Hand Work and a Give Away!

Hi everyone! I’m going to be on the road today, traveling in the first time in forever, on my way to meet my new granddaughter. I’m excited beyond words.

It’s very possible that due to travel, etc, I may not be able to answer comments in a timely fashion, so I am doing a give away, which I will explain at the end of the post.

I love handwork and I have to have something to do while I watch television or I go a little nuts. Guess what? Handwork and new grandbabies go hand in hand, so I thought I’d show you my work in progress and a few things I’ve made that I’ll be taking along with me for the visit.

First of all, I am not a quilter. I love sewing, but piecing is difficult for me. I’ve accepted that I’m not a quilter and moved on; however, I’ve made an exception for my little granddaughter, because she really needs this kitty quilt when she’s a little older. These blocks are fresh off the embroidery hoop after hand embroidering the faces. Embroidery is also not my thing, but this was kind of fun.

 

I plan on hand quilting it, learning as I go. I figure grandbabies are probably pretty forgiving of newbie errors, right?

I smocked several items when my daughter was a baby and toddler, using the gathered dot method. I pulled out one of the patterns I’d used for her and smocked this little dress and bonnet. I love to smock. I almost bought a smocking machine on eBay, then decided that I wouldn’t use it enough, so I’m sticking with the dots.

And I tried my hand at knitting. I enjoy knitting, but I’m by no means a master. I found my first stabs at intarsia knitting to be challenging, so hats off to those who can do it! Intarsia is done with the different colors wound onto bobbins and dropped and added as needed. Imagine, if you will, the half-finished penguin sweater with probably 10 bobbins hanging from the back, in the mouth of my Aussie puppy who is racing around the room with her new prize. It was an adventure getting it back onto the needles.

Having learned my lesson about intarsia, I knit this sweater first with no pattern on it, then used duplicate stitches to embroider the flamingo and foliage after I was done. Much easier!

And now the give away. I’m offering a $15 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky responder. To be eligible, tell me what you like to do in your free time. It doesn’t have to be handwork. 🙂 The randomly chosen winner will be announced on Saturday.

Best wishes,

Jeannie

 

Camels in the Old West

Having lived in Nevada for almost half of my life, I was very aware of the brief role camels played in Virginia City and Austin during the mining days, hauling salt and ore. What I hadn’t known was that camel-power had been experimented with many times over the course of US history. So I offer to you, a brief Camel’s in the west timeline.

First of all, camels are native to North American and spread to Asia via the Siberian Land Bridge during the ice age. Camels died out in North America, but thrived in the Old World where they were domesticated.

Camels have a metabolism and specialized body-cooling system that allows them to go days without water, and they eat vegetation that other animals pass up. They can haul large loads. A mule can pack 300 pounds, but a dromedary camel (one hump) can haul 600 pounds. They can lose 40% of their bodyweight without upsetting the fluid balance in their blood, and they can drink 25 gallons of water in one visit to the trough.

Camels first came (back) to North America is 1701 when a sea captain brought a pair to Salem, Massachusetts and displayed them as a curiosity.

In 1836, US Army Major George George H. Crossman suggested to Congress that they explore the use of camels in desert environments. In the late 1840s Major Henry Wayne believed that camels were better suited to the conditions of the American Southwest than horses and mules, due to their ability to go without water and to forage where other animals could not. He made a formal request to the War Department to import camels for the purpose of developing a camel cavalry.

Eventually, in the mid  1850’s Congress provided $30,000 for the purchase of 50 camels, and the hiring of 10 camel drivers. Major Wayne traveled to the eastern Mediterranean via a Navy ship, where he investigated the camel markets of Egypt.  He eventually bought 33 animals, 32 of which survived the sea voyage to Texas. Forty-one more camels arrived in Texas in 1857.

Camels were stronger and had more endurance than horses and mules, and were used for various purposes, such as packing and road building, but horse traders feared that camels would put them out of business. Horses hated camels and anti-camel sentiment grew in Texas. When the Civil War broke out, the Texas camels purchased by the US Military were seized by the confederacy.

Camels that were used for military purposes in western forts were abandoned during the war as the troops moved east to fight the war. The camels scattered and became feral.

After the Civil War, camels were used to haul ore and salt in western mining areas, such as the Comstock in Nevada, and the Silver King in Arizona. The one drawback to camels was that their feet were suited to sand and soft earth, not the rocky paths near mining areas.

In 1875, Nevada made camel traffic illegal on roads due to the fact that camels frightened horses. This ended the use of camels in the mining areas. The animals were either set free or sold to circuses.

In the early1960s, a spoof article in a Nevada newspaper, The Territorial Enterprise, touted the results of a fictitious camel race in Virginia City. The editor of the San Francisco Chronicle reprinted the article believing it was genuine. The next year when the Territorial Enterprise once again mentioned an upcoming camel race, the editor of the Chronicle informed the editor of the Nevada newspaper that they were sending a team to compete. The camel races were born. Director John Huston won the first camel race on a camel borrowed from the San Francisco zoo. The tradition continues to this day.

A New Pup in Town

Greetings everyone!

Today I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our family–Zoey. After our Belgian Malinois passed over the rainbow bridge over a year ago, we decided that we were fine with just one dog, our rescue Aussie, Kimmy. Life was simpler with one dog, right? It was, until last summer when my husband said, out of the blue, “I think it’s time to look for a puppy.” I did not disagree. 🙂 Enter Zoey. She’s really kept us on our toes for the last four months and it’s been a joy watching her grow from lively puppy into a young lady dog. I hope you enjoy the photos.

I don’t know what happened to the Christmas tree.

Do you have a pet? If so, I’d love to hear about him or her.

Best!

Jeannie

 

 

Jeannie Watt has a Winner

Thank you everyone for the wonderful puzzle captions. It was so hard to pick just one winner, but that winner is Laini with “We have company. Brace yourself.” I know this feeling. 🙂

Laini, please contact me at jeanniewrites @ gmail.com and I’ll get the Amazon gift card headed your way.

 

A Day on the Ranch

I love the winter when the cows and horses are on pasture and daily feeding isn’t a thing, unless the snow gets too deep. We’ve had very little snow this year, although February may have something up its sleeve–it did the last time we had a snowless January. But despite being snowless, it’s been cold at night–this is what a stock waterer looks like when it breaks and no one notices until it’s too late.

Anyway, today we moved the cattle off the big winter pasture onto the smaller pasture. It started off cold, 2 degrees F, so I dressed appropriately. Without the mask, the cheeks burn. When its really cold we wear snowmobile goggles, too. 

Of course the cattle were scattered over a large area on the far side of the acreage. Really scattered. So instead of taking the side by side and attempting to herd them, we decided to try the old Pied Piper routine. We loaded a bale of hay in the bucket of the tractor and headed off across the field to see if we could lure them in. My stepfather has no luck doing this, but we decided to give it a go, even though it meant crossing a big field at approximately 5 miles per hour.  The tractor has a heater and the side by side does not.

The cows recalled that the tractor means food, and came to see what was on the menu. It was grass hay, not their preferred rich alfalfa, but they decided it was worth trying to get a bite. We let them have one little taste, then headed for home. Thankfully, they followed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is 5X, our lead cow. Where she goes, so goes the herd, and thankfully, she wanted the hay–even if it was substandard. She walked beside my window the entire way back to the ranch.

After we got the animals in, we had to give shots to the heifers, then turn everyone out onto the new pasture.

And here are my parents, taking their daily walk across the field with the horses, now the lone occupants of  160 acres, drifting behind them.

It was a good day on the ranch.

 

Easy Tex Mex Baked Eggs

Holiday Greetings!

I don’t know about you, but when I have a houseful of guests, I love to cook, but three meals a day gets a tad overwhelming. That’s why I love this recipe. It’s quick and easy, and I get rave reviews, even from people who don’t think of themselves as Tex Mex folk.

Here we go:

6 large eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream (I cheat and use half and half)

1 cup of grated cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 4 oz. can mild diced chilies

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or butter a shallow baking pan. I often use a 9×9 brownie pan. In this case I used my fancy pan.

In a medium size bowl, beat the eggs. Mix in cream, salt and pepper.

Add chilies to egg mixture.

Spread the cheese in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour egg mixture over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until eggs are set. (Living at altitude, it always takes longer where I live–usually between 35-40 minutes. Keep an eye on it.)

Broil the top if you want more browning.

Serves 6.

I’ve doubled the recipe and cooked it in a larger pan quite successfully, because funny thing–in our house, this only serves 4. Hmmm…

We always top the eggs with hot sauce or salsa and serve with bacon or ham. 

Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2021!

Cheers,

Jeannie

A Thanksgiving Timeline

The Pilgrims are credited for starting the tradition of Thanksgiving in 1621, but how did it become a national holiday?

What follows is a quick timeline of the evolution of Thanksgiving from a tradition to being an official holiday celebrated on a specific date.

*November 23, 1775 – The Revolutionary War was seven months old, and patriots in Boston called for a “Day of Public Thanksgiving to be held in the colony of Massachusetts to celebrate their “Rights and Privileges” despite the attempts of their “barbarous Enemies” to deprive them of such.” It was a very anti-British celebration.

*December 18, 1777 – The war was still going strong, but to celebrate the victory of American Continental forces in the Battle of Saratoga, General George Washington called for Thursday, December 18 to be a day in which to engage in “Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise.” For the first time, all thirteen colonies participated.

*In 1879, President Washington called for a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Congress agreed, but did not declare an official holiday.

Thomas Jefferson, our third president, believed that a Thanksgiving holiday was a violation of the separation of church and state, so there was no official day of thanksgiving between 1815 and 1863.

*In 1846 Sarah Josephina Hale, the editor of Gody’s Lady’s Book, began a 17-year letter writing campaign in support of an official national Thanksgiving holiday. In September of 1863, she wrote to Abraham Lincoln, imploring him to set an official day for thanksgiving.

*October 3, 1863 – President Lincoln, in a bid to heal a the nation during the Civil War, announced: ”I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States…to set apart and observe he last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”  

Lincoln proclaimed that the official Thanksgiving day would be the last Thursday in November. Sarah Josephina Hale was 74 years old, but lived to see the official holiday she’d fought so hard for.

*In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt, by executive order, moved the holiday to the third Thursday in November, in order to allow more shopping days until Christmas. (Thanksgiving fell on November 30 that year.) The new holiday was called Franksgiving by those who were opposed. There was such an outcry that Congress officially moved Thanksgiving back to the fourth Thursday of November, where it remains today.

Please everyone, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Best wishes,

Jeannie

Jeannie Watt has a Winner!

I so enjoyed reading about where you love to spend your holidays and I’m pleased to announce that the winner of the Holly Jolly Christmas mug is Abigail

Abigail, please contact me at jeanniewrites @ gmail . com with your mailing address and I’ll send the mug out in time to have a Holly Jolly Christmas!