Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day

Calvin C. Boykin, Jr. served in the Army in WW II fighting bravely in the Battle of the Bulge. My hero, my father.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I see you...

I see you. I am enjoying your blogs so much. I find that there are many people out there who share the same interests that I have. It's fun to see everyone's decorating ideas, what they like to cook, and just see how their day to day lives are going.
This picture was taken at our deer lease by my nephew. He's a great photographer, isn't he?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Marie Callender and me

Slowly I believe I am becoming a "consumers reporter". It's just that when I find a product I really like, I want everyone to know about it. I just can't help it. Do you like sweet, cake-like corn bread? Well, if you do, try Marie Callender's Original Corn Bread Mix. I will never... and let me repeat never make corn bread from "scratch" again. This is the most superb corn bread I have ever tasted. Today I made it for friends, adding corn to it for the first time. Excellent. Huge hit. Can't wait for the day when I serve it with red beans and iced tea.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gotta have my Zote soap

Do you know about Zote soap? I have a bad case of "restless leg syndrome". Supposedly this helps. Yes. You just put the bar between your sheets. (Please, stop laughing. ;-)) I am sleeping better than ever. No more Tylenol PM. Nada... Look for Zote soap where you buy detergent. A physical therapist friend says that any bar of soap will work, but for me... Zote. Who cares if it's only in my mind? I'm sleeping better than ever.

Ramblings and magic

Opportunity! It's all about opportunity. "It 'tis", as my mother-in-law used to say. Today we might quickly want to say it's about making lemonade out of lemons. Well, however, you want to look at it... God has placed a challenge in front of us and we can choose to do with it as we wish. I think it's a game with Him. "Will she or won't she seize the day?" Soon after my parents both passed away (June and October, 2008) I kept seeing opportunities and "magic"... I guess I was on a "high", wanting to be positive about things. I must have worked very, very hard at not feeling sad. It did get me through what could have been devastating times. Both parents gone within a very short period of time. Anchors gone, feeling adrift, being in a dark hole... all feelings that I had experienced before and NEVER wanted to experience again. So I looked for the magic in the day. It was always there. Even dividing my parents' prized possessions (antiques, special purchases from all of the countries they had lived in, books, memoirs...) between allof us kids was like magic. My brothers and I reminisced about our parents. I am the eldest so it was fun recalling old stories to a brother seven years younger and another brother fifteen years younger. So many stories they had never heard. My sister had her own way of dealing with things... she went to work or stayed in her bedroom. (She lived with my parents.) It was fun in a way. My parents were such romantics. Occasionally we would find a note that they had written to each other. Lovers until the end. What a glorious gift they had given us. The magic of sharing, the magic of giving, the magic of love was all around. (How sad my sister missed out on a great deal of this.) I need to get back to unpacking my boxes from my parents' home. Inside is the magic. It's the opportunity to enjoy the magic. Okay... no fussing... here goes....

Saturday, May 9, 2009

To my mother

Tomorrow my mother will spend her first Mother's Day in heaven. If I know my mother, she is organizing a delightful dinner for other mothers who have made the ultimate journey. Always thinking about how she could help others or just make someone's day a little better, she has had the dinner organized for some time. We always joked that if we told our mother we were coming for a visit, within a few short minutes she could have menus planned for a full weekend. She always said that the best sound she could hear were the voices of all her children under one roof. I know exactly what she means. That would be a symphony for me, Mother. Like most of us in the family, my children are spread out here and yon. I will miss you tomorrow a little more than other days, but everyday I pray prayers of thanks that you are still my mother that you and Daddy are together. Happy Mother's Day, Mother.

Happy Mother's Day, Mother

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Venezuelan Chicken Empanada

Venezuelan Empanadas

Tonight I experimented with making Venezuelan Chicken Empanadas doing my best to imitate a recipe by my dear sister-in-law, Katyla. I cooked the chicken earlier, shredded it, sauteed onion, garlic, a tiny bit of cumin, cracked pepper and a little tomato and combined it all. I used raw empanada pastries by Goya (found in the freezer section of HEB). I separated them carefully and filled them each with two teaspoons of chicken and a heaping tablespoon of mozzarella cheese. I folded the pastry over to make the traditional empanada shape, sealing it with a fork and then folding the edges over. I fried them in about two inches of canola oil just until the pastry was brown. These are best served hot with a little picante sauce. My SIL prefers Mrs. Refro's however all that I had was good ol' Pace. My husband and son used Siracha HOT Chili Sauce from Huy Fong Foods, Inc... just to give it an even more international flair. Darn delicious.

Liqueur decanter

I love this decanter. I'm not sure if it is old, but my mother had it in her home for a long time.

Liqueur anyone?

So does it look like Dillard's??

I want an interesting design to my china cabinet without looking like a display at Dillard's. The other side of the china cabinet looks about the same... a few different items. Should I change this?

Last week I drove through Austin to my aunt's home. All along my mother and grandmother planned that they would have the same china so that one day it would be "blended" together for me. Wasn't that sweet? So just a few days ago I unpacked the china. It's now all resting together, just as planned.

Murano glass... I love it!

These Murano glass candlesticks have such bold colors to them. It's not much like me, but they were my Mother's so I cherish them. She had them in her dining room. Even though her color scheme was so different than mine, I am doing my best to integrate her beautiful things into my home.