Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"And it came to pass.....", Yellow Meated Watermelon, and Art! Our Country Wednesday....

I have always loved this verse - actually these MANY verses in the Bible that says.....
"And it came to pass...."
I am so grateful that it doesn't come to STAY!

Louis Dean woke me up at 9:00 to tell me he was going into Waco to buy a tool he needed.
He is trying to blame it on the Great Pyrenees pups - and they do tend to take off with just about anything if you leave it laying around. But it's more likely that he set it down some place and can't find it now. So it was nearly noon by the time we had our reading this morning.

He brought me flowers!
My favorite!
Pulled up by the roots at the side of a country road because he left his pocket knife here.
Better than flowers from a florist!

In return, I fixed him an open faced roast beef sandwich on toast with a side of potato salad.
Since I am celebrating 'Christmas in July' - I served his lunch on a Christmas plate!

He went out to work on the bathroom - he's put a wall up between the shower and the sink and put in a shelf up at the top of the shower to hold his toiletries.

I wrote some more on my book.
Just plugging along at it.
I'm always reading a book and as I was reading today, I noticed how many words are used to describe a simple scene. I suppose writing a novel is a far different thing from telling your story. Or maybe not. I need to join a writer's group. The author I met in Galveston highly recommended I do that. But I am a bit reluctant to have another 'thing' to do. We'll see.

For our afternoon snack - I cut open the watermelon.

It is such a pretty color.
Yellowish orange. I have had some in the past that were flat out plain yellow.

This one is delicious! And it was a HEAVY thing!
Louis Dean took the rinds down to the critters this evening along with a bag of table scraps.
It feels good to know that nothing is wasted here.

I've painted off and on all day.
The front room is warm but not unbearably hot.

This is going to be my Christmas giveaway this year.
It's a 9X12 reclaimed canvas. I had painted peaches on it long years ago and used Easy Off Oven Spray to remove the oil paint, put a coat of Gesso on it and it was ready to paint on.

It doesn't look like much at this point but next week I will start pushing paint around until the details start to show. It is a process. Oil dries so slowly and that's why I work on several paintings at the same time.

Remember that awful Santa I could NOT redeem???
Well, I redeemed the canvas!

And I thought it was fitting to paint something fun on it!
My friend, Christi sent me the link to this amazing artist.
Don't you know that gal is as fun as she is talented??

Our day is done here.
We burned our paper and Louis Dean used that to start our campfire.
Fresh from our showers - I LOVE that we can use the shower now - and ready for a glass of wine and some stargazing.

Goodnight from the country!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tuesday! Art and Busy Bees!

Sherry and I have spotted our busy bees all over the ranch.

She came up after work today to size up the bees Louis Dean discovered in the meter box up here by the camper. We are so excited!! FREE bees!!! Sherry's bee mentor is coming on Thursday to help her move them to a hive. Sunday we will be helping a fellow beekeeper harvest their honey and our honey harvest will happen next weekend! The last 12 days have been busy happy days for us!

Tuesday is my traditional Art Day and I need to get a move on with finishing up some projects and starting my Christmas paintings.

So what did I do first?
Use the paint on my (frozen) palette to rejuvenate a weathered wreath!
I had already started painting the pears before I took this photo.

The wreath went from distressed to colorful in the space of an hour!
I paint with oils so after it dries, I'll add some highlights and shadows and will buy new foliage picks to brighten up the greenery. I love redeeming things!

I finished The Duck Pond. It is already hanging on the wall in the front room!

I painted this sunflower on a colander for my sister, Luann.
In looking though my project list, I remember a painting of Miss Pepper to do for my Canadian friends, the Larsen's. I hope they get to travel to Texas this fall and I will hopefully have the portrait ready by then. And there's the painting I promised my friend, Tim.... I have a lot to do and I need to get with it!

I have this Christmas painting ready to start tomorrow.
It is a 12 X 16 re-purposed canvas.

This one is a square canvas.
I have two other Christmas paintings planned.
One for my Christmas card.
One for a giveaway.
One for Fort Worth Family Christmas tree.
One extra?

Artists are seldom tidy.
I am a good housekeeper. 
However, my paint buckets are messy and I seemed to use a dozen or more brushes tonight.
My turpentine gets murky and all my rags are smeared with paint.
Yeah, I had a good art day!

It was really hot today. I was in the front room with open windows and great ventilation and still had to come inside the cool air conditioned camper to cool off a couple of times while I was painting.

Then the golden hour arrived.

Louis Dean had already gone over to the garden and watered.

The wind picked up. The sky darkened. Rain came down.

We closed out our Tuesday with a good movie.
I love Richard Gere and and I love this story.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Pumpkin Love and HEB - Sunday and Monday

I went to 'town' Sunday afternoon. Dean and Sherry had been up here visiting and Louis Dean mentioned it was going to be too late to go if I didn't hurry up. I said 'town' doesn't close so early. It was 4:30. Dean said, "Everything is closed by 6:00 on Sunday."

So off I went in the big white truck.
I took a back road - I guess they are all 'back roads' but this one was even backer than most.
It brought me right up beside the Dollar Store - missing the drive down Texas Avenue.

I had various ad sundry things to get ...... but what a pleasant surprise to see these Pumpkin scented Glade products! I will plug these babies in here at the camper before we go home so it will smell super good when we open the camper up again in August.

We've been sitting out until at least midnight searching the sky for meteor showers.
I saw 3 last night! So did Louis Dean but it wasn't the same 3! I guess one of us is talking while the other one watches the sky - then when a meteor is seen - we switch.

This morning Dean and Sherry left for a funeral and we did a few of the Critter Chores for them
We headed to Waco to do some errands - Lowe's, Walgreen's for our medicines, and HEB.

HEB is my most favorite store with Aldi and Trader Joe's right behind.

I use their steak seasoning on everything from salads to cottage cheese to baked potatoes to steak!
They changed the packaging up and I like to never have found it!

I haven't tried this before - but I bought some!

I call Amber every time I go to HEB because it's her favorite store, too.
She usually wants some seasonings but today she just asked for a South Padre Beach candle.

Louis Dean has a good time everywhere he goes!
When he was checking out he had not realized he bought a yellow meated watermelon.
Boy! Did he get excited! The young man bagging our stuff had never even heard of one!
But he was a big fan of John Wayne and it was like old home week at the check out!

I love the drive home.
We turned off at Walt's Road thereby missing Mart.

My goal every year has been to be here at the ranch every single month.
So far I am right on target for the first time!

This is where we turn to cut across to County Line Road.

I'll close this journal entry and wish you all a good night.
I hope you get to see some meteors!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Water Leak, Burlap, Denim, Garden, Canning and Riding the Tractor! Our Friday and Saturday!

Louis Dean likes to say, "Wake up! Get organized. Talk to wife. Get re-organized."
Or in Friday's case, look around and see a leak that became visible once Sherry did some mowing up here for us. All his other plans went out the window and he settled down to fix that leak.

This area is behind the camper and the bathroom at the end section of the front room.
The pipe broke due to faulty workmanship and that was due to working in a hostile environment due to those mean vicious bees last spring. It took him the entire afternoon to  get it all done and put back together. The water was turned back on after the sun went down.

I spent the day doing some odd and end things.
At the feed store we noticed in the beekeeping section, some folded burlap strips packaged up as bee smoker material. I have burlap. As in an old feed sack. I bought several of them at Leon's Junction for the kids to do sack races when they came down. We never did that so I used them as a tree skirt on my country tree in the front room. I has another one just laying around.
That one's now packaged up and ready to use in Sherry's bee smoker

Look who's been hanging around with us!
I asked Sherry if I could name her July. She looks so much like Amber's cat she got on the 4th of July in 1992. Can you spy Sherry and Louis Dean in this pic?

She's a pretty little thing.
What's not to love about a cute kitten??

She is not the least bit intimidated by Rufus.

Sweet critters.

I had traced all the squares on the jeans and Friday I cut them all up!
That job's done. Every time we come down here, I bring some denim to whack.

Louis Dean spent some time watering the garden.

I picked okra and some tomatoes.
That okra grows so fast!

Just a man watering a garden.
Funny how satisfying doing these simple things are to our soul.

This morning (Saturday) was canning day!

Sherry picked one more round of okra and we settled down to pickle them.
She had everything set up in her kitchen and it was a lot of fun to work together and get it done!
She just sent me a text - all 8 of the jars sealed!
There  will be more canning in our future.
Back in the early 90's I canned just about anything I could find at Farmer's Market.
Jams and jellies, vegetables, stewed tomatoes, spiced peaches, even candied apple rings.
Vegetable soup was one of my favorites and pickles.
I would host canning parties and a few friends and I would meet at 4:00 in the morning and head over to downtown Dallas. One time I took us to a coffee shop I had read about in the paper. Except I took us to the wrong one. It.was.awful. Cockroaches crawling on the wall. Drunks slumped over tables.
The service was not good and the waiter said his help didn't show up that morning. My friend - Brenda Freeland was her name and she had taken a vacation day to do this adventure with me - said, "Of course, she didn't!Who would??" I don't know why we didn't leave but we stuck it out and then laughed and laughed about for years!

Dean had a couple of his karate students here for a class down in the meadow while Sherry and I were canning. They all went to town for lunch at B.Walker's Kitchen in Mart. They brought us back some burgers and fries.

Sherry took me back up the camper cabin on her tractor!!

That was so much fun!!

While we were visiting over lunch, she noticed one of our bees was on the red door.
I'm not a good photographer so I was pretty proud of myself for getting a decent pic of her.

I don't have pictures to prove it, but Sherry brought her zero radius mower up and mowed our 'front yard.' Then she let ME drive it!!!

Life is pretty exciting down here!!!!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Courage, Curtains and Campfire....Thursday at the Ranch

I read every day from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie and have for over 15 years.
I just about have it memorized.
I added another book of hers to my daily reading - MORE Language of Letting Go.
These meditations are for those recovering from co-dependency....and I think there are more of us than you might image.

Between the Bible, a devotional reading and these meditations - I find I can keep a fairly good balance in my life. I have learned to be brave. To take chances. To truly experience and live life.
It's been a very long journey and I am so grateful to be where I am today.
And I intend to do everything I can to stay emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually healthy.

The weather has continued to be mild in Texas!
I went this entire day without thinking once, "I am HOT!"
We kept the windows open again last night and still covered up!
This afternoon, I turned the AC on but turned it off this evening.

At home I prefer darkened rooms while here at the ranch I love the light.
The front room is always bright with the sunlight and a whole wall of windows.
I've never once thought about covering them up.

But the camper is like a tin can and we do what we can to keep it cool.

I stuffed a pillow in the bathroom skylight.
That blocked a lot of sun - and heat!

The girl bunk window faces west and you can feel such fierce heat coming in.
I have black out fabric to block that and today I added another layer of insulation.
I cut up a flannel lined pair of men's jeans someone had given me.
I made a valance for the top using the waistband.
Then I turned the cut up leg sections upside down with the hem at the top.
I cut slits in the jeans and black out fabric and used pine cone shaped shower hooks to hang on the old hardware that is so attached to the wall I can't get it off.

I can still pull the curtains back at night or in cool weather.
When it is truly hot - I have a piece of plywood cut out to fit and I slide that over the opening under the curtains.

The window at the table is layered in blinds, black out fabric, denim and an old broomstick skirt.

This window is dressed with a heavy ticking jumper I used to wear - back in the 80's.

Above the sofa I use blinds, a broomstick skirt slit up one side and stretched out as well as two heavy pillow shams. During the intense heat, I slide the windshield reflector up behind the blinds. It stays behind the sofa when I want to open this window. I just pull the curtains up and stuff them in the little cabinets over them. We can look out at the garden, duck pen and pond from this window.

In the bedroom we have room darkening curtains lined with heavy black out fabric.
In the fall and spring we open up all the windows but not when it's much above 70 degrees.

Louis Dean has been working today on who knows what but he's stayed busy.
I opened up my book that I'm writing to the last chapter I've written - chapter 17.
The last time I wrote anything was in April.
I typed in some notes to remind me where to start and a few lines to help me get started.
Then I closed it up and will pick up writing tomorrow.

Louis Dean and I sat out admiring that 'Golden Hour' - which does last about an hour from start to finish. Sherry came up and sat with us after she got off work.

We had the campfire going and watched it while we visited and made plans for dinner.

This donkey belongs to Mr. Jackson and he was letting the horses know they were getting too close to his property!

I had gone out there to take pictures and the horses thought I had treats.

So I ran in and got a handful of carrots!

Everything looks pretty in this golden light.

Sherry had gone home to get the food ready.

She brought a platter of mozzarella cheese and sliced fresh tomatoes straight out of her garden.
Drizzled with this Balsamic Vinegar......delicious!!!

I made a salad of watermelon, cantaloupe and feta cheese and used a bottle of White Balsamic Citrus Basil dressing I picked up at Aldi. It was surprisingly GOOD!! I would have used chopped mint leaves had I been home but  it was delicious as is.

Sherry brought onion rolls and BBQ pork loin slices, pinto beans and pepper poppers.
We LOVE those pepper poppers and both of us make them all the time.
Tonight's batch was unexpectedly HOT. At least some of them were.
Louis Dean was the first one to get a HOT pepper.
I ended up with my eyeballs sweating!

I bought a Loaded Baked Potato Salad from Sam's and served it for lunch yesterday.
Louis Dean was not impressed.
Sherry took it home with her, added some chopped onion, brought it back and he was gobbling it up!

My all time favorite wine!
From New Zealand where my friend Carole of Carole's Chatter lives.
Cheers, Carole!

Thursday are like a Friday to Sherry since she works 4 long full days a week.
So we just had the best time kicking back and eating and visiting.

We topped the night off with fireworks!!

I can't wait to see what all we do tomorrow.
Every day is something different and special.
I'm thinking it is time to set up the art table and start painting.
Right after I write awhile in my book.

Have I mentioned that the Ranch is like a Summer Camp for Seniors???