Friday, November 16, 2012

Hey, Jim(my)...
























Paul McCartney, "On the Run"; Nov. 14, 2012, Minute Maid Park, Houston TX

So this year I turned 35; my Daddy turned 60; my Umpy Dene (Uncle Gene) turned 65; and cousin Sean turned 23 (he kinda messed up the pattern, but we still keep him around.  He's cool.)  We celebrated these milestones this week at Minute Maid Park, singing along with the Cute Beatle himself.  This was my fourth time to see him, and the third time I've been able to share it with Daddy.  We actually celebrated the same way ten years ago, for my 25th, Dad's 50th, and Gene's 55th. (Sean, being in middle school, missed that one.)  This was the best show I've seen him do yet- all my favorites and some new ones.  Never heard "A Day in the Life" live until this show, and got a repeat of "Helter Skelter" as an encore. That, my friends, is one bad ass rock song- raucous, loud, rough around the edges- I love it.  It's my favorite Beatles song, followed by "Paperback Writer" (which he also jammed on.)  "Golden Slumbers Medley" was also a new one, and probably my favorite from the Abbey Road album.  Then there were the Wings tunes, "Let Me Roll It" is at the top my list for that band... and some solo stuff, and some Fireman stuff... over 30 numbers in all, plus two three-songs-each encores.  I hope I am still rocking like that when I am 70 (can you believe Sir Paul is 70?!)  Anyway, I digress... easy to do when I am on a music roll.

What made this show special, in addition to the performer, was that I got to share it again with Daddy. I'm a huge music fan, and it's because of him.  He's played the guitar for 45+ years, and you name it, he can play it.  (He's modest- he's a very good musician.  He sings, too.)  Rock (mean Stairway"), country (anything Willie...), blues, folk, praise... it was all around growing up.  Uncle Gene plays too, and some of my fondest memories are of listening to them jam... their version of Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk" is awesome.  He exposed me to all kinds of music, and taught me to appreciate them all.  Anything guitar-based, especially, draws me- The Beatles, Clapton, The Who (Townshend's windmilling is really epic live), Springsteen, Rush, Led Zep, SRV, Hendrix... I'm digressing again, aren't I?  Warned you.

Dad and I have also seen Clapton together twice, once with Robert Cray (talk about a blues JAM) and once with Steve Winwood.  Two more very special memories.  I am so blessed that this man is MY dad and we can do this together.  He has influenced me so much (way more than just musically) and we almost didn't get to do anything after Oct. 11, 1992 (see this post for an explanation.) So each time we get to do this makes it that much more special.

Anyhoo... Daddy.  Gene. Sean. Paul.  Magical night.  I hope we get to do it again in another ten years.

Hey, Jim..
You're a great Dad
You're always there to
Make bad days better...
You've always been a part of my  heart
And I could not
Have asked for better.
(Sung to "Hey, Jude- and now that's totally stuck in your head, isn't it?  You're welcome- could be worse.)






Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dia de Los Muertos
















Click on the photo for full-size.

Greenwood Cemetery, and Marshall Hebrew Cemetery, Marshall, TX

Since today is the Day of the Dead, it seems appropriate to post some of the shots I took last time I was in East Texas.  I had long wanted to photograph two of the oldest cemeteries in town, with their lovely markers and sculptures.  I find cemeteries fascinating and beautiful, and not the least bit scary.  They are generally peaceful places, and to me the older, the better.  I love the beautiful grave markers (you don't see them like this anymore) and the gorgeous, intricate wrought iron fences around family plots.  So much history is there, just waiting to be found- and remembered.  City founders, movers, shakers, names you've always heard... all here.  And in a small town like Marshall, it's much more intimate and familiar- my Mom was with me that day, and we found the resting spot of my great-great-step-grandfather.  (Died when she was young, well before I was born.)  But it was a chance to share her memories of him, and of some of the other families she knew in the cemeteries.  (Not many, since these are very OLD cemeteries- Greenwood was founded in 1840, after all.) But still- here was the grave of the namesake of the hospital I was born in.  Over there was the family that ran the historic old hotel by the depot.  And down there, is Rimpson Teet, the sweetest man who ever taught a four-year-old Marty to roll her own...
iFeliz Dia de Los Muertos!



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Good for the Soul



















Fall color isn't something we see much of in this part of Texas; it doesn't cool off slowly enough for the leaves to turn the brilliant reds and yellows.  Leaves here are green one day and on the ground the next!  This is just outside the Gaylord Opryland resort in Nashville, TN; I spent a few days there last week at the annual National Academic Advising Association conference (NACADA).

I don't get to travel much for work, but this conference I try to go to every year.  In addition to getting to go new places, I am always amazed at how many people choose this career. There were 2,900+ advisors in one place for four days and it was awesome.  Advising as a profession is growing, and more institutions are recognizing how important advisors are to the success of students.  It takes a certain type to be an advisor, though; this job ain't everyone's cuppa tea.  I believe it certainly is mine, though.  I love being around the students, who are so full of energy, of hope, of life.   It's easy to get burned out and be cynical about the demands of students and parents and faculty and administration... and I will admit there are days when I just want to go home and crash and not come back.  Thankfully, those days are few and far between.

Little things make a difference, and they also let me know I have made a difference.  One sweet student brought me cookies today; I also have a student who drops by about once a week just to chat and get a hug.  Those little things make my day and remind me why I do this job, why I answer emails from panicked students at midnight, why I care... Advising, for me, isn't just a profession, it's a passion.  NACADA allows me to be around others who feel the same, even if it's just for a few short days.  (Not that there aren't other advisors on my campus who feel the same- there are many of them, it's just we are all so busy we rarely have time to see each other!)  I come back rejuvenated and rededicated to the profession every year, and my passion grows.  NACADA waters my little advisor soul.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dome, Sweet Dome
























The Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
I refuse to call it the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  To any Saints fan, it's just the 'Dome, where our beloved boys in black and gold battle it out on Sundays (and some Mondays and Thursdays too.)  WHO DAT!

Thomas and I just spent a long weekend in New Orleans, which is one of my absolute favorite cities in the world.  Of all the places we've travelled, this city has captured my heart and soul and I find myself returning to it time and time again.  (Generally during football season, but I'm always up for a road trip.)  New Orleans is so culturally unique, and it's like no place else I've ever visited.  The laid back approach to life, the value the locals place on family, friends, food, hospitality... it is hard for me to articulate the love I have for this city.  So many problems face it, but there is such a spirit there, an undying hope, and a "you can't keep us down!" determination to survive despite so many things stacked against it.  It really bothers me that so many people only experience a very small slice of the French Quarter and never get off of Bourbon Street.  The city has so much more to offer than that loud, boozy, barfy strip... but most never see it.  City Park's beautiful old oaks, the stately mansions in the Garden District, the funky vibe of Magazine Street, the quietly dignified cemeteries.  All speak to me, to my  heart.

My dear husband grew up on the West Bank, and he's a life-long, die-hard Saints fan.  Even when they were the Ain'ts... but he doesn't see the city as I do.  We discovered that we most likely crossed paths there as children, at the '84 World's Fair.  I fell head over heels for the city then; it took a little longer to meet him.

Anyway... I feel like the city loves me back, in a way.  It's always there, ready for a great time, ready to show me a new secret or reveal a new idea.  As a historian, just the history of the city is fascinating, so unique- only New Orleans could have been shaped and molded by the different factions that have controlled it throughout it's life.  Anywhere else and it wouldn't have been the same.  New Orleans, too, is so welcoming to outsiders- stay there more than a week and you're a local.  People there say come on in, sit down, relax... stay a while, listen to some music, here have a bowl of gumbo.  Tell me about yourself, what brings you here?  And I could sit and listed to a New Orleans accent all day long.

I'd move there permanently if I could... I'm one lottery ticket away!  I could advise at Tulane, or Loyola, or UNO...

I guess what I am trying to say is... New Orleans is my happy place.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

Well, if you look at these two photos, there's no denying who's MY daddy.  That would be him a few years ago, at Big State Baseball Camp at the University of Dallas.  Yesterday, Sept. 10, 2012, my beloved Daddy turned 60.  He has now outlived his daddy, and for that I am so thankful- because he almost didn't.

Oct. 10, 1992- one moth to the day after his 40th birthday.  TKG played football in Dallas that night, and as a freshman cheerleader (no, you can't see THAT photo!) I went along.  We arrived back in Tyler about midnight, and as I was 15 and not yet driving, I did what I always did after an away game.  I called Dad to come pick me up.  We lived about a mile from the school, so he was there quickly.  We went home, and I headed to the kitchen for a snack; he went to the back of the house to the bedroom.  A few minutes later, my mom came into the kitchen and said Daddy wasn't feeling well, was having some chest pains.  She was going to take him to the emergency room, and would I please stay awake until she called me to let me know what was going on.  My two younger sisters were asleep in their rooms, and she didn't want to wake them- at this point, we all thought it was heartburn.  We never thought it would be a heart attack.

Because he was awake and waiting for my call; because mom was awake and recognized the need for action; and because he had some fantastic, quick-thinking doctors who knew a heart attack when they saw one, Daddy is here today.  They were actually able to stop the heart attack in progress, to get his heart beating normally again, and to save his life- and, who am I kidding, our family's life.  Daddy is the heart and soul of the Roberts family.  The worst day of my almost-35 years was the next day, when we were allowed to see him.  It profoundly shook me to see my Daddy, my hero, my Superman, hooked up to all those machines and looking so weak.  This was the man who had taught me to throw a baseball, to ride a bike, who had given me his red hair and impish grin, and wicked sense of humor.  He taught me so much, and we came so close to losing him.

So as we celebrate his 60th, I am profoundly grateful for the extra 20 years we've had together; that he was there when I graduated from college, that he was there to walk me down the aisle, that he was there when my world crumbled; that he has been there every time I ever needed him.  I am such a Daddy's girl, and I am so proud to say that! 

I love you, Daddy!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Heart
























We visited the historic Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, just next to the Novodevichy Monastery. This is one of the most prestigious cemeteries in the city, and contains the final resting places of Dmitri Shostakovich, Nikita Khruschev, Anton Checkov, Sergei Prokofiev, Boris Yeltsin, and Raisa Gorbacheva.  There are many, many fabulous sculptures and grave markers, and the cemetery is very park-like, withe beautiful trees and lovely places to sit and reflect, enjoying the peace and quiet (when there aren't hordes of tourists, anyway.)

This sculpture is my favorite.  It marks the grave of Aleksandr Bakulev, one of the pioneers of heart surgery in the Soviet Union.  He was the first to perform open  heart surgery, hence the ruby representation of a heart in his hands; he also was the first to perform several other thoracic surgery techniques.  This literal representation of "holding my life in your hands" speaks to me, as my dad is a heart attack survivor and he wouldn't be here today without life-saving cardiac care.  Just goes to show, that no matter how far apart we are, we really aren't all that different.  At one point, we were sitting in Red Square, and I said to Thomas, "We're in mothereffing MOSCOW, dude!"  It is amazing that we had the chance to visit this place that once seemed so remote, so dangerous, so evil, so OTHER.  And when we were there, it couldn't have been more amazing, and the people were so wonderful.  Not different, and certainly not evil!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Throw Away the Key

















This lock was on a beautiful pedestrian bridge over the Moscow River, near the Christ Our Savior Russian Orthodox Cathedral.  I'm guessing the date is referring to a wedding or honeymoon.  I hope so!  We saw several couples either having portraits made or actually getting married during our visit, and all the dresses!  Big, poofy, 80's-style dresses are apparently big in Russia.  I like this smaller symbol better, though- it will last far longer than the dress and the party, and will be a lasting reminder of their hopes, dreams, love; that they were together on that day in that location.  It will mark them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

From the Inside Looking Out, You Can't Explain It.

















Camp Mather
Fish Camp 2012, Session B
Texas A&M University

So, Fish Camp Part 2.
My co-chairs and counselors have spent all summer long working on skits, on banners, discussion guidelines for their groups, and making sure that camp would be an incredible experience.  Thomas and I hung with them as much as we could- not so much for supervision as they clearly knew what they were doing- but to offer support and food as needed.

Everyone came together for one last night before camp, when it would be the last time it was just us- followed by a yell practice on the steps of the Admin Building, a tradition.  Then one last round of hugs- and we headed home to get a little sleep.

Reed Arena was a happening place when we showed up the next morning for send-off.  Excitement was high, and there were more crazy outfits, yellow hair, foam fingers, tutus, and general nuttiness.  So, you know, pretty normal.  The freshmen checked in and took their luggage to be loaded, and then headed inside.  After hugs and good mornings, we followed them.  Inside was one huge party, each camp sitting together and yelling like crazy.  A few fish looked a little dazed and confused, wondering what exactly they had gotten themselves into.  I well remember that feeling sixteen years earlier- my dad had dropped me off, and I knew no one.  Crazy people were running around yelling and jumping, it was kind of overwhelming.  I wanted to hug all our new fish and let them know it would be OK, these next four days would become some of their favorite memories and all these strangers were about to be their new friends.

After a couple of welcome speeches and some more yelling, everyone headed outside to the buses.  Thomas and I hit the road in my car.  (Now, the route to Fish Camp is 2/3 my route to Tyler- and I knew a few shortcuts.  So we stopped for lunch at Cracker Barrel on the way out.  We still beat the buses.)  Checked in to our housing, then headed up to meet the fish and the counselors- and welcome to Lakeview, let the magic begin!  (Fish Camp is held at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center between Palestine and Elkhart, TX.  We take over the whole place.)

The next three and a half days are a blur- a yellow blur.  Skits, presentations, speeches- oh yeah, my speech.  So as a namesake, you get to address your fish on the first night, offer words of wisdom, advice, etc.  Ever since I found out about that little nugget, I'd been a little worried- what could I say that would make an impact, be memorable, be worthy?  I speak to freshmen all summer long and i never get nervous- but it's usually about degree plans and academics, not me and my experiences.  I put it off and put it off until finally, it was two days before camp and I couldn't put it off any more.  I finally decided to focus on what I learned in college, outside of the classroom- those lessons are, in my opinion, equally important.  So I gave my namesake speech, and I spoke from my heart.  I had a presentation to remind me of my points, but other than that I just talked to them.  I am pleased to report, it was well received.  Even my counselors said it was pretty good!

After that was over, I could relax and really get into camp- and I did.  If the fish went somewhere, we went with them.  If they did it, we did it.  It was slightly surreal to hear all the fish yelling my name in all the camp yells, but really pretty cool.  I laughed so hard I cried at several of the skits, and I got to relive some of my own Fish Camp experiences.  And, Thomas got to experience it for the first time- that was pretty cool too.

But my absolute favorite part was during DG time.  Each camp is divided into small "Discussion Groups" of about ten students and two counselors.  The counselor partnerships were pretty amazing, I have to say.  Michelle and Jason worked very hard to get the right matchups and each pair really meshed and played well together.  There were several DG times each day, set aside for the fish to discuss some of the days presentations, skits, etc as well as get to know each other.  I floated between them, listening in- and it made my heart so happy to hear all the fish opening up to each other, and to their counselors.  At the heart of camp, under all the skits and presentations and traditions, is friendship.  Our fish will build on the foundation of camp, and the friends they make now will be their friends for life.  I am still friends with my DG members.  The shared experiences at camp, and the shared emotions and stories, allow them to create a strong bond and really help them understand what we mean when we say "Aggie Family."  Watching and listening, my counselors really drew the quiet ones out, helped the performers learn to share the spotlight, help the shy ones feel comfortable.  They continued to amaze me- they knew when to be serious, when to be funny, when to be quiet.  I saw them truly make an impact on their freshmen, and it's one that will last long after Lakeview.

The final night, the final campfire speaker was the freshman class- and it was really incredible and moving to hear them speak about camp, themselves, their experience.  Many of them said the same thing- that they had been scared, worried, anxious about going to camp and also to college.  They didn't know anyone when they got on the bus, but now they had new friends, new resources and mentors, and they were feeling pretty good about it all.  And that was pretty damn special.  They spoke in turn for almost two hours, and then the most amazing thing happened.  A young man named Oscar got up, and he spoke about the "Mather Rumble" (a reference to one of our camp yells) and the fact that it would live in each of the fish long after camp- and then he proceeded to call all the counselors, the co-chairs, and me into the middle of the room.  They surrounded us and did the Mather Rumble yell and we all ended up in one giant Mather hug.

That moment was so special and so inspirational.  It totally reaffirmed why I do my job, why I love my job, why Aggieland is such a special place and why Aggies are special people.  I fully admit to bawling, I was so touched.  From listening to other camps' stories, I know this moment doesn't happen to everyone.  Camp Mather really was perfect- everything came together for those four days to make magic happen.

Monday, back to work- totally boring.  Went thru serious withdrawal, missing my gang and the excitement. But of course, we all have Facebook and so I spent most of that day creeping thru pictures, and reliving and remembering.  I had the biggest grin on my face all day long.

To Michelle and Jason, Mike and Bethany, Anthony and Amber, Tori and Aaron, Conner and Lauren, Alex and Haley, Allison and Sam, Sally and Tyler, Kate and Trey, Steven and Lizzie, Holly and Bo, Will and Rachel, Nick and Kelsey- thank you for the most incredible experience I've ever had.  Not just at camp, but ever since I met you all.  You welcomed me with open arms, you became not just my counselors but my family- twenty six younger siblings.  My time with you was awesome, and really reaffirmed my commitment to students and to why I do what I do.  I am so incredibly proud of the way you represented not just me, but your University as well.  You are all truly role models, not just for the fish but for me as well.  I am honored to have been able to share this journey with you, and I am so excited to watch you continue to grow and conquer.  I love you all, and you will always hold a very special place in my heart.  Our die has twenty-seven sides.

I am totally crying now.  Sniffle.


Monday, August 13, 2012

From the Outside Looking In, You Can't Understand It...

Camp Mather
Fish Camp 2012, Session B
Texas A&M University

Back in December, I got an email informing me that I had been selected as a Namesake for Fish Camp 2012.  For those of you outside the Aggie Family, Fish Camp is a four-day baptism into all things Aggie for our incoming freshmen; out of 8100+ in the class, approximately 6500 will attend.  Here in Aggieland, we affectionately refer to our freshmen as "fish", so, Fish Camp.

Namesakes are nominated by students to serve as a name for a particular color session of camp, as well as a resource and mentor for two co-chairs, twenty-four counselors, and 125-150 freshmen.  It is a huge honor to be selected- there are several hundred nominees and forty are chosen each year.  It has long been a heart's desire of mine to be a namesake, and this year two of my students made it happen.  They  had been counselors for two years, and this year each of them were named co-chairs, and they nominated me.

At first I thought it was not real- someone was playing a prank on me.  But it was true!  I was in tears as I called Thomas.  So exciting!  And it got better.  In January, I met my co-chairs- two amazing Aggies that were dedicated to our camp and our future fish.  Michelle and Jason read thousands of applications (literally- I'm not exaggerating) and spent countless hours choosing the right students to be counselors for Camp Mather, in addition to being generally amazing.

March rolled around, and with it came "Rev (Revelation) Night."  All the chosen counselors (twenty-four per camp for forty camps) showed up, all dressed up like it was Halloween, ready to meet each other, Michelle, Jason, and me.  Not intimidating at all.  But it went swimmingly and I was introduced that night to who I like to call, "The Chosen Ones."  All of my co-chairs' hard work paid off, as we were blessed with the best, most amazing, cream-of-the-crop students as our counselors.

Over the rest of the school semester and the summer, they got to know each other- and me.  Many of them had been counselors the previous year or two, and I was a little nervous about being the "old person" in the group and spoiling all the fun.  I needn't have worried- they welcomed me with open arms, made me feel included and part of the family- not so much in a motherly way, but as a fun older sister.  They were genuinely interested in hearing my "back in Old Army days" stories about my college years and my own Fish Camp experiences.  And they thought I was funny.  We spent so much time together, just hanging out, bonding.  Watching them grow together and prepare for our fish, working so hard to make camp an amazing experience, has made me proud as any parent.  I couldn't have asked for better kids to represent me, my name, and my legacy (small as it is) at my beloved alma mater.  I didn't think it could get any better.

Then we went to camp.

To be continued...


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

M for Moscow


M for Marvelous- Moscow is an amazing city!  This is a sign for the Metro subway system, one of the busiest in the world: about 9 million trips PER DAY on  the system.  We made our share, riding it daily while we visited.  The stations are also magnificent displays of public art, and not a little propaganda for the USSR.  Worth a visit!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chartreuse


Spring Azaleas in full sun on the grounds of the Goodman-LeGrand Museum in Tyler.  Not sure what the gorgeous red is behind it, but I LOVE the color contrast here.
Russia in 4 days!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bouquet


I love how this tree has grown up in the middle of this pipe, it looks like a green bouquet in a concrete vase.  This is near the old Cotton Belt Depot in Tyler, jst outside of an active wye still used by Union Pacific.
I've been pretty sporadic about posting photos here lately, been crazy busy at work.  We're in the middle of New Student Conference season, and also I've been really involved with my Fish Camp (shout out to all the awesome members of CAMP MATHER!)  One week from today, I will be on a plane to RUSSIA for nine days- boy will I have some photos for you when we get back!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Framed


From the lawn of the Goodman-LeGrand House, Tyler, TX- looking south at the back of First Baptist Church and the spire of Christ Episcopal Church.  Almost perfectly framed by pecan, oak, and one-tree-whose-name-is-on-the-tip-of-my-tongue-and-I-can't-spit-it-out.  (Grrrrr.)  Loverly view, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Noble Steed


I encountered this handsome fella a couple of weeks ago on my Saturday morning ride thru South Brazos County.  It really is very pretty, and I always find something to snap.  This photo was taken with my iPhone and edited with the CameraAwesome SmugMug app, really amazing what you can do these days.  My first phone, when I was in college, was a larger-than-my-hand brick, and it did nothing but make calls (and not always very well at that.)  It was strictly for emergencies as I was driving between home and school, not to be turned on otherwise 'cause it was crazy expensive and we had a limited number of minutes.  Texting? Forget it, not an option.  We've come a long way since then!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Reflection


This is an oldie, but one I really like.  This was WAAAY back in my bus driving days, and one day I thought to myself, "Self, that reflection in the crossover mirror would make a cool photo."  So if you look closely, you can see me in the driver's seat, taking the photo.  (Of all the buses I drove, good ol' 103 was my favorite.  Probably because it was air conditioned.)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Track Telephone


For, you know, when you just can't wait until the next station... Hearne, TX, Depot/Museum.  I like the angle on this one.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spike


UP's Hearne, TX Yard, old track

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Silhouettes


I love the way the insulators look like birds silhouetted against the cloudy sky in this one... Hearne Depot, Hearne TX.

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Class


If you look closely, the middle trunk has a British Railways "First Class" label on the end.  Oh, the places my imagination takes me!  If this trunk could talk, I would expect it to have some great stories to tell...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Streamliner


This is Union Pacific's 1955 EMD E-9 passenger diesel 951, in an A-B-A consist with 963B and 949. They were visiting the Hearne, TX UP yard as part of the UP 150th Birthday tour, from Little Rock, AR to New Orleans, LA. Steam engine 844 was supposed to be on point of this train, but had mechanical problems (as old ladies tend to) near Mount Pleasant and didn't make it in time.  But these beauties were a superb stand-in- easy elegance on the Route of the Streamliners...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crossing


Texas 21 crossing the Trinity River, Houston/Madison County line.  The river was way up that day, after a week's worth of heavy rain.  The boat ramp just to the left was almost totally covered with water.  A great sight, after seeing it so low last summer and fall from drought.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Downtown Small Town


Old department store in Downtown Palestine, TX.  I love the Deco font and the angle of the shadows in this one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Trespassing


Duly noted.  Long lenses are highly useful... Old SP Freight Depot, Jacksonville, TX

Monday, April 9, 2012

Waiting...


This is the former Administration Building of Mary Allen College in Crockett, TX.  It was originally founded by the Board of Missions for Freedmen of the Presbyterian Church to educate black women in Houston County.  It was named for Mary Allen, the late wife of the first president of the seminary.  The school opened in 1886, and over the years went from a women's seminary to a coeducational, two-year junior college to a fully-accredited, four-year institution.  However, enrollment, at one time as high as 130+ students, declined, accreditation was lost due to scandal, and finally the 92-year old college was forced to close in 1978.  This structure is all that remains, and it is waiting... 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Young 'un


Young longhorn, Midway, TX; March 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

107


Nailed above a doorframe at the former Southern Pacific freight house in Jacksonville, TX... the tracks are gone (only UP still uses their line, and it's not close to this building) and the freight house looks to be not far behind.  Looks like it was, at one time, an antique store, but now it sits empty and waiting...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Beast


This is The Beast, a nasty hill, masquerading as a pleasant country backroad... it is about a 60 degree slope, and in a car isn't bad.  On a bike, it's a whole 'nother story.  It was the final hill to conquer in the Beauty and the Beast Bike Ride I participated in two weeks ago in Bullard, TX.  I made it...barely!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lazy Day


 One of the Mosser Longhorns of Midway, TX, chillin' and takin' it easy on a Friday afternoon...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Green


Near Independence, TX... lush, green, spring...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Creeping...


I love this vine, slowly taking over the wall of this building in downtown Brenham...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Field of Gold


FM 50, between College Station and Independence, TX.  (Thomas technically took this one, as I was driving- but he wouldn't let me stop!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

On the Fence...


Taken near Independence, TX... the bluebonnets are starting to bloom and the trees are popping with buds...and pollen.  But so worth it.  I love this time of year!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Camellia


A bright spot on a not-so-bright day... it's cold, gray, and rainy today.  What happened to the beautiful spring weather from the last post?  Oh, right, TEXAS...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring, from the swing


Yesterday was such a beautifully gorgeous day that I spent most of it reading (The Hunger Games trilogy, just finished it!) in the backyard swing. This is what I saw when I looked up (and is also the reason I can't breathe thru my nose today. Stupid pollen.) And I will do it again. I love this time of year!

Friday, March 2, 2012

All Hail the Mighty State


176 years ago today, Texas told Mexico to kiss it's ass and declared independence. We've pretty much had the same attitude ever since.
"You may all go to Hell, and I will go to Texas."-- David Crockett, Esq.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laissez les bon temps rouler!


Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all! This is what I think Bourbon Street will look like to most people there at midnight tonight... blurry! Advil stock will go up tomorrow...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Strip


That title got your attention, didn't it?
The Strip from the Eiffer Tower at Paris, Las Vegas, NV- looking towards (left side) Planet Hollywood, Marriott Grand Chatea, MGM Grand, Tropicana, (right side) Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excallibur, New York New York, Aria City Centre.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Night Falls at The Alamo


Did you know that since the Alamo is a military burial site, nothing can be constructed around it that would obstruct the setting sun from falling on it's front facade? True. This is one of my favorite photos from a trip to San Antonio a couple of years ago. Had to wait a while for all the pesky people to get out of the way. It seems to be waiting for the ghosts to come out...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Port of Call


Helsingborg, Sweden; I'm itching to travel again... This is a 20-minute ferry ride from Helsingor, Denmark (also known as Elsinore, Hamlet's home). The ferry is quite nice, with bars, restaurants, and shops on board. Many people use them for date night, crossing back and forth and watching the ships in the harbor and lovely sunsets...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Leave Drains Open


Hand-painted sign from the 1940s inside Hoover Dam- Leave Abutment Drains Open. I wish my lettering was this elegant...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Right Angles


West side, Kyle Field, Texas A&M University- Home of the 12th Man and the Fightin' Texas Aggies...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

X Marks the Spot


Right over Winter Park, CO... I am slowly posting more photos. And I need to take more soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Evergreen


Charlie Brown's Christmas tree ain't got nothin' on this beautiful little survivor!
Winter Park, CO

Friday, January 6, 2012

Freestylin'


Freestylin' on the moguls hill, Winter Park, CO

Monday, January 2, 2012

Do Not Cross Tracks


Winter Park, CO, just outside the West Portal of the Moffat Tunnel.