Friday, June 30, 2017

I Love My Life! Country, Sisters, Critters, Laundry.....Our Thursday!

I love this pic of my sister having fun at Burgers Lake with her grands!!

Deanienand her Andie!!!
They all had fun at Burgers Lake!

This is such a fun place!
Nathan and Tyler had a ball!
I do love my sisters! It was wonderful to see Deanie looking so happy!

And I love my Nita!!
She is the best sister one could ever have.
She always thinks the best of me in any given situation.
My siblings and I keep a message thread going and it is our 'lifeline' into each other's lives.
We especially need that connection as we deal with our mother and how to best take care of her.

Now for our view of life in the country!

Laundry Day!!!

As my friend, Ginny said - Red/White and Blue!!

We found the Tomato Man yesterday!
Need I say more??

The flowers are beginning to fade....
These are still pretty!

Dean and Sherry are away and we are doing Critter Chores for the weekend.....

It's harder than it looks!
The ducks are lured back to the pen for own sakes!

Louis Dean brought the three goats up to the pens!
Coyotes are aggressive and can be deadly.

Our Maggie is alive and well in the country!
She was always a country cat!

Louis Dean worked om the 'dwelling' addition while I did the laundry.
You may not be able to see that he has put up the siding and it is beginning to look like a real room!

I don't know......I may be a bit sentimental tonight....but I am thankful for my sisters and brother and how they have cared for our mother. We have taken so much better care of her than she ever took of us. I am just being real tonight and I hope I don't regret it in the morning. I think my sisters are saints and I hope I can do as well as they have done!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Chicken Fried Steak and Country Roads.....Tuesday and Wednesday...

Tuesday Treasures were on my mind yesterday! Louis Dean worked all morning and into the afternoon before I managed to haul him away to Waco where I hit up a Goodwill. I saw that he was getting WAY too tired and grabbed the opportunity to give him a much needed rest.

I found a few treasures.....t shirts and a beautiful Texas themed wind chime and a set of coasters that are really important when you drink tea in the country! We do not set our glass on them.....we COVER the glass with them! Keeps the critters out!

While we were out we decided to eat an early dinner at Cotton Patch Cafe!
A trip to Walmart can be a bit of an adventure. The meal out helped us recover.

On the way home, Louis Dean told me to stop the truck - I did the driving yesterday....including all the wrong turns and getting lost and ending up in Woodway - and he hopped out and with his pocket knife, cut a big bouquet of fresh sunflowers for me. hero!!!
To me, sunflowers are the happiest of ALL flowers!!!
They always face the light and never see the shadows.
 I want to be like that!

Today we needed to go to Belton to get some parts for our AC.
We left around noon.

On our way up County Line Road, we turn here.
It is the prettiest little place.

They have the neatest farm with goats and chickens and lots of pretty flowers!

Wide open spaces in the country!

I was along for the drive!

My handsome driver! I did the driving yesterday and he did it today. We take turns - depending on who is most tired.

We pass so many abandoned homes and they seem to haunt me.
I wonder at the lives they have had and wish I could redeem them and cause new life to return.
I will return to take closer pictures of that tree on the right. It is fern like with small green nuggets.....I have no idea what it is but I have not seen any others like it anywhere around here.

Blue skies, white clouds and green fields. 
This is country.

Here I am snapping pictures!

We left shortly after noon today heading to Belton, Texas which is south of Temple.
We went by way of Hwy 84 so we could catch the Tomato Man - which we did.
Then I told Louis Dean I needed to go to the bathroom and he turned off at Loop 340.
Bathrooms were less than a mile away -IF you headed north and I35 was so very close!
INSTEAD, he headed SOUTH. We went a very long way before he finally found a bathroom.
After an hour and a half - we were 9 miles from Mart - where we started!
I must admit that neither one of us have enough sense of direction to find our way out of a brown paper bag with one end open!!! 
During our scenic drive, we saw Reisel, Otto and Marlin, Texas!
I was under stress and forgot to take any photos.
At long last - over three hours after we left for a one hour trip - we arrived at Sunbelt RV Center in Belton and picked up the two remaining parts we needed for our camper AC! Now it will ALL be new!
Praise God the trip back - along the Interstate - was less stressful than the trip there!

We were happy to be back in Waco where we had to stop to buy building supplies.
My purchase was this cool tool for building a charcoal fire.
Everyone seems to know about it but me and Sherry showed me how it works when we grilled out the other night! Now I have one of my own!

At long last - we were home!

See the beautiful tomatoes?
I am looking forward to seeing our very own tomatoes when we go home next week!

I came in and started cooking dinner - Sweet and sour chicken!

Louis Dean had not worked much today so he was making up for lost time.

Progress is being made every day!

Step by step. Little by little.
We are......

And that feels good!!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy Anniversary to US! 12 Wonderful Years!

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary!
The following is from a post from 2010 - the first year of keeping an online diary known as Linda's Life Journal.

"I joined eHarmony on January 1st, 2005. My mother helped me do the 4 hour profile procedure which was pretty in depth! eHarmony matches you with someone compatible in LIKES and DISLIKES as well as character, interests, education, spiritual qualities and a host of others. I married at such a young age that I had never 'dated' before and was not at all sure what I was getting into. After recently ending a 41 year old marriage I had no real intention of getting serious about anyone but I did think it would be nice to go to dinner and movies and have a bit of a social life. I was matched with a banker, a minister, several truck drivers, a couple of postal workers, several business men.....and then on April 16, 2005 a retired school teacher! He, too, had been married 41 years .......happy years! Sadly, he had lost his wife in 2000. When we matched Louis Dean had clicked on 'Fast Track'....meaning skip right to the chase and exchange emails. I was talking to my mother on the phone when I received his message through eHarmony. My mother said, "Click YES!" So I did....and the rest is history!
Our first date was at the Fort Worth Zoo.....he was the tall, dark and handsome man standing on his 6'1" tip toes looking out over the parking lot for ME! He had prepared a picnic lunch for us which we ate on the tailgate of his truck......2 kinds of chicken, potato salad, baked beans and homemade rolls. We walked and talked and spent the entire day and into the evening together. I was so comfortable with him from the very beginning! I had become very wary of men in general and barely even allowed myself to  be hugged by my own brother and dear brother in law. You know how when you first meet someone there is a bit of hesitancy and self conscientiousness? I felt none of this......I was as comfortable with him as if I had known him my entire life! He held my hand and we had a word of prayer in his truck before he left for his home in Brownwood. (169 miles from my front door to his!) I believe our match was a God-thing. We are perfect for each other. After a very short time I was as surprised as anyone to find myself married to the nicest man I have ever met in my life! I thank God for Louis Dean every day!
We have been through a lot in these few years but never have we had harsh words with each other or stress between us. The stress has come from outside pressures....supporting a granddaughter which required him to go back to work for awhile, me losing my job, surgery for me, a heart attack for him, sadness over some of his family deciding not to share our life as well as the usual ups and downs of life in general. Through it all we have supported and comforted each other as well as laughed and had more fun than we thought possible. We are truly better together than we would be apart! Life is always an adventure! Life itself is a blessing! To spend the rest of our lives together as soul mates.....well, that is PRICELESS!"

I did another post about our eHarmony experience in 2012 if you would like to read it

For the first several years we were married we would go to Galveston and celebrate and most years we have dinner at a Saltgrass Steakhouse as that was where we went on our wedding night.

We are as happy today as we were when we married....... even more so.
God has richly blessed us and we are grateful for every day we have together and look forward to as many anniversaries as God sees fit to give us.

Now for Country News......

Grandson Robert went home this afternoon. 
We will miss him. He was such a big help to his granddad!
The next time he visits, the new room will be a done deal and he can bring an air mattress and sleep more comfortably out there than cramped up in the top boy bunk.

Sherry and Dean brought dinner down tonight.
Dean is a real foodie and loves to cook.
It was delicious!
After dinner they left to go into Mart and on their way back they stopped to pick a flower for me!

This is the biggest, heaviest sunflower I have ever seen!!

I just LOVE it!!!

Even the back is beautiful!
Instead of setting it out on the table in the new room.......

I put it right smack dab in front of the kitchen sink!
I smile every time I glance over there!

A Busy Country Weekend!

Friday morning Grandson Robert and I went to 'town.' This time to Mart to shop at Leon Junction, Virginia's Antique and Thrift Sop and Read's Grocery Store.

On the way there we saw hundreds and hundreds of barn swallows.
There were swarms of them and every mile or so we would run into another swarm!

Facebook photo from Leon Junction Country Crafts

I love browsing through Leon Junction and came out with a Cotton Blossom Candle!
At Read's I bought Louis Dean a big rib eye steak since he was going to be working so hard on that roof!

Grandson Robert pulled up the old fire pit, filled it in and dug a new one complete with a 'new' old clothes dryer drum!

Father and son working together!

They are getting it done!

They all worked into the night and after Dean left, Robert and his granddad worked some more. 

I grilled the steak and fried some okra to go with the baked potatoes.

The squash and onions were for me.
These vegetables came from a friend of Dean's and he graciously gave them to us.

Louis Dean was so tired that night, he ate and went straight to bed.
Friday was the hottest day we have had down here so far and it was brutal.

The next morning (Saturday) when I woke up - he was already out there working again.
It was MUCH cooler than it was on Friday and we were so thankful!
He and Robert worked all afternoon together and I had just grilled some hot dogs and was serving them up with chili and all the trimmings when Don drove down. He was on his way to feed his horses and decided to come down and swap out the AC units since it was so cool. He ate along with us and then got to work.

It had been cool enough all day long that I had opened up all the windows and aired the camper out.
The cross breezes from the window and the opposite door is really nice.
I think it took him a little over two hours and he was done!
I stand amazed at the way God has continued to supply our every need.
Here we are in the country and yet an electrician comes by on his way to feed his horses!
We had to INSIST on him accepting payment!  

Robert and I ate earlier while Louis Dean worked on......

but I did fix him a Big Country Breakfast for a Late Night Supper before we all went to bed.

This morning (Sunday) Robert and I went down to do Critter Care since Dean and Sherry were away.

It's always a treat to see the peacock in all his glory.
The horses had wrecked havoc down by their cage where the critter feed is kept.
They knocked over the heavy metal feed container and I was happy that Robert was with me or I would never have been able to upright it.

Robert and his granddad spent a good part of the day working on the roof.
I have learned that a roof comes in three parts......the decking.....

and the felt. The tin goes on next.....

I worked on the special dinner to celebrate Sherry!
I wanted to honor her with a delicious meal......
I was to par boil the new potatoes and corn on the cob.
Alas, I underestimated the amount of time my hot plate would cook these.
I opted to prepare the potatoes as a side dish and not include them in the foil packets to grill.

Just as Louis Dean was tiring arrived!

He decided to play the 'Old Man' card and lo, and behold!

His son and grandson took over and Louis Dean was one happy camper!!

By day's end, the felt was all up and most of the tin!
We will go to Waco in the morning to get the last few pieces.
The roof is practically a done deal!

My meal tonight was to be grilled.....

and Sherry had a great tool for charcoal cooking.....
You put the charcoal in the little chimney and you stuff the bottom with newspaper and light that and in a few minutes - the charcoal is ready! I'm going to buy one at Home Depot tomorrow.

The packets contain corn on the cob, shrimp, smoked sausage, minced garlic and is seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning, fresh squeezed lemon slices and melted butter.

It's not as pretty as the dish I saw on Facebook but it was good and everyone liked it!
I will try it again!
It's Shrimp Boil Foil Packets if you want to Goggle the recipe.

This has been out THIRD weekend here at the ranch.
We have so enjoyed having Robert with us and he has been SUCH a help to his granddad.
He is planning on going home in the next day or two. 
WE are actually planning on going home soon as well.
One more weekend and I think it will be time to leave.
We have accomplished a lot in the last few weeks and will accomplish still more before we are gone.
Just to be so welcome here is such a blessing and to see God's hand in all of this humbles me.
Louis Dean has been such a big part of my family's life and I have become a part of his son's and grandson's life. 
Life is good and I am grateful!