A DISPARATE ASSEMBLY OF THINGS, IDEAS, AND PEOPLE.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

COWBOY CAVIAR

There are a plethora of recipes out there for Cowboy Caviar (also known as Texas/Mexican Caviar).  We love it and find it addicting.  
It's a great recipe as you can add and subtract ingredients depending on your family's tastes.  I've heard that it's also good with black beans or pinto beans, celery, cilantro, etc. 

This is the recipe I adapted for my family:

Cowboy Caviar
2 - cans (15 oz) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 - can (15 oz) regular yellow corn, drained
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced purple onion
Chopped pickled jalapeno slices to taste
1 cup Italian dressing (homemade or purchased)
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together.  Chill overnight.
This dish is versatile.  It can be used as a salsa, a dip on corn chips; on chopped lettuce, or just as is for salad.  It's just good from a spoon standing over the kitchen sink!

As a youngster, do you suppose Cowboy Bob had caviar on the farm?
He sure likes it now!
I'm sharing this yumminess on the following:
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
The Comforts of Home for Tasty Tuesday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays At Our Home
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A LOOK BACK IN TIME

1973 was a very good year!
The Vietnam war ended and Secretariat won the triple crown.  The movies "American Graffiti" and "The Sting" were hits; along with the record of the year, Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face".  Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (MRI technology) was developed.

  We built a new house for $32,000.

The median household income was $10,512.00 a year.  Bob had a good job, so I was able to stay at home with two of the most adorable kids EVER!
Jennifer - age 10 months
Michael - age 5
AND, look here --- I had a red plaid jacket that I made myself and Bob had hair and sideburns!!!
What more could anyone desire?  We've been blessed!

I'm sharing my memories at the following:
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
Sunday View for Inspired Sunday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Saturday, March 29, 2014

BUTTER, BONES, AND THE PITS

As a child, it was often my job to entertain my Great Grandmother, who in her declining years was confined to her wheelchair or bed.  One of her favorite things to do was talk about cooking, entertaining; and, especially, her dishes.  She would have me fetch specific dishes from the china cupboard, and she would regale me with stories about their use.  She and Granddad were not rich by any means as they were ranchers and farmers on the prairies of Colorado, but she was a bit pretentious when it came to entertaining.  She was born in the Victorian era, when they had a different dish for every food.  Among her favorites were the butter pats, the bone dishes, and her olive dish.  
Some of the dishes in this post, I inherited from her; others I have just accumulated.
 Below are G. Grandmother's Sunday dishes from Austria.  She had plain white ironstone bone dishes she used, but I don't know what happened to those.  The Meakin bone dish was given to me by a friend.
CHINA - ROYAL JNNSBRUCK, JHR and CO., AUSTRIA
BONE DISH - J and G MEAKIN, HANLEY, ENGLAND
 I love a table set with a mix of brown transferware.
PLATE - "TONQUIN", ALFRED MEAKIN, ENGLAND; BONE DISH - "TONQUIN", CLARICE CLIFF,
ENGLAND; BUTTER PAT - LS and S, ENGLAND; CUP and SAUCER - CLARICE CLIFF, ENGLAND

 The red transferware are my 'Sunday Dishes'.
PLATE and SALAD BOWL - JOHNSON BROS., ENGLAND; BONE DISH - ROYAL
STAFFORDSHIRE,  ENGLAND; BUTTER PAT - WEDGWOOD, ENGLAND
 More accumulated brown transferware.
PLATES: JHW and SONS, HANLEY, ENGLAND; BOWL - ALFRED MEAKIN, ENGLAND
BONE DISH - FURNIVALS, HAMPTON, ENGLAND
 Then there is G. Grandmother's olive dish and fork with the individual tiny dishes for the discarded pits.
HAND PAINTED NIPPON

I came across this picture of a complete formal place setting. 
Picture from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AFormal_Place_Setting.jpg
It would be the "PITS" to do all of these dishes and silverware without an electric dishwasher.  G. Grandmother said that was what grandchildren were for.  And my mother always said G. Grandmother could dirty every dish in the house, too.  I think my mother was the grand daughter that always did those dishes!!

A plethora of inspiration can be found on the following:
The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Timse Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday

Monday, March 24, 2014

PALLET BOARD DESK

I've wanted a new computer desk for a long time - one that was more comfortable for me.  I had been using an old family desk that was small with a narrow knee hole.
However, I didn't want a new custom desk bad enough unless it was free!  Enter pallet boards. 
Bob finally accumulated enough free pallets, and got to work.  When you are retired, your time is always free. 
The top is composed of individual pallet boards with a breadboard edge --
As is the side tower of drawers.
One of its custom features just for me is a slide-out shelf at just the right height and place to rest my elbow that supports my problematic shoulder.
The perfect solution and all for free.

Please check out the following:
Our Home Away from Home for Tuesdays at our Home
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's it Wednesday
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special
Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

WEST COAST POTTERY

"I don't decorate, I accumulate!"
And along the way, I've accumulated three different pieces of West Coast Pottery.  I don't recall where, when, or why.

 I've always thought that in a home with a mid-century modern vibe, they would stand alone as sculpture.
 The West Coast Pottery was developed by Lee and Bonnie Wollard in the 1940s in Burbank, California.
Even though I'm attracted to these pieces, my home is definitely not mid-century modern; so they are used for their intended purpose -- to hold flowers.
This basket with its fluid, organic design really calls for Spring tulips.

The vases are clearly marked on the bottom, and I see them at antique/vintage venues and on e-bay regularly.
So far, I've resisted the urge to add to my collection.
  I'll just enjoy the three I have accumulated.
I love the way this particular piece looks with my Mother's Franciscan Desert Rose dishes from the same era.

Check out the following for a plethora of Spring inspiration:
Green Willow Pond for What We Accomplished Wednesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Savvy Southern Style for WOW Us Wednesdays
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Pieced Pastimes for Saturday Sparks
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday Treasures
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Saturday, March 15, 2014

IT'S BIRTHDAY TIME

If I hadn't been there, I would think this kid was born with a book in his hands.
 His first love has always been reading, studying --
Learning --
About anything and everything --
He never goes anywhere without a book, or his Kindle, or a map and a notebook --

Always thinking and figuring -- doing math problems while waiting for a train --

 We should have known from the beginning that he would be a traveler, a high school math and science teacher, an interesting person, and a great son.

Have a Happy Birthday, Mike; and a safe and fun trip to Japan with your students this summer!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

IN PURSUIT OF PLAID - LEGO LOVE

In my ongoing pursuit of plaid, I found the following Lego Love!

Blue plaid shirts--
Red plaid shirts --
More red plaid shirts --
Brown and black plaid shirts --
Red plaid vest --
Green plaid pants on one angry dude --

 Purple plaid blouse on a dudette
And my favorite - a plaid kilt, hat, and bagpipes!

Pictures of Lego figurines from Google Images

Three questions come to mind --

Am I looking for love in all the wrong places?
Am I too old to play with Legos?
Do I have too much time on my hands?

Sharing my love of plaid on the following:
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
The Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday
Smiling Sally for Blue Monday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday Treasures
Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday
From My Front Porch to Yours for Treasure Hunt Thursday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A SHEEP PICTURE BY AN ECCENTRIC ARTIST

In February 2009 I did a post about some of the early 20th century sheep lithograph prints we have collected (click here).  In that post I promised I would show you some of my step-great-grandmother's art.  Better late than never -- it's only been five years.
A back story of the artist -- My great-grandfather, after being widowed with two young boys, came to Colorado from Maine in the 1880s to start a new life.  After his boys were raised, he sent for 'Auntie Evelyn' to come west to be his new wife in 1897.  She was considered to be a spinster at the age of 29 when she was dispatched to Colorado!  We have the train ticket that he sent her for her journey.  To us, she was always called 'Auntie Evelyn' -- I guess because she never really mothered anyone.  
AUNTIE EVELYN IN 1935
They were married for 41 years until his death in 1938; she lived until 1950 in the West, far from her family and in a place that must have felt so foreign to her.  She was an untrained artist, but with considerable talent.  Her drawings and paintings are done on whatever materials available - cardboard, etc.  She never had much money for her art supplies, and probably was considered just an amateur 'Sunday' painter.
In the 1960s someone who knew a little about art told me that all she did was copy other works - could be true as they are very similar to the lithograph prints of the early 1900s.  I'm sure this was her way of learning more about art -- a common practice for the unschooled.  This particular drawing is done in charcoal/chalk and it needs to be restored. Several years ago when I tried to take it apart to better photograph it; a lot of the charcoal remained on the glass.  I stopped right there and reassembled it!
For several generations, my family was in the sheep ranching business; and this picture hung over the mantle in my grand-parent's home for years.  My grandmother gave it to me in 1961.  Later on, I inherited two more drawings and three of Auntie Evelyn's oil paintings plus some of her furniture.  No one but me seemed to want them.
The family just considered her an "eccentric artist".  She ended her own life by hanging herself in the barn under very dramatic circumstances -- such a contradiction to her serene and comforting art work.

I promise I'll show you some more of her artwork before another five years fly by.


Joining in:
Sunday View for Inspired Sunday
Better With Age for Give Me The Goods Monday
The Dedicated House for Make It Pretty Monday
Confessions of a Plate Addict for The Scoop Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Knick of Time Interiors for Knick of Time Vintage Tuesday
Ivy and Elephants for What's It Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired Friday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded
Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A LETTER TO THE MONTH OF MARCH



Dear "The Month of March":
I see by the calendar that you have arrived.  I kept hoping that February would go on forever; but everyone has been telling me that Spring was on the way.
I've been in denial.  You see, I am a winter person and not the warm-weather type.  I know - I'm in the minority, but I love the cooler weather, the snow.  After all, I am a fourth generation Coloradoan - we love our mountains and snow. 

However,  I'm not the outdoors type either in Winter or Spring/Summer.  On the contrary, I rarely participate in anything out-of-doors (except, maybe shopping).  I'm told this is probably the reason I'm not enthralled with the coming of the Spring/Summer seasons.   I just love looking out my windows in winter to see that beautiful vista of mountains and snow knowing inside my home that it is toasty and warm.

I love the way my house looks in the winter - rather dark and cozy with all of the quilts, wool throws, and plaid pillows.
I always think I will lighten up my decor for the warm months, but never seem to get around to it.  I know that just as Spring arrives, so Winter will return again.
I'm alone in my Winter thoughts, as my husband, Bob, always eagerly awaits your arrival.  Just this past week, he dug up the remaining 2013 crop of carrots.  He's talking about rotor tilling the garden and planting the peas on St. Patrick's day as is his custom.  The Burpee's catalog is part of his current stack of reading.
I've been a bit cantankerous the last couple of days just thinking about Winter being replaced by Spring.
  Bob tells me to get over it -- that there isn't anything I can do about it.
So, I have decided to embrace the season and do better about my attitude.  But, I will make sure the air conditioner is ready to go. I then can cover up with a quilt and pretend that it is Winter again.

Bring it on.   I'll deal with it reluctantly but with a better attitude; and maybe even go outside more!   
Sally

For Spring inspiration check out the following:
The Dedicated House for Make it Pretty Monday
Cozy Little House for Tweak it Tuesday
A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday
Have a Daily Cup for Share Your Cup Thursday
Nancherrow for Fridays Unfolded