July 17-25, 2004: Our Summer Trip to Oregon
May 3-6, 2004: A Trip to Auburn, California
Return to Index for 2004

June 11-13, 2004
My Sister Judy Visits Dallas


I have prevailed on my sister to come out to Dallas for a few days to visit with her mother. An added bonus is that my sister's daughter, Jeffie, is also here in Dallas, and Judy can visit with her also. The pictures that you will find on this page were all taken during my sister's visit. My sister's visit spanned four days. She arrived early on Friday, the 11th, and she departed early on Monday, the 14th. In organizing the pictures for her visit, I'll just create headings for each particular group of pictures, and I'll put the date as well, in case you are interested. There was also one group of pictures that were taken during her visit but that don't concern her visit specifically, and I'll include a section for those few pictures as well.


June 11: Judy's First Visit with Her Mother

Judy arrived very early on Friday morning, and we immediately went by the Traymore to visit with Mom for a while. I had an appointment for Mom with Dr. Kay, the eye doctor, for her checkup, so we got Mom in my car and drove over there. We were just a bit early, and so here are Mom and Judy in the waiting room. When we got in to see Dr. Kay, his assistant began by checking Mom's vision (which we all know is next to nothing), and I made a movie of part of that process. You can watch that movie with the player at left.

We got Mom back to the Traymore, and she and Judy visited some more, and then I took Judy home so she could relax.

Fred arrived at my house, as usual, about six, and he, Judy and I went out to dinner. We've made plans to meet Jeffie at her stables tomorrow, so we turned in in preparation for that.


June 12: Jeffie and Logan at her Riding Stables

On Saturday morning, Judy, Fred and I piled in the car and headed out to meet Jeffie at her riding stables. I have never been there before, and so Jeffie had to give us directions. It is actually quite a ways from my house.

We had to head out Northwest Highway to 114 and then to the north side of the airport. From there, we took 121 north towards Lewisville, and then angled off to Flower Mound. We went through Flower Mound and through oodles of new developments, and then turned west to go through Bartonville.

Once we got through Bartonville, then it was all small country roads. We took Justin Road west to Jeter Road, and then followed it as it made one turn after another (kind of like the road to Fred's house). Eventually, we came to the entrance for the stables on our right.

Finally, I have zeroed in on the small area I marked on the last map, and I'll point out the relevant locations where we were doing some picture taking. Of course, I have marked the stables themselves, reached from a driveway coming up from Jeter Road to the south. North of the stables are a riding ring and open fields, and it was in the open fields that most of the pictures that Fred, Judy and I took of Jeffie and Logan were snapped.

If one continues west on Jeter Road about a half-mile, it turns north and comes to the driveway leading to the very nice home of the people that own the stables and the land where Jeffie rides. On their property, they have a small guest house that I have marked on the aerial view. Jeffie has been renting this guesthouse for a place to live. It is a long way from her work at the anime company, but it puts her right where she wants to be in her off hours.

Today is going to be all about Jeffie, Logan and her riding. Horses and riding are a bond that Judy and her daughter share, even if sometimes it seems as if they don't share much. So even though Fred and I are a bit bored by it all, that's probably because we just aren't "into" it the way my sister and niece are. So I will just be taking lots of pictures today, even though I know precious little about the whole lifestyle. And I'll put a good selection of those pictures and movies in this album- not so much for me, but more for Judy and Jeffie when they have a chance to look at them.

When we arrived at the stables, Jeffie already had Logan out, so I took the opportunity to make a movie of the stable area. Then we walked over to greet Jeffie, who was sitting astride her horse talking with her friends, and I made another movie then. You can watch both these movies with the players below:

The Stable Area

Jeffie and Friends

We followed Jeffie and her friend with the English accent as they walked their horses out to the open pasture north of the stables. There, we stood in the shade of a tree for a while as they took some time to warm up their horses while I made a movie. After that, they came over near where we were standing. At that point, I made another movie of the two girls on their horses. I also made a movie of the pasture and surroundings (140 acres in all). You can watch all three of these movies with the players below:

Jeffie and Logan Warming Up

Girls and Their Horses

The Pasture and Surroundings

While the two riders were nearby, we took a couple of more pictures; click on the thumbnails below to see them:

Jeffie's friend went back to the stables, and so it was time for Jeffie to give Logan some exercise. I took lots of movies of the two of them, but they turned out to be extremely repetitive, and so I have not included them all here. But I did want to include at least one short movie of Jeffie riding Logan, and you can watch that movie with the player at left.

Both Fred and I took quite a few pictures of Jeffie, Logan and Judy, and I have picked the best of all of these to include here. To view any full-size picture, just click on its thumbnail below:

After Jeffie's ride, it was back to the stable for all of us (where I made another movie you can watch with the player at left. The horses don't actually stay here permanently, I don't think. There were certainly a number of horse trailers around, and I did not see a barn like my sister's that would have room for them. But I could be wrong about that. Inside the stable there was mostly grooming and preparation going on, and I took a couple of pictures- one of Jeffie and Logan and one of Judy holding Logan.

When she'd gotten his saddle and stuff off, Jeffie took Logan outside to give him a wash and a rinse while Judy looked on. If you haven't seen this process before, you can use the player at left to watch my movie of it. And when that was done, I got the opportunity to give Logan a carrot.

I also made one more movie while Jeffie was holding Logan outside the stable, and she and her mother were talking about horse stuff, and you can watch that movie with the player below:

I also took some pictures of Jeffie and her horse. While they are repetitive, I thought I should hold onto them, and you can look at them by clicking their thumbnails below:


June 12: At Jeffie's House Near the Stable

After we were done at the stable, we drove back down to Jeter Road and around to the driveway leading to the little house that Jeffie is currently living in. It is owned by the people who own the stable, I believe, and Jeffie rents it from them.

It is a small, basically one-room house. The ground floor has the main room and a kitchen and bath. There is a loft over the kitchen and bath where Jeffie's bed is. All in all, it is quite simple- just what Jeffie likes. Even Jeffie's cat, Loudmouth is quite happy there, I am told. There is plenty of room for one person, I think.

I wanted a complete record of what it looked like inside, and so both Fred and I took lots of pictures. I have selected seven pictures that will cover the entire inside of the house, and I have put thumbnails for these pictures below. You can click on them to see the full-size images of the interior of Jeffie's house:


June 12: An Afternoon at Lone Star Park

While we were at Jeffie's house, we were talking over things to do in the afternoon. Jeffie had already ridden, so she was free, and we decided that we would spend the afternoon at Lone Star Park- Dallas's horse-racing venue. Fred, Judy and I returned to my house, and Jeffie met us there an hour later.

To get to Lone Star Park, we just take Inwood south to I-30 and then go west to Belt Line Road. Lone Star Park is right at the intersection of Belt Line and I-30.

The Lone Star Park complex is actually a multi-use entertainment venue, as immediately adjacent to the horse track is the Nokia Theatre- a performance venue for concerts and other such musical performances. the two venues share common facilities, including parking. I believe that the Nokia theatre seats 5,000 people.

We parked close in (there were not many people here, apparently) and bought our admission and went in. I have never been to Lone Star Park before (and I think I've only been to one horse track at all), so this will be something new.

This was all new to me here at the park. To begin with, in front of the main building, there is a large circular walkway; all of the facilities seem to be arranged around it. Other than being decorative, it seems to be used to walk or display the horses for the upcoming race. I suppose that this is so bettors can take a look at each horse before it races (as if this will do them any good when it comes time to place a bet). On the south side of this walkway and fountain there seem to be some stables. I know there are much larger ones on the other side of the track, so I can only assume that these are perhaps a staging area for horses whose races are coming up.

On the north side of the fountain is the clubhouse, which contains shops, restaurants and fast food, the betting windows and access to the trackside seating. There is also a small attached hotel right on the grounds. And, as you can see, there is a "lone star and racehorse" sculpture out in front of the clubhouse. The facade of the clubhouse was interesting, and Fred wanted to get a closeup view of the facade and flags.

Fred took a picture of the three of us out here in front of the clubhouse, and I went off to the side to make a movie of the entire surrounding area. You can watch that movie with the player below:

As I said, before each race the competing horses take a walk around the fountain, led by trainers or jockeys. I filmed part of this process for an upcoming race, and you can watch that movie with the player at left.

Once everyone has had a chance to see the horses, they are led through a tunnel beneath the clubhouse. The two sides of the clubhouse are connected at the second level so that no one has to cross the tunnel itself to get from one part of the building to the others. This tunnel also affords a review of each horse as they pass by, which I guess is more comfortable for patrons if the weather is bad.

Now that we've walked around out here, we'll head on into the clubhouse and out to the track to see what we can see.

Inside the clubhouse it was kind of like a ball park, with lots of places to get stuff to eat and drink, some shops selling horse-racing-themed merchandise (and Texas-themed merchandise as well), some exhibit areas and, of course, the betting windows. We shared some fast food and a drink, and then went out trackside.

The track itself was much like I thought it would be. The stands were multi-level, and you could either sit down or stand right up at the fence by the track. Every so often, a group of horses would come through the tunnel, get lined up at the starting gate, and then race. I think we watched three or four races (and bet on a couple of them) while we were here. I have some pictures of us watching the action, and you can see them here and here.

Fred and I took quite a few pictures and movies, as usual. They don't require much explanation, but you may want to look at them (or at least some of them). First, I've put thumbnail images below for the pictures we took trackside; just click on any image to view the full-size picture:

And below are movie players for the best of the movies that we took took of the various races- mostly the finishes:

Pre-race Lineup

At the Finish of a Race

At the Finish of a Race

At the Finish of a Race

At the Finish of a Race

We had a pretty good time here at the park; I hope Judy and Jeffie thought so.

Except for a quick visit to Mom at the Traymore and dinner, that was it for today.


June 13: At Jeffie's Stables

It is Sunday morning, and we have returned to the stables to see Jeffie again. I have no problem with being out here again today; Judy has come a long way and I want her to be able to visit with and re-bond with her daughter as much as she can- and sharing their interest in horses is one way to do that. So, there is not much more I can say about the area and such, all I want to do is include a series of pictures to record some of the activities of the day.

In all the pictures below, if you want to look at one of the full-size pictures, just click on the thumbnail.

First, while Jeffie was readying Logan in the stable for his morning exercise, I made a movie of Jeffie and Logan that you can watch with the player at left. I also took three pictures, and you can click on the thumbnails below to view them:

At various times when Jeffie was out in the pasture riding, Fred and I took still pictures of her astride Logan:

I took a number of movies of Jeffie that turned out well, and you might want to use the players below to look at them:

Mounting Up

Switching Gait

Slow Walk


Jeffie and Logan

Cooling Down

There were some spectators out in the field- Fred and Judy- and I took a couple of pictures of each of them. You can see Fred's pictures here and here. You can see the pictures of Judy here and here.

I took a number of action stills while Jeffie was exercising Logan and jumping:

Finally, I took a couple more pictures of Jeffie and Logan as she was allowing him to cool down and nibble at the grass up around the stable. You can look at those two pictures here and here.


June 13: Visiting Mom at the Traymore

We got back to the house in mid-afternoon after visiting Jeffie and getting some lunch. This gave me some time to get on the exercise bike before the four of us went to visit Mom at the Traymore. We got there in time to sit with her at dinner- which is 5:30 on Sundays.

After dinner, we spent some time with Mom in her room. I wanted Judy to have all the time she wanted with her Mom; no one knows what the future holds and it would be a shame to wake up one day and not have the opportunity to see her.

I took movies only during this visit, and there are players for them below:

Driving Miss Olga

It's Six O'clock Somewhere

The Earrings

Is it Time?

Jeffie and Mom

The Sounds of Silence


June 13: At My House

We ended the day, and Judy ended her visit, at my house on Sunday night. We had dinner out at Furr's, and spent the rest of the evening just conversing. Two interesting things are evident in the picture and movie that I took at home that night- one of which would not be apparent for some months afterward.

What WAS apparent was that Judy had read somewhere that only on the summer solstice could eggs be stood up vertically on a flat surface without salt or sugar or something to hold them up. To demonstrate her point, she got a half dozen eggs out of the carton I had and stood them up on the kitchen table. I thought this pretty amazing, but will have to take her word for the fact that it can only be done at certain times. I find that hard to believe, but what the heck. I thought the experiment interesting enough to take a short movie of it (with Fred and Chip as co-stars), and you can watch that movie with the player at left.

The thing that would only become apparent quite some time later was that these were the last pictures and movies that I would take that included my cat, Chip. He was to succumb to a urinary blockage in October.

We all got up early the next morning, Fred so he could get to work and me so I could take Judy out to the airport for her flight home.

July 17-25, 2004: Our Summer Trip to Oregon
May 3-6, 2004: A Trip to Auburn, California
Return to Index for 2004