Last couple of months have been busy since I returned from
Texas. Our garden has grown, produced and keeping me stocked with goodies. You
just can’t beat fresh food. I was able to freeze homemade marinara sauce and tomatoes.
I am not a flower person, but I added a rose bush and a couple hibiscus plants to
my collection. Now we are ready to sit down and plan out our fall planting. We
will be moving our garden and planning some landscaping we need to do as well.
We just finished going through all the family history boxes
and are starting the reorganization. It took some time to get started. But we
did it! Now I can concentrate on proper storage and organizing it for future
generations. Let’s just say I will be glued to the scanner for a while. We are
finally going to step into doing our family genealogy. Added that to our list
of projects this year.
We are still working on my glass storage and organizing the garage. Unfortunately, that is where all the storage containers from the family history went. Now I need to get them in the attic so that I can get more room in the garage. I am excited about having an organized area to do my work. A new work bench is needed and hoping for a few new toys this year to add to my arsenal. There are so many things I wanna do!
I spent the weekend working on stripping electrical wiring
for the copper. Marie so graciously let me have it from the little ranch house
renovations they have going on. It ain’t easy but worth it. I use so much
copper in my projects and you can’t beat ‘free’ supplies. A little elbow grease
and I now have a nice supply of copper wiring. A little advice on copper
wiring, it will tarnish. I only stripped the outer casing on the wiring. I will
strip the inner casing when I know I will need it. Saves me from having to clean
the wiring again before I use it.
Today I am finally sitting down and make a list of projects I want to do. I am a list person. I even have a list of lists on my phone with a reminder for me to check them. You laugh, but it helps. Oh, and I love reminders. I just must remember not to cancel them until I get things done. But back to my list making today. I am starting on my project list. Some are things people have asked me to do, some will be things I want to do for myself, and some will be for Christmas. So, I will do a little research, get the plans ready, check my supplies and start planning my schedule to get things done. Are you ready to see what I will be doing? Me too! Now the fun begins!
Before I headed to Texas, I worked on a few things for Tennessee’s baby shower. Decoration for the baby’s room were also going to be decorations for the shower. I whipped up a few canvas for Archer’s room as well a little night light. Deer were the theme for this little celebration. A couple baby wipe keepers help round out a few of things for her gifts.
The weather was hitting us hard before the shower but eventually cleared up. What a day!
Marie made a sweet little baby blanket. Quilting the lovely
blocks to the theme and embroidery. Isn’t it beautiful folks?!
We planned a sweet spread for the celebration. Cheesecakes
and cupcakes were provided by their family, but Marie had the cutest little
cookies made too.
We had a cheese boards chalked full of various cheese,
meats, fruit, olives and preserves. We had a couple wheels of cheeses on our
new cheese slicers. What fun! Several different types of breads that included
olive oil dipping with fresh herbs from Marie’s garden. A couple of pastas with
meatballs and grilled chicken to be topped with homemade marinara sauce and
alfredo. We had little caprese skewers as well as sliced heritage tomatoes to
add a little fresh touch. Fresh fruit and dip to satisfy the cravings of the
mom-to-be. And of course, we had a little sangria punch (non-alcoholic)! I made
sure there was a little sparking while for those not expecting. Rounding it all off with some sweet tea (and
Tennessee had a great time and loved everything. Now she is just waiting for her little blessing to arrive. Marie, Ashley and I enjoyed planning this special day. Thank you again to Ashley for braving the kitchen with me this time.
By now, you all know that I love to cook. For me, cooking is like art. I am always amazed by the flavors, aroma and beauty that is created. It doesn’t matter how simple or how complicated a recipe may be, it is the end product that entices me. I love shopping local farmers markets, butcher’s shop or fish market when I get a chance. I have been known to drive hours to shop at a specialty grocery store. Nothing gets my creativity going like finding something new to try.
One of my standard gift requests is for my daughter to send me spices from Central Market. I just love Central Market. That trip to the specialty store I mentioned, that was to Central Market in Austin when I lived in Houston. HEB had not graced Houston with one yet. That was a very long time ago. This past year, once again I asked for spices for Christmas. But to my surprise, she gifted me a year of spices from a company called Piquant Post.
During one of our conversations, I let her know that I had received her gift. I didn’t know how to respond because I knew nothing about Piquant Post. I looked at the little packages of spices and the recipe cards included. They came in this plain brown envelope, nothing exciting. The spices are finely ground so I couldn’t really tell much about it. It lacked the visual interest of spices not ground so finely. The first recipes were things I already make or had made before. I felt bad because all I could say is that it was interesting. I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to food. So, when the next shipment arrived, I took the time to really look at the recipes. These had more spice and creativity of food combinations. Ok, I thought I can work with that.
Living here in Florida, we have amazing Caribbean food. So, I decided the first recipe I would try was going to be the Jerk Chicken. I followed the recipe exactly as the card instructed using chicken breast. I decided to serve mine with yellow rice and fresh tomato slices. I was so surprised that I really like it! I mean, I could have made it hotter, but it was a great combination. I cooked mine in the oven and used the broiler to give a little char. My husband agreed with me that it was very good. I made a note of the recipe card of our rating. This is one I will want to make again.
Now, Piquant Post does not have an online store for gift subscription receivers to order more spices from yet. But you can email them your request according to their website. My daughter can order since she sent it to me. I will investigate the reorder process and see what happens. You can’t remake the recipe if you don’t have the spice combination they provided.
Lacey did a good job surprising me with this one! Tonight, is Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork.
Let’s talk about the wedding! We arrived a couple days before the wedding so we could spend time exploring and to help where needed. We volunteered to pick up the cake and cupcakes which meant a trip over to League City area. Pick up wasn’t until late afternoon which meant we had a lot of time to kill. After a little breakfast we grabbed our coats and off we went.
I took my husband over to Carter’s Country there in Spring. I had not been to this location, so it was going to be something new for both of us. If you like to shoot or hunt, this is a must stop in the Houston area. The Spring location has a shooting range! Absolutely gorgeous location and as always Carter’s Country doesn’t disappoint. Luckily, we only left there with a new pair of boots for my husband. But I know he had his eye on a few new things. Christmas present ideas already for him. Next, we headed towards Kemah. We stopped at Marburger’s Sporting Goods in Seabrook. They have been around for a very long time and have a great selection for hunting and fishing. My husband enjoyed reminiscing about fishing in Texas.
Next it was to Kemah Boardwalk for lunch at Landry’s Seafood. Love the view of the water, even if it is a dreary winter day. Lunch was great as usual at Landry’s. A nice cup of gumbo helped to warm me up before exploring the boardwalk.
We walked around and finally stopped at Bayside Grille for dessert. Now this is a must for me. I don’t care how full I am, I will always have room for beignets! We sat down with coffee and an order of beignets. While my husband caught up on work, I worked on devouring a couple of these warm pillows of heavenly goodness. Bayside Grille makes them fresh right there where you can see them. Some people add honey, but I just love the powdered sugar. A good cup of coffee and a beignet and I am set folks! We walked off my beignet high as we continued to explore the boardwalk. We watch a few people ride some rides, but the dreary cold weather kept most people away. After a few more shopping stops we headed over the Cavendar’s.
Woo hoo, it was finally time to pickup the cupcakes and cake. Craved Creations Bakery in League City is a tiny little shop. But oh, what an incredible place! We laid down the seats in my Explorer and loaded over 200 cupcakes in it. I decided I better carry the cake on my lap. My husband carefully drove us back to the hotel so we could unload our bounty and grab some dinner. How exciting! One more day y’all and wedding time!
Wedding day!!! Are you ready to see more pictures of Ashley and Joshua’s big day? Where do I start?!
We had hay bales to put out for seating, florist delivering flowers, furniture arriving, tents to arrange, miscellaneous sewing and ironing. Jewelry repair and last-minute details before we could even dress ourselves.
Seating with hay bales
Lounge Seating 1 Borrowed Treasures
Lounge Area 2 Borrowed Treasurse
Dresses are ready
Flowers Venus and Co Creative Cloud Events MAAskey
Flowers Venus and Co
Borrowed Treasures tables
Flowers Venus and Co
Venus and Co
Prayers said for over the bride for their big day. Groom hung out with his wedding party waiting for it all to start.
Ashley was a beautiful bride and there were so many special moments.
Here we go people! Getting seated.
Taking our seats
Robert walking his mother
Incredible music and the groom took his vows to a whole new level. He wrote her a song and read his vows to her. We were all in tears!
Here she comes!!!
Ashley and Jeff walking the aisle
Ashley and Jeff walking down the aisle
They are hitched!
Grooms vows emotional bride
They are hitched y’all!! It’s done! They are married.
They are hitched!
Great reception! Food was amazing and so was the music. Father’s speech had us all in tears and wishing we had a videographer.
Here they come…Mr & Mrs Siegel
Dancing and celebrating.
Family sing the Perkin’s family song.
Off they go! What a wonderful ride and a great send-off to start their marriage.
Get A-way car
Congratulations Ashley and Joshua Siegel!
A very special thank you to all those he helped make this day so special:
It’s hunting season here. That means my wonderful husband will be off for a 3-week elk hunting trip with his friends. Once upon a time I was more into the hunting but not anymore. I thoroughly enjoy the enthusiasm and excitement hunting brings to Jimmy. He is the best!
Many, many years ago (warning, memory lane and ex-husband Dale story happening) we were on a lease at Travis Marks ranch in Fannin/Goliad Texas. He was an incredible man and the most fun to hunt with. Hunting on a working ranch is always fascinating to me. I love watching the ranch being worked and this family, including his wife was out working the cattle. I remember the 1st time I saw her in full face makeup and beautiful clothes on her horse working the cows. She sparkled and shined as she made it look like child’s play wrangling the cattle to be worked. The sight of her big convertible Cadillac with horns on the grill coming at you down the dark country road would bring a smile to my face, after it scared the daylights out of me. That woman could drive!
On the ranch was a little museum that memorialized his family’s history. His father was one of the founding members of the Salt Grass Trail Ride. What an honor to have been able to see this memorial he had. He raised long horn that were used in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at the beginning of each rodeo performance. I learned a great deal about Texas history from Travis and his wife Linda. Dinner at the Empresario with them was exciting. Listening to the stories of not just Travis but his friends and neighbors made for an entertaining experience.
When Travis got a chance to hunt with us it was always entertaining. We once stalked geese on a pond, crawling on our bellies with our guns in hand as we came over the little hill trying not to spook them. He made sure my hunting partners always put me in the blind of the front pasture (Linda’s pasture). It backs up to the river behind the trees. Guaranteed to get a deer and since I hunted only for meat, I went for the does when it was the season. I would sit in the blind, wearing vanilla perfume, reading a book by a little light waiting for the sun to come up. Some days I just sat and watch the deer as they came out to eat in the early light. The smell of musk was incredibly strong on the ranch as the bucks marked their territory. And nothing made me crazier than being able to track deer for the guys, so they knew where the deer were crossing. Many memories were made on his ranches in the area. I shot my first turkey on his ranch. Dove season and quail was always incredible. Rabbits were not my thing, but the guys killed a lot. Those things can take over a field so quickly and eat the young sprouts. Once a little rabbit was just stunned and not shot. I took it and set it free while the guys were cleaning the dead ones.
And nothing like driving the jeep into town and forgetting about the rack on top as we drove through Dairy Queen for lunch one day. I don’t the think guys liked when the wives got together and headed to town. Always mischief to be had. I learned that rattle snaked jump straight up! First time I ever heard Dale yell. We chased turkey all over the Fannin property in the jeep. They are fast! Every year we had to take back the blinds from the owls who nested in them. Nothing like 6 inches of dead mice, rabbits and owl manure having to be cleaned out. Yuck! If you hunted you worked to maintain it just like the guys so we helped clear the blinds, fill feeders and mow the trails.
I hunted on Travis’s properties until I was too big and pregnant to get up and down the blinds. Then the vertigo set in and there is nothing worse than trying to get a big pregnant hot angry woman with vertigo out of a blind. I was so fortunate that we had a lot of game and fresh fish. We ate what we caught and killed. Dale would make venison sausage that was to die for. My family always wanted some when he had a chance to make it. I love fresh turkey cooked on the grill and loved waterfowl until I got pregnant. Made him cook duck gumbo outside that year. He is still a great cook. I learned a lot from him.
The first time I went duck hunting was not a great day. We were to hunt down in the Anahuac area there in east Texas. Dale of course had the proper gear and knew what he was doing. I did not! After an air boat ride we hopped out with the dog (named Trouble)and I was to follow him to where we were going to hunt. Yeah, well I stepped into a coypu (nutria rat) hole and sank clean up to hips. As I struggled to get myself out of the hole (he was putting out the decoys and Trouble ran around) the light was coming up and I heard him yell ‘duck’. So I ducked my head down thinking he was shooting. No, the ducks were coming in to the decoys around me and as I looked up all I could see was duck feet in my face. Scared the living daylights out of me. And Dale laughed. Yeah, I haven’t hunted ducks since except with Travis.
And a little side note here, I was always told you shouldn’t wear make-up or hair products to hunt let alone scented anything. Honey, I wore make-up when I wanted. Vanilla perfume attracts the deer. I would hunt in high heel wedge boots too! Oh yes, when I wasn’t roughing it with the guys I dressed to the top for my deer. And I always got a deer when I wanted to shoot one. So, take that y’all!!
After my little walk down memory lane, I watch as my husband Jimmy packs his gear and prepares the trailer for his trip. This year they are heading to Colorado. I will miss the dickens out of him. But he deserves this trip and the break from work. Jimmy checks on me regularly and shares his adventures when he has cell service, so I get to enjoy in his escapades.
Jimmy brings home the bacon, the venison, the fish and anything else he kills or catches. Yep, still a lucky lady here. Jimmy and my step-son Nick fill our freezer with fresh fish and lobster each year.
Turkey butts drive me nuts
And it is that time of year where I am down to just barely any meat left so Jimmy better get to work on filling it. Hopefully it will be some elk but if not, he always gets the deer and venison is our main meat around here. Jimmy is better at the hunting than I am as you can see and enjoys his time with the Texas boys, Jeff, Robert and Josh. Once he is back, I get to share his latest adventure with you. Then we will be off to Texas for the wedding and bow season. I love hearing Jimmy’s stories and the mounts on the wall of the Mancave. But for now, my heart aches that he is going to be gone.
All eyes on you Deer
Bob Watching you play pool
Duck Duck Jimmy
Black Buck and Jimmy
Black Buck Trophy
Good luck to you, Donny and Mike! Love you, be safe and have a great time!
On my way home, I stopped in Houston to see my daughter. Nothing puts a smile on my face like Lacey. We had dinner at one of our spots called James Coney Island. The memories we have made eating hotdogs there will always stick out in my mind. Thanks for another memory Kiddo!
I stayed a couple nights so that I could also get a chance to see Amber and Chris. I am so excited…they get married in January!! So proud of these two and the amazing future they have together.
I headed to downtown Houston so that I could go to James Avery and do some shopping. I love their jewelry and always find something for a gift or myself when I go. I picked a few things and headed over to Central Market.
HEB is a Texas chain grocery store and their specialty stores are Central Market. I wish Florida had an HEB, let alone a Central Market. The fresh squeezed orange juice puts all others to shame. You will find five or six different kinds of potatoes to exotic fruits in their produce. My mind just goes crazy with ideas when I am there. I want to take it all home. They have a butcher shop on sight as well as fresh seafood. A bakery and freshly made foods to take home, all kinds of spices, coffee and teas are just the tip of the iceberg of what you can find. I fill my basket with all my favorites that I can’t get anywhere else and spices galore. I think I picked up at least 4 lbs. of Texas Pecan Coffee. If you ever get a chance to shop at HEB, you will love it. And if you get a chance to shop at Central Market, bring a cooler!
After my little shopping spree and lunch, I headed over to Half Price Books in Pearland. I love the book store and lose time when I am in there. Then I made a stop at my favorite antique store there in town, Brows’ Aroun’ Antiques. They have been there since 2001 and I have been going there since they opened. I love finding new little treasures when I shop, and they never disappoint.
I had to make this visit short, but I will be back again soon. I made a stop in Port Allen LA on my way home to stock up on my Cajun favorites for cooking. Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun Meats is where I pick up my tasso and andouille. Wait until you see what I cook with them!