Texas Cowboy

 

Cowboy at Hulldale barn

always nice to hang out around the barn at Hulldale, the only sounds you hear are the birds and the windmill pumping.

The boys posed for me when I was painting a lot of cowboy pictures. PJ and his friend Matt were always good to let me use them as my subjects. There is an old barn on the place at Hulldale, a good background for all kinds of western scenes. Here is one of them holding a Winchester 30-30 rifle, and of course had a pistol in his holster. They did some target practice out there, it is several miles from neighbors so the perfect place. They usually found a rattle snake around the barn so the guns were put to good use. I liked painting the guns, boots, and cowboy hats. I liked to add a little humor to the paintings, this one had wasp nests on the studs. They are a fact of life around barns and out buildings. If disturbed, they can sting the daylights out of you, ‘you gotta run fast’.

Junior Monkey

 

Port Aransas  Pier

My day to watch Junior Monkey, everyone liked him~

In the summer of 1952, I was in Port Aransas, Texas (on the Gulf of Mexico) with my parents and two sisters. The monkey belonged to Daddy, some friends gave it to him as a prank. Junior was sweet but then he had another side~he could bite! (no one got bit that time though). Everyone was fishing from the pier, Mother and Daddy fished for Tarpon and we fished for supper.That day I was in charge of Junior. I put on an old swim suit and shower cap and spent the day entertaining everyone, Junior could draw a crowd. He was wearing his swimming trunks but he took them off after they got wet, or should I say, he wet them~ Every day he would get in the water with us and  run on the beach trying to beat the waves. He was curious about everything, he picked up every shell he found and worked on it to see if anything was inside.  Several weeks after we came back home, a big brown envelope came in the mail. A photographer from the San Antonio Express newspaper had snapped the picture and they ran it  in their magazine. Someone recognized me and Junior and sent it to us. What a fun time to remember. A few years later, Junior went to live at the Zoo in San Antonio. I will have other stories about Junior later. Don’t get a monkey, get a sweet puppy instead.

Fried Okra Salad

something special about the crunchy okra, fresh tomatoes and onions. All time favorite!

This may be your favorite once you try it. My mother got this recipe at least 75 years ago from Beulah Kerr. It has been a family favorite for four generations. Simply delicious! It is especially good with summer time meals~pork chops, mashed potatoes, fresh green beans and  pickled beets~

Crunchy Fried Okra Salad

1 pkg. sliced frozen okra
1 ½ c. flour (more if needed)
½ tsp salt
1 large tomato, chopped
½ c. chopped onion

Thaw sliced okra in warm water,
pour water off, then toss in plastic bag with
flour and salt mixture. Coat well. (okra should
be stuck together in clumps)
Heat about two inches of oil in skillet, med. hot
Fry half the okra at a time. (add more oil if
necessary on second batch). Use large slotted spoon to turn okra and cook on all sides until light golden and crisp, watch carefully so it won’t burn.
Drain on lots of paper towels, get that grease out! When ready to serve, toss okra with the chopped tomatoes and onions. Salt to taste.

Hot Chicken Salad

This is Pat Pfluger’s recipe, it is a great meal for company, they will remember it~I know I did!

Hot Chicken Salad is a main course meal, all you need to add is a fresh vegetable salad  or fruit salad and hot rolls for a fantastic company dinner. It is one of Pat Pfluger’s great recipes, and she has many. It can be put together the day before and then topped with the cheese and potato chips just before heating.

Hot Chicken Salad
2 c. cubed chicken cooked
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. thinly sliced celery
1 can water chestnuts
1 small jar pimentos
1/2 c. real mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
1/2 c. slivered almonds
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Mix together in casserole.
Then top with:
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese 
2 c. potato chips (or more)
Heat in 350 degree oven uncovered for 20 minutes or until bubbling hot
(you can make this ahead of time~then when ready to heat,
add the cheese and potato chips) This recipe can be doubled
or tripled.

Baklava Greek Pastry

this dessert makes all the sparks fly, it is unbelievable

My niece Linda,  took me to a Greek restaurant in Dallas about 50 years ago and I had my first  taste of Baklava. I  had never tasted anything like it before. I like honey, I  like lemon, I like  nuts, I  like  real  butter, but  the tender  crisp  pastry  leaves  were  what  made  it  an unbelievable  dessert. Several  years  later I  found  the  recipe, tried  it  and  found  it easy enough to make.(Finding a place to buy the phyllo leaves was the hard part, now most big food stores carry them in the  frozen  pastry  section,  ask  someone for  help.)  Read  the recipe through and you will see it is simple to make. 
BAKLAVA (Greek Pastry)
6 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (toast slightly in microwave, 2 cups at a time)
1 tsp. powdered cinnamon
½ tsp. powdered cloves
1 ½ sticks of butter
1 lb. pkg. pastry sheets (FILLO /PHYLLO) dough (you can find these at HEB in the frozen food section, thaw them before you start to assemble, unfold them but keep them covered with a towel so they don’t dry out)
Combine  walnuts and spices in a bowl. Melt  butter, use pastry  bush to brush bottom of 10×14  pan with melted  butter, and   place 1 pastry  sheet over  this. Brush  with  melted  butter. Repeat  this  process until   4  pastry  sheets  line  the  bottom of  the  baking  pan.  Sprinkle with some of the nut mixture. Repeat this until nut and spice mixture  is  all used. End with 4 top  layers of pastry, brush with  butter between each sheet. Cut into diamond shapes with  heavy sharp knife. Bake at 300 degrees until golden, don’t over cook.
Syrup:
1 c honey
¼ tsp. lemon extract
2 c sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
Grated rind of lemon
While pastry is baking boil syrup ingredients together for a few minutes. Cool, and pour very slowly over baked Baklava. Separate diamond shaped bars, then serve or wrap in Saran wrap. You can then put in bag and freeze any leftovers.
Baklava Greek Pastry

pour syrup over cooled pastry

Chickie Town

 

A lot of singing and chit chat going on. Nothing like pet chickies

Here are seven of Anna’s pet chickies. When they got them four years ago, they were one day old. They put them in a kiddy swimming pool in the garage with a screen wire around it to make a cage. This was their brooder for several weeks with a heat light to keep them cozy.  I made a play house from a small box, with windows and doors, and they liked it. There was a chickie head sticking out of every window. When they outgrew it, they just stood on top. They all have names, Miss Lilla, Ellie Mae, Honey, Ivy June, and the Three Girls. When they were bigger, they moved to the chickie coop condo. Anna had it built and it has six laying boxes, roosts, even two insulated windows. It has a screened porch attached, made of hail screen covering the bottom, walls and top to make it snake and varmint proof. They roam around outside until evening, then go to bed on their own. Someone printed a production sheet with grafts and charts and hung it in the chickie house so they would know what was expected of them. They have done great, their eggs are too big to fit in an egg carton, each chickie lays a certain kind of egg, a certain color, a distinctive shape.When I drive up, they come running down the road to meet me, their wings spread out, looking like fat little airplanes, not being able to get airborne.  When we are working in the yard or the pasture, they are right there singing and talking. They are just the most wonderful pets. There are going to be more little ones  coming soon. They will live their whole lives there, and their only purpose is to enjoy themselves and lay a few eggs. Chickie Town is sweet place. Who knew!

Miniature John Townsend Secretary

little things are fun to make, and filling the shelves up with pretty things is the best.

Today’s blog is one I originally I posted  last year. I would like to post it again since at that time I had just started my texasmornings  and had very few people looking. I was feeling pretty good when I was up to 9 lookers until someone told me that by the information on the my stat counter, 5 of those were me. So after a couple of weeks, I was up to 4 real people looking. One more thing that confused me was the time, instead of regular time,  it used Military time so it ended up going on in the middle of the afternoon instead of early morning. Someone told me Military time ran from 12:00 midnight to 24 hours later and then started over at 1:00 AM. I would throw that system out but maybe we would have lost a war or something if we had done it my way.

This is a John Townsend secretary I copied from a real one I have in my living room. It is 23″ tall and made of mahogany.  I found a place that made skis from thin strips of wood and they gave me enough scraps for years of projects.  Unlike the smaller miniature furniture, the drawers and doors need work on the larger pieces. It took a while to make it, all the drawer pulls were made from copper wire that I hammered flat, then cut into shape with a scroll saw, probably something like making jewelry.  Dowel pins are great for carving figurines, vases and all the pretty things we like. I found a  jewelry place in Bryan going out of business and bought a box full of stuff. I took the stones out of the earrings and used the bezels to frame tiny photographs. Crystal beads and chains made great  chandeliers. It was always fun making the furniture pieces but the best part was making all fancy things to fill the shelves. There are envelopes the size of a fingernail, addressed and stamped,  inside each one is a two page letter. It only takes simple tools to build and carve these things. I used a coping saw, Diamond Deb fingernail file, emery boards and carpet knife. Later I bought a small scroll saw, it has a round sanding disc to shape the turned pieces. Finding good glue was always a problem, it had to be sticky to start with and then be really strong when it dried. This was always happy work.

Free Shih Tzu

this is our beautiful little Marci and her story

Dogs are a huge part of our family. Several came from the pound, one we found on the road, two were Give Away’s. Early one  morning I was reading the paper and saw the ad, ‘Free Shih Tzu to a good home only’ . I waited until 6:00 to call, but I wanted to be the first on the list. Thomas Mallow answered the phone. I told him I wanted that puppy, that we had recently  lost Spook who lived to be almost 19 years old and  we needed a new baby. He asked a lot of questions and said they would hold her  until I could get to San Angelo at 10:00 to be interviewed. When I rang their doorbell, I heard barking and when I was inside, there was this precious little black and white dog, all happy to see me.( I also noticed a beautiful little baby boy in a jumper seat on the floor.) So the story unfolded, Pamela and Thomas got Marsha when she was a few weeks old and she had been their only baby.  Then 18 months later, Blake was born.  Marsha did not like him, he was taking her place in her mama’s lap. She would just look at him and growl, they knew that wasn’t going to work so decided they had to find another home for her. They chose us. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. Coming home she  rode in Dan’s lap and that was the beginning of great times for us.  Pamula and Thomas saw Marci several times after that and she still growled when she saw Blake. We have kept in touch  and I get pictures of Blake often, he is a big fine handsome  boy now. Marci was one of our most wonderful gifts ever! Thank you again a  hundred times  sweet friends!

Shih Tzu Puppies

                                    

Daisy, Tootsie, Little Elmo,Ginger, Jitter Joe

                                    

This is Gizmo, he grew up in Sonora and came from a fine family, Jitter looks just like him

                                        Marci’s & Gizmo’s Love Song
                                       When Marci and Gizmo found each other,
                                        it was made was made in heaven above,
                                        For she loved him and he love her
                                        The greatest love of them all
                                        Then there was Little Tootsie, and Jitter Joe,
                                         Daisy, and Ginger,  and Little Elmo
                                         Put them together and what do you see
                                         A real fine family        (and sometimes a fight)        Rita

Jitter Joe, Daisy, Tootsie, Little Elmo and Ginger

Jitter stayed home with his mama. He is my sweet little prize

Marci was a wonderful mother, she took good care of her babies and missed them terribly when they left. ~me too~

There are  many pictures of these babies, they were each one so special. I used one of the Kiddie Pools for their play pen. It was great, they had lots of room to play  and couldn’t get out to roam around and get in trouble. Marci could jump in and nurse them and take care of them, then get out and take a rest without having five little crawly things all over her. I took them out  two at a time to hold in my lap and tell them the story of their life and how much I loved them. We talked a lot. Dan held each one of them every day. Lots of people came to see them, even relatives from Dallas.These  are some of my favorite pictures.

jitter Joe McWhorter

Jitter Joe loves everybody, he is smart, he is gorgeous and he is my sweet prize~there are just not enough words~

 

Tootsie Pfluger is a beautiful little show girl, her mama loves her terribly.She goes to help her Papa feed. She is a real sweetheart~she comes to play with Jitter Joe.

 

Ginger and Little Elmo. Ginger lives in a home out of Christoval with the chickies and 3 peacocks. Anna adores her and Paul tolerates her, She is precious. Little Elmo passed away last summer after a bout with food poisoning. It was heartbreaking for all of us. He was a beautiful member of the family for over 9 years.

Miss Daisy Maisy Craven, the girl with the long flowing hair, she is an East Texas beauty and gets lots of loving. She is happy, her smile says it all~

This has been  my favorite blog to put together. It has been wonderful going through all the pictures and remembering all of these sweet times. I hope you like it too~

Deer Hunt in Culberson County

This group of men were showing off their trophy mule deer from a successful hunt on the ranch in Culberson County. The picture was taken  in 1946  by H. H. Wells of the San Angelo Standard Times.

pictured: “Goodbye” (the cook), Grady Madison, Willie Whitten, Jack Whitten, Sam Calhoun, Morris Whitten, and Dick Nasworth. There was probably one more deer which was used for camp meat~

This ranch up in the Delaware Mountains has been in the family for almost a hundred years and enjoyed by family and friends for all that time. It is one of the prettiest places in Texas and has a rim with a grand view of Guadeloupe Peak and another of the valley where you can see for a hundred miles. I like this picture, the men were all dressed nicely, back in that time if they went to town, they dressed up. They were truly Texas gentlemen. You notice the neat shoes and the high-heeled boots. (Good hats and good boots). I remember Uncle Will always wore a tie, even when he and Aunt Lummie were just dropping in for a visit. My nephew Earl Calhoun sent me this picture and I am thankful for this little bit of history to add to my blog.

Downton Abby

this series has many actors, many stories, everything all tied in together, it is truly a masterpiece

A nice Christmas surprise this year was the DVD new PBS season of Downton Abby. My kids know how much I like British Masterpiece Classics and this one is the best of all. It has been a thrill from the first minute. I was going to just watch one episode a day so they would last for a while but that is hard, today I watched the same one twice to try to get control of myself. Not only is the setting beautiful, the Abby is a huge mansion with grand furnishings that I could only dream about, and here I am invited inside and to get to know the people who live and work there. The story is rich with twists, turns and surprises. The great thing about the English, they take time to let each character develop. They keep you spellbound, they are the best of all actors. Pride and Prejudice was my favorite but this one tops it. Another favorite was the Doc Martin series.( Also the old Fawlty Towers). I know I can go back and enjoy it again and again. I have watched the first four series several times, it is like a favorite song, you never get tired of  it~

I have always loved the British Masterpiece Classics, they know how to tell a story, you never want them to end~