Thursday, March 23, 2017

Back Home, Update on Summer and Celebrating our Ruth Ann's Birthday!!

We arrived at the ranch on a Wednesday and left on the next one - a full week at the camper and I loved every single minute of it!

Louis Dean and I sat out on the deck with our morning coffee.....


and here came Thumper!


I wish I had been fast enough to snap a picture of him when he came up at Louis Dean's elbow as if to say, "Good morning!!"


I fixed one last hearty country breakfast for us - which we ate around noon.
Fried potatoes, bacon, eggs and toast....
I have been cracking the eggs, adding some milk and grated cheese and seasonings and then cooking them kind of like an omelette except that I can't do omelettes so they end up being gently scrambled by the time I get through with them. But they ARE good!!


A tiny little moment of melancholy as I lock the door.


And one last photo of the little tank as we drove down to tell Dean goodbye!

We drove home an easier way this time. It was back roads until we came to Hillsboro and then we got on I35. Where the road splits to go to Fort Worth or Dallas - we took Fort Worth and the drive was so much calmer. The scenery is still rural and we stayed on that until Alvarado where we took US 67 all the way to I20 and then Spur 408. Best way to go!

Summer had messaged me earlier that she had arranged to be picked up and taken to Rowlett so she could see Rayne. Summer hadn't seen her daughter since March 3st when she visited her Mummers in  the hospital! Rayne did her good like a medicine!!!

It was good to be home! Louis Dean unloaded and I put things up! 50-50!
We move slowly and caught up on a little news and a program or two.
We checked his garden and outside and just eased back into life.
I started the laundry and made a big dint in that.
There was a magic moment when we crawled under the fresh sheets on our bed, stretched our legs out - and both of us sighed at the very same time!

There was no hurry to get up this morning so I lingered long in bed.
Summer can drive now and she has her car now so she picked me up on her way to the doctor's for the first visit since she was discharged from the hospital.


As soon as Summer saw the doctor, she opened her arms and they hugged and she cried.
These were tears of joy! She is healing well and is right on target!


The doctor went over what all had been done and explained the healing and recovery process and there was a real atmosphere of rejoicing all around!


God used many angels to help Summer on her journey through this painful ordeal and here are two of them!


We celebrated with lunch at The Corner Bakery!
Happy times!!

She went back to Rowlett so she can be near her daughter.
Rayne is staying with her Gram but Summer will be picking her up from school tomorrow and spending some good quality time with her.
I will be going over to where Summer has rented a couple of rooms in a home owned by Sabrina's aunt on Sunday afternoon to help her unpack and do a bit of nesting.
I love a happy ending and it looks like Summer will be getting her life back!!

This evening we gathered with Dean and Sherry and their daughter, Crystal, to celebrate Ruth Ann's birthday! The very first time I celebrated her birthday I was several weeks late. She and I went to Starplex Theater here in Irving where movies are just fifty cents all day on Tuesdays. We saw Crazy Hearts with Jeff Bridges and we still laugh about it to this day. At one point in the movie, Jeff Bridges - who played an alcoholic country singer - threw up during a break from the singing and his sunglasses fell in the bucket. He fished them out and put them back on his head - and I leaned over and whispered, "Happy Birthday, Ruth Ann!!" So the first birthday gift I ever gave her was treating her to a fifty cent movie!!

Tonight we all went to a restaurant to celebrate!


Dean drove up from the ranch and we enjoyed spending the time together eating and visiting and laughing! We always laugh!


It was a great evening!!


It's Thai food and Louis Dean is trying to find a chicken fried steak on the menu!!!!


Everything was delicious!


Dean and Crystal both used chop sticks like they knew what they were doing! And they DO!!!


Mother/Daughter!!


Daughter/Father!


Aunt and niece! 


Friends!


I love these ladies!
They have all been such a blessing to me!


When I married Louis Dean, I never dreamed I would get a best friend in the bargain!
Happy Birthday, Ruth Ann!!!
You are a treasure!!




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Our Last Day........

We will be going home tomorrow. 
I am always a wee bit sad to leave this place.
This is really my happy place where I can simply BE and not necessarily DO. 
We totally enjoyed having Amber and Mike and the quads here!


 Sunday we regrouped and rode our bikes around, watched some Downton Abbey and ate simple but filling meals,


We went down to see the little chicks that Sherry had sent back down here.
There's something so special about seeing new life!


Louis Dean tethered the goats up around the camper to mow the lawn around here!

Monday Louis Dean and I rested most all day.
We ate simple sandwiches and watched Downton Abbey and relaxed.
We woke up late and went to bed early.
I worked a little bit on my book by putting my notes into place from the San Antonio Siblings Trip.
Mostly we napped, read, and continued to rest.....and watched Downton Abbey.

Today I worked on my book.
It does take some time and energy - emotional energy - to sink back into the past and put it all into words. I  made some good progress and am now into the 'meat' of our story which is a little draining.
From the beginning, I have asked God to guide me through this writing of our history and I do feel the guiding of the Holy Spirit as I pen the words.



This afternoon the horses came down to visit.


And I stopped to see the wildflowers.


Dean was working on the tractor and we are hoping they can get it running soon.


There's always something that needs fixing in the country.


That's Dean working.....


Meanwhile - Louis Dean was building a pretty good campfire to celebrate our last night here!


I am in the camper while LD mans the fire.
Potatoes are baking in the microwave and I have BBQ chicken wings in the small toaster oven in here in the camper. Plus I have a good salad and I made Strawberry/Banana Jello with fresh kiwi and sliced strawberries for dessert.

All that is left is to pour a glass of wine and put the food on the plates.
Dean is up here now and I love hearing him and his dad talking outside on the deck.
What a wonderful week we have had!
I am so grateful for Dean's hospitality and the blessing of being out here in the country!!





Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Camping Weekend With the Quads and Their Parents!!

While it looked for a little while that I would be all alone on the ranch Thursday - Louis Dean returned before dark after Sherry had met him half way to get Dean. We ended up with a camper full of visitors visitors before midnight!!


Look who came to see us!!!
Amber and Mike opted to drive at night and arrive late as opposed to getting up early.


Other than Mike - who can do mornings as well as anyone - the rest of the crowd are so NOT morning people!! All of a sudden, it was Party Time!!!


Logan read to Granddad using her 'voices.'
She held his hand through the entire story!

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So sweet hearing her do this 'reading.'


Harrison was a little sick earlier in the day but was bound and determined to be well enough to come to the camper!! Isn't he adorable looking at me through the camper door?? That camper door was a total fascination to the kids.


I loved this shot of Granddad and Trystan as they watched Mike putting their 6 man tent up!


This was the quads' first camping experience and they loved it!!


Night, NIGHT!!!!


Now THIS is how my daughter camps!!!
SHE slept inside the camper in the girl bunk.

Friday morning I had three little girls wanting to help me do the critter chores!


They were still in their pajamas!!


Logan loved Thumper!

We fed ducks, chickens, fish, goats and cats!!
I even checked on the duck eggs incubating to see if any had hatched.

Then we all went back to the camper to get dressed before going off to explore.


Miss Kailey took a lot of my pictures for me.


She even told me how to hold the stick she wanted to photograph!


Then she took some of me which I edited so they are a little kinder to me with no make up!


The kids had a ball here in the meadow and could run and play, chase the chickens and roosters, climb trees and pick wildflowers.


We visited all the critters!
This is the peacock pen......


The colors are so beautiful!


The horses! Oh, the HORSES!!!
I think they were probably the favorite of them all.


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Amber was especially drawn to them, having been in a riding club when she was young.







She even gave serious thought of becoming a horse vet.....
You can tell her girls love them as well!!


The cows live both 'next door' and across the road!
The girls spent a long time cow gazing!


Logan thought if she could just stand still long enough, they would come up and she could pet them.


They did come up again.....but not that close.


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Mike took the family down to the tank to fish for the afternoon!


And fish, they DID!!!


Mike couldn't keep up with the four of them!


They reeled them in faster than he could take them off!
Harrison got pretty good at shaking his pole until the fish came free and then nudging it back down to the water with his boot. Once I heard him say, "LOOK! I caught the same one! AGAIN!!!"


Granddad enjoyed his fishing time as well.


Love little Logan's stance!


Amber brought all the fixings for a good sandwich lunch!!
After they finished we all retired back up to the camper where Mike and Harrison napped in the tent and the girls and Amber watched a video and I retired to my curtained off bedroom where I went soundly asleep!

In the country, everything revolves around meals.
Mike had a great menu planned and he worked it well!
Friday morning was breakfast taquitos.....
Friday night was grilled chicken, fresh pineapple......


and my contribution of fried cabbage - in honor of Saint Patrick's Day!


A happy ending to a VERY happy day!!


Saturday


This is what I saw when I stepped out of the camper Saturday morning!!
The horses dearly love sugar cubes!


The girls, once again, helped me do Critter Chores and we found the same snake sunning himself on a dead tree hanging across the tank. Their favorite thing was feeding the ducks - and the fish! They practically hop out of the water for the duck food pellets!


Their Uncle Dean told me where a goose nest was so I took them up to see it.


All sorts of beautiful creatures live here!

Back to the camper where Dada was preparing a brunch for his bunch!


He cooked outside on the deck.....


while Mama cooked inside the camper.


Together they made an amazing meal!!
Which was eaten as brunch!
I told you none of us are morning people so an early snack and then a big brunch fits the bill!!

After wards, Trystan and Harrison opted to stay with Dada ad Granddad while Logan and Kailey wanted to go to 'town' with their mama and MeeMaw.


Our destination was Leon's Junction in Mart!
That shop is a jewel!
The owners are so kind and allowed the girls to use the bathroom in their apartment.
Of course, who could resist that sweet smile on Logan's face??


This was part of the 'loot' I bought!
The candles are amazing and these three were on sale!
The metal grasshopper has movable wings and I LOVE the faux asparagus!
PLUS, I bought FOUR burlap bags for bag races in the future......and then I will cut them up and use them for crafts.


This box with vintage index cards plus ABC divider cards caught Kailey's eye. Priced at just $2, I bought it for her, thinking she would forget about it and I would use it for recipes from Estelle's!
So I was surprised when Amber told me that Kailey said, "I'm going to work on my project now but I need a pencil." Of course, I had a pencil.


Just look at those cute Minnie Mouse shoes Amber picked up for $4 at the local Dollar Store.
She also found the fragrant Tahitian Vanilla/Vanilla Sugar/Coconut Vanilla Candle that I love so much and burn so frequently!


Amber had all sorts of activities for the quads such as art projects and 
glow in the dark necklaces for night time.

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I asked the what their favorite thing was.
Horses were their VERY favorite, feeding the goats....being at the camper....
and when I said I would miss them, Kailey said, "You know we will be back soon!"


In the late afternoon, we brought some firewood up from the meadow for our campfire.
Uncle Dean has a couple of cool wagons to use.
After Harrison unloaded the twigs he'd gathered, he decided to take his girls for a ride.

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(Sorry....all the other videos loaded.....I will try again tomorrow!)

 That was a pretty big load for a little boy!



Then they progressed to the bigger wagon.
I could NOT figure out how to fasten that back little side.
I told Kailey it was broken. 
NOT! She figured out how it worked!


And off they went with Trystan pointing the way and Kailey pushing as Logan pulled.


Amber paused to take a photo of the two of us to remember the weekend by.


The time simply flew by and soon we were at the end of their time here.
One last campfire and a wiener roast.....


with slices of watermelon followed by their first s'mores.





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You can hear Harrison say, "I don't know WHY she likes to sing so much!"

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But she does and I love it!!

Dean had accidently left Rufus behind when he had truck trouble on Thursday.
He got left in the back seat of Dean's truck. I let him out and that poor dog moped around all weekend!


They had a joyful reunion this afternoon!!!
In the meantime - Louis Dean had bonded with Granddog Rufus!


So here I am catching up on my journal entry for the weekend.
Summer has been doing well at home and has had several friends and family members checking in on her. Her Aunt Luann took her out to eat today at Saltgrass and spent some quality time together.

We still have a few more days down here and I will be working on my book tomorrow.
Dean is down here visiting as I finish up this post and has invited me to his Tai Chi class tomorrow night. Our adventure continues......