Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fantastic Photos

There are so many fabulous photos on various blogs that I am dying to know the make and model of camera being used. I do not think my camera puts out the same quality of photos that I've seen posted and it is super slow. I've been searching cameras on the Net but cannot decide which one will give the crisp detail I've seen on other sites. I've been hesitant to ask since it might be a too personal question. So, if you want to share the make and model of your camera, please leave a comment.

SOOC Sunday

Straight Out of the Camera Sunday

Murrieta 365 came up with a fun new meme: Straight Out of the Camera Sunday. No tweaking or alterations allowed. Click over to her site, she has a striking photo.

I chose this one because it did not require tweaking and the chess set is totally handmade. The board is fused glass and each chess piece was created by flameworking glass. The artist said it took him about 20 hours to make the chess pieces.

I'm posting an enhanced photo below of the completed set but only because the chess set should be seen in its entirety to fully appreciate. It is an incredible piece of craftsmanship and art.

Until next time, God bless.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Tonic

You are probably wondering just what in the world is THAT in the jar. It is "The Tonic." Some 20 years ago I got the recipe at a meeting of the Austin Herb Society. I have no idea where they got the recipe but I wrote it down. I'm a compulsive note taker and almost never throw the notes away which is how I found the recipe several weeks ago while organizing my old spiral note books.

The ingredients are: 1 cup each of fresh, grated horseradish, chopped fresh ginger root, chopped onion, chopped garlic pods, and about 1/8 of a cup of cayenne pepper. Pour a quart bottle of unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar over the ingredients (Bragg's is best).

Place where sun can get to it a good part of the day, shake one minute every day. Let it infuse for at least two weeks, but three or four weeks is fine. Strain the solids through cheese cloth and bottle the tonic. Take a tablespoon every day. If you feel a cold coming on, take 2 or 3 tablespoons throughout the day. A mild salad dressing can be made with the strained solids by pouring a second bottle of vinegar over them, shake once a day for about two weeks, strain. Viola! You are good to go on your salads.

A quick run down on the ingredients:

Garlic - has antibiotic and antiviral properties.

Horseradish - contains a high concentration of glucosinotates which have shown to increase the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens.

Onions - high in Vitamin C and offers same benefits of garlic.

Ginger - aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

Cayenne - aid in blood circulation and digestion, contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

Certified Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar - antibacterial and antiviral properties, high in enzymes and potassium, helps to relieve arthritis stiffness, and may aid in normalizing weight.

It takes several days to get use to the heat of the cayenne; the first few tablespoons sort of takes your head off, at least that is my experience. Of course, if allergic to any of the ingredients or if on meds that might conflict, don't take it. However, in another couple of weeks, hubby and I will be taking it. :D

Until next time, God bless.

After A Trip To The Vet

Yesterday was booster shot day. Each dog was weighed, each received four booster shots, one of which was the rattlesnake booster vaccine, and both had a heart worm blood test -- everything is fine, no heart worms. Heart worm prevention pills work, thank goodness.

Give Luc treats while getting shots, etc., and there is no problem. He loves everyone at the vet's, including the shot lady. No one is safe from or escapes his exuberant greetings before, during or after treatments. However, he doesn't know it but his daily ration of food is to be reduced to three cups from four cups and treats are to be carrots instead of puppy treat biscuits. He is on a diet until he loses at least five pounds and it should be nine. I handle Luc at the vet's.

Above, Maggie is recovering from her visit to the vet's terror chambers. Maggie does not love anyone at the vet's. She may have remember last year's visit because she was very hesitant to go into the treatment room -- hubby had to give her a nudge to get her to go in. Hubby tells me that one of the girls held her head between her legs to keep from getting bitten while the other one was administering the shots. The vet's office was filled with her doggie yelps and screams. I suspect next year will be much more difficult getting her into the room. She still has not eaten and it has been 24 hours since the vet visit.

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Honor of . . .

It is thought that the first settler to Dripping Springs arrived in 1849 with a post office being established in 1857. Both my parents and brother are buried in the Dripping Springs cemetery. As I walk around reading the birth and death dates I wonder who this person was, what she or he was like, how he or she lived, and wish I could have known them.

I took these pictures in January of 2009. You will see two flags on one.

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cactus Flower

This cactus has been in my family for at least 30 years, maybe more. I inherited it from my parents. :D The only time I see it blooming is after a rain and we had rain yesterday.

This greeted me this morning when I walked out onto the deck. Doesn't it have any interesting green center?

Closed up for a mid-day rain.

Several hours after the today's rain, it was back to its full glory.

Until next time, God bless.

Memorial Day

I do not possess the words to express my gratitude and thanks to the extraordinary men and women who gave their lives for our country. May I never forget the sacrifice and always remember that if were not for them, this country would not exist in its present form.

I found this article of the history behind Memorial Day in the East Texas Review. Let us not forget.

Until next time, God bless.

SOOC Sunday & Post #100

When I wrote the first entry for this blog in November 2008, I wondered just what I would write about with any regularity. Well, all, there seems to be no loss for words or subjects since this is number 100. lol But, then there are many wonderful bloggers that come up with the cleverest ideas about which to write.

Jan at Murrieta 365 came up with a new meme: Straight Out of the Camera Sunday or SOOC Sunday, for short. The idea is that there are times when you shoot a photo that it is perfect and requires no tweaking -- no suggestions from your software to do a "quick fix." Speaking for myself, that is not very often; however, it does present a challenge to look through that week's photos for the perfect one.

This photo was shot Thursday, May 22, 2009, and required no tweaking. Besides, I've been wanting to find an excuse to post my garden's progress. :D

Garden as of May 10, 2009.

Isn't it amazing how quickly a garden grows in just twelve days?

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Little Man

This is Little Man. He is about two weeks old.

This is not his mama, but he shows up well here.
This is mama.

I like the way the shadows play across the pasture.

Until next time, God bless.

The Doors Photo Challenge

I took up Brenda's Photo Challenge, hosted by Annie of Annie's Blog. Doors are the subject for this challenge. Talk about timing - I found the challenge about two hours before I joined a friend for a quick trip to Trade Days in Fredricksburg, TX. Old doors were everywhere and the next challenge is deciding which photos to use. :D These are some old safe doors taken out of a home in Floresville, TX.

I like the way this vendor used this door as part of her desk. I love people's creativeness in recycling, don't you?

This door was removed from a 101 year-old house in Texas. The vendor constructed a two-story shop with this door opening to a soon-to-be finished balcony on the second floor.

Somehow there are just times I cannot follow the rules and I failed the three photo rule. Once started, though, I could not quit -- self-discipline is not one of my strong suits.

Something about this door struck a is papered with old newspapers and serves as a backdrop for display.

If it is red, I stop. Nothing unique about this door except is it red and is used as a display for a pick and an antique lunch box.

I like the idea of an old door being used as a backsplash. I found this in the Silver K Cafe in Johnson City, TX when we stopped for lunch. The Silver K is one of our favorite cafes around this part of Texas.

Lastly, this one struck me as funny.

Until next time, God bless.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Barn Swallows and Outdoor Living

I found this cute outdoor set yesterday at Home Depot. I have been wanting a light, small outdoor table and chairs for some time and this one fits the bill. However, it is sitting

here, instead of

here, because of

this barn swallows nest, which leaves

this, i.e., babies on board.

Barn swallows are the most sociable of birds. They love to show off their flight and diving skills to us every evening. They keep the insects population down, but as you can see, they can be a tad messy. Barn swallows breed like rabbits; we had four sets of babies in this nest last year! The babies are so precious and look like little bandits when they peer over their nest at you.

The swallows come back to the same place year after year and we have had a nest in the same location for 25 years. When they try to spread out by placing nests on other parts of the house, I find them before there is not much more than a few dabs of mud and knock it down. Unfortunately, I missed one this year and there is another nest under the front porch. I messed up. I'll try to be more alert next year and not allow that second nest to be built. I could care less when a nest appears in the barn, but I'm not fond of more than one nest on my house.

I thank God every day for allowing me to live here.

Until next time, God bless.

Women of Dripping Springs

We had our final meeting until September this past Wednesday. The day was magnificent to picnic at Harrison Ranch Park, one of our five parks in Dripping Springs. For the record, the Dripping Springs proper population is 1500. Most of us live outside of what is actually Dripping Springs and I have no idea what that number is but probably at least ten times the DS population. We've become a very popular location in which to live. Sometimes, I wish we were not so popular, but then, that is another story. :D

The mayor giving us the scoop on future plans for the five parks.

While at the ranch, I discover this marvelous tree in the distance with beautiful red blossoms. It is a pomegranate tree! I had no idea pomegranates could make it though our winters. And, did you know that pomegranates are mentioned 25 times in the Old Testament?

You've probably heard that pomegranates are now one of the "must" have foods because of its health benefits. It is highly concentrated in anti-oxidants and it is thought to reduce plaque build up in the brain, in the arteries, and on teeth. There is a warning that too much may interfere with cholesterol lowering medications as well as blood pressure meds. It is recommended that you talk with your doctor if you are on these meds before going all out on a pomegranate binge.

Isn't the flower magnificent?

Aha, the fruit.

From what I saw at Harrison Ranch Park, pomegranates thrive in our rocky, limestone soil, which is a big plus from my standpoint. I must have one or two of these trees, maybe three, and I'm on an all out search for a seller in Austin. :D There are dozens of different types.

Until next time, God bless.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Most Favorite

I have been honored with this award (My Most Favorite) by Rae at My Weather Vane and by Squirrel Queen of Through Squirrel Eyes. Thank you both!

These are the rules in accepting this award:
Deliver this award to eight bloggers who then must choose eight more and include the following text into the award.

“These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers.”

I would like to honor the following bloggers. As noted in the text above, my aim is to find them as friends. They have wonderful blogs. Please take some time and visit.

Crafty Sue

Home Sweet Home Inspirations

The Tiny Homestead

Design by Cathleen


Made in Heaven

And So It Goes In Shreveport

Until next time, God bless.

Trade Days - Fredericksburg, TX

It has been about a year since my friend and I made a quick trip up to Fredericksburg for Trade Days. We are about 38 miles from the Trade Days grounds and it started raining a hour before we left. Being troopers, we were not going to allow a little weather change stop us. It turned out to be one of our best trips; the weather was wet but cool. It was wonderful!

On the way we reminisced about some of our previous trips. One January, ice was on the ground and highway but I kept saying don't worry, the vendors will all have heaters. Let me just say that it was miserable; I've never been so cold. On a couple of other trips, it was unbearably hot. We would spend an inordinate amount of time in one of the "food courts," I use the term loosely, because it had misting machines. We'd sit in front of the misting machines for a time drinking sodas or lemonade, shop, then return to the misting machine to ingest more fluids, shop, misting machine, shop, etc. lol

I really enjoy Trade Days, street fairs, and community craft events because there is no place better to find out just how creative, artistic, and imaginative people are from your child's teacher, your neighbor down the street, your pastor, the retired couple on the next block, or someone you don't know. Their handcrafted wares just blow you away.

Here are a couple of photos of this and that at Fredericksburg this weekend.One of these days I'm going to breakdown and bring one of these home. :D They are so funky.I want one of these for somewhere; perhaps in the little hallway between the master bedroom and the master bath. I've been watching too much HGTV. Thinking about getting this Hoosier kitchen table for my hobby room if it is still there next month. Trade Days are on the third weekend of each month.

Can someone give me a clue as to what one would do with a fuchsia, polka dot washing machine?
I haven't the foggiest idea what this is unless it is an upmarket outhouse. I should have opened the door. If you look close on the right, you see part of a bathtub and beyond that was an iron stove. So.............if you have a sense of humor and want to spend $500, one might buy it for a deer lease. lol

I love cactus -- we have plenty of prickly pear cactus growing all around us but these are so neat.Turkey feeder planter. The Trade Days grounds were once a turkey farm and the vendors had little booths in the old barns. The Days have become so popular that small one or two-story buildings are springing up all over the place.

I couldn't make up my mind: jalapeno cheese bread or 3-cheese bread so I bought an apricot oatmeal cookie.

As we were returning to our car, I discovered these two cool, restored cars in the parking lot.

We had one small hitch on this trip, nothing that couldn't be fixed, and it was. My friend forgot to turn off her lights when we arrived. And though we were only gone for two or three hours, the battery died. But as luck would have it, we discovered her battery was in the trunk. We stood in the drizzle a while until we'd see someone, ask if they had jumper cables, and finally found someone who did. He jumped us off and we were on our way to one of our favorite cafes in Johnson City, TX for a late lunch. All is well that ends well.

Until next time, God bless.