Tuesday, October 31, 2023

It's Time to Go Home......

 Our time here has been wonderful!

We had a few pretty days where Louis Dean got out and played in the dirt!

He made a platform for our small campfire pit to sit on.

Sherry and I worked on an art project that she's giving as a gift so I can't share it yet....

but since I had all the acrylic paints out, I decided to paint up the ceramic sunflower pieces Sherry gave me earlier this year.
This one will be a clock!

I will finish them on my next visit!

Louis Dean has puttered in his 'shop' room and rearranged and reorganized things.

We have been eating well!
I made a big pot of vegetable beef stew one cold night.
The AC has been turned off and the small electric heaters have been taken out of the shop and plugged in. Flannel sheets and warm blankets are on the bed and it's been cozy sleeping at night.

I took this partial ham out of the freezer and heated it in a crock pot with brown sugar and apricot preserves. It looked like a Halloween face to me!

Louis Dean carved it up and it was good!
We are taking leftovers home with us tomorrow!

The days here have been such a blessing to us.
I've had plenty of time to rest and read and nest and just BE!

We didn't go home for Halloween as we usually do.
Normally we sit out on the driveway and sip wine from our goblin cups and hand out candy.
And we always enjoy seeing the kids in costume and for the last couple of years I bought regular size candy bars for all the older kids.
However, I just wasn't 'feeling it' this year - so stayed here.
We will go home in the morning - or mostly likely noonish!

I will close tonight's journal entry with the Bell Grands in their costumes for today!

I just love the Fall garland Amber made for her front door!
This is Harrison - I think he may be ET?

The girls are Hockey Ghouls....

Tomorrow is November 1st!!

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Celebrating Summer's Birthday and Back to the Country!

Louis Dean and I left the country on Wednesday afternoon so I could be with Summer to celebrate her 60th birthday! We share milestone birthdays since we are only 15 years in age difference.
The next one will be in 2028 when I will be 80 in September and she will be 65 in October!

We arrived home in the 5:00 traffic because Miss Samantha was hiding!
After searching for over two hours - she casually waltzed out from where I keep my art supplies having hidden herself in the back of a shelf.

As soon as we unloaded, Louis Dean drew a tub of hot soapy water and settled down for a nice long soak. 

I started the laundry - we brought home covers and tablecloths and such that had gathered a lot of dust over the last three months - and then I went out to admire and cut bouquets of sunflowers!

We had a salad supper and wine for dinner in the gazebo and went to bed early!

When I woke up Thursday morning and went out to check the mail - I discovered the front door wasn't locked - and that it would NOT lock! Our ground shifts between the drought and then the rain!

Louis Dean promised to stay home while I was gone that afternoon and I would put the cats in the guest room so he could work on the door.

Sabrina and Rayne had flown in from Puerto Rico on Wednesday and Amber and I met them at Whiskey Cake in Irving for lunch!

It's the first time I have eaten there but during Covid Amber and Mike picked up some meals to go since the dining in was closed!

They are famous for their Whiskey Cake and it was amazing!!

One slice served all of us as it is SO rich and decadent!

There were cards and gifts....

and a lot of laughter!
We lingered long at the table enjoying our conversations and being together!

They must have a full time gardener on staff!

Each table has a small vase with sprigs of rosemary they cut from this interesting herb planter!

So many tomato plants and the peppers plants were loaded with ripe peppers!

We said our goodbyes to Amber and I rode with Sabrina, Summer and Rayne to Corky's in Grapevine for some fun throwing axes!

And it was FUN!!!
I didn't really think I could do it but we had a good coach that spent the entire hour with us giving us pointers. I hit a bull's eye once!

Summer had never done this before but she was great and won!!

Sabrina used a heavier ax and she and Rayne have done this more than once.

Summer won and Rayne came in second beating Sabrina out on the very last throw while I was low man down but at least I did score a few points!

Sabrina had the idea about what to do after lunch and had planned and set this up well in advance!

I did a few errands on my way home and then captured the cats and put them in the guest room.

Louis Dean moved the striker plate up and chiseled out the space and even cleaned up the mess!!
I was so proud of him and he was even prouder of himself!
I finished the laundry and we went to bed early - again!

We left right before noon and should have arrived by 2:30 or so....
but 'we' had some confusion about which route to take and where to turn.
It really does take BOTH of us to make it down here and back.

We stopped at the Dollar Store to pick up milk in Mart and Louis Dean decided it wanted to get to the ranch by way of the road there by the store. It's a really rough road so I was surprised when he insisted on going home that way but we made it pretty well until we came to the Willie Young Road where we needed to turn LEFT!
Nope! He turned right and that's where we went wrong and had to drive 45 minutes on country roads that normally would have been a scenic drive except for the fact that I had already used up all my 'nice' for that day.

We came in from the opposite direction he thought we were coming from and that was a little disconcerting to him.

But we made it and before the storms rolled in!

We were both glad to be back.
Life is more simple here in many different ways.

Less confusion and fewer people.
Louis Dean has his 'shop' room here and all kinds of projects to keep him busy so he's never bored.

All good reminders of how to act and this is good for any relationship!

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Stink Bait and Horses!

I went to bed Sunday night at 8:00 and didn't get up until well after 9:00 Monday morning!
Country life is so relaxing.

I had a few things to do today to finish up cleaning the front room so Louis Dean decided to go fishing up at the big tank.

He asked me if he could use one of my small saucepans to mix bait up and for some flour.

I said, "Sure!"

But when I went to get the flour for him, it dawned on me that he said fishing bait and that trigger my memory of past not-so-pleasant experiences!
Like the time he left stink bait in the back of my van for months before I finally found it!
That was in our newly wed days.
Or the time he put some shrimp bait on top of the fridge to thaw - and forgot about it!
For a WEEK!
I'm not tall enough to see what's on top but when I finally did.......

So....I give him the flour and he found a can and I went back to what I was doing.....until I smelled something awful! He COOKED the bait in my microwave!!!

I had a hard time trying not to throw up as I went around lighting candles and boiling Pine Sol and Fabuloso in cups in the microwave - alternating with pouring some out on the glass turn table and cooking it for 30 seconds. Amber suggested soda and white vinegar and I did that several times!
At last the smell was gone and so was Louis Dean!
Gone fishing!

I love feeding the horses.
This is a mother and daughter and they do not allow you to come close or pet them - usually.

However, this one is my favorite and comes right up to me.

While Louis Dean was fishing, I spent a couple of hours doing our meds while watching a good movie!

I love movies that make me feel good!

Alas, Louis Dean caught no fish so he decided to clean up the brood box from our dead hive.

It was tedious work but he was determined.

Rain came in Monday afternoon and the horses came up to find shelter under our big red roof.

It was a good night to go to bed early and read!
Louis Dean's choice.

And mine.
Brenda gave me a really good book that i started as soon as we got here but have not been able to find it since! No telling where it is hiding! Good thing I have a stack of other books here!
I can only imagine of horror of not having a book to read!

Tuesday morning and our Little Miss Samantha was looking pretty!

I made a big country breakfast that held us the rest of the day.

I am going to try and do one more painting before the end of the year!
I painted this once and gave it away and now I am going to paint one for to keep!

Once I start feeding the horses and the ranch cats and the mops and Rufus -
they all become frequent visitors!

Sugar cubes and carrots!!

Sherry and I went to the Waco bee meeting - the first one I have attended in months and months!

But first - Mexican food at El Conquistador in Bellmead!!

It is just after noon on Wednesday as I close this journal entry.
I am going to pack up my laptop and get dressed as we are heading home in a little while.
This is the first time to just pick up my burse and a few things and go!
Tomorrow is Summer's 60th birthday and I want to be there to help her celebrate!
We will turn around and come right back down here on Friday morning and stay another 5 days!

And I will be right back!!!

Monday, October 23, 2023

Bees, Cocktails, Cookout and a Campfire! Our October Country Sunday!

 Since it is NOT triple digit temps in Texas now, Sherry and I did not have to get up before dawn to do our hive inspections and mite and small hive beetle treatments on Sunday morning!

A good smoker is super important to a beekeeper and my son Jesse gifted me with the very BEST smoking pellets that easily make the denim scraps, wadded newspaper and such smoke for a good 45 minutes!

It was a little after 9:00 and we are armed and ready!

Sherry always keeps her truck running with the AC on in case we need to escape to protection.
Alas, this hive was dead and that's always a somber thing to see.

Wax moth for sure and maybe small hive beetles?

Such a mess!

Lots of clean up to do with this 'dead' hive.

I guess it's part of the journey in beekeeping.

These two hives were healthy and we took the honey supers off and set them aside for the bees to feed on while we put the Apivar strips in to treat the Varroa mites.
You cannot have honey supers on during this kind of mite treatment so the honey frames will be food for the bees to recover. The treatment will make the honey supers not useable  for future honey harvest so we have to take them off.

We didn't get to inspect and treat our third hive but we will go back and do that one next week!

It was a glorious day in the country!
Love the sky and clouds!

I watched Fellowship Church online and we had our coffee and reading/
A perfect Sunday morning.

In the afternoon Louis Dean saved sunflower seeds into a bottle so we can plant them where we want them next year! As along the fence line!
I have tried that for the last three years but maybe  it will finally work.

Our friend, Rosey, arrived at 4:30 on Sunday afternoon just after Sherry came down.
Dean was away in Florida teaching a Karate seminar so it was just us girls and Louis Dean for Cocktails, Cookout, and Campfire!

Rosey brought the margaritas and restaurant chips plus her famous guacamole!  

Pepper poppers are a staple at any get together!

Sherry grilled our burgers and we had such a good time visiting and enjoying being together!

Louis Dean had prepared a great campfire for us ....

We had a wonderful time!
Good food!
Good friends!
Good weather!
This makes good memories!
Rosey is our beekeeper friend from the Waco bee meetings.
Who knew how special a friend she would be to us and especially to me.
God has a way of bringing people into our lives that become such blessings.
I  love Rosey like a sister - although it is more like a daughter since she is Summer's age,

Never miss an opportunity to make a new friend.
It could turn into a lasting relationship such as I have with Rosey.
She will always be a part of my life and I am grateful for her friendship,

At Sunday evening's end - we drove over to see the new old house Dean and Sherry are having moved down to their place.

This house was built in 1925 and is such a jewel!

It is amazing and I can hardly wait until it is here on their property!

I've enjoyed these calm country days and am grateful to Dean and Sherry for their hospitality in sharing this with us.