Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finding Fall Inspiration


The inspiration zone for me,

whether it is for fall or any other

time of year,

is the most fun

when it happens inside my own home.


It is like the expression

’east meets west’,

or in this case,

a sunburst mirror my middle daughter gave me

propped as the perfect backdrop for my new

mercury glass pumpkins.


Or when it occurred to me

that my cream ceramic pumpkin might look pretty

in the hutch in the nap room.


Especially if it is near its baby pumpkins-

(I know… I went a bridge too far with that description…)


And then there’s

that slow dance easing into orange-

a favorite fall color.

It’s just that it is still in the 90’s here,

and it hasn’t


like fall as yet.


So instead,

I inspired myself with small

chinoiserie plates

and a small box,

that I found recently at the flea market.



And then the orange of a cooler fall

made perfect sense today.




I am linking to these wonderful parties:

Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence

Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Fridays Unfolded  at Stuff and Nonsense

Potpourri Friday at 2805




Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicago Marathon: A Mother’s Request

Debut marathoners big (new sizing)
Last fall, when my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s,
our youngest daughter took matters into her own hands.

She entered the Chicago Marathon as a member of
Team Fox,
sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.


She is running for a cure.

I have felt humbled here and there in my lifetime, certainly,
but our daughter’s selfless act of love and devotion
has far surpassed anything I have ever experienced.

She currently wakes at 4:00 am,
drives from Dallas to Lovejoy ,
where she teaches high school English,
and does her morning
before beginning her teaching day.

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I have a simple request because I know the power of blog land.

Please display the button above  in your sidebar to show your support
and to send Katherine
prayers and good wishes.

(It is also in my sidebar with the code.)

That’s it.

This is a mother’s request.

I want her to feel surrounded with prayer and strength on October 9th,
the day of the race.

We will all be there cheering her on.

We want you there, through your prayers, too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fall Mantel


I love


because it feels like hope.

There are no worldly strings attached


no pressure to bear.


        It is about family and food

and gratitude



It is that long missed

breath of fresh air

after a long hot summer.


My mantel this year,

that is being featured at

Andrea’s blog,

The Ivy Cottage Blog,

for her Magic of Autumn series


is a mix of those things that

say fall to me this year:


Woodland Spode, burlap,

and burnished gold .


I added antlers and feathers just for fun.




Thank you for the motivating

invitation Amanda-

it got me moving.


Linking to:



The Lettered Cottage

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear Daughters:Globes


Dear Daughters,

I have a new obsession.



I rescued this one from a box at the flea market.

I had a knee jerk reaction.

I had to have it.

Now hang in there with me because there is a message here.

I thought,

while I carefully placed it in my cart,

I want to study it.   I want to


I want to use it for color inspiration in my home.


I want to point to where I live.


I may have to




to the


Cracking myself up,

Love MOM


and the message is…


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Meadowbrook Farm Blog


Teresa of

Meadowbrook Farm

is so humble,

so gracious,

that when you visit her blog in just a moment,

you will have a hard time finding a reference

to the fact that her blog is a finalist

in the Garden Blog category,


Country Living’s

Blue Ribbon Blogger Contest.



                                                Trust me… you have never seen anything like her gardens.


She is also one of the best photographers in blog land,

so you are in for a real treat when you visit.


And to top it all off,

she is funny, and self-deprecating, and

amazingly talented.

Vote today!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

She Brought Us Home


This iron deer head that I found at Ross,

came home with me a few weeks ago to

join my

motley crew

of accessories.

I fell in love with its ‘heft’

and texture.

It , like so many of my new/old things,

is sitting

hither and yon

while I wait for inspiration.


Whether you call it organic,

or otherwise,

I enjoy things in my home

that look like

life wasn’t always perfect.

They send a silent message from me to all who enter.

”This lady is a little quirky,

but she means well.

She doesn’t take decorating

too seriously,

because after all,

she picked us,

She LOVES houses,

and she


us enough to bring us home.”




Linking to




Sunday, September 4, 2011

Change Your Plates Ladies


Years ago, on a shopping trip with my girls to the Fiesta Outlet in Canton,

I bought 12 Fiesta dinner plates in different colors.

At one point during that visit, all four of us were on different rows of the warehouse.

All I could hear was the clanking of plates,

that passed muster (no flaws),

as they were placed in shopping carts

by my daughters.

My mother and my aunts, all Fiesta aficionados,

would have been very proud.


In honor of the HEAT,

I switched out my daily dishes and started using my Fiesta plates.

Each day, when I reach in the cabinet for a plate

is a


I love the surprise.

Today it is turquoise at supper; tomorrow it may be red at breakfast.


Tonight’s Supper Sprinkle Salad

Sprinkle salad greens on a pretty plate

Sprinkle greens with

feta, strawberry slices, craisens, and almonds

add avocado slices if you like

Drizzle with my boyfriend Paul Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette

(no, I am not drinking the stuff- I am just a tad addicted)


Start changing out your plates ladies!

Everyday is a


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ranch Recipe #3

My Parents, Tecalitlan, Mexico
(from L-R: our oldest daughter Heather, my father, my backside, my mother,
my husband John and our youngest daughter Katherine.
Our middle daughter Lauren must have been taking the picture.)
I have shared before that ‘making a round’ has always been
one of my family’s favorite things to do.

This photo was taken on a Saturday afternoon, long ago,
when we were
on such a round,
checking one of my father’s crops.
In this case he was growing onions.

I am sure he let one of my girls drive us there.

This was the farming of my life.

In addition to managing a ranch,
my father also farmed ‘on the side’.

So farming for me was about my father,
my brother, John Deere tractors and equipment,
and farm land owned and leased in
areas of South Texas like Ricardo, Fronton, Palito Blanco, Benavides,
Delmita, and finally
on his farm El Perdido in Starr County.
He farmed as little as 200 acres when he first started
as a young man
and up to
4500 acres as his ‘on the side’
farming operation grew.

He grew grain, cotton, watermelons, cantelope, and onions-
all at different times.

Farming for my family
was not the storybook picture
we see in movies,
but rather

the merciless heat of South Texas,
low slung ranch houses with big rooms,
bird hunting if your farm land had a water hole,
cattle guards,
locked gates built out of heavy iron pipe,
and caliche roads. 
This following recipe is great after making a round.
Ranch Recipe #5
Picadillo Dip
2 pounds Velveeta cheese
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1 (10 ounce ) can tomatoes and chiles
1 (6 ounce) can pitted, sliced black olives
Brown ground beef and onions. Drain.
Melt Velveeta in your crock pot.
Add all ingredients, including the ground beef mixture.
Stir to mix.
Serve with fritos.
*Note:  You could drizzle this on a concrete block, and it would taste good.
Serve when the first norther blows in or while watching college
football on tv.
Linking to:


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