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

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's coming up Daffodils!

It's coming up daffodils y'all!
Spring is springing here in East Texas.  One of my favorite places in late February and March is the Helen Lee Daffodil Gardens.  The estate is 816 acres, of which 28 are blooming with daffodils, with a four mile, one lane dirt road that meanders through this amazing property with the occasional pullout to park and take pictures.
Mr and Mrs Lee bought the property in the 1950's and quarried several gravel pits on it.  Much of the gravel was used to build the roads of what is now Gladewater, TX.  A short time later Mr. Lee passed away and Mrs. Lee closed the pits, filled them in and created  ponds and a beautiful setting for wild life.  She ordered an entire box car of daffodil bulbs from Holland and planted them around the property.  If you would like to read the entire story you can access their website at http://daffodilgarden.com/daffodil_history.htm  
I love this place.  It is so peaceful and so naturally beautiful.  This is NOT a manicured garden, it is God's work at it's finest.  Millions of daffodils in the woods of East Texas.  Stunning!  As you can tell the trees aren't green yet.  It provides for such a stark contrast between the vivid yellow of the daffodil and the rusts and browns of the woods.

                                         This is the sweetest memoriam.
This year there weren't as many blooms as in years past.  I asked the manager of the property and she said that they think it is because of the previous years drought.  Not as many plants flowered, they do this to conserve their bulb energy for the next year.
                                   Keeping watching over the lone daffodil
           Four miles of dirt road meander through the fields of daffodils
                                       Have to love a split rail fence

Raw beauty

Such amazing beauty!  If you would like to see more of the pictures I took on my daffodil adventure go to  www.brickroadphoto.smugmug.com  Look under nature/east texas spring
From Mrs. Lee's website.....
 "...due to the hard work, patience and love of Mrs. Lee, for her God, her country
and her fellowman, to be able to add to the beauty of nature for all to enjoy as
much as she did"

Thank you Mrs. Lee for leaving such a beautiful legacy.

For those of you getting snowed on and blown around, I hope this has warmed your day a bit. 
Love and miss all of you

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday munch

Hi everyone and Happy Sunday!
I have REALLY been enjoying my new kitchen and wanted to share a recipe I tried that I found on Pinterest.  (where else?) 
We do a lot of munching on Sundays.  One Sunday a month we try to have the boys for dinner but most of the time it is a clean out the fridge and munch day.
These are super easy and TO. DIE. FOR
In fact they might be a little too good.....here's hoping my pants fit tomorrow!  We just used butter and ground sea salt and they were pretty awesome.

    Rhodes Frozen roll dough
    *as many as you like – each roll makes four bites
     coarse salt, Parmesan, garlic, cinnamon & sugar

Take a thawed (not raised just thawed) roll. Cut it in four equal sections. 
Place dough bites on greased sheets. I placed five across and five down on large baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and let dough rise until double in size. (about 35-45 minutes) Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. When dough has risen, plop about 10 pieces into the boiling water, tossing gently for about 45 seconds. This is where that "tougher" pretzel skin and taste comes from.

 Remove with slotted spoon, and place bites on a paper towels with a kitchen towel underneath to drain slightly. Move bites to greased baking sheets, and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until done and golden brown. 

Brush bites with melted butter, sprinkle with Kosher or Sea Salt, garlic and toss in Parmesan cheese. You can also make Cinnamon and Sugar bites. Make a mixture of Cinnamon and sugar: About 1 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, and mix together well. After you butter the pretzel bites, toss in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

If you would like to see a step by step recipe in pictures here is the link

I will make these next time we have soup or stew.  They are SO good warm, and a nice change from crackers.  BUT BE CAREFUL....I started with 8 frozen rolls that's 32 pretzel bites!!  Shaun and I had them all gone in less than an hour.  NOW we would have never sat there and eaten 8 dinner rolls as a snack so you can see why the caution is necessary.    I hope you enjoy them like we did. YUM!

Spring is springing here, the trees are starting to leaf out, flowers are blooming and the wind is blowing.  I am anticipating a trip to the Helen Lee Daffodil Gardens this week.  It will be nice to get out after the last couple weeks of cardboard and fluffing and I can't wait to share the photos with you.
Have an amazing week! Always remember someone in Texas loves and misses you


Saturday, February 25, 2012

So close to settled

The cleaning, organizing and moving in process has reached the point where it feels like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.  Everything is looking great. We are waiting on a bit of furniture to be delivered and some pictures to be hung, but mostly the big stuff is done. Woohoo!
Yesterday I organized and cleaned the garage. I decided to put some of each paint used in a jar with a label so that if touch up is needed I don't have to go up to Shaun's shop and crawl up into the attic, it would be right there in the garage cabinets. 

I read somewhere, probably Pinterest, to use saran wrap under the lids and the paint will stay fresh longer.  I was able to get rid of 4 gallon cans and 3 - 5 gallon buckets.  Each container only had a bit of paint in them and using the salsa jars to store the leftover paint in saved TONS of space! 
Last week they finished the stonework on the front of the house and the porch columns.  YEAH!  Now we can finish the tops of the columns and the painter can get them painted and the construction part will finally be complete!

If you look at the bottom left corner of the picture you will see our other big accomplishment this last week.  IT'S A DRIVEWAY!  A real live asphalt driveway! This seems like a silly thing to get excited about, but when you live in the country an asphalt driveway is the best.  It  is reclaimed asphalt, which means they tore up a road somewhere in Dallas, crushed it all up and then rolled it out to make our driveway.  It is nice and wide and black and covers up TONS of red dirt, woohoo again!  Who knows, if you have sent any time in Dallas you may have already driven on our driveway in it's previous form. I hope you come to visit and drive on it in it's current form.
Next up is SOD!  As soon as it is a consistent temperature here, we will have the landscape done and cover the rest of the red dirt around the house that the dogs run around in.  In case you are wondering.....YES they are getting a lot of baths before they get to come in. Praying for sod soon before I wash their skin off.  *wink*
I have NOT been sleeping lately and have spent some time going through the pictures we took over the summer. I had forgotten about this one.  It was taken at the Rangers baseball game when we went with Kirby and his family on the 4th of July.  GREAT memory.

We finally got our Internet re-hooked up at the house. SO happy to be connected again. I hope to be better at posting and keeping in touch from now on, no promises...just hope.
Love and miss all of you

Monday, February 20, 2012

The fluffing continues

Good news..... We have blinds!!! The blanket held up with thumbtacks has come down, the blinds installed and they are beautiful! They are a plantation blind. A really nice streamlined look. They matched the trim color perfectly. Woohoo!
The fluffing continued today with unpacking, organizing and cleaning the master bedroom, closet and laundry room. I. LOVE. THE. LAUNDRY. ROOM! Tons of storage, bright and cheery and the perfect spot for our pretty blue washer and dryer. Our laundry room is off of the garage and has a lot of great built ins (thank you again Brad at Bent Creek Customs). The built in bench is so cute. Shaun is not a bead board fan but I was able to sneak a little into the wall behind the bench. It really added a nice touch to this room .

I also spent some time in the master bedroom. More time than I should have, really how many pair of socks can 2 people accumulate?? Anyway..... The lighter gold color is called peanut shell, the darker is peanut brittle. It was a color we used in our house in Maybell and loved it.

I still need to get some fabric on the master windows, but that will come in time. I can't wait to go shopping for THE fabric.
To all my friends and family in Colorado, I hope you are enjoying your new snowfall. 27" WOW! Everyone on the slopes are cheering, everyone in town is taking Motrin about now from all of the shoveling. Stay warm and enjoy!
It was very windy here today but in the low 60's. Tomorrow we may get to the 70's. AND yes I am happy to NOT be shoveling snow. *wink*
Love and miss all of you

Sunday, February 19, 2012


This is going to be a rather random post. I have been unpacking and rediscovering all of the wonderful things that have been in storage waiting for the house to be complete. We opened all of our Christmas gifts this year and then put them in storage since there wasn't one square inch of extra space in the pool house. We got to have Christmas twice! Fun!

Bob and Bobbi gave us these little stainless beauties for Christmas. They are battery operated pepper and salt mills complete with a light! I LOVE how easy they are to use, and NO mess! They know I love a good gadget and these are the best. Just press the button on the top and wahla!

Last weekend we went to Shreveport to "The Boats" to celebrate Jeremy and Alyssa's (Roberts friend) birthdays. We had a great day and since it was Alyssa's 21st birthday a casino trip seemed in order. We might as well corrupt her right from the beginning, right? BY the way, "the boats" describes the casinos in Shreveport, LA. All of the hotels are built next to the red river, with a "boat" attached that houses the casino portion. Gambling on the river makes it legal. Shreveport also has a great Bass Pro Shop and Boardwalk shopping, it was a fun day.

Yesterday I got a text from Stacey, my sister in law. Jamie won Grand Champion Feeder Goat in the fair in Tucson. Congratulations Jamie!! That's a good lookin' goat for sure.

We had a storm this weekend. We got just a little over 2" of rain in 24 hours. It was a great day to stay inside and away from the red mud, put on some warm socks, make a cup of tea and try out some new recipes. Oh! and of course...... WATCH NASCAR!!! it was an exciting race.

Well I warned you this would be a random post. The house is finished for the most part and the settling has begun. The real world resumes this week. Shaun returns to work tomorrow morning, and I will continue to "fluff" until I decide what I want to be when I grow up (see post Growing Up).

Have a wonderful week and remember that someone in Texas loves and misses you

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's a kitchen!!!

The kitchen is officially done! I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am to have a functioning kitchen. I LOVE the duel fuel range and the prep sink and the mixer lift and....well I guess you could say I LOVE the whole kitchen! See the microwave on the left of the picture? It is about 6" lower than standard micro height. I can actually see what's going on, and reach into the microwave, AND since I am about 6" lower than the average cook THAT is great! LOL!

Isn't that range beautiful! Thank you Bosch! I have spent the last 6 months cooking with a microwave, easy bake oven (small counter top oven) and a crock pot. I am in heaven! I am also really thrilled the tile is still on the wall. I have done floor tile before but never a backsplash so I was a little apprehensive. I still check it every morning just in case *wink*

Here is my favorite cabinet "goodie" in the island.

Hidden away, plugged in and ready to mix!

TADA! My pretty new red mixer on it's nifty new mixer lift, ready for action!!! Shaun bought this pretty red little gem for me for Christmas and I have been very anxious to use it! There is also a vertical cookie sheet storage area next to the mixer in the island. PERFECT for baking cookies...lots and lots of cookies!!!! Time to try out all of those new recipes on Pinterest!
We had an amazing cabinet designer and builder. He did such a nice job customizing the kitchen and the cabinet quality is great. Thank you Brad and Joe at Bent Creek Customs in Alba, TX you guys are the best!

Things are coming together, I hope to post more pictures tomorrow as we progress.

Love to y'all

House update

WOW! the last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind! We got all of the tile and hardwood floors complete and the carpet layers arrived on schedule and did a beautiful job. Then the FUN began....we started the moving in process. Now I realize that most people can move in and settle over a couple of days time, HOWEVER, they obviously aren't as neurotic as I am! HA! I like to clean and reorganize as I go. It takes me longer but when I am finished I know (mostly) where everything is. Then I clean again and THEN I add the "fluff"
What is fluff? For us it is all of the treasures we have collected. The things that only have value to us. It's not just decorating, it's the things that make it feel like home. I have a tendency to be a little (OK ALOT) sentimental. The fluff part of unpacking is why I enjoy the unpacking process. It's like "sentimental Christmas" when you open a box and find a baby shoe or picture of your parents or grandparents. Then you find the perfect place to display those treasures, it's awesome!
I am slowly getting each room completed and "fluffed"

-The Master Bath. After using the little corner shower in the pool house for 6 months, the walk in shower is awesome!

The tile and granite in the Master Bath. I love the basket weave backsplash.

The guest bath. The backsplash and accent stripe in the shower are small pieces of granite. A little more contemporary for us than usual, but we love the way it turned out. Very masculine, so a little "fluff" was very necessary here.

Sorry I have not been very good at house updates. We don't have the Internet hooked up in the house yet so I have to go to the empty pool house to communicate. Hopefully they will be here the first of the week to make the internet transfer.

The painters are here doing final touch up inside and out. BUT the best part is the rock layers are making great progress on the front of the house and porch columns. Everyone who has worked on the house has been great, but I have to admit I am ready for everyone to go away. For everyone to be finished and leave so we can just enjoy the house.

One lesson learned on this move....remember to NOT pack the chocolate chips away in storage during 100+ degree weather. Is was sure good for a laugh when I opened that box to find one very large chocolate chip in the bottom of the box. Ha!! Chocolate fondue anyone?? *wink*

Love and miss all of you

More updates to follow.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


How does it happen...  One day you are holding that innocent, beautiful new baby and the next day they are turning 26! AAHHH!

Jeremy turned 26 this morning {{sigh}}

He was 6 pounds 10 ounces, 2 weeks early and was born at 7:57am (He obviously has his mother's patience to) Either that or he knew from the beginning I couldn't wait two more weeks to see his face!
Posing (again) in the daisies...come on mom just take the picture please
                                         At Seaworld with Grandpa Bob
                                     Uncle Kirby and Aunt Stacey's wedding
                                                 Jeremy and Miss Molly
                                          Special times with Grandma Davis
Jeremy, words can't come close to telling you how very proud we are of you and the man you have become.  A man of loyalty, honesty and integrity who puts his family and others before himself.
We have been very blessed to have you in our life's. 
We love you very much
Happy Birthday
Dad and Mom

Love to all
FYI  The house is finished and we are moving in!! pictures to follow.