Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Friendship

First of all, to all my dear blogging friends, I have missed you, too, and I sure do appreciate you love and concern over the past two weeks. I am back, sort of. I found that I was spending so much time blogging...reading and writing...that I was not living much around here. So I took stock, and I am going to blog a couple of time a week...reading and writing. I love all of you, and I certainly appreciate your support. In the next couple of days, I will endeavor to tell you what I am doing, what I am planning, and where I am hoping to go from here. I a endeavoring to hear what God wants of me and to respond in kind.

Again, I love you all and I thank you. Oh, and Turtle is sitting here by my feet...exhausted for her day's acitivities as well.

Have a great Friday. Louise and I are going to Graham tomorrow. Maybe I'll get a photo or two to share with you.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentine to all of You -- "See you soon"

Click the Valentine and hear and see my message to all you lovely bloggers I love. I'll be back soon.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Palo Pinto County Texas in 1857

Well, I just completed this month's column. Here it goes:



As Palo Pinto County is celebrating its sesqui-centinnial, I thought it would be interesting to see what was going on in the year 1857.

Created August 27, 1856, from Navarro and Bosque counties, Palo Pinto County was organized in 1857. Spanish name Palo Pinto refers to spotted oak, a common regional tree having bark with a mottled appearance. The first Anglo American settlers arrived in 1850's. The county seat, first named Golconda in 1856, but was renamed Palo Pinto in 1858. A court session in 1857 called for the first courthouse to be built of wood frame construction with two doors and three windows. The contract was awarded for a bid of $300.

Jos. H. Dillahunty was named postmaster on Golconda in 1858, and James C. Loving was named postmaster of Pleasant Valley in 1857. Ansel Russell was postmaster of Russell’s Store in 1857.

Richard Dyer married Elizabeth Walker on 21 October 1858 in Palo Pinto County.



At Black Springs near Oran in the Keechi Valley in 1857, the celebrated pioneer open range cowman and trail driver Charles Goodnight settled his first ranch on the extreme Indian frontier of Texas. From there Goodnight took part in the 1860 Pease River battle when Cynthia Ann Parker was recaptured from Comanches. He served as a scout and guide for the Texas Rangers during the Civil War and in 1866 he laid out the Goodnight-Loving cattle trail, over which thousands of longhorns were driven to market in New Mexico.

Ten years later in 1867 at Fort Sumner, New Mexico, Goodnight’s partner, Oliver Loving, died from wounds suffered in an Indian attack. Without the aid of an mortician, Goodnight carried the body by wagon through hostile Indian territory for burial at Weatherford. Goodnight extended his cattle trails to Wyoming and Colorado, where he started a ranch near Pueblo. Almost twenty years later, in 1876 he established the first cattle ranch in the vast Texas Panhandle, which became the internationally known JA Ranch.

By 1855 the Lovings had moved to the future Palo Pinto County, where they ran a country store near Keechi Creek and ranched. The first assessment roll of Palo Pinto County, taken in 1857, listed Loving with 1,000 acres of land.

Somewhere along about that time, Loving noticed of the vast herds of wild Spanish cattle roaming the whole of Texas. He capitalized on this resource early and began moving herds to the east. In 1857 he entrusted his nineteen-year-old son, William, to drive his and his neighbors' cattle to Illinois up the Shawnee Trail. The drive made a profit of thirty-six dollars a head and encouraged Loving to repeat the trek successfully the next year with John Durkee. He successfully moved herds to Shreveport and New Orleans, at that time the only safe markets for Texas cattle. Fierce tribes of Indians controlled all the areas west and north of the Texas settlements.

Involved in the preservation of the area's native buffalo, Goodnight also bred the first herd of cattalo by crossing buffalo with range cattle. Goodnight's pioneer efforts led to the development of the frontier and the Texas cattle industry.

In 1857 Jesse Hittson actively participated in the formation of Palo Pinto County. His grave is the earliest marked at this site. He is buried in Pleasant Valley, in the Hittson Cemetery. Five generations of Hittsons are buried here.

Another cemetery of interest is the Palo Pinto Cemetery. This cemetery traces its history to 1857 when a 320-acre tract of land was surveyed for the original Palo Pinto town site. The town was platted in 1858 and one block was laid around an existing cemetery. The oldest legible grave marker is that of George W. Slaughter, 6 May 1843 to 15 June 1860.

Born in Lawrence County, Mississippi, George Webb Slaughter, father of the above named Slaughter, came to Texas with his parents in 1830. They settled in Sabine County and began a freighting business.

Slaughter participated in the Texas War for Independence, serving as a courier for General Sam Houston, and on one occasion took a dispatch to Colonel William B. Travis at the Alamo in San Antonio. Slaughter married Sarah Mason on 12 October 1836, the first marriage sanctioned under laws of the Republic of Texas. The couple had 11 children, including the prominent cattlemen Christopher C. (1837-1919) and John B. Slaughter (1848-1928). George W. Slaughter in 1844 was ordained a Baptist minister. He began raising cattle in Freestone County in 1852, and moved in 1857 to his Palo Pinto County homestead.

In 1861 Slaughter organized a Baptist church near his home and rode a circuit in the area, preaching and practicing "saddlebag" medicine. He and his family survived several Indian attacks. In 1882, he founded the First Baptist Church in Mineral Wells. He ceased ranching in 1884. In 1886 he was moderator when Slaughter Valley Baptist Church merged with the church in Palo Pinto, where he was later buried.

Christopher Columbus Slaughter established a frontier ranch in Palo Pinto County in 1857.

LaFayette Abraham Wilson moved with his parents in their overland caravan from Washington County, Arkansas, to a portion of Palo Pinto County along the Keechi Creek.

The Peveler family settled in the Republic of Texas on a tract of land in present-day Fannin County that was granted to David Peveler in 1838. David Peveler had signed an oath of allegiance to the Republic that made him eligible for the land. The family later moved to Parker County for a short time before establishing a home on Keechi Creek in Palo Pinto County in 1857. The next year the family moved to Young County and settled near the Brazos River where they established a ranch. The ranch was four miles north of frontier military post Fort Belknap and the present-day town of New Castle.

Now for some queries:

“My uncles and father were born in Texa; my uncles in Archer county. Did there used to be a town by the name of Fleerton or Flurton in Archer County? Melissa Fleer-Brown, mbrown@loltc.com”

Here’s a response to Noel Garland’s post:

“Dear Sue: I was reading your column the other day and I noticed that you mentioned my father, Gary Hanks. Are you looking for him? Yes, we (my father and I) are related to Nancy Hanks Lincoln. She would be our 8th generation aunt or something like that. Are you related to her as well? My grandfather researched our genealogy before he passed away. Denise Shelton (Hanks), sixpack259@adelphia.net”

“The Daugherty family moved to Abliene Texas area from Kentucky in the early 1800's. This is from word of mouth, however we do have a few documents. Ruth Amanda was my Great-grandmother’s mother. My great-grandmother’s married name was Bannie Childs Crowder. Gemma, Lrmanz@aol.com”

And, finally, more information about the Garland clan:

Corrie Bell Garland Sex: F
Event(s):
Birth: 17 Mar 1915 Place: Hartsville, South Carolina
Death: 20 Mar 1960 Place: Charleston, South Carolina
Burial: 23 Mar 1960 Place: Hartsville, South Carolina
Parents:
Father: Asa Garland
Mother: Roxie LNU
Marriage(s):
Spouse: Robert Kinchen Kea , Sr
Marriage: 1936 Place: Darlington,South Carolina
Asa Garland Sex: M
Event(s):
Birth: 1887 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 1918 Place: Hartsville, South Carolina
Parents:
Father: Henry L Garland
Mother: Bethany 'Betty' Norwood
Marriage(s):
Spouse: Roxie LNU
Henry L Garland Sex: M
Event(s):
Birth: 16 Nov 1846 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 21 Nov 1916 Place: Lydia, South Carolina
Burial: 22 Nov 1916 Place: Lydia, South Carolina (Wesley Chapel 2-34)
Parents:
Father: Asa Garland
Mother: Elizabeth Wood
Marriage(s):
Spouse: Bethany 'Betty' Norwood
Marriage: 1875 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Asa Garland Sex: M
Event(s):
Birth: 1806 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 1885 Place: Lamar, Darlington, South Carolina
Parents:
Father: William Joseph Garland
Mother: Lydia Cooley
Marriage(s):
Spouse: Elizabeth Wood
Birth: 1814 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Death: 1890 Lydia, Darlington, South Carolina
Marriage: 1840 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
William Joseph Garland Sex: M
Event(s):
Birth: 1753 Place: Roanoke Rapids, Edgecombe County, North Carolina
Death: 10 Feb 1827 Place: Darlington, South Carolina
Burial: 11 Feb 1827 Place: Darlington, South Carolina (Garland Cemetery)
Parents:
Marriage(s):
Spouse: Lydia Cooley
Marriage: Place:

Busy Day and a story

Sorry I've not been visiting you all yesterday and today. Lots to do...church-wise and sewing. So I leave you with this wonderful music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbndgwfG22k

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkidVP0AcQ8

and this:

Peeping Tom


This girl I know lives on the 4th floor of an apartment, and even though it is a fairly good neighborhood, she has been having trouble with a Peeping Tom that lives next door...

Every time she goes out on her balcony to catch a bit of sun while wearing her bikini, this Peeping Tom looks over from his balcony as soon as she removes her top, and stares at her...

She has complained to the superintendent about this Peeping Tom, but he says she must have positive proof before he can do a thing --

She FINALLY got a picture of him while he was staring at her...





Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stand Firm, Peacocks, Nellie...other stuff


For those of you who might be interested in what is going on with my church, St. Luke's Parish in Mineral Wells, Texas, and with the Anglican Communion, you can click the Stand Firm logo. There will be daily videos telling us what is happening. You can also click on the St. Luke's Parish News site, as well. Also, you can check out Virtue Online. All these sites will tell it like it is, but, mind you, they are conservative. So if you're looking for a liberal bend...please look elsewhere. Our prayer is that the Primates, as they meet February 12-19 in Africa, feel the Holy Spirit and allow God to direct them in His will.

Hey, check out Terry's blog to see me and Turtle!! Turtle has gone to Canada to visit Terry and Bernie!

Now, for less serious stuff. Cousin Cindy Lee of South Carolina sent this lovely photo. Wish I could see it in real life.

I've seen this photo before...wish I could give someone photo credit. It's really beautiful.

Another interesting bit of info...here is how "Not on your Nellie" came to be:

It's Cockney slang: Exclam. No way! Not on your life! A shortening of the rhyming slang not on your nellie duff, where nellie duff rhymes on puff which refers to life, hence not on your life. [1940s]. Interesting, huh?

Now St. Valentine's Day recipe for the day:

A traditional recipe for Valentine’s Day is Red Velvet Cake.
This red velvet cake recipe is made with butter, eggs, vanilla, red gel food coloring, cocoa, buttermilk, and other ingredients:

Cake

* 12 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 sticks
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 2 tablespoons red gel food coloring plus 2 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 tablespoon vinegar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* Cooked Frosting
* 1 cup milk
* 1/3 all-purpose flour
* 1 cup butter
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* milk or cream

PREPARATION:
Preheat oven to 350°. Generously grease and flour 3 8-inch round layer cake pans or 2 9-inch cake pans.

Cake: Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat 1 minute longer. Beat in vanilla until blended. Combine cocoa, food coloring, and 2 tablespoons water; beat into the egg creamed mixture. Combine flour and salt. Alternate adding flour and buttermilk mixtures to the batter, beating on low to medium speed. Combine soda and vinegar in cup and add to cake batter. Spoon batter evenly into the 3 cake pans; bake at 350° for 22 to 28 minutes. Cool on cake racks. Remove from pans and frost tops and sides.

Frosting: In a saucepan, whisk together the 1/3 cup flour and milk and cook, stirring, until thickened; cool in the refrigerator. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer. Add flour and milk mixture a little at a time (make ahead of cake so that it has plenty of time to cool). Beat well, adding milk or cream as needed. Frost layers, sides, and top of cake.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Candy, A-Z Meme, Today, Photos

Today was a very nice day, so far. I got up at 7 and made that egg and potato casserole from the other day...BTW, it was good! I got showered, got dressed, and went to get Carolyn. We went to the church for an Altar Guild meeting and Mass and brunch. There were nine of us there, plus Father Phelps. We planned Holy Week and in general got a lot done and had a great time. We are planning a Passover meal, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday services. Also, we will have Stations of the Cross and a Bible study each week in Lent. The photo to the left is Doris and Allie, our Altar Guild Directoresses, with Father.

While we were there the men began coming in to decorate for the '50's party at the church tonight. We can't go because we already had tickets to Grease at Tarleton. John and Arsi are meeting us there, as are Jim and Louise, and we're taking Bethy. We going to eat at a new Mexican restaurant there before the show.


MARTHA WASHINGTON CANDY

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 stick butter or margarine, melted (4 ounces)
  • 3 cups chopped pecans
  • Dipping Chocolate (below), melted

PREPARATION:

Mix all ingredients together, shape into balls, then chill until hard. Dip chilled balls in dipping chocolate and let cool.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Dipping Chocolate
Use melted chocolate almond bark or purchased dipping chocolate, or the mixture below

  • 1 cake paraffin wax
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Melt wax and milk chocolate chips together in double boiler. Dip candy in mixture, then cool.




Got this meme from Lisa at Joyful Noise Christian School
Aprons - Y/N – never used them, but I have some somewhere…probably my mother’s
Baking - Favorite thing to bake – Anything sweet…cake…pie…bread…anything fattening!
Clothesline - Y/N- No, but I used to have one and wish I had one here. Makes the clothes smell so good, and some things just do better outside.
Donuts – I’ve made them before…lots of work…love to eat them

Every day homemaking job – Cooking…straightening…laundry

Freezer- Do you have a separate deep freeze? - No. Wish I did.

Garbage Disposal - Y/N - Yup

Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking resource? – Lots of cookbooks

Ironing - Love it or hate it? – Never, ever iron, except church linen and when I’m quilting
Junk drawer -Y/N? Where is it? – The entire house, of course
Kitchen- Design and decorating? – It is black, white, and yellow with lemons and flowers

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking? – Cooking…I love to cook

Mop- Y/N – Raf does it!!

Nylons – stockings?? Not on your nellie

Oven – Yup, and I use it a lot
Pizza - What do you put on yours? – EVERYTHING!!! I love food!!

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? – pray…read…sleep
Recipe Card Box- Y/N? – I have tons of recipes all over, printed, written, in boxes that were Mother’s and Aunt Marguerites
Style of house – in other parts of the world it might be called a ranch…though here in Texas we find that foolish, unless you live in the country on a ranch!! Raf says it eclectic (see the photo of the house before)

Tablecloths and napkins? – if I get a wild hare/air, usually we use paper towels…since we mostly eat in our recliners.

Under the kitchen sink - organized or toxic wasteland? – Absolute toxic waste…our daughter cleans for us, so she knows, I don’t

Vacuum - How many times per week? – Carolyn vacuums once a week

Wash - How many loads of laundry do you do in a week? – one every evening

X's - Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?- Yup…if I can find the list. I love lists

Yard - Who does what? – The grandsons or the little man we hire

Zzz's – We sleep in a totally dark room with a white noise machine.


Our house was built in the 1950's. It is a two bedroom, two bath house on a tiny lot.















Here's is our Tennessee Jake Brake














And Camo Turtle sharpens her claws!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Artella Muse, Wishes Meme, Valentine Casserole

Every Christmas Fred at Artella Words and Art sponsors a Muse/Musee swap. Each artist is given the name of another artist to write/design for. This we do by the end of December. However, as with all swaps, some people don't fulfill their promises...guess that's just life...so Fred contacts the ones of us who said we would do a second one, and we send pieces to a second musee. This 4X4 and ATC I made for a musee in Delaware. I hope she likes them. I just don't understand people who make a promise and don't follow up on it! I hope she enjoys these. I write a little poem for her, as well, but I forgot to save it. Oh, well, the old memory isn't what it used to be.


For those of you so inclined, please pray for the Anglican Primate's meeting, Feb. 12-19. This is a conservative, Biblical group vs. the humanists. We are fighting such a fight. Here is a link to read news and blogs about our fight.



Got this meme from Susie Q at Rabbit Run Cottage:

This is a little slate sign that one of my best friends me brought from California....I love it!
I found this new list over at Cindy's "Romantic Home". If I could build a house any place, I think I build it on one of the hills outside Wimberley, Texas, in the Texas Hill Country.
2.What's your favorite article of clothing? Probably my SAS (San Antonio Shoes) Shoes.
3.Favorite physical feature of the opposite sex? Hands, probably. I love Raf’s long fingers…guitar-playing hands.
4.What's the last CD that you bought? Cathy Cowette’s Song for a Winter’s Night.
5.Where's your favorite place to be? Here, or in Wimberley or Rockport, Texas, oh, or traveling with our trailer around the country.
6. Where is your least favorite place to be? No contest…dentist’s office.
7.What's your favorite place to be massaged? In Wimberley at Touched by Angles…and full body!
8.Strong in mind or strong in body? Definitely Mind…body is going down hill steadily.
9.What time do you wake up in the morning? As late as I can…usually 8 or 9.
10. What is your favorite kitchen appliance? George Foreman grill.
11.What makes you really angry? Lying
12.If you could play any instrument, what would it be? Recorder or flute
13. Favorite color? Red
14.Which do you prefer...sports car or SUV? SUV…love our Expedition.
15. Do you believe in an afterlife? Of course.
16.Favorite children's book? After, the Bible, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
17. What is your favorite season? Autumn
18. Your least favorite household chore? Ironing…just don’t do it.
19.If you could have one super power, what would it be? Physical strength
20.If you have a tattoo, what is it? No tattoos…Raf has one on his right arm…looks like a bracelet
21.Can you juggle? No
22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to? My father…he died when I was 18 and I still miss him every day
23. What's your favorite day? Don’t have one…maybe Sunday
24. What's in the trunk of your car? In the back of our SUV is a plug in fridge, emergency kit, pillow, folding chairs and table…other stuff
25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger? It would be sushi IF I ate it, but I am afraid of raw seafood since a friend ate some and it killed him…but I used to love raw oysters!



I found this recipe online, and I'm going to make it for the Altar Guild brunch/Eucharist/meeting on Saturday. It sounds yummy!

Potato-Egg Casserole

1/2 stick butter
16 ozs hash brown potatoes
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped tomato
2 Tbsps chopped pepper
2 Tbsps minced onion
3 Tbsps Ranch dressing
3/4 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese

Put butter and potatoes in casserole dish and bake in 350° oven until potatoes are thawed... Drizzle dressing over potatoes. Add milk, tomatoes, peppers and onions, salt and one cup of grated cheese. Pour mixture over potatoes and bake in 350° oven until eggs are set, stirring occasionally. Serves 6-8. Recipe can be doubled easily.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More Texasisms

The Texas State Insect is the Monarch Butterfly. This photo was taken by Gary Musgrave of Abilene, Texas, and put up on Lone Star Junction.

The Motto of Texas is Friendship. Yup, we all try our dead-level best to be friendly to you all! BTW, "You all" means all of you...it does not mean one person!

The Texas Gemstone is the Blue Topaz. Raf and I got matching James Avery rings with a blue topaz for our 25th wedding anniversary.

The Texas state dog is the Blue Lacy. Our state dish is Chili. Our state bread is Pan de Campo or Cowboy bread. Our state cooking implement is the cast iron skillet.


Our state grass is the sideoats grama. Our state large mammal is the Longhorn. Our state musical instrument is the guitar. Our state plant is the prickly pear cactus. Our state seal looks like this. The reverse of the state seal, which I can't find, was designed by my mother's college roommate's husband, Henry Wedemeyer.
However the design was revised in 1919.







Here is one of our very favorite things. It's bread, BUT with honey it is a desert...delicious.

Indian Fry Bread from New Mexico Cookbook by Lynn Nusom:

New Mexico Indians prepare a delicious pastry the call "Fry Bread". You can purchase this from vendors all over New Mexico. It is sold at many of the Pueblos and at art fairs and ceremonial dances held throughout the year.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups warm water
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
lard or cooking oil to fry in

Mix dry ingredients together, add warm water and knead until dough is soft but not sticky. Pat and stretch the dough until it is quite thin. Tear off a piece five or six inches square, poke a hold through the middle and drop into a pan of hot cooking oil Brown on both sides and serve hot with butter and jam or honey. Makes 6 to 8 pieces.



Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shalee's Diner Cheap Date

Shalee's Diner is asking for ideas for cheap dates for St. Valentine's Day.

Now it's been a long time since Raf and I had a date. Yup, we're "old" so we don't have babysitter problems...although when we were dating...before we were married...we had three little girls who at times needed babysitters. And, yes, I've definitely swapped babysitting responsibilities with others! Now, of course, our babies are 41, 39, and 37...and each has at least one child old enough to babysit!

But back to mine and Raf's dating. Our best, most special, and cheapest dates were when he would take me to one of the several local parks in Nashville, Tennessee, and serenade me with his guitar and voice. Off times I would pack a picnic lunch. Our favorite stroll was a 3.5 miles around Radnor Lake in the middle of Nashville. This is a wild area that Minnie Pearl and Mrs. Tex Ritter (for you young ones, that's John Ritter's mom) helped save from becoming condos in the 1970's.

And now, 31 years later, we are planning our 30th anniversary by going back to Nashville and walking around the lake. We try to do that every time we are in Nashville, BUT the last time we were there I couldn't do it. The old hip hurt too badly. So, on May 5, 2007, our plan is to do that walk. I am soooo looking forward to it. Mind you, when we went years ago there was no fee to walk...there is now, but, hey, it's definitely worth it.

I know I have bored you with this photo before, but it's one of my very favorite of us taken outside the GoldRush club in Nashville on Elliston Place. Our first date was to hear Lenny Breau play at Mississippi Whiskers (no longer there but you can Google it and see pics) in Nashville, and then we headed to the GoldRush for a nightcap.

So there, my friends, are ideas for cheap dates...take a picnic to the park...and serenade your love...if you can't sing, take a CD player. Walk around a lake and enjoy the nature God put there for us to enjoy.

Enjoy an outdoor concert in the park. We go each year to 5 or 6 such free concerts in Stephenville, Texas.

Take in a little theatre or college theatre play...they usually serve refreshments...all for about $7 each.

Go to an open mic at one of the many coffeehouses and bars in your area...get a cuppa and enjoy the music. Money spending should be the least of what's important for a great date.

Remember:

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.

--Omar Khayyam

I Won!!

I won at Tinker Arts' Sharing HeART! I can't believe it. Thanks so much, Tink.


These flowers were on our altar Sunday in memory of Red Segars and Jerry Rushton.

Once again I'm having to sit...man, am I tired of this. This time I've pulled or pinched something in my knee. It is better today, but yesterday I thought I could use the treadmill...nope, that was the WRONG thing to do. Well, let's see...the blood pressure is going steadily down...so something NEW had to happen.

The women of my church met at Shotgun's Restaurant for lunch to honor Pat Steward who was in town for a visit. Shotgun's is a barbecue place, newly renovated and re-opened with new owner, Rhett Warren. In Texas we specialize in beef barbecue, although we also serve chicken and pork. Side dishes include boiled cabbage, pinto beans, okra, and blackberry cobbler.

We had a great time and it was really well attended!

Late yesterday afternoon John came back up to get his eyes checked, and we took him back to Stephenville to his apartment. His car has developed some transmission problems which we hope to have fixed soon.

Here's today's St. Valentine's Day recipe. Got this from our newspaper not long ago.

Pecan Tossies

Mini shells:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 3-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup flour

In a small bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in flour to form a stiff dough. Divide into 24 balls, about 1-inch each. Press each ball into the greased well of a mini-muffin tin to form shells. Set aside.

Filling:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup shopped pecans
1/4 cup melted butter

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with fork; add brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla, stirring to incorporate. Add nuts. Fill shells and bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yield: 24 tarts.

For those of you out there that might be trivia buffs, here's a bit of information:

The Pecan tree is the Texas state tree.
Other state things:
Bird...Mockingbird
Flower...Bluebonnet
Fish...Guadalupe bass
Fruit...Red Grapefruit
Mammal...Armadillo

For more Texas info...check tomorrow

Monday, February 05, 2007

Twilight

Photo by Micah Goulart

One silent moment
Flash of gold, almost darkness
Gone forever more



Another St. Valentine's Day recipe, this time from the Farm Journal's Complete Pie Cookbook. I thought the Farm Journal was no more, but you can find it online here. These books I use are mostly YEARS old!

Vanilla Cream Pie

1 Baked 8" pie shell
1/2 cup sugar
3 tblsp. flour
1 tblsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 tblsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

  • Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in top of double boiler. Mis with wooden spoon. Blend in milk gradually, then add egg yolks. Add butter.
  • Place over rapidly boiling water so pan is touching water. Cook until thick and smooth, about 7 minutes, stirring constantly, Scrape down sides of pan frequently.
  • Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Stir until smooth and blended, scraping sides of pan well. Pour hot filling into pie shell.
  • Note: Quantities may be doubled and filling cooked for 2 (8") pies at the same time.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Tum...da...da...tum...And the Winners Are:

The winners of the three ATC's are:

Nature Girl

Sandy...who started Sharing HeART!

and

Alix

So, if each of you will email me, they will be on their way to you!


Now, I hope not a whole lot of you didn't make those scones, because I left out the Heavy Cream. So check out two posts back, and re-read the correct recipe.

And, here's another recipe...I'm going to post dessert recipes in honor of St. Valentine's Day. Here's the first one.

Rancho de ChimayĆ³ Flan
Serves 8

Custard
2 1/4 cups canned evaporated milk (9 1/2 12-oz. cans)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups water
6 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Caramel
1/4 cups sugar

Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Set 8 custard cups or other heat-proof cups on a counter within easy reach of the stove.

To prepare the custard, combine the ingredients in a double boiler's top pan. Beat with a whisk, or with a hand mixer at medium speed, for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is well blended and begins to froth at its rim.

Insert the pan over its water bath and heat the mixture over medium-low heat until it is warm throughout. Do NOT let the custard boil. Keep it warm over very low heat while preparing the caramel.

To prepare the caramel, place the sugar in a small, heavy saucepan or skillet. Cover over low heat, watching as the sugar melts into a golden brown syrup. There is no need to stir unless the sugar is melting unevenly. When the syrup turns a rich medium brown, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Carefully pour about about 1 tsp. of caramel into the bottom of each custard cup. They syrup in the cups will harden almost immediately. The quantity of syrup allows a little extra in case some of it hardens before you get all 8 cups filled.

To assemble the flan, pour the warmed custard mixture equally into the cupa, and place them in a baking pan large enough to accommodate all the cups with a little room for air circulation. Add warm water to the pan, enough to cover the bottom third of the cups, and bake for 1 3/4 hours. Check to see if the custard is firm and its top has just begun to color a light brown; if not, bake for up to 10 minutes more.

Remove the cups from the oven and let them cool for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature. Cover the cups and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Just prior to serving, take the cups from the refrigerator and uncover them. Unmold the first dessert by running a knife between the custard and the cup. Invert onto a serving plate. Repeat with the remaining flans and serve.

REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Other traditional flans throughout the border region (of Texas and Mexico) are made with similar ingredients but come out lighter in texture due to higher-heat baking and a shorter cooking time. Contemporary versions today tinker with extra flavors rather than techniques, adding almond, coffee, coconut, chocolate, pumpkin, strawberry, and more. We think some of the supplements confuse rather than complement the taste, so we seldom change anything more than the evaporated milk, substituting a goat's milk version of the same.

This came from the cookbook The Border Cookbook: Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
...it is a wonderful cookbook...fun to read as well as use!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Alexander McCall Smith

I have just completed reading another of Alexander McCall Smith's works, Espresso Tales. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading the works of this Scotsman, I encourage you to seek his volumes and devour them. They are so well written, with such wonderful use of our language. I now quote the poem which ends this recent book. It expresses so many emotions in me. It is so true:

Dear one, how many years is it - I forget -
Since this luminous evening when you joined us
In the celebration of whatever it was that we were celebrating - I forget -
It is a mark of a successful celebration
That one should have little recollection of the cause;
As long as the happiness itself remains a memory.
Our tiny planet, viewed from afar, is a place of swirling clouds
And dimmish blue; Scotland, though lodged large in all our hearts
Is invisible at that distance, not much perhaps,
But to us it is our all, our place, the opposite of nowhere;
Nowhere can be seen by looking up
And realising, with shock, that we really are very small;
You would say, yes, we are, but never overcompensate,
Be content with small places, the local, the short story
Rather than the saga; take pleasure in private jokes,
In expressions that cannot be translated,
In references that can be understood by only two or three,
But which speak with such eloquence for small places
And the fellowship of those whom we know so well
And whose sayings and moods are as familiar
As the weather; these mean everything,
They mean the world, they mean the world.


And so, my friends, although we are from many places, we are from but one, this Earth on which we travel. We share our private places, and we know, too, that it does, in fact, mean everything...it means the world.

God bless you all this night and come the morning, bless you more. Good night.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Did Phil see his shadow? Trolls?? Sharing HeART!

February 2, 2007 - around 7:30 am ET - Punxsutawney, PA, Phil did not see his shadow and thus spring is just around the corner!

Well, if Phil had been in Mineral Wells, Texas, he would not have seen it, either, so SPRING here we come!!

TROLLS--go away, please

I have been hearing about Blog Trolls, whom, thankfully I have not met! I don't know why people want to ruin things, but there are just mean spirited folks who aren't happy unless others are hurt. All I can say to any Troll who happens to be around, it would be nice if you would just go play some place else.

Sharing HeART

Below are three of the ATC's I have created for the drawing. Those of you who haven't put your name in the pot and might want to, please let me know!
Pink Valentine
Purple Valentine
Yellow Valentine
Well, I haven't been drawing much lately, so I drew this summer flower while looking at the winter snow...speaking of snow. We had a light salting of snow both in the front of the house...

and in the back.
Today was a lovely day. Louise came over this afternoon, and we watched several recorded versions of Simply Quilts. Then we had a little tea party with black tea for Louise and Earl Grey for me. I made winter scones with heavy cream, and we had a lovely time. Louise and I can talk all day and not cover the same thing twice.

This scone recipe comes from Homemake Bread by the Food Editors of Farm Journal:

Winter Scones

Brighten the supper menu with these cream scones cut in pie-shaped pieces

2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1 tblsp. baking powder
2 tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. shortening
2 eggs
1/3 c. heavy cream
1 tblsp. sugar

Sift together flour, baking powder, 2 tblsp. sugar and salt into mixing bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal or crumbs. Make a hollow in the center. Save out 1 tblsp. egg white for topping. Beat remaining eggs; combine with cream and add all at once to hollow in flour mixture. Stir to mix--the dough will be stiff.

Turn onto lightly floured board and knead lightly 5 or 6 times, or until dough sticks together. Divide in half. Roll each half to make a 6" circle about 1" think. Cut each circle in 4 wedges.

Arrange wedges about 1" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Brush tops with reserved egg white; sprinkle with 1 tblsp. sugar.

Bake in hot oven (400˚F) about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve at once. Makes 8 scones.

My nurse practitioner friend, Carla, sent me this below...yup! That is my story, and I'm sticking to it!!




Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sharing HeARTs, Snow, Coins

Sharing HeARTs
Pea at Pea's Corner says, "Inspired by Sandy at Art Tea Life I am doing a Valentine Giveaway."

What a neat idea, I thought, so I am going to give away something as well. I will draw three names from my February 5 post and send each a St. Valentine's Day ATC to each one. I am in the process of creating them right now...just put on the first coat of Twinkling H2O's.

I challenging all my arty friends to do the same...let's share the love!

It's hard to believe, but it's snowing again...here in Texas. I just talked to an old friend , and we agreed that we have never seen this sort of weather before...and she's in her 80's, so she's been here a while. That snow and sleet storm of a couple of weeks ago was amazing, and now this. The snow flakes, as you might be able to see in the photos, are huge, and it is beautiful. I realize if I lived in the North I probably wouldn't be this excited about it, but I'm like a kid. I love to see it!! Also, we have lots of junco today...the most this winter, and the sharp shinned hawk is back, and we just have tons of birds.

As you can see from this photo, Raf and Gus and the computer are keeping each other warm. This is Gus' favorite position.
One of my most long-time friends, Jack (Di's brother), sent me this. It brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful. Thank you, Jackson!



The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the
dresser in my parents' bedroom. When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty
his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.

As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they
were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar
was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar
was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and
silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured
through the bedroom window. When the jar was filled, Dad would sit at the
kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly
in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the
seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me
hopefully. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill,
son. You're going to do better than me. This old mill town's not going to
hold you back."

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the
counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly "These are
for my son's college fund. He'll never work at the mill all his life like
me."

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone.
I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice
cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled
in his palm. "When we get home, we'll start filling the jar again." He
always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled
around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. "You'll get
to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters," he said. "But you'll
get there. I'll see to that"

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town.
Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and
noticed that the pickle jar was gone. It had served its purpose and had
been removed.

A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where
the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words, and never
lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith.

The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the
most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife
Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life
as a boy In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad
had loved me.

No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his
coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill,
and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime
was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over
my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever
to make a way out for me. "When you finish college, Son," he told me, his
eyes glistening, "You'll never have to eat beans again - unless you want
to."

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the
holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other
on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began
to whimper softly, and Susan took her from Dad's arms.

"She probably needs to be changed," she said, carrying the baby into my
parents' bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room,
there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into
the room. "Look," she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the
floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been
removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins.
I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a
fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins
into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped
quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same
emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

This truly touched my heart. I know it has yours as well. Sometimes we
are so busy adding up our troubles that we forget to count our blessings.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you
can change a person's life, for better or for worse.

God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way.
Look for God in others.

The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched! - they must
be felt with the heart ~ Helen Keller

- Happy moments, praise God.

- Difficult moments, seek God.

- Quiet moments, worship God.

- Painful moments, trust God.

- Every moment, thank God.



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