water. Electricity would be another matter. Just got an email from one of our musicians in the group, Diane, who said she was going for a second load of wood. I’ll have to go to Gazaway’s — neighboring ranchers who sell wood — and get another pickup load by day after tomorrow. She suggested a song for us where I can play my new G whistle. Have to look it up on You Tube and see what key it is in.

Working on two books at the same time. Researching the borderlands between Scotland and Northumbria, very interesting.

Visitors; dear Naomi Nye, World’s Greatest Poet, and Charles Butts came to visit, bearing wine and cheeses and Quinoa bowl. Had a big fire and much talk and a very good time. A memorable evening. Gossip about King William (San Antonio historic district where Jim and I rebuilt the 1890 house on Pereida Street — Charles and Naomi and her husband Michael live there too) and book talk as well as gossip. Interestingly, Charles’ ancestors are from York. Outside of York, small village. I took it as an encouraging sign.  Very funny story concerning ice cream and Louise Gluck’s  National Book Award medal. Which I will not relate here.

It will get down to 19 F. tonight but the wind has died down.

Bad weather and Christmas both on the way December 22/17

And a great deal of music and activity in this small town. We finished cantata and did well despite the lack of a director — one of the singers volunteered to wave a pencil in time to the music —but we put up Christmas lights and listened to the CD repeatedly and got it right. Kim Bowen the other alto (who has a great voice) and I worked several evenings on the harmony. She has it on computer so she can run it back over the same phrase, we marked up the score and got it memorized. Now Christmas eve service. And I got my big G whistle just in time, got it in the mail today!

December 2nd 2017, Traveling is over!


This is what April June and Evelyn were up to when I was in Connecticut and then Missouri, riding the hill country. Foto by April Baxter.

Great fall colors. June’s horse Missy did very well now that her eye is healed up, even though June calculates she has lost 50% of the vision in it. My Missouri ride pictures (Ozark Trail, Eleven-Point River, McCormick Lake) will be up soon.

Was in New York city and then Greenwich CT, in NYC had dinner with Jennifer and Liz, we had a very good time. Then Texas Lit6. festival, also Faith’s wedding. (More pictures, more promises of ‘soon’).


Now — clean house, get fence built, get a new mattress, get rid of the old one (very complicated, long drive to a proper dump, etc.) write, cantata practice, practice with group, new songs to learn on the whistle, write, water surrounding yard all day every day (we are in a drought again) start working with Buck, clean garage, put up Christmas decorations, write.


Heading home to the Ozarks for Thanksgiving with assorted cousins and friends and a journey to McCormick Lake in the irish Wilderness and then when I return no more traveling until next February so that means a lot of blog posts with eggs, Christmas scenes here, dogs, cats, friends, music, tin whistles, book reviews and nonsense. I promise.

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.