Saturday, March 31, 2012


Ran across an empty old house in Chappell Hill, Texas.  I am not sure why it appealed to me, because it is rather plain. It would sure look a lot better with some flower baskets hanging from the porch, a rocking chair or two and some lace curtains. I figure it was built some where around the turn of the  twentieth century. I've always toyed with the idea  of restoring such a place, but those that have done it tell me that while it is a romantic idea,  in reality it always costs more than you think and involves a ton of work. I think that window on the bottom , facing us should be replaced with a set of French doors for more light, and shutters would certainly dress up those other windows. Better stop now before I find myself signing papers!
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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Texas Longhorn

 Texans have had a long love affair with the Longhorn Steer. This bovine, with it's very long horns, was almost extinct at the beginning of the 20th century; even though millions freely roamed  the landscape the century before.. Now, almost as much of a symbol of our state  as the Bluebonnet and our red white and blue  flag, Bevo , a long horned steer, is the mascot of the University of Texas ..

I spotted these on a Sunday drive on a beautiful day.
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Thursday, March 29, 2012


 A while back I explained that the state flower of Texas is the Bluebonnet (lupine family). If you want to see Bluebonnets, come to Texas in late March or early April.

My husband and I took a drive on Sunday. Leaving  Houston we headed west to the small town of Chappell Hill. where we found country roads flanked by a sea of blue.

Mixed in with these Bluebonnets are another Texas favorite: The Indian Paintbrush.

Come back tomorrow and I will show you one of our favorite animals....
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Great Gatsby part three

 I know, enoughs enough; just these last three. I wanted to show you a close up of one of the tables.(at the Pearl Fincher museum fundraiser). There are those of you who are probably appalled at the amount of money spent on this event. Well, I cringe at the thought too. But, it is a proven fact that you have to spend money sometimes to make money. An elegant event like this brings out people that have large sums of money to donate.....and do.

 The black and white theme was carried out with this feathered peacock flanked by vases of white flowers against a black drape.
.....and now for the finishing touch.

They called it :This Side of Paradise
It was layered vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce covered with a toasted meringue. ...and served with a praline sauce and a side of pecans. Oh my, it was well worth waiting for!
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scenes from The Great Gatsby (Pearl Museum fundraiser)

Cigarettes anyone? These pretty girls would be happy to sell you a raffle ticket..... and give you a pack of candy cigarettes!

On the entertainment line up, these dancers were fun to watch.
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Monday, March 26, 2012

The Moth Eaten Tux

Arriving at the Pearl Gala (The Great Gatsby) we were greeted by this larger than life image of a flapper at the top of the stairs. The men were given fresh flower boutonnieres for their lapels, by the welcoming committee, and the ladies a choice of a boa, or a strand of large pearls. I would say about half of the large crowd were dressed for the occasion.(1920's era)...My attempt being a sparkly blouse with long satin lapels and a feather fascinator on my head.
The invitation stated Black Tie Optional, so normally my husband would wear a tux, but moths had moved into his closet over the summer. Moths with very formal appetites.! I actually accused him of chewing holes in his tux himself...since dressing up is way down on his list of things he likes to do .Tom would rather be dressed in hiking pants, a frayed t-shirt and  boots, making his way up a 14er! Last night he was being The Good Husband and humoring me, but not to the point of wearing a half eaten tux! Come back tomorrow ...I have a few  more pictures from this festive event .
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Corinthian

I think I told you that we had an art museum out here in suburbia,The Pearl Fincher. Last night we attended their fundraiser The Great Gatsby. I was excited to see The Corinthian Ballroom where it was held, which is in downtown Houston, in what was a bank. Love that in restoring it, they left the most beautiful architectural elements.
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Palais Garnier Ballroom

I feel sure that a couple of my blogger friends are laughing now. V from Paris Through My Lens and Genie from Paris and Beyond have been talking about the wonderful old Palais Garnier, Paris's famous old Opera house. I told them I would post an old photo of my husband and myself dancing in that very ballroom. I hope they weren't expecting us to be decked out in black tie! We were just acting like a couple of silly American tourists!
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Callistemon Citrinus

I can always remember the more casual name of this tree....which is a bottle brush!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Enjoying the Sunshine


I am not the only one that was enjoying the sunshine that we had yesterday. Ran across this Great White Egret when I was out running errands . These beautiful birds look a lot larger when their necks are stretched out. I was just happy it didn't fly away when I came close..Hopefully your day was sunny too!
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Light Rail

I am always envious of other cities mass transient when I travel. It just makes sense for large metropolitan areas to be able to move their population around. For some reason, here in Texas , we still have a love affair with our private automobiles.  It's like once they got us out of our saddles and into something with  four wheels and a steering column.....we just don't want to give it up to....join a posse! I took this photo to show you that we are trying.....I know Dallas is ahead of us at this point (shhh) but there are plans in the works to add four more lines to the existing one, which stretches from the downtown corridor, past the medical center, to the sports complex, Reliant Center. I will call it successful when you can board a light rail train at either airport and be whisked into the center city. Giddy up Houston!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our State Flower

The state flower of Texas  the Bluebonnet is in the Lupine family, and this is the time of year that they are blooming. Driving west out of Houston you will see highway medians, roadsides and fields with a beautiful carpet of blue. The ones pictured here are blooming near a restaurant (in town). I am going to try my best to get out into the countryside to see them....
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Monday, March 19, 2012

North & South Blvds.

It's hard to believe that you are is Texas when you are on either North or South Blvd. Old Live Oak trees line not only both sides of the streets but both side of the center esplanades, their branches making a solid canopy from side to side. This area, near our famous medical center, is lined with stately homes of the 1920's era built by famous architects like John Staub, Birdsall and P. Briscoe. If you have time, park your car and take a walk!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cruising the Canals

The Woodlands is a planned community north of Houston, Texas with business's, shopping,  and beautiful residential housing tucked in between green ways, lakes, jogging trails, golf courses and a world famous concert center (The Cynthia Woods). You can ride this cute little tour boat around it's town center. (tkts $5...good all day). We rode it from the mall to an Irish pub to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.. Senior Citizens and children go for half price. You can even charter the whole boat for a private done by Landry's Seafood.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Green Beer

Remember that group of friends that I see every morning at Curves? The one's that celebrate birthdays by going to lunch once a month? Well, there were no birthdays on our calendar for March, but we didn't let that stop us.We decided to celebrate  St. Patrick's Day instead (a day early). No better place than The Goose's Acre, and authentic Irish pub. Fish and chips, Irish stew and green beer....Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I spotted this fence the other day that was laden with blooming wisteria. Wisteria is a viny plant that believe it or not is in the pea family. It has grape like lavender clusters that bloom in the early Spring.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Armadillo

Meet the Armadillo. This lovely statue is proudly displayed in front of a barbecue restaurant in Houston, and no they do not serve Armadillo. Texans seem to have a love hate relationship with this funny looking mammal that some mistakenly call a rodent.

I remember a few years ago when my husband's Rotary club was hosting a group study exchange, of young professionals, from Germany. We took them to the Texas hill country to stay over-night on a ranch. On a tour to show us his herd,  the rancher pulled his gun out of his holster and shot at an armadillo, thankfully missing it. . He explained, that to the ranchers they are pests, that dig holes in the ground causing cattle to break their legs. . One of the candidates, a beautiful young female doctor , was horrified. First of all that he would shoot at anything....and especially something that she was sure was....extinct! She thought armadillos were part of the prehistoric age and had no idea that they still existed. Later, that afternoon, she could be seen in the pasture chasing after armadillos ( that seemed to be running in circles) trying desperately to get a photograph.She would see one, squeal with delight and take off running with her camera. You could see her, running in circles in the distance until well past sunset!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This year marks the seventy fifth anniversary of the River Oaks Garden Club's Azaleas Trail. It is your chance, on two consecutive weekends in March, to tour some of the most colorful gardens in Houston, and with the added treat of seeing the interiors of these magnificent mansions.I can't think of a better way to spend a beautiful day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ye Ha!

It's Rodeo time in Houston. Come to our town anytime from mid-February to mid March for the world's largest rodeo. Cowboys and cowgirls come from all over the country  to compete and show their livestock.An enormous about of money is raised each year, most of it going for educational scholarships, benefiting youth. In addition to bull riding, calf roping , chuck wagon races,  chili cook-offs , etc. there is a lineup of famous musicians putting on concerts right in the middle of the rodeo arena. Upwards of a million people attend the rodeo and the various events associated with it. It seems like every guy in town is a cowboy this time of year, and I have a hard time telling the real from the fake!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Old Ladies

Midnight in Paris. I finally got around to watching it . It's been raining here all week. I was so tickled when I saw that the famous old Polidor Restaurant was in Hemingway's first scene. I was also surprised to find out (love Google) that the scene was actually filmed in The Polidor. So, naturally I am posting a picture of myself and four girlfriends sitting at one of their famous long tables. That's me with 2002 stamped on my head.
 This girlfriend trip was carefully planned over a years time with monthly meetings. We had almost as fun much planning as going,(okay, not really) as we would meet with all of our guidebooks at any French restaurant we could find in Houston, which was our way of trying to set the mood . At one planning meeting, we ate pain au chocolats and drank French coffee, out of a thermos, while  driving  into town in one gal's party van to the the movie Chocolate; which at that time was a limited release.

The night before this picture was taken the five of us had had dinner at a typical French Bistro in the Latin quarter. There was a man and his college aged son sitting at a nearby table.....which can be very nearby in some bistros! Anyway, the father struck up a conversation with us. Nothing memorable about our visit. Just American tourists meets American tourists.
Fast forward to the very next night. There we are at The Polidor and in walks the same man and son. What are the chances of that? Do you realize how many restaurants  there are in Paris?! The man came over laughing. He had asked his son where he wanted to eat? His answer was:" I don't care, as long as you don't talk to any old ladies".

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Elk

These series of canvases are combined to show an enormous elk at the top of the staircase at the Houstonian Hotel. The hotel, one of our cities finest, sits hidden in an eighteen acre wooded oasis, that makes you forget that you are in the middle of one of our nations largest cities. The hotel redecorated several years ago from a modern slick look to what I call a lodge look. Subdued lighting, over stuffed furniture, lots of wood and an over sized limestone fireplace anchoring the great room.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


 I had the opportunity yesterday to attend a luncheon where the speaker was the celebrated U.S. travel/guidebook writer, and now tour operator, Rick Steves. Rick has become wildly popular with the American traveler with his no nonsense approach to budget travel to Europe. You can spot an American traveler there (well one of the ways) by the Rick Steves travel guide they are leafing through. The lunch was great and the speaker  both informative and entertaining.....
                   not to mention... warm...and friendly!

Friday, March 9, 2012

You Tell Me

      I was as surprised as you when I pulled in to park at the office supply yesterday! I wish I could have gotten a better picture, but this thing was wedged into a tight parking spot. My first thought was why would anyone do this to a perfectly good pickup truck? Then I was trying to figure out what sort of office supplies was this guy buying? Super glue came to mind. It finally hit me that this could be a escapee from The Art Car Museum. Yep, remember I told you that there are some unusual museums around. In addition the The Funeral Museum, we have an Art Car Museum right here in Houston. Go to and be sure and have a look at the "cars"!
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Thursday, March 8, 2012


On Monday I explained that the major artery out here , is FM1960, and that the FM stood for Farm to Market. There are folks that would chuckle at that name since it's hard to find a farm  anywhere and  the  only markets are Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. So, I did want to prove to you that, in less than a mile from my house, there is an actual working farm. After all folks, we are still in the great state of Texas.! Back to the name of that major road. Someone recently had the bright idea of changing it's name. Probably some city slicker who had had to explain the FM one too many times. Oh my gosh about an uproar; and I thought putting in those medians made folks cranky! More on that later....Gotta go feed the cows!
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I have discovered that I do better when I have a routine, and going to workout five days a week is part of that routine. This by the way is not an advertisement. I joined Curves several years ago (actually I have lost count how many). Why have I stuck with it so long?...Well I will tell you. It's kind of like why the patrons kept going back to the same bar in the t.v. show Cheers. It's a place where everyone knows your name. The same women (approximately 10) show up to exercise at the same time. It didn't take long before we were not only exercising, but chatting. Now we a head off to breakfast ...and more chatting on Mondays and once a month we meet at a restaurant to celebrate who ever  might be having a birthday .Why, we have even have given ourselves a name, The Curvy Girls. My husband teases me that we spend as much time eating as exercising, but I have found it to be a very important part of my daily routine! Do you have one?
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Medians

Thirty years ago when I moved to  northwest  Houston, this road , FM1960 ( the  major artery) was only two lanes; one in either direction.  I had to laugh when people from other states would invariably ask:" What does the FM stand for"? Well, believe it or not, it stands for farm to market...This little farm to market road could not handle the explosion of growth in the early '80's and was expanded to six lanes. In the center, dividing these lanes, was an uninterrupted turning lane; making it possible to turn left where ever your heart desired. Well, as you can imagine, there were a lot of head on collisions; which resulted in the state mandating concert medians. That is when a local woman ,with the support of the chamber of Commerce, set out to make sure that the medians wouldn't be just more concrete. She took it upon herself to chair a committee that raised thousands of dollars, through private donations, to plant the area ( over seven miles) which even involved sprinkling systems. Many folks do not realize that the state was going to put in the concrete whether we wanted it or they think that Barbara Schlattman is the villain responsible for these medians blocking their turn. To  Barbara I say thank you for taking on such an enormous project beautifying our community. To the naysayers I ask, what have you done for your community lately?

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Let's Go For A Walk

Yesterday the weather on a scale of 1-10 was most certainly a 10! Beautiful blue skies, low humidity, and seventy three degrees (22.8 Celsius). Therefore, I decided to take a walk and went to a new little park. I say little, because it is. For years there has been an unsightly stretch of land, a little over a half mile long and not nearly that wide; running along a busy street on one side, and a railroad track on the other. I am not sure whose bright idea it was to build this skinny little park, but it is very useful; having a walking/ jogging trail it's length (and back) and even a nice play area for children. Used  for decorative purposes only, you will find a split rail fence, here and there, along the trail.
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