Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day

Terri's family invited dd and I for Christmas. Actually, they said we were now adopted into the family and were expected to be at their house for breakfast and opening gifts and, of course, for supper later on. I really had nothing to exchange, and felt bad. They told me it didn't matter. I did remember that I had managed to get some of the apple butter and plum butter I had canned out of the house and I gave one of each to everybody.

It was a wonderful day. DD and I were told that everybody just shows up at Grandma and Grandpa's house first thing in the morning in pj's. So, we didn't get dressed and guess what? We were the only adults in pj's! Terri's sisters laughed and said we should know better than to listen to Terri! Must be a big family joke that we just weren't in on - at least not this year! Anyway, breakfast was soooo good. Savory ham, scrambled eggs, all kinds of fruit and the biggest, softest, tastiest cinnamon rolls I have ever had (I had to cut one in half). After everybody ate breakfast, we all went into the living room where the gifts were handed out. Actually, they were tossed out and I found myself ducking! It was such fun to watch all the kids open their gifts and just get so excited about everything they got. Other than a sister and two brothers on the other side of the country (who don't respond to letters or phone calls), I don't have any family left. I haven't been a part of a big Christmas gathering since I was little. I was just on cloud nine!

Then, they dragged out a big red bag and told all the kids that the dog had scared Santa and he dropped the bag and left. I thought that was too funny. There were also gifts for me and Felicia and they were just wonderful.

Terri and her sisters all got a copy of "Mamma Mia" which they all went to the theater to watch three times. They just love that movie. One of her sisters, opened hers up to find a little sticky note on it that said "slightly used". She goes "Moooom!" Her mom said she just couldn't help it; she had to watch it one more time before wrapping it up!

Christmas dinner was wonderful, too. Turkey, dressing, prime rib, mashies and gravy and every other trimming you can imagine and the best dinner rolls and coconut cream pie! They had other folks for dinner, too, and had set up 3 long tables in the living room. The dining room table was set with all the food and we dished up our plates buffet style. After supper, they popped "Mamma Mia" into the player and all of us women watched while the men all went out to the kitchen to talk. That movie is sooo funny! I loved it.

Felicia and I had such a wonderful Christmas. We have so much to be thankful for and so many friends to thank for it. God has been watching over us and all those near and far who have made our holiday so memorable - I thank you all!

It's A Work of Art!

My friend, Terri, and her daughter brought us this tree that they had cut down on their own property. Terri laughed when we got it into the house and said it looked straight when it was on the side of the hill! No matter! I can make that work. It will be a beautiful tree and it will really cheer up the house. Who says it has to be straight, anyway! My Buffalo Bills blanket covers the stand. Ok, it's not a Christmas theme, but at least it's mostly red!

All decked out with what we had. Rose had given us most of the ornaments and Terri had brought some, too. It almost looks like a bonsai but, bigger! It smells great in here and I love it. DD keeps laughing at it, but I think it will be a tree she will always remember with fondness. I plan to leave it up until after she heads back to school.

Farmgirl Cookie Exchange

So many different kinds of cookies! Rose held the exchange at her house. Terri and I made simple oatmeal cookies.

Ten of us gathered for this exchange and Rose had prepared munchies and sangria punch for us, too.

We had so much fun! Next year, Rose suggested we do an ornament exchange instead of cookies. That sounds like fun, too.

This is the other Terry (with a "y") who won the prize for best display of her cookies. Rose had gathered up several prizes for various things and I won a MaryJanesFarm Calendar! Woohoo!

Woman Power!

After spending 2 days holed up in a hotel room, my friend, Terri, invited me to stay with her until I found my own place. She is also in the middle of a divorce and so was building this carport by herself. She had put up the posts and main support beam and half of the roof supports when I got there. I helped her get the rest of the roof supports up.

Supports all up and now we had started nailing the wood on top of those to support the tin (which she didn't have yet). For now, the wood would be covered with large tarps to protect it from the weather until spring.

I'm a big-time wuss up high and so I used the step ladder while she used the higher ladder.

We actually had fun getting this done. It was snowing the whole time and colder than we had hoped for but, we laughed our way through it and got it done. Terri's brother and brother-in-law came up later and helped her to put the tarps on over the top of it. I didn't get a final picture, but it works wonderfully and now she has a place to park her vehicle and won't have to clean the snow off every day and work to thaw the doors in order to get in and go somewhere.

The power of women to do what needs to be done (with a little help from the guys)!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Starting over...

I haven't blogged in quite a while as my life has been in some turmoil and I'm just getting into a new groove. I left my alcoholic husband on Dec 6 and filed for divorce on the 8th. We had been married for 19 years. His drinking has been a problem for most of those 19 years. I had spent much of it forcing myself to love someone I didn't even like and who was incredibly mean when drinking. I had finally had enough. This was a very difficult decision for me. I am a staunch believer in marriage and all it stands for. While ending it seemed wrong, survival instincts took over and I fled.

So, while the divorce rages on, I am starting all over again. I have a place of my own, though I don't own this one. I have peace and tranquility. I have the ability and opportunity to put my talents and desire to help others into action. I feel rested, calm and my home now feels warm and inviting; a place I WANT to come home to every night.

I will be able to accomplish more on my sewing machine and more of my baskets and more gardening and more activities with community groups. I won't be tied up with serving someone who thinks that is the only reason I'm here and isn't happy with anything I do anyway.

So, onward and upward as my farmgirl friends have said. I can do wonderful things now for myself, my grown children, grandchildren, friends and community. I am looking forward to the me that has been kept down all these years.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My very first BakeOver

Well, after making bread all day and then putting a pot roast in the crock pot, I decided I wanted to make some kind of dessert. I don't usually make desserts except for holidays. DH has been asking for desserts lately, though. So, it's kind of a surprise for him. I didn't have many eggs left, so a cake or cookies was out of the question. I decided to try a BakeOver.

I'm not one of those experimental, creative or adventurous type cooks. I prefer to have tried and true written-down recipes. But I guess I was feeling a bit creative in the kitchen today (what?!) and thought this would be a great way to use some of the peaches I had canned. Instead of the usual cottage cheese and peaches which has been getting boring.

So, two pints of sliced peaches, a handful of raisins, a handful of chopped almonds, 3-4Tbsp brown sugar and a splash of cinnamon sauteed in about a Tbsp and a half of butter in one of my medium sized fry pans. In hindsight, it was probably more butter than necessary.

Then, as was mentioned in MaryJane's Idea Book, Cookbook, Life Book, I added slices of cream cheese on top.

Using MaryJane's Budget Mix, I used 1 1/4c of that with 1c of water and 3Tbsp butter cut in. I was going to roll it out, but the dough was so soft that patting it out with my fingers was good enough. Getting it into the pan without ripping it was a bit tricky, but I got it done. Now into the oven at 350 for 20 minutes.

I felt it actually needed another 5 minutes of cooking time to get a nice golden color to it.

I then placed a large plate over the fry pan and flipped it over. I should have used oven mitts instead of hot pads as I burned one finger tip on one hand and the heel of my other hand. And ta da! All done. It took hardly any time at all and smells just heavenly. Can hardly wait for dinner. Hmmm, I think it needs whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.

Hey, Grandma! What's for supper?

Organic beef pot roast with baby carrots, new potatoes and sweet green peppers from the garden. Home-made whole wheat potato bread and for dessert; a peach/almond BakeOver.

Yum, yum!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Voicing my political opinions

I have thought about this all day. Should I or shouldn't I speak my mind on my blog? Well, it IS my blog and we should all feel free to speak our minds, right? So be it. I voted for Barack Obama. If this bothers you, please don't read any more and please don't leave me nasty messages. I have many friends who are staunch Republicans and I listen to their opinions and believe they have the right to voice them just as I do. They are very dear friends and I love them even if we don't agree on political ideologies.

Now, to what is really on my mind. I am so proud of our country right now. I have seen the worst in people in regard to prejudice and bigotry. This election is the biggest proof of the change in our nation's social thinking. I shed happy tears last night when they announced the new President of the United States of America. I felt such overwhelming joy that our nation is finally evolving into a better frame of thinking. What an incredible, historic moment for this country. I not only lived long enough to witness it, but I was able to take part in it! I realize that most of those who voted for Obama are younger voters which means that someday, when they raise children of their own they, too, will have evolved social views of people. Will this be the new Age of Enlightenment? I certainly hope so.

The other part of this that makes me so happy is that I don't believe that the old-school way of doing things works anymore. John McCain, while a very nice man and should be honored for his outstanding service to this country, is very old-school. Our country has changed, the economy has changed, the way industries conduct business has changed, the world has changed. The old ideologies no longer produce the intended outcomes. They just don't work anymore. You know the old saying "If you keep doing the same thing the same way, you can expect the same result"? Well, it applies here, too. President-elect Obama has fresh, new ideas. He has a great, energizing, inspiring spirit. He's extremely sharp and a wonderful speaker. He also has a great temperament that I think will work in our favor when it comes time for diplomacy. If the old way doesn't work anymore, why not try something new? Shake things up a bit and hopefully turn things around.

I realize that things could quite possibly get much worse before it gets better and Obama has one hard, hard job ahead of him. Our country doesn't just have one or two serious problems, it has a dozen or more that need immediate attention and I don't envy anyone taking this on. But, I hope and pray that our country can get back on track soon and that Obama has a productive and safe term as President.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Elk Hunt 2008

Day 1: First day of nine and it was raining but not too cold. The elk apparently weren't willing to be out in it and neither were most of the hunters camping up there. We were the only ones out in it and didn't see or hear ANYTHING.

Day 2: More rain, harder this time; all day. No sign of anything, no sound of anything. Not even a squirrel or chipmunk was out in this stuff. Trying to find elk in inclement weather is like trying to find morels. Elk will hunker down in the thickest parts of the forest and just wait it out. The places they lay down in are so thick with trees, bushes and dead-falls that it's impossible to get in to these areas without making noise. And, of course, if they hear you, they're gone long before you get to their beds. Later that night we saw quite a lightning storm up over the peaks we had been hunting. Now, we understood why nothing was moving. They were waiting for this storm to come in. It also meant it was going to be colder, now.

Day 3: The rain stopped for the most part. We got sprinkled on a little bit and snowed on for about 10 minutes, but that was all. It was colder, but at least we were dry. We saw a couple other hunters, and two does. We were sitting in a spot when we heard a bunch of shots. Probably somebody trying to scare the elk out of hiding. Then I spotted one of two does on a hill across the ravine from us. Well, we weren't after deer, but it was a good sign that maybe the elk would be up and moving, too. DH decided to go up the ravine and cross over to see if maybe elk were moving around up in there, too, and try to push them out to me. He saw the two does coming down toward him and he just knelt next to a big stump to wait for them to pass. Well, they came down right to the stump dh was kneeling at and as the lead doe came around it, she spread her front legs, with her head down and snorted at him. So, he did the same back to her! She jumped up in the air and both does took off running. DH mimicking that doe was just hilarious. I ended up laughing out loud. Shhhh, you'll scare off the game!'s not just a job, it's an adventure!

We continued hiking and came upon a very well used game trail and decided to follow it for a bit and see if we come upon anything. There were lots of tracks and semi-fresh droppings. Seemed like a good plan. After a while, we stopped for a short rest. We were just standing on the trail when we heard a cow elk call from down below us. Suddenly, there was this crash of branches and pounding hooves on the trail above us! It was a bull! He took off so fast through the forest we never had a chance to even get our rifles up. Dang it! He was coming down behind us on the very trail we were standing on and that cow ratted us out!

Well, we didn't get one today, but at least we got to see one. Elk are magnificent animals.

Day 4: It was raining here in town when we left this morning but snowing like crazy up where we hunt. There were a couple inches on the ground up there and coming down fast. We got out and started hiking up to the same trail we had been on the day before. The wind was blowing hard and the snow was coming down sideways. We didn't go but a mile or so when we realized that we were in blizzard conditions and it just wasn't very smart to be up there in that. We decided to get back to the truck and come up with a plan B.

Heading down the mountain, we decided to take a different turn and check out another area down low. We noticed some of the campers and all of the tents we had seen in previous days were now gone. When we parked off the road, it was just raining down there and no snow was on the ground. We thought (hoped) maybe the elk had come down during the night to get away from the snow. Walking further up the road, we decided to leave it and head up into this drainage. We hadn't walked but 10 minutes when we spotted two elk butts. Their heads were down and we couldn't tell if they were cows or bulls. They were about 100 yards away. We waited. Then the one on the right looked up and it was just a cow. The one on the left was still grazing. We continued to wait in the hopes it was a bull. At least a spike. The one on the right had her fill and started meandering up the hill to the right. Finally, the other one raised it's head and it was another cow. Disappointment. She turned around and spotted us but stood still. We also stood still. We kind of had a staring contest for a couple minutes. When I turned my head, she took off up the hill after the other cow.

After the cows disappeared over the ridge we heard a bark from the same area the cows had gone. Not a normal dog kind of bark. This was really deep and loud. My first thought was wolf. Then I realized wolves can't bark. What the hell was that?! DH said he had just seen a hunting show the other day where the bull "barked" just before the guy shot him. It had to be a bull up there. DH has been hunting since a little boy and had never heard one bark before. This is my eighth year and I never heard this sound before either. DH was telling me that on this show, they said it's only the big bulls, the heads of the herds, that do this when we heard another bark from the ridge behind us. The two bulls barked back and forth for several minutes until the one behind us drifted off. Then, the one up where the cows went, stopped barking. It was the coolest thing to hear this. DH said that on the show, they said this was rare. And we got to hear it. I was just thrilled.

We hiked up and around and over and back down to where we started and couldn't find that bull. But there were his tracks, over top of ours in the spot we had first seen the cows! I don't care what anybody says, elk are not dumb animals. This isn't the first time we had found tracks over top of our own and probably won't be the last, either. I'll tell you, these guys are smart and by the time you bag one, you've earned it just in the mileage you've put on your feet trying to find him.

We hiked a bit more, but the rain was coming down harder and we were feeling a bit wussy-ish and called it a day. Besides, we had to get back to town to vote. This election was very important to us to be heard. Besides the Presidential race, we have a county commissioner race and our local library is at stake, too.

At the very end of the road before we got on to the highway, were a couple of campers and several vehicles that hadn't been there before. We stopped to talk and see if they had seen anything. The campers had a good six inches of snow on top of them. The guys said they hadn't hunted all day. They packed up, hooked up and it took them all day to get out. They were afraid if they didn't get their campers out now, they would have to leave them there until spring. Wise decision.

So, we try again tomorrow...

Day 5:We had sunshine today. Yay! The sun felt so good. But there was crunchy snow everywhere and it took a while for the sun to warm it up enough to not crunch while walking.

I spotted a bear first thing this morning. It was quite a ways uphill from me and it was just foraging. I kept on walking. I don't want to mess with a bear. I'd hate to have to shoot one out of self defense. I only believe in shooting something I plan to eat. Shooting something because I disturbed it would feel tragic to me. So, I went on down the trail.

We saw lots of cow tracks and nothing else today. We decided to drive to another spot when something went wrong with the 4-wheel drive. It was far too hazardous after the snowfall to mess around up there without 4-wheel drive. So, we left around 3. The drive down in 2-wheel drive was pretty scary. We were slipping and sliding all over the place. DH is out trying to figure out what's wrong with it now. Hopefully, it's nothing serious and we can get back out there tomorrow morning.

Day 6: Not a bloomin' thing to say about today. Other than it was very cold, I'm very tired and my feet need a good soaking. I don't have enough energy to make dinner and don't really care if I even eat dinner. I did get a pretty shot of a fast flowing stream with iced-over branches.

Three days left. I sure hope we can get one.

Day 7:It was pleasantly warm today. It started at 35 degrees. I don't know exactly how warm it got, but it was warm enough for the bees and other little bugs to be out. We found lots of fresh track today. Much of it had wolf track over top of it. Which means the elk are not only hiding from us; they're hiding from the wolves, too. No wonder we're having such a hard time finding them. The sun came out after noon and we stumbled on some really fresh tracks. We decided to follow them and hopefully find them in hiding. After several hours of tracking, three guys on dirt bikes came by and continued riding the trails around us. I was hot! Animal rights activists do this every year to interfere with the hunt which is why we usually hike up and into places where there are few or no bike/atv trails. Since the snow the other day, we can no longer get into our favorite area. So, the hunt was spoiled today. And it was such a beautiful day. It's supposed to rain and/or snow starting tonight through next week. So, we'll be back to trying to find them when they're really hunkered down. Only two days left. Well, one and a half. We decided we were only going to hunt the morning on Sunday since I have to go back to work on Monday. I'm really going to need some R&R before I go back to work.

Day 8: It wasn't raining this morning as expected. And it was warm again. The sun came out every now and then which was nice when it could actually get through the smoke. The Forest Service started a bunch of "controlled burns" last night and it made it VERY difficult to see very far at all. We laugh about the term "controlled burn" as they often get out of control because no body stays around to monitor the fires after they set them.

I was totally bored today and took more pictures just for something to do. My hubby looked pretty bored, too. We didn't see or hear a thing today and we hiked all over the place. Hubby estimated we hiked about 9 miles today. We can't seem to find their hide-outs and scare them up although, we've been seeing a lot of track.

This shot is actually of Idaho City, but you can't really make it out through the smoke.

One thing, besides not finding our bull, that has been bugging me this year is the hot flashes I've been having. Your not supposed to work up a sweat in colder weather but when you're having hot flashes, it's impossible not to! I have to keep stopping while we're hiking, take off my gloves, head band and hat. Wipe my face, unbutton my jacket and sweatshirt and roll down my turtleneck collar until the flash passes. Then I feel chilled and have to put everything back on and button back up. I've had to do this 3 or 4 times every day. It's driving me nuts! I was finally able to buy black cohosh on the 1st, but it hasn't kicked in yet.

Anyway, one more shot tomorrow morning...

Day 9:We're both too tired to go out today. We're done. Neither of us wanted to get up this morning. I'm going to go to church and make bread this afternoon instead.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A surprise from my very good friend!

What a wonderful and lovely surprise from Miss Wilma! I am so thrilled to have these beautiful pillows! The embroidery is so perfect and lovely. The patterns and colors are just right up my alley. I can just see every stitch lovingly done by her hands. I'm so touched by her generosity I'm tearing up!

I think I'll put them in our camper. They'll go beautifully in there and the dogs won't be able to get them to lay on and our overnight visitors will get to enjoy them, too. Our dogs are so spoiled, if I put these on the couch or chairs, they'd think I put them there for them!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Coming soon to a computer near you!

I have decided to create another website for my aprons rather than keep them stored in a box all winter waiting for the next craft fair to start. But, in the mean time, here's a preview of what's to come.

On occasion, I get my hands on some vintage fabric.

This one is for someone with a wild side.

This one has little pictures of various herbs.

This one is just a pretty pink floral.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our New Outpost on Wheels

A friend of my hubby's just bought a bigger, newer camper and wanted to unload this one in a hurry and offered it to us. It's a 1976 Wilderness. I don't really care how old it is. It's in such great shape. It's obvious he took really good care of it. Nothing is banged up on the inside or outside. The upholstery is in perfect shape. The table and counters don't even have a scratch on them. It almost looks like he never used it. This is a view of the back. He had put that black cage thing on the back to hold a dirt bike, but it could be used for a variety of other things.

The view from the front. I haven't opened the storm cover yet.
border="0" alt=""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5256367958429976658" />

This is the bed with another bunk above it meant for young kids, he said. He even left the comforter on the bed.

This is the kitchen area. Isn't that a cute little stove and sink? I'm not a big fan of yellow and orange, so I'll be making new curtains for it. Maybe lace! Or some pretty fabric with lace embellishments! Oh, the ideas going through my head right now!

The dining area is in absolute mint condition. You would think that with use, the cushions would be worn or the table scratched up, but they are just perfect. Except for the color! New curtains for this section, too. What to do to the table? I'm not sure what will work for that other than to keep a table cloth on it. The table and benches make into another double bed and another bunk above, again for small kids. Maybe we'll take the kids and grands camping next year!

This is the shower curtain in the cutest little bathroom. Blue butterflies. I actually like the shower curtain, although it's a bit too long and makes it bunch up instead of hanging straight. But I can easily just trim off the bottom as it's just a plastic curtain.

Here is the cute little sink and counter in the bathroom. It even has a window in it! Our bathroom in the house doesn't even have a window.

Maybe this is tacky, but I just thought this little throne was cute, too! I think I"ll make a seat cover for it.

It even has a cute little fridge!

Everything about this camper is so cute. Can you tell I've never had one before? I've only stepped into a few that other folks owned. I just think it's adorable and can hardly wait to play with the decorating part. I'm almost done with my weekend project of cleaning out the back room. When I finish that I'll start looking around the house for stuff to take out there. I'm so glad this is a 3 day weekend!

It's already been winterized (coolant run through the plumbing) so we won't be taking it anywhere this year or we'd have to winterize it all over again. But next year, we plan to take it and the dogs up to our hunting area and not come home for 10 days! Oh, we'll be able to take it to farm fair, too! Oh, and while it sits here, the kids can stay in it when they come to visit and they'll have privacy that way. Oh, and on our anniversaries, we won't have to pay for a hotel room anymore. We can take our home AND our dogs with us! This is going to be so much fun! Oh, and dh says that if the sh-- hits the fan, we'll just hook up and head deeper into the mountains! haha

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Muley's October Festival

Here I am, 13 degrees outside with some of my chef-style aprons. My denim-butt aprons are hanging behind and beside me, but the lighting is bad under the tent. I had my baskets on the other side that you can't see. I sewed ties onto 3 king size sheets to tie up for walls to block the wind. It helped a lot.

This poor lady was so cold. She was selling calendars.

This cute little guy was the model for doggie blankets that his mom had made. She was also selling hand made tote bags and patchwork chef-style aprons. They were all very pretty.

These aprons were made by another lady. She had some great camo aprons, some with lace. The one apron in the middle has shiny pumpkins all over it. It was really cute.

The tea towels were really nice and were made by the camo lady's friend.

The Cowboy Fast Draw Association was there conducting a competition. The little gal in the white hat had recently won the state championship. She was pretty fast.

Now, these guys are quite the crack-ups. They offered to give me free advertising by wearing my aprons. Aren't they cute? They are both shooters in the competition. The big guy on the left is the dad of that state championship gal.

They even competed while wearing them. You should have heard the other cowboys giving them guff over it! It was all in fun and everybody was laughing.

Muley's was selling his coffee, tea, breakfast burritos and muffins. Diamond Lil's was there selling bbq chicken and bbq pork sandwiches and beer. Another local was there with his premium hotdogs. Three bands were there to play in the big army tent that was right behind me. I didn't sell a thing, but it was fun anyway.