Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Southwestern Egg Rolls

Our girl made these last week and gave me some for supper one night when I stopped by her place and they were wonderful! She shared the recipe with me  and I made them on Saturday. DH loved them too and I knew I had to share them with ya'll.

We're big fans of tortillas around here, but we really don't need all those carbs and calories. Honestly, tortillas are a food group here and I'm not about to give them up, but switching out tortillas for egg roll wrappers is a good alternative now and then. These are easy to make, healthy, freeze well and taste great. That makes them a keeper.

Shredded, cooked chicken ( I used about 1/2 of the tenderloins in the photo below)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 small package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 big spoonfuls of fresh green chile ( or 1 small can)
1 scant tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
some red pepper flakes
1 1/2 c shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 beaten egg for egg wash

I saute my chicken up in a pan with a a tad of olive oil and some pepper, a tiny bit of seasoning salt, and granulated garlic and then shred it

Add chicken to bowl and mix all other ingredients together - minus the egg

Place some of your mixture at one end of the egg roll. I brushed some of the egg wash around all 4 sides of the egg roll wrapper and rolled it up. Then bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until they just start to turn brown a bit. I think I baked mine for closer to 20 minutes.

Judy, over at Patchwork times posted about a sauce that she makes using this and I haven't made the sauce yet, but we used this on the egg rolls because I was out of sour cream to mix with my salsa and it was delicious with these egg rolls! We're not fans of cilantro and this has cilantro in it, but we really liked it last night:

Thank to our Kiddo who is turning out to be pretty handy in the kitchen as well as in the scholarly world, and pasture.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mother Nature Is In Control

As has been evidenced by the recent events in Texas, Florida, and Mexico. Thankfully, we are not experiencing such extremes, but this was our radar on Saturday:

and this is our forecast for the coming week:

 Needless to say, our Fall Cow Works have been cancelled. On Saturday we got 1.1" and with the weekly forecast, DH made an executive decision to shut things down. Weaning calves this week just isn't smart. Besides being drenched horseback, we won't be able to get to some of our pens, much less down our roads with trailers loaded with calves. We try to minimize their stress and even if we COULD get them to the pens, putting them in wet pens with hay that will be wet, just does not make good sense.

So, my menu planning and list making is complete, but my trip to town for groceries was cancelled. Thankfully, I hadn't already bought everything. We're pushing things back a few weeks and regrouping, and thankful for fall moisture.

On a side note: look what we've added to our family:

Baby Guineas!! We've been missing 2 guineas for about 6 weeks and a few weeks ago I would see them once in a blue moon and I told DH they were hunkered down in the garden plot. We thought they had met their demise via the ever present coyote population so we were tickled to see that they were simply doing what guineas do.

Then on Saturday we found a clutch of 13 eggs in one spot that the white guinea had been sitting upon and on Sunday we saw these little fluff balls scampering about the gray guinea. Yes, we are easily entertained and yes, we are excited. :)

We're a little concerned about the weather as they are out in the open, but it's best to leave them be and let their mama do what she needs to do. There are places for them to hunker down out of the weather if they so choose.

As humans, we like to think we're in control, but Mother God, is really in control and in the daily busy-ness that is life, that brings me great peace of mind.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Life is Busy, But, Yes, I Remember How to Sew

I actually started this post a week ago and happened and posting did not.

 I had to blow some dust off of my sewing machine case last week, but I was determined to get some sewing in for National Jelly Roll Day. I keep it covered during these long, dry spells when it may be weeks before I darken the doorway of my sewing space.

We've just been so busy outside. One day I might be helping DH with more plumbing,

and more plumbing

we are both ready to put a close to the plumbing season

then I'm working at the sale barn, or cleaning out the camp man's house, or a hauling a beef to be butchered, or tending to yard work and getting sidetracked by tiny little creatures. Can you spot him?

He was barely the size of a quarter

But he kind of made me happy

or making a trip to take care of a little boy for a few days while his mommy gets well and suddenly a week has vanished and it's the middle of September. Speaking of - this was my picture of the day on Thursday, 10 days ago

Really?! The middle of September? Please send fall.

However, a week ago, on Saturday, I got to sew. I wanted to just sew up a storm with some scraps, but I have that 4-Corners quilt that I wanted to make for a Christmas gift and it has been neglected all cotton picking summer. I have GOT to get back to it!

So after a pillowcase

or two

I intended to buckle down, but it WAS National Jelly Roll Day so I caved and dug out a project bin that held this:

Edited to add pattern information :) The quilt shop has these for $2, but the owner just threw mine in for free that day:

I used a jelly roll of  One For You, One For Me by Pat Sloan and a yellow Grunge for the background. It didn't take long to cut:

And before long it was pieced and ready to be pressed:

This is the first time I have sewn with batiks. The colors are so fun and cheerful and I can see using this pattern again although I would of course, make it bigger and I like the rows horizontally instead of vertically so I would need another jelly roll or just 2 1/2" strips.

We're gearing up to work the Corriente's starting on Monday. Then we'll have another week to wean the beef cattle starting on the 9th. If I can have that 4 Corners top finished by the 6th, I will be thrilled because if I wait until after that 2nd week of works, I know that I will be too wore out to do much of anything. Must focus!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

10 Commandments of a Ranch Wife

10 years. It's hard for me to believe I've been writing here for 10 years today! This is my place to journal and document some of what goes on at the end of the dirt road and I never expected that anyone would be interested enough to read it, but this space has become even more special to me because of ya'll. I am humbled that ya'll take the time from your busy lives to stop in here for a visit and leave such sweet and thoughtful and funny comments. I can't thank you enough for your visits and friendship!

I saw a similar list for farm wives in our old family cookbook and was inspired to write one for this ranch wife and I thought this would be a good day to do so. 1, 5, and 10 are from the original list, but I wrote the others. I could easily have made it a list of 20 commandments. It was hard to keep it to 10.

10 Commandments of a Ranch Wife

1. Thou shalt not sort cattle with your hands in your pockets (husbands and cattle don't like it)

2. Thou shalt cook meals that can be served 1 hour early or 3 hours late for a dozen men, improvise when the electricity goes out in the middle of cooking breakfast for the branding crew, and whip up extra when 4 of the neighbors show up at 4 a.m. for breakfast to help brand on the wrong day.

3.Thou shalt be ready, willing, and able at the drop of a hat when your husband walks in and says,  "Honey, I could use your help", even if you're putting the baby down for a nap or stepping out of the shower.

4. Thou shalt love the smell of rain, not fuss about mud in the house, saddle up at 5 a.m. when it's 20 degrees, paint cattle guards when it is 120 degrees, be willing to help pull a windmill when the wind is howling at 40 mph, and blow dry a newborn calf brought into the house during a blizzard.

5. Thou shalt be inspired to see the sun rise and relieved to see it set.

6.Thou shalt always be willing to open gates, close gates, fix gates, and guard gates.

7. Thou shalt thrill at the sight of a newborn calf, the sight of a new tractor, and the sight of your husband riding up on that young colt an hour after dark after telling you he'd be back by 2.

8. Thou shalt cherish meals together, mend fence together, clean out water troughs together, gather - sort - brand - and doctor cattle together, pull windmills together, fix leaks and plumb pipeline together, repair water gaps together, drench sick cattle together and know you are blessed.

9. Thou shalt pray without ceasing...and for rain...always.

10. Thou shalt be exalted by the hand on your shoulder, tender kiss to your forehead, and these four precious words...thanks for your help.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dirt, Demolition, and a Dozer

You would think that a wet summer and green grass would mean we get to sit back on our laurels and take it easy, but it really just means that we get to tackle other projects. Thus, the endless plumbing photos:

A good assistant is invaluable and our top dog is always on the job and he takes it very seriously

Improving the water system will make things easier in the long run, but it means lots of time on the tractor

DH had to cut some valve boxes and I took my turn behind the shovel:

Here's my pretty alcove to house the new valve box. We're both of the mind that doing a job, means doing a job well, and that even extends to digging.

At one point, DH had to connect the overflow

and he asked me to lift him in the backhoe bucket: That backhoe was already ancient when we moved here and I think DH is an absolute genius to keep the old thing running the way he does and I was way too scared that it would malfunction  and dump him when I raised the bucket with him in it so we set up the ladder and I made him climb it.

We are also tearing out the wore out scale:

This is where we weigh cattle:

Our north camp fella left to go back to Oklahoma about 2 weeks ago, but he was still here when we began demolition:

Making progress:

The surrounding fencing had to be cut out:

And the old floor was removed:

We needed a new scale badly,

but it was kind of sad to tear down a part of history:

This was a big job and DH does 90% of this kind of stuff without help, but last week we had a couple of fellas come in and start some dirt work, in preparation for concrete work. The new scale will be a pitless one so the pit needs to be filled.

Nope. No laurel sitting going on around here,

although I will admit to taking a nap (which makes me the dozer mentioned in  the title) -grin-  on Saturday after we came in from our latest playday in the dirt.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pick Up the Shovel and Dig Another Well

I hope that everyone enjoyed a safe and fun Labor Day weekend. I know that many folks are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the ongoing fires in the Northwest. I can't imagine the work that lies ahead, but we're sending continued prayers and doing what we can from this end.

As for us, no cookouts, or gatherings, as most of the country kicked off the Labor Day weekend. We spent ours laboring. :)  Earlier this week we had 3 big storage tanks delivered and 5 troughs and although DH already installed the plumbing for those, we had other problem areas where leaks popped up. The tanks were actually on their way a few weeks ago, but we had to turn them back due to the rain. There was no way they would have been able to get down the roads. So the past few days, DH and I have been on plumbing duty. On Sunday, we listened to church services on the radio as we loaded the backhoe and trailered to Fence Tank to begin working on the first leak:

DH moved a lot of dirt

And once the ditch was dug up, he spent a lot of time behind the shovel.

I felt pretty useless as there was only enough room for one in that hole, but there is a favorite song of mine that kept running through my head as we worked on the leak on Sunday morning. I'll add a link here as well as the words below in case the link doesn't work

Dig Another Well

Well Ike had a blessin' from the Lord up above
He gave him a beautiful woman to love
A place to live and some land to farm
Two good legs... and two good arms

Now the devil came sneakin' around one night
Decided he'd do a little evil to Ike
Figured he would hit old Ike where it hurts
So he filled up all of Ike's wells with dirt

When Ike went out for his mornin' drink
He got a dipper full of dirt and his heart did sink
But he knew it was the devil so he said with a grin
Well, God blessed me once and He can do it again
He blessed me once and He can do it again

So when the rains don't fall and the crops all fail
And the cows ain't puttin any milk in the pail
Don't sit around waitin' for a check in the mail
Just pick up the shovel and dig another well
Pick up the shovel and dig another well

Now me and old Ike got a lot in common
The Lord blessed me with a beautiful woman
He gave me a job, he gave me a home
He gave me a well to call my own

Now when I go out for my mornin' drink
And get  dipper full of dirt, my heart does sink
But I think of old Ike and I have to grin
God blessed me once and He can do it again
He blessed me once and He can do it again

So when the rains don't fall and the crops all fail
And the cows ain't puttin any milk in the pail
Don't sit around waitin for a check in the mail
You gotta pick up the shovel and dig another well
Pick up the shovel and dig another well

Now the Good Book says Ike finally won
(pick up the shovel and dig another well)
The devil got tired and left them alone
(pick up the shovel and dig another well)
Well I know some day I'm a  gonna win too
(pick up the shovel and dig another well)
Cause the Good Book tells me what to do
(Pick up the shovel and dig another well)

Pick up the shovel and dig another well.

Thankfully, our pastures are currently green and the dirt tanks are full, and DH didn't actually have to dig a well, but the premise of the song was a good reminder for me to remember that God always provides and although troubles arise, we are abundantly blessed and I have no right to fuss about anything. It's not about our circumstances, but it's about how we react to them. I tend to do two things, pray and 'pick up the shovel and dig another well'.

I don't participate in FB, but I do post on Instagram to catch up with a couple of friends and I posted a few of these pictures with hastags #ranchlife #ranchlifereality #soyouwannabearancher #workingman #workethic #dinnertastesmightygoodwhenyoueatat3

And today we're back at it again:

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