Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tuesday's Treasures and September's Eve.....

 Monday we cleaned our camper/cabin really well and packed up to come home.
It was a short visit but we enjoyed every minute.
We picked black eyed peas and I added Miracle Grow to my herb garden. 
We gathered the cushions up and stored them in the deck box and I cleaned the fridge and fed the lettuce and leftovers to the horses as well as the cantaloupe rinds from the three I cut up. There's three more I'm taking home for later eating.
The last thing we did before we went out the door was to turn the water off to the camper.
Yes, I still have water to it but we thought it wise not to completely trust the fix just yet. Better just turn the water off and not worry about it.

As we go in and out the ranch gate, Mr. Jackson's dogs are nearly always there to greet us and hope for a treat. Lucky for them - I stocked up in Mart the other day so we had three different kinds to choose from!

It's always nice to stop for an early dinner so we don't arrive home hungry.
Louis Dean was a happy camper with his chicken fried steak at The Lonestar Cafe in Hillsboro.

We got home before dark!
He unloads and I put up. 
Once that was done and the washer and dryer were running, I went to bed.
Just like a man does, too. I walked in there and simply went to bed. Clothes, hair and make up on.
It wasn't even dark outside either!
While I meant to get up later - I didn't. 
I slept for 10 hours! Not straight - I did get up a few times to go to the bathroom but I did NOT leave the bedroom. I knew if I did, I would start working and I was bone weary tured for some reason and it wasn't because I'd been working hard because I hadn't.

I felt much better this morning and after we did our normal routine of coffee on the kitchen deck and reading, I decided to stop in at the Goodwill on my way to Aldi.

I loved this White House/Black Market top with a cami attached.
The only thing I need to do is cut off and hem the sleeves.

And I could NOT pass up this classic white shirt......

Coldwater Creek, at that!!

I also got a pair of camo leggings and another cute top....

and this Thanksgiving pillow with the tags still on it.

I check the book section where ever I go and usually find something good to take home.
I have more books than I will ever read but I'd rather have too many than not enough.

I shopped Aldi's in a rush, getting the ingredients for Taco Soup for my September First lunch.
Thought I'd make a really big pot so I would have enough to share and to freeze.

When I saw this dragon fruit, I decided to get one since I'd never tasted it before.
I rushed home, out the groceries away, called for Louis Dean and we were out the door on our way to the Bells. Amber and Mike were going to the movies and we wanted to spend some time with the kids so it was a Win! WIN!!

They had never tasted dragon fruit either, so we cut it up and served it with Ritz crackers.

It was fairly bland and the cracker helped.
Everyone had a taste and not one of us think this will ever be a favorite fruit.
But it was interesting!

Before Amber left, she had made a big batch of chicken alfredo for me to heat up.

The kids all know how to cook some and Kailey is especially good at salads.

It was a delicious meal!
After we ate, cleared the table, and put the food away.......

It was game time!!
Bellz was fun! You have a bunch of colored bells and a really super strong magnet wand.
You have to attract the bells to the magnet one at a time.
Not as easy as I thought it would be.

Exploding Kittens was fun, too.
Kailey won!!

Amber snapped this pic while I played Exploding Kittens with the girls and Harrison and Granddad palyed Bellz. Granddad took it seriously and won every game!
We ended the evening with one round of NUTS!
Logan won!!
We had to go home because it was already dark. Normally, I don't drive at night but I do know my way by heart from Amber's house to mine.

And we brought our kitties home!!
Although right when we were about to put them in their carriers - Tabitha decided to perch on the high shelf area up in their foyer. Amber was finally able to entice her over the the landing to get a treat!

Samantha was easier but when we got  home, she kept ducking her head back down in the carrier.
I'm wondering if she thought when she raised her head up again that she would be back at the Bells!

So they are now exploring the house and all the decorations.
I shall close this journal entry and get busy preparing for tomorrow.
It will be well after midnight when I close my eyes tonight but I am saving all my September rituals for when I wake up in the morning.
I was telling the kids about what I do to celebrate September First and about Neil Diamond singing September Morn. One of them told Alexis to play the song and then another one told her to STOP!!!
NO spoiling MeeMaw's traditions!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Our Last Country Weekend of August......

 The weather forecast for was not quite as hot asit has been this entire week - which is a good thing if you are going to be suited up to tend to bees as we were Saturday morning.

Sometimes we get up super early - as in 6:00 - in order to be done before it heats up too badly.
Sherry thought it best to go to the hives around 8:00 when the bees are just beginning to fly.
The less bees in the hives, the easier it is to do the work we need to do.

Dean has perfected his ability to drink coffee through the netting - but he was able to enjoy a few extra sips while we were laying all our tools and supplies out.

Sherry put a picnic table in the apiary so we have a place to sit and write up the notes as we inspect each hive. Next visit I will take a bucket of soapy water down and clean off the table and seats.
Our bee suits are white! I did remember to bring a towel to wipe the dew off but used it to scrub it instead. Our main objective was to put a second brood box on three of the six hives. One already had two.

The three of us work well together.
Dean can do the heavy lifting and those hives DO get heavy!

It was a beautiful day but we were all ready to get out of those suits when we were finished.
It took a little less than and hour and a half to do our work.

I looked at the clock when I came in the front room and it was 9:30 and Louis Dean was still sound asleep. INstead of going right back to bed, I stayed up and fixed me a snack of honey and crackers.
The honey in the hives now will stay there for the bees to eat, however, Sherry cut off a little piece of honeycomb for me to sample.

Once the Snow on the Mountain - or Prairie if you live in Texas - blooms, it makes a honey that is not good to eat as it leaves a burning sensation in your throat.
The flowers are blooming here as of the last two weeks as is bitterweed and broomweed so I was interested in how it tasted. Apparently the honeycomb I sampled was made earlier as it was sweet and good. Honey made from Broomweed smells like old smelly socks and no one wants to eat any of THAT!

I went back to bed at 11:00 and slept two hours before starting my day.
Louis Dean was up and at 'em working with the tiller in the garden.
We had thought to put in a fall garden but forgot that you are supposed to plant that in late July and early August. So he is just tilling up the ground and getting rid of the weeds.

I finished up some of my art projects and started some others......

as in this one of Louis Dean in his garden.
A friend said this would make a fine painting and I think it will!
Maybe the first in a series of Louis Dean paintings.

It's just based in at this point but I didn't dull the colors.....and I think I will leave the brushstrokes as I paint. Not so much detail and the impression of it all.

I stopped work and got ready for a Girls' Night Out.

Sherry picked me up and we drove about an hour away - all along country roads - to our beekeeper friend, Rosey's home.

I brought the margaritas and Rosey poured them up and served them looking so pretty!
We sat at her kitchen counter and visited while we sipped. We talked bees, of course, and horses and books and dogs and all manner of things.

Rosey has the coolest house!
She is retired military and designed her house while serving in Afghanistan.
I admired all the framed honors, flags and commendations on the walls of the hall as I wandered around looking at amazing and interesting home. She was a recognized leader in her army career and I appreciate her service. I am so proud to be her friend. She's amazing.
That's Bunker over there on the left....don't you love the name??

She's such a good dog!!!

I forgot and left my cute little pool bag right beside the door at the ranch!

No worries!
She loaned me a tank top and some swim shorts and I was IN that saltwater swimming pool first and the hot tub next!

For dinner, Sherry had made her famous potato salad and Rosey grilled hamburgers.....
and not just any hamburger, either!
These were from her very own calf! She raises cows, calves, horses and has one cat....from the same litter that Amber, Benjamin and I got our cats from.
We had such a good time!
And we made some tenative plans to meet up for dinner and music in September - but I can't remember the name of the place! I bet Carla knows about it! She's my Rockin' K Ranch friend and she and her husband live in Gause and go to so many cool places out here in the country to hear music and dine.
I think Louis Dean and I need to get out more.

All too soon we were heading back down the country road that took us to Rosey's!

We thought about going home today and then gave that another thought and decided to stay until tomorrow as we planned. We watched Ed Young and Fellowship Church online while we sipped coffee.
I knew what my plans were for the day. Clear the art table and put it all away and then give the front room a good cleaning. Feed my herb garden and gather the ripe cantaloupes. There's always this and that to do along with taking a nap and reading and just sitting and watching. There's always something to see if you look.

Louis Dean said next visit he's like to go fishing.
I told him to go now if that's what he's like to do!
So often we catch ourselves putting off something when we could simply DO it NOW!
And so he did.
Can you see him out there off to the left?

He was gone for hours!
It started to rain so I went out to sit under the carport.
I love to watch it rain.....

It was so light you can't really see it in the pictures.
This was as I looked to the right.....the ranch road that will lead us to the gate when we go home tomorrow.

To my left I can see our apiary.
I thought Louis Dean might come back but the shower was short lived so I went back in to take a nap.

The rain returned - much harder this time - and so did Louis Dean.
Hesat on the front deck and watched it and then called out to me when it was over.

It's always special to see the rainbow.

I prepared a canvas for one more art project to start when we get back down here in September.
I can plan things in my head but when I prepare the canvas I know I will get it done.
This painting is for my friend and former neighbor, Tim.

I'm already in the girl bunk as I close out tonight's journal entry. 
I put my pictures on at the camper kitchen table where I keep my laptop, but the table is a little too high to type comfortably so, I tuck myself and my laptop in the girl bunk to write my words.
Louis Dean picked his blackeyed pea patch this evening and then sat out on the deck and shelled the entire basket.....about a gallon of shelled peas!
I left him a sandwich under a net umbrella to keep any flying insects off of it and told him I was going to bed after I finished writing. So, really, all I need to do is close this up and then go to sleep.
But I won't. I will go out there and check on him, remind him to take his medicine and visit for a few minutes. Then I can come in and go right to sleep.
Sleep well, my friends!

Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday in the Country......

 This morning, as we sipped our coffee on the deck and looked out at our 'yard,' Louis Dean said, "I think it may be time to pull up the sunflowers."

I admit there were more dead ones than blooming and the leaves were all crispy and brown now.
So, after we had our morning routine, I went out with a pair of scissors and picked a basket of sunflower seeds. Louis Dean then dug up the firmly rooted main stalk - they were like sunflower bushes - and drug them around the outside perimeter of the fence to scatter the seeds still on the stalks.
I'll plant my seeds inside the fence but won't it look pretty if we have sunflowers on both sides next year?  

I got dressed and went into 'town' to pick up a few groceries.

The cotton is growing on the land at the end of County Line Road and this is where I picked my first cotton a few years ago. It was after the harvest, of course, and Sherry, Ruth Ann, and I took some of the gleanings. Maybe I can do this again next month after they get the crop in.

I stopped in at Leon Junction to browse for a few minutes.
They always have such interesting things.....country things and unique things.

I seldon walk out the door without buying something - this time it was candles.
Texas Sweet Tea.

Read's Grocery Store is right across the street and I went right in and got just what I needed - including 6 brand new fly swatters! The good kind! 4 for here and 2 to take home.
When Louis Dean and I sit outside, he will hand me a swatter and say, "Man your weapons!"

It's so pretty down here in the country.
I love the big sky and open fields.

I started some new art projects today........

one of which is for Kailey.
She sent me this picture of a white kitten and asked me to paint it for her.
Tomorrow I hope to start three more canvases.
I have been all about doing art and enjoying the country things on this visit and have done very little routine housework. Louis Dean washes the dishes and we just pull the sheets up on the bed and call that done. I figure I'm going to clean the camper and front room and bathroom really good on Monday before we leave - so whatever I do now will just have to be done again. Not my usual attitude but it's working for me this week!

About 6:00 it started raining! We were not expecting that but it was very welcome.
I saw the three horses out there grazing so I walked out underneath the carport and took their picture.
They were not paying the slightest bit of attention to the rain and kept their heads down and continued eating. That brush in front of them is the rest of some wood Sherry drug over here with her tractor. She know how much Louis Dean loves his campfires!

Our Country Garden is a haphazard one but it gets better eery year.
Last year there were mounds of sandy loam soil and the ground was so uneven.
Louis Dean is working on getting it more level and has been busy getting a lot of the weeds out.
In October we will be planting some more trumpet vines and our wildflower seeds.

The rain didn't even last long enough to make any mud!
Here and then gone!

Which was wonderful, really, as Sherry and I had some bee boxes to paint.
Tomorrow morning we will be working in the apiary treating for Varroa mites and small hive beetles and putting double brood boxes on all our hives. More hives make more work but we are all about bees! What we do now will determine our success next year.

I painted one brood box to Sherry's two!

Mama cat came up to me while I was sitting on the porch steps.

Such a pretty little lady.

And the other Mama cat......
makes me miss mine more!

Sweet sweet kitty!

I bid you all a good night from the country!
Morning will come early for me but I am excited and looking forward to opening up the hives and seeing how our girls are doing!