Great fun! We hosted 6 eight year old boys – our grandson’s friends – for a sleepover to celebrate his 8th birthday! AND WE SURVIVED!

What fun was had by all!  They arrived 11am Saturday and left 3pm Sunday. They were up at 4am Sunday morning – they swam, fed the animals, held the one day old baby goats, played in the bamboo ‘forest’, got all scratched up, bounced in the bouncy, ate and giggled and had the best time. So did we. Did I mention that I spent the next day in bed??? Half of it anyway…. and we were happy to host all their parents and siblings for lunch on the Sunday as they wanted to see the farm too! And they left with individual gift bags I had prepared including the siblings – each sleepover boy had a flashlight of his very own in case of night concerns. They LOVED all of it. How blessed we are to be part of our grandchildren’s lives. We do NOT take any of this for granted – precious memories always.

Some pictures of the happy weekend.


Getting ready for bed Jacks Sleepover


Happy birthday Jack banner and the boys 2015Dinner at Chilis sleepover 2015

Sword fight Sleepover 2015

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Africa – some funny and typical photos for your enjoyment

A friend sent me these. They are not staged. Real and funny. Enjoy!

I am not drunk just avoiding potholes


Pure horney for saleAss Wholesalers AfricaGuy strapped to car AfricaSwim under influence of alchohol Africa

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Philanthropy Texas Style – The Ann Richards High School in Austin and The Committee of 200 Women CEO’s group

A few weeks ago I was privileged to join fellow women CEO’s from our group The Committee of 200 ( I was past Chair of the C200 Foundation and Past Vice Chair of the Governing Board) at Intel in Austin who hosted the 11th grade class of The Ann Richards High School for Science Technology Math and Engineering. The occasion was for us to meet these young women and for all of us to be inspired by each other.

Below are the wonderful young women at my table – all of whom aspire to go to college and to become the next leaders of their generation. It was our pleasure to show them that it is possible as we have done, to dream and succeed in those aspirations! What a pleasure – and great thanks to Intel and our c200 member Renee James, President of Intel, who enabled us to use their amazing facilities and inspire us with their achievements. From left to right they are:

Itzel, Arianna, Vanessa, Kelly, Tiffany, myself, Julie, Meredith and Esmerelda
Texas REachout for Ann Richards School Larraine with girls at IntelI gave each of them my card and encouraged them to email me and stay in touch so that I can assist them in their progress and careers. What a great time was had by all!

THANK YOU C200 and our amazing Chair of the Governing Board Gay Gaddis, a Texas native and successful entrepreneur and CEO of T3, an innovation based communications company in Austin and winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2014 for Technology!

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Our beautiful eldest grandson Jack felt sleepy so he took a nap on the best bed there is – Sunny our amazing miracle dog. Both loved it!

I came across our grandson taking a nap. That in itself was not memorable – although it is true that he rarely stops to do so – but his ‘bed’ was truly amazing. Sunny our rottweiler was so ill for months and is now back to normal – and he adores the children. He was very happy and so was Jack.

Jack and Sunny sleeping together APril 3 2015

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A really healthy no calorie drink that costs very little to make – try it!

Our three year old grandsons are getting cuter every day. And they love to go to the farmers market ( as well as to come to the Little Farm) . Last week they enjoyed face painting. This last weekend they planted some mint near the kitchen for me. Now they are waiting for a MINT TREE!

Twins and face painting Feb 2015

We use mint and orange slices in filtered water – and drink that instead of diet sodas indeed any sodas. It is refreshing and is no calories! We also add sliced cucumbers and some days just lemon. Try it you will LOVE it. Sodas and diet sodas are so bad for you – if you can unhook yourself from them and substitute this fruit no calorie home made drink, you will save money, calories and add healthy liquid to your diet! What could be better than that! And it tastes good too!

Oranges and Lemons


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Portabello mushrooms and onions – a great easy side dish

This is an easy side dish to whip up and it goes well with just about everything – especially with fish.


  • 3 large portabello mushrooms sliced thick
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 tbsp of Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Slice the onions thin.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan
  3. Saute the onions until translucent
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute on low heat until they reduce in size
  5. Add the vinegar and continue to saute until the liquid reduces
  6. Keep warm until ready to serve
  7. Optional – serve with freshly grated Parmesan

Portobello Mushroom




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Cabbage Salad – with raisins – a healthy delicious side

We grow red and green cabbage ( as well as cauliflower, brussels sprouts and broccoli – all part of the same family). This salad is truly delicious. Try it!Red Cabbage


  • 1 head of white cabbage chopped
  • 1 head of red cabbage chopped
  • 1 sweet white onion chopped
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped kale
  • 1 cup of golden raisins
  • 4 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp of raspberry vinegar ( any fruity vinegar will do)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ! cup of crumbled feta cheese ( optional)

White CabbageDirections:

  1. Combine all the vegetables
  2. Add the raisins
  3. Add the dressing
  4. Let the salad sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to assimilate the tastes
  5. If using the feta – add it  before serving
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Having fun with twin grandsons and appreciating classical music

Tuesdays are my days with the youngest of my grandsons – we go to the market, walk and play and have lunch together. It is such fun – as you can see! What joy!Noah and Gabriel March 17 2015 with larraine

And then we took our oldest grandson to the Disney Hall to a concert – he LOVED It and his dad and grandfather and I did too! Here we are!

I believe strongly that children who are exposed to classical music early develop a love for the brilliance and creativity of those composers for the rest of their lives – certainly our grandson Jack has done that. Jack James Larraine Clive at Disney Hall March 2015

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I intend to live to 102 – just like this lady – WOW! I am going to practice my golf TODAY!

My sister Pamela in London sent me this video which was made about a woman in San Jose. I want to be just like her! She is 102.

I am off to the golf course right now to start practicing. I plan to live to 102. Just like Ida!

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A great easy salad using Brussels sprouts

In my youth I did not enjoy Brussels sprouts. At the Little Farm we grow them but they take up a lot of space and do not seem to do well. Nevertheless we have great ones in the supermarket nearby so if need be I will break down and BUY them to make this yummy salad. You can make this vegetarian/pork free by adding soy bacon instead of the regular stuff.

Brussels Sprouts Cranberries Hazelnuts Feta SaladBrussels Sprouts Cranberries and Hazelnuts Salad


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon without gluten, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese ( we make our own from our goats milk)
  • Pam Olive oil spray


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until coated. Transfer coated sprouts to a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until sprouts are tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Spray a skillet with Pam Olive Oil Spray.
  5. Cook and stir hazelnuts in the skillet over medium-low heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer hazelnuts to a bowl.
  6. Cook and stir bacon in the same skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain half the bacon drippings leaving half in the pan.
  7. Add maple syrup and rosemary; cook, stirring often, until the bacon drippings and maple syrup begin to thicken and stick to the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
  8. Combine cooked Brussels sprouts and bacon mixture together in a large bowl; toss until sprouts are coated with maple syrup sauce. Sprinkle in hazelnuts, cranberries, and feta cheese; toss well. This dish is best served warm.
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