Monday, May 29, 2023

Our Quiet Weekend....

 We have been here at the camper/cabin for two weeks and two days and have enjoyed every single minute.  Saturday we went to 'Town' and our first stop was Lowe's.

This Fallen Soldier's Table was set up just as you walked in the doors and was a good reminder on this Memorial Day weekend.
Everything on this table has meaning.


  • "Place a lemon wedge on the bread plate to represent the bitter loss of the life of the fallen soldier. Sprinkle salt over the lemon and the bread plate. The salt represents tears shed for the soldier who is missed. Place an empty chair at the table in front of the place setting to represent the missing comrade."

Thank you to all who have served or are serving our country.
May God help us be worthy of your sacrifices.

Louis Dean and I had a list and we marked things off one by one,

The bonus was finding rose bushes on sale!

We had several errands - Walgreen's, HEB, Dollar Tree, Aldi, Auto Zone...
At last we headed to The Catch but found they had closed down!

Instead we ate a late lunch at Catfish King and it was good!
Louis Dean was a happy man!

Going to town takes all day!
It was 40 minutes from the ranch to Lowe's and then all the stops added up so it was around 6:00 when we got back.

I'm loving all the sunflowers here at our place!

Louis Dean and I hit on a good plan to take care of both of our ideas.
Some wildflower areas and some vegetable gardens.

I took this pic on Saturday and this afternoon they are already twice this size.
I think we really are going to have our very own pumpkin patch!!!

I painted just a little more on the Bar-J canvas and then packed everything up to take home.
I do NOT want to mess this one up so I am going slow and steady!

These two came down for some sugar cubes!
I was taking a glass of tea out to the front deck when I saw them on the other side of our back fence.
They looked straight at me. So I turned around and got the sugar cubes and walked out on the side deck and there they were out on the road by the carport.
There are three horses but only the two came up for their treats.

Our kitties have had a great time down here.

Tabitha only got out once!

Sunday morning breakfast!
I'm going to miss these fresh eggs!

Louis Dean cleaned out the rose garden which had lots of wildflowers but was chocking out our three existing rosebushes and planted the five new ones!

Sunday night we were tired and sat out to watch our campfire burn all the way down and went to bed.
Watching a fire is the perfect way to relax!

Rugar was at the side door this Monday morning letting us know he was guarding the place.
Remmie doesn't come up with him most of the time anymore.
He is so well mannered - I say 'Sit' and he does and waits patiently for his treats!
I saved all the fat trimmings and gristle on the ham Son Dean smoked for us and have been giving it to Rugar when he visits us.

He's such a great boy!!

Today was our last full day here this month so we went down to finish up our laundry and water all of Dean and Sherry's plants and gardens.
Sherry has the most gorgeous houseplants and flowers!
Dean's garden already has beautiful squash - both yellow and white!

I spent some time with the goats!
There's a brand new baby I had not met before.

They are all adorable!
Amon has been doing the critter chores so I just visited with them.

Great Pyrenees make excellent work dogs and they are so good with the goats.
I don't think Dean and Sherry have lost a goat since they  got the dogs - except for the one that was killed by the bees. Normally the bees are not aggressive but last year was not a normal year!

We have worked and loved each day we have been here and tomorrow we will tidy up and head home.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Gentle Country Days.....

Louis Dean and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet a Blog Friend on Tuesday.

They had flown into Houston on Monday for a grandson's High School Graduation arriving a day early so they could meet us halfway between Houston and Mart at College Station.

We met Sharon and Dennis from Ventnor City, New Jersey at 3:00 on the parking lot of The Dixie Chicken! We arrived a few minutes before they did and I was still trying to figure out the parking app when Sharon called out to me. They were trying to figure out t he same thing!
Dennis was the one who succeeded and proceeded to pay the parking for two hours for our car, too!

It was like old home week - we got along so well!!

Dean and Dennis really hit off and Sharon and I are Kindred Spirits!
We have SO many things in common.

The Dixie Chicken was established in 1974 and has been a favorite hang out for college kids at Texas A&M - and I've always wanted to come here!
We didn't realize they have a full service bar but the food is ordered as you come in the door and then they call your name really LOUD when it's ready for you to go back and pick it up!

We four talked non stop for a full two hours plus before Sharon and Dennis headed back to Houston and Louis Dean and I went on to do some errands.

Home Depot for top soil and a giant 'Hose Butler' aka a hose roller upper!
LD needed the next to most expensive one thay have since he has a 200 foot hose to roll up!

We drove to Marlin where we stopped at a Walmart to pick up a few things and then on to the ranch.

We got to the gate right at 9:00 and it was just beginning to be dark night - but we squeaked in while we could still see.

We thought we had left both cats inside the camper with the AC on but Tabitha greeted us as we came in the front door.

I think Samantha got lonely staying in all by herself.
I saw the two of them walk up to each other and touch noses.
It's obvious they love each other and I know they communicate some way!

Louis Dean is a man that stays busy! It rained Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning so he felt limited in what he could do.

That's when he spied an area he could deck!


He is still a strong worker man!

He made short work of that and then washed all the deck out on this side and scrubbed it down.

I've been doing some art - working on four different canvases hoping to finish them before we go home next week.

When I find myself struggling with a painting it usually means I need to lay a fresh palette so that's what I did!

This one is so close to being done but needs a few extra details which I can do after it dries.

Same with this one for my son, Jesse.
In the white area at the bottom I will paint in The Barista.

I also painted up a bunch of Santas from last year's okra pods.

They look pretty ugly until you get the paint on them.

I used water based paint on a can for the white and then I painted the red when it was dry.
Doesn't take long since it's water base....Rust-Oleum in Colonial Red.

The next step is to paint in Santa's face and beard.
I'm going to use the larger ones to hang on the stockings this year and the rest for gift ornaments.

Dean and Sherry are out of town for the holiday weekend visiting Roy and Ruth Ann.
Sherry has a big brand new washing machine  so I am doing laundry before we go home!

Wet laundry is heavy so I have my strong helper with me.

Country clothesline!!

Back when we were younger, we would do the Critter Chores when the kids were gone but now that we are older, they have a neighbor come over and handle things.
We could still do the ducks and chickens and peacocks and dogs but not the goats.
So as I was gathering in one line of washing this evening, Amon and his children were laughing and hanging out with the goats after they had brought them back to the pens.
You can hear them in this short video - and the roosters!

It made us feel good when Dean called this morning and asked if we would do them a favor and water his plants that he hasn't got in the ground yet.
Of course we can!
We can't do some of what we once did - but we can still do some things!

I find the country peaceful and quiet but there is a good bit of 'noise' and I love it all!

Or most of it! There's a mean rooster here and it's so pretty I forget that he's not nice!
He caught me going to the truck (we made several trips down today doing laundry) and nipped me on the leg!! 

When we came back down an hour later - he tried it again and I was screaming at him and shouting and flaying my trash bag at his head until Louis Dean could get over and help me!

The peacock in the pen next to where I was started screaming too!
He got all agitated and fluffed out his feathers and started rattling them at me.
Louis Dean stood guard so the rooster wouldn't get me when I stopped to take this pic.

Our early dinner this evening was chili dogs - LD's favorite!
This is HIS plate.
Mine was a single dog with just a dollop of chili.
Louis Dean said more than once, "Thank you, Honey! This really hits the spot!"

Yesterday the extra deck space and today he is repairing a picnic table.
The plastic has cracked and crumbled and he is making a new top for it from some plywood.

I am absolutely THRILLED to see some of the pumpkin seeds I planted have sprouted!!
It would be so wonderful if we could grow our own pumpkins this year!

I'm also grateful Louis Dean is happy about leaving some of the wildflowers for me.
Last year we had a ton of black eyed peas - or was that the year before?
It's foolish to think we can plant a huge garden and take care of it all summer when we are only down here for a week or two each month.
The way we have it this year - I can look out and see my wildflowers - and Louis Dean can look out and see his dirt....and later his plants once they get bigger enough!

I'm loving these gentle days so much.
Each morning and evening is a gift to treasure and I am thankful.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Hive Inspections!

 As soon as Sherry got off work today we went down to the apiary to check on our bees!

Other  than your bee suit, veil and gloves - the most important thing to have with you as you open up the hives is a smoker!
You must get it started before you go and it should smoke the entire time you are in the apiary.
And TWO smokers are better than ONE so Sherry and I take both of ours.

I was proud of myself for being suited up and having my smoker ready when Dean and Sherry drove up! We use crumpled newspaper - even better if it's from my art table and has oils and turp on it from cleaning my brushes - corrugated cardboard rolled up in a cylinder shape, and denim scraps in our smokers. You can also use dry grass, twigs, and burlap...whatever works and will burn slowly and SMOKE! 

Here we are ready to go!
Son Dean calls us 'Bee Chicks!' 
I like that!!

Our first hive inspection was the smallest one and one we thought we may have lost.
We were so surprised to see a healthy hive that was ready for a super for the bees to store honey in!

The second hive we opened look good, too!
We scraped the propolis off the top of the frames and added a sheet of Bounty paper towels on top before replacing the lid. This is a method of controlling mites in the hive.

I absolutely LOVE the hum of the bees in the hives!!

All four of our hives are looking GOOD!!

This one is the cream of the crop with two brood boxes (the bottom two) and two supers (the top two) which will hold the frames of honey!

I had prepared myself to another year of no honey -
but that's not happening and I am so happy about that!

We will be going home early next week but we will inspect the hives again as soon as I get back.

What has Louis Dean been doing today??
Remember the chest of drawers he found on the curb?
Made in the USA but so flimsy that fixing one thing make another thing so much worse.
He cried UNCLE tonight and took the whole thing apart and burned it!

I have been painting and finished this canvas from 2022 plus writing in my book.
Just finished Chapter 28 and moved on to Chapter 29.
I'm excited at making some real progress!


We ate a late supper - at 9:00!
Good thing it was a salad!!

I have this plaque hanging here at the ranch!