Sunday, December 26, 2010

Green Christmas Salad

This is a Christmas family tradition for for decades. Until, that is, my children came along. It absolutely horrifies them. I doubt a single one of the three has even taken a bite of it...if so, I bet it was spit out. Just a simple lime jello salad with cream cheese or cottage cheese, canned pineapple and nuts. It's cool and sweet and LOW in calories. Use sugar-free jello and even the diabetics and large folks can eat guilt free. Great leftovers. These days, I have to make it just to create a little drama at the Christmas table. I'm tickled when they protest so much and make fun of my jello salad.

Now, not the case with my nephews. They believe in traditions like green Christmas salad. I heard from my sister that nephew Brice was talking wishfully about it at their Christmas dinner in New Zealand. When I explained how easy it was to make, she informed me that NZ jello just wasn't the same. I've written a note to myself to send HEB lime jello to NZ for next year.

I wonder if others have a Christmas traditions that gets mixed reviews?

Christmas 2010

Good food. Lots of calls. and special visitor, Lois, made this a heads-up day for this lovely lady.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Present

We very quickly decided on our Christmas present this week when the repairman told us the dishwasher's motor had burned out. (Darn! There goes the diamonds and a boat for another year.) What makes this event blog worthy is the actual buying. Heretofore, when we have sought a new appliance, we could get delivery in 2 or 3 days. Not so this time. Most varieties required about 30 days to get to the store. Not wanting to hand-wash dishes for that long, we chose from just a couple that could get here next week. Not just us; not just dishwashers. A lady looking for a microwave was told it wouldn't or couldn't be shipped before Dec. 27. (I could have told her to go buy one off the shelf at HEB, but she was probably looking for a more substantial model. Besides, everyone knows I ALWAYS "mind my own business".)

This seems to be a comment on the state of the economy. Retail prefers not to invest in product; business is saving its money. Government just talks and talks.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Good Surprise

We came home yesterday from a lovely late lunch to discover our daughter Stehle had popped in for a surprise visit. Praise the "use or lose your vacation days before the end of the year" edict! So far we have had morning coffee on the deck (one of my favorite things) and attended an art show in progress in the picture. Currently, Stehle and Dad are tooling around in the T-Bird. Tonight may be the river boats in downtown SA with all the Christmas lights in their glory (another of my favorite things). All of you should be jealous.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Me and My Friend Clevel

Afternoon coffee with a cherished friend ranks near the top of life's pleasures. Clevel always told me never to invite her unless I really wanted her because she would always come. She came for sharing and she came when giving was needed...not just for me, but for many. She left us this month, but in my heart she still resides. Cheers to a remarkable and loving friend.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Judy's Birthday Book

Yes, I recently had a birthday. You may think this post is "all about me," but it really pays tribute to my BFF who cared enough NOT TO BUY the best, but to MAKE the best birthday card ever. Hours and hours of effort went into producing this book that I have shared in the video. How wonderful to have such a friend.

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Camera



This summer I replaced my old point and shot with a Cannon PowerShot 3500 IS Digital Elph with 14.1 mega pixels. Pricy, yes, but nothing like the big boy stuff. I have decided that my eyes don't work well enough and I'm too lazy to haul around all the professional equipment anyway. I chose this camera because of its remarkable close-up ability. The camera focus automatically as the lens approaches it's target, saving the operator from having to shift the mode to close-up. I take it with me when I do genealogy research. I just snap a picture of the page rather than try to copy it. Recently, I visited a cousin who had wonderful family pictures. Since these old and priceless pictures were too precious to take from the owner for scanning, I simply snapped them with my Elph. Further complicating the process was that I had no tripod and the light was not desirable on this raining day. Still, I am very happy with the results. Take a look at what came from the camera and what the final project looks like after some restoration efforts. Certainly good enough to tell the family history.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Planting Time

We had the eye of a downgraded hurricane pass over our property last week. Bad news is that we lost a rather big limb off our very large oak tree at the side of the house. Good news we just had small limbs and branches to clean up ... no real damage. Better news is the nine inches of rain that came. I know that sounds huge, but we were very dry, and we have shallow soil over hill country rock. The rain headed straight for the aquifer, but it left the garden perfect for tilling.

I got the cemetery bed cleaned, tilled and ready for planting. The big garden in the back is partially tilled, but needs another round. Surprisingly, the front of the garden will till, but I can't say it's moisture content is perfect. I'm hoping to get my seeds in this week...and, for another lovely rain to germinate them. Tomatoes, which I put in last month, have a couple of blooms. I'm already thinking about eating those lovely fall vegetables.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Did you know?

I went to the San Antonio Library (the big enchilada red building downtown) to see what they might have in the way of genealogy records. Wow! I was really blown away. It has online subscriptions to 3 genealogy services, which could save a researcher a lot of monthly fees. Since most of my searches are in Texas, I really appreciated the Texana Room. It has thousands of volumes of history, records, and indexes, many of which are compiled by county. Many trips will be required just to determine all the stuff available. If you are looking, go to the library.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's True!

Start working on your family history, and you get sucked in. Finding the pieces and placing them in the right spot is the ultimate jigsaw puzzle. And, like any less than brand new puzzle, there are always missing pieces.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ant Problems

No ant problems here. These are friendly ants that my husband received for his "monumental" birthday on August 11. Our three kids gave them to him as personal representatives of themselves. According to the card, the ant with the pick ax is Durk because a pick ax is a manly tool and looks like heavy work, but is only a swing and then rest. Dijea Ant shovels, which is definitely the hardest and most difficult job in the garden, and everyone knows she is the hardest worker. Stehle Ant likes to stand around and look pretty, so she carries a bucket to make her look like she's useful. These worker ants just showed up in the garden the morning of his birthday. They made him smile, for sure. He's still moving them around to find the best place, so I may post other pictures of them from time to time.

Happy Birthday, Walt. Isn't it good to have this one behind you instead of worrying about facing it?

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Epigenome Song

I got Reunion (Apple geneology software) for Christmas and joined Ancestry. Hundreds of hours later, I'm still excited. I've made great progress trying to construct the Hennig tree from their arrival from Germany in the 1850's. Still have years to go. This video it perfect for introducing the subject to my blog.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Grandpa's Do

Walt, Stehle and Blake spent the day in Austin doing the "Texas" stuff. Nice thing about it is there were no admission fees and no parking fees...proof that Texas hasn't caught up to the rest of the world.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

From the Big Blow

These are additional views of the object in the post below. This hummingbird's nest was a causality of the violent storm that passed by here this week. The nest sat on the end of a very large branch of a very large oak tree beside our house. We found it last year when a hummingbird darted between our feeder and the nest while raising babies.

The bird returned this year for another round. We are pretty sure all this year's babies had left the nest before it went down. We cut it off the fallen branch and will keep it for future show and tell. Amazing construction. Beautifully built. Long lasting.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Photo of the Day

If I did the 360 Project (a-photo-a-day), this would be today's post. What do you think it is?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Saturday Adventure

Rick Riordan, a San Antonio author, writes great adult mystries, but he has made it big with his young adult series. The Lightening Thief has even been made into a movie. (He said he hasn't even seen the movie because he wants to keep his on images in his head for future books). This first series is based on Greek Mythology. Riordan uses Egyptian Mythology as his new vehicle in The Red Pyramid.

I have this "book thing" going on with my oldest grandson. I taught him to read a whole book while his folks were away for a week. He was so proud to demonstrate his accomplishments when they returned. As I remember, he was barely 5. Actually, he had been read to for so long and was ready to strike out on his own; he just didn't know it. I got him The Lighting Thief for Christmas when it came out. He loved it and has read all of Riordan's young adult books several times over. I always send him newspaper clippings about anything to do with Riordan.

Naturally, I couldn't miss the author's book signing for The Red Pyramid. The store was scheduled to start giving out tickets for the 2:00 p.m. signing at 9:00 a.m. that morning. We got there 20 minutes early, and there were already 300 people in line.
Tickets were an alphabet letter in numbers of 30...30 A's, 30 B's, 30 C's,...We got a J. We walked through the store a couple of hours later, tickets were at J1. By 12:30 we saw tickets with W3. Figure it out...26 letters to the alphabet times 30 times 4 turnovers! Comers had to be in the neighborhood of 3,000.

What's so great about this? We are talking about a book signing, not a rock concert. Kids and parents all over the place. Can you guess that I am a former reading teacher? I am a happy one to see this.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

For Katherine

The possibility that I have my townships mixed up does exist. We would have been coming from Wellington. We rounded a bend and saw this very picturesque and quaint township over a valley. The church popped out on the extraordinarily green hillside. (Remember, I come from Texas, and sometimes light yellow passes for green here.) We had to seek it out and photograph it. On this trip, we were fascinated with all the little churches dotting your landscape. Walt, my husband, wanted to record them and paint them all. He had recently retired and decided he was going to do watercolor. In fact, his very first watercolor was of a church in Nelson. (1st entry of 2008).

For fun, I thought I'd try to find a picture of the little church in Hamilton of which I speak. The picture posted registers inferior to the one that lives in my head. It doesn't have the lighting, color or composition of the view from afar when I rounded the bend. Lousy camera or photographer or both.

The plane was in the same sequence of photos.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Monday Drive

This picture covers a multitude of subjects. First, it shows the sea of flowers that has blanketed Texas this spring...a glorious spring for wildflowers. The bluebonnets come out first, then the other wildflowers and grasses grow taller. The season has already peaked. Secondly. the spot resides in Goliad County, where the rattlesnakes grow exceptionally large and are found is great numbers. Needless to say, I treaded with apprehension. Finally, the view resides in a cemetery.

I'm well into the genealogy of my husband's family. We set out Monday on a fact finding mission. First stop was the Goliad County Library and their archives. Then, lunch! Always one of the best parts of any excursion. Next came the courthouse. I discovered it is much easier to get into the public records than to board a plane. No waiting; no pat downs; no showing of ID's. Clerks willingly gathered materials and offered instructions and encouragement. Interesting and fun.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Color You Gifts

I got a "thank you" in an email for some leopard print tights I sent the lovely Jane for her birthday. She's part of my New Zealand family. My nephews are kinda of "use only black or blue ink" sort of fellows, and I'm more a box of 54 Crayolas." Leopard print seemed a lot more fun than plain black, although much less practical and useful. In the end, I opted for fun.

I felt a pure splash of joy when I read Jane's note. Here is an excerpt:

When I was 4 I had a pair of leopard skin tights, I loved these tights and wouldn't have traded them for all the barbies and candy in the world. They were my absolute favourite, I wore theme EVERYWHERE, playdates, pre-school, to bed, outside, inside, rain, hail or shine. They were worn out at the knees and in the butt, but I didn' care, I loved them. I remeber waiting at the dryer in the laundry room so I could put them straight back on after I reluctantly let my mum wash them. Oneday on returning home from pre-school I went to put on my favourite pair of tights, but could not find them anywhere, not in the drawers or the laundry basket or the washing line or under the bed - they were no where to be found! On asking my mother she guiltily said she wasn't sure...Sometime after this I was in the car with mum when I noticed a bag on the floor to be delivered to the Salvation Army clothes bin - through the white plastic bag I spotted the leopard print which I loved so much. Obviously I dragged the tights out immediately and was allowed to keep them for sometime after this. A few months later they officially started falling apart, I halfheartedly allowed my Mum to throw them out, but it was a sad day, I might have to check with mum but I am almost certain I cried!

Now onto your present, 20 years later I feel the tights have come back to me, full circle!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Couldn't resist posting this cartoon from Sunday's paper.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

April 7, 1921

This happy lady celebrates her birthday today. She woke up to a special breakfast prepared by our good friend Margie. Calls started early, pizza and Italian creme cake made up lunch, and two flower deliveries arrived by early afternoon. Everyone should be so lucky!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let the Good Times Roll!

Look what we did! I am one happy woman! Walt is strutting around like a male peacock!

It is kind of one of those "one the way to the store" stories. Walt went to the Toyota store for a state inspection and a oil change. He saw this "beauty" parked in a spot that pricked his curiosity. When he asked about it, he was told it belonged to the shop manager's dad. He's 80, and the kids wanted him to give up the car. Walt wanted to buy it on the spot, but when he called I was in the garden and didn't answer the phone. Needless to say, when he got home, I told him to buy it. That was yesterday. We picked it up today.

I've been in love with T-Birds since high school. Walt's been lusting after a sports car for a while now. This is perfect! A 2004 model, it had 20,165 miles on the odometer when we took possession.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Home Run

Here is a true story to warm the heart.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Next Year's Christmas Gift

I am giving notice of my Christmas gift for next year so whoever decides to give it to me can start saving up. I have fallen for this Yike Bike. Take a look. You might want to put your order in too.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

In the Moment

A special event occurred last night when I stepped into my cousin Jimmy's home and spent the rest of the evening at his kitchen table with his brother. The latter cousin I hadn't seen since my dad's funeral in 1993. The time was too short to learn of his life or explore who he had become. But the joy was in the moment of spending a few hours with someone who meant the world to me growing up.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lottery Update

It didn't happen. I only got 2 numbers on the ticket. No cash payoff, but it didn't dash my spirits. Besides, I noticed in today's newspaper an additional 30% off on already reduced merchandise. Might go shopping.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jane Inspired

Jane in New Zealand asked me to order her a coat. Something bothered me about the on-line deal, so I hit the mall early today to shop at Macy's for real. What do you think the odds are of my finding the exact coat that was on sale on-line in the right size and the right color? Impossible...Right! WRONG! Not only did I find it, but it was $30 cheaper, saving the postage and some tax The sales ladies said it must be my lucky day and that I should buy a lottery ticket. So I did. If I suddenly before a millionaire, it will be Jane's fault.

Friday, January 22, 2010

If only...

...I were half my age and three-quarters of my weight, I would be wearing some of these. These tights seem to scream, F U N !" Yes, I really think they are me. Me on the inside, anyway.