Friday, May 29, 2020

Welcome Home, Kitties!

This morning we gathered up our things, loaded up the truck and packed all three kitties in the carrier for the trip home. We drove down to say our goodbyes to Dean and he gave us some of his beautiful yellow squash! That's going to be some good eating!

We stopped at Sonic in Hillsboro for a bite of late lunch and discovered that it's a tight squeeze to get the big white truck in there. I had to get out and make step through some bushes to get to the driver's side so I could pay with Louis Dean's credit card.
We started to go to Whataburger but decided the line was too long and they only had carry out.
I am definitely not as savy as Summer is in ordering take out!
And it's rather sobering when you see how many calories everything has in it!
Since this was our only meal of the day, I guess it wasn't too bad until Louis Dean said to make his a LARGE! I had #9 which was a grilled chicken sandwich and it was really good - especially since they got my order wrong and gave me a CRISPY chicken sandwich instead! SO good!

We had just turned down our street when we spied a garage sale.
Louis Dean said, "We haven't been to one of these in AGES!"
So we stopped. This small kennel caught my eye!
Perfect for the kitties to sleep in at night or whenever we need to keep them corralled.

AND this bigger, better carrier!
I paid $29 for the small one they were in!
Plus Louis Dean bought a DVD of Milo and Otis.
The kids are coming next weekend to spend the night with us and this will be a perfect movie for us!

Welcome home, kitties!!!

Look at this precious little guy!

We are having so much fun!!
Ben is absolutely going to love him!

Everything is back to normal here at home.
Louis Dean didn't sleep much last night so as soon as he unloaded and we watched the kittens for awhile, he took a nice hot bath and went to bed.
I put everything up and did all the laundry.
The last load is in the dryer now.
The only thing we forgot was to bring home our potatoes and onions.
I'll have to let Dean and Sherry know about that so they can go up and get them.
I would hate for them to go to waste and the camper gets super hot all closed up!

“A kitten is in the animal world what a rosebud is in the garden.” – Robert Southey

*Update on Dee*
She sent me a few texts this afternoon and said she is safely in a rehab hospital and her husband is staying there as well.
Taking it one day at a time, she is doing what she needs to do to get better.
I love and admire her so much!

So now I am going to go sit in the living room with a book and read for a few minutes.
I'm thankful we are safely home and I'm thankful all was well when we arrived.
No surprises!

PS......I figured out how to enlarge my photos but is there still no spell check?

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Our Last Day in the Country.....


Today was the last full day in the country for the month of May

Last night I forgot to tell what we named the second kitty!

Samantha and Tabitha.
Just like in Bewitched!
Louis Dean had the honor of choosing the names.
When we leave here tomorrow it will be with THREE kittens!

My son, Benjamin, decided he wanted this black male!
I'm telling you, he is going to be one pampered cat!
I can't wait to share photos of all the fun things he has already ordered.
All four kitties are going to have such a wonderful life!

I spent the entire day painting and resting and doing what I wanted.
The only meal I cooked was breakfast for lunch - sausage, biscuits and fried country eggs.
We are going to miss the country eggs!

I based in this fun painting of rain boots, sunflowers and cotton.
Leaving all the wet paintings here and will finish them when we come back next month.

This little bee will go to Summer when it's finished.
Since I work only in oils and since it takes them a good while to dry,
it's easier to pick up where I left off when I come back.
Several paintings have been messed up and one damaged by trying to take wet canvases home.

Louis Dean took a walk down to pick up Ben's kitty and I just love seeing our honey bees out there amongst the flowers doing what bees do to make honey!

Dean's garden is looking good!
We still don't have one thing planted in ours but we will.
Once the fence is up, we will be on our way!
It will be fun to see how our home garden has done while we have been away.
I know it's had plenty of water from all the rain we've had both down here and up in the DFW area.

I close tonight's journal entry with an update on my friend, Dee....
I am so thankful for the prayers prayed for her.
Life can change in the blink of an eye and it has changed for my friend.
I continue to pray for her and her family.

Blogger has a new updated way to post and I clicked on it yesterday not realizing I would need to figure out how to do things in order to post tonight.
Bear with me while I learn......
Anyone else using the new version?

Deer! Dining! Kittens and Art!

Louis Dean and I were sitting out on the deck Tuesday afternoon when he said,
 "Look, Linda! I think that's a deer!"

And so it was!

We have been coming down here for over 10 years and this was our first deer sighting.

I had my music on and Louis Dean and I had been talking so it wasn't like the deer couldn't hear us.
It went on down the fence line casual as she could be......

until one of Mr. Jackson's cows came over to visit with her and she turned her tail up and ran back into the tree lines at the back of the property.
We may be silly but this was pretty exciting to us.

The fourth Tuesday is our bee meeting night but, once again, Covid 19 cheated us out of it.
However, the monthly meetings will resume in June but in the meantime,
Sherry, Rosey and I decided to have our own.

We arranged to meet in Marlin which is convenient to both of our places.
First - we stopped at Walmart so I could shop for kitty things.
I did, indeed, decide to take two kittens so I bought two beds, food, a flea comb, a brush, nail clippers, treats, a carrier, two fancy collars, litter and a scratch pad thing plus a couple of other fun toys.

Shopping done and we drove right across to El Charro to meet up with Rosey!
We talked. We laughed. We nearly cried. We laughed some more.
Everyone in the restaurant was doing the same thing!
The tables were few and far apart but you could hear the joy in all of us!
One guy sitting at the bar turned around and toasted all the diners proclaiming it a wonderful thing to be out and enjoying ourselves.
I hope I never take 'normal life' for granted ever again!

This morning, Louis Dean told me I should go down and get our kitties!
Like someone else was going to come in and snatch them away from me!

I had to go down and check on something for Dean and Sherry so I took the carrier down and brought our two kittens back with me.
This pic of Samantha and Louis Dean was when he first met her.
I had shown him pictures but he had not been down there to see any of the kittens.
It was love at first sight!
He said, "I never dreamed I would have my very own kitty!"

It's so silly but I took a ton of pictures of them today!
Thankfully, I deleted a lot of them!

Storms came into the Waco/Mart area early this afternoon and they looked serious but all we got was some light rain.
This pic is from this evening when it looked like we might get some more weather.

Grateful we 'dodged the bullet' on this storm!

Started some paintings for the Ardmore Craft Fair in November.
One more session and they will be done!

I'm painting two of the Mr. and Mrs. Santa for me and one for BJ.

I based in this one and it will be so much fun to paint!

Tomorrow I will work on these two.
The bee on the honeycomb is for Summer.

Little Samantha is exploring all sorts of hiding places....and there are many.

But they are tired and are snuggled up for the night.....
so I think we will follow their example.

May I close this journal entry out with a prayer request?
My friend Dee - who came to lunch at my house just last week - is in serious condition in the hospital and it doesn't look good. She is our Leah's mother in law and son of Patrick whom we all love dearly.
Dee's husband has Alzheimer's disease and Dee has been the one keeping their life together.

And tonight I am praying for Dee......

Monday, May 25, 2020

Kitties, Tractor Rides and Lots of Rain and Mud!

Saturday was a beautiful day!
Blue skies and warm weather.

Louis Dean was up early working on his gate and fence.

Sherry came down and helped him while Dean was teaching a Karate event down here at the ranch in the meadow. That's Dean's favorite place to train!

This entire meadow is now under water from the rains of Sunday afternoon, night and Monday until late afternoon when the sun came out!

I spent several hours painting on Saturday and it wasn't on my art projects.
I noticed the door frames that have only been here for two years had peeling paint!
I am having to repaint nearly everything!
I could not figure out why until I realized Louis Dean had been thinning the paint down with water!!
What good does it do to buy high quality paint and then THIN it down??
He and I had a little visit about that!
I decided to pick one area and repaint it instead of trying to do the whole cabin.
Step by step and area by area.

When I finished the day's work and still had paint on my brush - I looked down at the old worn door mats and thought - what do I have to lose??
So I dry brush painted them!
This top one was a dark gray and black.

This was a lighter gray with some designs on it that had faded.
The paint covered them perfectly!

Later on Saturday afternoon, Sherry and I toured their gardens and then we settled down on her deck to count kittens.

It took well over an hour to count all nine kitties and determine their sex.
This collage shows 8 of them and there's one other Tabby - making four Tabby cats.
5 Male and 4 female in all.
The Calico cats are always female so there's two of those.
The orange colored cats are also female.....of them being the tabby on the lower in the collage.
Amber had expressed some interest as has a couple of other friends so we posted pics on Facebook and sent them on texts to help her decide which one she wanted.
In the end, Mike suggested they drive down after church on Sunday and meet them all in person.

Sherry and I made a real good salad for our Saturday night supper!
It had a little bit of everything in it including a cucumber from our garden at home, tomatoes, avocado, ham, cheese, and fresh corn cut straight off the cob.
That corn was a good addition giving it a little bit of crunch and sweetness.

It had been a good day and we were all happy with what we had accomplished!
AND I went to bed looking forward to seeing Amber and Mike and the grands the next afternoon.

I have been sleeping so well every night we have been here.
I'm talking deep, sound and long sleep!
It's easier to feel more energetic if you get enough quality sleep!

It was cloudy with rain in the forecast but the weather said not everyone would get rain and it would not necessarily last long.  We looked at the radar and it was little spots of it all over the place.
Dean and Sherry went to work putting up a shelter for the goats.

Not only for rainy weather but for some shade.
Texas summers are extremely hot!

They also use igloos to shelter the animals.

So this is what they accomplished before the rains hit!

They came in heavy and hard!
We kept thinking it would blow over but it came to stay for several hours!

When I called Amber to tell her we were having a rain and mud event - they were already in Waco!
She shopped HEB - our favorite store! - and then they stopped at Sonic for a quick bite to eat before heading on out to the ranch.

They weren't afraid of the mud!
Thank goodness it had stopped raining an hour or so before they arrived.

Here they are!
If you look closely, you can see where the road splits.
You can barely see where the gravel road goes to the left to the bees and winds down between the duck pond and the big tank.
There's gravel coming down to our place on the right and the old dirt road veers to the left.
We don't really use that one anymore.

SO! They drove straight from church wearing cute clothes and sandals or tennis shoes!
Mike parked up on the gravel and I had hiked up there in my mud boots to meet them.
Then we all walked down past the bees and towards Dean and Sherry's place to see the kittens who are all housed up on Sherry's deck.

I do so wish I had snapped a picture of Dean out in the kayak on the big tank aka Lake Toguchi!
Such a serene scene and I regret I didn't get my phone out and snap it.
I asked the kids, "Can you see Uncle Dean?"
No one saw him except for the adults.

They had their minds set on those kitty cats!
And oh, my!
 They all had so much fun holding and playing with all nine kitties plus the two mamas.
I forget the mama's names but they had their litters within two days of each other.
Amber noticed that they were 'young mothers.'
Another reason to get these babies into homes and get them fixed!
We spent a couple of hours up there on the deck.
Amber picked up every single one and could not get enough of the kitty loving.
Mike took a pic of one of the mamas and most of the nine kitties all in the box together.
Sweetest pic ever!
The kids would take off one or two at a time to go with Auncle Dean and/or Mike to see the silky chickens, peacocks and horses.
Amber gave all her attention to the kitties!
She narrowed it down to two......the black eyed Calico......

or this one.
THIS one was THE one!
The kids didn't know they were going to get to take a kitty HOME!
They were just excited to meet the new critters at the ranch.
They got SO excited!!
But just between you and me - this was all about Amber.
She had July and Snowball - both gone now but she had them for 19-21 years.
This was a memorable occasion.....Amber chose her first kitten as an adult.
I think she chose wisely.

We left her kitty there and Dean and Sherry brought her down later that evening.
I hiked back to the camper along with Kailey and started their showers.
All the kids had thoroughly enjoyed romping around in the mud!
Our shower is all set up albeit with only cold water.
So we know how to take basins of hot water and shower anyway.
Kailey was intrigued.
One by one, as the kids came in, they each showered and got into clean dry clothes.
Amber always thinks ahead and brought extra clothing.

She had also brought lots of hot dogs, buns, fixings, chips, drinks, a sock-it-to-cake, watermelon and more. We added cantaloupe, hamburgers, buns, veggies and corn on the cob to the mix and had ourselves a glorious cook out!
I didn't take pics of much of anything!
 But it was all good!

Mike did the grilling but I started the charcoal.
I have a container that you fill up with the charcoal briquettes and then stuff paper in the bottom section. I whipped out my propane weed burner and started the fire!
Mike took it from there.

It was such a good time!!
I was thrilled to get to see them all and Logan gave me a collection of notes she has been writing the past week or so. Kind of like a collection of letters.
I had cleaned off the fridge but the side is now filled with notes and drawings and I just love it!

Showers and clean clothes followed by good food and fellowship.

Aunt Sherry and Uncle Dean had bought four  individual bags of fireworks for the kids back in the winter. You can only buy fireworks in Texas a few times in the year.
Our grand finale was shooting off them off.
The kids had a blast and so did I!
I heard the other adults talking about me getting so excited about things and I guess I do.
I don't want to be a 'Grumpy Granny.'
But I guess at the core of my being - I enjoy Life.
Getting lost in the back acres of the ranch will always be a good memory for me.
Mostly because Dean came and found me.
He said there was a limited area I could be in!
Still, it was an adventure.
I hope to grow old gracefully and since I am already on that road of old age - I intend to enjoy it as much as possible.

Our Sunday night ended with Amber and Mike hiking back up to their vehicle loaded down like pack mules. That's parents for you!

The kids, on the other hand, enjoyed individual tractor rides with Aunt Sherry back up to the gravel road.

Memories made!

This morning we woke up to more rain and it rained until well into the afternoon.

This is the kitty I chose!
Louis Dean said, "I thought we had an agreement - no critters!"
I changed my mind.

Ginger has made herself right at home with the Bells.

She is one blessed kitty!

Amber sent these pics today.....Ginger had already found the big dog water bowl.

Look how sweet!
I think it was a win WIN all around for Amber, the kids and Ginger!!
LOVE that name!

It's late on Monday night as I finish up this journal entry.
I have decided it might be best to adopt two kitties.
We have a quiet household and I'm thinking two litter mates would be better off together than just having the one. They could play and entertain each other and not be as needy as just having one cat.

This was the only female tabby.....and I am partial to a tabby cat.

But then there's this sweet other calico.......
I'm thinking......

I'll close with Dean's photos of Lake Toguchi.....

this is the spillway and it is flowing!!!

Lake Toguchi is OVER flowing!!

More rain is in the forecast for 3:00 - 5:00 in the morning.
I hope to put on my mud boots and go for a walk about tomorrow.
Sherry and Dean drove the Durango up to the gravel road this afternoon.
Sherry and I plan to get out and meet Rosey at a Mexican restaurant in Marlin tomorrow.
Plus they have a Walmart there and I am in need of kitty supplies.....
beds, litter box, litter, food, collars, litter scoop, treats, a scratch tower.......

It's been a long time since I have loved an animal......
but that's about to end.
I see new adventures with a couple of kitties in my future.
They will be beloved house cats and will most likely live a long time.
It's rather sobering to think that the two kittens I choose will possibly be with me the rest of my life.