Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In review ...

Well, I'm home (just got back Friday p.m.) but wanted to put on a bunch of pictures I failed to show you earlier in our visit to Texas.  Wasn't keeping things up to date here and my 'back home now' resolution will be to keep this journal more up-to-date ...

So here in pictures are some of the highlights of places we went and things we saw in TX.

Did I already show you this? If I did, I'm doing it again because I was just struck by the unique home d├ęcor I saw there at shops and open houses ... This is a hammered copper bath tub. Love it!
And of course, to go with that tub you need this MESQUITE wood sink!  No joke!  There were several of these in a booth at an antiques shop in New Braunfels.
We walked the top of he dam at Canyon Lake!  It was 8/10ths of a mile one way.  We were plum tuckered out by the time we got back to the truck (which was parked well away from where we started I must add!).

(And just to prove that we made it all the way, here's a picture from the other end!)
Went to the Texas Hill Country Heritage Museum and saw some awesome dino tracks. They have a very large covered area to protect the tracks which were uncovered in the 80's while excavating for an RV park ...

This sculpture was outside the Heritage Museum. 
Went to Kerrville one day and spent the afternoon at the Museum of Western Art.  This sculpture was near the entrance.  I really enjoyed this museum, which featured mainly paintings and sculpture.  There was a special exhibit of hand made saddles while were there (which I now appreciate as an art).

We enjoyed the New Braunfels Railroad Museum one afternoon.  It's a small museum, right downtown by the RR track, manned and maintained by volunteers.
This 'speeder' was one of the exhibits at the RR Museum. I thought it was unique.
While driving out in the hill country, between two towns there was this place called Camp Verde.  It had been near an Army fort back in the day, and they tried an experiment using camels. So everything there is about camels. Today it is the post office, general store, restaurant, and inn. I could stay here.  Pretty country thereabouts.

This is the old post office (in the Camp Verde general store); the new PO is now in another room. But I really liked this picture with the hats and the old PO boxes ... That's their business logo at bottom, with the camel.

You might not know, but I'm hooked on cholla skeletons (dried cactus).  I found a booth in an antiques shop in New Braunfels with LOTS of stuff made from cholla! A bed, several chairs, a floor lamp, a footstool, and this adorable little lamp made to look like a wagon!  What's not to love!?!? (But I gotta tell you, the bed was over $1000 !!! And this lamp $129. Yikes!)
We went to a drive-thru Wildlife Ranch that was very near our cottage.  Really enjoyed it!  They gave you a bag of feed when you entered.  Here's Wendell getting ready to feed the zebra: he'd say "Open wide and say ahh!" and then ....

... the zebra would open it's mouth like this and W. would throw in the food!  (I have a feeling that zebra has done that before!  Several times!) This went on for some time, until W.'s arm got tired of throwing I think!  LOL!

We went to a WWII battle reenactment in Fredericksburg.  They're getting ready to use the flame-thrower on the Jap pill box!

We won!  Mopping up loose ends.  Wendell and I were very impressed.  So many volunteer hours goes into this.  I bought a souvenir hand grenade to hang from my mirror to help the cause ...

When the reenactment concluded, all of the 'soldiers', Japanese & US, marched in for a curtain call.  They also asked all veterans present to stand.  I was proud when Wendell stood up with many other men who have served in the military that were in attendance that day.
On the way home we stopped at BassPro in Springfield MO.  Beside shopping we enjoyed the wildlife museum (still under construction) and the Firearms Museum.  Spent two half-days there and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Spent too much $$ and ate too well at Hemmingway's.

But now the party's over and it's back to the old routine.  Have lots to tend to in the next couple weeks. And I'm motivated to clean up the yard when I see the daffodils working their way up.  So that's what my life's been like these past three months.  Here's to a new year!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thought you'd like to see the place we're staying ...

I decided I'd put some pics on here of the place we're staying this year.  Enjoying the house.  Nothing much to complain about; it's like any house -- it has its idiosyncrasies.  I think we'd like it a lot better if had been warmer outside! LOL!  But EVERYONE I talk to says that they're not having a normal winter here.  I just heard it again this a.m. at a little shop I visited on the way to church.  Turned in my second prayer shawl today and it'll be blessed this coming week (none of the pastors were in the office today).  Think later today we're going to New Braunfels to visit a antiques shop and try to bargain for a cowhide I like. (We'll see how that goes.  IF it's still there ...)  Then on to On the Half Shell for dinner.

Well, here's the pictures of our cottage.  I didn't put any on of the upstairs because all I've used it for is my sewing room while here ...

View from the front.

Front porch, where we spend some time when the sun is shining. There are these huge rosemary bushes all around the house.  I'm going to cut a start to bring home with me!
Here's the main area of the living space. The windows look out over a big valley; we're on a hill.  It's like you can see forever; really beautiful after dark.
The master bedroom, on the first floor.
Kitchen ....
Looking toward the back door ... I spend a lot of time in the evenings at that little desk on this computer! Wendell spends a lot of time in that recliner, reading!  As you can see, the place is small and cozy (and not much to keep clean).  We're comfortable here.

Hope you enjoyed this little tour. Now you can see in your mind's eye where I'm at!  Have a blessed week.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A visit to the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture ...

We had a really interesting trip to New Braunfels recently that I want to share with you.  NB is pretty close to us -- about 20 miles.  And there's lots to do there.  For one thing, there are at least four great antique shops downtown, not counting lots of other interesting shops in the same area.  And a few decent restaurants.  Like lots of towns, most of the everyday shopping is now in the suburbs, but we really like New Braunfels.  If we 'had' to choose a town to live in around here it would be NB.  (But I wouldn't move here unless someone gave me a house, then I'd sell it and move elsewhere.  Just too many people ......)

But anyway, we enjoy visiting this area.  There's a lot to do and see.  We enjoy visiting the town of Gruene, which is really just part of NB.  More about Gruene later maybe (we were there again just last week).

So anyway, we took a day and went to NB.  Had a great lunch at a place called the Fork & Spoon that was recommended to Wendell.  It was really pretty nice and surprisingly so.  It was in a large strip center and when you walked in you could see that they had lots of business!  So we figured the food must be good and it was.  Plus they have a bakery in the next room and had a couple cases in the front of the restaurant.  Then we went on to the Museum ...

When we arrived a docent was just starting a tour.  There was only one other couple and us.  It's a house museum and when you first drive in it doesn't look like much.  But it's bigger than you think ...  Anyway, the docent gave a really good and extensive tour of the house which took about an hour.  The house had been moved to that location decades ago and the entire story of the house was interesting.  As I've mentioned before, this is a German area and most of the histories around here involve Germans.  The furniture, which is the centerpiece of the museum, was all handmade.  When you first walk in, in the large center hall, is a huge wardrobe!  Almost all of the furniture was made of walnut, which we found surprising considering we haven't seen any walnut trees around here.  I guess they're all gone now ...  She allowed us to go upstairs on our own and it was great!  The back part of the house was added at a later date and I loved it because it had lots of windows and was very light and airy.  She wouldn't let us take many pictures and I actually 'snuck' a couple besides the few she would let us take.  They are worried about people copying the furniture (like I would be able to do that!). 

After we left the house we visited the woodworking shop, an old dog-trot log cabin where one half was furnished in primitive pieces (more my style), a cabin they called a line shack (stone and log), and the detached kitchen which was fully stone.  It was a full afternoon and I could have looked around a lot more on my own if they would have allowed it.  We toured with a very nice couple from Alaska who were staying at an RV park nearby.  Another interesting thing -- they had a few college students there that day doing yard work and I was encouraged by their willingness to volunteer to help keep the grounds there in shape.

Here's some pictures I took that day .... Enjoy!

Now I know this is a weird picture, but I took this in the bathroom.  I have NEVER seen fixtures that looked like they were made from copper tubing!  This bathroom was carved out of a closet in the main house and it was long and skinny.  I think there was an outhouse in the back yard originally ...
Now back to the subject at hand ... Here's the front entrance of the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture, a house museum in New Braunfels, TX.
I was especially taken with this walnut kitchen cabinet with screen wire on the doors. This was my favorite piece on the tour. Most of the furniture in the front part of the house were more formal pieces.
This is the back dining room. There was a large collection of ironstone in this room! That on the table and in the cupboard on the left is just a small part of it. To my back was an entire wall of it! But I wasn't allowed to photograph it ...
This is one end of the upstairs, which was the son's dormitory back in the day; they had 7 sons.  It was unfinished but fully furnished.  There were lots of woven rugs which especially interested me ... Below are just a couple of the chests up there.  The beams were amazing! 

This was the dog trot cabin; the log end was primitively furnished and I really liked it.  The flower bed on the left had bluebonnets coming up already!

Here's one wall of the woodworking shop. I took lots of pictures of some really old tools; too many to bore you with here but I have some neat pictures of some unusual tools!

Here's the summer kitchen. It was fully furnished in period (mid to late 1800s) kitchen furniture. There was a wonderful long work table in there! Believe it or not, at one time this building was turned 90 degrees. It's cut stone! Awesome!

Here's the line cabin which was part cut stone and part log. It was of course moved here from the original ranch. Also on the grounds was an old, large school house, but it was not on the tour. The school is used for special events now. The grounds are beautiful and I could see weddings here with the 'school' used as the reception area.

I just liked this picture ...