Tuesday, June 18, 2019

We Got a Little Mud on the Tires.....But We Are HOME!

Monday we packed our things, cleaned the camper and loaded up the truck.
This took several hours as we are slowing down in our old age.
Louis Dean originally said he wanted to wait another day to leave but I felt like it was time to get home. More rain was in the forecast and if we didn't go ahead and leave now, we might not get out even the next day. I have a busy week lined up so he said, "Well, pack your mud boots in case we have to hike back if we get stuck."

Dean and Sherry had brought the tractor to the upper road on Sunday evening in case they needed to haul us out. They had parked their truck above the fork in the road since they needed to get out earlier on Monday but said if we got stuck to just come on back to the camper and have some wine and wait for them and they WOULD get us out. In the meantime I called Dean and he gave us some pointers on driving in the we hung up after telling him we were going for it!

It was a wild ride up to the gate but Louis Dean drove it like a real cowboy!

We slid off to one side at the muddiest point but he slid us back on the road and did not slow down!

We made it out!!!!
Instead of driving home to Irving, we put in the direction finder a hotel in Cleburne where we were meet some friends.

This is Terre - pronounced Terry!
You can find her blog at ZoomamaSpeaks.....https://terrewrites.blogspot.com/

This is her husband, Joel, and he and Louis Dean hit it right off!
We talked fast and furious before we all decided to go out and eat Mexican food.

They recommended La Cima and it was amazing!

This sculpture stands on the counter as you walk in......It's the sign of the fish on one side......

but when you look at it the other other side it is a cross.

Terre took some pics but I could only find this one of me.
That margarita was soooooo good!!!

We all got to know each other better and had so much fun!
Then we went to Braum's for ice cream to top off our visit!

I may be the only person in the world who did not know that Braum's makes malts and shakes from any flavor ice cream in the case!!! Did y'all know that?

Joel helped Louis Dean with all the different ice creams and he chose a large Cherry Pecan malt.
He kept chopping at what he thought was a bit of malt in the bottom of the Styrofoam cup.....and push a bog old HOLE in it.....and then the mess kept getting worse and worse and Tere and I laughed louder and louder!

Pretty soon even Louis Dean was laughing as well as all the other customers in the ice cream shop.

I laughed so hard my stomach hurt!!
And where was Joel in all of this?
He was hunting up an employee with a cloth to clean up the mess!
What an adventure we had with both Terre and Joel and we are looking forward to many more when they visit Texas again!

"We stayed too long at the fair." That's what I told Louis Dean as it was getting pretty dark when we left for home. Believe it or not - this was the first time I have ever been to Cleburne and I had to turn on the direction thingy - aka - WAZE to get us home.
She took us by way of Fort Worth and we passed the road to the nursing home.
Louis Dean was driving since we were in the truck and he did pretty well until he didn't!
He got on an Express toll road to Denton and we were halfway there before he had to courage to get off. This was stressful and we were both a bit out of sorts.
I said 'JUST PARK this thing!' 
He did  - at a Dairy Queen so I went in and used the ladies room and got a drink.
We regrouped.
I put in HOME and I drove - white knuckled and hunched up over the steering wheel wearing my night driving glasses. After a tiny glitz or maybe two - we got home and I pulled straight up into the driveway. Louis Dean always backs in. Well, we unloaded some and he turned the water on outside after I told him I really needed to wash my hands. My art tub had jostled the lid off the turpentine and I had a mess to clean up before it got on the carpet. He had turned the water off before we left PLUS the water heater! Now every time he goes to turn the water heater back on - he forgets how he did it before and it takes a lot of time with him flat out on the floor - all 6 feet of him in a room not much longer than that - bumping into all the tins that are stacked up in the utility room and knocking them all over and grumbling and - you get the idea!
At long last - we are home. The water is on. So is the water heater but there's no hot water for a good while so no baths that night. He staggers to the kitchen and pours himself a glass of wine. I go down the hall to do something and when I come back to the kitchen he is using his foot to swipe a wet towel around on the kitchen floor. He looks up and said, "I only spilled a drop or two."
He goes to the den and sinks down on the couch and lets out a long sigh.
I am barefoot so I go out to the den after he does......but my feet are sticking to the floor. 
From the fridge to the table and over to the entrance to the living room - it is ALL sticky!!!
I forgot that his wine is sweeter than mine and sweet wine is STICKY wine! I quietly clean it up.
We sat in a stupor for a bit and then relaxed and finally went to bed at midnight!
And praise God - we had no water come in the house from all the rain!!!
We both slept like babies!

It was about 10:30 when I woke up this morning and a couple minutes later my phone rang.

It was my sister, Luann.
She was in Grapevine and we decided after her appointment there she would come over and we would 'do' a Tuesday!!

We ate lunch at La Madeleine and it was wonderful.
I love that place and always feel like I'm on vacation or something when I'm there!
I love my sister and we had not seen or hardly talked to each other since Mother's funeral at the end of January. We were way past due for a Sister Day!

We shopped at Home Goods and then hot up a thrift store and a Goodwill!
English Laundry is a new fragrance for me and will be the one I wear this summer....
if it lasts that long. I wear fragrance and earrings every single day - even the days I stay in my gown and don't comb my hair or fix my face.

I loved my Tuesday Treasures!
The background is a Queen size silky comforter.
I may use it here on our bed or take it to the camper for the bedroom there.
The shower caddy went in Louis Dean's bathroom and I took his old one to put in mine and my old one will go to the ranch to be used in the shower there!
The two chicken plates are for my friend, Brenda. I have been looking for some for her and today I finally find them!

This is a brand new Wine Lovers Game!!!
I bought it for a song and will send it down with Amber and Mike and his parents when they all go on the annual beach trip to Gulf Shores. We went once but it's a long hard trip and we haven't been able to go again. But the one time we did go - the highlight of our trip was spending time with Mike's parents on the balcony talking and sipping wine together until the wee hours of the morning.
I think they will all love playing this as the older Bells go on trips to wine countries both here and abroad.

Four crystal tea glasses.....

and a sturdy short but thick stemmed wine glass for Louis Dean.

This set of pumpkin votive candles will wait patiently along with me for September first when I will celebrate the day by lighting all of them!

$0.50 cushions for the chairs at the deck table outside by the pond.

Comfy Crocs......

and another pair for yard work.

Luann and I had the best day!
We came home and made tea and worked on my huge 1500 piece Jigsaw Sunflower puzzle.

I made a Taco Salad for our supper tonight and we watched President Trump kick off his 2020 re-election campaign in Florida.

The taco salad was extra good tonight thanks to the delicious home grown tomatoes my gardening neighbor, Tamara gave us. We ate one straight away and chopped this big beauty up for the salad.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Our Weekend in the Country........

Louis Dean worked long and hard on the shower Friday morning and he was such a happy man when he told me it was WORKING!!!! Turn the faucet on - and you get water!!! Not hot water - but water!!
I can live with that!

We went to 'town' to celebrate by having lunch at B. Walkers's on Texas Avenue!

Louis Dean was in such a good mood that he joked with both the waitress and the owner.
It's wonderful to have a good restaurant right here in Mart!
By the way, his chicken fried steak was delicious and so was my fried catfish!
We went on down to the Dollar Store - I love that place - and then finished up our shopping at Read's where Louis Dean went off the deep end and bought a whole stack of sirloin steaks - because they were on sale! The butcher ran each one through the meat tenderizer twice for him since he wants to make his own chicken fried steaks!

We came back to the ranch and and I was pretty much done for the day.
My knee was hurting and I even doubled up on the knee braces and used all three of the Chinese medicines Dean gave me. Still, nothing helped but going to bed so that's what I did, getting up only to take a shower (YAY!) and then back to bed.

Dean and Sherry had stopped and picked a bouquet of sunflowers for me on their way back from Groesbeck Friday.

  They are my very most favorite flower.
Louis Dean showed them to me after my nap and they really cheered me up!

He was up at 4:00 Saturday morning putting a big brisket on to cook.
He's been wanting to cook one for weeks now.
He went back to bed and let it cook long and slow.

In the early afternoon he sliced it up and I made a batch of my BBQ sauce and he layered it back in the roaster to cook some more.

There was a lot of it!

While it cooked we went down to check on the garden and water it.

The ducks decided to see what we were up to.

Lots of little green tomatoes!

The fence is a must in keeping the horses out!

Amber gave me a gift set of the four Daniel Craig James Bond movies.
He is my very favorite James Bond because he looks so much like my youngest son, Benjamin.
I sat down with my needlework and watched this one on Saturday.

Dean and Sherry came down for a good dinner Saturday night of brisket and potato salad.
Sherry brought pepper poppers and a bottle of wine.
We love getting to spend time with them!

Sunday morning was spent listening to Jessie Dixon on our Echo Dot before doing our reading and devotionals.

Hearing the gospel music was wonderful. I am new to Jessie Dixon and his music but I do love it so.
He is in heaven now but we can still watch him on YouTube.

We had a big country breakfast for lunch!
There's a ton of jalapenos in the garden and there's no way we can eat them all - but we're trying!!

Look who came down to visit us this afternoon!
He likes it so much here, he decided to stay and take a nap.
I admit to spoiling Rufus! He knows I am good for a treat - or two or three.......

I had just started my movie when the storms rolled in.
It rained earlier but not like this.
We checked the radar and weather updates on Facebook while I continued to watch the movie.

After it was over, I went out to the front room to do one more bit of art before cleaning it all up and packing it away.

I based this cute bumblebee in within a half hour and will finish it later.
I need to find some cute pictures of honey bees!

While I did my art, Louis Dean played his music.
It's one of our favorite things to do together.

This is our anniversary month and Louis Dean was being romantic.

He told Alexa to play Ray Price singing Sweetheart of the Year......

He's not the only one who can be romantic!

I asked Alexa to play Keith Urban's Making Memories of Us.
One of the things that makes me happy is all the memories we have made together.
We have 'history' now and I like that!

I feel good about all the art I have done this trip.

This cow was fun!
12 X 12 

16 X 20 version.......
I wanted it to have some dimension to it so I tried using bark pieces for the fence.

Then Sherry suggested using a piece of real fencing.
Louis Dean cut it up for me. I'll figure out the wire between the boards later.
Which one looks better?
Either one works, I think.....
The cow paintings are done from a photo Sherry took knowing I would love it!

This old girl was fun to paint!

These two - not so much but I will work on them another day!

So thus ends our week in the country!
We plan to go home tomorrow if we can get out.

The rains have nearly stopped but scattered thunderstorms are still in the forecast overnight.
 It's amazing how the hard, packed, dry cracked ground can turn into such a muddy mess that you can sink down into so fast! Still!
We've had such a good time and both of us have accomplished many of the things we set out to do.
I call that a Win! WIN!!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Painting Cows on Wednesdayand Rayne and Summer Visited on Thursday!

We started the project of adding a front room to the camper making it a camper/cabin back in April of 2017. I innocently thought that adding a full size working bathroom complete with a large shower, deep laundry sink, normal toilet would be a top priority. It made perfect sense to me. I forged ahead and we bought said shower, laundry sink and hot water heater. We already had the toilet. We have had them nearly 18 months. Sitting there. Alas, I was slow coming to the realization that Louis Dean is not anywhere nearly as confident when it comes to plumbing as he is to just about any other project in our world of adding a cabin to the camper. However, he finally came to terms with his fears and insecurities. Come to find out - he was petrified to cut a hole into the fiberglass shower we bought.
Never mind that I know with a certainty that he could have even fixed that - if he had cut it wrong and it came to that. Praise God he finally faced up to it all and we had a nice talk and Lo, and BEHOLD.........progress is being made even as I type this on getting a working bathroom here!!
Now, I have had all along a working 'ladies' bathroom. And he has had a men's bathroom with working toilet. But I wanted MORE!! A shower! A sink!!!
Ladies and gentlemen........it is now a working project!!!
It won't be completely done until we get a master electrician out here but we even have a plan for that. In the meantime - that's what Louis Dean is working on......a bathroom!!!

Wednesday morning I did not get up until 11:00 and then I went back to bed at 2:00 for a long nap and reading. I have been in Ireland and England during the 1950's to 1962. It's hard to close a book after reading the final page and return to this present time. Kind of a culture shock. 

But it's read and done and now I'm MOOING on......
By the way - if anyone would like to read this book , I will be happy to pass it along.

I've been painting cows. Lots of them! And having a good time doing so!

We closed Wednesday night out listening to Willie Nelson music on our Echo.....aka Alexa.

I went to bed early on purpose because I wanted to get up early. Or at least at a more normal time.
Company was coming and I wanted to be ready!
Alas, I woke up at 5:00 to the sound of hammering.
I went out to the front room and found Louis Dean in his workshop working!!!
He said he woke up at 3:30 and decided to get up and do something.
Since he was okay - I went back to bed until 6:30 when I checked on him again.
He wasn't anywhere in the front room, the camper or the truck.
I found him across the road in the garden weeding with a hoe.
We had been over there Wednesday evening watering and planting and he noticed it needed some weeding. Good Grief! I went back to bed until a decent time - 8:30 - and got up and made him a second pot of coffee and started our day. Or my day. He had started his long hours ago!

Summer and Rayne arrived in Summer's new van!!!

I love it and wish I had one just like it!!!!

They came bearing gifts!
Shipley's glazed donuts!
Louis Dean's favorite!

Rayne and I took a tour of the ranch.

Her first choice was to feed the horses!
Carrots and sugar cubes.

She loves the horses and they love her!

She loves any and all 'critters.'

This one held back and never came to the party until all the food was gone.

These two ate it all.
No worries......I will feed the other one extra tomorrow.

Rayne and I did all sorts of country things.
We fed the horses and picked a bouquet of wild flowers to take to her Aunt Sherry in Rowlett.
We checked out the garden patch up here by the camper. Lots of green tomatoes and a few sweet peppers.

We walked on down the road to check out Dean and Sherry's garden......
this is right outside the peacock pen. I told Rayne to count the peacocks - she counted one peacock and one peahen inside the pen. I said, "Keep looking!"

This is the wild peacock that hangs around here.
We watched him fly over the garden fence!

Then we walked down to see the baby goats.......

......and the pups! 
Two Great Pyrenees.
Remmie and Rugar.

The baby goats were her favorite!

It's beautiful down here.

The black eyed Susan's are everywhere.
They weren't here last year.
I guess you get new wildflowers every year.

I heard my first locust of the season!
June 13th, 2019 at 11:30!

The dogs heard it, too!

Then we walked up to Lake Toguchi.

The ducks are so pretty.
I have a new painting to start tonight of them.

We came back to the camper and I made us a big pasta salad with just about everything you can think of in it! Olives, carrots, celery, sweet peppers, tomatoes, roasted chicken, bacon......you name it - it was probably in there!

And I made pepper poppers with Rayne's help.
By the way......I took the seeds and membranes out and they were still HOT!!!

Asparagus with butter.....

After lunch Summer and Rayne played games and then we all did a crafting project.
Summer and I each had a needlework and Rayne traced off my duck pond painting to canvas.

All too soon it was time for them to go back to town.

It was a WONDERFUL visit!!!
I do so love my Rayne Roo!

We will be seeing her again next week!!!