Tag Archives: Texas

Where, oh where, did October go?

Wow, we really had a busy October. During the week we were at the SOWER office in Lindale where Gary was replacing the central A/C system and I was busy with some post-Board meeting document review. It wasn’t all work – since the SOWER office is located on the edge of a small community where lots of our SOWER friends have settled, we did manage to get in a couple of runs to the Texas Stop Sign (Dairy Queen) and a couple nights of cards. It was great to see the SOWER office in action, and also great to hang out with some of our wonderful SOWER friends.
Bass Lake
Toward the end of each week we would head to Waco and the Parrott Avenue Zoo. Along with playing with all the critters (and of course visiting with daughter Lara), we also got a fair bit of work done. I’ve already mentioned the fence, but our main inside project was the downstairs bathroom. The bathroom had great vintage tile and cool embossed wallpaper, but the paper was peeling off the walls, the lighting was icky and ceiling was purple. Yes, purple.
Bath Before-1
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Bath Before-3
After we got the wallpaper off and the walls washed down, the next big job was getting the ceiling white!
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Yeah, that took a couple of coats.
But then the wall color wasn’t a one coat job either –
Bath During-1
It took the entire month before it really came together, and it still needs the finishing touches (I think she is looking for some great black and white prints for the walls), but I love it! And I know Lara’s delighted to finally keep her toothbrush in the bathroom again!
Bath Done-1
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Pretty sweet, don’t you think?

Lara was gone one weekend so that weekend we worked on a surprise raised garden for her (at the prompting of her housemates).
Lara's Garden-1
Lara's Garden-2
Lara's Garden-3
(look, he let me use his hammer!)
After we got the beds made, it was on to the fence (you know, to keep the zoo out!). After about 20 minutes with a post hole digger, we located the closest rental center and got ourselves a REAL post hole digger.
Lara's Garden-4
Let me tell you, it was the best $60.00 we’ve ever spent!
Lara's Garden-5
And even with the REAL tool, it still took two of us to get through some of that good old Texas dirt/clay/sand/roots……
Hugh (one of the housemates) got home in time to help wrap up the fence,
Lara's Garden-6
and by the end of the day, it was pretty well finished.
Lara's Garden-7
By the time Lara got home on Sunday, the gardens were full of dirt and their first crop (broccoli, kale and lettuce) was planted. She was delighted!
Don’t think we worked all the time, though! Along with getting totally addicted to HGTV and all of the “Sell the House” and “Property Virgins” type shows, we also set records for the number of trips to LOWES in a day, sampled some great local food joints, and took in the Baylor Homecoming Parade.
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That’s Judge Ken Starr, the new president of Baylor followed by one giant bear –
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This parade had some pretty elaborate floats
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and then some not quite as elaborate floats –
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A little rain to make it interesting
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A little wind to keep you on your toes
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and we personally had one very large white dog that was like having a “Can we pet her?” magnet at our feet!
Baylor Parade-6
Lara will never be at a loss for folks to talk to as long as she has Nali out for a walk!

But it was truly a great month. We worked hard and we played hard. We got to spend time with friends and we got to spend time with family. I’m not sure it really gets any better than that!

Parrott Avenue Zoo

Our daughter Lara has a big heart. A very big heart. And she also has a dog. A very big dog.
Meet Nali –
Nali
Nali (short for Denali in honor of her trip to Alaska last summer) is a Great Pyrenees and she is one big gentle giant.
Lara also has two big fluffy cats -Clementine, who has the loudest purr engine I have ever heard and is definitely the “queen cat” of the house-
Clementine
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and Bear – who is quite the classic cat, with a “you’ll see me if I want you to see me” attitude –
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Also sharing the house are Angel and Emery, who belong to one of her housemates-
Emery and Angel
and Evie, who belongs to the other housemate.
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All in all, quite the assortment of critters for one house.
But remember that big heart I mentioned earlier?
Lara also takes in Foster Puppies from the local animal shelter –
Meet Stretch – who is quite the combination of short basset legs and giant feet, a cute beagle face, and the fetching speed of a labrador retriever. All he really wants to do is play and be with you – and I’m happy to report that Stretch has found a forever home with Lara’s next door neighbors!
Stretch
And Squirt – full of energy and waiting for a good home. Where Stretch is a fetcher, Squirt’s game is tug-of-war.
Squirt
And then this fellow arrived for the weekend –
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Hans? Scotty? He hasn’t gotten an official name yet since we think he’s only staying for the weekend.
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There’s always lots of puppy activity going on –
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Friends
Playing
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Squirt and Nali
Big Heart – Big (Fenced)Yard – Big Fun!
The Parrott Avenue Zoo

So, Waco

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Waco, Texas, is known for many things. It’s home to Baylor University, (oldest institute of higher education in Texas), the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, and beautiful Waco Lake.
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There’s the Waco Suspension Bridge, that was the longest single-span suspension bridge west of the Mississippi when it was completed in 1870.
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And Waco is also the birthplace of the Dr. Pepper softdrink, and the Dr. Pepper Museum –
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We finally made it to the museum and were pleased to have our own personal tour guide – Katie, who is one of Lara’s housemates.
Waco-Dr Pepper
(Sorry, Katie – I should have asked you to stop and smile so I could have gotten a better picture of you doing your “thing”!)
Katie not only gave us a great tour of the museum
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but also arranged for a “behind the scenes” tour of some of the Dr. Pepper “overflow” –
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It was fun to see all the extra’s waiting for just the right spot in the museum. Or to try to imagine that dress on someone. Anyone.
As you can see, Waco is home to lots of interesting things to see and do. And we’ve been able to enjoy some of them. But to us, Waco is home to our daughter –
Lara 10_10
and THAT’s what we love about Waco!

Ark-La-Tex

I always find it interesting how different areas refer to themselves. Back where I’m from there’s DelMarVa (Delaware, Maryland, Virgina) and PenJerDel (Pennylvania, New Jersey, Delaware) and in S. Alabama/N. Florida Panhandle there’s The Wiregrass and lot’s of places that call themselves “The Valley” (Palm Springs, CA and the Rio Grande Valley in S. Texas to name a few). Gary & I have just spent the last several days in Ark-La-Tex

ARKLATEX

While we did spend a night in Texarkana, most of the time we were camping at Millwood Lake State Park just a little north of town. (See the lake just at the left lower point of the “Texarkana” label? That’s where we were.) Millwood Lake is a bass fisherman’s dream lake, with “a series of boat lanes [that] meander through timber, marshes, and oxbow cutoffs making Millwood Lake a “tree-filled” fishing haven.”
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We just thought it looked pretty cool!
It’s also known for bird watching, and we could see why when we checked out the dam –
Millwood Lake-1
Every bird seemed to have its favorite perch!
Millwood Lake-2
We certainly enjoyed our drive around part of the lake and exploring some of area, but mostly we enjoyed the peace and quiet of our campground. I’m sure this place is hopping during its many bass fishing tournaments and derbies, but while we were there it was one peaceful spot.
Millwood Lake Camping
And we enjoyed every quiet minute of it!

Right now we’re in Lindale, TX (not quite on the map – just a litte farther West on I-20) getting ready for the Fall SOWER’s Trustee meeting scheduled for this weekend. We’re snuggled in the middle of a row of SOWER RVs, and and after our wonderful summer “off”, we’re excited about getting back to work. Plus there’s the added bonus of getting to spend some time with dear daughter Lara who lives in Waco. 🙂 I’m sure Texas will be filled with lots of good things (especially if it ever drops below 95!).

PS – In case you think that Oklahoma might be feeling a little left out with the whole ArkLaTex thing, some folks refer to the area as Arklatexoma. Now THAT’s a mouthful!