Saturday, October 13, 2007

Photo Beginnings

I have always loved photography, and with the advent of digital cameras, I have been in heaven. I was always the one to return from a trip and drop my film off at a one hour photo place, and if possible, pick them up the same day. Most of my photo-taking was on vacation. Now photo-taking can be a part of the day. Most recently I have been taking my camera to work and stopping along the way to record an image or two. For me, it is a treat to capture scenes of my travels and experiences in my life.
What follows is an introduction to my current life.....I will start with my family

Jimmy and Me in Sydney, Australia, August 2006

Trying out the new swing!!

Mom and Jimmy intent on a concert performed by the AWSO, American Wind Symphony Orchestra, a travelling, specially-designed barge that travels the American waterways, with the same conductor for the past 50 years. The musicians are mostly young college-age students who sign on for the tour which lasts several months. During their several day stay here, they went into the schools and also had small performances at various places on the Island. We were enchanted.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


My initial reason for choosing this specific area of the country was the water and the culture. I guess I kind of knew from the get-go that I was going to stay. I moved for a job at a rural health community health clinic to pay off school loans for my nurse practitioner education completed in 1997. Along the way I met Jim Stewart, the man I married in November of 1999. He is a fishing guide in the Lower Laguna Madre, which is a shallow bay, separating the barrier island of South Padre from the mainland. He has also taken up the art of gunsmithing in the past three years. He has lived in the area for about 18 years, having moved here from Houston where he was an electrician. My mother, who has Alzheimer's, moved here in 2000 from California, initially living in an assisted living facility, and now living with us for the past 2 years. The remainder of our family includes a black lab named Lefty, Annie, a black pug mom and her two boys, Homer and Mick. The felines are sisters, Ming and Camo; and last, but not least, the feathered kind are two parrots, an African Gray called Tatu and Mexican Red-Head called Nacho. We also have a local family of screech owls, have resident armadillos, and, of course, alligators, as we live on a fresh body of water called a resaca (originate from the Rio Grande River Delta which no longer exists except for the resacas).
My professional life has been varied while here. My most recent job is working at a clinic on South Padre Island. It is a thrill going over the causeway every day to work. The main clinic is in Brownsville and I am supervised by the doctor there. We have close to full autonomy, as he has yet to visit, even though he owns a condo on the Island...and that has been 6 years!! I work in Brownsville one day a week at the main clinic, and the previous NP works at the Island that day. He is my neighbor, living 4 houses down. Every day is unique, you never know who will walk through the door and makes it very interesting. There are the locals, the Winter Texans, the summer tourists, the Mexican Nationals, the Spring Breakers. It is as close to an ideal job as one can get!!!

Getting Started

Always the hardest..I have no excuses today because I am suffering from either allergies or a cold. It is 90 degrees and dead still outside so I gave up my intentions to work in the yard and start my blog. The inspiration for creating a blog comes from my nephew, Andy, and his friend, Madeline. I have been following their adventures through life over the past year, including the desert, ghost and mining towns and last, but not least, travelling through India.
Given my nature of procrastination and seeming inability to keep in touch with friends and family, I decided to give the blog a try.
Guess I'll start with my move to Texas ten years ago, as that is when I tore myself up from my California roots. As it turned out it seemed to have been ordained, and most likely orchestrated by Hallie. I won't go into all of the details, but suffice it to say, this area of the country suits me. It is a hard area to explain. It is affectionately called The Valley or the Rio Grande Valley, though the highest points are the highway overpasses. It is also called Northern Mexico and Deep South Texas, as you can't go any further in the US. The River is our border. The culture is an incredible blend of Hispanic-Americans, Mexicans and Anglos, covering an area of 100+ miles running along the Rio Grande River, with a population close to 1 million. There really is no hustle and bustle. We travel the back roads as much as possible. We live close to the coast, in a town called Bayview, which has few commercial enterprises, the most prominent one being a local bar called Harley's which caters to bikers, old hippies, cowboy hats, locals and Winter Texans. There is a live band weekends with a free barbecue. It is a really classic. The closest town is 10 miles away and Port Isabel, South Padre Island and the Gulf of Mexico are 30 minutes away.