Trash Can Engineering

I’d like to recognize our neighbor, Walt Gallaway, for his engineering skills. Using only black gaffer’s tape and steel bolts, he has managed to keep his Live Oak Waste receptacle in service even after a mortal wound that split the container halfway down its side. Kudos, Mr Gallaway!

Protesting Your Property Taxes, 2024

2023 Country Place Home Sales

Below is a comparative market analysis showing greater detail of the sold homes. You can see the big swing in cost per square foot ranging from $137.11 to $224.33 a square foot; a lot depends on the home’s age, updates, and maintenance. A forty-year-old home with no updates and a lot of deferred maintenance will appraise for much less than a newer, more energy-efficient home with up-to-date features, but if you bought such a home, you need to provide proof. The spreadsheet below will give you a good idea of what Smith County’s appraisers are looking at in this current appraisal period. For specific information on protesting Smith County taxes, click here. If you have questions regarding your home’s appraisal, feel free to call me (903.714.7090) or Andrea (903.714.7091).

Your Dog Barks Too Much

Some years ago a sweet old lady on Great Oaks Circle kept a German Shepherd as her constant companion and guard dog. Unfortunately, the dog barked constantly, and loudly, driving her neighbors to distraction. One of them posted the sign below on her mailbox.

Ms Gamblin and her annoying companion are no longer with us, but the problem of barking dogs continues unabated. Our own dog, Bella, is an inside animal, but when we let her out to do her business, she would find something to sound off on. A squirrel, a deer, or even a bird would be enough to set her off. Even when inside the house, she would go crazy when anyone approached our home.

Last year, our son Lucas and his girlfriend moved into Ashmore, a very quiet neighborhood inside the city limits, and their two Corgis immediately drew the ire of their neighbors because of their barking. So Lucas did his research and came up with an answer: dog barking collars.

The collars he purchased are the Dinjoos, and when he told us about the success they were having with them, we ordered one for Bella. What a wonderful invention. After charging, we experimented with different settings and came up with a combination of slight shock and beep which immediately discouraged her barking. We only charge about every ten days and have to be sure to keep the collar snug against her throat, but other than that it’s a very low-maintenance solution. Since we purchased our collar, many others have come on the market. Here’s a link to Amazon’s choices. If you have a problem with a barking dog, we highly recommend one of these collars.






Remembering Jerry Jones

Friend and neighbor Jerry Jones passed away on April 1st of 2023. I had spoken with Jerry in March when I called to brag about a big bass our grandson, Jack, had caught and to inquire about his health (he’d had heart surgery a few weeks earlier). He sounded weak but he complimented Jack on his catch and I thanked him for all his work on our lakes.

For twenty years Jerry worked to keep our four lakes stocked, our fish feeders working, fish fed, hydrilla invasion under control, beaver and otters at bay, and to regularly report on the health of our lakes. It was Jerry’s idea to turn Lake #2 into Bream Lake, a place for our kids to enjoy, by removing the bass and catfish and stocking it with copper-nosed bluegill and fathead minnows. (We subsequently learned that the overflow from Lake #1, Old Lake, brought with it fingerling bass that thwarted Jerry’s plan for a bream-only lake.)

Jerry was very knowledgeable about knives, and he enjoyed talking with our oldest son, Leo, who was fascinated by them as a boy.

Men like Jerry have made a big difference in our neighborhood by giving their time to make Country Place it is today. Below is is obit, reprinted here:


Jerry D. Jones was born July 6, 1936 in Weston, Texas to Oscar Jones and May Johnson Jones. He died April 1, 2023 in Whitehouse, TX.

Jerry graduated from Boyd High School in McKinney, Texas and from North Texas State University with a BBA degree.

Always industrious, in high school and college he had many part time jobs. After graduating from college he was employed at Texas Instruments in Dallas, beginning in Inventory Control and then as a Sales Engineer in the Chemical Materials Department. After ten years he moved into the field of financial planning, sales of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Jerry was employed by Dempsey-Tegeler & Co., Underwood Neuhaus & Co., and Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. In his retirement he began selling sports equipment and eventually specializing in knifes. Throughout his career, Jerry valued his customers and became lifelong friends with many.

Jerry and Jo Ann Moore married in 1957. They had two children, Jack Douglas Jones and Julia Ann Jones. Jo Ann passed away after 56 years of marriage. Jerry spent his final years married to Gloria Hendricks Peterson.
Jerry was an avid fisherman. He was proud that his son caught his first fish at age two and delighted in helping others fish. With that passion he volunteered for over twenty years to stock and manage the Lakes and Parks in the Country Place Community Association.

Jerry was faithful in serving the church. He worked on the Building Committee for the Family Life Center, was the treasurer for the United Methodist Men, organized garage sales for youth scholarships and readily cooked for any event.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Dorris Wynell Smith, son, J. Douglas Jones. He is survived by his daughter, Julia Ann Jones, daughter in law, Chris Jones, grandchildren, Russell Mullins, Courtney Maletic (Paul), Katharine Ruschhaupt, (Cameron) and William Rosebrock, (Sarah) great granddaughter Collins Ruschhaupt, step son Erik Peterson, niece Jan Nowowiejski (Dean) and numerous cousins. Jerry called Craig Firestone his second son and embraced Craig and his family, Laura, Alex, Chrissy, Liam, Nellie, as his own.