Monday, January 2, 2023

The Pioneer Spirit!

The last 6 days have been a challenge but both Louis Dean and I have kept our pioneer spirits intact!
He has been working on plumbing problems ever since we arrived. -

while I feel like one of these cows in Mr. Jackson's field across the road from the ranch gate.

I have lazed around and read a lot and sipped a little wine.

I documented the sunset on New Year's Eve.

Dean and Sherry came down and we shot off a couple of fireworks.

They are so very good to us.
On New Year's Day, Dean got me water to the camper.
This was HUGE!
I felt like a pioneer going out to the faucet in the middle of the garden area and filling up jugs of water to use to flush toilets, make coffee, wash dishes and such.
Water is HEAVY and Dean hauled a lot of it in for me.
When he wasn't up here, I did it myself as Louis Dean was so overwhelmed with everything.

 Louis Dean and I had gone to Waco on Saturday to get parts for the water heater and he came back and put those on.
There were cut off valves so even though the water heater wasn't installed as of yet - he could turn the water on. There was a wild 10 minutes when we thought all was working - and then we realized it wasn't. The pipe in the shower that Louis Dean had repaired - well, apparently the break went all the way to the bottom and water was coming out under the shower.

To say it has been stressful for Louis Dean is an understatement.
He has always been so in charge and on top of things and there was nothing he could not fix!

Until now.
That's when his son came riding in on his white horse to rescue him!
(And this is not  the first time he's done this.)

It's a funny thing about fathers and sons.
Neither one wants to step on the toes of the other.
Dean has deep respect for his Daddy and Louis Dean is so proud of his son - and so happy that we have been welcomed down here and given this wonderful spot to keep our camper and put down roots in building a front room to it and then having a huge red metal roof put on to cover it as well as skirting to protect from the rain and a carport for our vehicles.

Things are changing and we are navigating new roads in life,
Louis Dean cannot do what he once could.
His memory loss prevents him from learning new things - as in the Pex plumbing that's available now.
Dean has had some experience with this as he's been changing over to this on his property,
He will be doing the repairs after we go home tomorrow so when we come back, all Louis Dean has to do is put his work shop back together.

Last night I went to bed before 9:00 and I got up every hour or two checking on Louis Dean. 
We had both taken hot showers using the tea kettle and hot plate to heat up water.
That brought back fond memories of years past when we did that.
There's always a way!

He was in his shop -where the water heater lives - and was sorting things.

I went back to bed in the girl bunk and had a terrible dream!
Louis Dean had a seizure and he was going by ambulance to a hospital and I was allowed to go with him - except they loaded him and was about to leave before I got in the ambulance.
In my dream I was desperate because I did not know where they would take him since we were in I stood in front of the ambulance as it u-turned and thought, 'they can stop or run over me - it doesn't matter!' I was waving my arms and screaming when I woke up.

It was scary! I went to the bathroom and got back in the girl bunk - and heard water!
That made my heart race even more than it already was!

I got back up and put my clogs on, grabbed a flashlight and went around to the side of the camper.
The mops were down here in a few seconds and when I didn't SEE anything and couldn't HEAR any water running - they herded escorted me back to the front deck. Good doggies!!
That's when I heard the coyotes howling and realized they really ARE good doggies!

Bottom line - Dean and Sherry went to Waco today and bought the supplies to fix the shower - using Pex! In the meantime, Louis Dean cut the linoleum to uncover the inspection hole he had made in the floor in front of the shower. He really is brilliant in so many ways and he did this a few years ago.

So he went in and took a good long nap this afternoon while I painted.

One more session to tone down some colors and add details.

I am so ready to start some new art projects!
I have one lined up to paint the cabin in New Mexico and two paintings for my son, Jesse, both of them to go in his coffee bar. He is @java.jesse on Instagram and he
is a coffee connoisseur!

Today was our last full day here at the ranch.

Sherry gave us a big bag of giant carrots! 
I used some to add to the seriously good potato soup she sent down for us tonight and then I gave the biggest ones to the horses!

This one is my favorite!
I may have given her extra!

They all loved them and the carrots were so huge it took them awhile to eat them!
Hence photo time!

Do you see pictures in the clouds?
My siblings and I have done this since we were little.
What do YOU see?

I see Jimmy Durante - remember him???
And a white haired lady .....and a fancy poodle?

So this is January at the ranch.
The garden is silent and is the sound here.
I've loved the sounds.
It's quiet. No sirens. Not one. I hear them every morning at home when I take my first cup of coffee out on the kitchen deck. I always say a prayer for the ones who need help and for the helpers.

Here the air is quiet. Dogs, goats and geese, ducks, chickens and roosters, horses and cats.
You can hear the wind and feel the Holy Spirit in the breezes that come through the camper window.

Even though we have been pioneer in spirit, 
it's been a good time here this week.
I admit to being a little blue and a little overwhelmed at times - and not just because of the plumbing situation. The first Christmas without Nita has been a heavy one for me - even when I celebrated and rejoiced. Sorrow and joy can, indeed, live in one's heart at the very same time. 

But God is faithful and he has never failed in working out any problem I have ever faced in all my 74 years,  3 months and 2 days. NEVER has he failed to be there when I need him.

In light of eternity, this dilemma and changing to the new normal is not a blip on the radar scale....
but God sees it and knows all about it and where we are heading and what will happen.

I am trusting him tonight -just as I trust him in the day.


Arlene G said...

Hugs to you Linda....

Ginny Hartzler said...

You are always able to take anything that happens in stride! And I know that part of this is because God is with you, helping you. You have both had such a time of it!! Pretty new background on your blog.

Brenda said...

You never cease to amaze me. Prayers

Deb J. in Utah said...

Hi Linda. I love your art. Beautiful. You and Louis Dean are such hard workers. I hope you can get the plumbing problems taken care of. Wishing you and Louis Dean much happiness and many blessings in the New Year!

Sandy in Alaska said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your entire catch up! Dean must have had heart smiles knowing that he was able to help his Dad, after so many years of his Dad helping him. Dean sounds like he must be a younger version of L.D. :) I love your new painting and can't wait to see how you finish it up! Oh....your blog's new look is awesome too!! It is fun seeing how folks are updating their's too, after the holidays.

Big hugs & love to you, Miss Linda and so many prayers for you in all the ways you need as you think about your Nita this year. Your post sure sounds like you have your hand in God's while you walk through life. I love that picture! Have a super nice week!! :)

Anonymous said...

You definitely have the pioneering spirit! Happy new year to you both, whatever it may hold for you. Here’s to running water, good health and many more excellent adventures together!

MadSnapper said...

love that candle at the end, and love your pioneer spirit too.. good Mop Dogs protecting you and herding you back inside to safety. LOVE the painted horse. Losing your sister and the added stress of dealing with memory loss, is hard. but you are doing it well, you are a strong woman. That said, it aint fun aging and dealing with life. hugs and prayers, love you. glad you have water. never heard of pex until now

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

So true life is constantly changing, but one thing never changes and that is God. He is constant and true to His word and will always be with us to help us maneuver the changes in our life. Glad to see you are painting. It helps to calm us if nothing else. You two are true pioneers and have managed to make the most of what you have there. Here's hoping you see some better days in the new Year !

MimiG said...

Happy 2023 Linda!
I know, even with the challenges, you've enjoyed your first stay at the ranch. So glad the weather cooperated for you..
That landscape painting of yours is glorious... Absolutely glorious! It made me walk to find the road and take a walk.
Christmas time is hard, isn't it? I really need to schedule a visit with my nephew and niece in Florida - it's just different to go there and Paulette isn't there. My sister here has had a bug of sorts, so we only got together once during the holidays, but she tells me she is getting better. We've made plans for lunch next week, so I'm holding her to it!
Have a good week - paint some more and read some more. I'm trying to read at least three times a week, it does relax me.

Vee said...

Such good words you leave us with. I have to confess that I have despised the phrase "a new normal" since I first began to hear it twenty years or so ago. But what better describes it? The sad thing about it is how often we must reset.

So sorry about the plumbing troubles. Is this a result of that nasty cold snap that went through Texas in recent weeks? It must be.

Dean and Sherry are such good helps to you and Louis Dean. Love in action. May Dean have an easy go making repairs.

Take care, Dear Hearts. I enjoyed seeing your photos and paintings. Sometimes, I didn't know which were which. Onward into 2023 we go!

Changes in the wind said...

How frusterating it must be for LD to not be able to fix things like he use to but it is true that when new things are what we are to use we can be left in the dust. I remember a time when I looked forward to getting a new computer or a new phone but no longer as they just seem too complicated. So glad that you have Dean and Sherry there as they have been able to help when needed. Hope the rest of your time at the ranch is more peaceful.

Hootin Anni said...

Hope all works out and repairs are done by the time of your return to the ranch!!!

Estelle's said...

Goodness Pioneer days are over....I'm afraid I would enjoy the comforts of home and come back when everything is in order....I certainly admire your spirit of reading about the ranch and everything that goes with it! Warm hugs!

Jackie See said...

Linda, Hugs to you and Louis Dean. I feel the "lost" is your words this morning. I understand. So many adjustments and changes this past year. Your art is a beautiful outlet and it is projecting your emotions and passion for life. I am right here with you. I pray for you throughout my day when my struggles overcome my thoughts. I remember you when I say my prayers and ask God to give my loved ones a hug from me. Hugs from me to you! ~jackiesee~

Debby said...


Chatty Crone said...

I have to tell you that I have been thinking about aging a lot lately too - it is plain hard to grow old - right? We don't want to - but it just happens. I think you do a great job with what all is happening around you.

I love your new art projects.

I hope the year is good for you and everyone.

It is hard without water!

photowannabe said...

I like God's admonition to Trust Him...That's the only way to live.
Praying for you in this new normal...its difficult but your love for each other will help you through.
Getting older is hard on us (Dave and I) So we go through it together.

Wanda said...

Oh Linda, we are both in new seasons of our life and proving God's Faithfulness. I was just reflecting on my years, and now the changes being full time caregiver, and seeing the mighty hand of God working every day in our lives.
I've taken up "Gourmet" cooking as a new hobby to make my brain work in new directions.
I love YOUR ranch. How I wish I could "beam" me and Don over for a visit.
The horses are beautiful and so thankful for those hugh carrots.
Before I leave this earth, I'm going to ride a horse!!!
Love your new paintings. You are so excellent in all you do! Love and Hugs

Deanna Rabe said...

You both have a good attitude towards hard things. This alone makes things lighter.

I’m glad you’ve had a good and restful time (which your spirit needed) and that your plumbing will be taken care of by time you return. Blessing upon blessing!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

You and Louis Dean certainly have faced some challenges on this visit, Linda. I always admire your ability to face any challenge and hope the plumbing issue will be resolved before long.

Carole said...

Tell LD it's time to let the next generation sort the plumbing - he's done more than his fair share... Glad you coped at the ranch. Cheer

Pamela M. Steiner said...

This was so very special from start to finish. Reads like a good book that I don't want to put down and I certainly don't want it to end unless there is a sequel! So please keep writing this story. It is so beautiful, even with all of the issues surrounding you...that's called life and we all have to live it in one way or the other. God is teaching us to trust Him even when we don't think we can possibly go another moment or put one foot in front of the other. He gives us what we need to keep going...there are others out there who still need us to keep moving forward and not give in or give up..So yes, "Just trust me--God" a great way to close this episode. I loved this so much...I think I said that already. (((hugs))) to you dear Linda.

Anonymous said...

Hugs🥰. I did see jimmy durante. Lol. Those dogs are so pretty.
Your painting is so pretty. You are talented.

Donna said...

Jimmy see him as well...or someone thumbing a ride.
Glad you are getting the plumbing repaired. Plumbers are I well know since we own a plumbing company...a necessary evil. lolol
Happy New Year friend...hugging you for your Nita.

Judy said...

I tried to comment from my my phone the other day, without let me try again. So sorry about the plumbing issues! Hopefully the repairs have been made. Thankful that LD is getting help when he needs it. My husband spent a lot of time repairing broken pipes over here last week...after record-breaking cold weather. Thankful along with you for God's faithfulness 'come what may'! Happy New Year.