Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

I had to make a trip to Lubbock last week and I took a detour from my destination and wound up in an antique store. Funny how that happens. I had so much fun browsing the aisles. I never take the time to meander like that. I'm always on a tear when I'm in town, trying to get out as quickly as I can. :)

Wish I had thought to take a picture of the store. I could have spent a couple of days in there. I was looking for some shutters. No luck there, but I did find something I simply could not resist. I think that's what happens in these stores:


I'm normally very level-headed and I don't make purchases on a whim, but in this instance, I didn't think twice.I just love the detail on the top:


And the way the little cast iron top slides open to receive the beans:


And the little dovetailing:


Do I NEED a coffee grinder? No. In fact, although I love the smell of coffee, I can not stand the taste of it. However, this little coffee grinder now sits in my dining room cabinet and its rather silly how much it makes me smile.

                          

I am always entertained by the things that catch my eye in these shops.  This sign made me chuckle:


Of course I can't pass up a closer look at a sweet quilt:

                                                            

A collection of children's books caught my eye as well. I love children's books.


And this display was set up like a vintage pharmacy:


I was also entertained by this book:


I almost bought it because I thought it would make for fun reading. I just flipped to a few pages and I was highly entertained by the entries I read:


Servants? I cannot imagine. :) AND a governess?


A children's nurse?


I think we could lump all of these titles together, tack on a few more, and I think the proper name would be Mama. :)

This paragraph made me chuckle loud enough that the owners walked all the way to the back corner to see why I was laughing. I just love the way it is written.


After an hour and a half, I had to drag myself away and tackle town, but I thoroughly enjoyed stepping back in time and my little treasure will remind me of a simpler time. I wish it could talk because I know it would have a story to tell and I would love to hear it.

I wonder if it would scoff at our so called progress:
                                     




Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lately


I may have to begin publishing these weekly again in order to get something posted here on a regular basis.

1. I worked a horse sale on Saturday and they have a potluck during horse sales so I made O'Henry Bars and Texas Caviar the day before as my contribution.




2. I took on another little job, but I get to work from home. Sorry, cant tell you about it yet, but it's taking up some time. However, I am having a BALL. :)

3. Had a long day at the Sale Barn on Monday and learned  another new job.

4. Taxes. 4 sets. Ick.

5. Kept the sweet kids from the couple at North Camp and enjoyed them so much. Put them to work in my garden. Didn't work them too hard though. :)


6. Had a friend and his awesome girlfriend stop by to look at a horse early one afternoon. He ended up buying him and they stayed until 10:30 that night. Loved every minute. We stood outside by the barn until 6 and I invited them to stay for supper. We're about out of beef so I thought fast and grabbed the cast iron skillet first thing. Grab some green peppers, onions, jalapenos, salsa, cheese, avocados, sour cream, tortillas, and cooked up some chicken and presto! Chicken Fajitas for supper in no time!

7. Spending lots of time on the feed truck with DH

8. Getting the garden planted, cleaning out flower beds and mowing.


9. Filling an empty nest with some new peeps:


10. Taped the living room and started rolling Kilz onto the walls:



11. No sewing. See the above 10 bullet points as to why. :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rancher's Hours




Yep. Around here, we keep odd hours. On Friday morning we were loaded and headed out before 3 am.


When we dropped off our girl's horse a few weeks back, we also dropped off our horse trailer for a paint touch up. We ordered the trailer in 2012 and picked it up last year, and although we love everything about it and Joe builds an awesome trailer, we soon noticed a few thin spots in the paint up top and we didn't want rust to start working its way into the metal.Yes, it's a horse trailer, but its a lot of money for us and we'll keep it forever. Joe told us to bring it back and he'd make it right. Customer service is another advantage to dealing with Joe. He's built a top notch business for a reason and if you find yourself in need of a horse trailer, Joe's your man.

We drive a 15 yr old pickup, but we sure have a nice looking horse trailer!

So, back to the present: Joe called and said our trailer was ready so we headed out to pick it up. And the reason for the insane hour was that it would allow us to be back at the ranch before noon, leaving enough hours for us to get a  decent day's work in.

We also squeezed in a very quick breakfast, meeting our girl at 7 (Texas time) at McDonalds before she had to be at work at 7:30.


We were home by 11:30 and I quickly...VERY quickly, pulled together a good dinner before DH had to jump in the feed truck and make his feed run. I had leftover fresh green beans that I warmed up and I pulled out boneless, skinless chicken tenders from the freezer and threw them into a skillet. I like to keep these just for this reason. They cook up really fast, and with the addition of some seasoning, sliced mushrooms, diced bacon, lots of green chile, and some shredded cheese...well, it made for a really yummy meal. I threw together a salad and called it good.

I REALLY wanted to take a nap long about 3 that afternoon, but opted for an early night. I'm fairly certain we were asleep before the sun set.

On Tuesday, we had a repeat performance. We loaded 3 horses at 4 am and hauled them to an equine vet in  Lamesa, 2 1/2 hrs away.



Lamesa is a small west Texas town, but their veterinary practice is not small. Dr. Brock started the clinic 20 years ago and they have 6 vets practicing there now. They are well known for their work with equines and people haul their horses from near and far for their expert care. We took 2 in for lameness evaluation and one that had a really sore ear and we wanted to be sure there wasn't something odd going on. DH had already sedated him and used tick meds, but he was still really sensitive.

After some sedation


Some x-rays



Some clipping and disinfecting:




Some injections


We loaded everyone back up and headed back home.
No Navicular is good news and with a bit of time and a bit of corrective shoeing that DH has already tended to, we're hoping everyone will be back in good form in a couple of months.

And we were once again home by noon. These super early mornings, mean I'll be under the covers before the sun sets because this ranch wife is pooped.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

King of the Jungle Baby Quilt

I'm just tickled with this little quilt! When the planning began, I spent a lot of time online, searching for just the right fabric. I needed fabric with a jungle theme for a special little baby boy. The nursery was the most amazing nursery I had ever seen and I wanted to find fabric that coordinated. That meant  I needed something not-babyish, for lack of a better word, but I wanted something sweet. the minute I saw this fabric, I ordered it, but it sure did take me a long time to stumble upon it. Sometimes that technology I'm always fussing about comes in kinda handy! :)

                                

Then I pondered for weeks over how to turn it into a quilt. I wanted the animals to be the focus so I settled on stitching them into a square in a square. I pulled fabrics from my stash and auditioned a ridiculous number before whittling them down.  

 And then I hemmed and hawed about whether I ought to quilt it or take it to Jackie. I thought leaves would be a cute quilting design and I knew that Jackie's quilting would be just the ticket. I'm a beginning machine quilter and my leaves would be pretty sad looking leaves at this point. Jackie used a light gray thread and the quilting design is called 'blowing in the wind':

                                                 

Perfect!

                                        
When I picked it up, Jackie said that her daughter, who teaches and quilts too, wondered where I had bought the kit,  but Jackie told her that I just put it together from my stash. As cute as it is, I think the quilting always brings it to life.

I love the backing:

                                        

I used the same dotted fabric for the binding that I used in the sashing squares:

                                               

And I found that binding a baby quilt doesn't take nearly as long as the big quilts I usually make:

                                              

I ran into Hobby Lobby when I was in town to pick up some animal print tissue paper and as I walked through the store, I found this box:

                                     

Well, there was no way I was leaving the store without it. Look how perfect its going to be to wrap this quilt up:

                                                

And to top it all off. I was going to use my 40% of coupon and when I got home, I looked at my receipt and  the gal had charged me only $1.99 for the $19.99 box and with the coupon, I paid $1.19. What a deal! However, I'll go back when I'm in town next week and fess up. Wish I had caught that while I was there, but I was on a mission to get out of town... as usual, and I just wasn't paying attention... as usual. :)

I just rolled it up and sealed it into another perfect box for mailing:

                                                

It measures 42 x 48 and it is on its way to a sweet little baby boy.
The process for this quilt took much longer than I wanted, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out, and I hope it will be much-loved.

                                              


Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Peek into My Fabric Stash

Yesterday the wind did not blow so I cleaned house and worked in the yard and garden. I also added a set of shelves to the closet where I keep my fabric stash. I had to assemble the shelves in the closet and it was quite the fiasco. I bought the heavy duty shelves at Sam's since I knew they were going to be carrying a lot of weight.

These boxes were just stacked before and  it was a chore when I wanted something since what I wanted always seemed to be in the bottom box. This is the best way for me to keep my fabric semi-organized.


I have a box for creams, blues, reds, browns, greens, flannels, children's prints, and some boxes share colors like yellows and oranges and pinks and purples. My western stash gets 2 boxes...or is it 3? :) And then I have a box for Christmas fabric and 30's and one for fabrics that are in the reproduction spectrum.  Some of the boxes are full, but some of them are not even close. The small boxes are for strips and squares and  certain things I want to keep together for future projects. It's not fancy, but it works for me and now it will be easier for me to access it. And in the interest of full disclosure, I may or may not have 3 more boxes stashed under the bed. Now do you see why I don't need any more fabric in this house?

I am still binding the quilt I have been binding for a couple of weeks and I picked up a baby quilt from Jackie on Monday. Having quilts to bind makes me happy. Now if I could just find the time to bind them!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

On the Road Again

Warning: Snakes and a photo of DH giving a cow a shot are included below. Thought I'd give you a heads up in case you'd rather not see that. :)

I imagine many of y'all are on the go much of the time, but although we're always busy here, we're HERE. I don't like leaving the dirt road, although I like it very much if it means we get to see one of the kids. Since our boy is currently deployed in Japan and floating around on a ship somewhere, our girl was the one we made a quick trip to see. She is working at an equine breeding facility and that means that spring break for her isn't much of a break. She worked 70 hours that week. We ran up to see her on Saturday and took her her horse. She says that her life improves immensely when she has her horse and with the days getting longer, she finds time to ride almost every day.


We stayed Saturday night and went to a sports bar to watch UFC fights with her. Logan showed up with his brother and his sweet wife and another friend, Luis, and we all skootched together to watch the action:


 We splurged on sports bar food which was really yummy, but made us feel not so good the next day. We were really tired and sluggish and yes, we're blaming it on the food.

We drove back home on Sunday in ridiculous winds that had been blowing for days. I had cleaned the house as best as I could and I was looking forward to coming home to a clean house, but once again, my kitchen windowsill looked like this:


And the dirt was clinging to my windows. There were a few...a VERY few raindrops that came through, but nothing ever even hit the ground. It was all horizontal due to the lovely winds. This is dry, caked on dirt:


Very thankful I had not cleaned my windows. :) The week before I took this shot:


When it looks like this, it means it's covering every flat surface. But, around here, it's what you expect when it's spring in New Mexico so you just laugh, clean it up...again because you know how blessed you are to be living this life.

On Monday I went in to work, and I had 3 extra passengers. Not sure if I ought to post pictures or not, but we have a friend who is a taxidermist and when we were at the safari banquet he had mentioned that he could use a few rattlesnakes. DH has been running across them and 3 of them made the trip to town with me on Monday:


DH laughed when he looked at my grocery list and said he wondered how many people have lists that include:

Take snakes to Phil.

Today is Thursday and DH has 4 more for Phil. They are worse than kids. The men, not the snakes. :)


We ran through the sale fast and I was done by 12:30 so I grabbed the other 2 clerks and took then to lunch as a thank you for being so kind and patient with me. Then it was time for errands and it 7 before I got home where DH was bringing in a cow that had been snake bit so we ran her into the chute and doctored her before turning her out into the pens on hay:


DH has been studying this for the past week:


  It's a bull sale catalog and on Tuesday we drove 3 hours north for the sale:


It was another crazy wind day. The winds were 60 mph, and that's sustained winds, not gusts. It was NOT fun, but we came home with 6 pretty boys.

Here's hoping I won't have to leave the ranch again until Monday morning.
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