Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fall Works - Day 6

Well, my attempt at posting each day I cooked this week was an epic fail.  Between cooking, washing mountains of dishes, and hauling the crew out, I didn't have much time and I figured that yet another photo of  me making yet another batch of bread just didn't make for the most riveting daily reading.


  Not that I ever post anything riveting, but variety would be nice. :)


A food photographer, I am not and although it's really hard to resist fresh baked bread


Or apple pie


Or a plate of Cornpone Pie (and yes, that is sitting on a paper plate. Remember, no dishwasher in this old ranch house and after washing mountains of dishes, leftovers get paper plates at night.)


the photos just never look as appetizing as the food tastes. Today is day 6 of 12. We have one more day today, then break a week to tend to other ranch duties, resuming for another 6 days the following week.

The boys have had absolutely beautiful weather this week:


 And then we had an unexpected storm roll in last night:


That dropped 1.7" on the south and east side of the ranch:


They have spent the week gathering the pastures, which is why they ride 15-30 miles in the morning. The pastures around here vary in size, but they run from about 3 sections (1,920 acres) to 16 sections (10,240 acres) and they'll gather multiple pastures. Last night's rain required a change of plans for today. We drove east last night to check on the rain and DH drove north at 3 this morning to check on the north side. We had rain there as well, but not as much and the roads aren't  under water so they'll gather, sort, and process what they can and then come gather some bulls and run those through the chute.

So I'm back in the kitchen for one more day, but before I start on dinner, I'm going to enjoy a mug of tea, a cinnamon roll muffin, and dig into the Word


Edited to add link to Cinnamon Roll Muffin post

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Cow Works - Day 1

 I'll be cooking for the crew for 6 days this week and on Saturday I HAD to get to town for groceries. The list was long


 And the price was steep



I spent another $150 at Sam's and it took me 10 trips to haul everything in to the house.

I fixed waffles this morning




along with eggs, bacon, and fruit for breakfast and then jumped in the rig to haul the boys out. Lots of silhouette photos because it was too dark for anything else, but that SKY!


You simply cannot beat a New Mexico sky



These all came straight out of the camera:



This place is big and I often haul them out and drop them off to help out. Then they might only have to ride 15 miles instead of 25 although DH said they rode about 30 miles this morning.


This morning, we drove 24 miles to their drop off point and it took an hour to get there.


It was such a pretty morning and a crisp 35 degrees so I'm betting their horses were frisky


I came back to the house, washed up the breakfast dishes and threw together a second dessert. Initially, I was planning on going in to work after breakfast, but I'm going to haul the boys out again after dinner and my boss said they'd be fine. I'll check in with them after I drop the crew off and go in then, if need be.

I went out to feed the chickens and guineas. I can't figure out if these two are the parents or just 2 hens, but the babies are never far from their watchful supervision


The baby guineas are growing fast


This little fella was soaking in the first rays of morning sun:



So, since I thought I'd be going in to work, I just fixed something that would stay hot and be simple for DH to drag out at noon:

Taco Soup with Fritos, shredded cheese, and sour cream



And Ginger Snaps and O'Henry Bars for dessert.




Leftovers for supper!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Road Trip

A few weeks I made a quick trip, 3 hours south, to help our boy's girl while she recuperated from an outpatient surgery. Our boy works out of state and he had to get back to work so I headed out on Wednesday. She's doing well, just needed to get a little rest and that's hard to do with a 2 yr old. But it's a joy to spend time with this particular 2-yr old:



We had so much fun!



I took him to the best park ever:



I don't remember parks ever being like this when I was growing up, or even when our kids were little. but then again, we didn't ever spend much time in town:



I thought I might wear him out, but I think it was the other way around:



Feeding the ducks was the highlight of the day:


One for ducks:



One for T:



And no trip to the park is complete without a stop for ice cream



I also needed a thimble so when I spotted a Joann's, I pulled in for a minute. I couldn't find the thimble I was after, but T found some fabric:



They had 4 different dinosaur fabrics and he chose this one:



Good call kiddo:



I made him a dinosaur pillowcase, but I think a quilt is in order as well. Maybe I DID wear him out!



I fuss about technology a lot, but I must say that my GPS was a blessing as I am completely lost when I'm in a real town:



I also stole a little time away to spend with this incredible kid:



She took me to the most amazing bookstore, but I'll share that in a later post. Her grad student obligations keep her chained to her office, but we stole away for a few hours and grabbed lunch at Cracker Barrel where the stress cow found a new home:



Her graduate project involved dairy heifers and working on your thesis definitely means that a Holstein stress cow fits the bill perfectly. Stress cow for one hand and caffeine for the other:



She's well armed and ready to take the world by storm. I love this kid! It was a good couple of days, but duty calls and I had to get back home to my humble abode:



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Bit of Sewing Progress Amidst the Daily Adventures of Ranch Life

Yesterday was the first day we've had sunshine in 11 days. That's probably a record here as we have over 300 days of sun here every year. It was a welcome change though and the perfect way to welcome Autumn. In between raindrops, I managed to get the chicken coop mucked out and hauled in many loads of sweet smelling loose hay from the floor of the barn:


 Our dirt tanks are full


and the pastures are thick with grass. The ranch has had between 2"- 6" of rain and we're incredibly grateful.


We made a fast trip to Lubbock last Friday in the rain (almost 3 hours one way) for some shopping


Doesn't everyone shop for livestock scales when they go shopping? And yes, that is all we shopped for. We were there for 2 hours and then we ran into Cabela's for 30 minutes, grabbed a bite to eat and headed home.

DH has been making ladders in the shop


for the storage tanks we installed and plumbed in a few weeks ago:


So, even with the rain, sewing time has been hard to come by, but the Four Corners quilt needs attention and is at the top of my priority list. DH is helping the neighbors today and tomorrow which means he leaves by 4. And yes, I do get up with him as we like to start our day together and I stumble into the kitchen to make him coffee while he heads out to catch and saddle his horse.

That leaves me empty morning hours and I am spending them at my sewing machine. It took me a while to figure out where I had left off and remember that the pieces weren't lining up right when I put it away


There are some pieces that called for 1 7/8" squares cut in half and I cut them into 2" squares, but I guess I was more precise with my stitching than I thought and my seam allowances probably weren't consistent from time to time as I put this project on the back burner for weeks and then months, and the parts didn't fit together properly. The way everything fits together, there really isn't a way to trim either so I had to re-cut over 300 1 7/8" squares into HSTs. Much better!



I finally reached the spot where I had originally stopped because June got crazy and was able to make some more progress:



This pattern isn't hard, but it requires concentration so things don't get turned around and I can't listen to an audio book while sewing on this one. Now that I'm back to working on this, I hope to stay focused and get this into a top soon. I've also got a box of fresh orchard picked apples I'm working through  and the house smells like fall:


And I've got small bunch to cook for on Thursday and Friday and antelope hunters will be here this weekend which means stripping and washing bedding for 6 beds and cleaning the bunkhouse. DH installed a new water heater for it last week.

 And next week we start weaning calves so I've got a trip to town planned at the end of the week for groceries.

I am really going to love this quilt and I'd love to keep it, but it's a Christmas gift and it's frustrated me enough that it's doubtful I'll make another...although I've been known to change my mind.



All of that SHOULD keep me out of trouble, but I'm not making any promises. :)
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