1940s Favorites



mother made our clothes and back then little girls wore dresses. (will you notice those knees)

I ran across a picture this week of me, Tricia and Nancy and our Uncle Calvin and Aunt Maxine. We loved them, they were fun and taught us all kinds of things. After they were older, Calvin was in the navy, (he looked wonderful in his sailor suit) and Maxine was a beautiful girl, she worked as secretary for lawyer, Robert Amacker. When Calvin was home on leave, they liked to jitter bug  and they tried to teach us the steps.  “kick~ kick~toe~heel~toe~stomp~slide”  Now it stuck with me and that is exactly how I did it even when I was grown. (not a pretty sight) I did the steps but didn’t learn the dance. They knew all the dances from the early 1940s.

this picture was taken two years ago, Baby Nancy and Aunt Maxine

Maxine was 90 years old in this picture, she died this past year. She was still very pretty and resembled Queen Elizabeth. Calvin lives in California with his family and is retired from Jet Propulsion Labs. He has a beautiful shock of white hair and plays tennis weekly. We were always proud of our aunts and uncles, these two were the most fun~

Tree House

this tree house is about 8 feet from the ground, beautiful job. I will be showing other tree houses in later blogs.

One morning a few years ago, I heard interesting noises from across the road, not a chain saw, a weed eater, not a mower, but something better. I knew the sound of a circular saw and it was buzzing away. This went on all day and when I went for my walk I saw what was going on with my neighbors. In an oak grove in the back there was some framing going up the biggest tree and legs down to the ground.  I could see Jim  was building a real tree house for their little girls. It was fun watching the progress. It took about a week and was perfect and wonderful. It had a nice sized room, a porch and  real stairs with hand rails. I thought how lucky those two kids were, it is every child’s dream to have a tree house, a play house or a cave. I always look when I drive by, it is a mighty fine house and a fine daddy who built it~

Mallard Ducks

this is a male mallard duck figurine, Andrea made thousands of these ducks and they are beautiful but not expensive~

we always named our ducks before we knew if they were boys or girls, we were usually wrong.

Here are some Mallard duck figurines I bought after I no longer had my real ducks. They are quite beautiful and realistic. I have had a love for ducks ever since I got two babies at a garage sale thirty five years ago. Stanley and Rose Olive lived with us for almost ten years. Later the kids had ducks when they were grown and married. There was Sarah Kate, Katy Mae and Algeritta, to name a few. No one knows how smart and loving these birds can be until they have them for pets.  They are unbelievably beautiful. All they wanted was a puddle of water. We always remember them at Christmas time and how much fun they were  when they got their special gift~a pint of earth worms~

This is a picture of Katie Mae begging for his Christmas worms. He got to come in the kitchen on special occasions.


Algeritta went to live in Santa Fe Park after he was a bad boy~


ducks are noisy, but those of us who owned them loved the sound of their ‘wak wak wak’  This is the handsome  Sarah Kate in the pond

Sarah Kate was a beautiful male mallard, he loved the pond with the fountain. It was fun to watch the ducks go upside down in the water to eat off the bottom. We had a wonderful time with all the ducks, what special little friends~

Antique Trade Show in Santa Fe

here is ZZ in the booth, her cookie basket is on the right. She gave cookies to everyone that day. Give a child a job and they are happy~

There was an Antique Trade Show in Santa Fe in 1994, someone in my family decided to rent a booth and participate in it since they were interested in Civil War memorabilia and had some of the old Harper’s Weekly newspapers to show.

ZZ was all dressed up in this old timey outfit with a petticoat and pantaloons, her cookie basket was lined with a towel made from the same fabric.

I made ZZ an old timey dress from a Laura Ashley pattern, (I made her dresses from these patterns until she was about 8 years old).  Anyway, I found some suede high top shoes to go with it.  At  the library there was an old cookbook with recipes for simple molasses cookies, the kind that women made back in the 1800′s. I baked up several batches and took off for New Mexico.

she is checking her list, yes all she needed was to remember to take the boxes of molasses cookies~

The dress fit and  ZZ looked adorable with her hair hanging in long curls, and she had a basket for the cookies. During the show, she walked around and offered cookies to people.That was such a fun time for us. The dress~I have packed away. When ZZ out grew her dresses, Hannah, her younger friend down the street inherited them, and after she out grew them, they came back to go to yet another child. The dresses got passed around.

This was a tiny shoe that fit a tiny foot

In all of the shuffle, one shoe got lost but I have the other one on my shelf by the fireplace, it reminds me that sweet little girl and all the fun of getting her ready to help with the show.

100 Year Old Recipe Molasses Cookies
 1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 c. molasses
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 c. melted butter
1/4 c. boiling water
1/4 tsp salt
Mix together and add enough flour to make
a firm dough. Knead and form into a long
 log and chill overnight, slice thin and bake
in hot oven until done.
This recipe doesn’t have many instructions,
the old time cooks probably knew how to do
it just right. Mine turned out firm like a dog treat
but were not bad. It was just fun to try something different.
Maybe these cookies would have lasted in a soldiers
pocket for several weeks~

Thanksgiving Dinner at Church

This is my blog from a year ago, I liked it and wanted to run it again. Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone. We all have much to be thankful for, never underestimate your good fortune.

this is Vickie, she was the most decorated helper so she gets to go first

I am re-posting my blog from last year’s Thanksgiving Dinner at the Presbyterian Church in Eldorado. I won’t be there this year, instead I will be enjoying my 80th birthday dinner with my family in Christoval. Let the fun begin!

After church service today we had our annual Thanksgiving dinner, it is always a special meal.  Everyone brings their favorite dishes and we have wonderful cooks. There are about 40 members in our church, I think they were all there today and some guests too.  I will show you a few pictures, it will make you hungry~ 

there were platters of ham and turkey, wonderful dressing and gravy

two of our best cooks, we published a cook book a few years ago and there were wonderful ‘start from scratch’ recipes

Debbie is the one who brings the wonderful music every Sunday

here are Danell and Maxine

here are  good vegetable dishes, the deviled eggs are the first to go~

there are always delicious fruit salads, the pink one in front is Danell’s

this is just a few of the desserts, the table was 6 feet long and loaded with cakes, pies, banana pudding, and cheese cakes.

What a feast, how wonderful it is to have our church family~

LBJ State Park

he drove up in a big white Lincoln, everyone stood in line to meet him, but he took off down the ranch road and came back after a little while, his prank for the day~

We were at the LBJ Park in April 1973 for the exhibit of all the best Presidential Cartoons that had been in the newspapers through Lyndon Johnson’s days in the white house. Some of them were a little mean spirited, most of them were clever and terribly funny.  He must have been a cartoonist’s perfect subject with his big ears and deep wrinkles. Lady Bird was always the favorite in a crowd, she was pretty and so warm and gracious. He married well~

it was a surprise how tall he was, he was a big man, he reminded me of John Wayne


Lady Bird was dedicated to making the Texas countryside  beautiful~ covered in bluebonnets and wild flowers. It was her passion~


Wild Turkeys in West Texas

here are some of the pictures Frankie Lively took of the turkeys near their country home. She is one who loves wild life and it shows in her beautiful photographs.

more 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~

Rugged Country

this would inspire you to climb to the top and see what is on the other side. When we were here, there was no such thing as cell phones~you had to be careful

This is another one of those great snapshots. It didn’t take any cropping or enhancing, it was just what it was. I used it in a painting and added a couple of goats because it looked like what a goat would enjoy, they are playful and they are climbers. It was probably more coyote and mountain lion country. It was natures perfect scene.   

Homemade Corn Tortillas

there is no end to the things that can go into a taco, scrambled eggs,cheese,lettuce,alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, cottage cheese or sour cream~

I left these two tacos open so you could see inside but to eat, roll them up and eat with your fingers. They are a filling, two and I am done~

This recipe for homemade corn tortillas is fast and easy. You mix the batter, pour it in a small 8″ skillet, much like making a crepe or pancake, and cook it in a minute. Repeat until you have used all the batter, It should make 12 nice size corn tortillas. You can roll up whatever you like inside, here I have grated cheese, cottage cheese, shredded lettuce,scrambled eggs and tomatoes. Everyone can build their own. When you cook a tortilla, you cook it twice, once to make it, then the second time to soft fry it in oil to cook it and make it a little crisp around the edges, it gives it a wonderful flavor. Since the batter has an egg in it, don’t heat it in the microwave or it will taste “fishy”. ( I sent this recipe to Elizabeth since she likes Mexican Food and there are no tortillas in Africa, and no masa flour to make them. They do have corn meal so she will be able to make enchiladas and tacos now).

Homemade Corn Tortillas
1 1/2 c water
1 c flour
1/2 c yellow corn meal
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
Beat all of this in a blender until it is completely mixed.
Heat small 8″ skillet that has been sprayed with a little Pam
Pour 1/4 c batter (measure, no more than this) in heated skillet and tilt pan to cover whole bottom of pan with the batter, it needs to be thin.
Cook about 15 or 20 seconds on each side, take out and do another one
until all the batter is used. Stack the tortillas as you cook them.
Now, add about 1/2″ corn oil to skillet and one by one, cook
the tortillas (med heat) 30 seconds on each side. Lay each one’
on several thickness of paper towels, patting tops to get the
grease off. Stack and keep warm.
 You will have the platter of scrambled eggs, lettuce and stuffing
done ahead of time so you are ready to eat when you finish the
tortillas. My favorite is a little bit of scrambled eggs, lots of lettuce
and some cottage cheese. Sour cream is good, alfalfa sprouts are good,
but I always want the scrambled egg too. One scrambled egg is enough for about three tacos.

New Sun Room

Tricia’s yard is beautiful, it is big and she takes care of it  herself. It is a pretty view from the new sun room

Today I am happy to be showing off Tricia’s newest project. This area has gone from a breezeway, to a screened-in porch, to what it is now~ a big beautiful sun room. It has insulated windows to keep out the heat, cold and dust, it will be a year round place to enjoy. This project has gone through several stages and has taken several years. It is now complete and perfect. We will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner out here  in a few days. ~

this is the love seat area, on the opposite end of the room is a large round patio table~

this is the view from the living room, all it needs now are some palm plants and it will be finished. It is a beautiful place~(bluebonnet oil painting by Elizabeth Elder)

Jitter Joe, in his favorite spot~isn’t he just a little doll!

True Grandmother Stories, 1880~1974


this picture was taken in 1969, she plowed into life~ full speed ahead! She was a fun grandmother and a walking history book.

I came across this picture of my grandmother (Miss Nellie) and thought it would be fun for my family to see it and remember her again. She and Granddad Christian lived catty-cornered across the street from us when we were growing up, in a nice house with a wrap around porch, big climbing trees, and a storm cellar in the back yard. Grandmother had the fidgets if she didn’t have a project going, she oil painted, she played the piano, she read to us and quoted scripture, she made wonderful pies, not so good cakes, and was a sweet and loving part of our lives. Once or twice  a year, she robbed her beehives and could be seen running around the yard flaying her arms, trying to get away from a charging bee. (I was fascinated with her three bee hives, it bothered me that bees crowded around the long narrow door at the bottom of the hive, they came and went, crawling all over each other in a disturbing mass. One day, I got a long stick, stood behind a little tree and started scraping them off, it only took a second before they were all over me. I was covered in stings. Every stinger had to be pulled out with tweezers but no real damage done). Grandmother had so many good stories to tell~ about when she was a little girl growing up in Loyal Valley, stories of  Lost Creek. Fredonia, Camp San Saba and the Comanche and Apache Indians that still roamed around, raiding and causing trouble. There was the story about  little Herman Lehmann who was kidnapped by the Apache raiders in nearby  Fredericksburg and spent his young life with the Indians. (In 1927 he wrote his biography,  ‘Nine Years Among the Indians’, this book is still available at Amazon.com.) These were stories of things that happened to people she knew, and times that she lived though. She had an amazing life.  When Grandmother was 58 years old, she told me she was ready to go any time the Lord was ready to take her, it upset me terribly to think she could really go away. She did~but it was later when she was 94. Sweet memories~

Taxco Mexico

this is a view from the  hotel where we stayed

Taxco is a silver mining town located about 100 miles southwest of Mexico City, we visited there in 1956.  

Mexico is known for it’s many churches and cathedrals

The area is is known for it’s rich silver mines.
It is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, with quaint narrow streets, lined with shops filled with every kind of silver artistry. All day from early morning until dark, there was the ‘ping ping ping’ of silver being hammered out into everything from jewelry to bowls, candlesticks and silver trays.  

the city is old and clean and beautiful

Taxco’s history dates back to the 1700. You can click on  Taxco in your browser and learn all about it’s interesting past and view pictures of it’s many churches.  

the aged old streets were paved in  stone, still in perfect condition~

since the city was built on the side of a mountain, buildings were stacked close together.

We stayed in a beautiful old hotel with a balcony,  two large bathrooms with all marble fixtures, and something quite different from our little house back home. The three night stay cost $6.00. This is one of the most memorable places we ever visited. Absolutely gorgeous, and as always, the Mexican people were wonderful.
At another time, I will do a blog on some of the interesting churches In Mexico.They were beautiful buildings and some of them had their own clever twists~