Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Weatherford, Tx

The Courthouse

Dining at the Weatherford Cafe--please note we have another stuffed head on the wall.

These little one-of-a-kind, family owned cafes are great. So far the food has been excellent, always inexpensive and served with pride.
Warning--I'm getting on my soap box again! I beg all of you to stop frequenting the chain restaurants and start supporting the local little diners that make your town unique to all the others (even if it means stuffed heads on the walls!) The fast food places all look alike, know only how to salt and fry blobs of greasy fingers, patties & nuggets and are destroying our health and our taste buds. Don't let them take over! Fight back! Dine out tonight at the corner Mom and Pop place and help bring back real food! Tell them 'Toni sent you"!
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Museum of the Americas

Weatherford has the most wonderful museum of native American cultures and art owned and operated by Harold (above) and Elizabeth Lawrence. Prepare to spend some time here--there is so much to see and every artifact has an interesting story that Dr. Lawrence will be happy to share with you.
Dr. Lawrence and Aunt Louise in the Indian rug exhibit. He found this rug in a lady's house--she had walked on it for years--it had food, dirt and oil ground into it. He had it cleaned and restored and as you can see it is a beautiful work of art.

Masks from all over the Americas.

Just one small corner of many rooms and many exhibits. This museum is a real treasure in this little town and Weatherford should be very proud to have it.

These artifacts are of the Ulen Indians, an extinct tribe found in Patagonia Chile. This area in Chile is so cold that there was little that could be found to make clothes, so to stay warm, the Indians painted their naked bodies from head to foot with oil mixed with dirt and then decorated themselves with white paint.  I wonder if this may explain why they became extinct.
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Weatherford, Tx

This was the Cadillac of stagecoaches--leather seats, plush interiors, and leather suspension straps for a smooth ride. Aunt Louise and I were sold til we heard that they seated 9 passengers in that little space--and not everyone bathed regularly. It was also very expensive to ride in one--even more than going first class in a cross-country flight. The leg room was about the same as third class at the bargain rates.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Doss Heritage and Culture Center, Weatherford, Tx

This state believes in taxidermy! I am not letting Sigh Me out of my sight.

Here is the original RV! I bet it used less gas.
And I think cooking in the Road Trek is a challenge!
At least it isn't stuffed!
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Doss Heritage & Culture Center, Weatherford, Tx

This delightful lady, Carol Williams, gave us a tour of the Center. She is standing next to a statue named "Freedom" by Pamela Stern. Please note the boat coming out of the statue's head. It made me think of the freedom of Halcyon II.
(Ms Williams, please keep in touch and when you start your 'Sailing down the Road' adventure then please let me know.)
The Center had this room set aside for two of Weatherford's more famous inhabitants...
Mary Martin from "South Pacific" and "Peter Pan"
Some of Mary Martin's costumes were there and I couldn't help but notice how tiny she was.

I thought this violin was so pretty.
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Heads & Feet in Weatherford, Tx

'Heads' seem to be the favorite decor of the otherwise really good restaurants in this part of the state.
These specimens were found in the Fire Oak Grill in downtown Weatherford. The food was excellent and the staff were really nice but all those sad brown eyes watching me were a little disconcerting.

However, the feet painting was fun.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Eulogy for Biscuit

Biscuit was a little chihuahua with a big attitude. Of Jayne's two dogs he was her favorite (yes, she even admitted it). Biscuit was a discard--unwanted and unloved until Jayne came along and rescued him. In his later years he developed diabetes and went blind but he could still find his way up a flight of stairs to his apartment door by bumping his nose into everything along the way. And when he arrived home it was his habit to inform Jayne that he wanted his reward--a chewy. And there was no denying that little 10# spitfire. When it came time to eat he would push his sister, Bailey, out of the way even though Bailey outweighed him by 30 pounds.
In his 'macho way' biscuit was lovable--and always the center of attention--much to Bailey's chagrin.
The day after I left Austin, Biscuit became sick beyond what insulin could cure. Jayne had to face the inevitable and say goodbye.
But in his life no dog was more loved. RIP Biscuit.
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dangle Bangles in Austin

Dangle Bangles are created by Jayne Decker and made from beads, found objects and old discarded jewelry.

Top Photo: Bedstead decor

Middle photo: Plant decor

Bottom two photos: Mobiles

She also makes Dangle Bangle night lights, pictures for hanging and lamp shade decor
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Whole Foods/Austin Tx

Jayne Decker (center) is a friend from 23 years back. She now lives in Austin and is in real estate with Prudential. But she is a frustrated artist at heart. Her Dangle Bangles and bead jewelry are creative and inevitably make you smile.
On the right is Jayne's friend Denise. I had the pleasure of meeting her over a dinner at Whole Foods.
Whole foods is also creative--with their gourds! I think Jayne and Denise should check out EHarmony!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Texas State Bird

This critter was right outside Jayne Decker's apartment. As we drove up he was having his dinner of whatever armadillos eat. Jayne jumped out of the car and walked right up to him to get these pictures--he didn't even move from that spot but just kept digging away.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Life on board Halcyon II

Mornings are time to check the email, read the NY Times and think about the next blog entry. Things that make life really special....my French Press one-cup coffee maker and the Mi-Fi when it works. I can be sitting anywhere and have a cup of coffee and quickly hop on line. Sometimes it is the Dairy Queen parking lot, at a rest area picnic table or in a friend's driveway.

Sigh Me lives for her morning brushing. In all this heat she has really shed and it is a challenge to keep the hair under control. Now that it is finally cooling off the shedding better stop--or I will shave her bald!

One of Sigh Me's favorite games is to hide on the floor under the sheet that is way too big for these little bunks. She thinks I can't see her and when I get a foot too near the sheet she reaches out and swats me.
For dinner I always try to have pleasant music (those are speakers from my IPod) and a glass (okay it's a plastic cup) of wine.

Food is simple now but I have many ways to cook--a two-burner gas stovetop, a microwave, a crock pot, and a toaster oven. But everything is in miniature. The refrigerator is convertible from gas, or 12V or electric.

I carry lots of water but I hesitate to drink from the holding tank even though I add a tablespn of bleach each time I fill up. I always have a jug of store bought water on hand but my sister Mary gave me a great hint for drinking water in restaurants. The taste of water changes everytime you go to a new town and sometimes the taste is terrible. She told me to add a squeeze of lemon and a small bit of sugar to the water and--Viola!--it tastes fresh and pure!

Do I regret my decision to do this?  Not yet--not at all!  It is getting easier as I learn all the quirks of this little home and this life. I'll keep you posted.

One last note--I will continue to wait until I leave an area before I will blog about it. I am a single woman traveling alone and I don't want to get careless so I will try not to reveal too much about location while I am actually there.

But--because people are wondering:
*I have been below the fires so the smoke has blown in the other direction from me.
*One of the RV parks I stayed in for a few days was full of rescue workers and fire fighters so I felt pretty sure I would know about any evacuation in plenty of time.
*I will be in the Austin area for another few days then will head back to Ft Worth to get there in time for the wedding and family reunion.

A quick side trip to San Antonio to see my Aunt Cile and Uncle Merrill Harper and my cousin Denise Brown. Denise's daughter will be getting married on October 1st and I will be there at the wedding so I will see them all again. Meanwhile we had a wonderful lunch and reminisced about the 'good-old-days' and recalled all the silly antics the cousins did while growing up. It is so good to laugh and laugh like that--I think laughter is probably the best drug in the world! And it's Low-Cal! What more could you want?
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Deliverance outside of Austin

There I am--in a huge bed.  There are a number of people in the bed with me.  Some are nude--including the guy next to me.  OMG!  It's Burt Reynolds!  And he keeps touching my face!  I swat his hand away.  (You understand, I've never been a Burt Reynolds fan. ) Just then I open my eyes and see Sigh Me standing next to my pillow.  She's patting me on the cheek to get me to feed her.  Oh ugh--I will never eat smoked pork chops again!
Two days later I begin to feel better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Mammoths

Just outside of Waco is this wonderful spot--a prehistoric site that has revealed a family of Mammoth elephants along with various other critters long-since extinct from this continent.