Saturday, September 30, 2023

Under the Needle: September

 I've severely neglected my Under the Needle posts. The days, weeks, and months are flying by and I am falling behind. I stitch when I can so progress is being made, but some days I feel as if I'm spinning my wheels. I finished this quilt for our grandson who will be arriving soon...we're counting the days!

 (Insert photo of old lady jumping up and down while clapping hands in eager anticipation)

Earlier this month I made 4 sets of potholders

And 20 Happy Blocks for a compassion quilt drive over at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework

I'm currently binding a quilt I picked up from Jackie a few weeks ago

I finished piecing my Songbook quilt top... all the blocks were made so I just stitched them into a top. I don't have anything large enough for a backing here, but I think I found something online so this one will be in line for quilting

I made bindings for 4 quilts (2 are at Jackie's and 2 are here - waiting their turn) and have one more to make

Next up is a quilt for our boy and his family. We've settled on a loose color scheme and I found this wide backing that fits the bill perfectly

So I'm pulling fabrics from my stash and hope to begin cutting as soon as I settle on a pattern.

Most of this progress was made the first 2 weeks of the month and the way things are stacking up, there may not be another Under the Needle Post until January. 😉

Friday, September 29, 2023


 It's been a really rough couple of weeks here on the ranch. Sadly, our North Camp man (he was just 36) passed away on the 13th and it's been all hands on deck trying to keep things afloat. First and foremost is supporting his wife through this as much as possible. The ranch was sold in June so we've been on a bit of a rollercoaster since February (although losing him had nothing to do with that). So I've been donning my ranch hand hat in an attempt to help DH navigate this season. We've been together for 39 years and I always knew he was a really good man, but his kind, thoughtful, recent actions have just brought me to my knees and I am overcome with overwhelming love for him and so incredibly grateful to God for bringing us together. I'm not going to go into detail because he is also very humble and amidst the current situation, we still have a ranch to run, but whew. Not much time to sit at Jesus' feet, but rest assured, He's riding shotgun with us every day.

We've got hundreds of miles of pipeline on these 128,000 acres so plumbing in new water troughs and repairing leaks on all of it means we're spending our days bouncing over ranch roads checking waters

putting out mineral

walking through cattle

fixing leaks

and monitoring timers on wells

This is a part of ranch life that rarely makes it to the screen. Even with the dirt and hard work and early mornings and heat (it was 97 today - September 29th - for crying out loud!), this is a good life. I will say that it makes one feel their age at the end of the day. I'm trying to convince DH that we're not 20 anymore and that 14 hour days, 7 days a week isn't necessary. He says he's not ready for the rocking chair just yet, but I'm hoping we can find a middle ground.

On a bit of a fun note, we've been chasing balloons lately. Well, really just one hot air balloon. 

Town is 25 miles away and it's home to New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). They were working on the Alpha 5 Project  to raise funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. They were attempting to break the World Record Formation HALO Skydive and on Thursday they jumped from 38067'. You can read more about the project here

Alpha 5 Project

They landed on the ranch at Adobe Basin last week while I was at work and then they made another run on Tuesday. DH was taking bulls to the sale barn (a different one from the one where I work) and when he saw the balloon he called and put me on notice - I first spotted it just over headquarters

 He put me on notice because he had to unlock gates last time in order for the chase crew to reach the landing site. And sure enough!

They landed in our North Bull Pasture

Most of these photos of the balloon in flight aren't very clear, but we're miles away and my camera is at it's maximum zoom

This is the largest balloon ever manufactured in America - and the basket alone weighs 1100#

The helicopter was on hand to help keep things in check and you get a little bit of a sense of the balloon's size from this shot I captured

They made one more run on Thursday and we followed them while checking waters on the south side of the ranch. I had told them I would bake them cookies in case they landed on the ranch again, but they landed about a mile East of our fence line. We ran into a SUV filled with BLM (Bureau of Land Management) people and they were looking for a path to the balloon, but were running into locked gates so we contacted our neighbors who were busy processing cattle and we took them to the landing site, but we didn't see the need to get into the middle of it. It took a good 30 minutes to get them there and the balloon had already landed - locked gates and fences and lack of roads made it a little more challenging. So we just stopped at the manager's home and had a good visit with him - he's just had a knee replacement so he and his wife were the recipient of the cookies I had been carting around that morning. Grin.

When I took the crew to the balloon on Tuesday, they invited us to Thursday's launch in town, but alas, ranch duties take precedence, but they gave us a challenge coin to mark the occasion and it was neat to be on hand for this worthy endeavor. Supporting our military and veterans is a cause I will always stand behind and champion. I wish I had taken more pictures, but the commander and crew were visiting with me and I didn't want to be rude and walk around taking pictures. Lots of cogs in lots of wheels to make this a successful and safe project and thankfully, it was both!

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Gram Mode

 It was so sweet when my DIL and E flew in for our girl's baby shower.  While we were all together, I was in Gram Mode. Time together is so precious and it's hard when everyone lives in a different state. I keep saying that we need to find a couple hundred acres and everyone can build a house on a corner with separate entrances. That way we can all have our privacy, yet we're just a yodel away if someone needs something and we'd have a fishing pond, firepit, and outdoor kitchen in the middle for gatherings. It's a goal and yes, I've taken it to God in prayer 😉

For now, I try to soak up the treasured moments

She loves her Uncle Kenny - we all do -he's easy to love!

After the shower we stopped in at a great independent bookstore so my DIL could use the gift certificate she won at the shower. Smart owner had this amazing train table set up in the children's section...I want one!

Kenny raises and fits pigs for FFA and 4-H kids and he happened to have a couple of little ones at the house so he introduced E to one of them

She wasn't quite sure what to think, but it was so cute...she said "Hi pig!" and tried to shake it's hand.😂


We all call Kenny and our girl's place the Funny Farm  and it was fun to introduce E to farm life                                          


Our little nugget is growing so fast

We stayed in this really nice hunting cabin that belongs to a friend of Kenny's

All snuggled in

Nothing beats time with family

How many toddlers love broccoli?! This one! It's her favorite...along with green beans.

Our girl captured some wonderful shots of E playing in the leaves on the morning we packed up.

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. 

~Nathanial Hawthorne

And above all; watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
~Roald Dahl

If we could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything. 

I notice that Autumn is more the season of the soul than nature. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.
~Winnie the Pooh

Children really know how to immerse themselves into the moment - a good lesson for us adults - may you always be a child at heart!

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Baby Shower

 So last Thursday I drove to Oklahoma for our girl's baby shower and our DIL and granddaughter flew in to help celebrate. When they reached the bottom of the elevator, E ran to me squealing, "Gram! Gram!" Made my heart leap with joy and melt into a puddle all at the same time,

We are all avid readers and we treasure books so we based the shower around books and everyone brought a book instead of a card. 

Kenny's sister had access to this incredible book-wall and her husband and a few friends set it up

So clever the way some of the pages were folded

It was stunning and made the perfect photo-backdrop

Kenny's sister is so talented and she brought the wall to life with the addition of these beautiful floral accents


Her arrangements were stunning

And the girls pulled off another gorgeous grazing table

We had lemon blueberry cupcakes from a local bakery

And a table with metal bookmarks for favors

Kenny is a big baseball fan so that too was incorporated into our theme - the prize was a gift certificate to a local bookstore

Such a lovely afternoon of fun and fellowship and a sweet time of celebration!

And the countdown continues!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...