Monday, April 30, 2018

Starting the Week Off Right!

I survived the grocery store and Sam's on Saturday:

 And started cooking on Sunday. And no, the milk bones are not on the menu. :)
 I also needed to give the bunkhouse a lick and a promise. Alas, no water did flow and DH ended up spending his Sunday morning plumbing


and cleaning out tree roots from the septic tank. Oh what fun! So, you wanna be a rancher?


I see a lot of amazing photos posted about ranch life and I love looking at and taking those kinds of photos, but let me introduce you to ranch life reality. Plumbers don't work on Sundays, but ranchers do.


One of the crew showed up in the afternoon and not long after it started to rain:

I'm telling you, that is the sweetest sound in the world and I am certain that heaven is going to smell like sweet rain falling on a parched desert.

It didn't last long, but it washed the dust off of everything. I told Flint he was my new favorite person and that if he was going to bring rain, we were holding him hostage all summer.


I'm going to entice him with cinnamon rolls and bribe him with buttermilk pie.

I am headed to work this morning. The boys have been fed breakfast and the dear wife at North Camp is feeding them dinner.

Last night I fixed chicken fajitas and we'll have leftovers tonight. Yes, chicken. It is a quick meal for me to throw together and the boys will get beef all week so don't judge me. -Grin-

Long week ahead, but as long as everyone stays safe, it'll be a good one and the little shower was just the perfect way to begin it!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Before We Fire Up the Branding Pot..

there's a lot that has to happen. DH is busy putting the crew together. Everyone needs to be on the same page and he tries to find open dates on the calendar that work for everyone. Last week his phone had an unfortunate run-in with his horse:

 Makes it a tad complicated to conduct business. He figures out what he needs for medicine/vaccine and gathers that together. The medicine box is resupplied with syringes and needles. Propane tanks are filled and pens are fixed.

And I begin to build my menu:

I've been doing this for 31 years and I fall back on the dishes that have stood the test of time, but it still takes me a couple of afternoons to pull it all together. By then, my menu is made. I have taken stock of my pantry and my grocery list has been finalized. And I take a deep breath for my trip to town to gather said groceries. I'll do that on Saturday.

That'll give me Sunday to cook up 10# of ground beef and 3 big roasts as well as the dessert and salsa for Monday. The preparations I make ahead of time are a big time saver.

We're supposed to have a big sale at the sale barn on Monday, but I'll have a short crew to feed...just 5, and I'll fix them breakfast and leave dinner in the crockpot.  Probably Tortilla Stack. I'll leave corn in another crockpot and salad in the fridge with chips and salsa on the side. And dessert. Always dessert. :)

I'll have a few extra in the bunkhouse this time around so it'll be 3 meals a day. However, most days leftovers are on the supper menu.

On Wednesday, I made a 4 hour round trip to pick up our beef:


We've got 6 days of branding next week and then another 6 in June. That'll make a good dent in this.

But for now, I'm deep in menu mode and looking to add a few new things to the old standbys.

Yesterday we fixed a leak.

Well, DH fixed the leak.

I just supervised, or to be entirely honest, I just handed him things.

Fixing leaks isn't part of our pre-branding ritual. It's just part of everyday life around here.

After that, it was time to chore and then I was too tired to work on my menu. It was dark when we walked back to the house and I don't get a whole lot accomplished once the sun goes down. But I'll probably wake up hungry because there's a good chance I'll be dreaming about food tonight. :)

Photo courtesy of google images.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Under the Needle - April

Seems I never work on just one project at a time and at times I feel as if I'm spinning my wheels. This didn't all take place in a day or a week. This is just an overview of what's under my needle for the month of April. I'm binding one quilt:

Getting a backing ready for this quilt:

Taking this one to Jackie:

Piecing another little safari quilt

Cutting out pieces for this quilt:

Pulling fabrics for this quilt:

Adding to my little EPP stars when I'm on the road:

And stitching on my rag runner in the evening:

No finishes, but a little bit of progress on numerous projects. I gauge whether I'm getting anything accomplished by my little trash can...a full one means I'm obviously sewing and I  seem to empty it once a month. I'm good with that!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Project

A few weeks ago I saw this post on Instagram

This is Sweetwater's Rag Runner - pattern HERE - and knew I had to make one...actually, many more  than one, but as soon as I saw this, I started pulling fabric. First up will be a western one...of course!

These are so simple, yet that stitching and fringe adds such a fun detail!

I like having a runner across my washer and dryer to keep it from taking a beating. My entryway is a laundry room/mudroom/coat closet/storage room and I try to keep it at least somewhat presentable. With men walking in and out it often has spurs and guns and ammo and tools and hats and vaccine guns sitting on available surfaces. Thankfully Skeet hasn't taken to bringing in his treasures
and depositing them there as well! His treasures are pretty nasty, but far be it for me to judge our beloved sidekick's choice of precious discoveries.

So, this rag runner will be perfect, although mine will be much longer. The original is 10" x 30" and I'm making mine 16" x 75".

It took a long time to cut strips off of each fabric I selected from my stash, but I chose 25 fabrics and cut three strips from each, stitched them up, added batting, and a backing from my stash and basted it:


And the hand stitching has begun:

With 75 strips, it's going to take a while, but it's the perfect project to work on when I get a few minutes in the evening.

I also know I'll want one in 30's prints, and patriotic fabrics, and a fall and Christmas one. And it all starts with a dive into my stash. I love that part!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Petal Power Baby Quilt

I can't seem to stay ahead of the baby quilts these days, but thankfully they don't take very long to make. Some old friends have an amazing daughter and she and her husband welcomed their first baby into the family and of course that means that a baby quilt is in order. It all started with this sweet fabric that I found when I made my last trip to see my mom in February and I thought I'd pair it with this polka-dot from my stash:


I wanted to build a quilt around it, but I was stumped for a pattern. Sometimes I get bogged down when it comes to making decisions and I have to let an idea sit and stew for a bit. Pinterest is a big source of inspiration for me and when I ran across this photo I knew it was what I wanted
                                          Quilt for baby | by mimi'sdarlins

It's called Petal Power and It can be found HERE on Craftsy.

It didn't take long to piece and I love the finished result! I wish I had a picturesque spot to take photos of it, but in this parched desert country, a shot against the chicken yard is about as good as it gets

Or on the clothesline. Quilts on clotheslines are good, even if they are surrounded by dirt.

I pulled all the other fabrics from my stash and backed it with a soft yellow Minky:

Our dead tree is sprouting forth new growth!

Jackie quilted it with a panotgraph called One Cloudy Day and I bound it with orange gingham:

It finishes at 49" x 49" and I hope it is well-used and loved as this new little blessing begins her adventure:


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta

It's been a while since I shared any recipes so I figured I'd share one with ya'll today. We don't eat a lot of pasta around here these days. When the kids were small I made our fair share of macaroni and cheese and spaghetti, but we're really trying to cut back on the pastas and starches in our...ummm...advancing years. :) But I caved when I found this recipe on Pinterest  HERE, and made it a few months ago. So, good! I made it again today and will take leftovers to work on Monday.

Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta

1 lb chicken tenderloins (the original recipe calls for chicken breasts, but I like the tenderloins) - I season them with pepper, seasoning salt, and  a little granulated garlic.
2 Tbs olive oil
2 C chicken broth - I use the Better than Bouillon
1 C Salsa Verde
1 C heavy whipping cream
3 C uncooked penne pasta
black pepper
1 1/2 C pepper jack cheese, grated
1 jalapeno diced (my addition)
red pepper flakes (my addition)

* Cook the chicken tenderloins (I buy mine at Sam's) in olive oil until done. Dice into bite sized pieces. Remove from pan and pour 2 C chicken broth into same pan. Add salsa verde, cream and uncooked pasta. Stir. Cover. Simmer until pasta is al dente. Add chicken, pepper jack cheese, and jalapeno. Stir to combine and simmer until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

This is the Salsa Verde I use. I accidentally grabbed the mild, but we like the medium better.


It's a quick one pot meal that made it to my favorites cookbook. Just add a quick salad and dinner is served:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Odds and Ends and a Little Bit of Fussing

In other words, just a little bit of everything thrown into one post. Last weekend we made a mad dash to Hamilton, Texas...about a 7 hour drive, to take a few more head of  roping cattle that didn't fit on the truck we sent out:


Quick trip: we left Friday, changed a tire

or two


 attended the sale and 7 hours home on Saturday.

Like much of the country, New Mexico can't decide what season it wants to settle into this week. 32° one night and 94° for the high 2 days later, but Skeet seems to be taking it all in stride:

He's very perceptive and an attentive head of ranch security

And can I just take a moment to fuss about the recent changes taking place at the Walmart in town?
2 cashiers for the entire store in the middle of the afternoon:


With over $200 worth of groceries in my cart. I am not going through the self-checkout. Trying to save $$ by eliminating their cashiers is going to backfire when dishonest shoppers can easily not scan some of their groceries. And what about elderly customers? That self-checkout is not going to be easily navigated. Just makes no sense whatsoever.

This is the 2nd day we've been sandblasted:


Makes it rather challenging to feed:


40 mph sustained winds with 50-60 mph gusts for 2 days.


Dirt in your teeth. Dirt in the air. Dirt in your coffee. Dirt everywhere.


Needless to say, spring cleaning has been postponed. The wind is exhausting. Just ask Skeet

It just wears everyone plumb out


Naps are taken very seriously around here:


In the sewing room, stitching projects have been progressing amidst daily life


and I'll be back with an update and a recipe in a day or two!
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