Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Photos that speak... and other things

Have you ever noticed that certain photos seem to capture a feeling, or a moment? Something someone wrote recently made me think of this. So..oo I went through some of my old photos trying to find examples of this and here is what I found:

Ghost holdup in her favorite spot

Ghost helping me read
Ghost as a kitten in the front window
my work station in front room (with Tux)

Jack on top of ship shelf

Photo taken after our slate floors were put in 2005

cats in computer room

Rose in blinds' shadow

Now I realize that possibly these may only speak to me - but I thought I'd share anyway.

And for those of you who enjoy tea and teacups (which I do also) here's a few more - usually taken at teatime here at home (which is also reading time).  

 First a poster that says it all...


As you can see, I like tea cups... and have collected quite a few which I use daily. However, I also have some others that I don't use as much anymore because they have the gold or platinum trim that cannot go into the microwave. I do use them for company on occasion, but the occasions have become fewer as time goes on.  

But I will show you my MIL's tea service that I had given her years ago, and was returned to me after she passed. It's one of my very favorites. She and I were probably the only ones who ever used it when I visited.

Post note: the books that you see in the photos with the teacups are not necessarily good reads (of course 'some' were), but my dear friend keeps me with a constant supply of books since she knows I read daily (in the afternoon and at bedtime... as well as anytime I'm stuck somewhere with time to spare).  However, I did just read one that surprised me... because I didn't care for the cover... but the book itself was very good. It was "The Shoemaker's Wife" by Adriana Trigiani.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and hopefully I didn't bore you too much with things that possibly 'only speak to me' but...

Perhaps you have photos that 'only speak to you' that you might like to share??


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Quilt show... my favorites... and other stuff

Today was the first day of the Plano Quilt Show. Both my dear friend and my DIL make beautiful quilts. I make quilts, but just for the fun of it... functional quilts that serve as cat quilts for sofas, or baby quilts, or possibly quilt throws for covering up when chilly. I don't make anything that takes fancy stitching or anything big enough to cover a bed... although I do like quilts on beds and have several that both have made for me.

There were dozens of beautiful quilts at the show. However, I only took pics of my 2 favorites.

This dragonfly quilt was my all time favorite...  and next is a closeup of the quilting.

And this parrot quilt was just wonderful...

I consider these "Art"... not meant to be used as a throw or bed cover, but hung on a wall. Just beautiful!

So that's how I spent my Friday - enjoying the quilt show and having coffee after at Starbucks with my friend. 

I did make a fresh peach torte this week using the peaches from Ham's Peach Orchard. The variety was O'Henry and they were extremely sweet and juicy. And Central Market had their Hatch Chili Peppers on sale this week! We bought roasted Hatch Chilies, Hatch stuffed chicken breasts, Hatch crab cakes, Hatch Chili sauce, Hatch cheese, Hatch tortillas, etc. As you can see, we like them... (I do use the mild, not the hot).

And the  bell pepper from my container garden did finally turn red. I picked it when it was starting to turn - just to see if it would continue to turn when placed on my window sill. It did. And when I took it off the window to take a picture, I just stuck it on top of some cookbooks in the hall.... and got this pic.

Believe it or not... I didn't set the pepper up to look like that. After I took the pic and looked at it, I had to show it to DH... it looks like John is actually holding the pepper in his hands! How serendipitous!

I really hope that all of you out there in blogging land have been enjoying your summer.  School has already started in some places and summer is coming to an end. Before we know it Fall will be upon us. This summer seems to have passed extremely fast... maybe it's age or maybe it's been especially busy with my appendectomy, kids moving, and family visiting. All I know is that time is flying by. 

Fall is always welcome, but winter (even though we don't have it half as bad as some of you) not so much. With winter comes cold weather, icy roads, broken pipes, colds and flu. We always get our flu shots, but they aren't totally effective. Of course the thought of hot home-made casseroles and soups as well as hot chocolate by a warm cozy fire sounds good. The cats and I will hibernate by the fire-place or the Aga. At the moment the 3 of them are hibernating on our bed.

And I'm going to close with a picture of this plant that turned up out front. I'm sure it's wild... and probably a gift from the birds, but I don't know what it is. It has the soft furry leaves of lambs ear... 

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Favorite photos of Texas... and recent ones of Hawaii

Big Texas Sky

I had to take this picture as DH and I were driving home from the grocery this week. The sky was so pretty and the green grass and yellow hay bales just made a terrific photo.

Here are a few others of my favorite photos of Texas:




Texas Hill country 

It is HOT here in the summer... but Texas has it's own appeal!

Now... our oldest son who only recently moved to Hawaii has been sending us beautiful pictures of the area that they are in. I will share a few of them here:

 Sky, Sea, and Sand...

and from the look of this next one... contentment !

Sorry I had to use such large photos, but you really don't get the effect with smaller ones. Hope they aren't a problem on your blog.

These photos may not be of any interest to you. There are so many beautiful places in this world... but Texas has it's moments... and it's nice to be able to share. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Ham's peach orchard in Terrill, TX...

the train that runs by Ham's in Terrill, TX

This past Friday we made our annual visit to Ham's Peach Orchard in Terrill.  DH's brother and his wife are visiting from Houston and this is one of the places on their "must go" list.  I took several pictures so you could see why.... but the fresh home-made peach and strawberry ice-cream is the principle draw. 

They also have peach (and other fruit) pastry, pies, cakes, salsas, ciders, etc. We have a few favorite things we get each visit, but we also pick up a few things to try... and haven't been disappointed yet. 


Strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, fresh and in jars

fresh peaches - 2 varieties

fruit ciders (I love the peach cider!)

      pastries, pies,cakes, and cobblers

fresh veggies

and  that first picture at the top is of the locomotive that runs on the tracks right in front on Ham's. We've been there when the train has stopped.. and we watched two people get off,  pick up some fresh peach ice-cream cones, and head back on out. Didn't happen this time... and don't know if it's a normal practice, but thought it was an interesting event.

And those of you that are familiar with our cats may know that Tux and Julie are black and white DSH siblings that are an integral part of our house-hold. Well, these two are particularly fond of going into our office or computer room - mainly because we keep that door closed most of the time and a closed door is just too much for their curiosity. Well, today after our company left, I came in here to work on my blog and decided to let them in while I worked. They are in hog heaven. Both have curled up on the bed in here... just as content as can be. 

Tux and Julie

And lastly, our youngest grand daughter (at 4) is a big fan of Spider-man. Well, DH's brother (who was visiting) brought her a Spider-man T-shirt and she decided that it made a great Spider-man nightie.

You can't actually see the Spider on the front... but it is there!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!  It's supposed to be in the middle 80's for the next few days here... if the weatherman is right! For August in Texas, this is pretty wonderful.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday morning indulgence...

Krispy Kreme donuts

It's Sunday morning and I'm sitting here reading blogs and drinking coffee while enjoying a Krispy Kreme donut. Yes, DH went out and bought donuts this weekend. We don't do this often. In fact, I'm not crazy about donuts in general. But hot freshly made Krispy Kreme glaze donuts that melt in your mouth are a whole different ball game. So... occasionally, maybe once a month or so, I give in to his donut craving. Since "moderation in all things" is our general philosophy, I go along with this indulgence ever so often.

Now since today is Sunday and we have family coming into town for a visit this week, there's a lot to do. DH is making a batch of his wonderful red beans and rice (which I dearly love) and will also make some of his family famous sweet tea (made with lots of sugar, lemon, and mint). I plan to stuff some artichokes to put in the freezer for later in the week and make a buttermilk pie on Tuesday.

We started straightening and cleaning up around here a few days ago. If anyone remembers, we had my oldest son and his family staying with us for the last 6 weeks as they readied themselves for the move to Hawaii. So although most of the boxes and paraphernalia has left, they did have to leave a bit here (in rooms or in the attic). So  it's just a matter of re-organizing a bit.  But I've noticed as we age, all this takes a little longer than it used to - so we do a little each day (used to be able to clean the whole house in one day - not possible any more).

Anyway, this will be a continuing post as I'm going to stop here and get back to work. Hope to add more on my next break... 

It is now 1:00 and "break time".... 

Actually some of my working time was spent talking to my daughter in San Antonio as well as talking to my sister-in-law in Houston on the phone. Apparently it's HOT everywhere... in the triple digits. We're only 89, so I guess we are fairly cool today. 

Finished my stuffed artichokes...

Cheating here. I didn't take a picture of the ones I made today as I needed to wrap them up and freeze them. This was an old pic of some I made some time back (but they look pretty much the same).

Have to post a pic of Tux as he took possession of an old basket that we had put away and took out again yesterday.  The cats are like kids and when they get tired of something, we put it away for a while. Then when we pull it out, it's like... "oh, something new. I get to be first in it".


And I'm going to leave with a picture my son took at my daughter's place in the hill country of Texas. I have plenty of pictures from her porch, but this one was taken in the evening... and I like the lighting... so I thought I'd share.

Have a wonderful week! It may be a bit before I get a chance to read blogs or post again. But I WILL  be back.



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bell peppers, Okra, and cats...

4 peppers on one plant... one is way off to right

I'm very happy with the production of my bell pepper plant which is supposed to be a red bell pepper plant. This one plant has 4 peppers growing. I harvested the first crop green as I forgot they were supposed to be red. Then I started thinking that 'aren't all bell peppers green, then yellow, orange, and finally red'? So I looked it up. Apparently this is true. This is what I found:

and also:

This last one may be hard to read, but you can try to enlarge it or google it. Anyway, I found it interesting. And I'm going to hold out and see if my now green peppers do make this transition. 

 And here's a pic of my basil... pretty much going to seed now:

and someone was talking about okra on their blog... about it liking dry weather... think this might have been Henny Penny's blog. But I love okra. However, I've never tried to grow it. I use it in my chicken and sausage gumbo and I buy it *dried* for snacking.  It's the only dried product that I like. I've tried a few others like green beans and carrots... but didn't like those. Here's a pic of the brand I buy... "My Snacks".

As you can see, Julie was not sure about sharing her spot with the Okra...
And I had to take a pic of Tux and Ghost laying by the Aga so they wouldn't feel left out.

Tux and Ghost

DH and I have some errands to run this morning... one of which is my annual Oncologist appointment. This one will be different as my Oncologist for the last 17 years moved to Oregon to be closer to family... so I've a new doctor this time whom (who or whom?) I haven't met yet. I'm going to stop this post here so that I can continue later this afternoon and give you my opinion. Wish me luck!

OK... back from appointment and errands. Do like the new doctor. We talked for a bit after the initial exam, and he seemed interested... talked about family,  a little about medical family history, but also about family surnames, history of surnames, ancestry, etc. Also gave me my "good to go" for another year. Hurray! 

Next DH and I took off for a kitchen shop that sells Vietnamese Cinnamon - which I use in several recipes.

While there I also bought a pre-seasoned Lodge cast iron frying pan. I've been meaning to get one and see how these pre-seasoned ones work. I have 2 old cast iron pans in the garage, but they are rusted... (and I know that they can be cleaned and seasoned, but I've given up on those). I have several recipes that are supposed to be made in a cast iron pan that I've been making in regular pyrex or ceramic. But I do want to try them in cast iron. Will post my experimenting.

Guess that's about it for today. It's only Wednesday, so have a wonderful rest of the week!