Friday, February 28, 2020

Dr Pepper White Texas Sheet Cake, Dilly Bits and Denim Quilting....

It was a Stay-at-Home kind of Friday! 
My favorite!

After over 50 years of using a dirty clothes hamper of one kind or another - I am ready for something else. I asked Louis Dean if he might make a light weight wooden hamper with a hinged lid.

Of course he could and he went to Home Depot and bought a sheet of plywood and started working on it today! I'm going to paint it to match the hall - gray with maybe some white.
I love that all I had to do was ask!

The first thing on my list of things to do today was make Dilly Bits.
I like to use these in place of croutons on salads.

 2/3 cup oil
1 pkg dry Ranch Dressing mix
1 Tablespoon Dill Weed
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 10oz pkg oyster crackers

Mix all the ingredients and then add the crackers and toss until they are all coated.
Spread on a sheet pan.

I bake them in a convection over on 250* for an hour or so.

Next on my list was a Dr Pepper White Texas Sheet Cake.
Pam clipped this recipe out of the Dallas newspaper and I made it once last year.
I could NOT find that clipping today so I googled it and there it was!
I also baked a batch of banana cupcakes to take to the nursing home tomorrow.
It's been awhile since we have seen Lillian.

The third thing on my list was finishing the denim strips for a quilt.
12 rows of 10 squres all sewn!
Now I will sew some strips of black denim and cut each strip into two narrow strips to put between the regular denim strips.
This quilt is for a young man I have known all his life.
I've made quilts for both of his sisters and honestly thought I had made one for him back when he graduated but I guess I just meant to! My memory is full of holes!
Once this one is made, I have two others to do for birthdays and one for a new baby!

Our yard guy came today and I was so excited!
I noticed yesterday how badly the grass and weeds were looking.
I still can't get down on my knees but as soon as I can, I am going to be cleaning out the flower beds.

It's not even 8:30 but I am already in bed as I write.
My energy level is low and I have napped and rested often today and decided to just go on to bed early tonight. I finished the book Time Will Tell and have started another one called Protect and Defend by  Vince Flynn. So I think I will bid y'all a good night and read until I get sleepy.

Happy Weekend!
Tomorrow is Leap Day!!!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

February Lunch Date With Brenda and Blog2print!

Brenda and I have been meeting for lunch every month for at least the last 10 years.
We miss the odd month here and there but we both try to connect at least for an hour on a monthly basis. Brenda was sick in January and didn't want to compromise my recovery from the knee joint replacement so this is the first lunch for us in 2020.

Yesterday was really cold - as far as Texas goes!
It was in the upper 40's with a stiff wind blowing.
Those tree trimmers earned their money working high up in our pecan trees!
While today was a dozen degrees warmer - hot baked potatoes still sounded good.
I made a Caesar salad and baked some brownies for dessert.
It was a box mix but I added chopped pecans and half a cup of crushed potato chips.
No one would ever guess the brownies had potato chips in them!
The hour went by so quickly that Brenda had to take her brownies to go!

I made Louis Dean a plate of his own adding rolls and ham and cheese to give him a heartier meal.

I took our picture on purpose.

I started Linda's Life Journal 10 years ago in January.
I've always meant to print them up in a book but - here I am 10 years later - and I'm just now doing it!

I had too many pages for the entire year to go in one book so I divided it in two.
This afternoon I ordered the second book for 2010.
That's how I know Brenda and I have been doing lunch dates for at least 10 years.....
it's in my journal!  
And our photo will be in a book someday.

I use blog2print and it is easy to do and affordable.
My first book for 2010 ran about $100 but I got a coupon code for the second one and it was $69.

I have kept a handwritten Country Diary since 1986 and intend to give these to Amber when I am gone as she was born in 1985 so these will be significant to her.

The printed journal books will go to Summer.

I think it will nice for my grandchildren to read about our times together.
I used to do MiMi Camps for my oldest three....
Sam, Faith and Levi are Jesse. Jr.'s children.

It's good to have memories you can hold in your hand.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Tuesday Things and Wednesday

Tuesday morning Summer stopped by for a couple of hours!
She was picking someone up at the airport later so we got in a good visit.
I made us an oatmeal, sausage and Panettone toast breakfast and we ate in the dining room at the black and white table. YES! I'll be using it gain on Thursday and possibly on Sunday as well.

I had a 1:30 appointment with Dr. Sanders Tuesday afternoon.
First of all, I had x-rays.Then a PA came in and checked out my knee.
I explained it had been hurting since last Tuesday and that I overdid some exercises AND had a bee sting. One thing led to another and we talked about beekeeping. He assured me I was in good shape and that Dr. Sanders wanted to visit with me next.

Once again we talked about beekeeping and you know what both doctors wanted to know first of all?
How does smoking the bees affect them? What does it do??
I explained that it calms them down. I also told them you do not want to eat a banana before going out to work your hives. It drives the bees crazy.
That's because it contains the same compound that is in the honeybees' alarm pheromone!
If you want the bees to leave the hive - just take a banana peel and put it in the top of the super.
But make sure you are suited up and well protected because they will be mad!

After we talked bees - and I promised to bring him a jar of honey on my next visit - we talked about my knee. Turns out I am 6 weeks post op and surpassing the 6 MONTH progress mark!
Both doctors bragged on my good healing qualities.
I'm thanking God for those!
I'll be continuing my normal exercises at home and cancelled my physical therapy appointment for Friday. I only went twice anyway.

I went home and rested for awhile - and then we had an early supper before going to see the grand quads perform in their second grade play.

They didn't open the doors until right before 7:00 and Summer was the first to arrive.
Louis Dean and I were next and we three were the first ones in the door.
We got seats on the second row and saved places for Amber and Mike and his parents.

It was such a fun play!
Freddie the Frog and The Jungle Jazz

Harrison was the star of the show as Freddie the Frog!
He did great and I was amazed at how much he had prepared and memorized!
Plus he danced! Is he not adorable??

I didn't take very many pictures but - trust me!
The kids were all adorable!

As soon as the play was over and they were dismissed, the grands came running to find us!
Trystan found her Aunt Summer and Logan found me.
They made the rounds with both sets of grandparents being there!
We were all so proud of them and even more proud of Amber and Mike and the great parents they are to our grandchildren!

Here's Kailey with her Granddad.
She was a little tiger in the Jungle Jazz.

As was Logan. Trystan was a cute little elephant and had a few lines.
We would not have missed this for the world!

We were home before 8:30 but I went to bed early and read for awhile.

Today (Wednesday) I did the grocery shopping at Aldi.
We were out of several staple items like butter and vegetables, fruit and salad fixings.

By the time I picked everything up and put it in the cart - and then take everything out of the cart and put it on the checkout conveyor belt - and then take everything back out of the buggy to bag it up - and then haul it into the trunk - I was TIRED!
I carried the milk in when I got home and asked Louis Dean to unload the rest.

Yesterday he had called a couple of tree trimming companies and arranged to have them come out and give us an estimate for trimming the two big pecan trees.
One couldn't come out until next week but the other came at 11:00 this morning.
Louis Dean hired them and they came back this afternoon and did the job.

They were already at work when I got home.

I love that they cleaned up all the messy limbs and branches!

It looks so much better!!
AND we had it done before the spring storms which usually bring down several limbs.

They saved some of the smaller branches for firewood and stacked it up by the gate at the foot of the northern pecan tree.

Louis Dean promptly built us a fire!

I even cooked us a good dinner tonight.
BBQ chicken baked in the oven, potato salad, baked beans and pepper poppers.
Plus brown and serve rolls.
I haven't had them in such a long time!

I'm trying to pace myself and not do as much.
Still, I managed to freshen up the guest room this afternoon.
The Christmas bedspread was still on the bed.

I'm writing tonight while propped up on pillows in my bed with the laptop on the bedtray.
Louis Dean is in his music room singing a Willie Nelson/Kimmy Rhodes song......

Now I will say goodnight and read a few more chapters in Time Will Tell.
I read the other two books in the Clifton Chronicles but apparently I missed this first one.
I do so love a good book!

Monday, February 24, 2020

We are Back in our City Home!

Sunday was a quiet day for us.
My knee continued to hurt to the point that we missed yet another visit with Roy and Ruth Ann.
They were staying in an RV park around West, Texas and Dean and Sherry drove out to shop some antique stores with them. I opted to stay in the girl bunk most of the day and spent the time reading.
Louis Dean was a little more active and packed and loaded the truck for our trip home.
He flirted with the idea of leaving Sunday but I just didn't feel like doing that.
We fixed sandwiches for supper and watched the first of Season 2 of Justified.
Then we went to bed early. As in 8:00.

The road was much drier than it had been when Sherry and I went to the bee worker meeting on Saturday. Plus she and Dean had driven in and out twice since then.

However, after a rain we are always happy when we get to the gate!

It was a wild ride!

I had a bit more energy today.....
we actually left before noon!

We stopped at IHOP in Hillsboro so we wouldn't arrive home hungry.

The laundry is running, my candles are lit and the oil diffuser is misting.
Classical music is on the radio and I made a big pitcher of iced tea.
Not as good as what I had at Panera Bread but a close second.
Louis Dean took a hot soaking bath while I went to bed with a good book.

Then I got up and took a long hot shower.

Louis Dean is watching a History program on George Washington and I am going to go back to bed and read some more.

I'm a little concerned over my knee and will be glad to see the doctor tomorrow.
I'll miss the bee meeting this month but the quads are in their school play Tuesday night and you know we wouldn't miss that for the world!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Friday's Birthday Celebration and Saturday Bee Working Day!

We have had an exciting weekend celebrating Sherry's birthday!

Dean has been planning this surprise lunch since January and Crystal, their daughter, has helped him! I did my part in telling her we wouldn't be here for her birthday - which is the 25th - but we wanted to take her for lunch at their favorite Fuji Japanese Steak House in Waco.
We four drove there together but what Sherry didn't know was that 7 others were going to join us!
Left to right in the photo above - Crystl, Sherry, her sister Cindy and her husband Rick.

It was so much fun!
That's her dad and mom sitting on the far side and Roy and Ruth Ann were sitting down from them.

Sherry was all smiles!

We all were!

When it was time to sing Happy Birthday and they asked her name - she said 'Crystal!'

She had some gifts to open!

You can't go wrong with a honeybee theme!

It was a great time!
Sherry was totally surprised that Roy and Ruth Ann were there.
They live further than anyone else and they brought their RV to stay a few days in the Waco area.

We gave Sherry our gift Friday morning.
Not one but two fiberglass ladders! 
An 8 foot and a 6 foot.
The blue bows made it perfect for 'Sherry Style' as Amber said on Facebook!
Sherry loves practical gifts and any gift you get from her is always a thoughtful one.
She's the one who suggested we give pool memberships to the quads and Amber for their birthdays last year since they are all everyone such water babies!
Louis Dean came up with the ladder gift idea and he was so proud of himself!

We all left the ranch early Friday morning so we could go to Marlin which is the county seat so Dea and Sherry could do early voting. Louis Dean and I did ours last week by mail.

Friday was just perfect start to finish and it was good to see so many of us all togther who love Sherry. She is such a special lady and has a heart of gold. Plus you can count on her anytime and anywhere. She and Dean are both Salt of the Earth type of people....but are her parents, daughter, sister and brother in law and her Uncle Roy and Aunt Ruth Ann.

Sherry has been there for me and Louis Dean more times than I can count.
Not to mention the wonderful hospitality they have shown us in allowing us to be squatters here on their ranch.

We got home Friday about 4:00 and Louis Dean and I both took a good long nap.....and then went to bed on the early side.

I set my alarm for 6:00 Saturday morning!
The sun wasn't even up yet!
Sherry picked me up at 7:00 and as we went out the gate and turned onto Countyline Road, I watched the sun rise! Now that's not something I see every day!

We were headed to Crawford, Texas for a Heart of Texas Beekeepers Association Work Day.
This is a annual event where we can buy bee boxes, frames, wax and kits to get ready for the new bees we have ordered for the spring. Then we put them together.

Members who have the space and can accommodate a work day offer their hospitality for the day.
Last year it was in Clifton, Texas.
The beekeepers are from all over this section of Texas.

Meet the owner's beautiful lady who met us all as we arrived.
By the way, Sherry and I stopped for breakfast at Whataburger and ate it in the car on our way.
The day was scheduled to start at 8:00 and we got there at 8:04! 

I volunteered to take orders, money and write receipts.....which I did for an hour or so and Sherry was the first in line. We bought three kits which includes the boxes, frames, spacers and wax inserts.

This was a great place to have a work day!

Since I was writing receipts during the busiest hour and then went straight to building our boxes with Sherry, it was at the end of the work time that I came up for breath and took pictures.

There's a lot of property here and it goes all the way down in the back to to river.
They say there is some good catfish to catch down there.

It was a cold day but not too bad.

We build the boxes first then the frames and finally put the wax inserts in.

Sherry and I make a good team.
We finished our three boxes and loaded them in the vehicle and then looked around to see who we could help. Last year people helped us and we wanted to return the favor. The seasoned beekeepers help the new ones. This is only our second year but we have had some 'seasoning.'

We arrived for the work day on time and were some of the last to leave after helping two others complete their boxes.

In the middle of all this, we walked with the owner of the property over to look at his beehives. 
He is brand new to the association but already had three hives and he is going to split them this spring.  As we were standing around and talking - I got stung for the very first time!
Now I am a REAL beekeeper!!!

I was shocked it was only 1:00 or so when we left. I had been up for 7 hours and thought it would be late afternoon! We stopped at Panera Bread for lunch and it was delicious. We ate there because neither one of our Deans would choose that place.
Sherry had the blood orange lemonade and I had the plum ginger hibiscus tea.
The food and bread was amazing but I LOVED the teas!!!

By this time my knee was really talking to me.
I thought maybe the bee stinging me on my left foot - the same leg as my surgery - may have made my leg hurt. But it may have been I was standing on my feet for over 4 hours working.

Still, we passed some interesting stores like Kirkland and World Market.
I am buring the last of my candles here at the camper/cabin so I was checking them out.
I am a thrifty sort of lady and $14.99 is a little too pricey for every day candles.

Just as we were driving into Mart, Louis Dean phoned and asked me to pick up some milk......
so we stopped at the Dollar General.

Sherry found an isle that had all half price things on it!
Including candles!
 I got this big clock for just $7.50!
It hangs in the bathroom above the Dearborn heater.
This way when we are sipping our wine at night - we can tell what time it is!

I love salt lamps and now I have one for the camper.
It has a dimmer switch, too!

Sherry and I got home right at 3:00 and I did a little 'damage control' before taking to the girl bunk for a nice long rest. Alas, my leg is still hurting enough that if I had brought my pains pills with me - I would take one. The bee sting has just this evening turned red and puffy. Not real bad but enough.
I took a good hot shower and made oatmeal for Louis Dean to eat later.
He's a night eater.

Dean and Sherry went to Waco to meet up with Roy and Ruth Ann at the RV park where they are staying. They are all going out to dinner and visit. I had to cry uncle and we didn't get to go.

Louis Dean made a campfire earlier and if there's any spark left, I am going to look at it over a glass of wine and then I think I am going to bed early.......and sleep in late!
Tomorrow is our last full day this visit and I want to enjoy every single minute.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Rainy Wednesday and Windy Thursday

We are so glad we came down to the ranch on Tuesday before the rains came in!
It rained all night Tuesday and all day and half the night Wednesday!

The ducks and geese love this weather!
Dean took this photo Wednesday when he was out doing critter chores.

Photo from Dean

I love a rainy day!
Good weather to linger long in bed and stay in warm pajamas and a fuzzy robe!
Read books and watch programs.

Photo From Dean

We stayed inside where it was dry and warm!
Dean still had to get out in the weather and take care of all the critters.

Dean took his truck up to where the gravel starts so he could get out Wednesday evening and teach his Karate class.

We watched from our windows.

It's still a little like camping down here - which is what we like - but we have stayed comfortable with our heaters. We could use propane in the camper for heating but we haven't yet.
The top heater is an electric one Summer gave us and keeps the entire camper warm.

The little fireplace heater is more decorative than functual but you can feel the warmth if you sit right in front of it.

Finally, the best heater of all!
The Dearborn in the bathroom.
Put all these together and we are good!
I even leave the camper door open to the front room most of the day so both are equally heated.

It's kind of fun to sit in front of the heater in the bathroom and have our evening wine!
This was last night......
Today the rain has gone and the wind's been blowing!
This will dry things out pretty fast!

Photo from Dean

This is Ruger.
Look how he has grown!

I've spent most of this cold windy day all nestled in the girl bunk reading.
Louis Dean worked on a couple of projects out in the front room.
He put up a light for me over the table so I can see to do art.
Not that I've done any. My art tub is still in the back of the truck.
Maybe he will bring it in for me tomorrow.
I did open up the book I'm writing and read over the last couple of chapters.
I'm hoping to wind up Part I this winter and I do believe Part II won't take nearly as long to write.
I just need to DO it!

Sherry cooked a batch of pinto beans and cornbread and brought supper down tonight.
We had the very best time eating together and then visiting.
When they left, Louis Dean said, "THIS is what I love about being here! Spending time together and talking." It reminds him of all the times he and Ellen would visit her parents, Ruby Nell and Jerl.
Such good memories.

We are going to bed with happy hearts tonight!