In 1992, one of my boys and I were out at the place at Hulldale taking pictures and we found several old boats in the barn. He told me I should restore one. One look and I knew I didn’t want to get into such a big project. He persuaded me, he told me how much fun it would be for my tiny granddaughter at the river. Oh my goodness, what a mess~ there were, gaping holes and gashes and they were buried in dirt and silt. I was dragging my feet but finally decided I would try, I picked the best one of the bunch. I had to learn to fiberglass, make the electrical harness, find all the hardware, bumpers, rails, make the seat cover, make a template for a windshield, and I found a place in San Angelo to rebuild the electric motor. Nine months later, the deed was done. The RIVER MOUSE was born. This was the hardest and most wonderful project ever.
Stacy Mae, Schatzie Kay and Dan going for a spin at Shady Lane
Granddad and ZZ, making plans
I bought an old wielding trailer and restored it to use to haul the boat
the flag was the final touch, it flew proudly any time the River Mouse sailed, there is a light at the top of the flagstaff.
while painting, I saw where the family noses, eyes or hair came from~
This is a portrait I painted of my great-grandfather A.A. McGill. My grandmother really loved her papa, I think she must have been his favorite child. Since she loved him so much, I did too. I doubt if he even knew my name, by the time I came along he was an old man who sat in his rocker all day and didn’t want to be bothered by children. He and Big Mama lived in San Angelo,Texas on Rust Street, by the railroad overpass, where Rio Concho Manner stands today. They had a pretty two story house with a long porch on front. There was even a metal porch swing and you could swing really big! (get it going good and it would bang into the wall, and that brought Big Papa out to run you off!) I never got to see the upstairs, it was my dream to go roam around up there and see all the rooms. The nearest I came was once when I made it to the first landing, he came into the hall and grumbled and sputtered at me and down I came. There was a large bathroom downstairs, a dark room with no window. A chain hung down to turn the light bulb on but it was too high for me to reach, it was a scary room. Big Papa had a wine cellar, I think he made his own wine. There was a decanter that sat on the buffet in the dinning room, I could pull a chair up, lean way over to take the stopper out and smell the fumes. The whole family gathered at the McGill’s for New Years every year. The grown ups ate a huge meal, and talked while the kids had go off some place and be quiet~we would eat later. A pitiful thing,( that made me be a better mother though. Any child in my house ate when we ate, at the same table or at one close by.) Big Mama had a maid who came to help with all the work. I never knew her name, but behind her back, all the uncles called her “Feather Legs”, and of course, I shared this information with her. Big Papa died when he was 94. I painted his portrait as a gift for my grandmother. I think she liked it but when she was ‘studying it’, the first thing she said was, “Papa never wore a tie like that”. Now Big Papa has been hanging on the wall in my bedroom for several years. I like the painting and hope he knew I did love him as much as he would let me. The great thing is I ended up with that swing from his porch. It is one of my treasures.
When my Uncle James Montgomery was with the Air Force in North Africa during World War 11, he was in the Cantina one day and picked up a magazine where he saw this picture of his Big Papa and Big Mama McGill at the San Angelo Fat Stock Show in San Angelo Texas. It was a huge surprise. It must have made his day!
I set out way too many tomato plants here, the next year I only planted four
the squash grows fast and is a big producer
The last few years, deer were wiping out my garden. They could eat every green bean plant in one night. I decided to try planting in kiddie swimming pools, the ones with the hard sides. I cut slashes in the bottom so they would drain and I put them close to the back door. It must have been too confined for the deer, they didn’t bother anything. I was able to raise tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, bell peppers, okra and onions. The next year I bought more pools and now have seven of them. I use the same potting soil from year to year adding more as needed. I had no problems with weeds, I just ran the weed eater around the outside of the pool if grass grew tall. Watering was easy, put the hose in and run it for 10 minutes. This has been going on for 7 years now. Since it was terribly hot and we had no rain this past year, the garden was pretty sad. I only raised cucumbers. The first warm day and I will be excited to get started again. We are born with the urge to grow things. Spring gets us stirred up, a package of seed just begs for dirt and water, and when the garden centers start getting in their new bedding plants, we all come alive. What a wonderful feeling~and there is nothing like a red ripe homegrown tomato. Some one said, “in Texas there are only two seasons, summer and winter and they show up in the same week. again and again.
This made a nice supper time meal. The biscuits turned out great even though the dough was frozen. It only took 15 minutes to put it together~
My friend Pat and I were talking about biscuits this week and were wondering how it would work if you made up a recipe of buttermilk biscuits and froze them to cook later. There are times when I would like just one or two, but not a whole batch. Neither of us liked the ones in the dairy case, those leave a ugly aftertaste, and we liked the frozen ones they sell in the frozen foods section but those are pretty pricey. So I made a recipe of my buttermilk biscuits and froze them (without cooking them first), and the next day took a couple of them out and baked them and listen~ they were good. Better than anything you could buy. They have a crunchy crust and are tender inside, just slightly different from the regular ones I make, but especially delicious. I had them last night for supper with two of Anna’s fresh eggs from Chickie Town~ what a nice meal.
Buttermilk Biscuits (frozen)
2 c flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
2 heaping T. Crisco
1 c buttermilk
mix dry ingredients well, add Crisco and cut in
with pastry blender or two knives, add buttermilk
and stir only to mix, a spoon-full more if too dry.
Roll out on floured board and cut with biscuit cutter.
Nice thing is you don’t have to mess up the kitchen but once, and you have biscuits for several meals~
Place on cookie sheet and put in freezer until frozen
hard, pop off of cookie sheet and put in gal. bag, then back
into the freezer.
To bake, take out how many you need and place on
baking pan that has been sprayed with Pam.
Don’t need to thaw before baking~
I cooked mine in 450 degree toaster oven for 15 minutes.
I bake my chicken inside, then smoke it after it is done. I don’t have enough control over the outside cooking thing~
If you are cooking for company, an easy meal is Barbecue Chicken. I buy the 10 lb. bags of chicken hind-quarters, the best buy in the market. It cost anywhere from $3.90 to $6.90 for the whole thing. What other meat offers you so much for the money~I use hind-quarters for my tamales, pasta dishes, dumplings etc. and they are my favorite pieces to fry. This is where I get my chicken broth, when I boil chicken. (breast meat is good for some dishes, but tends to be dry and tough) This barbecue dinner is simple and easy. I serve it with rice, a vegetable and salad.
10 lb. bag of chicken hind-quarters
Hunts Hickory Barbecue Sauce
Wash hind-quarters, one for each person and lay as many as you need on a large baking pan, skin side up. Sprinkle with a little garlic powder and salt. (no barbecue sauce yet!) Bake in oven set at 350 degrees for about an hour, check to see when it is done. The top will start to turn golden. While it is baking you can start a fire outside in the barbecue pit. It doesn’t need to be a big one, I use a few sticks of oak or mesquite wood, it isn’t going to be a cooking fire, it is going to be for smoking with no flames, just embers. Now brush the barbecue sauce on the chicken lay it on the grate, close the lid and leave it for about 15 minutes. When the juice drips down on the coals, it will smoke it up good. Watch to be sure it doesn’t flame up and burn the meat.
Also while you are baking the chicken in the oven, you can make the rice.
2 c rice
1/3 c canola oil
1/4 tsp celery seeds
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c cooking wine
Put rice in large pan with corn oil, celery seeds and salt and stir as you cook until it turns golden. Then add the chicken broth and wine, stir well, put the lid on and bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until rice is done, or about 20 minutes.