Blessing of the Animals

IMG_5791I am very fortunate that the children who I am teaching art to love animals as much as I do. It was getting a little lonely around the ranch before we moved. Even with the animals, I just could not wait to see the boys at my school where I teach art and my girls who I am teaching here at home. So blessing number one is that we now live 10 minutes from my school. Blessing number two is that my students who come to the house are traveling several miles just to share the love of art with me! True blessing!!! All my students love to share stories about their pets. We draw, paint, play art games and the animals are right here with us. One of the little girls was super worried about one of her dogs who had disappeared. He was found and we were all so happy! Another family was thrilled because their rescue dog was just cleared to come home after having to go through extensive training because of the trauma he had suffered before he found his new home.
Last Saturday, something was very wrong in this house! A very much loved part of the family was no where to be seen! IMG_7874 Kirby our kitty,is an inside cat. She loves just looking out the window. At the ranch, she was a very good mouser…we had a few cute little field mice who managed to scamper around the kitchen at night, but Kirby made sure they did not thrive for very long. So anyway, we were very worried about her and after putting up posters throughout the neighborhood, we had just about lost hope!
It was day five sans Kirby and the weather at night had been below freezing. Add that to the fact that we now live on a very busy street, it did not look good for Miss Kirby. My students on Wednesday afternoon were not a minute through the door…”Where is the cat?” they all wanted to know.I was praying that she was not scared, hurt and suffering. I wanted to KNOW that she was OK. As my last student was ready to leave, she promised to pray for Kirby. The front door had barely shut before we heard LOUD meows from the back yard! Tom opened the door and Kirby flew in and jumped up on her safe perch. She was pretty much fur and bones, but is already looking better after just a few dys.IMG_8446 She is not even interested in looking out the window. She is being cuddled and spoiled. Blessing number three is having her home safe!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!!!


Bluebonnet Blues and Sunflowers too many….

IMG_0326This week-end has quenched my thirst for art. Being in the city versus the ranch has made it a challenge to devote time to painting. I find it tempting to visit places that were too distant for the last 18 years. Yesterday we were able to check out the works of Porfirio Salinas at the Witte Museum.IMG_0308There are about 30 of his landscapes on exhibit at the new Texas Heritage Museum. It was amazing to see these oil paintings in a wonderful setting and be able to get inches away to absorb the textures and hues of his work. He sold his first painting when he was in the 3rd grade to his art teacher. Another fact I discovered was that another artist paid Porfirio $5.00 per canvas to paint his bluebonnets for him….if this is true, I can totally relate. IMG_0327This painting of our Longhorn Mesquite Joe was much easier to paint than the one of him with all the sunflowers in the background. The tiny ones at the top are almost done, but will I ever finish them ? I would much rather paint another Cactus Jack sans the wildflowers!!!il_570xN.273353728A big fat stick of pastel and I am done…..

Miss Piggy

“How long do pig’s live?”I was asked a time or two. I am not an authority on pigs, but I read somewhere that 15 was a long life for a pig.Rainbow My Miss Piggy was 13 years old when she died a few weeks ago.She was a micro miniature pig. They are not supposed to ever be more than 10 pounds. I would guess she made it to 210 by the time she was full grown. If kept to a strict diet, she may have been a little less hefty. Portion control has never been an asset of mine when it comes to feeding my pets. It was especially hard when we had 30 acres of peanuts growing in a field for her dining pleasure. “I thought musta been a herd a them feral hogs” Our farmer friend commented. Nope, I said, just one not so miniature pig. The ruts in the field caused by her munching were making it a challenge even for the large tractors to navigate. IMG_8811The last few years, she had slowed down a lot. No more late night visits to the neighbor’s ranch and no more trying to hump buckets. IMG_8509When we left the ranch, Miss Piggy did not want to leave. She squealed like crazy. She was the last to go.I was so worried about who was going to take care of her. I thought it should only be me. We were so fortunate to have a wonderful family who graciously offered to take her along with the rest of the menagerie. One thing that I will always be grateful for, also, I was able to be with her to say good bye for the last time and that made it all ok. She did not suffer.”No offense Mom, but Peggy was taking better care of her than you could give her” Peyton said and I agreed. Breaking the news to Christopher was hard. “Well, did you have pork chops, or what?” He tenderly asked.

Run Piggy Run!!!!

Run Piggy Run!!!!


Lexy and her Friends – 08.23.13

Beautiful Photography

Joel Spring / Rxdesign Pro Media Services Blog

Lexy and friends spend the day making fun senior / graduation photos at home and at the farm.


Canon 1Dx w/Canon 70-200mm f/2.8, Canon 300mm f/2.8, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Canon 14mm f/2.8 with Canon 600EX-RTs and Speedlite Speedboxes. During the session I tethered to a Ipad using the Shuttersnitch app nestled in a totally convenient Think Tank Pixel Sunscreen Pop Open Sun Shade Version 2.  I also used Speedlite Speedboxes on the Canon speedlights.

Click here to see the full gallery.

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Well Here We Are

I did not think even less than a year ago that I could bear the thought of not waking up to whinnies, oinks and moos every cherished morning. Not to mention baas and barks……After a bit of subliminal coaching from my friend Sue, I finally came to realize the true reality was that as long as my pets were happy and healthy, I could handle the transition just fine. But how could I wish for someone crazy enough to want to care for this mangy menagerie and what would it cost? I did not want to sell some and farm the rest to places all over Texas, knowing that I would never be able to see them all…I have had enough animals dumped on me through the years and there is no way I would burden someone with such a chore. My most favorite eye candy is our two rowdy Longhorns, Cactus Jack and Mesquite Joe. Initially I could not fathom what my life would be like without the sight, sound and smell of them and their fellow pasture ornaments. “But don’t you want them to be with someone who can take better care of them?” came the subtle hint from Sue. I knew it was reality, but it took a while to sink in. This was especially true at that point, because we still had no clue who that someone was….EVERYONE who had a tenth of an acre wanted these two bovine beauties…..Wonderful people wanted them. In fact, they were the only ones who were welcome to stay at the ranch. Image

to be continued

Date Night

IMG_6072We had a visit to a familiar place to celebrate Tom’s birthday. The Bombay Bicycle Club in San Antonio is where Tom and I had our first date. IMG_6070The decor looks the same as I remember. Those were fun days. These are fun days. The only change is that we don’t hide things from each other for fun….we have enough trouble remembering where we left things…..

Tom and Sue

Tom and Sue


SprintPhoto_bnibjy-1It all started with Fast Freddie, a stuffed tortoise that my brother BV gave me. When Christopher was here the dashboard in our car was empty. I am aware that children can declare their parents crazy and have them locked up…..For now, to fill our long commute into town, we have detailed conversations with a pig,a cat, two raccoons, a tortoise and a two legged super dog. There is a live dog in the backseat, but she is usually sleeping.