2016 January-June in Mosaics…

2016-01-24-sat-morn-s8January: Dear started a consulting job from home. We celebrated January birthdays. A business trip to San Francisco with reunions with old friends from my college days.

2016-02-11-february-plants-and-food6February: Our Lenten Rose bloomed early. We had a Superbowl party with a Chinese New Year theme with souvenirs I bought at San Francisco’s Chinatown. We also enjoyed a Valentines day lunch with a view in Bellevue.

2016-03-18-van-23March: We had a sister’s weekend. We celebrated my Medicare birthday in Bellingham with the Mennonite Girls and our hubbies. Dear and I had an overnight in Vancouver, B.C. to continue celebrating my birthday. Katie and Andrew celebrated their 5th anniversary!

2016-03-27-easter-20164Easter landed at the end of March and deserved it’s own mosaic. Our family was all together. Kulich baking, Seerney Paska, Easter egg hunts and Raclette all happened during Easter weekend.

2016-04-28-trolley-tourApril: We took a quick trip to Eastern Washington to work on some projects at Dan and Jamie’s. Late in the month I went along with Dear on a business trip to San Antonio, Texas. While there I drove to Austin to meet up with my brother’s family for a few hours.

2016-05-13-bow-edison5May: Mother’s day with the kids on this side of the mountains. Dear and I took a road trip to Whatcom Falls and on the way home enjoyed stopping at a restaurant on Chuckanut Drive for lunch.

2016-05-31-rosella4May: Two trips across the line to Canada to meet our play writer and later to meet a favorite blogger who gives so much encouragement to us Mennonite Girls, Rosella.

2016-06-05-more-of-ellie2June: I flew down to be with family and enjoy my sister’s open house in her new digs.

mohai65June: A trip to Leavenworth where our family and our new daughter in law’s family enjoyed a weekend together eating and river rafting.

2016-06-19-fathers-day-20167June: Father’s day brunch downtown Seattle with a photo op on Queen Anne Hill overlooking downtown Seattle.

2016-06-24-yosemite-2June: We finished off June with a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and Cody Wyoming with stays in Montana coming and going. June really was packed full!

Six full months of blessings with people we love and trips to places we had never seen before. I’ll share July to December later. Dear’s consulting job ended in June and we began our time of wondering if we were unemployed or if we were retired.

How are you spending the last days of 2016? We are planning a little get together on New Year’s Eve after the Peach Bowl between our Washington Huskies and Alabama. We are the underdogs and will be cheering our Dawgs on to victory. Time will tell. Win or lose we will ring in the New Year with gratefulness to God for all He has done this year in our lives and the lives of our friends and family.

St. Joseph Church

Austin-S.A 027The cornerstone for Saint Joseph Church was laid in 1868 by a group of San Antonio’s German Catholic Immigrants who wanted to worship and hear God’s Word proclaimed and celebrated in their own language.

Austin-S.A 023Over the course of years the German Community constantly improved their Parish of St. Joseph and its buildings. In 1891, four bells with matched tones were purchased and consecrated. They were given the names of Joseph, Mary, Henry and Joseph, by their donors as was the German custom. The Gothic style building was without a steeple until 1898 when the now existing spire was erected to crown and complete the structure as it is today.

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This was the second copy of Michelangelo’s Pieta I saw in San Antonio.

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Then in 1902, the beautiful stained glass windows were purchased for the unbelievable sum of $3,000, from the Emil Frei Art Glass Factory in Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

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Austin-S.A 018Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross, also known as Way of Sorrows or Via Crucis, refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion and accompanying prayers.

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The Stations of the Cross are commonly found in Catholic churches as a series of 14 small icons or images. They can also appear in church yards arranged along paths. The stations are most commonly prayed during Lent on Wednesdays and Fridays, and especially on Good Friday, the day of the year upon which the events actually took place.

Austin-S.A 007In 1945, a crisis arose when the Joske’s Department Store wanted to purchase the Church and Rectory and grounds and use the land for its expansion program. The parishioners, however, voted unanimously not to sell their cherished Church, allowing it to remain as a strong sign of their Faith in the midst of a secularized, historic and cultural environment. As a result, St. Joseph Church stands today and is known as the “Jewel in the heart of San Antonio” close to the famed Alamo, and encircled as it is by the new RiverCenter Mall, Residencies and Hotels.

Austin-S.A 026The Church is the home of the world renowned San Antonio Liederkranz. On the fourth-Sunday of the month, the San Antonio Liederkranz (founded in 1892) donate their stewardship of time and extraordinary talent to express their Faith through liturgical song; a variety of hymns are sung in Latin, German and English, at the 11:00 a.m. celebration of the Eucharist!

When I visited this church on Saturday morning April 30th there were more people and activity than I usually find when visiting during my travels and site seeing. I didn’t feel comfortable taking as many photos as I usually do in beautiful churches like this. It sure would have been a great experience to be at the 11:00 a.m. service on Sunday of this weekend since the San Antonio Liederkranz would have been worshiping in song. We flew out on Saturday.

In Seattle style we are having a rainy Memorial Day weekend so far! I guess I’ll do indoor stuff like cleaning my dusty, cluttered dwelling! What are you doing?

I’m linking later to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally.

King William Street ~ San Antonio

I’ll be linking this post to signs, signs with Lesley and to Good Fences #114 with TexWisGirl because of the historic signs and the beautiful detailed fences on this grand street in San Antonio, Texas. Although it was very hot and muggy on the day I took the trolley tour I managed to walk along this street and enjoy snapping photos. The detailed information was gathered from googling King William Street.

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The King William Historic District is located south of downtown and bordered by other streets and the San Antonio River. The district encompasses land that was once irrigated farm land belonging to the Mission San Antonio de Valero, commonly known as the Alamo. When the mission was secularized in 1793, the lands were divided among the resident Indian families from the mission or sold at public auction. In the 1860s the area was subdivided into lots and laid out with the present streets.

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Alabama natives Joseph Madison and Birdie Lanier Nix moved to San Antonio in the early 1890s. J.M. was a businessman who built hotels and other structures. In 1899, the couple built twin houses at 434 and 432 King William. The Free Classic design of this house, the work of Atlee B. Ayres, features a dominant front gabled roof, Palladian attic vent, paired box columns and New England style shingle patterning. The Nixes sold the property in 1912 and later built landmarks throughout San Antonio and South Texas, including the local Nix Professional Building and the Medical Arts Building. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 2006

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It was about this time in the mid-nineteenth century that a great many Germans, who had immigrated to Texas in the 1840s, began to settle in this area, and it became known as “Sauerkraut Bend” to the rest of San Antonio.  The area developed into an idyllic neighborhood of large, impressive houses designed in the Greek Revival, Victorian, and Italianate styles. The main street into the neighborhood was given the name King William in honor of King Wilhelm I, King of Prussia in the 1870s.  During World War I, when America was at war with Germany, the name was changed to Pershing Avenue.  A few years after the war ended the King William name was restored.

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In the early 1900s the King William area began to wane as a fashionable neighborhood, and by 1920 many of the original homebuilders had died and their children moved to other parts of San Antonio. During the 1930s and 1940s the neighborhood declined. Many of the fine old homes were converted into apartments, and only a few of the earlier settlers remained.

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Around 1950, however, the area began to attract a group of people who found its proximity to the downtown business district attractive and who, moreover, recognized the potential of restoration of the fine old houses and smaller cottages. An interest in preservation of the area was initiated, and it slowly became a “fashionable” and desirable place to live once again.  In 1968 the King William neighborhood became San Antonio’s first designated historic district.  In 1972, King William was listed as a National Register Historic District.  The district was expanded in 1984 to include the area of more modest late 19th and early 20th century homes between S. Alamo and S. St. Mary’s Streets. 

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Located at 401 King William Street in San Antonio, Texas, Villa Finale (pictured above) was the last home of local preservationist, Walter Nold Mathis who was instrumental in the revitalization of the historic King William neighborhood.

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This elegant three-story mansion was built in 1876 for Edward Steves, founder of the Steves Lumber Company. Alfred Giles, prominent San Antonio architect, is thought to be the designer of the ashlar limestone structure which features a concave mansard roof with decorative iron cresting and exhibits characteristic of the French Second Empire and the Italian Villa styles.

In 1952, the property was donated to the San Antonio Conservation Society by Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Vaughan in memory of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Steves, and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Steves. The Steves Homestead has been maintained since 1954 as a historic house museum.

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Many of these grand homes had colorful decorations on them that I’m guessing are related to the King William Fair that was held April 29th. I walked down this street on April 27th. I found this little blurb about the Fair parade. “What really sets this event apart is the sparkling beauty of its historic setting near the heart of downtown San Antonio, where the King William neighborhood entices fair-goers to relax and unwind along shady, tree-lined streets adorned with stately Victorian homes, cozy cottages and gracious gardens.”

A long post with lots of information. Thanks for scrolling all the way to the end.

In the 4th grade I memorized some verses from the Bible that have stuck with me over the years. I’m using the King James Version of the Bible since that’s the version I memorized these words from Jesus. I think of these verses when I see mansions like these.

John 14: 1-3 ~ Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

My Pop celebrated his 93rd birthday yesterday and here he is blowing out the candle on his birthday cherry pie. He’s looking forward to his place in heaven with his Savior!

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More Texas Treasures

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Pioneer Flour Mills was initially founded as the C.H. Guenther Mill by Carl Hilmar Guenther, a millwright who immigrated to the United States from Germany in the late 1840s. Guenther built his first mill in 1851 in Fredericksburg and later relocated it one mile south of San Antonio in 1859. Guenther’s first mill in San Antonio was located along the San Antonio River across from King William Street adjacent to his home and on the grounds of the present day Pioneer Flour Mills. Guenther’s mill was the first flour mill and the first steam and water powered mill built in the city. For more info click here.

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This was a stop on the trolley tour that was in time for lunch so I enjoyed a small meal at the restaurant here. Since there was just one trolley driver this day I had a good hour until the next trolley would come.

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After I ate my lunch I went up the stairs to see a portion of the house and visit the gift shop.

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After lunch I strolled along King William Street to enjoy viewing the large mansions some of which are being nicely restored.

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Soon I’ll share many of the mansions I saw on King William Street just across the way from the Guenther House.

I’m going to link this post to…

Tuesday’s Treasures hosted by Tom The Backroads Traveler.

ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by a great team with Roger at the helm.

Happy Victoria Day to our neighbors in the North!

Hope you all have a great day off today. What are you doing to celebrate?

Check out Anneliese’s Queen Elizabeth Cake!

 

Mission San Jose in San Antonio

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Mission San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo – the “Queen of Missions”. This was my favorite stop on the trolley tour when I was in San Antonio at the end of April.

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The Mission grounds with it’s massive stone walls were built for defense of the community that lived on the grounds.

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San José, as it became known, was the largest of the missions in the area. At its height, the community contained about 350 Indian neophytes, sustained by extensive fields and herds of livestock. Viewed as the model among the Texas missions, San José gained a reputation as a major social and cultural center. It became known as the “Queen of the Missions.” Its imposing complex of stone walls, bastions, granary, and magnificent church was completed by 1782.

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Along the walls were 84 two room humble apartments for the Indian residents.

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Fine carvings on the facade of Mission San José Church gave it the title, “Queen of the Missions”.

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La Ventana de Rosa, the Rose Window, is located on the south wall of the church sacristy. The window has been described as the site where the Host was shown to gathered mission celebrants during the Feast of Pentecost.

The window, sculpted ca. 1775, has been the object of both legend and admiration. It is considered one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in North America. The meaning behind the name is currently unknown, but legend has it named for Rosa, the betrothed of Juan Huizar who many believe created the window.

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trolley tour 060Much of what is visible today at Mission San José was reconstructed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. The Archdiocese of San Antonio and San José parish are responsible for any maintenance and preservation work needed on the church structure itself. About 80% of the church is original. The National Park Service, with help from taxpayers and the park’s friends group, Los Compadres, is responsible for the the extant structures and historical landscape.

ht: National Park Service

I’m linking this post to Tuesday’s Treasures hosted by Tom The Backroads Traveler and to ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and carried on by Roger and a team of ABC’ers. S is for San Jose, San Antonio, San Miquel de Aguayo and Stone Walls.

If you want to read more about this treasure click the National Park Service link above. I have more posts to share from my time in San Antonio.

We are in a cooler pattern this week in the Seattle area with some light rain which is more typical for this time of year. It’s nice not to have to water my plants. What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Good Fences San Antonio

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This first gate is from the Briscoe Western Art Museum the rest of the gates and fences are from Mission San Jose in San Antonio, Texas.

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trolley tour 066 trolley tour 062I will be sharing a full post on Mission San Jose soon.

trolley tour 057Linking up to Good Fences #112 with TexWisGirl at Run*A*Round Ranch Report.

Another sunny stretch here in the Seattle area. I hope May isn’t stealing our summer this year. Today I have to give our lawn a haircut and fill the larders. What are you up to?

Signs from San Antonio

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One of the mornings we were in San Antonio we walked from the car rental agency back to the hotel and we saw these signs. Boudros was along the River Walk and although we didn’t get a chance to eat there I am told they have a table side guacamole they are known for. Wish I had some right about now!

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Here’s is who the city of San Antonio is named after…

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I’m linking up with Lesley for signs, signs.

River Walk Reflections and Rhoddies

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While in San Antonio, Texas a large tourist draw is the River Walk in the downtown area. They say it is the number one Tourist attraction in the state of Texas. I’m happy to have seen this area but it was not my favorite from my San Antonio experience.

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Most of my photos were taken in the early morning hours when the walkways were clear of the hoards of people you’ll find here later in the day and evening. I’m not a fan of Disneyland like crowds so the walk wouldn’t be my first choice for a meal even though you’ll find a very large selection of restaurants all along the downtown part of the walk. I preferred heading up and out of this area to find a place to eat. Despite my feelings this is a treasured area in San Antonio.

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Some treasures from Washington State in my very own yard are these rhododendron bushes. Four of the bushes were here and well established when we moved into this old house in the fall of 1998. The small yellow bush is a recent addition from 4 years ago.

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Rhododendrons are the Washington State Flower.

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Our youngest rhoddie.

And my last photo are of some of my favorite human treasures in front of our rhoddy bushes!

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I’ll be linking up to Tuesday’s Treasures with Tom The Backroads Traveler and

ABC Wednesday started by Mrs. Nesbitt and administered by Roger and Team for R is for River Walk and Rhoddies.

I’m headed to Canada (British Columbia) early Tuesday morning and will be gone all day so I’ll be late in visiting participants in these two memes. We are promised beautiful weather for most of the week in the 70’s! Hope your week is starting well.

The Alamo ~ A Texas Treasure

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Erected in grateful recognition of the supreme acct of heroism of the thirty two men from Gonzales who gave their lives in the Alamo in response to the appeal of Travis.trolley tour 001

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San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas Revolution. In December 1835, Texians and Tejano volunteers battled Mexican troops quartered in the city, forcing General Martin Perfecto de Cos to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the Alamo and strengthened its defenses.

On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo. William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo, sent out couriers carrying pleas for help.

On the eight day of the siege, a band of 32 volunteers from Gonzales arrived, bringing the number of defenders to nearly two hundred. Even though outnumbered ten-to-one, Travis’ men believed the Alamo was the key to the defense of Texas, and they were willing to defend the post to the last man. Among the Alamo’s garrison were James Bowie, renowned knife fighter, and David Crockett, famed frontiersman and former Tennessee congressman.

The final assault came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836, the thirteenth day of the siege. Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several Mexican attacks. Regrouping, Santa Ana’s soldiers scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and the garrison slain.

While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds- a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the shrine of Texas Liberty.

ht: THEALAMO.ORG

I’m linking up for Tuesday’s Treasures hosted by Tom The Backroads Traveler.

I was pleased that the Alamo was walking distance from our hotel during our short stay in San Antonio. No photos were allowed inside the Alamo and proper respect was required. I also visited the cathedral where some of the remains of the Alamo heroes are entombed. I’ll share more photos of the San Fernando Cathedral soon.

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I’ll also be linking up to signs, signs with Lesley on Wednesday.

I was melting yesterday in the unseasonable heat we had here in the Seattle area. Our poor Spring plants don’t know what to make of it! I am thankful that we didn’t have the sauna like humidity that we experienced in San Antonio, though.

It Was the Best of Times…

…it was the worst of drives!

13061943_10209470854876562_4327377309614113889_n-001On Friday I got a rental car and drove north on I-35 from San Antonio to Austin. The goal was to meet up with my brother Leonard and his family. I made it to Austin to the spot where we were to meet up for lunch.

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This is the original Chuy’s in Austin and it was hopping all afternoon long. When I got here I got a call from Leonard saying they had a flat tire that came with a very long story we won’t go into. The short part of the story is that they got to a Honda dealership in Waco and the dealership gave them a loaner car to continue on their journey to Austin. We had a good meal at Chuy’s and headed to a home of one of their friends to spend some time together.

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When I was at El Mercado in San Antonio I picked up a little something for Hope and Andrew. Hope is wearing her flower head piece and Andrew is strumming his gift.

Austin-S.A 002After dinner the kids got ready for bed and my brother drove me back to my car so I could head back to San Antonio. It was real good to see them all face to face.

Now the road drama started for me. After I was out of Austin with an hour to go to get back to San Antonio the flashes of lightning lit up the sky and the rain started. The conditions got really bad for a good stretch of time and I was praying hard. All the cars on the freeway slowed way down. I have never in my life seen so much lightning in such a short period of time. Thankfully there was only one time that I could not see out of the windshield because of water thrown up from another vehicle onto my car. I was so so relieved to finally get to our hotel exit from the freeway and out of the car!

We will be flying home this evening and I’ll share more about the things I saw in San Antonio next week. Hope y’all are doing well!