Peanut butter cookies are easy to make, you can double the recipe and share them or put them the freezer. I used to take these to the Road Lizard Races, no one wanted to eat before a race but were needing food afterwards. That was a time to visit and cool down, and of course eat cookies. They are good to take on a trip, better than filling up with junk food when you stop to get gas. I always have them with sliced apples, they go great together. I make mine with Jif Chunky Peanut Butter.
Today’s picture is another one from the ranch in Culberson County~in the Delaware Mountains in far West Texas. I was on this trip, it made me uneasy because the boys were already out there at the camp when Dan I went. There ranch roads were no more than rough paths that Mr. Ronsaville scraped out with his bulldozer ever so often, and we had no real idea where we were on this 12 section ranch. Dan just sort of knew the general direction to the camp. On this day, we had a flat. Dan honked the horn to see if the boys were anywhere nearby and sure enough we could hear them honking back. They figured out which road we were on and were there in a little while. Oh my! When they drove up I nearly had a fit, they had a three wheeler and the Kawasaki in the back of the pickup and I had no idea they had taken them out there, certainly not safe for ridding in the mountains.
Matt fixed the flat, he was always the first to jump in there and help. There was a rule that no women were allowed out at the ranch, it was meant to keep wives and mothers from coming every year at hunting season and messing up the men’s fun. Dan told me for sure I could go, and I got to go several times after that. We never went during hunting season. It was just the four of us and of course I was the cook~
Our family has a long history with found puppies, pound puppies, and give away puppies. This is a picture of Kobi, On of my boys adopted him from the pound. He was looking for a little girl dog but Kobi was begging and jumping up and down, it was me me me! He couldn’t resist so he chose him.
In the summer of 1953, I was home from UT, and working at Blake’s Electric. Not much happening. Mother kept books for my daddy’s business and gave art lessons twice a week. She said ‘Dan’ came in the station one day and sat around for a while then asked her if she would teach him to paint. She was surprised, all of her students were women but she agreed to give him lessons in the evenings. After a few weeks, she couldn’t meet with him for a couple of sessions but told him that I might help him instead. He was serious about learning to paint and he was doing a good job. That was the start of a whirlwind courtship.
First real date was going to San Angelo to play miniature golf one afternoon, then to Garner State Park for a Sunday afternoon, every evening we painted or went to a movie. It was a fun summer. When it was getting time for me to go back to school he started trying to talk me out of leaving. I had pre-registered, my room at SRD was reserved and it was all set. I thought maybe he would come to Austin once in a while and we could see each other. One afternoon we went out to the farm on Rudd Road to shoot his new pistol. No shooting that day, instead he proposed to me. He went to meet with Daddy and ask for ‘my hand’. Oh my goodness how very proper. Daddy told him all the reasons it would never work, too much age difference, (12 years), I was not going to be easy to live with, (a silly girl) and I wasn’t finished with college. (Daddy, will you please be quite!) But the stars were right and it happened and Daddy was wrong, ( a few times I had some doubts though)
We were married for 57 years and had two wonderful little boys. Dan quit painting after a few years and just helped me haul my paintings to shows. He liked art just as much as I did. (he also liked music, food and cigars)
Some of us had been wondering if there were going to be any wild turkeys after the terrible drought in 2011. They won’t nest unless the condition is just right for them to at least have a chance. Two hens had been coming up to the water trough and I had been throwing corn and chick feed out for them. One week, they both walked in with 15 babies.They were on the driveway by the garage. I managed to get a picture and then today I got some of a hen and her baby sitting on the bird bath. What a thrill, I like the wildlife. I can enjoy them and as with the deer, if one in the bunch doesn’t show up that day, I don’t worry, I just suppose it is over at the farm eating at the deer feeders. Not like if a chicken or peacock goes missing and you look until you find it. I am keeping the windmill running to wet down the oak grove, the turkeys like to get in that cool wet place.
Guard llamas are used in goat and sheep ranching operations to protect the animals from predators~like coyotes, dogs foxes etc. They are not attack animals but fend off the intruder by making an alarm sound, then stalking or chasing it, kicking it or pawing it. It is usually scary enough that the intruder will leave. Predators can be a real problem with sheep and goats, especially when they are lambing or kidding. Llamas have been know to kill dogs while protecting the flock.The picture today shows a llama being clipped, the wooley hair is too hot in the summer and they need to be sheared, otherwise they will get in the water troughs to cool off and mess up the water. This one is in a squeeze chute with Claire sitting on top and shearing the hair. She told me you have to stay away from those back legs or they will kick the thunder out of you.
Little girls are sociable creatures, they can have a party any time there is a dog or kitty or stuffed toys. They can have a school be the teacher, and share everything they have learned themselves. It is fun listening to the conversations with their ‘friends’. Two chairs and some blankets and they have a wonderful little house for their babies. Then when real live friends come, they know how to entertain them. What fun. Here is ZZ and Spook, then some of the stuffed toys, she danced for them and sang and put on a good show. No one left the room, she had a captive audience. This was our living room and we didn’t use it often, but when she was here, it was hers. She called it the blue room and she brought it to life. Little girls know how to have fun.
On one of our trips to Mexico, we were in a market in Zacatecas and Dan was visiting with this young boy. He liked to speak Spanish, buy what they were selling, and then tip them well. He wanted to buy us some peanuts, he handed the boy a pack of pesos and waited for him to give us 4 bags. The boy got up, picked up his toe sack, put the money in his pocket and started to walk off. Dan said, “wait, I need my peanuts” and the boy pointed the big pile on the sidewalk and said, “escos son los cacahuete.” (those are your peanuts). One other time, he was going to buy oranges from a woman on the street. She had a neat little pile stacked up on a towel. When he paid her, she tried to give him change. He said, “para usted”, so she pulled her towel out from under the stack, thanked him and left. I always believed Dan would have moved to Mexico if I had said the word. What a wonderful country it was back then~
I painted this picture while I was demonstrating at the Fat Stock Show in San Angelo one year. That was always fun because I knew many of the women who came to watch, most of them were painters too. For several years I judged art shows at the Kendall Art Gallery and had many friends from there. There is a lot of great talent around this area. And as I have said before, painters are nice people. You can’t paint and not feel good. This painting I am showing you today is one I did from start to finish in one sitting. It was a large 24X30″. I always say you need to let the paint dry after putting on the first coat and not put wet paint on wet paint or it gets muddy. It can be done but it is not easy. I worked on this one for four or more hours that day, the time flew by. Lots of lively conversation, it is surprising but I can remember what they were talking about that day. Mostly telling on themselves. Good stories. I can almost always remember what was going on in my life when I painted any picture~almost like writing in a journal.
My nephew Earl sent me this picture a while back. It is of an old bumper gate near Del Rio. For many years, the bumper gate was a modern luxury, no one had to get out and open a gate, drive through and then get back out and close it. Sometimes there might be 7 or more gates between town and home, some gates no more than wire mesh stretched between two post and you had to hook them with a wire loop to the fence posts. No fun~ My friends who lived north of Eldorado had a bumper gate, it was a little scary to drive through, you had to hit it just right to push it open and then go through in a hurry so it wouldn’t swing around and hit your back fender, (then watch that it closed before a goat could follow you through). For Father’s Day a few years ago, their kids gave them new automatic solar operating gate to replace the bumper gate. You drove up, waited and in a few seconds a sensor would make the gate open. (modern wonders). They had a man who worked for them for years, and his daughter would often come for a visit. The first time she came after the new gate was installed, she drove up like always, and went right on through with her car~oops! there went the new gate, off it’s hinges, flat on the ground, gears and arms twisted and broken. So they had to get their second fancy automatic gate in less than a month.
Another place to hang out was in the Delaware Mountains in West Texas. Dan was welcome to come too, he brought his own car in case Matt’s pickup had a problem. (and it did). There were no cell phones or mobile phones back in the 1980′s. Bad to be 70 miles from the nearest town, which was Van Horn. Several times the truck got stuck in a ravine.
The really bad time was being stranded for 5 days in one of the worst snow storms ever, so bad the interstate between Fort Stockton and El Paso was closed. There was no way to get them out during the storm, it was a scary time for those of us back home.(my worst nightmare) The former Sheriff (Mr.Upchurch) from Van Horn flew his plane out to look for them but couldn’t locate the camp. Our sheriff here in Eldorado got two other men and they headed out to Culberson County to see what they could do. Finally after trying for several days, the old ranch foreman was able to drive his bulldozer through miles of snow to reach them. They said when they heard him coming, they were yelling and celebrating. Cabin fever had almost done them in~
Here are some little Mexican boys at a market in Guanajuato, many years ago. The first three boys belonged to the tomato lady. I always loved the markets, they had wonderful smells~ tomatoes, oranges, mangoes and leather. I learned about things I had never heard of before, all kinds of squashes, exotic fruits, strange melons. The women always had time to explain the different types and how to fix them. Once I was talking to a woman who had a few vegetables for sale, and she was explaining how to cook a green round chayote squash. She was sitting on the ground on a blanket and had a small child close to her holding onto her arm. After a few minutes, I noticed she had a cardboard box next to her and there was this tiny tiny baby, wrapped up in a soft blanket. I was filled with mother feelings. It brought back all the sweet memories of having a newborn baby. Mexico is a country of mothers~