Sunday, October 31, 2010

Make You a Zombie

I spent some time yesterday on youtube looking at vids on how to do zombie make up. I wanted to go to the Zombie Ball this year but knew I wouldn't be able to pull it off in time. Work has been demanding of my energy these past couple of weeks leaving me too tired to think about going out and having fun, let alone making a production out of it.

Face it, creating a great costume and doing makeup properly takes time. For a good zombie effect, one needs liquid latex, proper adhesive, zombie colors such as gray, charcoal, white, yellow, purple, green, red, in both powder and creamy formulations, and perhaps even some creepy contact lenses. Spider webbing and something to rat up the hair to give it a cruddy and dirty appearance would be cool and make it look like you crawled out of a grave. Then of course dirtying up clothing with special paint effects and the right kind of tearing, etc...would add that extra special zombie touch.

I want all of that stuff and am going to pull it together for the ball in 2011. Hitting the Halloween clearance sales will be productive. I'm thinking it would be cool to play around with this for a little while...I'm sure Ben would love to be my guinea pig. We could have all kinds of fun making him look like a little zombie boy.

It's good to be an artist! This is an all new medium to explore and that really revs me up. It would be fun to advertise my services next year and charge a fee to do peoples' special effects makeup. A digital video camera is looking more and more like a necessity to me these days. I totally need vids on my blogs for fun and entertainment of course, but also for business. Those little cameras are a wonderful tool...

In any case, I will be at the Zombie Ball next year with a date! Hopefully he will be tall and handsomely ghoulish with most of his body parts still in tact. It will be great!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Twenty Snakes in a Row

Tonight was fun. A friend of mine owns twenty beautiful ball pythons because he breeds them. He has many different hybrids that are gorgeous and some are quite large for the breed. I had the pleasure of feeding all of them tonight.

This was a process. Several of the snakes are quite mean because of their genetics, so grabbing and putting them in feeding buckets was challenging. I got struck at many times by this one snake in particular and was thankful her aim wasn't true and my reflexes were quick. The best part of all, is almost all of the snakes grabbed the rats out of my hand. That was cool. I held the rats by their tails of course so I was out of the strike zone. Before I could even drop the rat in the bucket it would be snatched away from me immediately.

I had a great time and can't wait to do it again. I get to feed them all one more time before their owner returns home. Bonus! Next time I hope to have someone video tape it all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yay Friday!

Get to see my boyfriend, have dinner made for me, and just relax. I'm so ready.

Monday, October 04, 2010

My New Favorite Songs

"New World" by Devotchka
"Take Everything" by Greg Laswell
"Lasso" by Phoenix
"Sound of Sunshine" by Spearhead

Don't know how long they will stay favs, but for now I'm diggin em. I've been listening to a ton of music lately on Pandora and gotta say its the bomb.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day with Dusty

Yesterday Dusty kidnapped me and we went to Barton Creek for a bit of relaxation. The weather was perfect. Dusty read a bit and wrote, while I played in the waters amongst the rapids and boulders. We enjoyed talking to fellow Austinites about how cool our town is and exchanged a few phone numbers.

Yep she was a flowin

Ara's camera

Such a goofball

Nice tatts

I want to invent a new sport...under water boulder crawling

This is great!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blanco State Park


Lots of cool nature encounters of the more creepy crawly variety, Good place for family fun

Road noise

Blanco according to the natives is pronounced "blank-0", and if you say it any other way you will label yourself immediately as not from around those parts. It is a tiny town but seems to have a pretty big welcome mat. The state park that Blanco houses is about the size of a pencil eraser compared to the other Tx state parks I've been to.

But its smallness is much of the charm the park holds. I met a couple of the resident campers and got the scoop of who is who and what is what. The rangers were very nice and so was everyone else I had encountered there. I stayed this past Friday and Saturday night and slept once again in my new tent. I am very glad I'm getting experience with it before heading out to more serious adventure.

I wrote a dumb little poem while I was in my little tent. It goes like this:

Crawdad don't pinch me
Don't sneak up on me with claws open wide
You can forget about it
Dragon Fly watches as I run and hide

Bullfrog listen
Why do you have to be so loud?
Someone else might want a word in edgewise
Might want to speak to the crowd

Bullfrog doesn't care
He wants to hear himself speak
Droning in his own purr
Another audience we will seek

We have found Perch and Snake
Both such close friends
They dance together in moonlit lake
Swapping stories of where they've been

All the while crawdad grumbles around
Looking for someone new to pinch
Dragon Fly hovers trying to make no sound
My cover is brilliant what a cinch

I had a fun time looking at a five foot long snake one night while I was there. It was awesome! I was down at the water's edge at night with my flashlight. I love walking near water at can see so much wildlife that way. I was shining the light into the shallows and was shocked to see so many huge crawdads strolling along the bottom. I could have easily caught at least 70 of those suckers that night there were so many.

As I was busy counting and dreaming of crawfish etouffe, a HUGE water snake came from the shadows into my light. It swam straight for me. I gathered it was curious about my flashlight. It stopped about 12 inches away from my toe and poked its head up out of the water to have a look. Satisfied, it veered off to my right, it's long body gliding slowly by. I don't think it was a venomous snake but I wasn't entirely sure. I stood my ground and waited for it to pass.
The crawdads didn't seem to care about the snake in their way. They continued to amble along clumsily.

I saw a coyote on Friday night. It came VERY close to me as I was sitting on a picnic table about 1 am in the morning having a fun conversation with a gal I met whose parents live in the park. We talked about aliens. I was listening to a story when my peripheral vision caught a white blur of fluid movement passing by to my right merely feet away in the shadows of the tree line we were sitting in front of. It was an ALIEN!!

I stood up quickly and shined my light to find no aliens, but one lone coyote that was more white than brownish gray. I have never seen such a light colored coat on a coyote before and it surprised me. The animal stopped about 15 feet away and turned its head to look at me. I stood still wondering if there was going to be any trouble. Coyotes rarely get so close to people, but it stood there a good pause seemingly unafraid. I wondered if this one was used to hand outs or something. Anyway, it turned and walked on.

At that point we decided it was a good time to turn in for the evening. My arms had goose bumps and I had an adrenaline rush. It took a while for me to settle down enough to fall asleep after listening to scary alien stories, which are probably not typical camp fire stories, and having such a close encounter with a ghostly looking coyote. As I slipped into that drowsy state, I listened to the trees launch the occasional missile. They rained acorns and stuff the whole time we were there. It was peaceful though and luckily no one got hit on the head!

I saw plenty of other creatures on the trip as well, including a small tan scorpion which reminded me of one my mother got stung by years ago...made her sick. I was attacked by a grouchy praying mantis that didn't like the rude intrusion of my flash light and peering stare. It cocked its little head to one side, then the other, and suddenly hurled it's spread out body towards my head. I jumped and let out a surprised yelp hahahaha and laughed a good one at myself. I pet some cute kittens that belonged to the girl I was chatting with when we saw the coyote. Oh yeah, the lama. I had a face to face chat with a lama that liked to smell my hair. As you can see for a weekend of doing just about nothing, a lot was going on.

Another thing I wanted to mention before adding the pictures is the bowling club cafe that we had dinner at Saturday night. The food was fantastic! It was down home southern cooking at it's finest. In the back of the cafe was the coolest vintage bowling alley! They have generations in the town who have all stacked the pins during the games when they were kids. What an interesting history. I failed to bring my camera to dinner though and am sad I didn't get to take pictures of that place and the food we ate. But I am going to visit again, this time with Ben. He will like it there...and it is a good excuse to go back and pick up some pictures I missed.

Speaking of's picture time! Yay!

The river was nice

Nice shady spot but I ended up moving to the other side of the branches for deep shade

You look marvelous dahling

This broad likes to pose for the camera

This is private property next to the park. The sheep are used for meat.

And what park is complete without geese? These were a noisy bunch! They got excited a few times during the night...might have been the gray fox bothering them. The park ranger said one was on the property and it liked to bother the chicks...I'm assuming there were hens on the property too, although I didn't see any.

This was how clear the water was in the shallows and why I was able to see so many crawdads at night. Part of the shallows was solid cement and rock.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Some Would Raise an Eyebrow

Went to a fun cozy little place tucked away next to Spider House called "The United States Art Authority", which is a liberal arts place in Austin that I just discovered thanks to my friend Piph. She invited me out and I took the opportunity to bring a date and had a great time. The show was totally up my alley and feeds me inspiration for a blog I've been considering putting together. I was unsure if I wanted to do it, but now I'm like yeah let's do this thing! The new blog has to pretty much stay out of the family viewing arena though. I need to figure out how to make it all anonymous and stuff. Some things you just don't want your family to see. Sorry loved ones.

Anyway, the show was called "Bed Post Confessions" Salacious stories and enticing entertainment. Salacious. I like that word and I like this town. The culture is rich here and the people diverse. One thing is certain, as an artist I need many colors on my palette of life or I get bored. And if you get bored in this town you are not doing something right.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Lovin the Rain!

We are getting a huge downpour in the fair city of Austin Texas and I love it. I look forward to the creeks drying up after all the rain is gone and do some fossil hunting in a very secret place. I also look forward to camping at Blanco in the very near future. Hopefully the river will be down enough and the place isn't flooded out. We shall see...

In other news, Ben was sick today and had to stay home from school. I think he has a stomach virus, but one can never be too sure about these things. He is doing much better now.

I'm getting on FB a little more, trying my damndest to keep up with everyone, but that place is crazy and I'm saddened that keeping up with people means signing onto a is what it is. I must join the 21st century...but I'm afraid I will be assimilated.

Not much else to report at the moment...peace out

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Can't Go Outside To Play

The weather is stellar and I'm stuck in the house with a nasty cold. On the up side however is the fact that I'm getting some computer time in and paying attention to my blog. I'm sure those of you who are left will appreciate it. :)

Soon the blog is gonna have a new look. Dusty came over the other day and showed me his latest web site he did, and I want my blog to be similar. It has been in need of a make over for years. He has done an excellent job of teaching himself how to do web design. Self taught is where it's at in my book.

In other news...

Work is great and I love my co-workers. What an excellent bunch of people to work with! The mortgage industry is a very interesting animal and I have been learning a ton. I will be heading to Blanco SP soon with a couple of my coworker friends who are also crazy about camping. I'm looking forward to it.

I managed to update Ben's blog with a post. For those of you who have access feel free to check it out. If you don't have access and want it, and you qualify to get it, email me. I will direct you to it. You should know immediately if you will qualify or not. Basically if you are not a friend or family member you can't see it and you won't know who Ben is anyway, so are not missing out.

My hair is growing back in some of the places it fell out. Wow I'm lucky I had plenty of hair to spare! I still have no clue why I've been having these health issues in the first place, but I'm still searching for answers and will eventually get to the bottom of it all. I had another test done for Celiac and it came back negative again.

I've been talking to my dad. That is a big update I know. Despite the past, I love my dad and always will. I refuse to dwell on what was and am moving forward where he is concerned. Ever hear of a clean slate? Wish you had one sometimes? I think we all do. Everyone deserves to prove themselves.

I recently discovered chewy sweet tarts...they are da bomb

I am still missing my man in the desert. He is staying for burning man and probably won't be back until late September. Who is this mystery man anyway? I've been tight lipped about him I know. Someday I will dish the scoop and reveal will be a good story!

Thomas called me a while back. Can't remember if I posted anything about that or not. Wow that is a big one too huh? He is good and just finished up a big trip in Glacier National Park. Go check out his All Things Fried site for pics. You can even see a pick of the woman he married. In all honesty I am so glad he found her. They seem well suited for each other. I am happy for him for real. We should always wish the best for those we love, even if it means their paths are far from ours. I still love you Thomas and always will...I'm truly glad you are having a wonderful time! :)

And remember folks, be careful what you ask for. The universe is very willing to bring you what you want.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Skinny

Ben started school again and is now officially a third grader! He seems to have a nice teacher so far and I haven't heard any complaints about anything. So far so good...but when they start giving homework galore it is going to be a challenge for me to keep Ben interested in doing more school work after a whole day of it. Poor kids...they are tired when they get home.

I can't believe how much like fall it feels already! Wow, 91 degrees feels pretty good! I miss the sun though. It has been behind the clouds a lot for the last day or so. I need sunlight and wonder how well I will be able to deal with the winter. I tend to get the drearies when it is miserable outside and grey skies dominate. I wonder if those artificial light things work.

Work is good, friends are good, family is good. Life is good. Will check back later!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Maybe Yes

Maybe I will get a blog make over in this millennium...maybe not. I am hopeful Dusty will finish up his stuff soon and get busy on this one. He is good at this stuff...I must be patient. :)

Man in the Desert

Man in the desert seems a million miles away
Out of grasp, out of touch but I feel him
He is here and there

Hearts divided on one plane
together on another
Man in the desert come home

Make things happen for others to see
All can revel in your determined sweat
You dream and create and tear down walls

My walls are gone

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Where to Begin

There is much catching up to do with photos stored on my hard drive. I will post random stuff for a while to get started which appears to be a good place to begin.

My new tent next to the old one. This was taken on a camping trip at Inks lake when I was with co-workers a few short months back. We had a good time. I managed to walk to some familiar spots and reflect back on treasured moments with Thomas when we were last at Inks together.

I can never go to any of these places again without having these memories of our time spent together coming back to me. But compared to a couple of years ago, I can look back with ease and not wince at the pain of it that once lurked in my being. Time can be both cruel and kind.

This goose is having a gander. Hah couldn't resist...anyway, this is at the waters edge at Inks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blues on The Green

I had a great time at the last show and can't wait to go again. I'm a sucker for free concerts in the park. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

For my Gluten Intolerant Readers

I noticed some new folks have been stumbling onto my blog who are gluten intolerant. I am by no means the expert on the subject, but I have been finding out information bit by bit and am happy to pass along anything that might be helpful to you handful of folks when you end up finding me. With that said, here two words you need to know....Tinkyada Pasta! It is great stuff and made from brown rice flour. There is absolutely no wheat anything in it and is a safer alternative for those of us who love pasta. It seems no different from skinner as far as taste and texture go in a dried pasta. Be sure to rinse it well though after cooking...I think that makes a difference. Good luck and enjoy! :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tilikum I Hear You

I have a subscription to "Outside" magazine compliments of my sister(yep Lynn I'm still getting them), and in the latest issue was an excellent article about the exploitation of Orcas in the wild for mega profits. It closely examined the death of a top Sea World trainer not so long ago when she was finishing up after a killer whale show. The article exposed industry practices as well as the lifestyles and deaths of Killer Whales used in theme parks, including a detailed account of one whale's life in particular. His name is Tilikum. This orca has killed two people and injured countless others.

Very important questions were posed and I can never step foot in a Sea World again. They have done an excellent job of hiding the horrors these animals have suffered touting the importance of their sacrifices for educational purposes. For that reason alone I have gone to Sea World in the past because I believed I was helping to support a good cause, but damn was I naive about it all. True they have done some very good educational things and made great strides in breeding programs, veterinarian medicine, etc...but is it acceptable how they got there?

In a nutshell no. The article outlined the history of how these whales became captive and I have to believe things could have been different were the motivations different. But throw in human greed and animals lose out every turn we lose out too. Seaworld no longer use captured whales in their facilities other than the ones they already acquired. They at least breed the animals now, but again I still question the purpose other than money of course. I think the public is pretty aware by now the importance of nature conservation and the need for places like Seaworld seems outdated.

I hope readers will seek out the article I read and decide for themselves. In the meantime there are some human deaths to deal with. The bottom line is humans are not supposed to swim with killer whales as death and serious injury can occur. We have labels on everything now days warning us of dangers. I think it is a no brainer that extreme caution must be used in the presence of such natural power these animals possess. It is painfully obvious in fact, and wild animal trainers know the danger is real.

I don't think this has ever been a matter of question, but one huge question the article posed is this. Did Tilikum kill his trainer on purpose? In my mind the answer is hands down yes. After reading the article and doing a little research, I believe these poor whales have gone insane as a result of their captive lifestyles. I believe that orcas and other higher brained sea mammals are intelligent sentient beings who kill as a regular part of their existence. Changing the playing field doesn't change millions of years of instinct. And when conditions are right, disasters are easy to come by.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"You Disappeared"

I believe those were the exact words in my recent communication with a blog fan who also happens to be a dear friend whom I love to pieces. It is true, I do disappear from time to time but only because the real world beckons and I no longer have the luxury of not working. Sadly blogging often takes the back burner. Suffice it to say however, when this particular person calls me up and wants to know where I've been, I snap to attention and post something. For you dear friend...

Life is trucking along at an okay pace and for now I am content. Yesterday I sat by the pool for about six hours relaxing and enjoying the company of my friends who live in the complex. It is nice to be able to walk out the door and know I will see two or three people down at the pool who will be glad to see me. We have sparked up the grill a few times and had a great forth of July. One of our friends bought fireworks and set them off for us. The kids had a blast.

I've been busy producing art work, and not so busy taking photographs. It is what it is. My apartment however had a makeover. I have a new girlfriend who does re-designs and staging for the real estate market, both commercial and residential. I should at least take a few photos of how great everything looks and post them. Although it was a collaborative effort, most of the credit goes to her. The really cool thing is I didn't have to buy a thing. We used all of my own stuff, just grouped it all together differently.

I miss hiking and backpacking but know I can always get back to it. I'm certainly geared out for the occasion. I have managed a couple of camping trips with friends here and there which is always fun. I'm waiting patiently for my favorite boyfriend to come back into town so we can go camping again. There are so many choice places to go and the decision is always a tough one.

Speaking of choices, I have many choices of what I can do with my time today. Earlier I did a little house cleaning(I love to clean my house, especially when no one is here). I might head down to the pool for a while after the strongest of the suns rays have waned a bit. Admittedly I did get on the pink side yesterday from not being diligent with the sunscreen. One thing is for sure, I do have a killer tan developing from all the sunshine I've been getting lately.

Later I might head to the grocery store after the heat has relaxed. I am craving good veggies and fruits and may get in the kitchen and whip up something yummy. Who knows I might even invite some friends over. So I guess that is it for now. I will try to stop in more often and post at least a photo or some kind of update. Maybe I will simply share some random thoughts.

I love you guys!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Such a Goofball

This little boy is my life and my heart. He is fun, smart, engaging, and very silly!

Ben went to the beach weekend before last with his aunt Keryn and our friend Andy, and had a wonderful time playing with the jellyfish. Not really a kids toy, but he couldn't keep his hands off of them. He is just as inquisitive about nature as I am. Thankfully he was very careful not to get that a man of war he is holding? Errrr...yeah that can nail one good.
Since his adventure at the coast he has been begging me to take him back to the ocean. I love the coast and think we will go a few times this summer.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Food Thing

glazed carrots, Tilapia with a citrus cream sauce, and tossed salad

Gourmet chocolates from my sweetest of sweethearts. They were gluten free and damn they were amazing! notice the word "were".

Typical salad

Root veggies,Pork tenderloin, Green beans, and Kale

Chicken, Carmelized onions, and Chard

Little Amish Boy (Ben)...Ok so he isn't food, but he is cute and this was taken at a restaurant.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Introducing Lydia Mackay

I have never talked about the fact that I have two beautiful half sisters because I lost contact with them years and years ago. I have recently been in touch with one of them thanks to our sister Lynn who tracked her down. Great work Lynn!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Decided Against the Ebay Gig

I think I was temporarily insane to give it serious thought but I explore things. It is in my nature to do so. That might have been a much more plausible use of my time and energy when I was a stay at home mom. So yeah I need to sit this one out and focus elsewhere.

Speaking of which, I have accomplished more on one of my paintings and am digging the direction it is taking. New ideas keep coming and I'm excited to put them into practice. I should take a picture of it and post it along with all the others from the past few weeks. They are coming I promise.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Heard from my Dad

I haven't heard a word from my father in about eight years then a couple of days ago he emailed me and attached a couple of pictures. I'm struggling with what to do about it. There is a lot of back story of course as to why I haven't heard from him in eight years and why I am struggling with having contact. It is all far too complicated to go into now.

It's funny how I thought I had lain to rest many of the issues where he is concerned only for them to come rushing back in with his contacting me. This time it is different however. I see things from a different perspective. I don't feel anger at all towards him anymore. I feel sadness mostly and regret. There are many things I feel I need to say and I don't know how to say them or if they would even come to rest on ears that can truly hear.

One thing my father is good at is sweeping things under the carpet. He is good at evading and not keeping things real. He is good at denial. I wish we could come to some sort of place of healing and understanding before he dies, but I truly don't know if that is possible as long as he clings to these traits. I think deep down my father is miserable and has been his whole life. I think there is a lot of hard core emotional pain that is too difficult for him to face. I think I understand him better than he could possibly know.

My dad could have done amazing things with his life had mental illness not been in the way. He has a genius all his own when it comes to being an artist and being creative. If only he didn't have so many things going against him, including himself. I will think on these things a while...

Ebay Store

My friend Azzurra is going to introduce me to some people on Thursday who want me to sell a bunch of stuff on Ebay for them. One is a gal who used to own a video rental store and she has several hundred dvds to sell. Another is a guy who has a bunch of estate stuff he wants to be rid of.

I agreed to do this for the extra money(a percentage of everything that sells) and can only hope it isn't a nightmare to pull off. I've never done any serious Ebay auctioning before so this could be a challenge. I wonder where if anywhere this could lead...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I LOVE my town

I say town because even though Austin has a large population and is a very happening city, it still has a home town feel to it. I don't think I will ever tire of this place or the abundance of cool people who live here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I don't have Lupus

I am very relieved. My blood work came back and showed that I have rheumatoid arthritis instead which isn't great, but I can manage it. And it is looking like I am suffering from adrenal fatigue which actually explains quite a bit.

I am determined to get this all figured out soon...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Went to the Dermatologist Today

Great news! He said my hair follicles are unharmed and I will grow my hair back. We still don't know the underlying cause but he thinks it is auto immune in nature. I'm still waiting on my blood work. In the meantime I got a shot in the hip...a steroid...which should help prevent further hair loss for a few weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed!

In other news, my sister is leaving town today and life will resume back to normal. It will be a little lonely with her and the kids gone, but Ben and I will adjust quickly. Pictures are coming soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I will Handle what ever Comes My Way with Style and Grace

I've been debating with myself as to whether or not I want to post this because I don't want to alarm anyone, but I decided to go ahead since this is ultimately my journal and having a timeline could be important later...

I'm losing my hair in abnormal quantities(already have two good sized bald spots...largest is two inches across) and the cause is unknown yet. It very well could be related to malabsorption of nutrients and vitamin deficits because of the food intolerances, but it could also be something pretty bad such as lupus or cancer and I am currently undergoing testing to rule those things out. My sister discovered the bald spots a few days ago and I don't know how long they have been there but I'm thinking not long. Fortunately my hair covers them up...for now anyway.

I got handed a diagnosis of fibromyalgia yesterday but it doesn't explain the hair loss. Unfortunately fibromyalgia (soft tissue arthritis) has no cure and is something I will have to manage the rest of my life. It isn't the greatest of news, but it isn't the worst either. I have been in pain for years now and am used to it. The best way to manage this disease is lots of exercise and stretching. Thankfully this means hiking and backpacking are here to stay. The doc says I don't have to give that up at all and he thinks it is a wonderful way for me to exercise and help manage the fibromyalgia.

Hopefully soon I will know more. In the meantime I am trying not to dwell on it too much. Stay tuned for updates and pictures I've taken over the last several days. We did some cooking and painting! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Sister is Still Here

I've taken quite a few pictures and will share them as soon as I can free up disk space. I bought an external drive today so should be back in the swing of things soon. Currently I am doing much needed maintenance to my box and hope to have it all ready and running better by tomorrow.

The visit with Lynn and her children has been really nice. I will hate to see them all go.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Uncle Gordon 1920-2010 (He died on my birthday)

Gordon William Smith, 89, an artist and avid collector who met an American Indian chief at age 5 and let his imagination lift him to a life as an architectural artist and as one of America's leading collectors of American Indian art, died Thursday, March 4, 2010, at home.
Memorial service: 1 p.m. Monday in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth. Dr. William Longsworth will officiate. Interment to follow in Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation: 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Thompson's Harveson & Cole Funeral Home.
Pallbearers: Mr. John Boswell, Mr. John Burk, Mr. Robert Dupree, Mr. Brent Hyder, Mr. Dan Reese, Mr. William Smith, Mr. Andrew Solomon, Mr. Bronson Stocker, Mr. Wesley Stripling, Mr. Samuel More. Honorary pallbearers: Dr. Irvin Clayton, Mr. Van Cliburn, Mr. Carroll Collins, Mr. John Graves, Dr. Richard Hubbard, Mr. George Keating, Mr. Bud Kennedy, Mr. Scott McDonald, Mr. Douglas More, Mr. Thomas Palmer, Mr. Diego Rodriguez, Mr. John Stevenson, Mr. Philip Vogel, Mr. Ronald Watson.
Memorials: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1600 Gendy St., Fort Worth, Texas 76107; the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 1 Hermann Circle Drive, Houston, Texas 77030; the Van Cliburn Foundation, 2525 Ridgmar Blvd., Suite 307, Fort Worth, Texas 76116; or First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth.
As a designer and creator of more than 800 works of art across 14 states, from stained-glass windows to a 50-foot-tall mosaic, Gordon Smith viewed his art in the same way he viewed the pieces of Indian art he collected as a lifelong avocation: as small glimpses of life's endless story, like a giant totem pole depicting life across generations and cultures.
Born in Fort Worth as the grandson of pioneers who moved to Parker County in the 1870s, he grew up hearing about Indians. In 1925, when the Smiths were vacationing in Glacier National Park, Mont., Blackfoot chief Two-Guns-White-Calf gave the boy a small, black rawhide rattle.
By age 20, he had made many friends among the Plains Indians and had been inducted into the Lakota Sioux, all while gathering a collection of more than 1,000 artifacts now in the Gordon W. Smith North American Indian Collection at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and also on display at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History through a rotating collection-sharing arrangement.
As a captain of two U.S. Navy landing ships in World War II, he participated in 13 landings on Japanese-held islands, often under enemy fire.
After graduating from Southern Methodist University, he attained a master's degree in English literature at Columbia University and also studied with noted Italian sculptor Oronzio Maldarelli.
Home in Fort Worth, he worked as an advertising artist and founded Smiths, Inc., the publishing house which introduced novelist John Howard Griffin, later the author of "Black Like Me."
In 1962, Smith created a stained-glass window for the memorial chapel named for his father, W.D. Smith, at Harris Methodist Hospital. Out of this grew the architectural arts firm Smith Studios, founded with his brother J. Hulbert, which over the next 41 years created stained-glass windows and other works of art for churches and hospitals across the South and Southwest. His 50-foot-tall mosaic on an Alabama church includes 1.4 million pieces of Italian tile, and is one of the largest mosaics ever created in the U.S.
Smith Studios also worked on the restoration of the historic Texas & Pacific Railway Terminal in Fort Worth, now T&P Station, and for this work the Texas Society of Architects awarded Smith its Artisan's Award. Smith's work, including architectural art, painting and drawing, was featured in a 2004 retrospective exhibition at Texas Christian University.
He was a board member of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and First Methodist Church of Fort Worth, as well as many other community organizations, and a member of the Jewel Charity Ball.
His wife of 48 years and the love of his life, Beverley Taylor Smith, was a Fort Worth civic leader, host of the local TV Ann Alden Show, and chairman of the Cliburn Concerts division of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. She died in 1998, and after her death he funded the Beverley Taylor Smith Award for the Best Performance of a New Work, awarded at each Van Cliburn Competition.
The family thanks Diego Rodriguez and Brenda Hernandez for their many years of steadfast kindness to Gordon.
Survivors: Son, Gordon Dee Smith and wife, Susan, of Fort Worth; daughter, Beverley Blaine Smith of Fort Worth; grandson, William D. Smith II; and granddaughters, Blaine Keating Smith and Carolyn Blaine Smith Solomon.
Published in Star-Telegram on March 7, 2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

My Sister Lynn is in Town

My great uncle died a few days ago prompting some of my immediate family to drive to Fort Worth for the funeral. Unfortunately I had to work and was unable to make the service. I loved my great uncle. He was a very smart and talented man and his death impacts me in several ways. I forever grapple with death and the finality of many people who were important to me gone never to return.

Anyway, I got a phone call from her today and she and her children are coming to Austin this evening. I am truly excited that I get to see her and the kids. The visit is long overdue. I only wish my brother could be here too. When the three of us get together it is always hilarity. We so rarely get opportunities to all be together at the same time. It is especially fun when my brother and I gang up on my sister and play little jokes on her. Ah good times... So Lee you will be missed dear brother o mine.

Oh I forsee some some major cooking going on in my kitchen over the next couple of days. I need to remember to take lots of pictures with my spiffy Ara camera. :)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Dusty in the Hood

I spent a little time with my good friend Dusty yesterday. He was fixing a lifter in a Camaro engine and I took the opportunity to snap some shots. Some of these turned out grainy but I knew they probably would. I took the shots from the driver's seat through a dirty windshield on a gray cloudy day.

Seeds Dusty gave me for my birthday. He thinks I should container garden. I don't think my balcony will get enough light but I can try it.

Dusty did this charcoal and I own it. The photograph doesn't do it justice but it is extremely well done don't you think?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Just a few Photos

A romantic gesture

The completed mosaic before grouting

One of my favorite snacks. Frozen blueberries and blackberries with heavy cream

The official I'm 44 head shot

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I am Making it just Fine!

Ok, so today isn't so bad. I realized how silly it is to be so concerned about my if there is a rule on what 44 looks like, or feels like, or how a 44 year old should act...

It's been coming more and more to mind that I am simply a late bloomer and I'm cool with that. :)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Oh God Nooooooooooooo

I'm turning 44 tomorrow and kicking and screaming the whole way. I can't be turning 44! How on earth did so much time go by? I don't look 44. I don't feel 44. There has to be a mistake...quick check of the birth certificate...yep 44. Well damn I guess it's true. Sigh.

Now where on earth did I put that deep wrinkle cream...

Monday, March 01, 2010

Yay Picture Time!

The squirrels

A lovely fellow artisan

Art in a bowl

When I finish this, it will be joining many others on a special wall somewhere in Austin

A good moment

Cats are cool

Pretty in Calico

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It was a Special Day

I was in excellent company four several hours today and couldn't have been at more peace. The weather was gorgeous and I spent a good deal of it outside today working on a special mosaic art project with new friends. I felt pampered and cared for through out the day and couldn't ask for more.

All connections made are important parts of the whole, every character having a place in the ebb and flow of this human experience. Something truly energetic is happening within and I hope as my life takes on a more positive path, those around me who I love will in turn find their own lives a little better and more satisfying.
I do have more pictures and will have them up very soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Over it

The gluten free thing is getting easier every day and I have found my groove in the kitchen again. I was a little freaked for a while about having to miss out on stuff I love, but I am seeing something positive emerge from out of the seemingly grim reality of never eating a piece of pizza again from my favorite pizza place, or a juicy burger from other favorite haunts. I am a foodie after all and what might not be a grim prospect for some, was for me. But no more!

I started to truly analyze what was bothering me the most about these food intolerances I have learned of, and it isn't the food itself that I was grieving over, it is the loss of a big part of my culture which is the freedom to eat out anywhere and at any time when the occasion arises. I'm not only talking about dining out at restaurants, it is also difficult to safely dine at others' homes as well, or to join my coworkers and eat what is catered into the office on a fairly regular basis. Food is a heavy part of one's culture. I have to strike out of my cultural norm and learn to create something new and better for myself.

I think the area I live in needs a gluten free something or other...a private chef, or cafe maybe... Should I take a giant leap into something daring? Any endeavor into the culinary world is a risky one if you miss your mark, but there is a niche here that is hard to ignore. I need to consult my good chef friend and a few others to explore the possibility of finally putting a culinary business together. My brother has experience in managing restaurants and perhaps I should talk to him as well.

Cooking with whole foods has always been easy for me, but it became very difficult over the past year when I didn't feel inspired to cook great food(it is a different way of life for me, being the single working mom). And finding out about all the different food intolerances was a hard blow at first which didn't help. I had started to rely on convenience. But I am slowly realizing what has fallen right into my lap and I need to pay attention and get focused. I am feeling inspired for the first time in a long while.

Culinary sauces are amongst my favorite foods to experiment with. Lately I have been thinking about sauces for poultry or pork. I made one up and emailed it to myself which is becoming a preferred method of organizing my ideas. It is much easier to find stuff I need this way and I am never too far from a computer. All the raw material I need for copy should I decide to write a cook book is already in black and white and waiting for me. I should consult with my sister too, she had to put a cook book together for a school assignment. I have no idea how that turned out, but she used different recipes from family members(including me).

Anyway, I had been imagining all last week having a beautifully roasted chicken stuffed with lemons, scallions, and butter. I thought meticulously about what elements in a sauce I wanted to pair with the meat. Did I want sweet or savory? Did I want au jus or something more? Did I want familiar or exotic?

The flavors and textures started formulating in my mind. This is the creative process happening. I wanted to use wine, I imagined a drier light wine like chardonnay. I imagined how it might taste coupled with the lemon chicken stock as a base for my sauce. I thought about how the wine would taste drinking it straight with dinner. I wanted the sauce to be semi exotic with a bit of sweet but not too much. Something fruity was coming into focus. Something light and distinct and complimentary with the lemon undertones...and just like that apricots came to mind.

My friends, a sauce was born. I have plans to make versions possibly using hints of vanilla or nutmeg and trying different liqueurs and different fruits. It will get very interesting doing all this experimentation and I will need guinea pigs dear readers. By the way, I made the roasted chicken exactly as I had envisioned it, and the sauce complimented it perfectly.

I am now imagining a beautiful roasted pork tenderloin paired with a fresh raspberry sauce using the same principle as the other one. I'm not sure if I would stick with a nice chardonnay or try a rose wine of some kind when using raspberries. I will need to experiment and have some tasters tell me what they think is best. Personally I think they both sound great!

So here are my ramblings for the day. I hope you found something entertaining. I have to run out now and register my son for summer day camp and take care of a few other errands. But if I could, I'd sit here and write the day away. I'm feeling creative and want to act on it. I still have paintings swirling around somewhere in the back of mind too, along with a hundred more creative projects. Taming the time beast is forever daunting.

My first pictures taken with Ara's camera

Hi all, I have finally found the time and energy to go buy the adapter I needed...only about 5 bucks...not bad. Here are some pictures taken with the new camera via Ara. The photographing opportunities that came my way were many, but I was only able to get a few shots here and there for one reason or another. I am keeping my eye out for more though. Without further delay, here you go! Enjoy my friends.

I am very pleased as you can see by the look on my face. I am having lunch with a person who makes me happy.

looking down below into the water from my perch on a rock above.

A lunch spot with my special friend.

Cocktails on a gorgeous day. This is at the Spider House in Austin

The 360 bridge...I drive down this road to get to a new gluten free bakery I found called the Wild Wood Art Cafe. It is becoming one of my regular haunts.

This is a cocktail I made myself tonight using Bombay Sapphire gin, a twist of fresh orange, tonic water, and a splash of blackberry Izz. Yummy!

Brushy Creek Lake

The lake again

The Labyrinth trail...very tiny little trail but kind of cool

South maybe?

well manicured trail

For your own reading pleasure explaining the trail

You are welcome Kia

I hope this car continues to perform well. I do like it quite a bit.

It is unique, and I like that

Yes those are the boxers of a male companion. Think back to the camping trip that wasn't.

Right after setting up my new tent out at HCSNA before we discovered the fire.