Coons and Foxes

Buttermilk after raccoon attack

Buttermilk~ after a raccoon attack, it ripped a hole in her throat and I took her to the vet to be put to sleep but they thought they could save her. With a long three month recovery, she is back good as new.

I am on a quest to get rid of the coons that come in my yard every night and ruin my fruit trees, raid the garage where I store my bird seed and bother my kitties. So far I have trapped seven coons and one grey fox in the past two weeks. I have found that an egg is the best bait, they like it and it doesn’t cost anything, not like a can of sardines or a can of cat food. People don’t trap varmints anymore because the hides are not worth anything. So after a few years, we are overrun with them. I lost all the fruit on my big apricot tree in two nights, they just strip the tree and leave the green fruit on the ground. They break the limbs and just tear up things. A fox is harder to catch but they kill baby goats and lambs. I have been seeing them on the road where they have been hit by cars, there are a lot of them here too.

These coons weight about 20 lbs. The rob the eggs out of turkey nests, kill chickens ducks and guineas.

These coons weight about 20 lbs. They rob the eggs out of turkey nests, kill chickens, ducks and guineas.I had one small coon kill  my two pet ducks and 3 pet guineas in one night, they were eight years old. It broke my heart~

This was this mornings's coon. I don't like to kill anything but there is no one else here to take care of that job. You can catch and release but no one wants you to bring a live coon and drop it off on your place.

Here is this mornings’s coon. I don’t like to kill anything but there is no one else here to take care of that job. You can catch and release but no one wants someone to bring a live coon and drop it off on their  place.

This grey fox was in the chicken yard this week.

This grey fox was in the chicken yard last week. There are 40 chickens, all pets and all have names. I feel like Miss Lilla was telling Ellie Mae, “My stars will you look at that, stand back Ellie, don’t  get too close he might be play’n  possum!!

Desert Sage~Natures’ Beauty

Dan made this pond years ago and we have all enjoyed a pleasant place to gather after  one of Debbie’s wonderful meals~it has been home for special  koi fish, frogs and ducks

Today I am happy to show a picture of my kid’s backyard pond with the Desert Sage in full bloom. It is one of natures most rugged native shrubs, it thrives in heat but is also cold-hardy. After a shower, it  covers itself  in beautiful violet purple blooms. I always noticed all of the sage on the rocky rolling hills between Sonora and Del Rio when there has been rain. What a thrill to see such beautiful color. It is a nice plant for the yard with soft silver-green leaves and it takes little care but needs alkaline, infertile soil. It is easy to transplant  a sage bush from the pasture~ 

Another Father’s Day

Daddy couldn’t resist a nice pair of boots, he wore size  7  N   to  9 M, just which ever ones were the best price. This was his favorite pair~he called them his ostrich boots~he wasn’t kidding, you can see the ostrich leather on the toes

Here is Daddy holding  2 month old baby Dan

here he is five years later, holding his new baby Paul

This is a picture of Dan holding his sweet baby D.T in 1956. The second picture is five years later with little Paul. Dan was a wonderful daddy to these two little boys, they were the best thing to ever happen to him.The boys had lots of fine men in their lives~ granddad’s and many uncles~ but no one more special than their daddy.   “Ye-haw, let’s stand and sing, keep smiling , raise the flag, who’s ready for a cigar, let’s eat.” I love those boys and loved that daddy!

West Texas Windmill

There is something special about a windmill, I love to hear one, just like I used to love to hear the whistle of a train~

Here is a picture of a typical windmill taken in 1962. Many of these have been replaced with submersible pumps that  run on electricity or solar energy. When I was growing up, they had towers made of wood but later they made them out of metal. There is a company in San Angelo that still makes Aermotor windmills and ships them all over the world. We have always had a mill, to me there is something mystical about it. It takes some maintaining though, if a rod breaks it has to be pulled out and replaced. That used to mean hooking a pulley onto the bumper of a pickup and driving back and forward to pull the rods out. Our well is almost 400′ deep and just got all new rods. It  was done with a big truck with a with a boon, the operator stood at the controls and pushed some buttons while his helper unhooked the rods. It should be good for a long time now. Just like knowing a good plumber or mechanic, you need a good windmill man~I have one, he is one of the Henderson boys~

Miniature Den

A place I dreamed of having some day

This was one of the most fun rooms to make, the boat is like a larger one the boys had in their room. It is two inches tall but has all the detail~

I have been posting my little things on face book, but now I will be bringing them to my blog, the one today is the den. When I made it in 1972, we lived over at the  farm house with no den so it  was fun to dream of ‘some day’ as I made it. On the desk there is a typewriter, world globe, pens and pencils, and letters etc. The book case has framed pictures of the kids, carved figures, books and a little sailing ship on top. There is a checker board on the coffee table with a heated game going . My miniature rooms never have dolls in them, once you put a doll in the magic is gone. In your mind you can be the one in the room and own the space without being an intruder.

Miniature Den

 

The little den

these little sofas are 6″ high, they sit on the fireplace hearth. My dogs have all tried to sit on them, they recognize what they are~

 

Jitter Joe

Jitter Joe used to lie on these sofas, he still tries but they are  uncomfortable now that he is a big boy~

More miniatures this morning, this is a copy of the furniture in my den, the sofas have been recovered since I made the little ones, I planned to recover the miniatures but like to remember them them as they were when we first built the house. They sit on the fireplace hearth and decorate that area. As I have said before, all my dogs have recognized what they are and have sat on them. I have a living room but the den is where everyone congregates. Most of the time the doors are open to the sun room. I remember the excitement of making all the little things. If you have ever made a little  chair or carved something tiny, you know what I mean. We may be  wired a little bit different~

Pickled Beets

tasty, colorful, they add some zing, good for every day, every meal

This is a simple recipe for pickled beets. It is easy and fast and adds something special to any meal. They will keep well in the refrigerator for a week, if you can stay out of them~I  can’t think of any dinner meal that they wouldn’t make more special.

Pickled Beets

2 cans whole or cut beets (drain but save
1/2 c. of the juice)
3/4 c. vinegar
3/4 c sugar

Put beets, vinegar, saved
beet juice and sugar in saucepan,
bring to a full boil. Let cool and store
in refrigerator until ready to use.

Shih Tzu Baby

Dogs I have Loved

This is Missy

Thank You for my Blessings~

At some time when the Lord was creating this earth He must have noticed there was something missing.There was a need to fill the emptiness in a mother’s heart once her children were all grown up.
If she could only have a special little creature to love and cherish and to nurture, then she could have a baby all her life. And so God created a most treasured gift for the world, a sweet, loving and faithful little dog. It would never go away to first grade, or summer camp, or college. It would be beside her in the car, in the kitchen, on her bed, always right there for her hand to reach out and touch when she needed a baby to love.
Thank you Lord
Rita 
Babies I have loved~ Puddles,Big Spook, Suzy, Spook, Schatzie Kay, Lucy, Little Sweet, Kate, Missy, Kobi, Molly, Ginger, Little Elmo, Marci and Jitter Joe.

Chinese Chicken Shun-Goi

 
This is a recipe you should try.  It is absolutely my favorite Chinese dish of all of the wonderful ones out there. It has a little sour-sweet flavor, crunchy cashew nuts, dredged and fried chicken pieces, and all the vegetables are still crisp . Served on steamed rice, it will be one you will remember ~and the chopsticks are not just for decorations, that is what I use and never drop a bite in my lap!

chop sticks add a lot of fun to this meal, offer them to everyone, and also a fork for those who are in a big hurry to eat~.

This is a wonderful Chinese dinner, perfect for company, everyone will love it. Any left overs can be put on  plates for the freezer to be enjoyed later.  It is colorful and simply delicious. My favorite Chinese Food.
Grocery list:
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
2 bell peppers
celery
water chestnuts
onion
large can pineapple chunks
3 Roma tomatoes
cashew nuts
6 cups chicken broth
Soy Sauce
~
Chicken Shun-Goi

Sauce   ( you can make this ahead of time)

1/2 c soy sauce
4 heaping T. corn starch
2 c chicken broth ( I make my own any time I am boiling chicken, then freeze it)
1/2 c vinegar
3 T sugar
Pineapple juice from drained chunks
Stir (constantly) together and cook until thickened, it is slightly thinner than gravy

Fried chicken breast chunks  (this can be done an hour or so before dinner, like before church)

Cut breasts into small cubes (the size of pineapple chunks)
1 egg & 1/2 c. water  Mix together in med size bowl)
2 c flour seasoned with salt and pepper and put in large mixing bowl
Dip chicken cubes in egg mixture, then into  flour and coat completely, only do about 1/4th at a time so they will be well covered.
Heat 2 c. corn oil hot in wok or skillet, drop in chicken and stir while it fries until done, it only takes a few minutes . Put on paper towels and get all the grease off. Then do the rest of the chicken the same way until it is all cooked.

Rice
2 c rice
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c chicken broth
Put it all in a large pant, bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat and cook 25 minutes or until tender. (you can do this before church too)

Cut up vegetables, even the day before is fine
Stir fry in hot wok or big skillet with 1/4 c. corn oil:
2 bell peppers (big chunks)
1 onion, quartered and separated
4 stalks celery cut into 1/2 in. chunks
(Only cook for a few minutes!  you want them crunchy)

Add drained pineapple chunks,
can of water chestnuts drained
Roma tomatoes, (quartered)
cashew nuts
fried chicken chunks

toss together with vegetables and sauce on heat for
about 30 seconds more.
Serve the Shun-Goi on rice in each individual plate, this recipe is generous for 6 people~

This is such an easy recipe, it sounds complicated but once you make it, you will see
it is fast and simple. When I cut up the vegetables, I put each in a plastic bag and don’t
mix them until I cook them.
It is one, two, three, four:
1. fry the chicken chunks
2. make the rice
3. stir fry the vegetables~ and 4. make the sauce

Men and Hats

this hat took first priority over everything, I despised it~

When I was growing up, I learned first hand about men and  hats. This is a picture Granddad Jack’s old Stetson. Let me see, I think it was the Silver Beaver XXX and cost $15~ a huge amount back 75 years ago. He only wore it when he went to lodge. He had another one he used for every day. If we were in the car, it blocked the view from the back seat,  more than once it blew out the window, and often blew into the back seat and into someone’s face. We were constantly reminded to “watch out for my hat!”. When we got somewhere,  he had to find a place to put it, men did not wear their  hats inside! Later, Dan and I married and he liked hats too. He had lots of them, I had to go shopping with him and he would try one on, hold the brim in front and give it a shake. (this was a test or something) It took  forever for him to decided since not many fit just right. (Someone once told him  that he had a ‘well shaped head’ and he liked to remember  that compliment). I hated the hats. They were trouble! We were in Luby’s eating one day and someone took Dan’s hat and left him theirs. He never forgot it and from then on we would have to sit where he could watch his hat like a hawk. When my first  little boy was four, Granddad Jack gave him a Stetson  for Easter and I thought, ‘Oh No, Here We Go Again!’ It went through lots of wear and tear with  stick horses and cowboys and Indians. Sometimes it ended up on the closet floor, under a pile of toys. It was recycled on down to his little brother. I found it in the cedar chest not long ago and was overcome with  feelings, I realized how much I loved this one.

Bald-Faced Cow

cattle are fun to paint, ZZ was able to paint this one in two days, and then put in a little more detail after the paint dried.

This is a picture ZZ painted of a cow. We took lots of cow pictures in Buscher’s pasture, they were strange looking but probably good ones since they  all had ear tags.  ZZ was 9 years old on this one. I helped her sketch it off on a 9×12″ canvas. (paint the eyes in first, then it will watch you while you paint in everything else.) To show her how, I would write in b for brown, w for white, etc. and she would paint in the different colors. She learned to mix paint from an early age, we used very few colors,  white,  blue, yellow, red, and brown. Nearly any color can be mixed  from these. She learned early not to mix a big pile of color, if you mix small amounts, each one will be different and make  the picture more realistic. One time when ZZ was about 5 years old, we were buying brushes at the art store and an older man and his wife were shopping. From what we understood, he had decided to start painting. He was saying, ‘let me see, I need some purple and some green, and some black’~ I could tell ZZ was having a fit. She finally told me, ‘that man is not obeying’. She knew blue and red made purple, and yellow and blue made green. She was beside herself wanting to go help him. She painted several parrot pictures and sold them on e-bay. Children like bright colors. She painted a lot of adobe houses. They are easy to do and when you are finished, you have something worthy of a nice frame. They have a 3-D effect with shadows and sunlight hitting the walls. The great thing about her is she never got tired, she was never ready to quit. I love this old cow. I love that sweet girl~

The Card Game

I can either stop posting for a month, or show some re-runs since I am taking care of some business this summer. (like 40 chickens, three dogs and fighting coons every night to keep them out of the fruit trees). Maybe by the end of June I will have some new and interesting fresh material to write about. Good things are happening right now in Uganda!

The dress was wonderful to paint, her wrap too, it looks like ‘someone’ won her away from the card game~I painted this picture in 1965, it was  large and took two months to complete.

Dan’s mother saw this painting and mentioned it several times, it hangs in the Hermitage in Russia. It was an old world painting, ‘The Stolen Kiss’ by Fragonard. I found a photograph of the painting and was overwhelmed by the beautiful detail in the woman’s dress, I decided to try to copy it. It took several weeks to sketch it off on canvas and once I started painting I was terribly excited to be doing it. Painting the folds in the woman’s dress was a great experience, it was like reading a good book~ hard to put down. When it was finished Dan gave it to his mother on Mother’s Day, she loved it. She had a beautiful formal living room and the perfect place for it. It has been in the family for 49 years, it now hangs in her grandson’s home.