Category Archives: happening in my life

Want the Easter bunny to bring a book?

redbud in bloom (The Woodlands, Texas)

redbud in bloom

Today I’m enjoying a beautiful spring day: sunny, cool, low humidity. These are the types of days when I’m especially thankful to be a Texan! Redbuds and fringe tree are in their glory right now. I hate to gloat because so many of my friends are in misery with Old Man Winter breathing down their necks. In celebration of this spring and especially the EASTER season,

Gus peaking

Gus, the Wonder Cat, peaking out to see if it’s time to draw a name from the box yet.

I’ll be getting a book in the mail to you tomorrow, if you want one. That is, if Gus the Wonder Cat  wants YOU to win one. (He’s open to bribery, if you happen to have any fish flavored treats on you…..)Head over to my author FaceBook page to get in on the fun.

Baby E’s upcoming baptism has me wanting to diss work and head out to Abilene ASAP, however I’m speaking to the Houston SCBWI next Monday (come and join us for the FREE event!). I’ll speaking to the group about my summer spent at The Publishing Institute at University of Denver. It’s a difficult task to write or illustrate a children’s book and almost as hard guessing what those “books” might look like in the next couple of years. I’ve been trying to get a handle on the direction of publishing, looking at which format my readers might be meeting me with in an every-changing techno-world. That’s one of the reasons I went to grad school last summer. I’ll have out my crystal ball for the Houston writers and illustrators at their regular meeting, hoping my literary prognostications are more accurate than our weather forecasters lately. I realize in looking over my notes and photos just how much I’ve missed my friends and instructors in Denver – especially roomies Emily and Jen.

A room mate sandwich with me in the middle. Miss you, Jen and Em-dash!

A room mate sandwich with me in the middle. Miss you, Jen and Em-dash!

The other reason I went to Denver turned out to be a lie…Colorado in summer promised a respite from hot, humid Houston last summer, but promptly reneged on the deal. After a FREEZING 1st week of spring, I’m betting Colorado’s wishing she were a Texan right now, too!

Actively waiting….

On Sunday, the pastor at my daughter’s church – Aldersgate UMC in Abilene – spoke of actively waiting. Actually, the term Steve used was “wait and prepare” and he took it from Luke 2  when old Simeon decided not to die until he’d seen the promised Messiah. He didn’t sit in his Lazy-boy  twiddling his thumbs, though. Instead, he went to the temple. Now we know Simeon was IN Jerusalem and he was a Jew, so it wasn’t a long-haul trip or out of the ordinary for him to go to the temple. He just did his regular thing while waiting. The pay-off was huge; Simeon got to hold our Lord in his arms!

The last week and a half, that’s where I’ve found myself: waiting. I’m not alone though. A whole team of us are huddled around my daughter and son-in-love, looking forward to the birth of their son, my first grandchild. He’s the first on many fronts, actually. First grand on both sides and first great-grand. And so that I don’t drive my daughter and her husband completely nuts, we’ve worked on several projects inside and outside their home. (I gave the how-to on a nearly-free exterior coffee table we made on GardenDishes this week.) Lots of good food, a few movies, and some Christmas shopping (I’m crazy about the local olive oil heaven, Cordell’s, because their oils are a FODMAP FRIENDLY salve for my garlic and onion cravings).

Hey, want to see a few things we’ve done as we actively wait?



I hate to wait, but doing it actively has given me purpose for being here and – hopefully – made my stay more bearable for my daughter and her husband. And I know the pay-off will be huge!

May your advent season be filled with the joy of the Lord. c:

Home, but for how long?

My poor car’s become a 2nd home. By the way, having a 2nd home is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Moving seems like a good idea until the boxes are unloaded….

While I love to travel, there’s nothing better than waking up in my own bed. What a disappointment at my return when no fairy had been to my house to unpack moving boxes. In fact, I’d swear those boxes multiplied in my absence.

Some crafty guys sharing a fun day at Clark Gardens’ Fall Festival. Located between Mineral Wells and Weatherford, the gorgeous gardens looked and FELT like autumn with a windchill in the low-50’s, a rarity in early October Texas.

Artist (Joy Hein) and author (that’s me!) with our new book BLOOMIN’ TALES at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

I was blessed with great traveling partners on a couple of my trips, making it much more fun…. unless the travel partner is hairy and meows the whole time we are in the car. His name is Captain Hook. He’s decided he’s a one-home type of guy, thank goodness.

Captain Hook is glad I’m home, even sharing HIS office with me.