The Charm of a Dark Chocolate Kiss

As I hear the sweet voice of my four year-old grandson, Bennett, saying “Dee Dee, Could I have one more of your chocolates?” while opening my refrigerator door to find them, I smile. I find myself thinking that I hope he will always remember Dee Dee’s sweet chocolate kisses, as I always remember the taste and smell of my Grandmother’s Dublin bottled Dr. Pepper, positioned neatly in her pantry (where my refrigerator now stands), awaiting our arrival from Illinois every summer. The distinctive taste of Dr. Pepper, neither seen nor experienced in the northern states. Memories are etched in our minds forever.

Covid-19, 2020

My eyes have never seen a stranger time than this.  The spreading of a virus around the world, resulting in death, illness, fear, quarantine for some, and isolation for those at risk.  My art journal has always been my favorite way of expressing my feelings.  I found this beautiful image in the magazine #Daphnesdiary and was inspired to do the following:  I used texture modeling paste, watercolor, and clear gesso on the background. In the end, it doesn’t show very much.  The image was too large, which resulted in me cutting off her boots.  It seemed fitting to our current times to place them by the door.  John Prine died yesterday due to complications of Covid-19, as have thousands of others.  The line down her face appears like tears, representing these times of sadness.

img_8263-1

TK’s RECIPE’s for One: Warm Spinach, Asparagus Salad over Brown Rice

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 Red Onion

1 1/2 T Coconut Oil

1 cup fresh mushrooms

1 tsp sea salt

1 cup sliced zucchini or cucumber

1 cup fresh asparagus snapped into 1 1/2 inch pieces

1/1/2 T Apple Cider Vinegar

1 T Olive Oil

3 cups fresh Spinach

1/2 cup feta cheese or goat cheese

1 cup brown rice

DIRECTIONS:

Cook brown rice in sauce pan for 25-30 minutes.

Saute sliced red onion 5 minutes until clear in color in frying pan.

Add sliced mushrooms, zucchini (or cucumbers), fresh asparagus pieces and sea salt.

Add 1 1/2 T Apple Cider Vinegar.

Saute another 8 minutes.

Turn off heat and add 1T Olive Oil.

Keep on low heat until brown rice is finished.

Put 3 cups of fresh spinach in a large bowl.

Pour warm vegetables over spinach and add feta cheese and pepper.

Plate brown rice and salad.

ENJOY!!! This recipe makes enough for 3 meals.

 

Cross Creek- Amazon Prime

”  We cannot live without the Earth or apart from it, and something is shriveled in a man’s heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men”

” Madness is only a variety of mental nonconformity and we are all individualists here.”

“I have become a part of Cross Creek.  I was more than a writer.  I was a wife, a friend, a part of the earth.  Who owns Cross Creek?  The red-birds, I think, more than I, for they will have their nests even in the face of delinquent mortgages..It seems to me that the Earth may be borrowed, but not bought.  It may be used, but not owned.  It gives itself in response to love and tenderness, offers its seasonal flowering and fruiting.  But we are not tenants and not possessors, lovers, and not masters.   Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain; to the sun and seasons;  to the cosmic secrecy of seed; and, beyond all, to time.”

“We were bred of our Earth before we were bred of our mothers.  Once born we can live without mother or father, or any other kin, or any friend, or any human love.  We cannot live without the Earth or apart from it, and something is shriveled in a man’s heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men.”

 

“Good is what helps us or at least does not hinder.  “Evil” is whatever harms us or interferes with us, according to our own selfish standards.”

“Sift each of us through tghe great sieve of circumstance and you have a residue, great or small as the case may be, that is the man or the woman.”

 

The rosad goes west out of the village, past open pine woods and gallberry flats.  An eagles’ nest is a ragged cluster of sticks in  a tall tree, and one of the eagles is usually black and silver against the sky.  The other pewrches near the nest, hunched and proud, like a griffon.  There is no magic here excelpt the eagles.  Yet the four miles to the Creek are stirring, like the bleak, portentous beginning of a good tale.  The road curves

sharply, the vegetation thickens, and around the bend amasses into dense hammock.  The hammock breaks, is pushed back on either side of the road, and set down in its brooding heart is the oreange grove.  Any grove or any wood is a fine thin g to see. But

TK’s Marinara Spaghetti Squash

This recipe is absolutely delicious, healthy and very filling.  If you are blessed with fresh herbs in your fall garden, the aromas will tempt everyone who enters your home.

INGREDIENTS:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Two sprigs fresh thyme, stripped

Four medium fresh basil leaves, chopped

One spaghetti squash (Slice off ends, cut vertically in standing position, deseed, rub olive oil inside each half, turn upside down on foiled baking sheet and cook 40 minutes at 400 degrees).

1 pound turkey sausage, sliced and cut in half

One yellow onion, chopped

Two cloves garlic, minced

11/2 bottles of Organic Marinara Sauce

1 14-ounce can artichokes, chopped

1 pint Roma or cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

Fresh or shredded Parmesan cheese

Sea salt to taste

Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:                                                                                                                                      *Prepare spaghetti squash and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.                    *In skillet, brown turkey sausage in olive oil.                                                                            *Add chopped onion and saute 5 minutes.                                                                                        *Add minced garlic and saute approximately 30 seconds

*Pour in Marinara sauce.                                                                                                                    *Add fresh herbs                                                                                                                                    *Add chopped artichokes                                                                                                                    *Add Roma tomatoes                                                                                                                            *Stir in sea salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                  *Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         *String spaghetti, place into bowls and top with marinara sauce mixture.                             *Top with fresh or shredded parmesan cheese.

Enjoy every bite!

 

Who Is Stuck Behind the Washer?

Okay.  So, this was our day today.  Following over one month of living without a washer or dryer in “This Old House”, one failed attempt of a very small capacity washer/dryer unit that would barely wash one pair of BG’s jeans, and after weeks of trying desperately to find a stacked or stackable washer/dryer unit that would fit into our only spot in my bathroom with a very limited depth measurement, we really thought we had discovered “the one”, just in time to prevent taking the old washboard down to the red creek to clean clothes. We walked into a local supply store, and a very knowledgeable gentleman announced that he had “the perfect fit” for our problem, and that he could deliver it on Friday!!  BG and I were beyond elated to imagine no more hauling of laundry to relatives or laundromats!

Here it is:  Friday!!!  We were aware that we had only 1/4 inch above the height of the new appliance to fit it perfectly into our “spot”.  Today was the day.  Friday night relaxing would be replaced by Friday night washing:  WRONG!!!  So, here come our heroes with the only washer existing that will fit in our space.  The two fine gentlemen worked a very long time, preparing the large stacked machine to fit into the space.  They spent a great deal of effort and time pushing it back into the space, following all of the preparation.  The result: the dryer sounded great, but the washer made no sound.  One looked at the other; the other looked at the one.  “Did you plug the washer in after I plugged in the dryer?”.  “I forgot”.

So, the guys proceeded to spend a great deal of time and effort pulling the large machine out of our small space once again.  They pushed and pulled, until the large unit was blocking my bathroom door.  The two men were quite pleased when they had it successfully plugged into one plug and positioned back in our small space successfully.  One gentleman pushed the dryer button—hurray; it worked quite nicely.  He pushed the washer button and nothing happened.  “Mrs. Grosvenor, We have very bad news!” ( I wonder why they called for me to tell the bad news to, instead of my husband-hah!”).  “The second plug needed by this washer does not work.”

So, the two men pulled and pulled, until they had the unit blocking the bathroom door again.  BG said, “We will have to contact our electrician.  Why don’t you guys leave it here and maybe you can come back later.  I said, “They can’t go anywhere because one man is stuck in the bathroom behind the unit!!!”  BG responded that he would pass him a hot dog for dinner in a bit.  Well, the men pushed and shoved, until they made enough space for the other man to remove himself very carefully from my bathroom.  They departed, leaving me with a tiny space to squeeze through to get into my bathroom.  No problem, except I was expected to arrive at a function looking somewhat respectable within the hour.  Hah!!!  My choice was to cancel my appearance at the event (which I had really been looking forward to attending), OR, to squeeze my body through a very small space.

Initially, I thought that I could grasp hold of my make-up case, hanging on a hook, with a long tool, of some sort (like a fishing pole).  However, the gentlemen had kindly moved my make-up kit elsewhere.  As the hour of my departure drew nearer, I realized it was squeeze this body through the space at hand, or cancel my attendance.  With my husband at the other end, I squeezed and he pushed until I was through to the other side.  I finished getting ready and then pondered my departure through the very small space once again.  After one attempt at approaching it from one angle failed, BG suggested I turn around and try it the other direction.  With doorknob pressed firmly into my backside, I was able to escape, eventually. At least, looking back upon it, we can laugh about it.  Oh my!!!  I made it just in time to my anticipated event, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing a group of old friends!!!

The new Speed Queen washer/dryer unit has been teasing us all weekend, ready to be pushed back into action on Monday morning, when our heroes return.

LIBRARY CARDS: TICKETS to the WIDE WONDERFUL WORLD of READING!

Last week in Dallas, I had the pleasure of accompanying my “daughter” and first grandson to the local library for “Baby Time”.  At 4-months, you might expect him to be unaware of anything beyond his immediate surroundings.  However, in observing B. from the perspective of my long career in Early Childhood and Speech Pathology, I was elated, to see him attending to every book read aloud to the children and to every puppet, responding with smiles and squeals.  Following the story time, I took B. to the children’s section of the library, picked out a wonderful, interactive board book called “Woof-Woof”, and read it two times to him.  Once again, he was quite attentive!  While we were reading, B.’s mother was at the desk, obtaining B.’s first library card.  As you can see from this picture, he is very aware of the significance of his “ticket to the world of knowledge”!

PARENTS:  FIND YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY, and READ WITH YOUR CHILD EVERY DAY!!!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

 

 

Night Heron on Riverside

Neighbor, Larry Millar came to visit this evening and was able to identify the strange, new sound in the neighborhood the past two days.  He found it across the street, instead of on the creek, where we expected it to be.  It was a Night Heron, possibly calling for a mate. Life is always an adventure on Elm Creek-love it!

YCNightHeron_DAshcroft.jpg (414×407) San Antonio Autobaon Society

 

 

Denton Valley Farms Visit

We spent our Sunday afternoon out in the country on this beautiful sunny day, visiting Denton Valley Farms. If you haven’t been out there, the Denton Valley farm store is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The grounds consist of a fantastic, large wedding & special event venue, surrounded by gorgeous rows of grape vines, peach trees and areas of other gardening delicacies.  Colby & Mandy’s farm store sells delicious fresh peaches, fresh grape juice and jellies, homemade ice cream, and blackberries at this time, with cantaloupe, watermelon, peas, okra and squash coming in the near future.  The store offers other local and surrounding area products, as well.  Mandy & Colby are the sweetest and most gracious hosts and you are sure to enjoy a fun afternoon during your visit.

TREAT YOURSELF & ENJOY!!!

IMG_3734

THE HIGHWAYMEN -OUTLAWS REVISITED

Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, & Kris Kristofferson-KERA TONIGHT!

Live at Nassauu Coliseum, 1990

It takes me way back–it doesn’t get much better than this!!!

Highwaymen

Mama’s Don’t Let your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys

Ring of Fire

Me & Bobby McGee

Folsum Prison Blues

Help Me Make it Through the Night

Always on my Mind

Silver Stallion

Lord, Help Me, Jesus, I’ve Wasted It So Help Me Jesus, You Know What I Am.  Lord, Don’t You Know, That I’ve Needed You So Help Me Jesus, My Souls in Your Hands.

Luckenbach, Texas

Big River

On the Road Again

I am never too old to enjoy good music!!!

Taco-filled Tortilla Bowls-TMG

 

These TACO TORTILLA BOWLS are delicious and perfect for busy parents:

INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

12 flour tortillas

1 lb. ground beef or turkey

1 cup salsa

1 can black beans, (rinsed and drained)

Mexican shredded cheese

1 bunch red leaf lettuce

Guacamole (see recipe below)

Light sour cream

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave tortillas 15 minutes, separated on paper plate.

Form tortilla into a bowl inside each large muffin cups with two folds on each side.

Crunch foil and place foil ball into the center of each tortilla bowl

Place tortilla bowl muffins into oven and bake for a total of 13 minutes.

While tortillas bake, brown meat and drain, if needed.

Season with kosher salt to taste, chili powder and pepper.

Pour 1 cup salsa into cooked meat mixture.

Boil and simmer 10 minutes.

Microwave black beans 3 minutes.

Add spoonfuls of meat and beans into each tortilla bowl, topped with Mexican cheese.

After cheese melts, add pieces of lettuce, guacamole mixture and sour cream.

ENJOY!!!

GUACAMOLE MIXTURE:

3 avocados sliced and chopped (include one seed)

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 sliced/chopped onion

1 large lime, squeezed

1 fresh tomato chopped

 

 

THIS OLD HOUSE and ALL THAT LIES WITHIN IT!!!

Having just accomplished one of those “always projected to the future, major household, this old house, MUST DO NOWS”  (i.e. rewiring our entire home electrical wiring that has survived all of the yearly natural corrosion , squirrel chews, etc. since  1938), we find ourselves surrounded by “STUFF”.  “STUFF” is absolutely everywhere!  You can imagine the look on my face, when told by our contractor:  “Please empty this closet, so I can get my ladder into it when I return from lunch”!!!!!   He was so very patient with me, but I was so horrified that all of that “stuff” had to make an appearance right in front of my face, and in every room, yet.  And, although our huge job is finished and well done, I am still surrounded by “stuff” and loving being able to step into my little 1038 closets.  A trivial problem, I know, but overwhelming on a daily basis, nonetheless!  Of course, I don’t consider any of my creative materials stuff-hah!!!!!!!!!  Where is my husband?  He is hiding, of course.  If you see him, please let me know.

MAGNOLIA MAGIC

We planted this magnolia tree (in front of the rock koi pond built by my grandfather), in honor of my parent’s anniversary.  During rainstorms, which have been rare in the past and frequent the past few months in Texas, one of my favorite reflection times is observing the storm roll in from our front porch, the very same view my Grandma and Grandfather watched every evening in the glow of the yellow ceiling light.  Today, the magnolia tree displayed its full beauty  with two low blossoms, opening their soft, white petals to welcome the second coming of the rain: