Monday, July 17, 2023

New Projects

 On Saturday morning, DH drove south to participate in a shotgun fundraiser and I settled into my sewing room. When I was sorting last week, I started pulling fabrics for a blue-green quilt for a special Christmas gift. I started with plaids

And moved on from there, pulling greens


And then blues -


I love this part of the quilt making process! This is my inspiration from Pinterest

No pattern. Just HSTs. I made the first 2 blocks (6 1/2")

And as I was cutting, I thought I may as well cut for a 2nd quilt - another Pinterest inspiration

2 blocks down

How many blue-green quilts does one household need? One more!

A start

I cut a 7" strip from each fabric as well as a 2 1/2" strip.  I cut 2 triangles first from the 7"strip. 

The following paragraph is just for my information so I'd remember how I cut everything since it was an efficient use of the fabric I had.

 I cut a 2 1/2" square from the leftover piece on the end. I then cut 2 - 5 1/2" squares, trimming one down to 5". Then lastly, I cut  2 -  2 1/2" x 5" strips and 2 - 2 1/2" X 9 1/2" strips. 

Any leftovers were added to my 2 1/2" strip bin and the bigger pieces were added back into my yardage stash. If my fabric wasn't big enough for pieces for all three quilts, I just cut what I could.

I don't make a lot of blue or green quilts, but I love them together and both bins were too full to close so hopefully, this cutting marathon will prove to be success.

Surely that will make a dent in those stacks. I may be cutting for days!

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Ranch Life Update and Finding Time to Sew

 It's been close to 2 months since I've set foot in my sewing room and I've been itching to get back in there. DH helped brand on another ranch on Thursday and Friday and he left at 3 a.m. I had big plans to spend those days sewing. Alas, he got a call on Wednesday evening that a cousin from Nebraska wanted to come for a visit the next day. Always tickled to visit with family, but he felt bad because he had to be up at 2:30 and away during the morning and then he had to move cattle in the afternoon. We didn't know how long they were staying so it was hard to plan, but I made a list (scratched out sewing) and  a menu and spent the morning in town gathering groceries. We were already exhausted after making 2 day-trips in 3 days to the mountains (2 hours away) over the 4th. 

I cooked at home and took brisket, potato salad, coleslaw, and Summer Berry Pie up to my in-laws and cleaned for my MIL while DH took his dad to a ranch rodeo. 

After our company left, on Saturday, DH and I were completely DONE. I literally could not see straight. We've had some other pretty big changes taking place and honestly, it's been pretty stressful since February. I'll share soon and prayer and Jesus have been keeping us on our feet, but it's been a lot. Everyone's fine - everyone's healthy, but we're just out of fuel.  

Even so, some things never change - we're always troubleshooting water conundrums 

No matter that it's 108°, DH is on the job

 - this man got a double dose of the hard-working gene

We've also had a crew out the last few days - they are installing 2 septic tanks - one for our house and one for the bunkhouse

My poor yard!

So there has been a lot going on around here. I feel as if we've both been pulled in so many directions and I just needed to run some fabric under the needle to center myself.

My Americana hourglass blocks were ready and waiting so that's what I grabbed and I managed to get the top together

It's going to be 85 x 95 and it took me almost 2 hours to get it pressed. 

I spent some time sorting through numerous piles that have been neglected for far too long, but I think I did more shuffling than putting things away.  I think I need a larger bin

I also pressed my Criss-Cross Baskets top. I  questioned my sanity spending so much time with a hot iron when the temps outside are consistently pushing 108°. I needed to dig around for a backing, but I am currently unable to make any decisions. LOL. But it felt really good to get some stitches in.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023


 Living in the desert SW, heat is expected, but oye!

Even the kitties are wilting

 I'm ready for Fall! Almost every morning for the last 3 weeks, you can find me here at 5:30. 

DH has been working with a couple of horses and time in the arena is part of their education.

We usually spend about 2 hours first thing in the morning trying to beat the heat of the day.

Monday evening we had a welcome shower that dropped 1/2" about 8:30. I was already in my jammies and headed to bed, but ran out to capture the puddles. When you ranch in the desert, you spend your life praying for rain so when it rains, it's a camera-worthy occasion. 


So that means that yesterday morning it was too wet to rope. The ground in the arena isn't great and it doesn't take much moisture to deem it a no-roping day. A few days before it rained, DH commented that if all the bulls peed in the arena at once, it would be too wet to rope. 😂

So instead, we drove 45 minutes to the SE side of the ranch and I dropped DH and our camp man off to gather and move cattle west.

The sun wasn't even up as I headed back when I spotted this little owl basking in the early morning dawn air

Morning blessings!

May your day overflow with them!

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Auntie's Chocolate Cake

 I found this recipe in this cookbook about 18 years ago and we still think it's the BEST chocolate cake ever!

 I don't know who Auntie is, but she sure as heck knows how to make a knock-out chocolate cake. DH requested it for his birthday back then and it's still his birthday cake each year. 

It's simply a gem of a recipe and I can't believe I haven't shared it before.


But I made it a few weeks ago to take up to my in-laws. My FIL loves Salisbury Steak so I made that with gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cherry salad and I cheated by buying Hawaiian Rolls because we don't eat much bread these days and I didn't want to make a whole batch of rolls for just us. Although yes, I did just make a whole cake just for us. 😉

 It's a sacrifice I was willing to make so that you too could have the recipe. 😎

Auntie's Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 C sugar

1/2 C shortening

2 eggs, beaten

2 C flour

1/2 C cocoa

2 tsp soda, dissolved in 1/2 C milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 C boiling water

*Cream sugar and shortening well and add beaten eggs. Mix flour, cocoa, and salt. Add to creamed mixture - alternating with milk and soda mixture. Add vanilla. Lastly, add boiling water and mix well. Batter will be thin. Bake in 2 9" cake pans at 350° for 20-25 minutes.


2 C sugar

1/2 C cocoa

1/2 C butter (I always use unsalted)

1/2 C milk

1 tsp vanilla

*Cook first 4 ingredients over medium heat. stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Cook 2 additional minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Beat until creamy and spreadable - 7-10 minutes. 

Everyone needs a REALLY GOOD chocolate cake in their life. Look no further. 😋

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