Tuesday, May 31, 2011



The party our family hosted for

our youngest daughter Katherine’s birthday was

certainly a success, but it was far more than that for me.

*It was about falling in love (all over again) with our daughter’s home

and not wanting to leave.


*It was about seeing her style and her collections.


*It was about watching her sister Lauren pull things out of Katherine’s garage

and saying ‘try this here’.


*It was about seeing collections my mother would have loved.






*And it was about a party

that signified where we live and what we love.








Friday, May 27, 2011

Blogger Help

Forgive my misleading post title



I don’t have any answers.

I need your help-

#1.  I have lost my Followers box, which may or may not be God’s lesson

in humility,


has this happened to anyone else?

#2.  I have been trying to back-up my blog,

but my blogger taskbar has disappeared, and I can’t log on to my dashboard

to do anything about that.

Any suggestions???

How can I back-up my content if I can’t log on to blogger?

(I post through Windows Live Writer)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Making My Nest and Preliminary Party Plans


I have been away from home

a great deal in the last month.

It is all to the good:

visiting grandsons, daughters, and planning a birthday celebration.

This morning, while our youngest daughter is at work

(she is a high school English teacher),

I have made my nest at

Café Brazil.


As nests go,

this ranks up there with a limited number of my nesting favorites away from home.

My criteria?

The noise, background music, and nearby conversations are not jarring or irritating,

the coffee is beyond delicious,

the food is delicious,

and the service is excellent and accustomed to people who like to sit a little longer.

And so here I sit,

reviewing my list for the birthday celebration

our family is hosting for our daughter Katherine this Saturday in her wonderful backyard

at her duplex in Dallas.

This list has prompted all sorts of future post ideas on my way of entertaining,

and I hope to do those next week when I am back home.

I will hint that one of the things I do when I entertain is find resources

so out of the way,

so ‘on the side of the road’ so to speak,

I create my own comfort zone-

even when I am 10 hours away from home.

The Plan


String white lights in her large tree and hang colored papel picado banners


Cover 3 Market Days tables I have in Hauler #2 with turquoise burlap

Place turquoise, chartreuse, and silver mercury glass votives and other candles throughout


Fill my tall pewter tiered tray and vase with hot fresh flowers

Use the Mexican oil cloth pattern fabric I bought at Casa Ramirez in the Heights (Houston) for the bar table


The Menu:

Delfino from Lupitas’s Taqueria (near Greenville) will bring a small grill and make and serve

Tacos Reynosa with fresh con tortillas, diced fajitas, onion, and cilantro


Frijoles a la Charra

Chips, salsa, and queso

Fresh aguacate (guacamole)

I just ordered a platter of fresh tropical fruit from Fiesta, and I will be baking chocolate brownies.

The Bar:

Delfino is bringing a margarita machine, and I am filling a metal washtub

with Coronitas (small Corona beer).

Entertaining Note and Rationale:

One of the things I will discuss in a future post is a guideline of mine

which deals with a friend’s advice years ago:

What is the value of my time?

Just know I am NOT extravagant, and I found some bargains

and bargain priced resources.

That is what makes it fun for me anyway.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Open Your Eyes


I have loved Alexandra Stoddard ‘s books for years.

She inspires in a way that speaks to me.

The book that I took off my bookshelf today was

Open Your Eyes.

It contained the perfect message.

And so I did.

Isn’t the bottom edge of this milk glass vase amazing?


And then, in the small bouquet

of zinnias I cut from my garden this afternoon,

I realized I have a pale green zinnia.

What a treat that was.


I had a shocking birthday this week.

I have never cared about all of that in terms of vanity.

Ordinarily my age was a non-issue,

but this one was


Dear friends, my daughters, blogging friends, and my husband surprised me, treated me,

nurtured me, humbled me, hugged me and more than

helped smooth

out those rough edge feelings.

Have you reconciled having an older body

physically and chronologically

with the heart, feelings, and thinking

of say a 16 year old?

Most days, I think I am still twirling my baton,

leading an imaginary band

in the yard, at the ranch.

So dear friends,

may I suggest that we all

open our eyes…?

We’re burning daylight.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Piloncillo Molds



Today I created a chapter of my own in the history of piloncillo molds

and the early adventures of my parents.

As a cattle inspector working for the USDA in 1949, my young parents

lived in a village called Tecalitlan in Mexico.

For three weeks at a time, my father went up into the mountains of Mexico,

traveling completely by horseback,

with his partner Malaquias and a crew of riders, horses, and mules,

riding on narrow, rocky, treacherous trails.

The only food they had was what they could buy from

ranchers and farmers

when they stopped to vaccinate their cattle for hoof and mouth disease.

What was my mother doing during his absence?

Why learning to play canasta and learning to speak Spanish, wearing her hair in braids, and playing with the baby goat he had given her as a gift.

On one such trip, my father witnessed something that might have looked like this.



Sugar cane stalks were being pushed through a press of

wooden gears to crush the cane and release its juice.

The liquid sugar cane juice trickled slowly down a carved wooden trough to a container below.

There it was collected and cooked to be poured into

piloncillo molds to make delicious Mexican candy.



And so I began to weave my own piloncillo story,

for you see, these molds really did have a purpose,

long before they were turned into an item of home décor.

It is after all all about serendipity.

Driving home from Houston earlier this week, I turned

a 6 hour trip into 9 hours by stopping and exploring along the way.

I began in Wharton at an antique mall on the square where I spotted glass

insulators for 50 cents each.

I bought 9, including the dirt that came with them. 

Yes, I bought someone else’s dirt.


And so, these insulators will be used as glass liners

for the piloncillo mold I have,

an idea my daughter learned at a recent Market Days.

This mold sits on the copper countertop of my husband’s outdoor grill.

Those are the very same countertops that I had in my kitchen.
I saved them when we remodeled the kitchen.

Serendipity you see.

The next chapter…?

my father and Malaquias in the cantina, a knife, an angry army sergeant

and the bartender’s 45 pistol.


I am linking to:

Rosy Note’s Photo Friday

Vintage Inspiration Friday

Feathered Nest Friday

Show and Tell Friday
Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All I Wanted Was A Nice Photo


All I wanted was a nice photo.

The sunlight was perfect.

This was the last day of my visit.

I even thought about offering them $5, which is my favorite bribe…


(please don’t judge …

I talk big but I am a pushover…)


Remember Rodney Dangerfield’s line about no respect?



It also doesn’t help that I was laughing.

Don’t you want me to take photos at your next

important family gathering???

My fee?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tomato pRIDE


I feel like the guest that pulls out a stack of grandchildren


or photos of her latest trip-

all while my dear hostess


grits her teeth.

Please bear with me.

This is a down right miracle.


I have red, juicy tomatoes that taste as good as they look.

I am so proud and humbled by it all.

I also became entranced with how pretty they look against my

old blue and white dish towel.

This is my favorite blue.


Simple things like this make my heart sing.


And then there’s the basket that I bought

(in a set of 3)

at the flea market for all of my harvesting.

Be still my farmer’s daughter heart.

And so the next step in this process is the perfect menu.

Beans and Cornbread, slathered in butter

Chilled sliced tomatoes , sprinkled with a little salt


Iced tea.

How soon can you get here?




I am linking to

Outdoor Wednesdays



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Daybook: May 8, 2011


Outside My Window

I can see the results of some of my labor in our yard.

Is that just a South Texas expression?

I always say I am going to go out and work in the yard.

Working in the garden sounds so established- so

sure of the outcome.

I am flying by the seat of my yard clothes’ pants.

Plus my gardening

is definitely

blue collar.



I Am Thinking… and have been thinking all day

about Mothers and Mother’s Day. 

This is what I decided.

This is not an exclusionary club- 


women are mothers,

whether they are married or not,

young or old,

blessed with children or not.

It is the nature- the essence of being a woman.

Who hasn’t been nurtured by the care and

tending of another woman?


I have also been thinking about

blogging blocks (I am in serious trouble here friends),

getting a year older,

and writing an e book.

I’ve said it before-

I have simple needs and complicated thoughts.


From the Kitchen…  I am tired of having things in the refrigerator

and pantry that aren’t getting used.

I have started the pitching/sharing process.


I  Am Thankful For…  things exactly as they are this moment.

Acceptance is indeed the key and the answer

to peaceful living for me.


and this is big,

this acceptance needs to be dynamic.

For example…

Accepting something I can’t change while

sitting on the couch is


the same thing as accepting things as they are

while doing laundry, let’s say.


I am creating…. a gardenia bed.

My daughters Lauren and Katherine gave me two gardenia plants for Mother’s Day.

I want the entire yard to smell like

Jungle Gardenia.

Remember that fragrance?

I am reading….teacher training materials.

I am training first year teachers tomorrow.

At 8:30 am,

when the training begins,

the first thing I am going to say is…

“It’s May.  You’re almost there. Keep a tight rein.”

I am going… to wear pearls tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New York City



For a five day period,

over a long weekend,

I was in New York City with two friends/colleagues.

This post is not about that.

Instead, it is simply about the photos I captured and brought home.

In fact, as my friends happily snapped photos of the 3 of us standing in front of

all sorts of wonderful sites,

my eye traveled elsewhere.






But you know how I am…


no place like home.


I am linking to

Photo Friday


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