This is a great sandwich. It looks complicated but is easy and fun to make. The bread recipe is the easiest of all yeast breads. You just need to go through the list of ingredients and have everything sliced, laid out and ready, then it goes together fast.
Here is another place between Eldorado and Mertzon. I think I painted every scene from here to there at some time. There are a few pretty live oaks, some windmills and rock tanks, and only about three houses in the 32 miles. A woman who lived on a ranch out there was at a bridge party one time and we were all telling funny stories, she told us that one freezing day she went out to see if ice was forming on the water in the tank and dropped her car keys in. She had to do what was necessary so she ran to the house. put on her bathing suit and went back and jumped in the freezing water. She found the keys and was climbing out when Mr. Halbert drove up in his butane truck to deliver gas. She said she headed straight for the house like nothing had happened. She was sure he must have thought she had lost her mind. It was a good story and I know none of us ever forgot it. When I look at the paintings from Mertzon, I think of her.
Today is my oldest son’s birthday, I will post this on my blog tomorrow. He was born in 1956 and what a thrill to remember all these wonderful years. We had his birthday dinner yesterday after church. Debbie made his favorite soup and a beautiful coconut cream pie. (she is the gourmet cook in our family) That was the menu he chose. It took me 24 hours “to born the boy”. The afternoon before, I had taken my 2 mile exercise walk down Rabbit Road in my summer clothes, it was a hot fall day. Then the next day when he was born we had a famous West Texas blizzard blow in and for the next five days everything was frozen solid, tree limbs were breaking from the weight of the ice. I always remember that hard freeze on October 22 but most of all how wonderful it was to have that brand new baby boy.
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 is over there with someone I love very much.
The pyracantha bushes are covered in beautiful orange berries around town. The plants grow to 10 feet tall and are showy and beautiful. They tolerate heat and cold and even drought, in fact they like it dry and can live for many years.
In the spring, they are covered in white blossoms and then the berries come on in later summer. Good food for the birds, they eat everything that falls on the ground. It is also a safe nesting place. The branches are a mass of thorns so they are considered a good barrier against predators. They bring lots of pretty color to the landscape with little effort. Now is a good time to plant them, start with a gallon size and it will grow into a nice plant in a hurry. This one I found in Tricia’s yard this afternoon and decided to show it off. She will be surprised to see it in tomorrow’s blog.
I like a pound cake because you can slice it, pick it up and eat it, or you can have it with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. It isn’t sticky, you don’t need a napkin or a fork. But of course you can sit down and eat it quite properly if you like. The slices can be wrapped and frozen and ready for drop in company. Real pound cake is made with real butter. I like the little bit of lemon icing on it too. Pound Cake must be good, it is in every recipe book, and has been handed down for generations from good cooks~ Note! Since I first placed this on my blog, I had a failure on one cake so this recipe has been changed slightly. After testing it today, it turned out very nice~
Buttermilk Pound Cake
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~
It looks like the wild life is back in my yard again. I am happy! Yesterday there were ten turkeys eating the corn and making dust bowls in the dirt. They may be the same ones that were babies here in the spring. I love the turkeys, they don’t fly away in a panic if they see me, they just walk over the rock fence and out under the oak groves.
The quail have been coming too, they eat the sunflower seeds under the bird feeders. They are such sweet birds, all fluffy and pretty and stay together in a covey. It is hard to understand how they survive since they have their nests on the ground, sitting ducks for snakes, cats and other varmints. Somehow they do.
Then the deer have started coming back, there were three this week and several more last week. The great thing about wild life, you can enjoy them and if something happens to them, it is not like losing a pet, you can just believe they move on to another place and will come back later. It is always a thrill for me when I see them out in the back yard.
I can’t just paint a man on a horse, I need a photograph to go by, it is the same with animals. I have so many pictures I have taken of sheep, cattle and horses, even pigs. I just single out a few and paint them into a picture. Proportion, color intensity and detail is important to give the painting it’s third dimension, otherwise it will look flat. In this painting, the horse is as tall as the windmill, the prickly pear is the same height as one of the cows, the rider and the horse are as tall as the tallest tree. Also, the sharp details need to be at the bottom of the painting, and should fade out toward the horizon. You paint what you see, not what you know. If you have something way back in the pasture, you know he has eyes but if you paint those details in it will bring him right up front and you will end up losing the depth. Same with bluebonnets, those at the bottom of the canvas will show the detail and the brilliant colors, they need to start fading fast into the background to a faint pale blue. (An interesting way to see the depth is to make a fist and look through a hole at the painting on the screen). Knowing proportions has made it easy for me to carve all the little miniatures, I made the first chair for instance and proportioned everything else to it’s size.
In 1953, after Dan and I were married, I missed having a piano but felt like that was too much to ask for. Our friend Raymond Schrank could play guitar so I told him I had thought about getting one but wondered if I could ever learn. He said he could show me just two chords to start with and I could sing lots of songs with just those. The next week Dan and I were in San Angelo and went by the Houston-Clary Music Store and I picked out the prettiest guitar on the wall. It was an arch top f-hole acoustic. What a thrill! Later that day, Raymond showed me the two chords in the key of G. I could now play and sing ‘Down in the Valley’. (oh, and he told me there would have been easier guitars to play, like the classical with nylon strings). In just short time I could play all the chords in the key of G. I bought a kaypo, it is clamp that fits on neck to squeeze the strings and change to any key while still using the same fingering. I was in business. We used to stay at the river in the summer and Dan’s brother and his family were there, so at night I played the guitar and we sang. The song most requested was Marty Robbins’ ‘Devil Woman.
Though the next 58 years I have had several guitars. Some from the pawn shop, that must be the first thing someone has to get rid of~my favorite one was an almost new Yamaha, someone had carved on the neck ‘True Love Is Forever’.
Once Stacy and I were on our way to Albuquerque and saw a community garage sale in Lamesa . I saw a guitar with a case. We went back and I bought it for $25. We took turns playing it the rest of the way. I put it in a garage sale later, I didn’t need that many guitars. A woman kept looking at it, she thought her husband would like it, I finally told her she could have it for $15, and played it for her to help with the sale. She bought it, drove off and then I could hear her car backing up. She brought it back and said she decided not to get it after all. Just a few weeks ago I sole it for $35 so it is gone. When my granddaughter ZZ was 12 years old, I showed her how to play several chords that made made a pleasant tune, she learned it quickly. We named it ‘ZZ’s Ditty’. When I took her home to Albuquerque, I bought her a nice classical guitar and then she took lessons for several years. She learned the real way, it is exciting to listen to her play that beautiful music.
I love music, Dan loved music, he was a great audience. After every song, he would clap and yell, ‘Yee haw, more more!’ I didn’t even have to be good at it~;and one more thing, I did finally get my piano~
This is a modern truck of the mid-century, it is sixty years old and still part of the fleet, there are plans to have it restored in the future.
I will show you pictures I took today down at the fire station of some of the new trucks.They are awesome~ state of the art.
I have had to call the fire department on several occasions, most times it was my fault, other times~ not. Twice I called for help when some aggressive bees were in my big oak tree. Jerry Jones came out, dressed to the hilt in a bee suit and got rid of them. He didn’t get stung but I got a couple of stings. Always greatest thanks to all the fire boys, they are the Hometown Heroes~
I have been cleaning paintings and repairing frames for a couple of days. When I am busy and it is time to eat, I may go have a spoon full of peanut butter and a glass of milk. But today my friend Bertha called to see if she could being me some okra out of her garden. Well Yes! It was easy to put a meal together, I had Jimmy Dean sausage cooked and in the freezer, a tomato from Anna’s greenhouse, Mexican cornbread only takes a few minutes to make so everything was ready in 25 minutes, I even had time to run to town and get the mail while it baked. I like okra, any way you fix it, today I boiled it for 10 minutes. I love Mexican corn bread. It is good to have for supper too, and always with a glass of cold buttermilk. Here is a recipe for the corn bread.