Thursday, August 30, 2018

Woodland Critters Baby Quilt

Finally! After all of my indecision last week, I settled on a design for this baby quilt using this fabric:

I cut more squares:

Whipped up some HSTs:

Turned them into QSTs:

and pieced the top center:

I was in town for our Quilt Squad meeting and I took it to Jackie. I had called her on Friday and asked if I could drop of a quilt on Saturday. She said , "Of course!"

I replied, "Well then I had better go make it!" She laughed. She is such a dear lady. I rarely ask for a quilt to be rushed out, but I asked if I could have it 9 days later. She said she'd have it for me in 2 days.

I told her I didn't need it THAT fast and I went to my meeting. I heard from her 2 hours later. My quilt was ready. This time I was the one who laughed. More laughter ensued when I shared my story and how I had 2 more tops sitting at home.

I love this brown gingham:

The sun was out in full force when I went to take pictures, but I love the texture and movement the quilting  gave it

After a trip through the wash, it finished at 40" x 40"

I'm telling you - she's a gem. She and her daughter make a crack-shot team.They quilted it with these rambling leaves in a green thread that are once again, perfect:


I backed it with the same focus fabric because my mom just loved it and asked me to use it on the back and I bound it in the brown gingham:


It took me longer to bind it than it did for her to quilt it, but I finished it on Wednesday and sent it off to my Mom on Thursday.

It arrived on Saturday and I received a phone call as soon as she opened it. She was SO tickled with it.


Now I've got to finish off the other 2 I pieced during my indecisive phase. I generally don't work this way, but I think I was feeling the need to get this just right since my mom was the one giving it as a gift. I hope it will be well received and loved. Thankfully, babies are not that picky. 😉

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cleaning Up

A few weeks ago DH spent some time on the tractor hauling dead trees and scattered wood into a big pile:

Most of the trees were dead before we moved here, but this one, just east of the house, was left:

 And one day it was hit by lightening:

We hoped it would survive

It hung on for a few years and provided me with some pretty shots:

The landscape looks empty without it and I miss the photo opportunities:


When you live in the desert, trees are coveted:

But it was time to clean things up:

DH  said that it would cause problems when we caught a big rain by washing all the debris into fences. This was before the big rain we had last week. And no, there was no chance of  starting anything else on fire. Before this last rain, things were so dry that there was nothing to burn.
DH called the neighbors and the fire department to let them know so they wouldn't worry when they saw the smoke and when folks called it in:

All of that old dry wood caught quickly:

And I was surprised that there wasn't much smoke:

 DH and I kept an eye on it for a couple of hours

 picking up scattered wood and adding it to the pile:

And after we finished working and tending to chores, we pulled the truck up and closed out another day by the light of the coals.


Saturday, August 25, 2018


This is a recipe that recently popped up in my blog feed. It's from Robyn who blogs over at Add a Pinch. Here's a link to her recipe  Easy Barbacoa.

I've found several of her recipes to be keepers and this is the newest addition to my favorite recipe file. I'm sharing it here as well so the kids will have a record of it. I made a few changes, mostly omitting the cilantro. I've found that folks have strong opinions about cilantro. They either love it or leave it and we're in the leave it category. I also didn't add the salt, used less Cumin and Oregano, and I added cheese, broccoli slaw and a drizzle of Guacamole Salsa on top. Oh, and the entire can of chipotle chiles and adobo sauce. 😀 I also seared my roast in a little bit of butter, seasoned with some Montreal Steak Seasoning before popping it into the crock-pot.


1 large roast (I used a Chuck roast that was probably 5#)
1/4 C butter
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1/2 C beef broth
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 cloves finely chipped garlic
1 small can Chipotle chiles in Adobo sauce (these are spicy so just add 1 or 2 if you don't want a                                                                                good kick)
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Oregano

grated cheese
broccoli slaw
guacamole salsa

*Melt 1/4 C butter in saute pan. Sprinkle roast with Montreal steak seasoning. Brown on both sides. Add roast to crock-pot.
*Mix broth, apple cider vinegar, chopped garlic, Chipotle chiles in Adobo Sauce, Cumin, Chili Powder, and Oregano in small pitcher or bowl. Pour over roast. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Remove. Shred. Serve in tortillas or on hamburger buns.

I've always cooked and I feel like we've always eaten pretty healthy, but lately we've been stepping it up a notch. No diets. Just a lifestyle change towards simpler, fresher, and healthier. One of the things I have tried to give up is flour tortillas. I like to make them from scratch, but with just the two of us, we don't need many and they, as well as the ones from the store, are almost 200 calories a piece. I found these the other day.


60 calories. Still cutting back, but there are only 8 in a pack and I can have one and not feel like I'm canceling out my morning walks. Homemade they are not, but they're not bad.

I'm thinking you could easily make this in your Insta-pot as well, but I don't think my roast would have fit.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


At 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning we awoke to the first drops of rain tapping on the windows. Radar was checked:

 By 4:30 it had moved on, leaving this in it's wake:

The light in this next shot is DH's flashlight. Yes, we are excited enough to walk out after the rain at 4:30 in the morning to check the rain gauge:

To say we are ecstatic is an understatement:

Not a drop of rain in this dirt tank the day before  - now it has been transformed

Around here, we need 2 types of rain: the slow rains allow the ground to absorb the moisture and quench the land of good grass-growing nourishment and the hard, fast rains run water and fill our dirt tanks that provide water for the stock. When we get both, we have happy cattle and happy ranchers.
Last week we had 4 little showers that dropped 1.1" here at the house. Our North Camp had 2.5". After this rain, the arena and round pen are both under water:

The bar ditches are full:

I didn't want to go into work because running around with DH to check tanks and rain gauges was more enticing, but he said it was really too wet to check anything off the pavement anyway and it was still pretty wet when Skeet and I walked the next morning:

Poor chickens were leery of venturing out of the coop, but surely they will be tempted before long by the smorgasbord of bugs that await them on the other shore:

The horses are contemplating their options and making a plan:

May you take a page from Skeet's playbook and be blessed by something that makes you jump for joy today:

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Lots of Summer Projects...of the Non-Fabric Variety

I've had quite a few folks wonder if we ever get bored around here. The resounding answer is no...never. Life is full and there is always something going on and yes, it almost always involves work. The list is long and the ranch house is often at the bottom of that list. I'm fine with that. I'v never focused on all the things these old ranch houses really could use. I'm a glass half full kind of girl so I guess I get really excited about the little things we DO fix and for the most part...99% of the's US doing the fixing. I'm so grateful for DH's handy genes. But this summer we called in reinforcements.

Our 10 year old air conditioner sprung a leak in the coils and when it's 110° and hotter, we truly appreciate working refrigerated air:

So Jared came out and replaced the coils. Nothing is ever easy in an old ranch house. This installation required a saw

and a flame:

and some demolition:

Which led to some new sheet rock and a new door for the heating cooling units:

That didn't solve the problem though and he ended up coming back and replacing the entire unit:

And while we're at it, let's replace the hole in the wall that was here when we moved in. A strategically placed cabinet hid it all these years:

We've also needed to replace some doors and windows in the bunkhouse

as well as 2 windows in our house:

I cannot tell you how excited I am to no longer have electrical tape on this 95" long window in my mudroom-entry way-laundry room::

And I don't think anyone has ever been happier to have a new kitchen window...especially one with rain on it!

The old one was double-paned and it leaked water and dirt horribly.

Proof: my windowsill would be covered in dirt when the wind blew


You could not get it clean and it wouldn't stay open so I improvised:


Not that I have a view, but a clean window makes me exponentially happy! The window installation also made it necessary to paint the side of the house:


Wonder what I could do to make it necessary to build a porch. It should be illegal to have a house without a front porch. And the new cake bin was delivered:

This is where we store the cake...aka: cubes, or feed for the cattle. DH built and welded the supports and then he and the north camp man dug deep holes and set the supports with a pallet of quick-crete:

The country was out working our road:

Leaks needed fixing:

Hay was delivered:

And all these extra hands needed sustenance in the form of cookies so I've been busy:

And as I shared at the start of this post, MOST of our projects require work. Most. But not all. After DH cleaned out a storage tank,

 we went swimming:

And then I went home and took a nap. I'm not even the one doing all the work, but this summer is wearing me out.
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