Monday, July 29, 2013

Plum cobbler & Plum cute!

Just yesterday I pinned this Summer Plum Cobbler to my desserts Pinterest board, and that very evening, I made it for dessert.  I had a gob of plums from my Bountiful Baskets that were very ripe and really needed to be eaten.  Now let me tell you, THIS is the way to eat plums!  Hubby, who is not a big dessert guy, told me he thought it was one of the most delicious "pies" he's ever eaten.  Check out the recipe here.  My only change to the recipe would be to use a little less lemon zest.

After the Plum Cobbler came the Plum Cute!  I've been itching to sew some summertime jumpers for my grandgirls and here is the first of a hopeful four jumpers.  The pattern is from Olive Ann Designs and it's called Jump-N.  This reversible jumper is easy-to-sew and the pattern comes with sizes 1-6.  The shoulders are elasticized so they are easy on-off for kids and parents.  No buttons or snaps.

  I love jumpers because they can be worn with T-shirts for summer and long-sleeved T's and blouses for fall and winter.  Are you creating any good eats or sewing or crocheting or knitting?  Do tell.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday drive....

There is not a day that goes by here on the ranch, not even a Sunday, when there aren't a few chores to do.  I try to keep Sunday a quiet, restful day, but that doesn't mean stuff doesn't happen just because it's Sunday.  Even Jesus said, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a pit, would you not pull it out on a Sabbath Day? (Luke 14).  We didn't have any ox fall into a pit today, but as I checked the cow bunches and bulls, I did find a couple cows with hoof rot which is very painful and can really make a cow sick.  I radio'd Hubs and he came out to the pasture with the dart gun and medicated both of them for me.

 The rest of the morning was fairly uneventful.  I so enjoyed driving out amongst the cattle that it didn't feel like I was doing chores at all.  I brought my camera along and snapped a few photos of the range and all that's in it.  First off -- cows, calves, and the bulls that are in their breeding bunches.

Also living amongst the cattle are the Brown-headed Cowbirds.  They feed off the grass seeds and bugs  the cattle stir up as they walk.  Did you know that cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds' nests?  They don't raise their own babies.  They are called parasite brooders.

The flies must have had a new hatch because they are thick out there.  The poor cows and calves and bulls are fighting them off like mad.  Some resort to wading in the reservoirs when they can't stand it anymore.  Sounds refreshing to me on these 90 degree days.

 I drove through the low spots where the grass was greener and the flowers were abundant.  These flowers (below) are Upright Prairie Coneflower or Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera).  I love them and  have some growing in my flower beds.

The blue flower (below) is an invasive weed, but gosh, isn't it a pretty one?  It's called Blue Lettuce (Lactuca tatarica).  It can be found along roadsides and dry areas.  If you break the stem, it has a milky sap.

The haying continues, but today the hay dried out too much so it will have to be baled in the evening when it cools down and the moisture and humidity rises.  When the hay is too dry it's easy to knock off all the leaves and seed heads, and the bales end up with mostly stems.

Hubby's dad is in the hospital -- quite ill and likely due to getting old as much as anything.  The engine parts start to break down.  His doctor said he's got a broken distributor cap.   He's at the hospital which is a couple hours away so we have our work days at home and days to go visit him in between.

This afternoon I stirred up a batch of bread and set it out on the front porch to rise in the 92 degree sun. I was reading an eye-opening article here about how un-healthy vegetable oils are for you, and I thought about all the processed breads and crackers and things that we eat that are made with vegetable oils.  It spurred me to make some homemade bread.  At least I can pronounce the ingredients in my own bread:  rye flour, wheat flour, white flour, honey, butter, water, salt.  Hooray for real, simple food:  butter, lard, and bacon fat!  How is your Sunday going?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What I've been doing....

Be Careful....

We're still out in the fields making hay while the sun shines, and boy, does it shine!  Our temps are climbing into the 90s and 100s which makes for good hay-drying weather.  Sometimes the men have to bale at night so the moisture content of the hay is just right.

 This is an old John Deere 2520 which was purchased brand new back in the 1970s before I arrive here on the ranch.  It's old, but it runs like a charm.

 A view over the top of the tractor.

 An here's a view from behind me.  The rake wheels spin the hay into the center where the hay can dry and it makes a nice windrow for the baler to go over.  So far, we've made about 2014 big round bales, and there are more to be made.  See the rake in action HERE.

Front of my latest baby quilt.

I've finally finished Rootie-Tootie's baby quilt.  She's only just turned 7 months old so she's crawling off her blankies already, but hopefully she'll still enjoy her own especial blankie from her Gram.

Here's the back with an R and a few posies in the corners.
There are other things that I've been up to, but these are the latest projects.

Look what my Sweetie gave me this morning.  
I woke up to this song and these fresh-picked, happy sunflowers!
Do you know the song?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Birthday America....

From Hometown, USA

Independence Day is a Big Deal in my little hometown.  We have the biggest parade in the area with lots of flags and military vets; horses, kids, and queens; floats, Model T's and Tractors, firetrucks and fire hoses.  We even had the local Cowboy Marching Band, Wyoming Drums & Bagpipes, and  Trash Can Drummers.  There will be three days of rodeos, singing in the park, and a carnival that's set up Downtown. The parade started with sunshine and then there was a downpour at the end of it.  Umbrellas popped up and people kept watching as long as the parade kept coming down the street.  The sun broke through and we had a warm afternoon barbequing with family and friends and fireworks topped it all off at dusk.  It was one glorious 4th of July day when we salute our Vets and Troops, and all who love Freedom give thanks and celebrate America.  I hope you had a spectacular Day.


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