Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Mascot

Schools and colleges around the U. S. have mascots. A mascot according to Wikipedia is any person, animal or object to bring good luck.

A lot of people think it rather amusing that the university in our town chose the Horned Toad (pictured above) as their mascot. He is almost invisible in this picture, as they blend in with the landscape. The Horned Toad, which has sadly become rather scare, in reality is not a toad... but a lizard. When I was a child they were plentiful in North Texas, and I remember not being afraid of them. We would discover them burrowed into the sand and play with them, even though we were warned that they could squirt blood from their eyes when threatened. I never saw this happen, so I guess they were not afraid of me either.
In the neighborhood near the university (Texas Christian Univ.) on the corner by the Chancellors resident, is a new bench of their mascot...the Horned Toad. I had to laugh because they did not put the little horns along its back....probably because it would make it uncomfortable to sit on..

Have you ever seen a Horned Toad?

top photo credit: The Internet

Sunday, January 27, 2019


Have you ever done it? Used packing cubes? I have decided to try, so that I can carry everything on the plane. It is not so much to save money, since we have a credit card where the airlines allow us to check a bag for free. It is for an upcoming trip where we have a close connection, and I don't want to arrive without any clothes. 
The packing cubes I purchased are from Sharper Image, although I got them at a discount store ($14.95 for all three). In the larger one I was able to pack 8 blouses, a sundress 1 nightgown, 1 robe, 2 swimsuits and a cover-up. In the next smaller bag I have packed 3 pair of capri's, two pair of slacks and a pair of shorts. The smallest one is full of unmentionables. I might add, to make all of this fit you must roll the items.
Yippee, they fit in the suitcase with a corner left over for two extra pair of shoes and a foldable sun-hat.
My smaller carry-on, that will go under the seat will have my I-pad, liquid toiletries, etc.
What have I forgotten?
Donna, I hope you have an iron :)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Difficult Climb

I think many of you know by now that I have difficulty understanding most modern art.

So, hopefully you will forgive me for giggling when I walked into the room displaying a work of art by Martin Puryear. Only later with a bit of research, do I understand why a ladder that gets so small at the top that few could climb it, would be a metaphor dedicated to the struggles of one who was born a slave, and became and esteemed educator ....Booker T. Washington.

Washington (1856-1915) was an African American  with a long list of accomplishments, including advisor to presidents. whose autobiography was titled. "Up from Slavery".

The photo from The Modern's site will give you a better visual. For more on Puryear and Booker T. Washington go :HERE

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life
 as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

 Booker T. Washington.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Modern

While Tom's granddaughter Annie was here over the weekend, we tried to find things to do indoors due to the unusually cold weather.
 So, we visited a couple of museums starting with The Modern. I don't have to tell you who this artist is. Picasso is one artist that many can readily identify. Although, when I visited The  Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris there were what I refer to as normal paintings of his. Only later did I learn that he didn't switch to Cubism until about 1907.

excuse the bad photography
I actually own a Picasso self portrait (numbered print of a sketch). It was a gift from my daughter's. It was done in 1901 when he was very new to Paris. Look closely and you can see the Eiffel Tower in the background. The man in the red coat is the wealthy friend of a friend Jaume Andreau Bonsons. I like the way at this point Picasso was still acting like the tourist he was. I by the way prefer the paintings he did before Cubism....

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Tom’s granddaughter came for a visit this weekend. She is a freshman at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. We are so happy she decided to come to school in Texas instead of Georgia where she grew up. Annie and her family are regular visitors to our home in Colorado,but she has never been to Ft. Worth. So, we spent a fun weekend showing her our new town...which we love.

This is not the sort of place we usually show people, but she spotted this abandoned building on the north side and it was just the sort of place an avid photographed loves to photograph.

We also took her to our famous stockyards where they have a cattle drive with longhorn steers twice daily. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to be there at one of those appointed times, but I know where the pens are, so she did get to photograph a few of  the steers

Yesterday was bitterly cold here and the wind made it even colder with the wind chill in the low 20’s, but when we got out today it was a bit warmer and the wind had died down.

I hope your weather has been agreeable and you have been able to enjoy being outside.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Who Knew?

You never know what you are going to find when you stop here!

Not too many folks sew anymore, but surely there are those that still sew on a button. I was dismayed when I was doing a very large sewing project (table toppers for my daughter’s wedding) and my thread kept breaking while trekking along on my sewing machine. A lady at a fabric store suggested that I try Gütermann thread (German) as it was a bit stronger.....and she was right.

What I did not know at that time...

Is that there is a hidden compartment in these spools!

It makes the perfect place to store a needle when traveling!

Did any of you know this?

Monday, January 14, 2019

Winter Color

We sure have enjoyed our espalier that we had installed on the wall separating our house from our neighbors. We moved into what they call a zero property line home about four years ago. That means our property is very narrow and the neighbors are only ten feet away. We are separated by a brick wall. Having had a large beautifully landscaped backyard in the home we downsized from, it wasn’t long before that grey wall in my face had me a bit depressed.
Espalier is a French word referring to a trained vine on a wall, in this case the vine is Pyracantha  .
In the Spring it has pretty white flowers for about two weeks. The berries show up in the Fall and stay until Spring. It is hard to see, but we have  installed  up lights that illuminate the entire wall in the evening. The lights are on a timer and come on at dark and turn off around 11pm. 

It is still not the beautiful backyard we had before....but I am happier now that I can see something other than bricks.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Oh My!

Over a half century in time...has not been  kind to this place.
I went back to my small hometown again this weekend for yet another funeral. On a previous blog I wrote about losing my cousin Tim. Well, a week later his older sister died.
On the way back out of town after the funeral I ask my husband to pull over as we were passing an old neglected house. This was the house where my grandparents lived way back in the early 50's. I do not know who owns it now, but sadly it has not been cared for. I have so many sweet memories here. My sister Suzanne was with us, and together we conjured up even more.
 Feeling nostalgic I even ask my most agreeable (well sometimes) husband to pull around to the back alley. This is the very alley where my cousin Tim and I headed out on our adventure so many years ago. See: Here

Have a wonderful week! ...and hopefully I will have something happier to post about...Janey

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A Walk

We have experienced some cold wet weather here in North Texas, and since we rarely have snow, we just accept it as the weather we have during the holidays. The last couple of days though have been pleasant  with mild I was able to get out for a walk.
This stucco home caught my eye, and I was happy to see they still had their modest but beautiful decorations up. We don't have a lot of Pueblo style homes in Ft. Worth as some will argue we are not part of the Southwest....surely not considered to be part of the South, even though we are a southern most state. Actually, to put Texas in either slot is difficult, and maybe the line (that doesn't exist) runs directly through the state.I do like that our neighborhood is made up of all styles of architecture.

 Here is a new one being built, and it is huge. Hopefully they  have a house full of kids to fill it up, but my guess is that it is just being built by a couple. Rumor has it that these walls will  also be covered in stucco....I will have to keep you up on it's progress.
I hope that your weather has been nice enough to get out for a stroll too....Janey

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Old Red Barn

I will warn you....this is long.

I wanted to share with you ...a memory

When I was around seven years old I use to play with my sisters and my cousin Tim in an old red barn similar to this. Tim was the youngest in a family with five kids, and they had a dairy farm on the outskirts of my small hometown.Nearby they had a newer shiny metal barn, so this one was just used to hold extra hay and became the location of our official clubhouse. I remember how much fun it was to slide down the wooden hay chute that went from the loft to the bottom floor..that is until you disturbed a goose sitting on her eggs, and she would chase us around nipping at our heels.We would also hang out  the door of the loft when we heard little Central Airlines taking off from the nearby airport. Waving and screaming as they flew over what seemed like just above our heads hoping that they would wave back...and once they actually did!

I have a lot of memories of my cousin Tim like when we were about 4 years old (the two of us being  the same age) at my  grandmother's house. Her maid Jesse was supposed to be watching us . My grandmother at the time lived in a house that had a wide alley running behind it. Tim (surely it wasn't me) decided we needed to take a "hike" and see where that alley ended up.Gosh what an adventure, that is until Jesse appeared lumbering after us with a switch in her hand.

Once I got to spend the night on the farm, also when I was about four. Tim and I discovered a wet spot on the mattress the next morning. Neither of us wanted to claim it, so we concocted a story to tell his Mom about a bear that came through the window and peed on the bed.

So many of these memories came flooding back...because yesterday I attended Tim's funeral . He left behind a loving family that included his wife, five children, several grands and numerous cousins who loved him dearly.

Image credit the Internet

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year

Well, it is here...ready or not.
I wonder what this new year will bring? I know we all have hopes that it will be the best year yet. Having celebrated a few new ones... I just hope it will top 2018!
We spent our first day of the  year having a very nice lunch at one of my niece's.
They served grilled steaks with all of the trimmings including black eyed peas. You see, in the U.S. (at least in the South) it is a custom that you simply must eat black eyed peas if you are to have good luck in the new year.
It seems also to have become a day of non stop football on the t.v.
So, that is how I spent my day. Just wanted to wish you and yours a very happy new year, and ask if there are any customs or traditions connected to your first day?