Sunday, November 29, 2009

Our favorite lizard
Christmas ready

Church at night

Mission at night
Hi faithful readers. We hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving day. We spent ours here at the park. I (Louise) cooked turkey, mashed taters and gravy. Our other hosts, Ruth and Bob Bolthouse and Ruth Touchstone brought side dishes. We had a good time eating good food and visiting. We had our dinner at lunchtime, so later Duane and I took a short walk around our loop. The park was full of campers. Many brought their deep fryers for their turkeys. The weather was a little damp and chilly at night, but our campers all had a good time.
The beautiful lights decorating the mission was a combined effort of park staff and volunteers. I arranged the alter rail and pulpit lights and Duane and Ruth T. helped with the tree and some of the the outside lighting. The pix show the southeast corner of the mission complex. The shadows on the walls show a part of the timeline trail set up around two sides of the church. They are the result of lights shining on wooden sillhouettes. The mission was decorated for the Christmas Concert next Saturday. I'm not sure of the events planned for the evening, but I know there will be a choir and some music in the church. The top pic is our favorite lizard. I discovered this lizard last week in the same spot. It was removed to a tree outside, but I guess it likes the anvil best.
We have been here one month already. It has flown by. We are enjoying our stay here and like the people we work with. Last Tuesday we went to (our volunteer supervisor) Tammy's house to share lasagna with the staff and volunteers. This is a fun group at work and at play. We had such a good time with our fellow hosts there and at the Thanksgiving service and Thanksgiving dinner that we all got together tonight (Sunday) for supper at the local Mexican restaurant. Then we drove 30 miles north to Cuervo to tour their big drive-thru holiday light display. After all that viewing we had to stop at the Dairy Queen in Goliad for a snack. We had a great time. Unfortunately, that was the last outing for our group. Tomorrow the others head out in other directions. Their replacements arrived today, but we haven't met them yet. Hopefully we can have as much fun with them in December as we had with Ruth, Ruth and Bob in November.
Basta por hoy!
Louise and Duane

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New carvings

Working Pliers
Small Santa

Santa ornament

Cross Ornament

Here are four of the latest carvings I have done. I have had the Santa ornaments carved for sometime now, but just got around to painting them. The small Santa and the cross were carved in the last week. I have a couple of other things carved that I have to paint before I post them. The pliers are box joint pliers thet I saw when we went to the Warther Museum in Dover, Ohio. I cut out about 10 pieces and after 8 failures I got 2 in a row to work. They are of no use at all but fun to do and show to people.
That's it for now
Duane and Louise

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Giagantic spider and web
Northern flicker

Sunbathing vultures

Good looking candles

Inspiring our youth

Well, we got through the most strenous part of our job here. The park has an annual event called Spanish Tracks and Trails. On Friday 1000 school children stepped back into time to discover what kept pioneers and settlers busy every day. Demonstrators included people carving (guess who), candle dipping (guess who else), leather working, blacksmithing, hair rope making, cord making, making home remedies, making Indian flutes, discussing what the area looked liked when people started colonizing--including the topography and animals, knitting, pottery making, geneology, and two re enactors who represented the clothing and accroutements available. Saturday was open to the general public, so our jobs weren't as demanding.
To prepare for STT, we used our day off on Thursday to take a long nature walk. In the morning the turkey vultures sunbathe as they dry the dew from their feathers and warm themselves. Most trees have have a dozen or so, but we found one that had about a hundred. Amazing! Since we weren't walking fast we took time to locate the Northern Flicker and get a good shot. The big web represents the hundreds of such spiders around here. Most of these large ones are above head level so most people don't notice them. The webs average 2 feet in diameter and the spiders could straddle a 50 cent piece. The one above was about 3 feet above our heads. We would have missed it but we were looking for birds and the sun hit it just right. After our walk we went to Victoria for a little shopping and lunch.
To help us recover from our long days, we were relieved of night duty Sat. night (good thing since the place was packed and would have taken us more than an hour) and given Sunday off (since we worked our usual Friday day off). Duane didn't need it so much since he sat all day, but I was on my feet and full of smoke (couldn't keep the logs burning). Now we are back on our regular schedule. Now we can concentrate on our Christmas projects. Duane has finished his ornaments for the grandchildren. I have finished the birth announcements for the twins (framed them on Sunday), so its on to other things.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Smart-alec at the hanging tree

Fannin memorial at the battleground

Red shouldered hawk

This was taken at the mission grounds Tuesday

We are now comfortable in our new routine. We think we have the leak fixed and that we know the routine and information about the mission. The weather has been beautiful (if a little chilly at night) and we have been able to get our exercise in every day so we feel good. This enables us to get back to our carving and sewing of Christmas gifts. All of this is going to change next week when 1000 school children converge on the mission for an annual program called Spanish Tracksand Trails. Everyone will be helping. Duane will be carving and I will be dipping candles.
This week was quiet, though, so we were able to do a little sight-seeing yesterday. We drove to the little hamlet of Fannin and missed it when we blinked. Past that is the Fannin battleground. This is a very nice well maintained monument on the actual battleground between retreating Texans and the Mexican army. The importance of Fannin is that he honorably surrendered his men to the Mexican army as prisioners of war. They were marched back to the Presidio La Bahia and imprisioned there. Then General Santa Ana decided they must be shot. So they were. All 350+. The original rallying cry was "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!"
While we were out we did a little geocaching. We found all four on the road the memorial was on, including one at the memorial. We weren't that far from the highway, but we were in the middle of nowhere. It was very quiet. No sound but the wind, a few birds, and the buzz of grasshoppers. Very refreshing. Back on the road we let Wataburger feed us in Goliad, then found the local history museum was open so stopped by for a visit. From there we went to the local cemetery to find a cache and to read some of the old headstones. Then we drove to the west edge of town and stopped to read an historical marker. Across the road we happened to spot the remnants of Mission Rosario, the sister to our mission, four miles away. This is protected behind a high chain link fence, but has not been excavated or rebuilt. From there we took off to visit Beeville 30 miles away. This is the closest big town on the west of Goliad as Victoria is on the east. We knew nothing of the town so we decided to take a look. We didn't find much of historical interest, so we went back to Goliad. The light was still good, so we decided to stop by the courthouse square. We walked around reading all of the historical signs and happened on the one pictured above. Justice was swift at the courthouse and the tree was in regular use at one time.
That was our touring day. Today I intend to make inroads on my embroidery. Duane has decided it is housecleaning day. This means the clutter has gotten to him and he can't stand it any more. This also means I'd better get my stuff put away so he will not bug me!