September News:

Thursday, September 30 - Picking Pears - This morning the Phipps family met us at our neighbor's house and we all picked pears. Betty, my neighbor said to get all we wanted because she had been busy putting up preserves and pear honey and had all she wanted. She has a large, beautiful tree and it was especially loaded with big, big pears this year after all the good rains we've had.

Cim and Grant are on the ladders, everyone else picked the lower ones.

Elaine in her red top makes a nice contrast to the green pears.

Nathan had to go to Floydada to the bank today. He brought back pumpkins to go with our pears.

Here are the pears all spread out on newspapers on our school table to ripen. I wish the pear fairy would come by tonight and peel all of these.

Another Snake? - Stockton found this snake by the cattle guard while he and Aspen were taking a walk. It looks a lot like our "Miss Hiss" that we had this summer and which escaped. It might be her or it might be a different one. They had fun holding her and then let her go. We decided it might be hard to find frogs to feed her with winter coming on. Maybe we'll catch her again next spring. Like "Miss Hiss" this is a western hognose snake.


Wednesday, September 29 - Monarchs - We had some visitors in our front yard this morning. Several brightly-colored monarch butterflies were fluttering around our live oak tree. I guess they're passing through on their annual migration south.

Tuesday, September 28 - A Fair Prospect - We made our annual trek to the South Plains Fair today. Stockton and Carolina had lots of fun riding rides and seeing the sights with Hannah. We enjoyed our visit with Sunny, Jim and Granny. We also ran into the Machas and Jerrod Campbell!

One does see a lot of bright colors at the fair!

I've never had a midway employee insert himself into a picture before.

The merry-go-round is always first!

The children's barn yard. It just doesn't thrill my kids for some reason.

The slide at the bottom of the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" climbing ride.

Stockton really wanted to ride the airplanes this time.

Our little raiders atop the climbing ride.

This was new, the "Iceberg Challenge".

This may have been Stockton's last ride on the merry-go-round.

He said he was getting too big for it.

A really big watermelon.

The macha girls, Sarah and Johanna, have lunch at our table.

Jerrod Campbell was at the fair taking pictures.


Monday, September 27 - Historic Building Burns - We got sad news this morning that a favorite place of ours, Fort Washita, in Oklahoma, between Madill and Durant, had a mysterious fire early Sunday morning. The beautiful, restored barracks burned to the ground before any crews could get there to stop it. No one knows yet what caused the fire. Our reenactment group met here and stayed in this very building every December for a fun weekend. It was a lovely building with all wood floors and dramatic rock fireplaces.

This picture of the structure engulfed in flames was posted on a news website.

A video of the news story can be seen here.

Here's how it looked last December when we were all there having fun.

A few pictures from years past of the kids playing around the lost building.

It kind of feels as if I've lost a home.


Sunday, September 26 - Return of the Hunters! - We all waited anxiously last night for the men to return from Colorado. Poor Carolina got so sleepy she made herself a bed by the front door.

When they got home it was a little after 11:00. We had to hear all about it and see all the pictures. It was late before everyone finally got in bed. Here's a good selection of some of the many beautiful pictures that they took.

Here's the little stream I mentioned in an earlier post where Stockton caught several brook trout.


Nathan and Stockton ride to the top of the mountain one day.

Apparently, these are about the only clothes Stockton wore all week. He brought home a suitcase full of clean clothes.

The aspen trees were turning while they were there.

This lake was at the top of the mountain range.

Cimarron in his element.

Laredo on top of the world.


Saturday, September 25 - Girls Get-Together - The Phipps ladies, from Turkey (Regina, Desarae and Elaine) invited us to come over this afternoon to watch a chick flick and visit. We watched a 4-hour chick flick, consumed lots of goodies and had a great time. Their guys were camping out at the Caprock Canyon State park in nearby Quitaque--well, not all their guys---Three-year-old Josiah was there and kept us all in stitches! Our guys are headed home from their week-long Colorado hunt.

Josiah, Carolina and Elaine having fun outside.

Aspen, Atlanta and Desarae enjoying the movie. (BBC Wives & Daughters)


Early Morning Bloom - A beautiful echinacea bloom caught my eye this morning. The symmetry is amazing, don't you think?


Thursday, September 23 - Packing Up Princess Peach Dresses - Atlanta finished the three dresses today. Tonight she packaged them up to ship in tomorrow's mail. One to Georgia, one to Illinois and one to Canada. Don't you know the little girls who receive these will be so excited?

Rainbow, but no Rain - We had high hopes that all of today's cloud cover and cool temperatures would bring us a nice shower or two, but we were disappointed. However, we did enjoy this beautiful rainbow this evening.

While out walking, taking pictures of the rainbow, I couldn't resist snapping a picture of these happy sunflowers.

Another breathtaking sunset.

News from the Hunters - This morning we got a call from Nathan's Dad (Ronnie) and Stockton who had left the mountain and gone down into Chama, NM to the grocery store. Stockton sounded like he was having the time of his life. Nathan had taken him on a trail ride, Laredo had taken him on a hike where they followed a stream until they found where it had come out of the mountain and he had even gone fishing. In fact, when he excitedly told me about the stream running through their campsite, he said, "I caught half a fish"! I asked him what he meant. He said he was holding half the pole and Nathan was holding half the pole!

Ronnie said they spent a miserable day yesterday as it rained all day. The weather shows that the rest of the week will be sunny and nice.

I got on google earth and copied these pictures off the satellite shots. It's interesting to see the area where they are. Chris said they were going to Trujilla Meadows area of Colorado. You can see from the pictures that they are not very far from Chama, New Mexico, just north of there across the border into Colorado.

I couldn't get the satellite to clear up any further. I don't know why the white haze is there.

Here's a close-up of the Truilla Meadows area. Today Ronnie said the guys were going up higher to try and get a shot at some elk they had seen Tuesday.


Pink, Pink, Everywhere! - Atlanta got a shipment of light and dark pink satin in yesterday and got busy making three separate "Princess Peach" dresses. Apparently this is a popular computer game character. She made one dress at the beginning of the Halloween season last year, and as soon as the pictures hit the internet, the orders started coming in. So far, over the past two years, Atlanta has made 10 of these dresses. Her sales on all items is up to 121 items and counting!

Pink material abounds as Atlanta cuts out the pattern pieces.

Hard at work ironing a "Princess Peach" bodice.


Tuesday, September 21 - Beautiful Creations - Atlanta finished the Rapunzel dress and posed Carolina for some pictures. Didn't it turn out cute?

Read more about this dress on Atlanta's blog.

Then she started on another princess dress. This time it was to be pink, with sparkles. If cousin Hannah likes it, then it will be her Halloween outfit. If not, it will be sold on Atlanta's Etsy site.


Check out this dress on Etsy.

Wholesome Treats - Last night Atlanta made these wonderful granola bars from scratch. She combined toasted seven grain flakes, honey, our own dried apples, nuts and butter and baked them in the oven before cutting into bars. Yum!


Monday, September 20 - Busy Day - Today everyone stayed busy with their various tasks. Aspen and Carolina worked on their school work and Atlanta was rarely seen out of her sewing room. The Halloween costume orders have started rolling in from her Etsy online store.

Atlanta making a purple Princess Rapunzel dress.

Carolina is getting a little "higher learning". Here she is in the front yard tree (one of her favorite spots) practicing her math facts with some little manipulatives called "wrap-ups".


Saturday, September 18 - Hunting Trip Begins - Chris and Ronnie arrived early (about 5:30) this morning. We enjoyed visiting with them for about an hour while they waited for it to get light enough to load the horses. Finally, everything was done except the goodbyes. Stockton was so excited to be going, too.

Cim, Nathan, Ronnie, Stockton, Laredo, and Chris.

Fun Day at Roaring Springs - Too bad the boys had to leave today and miss the outing with the home school group to Roaring Springs. Several families gathered there today for a day of swimming, hiking and visiting. Here's a few pictures of the girls. A little slide show of the whole group can be watched here.

Atlanta has the pool to herself.

Carolina in her "floatie" suit.

Aspen and Sarah Macha

See the Roaring Springs video here.


Friday, September 17 - Getting Ready for the Hunting Trip - This morning all the kids except Carolina headed off towards Plainview for their music lessons. She stayed here and helped Dad.

First they trimmed the horses' feet. Then they started unloading the trailer that the boys are going to take hunting tomorrow. By the time the other kids arrived, some serious packing began. We had decided to let Stockton go along on the big "guys" camping trip. He was very excited and started getting his gear together. He will keep his granddad company in the camp while the hunters go off on horseback every day.

Atlanta and I made meat pies for the guys to pack in their backpacks everyday, and breakfast burritos for tomorrow.

These are stuffed with a mixture of ground turkey, potatoes, carrots, onions and gravy. The crust is homemade pizza dough. They hold up well and don't crumble like pie crust. (which is a plus if you happen to be chasing elk through the forest)


Thursday, September 16 - Early Evening Rains - We were surprised when the clouds forming to the north of us actually backed up and rained on us. It rained really hard for more than a half hour. I haven't been to the gauge outside yet, because it hasn't stopped lightning yet. These cloud pictures were from last night. It thundered then, too, but skirted around us to the south.

While that dramatic cloud in the west was slowing moving south, this interesting formation was due north.

These odd but beautiful beams of light were coming from the east while the cloud in the first picture rumbled in the west. I'm not sure what was making them since the sun was going down on the opposite side of the sky.

Now it's 9:30 at night and we're waiting for the guys to arrive. They called from Guthrie about 30 minutes ago. They were in heavy rains and going as fast as they could safely. We've got homemade lasagna ready for them when they get here!


Tuesday, September 14 - Typical School Day - Nothing out of the ordinary happened today. We got our school done, took a walk and watched some old home movies from when Aspen was a baby. The vet from Childress, David Fuston, did come by and take some blood from the four horses going on the hunting trip to Colorado next week. They have to be checked out every year if you haul them anywhere. That was our big excitement today.

Today was microscope day for Carolina and Stockton. Each one got to find three things to look at under the microscope. As you can see, everybody likes this activity! Aspen is checking out some grains of salt which looked like tiny cubes of ice.

Usually when a teacher tells her class to do some "outside reading", this is not what she means! Atlanta is reading them the Little House books for part of their history studies.


Monday, September 13 - Started School - Today Aspen, Stockton and Carolina started school again. It looks like it's going to be another fun year of discovery. We also did what we always do after a reenactment...laundry!

Atlanta rinsing out our corsets in a washtub of cold water.


Sunday, September 12 - Home Again - We drove home from Decatur and arrived around noon. Everyone was very tired, but each one had things they needed to do. Everyone helped unpack the pickup, then Nathan started getting things together for their elk hunting trip coming up next week. Atlanta worked on some sewing projects that she needs to get finished and mailed off to customers from her internet site. The boys mowed the Northfield cemetery again and then got in a little archery practice (ahead of the elk bow hunt).

UFO?? - Sunday night, Carolina took my camera and was taking pictures of the evening sky. In the first shot below, what is the white object? It couldn't have been the moon because as you can see in the next picture, the moon was new and was in a different spot in the sky.

Saturday, September 11 - Ft. Richardson Reenactment - Today the girls, Stockton and I got up early and headed to Jacksboro, Texas, where we met up with Nathan, Cim and Laredo who were coming from Cross Plains. We had a fun day enjoying the buildings at the fort and visiting with old friends. After the ball, we went on to Decatur and spent the night with the Roberts. See all the pictures in the Ft. Richardson photo gallery here.

Back row: Cim, Laredo, Rebecca Roberts. Middle: Michelle Roberts and Atlanta. Front; Carolina, Stockton and Aspen.

Cim before the battle

Carolina and Michelle playing with their dolls on the porch of the old hospital.

Atlanta watching the battle.

See more photos here.


Friday, September 10 - Cooking for Reenactment - Today we packed clothes for the reenactment and then fixed breakfast burritos and lunch stuff for us to eat while there. Atlanta made these yummy ginger cookies for us to take.


Thursday, September 9 - Irrigator's Test - Well, today was the test in San Antonio. Nathan said the test was harder than they thought it would be. He felt they did well, but they won't get the results for four or five weeks to find out for sure. This is disappointing news because we were all hoping to find out the results right away. Tonight they drove toward Georgetown to have supper with Mambo (Nathan's mom, Georgia) before heading back to Cross Plains where they will spend the night at Ronnie's. (Nathan's dad)


Wednesday, September 8  - Presentation to the Daughters of the Confederacy Group - Atlanta was asked a month or so ago to speak at a meeting of the Lubbock chapter of this historical group. She's spent a lot of time writing her speech and getting together the clothing and accessories that she will use as examples. Everything went off as planned today and she was very well received. Atlanta, Aspen, Carolina and I were all in period clothing for the event. One lady who was at the presentation asked Atlanta to give the same talk for the Genealogical Society next spring.

Granny was with us, too, and was very proud.

Button Quail Chicks Sold to Pet Shop - Aspen approached a pet shop (Pet's Plus on south University near Granny's house) about purchasing some of her button quail for their store. They have been in contact by email for several weeks working out the details. Today she delivered three chicks and two half-grown quail. The owners were very impressed with the birds. They had never seen any poultry so small before. I was very proud of Aspen. She provided a "care guide" that she had typed up and was able to answer all their questions in a very knowledgeable way. Also, she made $25.00!


Tuesday, September 7 - New Guineas - Aspen was given some fertile guinea eggs by our friends the Machas. She put them under a broody hen that she has. Yesterday they started to hatch. So far there are four new keets.

Is this a face only a mother can love?


Clouds - Check out these fabulous clouds seen in this evening's sky.


Monday, September 6 -  Plowing -  Nathan and the boys took turns plowing our wheat field today. Stockton and Carolina took several turns riding with them. Tomorrow morning they will head south again to work on the new contract. Thursday is their test to try and get their irrigator's license.

Sunday, September 5 - More Quail - Aspen had three more button quail hatch out today. She's arranged to sell these to a pet shop in Lubbock when we go on Wednesday.

After church today, Granny and Hannah left and then the boys studied for their irrigator's test while Nathan started plowing near the house.

Saturday, September 4 - Granny and Hannah Visit - Today, Granny and Hannah came for a visit. The kids had a big time playing outside and watching cartoons. As usual when Granny and Hannah were here, I got so preoccupied I forgot to take pictures, so I don't have any good shots to share from the afternoon.

Turkey Jamboree - One of the main reasons mom came down was to be in attendance at the Jamboree tonight. The kids hadn't played for it since last December. They all did a great job. Watch a video of the performance highlights here.

Granny holds Carolina while waiting for the show to start.

Carolina playing her debut performance.

If you didn't see the performance live, catch the highlights here!


Wednesday, September 1 - Colorful Display of Storm Clouds - Clouds were all around us last night. We weren't blessed with any rain, but we were treated to a beautiful display. Now I'll share it with you.

The last bit of sunlight peeping under a cloud made these crepe myrtle blooms really jump out at me.


What is Newsworthy? - Nathan was reading my Shannon Ranch news page and wasn't very impressed with the content of my entries. He specifically mentioned the recent article about my new shower curtain (see New Shower Curtain). In his opinion, this type of news is of no interest to anyone. I told him that several people, including my mom, sisters, mother-in-law, aunts, nieces and friends would be interested to see any new shower curtain of mine. He wasn't convinced. So, I've decided to take a poll and see who's right. Please click on one answer below, and then click "vote".

 -poll expired-

If you didn't read yesterday's news (which wasn't posted until last night) please click below. Read about my new toaster oven, see a rainbow, and view more pictures of my kids.

Read the August News

Read the July News