Monday, May 30, 2011

Song of the Sunflower

I remember when we bought a farm, close to our other farms, that it had sunflowers.  Lots and lots of sunflowers.  These were not the big pretty ones you see in a field and in flower arrangements.  They were little pest  cousins of the big flamboyant ones.  They hogged all the water and just flat got in the way.  We had them hoed down, the real arm swinging chopping down type of hoeing.   Then we used-gasp-chemicals
 It was WAR !!!  They were stealing the moisture from our cotton and peanuts, our lively hood.  After a good lengthy and costly  battle we won.  At least for the time being.   Now we have sold the farms and do hope the new owners are continuing the battle of the sunflowers.  

When hubby and I are driving around and see how pretty the little pest ones look on the side of the road, we both say I hope they don't lose control of them.  

Now here I am painting them.  Not the pests but the big flamboyant ones.  They are so pretty.  I have done several paintings of them and enjoyed them all.   This painting is done for the Open Studio class with Karen Bonaker.  She shows us differnt techniques and just to let ourselves go and play.  So play I did.  Getting back into the swing of digital painting.   This is certainly not done with a click of a button either.  Lets see a button do this.  Guess that could be a challenge of the buttons?  Kind of like the sunflowers I suppose.

                                              Here you go the Sunflower's Song

  Well, actually it is the music from The Stars and Stripes Forever  but just thought the notes were pretty.    Sort of a watercolor and paint combined.  

May is coming to an end.  I cannot believe how quick the months just fly by.   The wind is still blowing quite hefty.  Now we are talking 30 to 50 mile an hour winds.  Some years it just blows forever, then when you think you can't stand it anymore it quits.  No rain though since October.  We'll see what June brings to us. 

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in Annette's world.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


In my adventure to figure out what I want to do after retiring, as I might have mentioned, my friend Bev suggested Roses on my Table.  I am a member of the group R.A.I.L.  Every month Zinnia posts fun lessons for us to play and create. 

Take a little quilting iron, nope don't iron clothes with it,  I do love to iron while watching TV, and bees wax and just have a good time.  

Here is what I created with her instructions and going to do one more before we go on to a new project.

I can't remember where I got this beautiful image,   I think Vintage Catnip.  Here is the art piece, I loved the whole process and just a relaxing and creative process.  Like I said it has been over 25 years since I have played with any type of traditional art.  I hope you enjoy it. 

Now Saturday I am starting a digital painting class with Karen Bonaker on the Digital Art Academy classes.  These are always fun and gets my painting muse going and working overtime.  I always try the new brushes and explore them,  but go back to Marilyn Sholin's brushes.  Guess you just can't break old habits.   I always said I am not going to do more than one class at a time and here I am fixing to do three.  What is the third one you ask?  Well, just wait and see I say.   I watched the videos and will start playing soon.  

There you go and thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world today.    Of course I will share more artsy goodies with you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cardboard, Wood and Batteries

Several years ago hubby, of now 50 years, and I took one of our "trips".  These are the kind that when we back out of the driveway we really are not sure where we will go.  This trip we wandered some in Oregon.  Just a tiny ways from Texas.  We were surprised how different the East side was than what we thought.  We thought all of it was lush and green, not so for the East side, or at least the part we saw.  Along one of the highways were rows and rows of trees, planted close and reminded me of corn  and how close they plant it.  We just couldn't imagine planting trees that close and why.   Well, our question was answered at the next stop, besides buying gasoline you have to buy "junk"  you know the kind that is bad for you.  We do off set it though with a Sprite Zero so it all kind of balances out in the scheme of things.   The trees were Popular trees and planted for harvest, I am thinking they said every seven years.  And what do they do with the trees you ask?  They make cardboard.  I haven't ever really thought of where cardboard came from but then I don't think it really cares if I knew. 

So how does this tie in with my story?  Well, do you think that possibly the cardboard used in these ROBOTS came from Oregon?     

Yep you read correct.  ROBOTS    We met this sweet young lady at Thanksgiving and she told us that in her class they were going to build robots.  Now that certainly sparked my ears up.   ROBOTS?   Sounded like a wonderful thing to go watch to me.   

It seems that this college in a nearby town has two campus locations.  One in Levelland and one here in Lubbock.  They compete in the making of the robots and then have a little battle so to speak.   Well here we were, reminded me of the Romans watching Gladiators fighting it out.  There was even one that had a wicked looking blade on it like in Ben Hur with Charleston Heston.  The one scene with the chariot race?

The students built their robots out of cardboard, wooden frame and batteries and drills.  All had  turning, whacking and one had a thumping type  weapon.   They had to get in the corners and then come out fighting.  Each team had a 10 minute time out, to repair or get their little robots together again and they had to keep moving around on the floor.  Here goes the pics. 

Calli and Tri, robot builders extraordinaire.  They were ready for battle.  The workings of Rocky.   They all had to have names.  There was a photo of Rocky Balboa on the top of this robot.  Check out the batteries, the strapping, the drill ran the wheels.  

The time out, both creators had to help their robots along, just a little.

The battle, sadly Rocky lost, his remote control burned up.  Please excuse the reflections, there was a protective plastic to keep the flying pieces from hitting us.  

This was the first set of robots to battle.  Under Cut lost, but certainly put up a good battle.

Can't remember the names of these but the square one got a pretty good beating and quit running, maybe inch or two but not enough to keep in the race.  They had to move and the moving parts had to move, the students got the grade and the rest was fun. 

This stream lined robot was the winner for the year and gets to be proudly on display until the next round of wars.  He was pretty low to the ground and certainly streamed lined.   I think those were flames painted on the side.

There you go, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing about it.   Thanks for seeing what is going on in my world at the moment. 

Oh don't forget to click on the photos that makes them larger.  Probably the whole world knows that but me.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Beef and Salsa

  I don't read the paper as much as hubby does, I read the local  news and see the front page of the paper and look at the front page of the sports to see if I am on there.   I am rolling on the floor laughing at that one, like I am the most nonathletic human there is on the face of the earth.   Of course when grandson was small,  maybe three to five I could be the coach and player and cheerleader of his teams.   I was pretty good at multitasking at those jobs.   Now when we played basketball, I would grab him as he dribbled circles around me and give him a good Nana kiss.  He would tell me in a cute 3 year old voice, love those voices, that was not in the rules.   

There is one section of the paper I do hunt for though~ the one where the post a recipe every once in a while and the American Profile little booklet that comes some day of the week, I never remember what day but Eldon knows not to chunk it until I look for   A NEW RECIPE !!!!!!!   He must still like them though or he would probably just tell me it is not in the paper this week.

Looking thru the pages I found a recipe!!  Surprise upon surprises.   It is Peppered Beef with Pineapple Salsa.  Now what could be wrong with this combo ?  I mean it has BEEF, Eldon's favorite and salsa, my favorite.   Pineapple Salsa with jalapenos at that.  Now I made it and he like it as I did, even though----gasp---- I am not crazy about beef steak.  I know how could I be a Texas and not like beef steak you ask.  Remember I was not born in Texas so that probably explain the earth shattering puzzle.

Now I will make again but cut back on the jalapeno pepper this next time.  But I did get the go ahead from Eldon to make again.   A success in my eyes.

Here you go the steak and salsa.  Now Eldon likes his steak pinkish inside, I had to get a meat thermomator to help assist me in this task.  I just thought it was so pretty so had to share.   Fresh pineapple by the way and cilantro also.

I thought I would add a PS here---- so P.S.  here is the recipe if you might want it.  Several have asked for it. 

Peppered beef with Pineapple Salsa


1 cup peeled and diced fresh pineapple
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup diced red onion ( you know I omitted that little killer of Eldon)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper ( I am going to cut to one next time I make it, was a bit warm, either that or I used to much jalapeno

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 coarse salt

fresh ground black pepper ( I just used coarce ground pepper)


1/4 cup jalapeno pepper jelly

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 1/4 pound beef flank steak ( I think any type of steak would be good here ) blotted dry on paper towels

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspon freshly ground black pepper

1. To prepare salsa, stir together all ingredients. Cover and set aside.

2. To prepare beef, melt jelly in a small pan; stir in Worcestershire sauace and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Sprinkle both sides of steak with salt and pepper, place in pan and cook about 4 minutes per side, turning once, or until desired degree of doneness.

4. Reduce heat to low and spoon on jelly glaze. Cook 1 minute longer, until thoroughly heated and beef is glazed. Remove from pan, divide among 4 dinner plates, spoon on salsa and serve.

There you go, thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world today.   Oh, a hint to for the next blog ~~  cardboard, wood and batteries.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lark Art and Smiles on a Plate

I am still playing with the pictures we took of our Sedona, Arizona trip.  I don't take as many of Sedona as I use to, not because we like it less but sometimes I just flat get lazy about photo taking.  I mean it really wears you out to push the little button and snap you have a picture and we were on vacation you remember.   Not really, but sometimes I do get lax on taking them.  I guess all of the years of doing it I suppose.  

Now you will have to excuse this next picture.  It is a camera that hides in my purse.  It is not much of a camera and every time I use it I think- throw this thing away.  Then I put in my purse again and it just hides thinking --WHEW !!!  I missed the trash one more time.  I won't mention the make but think it is really going to the trash this time.  Had a great "purse" camera but after two days, on a bench, outside and sitting under a sprinkler systen for two days just didn't want to work again.  I mean it was good, Eldon took it to Brazil and all it just kept perking along before the bench sprinkler incident.  

When were were in Sedona, enjoying the beautiful scenery, we forget about all the art galleries.  So this trip we played sort of tourist and went to some galleries.  One in particular was Lark Art.  One talented ladie's work is hanging there and that was a goal to check it out.  Now the name of the gallery is Lark Art.  Loved the name and has some of the most unusual animal paintings and art work I have ever seen.   No here I am with the owner, who was so kind to pose with me.  Oh, I am the one on the left, I know you thought I was taller, but nope no such luck.  One good thing is I am not shrinking so here I am in all my 5'1".   The painting is one of Elizabeth Nelson's.  The paper painting lady.  I purchased one of her DVD's, so well put together, and just am having a good time doing her style of painting.  

Elizabeth's painting is so colorful and the pictures just don't do it justice.  We got to view several of them that were on display there.  Felt like it was such a treat to see them in the reals.    

  Here you go, the Rooster of Elizabeth's.   I just thought it needed to stand out and we are just the adjectives in the picture.  Like the  "thes" and "ors".  

On another note :

Coming back we did stop at a Johnny Rockets to eat and when your order comes out they have this cute little plate on your order.  Just to give you a good day or evening smile.  Just thought it was cute and here I am turning into one of the ladies that take pictures of everything.   

We didn't really order three things, but they had to redo from scratch Eldon's burger.  They put onions on it and you may remember he is deadly allergic to them.   So the good side of this was we got three smiles that evening and got to see the servers dance.  Hey it was a win win situation. 

There you go and more to come.   Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Roses, Zinnias, and Fun oh my

Now in my adventure of finding what I want to do in my life  and after a couple of careers.   I am still exploring.   So much out there and so little time.  Well,  you could not sleep I suppose but I don't know about you but I get pretty grumpy if I don't get sleep.  We won't talk about the dark circles under the eyes will we ?  

A sweet friend of mine, Bev, who I have never met but I do believe she would fight a buzz saw for me.    She lives in Australia and I have "played " with her for I don't know how many years.  Now the ones that know me, know I have kind of hard headed.  A shocker isn't it ?  Well, Bev kept saying you need to join this group you will love it.  So finally I did and what a sweet group of artists it is.   I am involved with the group of art journaling journey.   I thought what is this ?   Fun, just pure fun and I can use all my scrapbooking supplies I already have plus getting to buy more supplies.   You know that is half of the fun.  Shopping for thing that you have to have.

I have posted some of my beginner journaling art here on the blog  and if you are lucky will get to see more. 

So I just wanted to share Zinnia's banner with you on her blog.  Just check out all the goodies going on there.   That is part of the fun I do belive.   I think, jokeingly my grandson called me a trash digger and hubby never throws anything away now without me checking it out and seeing if I can use it.   We use to call that making do but nowdays it is recycling and art.  

Now I know I may sound like an ad or something but nope just Annette loving what she is doing right now and wanting to share with you.  I can't share my cooking, litteraly with you but I can share my art goodies. 

Here you go, the banner from Zinna's blog.  Zinnia's web site for the groups is Roses on my Table.   


There you go,  and thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our Beautiful West Texas

Hi, this is short and sweet.  Please click on the link my EX son-in-law sent to me for Mother's Day.  It has beautiful photographs and music. 

Enjoy !!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Warning Will Robinson-this is not good for you

We have been gone for a while and have returned rested and ready to tackle the world again.  sometimes you just have to do that. For our birthdays, Anniversays, and holiday gift doings we just back out the drive and tell each other Happy everything.  Sometimes even not knowing where we are going.  Our trusty steed, aka our automobile, and map in hand.  

 I have a few posts to do to catch up and some are about our little trip.   Some of the titles will be Lark Art and Cardboard, Wood and Batteries.   Now that one will be a fun on for you I hope,  it was certainly fun to watch.  

Where did we go you may ask ?  To  Sedona,Arizona, it was snowing and sleeting around Albuquerque, New Mexico. On the way to Arizona for us, being as we live in Texas.    Now this is the first of May and this Texas gal is not use to weather like this in May.  What is Mother Nature trying to tell us ?  Hope she isn't just clearing her throat, with all the floods, tornadoes and fires that have been happening.

There use to be a TV series called Lost In Space.   I hope some remember it, a family stranded in space and they had this giant robot.  Everytime Will Robinson, the son, would get into trouble or there was danger around he would say Warning or Danger Will Robinson.  So this is a little warning to what is coming in the next few pictures.   The pictures may not be good for your health.  I think calories just wander in the air and jump on any unsuspecting soul.  Sooooooooo  Warning !!

Eldon's birthday is April 30,  time does fly by when you are having fun.  So I am thinking what kind of cake can I make him that won't kill us, you know like a good giant yummy chocolate cake that you have to eat ever bite of it and every single crumb.  I mean it would be ashame to let any of it go to waste and I am sure the neighbors are tired of me sharing goodies with them.  The last time I brought something over the husband said oh no, we are on diets.   So that in mind, I made a Pinapple Upside Down Cake.  One layer of goodness and probably no calories at all.   Right ?   This is one of his favorite cakes.  We went to the store to get the goodies to make it and lo and behold there was this cute little pan for Pinapple Upside Down Cakes.  Now I know I can make it without the pan but it was there on the shelf lonely.  Several big bundt pans around it so off it went home with us. 

One of the views of the cake.  It is pretty delicious, even if I say so myself.

Just a little close up, just incase you couldn't see it really good.  Mean aren't I ?  I think you can smell the pineapple and the brownsugar.

Here you go a birds eye view of the Pinapple Upside Down Cake.   Happy Birthday Eldon.   the recipe ?  I would be glad to share it if anyone would like it.

There you go, thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in my world.