Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Drought Hits Closer to Home

The morning's surprise when I went out at 7 am to feed Brian Williams the cat, was to find a utility truck parked fifty feet into the front yard.
For the past few days, the utility sub-contractors have begun to use our property as a staging area for their trucks as they perform telephone pole inspections on our street. We have watched their "progress" as they've inched closer and closer to the heart of our privacy.

Today's encroachment resulted in an unfortunate event: an 18 wheeler, laden with telephone poles ran over and broke the main water line that feeds into our house.

At 4:35 pm, I contacted Farmer's Electric Company (FEC) to let them know their trucks were parked along the front of our property where our water meter is located. And sure enough, within moments after two trucks drove away, the water flow in the house diminished to half its normal flow. We have NO water. That's right, supper is cancelled, forget flushing the toilet and my thirsty tomato seedlings will just have to wait as the first triple digit heat of the season courses through the Dallas Metro plex.
I immediately called the Special Utility District (SUD) to let the water supplier know. Unfortunately, their office closed at 4:00 pm. So I dialed the emergency number and reached a very courteous worker, Terry, who promised to do a drive-by and check out our pipes. And he did, within minutes of my call. Sure enough, he announced that the main water pipe was broken.

Coincidentally, on today's NBCDFW News at 5
A short while later, I received a call from the sub contracting company who apologized for the inconvenience and suggested we call a plumber. After several emergency calls to various plumbing companies, at this very moment, there is a plumber (Cowboy Plumbing) working on fixing the damage. Of the many plumbers I called, they were the only ones willing to put in the effort outside the standard 8 to 5 work day. The bad news is it is now 2:00 am and he's still out there trying to repair the pipe.
It's been a day for minor disasters, starting off with me losing Grandma's credit card when shopping for her groceries this morning. Then J broke off the key in the front door lock and later the knob broke off Grandma's washing machine.

All in all, I'm still grateful. Things could have been worse. When I finally drift into the slumber chamber and seek a little rest, I'll have much on my mind about today's events. When it rains, it pours. Or not.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saturday's Treasure Hunt in Farmersville

Today's visit to the rustic town of Farmersville yielded more unexpected treasure. Searching for nothing in particular I came across an old time pesticide sprayer with a glass receptacle. The part that was irresistible was the name emblazoned on the barrel: Acme. With the recent return of Rhody, our roadrunner, it was something I had to have.
Visions of Wiley Coyote and the sounds of the roadrunner come to mind as I clean years of rust from the sprayer. Beep beep.
Acme Pesticide Sprayer
More treasure was found at my favorite place, Main Street Antiques, where, tucked away in a locked glass case was Elvis in G.I. Blues. The condition was pristine with every strand of his hair delightfully in place above his crisp, starched uniform.

They made a call to the owner of the LP and we settled on a 25% discount, just for the asking.

This is one of the songs from the album: "Pocket Full of Rainbows".
The condition is amazing for a treasure like this one which is sure to have seen its share of lipstick and love since the late 1960s when it was released. There were a couple of others there that hadn't fared as well including one from Elvis' Las Vegas era with the sparkling jumpsuit.

There was also a copy of his LP, Flaming Star (from the movie of the same name) that was well worn and barely recognizable.  I was pleased to see a young girl oogling the faded cover and as I stood nearby, she passed a pair of white gloves to her mother in hopes of purchasing them.

Additional treasure awaited me in the form of an Old Judge coffee can, another of my active collections. I love these old steel canisters which bring back a time of twist keys used to open them. That "swoosh" heard when the metal band released the vacuum inside always offered up a delicious fragrance of fresh coffee. A little Crisco on a paper towel refreshed the gloss on the exterior and will let me open the can to examine the inside.

But the star discovery of the day had to be the wonderful book by Robert Louis Stevenson, "Kidnapped", published in 1908. I was thrilled to find this classic in such excellent shape. Flipping through the pages it even smelled nice and the binding was intact, too. At the price of $6.00, it was simply irresistible.
Doris was at her regular post in the store and once again, asked about my Mother, offered me fresh coffee and told me about her latest investment, a new building across the street that housed a candy factory for nearly 100 years. For someone of her youthful age, 87, I have to admire her energy, strength and courage in today's economy to move forward on such a major project. She's still undecided as to what she'll do with the structure, but I feel certain it will amaze and astonish.
Main Street Antiques in Farmersville, Texas 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Off for a Sunday Morning Drive

Living in the country has many advantages, one of which is the proximity of the old time neighboring communities. In just a few short miles and within minutes, I can be immersed in landscapes that take me back to a simpler time; a place where railroad tressles, onion sheds and grain silos dot the neighboring fields.
Downtown Farmersville Square

Two of my favorite places to spend a weekend morning include Princeton and Farmersville, Texas.

Today I set out early, heading north on one of Texas' picturesque highways to Farmersville's Historic Downtown Square.
To the right is a glimpse of the park adjacent to the Onion Shed pictured below. Today's unseasonably cool temperatures in the low 70s are the perfect pairing to a stroll through the grounds.
The Onion Shed and entry to Audie Murphy Trail Head
The Onion Shed is where Farmersville Farmers and Fleas monthly produce market is held. I missed yesterday's festivities, when the locals bring their handmade goods, vegetables and crafts for sale and display on the picnic tables under the tin roof.

Recycled Playground Equipment

South view of town
Although it is a colorful display that I've participated in as a one-time vendor, I enjoy the quiet on a Sunday morning when the local crowd is absent.

None of the merchants have opened their stores as most wait until after noon when church is out.

Main Street early on Sunday morning
This is Main Street where my favorite Antique Store is hidden away among antique buildings, many in the process of restoration. Its proprietor knows me by name and greets me with each visit, inquiring about my mother who is her age, yet the two are worlds apart. She brings baked goods and serves coffee and Mimosas to the visitors who patronize her store. Doris, at 87, has just completed the renovation of her building where a variety of consignment booths are housed, dedicating the building to her late husband.

Farmersville Visitor's Center - Chamber of Commerce

Galvanized horse troughs and farm supplies
Scenic Overlook - View of Lake Lavon
The journey on the return trip is refreshingly familiar as I gaze off into fields lining the road and stop at a Scenic Overlook.
Now it's time to head home and wash the produce purchased at a familiar stop in Princeton, Sally's Produce. I came away with a nice assortment of summer squash, green snap beans, tomatoes and a canteloupe along with a beautiful jar of red rasberry jam, the basis for a Rasberry Walnut Vinegrette dressing I'll serve on spinach salad. Sally wanted to know how to prepare the dressing, and I share my recipe while butterflies land softly on the produce resting between us.

All in all, it was a lovely trip.