Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"The Boxcar Children" - of Texas

The Box-Car Children, based on the writings of Gertrude C. Warner,  was absolutely my favorite book as a child around eight to ten years of age. It shaped my way of thinking in so many ways that as I think back on it now I wonder what might have been had I not read this wonderful series. Of course, the books I read were the "re-write" of the popular childrens' books. I never actually thought to look for the books as an adult. One day as I was checking out of a store I saw a stack of The Box-Car Children books for sale. The art work was updated. My first inclination was to snatch up the books and take them home, but then I thought.. no, I loved the way I remembered the series. A group of parent-less children living in an abandoned box car with the oldest child in charge. That was about all that I remembered. Not much to go on, but then, being the oldest child in our family I took my position seriously.

The older sister of a neighbor friend of mine also took her position seriously. She would gather about five or six of us together, load up a little red wagon with snacks, sandwiches, mason jars of ice water (I remember now that I wrote about this a couple of years ago!) and off we would go for the day to the park that was probably about a 15 minute walk from our neighborhood. There was a cluster of trees that had two trunks that appeared to have grown together... it made the perfect "couch". We swept the ground removing leaves, twigs, pebbles and we drew our houses in the sand . Now I pause here in my bestest childhood memory to guide you to *White Spray Paint, entry August 4, 2011, where my dear friend and neighbor, Laura, recalls a childhood memory just as dear to her. Back to the park: We placed little rocks on our lines, leaving an opening for the front door. At this point we were a blend of "The Box-Car Children" and "Ma and Pa Kettle" and all their young brood. We even had names such as "Archibald" and "Sissy". We were in the land of make-believe for hours. This escapade would occur probably every two weeks or so. We never, ever tired of this game. It's such a precious memory for me and Laura triggered those memories when she wrote about her cousins. Please be sure to visit her blog and enjoy what she has written.

Some of the girls in this picture were privileged to make the trip to the park with us. That is me in the back with the hat and the "beard" made of burned cork. ... which inspired my interest in theater makeup... but that is a story for another day!

* White Spray Paint

Monday, August 8, 2011

Papaya is what's for lunch!

Royal Star Papaya

We love our new Royal Star Papaya and I'm constantly experimenting with it, making up new recipes.
My husband decided to come home for lunch on the spur of the moment. I quickly sliced this papaya length-wise, filled it with raspberries, blueberries and sprinkled feta cheese on top. Then I added just a teaspoon of Brianna Blush Wine  Vinaigrette Dressing.
We are really happy with the way this new papaya is being received. You see... we grow it!
The farm is located in Colima, Mexico.
Our oldest son is in charge of the growing.

Meet Lance and his "assistant", our grandson.
Our son has been farming in partnership with my husband for fifteen years. It's been a great partnership and we are very proud of the work Lance has done.
Our new papaya is an exciting experience for us.
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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ryan's Crawfish Boil


Ryan's Crawfish Boil
Our youngest son turned 31 yesterday.
Hard to imagine!

Here he is moments before his first real haircut
and just days before his "signature" eye glasses were prescribed.
Fast forward 30 years and Ryan is a very successful realtor in McAllen, Texas. Equipped with a very gregarious and friendly personality that has carried him through these 31 years it has allowed him to have many, many wonderful friends. A few of the friends in the collage have celebrated his birthday with him since very early childhood.
Ryan's friend, Carlos, volunteered to host a crawfish boil for Ryan. What an experience!! It was a new one for my husband and me. So much fun. Spicy, spicy crawfish, sausage, shrimp, potatoes, and corn on the cob.
Our oldest son (on the left) who lives in Mexico happened to be here on business so he got to join in on the fun and help with the cooking. Chances are he will host a crawfish boil when he returns to Mexico as crawfish are very plentiful where he lives.
It was a great evening.
Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Visit Little Red School House
for Mosaic Monday!
You'll love it!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Daddy "B"!

Happy 108th Birthday,
Daddy "B"! 

My grandfather, Calvin C. Boykin, Jr. would have been 108 today. Born August 4, 1903 in Robert Lee, Coke County, Texas he decided at the age of about 15 that life behind a mule, working on a farm was not for him. He joined the
military, fudging on his age, as many young boys did in
those days. It was about a year before his true age was  discovered and then he got the boot. Not discouraged by this he made his way back to Texas and met a man who made his living in the hotel business. This changed my grandfather's life. He made a successful career in the hotel business in Midland and Big Spring, Texas and Portales, New Mexico.

Marrying his school sweetheart, Ruby, he started his family and enjoyed a life of hard work and many adventures. Pictured above is a photo I have posted before. This is my grandfather and father as a little boy. I would almost think this may be part of Carlsbad Caverns where the famous Jim White, who discovered the caverns and was also a friend of my grandfather's, lowered my father into the caverns in a basket.
This photo also makes me wonder if this isn't why I loved the old movie "The Champ" with Jackie Cooper starring in it. I think my dad looks a lot like Jackie Cooper, don't you?

Jo Anne, my aunt, Daddy "B's" only daughter wrote about this picture, "Cal Boykin was a successful hotel businessman in his day. One day he walked into Bradshaw Photography  Studio in Big Spring, Texas to pick up some pictures.   He was asked to pose for a few shots. It was a cold, Fall day, but his smile added lots of warmth and sunshine to those he saw. "
That truly described my grandfather... his smile was so full of warmth and sunshine you just had to smile back.

I miss you, Daddy "B"!
I know you'll be enjoying your special day in grand style.

I enjoy Vintage Thingie Thursday so much so in order to share my "Daddy 'B'" story
with other VTT posters and you I pulled out the newspaper clipping and programs
from an old suitcase of my grandfather's. It's a good feeling to know that I have some of his special keepsakes.
Visit The Colorado Lady at Vintage Thingie Thursday!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Red in the month of July!

Red is not a color that is in my life much, however, in the month of July I purchased several items which as you can see are RED.

The "tomato-ware" was found at a wonderful antiques store in Bryan, Texas. I bought three of the cups outside of Austin, Texas in an antiques mall. What fun it was to shop in these  
wonderful places! Perhaps it was also who I was shopping with... my brother and sister-in-law and then my aunt.

Then Saturday morning I left for Weslaco, Texas to
Mimi's Attic where I enjoyed a little shopping excursion
where some wonderful "antiquers" from the Rio Grande Valley were going out of business. Everything in their booth was 50% off.

I bought several items, but I was thrilled to find the Santa
and the Christmas tree lights... that work! These are not for
me as I plan to put together a display of Putz Village pieces
along with the Santa and the lights... sort of a vintage Christmas look. If someone buys it... fine! If not.. that is fine too. I just want to play with it. Sort of like children and toy trains.

Later in my shopping morning, I called my husband to come join me for a little browsing about. He came! He found the Hudson Bay Blanket coat... for 20 bucks. Geezz!! Well, who wants a heavy wool jacket like that in the Rio Grande Valley??  Not sure what I will do with it, but it was fun to see my husband "antiquing"!

So, here I am all inspired after a month's absence .. partly due to a very busy schedule and partly due to being sick.
It took Rednesday and my recent purchases to get me inspired. "It's a Very Cherry World" is fun and a delight to read... so make a visit to