Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Country Mouse back to City Mouse.......

We knew it would be a short visit to the ranch and we enjoyed every minute we were there!
Louis Dean and I both slept so long and so hard last night - good solid sound sleep!
As always, we enjoy arriving far more than leaving but today was easier because we know we will be back this time next week! We will return for Critter Chores while Dean and Sherry get 'off the ranch' as opposed to us 'getting out of town.'

It didn't take us long to get packed and ready to go since we didn't have to pack up much.
Laptop, our personal bags with medicine and such, perishables that I packed in our insulated bags, Louis Dean's guitar and music, our Bible basket and that's about it!

We drove down to say our goodbyes to Dean and Sherry and the critters.

I'm looking forward to getting to feed all the animals next weekend.
Most of them, anyway! Some of the banty roosters are pretty intimidating.

I walked down to the meadow - my favorite place.
I spy some firewood ready to cut up!

That makes me happy!
We usually have campfires year round down there at the ranch.

I totally neglected the horses this time but I will make up for it next week!

The peacock was showing off for me.
I was excited to get to see him swoop down and fly from the top of the pen.
Dean did a fantastic job building this bigger better higher peacock pen.

I am a sucker for old rusty weathered things.

And I have a soft spot for my grand dog, Rufus!
Louis Dean and I have been saving bones for him and I gave him some when he came down to visit last night. I left the rest in the fridge for him.

Dean dearly loves Rufus and Rufus loves Dean.
Louis Dean is keeping his eyes on the geese. They had followed me back from the meadow and you can't turn your back on them because they can sneak up and nip you pretty hard!
See that dryer drum beside the dog? That's a gift from Dean and Sherry. It will be our new fire pit liner! I am so excited! The last one he gave us has been used up!

You can see tiny wildflowers start to appear all over the place and then there were these pretty little things!

We passed the big tank as we drove up to the gate.
See you soon!!

I want to  brag on my friend, Jutta!
She was featured in a professional dental magazine and this is the interview they did with her.

It's in Finnish so I asked her to translate it for me.....

1. What is best in your job / work?

Very international community both in the Helsinki hospital area and abroad in the science meetings. On going learning of new and challenging of my self on daily bases.

2. Worst in your job / work?

Uncertainly about the results of my science and the possibility of the possible clinical use of them.

3. What motivates you in your work?

See the previous 1 and 2.
4. The colleague whom you admire the most and why?

Prof RDC who is the top in his field and besides extremely friendly and open good friend
5. Your sports?

Walking and playing with my grandchildren

6. In what you are good?
Taking photos, 
handwork, taking in the moment when it comes, spending time and having fun with grandchildren 

7. What ability would you like to learn
To take other people better in account better, forgiveness.

8. What quality do you respect?

Loyality, to try hard and long ( do not know in English but like do not give up is closest ), honesty, love, wisdom

9. What do you have 
always in your fridge?


I love that last question!!

So we are back home as I write this journal entry tonight.
As we were driving back, the temps starting dropping and the clouds grew heavier and the misty rain just kept on falling. We drove straight to the Center where we did our walking. Only missed Tuesday's walk. Then I shopped Aldi while Louis Dean sat in the truck listening to the news.
I bought most of the groceries for our company meal this weekend.....after changing my mind several times I have decided to go with pot roast, mashed potatoes, candied carrots, fluffy salad, an appetizer tray....and brownies. Maybe some chocolate chip cookies. Coffee. Ice tea.
His granddaughter and her husband, her 14 year old daughter and her one year old baby who is named Bella are coming on Saturday! Bella is what Rayne calls me.

Tonight I worked in the den - I took down the Santa wall and rehung it with the landscapes and still life. As I was putting these up it struck me that I need to paint some new ones!
I hope to do more art this year. Nearly all my paints are down at the ranch since that's where I paint now. I think I'm going to do a series of cow paintings. I've never painted cows before.
It's probably time for me to paint some different things....past time, really!

Since it had turned really cold, I cleaned the fireplace and used some of the free wood Louis Dean got last week and kept a nice fire going out here in the den all evening.

This is the only clean area in the den right now!
I'm hoping to have the whole room clean and all spruced up by this time tomorrow night!

It was a good time to come home and watch the news.
We have been watching President Trump and Kim Jon Un on TV.
A truly historical event and I am so proud of our President.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Country Getaway!!

Monday morning Louis Dean dropped his heart monitor off at the doctor's office, we packed a few things in the truck and went up to the center to walk before heading south on Interstate 35!

We were going to the COUNTRY!!!

Monday was Sherry's birthday so we stopped in West, Texas at the Czech Bakery to buy her favorite kolaches....Apricot!
Once we got to Waco I made a mad dash into HEB to pick up a few things.
I was in a hurry!

Finally! We turned onto FM 939 and look what I saw!!
This was the first time I've seen any cows at all in this particular pasture

I have no idea what kind of cows these are but I like them!

Just look at that face!!

Louis Dean is such a good guy! 
He's always willing to stop and wait on me while I take a picture!

We drove in at the ranch and quickly unloaded the big red work table and all the stuff in the back seat, picked Sherry up and we drove back to Waco. 

Dean met us at La Fiesta Restaurant and Cantina to celebrate Sherry's birthday!
She is such a blessing to all who know her!

She and Dean are a great couple!
Kind, thoughtful and both of them are so much fun!

We ended the evening with music.
It was a wonderful day from start to finish.

It's always good to wake up in the country.
The goats came all the way up here to say good morning!

They are loud but so entertaining!!

Louis Dean calls them Larry, Curly, Moe and Joe!

Monday was like a spring day with blue skies and warm weather.
Today was more wintry looking with gray everything.....gray skies, gray trees, gray ground.
Louis Dean came in and said the 20% chance of rain had arrived!
Not heavy but still wet.
We spent a couple of hours putting the table in place and getting the front room put back to rights.
I'll buy some red paint next week and bring with us when we come back and repaint the whole thing.
For now we just wanted to set it up and see if it will work for us and it will!

I made some stuffed Jalapeno peppers for our lunch along with some quesadillas with refried beans and shredded cheese.

While I did the dishes and puttered around up here, Louis Dean went fishing.

I took this pic from the open camper window and you can just barely see him up there by the overturned canoe. He got a couple of good bites but no fish. Next time....

Just as soon as Sherry got off work the two of us were in the truck and going back to Waco.
Tonight was the Beekeepers Meeting but first we had to get to the feed store before it closed at 6:00 so Sherry could buy some baby chicks.

I meandered around the store looking at all the different kinds of chicks!

These weren't the ones Sherry bought. She got some really cute ones with little puffy balls of feathers on top of their heads and they were so tiny!

While Sherry paid, I continued to mosey about and when she said 'Hello' I turned around to look at her - but she was still at the desk paying.

This is the gal that said hello!

We were early to the bee meeting - like over half an hour early!
Being early is a real novelty for me.
It was nice to be relaxed and watch the other people arrive.
Now that I have met a few of them at the work day on Saturday, I am feeling more a part of things.
Sherry and I sat on the second row from the front - with the cardboard box of chicks in the seat next to Sherry. The baby chicks cheeped all through the meeting! Sometimes really soft and sometimes louder. She even covered the box with her jacket to muffle them. We didn't leave them in the truck because we didn't want them to get cold. They are really brand new babies.
No one said anything during the meeting about the chicks cheeping but afterwards, when Sherry and I were in the ladies room, one of the members said, "I still hear little birds!"
She laughed when we showed her the chicks. She thought she was hearing things and had asked her husband, "Do you hear birds?" Then when she heard them in the bathroom, too, she really thought she was losing it!

Speaking of birds!
We stopped at HEB on our way home so I could get Louis Dean some coffee.
I used flavored coffee and he uses regular.
When we left last time, I had put the coffee for our separate pots in the filters and stacked them in the metal tin. That was the last of his Folgers and I had meant to bring more coffee with us when we came but I forgot. Apparently the fragrance of my coffee got on his coffee!
And he is not a fan of frangrance on his coffee!
He didn't drink but half a cup!
The trees and parking lot were covered in birds!
It was spooky!!
Not pretty birds chirping and tweeting, either.
I think they are grackles or starlings.

Well, we are off to bed. We go home in the morning and will go by way of the nursing home to see Lillian and Roberta. It's been a short but sweet visit and we are planning on coming back after Louis Dean's doctor appointment next Wednesday. We will be on Critter Duty!

One more night in the country!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Internet, Bee Boxes and Spring Debris...Last Weekend in February 2019

This whole week I have been determined to address some of those pesky little nuisances that I have kept putting off. Anytime you call a doctor to ask a question is going to be time consuming. That was the most important 'nuisance' on my list so I addressed it first thing Friday morning.
My question was - I was wondering if it would be okay to take Louis Dean out of town on Saturday.
He was still wearing a heart monitor but it wasn't the kind that is on 'real time' so they are alerted in an emergency. It was the kind that records his heart over a period of 5 days to see if the new medicine is working. It wasn't certain that he would go with me to the Bee Keepers Work Day near Whitney, Texas - barely 2 hours away - but I wanted to know for sure it would be okay. After going through several minutes of prompts and waiting on hold......I talked to a person......explained the situation.....and she said Oscar would call me back. And he did! Not much over 2 hours later. He said it would be fine. Next I called Humana in behalf of Louis Dean and responded to a questionair regarding his last visit with his primary care/physician assistant. It was important to him that he leave a good report as he dearly loves his PA! Important even though time consuming! The computer voice sounded just like Captain Rader on Major Crimes. Tone, inflection, everything!!! Made the chore a little more enjoyable.

Wednesday I finally cried Uncle on our super slow/often disconnecting Internet service with Frontier. I elected the 'Live Chat' with a technician and after interacting for over an hour - and more than two cups of coffee on my part - I had turned off the modem/router after hooking up to my personal AT&T hot spot to continue our chat - and plugged everything back in and all seemed to be better. Still, he said a service man will come out and check things. I nearly cancelled the call since all seemed to be going well......but I had started the Live Chat conversation off with saying I need a new router. I only had Internet when I would turn the router on and off when it would disappear when I was online. I'm happy I did NOT cancel the call......the appointment was between 1:00-5:00 so at noon Louis Dean and I were getting ready to go up to the gym and walk.

Meet Richard from Frontier Communications.
He was at our door at 12:05.
We have no doorbell so he knocked and waited. Knocked and waited.
I'm glad I happened to walk through the living room and noticed someone was at the door.
We have no screen so I never open the door without knowing who is there.
He said, "Frontier."

Let me tell you, Richard solved all our problems!
He looked things over and went back to the truck for a brand new modem/router!
The best thing about the whole deal was how Richard and Louis Dean hit it off!
I went back to fixing my hair and putting on my make up - you know I don't leave the house unless I do - even for the gym! I could hear them in there swapping stories and laughing.
I listened to make sure Richard was doing as much talking as Louis Dean. Otherwise I would have gone in there and rescued him!
What we know about this fine Frontier technician is that he is 42 and has a great sense of humor.
He told us the story about his 17 year old son getting smart with his mother. Richard confronted him and said, "I have known you for all of your 17 years. I've known your mother for longer! I love you - but I love HER more! You better never talk to her in disrespect because we can always make more kids that look just like you!" I'm telling you - this man is awesome!!
When he left I told him to tell his wife she is a blessed woman. Of course,he told us that HE is the most blessed man.

Then we went to the gym laughing and talking about Richard!
Day #5!!!

We are rocking this walking thing and I am going in April for my check up.
I know Dr. Abraham will be impressed!

We are also eating more healthy meals.
Pork chops and baked potato plus a salad.
We eat at least one salad every day.
I did not fry the pork chops but breaded them with egg and milk and coated them with crushed up Durkey's French Fried Onions. Then I baked them and they were delicious!!

We had a nice Friday.
While watching a TV program, Louis Dean mentioned he was having tightness in his chest just like before he went to the cardiologist. I stopped and called Sherry and said I couldn't come to the work day the next morning. I needed to stay with Louis Dean. Then we talked it over and since I had permission.....I told him he was coming with me. End of discussion. I'm not usually as pushy with him as this but I need to know he's okay and I did not want to leave him. So he had to come with me!

 Saturday morning we woke up at 7:00 - a compromise from the 5:00 I was intending to get up.
The work day started at 8:00 so I needed to be up and leave early. But we made an allowance for Louis Dean and left around 9:00 and arrived shortly after 11:00.

I was just so happy to 'bee' there!
The treasurer of the Bee Keepers opened his barn up for the work day.
We were building Bee Boxes in preparation for the bees we have ordered which will arrive about April 15.

Sherry was already there and had been working away on long before we arrived.
She had brought Louis Dean's reclining lawn chair from the front room and he sat himself up to watch and visit with everyone.

Everyone was helping one another!

When one would finish their bee boxes - they moved over to help someone else finish theirs.
I already love these people!

Then we had lunch!
Brisket and all the trimmings!
Everyone brought sides and treats and it was every bit D-lish-US!!!

This was Louis Dean's favorite part of the work day!

I brought potato salad, dill pickle spears, pumpkin muffins and fruitcake cookies.
Sherry brought chip and a crock pot full of pulled pork.
One lady brought three of the best pies ever! Two pecan pies and one buttermilk.
I seldom eat sweets and can say no to cakes and pies - normally!
I have to say - I could have eaten an entire pie!!
Dare I admit to eating two pieces of pecan pie??
And half a slice of the buttermilk?
AND the lady gave us two slices to take home!
Oh, MY!!

It was such a good day and we had fun and made some new friends.

We drove the country roads back to Hillsboro.
This is the courthouse on the square.
When I think of Hillsboro, it's the business areas alongside Interstate 35......but there's much more to the town than that!

Of COURSE, I spied a thrift store!!!
And of COURSE, we parked and went in!

I found a few treasures......3 movies to take back to the ranch.

And a read aloud book for us.....
plus I bought three stemmed glass votive holders and 3 hand made candles....and a pretty green glass bud vase.

We left at 9:00 or so and came home shortly before 4:00.
I got to work on my housecleaning and cooking. Louis Dean went back to his music.
Sherry called me a little later and said the wild wind that had been blowing all day had done an amazing job of drying up some of the mud at the ranch. She couldn't believe it!
So we decided to make plans to leave Monday morning after Louis Dean goes to the doctor.
Win! WIN!!!
My goal is to be at the ranch half of every month......or at least BE there every month! 
Last year I missed February, September, October and November!

We went to bed happy campers thinking and planning about getting down to the ranch!

Sunday morning I woke up tired and knew Louis Dean would be, too.
We opted to watch this morning's service at Fellowship Live online.
I poured our coffee and made a tray of mini pumpkin muffins with cream cheese and we settled down in front of my laptop in Louis Dean's music room.

I had gone into the kitchen and was banging around making some lunch when I heard the door bell - as in a real bell with a string that has vintage cuff links tied to it by which  you can make the bell ring.

It was Kimmy and June......this is June.
She stayed in the car while Kimmy came up to the door.
I had messaged them that I had pumpkin muffins and fruitcake cookies for them.

Louis Dean hijacked Kimmy and was showing her some gospel music videos so I went out to sit with June in the car. I was in my 'bag lady' outfit so I put a pink cap on - I was wearing a green night dress with a flannel blue plaid shirt and black socks - to improve my appearance. It didn't help.

They brought their fur babies along with them/

Aren't they adorable???
We do so love Kimmy and June!

Louis Dean was loading up the truck for our trip to the ranch.....
and he is a genius at loading something heavy all by himself!

He is a master of things work!

In keeping with our more healthy way of eating......I made a salad for a late lunch.

Since we eat salad every day, I am using different salad plates to change it up a bit.

Our main course was chicken and dumplings.
I bought a roasted rotisserie chicken the other day and after using some for a salad, I boiled the rest and gave the skin, fat and bones to my possum. I added dumplings (torn up tube biscuits) and some seasonings. It was really good. We ate most of the dumplings so I will use the remainder for chicken noodle soup next week. I put the rich broth in the freezer until then.

This afternoon I brought in a bunch of my spring decorations.
Back in September when we were driving home from our cruise, I bought a bag of rose garlands at a thrift store.
 I never opened them until today. I used two of the matching rose garlands to fluff up this tea cup wreath I made a few years ago.

I hung it on the china cabinet in the dining room.
The rose theme continued to develop as I set the table with my Desert Rose dinnerware.....also from Goodwill last year or the year before.

There was a smaller garland of roses that I used in the middle of the table around the spring tea pots I chose for a centerpiece. Teapots also from Goodwill!

The tiny creamer ( Goodwill) will hold a small bouquet of herbs when guests come.
And we are expecting guests soon!
Louis Dean's granddaughter and her family will be here next Saturday.
We are all so excited!

I'll brag on Dean for a minute!
We could not be prouder of him and the work he has done and continues to do in martial arts.
He is such a good guy and we love being around him and Sherry!
Can't wait to see him!

I will close tonight's journal entry with a picture of my Sister Nita's new chicken lamp.
She and Mike went to Mineral Wells on Saturday.
In case you haven't heard - Mineral Wells is making a big come back!
Nita found and purchased this amazing lamp.
On our siblings thread this morning she asked for name suggestions.......
there's only ONE name for this beautiful girl!!!!
Nita was thinking the very same thing!!

Last Monday we were planning on going to the ranch.
The doctor said no travel.

Saying a prayer that tomorrow is a go!
We are packed and ready to leave!
Hopefully my next entry will be from the country!!