SA Botanical Gardens: Imaginary Worlds ~ Once Upon A Time ~ Mosaiculture

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, Lulu & I went to the SA Botanical Gardens to see the exhibition mentioned in the title. My featured image is how the show begins… Once Upon A Time. We took a self-guided tour deep into imaginary worlds & came out cleansed.

Yep, y’all know I’m the queen comma drama but damn this experience was healing if I do say so myself. At first I said, no pictures, be in the moment, inhale the surroundings. But then, I changed course.

We will go back multiple times before the October closing & on one of the next trips, I will wander around aimlessly & camera free. What’s so cool about these living mosaicultures is every time we return, the plant installations will be changed even if every so slightly. Constant attention by staff & volunteers are called for to upkeep these works of art.

There were six giants of the plant kingdom: Storybooks, Pegasus, Dragon, Rip Van Winkle, Mermaid, & Peacock. What follows are five galleries showcasing a giant in each. Mermaid will be saved for my Thursday Thoughts. I’ll also toss in a miscellaneous gallery – the forever rose garden & other assorted plants. I couldn’t figure out how to make my videos work here but I’ll keep trying for a subsequent post. Neither pictures or videos do justice, this is truly something that must be seen but even if you feel a fraction of what we did, you’ll be better for it!!


Only these 3 pictures, the rest was video.


Isn’t he adorable …


Dragon was the star of the show. All these images look similar but there are subtle differences. You be the judge. I have some dragon videos as well, that I’ll post once I figure out how.

Rip Van Winkle


I loved the variety in the peacock plumes, especially the succulents along the wing & on the tail.

The Forever Rose Garden & Other Assorted Plants

As always, more to come.

Wily Wednesday Story Time ~ 1/25/23

My two grand pups are over 12 years old now & I wish I could put them on the carousel spin it backwards to heal their displaced hips & assorted aches & pains. They aren’t up for walks anymore which makes me very sad. They practically pulled my arm out of my socket at first but we got into a groove & the pace was good for all three of us. Dogs are the best! There’s a theory about me & my cohort. That we may like animals so much because we ourselves are wounded. After thinking about it, that doesn’t bother me too much. Some dogs are better than some people.

As always, more to come.

Wily Wednesday Story Time ~ 1/11/23

Pretty sure I spelled wily wrong, but I’m moving on because this is stream. I remembered my dream when I woke up this morning because the alarm startled me awake during it. Right at the good part. Mind outta the gutter folks. 😉

I was rounding the corner and I saw my coworker, sitting there in shorts & a t-shirt, wearing flip-flops & smoking a cigarette. He saw me and tried to hide the evidence. He even had the door open and was sort of trying to blow the smoke outdoors. And I’m like “dude you’re in the building you can’t smoke here.” And then I woke up and I wanted a cigarette even though I was never a smoker. Of course I lived with a smoker so I was smoker adjacent for so long that once I moved out of my parents’ house, I kind of still had a taste for the smell of cigarettes. Does that even make sense? Taste for the smell. Good Lord, what is wrong with me? AnyWho, that’s not my story.

My story is about how every morning I wake up with my mind already going like I seriously have song lyrics or there’s something I’m thinking about. I wake up and I’m on. This drives me crazy. Not like I should wake up in a stupor, but Jesus Christ. I never stop thinking, and Lord that drives me crazy . I better watch my mouth. My momma is turning over in her grave. She’d probably say something like Mother Mary is crying because of those words you’re choosing to use. Jesus Christ is NOT a swear word. Yep, good ole Catholic guilt. Still not my story.

Since I didn’t write today’s story down immediately, I forgot it. Pretty sure it was a good one too. Don’t worry, I’ll come up with something even better tomorrow. It should be a sin to have this much fun. Haha 😆

As always more to come.

#JusJoJan & #1linerWeds. ~ 1/4/23

I’m late! No feature image, just the gallery above. My Ponyboy is sick with the Rona. When your baby is hurting, you hurt too no matter how old they get.

HERE are the rules & ping back. Linda’s one liner is inspirational … about courage. I LOVE it! But I’m going dark. Of course I am. I’m also writing way more than one line since this end of day has me decompressing with words. I loves me a good storytelling.

I found an old friend on FB over the weekend. For kicks and giggles, we’ll call him “Jerry”. When I was in 6th grade & he was in 8th, I had the biggest crush on him! He’d be zipping around the neighborhood on his dirt bike. Outrunning the police. Bad boy mesmerizing, And since he was a next door neighbor to my friend Lisa Ann, who I’ve written about before, for a brief time in our lives, we were inseparable. Oh to be young again with zero responsibilities except keeping your room clean & helping with a little housework. Back to my story …

I was surprised to see his name under “people you may know” & I almost sent him a friend request but alas, I’m trying to minimize my FB exposure not increase it. His feed is public so of course I read everything. Momma always said “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Releasing myself of a self imposed gag order, he is how I remembered him, bad boy, rebel, fighting battles no one else has any idea about but him. He was always a little bit scary, unpredictable. Our Catholic school education makes him very articulate. Those nuns taught us to read & write that’s for sure. Any grammar errors I make now are on purpose for creative license. Anywho, his one liner caught my attention …

“It’s a shame we have to check on Facebook if anyone we care for is alive or dead, that’s not life or living, it’s seclusion. Fucked Up!”

by Jilly’s 6th grade crush, in present day

Someone commented that when we were kids, we roamed in packs, always together but now we are geographically dispersed & isn’t FB better than nada. He never replied back. I think FB is better than nothing but I tell ya what, I prefer talking. Real old fashioned conversation. Something to think about any way. I may just surprise a few people with phone calls.

As always, more to come.

Friday Storytelling ~ 12/30/22

The plan was to read 4 books 📚 in 4 days but I’m savoring the last one. I’m waiting to be fully done before I write reviews. These are hardback library books for old times sake. I’ve graduated to Kindle but I’m skipping ahead in queue since the library books are express collection, no holds or renewals. I’ll be back to Kindle in the New Year. Absent book reviews, here’s a story instead.

It was a dark and stormy night !!

Oh good grief. Let’s start this again.

The doorbell startled her out of her reverie As she peeked through the glass in the front door, she saw two women huddled together. The night was bitter cold & sleeting, why would they brave the elements to be here?

She cracked open the door with a tentative “how may I help you?”

“I’m Barbara, I made my daughter bring me here. It’s about your brother, Paul.”

End scene 🎬 That really happened & the she is me a full five years before the terrible circumstances involving my brother were exposed. If only I had listened. Or maybe better I didn’t listen at the time because what was supposed to happen is what ultimately happened even with intermingled tragedy.

Until next time.

As always more to come

P.S. Totally unrelated. I’m drinking my one cup of coffee a day only on weekends with my Invisalign trays in! Who cares if the trays get stained. Least of my worries 😳 I get new trays each Tuesday anyways.

Friday Frolic & the Unexpected Driver ~ 11/18/22

Ashanti was my unexpected driver this morning. I planned to wait for my car but apparently Cavender won’t conduct diagnostics for someone waiting. They are so backed up that they’re only doing diagnostics drop off with 2-3 day turnaround times. Thank goodness I’m on vacation. The convo went something like this …

  • Me: When I made the appointment, there was no message about this, I planned to wait. I have no way to get home.
  • Cavender Employee: Ya our online system isn’t the best. That was supposed to be fixed by now. We’ll just get you an Uber.
  • Me: Good luck with that, I’ve tried. We live out in the boonies.
  • Cavender Employee (as she is ordering an Uber on her phone): Let’s try. Oh look he’ll be here in less than 5 minutes.
  • Me (surprised): Then I Uber back? And who pays for that?
  • Cavender Employee: We do.

New convo started in less than 5 minutes as promised …

  • Me: Can I ride in front, I get car sick.
  • Ashanti: Whatever makes you comfortable.
  • Me: You know where we’re going right? Am I in your service area?
  • Ashanti: This is what I do, drive.
  • Me: Uber wouldn’t come out to where I live before so just making sure.
  • Ashanti: What? they cancelled on you?
  • Me: Yep
  • Ashanti: Naw, that ain’t right. Get in, we’re going.

Fellow San Antonians know how far a drive it is from 1604 & 281 to China Grove and in rush hour no less. With an accident on 35 North to slow us down. Still this ride was fun, maybe the highlight of my day.

We talked the entire time. He’s originally from Atlanta, lives in Houston but is in San Antonio for his show tomorrow night. Plus he used to live here, still has family here & Thanksgiving is next week so he is staying over. College graduate, who does taxes for his main gig & wants to open his office next year. But basically a jack of all trades, trying to break into the music business too. I told him how I was supposed to be in Chicago today but plans changed. Maybe in April or May.

Our conversation was all over the place … ice skating, roller skating, taking chances, baseball, basketball, school uniforms, metal detectors, & clear backpacks. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, or the Sopranos? Things to do if I ever get to Atlanta. Very interesting & entertaining. I love this kid, his generation is our future. So bright, let me grab my shades.

Alrighty, carry on with your bad selves. I’m forced into relaxation since my wheels have been taken away. Wishing all who happen to stumble upon this post a fantastic Friday!

As always, more to come.

Thoughtful Thursday ~ 12/31/20

New Years Eve!!! Yeah buddy. One of my favorite days of the year. And not just this year but for as long as I can remember. To me, New Years Eve is magical.

I may have mentioned this before but my parents were social creatures. Raising kids in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s was sort of fend for yourself. The “go outside to play and don’t come back until the street lights come on” mentality which really meant run the streets like wild filthy animals. Guess we were social creatures too.

Back to my parents. They went out every single weekend to some place or another. They belonged to so many organizations I lost count. Sometimes these events included bringing the kids along but more often than not, these were adult only gatherings. New Years Eve was always a dance at Martinez Hall. BYOB with set ups provided and a swing band like Adolph Hofner or another local band.

Dad would make black eyed peas from scratch no canned stuff like I get today. He’d fill thermos full and take these little paper cups so that each person (if they wanted) got a spoonful at midnight. My mom wasn’t much of a dancer. My dad on the other hand danced with all the ladies never leaving the dance floor.

While the cats were away, we mice played. By mice, I mean me and my brothers. We’d have snacks and what seemed like endless soda. We’d play board games and/or watch News Rockin Eve. We had fireworks! Always! And WITHOUT adult supervision.

I remember some bitterly cold New Years Eves shooting bottle rockets down the hill on Howerton about 1/2 a block. We never hit a car driving down Dollarhide thank goodness. But we sure could have. Except mostly the streets were deserted.

I also remember holding roman candles, arm straight out to my right side while I looked left, eyes closed. One star, two stars, three stars! Boom, boom, boom. All this despite the instructions which clearly say do not hold! Again fortunate that I never blew a finger off. Or worse! We were lucky.

One year, not sure when only that I was not of driving age, our neighbor Mr. Jerrold was three sheets to the wind. He had his own cache of firecrackers too. He called us to come outside to see the show. He had a pile of “black cats” in the middle of his driveway. And an acetylene torch! Which he fired up to light the pile. After all the popin subsided the grass continued to burn. Doh! My brother, Jimbo Pete ran over to help him hook up the hose and put the fire out. Wild and crazy times! His wife was mortified by his behavior and kept apologizing but us kids thought it was the best show ever!!! Yeah buddy.

Damn to be young again. Haha.

Yesterday as I filling out paperwork for nine months no interest on new tires, the clerk wished me a belated happy birthday. He then said something like “my back hurts, don’t ever get old”. I replied “considering the alternative, I’ll keep getting old”. Chronologically only. In my mind, I’m forever that tween who lived life to the fullest with all the zest she could muster. I think I lost her for a bit in 2020 but she’s back. Now to keep it that way.

Wishing you all the best in 2021. May the New Year be peaceful by hook or by crook, in every nook and cranny! Cheers to you and yours!!!

As always, more to come.

Texas Has a Sense of Humor ~ 12/3/20

Well my vehicle registration came due 11/30/20. With the Rona restrictions, I wondered how I’d get everything done. I knew about the drive through contactless inspections at the oil change place but I assumed incorrectly, I’d still have to go in person to finish the transaction like I have done every year since I was 18.

Last week while on vacay, I got the inspection done. There are four bays at Take 5 Oil, one exclusive to inspections and on that day I drove right in. I politely refused the water while I wait cuz ya know Rona. Your lips to God’s ears but my lips won’t touch a water bottle that is not my own. There were six or so workers. All of them but one have masks on. And guess which one I got? C’mon guess. Yep, you’re right! The mo-fo without a mask.

Now mind you, I had my mask on and my sanitizer. I also distanced as best I could, really extending my hand as I gave him my insurance card. After the inspection was done, he took my debit card. I had to wait for him to ring me up and I watched him like a hawk as he scratched his face with the hand holding my card. Sacrebleu!! Bastards!!!

When he gave me back my insurance card and debit card with the proof of inspection, I dropped all of it into the pocket of the driver side car door. I touched the items with only my thumb and index finger. I proceeded to sanitize my hands and arms up to my elbows, then drove away.

I figured by the time I got home, the Rona had died. Plus I had no plans to lick my cards or the paper proof of inspection. I was grumbly as I walked in telling the kids that of course only one mo-fo without a mask and he waited on me.

Pony: Did you say anything?

Me: No!

Pony: If it upsets you then you should have told him “back off scarecrow”, I want someone wearing a mask.

The scarecrow reference is how I dealt early on with Tiff’s Treats. Lol! I’ll never live that down.

Anyway moving along. And eventually getting to a point. Kinda, sorta, maybe 😉

Kimbo told B that we could pay online. He just did. The inspection results were automatically communicated. Well alrighty then!

So just now, I went to Two Steps, One Sticker. Kick Up Your Heels for the New Texas Two Step. Sure enough, I was able to pay online. They will mail me my sticker in @ two days. I still might not get them by 11/30 but once the payment is all the way processed, I will have a virtual piece of paper via email for law enforcement. Yeah buddy. Now we’re cooking. With gas!

Finally to the sense of humor part. Or maybe just funny to me being so very easily amused. Dare I say lockdown giddy. As if the website naming Kick Up Your Heels for the New Texas Two Step wasn’t enough, they have a Dude, Where’s My Sticker? tracker. Get it? Dude, Where’s My Sticker?

And now, I am finally done. This silliness was brought to you by one J-Dub McGillicutty who was on vacay with too much time on her hands. Take that Tommy Shaw! 🙂

As always, more to come.

Friday Confessions ~ 11/20/20

Made ya look :). Nothing to see here. Move along. Haha!

Storytime: Childhood Memory.

Wait! What? I can hear you. The disbelief is obvious and audible. Captain Duh! Or is it reverse? Duh! Captain Obvious.

I have this memory as a kid of crying … faking crying at the tops of my lungs to get mom’s attention. I’d wake up with in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. I’d start with a whimper then increase in volume. If mom didn’t appear at my door, I’d crawl out of bed and walk down the hall to stand at my parent’s bedroom door – faux wailing.

I really have no idea why … why I woke up and why I wanted my mommy but didn’t want to be seen as a baby. Sometimes I remember thinking hard as if willing her to read my mind and come to my room without me crying. The telepathy never worked. The blubbering always did. Mom would take me back to my room and rub my back until I eventually fell back asleep. That part is a pleasant memory. Back rubs are the best!! I eventually grew out of this behavior. Thankfully.

As always, more to come.

Life Lesson ~ 11/13/20

Story Time: Life Lesson by J-Dub

Ha! Friday the 13th. If I was the suspicious sort, I’d be holed up under the covers until 12:01 am when it is safe to come out again. For the record, I considered doing just that. I even took the day off. But instead I am diverting my anxious energies into writing. I’ve got a boatload of nerves to shake off. I’ve been cooped up with nothing but time to overthink. Anyhoo, without further ado, here is my story for the day.

I am the youngest of eight from a blended family who grew up on Howerton Street, in Highland Hills on the southeast side of San Antonio Texas. Though SA is a big city, we stayed in our bubble. Most if not all of my neighbors on a four block radius belonged to the same parish church, St. Margaret Mary’s.

I was raised by this tribe. My parents knew personally and socialized with the parents of my friends & neighbors. Idyllic, we had our own Cheers before there was Cheers. The local equivalent was called H&R – the Family Bar. No joke but I digress. Today’s story is not about that gathering place. However, I do reserve the right to have a H&R story in future editions of story time.

Back to topic. I couldn’t get away with anything. Constant neighborhood watch. My daddy couldn’t get away with anything either. Which brings us to today’s Life Lesson.

This particular day was a day like any other. Grandma J had come to stay with us for the week. The adults were sitting in the living room talking. Little pitcher with big ears aka Jilly was eavesdropping.

I can see the scene. The Harvest Gold carpet. The hideous floral couch in the same yellow tones. The wagon wheel coffee table and end tables. The bookshelf with encyclopedias. All mom’s knickknacks. We had one of those houses where the doors were always open, never locked.

Mr. T our neighbor came to visit and say hello to Grandma. He walks right in unannounced big as day. I can see his frame taking up most of the front door. Then this happened …

Daddy: Hello Bob (as he shakes his hand and claps him on the shoulder in a friendly greeting) haven’t I told you the front door is for whites only.

Grandma J (before Mr. T could say a word): !&!*!))_!!LL!**!CGHIILK!__P~ which is my attempt at writing what sounded like expletives in Czech.

We had no idea what she was saying but she jumped off the couch, finger pointed at my dad, telling him what for !@!@!@!wee!!*chika@***&*&^%$$!! All 4’9″ of her to my 6′ tall father. Then she ended with English and we understood.

Aloysius I did not raise you that way. We are all God’s children and your front door is for everyone. How awful to say something like that. You bring me shame!

Mr. T intervened. He said it was their schtick. That he had even said the same to my dad going through his front door. Mexicans only. Dad chimed in that it was a joke, not serious. But Grandma was not having it. These are the words I carry with me to this day.

Grandma J: If you want to joke then always make sure the joke is about something funny. And that? That was NOT funny!!

There was an apology that followed from my dad to all of us who were witness. You’re right maminka. I am very sorry for my unkind words. In all the years that followed, I never heard daddy say anything remotely like that again. He learned his lesson. We all did.

As always, more to come.