Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Craft Project and Campfires.....Monday and Tuesday

I started a craft project Monday afternoon that I have been thinking about for weeks now.

Back in November I bought this canvas room divider at Goodwill for under $5.
It was really pretty and in great shape but I don't live anywhere near the beach.

I had thought I would Kiltz and then paint on it since it is stretched canvas.

But then I had a better faster idea!
I do love chickens and my friend, Brenda, has gifted me with a Lang calendar every year for the past 12 years. I have kept them all and used a good many of them to decoupage all sorts of things in the camper.

I did one panel last night.
I took this photo before I had even glued on the small strips to cover the canvas.

Our movie yesterday didn't hold Louis Dean's attention as well as some we have watched but I liked it. Amber and I saw this together back in 2015 when it first came out.
I still need to buy a Joy mop!! Amber says they have them at Target.

Late yesterday afternoon, Louis Dean and I went out to sit on the porch and watch the campfire.
I had picked up two wicker chairs a few years ago that I found on the curb.
They were old then but we still got a good bit of use out of them.
However, Louis Dean sat down in one and it fell through!
He warned me to be careful when I sat down in mine - and I was - and it still fell through.
Neither one of us need to take any chances on falling through a chair so we decided to burn them.
That's what country people do. They burn their paper trash and burnables. We take the glass, cans and recycle things back home with us.
Sherry came down to visit a little while after she got off work - she works from an office in her home.
She left to go do the critter chores and then Dean stopped by on his way in from teaching Karate so we had nice visits with both of them. We tend to go to bed much earlier than we usually do when we are at home. We don't seem to get up any earlier, though!

Today has been rather cloudy and cold so we stayed inside pretty much all day.
I did some writing and then I started back on my craft project.

I had to do the rest of it out in the front room and by the time I finished it was hard to get a good picture of it. I need to paint the edges with craft paint and I will do that next week.
Plus I still have the back sides of the divider to do.
I used a quart of Modge Podge!
I used most of my chicken calendar pages so I'm thinking I will do a wine theme on the other side and who knows what else!

Louis Dean built us another good campfire tonight.
I can sit and gaze into the flames and think of absolutely nothing.
That's amazing to me. I have a hard time not thinking and yet when I am looking at the fire, I can't even make myself think of stuff. I love that!

Louis Dean bundled up like an Indian - which he is. 
He is a member of the Northern Cherokee roll in Clinton, Missouri.

Tomorrow we are going to Waco to meet Crazy Horse Family Elder and author William Matson.
Here's the information on the event.....

Crazy Horse Family Elder Floyd Clown Sr joins Author William Matson to discuss and sign their book "Crazy Horse: The Lakota Warrior's Life and Legacy" based on the family's oral history. The photo is of Crazy Horse's first cousin Touch the Cloud. He was called Touch the Cloud because he was around seven feet tall.

We have so enjoyed being down here at the ranch.
Tomorrow I will wind up a few things, vacuum and clean the refrigerators - we have three!
2 small ones and one big one. We aren't taking much more than the laundry, books, our medicines and an insulated bag of perishables home with us because we are only going to be away for the weekend.
We will be here at the ranch for the rest of January and go home for a few weeks the first of February.
When we come back, I'm going to start doing some art and some gardening.
I'm hoping to grow a few vegetables and a small herb garden. I miss having mint, rosemary and my other herbs to use in cooking and teas. It's going to be a trick to keep things growing in both places but I'm going to give it a try.

I've been sitting here typing by the front room window so I can still watch the fire.
It's all played out now and so I'm thinking it's time to close things up and go to bed.
Seems I spend a lot of time in bed when we are here.
It's a good place to read, write in my Country Diary, and pray.
It's 8:15 and I just realized I didn't fix anything for supper.
Guess we will raid the refrigerator and then go to bed!!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Slow Country Weekend......

 It's been a perfectly lovely weekend in the country. Slow and easy going.
I finally managed to finish chapter 16 and even did an outline for chapter 17 and then actually started writing it. I'm thinking if I just keep plugging away at it, I'll look up one day and find that I've written a book. My goal is to write every day. Even after we go home - and we will go home sooner or later - I'm going to to continue to write.

Saturday was cold wind and blue skies but muddy after Friday's rain.
Dean and Sherry aren't afraid of a little mud and they were hightailing it to town.

They did get stuck in the mud back down at the fork down by the new duck coop.
I saw Sherry hop out and go get her tractor - but Dean had managed to get the truck out of the muddy ditch and up on the road that runs in front of where we are. She parked the tractor on the driveway up here and off they went!

Louis Dean worked most of Saturday finishing that north wall.
I decided to surprise him with some Hot Wings to eat while we listened to the football game.

He used to go to Little Caesar's and get three different kinds for game day.

I remembered he liked them hot and spicy!
I had brought a big bag of frozen wings with us when we came down so I seasoned all of them with salt and pepper and browned them on both sides in oil.
I had a dozen wings so I used just BBQ sauce of four of them.
Hot chili jam on four and a jar of Cran-Razz sauce on the other four.
Then I turned the electric skillet down real low and cooked them for a couple of hours.
They were delicious!

I roasted some potatoes and carrots with a drizzle of oil on them and Slap Yo Mama seasoning.

We tuned in to the radio station for the pregame show and then settled down to listen to a rather exciting and finally disappointing football game.
We turned off the radio and turned out the lights......our party was over!

Sunday has been what I often think Sundays should be - a day of rest.
We had our coffee and devotional and breakfast - and then went back to bed.
Louis Dean slept for hours.
He's been working steady since we've been here and I think he truly needed some extra rest.

I didn't want to wake him up by washing dishes or making a lot of noise so I went out to the front room and cut up the rest of my denim.

I have a lot of quilt squares ready to sew now!

Instead of whacking up this pair of denim overalls that I used to wear back in the 1990's, 
I decided to cut across the bottom and I'm going to try my hand at sewing this to a shirt top or a t-shirt and then adding some printed fabric to the back and then lace layers at the bottom. 
I know that sounds like a mess but I've been seeing some clever creations on Pinterest.
We will see how it turns out.

I went out after the sun had gone down behind the trees this evening.
The sun was blinding today.
I gave the horses roasted tomato tortillas.
They seemed to really like them.

I thought this was a pretty sunset this evening.
It's setting later and later......

In other news.....
Summer arrived back in Texas Thursday after spending 40 days in Puerto Rico.
She took Friday off to rest up after a full day of travel and then Saturday and Sunday she has felt so good she's been out and about visiting people.

This afternoon she went to the nursing home and visited.
Lillian was glad to see her!

Mother was happy she came.

Summer made the rounds visiting all our ladies there and even had a quick visit with Mr. Ester.
She knew that would mean a lot to me so she sent me these photos.

Our movie today was Same Kind of Different as Me.

I read the book.
I think Deanie recommended it to us.
 She may have passed around her copy to Nita and Lonnie and me. She does that a lot. 

That's what she did with The Glass Castle......

and Twelve Mighty Orphans.

The movie stayed true to the book for the most part.
The authors, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, spoke at my son, Jesse's church and Louis Dean and I went to hear them. I remember Jesse set us on the front row off to the right of the platform.
It was an excellent movie and gave us much food for thought.

We have been down here at the ranch for 17 days and tonight Louis Dean played his guitar and sang to me for the first time since we've been here.

I'd say that's a pretty good way to close out this weekend!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Country Days......Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Wednesday was a beautiful day here in the country.
Since we woke up late, we had a big breakfast for lunch and spent some time doing our morning devotions before settling down to our different projects.
Louis Dean is working steady at finishing up the interior walls - insulating them and putting up the wall boards. Plus he keeps our ice cube supply going by dumping the cubes in bags and refilling the trays. We use water we have brought from Irving for drinking, cooking and making ice. That's another chore he does.....fills smaller water containers from the big cooler size ones. We recycle large plastic containers for this purpose and I store them under the table inside the camper.

Louis Dean is a happy man when he can work on his projects. He loves doing them.
He also loves music but he's not played any since we've been down here this trip nor has he even opened his laptop. He's staying too busy with his carpentry work.

I do housework, meals, light candles, and try to keep things picked up in the front room so he can focus on what he's doing.

Most afternoons I go for a walk about. When it's not muddy I can ride my bike but so far that hasn't happened yet.

Wednesday I went down to look at the owl again.
I can't believe that I get to stand there and study him with my eyes.
It looks like I'm enjoying this one on one time with him more than he is.
Dean and Sherry are going to release him from the hen house but they hope he will be discouraged from returning for any more chicken dinners if he associates the place with captivity.

I walked down and fed the goats and I carry a stick with me now to keep the geese from running after and trying to nip at me with their bills. I love to walk around the ranch and would like to go further down towards the tree line. Their property runs past that and across a creek down there but that's where the coyotes howl at night and I figure they're still down there somewhere during the day.

There's plenty of places to walk and explore!

I never get tired of looking at Mr. Jackson's cows.

There's not much cactus down here and I'm glad!

Cactus is kind of pretty.

I made a batch of cornbread and served up some of our New Year's black eyed peas.
Reminds me of that children's verse.....
Peas porridge hot.
Peas porridge cold.
Peas porridge in the pot - nine days old!
I think the goats will get the rest of it.

Our evening's entertainment was a movie from 1969......

The set came with two discs......one was entirely special features.
It included interviews with the actors back in 1994 and then more recent ones.
We liked hearing the history behind the story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

It was a well filmed movie....as good today as it was back then.

Louis Dean had been working hard and slept little the night before so we stopped the movie halfway through and he was in bed and asleep by 7:00 Wednesday night!

That meant he was awake at 4:30 Thursday morning!
He didn't get up until 5:00 though!
Then he went out to his workshop and started on his jobs. When he heard me stirring, he brought a cup of coffee to me in bed. I love that he does that. Not only bring me coffee but that he listens for me to get up.

We were reading the Bible when I got a text from Dean.
He was going to Groesbeck for a chiropractor appointment and wanted to know if I'd like to go.
I told Louis Dean I had a date and needed to get ready!

This shop is right next door to the chiropractor and is actually owned by him.

While Dean got an adjustment, I went shopping!

I met the cutest little lady who was opening up the shop!
Diamonds and Dust is the name of it and I found all sorts of treasures!

Love the shop and love Trish!!
She is a gal chock full of attitude and charm!

Isn't she adorable??
This was my second time in this shop and I will be back on a regular basis.
She helped me carry my treasures to Dean's truck and, yes, I bought that much!!

Then I walked down to the cafe on the corner and ordered a cup of coffee.
It was very good coffee!

Kamdan's Cafe!
Louis Dean and I will be coming back here maybe next week to eat lunch.
Plus they have luscious homemade pies!

Dean met me in the cafe and we went to Brookshires Grocery Store......

I always find something interesting there and Thursday was no exception.

A Bourbon Barrel Cake!
It was tasty but a little goes a long ways.
I froze most of it.

From Brookshire's we went to the local hardware store in Groesbeck.
I bought Louis Dean a gift - extra sweet onions!
I'll set them out in a bed by the the front deck.

So here are my treasures from Diamonds and Dust.....

A spring/summer wreath! $6!

So I bought two of them to replace the fall ones hanging in the front room.

This book looked vaguely familiar but I bought it anyway for $3.
Turns out Louis Dean had already bought one just like it.
No matter. We will leave this one here and read it when we are in the country.
It will be our out loud book to read right after we get through with Chris Kyle's American Sniper.

I bought this solar lantern at the hardware store in Groesbeck for $5.99.
I should have bought more but I was trying to restrain myself.

This big fragrant candle was on sale at Diamonds and Dust for just $10!
Smells heavenly!

So does this Texas Whiskey candle from Leon's Junction right here in Mart.

Remember Mr. Ester and his request for a brown sugar cake and plum jelly icing?

I now have half of the combination!!

I loved this bath sign for $5 and the red chippy table for $12!

The sign went in my tiny camper bathroom since Louis Dean has already decorated his bathroom with the French toilette sign last week!

The chippy table is perfect for beside the girl bunk.
I put a plate on the opening below to make another little place to put books or stuff.
I'll be looking for a pretty decorative plate to use here - maybe a red or a  blue one?

On our way back to the ranch - guess what I saw???
A coyote!! Running along the side of the dirt road we were on and it took off across a pasture.
That did it! I don't think I'll venture down to the property border on my own.
Maybe Dean will go with me and carry his six shooter?

We were back at the ranch by 1:00!
I fixed us some lunch and then left for my afternoon walk.

I always go down to see the owl.
He has water and he's probably not really hungry yet since he ate everything in the hen house.

I caught this sunset over the meadow.

Then I hurriedly walked up to the big tank.
Sherry had been out doing some tractor work.

I walked on up to the tank and got this picture.

Then I followed on down to the duck pen where Sherry was doing some trench digging.

You really need a tractor on a ranch like this.
Sherry can do just about anything!

And that includes mending a broken pipe that just happened to be where she was digging.
No worries! She just hopped off the tractor, gathered the materials up and repaired it.
All within just a half hour or so!

Back at the camper, Louis Dean continued to work on the north end of the front room.
Dean came home from work and smoked some sausage, I made a salad and cream cheese corn along with stuffed jalapenos while Sherry made some great seasoned green beans and we all met up in the camper for a fine supper!!

We ate in the camper but I took a pic of the front room where I have been whacking up denim and sitting with Louis Dean when he takes his breaks.
Dean and Sherry both have Fridays off so her Thursday is like your Friday - time to party!

And that's what we did!

You can shoot off fireworks in the country and it's been so wet - my goodness, it's still muddy in places - it's perfectly safe!

I even got to light some of them and that was super exciting for me!!
Thursday was such a good day and ended up with a bang!!
I loved every single minute!

Rain was in the forecast again for today so Louis Dean got up on the camper to repair the skylights which had been leaking.

The camper is nearly 20 years old and keeping it up is no easy task.
Whenever Louis Dean is up on a roof, I hover around below just in case he needs me and he did.
The ladder was fine to go up but coming down he needed it at the other corner of the add a room and I was able to move it for him.

Once he was safely down and had gone on to working on something else, I went down to feed the goats. Just in case you are wondering why they are chained up during the day.....
goats eat whatever grows in any given area. So they are like lawn mowers. You move them where you want them to feed. While we were in Oregon, we learned about the Rent a Goat program. You rent a goat and they bring it to you and chain it up so it will eat where you need it to eat.
They have blackberries like we have weeds and the goats will eat it and keep it under control.
If you do not chain up the goats here, they will eat everything and go anywhere- including pushing your doors open and going inside. They eat things you do not want them to eat so you must chain them up. At night they are brought back to a large penned in area and taken off the chains so they can run free - in the enclosed area. If they are not penned up - the coyotes can and will attack, kill and eat them.
So it is not a bad thing that the goats are chained up and cared for.

Once I had fed and talked to the goats I went down to see the peacocks.

He's such a pretty boy!

I walked back up to our place by way of the open fields where I met the horses and gave them some sugar cubes. I'm wondering what to give them tomorrow....maybe they will like some tortillas. I will find out!

I came up along the side where Louis Dean has his workshop and took this picture of him through the window.

Louis Dean is such a good sport and as patient as the day is long.
He's been working on the north end and just took it in stride when he had to take down some of the lights I had strung up and draped them over his shoulder - and kept right on working!
He did mention he would rather look at the lights than wear them, though!

I made a crock pot of homemade potato soup today and we just ate some here in the font room as I have been working on this journal entry. It's raining. Not hard but steady and it sounds nice on our tin roof.....or corrugated steel roof actually.
I'm having a good time here with Dean and Sherry, the goats, chickens, horses, peacocks, ducks, geese, and the great horned owl. I hope to be there to see when they release him.

I've purposed to write on my book every day but I missed yesterday.
So I am going to close and post this and then open up my book to work on it a few minutes.
I feel like I'm never going to finish chapter 16!
But if I keep chipping away at it - sooner or later I will move on to the next chapter.