Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter comes to Dallas for 1 day

On my way home on Tuesday, as I crossed Abrams on Church Road I was transported to a Winter Wonderland. Lake Highlands was the only part of the city to get snow. What a surprise. I was lucky to have my camera with me so I could take pictures. By this afternoon it was all gone. I know this is no big deal to many people, but in Dallas this was special. Last Sunday 79 degrees, Tuesday snow, Saturday in the 70s then Sunday it is expected tp be in the mid 30s. The cold weather never lasts long. I like that.

Driving down White Rock Trail towards home.


Close up of lights in the front bushes.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Celebrating Charlie's 88th birthday

Today Jeannette, Jeannette's Mom and I spent the day celebrating Jeannette's Dad's 88th birthday. The plan for the day began to come together when I heard on the radio yesterday after work that the Space Shuttle Endeavour was being transported on a 747 back to Florida. It landed at Ft. Worth's Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base yesterday afternoon and would be taking off around 11:00am today for Louisanna then on to Florida. Jeannette called her parents to see if they would be interested in an adventure. Without hestitation, hey said yes. Jeannette and I picked up Charlie and Marian around 9:30am and headed for Ft Worth. Just before 11:00am we found an empty lot overlooking the Joint Reserve Base to veiw the take off.

Within minutes of us parking in this lot with hundreds of other cars and trucks, a humungus C-17 Globemaster III Tactical Transport Aircraft took off. It has a payload of 169,000 pounds.

Before I had a chance to set up my tripod and camera the 747 had taken off with the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its back. What a sight.

The last time it stopped in Ft. Worth was in 1997 and I was not able to take off of work to see it. Today both Jeannette and I had planned to take a vacation day. What luck. They say since the space shuttle won't be used after 2010, we would never get another chance to see it. I'm so glad we went.

After having a BBQ lunch at Ft. Worth's legendary Angelo's BBQ, Marian and Charlie guided us to see the house President George Bush and Laura just bought. Jeannette's Mom new exactly where it was. It is very close to their house north of Walnut Hill Lane near the Tollway. In fact, the Bush's will have the same zipcode as Jeannette's parents.

We understand the Bush's also bought the house next door. Maybe it will be for their Secret Service Agents.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Time to plant Pansies

I usually wait until the first frost to pull up the Summer flowers and plant the Winter ones. Today it was sunny and in the mid 60s. Beautiful weather to plant. The Pansies will stay until around April when it will be time to put in the hot weather plants like Begonias, Vincas and Moss Rose.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Our 33rd Honeymoon

Every anniversary, Jeannette and I take a honeymoon trip. Some years it's been close by and some years we were lucky to go farther away. This year we decided to go to Seattle.

On our way to Seattle, I spotted this plane. If you look closely, you can see through the clouds the Rocky Mountains.

Seattle is located between Lake Washington and Elliott Bay. and in the background is Puget Sound. Seattle grew in the late 1880's when the gold prospectors would stop and buy a year's worth of provisions before heading for Alaska. My impression of Seattle is that it is the San Francisco of the Northwest.

Our first stop was for a seafood brunch at a restaurant with view of Seattle.

Seattle skyline in background.

The Freemont Troll has been lurcking under the Aurora bridge since 1990. He is 18 feet tall and made out of concrete.

Jim & Jeannette

In his left hand, he crushes an old red Volkswagen Beetle. It is a real car.

This is a view from the observation deck at the Space Needle. If you look closely, you can see Mt. Ranier in the middle of the picture. One of the guides said that it is like that most of the time. It drizzled off and on most of the time we were there. That's typical. They say you can tell the difference between the tourists and the locals because the tourists are the ones with umbrellas. It's true. We saw very few umbrellas. They say that the typical Seattlite thinks their epidermis is made of GORE-TEX.

Both Bruce Lee and his son Brandon are buried in Seattle. The cemetary was easy to find. We had to ask a couple of times for directions to the gravesite and they all knew where it was.

People still leave flowers and messages.

In the movie, "Sleepless in Seattle", Tom Hanks lives on a houseboat. There is a community of houseboats on Lake Union. The west side of the lake is commercial and the east side is residential. The day we returned, that houseboat from the movie was for sale for $1.2 mil.

We drove around Lake Union at sunset to get this picture of the Seattle skyline in the background.

Jeannette and Martha Stewart shopping at a cheese shop at Pike Place. We didn't bother her by asking for an autograph. She used this shop on one of her shows a few months ago. Pike Place is like the West Side Market in Cleveland.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


A couple of Saturdays ago Jeannette and I were in Ft. Worth. After visiting the Botanical Gardens we drove along the Trinity River. And to my surprise I saw looked out the driver's window an spotted a cat and 2 raccoons. I stopped the car, got out and slowly moved in to take a picture. As I got closer, the cat ran off but the 2 raccoons stayed and kept eating.
I decided to wait and see if I could get even closer. A couple of minutes later the children of the 2 raccoons came out to eat. If you look closely, you will see a total of 5 raccoons.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Welcome home the Troops

ALL DAYS : planes arrive at 8:00am to DFW. This plane is a straight shot from Kuwait and will contain a large number of troops... as many as 250 per flight. They disperse to the entire country from here. There are 2 arrival destinations, Dallas and Atlanta. It is heartwarming. Jeannette and I have done this before. There is music playing, lots of hand clapping, plenty of hand shakes and genuine comments of appreciation. Most Troops are grateful of the salute to them upon their arrival. They work so hard and give so much that it is the least we can do.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My backyard

Snapdragons do well in the backyard under the Chinese Tallow tree. They love this time of year.

This is a Citronella plant. I have never seen one before. So, when I saw it, I had to buy it. My mother always had a small bottle of Citronella oil that she would anoint my sister and I with to keep the mosquitoes away. I have no idea to this day whether it works. The little delicate pink flowers in the lower left hand corner are Dianthus. Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) is a species of Dianthus native to the mountains of southern Europe from the Pyrenees east to the Carpathians and the Balkans. I don't know if these are Sweet William. I have them in 3 different places in the backyard.

Our water fountain is up and running again this year. It's not very big, maybe 24 inches across but we can hear the sound of water from anywhere in the backyard. I planted Geraniums around it.

Monday, March 31, 2008

My African Cichlid Aquarium

I have always enjoyed tropical fish. When I was little, my Uncle Merle and Aunt Anne had a pet store with tropical fish and parakeets. Over the years I have had assorted aquariums. All but one was fresh water. Once I had a salt water aquarium with a Lion fish. It was a beautiful fish, but he didn't live very long. I think a 15 gallon tank is too small for salt water fish.

About 2 years ago I bought a 46 gallon bow front and stocked it with African Cichlids. I have been very happy with it. We have it in the den so we can see it all the time. There are 2 good tropical fish stores in Dallas that carry African Cichlids. Here is a picture of my tank I took last year. I wonder if Gabey can count the number of fish in the picture.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Patio Plants

Both the Johnny Jump Ups and the Pansies were planted in the fall. They will live through the winter but will die off the the temperature gets above 90 degrees.

Spring has arrived in Dallas

Here are some of my friends that came out today to watch me work in the yard. We have about 6 Green Anoles that live around and on the patio. They will change to either green or brown to adapt to their surroundings. Some call them chameleons. When Dorothy and I were little, Mom took us to the Circus and brought home a chameleon.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I had mentioned to Dorothy that I have have a couple of violet plants. I believe I have been able to keep the alive for the at least the last 5 years due to the plant pots I bought at Home Depot. They have an inner pot that you plant the violet in. The inner pot is then placed into the outer pot. The outer pot has a hole on the outside for you to add water. This method of watering lets the water from the outer pot seep slowly into the inner pot keeping the plant soil moist all the time. It has worked for me.

In the beginning

In the hope of better communication with family and friends, I have started a blog. My sister Dorothy and my two nieces Chris and Shari all have blogs. Since I have enjoyed keeping up with them, I want to try my hand at it. My niece Shari and her husband Jeff have 2 remarkable children. It has been through her blog that I have been kept close to their lives.I had a hard time deciding on a blog name. My sister Dorothy gave me the inspiration with her blog name. Since I like cars, food and movies, Jim's Drive-in seemed like a logical choice.