Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Quilter's Lament

Warning to ranchwife: Do not continue reading this post. I do not want to be responsible for the outcome although I know for a fact that you are much more disciplined than I.

Well good gravy! I have gotten absolutely nothing done today! Do you want to know why? Should I be honest? I'm thinking that you would appreciate that and I don't think I could sleep well if I fibbed so honesty is what you get.

I have been sucked into this site

http://quilterblogs.com/updates/?page=1

It all began very innocently. Really, it did. I was just lamenting over a piece of fabric that I have had for 12 years and I have suddenly decided that it needed to be a quilt...now.

But I needed to find the perfect pattern for it and I was coming up empty handed so I turned to the computer. Bad choice. I have spent much of the day poking my nose into other people's quilts. I am addicted! There are 3923 pages. I am on page 9. I have probably spent 4 hours here! On the plus side - I do not have as much fabric as I thought I did! On the negative side - my fabric is still patternless.

I am facinated by the color combinations. I am captivated by the stories. I am enchanted by the fabrics. I am intrigued with the patterns. Someone help me...please.

All I wanted was an idea. A simple idea because I am a beginning quilter. I wanted to quilt. Sigh. And so far I have not found the perfect pattern for my inspiration fabric. However, I now have 47 new projects swimming in my head. It's hopeless! Is there such a thing as a Quilter's Anonymous program?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quilt Complete!


I love the feeling of sewing on that last little stitch on a quilt! Yes, it's a Christmas quilt, but I'm sharing it anyway. Completed projects are always a cause for celebration around here!


It's a simple Turning Twenty pattern and I am really pleased with the way it turned out. I bought the fabric back in June in Las Cruces when DD attended the State 4-H Conference. Being

cooped up with hundreds of 4-H teenagers for 5 days required a side trip to the quilt store in order to keep my wits about me. Just kidding, but there is something to be said for the therapuetic qualities that lie within the confines of a quilt store!

My quilts aren't very elaborate, but I love 'em and I make them them in hopes that people will enjoy cuddling up with them for years. There is just something comforting about a homemade quilt.
Presently I am also working on a baby quilt for a friend that needs to be completed and I have a scrap quilt and a flannel quilt that needs to be quilted. I'm hoping to sneak away to a quilt show in Texas in a few weeks and take a hand quilting class. I'm not sure how much quilting I'll get done now that the weather is warming up, but I would like to get that baby quilt to the baby while he is still a baby!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Firing Up the Grill

Well the calendar tells me that spring has arrived, but I'm still not entirely convinced. I still have yet to see the mesquite leafing out, or to spot a buzzard perched on a fence post, but I'll take what I can get. It's not like I can do anything about it anyway so the blooming tulips, and the fact that I have already had to cut the grass, and with the fruit trees in full bloom, I'll gladly bask in the notion that it's only lurking just around the corner.


Last week we had 70° days, followed by snow, followed by 70+ mph winds, and 80° forecasted for this week. Crazy weather!


So today we took advantage of the 60° temps and calm air and celebrated spring by firing up the grill.


My Mom gave us money at Christmas for a new grill. It was time.



Although it has grilled us thousands of fabulous meals, it simply couldn't be relied upon any longer. For the past couple of years, the fire would just go out on a whim. No matter that burgers were sizzling away, or steaks were being anticipated by a famished crew...it would just quit. And just getting it lit was a whole nother story. It would shoot flames out at me and singe my arms. DH would fiddle with it and tell me that I just didn't have the right touch. He would knock on one part with a screwdriver and hammer on another with the wrench and stick his tongue out and cross his eyes and then we might...just maybe...get it to going. That grill and I were simply incompatible! Honestly, I was scared that it would just blow up on me one day.


So last week we picked one up and DH and DS spent a couple of hours putting the countless nuts and bolts into the appropriate panels and low and behold I had a grill!




I am so excited! We only have a swamp cooler and my kitchen gets ridiculously hot in the summer so grilling is a great escape from the sweltering confines of the house. Actually, it's a lifesaver! My stove may even feel neglected this summer!


And today I took it on it's maiden voyage and christened it with some big t-bone steaks!


Oh so good! And I am feeling oh so spoiled! And you can bet I'll be grilling anything and everything for years to come! If ya'll want to share your best grilling tips and recipes, I would be thrilled! So ya'll just stop on in and pull up a chair and we'll fire it up!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Praying God's Word

While I am waiting for the mercury to rise above freezing this morning, I thought I would share the following with you. Lately I have been really digging into my prayer life and the Lord has led me right to the original source - His word.This prayer for loved ones has been a source of comfort to me and I recently shared it with a friend and wanted to share it with all of you as well. I did not put this together, I found it online somewhere, but my copy does not have the internet address printed on it.


Mt 21:21 Father, I come before You in faith,
Mt 21:22 and in prayer.
Rom 13:11 Your Word says that now is the time for all to awaken from sleep
Rom 13:11 For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Col 1:13 Lord, deliver my loved ones from the power of darkness,
Rom 13:12 and cause them to put on the armor of light.
Rom 13:14 Help them in their daily walk to put on the Lord Jesus Christ
Rom 13:13 and to avoid the lust and idolatry of life.
Ps 119:37 Cause them to turn their eyes away from worthless things,
2Tim 2:26 to come to their senses, and escape the snare of the devil.
Rom 13:13 Deliver them from immorality, strife, and envy,
Heb 10:22 and draw them near to You, Father, with a true heart.
Mt 5:6 Create in them a hunger and thirst for You and Your righteousness,
Ps 119”37 and revive them in You ways.
Col 1:9 I ask that You fill them with the knowledge of Your will
Col 1:9 in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10 that they might have a walk worthy of You, Lord,
Col 1:10 fully pleasing You, being fruitful in every good work,
Col 1:10 and increasing in the knowledge of You,
Col 1:11 strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power.
Rom 8:30 Bring them into the calling that You have predestined for them;
1Chr 28:9 help them to serve You with a loyal heart and with a willing mind,
Ps 32:8 and instruct them in the way they should go.
Jas 1:22 Let them be doers of the Word and not hearers only,
Ps 119:97 meditating in Your Word day and night.
Ps 112:6 Establish their heart, so they will never be shaken,
1Cor 10:13 and show them a way of escape from every temptation.
Rom 13:8 Let them owe no man anything except their love.
1Jn 3:18 A love that is in deed and truth, not just in word and speech.
Ps 110:3 Let them be volunteers, serving You in the time of Your power.
Mt 6:33 Seeking first Your kingdom so that they will reap abundant blessings.
Prov 3:9 I pray that they will honor You with their possessions
Prov 3:9 and with the first fruits of their increase;
Ps 111:1 Praising the Lord with their whole heart in the assembly
Ps 111:1 of the upright and in their congregation,
Mic 6:8 walking humbly with You, Lord, being determined to act justly,
Ps 112:4 loving mercy and righteousness,
Ps 112:4 being gracious and full of compassion.

Well dear friends, the promise of a glorious day is waiting just outside my window and I am heading out to play in the dirt! Be blessed!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cooking With a Smile On My Face

This post is dedicated to Ranch Wife. Apparently I made her weep the other day ( my deepest apologies) so I thought I owed her a Happy Post and this is something that makes me happy.


I like to cook... for the most part. Living way out like we do, I do it a lot and there are days when I just get tired of feeding people. Seems as if someone is always hungry and I am always in the kitchen. but cook I do, so I might as well enjoy it.


Honestly though, if I lived closer to town, I still would not frequent the eating establishments. Sure it's convenient, but expensive, and DH always claims it's better at home...dear man. Seems we spend money and then have nothing to show for it. There is one exception. Last winter we ate at a resaraunt in Amarillo, Hoffbrau House, and it was hands down, the best food we've ever had in a restaraunt. Absolutely mouthwatering, close your eyes and sigh kind of food. So once a year we'll occupy a booth at the Hoffbrau House, but the other 364 days of the year will find me in my kitchen. Hqwever, I will not turn away help in said kitchen! Dishes, I DO NOT enjoy, hence my favorite part of eating out - no clean up!


The other day, someone posted a question on a site I read and asked whether you liked receiving kitchen gadgets and appliances or whether you would be offended. It shocked me that people would be offended by a gift, but apparently that is the case.


For my birthday I received this:



Can you fall in love with a pot? Does that make me strange? No, don't answer that. But, this is the coolest pot and I am not offended in the least! We also used Cabela's points and got free shipping, making it free! LOL! It's an enamel coated cast iron, really heavy, pot.


Love the color red and it does not make me angry, unlike Ranch Wife's family seems to think. It makes me happy. Today I am making Beef Bourguignon in it. Sounds fancy, doesn't it? I'm not even sure how to pronounce it, but that's never stopped me before. I've never made this recipe and I'm making it for company. Yep, that's me ... a risk taker. Hey. I figure they're good friends and they like me, so surely they're willing to be my guinea pigs for the evening. Can't let a little thing like a new recipe flop get in the way of friendship now. Surely something that includes beef sirloin and mushrooms and wine can't be a flop.


So two thumbs up for red...and my happy pot!

Friday, March 5, 2010

My Favorite Way to Start the Day

I'm not a materialistic sort of gal, but this is what DH gave me for Christmas and I adore it! The guy who makes these is wonderful. His name is Monty Reedy. The workmanship is absolutely stunning. He certainly found a wonderful way to use the gifts he's been given!





DH chose it while we were at the WRCA in Amarillo. It's one stop shopping at it's finest and the best place to knock off that Christmas list. So while the majority of us are contemplating New Year's resolutions, I have one to share as well even though this is March.


I want to start each and every day with the Lord. First thing each and every morning. I need to put my devotion time at the top of my list of things to do. Every time I find things going off course, I can trace it back to my wanderings. Oh I have good intentions...the best intentions, but then the busy-ness of the day sneaks in and off I go and before I know it, it's close to noon or later. The laundry's done, the windows are clean, and dinner is in the oven, but the Lord is waiting on me to sit with Him a spell and I don't want to keep Him waiting.


I know without a doubt that He guides my steps so why do I insist on making my own path that always leads away from the One who loves me the most. How sad that must make Him.


So, I am determined to add new fingerprints to this beautiful Bible cover first thing every morning. Drinking in His word is my favorite way to start the day. It really does make all the difference!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sam


I wrote this back at the first of the year, and although I've been terribly remiss in posting this year, I really wanted to share this.

The same day we lost Poncho, we had to put Sam down. It was a rough day.

Sam was an amazing friend who quickly became part of the family. From the time he was little, he wanted to work, and work he did. When we lived in the mountains we didn't have any help and DH often used the dogs to help him gather the cattle off of the brushy mountainsides. Sam was a pro. He was loyal and tenacious and he had heart. The only thing he didn't have in him was quit. He would go until he couldn't go any more and then he would go some more. Some mornings his feet would be so sore from trotting through the rocks, but he would hobble to the barn at the first sight of DH. The only way we could keep him from following would be to tie him up and then just watch him pout.

Even in his old age, he'd jump at the chance to work. He's often be the first one out to the pens when we worked cattle here at the house:



He had a hitch in his gait in later years, but he acted like a puppy when the boys would saddle up and he was never far behind. He's hard to spot in this shot, but take my word for it, his tail is a waggin, his tongue is hanging out, and he is elated!

He was the best dog. So good and gentle with the kids, but an absolute bear when it came to going after pigs or javalenas. Once he and DH got into some pigs by a dirt tank and Sam and this pig went to the mat. They both ended up in the water and DH thought that was going to be the end of Sam, but he persevered and climbed out the victor with only a torn ear as a reminder of the battle.
Sam was 13. Old for a big working dog. About 2 years ago, we noticed he was having trouble retaining heat so I fixed up a place for him to sleep in out front mud room and opened the door for him. He peered in, but wouldn't have even put one paw in the house. We tried to coax him in, drag him in, even placing raw meat just inside the door. He didn't budge. So we carried him in and placed him on the pet bed. He looked perplexed, but soon settled in for the night and before long, we had to fight him to beat him to the door at night!

Everyone loved Sam. Even the tough old cowboys who helped us out always had a kind word and a few loving scratches for him. One morning I found this:

Clint had draped his coat over that old dog when the crew had come in for breakfast. Said he looked cold. Gotta love a guy who loves a smelly old dog like that.

Sam loved to go. Anywhere. And fishing was no exception, We started toting him around from the time he was just a little guy.


He was even included in Christmas card photos.


When we would rope, he was right beside us although we often had to chide him for chasing the steers down the arena. If we tied him up, he would complain and bark for a bit and then look left out. He had a job to do and we weren't letting him do it!

One of his favorite places to relax was the water trough. Almost every day when the weather was warm, he would make a beeline for the water and splash around or just stand there, completely content. The dog knew how to enjoy life. We should all take a lesson from Sam and take time to enjoy a good soak in the water trough.

One day I walked out to find this:


For some reason only known to Sam, he loved this red wagon. It was once the kids' and now we use to to haul off branches and stuff when we work in the yard. It's not exactly Sam sized, but that didn't stop him from making it his.



He seemed to gain some kind of comfort from squeezing into that little red wagon and who was I to tell him he wouldn't fit.

And yes, I drug a blanket out there for him. Old Sam had earned his retirement and a little TLC never hurt anyone.

The last year or so, he would bark at night when he wanted out so I would get up and let him out. DH once joked that it gave him hope that if I would be so kind to an old dog like Sam, I might take pretty good care of him when he got old. LOL! Yes dear, I'll gladly get up at night and let you out too!

So many good memories. Our critters really do become part of the family and I'm grateful for the time we have them in our lives. Thank for so many good years Sam.
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