Apple Pie

Today I am showing you a great dessert that we serve often.  

I like to cut strips of pie dough and lattice it over the top.

Apple Pie is one that everyone likes, it is good with a scoop of ice cream and coffee or milk. I took it from Elizabeth’s web site which she put together ten years ago and has been adding to ever since. She goes into great detail on each recipe, for those wanting step by step instructions, everything from Mexican Food to desserts. You can paste this address into your browser  if you like.
 Apple Pie

6 Granny Smith tart apples , peel and slice thin
1 c. sugar
3 T flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon (scant)
1/4 tsp salt
1 T vinegar
Put apple slices in a bowl and cover with water, then drain
Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl, add
apple slices and vinegar and mix really well
Pie Crust
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 T sugar
5 T butter
5 T shortening
6 to 8 T cold water
Mix dry ingredients, then cut shortening and butter in
with a pastry blender until it resembles course corn meal
Roll into ball and cool in refrigerator while you do the apples etc.
Divide dough in half, roll out one ball on floured wax paper on counter
Carefully lay it into pie pan. Add the apple mixture.
Roll out second ball and lay on top of apples in pie pan. Cut excess
dough from around edges of pan, leaving half an inch or so, then tuck this
under and crimp. Now put several thin pats of butter on top crust,
and sprinkle 2 T sugar over pie and a small dusting of cinnamon. Cut several vent holes in top crust. (If you like, you can cut strips of dough and weave a lattice across the top of the pie instead of using a solid top) Cut some strips of foil and lay around outer edge to keep it from getting too brown, the outside edges cooks the fastest.
Bake for 50 or 60 minutes in preheated 400 degree oven~

Mallard Duck

Stanley Duck

the real Stanley had a sister, Rose Olive, those names have been used for many of our pets

This is a carved mallard duck, his name is Stanley. He came in two large chunks of wood and I used a carpet knife to make him look like one of the two real pet ducks  I had for 8 years. It took me about 16 hours to do the work with the knife, then several days to paint him. By the time I finished, I was loving him just like the real Stanley. He is about 18 inches long~ life size. On the underside I wrote a note to remember what was going on with my family at that time and how old the boys were. (I have also written on the bottoms of drawers on my favorite furniture so I can recall the thrill of the day I got it and what time in our lives it happened, like a journal you could say). I got my two real  mallard ducks in 1976, when they were two days old, I built them a duck house, they had the water trough and a big yard. You never know how wonderful feathered pets can be until  you have had them. In the years since then, Debbie has had Katie Mae, Algeritta, Sarah Kate, and several others.(Sara Kate and Katie Mae were invited into the kitchen on Christmas Eve every year to enjoy a pint of fat earth worms from Wal Mart!) Anna has had the 21 peacocks and 7 pet chickies, there have been at least 8 parakeets through the years, most of them named Blue Boy. Birds make nice pets. They are beautiful and smart,  most of all, they love you back~

Miniature Old Fashioned Bedroom

The little bed is about 18″ long and made from dowel pins

Today is another re-run from a couple of years ago. I installed a new printer and since doing so, I have not been able to get my pictures from the memory card onto the computer so will have to rely on older blogs until I can find someone to put me back in business. When I first started the blog, not many people were clicking on it so it will be new to almost anyone who is checking it out today. As always, thank you for looking~

This is the guest bedroom. The bed is about 18″ long. The posters are  made from dowel pins and the solid pieces are mahogany. It sits in the corner of my bedroom. Once when Elizabeth Ann was two years old I was reading and heard her say “my bed’. When I looked up, she was sitting in the middle of it, patting the pillows and saying, ‘bed, my bed’.  I was sure it going to come cashing down~ but it held her. When she got up and went to get something, I put some books under the mattress to prop it up so there would be no weight on the tiny legs. It always made me happy when she liked the little things. All of my dogs have been on the that bed, they recognize what it is. Missy would take naps there and hang off  on three sides. I like little things. We all have that child side in us forever. Elizabeth’s 27 years old now. She is halfway around the world in Uganda, starting a wonderful new married life with John. I miss her. What a sweet and wonderful blessing she is. Love you ZZ!

Wheels in Africa

This one was carrying the driver, two riders, a child, and a lawn chair. If they needed room for one more, the driver would scoot up under the handlebars and make more room.

Today I am sharing with you my blog from 4 years ago.
There are several ways to get from one place to another in Kenya, walking is one of the most popular. There are bicycle rides for a small charge, or a ride on a pickie pickie (motor scooter) with a driver~ but four or more people can load onto one. Then there is the taxi which is expensive, and the matatu, a nine seated van which can be loaded with more than nine people with their bags and boxes tied on top. (One of these matatus was involved in an accident soon after midnight on New Years between Kitale and Eldoret, killing all eleven passengers, such a tragedy). There are also large buses like those in the US. The  pickie pickies are what many people use for transportation, lots of men in business suits, going to and from work. There can be several riders, women occasionally ride side saddle but most straddle the seat wearing skirts. I saw a blind man with a cane, paying a driver and his seeing eye dog had just hopped off. We saw people carrying babies and several family members at once, and the man with a goat on his back with it’s feet tied around his shoulders. The drivers are careful, there are lots of pot holes that they have to manuver around. My group rode two motor scooters down Mili Mani to where we were staying~just to say we did it.  Later when we were in a taxi,  in Nairobi, we were stuck in a traffic jam for a long time and the only things moving were the motor scooters. (I didn’t mind the traffic jam, I enjoyed looking at the beautiful and interesting buildings, it is a great city). 

Elizabeth and I rode together on this one. Out of respect for my age, the driver was careful and only drove 20 mph. It was fun~

Favorite Arm Chair


Favorite little chair

I have had the real chair recovered three times in 45 years. It is my special place to read the morning paper. This miniature is 8″ high. Yes, that is the Standard Times on the table~

This armchair is 8″ high and a copy of one in my living room that I have had for 45 years. We bought it from Bennett Brother’s of Chicago, a wholesale place that put out a wonderful catalog every year. They carried nice furniture, as well as jewelry and almost anything you could think of. The prices were ‘wholesale’. The miniature chair was easy to make, upholstered furniture didn’t take as much time to make as the wooden pieces. The lamp table was a copy of a real one I had. The books are a little block of wood, covered with pictures of books from a magazine, just cut out the  picture and fold it over the wood. One book is True Women by Janice Woods, I scanned the book jacket and then reduced it down to the right size for the miniatures. No matter how tiny these things are, you can recognize the covers and read the titles. It is the same with photographs, I scan, then reduced the size and frame them in something like an ear screw that  has the the stone taken out. Jewelry makes perfect little frames. This chair is like the one I sit in every morning to read the paper. I have said before  how much I enjoy the morning paper~if I am not liking the way a story is going, I just turn the page. The TV news turns into a loud debate, Breaking News! Then the rest of the day, each commentator giving their  take on it and explaining it to us dummies~I like the Standard Times and our wonderful local paper, The Eldorado Success~


Pet Java Monkey

Junior was part of our family for several years. It was an experience to say the least~

I told you about Junior Monkey in an earlier blog,  he was more than a one trick pony. It was something new every day. He was a Java monkey and had a long straight tail and his hands had prehensile thumbs, just like a human hand. (some monkeys just have five fingers and no thmb) He used his tail for balance only. He was able to do everything with his hands and do it well. When he had grapes, he would carefully peel each one, remove the seeds and fill his jaws up, then take them out and eat them. He liked grasshoppers and crickets. Whatever he ate, he worked on it quite a bit, he enjoyed playing with his food. It was  easy to read his moods. If he was happy, his hair went flat on the top of his head, he tilted his head back, half closed his eyes and made a sweet chattering sound with his teeth. Sometimes he got mad, when he had your car keys or sun glasses, and knew he was in trouble, that hair on his head went straight up, eyes wide open, pupils tiny as pinholes, screeching and showing his teeth. Pretty scary, you didn’t make eye contact, just looked away and started ‘talking to someone’ who wasn’t there. Once I brought  him to Austin to be in the water carnival at UT and afterward took him to a vet clinic to spend the night. The next morning when I went to pick him up, that guy was SO mad! Junior had opened the latch on his cage, then opened doors  on several other cages. The room was destroyed. (I wasn’t the one responsible for locking him up) Once he ruined Mother’s kitchen with a sack of flour. The room was white and he was white. Junior liked his clothes and sat still while I painted his nails. He was interested in those nails, he would work all day on a hangnail. Monkeys like to groom each other (or anyone who is holding them). They are not looking for fleas, they don’t have those, but are picking tiny flecks of salt. This was always a loving time. When Junior went with Daddy to deliver fuel to the oil rigs, he wore green Phillip 66 overalls, and sat in the truck while Daddy was busy. He rolled the windows up and down,  locked the doors, pushed all the buttons, (pulled the buttons off the radio) and sat on the steering wheel to watch and wait. He tore the rubber blades off the windshield wipers more than once. He was sweet and fun and we loved him, but as I said before, don’t ever consider getting a monkey. A puppy is a better choice~

Miniature Rocking Chair

this chair is 12″ tall, it was my first attempt at carving, I tried carving and was hooked~the bluebonnet painting is 3″ X 4″, the globe on the lamp is a ping pong ball

I copied a chair that had belonged to Dan’s grandmother which was over 100 years old. The real chair was hand made and uncomfortable, the seat was too high, so I cut off the legs and made new mortise and tenons, put it back together and it is now (like in The Three Bears story) just right. The miniature  is 12″ tall, my first attempt at carving. It is made from dowel pins and oak wood. Ron Sutto came one day and told me how nice it was, in fact he bragged so much about it, I was feeling just pretty good! After he left, I picked it up and said something like, ‘it is a pretty good piece of work’ ~ then dropped it on the tile floor and it splattered into a dozen pieces. (pride before the fall) I put everything in a shoe box and left it for a couple of months before I had the energy to rebuild it.This was the beginning of a passion for making miniatures.

Shih Tzu Puppies


Daisy, Tootsie, Little Elmo,Ginger, Jitter Joe

                                        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 two summers ago 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~

Shih Tzu Puppies _ Twelve Years Old

Beautiful Miracle

the announcement~ joy, happiness and thankfulness for these precious gifts

proud mama with her five little miracles. They all started out black and white but after a few weeks, two were back and white, two almost completely white and one looked like a kitty .

This morning twelve years ago, I woke to the cries of a new puppy, Marci was was having her babies! I turned on the light and there was this so very tiny little thing squirming on the floor beside my bed, Marci was already washing it and instinct told her she was a new mother. In the next hour, she had finished having  five perfect babies. The x-ray had shown only four so  the last one was a big surprise. I have never been so excited or happy,  I was crying and thankful and so proud of Marci.  From that moment on to many weeks later, I had the time of my life with  these precious babies. I treasure this time I had with them and watched them grow into wonderful puppies with their own personalities. When it was time for them to go to their new homes, it was  hard for me. Two were going to Albuquerque with Paul and Anna, one was going to White Oak with the Cravens, my sweet friend Pat would take one to the Pfluger Ranch, and I was going to sell the last one to help pay all the expenses. One morning I was going for my jog, feeling so depressed when the thought hit me! There was no reason I couldn’t  keep one for myself! I already had Marci and Missy but I could have this sweet little puppy that  I had known since his first breath. By the time I got home my mind was made up, he was going to be the old bachelor who would stay home with his mama forever. I was terribly happy that day. I can still feel the joy inside right now when I remember. ( I will be continuing with this blog tomorrow) Thank you  Lord for these Blessings~

                                          Happy Birthday to all The Babies

                                   With Love from Marci Mama & Grammy


Tootsie was the first born ~just a little doll

Little Elmo is show dog pretty

Ginger, beautiful and sweet as honey

Daisy was the big surprise and so precious

Jitter Joe, he is my love, sweet and beautiful                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Peanut Patties


these will be the best you will ever eat, homemade with real butter

You find pretty good Peanut Patties close to the check-out at the grocery store, they are hard to resist. I found a recipe for them years ago and they are one of my favorites. You can buy raw peanuts and freeze them, that way you always have some on hand to make the Peanut Patties or Peanut Brittle.  ( I will have the Peanut Brittle recipe for you later). Always read through a recipe before you start. When  you reach the right  temperature on the candy thermometer, take pan off the burner right then! First thing to do is lay out two big sheets of wax paper, butter them well, if you miss a spot, the candy is going to stick to it and someone will be eating paper~

Peanut Patties
3 c. sugar
3 c. raw Spanish peanuts
1 c. white corn syrup (Karo)
1 c. water
1/3 c butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp red food coloring

Mix all ingredients except butter, coloring
and vanilla, in large heavy sauce-
pan on medium heat and cook to hard ball stage
(260 degrees on candy thermometer)
Remove from heat, add butter, coloring and
Vanilla and beat until candy begins
to look creamy. Quickly!!! drop by
spoonfuls onto waxed paper. If mixture
becomes too firm, add a few drops
of hot water and beat.
Remember, never double a candy recipe, if you
want more, wash pan and start another batch.
Always use a heavy pan when making candy.
An old presto cooker is perfect~no lid though~
If you don’t have a candy thermometer, buy one,
they are not expensive and you will use it a lot.

River Mouse

Abandoned Boat

In 1992, one of my boys and I were out at the place at Hulldale taking pictures and we found several old boats in the barn. He told me I should restore one. One look and I knew I didn’t want to get into such a big project. He persuaded me, he told me how much fun it would be for my tiny granddaughter at the river. Oh my goodness, what a mess~ there were, gaping holes and gashes and they were buried in dirt and silt. I was dragging my feet but finally decided I would try, I picked the best one of the bunch. I had to learn to fiberglass, make the electrical harness, find all the hardware, bumpers, rails, make the seat cover, make a template for a windshield, and I found a place in San Angelo to rebuild the electric motor. Nine months later, the deed was done. The RIVER MOUSE was born.     This was the hardest and most wonderful project ever.

ZZ driving the boat


Stacy and Dan at Shady Lane

Stacy Mae, Schatzie Kay and Dan going for a spin at Shady Lane

ZZ and her granddad

Granddad and ZZ, making plans

Ready to roll

I bought an old wielding trailer and restored it to use to haul the boat

ZZ loving the flag

the flag was the final touch, it flew proudly any time the River Mouse sailed, there is a light at the top of the flagstaff.

Cheese Enchiladas

Great Cheese Enchiladas

This is a delicious and easy meal, you can make it beforehand and heat when ready to serve.

Everyone likes Mexican Food and this is an easy meal. Read  the recipe to be sure you have the ingredients, chili powder, cumino (cumin) and garlic powder. You will need a package of corn tortillas too.

Goya Pina’s  Enchilada  Sauce

2 T Gephardt Chili Powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 T corn oil
3 T flour
Heat together in saucepan, and then add
2 c. water. Stir until thickened. It should
be consistency of slightly thin gravy)

Soft fry the tortillas, three for each person. Fry a tortilla in in med hot oil for a few seconds, turn and fry another few seconds. Lay it on paper towels and blot all the grease off. Stack them and keep warm. (Don’t try a short cut by heating in a microwave instead of frying!)  Grate a pile of Velveeta Cheese, chop an onion. Take each tortilla, dip it in the  sauce, sprinkle on cheese and onion and roll it up. Lay them in a baking dish, sprinkle more cheese on top and pour more enchilada sauce over this. Heat about 10 minutes in oven. Put three enchiladas on a plate with a soft fried egg on top. Garnish the plate with sliced avocado,  tomatoes and what ever green stuff you like.You can also serve nachos, which are tortilla chips with cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and heated to melt the cheese. A little sliced jalapeño  pepper doesn’t hurt either~