Why I am here

This blog was started to connect with and keep family and friends up to date on life in Texas as I know it. A place to share my love for this area through photography, history, and stories of this adventure Shaun and I call life.... and what an adventure it is!
Warning: Some or all of this blog may contain nuts or stories of nuts, proceed with caution
Love to y'all

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Seriously Cute

Seriously.....isn't this just the cutest child you have ever seen??

I have been experimenting with a new photo app on the photos from the session I did Tuesday. I LOVE the B/W with just a touch of color here and there. Technology makes me smile
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An afternoon nap

I spent my afternoon at The Azalea Trails (again) taking some spring/Easter photos of two of the cutest kiddos ever.

As we were finishing up I looked up to see this very cozy cat taking a nap........ a cat nap, in the warm afternoon sun....purrrfect. (ok ok I'll stop with the silly puns) It has one little paw over its eye, must have been a little bit bright.

It was a great day
Love to y'all
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Just peachy!

Can it be? OH yes it CAN..... We have peaches!!! Since the remaining peach trees on the property are very old and very neglected we weren't sure what to expect after we pruned (butchered) a couple of them. It is very exciting to see baby peaches!

Now that we are on the property full time and can water and spray for pests we are hoping for a few peaches. Enough to make peach ice cream would suit me fine.
SO....I guess you could say things here are just peachy, hope things in your world are the same. :-)
Love to all of you
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Pink toes and fishing poles

The photo of the day was taken by my niece Logan while she was fishing. It was such a good picture I just had to share it.

Nothing is cuter than pink toes and fishing poles

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Sunday, March 25, 2012


We have been busy busy today enjoying some gorgeous weather. SO my photo of the day was taken on my iPhone. Sorry about the quality of the picture, the content is what's important anyway.

Jeremy with ALL of the giggling girls. Good thing he is such a good sport with a high giggle tolerance *wink*

Our day consisted of some shopping, some landscaping, some alligator gar fishing with a bow and arrow, a great dinner AND a whole lot of giggling!!!
Imagine that!
The dogs are both laying under my feet away from the giggling. I think their giggle toleration level has been exceeded. It is an amazing evening again. Looking forward to hearing the pond come alive after dark with all of the frogs, crickets and other unknown Texas critters. I wish I could send you a picture of our night time pond symphony. Pretty amazing.
Looking forward to another fun week ahead
Love to y'all
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Keep Calm

This little girl (I assume) is carrying quite a load. The blue egg sack is about the size of a pea. That means WAY too many spider babies! {{shudder}}
As long as she and her little ones stay on their side of the door things will be just fine.

Guess I will just...

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Friday, March 23, 2012

How high's the water.....

Do you remember the Johnny Cash song "How high's the water momma?.......well it's two feet high and risin' "
Every time I see high water I am reminded of that song, and of my dad. Great days and great memories from a 33 record album. If you are too young to remember Johnny Cash and 33 record albums, please don't tell me how old I am, keep it to yourself because I already know and wouldn't change it for anything.

ANYWAY.....on to business. I have already posted my photo of the day but wanted to share this.

After our last rain storm, THIS is how high the water is...

This is our friend Jessica walking on water! She is actually standing on the boat dock behind their house on Lake Holbrook. Her husband Tim took this picture. Thanks for sharing Tim. (Personally, I have always felt like she could walk on water, but now we have proof!! *wink*wink*)

This is Tim and Jessica standing in front of the SAME dock she is standing on! I took this picture in December. Pretty amazing how much water we have gotten in a short time isn't it? NOT just enough to raise the lake level, but enough to COVER the dock! OR maybe she really is walking on water.....hmmmmm
This seemed like the best way to show you the impact of our latest rain storm. Amazing! The whole Texas rainfall/buckets of water falling from the sky thing truly amazes me.

Break out the rubber boots we are expecting another storm next week! Woohoo!


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Azalea Trails Part 2

One of my ALL TIME favorite parts of spring in East Texas!
Eight miles of beautiful of Spring-time azalea blooms along the
red-bricked streets of Tyler, Texas 

 The Pyron's backyard, Stunning!

 Violin music accompanied us on our walk through the trails  LOVED it

My dogs would love this...WOW...OK maybe not a good idea

Historic homes with azalea plants that date back to the 1930's and 1940's

No trip to the Azalea Trails would be complete without a few Azalea Belles. True Southern Belles complete with lace umbrellas, white gloves and hoop skirts. Gotta LOVE the south.

They are 9th and 10th grade girls who are elected to serve as hostess'  throughout the azalea season.  Beautiful young ladies with style and grace. 
The homeowners along the 8 miles of trails put in so much time and effort making their yards available to people who come from all over to see the beauty.  Thank you to them for sharing. 
Did I mention it is one of my favorite events of the spring? 
I am sure I will go back a couple times before the blooms are gone.  There is always something to see.
Love to all of you

Azalea Trails

My photo(s) of the day are of the Azalea Trails in Tyler, Texas. One of my favorite places to go.

SO many amazing colors

So many blooms

My beautiful nieces Jamie and Logan

More Azalea Trails posts to follow
The weather is amazing here. Finally NO wind!
Enjoying our company
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rising water

Wow have we gotten some serious rain in the last 11 hours! 4 1/2" !!!
Here is what we were doing yesterday at 11:30. Check out the water level on the posts of the dock.

This is what the dock looked like today at 11:30

That means our ponds water level has come up almost 2 feet and is still rising. We have never seen it this high.
Two years ago when we bought the property we stood in dirt to bury the posts for the dock.
Texas needs the rain but not all at once.
Several road closures from flooding and trees on the road. So thankful to be in a warm safe house. Stay safe out there everyone!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Fishing, Blowing, Texting & Tornados

We woke up this morning to wind! BUT that did not stop us from getting in a little fishing and ALOT of texting.

Here are the twins Ashley and Amanda.  Ashley is fishing and I assume Amanda is texting about it or maybe she is sending signals to the fish....hmmmm

Here they are again on the other side of the pond, more "signals" I presume *wink*

Everyone enjoyed their time on the new dock that Shaun built last week.  Just Sittin' on the dock of the bay pond watching the time slip away....  Thanks Shaun it is perfect.

Congratulations Logan on the first and only catch of the day! 
The wind is still blowing very hard and the National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch for our area until 2:00am  Possible hail and high winds with a forecast of 7-10" of rain.  It could be an interesting night.  Welcome to Texas my Arizona family, hope you enjoy the ride!
We have had a great day
Love and miss y'all

Sunday, March 18, 2012

They made it!

Our family made it from Arizona! WooHOO!

My photo of the day was taken of them in July when they visited last. I can't wait to take spring pictures of all of them

My brother Kirby, Stacey and the girls, Ashley(15), Amanda(15), Logan(11), and Jamie(17). Pretty cute family huh?

I will keep you posted on our adventures over the next two weeks.
Have a great week, I know I will. *wink*
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

The big tree

Texas sky through the pine boughs

We had to have the very large pine tree at our entry gate removed today. It did not survive the drought of last summer. It was over 100 years old, 100+ feet tall and 11 feet in diameter. Imagine what this big guy has seen in its lifetime. It is the largest pine I had ever seen. Pines grow this tall in Colorado but rarely this big around.
It was sad to say good bye to it.

See those little grey squares at its base? Those are 10ft high concrete columns! It towers over the big oak trees around it.

If you would like to see the pictures taken during its removal, go to the blog post "taking the tree down". The guy was amazing!
This was taken through its limbs the night of the super moon last year.

Love to all

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Taking the tree down

Two years ago when we looked at the property we now live on, we knew from the first time we saw the HUGE pine tree at the entry that we just had to have it.  I have never seen a tree that big.  This is it last spring.  See those little gray squares at the base of the tree?  Those are 10ft high 4 X 4 concrete columns. Amazing!  Last summer Texas saw record setting temperatures and one of the worst droughts in over 100 years. Our big beautiful tree was one of the casualties of that nasty summer.   Today, with the help of some wonderful neighbors the tree came down.  It was over 100ft tall, 100 years old and 11 feet in diameter
Here they are sizing up the job 
This is Cruz.  It is incredible to watch him, he has been the caretaker for the neighboring property for many years. He is giving us thumbs up after the first big limb fell
YES that is him almost to the top! With the wind blowing  YIKES!
He is always smiling.  We are very blessed to have him as a neighbor.
OK the branches are all cut, Cruz is down safely (whew) and it's time to cut the trunk down. 
I understand it needs to be pulled in a certain direction with a rope so it doesn't hit Shaun's shop, the gate or the road.....SO why does this next picture make me so uncomfortable??

Shaun's pretty red truck with, what we hope is a 100+ foot rope, tied to a HUGE tree trunk to pull it over.  Just so you know, this is how Shaun, Robert and Jeremy wanted to take the tree down in the first place.  No cutting off branches the size of trees, no weight management so it falls in the right direction, just tie it to the truck and pull....REALLY??? 
  Thank the good Lord for good neighbors!
We counted several times and came up with between 90 and 110 rings.  Cruz felt like the tree was at least 100 years old. When he came down from cutting the tree and took his gear off, he knelt in front of the tree and crossed himself.  He said he always feels bad when a big tree like this dies, like history is gone.  I must say I had a hard time not crying.  It hurts my heart to see such a beautiful piece of nature gone. 
Shaun and Jeremy have plans for some of the wood, maybe a bench or other memento.  We are leaving about 4 feet of the stump in the ground and will train the wisteria to grow on and around it.  We will still get to enjoy our beautiful tree, just in a different way.

Love to all of you

Friday, March 16, 2012

Riker poses

Meet my handsome boy Riker. Most all of the red mud washed out of his coat so I thought it was a good time to practice a little furry family photography.
Riker is a miniature Australian Shepherd.

He came from a wonderful breeder in California, Rocky Top Kennels. We named him after William Riker of the Starship Enterprise, Ring a bell?? ok Star Trek....Jean Luke Piccard's right hand man......number 1??? If you haven't connected the two by now you are either too young or didn't waste your time watching Star Trek like we did. When we picked him up from the airport he was such an airsick little puppy and Shaun scooped him up and said "HE has boldly gone were no (pup) has gone before". That cinched it, he was a Riker.
He is Shaun's pride and joy and is more human than dog. Wicked smart and a little bit of a diva, he is the keeper and the protector of our world.
Annie wouldn't hold still again, the giggles and playing started and I gave up on the furry family photos but we had a fun time. *wink*
Have an amazing weekend
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gotta LOVE technology

I am really enjoying the photo of the day challenge. It has made me start looking at things with my "photo eyes". With all the house stuff going on I have put the camera down for TOO long. Today Shaun and I spent most of the day planting the back flower beds but I did get a chance to spend a little time playing with a new photo app I got for my iPad.
Here are some business card ideas, let me know what you think
I took this picture of a great old brick wall of a downtown building

AND a picture I took at Christmas time of some friends

AND used the app to overlay them and add text

OR is brick wall and old door

AND some text

Alright I guess I should stop playing and start working to pay for all the playing. I just LOVE technology don't you?
We are still having beautiful days and gorgeous evenings. It is so nice to sit outside and listen to the sounds of the pond. Tree frogs, crickets, locust and heaven knows what else is out there, make for quite a symphony.
Just 2 more days until Kirby, Stacey and the girls get here ...... SO exciting !!!
Love to all
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On the Boardwalk

The Boardwalk at Lake Brenda Mineola, TX about 10 miles from our house.
LOVE the character of the aged wood, great look and feel

Mental note......Great photo location for the future


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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Turtle Kisses a Dock and a Wet Dog

Shaun spent his day putting the new decking on the dock.  My brother and his family will be here Saturday and he wants the dock ready so the girls can fish when they get here.  The drought was so bad last year that the pond had gotten really low.  Then we had ALOT of rainfall during construction that caused the pond to be red (imagine that) and murky.  I am happy to say that the water is finally clearing and even though we could sure use some more water, it is looking better.  

Awww, there are two turtles on the log in the water and I do believe they are kissing.  How sweet.... Spring is in the air!!    I had gone out to take a picture of the dock, not zoom in on kissing turtles, sorry you have to squint to see them.  It always surprises me how fast a turtle can move when you are running into the house to get another lense.  

Riker was SO excited to go see what dad was doing down at the dock. Of course no trip near the pond is complete with getting our feet wet {sigh} more dog baths this afternoon....

Here is my pretty guy.  He is such a sweet boy and a good poser.  Annie wanted nothing to do with the camera today. She just gets so excited she can't stand still long enough to have her picture taken.  Then I get the giggles and then....well you can only imagine the results.  Maybe next time.

We are enjoying our beautiful spring and excited we get to share it with family from Arizona soon.  They will be here for a couple weeks,  get ready to see some fun pictures.

Love and miss y'all


Monday, March 12, 2012

It bloomed!

Remember the picture of the ugly little bud I posted last week? Well it bloomed!!! We have had a ton of rain with a couple beautiful sunny days thrown in for good measure. That produced the most amazing blossoms you have ever seen. This is one of my favorite vines because it starts the winter with these ugly little pods, as they warm up the seeds pop (more like shoot) out across the field. Seriously they can shoot as far as 65 feet. It's pretty cool to listen to as well as hear.
Then there are all of these ugly little "buds".........and THEN......this

I think Wisteria is the most amazing plant ever! It is a very aggressive growing vine and if you don't keep on top of it the vine can take over fences, chimneys and trees and pull them down. Most people here hate it, I think it is amazing! It can be trained to form beautiful arches and fence lines provided it is trained and supported.
The property we live on used to be a peach orchard and has been vacant for 20+ years. Wisteria vines can grow as much as 14 feet in a year, so you can only imagine how thick the unkept vines are here. There is one big oak tree that is covered! It is not healthy for the tree but at this point removing it would kill the tree so we just enjoy it the way it is.

The wisteria starting to bloom in the oak tree at our entry

Those are wisteria vines wrapped around the oak, some of the vines are as big around as my arm, stunning!
The vines run down the fence line and in several bushes and trees in the property and I will share more pictures as more of it blooms. You can smell the heavenly fragrance of wisteria when you turn into the drive.
I LOVE spring in Texas!
Come visit us if you can, spring is just starting here and the beauty is just....well.....AMAZING!
Love and miss y'all
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