Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Under the Needle: October - A Scrappy Finish

Another 13 hour day at the sale barn on Monday. 2 more days of cooking for the crew. A full day scrubbing down the kitchen and floors after my marathon cooking month. A 4-hr round trip to pick up our beef from the processor. And another week'll be behind us. This year is flying by.

I'll bet ya'll have given up on seeing anything sewing related from me ever again. I know it's been a while since I had a finish to share, but I finally put the last stitch in this binding

I'm combining it with my Under the Needle post since this is all I accomplished this month. This quilt started when I decided it was time to empty my bin of scrappy 2 1/2" squares a few years ago:

Don't you find that scrap bins never seem to have a bottom? I ended up making 2 pretty good-sized quilts from this little bin. The 2nd quilt will be ready as soon as I get the binding on it. I find it hard to resist a scrappy quilt. I threw everything in this one. There are fabrics I still love next to 'what was I thinking?' fabrics:

I alternated the 9 patches with navy and white hourglass blocks to give it some order and backed it with a green and white backing I found on clearance:

After a run through the washer and some time on the line to soak up the crisp New Mexico Fall sun, it finishes at 80 x 92:

And yes, I know it's unbalanced in it's design, but I'm ok with that. I like the end result - a fun, scrappy quilt that I hope will be reached for a lot in the years to come.

It's going to be 9° tonight. I think we'll be giving this quilt a test run.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Our day at the sale barn was L-O-N-G on Monday. We knew we were getting in 700 cows from one place. Add to that another 2270 hd of cattle and everyone expected an extra long day. The sale always starts at 9 a.m., but we made an exception this week and began at 7:00 a.m. (I had to be there at 6:30) and finished at 8:30 p.m....which was 2 hours earlier than we had anticipated, but 14 hours is still a REALLY long day.  If you've ever been to a sale barn, you know that the pace is FAST and it does not stop. We are blessed that we have a sweet girl who is able to sub for us long enough to give us a bathroom break and to eat dinner though. I'm a clerk in the ring and  we have to be on the ball every single second because multiple things are taking place at once. So this pretty much sums up how I felt last night:

This is our 2nd week of Fall Cow Works which means I'm back in the kitchen - Tuesday through Saturday, but DH took mercy on me and the rest of the fellas that are on the crew that also work at the sale barn and cancelled breakfast this morning, allowing me to sleep in until 5:15 and then fix breakfast for just the 2 of us. I hauled them out this morning and am headed to the kitchen to mix up dough for rolls and pull dinner together.

I made my menu last week and put in another order through the pick-up app. I did go into the store to pick up fresh produce because I was disappointed with the selection last week. The avocados I received weren't fit to eat, but I am still a fan of getting my groceries this way.

I always get requests for recipes when I'm cooking for the boys, but I haven't really had anything new or different to share. I made an apple cake with a cream cheese brown sugar frosting last time, but as yummy as it sounded, it didn't make the cut. I had good reviews from some of the crew, but DH and I just weren't impressed. We'll see how this week goes. Wishing all of ya'll a week filled with His blessing and all the things that bring you joy! I am off to find my joy in the kitchen!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Working My Way Back

My sewing sabbatical has ended.

I hadn't turned on my sewing machine since August 10th. The only reason I know the date is because that's the day I hurt my leg. But on Tuesday, I finally sat down and stitched on the binding to a quilt:

I hadn't realized how much I missed it. I also walked to the salt shed:

A 1/4 mile isn't very far, but it's a start and I'll build from there. I am loath to miss out on this amazing Fall weather.

I'm not waltzing across Texas just yet, but I've taken two steps towards getting back into the swing of things and it feels so good!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Rain From Heaven

With the kids home for a week and cooking for the crew for a week, I've not had the time to post about our big blessing. Those of you that have been here long enough know that weather is a big part of our lives. Farmers and ranchers are obsessed with the weather and when it rains here in the desert, ya'll know a post is going to pop up sooner or later.

On the night of September 30th we had a deluge

Yes, 4" is a deluge in the desert. It's been years since we had a 4" rain. And on Tuesday we added another 1". North and south parts of the ranch had between 6-8". The east and west sides had 8" in 3 rains. Dirt tanks that were previously completely dry are now overflowing

DH has been on chicken chore duty for 2 months since I've been out of commission and he went out the next morning and dug a trench on one side and built a drain on the other end to keep the chicken yard from flooding:

Since I'm still not completely mobile, I wasn't able to trot around and take a lot of photos, but when DH said he was going to check on the east side, I just HAD to join him:

We went all through summer (August and September are generally our monsoon season) without nary a drop and now we are praising God for this:

Yes, God is worthy of our praise every day, all day, rain or shine, but we are just over the moon when it rains.

Here's the most awesome part of the story. Our sweet neighbor. Grandma Lillian (whom I have talked about HERE, HERE, and HERE) passed away and her service was on Monday, the 30th. She was 95. Her grandson said the last time he talked to her, he told her that she needed to have a talk with Jesus when she got to heaven about straightening things out down here. Lo and behold if we didn't get this amazing rain that very night. I actually woke up in the middle of the night and lay there with a big smile on my face because I knew that precious lady was celebrating in heaven and she made sure we were celebrating down here as well.

So thank you Jesus...and Grandma Lillian because I have no doubt that she didn't waste any time when she arrived in heaven.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

When the Kids Come Home...

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen:

I love making family favorites and sending leftovers back with them. Food is a love language in this home.This time around I made Chicken and Dumpling Casserole, Barbacoa, Steak, Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta, Buckaroo Bundles, Quesadillas, Taco Soup, Stew, Spicy Pickles, Baked Oatmeal, Special K Cookies, Cowboy Cookies, Pound Cake, and Auntie's Chocolate Cake for the birthday boy. Fill up a plate and pull up a chair.

We enjoyed one evening around the fire pit:

And our girl brought her 3 hound puppies home:

Meet Odin:

He's the newest member of the fur-family - and just a sweet as he can be. He's just 4 months old and thinks he's a lap dog:

Our boy was home longer and he was a big help. He mowed, put the weed eater to good use, cleaned out the oil pit one day, he and DH changed the oil in 3 pickups, and then they bailed out the oil pit a few days later when it rained:

We had some amazing rain (that deserves a separate post) which allowed us to play umpteen rounds of Spades

and endless games of Cribbage:

Cribbage and Coffee were the first order of business each morning:

Do any of ya'll play Cribbage? We've put it away for this week as we're presently knee deep in our Fall Cow Works. The kids went back on Sunday and Monday. We were sad to see them go, but grateful for the time together. Harvey has earned his spot as co-pilot on road trips:

 I worked at the sale Barn on Monday, and this week I'm back in the kitchen - cooking for a crew through Saturday.

My knee's healing and I'm finally retiring the crutches, but I've been a little frustrated that it's taking so long. My family has taken to calling me Drover, which will only make sense if you're familiar with Hank the Cowdog. It's still awfully swollen, which makes getting britches on a challenge. I'm not much of a sweatpants gal - I only have 1 pair - but after I'm done cooking for the crew, I may be pulling them out. Yes, I know I need to rest it, but it's kind of hard to cook from the recliner.

I'm taking a couple of shortcuts this week and using paper plates and I'm still making rolls for dinner, but using Pillsbury frozen biscuits in the morning.

Another thing I did was order groceries online through the Walmart Pick-up program. I figured this was a good time to give it a whirl and I have to say, I'm impressed. I'm definitely going to be using it again - maybe even on a regular basis.

So, that kind of catches ya'll up on the latest happenings at the end of our dirt road. A few more long days in the kitchen and then I'm looking forward to a long nap after church on Sunday.

Monday, October 7, 2019

A Seal of Approval from Skeet

We've had one child home for a week, the other came a few days later, and now we're running into the beginning of weaning season. By the time we finish with that, it'll be the end of October. One day at a time. Right now, I'm just soaking in the little things:

Our boy rescued a litter of kittens behind his workplace a few weeks ago and a friend of his who works at the VFW offered to take them in and find them homes. One of those tiny babies now lives with our boy. Meet Bud (aka:Buddy)

So sweet seeing this tiny kitten bond with our 6'2" son:

The head of ranch security was on the job:

And Bud was given the seal of approval:


And a friendship begins:


Honestly, he is the best dog ever:

He's got a heart of gold:

Bud's now officially part of the family and later today, when our girl arrives, it'll be pure bedlam with critters hither and yon and I wouldn't have it any other way!
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