Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Celebrating Louis Dean's Birthday, Ranch Cats and Santa Paintings!

 While Louis Dean's birthday is November 16, 1936 - we celebrated it for a couple of days starting on Sunday. While I wish we could have had more family and friends gathering with us - this is a Covid Year you know - we partied with loved ones that we have been with this year on a regular basis. Family. That's what we are.

I had cleaned and decorated and prepared food as had Sherry and Rosey amd we were all ready for the PARTY!! Amber and the kids were the first to arrive. They drove down right after the 10:00 service at Fellowship Church where Sadie Robertson Huff was the guest speaker with Ed Young. We watched live online while Amber and the kids were up in the balcony watching live in person.

Here they come!
Can you tell I was watching for them to come through the gate??

The kids spilled out of the vehicle and they were off and running!
As in actually RUNNING down the road toward Uncle Dean and Aunt Sherry and all the critters!
Kailey greeted Blue and then went in to wake Granddad up from where he was napping.

Harrison stopped to pay some attention to Remmie and Rugar.
They all had so much fun!

Amber loves the horses.
She always has and always will.
For a long time she meant to go to college to be a veternarian and even volunteered at a local vet's office when she was a teenager. He loved having her work there but said she was too small to work with horses. She went on to Texas State to get a major in Journalism and a minor in criminal justice.
And she has done well over the years with her writing career but is ashamed at the way the current field of journalism has gone......however, she has never lost her love for all things equestrian.

As soon as she walked out to the road - here they came.

Amber spent some good quality time with the horses!

So did Trystan!
Harrison loved them, too.

Trystan took this pic.....

and this video!

Louis Dean dearly loves his grandquads!
And you can see they love him, too!

Aunt Sherry is so popular!!
She took the kids on rides with her on the four wheeler!
She considered her tractor but decided the four wheeler would be more fun.
It's faster! She took them to the back of the property and I was in envy!
She promises to take ME soon!!
Remember that's where I walked and got lost earlier this year?
Next year we hope to have our carport up with a place to store a four wheeler.
Our roof/welding guy, Ronnie, has been a no show in doing the job so we are looking at other contractors. The roof was the most important and he did a good job on it. While we are not in a big hurry for the rest of the work - it would be nice to get it done.

The birthday dinner that night was all of Louis Dean's favorites.....
He asked for pork chops - which his son marinated and grilled to perfection - and the famous deviled eggs made by Sherry - pepper poppers using peppers from my little pond garden here - and sweet potato casserole topped with pecans from our own trees.
The kids LOVED the pork chops and was gnawing them right off the bone!
Uncle Dean did a great job cooking them and a couple of the kids ate at least two apiece!

Rosey brought her homemade pepper jelly from a treasured recipe and the fried apples.
I made homemade cornbread - three batches of it which Sherry baked in her big oven since I only have a toaster oven down here. Plus a huge pot of pinto beans which Louis Dean seasoned himself. In the middle of the night. I cooked them in a crock pot and he got up and tasted them about 4:00 Sunday morning. He decided they needed more seasoning and so he added some. It was perfect!

Louis Dean made a campfire later in the afternoon and the kids had a great time feeding the fire with every burnable thing they could lay their hands on!
They also took all the melons from our garden down to the goat pen and pitched them in!
They were delighted at the way they split open on impact!

We meant to gather eggs and walk up to the big tank and some other things......but time ran out on us.
I told the kids maybe this next summer they could come back and stay for a week or so.
One of them - I forget which one but I think it was Logan - said, "I don't think we will ever get to come without one of them." Meaning the parents. I told Amber and she laughed!!!
I'm sure we will have a great time next year! They usually come down as a family in the spring  just as they did this year when they got Ginger. Normally they come down at spring break and camp out here - which is easier now than it used to be since we have a fenced in yard for Jersey and a nice bathroom which should have hot water by the time they come in 2021.

All too soon it was time for Amber and the kids to head back to Dallas.
School the next day and Amber was running the show solo while Mike was on a hunting trip in Kansas.
I love how they support each other and make sure they both get to enjoy their special interests.
Usually Amber gets a Quad Mom trip in the spring with sister Quad Moms who all delivered about the same time. This is the first year they missed having a trip together. Covid has been awful everywhere!

Saying goodbye is our tradition!

Monday morning we enjoyed Rosey's pepper jelly on toast!

I need to find a recipe for this! SO good!!!

It was delicious!
I only used one piece of toast for my breakfast sandwich of bacon, egg and cheese.

Louis Dean had a whole sandwich but I shared my pepper jelly toast with him.
Monday I cleaned things that had not been cleaned in three years!
I took everything off the baker's rack in the front room and hosed down all the baskets with PineSol and organized everything. I found things I didn't know I had! Bungy cords and light bulbs! Seeds and rollers for chairs. It feels good to cleanse an area.....and Louis Dean was busy out on the front deck.

Right after coffee and reading, he went out and started cracking and shelling pecans.
He did that all Monday afternoon.
By day's end he had a gallon!

I saved his birthday card for Monday and gave it to him right before Dean and Sherry picked us up to go to dinner that night.

I had the perfect card for him.
We have been married for 15 years and he is, indeed, the love of my life.

Dean and Sherry took us to Hewitt, Texas ro Summer Palace Chinese Buffet.

My happiest years have been the last 16....I did not date until my divorce was final in 2004 ...and I had not truly dated since I was 13 years old when I met Jesse, whom I married when I was 14.

I married Louis Dean - meeting him by way of eHarmony - and the new has never worn off.
He is my first true love and I am his second.
He was married to a wonderful woman for 41 years. Ellen....and I love that he loved her with all his heart. She passed away in 2000 and told him to find someone to love. Someone different than she was.
She also told him that women would come out of the woodwork to find him and so they did.
However, I was the very last one to 'match' with him and that match will last us the rest of our lives.

I'm so grateful that his son and Sherry are such a big part of our life together!
They have been amazing in inviting us to  bring our camper down here to the ranch....and then adding decks....and a room ...and more decks.....we do so love being in the country and it would not be possible without them.

The last blessing of his birthday celebration was a phone visit with Granddaughter Chandy!
They laughed and talked and had such a good time.

Pic from last year...

We can't wait to go see them next month for Kaitlyn's 16th birthday and to celebrate an early Christmas with them!

Thus ended Louis Dean's 84th birthday celebration!

Tuesday dawned and he said he didn't feel any older!

We had a feline visitor......Mama Cat!

She's such a pretty thing!

I knew she was the mama because her left ear is clipped.

Makes me miss my kitties who are having a ball at Amber's!
She was meowing so I put out a handful of cat food for her.
She took a few bites and I took a few pictures.
Then she was gone.

I guess she told the male kitten there was free food down here - no hunting required!
These are all ranch cats and they need to hunt!! 

Lunch today was served out on the deck where we park the truck.

A salad with the last of the rotisserie chicken I bought at HEB on Friday.
I simmered the carcass for broth this afternoon.
Louis Dean went to bed for a nap and I set down to the art table.

I feel an urgency to my painting as time is running out.
All my art supplies are here at the ranch and I need to finsh seven paintings before I leave here this month. I will keep one of these and give one away.....

I have another of this one to finish....
again....I will keep one and give one away.
Not sure which one will be the blog giveaway and which one will be for the Family Fort Worth Chinese Christmas Tree.
I have to admit I have been laboring over these Christmas paintings - in so much I have seriously considered not doing anymore Santas. And I may not. I am thinking about a different theme for the next few years.....as in the red trucks with Christmas trees in the bed.....or Christmas cardinals...the possibilities are endless but I think I have done my fill of Santa Claus.
Unless I see one that changes my mind.

So I leave you with this thought for tonight.
I do so desire to leave behind little pieces of my heart......

And I will update tomorrow about news of Lillian....
but her address is:
Lillian McDowell
Trail Lake Nursing Home
7100 Trail Lake Drive #512
Fort Worth, Texas 76123


MimiG said...

Happy Belated Birthday to LD-looks like he had a wonderful birthday celebration!!
All of your Santa paintings are so very special - you are gifted..
All that yummy food - looks delicious; I'm so glad y'all can spend the time in the country and be away from the hustle and bustle. Of course, I look forward to your decorating when you get home.. LOL
Enjoy your time, breathe in that fresh air, have fun with LD.

BeachGypsy said...


Kathy said...

Happy birthday, Louis Dean! What a wonderful birthday celebration you had! I loved everything about this post. I always feel as if I am there visiting the country house with you. Lots of good food, family and fun. And animals. Who could ask for more? I understand about your Santa paintings. Sometimes it's good to change what we are doing. It keeps things fresh.

Vee said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Louis Dean! How wonderful that you don't feel any older. ☺️

Many blessings down there on the ranch!

Bluebird49 said...

What a wonderful birthday for Louis Dean. How could it have been any better, and look at the wonderful families you two have given each other. Every man who truly loves his woman wants her happiness first -- and I can see you are first to Louis, and he to you!
Because of bad health, there's a lot I can't do anymore. When I hear Ed telling people over the phone "as long as I can look over and see her next to me, or pat her foot as I walk by her chair, no matter what she is doing, I'm the most satisfied man in the world!" It makes me feel so lived.And I feel that way, took as long as I know he is here for me, and on my side! We have 54 years of marriage under our belts, and nearly two of dating before that. I'm so glad we found each other, and that you and Louis Dean have, too. God's timing is always perfect!
It's great that the quads get to see and feel so
much love in their family!! They WILL continue that on.
Tell Louis that my favorite singer, Gordon Lighfoot's birthday is 11/17 and he is 82 this year - they're so close to Louis Dean, and they both love music!
Enjoy your painting, and only paint what you want to next year, and if you want to take a break, do that! Hey, life is short!! Besides, you have Christmas cookies to bake, girl! πŸ˜πŸŽ„πŸŽ„ Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!
I am so glad to hear about your last few days and that you ate happy. I can see it!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Happy Birthday Louis Dean! I know you all made his birthday extra special! What a blessing he is to so many....especially to all of US! Enjoy your week! Give him some more birthday hugs from me! Sweet hugs, Diane

Changes in the wind said...

Wishing LD a very happy birthday! So glad Amber and the quads were able to come and celebrate, they are changing from little ones to kids right before our eyes. Love you and LD's love story:)

Arlene @Nanaland said...

Happy Birthday to Louis Dean. You can tell that y'all were made for each other!!

Sandra said...

Happy birthday Louis Dean and that card is beyond perfect. every one looks so happy, what a birthday party and i would love to be at one that had big dogs and horses and goats and geese. ha ha.... shame on that vet for telling Amber she was to small. my friend has 13 horses, a mini horse, a mini donkey, a pony and runs a business to pay for their food. she is just over 5 feet tall. she wrankles those huge horses perfectly.
sounds like Amber did well anyway..

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Happy Birthday, Louis Dean! Sounds like a perfect day, and what fun to have grand quads! That is a special blessing indeed.
Linda, love your thought for the night--about giving people a piece of our heart instead of a piece of our mind.

Beachgram said...

Happy Birthday Louis Dean.
Keep smiling and enjoying your beautiful music.
(Phyllis from Oregon)

Estelle's said...

It appears LD had a great birthday celebration....always fun with the Chapmans...wishing him a great birthday and many more!

photowannabe said...

Linda, you and LD are so precious to me.
I really feel like I have a little piece of your heart with me.
My heart is so full after reading all the wonderful things you have been able to do with that fabulous family of yours.
Thanks for sharing about yourself and the joy that LD brings to your life.
Happy Birthday to the Best thing that ever happened to you. Love the card.
My son also found the Love of his life on eHarmoney...God does give second chances.
Absolutely love the photo of Louis Dean and the Quads. That's a real "wall hanger".
Your Santas are spectacular but I do understand about the creative juices getting a bit stale after a while.
Enjoy the rest of your time down at the Ranch.

Jan said...

Happy Birthday Louis Dean

Heather said...

Happy Birthday Louis Dean! With regard to the pepper jelly, I LOVE to take a block of cream cheese and dump the pepper jelly over it, and eat it with crackers! If the CC is harder, use a little knife to spread on your favorite cracker. such an easy app and everyone loves it :)

Susie said...

Linda, Let me wish Happy Birthday to LD, one of the hardest working men I know. I am so glad you both find each other. You two have built a fun loving life together. Full of family and friends that love you both equally. I enjoyed seeing Amber and the quads . Sure have missed out on their growth. You better squeeze them down, they are growing so tall. Blessings to all of you. I love you guys so much, xoxo, Susie