Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Texas Church

I hope that you are all having a nice Sunday. I took this photo at the Carter Museum, before I realized it was a visiting exhibit and was not to be photographed. But, the docent was so sweet, and said" I didn't want to interrupt you before you finished getting your photo". She said  she knew it was it wasn't marked.
So, a long explanation to explain why I have no info on this painting. I took it because it looked familiar..or maybe it just looks like so many of the little rural churches I see when traveling across Texas. It is part of a small exhibit, within the museum , titled Texas Regionalism...and was painted in the 1930's.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Good Fences

This is my first attempt to "link up" on a theme day. I think this theme was originally called Friday Fences, but since this is Thursday, they are calling it Good Fences.This particular fence... I guess could qualify as an elaborate fence.
No, these are not the gates to Buckingham Palace.....simply the entrance to a very large home in Ft. Worth, Texas. I wish I could tell you who the gate belongs to, but I don't know. I do know that is usually decorated elaborately on holidays 

There was an armed guard walking the street in front of I didn't get out to take the picture...just rolled down the window of the car.  
Linking to: Good Fences 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Museum

I mentioned in a previous blog that I saw a Georgia O'Keeffe painting in a Ft. Worth Museum. Well, that museum  The Amon Carter is  one of several museums that make up Ft. Worth's cultural district; which is just southwest of the downtown, across the Trinity River.
The museum is free... and open Tuesday through Sunday. Parking is free too
If you turn around before going in the door, you can see downtown Fort Worth  in the distance.
Amon Carter 1879-1955 was creator and publisher Fort Worth Star Telegram . Mr Carter was also successful in numerous business endeavors.and probably one of Ft. Worth's biggest fans.  . You will find many things in Ft. Worth, and across Texas, named in honor of this great man.

A humorous side note: As fond as he was of Ft. Worth....he really really didn't like Dallas. Dallas and Ft. Worth are a short thirty miles apart. ...and folks today simply refer to the whole area as the Metroplex...which I feel sure Mr. Carter would not have liked. When he had to visit Dallas for a meeting he is said to have packed lunch in a paper he didn't have to leave any money in Dallas.

In 1961 his daughter was instrumental in opening a museum to house his large selection of priceless art.
You will find a huge selection of western art including paintings and bronze sculptures by the two most famous American Western artists, Federic Remington and Charles M. Russell.
Remington's A Dash For The Timbers 1889

Russell's A Tight Dally and a Loose Latigo 1920
While there is a nice inventory of western art, I think you will be surprised by the  selection of all types of art.

The Museum also houses an exhibit area

 where presently there is a display, on loan from museums around the world, with a common theme  Art and Appetite. I guess you have noticed that you are allowed to take pictures. You can photograph their permanent collection, just  not the visiting ones. So, I tried to get a long distance shot of the entrance to the exhibit (wouldn't want to break any rules).

I wouldn't make a very good criminal. I was trying to get a shot of Norman Rockwell's Thanksgiving from another room.....but the very thought of getting caught...made my hand shake!
The Amon Carter really should be on your list of places to tour in Ft. Worth, Texas

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Connoisseur of Fine Art

Well, not really....but I did impress my husband while walking through a museum this Ft. Worth. I immediately identified this church, and the artist who painted it.
How did I know this? After all it really doesn't really look like a church. It happens to be the much photographed San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, near Taos, New Mexico. The above is one of the four paintings of this church by the late, famous, Georgia O'Keeffe'.... and I knew this because, not only had I seen it some twenty five years ago, but because I recently read about it on a blog. That's right. It was featured on My Santa Fe-Kate, which you can see here. Proof positive that blogging can broaden your horizons....Thanks Kate!

*The church has it's back to the road, because the front faces a part of the Santa Fe Trail.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


I love mornings. Do you? I guess I can't figure out why those that don't, don't? Thinking back, it seems I have been a morning person for a long time. I remember when I was growing up.. The summers were long and hot, but early mornings in North Texas were  very tolerable. Later on, it was the most peaceful time in the house, before my small children awakened for the day. Now in "my golden years" I enjoy this quiet  time with my pot of strong coffee and my computer.....reading blogs from all over the country, and around the world. I was going to say before my husband got up...but I kind of like him, and don't want you to get the wrong idea.

We are still nestled in our rental apt. (awaiting the completion of our new home), which is the whole second floor of what I consider to be a charming old house, built in the 1920's. None of the furnishing around me are I feel a bit like I have been on a long extended vacation. I have given thought as to why we have so many belongings? After a year of our things hidden from sight, in a storage unit...I am asking myself the question...Do we really need these things?

Okay getting a bit philosophical here. Just wanted to ask if you are a morning dove or a night owl?
Night time view...NO. An early morning view (just now) looking west down the hill in the very early morning.
 My time of the day.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Heading north from Hico on Hwy 67, south of Gen Rose, Texas, turn east of farm road 2013 and follow the signs to the
It is a full service resort on acres and acres of gently rolling landscape, where a family can stay in cabins or at the five star lodge.

There are a host of things to do, like: zip lining, fossil hunting, basketball and tennis , swimming, and of course hay rides and trail rides (on real horses).
We just stopped for lunch in the large dining room of the main lodge.
The food was delicious! and view.... was what you would expect when looking out the window at TEXAS.
you may enlarge any photo by clicking on it

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

On The Way Home

To get away from the busy freeway, we took smaller back roads on our return trip (from Austin) to North Texas. Pulling into the small town of Hico (pronounced high-co), which sits at the outer most edge of the Texas Hill Country,
we were greeted by this little log cabin  although I couldn't find an explanation as to why it was there.

Hico is a small town of about 1,300 people. The main street of this sleepy little town is a  boulevard with benches and a gazebo.

and there are a lot of old buildings dating back to the nineteenth century. For those interested in outlaws, you will find a small Billy the Kid Museum.
A few of the buildings were newer; like this tiny little bank.
Now the real reason for pulling off the road in Hico: Back in 1996, a young couple moved to town seeking a simpler life, and started making chocolate candy.

They lived in the small upstairs of this 1903 Queen Victorian house, while making chocolates in the kitchen and selling them in the parlor.
Not long after opening, a reporter from the Forth Worth Star Telegram discovered this place, and wrote a front page article about their little business calling it "Chocolate Heaven"
Since then, they have been featured in such magazines as Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, and Southern Living..... not to mention, winning awards for their delectable truffle. They now have a larger kitchen (factory), offering tours but you can still stock up at the pretty old house . My sister Nancy replenished her supply of chocolate pecan brittle.

North of here...still off of the beaten path,  we stopped for lunch at a five star resort....something I would have not expected along here. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Gas Station

I have already mentioned my trip to Austin, Texas on my past few blogs.Traveling with my two older sisters, we drove down to deliver a family painting, and stayed overnight with our Aunt (my mother's sister). The fastest driving route from Fort Worth, which is in north Texas, to Austin in central Texas, is to go straight down Interstate 35, which even on the best of days... can be very crowded. So, my sister Nancy suggested we take the back roads, to the west of I-35, on our return trip. She didn't have to convince me...I love getting off of the beaten path!

Click on photo to enlarge

I spotted what looks like the remains of an old gas station in the tiny town of Hamilton.
Come back again and I will show you the quaint little town of Hico.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Cookbook

On our trip to Austin my two sisters and I stayed with our Aunt Julie. Julie is 85 years old and was a military wife; married to an Air Force pilot. Julie is a wonderful hostess and great cook....but I had to laugh at one of her cookbooks.
Married in 1950....she finally bought a cookbook in 1959. She said she had no idea what she cooked the first nine years of marriage? My grandmother (Aunt Julie's mom) had ten children...and you would have thought she would have taught her girls to cook, but she liked to do everything herself....and let the kids clean up after.

This well used book, has traveled all over the world. I feel sure she used it to cook for me when I was a guest of her and her husband while they were stationed in Germany , my first trip to Europe.
She told me that the dirtiest pages were her favorite recipes. Her children recently bought her a new copy, but she said she couldn't bring herself to throw this one away.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


It was a beautiful day in Austin, Texas, so my sisters and I went to The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
Lady Bird Johnson was the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson,   ( both being native Texans)...and she had a passion for Wildflowers.

In Lady Bird's own words: " Where ever I go in America, I like it when the land speaks it's own language in it's own regional accent" The goal of the Wildflower Center is to learn as much as possible about wildflower propagation and growth.

You will find the gardens, hiking trails, pavilions, outdoor classrooms and gift shop open all year except on  Mondays....and open every day during wildflower season.
I feel sure this vine covered arbor is beautiful in the Spring and Summer.

We enjoyed walking around the grounds, even though it was a bit too early to see flowers.
I think this little family was enjoying the sun too!
 click on collage to enlarge
Even though the grounds were not blooming. They did have examples of things to come.

We did find color in the gift shop. These wine and champagne glasses are painted with our Texas state flower, the Blue Bonnet, which by the way is a wildflower. I highly recommend  visiting the  Wildflower Center  if you are going to be in Austin!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Vanishing Cowboys

 Why We Went To Austin

Sometimes families lose touch with one another...and that is exactly what happened to these two little cowboys. This painting, painted by my cousin Eloise, in the 1950's, is also of cousins.

 Joe and Dan grew up on a north Texas ranch. I am not sure how many types of animals there were on the ranch....but as a young girl I remember a lot of pigs. Joe, the younger one, was my age. We graduated from high school together...and I guess that is the last time I saw him. Both boys left the state, and pursued different paths. Dan, last I heard, was a banker turned organic farmer, while Joe remained a rough and tumble cowboy, working on ranches, out west, until his death in 2008.

Back to present day. What to do with Eloise's (who is also no longer with us) painting?. Seems Joe was  married briefly, some forty years ago, and we heard that he had a daughter who still lived in Texas. My sister Nancy did some Internet detective work, and located Joe's daughter living near Austin. So, on Tuesday, two of my sisters and I, delivered this painting to Joe's daughter Julia. We were so happy that she wanted it...and happier yet to meet her. She was delightful, and  very interested  in a side of the family that she knew nothing about.
We are so happy that the painting will stay in the family and has found it's rightful owner.
Thanks Milton.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Favorite Stop

Leaving the Dallas Fort Worth area (known as the Metroplex) and driving south on Interstate Highway 35 toward the state capitol, Austin, you pass a little town about halfway, named West.. Yes, even though it is in central is called West, Texas....and I might add, very few frequent travelers.. actually pass. They know where to stop...... at this bakery!
Opened in 1952, by Georgia and Wendel Montgomery, this little spot is very famous for their kolache's. A favorite of their many Czechoslovakian settlers. Usually fruit filled, Wendel had a bright  idea one day, while eating a hot dog. He,with the help of his wife and his mother in law came up with a recipe for a small sausage hidden in a soft pastry roll. He actually called it a "klobasniki" which translates, in Czech, to little sausage. Although we just call them Kolaches...and people around here love them.

 Traveling to Austin with two of my sister's early on Tuesday...we too stopped, just at daybreak, for one of their also famous cinnamon rolls.

I had to add this picture of their little Spring cookies.... because I like bright colors and I am ready for Spring! Come back again for more on our Austin trip...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Hunt

I am on the hunt for a piece of furniture. You see, I want to find an old dresser, or Bombay chest to use in the powder room of our new home (that is in the process of being built). I will probably top it with a piece of marble or granite, and have a plumber install a small vessel sink on top. I can just picture it...I just can't find it. I say I, because my husband doesn't share my vision. It is difficult to locate what I am looking for.... since we are new in Fort Worth, and don't know the shops. I could find it in a short afternoon, in my old hometown of Houston. So, this weekend I drug hubby to the:
I had high hopes
but found a lot of frilly collectibles and knick knacks .
There were rusty things
colorful things
shiny things (oops I think she is watching me)
Texas (tacky) art
and some things that even looked like art
Like this African  piece displayed by a Santa Fe dealer
but...since my husband was about to ask this fox to move over...we left. Not a lot of furniture there. I am still looking, and may consider driving to Houston...and you will be the first to know when I find it!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gas Stations

I like that Fort Worth, Texas has a strong sense of history and am amazed at the old buildings that have been not only saved, but lovingly restored.
click on any photo to enlarge
The above old Sinclair Gas Station on South MaCart street has won a Historical Restoration Award (in 2011). The owner bought the station a few years ago to house his landscape business. Using a power washer to clean the place up, he discovered the word Sinclair  under several years of old paint. It had been a childhood dream of his to own a Sinclair station one day, so you can image his excitement! After moving his business elsewhere, he decided to keep the station and restore it. While not a functioning station, where you can buy gas, everyone seems to enjoy looking at it!
The idea seems to be spreading. Yet another Sinclair station , this one on the west side of town, has been restored....and like the other... just fenced off like a display at a museum. I tried to find out if they were restored by the same person...but can't seem to find out any info on this place.