Angelo State University Folk Festival

 

this is a special photograph for me, sitting behind me were my mother Elizabeth Elder and my little cousin Carroll Morgan, both flew away to heaven within a year~

I was invited to exhibit and demonstrate oil painting at the ASU Folk Festival in February of 1973. I met a lot of people and also saw many familiar faces. I liked the demonstrations, everyone was happy and full of chatter, they enjoyed watching and many of them were also painters. I had my miniature covered wagon and all the little rooms on display so if anyone wasn’t interested in painting, they liked to look at the little things. The famous wood carver, Gene Zesch was also exhibiting his wonderful carvings, he carves old cowboys and anything to do with ranch life, with much skill and unbelievable humor.  I was in good company that day, it is a sweet memory for me~

Miss Piggy and Kermit

she looked pretty happy with him today, it was either lavishing him with kisses or throwing him across the room

When I bought Miss Piggy and Kermit in 1977, she was a hand puppet. She had a big vinyl hollow head, (no body) and the famous elbow length lavender gloves with matching dress.  I had planned from the start to make her into a doll. I made her a soft body, she felt cuddly and nice to hold.

it was fun making the shoes, they were pretty tall wedges.

 

I carved some platform wedge sandals and added satin straps. (They are in style now) Then I made her a long formal satin evening jacket.

A girl likes some bling

Of course she needed jewels so she had  several stands of pearls, a pearl and gold filigree broach and a tiara for her hair.

here he is in his tux, his character seemed to be a happy go lucky guy

 

 

Kermit was just a green frog so I made him a Tuxedo with a pleated shirt, pearl buttons and a cummerbund. I knew it would be what Miss Piggy would want. These two characters have lived at my house, and lived in Sonora, then San Angelo and finally are back with me. (They were Christmas presents that we passed back and forth). They are both in perfect shape, even after 35 years.  We watched the Muppet Shows on TV for several years~ Miss Piggy and Kermit were our favorite characters. I loved those shows. Jim Henson, the famous puppeteer who created the Muppets died in 1990 at age 53.

Wild Turkeys

the mother turkey and one of her babies sitting on the bird bath, I hang the hose in the tree and let the water drip

here is one of the mothers of the two mothers who came this week, they will keep coming back for the food and water~

 

all kinds of birds like the bird bath. Last year a deer laid her head in the water to cool off~

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.

Spaying and Neutering Pets

Getting a dog spayed is what a responsible person does. The world doesn’t need two litters of puppies from their dog every year to add to the pet population. So many precious dogs end up in the pound and don’t find a home. Most of our pets have either come from the pound or were abandoned on our road.

this was the day after Spook got fixed, she was in pain and miserable, I felt terrible for her, it made me cry~

This is Spook, I have written about her before because she was such a fine little dog, she made me happy for almost 19 years. The day we found her on the Mertzon road was in early 1980. The following week I took her to Sonora to have her fixed. It was a horrible experience, she was miserable for several days, she was in so much pain. 

Spook turned into the sweetest and happiest little dog ever, she was the perfect one

She recovered and didn’t seem to dwell on her first days at her new home. Later, when we took our dogs  to have them fixed, the procedure was easy and they didn’t seem to suffer any pain.

Schatzie was a baby girl from the pound, she helped drive home after her surgery

 

(Dan and Debbie had Schatzie fixed at Ronnie’s and she sat up in his lap going home and helped him drive the pickup, same with Kobi, he helped with the driving.) 

 

 

here is Kobi with Missy, he was straight out of the pound that day, what a little prize!

the only trama with Jitter Joe was my fault, I am so so sorry Sweetie~

Now with Jitter Joe, it was 11 years ago and I had an appointment with Ronnie to get him fixed and decided to ‘shave’ him myself because he was used to me and didn’t mind me grooming or working on him. In a little while, he started scooting on the carpet and licking himself and I saw that he was all red and irritated where I had done my thing. It got so bad, I called Ronnie’s office to see what I should do and they said to put antibiotic cream on him. Poor baby! I took him the next day to get fixed and they were rolling their eyes up there, inside his whole hindquarter, shaved slick. When I brought him home, I saw that they only had to make a tiny half inch incision in his abdomen and all the shaving I had done was for nothing. Anyway, the good thing is that spaying and neutering doesn’t cause our pets any distress, they are just a little sleepy  afterwards. At church the next Sunday, Scott McGregor told me he had heard the story about ‘my dog’~  word got around~  

Guard Llamas

this is the safest and easiest way to shear a llama, they are gentle but don’t like to be fooled with.

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.

here, Cole and Megan are sacking up the hair~ one llama done, one to go~

 

Madam Alexander Baby Doll

what a sweet little baby doll, just the right size for a little girl to be a ‘mama’ to
~

I am showing you another Madam Alexander doll, this one has a story behind her. After Christmas in about 1968, I found a mangled baby doll in the street near Mother’s house. I am sure a dog had had a field day with it, the whole body was in shreds and only parts of it’s dress were left, but there was still a perfect little head and hands and feet. I thought it must have been a doll a little girl had received for Christmas. It was a Madam Alexander so it had been a fine doll. I knocked on doors, left notes and ran an ad in the paper. No one called me. I kept her for several months and then decided to try and restore her. I made her a new body, all soft and limber like a real baby. Then I made a sweet ecru eyelet dress and bonnet , petticoat and panties. Her feet were so cute, I didn’t bother with finding new shoes.  She has been to every tea party that has gone on around here since then, she has been rocked and well loved, but still looks brand new. Everything we have needs to be played with and enjoyed and not just put away for safe keeping. (all the time we still keep an eye out to protect them from harm).  These things take on a real life when they make memories along the way. I love this little doll. I love the little doll who played with her~ 

I always wondered where she came from and what the story was, I am happy to have found her though, she has been a treasure

Fitness and Fun

there are stair climbers and treadmills, bicycles, and machines for upper body strength

One December morning it was wet and cold and I was getting my exercise, doing my usual jogging/walking down the road, not too bad until I turned around and started home facing the wind. There was a little sleet hitting my face and my hands were cold.  Before I got back home I decided I could go to the wellness center and sign up for a month or two and try that, and ended up going every day for 4 years.  I went for 45 minutes, the temperature was always just right.  I could close my eyes and plan my day, it was perfect. 

This room is for weight training and the zumba dancing, they get pretty noisy in here~

They also have Zumba classes and I tried those a couple of times, even bought me one of those blingy things you tie around your hips. It was an hour of intense exercise~ the best part was the last five minutes when the lights went down low and we swayed to the sweet sound of Amazing Grace. Anyway, I didn’t feel too good the next day so I gave my blingie away and stuck with the treadmill. Now, I just walk down my road to get exercise.  

running hard, jogging, walking, you pick your speed.

This is more intense than the treadmill, it makes you huff and puff~

 

Creamy Cilantro Soup

this is a delicious and satisfying meal~and you don’t feel like you ‘ate the cow’~

Soup is good any day of the year, it is a light but filling. This one is Debbie’s wonderful Creamy Cilantro Soup. It is a good summer time meal, she sometimes brings soup for  dinner when they come for church on Sundays. I make the dessert, Tricia brings the cantaloupe  and Debbie bakes the corn bread just before we eat.  A lovely meal with our family. Sometimes there are four of us, sometimes seven or eight, but always a great meal and time to get together once a week. Most of the meals I have been posting on my blog are our Sunday dinners. We treasure these times together~

                    Cream of Cilantro Soup
                         Debbie McWhorter
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 32 oz packaged fat free chicken broth-divided
2 T butter
2 T flour
8 oz package fat free cream cheese
8 oz container light sour cream (save some for garnish)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Remove stems from cilantro and chop
Process cilantro and 1 cup chicken broth
in food processor or blender
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat,
stir in flour. Gradually add remaining 3 cups
broth, stiring constantly until it is smooth. Boil
for one minute. Stir in cilantro mixture, cream
cheese and next 5 ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs and a spoon full of sour cream.

  Are you still there? I need to tell you my story about the soup. I have a new blender and filled it pretty full  with the soup, put the lid on TIGHT, turned on the pulse switch and it blew the lid off, blew soup all over the kitchen, under the upper cabinets, the cabinet doors were open so it even filled up the bowl on the shelf where I keep my vitamins. There was just enough soup left to take a picture for the blog. Don’t you do this!   I sat down and enjoyed the soup and left the mess for ‘Rita’ to clean up later~                 

New Pet Dorper Sheep

Pet chickens, the flock has grown to over 40, peacocks have gone down from 21 to 3, they were too noisy for the neighborhood, and now the four new Dorper sheep have been added to the the family. They will be expected to mow almost 10 acres of pasture grass~It is a lively and happy place. (just watch where you step, they all love the front porch)

These girls came to stare at us through the windows during Bible Study Friday night. It was something like the movie 'Babe'. I kept feeling like they were whispering to each other, "I don't know, I think it has something to do with getting dunked in the water trough"..

These girls came to stare at us through the windows during Bible Study Friday night. It was something like the movie ‘Babe’. I kept feeling like they were whispering to each other, “I don’t know, I think it has something to do with getting dunked in the water trough”..

Restoration Projects

Last summer I had some projects that needed to be done. They took several weeks, the signs were some I carved years ago and the paint was blistering and peeling, the gold leafing was suffering. I also restored the duck house. Here are pictures of that project before and after. The bigger the job, the greater reward! I also added a couple of pictures of Sharon Mittel’s grand kids when they were little to show the duck house back then.

scraping, striping, sanding several times over several weeks time. Until you get past the half way mark, you keep thinking, 'I don't have to do this, I can quit and find an easier project'~

scraping, striping, sanding several times over several weeks time. Until you get past the half way mark, you keep thinking, ‘I don’t have to do this, I can quit and find an easier project’~

priming, then painting with green marine grade paint, drying and painting another coat. Then painting sizing inside the carved letters, let that dry and start the gold leafing. Anywhere the gold touches the sizing, it sticks so you have to be careful and only paint the sizing where you want it to be forever.

priming, then painting with green marine grade paint, drying and painting another coat. Then painting sizing inside the carved letters, let that dry and start the gold leafing. Anywhere the gold touches the sizing, it sticks so you have to be careful and only paint the sizing where you want it to be forever.

Putting the sign back up was the fun part until I was swallowed up in a cloud of gnats. They were the biting kind. When I was digging the post holes 23 years ago, I had to dig 4 because the second one hit a rock so I had to move it over and then over again. They are cemented in and I don't ever plan to dig another post hole~NOT NEVER~

Putting the sign back up was the fun part until I was swallowed up in a cloud of gnats. They were the biting kind. When I was digging the post holes years ago, I had to dig 4 because the second one hit a rock so I had to move it over and then over again. They are cemented in and I don’t ever plan to dig another post hole~NOT NEVER~

  Since the sizing stays tacky for a couple of hours, you only want to paint it on as much as you are able to finish in that time. I finished one half of the sign before starting the other half


Since the sizing stays tacky for a couple of hours, you only want to paint it on as much as you are able to finish in that time. I finished one half of the sign before starting the other half

After putting the silver leaf on the lettering, you brush away the edges and clean it up.

The CAMP ROCK sign goes over the gate going into the place across the driveway. It was ready to be thrown away it was so bad but now it will be good for a while longer.

The CAMP ROCK sign goes over the gate going into the place across the driveway. It was ready to be thrown away it was so bad but now it will be good for a while longer.

The CAMP ROCK sign goes over the gate going into the place across the driveway. It was ready to be thrown away it was so bad but now it will be good for a while longer. Finished and hanging. I am working on a grapevine wreath to hang where the old one hangs. It will have a little bird house in the center. I found a surprise in the old bird house this morning, it had a big lively yellow jacket nest inside.

 Finished and hanging. I am working on a grapevine wreath to hang where the old one was. It will have a little bird house in the center. I found a surprise in the old bird house this morning, it had a big lively yellow jacket nest inside.

This is a little duck house I built with left over lumber after we built our house in 1974. It was home for our two pet Mallard ducks, Stanley and Rose Olive and our four guineas. They all slept out there every night for 8 years.  Three months ago this is what the duck house looked like while I was trying to restore it. It had to be sanded, striped, and calked, then primed and painted. I made the windows and shutters out of cement board this time and they should last forever

This is a little duck house I built with left over lumber after we built our house in 1974. It was home for our two pet Mallard ducks, Stanley and Rose Olive and our four guineas. They all slept out there every night for 8 years.
Three months ago this is what the duck house looked like while I was trying to restore it. It had to be sanded, striped, and calked, then primed and painted. I made the windows and shutters out of cement board this time and they should last forever.

This job took me about 2 months to finish, I was dragging my feet because I couldn't make the calk come out of the calk gun, it needed a stronger hand than mine.

This job took me about 2 months to finish, I was dragging my feet because I couldn’t make the calk come out of the calk gun, it needed a stronger hand than mine.

 took this picture today. I am happy to have it finished and looking new again. Steve Gaines came and built me a cement landing so it wouldn't sit on the dirt, we were amazed that it didn't have any termites after 39 years sitting on the ground.

took this picture today. I am happy to have it finished and looking new again. Steve Gaines came and built me a cement landing so it wouldn’t sit on the dirt, we were amazed that it didn’t have any termites after 40 years sitting on the ground.

  Here we are with the Mittel grand kids. Caroline Mittel, Andy Mayfield, Madeline Mittel, Abby Mayfieldand Missy. I love those kids, they called me Mossy and Dan was 'Uncle Granddad" (of all things!) This was 15 or so years ago.


Here we are with the Mittel grand kids. Caroline Mittel, Andy Mayfield, Madeline Mittel, Abby Mayfield and Missy. I love those kids, they called me Mossy and Dan was ‘Uncle Granddad” (of all things!) This was 15 or so years ago.

That is Andy inside~and yes they all fit~

That is Andy inside~and yes they all fit~

Family Dinners

this is one of Debbie’s fabulous dinners, she always makes enough for everyone to take plates home for the next day

Debbie is a wonderful cook, I am always amazed at the size of her bowl of potato salad. She fixes special dinners for our family, she has Christmas Eve supper, then the big Christmas dinner, and the 4th of July get together. Anna does Easter and other special dinners throughout the year. I mostly cook Sunday dinners after church. Anyway, we are ”sit down at the table together people”. Today I thought I would show you one of our meals at Dan’s and Debbie’s. Elizabeth was getting ready to go back to Africa so this was a goodbye party too. There were 10 of us there. Debbie had smoked a pulled pork all night, and cooked all good things to go with it. This is just one of her usual company meals. She can put it all together, we eat on time and sit down to a beautiful table.

all kinds of desserts, something good with coffee later

I brought the pies, Stacy brought a cake, Tricia had the cantaloupe, Anna brought things out of the green house. No matter who is cooking the meal, we always have homemade hot rolls, lots of them. There is music later, Tricia plays the piano, Mark brings his guitar and sings to us and  sometimes I do my Mexican songs. What fun. When the boys are sitting on the patio later, they remember Daddy, this was his favorite time, a good meal and then to smoke his cigar and visit with the boys~

Kendall Art Gallery

this was a large 24×36 landscape I painted during a demonstration, at first people are quiet but soon the hush goes away and there is lively conversation and comments. Quiet makes me nervous, I like the happy chit chat~

This is another painting I did years ago while demonstrating. This time at the Kendall Art Gallery in San Angelo, their first membership meeting of the year. There were 60 artist present that evening. This is a scene out of my head, no real place. Someone wanted to see how I painted rocks and then a cactus. Again, I was painting wet on wet paint, not something I like to do. There needs to be a drying time in there so the detail goes on just right. Later at home, when the paint was dry, I went back and was able to finish it up. The gallery has so many beautiful paintings in all mediums. There is unbelievable talent in this part of West Texas. They have several special art shows throughout the year. The gallery is over near the City Auditorium, go by and see it.