I’ve yet to see any trees turn those gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows that they sometimes do — that is, when we’re lucky. Even during our showiest strut of autumn, though, our Texas landscapes can never touch the vivid display of color that my friend River at Riversworld gets in Maine. Also, who wants to decorate for fall or Halloween when it’s in the 90’s outside? So we didn’t; again, I’m ashamed to say. Yet, the day before Halloween, we got our first freeze of the season. We went from the 90’s down to freezing in pretty much a blink of the eye.
Instead of kids looking for candy, Mother Nature came knocking at our door disguised as a Blue Norther and said, “Trick or treat, my pretties. MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!”
So here’s what’s been going on in our neck of the woods —
The State Fair of Texas came and went without fanfare; i.e., I didn’t get to attend again this year. David and Ryan could care less about going. Alas, my State Fair days may be over. 🙁
A Dallas restaurant that’s been around for 47 years, the original Spaghetti Warehouse located in the West End area, which I suppose makes it practically an institution, closed its doors for good on the same day the State Fair wrapped up. David, Ryan and I went downtown on Wednesday to pay our last respects.
It had been awhile since we dined at The Spaghetti Warehouse.
We chose Wednesday to go because the next day, POTUS was coming into Dallas for a rally and there was no way we were going to try and drive through the traffic mess that happens wherever he is. We also considered going on Friday. However, driving downtown on Friday or the weekend is about as much fun as driving during rush hour. No thanks!
Ryan has a thing for restaurants and nostalgia and this restaurant had nostalgia in spades. For one thing, before it was an eatery, once upon a time, this building housed a pillow factory. Also, somehow or another, the owners got Stephen F. Austin’s brass bed (headboard and footboard) and turned it into a booth. That’s the story, anyway. They also had an antique trolley car (from East Dallas, apparently) that you could eat in if you want.
When we pulled into its parking lot, we discovered that it was a paid lot. (We were downtown, so of course it was.) Lucky for us, as we were driving in, someone else was driving out and a nice man gave us his paid ticket to place in our window if we wanted since he was finished using it.
What a sweet guy, saving us a few bucks.
As we sat waiting to get a table, one couple told another couple that this restaurant was where they’d had their first date back in 1972. Someone else remarked that while a lot of restaurants eventually brought in nostalgia or that industrial look into their spaces, Spaghetti Warehouse was one of the first to do this in Dallas. All were sad to see it shut down. While I don’t have a great tale about eating there, my brother Richard ate there back in the 70’s. I’ll have to ask him about it the next time he’s in town. Since it’s inception as a restaurant, the area surrounding SW has become a tourist hot spot for out-of-towners. Now, time is marching on without it.
All I know is that my son laments when restaurants upgrade their interiors to look more modern and forego that nostalgic look and feel. Or worse, when they shut down altogether. I try and comfort him by telling him that one of these days, that nostalgic decor he loves so much will come back into style; and who knows, maybe some of those old restaurants that have called it quits might re-open. You never know. (Of course, probably not in our lifetime, unfortunately; but I leave that part out.) Anyway, Ryan’s going to miss Spaghetti Warehouse.
When our food came out, I remembered why we don’t/didn’t eat there very often. The food looks and tastes like it came from freezer pouches that were heated up and put on a plate. It would not surprise me at all if that’s exactly how they “cook” at least some of their Italian fare. The food just didn’t taste freshly prepared. Plus, they had a very limited menu, which made sense during their last week; but it was disappointing that they didn’t have what I was wanting on the menu.
I have no idea what this building’s next reincarnation is going to be. Neither did our waitress. She said that when the building sold, they were given just six days to vacate. Period. It had been crazy busy since then. Ry thinks that they’re going to auction off pieces like the brass bed and the trolley car and the stained glass windows. He loves that kind of stuff. It’s times like these when I wish I had a huge income and I could buy a piece of restaurant history for Ryan. Maybe in another life.
As we got to our car to leave, we found a $50 parking fine on our windshield because the ticket in our car window didn’t match the numbers on our license plate. I’m not positive, but I think we may have been set up by the “sweet guy;” and like fools, we took the bait.
On a much happier note — over the last week or so, we got word that David and I are going to be great grandparents in the spring. This will be our first great grandbaby! Awesome!
Also, this week, we welcomed our newest grandson. He makes nine and his initials spell out MEH. At least it won’t be hard for him to live up to his potential based upon his initials. I didn’t ask his parents if they thought through this name business, but he is the cutest little grandbaby since our last grandbaby. And he is strong! Gotta love Skype or whatever it is that we use so we can actually see our out-of-town grandkids grow week-to-week!
We attended a wonderful wedding out in the middle of BFE, Texas. Seriously. It was a good thing Ryan was with us. I was worried that we’d get lost because Ryan decided that he knew a faster way to get to the tiny town of Penelope than the directions Google provided. You know what? Ryan was right. As always. Why did I ever doubt him? Lest I forget, Ryan is a human GPS. He’s been so for about 20 years now. We arrived at the church right on time.
BTW, the bride and groom make a gorgeous couple, and we have nothing but well wishes and blessings for them!
Dad was in the hospital with bronchitis a couple of weeks ago. But he’s home now. Other than a stubborn cough, he’s feeling much better.
On Halloween, we took Ry and a couple of his friends out for dinner at Pappadeaux’s. They picked the restaurant and we went along with it. Can I help it if it just so happens to be one of my favorite restaurants as well? We had a frightfully good time and Lauren got to join us! Even David splurged on dirty martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives. I do love me some blue cheese stuffed olives marinated in vodka martinis. David shared his with me because I was the designated driver. Because there was an issue with one of our orders, management bought dessert for our entire table. How unnecessary but incredibly kind and delightful. Creme brulee and pumpkin cheesecake for all! Yum!
Today, David informed me that one of Ryan’s friends who wasn’t able to make it on Halloween, is now ready to meet for dinner this week — at Pappadeaux’s. He doesn’t want to eat anywhere else because we’d invited him to Pappadeaux’s. Autism. You gotta love it. So apparently, we’re eating there two weeks in a row! Am I lucky or what? Woo Hoo!
I hope everyone had a groovy and ghoulish Halloween!
Today, of course, we fell back an hour to standard time.
So what did everyone do with their extra hour? Write an extra page or two? Sleep in? Party an hour longer? At our house, we called the police and waited as they canvased our neighborhood.
After about 30 minutes, the officers came by to tell us they couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.
We’d been watching TV (binging on the new Jack Ryan) when we distinctly heard the sound of a single gunshot coming from outside. We paused the TV and just listened. When Buddy went to our front room window and started growling a low, angry growl a minute or two after the gunshot, that’s when we called the police. I don’t know who was doing what during the middle of the night, but all of a sudden, I felt vulnerable and I wasn’t about to let my husband go outdoors and scream, “Who’s out there?”
The police actually used a search light to shine onto the houses and bushes as they slowly drove up and down several streets in our area. Then they stopped by to tell us not much other than they found…nothing. I’m hoping we don’t find out in the next few days that something foul happened to one of our neighbors.
I can’t seem to shake the sound of that one, single gunshot —POP! I guess that’s better than hearing several gunshots, though, or having a bullet zing past us through our window. Also, I’m truly grateful that the police were willing to come out and take a quick look. Anyway, that’s how we spent our extra hour.
If I get any updates on the gunshot, I’ll let y’all know.
The day’s finally arrived when Popeye’s making everyone wait in line again for their sandwich re-launch. BTW, it’s National Sandwich Day if anyone’s interested. Also, since it’s Sunday, Chick-fil-et is closed. My, my, my — how the sandwich war plot thickens! I was willing to wait in the double line that extended out into the street at Popeye’s to try their sandwich since I missed it the last time. David wasn’t. Maybe we’ll try again tomorrow. If there’s any sandwiches left. Instead we got a bucket of KFC for dinner. It was meh.
Anyway, it’s time to pull out my winter clothes because we went straight from summer to winter. I forgot how quickly our house can cool down and remain cold, even when the weather outside warms up a little. For instance, it was in the low 70’s outside today, but not in our house. I don’t know what the real temp inside was, but it felt like it was in the 40’s. However, that’s been the case over the last few days since we had our freeze — it’s felt warmer outside than inside. At least blue skies and bright sunshine warmed the outdoors.
Inside? Well, yesterday, Lauren visited and asked why it was so brutally cold in our house. We were sitting in the living room watching TV while she did laundry. She turned me on to Britain’s Great Baking Show and Godless and I turned her on to Evil as we shivered under blankets trying to get warm and stay that way.
I told her I think our house picked up a demon somewhere along the way. We couldn’t quite see our breath, but another degree or two colder and I’m sure we would have. Anyway, yeah, a house demon. That’s the only thing I can think of to explain the chill that apparently won’t go away. Brrrr…
And that’s the news from the James’ household — where all the members are friendly-ish, all the cats purr, and the dog’s tail wags with hope and joy — despite the frigid air and/or house demon. Hope all is well with you and yours! Stay safe and warm, my friends, and don’t forget to —
Sparkle on in your own wayward style,
PS ~ Mom, I miss you so much! It’s been three years too long since you’ve been gone.
PPS ~ Music, of course —