Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Flea Market Running Buddy

Aside from Hauler 2 (my Tahoe), my flea market cart is my all time non-human running buddy.

However important my cart is, Hauler 2  makes it all happen.

If I were a cowboy, Hauler 2 would be my horse.

My cart is always in the back of Hauler 2.

 Here are the things my cart must do:

It must be heavy enough to not bounce around in the back of Hauler 2.

It must be willing to have groceries and plants piled on top of it without complaining.

It must be quiet. I am not a fan of squeaking.

It must be light enough I can pop it open easily once we arrive.

It needs to pull in both directions- whether I am pushing it or pulling it .

In a perfect world it would swivel. Sometimes my cart feels like swiveling and sometimes it doesn’t.

I am the same way.

Years ago I dressed it in an oil cloth monogrammed liner I bought at Canton, but we were over all of that preciousness pretty quickly.

Pink checks and hot pink ribbon are not a good look for ladies of a certain age , human or otherwise.

Regardless, the liner serves an important purpose: small things can’t fall through the slats, and it is recognizable.

Why is being recognizable important?

Because I park it and walk away… often

On a typical day at the flea market (la pulga in South Texas), it might sound something like this.

Me- to no one in particular:   “Donde esta mi carrito?”

No one in particular:   “Aqui esta.”

Me-  “Gracias”.

And then we laugh.

It always has a hair clip clipped on the handle and sun screen rolling around in its depths.

I go to the flea market most of the year in 90-100 degree weather.

Lately I have noticed its age. 

One wheel is loose and sometimes it doesn’t move very fast.

We are perfect running buddies because I don’t either. 
                                      Linking to Treasure Hunt Thursday

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Swinging Basket


Is there anything better than walking across a yard to your garden beds with a basket swinging on your arm?

At this wonderful stage of life, I can’t imagine there is.

Of course I had to search the flea market for just the right basket .

There is always a search at the flea market .

The key? You never plan the search. 

First I found this one, and I loved its no frills practicality.

First Basket

Here it is on my pondering table ( in my new zinnia garden area) where I sit and

think about all sorts of important things.

I also liked it because of what was printed on the end.


But then one early morning at the flea market, I found this one, and I knew it was the one.


It has the perfect swing.



Linking to Sundays at Home at Thoughts of Alice

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dear Daughters: When Your Space Bar Doesn’t Work




Dear Daughters,

I may or may not have mentioned that the space bar on my relatively new computer does not work properly.

That means I have to correct every. single. sentence I write because the computer randomly decides which spaces between words are needed or not needed.

This is VERY irritating, and yes I am taking it in to be repaired.

However, because I am blogging again, I haven’t wanted to be without my computer for 3 weeks..

I am choosing to live in the land of irritability.

Here is the point ( and please stop rolling your eyes. Eventually there is a point).


Irritability, whatever the cause, is a slippery slope.  

It is a place to avoid for extended visits.

It is usually a symptom of something else: a faulty space bar, lack of sleep, an imagined slight, or a little righteous indignation.

It may even be caused by a Dear Daughters post.

And now I have cracked myself up.

I hope you are laughing too.

The point is to find your own way to deal with it quickly and efficiently.

I  love you,


Oh…I almost forgot. 

There are remedies.

These work for me: 

laughter , doing the next right thing even if it is a sink full of dishes, the idea that I need to get over it , and a prayer to say thank you and to keep my mouth shut.


I love you-



Monday, May 18, 2015

My Zinnias Are Making Friends

Zinnias and Floral Frogs

A wonderful thing has happened this spring.

My zinnias have made friends.

Zinnias and Cobalt Blue Vase 

How did this happen?

I started taking them with me when I went to special places to see special people.

*They stayed behind at a friend’s house after a ladies' get-together.

*They went with me to visit a dear teacher friend one afternoon to talk about her house .

*I gave a small arrangement to the mother of a very dear friend when I went to visit.

Her mother and my mother were friends.

Many of you know my friend.

It is Nancy of Nancy’s Notes

Isn’t she wonderful?

And so my zinnias were there when her mother reminisced about my mother. 

I will always treasure that afternoon. 


May I make a humble suggestion?

Find a container; dig up a sunny corner in a flower bed.

Plant some zinnias.

It is so rewarding. 

Linking to Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House

Saturday, May 16, 2015

If We Were Having Coffee


If we were having coffee (and once you were settled and comfortable),

I’d ask you a blogging question because you are all so smart, and I still get a little confused regarding technology.

In fact, to this day my husband and I still call the television remote ‘the changer’.

And then we would laugh while you fixed your coffee,because I don’t think we hold this blogging technology business all too closely.


Now for the question.

Can anyone please tell me why am I receiving a Message Failure Delivery email when I leave comments on some blogs- but not all blogs?  

If you really want to laugh about technology, go to you tube and watch Amy Shumer’s  Mom Computer Therapy video.

It is hilarious.

I didn’t download it here, because I don’t know how!!!

And now I am laughing again.


PS.  This is really good coffee. 

We do not have a Trader Joe’s in our area, but every time we are near one I ask my husband for ‘just 5 minutes, I promise’.

Now go watch that video.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Daybook Entry: May 13th



For Today... the week of May 11th.

Outside my window...

everything is wet from an overnight thunderstorm-which in South Texas is usually not a bad thing.

I am thinking...


that my love of gardening really is seasonal.  When temperatures reach the 100’s it gets tough .

This year however, I am going to do a better job of staying on top of things.

I am thankful... 

for this wonderful neighborhood of new blogs and bloggers that I have met in the last two weeks.

I am grateful for the familiar faces of blogging friends that are still blogging. 

They have all been so kind. 


In the kitchen… 

tonight my husband cooked supper. 

He made pot roast with onions and roasted potatoes, yellow squash, and a green salad with ranch dressing.  It was so good. 


I am creating... 

a pile of things I am taking to my daughter and grandsons when we visit next week. 

So far the pile includes:

every little boy food item I have in my pantry (ie: pancake mix and syrup,pasta and spaghetti sauce),

community cookbooks for my daughter- and no, I couldn’t part with all of them,

and 3 retablos (that I found at the flea market) for my daughter’s house.  I can’t wait.


I am wondering... 

how my husband and I can make the drive from the Rio Grande Valley to El Paso in less that 12 hours.

The speed limit on IH 10 is 85

Don’t you think that is too fast?

I do.

It is probably going to take us 15 hours!

In my garden...


my zinnias continue to make friends

More on that later.

Have a wonderful week! 


Linking to The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dear Daughters: Colander of the Mind



Dear Daughters,

Years ago, one of you (Heather) said something that I will never forget.

It was a reference to the slippery slope of being alone with one's thoughts.

By the way, is that a good thing for you, or a not so good thing?

That is probably none of my business, or beeswax as we used to say when you were little.

I hope it is a positive thing most of the time.

It's funny the items that stay in one's mind, forever, and the thoughts and ideas that simply disappear.

Why is that?

We all have the 'I will never forgets' and the 'I'd just as soon forget that' battle going on.

Negative thoughts seem to have extra staying power.

They seem to be born that way.

They are attached to little heat seeking magnets that latch on when good thoughts are struggling to grow and flourish.

Positive thoughts can be more fleeting, more ethereal-

as if they have wings .

Maybe they do have wings- spiritual wings in fact- which would make sense.

You have to work at hanging on to these.

But it's worth it , right?

I have decided to call this elusive condition , this in and out box of thinking,


'colander of the mind'

You know I love to name things.

I love you.  Have a good week. 


PS. There are lots of strategies for positive thinking.

May I suggest one that works for me?

Just say thank you.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A New Mother’s Day Love Language


There are all sorts of paths to labeling what causes us to feel good and right about things.

Though I am not an expert , I am aware of the idea of the ‘5 love languages’, as a way I assume to identify what floats our emotional boat.

Are you about words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, or physical touch?


In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s add a few more, shall we?

I’ll go first.

Here are a few more love language additions that speak to me:

* digging in the dirt

*college football

*anything grandson related

*going to the flea market

*creating piles of things to give to any one of our 3 daughters

*anything Motown


*shoes that are cute and don’t hurt



What are some of yours ?

Happy Mother’s Day weekend !

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Zinnia Garden 2015

Raised Zinnia Beds 2015

It would not be as much fun out in my garden without naming things.

I am a namer from way back.


So I’ve named this new garden…

the Zinnia Garden.

(I know…it isn’t very imaginatve ,but it makes the most sense.)

Our fountain (named Big Daddy) leads the way to this new garden added earlier this spring. 

Cantera Fountain

Just follow the path.

At the end of that short path,

is this.

DSC00348Garden Patio 2015


My two new raised beds are at the end of a small patio.

Raised Beds

There is a walkway in between the raised beds which I love.


I  have said often here on my blog how much I value and enjoy simple things. 

Every single time I turn that corner and see those beds, I smile.

It doesn’t get any better.


Zinnias 2015


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Ranch Recipe # 16 : Cinco de Mayo and Shrimp Campechana

One of my fondest memories of my late friend Lupita is the Shrimp Campechana she prepared for me for my birthday one year.


We sat outside on her beautiful patio that evening and drank an iced cold Tecate Light beer, frosty and cold in its long neck bottle, rimmed in salt with a Mexican lime wedge peeking out of the top.

She served Shrimp Campechana and saltines , and along with another friend, we visited and laughed all evening. 

It was one of those perfect moments in time; I miss her so. 

Shrimp Campechana

In honor of Cinco de Mayo , friendship, and Ranch Recipes all rolled into one,
Here is Lupita’s recipe for 

print recipe
Shrimp Campechana
Ranch Recipe -Shrimp Campechana is a Mexican style shrimp cocktail.
  • 1 1/2 pounds boiled, deveined and chilled shrimp
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1 cup chili -cocktail sauce
  • 8 small squeezed juice from Mexican limes
  • to taste pico de gallo
  • 2 avocados - peeled & cut
*Boil , de-vein, and chill 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp *In a bowl, mix equal parts catsup and chile/cocktail sauce I used 1 cup of each * Squeeze the juice from about 8 small Mexican limes. *In a bowl, add the sauce to the shrimp- do this a little at a time *Drizzle the mixture with lime juice, a little at a time *Add fresh pico de gallo to the shrimp to taste *Peel and cut avocados into small chunks *Add the avocados and mix gently *Chill and serve

Mexican Limes
Tips: Use your lime juice sparingly.  You can always add more.

Making Shrimp Campechana

The avocado chunks need to be added and mixed in very gently.


Pico de Gallo is best made fresh, but in a pinch, it is probably available at your grocery store.
South Texas Zinnias

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Two Cinco de Mayo Door Wreathes

Cinco de Mayo Wreathe

Front Door Wreathe

Here are two wreathes I made that will be on our doors this week in honor of Cinco de Mayo. 

They were easy to make, and you can find everything at Dollar Tree. 


Back Door Wreathe 

This is what you will need:

grapevine wreathe

faux flowers in hot colors

curling ribbon in hot colors

I bought the flowers in bunches at Dollar Tree,  and I used my wire cutters to take them apart.

I  then jammed (yes I said jammed ) each flower into the wreathe.

I am an impatient crafter- but you probably guessed that, right?

For the front door wreathe , I hung one of the metal papel picado pieces I have in lime green.

I have enjoyed having these so much.  The set was from Round Top.


Papel picado is a wonderful way to add festive color .



Have a wonderful week!


Linking to Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House.


Friday, May 1, 2015

New Zinnia Planting Method

This spring I used a new method for planting my zinnia seeds.

Rather than planting the seed in rows or sections of color and variety,

I followed well known Arkansas gardening expert P. Allen Smith's method.

I mixed all of the seed together in a bowl and then planted.

The end result, which I will show you next week, is fun and and creates a wonderful mix of color.

 This video explains his simple method.


Growing Zinnias | At Home With P. Allen Smith

Have a blessed weekend friends!

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