Texas Quilt Museum

While in Houston recently Sarah and I made a trip to LaGrange, TX to see the Texas Quilt Museum.  I had seen photos of the facility in magazines and was thrilled to be able to visit it in person.  To my delight, the artist that was being featured at the time was Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry.  I’d been admiring her creations for a long time.

I was not disappointed — it was fantastic.  It isn’t a huge museum, but they have plenty of space to display quilts from the featured artist, as well as additional quilts in an adjoining room.  We were not allowed to take photos, but they did offer to take photos of us next to our favorite quilts (I begged for an extra pic and they willingly obliged).  Here they are:

Although not a large quilt, I had admired it when I first saw it in a magazine.  It’s called “Cattywampus Log Cabin #4,” and you can see her design concept for it here.

This next  one is called  Jacuzzi Jazz #1.  Take  a look at  her design concept here.  

Last,  I really  liked  this next  one called  Spirogyra #1.  The colors are  so pretty together.  Click  here for Caryl’s Design Strategy.

I’m sure you would enjoy looking  at her website, where all of her quilts can be seen — click here.






Awesome Staff

The staff members on Crystal Cruises are truly wonderful.  I loved meeting them and learning where they came from.  One special event that I attended was the “Mozart Tea.”  It was really special–the music, food and costumes.

I had seen the man on the right previously–he’s from Peru, where I have been to visit sponsored children.

This man at the piano was dressed like Mozart and played beautifully.

The snacks were incredible.

Here are many of the other staff members we met–all were so nice and special in various ways.  This man kept the decks clean and is from the Philippines, another country I’ve visited.

Our personal maid is also from Peru and she was great.

We just couldn’t thank them enough for the wonderful service they offered!



This video from Compassion is interesting because it’s not told from the viewpoint of the child; it’s told from the mother’s viewpoint. It’s very moving to see the difference Compassion made in her family’s life!


One of the stops on our drive through Peru was Chincheros.  Jorge stopped at this doorway and invited us in, where local women showed us their wares.

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First, we ran into our first Peruvian llamas, which were hilarious.

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The women offered us coca tea, and it was very good.  Then they demonstrated how wool is spun, dyed, and woven into beautiful tablerunners.

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Of course we had the option to buy some of the beautiful handwork, too, and we did.

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We really loved meeting these special women and learning more about their culture.



Crashing Through Walls

On a recent trip to Denver I went through Laramie, WY, on the return, so I could see D. Michael Thomas’ latest sculpture.  It’s truly magnificent.

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You have to be standing right next to the horse to get a sense of its size.

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Significantly, it was decided to portray a cowgirl rather than a cowboy on the horse.  She’s riding the horse her brother could not ride.  Look at the explanation from sculptor D. Michael Thomas below:

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The sculpture is installed on the University of Wyoming campus at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center.  Here is more explanation about women in Wyoming, which is appropriately known as the Equality State.  Rugged women in the West have been breaking down and crashing through walls for years.

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I visited Mike’s workshop while he was working on this sculpture, more than a year ago.  As usual, it was amazing to watch him at work — every detail of the saddle, figures and clothing were taken into account to make it as authentic as possible.

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Below you can see some of the details before and after it was bronzed.

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Once the sculpture was completed, it had to be broken up into 83 different pieces by the Caleco Foundary in Cody in order to be bronzed.  It’s very heavy — the hat alone weighs 200 pounds, though it appears to have blown off her head as she crashed through the wall.

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I’m proud of Mike’s work, and of all he has done for this great state of Wyoming.  Take a look at Mike’s website and you’ll see many of the other sculptures he has installed in various places, including one for his late friend, Chris LeDoux, in Kaycee, WY.  On his website, click on the “Sculptures” and “Photos” tabs to see just how creative he can be.  Great work, Mike — congratulations on another completed (and beautifully successful) project!

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Mountain Women

On our bike ride through Grand Teton National Park, Cathy and I stopped to see the Geraldine Lucas homestead.  It has the most amazing view you can imagine.

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In the early 1900’s Geraldine divorced her husband, returned to college as a single mother, and then eventually headed West to retire, building this cabin in 1913.  At age 58, she became the second woman to make the summit of the Grand Teton, which, incidentally, was the highest peak right outside her window.

Click here to read more about Geraldine and to see the famous photo of her on the summit.

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We tried to imagine what it must have been like to live here in the winter.  This is the very toboggan she used to go back and forth to town.

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These carriages were near Menor’s Ferry, which will be featured in my next post.  This is one of the Robert and Grace Miller wagons that was used to cross the pass into Jackson Hole in 1888 — imagine that!

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The Miller home is on the National Elk Refuge.  I have shared a post about it previously.  Here is a photo of the home.


Grace Miller became famous in 1920 as a member of the nation’s first all-woman city council — she was elected Mayor — and the five of them were known as the “petticoat rulers.”

Other carriages here (near Menor’s ferry)  include ones from the Bar B C Dude Ranch and the JY Ranch.

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Cathy and I were thinking that any of these wagons would’ve been a pretty rough way to travel, especially in those days.  These were truly rugged pioneer women!

Great Stories

Here are some great stories from Compassion International for your summer reading:

The Changing Face of Africa

Water of Life in Thailand

A Mother’s Story

Building a Better Haiti

Cast Away No Longer