Familiar with the Pioneer Woman? Well, I am her in reverse…I am the “Country Girl” who fell-in-love with the “City Slicker” and was dragged to the “Big City” to live “Happily-Ever-After”. I traded my horses for a station wagon filled with kids…well, only 3 of my own…but I always seemed to have extras tagging along! I helped my husband, Joel, start his endodontic practice, volunteered in the community and at the kids’ schools, at one point ran my own business, entertained often, and cooked a lot. I always served a home cooked dinner, and insisted that we eat it together every night, family time, no matter what time. My kids were great about trying new foods, until they realized not every kid ate those weird things! At that point I had to get creative.
I was born in 1950 (I guess that means I’m 64ish…I’ll save you the math.) and grew up in Weimar, Texas, a town of 1,500 people. I knew everyone in the town, and everyone knew me…and my business. We never locked our doors or our cars. In fact, we always left the keys in the car. My family (I have one sister named Suzann) lived on the edge of town on 15 acres. Everyone in the family had a horse, and I rode my horse everyday in the summer and on the weekends during school. I barrel raced in rodeos and had a hat and boots to match every outfit. I was also an athlete and a cheerleader. When you live in a small town, you play every sport you are good at. Actually, I was a true “Tomboy”.
My grandmother and my “adopted grandmother” neighbor, Della, taught me to cook when I was old enough to stand on a chair and reach the stove to stir. They also taught me to sew when my legs were long enough (that was probably pretty early as I have long legs. My high school coach called me “Grasshopper”. Nice…huh?) to push the treadle of their non-electric sewing machines (about age 4). I loved making my own doll clothes. My friend/”adopted mother”, Libby, taught me to knit when I was 8. So…as you might imagine, I love to knit, sew and cook. My problem is “I love all crafts”! There are never enough hours in the day to get all of my projects completed! I am really sort of “all over the place”! And now this…a blog??? Yep, I am a busy person.
I went to the University of Texas in Austin and was on the gymnastic and volleyball teams my freshman year…or until I met the “love of my life”! I met Joel the last day of finals my freshman year. It was a blind date arranged by Joel’s childhood friend, Jimmy Reisman, and “the rest is history”. For me it was “love at first sight”…for him…it took 3 years! That summer, my sister, Suzann, came to live with me and go to summer school. We lived in an apartment next door to 3 guy friends of mine (Jimmy was one of them). They bought all of the groceries, and we did all of the cooking…what an arrangement! (We also played lots of Bridge and Spades!) We had so much fun trying new recipes, which the guys always loved.
Joel and I married in 1973, the summer after his freshman year in dental school. We struggled for the next 5 years just trying to get through school. Finally, he graduated as an Endodontist in 1979, and we moved to McAllen, Texas, where we set up his first Endodontic practice. Jennifer and Zach were born there. In 1981, we moved from McAllen to Plano, where Joel’s Endodontic practice is still located. We raised 3 little Smalls there. Jennifer is our oldest, then comes Zach, and then the baby, Abby. Jennifer is married to Bennie and has twin 8 year old boys, Braden and Caden. They just adopted sweet little Hope, now 4 months old. Abby is married to Drew and has 1 year old Brady. Zach is my “Hold Out”.
When our kids all left for college, we moved to Fairview to have some trees and peace-and-quiet. When we moved here, the area was mostly corn fields. Now, there are stores and restaurants everywhere. We were lucky enough to get a lot on a creek on a cul-de-sak; so we still have our sought after peace-and-quiet. We built our dream outdoor kitchen, which we use more than our indoor one. I am a nature lover; so I have lots of bird feeders and houses out. I love nature photography; so as you might imagine, I’m in heaven here! I also love macro photography, as it allows me to see things I have never seen before…like butterfly eyes or the pollen on a bee’s legs!
I love all my hobbies, but cooking and entertaining is my passion!!! It is my belief that making things with my hands, whether in my craft room or in my kitchen, is truly a gift of love! I love cooking for others and “sharing my love”. I hope I can inspire you to share yours!