Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Hi there. We made it to Colorado yesterday....but we have stopped for the night. Only about three hours to go this morning, but we will grocery shop here (last supermarket), and pick up hanging flower baskets.

When we got to Amarillo, Texas which is near the Texas panhandle we didn't continue up to Dumas (pronounced Du Mas), which is the normal way to get to Colorado....we take a shortcut on a little two lane road on the west side of Amarillo. It cuts off about 20 miles, and you get away from all of the 18 wheelers. (large trucks). Well not always.
Several years ago we were driving our car, similar to the car above (which by the way, is not our car).
and I guess there was a large cattle truck several miles ahead of us....not unlike the one above. Well, we rounded a bend in the road, coming up on a bridge over a small creek...and the cattle truck had run off of the road, and turned over. The ambulance had just arrived....but we couldn't go forward because of the cattle that had dumped out on the road.

All of a sudden, a large black bull noticed us, lowered his head, and came at us in a full charge. At this point, I am screaming for Tom to BACK UP. Thankfully there was no one behind us. I can tell you that Lexus went from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds BACKWARDS. I am not sure if that Bull was hurt, or just angry. Thankfully he wasn't able to catch us....and veered off into a pasture. Hopefully the truck driver was okay, we never found out.

I was just reminded of our almost bull fight, when we passed that bridge today...Only in TEXAS!
I am hoping to get settled in what we call "Our Cabin" and finally get around to reading your blogs, and catch up on what you have been up to! Thanks for staying with me, Janey
*this blog was for tomorrow, but I have had so much trouble using this hotels wifi...that I am going to publish while I am online!

Road Warriors

I'll bet you think that I sure had a lot to pack! Well I did...but we are finally headed northwest! Be with you soon .  Janey

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It's Time

Well, ready or not it is time for our annual migration
So, if I am missing in action... you will know what I am up to.
I will return

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Partying Block

Or, should I say Block Party. We have lived in our new home for about two years now, which is disputable since we spend about five months each year in our other home, in Colorado. Anyway, we have not met a lot of our neighbors. It is more difficult to relocate at our age. When you are younger, you seem to connect with people through your children, or even your pets, and in this home, we have neither.
So, we were delighted when we received an invitation to a food truck party across the street.
I guess this is a new popular, and easy way to entertain. We were just instructed to bring what we would like to drink and our lawn chairs.
Meet Austin the hot dog chef. Austin who has Down's Syndrome has been a greeter for years at a local, and very popular, pizza restaurant in the neighborhood. He is a graduate of a University in New Mexico for students with limited abilities, and this food truck, which he refers to as his "Dawgmobile, has been a dream and is now his new venture. One which I predict is going to be very successful.
All we had to do was go to the window of the food truck and let Austin know if we wanted a chili dog or classic dog. You were then presented your meal in a little gift wrapped box which contained your "dawg" a bag of chips and a small chocolate brownie.  We sure had a nice time and met a lot of friendly neighbors.
To read more about his dawgmobile you can go here:HERE

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Lesson in Photography

My sister Polly, who I have mention numerous times on this blog, called me this week and ask me...at the last minute, to accompany her to a photography lecture. It was a free session, part of a multi day photo workshop sponsored by a camera shop here in Ft. Worth, Texas and Canon Cameras.
As you can see my sister (on the left) became part of the demonstration on placing people for group shots.
Michele on the right conducts seminars all over the world, and has had a successful photography business in New York for thirty years. You can read more about her: HERE
As she added more people, I became part of the group. She told us to gather in close like we were family. I am thinking the weird look on  my face can be attributed to the fact that I am wondering why the guy had to put his hand on my knee? 
Whew, I guess Michele didn't like his hand placement either. As you can tell, we not only learned a lot but had fun too.
Sorry about the quality of photos. Some nice lady took them with her cell.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Sewing Project

We have been in our new home for a while now, but I am still decorating.
One of our guest rooms....The Blue Room (as we refer to it), was in need of another bedside table. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of rooms where there is only a table on one side of the bed.  Anyway, I found this small black console table that could also double as a small desk, large enough for someone that might bring along their laptop. Hmm now I am in need of a chair.
Well, wouldn't you know it. I am already in possession of the perfect chair....Which I will paint (the wood ),black. I know, you purist are gasping...and the seat gets a bit hard.... so it will  also need a cushion.
So, I made a pattern from tissue paper, found a coordinating fabric...
and off to my sewing/laundry room ...where I did my best making a chair pad. The only sewing instructions I have had is half a year in homemaking class, in the eighth grade...The other half of the year was cooking, which may explain my culinary talents :)
and viola! I still need to stuff it with fiber fill....and Tom hasn't painted the chair yet. For some reason he doesn't trust me with paint.
My next project may be a bulletin board to hang above the little desk...or possibly to go out and take pictures for this blog!
I hope that you are having a fun weekend....Janey

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Moss Covered Fence

On my recent trip to France I wrote about one of my favorite excursions. A tour of Chateau De Cormatin which is in southern Burgundy near the small village of Cluny. You may see that blog entry:HERE
The weather was probably the worst on the trip, but they had a fire in the kitchen fireplace to warm us, when we got inside.
I am always keeping an eye out for unusual fences, and this one surrounded the entire estate.
For more fences from around the world go : HERE

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Little Sister

Calling her my little sister doesn't really identify her, since I am in the middle of five girls (yes we still refer to ourselves as girls), I have two little sisters. So I will just number them...like I do my own five girls.
Meet Polly, sister #4
Polly is a senior IT Analyst, and Technical Account Manager (whew that is a long title), for an international company. She is also very crafty. I have pictured before, on this blog, some of
her crafts, like the holiday wreaths. I have lost count of all the other crafts that she has done over the years, and I might also add that she is a great cook, loves to entertain and spoil her two grandsons ...and how could I forget how proud she is of her beautiful successful daughter!
Polly and her husband, joined  us on a recent trip to Paris, which also included a River Cruise down through Burgundy and Provence. So, I thought I would share with you her other love, photography. This was her first trip to France, and it was so much fun watching her excitement. Above, is the Alexander Bridge in Paris. I know the photographers that read this blog, will notice that it has been enhanced to look like a painting. She also does some technique where she takes several shots of the same scene, and an app combines them for the best possible picture. 
If you have ever seen the Alexander Bridge you know it is something to behold.
La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviene
Lyon, France
Old town, Lyon France
and one of my favorites, an early morning shot showing our ship gliding down the Rhone River.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ooh La La Spring in Paree

Looking back at our recent trip to France, this was probably my most enjoyable evening in Paris.
I guess this is proof  in the pudding...or picture!

May I explain? You see, one of my four sister's came along on the trip. Polly, who is a great  photographer, had never been to Paris. Yes, she took wonderful pictures of all of the monuments, but so wanted to take pictures of the French people...and as we all know, most don't like to be photographed. I think she was amazed at how well the French people were dressed, especially the men. On several occasions she would ask a man on the street if she could take their picture. Most, replied NON!
Well, this particular evening we (a group of ten or so), had just finished a great meal at Cafe Du Marche on rue Cler street. Polly and I were waiting out in front for the remainder of the group to settle their bills, when a family of three walked up and inquired if we liked the restaurant? The son in the group, who appeared to be in his mid thirties was very well dressed...and very nice looking as well. We gave the restaurant a thumbs up and Polly of course ask the son if she could take his picture. He said "oh this will make a better picture and grabbed me!!!!" Above photo.
The father in the group replied "I wonder why no one ever wants to take my picture?" So, Polly handed me her camera and VOILA!

Come to find out, they were tourists as well, and from Australia! Their son is a commercial pilot, flies a Boeing 777 and lives in Dubai!
Oh how I love Paris!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Trees

One thing I remember about Provence are the knobby looking Plane Trees, or as we call them in the U.S. Sycamore trees.
They line the squares and main streets of nearly every town in the region. It is customary to trim them back,  in the Fall (giving them this look), to insure that they make a full shade canopy in the hot summer.
These were obviously not trimmed. Many of the trees are dying due to a spreading fungus,

 and others are being cut down by orders from the French government. I guess the picturesque roadway lined with plane trees is a traffic hazard. They are so close to the road, that many motorist are killed every year...running into them.Of course there are arguments on both side.
The thing I found most interesting is that most were planted by an order from Napoleon, so that they would shade his marching troops.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Th Cages

One nice thing about the river cruises that I have taken in Europe is that they have a tour of each place you stop along the river, included in the price.
I shot this picture on our guided walk in Arles, France Arles is in the very southern part of the Province of Provence. By the way,they don't pronounce the "s" at the end ,and the way Arle comes out of their mouths...will not come out of mine.
I was lagging behind the group a bit (no surprise), and spied this window. I am thinking the cages on the shutters are for homing pigeons.....but I am not sure.
Did you know homing pigeons only fly one way...Home. So, it is kind of like the movie. E.T. Call Home. You take the bird with you, and if you need to send a message home, you attach a small note to a band around the pigeon's leg, and let it go. It will fly home. When they fly into their cages, a bell or buzzer goes off and the people in the house know they have a message. Sort of like a phone ringing. Of course there is food in the cage as a reward.
So, even if those aren't homing pigeon cages, I bet you have learned a little about them :) Janey
By the way, E.T. did not have a homing pigeon , but certainly could have used one.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Crazy Redhead

That is what the people of Arles, France called poor Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh who was born in The Netherlands in 1853, and ended up down in Provence (France), in the town of Arles, mainly for his health, but also in hopes of starting an artist colony. Van Gogh suffered from many things: Temporal lobe epilepsy, episodes of depression, alcoholism , delusions and gonorrhea. Despite the fact that his art is so prized today, he only sold one painting during his lifetime. Dying of suicide in 1890 (gunshot to the chest). Although, recently that has been disputed....as to whether it was self inflicted.
 Roman Arena Arles.
There are signs or easels all over Arles depicting his paintings. .
This one showing the crowd at the bull fights...which the arena is used for today, and was then.
On Place de Forum there is a cafe, now named Vincent Van Gogh, where he painted his cafe terrace picture.Van Gogh lived right on the river, in what he called yellow house. Paul Gauguin lived there with him for awhile and was his mentor. They often painted the same person or scene. The paintings coming out similar,at the same time very different. Van Gogh's house was destroyed in World War II and never rebuilt.
The cafe terrace today
and when Van Gogh painted it.
After a fight with Gauguin, a seizure or a drunken stupor Van Gogh supposedly pulled a razor and ended up in this hospital, across the plaza from the cafe, missing an ear. He said he didn't remember what happened. Others said he cut it off himself....Who knows?
He painted many paintings while in the hospital, including the courtyard.
He later ended up in  a mental hospital in St. Remy, also in Provence.
There was another easel down by the Rhone River, where our ship was docked.
Such a sad, and aggravated life this talented young man lived.

Friday, May 13, 2016

An Aqueduct and a Discovery

I am sure many of you have seen, at least in pictures, the well preserved aqueduct Pont du Gard, built by the Romans in the first century.
Water ran along an elevated channel 50 kilometers from a spring to the north, to arid town of Nimes, further south.
After thoroughly enjoying our visit to the Aqueduct, we continued on to the village were the spring sprang forth.. Uzes, France in the province of Languedoc.
It is easy to see why this place was a favorite excursion on our river cruise. For starters, they had a castle with a real Duke...and the flag flew when he was in town. Note the flag,
 and not only was the weather perfect ,but the village was bustling with happy well heeled people.
I could have just stayed there, and people watched all day long.
I then and there decided it was a place I definitely wanted to come back to.

When we returned to the ship I posted a few pictures, and told about my day. What a shock!
You see, on my mother's side, my ggg-grandmother was French. I knew this from doing genealogy. I wasn't aware that my Mother's first cousin Milton had traced our family all the way back to France. Not just France, but to this VERY VILLAGE! Louis Chapalier was a Protestant minister in Uzes, France. He and his wife Simone were killed in a purge of Protestants in the seventeenth century. Their son Isaac escaped to England, and became a doctor in the Royal Navy. Isaac's son, Isaac jr. immigrated to the U.S., and the rest is history. Can you believe it?! I now have the line of succession right down to ME from Uzes, France!
Thank you again Milton for filling me in on this cherished information.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

From the Fourth to the Fifth

We were in Paris this month, and I am always reminded, when I go for a stroll, the of number of pretty bridges that cross the Seine River.
 This is the Pont au Double that connections the fourth and fifth arrondissements, or the bridge that connects the lle de la Cite island), to the left bank.

It is the third bridge that has spanned this spot. The first was built in the 17th century as a crossing to the newly built hospital on the left bank. Interesting that most of that bridge was taken up by a two story building in the middle.There was also a toll.  It, and it's successor were both swept away in floods. This bridge being constructed in 1883.

The railing, or fencing on this bridge looks like wood from a distance, but it is iron.
The building in the background is Notre Dame Cathedral of course.

connecting to: Good Fences

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


I don't know about you , but I think Swans are just beautiful. Having just completed my third European River Cruise, I can report that there is a healthy Swan population on the Danube, Rhine, and Rhone Rivers.
On our most recent trip,The Rhone, we spotted this beautiful specimen just after boarding the ship in Lyon, France.
We were even able to watch them doing take offs and landings from our cabin.
In a marshy area beside the river we noticed several nests, each with one huge egg,
but the piece de resistance was this family. A mother, father and seven siblings!
The father, I guess it was the father since he was the larger one, was very protective when I tried to come closer.. Aww the beauty of Spring! 
Question: Since all of the nests I saw had only one egg. Did this Mom have seven nests? Or, are these two adults swans just gosling sitting. A daycare situation, so to speak?
I love the Internet! Gosling in not correct. A male swan is called the Cob, female, a pen and the babies, cygnets!