Archive for November, 2010

Catholic Church at Panna Maria

Last Saturday, we stopped in Panna Maria to look at the beautiful church there. Here are some pictures.




Here is some information about the church from the Panna Maria website:

“Panna Maria (meaning Virgin Mary) is the oldest Polish settlement in the United States. Panna Maria was founded by Father Leopold Moczygemba and about 100 Silesian families from Pluznica, and surrounding villages of Silesia, Poland.

They left Poland and after a nine-week voyage at sea, they reached the Port of Galveston. They hired carts to carry their belongings and walked to the junction of the San Antonio River and the Cibolo Creek where they celebrated their first Mass on December 24, 1854 under an oak tree.

In 1855 they built their first church next to the oak tree and dedicated it to the Virgin Mother. The first church was destroyed by lightning in 1875. The present church was completed in 1877 and was enlarged in 1937. During a recent renovation, it was discovered that the church has a painted ceiling. The ceiling has been restored and is very beautiful.

The Polish immigrants wanted to ensure that their children were properly educated. They held school in various buildings in Panna Maria as early as 1855. In 1868 they built St. Joseph School – the first Polish private school in the United States. The children were taught English and Polish.”.

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All I Want for Christmas…

is my two front teeth.


Erin and Travis went to the dentist today and the hygienist took care of Travis’ very loose front teeth..


Grandpa’s Ranch Dressing

I have been receiving requests for more recipes. So, here is the Grandpa’s (my dad) recipe for Ranch Dressing:

Ernie’s Ranch Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
4 Tablespoons buttermilk (more or less to adjust thickness of dressing)
1 teaspoon sugar (more or less; skip this item if you wish)
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon finely chopped dill (fresh if possible)
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley (fresh if possible)
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 dashes salt (1/8-1/4 teaspoon?)
2 dashes paprika (1/8-1/4 teaspoon?)

Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Chill for at least one hour.


~Add more or less of any of the ingredients to your own taste.
~Add a little lemon juice, approximately 1 teaspoon.
~Add finely diced, crisp (but not burned) bacon. About 4 slices per recipe. Reduce salt if you add bacon. And I quote directly from my dad “You will go to Hell if you use artificial bacon bits.” 😮
~Add a couple of teaspoons of heavy cream for a richer dressing.



Monkey at the tree farm

When we went to the Christmas tree farm last Friday, we saw a man carrying around this monkey on his shoulder. Kind of weird but very cute. The kids, of course, immediately wanted one. I am sure you can guess what my answer was to that!!!




The Fab Four


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Country Humor

This was in front of the feed store in Pipe Creek (south of Bandera):


Like the brand names of the feed they carry too.



Our Christmas Tree

Here is our tree getting loaded straight from the tree farm!


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Black Friday

Well, it’s not Black Friday here. More like Bum Friday as it is 10:00 and we are all still in our pj’s! We will have to get dressed soon though, as we are headed over to the Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm in a little while to get a Christmas tree. Will post pictures later today….

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is a panorama shot of our view across the pond. Hope everyone has a safe and yummy online slots Thanksgiving!


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Gingerbread Barn

Check out this cool gingerbread barn kit we found at Tractor Supply!


The kit even comes with the gummy horse head, sheep, pig, tree and wreath. It is put out by a company called “The Wild Baker and Candy Maker”. Right up my alley!.


My visit to Man World


Actually, I really enjoyed shredding the field. Need longer straight areas though so you can just kind of let your mind wander….


New Chicks

We got our chicks for the 4H Broiler project yesterday evening. 50 total and they are being raised in the garage. Yes, I did say garage. These are Kathryn and Travis’ project. (Erin has a goat.) They are really cute right now – all fluffy and yellow. Unfortunately, they won’t stay that way long. Here are a few pictures.



Here is a picture of my homemade brooder ring. It is made of leftover Cub Scout popcorn boxes taped together to be approx. 5-6′ in diameter then filled with wood shavings about 4-5″ deep.


Did you see the cool stands the waterers are on? Troy made these for me (my design). They are a couple of 2×8’s at the base with some old dowels inserted to hold the waterers in place. You can then raise them higher as needed by sliding pieces of 2×4 across. The 2×4’s were cut long enough to give the base plenty of stability. Those chicks are tiny now, but by the end of the project they can weigh close to 10 pounds! Here is a picture of an empty stand.


Simple and cheap (not cheep!) – made with all stuff we had on hand. 🙂.

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A public service announcement from Kathryn, Kat and Travis…

Turn up your volume and click the arrow to play.


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A few interesting photos from Kathryn

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Carne Guisada

Here is the oft requested Carne Guisada recipe as given to me by Charlie Calvert many, many years ago…

1 boneless roast (like a shoulder roast)
Ground cumin/comino
2-3 cloves garlic
1 chopped onion
1 can chopped green chilis
Salt and pepper

Put the roast in a crockpot. Cover one side generously with the ground cumin (probably 2 or so tablespoons). Add in the garlic, onion and chilies. Salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low either all day if serving in the evening or overnight if preparing for breakfast.

When done. Remove the roast. Shred the meat and throw away any fat. Return the roast to the crockpot and thicken the gravy with flour and water (on high for a while) if needed.

Serve on tortillas with pico, salsa, cheese, etc.



Glamour Girls

This picture speaks for itself…

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Oops! How did this one get in here!!!

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Bourbon Balls

This is an excellent recipe that I got from a friend and felt the need to share…

Bourbon Balls makes approx. 4 dozen

1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers, finely crushed
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa
2 1/2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup bourbon
Additional sifted powdered sugar

Combined vanilla wafer crumbs, pecans, 3/4 cup powdered sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. Stir well. Combine corn syrup and bourbon mixing well. Pour bourbon mixture over the wafer mixture. Stir until blended. Shape into 1″ balls and roll in additional powdered sugar.



Science Fair

The 5th and 6th grade science fair was this week. I find it amazing that after the billions of science fairs I have participated in or seen that there could still be anything new, but there was. Some really cool projects and presentations. The kids did a great job. Here is Erin with her presentation.

E sci fair.

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The Christening

This is the last batch of San Diego photos (I think). These are from the Christening of the Empire State. What a beautiful event!

This is the Captain, Admiral Buzby, Steve (the Chief), Erin and Travis:


These are the officers of the Empire State:


These are some pictures of the engine room. It is gigantic! All shiny and new:





Here are a couple of photos from LegoLand. By far the cleanest, nicest restrooms of any theme park I have ever visited. Good food as well. Very interesting place. Would definitely go again.




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