Monday, April 6, 2020

Doctorin' In the Desert

These photos were taken 2 weeks ago, but it's just taken me a while to get a post together. I know the world as we know it has temporarily changed for most folks these past few weeks. Many of you are staying home while others are on the front lines, working hard to save lives and help slow the spread of this virus. Everyone is doing their part. I don't think I'd do well if I was in the house for days on end so for those of you stuck inside, I thought you'd like to tag along today and soak up a little of our desert sun and muddy roads:

 Right now DH is feeding 7 days a week, hitting each pasture every other day. It takes about 6 hours each day. With the recent rains, we're celebrating wet roads and puddles:


Ranching in the desert means we don't get a lot of rain. Our annual average rainfall is 11" so when it DOES rain everyone celebrates:

DH noticed a sick calf and stepped out to make a house call:

It pays to be handy with a rope:

And yes, the calf is fine - we can't doctor him if we can't catch him

DH marks him with the wax crayon stick so that he will be easy to spot when we check on him:


Then the calf gets a shot of antibiotic

DH's carries this leather doctoring pouch with him. That little bottle of Draxxin costs $367.00! The cost of the shot depends on the size of the animal and the various antibiotics are for different ailments . This little fella's doctorin' cost about $15.00.

Mama keeps a wary eye on her baby

It doesn't take but a minute

A shake of his head

And he's reunited with Mama

Be well little one.

I sure wish fixing the current state of affairs in the world was that simple.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Celebrating You

Can I just take a minute to tell ya'll how awesome ya'll are? I've been blogging for almost 13 years and I never thought folks would actually take the time to read my little online journal of life that began at the end of a dirt road.

Initially, our girl (who is the REAL writer in the family) and a group of gals from a scrapbooking site planted the seed and encouraged me to begin blogging. The gals said I was like the Pioneer Woman. This was before she became famous and now I laugh when I think of that comment. Not. Even. Close. But I'm happy at the end of my little dirt road and ya'll are a part of that. The fact that you are all so very kind and take the time to pop in for a visit and leave such dear and thoughtful comments just makes my day and in this fast-paced world, I am humbled that you choose to do so. I feel as if it's a one way street though so I really love it when ya'll share parts of your lives and stories with me too. I am touched by your words.

I don't feel like our lives are exciting, out of the ordinary perhaps, but not exciting. But I really do want to document what our life is like for the kids and future grand kids. I love reading memoirs  and I guess this is just my way of writing down our story. I really DO wish I had started when we were first married. And I hope that somehow, somewhere, ya'll are writing down your stories as well. Your story is important. Your story matters.

So, thank you! Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for making me smile, learn, chuckle, cry, and laugh out loud...oh, ya'll are a  hoot! And thank you for sharing yourselves with me!

P.S. Skeet thanks you too! I think he has a fan club! 😎

Thursday, April 2, 2020

On Any Random Tuesday

I don't know that we ever really have typical days around here, but we seem to fill them up. On Tuesday I cooked for the crew again...Tortilla Stack in the crock-pot, corn, salad, homemade salsa, and Summer Berry Pie for dessert. The dessert was really a selfish choice...I had a small crew which meant there would be an extra piece of pie left over for DH and I the next day. 😄😋 I've posted about that pie here: Summer Berry Pie. It's our favorite!

Then I went out and pulled weeds for a while. This is load 3 in 3 days:

There are still many hours of weed pulling left, but this old gal pulled until she couldn't straighten back up and had to quit. It's been 36 years since I was 20 and I am feeling every one. Do I get to count that as a workout? 😉

And doesn't everyone's typical day consist of un-hobbling a chicken?

I noticed her tottering up when I went out to gather the eggs. Can you see the string tied around her legs? She'd gotten tangled in some string but she could still run pretty fast because I had to hustle to catch her. And I don't hustle so fast these days, especially since I was laughing because she looked so funny. Poor thing, but no worries, I cut the string and unraveled it from both of her feet and she's fine. We love our critters and do our best to tend to them with TLC.

Then DH enlisted my help to run some bulls through the chute to cut them. They went in as bulls and came out as steers.

It's not every day I spend part of the day bringing bulls up to the chute and running down to hold poopy tails out of the way:

 so DH can do his part:


All the while I'm thinking, I should share this with ya'll. It's all part of  ranch life, but DH is probably thinking, "I wish she'd never started that dang blog." Sorry the pictures aren't that great, but I really was trying to tend to my job and avoid a scowl from DH. Scowl avoided.

And here's your Skeet shot...he's always ready to lend a helping hand.


And even though it's getting dark later, we still seem to run out of daylight and end up doing chores after the sun sets


Then as we headed to the house, we couldn't locate Skeet. We have this round pen:

And somehow he ended up in there when we were shuffling things around and then he couldn't get out. He looked so pitiful that we couldn't help but laugh:

LOL. Sorry for the bad shot, but it was almost completely dark. I tried to lighten the shot. Poor DH. He deserves better help. But, hey! We're free help. And there's a piece of Summer Berry Pie waiting for him at the end of the day! Surely that's got to count for something! 😄

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Under the Needle: March

As predicted, I didn't accomplish much in the sewing room during March, but that's OK. I DID make progress on my Jellystone quilt. I made 80 bear paw blocks:

I loved playing with these fabrics from my stash. I stitched binding onto the front of this quilt:

This quilt:

And this quilt:

Finished quilts coming soon! Well, maybe not SOON, but at some point. 😉

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Bloom Where You Are Planted

I am currently working on binding this quilt (I will post about it when it is finished), and I took pictures before it was bound, but I happened to be driving past this spot when I was on my way to see my mom and took the opportunity to stop. I had the quilt with me because I was in search of a binding for it. I loaded these photos onto my computer today and felt like I needed to share this now - even if the quilt is not finished.

This quilt is called 'Bloom Where You Are Planted'. God has planted us in some very different places lately and everyone is navigating unchartered territory in an attempt to find a new normal.  I wanted to share that not only during these uncertain times, but every day, I can't think of a better place to be planted than at the foot of the Cross:

Even when there is barbed wire and I find myself in a patch of Prickly Pear there:

Even then. Especially then.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Quilts to Bind

I have quilts to bind:

And no time to bind them:

Skeet is my weeding buddy when DH can't take him:

Yard duty is not nearly as exciting as bull wrangler:

It was 86° yesterday! Definitely not a day to stay cooped up - we need room to roam!

By the time the sun goes down and we settle in for the night, I'm too tired to sew. This is why that dang daylight savings time gets this early bird's veto.  But I forgot, I don't get a vote. No worries. Binding will keep while I'm soaking in the outside blessings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Layered Mini Lasagna Casserole

Our governor issued a "Stay-At-Home" Order beginning Tuesday morning through April 10th. That comes naturally for this hermit. Home for us is 128,000 acres so that makes social distancing a piece of cake for us. Still, things are getting so crazy. I do have to work at the Sale Barn on Mondays, but unless I need Diesel or vaccine for livestock, I'll head straight back to the ranch. As I was heading out of town on Monday I spotted a fella on Main St. wearing a mask and he was waving a roll of toilet paper in each hand while doing a little jig. Maybe he would have been willing to barter for some of my free range eggs. 😄

As I posted previously, I'm cooking for a crew for 3 days this week. No breakfasts. Paper plates. Lots of cleaning. Before and after. My little kitchen is busy. I made breakfast for DH, Banana Nut Bread, Soft and Fluffy Rolls, Cherry Cheesecake Bars, and fed this baby girl by 7. She's doing well:

 I may need a nap.

Some of ya'll requested I share recipes. I'm keeping things pretty simple and basic this week. Yesterday's menu: Mini Lasagna Casserole, green beans, salad, soft and fluffy rolls with a new Cherry Dessert that was good, but I have a couple other ones that we like better . After running a search, it doesn't look like I've shared this main dish so that's today's recipe. This is another one I've been making for over 20 years.

Layered Mini Lasagna Casserole

2# lean ground beef
1 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
48 oz pasta sauce
1 8 oz bag mini lasagna noodles
4 C ricotta or cottage cheese (I use 1/2 ricotta and 1/2 cottage cheese)
1 egg
1/4 C chopped parsley
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 C shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Grated Parmesan

*Preheat oven to 375°. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Stir in pasta sauce and simmer for a few minutes. In the meantime, cook pasta and drain. In large bowl, stir together ricotta, cottage cheese, egg, parsley, pepper, and salt. In 9"x13"x2" pan, layer 1/3 meat sauce, 1/2 of the pasta, all of the ricotta / cottage cheese mixture, 1 C Mozzarella. Repeat 1/3 meat sauce, 1/2 pasta, 1/3 meat sauce, Mozzarella. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

The original recipe calls for 1# of ground beef, but I doubled it (as usual) so you would only need 24 oz of pasta sauce if you went that route. The crew will be back on Thursday and Friday, but DH and I welcomed leftovers today:

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