Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Under the Needle: August

 DH had a Sporting Clays Shoot on Saturday so even though I probably ought to have spent the morning pushing the lawn mower, I shirked my duties for some stitching time. While my machine was on it's extended time away from home, I spent some time cutting for my next project. I chose Criss-Cross Baskets from my Scrap Basket Knockouts book

I've never had the urge to make a basket quilt until I saw this one and I enjoyed sorting through my bin of collected 30's fabrics

I cut pieces from every print I had and I had enough for 110 blocks

I also had fun cutting from my low-volume stash

I've never cut a block-based project like this before so I decided to use a paper plate method to keep things organized. 

I also needed to clear everything away in the midst of it all because we were expecting a houseful for a few days. It looks like a mess, but it's an organized mess

This pattern calls for lots of flippy corners so I am making good use of my Simple Folded Corners Ruler

It took me a long time to sort and match the pieces for each block, but now the blocks are fun to stitch and coming together nicely, albeit slowly

My 30's bin finally has some breathing room and it feels good to finally have something under the needle again!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Putting on My Assistant Hat

 Thursday morning, DH came in after he finished working with his colts and asked "Can you please come help me for a minute?" 

He was bringing up handful of cattle - a few bulls to process, some steers to vaccinate, and a couple calves to brand

Bovines - check

Our 4-legged brand inspector - check

Hot irons - check


 First in line


Tipping horns to keep men, horses, and other bulls safe

Then DH came in that afternoon just as I was walking into my sewing room and asked, "Can you please come help me for a minute? I just need you to move a lever." 

Well of course! I'm always happy to help, but we've been married long enough that I know 'a minute' is subject to interpretation. 😉

When I followed him out to the pens, I saw this 

He had the chute hooked up to the tractor and had moved it.


The bottom of the chute had rusted out and DH didn't want cattle getting their feet stuck and cut.


It got a good spray 


so he could better see what he was dealing with


So, I moved the hydraulic levers when I needed to, unhooked and re-hooked chains, moved support pipes, hauled and hooked up a hose, and offered moral support as he formulated a plan 


DH did all the real work and this is going to be one of those projects that's going to take a while. DH is very precise when it comes to projects like this. He's so handy and I've no doubt that the chute is going to fall apart long before the floor he installs does. 😉

Monday, August 22, 2022

Sewing Machine Woes

 I took my sewing machine in to the local quilt shop July 11th for a cleaning. My tension was also off and no matter where I set it, it wouldn't change the stitches. I like to support local businesses and they had been advertising their machine technicians so I dropped it off. They called and said they needed my embroidery foot and a hoop. So I took that in. Then they said they needed the manual. Then, 2 weeks later, they called and said it was fixed. We live 25 miles from town so there's no running back and forth, but DH needed to take his ranch rig to the mechanic and he had a board meeting on Tuesday so we combined everything and I was glad to have my machine back.

 We roped again on Wednesday morning and once we finished and I lined out dinner, I was excited to sew a little.'s not fixed. Still have the same exact problem and I'm out $130.00. Plus, the little storage compartment that sits at the front of the machine wouldn't click back into place - yet nothing was said when I picked it up. 

 I was a little fed up after over 2 weeks. I KNOW there is a reliable place for servicing sewing machines about 2 hours away because I've taken it there before and although I could have taken it back to the original shop and given them another crack at it, I just didn't see a different outcome. We also had a wedding to attend just up the road apiece from the shop on Saturday so I dropped it off there. The next week we had a family reunion of sorts to celebrate my FIL's 85th birthday and it's in the same vicinity so that made it fairly convenient, but I didn't want to miss out on one minute of family time so I picked it up the next weekend when we were up there again, fixing up a railing for a ramp at my in-laws'. 

This is such a great shop. I've blogged about it before, but they have since moved to a new location and expanded by adding a retreat center called Stitch-N-Pines. Here's a link to a walking tour


And not only is A Quilting Stituation a great shop, I think the owners, Eugene and Jackie, are the icing on the cake - the nicest, kindest, most genuine folks you'd ever meet. They are in the process of adding another building, but they are working around the addition and Eugene is hiding behind Jackie because he said he was wearing his painting clothes - they are doing the majority of the work themselves:

 They are working on fun displays

I don't think DH has ever been in a quilt shop before. He loves the quilts I make, but I'm not sure he understands the addiction. We all visited for about an hour and he was pretty impressed with Jackie and Eugene and what they were building

And I for one, have learned my lesson - it's worth a 2 hour trip one way and it only cost $52.00 (not counting the $130.00 I had to shell out at the first shop).  The tension is spot on and the little storage compartment fits as it should. He said everything wasn't put back together properly so things weren't aligned. After 33 days, I am happy to be back in business - thank you Eugene!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022


 Yes, another weather post.  😄 Farmers and ranchers spend their entire lives watching the weather and around here we pray for rain as often as we brush our teeth. A few weeks ago we had 0.6" here at the house and then 0.8" again last Thursday. That doesn't seem like a lot to many of you, but this desert country responds quickly to moisture of any amount and it just encourages the growth that's taken place from earlier rains. 

And the smell when it rains in the desert! Our girl says where she lives, it doesn't smell like it does here when it rains. I wish I could bottle it up. I've told DH that heaven will smell like a good desert rain. It looks brown and dirty, but it smells fresh and clean:

The first rain came fast and hard, flooding the arena

Skeet came out to celebrate with me

The chicken yard floods when it rains like this, but DH dug a little ditch that allows it to drain overnight

The poor chickens were a bedraggled site. LOL

The rains have been spotty and we're in excellent shape compared to so many so we're praying for others who are struggling to keep their cattle.

I have spent hours and hours mowing each week. Some of that is due to the rain, but we keep the bunkhouse and house yard watered and I spend a lot of time hauling hoses and sprinklers around so it's a nice reprieve for a day or two when we are blessed with rain. Most of the mowing is outside the yard, around headquarters.

This past Friday was 'release the guineas' day

They are just like chickens and will wander back into the chicken yard at the end of the day although they prefer to roost in the dead mesquite tree instead of on the roost in the coop. 

There are some spots I don't mow in order to give them good bug hunting grounds


After a nice shower, the bugs are plentiful and the chickens and guineas are on pest patrol

While Skeet specializes in puddle patrol

And Oliver supervises weed whacking

I'm telling you, it takes a village! LOL I'm envious of the village inhabitants that find time to nap. As for me -  I have a mower waiting for  a dance partner. 😉

Monday, August 15, 2022

What We've Been Up To

 Yes, all is well and we're still here - just filling our days with family and friends and celebrations that keep me away from the computer and that leads to me dropping the ball when it comes to posting. I'll break things up a bit into a few posts in order to keep from writing the never-ending post.

We're homebodies and quickly reaching hermit status as we age, but lately we've been spending a lot of time around Ruidoso, Capitan, and Nogal. 

Weekend #1 - Ranch Rodeo

to spend some time with DH's folks and treat ourselves to the best Green Chile Cheeseburger on the planet at Oso Grill in Capitan

Weekend #2 - Back up to Nogal / Capitan to celebrate a dear friend's son's wedding

We gave them a Smithy Cast Iron Skillet for a wedding gift. That has become my favorite gift! They are practical, useful, beautiful, last forever, and only get better with age! Kind of like a good marriage!  😂

Weekend 3 - Back up to the mountains to celebrate my father-in-law's 85th

That gets  a separate post later in the week - I treasure this tribe!

Weekend #4 - Back up to the mountains. Before everyone gathered for the big birthday celebration, my MIL fell and banged up her head and knee. Steps are hard for her and years ago, grandpa had built a ramp for her to use, but she fell off of it so we decided she needed a railing. DH bought some square tubing, spent 2 afternoons constructing the pieces, loaded up the welder into our trailer, and we drove up to install the railing on Saturday. 

I love watching he and his dad work together - DH even made the railing removeable

I thanked my in-laws for raising such a incredible man 

They didn't think this project was necessary, but we over-ruled them

Granny's birthday is in a few weeks and she never wants or needs anything (in fact, she's giving us all the things we ever gifted her back to us. LOL), so this is her birthday present this year. We're 2 hours away and grateful we're close enough to be of some help, even if they don't 'need' it.

Such a pretty spot for them to enjoy their retirement years

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