Steak Fingers are a good summer time meal. They are easy to fix, easy to eat and everyone likes them. Today I served them with gravy, fried okra salad, mashed potatoes, hot biscuits, cantaloupe and red, yellow and orange peppers and radishes. I made a chocolate cake last night so that with ice cream and coffee was dessert. I have the recipes for the cake, the fried okra salad and biscuits in earlier blogs~
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 were also Cherokee Indians but they were the good ones. 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 though~but it was later when she was 94. Sweet memories~
Back to board games, the ultimate game is Chess, the modern version of the game is around 500 years old but is thought to have been started in the 6th century. Anyone is old enough to play if they can learn the rules, 8 years old is about right. It is interesting, it takes skill and teaches skill,
There is a lot going on in a chess game, different pieces move only certain directions and are some only allowed to jump certain ways. Every piece can be captured and removed from the board except for the King, when he is blocked and can no longer move, the game is over and you have “Check Mate”, someone has won and someone has lost. It is intense, it takes a lot of thought but it is not hard to learn and such a pleasure to play. It has stood the test of time.
Today is my oldest son’s birthday, he was born in 1956 and what a thrill to remember all these wonderful years. It took me 24 hours “to born the boy”. The afternoon before, I had taken my 2 mile exercise walk down Rabbit Road in my summer clothes, it was a hot fall day. Then by the next day when he was born we had a famous West Texas blizzard blow in and for five days everything was frozen solid, tree limbs were breaking from the weight of the ice. I always remember that hard freeze on October 22 but most of all how wonderful it was to have that brand new baby boy. There is no sweeter blessing on earth than being a mama.
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.
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.
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 them 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.
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.
The pyracantha bushes are covered in beautiful orange berries around town. The plants grow to 10 feet tall and are showy and beautiful. They tolerate heat and cold and even drought, in fact they like it dry and can live for many years.
In the spring, they are covered in white blossoms and then the berries come on in later summer. Good food for the birds, they eat everything that falls on the ground. It is also a safe nesting place. The branches are a mass of thorns so they are considered a good barrier against predators. They bring lots of pretty color to the landscape with little effort. Now is a good time to plant them, start with a gallon size and it will grow into a nice plant in a hurry. This one I found in some one’s yard one afternoon and decided to show it off. They will be surprised to see it in the blog.
Soon I will be showing my own Sun Room project. I also went from a screened in porch to a glassed in sun room but it took me almost forty years. And there may be a blog later on of another sun room in the family, (I lived in that one for a month this summer with three dogs and 40 chickens).
This is Miss Lilla, our scarecrow. She guarded our garden for many years, as you can see, she was just about finished. She had a sister Sarah who took care of the garden at the river. She faired much better, she went to the barn in the winter time. They were both life size dolls who wore size 8 clothes. Several times they got new outfits but the shoes held up for all those years. Miss Lilla’s arms would swing in the wind and when my neighbor drove down the road, she said she always waved back. It made me sad when I finally put them to rest, I felt like I was loosing an old friend. One of these days I will start over and make a new one, they were sculptured out of flesh colored sheer nylon fabric, with real wigs and stuffed with plastic bags filled with newspaper. It worked. The deer stayed out of the garden for a short time, until they caught on~
This morning I want to surprise my grandson who is away on a trip at the moment, here’s a picture of his sweet Stacy Mae. She is my wonderful and beautiful granddaughter. Have a nice day Mark, we are thinking of you, you are the peach today. Happy Birthday this month. The ultimate birthday party was the one Stacy surprised you with a few years ago, you were suspecting there would be some kind of ‘something’ in the works and then you walked in to Miss Hatties and all your friends were there and your brothers and sisters had flown in from all parts of the country to surprise you, WOW, I get chills remembering the thrill. You have a mighty fine girl ~Grammy