Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Stockyards

Coming off of that bluff.... where the courthouse sits (yesterday's blog), you seem to be galloping back in time. The stockyards is an area in  north Ft. Worth where cattle drives ended, and livestock auctions began. Today the area consists mainly  of venues that capitalize on that cowtown image.

You may feel it is a  bit touristy....but hey you are in TEXAS and this area, with all of it's cowboy fun, exemplifies the Texas some folks have some to see.

Cowboy hats, big belt buckles and boots are everywhere you turn.

Be sure and stop in the Stockyard Hotel.It has a lobby that is straight out of an earlier century, great western art and a fun bar (.See the hotel here )

This tall Texan, in a buckskin fringed coat, seemed to be examining one of the bar stools.

Yep, that's a bar stool. In the Stockyard Hotel bar. You really can straddle a saddle, at the bar, and feel like a native.
As we say in TEXAS "Y'all Come Back Now" be continued.

Oh! ..and Happy Halloween!
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas
Arriving in Ft. Worth, with a population around 758,000 you can't help but think that you are in a small town...especially if you come in from the much larger sprawling Houston, which numbers well over two million inhabitants.

One of my first memories of Fort Worth, as a child, was going to it's fabulous zoo. Pictured here, present day... a scary reptile welcomes you... all dressed up for Halloween.

The pink granite courthouse house, built in 1895, sitting on a bluff above the Trinity River is like an anchor at end of Main Street; a street like so many others in town, paved in brick. I straightened this photo twice, and it is still looks lopsided...sorry!

A mural of  long horned cattle serves as a reminder you that you are now in "cowtown".

Come back tomorrow and we will visit the stockyards, where you are guaranteed to see a real cowboy!
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Monday, October 29, 2012

A Moving Target

I'm back!
 Tom and I headed north on Thursday to a family event; a milestone birthday for one of my brother in laws. The drive between Houston and Ft Worth is a fairly easy trip of 378 miles (235 Km), though long. There are a couple of choices of ways to go, and we alternate from time to time, to alleviate the boredom.. This time, we headed straight up I-45 toward Dallas. Ft. Worth and Dallas are only 30 miles apart....forming a huge metropolitan area that is now called the Metro-Plex.
                                  Not far out of Houston, to the north, lies the town of Huntsville, Texas

Drivers almost have a wreck when all of a sudden ,nearing Huntsville, this enormous  *statue of Sam Houston appears. Standing 67 ft tall (20.42 meters) on a 10 ft base (3.05 meters)..He certainly gets your attention!

Rolling down the highway at speeds of 75 mph...and no place to pull over, it's rather frustrating to folks who want to take a photograph (me included). Some folks have pulled over on the side of the road, causing accidents. Actually, there is a way to get to the statue, but you must exit a mile or so before the statue even appears!

Sam Houston  (1793-1863) was a Texas hero. He led the attack on Santa Anna and the Mexican army, at San Jacinto, in retaliation for the battle of the Alamo. He became the President of the Republic of Texas (before it became a state). He  was also Governor of Texas once it acquired statehood, and a U.S. Senator.
Sam Houston is buried in Huntsville.

Come back tomorrow and I will introduce you to Ft. Worth...where the west begins...
* artist of the Sam Houston sculpture is David Adickes.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Take a Guess

This old car was alongside me yesterday morning when on an errand. I wanted to get over behind it so that I could read the decal on the trunk....but I never could. I tried researching last night , on the internet, what kind of car it was. My husband was so sure that it was a 1937 Pontiac....but we couldn't find one exactly like this with the same back window, trunk design, etc. Maybe you know?

If I am missing for a couple of days. Please know that I will return...Janey
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Several years ago I was at the mall, in a gift shop, looking  for a birthday card, and I came across this card with three little girls pictured on the front. The title of it was "Friends"., the inside being blank. Cute, right.? Well it took my breath away, because that is me on the left along with my two older sisters. I don't mean these three girls look kind of like the three of us. I mean it IS us. This can't be? I bought the card....and later discovered this image was being sold everywhere. There were even large prints that were framed for hanging. My husband said it was just a freaky resemblance to the three of us. Not so, I have  a memory of this picture being taken. It was when we lived in a small town in south Texas. I even remember  that wall. My older sister had tried to balance on it, falling and cutting her leg.
 Mother was no longer around to confirm all of this ...and my sisters memories are not as clear as mine. I actually remember the man, with the big camera, asking Mother if he could take some pictures of us.

I tried to track down the photographer and was told the print was from France. I am not trying to collect royalties...I just want a confirmation. Both of my  sisters bought the larger framed prints and they hang in their homes. An  uncle was visiting one of them and asked...."what year was that taken?". To which my sister answered" it's not us". I guess I will never get to the bottom of this....I've even thought of looking for the wall.....any suggestions?
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Am Not Wearing A Costume!

We are invited to a Halloween costume party this weekend. The first thing that came out of my husband's mouth when I told him was: "I am not wearing a costume"!. That's okay, because we have a previous commitment anyway. Hmmm there was a time when he was a bit more agreeable!

Dressed as M & M candies many years ago... 

Headed to a Medieval Dinner 

Posing as constrution workers

And last but not least, headed to a  1950's Era Murder Mystery Dinner (our assigned roles) as a Nerd and The daughter of a wealthy factory owner.

He actually isn't such a grump, and I feel sure I could have talked him into wearing something funny!
 May your day be a joy...what ever you may be doing....Janey
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Monday, October 22, 2012

The Women in My Life

click on picture to enlarge
No, I am not showing you old pictures of Texas Big Hair! Yes, that is me (my Jackie Kennedy look) as a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding back in the sixties. I am pictured here with one of my grandmother's  many sisters, Aunt Cal. Callie was a woman before her time. She worked outside the home,  raised two daughters alone,was the first woman to hold public office in Grayson County, Texas and was a crusader for the  suffrage movement.(women's  right to vote) She loved to entertain and  people coveted an invitation to her festive annual Christmas Eve party; a party she prepared for months in advance. Her purse always had a supply of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, which she loved to hand out.. but only if you gave her a kiss first!.   She had a beautiful garden, collected little cream pitchers and her secret passion was watching men's wrestling matches on t.v. Aunt of the many women that came before me.

This picture was taken in 1964 when she was eighty.......and she lived another twenty productive years. 1884-1985

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Rita

I was planning on showing you our senior citizen friends, and some of their cute costumes.(see yesterdays' blog)..and then I thought maybe I shouldn't show their pictures without their permission; but, I can show you my Rita. She (along with a few others) didn't want to dress in a costume, and that was just fine.

Rita (who is a widow) grew up in Italy and married an American serviceman right after World War II. I try to get stories out of her about what it was like living through World War II....and the Mussolini years..and sometimes she shares . One of her stories is about when air raid sirens would go off.  She was to gather apples in her apron, her sister potatoes, and meet he family in the caves. When people would hear how they hid in those caves with only potatoes and apples to eat for days on end, they were horrified. Rita's response was always. that they were very fortunate compared to others. . There are times, I feel like she doesn't want to remember those days.

I thought when I signed up for this program that I would be making someones life happier. To my surprise it has  worked both ways. She fills a void in me. I miss both my Mom and my Grandmother and I cherish my visits with Rita.

click on picture to enlarge

So if you are thinking about volunteering to do something. Don't hide under the rug. Get out there! :)

and come back tomorrow....Janey

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Spooky Party

I have mentioned before, that I belong to a service organization where we have a one on one relationship with a senior citizen. Last night was one of the dinner parties with our seniors . Pampering these sweet ladies is the whole idea.

Above is the drink station as we entered Jackie's beautiful home. Peach iced tea and and a ghoulish bowl full of cinnamon apple cider.

Jackie loves Halloween . The first clue was the twelve foot Christmas tree that was all decked out in Halloween decorations.!

There were reminders of this holiday everywhere you turned

 a witch guarding the fruit in the kitchen

a cat lurking in the family room

and tables beautifully  dressed in orange and black. No tricks around here. Everything was a treat! be continued tomorrow
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One Man Job

I have a friend who has just returned from England. She posted pictures of a beautiful thatched roofed cottage, which brought back memories. You see, a long time ago (30 something years ago) I not only lived in a thatched roof cottage (in The Netherlands) but I was lucky enough to live there while it was being *re-thatched.

This is a water color painting of our Dutch house, that I commissioned a local artist to paint just before we moved back to the states.

The thatch was brought in from the field, laid on a large tarp; which was draped over it when it rained. The unusual looking object in  front, is device used to cut the thatch.
This man lived on our roof for three months, and he had no helpers. He would cut the thatch, strap it to his back,   climb up the ladder onto our very steep roof and sew it in. It was such a treat to watch him at work. I also had to stay home until at least 10:30 in the morning. That was the usual time that workers like their koffie (coffee)....accompanied by a cookie (also a custom). After a while, I was even guilty of sending my then four year old out with the tray. I can still see her in my mind...yelling "Meneer (mister).. KOFFIE".

We almost didn't lease the house because of it's address.The street name was: Groothaesebroekseweg and I wasn't sure I could remember how to spell it or pronounce it, but I loved the house so much that I practised and and finally it rolled off of my tongue !

*thatched roofs in The Netherlands are protected. If you have one it must be replaced only by thatch. There are companies that send out crews with power tools. We felt very fortunate to have it done the old fashioned way, by someone I considered a true  artist.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

What We Bought

The antique shop that we stopped in on the way home from my birthday lunch (Mon's blog) had three rooms stuffed with treasures. So what did we buy?

Brenda purchased this lovely copper tea kettle. We asked the shop keeper it's history; his hesitation made us realize that he wasn't sure. We laughed, and told him to make something up...because we would believe it. Brenda said she was going to polish it when she got home. He told her it was "in" to leave it in it's present condition. I have a feeling it will be shiny.... since Brenda likes shiny things.

Peggy Jo fell in love with this metal champagne bucket from France. It is not old...but she didn't care. She liked it anyway. What did Janey buy you ask? Well, I am more of a looker than shopper. I did see something I am thinking about.

It's a tall children's chair that I could use at my dining room table when Hannah visits. Will I go back for it? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

34th Street

On our way home, from my belated birthday lunch (yesterday's blog) we stopped in a neighborhood called Garden Oaks to try and find an antique dealer on 34th street.It was a place I will definitely go back to.

Housed in a very basic warehouse strip center. It didn't look very promising until we walked in the door.

The owner does most of his collecting in Belgium and France. I was pleasantly surprised at his unusual items and good prices.

This goofy hat caught my eye

as did these brightly colored hand puppets.

Come back tomorrow and I will show you what we bought.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Belated Birthday

One nice thing about coming back to Houston is getting together with friends that you haven't had time to visit with for a long time. Yesterday, they took me to Americas, a popular restaurant in town with an award winning chef, Michael  Cordua, who hails from Nicaragua.We were celebrating my September birthday!

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I'd never been to Americas, although it is not a new place....and I was amazed by the decor. I felt like I had fallen through a rabbit hole, and was on an Alice and Wonderland set. The booths had a very unusual shape.
The wall across from us looked like it had large popcorn glued to it? .

                       Another piece of art
                  I am not sure what these lights were supposed to be?
The restroom had mirrored doors down both side reminding me of a hall of mirrors at a circus.
I could go on and on...but won't. I'm just not sure I would decorate such a nice restaurant in this decor?...But, the most important thing. Their food was wonderful! Come back tomorrow, and I will take you to the wonderful Antique Warehouse we found on our way back  to suburbia!



Monday, October 15, 2012

Could you Spell That Please

Leucocoprinus Birbaumil....Who names these things!? The internet tells me that this is name of the brightly colored yellow mushrooms that have popped in one of my pot plants in the backyard.

I was thinking they were kind of cute. But, the article, that I pulled up, said they grow from contaminated potting soil ....and that the soil and the plant should be destroyed.
                 I am already wearing  TEXAS's favorite cologne, just to leave the house.

I am thinking it's not safe out there. Leucocoprinus Birnbaumil and West Nile Virus lurking. Maybe I would be safer in Colorado?