Thursday, January 28, 2010

Surviving The Storm

It is the only thing on television today---"The Winter Storm of 2010". It has been the main topic for several days and today it finally happened. We watched in the early morning as the City was experiencing rain which eventually turned to ice and snow. We saw pictures of broken trees across cars and houses, we watched the traffic backed up on the I-40 and knew that roads were closed across the Texas Panhandle and the entire state of Oklahoma. It was a meteorologist dream, He is on the same high as a kid with a sugar rush or me with a piece of chocolate. The Storm has arrived.

I don't think one school in the State of Oklahoma had school today as they were fearful of what was coming. The weathermen have done their job. People hurried to the grocery store and to the hardwares for the things needed to help them survive. If the electricity goes off you will need lanterns, candles, maybe a generator. Truck loads of generators arrived in OK City from across the country anticipating this storm and the great sales they will make.

We (I) brought loads of wood into the house,(no garage) and hope that we will have enough if the electricity does go off. The Rancher and Son are working on the gas well that provides gas to Son's house. It is dark and I know they are cold as it is 16 degrees and the wind is blowing fierce. I pray for them to just come to our house and get warm. We check on our elderly mother who lives three miles away. She does not want to leave her house and her bed. If the drifts are too bad, we will not be able to get to her house in the morning. She assures me by phone that she is okay.

We saw dozens of utility trucks on the highways going toward where the worst of the storm is. They are coming from an area where the storm hasn't been, to help in our time of need.

It is a time for pulling together and helping each other and it is a time of worry for each other. I pray for the cattle and little animals that are out in the storm. I watched the birds at the feeders this afternoon in the shelter of the ceders and pines. I love to watch them, please God keep them safe.

The storm is expected to move out tomorrow, but it will not be over. There will be alot of work to do. Cattle to feed, fence to repair where the weight of the drifts have pulled the wires loose. When the sun comes out we will marvel at the beauty of the sunshine on the snow and the way it glistens.

My Professor Daughter told me they made Snow Ice Cream this afternoon. I had forgotten about that. Here is the recipe.

Snow Ice Cream

A very large bowl of Snow (10 Qt. Tupperware)
2 cups of sugar
Vanilla to taste
Milk to make it slushy

Mix and eat.

I remember what a treat this was when I was a child . I hope that my grandsons enjoyed it today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Storm

There is much talk the past two days of the predicted storm. It is to move into our area late Wednesday or early Thursday. It is still uncertain where the brunt of the storm shall hit but we will probably not feel the full force of it here. How can they really tell for sure where it will be?

A winter storm brings a lot of work to the ranch. I guess it brings a lot of work wherever it hits. We spend a lot of time feeding cattle and fighting the elements. Our prayer is that the power stays on. So many things depend on the electricity, that too many days without it is costly. We have water wells, our freezers, just to mention a few things.

I remember in the year of 1971 (Oh, NO, grandma's off on another story) in the last week end of February, we had one terrific storm. The afternoon was pleasant and our family was off to my sisters, just an hours drive away for a soup supper and an evening of family fun. Our children were all small so we wouldn't be staying very late. Right after supper, it began to snow a little. (a 1-2 in accummulation was predicted) We decided to play a quick game of cards before heading on home. We did not know that the storm had started in that area earlier and that it was a heavy wet snow. We loaded in our little Ford falcon with our 3 children who were 9 months, 3 and 6,and headed for home. In a few short miles, we were concerned if we would even get home. This was before cell phones and we didn't even have a CB. What were we thinking??? The snow on the highway was deep and there was no traffic. The Rancher continued on and did not dare slow down as the snow was heavier and heavier. We passed through two small towns but the rancher insisted that we go on home as we had cattle and several sows that we were farrowing out. In time we did meet some traffic as there were Regional Basketball tournaments in the area and others were trying to get to their homes. At one point, we had trouble climbing a hill out of the River valley and a load of teen age boys got out and helped us. They were a blessing from God as they did help us get on the way but we were still 20 miles from home. The Rancher drove, the kids slept and I prayed. I am sure that the Rancher was praying too.

We reached home at 3:00 a.m., 6 hours after we had left my sisters house 60 miles away. We were tired and so thankful that we had made it. Sometime later the wind started to blow and it continued to snow through the next day. When it was over, we had accummulated nearly 3 feet of snow and the drifts were higher than the eaves on our house. We had to dig our way out. The Rancher spent hours rescueing baby pigs from their pens outside and moving them into the barn. This was during the time it was snowing. He had a lot of trouble with a huge drift near the barn. When the storm was over we discovered he had been walking over the drift that covered the combine.

Many people lost a lot of cattle, and other animals during this storm, but we were blessed. It was 3 days before we could get the tractors out and try to get to the cattle. The roads were impassible so they drove through the pastures wherever they could. By the grace of God, we did not lose our power and we had telephones. Remember we did not have cell phones and I worried until the men came home. We did a lot of praying.

This storm is brought to mind every season when the weathermen start to talk about how bad it will be. The area south had already had "The Storm of 2009". We missed that one over Christmas, and I am thankful. We can always know that as long as there is December, January and February and March, there can be a big snowstorm on the plains. In one respect, we are thankful. The snow brings an abundant amount of moisture and nitrogen to the soil. So even in the storm God blesses us.

Tomorrow, I will make sure the bathtub is full of water, the wood is carried in and some water jugs are filled. The power just might go off.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Blessing

This morning I started a new Bible study, The Blessing. This touched me very much and made me wonder if I had truly blessed my own children enough with the words that they longed to hear. As I read Genesis 27 and the story of the struggle between Jacob and Esau, I had to reflect about how I treated my own children and even how my parents raised me. I know that I failed miserably but I hope that I made some effort to praise my children and to bless each one of them in their own right.

Unlike Jacob and Esau, my children will receive few worldly things. We are a family of modest means. My blessing to each of them is an introduction to Our Father in heaven and His Precious Son. I pray that God will bless them continually in all that they do and that they will walk with Him each minute of the day. I pray they will make wise choices and honor Him. This is still my prayer each morning. I pray that this is passed on through the generations of this family.

As a grandma, I can look back and see that I have learned so much. Some of it was a little late, but it is never to late to try to do better. So to my spouse, children, grandchildren, I love you and you have my blessings in what you strive to do. (it better be good)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ummmmm Good!!!!

Before I even get started on this post, I am aggrivated that I didn't take a picture of this lucious concoction that I thought up all by my self. I didn't but I am going to tell you just how good it is and how to make it.

I had the ladies from my HCE club here today. It is the beginning of a new year and we had a lot of things to talk about. We are for Family and Community and we do a lot of good things. That is another story and maybe I have posted on that before.

Anyhow, there are a lot of good cooks in this group and I wanted something different. I also wanted something with CHOCOLATE. I have been off chocolate since Christmas and thought 2 weeks was long enough. I needed a fix. I recently ate a dessert with this wonderful chocolate layer on the bottom and decided to use that for the beginning. I also wanted fruit and thought about a citrus sauce. The fruit is the healthy part (if there is one). This creation turned out pretty good but I am not sure what I am going to call it.

Maybe I will call it Marilyn's Magnificent Dessert

Choclate layer:

One Devils Food Cake Mix
3/4 cups Butter (calories, calories, calories)
1 egg

Mix together until a thick dough forms (cookie type dough) and press into a large pan. (mine was just larger that a 9X13 but a 9X13 would probably be okay.) Bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and flatten the crust out as it will rise when baking. You want it have a crust effect to put the next layer in.

Cream Cheese Filling:

8 ounces low fat cream cheese
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar
container of cool whip (I used 1- 8 oz container and about 1/3 of another for the pan I was using)

Beat this mixture until light and fluffy and put on the cooled chocolate layer. Refrigerate.

Citrus Sauce

1 cup Sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice

Mix the sugar and cornstarch and add the juices, bring to a boil while stirring. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Mixture will thicken as it cools. If it is too thick when cooled, just add a little water or more juice to get to the consistence that you like.

Fresh or frozen berries. I used blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

To assemble, Just do each piece as you put it on a serving dish or let individuals do their own thing.

Cut the cheesecake into pieces of your liking and top with the cooled citrus sauce. Top with berries. (I did not sweeten the berries.)

This was so good. And all gone. Too Bad, I wish I had thought about doing a post on it and you could see just how good it is for yourself. Try it, you'll like it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

I am Thankful

Well, I was going to ignore this completely but since I have been tagged twice, I suppose that I have to reciprocate. This is also why I don't like Facebook. I do not like to be tagged or sent anything that I have to feel like if I don't do it, something bad will happen. But there are a lot of things that I do like. It will be hard to name just 10 when God has given us so many beautiful things and we have created so many things ourselves. I will try to list a few of them.

First and foremost, I love the Lord. I know that He will take me through all of the things that I encounter and will love me dispite all of my shortfalls. It is only proper that He should be listed first.

The Rancher, He is the love of my life, He makes me laugh, He even makes me cry, but he is my sweetheart and has been for almost 48 years. Together we have raised a family built this ranch and served the Lord.

My children. Sometimes I have wondered why but through all things, thick and thin I love them and am thankful for the things that each one has taught me. My gray hairs is my helmet of shinning armor that I have acquired in raising them.

My grandchildren, they are all so smart and precious. They are the smartest kids in the world, Well, the smartest ones in my world and I just love them to pieces.

My Moms, Yes I have two of them. My mother and the Ranchers mother. Each one taught me so many things. I love them both and Thank God for them each day. It is a blessing to reach this age and still have my mothers. I am also thankful for my sisters and my brothers. I appreciate them now that I am older.

That I live where I live. I have never lived far from here, but when I came to this desolate land, I missed the tree lined river that I had grown up on. I missed TREES period. With Gods help, we have managed to grow some on this old Hill and I am thankful.

The country that I live in and that I can go to the church that I love every Sunday and even everyday if I so desire. I love my Bible Study friends and the priviledge to explore the things that were preserved and brought down through the beginning of time in His Word. Isn't it amazing.

My friends and neighbors, who encourage me, laugh with me, help and are there through thick and thin. Some have been with me since I was a girl and even if we live apart, I know that they will be there for me.

I am thankful that I can go outside on a clear day and see for 14 miles and know that all is well in the world. Thank You God for my sight even if I do wear tri-focals, and I am thankful for technology that I can hear the birds sing and the voices of my family laugh and sing, for without hearing aids, this is not always possible.

I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for those that sent this to me even if I didn't want to do it. It made me stop and think about the things that really matter.

Tonight, I am thankful for a warm house, a gas heater and an electric blanket and someone to snuggle up with in this sub zero weather.

I shall not tag anyone, as I don't know who to tag. But if you read this and care to list 10 things you are thankful for, let me know. Have a Thankful week-end.

Did You Know????

It is so dang cold outside that if you spit, it freezes the minute it hits the ground. That is not a lie. It is COLD!!! It was O degrees at 6 AM this morning. (I don't know how to do a degrees symbol, does anybody?) I am sure that you all needed to know that bit of information. The Rancher has spent hours thawing wells, hauling water breaking ice and just being aggrivated about the whole mess. Yesterday the wind chill was -17, but hey, I am thankful that I don't live in North Dakota where it was -50. Is this an indication that there really is no such thing as GLOBAL WARMING. I have doubted that all along but nobody asked my opinion. So----Who is ready for SPRING?

Spring--I love it, It is my favotite time of year, next to Fall. I just love the changes I guess, I even like the Winter and Heat of the Summer, but I do appreciate a nice gentle Spring day, when things are turning green and everything is coming to life. Which reminds me, we are having some baby calves.(Someone didn't get the bulls separated from the cows in time). We have a bottle calf as of yesterday. One more thing to do out in the cold. I feel sorry for the poor little thing all by himself trying to keep warm. He is in the chicken house to keep out of the weather. That space became available recently thanks to the preditors in our neighborhood.

And did you know that you can put anti-fungus drops in your eye and live through it? It didn't help the dry eye problem but the rancher sure learned to put his glasses on before he grabbed the bottle and plopped down on the bed for this nightly routine. After waking our visiting Nurse, who helped us with a good eye wash, we laughed and laughed. Well, anyhow, maybe he won't get toenail fungus in THAT eye. Which reminds me---

Since we live here all alone most of the time, we sometimes go about in our undies as we leave the bathroom for the bedroom. The Rancher had left the bedroom door open that adjoins the den. We think nothing of this, as the bathroom is adjacent to the bedroom. One of our older granddaughters who was quite young at the time, Yelled at Grandpa, " Grandpa, don't you know you are naked?, Put your glasses on". Turns out that was what she noticed, Grandpa didn't have his glasses on. She is the same granddaughter that chewed on her hair all of the time when she was little. One day Grandpa(who is bald) said, Honey, don't chew on your hair. Look what happens when you do that. He unbuttoned his shirt to display his very hairy belly, and little sugar pie never chewed on her hair again. She didn't want it growing out of her belly like Grandpa's. Did you know that would happen. Me neither.

And did you know that your skeleton accounts for 20% of your body wieght? (I'm very large boned)

And did you know about the plummer who's sign reads "A good flush beats a full house?"

With that I shall close.

Monday, January 4, 2010

And then there were None

The Bobcat won!! Or maybe it was the Coyote, I am not sure but yesterday the last of my chicken flock disappeared. There were only 4 and they were getting old but I enjoyed them. Two years ago when the Rancher and Son came home from town with 24 baby chicks (all pullets) I was in total shock. We had not had chickens on this Ranch for years. We still had a chicken house, feeders, waters, brooder so why not chickens? I should have known when Son, cleaned out the old coop and brought fresh straw and sand in that they were up to something. They brought a lovely assortment of 23 chicks. They argued there were 24 but one must have flew the coop before they got home as I only had 23.

I enjoyed watching them grow and loved the beautiful brown eggs that they produced. They grandchildren ran for the chicken house everytime they thought of it to bring in the fresh eggs. For awhile there were more than we could all use. I gave them away, as I wanted to share the gift of abundance that the Lord had provided. Alas, that will be no more. I had to buy eggs before Thanksgiving and was shocked at what they cost. Now I will be planning on getting a new flock of chicks in the Spring and building a more sturdy fence.

The Bobcats, racoon, and Coyotes all were the ruin of my little flock. No matter the time of day, they were not afraid to approach in the shelter belt and pick out their favorite meal. They even devoured my last guina fowl. Not all of them escaped the traps that the Rancher and I set out but some are very sly and returned time and again.

Maybe if I don't get more chicks, I can talk The Rancher into going on more little trips in the 5th wheel. After all I won't have so many chores. Never mind---He informed me that He didn't get rid of the Cows. One can always dream-----