Monday, September 26, 2022

Chute Repair & Skeet Repair

 In an earlier post, I mentioned that DH was replacing the floor of our hydraulic chute

                                            Putting On My Assistant Hat

Our camp man helped him unload some of the metal and he asked him why DH doesn't just buy a new chute. Yes, that might be easier, but WAAAYY more expensive and DH is wired to fix things instead of replace them if they can be fixed. I know I'm biased, but good gravy, this man is handy! 

He put in a lot of hours, but the end is in site. The old floor has been relegated to the junk pile

And the new floor is in place

DH said it was like a puzzle taking everything apart and then re-assembling it all. Ready to roll for the next umpteen years:

And of course, Skeet helped too

Some of you eagle-eyed readers will no-doubt notice Skeet's wound on his right shoulder and I'll tell the story, but if you're squeemish, stop reading and x-out now.

Well, we've been losing cats all summer. That's just part of ranch life - something has been snatching them at night - one at a time. We had 25 barn cats and are down to one mama - one kitten (they are super wild and live out at the barn) - and Oliver. Yes, even his littermates have gone missing. Skeet sleeps outside and one night he just pitched a royal fit and would have climbed the yard fence if he could have. We let him out to see what direction the source of his consternation had run and when he came back, he had a war wound where he had clearly met up with part of the barbed wire fence

It was 10:00 on a Friday night so we improvised:

We superglued it closed and then superglued a denim patch over the top of it. Then we rigged him up - redneck style - in the form of a denim neck collar that kept him from licking it.

 Poor Skeet! He truly is the BEST dog. 

He wore that silly collar for 8 days and the next day he had removed the patch, but our superglue stitches had held and his hair's growing back. It never slowed him down.

Alas, our cat-burglar is yet to be caught and I've become so attached to Oliver that he now sleeps in the mudroom and I nudge him back outside at dawn each day where he continues to monitor my every move

As well as take on nursing duties for a chicken that came in lame last week

If your floor is rotted out, or you run through a barbed-wire fence, or you show up to the feed trough lame, we'll do our best to fix you up!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Welcoming Autumn With a New Heating & Cooling Unit

 DH is incredibly handy and he does so much around here that it's a rare event when we have service people out - but we had a local fiberglass company out to resurface some water troughs earlier this week - the fella that owns this company has day worked for us in the past. He's also a ranch owner and probably one of a handful of people DH respects the most.


then the next day we celebrated the arrival of Autumn with a new heating & cooling unit. 

We've been fighting our old unit all summer and have been dealing with a local company. They've been out no less than 8 times and we finally decided that a new unit was in order. Problem was, they didn't carry and could not get the brand requested by the owner so a different company was brought into the picture. Seeing these work trucks in our drive was a happy sight:

We know from experience that working on worn out, old ranch houses is a challenge

Not only does this crew receive high marks for quality work and kind, polite servicemen, they also get an extra gold star for this

One of the servicemen was weed-eating around the old unit and he kept going! I told him he didn't need to be doing that - it was on my list for the weekend - but he said he was just supervising the rest of the crew and he liked to stay busy and do a little extra for their clients. Who does that these days!? And how very sweet!

He ran the weed eater around the entire front part of the yard and would have  kept going, but his battery died. LOL. I told him he was hired and around here, going the extra mile deserves a fresh-baked reward

Needless, to say, they get an A++ for customer service!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Apple Season

 Last Saturday I drove up and met my in-laws outside of a little mountain town to get apples. DH wanted to come, but he's been working with his 2 colts and he needs to stay hooked up with them every day so I made a solo excursion. On the way back home, this little town was packed. This must be the place to eat

It's such a pretty drive - just over 2.5 hours and so green. I wanted to stop so many times and snap pictures, but the road is narrow and winding with no place to safely pull over. The orchard is about 8 miles outside of town. They are open for U-pick on the weekend

It was fun to see families picking among the rows 

and brought back fun memories of earlier apple picking days in Texas when our kidlets were younger

Such a pretty spot to spend a Saturday

Future pies!

My MIL makes the best apple pies and she swears by Jonathon Apples. 

The trees were loaded!


I picked a few, but we had a gathering to attend that evening so I came home with 1 box of Jonathon and 1 box of Honey Crisp. 


Then we spent the evening celebrating our neighbors' 50th wedding anniversary

It takes 45 minutes to get to their house - they live even more remotely than we do, but they had a large group of friends and family on hand to commemorate this special occasion. They just pulled a flatbed next to the barn and instant stage for the band.

On Sunday, we recuperated because at our age, late nights require recuperation, but apple processing began

The Jonathon apples will be turned into applesauce, apple butter, apple crisps, apple cakes, and headed to the deep freeze for future apple pies. My dehydrator is working 24/7 on the Honey Crisps - dried apples are our favorite snack. I'll send both of the chiddlers a gallon bag and DH and I will probably inhale the rest. So currently, my little kitchen is busy.

But the first thing I made was baked apples with a scoop of ice cream - heavenly!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Bramble Patch Baby Quilt Finish

 Earlier this summer our girl had asked me to make a quilt to celebrate the birth of a dear friend's first baby. When I saw the Bramble Patch Collection, I thought that might fit the bill for a Peter Rabbit inspired nursery theme. I started with a Layer Cake, but then bought fat quarters.

I chose to alternate 6" squares with pinwheels

I love these soft, sweet prints

I found his soft pink/peach minky at Hobby Lobby and thought it would be a sweet backing

Oliver's always on my heels and curious about everything

Jackie has retired and her daughter Sandy - who teaches at the local private school - is picking up where Jackie left off and she quilted this sweet panto called Fronds in a linen colored thread

I bound it with a yellow from the collection

At 40 x 50, I hope this quilt will be loved by this precious baby girl 

Skeet was off on an adventure with DH and he was happy to turn his quilt modeling duties over to Oliver. 😉

Monday, September 5, 2022

Adventures in Sourdough

  When we gathered together to celebrate my FIL's 85th birthday, our Oklahoma tribe arrived at the ranch a few days early:


And I have to show off this beautiful, handmade rolling pin our girl gifted me - it's a piece of art, but rest assured, I'm using it!

Our girl has access to an endless supply of sand cherries, grapes, and blackberries and she has jumped on the jam train with both feet. I can't even tell you how many pints she canned, but she ended up posting some for sale. The CEO of her company wanted some and they bartered his sourdough starter for jam.

Well that created a sourdough monster! She started making beautiful bread

She brought us yummy jam - muscadine, blackberry, and sand plum! 


 As well as some sourdough discard crackers that are amazing:

She also gifted us some of the starter 


and that awakened the sourdough beast in DH. He used to make sourdough biscuits every morning - yes, we were spoiled. So one morning our girl was up bright and early 


and tried her hand at biscuits 


and the next morning it was DH's turn. 


We all stood in the kitchen every morning and slathered her homemade jam on warm sourdough biscuits until we almost foundered


And sourdough stories were shared


I often tease our girl because growing up, she preferred to shadow DH and spent all of her time horseback yet now, she's cooking amazing food, making jam, and conquering sourdough while juggling a job as a livestock consultant with a non-profit corporation. I recently sent her this photo and told her I owed her an apology - I was wrong and she actually DID spend time in the kitchen - I love this shot!

You've come a long way Sprout and we couldn't be more proud! 
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