Monday, September 29, 2008


I am in the middle of my current project, creating Christmas Stockings for the Bethel House in Moriarty, NM. They have put out the call for 780 stockings to be completed by the end of October. At that time, they will be distributed to various organizations in town to fill them with toys. The stockings will be handed out, along with a food box, to needy families in Torrance County. At this point I have completed 10 stockings with an additional 30 cut out and ready to embellish and sew up. Depending on the time schedule, I should be able to continue with additional ones, but no promises!What fun! Christmas is my most favorite time so this is great fun for me. If any of my local readers would like to participate, please e-mail me and I will forward you on to our local contact person, WanaBeth.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Today was one of those most perfect of days in New Mexico. The sun was warm, the wind crisp, the sky a stunning blue and small white puffy clouds drifted slowly by. To make it that much more perfect, we had a wonderful brunch with our friends, Vanessa and Kristine. The four of us enjoyed very good wine, pizza heavy with tasty toppings and a peach cobbler that none of us could keep our hands off! While the pizza was baking, we sat out on the porch and enjoyed the view and the cool breeze. We do have indoor plumbing so I am not quite sure what Roy is indicating!

Here we are all worshiping that peach cobbler. So, dear friends, I will share the recipe with you. It is truly wonderful!

Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup flour

2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup milk

4 cups peeled, pitted and thinly sliced fresh peaches

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

several dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour the melted butter into a 13 by 9 by 2 baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, , 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder and the salt and mix well. Stir in the milk, mixing until just combined. Pour this batter over the butter but do not stir them together.

In a small sauce pan, combine the peaches, lemon juice and the remaining cup of sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Pour the peaches over the batter but do not stir them together. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

(Try not to eat so much you feel ill)

Monday, September 22, 2008


You would think that by now I would be a prune. but no, that's how long it took me to tile and grout our shower! (That number does not include the 10 hours spent earlier creating the "vineyard mosaic" on the end wall). I had no idea this would be such a big project. Those of you who know me, know that long projects just don't work. I get bored, lose interest and want to move on to something else. This is not an option when tiling a shower! It just has to be finished. I had 8 decorative tiles left over from the mosaic border so they were used here. Now, the process itself is not difficult, but this shower had some challenges, some might say pitfalls. In our continuing effort to build "green" my task was to use materials on site; tile left from previous projects, "found" tile, tile given to us, and an assortment of small bags of different colored grout. In addition, it became evident as I got into the project that our shower walls are somewhat trapezoidal! Anyone who has done a similar project will immediately see the challenge here! I assembled all the tile and began the process of designing the job, using the assortment of tiles. I had 4 different colors of white/beige/cream. I had some gray tiles. I had 2 colors of glazed terra cotta tiles made in Mexico (my favorites of all), and the entire assortment was in several different sizes of 4 inch tiles ( who knew?) and 2 different thicknesses. Here you can see the front wall of the shower. Luckily I had just enough of the terra cotta dark blue tiles for the edging. The design eliminates the need for a shower door. I mean, who really wants to spend the rest of their life trying to keep a shower door clean? Not me for sure! The very last thing to do in the bathroom is to paint or plaster the ceiling. I suspect this will be the easiest part of the entire project.
As I look back on this, there were things I would have done differently. For example, it would have made more sense to combine all of the different grouts in one big bucket so that, regardless of the eventual color, it would all have matched. Next time.
Here then are photos of this wonderfully organic and "green" shower. I absolutely love it! It makes me feel like I am someplace in Italy, a place I hope to visit some day. In the meantime, the shower will have to do.


How sweet of some of my readers to inquire! I have been involved in a very large home improvement project about which I will blog later in the week. It has taken me about 2 weeks but I plan to be finished today! My apologies for not "being here" but work comes before play, right? Love you all and I will be back in regular fashion soon. Stay tuned!
Moon rise over the courtyard wall which has been stuccoed since this photo was taken.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Both ends of an early evening rainbow. No rain on our land, but it did fall all around us. This is a beautiful place...

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Martha has a sweet cat named "Buster". He follows her to Cora's Bakery on Saturday morning and sits quietly near her feet as she reads to the children. If she is not too busy, Cora will bring him a saucer of cream. Sometimes on a warm sunny day Buster will wander over to the group of children and select one as an appropriate place for a good nap. He curls up in that special lap and dozes until story hour is over. Miss Martha loves sharing Buster with the children and the children give Buster a lot of petting, which he is quite sure he is entitled to.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Soon after Cora opened her bakery, a magical thing happened. Martha, the now retired school teacher, has made Saturday morning her regular coffee and pastry day. At the end of the porch on the front of the bakery is a large rocking chair with a ruffled pillow cushion. Beside the rocker is a small table to hold her coffee and a stack of story books. Martha adopted this rocker and has became a regular fixture on the porch on Saturdays. She always carries her large brown prairie bag with her leather journal but now she is also carrying a handful of children's books. Cora had asked her one day if she would like to read to the children who usually show up on Saturday mornings. Martha, even though retired, missed the children and was eager to read! Now, unless the weather is just too cold, Martha arrives promptly at 10 o'clock and makes herself comfortable in the rocking chair. Cora puts out a stack of small oval braided rugs she made for the children to sit on and the story hour begins. Martha has carefully selected some books, making sure they would appeal to girls and boys alike. Here are some of the ones that have become favorites with the children.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Annie and her friends are all a twitter about a new business in town! The vacant house next door to Annie has been rented by Cora. This large 2 -story Victorian country home is Cora's living space on the second floor. But, the first floor has been converted to a wonderful gathering place called "Cora's Bakery". When Cora moved in, Annie was quick to visit her with a basket of blueberry scones, unaware of Cora's now obvious baking abilities.

Cora loved the scones and immediately asked for the recipe which Annie happily shared. The chalkboard menu on the front porch now features "Annie's Blueberry Scones". Cora is happy to share that recipe with you.

"Annie's Blueberry Scones"

2 c. sifted all-purpose flour

1 c. fresh or frozen clean blueberries

1/3 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. sweet butter, cut into sm. pieces

3/4 c. milk

Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour over berries; toss and set aside. Sift remaining flour with salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder into large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until well mixed. Add blueberries and flour; toss well to mix. Sprinkle the milk over and mix gently with a fork until dough just holds together. Drop by spoon onto lightly greased baking sheet. Dip your hand in flour and gently pat down the scones until about 1 inch thick. Bake in a 425 degree oven 12-15 minutes.

Cora is waiting for you to visit and share warm scones and good coffee with her.