Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Chuckwagon Cowboy II - Baby Quilt

In my attempt to use up some fabrics that have been lingering for far too long around here, I made up another little baby quilt using this chuckwagon cowboy print:


Hobby Lobby has carried this for years and it took me longer to figure out what to do with it than it did to actually make it:


A few years back I decided a simple strip quilt might possibly work and I made one for a new arrival on the neighboring ranch. There was still enough fabric left for one more quilt:

So I pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash and made some square in a square blocks, alternating those with the cowboy print:

After a run through the washer and dryer, it's 38 x 40. A bit smaller than I like to make baby quilts, but I doubt the baby will mind. See, even Chappo seems to know that quilts have nap inducing qualities::

Jackie quilted a fun swirl across it, and I used the last of the main fabric for the back, finishing it off with a denim print I had:

Just about the size of a saddle blanket:


This was in another stack of quilts I have to bind:

Now if I could only find the time to get to them. One down:

Our girl came home from her University trip to North Dakota on Sunday. She brought along one of her favorite college buddies from when she was an undergrad. I went to work on Monday, but I guess he asked her, "What are all of these boxes stacked up around here?"

Her reply, "Fabric. My Mama's a quilter." And then she proceeded to walk to a closet and fling it open as she continued, "But, WAIT....there's MORE!". LOL. My child is a rascal. Now I am fairly certain he thinks her mama is a little left of center field. I'll bet if I made him a quilt, he'd have a change of heart. ;)

Thursday, June 22, 2017


We'd had a little bit of rain earlier this spring, but we were getting pretty dry. The excessive heat - 105+ day after day, coupled with the wind - didn't help matters either. I think they're forecasting another 110+ day today. Today, we're winding down. This is the last day we're working the Corrientes and I had planned to sneak out and take some pictures, but they're branding over at Devil's Tank and it takes 40 minutes to get there and longer today, because of this:

I think we had a less than 20% chance of rain and about 7, yesterday evening, the wind just hit...hard. The sky was brown with dirt until the rain started. For a while, it was raining sideways...fast and furious:

And puddles began to appear quickly:

We love a good, slow soaking rain, but we love a hard rain too because it runs water and that running water fills up our dirt tanks. DH was just finishing up outside and I had run in to take a shower so I was in my pj's. When your day starts at 2:30, and you're coming in at 7 and 8 in the evening, it doesn't take too many days like that to wear a body out. It wasn't so bad when we were 30 or 40, but boy howdy! - hit 50, and weeks like this are rough. DH had fixed a leak and worked on a well, after a full day of branding, and he came in just covered in mud and oil.

We were SO ready for bed - too tired to even eat any supper, but this was a fast moving storm and after about 40 minutes, it stopped raining and we both ran out to check the rain gauge:

DH was still dressed, but I ran out in my pj's. I was out there for about 45 minutes. Thank goodness there's not a neighbor within 7 miles of us. Since much of the storm was a horizontal rain, we may have gotten more, but I can tell you that this sure did pep us up! DH went in to shower and I ran around with the dogs who were sure enough enjoying the storm's aftermath:

I wish these next 2 picture weren't blurry. They would have been a great shots had they been clear, but I liked them anyway.Yes, he chases rabbits...on a daily basis.

We are absolutely overrun with rabbits and they eat a surprisingly large amount of grass. You might think a little rabbit can't eat THAT much grass, but they eat all day and when you multiply that rabbit by the thousands, they DO eat a lot. Skeet thinks this is his job and he's very serious about it.

And for those of you that are bound to ask, yes, he caught it, but I'll spare you those photos, as some of ya'll may not appreciate that part of rural reality. Skeet actually caught 2. He walked away from the first one when a second one ran past him and Harvey stole the one Skeet had abandoned. Harvey tries to keep up with Skeet, but what he lacks in speed, he makes up for in heart:

It's funny to watch them together - they are quite the pair:

I was absolutely give out before the rain, but the good Lord just poured His blessings down on us and revived us with His gift yesterday evening:

This morning I made breakfast burritos, put out grapes, and baked cinnamon rolls

and the morning banter around the breakfast table was lively and filled with good humor. Rain does that.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Round 2!

Just as I watched the dust from the last rig leave headquarters last Friday, more dust was headed our way. We had a full house and a busy weekend with 6 extras here to celebrate Father's day. I love it when the front of the house looks like this:

Nothing makes me happier than when all of our family is together. Saturday was brutal as far as the heat:

And this week promises more of the same. Everyone finds their favorite shady spot in the heat of the day

The wind was whipping up a storm on Sunday morning and wind and smoking do not a good team make. So DH moved the smoker:

I put all of my leftovers to good use this weekend and DH filled the smoker with chicken. Cornish Game Hens on one side:

And big chickens on the other:

Everyone pulled out on Sunday: One in the morning because she was headed to North Dakota (I made a trip into town to meet her ride from the university), 2 in the afternoon, 2 headed south in the evening, and 1 headed east. I made 24 Buckaroo Bundles on Sunday to send with the kids:

Buckaroo Bundle Recipe Here

I made 16 2 weeks ago and our girl's bringing a college buddy home this next weekend so I'll probably be making more to send back with them.

I loved every minute of the weekend and can't wait till we get to do it again. My FIL is turning 80 in August so that's the next clan gathering!

After work on Monday, I made another trip to the grocery store because the crew was gathering around my table at 4 the next morning and I think I was expected to feed them. :)  Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert is on the menu for dessert so I know there will be lots of happy cowboys!

Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe Here


I've got roast in the pressure cooker for barbecue sandwiches tomorrow and am fixing to put together the Chocolate Eclair dessert. It's DH's favorite. :) Can't remember if I've shared it or not. I'll check - and if not, I guess I ought to do that. :) I've got to tackle that laundry too. Lots of bedding from everyone being here this weekend and I'll need it for the next round this coming weekend. I think I need a nap. 2:30 a.m. will be here before I know it.

Friday, June 16, 2017

My Week in Food

Whew! It's been a whirlwind of a week and I spent much of it  in the kitchen so food is what you get to read about today. We worked 4 days instead of three and it's been HOT! That's why breakfast is at 4. By the time they eat, load horses

trailer to the various pastures

 it's just about light enough for them to start gathering

and they can get things done by noon. It's been over 100 degrees for 10 days now and next week looks like more of the same. We're usually 5-8 degrees hotter here than they are in town, but I guess once you hit 105 degrees, what's another 8 degrees? It's all melting weather.

And, no we don't have the humidity that plagues much of the country. I grew up in that and it's not fun, but what we do for a living means we spend our days outside and no one enjoys it when it's this hot.

However, I've been cooking all week and cooking for the boys means the oven and stove are on for much of the day. They love their deserts and who am I to deny them of that. :)

Apple pie:

Sopapilla Cheesecake:

And Pea Pickin' Cake:


I hope no one went hungry. This was dinner on Thursday - brisket, Yummy Corn Casserole, Potato Salad, Jalapeno Poppers, and Rolls:

One child will roll in today with the others coming in tomorrow evening. Then I am taking one to town on Sunday morning to meet the University caravan and they are heading to North Dakota for a Nutrition Conference.

 My refrigerator is FULL of leftovers. I'm hoping they can empty it out so I can start with a clean slate for more cooking next week. Between enchiladas, brisket, fajitas (making these for the crew today), Chicken Salad (making this today for the weekend), Buckaroo Bundles (making these tomorrow), Pea Pickin Cake, Sopapilla Cheesecake, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, and grapes - surely there will be enough.

Today I'm making fajitas and Queso. I need easy and am making enough for leftovers tomorrow.

If anyone goes hungry, it'll be their own fault. Oh, and this'll be a PPW...a paper plate weekend. :)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Quite Contrary Pinwheel Baby Quilt

This quilt was also in the pile I picked up from Jackie a few weeks ago. This seems to be my year for making baby quilts, but the babies keep coming and I think every baby needs a quilt. :)

I made this quilt, using the same fabric about 7 years ago for our girl's piano teacher's baby:

And I made another using the same design for my cousin's baby. I had a lot of the main fabric left over so while I was in the spirit of using up oldies from my stash, I made a few more quilts and this is one of them. The fabric is from a line called Quite Contrary and I guess bought probably 4 or 5 yards of it at the time and some of it ended up here too:

There is still one more quilt top using this fabric and Jackie has it, but it's now officially all used up!

I just pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash and made HSTs, placing them into pinwheels.

It finishes at 48" x 58", making it big enough to grow into.

I backed it with Minkee and Jackie worked her magic again and quilted it using a pantograph called Primrose Swirl:

And I had just enough of this blue dot left in my stash for the binding:

On Saturday it was 110 degrees - not exactly perfect timing for Minkee, but it'll be ready for that first cold snap which can't come soon enough!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Turning Up the Heat

We're gearing up to brand the Corrientes. 3 days next week and three days the following week so that means I've been knee deep in menu planning and list making mode these past few days. I was at the grocery store at 5 a.m. on Friday loading up on all the necessary ingredients.

Breakfasts will be at 4 a.m. That translates to setting my alarm at 2:30. I don't even think there's an emoji that can convey the emotion that coincides with getting up at that time of the day.

The older I get, the harder days like that are, but as long as everyone stays safe, it'll all be good. Our temps have been incredibly pleasant this summer, but this week, the scorching heat promises to make a triumphant debut to welcome the summer of '17. That will just be a lovely accompaniment to my recent introduction to hot flashes. Is there a sarcastic emoji? 

Between the outside temperature, the branding fire, the oven and stove running non-stop, and  my internal thermostat, 'Turning Up the Heat' seems like an appropriate title for this post. Have ya'll heard of that Polar Bear challenge from a few years back? I always thought those folks were nuts. Right now, that sounds like the most wonderful idea ever created. When I picked up sacks of ice at Sam's on Friday, I really wanted to climb into that freezer.

Here, this sums it all up perfectly. In between the batches of rolls and stacks of dirty dishes you can find me here:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The First Stitch

Starting new projects is always so exciting, but I have been completely intimidated by this Four Corners Quilt and thus, I have been dragging my feet. However, it's never going to get finished if I don't take the first step. I posted a bit about it here:

New Quilt Project

 The 28 page instruction book had me spooked, but after consulting it more closely, I was happy to see that the first half is dedicated to the table runner instructions, and I also have a secret support system in one of my readers. She is also making the quilt and after a good visit via the phone, I am feeling much more confident. She was sweet to share her tips and helpful hints so I am digging in and making the first cut. P shared that this is the most challenging quilt she has ever worked on, but she loves a good challenge and if she's up for the challenge, then I'm jumping in too.

P mentioned that staying organized with this project is key so I'm devising a system and labeling everything as per her advice. No fancy labeling system here. Masking tape always does the trick for me and I ordered extra fabric in order to mitigate the oopsies I make along the way.

It took me 4 days to get it all cut out and when I had finished, I was pleasantly surprised that they had been incredibly generous with their fabric cuts and I had a lot left over. I hope I haven't missed something, but there's plenty left and never even touched the extra fabric that's propped up in the back:

The pieces in this quilt are small compared to the quilts I usually make. The entire quilt is comprised of 1 1/2" strips and the largest piece is a 3 1/4" square, but those are cut into 1/4 square triangles.

So, here goes nothing! I took a deep breath and stitched the first seam.

Ripping happened almost right out of the chute and I imagine I had better keep that seam ripper close at hand. I often listen to audio books when I sew, but that's just not possible while working on this project. I need to pay close attention to each step in order to get these pieces built correctly.

There are good pictures of each finished step, but there are sometimes multiple steps for each picture and you have to cock your head a bit to insure that you are sewing the pieces together correctly in order to make it turn out the way it needs to. I sewed most of  one afternoon and completed the first 4 steps

And then made it through step 11 over the weekend:

Disregard the fabrics peeking out from the strip at the top. That's another quilt I'm working on. Doesn't everyone work on more than one project at a time?

Slow and steady, but I am hoping to have this top completed by the end of June. We've got a week of cow works next week and I'll have to shut down sewing progress that week, so I've got 3 weeks to focus and execute.

and if the phone rings, P, it'll probably be me. Good thing for you that we don't live closer or you might find me camped out on your porch!
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