I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Birds, bees, berries, blooms, and BEARS!

My husband and I went on a great adventure last week.  We went to Saskatchewan on a bear hunt and fishing trip.  Wow was it ever a fun. I am reminded of something I saw that said, "When was the last time you did something for the first time?"   It was a whole trip of firsts... 
The first time I was lulled to sleep by the loons.

 The first time I had ever fished for Northern Pike.  
We caught many and now I am the one hooked:)
 The first time I have been to Canada.  It is beautiful country with wonderful people.
                    The first time I watched beavers at work, while I peacefully fished.
 The first time I've been on a lake that was so big you needed a map to get around.

The first time I have been lost on a lake, despite the map. 
The first time I have seen a spruce grouse.

The first time I watched a bear in the woods.



The first time I have hunted a bear and I was successful.

It was a phenomenal trip of firsts and I was lucky enough to experience them with my best friend.




Sunday, May 17, 2015

It comes and it goes...

If there is one thing I have learned, it is that life is fleeting.  Enjoy it while you can.

Appreciate it when the sun shines and you can see the intricate things that make this world an amazing place.




 Before you know it there is a blizzard and one thinks all is lost.


 The snow melts, you brush yourself off, and bravely trudge on. Maybe with a limp.


Sometimes you can't recover.  All you can do is enjoy things while they last and understand that nothing is forever.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Love is in the air part two...

It isn't just the tree frogs feeling frisky.  The tom turkeys are prancing around in their full regalia, trying to tempt the hens. 


The thing I love most about turkeys is the fact that those feathers aren't brown. They are every color of the rainbow.  Do you see the red, blue, and green in the hen's feathers?  
The colors of love may be crushed under a slough of snow for awhile.   I'm sure this will melt quickly, but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow.

Are we the only ones getting snow?  I hope the rest of you have greener pastures.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Love is in the air...

Love is in the air.  This week the treefrogs have serenaded us with their mating calls.  Today I went down to our pond and investigated.  I was honored to not only witness an amorous male and interested female, but also see the results of their affair.  

 How such a little frog can make so much noise is beyond me.   He is literally the size of a half dollar, but you can hear them 1/4 of a mile away.   Below the female is quietly listening.







Above is the results of their endeavors.  I wish I could sneak down and check the pollywog progress, but we have some ducks homesteading down there and I don't want to disturb them.  I will just have to listen from afar.  

It is great fun watching nature close up.  I felt very lucky that I was able to see those little frogs and the eggs.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A five project weekend...



 It was a cold windy weekend.  I tried to garden, but the wind quickly drove me indoors.  It was a good time for Pinterest Projects.  

Project one was Bulletproof Coffee Creamer drops.
1/2 c. butter
1 c. coconut oil
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. sea salt

Boil the butter for a few minutes then add rest of ingredients.  Whisk until thoroughly mixed.  Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.  After frozen, pop out of trays, put in a jar, and keep in the fridge.  To use: Take one cube and 2 cups of coffee , mix in a blender, until cube is melted, then re-heat coffee in the microwave for 30 seconds.  It is quite a bit of work, but does taste pretty good.

http://www.agirlworthsaving.net/2014/01/bulletproof-coffee-drops.html


Project 2 is my old summer standby homemade lemonade.   The official title is Anne of Green Gables Lemonade.  

2 c. water
2 c. sugar
2 c. fresh squeezed lemonade

Boil the water and sugar for 1 minute.  the sugar should be completely dissolved.  Add the lemon juice.   This makes a wonderful concentrate.  2 c. of concentrate to 6 cups of water. 

http://www.simplysogood.com/2010/06/old-fashion-lemonade.html
 

Project 5 has no recipe.  It is my Red Letter Raspberry wine.  I just had to take a picture, because it is such a beautiful ruby red color.   I'm finally back on track with my wine making.  I make a gallon batch a month.  In 3 months, it is ready.  I got off kilter, because I missed a batch. Then I mis-labeled some batches.  I realize now that note taking is very important.  I was able to bottle the raspberry over the weekend.  It was grand with a good steak.

Project 4 is kind of my own recipe for lotion bars.   I am allergic to most lotion, but these work perfectly.

1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. beeswax
2 T.  almond oil
1 t. vitamin e oil
scent of choice

Mix in a double broiler, until melted.  Then pour into a mold.  I have found this square mold works the best.




Project 5 is my standby lemon sugar scrub.  

1 c. sugar
2 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
1t. of lemon rind (from the above lemonade project)

This is a wonderful scrub for the shower.  





Well, that was my weekend projects.  I'm sure you are familiar with a few of them.   I go back to them because they are successful.  On Pinterest I have a board with the things that I have tried.  I have tried 147 projects or  products.  Thirty have failed miserably.  Things like:  Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole, making things from old sweaters, pumpkin pie energy bites (so gross), and Smore's Pie.  One hundred and seventeen have been extremely successful:  Cheeseburger Soup,  strawberry hot chocolate, lime chicken, giant jenga, and beanbag toss boards.  

What are some success and failures you have found on Pinterest?

After posting this, I tried another pin with extreme success.  Put 1/4 cup of normal popcorn in a brown paper bag.  Fold the bag 3 times and put the microwave on popcorn.  It works like a charm.  Make that 148 pins, 30 unsuccessful, and 118 successful.

http://www.frugallivingnw.com/frugal-tip-make-your-own-microwave-popcorn/

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring has sprung...

Finally, I have some blooms to post.  My crocuses took advantage of the warm weather and made an early appearance.  They are always so cheerful against a drab world.





 These tulips sprung up before I could even get the bed cleaned out.  
I'm in shock that everything is melted off here.  I spent the weekend raking the yard and cleaning the flower beds.  
Meanwhile, in the greenhouse seeds are making their appearance.  My broccoli is up and  making progress.
 The lettuce is also finally coming up.  I seeded them last fall, but they never germinated this spring, so I had to reseed them.  It looks like the second time was a charm.
 Of course I don't expect the weather to hold, I have a back up plan in case it goes sour.  My dad got me a little cabin heater for the greenhouse.  I got it all set up today.  
It is my hope that if I plan for a big snowstorm it won't make an appearance.  I am about a month ahead of schedule in the gardening world.   What is going on in other parts of the country?  Are you already planting outside?  Are your crocuses long gone?  

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Rivers...

We did some exploring this weekend.   It is very rare that the snow is melted off this early and we took advantage.  We explored the riverbanks of the Belle Fourche River and Whitewood Creek.  

The Belle Fouche River is deep and swift.  The grass was tall and smelled heavenly.  There are supposed to be catfish (my favorite), so next time I will have to bring my pole.

 I love the giant cottonwoods that follow the river banks.  The prairie was warm and refreshing.

Our next stroll was along Whitewood Creek as it runs below Deadwood.  This creek is filled with trout and many people fly fish along it's windy banks.   The road followed the old railroad grade.  It was a beautiful walk.






You can see Ella in the distance patiently waiting for us to catch up.  It was a bit cooler in the hills, but certainly better than most Aprils.  

I am pleased the weather has allowed me the opportunity to get outside.  I am also thankful I live somewhere that within 20 minutes I can explore the prairie or the hills.   It amazes me how two rivers, not that far apart, can hold such different landscapes.  I hope everyone across the country is also enjoying an early spring.