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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Texture Tuesday - Glass Blowing

Last Tuesday was That Special Aunt's Birthday!
Amazing Cake!!

For her birthday, six of us took a glass blowing class.
 Gather the glass on the rod.
 Flatten the first gather on the table.
 After the second gather, dip the molten glass into the first color glass.
The first color will be your base color.
 Move along to the second color.
Tilt the rod up and push the molten glass into the color as you turn.
This color will be your highlight.
 So many colors to choose from!
 Fire the colors into the molten glass.
Take a deep breath and blow.
It is much harder than you think.
 Just a little bit more.
Our completed products

Aren't they beautiful!?!
It was a perfect day!

If you are in Oklahoma,
You should check out

Rancher Girl


Monday, November 26, 2018

Moo Cow Monday ~ The Places We Go

It started as a typical Thanksgiving weekend.
Trucks break down.
Spend 4 hours on the phone to get the lifetime warranty, of the part, provided.
Tractor won't start.
It might need new batteries.
Covered up in work, chores, and repair.
It's just our life!

For the past several years,
We have always tried to do some Black Friday Shopping
We normally sell cattle in November,
So it just makes since to replace a few or add to the herd.

Daddy always said "Grow slow! Don't get in over your head!"

Most of the weekend, when we weren't working on things,
We were, on our phones or the computer, searching for the perfect deal!

It was late Saturday evening.
Well, it was dark anyway.
It could have been 5:30PM.
We found it!

Flower Boy made the call.

Sunday morning, we were off!
Flower Boy
And Princess Sheba 
We never leave home without her!

Snacks were packed.
Some were purchased!
 We all had our favorite!
Sweet Tea and Chicharrones for Flower Boy.
Beef Sticks for Princess Sheba.
Frosted Mini Wheat's and Dots Pretzels for myself!

We had decided to take back roads.
You know, the highways from yesteryear.
Those that are less traveled.
We had nothing but time, 
As we normally consider these type of trips

We even have a road trip CD!
If you follow us on social media,
You know what we sing!

We hadn't driven 30 miles, and saw this!
Just a herd of horses and donkeys out for a Sunday Stroll.
They were prancing, down the highway, like they were on a road trip too!

We entered towns named

We passed places like
Stubby's Way
A fueling station that didn't have a store or a clerk.
Ma and Pa's Store where they sold antiques and plumbing.

We even found an old military fort!
Fort Washita
It's the fort that protected the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations from the Plains Indians.
The post was abandoned by Federal Forces during the Civil War.
Confederate Troops burned the structures at the end of the war.
Fort Washita will be a place we re-visit!

As we were making the final leg, of our journey, towards the Red River,
We came upon this!

I got a bit nervous!
Can you see the curve in the road?
That one, just past the bridge?

You see, we were pulling a 32 foot trailer!
The truck and trailer are almost 45 feet long, in total.

Flower Boy made the curve with ease!

The places we go!

Within two hours, of arriving at our destination, 
We made out picks, loaded, and headed back home.
It was a quick trip.
The back roads of Oklahoma never disappoint!

Rancher Girl

PS.  It was too dark for cattle photos. :-)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

8 Years...

8 years... 
In April, our journey began.  
It started with nosebleeds and not feeling well.
You knew.
I did not.

8 years...
In August, you arrived at my door.
You handed me a package.
"This is not the way I want it, but you will do what needs to be done."
It was a secret you asked me to keep.
You knew.
I did not.

8 years...
The day after the package delivery.
I received a phone call.
"Your dad has collapsed!"
I rushed to your house.
I got you in my car.
I made the quick decision to drive you to the local hospital.
I knew had I driven you to the larger one, they wouldn't send us to the big city.
My decision was the correct one.
Within the hour, you were loaded into the ambulance and we were off.
Your driver was one of your life long friend's son.
He told me "Put your flashers on and stay right behind me!"
I had a 1/4 tank of fuel in my car...
(I never told you that)

We arrived at Mercy.
I parked the car.
I followed you into the Emergency Room.
The nurses and doctors flooded me with questions and paperwork.
I provided all the answers.
I was your primary caregiver.
I still didn't know.

8 years...
That very night, I slept in your Trauma ICU room.
The nurses never questioned your request.
They brought me a bed.
They placed it next to yours.
I even got heated blankets.
I didn't sleep.
You knew.

8 years...
That week, Aunt Lois called.
"Your Uncle Jim is headed down with the motor home."
I spent time in there, but most of my time was in the Trauma ICU next to you.
Aunt Lois knew.
I did not.

8 years...
Almost a week in the Trauma ICU.
You asked for my help.
You told me to go buy a notebook.
(I still have it.)
I was scared and said "I'm not ready! I need more time!"
You assured me "By the Grace of God, you will be ready."
You knew.
I did not.

8 years...
I cried.
Although, I didn't like horses,
"I climbed on the horse and prepared for the ride."
We both knew.
(By the way, I have a horse now.)

8 years...
Over the course of 3 months, you were in and out of Oklahoma Heart Hospital.
I knew your nurses by name.
They even reserved me meals.
I spoke regularly with your team of doctors.
They even called me on the phone.
It would be early morning, middle of the day, and even into the night.
I would walk into the hospital and open your room door.
We would talk.
You would sleep.
I would write your requests, my wishes and prayers, and our plans for the future.
I made promises.
You asked me to keep things to myself.
I knew.

8 years...
I was running 5K's.
I ran from a pain I didn't understand.
I ran for a cause.
I hated Congestive Heart Failure like most people hate Cancer.
I ran for peace.
I ran for comfort.
I ran to breathe.
I ran to clear my mind.
I ran to know.

8 years...
It was a Friday.
After procedures, too many to count, we made the decision for a final surgery.
Your doctors discussed the risk.
You were told "If we move you over to the by-pass, there is a 90% chance we can't bring you back."
You agreed to move forward with the surgery.
I spent the entire night with you.
We finalized the notebook.
I made you one last promise.
"No more than 24 hours"
You asked me not to cry.
I was ready.
I knew.

8 years...
Over the weekend, I had words with the boys.
I attempted to let everyone know.
Your team of surgeons flew in from across the nation.
You and I knew.
They did not.

8 years...
Monday came.
It was surgery day.
You gave me my last physical kiss.
I told you "I LOVE YOU!"
You responded "You're ready! I LOVE YOU!"
We knew.

8 years...
A nurse stepped into the waiting room.
She stood there and said "Things are going well.  The doctors had to put him on the by-pass machine. It will be a few more hours."
I got up.
I walked around the hospital.
I knew.

8 years...
That night, I spent another night by your side.
The nurses provided me with comfort and warm blankets.
They never said a word.
They just did their job, injected meds, hung bags, and watched monitors and pumps.
I stood next to you all night.
I prayed and asked for more time.
I heard God say "You are ready, just hand me the reins."
I stomped my foot!
"Dammit, Daddy! Fight!"
You tried.
The nurse asked me to continue to encourage you. 
You couldn't speak, but your eyes told me.
I knew.

8 years...
It was a Tuesday morning.
I had my package and the notebook in hand.
The time had come, for me, to fulfill my final promise, to you.
I gathered our family.
I explained your wish and my promise.
I had to do this last thing.
I promised.
I knew.

8 years...
The kids and Yo stood beside me.
I knew they couldn't watch.
Yo was tucked behind my left arm.
One by one, the nurse turned off each iv pump.
The doctor talked us through each and every action taken.
I didn't cry.
The Big Kids moved Drewman towards the window.
I grabbed the suction.
My promise was kept.
I cared for you until the very end.
I knew.

8 years later...
I will return to the spot I go to often.
(I will have to take my poncho.  It's raining here.)
I will cry.
It will be brutal.
It will be ugly.
It will be raw.
I will be vulnerable.
I will be at peace.
Jeffrey will be waiting for my return.
He will hug me.
I will breathe.
I know.

8 years later...
The sun will rise.
I will move forward.
I know.

"Grief never ends...
But it changes.
It's a passage,
Not a place to stay.
Grief is not a sign of weakness,
Nor a lack of Faith...
It is the price of love."

Rancher Girl

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Special Project

It all started with a late night text, from Miss B's Mommy.
"I'm on the hunt for someone to build me two wooden sawhorses."

My reply
"Sawhorses?  Paw says send photos."

Soon followed this photo.

This put Paw into action!

The next day he was searching the shed for 2x4's, plywood, and trim.
Several texts back and forth as to size, height, and other specifics.
All materials were left over from the house build.
Paw was happy to provide the service, make some space in the shed, and use up some of the materials.
Mommy asked for rustic, but clean lines with a farmhouse feel.

And so the project began...

One sawhorse complete....
 And another...

Ready for paint...
Bright white, no doubt!

Now for the top!

Add some trim.

Don't forget the mark!

Paw branded the underside.
Mommy will be using the table for events not Rockin' B Ranch related.
The table had to have the brand!
It is who WE are!

Now on to the completed project.

Paw was a bit concerned about the use of the reclaimed lumber.
He had worries about the nail holes and nicks in the 2x4's, but Mommy was thrilled with the results.

The entire project was for Miss B's 2nd Birthday.

Her party was a farm party.
Very fitting for the 6th generation of The Rockin' B!
Mommy and Daddy made all the food, the cakeballs, and arranged the beautiful flowers.

The Birthday Cake!

We even hatched chicks for the party.

Happy Birthday Miss B!
Paw would rope the moon for you!
You hold our hearts, Baby Girl!

Rancher Girl

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Temperature Blanket

Many have requested I provide details on my 2018 Temperature Blanket project.

It all started with my frustration of social media, namely Facebook.
I can no longer scroll mindlessly through a list of lies, political views, hate, judgement, and drama.
I will, however, continue to post on the Rockin' B Ranch page and do my best to update Drew's EGGcelent Eggs and A Building We Shall Go's Facebook pages.
As for my personal page, no offense to my friends and family, but...

I needed to find a project.
The type of project that wouldn't consume me, but could be lasting and productive.
I spent many hours searching, pinning, and debating.
Finally, I settled on crocheting a temperature blanket.

I, first, had to pick colors and set a temperature scale.
I chose to use colors close to the forecast temperature scale that Flower Boy looks at each day.

Then off I went to the local Walmart!
I didn't want to invest a large sum of dollars into this project, because I have only crocheted a small square in my entire life!
I am totally a beginner!

Once I picked my colors, I made a temperature key.
Note that we live in Oklahoma, and it rarely gets below 10 degrees.
Also note that I haven't chosen a color for 110+ degrees.
I think I've got a bit of time to decide that one.
I also added a white yarn for days that there might be snow, and the black yarn that separates the months of the year.

My plan was to crochet one row per day, with the color that corresponds with the high temperature in our area.
The temperature was an easy find.
We live within miles of a very busy airport that has two commercial flights per day, therefore they have the official weather for our area.
I just log onto the website and log down the high temperature.
I keep a log, of the temperature, because one never knows if I will get to crochet every evening.
Life happens!
Having one row per day, allows me to catch up on a weekend if I happen to not be able to crochet during the week.
You get the gist.

Here is where things get balled up!
(see what I did there... balled up... yarn ball...)
Ok...  Maybe I'm not as funny as I think. ;-)

Off I go...
Making my single chain stitch, taught by Grandma B, 4 years ago, February 1, 2014.
I'm rolling along, adding row 2 of black for the start of the year.
Then I add row 3 for January 1.
Row 4
Row 5
Row 6
Row 7
Row 8
Row 9
Row 10
Row 11
Row 12
Houston....  We have a problem!

I have produced a ruffle!
Anyone that knows me, knows I do not do ruffles and lace.
I am not a girly girl!
I am a Rancher Girl!

I reach out to My Sissy!
My exact text, followed by the above photo...
"Grandma would be so disappointed!"

You see...
My Sissy and I had a crochet lesson, with Grandma B, in her final days here on earth.
You can read about it here.

My Sissy is much more attentive, to these type of things, than I am.
I am not a girly girl.
I am a Rancher Girl!

Not that I didn't love the lesson, I just may not have paid attention to detail like I should have.
Had this been a lesson on animals or outdoor life, I would have rocked it!

My Sissy paid so much attention, that she has gone on to produce beautiful crochet pieces and even teaches classes to her high school students.
She is a professional!

Of course, the encouraging sister I have, she quickly called me.
"What's going on?"
"What are you trying to do?"
"Don't get discouraged."
"Don't rip it out!"
"Did you count your stitches?"

What?! Wait?! I was suppose to count stitches???

After a very long conversation, she coached me through my options and I moved forward.

She will read this for the first time, because when she checked on me the next week, I didn't tell her what I did...
NO!  I did not tear it out and start a new.

I couldn't get the ruffle out of the bottom, of the first attempt, SO I am now making two blankets!

The person who has never, in her life, crocheted, has no clue what she is doing, and barley has the time to insert projects into her schedule, is NOW MAKING TWO BLANKETS!
"How bad can it be to just make another?  It's just one row per day!"
I said to myself.
"His and Hers?"
"Well you are in too deep now, so suck it up and get it done!"

I am happy to say, I have completed the month of January!
I even did it on January 31!
Plus, I got the two rows of black in, to start the month of February, for the next day!

Keep in mind, these blankets are not going to fit our king size bed, like I had in my original plan.
They will be the size, for a Maw and a Paw, to curl up with, in their chairs, while watching an evening of television.
They might even be large enough, for grand children, to build living room forts or even play peek-a-boo!
They will be perfect, regardless of my stitching ability!

The project hasn't been overwhelming.
I have enjoyed stitching each evening.
It has produced a new "Me Time", reflection, and growth.

I will post updates on my Instagram page, if you want to follow along.
(There is no drama there, and I rather enjoy catching up with fellow ranch folks, our family, and the like.)

I am excited to see my progression throughout the months.
I think I will get better each month too.

Side note...
Drewman thinks I have become a hippy!
Now crochet!

Rancher Girl

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Call Me Weird

Hey There!
Yes, it has been forever!
I won't apologize, but will try to do better.

I haven't shared much with anyone over this past year or so.
Flower Boy has had some stomach issues, after months and a few changes, he is much better.

I thought I would share some of what we are doing.
Or should I say attempting....

You all know my way of "The Simple Life".
I cook at home.
I prepare at home.
I bake at home.
I can at home.
I jell at home.
I am now brewing at home!

I am not brewing beer or wine.

Although, I would like to attempt to brew wine.
My granddad use to brew wine.
I remember opening his closet door to look at the size/inflation of the bouncy balloon, on the top of the brew bottle.

You know the bouncy balloons I am speaking of?
The ones your grandma use to buy you at the Five and Dime Store.
They were the thick rubber type that had the ball/teat on one end.
A rubberband was attached to the ball/teat.
When she blew up the balloon, you would walk around all day popping that rubberband against the balloon, aiming for your siblings head, arm, or any part of their body you could hit.
It was the simplest form of entertainment!

Back to brewing...
I am brewing Kombucha.
Kombucha is a fermented tea.
It has been consumed for thousands of years.
It is a rich source of probiotics and contains tons of antioxidants.
All in an effort to produce a healthy gut!
The bacteria in Kombucha can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation, and even weight loss.
Just search it.
I've added a link.
Click here....

I have been reading, researching, and wanting to brew for sometime now.
I have been drinking Kombucha for years.
It isn't expensive, but I wasn't so sure the stuff you buy, in the stores, really provide the benefits of the home brew.    

I ordered a Kombucha Scoby a few weeks ago and started a batch soon after it arrived.
It was so easy!
All I did was steep some strong black tea, add water, sugar, and white vinegar, place the tea in a gallon size canning jar, add the scoby, cover with a coffee filter, put a rubberband around the top, and place the container in the hot water closet.
That last step reminded me of my granddad!
The batch should be ready in a day or so.
I will test it this evening.
I can't wait to try the fizzy sweetened effervescents of my brew! 

When the brew is finished, I will place it in individual bottles and refrigerate.

There is a second brew option too.
It is adding flavor.
I will have to do more research on this, before trying it, but I think I will add sand plum as my first flavor!

Sand plums are a small plum grown wild in our area and are much sought after for by local jelly and wine makers.
I however have the competition of the cattle to contend with, when these little cherry sized beauties are ripening on the bush.
If I don't beat the cattle to the sand plum bushes, each year, my family goes without jelly!

Speaking of jelly...
This year, I made enough jelly to share with coworkers, as well as family and friends.
Don't worry, if you haven't gotten yours and you know you were on the list, you will receive it soon.

One of my coworkers, with whom I provided jelly, knew about Flower Boy's tummy issues.
She and I have spoken about my Kombucha brewing.
She brews sauerkraut!
Today, she brought me a sample.
Call me weird, but I can't wait to sample it!

Rancher Girl