Indian Mounds

I found this stone the first day in the first mound where we looked. The design is chiseled in a perfect groove and the surface is honed smooth.

For hundreds of years Indian tribes lived in this area but no one knows what ancient people built the thousands of rock mounds that are found in Schleicher County, Texas. Around them you can find flint, scrapers and arrow heads. The mounds are large piles of rocks, shaped in a circle with an opening on one side. All the rocks are burned. There may be as many as 20 mounds in one small area. Dan started looking in mounds in the 1950’s, the first time I went with him we were in the middle of a small oak grove and he was 

I found this stone soon after the first one, it was buried and all the grooves were filled roots and dirt. This one is in perfect condition.

turning over rocks with his prospectors pick. I turned up a flat rock and on the under side was a carving. At first I thought it was something a boy scout had carved into a piece of wood but it was was a rock. I got excited and called for Dan to come look. He thought I had just found some chigger toes, those pepper shaped berries on the round cactus. When he saw the rock, he couldn’t believe it, he thought it was a trick. Then we really got busy and within 30 minutes I had found the second  carved stone.

Dan found this one 6 months later, it is the smallest and the most burned one. It has one small symbol on on the side edge that matches the + on the on the rock above.

We looked until dark and didn’t find anything else except some flint scrapers. I went with him a few more times  but soon he was going every day and staying several hours. Then six months later he found the third rock on a mound about half a mile from where I found the first two. He looked for over 30 years after that and only found arrow heads and scrapers. In researching these rocks he learned the designs on the first two marked stones  are identical in their engraved detail with two historic archeological engravings, one found in crumbling ruins in ancient India and the other deep in the old Mayan country of Mexico.  Someone told Dan about three books by James Churchward written in 1931 that might be of interest to him.   One of them, ‘Children Of Mu’  pictured drawings of artifacts that are identical in character to the two rocks I found.  Dan sent pictures to Smithsonian in Washington, DC,  and Universities of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. No one had a clue (or the money to pursue this). The mounds and the carved stones remain a mystery.

 

 

Shih Tzu Puppies

                                    

Daisy, Tootsie, Little Elmo,Ginger, Jitter Joe

                                    

This is Gizmo, he grew up in Sonora and came from a fine family, Jitter looks just like him

                                        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 last summer 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~

Little Folks Figurines

Little Folks

the girl in the blue dress is mine

When ZZ was growing up, her favorite toy was her play kitchen. One year she even got an E-Z-Bake oven and was able to make cakes and cookies. She had her Papa’s little table and two chairs, and all kinds of dishes and cookware. She could put a real meal together for her little friends,( both real and play like). It was fun watching her. Most of her other ‘toys’ were how-to books. One was on sculpting and making figures. They were made from polymer that was baked in the oven and came out strong and hard. The figures had finest detail, ribs on the socks, buttons and buttonholes.  She gave one away  to someone special every year . What a thrill to be “the one”. These two pictured are a little boy with his fishing pole, Dan and Debbie got that one for Christmas one year,  the girl in the blue dress and sandals is mine. What a treasure~

Boy Going Fishing

The rod and reel have perfect detail.

Texas Farm Scene

this is what a farm wife does, it is a good life~

In 1973 I  painted this combination of places and things. I started with a sky and everything else just grew until it was done. The building is a barn behind a nice home in Mason, Texas. I added a porch and a second story. Polk, the horse belonged to Danny Pena, Hank was Dan’s Ag. project, the chickens were Goya’s and the woman was ‘guess who’. The good thing about oil painting, if you don’t like something, you can let it dry and paint right over it. When I was painting full time, I kept at least three painting going at once. The first one I worked on completely covering the canvas, the sky and ground and some sketching with the brush. That went fast. Then I turned to the second one that had been drying for a couple of days and I worked on the road, trees and had it pretty well done. This was the time to correct things I didn’t like. Then the third canvas was ready for the fun part, all the many little details that made it a finished piece. (And I mean finished, there is a time to stop and not over work it.)

Deer Hunt in Culberson County

This group of men were showing off their trophy mule deer from a successful hunt on the ranch in Culberson County. The picture was taken  in 1946  by H. H. Wells of the San Angelo Standard Times.

pictured: “Goodbye” (the cook), Grady Madison, Willie Whitten, Jack Whitten, Sam Calhoun, Morris Whitten, and Dick Nasworth. There was probably one more deer which was used for camp meat~

This ranch up in the Delaware Mountains has been in the family for almost a hundred years and enjoyed by family and friends for all that time. It is one of the prettiest places in Texas and has a rim with a grand view of Guadeloupe Peak and another of the valley where you can see for a hundred miles. I like this picture, the men were all dressed nicely, back in that time if they went to town, they dressed up. They were truly Texas gentlemen. You notice the neat shoes and the high-heeled boots. (Good hats and good boots). I remember Uncle Will always wore a tie, even when he and Aunt Lummie were just dropping in for a visit. My nephew Earl Calhoun sent me this picture and I am thankful for this little bit of history to add to my blog.

Apricot Cake

Burst of flavor, big surprise

Years ago a good  friend introduced me to this delightful cake  She was a great cook and  had many old recipes. She said this recipe made “one to eat, one to share, and one to keep for later”.  Dan and I spent great times with the Mann’s, they were an older couple who liked to ride more than drive. We made lots of day trips to the Hill Country.  Mr. Bart and Dan both smoked a  pipe and were happy to sit on the benches outside while Mrs. Mann and I shopped in the antique stores. She liked water tumblers and I liked everything. If you try this recipe, you will be surprised. It is wonderful!

APRICOT LOAF CAKE

11 oz.package of dried apricots (cut up and soak in warm water for 30 minutes,drain)

2 cups sugar
4 T. Shortening
2 eggs
½ cup water
1 cup orange juice
4 cups  flour, sift before measuring
4 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
½ cup chopped pecans

Cream shortening and sugar, then beat in eggs. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the batter alternately with the water/orange juice, ending with flour. Blend in nuts and apricots.

Line bottoms of 3 loaf pans with wax paper, spray with Pam, and pour in cake batter. Bake 55 minutes at 350 degrees or until done. Cool slightly, remove wax paper and put cakes back in pans. Dribble a mixture of  3/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup of orange juice over tops of warm cakes.

 

 

Tres Vaqueros Mexicanos

Three Mexican Cowboys

even in the most remote places of Mexico, we would see vaqueros riding their caballos, the ranches were huge, they had a long ride each day

The year was 1965 on a trip to Mexico. Tres vaqueros mexicanos. They were proud men. It is hard to believe anyone could carve out a living on land like this, not much growing here except scrub brush and cactus. A little further down into the interior of Mexico, the lush beauty begins. Back in the years when we traveled there, we found the people to be genuinely fine in every way. They were hard workers and they took care of their families. On Sundays, everyone brought their children to town and it was like a celebration,  there were parks everywhere, lots of fountains that were built to honor  someone. It only cost a few centavos to have a day of fun. There was the  music of Mariachi bands or maybe just one man with his homemade harp, ready to entertain. Even riding on a city bus, there was usually someone with a guitar singing his heart out. I am thankful that my family got to know Mexico back when it was such a wonderful country. It was like another world, and right in our own back door~

Texas Creamy Pecan Pralines

Delicious chewy pecan pralines

this candy is not hard to make, it just takes a little while, Texans know how to make good candy. I have run this blog before and it has been one of the most popular so I am putting it up again. It is worth it~

 

 

This is the recipe for the soft, creamy, chewy pecan pralines. It takes a little longer to make then than the sugary ones. I like all kinds of pralines so these are are worth it. You need a candy thermometer if you are going to have success every time. Wal Mart has them and they are not expensive. This is another one of Grandmother Montgomery’s candy recipes, she made a date loaf candy that was wonderful and something she called ‘fork candy’. She made  pot of clear syrupy candy and poured it over pecans in a platter. Then the kids each got a fork to scoop it up and enjoy. Candy making isn’t just for Christmas time, you can make it all year and it might be even better when there aren’t so many sweets at once. Try this one, you will love it~

Texas Creamy Pecan Pralines
1 cup sugar
1 cup white Karo syrup
pinch of salt
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1 cup  milk
2 cups toasted pecan halves
1/2 tsp. vanilla
In heavy saucepan, mix sugar, Karo, and salt,
 cook and stir over medium heat until temperature
reaches 245 degrees on candy thermometer.
Add milk, butter and pecans slowly so candy keeps boiling,
continuing to stir. When the temperature again reaches 245
degrees, remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Let stand until candy stops
bubbling. Drop by spoonfuls onto well buttered cookie sheet.
Cool completely, then put in refrigerator for an hour or so, this
way the candy will be easy to pop off the cookie sheet, wrap
each piece in plastic warp and store in cool dry place.
(butter the cookie sheet before you start, also toast the pecan by putting in the microwave on a paper plate, one cup at a time for one minute for each cup. All candy tastes best if the pecans are toasted~

Our Tree House

When it was starting to come together~ paint works miracles and with a lot of ‘pretend and imagination’ it turned into something wonderful~

Another tree house for you today. This one was when we lived over on the farm, there was one mesquite tree big enough for a tree house ~ just barely~It was about 9 feet above the ground, there was a ladder up to  a 5′ X 5′ landing with side rails. To be sure it was safe for the kids, I strung wire fencing underneath, sort of like a safety net. It was the fun place to be.  It was still standing and in good shape years later when we moved.

we always had kittens, they were tame and wherever we were, they were right  in the middle of things, they all loved the tree house~

All the kitties liked it up there. We had a slumber party more than once, I was there to be sure no one fell out. 

there was a ‘captain’s chair’ and several other places to climb up higher and sit. The Texas Flag flew from a pole that went up through the branches.

 

it was a fun place to have a picnic, no ants or flies, just an apple and a jar of Peter Pan~

The wonderful thing about having children is you finally get to have the things you wanted when you were little. Childhood can last a lifetime~

Lime Jello Salad

this is an easy one, you can make it the day before and it is ready to put on the platter and set on the table. It goes with any dinner.

I am bringing you one of my favorite salads, it is a great one to take to salad pot luck luncheons or for Sunday dinners. It is easy to fix the day before and one everyone enjoys. You will need a large box of lime Jello, one small lime, 8 oz. cream cheese, pecans and large can of crushed pineapple. Any leftovers will be enjoyed later. It is one I grew up on and is one of my favorites. Grandmother Montgomery made it often, but in later years, she left out the pecans. It refreshing, cool and full of zingy flavor.
Lime Jello Salad
1 6 oz. box Lime Jello
3 c water
1 small lime
Boil water, add Jello and stir to dissolve, add juice from lime
8 oz package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 large can crushed pineapple~ juice and all (pineapple juice
replaces the third cup of water the Jello calls for)
2 c  chopped toasted pecans
Mash the cream cheese up on plate with some of the
hot Jello mixture until it is smooth, then add to the 
Jello. Add the can of pineapple,  juice and all and mix
well. Stir in pecans, pour into 9″X13″ oblong pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, line a platter with lettuce leaves, lay Jello squares on
lettuce and you have a beautiful and delicious salad.

Texas Longhorn

This longhorn was named after Bob Oglesby,  a Schleicher County rancher back in the 1960’s

Meet Bob, he is big, he is gentle, he is beautiful, he is a Texas Longhorn Steer. Their horns can extend up to seven feet. They were highly prized in the old days for their ability to survive on the open range with little care. Many people who keep them now days do so for their historical value and just the pride of ownership. Longhorns are important to Texans just as the bluebonnets are. They deocrate the pastures but especially the state parks and  the Hill Country. People are fascinated by them. Schools name their teams for them,  the University of Texas has always had one  (Bevo) as their mascot. They are a great subject for Texas artists. Longhorns are our connection to the Old American West. If you ever have the chance to stand beside one, you will be overwhelmed by it’s size, they are enormous. If you want to own one, you will need a good fence!

Goodbye to Kenya

This was the Nissan seven passenger van that came to pick us up. WHAT!  No Way!

When it was time to come home, a driver was recommended who owned a new Nissan Pathfinder with seating for seven. Since it would be an 8 hour trip on a terrible road to Nairobi and the airport, we wanted to be comfortable. Perfect, “come pick us up at 8:00 sharp”. When they said  our ride was there, I saw the ‘ride’ and thought maybe it was a taxi to take us to the real ride. This was just a little bitty blue car, nice and new but little bitty! Since Stephen came and picked two of us up from Elizabeth’s house first, I got the best seat. He loaded our two big bags and two carry-on’s. He had to lay the extra back seat down to make room but he got ours in, then we went to pick up Benton, Lisa and Abbie.

these three  were enjoying their breakfast at Karibuni, their last meal before we left.

 

They were waiting with their three large suitcases, three carry-on’s and various purses and sacks of snacks. I just sat in my chosen seat and let them worry about how all that stuff was going to fit.

At this point the car was full of luggage, we still had three large suitcases and one carry-on bag to go~plus the five of us and the driver~I did worry about those little tires~

It took a while, our bags came out and went onto the roof carrier, their bags went in and then out again and added to the roof carrier. Those on top were covered with a tarp and tied with lots of rope, and then the other bags were loaded into the back of the car and into that folded down 7th seat. But wait a minute, it wouldn’t fit! It was in and out, re-arranged and the hatch back still wouldn’t quite close so more attempts  that didn’t work. Off came the tarp on top after untying  all the knots in the rope, and some more luggage was piled up there. It was a tight fit and I worried that my little honey pot or zebra might get damaged. Finally everything got loaded and now for the people and the driver. We had over a thousand pounds of humans, I thought some more about those small sized tires on that car. They looked more like lawn mower tires~

we had a short break here to take pictures and look in the curio shop, even though this is on the equator, it was nice and cool because the elevation was 9,000 ft.

We made it to Nairobi after only three stops, one at the equator for a few pictures, a stop at the look-out at Rift Valley, and Stephen was nice to stop so I could get a pictures of a herd of zebras.

We saw several herds of them. Those tails never stop switching~they are fat little buggers~

It turned out to be a good day but it was hard leaving Elizabeth. Goodbye’s always hurt~ I was also leaving part of heart in this beautiful country.  

here is Elizabeth at Karibuni the night before we left. Wonderful time with her but it hurt to say goodbye. She will be coming home for a couple of months during the elections in Kenya so we can look forward to some nice times ahead.

God’s Richest Blessings on all of those beautiful people who touched our lives and made us realize what is most important, God Bless this unbelievable country~