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.......

Thursday, July 20, 2017

All is well!

Yesterday was a good day, albeit a very LONG one!
We all met at the new home for Mother and walked in as a family.
Mother was excited and happy to be there.
Once all the paperwork was done, we once again walked as a family escorting Mother to her room.

God had prepared the way before us and Deanie was the one he used to do this.
Deanie's health has long been a concern and, despite being sick herself, she did a remarkable job in securing a place for Mother.

This is Lillian, Mother's roommate!
She is a sweet SWEET lady and we have adopted her into our family as hers are not local so she has few visitors, if any. That will change. We will all visit Mother often but not daily.

This was much easier for all of us than we thought it would be.

She has a whole new audience and people trained to care for her.
Yesterday she was the center of so much attention and she lapped it up!
She's going to love it here!

While Mother ended her first day all smiling and rested and pampered -
we all went home tired to the bone.
I was so tired when I got home last night around 8:00, I took a hot shower and went straight to bed.

Mother is a Happy Camper and that's exactly where we are going today!
To the camper!!
We are packing and loading now but I did want to stop and take a few minutes to update and thank everyone who has been praying and encouraging and cheering us on.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!
What could have been traumatic experience was instead a beautiful demonstration of the love, grace, and power of God.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good Days, Fort Worth and Family!

Mother has been having some good days! Days that she dresses up in some of her favorite outfits, puts on her jewelry and adds make up.....all signs of feeling good about life and living.

She has even watched some TV the last two days. 
Not non stop but a few hours of news or whatever we are watching.

She's a light eater so I jazzed up a box of Pasta Salad with crumbled bacon, cherry tomatoes, diced purple onion, a dollop of BBQ sauce, some diced herbed chicken, frozen corn and a handful of fresh herbs from the garden! Pretty good if I say so myself.

Paired with fluffy salad, fresh fruit and a Brownie Bite - that was lunch.

This was her lunch on Sunday.
Small plates and she eats every bite.

Monday night Louis Dean cooked!

He dearly loves being in the kitchen!

Just look at that smile!

He fried up a big pan of chicken tenders and made a batch of mashed potatoes. 
The fried okra was so-so. We need to work on that.
Mother said she wasn't hungry but she ate it all up anyway!

Today (Tuesday) was a Fort Worth Day!!

Fort Worth has a completely different vibe than Dallas or any of the suburbs around the DFW area.

I drove over from Irving smiling all the way!

First stop - Trader Joe's!
It makes me feel like a party when I shop here.


I didn't buy much but I sampled things including a cup of good coffee and stocked up on some 'Two Buck Chuck!'
I have a list of favorites I buy every trip - Ming's Mandarin Orange Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice among other things.

Second Stop....

Target! They are always updating and taking things to the next level.
This is Amber's go to store and I am happy to say that I have learned to do the Cartwheel App on my phone and saved $6.88! 
I finally shopped for a new iPhone cover and a handy knob for holding the phone. Stephanie had one her daughter, Caroline, gave her and I knew I wanted one! Handy dandy gadget but I can't show you because I put it on my phone! Which I use to take photos as of late. 

Next stop - Hobby Lobby!
Ruth Ann, I remembered Burnt Umber oil paint, Pink Soap and Liquin - even though I lost my list!
Plus some of the 80% off of this group!

Fourth Stop!
I found a new bedspread/cover for Mother here!
I bought it in a Full/Queen even though she only needs a twin size. I figure I can cut off the excess and make matching pillow shams.

There was a fifth stop but I will save that for last!

My final destination was to Nita and Mike's house for a Family Gathering!
This is Joni - her treasure of a sister in law - and it gets complicated from there but not to us.
We all love Joni and her mother, Lily!

This is Nita and Mike with Bernie - Joni's husband!
We love him, too!

The cause for celebration was because Nita's granddaughters were in town from Arizona!
Nita is in the center with her daughter, Leah to the left and Emily behind her with Lily next and Hailey and Madison to the right.
Nita was so happy and proud to show them all off tonight!
Sweet, beautiful girls who dearly love their NiNi!!!
And their NiNi dearly loves them!

Most of the group tonight minus the men!
Deanie is looking good these days and she's standing behind Leah and her granddaughter, Andie and daughter, Trish are to the right.
Family Matters and tonight was all about family and we all celebrate it every chance we get!

Now for my fifth stop!

I popped in and toured the nursing home where Mother will be living.
I was very impressed as I wandered through the different areas.

Everything was clean and bright and cheerful.
Smooth floors will make it easy to walk on and there were many pleasant living spaces for sitting and TV watching.
I showed the photos to Mother when I got home tonight and she loved them. She was really happy to see they have a Beauty Shop! AND they have church every Sunday!

I take her tomorrow.
All of us will meet at the home and go in together.
Linda, Lanita, Lloydine Deanie, and Lonnie.
We do this as a family and we know this is the right time and right place for Mother.

I would like to thank each of you who have offered a prayer on our behalf during this journey.
We are all so grateful.
Tomorrow Life changes for all of us in a way.
And the only certainty there is in life is that it is ALWAYS changing!