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Sunday, January 25, 2015


Cattle ranching is hard!  Today I participated(well, sorta helped some) in getting a load of feed for the Ponderosa cattle.   We had to go to another location to get the feed.  I had this idea that in was in some sort of container and we would just put a bucket under a spout and get feed.  This assumption was wrong.
The feed was here and you had to shovel it into the buckets.  The first thing I saw was a mouse.  See that bale of hay on the left.  It was there.  It's possible there was more than one!  So after the initial sighting and some running and squealing, it was with fear in my heart that I walked over and helped set the buckets in the back of the truck.
The Ponderosa cattle are more like dogs.  They follow us if we walk around outside or drive up.  They are always hopeful that someone is going to pour a bucket of feed into their feeder.
They lined up and waited patiently while we unloaded the buckets.
The waiting paid off.
I waited in the truck.
And while the cattle/dogs were enjoying their lunch we went for a Sunday drive to admire some of the local views!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

snow and cake

The Ponderosa was covered with snow this morning.  It was pretty while it lasted but by lunch the temperature had risen enough to melt it all away.

And here's my new favorite cake made from a recipe I found on Pinterest!

Pecan Praline Cake with Butter Sauce

1 (15 0z) box Butter Pecan Cake Mix
1 (16 0z) tub Coconut Pecan Frosting
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped pecans(I left these out since there were nuts in the frosting)

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl (or your stand mixer bowl), combine all the cake ingredients except for the chopped pecans.  Don't forget to add the tub of coconut pecan frosting. That goes into the cake batter too!
Mix well then stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Pour batter into greased baking dish.

Bake for about 40 minutes.

For the sauce:
In a small pot over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter.
Pour in can of sweetened condensed milk with the melted butter and stir.
Continue to stir until heated thoroughly, then add 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
Stir again then take off heat.

Then spoon this deliciously yummy sauce over individual slices of cake.

Friday, January 23, 2015

senior citizen

Yesterday, I attended the senior lunch at our church.  I have trouble thinking of myself as part of the group, but they accept me as one of their own!
 I am the youngest one and my chronological age does place me in their group. They're lots of fun and really enjoy the fellowship of having lunch together.  After lunch we usually play a game--yesterday it was a trivial game with questions about our town.  I think I'll stay with them. . . I can still learn from their wisdom!
Here's what I took to contribute to the lunch.

Strawberry Pecan Pretzel Salad

1 cup pretzels, crushed
1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped
3⁄4 cup brown sugar
 3⁄4 cup butter, melted
2 cups strawberries, diced
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz whipped topping

 Mix together crushed pretzels, chopped pecans, brown sugar and melted butter.  Spread in a pan and bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and then break it into small
pieces. Beat together softened cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla. Fold in whipped topping.  Before serving, stir the diced strawberries and sugared pretzels and pecans into the cream cheese mixture.


January is not my favorite month.  It's cold and darkness comes so early but there's good in everything--even January.  Like. . .

Colorful sunsets

Sales--90% off is hard to walk by, I found two this week!

School holidays that let you meet one of your favorite boys for some lunch.
Neighbors who bring treats like this!

 And this past week there were a few random days that hit 60 degrees and with the sun shining brightly we were able to sit outside.

Friday, January 16, 2015

what's that shining between the trees?

I was so glad to see the sun today. . . its been gone so long.
It just makes everything better!

Little birdies are stealing Piper's dog food.  They must be very hungry.  I would feed them, but they're so messy!
These guys are messy too!

Monday, January 12, 2015


This was the first one to escape.  It was pouring rain. I got it back in--no help from Piper who is not a cow dog!  Fence had to be repaired, it was broken and a piece was missing, probably the fault of a deer.  There is always some animal around here causing trouble!

Saturday, January 10, 2015


As of today the Ponderosa is officially a cattle ranch!  A herd of fourteen.  Now if they just stay with us and we do not have to chase them. . . all will be well!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

highlights from the end of 2014

Before 2015 gets one minute older and because it is so cold I hate to leave the warmth of my chair in front of the heater, I'm going to do a little catching up and vow to stop procrastinating!

Last few weeks of 2014:
We have so much fun, I can't keep up so I'm hitting the highlights:
November 27, 2014
Thanksgiving and Tracie's  31st birthday fell on the same day so we celebrated both.

 Mom's famous layered salad and Dad's dressing.

 This year instead of the usual Thanksgiving wrestling match, there was a dance off.
Tracie and Joey left for a trip to Charleston, SC for a few days and Parker stayed on the Ponderosa with us.  We were lazy and played lots of monopoly.  There was one day that we could play outside.

Then it was on to December which went by in a whirl:
Dec 1
Christmas crafts after school at Stephanie's

 December 4
Senior Christmas Luncheon at First Christian Church

Lots of good food and fellowship with all these guys!

December 6 Christmas Market Place at the Library and Byrdstown Christmas Parade

December 17
Making Christmas Cookies with the Grands

December 20-23
We all headed for Gatlinburg for a few days of fun in the mountains.  We had fun in our cabin cooking our meals, playing games and making Christmas crafts.  We went downtown and to Dollywood.  The weather was unseasonably warm and our cabin was just right for all of us and had a terrific view.

December 24
Christmas Eve
Began the day with a breakfast at Mom and Dad's a late lunch at Uncle Sam's and then everyone got ready for Santa!

December 25
Santa brought Parker a BB gun and I cooked a Christmas Dinner for Peanut, myself, Mom and Dad and Kevin, Arthur and Sybil Crouch. Brooks and Brynn and Bailee got a visit from Santa at their home!

December 31
The Gibsons all met at Uncle Sam's for finger foods and bingo!

Now we're ready for 2015!