Saturday, February 28, 2015


I think I was bragging a couple of weeks ago that Spring arrives in February in Texas.

Well, it must have taken a wrong turn! We have been house bound for the last two days! We don't have the equipment (here in Texas),  that northern states have to clear our roads. So, it has been a nightmare out there. I honestly don't know how folks live in a snowy climate every winter?
So how do you do it? Janey

Friday, February 27, 2015

Along the Crest

Okay, back to my walk. There are many huge homes on this crest or cliff, but most of them are behind high walls, or hedges. This is another of the old ones that you can actually see through the gates.
When I say along the crest...or cliff. I mean just that. There is a drop off behind these homes...down to the Trinity River, and the views are amazing. You can probably see for at least fifty miles.

click on photos to enlarge

There is a history plaque on this home too. It is actually my dream home. Old, stately, a portico and spacious porches...or verandas....if they would just open the gate and let me in!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Look Back

Some of you know that I love history, and that we have in the last two years, moved to a new town....and recently into a new home. I enjoy walking around this neighborhood. It is very diverse, with a lot of small homes built in the 1920's and 30's, and some huge mansions, built at the turn of the 20th century (not to mention new ones going up all the time). There are even a few from the nineteenth century.
I was intrigued when I saw the remains of an old entrance gate.
and even more interested, when I saw that the whole area was fenced off by this beautiful old stone fence. Was it old? What use to be here? Probably a huge old mansion?
So, why was what looked like an old fountain to water your horses, sitting out in the middle of a circle.? I asked the few people, that I know in the neighborhood, and they didn't have a clue.So, I was determined to find out.

OMG! How could they live here, and not know that this sat on that very spot!!! Advertised as the finest hotel in the southwest.This fabulous resort that sat just five miles from downtown... had it's own trolley you could ride into town..and another to ride down the hill to the private lake less than one half mile away.
The hotel, trolley, lake and two power plants were all funded by one man. A real estate investor from Denver, Co. He bought up a lot of land in this area,,,hoping to sell home sites. The lots didn't sell like he had hoped, and his beloved Inn was destroyed by fire, a short four years after it was built. People who had bought property in the area were disappointed with their investments.. One guy sold his lot for a typewriter and another for a set of tires. Also, a sad ending to the guy who had this vision. He was hit (and killed), while riding a bicycle in London one foggy morning.So, what happened in the years between the hotel and fabulously popular lake with it's two story ballrooms, fishing pier and roller coaster, and homes being built in the 1920's ? Well, most of the area was donated for a World War I army camp training center.

Oh I did find the little lake.It's now a  city park........sitting across a six lane freeway from where the glamorous resort was....

*I am still guessing that the fence was part of the resort.....but it did lead me to the discovery of the old inn and what I think is some interesting history....Janey

Linking to : Good Fences

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Look Down

Don't forget to look down when walking in Ft. Worth, Texas...or

you might just miss our really cool sewer covers. Where else are you going to see one with a longhorn steer on it?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Dear Cousin

Taking a break from the historical neighborhood tour, to tell you about my weekend.
 My maternal grandmother had ten I have a lot of first cousins. One group of those cousins live out in what is referred to as 'west" Texas. It was a good five hour drive from the part of Texas we live in, but their family made the long journey on holidays. I can remember especially Easter and Thanksgiving holidays when I couldn't wait for them to arrive at our grandparents home. Judy was the cousin closest to my age...and oh the fun we had! Well, Judy paid us a visit this past weekend.
 Shown here on the left
If you are wondering what brought her all that way....? Well some of you will remember my younger sisters...who do a DANCE don't walk thing through the streets of downtown Ft. Worth (last Sat of each month). Cousin Judy drove all that way just to take part.
If you are looking for me in the will be disappointed...I still haven't joined them.
The gentlemen on the ground is Ft. Worth's official, and  famous photographer Brian Luenser.

I did invite all of my sisters, and their husbands for pizza that evening though.
Fun times! Thanks for coming Judy!
Were you close to your cousins growing up?

*Photo credits to Polly, Brain Luenser, and Judy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Along the Ridge

I have already shown you this enormous new home a couple of days ago. I did want to explain that along this ridge...or crest, large homes are not a new thing.
Just in the next block sits this beauty, built over 100 yrs ago, and seems to be in fine condition.

In 1978 this home received a Historical Landmark plaque

I have been studying the history of this area and I find it quite be continued.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Endangered List

When I was a small child, there weren't many supermarkets around, and most folks shopped at what we called the corner grocer. They should certainly be on the endanger list these days.
I passed one (a family owned, independent grocery store), on my walk the other day that has been in this same location for seventy years. I can remember the little grocery store where my grandmother shopped. It was smaller than this, it's name I think was Sprowl's. Back then, you could charge your groceries. I can remember my grandfather complaining about the size if the bill when it came, but I don't think that ever slowed my grandmother down. Do you still have small grocers in your area?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Changing Face of the Neighborhood

There are folks with differing views, when it comes to the revitalization of a neighborhood. The face of  our neighborhood is really changing.I am talking about tearing down older, smaller homes, to make way for the newer, and yes larger ones. Some call it progress, others...well, I won't repeat what they have to say, and I guess we would be considered part of the problem.....In our defense.. the little frame house, that sat for years on our lot, had already been demolished. We simply purchased a vacant lot from the builder.

Some of the small homes that were built in the 1920's and '30's have been refurbished, like the one above, and will hopefully remain
Many are still  quite desirable

I  know that I would certainly be proud to call this place home.

You can also be sure that no two look alike. This one reminds me, for some reason, of Tommy the Train.

Maybe this will give you an idea of what I am talking about. The tiny house in the center, with all of the trees, has so far escaped the wrecking ball. The new homes of course are bringing up the land values...and the taxes, which in turn force some folks to have to sell.

just two blocks behind these little homes...this is what is happening. You see, these large lots sit on a high ridge, so that the views out the back, seem to be unobstructed, all the way to western Texas.

It certainly makes for a nice place to walk. Thanks for coming along. Janey

Friday, February 20, 2015

What Is It?

It was so pretty out yesterday afternoon, that I headed out for and walk.
There is a lot of construction going on in my neighborhood. This home, nearing completion, caught my eye. What am I seeing on the chimney?...A statue, a weather vane? It wasn't moving....then I realized it was a a too familiar pose. Yep, he was checking his messages on his cell phone... while balanced on the edge of the chimney!
I think this might just be even more dangerous than driving while using your cell phone!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Green Eyed Monster

If you want to torture me...put me in a room with a light on all night. I am one of those people that need complete darkness to sleep,

I'll admit, I wasn't watching when the security system people (while building our new house), slipped this keypad into the wall of our bedroom....directly in line with my side of the bed .  For about five months now, I have been suffering, and covering my head with a pillow. There are two (bright), green lights on the device ...and no way to turn them off.. Well, I finally got around to solving the problem. Do you see the three little Velcro circles along the top? Love Velcro! Well, I installed them..Which means I peeled them off of a piece of paper and stuck them there.
Then, I cut a piece of vinyl leather like fabric (found it at a fabric store), measured to fit. Final step: attaching the  corresponding Velcro circles , and problem solved! Why did I not think of this sooner?! I will only cover it at bedtime...but oh I am so happy....and may just be a whole lot nicer with a proper nights sleep!
Have a great Thursday!
(make that Friday for my friends down under)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not In My Neighborhood

I am not trying to start a debate . I am just giving you something to think about.
I laughed out loud when I saw the front yard of this modest little home last Spring. Mainly because it is actually in the same neighborhood where I was walking past all of those mansions just a few blogs ago. You see, most of our neighborhoods have pretty strict neighborhood associations ....and rules about what you can and can't do, especially in your front yard.

Then the more I thought about it....I decided this person is growing healthy food. It for some reason just happens to be in the front yard!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Plunge

I am amazed at the number of accidents that happen right in our very own homes.
What you are looking at here is the ceiling of my friend Betty's garage. Above the garage is a portion of the houses attic. Betty and her husband were hearing what sounded like animals in the attic. Possibly squirrels or a raccoon. Animals like that can do a lot of damage. So, on Valentines Day, her husband Tony decided to go up an investigate. Most of our homes have a pull down that you can climb up to the attic. He called from the attic "Betty, ya gotta see this" she followed him up to see the damage that was apparent up there.

Parts of their attic has wooden to step on. But, Betty stepped on an area that was simply thin sheet rock covered with insulation. One leg fell through and she was in a lot of pain. Tony tried to pull her back up, but couldn' he ran down to call 911 (emergency paramedics). Betty said at some point she could no longer hold on. She said she must have blacked out from the pain and feel through this hole to the concrete floor of their garage. When she came to..... the ambulance was pulling in the driveway.

This is Betty, taken the next day, has a dislocated shoulder, two cracked ribs, a cut on her foot and a bruise and scrape that runs the whole length of the backside of her torso. It is amazing to me that she fell twelve feet to a concrete floor and those are her only injuries!
She hasn't  lost her sense of humor though. When I photographed the hole in the attic....she said "notice that I didn't make a very big hole when I fell through!
Moral of this story folks. Please stay out of your attics! It is not safe up there!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Parallel Parking

No, The car at the end of this line of cars is not turning into a driveway. This is the way someone parked.
I gather that the person who parked this car does not know how to parallel park? Although, I got a little defensive when my husband assumed that it was a woman who parked it?
 How are your parallel parking skills?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Valentine Dinner

No, we didn't go to a fancy restaurant....Actually, it was a beautiful evening, and my sister Suzanne and I sat with sister Polly on her front porch sipping wine...
While our husbands were busy as bees in the kitchen, cooking dinner . Tom put the salad together,
Mike cooked the steak
 and Jimmy not only prepared a vegetable, but put the finishing touch on the table.
I don't know about you...but I think there is something very romantic about a husband working in the kitchen.
I hope that you had a wonderful Valentine...we sure did.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The History Among Us

The new zip code we live in, actually has it's own glossy magazine. It is mostly advertisements, but usually has several  interesting stories. One such story caught my eye this month. It was about an old house in my neighborhood, that I have noticed on walks.
So, I walked over, and took my own picture.

The house was built in 1895, and at the time, surrounded by a lot more land. No one is quite sure who the first owner was, but in 1905 a widow, named Lillie, and her three small children moved in . The husband a Kentucky Colonel, who had been in the grain business, had recently died of tuberculosis. Lillie became a civic leader, a trustee in her children's public school as an example. She did go on the marry again, but out lived that husband as well. The part I find heartbreaking, is that Lillie buried all three of her children. Her youngest daughter dieing at thirteen from appendicitis. Later, her older daughter died of tuberculosis of the hip, which I had to look that up...I thought it was only a lung disease. That only left her beloved son, who unfortunately was hit by a car, as he crossed a street. I will always enjoy looking at this beautifully cared for home...but will also be reminded of the sadness that must have hung over it many years ago.

* research for this article from 76107 magazine

Friday, February 13, 2015


One of the two courses that I am taking (in March), as part of TCU's continuing education program a course on genealogy. A few year's ago, I spent a lot of time researching my "roots". I was especially interested in my Mother's side of the family.
Please excuse the quality of this photo.... I am still looking for a camera.

It is a line up, yes in one frame, of five generations!
 (l to r) Ann who lived in northern Mississippi   1821-1879
Julia 1860-1932 moved to Texas as a bride in 1880
Julia her daughter 1901-1994 Lived her entire life in a small town in north Texas
Lyda (my Mother) 1921-1998
That's me, and I am still here

Have researched your family history?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Chapel

I attached my parking tag to my car yesterday, hung my student I.D. around my neck, and went to my first lecture at TCU (Texas Christian University). Although my classes don't start until March; I attended one of the lectures I had signed up for. ...which was on the Sistine Chapel.
I was lucky enough to go there in person in 2004. I sure wish I had attended this lecture before my trip.. I learned a lot. First off, I had always heard that Michael Angelo was lying on his back on scaffolding to paint that ceiling and that is not true. He was very close to the ceiling on scaffolding and did damage to his back (and eyes), because of the unnatural position he was in for those four years.  I also learned that he really didn't want to paint this he considered himself first and foremost a sculptor..He also painted the alter but  at a later date.

Have you visited the Sistine Chapel? Your views? I thought in person it seemed smaller than I had imagined..maybe because it was so crowded...I could hardly move.

Let's Walk

While our new house was being built, Tom and I leased a house in my sister Nancy's neighborhood. A place where most of the homes were built between 1910 and 1930. Grand homes in their day; and happily  most of them have been restored. I walked then, with my sister, five mornings a week, and I miss that since I have moved across town.Some of you will remember me posting about this neighborhood previously. So, when my sister called and asked me to walk yesterday morning...I agreed. I say across town....It is only a twelve minute drive.
It was early, so there are long morning shadows. I've always liked this old Mediterranean style house.
Another of similar style, on a smaller scale . Nancy said that in the Spring they will have lush green ferns in those pots.
click on photo to enlarge
This one is my all time favorite . The gentleman who built the neighborhood, built this beauty in 1911. It was recently restored for a professional baseball player, his young wife and two small children. I understand it was on the Christmas Tour in December ...and I missed it. Darn!
Do you like old homes, or prefer new ones?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gone Nuts

I am proud that my town, Fort Worth, Texas, has many small family owned businesses
This place, open since 1968, is one of them.
Love that there  is a small showroom in back, open to the public
It's a great place to buy a gift for that hard to buy for friend or relative, especially if they like nuts.

They have all sorts of gift packaged nuts (our state is kind of proud of it's shape),

and a large selection of candies. For me it's just a bag of  mixed nuts...and  one that is all walnuts. I like supporting locally owned business ...and I love nuts. A win win situation .

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Borrowed Bike

No, that is not the name of the mural "The Borrowed Bike". It is the reality of where I got the photo. It sounds a lot nicer than "The Stolen Bike". You see, we have friends Bear and Yogi (hard to believe, but yes these are the names they choose to go by). This great couple (who are summertime neighbors and friends in Colorado), for the second time, are wintering on the island of Koh Samai in the Gulf of Thailand. On a getaway (who would want to leave that exotic paradise?), they hopped over to nearby Penang, Malaysia,
where they discovered this mural. All I can make out on the plaque is "Children On A Bicycle".

*photo friend Bear

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Birthday Lunch

 I had lunch yesterday in my sister Nancy's beautiful dining room
You always know that if you are eating at Nancy's is going to be delicious fare!

The main course was  standing Roasted Pork with chutney sauce

Accompanied by a spinach pear and feta salad, sprinkled with sugared walnuts. Peas with shallots and pancetta and the most delicious.... mashed potatoes.

all finished off with a slice of Black Forest Cake.
I moved to town to be closer to family, and it is such a treat to celebrate milestone birthdays with all five sisters together. Yes, that is me...the middle child.
Happy Birthday Suzanne!