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Page Index
Other Pictures
2012

On My Patio
Spring at Downhill Run Acres
Minter Cemetery
At Downhill Run Acres
Elevator at 7031
The Age of Aquarius
August Birthdays
Fall at Downhill Run Acres
Christmas Snow at Downhill Run Acres

Other Pictures: 2012


 

This page contains pictures that don't involve a trip or something similar or our cats. It will include pictures taken around my house or Fred's, and the occasional event that did not result in much picture-taking. You can use the page index at the top of this page to go directly to one of the sections on this page.

 

 

February 26: On My Patio

It's a nice day today, and we have taken a couple of pictures out on my newly-renovated patio.


Some time ago, on the way back from San Antonio, we stopped at "Dirty Birds," a place on I-35 that sells unfinished concrete outdoor sculptures. Fred bought a tall, thin statue of St. Thomas Aquinas, and took it up to Van Alstyne to finish and stain. He has just brought it down here as a gift for me to put on the patio, and we have just now placed it by the outer wall. It is really a pretty statue, and you can see a close-up of it here.

The Carolina Jasmine on the fence has started to regrow, after being taken down for the patio renovation, and it is very much in bloom just now. I took a couple of pictures of it, one from inside the patio and one from out in the driveway. You can use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look at these pictures.


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March 2: Springtime at Downhill Run Acres

Although this photo album is mainly for places I have been or things I have seen, Fred brought some really nice pictures the other day of the Spring blossoms and flowers up at his place in Van Alstyne, so I thought I would include some of them. Use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look:

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March 17: At Minter Cemetery


I have been to the Minter Cemetery on two sad occasions. Located on the west side of DFW airport, it is just west of the boundary road, actually within the property now assigned to that facility. But it has been there a long time, and since the airport does not plan any construction there, it will probably remain there.

Some years ago, I came to the funeral of Prudence's father, and this past year, I came with Prudence and Nancy and their relatives and friends to the funeral of their mother. Both services were very well done, as befits the family.


For some time, Nancy has wanted to plant a yellow rose by her mother's grave, and today, Fred and I have come to help her and her husband Karl to do just that. Nancy wanted a picture or two to record the occasion, and since I had my iPhone with me, I was happy to oblige. Use the clickable thumbnails below to see the two best pictures we took that day:


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March 22: At Downhill Run Acres

Fred brought down some interesting pictures that he had taken this past Thursday when we had some weather move through North Texas.


Fred got some good pictures of the rainbow that appeared after the storm had passed him by, and you can see two of the best of these at left. Click on either of the pictures to enlarge. He happened to take some other good pictures around his property that afternoon, and there are clickable thumbnails for some of these below:


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April 14: The Elevator at 7031 Inwood

Some time ago, Kevin Dahlberg, one of our board members, was asking me what I thought the board would think if he installed an elevator at his unit. His unit is at the opposite end of the building I am in, and it is a mirror-image of mine. He was proposing installing it basically in his patio, connecting the back side of the living room to the back side of the upstairs master bedroom.

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Work in Progress on the Elevator

Of course, he was wondering whether that architectural addition would merit board approval. I thought about it, but then suggested that if he put the elevator where he planned, anyone using it would have to go through the master bedroom to get to it, and that would make it difficult for guests. Also, it would destroy the view of the patio from both the living room and the master. Why not, I suggested, put it entirely inside the house? The front stairs can't be taken out due to code restrictions, but they could be narrowed, and the elevator put in the space thus saved (although the wet bar would have to go as well). This would make the elevator accessible by anyone, it would open onto two public halls in the house, no views would be obstructed and no board approval would be required.

That is exactly what Kevin actually did, and today he has invited Fred and I over to see the work in progress. I am interested in the project not for myself, necessarily, but perhaps for Prudence and Ron. If, as they plan, they wind down Ruckman Haus in the next few years and move into their house, an elevator might become an extremely nice convenience, and I wanted to see the mechanics and how they are installed.

When we came over to look, I made a movie of the progress, and you can watch it with the player at left.

For my information later, if needed, I also took some other photographs of the work in progress. They are probably not of interest to you, but there are clickable thumbnails for them below:

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April 17: Still the Age of Aquarius

I have never had good luck with anything related to water- especially in my house in Dallas. On three different occasions, there have been burst pipes in the winter. I had an upstairs bathtub replaced due to a leak, and the master bath shower has been replaced twice due to leaking. Downstairs, the water heater burst once, flooding the kitchen, and the front bathroom toilet malfunctioned while we were gone, flooding the entire downstairs. There has been a leak in the family room bath that came through the ceiling in the laundry room, and even the refrigerator ice-maker line has sprung a leak. I had a roof leak years ago that came through the ceiling in the master bedroom, and another leak in the fireplace downstairs. All in all, I have had terrible luck with all things Aquarian.


On our return from Florida last week, I walked into a house that seemed very humid, and at first I put that up to air-conditioning that had not been on in a while. Then I heard the water running. In the front bathroom, the carpet runner on the floor was soaking, and the water was beginning to run out into the hall. The ceiling was a mess, so I knew the problem had to be upstairs. In the guest room bath, the toilet was running on. The tank cover was still on, but since the flapper had not seated, water was spraying into the tank, and slowly it was being sprayed out underneath the tank edge in back and onto the floor.

It was a relatively slow drip, but, as it turned out, it had been going on for days at least. The culprit was the flapper mechanism; the last time the guys had checked on the kitties, one of them used the commode, and did not realize that it had not cut off. Not their fault at all. I immediately called the handyman who is currently working on our townhouses, and he came over with fans, took up the soaked carpet and padding and set things to dry. He also cut into the downstairs ceiling to dry out the crawlspace.

A few days later, when things were pretty much dried out, I had Robert, the carpenter, come over to discuss what we might do.


I also took some pictures; you can use the clickable thumbnails at right to have a look at them.

What we are going to do in the guest bath is put down the same ceramic wood-grain flooring that I have in the master. Robert will redo the baseboards and subfloor as well. We'll be able to salvage the carpet in the guest room itself, but will put down new padding. The ceiling in the downstairs bath will be fixed and repainted and a new exhaust fan put in. Finally, I am going to go ahead and put the same ceramic tile down in the family room bath; this will make cleaning up after the cats a lot easier.

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August 18: Fred and Ron Mathis' Birthdays

Fred and I were actually in San Antonio on the date of his birthday, and so we missed doing a large gathering for his birthday and the birthdays of Ron Mathis and Mario Tarradell; all three birthdays fall in the first eight days of August. So on the first Saturday we were back in Dallas, we had a get-together to celebrate. It was a small celebration, which is why it doesn't have its own page this year.


This was a small celebration, as we didn't really have time to plan or invite a lot of people. It was just Ron and Jay, our friend Lou, and Fred and I. Mario and Steve couldn't make it, as Steve had to work and Mario had a concert to review. We did see them the next day, though, and we gave them some of the cake I'd gotten.

Rather than cook, we just all went out to eat, and then came back to the house for cake. We took a few more pictures then, and there are clickable thumbnails below for them:

After everyone had gone, Fred and I went into the study, and we found Tyger and Lucky waiting for us.

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March 2: Fall at Downhill Run Acres

Fred brought down some very nice pictures that he took up at his house. Many of his roses and other plants have put on Fall blooms, and some of his other plants have Fall color. Let me just include a selection of these pictures in my own album. Use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look at them:

Although this photo album is mainly for places I have been or things I have seen, Fred brought some really nice pictures the other day of the Spring blossoms and flowers up at his place in Van Alstyne, so I thought I would include some of them. Use the clickable thumbnails below to have a look:

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December 26: A White Christmas at Downhill Run Acres

When Fred got home after Christmas, he found that Van Alstyne had gotten more snow than the city did (which is not unusual) and that it was also colder, so the snow was lasting longer. Below are two pictures that Fred took of some of his statuary amid the clumps of snow, and beside them are a group of clickable thumbnails for some of the pictures he took around his property.


Having snow in Dallas is unusual; having it at Christmastime is extraordinary!

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