Friday, July 31, 2020

The Big Red Roof Project Has Begun!

Today was exciting!
Sherry and I went into Mart to pick up a few groceries at Read's and the Dollar Store.
Dean called and said the guys were coming to put in a couple of poles for the Roof Project.

We had not been back at the ranch long before here they were!
Sherry offered to use her tractor with the auger on it to dig the holes.

First hole dug!

Exciting times here today!

The guys were working hard.
One hole dug.
One pole placed and cemented in.
OOPS! Wrong spot. No problem!
Ronnie - on the left - is so strong!
 He just hugged that pole and pulled it straight up.
They dug another one a few inches to the west and reset it!

Louis Dean enjoyed sitting on the deck and watching!

They dug another hole and set the pole and said they would be back in the morning at 6:00!
They worked at their regular job today and then came out here to set two poles.
They think they can finish the job this weekend.

This is the door prize I won at the bee meeting on Tuesday!
I am hoping Amber will help me set up an Etsy shop when we go home.
The honey tastes better than last year's harvest!
I will go back on my Facebook posts and contact those who were interested.
Who knew I would become a beekeeper??

I have been painting and painting and painting!
Tiny little strokes and it's so so ????
I am struggling with these faces more than I have any other Santa paintings I have ever done!
The bigger the canvas - the easier it is to paint.
These are 9 X 12 and it's hard.
I have one couple all but done. I can highlight later and then glaze after it's dry.
Now I am working on the other canvas.
I am past the idea of making them look like certain people and am just hoping to make them like ?
Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.

Tonight, after Dean and Sherry put up the goats and ducks and fed the critters, they came up here for hot dogs! Complete with chili, onions and cheese, potato salad and baked beans!
I love days like this.....where Sherry and I  go to town and then meet back for projects or visiting.
She was so helpful in critiquing my art. I needed her eyes and she was spot on!
We all ate together on the front deck - which will soon be our front PORCH once it's covered!

Dean had brought up some fireworks ro celebrate Friday with and I actually shot some of them off myself! With a little help from my friends!

I love doing these right here at the ranch!

I'm not good with photos but the fireworks were beautiful!

It's an early bed for us tonight since we have such an exciting day in store for tomorrow.
Not sure I will be up at 6:00 in the morning, though.

Here's our beaautiful Chandy girl!
She was at an appointment where they did all sorts of tests on Jax and everything looks perfect!
She will be admitted to the hospital Sunday night and they will induce labor at 10:00 PM.
Were it not for Covid - we would so BE there in the waiting room!
I guess the waiting rooms in delivery are empty these days.

Goodnight, y'all.....

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Country Meals, Bee Meeting, and Roofing Materials Delivered!

I'm loving our time in the country.
Tuesday I reminded myself of our Aunt Ruby!
Back when we were little and in the year 1957 when life became very confusing and complicated for us.....and Mother was pregnant with twins....and we four didn't have anywhere to
our Aunt Ruby took us in. Not only did she take us in - she loved us and did not make us feel like we were a burden. We loved her and loved the months we lived with her and our Uncle Humey (Granny's brother) and Rosemary, our cousin. Aunt Ruby had a garden and I remember shelling peas on her back porch. I didn't realize at the time that the garden was to provide needed food for her family. And yet she still took us in. She always wore an apron and I was wearing one yesterday. It was for art but I kept it on as I was cooking a big country lunch for my hard working husband!

Aunt Ruby cooked three meals a day!
Breakfast was oatmeal and lunch was a meat, and two tea and bread and butter. Supper was a lighter meal.
Lunch Tuesday was chicken and dressing, sweet potato casserole, garden salad and a dinner roll.
I felt like my Aunt Ruby!!
I have good memories of all of my aunts.
Aunt Ruby was so good to us. Aunt Viola, my Granny's sister, was another one who took us in during bad times. She was a character and we all loved her! Aunt Alice was our Uncle Truman's wife and Truman was Mother's one and only brother.....and that's what she and Aunt Irene called him - Brother.
I remember Aunt Alice and Christmas. She made three kinds of candy back in 1955. Divinity, fudge and date nut loaf. She was special. When I was 14 years old and pregnant with Summer, Aunt Alice would call me every week. I lived in Dallas and she lived and worked in Fort Worth. But she had a metro line so it wasn't long distance to call me. She, in turn, would call Mother and let her know how I was doing. We also had an Aunt Geneva and an Aunt Winnie.....and maybe another one I can't think of now. But ALL of our aunts were kind to us and I am grateful for every one of them.

Funny how my apron and a big lunch made me think of my aunts......
Memories can be wonderful things and we need to take them out and enjoy them.

Our kittens are quickly turning into cats!
They continue to entertain us.
I am so glad we got two of them.
They play together and seem to have such a good time.
I love how they have adapted to our country life and our city life.
I think it may be that we got them at such an early age.
As I write, it is after midnight. We put them in their carrier and bring them into the camper, cover the carrier with a knitted blanket - it's on the cold side at night in here!
They never make a peep until we uncover them the next morning and start to carry them out to the front room. They do have the option to come inside the camper as we go in and out and they do.
Usually they are in here during the heat of the day. As are we.

Tuesday was our monthly Bee Meeting!
I dressed up and put make up on and fixed my hair.

Oh, my hair!
I really miss my hair stylist, Yulisa!
She always 'fixed' my hair! And she worked magic. Every time.
I am not complaining about the hair cut I got in Bellmead.
It's just that I was used to someone so special.
But, I am so grateful that I was able to get it cut!
I kind of felt like it was a Julie Andrews style!
Notice I am wearing my second pair of prescription glasses?
These are not quite as big as the other pair. read I wear a pair of Dollar Store glasses.
I need to buy a few more of these.....

It's our custom to go out to eat on our Bee Meeting night.
Normally, we are the Three Beekeepers - Linda, Sherry and Rosey!
Tonight it was just Sherry and me and we ate at El Conquistador in Bellmead.
I LOVE that place!

We had the Papita Nachos and a large Guacamole Salad and split it between us.
Of course I had a frozen margarita! I get a frozen one so I don't drink it so fast that I want to get another! We were so full and it was so good!
We have GOT to bring Rosey here for our August meeting!! 

Our bee meetins are being held in an outdoor church place in China Springs.
Our vice president is pastor here and has offered to host the meetings until January when we can go back to the McClennan campus.

It was a good meeting and we always learn something new.
There's a drawing every meeting and we all receive a ticket.
Mine was 505....and the second drawing was MY number!!!
I KNEW I would win!
Like I KNEW I would find that video of Running With Scissors the other day.

Today (Wednesday) was so special!
I staggered out of bed to check if the truck had delivered the roofing materials yet. one cup  of coffee and then I heard Sherry honking her horn!
She had opened the gate and the truck was coming in!

It was a glorious truck!!!

With a cool machine that unhooked and transported the materials to their destination.
It was so exciting!!

Sherry and I gave the driver a jar of honey in appreciation of the sheer enjoyment of watching him deliver the roofing!

I was up early - for me - so after Louis Dean and I had a breakfast of cereal with fresh blueberries, strawberries and bananas - we did our devotions and Bible reading - and then went back to bed to take a good long nap!

I didn't accomplish much today.
After my nap, I went out in the front room and started painting.
I scrubbed out Mr. Santa's face FOUR times!
I have spent hours on these two faces!
It is NOT a finished piece - even though I signed my name.
I will work on it some more but I feel confident I can pull him together.....after he dries out a bit.

I have one more of Mr. and Mrs. to finish and a red barn Christmas painting.
My goal is to have these done before I go home next week!

It's late....I know...
I stayed too long on the new star deck tonight watching the sky.
I DID see a shooting star!!

Monday, July 27, 2020

A 'Summer' Day!

Summer has been staying at our home in Irving while we have been in the country and that has given me such peace of mind! I don't like surprises and we have gone home to more than a couple over the years. Most had to do with water. I like knowing she is in the house and keeping an eye on things.
Plus this gives her a change of scenery.

This morning she and I both woke up about the same time! 
She dressed and headed south and I did my morning routine and watched for her to come through the gate. I watched and watched and then sat down and a minute later I saw her parking her car in front of the truck!

She brought my Epoch Times newspapers, some medicine she had picked up at Walgreen's for us, our mail, a sack of potatoes.....

and this beautiful pair of honeybee earrings!!
These are from my friend, Sharilyn, in Utah.
It's so much fun to think of the ways our friends come to us and we to them.
Amber's dear friend and old college roommate, Lisa, is our connection.
Sharilyn is married to the brother of Lisa's ex husband.
I think Sharilyn found me through Amber's blog and we have been friends for several years now.
She's the one that made the fabulous bee quilt!
As a matter of fact, Sharilyn has been on my mind the last few days.
We keep our Christmas cards to use as prayer cards - and after we have prayed through the whole stack - I keep out the ones that were photo cards and continue to rotate those in my prayer time.
I love the Hunter's card with their large family and smiling faces.
Thank you, Sharilyn....for the earrings and most of all for being my friend!

While the Covid numbers are still high in Dallas County, they are going down, as they are in McLennan County. It's much safer down here in the country than in the city.
We both needed a haircut so that's what we did first!

I found this Great Cuts place and they made us feel very safe.
You could not go inside the front door when you first arrived.
A lady came out - wearing a mask - and we gave our names and address.
There were seats along the sidewalk in front of the shop and we waited there for just a few minutes before our stylists were ready for us. First, we went to the hand washing station and we both washed our hands as did our stylists. Summer is trying a new cut and I just wanted mine cut short!!
Win! WIN!!
We also planned to get pedicures but had no idea where.
I complimented one of the ladies on her nails and she told us where she had them done!
Bingo! That's where we would go!

We stopped by Collin Street Bakery on our way.
I wanted an apricot pie - but they had none.
I settled for a couple of loaves of Pecan Bread.

Summer knew of a tasty hamburger place that was a 'hole in the wall.'
The BEST kind of place!!
Old fashioned hamburgers! And Tator Tots!

On to Luxor's Nails on New Road!

I had my hair cut short and my nails cut short, too!

One little bitty stop at a Goodwill!
The socks are new and I am looking forward to the fall and winter wearing of them!

Our last errand was Aldi and then we headed back to the ranch!

Louis Dean had stayed busy putting in yet another deck!
(It was all done just a few hours later!)

I wish our day together could have lasted longer!

Summer was on her way back to the city!

It sure was good to see her!
Her fibromyalgia has been acting up and she spent the other day in bed.
But compared to all the many days she used to have to stay in bed - she was certainly not complaining.
She has to have a couple of tests and then go back to the doctor for a treatment plan on her neck and upper spine. Have I already said that before? Sometimes I forget and repeat myself.

There's nothing like having some special mother/daughter time!

She sent me this pic she snapped and then a text that she was nearly home.

Our fridge is full again and I made a pot of chicken and dumplings for Louis Dean's supper tonight.
He just told me there's an exciting display of lightning off to the southeast so I am going to take my glass of wine out to the front deck and watch it with him.

It's been a GOOD day!!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunflowers, Projects and Girls Day in Waco! Our Country Weekend...

Thursday was hot with blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

I have no idea why Louis Dean enjoys washing his clothes when we are here in the country but he does.
He fills a tub up with soapy water and fabric softener and soaks them for hours.
After they are scrubbed and rinsed - he hangs them on the fence to dry.
Before the fence was up, he would string up a rope and hang them from that.

He doesn't HAVE to do this as he has plenty of clothes but he likes it!
This is the only sunflower plant inside the garden fence.
I have been saving the seeds from all my bouquets from the roadsides.
Louis Dean is going to till up a row along the fence lines and I am going to plant those seeds!
As we go down County Line Road, you can see sunflowers growing all along the fenced fields.
This will be so pretty if we can get them to grow along our fence lines!

I put a straw hat on and went off to Sherry and Dean's garden looking for some peppers and tomatoes for supper. The sunflowers are the best thing growing right now.

I suppose the spring gardens are all just about played out.

Time to plant the fall gardens!

Louis Dean worked on his deck all day long.
I do not know how he can work in the heat like he does!
It was so hot! 
I cooked three chicken thighs in a small crockpot and added the peppers I found in the garden plus an onion and made chicken and rice for supper.
The rest of the thighs I cooked in a larger crockpot to make chicken and dumplings and chicken and dressing later. Louis Dean usually loves red meat but here lately he has been very satisfied with the healthy meals I have been making.
It was an early bedtime for us Thursday.
The heat can take it out of you.
But we always spend a little time out on the deck stargazing before we turn in.
Jupiter and Saturn have been amazing!

Friday was such a fun day for me.
I have not been getting out much lately - due to Covid at home so when I do shop - I like to shop in Waco. Sherry is off on Fridays so she picked me up at 10:30 and we spent the entire day together and didn't get home until 6:30! Eight glorious hours!!

Our first stop was at Pioneer Steel and Pipe so I could pay for the roofing materials!
I changed the color from a dull red to this brighter one!!
They will deliver the materials on Wednesday and the contractor will start work on Friday!
We are SO excited!!

Sherry asked if I was up for a Goodwill???
We ended up shopping Heart of Texas Goodwill and Salvation Army both!

Have you ever had something in mind when you were shopping and then - there it was?
That has happened so many time to me.
In this case, it was Running With Scissors.
The movie is based on the personal memoirs of Augusta Burroughs.
Two of my siblings read the book.
They knew I was writing my book - and I'm still working on it - but they advised me NOT to read this.
One day a year or two ago - I have been writing this book for a long time - I saw the movie at a Goodwill here in Waco. I did not buy it.
For some reason I had the thought to look for the movie on Friday and lo, and behold, there it was.
I bought it this time. Perhaps it wasn't the rigtht time then. Maybe it is now. I have no idea.
I haven't watched it yet.
Did any of you see The Glass Castle?
It's a memoir by Jeannette Walls.
All of us siblings read it.....or at least the four of us that grew up together did.
The book did not upset nearly as much as the movie did.
I fell into a deepdepression after I saw it.
But I got over it and I am hoping this movie won't have the same effect but for some reason, I feel compelled to watch it. I will know when it's time.

I jumped at the title of Bee Season - but it's a spelling bee, I think.
Still, I love Richard Gere!
I love having more books than I will ever be able to read so I bought these!

All kinds of treasures!!
Love that pill box that has morning and evening compartments!
The metal chicken trash can is adorable!
I have been drinking from the Starbucks cup all day!
And I scored on that simple classy navy blue handbag!

A Pampered Chef blade that Summer will love!
Christmas crackers already filled with prizes....
a Christmas tree skirt for the tree down here in the country....
a garland of debris and a bag of grapes....I'll take the grapes back home with me but I've already hung the debris!
See that small scale armchair?
I put that where the small rocker was in here in the camper and put the rocker in the front room.
I covered the new chair with a red and white duvet cover and it fits me to a T!

Comfy top!

We then had lunch at On The Border!!

What with all the Covid rules, I carry my very own salt shaker!!

Great food and great company!
I love our sweet Sherry!!

My first Fall sighting at Big Lots!!

When we go home, I will be packing away the patriotic things and hauling out my sunflowers.

I think I will go ahead and get fall out and have it all done by my special most favorite day in the entire year.....September First!! My very own special holiday.
We will be down here in the country at the end of August but I will be HOME for September First!
The only time I missed being home was in 2012 when the quads were born.
I still listened to Neil Diamond sing September Morn and I still baked fruitcake cookies and spiced pumpkin muffins - but it was at Amber and Mike's house for the baking and in the camper for Neil Diamond. I don't think I have missed celebrating a September First for the last 35+ years.

When we got home Friday evening, Louis Dean had taken UP the deck he had just put down and re-did it! Plus he got the gate up!

He is pretty amazing!

And he did it old school!
With a hammer and nails!

I rested a lot on Saturday and spent the entire day inside the camper.
I cleaned and took pics of my treasures and changed out the chairs and did this and that.

In the late afternoon, we drove down to the meadow to get some firewood from the tree that was damaged by the tornado that came through on Easter Sunday morning.

Dean and Sherry have been chopping away at it and Louis Dean gathered up some limbs.

Nothing goes to waste down here!

Saturday night we had a beautiful campfire!
We burn all our paper trash so we don't have to haul it all home and it makes for good kindling.

Louis Dean and I both slept so well last night!
I didn't wake up until 11:00 this morning and he had not been up very long before me.
I watched Fellowship Church Live and we did our devotions and Bible reading.
Right now we are reading the book of Isaiah.
The Bible is timeless.

"Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation shall be overpast."
Isaiah 26:20

Reminds me of the times we are living in right now!

We spent a good part of this day resting and puttering around.
Late this afternoon, rain came in and the temps dropped.
Louis Dean called me out to come see the rainbow.

I love weather and the air felt so cool and refreshing.
Sherry came down and sat with us on the front deck for a few minutes.
We watched as the daylight slowly faded away and the little solar lights came on.

We came in and I did some art and Louis Dean played some music.
It's been a good weekend in the country!
And we are here for a whole other week!!