Why I am here

This blog was started to connect with and keep family and friends up to date on life in Texas as I know it. A place to share my love for this area through photography, history, and stories of this adventure Shaun and I call life.... and what an adventure it is!
Warning: Some or all of this blog may contain nuts or stories of nuts, proceed with caution
Love to y'all

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A roof over our heads!

We officially have a roof that has been shingled and weather proofed.  Yeah!  The roofers worked until after dark last night trying to beat the storm we were supposed to get.  Unfortunately the majority of the storm went north of us.  They came back this morning and finished things up. 
SO the paint is complete and so is the roof!  The rough plumbing, electrical, alarm system and heating and air are complete.  The insulators are scheduled for Friday...THEN drywall!  We will have walls!  WALLS I tell you!!! 

The front view of the house
There will be stone columns along the front porch where you see the unpainted boards, and stone on the white section.

The south end of the house
The north end of the house
The back of the house.  The door we have been waiting for finally came in and it is perfect!  Worth the wait.  I am standing where the pool will be to take this picture.
Now that the roofers and painters are finished, Shaun and I will start on landscaping.  It's the perfect weather to plant and with any luck we will get some rain to help things along. 

Today is 60 degrees, overcast and breezy.  I am hoping for a little moisture out of this cold front.  Just a nice drizzle all day would be great and really help the drought situation.
Hope all is well with everyone

Love and miss y'all

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

cooler corn

I wanted to share something a friend of mine sent me.  VERY cool!  Thanks Sandy!

Am I the only person who hasn't heard of "cooler corn"?

As an obsessive food nerd, you'd expect that I would have at least heard of it, but over the weekend I was blind-sided by the simple genius of this method for cooking loads of corn on the cob perfectly.

I was hipped to it while visiting my family in Maine. Short story: We like corn on the cob. And with eight adults at the table, that means a couple of dozen ears. We would have used the lobster pot to cook them all, but the lobster pot was busy steaming lobster.

Then my sister, a capable Maine cook with years of camping experience, says "let's do cooler corn!" Before I can ask "what the hell is cooler corn?" a Coleman cooler appears from the garage, is wiped clean, then filled with the shucked ears. Next, two kettles-full of boiling water are poured over the corn and the top closed.

Then nothing.

When we sat down to dinner 30 minutes later and opened it, the corn was perfectly cooked. My mind was blown. And I'm told that the corn will remain at the perfect level of doneness for a couple of hours.

Turns out, Cooler Corn is pretty well known among the outdoorsy set But for those of us who avoid tents as much as possible, it's perfect for large barbecues and way less of mess than grilling. In fact, I may even buy another cooler just so I'm ready for next summer. Now that I'm in the know.

Pretty cool huh?  Definitely a must at our house next  party or cook out.  I will however purchase a new clean cooler.  I can't even imagine using the "fish" coolers we have.  Ha!

Another stunning day in east Texas.  80 degrees with a nice breeze.  We had rain a couple nights ago and everything already seems a little bit greener.  Perfect!
The painters have finished and the roofers come tomorrow, pictures coming soon.

Love and miss y'all

Monday, October 24, 2011


Good morning!
Things are coming along on the house.  This is the stage of the game where there is not much to share.  The painters are here and the colors are starting to come together.
I have spent a lot of time on the phone lately, getting info about doors, alarm systems etc and when I am on hold guess what I do?  I SURF PINTEREST! what else?
Here is what I found of interest on Pinterest today while on hold to the electric company. (hellllooo, does anyone actually work at Wood Co Electric?? I need to know) 

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold.
Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat.
To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up. (beat them up...really....poor things)
For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a minty frosting.
Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic, and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.
Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.   (Leftover Snickers bars are NOT a problem at our house...ever)
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy.

Easy Deviled Eggs: Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.
Expanding Frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.     
Reheating refrigerated bread: To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
Newspaper weeds away: Plant your plants in the ground, work the nutrients in your soil. Then wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go, cover with mulch, and forget about weeds.
Broken Glass: Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.
No More Mosquitoes: Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Flexible vacuum: To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip to eliminate static cling. It works; you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks.

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
De-fog your windshield: Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser.
Re-opening envelopes: If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. It unseals easily.

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.
Goodbye Fruit Flies: To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. flies are drawn to the cup and gone forever.
Wash your dryer filter: dryer sheets cause a film over filter that will burn out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. The best way to keep your dryer working for a long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take the filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush at least every six months.

SO there it is! My contribution for Monday!  Pretty amazing snippets of info don't you think?

Have a great week
Love and miss y'all

Friday, October 21, 2011



Well, we are at that stage of the building process I have a love hate relationship with, picking exterior paint colors.  Ugh...  I have seen houses I love, but how do you match something in a picture?  What if they get the whole house painted only to find out that the particular brown you picked makes the white look dirty or the white makes the taupe look gray or green AAAHHHH!  I know I know I am making this WAY too hard.  I need a professional.....in more ways than one  ;-) 

They started painting yesterday morning.  It's hard to tell at this stage because of the primed (yellow) areas and the roof paper, but here is what we have so far.

The trim will be an off white and where you see the white paper on the wall will be stone.  The colors are called timber Bark (dark brown) Monterrey Taupe (main siding) and cobblestone (the white) 
I am hoping when the weatherwood shingles are on and have covered up that brown roof paper it will look better and hopefully pull it all together.

The plumbers, electricians and HVAC all finished their "rough in" work today and the cabinet guy has been here to measure.  The roofers will be here next week and so will the insulators. Then it's drywall time!
As soon as the drywall people start, Shaun and I will start on the landscaping.
The weather is perfect to landscape, and we REALLY need to cover up some of this pretty red dirt with pretty green grass that won't blow into every open window!

Hope everyone has an amazing weekend.

Love and miss all of you

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Hi all,

I wanted to share yet another thing I saw on Pinterest.  www.pinterest.com
A very important reminder for me and a great idea.

I am one of the worst offenders of getting caught up in technology. I truly LOVE technology!  I catch myself checking and rechecking every device I have. 
I was recently reminded that it appeared as if I were unnaturally attached to my IPad..... and I must admit, they were right, I am  :-0 
So I am going to make a more conscious effort to BE with the people that I am with, instead of preoccupied with what "might" happen or what I "might" be missing. 
I challenge you to BE with who you are with everyday.
I will try to do the same........

Love and miss all of you

Monday, October 17, 2011

Two years

Hi and Happy Monday October 17!

Today is a special day for us.  Two years ago today we moved to Texas! Here is a copy of what what I blogged earlier about that experience. (August 6, 2011 What Have you Done)

.....THEN we turned onto Karah Lane.....it was like being in a whole other world. 14 beautiful brick homes set in the woods, all with manicured yards and fall decorations on every porch and front door. I must say it was almost magical. Picture perfect! ....... 
.....What a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood that we would soon find out was full of the most amazing friends and neighbors we had ever met.
In CO we had always lived out in the country. We had not had trick or treater's in 20 years. SO when the neighborhood kids from Karah Lane came all dressed up for trick or treat just after we moved in, it was pretty exciting! Not sure who was more excited me or them, but such a great memory......
......This neighborhood and it's incredible people helped me heal in a way I didn't think possible, they renewed my faith in people and even helped me renew the commitment to my beliefs and my faith in general.
I will always have a soft spot for Karah Lane and will never forget that day in the fall when we rounded that corner and saw what turned out to be a life changing experience for us........

The last two years still amaze me.  We have been blessed beyond anything we could have imagined.  Thank you to our Texas friends for making us feel welcome.  Opening up your homes and hearts to us when we needed it the most.  Y'all are incredible people who deserve all the good that can come your way.  
AND to our families and friends who thought we were nuts for leaving the place we had called home for 19 years.....
Don't worry...WE LOVE IT HERE!  Please come visit anytime.

We got back home yesterday afternoon from our whirlwind vacation to Arizona, Utah and Colorado.  When we crossed that Texas line it struck me... we ARE home.... it was a nice feeling.  We feel more comfortable and more a part of this area than many of the places we have lived.  Thanks in part to those wonderful people on Karah Lane who accepted us AND put up with our never ending string of questions.  Things like:

What is this bug?
What is this spider?
What is this tree?
What is this bush?
What is this BIG bug?
What is a hootenanny?
What is a baelle?  (that's bell with a twang) Love you Kathy
Is this weather normal?
What is a mudbug?
They do what to the crawfish heads? 
How do I kill THE BIG bug?
The correct way to say  "Bless Your Heart"
You can fry that?
What is a purple hull pea?

Well you get the picture.  We still don't know "what that bug is" but we do know how to keep it on it's side of the door for the most part.
AND we have learned you can fry most anything with the right  batter and technique.

Kathy, Cristi, Janell, Kelly and Nancy.... I love you girls, you will always have a special place in my heart.  You bring the meaning of a gracious neighbor to a whole different level.  To our Mineola friends the Tyndall's  YOU guys (translation y'all) rock!  We are looking forward to having all of you in our lives for a long time to come.
You have all shown us through your kindness, that GRACE is a way of life for all of you.  Thank you.

OH!!   LAST BUT NOT LEAST....We have learned the difference between sweet tea and sweetened tea and oh my.... I am addicted to sweet tea... mmmm good lesson learned.

Texas has been good to us.......y'all :D

Love and miss ya
P.S.  See you on Halloween Karah Lane.  I wouldn't miss those trick or treaters for anything!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


We got to Colorado on Thursday and the weather was perfect!

It was exciting to see this sign, my mom was only a couple of hours away! It has been a year since we have seen my mom and Bill. I was in serious need of a mom fix. We talked and talked and laughed and talked some more. It was great! She cooked all of our favorite things and even did our laundry while we were off visiting friends. Spoiled us rotten! I don't care how old you are NOTHING beats mom time. I could spend days listening to Bill's stories about his family and life experiences. So many incredible and interesting experiences. There is never enough time.
We left today, (Saturday) for the final days of our trip.

These pictures were taken on Rabbit Ears pass outside of Steamboat Springs. They had a storm before we got there so there wasn't as much fall color as there usually is, but that wonderful fall smell and crisp feel was still in the air. Nothing beats a rocky mountain fall.

We had a great time and are very thankful for a safe trip filled with tons of family, friends, hugs and of course food and pampering. We are blessed.

Monday morning will bring heating/air guys, electricians, plumbers and painters to the house to get things moving again. So life resumes.

On October 17 two years ago we traveled this same road when we moved to Texas. It's time to go home.....Texas here we come....again.
Enjoy your weekend

Love y'all

- Posted using BlogPress from Jeanne's iPad


Hello again! Sorry it has been a while. I had forgotten how technology challenged (how's that for politically correct) northwest Colorado is. No 3G No cell service..most of the time.. Seriously?? It is almost 2012, get up to speed people! What if the world ends in 2012 And you have never experienced high speed or worse yet NO speed!! Geeez....

We left Arizona and enjoyed a very long scenic drive to Utah. Okay, we made a wrong turn and it took us a few hours longer then it should have but it was a very pretty drive. I personally never thought I would be relieved to see this sign

We had a great time visiting as much family as we could in the short time we were there. We got to spend some time with Shaun's mom Pat. For those of you who have stayed in touch and kept her in your prayers during her battle with cancer and the horrors of chemo, THANK YOU! She looks and is doing great! Her hair has grown back and the short hair cut she has is just cute.
We also got to spend some time with Shaun's nephew Jesse. He is so cute! He got to swim in the pool at the hotel. Shaun pulled him around the pool with the life preserver and he was thrilled! I think Jesse liked it too ;-) ha!

Colleen had a family dinner for us while we were there. It was great to have everyone in one place. We got to see and visit with everyone and hug and love on the kiddos. Thanks Colleen, you are the best! Miranda...I need the salad dressing recipe..awesome!

I missed seeing my niece Danni, the timing just didn't work. Next time for sure.
After leaving the SLC valley we stopped and saw my sister Beve and niece Carrie for a few minutes. It has been so great to see everyone.

The next leg of our visit will be Colorado. Fall color pictures coming soon.

We talked to the boys and East Texas received some measurable rain! Woohoo!!

Love y'all

- Posted using BlogPress from Jeanne's iPad

Monday, October 10, 2011


Sunday was our last day in Arizona. The weather was amazing! Crisp, cool and clear just like fall is supposed to be. We were able to get out and do a little exploring and of course some photos.

This cabin is near Bob and Bobbi's home and was the original homestead from the 1870's. LOVE the history.
Sad that it has fallen, but amazing that it has been left mostly untouched.

Bob and Bobbi spoiled us terribly while we were there. It was great! We laughed, remembered, picked out paint colors (can't wait to see the wall Bobbi) ate and ate and ate....but mostly enjoyed just being with each other.

One of our other hosts for our visit was Sheba. Such a sweet beautiful girl

Bob and Bobbi's beautiful home in the Arizona mountains.

We started the second leg of our trip this morning. We are currently on our way to Utah for more family fun! I can see the Wasatch mountain range in the distance with it's peaks covered in fresh snow, BEAUTIFUL!
That means we are getting closer...Can't wait to see everyone in Utah.

To my Texas friends. I am so thankful you are getting some rain.
Still praying for more!
Love y'all

Saturday, October 8, 2011


What a great time we are having in the high country of Arizona! Bob and Bobbi's house is nestled in the cedars near a place called Clay Springs, close to Show Low. Bob built what they call a cabin. We should all be so lucky as to have a "cabin" as amazing as their home. What a beautiful cozy home!
I promise I will get out tomorrow and take some pictures of the "cabin" and the area. Today we stayed inside all day and enjoyed visiting and catching up on life in general. Bob made fabulous smoked/bbq'd ribs, followed by home made chocolate cake. It doesn't get much better! Wait....Did I mention the home made spaghetti and bread? My my my
It is 45 dgrs here now so we have a fire in the fireplace tonight. Perfect!

I want to share a picture of one of their newest little addition.

Her name is Samantha and she is the sweetest little thing. She is so tiny and so sweet, she loves to snuggle, which of course suits me just fine!

After days like this I am reminded of how truly blessed we are to have family.

To all our Texas friends, praying the rain makes it your way.
Love to y'all

"Being a family makes you a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what"

- Posted using BlogPress from Jeanne's iPad

Thursday, October 6, 2011


We are on the road! We decided we needed a road trip before the house building hits the crazy busy stage. We left Texas yesterday afternoon on our way to visit family. Not just some family...all of the family! Too much fun! The first leg of our trip will take us to Show Low, Arizona to visit Shaun's dad and Bobbi. At 6:04 New Mexico time it is 38 degrees and it has rained and even snowed on us a bit. What are we thinking? We should have come when it was 110 in Texas. Geeez

Somewhere in Texas on highway 69 we passed a sign pointing to a cemetery that said "Money Cemetery". You see, in Texas there are thousands of small cemeteries everywhere. ALOT of small family plots, a specific church or even military affiliation cemeteries. The Cemeteries are still there, some cared for some not, even when there isn't a town there anymore. Very cool and tons of history.

The sign says Money Cemetery. My first vision was of a bunch of little jars of money who's owners had left this earth and needed a place to remain buried.
Lends a new meaning to grave robbing doesn't it? Sorry couldn't resist that.

Here is a list of headstone names we think were in the "money cemetery"

It all began with Old Money. There is Daddy's & Mamma's, their children Alittlebita, Awholelotta, and New. Of course there is Dirty and Laundered Money, we assume Mamma was responsible for both of them.
Every family needs a conservative side, including the Money family. There was Saving, Investing, Moldy, Good, Scared (they say he never won anything). We could never find a marker for Lost, More or Owed. Big and Squandered, and their children Borrowed and No. Over in the far seedy corner lies Free, Drug, Bad and Easy....sad sad sad

Ok so I guess you could say we are ultra bored but it did occupy us for a couple hours anyway. The whole thing seems a bit Counterfeit to me ;)
I will blog when I can. If it doesn't make sense just keep in mind I DO get carsick and blogging on Dramamine isn't as easy as it sounds.

Hope everyone is healthy and happy
Love y'all

- Posted using BlogPress from Jeanne's iPad

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy October!

Happy October!
What a beautiful day in East Texas.  Welcome October 1st! It actually feels like fall here today.  After a brutal summer full of heat, heat and more heat,  80 degrees with a slight breeze feels like heaven.    The fires in Texas are all under control or out.   Cooler temps and a little humidity have helped but Texas is still in desperate need of rain.  I am not sure how much fall color we will see this year. So many trees have died or lost their leaves already.   
I am looking forward to our trip north to see and smell fall in the mountains.  We will be stopping in Show Low, AZ to see Shaun's dad and Bobbi, then on to Utah to see all of the family there and then Colorado to visit my mom and Bill and many friends.  We are praying for a great trip full of fall colors and family memories.
By the time we get back from our trip the mums will be in full bloom.  East Texas is stunning in the fall, I can't wait.  Nice cool evenings, pumpkin patch's and usually a fire in the outdoor fire pit.  No fires this year since we are all still under a burn ban, but sitting outside in the evening will be so nice after being couped up in our houses this summer trying to escape the heat.
I saw this on pinterest (www.pinterest.com) and thought it would be SO cute and yummy for fall

Here is a link for the directions. 

You know what else October 1st means?  85 days until Christmas!!! Are you ready? Time to start Christmas shopping!  What a great excuse to shop (tee hee)   

Jeremy & Robert will be hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year since our current kitchen consists of a microwave, electric skillet and counter top (think easy bake) oven.   AND since we won't be in the house yet to decorate it means MORE TIME TO SHOP!!  Woohoo life is good. 

Enjoy your weekend

Love and miss y'all