Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Yes, that's rainwater.

If you are not located here in South Texas, you might not understand why I am posting about rain. It's been very, very hot here lately. Tonight, the weather man said that we broke our 1990 record of triple digit heat! And it's expected to continue for another 2 days or so. I believe we're at 11 or 12 days straight. Everything is brown and dry. The dust is pretty heavy and we are wilting away here! BUT....

We had a huge thunderstorm this evening during dinner time! It was wonderful to see the water coming down from the sky. I think it rained for about twenty minutes or maybe thirty even. And there was huge cracks of thunder and a bit of lightning along with a snappy wind to blow the trees and rain sideways a bit. Very exciting to watch. So we watched after dinner. And I tried to snap some pictures without getting my camera wet. This is our sidewalk out front. I liked the way the water makes it looks gelatinous.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Blooming in the Heat

Cotton bloom

I don't know how anything can bloom in this insane heat, but I am happy to see this cotton field, which can be found next to the Home Depot along IH-10 near Austin Street exit. We drove by last week to check on the field because it is within the 3-mile radius the bees fly so we were looking to see if any bees were there. Sure enough, we are happy to report there were bees. Now, we can only hope they are our bees from the backyard. :)

Cotton Field

This is the best looking cotton field around the area, as you can tell by the healthy looking leaves and blooms. There are many other cotton fields in this area but they are looking pretty pitiful due to the drought we are in still. It is so hot and dry out here, it's amazing. We've had many three digit heat days and there's been so little rain to provide relief. It's all so dry, so brown, so crunchy. The heat is so oppressive, you simply don't want to go outside even.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hospital Revisited

Ultrasound of Mark's heart

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Mark took me to the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center for my bee sting? Well I returned the favor. :) This past week has been pretty exciting and exhausting and I don't really want to focus on what happened though I will say that Mark is at home now and recuperating just fine. Thank you for everyone's well wishes and prayers; we really appreciate it!

Here he is, getting a heart ultrasound while at the hospital. That was really cool to see his heart in action (it's fine, by the way)! Everytime you see red flashes, the technician told us it was blood being pumped into his heart. Cool. And yes, I asked Mark if he'd mind if I took pictures. :) And believe it or not, this was the only time I took pictures during the week's main event. I was a bit distracted, lol.

This is what I really want to say about the hospital here in Seguin: it is GREAT! Well, it's really the people working there. You know, you hear about ER and hospitals and usually it's not so positive. But given that we were stressed and scared, it was the best place and the greatest help we could have asked for in our opinion. The staff was amazing and simply wonderful. Everyone from the ER to the nursing staff that cared for Mark AND me while we were there. I really felt like they created a safe place for us while we dealt with all the tests and uncertainty.

So here's a great big THANK YOU to the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center. You all are wonderful and we really appreicate you and all you did for us!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Mel & Mark

I hope everyone is enjoying this special day and that you are also surviving the heat. :) We were very happy to have Melissa join us for church this morning and then we took Mark to lunch. It's been a wonderful day and now I'm off to call my dad.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wesley Harper United Methodist Church

Mark presenting his book

Last night Mark presented another talk on his book during the Juneteenth celebration at Wesley Harper United Methodist on Court Street. We had a very nice crowd join us and I never tire of listening to and watching Mark talk about his research. What is really nice is that everyone has really been wonderfully accepting and very interested in the book. Sometimes people ask if we have encountered any negative reactions since this IS about slavery. The answer is, we have not. It doesn't seem to matter the skin color of the reader, they just want to know about their/our history. And Seguin's history. It has been a truly wonderful to experience this whole adventure with Mark.

The Lampkins

We also had musical performers for the evening: The Lampkin Family Gospel Group. Talk about beautiful. We first heard them during a musical program at Second Baptist Church a few years ago and we loved them! I was sooooo excited when I saw that they were on the program along with Mark as well as a young artist from Seguin, Howard Crunk (Howard displayed several beautiful pieces of his paintings and wood sculptures). If you have not heard of the Lampkins and you enjoy gospel music, then you should definitely check them out. They have two CDs out (available at Hastings) and they also brought home an award from the 2009 San Antonio Gospel Music Awards! The Seguin paper did a story back in May on the family, which you can read here. If you'd like to hear some of their music, search for their MySpace page and check out "God is Good." I love that one. :)

The Lampkin Family

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sky Light Watch

Hospital ceiling

...and a trip to the Guadalupe Regional Medical Center. So I thought this would fit with the theme since it IS a shot of a sky. :)

Last weekend Mark took me to the emergency room because my bee sting had gotten worse by Sunday morning. You know, this lovely sky shot really brightened the ER and it made me feel better because it is so cheerful and healthy looking. I thought it was a very nice touch to add to the ceiling. That's right; it's on the ceiling! It also made the space feel bigger. As a matter of fact, our little hospital is going through some rather extensive construction and so far, everything is looking super! I can't wait to see what the hospital will look like. There is a lot of glass in the design so I'm sure it will be very modern.

I so don't "got safety"

Here I am sitting and waiting for the PA to fix me. I am only smiling because of two things:
  1. That HUGE contraption behind me. Really, I felt like it was this creature that was going to zap me or something. It loomed there...ever present. They didn't use it on me; I guess that is good. I just had to have a picture of it.
  2. After I got my steroid shot, there was not much to smile about, that's for sure. I have gotten those shots before and I do not recall it being painful! It was not the needle going in or coming out. It was about one minute AFTER I got the injection that I felt the stabbing pain where I received my medication. Wow. Don't get me wrong. I appreciated the relief. But still!

So, about the bee sting. This is my second sting and I'm not sure why I reacted so differently since the first sting was no big deal. My hand swelled and itched like crazy. It was at least twice the size of my left hand and it looked WEIRD. All poofy. Also, I had to have antibiotics because it looked like it might have been getting infected. The Benadryl did NOT help the itching nor did it knock me out so I could sleep. I learned a good lesson: gear up from now on to check on the bees! :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Local Author Book Signing

Mark's book presentation & signing

:) It's Mark! Last Thursday Mark had his first official book signing and I made it in time to catch the last few minutes of his talk and then I worked the purchasing table. The books are moving pretty swiftly and the publisher even spoke with Mark about buying some back...interesting! I am so happy for Mark because he enjoys talking with folks about the book. Saturday we went to drop copies off at Hastings, a local book/music/movie store, and while he was waiting to do paperwork, I strolled around looking at the books. Next thing you know, a "fan" was chatting him up and he signed her book for her. Sweet. I loved it.

Mark & Tally

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Garden Update

Our garden

I haven't talked about our garden so I wanted to give an update. It was late but we're beginning to really enjoy some harvested veggies lately. Above, Mark put hay around the garden and that has helped them plants retain some moisture these days. We are ranging from 98F to 101F degrees. Ugh. HOT! Below is a shot I really like of the green beans. I love the dainty white flowers but it's always hard for me to get a great shot of them. I'm glad I got this one, which includes a new green bean coming along as well.

Green bean & flowers

Here's one of our yellow squash plants, doing pretty well! I love to saute these when we have pork chops, baked chicken or fish. They have a wonderful flavor I don't taste when we get them from the grocery store.

Cutting the squash

Here are some other veggies we have this week. Tastes wonderful! The zuchinni was served with some baked basa catfish and rice. Going to put the bell pepper in a stew we're going to do in a few days. The tomatoes went on top of some nachos we made for dinner. We have more green beans to pick so we can have that with more baked chicken. :)

Veggies from the garden

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Moo Jesus Ranch Dairy

Moo Jesus, Seguin (Tx)

Since this is my first post in a WEEK, you get a big one! This past weekend, we had a wonderful visit from Mark's mom, dad, uncle and aunt. We headed out to the Moo Jesus dairy farm, which is only about twelve miles from our house. Who knew such a neat place was that close!?! I loved the experience!


The drive out there was very beautiful and peaceful. Once you're there, Gina greets you with a big, beautiful smile and a very warm welcome. She told us all about how natural foods help our bodies and we even sampled many of the cheeses they make there -- my favorite is the jalapeno cheese (we bought some!). After that, her husband Edward tours us around the property on our modern day wagon. It was nice to have the shade overhead as it was quite warm on Saturday.

Nathan pours samples for us.

Once we got back to the main area, we took a breather in the restaurant and waited for lunch. We even got to sample some fresh milk (super wonderful) and a drink that I can't recall the name of but it had beet and cayenne in it. Way too sweet for me but I'm glad I tried it.

Capote Ranch

On our way back home, we drove by El Capote Ranch since Mark's family and I have never seen it. The Capote has a rich history -- better told by Mark so I won't butcher it here. You can Google but you can also check the Texas Handbook. This is a wonderful day trip for the family. I highly recommend it!

Sorry about not posting at all for an entire week! I'm not sure I'm going to be any better anytime soon so my apologies for this weird period where there are infrequent posts. Work is really draining my time and my mind to be honest with you so when I am traveling every week, I get all caught up in what's going on right now. I hope things will settle down a bit and when they do, I should be able to once again enjoy photography and posting for you. Meanwhile, be patient with me!

Note: all these shots were taken with my Blackberry! Not bad, right? I couldn't believe my camera battery was DEAD. Not even one shot. Oh well.