Tree House

this tree house is about 8 feet from the ground, beautiful job. I will be showing other tree houses in later blogs.

One morning a few years ago, I heard interesting noises from across the road, not a chain saw, a weed eater, not a mower, but something better. I knew the sound of a circular saw and it was buzzing away. This went on all day and when I went for my walk I saw what was going on with my neighbors. In an oak grove in the back there was some framing going up the biggest tree and legs down to the ground.  I could see Jim  was building a real tree house for their little girls. It was fun watching the progress. It took about a week and was perfect and wonderful. It had a nice sized room, a porch and  real stairs with hand rails. I thought how lucky those two kids were, it is every child’s dream to have a tree house, a play house or a cave. I always look when I drive by, it is a mighty fine house and a fine daddy who built it~

Thanksgiving Dinner at Church

This is my blog from a year ago, I liked it and wanted to run it again. Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone. We all have much to be thankful for, never underestimate your good fortune.

this is Vickie, she was the most decorated helper so she gets to go first

I am re-posting my blog from last year’s Thanksgiving Dinner at the Presbyterian Church in Eldorado. I won’t be there this year, instead I will be enjoying my 80th birthday dinner with my family in Christoval. Let the fun begin!

After church service today we had our annual Thanksgiving dinner, it is always a special meal.  Everyone brings their favorite dishes and we have wonderful cooks. There are about 40 members in our church, I think they were all there today and some guests too.  I will show you a few pictures, it will make you hungry~ 

there were platters of ham and turkey, wonderful dressing and gravy

two of our best cooks, we published a cook book a few years ago and there were wonderful ‘start from scratch’ recipes

Debbie is the one who brings the wonderful music every Sunday

here are Danell and Maxine

here are  good vegetable dishes, the deviled eggs are the first to go~

there are always delicious fruit salads, the pink one in front is Danell’s

this is just a few of the desserts, the table was 6 feet long and loaded with cakes, pies, banana pudding, and cheese cakes.

What a feast, how wonderful it is to have our church family~

Wild Turkeys in West Texas

here are some of the pictures Frankie Lively took of the turkeys near their country home. She is one who loves wild life and it shows in her beautiful photographs.

more turkeys under the tree. they like to roost in big trees and are pretty noisy getting up there, lots of wings batting around until they find the right spot, they settle down, sort of talk to each other and then all is quiet.

Wild turkeys are only one of two domestic birds native to America, the other is a duck. My friend Frankie Lively took these pictures in a pasture near her home in the country. It is not easy to get a picture, when they see you, they walk on off. The Toms either hang out by themselves or stay  with other Toms~or gobblers~ and the hens stay together in groups until mating season. The hens lay from 7 to 14 eggs and are good mothers. They feed their babies for about three days then the babies find food for themselves, but stay with the group. At times there are as many as 45 or 50 that roam around together. Another ranching friend came home last week and there were 45 turkeys under her pecan tree in the yard. Wild turkeys forage on the ground and eat  nuts, acorns, seeds and berries. Unlike the domestic turkeys, they are good flyers, they will sail into a big oak tree just before dark and roost there. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the United State’s national bird, he saw all the good things about them. I would vote yes with him~

Deadly Chinese Doggie Treats

this is another picture of the beautiful Delaware Mountains in a remote region of West Texas, over 70 miles of rough roads to the nearest town~

Little  Ajax, he is always happy because he is with the one he loves most~

This is Ajax, my little great-nephew-dogie, sitting on the rim in the Delaware Mountains in far West Texas. Here, you don’t tell him to “roll over”, he might roll for three miles down into the canyon. He likes to travel and goes everywhere with Earl, they log lots of miles together. “

Here is Ajax when he was suddenly very ill, he was critical in just a few hours

Last December, Earl was headed for the ranch in Culberson County to meet a friend Steve and the deer hunters, he was running late. Still several hours away, no time to stop and eat and no time to feed Ajax, he had to barrel it on down the road. Earl knew Ajax was getting hungry so opened up the chicken jerkey treats and gave him a few of those~and then a few more. Then it happened, several hours later during the night, Ajax got sick, really sick. By morning he was desperately needing medical attention. They drove the great distance to Carlsbad, several  trips back and forth and the vet then told Earl he needed to get him to someone who knew what to do or he was probably going to die. He drove over 400 miles to near San Antonio where Ajax had to have emergency surgery as a last resort. He lived, but it was a mystery why his organs had failed or why he had gotten so violently ill. After researching, Earl learned the Chicken Jerky Treats were made in China. (You can Google this problem). Thousand of dogs have died from treats made in China. He bought them at Costco. They damaged Ajax’s kidneys, liver and gall bladder. He has recovered now but was near death for over a month. Earl has devoted time and effort to get these deadly products off the shelves and it seems to be working. He also wants all companies to have a big warning on the packages that any treats are for occasional use, not as dog food. I learned something from this and now my two dogs get a half a treat once a day, and nothing from China, that’s it.  Ajax should be the “Poster Child for Dogs”, he earned it~    Click on this to read the whole story    

Date: September 4, 2012 3:40:10 PM CDT

 

Two Orangutans

these are the most human like of all the primates, they seem to have a sweet and gentle nature.

I painted these two orangutans a long time ago and have had them hanging around my house ever since. I move them around so I will remember to notice them. I saw a photograph in an old National Geographic magazine and knew I wanted to paint them. Of all the primates, the orangutans are my favorites, they look like little old men and seem more like humans than any of the others. I enjoyed painting these two and like having them around.  Believe me, they are better than the real thing. We had a monkey when I was growing up and it was not easy. We all loved him but a dog is the world’s most perfect pet. 

Schlotzsky’s Type Sandwich

don’t take orders, make them and serve them, if someone doesn’t like the cucumbers, they can pull them out themselves~

This is a great sandwich. It looks complicated but is easy and fun to make. The bread recipe is the easiest of all yeast breads. You just need to go through the list of ingredients and have everything sliced, laid out and ready, then it goes together fast.  

these are 6 inch cast iron skillets, you can find them on the internet for under $10 each. They will last a lifetime~

Years ago, I bought a dozen 6″ cast iron skillets to bake these buns in and also for  my hamburger buns. I live 45 miles from the nearest real Schlotzsky’s place so this recipe works for me. It is a great meal even when you are having company. They will remember it~ 

these make a big sandwich, it is a full size meal~

you can cut them in quarters and serve as company snacks~

 Schlotzsky’s Buns  (copycat)
note: this is the easiest of all yeast breads to make!
1/2 c warm water
2 tsp sugar
2  1/4 tsp dry yeast (or one package)
1/4 tsp soda (dissolved in 2 tsp warm water)
3/4 c warm milk
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c bread flour
2 T cornmeal
Stir together the warm water, sugar and yeast,
let sit for a few minutes.
In large bowl, combine dissolved soda, warm milk, salt
and one cup of the flour. Beat until smooth. Beat in the
yeast mixture and remaining flour, Batter will be sticky and
smooth.
Prepare six little 6″ skillets by spraying with Pam, then sprinkle
bottoms with cornmeal. Divide dough  between pans, it
will spread during rising time. Spray tops with Pam
and let rise for one hour. Again spray tops with Pam,
bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Split buns with knife when cool.
You can use two cake pans if you don’t have the 6″ pans
and after making the sandwiches, cut them into thirds
for 6 sandwiches.
Filling
mozzarella cheese, grated
cheddar cheese, grated
parmesan cheese, good sprinkle of it
mustard,
onion slices
tomatoes, sliced
cucumbers sliced thin
lettuce shredded
black olives, sliced in half
creamy garlic dressing, about like spreading mayonnaise on bun
salami  (it makes the sandwich~
2 slices of boiled or smoked ham for each sandwich
Assemble the sandwich~ 
1. spread garlic dressing on both halves of bun
2. sprinkle top bun with parmesan cheese
3. spread mustard and mozzarella on top bun
4. spread cheddar cheese on bottom bun
5. toast to melt cheeses
6. heat meats and place on buns, ham on bottom, salami on top
build with olives, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and cucumbers
Enjoy the Schlotzsky’s (copycat) Sandwich with a few chips~

Mertzon Road

I like rock tanks, I know of many that have been here longer than I have, they are beautiful. I would imagine rock masons would go through the country building tanks and rocking houses. They were master craftsmen~

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.

Birthday Dinner

this is Debbie’s famous chicken noodle soup, it only needs crackers and a glass of iced tea to make a perfect meal~

he wanted a pie instead of a birthday cake this time. Debbie baked this one,  beautiful and absolutely delicious. While we enjoyed dessert, we remembered all the birthday cakes through the years, Aunt Tricia made most of them and came up with elaborate ones~

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 picture is when he was almost two, he was a happy baby and had lots of grandmothers~it is one of my favorite pictures~

Eldorado Volunteer Fire Department

the truck on the right was Eldorado’s first fire truck, it was a 1939 Ford. At one time the  fire hall burned after a coffee maker overheated~

The picture today shows Eldorado’s first fire truck, it was a 1939 Ford with a Seagraves 500 pump. Before this the merchants of Eldorado had set up a forerunner of the Fire Department when they bought a 40 gallon chemical extinguisher which was hand drawn. When needed,  people turned out to help fight the fire. In the summer of 1939 there was the first recorded meeting of the Eldorado Fire Department. Palmer West was elected Chief. All the early men are gone now, in the last 72 years the faces have changed but what they started has grown and stayed strong.  They are always ready to jump out of bed in the middle of the night, leave their jobs, or leave their dinner tables to answer the call. Not only to fight fires in our community and county, but to go help fight big fires in surrounding counties  when needed. There is a lot of pride in this organization, they are the best of the best.

the  38, parked behind the fire station, fire trucks are beautiful, the fire boys keep them clean and polished.

a picture from a parade in the 1960′s with Bob McWhorter and two little kids, can you imagine the thrill for a child to get to take a ride in a real fire truck

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.

you have to stand beside this one to really appreciate it’s size, its a four door and takes two giant steps to crawl inside~

a front view, the station is filled with all kinds of trucks and rescue vehicles, there is even a  sandwich truck~

this one was an old army truck that was converted into a water truck, like all the others, it is massive

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~

Mexican Cornbread Recipe

this was a meal for one and then left overs for later. You could make more servings by cutting up another tomato and cooking the whole bag of okra. Bertha grows good okra~

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.

 
Mexican Corn Bread
1 c shredded Velveeta Cheese
1 can corn, drained
1 sm. can chopped green chilies
1 nice size onion chopped
1 egg
4 T oil
1 c buttermilk
Mix this all together and then add:
1 c corn meal
1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp soda
2 tsp baking powder
Stir everything together and mix well.
Have oven heated to 400 degrees, put a little oil in a skillet and
get it hot, then pour batter in  and bake for about 25 minutes
until done and starting to brown on top.

Dinner Rolls

this is a wonderful meal, the hot homemade rolls make it extra special

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’~

Hot Rolls
1/4 c warm water
1 pkg active yeast (not Rapid-Rise yeast)
2 T sugar
Mix together in small bowl and let sit a few minutes
1/2 c milk
2 T real butter
1 egg
1 tsp salt
2 c flour (scant)
Heat milk and butter, let cool to lukewarm warm and
add yeast mixture, egg and salt.
Stir in flour and beat for several minutes.
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, then knead
it on floured board. (try to use as little flour as possible)
Put flour on your hands, pinch off golf ball size pieces of  dough
and lay on greased baking sheet, about an inch apart
Let rise again for about 30 minutes in warm place.
Bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden in preheated 375 degree oven.

Peach of the Day

 

Stacy is one of the funniest and sweetest of all, she gets 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