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Posts from the ‘Travel & Places I’ve been’ Category

Turmeric Anyone?

Turmeric or curcurmin is touted as one of those natural occurring substances imbued with certain healing properties. Several years ago while dealing with the effects of Plaquenil, I discovered it seemed to be helpful in alleviating some of my visual changes—but perhaps it was due to time.

However, it is always fun to see exactly WHERE the stuff comes from.

In the McGovern Garden in Houston, I photographed these lovely purple flowers.

Here is a closeup;

While on family reunion last month, my husband became acquainted with a phone app–that identifies flowers from photos—–a fun activity for science/botanical/wildlife interested persons.

This is curcurmin.

And now you know.

Fountains, a Waterfall and Foucault

Museum hopping on a hot summer day….something we would do with our boys…in the spirit of educational experiences….but now without them in tow—as a fun day for ourselves.

It took some doing but we found a parking spot and then walked to the Museum of Natural Science.

Our path led us through the McGovern Garden area—a space we had not ever explored before.

There were fountains.

and lots of chairs

Wide paths around banks of flowers and shrubbery on both sides of the central grassy area—and a waterfall at the distant end.

since we did not have a timetable we decided to explore this. Here was the entrance to the waterfall.

As we walked up we were both thinking===Guggenheim—but this one was cylindrical rather than conical.

Each section is an individual fountain–but constructed so as to look like it is continuous.

We entered the museum just as several tour groups were leaving. Southeast Texas coastline was one of the exhibits—and then there was the Cabinet of Curiosities—a fun exhibit with drawers and drawers of interesting things to look at.

But no trip is complete without the Foucault pendulum.

Kachinas and St. Paul

Routine doctor visits in Houston provide the opportunity for some culture.

It was very hot outside and I found myself with plenty of outdoor seating as most folks were inside peering out at me. I enjoyed Starbucks coffee while watching the train go by, the folks dressed in scrubs on their way to work–or home—and then I hopped on the train to the Museum of Fine Art.

There is always something interesting to see before getting to the featured exhibit. I stopped in the hallway to view the kachinas.

Most were of various woods with some feathers or fibers; but then there was the hand-inscribed graphics…so reminiscent of zentangles or seminole piecing.

Here are a few photos:

I had brought sketching supplies along and did several sketches—all in ink–still waiting for the water color….if I let the ink dry thoroughly it doesn’t seem to smear when wash is applied.

This tree was appealing.

And then there was this church—St. Paul’s Methodist Church. I walked all around it, tried the front door and was surprised to find it open on a Thursday afternoon. The receptionist graciously let me into the sanctuary to view the spectacular stained glass windows.

Nettles, Rhubarb, and Raspberries

Rhubarb was always the very first fresh fruit to be had in the days before imported fruits from southern climes. It was sometimes paired with strawberries, the next fresh fruit to arrive.

The rhubarb on the farm is a green stalk–not the Ruby Red Jubliee which is sweeter and has thicker stalks. No-one harvested the rhubarb this year and it went to seed–huge tall stalks. Several years ago, I had commented to my dad, I missed rhubarb–it doesn’t seem to grow in this part of Texas. He told me to put a sign up at the bank and by noon, the bed of my truck would be filled to capacity with it.

Below the rhubarb—I may have to ask someone to mow that rhubarb down….is the raspberry patch. It is in part of the garden—usually where we planted the carrots and radishes. Three non-productive grapevines are there, trying hard to smother the raspberries.

Each time I go to Wisconsin–only during the growing season–I clean out the raspberry patch and try to mulch it with cornlage or oat chaff. Gnats interfere with the process—until one year, I put on a bee veil.

The raspberries are mostly on the periphery of the patch–I missed one year cleanout due to Covid—but maybe they will be back.

Some things are better as memories

I had tried to get the grainery re-roofed but every contractor I called was not interested.

And so I took a few photos to remember it.

This was Dad’s workshop area. He did all his welding here. Attached was a cement tank with a tiny stove used to provide water for the cows. Dad would have the break the ice with an axe and light the stove to heat up the water enough for the cows.

The grinding wheel sometimes lived in the house basement but sometimes in the workshop. Dad used it to sharpen tools especially Mom’s hoe each spring. He also sharpened the blades of the plow and the sickles.

There was an old cabinet hung on the wall dating back to grandparents’s days on the farm.

There was a window overlooking the pasture and providing natural light in addition to a few bare light bulbs hung here and there. Dad hung his tools and products of his work on the walls—I have no idea what some of them are—but I’m sure if he was still around he could tell me what they were used for.

That grainery was used to raise baby chicks in the spring before harvest time required space for oats.

Some things must be meant to be memories.

Seven Swans A’Swimming

On our way to Madison we wanted to see if the swans had returned to a little creek off 131.

Last year, I spotted large white birds in a swampy area near the road, we pulled over and i took a dozen or more photos. It was easier to count the cygnets when enlarging the photo than with my regular eyesight—binoculars were in my truck—in Texas—not in Wisconsin.

We were not disappointed.

A mated pair herded five fully fledged cygnets in a largish pond but much farther away. Two other swans wandered around further away—guessing they were the previous year’s young.

and next to the road was this protesting red-winged blackbird

Farm Life

Our first stop in Wisconsin was the family farm. We decided we would sleep there–but didn’t expect it to be so COLD!!! It was in the 60’s—and we had just been in Texas where it was 90.

But we wanted to see the farmhouse and the progress made by my two brothers who have been working in between their other responsibilities.

Springtime/early summer in Wisconsin is always glorious and so appreciated after a cold dreary gray winter. We missed the lilacs and the tulips and crocuses but the iris was in full bloom.

The fan on the windmill fell several years ago and is somewhere behind the barn. Although we have a new pump, I’d like to get a fan put back on—just to see it whirling. It was the last working windmill on the ridge and for many miles around. Unfortunately DNR restrictions required the well be closed.

That maple tree is older than I am.

The tree next to the barn is not quite so large but its branches were on top of the barn roof. It was trimmed back and looks a bit ungainly but still an elegant tree.

That pile of wood is from that tree. Brother Paul will use it to keep his house warm this winter.

Traveling with Tessie

Tessie has a mind of her own when it comes to driving. Sometimes she eagerly races along and other times she panics when the lane lines are not obvious, painted over due to construction or just not there.

Still, it was a long trip and Tessie took us safely to Wisconsin, and back home again despite a downpour in Arkansas.

Tessie requires charging at intervals; that means finding the charging stations. Sometimes they are at a grocery store, sometimes at a gas station, sometimes at a restaurant. The time required is usually about 20 to 25 minutes. This seems long but then it is good for us to get out and walk around after sitting for two hours.

sometimes a fellow traveler will ask about the car, its mileage and so forth.

Then there are the regular rest stop stops—older gentlemen need frequent stops. Another opportunity to walk around–good for our circulation.

Lots of semis on the road, lots of other vehicles, no-one seeming to limit travel due to fuel prices.

In the Wilds of Marble Falls

Marble Falls is a fairly large city. Located forty miles or so from Austin, there are hills and waterways. Traffic was not too heavy but then I was not driving during peak hours. Main Street and the Lakeside Pavilion are nicely landscaped and inviting for boating, painting, picnicking and just being outdoors.

Balcones Canyon was not too far away and should I return next year to the Plein Air Event, I will take time to explore that area.

Sometimes it is good to have no agenda and just enjoy being outside.

Marble Falls Adventure

Earlier this month I decided to venture out into the world of Plein Air Painting by attending ‘Paint the Town’ in Marble Falls Texas. I arranged for a stay in a tiny house just five miles out from the town center, packed my painting supplies (meager), camera and drove for hours to get there.

The tiny house was indeed tiny—just one room with a loft for a very nice bed accessed by some very steep stairs. Live oaks shaded the house and then there were the chickens.

Every afternoon around 4 they would appear at my door, looking in—and probably asking for a snack.

Several containers had been converted into living quarters with upstairs decks and strings of lights.

The area to explore was not huge, a large creek–empty on one side, a fence and road on the other sides with fallen sycamore trees.

And then there were the rain lilies. We had a few drops of rain one afternoon—and they appeared—to be gone the next morning.