Thursday, July 30, 2020


After 22 days I am home again! Mom is doing remarkably well. Her biggest obstacle is walking, but she's pretty speedy in that wheelchair. She's in zero pain, can get up and dressed alone, and make coffee and something simple for breakfast. She's wearing the Medical Guardian pendant and that gives me some peace of mind although I still made it clear that she is not to attempt walking with her walker unless someone is beside her. We made arrangements to have a senior care aide with her 5 x week from 11-3 to help with getting her to and from appts (she has a long line of friends offering to do this, but she doesn't want to impose on them - none of them would consider it an imposition) as well as helping with some cooking and various household chores for the time being. A nurse comes 2x week, as does physical therapy and occupational therapy. I took her to her appointment for moulding and marking in preparation for radiation which is yet to be scheduled. I was still on the road home when one of the neighbors brought a meal over and 3 more texted me. So, I felt it was time to come home.

I was away for 5 weeks. Home for 10 days. Away for 3 weeks. I'm so glad I was able to be there for mom, but boy, did I ever miss home!

At the end of my 10 hr trip, I was greeted by an enthusiastic Skeet and a happy husband. I had rented a car to come back so first thing Wednesday morning found us in town. DH had rented a car to come to Texas 6 weeks earlier, before mom's surgery, and he paid $153.00 for 1 day. My rental cost $280.00 for the same route!!! I was flabbergasted, but it was my only way home. I talked to the manager and was told that there was an extremely high demand for rental cars as few people were flying, but I still could not believe the huge increase! That's just ridiculous. When I did a little digging, I found out that a lot of rental vehicles had recently been sold (they make more money on selling them than renting them), but that too attributed to the decrease in available rentals. Increase demand. Decrease supply. The basic principal of economics means I dropped a cool $280.00 in a single day. That's a lot of fabric! 😄But, it got me home and that's priceless. 

When I got home, my 3-yr old phone died that night. It was a refurbished phone so I guess it was time, but I really do not like to spend money on phones. I think they are wildly overpriced and I refuse to buy the newest, greatest, latest. Alas, we don't have a landline and cell phones have become a part of our everyday lives, mine included. I don't play any games or participate in social media although I used to post on Instagram a few years ago. Blogging seems to be the only medium I've embraced. So, new phone in hand, DH and I made a Sam's run and then escaped all things urban and turned towards dirt and sky.

I am completely and utterly peopled out! And it's going to take me a while to recuperate, but this is how I do it.

Eating from the garden that DH so sweetly tended to. It flourished under his newly discovered green thumb:

Firing up the grill and giving thanks for the new ranch raised beef in the deep freeze

Mowing in the cool of the morning:

Yes, this is a good start:

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Tequila Key Lime Pie

I must be on a citrus kick...last week I shared the recipe for the lemon cookies I made, this week it's Tequila Key Lime Pie  (we put out bulls on June 17th and 18th and this was dessert for the crew on Friday),

and my Lemon Meringue Cake is on the menu for branding in a few weeks. All I know is that I've been looking forward to making this pie since I found it on Pinterest. Here's the link Plain Chicken . I've found quite a few keeper recipes on Stephanie's site so if you've a hankering for something new, you might want to poke around there. 😋

I have a recipe for a Frozen Lemonade Pie that I've been making for 30 years that is similar and I'll try to remember to post it when we're sweltering this summer.

And this is a first for me...I bought a bottle of tequila. I questioned my sanity because the recipe only calls for 1 Tablespoon. I thought we had better LOVE this pie because if my calculations are correct, I'll need to make 50 pies or I'll be pinning lots of recipes that include tequila. Too bad we can't invite everyone over for margaritas.😄 I'm sure the recipe would be just fine without it, but I must have been feeling rebellious that day at the grocery store. That's about the extent of my living dangerously lifestyle.

The filling calls for 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk. I only had one and the shelves were empty but there was 1 single bottle. I've never seen it packaged like this. Have ya'll?

This recipe also calls for 3/4 C Key Lime juice. I had no idea how many limes I'd need so I just grabbed 18 and it turns out I needed 17. I have this handy dandy citrus juice extractor thingy that does a really good job of juicing those tiny limes.

Tequila Key Lime Pie

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/3 C sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon


8 large egg yolks
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
3/4 C Key Lime juice
2 Tbsp Key Lime zest
1 Tbsp tequila


1 1/2 C heavy cream
6 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

*Preheat oven to 350°
*In a medium size bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Press against side and bottom of 9" springform pan. Set aside.
*Whisk together egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, lime zest, and tequila. Pour into prepared crust.
*Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely.
*Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff. Spread over pie. Serve.

Verdict: Only 49 more pies to go! Yum!

I just got back from visiting a quilt shop and the ladies there told me that today is National Tequila day.
Who knew? So, I'm going to consider this perfect timing...even though I didn't plan it that way! 😉

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Neutral Gender Baby Quilt

In January, our girl asked me to make a quilt for friends and co-workers who were expecting and waiting to find out if they were having a boy or a girl. I stressed over fabrics, but after finding this print:


I felt like it was a good starting point. I settled on making a triangle quilt and pulled and cut fabrics from my stash


I had to go back for more of the focus fabric. I cut 6 1/2" triangles and was able to get 7 triangles from each strip of fabric. I really liked the way it went together. The secret to a triangle quilt for me is starch, starch, and more starch. After a run through the washer and dryer, it finishes as 40 x 48 and it spent a little bit of time soaking up the dappled sunlight in Texas before heading to OK:


I backed it in this soft mint minky and bound it with a gray grunge:

And Jackie used a fun, modern design for the quilting

I'm no longer able to use the flash drive in my sewing machine for embroidery labels so I had one made by a gal at the local quilt shop in town. I ordered it while I was back home in NM and it was ready after I came back to Texas so DH earned a trip to the local quilt shop. 😉 This is my favorite Scripture for baby quilts. I cropped the personal information out of the photo:


He picked up the label and sent it to me. I stitched it on, packed up the quilt and sent it to OK. It's already a well traveled quilt. 😊

No chicken coop here so this is my Texas quilt spot:


The baby just recently arrived and I hope this quilt will become a favorite. It was stitched with love and prayers:

Friday, July 17, 2020

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I keep hearing about how everyone is baking their way through this viral pandemic and it must be true because if you need yeast or flour or eggs you're probably out of luck because the shelves are empty. Those are staples around here, but I haven't been baking. Not one biscuit, pie, cake, cookie, or dessert has been baked in my kitchen since Christmas unless I made dessert for the crew. How sad is that? We've just been trying to be good, but early Easter morning I made these cookies and it's taken me this long to post them, but I am in need of something normal and comforting and a cookie recipe is as close as I can get today. Well, that, and a good dose of God's Word:

This is a new recipe I found here: Vintage Kitchen
We love anything lemon and I figured I could get away with a little something on Easter and this doesn't make a very big batch. I'm betting these would freeze well, but there weren't any left to freeze.

These are light and fresh with a wonderful crisp-tender texture.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

1/2 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
grated lemon zest from 1 large lemon
2 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar w/ lemon zest from a 2nd lemon for rolling cookies

*In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar well. Add vanilla, egg, lemon juice, and zest - mix until creamy. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and add to butter mixture - mixing well.
This dough is really sticky so cover tightly and chill overnight. In small container, mix 1/2 C sugar and zest from one lemon. Cover and let set until you are ready to bake cookies. Once dough is thoroughly chilled, roll into balls and then toss in sugar/zest mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 350 on parchment lined cookie sheets.

*Again, I changed things up just a little. The original recipe calls for rolling the dough in powdered sugar, but I chose to use a granulated sugar/lemon zest mixture.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Scrappy Quilter Quilt Shop

When mom was back in the hospital after her fall, I took a few hours one afternoon and ran some errands for her:  bank, post office, car inspection and registration, and low and behold the good Lord put a quilt shop in front of me! 

When I walked in I was greeted by, "May we help you?". The tone was a little cool and wary. I told them I was just in need of a little fabric therapy. They asked me where I was from and they pointed to mom's car. Probably 18 years ago or so, my parents started a support group for the local police department and mom has door signs on her car for the Citizens Police Academy. The ladies thought I was there to check if they were following Covid guidelines as per the governor's regulations. After I assured them that I was not there in any special Covid capacity, and no citizens arrests were imminent, we all had a good laugh. And I'm glad. There is enough distress in the world. I came to de-stress! It's a nice shop, and I loved what they had:

Much of their inventory has been depleted and they too are experiencing shipping delays. They were only closed for 2 weeks as they were deemed 'essential' since they sold mask making supplies. If you were in need of black or navy fabric, the pickins were slim. This is a military town and between that and law enforcement, there has been a big demand for black and navy masks.

I was the only one in the store and I enjoyed exploring the colorful shelves 

and cute projects 

and cozy displays

A good selection of reproduction fabrics:

And Texas pride means that Texas themed projects are always a best seller 

Something for batik fans

And tone on tone options

I was tempted by chickens:

And splurged on these Tilda jelly rolls. I really wanted a Layer Cake, but they don't come in layer cakes so jelly rolls it is- I just loved the soft, vintage colors:

I also bought a good bit of this rustic chicken wire print. I have a Chubby Chick pattern and I've been looking for a background...this'll be perfect:

And I found this multi dot that I may use as a background with this fun gray based floral I found in San Angelo when I stopped and met my SIL on the way down:

I didn't take any pictures at that little shop but I also picked up these 2 prints for a baby quilt there:

I even dug deep and visited some while I poked around although I will be honest and fess up that I am completely and totally peopled out. However, I've been wearing this shirt, washing it often, and reminding myself daily to

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Update from Texas

I arrived back in Texas on Tuesday, the 7th and picked up my mom from the rehabilitation hospital on the afternoon of the 8th. She looked good and sounded strong, but her body was still weak. No surprise there as she was recuperating from major Sarcoma surgery that left her with a 28" surgical incision and 65 staples. Someone had sent her a huge balloon that said, "One tough cookie" ...well said. She received 50 cards while she was in rehab for 2 weeks. I told you her tribe was large and loyal. 4 different friends ordered 3 banners to welcome her home. 

A few days before I drove down, I had ordered something for her online and when Amazon delivered it, they sent me this photo:

I called the neighbors and asked why there was a card table in front of mom's house. They laughed and fessed up that they set it out so neighbors could stop and sign the banner at their convenience:

LOL. So now you may have some idea of why I am so pooped. Besides juggling mom's needs and the medical end of this, I am fielding her fan club. 

I'm not complaining. Everyone should be so loved, but I am constantly trying to keep all of my balls in the air and not hurt anyone's feelings, but I seem to forget someone now and again and I forget who I told what even though I am keeping notes. And speaking of notes:

Whew! Good gravy. My mom is a champion note taker. She writes everything down and one of her pieces of advice in every situation for years has been, "Write it down and get it in writing". So writing it down is what I've been doing throughout this journey. I have been carrying little yellow notepads everywhere for the past 8 weeks and these past few days I've been transcribing them into a Word document so that mom will not have to decipher my chicken scratch when she goes back to read everything - and read it she will. Because she's my mom and that's what she does and I took prolific notes because I knew it would be important to her.

So, home she came and we set about her recovery journey. Planning home health care and appts with her primary care physician and the radiation oncologist and it was good and then...she fell.

Late in the afternoon, on the 9th, she said she could eat some soup. I had placed an online order with HEB earlier in the afternoon and I was happily chopping and cooking away in the kitchen when I heard her fall. Nevermind that she had strict instructions to call me when she needed to get up. I was in the bedroom in 2 seconds flat and she was laying face down with her head under the bed. I called to her and she groggily answered and turned her head. I saw she already had a black eye and I called 911 and told her not to move. I flew to the door to unlock it and went back to her. EMS was there FAST and 4 EMTs assessed her. Her left eye was not dilating or reacting to light and she was nauseous...earning her a trip to the trauma center at the military hospital. They released her on the 12th and I brought her back home. I had to go through a thorough background check just to gain access to the hospital on base. Once I arrived at the visitor center I had to call a number and roll through the 'press 1 for this' and 'press 3 for this' fiasco before gaining entry to the visitor center. Then you are screened and photos are taken and you must promise them your first born child. Not quite, but close.

 After vigorous testing, no signs of bleeds or fractures, and multiple conversations with physicians about her medications, they sent her home. She remembers nothing. Not the fall. Not the EMTs. Not the ride to the hospital. She called me at midnight and said she thought she was in the hospital and why was she there and what happened. I know that is common with head injuries, but she doesn't understand that. She was upset that they cut her clothes off and sent her home in a hospital gown, but I told her she was a lovely sight and she was a good sport and we stopped for ice cream on the way home.

So, we're back to square one with the added discovery that the CT scan showed a suspicious nodule on her thyroid and they are ordering an ultrasound. Good gravy. It's all good though. I am breathing and praying and remembering in every moment that God is in control. And I am so thankful because I would be a mess if He wasn't. Praising Him for the abundant fruit in the midst of uncertainty. Thank you Sprout! 😉

Thursday, July 9, 2020

In My Sewing Room

It's been an awfully long time since I've spent any time behind the sewing machine. I've missed it, but in all honesty, I missed DH and Skeet and just being together more so I didn't sew much while I was home. I went to work on Monday after I got back from Texas and stopped to pick up 2 quilts from Jackie and I've got another here at the house that needs binding first.


I brought them all with me to Texas this time around. So that left me with the question of what to work on after bindings were made. I probably spent more time taking stock of half finished projects and sorting through piles than I should have, but it made me happy to do something that felt normal.

I just wanted to sew something for a few minutes...anything, so I stitched some of the rows together on this QOV that I had webbed before I left:

I attached bindings to the front of the three quilts. This is my oldest UFO:

I also cut some pieces for my ongoing EPP project. I had only planned on being at my Mom's for 4 or 5 days and hadn't taken it along. 4 or 5 turned into 37 and I wished I had had it:

Then I threw in this kit to cut out:

As well as these well-seasoned fat quarters that I plan to cut using this pattern:

Sewing took a back seat to spending time with DH, but it felt good to play in my sewing room again. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

A Wet 4th

So glad I was home as this rolled through about 2 a.m. July 4th:

1.5" here at headquarters and that's cause for celebration:

It was a loud and rambunctious storm and we gave up trying to sleep by 4. My first thought was, "I'm penciling in a nap today".  The garden is celebrating too

And the chickens are hatching an escape plan

We're pretty low key around here. Thought about fishing Saturday morning, but it was too wet to get around and we don't like to tear up our roads, but we ran down the pavement and navigated down one dirt road on the east end to check a few rain gauges:

Catching dirt tank water makes DH's job a lot easier:

I'm still recuperating from my 37 days in Texas. My mom's still in the rehabilitation facility, but they are discharging her on Wednesday so I'm planning another road trip on Tuesday.

Until then, I'm hunkered down on the dirt road, enjoying time with this fella:

Soaking in the song of the Scissor-tail

Finding beauty in everything

Celebrating the miles of space:

And never taking the freedoms we enjoy here in America for granted - we're still "One nation under God" and not only on the 4th, but every day, I give thanks for God and the men and women, past and present who have defended and fought for those very freedoms. 

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