Monday, July 24, 2017

Ducks IN and Ducks OUT!! A Country Sunday and Monday!

Sunday was our last full day to be on Critter Duty!

We ride our bikes back and forth and use this time for 'exercise!'

Louis Dean does the goats.
We can't decide which are the MOST stupid - chickens or goats!
The goats are definitely contrary and it's just a real good thing they can be charming in spite of themselves!

Louis Dean takes them out of goat pen in the mornings and likes to chain them up in an area where they have access to water so he doesn't have to figure out a way to haul it to where they are. They turn over all but the heaviest pots. Thumper was happy up by the big tank.

I take care of the ducks and the chickens.

The ducks are easy and as soon as I open their gate, they head straight for the little tank.
Normally, they do that - UNLESS I am taking a video and then, of course, they remember I can FEED them first!

And so I do!

Next come the chickens. I like the mornings when I go to each hen house and sprinkle the food around and leave the door open so they can go out and peck around the place at their leisure!

There are three hen houses and I usually gather in a few eggs each morning.
Then I cook breakfast!

Sunday I worked on the door we got through a barter.
I had done one side on Saturday.......

So this was the other side.

Louis Dean replaced the glass inserts with plywood.
Sanded and first coat.

We had to make a quick trip to Waco Sunday afternoon and enjoyed the storm clouds that were blowing in!

This was the sky at the ranch when we returned.
No rain here at all.

We arrived back and it was Critter Chore time again.

Louis Dean put the goats up and I had plenty of  table scraps as treats for them.

BBQ is NOT his favorite critter right about now.
He had to rescue him several times this weekend after BBQ stuck his head through the fence and his horns prevented him from getting it back out!

The chickens are easy.......
Now I know what is meant about 'the hens come home to roost!'

Good Girls!

I always enjoy leading the ducks back to their pen but yesterday I found them trapped in a hen house!! Poor things! They were not happy about that door closing on them!

I rescued them and I was happier about that than LD was about rescuing the goats!

Sunday night was such a nice evening to sit out under the stars!
I hung up my Edison light and thought it looked cozy back up in the new room.
You can still see the camper as we have not closed in that wall yet. Step by step.

Robert put a dryer drum on top of the rim he used for the fire pit and that makes it perfect for when I burn our trash. We save the bottles and all food things are saved for the goats or horses.
Everything else can be burned.
Louis Dean added a few logs and we were set for some star gazing!
I saw TWO shooting stars! One BIG and one small.
They BOTH count!

I have been sleeping so well since we have been here!
When I wake up in the night to go to the bathroom - I have to PULL my eyelids open.
I love deep sleep like that!

Since my toaster oven is outside, I made a batch of blueberry muffins - from a mix!
But it was good! We had our breakfast and coffee plus our reading before we started our 'work' day.
In addition to the One Year Bible, we are reading:

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
The Autobiography
It Doesn't Take a Hero

Edwin Way Teale
A Walk Through the Year

Melody Beattie
Journey to the Heart

My personal reading?

The Mystery of Lucy and The Dark Woods
D. Diana Kosmoski

I didn't get a photo before he started on the 'Star Gazing Deck' this morning.
That's it right in front of the open door.

I had a 'busy' day doing dishes and planning meals.....

I used the peacock feather to make a card for Rayne.
I'll bike down to the gate and mail it in the morning.
Had to wait for the Mod Podge to dry.

I finished the door!
What a difference!!
Solid wood and HEAVY!

I decoupaged the area under the baker's rack.
It was just cheap trailer wall before. 
I love the quirky feel of our camper.
It looks anything but cheap and plain.

While we DO have plans for an elaborate outdoor kitchen......

THIS will have to do for now!

My sweet husband!
This trip is much more relaxing than last month's was.

And tonight's Country Supper which we shared with Dean and Sherry!
Sherry is in a great deal of pain - BACK pain!
I'm becoming extra compassionate to those suffering from back pain.....
which brings me to my Summer Dee!

I wish I could tell you she is so much better - but she isn't!
Still she smiles and has the biggest heart of anyone I know.
She was on her way home from therapy and saw this lady walking with a suitcase.
It's a summer day in Texas and she thought, "This is some one's mother and I bet they would not want her walking in this heat!"

She stopped and gave her a lift to the local aTom Thumb grocery store.

She sent me this photo and said the lady is from Europe and her husband passed away on June 6th. She came to the USA on June 9th and has a daughter in California. Her other daughter with the two grandchildren is still in Europe.
I don't know the rest of the story but Summer told her about Walmart online with Uber delivery.
Free 1st time and then $9.95 after that.

It's never wrong to do the right thing!!
I'm so proud of Summer!!
Even in pain - she is still thinking of others and doing her best to help someone!!

Now! Louis Dean did, indeed, finish the Star Gazing Deck so I am going out to join him on it.
I gave him a head start since I saw two last night and he didn't!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ducks, Read's Grocery, Baby Chicks and Goats!! Our Country Saturday!

My favorite Critter Chore is the ducks!
I love letting them out in the mornings! They seem so grateful and happy to see me!
This morning when I arrived up there at the duck pen, I could not see one single duck! 
I nearly panicked! But they heard me open the gate and here they came! They were in their little igloo and marched straight out past me and headed to the little tank....aka pond!

They knew just exactly where they wanted to go!

Out of the pen and across the yard.....

and into the little tank!
You can see that it is drying up in the hot 100 degree summer days.
They will learn to venture on to the big tank that has lots of water.

We did all the Critter Chores and then we were off to town to do errands.
This morning when I woke up and was pouring my first cup of coffee, I noticed Louis Dean was dressed with his shoes, socks and hat on! I sat down to take a sip and he announced he was ready to go to Waco! So we made short work of our usual morning routine and as soon as our chores were done - we were off!

We decided to take the back road because Louis Dean reminded me we always see something interesting! Today was no exception!

Normally we see a grown field all harvested and then plowed up .....
but this time we got to see a little action!
We felt just like tourists!

Waco errands done! While at Home Depot for him to get supplies, I scored on rugs for the new room.
They were discounted! Two 8x10 and one 5x7! Win! WIN!!!
They all match and are red and white. Not real red and not real white but PERFECT!
We ate lunch at Luby's and headed back to Mart.
 Read's Grocery Store is like famous here and since we are part time residents - we want to shop  locally. I do love HEB but I also love MART!
The T-bone steaks that were on sale for $5.99 a pound were sold out!
However, they lowered the price on a higher grade cut so it was all good!
We wanted to have steaks ready as a welcome home party meal for Dean and Sherry on Sunday afternoon.

I tried to take a panorama photo but I guess I didn't.
This is across the road from where we pull in at the gate.

Louis Dean worked on his electric outlets while I worked on the door for the North side. 

The door goes to the right at the end of the this wall.....up front.
??? Got that??

Where the truck backs up!
We are busy painting and doing and by next spring - this place will look awesome!

I continue to cozy up whatever I can!
I added a string of white lights to the sunflower garland.
We are using little lights and no lights at all once the temps get up in the afternoon to keep the camper cool. 
We still need our electrician friend, Don, to come change out the thermostat and parts.
He had a pacemaker put in and we are patient in waiting for him to recover.

Part of my morning chores is gathering eggs.
I found this wire chicken on top of my kitchen cabinet when I was replacing lights last week.
I knew it belonged down here!

I keep the eggs in the denim bag, the wire chicken and the blue and white checked bag.
Farm Fresh Eggs!!

Along about 7:00 I go down to start the evening chores.
All was well in the goat pen when I went past it. 
Louis Dean takes them out and puts them up while I feed and water the rest of the critters.

By the time I had done some of the chores, I noticed Thumper had his head through the fence.
I kept on with the other critters and on my way back up I noticed........

that Mimi can get her head in AND out since she doesn't have the horns to deal with!

However, BBQ was now stuck!!
So Louis Dean had to come back down and free them and hopefully they won't do anything stupid before morning!

Look what I found in the peacock pen!!

Two baby chicks.
One hen and a rooster share this pen.

The peacocks were giving them some privacy and were staying out in the yard area.

There's always something to see down here.

Tonight I grilled a steak for Louis Dean and we tried a few shows on DVD's.
I finished Downton Abbey last trip and forgot to bring anything from home.
We tried Desperate Housewives and Dexter and decided no......
then settled on a Monk.
Truth is - we were tired and ready to go to bed after we ate.
So Louis Dean is already asleep and I am going to crawl into the girl bunk and read for a few minutes. Sleep is so much easier when we are in the country.
Hot days, chores, work on our new addition, meals, more critter chores....
simple country days are still busy ones but they are satisfying!


Friday, July 21, 2017

In The Country and News From Home

We were moving slowly Thursday morning and gave up on trying to hurry and scurry around to get to the ranch early. I didn't have any more 'umph' left in me and neither did Louis Dean.
By the time we had packed, loaded, watered, picked produce, closed up the gazebo and cleaned up the house - I try to always leave it clean with fresh sheets on the bed and laundry and dishes done. Makes coming home more pleasant!
It was 4:00 when we left Irving.
As soon as we hit the Interstate, I could feel myself relaxing. I picked up my knitting and enjoyed the ride.

First stop - The Lone Star Cafe which is officially now our favorite restaurant. 
The food is always good and the service is friendly!
I ate healthy - except for the fried okra!
Louis Dean was excited to report to me that he weighed 218 pounds in his birthday suit that morning so he celebrated with chicken fried steak and DOUBLE gravy!
That came back to bite him later that night. All those heavy carbs make you TIRED!

Their onion rings are the best we've found!Even better than our hole in the wall favorite hamburger joint in Irving!

I love everything about the country!
As we were driving in, Louis Dean asked me if I wanted to stop and cut some sunflowers.
When we left earlier this month, the wild flowers were fading away and I wasn't sure what - if anything - would be blooming.

Happy sunflowers make me smile!

I brought a purple mason jar with a wire handle to use down here for my bouquets.

I just LOVE these!

If I were a flower - I would be one of these!

The cotton fields are all in bloom.
The farmers here rotate their crops and it's exciting to see what they are growing from year to year.
A couple of years ago, this was a big wheat field.

We made it!!! Pulled in the gate about 7:30!
Record time!
No HEB shopping - we will do that later.

We came in and unloaded, put things up and settled in!
Then we sat out on the deck/room with our wine and Louis Dean kept saying, "This is so nice!!" 
Over and over!

We slept the best sleep we've had in two weeks!
As soon as we downed that first cup of coffee, we were off to do our first day of Critter Care!
We tended to the goats, fed and watered three hen houses, a peacock pen, four hutches of new chicks and baby ducks, let the other older young ducks out of their pen and gathered eggs!
It was 100 degrees here today so I made an afternoon run replenishing the water and checking on everything. Then I took a nap - over a two hour nap.

I decided to do all of our cooking in the new room so the camper wouldn't heat up. 
We still need to get Don to install the new thermostat but he has had some health issues and that will have to wait until he is better. The problem was - I was trying to cook and kept blowing the breaker.
Louis Dean will fix this problem soon!
Still, I managed to put together a good noon day meal worthy of a country housewife!
Homemade cornbread, pinto beans, smoked sausage, thick slices of onion and cantaloupe!

When I went down to start the evening chores, the ducks knew I had food and they followed me right back to the pen. I felt like the Pied Piper!

I just love it here and there's always a treasure to be found in every day.
Today was this peacock feather I spied by the pen.
Love the heart shape.

These rocks came from the driveway we had put in.......some gravel, some rocks and some crushed gravel.These are now paperweights!

Thumper says hello!!

This ends our first day back in what we call our Country Heaven!

Now for news from home.......

Mother and Lillian are now new Best Friends!
They both had their hair done and look how pretty they are!!

The following is from Nita:

I took them a slice of Cinnamon Friendship Bread. I also brought Mothers Laundry home to wash . Lillian said , they walked down the hallway to build up strength in their legs . Mother has a wheelchair she can sit in to roam around. Lillian told Mother earlier that she looked tired and to lay down awhile and Mother slept about an hour! They are both so thankful for one another. Sibs , life is good! Thanks be to God !

My other news is about Summer.
My heart is heavy as she continues to battle for her health.
She is doing therapy 4x a week and still in a great deal of pain.
The back surgery was a success and is healing nicely but she has more than one issue.
She currently has a new doctor that thinks she has nerve damage - which makes sense - and that this may not be periformis as was diagnosed.
Prayers for my daughter would be so much appreciated.
I'm away and not there for her right now as both Louis Dean and I are in need of rest and recovery.

Still......Summer is on my heart.......