Just the Right Shoe

this is called the ‘I Do’ and is a little miniature shoe that is about 3 inches long. The detail is amazing.

My first miniature shoe was the ‘I Do’ shoe, a little old timey wedding slipper. Nancy gave it to me for my birthday one year. I couldn’t put it down, it was absolutely adorable.

this shoe looks like patient leather and the detail is exactly like a real one. The bow is not fabric but made from the same material as the shoe.

Then a couple of years later, she sent  another one, this time it was the ‘Toe Tapper’, a perfect to scale ‘patient leather’ tap dancing shoe. She and I took dancing lessons when we were kids (Gwen Eschew was our teacher).  
I had a skinny foot and had trouble finding narrow shoes.

the sole of the shoe has metal taps, it is completely realistic in ever way

My shoe flew off more than once in class. (heel toe, heel toe, fu-lap ball change). Anyway, this little tap shoe is darling.

again, the detail on this shoe is amazing,  the shoe strings look real but are made of the same material as the shoe itself.

the sole of the shoe is like the real rubber soles on running shoes

Then on another birthday here came the Raine Runner, this was during my jogging years and is a perfect replica of a running shoe. These shoes were all made by a company called Just the Right Shoe, they came in their own fancy box with only the shoe for the right foot.

this shoe was made by another company but is equally as fine as the others and is absolutely beautiful, it is quite blingy.

Later a friend in Canada sent me the pretty little blue mule slipper. It was encrusted in pearls and looked like blue satin leather. I just like things that are little, all the shoes remind of those special days and happy times.

I put several of the shoes with a large apple to show you how small they are. The blue jogging shoe was actually a leather key chain


Thanksgiving 2013

here are Anna, Tricia and me, we loaded up our plates and ate out in the new sun room

I wanted to show our Thanksgiving dinner from two years ago. There were just the four of us since everyone else was out of pocket. It was a great meal at Tricia’s in her sun room. The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious and the company was great. We had ham, smoked turkey from Anna’s smoker, dressing, cranberry salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, steamed broccoli from the green house, hot rolls, pecan pie and ice cream. It is my favorite of all meals. 

Anna brought the delicious smoked turkey~

The new sun room was christened with tall glasses of iced tea

home-made all the way

pecan pie~ number two

Afterwards, Tricia showed Anna how to make roses for decorating cakes. We had a wonderful day. I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving too. 

making roses

Jitter Joe and Marci had chicken, then JJ stretched out on the rug and Marci found a lap somewhere~

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~

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. This year we will be celebrating at the Old Bank Building and having the dinner catered. Our church kitchen is all laid in the floor of the basement, being renovated.

Here is an account of last year’s dinner:

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~

Mexican Beef Enchiladas

Mexican Enchiladas

may be the favorite of all Mexican food


1 lb. very lean ground meat
2 T. Gephardt chill powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp oregano
3 c. water
Brown meat in skillet with spices; then add water. Cover and cook on med. for about 25 minutes. Skim all the grease off.

Enchilada Sauce
2 T. Gephardt chili powder
3 T. corn oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 T. flour
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp red pepper if you like it hot
Heat together in saucepan, then add 3 cups water. Stir until thickened (like slightly thin gravy).
Soft Fried Tortillas: In a small skillet, add about 1/2 cup corn oil and, one at a time, soft fry 12 corn tortillas, just 4 or 5 seconds on each side. Drain each one on a paper towel, pat to be sure to get the grease off. Keep warm.
Shred 2 cups longhorn cheddar cheese. Chop 1 onion.
To keep it neat, assemble enchilada on a plate, then slide it onto a dinner plate.
Assembling: Dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce; lay on plate and spoon on some chili, cheese and onions. Repeat until you have a stack of 3. As you finish, put each plate in microwave for 1 minute so it will be really hot. Top each enchilada with a soft fried egg and pour remaining sauce on each stack. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.   (Chili, enchilada sauce, cheese and onions can be prepared day before.) Serves 4

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~


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~

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.

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.   

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~

Buttermilk Pound Cake (Revised Version)

the lemon icing makes this cake extra tangy and special, it is an easy cake to make and is 12 or more servings~

I like a pound cake because you can slice it, pick it up and eat it, or you can have it with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. It isn’t sticky, you don’t need a napkin or a fork. But of course you can sit down and eat it quite properly if you like. The slices can be wrapped and frozen and ready for drop in company. Real pound cake is made with real butter. I like the little bit of lemon icing on it too.  Pound Cake must be good, it is in every recipe book, and has been handed down for generations from good cooks~   Note! Since I first placed this on my blog, I had a failure on one cake so this recipe has been changed slightly. After testing it today, it turned out very nice~

   Buttermilk Pound Cake

1 c ~soft butter (2 sticks)
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 c flour
1 c buttermilk
1/2 tsp soda
Cream butter and sugar together
Add eggs, one at at time, beating well
Add vanilla
Stir soda into the cup of buttermilk
Add flour alternately with buttermilk,
batter should be smooth.
Grease bottom of tube pan, (not sides)
Bake one hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees, test with toothpick,
it sould come out clean when pushed into center of cake
Cool for 10 minutes, then run knife around the
sides to turn cake loose, Shake pan to loosen
cake, then remove to plate.
Lemon Icing
Mix grated lemon rind, juice from one lemon and
1 1/2 c powdered sugar. If icing is too stiff, add a
few drops of water. Drizzle over warm cake~, use only
this amount of icing, don’t overdo it~



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 project from a few years ago. 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 is 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. It is a beautiful place~(bluebonnet oil painting by Elizabeth Elder)

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