Tuesday, May 26, 2015


This first time I met Lucy Pittman
our town was having a backyard garden tour and in my job
I was in charge of it.

I went to meet her and see her garden
she was wearing an old straw hat and some denim coveralls

as she walked up to meet me
I noticed she had a butterfly on her pant leg

and I knew right then
I wanted to be just like her

In many ways
I already was 

if you would have told me in 1975 that my greatest accomplishment in life
would be to lure wild bees to my backyard 
and carry a 4.0 in an online herb class...
I would have probably said
"hmmmm....I can see that"

what I didn't see coming, 
was Mr. PV-- and I imagine he would agree

here he is on his Sunday grinding 90 year old rock in the shape of 
our brass wildlife habitat sign

he wanted it to be just right like it had been there all these years

and then he went to grab the camera to prove why we deserve to have this sign on our property

a pair of owls watch from above...we are hoping they are a new couple--
they are happy we hope that

the old catawaba tree has come back to life, 

but the dead parts house a nest of fledglings

I saw a blue bird day before yesterday, but someone beat him home!
The early bird gets the nest, so they say!

come on hummingbirds...we're ready for you!

Mr. PV...I thank you for catching me a butterfly 
to wear it on my finger for a moment

before I put it in the butterfly house

Just living is not enough 
said the butterfly
one must have sunshine
and a little flower
Hans Christian Anderson

Monday, May 18, 2015


I am so excited to share with you our latest art acquisition!

It's such a great story!

In our county, there is a little town called

the 2nd grade class of 8 displayed their artwork in April
at the Hansford County Library
I so admire a teacher who knows how important art is

to the right side of the brain!

to the parents of the children who will cherish their sweet creativity forever

and to the communities who love to support the kiddos in all endeavors
especially ART!

I went to do a story on the art for the HPO
and was particularly drawn to this row of still life--
it was placed below a larger than life oil painting of the 
Battle of Adobe  Walls
Hansford County Artist Gwynfred Lackey

I fell in love with the colors, and everything else about everyone of them!
so I contacted Mr. Hargis...the superintendent, to see if they were available for purchase

(side smiley note to Mr. Hargis...his older sister Charla used to baby sit me and then when I was older I babysat Mr. Hargis....I love to call him Mr. Hargis!)

He forwarded my email to Mr. Beck, who I did not baby sit but could have,
and he told us his class was interested to make him them an offer...

we did

 Mr. Beck said his class was 

but the story gets even more wonderful

their beloved Miss VeAnn's cancer has returned
so the pink firetruck came to Morse and surprised her at the spring concert
her older son Reese, whom she had not seen in a while, hopped out of the firetruck and removed his cowboy hat to show he had cut his hair for Locks of Love to be donated in his mother's honor
(are those tearful freckled faces not such a blessing???)

all the money raised went to help this sweet family
including the money the 2nd grade class made on selling their artwork
me and Mr. PV

I cannot begin to express how much this story has touched us

it has touched us in a way that we will forever share

gosh I love America

and small town life!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015


This is the book I read to my children

this is the one I wish I could find

Our kids are spread out...Grace is almost 10 years older than Mattie with Charles in between

so their book looks almost as tattered as this one


To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig;
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog;

Somehow...this is the rhyme that has lasted over the years....

...because when we all travel to and from one another's houses
 or on other more distant trips here and yonder,

it might not surprise you to find 
a safe arrival home...
includes a modern day text 
that will simply say

jiggity jig

I so hope summer vacation plans for you and those you love, will meet all your expectations 
and get you where you want to go...
but most of all...
back at home 
safe and sound!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


    Did you know???  It takes only 4 things to become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat?
    You can do this in your own yard by providing 4 very simple things.

    1.  Food
    2.  Water
    3.  Shelter
    4.  A place to raise young

    Whether you have an apartment balcony or a 20-acre farm, you can create a garden that attracts beautiful wildlife and helps restore habitat in commercial and residential areas.  become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat®.

    How to Create a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

    FOOD--Everyone needs to eat! Planting native shrubs and trees is the easiest way to provide the foliage, nectar, pollen, berries, seeds and nuts that many species of wildlife require to survive and thrive. You can also incorporate supplemental feeders and food sources, especially during the harsh months where food may not be so easy to find.

    WATER--Wildlife need clean water sources for many purposes, including drinking, bathing and reproduction. Water sources may include natural features such as ponds, lakes, rivers, springs, oceans and wetlands; or human-made features such as bird baths, puddling areas for butterflies, installed ponds or rain gardens.

    COVER--Wildlife require places to hide in order to feel safe from people, predators and inclement weather. Use things like native vegetation, shrubs, thickets and brush piles or even dead trees.

    A PLACE TO RAISE THEIR YOUNG--Wildlife need a sheltered place to raise their offspring. Many places for cover can double as locations where wildlife can raise young, from wildflower meadows and bushes where many butterflies and moths lay their eggs, or caves where bats roost and form colonies.

    Once you have provided these essential elements to make a healthy and sustainable wildlife habitat, join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have earned the distinction of being part of NWF's Certified Wildlife Habitat® program.

    WE DID....Our bronze plaque is in route!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


at 822
we love bugs
they can be such a learning experience for little ones
to respect, to be gentle and to be unafraid
and to begin a lifetime romance with nature

this was our first bug catcher
it came with little tweezers and a magnifying glass
believe it or not...we hatched several butterflies from this cutie

but now that Betty is older, she'll pass this one down to the little ones and
we will become a little more sophisticated in our project
do you remember the WARDIAN CASE I found at an antique store in Amarillo?

It has become our perfect butterfly house project for the summer!
butterflies and bees need a shallow place to drink

also some water low to the ground 

attracting the butterflies to lay eggs is easy

so be sure to include the flowers they love

at 822...parsley is the number 1 snack!  

my new potting table is so much fun...this old table was left in the garage
Mr. PV added some tile to the top and drilled a few drain holes for me

and I spend time here almost everyday

keeping an eye out for butterflies--until Betty pops in after school to relieve me

I mean...who wants to eat parsley anyway?

 when you can have this wonderful cycle of life to share with all the 
grandchildren in your world!

meanwhile....on the other side of the herb garden
the vineyard is coming along nicely!