Monday, August 31, 2020

Swamp Donkeys and September's Eve!

I went to church Sunday at Fellowship Church and sat with Amber and Mike and Trystan, Kailey, Harrison and Logan. I dearly LOVE being able to attend church again!
This was only my second in person service THIS YEAR!  Due to knee replacement surgery in January and Covid 19 after is SO good to be back!
That being said, Louis Dean is still staying home.
He is more high risk than I since he is diabetic. Borderline but still. And he is a heart patient so he has 'underlying conditions.' Not taking any chances.

However, we did get to go out and watch Mike play hockey Sunday evening.
Not many people and everyone must wear a mask.
I like this Father/Daughter pose and I love how they love each other.

Here's a shot of Mike in action.
Their team is called the Swamp Donkeys!
Really??? YES!

And they WON!!! 4-3!!

This September's Eve - aka August 31st - we had to deal with Louis Dean's truck.

The electric button that pulls the driver's seat forward and back has been acting up.
When I drove the truck last week - I pulled it forward.
He could NOT get it to go back!
He drove all the way home from the ranch with his knees up to the steering wheel.
So....yesterday he went out to deal with it and ended up moving the seat still FURTHER up - to the point that neither one of us could sit in the driver's seat!
He went online to see about replacing the switch to no avail.
He was fit to be tied! And I didn't blame him one bit!

We have relatively new neighbors living across the street where my Cousin Joe used to live.
Summer asked them to help her get a joint loose when she replaced my kitchen sink faucet last month. I had left muffins on their porch when they moved in (someti me last year)and they said they never forgot that and were so kind in helping Summer surprise us with a faucet that I didn't have to wrap a towel around because it would leak all over the counter. She did this while we were down at the ranch.

Louis Dean had taken the entire seat out and done everything he knew to do and had decided to lean the seat BACK (this was not an electrical thing) and wedge pillows in so he could drive it down to Mart for Mechanic Ronnie to fix. I told him that's not a good idea. 
The new neighbors are mechanics. Father and son.
After our morning prayers and Bible reading, I told Louis Dean that God always sends 'helpers.'
Mr. Rogers said that and I remembered it.
Maybe the helper is Ronnie in Mart, Texas some two hours away.
Or maybe the helper is the guy across the street.

Turns out - he was the guy across the street.
He would not accept any pay.
He said, "We are neighbors!"
Louis Dean will be baking up a batch of cinnamon rolls for them in the next day or two.

I spent today working in the den!
I dressed her all up in golden autumn colors and lit the candles.

I had TV on to Alaska:The Last Frontier all day long.
Summer set us up for On Demand and I loved seeing some new episodes as well as lots of old ones.

I decorate differently every year for every season.
Just putting things in a new place makes them seem fresher!
As hard as I have worked - I only got HALF of the den done!
It IS the largest room!

Reality shot!!
Later. This will all look pretty but it will look pretty LATER!

I stopped decorating because I needed to move on to the kitchen.

It is my tradition to make the fruitcake cookie dough on September's Eve so it will be ready to bake on the First! I usually substitute spiced rum or whiskey for the 2 T of milk.

This year I used Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey.
I had no rum and the only whiskey in the cupboard was peach.
I have no doubt using this will taste every bit as good!
Maybe better!!!

It's getting hard to find a spot to add the date!

I have been baking these every year for a long long time.

In the bag and ready for tomorrow!

And there will be spiced pumpkin muffins!!!

I have Neil Diamond sitting by the CD player all ready to sing September Morn.
The coffee is made for in the morning - first one up turns it on.
My fall coffee cups are washed and hanging on the hooks above the sink.
The fall t-shirts are stacked on the bedroom chair.
They are birthday gifts from my sister, Nita, through the years.
I gasped when I looked at one - the first one and my favorite!
I have nearly worn it out!
I will no longer wash them nearly as often and will use the delicate cycle when I do.

September is almost here and I am so excited!!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

From Ranch to Home! Preparing For September!

Thursday afternoon about 1:45 we were heading out the gate and towards home.

See Tina?
That's Mr. Jackson's little dog and we all keep treats for her in our trucks.
She didn't know how to act when I drove the car in and had NO treats for her!

Louis Dean and I parted ways at the gate - or I should say in Mart city limits.
He was going home the back roads while I would be on the Interstate.

I took my time in Mart.
This is the Firewater Liquor store owned by an amazing young man who is restoring the building instead of tearing it down or simply remodeling it.
All the counters and shelves in the store he has made with his own hands from reclaimed wood from that very building.

This is the side and will house a gym and loft apartments upstairs.

The back of the building.
Workers were humming around the place while I parked and walked around.
From there, I stopped at Virginia's Antiques and thrift store. I visited with her and her husband and found a few fall things to take home with me.
My final stop - except for the rest area outside of Hillsboro - was the Dollar General.
I picked up milk and bread and frozen things to keep them cold in my insulated bag.
This way I didn't have to shop in Irving once I got home.

It was 3:30 when I left Mart!
It usually takes about 2 hours from ranch to home.
I arrived about 5:30. Louis Dean was already home - but just barely!
He had turned the wrong way to get to Hubbard, Texas which is on the country road way home.
He ended up in Corsicana! And he came home on I45 instead of I35!
Although we turn off at I20 and take Spur 408 to Loop 12 and then to Hwy 183.

We laughed about our misadventures and he kept saying, "I HAD to get home before you or I would never hear the end of it!!" He said he wasn't even going to tell me about getting turned around - and then decided it was too funny not to share!
He did stop by a drive through fried chicken place and had supper for us!
Win! WIN!!

We came in, unloaded the laundry and perishables - and went to bed!
We were tired!

Friday I did laundry, cleaned the 'clean' rooms and then worked on the kitchen!
I cleaned it and added more fall.

I took a break to take some honey and things over to my dear neighbor of long ago.
This is her son and he still lives in the neighborhood while Mary Jo and TC moved to another suburb of Dallas back in 1990 or so - I think. They have been in quarantine since March 10th. Richard takes his parents breakfast every Saturday morning and will deliver my goodie bag to her.
Someday I will do a blog post on this amazing family.
Mary Jo was and is such a good friend to me.
She has made a big difference in my life - showing me up close how a real family acts.
I learned so much from her.
I was 18 years old when I first met her and she was just 10 years older than I.
She will never know how much seeing how she lived life with her family inspired me.
She was my role model then and she is my role model now.

Friday was so hot!!!

I have to go out on the driveway to find room to spread my quilt backing out!
I need to  finish this quilt for Jaxon before the month is over for I have another one to make for Bella before we leave to go see them in September!

I did some watering while I was out there.
My Texas Sage is blooming - and I don't know if it's because it rained while we were in the country or if the weather is about to change now!

So far just one flower from this new plant I bought in early summer!

Friday night's supper was red beans and rice with smoked sausage and fresh cornbread.
We are eating our meals at the kitchen table these days!
I am a fan of eating at the table but Louis Dean has long preferred sitting in the den.
We have cut out TV watching to the point we will most likely cancel cable.
I think that's the reason he has suggested eating at the table.

I am loving seeing all my fall things again.
This is on my side of the bed....

Summer found the French lampshade recently at the Goodwill.
I topped the lamp with a fancy witches hat and you can see the black netting down behind it.
The ceramic French candle stand is from a thrift store in Nappa Valley when Summer and I went to tour the wine country and San Francisco a few years ago. I guess that's like 5 years ago now. Or 6.

This morning we had crunchy cereal and fresh fruit for breakfast...

A lady was giving out bags of fresh figs from her trees at the bee meeting.
I got two bags since Rosey doesn't care for them.
They made really good eating!

We are loving our little kitties!

and Tabitha!

I'm having a hard time uploading my videos from my phone to the laptop.
Thought I would save it from Facebook but that didn't work either!
Hope the link does.....
Anyway! The kittens are so cute and we are having so much fun with them!

I have been knee deep in Fall debris all day and have loved every minute!

The laundry room is all done!

The sunflower runners are from Virginia's!

I just knew they would look so good somewhere in the house and THIS is the perfect place!

I love this tiny room.

You can barely see the walls but I am so proud of the way they turned out.

I like to never have got the green color right.
I painted and then glazed and finally used my oils to stain them.

The doors were ugly in here so, instead of buying new ones, I did the stucco on them just like I did the walls.

Yes, I am loving my fall decorating.
I know it's not everyone's cup of tea......
but I do this for me.
If I loved alone and noone ever came to see me,
I would still decorate every bit of it.

Two more days and a wake up!!
It may be silly but I am so loving these days.

PS.....tonight it rained!!!
Guess my Texas Sage was right!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Art, Bee Meeting, More Art and Cleaning Up to Go Home......

I got a good bit of art done on Tuesday!
Even though I slept late.
Life is so much better when you can sleep well at night.

I have decided to do under painting for this next batch!

The photo I'm working from is a watercolor and I paint in oils. use turpentine thinned paint when you under paint so this works.

It doesn't look anything like the finished piece will - but it's a good start.

I ran out of time before I got to this one - which is a birthday gift for my friend, Brenda.
We both celebrate September birthdays.

I hopped up from the art table and freshened up - with and extra spritz of Sunflower cologne to cover up any lingering scent of turpentine!
I picked Sherry up in my car at 5:15 and we headed to Waco.
The AC is amaxing and I am so glad to drive and ride in comfort again!

We met our beekeeper sister, Rosey, at El Conquistador for an early dinner before our monthly bee meeting. Those Papita Nachos are SO good!!!
We had such a good time visiting and catching up with all that's going on....I never once thought to take pics!  We were only one minute late to the bee meeting!

We meet in an outdoor church area and each meeting is better and better.
I guess because we are making friends and maybe part of it is that we are all staying in so much more than we used to so any social occassion is to be celebrated and enjoyed all the more.

Louis Dean and I had planned on going home today but we decided to treat ourselves to another 24 hours of country living!

I woke up late - again.
Tomorrow I will be up earlier for sure!
Since we have been here (5 days) I have done very little housework.
Just the dishes mostly.

Today I began the cleaning.
I always leave the camper/cabin as clean and tidy as possible.
Makes coming back so much more enjoyable.
I love my tiny bathroom.
So many treasures in it.
Mother's Day cards from both of my daughters are tucked into doilies on the wall.
The hummingbird towels were gifts from Deanie when we were getting the camper ready to go to Katy, Texas back when the quads were born.
The blue doily is from my friend, Brenda, and belonged to her grandmother.
The pink and green napkin holder was a thrift store treasure.
The I love that you're my mom plaque and the blue bee motif glass are from Summer.
I do dearly love looking at all my 'debris.'
And I love cleaning and fluffing everything up.

Later today I went out and investigated the fall garden we never planted!
It's amazing how God gave us one anyway - by way of the wind blowing the seeds over from Dean's garden or maybe a bird dropping them down into ours!
9 watermelons - one large, one medium size and the rest tiny to medium - and all looking healthy and growing nicely!
TWO cantaloupe. 
One is huge and still growing. It's an exotic cantaloupe but I don't remember the name.
The other isn't webbed like a cantaloupe so we shall see.

Thsi afternoon and evening I finished up my art for this trip.

I feel good about what I got done.

Two each of the Santas and the still life is based in for Brenda.

We had chili dogs with all the trimmings for lunch - mustard, chopped onions, shredded cheese, and relish. For dinner I roasted butternut squash, patty pan squash and some baby carrots. 
I sprinkled them with a drizzle of good olive oil and some HEB Buttery Herb seasoning along with garlic salt and pepper. Oh, my goodness!
Sherry picked these fresh from the garden this morning and they were delicious.
Louis Dean ate frozen pizza.
Silly man. He doesn't eat squash unless it's fried.
So - in other words - he doesn't eat squash!

We are closing out our last night with a camp fire!

8 years ago today we pulled this camper down to Katy, Texas where we lived for 7 months helping Amber and Mike with the baby quads.

 They were so tiny.

And Louis Dean was so good with them!

 Now they are 8 years old and in the third grade!
And they still dearly love their Granddad!!

Goodnight....sleep well!