Kendall County Jr. Livestock Show

The broiler project for the Jr. Livestock Show has certainly been an experience!

 

 

 

Over the last five years, we’ve raised the chickens indoors (in the garage) and outdoors.  In handmade buildings and in our water trough (that has been used as our pool during the rest of the year).  😉

We’ve had a year when we lost several of them to the cold or bad health.  We had this year, when only one passed away during the whole process.

We’ve enjoyed the first week of every project year, cuddling those little balls of fluff.  We’ve avoided touching the yucky birds they turn into for the rest of the project.

We’ve tended to them through decent days, but also through cold, wind, rain… and even snow this year!

 

 

 

Ben has done well in the show ring.  But he’s also come in second to last.  One year, we even missed the show because I had the date wrong on the calendar.  (no joke!)

Ben has also done very well in the auction.  He’s also been a little disappointed, like last night.

 

 

 

Yesterday was a bunch of hurrying and waiting.  We hurried out to Seguin, to have the birds processed.  And then we sat for about three hours, as we waited our turn, as we waited for our birds.  Then we hurried to the auction.  And then we sat for six hours, as we waited for Ben’s turn on the stage.  During this time we saw some small bids, we noticed lots of poultry getting what Ben usually receives, we saw animals of all kinds get incredible totals for the kids (I mean, there were several moments of clapping and cheering!).  And then it was finally Ben’s turn.  In just a couple of minutes, it was over.  Of course, a BIG THANK YOU to Kendall County Abstract Company (where we’ve actually done business several times ).  And to Wild Game Dinner for the add-on (where Ben has loved going with his dad the last couple of years)!!!!!  But I know Ben was sad that there weren’t a few add-ons that we were expecting.  Especially since he still has to pay me back for all of the feed and shavings.  Bummer.  But… we could always be surprised with add-ons that happen over the next few days (fingers crossed!).  🙂

 

 

 

But here’s what I really wanted to tell, in case you don’t know the show day fiasco yet…..

It begins with the fact that we had chosen three large, matching female birds.  We separated them from the rest.  Ben and I bathed them.  We transported them to check-in at the barn on the day of the show.  We were there in plenty of time.  We were ready for a successful day.

As we’re in line, we go ahead and start the paperwork.  During this time, we notice that one of the broilers doesn’t have her required id tag.  We had no other choice than run back home to trade her out for another female.  This is trip #1.

We’re back in line again.  And we actually make it up to the check-in station.  Then it’s pointed out to us that one of the birds has broken her wing.  No choice but to run back home to trade her out for another female.  This makes trip #2.

We’re almost back to the barn, when Ben yells “The new chicken is bleeding!!!  She’s torn off her tag!”  So we pull over.  Check-in ends in about 20 minutes.  We’re all laughing at this point.  Laughing so hard, I’m also crying.  And getting very worried Ben’s completely missed his chance to be in the ring and in the auction.  We know it will take about 11 minutes to get home, about 11 minutes back (we know this because I had this inkling during our second trip back home that we’d need to know this information).  As a group (Ben, his dad, and I), we went through our options as quickly as we could.  And we decided to try one more time.  There was obviously no time to try to choose three males instead.  We had to trade out a female again.  This is trip #3!

When we get back to the barn, the incredible officers, directors, and volunteers are waiting for us!!!!!  We’re exhausted.  I explained why we took so long.  I was told to breathe.  No problem!  And then they were laughing along with us.

When given a chance to reflect, we realize we really don’t know what the two new birds looks like.  No chance of doing well in the show ring.  And he was dismissed from the show during the second round.  But seriously, we were okay with that.  Lessons learned!  And we also saw how amazingly everyone worked under pressure.  So impressed with our teamwork, I announced that we should sign up for The Amazing Race.  But not really.  I don’t ever want to do something like this ever again.  😉

 

 

 

 

 

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TRAVEL TEXAS- Ox Ranch & Drive Tanks!!!

This was our third Christmas without gifts, our third Christmas to celebrate experiences and our family.

Two years ago was Galveston and Moody Gardens.  Last year was Waco, Cameron Park Zoo, and the Magnolia Silos.

This year was something that fit the bill for the animal-lover, photographer, and military-obsessed genes in all of us.

Our first day of vacation was actually spent trying to take care of all of the pets, traveling to Uvalde, and enjoying our very last-minute vrbo rental (because our vintage camper wasn’t ready in time).  🙁

 

Day two was an animal experience of a lifetime.  We met my parents at the beautiful Ox Ranch main lodge… and headed out on our three-hour exotics tour.  Our sweet guide, Candace, drove us around to all the best spots for interacting with and photographing their beautiful creatures.

 

We first met a red river hog that was very friendly and very hungry.  He hung around with us quite a bit.  We all got to feed him.  And he marked most of us with slobber, as he rubbed on our legs.

 

A (still un-named) sweet little longhorn then came over to check out my camera.  He was precious!  And was very curious to see what I was up to.

 

Evan got to feed a couple of elands.

 

And then we were all totally entertained by the camel and ostrich enclosure.  While the ostriches strutted around, flapped, and hissed at us… the camels (Sushi and the gang) couldn’t wait to visit and eat.  Dad and I fed them.  The kids totally got sneezed on!  (Ben said it looked like silly string!)

 

 

 

 

 

Our next visit was with Fireball, a TALL, beautiful, sweet kangaroo.  He was lovely.  Evan fed him some bananas.  And I got to pet him.  The whole time I scratched his neck, he was licking me!  So cute!

 

Out in the fields, we got to see the longhorns, buffalo, yaks, and more.

 

 

 

We got an all-too-short encounter with the beautiful giraffes.

 

 

And then we met Dilbert… the cutest lechwe antelope we’ve ever run into.  (and I guess, the only one we’ve run into)  😉

 

We tracked down the zebras.

 

And then, as we sat around the firepit back at the lodge, we had a kangaroo come around to snag some of our popcorn.  It came right up to us, snacked with us, looked right into my camera lens.  Swore he was going to hug me.

 

 

It was the most amazing outing! But… time for lunch!

We drove off the ranch, into Camp Wood, for lunch at Nueces Country Smokehouse.  A few brisket sandwiches, a cheeseburger, and a delicious BLT later, we headed back to the ranch.

This time, we drove up to Drive Tanks, where we got one more giraffe encounter (with Buttercup) before going into the warehouse.

 

Once inside, we got a complete (and a little bit behind-the-scenes) tour.  Our guide, Riley, walked us through all of their guns, artifacts, and tanks.  He spouted out information and cool facts.  He quizzed Ben (and totally stumped him on a couple of things).  😉

And then we headed outside to meet up with Spencer, who pulled the highlight of the trip together for us.  The Leopard A5 German tank experience.  Evan and I got to climb into the loader and commander’s positions of the tank.  Ben climbed into the driver’s seat.  And Spencer road along, giving Ben instructions on how to drive the course.  It was pretty amazing from the top of the tank.  Can’t imagine how thrilling it was for my all-American, history-loving, WWII-fanatic, tank-obsessed kid!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m sure you’d love to find out more about this 18,000+ acre ranch… and all it has to offer:

Ox Ranch
Website
Facebook
Instagram

Drive Tanks
Website
Facebook
Instagram

Please!  Go hunt, take the guided tour, visit the guys out at Drive Tanks too.  Would love to see these businesses thrive.  And I’m sure you’d have a great time!

Take it all in.  And ENJOY… every time you TRAVEL TEXAS!!!

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GUEST POST! By Candice Curry

I am so excited to go live with our next guest blog post!   

And while I assumed her post was going to be about her involvement with Alamo City Moms Blog, her book (The Con Man’s Daughter, which I loved), her spiritual journey (the “Jesus is my jam” phrase makes me think of her, every time I see it), any one of her kids’ amazing accomplishments (they’re all kicking ass in school, in the community, in life!), her trip to Disney this summer (with all of these kids!), or a reference to her much-publicized blog post about co-parenting…

Instead, a sweet, sad, and hopeful look into this summer’s tragedy here in Texas.

 

 

“Out Of The Wreckage: A Gift From Hurricane Harvey

Many years ago my daughters’ teacher handed down her dining room table to my family. She was down sizing and we were up sizing. It was perfect. There was a bench on one side, two chairs on the others side, and a chair on each end. Our family of 6 fit perfectly.

Their family got a new table and made new memories.
My family got their old one and began building our own memories.

But then we grew.
We added another kid.
My mom moved next door.
Our dear friends moved next door to her.
All of the sudden, our table no longer held us.

On most nights we either scattered around the house for dinner or my husband had to pull his office chair up to the table. On more than one occasion we ate in shifts or half of us stood around the stove and balanced our plates while attempting to eat with grace.
We like to be together.
We like big family dinners with our friends and family.
But we don’t like sitting in each others laps.
Our table was old and we outgrew what it had to offer.

Then along came Hurricane Harvey. He tore through the Texas coast with a vengeance, twisting everything in his path. He broke the unbreakable and crushed the uncrushable.
He stole.
He destroyed.
He devastated.

Like a lot of hard working handy men, my neighbor, who I’ve been friends with since we were 6, headed down south to help clean and rebuild what Hurricane Harvey tried to ruin. He hooked his trailer to his truck and traveled back and forth from home to the coast, helping where he could but coming home to be with his family as often as possible.

One Friday afternoon after another coast trip, he pulled into his driveway and sent me a text; “Can you come outside please”.
I hurried outside to see what was wrong… and on the back of his trailer was what looked like an old beat up picnic table. It was covered in wet sheet rock, mud, and other stuff I didn’t care to identify.

“Well, here’s your new dining table.”

He had rescued an 8-foot farm table out of piles of wreckage, and the man he was working for said he could have it.
It had a bum leg and was in need of some serious cleaning, but it fit.
It fit my family and then some.  And after a little love, some extra nails, and some Dawn dish soap, it was beautiful.

It’s full of bruises, nicks, and even some crayola marks, but it has character and tells a story of two families, one who lost it due to Harvey and one who gained it due to Harvey.

Their family will get a new table and make new memories.
My family got their old one and will rebuild what was taken from them.

Harvey, try as he might, didn’t leave complete devastation in his wake. He gave little gifts here and there, gifts no one expected.
People helped people and loved on each other in ways we would never have, had Harvey not blown through. Friends were made through sacrifices and giving. Faith was restored through people serving each other and going beyond our normal friendly smile and wave.
We reached down deep, set differences aside.  We emptied what we had to fill up what others needed. Without even knowing it, we passed down things and helped others grow.

I’m not sure I believe anything is ever a complete loss. I believe there’s always something good to be found in anything. I think beauty sneaks up in the places we least expect it. I think there’s bits and pieces o f redemption in the deeps piles of wreckage. When we dig deep we can find a blessing in anything.”

 

 

 

 

GUEST POST BY CANDICE CURRY  

And ALL the places you can find her and her family making waves:

Candice Curry

Her Instagram

Women With Worth

The Con Man’s Daughter

Her interview with The Open Door Sisterhood

Alamo City Moms Blog

An Open Letter to My Daughter’s Stepmom

Bella’s Blessing Bins

 

 

 

My picture of Candice modeling our coconut lemongrass laundry detergent   ——————->

 

 

 
And my take on/my experience with Candice?  She:
1- discovered our healing salve at our very first Boerne Handmade Market (and to this day, uses it for everything and talks about it even during podcast interviews on totally different subjects)
2- has been a HUGE cheerleader for my business (cannot thank her enough!)
3- has modeled for me twice (I pay her in healing salve)  😉
4- has become a friend (who even has my name written on her prayer wall!)  <3
So I’m invested.  I’m a cheerleader for her too.  And I definitely think she is someone to watch!

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Boerne Diva Night!

This evening took months of planning for us local retailers.  Some blood, sweat, tears… and a lot of love.

And the evening went like so:

The check-in stations at Dienger Trading Company and The Flower Shop opened up right at 5:00.  The first 100 ladies at each station got to check in and register to win the two pretty incredible prize baskets that we all donated our products to.  The ladies also walked away with a swag bag containing a boa, a tiara, coupons, pamphlets, chocolate, and gifts.  And then the ladies were set loose on Main Street, all along the Hill Country Mile!

 

From our end (way up north of most of the happenings), things stayed busy but not crowded.

We had Little Brown Crane join us, with a table set up on our sidewalk to sell her homemade, home-sewn coloring/art folders, diaper clutches, and nap mats.

 

Hill Country Homestead also joined her on our sidewalk, giving out olive oil dips and samples of her organic, homemade bread.  To some of our shoppers’ delight, she was also selling some of that goodness… so they could take it home with them.

 

I had decorated the sidewalk area to be an inviting place for girl friends to sit and relax.  We had paper lanterns hung, comfy chairs and couches set out, coffee tables for their drinks, and music playing.

 

Inside, we had all of our usual homemade products available for shopping (lip balms, healing salves, vapor rubs, body scrubs, warmer melts, and laundry detergents).  Our pink himalayan salt lamps and doTERRA products were all in stock.  We had also our new Monat hair care line for sale.

 

Our fiesta medals were up for grabs.  ($4 from the sale of each one is going to be donated to Kendall County 4-H and our 4-H poultry group!)

 

And we had some limited edition Boerne greeting cards available for purchase, made by one of my favorite fellow makers (PolkaDot Paper Company).

 

We had several of Shutter-Happy Photography’s portrait backgrounds available for selfies.

 

 

And we had lots of goodies to enjoy…

I made AllRecipes’ Foolproof Fudge (one of my easiest and yummiest recipes).  Yummy, creamy, decadent, and dreamy!

 

I made AllRecipes’ Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.  Moist, spicy, delicious… and so easy to make.

 

I whipped up Just a Pinch’s Leche Quemada.  Chalky, sugary-sweet, with a beautiful, caramel flavor.

 

And I pulled together Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Honeycrisp Apple Sangria (which I heard was pretty amazing)!

 

So we spent the evening visiting, selling, snacking, and totally enjoying ourselves!

{A big THANK YOU to all of our friends, family, and customers that dropped by to support us!}

 

Now, from what I’ve heard:

There was a great dj and some entertaining singers in front of Joli.  The most exciting food were the donuts at Flashback FuntiquesPixie had a beautiful selfie station.  Some friends were really excited about the cute items they scored at Dang Sassy.  Ladies loved our cute cups and lounge area.  There was delicious alcohol everywhere.  The best things were the shops’ awesome clearance racks.  And everyone had a fabulous time!

We sure hope you made it to fun evening.  If not, watch for the spring date!

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Boerne Handmade Market!!!

I am still sore this morning.  And still SO thrilled.  Wanna shout from the rooftops how wonderful it was to see so many friendly faces and meet so many new people, to have sales like never before, to have a little helper who really wanted to be there with me!

I guess the whole story of Boerne Handmade Market started for us in October of 2013, just three months after starting up the business.

 

 

But the story of this particular market began a couple of months ago.

The planning stage is first… going over all of the ingredients, jars, and labels, plus handouts, shopper bags, and extra equipment needed for a booth space.  Next is the ordering/shopping phase that drains the checking account and spirit.  Then I spend a couple of weeks in a sterilization phase.  (You wouldn’t believe how many loads of glass jars go through my dishwasher in those two weeks!)

Finally I get to the fun part!  Measuring, mixing, pouring, and labeling.  It smells amazing!  It’s methodical.  It’s therapeutic.  It’s my happy place.  It’s a little difficult to find space to make my usual delicious dinners, but I can make it happen.  And all of our dining room table gets completely covered in my work, but we have a breakfast table.  So it’s all good!!!

 

 

And for this particular market, I decided it was finally time to make a couple of long-awaited adjustments.  I finally switched our laundry detergents over to an unscented version.  And I FINALLY made a whole bunch of wool dryer balls!  Now, this took MANY skeins of yarn and some panty hose, a few movies on Netflix, a whole Sunday afternoon, a hot load of laundry, and a few cycles in the dryer.  It took some guesses on boxing and labeling (in which I goofed on a little bit).  But…

Back to the timeline, next was set-up.  Evan (my 9-year-old) helped me find our space in the Cana Ballroom and helped me carry in my big chalkboard.  But then I needed to get him to his dad’s.  So the rest was up to me.  Three HEAVY trunks filled with t-shirts.  Countless numbers of rubbermaids, filled with product and needed items.  Several trips loading from the shop to the truck, then unloading from the truck to the ballroom.  Quick set-up.  Then home to get a good night’s sleep.

I was up bright and early… and the day was a blur!

I was on my feet the entire day.  Never got a restroom break.  Scarfed down a quesadilla at my booth at lunchtime.  And what else?

 

 

I remember being slammed from 9:00 to 1:00.  Some fellow vendors made it over to shop and visit.  Some past customers came by to stock up on their favorite products.  Some of my friends and some of the boys’ teachers stopped by to chat.  I met so many new people.  I got to tell our story.  I got to talk about my favorite product.  I handed out about a hundred copies of Best of TX Hill Country Magazine.  I handed out lots of information about us, Diva Night, Small Business Saturday, and the Hill Country Handmade Market.  I sold out of our new dryer balls immediately!  It’s funny when I remember all of these moments.  I remember trying to check people out as I was packing up their bags, as I was answering a bunch of questions from other shoppers.  It really was nuts!  All while trying to deliver great customer service.

About this time, my parents stopped by and brought me a Steel City Pops carrot cake popsicle.  (yum!)  And I realized I had missed a bunch of texts.  Turns out Evan desperately wanted to be at the market with me.

 

 

 

1:00 to 2:00 was still crazy-busy.  At this point, I was down to just a couple of vapor rubs, only a few handouts, and I was out of our thank you cards.

Evan was with me from 2:00 to 4:00.  He took over all of the checkout process.  So while he was doing that, I was able really focus on finishing off the customer experience.  We wrapped up the day beautifully.  He did an incredible job helping me pack up and get everything back to the truck.  And for payment, I treated him to a crocheted hedge hog (from a neighbor’s booth) and Whataburger (his choice!).

So we headed back to the shop, ate dinner, and unpacked everything.  And at this point, I am sore from being on my feet all day and from all the lifting.  So we headed home for a movie on the couch.  (But thrilled to report that we had a happy dance interrupt our movie when I got the square report that we had 72 transactions in that 7 hour period!  Have never had anything like that happen!)

 

 

So… so many thank yous…

To all the fellow vendors.  For following us and engaging with us on instagram, tagging us in posts, for shopping with us, for loving on us!  What an amazing community to be involved in!

To all of our customers.  None of this is possible without you.  Thank you for listening to our story, supporting our little family, trusting me to help you make a change in your buying habits.

And to Alyssa and Beth!  For your blood, sweat, tears, passion, support, time, attention to detail, and love for all things handmade!  Way to go on an amazing new location and a completely flawless execution (from what I saw and experienced).  We had a wonderful time, incredible sales.  So blessed to have your market available to us!

Okay, I just cried a little while writing that.  Changing it up a bit with a bunch of pics that I just snagged off of instagram.  Credit goes to the vendors and customers that took them!  (yay for hashtags on instagram, making amazing things possible!!!)

 

@ososweetdesigns

 

@karmacandlemakers

 

@minttobecreations

 

@neelitweetpeep

 

@notsomexicancanary

 

@asherandgraydesigns

 

@polkadotpapercompany

 

@ardent_hands_designs

 

@flynnandthefox

 

@petitechalet

 

@laurad.7

 

@magpie_handmade

 

@sweetteesandsunshine

 

@shopwhiteloft

 

@ruthandesther

 

@stationerybakery

 

@immeasurableshop

 

@rebeccahoot

 

@boernehandmademarket

 

Looking to participate in or shop at the next market?  I’ll announce 2018 dates as soon as I hear them!  Or follow Boerne Handmade Market here…

Website

Facebook

Instagram

 

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GUEST POST! By Gabriel Diego Delgado

I’m not sure how many of you know that I’m also a photographer.  For the last ten years I’ve only focused on children and families.  But for the first three years, I photographed everything.  I loved doing artsy prints, landscapes, and macro (where I was getting into the fine details of flowers and bugs).  It was beautiful.  But… I had more fun with little people.  Working with kids brought me joy.  Still, whatever and whomever I’m focusing on, I try to create pieces of art for the families I’m working for.  Hoping that those portraits always bring the parents joy.  

Do you have a passion for expression and love having beautiful pieces in your home?  Please read on.  Our guest blogger is a local who seems to have always had passion for art in his blood…

 

 

 

“How did I get into art?….I believe the art in my veins comes from my father, better yet, as i reflect for a moment on these colorful genes, I know it does. The story that continues to dig a trench in my collective memory;  from childhood and onward is the unbelievable notion of the tales told as to how I came to believe the above statement.

As it was told to me, I share with you dear reader, Gonzalo Delgado, my father, was a Dada artist at heart. The absurd notions of prankish fun among buddies morphed into something far greater, which would impact generations.
In the 1970’s, as I am told, he and his friends were mail artists, pushing the limitations of what the United States Postal Service would do. I heard tall tales of notes written on paper, and placed in old boots- weighed and stamped and dropped in a random mailbox. I questioned the note rolled up and stuffed in a dead fish’s mouth that found its way to a local post office…correctly weighed and postage. Notes rubber banded around bricks that were weighed and correctly postaged for delivery. He and his friends wanted to see how far they could go and challenge the establishment.
Whether it was boredom or the loneliness of third shift security guarded work, I am not sure, but the fascination with postal art grew in diabolical proportions. What came next is only perfected in the mind of the genius.  You see, my father created a fake place, called Hispanic Island, with its own fake holidays, fake historical occasions, fake people, fake national flowers and fake demographic properties. Then, he went about and started drawing his own fake stamps, of this fake place to place on real postal letters; right down to the detail of hand cut decorative edges. His stamps were sent through the postal stamping machine and canceled, becoming collectors items. He did not need to buy his own stamps anymore, he could make his own. His fascination with Hispanic Island gave him regional notoriety….well until that one day.
Again, as it is told and remembered by a five year old child, the FBI and the Post Master General paid a visit to our home. They told my dad, cease and resist doing his stamps or be charged with a felony.
My father listened, he placed his fake stamps next to the real ones so that the postage service would continue to cancel mark his fake stamps.
Well, boredom set in again, this time he has to push his creative mind, facing a felony…he thought outside the box, he taught himself how to carve rubber stamps. So he would carve rubber stamps to reflect the commemorative dates, historical events and the like of the fake Hispanic Island and cancel mark his own fake stamps with his own fake rubber stamp cancel mark.
As years went on he continued to be active in international stamp and mail art clubs, serving administrative roles in his later years.
He was  commissioned by the city of Cleveland, Ohio to do a stamp design for the official opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
A few years back some of his illustrative envelopes made their way into the National Archive in the Smithsonian Institute’s permanent collection of the United States Postal Service Museum.
I grew up around art, I saw it everyday, it influenced me in ways I would not understand.
I eventually would earn a BFA from Kent State University in Ohio and go onto become Museum Curator of Exhibitions at two museums in Houston, TX. My professional career would overshadow my artistic career in volleys as one dominated the other in certain times of my life. I would go onto show my artwork in Texas, California, Madrid, Ohio, New York, Washington D.C., and many other cities in between.
I landed a role as Project Manager at the Smithsonian Affiliate in San Antonio, the Museo Alemeda, which led to more administrative positions elsewhere.
For five years I would be employed by J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, promoted from Social Media Manager and Art Consultant to Gallery Director of the Boerne, Texas gallery location.
In December 2016 J.R. Mooney Galleries of Boerne closed their doors on Main Street. After five years as Gallery Director, I was at a crossroads as to what I wanted to do. I had returned to school in 2015 to become accredited through the International Society of Appraisers to appraise fine art and still had many connections with previous gallery clients.
In January 2017, I formed Delgado Consulting and Appraising, this consulting firm allows me to consult with clients about art acquisitions, meet with individuals on appraising fine art for estates, divorce, or insurance; as well as act as a freelance consultant for a variety of needs like marketing and promotion.
From solo exhibitions of my own artwork to securing national acclaim and press of local Boerne artists, my base is secure in my ability to confidently guide those that need my services.
In the midst of all this, I published two fine art magazines. I ran Plumage-TX Art Magazine for two years and later, Contemporary Texas Fine Art Magazine. Overall, during the last decade, I wrote art criticisms and reviews for over 19 publications in Texas. This evolved as well, driving me to create my own magazines and publish the content I wanted to write about.
Author, Artist, Consultant, and much more meant I had to split my time writing and creating. From solo exhibitions in San Antonio to a group exhibition at the Drawing Center in New York, to much much more, I would build bodies of artwork that began to be collected.
In Sept 2017, I would have a huge solo exhibition at Gaslyght Modern, run by Gallerieist, James Saldivar.  We would exhibit 86 paintings and drawings and sell 32 on opening night.
This exhibition led to a re-interest in my current work, which would lead to more commissions, and more inquiries.
On November 11, 2017, I will have a select showing of new paintings at Laurie Saunders LTD Antiques & Interiors of the monthly, Second Saturday Art Beat.
Laurie Sanders in located at 179 S. Main Street, Boerne, Texas 78006.”
Enjoy the showing:
Follow along at:
GUEST POST BY GABRIEL DIEGO DELGADO. 
My picture of Gabriel and his daughter, when they modeled our tractor “Fresh From the Farm” tee!

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Camp Drunken Arrow

Last year I was a sponsor.  But this year I got to be a sponsor AND a camper!

So….

My adventure began a few weeks ago, when I had to start sterilizing jars and taking inventory of my ingredients.  Having everything ready, I got to work making dozens of fresh lip balms, healing salves, body scrubs, and warmer melts.  Add to those, a handful of postcards, and I had some great swag bag stuffers for every single gal at camp for this past weekend and in two weeks!  (and that’s a lot of ladies)  😉

 

 

 

After getting those (and our brand new banner) to the camp directors, I had a week to get my alcohol, clothes, and supplies packed and ready to go.

Everyone in our cabin carpooled with someone on the trip in on Friday.  And most of us arrived with plenty of time to settle in.  So drinks started flowing, we were served a frito pie dinner, we participated in a flip cup tournament.  Then some ended up dancing the night away, relaxing in the hot tub, or playing ping pong until midnight.

 

After a night’s sleep, we were up pretty bright and early.  Breakfast tacos, mimosas, yoga, crafts, and burlesque classes started the day.  Lunch was sandwiches and chips.  Then there was kayaking, a scavenger hunt, competitions, and time for us to finally utilize the margarita machine.  Dinner was sliders, potato salad, and cole slaw.  And then each of our groups performed our prepared lip sync song before the evening wrapped up with a dance party.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I must expand on our performance….

The song that was chosen for us a few weeks ago was Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?”  We had time to learn it, think about choreography, plan outfits, etc.  But I think half of us were lazy, and half of us kept considering backing out.  So not much planning went into it.  Luckily, we had one friend volunteer to be Tom Jones (and showed up with the best outfit!) and we had a great group that bonded and were willing to make fools of ourselves together.  So we got up on that stage, sang, swayed, and acted out the words to the song.  It was hilarious!!!  (and no one will ever see the video)  😉

After another night’s sleep, I was the first one up.  Spent at least a wonderful hour on our deck, enjoying the peace and quiet.  Then we gobbled down a great breakfast from 2Tarts Bakery, packed up, and headed back home.

 

So, there are lots of other happenings and exact competition games that I could describe.  But you should really just experience it for yourself.  Just know that things were fun, hilarious, relaxing, raunchy, embarrassing, out-of-your-comfort-zone, team-building, centering, and glorious!  And you can totally choose what you’d like (or not like) to participate in.  *Camp Drunken Arrow is totally what you make of it*

But I will describe the grounds (Geronimo Creek Retreat, out by Seguin).  Very grassy, covered in beautiful pecan trees.  With a set of tipis, a line of glamp houses, and a few cabins.  There are lots of extra restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, and a dining hall.  There’s a creek that runs right along the property, with rope swings, a deck, and kayaks to use.  There was a hot tub.  But I was totally missing access to a pool or a pretty river.  (That’s really my only complaint.  All that time we spent hanging out on the warm deck could have been spent in a refreshing body of water.)  😉

Our cabin (Cabin Singing Cloud)?  It was awesome.  The loft had two queen beds and plenty of room.  The downstairs had a bedroom with a king, a living room with a couch, loveseat and cot, a kitchen/dining room with just enough space for all our stuff, and a nice bathroom.  Plus, we had a great deck with a picnic table and plenty of chairs.  But the big bonus to paying extra for the cabin?  A full-size fridge!

 

And our swag bags?  Each of us got a camp t-shirt.  Us rookies got a necklace with a bead (to mark our first year), while the alumni all got a bead to add to their necklace from their first year.  Every bag got a goody from From Scratch Farm.  We got a lip balm and gift card from Love Shack Boutique, a postcard from The Ink Flamingo, a cookie from 2Tarts Bakery, and a gift certificate from Heart to Hands Healing Touch.  Now, I know how much work, love, and cost goes into providing the swag for gift bags.  So please, check out these businesses’ websites and social media, visit their stores, shop with them!  They would totally appreciate your support!

 

All in all, when someone asked about attending again, I think most of us were up for going back next fall!

Had such a great time!!!

Interested in attending in the spring (there might still be spots left) or next fall?  Follow Camp Drunken Arrow on social media or get yourself on their e-newsletter list!  Our big mouths are helping to make this camp quite popular, so spots fill up fast!

Website

Facebook

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*Camp for grown ass women*

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The Kendall County Fair

Another fair in the books!  More fun had, more memories made, more accomplishments, more prize ribbons!

The weekend started with me sneaking over to the fairgrounds to check the big chunk of our entries.  It was a great kickstart to the fun!

I did well.  My chocolate muffins won third place.  My pineapple cake won second (I still have yet to beat the Italian cream cake that always wins first!).  My snickerdoodles won a first place ribbon.  And my favorite carrot cupcakes won a blue ribbon and Best of Show!

 

 

 

 

Evan won five blue ribbons and a Best of Show award for his photography entries.  He won a red ribbon for his Lego construction.  And his collection of blue eggs won a blue ribbon.  He was SO excited!

 

And Ben got first, second, and third places for his photography.  He won first and second places for his Lego constructions.  And he won a blue ribbon and Best of Show for his collection of brown eggs!

 

Here, I’d love to explain the collection of eggs competition.  For this, we collected and sat aside eggs for about two weeks.  Then the boys studied, weighed, and compared.  What the judges are looking for is a display of six eggs that are as similar in color, size, weight, and texture as possible.

Next up was Saturday.  We rushed to work, to pull all of our comfy chairs out to the sidewalk, for the best seats in the house during the parade.

 

After, we rushed back up to the fairgrounds for the egg content contest.

For this, you can only submit one egg.  The judge cracks open each entered egg, drops the contents out onto a plate, and studies the parts for quality.  The whites need to be clear and firm, not discolored or runny.  The yolk needs to be a firm, high mound with a beautiful golden color.  The yolk shouldn’t be runny, flat, or pale yellow.

The trick to getting the perfect egg?  It should be as fresh as possible.  But you should also be feeding your chickens a quality feed.  They should be getting nutritious scraps and treats.  They should be free-ranging in your yard, eating lots of grass, plants, and bugs.  And I’m not above thinking that good loving helps create perfect eggs.  😉

Evan submitted a pretty fresh egg from Rowlf.  Ben entered a much fresher egg (laid Saturday morning) from Kermi.  And Ben’s egg won first place and Best of Show for the teen age group!!!

 

Then we hit up the vendors and bands.  Of course, grabbing a funnel cake.

 

Yesterday was the chicken show.  Loaded up everything, got our two hens into their cages, cleaned up their feathers, applied our healing salve to their combs and wattles, and waited.  For this competition, the judge removes each chicken from their cage.  They examine each one against the standard look, coloring, sizing, and features of their breed.

 

 

 

 

Ms. Piggy didn’t place at this show.  But Rowlf won a second place ribbon for Ben.

 

All in all, totally felt Ben was the big winner at this year’s fair!  Plus, he was happy to visit with everyone that stopped by the chicken show, talking about our hens, eggs, our 4-H group.  AND, he spent a few hours volunteering for JROTC.  So proud of him!!!

But then Evan and I had fun closing the place down, thanks to the carnival all-you-can-ride bracelet.

 

 

 

 

And today we picked up all of our entries, our ribbons, and our prize money.  So thankful for the opportunities and the fun our county fair provides.  Such a great way to support our 4-H and FFA youth.

 

If you want to get involved for next year, there are SO many contests that you can compete in, events you can attend, and ways that you can volunteer!  Mark your calendar for Labor Day weekend.  Ask me any questions here.  Follow the Kendall County Fair’s facebook page.

Website- http://www.kcfa.org/

Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/KendallCountyFairAssociation

 

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TRAVEL TEXAS- South Padre Island

We did it again!  Our annual beach trip to South Padre!

Lots of sand, sun, and sea.  Froyo every day.  A fun outing.  Lots of great food.  And not a single lick of sunburn.

How do I do it?  Careful planning, budgeting, packing, routine, and sunscreen!

 

 

Where do we stay?

Every year, it’s Seabreeze Beach Resort.  Love going back!  It’s an older complex, but….
It’s right on the beach!  The staff is very friendly.  The price is right, compared to other places that are also right on the water.  They have 2- and 3-bedroom condos available.  And each condo is individually owned, so you can sift through photos and find the perfect one for you!  I love choosing from floors 3-6, so we have an amazing view of the coastline and sunrise.  And I love finding the ones with updated bathrooms and cute decor.

 

 

What do our days look like?

We have a quick and easy breakfast each morning.  This is usually breakfast burgers or homemade muffins and sausage links, bacon.  And juice.  But one day, Ben (and Aunt Jemima) whipped up a huge stack of yummy pancakes!

 

 

 

Then we are on the beach by about 9:00.  Every morning, I set up our umbrella for shade.  I cover the boys in sunscreen.  And everyone is welcomed to enjoy the beach however they’d like for the next several hours.

 

 

By about 1:00, we’ve packed up and headed back to the condo.  Lunches are always lunchmeats, cheeses, and fruits.  Or we’ll choose to have leftovers from the dinners before.  Then we’ll head to Umix for frozen yogurt.  And yep, this is every day (this is one place that I choose to splurge).  Between the four days that we went, we had consumed strawberry, strawberry/kiwi, pink guava, pomegranate/raspberry, chocolate, vanilla, and watermelon (almost all of the flavors!).

 

 

Then we hang out in the condo until the heat of the day is over.

By about 5:00, we’re back on the beach.  Covered in sunscreen again, we enjoy our time in the sand and in the waves until sunset.

 

 

 

When we head back to the condo, I whip up a quick dinner (this year they were tortellini, brats, the bacon chicken, fajitas, and pot roast), everyone showers, and we’re off to bed.

Repeat.  😉

What do I pack?

All the normal clothes and bathroom items.

A rubbermaid filled with all of the shovels, buckets, boats, monster trucks, and other sand toys that we’ve collected over the years.  (These kept the teenager busy for countless hours, as he built a different sandcastle village each time we went down to the water.)

 

 

Boogie boards.  (I LOVE watching the boys enjoy this activity!)

 

 

Beach umbrella.  (Appreciate having some shade during the morning hours, as the day heats up.)

Sunscreen.  (I apply Banana Boat’s SunComfort constantly.  It smells good, feels great, and obviously works amazingly well, if Evan’s white legs don’t even get a little tanned.)  😉

Cameras.  (Our Olympus TG-5 is our magic camera.  Simple point-and-shoot that can fit into any pocket.  Waterproof, so it can be taken anywhere.  Photos have amazing color and quality.  My Nikon D3X also came along this time, since I was wanting family portraits.  With the automatic timer and a tripod, I got some great images of myself with the boys.)

 

 

 

 

Water.  (Wanting to keep us hydrated, and still wanting to do my part to save the Earth, I purchase the large jugs of water with the dispenser nozzles.  These sit in the fridge, staying cool.  And we can refill our Thermoses any time.  Guaranteed that no one gets dehydrated.)

Food.  (Using a menu and a tight budget, I grabbed all kinds of great fixings, fruits, and veggies from HEB.  This way, I always knew what was in our food and that we were eating well.)

What do we do?

I am constantly jumping waves.  (My one warning about South Padre is that there is always a strong current that is constantly pulling you North.  Be a good swimmer, stay close to your kiddos!)  Evan swam with me quite a bit.  He also spent plenty of time boogie boarding.  Ben was mostly building sandcastles.  I brought along a book to read during downtime.  We watched some TV.  And we had one outing.

 

 

One year, we went on a dolphin tour.  Last year we visited Sea Turtle, Inc (and even got to witness a turtle release!).  This year, we toured the SPI Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center.

 

 

 

The center is very small.  Things to see and do are limited.  But it’s only $3 a person!  And we can make fun out of most situations and outings.

We peeked into all of the tanks and read up on all the local/native sealife.  And the employee let me climb into their tortoise’s enclosure, for pictures.  Funny thing about this… by the time I was squatting down to take her picture, she had noticed me and the camera… and she was heading straight for me.  Once I had backed out of the enclosure (and she had followed me), it was clear to see that she owned the place and that she loved humans.  She climbed into my lap, she followed Evan around, she walked all over the building.  She was lovely!  <3

 

 

And our one amazing lunch, that is more expensive than any other meal that we have during the entire year?!

It’s King’s Inn (on our way back to Boerne, from South Padre).  It’s tradition.  It brings back wonderful memories of eating there as a kid with my sister, parents, grandparents, all the cousins.  It’s also delicious.  I always order the bombay salad (lettuce, tomatoes, and some kind of mouth-watering, thick, green, avocado-y dressing).  And we always get way too much fried shrimp (big, fresh, tender shrimp, lightly battered, and fried perfectly).  Then we proceed to see who can eat the most.  😉

It’s a wonderful, old, home-y establishment.  Family-style eating.  I assume they have menus, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one.  And I know people rave about the oysters and fried catfish.  But all we care about is that amazing shrimp.  Seriously, best I’ve had… anywhere!

 

 

And now I’m sitting here, starting a blog post (which I probably won’t finish until Sunday), sifting through all the photos and the great time had.  Belly is as full as my heart.  And I’m already thinking about next year’s trip!

If you take anything away from this, I hope I’ve inspired you to add a little more fun or structure to your next beach trip, led you to put Umix or King’s Inn on your to-do list, gotten you to check out our Olympus camera (so that you can capture your own precious memories).

If you have any questions for me, let me know!  If you have any suggestions for our next trip, give ’em to me!

Have a wonderful day!  And as always… have a blast when you TRAVEL TEXAS!!!

2 Responses to “TRAVEL TEXAS- South Padre Island”

  1. Amy

    It’s my favorite! Close enough to home. We always have gorgeous weather and beach conditions. Always have such a wonderful time!!!

  2. Candice Curry

    You’re the cutest, I love these pics and the post. I want to take the family there on our next break.

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TRAVEL TEXAS- Hamilton Pool

It has been over two years since I heard about (and have started dreaming about) Hamilton Pool.  Nestled into our beautiful Texas hill country, it seemed like such an incredible little oasis.  But I let that first summer slip by.  Disappointed but curious, I went ahead and just planned on a day of hiking and exploring around the area during the winter.  It lived up to the hype… and was just as beautiful as every picture I had seen.  But then, what did I do?  I let last summer fill up with other activities, I didn’t plan far enough ahead, and we missed our chance at getting one of those coveted reservations (that are now required during the busy summer season).

 

 

So I planned early this year.  I was on their website in June.  I paid the $11 for their reservation system and chose the 9:00 to 1:00 time block for this past Tuesday.

The morning of, I was up at 6:00.  I felt like I was making good time in getting myself ready, making the boys’ breakfast, and beginning to pack everything we’d need.  When the boys finally arose, they slowed me down.  And I swear time sped up.  We didn’t leave Boerne until 8:00, so we didn’t get to the park until about 9:30.  By the time everyone stopped at the restrooms, we blew up our tube, and made our way down the .25-mile trail, we had completely lost the first hour of our time there.  But…

 

 

After finding a great spot for our stuff (way over on the shaded side of the shore), we headed straight into the “pool.”  We spent the first several minutes adjusting to the cool water and watching the HUGE catfish that swam around our ankles.

Then Evan plopped himself into his tube.  We moved out of the little shallow area (straight into the 25-foot deep spots).  And then Ben and I proceeded to push him all around the pool, to and away from all the waterfalls, under the cold splashes of fresh river water, all around the rocks that surrounded the grotto.  We took pictures and video.  Swam until hearts were pumping.  We studied the plants and ferns growing all over the rocks and cavern walls and ceiling.  We had so much fun!

 

 

 

It ended up getting pretty packed with people.  But, I floated on my back a few times.  With ears under the water, the sounds changed from voices, yelling, and laughter… to sounds of water movement and the waterfalls crashing into the pool.  With eyes closed, I was able to catch my breath and relax.  And every time I opened my eyes again, my breath was taken away by the gorgeous ceilings of the grotto against the beautiful blue Texas sky!  It really was like being in another world!

(My mom texted me at some point to see what I thought of the place.  My reply was simply “magical.”  She asked, “Unicorns?  Fairies?  Rainbows?”  Well, of course not!  But I said, “yes.”)  😉

 

So, 12:00 came.  And lots of people started packing up and leaving.  12:30 came.  And the park attendant was there to help round up the rest of us…and send us on our ways.  So we gathered our things and made the uphill, uneven .25-mile trek back to the truck.  The awesome thing about it, we had gotten so cooled by the water temperature, walking in the heat of the day was no problem!  It was actually quite comfortable.

So all in all, we had an amazing time!  We never had to apply sunscreen, because we were shaded by the grotto overhang almost the entire time.  No one slipped on a wet rock or got hurt.  No one was embarrassed to be seen with me.  The one float that we carried in was perfect for us.  No one missed the lunch that I didn’t have time to pack.  (But there really was no time to eat.  And stopping at The Pizza Cave on our way home made the boys perfectly happy.)  And if asked, the boys will tell you that the place is gorgeous and that they had a great time!  That’s worth all the world!

 

 

Now, my recommendations?  I loved the morning times.  But you sun-bathers might really enjoy the 2:00 to 6:00 time frame.  Bring a camera!  If you’ve got a waterproof one, do not forget it!  If you want to bring several floats, get yourself a battery-operated pump.  That way, you can air everything up when you get to the spot.  Water sandals helped on the rocks and the first few feet in.  But you’re pretty much treading water the rest of the time, and really don’t need anything.  Having goggles along was great.  There seemed to be plenty of life jackets for people to use, so don’t worry about that.  And my only warning?  The restrooms are up by the parking lot!  Once you’re down to the pool, you hold it!  😉  (Please don’t tell me that people pee in the water.  I’ll be blissfully happy if I pretend it doesn’t happen.)

So go!  Make your reservation.  Take it all in.  And ENJOY… every time you TRAVEL TEXAS!!!

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