Around 50 years ago Mack and Danell were visiting one evening and we told them to stay and I would make waffles. I had made apricot preserves and that always goes good with waffles. I got the waffle maker down from the top shelf of the pantry and heated it up while I mixed the batter. Bacon frying, everyone getting ready for a treat ~ then I opened the lid on waffle maker and there was this green, calcified, decomposed old waffle~ left in there from months ago. (OK, who’s first~) Note: you can use waffle batter to make pancakes, I saved the day.
Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and every where, Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is Born! The Eagle Rescue Center Orphanage.
This was five years ago, our Merry Christmas from Kenya. We finally got here, it was a long trip. Worth it! I was amazed how beautiful it was, I have never seen anything so pretty. Huge trees, huge mountains and everything was green even though this was the dry season. Beautiful people too. On this Christmas Day, it was hard to realize it was Christmas, Kitale had no lights and decorations in town, no Christmas Carols, it was just like any other day. I realized when we were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the children that this was our Christmas dinner. It was one of the most memorable times of all for me.
We opened the door and there it was! A beautiful, wonderful, bright blue bicycle. Tricia and I cried and hugged each other and yelled and danced like never before. We just couldn’t believe we had a bicycle. I can feel the thrill as I write this. The next morning was cold and windy and neither of us knew how to ride, we both got pretty skinned up but by the end of the day, we had learned. The bicycle had belonged to our Aunt Maxine and been stored in the rafters of Granddad’s garage. Mother took it and completely refinished and restored it like new. New paint, saddle seat, handlebar grips and the tires had been patched and were holding air. Because of the war, bicycles were not something you could buy or new tires either. What a wonderful Christmas, and there have been many of them, but nothing ever compared to this one and the blue bicycle! Oh, we did have a most precious mother~
Five years ago, I was packed and ready to leave for this trip to Africa. I had waited two years until the time was right and it was my turn to go. It is one of the things that I will remember as the top of my list of lifetime memories.
I never knew much about Africa. I had it pictured as a country with a parched and dry landscape as far as you could see, and maybe one old gnarled, water starved tree with an elephant kicking up dust. In the last year, I have learned it is not that way at all. I have enjoyed seeing hundreds of pictures of Kenya with it’s lush and beautiful green countryside. It is on the equator but the elevation is 7,000 feet so it is cool, green and wet. There are small gardens everywhere with maize, tomatoes, greens and all kinds of fruits growing. The city of Kitale is in the eastern part of Kenya and has a golf course, modern hotels, large banks, supermarkets and then the unique market places on the streets that sell all kinds of produce. It is much like parts of Mexico. My heart has been over there with someone I love very much. She is my sweet ZZ and home for two months while she renews her visa. This is the good time!
This is Miss Lilla, our scarecrow. She guarded our garden for many years, as you can see, she was just about finished. She had a sister Sarah who took care of the garden at the river. She faired much better, she went to the barn in the winter time. They were both life size dolls who wore size 8 clothes. Several times they got new outfits but the shoes held up for all those years. Miss Lilla’s arms would swing in the wind and when my neighbor drove down the road, she said she always waved back. It made me sad when I finally put them to rest, I felt like I was loosing an old friend. One of these days I will start over and make a new one, they were sculptured out of flesh colored sheer nylon fabric, with real wigs and stuffed with plastic bags filled with newspaper. It worked. The deer stayed out of the garden for a short time, until they caught on~
This is a fashion doll or dresser doll. Billy had a catalog of china dolls, painted or unpainted, you could just buy heads, hands and feet and make your own doll. We both ordered something. Mine was just the parts, unpainted and there was a pattern for the body.
I used my oil paints to paint her features and hair color like I wanted. It was fun putting her together and then making her dress. This doll is over 40 years old. When I was a little girl, there was a lady who lived across the street from my grandparent’s in San Angelo. Her name was Mrs. Bellings and I got to go to her house often. She had a beautiful fashion doll in her bedroom on the night table and I never got tired of looking at it. She didn’t have any children but had a niece and we played together. ‘Nancy Ruth’ told me that her aunt said someday that doll would be hers. (I have a feeling that everything her aunt owned was going to be hers). Anyway, when Billy showed me her catalog, I was excited to make a doll and tried to copy the one Mrs. Bellings had, as I remembered it. It took a while to make her, she had pantaloons, petty coats, and the dress had handmade roses. What a fun project, I enjoyed doing things with Billy, we had a lot in common, we both liked handwork. And I certainly remember Mrs. Bellings, she was a petite woman with red hair, and a sweet voice, her husband was a happy man who always sat in his big chair and was bald headed. I hope Nancy Ruth got that beautiful doll.
Another re-run from five years ago. I was packing my bags, getting ready to go half way around the world to spend Christmas with ZZ in Kenya. I was beyond happy! I never get tired of Christmas stories and remembering exciting times.
Our family has almost always been able to be together for Christmas, it goes on for a week or more, some of it here and some in San Angelo. Our times together were always a special blessing for me and Dan. There was a lot of visiting, eating great meals and music. This picture is one someone took just as we were leaving for church one morning and I didn’t see it until everyone had gone home and later I had the film developed. Most of our pictures were on video and I enjoyed watching those and reliving the fun of our Christmas but this is the one I liked the most. ZZ stayed with us another week or two after the others went home, that is when we got down to serious fun. Then I would load her up with Little Sweet, Spook and Blue Boy and we would head out for New Mexico.
Thank you Lord Jesus for being in our lives. Merry Christmas to all~
Living in a small town in West Texas, we will use any excuse to have get-togethers. The church is a big part of our lives and we like to have pot luck dinners often. Everything is homemade and delicious. There are always wonderful vegetables dishes, can you imagine five different kinds of squash dishes~beautiful salads, and always hot rolls. We usually have a smoked brisket from HEB and that is the only thing bought-and-brought, the rest of the meal is built around this. The dessert table will have everything from cherry cheese cake, to pies and cobblers, and cookies, everyone brings their favorite recipe. ( the Women of the Church published a cookbook a few years ago ‘Passed and Present 1903-2003′. First Presbyterian Church of Eldorado, Texas) The dinning tables are covered with linen cloths and there will be a beautiful centerpiece on each table. We make dinners for family funerals, or when the kids graduate from school, Thanksgiving and Christmas, then dinners for no special reason. There are big hamburger picnics at ‘Church on the Waters’ at Clear Creek on the Powell Ranch to end the summer. (sometime a baptism too) When it is announced that we are having a pot luck luncheon, I get my ire up, it is not a luncheon, it is a full fledged dinner. Eldorado has the finest cooks in the world, we celebrate every occasion with our very best. And as always “Thank You Lord for our church family”.
Today I have one of my favorite pictures. It was taken on the Concho River north of Christoval, a place we called Camp Rock. Daddy and I took our two boys there almost every summer, starting in 1963, the year we bought our little Airstream trailer. The pecan trees made a dense canopy over our side of the river, the bank sloped gradually so it was a good place for the kids to swim, Roland had a nice diving board on the opposite side and everyone was welcome to use it. There was always a tree swing where you could sail off out to the middle of the river. Then there were the rapids, get on a tube and go on a short and very fast ride that would take your breath away. We had several dogs through the years. Big Spook was the smart one. He would hide behind a tree and watch for the flies to get on his bone, then go after them. He knew the difference between, bone, bowl and ball and would bring which ever one you sent him for. Once when we were in the row boat, we heard him howling and running through the plowed field like he had been hurt. Then we smelled the skunk. In just a few minutes he was in the river, swimming toward us to get in boat, (and shake off). The boys had their friends come up for camp outs. They had a big tent with nice beds, a night stand with a small TV, (they got to see the first landing on the moon). One night, I heard Paul calling, “I think there is a rattle snake in the tent”. I went to look and found a black widow spider under his bed but no snake. In a few minutes he called again and I told him there was no snake, to go back to sleep. Then some of the family who was camping nearby said they thought the heard a rattler. I found it this time under the night stand. We had several encounters with snakes through the years. Almost every afternoon there was a water moccasin that came slithering through the swimming hole. What a wonderful place though, the best summer time fun for two sweet little boys and their dogs. It is always there, waiting for the next family get together.
After years of thinking about it, I had finally decided to publish a Blog. I planed to share a little bit of what I had learned over a lifetime.
Hello, this was my first blog when I launched it January 13, 2012. I had been having a great time with Face Book when a son told me I should do a blog instead, that I “was too wordy”. I loved it, I checked the stat counter every day to see how many people clicked in. When the number hit 9, I was thrilled. (Then that same son told me that all the clicks came from my own computer where I had kept checking the stats several times a day). Anyway, I had so many good pictures to post and comments about them, I would get started at 4:00 in the morning, find a picture, write something about it and have it published by daylight. That was panic time. Then I started making several posts at a time so I could get ahead a few days and just have them automatically come up. It has been fun remembering things that happened a lifetime ago. One memory sparks another and on and on~
I just celebrated my 84 birthday six days ago, life is good, I have been blessed with sweet memories, and great things are coming up in the future. For the past few months I have taken a break from the blog, I had other things that needed my attention. Since then I have painted more and read more, and just started hosting the Bible study group on Friday nights at my house. We have a wonderful meal, then an hour of intense Bible study with Paul leading us in the Word and we enjoy a special time with friends.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my sweet little Spook. We found her abandoned on the road two miles from our house and brought her home to be ours for almost 19 years.
She was my baby, it makes me happy to think of her and all the wonderful times we had together. I would never leave her, if she couldn’t go, I wouldn’t go.
She was smart, I would tell her to go get her card from Nancy, she would think a minute, go to the bedroom to her toy basket and get the birthday card in the red envelope and bring it to me. Then I would read it to her. I still have it with all her little teeth marks on it. I could tell her to go get her toothbrush, and off she would go and bring it to me and lie in my lap and let me brush her teeth. (that was also treat time)
Once she backed the car into the street at the grocery store in Sonora. A woman came in the store and said, “your dog~she drive the car!” If you have had a dog, you have known love~
Beautiful Loring peaches from a tree that was started with a seed from a neighbors tree. They do not need to be grafted. The seedlings from peach, apricot and nectarine trees produce fruit same as the mother tree, If some fruit is left on the ground, the next spring you will see little seedlings coming up. Those can also be replanted and will grow into nice trees.
Here are the apricot seeds that I sprouted two years ago. I ended up with about 60 trees which I gave away. Now I am starting another batch.
1. Save seed from a good native tree,
2. Remove little kernel inside the outer hard seed with a hammer, don’t damage it.
3 Wrap kernels in a wet paper towel and put in refrigerator for 6 to 10 weeks, until a little root starts to pop out. (be very patient) This cooling period is necessary.
4. Plant kernels in small buckets filled with potting soil, cover with plastic bags. Set on a warm porch and check often to keep moist but not too wet. When green sprouts pop up, set in a place with morning and late afternoon sun.
5. After about 3 months or more transplant into gal. size buckets.
6. I keep them for a year before I give them away so they will have a good start. I still have Indian peach seeds that started from my daddy’s trees 50 years ago. I have Indian, Loring, Princess, and seeds from the FLDS orchard, chilling in the refrigerator. They will be ready to plant in another few weeks.
After they are about a foot tall, re-pot them into gallon size buckets. I like to keep them for about year in buckets, they are easier to take care of as they grow. When they are three feet tall, you can plant them in the ground. If you wait until December or January, they will be dormant and will have lost their leaves, that is a good time. Then in a few weeks when the weather warms up, they will put on new leaves and flourish.