Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Stroll down Christmas Memories Lane...

As I look around, decorating every corner of our home, I stopped to think about the things that I remember most of the things that shaped my happy thoughts of the Christmas season. We all groan at how much earlier we see things go up in the stores, and how quickly we see commercials on TV, but, all in all, so many of us want to decorate weeks before the turkey is cooked for Thanksgiving. It isn't about the commercialism of the season for so many of us. It is the reason for the season that we love to be reminded of, with all of our halls decked out to celebrate Christ's birth. Oh yes, we love our favorite snowmen displays, and our collection of Santa's, but it is the sweet reminder of a new born babe in a manger that has us fascinated. To know that God sent his only Son to die for us on the cross, that this lil babe in the manger loved us so much to do so, is just simply wonderful! For me, it is the ease in which I believe it. No question about it, no thoughts of, oh there is just no way. He is the way, the Light and the Truth, and I do not question that. I just remember playing with the manger scene as a child. Just as I look at it now, set up on my hutch. It makes me smile.

Another thought occurred to me yesterday. (every once in a while, my thoughts run deep!) Who are the artists that bring out the happy memories, the minute you hear them sing the carols? I remember Burl Ives, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis and Bing Crosby the most. Probably because I can picture in my mind, changing out the records on the player, and looking at the album covers. It isn't the holiday season til I hear them sing! I also remember getting so antsy to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. This was back in the days when it was going to be on once that year, so you better not miss it. Now of course, you can let you kids overdose on it, with the DVD in your collection. It was the once a year showing of those movies that made it special.

Ahh, now there is the collectibles. I know I have seen, those brass, or fake brass angels with propellers and candles that fascinated me for hours on end back in the old days. You can find them at the dollar store now, and it brings a smile to my face. We had those holiday candles that were about 4 inches tall, in angels, snowmen, Santa's etc. Playing with them, and making a Christmas parade with them was a fun time. Mom also had this plastic Santa sleigh with the reindeer. I wonder if I will ever see one of those again. It was no more than 12 inches long, and you could pop the reindeer off the "harness". It was kind of like playing with my farm set that I loved to do so much. Now, I know your thinking, those are collectibles? They would be if my Mom still had them! Long banished to the trash can. Oh well, that is why we hold our memories so dear. I also remember the "retro" items we had, which are so hot now. I saw a few things in a catalog the other day, that even if I am not into retro, I would like to have, as a reminder. It was a tablecloth with Santa faces on it. I may not use it in a display, but it would be a treasured reminder of my childhood.

Ok, who doesn't remember this?? Waiting with anticipation for the Sears Christmas wish list catalog to arrive? Did you fight over it with your siblings? What fun! (the shopping, not the sibling fights!) How long a list could get very quickly from that catalog. It must have been the dreaded arrival of every parent! And, to keep us occupied as the days went by like a snail, being handed the crayons and Christmas coloring books? Remember? I loved that so much! I could color those scenes for hours. Kids now? Hmph.... I think some parents are lucky they can get the kids to go out and build a snowman or go sledding nowadays!

Another memory was that of making up a big pot of oatmeal, apple carrot mash for my horse. She needed that warmth in her tummy! When your water bucket freezes at Christmas time in NH, I am betting that tasted yummy and warmed her up. A special treat, when combined with her carrots in her stocking, that were brought by Santa the night before.

Then there is, of course, the holiday baking. Christmas sugar cookies! Oh my!!! That is on the top of my list of favorite memories. In the kitchen with Grammie and Mom, waiting on the cookies to be rolled out and cutting them, and sprinkling them with the colored sugars. The cookies were great, but it is the memory of baking with Grammie and Mom that I hold dear.

I hope this trip down my memory lane makes you sit and think of some things that may have been forgotten, but now are brought back to you, and puts a smile on your face. I will be getting my decorating down today, and will take photos to post tomorrow. While you wait though, please post your favorite Christmas memory. You can, as always, also email it to me instead. I will be sending a free pattern to one lucky winner!

Now, go break out that tree and get to decorating! I would love to post your pics too!

Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Christmas Ornie Tutorial

Good afternoon my dear friends! I am here to show you a quick tutorial for making a fabric Christmas ornie, using clip art!

First, let me let you know, I am clip art challenged, so I will not go as far as to tell you how to do the setting up for the printing of these. It would be lame at best and I am still learning! The clip art is from Primsy Doodle Designs!

Here is step one:

When you have set up your clip art in whatever program that works for you, print them out on muslin fabric. Iron muslin with a piece of freezer paper attached to the back, and make sure it is cut to a standard sheet of paper size. Make sure there are no lose threads to catch inside your printer. Set your printer on iron on transfer paper. Print it out. I made 4 on one sheet of fabric. Cut using a big enough edge for seam allowances.

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art

Next cut a piece of ribbon to sew in to the ornie, as shown, so when you turn it right side out, it will be on top, as a hanger.

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

Pin the back to the graphics on the inside, with the ribbon situated as you would like.

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

Sew leaving an opening at the bottom for turning and stuffing. Turn RSO, and stuff, not tight, just enough to make a pillow. Sew up the bottom, and woolah, you have an ornie ready for the tree, and also, a quick ornie to make for craft shows as well as gifts!

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

Christmas ornie,tutorial ornies primitive graphic clip art,Graphics ornies tutorial

I will admit, my picture taking leaves a lot to be desired today! I will get better ones to show, as soon as I get all of mine made up!

Blessings, Sue

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Day of Reflections....

As I have been sick, sometimes I slow down, and stop to see the roses. (Hard to smell them with a plugged nose!) They are still blooming, as are the mums, and gourd plants. No frost or freezes yet, to kill them off. As some of the weeds fall way to a slow death, I see the things that have been hidden all too long. This one weed is horrible and it grows up in the bayou before you realize it, and it grows 12-15 feet tall. I spray to kill it at the first sight of them, then still miss get back out there to do them all in. The cypress trees that are babies are still there, growing a bit since I saw them last!

The songs birds that are a familiar site since spring have given way to the snow birds flying in. We counted 14 bluebirds a few weeks back, while hubby and I were sitting on the porch. It has been raining, so I am not sure if they have flown south yet or not. Hopefully they might just winter here. The swallows were here about a month ago, and just as we needed them for mosquito control, they left us high and dry! We honestly never have the mosquitoes here, for anyone that might wonder, with us being in Louisiana and all. The bayou out front brings them in, but it also brings in the birdies and bats that love dining on them. This was the worst I have had them here since we moved in. Darn bites!

The days getting shorter is not my favorite sign of fall. Probably the only sign I don't care to see. I always remind myself though, to brighten it up, that 4 days before Christmas, the shortest day of the year has ended, and the longer days start! Hooray! Just one more thing to look forward to at Christmas time! Hubby possibly not being home for Christmas this year is not one of these things though! He left for Tobago, for work, and may not be home for 4 months or so. We can only be glad he has a job, in this day of dreary news for so many. We do pray for y'all!

The neighborhood is changing! Two houses being built and one more moved in, have our little lane all filled up. Good to know there is no room for any others, unless we were to sell our property. Fat chance on that though! We are off on our own little world here as the last home of the lane. I don't mind neighbors, they are all pretty far off still. A new baby arrived on the lane, and a married couple to be. Younger kids moving in from what I understand too! I might have to have trick or treat things out next year. We have never had trick or treaters, so, maybe I will have to get my act together. Next year of course. :)

I hope y'all have a great day today!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn in the air!

Finally, we have had some cool days, and cooler nights. It is nice to see that the mowing does not need it so often now. It is still green however, so it looks great. I have been cleaning out the zinnia bed. Just straggly remnants are left of the beautiful blooms. I do have babies shooting up in there though, some with blossoms, so I will not mow it down yet. The cukes and zukes have decided to make a new appearance too! New plants with blossoms and all, so I won't mow that yet either. I am sure we will get a freeze before that, but, who knows? I might get a zuke or two for holiday baking. I did tell hubby that it will be a raised bed garden or no veggies again. Just flowers and herbs. (I think I have said this before, like last year?)

Harvest time is here for the pecans. It is a great way to make some money, if you actually want to work! That is what I tell the boys every year. We will see if it kicks in. Brody is always saying he is broke! I might jump out there before the squirrels eat them all up. We have a ton of trees, so I don't think that is possible. I did pick some up last year, just to have some for baking. I did find out that it will be best to go pay to have them cracked, rather than fighting doing them myself. What a pain! (remember, I am not a southerner by birth, so some things are trial and error, and completely new to me, even after 10 years!) I do love the long season of summer that we have. But..... I do get worn out by July, seeing as we can work from February/March on. I can't get used to seeing the wild daffodils at Christmas time, or January, depending on the weather!

I have been really good at crafting this past month or so. 3 patterns out, and more ideas to come. That is when the bout of heat that catches up to me gets me inside, getting things done. It is now time to crank up the Christmas music, and get to making items for the booth in town. Within 2 weeks, I plan on having it all Christmas. I have purchased a lot of graphics to make goodies with. One site, Lisa of http://www.primsydoodledesigns.com/ has some yummy sets, as does Trina Clark of http://digiscrapkits.com/digiscraps/. I bought some of Lisa's over at Trina's site. She does carry other designers goodies! I also hit up Deena of http://www.ewenmeprintables.com/, with the already made up printable goodies. Now to sit down with the clip art, and see if I can make some things. I am clip art illiterate, really. Or, maybe it is just printable illiterate. I have not sat down to make things like that in years, so I do buy ready mades to help me fill in gaps of product. I do have an idea for the clip art, to make some fun and easy ornies. If they work out, I will show you what I made and how I did it. If they don't, well, umm, you know. I won't be around, cuz I threw my computer out the window, along with my printer.

Now, for the fun part, for those who like to win things! Post a comment on how much you would like to win sumpin! I have a prize in mind, but will not post what it is, until we are down, and have a weiner!

Autumn blessings! Sue

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In deep mourning.....

Some where along the way, the past few years, I have lost my babies. It kind of makes me resentful. Maybe I am not the only Mom to have said this? I feel like it. You know? Then of course the guilt creeps in. UGH...

Where did those little boys go? Those baby laughs, soft baby hair that is oh so kissable. Those chubby legs and cheeks? Those precious little toes and feet that you just have to kiss, and make them laugh. I miss that! It is all replaced by grouchy, cynical, crackly voiced, hairy men like creatures. I can't get used to Brody's man voice. Chance's feet being bigger than mine, and Brody's feet are bigger than Pa's. And the icing on the cake. Chance is taller than I am. I know it does not take much, me being 5'3", but still!! It just ain't fair.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am in no way, shape or form wanting to procreate again, I just would like a time capsule to look in, just a bit, to have those moments back. Not a video, no, a touch, smell, or kissing those cheeks kind of moment. Time speeds by all too quickly. Brody asked last night, to my dismay. "OK, I am going to be 16 next month Mom, do I get to date?" Umm, well, I guess that is what we always said. I told hubby. He said, "no, he has to wait til he's 18." Oh, now that will sit just right, with that cynical young man. "You tell him.", I said.

Nor does this has nothing to do with the fact that I am menopausal, so get that out of your mind. RIGHT NOW! You just realize it, all of a sudden like. Bam, they are gone. Those moments are gone. Time is fleeting. Next thing I know, I will be blogging about empty nest syndrome. But, for now, I will just keep moaning about driving lessons, "Mom, can I borrow the car?", and all that other drivel, for which teens are all about. Can you order 10 cheeseburgers for me, please? I'm starving! Gulp, help? Anyone?

So, for all of my pain and anguish, I am giving away a pattern. My latest one. Place in the comment box, just when you realized your babies were gone. No kids? Well, I dunno what to tell you. Just leaving your condolences will be nice. And a donation perhaps, to my empty nest syndrome, gotta re decorate fund.

Love y'all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Autumn, sorta??

Happy Friday to everyone! I hope this weekend brings you all sorts of fun things to do! Here in Central Louisiana, we are trying very hard to have fall, but it is just not happening too much yet! It was 102 yesterday with the heat index, and tomorrow it is supposed to be 69. What a difference, but it will be nice to have that cooler weather. I love trying to get the windows thrown open for a few days a year. It is hard to catch nice cooler days that aren't too humid or damp outside to do so. The AC is still blaring this morning, working hard to cool us off, as it is about to come a big rain, barreling towards us from TX. After that hits, it will be cooler than it is now!

I actually started fall cleaning yesterday, officially. The upstairs is done. Well, except for Chance's room. That is a scary challenge, and I need his help. What I consider garbage might be goodies for making something, as in science projects. He might need that scrap of paper. Gosh, where does he get this from? My hubby of course! I would never save scraps of anything, hoping to use it later on!

Congratulations to Niki for winning a pattern from my contest the other day! She will be receiving my latest pattern to be released soon! I have been so busy designing, and crafting for the antique mall booth. Yes, I am trying a booth, and mixing in antiques with the crafted items. Most collectors love handmade items, so I thought I would give it a whirl, atleast through the holidays. There are no craft malls of course, and no country stores out here. I would love to put up a little shop here on the property. We went to a great one in Missouri last year, on someones property. It was a cute little shop that the proprietress set up in one of those little shed buildings that you can buy most anywhere these days. It looked so small from the outside, but she packed a ton of things into this building. Very cute set up. I don't know how people find her to be honest! We just happened to drive by the road and see a little sign heading up to her home, when we had left an Amish town who's name is escaping me at the moment. Was it Jamesport? Yes, that was it!

We are very discouraged with our trees this year. This spring we lost a lemon tree, but I noticed yesterday another one of them is bursting forth with fragrant blossoms! I might have to go snip a branch to bring in to the house. We lost a curly willow tree, for no apparent reason at all. I was so excited too, as it had put on 10 feet since a year ago spring. Half of it died on one branch off, and I thought, ok, we will still have the other half, that was fine. Then it died about a month later. I will never know what happened. The big crepe myrtle tree we "saved" from demolition at a bank never bloomed, or sprouted leaves. Not til the past month when some suckers shot up from the bottom of the tree. The whole thing is coming out. We put so much money in to saving it too, and planting it in to very nice soil. I guess maybe it would have preferred the hard red clay we had removed from the hole.
OK, I took the crazy gourd video the other day, and it is posted on You tube. You can see if from the video bar.
Well, happy weekend, that is about over I guess. Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!
Blessings, Sue

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Grammie.......

Sitting here after posting, and showering, then painting up a new pattern, and I looked at the calender and remembered my Grammie. She would have turned 100 years old today. We lost her 7 years ago. She was the best. I know we all think that, of course, but she was the best Grammie for me.
When I was 7, my sister was born and 2 months later, Grandpa died, and Grammie came to live with us. Mom had to work, so it was always Grammie that was there to watch over us girls. She taught me so many things, and the thing that she taught me that has been the most important thing that changed my life is her love of making things. She always bought us coloring books and crayons with my Mom. Especially Christmas coloring books. I do remember paint by number paint sets too. I also remember her knitting, and crocheting when I was younger. I was always busy riding my horse with my friends, but eventually I gave crafting a whirl. Of course that knitting and crocheting never caught on, but other things did. When I was 13, we moved to California, she stayed in NH. I would go visit her for a few weeks in the summer time, and she taught me how to craft with that plastic stuff. You know, those sheets with squares in them that look like graph paper. What were they called? I forget. So that Christmas I had those ornies on our tree to remember her by, as she saw snowflakes fall in NH and we did not in CA. My Mom still has those ornies.
I moved on to different crafting thought processes, like quilting, but never forgot those summers. That same summer as plastic crafts, she went and bought 6 lobsters and had 3 a piece. Who could ever forget that? Yummy! She taught me how to make corn beef hash with an old fashioned grinder. Yummy too! Baking cookies, cakes and pies were something else I learned from her.
She always helped me out with things. Before we left NH, I had a paper route, and I delivered newspapers on horse back. If it was raining I would never want to deliver by foot, as houses were spread out in the country! She would always drive me. I remember her taking me to her friends houses when we travled to my home town, and learning about garage saleing. Junking too, although, not my kind of junking now though! I do not think she would dumpster dive with me, but who knows? The time she took me to one of my cousins houses and on the drive home, we were on the new bigger freeways, and as we came around a corner, cars were coming at us, and we realized it was a one way. Scared the bejeepers out of us, but it went to show us that horse and buggy days, with one lane like they used to be for her, were best!
I have reminders of her all over the house. The table that her Daddy made for her, a lot of little knick knack items that her Daddy and Mom had, like kitchen stuff, sewing things, like the sock darner that Great Grammie used. That lovely yellow ware bowl that seems to multiply in numbers because I need to have that whole line of sizes in that pattern. Their old Boston Baked beans pot. Too many things to list, but they are my most treasured things, right after my family. She also left me with stories to treasure, of her family. It helped me work oin my family tree. I could live without the whiskers on my chin that are hers, and her sweet tooth, but, as I pluck, and stuff a cookie in my mouth, I think of her.
She taught me how to be a good person, and while I do tend to slack in that area at times, she seems to tap on my shoulder to remind me. She always told me that if I find a white feather, to remember it is hers, watching over me, and that she dropped it. Some times they seem to show up where you least expect a white feather.
There is not a moment that something reminds me of her. I will always treasure those memories. I love you Grammie, and miss you so much.
Love, your grand daughter Susie

Oh my..........

Was it really May 1st since I last posted? I guess the summer just slips away, with no rhyme or reason. Since may 1st, we have been busy, that is for sure. Vacation trip to No California, yard work, gardens. Mowing and ugh, what else? No time to clean house or blog. Where are the Merry Maids? I will accept fairies too. Who ever shows up first. I am not picky!
By the time we got back from vacation, I was so tired of trying to grow veggies, I have decided to stick to flowers. I was disgusted, and had planted so few items, it should not have been all that hard, but, the cukes were still bitter after taking the advice of master gardeners and adding lime to the soil. The zuchini even was few and far between. You know it is bad then! I must say though, the whole month of May we went without rain, so I was trying to water things, but gave up. I had the lawn all mowed, and thought, hey, I leave for vacation June 30th, and without rin, the lawn won't be a pasture when I get home! Of course it poured right before I left. So much for that idea.
I had a good time in California. I had a lovely visit with the in laws, and the boys were worn out when I got there. (This was a good sign!) I met some wonderful folks while I was there too. And had a lot of good food. Came home to not being able to fit into my Wranglers all that well. Once I commenced yard work that seemed to work to slim back down a tad. Once it got really hot here, I stayed indoors too much, and need to start working out. (Insert whining here) I really do love working out, it is just hard to get back on the treadmill. Jeans weather is sneaking in and out, and reminding me daily to get my rump in gear. Such is life.
I need to get out and take some video. The only thing left is some flowers and gourd plants. That will be a site to see. Honest, it is quite funny!
Anyway..... I decided what would be fun this next few months or so, is to offer up some freebies to my friends, from my friends all over the web! Nothing that I can say I endorse, and make money from, cuz I have to say that from the governments stand point. Did you see that on the news last night? Back to the freebies. If you have patterns you would like to offer as a freebie, give me a shout. E-patterns are preferable, graphics are great. It is good free advertising for you, and fun for my readers. Give me a shout if you like! SKennen @ Bellsouth.net. Remove the spaces. If you would like to win something, in the next few days, I will be posting some goodies to win as well as the first one today! Contests, gotta love them!
So, let the games begin! Today, I have a free pattern to give away, from none other than moi! I have been busy designing new patterns, and I will be sending out a pattern to one lucky person! In the comments section, post your favorite fall thing to do? Is it that first burst of color from the trees, or a family get together to do something that is a family tradition that is, to you, the start of fall?
I will be emailing a winner first thing in the morning!
Thanks for patiently waiting for A Cowgirl Spirit to opening the barn doors back up and dust off the saddles filled with cobwebs, and getting back to writing! Be sure to sign up for the RSS feed so you won't miss a post!
Have a great day y'all!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Need Volunteers.........

Currently seeking old hoers. Must work hard, in not so harsh conditions. No laying around in the flower beds to do the work. Must be experienced in the hoeing field. Fringe benefits available. (Will furnish grubs, err, I meant grub.)

Doesn't that just make you wonder? "What kind of woman is this gal?" Crazy I guess. When your back aches from all that hard work, you think of ways to ease up the work load. Strange things always cross my mind.

Hubby has taken the week off, so he can lay around in bed all day long, and do nothing. Tee hee. He can't keep up with his old hoe. Tsk Tsk. PBR bull riding being bumped too late, just for hockey play offs. Sheesh. What is the world coming to? Nothing much to watch, and by the time I sit down, I crash.

We are having the in laws coming out from No. California over Memorial Weekend. So I am, of course, in a state of mass cleaning, as well as trying to finish up planting, and yard clean up. When they get here, I can rest on my laurels. I have the need to prioritize things that need to be done. I want it all done at once of course, but I am only one woman. We all know though, that one woman is worth ten men. I believe that. ;)

Gramma and Grampa G are the greatest. (Names have been changed to protect their innocence.) They will be taking the boys back to California with them, for over a month. Then I will meet up with them for a week and a half of Frontier Days fun over the 4th of July week. I can't wait! For no kids here that is. HAHA. Hubby says, "What will you do without them?" Run around the house nekked like I used to, before kids. I think he hopes he will still be here for that.

Well, now that we have had rain, it is time to mow the lawn again. I also want to try something new for the hanging baskets today. I bought these morning glory seeds last year that are deep pink and a purple that looks blue, with white edges. So, I will try that, with something tall in the middle. I have no idea what. I usually buy plants, but we will see. You just can't find the plants you want all the time here. Seeds are something to try. I also need something for my planters around the pool. It is hard to find something that can with stand the heat and sun all day long here. I have decided to try those short sunflowers. I just will have to remember to water them. Note to self, "try harder this year."

Okie dokie then. Off to the hoeing. Have a blessed weekend!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Air Space is a Premium Here......

It looks like LAX around here lately! We do love it though. 3 Years ago, when we moved here, the same family had been on this lane for 2o some years, owning it all. They shot everything in site. Now, finally the birds, and wildlife are coming back, enforce.

We have cattle egrets in the pastures, herons of every description, swooping over the bayou, and dining on crawdads, and muscles. Otters swimming back and forth, doing the same. Oh, wait, otters don't fly. Back to birds. The mockingbird that wakes us with his song is so funny. He was so excited this morning, he was on the power line, hopping up 2 feet in the air, every so many bars that he sang. Or maybe he was getting a little zap in his toes?

The smaller birds are thriving also. I chuckled at an article this past few issues of Better Homes and Gardens I believe it was. They mentioned if you are on a budget, make a pile of branches and twigs to attract birds to your yard. After cutting limbs to clean up trees, we have 4 huge burn piles ready for fall. They are loaded down with nests now. The purple martins dive bomb over me, as I walk to the garden. I just wait til they dive bomb over me, and let the poop fly. I almost got it the other day. I wonder if he was snickering as he flew by. It had to be a male. You just know it had to be....

The garden is now planted. I made three videos in the youtube video bar, if you would like to see. I wanted a progressive report for this year. It will help hubby see our hard work takes shape as he works out of the country. He is the one that wants that big gourd arbor, so we will build it, and see how it works this year. I think he plans on retiring on the money we make selling them. Need gourds, anyone? We will have more coming this Spring!

I need to get out there and weed. I do have another blogging story for later today. I hope you enjoy the videos!

Blessing for a good day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gardening 101

Long time, no post. This will be short and sweet! I have been in the garden, planting away! My dear hubby is helping me build a new gourd arbor, amongst other things. He is such a dear. We celebrated our 17th anniversary two days ago. I can't believe how time flies. Never heard that saying before! I guess I will keep him.

I will take some video so that I can have a progressive look at how things come out. You know how you have a blank slate in a newer yard. I wanted it all done, all at once. Now that I have matured, I still want it that way, but, all in all, a slow progression helps. I do need to build that primitive fence around the flower garden, and want to do it a little bit different. I lost a lemon tree, so I will have to replace it soon.

I will head out the door now, and get things all done, with video, and post that. Meanwhile, here is an old archive of my friend Martha's yard from 2 years ago.

If it works anyway!

Have a blessed day, Sue

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When Good Dogs go Bad

Did I ever tell you we have 4 house dogs? 2, 60 pound bulldogs, and 2, 110 pound Rottweiler puppies. Yes, I said puppies. I lost my mind a long time ago, so this is not a problem. It is however, a problem for my hubby, and Brody. Brody is a cat person, and hubby is just, hubby. ;) He loves them, but those pups are getting too big to be in the house all the time. They do go out when it is warm, so that helps the exercise, but it has been cold. And, the biggest thing that drives him crazy is how 4 dogs like that can all fit on my feet, all at once. It is a feat to see, for sure. He is jealous. He wants to be the only sitting at my feet. I don't blame him, everyone should bow, and kiss my feet.

First thing in the morning is so much fun here! We don't need alarms to wake up, we have doggies that get the zoomies. You know what I mean when I say zoomies, if you have doggies. The puppies, Zeus and Apollo start wrestling, and chasing each other, bouncing off the walls, and springing off the couches, so get the extra zoom effect. We don't allow them on the couches, so this is something of an alarming thing. I mean, we do need some new furniture, but, hubby does not see this as funny. I do though, as I push them off of the couches, and act mad. I am mad, but it is still hilarious to watch!

Bossy and Bruce, the bulldogs do get in to the act, but their short legs make it harder to jump for them. Thank goodness! We have had bulldogs in the house for the past 18 years, at least one, and to have tall dogs has been a challenge. Zeus has been a laidback boy, but Apollo is a sneaky brat. I have had a phone, and a new camera succumb to his meal of choice, when he gets up to the goodies on the counter. They still work, but it is hard to dial out, or take pics, when the screen has a tooth mark in them. You just can't see anything! My Ray Bans have been chewed, and those are just the things we have found before the innevitable gifting that comes later on. I won't say any more. I think you get the picture.

All in all, the puppy training has gone well. They have had no potty accidents in months, thanks to dog kennels. If you have not ever used those to potty train dogs, it is the way to go. Or just pull out your hair. Great if you need to thin out thick hair, but if you have thin hair like me, go get some Rogain first.

Dogs are an endless source of entertainment, exercise and unconditional love. Even if I am constantly tripping over one or all. As I type, Bruce is sitting as close to me as he can be, without actually crawling up my pantleg. We almost lost him a month or so ago, so he has really been a Momma's boy. He is the sweetest boy!

I guess I better go sweep up the floor. Did you know dust doggies do not end in the spring time, and they do not hide well. I swept them all up the other day, and hid them under the couches. Work done well, until I threw open the windows, and the breeze that freshened the house air, also blew them all out. Drat. Sweeping things under the rug definatly does not work. I guess today I will throw them out. More work, actually having to pick them up, and dump them in to the garbage.

Well, here I go. It will take extra time, so I best get to it!

Have a great day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mr Naughty

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Here he is, in all his glory, our lil bugger, Mr Naughty! He looks like an angel, now doesn't he? :0)

A Little Down Time....

Yesterday I was just plum worn out. I hate being a lazy bum, but when my body says stop, it means it! I admit it, I just laid around like a bum in an alley. Hubby told me, you just need to relax. Bah humbug. I hate it when he's rrrr rrrigh rrrrrrrriigghhhhht. I hate it more to say that! So I took a nap, and felt much better, but just got enough laundry halfway done, and dinner on, and that was it. Walking the dogs, all 5 of them is enough work. We had a major wind blow go through here early in the morning, and everything was scattered. I picked up what I could and noticed the shingles blown up in another spot, and the antenae that was installed by Dish was broken. It didn't work anyway. Oh well. Roof is getting replaced thanks to Gustav, so all in all, that is ok.

April Fool's was a fun day. We had it planned to fix a part of the fence out here that the cattle were breaking down between pastures. The buttheads. That is when Bo got a call from a friend of ours that had stopped by the pasture where our bucking bulls are, and noticed broken wire there. He was not sure how many animals were in there, but it seemed some might be missing. We raced up there with the 4 wheeler, and found the hole, but not 7 missing animals. None of which were any of the 6 inexpensive roping steers of said friend, of course. The terrain in there can get steep, with 2 or 3 creeks running through it, and we saw nothing. They all come running when we call them. We headed out the gate, but there were no tracks in the grass where the fence break was, but they must have gotten out some where. This pasture borders I-49 on one side, so we took off up the wrong way of the highway on the 4 wheeler, and down in to the ravines. There were the 7 stinkers, at the bottom of a ravine, way in the back corner of the pasture. Mr. Naughty being the leader of the pack. He is the big black bull that hangs out in the background when we call them in. Meaner than a junkyard dog. Rob told us when he comes at you, the fence is not going to deter him. So, I crawled into the fenced area, and proceeded to tell those rascals to get on down the hill to get some sweet feed with the others. There were some trees in between me and Mr Naughty, so I was not afraid. I have a way with animals. It was wooded, so the only thing I was scared of was running in to a snake! Those are not the animals I ever really want to have a way with.

To make a long story short, they went down the hill, no mishaps, and we felt so much relief. It is missing your own babies. Only 4 of them are 2 year olds. The rest are yearlings. Babies I tell ya. Mr Naughty or not, he is still my baby. He knows this. I can tell. Just a pussycat with me. Mm hmm, my hubby says. I told him to leave him to me, and he would be halter broke within a day. "What good is a halter broke bucking bull?", he asks me. Heck, I don't know, I shrugged.

So we sauntered home, and did some more chores. Those darn purple martin houses were set back upright, with one being cemented 4 days ago. Those even blew over yesterday, again. We are officially slumlords. They all wanted their deposits back. I don' blame them. Hubby says we need to do what I said when we first put them up, and anchor them with wire. Cement would have helped in the first place, before we had big holes with mud in them. That is what happened I told him. The mud around the cement caved in. I do not want wires around them, just to have more things to weed eat around. They will be unsightly. I will get my way. You just watch. Even if I have to wait for him to go back to work. The boys went out 4 wheeling that afternoon, and this is what they did afterwards, along with some other pics from that day. Yes, those boys were swimming, in an unheated pool. They both take after their father. What can I say? Press the back button after viewing it!

So, today we will finally get back to the fence we had inteneded on fixing all along. Oops, maybe I should not speak of it aloud, or the phone will ring. A trip to HD is in order. HD meaning Home Depot, but I did not want to give them any advertising. Oops again. I like Lowe's better, but I have an HD card. Shame on me.

Well, I am off to the gym, to workout. Thank goodness it is upstairs, or I would never go if I had to drive!

Have a good day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another Year Older..........

As much as I hate to admit it, yes, I am another year older. I have contemplated this in my mind for months now. It is just a number. That is what they all say. I do not mind getting older, really. It is just that I still feel 25, without all the hassle of not knowing then, what I know now. Yes, that old saying too.

Well, the still feel 25 only goes to the young at heart attitude. The creaks and crackles of bones say otherwise. The sagging boobs, turkey neck aside, I guess I can live with it. That belly flab from carrying two babies I deal with. My everything is flying south, but it is destine to never return north. I really never thought I would consider plastic surgery, ever. Now it is looking to be a great alternative. I find myself holding a stapler and wondering if I can staple my face back at my ear. My boobs up to a perky standard? I never thought I would get so vain! Well, heck, at least the cows boobs sag lower. I will use them as a comparison, not some Hollywood starlet.

The one thing I have decided never to do is to cover my gray hair. At least not totally. A little highlights don't cover it as much as they just blend it in better. My hubby says it is cute. Good for him, as he is the one that gave them to me anyway. And easy to say when he is 6 years younger than I am. Now you really want to hear someone squawk about gray hairs. Bo is the guy to listen to.

I think the funniest thing about growing older is the things you have inherited from your Mother and Grandmothers. Grammie gave me her sweet tooth, and chin hairs. She also passed along a belly that grows pregnant looking as we gain weight. Mom got that too, just not the chin hairs. I wish I could trade her for those. The walking farts is what is getting to me too. That and bladder control. I am not old enough for my teenage sons to be laughing at me. They are supposed to snicker at their Gramma's, not me. My blood pressure is up for the last 6 months. Slow down on sodium Doc says. I have been working out though. I just need to eat better. I don't diet. Never have, never will. It is a nasty four letter word. Makes me eat more. I would rather workout. It is contagious if you tell yourself it is fun. Love it, and love yourself for doing it! ( I heard you whisper shut up to me.) My hearing ain't that bad!

Well, 47, all in all can't be that bad. What I don't understand is why we call it middle age, from here on up. That must guarantee me to live to the age of 94, right? Right?

Here is to your beautiful wonderful health today. Mine too. All presents can be sent in the form of cash in to my Paypal account. I will go eat something healthy, instead of cake. No, really, I will.

Blessings, Sue

All Stop on Fence Post Collecting.....

Well, here we are, not collecting any more of my vintage fence posts. We got a good head start on Monday. We were removing them, as the bulldozer busts through the trees, and the fence buy starts slinging. I was at post number three, and I looked up at a low branch, not to bump my head, and a snake lay on it, just as purdy as a picture. NOT! Hubby had Brody run to the house for the shot gun, and he blew his head off. That is the end of collecting posts. Hubby gets violent when he sees a snake. He had us standing 50 feet away, just in case it jumped at us. ;)

Now, this violence goes back to our honeymoon drive home. We spent a lovely time in Mendocino, CA, and as we drove through cattle country on our way home, to Reno. I of course, had to take a pit stop. Not one to enjoy crowds, unless it is time to eat, we stopped at this old ranch, and shimmied through the old powder river gate. As we drove up, we saw this squirrel sitting up looking at us and not running away. So, our bulldog Bogie went under the gate, then I did. As hubby went to come through, facing the opposite direction, he was face to face with a rattler. Talk about coming unglued! He backed up slowly, and went to the car, and got his Glock out. He then proceeded to unload the whole clip in to that snake. Fun week!

Now, what to do with a fence that will be either half finished, or the way we are making it, the posts will be spread apart quite thinly. We will see how it goes. Cooler weather this weekend might have me out there scrambling to get some more. I wonder if hubby will follow this logic?

We have had 3 inches of rain this past two days, and 3 last week, with more coming in this evening. That will help the flowers and lawn. I am trying to really figure out the hype of grass. We have 7 acres to mow, and as we get it mowed, the rain comes in and makes it grow faster, like a weed. Go figure the human mind. The pasture gets chewed down, thank goodness! That saves 43 more acres from needing my time! We pulled dirt samples from the pastures to see what fertilizing we need. This to, get this, make the grass grow. Sheesh. Moo's on the graze fix that. I am about to sling more electric wire so that they can eat the lawn. That would not work though, as I have to have the lawn just so. We live on a dead end road, where hardly anyone sees this beauty, but, I get finicky anyway. More flower beds will cut that down, hopefully. Thank goodness for 2 boys. They help me mow, so all in all a 6 hour job takes less time for me, with their help. Weed eating takes me more time. Weed killer helps that job be less, after the first round, if I keep up on it from month to month. That is IF.

We also put in 2 Purple Martin houses. That is a story of sub prime mortgages. These families bought their condos, paid in full, instead of getting caught up in those sub primes. Then yesterday morning I awoke to 2 multi complexes falling over. I think they might sue. I put them back upright, but last night, the newest complex fell back the other way. I can't even be one of those contractors that leaves behind unfinished work. I live here. I told hubby they needed cement, but no. No cement he said. I think this changed his mind. When the ground gets dry, you can pop those blocks right out of the ground if need be. Construction will commence shortly. When hubby takes a nap, he will be none the wiser.

Well kiddos, my workout awaits. I've been slacking.

Blessings to all!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

As the Rain Gauge Grows

It is a beautiful thing to see! The rain arriveth! I am so glad for this, for my friends tha needed it so badly, over in Texas, as well as other places in the South. We have been quite dry since Gustav hit last year. Very little in the way of rain. Thank you Lord!

The yard is greening up, and it is really ready for planting. Last year we were in a drought, and I just ended up giving up on planting more things that would need to be watered. I have a flower garden that never got past a curly willow tree, and 4 rose bushes. My gourds did ok, but the whole area really flooded, so they were soggy for a long time, and that cut down on the crop that survived.

It is now day 4 of rain, and while we love it, I am getting cabin fever. I have no more munchies, am tired of them, yet I cannot stop eating! Once I get back outside, it will melt in to no more muchies. Just yard work. which I love. House work has its place, in someone else's home! I need a housekeeper. TV sounds horrible, except for PBR tonight. Let's see if Big Tex wins over Bones.

Hubby got bit by a brown recluse spider last month, and we finally got rid of the staph infection, so we thought. It came back, in his elbow this time. This stuff is scary, really. The Docs gave him 2 stronger antibiotics, and if that does not work, he will go in for IV drip antibiotics. He is resting, and keeping that arm elevated.

Well, no sun kind of drains me of my mojo, so I will sign out for now. Here is to some sun, and warmer temps tomorrow!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fixin Fence and Spring Time

Good Morning my friends!

I hope this fine morning finds you all chipper, and ready for anything that comes your way! Did you set your clocks forward? Better get to it! Church will not wait for you! God sure will, but the Pastor won't!

Bo and I have been dragging the boys outside after their school work is done, and we have been ripping out 100 year old fence, to make way for progress. This is a very old tree lined fence, and it is with great dismay we are bulldozing trees. It is a fine balance with me, to tear down those trees. You cannot replace those majestic giants I argued. All I heard was "fences and trees don't mix." "I know they don't, but I will choose which ones go", I told them, they did not seem to hear me. We have all found a way to agree though. So we have started ripping out this old fence, so it does not bog down the dozer as it kills those trees. It is just the short scrubby ones that just have limbs that extend out, like old living oaks. All the tall pretty pecan trees and the oaks will stay. Limbed up of course, but they stay. The hilarity in this is when we were house shopping 3 years ago, we ran in to this house via the internet. I said no to it, because I could see, from that little picture in the ad, that the trees were too far from the house. No shade. We got here to look at the place, and they were closer than what I thought.

Now, y'all have seen old barbed wire fence I am sure. If you haven't, I feel sorry for you to have never ventured out of the city limits. I try very hard not to venture in to the city. Anyway, I also add in here my recycling tip for the day. This fence, being very old, has the most wonderful old posts, that would have out lived any fence put on them. They are made of oak, and cypress. Wonderful beauties! Well, we burned those and are recycling the wire. Just kiddin! Last year I put in a big flower garden, and I wanted it to be fenced all in rustic material. I had a few posts last year from mending parts of this fence, now I have tons! Hubby said, well, let's fix it this way, and he showed me what he meant. So, yesterday, we started on that project. We have a long line of fenced to do, but we have to do it one pasture at a time, so we can keep cattle from leaving their home turf. The interesting part will be this one line in back of our house, to keep them out of the pool. Should be a rodeo, or a shooting match.

Back to the posts. We have them cut, and now we will get to weaving them today. After a quick trip to check on the bulls and to Home Depot for some paint, and more wire to weave this fence. Paint is for rainy day inside chores.

All in all, my honey do list is getting done, with hubbies help. He does a great job at helping me with the real heavy work. Then the rest I can handle on my own. You have got to be able to do it, if your hubby works away from home for months at a time. Last year I tackled some heavy work myself, and I have a shoulder that is now paying for that heavy work. I told you previously that he does the list, when he thinks they are his idea, and I happen to leave that list laying around in the place he will read it, and then tell me he thought of this that needs to be done. Yup, next month will mark 17 years of wedded bliss. Slowly that training goes.

The lawn got mowed, the garden got plowed, the bush hogging is done. All that is needed for spring outdoor chores is weed eating, round up and moving some plants that need a new home. Of course next week will be finding me mowing again. Lawns maintenance starts early here in LA, and ends very late in the fall. I love it though. I love the fact that I can drink my coffee out on the porch the last few mornings, while I watch the purple martins check out their new digs. The white herons are down in the bayou, eating craw fish, as are the otters. Birdies are singing every where. I love spring.

Happy Spring everyone!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Lil About Family

I think I really forgot to introduce myself, and my family! My name is Sue, as indicated in my profile, had you taking the time to read it. ;) I have been married to my hubby Bo for almost 17 years now. We have two wonderful sons, Brody and Chance. We live here in Central Louisiana. Can't say we're from here, as most folks around yonder here can tell by our accent. "Y'all ain't from round here, r ya?" No, I guess our California "accents" gave us away. What accent???

We have a lil acreage here, that we call the Triple Nickel Ranch, and gathering info from my other posts, we have bucking bulls. We have always loved rodeo, and always wanted to raise bulls, so here we are. We want our pastures overflowing with bucking bull stock. We have partnered up with Rob Smets, and look forward to doing this all the rest of our days. He and his wife Carla are good people.

I have decided that in between chores and designing patterns for crafters, that I am a self professed cowgirl humorist. Lord help us all. Baxter Black ain't got nuthin on me! Well, maybe a few syndicated columns or two. I keep my hubby in stitches at times. That is when he gets to be home from work. He works for the offshore industry, and works out of the country a good part of the year. Bless his heart. I love that man.

We have a good marriage. It grows and thrives like weeds, er I mean flowers. As long as I don't hand him a honey do list. Oh Lord, I will never forget handing him his first list. He kindly (it wasn't too kindly) handed it back to me, and said, don't ever give me a honey do list again. You ladies know how well that landed in my craw. But, after we have been together so long, he does the list, it just ain't from no piece of paper. I have to work it just right, never letting him know it is a list in my noggin. Or I end up doing it myself, and he says, I would have helped you! "Yes, dear, but I wanted it done before I push up daisies" I tell him. In the back of my mind, of course. Yup. We're a pair of lovesick pups, alright.

We decided a long time ago to home school. I have decided I have learned more in the last 9 years homeschooling than I ever learned in my school years. I thought I was done with school. Sheesh. It has always made it easier on us, with them to be able to travel when we take a notion to go somewhere, without being hassled about too many sick days without doctors notes. That is all I will be sayin on that subject. That will have to be a book. I wil jus ned a gud edator wen I rite it.

We love good friends, good times spent in the fresh air, and The Good Lord. Country cookin for me. Meat and taters. Beef, it is what's for dinner and all that stuff. If the Good Lord wanted us to eat just veggies, He would not have given us those chompers in the back of our mouth for chewin a hardy chunk of steak, and warsh it down with a good ol glass of milk. Can I do one of those milk commercials fellas? I know I ain't famous, but who cares. I will actually be having a real milkstache, but it is really drippin off my chin, not a Charlie Chaplin stache.

I guess that is enough for now. I probably left a lot out, but you probably stopped readin this a few paragraphs back. Here's to keeping yer back to the wind, and yer hoss headed you down the right trail.

Blessings, Sue

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tales from the Trail

Good Morning everyone!

We finally arrived home from Texas last night at midnight. We went over to Rob's house out by Abilene, and rounded up the cattle to worm them. What an event! Bo had talked Rob in to saddling up another horse and letting me ride with the Adam and Rob. I was excited, but knew I was a total green horn at rounding up a herd! Not only that, but I have only ridden horses sporadically since meeting my hubby Bo, 18 years ago!

I knew a bit about what to do, and listened to Rob and Adam to the T, as far as I could. Hard to hear ya yelling at me in to the wind guys! ;) Rooster, the gelding I rode, knew what to do though. Thank goodness! I have always wanted to ride a cutting horse, well, I got my first taste of that! Might be thinking better on buying a cutting horse right away! It really was a treat to see Adam and Rob rope those cattle. Flying across the field, and throwing those lariats. I personally can rope, and ride, and I can even rope a calf. All of this being done while everything is standing still though. I told Bo I wished he had video taped them.

Well, I dunno how good of a job I did, but, I survived it, save for my rump roast. One thing you need to know, is that I finally know what they sell Boudreux's butt paste for, as well as that Anti Monkey Butt Powder at Tractor Supply. Making that trip to town for that now. YOUCH. I now know where the term yippy ki yi ya came from. The only thing that made those bruises, and road rash worse is driving 8 hours to get home.

We did see just how much Texas needs some rain, so I will keep saying a prayer for you all. Here's to greener pastures coming your way soon. Well, maybe not THOSE greener pastures!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good morning to all of you! It has been busy here at the Triple Nickel Ranch. In my last edition, I spoke of my hubby Bo being up at Rob's loading some young bulls to bring back home. He had stopped off at Casey and Rickey Norcutts place to buck them, and see what kind of prospects we had going. I told Bo I was getting a brand made up. It is a bar with BQ under it. If they don't buck, they get that brand. Some of these bulls were really young, but might just get that brand next time out. If you breed bucking bulls, you know what I mean! Hubby looks like he had a knock down drag out with some of them, which is just what happened! We have a few ornie ones in the bunch. One will bluff you, but the other is going over the fence with you. Lil bugger. He is 2, and huge already.

We have a bull that has been to some Enterprise and Discovery PBR events. He is doing well. We call him Soap on a Rope. Donnie Gay thought that was a funny name, and wondered who named him. Hubby did. It was appropriate. Those cowbows get hung on him, and look like soap on a rope, flopping around, hung up on him. Once our website is up and running, there will be pics. He is the bull that got this trouble started.

We sponsored a rodeo last year to have Rob come out and announce it. He is doing announcing now. He asked my husband what we really wanted to do. He told Rob, we want to get in to the bull business. We have wanted to do that for so long now. Rob sees this bull in the chutes, and gives hubby a nod. He said, that's the one. So, off we go to the races. That is Soap as we call him at home. He had Ryan Dirteater on the ground in 2 seconds at an event last year in Victoria. Every time he rides a bull this year, I always tell hubby, he didn't ride Soap last year, in a sing song tone, and a snicker. Not that I am braggin on my baby. It rally is hard to be a bull owner. What do you prefer to see, a cowboy ride your bull, or the bull win? I plead the 5th on that for now! ;)

We are headed up to Rob's to pick up some mama's and babies tomorrow. It should be an interesting day. Amusing for me.Bo and Rob are like two roosters, strutting their stuff, bickering back and forth like an old married couple. It is hilarious to hear them when they are on the phone. I just hear hubby and know they are having a boxing match. Doesn't take much to amuse me I guess. It will be a quick trip hubby says. Yeah, 8 hours there and 8 hours back. I do love it though. Nothing beats doing what you love. We were out watching the sunset a couple weeks ago. Nope, nothing like it in the world. I am blessed.

Well, kids, I will catch you on the next sunrise! Have a good day!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cowgirl Facials

I know a lot of you cowgirls know exactly where this story is going! All those romps out on the 4 wheeler fixing fences can get rough. But I used that time to go to a spa! Can you believe it? Yessiree buckaroo. If you get that speedometer up to 50 MPH and run through mud, you get the best mud facial, and for free, you get a hair restoration mud pack. Sure beats salon prices, especially when you figure in fuel in the dually to get to town, then spa prices? Sheesh, I got that done for free! There is a fabulous lip balm out there too. Cow patties. I guran dang tee you that you will not have chapped lips ever. What's the secret you say? You will never lick your lips again! ;)I tell ya, cow mud is the secret to not aging so fast! That being mud that you get only through a cow pasture. Hmm, maybe I should bottle it and sell it.

Speaking of cow pastures, do you know what a cowgirl likes most of all. That time when she gets out of the city, and takes a deep breathe, and smells the sweet smell of cow poop. She knows she is home when that fragrance wafts through her nostrils. Mmm mm. Nothing beats that but the green grass coming in for the spring, and the flowers blossoming. If you say yuck, you might be a city slicker.

The babies are hitting the ground now, of course. Nothing better then sitting on our 4 wheelers, like Bo and I did a few weeks back, watching the sun going down, and a calf being born. It is a privilege to see. The comic relief watching a baby struggle to get to his feet, and wobble, and Mama is busy drying him off, pushing and tugging. He tumbles like a drunkard, and tries again. You can just hear him say, hey, Mom, let me get my land legs, and get some chow, would ya? Poor thing!

Well, here goes another day at the Triple Nickel Ranch! Bo is currently busy picking up some young bulls over at Rob's place in Texas, and bringing them here to Louisiana. He'll make a pit stop in Emory to buck them for the first time, and see what might come of them. Feed getting hard to find, so we will bring them here for the time being. We are saying prayers for rain for y'all in Texas.

Here's to another day, and another 2 cents worth of yackin. I need to go change my muddy britches and get some chores done!

Blessings, Sue