Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Monday Shopping, Tuesday Treasures and a Walk on Wednesday!

 It was good to be back in church on Sunday!
I attended solo as Louis Dean had a hard time getting to sleep on Saturday night and he was finally getting some deep sound sleep when I got up - so I left him to it!

Ed Young will be wrapping this series up next week.

It's always a good thing to be IN church whenever possible!

I shopped Aldi for a cart load of groceries.
I think we spend more $$$ on groceries than any other budget item!

By the time I had unloaded and put things away and made lunch - it was game time!!


I do love my Dallas Cowboys - but I was born in Kansas City and I dearly love the KC Chiefs!
I'm having trouble with Spectrum TV and I could only get 'Live TV' instead of getting Spectrum where I can access the menu and the guide - so we watched the game LIVE with no option to pause or rewind! No problem! We were scurrying around during the commercials and back to the game!
My brother Buster and I texted and I assured him I was cheering them on with all my might!

Louis Dean loves it when I get excited about football!
"GO GO GO GO Baby! GO!!!"
And they did!

We got the regular Spectrum and watched the next game in a more leisurely fashion.

We had planned to shop Walmart Sunday afternoon but once I realized it was a football Sunday to remember - we decided to go Monday instead. 

We didn't need a lot since I had already bought most of what I needed at Aldi.
Louis Dean declares it an EMERGENCY when he runs out of wine!
We ran out at the ranch BUT he had some in his room when we got home.
Still, he was on 'emergency' mode and insisted on getting FOUR boxes!

He's only ever run out of wine twice and the last time was last year and I drove him up to Walgreens so he could get some. I was NOT dressed for public and had NO make up on so I sent him in alone.
I was sitting in the car watching for him when he rolled a buggy out the door chock FULL of WINE boxes!

And not only does he love box wine - but he loves the BOXES and the 'bladders' too!
He saves both and I have to smuggle them out of his room and into a BLACK trash bag before sneaking them out to the curb for trash pickup!

He folds up the bladders now but when the grand quads were young, he would blow them up and give them markers to draw on them.
 The boxes he says makes dandy trash containers and he puts a plastic grocery sack in them after cutting the tops off. There's one beside our bed right now!

I had the idea of buying a microwave for the gazebo and that's what we decided to do for our Valentine gift to each other! We have been having morning coffee and evening wine out there lately and it will be nice to have it to to heat up our coffee without going back in the house.

I have been looking forward to Tuesday and visiting with Brenda!

We met up at Texas Thrift on Beltline shortly before noon.
I chose a BIG buggy while Brenda got one of those stylish smaller ones.
I filled mine UP and used hers for my 'overflow!'

A Wrangler snap shirt for Louis Dean - which he LOVES!
Some Skechers water shoes for him to wear when he just needs to slip something on his feet in a hurry. A set of two nice lamps for the gazebo - just $2 each. Two wooden TV trays for the gazebo.
The wire basket rack will go on the outside kitchen wall with moss and faux flowers in it for spring.
Brenda found the cute denim pants for me and I found the American Eagle shirt in the men's section!

Brenda also found the soft buffalo plaid throw which I am using on our bed.

Place mats and napkins!
I can afford to have a good collection for all the seasons at these prices.
The ones from Williams-Sonoma will go with a set of dinnerware I have and will use it when I take the Christmas out of the dining room.
Yes, I am still decorated and enjoying it as I slowly and methodically take it down a little at a time.

A shelf that Louis Dean will paint and hang under a protective eave to put pots on and hang garden tools from.

I loved  this Paris tower and am using black and white in our bedroom with a French vibe and I am loving it!

I could not help myself when I saw this beautiful throw for just $1.50
Like, REALLY???
The arrow will go in our bedroom - another $1.50 and the spring flower garland was $1.50 also.

Brenda and I ate at Chick Fil-A for a late lunch and visited and caught up on things.
Having a best friend is such a blessing and I love every minute we spend together and I love everything about Brenda!!

I have purposed to use some new recipes and cook better meals.
As much money as we spend on groceries we should be eating very well!!

I came home from thrifting and started cooking and baking.
Nieman Marcus bars, Jalapeno corn bread and Cowboy Beans.
I used a crock pot cookbook and on one page there were FIVE versions of basically the same dish!
I ended up using parts of each one and it turned out delicious.

The cornbread was good, too!

I tasted the Cowboy beans but my dinner was a salad and shrimp cocktail.

While dinner cooked Louis Dean and I sat out in the gazebo with a glass of wine.
Boxed Chillable Red for him and a nice glass of Chianti for me!

See where I used that gorgeous throw? It covers a plain lawn chair and gives it some class!
The green marble lazy Susan was a gift from Brenda and I love the honey bee coasters given to me by a friend. The retro microwave looks cute, doesn't it??

We used to spend part of nearly every day in our gazebo.
Last year - not so much!
I never even got around to decorating it all up for Christmas.
I have a feeling we are BACK!!!

Today (Wednesday) I went over to visit with Kimmy. We talked and laughed and cried.
Louis Dean was busy in his room removing shelves and putting them up somewhere else.
He says he is making his music room more 'usable.'

I promised next week I will bring him with me and we will take dinner in for all of us - including Gretchen who has been living with Kimmy and June for about a year or more now and is the sweetest lady and such a great artist!
Louis Dean will play his guitar for us and we will have a dinner party and talk about all the good times we had with June! Hopefully we will laugh as much as we cry.

It's been an honor to have been loved by June.

Louis Dean and I are going to New Mexico on Spring Break with son Jesse and family and we need to get in condition for the high altitude. SO we walked this afternoon when I got home.
Neither one of us has been getting much exercise lately and it's time to do something about that!

I walked about a mile......he did a quarter of a mile. We ran into our friend, Ilene, and she and I walked on (it's a snake loop) and he walked a block to the next curb to meet us when we came around.

It's a start and something is better than nothing!
I am hoping to ski when we are in New Mexico......
it's on my Bucket List.
Back in the day we skied several times a year and I skied just about all the resorts on Colorado.
I've only ever skied BLACK runs twice - and both were by accident!
Mostly I skied the easier green and blue runs.
While at dinner with Sherry and Rosey a week or two ago - I told them I planned on skiing and they asked if there was an even easier run? I said, "The bunny slope!"

So perhaps that will be what I ski - but I'm okay with that!!

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Home Again! HOME Again!

 On Wednesday I decided it was time to go home.

The bitter cold was gone but now there was a lot of rain! 
The ducks were down swimming in our fire pit!

The ground was so saturated that the septic tank wasn't working so both bathrooms were struggling.
We started cleaning and packing up in preparation to leaving around noon on Thursday!

Alas, it was nearly 4:00 before we were able to drive to the gate.
First - Louis Dean could NOT find his wallet!
We searched everywhere and I DID find his watch and a few other missing items.
After two hours of looking, I checked the pockets of a pair of overalls hanging in the bedroom and there it was!!

We finished loading the truck with everything but the cats and my purse - and he couldn't find his keys! I had an extra set with me so I wasn't really worried - until he cried Uncle and we loaded the cats and - MY key fob for the security thingy didn't work!

Another hour and more went by!
He decided they HAD to be in the pockets of one of his overalls - we had been there 27 days so ALL of our clothes were in clear laundry bags!
He unloaded the truck and looked through them all.
I decided to double check and I started going through the dirty clothes - BINGO!!

I am now the Official Keeper of the Keys and Wallet!

Let's go home!!!

We stopped at our favorite 'stopping place' in Hillsboro - 
The Lone Star Cafe!
Our nerves were a bit frazzled but we calmed down and started laughing about everything!

Louis Dean is so cute and he was so upset with himself.
"What a bone headed thing to do!!" he said.

I reassured him that it's NOT his fault!
It's not like he loses things on purpose!

I do need to be more cognizant of what I need to to do so this doesn't keep happening.
I'll be ordering more 'tiles' that you can attack to items and then track them with a beeping noise.
And hopefully I can keep enough of my wits about me as my memory isn't all that great either!

It's kind of exciting driving through Dallas on our way home.

The sunset was reflected in the sky scrapers and office buildings.

This is on Stemmons Freeway - photo taken through our cracked windshield!

We barely made it home before dark!
The moon was already rising.

 Louis Dean unloaded and I started working on the huge piles of laundry - from clothes to linens to covers to towels - it was a LOT!
Good thing we have a LOT of clothes!

I took a long hot shower and washed my hair and then he took a glass of wine and sat in a tub of hot scented water for nearly an hour!

The cats seemed happy to be back!
Just about the time they start to get bored - we go somewhere else!
They did not make one single PEEP on the way home.

Friday morning I woke up and the first thing I thought of was - where are the truck keys???
I found the key but not the security fob!
My car had a flat tire and now we couldn't drive the truck!
Just after a good night's sleep and recovering from the day before - we were at it again!

I win 3 out of 3 in finding the missing item!
After examining the defective fob, I used a pin to pull out some lint and decided to try it one more time! When I went out to truck - and was hunched down under the steering wheel - THERE was the fob! It must have come unhooked from Louis Dean's key chain.

We didn't go anywhere on Friday but I was glad we COULD have if we had needed to do so!

I talked to my son, Jesse, on Friday and he and Rachel came over Saturday morning for breakfast!

We had a good visit and spent some time planning our Spring Break retreat to the mountain cabin in New Mexico. I've bot been there in the winter before so I am super excited!

Jesse is my Knight in Shining Armor!
I have so many 'Knights' with Louis Dean at the top of the list!
Son Dean and Benjamin and Mike along with Jesse - they all step up and help us and I am so grateful!

Jesse has been there for me so many times during the past - always saying, "Yes, Mom! I can help you with that!"
Turns out I needed ALL new tires!!
Louis Dean and I didn't even have to leave the house!
Jesse and Rachel did it all!

Not only that but he updated and 'repaired' my computer as well as Louis Dean's.
I love his new glasses!
He is so handsome and such a good man!

We went straight home Thursday instead of going up to see June at the hospital.
She was in Arlington and Amber was coming over to get me on Friday morning.

I was too late to say goodbye as she passed peacefully Thursday evening.

Kimmy sent this pic of June and Benjamin this afternoon.
It's no secret that Ben was her favorite!

I have sorrow over missing that last chance to see her but I have great joy in knowing she is in heaven!

Kimmy and I have talked and we have cried and LAUGHED!
Isn't it amazing how we can do that?

Kimmy has been a quiet cheerleader to all the ones she loves for years.
Most every morning, she sends out greetings and funny pics or thoughtful quotes to so many.

Praying for her and her sister, Traci, and Aunt Tommie and all June's nieces and nephews.

I will always remember the afternoon Benjamin and I went over and visited with June.
I took her what I thought was the very last of my Fruitcake Cookies.

This morning I poured my coffee and saw a tin on the coffee bar and thought, "Wonder what's in that?" I opened it up and it was full of fruitcake cookies!
I ate one in June's honor.......

Monday, January 22, 2024

I'm Still in Christmas Mode....

 The weather has warmed up nicely now and the dogs were at the door to the front room requesting treats!

For the first year the mops were here - I couldn't give them treats as they were still in training.
Now all three grand dogs line up for a 'hand out' from their Grandma!
Salami for these three.

Horses, too!
Apples and celery for them.

Chicken Little has been up ever since we arrived on December 30th!
I always have a little something to throw out to her, too!
No ducks today and that's okay!
After they visit we always need to wash off the porch!

I cooked a really good full meal for us on Sunday using the grill for the chicken, crock pot for the dressing, large crock pot for the cabbage casserole and the toaster oven for the sweet potato casserole.

So good!!!
Took all day to cook it but that's okay.
Life is pretty simple here.

I woke up this Monday morning with a head cold.
I did have the 'crud' with lots of coughing and hacking.
Now that's gone but I'm sneezing and using Vicks and my Netti pot and handfuls of tissues! 

And rain!

A LOT of rain!

I worked on this painting again yesterday and today I did some more work on it.
One more session will finish it up but I must allow it to dry first.
Oils take a long time to dry.
Hopefully I can go back to do another session on Jesse's Coffee painting tomorrow.

When we go home - whenever THAT happens - the house will still look just as it did on Christmas Day!

Perhaps that's why I'm already thinking about the Santas for this year!
I'll be painting a Santa for each of my three oldest grandchildren - Sam, Faith and Levi per their request! I'm so thrilled that they WANT one!

I plan on giving them their Santa for their birthdays with the first one being Faith's in June, Sam in September and Levi in October.

I've been browsing through some possibilities.....

So many Santas......

I am closing tonight's journal entry with a prayer request for our dear friend, June.
She is in the hospital and it doesn't look good.

Here she is on Christmas Eve before going to the candlelight service at church.
Praying for her daughters, Kimmy and Tracy, and sister Tommie, and all her family.
She is so special to so many of us.....

Saturday, January 20, 2024

I'm Losing Track of my Days....

We have been here at the ranch since December this makes three full weeks and we plan to be here another week or two. This will be our longest visit ever!

We filled everything we could find with water to use for flushing the toilet and washing dishes - heating the water in an electric kettle.

Dean turned the water off to both our places and it stayed off for three days.

We used up all we had and this last barrel remained frozen on  the porch even though Louis Dean had covered it with carpet and rugs.
Monday night we ran out of propane in the big tank but Son Dean came down and hooked up a smaller tank and we were able to keep the bathroom at 50 or so.
Tuesday was SO cold and we just stayed put! We drank coffee in the morning, ate leftovers, watched old movies, took naps, ate more leftovers, drank wine in the bathroom in front of the heater and went to bed. I don't think we have been this relaxed in several months!

Wednesday warmed up some and all the ice was gone so we loaded up the empty tank and went to Waco. We did several errands like filling up the truck with diesel, picking up prescriptions from Walgreens and cough drops and such. Lunch was Whataburgers then HEB and Home Depot for supplies. The plumbing isles were packed with people looking for pipes and fittings...including us!

We were so tired and both of us were feeling sickly - Louis Dean was having a hard time thinking so I drove us back to the ranch. I had to sit at the edge of the seat so my feet could reach the pedals and I pulled myself up to the steering wheel. The seat won't budge so usually, if I'm driving, I take a big pillow to wedge behind  my back. I should keep one in the truck all the time now - just in case!

Dean and Sherry had left soup for us so we came in and ate and went straight to bed!

Thursday warmed up to 60 so I went out and cut back all of our rose bushes.

Who knew the goats would find them tasty!

But then if the goats ever got in through the gates, I'm sure they would eat all the rose bushes!

I had thought I'd burn them but Dean looked at the box of clippings and said, "Goat food!"

They are fun to watch.

They went all along the perimeter of the yard outside the fence line.

They are good lawn mowers!

Plus they are fun and frisky!

We used fencing that they can't get their heads through although this sweetie is nibbling a little of the green clover.

I just think they are cute!

Dean worked all afternoon on Thursday repairing pipes and digging in the dirt finding the leaks.
He has the patience of Job!

I've been painting some every day!
I'll make these two kitties look like Samantha and Tabitha!

Sherry sent down some pinto beans and I made cornbread muffins for Louis Dean's supper!

As I write tonight's journal entry, we now have water, thanks to Dean!
In the spring he will be changing to PEX and we will not have so many issues to deal with in freezing weather.

This afternoon Sherry and I drove to Marlin, Texas to meet Rosey for a late lunch.
It was good to get out and it was good to visit together!
We talked and laughed and the time just flew by!

Sherry drives the back country roads and the scenery was so pretty. Up around Mart the lands are now solar farms and wind farms. It was good to see land with hay and cattle and large ranches.

We passed a really big ranch and Sherry and I both noticed the unusual fence.
From the road it looked like burled wood. We passed on by and then Sherry stopped, backed the truck up and said, "Those are coyotes."
14 of them! The rancher must be a crack shot and the one up close is the newest one.
I was surprised at how BIG they are. He kills one, wires its legs together and hangs it on the fencepost. There's not much left of the first one on the post closest to the road.

There's always something to see in the country!
I didn't get any pics but we also saw flocks of cardinals on the roads. Dozens of them!

The weather will be warming now and no more freezing temps are in the forecast for the next couple of weeks. There's a lot of rain coming but it won't be COLD!

Summer has had an adventure staying warm in her cabin at Bar-J Ranch in Arkansas.
I think most of the country has been in the deep freeze the last few weeks!