Monday, January 31, 2011

Smudgy - one of a kind... maybe 7!

Smudgy - One of a kind... maybe 7!

Smudgy was one of those "hand-me-down" pets. He was too much for my grandparents and aunt, so my parents took him in. In the late 1950's it was still okay in our town in Texas to have a dog loose... no chain and rarely a collar needed. Smudgy was probably half German Shephard and half Border Collie with whatever else mixed in there that made him so wonderfuly special to us.
It was proabably about 1958 when I entered him in the local
pet show at the high school. It took my mother and sister and me to contain him as he had rarely ever been around so many other dogs and seldom with a collar and, heavens,
never a chain. He was entered in the mixed-breed division, however, from the pictures I wonder if he didn't get mixed up in the wrong division. When the judges came by I remember telling a friend who was standing nearby... loud enough for the judges to hear, "Smudgy has seven breeds of dog in him."  I was terribly proud of that! Oh, how little I knew. Needless to say, Smudge and I got an "Honorable Mention". Oh well...
That is me, the blonde, squinty kid. In one of the pictures is my mother with my younger sister and brother... and our parakeet, "Tweety", who always cheeped himself into a near stroke if he ever saw Smudgy trying to sneak inside our home.
Fun memories!!

Today I am linking to two wonderful sites:

Little Red House for
Mosaic Monday


Brynwood Needleworks for
Memory Lane Mondays

By the way, this is the first installment for "Memory Lane Mondays" from Brynwood Needleworks. For those of us who especially enjoy reminiscing or reading about someone's favorite memories from years gone by you will love this. It will take place the last Monday of each month. So come by for a visit!! It's going to be fun.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday, Carmen!

Happy Birthday, Carmen!

You brought a light into our lives that was
so new to us. Grandchildren have a way of
doing that. You are our first grandchild though
and so you have a very special place in our hearts.

You love your jeans and your "Pop's" and Dad's
school... Texas A&M.
One of the first things those special men in your life
taught you was to make the "Gig'em" sign.
You learned to sing the school song right along with
"Mary Had a Little Lamb"!

And you love dressing up and modeling whenever
you get the chance.
A very respectful and loving child, honor student, fluent in
English and Spanish and the best older sister,
we are so proud of you.

Have a wonderful and blessed day, Carmen!
Pops and Abuela love you.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fresh for the table and all in RED!

My husband brought home fresh cherries from
Sam's late last week. He was disappointed in their
flavor... so they sat. I "pitted" them and cooked them
in some sugar water, later added some cornstarch to thicken

Then, there were the fresh beets that were sold at our
church Farmer's Market which we hold on Sundays.
I had always avoided cooking fresh beets because of all that
red. On a whim I decided to give it a try. Besides, with my
new black sink, who would see the red??

Here are the beets after I cooked them for an hour
in simmering water. I cooled them just a bit and the skin came off easily. I diced them up and let them cool a little more I mixed up some thicken cornstarch, sugar and a bit of the red water the beets had been cooked in. I added this mixture to the beets and also added a tablespoon of butter.

Here is the finished product with the cherries.
It's my old Topsy Turvy Cobbler recipe from
Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls.
I have used this recipe several times on this blog...
hope no one is getting tired of it!

I'm thrilled to have done some cooking so that I can
link to two blogs I really enjoy...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Polish Sausage Making... A Family Tradition

Polish Sausage Making...
a Family Tradition

This past December my husband and I were invited to 
join the Skloss family as they revived their family
tradition of making Polish sausage.
The Skloss family had migrated from Poland to Texas
many, many years ago and they, along with other
Polish families, established the town of
Cestohowa, Texas.
They eventually continued on to McCook, Texas where
they bought farmland and grew grain, corn and other
dryland crops.
The language of the community was Silesian.
Sausage making was a family tradition enjoyed by
all of the Polish families. The sausage is made of 2/3 pork and 1/3 beef with salt, pepper and some garlic. The mesquite smoking of the sausage gives it the unique flavor.
Family was scattered in the past few years but recently
the young people decided they wanted to revive the
tradition. It was a full day of work, however, not only was
some of the wonderful sausage enjoyed for supper, but
the satisfaction of bringing the old tradition back
was best of all!!

I am linking to
Little Red House for
Mosaic Monday
Come join us for some wonderful
collages of pictures!

I left the Skloss homestead in McCook that evening wishing I had just a drop of Polish blood in me! The family traditions and the love they all share for each other is beautiful and so special.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Three White Favorite Things!

This is just simply for your pleasure.
Last night's sunset at
Las Islas Ranch - deep South Texas
photo by my husband

Three White Favorite Things

These are three cherished mementos I have that were passed down to me from my mother.
Maria DeChellis DePasquale was my great-grandmother.
Framed by my mother is one of my g-grandmother's stockings along with a binding she used for my grandmother, Jean, when she was a newborn baby.
Binding was used on babies a long time ago (and are making a comeback!) to support the baby and give them
and added sense of security. They also believed their
babies would have straighter backs.

This is a picture of my grandmother, Jean,
my aunt, Deddie and my mother, Rosemary,
on the right.

The brooch belonged to Jean.

I am linking to
Three or More Tuesday

White Wednesday at
Faded Charm
Three or More Tuesday

I'm also enjoying
A Few of My Favorite Things
at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie

Happy 33rd Birthday, Daren!!
Love, Mom and Dad
(We spelled your name with one "r" because
you are a blend of Dad and me...
"D" for David and "aren" for Karen.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Piece of Inheritance

My husband and I inherited this "table" from my husband's aunt who lived in California.
I cannot find any identifying marks on it to help me describe it. Perhaps you can help me. The top of the table is made of marble. The wood is inlaid... however, not being familiar with the many different types of wood, I cannot tell you this.
I absolutely love this piece of furnitures. It bows out if front and the cabinet door does as well, making me want to call it a "commode". What would you say?

I am splurging and joining in several blog parties! What a treat for me!!

My Romantic Home for
Show and Tell Friday

Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie for
A Few of My Favorite Things

and for Monday...

Little Red House for
Mosaic Monday

Visit these wonderful blogs for some delightful posts!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 - It's about US!

My New Year's Resolution

This is the year of US!
Okay… by “us” I am referring to my husband and me.

We have had three years of losing close family members (my parents and his brother) and
dear, dear friends.
I threw myself into trying to assist family and friends go through
extremely difficult times.

My husband has been so supportive all along.

He has comforted me when I needed it.

It is time for me to get on with our life together.

So.. my New Year’s resolution is…

Husband and me first!

It will include our health

It will include our marriage

It will include what some people refer to “getting our affairs in order”.

Then it will include our
our sons, their wives and our grandchildren

When plans and decisions and opportunities
arise… we will ask ourselves…
is this good for us?
Will this benefit our health and our marriage?
Will this have a good impact on our family?

Shouldn’t we have been doing this all along?
Well, maybe we have…

The difference this year is that I will fully focus
on my dear husband.

God has blessed me greatly.

It is time to show it.

I thought about my posting during the night and got up early to remove it... thinking
it was way too revealing. Well, with all of your sweet comments and encouraging remarks I will keep it here. All the more reason to keep my 2011 resolutions!!  Karen

Visit Little Red House
Mosaic Monday!!
It's so much fun.....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Abuela aka "Grandmother"

The Visit...

Two grandchildren accompanied by their father, our oldest son, arrived by plane from Mexico the evening of December 30th. Even though it was 10:30 PM the children were excited about seeing "Abuela" ("Grandmother" in Spanish) and "Pop's" Christmas tree and decorations. AND probably more excited to see what Santa had left under the tree.
   Carmen noticed almost immediately upon seeing my nativity scene that Baby Jesus was not in the manger. I showed her where I had placed him, just waiting for her arrival. Carefully Carmen put the Baby Jesus where he belonged. Christmas for us had begun!
  Presents and surprises were handed out and there was so much excitement. Bedtime was late but who was worried about that??
  New Year's Eve we gathered our belongings and drove to the deer lease, mearly a one hour and twenty minute drive away. Friends were gathering for the annual year end festivities, eager to welcome in 2011. Barbecuing and cooking was well underway. My husband and son took the children to the deer blind to see the deer and photograph them. They loved it!
  The party was great and the children enjoyed it as much as the big kids... us!
  Sleeping in late while the dads hunted I prepared a big breakfast with friends.
  After three nights we made our way back to our home. We had a "play-date" with Nancy's (Nancy's Notes) daughter and grandchildren. What fun!
  Carmen and I enjoyed a little retail therapy and I treated Carmen to a mini-manicure. Pink polish of course!
  Shopping was the major sport almost until they left. Living in Mexico there are just things that you think you have to have from the U.S.  The mall, Sephora, Best-Buy, Dillard's, Macy's, lunch at Pappadeaux's and then pizza while seeing old friends was how the day was spent. Evening entertainment along with packing was watching "The Wizard of Oz". Fun! No fear of the monkeys!! What's "wrong " with kids today. No Fear!! Isn't that what the t-shirt says? Guess it's right. (Is that good?)

They have left...

A very early morning trip to the airport to get them on a flight to Guadalajara, a few tears,  breakfast at iHop to delay walking back into a very quiet and empty home. It was a whirlwind visit full of activity, fun, no rest, constant washing, fun, cooking, fun, eating out, fun... well, you get the picture. Grandchildren are so precious. It was great to have them here in our home along with their dad, our oldest son. We are feeling the let-down but starting to plan for a trip down to see them.

Time to start 2011 with new plans and goals. I'll leave that for Monday!

I'm linking to
Show and Tell Friday
at My Romantic Home

My posting is not about a home or decor or the latest craft,
but these grandchildren are the most wonderful
creation in my world.

An interesting transition... my grandchildren speak Spanish as their first language, however, Carmen speaks English as well. David has not started speaking English yet, but does understand it. Carmen was doing a lot of translating in her mind.. and before the visit was over I was no longer "Abuela" but "Grandmother". She says it so sweetly I keep hearing her little voice over and over.

Just made a fun discovery.... Carmen and I are almost the same age and in first grade when this picture of her was taken and the one of me on my first day of school!

Abuela aka "Grandmother"