Grist Mill in Glen Rose Texas

Charles Barnard built this grist mill in 1860, it is now an art gallery~

My friend Pat brought me an snap shot of an old grist mill in Glen Rose, it was built back in 1860  and at one time owned by her Great Grandfather Price. She wanted me to paint it for her. She told me the story behind it and I found more information on the internet, so while I was painting, it was interesting to know the history. She remembered visiting her grandmother there when she was growing up so it was part of her young life. Once when she was six years old, her mother put her on a bus in Ballinger, sat her behind the driver and told him not to let her off until she got to Glen Rose where her grandparents were waiting to pick her up. Times were different back then. After I finished the painting and she had it for a few days and came back and wondered if I could add some children playing in the yard.  I asked my little Edmiston neighbors to come over and pose under my oak tree, with a wagon and the swing, then  painted them in the picture. It brought it to life. This old building still stands in Glen Rose, it has been a grist mill, cotton gin, hospital and now an art gallery, many changes in a century and a half.  Pat has this little bit of history hanging on her wall. I enjoyed painting it~

Old San Angelo Home

the photograph isn’t good but you can get an idea~

Here is a painting of the Hughes home in San Angelo. My friend Kitty Trigg grew up there and asked me to paint it for her. Later she decided she would like one for her sister, Mrs. Crews. The second one was a spring time scene so it was different.  The house sits on Beauregard Avenue and used to be in a quiet neighborhood at the edge of town but San Angelo has grown until it is now a very busy street.  It is an old home that has been well cared for and loved by this family. It should be there forever. I have noticed that the house has recently been repainted in a beautiful soft gray green color. I also painted Mrs. Crew’s rock house in Mertzon and later their camp house on Spring Creek. There was a little log cabin there that was a play house for all the Hughes children. I loved these projects, I can just imagine what fun those kids had growing up. 

Hydroponic Greenhouse

European cucumbers  are also called burpless cucumbers, they grow 18 or more inches long and are still tender and sweet.

There are several kinds of lettuce   like romaine and butter head, you can pull them out of the trays and put the roots in a glass of water and keep them fresh on the  counter for several days.

Tomatoes and cucumbers grow well in buckets of perlite, there is no dirt or soil involved

Here are a some pictures from the green house at Christoval. Anna and I had been left in charge of it (with lots of instructions) when her husband was out of the country for a few weeks. We were growing tomatoes, European cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli and all kinds of greens. She called me one Monday afternoon and said the pump had gone out on the big floor tank and she had called the plumber~ but he couldn’t get there until the next morning. So I loaded the dogs up and went up there and we installed a new pump ourselves and it was working in a matter of minutes. Women can do things, we always read the directions. (canceled the plumber) 

Mexican Farmer~1968

they did it the hard way, but it looks like it was a good crop~

Farming in Old Mexico, no fancy tractor with enclosed cab, stereo, air-conditioning, or comfortable leather seats, (no 6 year loan either). I can’t remember where in Mexico this picture was taken.  We saw scenes like this many times. On one trip we spent several days in Saltillo and  noticed there weren’t any lawn mowers, the yard man was cutting the grass with a machete, just skimming over the top of the grass and the results were perfect. A machete was a handy tool, it could cut down a tree just as easily as mowing grass. When we were at the trailer park early one morning, we heard that Robert Kennedy had been shot. This was early June of 1968. The Mexicans were concerned and everyone ask us if we had heard the news. They kept saying, ‘Él está triste y aburrido’, or this is a sad day. Anyway, back to the subject of farming, they did it the hard way. I know what hard work feels like and also the rewards. Nothing better than feeling  you have almost earned your place on earth at least for today. I hope this man felt proud of his job.  


Belgium Waffles

Buttermilk Waffles

this is an easy meal for breakfast or supper~everyone likes waffles

Mack and Danell were visiting one evening and we told them to stay and I would make waffles. I had made apricot preserves and that is always a good supper time meal. I got the waffle maker down from the top shelf in the pantry and heated it up while I mixed the batter. Bacon frying, everyone getting ready for a treat~then I opened the lid on waffle maker and there was this green, calcified, decomposed old waffle~ left in there from months ago.  (OK, who’s  first~)    Note: you can use waffle batter to make pancakes.

Belgium Waffles
1 c buttermilk
4 eggs
1/2 c melted butter
2 c flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
beat buttermilk, eggs and butter together in mixing bowl
Sift dry ingredients together
Add to buttermilk mixture and blend
Pour about 1 cup of batter into hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with Pam
Bake until golden.  (this makes about 5 waffles)

Texas is Hot

two friends and a dog, what could be better. No one ever enjoyed that water more than Suzy~

Texas is hot in the summer. If you stand out in the sun you bake but if a little cloud comes over, it is pleasant enough. Stand in the shade and it is not bad. I am always grateful that I am not having to work out in the heat.  I passed some men  digging trenches for a service cable along the highway and one guy had a wide brimmed straw hat on and on top of that had on his hard hat, I guess they are required to wear the hard hats as a safety measure. Today’s picture is two boys and a dog taking care of the hot weather, this was 42 years ago at our family place on the South Concho River. They could slip in the water and cool off and then back to the boat business. Lazy days of summer, tender memories.

Texas Country Roads

this would be such nice road leading up to your home place, some people do have roads just like this~

This is a scene  near Mason. I would love to drive down this road on the way home every day, a winding road with trees making a canopy overhead. We used to visit relatives in East Texas and  between Douglasville and Atlanta, there were roads like this that went to the farm houses. It was magical, mystical, and maybe a little bit spooky at night. Dan’s ‘McWhorter cousins’ lived in East Texas and I liked going there, it was so different. The people were soft spoken and no one ever got in a hurry. Their voices had such a sweet, kind sound. (Dan always came home with an East Texas accent and it took a few days for it to wear off). I was amazed at how green it was back there, very hot and humid too. Ben took us  fishing in his boat, we got out in the middle of Caddo Lake, anchor in the water, hooks baited, then he had to turn around and take Cousin Lilla all the way back to the bait stand because she was afraid of the water. We fished all day while she sat on the dock beside the picnic basket with the food,  I wished I had stayed with her. We loved our East Texas people.

Miniature Swing Set

The real barn had a child size bed, table and small refrigerator  for ZZ’s playhouse. (this miniature swing set is 4″ tall)

I made the real table, which washed away in the same flood that took the River Mouse. It would seat 8 people, with two stumps on the end to use as seats. This miniature is 1 3/4″ tall~

This is a miniature copy of the swing set at Camp Rock. (I didn’t make the trailer, it was a gift from Dan and Debbie). The barn is a copy of one Dan built, ZZ helped him by handing him each nail, one by one that went on the roof. There is the picnic table like the one I built that washed away. I bought the real swing set at Lowe’s and put it together.  It came in several heavy cartons full of pipes, seats, chains and a thousand nuts and bolts. I laid it all out on the ground, opened up the instructions and it said, ‘have your helper hold the first leg steady as you connect it to the horizontal top bar’. Well,the only helper around was my little dog Spook. One of these things can be assembled by one person because I did it that day. (a hard job) When it was finished, it was worth it. Our kids came for vacation from Albuquerque the next day, and ZZ had stars in her eyes when she saw it. She spent the next two weeks on the slide or a swing or sitting in the glider with her dog and her stuffed toys, she was three years old. I see swing sets in people’s back yards that are a piece of work. They have climbing walls and bridges, curved slides, ladders up to a landing  on top with a flag flying. They are made of redwood and and likely very expensive. I know it would take more than your dog to help put one together. But what a nice thing to have when your kids are growing up, it should last forever. When I grew up, we were lucky if we had a tree big enough to hang a rope swing. Ours was across the street in Grandmother’s yard. You could sit in it and have someone wind you up and spin until you were sick. You staggered out of that swing drunk as a skunk~

 

Tea Party Cookies

these cookies are light and tender, the butter makes them extra special~I make all my cookies using butter~I took this pictures using my little Canon PowerShot  300HS and no flash~

Looks like a tea party going on, maybe for you and a special little granddaughter. It is almost as easy as reaching in the cookie tin and walking through the house eating cookies, except you will enjoy this special moment you give  yourself. The figurine is one my sister Nancy gave me, one of my favorites. The china is from my Grandmother Christian’s set when she started house keeping as a new bride. Little girls like tea parties and old girls do too~

 Sugar Cookies
2 sticks real butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour plus 3 T.
3 tsp. baking powder
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, milk and vanilla
and beat well. Sift  flour and baking powder together
and add to first mixture. Chill for 30 minutes. On
cookie sheet, make each cookie into a ball and press
flat with a water glass. (I put the glass in a little sugar
before pressing each cookie). Or if you like, you can roll the
dough out thin and cut with cookie cutter. Bake at 400 degrees
until cookies start to turn slightly golden, don’t overcook.
Watch them carefully.
Place cookies on wire rack to cool.

Oil Painting of The River

 

My favorite river scene

The idea for this water scene came from a nice day I remember on a river in Sutton County, that place had a peaceful feeling~ good company too~

This is a large 24″x36″ painting of a river scene, no real place, not really anywhere. The idea for it came  from once going with Mother to a friend’s ranch in Sutton County and spending the day on the river. I remember the woman had a camp house with a wood cook stove, and she cooked up the most wonderful pot of red beans and baked a skillet of cornbread. We had that with iced tea and it was a feast. The smoky smell of the wood stove made it even more memorable. But back to the river scene, water has always been one of the things I enjoy painting most of all. As anyone who paints will tell you, when you are lost in this kind of project, you can only have good thoughts, good feelings, and all stress is washed away. For a while, you can forget problems (like worrying whether the avocado will be ripe by Sunday, you know~ those big things~)  I can look at one of the paintings and remember what was going on in my life when I was painting it. I think it always had something to do with the people I love~

Granddad and ZZ

this was right down his alley, he did a perfect job and was happy to help

This is a picture of Granddad marking the hem on ZZ’s new dress. When she came to see us there were always projects.  She learned to sew and cook, oil paint and, and most of all practice driving the pickup. Here she is at 9 years old. She made this dress in two days. Dan always was happy to mark hems for me and he helped her with hers. You had to stand perfectly still, he would stick a pin in and and then say ‘shift’. He praised  her for whatever work she was doing. They were great friends. He died four years ago and while I was going through some of his things, I found about 20 ’tickets’ she had printed for him, each with a picture of an omelet, plate of scrambled eggs or brownies~which he could redeem “at any time” and she would cook it for his supper. Sometimes we find these treasures that remind us of precious moments~ they are priceless~

Pet Peacocks

I brought this beautiful bird to Anna, he was full grown and he spent his time showing off his beautiful feathers.

Handsome Jack ran the place at Christoval, he is now relocated to Schleicher County. What a beautiful magnificent bird. Unbelievably colorful. Anna started out with Lovie and her three two day old babies, then she got Handsome Jack and in four years the flock grew to 21. They were wonderful and so much fun to be with, like the chickies, wherever you were working in they yard, they were right there too. I love to hear their big voices! They have several loud honks/screeches/bird songs, especially in the spring. (they can quietly walk up behind you and then scare the life out of you) Several of them now live at the Sonora Caverns, eight miles west of Sonora. Others have moved to their new homes on two different ranches. Now there are two boys left but once in a while a stray girl walks up to eat and visit with them. What a wonderful experience it has been to have these birds as pets. They are unbelievably beautiful.