Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bubbles O'Tracy

I've renamed Shirley. Her new name is Bubbles O'Tracy.  Over the years, as we lived here in Casitas Springs and in Santa Barbara, Shirley has expended gallons of bubble substance through various despensing arrangements. I've even painted a representive character of her doing them.

Yesterday, she received a package from her daughter, Linda, and granddaughters, Charissa and Anna-Lee in Texas, with a bubble machine. And today, when I returned from my trike trip to Foster Park, I was inundated with beautiful bubbles. I promptly announced "Your new name is Bubbles O'Tracy".  I think she liked it :-). Elbert

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Pumpkin Solution

Lauren had noticed that my large pumpkin left over from Halloween and said that she had turned hers into french fries when she decided  it was ready.  I asked her to do mine for me before her visit was ended.  On the last day she and her friend Ky did just that ---but they ran out of time while it was still in chunks. I told them to let me finish it.

I reduced their chunks to strips. (see pix), I oil sprayed a cookie sheet and arranged slices in close order.  My final touch was a mixture of cinnamon, clove, ginger and allspice plus sugar.  I hand sprinkled each side and oven baked at 300 degrees to get a maximum of moisture out and be sure they were tender.  A new recipe for me.  Thanks Lauren and Ky.   Elbert

Monday, January 26, 2015


We like ground turkey better than ground beef. It's also healthier and cheaper by the pound.
Our artist friend, Jim, does omelets for all of us artists at Jane's house every Christmas. He adds Gorgonzola  cheese to each which gives the omelets a real zing.
I asked Shirley to add it to the ground turkey. Great. Elbert


My workhorse exerciser, the trike, has been out of order for the last three months.......during that time 
I've ridden it in a reduced stress pattern on our bike path out front. (This is the most beautiful bike path I have ever seen). 
My regular supplier of parts for electric trike has delayed me for three months on an order for a new motor driven front wheel. 
Shirley appealed to my daughter, Karen, in Germany, and she located an available one in a place near Salt Lake City, Utah. Today it arrived and we installed it. The new wheel is a gem and I rode until dark overtook me. Goody-goody. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I'm on my electric tricycle and I   go for a ride at about ten every morning.

Four homes on this route have chickens with roosters and as I pass, I give my version of a rooster crow.  They've gotten  to know me, somehow, and now will usually beat me to the crow...(damned egotists). :-)

I kept chickens as a kid...also white rabbits, six nanny goats, a loft of white pigeons, four muscovy ducks and a dog named "BO BO"...about the dog...I still keep a "BO BO" but it's a fake.

We might like a live one, but the vets in our town treat pets like children and they really run up huge bills for care.  So we pass.

This A.M. as I was nearing the park, a line of girls on skates were approaching.  I stopped my trike and got my camera out...the lead girl hollered "Picture" and caused great disorder in the line...folks really like to look good in a picture. you can be sure of it.

The reason I'm on an electric assist tricycle is my age and safety concerns.  I really love the thing and I call it my Cadillac.  It really is a lifesaver because I have to peddle to make it operate.  My other electric bike is full on power, no peddling required...but I really need the exercise of peddling.


                                               Shirley's Portrait      

I've always kept the photo that I took of Shirley, taken when she was with the mall.  She was about thirty-nine and we were dating.  I decided to paint the portrait including events in her history.  In the far background is "Eva" the mail and passenger boat owned and captained by her Grandfather, Ed Calhoun.  He also organized the local fur trapping on Johnsons Bayou. She lived with them for the first five years of her childhood.
The hay stacks and tractor represent the annual hay mowing that she did.
Ole Billy was actually sort of brownish but I needed his coat to be white.  The sunflowers were other loves of her early years.  The huge wooden palette, we had both used in past studio sessions.
She looked good at thirty-nine...so at least on my canvas, she gets to stay there.

                                           Shirley Picking Figs

We've been picking figs for two month.  Shirley finally agreed to allow me to preserve two dozen with added lemon and a little sugar.  i split them into quarters.  WHAT A TREAT! (I gained four pounds).  Elbert
                                           Elbert's Fig Preserves

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Dark Chocolate Grahams

When I was a teenager, I sometimes worked unloading boxcars of produce for a local merchant. I got tired eventually and would buy dark chocolate covered grahams. I supposed they must have dunked them.

Those aren't.around today and I was reminiscing... so I asked Shirley to make some using my 85% cocoa dark chocolate (which isn't very sweet), add nutrasweet to it to improve taste and smear it on the top of a few grahams for me. She did a good job and these taste much like the old ones, but better.

I add this in case you are letching for dark chocolate grahams also but cant find them anywhere... 

Old loves die hard, don't they. Elbert.