Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Great! or The Cedar Choppers!

Today has been great and so was Saturday, Sunday and Monday. First off, I had a fabulous time at Katelyn's birthday party, that Ronnie & Nita threw, at their Ronderosa Ranch. To say the least, "It was totally great.

Being with my beautiful family was great. Seeing old friends and then playing music with them was great. The food was great.

Sunday morning I left the Ronderosa Ranch, around 8:30 and I got back to Big Foot Ranch, about 10:20. And after hugging Tony and all of our dogs I took a shower, put on fresh clothes and then Tony and I took off, for Kerrville, to run a few errands.

Of course our first stop was, at Home Depot, to buy paint and our last stop was at the big H-E-B, so we could pick up a few groceries, so I could cook a late dinner for our dear friends, Jim Keaveny & Rachel, because they were driving in, from Terlingua, to spend the night with us.

When we got back home, we unpacked our groceries and then we put on our work/paint clothes, because we wanted to get started painting the front porch ceiling "sky blue" as quickly as possible. Because a porch ceiling painted the color of the sky keeps wasps away. Here are some pictures that I took of our project.

Jim & Rachel arrived around 7:30 and it was so good to see them and while Jim told us about leaving for his Holland tour, on Tuesday (today) I cooked us a delicious roast with carrots and potatoes and onions, in my Instant Pot.

And earlier, when I started peeling the carrots, we excitedly told Jim & Rachel about us getting an Instant Pot and they both started laughing. "Jeff Haislip just got one of those things, too," They said. "And he's been telling everyone, in Terlingua, about how great it is...."

While our super-pressure cooker was cooking us a delicious meal, in under an hour, Jim told us that he was going to spend half of his tour opening for Joan Osborne. And these are the dates for those shows, in case you might be, in Holland.

Sunday night we had a blast visiting with our friends and we stayed up until midnight, so we could wish Jim a Happy Birthday.

Monday morning, around 10:30, I cooked breakfast and while we were drinking delicious Donut Shop Coffee, we made a toast to Jim's birthday and we had a good laugh about it working out that Jim spending Thanksgiving, Christmas's and his birthdays with us.

Around 12:45, after another fun visit Jim & Rachel took off to go visit Kinky. And we took off for Carol's ranch, so we could celebrate Mark's birthday and meet Bill's sweet niece, Cathy and her husband Chip, who were visiting them, from Wisconsin.

And that was a total blast, too. It was great to see Mark as always and meeting Bill's family was like being with our own family. Carol cooked up a fabulous fajita dinner and she made one of her signature pies—Magnolia Pie. (Last year, Carol gave me the recipe to this mouth-watering pie and after eating a small slice I definitely plan to make it for us soon. After I loose several pounds—thanks to Weight Watchers.) And yes, I might as well admit it now that Saturday and Sunday I fell off the wagon doing Weight Watchers.

Tony and I spent our Monday evening painting the rest of our front porch or at least as much as we could before running out of paint.

This morning our dear friend Gerry Olert came to visit us. Gerry is the incredibly talented, video-grapher that has done all of our rescue ranch videos for the past 20 years. And he is also the one who worked with me on our hilarious video spoof Longmire—Texas Style. Starring the one and only Little Debbie!

Before Tony and I went to go eat lunch with Gerry, in Kerrville, Gerry asked me to do a short video for him, on our front porch. So while Tony stilled my wind chimes for Gerry, I grabbed Little Debbie and he shot us and it was painless.

We had a fun lunch with Gerry and after we adios-ed him Tony and I went to Home Depot and bought a few more buckets of paint. And then we came home and started painting, again.

Tonight as I finish writing this I want to tell you about this fabulous book that I bought for Tony, because it arrived this afternoon. The book is The Cedar Choppers: Life On The Edge of Nothing by Ken Roberts. Published 2018 by Texas A&M Press.

It is a fabulous book. And Tony's dad, his brothers, his relatives and him are mentioned in this awesome book. It is a "can't put it down book" and as soon as I finish writing this I plan to spend this evening reading the history of all of these cedar choppers.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I'll Be Packin'!

Today has been great and I am feeling great. No more sneezing, coughing or hacking, because of allergies. Now I am keeping my fingers crossed that the pollen counts stay low, so I can go to Katelyn's birthday party, at Ron & Nita's Ronderosa Ranch, this Saturday.

I am still laughing at myself, when last week I got the dates confused, for Katelyn's birthday party. Seriously, it would have been hilarious if Carol and I had packed and driven up there, last Saturday, to Ron & Nita's ranch and no one being there.

And the sad part about it is I know that everyone in my family, sweet Carol and my other close friends that know me well, would not have been shocked if I had done that, because all of my life I've been known to do that sort of thing. It is just another one of my quirks like me getting lost all of the time.

And another sad part about it is Carol can't go with me this weekend, so I'll be going solo which of course will give me the opportunity to get lost and never making it to Katelyn's birthday party. But because I'll be packin' (my new guitar/banjo, mandolin and favorite guitar) on this trip, I'll hopefully stay more focused, so I don't get lost. But I'll still say a little prayer before I go just in case.

And now that makes me wonder why Carol, last week, was so eager to say, "We'll go in my truck. I'll drive!...." After she had told me she could go to the party. Hmmm...

I am loving doing the new Weight Watchers so much. Seriously, Weight Watchers has made it so much fun. I am now looking forward to every evening when I can add up all of the food (that I've eaten) points and still have points leftover to rollover (So I can use them at Ronnie & Nita's covered dish BBQ dinner.)

This afternoon while I was on Weight Watcher's website I checked out several of their delicious-looking, healthy meals and then I decided to watch their Oprah videos. Omg, Oprah's words powered me up in so many ways that I did not want to shut down and go, to Kerrville, with Tone. But before I closed the lid of my lap top and adios-ed Oprah without her knowing it, I printed out Weight Watcher's Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta and Spinach recipe, so I could buy the ingredients and later on today, cook it for our dinner.

When we got back from Kerrville, Tony helped me fix our dinner, because he was nervous about me trying to cut the huge spaghetti squash in halves. So while he was sawing away on this gigantic gourd I diced onions, grape tomatoes, shredded fresh spinach, etc.

And about 40 minutes later, I served us Weight Watcher's Creamy Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta and Spinach and it was more than delicious. 

In fact, Tony ate two big servings and we had enough leftover for several more mouth-watering meals. So I filled several Baggies with individual servings and then froze them to eat at a later date. And the best news is this meal only counts 4 points.

Tomorrow our main meal is going to be zucchini frittatas and I am looking forward to eating it again, because a few days ago when I cooked it for us—there were so many free points (eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion that you don't have to count) that the total points for that meal was only 4 points!

Before I finish writing this tonight, I want you to know that I am fixin' to drink a glass of my fine, boxed, Chillable Red wine and read a little, because I still have 8 points leftover for today. And that is about it for tonight. Cheers!

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

An Entomologist!

Today has been great sort of. Even though the pollen count is high, I am starting to wonder if maybe I have some kind of bug. Because last night I started feeling feverish and went to bed at 9:00 (the old time 8:00) and I slept like a log and I did not wake up until 9:00 this morning.

After I got up it didn't last long, because within a minute or two I started feeling weak and dizzy. So I went back to bed and slept another two hours. Then I helped Tony vacuum the house and put things in place, because our friend, Doug Foss, an entomologist and the owner of Foss Pest Control was scheduled to come out and treat The Cabin, so we won't be bothered with scorpions, spiders, creepy-crawlers, etc.

Well, Doug showed up promptly at 1:00 and he did an excellent job ridding our home of pests and we are thrilled about it. Especially Little Debbie and Big Al(ice).

You may be asking how do we know Doug so I am going to tell you. Our friend, Rie Foss, works at the Bank of the Hills, in Kerrville. And Tony and I love her, because she is always helpful, so upbeat, always smiling and laughing.

Every time that we go to the bank, Rie is the first to greet us and then we start talking about dogs, key hole gardening, etc. and by the time we've done our banking—we always leave wearing smiles on our faces. So before I write another word I want to highly recommend using Bank of the Hills and Foss Pest Control.

Late this afternoon I checked my e-mail and my good friend Mari had sent me this link that shows 18 fascinating maps and I found it so interesting I want to share it with you: Fascinating Maps.

It is 4:52 right now and I am still feeling a little bit puny and I think I am going to go back to bed to rest some more. If that is at all possible with six dogs snuggling up close to me.

But before I go I do want to show you this beautiful, less than 30 seconds video. It is about a man that was in the hospital for over 5 months, because of flu complications.

When he came back home he had lost over 50 pounds and was unrecognizable to his dog. And I promise that if you watch this heart-warming video it will put a really big smile on your face. And that is about it for now.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Monday, March 12, 2018

With My Warmest Regards!

Today has been great even though I have a bad case of allergies. This morning I woke up coughing and sneezing and it's been that way for the most part of my day. Now I am done complaining, except I do want to show you what the Stone IPA beer looked like, that our good friend, Jon Wolfmueller, Jean and Joan's sweet brother, stole from our 6-pack that The Girls brought to us.

Speaking of Jon, this afternoon Tony and I went to Kerrville to run a few errands and our first stop was at Wolfmueller's Books, so we could pick up our signed copy of Elizabeth Crook's novel The Which Way Tree.

Tone and I had a fun visit with Jon, at the bookstore, even though Sandy wasn't around. After paying Jon for our book that he & Sandy had asked Elizabeth Crook to sign to us, we took off for the big H-E-B, on Main Street.

Besides buying our regular grocery items: dog food, beer, Coffee Mate French Vanilla, eggs, Eureka bread, etc. we high-tailed it to the Kleenex section and picked up a few pretty cardboard boxes. And then we went to the allergy isle, which was packed with people sneezing, hacking and coughing, just like me and we grabbed a couple of cans of saline nasal spray. Then we checked out our items and came back home. And that's the highlights of our uneventful day.

Tonight I plan to read and then go to bed early. In hopes that when I wake up tomorrow morning my runny nose and coughing will have subsided.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing! 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Praying For Rain!

The last couple of days have been great. Aaron came out, on Friday, to help us build another level "slab" for our second water tank for it to sit on.

Yesterday morning, as you can see in the above picture, Aaron and Andy came over and helped us connect our gutter system to the first tank. And to say the least we are more than excited about collecting rain water and that is why we are now praying for rain.

Saturday afternoon, Tony and I had a fun surprise or better said—twin surprises. Yes, our dear friends/twins Jean and Joan came out for a fun short visit and to see our ranch and they were bearing gifts for both of us.

They brought Tony a six-pack of Stone IPA beer, except we noticed that it was missing one beer and we were not about to say anything about it.  Then Jean or Joan says, (Remember they are identical twins and that is why I can't remember who said what.) "We bought six, but Jon drank one of them." And we all had a good laugh about that.

Then Jean tells me, "I made this for you, Nancy." Then Jean hands me this pretty sack and inside it was this beautiful, pink, crocheted shawl with a ribbon tied around it. And yes, my jaw dropped and I was speechless, because I loved it so much and I thought it was so sweet of Jean to have spent her time crocheting me this lovely shawl.

When I finally recovered and got my voice back, I thanked Jean for her beautiful gift and then I pointed to the wall where "our" framed, pretty, pink potholder takes up space. And both she and Joan laughed. And that made Tony and me start laughing, because their laughter is exactly the same.

The only bad thing about Jean and Joan's visit was they did not stay long enough. After we had given "The Girls" a grand tour of The Cabin and Big Foot Ranch they bid us farewell. And after they left I came inside, The Cabin and laid out the shawl, on the breakfast island and then I took this picture of Jean's pretty, one-of-a-kind, pink shawl. Which I cannot wait to wear.

Today has been great and it has been a pretty, quite day. So late this afternoon, while I was cooking a soup/stew, in my Instant Pot, Tony and I went outside and spread some more pea-gravel on our circular driveway.

Sadly, even though that gigantic pile of pea gravel is slowly disappearing—I'm nervous that it may take us a few months to completely use up all of our pea gravel.

Now before I finish writing this for tonight, I want you to know that my soup/stew recipe turned out to be absolutely healthy as well as delicious. And it only took me 45 minutes to pressure cook the whole thing. Which included dried pinto beans, zucchinis, carrots, onion, bell peppers, corn and tomatoes and a slew of spices. 

In fact, Tone loved it so much he took a second helping, before I froze the rest. And I am doing great on Weight Watchers and my soup/stew used up only a tiny amount of my daily points.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

More Tons!

Today has been great. First off, I love doing Weight Watchers and so does Tony. It is easy, fascinating to me to add up my food points and still have leftover points that roll over. That I can save the points up when I really want to splurge on a dessert of something like that.

Also I cannot believe that I have no aching muscles of joints today, after Tony and I hauled and then spread out 1 1/2 tons of pea gravel yesterday.

Which is really great, because early this afternoon Tony and I decided instead of us going to pick up another load of pea gravel, we decided to get it delivered to us instead. So we now have more tons of pea gravel, outside near the barn, waiting for us to haul it to the "slabs" tomorrow. And I'm not talking a mere 1.5 tons like before—I'm talking 6.5 tons.

So tomorrow morning we will be outside using our his and hers wheelbarrows and we will be hauling this pile of pea gravel, down to where we have our wheelbarrows parked. FYI: My wheelbarrow is the small blue wheelbarrow and I've already decided that once we finish moving this huge pile of pea gravel—I plan to paint my wheelbarrow pink.

Late this afternoon, I called Carol and then I went over to her beautiful ranch, so we could have another fun visit and also for me to invite her to come with us this Saturday—to Katelyn's birthday party, at Ron & Nita's Ronderosa Ranch.

As always Carol and I had a fun visit and we laughed so much my back began to ache. Anyway, when I invited Carol to come with us, this Saturday, to Katelyn's birthday party she was more than thrilled about going to it. And I am not sure if she was more excited than me about going to the ranch party.

Anyway, as soon as I got back, to our ranch, the first thing I did was call Ronnie & Nita, to tell them that Carol was coming with us to the birthday party. And after I told him this exciting news about Carol coming with us, our conversation went something like this:

"Well Nance, that sounds great," Ronnie said, sounding a little bit confused. Then I heard sweet Nita laughing, in the background, because they were on the Speakerphone like I was. "We would love for y'all to bring Carol."

"I knew y'all wouldn't mind," I said. Then Ronnie chuckled and Nita started laughing, again.

"But you do know that Katelyn's birthday party isn't this Saturday. It's on the 17th?" Then we all started laughing.

"Omg, I thought it was this Saturday. Of course it is on the 17th. I feel so stupid." And as we continued to laugh, I added, "That would have been great for us driving up there, on Saturday and y'all not being there....." 

After we had finally quit laughing about me getting the dates wrong, we adios-ed each other and then I immediately called Carol. "Hi Nancy," Carol said. Then I told her about me getting the dates mixed up and like the rest of us she burst out laughing with my news, and then she said, "That would have been horrible for us to show up and...."And that is about it for tonight.

Y'all have a great evening and keep on laughing!