Two retired high school teachers from Southern California move to a 100 acre ranch in rural Northern New Mexico. Why the name? This place nickels and dimes us to death, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
It's trying to be monsoon season here at the Nickel and Dime, and in areas nearby they've even had some flash flooding with puddles, actual puddles (!) alongside the roads. Since most of the yearly moisture comes during this July and August rainy season, everyone has been hoping and praying that the rain will keep falling, but not so much that we get flooded out.
There was rain last week here at the ranch, so the grass is growing a bit and the steers think it's candy. Sadly, our creek isn't running, though, so bring on more rain!
Yesterday Ms. Pearl and I took a walk through The Enchanted Forest to see how the beavers are doing.
Here's our empty creek bed.
If you look closely at the photo below, you might be able to see Ms. Pearl exploring an area just above what Tom calls "Bridget's Bottom."
Yeah, there she is! C'mon, you goofball!
Sometimes when we're walking around I can't find her. So I'm calling, a little worried, and she just appears, usually right behind me, looking like, "Didn't you know I was here the whole time?"
You've seen the pine trees all around here, but watch where you're going because these grow here and there on the forest floor:
Prickly Pear Cactus
Nylon Hedgehog Cactus
Don't the spines on this Nylon Hedgehog cactus look like embroidery?
So here we are at the beaver dam. Not much water left, so I wonder what happens to the beavers? Do they pack up their bags and find a better place? Research is necessary.
Come on and rain some more. We want the beavers back!
What is cool, though, is a chance to see how they built the dam. That's a lot of earth moved, don't you think?
You can see that even though I have been providing fresh water in a civilized water trough for the steers, their hoof marks are visible in the mud. Don't drink that stuff, you guys!
So we have green grass, pine trees, pretty cacti, rain, an empty creek bed, missing beavers, and a chance to experience both the beauty and the sadness of nature right in our back yard.
It will sort itself out eventually. It always does.
I wanted to share a link to our Chicken River Modern Quilt Guild's (CRMQG) new blog. Linda, our secretary and communications director, is doing a good job keeping us up to date and chronicling not only what we are all about but also what our guild members are creating.
This is my modern Jacquie Gering-stye quilt in the assembly stage. I am actually almost finished with it, but decided to post the pic to get my rear in gear.
This post is from a couple of years ago but since it's Independence Day, I declare my independence and can put up an old post if I like. P.S. The flag quilt won! I still wonder how that happened.
At the First Las Vegas, the one in Northern New
Mexico, tradition runs deep, and this weekend will be the annual Fourth
of July Fiestas, a three day celebration with parades, coronation of a
Fiesta Queen, food, music, and dancing.
first Fourth of July Fiestas was in 1850, in the same main Plaza where
the festivities are still held today. That same Plaza just a little less
than four years before was where General Stephen Kearney and his troops
stood and told the stunned Las Vegas residents that they were no longer
Mexican citizens, but under the "protection" of the Army of the United
States. I am not sure they needed the U.S. to protect them, but that's
the way it went.
will be there for the first time this Saturday, to watch Ernest's
daughter Leandra dance folklorico on the Plaza stage, eat some elote
(roasted corn on the cob) from one of the street vendors, and look at
the patriotic quilts displayed in Thread Bear's window.
the quilt I made for the window display. It was a challenge requiring
us to use the patriotic flag panels and fabrics Ann had assembled in a
bag. We were allowed to use up to four additional fabrics and we had to
keep the quilt fairly small. I framed the flag panel with blue strips
and all is quilted in the ditch. I quilted along the lines for the flag
in the center.
When you look at
this quilt, sing the first verse of America the Beautiful so you can
"get it." I got the idea from a quilt by Sandra Millett I found in Quilt
magazine (Winter 2002). Hers is much bigger and way better.
you have here are "spacious skies," "amber waves of grain," "purple
mountain majesties," and a "fruited plain." If I had spent more time on
this I would have done a better job of finding appropriate fabric, but
this is what I had in my stash. That's okay. I like it anyway.
Below is the back of the quilt which I like almost as much as the front. Miss Bonnie wouldn't move.
Fourth of July barbeque needs a tasty dessert, and last summer I found a
recipe for Strawberry Icebox Cake. I took it to a barbecue at our Yurt
Neighbors' place and it was a hit!
don't have to bake it, just layer the ingredients, put it in the fridge
for 4 hours or overnight and then watch everyone pig out when they
Strawberry Icebox Cake
2 pounds of fresh strawberries
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 t vanilla
4 sleeves graham crackers (that's about 24 whole crackers)
Hershey's chocolate syrup, dark
1. Take out 4 or 5 good looking strawberries and set aside. Thinly slice the remaining strawberries.
Whip the whipping cream until it just starts to hold stiff peaks.(Stop
the mixer, lift up the beater and if the cream peaks, that's what we're
talking about here.) Add the sugar and vanilla and whip to combine.
Don't overwhip or you will have butter.
3. Spread some
whipped cream on the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking pan. Place six
graham crackers on top of the whipped cream. Lightly layer another
spoonful or two of whipped cream. Add a single layer of strawberries.
Repeat the graham cracker layer, whipped cream layer, and strawberry
layer three more times until you have four layers of graham crackers.
4. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top and drizzle a zigzag of chocolate syrup over the whipped cream.
Cover the pan with some plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at
least 4 hours. The graham crackers should have softened completely. They
are supposed to be "cake-like."
Before serving, put
the pretty strawberries you saved on top. This icebox cake is so yummy
you should encourage everyone to eat it all because if there are
leftovers in the fridge, you will find yourself spooning this strawberry
goodness out of the pan in the middle of the night.