Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gay's Days Deer today

We live near Houston in Weston Lakes.  Although our community is populated with over two thousand people, it is not uncommon to see deer. We also enjoy our share of other animals, some pesky critters dig holes in the flower beds. We capture them in traps and release them several miles away.
These little guys nibbled on the ground cover, but didn't care it.
Momma deer keeps an eye on her fawn in our backyard.

Running and jumping. They reminded me of human toddlers playing.
Ahhh....the joys of country living in the city.
In my book, Sarah: Laney's Angel, I use our neighborhood setting in the story. Laney has a stalker hiding near the Brazos River. This body of water flows through the back of Weston Lakes, and there are plenty of places for someone to hide.  I found it easy to describe such an area from gazing at places in our neighborhood.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Gay's Days. Stealing from the Natives.



According to the above New York Times article, Congress has sold native lands to a group outside the United States.

Native Apaches use this land in Arizona for ceremonies as young girls advance to womanhood.

On the wall the Inn of the Mountain Gods in New Mexico, I photographed an image of a young Mescalero Apache woman. The rite of passage takes place on her  reservation in New Mexico.

A girl's family often prepare a year in advance for the four day ceremony, and it usually takes around July 4. The relatives secure dancers, singers, medicine men and women, and of course the ceremonial dress is important. Kinfolk provide free food, parades and sell art treasures. This event is sacred to the young women and the tribe.

Haven't we taken enough from our native peoples without stealing more from them?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015 Love hearing from readers

Good morning friends,
Several of you have responded to me via social media, and I love hearing from you. Here are two comments I received in an email earlier today regarding Sarah and the Midnight Cruise to Catalina Island. 
From Cindy
The book was great! I have to say it probably was my favorite of all. I know you said you have been told that and I agree. Not that the others weren't great! This one was just a little different. 
From Betsy
Started reading your new book and learned a new word, akimbo.   Never heard it before.   Enjoying the book.   I like the way you sneak in the humor and also theological wisdom - lots going on in your books.   

I miss those vacation days. If you missed hearing about the one we took, scroll down and read about our trip to NM. Have you traveled this summer?  Sometimes staying at home and doing it by comfy arm chair is the best way. I love watching the travel channel.
Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Last of the 2015 Vacation

If you've read previous posts, you know we stayed at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso New Mexico, a beautiful resort/casino owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. The golf course is beautiful. Lake activities abound, so does a Zip Line that zooms people across the lake. We chose golf.

I promised to show a few of the fireworks displays. They were amazing. The Inn of the Mountain Gods celebrates our nation's birthday on July 2. I asked several the reason for the premature show, but no one knew the reason for the early date. We sat on our balcony and had the perfect view.
Thousands of people gathered on the hotel lawn to watch. Below is a picture of a fraction of them. They brought blankets and tents. One couple even brought a queen sized mattress. The hotel set up kiosks for food and drinks.
Hubby and I were amazed at the crowd of people. We didn't know the event existed until we checked into the hotel, but it is an annual event, and travelers come from all over the state. I want to go again.
The clouds came rolling in, and we feared the clashes of lightning would cause the operators to cancel the event. They did start a little early, but the show was the best I've ever seen.

We had a marvelous time, but the calendar indicated we needed to head home to Houston.
We left Ruidoso and traveled east on 380 back to Roswell, a place we'd stopped in as we made our way to Ruidoso, but this time we left the UFO's and aliens in their museum and waved as we went by. At Roswell, we turned south on 285 and headed on to Carlsbad. We didn't stop at the caverns, we've been there before. The caverns make a fascinating side trip for those who've never been.
We stopped at a red light in the Carlsbad, NM. While waiting for it to turn green, we looked at the map and decided to wait for lunch until we arrived back in Texas. After this many days, we hungered for Tex-Mex food.
 BOOM! Bam! Crash!
An alien In a UFO from another planet didn't rear-end us, a sixteen year old girl did.
Hubby yelled a word or two preachers aren't supposed to use.
When the light turned green, we pulled to the side of the road and she did the same. Poor thing. She was shaking in her flip-flops. The three of us examined our car. Uh-oh! Bumper damage. The young woman said her brakes had failed, but my guess is that she was texting. She got out of the vehicle with the device in her hand.
The conversation went similar to this.
Hubby:     "May I see your driver's license?"
Girl:         "I don't have one."
Hubby:     "Insurance?"
Girl:         "I don't have any."
Hubby:     "Call your parents."
Girl:         "I can't. My mom is sick."
Me:           "Call your dad."
Girl:         "He's not in the picture."
Me:          "Then we'll have to call the police."
Of course she begged us not to do that. After a few minutes, she called her father who lives in Texas. It turns out he had insurance on the car. Who knows why she denied having any. I think she hoped we'd forgive, forget, and merely drive away.
We didn't call the law, but an officer spotted us and stopped. The girl admitted she had insurance and retrieved it from the glove compartment. She had no license but she had a beginner's permit.  Her dad quickly emailed us with information and seemed quite nice. I said, "See? Your dad is still taking care of you."  Her bottom lip quivered. I don't know their story, but I hope and pray she will build a relationship with her dad. He called the grandparents, and they came.
Teenagers! Who can understand the way they think?
On to Texas

We continued on our way to Fort Stockton, Texas, and selected Interstate 10 to take us home to Houston. We stopped in a little town called Ozona for lunch. Texans love our Tex-Mex cuisine, but the place we chose needed new recipes.
Arriving in Junction, we happily checked into our motel.
Let me tell you a good place if you ever find yourself in that town. Issack's is the place to go. Home cooking of the finest quality. This dinner made up for the lunch we left on our plate way back in Ozona.
After 1900 miles of travel, we arrived home.
We tried to bottle the mountains and cool air to bring back, but alas! We failed.  Look what awaited us.
We had a memorable trip, and now I'm waiting for my car to be repaired. If you are traveling, stay safe. If you haven't visited Ruidoso, NM and stayed at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, I can recommend it. You'll return home with peaceful and happy memories.
If you haven't read Sarah's latest adventure, please do. She's a real hoot. I have an idea that you may find her in New Mexico soon.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Still in New Mexico

Hi everyone,

I've been away from home for a few days, and you probably wonder if I ever returned to Texas. I did, but I wanted to share a few more details about our trip to New Mexico.

If you haven't experienced the Inn of the Mountain Gods near Ruidoso, NM, you've missed a treat.

The views are incredible. The Mescalero Apache band own it and the resort/casino sets amidst a reservation of 463,000 acres of land. President Ulysses S. Grant originally established land for the tribe in Fort Stanton, NM. In 1883, they were moved to the present site.

At that date, the Apaches had dwindled to a small number. We were told by an Mescalero hotel official that the government thought they would eventually become extinct on the land. They survived by hunting antelope and deer in the mountains—killing only what they needed. Wild plants, nuts, berries, and seeds provided extra nourishment.

Today, three sub-tribes make up the Apaches: Mescalero, Lipan and Chiricahua. Among the famous warriors and chiefs, you'll hear names like Geronimo and Cochise. I love the quote on the back of the history pamphlet we found at the resort.

"There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God.
The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say."
 For more information and beautiful vistas, here's their website.
The second night we were there, we ate at Wendell's, a restaurant named after the famed leader who aided the tribe lift from tar-paper shack poverty. He was president of the tribe for over thirty years.

The food was good. I started with crab bisque, then had fillet with vegetables. Paul began with salad, then fillet and au gratin potatoes. I couldn't take a picture of the view...they draw shades in the evening due to the bright sun streaming though the floor to ceiling windows. We tried to wait until dark, but we were too hungry. Texas time is an hour later.
A day or so later, Paul played golf on the manicured course.
I drove the cart, and that was a lot of fun. I drive this little car better than I do my bigger one in Houston.

Paul was happy I didn't drive us into the lake.
Have you read Sarah's adventures with a car? Angels don't need vehicles in The Heavenlies, and while on earth, she attempted to operate one. Oh my!  The attempt proved disastrous... and hilarious. 
My next blog, I'll tell you about the fireworks at the Inn of the Mountain Gods. The event is billed as the largest display in New Mexico and takes place on July 2. The thing was unbelievable. And after I tell you about the event and show pictures of it, I'll talk about the wreck we had on the way home.
Tune in to hear all about it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Vacation, Part Three. Leaving the UFO's behind.

Monday, June 29, 2015
We arrive in Ruidoso, New Mexico

As a married couple, we’d been to New Mexico many times but never to Ruidoso. As a mere child, my family drove from our home in Irving, Texas to Ruidoso one summer, and I loved the charming city. The quaint cabin tucked into the woods is a beloved memory. The thing had a screened, back porch and I remember gazing into the forest. I stood alone out there and found gratitude for God’s creation.

My dad introduced me to horseback riding—my one and only experience on a horse. The huge animal terrified me. My favorite part of that trip was the cooler temperatures and gorgeous scenery.

While planning the trip to the family reunion in Marshall, TX, hubby decided we should head to Ruidoso since we were so close to New Mexico. Beg your pardon? Have you looked at the maps lately? Marshall is about forty-five miles from Shreveport, Louisiana!

But the distance is about two hundred miles closer than from Houston.

If you’ve read the first parts of this travelogue, you know we drove some six hundred miles across Texas to get to the New Mexico border. We saw miles and miles of Texas. Whew! It was fun, and a lot of distance to cover. But it seemed a lot longer when I was a kid.

We enjoyed the brief visit at the UFO museum in Roswell. I’m wondering if the stuff we saw there is real. Hubby believes it isn’t. Oh well. It isn’t the first time we’ve disagreed. Probably won’t be the last, either.

After we left Roswell, we continued west to Lincoln, NM on 380 and then headed south on Hwy 70 to Ruidoso.

We arrived at the Inn of the Mountain Gods later in the day. This resort and casino is owned by the Mescalero Apache people. All the reports we’d heard about the beauty of the place are accurate. You can visit it here.
Our Texas wristwatches read three o’clock, but it was two o’clock their time. We checked into number 735 on the seventh floor. The room has a beautiful view of the mountains, lake, and golf course.

The two queen beds came in handy. We used one as a table top for belongings. The room contained only one chair and one table. Here's hubby trying out the seating arrangement.  You can see the outside patio from where he sat.  Two chairs and a table are out there.

We later learned that they will bring extra furniture upon request. We didn’t know that bit of unusual news until we checked out. Hmmm. Strange, don’t you think? The hotel was renovated a few years ago, and I’m guessing the decorators wanted a minimal look. Maybe they don’t want you to stay in the rooms. There’s much to do on the premises, and guess what? They make money with all of them. Makes sense to me that they want you to explore.

After depositing our stuff, we shared a sandwich in Wendell’s Lounge on the 4th floor. I liked it, but hubby didn’t care for it, so I ate his half as well. I can diet at home, right?

 We drove through the town, parked and strolled through the gift shops. I bought my sister a birthday present at one. I can't tell you what it is...she might read this before the gift arrives in the mail.
We bought a light meal to take back to the room to eat on the patio. We soaked in the view...even enjoyed sitting there during a brief shower.

I'll tell you more about the place and food later. Do you like arm chair traveling?
The info about the Mescalero Apache tribe is interesting too. come back and I'll share a bit about them.
 My dyslexic angel, Sarah, would love this place. So many people, some single, all ages are here and they come from all over the world.  I wonder if the Superiors will send her here to try a hand at matchmaking. Hmmm. I'm thinking they might. Sarah had one vacation on a cruise.  How about one in the mountains?



Friday, July 10, 2015

Vacation 2015 Aliens from a UFO?

Sunday morning, June 28, about eight o’clock, we said goodbye to the family, left Marshall and Headed west on I 20.  The picture below was made at our Saturday night dinner.

My sister and family agreed to miss church and provide lunch for us. We loved her new house in Grand Prairie. I failed to make a picture, so one from a few months back will have to do.
After an hour or so, we headed west on I 20 again—this time our destination was Ruidoso, New Mexico. If you haven’t driven through west Texas, you’ll see miles and miles of brown dirt sprinkled with oil wells. A few areas boast thousands of windmills. These sections afford the perfect time to read or listen to an audio book. Be sure you have gasoline, water, and a few snacks. Civilization isn’t always close. Some expanses have no cell phone availability. 

I found myself daydreaming ideas for my next Sarah book. Perhaps the Superiors will send her to help a stranded female traveler. That would be a hoot. Sarah is constantly lost and can’t read maps. Her only hope would be to locate a man for her. But out there?  Many of the nomads I saw were of the four legged kind. At Big Spring, TX, we left the interstate and headed northwest on Hwy 87 to Brownfield.

 About six o’clock, we arrived in Brownfield, our planned place to sleep for the night.  We were ready to eat again and relax. Why is it on road trips I get hungrier than I do at home? I do nothing but sit in the car. We’d traveled about six hundred miles and Paul drove the entire way.

After we checked in, we heard the bad news. On Sunday, all the major restaurants close at three o’clock.  Whaat?  In a town of nine thousand people? The lady kidded, right? Nope, she pointed out two fast food places.

After giving thanks for two pieces of greasy fish, we explored the town. Why not visit the evening services of a large church? The church seemed to be one of the few attractions open and we are church people. Even though we were dressed in shorts, surely the congregation would understand we’d just arrived after a hard day of travel.  We started into the building as the people exited. No one spoke. Several gazed at us with odd expressions. They seemed to say, “Wonder who they are. Why are they in shorts? Why are you late?” We stopped a lone man and discovered their service started at five o’clock. He graciously recapped the sermon for us. The preacher told this group of white hairs they should be careful what they said on social media. Huh? I doubt many of the ones we saw plodding to cars on walkers knew what he was talking about.
We enjoyed our visit. The breakfast on Monday was delicious and the rooms clean. If I lived there, I'd attend the church. Hubby and I would fit right it. We don't know much about the Internet...these people are bound to know more than us. I'm sure the members were as nice as the man who spoke to us. West Texas is a friendly place, and we liked Brownfield. We plan to go back again...maybe next year. We drove due west on 380 to Roswell.
In Roswell, NM, we stopped at the UFO museum. Back in the 1940's, one supposedly crashed near the town site and our government covered it up. If true, I'm sure the reason was to prevent panic.  I emailed a friend who once pastored in the area and asked him what he saw.  He said, "I've pastored a few aliens in my life, but never seen the ones on the UFO." He's such a character.

Paul is unconvinced.

I enjoyed the museum. Paul isn't one for tarrying long in such places. I like to read everything. An author gave a talk and I wanted to buy the book. I may do it yet.

Do you suppose Sarah would enjoy finding a mate for an alien from another planet?  Hmmmm. Something to think about.

Sarah found a partner for Carolyn Baker on a cruise ship. And she had to do it while fighting an evil spirit.  Merciful heavens!  Maybe she should try a new planet in the cosmos. What do you think? But right now, please read her latest adventure.



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Traveling in Texas.

Vacation 2015

Good morning friends,

Would you like to travel along with me as I relive a few memories?  Maybe you haven’t been on a long road trip in a long time. Perhaps you’ll gain new ideas about where to go and what to do as you hear about one.

Paul (hubby) and I left our home west of Houston on June 25 and returned July 4, 2015. By the time we returned, we'd traveled nineteen hundred miles. Whew!

On the way to Marshall, TX to attend a Lewis Family Reunion. You'll find Marshall, TX north of Longview, close to Shreveport and the Louisiana border. We stopped in Tyler to eat lunch with long-time friends before our planned destination. The Wrights joined the church Paul pastored in Irving years ago, and it remains a joy to call them special.  This picture was made a couple of years ago when I was thinner and Paul had more hair. I failed to take one after we ate lunch. Shame on me for not doing that.

Paul’s family grows smaller. His mother gave birth to twelve children. Can you imagine her work load? I can’t either. I find myself grateful these days for smaller families. Out of the dozen, Paul is one of the younger ones among the six remaining siblings.
 We had a total of twenty-eight. Here's the entire clan.
 April Fox's photo.
The youngest to attend was three months old.

Cousins are pictured below.
Unfortunately our daughters couldn't come, but several other offspring did. Originally the grandchildren to the matriarch of this family numbered almost fifty.

 Here are a few places we explored in Marshall.
Once the original courthouse, the building now is a museum. Several of us toured it and found it interesting.

Several of us sat in the judges seats. What a blast.
Here we are going up the steps in this beautiful and old building.

We visited the Starr Family Home.
April Fox's photo.
Well, that's enough for today. Come back tomorrow for another installment. I plan to tell you about the wreck we had. (I wasn't driving)  Don't forget, road trips can be long, especially in Texas. Take Sarah along to read while you travel.

PBG Insider: Gay N. Lewis Introduces her "Sarah" series

Sarah at Christmas