Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Foodie Weakness


I am foodie. I love a good meal. One of the cool things about San Antonio is all the food options. We are quite spoiled with the restaurants around town. When we first visited in 2006, Jerry and I ate at a fast food restaurant called Whataburger. It was love at first bite for Jerry. He enjoyed their hamburgers. It reminded him of the way they used to make burgers when he was a kid.

For me, it was the chicken strips with white gravy. Texas was the first place I've ever bought a fast food meal that offered gravy. Until that point only KFC offered gravy with its mashed potatoes. Whataburger had it as a side for the chicken strips. I was so used to having sweet and sour sauce or barbecue. White gravy? Great concept.
I am so hooked on it. I know it's bad for me, but I can't help it. It tastes so dang good.

They dish is up with Texas toast on the side. Can you say, goodness personified? lol It offers up comfort. To me, fried chicken, white gravy and toast is old fashioned comfort. It's not the tofu, soybean, lettuce alternative. It's tasty goodness.

So, I'll just ride an extra mile on my bike. It's so worth it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



My mama is an amazing quilter. As far back as I can remember she has been creative with her hands--quilting, crocheting, tatting, sewing, or embroidering. Her hands have always been busy. I still have a poncho she made for me when I was a kid. Crocheted in blue and white, my color choices at the time, and it's still wearable. What I love most of what's she created are her quilts. She comes from a long line of quilters. Her mother, grandmother and up the line have quilted. It's something she loves. At family reunions, like the photo above from the last one, they raffled off homemade quilts. It's a fierce battle between relatives as we all want to win the quilts.

When she moved back to Oklahoma, the thing she loved most was getting together with her aunt and cousins and quilting. They'd get together, sew and talk gossip and laugh. She loves her family. My great aunt Sadie is in her, gosh late 80s, and still sews a mean top piece.

I've tried to quilt. It's not my passion, since I'm as creative and talented as a duck in the desert. But I wanted to try what I could to share the process with my mama. I'd call her up with the questions and challenges I face as I attempt my first quilt. There's a bit of pressure on you when you have a woman in your life who is so dang talented. It is intimidating. But mama laughs and gives me advice. I've threatened to send her all the pieces I have just so she can shake her head over and laugh herself silly.

All this changed on Memorial Day. My mama had a stroke. She refused to go to the hospital for three days. Because of her Okie stubborness, she has residual damage that probably won't go away. Her left side is paralyzed. She can't use her left hand or leg. She went through rehab and now is in a nursing facility near her home. My dad visits her every day.

Mama can't quilt anymore. Nothing has broken my heart more than the thought of her not being able to keep her hands busy. To create beautiful quilts that express how creative she is and to know she can not do it anymore is a crime.

I haven't had the heart to go into my sewing room since her stroke. My enthusiasm has dimmed. I can never be as wonderful at quilting as my mama has been. She is a true artist.

I love you, mama.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A baby's smile


I love a baby's smile. It's so real and joyful. No regrets, nothing fake or insincere. It's from the heart and so wonderful. I especially love the smile of my grandson, Gabriel. He has a way of smiling that just lights my soul. I never thought I could love a child more than I loved my own sons, but Gabriel brings even more love out of me. I am so looking forward to each day to watch him grow up.

I can't wait until my sons have more children. Having babies around is the joy of my life. I love holding them, feeding them, playing with them and rocking them to sleep. To have them smile at me .... it's a gift from God.

I'm grateful for every second I get with them. Maybe you'll be lucky and have a baby smile at you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


mcnay museum Pictures, Images and Photos

There are many museums in San Antonio and I haven't seen as many as I'd like. The one that I want to see next is the McNay Art Museum. I keep hearing about it on the local news and it peaks my interest. I love art and I believe this place has exhibits that will inspire me.

For those who haven't heard about it, check this out:

The grounds look beautiful and I think it would be a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I just have to talk Jerry into visting it. Hummmm....must think... lol

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Buckhorn Saloon and Museum


I've been to many museums over the years, but one of the strangest for me was visiting the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum in San Antonio. It's been in continuous operation since 1881. Founder Albert Friedrich opened his doors and offered up a a bargain, "Bring in your deer antlers and you can trade them for a shot of whiskey or a beer." That was the birth of a really unique museum/bar.

This place is a trip. According to the Saloon's web page. "This is where it all started...where Teddy Roosevelt recruited Rough Riders and Pancho Villa is rumored to have planned the Mexican Revolution. Many of the original furnishings still grace today's Buckhorn Saloon, including the back bar which was hand-crafted of marble and cherry wood."

There are horns of all shapes and sizes and animal trophy heads are mounted on all walls of the business. I've never seen so many dead critter parts in one place in my life. It was a bit disconcerting to eat lunch under the watchful glare of deceased animals.


The place boasts that it is five museums in one place. We just visited the bar area and had lunch. We plan to go back and see the other museums which include Fins, Feathers, The Hall of Texas History Wax Museum and the Texas Ranger Museum.

I have to say they do have the strangest gift store I've seen. It has odd animal pieces for sale along with the usual fare. Bones, candy, doohickeys and whatnots. I am going back there to do some Christmas shopping for funky things to put in stockings. lol I can't wait to see the kid's faces when they open up their stocking gifts.

I did love sitting at the back bar and imagining what it was like when Teddy, Pancho Villa, Will Rogers or Henry O sat at the exact same bar and had a drink. In between daydreaming about the past, I found myself apologizing to the trophy heads.

I'm sucker for sad eyes.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I know many will laugh at my naivete, but I honestly did not know what a greenbelt was and how great is was to live near. It wasn't until I moved to Texas that I was able to experience first hand the perfection that is greenbelt. Where our home is located we have greenbelt on the left side of the house and at the back. It's like having a mini forest right outside my back door. This is our view from the back porch.


Jerry built a gate in the back fence so now we can easily step out into another world of peace and tranquility. Trees, wildflowers, butterflies and deer all abound in our greenbelt. A small creek lies right at the foot of the hill where we live. It's mainly dry in the summer, but once a rainstorm hits, it flows with life and energy. Tadpoles squirm and float, and birds sing and dive at the grasshoppers who happen to chirp so loud even I can hear them without my hearing aids.

I had no greenbelt where I lived in California. We had a canal behind our house full of mosquitos and frogs. Oh, and a train track that clanked at all times of the night. I so don't miss those sounds.

Here, I open up my bedroom windows and enjoy the cool breeze and listen to the birds, grasshoppers and many other crunchy critters I haven't identified yet. I feel so spoiled having such beautiful nature so close to home. It's calming for my soul.

What's great about all this is that being a greenbelt, it's going to stay natural. It will not be bulldozed into another useless shopping center. It will stay green, wild and a home for creatures big and small.

This makes me quite happy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo


When visiting San Antonio most people stop to see the Alamo. It's definately worth seeing. It's a piece of history that is held sacred by most all Texans. It's important to see the video in the soldier's garrison before seeing anything. It will help explain the history behind the Alamo. But I'm not going to focus on the Alamo here. BTW, there is NO basement at the Alamo. lol

What I always recommend to visitors is to check out the Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo. It gives the visual people out there, like myself, an understanding of what missions were like back in the 1700s. Located a bit south of the Alamo, it's also in San Antonio. It's one of the most beautiful missions I've ever seen. It has the land around it that we wish the Alamo still had around it. Mission San Jose is a great place to see the beauty of what was--the artwork there touches my heart.

Founded in 1720, the mission was named for Saint Joseph and the Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo, the governor of the Province of Coahuila and Texas at the time. It was built on the banks of the San Antonio river several miles to the south of the earlier mission, San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo).

Its founder was the famed Father Antonio Margil de Jesús, a very prominent Franciscan missionary in early Texas.

It's known as the "Queen of the Missions

The statues are all around the church:



The next time you are in San Antonio, make sure to check out Mission San Jose. It's free to see and offers a touch of history not often found. You won't regret it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kreuz Market and Barbecue

(I took the first three photos and the rest I snagged off of photobucket)

I've read articles spouting the perfection of barbecue in Lockhart, Texas. The Texas legislature has officially deemed it the BBQ capital of Texas. It's been in Bon Appetit, Gourmet Magazine, on the Food Network on more than one show and the Travel Channel. Lockhart is a mere hour and 20 minutes from where I live. Jerry and I had to check it out.

The town is just a bump in the road. It sports on a good day about 12,000 people. It has a handful of beautiful historic houses on main street and a courthouse that harkens back to the good, old days.


On this visit, we went to Kreuz Market (pronounced Krites). It started as a German Market in 1900. There was some family disagreements between the original owners three kids. One kid stayed at the original site and renamed it Smitty's Market, it's right off the town square, and one of the other kids took the name and moved it to a new location on the edge of town and named it Kreuz Market. Kreuz Market is a huge facility. It seats about 560 people.


It has an actual wooden sidewalk out front and an antique-look inside. I loved this sign they had posted.

Kreus Market Sign

Blue Ridge Tour 2006 Pictures, Images and Photos

You go one way to order in a room set aside. You can feel the heat from the BBQ pit as you enter. I felt sorry for the people working in that room. There are no platters or sandwiches. (photo snarked from photobucket as I was too busy deciding on my meat choices to take photos)

Kreuz Market Pictures, Images and Photos

This is what the order board looks like:

Kreuz Market Pictures, Images and Photos

You order by the pound/half pound. I chose a small amount of brisket, ribs, smoked ham and two links of their homemade sausage(regular and jalapeno). They put your meats on butcher paper, toss on half a loaf of Wonder white bread, a sleeve of crackers and two plastic knives. You then carefully pick up that butcher paper load and head into another room.

This is not Jerry. Another photo snagged.

Kreuz Market Pictures, Images and Photos

As you walk to the doors leaving the meat room you feel the heat coming from the BBQ pit. Oak logs glow super hot and the smell is divine.

The second room is where you choose what sides you want. I chose German potatoes, beans and sauerkraut. That's right. BBQ style sauerkraut. Add a side of marinated onions and unsweetened tea and lemonade and Jerry and I are set. By the way, no plates, no forks. We got plastic spoons with the beans and little plastic bowls, but that's it. Oh, and no barbuecue sauce. They have the firm belief that meat this good doesn't need to hide behind a sauce.

I would have taken a photo of the meats, but we were too busy eating. LMAO Here's another photo I snagged off of photobucket of people who had more self control than I had.

Kreuz Market Pictures, Images and Photos

The meat was delicious and the sides were tasty. If you would have told me I would eat sauerkraut with barbecue I would have thought you were nuts. But they add some chopped barbecued brisket to the sauerkraut and it was damned good. The brisket was good, but not memorable. I personally believe, and Jerry stated, that my smoked tri-tip tastes tons better. He said I need to market it. LOL The beans must have jalapenos in them because they were HOT. Jerry loved them and the jalapeno sausage. I can't handle the super hot stuff so I just took his word for it. He actually sweated as he ate them. They were that hot. But he said those were his favorites.

For me, it was the smoked ham and sauerkraut. I'd go back just for those.

We had dessert of miniature apple pies that were tasty.

I had wanted to check out Smitty's while we were there, but we were stuffed. I had Jerry drive by it just so we could easily find it next time we visit. It's right nearby the courthouse I showed up above.

The drive was worth it. We had leftovers which makes for a great next day lunch. San Antonio, and it's nearby areas, has so much great food to choose from you never get bored. I love it here.