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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.

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.