Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Louis Dean is a Happy Camper!!

We stayed an extra day so Louis Dean could get his roof up on the utility room!

He was out there hammering away long before I got up this morning!
By mid afternoon, he had all the rafters nailed in place.
He tried to figure out how he could get the plywood up there by himself.......

then he decided to do it the easy way!
Call his son!
It helps to have a son that is strong enough to just 'throw it up there!!'
I have SEEN him do it when we were roofing the front room.
It didn't take Dean more than half an hour to get that plywood up!
More like 15-20 minutes!

We took a tea break and then it was back up on the roof  for Louis Dean to nail it all down.

He is a real treasure and handsome to boot!!

He was so happy to get that up there that he was singing!


This fulfilled his goal and he had only one more step to the project after that.
I helped him measure and cut the roofing felt - took one more tea break and then he took that up and nailed it down. We are now protected from the rain! 
WHAT rain??? I think it's wonderful to have that room out of the sun!

I stayed close in the front room while he was getting up and down from the roof so I could hold the ladder steady for him. He accomplished his goals for this month and I accomplished the last one of mine - getting the denim ready for a baby quilt which I will start on as soon as I get back home.

Which will be tomorrow!
It's time.

As I close, Louis Dean is sitting on the front porch watching the last campfire and - to use his words -
"Basking in the glow of meeting my goals! The rafters, roof and all just went together like magic!"

We are both very happy campers tonight!!

Monday - Short And Sweet

At home the Goodwills have Senior Citizen discounts on Tuesday.
In Waco, it's on Monday so that's where we went today!
There are several Goodwill's in the Waco area but I decided to go to the one on Waco Drive called the HOT Goodwill! You pay $1.49 a pound.......

except for purses. Those are $2.99 each.
I bought this one for fall. It is big and roomy enough to serve as an overnight bag.

I am anticipating taking this to the pool as a beach bag.
Amber and the kids dearly love the summertime and spend as much time at the pool as they possibly can. I hope to meet up with them there after school is out. They still have another week after this one!

I found some good things!
Muffin pans in mini and maxi sizes, a spice shelf that turns, one super duper hat box,
a very large denim skirt that I am going to cut up and use as a crib quilt backing, Fibber McGee and Molly will be some fun entertainment and two love song CD's for home.

Louis Dean picked up this cute little hanger and says he wants to use it to hang up his overalls.
I asked him tonight about painting it red and he said he kind of likes it the way it is!

From Goodwill we used our handy direction app called Waze to get us to The Catch for lunch.
Dean had told us about this place and Louis Dean has been wanting to eat there ever since.

He was not disappointed! 

The catfish was just the way he likes it and the fries and hush puppies were delicious!

Plus they have free beer and margaritas!!
He had the beer and I am not drinking these days so it was win! WIN!!
We meant to do two more errands after lunch but only made it to HEB where I picked up a few things while Louis Dean filled the truck up with diesel. We were out of tea and in Texas - that's nearly unheard of to be out of tea!

They had corn on the cob on sale for 5 for $1!
Each ear was just perfect!!

And Thumper absolutely loves the husks!
Tomorrow we will eat the corn and give the cobs to the horses.
We went down about 8:00 to do our last round of Critter Chores and I was thrilled to death to see all five of the young geese IN the peacock pen! I think I may have traumatized them with that long net the other night! No critters were lost on our watch!! Every duck, chicken, goat and geese all safe and well.

Dean and Sherry got back home tonight and they had such a nice visit over the long holiday weekend with Roy and Ruth Ann at their farm. I'm glad we can help out so they can get away some.

Tomorrow I will be packing and cleaning and getting ready to go home on Wednesday.
Louis Dean needs just one more day to get the roof on his utility room.
And I still have that baby quilt to cut out and design.
Chapter one is finally redone. It had some serious problems but I think if I just keep in mind that I'm telling my story and not try to cover too much history, I will be fine.
I appreciate my friend, Linda, in her critique of the book and pointing out the problem with chapter one. Now I am going to follow my friend, Carole's advice and proceed to blurt out my story on paper and be done with it. Then I can go back and do rewrites or just give it to Amber since she's a very talented editor.

All in all, this has been a most satisfying and enjoyable visit here at the ranch.
We are going to miss it when we go home but we will be back again soon.
I'm missing home now and am anxious to get back and see our gardens and flowers.
But most of all, I am looking forward to seeing my children and grandchildren, Mother, Lillian and my siblings and friends. Friends like Virginia who I hope to do a real old fashioned Tuesday with while I'm home!

So, Goodnight from the Country!!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Our Country Weekend! And Our Cool Cousin Has a FOX!!!

Saturday I went to town......as in Mart, Texas!

I absolutely love everything about being out here in the country!
Country roads are the best!
I only passed one vehicle on my way in and you want to know what it was?
An 18 wheeler!!!
There's harvesting being done so maybe that's why he was on the County Line Road.

It has been so much fun to watch the fields from start of crop to finish this year.
This was one of the cotton fields of 2017.
This year it was sown in wheat.
They will probably sow another crop of something since the season is so young.
I really have no clue since I am a City Girl!

Texas Avenue in Mart, Texas is in for some new businesses!
This property will house several new adventures starting this winter!

We will most likely be customers of the Coffeehouse and the Fire-Water. 
Not sure about the gym.....you know we do Critter Chores down here and that counts as exercise!

Most of Mart was closed up on this Saturday but I was happy to shop at the Dollar store and Read's Grocery.

I stocked up on snacks for Mother and Lillian for when I visit them this coming Friday.
I call Lillian a few times a week and check up on them.
I have a better idea of the things they like now and make sure I get plenty of them.
Vienna Sausages are a favorite.
I bought them once for the quads thinking that would be an easy finger food for them.
Amber said not so much.
Still, it is a source of protein and Lillian and Mother both ate up all I took them last month.
Maybe it is old school but if they eat it - I will buy it!
Did you know you can get original as well as the new smoked versions?
Chicken and tuna salad that comes with a little spoon and crackers are also a big hit.
So are mini Oreo cookies and oatmeal pies....and banana moon pies.....and Jello....and pudding...

On the road back to the ranch I see the corn is looking good!

And I made it back to the wheat harvest before they were finished!

The reason I went to town was to buy some milk, fresh fruit and a few other things.
But I forgot to get more tea.
Louis Dean only drinks plain tea.
I have plenty of Constant Comment and Blackberry and such......
I will get some PLAIN tea on Monday when I go into Waco to hit up the Goodwill!
I want to go to the one that sells everything by the pound!
You put everything you find in the shopping cart - they weigh it and you pay by the pound!

Here are the five new geese plus the old gander!
They go in the peacock pen at night and we let them out every morning.
Sweet looking things here......
But when it comes time to put them up at night - they turn into stubborn contrary critters!!!

The gander is a bad influence on the younger ones.
I got them all in at long last - but I resorted to using a big net and yelling at them!

I don't look like that kind of a lady, now do I?
The good thing about is was I got in a really good cardio workout!
We BOTH did!
Louis Dean kept vigil at one end of the pen and I at the other.....
then I took matters in my own hand and swept them up one at a time with the net......that has hole in it....that their heads stuck through....that they were upset about and that I finally got them safely IN the pen!

We came back up to the camper and met the Bee Man and his family.
He took the bee box and proclaimed the area was free of bees.
The bad thing was - he only had 50 bees in his box! After hundreds and thousands of honey bees swarming around! He said they absconded to the trees and woods and who knows where.
This was only the third time that has happened to him.
He had thought to secure enough bees for two hives only to be left with a very few but also with our profound appreciation for his service in getting rid of the bees for us.
If anyone needs a Bee Man in the Waco and Falls County area - let me know and we can put you in touch with a great guy whose main interest is in helping people!

Sunday dawned and Louis Dean was busy at work before I even woke up!

He is a happy camper now that the bees are gone and he can go back to work on his utility room!

He is also in charge of our water!
We have plenty of water down here but we bring in all our drinking water.
Louis Dean handles the ice trays and keeping the container full of cubes for our tea throughout the day. Plus he fills all the containers we can find - water bottles, glass wine jugs and such - for use in the camper.....as in making coffee and tea from the 5 gallon water bottles he buys or fills up with water from home.

Our morning chores were done and we did our Bible reading and prayer time.
I worked on some writing on my book - still rewriting chapter one!
He worked on cutting the rafters for his project and we met in the middle for tea and lunch.

I am loving our time at the ranch.....even though it is extremely hot!
As in 100 degrees!

I love this photo.......

The days are going by so fast we can't seem to keep up with them.
We never get tired of the country and never a moment of boredom.
I wonder at the blessing of being here at all.
The new will never wear off!
And may I say,
 'Thank you, Dean and Sherry, for allowing us to have this time and this place. It means so very much to us to be here!"

We tend to do Critter Chores on the early side.
I went down to bring in the ducks.......

and Louis Dean took care of the goats.

The last thing we do is to close up the hen houses.

Our day is done!
My Hero!
He has built a campfire and is waiting for me to join him on the deck.

But before I go ......
I have to share with you my super special cousins and their place in the country.
They are west of Fort Worth and have built an amazing Texas Country Getaway!

I hope to share more of their beautiful place sometime!

Carrie says she can feel her blood pressure drop 10 points once they reach the dirt road to their place. That's my cousin there in the chair......or not.
His father is my cousin....but I get confused after that.
No matter how you put it - we are Family and THAT is what matters!
And the best part is they share the beauty of their place with all of us......

For the past three years they have had a fox come close to their place......

she hides her babies in the rocks and comes down and nurses them every morning.
Now THAT is the coolest way to end tonight's journal entry ever!!!
Thank you, Carrie and Anthony, if you are reading this.......
You guys ROCK! I LOVE your life!!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Critter Duty Day#1 aka Our Friday!

Louis Dean takes his Critter Chores seriously!
As soon as I had my first cup of coffee, he said he had to get down there to let the goats out.

He's so cute! He takes the three goats out one at a time.
Once upon a time, he said he could have taken all three at once and I'm sure he could!
Actually, he HAS taken all three of these at once. He said that's how he knew it wasn't a good idea!

Feeding the ducks is the very first chore for me.
They are noisy critters!
Can you see the young white goose trying to bite the smaller duck?

I had to pass the 'Crime Scene' on the way to tend the chicken coops in the back.
There's a reason the ducks and chickens get put up at night......

Four new baby chicks kind of make up for losing the duck.
It is the way of life......

Morning chores done!
We headed back up to read and have that second cup of coffee.

Then Louis Dean went about his chores and I went about mine.

We met back in the camper for lunch and to finish our movie!
Chili dogs - his favorite!
Louis Dean says it's one of the few things that still has flavor after 'the dentist murdered my taste buds.' He says that all.the.time.

We started this movie last night and finished it today.
I'd seen it before but I couldn't remember what happened.
It was really a well done movie.

Today was the day to clean up the other side of the front room!

We cleared off the table we use for cooking and also as a flat surface for Louis Dean to load up with all sorts of 'stuff' and I covered it with a special quilt.

Back in the 1970's and into the 80's I sewed all of my mother's work dresses.
She favored A-line styles with empire waistlines and short capped sleeves.
I would make up several dresses for her every year.
This quilt is full of memories of those dresses because it's made from either the very dresses I sewed for her or scraps that were left over.
The entire quilt - every last stitch - was sewn by hand.
I can hardly believe it. All hand made.

*photo from my quilter friend, Carla***

I have no idea who made this quilt.
Mother gave it to me in 2005 shortly after I married Louis Dean but before she had the stroke in September of that year. She pulled it out of a stack of quilts in one of her closets. I wish I had thought to ask her who stitched it.

The bees are much calmer now. Most of them have gone into the hive box and the Bee Keeper will come back tomorrow afternoon to take the box....and the bees away.
Louis Dean is back at work on his utility room and as happy as he can be 'BEE' about it!!

I did one last art session before cleaning and packing it all up.
I didn't really finish anything but I made some progress.

I'm beginning to see Buddy and his personality start to come through......

The front room is becoming more comfortable every time we come down here.

It's beginning to look like Home. 
Our Country Home.

And just like home......the walls are filling up!

I have really enjoyed our time here this month - as I do every month.

While I have not done much writing, I did do a lot of painting - and this time it wasn't wall boards!

Looks like Home!

Louis Dean's guitar is living right there in front of the baker's rack.
He's picked it up and played it a few times.

We did the evening Critter Chores and it took over an hour to get those stubborn geese back in their pen. Visions of duck feathers from the 'crime scene' kept us at it until they were finally all in there.

We just finished our second movie!
Louis Dean said, "That was a really good one!"
And it didn't even have John Wayne in it!!!