Monday, March 20, 2023

Country Meals.....

Sunday was so good!
We slept late and watched Fellowship Church online while sipping coffee.

We rallied round and Sherry came down to follow us back to Gabino's Tire in Hillsboro to leave our truck for the repairs to the ball joint, tie rods and front brakes plus two more new tires.

On our way back to the ranch, we stopped at the Lone Star Cafe for a late lunch!

They serve up a really good margarita!

Sherry is NOT a fan of getting her picture taken.....

but Louis Dean took them anyway!!
She is as cute as she is kind and a more beautiful soul you will never find.

She and Louis Dean both ordered the chicken fried steak but with less gravy on hers!

I opted for a house salad with Ranch dressing.....

and a loaded baked potato which I brought home with me.

It was a luxurious Sunday evening with reading and hot showers and wine sitting in front of the Dearborn heater. We both slept like babies and didn't wake up until late this Monday morning.

Louis Dean and I had our coffee and reading by the heater in the bathroom and we each had a cinnamon roll I had brought from the freezer at home. 

For a brunch kind of meal, I made us some bacon/lettuce/tomato/onion/avocado sandwiches.

Oh, so good!!!

Today Louis Dean put the pond back together - the wind had blown it up and out of the ground but all he had to do was put it back together. Win! WIN!!!

It was a cold day in the country, so I stayed inside and did housework things.
Amber gifted me with this candle last year when they were here on Spring Break.
It has been a good candle and burned down with no loss of wax.
As I write this journal entry tonight, that candle is just about at the end of its life.
I never once had to push the wax down so it would burn evenly.
I wish all my candles were like this!

It's been a warm and cozy evening here at the camper/cabin tonight.

Louis Dean serenaded me with love songs before I served up our supper.

Tuna salad on toasted bread with a glass of Chardonnay.
Life is beautiful, and we are blessed to be here in the country!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Country Days!

 We are enjoying our days here at the ranch.

The cats are loving it, as well!
They sit in the sun and then run around playing CHASE and taking turns being IT! 
I would love to know how they communicate!

Thursday afternoon - as soon as Sherry got off work - we drove over to see our friend, Grace.
She is a recent widow and Sherry helped her decipher some documentation she needs to do following her husband's death.

Her cat Blackie had just had 5 kittens less than 3 weeks ago - and one was literally born on her lap!

I got to hold each one of the kittens and they are so precious!
They are so new that they just now opened their eyes!

This one was sleeping when the paparazzi showed up!

So tiny!!!

Two are girls and the other 3 are boys.

I would dearly love to keep the two Calico ones that look like Samantha.
Louis Dean has been saying he wished he had a lap cat!
We love our Tabitha and Samantha, but they are NOT lap cats!

Blackie is a good mommy!
Sherry reminded me that we travel back and forth from the country to the city with our cats and it would be a lot of work if we had FOUR!
Plus, if we needed to leave our cats with Amber for some reason, adding FOUR critters to HER four would be a little much!

So I ended up going home with a pig instead!

Last time we visited, Grace gave me Gracie, her cute little piggy bank.
This time she gave me Charlie so they can be a couple.
Her husband, Charlie, passed away on January 31st, so I have added Grace to my prayer journal of widows.

I was looking on Pinterst for some Santa paintings and went down a rabbit hole!
I am going to try this recipe because it sounds SO good!!

We got back to the ranch well before the storms hit!
Louis Dean even made us a small campfire and we sat out on the deck watching the pretty pastel colored cloud lightning until it got closer and closer and then BLEW in!!!
The only damage we had was to our pond liner and water fountain out by the crepe myrtle here.
The wind pulled the pond full of water AND the concrete pedestal out of the ground!

Back in Irving there was a tornado and hail, but our neighbors told us everything looks fine from the front of our house. We will see what it looks in the back when we get home.

The gazebo cover had already been torn up from the storm before this one so we will see what we will see when we see it.
That was our Thursday!!

Friday was St. Patrick's Day!

Sherry decorates her truck for the seasons and holidays.
My friend said this looks like a bouquet of potato chips.
It really does!

My brother, Buster, called me from Kansas City to remind me that I am part Irish!
I am loving getting to know my 'new' siblings better!
It's going to be a lot of fun taking a road trip with Louis Dean up to see them this spring.
He's never been to Kansas City.

I have been busy deep cleaning the front room and bathroom.
The bathroom has a real floor, but the front room is built on our former deck and covered in outdoor rugs. I like this as it can be muddy and dusty and dirty down here and all I have to do is sprinkle some Pine Sol or Fabuloso around and hose it all down!

Louis Dean has been sorting and doing the odd job and project and is as happy as if he had good sense!
That's an old saying that we tell each other!

At home I decorate for the seasons but here I leave up some of the things I love all year round.

The Dearborn heater is the heart of this place when it is cold.
We have been known to host gatherings in here, small ones. of course, as there is only enough room for four chairs.
Back when Deanie, Nita, Lonnie and I were growing up, we envied folks who had a Dearborn and thought that was the best ever.
Mother and Clayton had one in their room, but we had one of those old-fashioned open flame gas heaters with the cotton looking stuff in the back. I think it was asbestos, but I couldn't even find one photo when I looked it up. If I turned the gas up high on the one we had, I could boil water and cook oatmeal!

I love the big bathroom sink and HOT water!!

It's rustic but still homey.

The chest of drawers we picked up on the curb did not work out for me.
Louis Dean says he can make it sturdier and better so he moved it into this shop room.

I stored my clothes in plastic bins and stacked them in the bathroom.

Son Dean said I could borrow his brand-new Craftsman tool cabinet!
Win! WIN!!!

It makes a wonderful wardrobe for me but I am thinking that I may very well be the only lady in Texas - or maybe the country - who keeps her t-shirts, pants and other clothing in a tall toolbox!
But it works for ME!!

I moved on to the 'kitchen' side of the front room so now I only lack the 'sitting area' to clean.

Celebrated by lighting a candle.

Since we are in the country - we must beware of scorpions!
And snakes.
This scorpion was dead but served as a good reminder.

Thus ended our Friday!

Saturday dawned a beautiful but chilly day.
The meadow is my all-time favorite area here at the ranch!

I especially love this photo with the red chair.
I fully intend to sit right there in that chair when we come down again and the weather is warmer!
It will be a great place to read, meditate and pray.

Today was a Party Day!!
Sherry and Dean had invited Les and Jeanie - Sherry's parents - and Cindy and Rick - Sherry's sister and brother-in-law - down for fajitas and a good long visit!

Dean is a master griller, and he also does a lot of things on his smoker.
I reminded him of the time he smoked Gouda cheese. 
It was beyond delicious and I have been wanting to smoke some more ever since then!

Sherry outdid herself with this amazing meal!
Now I know how to make Spanish rice!

The warmth and coziness of their home and the hum of conversation added to the mouthwatering smells from the kitchen made for a perfect family gathering!

After the meal, we all sat around and talked and son Dean kept us thoroughly entertained with his stories about Buddy - their favorite Billy goat from back in the day.

I did this painting of Buddy in 2018.
Dean says it is his favorite of all my paintings.

Sherry went out to gather up a bunch of duck eggs as no duck seemed to want to set on them, so Cindy and I went with her.

I did not know that the male ducks have those curly feathers at the tail!
All the others are female.

We came home later in the afternoon, and I went straight to the girl bunk for a nice long nap!

Thank you, Dean and Sherry, for a perfectly WONDERFUL day!


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Country Adventures!!

We left Irving along about 1:30 - so much for getting off before noon! 

We were hungry but decided to get through to the other side of Dallas before stopping for a Whataburger!

SO good!!

I had the Jr. Whataburger and was all smiles!
Alas, I had carried my current book in with me and accidently left it there!
I hope someone found it and is enjoying the read!

Son Dean had asked me to stop a Dollar Tree if I came across one as he was looking for peat pots.

It just so happened that one was right there across the street from Whataburger!
I bought all they had plus $10 worth of seeds as they were 4 for a dollar.

We were rolling along as happy as we could be when the truck started shaking!
Louis Dean was quick to react and pulled over to the shoulder.
It wasn't safe to get out (on I35 just south of Hillsboro) so he drove slowly with his flashers on until he could exit the Interstate.

We had a blow out on the inner tire in the back driver's side
It had ripped the wheel well cover off and Louis Dean had to get the rest loose before we could continue driving slowly to a tire place.

I looked up tire places near me on my phone and found Gabino Tires and Truck Repair, LLC located 4.3 miles from where we were. It was now 4:30 and they closed at 6:00 so we headed over there.
They are the nicest people and we knew God blessed us in sending us here.

Turns out four of our six tires needed to be replaced.
They had the tires delivered from another location and set to work getting ready to put them on while they were on their way.

It was a GOD thing all the way around.
No stress as we sat all comfortable like and visited with Luis and his family and pets!

Such a sweet dog!

This was the culprit but the other three could have gone out at any time.

In their inspection, Luis found a few other issues that need to be addressed -
The ball joint on the right passenger side was wobbly and the tie rods were loose AND the front brakes were all but gone.

God worked so many details out for us before hand.
Our bee meeting is in Hillsboro on Tuesday so we have an appointment to bring our truck back there on Sunday when Dean and Sherry can follow us and take us back to the ranch.
We can pick the truck up on Tuesday when we come for our bee meeting.
AND Luis and his family is interested in putting some bees on their property!
He has several acres and his home is next to his business.
So they may go to the meeting with is!
It was an all Win! WIN!! adventure just getting down to the country!

So much for getting there before dark!
We stopped at HEB on our way and we are here to stay until Sunday.
It would be dangerous to drive the truck unnecessarily. 

Long day but it's done  so we unloaded and let our cats loose - they'd been in their carriers nearly 8 hours without a peep!

Since it was chilly, Louis Dean and I sat with our glass of wine in front of the Dearborn heater in the bathroom. Isn't that a novel place to end our evening?
I was reading an article from the AARP magazine out loud to him when - in a split second - he fell backwards in his chair!! 200 pounds of masculine male falling backwards and landing hard.
He had a hard time getting up and I helped as much as I could.
He finally managed to pull up on another chair and he made it to his chair in the front room.
We rested and I gave him his medicine and he went to bed.
I admit this scared me good so I sat up awhile and calmed down and then went to bed beside him.
Normally I sleep in the girl bunk when we are down here but I wanted to stay close to him.

We both slept well and when I woke up around 8:00 - I went to the girl bunk and slept until nearly noon. I heard voices and went to the door and asked, "Is there a party going on?"
Dean and Sherry were with Louis Dean in the bathroom - because that's where the heater is and there's enough room to put a few chairs in front of it!
I joined them and we all had coffee and a good visit - though Sherry doesn't drink coffee!
She was on her break and had to go back to work but it was SO GOOD to see them.
I had been missing them more than normal lately.

Louis Dean didn't remember falling last night and I was surprised that he wasn't even sore.
He was out mowing while I was figuring out what to do next.
He also forgot that we can NOT drive the truck which I had to remind him of when he decided to go to Waco for engine fuel for his tiller, mower and whatever.

Dean happened to come by about that time and I told him his dad wanted to go to town.
He is so patient and gracious. No problem. Let's wait until after lunch and he would be happy to take him!

Sherry brought down two dozen farm fresh eggs and I fried up six of them along with some think cut bacon and four slices of toast.
Breakfast for lunch!

Father and son went off for the afternoon and I busied myself with housework and putting up the laundry we had brought back.

Sherry gets off at 4:00 so I dressed and walked down to her house just as she was closing up her computer.

On the way I stopped at the peacock pen.....
he was shaking his feathers at me.

Then he slowly turned around......

and there he is in all his glory!

The roosters and a few chickens were running around.
Most are in their hen houses.

Sherry has such a green thumb!
Her deck, living room, kitchen and bathroom all have such beautiful healthy plants!!

She and I had a nice visit and then we went out to see the goats.

One mama and her two baby Billy goats.



There are four babies altogether - 3 Billy goats and 1 female.

Today was the BEST!!!
I'm so happy to be  here - have I said that already???

Everything feels better when I'm in the Country!!

Dean and Sherry came down to join us in a spaghetti with meat sauce dinner along with garlic bread and a spring salad. Sherry and I make a good team - she cooked the spaghetti and donated the bread and sauce while I cooked the meat and made the salad and garlic toast.

Our trip down here did not go as we planned it but God had a better plan in mind and it was perfect!