Memorial Day~2013

Memorial Day~2013

I have shown this same blog several years before, it is one of my favorites with three of my favorite ‘people’.

raising the American flag was always a tradition with Dan, here with Spook and Elizabeth Ann

Memorial Day, which was originally known as Declaration Day was started during the Civil War to honor the soldiers who were killed, and later those in WW I and WW II, and all wars that followed. Traditionally it fell on May 30th. ( also my sister Patricia’s birthday, Happy 80th sweet Tricia).  It will be celebrated on May 28th this year, it is now recognized on the last Monday in May, giving people a three day weekend holiday. It is a time to remember all those who sacrificed for their country and made it the great nation it is today. Dan served in WW II in the Philippines on Leyte and Okinawa Japan in some of history’s bloodiest battles, 80% of those in his division didn’t come home. He loved the flag and he loved his country, When he raised the flag every morning, it was a ceremony~ always stepping back, then a snap to attention and the salute. This day he had Spook and  little Elizabeth Ann helping him, whoever was there, they knew it was important. I love our country and know how blessed we are to have been born here. Hand over my heart, forever, I Pledge  Allegiance to the Flag~One Nation Under GOD~
One more thought, that tiny girl is now 24 years old and a Christian missionary in Kenya Africa. She is doing great and rewarding things with her life. God bless her every single day!

Jack-knife Drilling Rig


I painted several oil rigs and learned a lot about them. I also filmed the drilling operation, set it to music and made copies for Dan to give to the men.

This is a jack-knife  drilling rig on location near Pandale in Crockett County, Texas. Both of our boys worked on this kind of rig in the summers between college semesters. They worked for Ingersoll-Rand, blowing air. Some rigs drill with mud and some with air. Their jobs were to keep the huge air motors running. Since it was a remote location, they lived there in trailers until the job was completed. That is Matt Bumgardner by his pickup and the little yellow Honda belonged to PJ. Back in the early days of drilling for oil, the rigs had to be built and torn down for each well. The jack-knife folds in half and is hauled on trucks. It is quite an operation to watch, and is  exciting to see the huge tower fold over while the motors blow black smoke as they lay it over. I have seen them move a rig in the standing position by skidding it over to where they will drill the next well. Daddy worked in the oil fields as a roughneck, he said the first rig he worked on in the 1930’s took just under a year to complete and when he retired at age 68, they were completig a well in one week. The oil and gas industry has kept West Texas going for almost a hundred years.

Ranch Hands

I was always lucky to get the boys to poise for a painting, this one in 1982

I call this painting The Ranch Hands. In real life, one guy is now a school teacher and the other sells insurance. Joe Max posed for me one morning at  the barn across the road, over behind his house. He and Marty were our neighbors  when their three kids, Carter, Justin and Shanna were growing up.  The two little boys had a zillion freckles but Shanna was a tiny girl with black hair and skin like a china doll. They had a horse, several dogs, many cats, a trampoline and a go-cart during that time. We mowed trails down through the pasture to an oak tree by the dry lake and that was their hide out. There was a tree swing, a ladder to crawl  up into  the tree and sit on a few boards, the best seat was the captain’s chair. There was a ‘bar-b-que pit’, a hole dug in the ground with a grate on top for fixing hot dogs. These kids came over to help celebrate Spook’s birthdays and often brought me a basket of cookies. Justin ran in some of the road races with me and won medals. He had many ‘dear friends’ and to know him was to know why.  He was one of the sweetest kids you could imagine. One time I killed a rattle snake and made fried snake nuggets, I offered Justin some. He put them in his pocket  and said he would ‘take them home to eat later’. I loved them all! Once in a while I walk down to the tree and remember the great times there, sometimes I can only stay a few minutes before I get lonesome. Sweetest memories, the Edmiston’s were  something extra special~

Ranch House

An old home place

This wasn’t an actual place, just a scene from memory. There is something appealing about old houses, they all have an important history~

Here is an old ranch house I painted in about 1968. It seems like all of these old houses were built from one of  two house plans. This one had one front door (sometimes two) and a wing built out in front. (there was usually an add-on shed in the back). Then there was the house with a long porch across the front and two or three front doors. You would wonder which door to knock on. Most of these old places had an out house. The better ones had a pit toilet with a modern looking oak seat  and a metal floor. (home for granddaddy long leg spiders.)  Others were two and three hollers and a trap door in the back.The yard had a picket fence to keep the stock out. The barn was usually finer than the house and there was almost always  a windmill, the sound of the mill turning is something we always remember. There is something cozy about these old houses. A nice place to come home to. When my granddad retired he and my grandmother moved to their farm at Grit. Before they finished fixing up the old house, it was  primitive but it did have running water inside. I loved being there, it was wonderful, the kerosene lamps smelled good but they didn’t put out much light. What I missed was a refrigerator, they had an ice box and things were never very cold. Granddad built a big cement tank and we waited all summer for it to fill up so we could go swimming, when it was time for us to come home, there was about  nine inches of water in it. I had to save my new blow up water wings for another year.

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~

Big Hair~1970’s

Sandra, Tooter, Susan, Sylvia and Sharon

I put the Bridge party on my blog a few weeks ago and everyone liked seeing the girls. It was back in the 1970’s. Today I want to show you some pictures of these same girls and the hair-dos they wore back then. The hair took time to fix and is probably the reason women stopped wearing hats, they just wouldn’t fit on this big hair. You had to roll it on  curlers, then tease or back-comb it and spray with hair spray so stiff you could go through a cyclone and not have a hair out of place. At night you wore a satin sleeping  cap  or wrapped it with toilet paper, that hair-do  had to last  a week. I loved the big hair, it was beautiful, the girls were pretty  and they always dressed in classy  clothes.  They could decorate a room by walking through the door~

Nancy had the happy face and classic look

Christy was the youngest of the bunch, cute and fun


Susan was a honey blond

Sharon was as beautiful as a movie star~still is~

Rita~ back when it was black

Becky was our little blond teacher

Dixie had the tallest hair

Madolyn had beautiful hair, always perfect

Pam was a honey blond

Sandra and her 6″ tall beehive

Tooter owned the beauty shop

Sharon always looked nice,she made her own clothes

Pam had a Pixie-Do, it was perfect for her

Susan~no way could she do that herslf

Holly was another red head with great style

Becky was the really truely truely blond

Tooter had red hair~ most of the time

Hey, it’s my blog so here is Spook~she had big hair too, I had this girl for 19 years~

Oil Painting

Country Scene

no water in this one but the clouds are building up, maybe a shower tonight~

This landscape is 24″x36″ and has always been my favorite size to paint, it is the right proportion. It works well on a wall above a fireplace or over a large piece of furniture. This size canvas takes about four days to paint, with a couple of days drying time in between. I have always kept three paintings going at once, that way when I have gone as far as I need to on one, I can let it dry while I work on another one. Painting  wet on wet ends up a dull grey picture, bright highlights will pop out if the paint under it is dry.  I have never used an easel, it  is awkward and makes my arm tired. I had rather stand over the canvas with it lying flat on the table or sit with it propped up in my lap. When paintings were finished, Dan framed them for me. A salesman came twice a year from  Brownwood to show me the samples. They have beautiful ready made frames with elaborately finished corners. Even a small 5″x7″ painting in one of these frames turns it into something special. 

Country Church at Art, Texas

Country Church

This is an old stone Methodist Church near Art Texas, population 18

Between Mason and Llano,Texas  there is a place called Art, population 18. This old stone Methodist Church stands out there in the country  by itself. It is picture perfect with huge live oak trees, lush grass and just another wonderful scene in the Texas Hill Country.  It was built by early German settlers to the area. In the spring time the pasture is covered in bluebonnets and wild flowers, and it is beautiful any time of the year. I painted this scene several times at different seasons. My grandmother grew in the area around Loyal Valley and Camp San Saba near here and remembered a few of the last Indian raids. She had lots of stories from her childhood. This is a sweet part of the Texas Hill Country. Bluebonnet time is over for the season but everything is green and beautiful, the Indian Blankets are stunning.

Miniature Den


The little den

these little sofas are 6″ high, they sit on the fireplace hearth. My dogs have all tried to sit on them, they recognize what they are~


Jitter Joe

Jitter Joe used to lie on these sofas, he still tries but they are  uncomfortable now that he is a big boy~

More miniatures this morning, this is a copy of the furniture in my den, the sofas have been recovered since I made the little ones, I planned to recover the miniatures but like to remember them them as they were when we first built the house. They sit on the fireplace hearth and decorate that area. As I have said before, all my dogs have recognized what they are and have sat on them. I have a living room but the den is where everyone congregates. Most of the time the doors are open to the screened porch. I remember the excitement of making all the little things. If you have ever made a little  chair or carved something tiny, you know what I mean. We may be  wired a little bit different~

Apple Brownies

Apple Brownies

simply delicious

Apple Brownies

Heat oven to 350 degrees
2/3 c butter (soft but not melted)
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1  1/2 c flour
1/2 cup white raisins
1 c. coarsely chopped pecans (to toast place on paper plate and microwave one minute, stir, microwave for another minute then chop)
1 cored and chopped tart Granny Smith apple (leave skin on.)
Cream butter and sugars, add vanilla and eggs and beat until well mixed.  Mix flour, salt, baking powder together and add to first mixture. Add apples raisins and pecans.
Spray Pam on 9×9 inch pan, then pour in batter, bake in 350 degree oven for 55 minutes or until done, be sure to test with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
1/2 c powdered sugar
juice from half a lemon.
Stir together and spread a very thin layer on brownies while they are warm.
 Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then cut into squares, remove from pan and let cool  on a rack. These freeze well.

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~

Thoroughbred Horse

A thoroughbred horse

I painted this thoroughbred horse for practice

Not Bob's Quarter Horse

This is the first picture I painted of Bob’s quarter horse, I had to start over from scratch, another lesson learned ~

This picture today is a thoroughbred horse I painted for practice. I have painted a lot of horses in the last 60 years and it has always been a pleasure. People treasure their horses, there is a special bond between them. Ranchers use quarter horses in Texas,  I painted a quarter horse  for someone who was giving it to her husband for Christmas one year.  She gave me a photograph to go by, mesquite tree, calache road and their recognizable ranch land in the background. This was going to be an easy one. I loved doing it, but I did ‘doctor up’ it up just a little, you know, a little more muscle, longer legs, what I thought would enhance it.  I showed it to Jim Cawley ~a horse expert and friend~  to  have him critique it before I delivered it . His comment was, “Dang, that is a fine horse but that is NOT Bob’s horse!”, so I started over from scratch and painted Bob’s real horse. Jim taught me a lot about horses, I have had to remove the perfectly painted whiskers in a horse portrait, re-work the eyes (moon eyes are not acceptable) and  every horse has to be the exact color. Horses have four legs, sometimes I would have liked to have painted them standing in tall grass, the legs are no fun.