Wild Turkeys in West Texas

here are some of the pictures Frankie Lively took of the turkeys near their country home. She is one who loves wild life and it shows in her beautiful photographs.

more turkeys under the tree. they like to roost in big trees and are pretty noisy getting up there, lots of wings batting around until they find the right spot, they settle down, sort of talk to each other and then all is quiet.

Wild turkeys are only one of two domestic birds native to America, the other is a duck. My friend Frankie Lively took these pictures in a pasture near her home in the country. It is not easy to get a picture, when they see you, they walk on off. The Toms either hang out by themselves or stay  with other Toms~or gobblers~ and the hens stay together in groups until mating season. The hens lay from 7 to 14 eggs and are good mothers. They feed their babies for about three days then the babies find food for themselves, but stay with the group. At times there are as many as 45 or 50 that roam around together. Another ranching friend came home last week and there were 45 turkeys under her pecan tree in the yard. Wild turkeys forage on the ground and eat  nuts, acorns, seeds and berries. Unlike the domestic turkeys, they are good flyers, they will sail into a big oak tree just before dark and roost there. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the United State’s national bird, he saw all the good things about them. I would vote yes with him~

New Draperies for Aristream (oops)

as good as new again

When the kids were staying on the river for a while, I went up to spend the day, it was not too long after I made the new draperies for the trailer. I was sitting on the sofa and it seemed pretty bright in there. Then I noticed half the draperies were gone from the wrap around window in front. I wondered if they had fallen down during the night or something. No, they were at Holiday Cleaners. ZZ had been playing with her box of makeup and when she was putting mascara on, she flipped her hair back and hit the drapery with the mascara wand. It left a little streak of ‘midnight black’. No problem, she was always one to take care of things so she got Anna’s Vaseline and rubbed it over the streak and pretty soon it had turned into a big black circle. The more she worked the bigger it got. She had seen Anna take her eye makeup off with Vaseline so thought that is what she needed to do to get it off the draperies. (I can  feel the panic, I have known panic!) But they came back from the cleaners looking like new. She was even able to rehang them herself. That was the hard job. Another lesson learned, no real harm done and I have to laugh when I think about it. I love that girl!

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.

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


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~ 

Thanksgiving 2013

here are Anna, Tricia and me, we loaded up our plates and ate out in the new sun room

I wanted to show our Thanksgiving dinner from two years ago. There were just the four of us since everyone else was out of pocket. It was a great meal at Tricia’s in her sun room. The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious and the company was great. We had ham, smoked turkey from Anna’s smoker, dressing, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, steamed broccoli from the green house, hot rolls, pecan pie and ice cream. It is my favorite of all meals. 

Anna brought the delicious smoked turkey~

The new sun room was christened with tall glasses of iced tea

home-made all the way

pecan pie~ number two

Afterwards, Tricia showed Anna how to make roses for decorating cakes. We had a wonderful day. I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving too. 

making roses

Jitter Joe and Marci had chicken, then JJ stretched out on the rug and Marci found a lap somewhere~

Pecan Pie (s)

Pecan Pie

simply delicious,  It is  one of the all time great pies~

OK, I went back to the March Blog to get this pecan pie picture to show you (again). Same recipe but different story. I was making this pie yesterday for today’s Thanksgiving dinner. We were all going to Tricia’s to eat dinner in her new sun room. I made the pie and while it was baking I went out to cut some juniper for Debbie’s Christmas decorations. I sacked up a garbage bag full, then walked around the yard and enjoyed the nice weather. I went inside  and remembered the pie. It was smelling ‘pretty done’ and the timer was blaring. After it cooled, I cut a tiny slice to see if it was going to be good enough to use. Not bad but the crust was hard and tough. I thought for a minute and I knew I should start over. So, I whipped up another one and got to the place where the custard is poured into the pie shell, reached over to get the bag of toasted pecans and just as I was fixing to dump them, saw I had the bag of Kibbles & Bits I had measured out for the pasture kitties. I saved it just in time! I was so happy, the rest of the day I was feeling good. Instead of having to make a third pie, it only took two tries. This one was perfect. It is an easily pie to make, you just have to use your head and not wander off out in the yard or get distracted. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful day. We all have so much to be thankful for~


1/3 tsp SALT
2 CUPS PECANS (toast in microwave for 2 minutes, stirring twice)
Mix syrup, sugar, salt, butter, and vanilla.
Add slightly beaten eggs. Pour into 9 in. unbaked pie
shell. Sprinkle pecans on top. Bake at 350 for
1 hour. Watch carefully the last 20 minutes. You can lay a piece of foil over the top during the last 15 minutes so the crust doesn’t brown. It should be golden.
1 ½ c flour
1 tsp salt
½ c shortning
Mix flour and salt, cut in shortning with pastry blender
Slowly add a few teaspoons of cool water while stirring to make a ball of dough that is firm and not sticky. Don’t over work it, the less you fool with it, the more tender it will be.
Roll it out thin on floured wax paper,( put a few drops of water under the paper so it won’t slip and slide). Now carefully fold it around the rolling pin and place it in the pie pan. Cut excess crust off around edge, leaving 1/2 in. overhang, which you can tuck under and make a pretty fluted edge.


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.

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. This year we will be celebrating at the Old Bank Building and having the dinner catered. Our church kitchen is all laid in the floor of the basement, being renovated.

Here is an account of last year’s dinner:

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~

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.

As hunting season gets 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. Three years ago 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~

Mexican Beef Enchiladas

Mexican Enchiladas

may be the favorite of all Mexican food


1 lb. very lean ground meat
2 T. Gephardt chill powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp oregano
3 c. water
Brown meat in skillet with spices; then add water. Cover and cook on med. for about 25 minutes. Skim all the grease off.

Enchilada Sauce
2 T. Gephardt chili powder
3 T. corn oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 T. flour
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp red pepper if you like it hot
Heat together in saucepan, then add 3 cups water. Stir until thickened (like slightly thin gravy).
Soft Fried Tortillas: In a small skillet, add about 1/2 cup corn oil and, one at a time, soft fry 12 corn tortillas, just 4 or 5 seconds on each side. Drain each one on a paper towel, pat to be sure to get the grease off. Keep warm.
Shred 2 cups longhorn cheddar cheese. Chop 1 onion.
To keep it neat, assemble enchilada on a plate, then slide it onto a dinner plate.
Assembling: Dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce; lay on plate and spoon on some chili, cheese and onions. Repeat until you have a stack of 3. As you finish, put each plate in microwave for 1 minute so it will be really hot. Top each enchilada with a soft fried egg and pour remaining sauce on each stack. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.   (Chili, enchilada sauce, cheese and onions can be prepared day before.) Serves 4