I Am Quitting Judge Judy

Judge Judy

better be prepared~

I have now officially quit Judge Judy. It was one of my favorite TV shows and one of the few that I enjoyed for years. No More! I have had to live all this time putting up with annoying ads that come every few minutes, the same old ads over and over that make me crazy. Livingston Hearing Aid that are looking for 50 people to try their new hearing aid for little or not cost to me. In all those years, it seems they couldn’t find the 50 people to get their pencil and write down ‘this number’. Then Mike’s Gold Buyers who wants to buy my gold and silver and diamonds and promising I will say, ‘I Sold Gold and I Like Mike’. It is not Judge Judy’s  fault but I am having to sweep her out with the trash. I feel FREE! Several years ago I cut loose from BRAVO because of their trash shows. (Real Housewives etc.) The minute I hear anyone say the worst curse word of all time (omg), I refuse to watch. This is one thing that hurts my heart. So I am cleaning house and getting rid of that little black box that sits in my room, bringing things into my life that are not good. I am back to reading my Kendal and have read more books than ever before in my lifetime. And there are no ads.

Judge Judy has a long list of things she won’t tolerate. Me Too!

Beautiful Children of Kenya

all the neighborhood kids liked to come and watch what was going on at the orphanage, sometimes they would join in on the games. They even watched when it was Bible Study time or school~

These two children came across the road to the orphanage to watch the kids run races. They had such pretty little faces, just as all the children there do. I noticed all through the day people stopped and looked through the hedge from the road. When we said hello or Merry Christmas, Happy New Year or whatever, they were always ready to visit with these ‘strange looking white people’. I might have been the oldest person they had ever seen, lots of people asked me my age. I only saw two people while I was there with gray hair. This road or little street was more like an alley but there was a lot of activity on it. Pretty nice houses were on the other side. Almost everyone has a garden, that red dirt must be rich and fertile. Their top soil goes down forever, we saw a place that had been dug out like we would dig a calache pit, and the red dirt was all the way down and on the bottom was green stuff growing. There was a shower almost every afternoon even though it was the ‘dry season’. No one can appreciate the green countryside more than we do. Once in a while we are blessed with it and we are thankful.

Drums for Kenya Orphans

I would like to show you a blog from 4 years ago. I like to go back and remember that remarkable trip to Kenya. There is a group from the College Hills Baptist Church in San Angelo who are on their way to Kenya and should be landing in Nairobi shortly. It made me think of this blog and wanted to repeat it. I wonder where all these children are now.

you had to be fit to keep up with these kids, their dances were fast, like doing Zumba for an hour.

The first day we were at Children’s Rescue Centre at Miali Saba in Kenya, the kids went out to play after Bible Study. There was a soccer game going on and the rest of the kids were playing games. With everyone in a circle, the one who was ‘it’ wove in and out around the others and whoever they stopped by had to get in the middle and do a dance while the others chanted a song. It ended with a big wiggle, bend down, pull grass and throw it, then a kick. It was a real dance with real steps. Pretty soon I was in the middle and did the best I could. They laughed but were nice about it. (Lisa and Benton were good at this!) Then they got in a circle and beat on the ground and sang while someone danced in the center. Afterwards Paul told me I needed to buy them a real drum.The next day Elizabeth and I shopped all over town looking for one. Everyone told us the Coffee Shop had some but they were closed. Then someone suggested the book store. As we passed by, Elizabeth saw two drums in the window. How exciting! They were big around and covered in goat skin, really nice ones. I chose one and asked the man how much~1,000 shillings, or only about $10.

Elizabeth is holding the two drums we found. We spent quite a bit of time looking for them and it was worth the effort.

The man who owned the book store was laughing, he said the children would enjoy them. They had a big sound!

What a surprise, I would have thought at least $30 each. Anyway we bought both of them, then found some large wooden spoons to use for drum sticks. The next day we took them to the orphanage and two of the older boys started playing them, not just bang bang bang but like real tribal drums. When everyone got in the circle to dance and sing, the ‘head drummer’ beat his drum, the other boy held his hand on the head of his drum to mute it and played another beat. It was wonderful.

Keven and his friend could really play those drums even though he said he had never tried it before.

We noticed when they went to eat their dinner, they put the drums away in the store room so they were going to take good care of them.

we met this group on the road beside the Rescue Centre on New Year’s day, they had drums and colorful clothes, they really celebrate New Year’s in Africa

When we went out there on New Years, there was a parade coming down the little road beside the orphanage and this group from town had drums, they were colorful and were celebrating another ‘year of life’. You could hear the drums from a distance. Something special about drums since the beginning of time~

Junior Monkey

 

Port Aransas  Pier

My day to watch Junior Monkey, everyone liked him~

In the summer of 1952, I was in Port Aransas, Texas (on the Gulf of Mexico) with my parents and two sisters. The monkey belonged to Daddy, some friends gave it to him as a prank. Junior was sweet but then he had another side~he could bite! (no one got bit that time though). Everyone was fishing from the pier, Mother and Daddy fished for Tarpon and we fished for supper.That day I was in charge of Junior. I put on an old swim suit and shower cap and spent the day entertaining everyone, Junior could draw a crowd. He was wearing his swimming trunks but he took them off after they got wet, or should I say, he wet them~ Every day he would get in the water with us and  run on the beach trying to beat the waves. He was curious about everything, he picked up every shell he found and worked on it to see if anything was inside.  Several weeks after we came back home, a big brown envelope came in the mail. A photographer from the San Antonio Express newspaper had snapped the picture and they ran it  in their magazine. Someone recognized me and Junior and sent it to us. What a fun time to remember. A few years later, Junior went to live at the Zoo in San Antonio. Don’t get a monkey, get a sweet puppy instead.

Rattlesnake Will Davis Road

Snake stories abound in West Texas. We do have snakes! Everyone has a good snake story. The best ones are about rattlesnakes people have encountered. This is my best rattlesnake story~true and authentic~ 

this is like rattler that ‘froze to death’ that day~

 One day when the boys were little and we lived on the farm over on Will Davis Road we were on our way to town when we saw a big rattle snake in the road. We stopped and I found a rock while Daddy watched to be sure the it didn’t  get away.  He hit it but only stunned it, it was slithering around and rattling. Then Mr. Belk drove up  in his big butane truck and got out to help. He said he could spray it with butane and it would freeze like a block of ice. He got his big hose off the truck, turned on valve and sprayed. He said, “if you get these snakes froze solid, you can hit them with a stick and they will break into a hundred pieces.” By then, Longino and Goya had driven up.The kids were standing there with me watching.  Well OK, it’s Show Time! Mr. Belk  hit the snake with the nozzle on the hose but nothing happened. “Guess we need another blast!” So this time  he gave it a big thorough sousing until it turned pure white, frozen through and through, solid as a rock. He hit it with the nozzle again~ and again~ and it didn’t break into a hundred pieces, or even two pieces. “Well doggies”. Then he decided to just set it on fire instead. He stuck a match and WHOOP! The barrow ditch was on fire in both directions, all the way to T.P.’s gate and back nearly to town. Goya grabbed little Paul up and ran down the road, Dan was running neck in neck with her. I was just running. (so much for my theory that a mother will try and save her babies first).  Mr. Belk jumped in his truck and shot off down the road to get it away from the flames,  dragging the dripping hose  behind him.  In a few minutes I heard the fire whistle blowing and the fire truck was there a hurry. Half the town came out  to see what happened. Back then, when there was a fire, everyone showed up. it was like a social event, something to talk about at the coffee shop for the next week. I always liked Mr. Belk, he was a nice man. I don’t think any of us ever forgot this day. 

Dear Deer

One of the bucks, his stomach is swollen from starving condition

One of the bucks, his stomach is swollen from starving condition

A doe with her twins, there were many does with babies

A doe with her twins, there were many does with babies

This was in 2012, my yard was full of deer. We had not had rain in months and they were coming in for water and trying to find food. By March I was buying 150 lbs of deer corn every week. During the day there 27 does and fawns, then 7 bucks at night. They were in terrible shape, especially the does, nothing but skin and bones.  I had six of them die in two weeks and had to haul them to the pasture in the wheel barrel. I kept the windmill going on the grass day and night so they would have a cool place to lie under the the trees. It took  several months but they started looking better.  The terrible heat broke old records all summer. Here are a couple of pictures, one in May and the other in October. Since there was nothing for birds to eat either, I have had hundreds  of doves that came to eat the sunflower seeds. I love wildlife.

This blog is a re-run of my first blog when I started Jan. 14, 2012. I have learned a lot since that time. I know now it is not easy to find pictures and a story to have ready every morning by 5:15 or earlier. Sometimes it takes five hours to get something together. I can now appreciate people who have jobs with deadlines. Their’s is real work.

this is group of deer from 2012, they look like they have come out of the drought pretty well. Frankie Lively sent me this nice picture

Peach Cobbler

The easy dessert.  just start in the summer when peaches are ripe right off of the tree. Freeze them to enjoy months later.

The easy dessert. just start in the summer when peaches are ripe right off of the tree. Freeze them to enjoy months later.

Apricot and peaches are my favorites. Apricots are the easiest to prepare. You just break it in half and drop out the seed. No peeling. Peaches are wonderful, a little more time to prepare them though. They need to be peeled and quartered, then a little sugar sprinkled on top and they go in the freezer in quart bags. They will keep well for over a year. Best of all is eating the fruit right off the tree. There are people in the world who have never eaten a fresh peach or apricot, nectarine or plum. All of these fruits are possible to grow in most areas. You just pick native stock that is right for your zone. If your neighbors have success with a certain peach, you can take some of those seeds and start your own trees. The fruit will come up true to the mother. Same with apricots and nectarines. Here is my easy recipe for Peach Cobbler. I cook it before I start dinner and then serve it slightly warm with ice cream for dessert.
                                        Peach Cobbler
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt 1 stick of butter in 8×8 baking pan, set aside
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Mix these four ingredients together in bowl then add
3/4 c.milk
Mix until smooth
Pour batter into buttered baking pan but do not stir
Put about 3 cups of slice peaches on top of batter but do not stir
sprinkle 1/4 c. sugar over top.
Bake at 350 for about one hour or until golden brown

Sprouting Mango Seeds

;This is a mango seed after ten days of being wrapped in a damp paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag

This is a mango seed after being wrapped in a damp paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag for ten days. It is ready to be planted in a bucket of potting soil.

After having good luck sprouting peach and apricot seeds last summer, I decided to try a mango seed. First you cut around outside of the husk then remove the seed from inside. Wrap it in a wet paper towel and place it in a quart size plastic storage bag. Put it in a warm place for about ten days or until a little green shoot shows up at one end. Then it is ready to plant in a bucket of potting soil. It will grow fast
this one didn't look like it would make it but popped up in a few days

this one didn’t look like it would make it but popped up in a few days

I sprouted two seeds and one flourished while the other looked like it would not make it. I had a little talk with it and promised I wouldn’t give up if it would try real hard and it looks like we made it! I will keep these plants in my sun room and hope to enjoy them for many years.
Here is this sweet baby at five weeks old.

Here is this sweet baby at five weeks old. It is already eight inches tall.

  It takes mango trees several years to produce fruit and needs a year round warm climate, like banana trees, they will not survive a hard winter freeze. However it makes a nice lush pretty house plant and can be set outside on a porch in the summer.

 

These are Cherokee Indian Peach seedling  and are 3 weeks old.

These are Cherokee Indian Peach seedling and are 3 weeks old.

Of all the trees I have grown, the peach and apricots are my favorite. These three little trees are from some seeds I saved last August and planted three weeks ago. They are growing fast and are over 10 inches tall, I will re-pot them into three gallon size buckets in a few weeks and grow them in the sun room until Spring. Sprouting seeds is addictive, you get fast results and it is fun watching a miracle of nature. I gave away over 20 peach and apricot trees last year and the friends who took them will be having fruit in three years or so. Tomorrow I will give you a favorite cobbler recipe of mine, it is easy and delicious, you don’t even have to get out your rolling pin~

Abe Lincoln

this took several weeks to paint, I loved every minute of it. Only two weeks after this event took place, President Lincoln was  assassinated.

I painted this picture from a black and white Mathew Brady sketch. I was not excited to do it but someone wanted it. Since the sketch had very little detail, I painted in faces that were not there. I ended up with people I knew, members of the family,  I had to improvised. When I thought it was finished, I had to go back and take out the 30.30 rifles, they didn’t have any of those in the Civil War, and replace them with muzzle loaders. I also had to repaint the Mexican people with black people. There was a lot of painting going on with this one. It was a huge challenge, all the faces are the size of a postage stamp .I was loving it by the time I finished. The guy who ordered it traded it for something else. (Some day it will be his again).

Buttermilk Biscuits

 

These are great hot out of the oven but also later in the garden with a fresh green onion. My all time favorite is homemade apricot preserves~to go with a fresh hot biscuit

Biscuits are easy to make, my grandmother Montgomery made them every single morning for breakfast for her family. One of the sweetest things I remember about my childhood is waking up at her house with the smell her biscuits baking. She always had homemade fruit preserves,  back then everyone made their own preserves and jellies. I got to have a little coffee with cream and sugar too. (I poured it my saucer just like Granddad and let it cool and drank it from there). I liked being at their house, it just wrapped itself around you with good smells, soft cuddly beds, the sound of the train whistle, and all of that sweet love from Grandmother and Granddad. 

Buttermilk Biscuits  (preheat oven to 375 degrees)
2 c flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
4 T. Crisco
3/4 c. buttermilk

mix dry ingredients well, then using a pastry blender
or two knives, cut in the shortening until it resembles                                                coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir only until mixed.

Form dough into a ball, roll out on a floured board 1/2″
thick and cut with biscuit cutter.  (I sprinkle a few drops
of water on counter, place a piece of wax paper down,
flour it and roll my dough out on that. It is easy to clean up.
Place biscuits on pan that has been lightly greased with
Canola oil. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

Ranching and Farming in Kenya

This was the farming implement place, they had three tractors to choose from. I would think with the good deep red soil and no rocks, a tractor would last for a long time.

There is farming and ranching in Kenya. The growing season for corn or maize, which is the big crop there, was over for the year at the time we were there.   Someone said even with the mild climate and plenty of rain, they only grow one crop of corn a season. They do have modern tractors and equipment, but more like ours were back in the 1950’s. No air-conditioned cabs or fancy stuff and they had no need for it.

Here is the lush green vegetation along the sides of the main road on the way to Eldoret

 Someone with cattle would not necessarily need a big spread of land. All along the main roads, we saw people herding their animals, maybe 10 or 15 cows with one person watching them or moving them along the road. It was sort of like free range.

they don’t seem to mark their cattle, the males stay bulls~

 Sometimes they tether their animal’s front legs together with a short rope to keep them in one place and come back for them later 

There was a variety of animals in this group

On the street in Kitale that led from Mili Mani to downtown, there were always cattle or sheep grazing. They all looked healthy and were gentle.

more cattle on the Mili Mani road

They somehow managed to stay out of the street and traffic but I didn’t know, they looked awfully close to the passing cars. We didn’t see any horses but lots of burros.

this is one of my favorite pictures, I may have shown it before. This is the place where the new believers were being baptized but work had to go on, the men loaded their barrels with water.

 

Not like loading the stuff in a pickup and taking it to market. This looks like women’s work~

They are  truly beasts of burden and were used to haul heavy loads on their backs and also for pulling wagons and carts. I enjoyed seeing the cows most of all, I have always liked cows.

Jitter Joe Gets Mail

Jitter Jo received important mail this week

Jitter Joe has been getting mail lately, he is pretty important~

Jitter Joe has been having health issues lately and I asked the vet to call  his prescription in to the pharmacy in Sonora since they deliver every day here in Eldorado. His pills came that afternoon. A couple of days later a letter was in the mail from the pharmacy addressed to Jitter J. McWhorter. It started out, Dear Jitter~ and went on to thank him for choosing  to do business with them and hoped they could continue to serve him in the future. I thought that was pretty nice!  Then this week he received another letter from a Prescription Savings Club, in Orange California, to welcome him and thank him for enrolling in the Good Neighbor Prescription Savings Club. It came with an impressive plastic card with his name, ID# and some more important looking stuff. Is he is supposed to carry it with him at all times?   All of this for one little bottle of pills. I am impressed! He is my little doll and yes, he likes to go to the Post Office with me.