Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Napkin

Well, no one asked me if I folded all of those napkins.
Remember I was going to fold twenty three of these for our Christmas party?

and...I guess everyone was too nice to tell me that I had done it wrong. Look at this, compared to the top one. The flaps should be turned under. I finally figured it out. That's okay, because instead

I used these paper ones.
Maybe next time I will try the others. I think instead of a knife for the trunk, maybe a candy cane and a peppermint for the star on top. It would be a lot of work but, after all, Rose from Oz  has so generously offered to come and help ....oh Oz is short for Ozstralia (which we apparently call Australia).

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Day Break

Yesterday morning I was making coffee, and  I saw a glow in the sky while standing at the kitchen sink. So, I stepped out onto my little morning porch.
To the east the sun was coming up. I thought well, this is lovely.... I will just drink my coffee out here. Didn't stay too long though. We have had a cold front, and it is very chilly here in north Texas! Our mornings have been hovering somewhere in the thirty's the last few days. How is your weather?

Monday, December 29, 2014


Our youngest daughter, and husband are moving this weekend, so we are keeping little two and a half year old Hannah for four days. I had to laugh at the number of shoes her Mother packed for her,
mainly because Hannah's Mother has always had a love affair with shoes. I personally think she is now passing that along to her little one. What is that saying "The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree".

Do any of you have a love affair with shoes? (a nicer way to ask instead of: do you have a shoe fetish)?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Surprise

Back in the Fall, I ran across a Picasso numbered print that I fell in love with. I really really wanted it and whined about it on this very blog. I kept reminding myself (and so did my husband), that we have many needs (with this new house), and shouldn't give in to wants. Oh, but it was so neat, a self portrait (sketch) by Picasso, and fellow artist Jaume Andreu Bonson in Paris, late winter of 1901. You could see the Eiffel tower faintly in the distance. I have to confess, I did go back a couple of weeks later, and thought,...if it is still there that means I should buy it. Sadly, it was GONE!
Well, the reason it was gone is because of this blog. One of my sisters read my post.... whining about it, and contacted two of my daughters. She then went over and bought it so that they could surprise me with it for Christmas! Talk about shock! I was floored.

Thank you sister Polly and daughters Stacy and Katy.
I love it.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


I hope that all of you are having a wonderful holiday season. I had to laugh today. All of the television commercials now...... have a theme of weight loss. I wonder why?
I promised to show you the dessert table from our family Christmas party. My niece Kristin who is not a professional baker, but teacher, made these delicious cookies.

Then there was this tray of goodies. Yes, I made a couple of these. Okay, as if that weren't enough... there were also a couple of cakes and ice cream ....I don't know about you, but I have gained five pounds just looking at this!

Remember, I was  so concerned about the six children that were coming...and bought little cups with lids. Well, here at five of the six at the kids table. They were so careful, and no one spilled a drop of anything.

I think this though, was my favorite part of the whole evening. All twenty three adults and six children gathered around the kitchen island, holding hands...pausing to give thanks. A feeling of gratitude washed over me. It is having each other that is the true blessing.

*thanks for the photos Polly

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays

I have been busy enjoying my family this holiday season...but wanted my blogger friends to know that I wish you the happiest of holidays...You have been an important part of my life this year.....
In our house we make cookies for Santa Claus
Meet my helper...two and a half year old Hannah, who had a ball until she fell off of that little stool she was on!
She is fine...and the cookies are ready. Hope you are ready at your house too.

Celebrate!....and stay safe...Janey

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I don't know about you, but all of the rushing about.. is almost over around here. All I  need to do is pick up fresh fruits and veggies closer to the holiday. To tell the truth I have settled into a feeling of calm.
I have even been playing around with napkin folding. I saw this trick on the Internet (that is supposed to resemble a Christmas tree). Problem is, I have twenty three adults coming. I do have twelve green napkins and twelve red I may just do this. I need a bit of practice though. Wonder if I could get Tom involved?...I'll let ya know.

I also panicked (I do that a lot), when I realized I had six little ones coming, and a living room full of new furniture. So,I went out looking for Santa Claus cups with lids...but gave up after three stores. These will have to do. I am making  a kiddie a very light color!

I wish you were here to help me cook! I made fudge this morning, and will also make some orange/coconut balls on Tues. The day of, I will bake a pork loin coated in ground peppercorns, shredded parmesan cheese and rosemary. ...Along with it I will heat up a honey spiral sliced  ham; both for making little sandwiches on soft rolls. A pasta salad and fruit salad on the side. My sisters are bringing the appetizers. I will  make sure and photograph the dessert table for you :)

It is our custom to all (I have four sisters in the area), get together Christmas night....after all of the festivities in our own homes, or at our in laws, is over . It will all be very casual (except for my fancy napkins). Our daughter number five is in charge of figuring out some games to play. She is skiing in Aspen this weekend...I am keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn't get snowed in!

Are you busy this weekend? Tell me about your preparations!

Friday, December 19, 2014


I have been doing a lot of pitching and tossing, since we moved into our new home....Isn't it amazing the things we hang on to? I found a stack of old letters that my Dad had written to me, and sat down and read them...They brought tears to my eyes...but that is another long story.

A fun thing I found, is an old suitcase full of memorabilia of when I was an airline stewardess. Yes, that is what we were called back then. I flew for a Local Service Carrier, Central Airlines (in operation from 1949-1967). Central flew in the six central states of the U. S. I was based in Ft. Worth, Texas, but actually lived in Dallas.
This was graduation day (from Stewardess Training) July of 1965. Yes, there were only three in our class. That is me on the far right, with my natural color hair. Isn't it amazing that my hair, instead of turning gray, has turned blond? (believe that and I have a bridge to sell you). I wish I could identify everyone in the picture. I do know the man on the back row, Bud Herring (1923-2011) President of Customer Service.

 The next gal was assistant Chief Stew. I am struggling for her name. Lady in black is Thelma Doyle...There is no way I could forget her. I have never been so frightened of any human being in my life. I need to dedicate a whole blog to her!
The gentleman behind me is Lamar Muse (1920-2007). He was President and CEO from 1964-1967. Lamar had a long career with many carriers. I feel sure that some of you may have heard of Southwest Airlines?....Well, he was a co-founder, President and the early days.

Nancy, on the front left was the dearest of friends . She died suddenly of an aneurysm in her early fifties,while playing golf. Nancy actually taught me to play golf. Jeanne, in the center...who had beautiful red hair, is still flying.

Central Airlines merged with the Old Frontier Airlines in 1967. Then Frontier was bought by Continental Airlines, which has now become part of United Airlines. Last I heard, Jeanne was so senior that she was only working a very few days a month. I actually was a passenger on her flight a few years ago (1999) Paris to Houston. She was serving me a drink, and I had a deja vu moment. I had not seen her in 31 years. You can't imagine the shock when we realized how we knew each other!!

Thanks for going down memory lane with me. Wonderful years of my life! Oh...
To prove I hang onto important things. This is the uniform I had on in that picture :)
Do you have a memory box?
* Word Verification always been turned off on this blog. I have had a complaint that it is happening.? Has anyone else experienced this?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Brick Wall

Our new winter residence in Fort Worth is in the city. Having always lived in suburbia, we are thrilled by our new location. Our house is what they call a zero property line home.... Which mean our neighbors live just ten feet from us on both sides. One of the houses, is still being constructed, but their wall ..near our entrance is finished.
Our place is the gray place to the right. We are going to ask our new neighbors if they mind if we landscape our side of their wall.
Our landscaper said he can arrange vines to grow in this pattern on the fence, giving us some greenery , and a more pleasant view when we come out the door. Stay tuned.

Linking today to : Good Fences

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I went to lunch yesterday with two girlfriends. No, I still don't have any "go to lunch friends" in my new town. These are two gals that also spend their summers in the little mountain town that we do, and happen to also live in Texas in the winter. We sure did have fun! I decided instead of photographing our food...It would be fun to show you our jewelry.
Kerry, who happens to be the youngest of the group (and very stylish I might add) Had on an eye catching necklace with three (faux) diamond  broaches. I think she said it was from J. Crew.

Betty, who loves anything vintage, had a custom made Christmas tree pin by San Antonio designer. It is made using tiny antique buttons....sorry about the blurry photo.

Then there is plain Jane (me) with my little jingle bell pin from Walmart. You know, we don't all have to be alike to be friends! Merry Christmas

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Concert

We attended a  Christmas concert at the beautiful Episcopal Church, that is just down the street from us.
Yumiko Endo Schlaffer was a visiting harpist, and the  evenings star performance.
She has a masters degree from the prestigious Julliard School of music New York, and is the  recipient of numerous awards, including first Prize in the Japan International Harp Competition. She was also honored to be asked to perform at the Imperial Palace for Her Majesty The Empress and Her Royal Highness.
She is an extraordinary harpist with a long list of credits, and a sweet very approachable young lady. Thanks for posing for my blog Endo.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Party Time

This is the time of year when your calendar is usually full. Although, we are new in town, and don't know a lot of people, other than family. So, we were very excited to be invited to a party this week.
Summer friends, who are neighbors in Colorado,  invited us to their holiday party here (in Texas).
Betty, in the red, is the gal I recently wrote about.....featuring her wreath made of wine corks.
Last night was Saturday ..and usually a very social time in the month of December. ...but again there was nothing on our calendar ...since  are the new kids on the block. The Kimball Art Museum was having a party free to members (yep, we joined). Appetizers, a cash bar, band and  tours on the Impressionist Exhibit (from the d'Orsay  in Paris). So, we dressed up, put smiles on our faces, and braved the crowd. Tom and I laughed that these were the people who weren't invited to any other parties (us included)
and there really wasn't a crowd, although very few seats. I kept offering seats at our table to strangers looking for a place to sit. Met a young couple who had also just moved here: they were nice to talk to. Two friends...ladies about our had grown up in Poland...and another couple that sat down, but weren't interested in talking. 
This has been a very unusual holiday season ...But, we are going to get through it.
Alone in a sea of faces.... Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I don't know about you...but I am a very confused hostess. Use to you  had one, maybe two, showing up at a party that were vegetarian. To further confuse matters, some of those vegetarians were also vegan.

Then there was the low fat crowd followed by an army of gluten free folks....Now, there are folks who only eat Paleo. I have been scouring through recipes...and I am stumped. Do I just serve a plate of apples...Wait is it Paleo's  that don't eat white?...isn't an apple is white inside. Me oh my, what is a hostess to do?!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Perfect Tree

Are you tired of putting up your Christmas tree every year...year after year?
The perfect tree for all of my very literate friends!

as seen on facebook

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Adobe Wall

It is not unusual  to see adobe walls surrounding homes in our neighboring state of New Mexico,
but not so common here in Fort Worth, Texas. These walls are high, and you can't even get a glimpse of the house on the other side, which I guess is the purpose. I do think it makes for a rather pretty entrance though.

Linking today to :  Good Fences

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Crafty People

I am sure you know some, or maybe you are one yourself? I am talking about crafty people.
My friend Betty made this pretty wreath out of wine bottle corks. Betty is also an expert knitter, a fabulous cook ...can climb a mountain, and or drive a four wheeler over it. Let's not forget she can entertain like Martha...oh and you don't want to go fishing with her either.....Did I mention she also likes wine.
Then there is my sister Polly, who whipped this up in one evening. She is also a great cook, entertains with ease, is an expect photographer, and a sleuth of a bargain shopper. Known for her humorous short stories....In her spare time, she is writting a book.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sweet Voices

I don't seem to shop much at malls anymore. I prefer little specialty shops, and do a lot of buying online; but I did run by the Mall yesterday. Yes, I ran, or at least walked fast after parking my car. Everyone seems to be in a hurry around here, actually just short of  a panic. I even saw a sign that advertised: For You Last Minute Shoppers' Hey guys ....this is NOT last minute!.....and then I heard music.
 and it stopped me in my tracks. There was a children's choir singing Christmas music. Such pretty little voices. The music not only caused me to pause, but brought back memories of my own children preforming at this time of year. Are any of you feeling rushed this time of year?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I'm Back!

Sorry, I haven't been posting as usual. We had an unexpected early arrival.
Little Miss Abigail weighing in at 5 lbs. 7oz arrived one month ahead of schedule.
Since she arrived in North Carolina, Tom and I hit the road.
I am happy to report that mother and baby are doing just fine.So is Dad...they are all just a little sleepy.

We sure do have a lot of grandchildren. Tom has eight and I have two.
So together we have ten. Five boys and five girls.
Oops I almost forgot, Tom also has three great grandchildren.
We feel blessed.

I will try my best to get back to blogging....but I am about ten days behind schedule this holiday season, and playing catch up.. I will bet that you busy this time of year too?  Janey

Thursday, December 4, 2014

View from the Fence

The welcome center at Vicksburg Mississippi, sits of a bluff above the Mississippi River
and through the fence you can see the river below, both the vehicle and train bridges, and a display of Civil War cannons.The old Vicksburg bridge, on the right, now has a single rail track across it. Back before 1998, both vehicles and trains  shared this bridge.
 For a large selection of other fences from around the world go to: Good Fences

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Magnolia State

If you are driving through the state of Mississippi, you will surely notice the magnolia trees. They are along the sides of the road, and even in the median in places.
This evergreen  tree ,with it's dark waxy green leaves is the state tree . It has large white flowers on it in the Spring and Summer, that are not only pretty, but fragrant.......and the state flower.

My great grandmother was born and raised in Mississippi. Her daughter (my grandmother), was born in Texas, but when she married in 1919 she chose a set of dishes with a beautiful magnolia blossom on it.
 I have her large platter.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Welcome to the South

Vicksburg, sitting on  cliff above the mighty Mississippi River is the first town you come to in this beautiful state;on Interstate 20 from Louisiana. We always enjoy stopping at their welcome center. It is a good place to stretch your legs, get a warm greeting, and a free cup of coffee.
There is a fireplace near the front door adorned by a manikin in what appears to be some sort of a Civil War Uniform,
and a parlor with yet more manikins, a lady and her beau.
Vicksburg was the site of a major civil war battle. The siege, forty seven days long, was a turning point in the war. The Union Army led by General Grant, captured Vicksburg, gaining control of the Mississippi River.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


In this photo, we are headed on Interstate 20, which will take us all the way from North Texas to the state of Georgia, which is on the East Coast of the U. S. Were concerned about traveling the weekend after a holiday (Thanksgiving) since everyone would be heading back to their home.
We were pleasantly surprised that we had very little traffic in the direction we were going, but notice the other side! That traffic was headed west out of Birmingham, Alabama. We estimated that it was stop and go for about eight miles. No, there wasn't an accident slowing down the traffic. These are football fans going from Auburn University, to the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, for a game. The sad part is... after putting up with this terrible traffic jam...Auburn lost :(

Our final destination is actually Charlotte, North Carolina where we will meet our new granddaughter Abigail!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Half a Century

Part of the festivities this weekend was the fiftieth wedding anniversary of my sister Suzanne, and her husband Jimmy.
Looks like I caught Suzanne with her eyes closed
but they went into their marriage with their eyes wide open .
Congratulations you two...... from your maid of honor.


I know Thanksgiving is over
but I wanted to show you that at our house, we even started the day with Turkeys!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gobble Gobble

Well, it is Thanksgiving here in the United States. A day we gather with family, count our blessings, and eat way too much.
I found this old photo when I was unpacking. It was displayed at our house this time of year, in a Fall looking frame. I thought it had a Norman Rockwell feeling about it. Although now that I look closer, it must have been the Christmas turkey he was craving, since I notice the red candle and Holley.

Tom never helps much with the cooking. I remember one Thanksgiving asking him to baste the turkey. He pulled it out of the oven, and did a nice job with the baster. What I didn't notice is that he left the mitt, that he took off of his the oven with the turkey . It finally went up in flames, setting off the fire alarm. The turkey was salvaged...even though it tasted a bit "smoked".
If you celebrate this holiday, I hope that you are surrounded by loved ones, doesn't matter if they are family or friends. ....and remember to count the mitts before you close the oven door! Janey

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Room With A View

We have one guestroom that we have not furnished yet. It became the room that inherited the boxes of things that we really didn't want to unpack or didn't know what to do with, in our new house. Well, we finally tackled that room this week, since we have a bed being delivered today.
There is a small  balcony through the French doors that overlooks a Church across the street. I actually never realized what a pretty view there was from up there.. When the leaves fall off of the trees, you will be able to see the steeple.

Linking today to: Good Fences

Monday, November 24, 2014

Pretty Day

It is a beautiful sunny Fall day here in North Texas. My thermometer says it is sixty one degrees (F)
....and don't let them tell you that we don't experience Fall colors down here...because we do.
I hope that you are having beautiful weather where ever you are.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Horse Apple

Does anyone recognize this?
It is a Bois d 'Arc Apple, Bodark Apple, or as I grew up calling it, a Horse Apple.

I never realized that the tree, that this large round fruit grew on, was indigenous to the area of the country that I grew up in. The North Texas portion of the Red River Valley. Related to a Mulberry tree, it's called an Osage-Orange Tree . It was given that name because an Indian Tribe (The Osage Indians), from the area, used the hard wood of the tree to make their bows. Bois d 'Arc in French, means bow wood.
I think it's interesting that this tree that usually grows to about 40 feet., was trimmed into hedgerows, prior to the invention of barbed wire, to fence in livestock, and fence out predators. I forgot to mention that the tree also produces a spiky thorn.
Horses do eat this pulpous fruit, as do birds and squirrels (who seem to eat just about anything).
* photo credit to: Kelley Ouchley 

I, by the way, and feeling much better. Thank you for all of the remedies! Rose I am still looking for that Queensland Olive Leaf Extract :) 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blogger Down

That was a little extreme. I am not really DOWN, but have a nasty cold.
It makes me mad that I still catch colds, when I try to take such good care of myself.  I also have a thousand things to do this time of year. Me oh my. Does anyone have a remedy?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Curved Fence

I am not sure what caught my eye first, the unusual curved fence, or the pretty Pyracantha bushes heavy with berries.
The fence is in front of a rather large private home. The Pyracantha bushes are a favorite of landscapers here in the south. They are fast growing evergreens, that can reach 20 ft. (6M), and produce berries in the Fall and Winter.. I've always thought that the berries were poisonous to humans, but I guess there is a species of Pyracantha  that you can make jelly from the berries. We had a bush like this in front of our home in Houston that had orange berries. It was so pretty in the Fall. They also produce thorns, making them a bit difficult to prune.

For other unusual fences go to: Good Fences

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Nice Day

I had a nice day yesterday, despite it being still unseasonably cold in north Texas. I braved the cold, to go sign up for the Silver Frogs Continuing Education Classes at TCU (Texas Christian University). Some of you were interested in what I was going to take....So here you go! Signed up for Maximizing Genealogy Research Success and Saving Ourselves: Writing About Our Experiences.

I will also attend two lectures. One on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and another on The Holocaust.There are also a couple of lunches I signed up for. I am really looking forward to it. The objective was to get out there  and meet new friends.

There was a gal there I really liked. She and her husband just moved  here (retired) from Connecticut and are looking for a house. I found out that she had walked the 500 mile Camino last year (through France and Spain). Oh, how I wish I didn't have bad feet and could do that!

Then I stopped at a grocery store that I love, and is always so much fun...It would cheer anyone up!
First I ran into this cute employee. He made me giggle

Then I ran into this guy posed as a Super Hero in a turkey suit. I had to ask "What are y'all doing?". He simply replied, "Our turkeys are in!"
I hope that you had a fun day too. Do you have your turkey? ...if not you may find one....and a lot of fun at Trader Joe's!.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Ship That Just Kept on Sailing

Once upon a time, actually 1953, a beautiful (huge), luxury cruise liner was built in the ship yards of Scotland. The ship was soon purchased by The Greek Line, named the T.S.S. Olympia, and began Trans Atlantic cruises from Greece to The United States. With Trans Atlantic traffic declining, in the early 1970's, she became a one class seasonal ship, cruising the Caribbean , and ports in the north Atlantic
I was a passenger on this very ship in the Fall1972 from Baltimore to Bermuda
It was my first cruise, and I thought the ship was simply elegant!. I do remember there was a lot of Greek food on their menu, which was something new for this small town Texas girl. I also recall that our steward didn't speak English ...Amazing how a lot of Americans  expect people to! I wanted to locate the shuffle board sticks....They probably had an English name (other than "those sticks"), but again this small town girl had never seen shuffle board game.. I tried sign language. Pushing an imaginary stick out in front of me. I saw a light  in the steward's eye, as he scurried off down the hallway....only to return with the vacuum cleaner :(

I thought the Olympia surely went to the scrap yard, with all of the newer larger ships around in the coming years...but I was wrong. The ship was sold, and refitted in 1983 and became the Carib I, part of The Commodore Cruise Line.. cruising the Caribbean. Next, she was sold to Celebration World Cruises in 1993, becoming the Regal Empress. The list gets longer as she was auctioned off in 2004 and became part of a fleet of two night cruises from Miami to Nassau.

Despite a campaign to save this mighty ship....she made that dreaded final voyage to India in 2009... to be broken apart for scrap.

I still enjoy cruising, although, I have changed a bit over the years too! .....and sadly, my Greek hasn't improved.
Do you like Cruises? If so do you have a favorite ship? These days, I have fallen in love with River Cruising.

* Image of ship taken from my postcard