Saturday, October 24, 2009

Floating Banana Tree

We've had lots of rain here at Lake Cypress Springs. The sun came out for a few days, and, then it rained again. Cliff and I took the Presidential Barge out looking for plants that floated away and found the pomegranate tree. It was still in it's pot, 'docked' at a neighbor's. The Banana Tree floated down to Barbara and Pirks, and is still there receiving excellent care, until we retrieve it. We have a beautiful sunny day and are hoping the lake will do down below the dock, again, and we can boat down to the Walton's to get the wandering banana tree. Which, by the way, was a shoot given to me by Dotsy!

Feline Goodness

We've had a busy summer, and now all of our 'house guests' are settled in, as you can see from the picture. Here we have Ciccino (Big Boy), Mittens(Chittlins), and last Ciccina (Cici). They are spread over my lap and feet and that is about 25 pounds of feline goodness!

Here are some more pictures of our cat happy home:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb Pie. We love rhubarb pie. Rhubarb is very hard to find out here in Texas and has a very short season. This is our first and only rhubarb pie and we were so grateful to Dotsy for bringing the rhubarb from Dallas. Rhubarb pie makes me want to sing!

Here is what's left after a Father's Day cookout with Dotsy, Troy and Peaches. I guess Cliff and I will have to eat the rest.

Rhubarb grew wild along the railroad tracks where Cliff lived in Wisconsin, and it grew in the north Georgia mountains where Dad was from.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Birthday Cake

Chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache, from Ina Garten who got it from Devon Fredricks. The recipe calls for a 16 ounce can of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. In that 16 ounce can there are 1 and 3/4 cup of syrup.

Susie's Birthday

We celebrated Susie's birthday last night with pizza, wine and chocolate cake! Dotsy is now the official pizza dough roller. Perfect circle, and nice and thin. Susie was born in Hinsdale, Illinois in 1973. Again, Peaches made the trip to help out.
Susie is the official ingredient chopper and pizza fixer. I bet she didn't know she was going to have to work so hard on her birthday! We also learned that only mozzarella is used on pizzas in Italy.
The men were in the living room saying where's my pizza? Well, the cooks had to sample it first.........

Friday, June 12, 2009


Cliff grew up in Port Washington, Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. This is a picture of Cliff getting ready for his first communion.
This is a picture of Cliff's Mother's family. Hans and Mary Glieber immigrated to America from Austria sometime in the early 1900's and settled in Milwaukee where they owned a restaurant. Later, the Gliebers moved to Port Washington, where their children were born. This picture is of Hans and Mary Glieber and their children. Leona, Cliff's Mom, has a twin sister Loretta and they are in the center, second row. Marian is the baby, Annie is on the left next to Hans, and Eleanor on the right. There was a brother Frank who died when he was 12.
This is a picture of Leona and Loretta's first communion, taken about 1925. Cliff' mom, Leona, grew up in Port, married there, and her three sons were born there. Later, the family moved to Knellsville, just outside of Port Washington.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Coffee is the all important morning starter.  For many years Mom and Dad always drank Standard Coffee. Judy remembers seeing the Standard Coffee van coming to the house with the deliveries. Standard is still in business selling commercially. Dad switched to Community Coffee, sometime in the 60s, and would order it by the case. Mom says that in Oakdale, Louisiana, the adults had coffee at 8:00, 10:00 and at 2:00.  She was always licking the cream from the top of the  milk bottle, and denying she had done so, but the cream mustache gave her away.  Lately, we have been buying whole beans and Cliff's job on weekends is to grind the beans and make the coffee.  Heather, Cliff's niece, had given us a grinder and beans which got us started, but some friends up the road invited us in one Saturday morning for a cup of coffee and we had coffee better than  Starbucks. Mike and Anne shared their secret, and we now have to have freshly ground coffee on the weekends.
Mom and Dad always used a drip pot, which consisted of three pieces.  When Cliff and I married in 1988 I was still using the drip pots Mom and Dad had given me.  First, boil enough water for the coffee and a little extra. While waiting for the water to boil, put the coffee grounds in the middle section, place that on the bottom section, and then put on the top section. The pots used to have lids, but I never used them. Put the pot in a cake pan, on top of the stove. Pour boiling water into the pot, and pour some in the cake pan to keep the coffee warm.  As the coffee is slowly dripping through the grounds, butter your toast and warm up the milk for the coffee.  The best way to warm up the milk is to put it into a  small cream pitcher and place it in the cake pan with the drip pot, in the warm water.  Once the coffee is ready, remove the two top pieces and through the grounds away.  Enjoy!
While Dad was waiting for the coffee in the morning, he would put a steaming hot wash cloth on his head and walk around the house getting ready for work.  This was so he could get his hair to lie down.  He usually only had to do this after a visit to Jack Ash, his barber.  Dad went to Jack Ash and got a sort of crew cut.  Mr. Ash was the barber in Monroe for as long as I can remember; his shop was downtown near the pool hall,  I think, on Broad Street.
After about a month of using the drip pot, Cliff introduced me to Mr. Coffee.  The drip pot went into the  cabinet as strictly an emergency backup.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day.  We are one of the lucky families.  Cliff's Mom, Leona, and mine are well and both turning 90 this year.  Leona is settled in with one of her sons and family, Peaches is settled in out here at the lake.  Dotsy and I are very fortunate to have Mom so close by.  Even though Catherine is far away, and Susie not so far away, they are always close by, in my heart.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Happy Birthday to Patty.  It was a surprise party, and lots of fun. Pizzas and wine, what could be better?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cat Stories

Susie's cats have adjusted to life in Texas.  I think they may like it better than life in Italy. Ciccina and Ciccino have taken over the house, except when Mittens is stalking them.  Il Ciccini love sitting on the screen porch watching the birds and squirrles, and watching Mittens playing in the yard.   Ciccino loves to sit on the "cat perch", that we have to prop up because he is 14 pounds of love and needs a little support.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Peaches in Georgia

In March, Judy flew Mom to Georgia and then to Biloxi for a wonderful weekend at the Beau Rivage.  The Beau Rivage is now Mom's favorite place, but I think she will still go to Shreveport whenever she can.    Mom also spent several days being wined and dined in Monroe, visiting old friends, and the Georgia family.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Cliff!

Happy Birthday Cliff.  We celebrated Cliff's birthday twice.  Once 
with meat loaf, mash
ed potatoes, Texas cornbread, and pie, and then with Crawfish Cardinale!  Cliff received many fine gifts, but mainly love and kisses, and a sunset cruise.

Two Amazing Women

Last week we went 
to Alexandria, Louisiana to see Peaches' sister, Dottie.  We stayed with cousin Linnie, and family, which includes a very smart and friendly Bouvier. Some videos of Abbey doing tricks are posted on facebook and vimeo.  We had a wonderful trip, and as always delicious food.  Aunt Dottie sent her delicious Crawfish Cardinale back with us to celebrate Cliff's birthday.  We always have such a good time sharing recipes and talking about old times.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Florence, Italy 2009 part 3

             Mercato Centrale in the heart of Florence