Beach · summer · Surprise · Vacation

Weekend Getaway part 1

Jeff and I don’t really get away from the ranch very often.  Usually people come visit us, like Misha and Jimmy.  Plus we always have animals to see after, which makes trips a little hard.  But this summer we managed two long weekend trips.

This past weekend we ventured to Galveston.  My old stomping grounds.  Oh how I love the beach!  It is my happy place.  If you have ever seen the movie, City Of Angels with Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage, and then you know the scene when all the angels go to the beach and you can just feel the presence of God.  Well that is how I feel about the beach.  I think it is the most amazing wonder God created.

On our way to Galveston, we made a stop and visited my Mom and Dad.  I got to see my older sister Libby too.  It was a nice visit.  I haven’t seen them in forever.  After that we headed to the Galveston with a pit stop at the boardwalk in Kemah.  If you have never gone to Kemah you should.  It is a little town on the west coast of Galveston Bay.  They have a boardwalk with restaurants and carnival games and rides.  There is an aquarium and you can watch gorgeous sailboats on the bay.

We enjoyed some Bubba Gump seafood and couple of rides and games before heading back on the road to Galveston.

My favorite hotel to stay in Galveston is Hotel Galvez.  It is old historic hotel built in 1911,  and has survived so many hurricanes.  There is a documentray on the History Channel about Galveston.  If you like Texas History it is a must watch.

We did a little shopping and visited an art gallery on the strand, we walked the seawall and ate some delicious seafood, we had an afternoon of spa time,  and of course we went to the beach.  Each day Biv and I would take a walk on the beach and look for seashells.

The beach is so relaxing to me.  And Galveston brings back so many memories.  If you have never been to Galveston, you need to make a trip there.  Especially if you love history.  There is so much Texas History in Galveston.  It was a major port for the United States.  There is the Bishop Palace, which is a must tour.  There is a tour of wood carvings around Galveston.  You can walk or rent motorized bikes.  There is pier 21, Moody Gardens and Aquarium and Pleasure Pier.

1BB63BB8-43B2-47B7-921A-A460347C3D08

Just to list a few things to do.  Now I know the water is not gorgeous blue like Florida beaches but it is just so relaxing to sit under an umbrella and to feel the ocean breeze.

B919DA94-431B-4C09-B63C-0A07B3D59A28

Oh how I miss living on the beach and smelling that ocean air.

But you know what I miss the most?  The fresh seafood!!!  And did we eat seafood, even for breakfast.  The Hotel Galvez is famous for their Sunday Brunch.  You don’t have to stay at the hotel to have Sunday brunch there.  Many locals come to brunch after church on Sunday morning.  The food is amazing.  The best buffet I have ever eaten at.  They have waffle, omelet, pasta, prime rib stations with a chef to cook up whatever you want.  Jeff had an omelet with shrimp, not to mention all the other food he ate.  Like his second plate with prime rib and mashed potatoes…which he said reviled mine.

B6B894A6-6B35-4AF9-B8D6-12FA859AAAA0

I had gulf shrimp, raw oysters and  eggs Benedict. Yum! And of course some seafood gumbo!

Here are a few pictures of the Brunch buffet.  And these are just some of the buffet.  I love the pelican ice sculpture with the gulf shrimp. oyster and crab legs.

Then we hit the dessert bar.  OH MY!  All these wonderful desserts.  I didn’t stay on my diet here.   Bread Pudding, Creme Brûlée, Red Velvet Cupcakes, tarts, Chocolate Creme Cups ( which tasted so similar to my chocolate pudding ) ,  Cherry Cobbler and Cheesecake to name a few.  Here are some pics.

Brunch may have started our day with a bang but it was the fireworks out over the Gulf, that really gave us a great finale to our Sunday.  Jeff was so tired from our day of exploring he took a nap on the Adirondack chair on the lawn waiting for the fireworks.


So if you have a chance for a weekend getaway, don’t forget about Galveston, Texas.  So much to do and enjoy there or just sit back and relax on the beach.

2D6208A7-7677-43FB-944D-54E0211C8550

Cooking · country life · Family · Food · Party · summer

Grandma Treva’s Potato Salad

Potato salad is one of my favorite foods to make when you have a cookout or large gathering. It brings back such great memories of watching my grandmother make it. She would make it for church functions and to go with fried chicken. I have not tasted potato salad like hers anywhere else. It is very refreshing and different.

Potato salad 07
Grandma Treva’s Potato Salad

It has been a while since I have made it. I had to pare it down for just the two of us this time. I think it is pretty good even if I say so myself. There are no true measurements, so you will kind of have to take a light hand and add more if needed. But give it a try and let me know what you think.

Grandma Treva’s Potato Salad

5 lbs of potatoes cleaned, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
½ a large onion finely chopped
1 large bell pepper finely chopped
1 apple peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks cleaned and finely chopped
2 eggs boiled and finely chopped
1 tbsp prepared mustard
½ cup to 1 cup of mayonnaise
1/3 cup to ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of salt or more to taste
Paprika

Put potatoes and salt in large pot with water covering potatoes by 2 inches. Boil until just done so a fork can easily pierce through the potatoes. This should take about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes into strainer and sprinkle vinegar on potatoes making sure to cover all and let drain. Put potatoes in a large bowl with onion, bell pepper, apple, celery and eggs. Add mayonnaise, mustard and gently combine. Add more salt if needed but taste it first. Place in serving bowl and sprinkle gently with paprika.


** I switched out the usual vinegar with an apple balsamic vinegar. It gives it a deeper flavor. The sweetness of the apples and the tart of the vinegar makes this such a light salad. No sugar, pickles or relish is added!! You don’t need it. I have used granny smith apples and even ambrosia apples so use the one that you like the most. And being from the south, I have also been know to use Miracle Whip/Mayonnaise combo if I don’t have enough mayo.

Potato salad 03
New vinegar for my potato salad. Unbelievably wonderful!
Decorating · flowers · Food · Gardening · summer

Not Quite Decked Out

 

I missed the spring planting season. I have everything ready to have an above ground garden but was too busy to get anything planted. (I went to Antique Week in Texas instead of planting). Marie taught me about the cattle feeding buckets and how well they work for growing plants. So, we picked some up a couple years ago from a project my husband has designed. With my little pineapple growing in the yard it has given me a little hope that maybe I can get fall planting going this year.

 

 

My deck was missing some color too. When I picked furniture for the deck I went with a bring red (one of my favorite colors). And we got the outdoor kitchen all set up and our hot tub up and running a while ago. It still needed that touch of softness and color that comes from plants. I picked up some hanging plants from Home Depot as well as couple house plants. I already had five pineapple plants growing in tiny pots and picked up two lemon trees while we were in Texas. My aloe had bloomed several times and out grew its tiny pot so that had to be divided and replanted. I picked up a few herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, lavender and sage. My succulents are doing amazing in this Florida humidity and rain so no need to change them. I added a couple blueberry plants to my front yard too. After losing trees with the hurricane my yard is more open and needs a few more plants.

 

 

I went to At Home to pick up some new planters for my trees. I also need a few umbrellas for my patio area. Luckily our deck helps with the hot Florida sun, but you do need the cover of shade in the middle of the day. I had already purchased a couple chaise and chairs and cushions early this year from At Home to go with my deck furniture. Our deck was finished last year, and I am still slowly working on it. We got an amazing outdoor kitchen from Lowes. Now I need color, or more color and décor to be exact. It is hard to find things that go with our taste. At Home has great products but not exactly what I am looking for. We have a love for the Spanish décor. My house is full of Mexican furniture and our entry area with the rocks and my metal cactus go well with it.

 

 

I broke down and picked up a couple tomato and okra plants for the red tubs to begin our garden area. Better late than never and in Florida it is still good for an early fall harvest. I have four of the eight tubs planted and ready to go. Eventually where my veggie garden is located will have fencing around it to protect from the deer. Hopefully they leave my lemon trees and berries alone, but we will see. I am going to keep my other pineapple plants in pots this time. Add a few more plants for the deck and patio. I take my time and little by little I will get it feeling more welcoming out there. I want it to be an oasis for my husband and me. We enjoy our hot tub and grilling out together.

 

 

 

What do you think?

country life · Family · graduation · Party · Shopping · summer

May in Texas

Ranch Mornings 2018 May
Sunrise on the Ranch

Our trip to Texas the end of May was amazing. I love the ranch! My nephew Belvy graduated. My sister’s construction is almost complete. We threw the graduates a great party. And we got to spend time with friends and family.

Mimi and Belvy Grad 2018
Belvy game Mimi a rose at graduation.

My darling husband unfortunately said he caught a cold. We all say it is allergies, but he is adamant that it was a cold. It was his first time to be at the ranch in the spring. So, he had a few days where he wasn’t himself. Otherwise, he was working fences and having fun. He loves working on the ranch and sweating it up.

Viking Jeff May 2018
Viking Jeff

Marie and I dragged our husbands for a little couple’s time to Grandbury. It was early in the week so unfortunately the brewery wasn’t open, and neither were the museums. But we had a great day of shopping around the square and lunch at Fuzzy’s. One of our favorite shops is The Wagon Yard. It has incredible furniture and décor. Jeff tried on a Viking hat. It didn’t fit his Cro-Magnon head…hee hee hee. We stopped at the Panhandle Gourmet Kitchen Shop. Oh, the smell of fresh coffee just takes you over. I love all the kitchen gadgets and cookie cutters. I really should have bought the coffee! The Paisley Buffalo has really cute clothes. Marie had me try on a little romper. Wish it had fit me. Mimi & B’s is an eclectic array of wonderful. Marie got quite a few things and so did I. Had to get a little sass for my kitchen. But one of my favorites is Brazos Moon Antiques. If the hubby had not been with me, I would have gone crazy in there. It was a wonderful day with our hubby’s.

Waking up on the ranch to me is so peaceful. The little white house is now known as Mimi’s house. Yes, I named it after myself and yes, that is where my husband and I stay when we visit. It gives us a little privacy and gives Marie’s family time for themselves. Not that we are at the house long other than to sleep. Jimmy is either working with the boys of hunting. I make my way up to my sister’s house as soon as I am dressed so we can start our day. But Marie decorated it so nice for us at Christmas. Next year they should be doing some updating on it, so we can’t wait to see what Marie does with it. We have been pinning for a while ideas to decorate it.

 

 

After all the work and adventures of the week, Sunday before we left was spent relaxing by the pool. Sammy finally got in the pool with me. We floated around with him on my shoulder. A few crazy trips down the pool slide and some rest on the chaise made it a great ending to a wonderful week. I miss the morning sun and sitting on the porch swing. The view of the cows in the pasture and sweet Charlotte in her pen. There is nothing like Texas and there is nothing like going home.

Sam Car Seat Grad 2018 Trip
Sam sleeping in his new car seat!

 

 

country life · flowers · summer

Beauty in the Heat of Summer

Even though this is only the first part of June, North Texas started off summer with a bang.  The heat has been a scorcher with temps already into the 100’s.  Last Saturday we topped of the day with a temp of 102.  The pool was calling my name all day.

bull in the pool
Yes in Texas you even have to have a bucking bull in the pool. And you can’t leave out a fun unicorn float. Look at that glorious view God gave us to enjoy while swimming!

God has a way of reminding us of his glorious beauty.  In the midst of the heat, we are given beauty all around.  The birds flying through the water sprinkler to cool off, the cattle grazing in the pasture, fresh hay bales that lie in the field, and even the flowers are still putting on a little show of color for us.

 

So as summer begins and the heat beats down on us, I will praise God for the beauty of summer.  Thank you Lord for the blessings of summer.  Let us all enjoy the lazy days of summer, swimming, canoeing, fishing, a nap in the hammock under a nice oak tree, and a big ole glass of sweet tea.

me and Grandma
Me and My Grandma. Yes I’m holding a glass of good ole sweet tea. I miss you Grandma and your sweet tea!