Just the Right Shoe

this is called the ‘I Do’ and is a little miniature shoe that is about 3 inches long. The detail is amazing.

My first miniature shoe was the ‘I Do’ shoe, a little old timey wedding slipper. Nancy gave it to me for my birthday one year. I couldn’t put it down, it was absolutely adorable.

this shoe looks like patient leather and the detail is exactly like a real one. The bow is not fabric but made from the same material as the shoe.

Then a couple of years later, she sent  another one, this time it was the ‘Toe Tapper’, a perfect to scale ‘patient leather’ tap dancing shoe. She and I took dancing lessons when we were kids (Gwen Eschew was our teacher).  
I had a skinny foot and had trouble finding narrow shoes.

the sole of the shoe has metal taps, it is completely realistic in ever way

My shoe flew off more than once in class. (heel toe, heel toe, fu-lap ball change). Anyway, this little tap shoe is darling.

again, the detail on this shoe is amazing,  the shoe strings look real but are made of the same material as the shoe itself.

the sole of the shoe is like the real rubber soles on running shoes

Then on another birthday here came the Raine Runner, this was during my jogging years and is a perfect replica of a running shoe. These shoes were all made by a company called Just the Right Shoe, they came in their own fancy box with only the shoe for the right foot.

this shoe was made by another company but is equally as fine as the others and is absolutely beautiful, it is quite blingy.

Later a friend in Canada sent me the pretty little blue mule slipper. It was encrusted in pearls and looked like blue satin leather. I just like things that are little, all the shoes remind of those special days and happy times.

I put several of the shoes with a large apple to show you how small they are. The blue jogging shoe was actually a leather key chain


1940s Favorites



mother made our clothes and back then little girls wore dresses. (will you notice those knees)

I ran across a picture this week of me, Tricia and Nancy and our Uncle Calvin and Aunt Maxine. We loved them, they were fun and taught us all kinds of things. After they were older, Calvin was in the navy, (he looked wonderful in his sailor suit) and Maxine was a beautiful girl, she worked as secretary for lawyer, Robert Amacker. When Calvin was home on leave, they liked to jitter bug  and they tried to teach us the steps.  “kick~ kick~toe~heel~toe~stomp~slide”  Now it stuck with me and that is exactly how I did it even when I was grown. (not a pretty sight) I did the steps but didn’t learn the dance. They knew all the dances from the early 1940s.

this picture was taken two years ago, Baby Nancy and Aunt Maxine

Maxine was 90 years old in this picture, she died this past year. She was still very pretty and resembled Queen Elizabeth. Calvin lives in California with his family and is retired from Jet Propulsion Labs. He has a beautiful shock of white hair and plays tennis weekly. We were always proud of our aunts and uncles, these two were the most fun~

Carving and Whittling

this is a group of carved pieces, there has been a lot of whittling going on for years, these are just the things I ended up with.

My boys like to carve and whittle. Here are a few of the things they have made. The wooden chain is carved from a single straight board, the egg started as a square block of wood, then there is a box with open center and a carved ball inside. Each of these started with a solid piece of wood.

the little hard hat is carved from bass wood, It has all the detail of a real roughneck’s steel hat.

the leather band inside cushions a blow to the head

There is also a hard hat, made exactly like the steel hats roughnecks wear on drilling rigs. It even has a leather headband inside.

the little shovel is a fine piece of art

My favorite is this spade, made from walnut with a maple handle. The shovel part is carved thin and  is as smooth as silk. It is a contrast between a tool used for hard digging and an exquisite piece of art.

Tree House

this tree house is about 8 feet from the ground, beautiful job. I will be showing other tree houses in later blogs.

One morning a few years ago, I heard interesting noises from across the road, not a chain saw, a weed eater, not a mower, but something better. I knew the sound of a circular saw and it was buzzing away. This went on all day and when I went for my walk I saw what was going on with my neighbors. In an oak grove in the back there was some framing going up the biggest tree and legs down to the ground.  I could see Jim  was building a real tree house for their little girls. It was fun watching the progress. It took about a week and was perfect and wonderful. It had a nice sized room, a porch and  real stairs with hand rails. I thought how lucky those two kids were, it is every child’s dream to have a tree house, a play house or a cave. I always look when I drive by, it is a mighty fine house and a fine daddy who built it~

Mallard Ducks

this is a male mallard duck figurine, Andrea made thousands of these ducks and they are beautiful but not expensive~

we always named our ducks before we knew if they were boys or girls, we were usually wrong.

Here are some Mallard duck figurines I bought after I no longer had my real ducks. They are quite beautiful and realistic. I have had a love for ducks ever since I got two babies at a garage sale thirty five years ago. Stanley and Rose Olive lived with us for almost ten years. Later the kids had ducks when they were grown and married. There was Sarah Kate, Katy Mae and Algeritta, to name a few. No one knows how smart and loving these birds can be until they have them for pets.  They are unbelievably beautiful. All they wanted was a puddle of water. We always remember them at Christmas time and how much fun they were  when they got their special gift~a pint of earth worms~

This is a picture of Katie Mae begging for his Christmas worms. He got to come in the kitchen on special occasions.


Algeritta went to live in Santa Fe Park after he was a bad boy~


ducks are noisy, but those of us who owned them loved the sound of their ‘wak wak wak’  This is the handsome  Sarah Kate in the pond

Sarah Kate was a beautiful male mallard, he loved the pond with the fountain. It was fun to watch the ducks go upside down in the water to eat off the bottom. We had a wonderful time with all the ducks, what special little friends~

Pickups, Trucks and Trailers

Not everyone needs to own a pickup truck, it is better if you have a friend who has one, when you want to haul something that won’t fit in the car then you need that friend and it is even  better if they owe you favors. If you have a car with a hitch and own a trailer, you are in business. Or if your car has a hitch and your friend has a trailer, that is even better. Here are some pictures of how people move things from one place to another.

this trailer has side boards, you can really overload it. It  probably carried stoves, cots, water, food and a bunch of junk that hunters would need for their two weeks in the mountains

This old car was sitting at the ranch in Culberson County with the trailer behind it. Here it is, seventy miles from the nearest town and and it must have had to pull it’s load over rocky country roads (or no roads) to get to the camp. It gives me a ulcer just to think about it.

this is a pretty big load for one little truck. They better drive fast, it is starting to rain

Not a good idea to move furniture on a rainy day. Oh, mama is going to be so mad!

these little cars are great for carrying your stuff,  looks like this one is taking the wool to market

This hatch back seems to be hauling sacks of wool.

you notice this man put a tarp over his load, he was thinking ahead. Now if he can only get the engine cooled off

He thought he could just add one more stack and save a trip~

here is a flat bed trailer hauling a car. When I see this, I wonder if the car is being repossessed

We see a lot of flat bed trailers hauling cars and heavy equipment.

this is a real trailer, it has lock downs inside, a great fold down ramp in back and secure locks. Now I like this one~

If you have a neighbor with a cargo trailer, you will be going first class.

there is a walk in door on the side. I made good use of this trailer while it was at my house


ZZ took Granddad for lots of  rides, she put a flip bed back there  so he and Missy were nice and comfortable.

Sutton County Ranch

this is not a good photograph of the painting but you can get an idea of what a good scene looks like. Nothing had to be changed, best of all it had just rained~

Today’s picture is one I painted for a couple from their family’s ranch in northern Sutton County. It is  a beautiful spot with rolling hills, live oaks and there is plenty of grass when it rains. It is good ranch country. Usually there have to be changes painted in a scene to make it better, moving a road over, adding a few trees that are too far off to the left or right, removing trees or clearing out brush that hides the road. That was not the case with this one, everything was painted just as it was, it was a breathtaking scene, one of my favorites. There is something special about being out in the country where the only sound is that of birds or a cow in the distance. It even has a different smell from any other place. It gives you an easy peaceful feeling that you won’t find anywhere else. If you grew up in the country, you know~ 

Deer Hunting

I have never seen bucks really fighting, they may just being macho for their buddies

I have found the bucks to be skittish, they usually only come at night. The does come and stay during the day eating corn, enjoying the shade of the oak trees and lying around in the cool grass. The fawns are like baby goats, they love to play.

Hunting season has started, we will be seeing men in camouflage clothes in in the grocery store, buying stuff, mostly snack food and ice. They all seem happy. There are a lot of deer in Schleicher County and the hunting is good. These were a couple of pictures from Frankie Lively’s camera.

this is a picture of a doe at my water trough. Last year was one of the worst droughts ever in West Texas, many deer didn’t survive but my yard was a haven for them. They had corn, water, and a cool shade under the oak trees with green grass. The windmill never stopped pumping. What a year!

I have deer in my yard all year long, they come up to the trough for water and I throw corn out for them. It brings up the wild turkeys too. I love the wildlife. I am not a hunter but a watcher. Nature is one our blessings~

Antique Trade Show in Santa Fe

here is ZZ in the booth, her cookie basket is on the right. She gave cookies to everyone that day. Give a child a job and they are happy~

There was an Antique Trade Show in Santa Fe in 1994, someone in my family decided to rent a booth and participate in it since they were interested in Civil War memorabilia and had some of the old Harper’s Weekly newspapers to show.

ZZ was all dressed up in this old timey outfit with a petticoat and pantaloons, her cookie basket was lined with a towel made from the same fabric.

I made ZZ an old timey dress from a Laura Ashley pattern, (I made her dresses from these patterns until she was about 8 years old).  Anyway, I found some suede high top shoes to go with it.  At  the library there was an old cookbook with recipes for simple molasses cookies, the kind that women made back in the 1800′s. I baked up several batches and took off for New Mexico.

she is checking her list, yes all she needed was to remember to take the boxes of molasses cookies~

The dress fit and  ZZ looked adorable with her hair hanging in long curls, and she had a basket for the cookies. During the show, she walked around and offered cookies to people.That was such a fun time for us. The dress~I have packed away. When ZZ out grew her dresses, Hannah, her younger friend down the street inherited them, and after she out grew them, they came back to go to yet another child. The dresses got passed around.

This was a tiny shoe that fit a tiny foot

In all of the shuffle, one shoe got lost but I have the other one on my shelf by the fireplace, it reminds me that sweet little girl and all the fun of getting her ready to help with the show.

100 Year Old Recipe Molasses Cookies
 1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. molasses
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 c. melted butter
1/4 c. boiling water
1/4 tsp salt
Mix together and add enough flour to make
a firm dough. Knead and form into a long
 log and chill overnight, slice thin and bake
in hot oven until done.
This recipe doesn’t have many instructions,
the old time cooks probably knew how to do
it just right. Mine turned out firm like a dog treat
but were not bad. It was just fun to try something different.
Maybe these cookies would have lasted in a soldiers
pocket for several weeks~

Thanksgiving Dinner at Church

This is my blog from a year ago, I liked it and wanted to run it again. Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone. We all have much to be thankful for, never underestimate your good fortune.

this is Vickie, she was the most decorated helper so she gets to go first

I am re-posting my blog from last year’s Thanksgiving Dinner at the Presbyterian Church in Eldorado. I won’t be there this year, instead I will be enjoying my 80th birthday dinner with my family in Christoval. Let the fun begin!

After church service today we had our annual Thanksgiving dinner, it is always a special meal.  Everyone brings their favorite dishes and we have wonderful cooks. There are about 40 members in our church, I think they were all there today and some guests too.  I will show you a few pictures, it will make you hungry~ 

there were platters of ham and turkey, wonderful dressing and gravy

two of our best cooks, we published a cook book a few years ago and there were wonderful ‘start from scratch’ recipes

Debbie is the one who brings the wonderful music every Sunday

here are Danell and Maxine

here are  good vegetable dishes, the deviled eggs are the first to go~

there are always delicious fruit salads, the pink one in front is Danell’s

this is just a few of the desserts, the table was 6 feet long and loaded with cakes, pies, banana pudding, and cheese cakes.

What a feast, how wonderful it is to have our church family~

LBJ State Park

he drove up in a big white Lincoln, everyone stood in line to meet him, but he took off down the ranch road and came back after a little while, his prank for the day~

We were at the LBJ Park in April 1973 for the exhibit of all the best Presidential Cartoons that had been in the newspapers through Lyndon Johnson’s days in the white house. Some of them were a little mean spirited, most of them were clever and terribly funny.  He must have been a cartoonist’s perfect subject with his big ears and deep wrinkles. Lady Bird was always the favorite in a crowd, she was pretty and so warm and gracious. He married well~

it was a surprise how tall he was, he was a big man, he reminded me of John Wayne


Lady Bird was dedicated to making the Texas countryside  beautiful~ covered in bluebonnets and wild flowers. It was her passion~


Firey Red Chinese Pistache Tree

this tree will grow to be a medium size, it makes a nice shade in the summer and here it is in all of it’s splendor with the cooler weather.

This is the Chinese Pistache tree in my back yard, it is beautiful. I bought it just before Duckwalds closed their store, their trees cost $13 in the 5 gallon size buckets, and every tree I bought lived and has done well. This one is my favorite. The Chinese Pistache is originally from China and is kin to the cashew family. They grow in poor soil and harsh conditions, they are hardy trees. They like full sun, after they are established they don’t need a lot of watering. A long time ago I had three mimosa trees in this spot, they had lacy leaves and beautiful flowers, I enjoyed them for many years. They shaded the screened porch. I have always loved trees, even those that don’t bloom or turn bright red in the fall. A tree is a treasure, no matter where you live, or for how long, plant a tree and enjoy watching it grow, then leave it for the next ones~