Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Short Spring


While outside watering,

which is one of my very favorite things to do,

I saw the temperature.

It was in the 90’s today.

What a short spring.


So I walked my yard,

which is right at an acre,

and I talked to my plants,

especially my tomatoes.

I doubt I’ll grow Sungold cherry tomatoes again,

but they sure are lobbying for a return appearance.

This is what I said.



“ It’s going to get really hot around here,

and it will last for months.”

”I promise I will water as often as I need to so don’t worry.”

”I know. Sometimes I drink from the hose and run water all over my face

and hose off my feet,

but I won’t forget you.

I’m just pretending I am a young girl again.”

”We’re in this together.”


Does anyone else do this?


Monday, April 25, 2011



Collectors are

by nature

what I like to call

‘Good Finders’.

In addition,

if I am out and about,

I am going to ‘Find Something’.

And lately, I have found

multiple pieces of vintage Mexican pottery.


And in the spirit of

a little copying from two wonderful blogs,

Antique Chase


The Polished Pebble,

I now have a small succulent


in one of my new vintage Mexican pieces of pottery.

I am not a fan of large cactus,

(I grew up on a ranch in South Texas, and I have seen my share),

but the small ones are wonderful.

At Wal Mart I bought a small bag of this.


I first spotted larger succulents, but they were a little


Then I turned the corner and found small sizes

ranging in price from $2.50-$4.00.



My next project is to plant a small succulent garden in

one of my silver plate serving pieces.

Visit these amazing blogs.

You will be as inspired as I was.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

South Texas Easter


(Bunny Rabbit Pinatas)

Have a Blessed Easter!


(Easter Egg Pinatas)


(Cascarones: egg shells stuffed with confetti)

This morning, while headed to the grocery store,

vendors lined the street

selling pinatas and cascarones for Easter weekend celebrations,

South Texas style.

I hope your celebrations are just as wonderful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

‘Missing’ Gifts


This morning,

as I rounded the corner to check my raised beds,

I had a gift waiting for me.

These Sungold cherry tomatoes were ripe

and a vivid orange.

I rinsed one off in the water hose and popped it in my mouth.

And then,

with eyes closed,

I prayed

the words

thank you .

Thank you for distracting me from the


I am feeling.

This brand new bloom helped too.


I miss my girls;

I miss my grandsons.

All of our girls won’t be here for Easter.

My grandsons won’t be here either.

And I understand.

I have decided that a huge part of getting older

is being



So I am going to turn my gaze to

Holy Gifts


the corresponding

earthly gifts

of nature visiting in my garden

as well.


I am linking to







Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PhotoGraphy Wish List



I have given this a great deal of thought.

I think these features would transform my photography .

Here’s my list.


* A Human Tripod-

I don’t need a tripod for my camera, I need a tripod for


Have you ever been down on the floor, under your dining room table,

angling for a natural (sure) shot,

listed slightly to the right,

hit your funny bone,

screamed and laughed in pain,

while still


*A Human Hoist-

See above description.


*A Camera Shrinker-

I want Canon to create a button you can push

to shrink my giant camera

to the size that will fit in my pocket

(with my pocket knife).

*A 10X magnifying glass that will 

clip onto my baseball cap-

I can then


the photo I just took

when I hit the review button.

There you have it.

I better send off for some patents.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Ran


I think I was meant for another time.

Have you ever watched someone handle a pocket knife when

trying to show you something?

                                              As I walked my father to his truck this evening,

after a visit,

he stopped to admire the mountain laurel trees he had planted in my front yard.


He then walked over,

pulled off a pod of seed,

and pulled out his pocket knife

to show me the inside of the seed.

This was all done without talking.


And then

I ran

as fast as my bare feet could muster-

to grab my camera-

before that pocket knife went back in his pocket,

and my mountain laurel lesson was over.

My father doesn’t pose.


I decided right then and there

that I want a pocket knife.

I am going to casually pull it out to show my girls and grandsons


I Was Reminded


I was one of thirteen hostesses this past weekend at a baby shower for a friend’s



It reminded me of a few things.

I was reminded that…

*I enjoy working with a group of women on a mutual project.

*Yellow walls (which is what I have in my home) are a challenge to


*A delicious white cake is hard to find, but the young woman who baked this

has mastered it.

This cake was to.die.for.

I wish you could taste it. Your eyes would roll back in your head.


I was reminded that

*My silverplate cake pedestal from Casa Guero in Laredo has served me well.

Now I need to find a pave rhinestone cake server.

Who knew that existed?

Can you imagine?


*I was reminded by my friend Anna that you can

buy cut up fruit in a pinch.

This was delicious.

It had slices of fresh coconut.


*I was reminded that being a good cook is an art.





I was reminded I need to find




Friday, April 15, 2011

White Spray Paint Defined



I tried really hard to not do this post.

When I first learned about

Defining Your Blog,

I was really excited.


And then I hesitated.

How much waxing poetic can a band of

brave readers handle?

And then I changed my mind,

even though I am late.

White Spray Paint

is a place where I can confess

to a collection of silverplate holders that

made my heart race,

but are

completely useless.

There are NO clear glass inserts to be found.

White Spray Paint is about my writing.

White Spray Paint is,

according to my very first post,

over 500 posts ago,


My mother was a great proponent of white spray paint and its multiple uses and problem solving qualities in home decor. This has been an important part of our family's home toolbox for as long as I can remember. She sprayed everything and taught me to do so as well.

White spray paint transformed every piece of old furniture that my father hauled in a cattle trailer, to the first garage apartment my husband and I had. As family members arrived with precious treasures to share -my mother cleaned and sprayed, cleaned and sprayed.

White spray paint covered changing tables,baskets,picture frames,mirrors, lamps and wicker screens in the bedrooms of our three daughters- her precious, kindred spirited granddaughters. She made their bedding, their curtains, their pillows and shams- all highlighted by bright, white furniture we had sprayed and redeemed.

White spray paint traveled in the back of my suburban to every dorm room, apartment, and rent house that our daughters lived in while at Texas A&M ( as well as to all other homes thereafter) .

I know we left random spray marks in alleys and parking lots throughout town. We have always painted with such great abandon.

She taught us that too.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gardening Notes to Daughters


(my tomatoes)

Everything in my garden is


right now.

I continue to be amazed that things will

grow for me.

Note to Daughters:  Don’t make simple, wonderful things complicated

as I have at times.

If you want to be a gardener,

dig a hole,

plant something,

nurture it as best you can,

and wait.

It is what it is.


(our wild olive tree that is ancient and still keeps blooming each spring)

As in life,

isn’t it always the babies that make things fun?


(an elderly airplane plant still sprouting babies)

Next Note to Daughters:

Some things worth waiting for take time.

I have been diligently working on my garden , since

I retired from teaching,

for 3 years.


there is no comparison to the feeling you have when you

see something sprout from the work you have done,

from your soil,

and not the work that a nursery has forced or accomplished.


(my zinnias preparing to bloom)

Next Note To Daughters:

Having said that,

I am now going to contradict myself.

If stopping by Home Depot,

after a long day in court defending your clients, (daughter #1)

or a crazy day of TAKS testing or dealing with cheerleading conflicts,(daughter #3)


a day when you have 500 library books to shelf and no help in sight,(daughter #2)

is the simplest way

you can bring

beauty and simplicity

and gardening into your life,


stop at Home Depot

and buy something

blooming and beautiful.

No harm- no foul.


(caladiums from Happiness Farm )


(lantana by the gate)


(Belinda’s Dream rose )

Love, Mom.


Linking to

Simple Pleasures


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Are You Free For Coffee?


If my doorbell rang,

and you were really stopping by for coffee

this morning,

I would probably tackle you with excitement.

Can you imagine

meeting face to face?


The absolute first thing

I would want to talk about,

after pouring you a cup of Breakfast Blend,


the blessing of physical work.


After my post

 Anatomy of a Blog Post


I have been inspired.

Thanks to Pat


Corn in My Coffee Pot,

I have been reminded

of my humble roots

and the women in my life and family

who work/worked



Pat reminded me by
steering me to the blog

Dilletante Proprietor

and its owner


All I can say ,

after reading many of her posts

and learning about her idea of

the American Dream,



(in the words of my Grandmother Mills,

one of the hard working women in my life)

Lisa’s attitude about

work is a core belief

that I saw growing up.

It is not about busyness and calendars,

commitments or appointments,

stress or self thinking.

It is about


hard, exhilarating,

back breaking,



You must go visit Lisa’s blog.


Would you like another cup of coffee?

When can you come again?

How about next Tuesday for

our Virtual Coffee?

Virtual Coffee
Visit Amy at

Lucky Number 13

to have your next cup.



Sunday, April 10, 2011

Anatomy of a Blog Post

One very recent, hot, morning…

my steel trap mind began to think about writing

a new blog post.

(My Thinking)


I need to write a new blog post.

I guess I could go out in the garage and see if I have anything I can paint,

like everyone else seems to do so successfully.

Those seem to be popular posts.

That all seems like a lot of trouble to me.

I guess I could organize my pantry cabinet and take pictures of that.

I think I’ll just shoot myself in the foot instead.


I could go outside in 90 degree heat and

‘blanket’ my roses in compost

and take a few pictures of that,

but they may start shouting,

“Stop! Not another thing,

do you hear me???”


I could go out in the garage

and take pictures of my treasure hunting finds like everyone else does.
They seem to find amazing things.


But then I would have to come face to face with the fact that I

spent money recently on a pair of OARs

and a deer horn mounting kit.

I think I’ll just write about this instead.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Ranch Recipe and Thoughts of Home

Bing Crosby, My Father, and My Mother
In my mind’s eye and heart it is the early 60’s ,
and I am standing at the end of our long sidewalk by the grape arbor,
watching my parents and their friends
spill out of the ranch hunting truck
after a day of hunting.
My mother has on Jackie O sunglasses,
a smile on her face,
and an animal print vest she had just finished sewing
that morning
in her sewing room.
She is beautiful and full of life.
Waiting in the house is a favorite appetizer for their guests,
who of course will be staying for supper.

What will be served?
Broccoli Cheese Dip with Fritos
Fried Quail
Jalapeno Cheese Rice (Ranch Recipe #1)
Salad  with Wishbone Dressing
Hot Bread
and some sort of dessert, probably chocolate
While she gets everything ready inside,
my father is frying the quail out on the patio with his friends.
Ray Price is playing on the stereo,
and I thrill to my father’s words…
“Sister? Will you run go get me…”
Once in the house, my mother is smiling and laughing,
with a special smile just for me
as she asks,
“Laura Ellen? Will you run go get me…”
I wish I could hear that just one more time.



Broccoli Cheese Dip

1 package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp of butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small jar sliced mushrooms
1 roll Kraft Garlic Cheese (hard to find)

Saute the onion in the butter and add the thawed broccoli.
Mix gently until warm.

Add the rest of the ingredients and pour into an
oven-safe serving dish.

Heat in the oven until bubbly.
Serve with Fritos.

Thoughts of Home are often poignant yet memorable at the same time.

Won't you share yours next Thursday? 


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