Monday, June 29, 2020

Back to the Country!!

Samantha and Tabitha are the best little travel kitties!

They seem to really love each other!

I'm SO glad we took two kitties and SO glad we picked these two!

I picked Dean up at the DFW airport Sunday morning and we were on our way back to the country shortly after noon. He had flown to North Carolina to teach at a Karate event.

Sherry met us in Waco and we ate at The Catch again - outside on the patio - so we could keep our kitties beside us. Then we stopped at the Mart Fireworks stand!
We will be isolating ourselves for the next 2 weeks since Dean has been traveling so fireworks on the 4th of July?? Absolutely!
This lady in red started her business 38 years ago and reminded me of my friend, Reaoma.
Same voice and complexion and hair. Plus I think she had some of her personality.
I counted it a blessing to meet and visit with her.

Back at the is always good to BE here!

Everything is a toy to kittens!
I'm getting some things together to take to a local thrift shop in Mart - Virginia's Vintage at 411 E. Texas Avenue. But I let the kittens play with them first.

They keep us entertained!

I slept late this Monday morning - it was after 11:00 when I got up and Louis Dean had already reset a couple of fence posts and done a lot of other projects! He was out there early!

Later in the afternoon, he laid out the grass carpet we bought recently on the front deck.
This will keep pests and insects from coming up from underneath and make it comfy for our feet.

Louis Dean and I walked down to do a 'walk about' during the Golden Hour.

I had cleaned out our camper pantry today and had a bag of popcorn to feed the geese and ducks.

Then we walked down to feed the chickens and goats.

The 'mops' went along with us.
Remmie and Rugar.....

Tiger... aka Mama Kitty.....walked along with her four kittens. One is Tuxedo with the white feet and the other three are tabbies so they all look the same.

What was mud just a short time ago.....

is now caked and cracked dirt.


Curious mama cat......

We fed the goats.....

There are now two goat pens.....

I tried to give them all a snack.

There are eight goats now......

Pretty cool!

For some reason I just love saving all our table scraps and peelings and such, knowing the critters will enjoy them.

Louis Dean and I walked down to the critters and around the goat pens and on up to the big tank and then down by the bees and on to our camper/cabin.

There we are!

I love all my little lights.

Summer got us some super cool solar lights!
It's been a beautiful summer day and night for our first full day back in the country!
We get to be here for a full week!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Our 15th Anniversary, Vet Visit, Bell Time, Cake and a Sewing Lesson With Logan!

Thursday night we were sitting in the gazebo and I looked up at the perpetual calendar on the back wall of the house and said, "Guess what tomorrow is!"

Our Anniversary!
Louis Dean and I met on eHarmony......

I like the way they do it at eHarmony.

I found what I was looking for in Louis Dean - a true friend and my first true love!

Bless his heart!
He so wanted to marry a musician. He asked me several times if I played a musical instrument.
Like maybe I did and I forgot??

We matched and we bonded and 71 days later - we were married.

We are more in love today than we were 15 years ago!
Friday morning I took my coffee into the music room and we held hands as we listened to a couple of songs from Youtube......

Happy Anniversary


Sweetheart of the Year

eHarmony was right!
Louis Dean is very romantic!

Summer has been house sitting while we were at the ranch so she went with me Friday afternoon to meet up with Amber and take Samantha, Tabitha and Ginger to the vet for their second round of shots.
They all did great! Healthy and growing kitty cats!

Samantha was worn out from the vet visit while Tabitha was hyper as all get out!
Ginger was just slightly out of sorts.

Amber invited us to hang out with them so we watched movies all afternoon and the kids played and held the kitties.
Since it's a family tradition to  watch Independence Day every 4th of July, we watched Indepenence Day - The Resurgence instead.

Mike is a Master Milk Shake Maker and Harrison chose the ice cream and provided the toppings!
Milk Shakes and a movie!
What could be better?

Then Granddad came over to join us all in Friday night movie, pizza, popcorn and Cokes!

Trystan sat by her Aunt Summer during the movie and I thought this was the sweetest pic!
So, what started out as a routine vet visit turned into an all day movie marathon with family!
I loved every minute.
It was after midnight when we went home!

Amber sent us this video message just after we got here!

We have had a wonderful 15 years together and I pray that if it is God's will, 
he will give us at least 10 more.

After my knee surgery in January - Goodness! That seems so very long ago now - Louis Dean gave me a card that says......

I love how much fun it is to be us!
I love that we know each other,
Get each other,
and are real with each other.

I love that no matter what's going on,
we always find a way to make each other laugh.
I love every moment we share - 
and I love US!

I keep that card on my bedside table and look at it every day.

We stayed up so late talking and laughing in the gazebo, 
it was nearly 4:00 when we came in to go to bed!

Summer went back to Rowlett this afternoon but not before she made us some tasty little anniversary cakes!

Tonight, Logan and I had a sewing lesson by way of Messenger Video.
Earlier this week she made her very first stuffed animal.
Her daddy helped her and she drew a teddy bear pattern on paper, pinned it to her fabric and cut it out.
She sewed it on her very own sewing machine, turned and stuffed it.
Tonight I taught her how to close the opening up and to sew on a heart shaped shank button for the nose. Plus she used yard to tie a bow around the bear's neck.
It was such a meaningful moment for me to get to share with Logan....truly she is my Mini Me!

I am getting this journal entry in under the midnight hour!
Now I must shut down the house for the night......turn off all the little lights, the music, make coffee for in the morning and go to bed.
It's certainly been a wonderful weekend at home and we are ready to get back down to the ranch tomorrow!

Friday, June 26, 2020

Bees, Cats, Geese, Ducks and More Bees! And Home Again!

As soon as Sherry got off work Wednesday afternoon, we suited up and, wearing our mud boots. met down at the hives! We were not expecting what we found there. From what most of the beekeepers were saying at the meeting, this was not going to be the best year for honey. However, the back acreage of the ranch was and has been covered with black eyed Susans and Mexican hats among other wild flowers. The front of the property has also been well represented.

We were delighted to find the frames were loaded with pure sweet honey.
We know this because we some how managed to get a taste to our mouths even though we were completely suited up!

See all the capped honey???
You can see the busy bees working to cap those small golden cells of honey with wax.

When we took the lid off of all three hives, we could see lots of activity.

Apparently our one hive from last year sucessfully re-queened itself.
We lost the other hive in late winter.
Then we bought two more hivesnthis spring and one of them had bees all over the front indicating it was becoming over crowded. 
Sherry had squares of Bounty paper towels and we placed one on the top of every super.
The boxes that hold the 10 frames of wax and honey are called supers.
The purpose of the towels is to treat mites.
I forget how she said it works but it does.
Mites, wax moths and much to learn in beekeeping.

The hives were all so full of honey - 6 supers FULL - that we knew we needed to add another super to each hive. So I took my suit off and walked down to Sherry's with my paintbrush and we painted the new boxes.

This is Tiger - one of the mama cats.

Cats are so interested in anything that's going on!

Sherry has the hives color coded......we have pink, blue and purple.
Next week we are going to label the boxes by hive number and super number.

The geease thought we needed supervising.

After we finished and I was about to walk up to our camper/cabin,
Sherry called the ducks and they followed her to the duck house for the night.
They love the corn she gives them.....

 I have been doing at least some writing every day.

I can now tell my story without crying.
But I am at the point in the book where my children are involved and I am not completely healed from that just yet and I know Summer isn't either.
I do hope she will be as we talk together about our life back then.
I don't believe we can heal from the past until we take it out and look at it and grieve.
There is healing in seeing things the way they really were. Taking the memories and events and situations out of the shadows and darkness and into the light.
And I do not think we are alone.
I may be wrong but I truly believe we all have things we have to work through.
If there were no dark times in our lives, how could we know how precious the bright times are.
In my case, my happiest years God saved for last. 
I am so grateful for happiness.
It is a gift not all people experience.

I went to bed early last night.
Writing can be hard work and I was tired to the bone.

We are out of medicine and really needed to get home.
I checked the weather and was shocked to see it showed rain for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
When I checked the radar and then the hourly forecast,
it showed rain at 80% chance from 4:00 on through the evening.
I talked to Sherry and we agreed to do the bee work at 1:00 on her lunch hour.
So I flew into action packing up, closing up and getting ready to go home.
I changed the sheets and gathered up the laundry.
Went through the fridge and packed up perishables.

Then I put my bee suit on and Louis Dean drove the truck down to Sherry's to load up the supers.
Praise God it was dry enough!!

We really do have fun together taking care of our bees.

In this pic you can see the camper back there.
It was not really hot today but anytime you are suited up in a bee suit - it is hot!
You can see the clouds behind me.

It was such a pretty day.
Blue skies when you look this way.
This is the big tank halway between the bees and the hen houses.

Looking back up to where our hives are located.
While the roads are not totally finished yet - Dean and Sherry have made so much progress!
That tractor made a huge difference!

This is up from where the kayaks are and you can see the bucket feeders Sherry uses to feed the bees sugar water when the flow isn't running.
The flow refers to nectar.

Our bee work was done and we are so excited about the honey we plan to harvest towards the end of July. The way I figure it - we will get 12 gallons of GOOD honey!
Last year we got 2 gallons! Plus 2 gallons of bitterweed honey....which Dean used to make mead.

Time to go home!
Mr. Jackson's dog comes over to get a treat so we keep dog biscuits in the truck for him.

We got home about 5:00 and set about doing laundry and gathering freah tomatoes from our garden here. I made up a big Chef's salad with chicken.
Summer stayed here at the house while we were gone but she didn't need to water the plants because it rained so much!

With Covid numbers rising so fast and furious, we are back to staying home as much as possible.
No dinner party and no musicians playing here on Saturday night.