Tuesday, April 23, 2019

From Wildflowers to Garden Flowers - We are HOME!

Three weeks at the ranch went by like the blink of an eye and all too soon we were locking the gate behind us!

Then just as Louis Dean got back in the truck I had to tell him I had left my phone in the camper.
So, we turned around and departed all over again!

We stopped in West at the Little Czech Bakery and filled three big bags full of delicious baked goods!! Some for us and some to share with Amber and the family when we go over there tonight.

Our sweet neighbor, Olga, had sent me a text and some photos of our rose gardens while we were on the road home.

Everything is looking so lush and green!

I love my rosemary and intend to grow some at the ranch.

Roses and honeysuckle - my favorite!

Louis Dean dearly loves his roses.

We sat out on the driveway just enjoying the fragrance of Home!

I planted this but I cannot remember what it's called!
It is growing profusely and has intermingled with the honeysuckle on one side and the Carolina Jasmine on the other.

But my favorite is honeysuckle and it is blooming everywhere!!!
The plants the birds gifted us as well as the ones I have planted on purpose - it's ALL blooming!

Louis Dean unloaded the truck and I started the laundry and put everything up.

I even cut some bouquets of fresh herbs for the kitchen and this one of roses and honeysuckle for his bathroom. It was a surprise for him when he went in to draw his sudsy hot bath. 
He's in there soaking now. I imagine he will be all relaxed when he gets out.
It just came up a big storm and poured down rain so I am guessing the grand girls softball game is cancelled. We had intended to go before going on over to spend the night.
I have unpacked and then repacked a bag to take with me to Amber's.
She is having a procedure tomorrow and we are going to do the school runs for them.

We are settling back down to our city life while fondly remembering how wonderful our country like is! We truly have the best of both worlds.

And now, please excuse me......I have got to go online and buy me that bee suit!

Our Last Weekend at the Ranch.......for April

The more we've done critter chores, the more we've learned how to do it.
This was our third weekend and I think the critters are used to us by now. 

The ducks are usually the first ones we feed and let out - possibly because they are the first ones we come to. I love the deep beautiful colors in some of their feathers.

The mean little rooster got loose when the wind knocked the hen house he lived in over and Dean couldn't catch him before they left town.
I'm back there to feed him and he still charged at me several times.
Ungrateful thing!

My two favorite things on Saturday .....

watermelon with a shaker of salt.........

and Chinese medicine.
Dean have me a patch to put on my left knee which is bone on bone.
I wore it under my knee brace and it has really made a difference.
The top bottle is some kind of ointment and I rub in on my hands and especially the joints that have grown so large and painful. After it dries, I rub a little bit of the cream in the tube (in the box) onto the really painful joint in my right hand. It was frozen stiff and I could barely bend it at all.
It has made such a difference.
Now the patch may not fix my knee but it has helped with the pain.
As far as my arthritic hands go - my doctor said there's really nothing much to be done about it so I think it's fair game to try anything that will work.
All the writing on the medicine is in Chinese so I have no idea what it says.
Dean is a martial arts master and uses a lot of Chinese medicines.

White Flower Oil is another thing I use.
One place Dean gets some of these medicines is Asian markets.
Irving used to have one and you could find all sorts of cool stuff there.
It's gone now and a thrift store is in its place - so I still visit!

Saturday night we sat around the campfire and talked of all the things we have done since we've been down here this time.

The ranch is a magical place for us.

The last few days are such special ones.

Easter Sunday morning I got up and made a batch of blueberry muffins.

We had one cup of coffee and one muffin before riding our bikes down to do the morning chores.

Oh, my goodness!
Those geese come running!

The pups are growing bigger every day!
They are good dogs but I spied one of them carrying something in his mouth that turned out to be a duck. I shouted at him to drop it and yelled NO at him. He minded and dropped the duck who then stood up and escaped. Sadly, the duck didn't make it. Casualty #1 on our watch.

When we went down to feed the chickens in the back coop, we could not find that mean rooster anywhere. We assumed the coyotes got him. Casualty #2.

I made an Easter Sunday dinner for two.

Potato salad using this seasoning makes it really special.
Plus the hard boiled eggs had such yellow yolks that Louis Dean thought I had put in too much mustard!

Baked beans, fresh corn cut off the cob, and a ham steak made up the menu.

After chores Sunday night, I worked on planning out the Texas quilt I want to make for Louis Dean.

I think it's going to be huge!
I may need to rethink this when I start sewing on it.
The blue squares were already cut out as well as the white ones but i had to cut out 84 red squares from a pair of red denim jeans and some Ralph Lauren denim curtains I have.


Mine will not look this neat and precise but this is what I am going by.
I think I have made at least two Texas quilts before. I know Amber and Mike has one of them and I believe I made one for a friend who wanted it for her husband's Christmas gift.
I have made a lot of denim quilts but this will be the first one I've made for Louis Dean.

Today is Monday and our last day on duty and our last full day here this month.

Just look who came back!
That mean old rooster!
Still, I was glad to see him.
Back to only one casualty!

These are some of the 'baby' chicks who are not such babies anymore!

They sure do eat a lot!

The peacocks and guineas are in a really big pen - so big it has three doors you can use.
The peacock was so beautiful I had to take his picture!
However, he has developed a real attitude toward me lately and attacked me as I was trying to feed them this morning! He's a really big bird and after the first time, I thought he would leave me alone so I was going to go ahead and fill their feeding pans. But, NO!!
He dove at me a second and then a third time. I got so upset I threw the feed I was carrying in two cans - straight up in the air! Unfortunately, it came right back down on top of ME! I had a little jacket with a hoodie on it over my sundress and it was filled with cracked corn and pellets.
I was shaking feed out of my clothes all the way back to the camper cabin!

Dean and Sherry arrived back late this afternoon.
They had traveled to Oklahoma for a wedding with Roy and Ruth Ann in their new motor home.

Louis Dean stayed at the ranch and took a nap while I  met up with them in Groesbeck at the RV park to see their new rig.
It is super nice with all the bells and whistles!!!

It was so good to visit with Ruth Ann again!
It had been a long time since we have even seen each other.
They sold their home in Irving and moved to their farm out west of the DFW area.
We didn't get to stay long because it was time for the critter chores so Dean and Sherry said we needed to get back. We got to the camper and they dropped me off and SURPRISE!
Louis Dean had just come back from putting the ducks and goats up!
He said he figured we had got to talking and he better go tend to the critters as there is a 'magic hour' when the ducks line up to march in their pen like little soldiers and it's always better to deal with the goats in the day light!

Sherry had left her bee suit up here for me to try on tonight.

I am ordering mine tomorrow and I wanted to make sure what size I needed.

I can't believe I am really going to be a beekeeper!
Of course, I am actually just Sherry's helper. We bought two hives but I know next to nothing.
I've never seen a thing that Sherry can't do so I am along for the ride!
The bee meeting is tomorrow night and we are going home in the morning so I will miss it. 
Once she learns when the bees will arrive - maybe we can make a flying trip back down here so I can go with her to pick them up. I have to be home for a doctor appointment on Monday morning so it would be a quick trip!

I spent a good while cleaning the camper cabin, vacuuming and sorting out the fridges.
It's always more fun to arrive than it is to depart.
These have been such wonderful days in the country.
3 weeks of nature and gentle living.
I like it here because I don't have to get dressed and leave the place every day like I do at home. 
No time restraints here. You sleep, eat, do this and that and repeat.

We will have coffee and reading in the morning before we leave.......
but we will be back!