McCulloch County Courthouse

Designed by Martin & Moodie of Comanche, Texas, the McCulloch County Courthouse was completed in 1900. It’s in the Romanesque style, and it’s really very beautiful. Just five miles from the designated center of Texas, Brady (the town where the courthouse stands) calls itself “The Heart of Texas.” It has a clock tower, but no actual clock, which is sort of weird. I don’t think one was ever installed.

Anyway, it’s a beautiful example of architecture …

McCulloch County Courthouse

Clearly something is missing here ...

Clearly something is missing here …

Coryell County, Texas

Wesley Clark Dodson was obviously well respected in the Texas county courthouse scene. He designed the Coryell County courthouse and it was completed in 1897, some 20 years after the McLellan County Courthouse was completed. Coryell County was done in the Victorian style, and while it isn’t nearly as big as McLellan, it’s still very pretty. Judge for yourself:

 

W.C. Dodson, Architect

Coryell County, Texas Courthouse

 

It’s a little difficult to see because of the trees, which has me thinking that I might need to make a winter season trip to get a better shot or two so that the architecture can really shine. It’s such a sacrifice to go back and see all these courthouses again, ya know. 😉

Time to Start Thinking About Christmas Gifts

Christmas-Tree-008

This year, I’m going for a (mostly) handmade Christmas. I’m doing a quilt and some soft blocks for my new grandson (I mean really, does a five month old NEED a bunch of toys?), a quilt for my daughter and son-in-law (they already know about it, so I’m not spoiling the surprise), and some other stuff that folks DON’T know about. I know it seems early, but when you’re making gifts, you have to get an early start, and honestly, I probably should have started a long time ago.

I’ve been looking around for gift ideas, and I’ve come up with some things I think would be great. I have this sudden obsession with aprons, and I love the vintage inspired aprons that seem to be so popular lately. Ones like this, and this are perfect gifts for the ladies, I think.  And for someone who’s just starting out in their own place, how about some cute place mats? Feeling green? How about some cloth napkins that can be tossed in the wash instead of killing trees buying paper towels?

For the guys in your life, how about some homemade beef jerky? Or turkey jerky, if that’s his thing. There are dozens of different basket ideas you can do – BBQ baskets, snack baskets, toolbox baskets … really, depending on your guy’s interests, there are limitless ideas. Does he like beer? How about a beer making kit, where he can make his own? Ok, that’s not really a handmade gift, but it will be once he’s done with it. 😉  Also, you might consider putting together a car safety kit. This would also be great for a young driver.

Most years, I try to make at least some of my gifts, or give gifts that will inspire the recipient to make something themselves (last year, I gave my quilting mother a box full of fabric & thread). I think that when someone puts the time and effort into either making a gift or putting together a basket/kit for someone on their list rather than picking up a gift or card that the person may or may not use or like, it’s more personal and shows that some serious thought went in to the gift. I will admit that I still give my dad gift cards to the sporting goods store, but that’s what he WANTS, and he uses them throughout the year. I’m fortunate enough to have family members who DO give consideration to what they’re giving each other, and I’ve yet to have a gift I can’t use. But I hear from folks all the time about the gifts they received for Christmas that makes them wonder what the giver was thinking. One very memorable gift I remember hearing about involved a 12 year old bottle of Scotch given to a recovering alcoholic! While he really appreciated the gift, he had to give it to someone else, because clearly, he didn’t want to relapse!

I have a list of things I want to make this year, and I’ve already started on some of them, but I guess the best way to make progress is to actually get moving on getting them done, so I’m off. If you have anything on your list that you’ll be making, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!

McLellan County Courthouse

One of the most surprising courthouse examples we saw on our trip was McLellan County. It is just beautiful, and we really weren’t expecting anything like it. We thought we’d find another small-ish courthouse, but clearly we were way off base. Completed in July 1877, this is another structure designed by Wesley Clark Dodson. It is the fourth courthouse that McLellan County had built, and it is by far one of the most impressive, beautiful courthouses in Texas.

Wesley Clark Dodson, Architect

McLennan County, Texas Courthouse

Tower View, McLennan County Courthouse

Tower View, McLennan County Courthouse

Vacation – Texas Style

This week, I’m on vacation. I’m not a big fan of vacations in the summer – they are usually hot, often muggy, and always too crowded. But this year, I made an exception. My daughter lives in the Killeen, Texas area, with her soldier husband, and she was expecting their first child – my very first grandchild! A week past due, the plan was for her to go into the hospital on Sunday and be induced, so we drove up on Saturday so we could spend a little time with them before the Big Event. Unfortunately, like all good plans, it didn’t work out quite the way we had expected it would. Even as Chris and I arrived in Killeen, a water main was shooting water 60 feet into the air, rendering everyone in that area with severe water restrictions, and no water at the hospital on Fort Hood. Sunday turned into Monday, and Monday was looking like Tuesday, so Monday, Chris and I took off to see some sights. The kids had to hang around the area just in case Kerstin got called in for the induction – she had an hour to get there after they called – so they didn’t accompany us. And honestly, it’s not really their “thing” to go off driving around Texas. But for Chris and I … well, we love it.

Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, we were able to visit 14 counties in the central Texas area, and I got photos of every one. I will admit, there are some I need to go back and re-do, because they just didn’t turn out quite as well as I had hoped. But overall, I got at least one decent shot of the exterior of each courthouse. This is the first one – Lampasas County, in the city of Lampasas (as we go through these over the next few weeks, you’ll find that the naming conventions for counties and county seats aren’t exactly original).

The courthouse in Lampasas County, Texas, was built in 1884.

The courthouse in Lampasas County, Texas, was built in 1884.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, Kerstin finally was admitted to the hospital to be induced. And on Wednesday morning, at 8:25 am, my beautiful little grandson came into this world. He is sooooooooo cute, and looks just like his mommy when she was a baby (and really, she hasn’t changed too much LOL).

My super cute grandson!

My super cute grandson!

 

I still have today and tomorrow off, so I’ll probably just hang around the house (we came home last night, as my daughter will be in the hospital for two days and BOY are those rooms SMALL!), and do some sewing. But we had a fabulous time in Killeen!