Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dear Daughters: A Special Kind of Cooking

Dear Daughters,

There is a kind of cooking that takes place in a kitchen that is the best kind.

It usually happens on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when things feel easy and slow and simple.

It becomes the perfect time to whip up something special with what you have on hand.

It may be a pan of brownies because you have a mix on hand, or a chocolate sheet cake with chocolate icing because you have Hershey's cocoa in the pantry, or it could be Cherry Dessert, one of our favorite Ranch Recipes.

Cherry Dessert  
I did this last Saturday before the Aggie game.
I baked banana bread from this simple recipe in La Pinata.
yield: one loaf (I always double the recipe)print recipe

Banana Bread

This is a simple, easy recipe.


  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Beat the oil and sugar together.
  2. Add the beaten eggs, bananas and mix well.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the first mixture.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well.
  5. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees in a loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray for approximately 1 hour.
Created using The Recipes Generator
I had the ingredients on hand.
I had the simple Saturday.
I hope you will remember this special kind of cooking.

I love you. I am planning our Thanksgiving menu.
That is very special cooking!

Love, Mom

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thoughts of Home on Thursday #37

Welcome to Thoughts of Home on Thursday!
 Let's begin today with a special invitation just for you.

During our upcoming
Stunning Thanksgiving Vignette Tour,
 the week of November 7th-11th, 
we invite you to join in the celebration on 
Thursday, November 10th,
by linking your favorite Thanksgiving vignettes at our regularly scheduled Thoughts of Home party.
 Mark your calendar and start planning! 

Our hostess this week is Laura of White Spray Paint, and she recently shared what fall means to her in her Falling in Love With Texas Home Tour post .

Fall Blog Hop 2016

 And now to this week's features.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract by Rose Bakes
Rose of Rose Bakes shares a wonderful tutorial on making  Homemade Vanilla Extract for all of your holiday gift giving.

Kathryn of the Dedicated House shares her beautiful home in her Fall Tour . She had me with all of her blue and white!

Sherry of The Charm of Home is a wonderful cook and baker and her Orange Marmalade Cake is the perfect example of that.
Get Busy Gardening shares wonderful tips on How to Plant Garden Bulbs for Spring Flowers.
And Lisa of Hospitable Pursuits inspires us in True Confessions, not just with the beautiful updates of her home, but with the message that multi-tasking goes out the window at times and that family comes first.
We ask that you please:

1. Link back to this post or any of the four hosts' blogs. Laura of White Spray Paint

Stacey from Poofing The Pillows

Laura of Decor To Adore
Jemma from At Home With Jemma

2. Share up to three of your favorite posts, remembering to not link to advertising or shops.

By linking up you are providing permission that Thoughts of Home on Thursday can feature your post and accompanying photos on future blog posts or other forms of social media such as Facebook and Instagram. A link back to your blog will always be provided.

Thank you so very much for joining us, and we hope to see you each and every week at
Thoughts Of Home On Thursday.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Sentimental Staging

When it was time this past August to prepare my parents house to be photographed and put on the market to
sell,I first had to connect what I was feeling with what needed to be done.
They are both gone now and as of November of last year, my brother and I are navigating how that feels.

I didn’t want to be at the point where this needed to be done
and regardless of  how old I am,
in my heart I am still a young girl, twirling my baton out in the yard at the ranch, leading some imaginary band somewhere.

In that memory, mother is inside cooking supper and Daddy is pulling up in the driveway
after making a round on the ranch.
My little brother is playing with his trucks on the patio or ‘working in his barn’.
But this house - this house in town- is just down the street from our house, and it is where
they lived later in life after moving into town.
My memories of this house are just as important.

It is in this house that I really saw my mother’s design ability in action, and what I watched her do clicked within me. 
It is in this house ,that I really learned about design.
I learned about the beauty of Saltillo tile, and blue and white, and books, and flea
market treasures , and plants, and the comfort of chintz fabric on a couch (there is no softer couch).
I learned about white and white spray paint and white milk glass and white wicker
and white bedding.
So for this day of photos in my parents’ vacant, last house I did everything I could to make it right.

 This is what I did.

*I hired two yard men , and we worked hard.
The kind of hard that I watched my mother do in her yard with a smile on her face.
The kind of hard that happens when you are working as hard as the wonderful people who are helping you.
She taught me that too.
My father's roses were trimmed and the lawn was mowed.
We pulled up the last of his zinnias, and I put them in the back of Hauler 2 to take home to my garden once again.
I brought my wrought iron bench and some of my potted plants to place around their yard to fill in those empty spaces.

*I hired my father’s housekeeper who helped me so much when he was ill,
and we worked hard.
My mother’s beloved Saltillo tile floors were spotless and shining.

* With my husband and daughter’s help, I loaded Hauler 2 with things
that remind me of my mother:
blue and white, flowers, books, white wicker, blue and white pillows, brass trays, and fresh flowers.

*I did exactly what she taught me. I used what I had -to do what was needed.

And lastly, right before the photographer arrived, I sprayed her favorite perfume in every room of the
house:  Clinique Aromatics Elixer.

And then I knew I was done.


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Saturday, October 15, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee: Blog Talk

Late one night.
If we were having coffee, I could regale you with the computer problems that I have had for the last 2-3 weeks.
Let’s just say a few are odd.

Here are a few examples:
Every comment notification I receive by email is from Connie. 
Even if your name isn’t Connie, and you were kind enough to write a comment on a blog post of mine, the email notification I receive announcing your comment labels it Connie.

Then there was the period of time that my keyboard on my laptop didn’t work, and I was in El Paso visiting my daughter.
I purchased an external keyboard in order to meet a few blogging deadlines, but that didn’t go well.
Imagine typing most things from an external keyboard but using the mouse on your laptop.
It felt like an intelligence test.
I don’t do well with back and forth, and then the screaming starts.

Then there is the fact that I can download photos from my camera, and they then disappear within my laptop.
I kid you not. They disappear.
I of course blame my computer and the multitude of choices I have for saving my photos: Picasa, Windows 10 Photo Viewer, One Drive, Pictures This PC, Pictures Library.

So dear friends, or Connie as cyberspace in my neck of the woods calls you, I have questions.

(Just ask my TOHOT co-hostesses ,and they will agree- ‘Laura likes to ask questions’.)

If you are so moved, and you have time, I would like to hear what you think/do.

1.  Do you use comment notification via email? Has Connie ever visited your inbox?
2.  Do you respond to comments by email or do you respond on your blog?
3.  Do you download your photos from your camera using a card reader or do you directly connect your   camera to your computer?
4.  Where do you save your photos on your computer and do you also save them on an external hard drive?
5.  Do you write your blog posts in Live Writer, in Blogger, or in Wordpress?

That’s it.
I could ask a million more, but I can see your eyes are crossing :) Thank you!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thoughts of Home on Thursday #36

Welcome back to Thoughts Of Home On Thursday where we share the best of DIY, recipes, gardening, decorating and inspiration on the web.
We are four Texas gals that are so happy you are here today!
We are~
     Laura from White Spray Paint 
Stacey from Poofing The Pillows 
 Laura from Decor To Adore
  Jemma from At Home With Jemma
Our host this week is Jemma and she is sharing her tried and true homemade popcorn ball recipe with you all today.

Mia Bella Passions shares her fabulous Peanut White Chocolate fudge recipe.
Make it now or later as a gift giving treat for the Holidays.

I love to crochet, unfortunately most of my projects are only half finished. However
Whistle & Ivy finished and shares this great Link hat pattern with us.
So cute for gift giving too.


Sharing Shadymont provides us with a little diy tutorial on embellishing pumpkins and a fabulous Fall vignette.


Quaker Hill Farm loves things that can be reinvented for another purpose. She inspired me on how she reinvented the stump of her beloved tree.


Even though I will continue to garden outside, many of our dear readers will not.
So when DIY Danielle shared a tutorial on easy concrete planters and her joy of giving the gift of gardening, I thought this would be appropriate for Winter gardening on a windowsill and such.

For this week, we ask that you please:

1.Link back to this post or any of the four hosts websites.

Stacey from Poofing The Pillows
Laura of Decor To Adore
Jemma from At Home With Jemma

2. Share up to three of your posts, please remembering not include shops or advertising.
By linking you are giving Thoughts of Home on Thursday permission to feature your post, accompanying photos on future blog posts and or other social media such as Facebook or Instagram.
A link back to your blog will always be provided.

Thank you so much for joining us today at Thoughts of Home on Thursday.

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