Here is another place between Eldorado and Mertzon. I think I painted every scene from here to there at some time. There are a few pretty live oaks, some windmills and rock tanks, and only about three houses in the 32 miles. A woman who lived on a ranch out there was at a bridge party one time and we were all telling funny stories, she told us that one freezing day she went out to see if ice was forming on the water in the tank and dropped her car keys in. She had to do what was necessary so she ran to the house. put on her bathing suit and went back and jumped in the freezing water. She found the keys and was climbing out when Mr. Halbert drove up in his butane truck to deliver gas. She said she headed straight for the house like nothing had happened. She was sure he must have thought she had lost her mind. It was a good story and I know none of us ever forgot it. When I look at the paintings from Mertzon, I think of her.
Here are a some pictures from the green house at Christoval. Anna and I had been left in charge of it last year (with lots of instructions) when her husband was out of the country for a few weeks. We were growing tomatoes, European cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli and all kinds of greens. She called me one Monday afternoon and said the pump had gone out on the big floor tank and she had called the plumber~ but he couldn’t get there until the next morning. So I loaded the dogs up and went up there and we installed a new pump ourselves and it was working in a matter of minutes. Women can do things, we always read the directions. (canceled the plumber) I will be in charge of the green house for a while this summer, big job. I will also be taking care of chickie town and the peacocks and one sweet little dog. I think I will set up a roadside stand and sell fruit from the orchard, eggs from the chickens and all those fresh vegetables. Or maybe I won’t~
I was writing on my blog yesterday about borrowing a Ford pickup truck to move some stuff to New Mexico. I thought I would show you a picture of almost that same truck.
Now his was not red but navy blue, it had 3 seat belt, lots of speakers and a tape player playing, ‘Take a good look at my face’. It was great. I borrowed it once before the New Mexico trip and also that time before when it was a few days old and I got to drive it around the block. Just me and my sweet dog Spook and she wet a big round circle on the new seat. We were both sorry but things happen~ The second time I needed to move a piano to my house and promised I would be careful. I was able to find a guy who had a real piano dolly and he met me in front of the Army Salvage store. I was impressed with the dolly, I was taking every precaution to get the piano safely moved to my house and not wreck the truck or lose the piano. I did smell a little beer breath when I paid him the rental fee and he explained how you loaded a piano. Then he threw the dolly over the tail gate and I heard the crunch as it slid in. I could see the damage and so could he. He just said, “oh a little touch up paint will fix it just fine”. I started crying and explaining that SOMEONE was going to kill me! When he walked off, I am sure I heard him say,”tough!”. I almost rolled the piano off my porch before I got it in the house. I still had to return the truck and face the music. Someone was MAD~
I borrowed a pick up truck to haul some furniture to New Mexico one year. It was a nice new Ford 150, navy blue and had a real phone that came with it. Feeling mighty good about then. I delivered my stuff and stayed for a few day to visit. Now the thing that always got me excited was they had a Shop Smith in their garage that had been turned into a work shop. There was a huge work bench, hand made out of fine wood, it even had a vice made out of wood. Beautiful piece of work.. The walls were lined with cabinets with dove tailed drawers, every size to hold anything from screws and bolts to measuring instruments of every kind made. Long drawers to store saws with rose wood handles. These people had a major hobby going on. I just dreamed of having something like the Shop Smith, it had every kind of big tool to build anything you could dream of. Nice thing was when you were finished with a project, you just rolled it over to the wall of the garage out of the way.
The day before I was leaving for home, they told me they wanted me to have their Shop Smith. They were down sizing and knew I had always wanted one. They were not teasing me, it was mine! So for the next several hours we were loading it in the pickup, tying it down with all kinds of straps with ratchets and ropes, and the whole time I was getting a lecture about what I could and could NOT do. I had to promise never to use the lathe and heard about incidents where people had been killed while using one. Hook the heavy board up wrong and it could jump loose and cut your head off. ( I was thinking I could be extra careful and be able to use it OK.) Anyway it was all finally loaded and after I went to bed I started to worry. I could not sleep and had a panic attack. It seemed like it was top heavy in the bed of the truck, there was a lot of weight up on top of those four legs. I was going to be driving through the Sandia Mountains, lots of dangerous curves and heavy traffic. There was just one thing I could think of and that was to try to unload it before anyone was up the next morning. Anything that I could lift, I had it on it’s way~ piece by piece back into the garage. Then I saw the PERSON standing there and he yelled at me, “Are you crazy, have you lost your mind completely?” So this is the story of my wonderful Shop Smith that I hardly knew, it was mine and I did own it for a little over twelve hours.
Please excuse the mistakes on this blog, I couldn’t get the strange letters between pictures to disappear. Maybe it didn’t like the toilet pictures~
There are shops all over Kitale, if you want produce you will need to find a different store for each item. The egg place sells eggs, it is usually right beside several other egg places. The eggs we bought were always fresh and the shells were hard, no cracked eggs~then the meat market might be by the tattoo parlor, barber shop, or even beside the choo (public toilet).
few if any refri
Since there are no refrigerators or ice boxes food must be bought daily. and in small quantities. There was a place that sold dry beans, seeds and maize. They had big sacks with the tops rolled open to scoop the grain out and weigh it. That day there was a roaming street chicken in one of the sacks, scratching and eating, she had found the meal of a lifetime. The store owner didn’t even shoo her away, he just kept sweeping the sidewalk. I shivered and kept walking.
This next little shop was on the street near Mili Mani, the man carried a variety of things from eggs, to batteries, phone minutes, sugar cane, jars of nuts and soda pops. (I wondered about tobacco, I never saw anyone smoking the whole time we were there).
Today I am showing the miniature attic room. It is also the painting room. I never had an art studio even though Dan wanted me to have one when we were building our house. I liked to paint on the kitchen table in the middle of family life. I would work for several hours after the boys went off to school, then put everything away to cook dinner. It was always nice to start out with a clean space again.
Back to the attic room, there is a real card game going on, and place for someone to have a ham sandwich, bag of Fritos and a Coke.
Then a place with all the things I needed to paint pictures. The paint box has lots of tiny tubes of paint, brushes, turpentine, and yes it is a mess just like in real life. A stool, paint rag, pallet, and easel with a work in progress.
Finally a cozy bed, I like beds. I had lots of good feelings when I was restoring this room~
Another place to hang out was in the Delaware Mountains in West Texas. Dan was welcome to come too, he brought his own car in case Matt’s pickup had a problem. (and it did). There were no cell phones or mobile phones back in the 1980’s. Bad to be 70 miles from the nearest town, which was Van Horn. Several times the truck got stuck in a ravine.
The really bad time was being stranded for 5 days in one of the worst snow storms ever, so bad the interstate between Fort Stockton and El Paso was closed. There was no way to get them out during the storm, it was a scary time for those of us back home.(my worst nightmare) The former Sheriff (Mr.Upchurch) from Van Horn flew his plane out to look for them but couldn’t locate the camp. Our sheriff here in Eldorado got two other men and they headed out to Culberson County to see what they could do. Finally after trying for several days, the old ranch foreman was able to drive his bulldozer through miles of snow to reach them. They said when they heard him coming, they were yelling and celebrating. Cabin fever had almost done them in~
This is Spook, I have written about her before because she was such a fine little dog, she made me happy for almost 19 years. The day we found her on the Mertzon road was in early 1980. The following week I took her to Sonora to have her fixed. It was a horrible experience, she was miserable for several days, she was in so much pain.
She recovered and didn’t seem to dwell on her first days at her new home. Later, when we took our dogs to have them fixed, the procedure was easy and they didn’t seem to suffer any pain.
(Dan and Debbie had Schatzie fixed at Ronnie’s and she sat up in his lap going home and helped him drive the pickup, same with Kobi, he helped with the driving.)
Now with Jitter Joe, it was 11 years ago and I had an appointment with Ronnie to get him fixed and decided to ‘shave’ him myself because he was used to me and didn’t mind me grooming or working on him. In a little while, he started scooting on the carpet and licking himself and I saw that he was all red and irritated where I had done my thing. It got so bad, I called Ronnie’s office to see what I should do and they said to put antibiotic cream on him. Poor baby! I took him the next day to get fixed and they were rolling their eyes up there, inside his whole hindquarter, shaved slick. When I brought him home, I saw that they only had to make a tiny half inch incision in his abdomen and all the shaving I had done was for nothing. Anyway, the good thing is that spaying and neutering doesn’t cause our pets any distress, they are just a little sleepy afterwards. At church the next Sunday, Scott McGregor told me he had heard the story about ‘my dog’~ word got around~
Hello, for the next few days I am going to be busy and will just take a break from texasmornings while I catch up on work. I will try to be back with something new and interesting later. I will be posting some re-runs until then. Thank you always for clicking on my blog. Prayers for all of those who have been wiped out by the hurricane. It has touched us all.
Here are three of my dogs, this picture was taken in 2006 in the world’s smallest office. I got T4C to build me a little 6′ X 8′ building, I painted it barn red, trimmed it in taupe and the roof was hunter green. It was an exciting project. I built two desks out of 1″ birch plywood and it had insulated windows, a ceiling fan, and also an air-conditioner. It had a small heater but didn’t need one since the computers kept it warm.
When it was finished, there was space for two people working in there with two computers, printers, scanners and 19 feet of shelving on the walls, enough storage room for all their business.This project took about two months but was one of my favorites. It was like building a play house. My dogs liked it too.
What a thrill the day my kids moved home and saw it for the first time. It was sitting at our camp on the South Concho River near Christoval, they used it until they were able to build their new home. Now it has been moved to it’s permanent place in the middle of Chickie Town and the Peacock Palace and the Bean Barn and the orchard. I never get over the feeling of excitement going inside that fine little place. Wonderful memories live here.
My favorite thing on the computer is Adobe Photoshop Elements, it is the miracle worker. It clones things in and takes things out of a picture or does a big job like this picture. I cloned that great grand baby right into my arms (from a picture of Caroline holding her). So I do get to hold that sweet baby.
My family went to Uganda to see the newest member of our family while I stayed home and kept everyone’s places running. That included 40 pet chickens, two peacocks, an orchard, trapping varmints, and taking care of three dogs and two kitties. I came home every morning to take care of my place and that was a full time job.
I got up at 3:00 AM each morning to see the latest pictures and videos streaming in live from Soroti, I even saw the video of the big celebration at the airport when they got to meet their new granddaughter. It was wonderful, I could sit and watch and cry and it was just me and the dogs, no one to interfere with my emotions. A happy time!
Right about here is when everything quit for me, the internet service went out in Christoval and I couldn’t re-connect the router because I didn’t have the ‘secret code’ so I was stuck there for three weeks, no internet, no TV and a phone that I didn’t know how to work. I didn’t get to see the rest of the pictures until much later. The nights were long~they did have a wedding at the vineyard and I could hear the boom boom boom music until 1:00 in the morning. Then there were several lightning storms that came through every few days. I caught several coons in the live trap and one fox.
This was Austin Albin’s third trip to Africa with them and his first time to hold a baby. He took most of the photographs and I am thankful for all the nice pictures. Praise the Lord for the great mission work they all do.
Next trip will be my turn~
I can just think of a cup of coffee and a slice of cake and I want to start singing~ It is good to have something sweet in the freezer when the cravings hit you. This cake is easy to make and easy to eat, you don’t even need a plate and fork.
Carrot cake is one of the best cakes around. It is moist and full of flavors. The lemon icing makes it extra special. It is one of the easiest cakes since you dump it all in the bowl and mix it up. When you are taking it out of the pan, run a sharp knife around the edges and then shake it loose from the sides before you flip it out on to a rack. Put wax paper under the rack to catch any icing that drips.
Heat oven to 350 degrees
2 c sugar
1 c Canola oil
1 flat can crushed pineapple (drained)
2 c grated carrots
1 c white raisins
1 tsp vanilla
2 c coarsely chopped pecans (toast in microwave about 2 minutes, stir after a minute)
1 c shredded cocoanut
Beat this all together in mixer
Mix next 5 ingredients together and then pour into first mixture..
3 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp soda
Spray bundt or tube pan with Pam. Pour in batter. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, test with a tooth pick for doneness .
Cool for about 10 minutes then carefully remove from pan onto wire rack.
Grate lemon peel,
squeeze juice from one lemon into small bowl
¼ tsp lemon extract
1/8 tsp vanilla
Mix with 2 c powdered sugar.
Drizzle or spread on top and sides of warm cake
(this cake freezes well)
I grew up with Jujubees. The kids called them ‘chu chus’ and that was the name that stuck. Granddad Christian had an orchard in his yard and it was like the Garden of Eden. Every kind of tree you could imagine and vines with grapes and lots of berries. It was almost like he found a nursery catalog and bought one of everything. The favorite of mine was the chu chu tree. It was easy to climb and I could even get up on the roof of the house from there. It produced fruit every year and lots of it. You could eat a sack full and not get sick.
Jujubees are small fruit and are crisp and sweet. They have a seed like a date except it is not split. It is one of the oldest trees and grows all over the world. It originated in Asia. A tree is easy to grow and produces fruit after about five years. They are hardy, they grow in almost all climates except for extreme cold. Seeds that drop on the ground sprout and make more trees so soon there is a thicket. Mine are in the yard and that is not a problem because the sprouts get mowed down with the grass.
I have managed to have chu chu trees for most of my life, planting them wherever I lived. Now what to do with them except eat them fresh, they can be dried like a date and canned and all sorts of things people try but I think they are better for eating fresh.
They can make a mess when they fall from the tree but the deer come in the yard at night and eat every single one, seed and all. They love them! I love the deer, there was a mother and a small fawn out there today enjoying the fruit.
Thank you for clicking on my blog. It is fun when I see that someone from the Ukraine is following it, also Kenya and especially from San Angelo~