Thursday, April 30, 2015

I Can't Help Myself

Its  that time of the year.
We're scanning the skies for the first buzzard.
We're peering at the mesquite intently, hoping to find a hint of green.
And we're being entertained by these:

I apologize for the overload of calf pictures

Its easy to be brave in Mama's protective shadow

Days like this are just made for soaking up the sun


I don't care how many years go by, I am entranced by their little faces and antics each spring and I never cease to be amazed by God's creation.


How about a slobbery kiss from this little fella?


I just have to share the cuteness.


I can't help myself.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Catching Up With Y'all

Sorry about the lack of posts...its been a little busy and I was away for a week. Everything's fine. My Mom had a surgery and she told me not to come since her best friend from CA was there, but they kept her an extra day and the minute I heard that, I threw some clothes into a bag and headed down. She's doing well - just needed a few extra days to recuperate and I'm glad I made the trip.

 We are thankful for the 2.3" of rain we had about 10 days ago. Looks like Texas is having a wet spring too.The Texas wildflowers are incredible this year:

DH and I also made a trip to the south part of the state

for another bull sale:

DH stopped to help a gentleman who had run over some fence. He had wire wrapped around both tires and around the axel. DH grabbed his handy dandy wire cutters and before long, everyone was back in business.

It was a 6-hour drive one way so that made for a very long day and we were awfully stiff when we unloaded back at the house after 9 that evening and tended to chores.

DH and I installed a new gooseneck in our pickup:


I ran off for the day with my 2 quilting partners in crime for a quilt show in Texas. They are so good for my soul. We all fell in love with this linen cotton blend and we all bought fabric for quilts. The feel of this fabric is just unbelievable. Now let's see how long it takes me to settle on a pattern.

and with all the time I've been spending in the pickup, I am contemplating a new hand sewing project:


I got back from Texas on Wednesday night about 9 pm and we were out the door before 6 the next morning. We started the day by butchering a beef - no photos - you're welcome. We hauled the carcass in to be processed, borrowed a big flat bed trailer from the Farm Store, drove west of town and picked up 3 fiberglass tubs (we plumb these in various areas to water the livestock)

 stopped for a very fast burger at the truck stop where we dined with some card playing racoons:

And a canoe filled with dubious characters:

drove back to the ranch and unloaded said tubs:

loaded a troublesome tractor onto the trailer:

 drove 80 miles south of town to the tractor doctor, drove back to town in time for DH's safari club board meeting, and chored in the dark once again.

As we were driving back to the ranch, I told DH that we sure did fit a lot into the day. He looked at me and said, "Honey...we ain't DONE yet!"

I'm fairly certain we were asleep before our heads hit our pillows.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chuckwagon Cowboy Baby Quilt

Our friends and neighbors to the west just welcomed a new baby into their midst and what kind of neighbor would I be if I didn't make a baby quilt? Grandma Lillian, whom I've talked about before, is going to be a great-great-grandma for the 4th time and this one lives right next door to her. First grandson too. I love sewing for babies. Its such a nice way to welcome a new member of the family.

Seems I am always making big quilts and it surprises me how fast a quilt comes together when I make a baby quilt. Their colors are red, blue, and brown with a country feel so my stash was raided for just the right fabric.


This is hard fabric to quilt with. It would make a cute backing, but its fabric that doesn't lend itself to cutting up for piecing a top very well. After much contemplation, I decided a simple strip quilt might work. I love the square in a square block and after a bit of figuring, and some pulling of coordinating fabric, I set to stitching.


It finished at  40 x 52"after a run through the washer and dryer.


I was very thankful for a handful of Color Catchers:


I knew Jackie had this fun western quilting pattern so I had her use it on this quilt:

And yesterday I got to spend some time in the company of a beautiful baby boy who I hope will make good use of this little quilt made especially for him:

Quick, simple, and made with love for a special little boy:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Splorin' With My Sweetheart

The chiddlers used to call it that when they were young. They would often meet in secret and whisper their plans of epic adventure before approaching me with wide, shining eyes, "We're goin' splorin' Mama!"

They spent their childhood splorin' . There's lots of adventure to be discovered on a big ranch. They never wandered too far - once in a blue moon they would cross a fence line, but a 3000 acre pasture was big enough to hold a childhood worth of  daring exploration. They would always return dirty, but happy, brimming with stories and starrrrvinggg!

I guess they come by it naturally. Their Daddy and I like splorin' too.

Saturday was a splorin' day.

We left out early and drove about 2 hours south to a little place in the Guadalupe Mountains called Sitting Bull Falls.

About an hour into our trip. I told DH, "Remember when we were first married and didn't have 2 cents to our name and we would set out on little day trips and explore the area?"

DH said, "You mean like today?" LOL. Yes, like today, honey.

Here's a picture from one of those trips. I remember telling DH that this would make the perfect first home for us:

That was 28 years ago. We would take one or two days a month and do just that. We didn't have any money and we would pack a sandwich picnic lunch, jump in the pickup and take the road less traveled. We would find a spot and hike along rivers and creeks and mountains. We always took along the denim quilt his mom had made us for a picnic blanket as well as the library books we were currently reading.

When we arrived, the Falls were closed, but after reading the fine print on the posted notice, we concluded that we weren't breaking any laws. So we left the pickup in a parking lot and hiked the .6 miles to the picnic area, wound our way through that and hiked another 1/2 mile to the falls.

We're in a drought. In a desert.


So all you really get is a bit more than a trickle, but it was such a pretty place to spend the day.

Its part of the Lincoln National Forest so there are miles and miles of trails to hike I marked our trail in black.

The recreation area and trails were built by the CCC:

I am married to a mountain goat.

This man claims to be out of shape and I just laugh. I walk 5 miles just about every single day, but we live in flat desert country and hiking in the mountains makes me feel like a wimp. Still, I was  a happy wimp. DH kept having to stop and wait for me because I was camera happy

I could not stop taking pictures

You can't take a wannabe photographer to a place like this and expect her NOT to take pictures!

We hiked up and over the falls

down creeks


 into green valleys


past interesting  walls of rock

across streams

and found ourselves at this cave

Sure wanted to go spelunking!

DH found me an anniversary walking stick as we hiked


Pretty much made for the best day together! It was past dark when we arrived home to chores by flashlight. First order of business was to order a couple of books of detailed maps. We've got more 'splorin to do!

Monday, April 6, 2015

UFO Recap

The Portobello Market Plus Quilt


DH's Wool Quilt

my Summer House Quilt


That's 3 ufos crossed off the list. My 30's Raw Edge Circle quilt is at Shelly's for quilting. Its my oldest ufo. I still need to make the binding for it, but as I recall, I was stuck on that. I just couldn't decide what color to use on such a busy quilt. Should I use a solid?


Charleston Pavement, a pattern from Shelly, is at Jackie's for quilting

as is Holly and Vine


and Christmas Tree Farm


and  my Granny Square Quilt


Last week I pieced a baby quilt using this fabric and I took it to Jackie too.

I just finished piecing The Three Rs quilt, another pattern of Shelly's this week and Jackie will get it on Monday

as well as a top I'm calling Back in Time...I'm working this one up as a pattern.


When Jackie was contemplating quitting her job, she was unsure of whether she would have enough business as a long-arm quilter. One of my co-worker quilting buddies took her 6 quilts last week. I think we have you covered girl!

Sounds like I may be spending the rest of the year binding quilts.

And that leaves ONE ufo quilt on my list! Its this Don't Fence Me In quilt. This is an old picture.


I don't know if its really a ufo or not. I'm not using a pattern and I ran out of the fabric I was using so I'm starting from scratch. This fabric lends itself to a kind of strip or row quilt so that's kind of where I am at the moment.

I am also pulling fabric for a scrappy quilt for our girl's best friend at college - she's graduating in May and our girl chose this pattern by Alison over at Cluck Cluck Sew . So that's moving to the top of the priority list right now.

I don't know why I'm so determined to knock out every single ufo on my list. Somewhere along the line it just became a challenge.

I've got a pretty long list of quilts I want to make though and that means the ufo list won't stay empty for long.

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