Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm getting ready to take a plunge....

Pottery from Guadalajara, Mexico
ca. 1992

This Wednesday I am moving... moving in to a booth at a local antiques consignment mall. It's tiny. It's only 6' x 4'. I'll be selling things that I had tried early on to collect, but just either lost interest or just didn't have much luck with the hunt.

I am featuring pottery that I will hopefully sell. The pattern is very different. In fact, I bought every piece I could find... and that hunt lasted for about 10 years. I have never seen the pattern on this pottery anywhere. I think it's so pretty. I never used it but enjoyed displaying it for years in one of my glass front cabinets in my kitchen.

Anyway, I'm getting very excited about this. I won't have to stay with the booth day in and day out... just make an appearance to rearrange, clean and pay my rent...  oh, and maybe get a little $$. We'll see. I will feel better passing my things along to collectors than just leaving them boxed up.

I'll keep you posted. Wednesday is moving day.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day - My father never forgot!

Calvin C. Boykin, Jr.

My father was so proud of this kilt even though the picture was taken
in a professional photography studio.
I just had to post this picture after reading
Laura Gunn's posting on her blog.

My father's book
Gare La Bete
(Beware the Beast)
A History of the
814th Tank Destroyer Battalion

A random page from my father's book.
He wanted every soldier's story told.. even the ones
who did not survive.

My father shortly before he passed away.
He visited Virginia Beach during his attendance at the
reunion of the 814th Tank Destroyer Battalion.

We always knew that our father welcomed every day since he was
fortunate to come
home from war. So many he knew did not.

I thank my father for teaching us how important it is never to forget.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Here is a look at my "new" Fostoria - American and the Haviland - Rosalinde

I'm sure this will be seriously frowned upon.. the way I have piled the cups into this Fostoria - American punch bowl, but that is just how this happened.
The cups inside are not all punch cups. To be exact, only four of them are.
All this means is... the hunt is not over!
All signs according to a dealer state that the punch bowl is true Fostoria.
I will admit that I purchased it for a song.
I will truly enjoy this bowl in the future as I will do my best to bring back
the punch bowl tradition in my town.

This just warms my heart. There are 10 place-settings of this beautiful
Haviland china... the Rosalinde pattern to be exact. I inherited my mother and my grandmother's Rosalinde china and I love it. So, when I came across a table set with this china at an antique mall in Austin... I decided that it needed to be
"rescued". The price was so right and it was in perfect condition.

This picture does not want to enlarge, but I want to point something out to you.
The Rosaline on the left was made in France and the one on the right was
made in the U.S.A. One is slightly "creamier" than the other and the French version has a tad more gold on the rim. Who cares? Not me. Many people who collect this
pattern will mix the two. The difference is probably hardly worth pointing out.

It was interesting to me that the crystal this dealer chose to show with this Haviland china was actually the Fostoria - American. I guess I should have just said, "I'll take all that you have on top of that table!" (Sigh!)
It is not the crytal I would really use with this pattern since to me the Fostoria - American is a little too heavy.
I'm probably splitting hairs.

Needless to say, this was an enjoyable trip.

I'm linking to Debbie at "Debbiedoos". I love her picture of that first glimpse
inside an antique mall. What a thrill!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Girls gone shopping ... and can you identify these items?

I had the best time last week with my aunt and my sister-in-law.
We shopped from Houston to Austin, stopping at as many antique stores and malls we could find. What a blast! I even learned that shopping at thrift stores can be an adventure that almost matches fancy antique stores. Who knew??
It was fun.

I picked up a few items that I may or may not keep. You know the saying...
"One (wo)man's treasure...."

Here are just a few of my purchases. Let's see if you can identify them... and maybe I'll find out that I am correct!

I bought this only because it reminded me of seeing two young girls in a local
antique store shopping for vintage clothing and purses. Their bright tattoos did
not actually speak to my impression of girls liking this sort of attire, but
I have no experience with young girls' preferences.
A little elbow grease should help with this purse.

Okay... now the jury is still out as to whether or not this is the real stuff.
During the period this pattern of glass was made
some years later it was reproduced.
What say you?

FYI: I do plan to unpack the china and punch bowl soon and when I do
I will feature it on my blog.
It's a promise!

Pop over to My Romantic Home to enjoy
more Show and Tell Fridays!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Haviland, Fostoria and a sign from my mother!

Last week in Austin, Texas was amazing. I shopped for vintage items for a booth I may open at a nearby consignment shop. If you have ever done this before you know that it takes a person made of steel not to bring home a "little something" for yourself. A-hah!
Well, one of the best parts of this was enjoying my shopping adventure with an old and very dear friend... Nancy from Nancy's Notes  --
While shopping in an antique mall we came upon a beautiful display of Haviland china .. Rosalinde pattern to be exact. My mother and my grandmother's china pattern they had selected... and was passed on to me. Eight complete place settings were beautifully set on a dark wood table. Fostoria - American crystal, one of my favorite patterns to collect as my mother and mother-in-law had each passed down pieces to me.
It took me a day to decide if I wanted to "rescue" the china. It truly called to me. The next day I returned to the antique mall. The price had already gone up on the china, but the seller honored the previous price.
It was mine!
While shopping at an antique store in downtown Austin, I found a Fostoria - American punch bowl. It was such a bargain I hesitate to say what I bought it for.. but the owner of the shop asked me if I knew what I was getting. I told her I thought I did. (Maybe it was a reproduction as is so common with this particular pattern.) "Fostoria" she said. I replied, softly.. "I thought so".
Feeling a little guilty for my indulgent purchases I returned home with huge boxes with my treasures.
Today as I started to unpack the china, there printed on the outside of the box someone had written "Meme's Room".
Surely it was a sign.. the name was not spelled as we spelled it, but
my mother had sent a sign... "Mimi", my mother, approved!

Thank you, Mother!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Meet Buddy Boy - A Turkish Van

Buddy Boy
Turkish Van
Buddy Boy is absolutely my aunt's very best friend. He is a Turkish Van. He is a cat of rare qualities and being a Turkish Van, he has definite personality traits. A little plaque my aunt has states,
"Thousands of years ago cats were worshipped as gods...
Cats have never forgotten this"
He is the boss of the house!
Turkish Vans like water... which sets them apart from any cat I've ever known.

He provides so much comfort and companionship to my aunt though that
we all love him too.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Make a visit to Mitford!!

I was fortunate to meet Jan Karon in Blowing Rock

Today I am recommending that you jump on over to From a Writer's Kitchen. This truly wonderful writer is describing in story form about her visit to Blowing Rock, North Carolina aka Mitford to all of us Jan Karon fans. If you have never read the Mitford series, please treat yourself to a very enjoyable summer experience!

Ms. Karon was the honoree for the Mitford Days celebration
in Blowing Rock in 2007

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thank you, Jessica@Thoughts of A Bama Belle!

I actually won a prize! Wow! Thank you, Jessica at "Thoughts of a Bama Belle". You can find her at And check out that fabulous crab salad she has featured right now.
I'll be featuring my prize when I receive it so please check back often to see it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Celebrating Foodie Friday with desserts from Guadalajara

This beautiful flan was served with a sugar crystal topping... for lack of a better word. It was not one of the better flans that we have eaten as you can see the textures is a little grainy.

This is a creme brulee served with fresh fruit a stick of white and dark chocolate
and a chocolate wafer. The star fruit was a nice touch as well as the plum, strawberry, dewberry and raspberry.

I am linking to Designs by Gollum
Foodie Friday

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's White Wednesday and I'm working with my milk glass

Most of these pieces of milk glass came from my mother. (Ooops... just realized I left a set of salt and pepper shakers in there by accident!)
One of my favorite pieces is the one just above that is actually for bananas.
My mother kept this on her hutch for years.
Also, the bowl in the third picture is
also a favorite.
I'm still working with this and trying to figure out a way to "jazz" it up a bit. But just wanted to participate in White Wednesday.

If you like the clean, crisp look of white
visit Faded Charm for
White Wednesday


Our honeydew fields in Mexico

This is a favorite picture of one of our honeydew fields in Mexico.

And this is one of my all-time favorite pictures taken at
one of our farms in Mexico.

It just doesn't matter where you live. The evening and sunsets are one of the most beautiful times of the day.

We finished this year's honeydew season today.
It's a great feeling!

Governor Rick Perry at the "Mayor's Prayer Luncheon"

The Honorable Governor Rick Perry

It is a tradition in the city of Mission, Texas for our mayor to host the "Mayor's Prayer Luncheon". It is sponsored by local businesses, but it is organized by the city, local churches and various volunteers. This year's event took place on Friday, May 7, which I believe is the World Day of Prayer. My husband and I attended along with several members of our church. There were about 800 people in attendance. Several ministers and church leaders spoke briefly as did our mayor, Norberto Salinas.

I was so proud of our governor as his speech encouraged everyone to pray fervently for not just our city and state but for our country and our world. His plea clearly bespoke his personal Christian beliefs.

One song the we sang that day was, "How Great is Our God". It was new to me and I know that from now on when I hear it I will remember the Mayor's Prayer Luncheon and the goal to pray daily for our leaders in this country.

I'm always proud to be an American, but on May 7th, I just felt a little extra proud... and so very thankful.

My husband and I are on the left.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chocolate and Cookie Gooey Pie

As I was waking from a rare afternoon nap (could it have been that Mimosa from the brunch buffet?) I awoke to a show on the Food Network. A chef had baked a pie that was basically a chess pie with crumbled up chocolate cookies in it. He claimed that really the filling for a chess pie is basically a binder and you can mix almost anything with it. Ok.. no chocolate cookies in this house but I did have a sleeve of Girl Scout shortbread cookies, plus a huge package of Toll House chocolate chips and some walnuts. Hmmm.... so I whipped up the filling for a chess pie.

1 stick of oleo (that is a clue as to how old this recipe is) - I used a stick of soft butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs; one at a time
1 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. white vinegar
   Mix in order listed. Do not overbeat. Use unbaked pie shell.

I used a Pillsbury pie crust... the kind you unroll.
I mixed up the filling for the pie, but I added about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips, 1 sleeve of Girl Scout shortbread cookies (crumbled a little.. not too small)  and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. I poured it all into the pie shell and placed the pie in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. I then lowered the oven to 325 degrees and baked the pie for about 25 minutes. I did check for doneness with a toothpick... not wanting it undercooked.

Oh my goodness!! I tiny sliver is all you need. It is sooo rich. Now I am wondering what other cookies could be used in this recipe to make it a little unique. So much fun!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Mother

 Rosemary, my mother

This is the way I like to remember my mother.. and it's the best picture I have of her. She was a woman full of adventure. She married my father and could have her bags packed to a foreign country in no time.
My mother loved to cook and entertain. My parents entertained often. They were both on the faculty at Texas A&M University.  Some evenings in our home were similar to a meeting of the United Nations. Researchers from all over the world sat at our dinner table, enjoying wonderful Italian food and great conversation.
Mother was active in her church when living in the States.
The church my parents attended was predominately Italian-American. The church spaghetti dinners and St. Joseph's Altars were carefully planned and executed.
She love family and family research, not only for her family but for others. Her compilation of interviews from Italian-Americans living in Brazos County was published.
My mother had many other accomplishments, but I know that most of all she was proud of her children and loved us
all dearly. I truly miss her.
January 3, 1926 - June 15, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Mother!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Foodie Friday: It's rattlesnake at our "casita" at the ranch

A reminder of the "catch" -
the rattlesnake is 5' long

I will spare you the picture of the acquistion of the backstrap.

I cut the rattlesnake backstrap into 2" pieces.
I then marinated it in orange juice and nutmeg
for about 4 hours.

I dipped the backstrap pieces into beaten and lightly salted egg. I then dipped them in corn meal, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

I then fried the strips in canola oil until crisp.

I served the backstrap pieces with

A friend eats my fried rattlesnake with gusto!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sergio Bustamante in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico

Sergio Bustamante is so well - known...
even in Texas.
His jewelry is to die for!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Turmeric for the mind and for your morning coffee

As I was reading my latest AARP magazine (I know.. this tells my age ... I found an interesting article, "A Well-Seasoned Mind". It described the benefits of turmeric. A study showed that people in India have one-fourth the U.S. rate of Alzheimer's. Interesting, I've been using it since September for arthritis... as recommended by my doctor who is East Indian. She highly recommended it also for the skin. I will confess that i drink almost four cups of coffee in the morning... if you include the half-cups I toss because I do not care for nuked coffee.. and I seem to lose my coffee cup in the the mornings. Anyhow... I sprinkle turmeric in my coffee and I mean liberally. I love it. It's a great spice.

Here is a recipe from the AARP article:
2 c. cubed raw chicken
2 tsp. curry (which has turmeric in it)
Saute in olive oil until cooked and then cool
Add raisins, diced apples, chopped almonds, chopped celery, and low-fat yogurt to taste.
How healthy can you get?

I am linking to Cole at All the Small Stuff for her

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Kentucky Derby and Fried Rattlesnake

My husband killed a five foot rattlesnake Saturday morning.
Thank goodness he did not come upon it while walking.

Friends gathered in our deer lease "casita" to
watch the Kentucky Derby. We all wished we
had planned ahead and served Mint Julips... next year!
That evening, I served fried rattlesnake (backstrap only) to
the group as we enjoyed the open fire in the huge grilling pit.
Not everyone ate it but more than I thought.
Tasted like... you guessed it... chicken!
I'll post the directions on Foodie Friday.