Which Way Photo Challenge

Son of a Beach has a great Which Way Photo Challenge. Check out his blog for some really fun photos.

Here’s my take on it this week:

From California last year:

The staircase is from the Hiram Chase mansion, the home of Stag’s Leap Winery when we took their tour a few years ago.

Laughing and Crying

I mentioned the loss of our dear friend Carruth.  

Carruth was always the life of any party.  A big cowboy, 6’plus, always had his hat with him, a really big truck, a big dog, sometimes a pot belly pig.

He loved to dance, and when I was dating David, we all went out dancing every weekend.  He was a big personality, that was often irreverent, but always loving.  He loved to golf.  He dressed up with a priest collar in one event, and invited the ladies to come ‘bless his balls’.  Always had a cigar, and always had his scotch.  Always good to everyone.  Carruth is the tall one in the red shirt and aviators.  My boys are in the yellow and green, laughing cause they got Cigars, and mom would be mad about it.

David needed a new shirt for the funerals this week. As we pulled into the parking lot to look for shirts, this song came on the radio.  I got all teary, then I started laughing.  I was laughing because, this is just soooo Carruth, and crying because I’m really going to miss him.

If you ever knew Carruth, he’d be the guy driving the get away car, breaking into the funeral home, and putting all the quarters in the juke box.

Save a dance for me, I can’t wait to see you again, you big Cowboy.  Love you.


Holidays and Funerals

Image from Pinterest.

It’s been a bit of a sad month.

A Cousin, an Uncle, a Co-worker, and now a Dear, dear friend have all passed this month. Two funerals down, and 2 more to go.

When I got the news that a dear friend had passed on Thanksgiving. I had a really hard time with it. Carruth Gerault was a Big, Big, personality. I’d known him since 1991. He was with my husband when we met at a Christmas party. He helped me meet realtors when I was a fledgling loan officer. He helped me get involved in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. His daughters babysat my boys. He was always my friends always good to my boys, and when my husband proposed to me…….he took my husband aside and told him that he was happy for him, and that if he screwed things up with me he’d kick his butt.

Carruth had remarried 10 years ago. He was a confirmed bachelor for 15 years after his divorce. He was so cute. When he was telling us about meeting his beloved Claudia, he had showed up for a construction job he was consulting. He said ” She opened the door, and I couldn’t speak. All I could think was ‘ I am going to marry this woman.'”

I’m going to sincerely miss “the mouth of the south”. He was a really tall, skinny Texan, with a big hat. His parents were personal friends of Billy Graham. He loved God, and Scotch, and dancing, and the rodeo, his family, and people. Carruth loved people, and people loved Carruth.

God Bless you Carruth, God speed you home.

Preparation for the Feast!

I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year for the family. I’m kinda excited about it. One of the nephews is recently engaged, and bringing his honey with him. I won’t get to have my oldest here, but that’s ok. He’s with our family in Phoenix.

In planning the event, I decided to break out the Apple ware. These are the dishes my family had when I was a little girl.

I never realized how many sizes of bowls there are in this set. I finally had to give up on them, because we won’t use that many bowls, and that’s a lot of dishes to wash after.

I kinda wanted to make soup for the tureen, but we are going to have so much food between what I’m cooking, my sister-in-law is bringing, and our new niece is bringing food too…..soup will be overboard.

Franciscan pottery and earthen ware started in California in the 1940’s, and was eventually bought out by the company who makes Wedgwood China in England. I have a few of the pieces made here in the US. It was fun to note the differences. But all are hand painted, apples on each plate, leaves and branches. The recent replacement dishes have ‘microwave and dishwasher safe’. The older ones, obviously do not.

My mom bought lots of bowls, and extra plates that aren’t Franciscan, but definitely fun.

We will share some memories, and lift a glass to those who can’t be with us this year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I’m so grateful for all of you here my WordPress family.

A memory

I was flipping around Facebook, and they will occasionally bring up old posts to re-share. This one came up today.

This was from the first Honey Tasting I had done for my wild gal-pals 3 years ago.

We had Tallow tree, Yaupon, and Wildflower honey. That’s the darkest to lightest in the spoons. I also served creamed honey, which my friend Sheryl thought was honey and butter.

I served a baked brie, fruit, different breads, smoked meats, and I made dark chocolate truffles with creamed honey centers. That is the white ball in the square dish, upper left Photo. I had to coat the truffles in white chocolate, just because.

Of course we had to have a bit of wine too. The red wine, in my opinion went the best with the honey and smoked meats. The Chardonnay went great with the Brie. The Champagne was fabulous with the fruit.

I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook, but the look back is fun.

Home again

What a week of windshield time.

580 miles, 4 Cities, 8 clients, 3 prospects.

Three nights away from home is a lot for me.

Coming home was my driving thought on Friday.

Seeing my family

Sleeping in my own bed

Good coffee

Having my dogs snuggled about me

As wonderful and productive as the trip was, I’m so happy to be home.

Image from Pinterest.

Texas state of mind

Traveling this week across the state by car, I find myself in a Texas State of mind.

What is a “Texas state of mind”? For me, it’s marveling over the diversity of the state, the vastness, the beauty, the people.

Yesterday I drove from Houston to Waco for meetings, then continued on to Dallas for my meetings today. Waco is so laid back, and easy. Dallas is not.

For example, I was grabbing some dinner and a glass of wine at Pappadeaux last night when 2 young men sat down at the bar next to me. Both were not from Texas, but one was on his first visit. They struck up a friendly conversation with the pretty bartender, and the ‘seasoned’ Texas traveler made fun on the ‘new’ one’s pronunciation of some of the items on the menu.

The bartender asked them where they were from. Both replied ‘up north’.

That made me smile. When you ask a Texan where they are from, inevitably they say Texas, and then they will describe which part of Texas they are from. Even if we are outside of the US we are one of the only folks who claim our state first when we travel abroad. We aren’t just Americans. We are Texans.

I know many from Oklahoma who will proudly claim their home on the first question, I’ve even heard some Californians do the same, but not many. Most Californians, in my experience, say they are from the West Coast.

It took the bartender 3 questions to get the actual state that the boys from ‘up north’ were from. They were from Philadelphia, PA. The first time Texas Traveler laughed that it was as cold in Dallas as it was in Philly when he left. Texas is one of those places where it could be 90 one week, and have snow flurries the next. That’s true. Last week it was horribly hot. This week, well the Airport in Houston saw some frozen precipitation, the earliest recorded freezing rain since 1979.

Since I’m nostalgic about my home, and a little worried that with the number of people moving here daily changing our culture, I found this quote from John Steinbeck from his book Travels with Charlie.