Thursday, April 30, 2020

Under the Needle: April

April didn't give me much time behind my sewing machine, but I did finish a couple of projects and that's always a good thing.

I finished 17 of these lined drawstring bags although I've been working on them since March. This was the first batch:

And here's the 2nd:

I'll bet I've made close to 100 of these bags through the years. I even laminated the pattern because I use it all the time. For the most part, I've used Christmas fabrics, but with this last batch, I concentrated on making them for general gift giving. You can find the pattern here: Lined Drawstring Bag

I was mailing some packages and I just really like popping items into these bags as an alternative to wrapping.

I also finished this VFW Donation Quilt


And stitched the binding down on this Amish Farm Baby Quilt


I've still got 2 quilts here to bind so hopefully there will be a few finishes in May.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Amish Farm Baby Quilt

In May 2019, I stopped in at One Quilt Place, in Fredricksburg, when I was headed to my Mom's. I blogged about the shop here:

                                                                   One Quilt Place

My truck just automatically stops there every time. Honestly, I didn't need a thing, but I had a $50.00 reward waiting for me for a year and I thought I'd pop in and see if anything caught my eye and it was a good excuse to stretch these old legs.

I wandered around for close to an hour, contemplating lots of wonderful bolts, but I was on my best behavior and reeled myself in. This simple little patchwork quilt stole my heart

So I used part of my reward on it. At one point, I contemplated setting it on point, but I didn't have enough of the solid for setting triangles and then I just came to the conclusion that it's just hard to beat a simple patchwork quilt:

The kit was called Farmyard Friends by Lewis and Irene and the fabric collection is Small Things on the Farm. I don't know if it's still available, but I figured I'd share the information because someone will ask. :)

It finishes at 48" x 52" and I am completely smitten with it

Jackie and Sandy quilted a chicken wire pattern across it that is perfect

It's been approved by the feathered flock

I backed it with this taupe print, and bound it with the same navy

I love the tiny prints paired with the navy

Just a simple patchwork quilt...

It doesn't get any better than that.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


I never had a vision when I began this little blog in September 2007. I just wrote because I loved writing and I wanted to document our days. What we did. How we cooked. Where we lived. Who we were. And I never really thought about folks stopping by to visit. But you did. And you do. And thank you for doing so. This dirt road will always welcome you

So I thought I ought to document the fact that I have pretty much talked about this... and that... and not much... for 1000 posts.  😄 I know I'm not a daily blogger. I love it, but it takes time and I can't always make it happen. I often write in my head, but actually getting a post published is a different story. I'm in awe of those of you who do post regularly. I've tried to post a little more lately, but I can already tell it's not going to last. I can't keep up, but I miss writing and connecting with ya'll when life gets busy.

What I share is never newsworthy, or earth shattering, or enlightening. It's just a peek into my simple life. My quiet days. My busy kitchen. My quilting adventures. My passion for this lifestyle. My love for my family (yes, that includes Skeet!). And a profound gratefulness to God every single step of the way

It seems as if blogging is no longer in vogue, but I've never been one to follow the crowd.

Even as a child I took the road less traveled and I'm so glad that I stayed on it because it led me to the end of the dirt road where life is sweet. (photo taken by our girl when we were on a walk a few years ago)

Monday, April 20, 2020

Another Patient

Feed runs are beginning to slow down, but we're still spending a couple hours a day in the feed truck:

Waiting on cows:

Skeet doesn't miss much

This particular feed run was made on our anniversary. DH noticed a heifer off by herself and after seeing she was feeling poorly, we went back to the house, loaded a horse and trailered back to pick her up:

With Skeet's help, of course

 Poor thing didn't put up much of a fuss

Skeet's ready with a little encouragement

Back at the house DH prepares to give her a shot

One stick, and he's in

Once she's unloaded, we see if she'll drink

O.K., maybe with a little help

Nope. So we gather supplies - 10 gallons of warm water from the house

pvc pipe, tubing, and a drench pump

She gets a dose of oral meds

Then DH puts the pvc pipe in her mouth

So he can run the tubing to her stomach

Checking to make sure he's in the stomach

The pictures stop there because I've attached the tubing to the drench pump and am pumping water into our patient. We aren't always successful in saving them, but we do what we can, pray, and leave the rest up to the Good Lord.

Our other patient is doing well and enjoys daily visits from the local canine home health care resident. In fact, they've become buddies and are both relishing the warm sunshine on a daily basis:

Friday, April 17, 2020

Asian Slaw

My parents' neighbor and dear friend, Marilyn, brought this salad over 7 or 8 years ago and I about fell into the bowl. I made it over Easter and thought I'd share it here because I about fell into the bowl again. I could make an entire meal out of it and if you want protein - just add chicken.

I'm sure various versions are floating around Pinterest, but anytime Marilyn shares a dish, I know I need look no further.

In my mind, Ramen is broke college kid food - at 10 for $1.00, it was all I could afford so it brings back fond memories when I make this salad. And yes, DH likes this too. 😊

On Good Friday I fixed this salad, grilled salmon, sliced a tomato, added an avocado and that was dinner and it paired perfectly with our Easter Ham on Sunday. We also love it with anything we grill.

Asian Slaw

3 packages beef flavored Ramen noodle mix (use 3 pkgs seasoning and 2 pkgs noodles)
2 (8.5 oz) package slaw mix ) Broccoli Slaw
1 C sliced almonds, toasted
1 C sunflower seed kernals
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 C sugar
3/4 C + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 C + 2 Tbsp white vinegar

* Remove flavor packets from packages, set aside. Crush 2 packets of noodles into bottom of a large bowl. Top with slaw mix. Sprinkle with almonds, sunflower seed kernals, and green onions.
Whisk together seasoning packets, sugar, oil, and vinegar. Pour over slaw. Mix. Cover and chill 24 hours. Toss before serving. Go back for seconds! Yum!

So easy. You could probably just use 2 packets of Ramen so you wouldn't have extra noodles left, but I think that 3rd seasoning packet makes a difference. I just pour hot water over those extra noodles and serve it to the chickens...they love it!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

VFW Donation Quilt

I hear of so many sewing up masks by the buckets and I feel a tad guilty. I haven't sewn even one yet, but thank you to those of you who are stepping up where there is a need. Between helping DH, tending to the yard, cooking for the crew, waging war on the weeds here at the headquarters, working on getting the garden in, and normal household chores, I haven't even turned on the tv, much less the sewing machine, in weeks. Plus, I'm so sore, I can hardly pick up my tea kettle. 😄 I can't blame it all on helping DH although he sure enough wore me out more than his colt when he had me helping him in the round pen. Post coming soon.

I'll bet ya'll thought I'd never get back to sewing, It's been a while...a dry spell, but that happens around here. A few weeks ago I picked up 4 quilts from Jackie though (curbside service as per our social distancing regulations) and I finally managed to get one bound.

Every time I walk out towards the coop, the chickens come a running thinking they're getting treats


This quilt is headed to a VFW post in Las Cruces for a fundraiser:

Our boy has spent a lot of time there and he's made some lifetime friendships. With the Covid-19 closings and changes, the support the VFWs provide to veterans is no longer available. They often organize fundraisers and this is one way I can help:

I have a bin dedicated to QOV fabrics and I pulled from it, cutting and stitching lots of HSTs.
I love HSTs for their versatility and this was a pattern I wanted to make since seeing Nancy's a few years back. She blogs over at Wyoming Breezes and this dear lady is a power house when it comes to making beautiful QOV. The pattern is called Stars Over Scott by Jamie Jane Elfert and is offered as a free pattern. I'll definitely be making it again.

Jackie's daughter is a teacher and since the schools are closed, she has been helping Jackie turn out quilts - she quilted this  pattern called Yodel across it:

I backed it with these blue stars that I bought on clearance in Amarillo probably 6 or 7 years ago and I bound it with a blue grunge that matches the outer border:

Even Skeet seemed somber as if he too knew veterans ought to be honored and he might be looking a little sad too because DH was driving off without him.

It is 62" x 74" and I hope it helps a little and pray that it finds it's forever home with the veteran it belongs to


Monday, April 13, 2020

33 Years

DH and I are pretty low key. We don't usually celebrate milestones like a lot of folks. I'm of the mind that the small, daily actions are ones I don't ever want to miss or take for granted. The fact that he still opens the door for me. Or that we make each other laugh. Or that I cleaned out the feed room for him without him expecting me to. Or that we have HIS and HERS buckets when we have water trouble 😄

Or the fact that I am counting on him to help me brush my teeth because I am fairly certain I won't be able to pick up my toothbrush after lugging these buckets of water at least 50 times

But it was a gorgeous day...65° and not a cloud in the sky:

DH said this was called the Farmer Carry:

I sent that picture to our girl and she said, "Goodness! What are ya'll doing?"

I replied, "Haven't you heard? The gyms are closed. This is called the Covid-19 Workout." 😂

Sometimes ranch life is not fun, but it's all part of the package so we just do what has to be done and know that at the end of the day, the Lord is in control and we pray we've been good stewards of the land and of the livestock that He has placed in our care and of this life that is a gift.

(The above shot is an old one, but still one of my favorites)
This morning, DH and I were talking about the choices we are making towards a more healthy lifestyle. We've already cut back on carbs and stepped up our exercise regime, but we were discussing how to implement more changes. Let's cut back on the bread even more than we already have. I don't buy potatoes anymore. We love fruit, but it has a lot of sugar and we probably ought to cut back on that.

We sometimes sit out by the fire pit in the evenings, but we haven't done so lately and thought we'd do that on our anniversary which was on the 4th (the day after the dirt tank photos in this post were taken) . DH said, we don't even have a bottle of wine. Then he said, "Seems like the only thing good for us is each other". THAT is all the celebration I need!

(and no, we're not going anywhere - the above photo was taken 2 years ago)
Looks like there's one more stop to make though:

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