Meet Bob, he is big, he is gentle, he is beautiful, he is a Texas Longhorn Steer. Their horns can extend up to seven feet. They were highly prized in the old days for their ability to survive on the open range with little care. Many people who keep them now days do so for their historical value and just the pride of ownership. Longhorns are important to Texans just as the bluebonnets are. They deocrate the pastures but especially the state parks and the Hill Country. People are fascinated by them. Schools name their teams for them, the University of Texas has always had one (Bevo) as their mascot. They are a great subject for Texas artists. Longhorns are our connection to the Old American West. If you ever have the chance to stand beside one, you will be overwhelmed by it’s size, they are enormous. If you want to own one, you will need a good fence!
A few pictures from the Lively ranch in Schleicher County. (thank you Frankie for the great pictures).
Almost anything that has to do with ‘ranch’ ends with ‘ing’. The list is long but here goes; lambing, kidding, calving, marking, drenching, dipping, tagging, shoeing, shearing, feeding, penning, improving, moving, counting, doctoring, hauling, worrying, banking, celebrating, fixing (water gaps, fences, roads, flat tires), control burning, checking the rain gage, sometimes this is the best of all~
Ranchers are most highly regarded for their hard work, dedication to improving and preserving the land, and holding onto it for generations. (I learned so many interesting things about ranching from my friend Pat who fell into the business when she married a rancher 59 years ago). Country life is the best life in Texas~
Years ago a good friend introduced me to this delightful cake She was a great cook and had many old recipes. She said this recipe made “one to eat, one to share, and one to keep for later”. Dan and I spent great times with the Mann’s, they were an older couple who liked to ride more than drive. We made lots of day trips to the Hill Country. Mr. Bart and Dan both smoked a pipe and were happy to sit on the benches outside while Mrs. Mann and I shopped in the antique stores. She liked water tumblers and I liked everything. If you try this recipe, you will be surprised. It is wonderful!
APRICOT LOAF CAKE
11 oz.package of dried apricots (cut up and soak in warm water for 30 minutes,drain)
2 cups sugar
4 T. Shortening
½ cup water
1 cup orange juice
4 cups flour, sift before measuring
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
½ cup chopped pecans
Line bottoms of 3 loaf pans with wax paper, spray with Pam, and pour in cake batter. Bake 55 minutes at 350 degrees or until done. Cool slightly, remove wax paper and put cakes back in pans. Dribble a mixture of 3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup of orange juice over tops of warm cakes.
When it was time to come home, a driver was recommended who owned a new Nissan Pathfinder with seating for seven. Since it would be an 8 hour trip on a terrible road to Nairobi and the airport, we wanted to be comfortable. Perfect, “come pick us up at 8:00 sharp”. When they said our ride was there, I saw the ‘ride’ and thought maybe it was a taxi to take us to the real ride. This was just a little bitty blue car, nice and new but little bitty! Since Stephen came and picked two of us up from Elizabeth’s house first, I got the best seat. He loaded our two big bags and two carry-on’s. He had to lay the extra back seat down to make room but he got ours in, then we went to pick up Benton, Lisa and Abbie.
They were waiting with their three large suitcases, three carry-on’s and various purses and sacks of snacks. I just sat in my chosen seat and let them worry about how all that stuff was going to fit.
It took a while, our bags came out and went onto the roof carrier, their bags went in and then out again and added to the roof carrier. Those on top were covered with a tarp and tied with lots of rope, and then the other bags were loaded into the back of the car and into that folded down 7th seat. But wait a minute, it wouldn’t fit! It was in and out, re-arranged and the hatch back still wouldn’t quite close so more attempts that didn’t work. Off came the tarp on top after untying all the knots in the rope, and some more luggage was piled up there. It was a tight fit and I worried that my little honey pot or zebra might get damaged. Finally everything got loaded and now for the people and the driver. We had over a thousand pounds of humans, I thought some more about those small sized tires on that car. They looked more like lawn mower tires~
We made it to Nairobi after only three stops, one at the equator for a few pictures, a stop at the look-out at Rift Valley, and Stephen was nice to stop so I could get a pictures of a herd of zebras.
It turned out to be a good day but it was hard leaving Elizabeth. Goodbye’s always hurt~ I was also leaving part of heart in this beautiful country.
God’s Richest Blessings on all of those beautiful people who touched our lives and made us realize what is most important, God Bless this unbelievable country~
This was a picture in the car going from Nairobi to Kitale, the traffic was heavy, the road narrow and full of pot holes, no center stripe, and from my spot in the back seat, it looked like every car or truck was going to hit us. Here we were behind a big truck and there was a Mercedes truck coming toward us and a long line of bumper to bumper cars behind us. Add to this was the people walking beside the road, the motor scooters and bicycles, even donkey carts. It was hard to get used to the steering wheel on the right, every time the one in the front passengers’ seat turned around to talk to me, I kept thinking he was the driver and almost yelled at him to watch the road! The good thing is that drivers are polite to each other, they see someone getting squeezed in and they slow down or even stop. Even in all that traffic, the patrolmen stop cars every 40 miles or so to check that everyone is buckled in, they have bars with spikes they lay across the two lanes so you have to stop. Sometimes they put them at an angle so you can just drive around them. At every tiny town, there are speed bumps, they mean to slow traffic to a crawl, you slow down or scrape bottom. There are no speed limits posted, everyone just goes around 40 miles an hour or slower. Where there isn’t a huge pot hole, the road looks smooth but it is like a wash board. It jars your teeth and pops your neck. This is on an 8 hour ride from Nairobi to Kitale, part of the way was after dark, it was a little scary, and I am not ever scared about anything. Elizabeth told me the Lord was with us and I didn’t need to worry~she was right, we made it fine~
There are shops all over Kitale, if you want produce you will need to find a different store for each item. The egg place sells eggs, it is usually right beside several other egg places. The eggs we bought were always fresh and the shells were hard, no cracked eggs~then the meat market might be by the tattoo parlor, barber shop, or even beside the choo (public toilet).
Since there are few if any refrigerators, ice boxes, or even ice, everything needs to be bought daily and in small quantities. There was a place that sold dry beans, seeds and maize. They had big sacks with the tops rolled open to scoop the grain out and weigh it. That day there was a roaming street chicken in one of the sacks, scratching and eating, she had found the meal of a lifetime. The store owner didn’t even shoo her away, he just kept sweeping the sidewalk. I shivered and kept walking.
This next little shop was on the street near Mili Mani, the man carried a variety of things from eggs, to batteries, phone minutes, sugar cane, jars of nuts and soda pops. (I wondered about tobacco, I never saw anyone smoking the whole time we were there).
These are just some pictures for you to look at today. I hope you enjoy them.
There is a little village close to the Children’s Rescue Centre called Mali Saba, that has a few shops, churches, and houses. It is more like a big circle of open space with all the business around the outside. There were big trucks filled with corn that was being dried and cleaned.
There were a lot of children there and here are some of their pictures.
If we stopped to visit with them, they were shy at first because we were those strange looking people, but soon there would be a bunch of them crowding around. After we took one picture and they saw themselves on the camera screen, they all wanted to be in the pictures.
Martin Manside’s church was located here so we spent some time in this place.
A few more pictures from my album, it is hard not to show every single one, they were all so special to me. These are the fun pictures.
One of the things I loved about the trip was getting to be a child again and play the games I played when I was a growing up.
We didn’t have toys back then, no multi-color playground equipment, no fancy play houses with kitchens, easy-bake ovens, or have a pink Barbie convertible parked out front. We played the same old timey games these children at the orphanage were playing. They don’t have fancy toys either and I hope they never will. I can’t imagine any of them ever saying, ‘I’m bored’. Their only toy was a soccer ball and a jump rope.
There was a lot of dancing, singing, running races, chasing, and laughing, and at the same time, they were sweet to each other. I can’t ever remember so much energy, I think all of our group played harder than we had in a long time.
Today I want to show more pictures from Children’s Rescue Centre.
These faces are embedded in my mind and it does something to my heart to look at them.
Every child was special, they each had personalities different for the others, some were even little characters, they were funny and entertaining and loving.
It was like going to a party every day where everyone was nice. The boys danced too, when they did the big circle dance, the one in the center did the kicks and threw the grass but they also rolled their eyes back in their heads until you could only see the whites of their eyes. It was hilarious! Everyone laughed, this was the best part.
This was the day all the kids got to go shopping for clothes and it took a long time for them to each choose four outfits.
When we were done, we went for ice cream at Transmatt. None of them had ever had ice cream before, they didn’t know cold and they didn’t know sweet, we had to show them how to eat it.
One of the little girls dropped hers onto the floor first thing. I borrowed a spoonful from the others and piled her cone up again.
This was a wonderful day. We got them back home without losing anybody. They will be remembering ice cream and maybe be able to enjoy it again sometime.
The next day, they were wearing their new clothes, topped it off with their new jackets with hoodies, even though it was warm and balmy outside.
More pictures from Kitale. One of the surprises is when you walk down the roads, they are lined with huge lantanna hedges or tall fences that are made from black wooden logs that have been split.
There will be an entrance with a gate but most of the time the gate is just corrugated metal doors, large enough for a car to drive through. There is a guard house inside and if you rap on the door, someone appears.
Inside there will be a beautiful compound with several nice stucco homes that have red metal tile roofs. The yards are landscaped, there are courtyards, patios, thatched roof huts and interesting paths.
There are some are mansions with ornate iron gates and impressive grounds.
While walking down Mili mani we passed a museum, a country club, a private girls school and more compounds. It was a beautiful 35 minute walk to town. Here is a couple from our group on their way home, it gets dark here every evening at 7:00.