Rita Ownby Holcomb Author

Bringing my ancestors to life.

I’m sorry this post is so late but life does get in the way at times.

On July 29, 1972 I married the love of my life, and after 50 years that hasn’t changed. We have changed and obviously the world around us has changed, but our dedication and commitment haven’t.

We had a party and our friends all showed up including our best man and others who were part of our beginnings. It was a wonderful night and we really felt the love.

Here we go again. Second time in 8 days I’m at the Hospital, this time, waiting for another MRI. I wonder if I can ask for a punch card. Get 5 holes punched and win a free spa weekend.

Seriously, the procedures aren’t horrible and the folks are pleasant but this every week a new test thing is getting old. It interferes with my goofing off time. And depletes my, already limited, energy supply.

I must admit this trip was relatively quick and easy. I had a 9:30 appointment and was home by 10:25. Can’t complain about that. The Tech in radiology was super pleasant and even took a photo to help document the moment.

Once again. I’m trying hard to be positive and see any bit of humor in the situation. If this will give answers it’s worth the inconvenience. And I did ask for that frequent flyer card and she laughed hard and offered me popcorn.

Remember when your mama would take you to get ice cream or some other treat after a trip to the Doctor?

Well, I’m a grownup now and I’ve been to so many doctors and had so many test procedures the past couple of years that I would always just be glad to get home and rest.

But let me tell you, Wednesday I had a bone marrow biopsy. If you don’t know what that is I’ll tell you. They punch a hole in your skin and drill thru the hole and punch into you hip bone to extract a sample of your bone marrow for testing.

The worst part was the 2 hour wait in day surgery before and the 2 hour wait after the procedure because they want to watch you.

They said they gave me a sedative that would make me sleepy. It didn’t. By the time I got out of there I was starving and decided I deserved that treat. This was as bad as those shots as a child.

So I broke my dietary restrictions (allergic to dairy) and my adorable hubby took me to the Dairy Queen and got me tacos and a Chocolate Milkshake. First one in nearly 2 years.

Back to the sedative. We used to have an old time dentist who would shoot you with the novocaine then do the procedure. It would kick in about the time you got to the car to go home. Darrell always called it Parking Lot Anesthesia.

Well, that sedative they gave me was parking lot sedative cause when I got home I took a 2 hour nap.

But if this procedure gives us some results and answers it will have all been worth it.

As I contemplate what I was doing on this date 48 years ago, I realize that at 25 my life was just starting. Due to the fact that the stubborn little babe I carried refused to turn around and present head first, I was in the hospital awaiting a scheduled c-section. BTW he is still stubborn but still the joy of our lives.

The last few years as my pains and weakness has increased I’ve watched him age and would tell myself, “Self, you’re just getting old.”

Yes, I am. But I’m not that old. I’ve already lived longer than both my grandmothers. But I’ve had it easier than they did. Both were farm women who raised multiple children during the worst time of our history. The Great Depression.

I had pretty much just accepted the “you’re getting old” line until someone (thank you Dr. Sakruti) found a cause for me to blame my weakness on.

I really think this improvement in my energy and motivation is due to a lifting of a depression that I wasn’t aware of. I now have an enemy to conquer named Polycythemia, which is much better than the unseen and unconquerable “you’re just getting old.”

Since today is supposed to be another scorcher I decided to stay indoors. So today is the day I take down all of our wall decorations and clean them.

I know this is something most visitors don’t notice, but it’s always been important to me.

Doesn’t sound like a major issue does it? It didn’t used to be but I’m embarrassed to say it’s been a year since it was done last and it took me 3 times as long to get them cleaned and I would not have even attempted it if Darrell hadn’t gotten the larger ones off the wall and rehung them for me.

It just kills me that it takes 3 hrs for a 1 hour job but at least I feel like tackling the job.

Don’t know how long this motivation will last but gonna ride the wave.

For a few years now I’ve not been able to do a lot of things that have always given me satisfaction. Things like housework and yard work. I know that sounds crazy but a well tended garden and a clean house are two things I always prided myself on.

My wonderful husband of 49 years and 11 months has been a true life partner and stepped up to do the lions share of the household chores.

Since last weeks news, once I got over the shock, combined with the chemo meds and the phlebotomy I’ve been doing things I hadn’t done in 2 years.

Yesterday I swept all the non-carpeted floors in the house and mopped them. sounds simple right? We’ll it took me 2 hrs longer than it should but I got ‘er done. Then crashed until time to cook supper. Lol

This morning I was determined to prune an out of control rose bush and I got 90% of it done until the heat and a fire ant bed got in my way. Ants are treated and it’ll be cooler in the morning so I’ll finish up then.

I don’t know if this is guilt for being ill or fake energy from the meds but I intend to take advantage of it while it lasts.


Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted.

I started this blog as a commercial endeavor to publicize my books. But, as it always does life got in the way. The latest development has convinced me to open up my personal life and share my challenging journey. 

Last week I was diagnosed with polycythemia. A blood mutation that creates too many blood cells. I’m still researching and testing but will share my fears and joys and throw in a few memories and maybe a few accomplishments sprinkled among my many failures in 73 years of living and 50 years of marriage. 

1972 23 years old and full of hope and promise

In honor of this books third birthday I am offering Justice Unbalanced for FREE on Kindle from 1:00 AM on September 3rd through midnight September 7th.

Grab your copy on Friday to enjoy over the long Labor Day Weekend.

Tice McCoy carries within him the heart of a true cowboy – vulnerable, devoted, and trusting to a fault. The ruggedly handsome Tice has lived a lifetime going from one broken relationship to another. After a string of failed marriages, he meets Sioux Sampsel, an intoxicating beauty, a woman Tice is certain shares his same vision of a happily ever after love.  When this relationship also fails, Tice finds himself alone once again. To offset his loneliness, he embarks on a spiral of unhealthy hookups that leave him lonelier than ever. Fate would take him away from this world of empty liaisons and lead him into the arms of beautiful Catherine “Cat” Brown, a feisty ranch owner, who shows Tice that true love really exists.

Get your kindle download here

Every once in a while past endeavors come back to haunt us. Usually they are things we choose not to remember. But occasionally the memories can be not only pleasant but absolutely joyous. Today’s email brought me that joy.

For all of the 80’s and early 90’s I made handcrafted artisan miniatures and travelled to several shows each year. I had to quit in the 90’s when my hands would no longer allow me to do the delicate work.

I’ve missed my friends and many customers but moved on to other pursuits. But this morning I received the following email which boosted my mood and literally made my week.

Hi, Rita,
I’ve been digging around for a path to contact you. If you are the miniature maker from years ago, I wanted to find out if you still had any interesting pieces around.
I must have purchased a piece that you made back in the 1980s or 1990s, and I just wanted to see if you still had some items available.
I stopped collecting a few years ago and sold off almost my entire collection. I kept one piece of yours, and I want to use it in a shadow box.
Please let me know if you still have some pieces to sell.
Thank you!

I responded with a thank you and regrets that I have sold all my stock and am no longer working. Her answer back almost made me cry with pride.

Your work was some of the most exquisite miniature work that I owned. It is impossible to find anything like it today, and I regret selling any of the other pieces I had. I think I might have had a bench and perhaps a chair, but my memory is gone and unless it’s in front of me, it’s so hard to remember.

This piece is unbelievable, with all moving drawers. I love the functionality and the color and its entire delicate nature.
I’m sorry you are no longer creating these incredible pieces. Your talent is truly a gift.
Thank you for bringing this joy into my life on a daily basis.


The Hendricks House, built in about 1863 on land given Jesse Elvis Hendricks by his father John, was built near the Shannon church northeast of Sherman. It originally was a one-room cabin with a loft, but Hendricks and his wife, Susan, added several rooms making it two stories in about 1870. The original cabin was moved to the village in 1978 and restored. However, only the downstairs rooms could be salvaged.

After serving five terms of enlistment in the Continental Army, Albert settled in Rockingham County. In 1845 John Hendrix, who had changed the spelling of the family name to Hendrix, the original Dutch form, headed for Texas partly due to the influence of his wife, Ruth’s cousins, James B. and Thomas Jefferson Shannon. John had married Ruth Strader and with their children and the seven other families, they arrived in Texas.

The wagon train with the Hendrix, Jennings and Collingsworth families were two days from Colbert’s Ferry when they heard the cannonading from Old Fort Washita celebrating Texas joining the United States.

On Jan. 3 the wagon train camped on a site four miles northeast of the present site of Sherman. Next morning, John discovered that one of his horses had thrown a shoe. The others moved on out and he stayed to shoe the horse. The Hendrix family never left the site. A large boulder in the family cemetery marks the site of that overnight camp.

According to the Hendrix Cemetery Historical Marker, Hendrix ran successful farming and nursery operations and became a prominent and influential citizen of Grayson County.

When the Texas legislature met in its intial session February 16-19, 1846, John Hendricks, John Shannon and James Vaden were appointed as the commissioners to lay off Grayson County – then still known as the Fannin district – and the city of Sherman, which was to be the county seat. The site was six miles west of the present city.

Courts were organized, and the first session of the county court was held under an old elm tree on the Hendricks farm.

Some time later, because of a scarcity of water, the county seat was moved to the area that is known as Sherman today.

John Hendricks also constructed the first jail in Grayson County. It was located where the Sherman Central fire station stands today. The bars were of poles that were placed a few inches apart.

When Hendricks died, he was believed to be the oldest citizen of Grayson County. He was 93.

His father served four years under George Washington in the Revolutionary War, and Mr. Stephens still has in his possession legal papers to a plot of ground in Kentucky that were drawn only a few years after the colonies declared their independence.

When John Hendricks died, he left a large acreage of fruit trees and other plants to his son, Jesse Elvis Hendricks.