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.
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.
This is one of Anna’s Sunday dinners. It is shish-k-bobs, Armenian rice, stir-fry vegetables right out of the green house, and the great homemade hot rolls. Today I am showing the recipe for the rolls, they are easy to make and always perfect. Whether we are eating at the river or at home, there is always hot bread. It makes every meal special. Debbie, Anna, Elizabeth, Stacy Mae and I have used this same recipe for as long as we have been cooking. Try it and then keep the recipe handy, you can keep yeast fresh in your refrigerator for months so you will always be ready. You can easily double or triple the recipe, sometimes Debbie ’4 times it’~
This morning I want to surprise my grandson who is away on a trip at the moment, here’s a picture of his sweet Stacy Mae. She is my wonderful and beautiful granddaughter. Have a nice day Mark, we are thinking of you, you are the peach today. Happy Birthday this month. The ultimate birthday party was the one Stacy surprised you with a few years ago, you were suspecting there would be some kind of ‘something’ in the works and then you walked in to Miss Hatties and all your friends were there and your brothers and sisters had flown in from all parts of the country to surprise you, WOW, I get chills remembering the thrill. You have a mighty fine girl ~Grammy
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 at the Big Tree on the Joy’s Ranch and 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”.
I am showing you another Madam Alexander doll, this one has a story behind her. After Christmas in about 1968, I found a mangled baby doll in the street near Mother’s house. I am sure a dog had had a field day with it, the whole body was in shreds and only parts of it’s dress were left, but there was still a perfect little head and hands and feet. I thought it must have been a doll a little girl had received for Christmas. It was a Madam Alexander so it had been a fine doll. I knocked on doors, left notes and ran an ad in the paper. No one called me. I kept her for several months and then decided to try and restore her. I made her a new body, all soft and limber like a real baby. Then I made a sweet ecru eyelet dress and bonnet , petticoat and panties. Her feet were so cute, I didn’t bother with finding new shoes. She has been to every tea party that has gone on around here since then, she has been rocked and well loved, but still looks brand new. Everything we have needs to be played with and enjoyed and not just put away for safe keeping. (all the time we still keep an eye out to protect them from harm). These things take on a real life when they make memories along the way. I love this little doll. I love the little doll who played with her~
One December morning it was wet and cold and I was getting my exercise, doing my usual jogging/walking down the road, not too bad until I turned around and started home facing the wind. There was a little sleet hitting my face and my hands were cold. Before I got back home I decided I could go to the wellness center and sign up for a month or two and try that. It has been almost three years now. I can go do 45 minutes, the temperature is always perfect, the treadmill does cross- country, hills and flats, I pick my speed then there is a five minute cool down, all the while I can close my eyes and plan my day, it is perfect.
They also have Zumba classes and I tried those a couple of times, even bought me one of those blingy things you tie around your hips. It was an hour of intense exercise~ the best part was the last five minutes when the lights went down low and we swayed to the sweet sound of Amazing Grace. Anyway, I didn’t feel too good the next day so I gave my blingie away and am happy with the treadmill. I will show some Zumba pictures in another blog later on.
Meet Buttermilk, she is a kitty that came up when she was a little thing and would not leave. I would see her out by the windmill and she would stay still so I wouldn’t notice her. (every time I walked by, I would tell her to Go Home!) Well, she liked it here and wasn’t afraid of me.
She had kittens somewhere, I only got to know one. He was black and white, marked almost identically on each side, I named him Domino.
I caught him in a live trap and took them both to have them fixed. Then they stayed on the screened porch for several weeks while they recovered and he got more tame.
I also have Mammie, the garage kitty who came up and had her kittens in the Model T. She was gentle to start with. When I found homes for her five babies, I had her fixed. Now I don’t need any more cats.
There are several in the pasture and I take food down to them, away from the house at 5:30 every day. This is Squaline, half her tail is gone, from something that happened before I knew her. She is a feisty little thing and will hiss and scratch me if I try to pet her, but she comes running toward the car when she sees me. Soon, I will catch her and get her fixed. Dan was the one who loved cats, I was strictly a dog lover. Cats liked him because he sat in the yard and smoked his cigar and they would stay in his lap. Since he has been gone, I have learned to love cats too, probably since I am responsible for them. I have gotten to really know them. They are beautiful animals, they come in all colors and designs. They can live to an age of 20 or more years.
This is a summer meal my mother fixed sometimes for supper. We all liked it, even Daddy enjoyed it although he was steak and potatoes man. It made a pretty table with all the colorful vegetable. A sip of soup, a bite of radish, then a sip of soup and a bite of cheese~ on and on. The summer sausage was extra good with it. I serve it every so often when the kids come on Sundays, it is easy to have after church since it can all be ready in advance, I just have to heat up the soup. The vegetable platter has pickled okra, black and green olives, cheese cubes, radishes, green onions, cherry tomatoes, green and colored peppers, carrots, and cucumbers. You can just put together any vegetables you like. I also serve it with little whole grain crackers. Don’t forget to ask the blessing, we all have so much to be thankful for.
I was invited to exhibit and demonstrate oil painting at the ASU Folk Festival in February of 1973. I met a lot of people and also saw many familiar faces. I liked the demonstrations, everyone was happy and full of chatter, they enjoyed watching and many of them were also painters. I had my miniature covered wagon and all the little rooms on display so if anyone wasn’t interested in painting, they liked to look at the little things. The famous wood carver, Gene Zesch was also exhibiting his wonderful carvings, he carves old cowboys and anything to do with ranch life, with much skill and unbelievable humor. I was in good company that day, it is a sweet memory for me~