Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Tummy Full of Grass Will Cure What Ails Ya!

First off I want to send my thought and prayers to all of you who are being affected by the storm on the East coast. Y'all stay safe - it sounds like it was a rough one. I feel kind of guilty for posting photos with blue skies and shirt sleeve weather.

One of DH's favorite horses has been feeling a bit 'off'. DH thought he might have 'tied up'. Tied up horses develop pain and stiffness in the lower back, and thigh muscles. They can simply cramp up or in more serious cases,  muscle destruction occurs and the urine turns dark with myoglobin, a component of muscle cells. His urine was dark so we were concerned. Electrolyte concentrations can also be a concern if a horse has been worked, but Cracker had been turned out for a couple of weeks. DH put in a call to the vet and to his brother who is an equine vet in Texas, and while we waited for a return phone call, I haltered him and let him graze in the only available patch of green grass on the ranch:

 I was wondering where the grass seed I had spread in the yard had disappeared to. Looks like the wind transported it across the lot, but I will gladly give up a green lawn for this guy:

DH was shoeing yet another horse:
He does this a lot:

He's studied it at length, for years,and this is often his evening reading material:

I think he has earned a back rub. My back hurts just watching him:

And Cracker and I enjoyed the cool air and kept DH company. There wasn't much conversing taking place as it is difficult to comment or grin when you are storing nails in your mouth:

Cracker chowed down on the fresh grass and ate..well...like a horse. :)

He's such a sweetheart:

We gave him a shot of Bute as well as a cocktail from the vet as well as all the green grass he wanted and he seems to be on the mend

 although I am certain he wants out of this pen...

Which is a good sign:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Dirt Road Gypsy Quilt

The Dirt Road Gypsy Quilt is home! On Tuesday I picked it up from Jackie and with the Blogger Quilt Festival beginning on Friday, I set about getting the binding on:

Stitching to the front:

And then I was eager to hand stitch the back down. I love binding quilts and I these little red binding clips are my new favorite notion:

Its been a busy week, but yesterday DH left for an Elk hunt and our girl came home for the weekend, dragging along a friend and two kitties. In order to get this quilt bound in time for the Quilt Festival, I had to work on it while she was home. This was my solution:

I just tossed a big flannel sheet over the top of the quilt. Problem solved! I'm sneaky like that. :)
The girls went to town last night to conquer the corn maze and I worked on the binding all night long until they came home.
I had help:

My binding buddies:

I'm cutting it close for the festival, but who needs sleep? I'm multitasking, as this will be my Christmas Through the Year project for October as well.

  Darlene and Cheryl have been wonderful throughout the year and because of them, my hand made gifts are just about finished! Thanks ladies!

If you're popping in from the Festival - welcome to the end of the dirt road where quilting and ranching are mixed in with a bit of homemade goodness from the oven.

Our college girl chose this pattern that was originally published in the  February 2012 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting. It is a pattern by Bill Kerr and Weeks Ringle. I think I wore out my iron pressing all of those seams open, and I was never so happy to unplug that thing when the last seam was pressed. However, now that I see the finished quilt, it makes me want to make another one...or perhaps I ought to just keep this one! No worries kiddo! It was just a fleeting thought although don't even try to con me into giving this to you early! Under the Christmas Tree it goes!

I love the stained glass look and am smitten with the backing. In an earlier post, I came to the conclusion that I was channeling my inner Jimmy Buffet when I crossed paths with this fabric. And I suppose Jimmy Buffet is a Gypsy in an island kind of way. I sure did listen to a lot of his music while I worked on these blocks. This became known as the gypsy quilt when I began to look at all of the fabrics I had gathered together. There are bits of Terrain, Curio, Gypsy Caravan, Organic Soul, London, Grand Bazaar, Road to Marrakesh, Rhapsodia, Mimosa, Summersault and who knows what else! Its an eclectic mix and some of the names of the fabric lines just made me think of exotic and far away lands and thus gypsy came to mind. College is  a journey so I'm thinking it is an appropriate name, but no matter where she roams, she will always be a dirt road girl. 

Quilt Measurements: 100 x 100

Special Techniques: None, just lots of pressing open of seams. :)
Quilted By: Jackie Williams using this great swirly design called Happy Days

Best Category: Bed Quilt - Scrap Quilt 
So here's my contribution for this year's festival:

Thank you so much for stopping in! I know that Amy is hosting another grand quilt festival and that there are umpteen blogs to visit and oodles of inspiration. Thank you Amy! I'm fairly certain we will all be adding to our lists of 'must make' quilts! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stitching for Our Boy

Last week, after our boy left, I got to work. I needed something to fill the quiet. He really missed his guitars while he was away and it was so good to hear him playing while he was home. As of now, it looks like he'll be at the base for a while so I think a quilt is in order! Hopefully it'll add a touch of home to his room in the barracks. I really wanted to send him one when he was deployed, but he moved around so much and he said he didn't want to lose it. Lots of times he didn't even sleep in a bed and he carried everything he owned.

So I spent the weekend whipping out endless hst's - 352 to be exact. I was a woman on a mission and I think my sewing machine was really happy when that last seam was stitched:

My iron and I bonded:

 I stitched love and hugs and prayers into every seam  and then pressed them so they could not be washed out:

Then it was on to stitching of rows -the lighting here is awful that background is not that dark:

And more rows:

DH left at 4 am. The sun came up and the sun went down  and I sewed until the cows, and he, came home:

And at the end of the day, a quilt top was born:

I took it to Jackie yesterday. When she retires, which I told her she couldn't do, I am going shopping for a quilting machine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oops...Wrong Turn Fella!

Yesterday I went out to gather the eggs and while the chickens squawked and chattered incessantly about the fact that watermelon season was over, I heard a quiet rustling in the weeds. First thought... rattlesnake because when you live out on ranch, that is always your first thought. However it was only this little innocent fellow:

Poor thing!

He had somehow gotten himself wedged between two layers of chicken wire. I searched for where  he had entered, but couldn't find a single place he might have squeezed in.

I confiscated DH's wire cutters while he was doing this:

And went back to release the poor caged thing.
And after a few snips, he was free:

And we had a little discussion:

He doesn't look one bit thankful, but he may just be put out because he didn't appreciate having a camera shoved in his face:

Ah! Much better:

And yes, I did put a cauliflower leaf next to him for his dining pleasure.

Yesterday I wanted to rescue a pigeon at the farm store.

 DH just smiles, but he has done his share of rescuing.

Hauling feed and water out to a downed cow in the middle of a pasture for days on end.
Bringing in a newborn calf on the front of his saddle when the Mama had died.
Carrying a soaking wet calf into the house during a raging snowstorm and drying him with towels and a blow dryer.
Handing over a runt kitten he had discovered who won't nurse.

His rescuing only makes me love him more.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sewing and Snorting Laughter are Good for the Soul

Thank y'all so very much for your kind thoughts and comments on my last post. I truly appreciate each and every one. Our boy arrived safely back on base late last night. Now I am counting the days until that next hug!

Yesterday I had a dentist appointment. On a side note. Did y'all know that clove oil was really good for tooth pain? My friend M told me that and wow! It really worked well! No cavities or root canal needed so I'm a happy girl.

 Then I met up with two crazy girls, whom I love dearly, for a long overdue lunch. We spent three hours solving the problems of the world over really good Mexican food. $5.08 for a great meal at this little cafe!

Many belly laughs and snorting laughter took place, which in turn caused more belly laughs and snorting. And everyone that chose to dine at this particular establishment on that particular day may have had reason to question our sanity. These girls are good for my soul and I truly treasure their friendship. And M - I will be expecting that blog post...with pictures!

No photos of our time together which is probably a good thing! Oh, goodness! I just thought about cell phones! I hope no one snapped any and we're not on the Internet somewhere! People take pictures of everything these days and I'm fairly certain people who don't know us will think we'd taken a  few too many sips of the apple wine.

On a previous trip, we had various people approach us and tell us we were having entirely too much fun. Not possible, and no. Drinking was not involved. Although during one gathering at L's home, our girl walked in and said, "Goodness! You should hear yourselves! Y'all sound like y'all are drunk!" Nope. Not a drop.

So today I have been up since 3. DH left at 4 to help the neighbors so that leaves me alone to putter...and sew!

I'm working on another red-white-and blue chevron quilt.

This one is for our boy for his bed in the barracks. He liked the one I had made previously so this morning, after DH left, I set about to cutting more squares

 and began stitching hst's.

 I've penciled in time for a nap, but I ought to make good progress and I'll pop in a few episodes of the Andy Griffith show while I press. The apple wine will have to wait until later.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Feeling Lost

Today our boy headed back to California. We have enjoyed every moment of his post-deployment leave and have no complaints with the exception that time went by much too quickly. Still, it was good for all of us, Our girl came down 2 weekends in a row and he drove up to see her this past weekend. I am so thankful for their relationship with each other.

So now I sit. Feeling forlorn and lost and really, really sad.

A word to the wise. When you are faced with the choice to pull weeds and rake or browse through old photographs on a day such as today...pull weeds and rake.

However, that too made me sad because instead of pulling this:

It reminded me of how I wish I were still pulling this:
 And this:

I may or may not spend the day in tears...and prayers for his safe travels today and tomorrow. I love you to infinity and beyond son.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oompa Loompa Bread

aka: Pumpkin Bread. :)

With Fall in full swing, we are baking up a storm around here. Our college girl was home in order to spend time with her brother. A request for Pumpkin Bread was made so we whipped up a batch on Sunday for her to take back to school. She's always feeding her friends and home baked goods are a hot commodity in the world of college students.

There is a charming little farming-ranching town we drive through on the way to San Antonio and we have always stopped there to explore. Years ago I bought a local cook book and many of our favorite recipes have been found within those pages. This is one of those recipes.

3 C sugar
3 1/2 C flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C oil
2 C pumpkin
2/3 C water
4 eggs, beaten

*Preheat oven to 350°. Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add other ingredients. Mix well. Pour into 2 well-greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 1 hr or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Our girl just happened to walk in as I was dumping pumpkin into the batter and she piped up, "That looks really awful! Looks like you ground up an Oompa Loompa".

I looked at her and began singing the Oompa Loompa song from Willie Wonka. Specifically the line: What do you get when your kid is a BRAT!  -Which she is not. :)

 Thus Oompa Loompa Bread was born:

and it will never ever be known as Pumpkin Bread again:

No Oompa Loompas were actually harmed in the making of this bread. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Glorious Morning

As much as I often lament the fact that I miss my Texas Mountains, I must confess that NM sunsets and sunrises are spectacular and hard to beat. It always amazes me that I can take these kinds of shots and get this right out of the camera:

But I can't take any credit for it. God provides the scene. All I do is press the shutter button. Still, it thrills me every time.

Last night we had a very disgruntled storm blow through. It grumbled and flashed and filled the sky with an amazing light show. I opened one eye, but was much too cozy, snuggled under the quilts to open the second eye. I fell back asleep with a happy and thankful heart at the sound of rain drumming upon the roof.  We had 1.2" a few days a go and another .8" last night. 1.6" just to the east of the house in Antelope Pasture and even more east of that pasture. If we have a late freeze, this just may be our saving grace this winter.

This is what I found this morning when I went out to let my chickens out:

  I was excited to have the chance to pull these on:

The chickens looked a bit perplexed

And confused:

 and conversed amongst themselves as chickens are wont to do:

I didn't hang around long enough for them to come to a consensus although I think Sarah had better be prepared because it looks as if her coop mates just might push her in:

because there were puddles to welcome:

And a sun to salute:

And horses to greet:

Good Morning sweet boy:

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