Observations on life & art and the inspirations I see around me

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What I Know for Sure

.....it's SUMMER in Texas and that means HOT. The rains that we had earlier in July are a faint memory and the grass is turning brown and everything else is wilting. It's not as bad as last year & I will hope for an early & cool fall. There are a few brave blooms that make me smile. The first one I spied in Austin and is new to me. The plant looks a bit like a lily. Would love to know what it is and if deer would leave it alone.
I KNOW Progress is slow but is being made on the house.  The picture below isn't very exciting but this is where we are today. Those piles of rock on the left will go inside the forms, hopefully tomorrow. The house will set farther back from the BIG trees than I'd hoped due to the slope from the front left corner to the back right. The porch will be 10' instead of 12' and wood rather than concrete to hopefully save trees on the front left. I KNOW trees are important. 
I KNOW I am missing art, making it, seeing it, talking about it. This transition is harder than I'd expected.  This small piece for the Studio group challenge is all I've accomplished in the last few weeks along with some fabric beads. Doesn't feel like much.
I know it feels strange to me not to have anyone left in the generation before me. Does that make me a "Matriarch"? I don't feel like one. We said goodbye Friday to my last aunt. Aunt Nathalee was my father's sister and they were very much alike: frugal, lively, inventive, hard headed, fun loving, & generous.  She was the Queen of garage sales and recycled before it was cool. She was quite a style maven into her 90's and I have no doubt that had she lived in New York she would have made it to Advanced Style. I am proud that some time my "Ashley-ness" shows & I smile to see the attitude carried forward with Karlie. 


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mixed Week

Our work on the property has slowed a bit of late due to rain and an issue with our HOA which is now hopefully behind us. We can NOT complain about the rain after last year & I feel for folks in the midwest who are suffering with draught this year. The lakes in Central Texas are still very low and every bit helps. The whole area got a good soaking last night and again this evening with more forecasted for tomorrow. I do hope it clears some Ashley & Frank's visit next weekend.

We had a family get together while one niece and her family were here from Brazil. Karlie got to meet her youngest cousin, Mary Louise, and they hit it off very well. Today we saw other cousins from Houston. The area we've moved to is a popular vacation destination so I imagine we'll see family & friends from all around. 

On Wed. Karl needed to go to Comfort for water filter parts & advise. I tagged along and while he talked with the water guy I found a lovely nursery with friendly & knowledgeable staff. What landscaping we do must be draught tolerant & deer resistent.  This is a new to me plant. It's a low running version of Vitex, some time called Texas Lilac or Lavender that gets great clusters of purple blooms.
The hummingbirds love just about any thing with red flowers so I'll have to get some of this.
There were more butterflies on this aster than I'd ever seen on one plant. Add it to the list. I didn't get pictures of all the agave but those are a must have.
 From Comfort we headed toward Fredericksburg with a stop at Marburger Orchard. Karl went to HS with Gary in Houston and saw on Facebook that he had been in the hill country for 30 years. He has a beautiful spot and great produce. We got peaches that were at the stand and picked a few blackberries. Next year we'll go earlier in the season & earlier in the morning (both for cooler temps).

One of the highlights of the week was setting up my "studio". I even repaired a shirt and sewed one small piece for a challenge. Maybe with the rain, I'll get more sewing time this week. Once the house actually gets started and we're on the property I hope to get into a routine that includes art making.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4th....

Indepence Day. Are you celebrating? Are you thinking about it as a birthday of our country or just a day to relax by the pool and cook bar-b-que? This isn't much art related but it is where my head is today.

Tomorrow will mark the one month anniversary of our "independence" from home ownership. We are lucky as we have had a choice in the matter. ItWe had 25 years in one house and 13 in another before that (and a few years of rent in between). We have been blessed with security and while we worked hard, so do many others who haven't been so lucky. And then there's the whole topic of health care. As "they" have said this week, "the battle isn't over". It's a worry I have for my children and grandchild. How will they get ahead? How will they reach their dreams? Will they have to leave the country to reach "the American Dream"?

RV living is interesting & we've adjusted pretty well, mostly because we're gone working on the property every day & out of the small space. I'm doing laundry at the laundromatt for the first time in years & years. I will say the one in Wimberley is WAY nicer than those from earlier days. In the afternoon there's an interesting cross section of the community minus the "elite".

If you've been around to hear my rants or seen my facebook postings lately it's pretty clear where I stand. I've had some deep feelings of despair regarding the state of governance & policy in the good old USA for a while now.  I want to be hopeful and optimistic but some days it's hard. My faith in people to think and act with intelligence, integrity & honor has grown slim. It's not just about the economy but on many issues that I feel we're headed in a wrong direction. I've reached an age where I don't mind being pretty "in your face" about it all.  Helen is one of my heroines & I still miss Molly Ivins & I'm hoping more of us will stand up & fight for what is right.

This is the face of Optimism I saw today. This is the face that gives me hope and makes me work for a better future for her and all our children and grandchildren. She learned pretty quickly that 2 waves got more candy and beads. Maybe the lesson for us is to make more noise & get more attention.  I HOPE so.