Category Archives: family muses

A Busy Week In The Backyard

The number of people moving through the house this past week has higher than at any other time since we began. Stone work, texture, cabinets, trim carpenters, painters, electricians, plumbers, counter-top measurement techs, storage building delivery…It’s been almost nonstop. We finished it off with a birthday party on Saturday afternoon…Whew.

Happy Birthday Cameron!

Texas Independence Day 2011

Description: Replica of the building where the...
Image via Wikipedia

One hundred and seventy five years ago today a group of men came together just a few miles to the northwest of where I sit this morning and proclaimed Texas and independent nation. I can imagine what it might have been like that morning walking the streets of Washington-on-the-Brazos. Early March in Texas can be challenging in any year

In the story of Texas independence from Mexico, the courageous work of the men assembled in Washington is often overshadowed by the fall of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. After all, at the same time these men put ink to paper, the blood of their fellow Texans was being shed at the Alamo, where men like Colonel William Barrett Travis and Jim Bowie fought to their deaths and became folk heroes.

The history books often lose sight of the delegates courage and clearheaded determination as they labored against a backdrop of fear and uncertainty. They knew the desperation of Travis and his men. They received word of his dire circumstance twice during the Convention. The Alamo was only a few days march from where they convened, and rumors that Santa Anna was just down the road kept them on edge.

Some of the men wanted to recklessly rush to Travis aid without a military or governmental structure in place, but calmer minds prevailed.

via TPWD: Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site Role in History.

After beginning to meet on March 1st, the delegates to the convention formally declared their independence from Mexico on March 2nd. They continued to work on the constitution until being forced from town ahead of the advancing Mexican Army led by Santa Anna on March 17, 1836.

The legacy of these men is still felt today. Though last years return to the 19th century and talk of secession should the conservative base in Texas not get what it wants was taking things a bit far (as you can read in the related articles below, it’s still a movement alive and well in Texas). The not quite decade of independence for the Lone Star Republic did set a tone and a flavor for the state that has never been subdued.

The delegates, who voted unanimously for independence, were:

  • Badgett, Jesse B.
  • Barnett, George Washington
  • Barnett, Thomas
  • Blount, Stephen William
  • Bower, John White
  • Brigham, Asa
  • Briscoe, Andrew
  • Bunton, John Wheeler
  • Byrom, John Smith Davenport
  • Caldwell, Mathew
  • Carson, Samuel Price
  • Childress, George Campbell
  • Clark, William
  • Coleman, Robert M.
  • Collinsworth, James
  • Conrad, Edward
  • Crawford, William Carroll
  • Ellis, Richard
  • Everitt, Stephen Hendrickson
  • Fisher, John
  • Fisher, Samuel R.
  • Gaines, James
  • Gazley, Thomas Jefferson
  • Goodrich, Benjamin Briggs
  • Grimes, Jesse
  • Hamilton, Robert
  • Hardeman, Bailey
  • Hardin, Augustine Blackburn
  • Houston, Samuel
  • Lacey, William Demetris
  • Latimer, Albert Hamilton
  • LeGrand, Edwin Oswald
  • Maverick, Samuel Augustus
  • McKinney, Collin
  • Menard, Michel Branamour
  • Menefee, William
  • Moore, John W.
  • Mottley, Junius William
  • Navarro, Jose Antonio Baldomero
  • Parmer, Martin
  • Penington, Sydney O.
  • Potter, Robert
  • Power, James
  • Roberts, John S.
  • Robertson, Sterling Clack
  • Ruiz, Jose Francisco
  • Rusk, Thomas Jefferson
  • Scates, William Bennett
  • Smyth, George Washington
  • Stapp, Elijah
  • Stewart, Charles Bellinger
  • Swisher, James Gibson
  • Taylor, Charles Stanfield
  • Thomas, David
  • Turner, John
  • Waller, Edwin
  • West, Claiborne
  • Woods, James B.
  • Zavala, Lorenzo de
Happy 175th Texas Independence Day.

And making this day a little more personal to my family…

Happy Birthday Jeremy Austin Boyd.

Blue Birds And Life

Eastern Bluebird
Image via Wikipedia

Sitting at the computer this morning I looked out the window and saw my second Bluebird in my entire 57 years upon this earth. I was so surprised I had to lean forward for a closer look.

I still remember the occurrence of my sighting. Sherry and I were new home shopping  almost 25 years ago. We were wandering through the model homes in a subdivision on the far southern extreme of Pasadena. As we wandered through the house I happened to look out the patio doors , and there in the grass of the back yard was a gloriously blue bird. I recognized it at once even though I had never seen one, an Eastern Bluebird. Just like in all of the cartoons I grew up watching.

The interesting coincidence in all of this bluebird history is, here we are once again in the process of building a new home. Should I take it as a sign of some sort? The last time it didn’t turn out quite like we expected. Though this time we are proceeding with a better idea of the pitfalls and trials that go into the process…It is still only our second home to build from start to finish.

Around my neck of the woods, whenever I see a rust colored belly on a bird I instantly think Robin which we have in abundance all winter long. Though, thinking back over the past year or two I don’t recall seeing as many as in the past. A decade ago, all winter long, flocks of upwards of 50 to 100 robins would feed through our yard during the winter months. They would take turns with the bluejays, or most common bird of a blue hue, feeding through. This year not so many of either have been around.

In other bird news, I had hummingbirds return to my feeder today. I do not know if this is one of the one’s that over winters or if the spring migration is starting early. All I do know is that the feeder has been up all winter and this is the first hummer that I have seen since last November.

The weather this month has hit the extremes…From days and days of freezing earlier in the month with the heater running non-stop to days and days of upper 70’s lower 80’s with the AC running in the afternoons. And we are just barely through February. This will be one month I dread the arrival of the electric bill. At least the winds keep blowing to generate more of the power I am paying a premium for. Even though the state is producing more wind power on most days than the transmission lines can carry.

Late last week I was out back with both grandkids spending time in the Trek Light hammock I received last year. It was so warm and the sun was so bright I had to use an umbrella to keep “Baby Habby” (as Cameron calls his baby sister) from being burned or blinded.

Welcoming A New Family Member

Yesterday we welcomed the latest addition to our family. Abigail Nicole…

Abigail Nicole was born at 11:10 am on February 1, 2011. Both Mother and Daughter are doing well and will be coming home by the end of the week.

I took Grandson #2 up to the hospital in the afternoon so he could be introduced to his new “Baby Abby”. I don’t think he has quite figured it out yet…

From what the weather prognosticators are saying, their drive home could be an interesting trek for SE Texas. All of the forecasts for the end of the week are already calling for snow…For now it’s just cold. Here’s what the Weather Underground has to say about our future…


Mostly cloudy. A 30 percent chance of rain…snow and sleet late in the afternoon. No snow and sleet accumulation. Highs in the mid 30s. North winds 10 to 20 mph. Lowest wind chill readings 4 to 14 in the morning.

Thursday Night

Snow and sleet likely in the evening…then snow likely after midnight. Snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Ice accumulation of less than one tenth of an inch. Lows in the mid 20s. North winds 10 to 15 mph inland…north around 15 mph coast. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.


Mostly cloudy. Snow likely in the morning…then a chance of snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulation around 1 inch. Highs in the upper 30s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph inland… northwest around 15 mph coast. Chance of precipitation 60 percent in the morning decreasing to 30 percent in the afternoon. Lowest wind chill readings 11 to 21 in the morning.

Depending on what happens…There could be pictures.