Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Rest Stop

We had a beautiful day to drive yesterday...although there seemed to be a lot of road work going on, slowing us a bit.

I have been so pleased lately by the beautiful new "rest stops" along our Texas Highways! I also like that they all have their own personality. This one, near San Antonio, is constructed with white limestone which is plentiful in the area.

Spent last night in the pretty little town of Boerne (pronounced bernie) which is northwest of San Antonio. We will drive through the Texas hill country today all the way to El Paso....and on into New Mexico. It will be a long day...but there isn't usually a lot of traffic where we are headed. Hope to make it all the way to Las Cruces. We love road about you?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Okay I know, yesterday's picture was pretty pitiful. What can I's very busy around here. Today's is not much more exciting....although maybe more in focus!

Meet Larry The Lizard. Don't worry he is not in the house. There is actually a window between the two of us. We have these little critters everywhere in the yard. I refer to all of them as Larry. Years ago, when we were on one of the Bahama Islands ( Great Abaco) there were lizards everywhere....and my then two year old chased them...... calling them Larry the Lizard.

Oops he saw me. Bye Larry!...... Back to packing.....

We are headed west today toward Arizona. Hopefully I will find something on the way to share with you..Who knows...maybe even a bigger Larry :).

Great Abaco, boy that brings back a funny memory. Back in the day of business wheeling and dealing, my husband and I (make that my ex) were invited by a business associate to go to his private house on Great Abaco in the Bahamas ( back when you could do that sort of thing....accept business perks). Anyway, we were picked up by a big Mark V Lincoln Continental , deposited at the airport.... flown to Miami (me in my perfect new resort clothes) where we were escorted on to a tiny plane for the final leg from Miami to Great Abaco . Well, when we got there...we were informed that the nuns from the local convent had left a car for us. Nuns? Seems this house actually belonged to a catholic priest from New Jersey. (long story). The car was a rusty old jalopy with a plastic laundry basket hanging by a rope from the roof .. We preceded to drive to the southern tip of the island ...down the Great Abaco Highway...which by the way is  (or was) a dirt road.That would not have been a problem was dry and wasn't raining, but the floorboard was missing in the car. That's right we ate dust the whole way....In a matter of a few hours we had gone from ultimate luxury all the way to tobacco road! The week did turn out to be fun (and funny). It just had a real eye opening beginning. The house was a darling cottage, facing the ocean and surrounded by Casuarina trees that swayed in the wind.(and a few Larrys)..Sometime remind me to tell you about the scary encounter we had there with the shark and the giant stingray.
.........................................Janey, step away from the computer...and pack!........................................

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Trying to eat healthier. So a fish restaurant is usually high on my list of choices. This  particular restaurant had an unusual metal sculpture. The wall above was directly in my view. It was a whole series of metal sculptures, but with lighting they had created a complete underwater scene that ran the length of the room.
Sorry about the blurr...I only had my phone to capture it.

I don't cook a lot of fish with the exception of you?
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Monday, January 28, 2013

The Printer's Tray

Yes, I are tired of seeing my "stuff". But, that is what I am in to these days...going through stuff.

How many of you had these? Printers trays filled with small trinkets. They were popular back in the 1970's, and yes, I still have mine up in the breakfast room. Will I put it up in my new home.?..more than likely not. But, it was a great idea in it's time. When you were traveling you could bring home a tiny souvenir and then put it in a little slot. They took up no room and each tiny shelf held a big memory. Mine of course is not an actual printer's tray, which  have even small little slots.

We, by the way, have come to an agreement with the buyers. Final contract will be signed today. It's a done deal. This North Texas girl is going home!
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Jesse & The Cookie Jar

Some of you, that read this blog, may remember this cookie jar. It belonged to my grandmother. When I got married in 1969 she asked me what I wanted as a wedding gift? I told her that I wanted nothing , ... but someday I would like to have her cookie jar.
I first remember this jar when I was turning five years old, and I couldn't quite reach it without climbing onto a chair. My grandparents lived in a large one story white framed house on south Travis street in Sherman, Texas.
Also in that kitchen, I remember, for the first time, seeing Jesse, my grandmother's black maid. Jesse was a full bodied, big bosomed lady (who actually to my young eyes... sort of resembled the cookie jar) and I can tell you that I came to love them both.
Jesse must have worked for my grandparents for over forty years. She actually got too old to clean. But, not being one to accept charity (and needing the money) she continued to come one day a week. I have a vision of my grandmother (elderly herself by now) slowly helping Jesse out of the car and into the house. Jesse would try to mop the floor, but in actuality the mop seemed to be supporting her weight...keeping her from falling.

My grandmother always dropped Jesse downtown, when she finished. Jesse would run her errands, pay her bills, and be sitting on a bench, on the courthouse square, waiting for my grandmother to return and take her home. Well, in the last few years it was my grandmother who ran Jesse's errands and paid her bills. I loved Jesse and my grandmother... and I miss them both. Looking at the cookie jar brings back all kinds of sweet sweet memories.
Jesse Phea 
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Memory

Amazing the things you come across when you are packing.

This scary old building, built early last century is Sam Houston elementary in Marshall, Texas where I attended the fifth grade.  I actually remember sliding down that tall fire escape during a fire drill. It was connected to Mrs. Broadstreet's classroom.
 Mrs. Broadstreet is one of those teachers that you never forget. She seemed to be ancient, but in reality was probably younger, at the time, than I am now. A very stern lady who scared me to death...and was determined that each and every one of us would not leave her class, without learning to diagram a sentence. 

A famous American journalist also attended this school  (a few years ahead of me) , broadcast journalist Bill Moyers...who supposedly said in an interview, that he owed much of  his success to his fifth grade teacher Mrs. Broadstreet.

Sam Houston elementary 1905-1981
lost to arson 2010
and completely demolished
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Friday, January 25, 2013


Click to enlarge
When the movers do come, one thing that they will pack is our artwork; properly wrapping  each piece for the move. A favorite little piece of mine, is a print that I bought in The Netherlands thirty three years ago by Russian artist/cartoonist Boris O'Klein. O'Klein moved to France as a boy and grew up in the Alsace, before eventually ending up in  Paris.. It is a fun print  showing dogs lined up, waiting for their turn at the only tree on the block.O'Klein drew several different versions of these "Naughty Dog" prints. Bet it wouldn't surprise you to find out it is hanging in a bathroom! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good Morning

You are looking at something that will be the last to be packed. Tom and I look forward to our morning coffee. Actually, I am famous for my coffee making skills. (we all know it's not my photography). Yes, really I am. I don't use an expensive coffee....just a grocery store brand...and lots of it (hate weak coffee). But, my secret ingredient is one scoop of chocolate raspberry...just a small scoop. It gives it just a hint of flavor and takes away the bitterness.

In the afternoon if we want a cup....we switch to decaf. and find these new one cup at a time makers a perfect solution (a gift from daughter #2). Do you drink coffee? Or are you a tea person.?Have a wonderful day
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I almost feel guilty's so cold other places and we have a sunny 75 degree day. I would like to be out playing but I am packing. Not sure what happened to all of those friends that were going to help? Hello...where is everyone?
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Monday, January 21, 2013

High in the Sky

My most glamorous friend (with the dark hair) turned the big six o. So, of course her friends had her  party on the sixtieth floor of Houston's tallest building. It all sparkled like she does. Happy Birthday Brenda!
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Over the Fence and through the Trees

It was almost dark last night, when I noticed a glow through the trees. You really can't see the southwest sky from my kitchen ...but almost. So I took a kitchen chair out into the backyard. Climbed up and took a picture of the glowing sunset over the fence. Man, I can't wait to get to Colorado where we have a panoramic view.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

It All Begins

Well, this is about as exciting as it gets. We actually started filling boxes today, and of course I came across things that needed to be donated....despite all of my previous pitching and tossing. I've discovered something about my husband Tom. He can not so easily turn loose of things . Me, I can toss without a second thought! Spent most of my time explaining to him why we didn't need that item anymore. He of course said one of the girls would like it (remember we have five), but they have scoffed at most of our treasures! I am now on a first name basis at the guy who works at the donation center.

One room is finished....think I will take a nap. Room two can wait until tomorrow!
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Moving cont....

Good Morning,

No picture today...Just thoughts on this monumental move. It's a very physical thing. Having moved all over the world, as a corporate is usually a simple transition. Crews of packers come in and wrap every item in sight, and put them securely in large cardboard boxes to be delivered to you in your new home. I remember one move where we had had a dinner party the night before, and unbeknownst to me the packers rolled up the crescent rolls, still in the serving dish and packed them. I can assure you I was shocked when I unpacked them weeks later!...but, being retired this full service way of moving is something we don't want to pay for.

Ten years ago when we furnished our mountain home. We had professional packers load our furniture into a large rental truck,(mainly so it wouldn't shift around) and Tom drove it over a thousand miles and three mountain passes, with a brother in law as his sidekick....Me following in the car behind with my sister.

This move will be as follows: Tom and I will pack all the boxes,( me oh my). Then a moving company will load their truck and deliver the goods to a storage unit in Ft. Worth, where it will stay until we need it.Tom and I have leased a furnished duplex (built in 1929. It's a place with a lot of to follow soon), where we will we live until we find what we are looking for.What we are looking for seems to change daily....more on that later.

I hope to keep this site running....with tidbits about this operation!....Please stay with me...Janey

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Oh Dear!

Well, last night was a long night. Our front yard this morning looks a bit like a crime scene. We were awaken last night by a neighbors phone call who was out late walking his dog. Seems water was gushing out of our front yard! Unable to stop the flow, by cutting off the water to our house, we called our local water company, yes in the middle of the night. To our surprise they were there within the hour with a crew and heavy equipment. They said that the main water line had burst and it was not our problem. They will repair it and all of the damage.

We are just thankful that it happened after our home inspection and appraisal, which both took place this week. Those that follow this blog know that we are in the middle of a move...
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Okay, I guess it's time to share that we are moving. Not my in my husband and I are moving after twenty seven years in the same house. I won't bore you with all of the details that brought us to this decision. Let's just say we are ready to say goodbye to suburbia. We have raised our children and we think we would enjoy being closer to the center city...i.e. museums, theater, events, coffee shops, etc. I was going to say bookstores, but I fear their days are numbered. Houston, by the way is not the city we are moving in to!.
We know that moving closer to any of our children is risky. They could easily change jobs or be transferred to a new city. So, we are moving closer to my family. Some of you remember our recent trip to Ft. Worth, Texas....well, we are moving there.
We have a buyer for this house, and at the moment are going through all of the red tape. Inspections, appraisals, etc. and closing is targeted for March 1st.
In the meantime, I will blog occasionally about this process.We are also headed  out on a golfing vacation to Arizona (that was planned before this one). on February 1st for two weeks, and hopefully I will send back pictures of sunny Tubac.
Back to the move. This is not a decision that came easily. We have been in this house for twenty seven years (as I said) but we have both been in Houston over forty! We have a lot of friends, and they are not happy. Okay, enough said. I hope to continue my blog. If you are a lurker ....speak up and comment on occasion, it's what keeps us bloggers going! Stay tuned.....Janey
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Monday, January 14, 2013

The Grasshoppers

Yesterday, in a cold miserable rain, was the Houston, Texas Marathon, which is always on our calendar. Over the last twenty years a running group from my husband's Rotary Club has participated.(my husband Tom in the yellow coat). I am afraid that the passage of time has lessened their numbers. Rich, in the green shirt was the only one that ran this year. It was always easy to spot our guys, because they wear grasshopper hats. Some of our grasshoppers (we had at one time almost triple this number)  have  run marathons around the world. Boston, Mass. and Dublin Ireland come to mind.
Phil in the black coat, along with his wife Jenna, always host a well attended after marathon party, where there is lots of good food and sore feet! Good job Rich!
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Glazed Carrots

Once a month we have dinner with a group of close friends. Whoever is hosting that month furnishes the entree and we bring either an appetizer, salad, vegetable or dessert. This month I chose to bring a vegetable. I found this easy recipe in my Southern Living Cookbook.

You cook, over a high flame, two pounds of baby carrots in chicken broth (14 oz can) until the broth is reduced to about a fourth of a cup. (approx. 8 mins.)

Stir in two tablespoons of butter and a 10 oz jar of pepper jelly (I used cranberry, jalapeno). Cook over low heat and additional five minutes.

and you have Pepper Glazed Carrots. How easy it that?

They were sweet, with a little bit of a kick to them. I thought they were a nice addition to Jean's Pork Tenderloin.  Have a wonderful Sunday.!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Park

While in Chicago recently we found the perfect place for Tom to walk our daughter's dog. We were wondering if they checked I.D's? We also had to chuckle, thinking that maybe this was the only park that they were allowed to go to in the neighborhood? :) Have a wonderful Saturday!
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Friday, January 11, 2013

On The List

We had the most beautiful weather yesterday, so I went out to lunch with one of my dearest friends. Along the way, we passed a new hospital on the west freeway that has the dubious distinction of making the list of one of Houston's ugliest buildings. I wouldn't go that far in describing it, but it certainly is unusual. It's the "thing" on top that has people talking. It's bad enough that it looks like it doesn't belong there, but it is not even centered. I felt sure that the first time I saw it, that the building wasn't finished, but apparently it is.....So maybe that is the air conditioning equipment on top (after all it's Houston here)? No, I understand it houses the executive offices.
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Will We Know When It's Time?

I have pictured a clock today, because it's time I want to discuss. I wonder if we will know when it is time to no longer live on our own? Or, does it creep up on us? Do we think we are functioning okay, when actually we are not? I am not talking about myself...I am worried about our 92yr. old neighbor, Dan, who lives alone. His wife Janet died ten years ago of lung cancer.....don't get me started of the tragedy of cigarette smoking.

Dan's car is being repaired, because he backed out of the driveway, and over our next door neighbor's curbside mailbox...that has always been there.. So, he takes a taxi to a car rental agency, and rents a car. Yes, no questions were asked. Guess if you are allowed to have drivers license you can rent a car ? He parked it in his garage. Locked it, and went to bed. Problem is he left it running. Thankfully it is a detached garage and the carbon monoxide did not drift into the house. He came knocking on our door to ask my husband to drive him the the rental car agency, because he had locked the keys inside the running car....which he didn't discover until this morning. He had also misplaced his wallet. His children all live a thousand miles away...they have begged him to move there. But NO he wants to be independent...and continues to live alone.

Sorry, I am just venting....I hope I know when it is time...Suggestions welcome.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Just Waiting

 For the sun that is...Another blogger published a picture of her patio chairs up in Minnesota the other day. They of course were covered with snow. Mine are just sitting out in the rain...but rain is good . I keep trying to tell myself that, although the minute the sun disappears I start to groan.

The flu is everywhere at the moment, so to stay healthy and if you see the sun...send it down my way.
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Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Hanging on the wall of our home is a watercolor painting that is very dear to me. It was painted my  cousin . Eloise was my Mother's first cousin, making her my second cousin or is it my first cousin once removed? I never can get that straight!

What ever that makes her....she was very special to me. Eloise never married , and had the same job all of her my memory. She worked at the Electric Company, secretary to the president is the position I remember. She also lived with, and cared for both of her parents until their deaths.  Eloise had many talents. She was a wonderful photographer and a talented artist. Gosh, she was even good with a sharp pair of scissors. I can remember Mother lining us up for Eloise to trim our hair. 
They had a huge pecan tree in their front yard and I have memories of helping her gather them.  I am sure there is a more proper name, but we called them paper shell pecans. They were large, meaty and easy to crack. The real masterpiece she painted for us is a large bluebonnet scene. It hangs in our cabin in Colorado (in the Texas Room). I will feature it this summer when we move to the mountains.

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Monday, January 7, 2013


I found these postcards while pitching and tossing. They are of the Excelsior Hotel In Jefferson, Texas. Over the years we have gotten together, once a year, with my four sisters and their families for a weekend reunion. One year, we all met in the tiny east Texas town of Jefferson. Jefferson is full of old Victorian homes which have mostly been turned into Bed and Breakfasts. But, since we...all wanted to stay in the same place we chose this old hotel. Jefferson, by the way, is touted by many, to be the most haunted town in Texas....and this hotel is at the top of the list. More on that later.

When we made our reservations, my Tom announced that we wanted the presidential suite. No argument out of me. Yes, there is one. Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B, Hayes ( both US Presidents) .. have stayed in this suite which consists of this room with the canopy bed and the adjoining double suite. I tried to find a picture of the six foot long bathtub (that I took) to no avail. Was it me that said I had organized my photos?!
Anyway, our two youngest daughters were still at home and would be going with us.
When the weekend arrived, one of our daughters had a commitment and Tom a business obligation, so Katy (our youngest) and I trekked off alone to meet my family. Katy's cousins loved it...and I ended up with four little girls sharing the adjoining double suite and me in the big canopied bed alone. Well. I didn't sleep a wink...I don't believe in haunted houses. But, something kept me awake and feeling uneasy ALL night!

We took the hotel tour before checking in and were told several ghost stories. One in particular. Seems back in the early '70's prior to him filming Poltergeist. Steven Spielberg stayed in this hotel. He left in the middle of the night supposedly frightened by spirits.

If you are brave enough to venture there, a very southern breakfast is part of the deal and  is served in the hotel dining room .. Me I don't think I want to sleep there (alone) again!
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Sunday, January 6, 2013


Along about 1980 I decided to take my loose photographs and get them all into albums. Which I did. It took a very long time . These are about half of them.

Tiring of that, I bought these photo storage boxes and put what was left into categories

Then in 1999 I went back to albums, and vowed to make only one album a year

Great idea, right? Well, if I live another thirty years I am going to run out of space! What is the answer? Do I make instead, these new photo books that are offered online, since they take up less room., or do I just keep my pictures on my computer. I guess I could always make a CD and file them by year? I am at a loss. Has anyone else figured out how to organize their photos? Just asking....
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