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.

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~

Here is Daddy holding  2 month old baby DT

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. (last week was Paul’s birthday, he was born on June 17, 1961 so this is a very special week for me.) 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!

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~

31′ Airstream Trailer

when we are not at the river, I keep it under the cabana here at home. I like to sit out there with Marci and Jitter Joe  and even eat  dinner  there sometimes. Good feelings~

We had the little 17′ Airstream and for years traveled in it. Later when  the boys and their families were coming to Camp Rock on the river for two  weeks at a time, it was pretty crowded. Early one morning, I saw an ad in the Standard Times “Airstream  31′ trailer for sale,1974 model, one owner, $6,500″. Paul and Anna were at the river so I  went to Christoval to get Anna so we could go look at it. We loved it, it was big and it was beautiful. We went back to the river and sent Dan and Paul to buy it. (Dan drug his feet as usual, he had to always think things over). I told him I would pay for it so  ‘just go get it, and don’t come home without it!’ Anna and I spent a couple of hours planning and celebrating our soon to be dream come true. When  they got back,  Dan said, ‘it’s in the bag!’,  I offered the guy $5,000 CASH, he will be calling back in a little while to  say he will take the deal!’.  We came home and he did call, he said, ‘I know how much you girls wanted that trailer but I sold it to the Fords right after your husband left’. I was so mad at Dan, I was sick! The kids went back home to Albuquerque, and a couple of weeks later I took Elizabeth Ann home. One afternoon  Anna and I were shopping, and when we got back, Paul said ‘Daddy just called and said to tell you, the trailer is on the premises’. The Fords took it on a short trip and decided it was too big so put an ad in the paper. Dan saw it and went straight up and bought it. They even pulled it down here for him. When I got home,  that wonderful trailer was parked in the driveway. In the 20 years we have had it, the longest trip it has made is the 24 miles to the river. 

Wishing a Happy Birthday today to someone I love very much!

Guanajuato Mexico

this was a common scene in Mexico, it was like something from another world.

I painted this Mexican man with his oxen pulling a cart in 1966, after one of our trips deep into Mexico, (not far from, Guanajuato.) Usually I take a picture and use parts of it for a painting. This time, it is almost exactly like the photo I took. There were three men sitting on a bench under the tree and I chose to leave them out.  This part of Mexico is beautiful, the scenes are like they came from another world. It has a  ‘feel’ about it that you don’t forget. With sounds like a donkey braying,  a ‘hee-honk~wheeze~ hee-honk~wheeze~ noise’ that keeps going until you wonder if he is dying~or just happy.  The birds have their brilliant colors and exotic songs. In all of this noise of nature, people are quiet spoken and you hardly hear them make a sound. Nothing rowdy going on here. You notice all of this because it is so different. Then the smells are fresh and pleasant,  orange, pineapple and mango, the slightly pungent  smell of papaya,  (I am aware of smells and enjoy that special sense, next to seeing and hearing~ a cow lot, or a dirt floor in a barn when it starts to rain, the warm sweet smell of a baby’s hair, a  puppy’s breath~) Anyway back to Mexico, I know I will never be able to go there again, but it stays fresh in my mind and I will keep it with me forever.  México, hermoso país, personas finas

Chinese Chicken Shun-Goi

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
water chestnuts
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.

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

Two Texas Country Boys

these boys had fun hunting and trapping, there was always something to do, including work~

This is a picture of two Texas country boys, taken back in 1980. They were out running their traps that day. They usually caught a shrunk or raccoon, and once in a while a grey fox. On this day they got a prize red fox. Later they brought it to me to tan. (I had a tanning kit to use tanning rattlesnake hides)  I scraped it clean, put it in the curing solution for a while, then I stretched it and tacked it to a board to dry.(no, I didn’t chew on it  like the Eskimo women)  It was pretty when it was finished. One boy took with him and sometime later, I was visiting his family and of course, I had my little dog Spook with me. When we went out to eat that night, Spook found the fox in a box in the study and had a big time with it. When we found it, it was missing it’s  nose, two ears and two front feet. From then on, when we went there, Spook would head straight for the study and try to find that fox. That old fox hide is still around after thirty something years~

Life Size Dolls

Marci is a lap dog, she likes to be held by anything that is available, often it is Sue Ellen

Yesterday I couldn’t find Marci, if she doesn’t come when I call her, she is usually in the front bedroom in Sue Ellen’s lap. That has been one of her favorite places for a while. Sue Ellen doesn’t talk on the phone or move around or try to pick the burrs off Marci’s feet. She just sits and holds her~that is why Marci likes her.

one of my best  bargains

I found Sue Ellen at Home Hardware in San Angelo in 1969. She is life size, 32″ tall and made by the Ideal Toy Co. She was on the CLOSE OUT SALE counter for $1.00. She was supposed to be able to walk but she couldn’t, there was a trap door in the middle of her back and some staining where the batteries had leaked~which was fine with me (remember $1.00). I liked her. I took her to Gibson’s Discount store that same day, put her in the seat in the shopping cart and looked  for shoes. She got some pretty little  black patient leather slippers. Also socks with ruffles and a few other things. She wears a size 2 dress.

she has been smiling, always happy, never had a bad day. she is  45 years old~

She has had lots of clothes. I found this sailor outfit at a children’s resale store, there was a sailor  dress too, the sales girl told me they had belonged to twins.

this is my favorite picture, ZZ sitting on a log at the river, dressed in her hand-me-down sailor suit. I like Sue Ellen but I really really love this little girl~

Twenty six years ago,  ZZ was born and later she got to wear Sue Ellen’t clothes as she grew into them. It took a while for the shoes to fit but she wore those too. When ZZ was four, I made the Mexican flamingo dress for her wear to dance at the nursing home. When she outgrew it, little Hanna Fort enjoyed having it, then it came back again for Sue Ellen. It has made the rounds. ZZ is now a nurse missionary in Kitale, Kenya~ East Africa. She has been there for almost four years. I still have Sue Ellen and Marci and all the sweet memories of  this tiny granddaughter who came into my life and blessed me with the greatest joys of all. I learned on Mother’s Day that ZZ and John are expecting a baby in December. Our whole family is thrilled beyond words! This will be the first baby in 26 years. Oh, and I will be sending this sailor suit to Uganda to keep the tradition going. Life is good!


Silk Roses

Some of the nice surprises from Nancy~

Some of the nice surprises from Nancy~

My sister Nancy surprised me with this beautiful bouquet of silk roses over 30 years ago, she had made them after taking a silk flower class. They are just as fresh and pretty as the day I got them. Nancy always had a knack for picking the best gifts, she knew what anyone would like and and especially me. The shoe is from the ‘Right Shoe’ collection and the figurine is one from G. Amarini’s ‘Magic Moment’s’. These are some of my treasures, but most of all she is the real treasure, if you have a sister, you have a friend forever. She loved my babies and I loved hers. Oh and we do have fun on the phone, that is the best of all.

Nancy has a sweet smile and sparkling eyes. She is the pretty one~

Nancy has a sweet smile and sparkling eyes. She is the pretty one~

Gentleman Farmer

Longino worked all his life for Bill McWhorter on the farms. They grew up together.

This is Longino Pina, the man who farmed the place where we lived for 20 years. It was over a section of land and had two large fields which he plowed  and took care of by himself. He had a small field behind his house and  planted it in field corn. He raised beautiful corn. He would give us toe sacks full to put in the freezer, the best I ever ate. In the fall, he and his friends got together to butcher the hogs. They usually had two or three. It was quite a project, one time Longino sent his little son over to borrow Dan’s razor, (I think they shave the pig’s hide~ the last thing before they cook the cracklings). Dan gave him the razor and told him he ‘didn’t need to bring it back’. Later all the women got together and made hot tamales.  One day Bill told me I should paint a picture of Longino so I asked him, and his wife Goya thought it was a good idea, and he agreed.  When I finished it he was not happy because he was missing a bottom tooth, so I painted it in for him. Bill traded with me for it and hung it in his den, he was proud of that picture.  After he died, and then Longino died,  I gave it to Danny Pina, his grandson. It was nice living out there by Longino and his family. We were good friends for all those years. Goya taught me how to make tamales and all kinds of wonderful Mexican food.

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 and one girl. What a wonderful experience it has been to have these birds as pets. They are unbelievably beautiful.