Sunday, May 29, 2022

Summers Here

 This will be our first summer to stay in Texas and not head to the mountains due to the fact that we sold our log home in Lake City, Colorado last year. Years ago when we did stay here all summer. Here was Houston which  is several hundred miles south of where we live now. The climate in Houston is very humid all year and frankly unbearable in the summer. We will see what it’s like here in Fort Worth where it is much dryer and the mornings and evenings can be almost bearable. 



We just returned from morning walk and everyone has their yard in tiptop shape. Notice the unusual driveway at this house.

Pots of flowers grace this entry

This new build has put a lot of thought into dressing up their entry.


It wasn’t the pretty flowers that caught my eye passing this one, but the new paint job on the front door. 

 Although I think I would add a few flower pots!

We are very sad around here due to the horrific slaughter of school children in Uvalde, Texas.  Tom and I are not gun owners, never have been, never will be. We just don’t understand why gun control reform can’t be accomplished. It is getting harder and harder to describe ourselves as proud Texans.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

A Kitchen Window

 When we were building this place almost eight years ago, one of my must haves was a large kitchen window. Some folks would probably not have made that choice given how close these houses are together. They are called zero property line lots. Not sure what that means since the houses are actually ten feet apart.


I know I am in view of the neighbors, but hey I like them and can lower our shades if we need privacy. I guess what I am saying is I cherish  the light over privacy.


Helen next door planted a row of magnolia trees on their side of the fence and I am so enjoying the big white flowers this time of the year. Did you know that the Magnolia tree is the state tree of Mississippi and also the blossoms are the state flower. They have lined some of their freeways with Magnolia trees. 

Is there a feature that would be a must have if you were building a new house?

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Cooler Weather

 The first part of Spring we had unusually cool temperatures in north Texas. Although May switched gears and it’s been unusually hot. Several days reaching over 100 degrees. So this weekend we welcomed much cooler temps!


We decided to switch things up, and take our morning walk in my sister Polly’s neighborhood which is only about a 10 min. drive. The neighborhood was built in the 1920’s and has darling brick cottages and large trees. Some streets the trees actually meet over top of the street. Notice the old street lights.

Every yard seemed to have something blooming,

which made for a very nice walk.


These tall Crepe Myrtles will bloom all summer. Do you take a morning walk?

Friday, May 13, 2022

The Art of Ft. Worth

 I have mentioned before that I am in a special interest group (the art of Ft. Worth) offered by the University where Tom and I take classes.

Today we met at the Kimbell Museum of Art for a special tour with an art historian. She was very informative and one of the many things she explained how artists  painted on wood before before the sixteenth century using natural elements to make their paints by grinding them to a fine powder, and mixing them with of all things egg yolks.


Some colors were very expensive like Ultramarine which was ground lapis from Afghanistan. It was so expensive that painters would only mix up what they could use up in one day. To keep the compounds moist some artists would keep their paint in a pig's bladder and dip the brush in to apply the paint.



The lecture was very informative calling to attention things you wouldn't notice. Like this painting by Diego Velazquez done on canvas in 1632. The artist wiped the prep off of his hand onto the canvas since he knew it would be covered up by the oil paint. Problem is, substances under oil paintings eventually bleed through over time, so to the right of his right shoulder you can see where the painter wiped his hand.

It was also surprising to me that we thought that it was a new thing to photo shop pictures, but this painting of Don Pedro done in oil in 1632 was edited to make the subject look thinner…..since over time the shadow of the original painting that was reduced around the stomach and the calves has become obvious. I guess humanity being vain is not something new!

Monday, May 9, 2022

In Search of Ned

 Sunday was officially Mother's Day in the U.S. and since all of our children live out of town,Tom and I spent the day together. It was a beautiful morning with promises of being very hot, so we went for an early morning drive. There was a place I had recently read about in a school newsletter…and was itching to go.

We went out to the tiny town of Aurora, Texas about a 30 min. drive northwest of Ft. Worth.

There isn’t much left of Aurora since the railroad bypassed it in the late nineteenth century. I of course had visions of a historic old town square.



but this is the only town square that we found.

 

click on photo to enlarge

Although a story written in The Dallas Morning News back in 1897 and frequently revisited by journalist and newscasters short on stories, keeps the little berg alive.



Word has it that in this little cemetery are the remains of that alien that crashed his spaceship into Judge Proctor's windmill early one morning in April, 1897. Not much was left of the pilot onboard, but enough for him to be declared not of this earth.


So in the cemetery, which is about all that is left of the town is supposed to be this tombstone. Problem is it was stolen.


In its place is this rather bad replica, although it seems to be in a different location, and for some strange reason visitors leave little momentous.

The only shout out I can give Aurora is the little barbecue place  appropriately called The Smoking Windmill.

Their specialty and most popular dish.


I hear it is tasty,


and their restroom there is not only unisex but intergalactic! So if you find yourself in North Texas, and nothing else to do…you may want to trek over to Aura and say hello to Ned. Forgot to tell you. His name was Ned (the alien).





Sunday, May 8, 2022

One More

 One more tombstone from Pere LaChaise Cemetery that is. Although if you haven’t been to this famous cemetery in Paris, it is worth a visit. They now have a sign when you enter that you can download (upload)? a map in English so that you can navigate easily, or you can arrange a tour.


I guess it is obvious why this one caught my eye. Oh my! All I could find out online is that it is the grave of Fernand Arbelot an actor, musician who died in 1942 and he wanted to be able to forever gaze into the face of his wife…Seems he got his wish.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Back to Pere Lachaise

 In one of my previous posts you may have noticed a picture of two of our daughters peering into a family mausoleum in Pere LaChaise Cemetery in Paris. It was not on our list of things to do, but we decided to walk through since our cooking class was in the neighborhood….and I am so glad we did! It was a beautiful day and so many interesting graves.



One of the tombstones that I thought interesting was this one. I didn’t understand why there were lipstick kisses all over it. Was it designed this way, or did people actually  kiss it?

So, I have researched it.Yes those are actually kisses people have left there . Alain Baschung was the most influential and admired French singer and composers in the last forty years (or so the article said). 

In years past visitors have left kisses on the tombstone of Oscar Wilde who is also buried in the cemetery until a glass shield covering was added to the grave to prevent this…so now they are kissing Baschung!Who knew?




Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Our Favorite Seats

 Don’t know about you, but we are not willing to cough up the money for business class seats even on international flights.. We had rather use our travel budget to go more often, which meant riding back in coach.


So were were happy when the major airlines came up with a class of service that doesn’t break the bank. For our last two international trips, we have had these seats coming and going. They are the first row in premium coach. The number one thing I like is the footrest. Flying for so many hours my legs ache unless I can elevate them. 

Not only that, but seats are bigger, have some cubbyholes, and the first row has tons of legroom. This would all be enough for me but the meals are also better, served on real dishes, and they finally have decent sized pillows.

We have one more international trip this year and we have already reserved our favorite seats..Have you flown premium coach? 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Just a Few Pictures from Paris

 Just some random pictures from our week in Paris…










We sure had a wonderful time…

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Bonjour!

 If you have been wondering where I am…well we have been traveling! We planned  this trip almost two years ago…hoping things would be better by now….




Sad that things aren’t exactly like they were before…but we decided to go anyway. Hello from Paris!


Our French Rotary exchange student from 23 yrs. ago took the train into Paris to spend the day with us.


Then all five of our daughters arrived and we rented a luxury apartment (not like us) for a whole week .
Here we were having a special dinner on the deck prepared by our chef!

more to follow…

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Around Town

 When you move to a new town, it is always fun to scout out all of the restaurants and coffee shops.

Just south of downtown, which here is referred to as the near south side, I spied a coffee shop where I was just sure I could get a strong cup of coffee and maybe a croissant.



The name of the place certainly implied that.



Strange choice for a mural on the side wall though, maybe a picture of the Champs-elysees or the Eiffel Tower would have been a better choice,



but when this place opened long about 1927 it was named after the owner, a Mr. Paris…not the iconic French capitol.



This place was more like an old diner where you could get an authentic Texas breakfast. Yes, biscuits and gravy really is a common side dish,

and if you came at lunch you wouldn’t want to leave without a slice of pie. Pictured here is a coconut meringue  just like grandma use to make.


So you can imagine how sad everyone was when the most recent owner (since 1964) a Mr. Smith announced his retirement and oh no…the closing of the store…which was a couple of years ago.


Well just this week…great news! Riding in like the Lone Ranger to save the day.. was a group of young investors with a chef among them here to save the day.The coffee house/diner will reopen once it is refreshed but not destroyed and the best news is they have been able to retain the staff…some of them  have worked there for decades. You know, the type of waitress that  addresses you as “honey”.

So next time you are in Ft. Worth…you may want add to  the Paris Coffee House to your list!

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Down on the Ranch

 We have some friends here in Ft. Worth that were also neighbors in the little mountain town in Colorado (where we use to spend our summers). Well, they also have a ranch west of Ft. Worth that I’ve always wanted to visit, and we finally got an invitation.



You drive about and hour and a half west of town on the freeway, but the last mile is down a gravel road,


as is the driveway up to the house.


There are two small flat top mountains on the property and the house sits at the base of one of them. They both have great hiking trails.



The little farm house was built in the 1920’s making it 100 years old,


although our friends  bought the 2, 000 spread back in1996. 
They have enlarged the kitchen, added another family room, bedroom and bath at the back of the house.
 
 

This is the original family room. Funny, I tried to level this picture, and gave up when I finally realized the old floor has slanted with age.


One of the four cute bedrooms.
 
Oh and there were several cows about.


The whole day was about being outside, enjoying each other’s company and of course eating some good Texas barbecue.Thanks for the invite Kerry and John.