We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.







Monday, November 29, 2010

Buttermilk Pie, Hush Your Mouth!

This is one of hubby's favorite pies and so easy to make:

I just remember 4, 3, 2, 1

4 Tbls Flour
3 Eggs beaten
2 cups sugar
1 stick of softened butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Just cream butter, sugar, and flour together
add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla mix well
pour into a pie shell
bake on 325 for 1 hr
or until a knife inserted near middle comes out clean.  SIMPLE, EASY --- SUPER YUMMY!
Only one more week of hubby working second shift.  I am so thrilled he has two of these lovelies waiting on his return home tonight.

Take care!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

25 Christmases On Our Family Tree

Our boys started our tree decorating this year.

The  angel topper from my first away-from-home tree, 1986, Clark Air Base dormitory while, stationed in the Philippines. 

She still gets a spot near the top out of respect.
I started collecting ornaments (or items I deemed ornaments) from every where I went on active duty.  There are memories here from: San Antonio, Clark Air Base in the Philippines, Canada, Mexico, Guam, Korea, Hawaii, Iraklion Air Station on Crete, Ankara Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Portugal, Germany, France and all the other places I visited.
 After hubby and I married in 1996; we added the items made by hand from our children while they were in diapers
Others were made by them in school.


 Others are from the different tastes of my decorating whims and fancies like: unicorns, butterflies, dragonflies, ribbons, bows, cartoon characters, rocking horses, wooden ornaments, bisque, bamboo, military inspired.  We never throw away any ornament unless it is broken glass -- all others are revamped to be included still because they are a part of our history.


Each year, it is fun to unwrap these gifts from our past with our children.  I love the questions they ask and tell them where the decorations come from -- either a exotic place or a Wal-Mart in Germany; the looks on their faces are usually quite priceless. 

Later if my new camera works well with me; I will add another picture when the sun sets for more natural lighting. Tomorrow the kids and I will make some more ornaments to add to our forever collection.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS

The begining of our Christmas season.  A fir tree my hubby picked out and it smells so lovely; I may just stay downstairs tonight to sleep on the couch beside it.
Cubby is supervising Daddy's work and
  fills the reservoir of the tree stand.
And I received two packages this afternoon.  The first one I opened was from FLARTOPIAI love this lady's blog and going there just makes me hungry as all get out.  For the last month, I have enjoyed reading her blogs about a kitten named Smokey they fostered but, her gardening and cooking posts are too yummy.  I happily gain about 5 pounds just reading her posts. This gift box was from a blog giveaway I won by answering a Can You Guess post. OMG! these herbs smelled just delightful, I plan on using them this week and may just buy a goose for the oven instead of a turkey.
My next treasure was from 'Over the Pond,' at My Brother Andrew blog.  Ms. Janet writes a beautiful blog about raising awareness for Progressive Bulbar Palsy, a motor neuron disease that her brother Andrew has.  She included a very kind and touching note which I intend to treasure for years to come. Thanks for your kind words Ms. Janet!

Ms. Janet is also the sister to Big John who writes Going Gently; I adore his blog as well. (Though John often accuses me of being crazier than a box of frogs -- I enjoy his humor just the same.) 

  I have been following all the updates from the sales wrist bands, donations, and events which have posted from around the world.  She is still raising monies to further the cause and you may find the wristbands on eBay using this item number:

'We are now selling MND wristbands on Ebay ! Andrew and Jayne spent most of yesterday sorting it all out-you can check it out , item no 220699576026.'

Today, our family will join her fight and awareness blog by posting this picture of the wrist bands on our Christmas tree.  
STAY WARM, ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND!

Spinybacked Orb Weaver? Playing With My New Toy

Please have patience with me while, I am learning how use my new camera.  This little spider drove me to distraction yesterday, because no matter what I did to get her into focus -- with the winds -- she was always just a blur.  Really, I was getting quiet angry with my inability to steady the shot.
 GRRRRRR!
So out of frustration 30 to 40 shots later; I promptly went back inside the house to tend to 'MILDRED' our Thanksgiving center piece.  Mildred gave me some peace of mind because as you can see; she was quiet the lovely little hen and we thanked her for providing for our family meal.
I just don't know about ya'll but, when I get something stuck in my head to accomplish.  I just can not rest until I figure it out ---- back outside I went.  This time I met with some success as you can see.  Let me introduce you to the Spinybacked Orb Weaver or as Saenz called her,  The Thorn Spider.


The little lovelies (less than a 1/4 inch in size) come in different colors like red, orange and this yellow; nature's way of saying, "I Don't Taste Good."  Each night the orbweaver  builds a new web which are large and can be found between two tree limbs, or buildings, or just plain in your face.  The female usually hangs upside down in the middle of her web and awaits the familiar web vibrations of dinner being served. 

Hope all of you are having a lovely weekend with your families.  Tonight we will be decorating our first live Christmas tree in 14 years.  I am super stoked to be restarting this lovely tradition for our boys and will take pictures of our fun maybe tomorrow.  I will leave you with a lovely sunset photo from yesterday. 
Please those of you in this winter storm's path please stay safe, warm, and dry because it is coming your way in a few days.  We are supposed to have a hard freeze tonight so, the rest of our day will be spent preparing our garden, animals, and water pipes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A THANKFUL Lifetime in an hour




 

















May your Thanksgiving feel as warm and wonderful as ours.  May you find the happiness deserved in the friends and family around you.  Just remember to give thanks for all that you have in your slices of heaven.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
From Our Family to Yours
Mal, Gil, Lisa, Saenz, Zephyr,
Sonic, Banjo, and a cast of 1000s.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Seems the Weather is Confusing

Today, while I had pies in the oven; I took Cubby for a walk to the mailbox.  It is so humid it feels much like summer with temps to reach near the 90s.  We know there is a rather large cold front moving our way on Friday and we will have to cover all the tomato and pepper plants as they are just now begining to fruit. 

I found this snake skin in the front yard a few days ago; I believe its from a yellow belly racer like this one http://www.texassnakes.net/Racer.htm .  Last night, hubby said he saw a rather large snake curled up on the road on his drive home last night.  Seems, we are not the only ones who are confused by this rapidly changing weather.  We try to teach the boys not to be afraid but, to respect the animals who visit our place.  These snakes are beneficial keeping down the field rats and mice population in our area.  It has been a long time since, I have found a Blue Indigo snake which has caused me some concern and I have been out tracking the mice runs to see if I come across any more sheds.  NO LUCK! Then again those are endangered snakes.

Our homage to fall! LOL Kind of pitiful but, noteworthy.  
This is my happy helper with baking pies. 
 May your family be as blessed as ours, take time out to enjoy the bounty found in your slices of heaven, and treasure those relationships you hold dear.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sometimes, I Cheat

And use prepared items when cooking because it saves me time.  I only buy items when I can get them at a good price on sale coupled with a coupon which, lowers my out of pocket costs further.   For example, I purchased 15 boxes of Uncle Ben's and 12 Medicated Blistex chapsticks for $8.50 -- we eat lots of rice.  Remember buy things on sale at the lowest cost per unit and use coupons to further reduce costs.  One box of this rice with either ground meat, beans, and say corn; you have a complete meal in one pan. 

Never -- ever, get behind me in the check out lane because, I am a heavy coupon user.  My best time ever was at Wal-Greens last year, my total rang up to $92 and I walked out only paying .91 cents out of pocket.   The store manager was amazed, and I have enough stuff to fill five reusuable shopping bags of personal hygiene items for our older children as gifts.  
OH! One more thing for those with (health) Flexible Savings Accounts, no longer after 1 Jan 2011, will you be able to be reimbursed for Over The Counter medications unless you get your doctor to write a prescription for said item.

I spent Sunday cleaning the carpets upstairs with some help from hubby and Lisa.  What a difference a turn with Rug Doctor makes -- $18 rental, yeppers I used a coupon to reduce the cost.  I did not buy carpet shampoo just used plain hot water and it worked out well removing all the dirt.  We (I) plan on cleaning the carpets once again after the holidays and I still have a $10 off coupon for the rental.  SWEET!
Broccoli thriving, one of the plants is taller than my knee cap.
Same with the cabbage, it's spreading out nicely.
Can you believe we still have a few tomato and peppers plants this time of the year? We will have to keep a close eye on them though if a hard cold front moves this way. 

Are ya'll excited about the holidays?  I am, I love to bake and cook.  I will be baking two each buttermilk, pecan, and sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving on Wednesday.  Lisa and I have been cleaning the house and making room for the Christmas tree I plan on putting up next week.  This year will be our first non table-top Christmas tree since, the cats moved over to Mrs. Lily's house.  Topsy and Turvy would tear down the tree if we were not in the room with them.  (Little Fur Monsters)

Now, I will begin to purchase the last of the Christmas gifts for the boys.  I have Lisa's taken care of already.  I usually wait until almost December to finish up the boys gifts because, they change so much during the year.  Oh! I have ordered a new camera using my cash back points with Discover Card so, no dent in the budget --- Wooo Hooo. 

So how are Ya'll ushering in the holidays at your home?