Saturday, April 22, 2017

Time to Sew

I actually found time to sew on Friday, but with the rain last week, the mustard weed was threatening to take over the yard so I pulled out the mower for the first time this year:

As much as I fuss about mowing, this old mower has been incredibly reliable. It's 10 years old and after sitting in the shed all winter, it started up with the very first pull of the rope. Mowing before sewing. *grin* Skeet has really been enjoying the spring weather too:

Since the rain put him out of his feeding gig, he's been finding alternative entertainment.

Once I tamed the yard, I worked on some sewing projects. I caught up with the Two-Step mystery Quilt clues from My Carolina Home. This is the March clue - still need to trim these:

And this is April's clue:

And I made 12 of these little flower blocks:

I just Googled 'free flower block' and picked one I liked. This one starts out with 4 - 3 1/2" squares and you snowball each corner with 1 1/2" squares. This was the inspiration fabric:

It's been in my stash forever and I haven't a clue what I had in mind when I bought it, but it needs to be used. Thus, I thought the flower blocks might fit and make a cute baby quilt:

Then I fell upon this little fat quarter pack in my stash that included this cute piece:

I didn't particularly care to work with the other fat quarters and I thought this little chunk needed to be a baby quilt. I'm not quite sure how to make a baby quilt using 1 fat quarter that I don't want to cut up, but I started pulling coordinating fabrics from my various bins and am thinking about building some borders, one of which will be patchwork.

It's been a while since I've had this much time in a day to sew. I felt pretty spoiled and a little guilty, but it was nice to have a little stitching time.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Great Salsa Snafu

In the 30 years I have cooked for a crew, I have never done anything like this.

I've debated whether I ought to even confess this or not. My entire 30 year cooking reputation has been wrecked...shattered...destroyed. Through the years I've heard tell  that I am a good cook. I am not, I am a plain and simple, nothing fancy, but plenty of it, kind of cook.

The worst thing I've done is put cornstarch  in the biscuits one morning instead of baking powder, but in my defense, it was 3:30 in the morning and I'd been up at that ungodly hour too many times in a row that week. And I did burn a cake recently because I was on the phone with a good friend.

But cowboys are unfailingly kind to the cook and often the crew is compromised of single fellas who are over the moon grateful for a home cooked meal, but I sure tested my boys on Tuesday.

I had made enchiladas, Spanish rice, beans, salad, and rolls for dinner, along with homemade salsa. By the time they rolled up in their rigs for dinner, I was feeling pretty puny and I rushed to set everything out. They filed in, thirsty and hungry, commenting on how good it smelled. After filling their plates, and settling in, I turned to put a few things away. I grabbed the salsa bowl and something caught my attention. It looked funny. Darker than I remember it being when I made it the day before. So I put on my glasses and well, it wasn't salsa! Any guesses? It was APPLESAUCE! LOL

I just about died laughing and I popped into the dining room and piped up, "O.K. Which one of ya'll scooped up some of this salsa?!" Oh, the looks I got were priceless! They looked absolutely sheepish and their eyes were filled with laughter that they were trying their best to disguise. I could barely get it out, "THAT was applesauce boys! I am SO sorry!" But it's hard to believe an apology is sincere when the one apologizing is doubled over in hoarse laughter. But I think they were relived at my reaction because they all burst out  laughing as well. Oh my goodness! I was SO embarrassed, but it was SO funny!

Honestly, I was running a pretty good fever of 103°, my ears were plugged up so I couldn't hear very well, I couldn't smell or taste anything and apparently I really can no longer see without my glasses! Both my salsa and applesauce were in mason jars. I keep everything in mason jars.

Yes, in these pictures, it is entirely plain to see which is which, but honestly, that day, in that bowl, in my kitchen...well, it just wasn't. Even DH didn't say anything and he WOULD have, had he noticed.

 And every one of those boys cleaned their plates and told me how wonderful it all was for which they received swats with my dishtowel for fibbing as they walked out the door.

When I shared this with our girl, she laughed too. She was with a friend who is a guy and he told her that fruit salsa is a 'thing' and that I was just being trendy. I could have used that information during my applesauce adventure.

And then, when we got back to branding on Friday, they asked for more salsa. I told them that they could all expect some in their Christmas stockings. When they were filling their plates yesterday, I said that I couldn't believe that 30 years of my cooking reputation had been tarnished by one little bowl of applesauce and one of those dear boys, who's been helping us for a long time, gave me the sweetest smile and said sincerely, "Not even a little".

I honestly felt SO badly, but they thought it was the best thing ever. See, why I love these fellas? Still, I wonder if I'll ever live it down.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sorting Bulls

After dinner on Friday, the boys gathered the bulls in Headquarters Pasture and brought them to the pens.

 I tried to take a few photos and all the while this fella:

was snorting at the back of my neck. By the time I  got out there, they had already sorted off the beef bulls which DH and Dane hauled out on Monday, and DH was culling through the Corrientes:

There are 80 bulls in this pasture and DH sorted off the ones that were going to be put into the various pastures with heifers and cows:

The crew kept the bulls from turning back into the herd

Our bulls are rather gentle, as bulls go, and DH works them slow and easy.

Nothing gets roped or chased. DH was just recoiling his rope:

This was a long day for everyone

DH gives instructions for where a set of bulls needs to go:

And 2 or 3 fellas will walk the bulls out:

It was a long day, but it was a pretty day

They didn't finish up until 7 that evening and when your morning starts at 3 am, that makes for an awfully long day. We worked on Saturday too and again on Monday. A few of the guys came back to help gather a pasture of 196 steers and send them out on trucks so we had one more early morning. Make that 2, because DH is helping the neighbors today and we rolled out of bed at 3.You would think I would get used to these early morning wake up calls, but I am dragging and no time for a nap today.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


Those of you that have been reading here for any length of time, know what that means! And you know that I'm going to post about it because rain in the desert is always post-worthy.

We had 5 days of branding scheduled, but the rain started on Tuesday afternoon. It was a very vocal storm too. Goodness, the thunder and lightening just shook the house every 3 seconds. Someone wasn't too fond of the ruckus:

On Wednesday morning DH debated about calling things off for the day. I still began pulling together breakfast, but he finally decided to shut things down for the day so phone calls were made and I had the day off. Then one day turned into 2 because we had more rain on Wednesday. We had another .4" after this photo:

Not only was the rain a blessing, but I was feeling awfully puny on Tuesday afternoon and I needed those 2 days to recuperate. I couldn't stand the thought of cooking for guys when I was running a 103 degree fever and take the chance of them getting sick, bleach, or not. So the good Lord sent us this amazing rain and gave me a little window to get well.

On Friday, I had 11 to feed, and they all came in shucking their boots and stomping their feet, but I told them all to just bring it in.

No desert ranch wife in her right mind is going to fuss about a little mud. In fact, this ranch wife is more than happy to mop it up! Rain is a good thing and you can't have rain without mud:

It doesn't take much for this country to revive and we had just a hint of green coming on in the pastures. We had 1.7" here at the house and that's going to bring on the grass and weeds in full force. The horses won't even come in for supper because they'll be chasing that green:

Once the roads set up, we'll make a run to see how much rain we had on other parts of the ranch. We just had some of the road worked and the last thing we want to do is tear them up. That rain also means that our feed run days are over! Poor Skeet is the only one who'll be disappointed about that!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Digging in the Stash

While I'm cooking this week, I'm spending a lot more time inside until I've cleaned everything up after the noon meal and I make the feed run. That leaves me little pockets of time to sneak into my sewing room and see what kind of trouble I can get into. I'm attempting to use up some of the fabric I seem to have collected over the years. As quilters, it seems we're all trying to do that. You would think we would see a decrease in the stacks at some point! I had a yard of this fabric in my stash and I needed a quilt for a baby girl so I set about trying to come up with a way to use it: I started by cutting 6 1/2" squares from the fabric:

I pulled some coordinating fabrics and set to making pinwheels, hoping it would all come together:

And before long, a top was born:

This is one I took to Jackie on Saturday.While I was digging, I also ran across this leftover from a backing and used it for a border

The problem with digging is that one thing leads to another and I run across something else I had forgotten about and a new project is born. But then again, that's not really a problem. :) I made this quilt from a kit about 5 years ago for our niece's first baby

 and I had forgotten that it included this cute panel.

I loved this line and wanted to use every piece so I took the next step and cut up the squares:

I've still got some scraps from the original quilt and the backing, as I backed the quilt with something else:

I'm leaning towards making a square in a square with each little piece, hoping that'll keep the focus on the fun designs. Time to do a little more digging or I guess in this case, I'm 'fishing' for the right fabrics. *grin*

Monday, April 10, 2017

Ready or Not

Saturday found me in town. I worked the Ranchers Select Horse Sale and didn't have to be there until noon so I went in early and ran errands. I ran by Hobby Lobby to pick up some backing for 2 baby quilts, dropped off a couple of quilts at Jackie's,

 put a few things in the mail, made my obligatory stop to fill up the water jugs, and treated myself to a stop at the quilt shop. Carolyn was having a sale and I rarely get in there since she is closed on Monday and that's the only day I'm ever in town. She had just come back from a quilt show and put what she didn't sell on sale. 1 yard cuts were $8 and fat quarters were $2. I found a few treasures to add to my stash:

They are all designated for projects and should be out of my stash as soon as I can find some time to get them cut up. DH called while I was at the quilt shop. His 'your wife is at the quilt shop' radar must have alerted him. :) He was in town to pick up medicine from the vet supply and he thought we could grab a quick bite to eat before I had to be at work so I ducked out of the quilt shop and met up with him for a few minutes.

We finished with the horse sale at  6 and I really needed to hit Sam's and the grocery store with my list, but I felt awful and just couldn't bring myself to tackle that so I headed home. That meant I had to go back on Sunday morning. I was up most of the night with a horrible pressure in my ear and swollen lymph nodes, but I HAD to make that grocery run. Not a fun way to spend Palm Sunday, but I que-ed up my church services podcast to keep me centered after the insanity of town. This makes buying groceries a little challenging:

The electricity had gone out the night before for about 45 minutes and they stripped the shelves. The entire reason I go to that store when my list is ridiculously long is because I can get everything in one place...but more often than not, I'm finding I have to stop at a second store. Besides the empty shelves, they had not one jalapeno! Yes, that sentence demands an exclamation point. We are in New Mexico for heaven's sake! It made me laugh as I lugged my bags into the truck and made plans to make an extra stop. I am SO ready to get my garden planted. Then I won't have to worry whether the grocery store has jalapenos or not. :)

We're branding this week and I've got 5 days of cooking ahead of me. Time to put that new stove to the test! I think I'm ready to spend the week elbow deep in bread dough and dirty dishes. The 3:30 wake up calls...not so much, but ready or's go time!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Morning in the Saddle

Our girl called Wednesday night and said she was headed this way to pick up some supplement for a fellow student's study. It was close to midnight when she pulled in and she left at 2 the following afternoon. Short and sweet, but we'll gladly take the kids whenever and for however long we can get them!

She saddled up with her Daddy in the morning to sort off a few steers that had crossed the fence:

The dogs were despondent at being left behind, especially Harvey, since he doesn't live here.

That dog has the most expressive face. I really need to post some of the pictures our girl has shared with me of him.

DH was helping the neighbors brand on Friday and he needed to saddle up his brown horse that had been badly cut in fence last fall and had been healing ever since:

He was hoping that he was sound and good to go:

And I think they were both glad to be back to work:

It was such a pretty day:

And this girl got to recharge from her hectic graduate schedule:

When you get to spend a little bit of the morning with your butt in the saddle, that makes for a pretty good day

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