Sunday, November 25, 2012

Donkey in the well

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the anim...
al was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement he quieted down.

A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred - Forgive.

2. Free your mind from worries - Most never happens.

3. Live simply and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less from people but more from yourself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


15 C. Figs (stemmed and quartered)
12 Red chiles (Stemmed & Sliced)
1 C. Orange Juice
2 C. Apple Juice
1 C. Honey
1/2 C.Balsamic Vinegar

 I was lucky to get all these gorgeous huge figs from my Mom. My trees have figs but they are not ripe. The red chiles I grew in my garden.
 This all the ingredients in the pot when I first put it on the stove.
 This is what it looks like after 2 hrs of cooking on Medium/low heat. Its ready.
 I blended it with an immersion blender, and then let it cool.
I put it in 1 pint wide mouthed canning jars.
I originally was using a Fig and jalapeno compote recipe out of Relish Magazine, but after all my tweaks and extra ingredients it no longer resembled the original recipe.
I plan to serve this as a condiment with a Wild Boar Roast we will be doing at Christmas. I am also going to use a jar of it in the crock pot with hor d'ouvre meatballs for my Christmas Party. It can also be served over cream cheese with crackers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Something you don't want to find in your mail box

Kathy's Spicy Texas Trash Party Mix

Kathy's Spicy Texas Trash Party Mix


1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Tony Chachere's

1 teaspoon Tabasco sweet and sour Sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups Rice Chex
2 cups wheat Chex
2 cups pretzel sticks
1 cup salted nuts


Combine butter, Worcestershire sauce, salt and garlic powder. Blend well in skillet. Add remaining ingredients. Put into a baking dish. Bake at 250 degrees F for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


  • 1 1/2 cups Greek low fat yogurt

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until combined. Place in container of ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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Cactus Cornbread

2 cups diced nopalitos pinch baking soda
3 boxes JIFFY Cornbread mix
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup bacon drippings 
1 can Mexicali corn kernels (drained)
1/2 c crumbled bacon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Briefly cook nopalitos in boiling water with a pinch of baking soda until they turn from bright to dull green. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine cornbread mix. Add eggs and milk; combine well. Add drippings and mix well. Stir in corn kernels and nopalitos and crumbled bacon. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 3x8-inch-bread pans and cook until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes (a wooden pick or knife inserted in center should come out clean).

Guilty! I was caught red faced
my Avon lady was leaving just as my Mary Kay lady
drove up....
I feel like such a


 My husband came up with idea on his own, Its made of heavy duty plywood, covered with knotty pine siding. It has a built in fan and led lighting inside.

 He even put a crystal knob on the door to the egg box for our Diva Chickens
 This is Lulu she rules the roost. She is my husbands favorite. She plays tic tac toe, drinks beer and loves to sit on your shoulder like a parrot.
 Here are a few of our hens checking out their new casa.
My sweet husband building the Hen Hacienda
At first my husband wasn't really thrilled about getting chickens but they quickly grew on him.We have 5 Bantams of the Five, Two are Layers and Three are loafers. We wont be going into the egg production business anytime soon. We average 3-4 eggs a week sometimes less. I enjoy the hens for their personalities and their antics. Just watching them brings me joy.
The girls free range 12 hrs a day 7am-7pm. They definitely let me know when they want out in the morning and sleeping late is not an option. Every evening as soon as it begins to get dusky they go in a procession to the coop and settle in for the night, all I have to do is shut the door. Not shown in the photo is the run off to the left side. The run contains the ladder that leads to the coop as well as their food and water fonts.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I had a kinda embarrassing moment in Whole Foods Market. I was walking thru produce and I started to feel like something was wrong with the back of my dress. All the sudden this woman comes up and says Ma'am and reaches behind me and pulls a long Green Chile Relleno off my butt. Some how the stem had gotten caught in the crochet of my dress and I was walking around with a


 Fossil of a snake . I found it to be beautiful in its own way
 The slothzilla is rumored to be extinct but I am not buying it for a minute. I see them everywhere. Slothzilla will now become a frequently used word in my vocabulary.
This is one of the famed Crystal skulls. As much as I admired it, I didnt feel any of the psychic energy its suppossed to impart. I walked away with no new Super powers, damn it!


 Dr. Kathy Reichs
 Kerry Reichs
 Debra Miner
Kathy Goodwin
I had a fabulous time . This has to be the best event I have attended. Kathy Reichs is informative, witty funny. I Thouroughly enjoyed every minute of the presentation. She covered the work she does forensically, writing,  Producing a TV show as well as going over many of her books.
Kerry Reichs is Kathys daughter and a writer herself. The apple dosnt fall fa from the tree. She was an absolute delight and I look foward to reading her work as well.
Debra Miner is Kathy's sister, who is a character called Harriet in many of Kathy Reichs novels. She is a wild woman who can do anything and has done some incredible things in her life.
They were all so very personable and talked to you about anything. I loved Kathy Reichs novels before, now that I have met her I love them even more.
The photos are not great I had to use my cell phone camera.My Sony Cybershot P200's battery has been discontinued, so I found a place that had a few and it was on order. Ofcourse it came in the day after this event. I threw the bottom photo of myself in as I am never in any photos.


 These are all Heirloom varieties of cherry tomatoes. They are so beautiful and vibrant. I keep them in a bowl dip them in sea salt and have them as a healthy snack.
 These are lemons from my tree. For the first several years I didn't use them. Then after our Thailand trip when I saw that the lemons and oranges in the market there also had green peels yet were ripe. I began to wonder about my own. Our yard guy routinely takes bag fulls of them . So I tried them, sure enough despite the skin being green they are perfectly ripe and ready to use . The reason they do not turn yellow here is because our climate is so warm. A citrus as well as other fruit trees needs a certain number of chill hours in a growing season for them to ripen and change to the yellow color.
 The Sunflower journal is my record book for planting, my garden diagrams and my chicken and egg production. The Squirrel is a new nut cracker I just bought. with all the rain we have had this summer, it looks as if pecan crops are going to be great. So I am getting prepared for all the nuts I will be shelling.
 These are the 2 eggs my hens laid this week. Egg production has been pretty slow the past few weeks. Lately I have seen the girls eating alot more laying feed. Hopefully this will help increase production. The eating of heartier feed makes me think they are bulking up for a cold winter.
I planted the garden last week with vegetable seeds. It looks like my Daikon, Turnip and a late batch of cantaloupes are sprouting nicely.


 I have been predicting an early fall and a cold winter. When I lived on the island someone once said the only way they had of telling what season it was , was by my yard decoations. You couldn't tell by the weather. Well Its still pretty hot here in the upper 90's, but that didnt stop me from putting out the fall decorations.

Pickled Daikon Root Recipe- Daigo

6 Daikon radishes-peeled,
sliced about 1/4 inch thick and cut into half moons.
1/2 C Sea Salt
1 C Sugar
4 C vinegar
1 tsp tumeric
10-20 Boonie Peppers or birds eye peppers (cut and crushed)
4 C. water
I used a 1/2 Gallon canning jar. I put Daikon  and peppers in jar. I covered with the boiled brine made from remaining ingredients . What room was left in jar I topped with Vinegar. Let steep atleast 2 days.
When I lived in Guam there were 6 foods I fell in love with there that have become my comfort foods.
Chicken Keleguen
Pickled Daigo
Finedine sauce
Pickled Papaya
Dried Squid

Kathy's Chicken Lulu Playing Tic Tac Toe

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Sparkling Basil Lemonade
  • 4 cupswater
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1-1/2 ounces)
  • 2 1 liter bottles club soda, chilled
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, sliced*
  • Fresh basil leaves
1. For basil syrup, in a large saucepan combine water, sugar, and basil. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain syrup and discard leaves. Cover and chill syrup for 2 to 24 hours.
2. For lemonade, in a very large punch bowl combine chilled syrup, club soda, and lemon juice. Serve over ice and garnish with jalapeno slices and fresh basil leaves.
From the Test Kitchen
  • Tip *Tip:Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If bare hands touch the peppers, wash hands and nails well with soap and warm water.


While vacationing in Gruene Texas I came across a brand new store called Splendid and Spark.
Gruene Lake Village shopping center:
2339 Gruene Lake Drive, Suite B
New Braunfels, TX 78132
I  immediately loved the kitchy cards and trinkets and was seduced by the vibrant beauty of the Guatemalan embroidered table linens by Fresco Fabrics.

Megan Geist is the owner of Splendid and Spark. She definitely puts the spark in it. She is just adorable, perky, fun and knowledgeable. When you meet her you wish she was your Best Friend. She is crafty and talented and just a pleasure to chat with.

My husband and step son were rushing me as they wanted to go float the river. So we left but I could not get those beautiful linens out of my mind.

I plied my husband with lots of sugar and sweetness and we went back first thing the next morning and he got me the place mats and the runner.
The photos above are of my dining room with my beautiful new linens.

I didn't know anything about Guatemalan textiles so I will share these notes from Fresco Fabric's website:

When Guatemalan artisans weave their richly colored textiles, they bring to life designs their Mayan ancestors adapted from Spanish Conquistadores in the 16th century.

Infused with regional color schemes and motifs, they are like no other textiles in the world and are still worn daily by the people of Guatemala. We have long collected Guatemalan textiles. Their beauty and originality inspired us to launch a line of home-enhancing products while providing a new market for Guatemalan textile artists.

Slight slubs and variations result from the hand weaving process and are considered part of its beauty and appeal and should not be considered defects.


This is an elaborate process done by one weaver using a foot pedal treadle loom without electricity. The cotton is from Guatamala. To make 120 yards of the textile it involves the following process:
  • Week to dye the thread colors
  • Two weeks to prepare the pattern designs
  • One week for the preparation of all the threads
  • One week to combine the threads according to the width of the textile in the loom
  • Two weeks to make the textile


I have 3 large Red Earred Slider Rescued Turtles. 
 Texas went thru a severe drought a year ago, and many turtles seeking water were wandering out into roadways and being run over. I was with a client when we came across Tululah  the first turtle. I didnt know anything about  turtles but quickly started researching the subject and build a small pond for her out of a horse through submerged into the ground. Tululah preferred living in our banana tree for the first year. Around November she disappeared only to reappear around ground hog day. Thats when I learned turtles hibernate. This year before the blessed rains started , I found TaWanda (named after the movie 'Fried Green Tomatoes"), our third turtle Tinkerbell was dropped off by someone who new about the others and figured I would give it a good home. After that I started getting calls from folks wanting to drop off found turtles. I had to decline because the trough was no longer big enough. I sent my husband the link to a raised turtle pond I saw online and he built it for me. It came out beautifully. It was pretty pricey to build because of the costly filtration system. I added some gold fish and rosies (50) to add some color. so far everyone seems to be living together happily. The turtles eat very well. I feed them greens twice aday and they also get fruits and melons. I will have to post a video of feeding time.

The Fourth of July....

 Beaujolais ready for the parade

 Sally Jo

Normally we ride our decorated bicycles in the annual 4th of July parade.
This year the powers that be decided to change the parade to a nighttime parade and move it to the seawall.
Logistically I felt it would be safer for us to just decorate the 4Runner and throw trinkets this year. We were #22 in the line up.  It was a nice parade with a great turn out. More of a turn out than I expected. We ended up running out of candy and trinkets the last 4 blocks.
Everyone had a really good time . My stepson Grayson is a little ham and I knew he would end up loving the Uncle Sam suit. He walked along side the vehicle throwing treats the entire route.
Afterwards we all got ice cream and watched the fireworks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


AWWW.... the good old days....Built in 1937 and distributed to members of London's Chelsea Baby Club, the baby cage was meant for families without a backyard, garden or terrace. Suspended from the side of the building, the baby would have access to fresh air and sunlight through the wire frame, and have sufficient room to play. Patented in 1922 by Emma Read of Spokane, WA, it doubled as a summer sleeping spot, with curtains and roof.

Sunday, June 10, 2012