Christmas Picture

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

The three of us on our way to church. Elizabeth was six years old.

 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.

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined  I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

I bought this tree at Hobby Lobby and it was easy to put up and decorate, I was even able to get it back in the big box . I never imagined I could settle for an artificial tree, I liked it though

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~

Deviled Eggs

this is a popular dish at pot-lucks, usually several people bring them and everyone likes them. I make them to keep in the refrigerator to enjoy for several days. These today are from a dinner at Debbie’s not long ago.

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 a simple recipe for deviled eggs, you will find them at every dinner. They are one of the most popular dishes.
Deviled Eggs
Hard boil 6 or 8 eggs. It is best to use eggs after you have had
them for a couple of weeks, too fresh eggs are hard to peel.
Cover eggs with cold water and bring to a good rolling boil, then 
put the lid on pan, turn off burner and let the eggs sit in the hot
water for about 15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water to cool.
In the meantime, you can  chop  pickles and onions, mix in with
mayonnaise, mustard and seasoning.
2 T finely chopped sweet pickles
3 T chopped onions
4 T mayonnaise
2 T mustard
small pinch of celery seeds
pinch of salt
Crack eggs and remove shell, cut in halves (if you cut them slowly with a sharp knife, they won’t tear)
Mash the yolks on a plate with a fork until they are smooth.
Add everything together and load each egg with this stuffing. Be generous, even if you end up with a coupe of extra egg whites, it needs to be full and don’t smooth the tops.
You can sprinkle a tiny bit of paprika on top~

Camp Rock Fun

 

Suzy floating in the river with the boys

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. 

WEB Site Launched!

Rita McWhorter

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.

Number One Dog

she was my baby for almost 19 years, she was home with me longer than my children, it fills me up to think of her. What a precious little sweetheart~

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.  

Spook was always happy, she liked to go in the car and wherever I went, she went~she looks big but she was all fluff, she weighed about 16 lbs.

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.  

I made her frilly collars and she liked dressing up. She had one for every occasion, she liked her hair bows too~

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)

Here she is in her trick or treat outfit. This picture was taken when she was a year old.

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~

Growing Fruit Trees From seeds

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.

Loring peaches  from Anna's orchard. She gathered these for me this morning. The tree is 6 years old and loaded~

Loring peaches from Anna’s orchard. She gathered these for me this morning. The tree is 6 years old and loaded~

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.

Using seeds from a native tree in your area to grow a peach or apricot tree. (no store bought fruit)

Using seeds from a native tree in your area to grow a peach or apricot tree. (no store bought fruit) All of the kernels resemble almonds~

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.

I liked to use plastic shower caps, those are easy and can be reused for later batches

I liked to use plastic shower caps, those are easy and can be reused for later batches

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.

 

Some of the seedlings three days after they sprout. They grow fast.

Some of the seedlings three days after they sprout. They grow fast.

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.

When planting in the ground, dig a hole about t feet across and no deeper than the depth of the bucket. You want it at the same depth as it was planted in the bucket.

When planting in the ground, dig a hole about two feet across and no deeper than the depth of the bucket. You want it at the same depth as it was planted in the bucket.

Country Boy

Today I have a few pictures of one of our friends who spent a lot of time with our boys when they were growing up. One of the nicest things about having children is you sort of adopt their friends as your own and enjoy them, it is just an added bonus.

here is Matt at the place at  Huldale, the boys liked to trap varmints out there.

This is Matt Bumguardner, he was raised on a ranch with three brothers, they lost their mother at a young age, but they had a wonderful  daddy who raised them by himself and sent them all through college. They were fine boys, gifted and talented.

I asked him how he got his lip smashed, he said a headlight blew up in his face and cut it. That is the only time I remember anyone getting hurt~

Matt liked to fish and hunt, camp out, and build things

 We were closely connected to Matt. He knew how to fix things and make things, and  didn’t mind hard work. He liked fixing up old cars and pick ups, rebuilding motors getting them running. One day Daddy went to town and was gone for quite a while. I heard the fire whistle blow in town and wondered where the fire was. Then here came a truck down our road, towing Daddy’s completely burned Volkswagen. While he was going down  main street  the gas line came loose, and with a loud pop the car caught on fire. It looked like a total loss. Sometime later, Matt traded him out of it and completely restored it. When he was finished, it was probably the only Volkswagen anywhere that was painted in Texas A&M University’s  maroon and white. His kids will like seeing these pictures~

he was a cowboy, he also spent summers between college semesters , working in the oil fields, blowing air for Ingersal Rand

I always worried about the boys, they weren’t reckless but there were things out there that could hurt them. I heard some scary stories later on.

here is just one of the trucks he fixed up, he had several. Believe me, he needed those spare tires in the back~ 

the boys and Daddy in the Delaware Mountains, they spent lots of good times out there and always were happy to have Daddy come along ~

Baked Chicken Breasts

baked-chicken-breasts

Sunday Company Dinner

this recipe came from my friend Pat Pfluger, it makes a delicious company dinner

This is one of those really easy to make dinners. It is great with hot rolls and a fresh fruit salad. For my Sunday company dinner I serve it with Debbie’s green beans and a corn dish, dinner for eight, everyone enjoys it. ~in the oven when we leave for church, ready for the table when we get home~ Always a good anytime meal but makes a special dinner for company too, simply delicious~there will be take home plates for everyone~

Baked Chicken Breasts
8 or 10 chicken breasts
1 8 oz. can mushrooms
1 can mushroom soup
1 can Pet milk
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1/4 c. sherry
paprika 
Split breast so they will be serving sizes
Lay chicken breasts in a large baking dish, mix all
other ingredients except paprika and spread over
chicken, then sprinkle top with paprika. Do not cover.
Bake at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours

One Nation Under God

Granddad is gone now, he died in 2010 and Spook has been gone since 1998 but they are still a sweet part of our past. Elizabeth was two years old when I took this picture. She is grown and married and she and John have a baby girl who will be one year old next month. They are missionaries in Uganda, building their future there. I am so thankful for the internet and that I can visit with them every day and see that baby grow. Our lives change, I am just thankful for our blessings and look forward to things to come.

I have shown this picture before, it is Granddad,  with Elizabeth and Spook, raising the beautiful American flag~

A friend sent me this message from the Rev. Billy Graham, I wanted to put it on my blog this morning because it is important. When he is gone, who will take his place~

“The legacy we leave behind for our children, grandchildren, and this great

 nation, is crucial.  As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election could
 be my last.  I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for
 candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and
 support for the nation of Israel.  I urge you to vote for those who protect the
                                   sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between
                             a man and woman.  Vote for biblical values this November 6, and pray
 with me that America will remain one nation under God.”
Signed:
Billy Graham
Montreat, NC

Last Flight

The dove hit the window and left this wonderful image~

The dove hit the window and left this wonderful image~

There are six double windows in my sun room and often the birds I feed fly into one of them. Usually they just make a thumping sound and fly off. Once in a while it is a dove and they really hit hard. I run out to see if they are alright but sometimes they are lying in the hedge with a broken neck. That is sad, Doves have one mate and they stay together for their whole lives. Yesterday I heard the loud hit and knew this was not going to be good. I went out and picked him up out of the hedge and held him a few minutes to love him and let him know someone cared. I said, ‘I will take care of your girl and feed her every day’.  This evening when the sun was shinning on the windows, I saw where he had hit and it was a soft outline, a perfect ghost like image. There is also an image below him where another dove had hit last week, that one lived. I won’t wash it off and it may still be there until next spring when I clean the windows. One of the greatest blessings is to have the beautiful wild life in my yard. Deer, wild turkeys and all the many birds. I have many bird stories~

Happy Birthday

I still have this beautiful little doll. The baby boy is 61 years old today. Happy Birthday

Madame Alexander doll is now 63 years old~

Madame Alexander doll is now 63 years old~

Blue Boy, four years old

Blue Boy, four years old

Meet Blue Boy. He was four years old when our baby boy was born  and he liked that baby. One day when I was sweeping and walked out the front door, Blue Boy was on my shoulder and before I knew it, he had joined a bunch of birds that  flew over and was gone. I was in a panic trying to see where they went, but he was gone. I walked in the pasture until dark, calling him and looking in every bush and tree. The next day I went out again with my guitar, thinking he would hear it and come to me. I couldn’t give up, I was sick, my heart was broken. I put an ad in the paper for my ‘lost bird’ and Dan said it was useless, no way would anyone find him. The third day it turned cold and wet and I was losing hope. On the fourth day, Margaret Whitten called me and said she thought they might have found Blue Boy. Morris had been out working livestock and this little bird came and got on his shoulder and would not leave so he put him in the pickup until he finished work and headed home. They lived four miles from our house and I cried all the way out there, praying for a miracle. IT WAS HIM! The feathers on his head were gone there was a cactus thorn through his foot but it was him. He got close to my ear coming home and kept saying “Blue Boy Sweet Baby Bird”. He lived to be nine years old and was one of the finest little pets we ever had. I know this is supposed to be a Happy Birthday blog for my son today but when I saw the picture, I remembered what a wonderful and blessed life we lived. Sweet little bird and that sweet and precious little baby boy. Happy Birthday!

Uganda

Bicycles (next to walking) are probably the most popular method of transportation in all of Africa and you see pictures of several people sharing a ride.This was a recent get together when lots of people came to study the scriptures and have a great meal of Ugali, greens, potatoes and goat meat stew.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

I wonder how they know which bicycle is theirs.

Someone sent me pictures and here are a couple more  that I especially liked.

Some deep thinking~

Some deep thinking~

Four children with their ta ta.

Four children with their ta ta.

I am pretty well running out of new stuff for my blog so I have decided to just post something ever so often when things happen to write about. I appreciate all those of you who enjoy it and even check it out on a daily basis. Special thank you to my friends Al and Pat, Dan, Austin, Linda, Ann and Sharon. I even get a phone call early in the morning if I fail to get one up ((to be sure I am OK). You are welcome to go back to the older ones you haven’t seen. I started this over five years ago. Everyone should keep a journal of some kind. It makes you realize you have been living a busy life. That is good!  Check back often~