Chili at the heart of it.

I love chili. There is just something about this dish. It is neither old Mexico nor wholly Texas. It is something else it is the pot that all Tex-Mex sprang from. It is a dish claimed on one hand to come to us the Madonna herself in visions… and on the other hand a bowl served by Queens…

“The ever-attentive, always jolly ‘chile queen.’ They are ‘good fellows,’ these ‘chile queens,’ and are able and willing to talk on any subject that may be named from love to law. As a general rule they are bright, bewitching creatures and put themselves to much trouble to please their too often rowdy customers. Every class of people who come to this city visit the places and partake of their piquant edibles.”~ San Antonio Daily Express, 1894

For over fifty years the Chili Queens served bowls of chili, tamales and coffee to any and all.

tables set up outside in the plaza or city center

Edward King, author of the 1874 Scribner’s magazine travel story “Glimpses of Texas.” Entering one of these hovels, you will find a long, rough table with wooden benches about it; a single candlestick dimly sending its light into the dark recesses of the unceiled [sic] roof, a hard-earth floor on which the fowls are busy bestowing themselves to sleep; a few dishes arranged on the table and glasses and coffee-cups beside them. The fat, tawny Mexican materfamilias will place before you various savory compounds, swimming in fiery pepper which biteth [sic] like a serpent; and the tortilla, a smoking hot cake, thin as a shaving, and about as eatable, is the substitute for bread.

Sounds like he was not a fan of chili!

I’ve made chili as long as I have cooked. My first encounter with chili was in high school some fifty years ago. You could get a paper cup of chili (very much like can of Hormel chili with beans) and a bag of Frito chip for .25$ That was my lunch for many a day.

could have been this one:

always with beans

Recipes are passed down and protected. Mine is pretty simple, if I’m cooking in the house I make pretty good chili… But if I have the time and I want to show someone what good is… I make it outside over an open fire.

Inside Chile recipe:


Ground beef brown in the suet (don’t stir the ground beef till its just a mealy mess leave it Chunky)

yellow onion mince fine add to meat

Chili powder the three I like and use are Pendreys Top Hat, Mexene, and Penzeys Chili con Carne seasoning… I use what I got and sometimes I got all three. I start with a quarter cup and then add another tablespoon toward the end

Beer whatever kind I’m drinking at the time. Cover the meat mixture up and simmer uncovered (never put the cover on your chili pot)

Pinto beans drained and rinsed add along with the tablespoon of chili powder add a splash of beer if you have to

To thicken if needed sprinkle with all little masa flour mix in

I serve mine with warm flour tortillas and that’s it.

If anybody is got an interest I will post my D*mn fine outside chili recipe next

Love like there no tomorrow everyone

this morning

As I sit before my computer thinking… morning is tracking across the sky and yet I am sitting before a manmade light instead of Father Sun.

driving the sheep home

the wash is good, the barn is awful. the Shepard and his dog are fun. The setting sun is really well shaped.

keep loving and doing what you lovewatercolor

thrift store God part deux

look at all the hands! a thousand hands

This Buddha now provides a backdrop for my home altar.

three more finds

Two more aspects of Buddha and a Quan Yin between them. The Buddha on the right is carved from stone.

Mary Mother of God

A little Mary Statue for .10$ Next to a White Stag; the White Stag is not only a creature of the Gods, but is a God Himself, symbolizing the creative life force of the universe–sex, life, and also death.

Mother Earth

GAIA (Gaea) was the goddess of the earth. She was one of the primoridal elemental deities born at the dawn of creation. And this little clay statue has found Her home on my altar.

Neith, goddess of war and the hunt.

Neith is a goddess of war and of hunting, and had as her symbol two arrows crossed over a shield. She is a far more complex goddess than is generally known, however, and of whom ancient texts only hint of her true nature. What would any collection be without some from the Egyptian pantheon?


According to Homer’s account in the Iliad, Athena was a fierce and ruthless warrior. The owl was her bird, and the olive tree was hers. You can see both the Owl and Olive on this yard sale plate made in Greece.

Moon Goddess

Found at a Goodwill store made before WW1 cost 2.99$

The Greenman
Another Greenman
and three more.

The Green Man is a symbol of mysterious origin and history.  The Green Man has endured in the same relative physical form to this very day. The Green Man is believed to have begun as a pre-Christian entity, a spirit of nature personified as a man.  His earliest images have been dated long before the coming of the Christian religion.

And yes that is a Jackalope.

Soon Spring will return to the Minnesota Northland and with spring… yard sales, rummage sales whatever you like to call them, and I will be off for the good deals and the Gods.

Find what you love and then do it.

thrift store God

Ganesh is one of the best known & loved deities in the Hindu pantheon of gods

I am addicted to thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. It is in part the thrill of finding the good deal but that only one part of my addiction…

I rescue Gods from the tables and boxes of these sales descended from the “rommage” sales of the early 1800’s.

Shipyards and warehouses would sell unclaimed goods at a cheap price. I can not even imagine how exciting those sales must have been; did you get to see what you were buying or did you just buy unopened barrels and chests?

Unloading treasures

I rescue Gods.

In the upper midwest of the U.S. where I live it’s pretty much a German-Nordic place. It’s gradually changing as people from places and lands south and east across the ocean to the war torn lands of Africa come to this frozen bit of the world. What used to be a stronghold of the Lutheran and Catholic faiths is now expanding to include many other Gods, and they all vie for a spot at the yard sale. And I have tasked myself to rescue them… bringing them home to sit among their friends, Gods of many faiths and ways…

Ganesha, elephant-headed Hindu god of beginnings, who is traditionally worshipped before any major enterprise and is the patron of intellectuals, scribes, and authors. His name means “Lord of the People”. Ganesha is potbellied and generally depicted as holding in his hand a few round Indian sweets, of which he is inordinately fond. His vehicle is the large Indian bandicoot rat, which symbolizes Ganesha’s ability to overcome anything to get what he wants. Like a rat and like an elephant, Ganesha is a remover of obstacles.


Who brought Ganesha to this frozen land? What obstacles did He remove before ending up on the .50$ table? What prayers were spoken for his help? Did the owner pause for just a moment… turning the little statue over in their hands without any reverence left… before the sticker was placed? Were goodbyes spoken? Or was it merely just time to go?

To come to me?


From Sanskrit, the Ganesh Mantra is commonly translated as:

“Lord Ganesh, son of Lord Shiva, remover of obstacles who guards the doorway to the enlightened realms. His blessings are essential for good beginnings.”

Peace and Blessings to all. enjoy this day

What kind of taste?

a feast for the eyes

I have always been an adventuring eater. Mexican food, Thai or Currys call to my palate like a exotic song. When I go to a new ethnic restaurant I order the dish that I’ve never had, and if I’ve never heard of that dish, well, that’s even better! The food truck/cart pictured above would call me like a siren’s song calls a sailor. I would not be able to help myself.

I order my spices from a company called Penzeys @

If we had to cook a meal for one another

I love all the different cultures and people found in this world. And it starts with their food for me.

My family has a little thing we do, we have “themed” meals together somebody picks a culture or world location. Then the cooking family research and prepare a meal from that “theme” and the other members prepare a drinks while another family makes dessert all in line with the “theme”. It’s great fun and we think and talk a lot about the people and culture of the area we are cooking… how can we hate or undervalue anybody when we love their food?

what food… and where am I?

Enjoy the company of others

peace and happiness to all

Calling funk by it’s real name; fear

So I have been struggling to center myself. I have sooo much going on behind my eyes. But today at long last I’ve been able to fake it out and do a end around… I had been worried about Her.

And what She thought of my puny little self… Now do not mistake my worry for a shortcoming on Her part. It’s just that I know I can do better.


Not that She would demand that of me. She is much too much of a Lady for that. I have worshiped the Goddess for a very long time… I think I always have but that discussion is for a later time. What I’m talking about is the here and now. Would seem to be easy but my head is so full of the day to day. And when the day to day is scary… well there you go.

She is my Mother, She took that role for me when this life gave me no mother. She comforts me when I need it… but she also brags about me to the other Gods. She has my artwork on her wall (where ever that might be) and She always wants me to play the ukulele no matter how bad I am. She loves me. And I know that… that’s the hard part. It’s not a heaven or hell thing when you worship the Goddess, there is always a do-over, but I don’t want to disappoint Her.

A Goddess statue I made.

So here I am worried about my cancer checkup, worried about my country, worried about the future for my grandchildren. When I have a Mother who tells me everything will be as it should be…

Well breathe in and exhale

I can do this… for I’m a child of the Goddess

Here is one for the wall Mom. And could you tell Bacchus I’ll see him in the spring.

Lava Lamp #doodlewashJanuary2020

As a Hippie I spent a lot of time watching a lava lamp and listening to trippy music While in a very altered state… She was there for me.

Life. stop Continues. stop

Del Rey ukulele player and teacher

I found this ukulele tune by just “going down the rabbit hole” and it is a very fun song that I will add to my playlist of songs I’d like to know how to play but most likely won’t.

red barn under a darkening sky

Better. was a little bit “free’er” in my painting. I think the depth of my picture is the best I have ever done. Every piece could have been better but all in all one of my best.

Also I used a bigger sheet of paper could the smaller paper be working against me?

I also did these:

dangles 4 dangling


really nice

peace and love


Daybreak always a Glory

Morning Glory JAM 2018

Yesterday my fourth grade grandson, climbed into my lap and with a very serious tone asked me: “Grandpa is the world going to die? Are going to have to live on Mars?”

What can be your answer when in very real ways She IS dying to humankind. While I believe the Earth to be eternal… I do not believe our relationship to be. And as far as Mars goes, I think our reputation for destroying our world will proceed us into space and Mars will have nothing to do with us.

To those who would use her

without respect or care,

she mutters a warning:


The Earth like the Morning Glory or Datura warns us before we destroy all that we need to live.

My picture is of a morning glory and I really like the colors I achieved and while the perspective is all wrong overall I’m pleased.

peace and love

Art for these times

the challenge: #doodlewashJanuary2020

I’ve decided to use the three primary colors as my inspiration. These three colors like the building blocks of the elements Air-Fire-Water create everything that follows.

Feeling somber I elected to do a grey tonal wash overall. and in the center area but to the left I have place a single hulking factory building in the distance. Or is it an oil tanker? I should know but I don’t.

somber sky

This by far and away my worst effort, I have fallen into my “detail” trap. The factory/ship or is it a factory ship? Has no depth and the 3 smoke stacks are all wrong. What was supposed to be a hopeful picture of color returning to an otherwise grey world… just did not translate to the paper.

What worked is the grey. I made all of the tones with black and water, so I learned a little bit about the effect of water with paint.

I also learned that attention to detail is not my friend when it comes to painting. This picture was not fun for me. But I learned from it… and I will try again tomorrow.

I will never be a great painter but I can be a great me.

Peace and love