Looking back on my blog entries since being in Dallas there has been a little lesson for me in making the most of photo opportunities.
The cat that came to visit one morning has never been seen again, no more frogs and only one more sighting of a squirrel.
The size of David and Lisa's backyard does not seem that large in comparison to the size of the house but there was still room for a planting of a grove of trees and today I counted 12 of them with another 6 alongside the pool:-
The trees provide a nice, natural barrier between the house and neighbours who are not too far away.
Three years ago David began creating a computer game with a playful hero called Frogatto. Over the past twelve months he has given it more serious attention resulting today in the release of the game by Apple as an application for iPhones.
Just another benefit of having my iPad with me. We are able to see an early release image of the game in Australia.
After going to the quilting garage sale on the first week I was here I had a real urge to do a bit of stitching and so this:-
I just need to put borders on as well as use the four left over blocks as corner stones and I will have a very nice lap quilt to remind me of my adventures in Dallas.
I would have liked to finish the top off properly while still here, but I have already sent the rest of the fabric on their way and it may just be that they arrive in New Zealand before I do - now that would be a nice surprise.
Last night we went to The Magic Time Tunnel for dinner. A family entertainment style restaurant where the waiters dressed up as characters from well known movies/children stories. Our waiter was dressed up as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean - other well known characters were Alice in Wonderland, Tinkerbell and Little Red Riding Hood.
Jackson ordered the children's drink in green but when it came he was not impressed. Kathy, however, thought the drink to be quite nice with lots of fruit juice.
David took my photo in the foyer looking at the would be bookcase. Each of the books were sawn off at about 3 inches depth but carefully place to look like the real thing. I wonder who had the job of deciding which books to wreck and fix in place.
There was an artist in the foyer doing caricatures for a fee of $5. Brennan thought it worth spending $5 of his allowance so that he could take home a momento of the evening.
I had prepared a photo album for David with a combination of school records and family photos:-
Jackson showed a keen interest in every page of the album and was quite sure that all the photos were of Jackson on his own or with his brothers. I think he must see a family likeness between himself and his father.
Yesterday began with a visit to Farmers Market to buy some lovely fresh household supplies including yummy smoked chicken which we were later to have as part of our dinner.
Following on from that we went to Frisco where we met up with friends, Kathy and Kevin at David & Busters (D&B's) for lunch. The restaurant is set up with family entertainment in mind. Eat here, spend $10 on your meal and we will give you a $10 card entitling you to go to their arcade filled to the brim with games intend to entice and amuse.
Our meals were brought to us on this massive circular platter which was set on a portable table so that service could be provided to all participants at the same time.
Part of the decor of the restaurant was stained glass work and although the lighting is not too good for this image, it did have a nice effect.
So, once the meal was done it was time to be going to the arcade to do battle. David and Jackson are heading for the time of their lives in this motor bike game.
Yesterday I offered to make homemade pizza for the family, so after my quilt shop treat I embarked on the endeavor:-
It had been quite some time since I made pizza but it all seemed to work even if the family did have to patiently wait for the outcome - oops probably should have been another photo opportunity - but it all got eaten so I guess that means it was okay.
Notice the new hi-tech chef with the iPad at hand to follow the recipe on screen - who ever would have thought......................
Yesterday I went with Lisa to a number of craft stores but I wanted to return to Quilt Country in Lewisville to follow up on buying a Go-Cutter, especially as they were being sold at a 40% discount.
The shop front for quilt country.
In the midst of my purchase I had a need to visit the bathroom and bathrooms in American quilting shops have to be seen to be believed. This one was decorated in a Statue of LIberty theme. The reason I am including this is because, on my return from the bathroom, I happened to spot these two rows of large tables being filled to overflowing with bargain quilting items.
When I enquired further, I was told that there was going to be a garage sale at the shop, starting Friday. The contents of the sale were from the stashes of the 20 employees of the shop and their employer was only too happy for her staff to be doing this once or twice a year.
I was able to purchase a couple of items on the spot but payments had to be in cash which I did not have much of at the time. Needs must be for me to return this morning so I returned with David and shopped until both of our arms were full then we had to join the queue which seemed to stretch someway back into the shop. After quite a long wait I emerged, very happy with my purchases, even though I had only skimmed the surface of what was available.
Lisa took a photo of me sorting through some of the stash:-
This little bundle was US$1.00:-
Haven't counted yet but there is probably 80 pieced squares in this bag alone.
When I arrived here I remember asking if squirrels were in this area and was told no, but Brennan and I were sitting at the dining room table this morning when he said he had seen a movement outside.
He seemed to think it might be a cat but when we investigated it was a pair of squirrels. Apparently they thought that the swimming pool doubled as a drinking hole. One of them appeared to be on guard as the other took a drink:-
Then the pool cleaner arrived and the moment was gone.
I have never been fond of being in the water but that is not to say others don't like it. David and Lisa have a lovely pool in their yard with a separate part that can be used as a spa pool if desired.
On one the particularly hot days recently, David, Jackson and Brennan spent a couple of hours in the pool:-
Jackson was ready for action well ahead of the others.
Once Brennan and David arrived it was all go. Jackson was at the side of the pool and jumped in quite fearlessly. Seconds late he came up for air and realized he had forgotten to put his water wings on. He scrambled out of the pool, sought my assistance to put them on and then he was away. Jumping in, playing for a while and then back to more jumping.
David had just bought a floating basketball hoop and so David, Jackson and Brennan had a great time trying the concept out.