Wednesday, February 23, 2022

A Dallas Mega Mansion

Since we aren't doing the Wednesday Hodgepodge this week, I thought I would treat you to a most fascinating local story.

The well-known and often repeated saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas" certainly holds true in this case.

Opulence is one of those 'bigger' things and nowhere is that more visible than in the Park Cities part of Dallas. Highland Park and University Park are two of the most monied enclaves of Dallas. Volk Estates, the neighborhood in University Park where this house is being built, is among the wealthiest of the wealthy.

Cindy Thompson, Vice President of Thompson Petroleum Corp and a real estate investor with multimillion-dollar properties across the world — decided to build a home that had all the elements she wanted.  Her Dream House!  However, Cindy and her husband have decided to not live here after all.  In order to take advantage of the real estate boom in Dallas, it is now on the market for $43 million.

The flooring in this massive foyer, is black and white panda marble, with mirrored veined marble on the double floating staircase.  The flooring beyond the foyer in the great room is bamboo backed with cork for walking comfort.

The home is built on a double lot, 1.8 acres, part of which was a property that once belonged to her grandparents. The family also owns the property across the street where Cindy grew up.

In order to get exactly the house she wanted, Cindy has been very hands-on in every decision, and can you imagine the decisions that had to be made.  She said that she incorporated design elements from other luxury homes she owns all over the country, or was inspired by.  Taking bits and pieces of her favorite aspects of these homes, she put them all together into this 23,688 square-foot mega mansion.

By the way, one of these homes happens to be one of the largest homes in Aspen, CO, that she purchased for $22 million while we were all hunkered down in 2020.  The home sold for $44 million in 2013, so she got a real bargain.  To help make the payment though, she sold a smaller home she owned in Florida for $11 million.

The exterior of the house is swathed in limestone imported from Bulgaria— the same kind the Greeks are using to renovate the Parthenon, according to Cindy’s husband, Stephen Hill.  The density of these stones are said to weigh 10,650 pounds per square inch.

The two-story, single piece columns outside the front door are eighteen feet tall, the second tallest of any U.S. residence.  The others are said to be hiding on a mansion in Missouri.

The home has six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, each the size of a hand-ball court.

For example, this spa shower has leathered red tempest stone floors and polished red tempest walls.

The entrance into the master suite features these double doors and surround from India with mother-of-pearl inlay.  Doors from India are used in other areas of the house as well.

The primary bathroom features a shower made entirely of turquoise-colored amazonite. 

This is a close-up of the rose-gold fixtures featured throughout the house.

It also has rose-quartz countertops and floor details.

The main kitchen, which is open to the great room, has bright blue stone countertops and backsplash (called azul macaubus) and cabinets with a unique texture.  It also features two islands.

The home  library has African mahogany-lined walls and bookshelves and an amethyst fireplace surround.  On the front side of the library, there’s a designated reading room that is one of the octagonal spaces you see when looking at the front of the home.  When asked if they like to read, Stephen replied, "Only if it's digital."

Perhaps one of the most lavish extravagances is the subterranean garage that can, reportedly, comfortably fit eighteen Chevy Suburbans.  Also in this massive basement area there is a wellness and exercise area, a theater, a catering kitchen, space for seven electric car stations, a bonus room or safe room, and an enormous room for wine storage.  The Thompsons did admit to not being wine collectors. 

Cindy fell in love with the famous outdoor staircase in Venice’s Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, when she visited Italy and wanted one just like it in her dreamhouse.

The house is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.  Wouldn't you love a tour of this home once it is furnished?

At this point, there have been no offers, and some of the realtors are skeptical as to whether it will sell.  Since the Thompsons would only be spending 20 - 30 percent of their time here, they probably won't mind waiting for the just-right buyer.

Information for this post came from articles in Texas Monthly magazine and The Dallas Morning News.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

All Kinds of Nuts on the Hodgepodge

Happy Wednesday!  Can you believe we are already half way through the month of February?  Where is the time going?  Speaking of that, we will not have a Hodgepodge next week as our hostess, Joyce, From This Side of the Pond will be playing with grandsons instead of keeping us entertained with questions.  Good for her!

1.  February 16th is National Almond day...are you a fan?  If so what's your favorite food item or recipe that contains almonds?

Oh yes, I am a huge almond fan, and there are so many ways I love to eat them.


I could totally eat my weight in these; however, almonds covered in chocolate are off my diet.  My now favorite is to mix a small amount of roasted almonds with a few pecans as a snack.  Not quite the same.

Another favorite way is to sauté sliced almonds and raisins in butter and mix with French Cut Green Beans.  Makes a delicious side for most any meal. 

2.  Something you are currently 'nuts' about?

Because our new way of eating is a crossover Keto and Carnivore diet, we are eating a lot of meat, eggs, bacon, cheese, veggies like avocado, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, etc., I keep at least one box of delicious Angus Beef Burgers on hand.

Add one of these to a baked Avocado boat, topped with pimento cheese for a delicious meal, or topped with a slice(s) of bacon and served with spicy cauliflower rice.  There are unlimited options.  Being pre-cooked makes a meal quick and tasty.

3.  Something currently driving you 'nuts'?

Several months ago, when trying to get in 5 miles a day of walking, I irritated my left hip flexor or I-T Band.  I have gone through some physical therapy, exercises, stretches, to no avail.  Right now, the pain and frustration is driving me nuts for sure.

4.  Something you recently bought for 'peanuts'?

Does anything cost only 'peanuts' these days?

5.  Share a favorite quote uttered by an U. S. President.

Since our topic seems to be 'nuts' today, I'll use some of the nutty quotes from our current nutty President.  He is open fodder when he opens his mouth.

"Now we have over 120 million dead from COVID."

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: all men and women are created, by the, you know the, you know the thing."

"You know, there’s a uh, during World War II, uh, you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing uh, that uh, you know, was totally different than a, than the, the, it’s called, he called it the, you know, the World War II, he had the war – the War Production Board."

"But we cannot let this – we’ve never allowed any crisis from a Civil War straight through to a pandemic in ‘17, all the way around, ’16, we have never, never let our democracy take second fiddle, we can both have a democracy and elections and at the same time protect the public health."

Or we could go with his entire speech on January 19, 2022.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Our big, handsome grandson will be having a birthday on the 28th of February.  From all appearances, his and McKenna's baby boy will be one hefty young man when he gets here in July.  We are so proud of the fine man, husband and soon-to-be dad he is.  Happy 27th Birthday, Jackson.  We love you to the moon and back!

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

A Super Sweet Hodgepodge

Cincinnati had no idea when they drafted Joe Burrow from LSU that they would also get LSU fans from all over the country.  Joe is our boy!  He and Ja'Marr Chase, also an LSU boy have made a great duo this football season.


Now for today's questions from Joyce that may have more to do with RED than orange. 

1.  Besides the predictable name-rank serial number, what's something you know by heart?

The birthdates of my family, John 3:16, The Lord's Prayer, Psalm 23
but don't ask me the name of the person I just talked to.

2.  Something recently that had you tickled pink?

Tickled Pink

I received a call from the man who owns the shop where my most recent paintings are displayed.  He informed me that a good customer had come in and loved both of the paintings; however she didn't want to buy them.  What she wants instead is to commission me to paint something specific for her home.  This both frightens me and tickles me because she said "I love her style."  What she is yet to discover is that I have no painting style.

3.  How do you define the word romantic, and are you one?

What I am not is a "Sapiophile!"

(one whose romantic attraction to others is primarily based on intelligence)

I realize "romantic" means different things to people based perhaps on their love language.  To me it means words of affirmation and small gestures that simply say "I thought about you."  My Valentine is so good about bringing me fresh flowers because we both enjoy them.  He gladly does the grocery shopping.  He helps me make up the bed every morning.  He squeezes my hand and tells me he loves me every single night before we go to sleep.  He desires to please me.
This is romance to me at this stage in our life.

No, I am not particularly romantic but I do love romance.

4.  Finish this verse with your own original thought...'Roses are red, violets are blue...

"If I could choose anyone,
It would always be you."

5.  Five little things you are loving right now?

1.  I'm reading two different books at the same time and enjoying how the story in both overlap - "Meet Me in Monaco" and "Another Woman's Husband"

2.  The sun is shining brightly and there is still ice on the ground in spots

3.  I've lost 3 lbs so far and am getting back into a workout routine

4.  Our two great-grandboys are baking up a storm and all is going well with the moms

5.  Loving my hubby more every day - we met 57 years ago on Feb. 6

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Do any of you remember when our churches used to have Sweetheart Banquets?

Evidently this particular one had an Hawaiian theme.  I remember making this dress, but I have no idea where we found Dick's shirt.  Yes, this was definitely from the 70's.

This was from the 90's with a 50's theme.

Another 50's themed Valentine Party in 2019.

By the way, that was Dick's HS Football jacket and his college ring I am wearing.
He's still my sweetheart!

Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Light of the World

One of the major themes in the Bible is that Jesus is the life: “I am the way, the truth, and the life”; “I came that they might have life”; “I am the resurrection and the life;”  "I am the Light of the world."

“I am the light of the world.” Light represents life and understanding, or the truth. He came to reveal the Father, and by so doing guide people in the way of righteousness.

The Word is the light that shines in darkness; but the darkness does not apprehend it--not without the grace of God.

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world, and in me there is no darkness."

"For God alone my soul waits in silence;
From Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
My defense and my strong tower; I will not be shaken or disheartened."

"My hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged."

"On God my salvation and my glory rest;
He is my rock of strength, my refuge is in God."

Psalm 62

(Scenes from my window during ice storm Landon.  Feb. 2022)

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Ice and Snow Hodgepodge

I'm not likely to need this, but I wouldn't mind if I did.  Remembering our February visit to Northern Indiana this time last year.  This Southern gal loves the snow.

1.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge landing on Groundhog's Day sounds about right.  Besides the Hodgepodge what else lands on your calendar just once a week?  Is it as much fun as the hodgepodge-ha!?

The only reoccurring thing on my weekly calendar besides Sunday church happenings is my volunteering to work at the Prestonwood Pregnancy Center every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  It's interesting that this and the Hodgepodge fall on the same day each the week.

Is it fun?  No, I wouldn't not call it fun at all, although I do enjoy my time there very much.  The objective of the Hodgepodge is to have fun, but my objective at the center is to greet ladies who are often in a difficult situation and minister to them in whatever way possible.  That's enjoyment and a blessing.

2.  The Winter Olympics begin on Friday, surrounding by much controversy.  Will you be watching?  Why or why not?  Have you ever been to China?

I will not be watching during the day for sure, and it is not likely we will be glued to the events at night either.  Only a few of the winter events interest us, and I dare say we will have any idea when they occur.  No, I have never been to China, but my husband has.

No frills for the US Team's clothing this year, compared to the more trendy style of the Czech Republic.

3.  Something in your life lately that has felt a bit like an 'olympic event'?

We decided to dedicate ourselves to a new diet a week or so ago.  It is a combination of Keto and Carnivore, where we eat a lot of meat, a few select veggies, no carbs, fruit, grain, or sugar.  We are doing well on it so far since we were already limiting carbs and sugar; however, meal planning is always a struggle.  So yes, coming up with the right combination of foods is like an 'olympic event'.

4.  Do you like fondue?

We used to love it, but I honestly cannot think of a time I have eaten fondue since using a vintage pot like this in the '70's.  We had a couple and used them quite often for entertaining, and occasionally for just the family.

Sweet or savory?

Definitely sweet!

Restaurant only or do you own your own fondue set?

I got rid of the set ages ago, and haven't eaten it out ever, I guess.

5.  Give us five short (203 word) phrases to sum up your January.

1.  Started a new Bible Study

2.  Met and entertained new friends

3.  Missing chocolate-covered almonds and popcorn

4.  Organized tax records

5.  Painted two new canvases

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are preparing for our first Texas winter storm - Landon - to come on Wednesday night as is most of the country, but anytime layers of ice are predicted for the Dallas/Ft Worth area, it brings concern.  Because we have so many above ground freeways, and so little means of preparing them for ice, everything necessarily shuts down.  It looks like a heavy ice event and several days of below freezing temps.  Thankfully, it won't be anything like the storm we had last year.

One of my favorite memories from our Indiana trip last year was taking a road trip into Michigan with this precious Granddaughter #3.

Stay warm and safe!