Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring Time In Texas (Bridgeport, TX)

Between the heavy rains and warm almost hot days, everything is turning green and blooming!  
My nose is itchy and my eyes are is definitely springtime in Texas!  😄
We had visitors last week.  My brother came down from Illinois with his dog, Frodo.  Frodo is such a sweetie for being a puppy.  No chewing, barking, or accidents.  He tried to be friends with the cats, but they were stubborn and just hissed at him.  Dusty did spend more time watching Frodo and they even got nose to nose a couple of times.  They might have been friends in a couple of more weeks.  Oh well.  We had a great time with both.  Yes, I did spend time with my brother too.  
We had lunch at the Down the Alley Cafe in Decatur.  Dan and I had lunch here in December and I wanted to go back again.  
Sitting outside
 I love the way they decorated the outdoor sitting areas.   We decided to eat outside and enjoy the peaceful afternoon while watching birds and cats in the gardens.
A watering can tree?
The food was delicious, but we were told that they were turning their cafe into a beer garden and this would be the last lunch served.  Darn!  It is so hard to find a place that serves a variety of flavorful vegetarian meals.
After lunch, we walked around the downtown Decatur square.  I have to say that the Wise County courthouse is the most unique one I have seen so far.
I probably took too many photos of this building, but I could not help it.  The good news is that I did cut down on the ones I was going to post here.  Lucky you!

Each side had a different look.  Giving me the feel that I was looking at a different building when viewing each side.
I read that you can take a tour of the clock tower.  Visitors get a view of the 2,000 lb bell hanging in the tower on their way to the top.
Two more photos of what looks like a stairwell...... 
...and the details in the stonework....amazing!
Okay, I had to share a few more photos of Frodo.  I took these while he was waiting for my brother to come back to the couch.  He is so cute!
Looking for a fun easy read? Try this cozy Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. 
Oxford Tearoom Mysteries (5 Book Series) by  H.Y. Hanna
  Oxford Tearoom Mysteries
I just finished #4 with only two more to go. I love the descriptions of village living. The food served in Gemma's tearoom along with the local restaurants sounds scrumptous. Of course, being a cat lover - Gemma's mischievous cat, Muesli has me laughing and going 'yep that sounds like something our cats would do' except they do not point us in the right direction to solve a mystery.
There's quite a selection of colorful characters like Gemma's overbearing matchmaking mother, her artist friend/co-worker, and the four "old Biddies" (Gemma's reference not mine) who consider themselves the real Miss Marples of Oxfordshire, England. I also like the fact that it is written with British English spelling and usage making the story feel more authentic. So far, I have only had to refer to the Glossary of British Terms a couple of times at the end of the book. 
Remarkable Creatures Audiobook

I'm so happy a friend recommended this book to me. I really enjoyed listening to this audio version with two narrators.

Based on true facts and science records, this is a story about Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot living in early 19th century England in Lyme Regis along the coast known for its fossils. Through their love of fossil hunting these two women became friends despite the differences in their age and social status. 
Meet Mary Anning - The Greatest Fossil Hunter Ever Known (sadly, of course, she rec'd very little credit for it in her own lifetime).:
Mary Anning with her dog Tray source: Pinterest
Mary's father taught her how to look for special shells and fossils to sell in the family's store to the tourists.  She grew up knowing how to hunt after storms and often showed others how to look during low tides.  Elizabeth Philpot came from a higher social status.  She and her two sisters are unmarried and supported by their one brother in London.  When their brother decides to marry, the three spinsters move into a small cottage in Lyme Regis.  They are still supported by their now married brother, but have a limited lifestyle since there is no man in their home.  Elizabeth finds solitude in her painting and in hunting for fossils along the beach when she becomes friends with Mary.

The story also covers the constant battle of gender inequality and social power that both faced with the scientific community especially with the Geological Society of London.  A time when women could not vote or go to a university for an education.  

 Mary's discovery of the Ichthyosaurs would have made her famous and her family wealthier if not for the men of the time taking advantage of her being a woman. This did not slow Mary down. She spent her whole life looking and categorizing fossils. Even endangering her life by hunting along the cliffs after major storms. She lost her dog, Tray in one landslide while looking for fossils.  **The death of her dog was not covered in the book.
Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis, UK. Must visit there to look for fossils!:
source: Pinterest
I looked up Lyme Regis and I was quite surprised to see recent photos of so many fossils on the beach.  I wonder if visitors are allowed to leave with their finds or if they are asked to leave them like they do here in the states?  Wouldn't that be an interesting place to visit?

On The Cutting Board
I finished another black cat quilt.  I wasn't so sure about how I was going to tie together the different colored cat themed fat quarters.  I think keeping the colors together worked out better.  I hope the customer interested in this quilt will like it too.  I plan to send photos this afternoon.  If not, I'll be listing it in Etsy!
Well, I just got a new computer.  I have been busy uploading new software, working out problems with old software and I still have so much to do on it.......but I am ready for a break.  Time for a little relaxing and sewing.........must sew now........
Happy Quilting!


  1. My, but a lot in one post. Interesting building with one round side and another square side. I usually don't like those designer dogs. In Japan they are treated like children and dressed in clothing and bark at everything. One that beautiful with those expressive eyebrows and good manners is a true prize.
    Good clues for reading and a charming cat quilt. I find it hard to balance everything when I have a project in the hoop ... and even more ideas running around in my head.

  2. Sandy, you have to check out Dorothy Cannell - she's written 13 cozies (murder mysteries)about Ellie Haskell and her adventures with her hubby Ben and housekeeper Mrs. Malloy. Takes place on the see coast in England and they live in a mini-castle. Her cat Tobias lends a feline to the frolic. These books are so funny and intelligent. LOVE your blog nd your cat quilt.


    1. Thanks Ann, I will check out Dorothy Cannell's books. They sound interesting!

  3. Hello!! So nice to catch up on your adventures. Sounds like a wonderful visit. I love Frodo, he's just like my dad's dog. I also loved Remarkable Creatures. I read it years ago when Trey was fascinated with dinosaurs.


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"Friendship is a blessing, It's the best you have to share, The talents and the wisdom, The capacity to care." ~ Emily Matthews

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