Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oh What A Beautiful Day!

                 Awesome weather today!! The skies have cleared up, we've temporarily traded dark gray for clear blue. Thank you "mother nature". The animals are so happy they are running and jumping , acting like it's spring time! I wish, I don't like being cold and neither does the darned old 'John Deere'. 

                I have to laugh to myself when I hear all the talk about being thankful, isn't that something every one knows? Obviously not; I have always been a fan of "keep an attitude of gratitude", along with 'dream, believe, achieve'. I have been teaching those simple things to my daughters since  birth. I just thought every one did.

You thought I'd use that word ass-u-me, exactly why I don't.

              Hey I remembered to get my recipes out so I can post 'my brownie' recipe for  those awesome fudgy brownies, so I 'll post it at the end. You can just skip to the end if you don't want to hear the chatter.

               No broken pipes today, we actually left the ranch. Woo Hoo, an outing!!!    We went to the - dentist---the cowgirls needed their teeth checked  (all my critters get their teeth done--Bahahah!) I told them I could save money if they'd just let the Horse doctor check 'em out when she comes, there was no comment- wait for it-  "REAlly!! Mom!-
There it is, they always have a comment, sometimes it just takes a bit.
While they were having their dental visit I thought it was a good time to make a few calls, I called my good neighbor, Pat, seems we never get to talk anymore. I am trying not to let life get in the way of keeping in touch, for cryin' out loud she's just a ranch away. Oh well, it was great jawing with her for a while. I bet if we talked more we could solve the problems of the world!!!!  We decided it is definitely getting to be soup weather here, we look forward to that. I make lots of chicken soup through the cooler months, along with  beans and corn bread and chile of course.

I make everything homemade, on the rare occasion we eat out no one is satisfied or happy with the meal. They are spoiled. My fault I can't eat 'pre-fab' food it makes me hurt. My poor cowboy has to eat on the road a lot and lets me know about it, I can usually get him a few care packages, it just depends on where he is. He's spoiled too.

               Once we got back to the ranch vacation was over, girls went to school and I went to the sewing room. I've been working on Christmas quilts. My two cowgirls have decided they want something Christmas for their beds, so I made them quilts. Finished the quilt for one bed along with the pillows I re-covered for the living room sofa, and crocheted 12 more granny squares for another gift I'm working on. I have already finished baby blankets and a variety of crafts, I'll share with you sometime.

              I  have decided to go ahead and sell some of the sweat shirt/ jackets I've  made, they are so handy to have and every time someone sees them they want to know where to get one. I like them because you can wear a shirt under them and if you get hot you don't have to pull it over your hair, just peel it off like a jacket.  I have small, med, large, and maybe an xtra large left, let me know if your interested, (

        I am amazed how much the grass keeps growing, we mowed and cleaned the yard today, picked up the 'poop'  from those four legged kids that can't seem to go out in the pasture or elsewhere. They have to poop right where they know I'm gonna walk. I don't mind stepping in cow poop or horse poop, but dog poop- that stuff sticks to your boots and smears across the boot, cow poop and horse poop you  can walk on it and it stays where it is, but not dog poop that 's another deal. Yuk!    The only thing worse to step in is 'chicken shit', it's not poop , it's 'shit' and it will kill you. That is the slippery slimy white stuff that will send your legs into a kind of split like you never thought possible, not like I'm speaking from experience or anything......:)

        What else is going on.... Oh yeah the Annual Turkey Dinner is happening at our church next week, I'll be making 4 dozen of those 'fudgy brownies' along with 3 turkeys, my fair share along with chopping veggies for the stuffing etc. It's always a lot of work but there are plenty of people to help put it on and each year it's a successful fund raiser for the church. I think it gets every one thinking about the holidays. The official 'kick off' of the holiday season, well I actually use Halloween to get the festivities going on. Halloween means pumpkins to me and that means you get fresh pumpkin for PIE!   I put my token lighted fake wood pumpkin on the porch and a dollar store black cat with it's scary arched back, sometimes I even hang ghosts. My cowgirls just laugh and make their comments, until the' head witch' breaks out the C A N D Y!, then they are all about it.
Imagine that.

            My 'steel cowboy" is getting his share of rain and dreary cloudy days where he is, I told him it's good sleeping weather, especially since he's on night shift. I'd be bummed if it were nice weather when I had to be sleeping, it would be hard for me to do. I can sleep when it rains, And so can he. I'm just sayin'- there have been days of rain and it seems the whole ranch goes to sleep, you can see the z's floating through the air, (and hear them too). 
       Speaking of z's, funny thing, I kept waking myself up because I was snoring! I bought some of those 'breethe-right' strips- wow! I slept through the night! Here's the thing though, last night I put one on  but I woke up from snoring went to the bathroom, like most people do since their up, when I looked in the mirror as I was washing my hands- the damn thing was sticking straight up in the air on one side of my nostrels- holy crap bat man!- it made me jump- scared my self. I couldn't tell what in the hell was on my nose, a bugger from hell? NO wonder I woke myself up. 
      If my husband ever makes good on his promise  and installs cameras he'd never have to work again, the shit that happens to me is too funny, even when it hurts.

         Well let me give you my brownie recipe, been making these since junior high school, Long time ago - yea  I know.

         'Fudgy chewy brownies': (my name for them- don't over cook 'em and don't under cook 'em)
             In a medium bowl combine -1+ 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4cup baking cocoa (be sure it's baking cocoa), 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, whisk it together until it's blended and set aside.
           In a medium mixing bowl combine- 1+2/3 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup butter melted, 2 Tablespoons water, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract ( Love Mexican vanilla for this)  Mix these ingredients together until they are all incorporated (mixed well), Now add the flour and cocoa mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until they are all combined, if you use a mixer keep it on low, no need to beat this.  All of this mixture goes into a 9x12 pan that has been lightly greased. Bake it in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 18 minutes, test it with a toothpick, the center should not be gooey let it cook 5more minutes if the center is wet (batter still) toothpick should have just a little bit on it when you test it, but no be dry or your brownies will be dry. 

Yep, these are the base brownies for my "famous loaded brownies", if you ever had one you know them, if not your missing out.
I'll share that secret next time it's late and the midnight oil is 'bout burnt out.

                 Enjoyed the time, thanks for stoppin' by.

                                    "Blazin'  My  Own Trail"

                                                                         Cattle Cate

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rainy day + cattle = MUD!

          So.......... It's raining, we need the rain the ponds are all getting low.  My poor little honey bees can't swim as well as the rest of my animals, but they are survivors. The bees are busy getting ready for the cold months ahead.
                         Honey Bees are amazing creatures, I am overwhelmed at all the tasks they accomplish in a day, from the moment they hatch out of their little capsule to the day they cease their existence. I am not taking any honey from them this first season, they need 60 lbs of honey for the winter, I'll take some after the spring, I'm sure they won't mind.
 My kids laugh at me when I "suit up" but better safe than sorry. My husband, the "steel cowboy",( so called because he rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle ), doesn't and they just ignore him, he says it's because he's so calm and laid back. Well that he is, laid back , it takes a lot to ruffle his feathers.

                       I went out to the chicken yard this morning and discovered my hens were up to their 'butts' in water, too much rain all at one time, 2 inches to be exact.
The rabbits were dry and Mr. Pig was very happy with all the mud he had to 'plow' through. Plowing the mud is his favorite thing to do, besides wallowing in it. ( YAAY! for him. )

                    The steel cowboy is gone again, he travels a lot with his work, so I run this 'junky ass ranch', as we so lovingly call it.
 When we purchased this land it was in need of lots of T.L.C., there was lots of junk and scrap on the property and the fences were hanging on with a wish and a prayer. 
The place is looking lots better but it's still not exactly where we want it to be.  Time and the "Home Depot" will get it there!
 My favorite place to shop Le Home De'-po(t), the 't' is silent of course, kidding!!!
 I have to say, every time I need to make a major repair I can get what I need there and then I check the D.I.Y. channel web site for how to's. I have to give credit where credit is due.
  I don't remember everything my dad taught me, and sometimes I'm just not sure how to start or what products are available today.

                   It never fails, it's as if a text is sent, txt :"the cowboy is gone so let's aggravate the Boss Mare".
 I don't think he even got out of the state when the pipe burst! Yep, you know who had to dig that hole.
 Who?, hire someone, what??, pinch yourself!  Call the Boss-Mare, the Chief, cook, and bottle washer, and hole digger and poop scooper and....
   You get the jest of it, if it breaks I fix it. Anyway the pipe was only about 2 feet down, not deep enough. The break was at the base of the pipe, (always shut the water off first).
I told the "steel cowboy" what I was doing when he called , his answer "I knew it wasn't deep enough, just didn't have time to mess with it. That's why your water bill was so high."  He's so smart isn't he, he already knew it.
MY water bill........ ?
Now I have to go to town, a 45 minute ride, and buy pipe because of course I don't have the right size. This requires 3/4" and I have 1" PVC, imagine that!

You  have to laugh at yourself , I do that a lot but not always at that moment.

              Fixed the pipe, changed it from PVC to galvanized and dug down much deeper, where it should have been to begin with!! Amen, done? 
Turned the water on, found a leak, easy fix had to tighten the galvanized pipe more. I guess I was a little weak after all that digging. 
Check that off the 'honey do'  list, yes I own that list. I'm his honey and I get the to do the list.  
                Stopped raining, the weather guessers say there's more on the way, time to batten down the hatches as they say on a ship.
The cows are coming to the house,  must be time for their "latte's".  This is a standing joke, my ' steel-cowboy' tells every one I give my cows latte's and scones.
 No, it's more like they eat grass and snack on corn when they come up to the house. They also like the salt licks and mineral licks I buy for them, especially if they have molasses in them. Who wouldn't like that molasses lick! I think my cowgirls have sampled them, but
they'll never tell. 
Another day, not over yet though, time to 'git along little dog-gies' making cinnamon rolls today and my AWESOME- Autumn Apple cake.  I'll post the recipe so you can make them also if you'd like. I have made these recipe's since before I was a teenager. Long time ago!!

                    Funny where life will lead us if we are willing to go. I never thought I'd dump the corporate world to jump into the 'cattle business'. Big change, from suits and heels, to boots and wranglers.  ( I love red tag wrangler jeans!!)
                     Hope you'll come back and share this ride with me, I'll try not to be too cliche'. I can promise you'll share the laughter, the tears and the food. Yes, I promised I would write a cook book but I think it will be more fun to share recipe's with you on this blog.

                               BLAZE YOUR OWN TRAIL!!

                                                                 thanks for stoppin' by my friends,
                                                                                 Cattle Cate