Thursday, December 14, 2017

German Baby Quilt

It's been a long time since I had a finished quilt to share



One of my co-workers is celebrating the arrival of a new granddaughter and as I think all babies should be welcomed into the world with a quilt, I began to sift through my stash. Her son-in-law is stationed overseas, in Germany, and I thought it would be fun to take my inspiration from Germany. I was born in Germany and this fabric reminded me of traditional German design from my childhood.



I had an idea to recreate the flowers so I searched online for a free pieced flower block, selected coordinating fabrics and made 12 blooming blocks. I want to say that this was a fast quilt, and in actual piecing time, it was, but it took me a coon's age to select the fabrics for the flowers from my stash:


And I chose this red for the border:



Jackie quilted a sweet design called Billowy across it



And I bound it using the black and white dot that I used for the flower centers:


It finished at 50" x 50"  and will soon be snuggling with a sweet baby as they are coming home for Christmas!



Saturday, December 9, 2017

Here Comes Santa Claus

I finally began to haul the Christmas decorations in from the shed this week


and I wanted to show you the newest addition. My mother-in-law has collected Santas for 30 years. Anything Santa was fair game to her and we all have many fond memories of Christmases with a house bursting with family and a whole herd of Santas.


This year she decided that it was time to disperse her collection among family and as I drove back to the ranch after my road trip, she asked me to stop and choose some Santas. I don't have a lot of space, but I loved the idea of having a piece of something that she enjoyed for many years and one Santa really did tug at my heart.


He is made from an old quilt


and I just knew he would be perfect.


I have this red metal sleigh and Santa was the perfect addition to it, but he was just a little too short. He needed a booster seat so I looked around for something close at hand and lo and behold, right next to me, the stack of quail ammo sitting on the entry room - laundry room shelf caught my eye...perfect fit!


I figure Santa likes smoked quail as much as we do! Now, I'm counting on ya'll to remind me of where those extra boxes are when DH is looking for them!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Quick Road Trip

Our girl had her wisdom teeth taken out last Thursday. One was completely horizontal and they had to be cut out. She told me I didn't need to come down, but that's just what Mamas do so I pulled out at 3:30 on Thursday morning and headed her way. This little mountain town I drive through had it's Christmas finery on full display


  When all was said and done, she had 5 extractions with only Lidocaine. She had a 7:30 class the next morning and she went to it. The kid is tough.

Neither one of us is a shopper, but I was down there until noon on Saturday and we ran around and did some Christmas shopping. There is a farmer's Market where she lives and she's been telling me I need to come down for it. It only took 2 years, but I finally made it


It was cool and crisp and just a perfect Saturday morning. We got there at 8 and some of the venders were still setting up, but the market extends for 3 blocks and we thoroughly enjoyed perusing the offerings.

The popcorn vender was popular, but not in the cards for a kid who just had her wisdom teeth removed!


We also popped into this amazing used bookstore again that I've been meaning to post about and will soon


I love the architecture on these old buildings:



Then our girl steered us to this little gem for brunch:


Where this little fella was patiently waiting for his owners...and leftovers


She says this is a hidden treasure in SW New Mexico and I could not agree with her more. Don't let the empty parking lot fool you, the lot across the street was full.


Lots to choose from on the Brunch menu


On her recommendation, I had the Eggs Benedict - New Mexico style (2 corn masa boats filled with a red chili con carne topped with a poached egg and smothered in hollandaise)  and it was the best thing I have ever eaten:


Our girl had an omelette with goat cheese and chorizo that was wisdom teeth extracted approved and it was out of this world. I want to come back and just work my way through the menu, because everything that came out of that kitchen looked and smelled amazing.

I was also able to spend a little time with 3 more of my favorite people and I treated them to supper out to celebrate a new job:


It's so nice when you enjoy the adults that your children have become. It was a good trip and I'm glad that our girl won't have any more trouble with those pesky wisdom teeth.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Still Working Through November

The days and weeks just keep marching on and I just keep falling further behind. Each day I intend to get something posted and each day it doesn't happen. Everyone else is running full speed ahead into Christmas and I haven't even posted since the middle of November. So, I'm going to start where I left off and hope that I'm not posting about Christmas when Easter rolls around. :)

I hope that, for those of you who celebrate it, ya'll had a blessed Thanksgiving. It was such a pretty day here. Our girl came home late Wednesday for quick visit. She had to leave out on Friday morning, as she is on the downhill slide to defending her Masters Thesis and until then, her head is under water.

Our boy, his sweet girl and little T, went to Albuquerque to spend the holiday with the other set of grandparents. They have been here for every holiday and gathering for the past 2 years and although we miss them, it is only fair to share them with the rest of the family. :)

I spent Wednesday in the kitchen in an attempt to keep from spending Thursday there. We are a traditional family when it comes to Thanksgiving. The only change I made this year was to cook the stuffing in one of my cast iron skillets:


On Wednesday I made the Cranberries, rolls, vegetable casserole, chopped everything for the stuffing, boiled eggs for deviled eggs, and baked the Pumpkin and Pecan pies. That only left mashed potatoes, turkey, and stuffing for Thursday, allowing me to spend lots of time with DH and our girl. Even though it was just the 3 of us, I wanted enough leftovers to send home with our girl and for us for a few days. We love Thanksgiving leftovers.

A little quail hunting took place


And jerky making commenced


And I decided to partake in Bonnie Hunter's On Ringo Lake Mystery this year so I pulled fabrics:


 I know I'll fall behind fast, the closer we get to Christmas, but I'm just going to have fun.

I put together a little package for a sweet little girl who is dealing with some health issues. She loves unicorns and I made a lined drawstring bag with one fabric to hold a gift and a unicorn pillowcase with another:


I am binding a baby quilt. I tried to machine bind it, but I don't like the way it turned out so I need to rip it out and either try again, or hand stitch it:


I pulled fabrics and made one block for a scrappy Christmas quilt I've been wanting to make:


and no, it won't be done this year. I also pulled and cut fabrics for a disappearing 9-patch


It seems I'm trying to make up for lost time in the stitching department. I made zero progress last week, but that's another post and hopefully it'll not be far behind.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

'Twas the Night Before...

deer season! And this is what our dining room table looked like last night:


As DH gathered his equipment, I gathered mine. Here's hoping we're both successful in our endeavors. 😉

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Catching Up

This past weekend, DH and I made our annual trek to Amarillo for the WRCA World Championship Ranch Rodeo. It's a 4 day affair, but DH and I only go for 2 days. It's like a family reunion for us. We look forward to it all year, but by noon on Saturday, it gets REALLY crowded and DH and I have exceeded our ability to socialize so we make our escape and head back to the ranch.

It is SO good to catch up with lifelong friends from all over the country. I spent 2 1/2 hours visiting with one friend as we confiscated 2 chairs and tucked them into a quiet corner to catch up. We're both hermits, but we manage to squeeze in a year's worth of visiting in our allotted time. I treasure the time we get to spend with so many dear friends.

For those of you that don't know, WRCA stands for Working Ranch Cowboy Association and it's just that. It's a wonderful organization that promotes ranching and supports the working ranch cowboy. They organize ranch rodeos which is are very different from regular rodeos and they have built a Foundation that presents scholarships and supports working ranch cowboys and their families in time of need. Part of the foundation is a crisis fund that helps ranching families when there is an injury or sickness, or hardship. Each year, during the World Championship Ranch Rodeo, they have an auction and raise money to help support the foundation. I think a few quilts are in order to contribute for next year.

Cowboys don't make a lot of money. They certainly don't do it for the money. It's not WHAT they do, it's WHO they are and these folks dig deep to help each other out.

There is a huge trade show with vendors that are geared toward the working ranch cowboy. It's not as glitzy as Cowboy Christmas at the NFR in Vegas, but it's more down to earth. And this is the most popular booth:


The Happy Toymaker. He makes metal trucks, trailers, and pens...ranch kids toys that are expensive, but coveted and made to last and be passed down for generations.


Children are everywhere and it's one of the things I love about the ranching industry. Folks TAKE their kids. Ranching is very family oriented and it's nice to see parents juggling and herding and carrying little ones who are tuckered out. I remember those days. I miss those days.

DH did a little shopping:


This is the best place for him to pick up tools that he uses every day...a cinch, saddle pad, and latigos. Made in the USA. Handcrafted by folks who cowboy and ranch for a living too.


Monday was another 11 hour day at the sale barn. I made Chicken Tortilla Soup on Sunday to leave for DH:


It was 10:30 when I got home. I took a shower and put together dinner for Tuesday in the crockpot since I'd have a few extras. We sold some cattle and gathered a trap, ran them through the chute for preg-testing and branded them for the new owners.

I made a salad, roast and beans in the crockpot, and a corn casserole:


With cast iron apple crisp and ice cream for dessert


Progress is being made on the new scale project:


 And today, I may even do a little sewing. Hope I remember how!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Yes, Another Post About Fall Works

Are ya'll tired of reading about fall works yet? If I don't get this stuff written down, I'll forget and I really like to keep some sort of record about our life here at the end of the dirt road and this is weaning season so that's what you get. Should I warn you that this is a picture heavy post? Probably no need because you have come to expect it when you visit here. -Grin-

Fall is our busiest time at the sale barn so the days are especially long, but I can't complain about leaving at 9 or 10, when my boss doesn't leave until 1. But combine a long Monday at the sale barn with our fall works and this old gal is plumb tuckered out. We were short handed last Tuesday so DH drafted me to help process cows and haul calves. When I dropped the boys off in the morning and headed back to the house, the good Lord was at it again, painting the New Mexico sky with breathtaking beauty and this red-tailed hawk and I stopped to soak it all in:




Later, the boys gathered the cattle


And brought them to the pens


 Where I take way too many pictures of this fella


But after over 30 years, I am still smitten with him


 One of these days he's going to take my camera away


 But until then, I will continue to capture the magic of ordinary days




They separated the calves from the cows



And started to work the cows



By walking them through the portable setup we have at this set of pens:



DH vaccinated them



And I doused them with Cydectin under the watchful eye of this girl



And the supervision of this gentle Mama


Then we loaded calves:


Drove them the 18 miles to headquarters


And unloaded them


Into the pens


 Then it was back to the east side where the sun was setting


And the cows were let out 


to begin their empty nesting until the new crop arrives in the spring


We had to pick up a bull from Armstrong Basin (a pasture) and then were able to head back to the house, tired, but thankful and grateful for the blessings God tucks into each and every day.

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