Sunday, September 30, 2018

A Bit of History

Many of you know by now that I love History. I also love a good story, and in a way history is just one story after another. I will  try my best to be brief.

Colorado Springs, Colorado is the second largest city in the state of Colorado. It sits on the plains of what they call the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. To be exact, it sits right up against those mountains...and it is one of my favorite places to visit.

It was founded back in the late 1800's about the time that the narrow gauge railroad came to the state, ...and that is no coincidence...since
this man, General William Palmer founded Colorado Springs and was President of the Rio Grande Railroad.
He built his young wife Queen (a nickname) this beautiful castle like home, and named it Glen Eyrie. It still stands today, a place you can take a tour, or have a very formal high tea. Queen couldn't handle the high altitude in Colorado...and had a heart attack when she was only thirty four. She ended up returning to England with her three young girls. The General visited when he could. I would imagine a trip to England was a long journey back then.
Glen Eyrie sits on the edge of a city park, which at the time was also the General's property. There is no entrance fee to this breathtakingly beautiful park called Garden of the Gods. His dear Queen died in England only ten years later, and the General traveled there to bring his three beautiful grown daughters home to Colorado, and Glen Eyrie......

Why am I telling you this bit of history???

Well, I became intrigued when last week three of my sisters traveled to Colorado Springs as guest of a friend from  Ft. worth. They announced that their friend's summer home  was the Palmer House?? What !!!my sisters were going to stay in that castle...and I wasn't invited.!!!
But.....after some research, which I enjoy doing, I discovered that it was not Glen Eyrie where they were celebrating in my absence...but this house:

Home of a Palmer indeed, but the Palmer was the General's youngest daughter Marjory.
Marjory was in route to England ,way back then, to be married accompanied by her father and older sister. Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, she decided she did not want to marry her fiance...but was in love with her Father's doctor. You see the General was confined to a wheel chair by this time, due to a riding accident, and had a young very good looking doctor. Marjory and her new doctor husband built the home (where my sisters were guests) on property given to her by her father.

It too has it's own beauty. That is the famous...and a bit smokey Pike's Peak viewed from the back of the house.
One of the first things Polly enjoyed doing was gathering flowers to fill a vase in her bedroom, from the extensive blooming gardens.
 She also took a lot of pictures inside the house, but only sent me a few.
I especially liked this one. A picture of the original ...rather large ice box.
So, that is my story of my sisters and the Palmer House

Saturday, September 29, 2018


On my recent trip to Dallas with my art group...I might add on a rainy day,
I noticed a large colorful glass mosaic adjacent to the front door of the Dallas Museum of Art.
The work of art by Miguel Covarrubias was commisioned by Peter and Waldo Stewart in 1954 to be displayed on the side of their office building in North Dallas. When the building was sold in 1993 the mural, which wasn't easy to move, was given to the Dallas Museum of Art before it was demolished with the building. The title is:
 Genesis the Gift of Life
and it represents the four elements
Water-Earth-Fire-and Air

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Special Interest Group

As many of you know, I am taking classes at Texas Christian University. They are just fun courses (for Senior Citizens) and aren't for credit. As part of this program they also have special interest groups. I signed up for The Art of Ft. Worth, and I am so happy that I did. A very creative person has been putting together some very educational and fun outing.
Today our group took the TRE train from Ft. Worth to Dallas for the day.Yes we are seeking out works of art in nearby Dallas too. We visited the Dallas Museum of Art's Eugene and Margaret McDermot's Exhibit.
Most metropolitan Cities can claim one couple or person who exemplifies the word Philanthropist.The McDermots were that couple in Dallas. Mr. McDermot was a co founder of the wildly successful Texas Instruments...a computer components company. . They have over the years helped The Dallas Art Museum acquire an impressive collection of art. Mr. McDermot passed away in 1973, but Mrs. McDermot died this May at 106 yrs old. So, the foundation has allowed the museum exhibit their amazing works of art. There are thirty two pieces in all. I was able to photograph a few.

This one is unmistakably Claude Monet. Titled The Water Lily Pond (and Clouds) 1903. I guess over the years Monet painted this very pond over 250 times

Monet again. The Poplars 1891 . There was a story that went with this one. Seems the village was going to widen a road near Monet's house and were going to cut down these trees.. He happened to be working on a painting of those very trees, and persuaded the powers that be to wait until the painting was completed.
Although known primarily for his landscapes. Monet in his early years liked to paint still lifes. This one titled Tea Service was done in 1872
There were several other famous artists in the collection like this sketch of Renoir's titled Study of Nudes 1886

and this one Dancer With A Fan by  Degas 1879

Seems our tour guide had the painting of the dancer on his bucket list and had no idea it would be in the McDermot's collection.
  This 1898 painting, Rooftops, was done by Paul Cezanne

I don't know much about this artist, but I liked it. Windmill 1917 by Piet Mondrain and Dutch Artist.

We have several more exciting outing before the end of the year which I know I will enjoy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Ball

I wasn't home for long, before we headed to Austin. Our youngest daughter ask me to 
go to the Symphony Ball there.
My granddaughter had been invited to be a train bearer for one of the Debutantes that was being presented. Saturday morning meant attending practice.
It was fun to get all dressed up for this very special event.
Sunday evening was more casual. We ate at a cute pizza place. To entertain the children while you wait they bring out some pizza dough to play with....kind of like Play Dough.
This was the welcoming party outside my room every morning.
It sure was a fun weekend. Today I am headed to catch the train to Dallas with my special interest art group...more to follow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


These collage silhouettes brought a smile to my face
as I walked into the Contemporary Art Museum at TCU. The artist, Alicia Paz was born in Mexico City but has lived all over the world,
 including France and England where she presently resides.
Alicia dabbles in an eclectic mixture of genres some say influenced by her nomad existence over the years..
I am not quite sure the story behind these playful collages....but I thought they were fun.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


I have learned a new word "flaneuse" which is the female of the French word flaneur. To flaneur was the act of strolling about ,usually a top hatted (upper class) man who  walked around 19th century Paris  aimlessly  and reported on what he saw. More than likely things connected to the arts.Women at that time were expected to have chaperones and would not stroll about or flaneur on their own.

The Contemporary Arts Museum on the Texas Christian University campus has an exhibit on modern day flaneuses, from all over the world, reporting back with works of art representing what they have witnessed on their streets. I attended the exhibit with my art appreciation special interest group.

This large photo caught my eye. It is by Martha Cooper who is a photojournalist from Baltimore. In the 1970's and 80's she  documented the graffiti artists in NYC. At that time 80 per cent of the taggers were men. Meet Lady Pink (taken in 1982) who  represented one of the very few female taggers of her time. Lady Pink today is 53yrs old and  a respected artist,muralist and tagger.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


I took a break from unpacking when my sister Polly ask be to go to a musical Hello Dolly at the beautiful Casa Manana theater. 
Translated, the name of the theater is House of Tomorrow. Looking rather futuristic the domed theater was actually built back in 1958 on land where the original Casa Manana was located.

 You see back in 1936 Dallas was chosen over Fort Worth for the Texas Centennial celebrations. Certain Fort Worth officials were furious about this and one man who had the money to do something about it, did. Mr A. Cater set about building exhibits, sideshows, a wild west show and a circus to attract people away from it's rivals (Dallas) event. He even hired Billy Rose (a famous NY showman) to produce the Show of Shows. An outdoor amphitheater seating 4,000 was constructed that even had a mote of spraying fountains that could be operated as a curtain. That complex was dismantled around the time of World War II due to rising costs.

The play was wonderful and the dome theater is the perfect place to see a play or musical up close.

If you have the time...reading about the events here in 1936 may amuse you. Go HERE

Thursday, September 13, 2018

We Made It

Hello from Texas. We had a nice drive home. Some folks make the fourteen hour drive in one day, but we always stay overnight along the way.
We took a different way home this time. Instead of going straight east out of Lake City, we dropped  south at a town called South Fork. This way takes you to Santa Fe, New Mexico by way of Pagosa Springs, CO.. Although Santa Fe was not our destination this time. Our goal was to travel on a small highway (84) that we hadn't been on before.
It did add a couple of hours to our day, but oh my. The 150 miles stretch between Pagosa Springs Colorado and Santa Fe New Mexico is breathtaking. The route takes you past the famous Ghost Ranch where Georgia O'Keeffe lived and painted in her later years. Her place was just a small section of the ranch which is over 21,000 acres and open to the public for various tours. They even have rustic cabins where you can stay overnight. We will plan a trip back  there next summer and hopefully stay over, so we can take a few of those tours.
For more info on the famous Georgia O'Keeffe go HERE

Ft. Worth has had more than the usual amount of rain lately, so the plants on our patio have grown. We are going to trim the Pyracantha Tree this week...which has really grown from all of the moisture. Okay, back to unpacking...or should I go to the grocery store...decisions, decisions...

Saturday, September 8, 2018

I'm Here

.........but not for long. We are headed back to TEXAS early this year. We have a big trip coming (more on that later), and we have a lot to do to get ready.
We did take a break from packing this morning and took a drive to the south of town to see if the leaves had started turning. It looks like peak color for the Aspen is more than a week are so away,

but it was still a pretty drive.
The weather today is sunny,cool and just about perfect. We stopped in town and picked up a gourmet sandwich to split (since I have already emptied and cleaned our fridge).
Back to packing. If you don't find a new post it will be because we are on our way...I will return...Janey

Sunday, September 2, 2018

A Day Trip

As I mentioned previously, my sister Polly and her husband have been visiting.
One of her requests was to drive to a nearby ski resort for lunch and picture taking. 
Above is the Butte of Crested Butte Ski area which is about an hour and a half drive. No, that was no E.T. flying through the frame.
The weather was absolutely perfect so we had lunch on the terrace of a place called The Steep (good choice).
Then we set out taking pictures. The whole town is made up of cute and colorful little (expensive) cottages
and they are all very different
I didn't take nearly as many as she did..but these are all mine
I get distracted now and then by furry animals
and humorous signs
I can only image how pretty these places are in the snow.
but the whole place is a delight in the summer too.
The best way to see this place is of course on foot or by bike.
That way you don't miss anything
We were tired after we got home..but decided it was worth the trip.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Pot Luck

On Wednesday evening all summer the Vicker's Ranch has a potluck on the top of Gold Hill. Sometimes we are lucky enough to be invited.
 To reach the top you drive up a winding (somewhat bumpy) jeep trail through a tall Aspen Forest.
The ride is certainly worth it when you arrive at the top to discover this view.
My sister Polly who is a photographer, could hardly contain her enthusiasm ...and jumped out of the car with her tripod in hand, and started trotting over to the edge. My husband Tom was in fast pursuit to make sure she didn't tumble over the edge!
There is a large fire pit to grill any meat that you bring, and you also bring a dish to share (potluck).
This time of year the crowd has dwindled a bit,
but someone still instructed their Australian Shepard to save their table!