Peanut Butter Cookies

these are good with milk or coffee, and great to take in the car with a sack of cut up apples. Peanut butter and oatmeal cookies are my favorites~

Peanut butter cookies are easy to make, you can double the recipe and share them or put them the freezer. I used to take these to the Road Lizard Races, no one wanted to eat before a race but were needing food afterwards. That was a time to visit and cool down, and of course eat cookies.  They are good to take on a trip, better than filling up with junk food when you stop to get gas. I always have them with sliced apples, they go great together. I make mine with Jif Chunky Peanut Butter.

We are fixing to have over 300 young people and sponsors early this summer come and do work projects and Bible Study. They are called M Pact. We will be needing lots of food. I am on the cookie list so have already started baking. Mine will be mostly Peanut Butter Cookies ~ easy, delicious and everyone likes them. Two recipes a day and I can have 50 dozen in no time. 

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c chunky peanut butter
1/2 c shortening
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 c flour
2 tsp soda
Cream peanut butter and shortening together,
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add beaten eggs. Sift flour and soda together,
add to mixture and mix well. Take a heaping
teaspoon full of dough, form a ball, lay on cookie
sheet and press top down with a fork, twice to make a “#”
Makes about 4 dozen.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees, don’t
over bake them, you want them chewy. Remove
with spatula and let cool on counter. 

Buttermilk and Domino Update

Here is Buttermilk working on redecorating her bed~

Here is Buttermilk working on redecorating her bed~

I showed a blog a few days ago about Buttermilk and the boxes I had given her after hearing that cats loved boxes. She worked on this one for quite a while and it looks like she has finished the project, three beds, two cats. Such talent~
She seems to have gotten it just right, plenty of room without crowding~

She seems to have gotten it just right, plenty of room without crowding

Now she and Domino can sleep together in solid comfort.

 

Dorper Sheep

 

 

Here they are greeting everyone on the front porch. They are friendly and curious.

Here they are greeting everyone on the front porch. They are friendly and curious.

Anna decided she had too much free time on her hands and since she loves animals (and she had seen the movie Babe), she  knew how to communicate with them. What caught her eye were the beautiful Dorper sheep, she could imagine them on the 10 acres of green grass around the house, they could keep it mowed and the trees trimmed. She had the 50 pet chickies and 3 peacocks so adding four sheep would be easy.  It was a sight to see, Dorper sheep are pure white, they show up beautifully against the green pasture. They stayed right together and enjoyed the orchard and the big round bales of hay.
It only took a couple of days for them to find their favorite hang out, the front porch.

It only took a couple of days for them to find their favorite hang out, the front porch.

Most of all they liked the big front porch. It was fascinating for them to look in the windows and the big double doors and see what was going on inside. They spent a lot of time in this favorite spot, sort of like a lounge/restroom. (more like a cow lot) They loved to rub on the rock walls and screen doors and posts, and fences  and tree trunks. Since they don’t have to be sheared, they take care of all that hair by rubbing it off. After six months, enough was enough, they needed to go back out to Clyde’s place. It took two weeks and two loads and three men to move them, they knew something was going on and refused to get in the trailer. But they are back where they came from now and I am sure they will be happy. They are ewes so will spend their lives raising fine babies. I have a feeling they have been telling all the other sheep about their stay at the place up on the hill at Christoval where they had fresh alfalfa that was grown for them in the green house and huge sacks of cabbage on Fridays from the Airport Cafe. Oh and one more surprise, they are all four expecting babies~ To know them was to love them~

Belgian Sheepdog

Spook was a fine dog, wherever the boys went, he was right there with them. He had a great life ~ after starting out at the pound.

This is a picture of our two little boys and Big Spook in a field of wild flowers, it was in 1967. We lived over in the farm house and everything was running great. The boys had a nice tree house in the only mesquite there big enough to hold one. It had rails all the way around, it was painted the same color green as the trim on our house, and I put a safety net, which was fence wire strung underneath so if anyone fell out, it would save them. It had a  flag pole with the beautiful Texas flag flying every day. There were barns, a silo, storm cellar, and plenty of room to play. One day, Daddy came home in his little green Volkswagen and in the back seat was this huge black dog. He had been to the pound in San Angelo and adopted a ‘guard dog’. When he opened the door, out it came, running our four kitties up on top of the carport. (one kitty lost a tail that day but recovered). It took me three days to get over being mad. He was a Belgian Sheepdog and we named him Spook, ( a name we later gave another of our wonderful dogs). He spent summers on the river at Christoval with us. He was so smart, he knew the difference between ball, bowl and bone, he brought which ever one we sent him after. He had a red life jacket, sat in the boat, waiting for someone to take him for a ride, and had a big inner tube to float around on. We had some  great old times with him. All of our dogs have been special, like they are our children~

Texas’ Delaware Mountains

 

Culberson County Ranch

This is a remote place in Culberson County, Texas, rugged and unspoiled, I have painted several pictures with Guadalupe Peak in them~

This is a picture of  the ranch in the Delaware Mountains in far West Texas. It is 70 miles from Van Horn so is about as remote as it gets. You see Guadalupe Peak  in the background, the highest point in Texas at 8,751 ft. It is a magical place, the ranch has been in the family for around a hundred years. One day Dan’s Grandpa Pelt was in the coffee shop at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio when he got to  visiting with a man sitting there and they started talking about their ‘white elephants’. Grandpa had property in the Valley near Edinburg and the other man had a large ranch in Culberson County. When they were finished  that day, they had made a a trade for each other’s land, sight unseen. Back in those days, deals were struck like this all the time. The ranch has been  wonderful for 5 generations  to enjoy.   It is a favorite family hunting place with big mule deer, antelope, and every kind of wild life. The first time I saw it, it took my breath away, coming up to  the rim and seeing for a hundred miles, it was like the Grand Canyon of Texas. Thank you Grandpa, sweet trade~

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

Dr. Bob~University of Texas

he was ‘Dr. Bob’ to all who knew him~ from presidents~ to a list that went on and on

Today’s blog is one I enjoyed posting. This was my great uncle Bob, Granddad Montgomery’s younger brother. He popped in and out of our lives when I was growing up and was quite a character. He had fly away hair, a big nose, big ears and a big smile. His wife Gladys was beautiful and vivacious, and always carried a tiny dog in her arms. We loved for them to visit, they were special and he had so many good stories.  One of my favorites was when a dignitary with the Government of India  gave Uncle Bob a beautiful hunting knife made of rosewood, inlaid with silver.  While hunting, Uncle Bob shot a deer and ran to cut it’s throat. Only stunned, the deer jumped up and ran off with his knife. He never found the deer or the knife. When I was at UT, I went by his office every week to say hello and talk a minute, always feeling welcome and leaving happy. You can read the story of his full and interesting life:   

  MONTGOMERY, ROBERT HARGROVE (1893–1978). Robert H. Montgomery, University of Texas economics professor, was born January 8, 1893, in Blanco County, Texas. He was the son of Charles G. and Georgia Montgomery who lived later in Menard County. He enrolled at Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University–San Marcos), but dropped out of college during World War I to serve as an aviator in the U.S. Army. In 1923 he commenced a life-long marriage with Gladys Rupp. He attended the University of Kansas where he earned a B.A. degree, the University of Texas where he received an M.A. degree, and the Robert Brookings Graduate School in Washington, D.C. where in 1926 he was awarded a Ph.D. In 1922 Montgomery began teaching in the Department of Economics at the University of Texas where he rose to the rank of Professor of Economics and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1963. On various occasions he took leave to teach at the University of Kansas, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburgh, and to serve in the national administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in one instance, helping carry out relief programs of the New Deal.

In his long professorial career at the University, Montgomery taught a variety of courses, such as Agricultural Economics, Public Utility Economics, Corporation Finance, and Social Control of Industry, courses that attracted thousands of students who were fascinated by his colorful lectures and amused by his anecdotes and aphorisms. His reputation as a charismatic speaker earned him invitations to speak at conventions and other professional organization meetings across the United States. A liberal Democrat, he complained about the “colonial” status of Texas where large resources and industrial operations were controlled by “foreign” corporations in New York, and he advocated governmental regulation of industry, positions that won him the admiration of Texas New Dealers and the condemnation of conservatives in the Texas legislature and the University Board of Regents. Accused of teaching communism, Montgomery was called before an investigating committee of the state legislature in 1948 and asked if he belonged to any radical organizations. He answered famously, yes, that he belonged to the two most radical organizations in existence, “the Methodist Church and the Democratic Party.”

Montgomery’s publications included The Cooperative Pattern in Cotton (1929) and The Brimstone Game: Monopoly in Action (1949), as well as articles about the government ownership and control of railroads and electric utilities in The Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science. During World War II, he served with the Economic Objectives Division, Board of Economic Warfare of the Foreign Economic Administration, where he helped select bombing targets in enemy territories. When he learned that American air forces had dropped atomic bombs on Japan, he reacted swiftly and famously, saying “Since there will be no more war; or only one more, I shall resign. We now have our choice. We can have millennium or Armageddon.” After his retirement from the University faculty in 1963, Montgomery and his wife, Gladys, moved to San Marcos where they lived until his death on June 6, 1978.

Wild Turkeys in West Texas

 

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~

Model T Ford

Paul and Patrolman Don Thomas

Paul passed his driver’s test with a perfect score.

On March 24, 1924, Mr. E.L. Hoover bought this new Model T Ford Roadster from Watkins-Inks Motor Co in Llano, Texas and paid $346.70 (filled up). Years later, in the early 50’s, Bob McWhorter bought it from him and completely restored it. He enjoyed taking kids for rides, showing it off in parades or just driving it to the drug store for coffee.  He had two Model T Ford cars and later gave one to each of two nephews, Dan and Paul McWhorter. The boys loved their cars and took great care of them. When Paul was 16 years old, he was going to take the test for his Texas Driver’s License and asked the patrolman Don Thomas, if he could use  his old car. Mr. Thomas said, “sure thing! I have never ridden in a 54 year old car”, so off they went! Paul passed with a perfect score. Several pictures were taken that day that ended up in the newspaper, and later in ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.’ It was the oldest car ever driven for a Texas Driver’s Test. (licenses were not required until 1936). The boys have had their special cars for over 35 years, they are parked in a fine barn near Chirstoval behind Paul’s house. Getting the cars was one of their biggest thrills ever, and seeing the piece in Ripley’s was fun too. Nice surprise~

My Cats, Buttermilk and Domino

They took right to the new boxes, I knew cats liked paper bags but this was the big deal~

They took right to the new boxes, I knew cats liked paper bags but this was the big deal~

Debbie had a clip on her face book about all kinds of cats enjoying all kinds of boxes. I decided to see if Buttermilk and Domino would like a box of their own and found an Amazon box. They immediately loved in it, taking turns in it for three days, then one  morning, Buttermilk decided to redecorate it (too much HGTV). It was soon destroyed   but she was still liking it, her tools were simply teeth & claws.

Once she started working on it, she didn't stop until the sides were gone and only a flat bottom was left. Then they could both fit. Time to get another box to flip~

Once she started working on it, she didn’t stop until the sides were gone and only a flat bottom was left. Then they could both fit. Time to get another box to flip~

They went through about half a dozen boxes. It has warmed up so I have decided to move them outside, I made a bed for them in the garage but the rest of the day they can come and go as they please. It took Buttermilk a couple of days to accept her new bed and when I found her on it, I was feeling happy. Now Domino is up there with her. Successful move.

Sort of like a cat condo, he has a bed under hers but likes the big window.

Sort of like a cat condo, he has a bed under hers but likes the big window.

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. Their favorite spot is on the front porch standing on the rocking chair. They also enjoy seeing their reflection in the bumper on the truck, some pretty wild fights to on it there.

31′ Airstream Trailer

when we were 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. 

This trailer is about 290 sq. ft. and when I see the Tiny Homes programs they have on TV lately, I wonder why people would want one of those. They cost a lot and don’t have all the great built-ins a trailer has. The prices start around $40,000 for the smaller ones, just a little house built on wheels. Who would want to pull one of those down a busy highway!