UhOh!!! Time for A Change!

I get like this once in awhile...okay...pretty often!
You know....that unexplainable urge to:
Rearrange the furniture
Clean out closets
It is a fact of life and a womans prerogative...right?  RIGHT!!!
So now I'm applying it to CollectInTexas Gal!
OMGosh...you say...What's SHE gonna DO?
And I say....I Dunno!
I'll Figure It Out
Be Back
Ya'll have a Happy New Year!!!


I'm Dreaming of a Pink Christmas

Wishing All of You in Pink Blogland
Merry Christmas!

And as Always
Thanks Beverly at How Sweet The Sound
Making Saturday Pink!



As some of you know, this Girl Raised in Texas drinks mucho doctored coffee!
By that I mean a heaping spoon of chocolate mix, a count to five pour of flavored creamer,
and fill to the brim with Mr. Coffee brewed HOT Coffee!

As some of you know, this Girl Raised On Texas Java met Three Tea Sippin' Knitters a few years ago.
We are the Wednesday Knit FourSome!
Three Fa La La LaaaaaTeaLovers and One Fa La La LatelyTeaLiker!

We Wish Ya'll the Joy We Share in Our FaLaLaLaLaaaaaFriendship!
Merry Christmas!



The Touchable Tree

I don't know about you, but my Christmas Tree Decorating through the years can be categorized into what I'll call...for lack of a better name....Touchable to Un-Touchable Trees!

HiHoney and I married two days after Christmas in 1965, so our First Tree was a Touchable Poor College Students Apartment Tree the next year in 1966.   Funny thing was, after it was decorated neither one of us 'Touched' it or the Red Birds that were our first ornaments.  Four of the Six Red Birds have survived the years of Touchable/UnTouchable Trees and this year are perched on the top branches.

I guess the Red Birds survived the years of Toddler Touching Trees because they flew to the top branches.  However, during the Toddler Touching Tree years, the ornaments ranged from painted wooden chooochoos,  paper airplanes, and hanging finger paint hand prints.

I always thought of those trees as the 'Touchable Trees'.  Afterall, when the tree toppled over on top of the toddler, the only tears shed were those of the toddler. 

Through the years of our Toddler Son and first three Toddler Grandkids the Red Birds survived and the Touchable Ornaments adorned the bottom half of the tree with a few Un-Touchables on the top half. 
During the NonToddler years a collection of UnTouchable Tree Ornaments joined the Red Birds.
The Touchable Tree Ornaments were gifted to the Our First Toddler Son and DIL
 for their years of Toddler Touchable Trees.

Today, I'm happy to say
The Toddler Touchable Tree
Is Here to Stay!

Click HERE to view the Flicker
Christmas Ornament Slide Show


Sara Jane's Christmas Story...'My First Little Girl'

December 12, 2009
Dear Diary,
It's been at least two weeks since my last entry, but I've been on a long trip from Seattle, Washington to....I'm not sure yet, but I think it's someplace in Texas. You see, I was suddenly placed in a box full of newspaper, plastic bags (thankfully not over my head), cardboard and those styrofoam peanut thingys. When the box was taped shut, I couldn't see a thing, and I wasn't sure what was happening until I heard the Postman say, "That'll be $15.79 for shipping to Texas. Anything breakable, or hazzardous and so on.
Right then I knew that 'The Lady' had sold me on eBay. Here's the picture she took of me for the listing.  I was so embarrassed when I saw the picture on the computer. My dress is too big and torn, the slip was a hand me down, my shoes are three sizes to large and my hair...well, Diary, it's all tangled and matted and wadded up in a thing called a scrunchy.

The next thing I know, I'm being lifted out of the box and when the plastic and peanuts were brushed from my face, I opened my eyes to a crowd of smiling faces. It's Christmas! I had no idea until I saw the Christmas Tree and the room full of kids and grownups who looked so happy and surprised to see me! I wonder which little girl is going to be mine this Christmas?
Imagine my surprise, Diary, when the lady who opened the box, hugged and kissed me and said to the man standing next to her, "Thank-you, Santa"!

I've made lots of trips this time of year, and been lots of different little girls Christmas gift. But, there's something funny about this Christmas. The man doesn't look like the Santa I know, and I'm not usually shipped in a UHaul Box.  Dolly

Hi Ya'll,
It's me, Sara Jane.  I haven't written in my Diary since arriving in Texas.  I've been too busy getting a Magical Makeover and getting to know Sue again.   You may already know that I was her Christmas present when she was ten, and that somewhere along the way we were separated, and that she never forgot me, and the whole ebay story and the letter to Santa and well....you know! 

It turns out that her HiHoney Santa read her letter and made all the arrangements for Sue and I to be together again.  Sue says she has always BELIEVED in Santa and now I do, too....again!  Besides, this HiHoney Santa of her's....he's a real SweetSanta.
The first thing Sue did was take off that ugly dress and those huge shoes.  Then it was a grand bubble bath and restoring my hair.  It was so much fun playing beauty shop. 

Did you know that you can Google Doll Hair Restoration?  Well, I didn't either and I was so worried that the tangled mess that my hair had become would never be pretty curls again.  The key is 'Fabric Softener'....not Shampoo!

Next was a new dress.  I remember that Sue was learning to sew when she was ten, and now she is a really good sewer.  She said her Mama taught her, and that she's made lots of doll clothes.  This is the pattern that I chose.  First the dress and then Sue promised to make a new night gown.  I just love the pink one on the pattern.

I haven't had a new pair of proper fitting shoes in I don't know how long.  Probably not since the first pair back when Sue was ten...that'd be about 1957.... don't tell her I told you how old we are.  Anyway, about new shoes... I'm pretty sure I have NEVER been to a shoe store.

OMGosh it was so much fun...trying on all those cute shoes! 
What a surprise that there were so many different styles in my size!
We finally decided on these pretty black shiny shoes with bows.  We used to call then Mary Janes.
I'm going to call them Sara Janes!  See my 'Christmas Socks'?
Sue made them from a pair of her socks.  She said every girl should have socks to match her dress!

In the years that Sue and I were apart, I met lots of other Dolly's that had been lost. 
There was Chatty Cathy, Midge, Betsey, Posey and even a Madame Alexander.
Every one of them remembered their first little girl!
To all of my Lost Dolly Friends and to all of their 'First Little Girls'
Sue and I say...
Always BELIEVE in the Spirit of Christmas,
Santa Claus


Advent Calendar Day 6...Letter to Santa

GeneaBlogger Advent Calendar Prompt for Day 6...Did you ever send a letter to Santa?

December 5, 2009

Dear Santa,
How are things up there North of Texas? I used to ask Mama where the North Pole was and she always said, "Sue, it's North of Amarillo".

Since it snowed alot in Amarillo that sounded like a good place to imagine the North Pole. Course that was when I was about ten, and the year you brought my 'Favorite Childhood Memory of Christmas'.

Now, I'm all grown up and then some, but I figure it's better late than never to thank-you for providing that 'Special Memory'! You see, I'm sharing it with some very 'Special Bloggin Friends' on CollectInTexas Gal, and I'm thinkin you're on top of the latest Computer Technology, the Internet, the WWW, and Bloggin with all the requests you must get this time of year. Why, I'd be surprised if you're not a 'Secret Santa GeneaBlogger'...with your Family History and all.

Santa, I wish I could say I still have Sara Jane. She's been a vivid memory my whole life, and I was 'Snowed-Away' when I found her on eBay. The lady who has her now wants $99 plus shipping from Seattle, Washington. Did you charge shipping back in the 50's?

Thank-you for wrapping Sara Jane so pretty that year. I was so excited to unwrap the box and see her beautiful face through the cellophane window. I was amazed that she was so tall and walked...with my help. And, altho, I was a bit of a TomBoy, and had never had anything but paper dolls, I treasured Sara Jane, and wish I still had her today.

So, Santa, I have been a very good girl this year, and I know that $99 is still alot for a doll, but I'm sure Sara Jane would like to be mine again. I'll pay for the shipping.
Merry Christmas with Lots of XXXXOOOOO's,

December 6, 2011
Oh, Yes...I wrote letters to Santa when I was Ten...way back then! 
And as you just read....Santa still hears from me now and again!

GeneaBlogger Advent Calendar Day 6 Question #2
Do you STILL Believe In Santa Claus?

Oh Yes!!! I will always BELIEVE in Santa Claus!
'I Believe' it was meant to be!
For Sara Jane is now back home in Texas with me!


'Twas The Night Before Christmas In Texas

Texans Send Texas Christmas Cards...YeeeHaaaw!!!
It's Christmas!
The loveliest time of the year,
The season of love, goodwill
and good cheer
Isn't that the NICEST greeting? So filled with good wishes, good cheer and just...well, GOODNESS!
Ya'll do know that Santa's North Pole is located in Texas?
Yep, as a little girl who knew only one State...Texas...I sent my Letters to Santa at this address:
Santa CowboyClaus
Yeehaw Pole
North of Amarillo, Texas 

'Twas the night before Christmas, in Texas, you know.
Way out on the prairie, without any snow.
Asleep in their cabin, were Buddy and Sue, A dreamin' of Christmas, like me and you.
Not stockings, but boots, at the foot of their bed,
For this was Texas, what more need be said,
When all of a sudden, from out of the still night,
There came such a ruckus, it gave me a fright.
And I saw 'cross the prairie, like a shot from a gun,
A loaded up buckboard, come on at a run,
The driver was "Geein" and "Hawin", with a will,
The horses (not reindeer) he drove with such skill.
"Come on there Buck, Poncho, and; Prince, to the right,
There'll be plenty of travelin' for you all tonight."
The driver in Levi's and a shirt that was red, Had a ten-gallon Stetson on top of his head.
As he stepped from the buckboard, he was really a sight,
With his beard and moustache, so curly and white.
As he burst in the cabin, the children awoke,
And were so astonished, that neither one spoke.
And he filled up their boots with such presents galore, That neither could think of a single thing more.
When Buddy recovered the use of his jaws, He asked in a whisper, "Are you really Santa Claus?"
"Am I the real Santa? Well, what do you think?" And he smiled as he gave a mysterious wink.
Then he leaped in his buckboard, and called back in his drawl,
"To all the children in Texas, Merry Christmas, YA'LL"!

Christmas Card received in December 1997...It's still good...
14 years later in December 2011!!!
It will soon be
The Night Before Christmas in Texas!
GiddyUp Buck, Poncho and Prince!


Advent Calendar...Nativity Card Collection

May the blessings
of Christmas ~
remain with you
throughout the year.

I received this card from my Sister Connie in the early 1980's.
Of course it came via the US Mail with a 39 cent stamp. (I sometimes keep the envelope, too) Click HERE for a bit of Christmas Stamp History and Trivia.

May the love

of the Christ child

bless your Christmas

and all the days ahead

...and his name shall be called...the Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6

A 'Treasured Christmas Card' from my Mother~In~Law, December 1970.

May His blessings fill your

Christmas day with joy ~

May His love warm your heart

today and always!

"A smile of love glowed from the Holy Child's face and made the crude stable a heavenly place...~B.J.Hoff

Christmas Card from my Mother 1970

May the Joy
and Peace of Christmas
be with you
throughout the New Year!

Sue...CollectInTexas Gal
December 2011

PS...I'm still 'Old School' and love getting cards with stamps. So here's my Christmas Card to You...Stamped! It's the 'Christmas Stamp' from 2005, and I thought a perfect stamp for this 'Advent Calendar Christmas Card Memories Post'. I hope you won't mind making up the 10 cents...in 2005, stamps were 37 cents.

 Oh! Also, I hope you won't mind receiving it via the 'Net'. I'm pretty sure it'll be way late via the USPS...Bless Their Hearts...They 'Kan't Help It' if they're 'Old School',too!


Advent Calendar ~ Deck the Halls and Dinner Table

Fa la la la la, la  la  la  la
Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly. 
Lots of Decking Out with Holly going on here at CollectInTexas Gal!

I look forward every year to using my collection of Christmas Dishes and Tablecloths.

The dinning room table displays my collections and they are rotated several times during the holidays. 

Oh! and they aren't just for show!
HoHoHo...we have suppers shared with friends and family!
I have always loved this pattern by Spode with the traditional Christmas Tree and Holly border. However, admire is as far as my pocket book could manage.  Although not Spode,  my four place setting of the Traditional Tree pattern goes perfectly with the vintage 1950's Holly Table cloth.  The dishes are by Gibson and the pattern is Noel Morning. 

And now for the Decked Out Holly Table Center Piece

Santa and Mrs. Clause Motionettes made by Telco Creations Inc. and marketed by Wal-Mart in 1995.
A Thrift Store find for $5.  Wal-Mart priced at $20 in 1995!
Then Santa Kissing Mrs. Clause Salt and Pepper Shakers..
..a gift from my son when he was ten....their cost....priceless! 

See the blazing Yule before us
Strike the Harp and join the chorus
Follow me in Merry Measure
While I tell of Yuletide Treasure.
Fa la la la la, la  la  la  la
(second verse of Deck the Halls)

Christmas Mornin' Texas Egg Casserole
1 lb. sausage
9 slices white bread - cubed
9 eggs - beaten
1 - 11oz. can condensed cream of cheddar cheese soup
3 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
click HERE for directions


The Un-Decorator Is Here

It's soooo much fun to have an 'Un-Decorator' again for Christmas.
It's been ten years since we have had one!

I really have missed the years without those 'Little Un-Decorators!  Those years of hanging the fancy glass ornaments knowing that wherever they were placed on the tree they were safe as could be. 

And those special Mary Maxium Beaded Balls...you know the ones with a kabillion tiny beads and itty bitty pins and sequins!  The ones you promise yourself you will finish before next Christmas and swear to neeevvvver order again no matter how good the sale price. 

They were hung without the fear of the Un-Decorator's little fingers Un-Beading and eating those yummy sequins.

So many  years of being able to wrap presents and putting them under the tree before Christmas Eve.  Ah, yes, not once did I find the bows crunched or the paper askew. 

Who knew....that two years ago at Christmas time another Un-Decorator was in the oven!   What a GIFT!

If you need an Un-Decorator to make your Holiday Decorating a
Re-Decorating Challenge, may I suggest a Two Year Old!

Happy Holidays!


Amanuensis Monday...Mattie's Journal and Letters

Mattie's Journal and Letters
The Year of Mourning

Trail of Tears
by Sandra S. Pittman

July 26, 1895
Today is Pa's birthday. He has been sad since Mama died. He misses her something terrible...we all do. I tried my best to make supper special for him. I baked sweet bread and cooked a stew. Pa said it was good and thanked me for setting the table with Mama's embroidered table cloth. I put a dish towel over it for baby Grady. We all held hands as Pa blessed the supper. He thanked the Lord for us and sent our love to Mama in heaven. Amen. Mattie

August 20, 1895
Dear Beulah,
      How are you? We are all doing fine. Grady fell off the porch last week and cut his arm. Lizzy has been helping me with the washing. She is tall enough now to hang the clothes over the fence. The garden is ready for picking. Mama would be happy to see all the seeds she planted made a good crop.       We should be shucking the corn in a week or two. I am hoping you can come for the tomato and okra canning. I am not sure I know how to do all the canning by myself.
     Pa and the boys have been working from morning til dark in the fields. Chappo says the cotton crop is good this year. The cotton chopping has been hard with the weeds growing so thick. It has been the same in the garden. We are mindful to take a hoe when picking tomatoes. I chopped off the head of a snake a few days ago.
      Pa wanted to know if you would get the canning supplies before you come, Beulah. He can't get to town before then, and said you would know what to buy. He will pay you when you come. Mama's jars are washed and ready. I hope there will be enough of them. I'm glad you and Lula are coming.
      Today is Mama's birthday. We all miss her more than I can say. I am trying my best, but it seems I never get done with the daily chores. How did she do it all? We are all counting the days until you and Lula can come.
Your sister,
Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner
Born: October 23, 1880
Died: April 14, 1948  
Daughter of: George Washington Pittman and Emma June Howell Pittman
Dear Readers,
     Although these are a fictitious journal entry and letter, they are based on documented, timelined events and historical research.  Mattie was the sister of my paternal grandfather and one of my notable Texas Women Ancestors. 
For more about her 'Year of Mourning' and the 'Trail of Tears' Legend,
please enter Tracks of My Texas Ancestors  and continue reading.

The Post Chapel - Fort Davis, Texas

The Post Chapel ruins and the historical account of it's importance at Fort Davis, Texas.

This past September HiHoney and I visited Historical Fort Davis, Texas.
Here are the CollectInTexas Gal Posts about our trip.
Photos by CollectInTexas Gal.

HighO' Silverado
Fort Davis Photo Tour...The History
West Texas Frontier Fort Life...Enlisted Men
Frontier Wife's Kitchen
Sick In The Head?...There's A Pink Cure


The Good Ole HiTech Turkey Days

"Those were they days...yep, The Good Ole Days"
HiHoney, do you remember the Thanksgiving we served 'Thanksgiving and Christmas?
You know Sue, funny you should mention those two birds, I was just thinking about them. 
Has it really been 20 years?

Thanksgiving 1991 will always be one of my favorite Turkey Day memories. 
In the spring that year, we were given two baby turkeys which I named Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
Being a practical country gal, it seemed the best thing to do was to feed out these two cute baby birds and have them ready for the Holiday Platters.
My, how things have changed in 20 years.  HiHoney and I no longer live in the country.   We still drive a Truck...but switched from Ford to a Texas Edition Hi O Silverado Chevrolet!  And thanks to the HiTech Dudes, we don't have to pull over in Rankin to use MaBell's Pay Phone.  Ain't It Amazin'!!!

This Thanksgiving we made the 'Good Ole Days Trip". 
You know, the "Over the river and through the woods" to somebody else's cooking!  
It's been several years since we spent Thanksgiving with HiHoney's Sisters. 
It was just like "The Good Ole Days"!
Since I didn't cook, I volunteered to wash dishes!

Yes, we are Thankful and Blessed!
Then and Now!
You know HiHoney, I bet in twenty years we will look back at Thanksgiving 2011 and say,
"Those were the Good Ole Days"!!!

PS...Christmas and Thanksgiving did make it to the Holiday Platters in 1991. 
HiHoney said they were the toughest turkeys he ever tasted. 
Me?  I could not eat a single bite of those cute baby birds!
We should have Pardoned them!

Thanks Beverly for Always Making
Saturday Pink!!!


Wednesdays Foto Focus ... Turkey Platter and Blessing

Wishing Ya'll a Blessed and Bountiful Thanksgiving!

We Give Thanks
For each New Morning with it's light
For Rest and Shelter of the night
For Health and Food

For Family and Friends
For Everything Thy Goodness sends.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Talented Tuesday - The BroncBuster and The HorseWhisperer

"That dang bronc had thrown every cowboy on the ranch including me more than once. We were about to send him to pasture, when Gid drove up in that broken down thing he’s so proud of.

He asked us if that sorry mount was too much horse for all us broken down bronc busters. A couple of the older wranglers swelled up and said they’d get that black devil broke before the week was out. 

Gid opened the gate, walked around talkin’ real quiet and soothin’ like, all the time inching closer to the horses’ head.   We was all gettin’ a spot on the corral fence thinkin’ we’d be seein’ that ‘Old Man’ hit the dirt like the rest of us had done tryin’ to break this black beauty. It was somethin’ to see, I’ll tell ya that. That horse was bewitched or somethin’. He never twitched a muscle as Gid stroked his neck and talked in his ear. I had a hell of a time just getting the saddle on him not an hour earlier, and there he stood as docile as an old broodin’ mare after pitchin’ everyone of us in the dirt."

My Dad, the Bronc Buster, told this story many times while we sat on the 'Horse Whisperer's front porch.   The stories always started out with, "Gid, do you remember the time when...".  And then Dad would tell about how Gid could charm horses, all sorts of critters and people.  Why he knew for a fact that Gid could charm a rattlesnake right out of it's skin.  Gid was a remarkable man with many talents and a photographic memory....so they said. 

The Bronc Buster was a gifted horseman and the Horse Whisperer was a gifted story teller.  I was the 'Bronc Buster's daughter, the 'Horse Whisperer's adopted granddaughter, a great porch sitter and a good listener.  It is my great pleasure to share one of their remember whens!

Rattlesnakes, Sidewinder and Flyin' Contraptions
by Sandra Sue Pittman

The days had passed into weeks and the weeks into months, and as time had a way of doing, the months added up to a few years since Bob Offield* had seen Willard and MD. Those Pittman boys were the closest folks he could call family. “Lordy, I sure regret not makin’ the marriage to Martha Jane* work out,” Bob thought as he sat rockin’ on the same porch where Willard and MD visited mite near everyday after school. “Yep, those two rowdy boys growed up purt near right before my tired ole eyes and left Chappo* livin’ by hisself down there by the ‘Ditch’.” 
Last he’d heard MD had joined the Air Force. Now that was somethin’ to think about. Air Force. It taxed his mind to understand all them new fangled flyin’machines. It amazed him to see the planes fly overhead as they took off and landed at the Rattlesnake Air Field* over in Pyote. “Why, I remember the days when the only thang flyin’ over hot dusty West Texas was buzzards,” he mused as he looked to the sky.

Down the dusty road just before crossing the ditch, Willard wondered if ‘Old Bob’ would be porch sitting. It had been six months or more since he’d had a day off from the Wristen Ranch*, and today he was on his way home. Sure enough, ‘Old Bob’ was on the porch in that old chair, looking at the sky. As soon as Bob saw the cowboy, his hand went up in greeting and he leaned heavily on the arms of the rocker as he stood to meet Willard at the edge of the porch.   ....continued HERE!