On To Big Bend

Big Bend is a land of strong beauty, often savage and always imposing.

Lon Garrison

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABig Bend is one of the more interesting but least visited national parks in the United States.  There’s good reason for that.  Big Bend is not an easy place to get to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is not right off any super highway which means you better know where to turn to get there.  And, it’s a good idea to start with a full tank of gas because there’s no close place to fill up when the gas gauge nears E.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce there, the solitude and beauty of the place is overwhelming.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is desert

and mountains.

It is rock formations

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Santa Elena Canyon

and canyons, all formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is green valleys along the Rio Grande,

Rio Grande 1the narrow, shallow river that serves as the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Big Bend

It is native grasses swaying in the wind

and here and there an abandoned ranch or dwelling where a family once lived.  It is hard to imagine surviving in such a challenging environment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABig Bend is sunriseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand sunset and so much more, but that can wait for another day.  Do come back to share the grandeur and mystery of this captivating national treasure.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

Joining

Wow Us Wednesday

 

Let’s Go West

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith all it has to offer, Houston is a great place, but from time to time it’s fun to leave the big city behind and go exploring.  Come along and let’s go west.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom Houston to San Antonio, there’s not a great deal to see, but once past  San Antonio, scenery changes dramatically.  First comes the rolling Hill Country, quite different from Houston’s flattness.

IMG_6243In no time at all that gives way to wide  open spaces and an 80 MPH speed limit which means making pretty good time on the road.

IMG_6250About the only thing dotting the landscape is hundreds of wind turbines which make Texas the largest provider of wind power in the country.

IMG_6406First stop on this adventure is Marathon, 8 hours from Houston and quite a bit above the sea level we are used to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Marathon’s main attraction is the historic Gage Hotel and its excellent restaurant.  It is the reason most folks choose to stop in Marathon and reservations are often hard to come by.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat being the case, we opted for Eve’s Garden, a funky B & B.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith all its bright colors and unique architectural features, Eve’s struck me as a west Texas version of Gaudi.  It was astonishing to learn that the construction is of bricks made with recycled paper, clay and water.  That made me think all that paper I recycle is worth something!

Eve’s provided many an opportunity for photographs as everywhere there was something to catch the eye.   I doubt that Bernie left this sign behind, but it was interesting to think his appeal reached even the smallest of Texas towns.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs night fell, the rooftop proved a great place to capture the waning sun,  a sight seldom seen in Houston.  Such color made me think about how it could be incorporated into one of my woven pieces.  Nature provides such great inspiration for creativity.

With morning came a delightful breakfast, made so by a colorful presentation.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst on the menu was a grapefruit topped with an impressive meringue.  How could I not find out how to do this!  Once the meringue is heaped on the grapefruit, it goes in the oven for about 4 minutes.  Sounds easy enough, huhn, but I forgot to ask about temperature!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext came a fragrant frittata, and if one desired a little kick there were lots of hot sauce choices.  Who would have guessed there were so many?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith appetite satisfied and glimpses of Marathon in the rear view mirror, it was time to move  on to Big Bend, a national park you won’t want to miss so stay tuned.

i so appreciate your visit  and the comments you leave behind

Art of a Different Kind

IMG_6219As much as I enjoyed the art cars, the ones in the Sculpted Steel exhibit at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston were of a totally different ilk.

IMG_6225I have a thing for beautiful old cars so these  from the Art Deco era made my heart beat fast.

IMG_6206Manufactured from 1929-1940, these vehicles are  extraordinary.

IMG_6208Some were prototypes, too expensive to manufacture

IMG_6195while others were made in very limited edition.

IMG_6215At one time I had a LeBaron convertible, so it was impossible not to imagine this Chrysler Thunderbolt as its forerunner.

IMG_6201If I could choose just one car, I think it would be this one.

How funky are the lines, how fun the look!  I can just see myself behind the wheel, in my tennis skirt no less.

IMG_6193While I’m not a motorcycle buff,

IMG_6223these models were pretty cool, maybe the kind a character in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel would ride.

Asked if this exhibit had been a popular one, you guess right if you think it was a homerun!  I haven’t quit thinking about it and imagining myself in anyone of the cars which are true pieces of art.  I’m thinking you’d love it, too.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

Art Cars on Parade

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For years a looked forward to event in Houston is the spring Art Car Parade.  Like much else in Texas, it is BIG and throngs line the parade route in anticipation of what is to come.

If it has wheels, everything goes.  Roller blades, bicycles, skate boards, unicycles…you name it and it’ll be in the parade.

It is amazing  what folks come up with, and they must have such fun readying for the big day.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome entries elicit guffaws from the crowd, none more than this one suggesting a great sense of humor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACreativity expresses itself in so many ways

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand takes on whole new meaning.

While most of the cars are for fun,

a few are supportive of social causes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  or throw out a suggestion for president.  Who’s to say Willy wouldn’t be as good as some other of our candidates? 

Some of the participants are just as interesting as the cars, so the parade is a great place to people watch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the end of the day, this sums it up! Who can argue?

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

Coloring It Blue & Yellow

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHad I not gotten those yellow placemats to go with polka dots and bunnies, I don’t know that this table would ever have happened.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, maybe the yellow alstroemeria that was already on the table had something to do with it, too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe because  blue and yellow is not a usual combination for me, setting this table was like a whole new process of discovery. Out came the denim chargers that typically appear only during rodeo time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Polish pottery happens to belong to my daughter, but it is here until she has space for it.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe same is true for the beautiful blue stems.  I just have to be careful not to break one before she claims them again.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m crazy for birds and bird houses, so how could I have forgotten about these cute, cute napkin rings?  Sometimes I put things away without remembering where, but that makes for some nice surprises!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe because it’s a new look for me, I am so enjoying this table.  There may have to be more blue and yellow in my future.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn the menu tonight are stuffed peppers.  For a new twist, I used cauliflower, ground fine, as a filler rather than rice and added some grated carrots.  I can’t wait to see how they turn out, but I can’t imagine them not being very tasty.  Simmering away in the slow cooker, they certainly smell good.

i so appreciate your visit and especially the comments you leave behind

Joining

Tablescape Thursday

Remaking a Carriage House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA couple of weeks ago we visited one of the few historic neighborhoods in Houston and were privileged to have a peek inside a friend’s home.  Today join me in visiting the beautifully redone carriage house where the owners’ personalities really shine.  They love the country, ranch life and hunting, and that is reflected in every inch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is so much to like here it’s hard to know where to start.  This large open space is a terrific place to chill with family or friends.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bar is so Texas with beautiful woodwork reminiscent of the stairwell in the main house.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy favorite feature here is the hammered copper sink.  It is touches like this that make the carriage house so special.

The second level is dreamy.  Either of these bedrooms would suit me fine,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand this one is a young girl’s dream.

The faux fireplace is more than it seems.  Give it a little tap and the doors open to what would be a wonderful secret hiding place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis cheerful space, part of a fully equipped kitchen, looks out to the pool and green space and is a great example of my friend’s attention to detail.   Note the floor of antique French tiles, the colors of which are repeated throughout the carriage house.

 

Another thing I learned about her is that she especially enjoys doing bathrooms which explains their unique features.

Last but not least is the hubby’s study, a true man cave filled with trophies from his hunting adventures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is nothing not to like in the carriage house the use of which is a far cry from the original.  I think I would be happy spending time here.  How about you?

Joining

Metamorphosis Monday

Inspiration Thursday