Friday, September 19, 2008

Fun Times in the Middle of Nowhere

I have a few pictures from our hurrication at the ranch in west Texas. It is seriously in the middle of nowhere. How else could we go a full 48 hours without seeing anyone we weren't related to? That's probably why the polygamists chose to make their home in west Texas. The compound is actually only an hour away from there, I think. Anyway, deer hunting is the whole purpose for this ranch. My mother, sister, and I have no desire to hunt or be around hunting, so dad renovated the old (uninhabitable) ranch house and made it cute and comfy enough for us to want to come there. It reminds me a lot of our Irving house (it's about the same age). We love it! The stove is from the 1920's, the fridge is red and old-looking, the cupboards are filled with every color of Fiestaware, and some of the kitchen windows have brightly colored stained glass. It is too cute! Too bad I never took any pics of it! Next time.

Our days went something like this:
-Jackson wakes up with the sun. Mommy gets up with him. Bibby makes breakfast. The men sleep. Mommy skips her quiet time because she is out of her routine and undisciplined. She later regrets it.
-We go outside after breakfast and sit on the porch while Jackson plunges into the dirt, dust, and rocks. He remains dirty until his bath at bedtime.
-I scold the dogs for jumping on me and getting my pajamas dirty, which were my outfit for the day.
-When it gets hot, we go inside and cool off.
-When Jackson gets antsy, we go outside and sweat again.
-We take Jackson and Starzy for a ride in the golf cart. We see tons and tons of butterflies. And cactus. And armadillos. And some deer. And wild turkeys.
-Bibby makes us grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
-Jackson and Mommy nap.
-Jackson goes back outside with Daddy. Mommy watches CNN obsessively.
-Parents cook an amazing dinner.
-Jackson goes to bed. Mommy watches CNN and bites her fingernails.

The exception was Sunday. That morning we decided to go into town and go to church. The church reminded me of a West Texas version of our church in the UK. We loved it. Then we went to eat at one of the two restaurants in town. It was very good and it had wi-fi. I was in major internet withdrawal by that time.

Now onto the pictures. This is the old Jeep that lives at the ranch. Do not be fooled by the good paint job because the inside is very rustic (dirty). Melissa and I would have died over this in high school. It has a contraption on the front that drops corn here and there for the deer. Then you can hide out and watch the deer eat the corn. Dad and I call this the "corn pooper." Mom doesn't like our humor. Wouldn't Lis and I have been cool driving this Jeep - Corn Pooper Edition in high school? When my dad suggested a ride in the Jeep, you should have seen his face when I asked Curt to put Jackson's car seat in it. It was such a classic butting of heads between the two of us. He thought I was worried about getting pulled over and ticketed by police on our own land. I can understand how stupid that sounds. But I was really just worried about the Jeep rolling over and my child not being secured. The car seat did not make it in.

We ate VERY well, thanks to mom and dad. This was steak night. Most of our dinners were cooked on the Old Smokey or whatever it's called. Mom made me chicken and dumplings on the last night. I won't tell you how many servings I had. Let's just say MANY. Listen, I'm pregnant and mom only makes it a couple times a year. Late that afternoon we knew our house had power and we could head home, but I didn't want to miss my soup. So we stayed.

Me and my daddy. Please forgive my roots. The roots on my head. Not my relations.

Geli and Star, a.k.a. the Foxy Possum. Both girls are b-a-d, but who is the baddest of them all just depends on the day. They are actually really fun and they love, love, love the ranch, as does Beckham. The house has a big, fenced yard that is perfect for dogs and little boys. The three dogs are very useful for (hopefully) scaring away rattle snakes that may have dared enter the yard.

The San Saba River. We went down to the river one evening to splash around. Mom and I put our chairs in the river and visited while dad, Curtis, and Jackson actually got in.

Jackson hurt his foot on a rock (he had on his Crocs but they didn't help) the first 10 seconds in the river. After that, this was as far in as he would get.

Daddy and Jackson snuggling early in the morning.

Mom was going crazy over this sunset, so I took a picture for her. Notice the old barn on the left. It's pretty sweet.

You can see the barn better here if you enlarge the picture. Did I mention it houses a family of bats and part of it will serve as a deer cleaning station in the future? Gross. Dad, seriously, where are the hay and horses? JK, you know I love it.


Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

I am so impressed with you staying in your pj's the whole day! I am trying to schedule a day of that very, very soon!

Anonymous said...


I know you must have been biting your fingernails from concern over loved ones and belongings in Houston, but this actually looked like fun. Thank you for the sunset pic! Photos are my love language :)...wrote about that today and posted my own sunrises and sets.

Hope all is getting back "in place" in Houston. So sad for the people on the coast.

Thanks for sharing your ranch visit!

Have a great weekend!!!


Jenna said...

Your hurrication looks so fun! I love all of the pictures - looks like the perfect place to get away. Thanks for sharing!

Ashli said...

I love family time. My Mom rarely cooks, so I can relate to the idea that you eat your fav's while you got 'em.
My Granny is bringing me a entirely made from scratch, hand grated coconut cake tomorrow for my b-day. I am eatin' as much as I can stuff inside me!

Missy said...

What a great place to go hang out. I know ya'll had a blast!!!

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I can't believe you have no horses on that ranch. Seems like a travesty. Doesn't your Dad love you?!?

kittyhox said...

What a fun time, despite the fact that it was a "hurrication!" The kitchen sounds so neat!

Don't you just love visiting the folks and letting our Mamas cook for us and take care of us? I so enjoy taking a break from being the domestic diva that I am not.

Anonymous said...

This is so cool! We went to a place in Woodville TX that sounds similar. I am glad you guys took off, smart idea! My parents went to Alabama.

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Looks like a huge M on the barn...Y'all do that on purpose or was it providence? :)

Glad you had such a great time.

Darlene R. said...

It sounds like you all had so much fun together.

Kudos to your hubs for letting you post pictures of him still in the bed! :)

The one of you and your daddy is so good. I love that father-daughter relationship.

connorcolesmom said...

Your hurrication looked delightful :)
Your dad reminds me of my dad - oh don't you just love them
I love the pics of your hubs and the mister in the bed - totally funny - hehe
Family is Pure Joy - thank you LORD!
Have a great weekend

Anonymous said...

I had more than one "head butt" with my dad over the car seat. I think the only time I gave in was when he took my son on a drive that I could have walked in less than a minute :-)

The best family times are when you get to spend all day in your jammies. Nothin' like it!

Jenny said...

Jackson looks like such a big boy in the pic of him snuggling with his daddy. ADORABLE.

Fran said...

Oh looks like heaven to me!! Thanks for sharing these precious family pictures of your time there.

I absolutely love fun in the middle of nowhere!

Hugs and blessings,

Mary said...

Congratulations on baby girl! Few days behind on that, but I am sure the celebration continues...I have a boy then a girl and as excited as you are now multiply it by 1000 when you start to see the holiday stuff coming up in stores--and realize you are going to have a little tutu-wearer of your own!

The Henrie Family said...

There is nothing better on earth than the big Texas sky and the sun setting on it. Beautiful picture!
What fun place to retreat to with your family!

jamie b said...

My husbands family has a place in the middle of nowhere too. I love going there and staying in my pjs all day long while they are out hunting or fishing. :) sounds like y'all had a great time away from the awful hurricane.

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

Beautiful pictures! Love it! Next time we will have to meet at a W. Texas restaurant when I'm at my dad's lakehouse and y'all are at the ranch.

Melinda said...

This should be part of everyone's hurricane evacuation plan!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

What a nice place your family has to escape to. Even with the hurricane on your minds, it sounds like you and your family were able to enjoy yourselves and be comforted by the fact that you were in a safe place.

I would love to see pictures of the sounds very cool!

Three Fold Cord said...

The picture of you and your dad...AMAZING. I can just see such affection in your eyes for him.
What a great unexpected getaway.

creative gal said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

ocean mommy said...

This place looks like a little piece of heaven! So peaceful....

The house sounds simply charming! A red fridge! You've got to take pictures next time!!

glad you are all home safe and sound!


Brittney said...

Welcome to West Texas girl! There isn't much here, but we definitely love it. I think your fam's ranch is about an hour and a half from the booming metropolis of San Angelo. I have lived here my whole life. The ranch sounds comfy and quaint and hopefully Jackson will have a better time in the creek next go round! So excited you are having a girl Blessings to you and yours!

Kristen said...

What a fun time!!! Sorry the circumstances weren't the best, but how aweomse to get away with the family for some great food in a great setting!

bethany said...

Sounds absolutley wonderful! I am so in need of a break like that (although I am sorry for why you had to head out that way.)
The picture of you and your dad is both look so happy to be together. It makes me wish that were the case for my family right now but it is not...please pray for my family if you's just not good right now.
Thanks sweet sister!

Sallye said...


I'm with Brittney, been in San Angelo my whole life, and do not want to live anywhere else. There are no sunsets anywhere else in the world, well except maybe Israel, like West Texas. And to have the San Saba River to talk to you..what a place to rest and refresh, I am sure you, and your parents love it. If you dad is feeding the deer I sure that if the "girls" would have stayed in the house, the deer would have come ask where supper was. Did you get to enjoy the bats flying from the barn in the evenings? They are a sight to behold. Rustic is always wonderful, for a time, but a regular diet? Thank you, but no thank you.


Big Mama said...

I know it won't surprise you to learn that we also have a corn pooper.

Alas, we don't have the cool, rustic jeep, though.

Kim said...

What sweet family memories to treasure always. So glad that in the midst of this scary time your family was able to have some quality time together. Great pictures too!!! Have a super weekend!!!

Toknowhim said...

Loved the picture of Jackson peeking above his daddy, and then the one of you and your dad is so sweet...There is just something so sweet about a girl and her dad (one day your new little one will get to experience that too :)

Kelli said...

That barn is beautiful! :)

Joanne : The Simple Wife said...

Love all the pictures, Amanda. Thanks for sharing. And next time we want to see the house--with before and after pictures if you've got them!


P.S. Have to say, the rattlesnake thing freaks me out. Do you have snake boots like your mom? And what, exactly, ARE snake boots? I'm picturing the lower half of a suit of armor...

Dionna said...

Love the barn and the jeep. We have a barn across the road from us that I love to look at - especially when the sun sets behind it. And the jeep? I SO wanted a jeep as my first car. My dad said it was unsafe. :(
It looks greener there than I pictured. I guess I was envisioning more brown desert. Thanks for the pics - looks like a great little refuge spot for ya'll.

Brandy Thixton said...

What an amazing place! Is it okay that I'm a teeeensie bit jealous? =)

su said...

I loved reading about your days in the middle of nowhere. How nice that you had a place to go. And to be with your folks.

The closest thing we have to that is when we get a massive snowstorm and the police tell everyone to stay home. We only get one of those every few years. I'd like them more often. It seems almost decadent to stay home. What does that say about life in the 21st century?!

3girlsmom said...

Sounds like fun! I LOVE places in the middle of nowhere!
I'm a little (ok, a lot) jealous of the all-day pj wearing. I think I'll work on planning a day like that in my near future.
My favorite part is definitely the river. There's a river that runs through my neighborhood that has some really shallow parts that I love to walk through. Definitely with shoes, though. Sad that Jackson man hurt his foot!
Thanks for sharing the pics!!! We were all definitely praying for you and your family during the hurricane! Glad everything was ok at your houses!


Ashton said...

Hi Amanda,

Fun times! Yes. Your Mom and Dad's place looks so nice from the photos you shared with the lovely sunset and away from the city! That is wonderful.

Thankfully I got my power on Thursday at 9:00 am. I was at my Mom's since Tuesday. I have power at my apartment but no internet connection or cable. I'm at my Mom's right now and able to send this blog. It's kind of nice w/o the distraction of TV and internet. It sure is pushing me to be more creative and do other things. Being a middle child, they say that "we" are more flexible and compliant. I guess that is true for me. I kind of go with the flow of things. But not always!!

Love, Allison

Lauren said...

Looks so Texan and nice.

Tara said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures from your Hurrication with family. What a precious time filled with memories! I laughed out loud about the "corn pooper" and the carseat- I so would've done the same thing! Safety is #1! But I have to say that my favorite picture is the one of you and your Daddy. How sweet! There's just something about a Daddy and his girl!

Thanks again for sharing!

Michelle said...

This was fun to read! The pictures are so cute. I'm glad that your parents feed you so well! :-) And pregnant or not, homemade chicken and dumplings sounds very, very good.

Dana said...

Sounds like a perfect weekend!


Mel @ Studio MCA Designs said...

Looks like you had a great time staying safe and dry! Funny, what struck me out of that whole post was the word "Lis". That is what my Daddy always called me when I was growing up. I have not heard that in a long time, and it gave me warm fuzzies!

katiegfromtennessee said...

Howdy Little Momma:)

Cool! The ranch looks like fun!...OOo, old world feel, I like that:)...That would be cool to see that much wildlife (not the snakes though, NOOO, not those:)...I like worshipping with brethren in different places too:) Yay, church wherever you go!...YUM, good food and family is always a win-win situation...Pequena madre, tu pelo is muy bonita, nuff said:)... That river looked like such a relaxing place! I don't know what it is about bodies of water, but they are soothing to me (strange I know, it must be that verse in Ps. 23 about leading us beside the still waters:)...Was that Precious Man Keith cooking dinner?:) A hunting ranch, hmm, my man loves hunting, I will have to show him these pics:) I told him, I don't think I could shoot anything unless I had to, but I'll do the whole camo, scent away soap, no hair products and a hat thing to be able to sit in a tree stand with him for oh, 4-6 hours if he wants to (I have twice, both times, I was mostly concentrating on how to sleep without falling out of the stand:) Oh well, he's a cutie though. If deer make him happy, Lord help him:) I luv him anyway:)


Jennifer said...

That reminds me so much of our deer lease in West Texas when I was growing up. Good memories. When I was 12 I got a bb gun for Christmas (what WERE my parents thinking??), and I decided that shooting a tire with it would be a good idea. It wasn't. It came back and stung me in the wrist. It hurt.

So glad y'all are safe and had a good time with your parents.

Katie said...

Oh that water is so pretty, I would kill to take pictures there! (Well no, not really... an expression.) :)