Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fall in South Texas

The days are still warm, flying by, and bringing showers which is good for a drought ridden Texas.  Lake Mathis is full again after too many years of piers sticking up out of a drained lake bed.  Halloween has come and gone and I've just packed away the last of it's décor, 
though a few pumpkins remain around the house for Thanksgiving.  Speaking of pumpkins, I thought I'd post a few pictures of Bebe hunting down the perfect pumpkin for carving.
There were so many to choose from.
In the end, she found herself one that was just her size. :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Remembering to Remember Life

Life happens, fast, and gets away.  Before long your littlest isn't so little and you're thinking back on that funny thing they said, but life has happened since then and you just can't recall...

So this is my pause button.  My moment to remember and write down a bit of the awesomeness.  It's Saturday.  I got to sleep in with Teeny Tiny despite her having her head shoved just under my should blade, her favorite new sleep position.  Seriously, it feels like she's pushing with all her might.  This may or may not be because she's pressing her feet into her dad's side and is able to brace herself, mid sleep, to give maximum pushing force against my bones.

Anyway, sleep.  Yes, we got to sleep in.  I made Gingerbread Pancakes for breakfast. Here are some of Teeny's comments throughout the day:

T:  "You're making pancakes?"
Me:  "Yes.  Gingerbread pancakes."
T: "Like the gingerbread man?"
Me:  "Yep.  They're my favorite."
T: "You're the best mommy ever!  Can I make with you?  Can I stand on my chair?"
A little later on...""Can I take two purses to go shopping?'  "Can I take my doctor kick?"
Me:  "You can take one purse and no, you cannot take your doctor's kit."
Teeny seemed okay with this, but melted down when I told her that she couldn't put anymore rings in her purse.  She had approximately seven shoved in there already.  I was told I was "mean mommy."

Other notable sayings as of late:

"Stompeez are scary."  Stompeez is the word she recalls for Zombies.  Similarly scissors are "lizards," and a "mishmash" is a mustache.

She's quite fond of singing "Animal crackers in my soup."  In addition to "Jesus loves me," and "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top.  I dig that her musical preference is so eclectic. :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Red Beans & Rice and Everything Nice

That's what Southern girls are made of.

Dry beans are a great staple for your pantry, inexpensive and healthy.  Red beans are my favorite.  This Monday I made a pot and I think that it may be my best one yet so I'll share the recipe.

This go 'round I used Chorizo sausage and it really made the pot.  Here's what you'll need...

1 lb. bag dry red beans, rinsed and sorted
10 cups water
2 Bay leaves
3 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 large white or yellow onion, rough chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 toes of garlic
2 links of chorizo, sliced
Salt, black pepper, & garlic powder to taste (start with 1 tsp. of each and add more if you like)
1 tsp. Thyme
3 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. dried or fresh parsley
1/4 to 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
White Rice, cooked

Place washed beans in a large pot and cover with and inch or so of water.  You can do the long soak method, soak for 8 hours or overnight, drain and set aside, or you can do a quick cook method.  I do the quick cook method which is to cover beans with an inch or so of water and bring to a boil, simmering for an hour, then add the remaining water, up to ten cups, and reduce heat to medium low.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add your chopped onion and sauté for 1 minute. Add chopped celery to this and continue to sauté until onions are translucent. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add this to the pot along with bay leaves, parsley, & thyme. 

After you've added your veg to the pot and while your skillet is still hot, add chorizo; cook, stirring, to brown the sausage over medium heat, about 4 minutes. When done, add this to the pot along with two toes of garlic and stir.  Remove about 1/4 cup of bean juice, placing in a small bowl, and to it add 3 tbsp. flour.  Combine flour and liquid to form a paste and add that back to the pot. Bring beans back to a simmer, stirring occasionally,  for about 2 hours.  The flour works as a thickening agent; should the beans become too thick, add more water, about 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency.

Remove beans from heat and, with a slotted spoon, fish out your toes of garlic and mash against the side of the pot. Stir mashed garlic back down into the beans and continue to cook until beans are tender and creamy, another 15 minutes or so.  Remove from heat.  Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onions.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Most Beautiful Words

Follow">">Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I found this here I found this on the web around the time of my Grandma's funeral back in March.  It seemed so fitting, at the time, like a puzzle piece clicking into place in my heart; now, it just seems so beautiful and I will keep this sentiment in my heart forever. 

Who is this Linda Hogan, Native American writer, who could communicate such beauty in her words?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crawfish Races and a Boil

Father's Day weekend required a special meal to kick it all off.  Nothing says "man food" like sucking crawfish heads (Shhh, I don't partake, but that will be our secret). 

The hubs thoroughly enjoys a good crawfish boil, twisting the heads and sucking 'em back, not to mention he's got pulling the tail meat down to an art.  Swilling beer and getting all those juices and beer mixed up in his beard just adds to the manliness of it.  A boil is a perfect Father's Day meal.

We ordered that mess of crawfish from our local grocer.  They're live when you get them so have fun with it.

You can race them...
antagonize them...
Scare your little ones with 'em,
but be warned.  Someone just may piddle on your floor.
Lucky for me it was only crawfish piddle.  As our "big girl" exclaimed, "I pee on the potty!"
  Look at that big 'ol Granddaddy in the center there; look at those pincers!
At last, the supper, pork & venison sausage, corn on the cob, and red potatoes.  Mmm, mmm!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hurricane Alley

Here, my love and I float the lazy river at Hurricane Alley Water park.  This is located near the downtown area of Corpus Christi.  It's a nice reprieve from our South Texas heat.  This is a small water park and perfect for young ones.  It is not too expensive, fifty dollars for a season pass so we will go a lot to get our monies worth.  This is just one of the things to do in our little town. 

There's always the beach, too.  However, seaweed is high, right now, and not leaving the best aroma on the shores.  I much prefer the cleaner atmosphere of the park to the beach for the time being.

Ground has been broken for Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi, too, so visitors will have just one more way to beat the heat in coming years.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Beatin' the Heat

Bitsy and watermelon tidbits
Today, Teeny Tiny and I ventured out into the summer heat.  We both woke up hoarse (I'll attribute that to allergies, but I'm no expert), otherwise we would have ventured out in the less-hot morning hours.  As it was, we made it out afternoon and regretted it instantly.  As soon as we blasted the A/C in our ride, I promised Bebe that we'd go directly home to cut up our mini watermelon.  I'm so glad we did.  It was perfectly cold and sweet.

 We gave the other girls in our life the trimmed bits from the melon.

Ruby being wary of the camera

Aren't they Purdy?
I'm fairly certain that they love me right about now.
On a personal note, I did get that teaching position I was going for so 1st grade here I come!  Wish me luck and more to come on that.

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Reads

book, girl, reading, vintage, writer
This spring, several of my favorite authors are releasing new books.

Charlaine Harris releases the final installment in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series, Dead Ever After, tomorrow, May 7, 2013.  This book is coming to our local library and I'm number four on the wait list so I've still got some waiting to do, but I'm really looking forward to discovering what becomes of my beloved Sookie.  In the meantime, I'm beginning her Harper Connelly series which is available at our library.  I just finished Grave Sight and have book two on hold.
Dead Ever After
Next up, Mary Kay Andrews is releasing Ladies Night.  I always enjoy her reads.  I've currently been reading her Callahan Garrity Mystery series.  I'm just starting, To Live & Die in Dixie which is book number two in the series.  I like going to look at authors' past works to fill in the time until their next release.
Michael Lee West has released the follow up to Acquainted With the Night under the pen name Piper Maitland.  This book is titled Hunting Daylight. 
I think she may also have a third installment on her Teeny Templeton series released this spring, but am not entirely sure about when.  I'll enjoy reading that, too, and if you haven't meet Teeny Templeton, you should.  The first book in the series is, Gone With a Handsomer Man, followed by A Teeny Bit of Trouble.
Are you building a summer reading list?  If so, what's on it?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Playhouse Updates

The playhouse, not complete, but getting close, has brought a lot of smiles to our girl.  In this photo she is enjoying the table we'd just set in place.  We have finishing touches to complete, still, and I've been picking up fun little things to decorate her space, things that will stand up to outdoor weather.  It's proved to be somewhat of a more difficult task than I'd imagined.  For example, I can't find a plastic flamingo anywhere around town and we live in a coastal community!  I did find a metal art yard stake flamingo at the Hobby Lobby and it will have to suffice...
It doesn't look terrible, but I'd imagined a little line of plastic flamingos marching across the front of the house.  The flowers helped add some whimsy.
Here's a bit more of the décor.  I found the seahorse hooks at a local antique store and finagled them down to $2 a piece.  I painted them purple and think they add nicely to the beachy vibe we've got going on.  The oven mitt came from the Dollar Store for, you guessed it, one dollar.  The Mason jar was on hand as was the bit of twine and the crocheted trimming.  I wove the twine through the crochet and tied it onto the lattice.  I'm thinking of adding a few more of these in various spots to use as silk flower vases.  This one is being used to hold her utensils.
Her Memaw clued us in on these chairs found at Wal-Mart for $5 bucks.  The daisy bench, I'd bought long ago, was rusted so I touched it up with some white pray paint.  I'm thinking to spray it another color so that it stands out against the white lattice.  The little melamine plates were found at the same antique store as the sea horse hooks.  The doily and centerpiece were things stuffed in a closet.   I was glad to pull them out and find use for them.  The table cover is nothing but a plastic Dollar Store shower curtain.  I need to trim it down, for sure, but it's serving its purpose for the time being.
I've got just a few more things left to do and I'll post a completed picture soon.  The girls and I have thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the house for lunches and sessions of blowing bubbles.  We've been stuck indoors with a stomach virus and it's not finished having its way with us so any entertainment has been welcome.
Even having certain feathered visitors...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Play House for Our Daughter

Recently, I shared a post with many charming playhouse pictures.  We'd wanted to build our youngest a playhouse for her birthday, but I was skeptical that we could complete it in time.  Well, hubs had the weekend off this past week so we set to work.  Here are pics of our progress.
Hubs started out with the frame for the floor.
Yours truly secured the floor.  Hey, I love power tools. ;)
Teeny Tiny was pretty skeptical, too, up to this point, but came around right about the time there was a floor for her to climb up on.  She still wasn't a fan of the noise from the tools and took off running anytime one sounded.

At this point, Husby has been working on the roof and I'm slapping on some primer before the roof goes on.

Big Sissy paid me a visit once some shade was established.
Lattice board went up for walls.  For our South Texas heat, we opted for something that would let a lot of breeze through.
Lattice was trimmed for the "porch" of the project which will set in about two feet.  We will show distinction between the porch and playhouse with curtains dividing the spaces.  I've still got to work on that as well as paint on Bebe's requested colors, "pink and purple and blue."  I haven't exactly figured out where color will go and quite like the "white house," but will figure it all out this coming weekend, just in time for her party.  Pictures of a finished and decorated project to follow. 

Until then, have a wonderful week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Whaley House in San Diego

As promised, I wanted to post about the Whaley House, claimed as "one of the most haunted houses in America."
Prior to the house being built, the lot was used as an area to conduct hangings.  Mr. Whaley didn't care a thing about that because he bought the lot and built the Whaley House, anyway.  It was used for many different purposes throughout the years, and it didn't always look like this, but it is a beautiful structure used for house tours, now.
Of course, I loved the "haint blue" on the front porch.
The grounds around the house were beautiful, green and flowering and shaded by massive, old trees, none of which would have been there back in the house's hay day.  Other period buildings have been brought in for preservation from around the area.  It adds an old-timey quality to the space even though it's not entirely authentic.
Here is an adult sized sippy-cup.  I kid, but was tickled because I'd never heard of moustache cups.  Apparently the bridge across the top of the cup was to protect men's moustaches, common trend of the period, from getting doused in the beverage.  This cup was part of the Whaley's china set.  I'll be on the lookout for this type of cup when I visit antique stores from now on.
This is a picture of the dining room.  Since there was no electric lighting, at that time, the wall paper served a purpose beyond looking decorative on the walls.  The gold inlay reflects the candlelight so that it appears more lit up than it actually is.  Pretty clever.
It was in this space that my oldest daughter felt a tingling sensation in her fingers and hand.  She said the feeling was reminiscent of the prickly feeling you get when your hand falls asleep, but it dissipated as quickly as it set on only lasting for about thirty seconds.  She said it was as if someone was gripping her hand.  There are reports of the ghost of a two-year old relative of the Whaley's that passed away at the house after discovering and consuming some toxic substance.  Could be she had a little visitor.
Although I didn't experience anything in the house, I did come home with this eerie picture.  This is a picture of one of the bedrooms in the Whaley House.  Do you notice the slight outline of a woman to the left of the bed?
Pretty creepy, huh?  Unfortunately I can debunk any ghastly apparitions appearing in this photo.  See, the rooms have plexi-glass over each entry way so you can't actually enter them.  Here, I caught the reflection of a fellow tour-taker in the plexi-glass.  I turned around to see who was behind me just to be sure because the face appeared in my preview on my camera, too.  Still, it's fun photo to fool my friends with. ; )
Despite my lack of "ghostly" encounters, I love touring old homes so it was a win for me.  I'd recommend visiting the Whaley House if you're in Old Town, San Diego.  It was affordable and a lot of fun.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our First Family Vacation

We recently took our first family trip with our youngest.  We were reluctant to put a toddler on a plane, not wanting to be "those parents" whose kiddo had melt downs on the plane or at the airport.  Flying is stressful enough as it is, I get it. Flight delays, cancelations, crowds, and those that just plain have a fear of flying all add to a tension riddled environment.  Thankfully, both girls behaved wonderfully.  Teeny Tiny was so excited to fly that I think everyone sitting near her was tickled to hear her expressions of joy as we took off and landed.  We had an I-Pad for entertainment when she got bored.  Big Sissy napped mostly which was good because we had three packed days of sight-seeing beautiful San Diego, California.
Our first stop was the San Diego Zoo. 
 There were just too many great shots of animals to share.  We had a blast.
Next stop was Sea World in San Diego.  I was reluctant to go seeing as how we have one two hours away from where we live, but I'm glad we did.  It was a great visit and I think the girls' favorite part of the trip.
Here, Teeny Tiny is in Daddy's lap and just a tad distracted by the whale that slid up behind her.
We were in awe of all the sea life...
and Seasame Street friends,
even though we got a little bashful when it came time to make introductions. ;)
Old Town was a neat area to visit and everywhere we looked were beautiful plants
We visited the infamously haunted Whaley House, too.  I'll share pictures of that house tour in another post.  It was a gripping experience. (hint, hint)
Until then, I hope you're having a great week and finding ways to enjoy your loved ones.