Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcome Home, Noni

God is GOOD! Life is GOOD! Grandchildren are GOOD! Kids are GOOD! And coming home to 'Pappy' and the ranch is GOOD too!!! Rancher Mike (aka Pappy) worked hard to do my chores as well as his so that I could help Cheyenne and John when they come home from the hospital with their new baby, Riley. It was a good welcome home last night - Sam met me at the car and also Kitty (looking somewhat more pregnant than when I left). The horses and donkey were by the fence in the corral. And Mike was still awaiting my call to start dinner! Only problem was that my phone died before I was able to alert him when coming through Throckmorten (about 30 minutes out). I came home to a happy Pappy sporting the start of a mustache:
a fat cat and a fat pregnant cat:

a garden of goodies (like a cornucopia of yummy proportions): Mike took good care of my garden while I was gone and ate/gave away squash and okra!

On the way home, I got to marvel at some naturally beautiful 'scapes:
I've dubbed this Turtle Rock:
It rained on and off most of the way and there were many overcast, grey cloud covered mountains even more beautiful than this: I am ever thankful for a safe enjoyable journey, a wonderful visit with my daughter, son-in-law and beautiful new baby, Riley for 10 wonderful days and I look forward to soon visiting Travis, Pam and our other new grandson, Brenden. I am thankful for the happiness of these 2 new families:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First Pics of Riley Asher Wilson

Darn!!! Too bad our kids don't live in the same direction!!! We can only visit one at a time!! Let me introduce our grandsons:
I'm in Arizona with Cheyenne and John, and I arrived here 5 minutes after they got home from the hospital with Riley Asher Wilson. Here are a few pictures of Riley at the advanced age of one day:And here he is with his Mommy ---- and his Daddy!

To see Brenden Paul Winslow (alias Snake Jr.) click on the Snakeye Frag (here or under 'other blogs').  There's even a wonderful video there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Old "One - Two"

In a miracle of timing, our second grandson said hello to the world today (19Aug) at about 2PM EDT.
"Little Snake" (we're still waiting for release of his official name) was 7lbs 2oz and 19.5 inches. Pam is doing quite well, and Daddy couldn't be prouder!
AND... needless to say, Grandma and Grandpa are just beaming!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008


First grandson just arrived!!! Will update when I get to Arizona, but for now know that Cheyenne delivered at 7:55 AM (west coast time) along the roadside on the way to the hospital!! Riley Asher Wilson is 21" long and weighs in at 9# 4oz!!! I'm hitting the road as soon as I hit the 'publish post' button!!!! Next is the arrival of little Snakeye in the next week or so!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How Hot is it????

After almost 2 weeks of 100+degree days and about 2 months without rain, Texas was looking pretty dry! Fire bans are in force. Unless you water, lawns are brown and burnt up! If you do choose to water, there are rules .... properties north of SR114 water on odd days and south of SR114 on even days. I only water the garden, potted plants and the decorative vinca vine to keep it alive. Otherwise, we could have a huge water bill while we don't yet have our well functional.

So, you know it's HOT in Texas when ---
- the front porch looks like this [even the animals seek the cool] (click to enlarge) > >
- and you break into a sweat when you walk out the door...
- when called in for dinner, the horses lumber in and suck up half the tub of water...
- and when you refill the tub, the hose water is HOT and you have to float off the algae so the horses can find the water...!
- when the garden plants are wilted every evening and totally stop growing (thought I was a failure at gardening for a while there)...
- when the okra and squash are already cooked when I pick them...
- when the corn kernals become popcorn before picking ....
- and the trees and shrubs whistle for Sam...
- when you singe your fingers without a steering wheel cover
- when the wind brings in a steady supply of dust in the house and blows my plants around:

Melons are rearranged on the north side of the hills ----
- and when the skinks and spiders seek refuge IN the house.
Why... one day last week, we saw Sam out chasing a rabbit .... and they were both walking!!!

All that's changed now and the kittens can come out and play while I work in the garden.
Finally the high pressure moved away and this week we've had rain (ALWAYS includes lightening, thunder and 70 mph winds) THREE times for a total of about 2" of welcome rain. The horses (and donkey) have muddied up their yard and corral and it doesn't stop them from rolling in their favorite dirt spots -- now mud!!! The fields are happy! The vinca vine is no longer wilted, the lawn is showing some green blades of grass, and my garden is going nuts!!! Plants are growing and blooming, fruit is setting, the veggies are maturing right before my eyes, and life is good!! We're just waiting on our grandbabies!!!
Doc can even stop and smell the flowers!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Persistence and Work Prevail!

One of the first projects we planned when moving to Texas was to have a nice garden! Well, like everything else, each step along the way takes longer than one anticipates! We sent soil samples to the Ag folks to see what the garden area needs, and started carting manure from one of the horses' favorite places and rototilled it into the garden soil as well as sprinkling organic fertilizer over the area. (Actually I grew up on a dairy farm and cattle 'go' whenever and wherever the urge hits! Horses, on the other hand, pick places near fences and exclusively 'go' there. It's like a big litter box!!) Before planting though it needed a fence to keep critters out! So Mike had a fellow come out with an auger and dig holes (the ground is like concrete and would take forever with a post hole digger and human muscles) ....

The only hold up was that it rained and partly filled the holes and Mike had to dig out holes after they dried up a bit (= delay) so it took quite a while to get the fence in!! Then there were the gates- had to wait for some materials at the local lumber store, so Mike made a temporary gate so I could plant. By now it's at least a month past when everyone else planted their gardens! Rather than pass, I figure whatever we get is more than we would have had if I planted nothing and waited for next year! Also, I had to reclaim that area from the industrious fireants. (below)

Then we've had a couple of weeks worth of 100+ degree days which challenged my young tender plants! The intense daytime sun was wilting my plants and I had to revive them every morning!! (sad squash below) ..... (to the right is the same plant NOW!!)

So I started watering more deeply with little wells around each hill or group of plants and that REALLY paid off!!! Now I have little to no wilting and I'm starting to get some yellow squash, okra, and there must be a dozen canteloupes coming along nicely. The watermelon, pumpkins, cucumbers and tomatoes show great promise. The corn is rather stunted, but it is tasselling out and maybe we'll have mini-ears!!!

Check out the canteloupe and watermelons....

cucumbers and okra .....

and pumpkins and stunted corn ....

A couple days after Mike finished installing these sturdy gates, one of the horses put some muscle on one and ripped the top hinge right out of the wood and twisted the heck out of the bottom one, walked over the gate and sampled half of the corn plants (well, it looked like grass!!!). So now we have fewer corn plants and even sturdier gates!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Pillow Challenge...

When Travis & Pam and Cheyenne & John came to visit the ranch, they came with some projects to do. Pam brought some neat machine embroidered biplanes she was using on her baby bumper. Her aunt had made them for her. Pam and Cheyenne chose complimentary swatches of material to mount them for hangings in their babies' rooms. This is the outcome of their craftiness before framing:
With leftovers, Cheyenne challenged me to make some kind of a pillow to match and Pam left me an airplane to make it fit the theme. So, here it is!! The finished pillow for her chair in the nursery or wherever she plans to put it. I think it will go well with her theme:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

You are not going to believe this......

I think it's some kind of bad dream!!!! We picked up our new Honda CR-V last Saturday!! Last night we drove to Wichita Falls for dinner and left to go to the Royal Theater in Archer City (from 'The Last Picture Show' fame) to see 'Funny Girl' when right before our eyes IT HAPPENED!!!! We were first at the traffic light when someone ran the light - (this part is an error - see under comments for the 'rest of the story') ON A MOTORCYCLE (OUCH) and we heard screeching and metal and saw a body flying through the air and land on the pavement about 15 or 20 feet in front of our car. A red pickup spun around out of control and came to rest on the front drivers side bumper of our BRAND NEW Honda!!!!
Close up of front bumper and wheel well....

The kid on the cycle had a pretty bad compound fracture and crushed ankle with split skin down his foot - showing the bone in his ankle! He may have other injuries, but that was the most apparent! Well, we did make the show which was enjoyable, but now we have to have the CR-V fixed for the trip to Phoenix.... and my little girl is due to have her baby in 6 (SIX) DAYS!!! Hopefully it will be an easy fix for us.... Not so for the young cyclist!!!