When the bold branches bid farewell to rainbow leaves - Welcome wool sweaters. ~ B. Cybrill

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April Fools...

Mother Nature got me.  It was in the 50's and 60's all last week.  Yesterday I was in my floppy hat and cleaning out the flowerbeds that were melted off.  My tulips were even starting to peek out.  The Goldfinches had turned a cheery yellow.  Bountiful Baskets had supplied lemons and I was looking forward to lemonade on the porch.  Ha, a sucker is born every minute...
 It snowed again.
 It is back to about 15 degrees.
He looks like I feel.  Drat.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

back in the saddle again...

I guess I'm coming out of my winter doldrums.  Not that it is melting here, mind you, but I did see bluebirds at work.  I was in a bit of a funk for awhile.  I am snapping out of it.  I'm back to baking, started some seeds, shoveled and chipped my way into the greenhouse, and back to making Pinterest projects.  Here are a couple of my Pinterest baking projects:

MANDY’S TRIPLE CHOCOLATE KAHLUA CAKE

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box chocolate pudding
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 cup chocolate chips
4 eggs
Flour a chocolate cake pan with cocoa so it won’t show after baking
½ cup oil
½ cup water
½ cup kahlua
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Bake in a Bundt pan that has been greased and floured for 40 to 50 minutes at 325. Make topping. Remove from oven and while warm, pour topping over cake.
http://sumptuousliving.net/mandys-triple-chocolate-kahlua-cake/

Rosemary Sea Salt Flat Bread
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 extra sprigs
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Method

Preheat oven to 230°C/450°F with a sturdy baking sheet on the middle rack.

Sift flour into a medium bowl and add chopped rosemary, baking powder and salt. Make a well in centre, then add water and oil and stir with a wooden spoon to form a dough. Knead dough gently on a clean work surface until you have a nice ball (doesn’t require much kneading).

Divide dough into three pieces, setting aside two of them in plastic wrap. Roll out your remaining dough on a sheet of baking paper until the dough is thin and in a shape you like (I went for oval, because I am bad at rolling and that’s just what happened).


Brush the top with extra oil and lightly press some extra rosemary leaves into the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt. Gently lift your baking paper and dough onto your pre-heated baking sheet and pop in the oven until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer flatbread to a rack to cool, discarding baking paper.
http://simpleprovisions.com.au/2012/12/10/rosemary-and-sea-salt-flatbread/


My chamomile is up and so is the spinach I planted last fall.  The greenhouse is maintaining a pretty warm temperature.  Today it was in the 90s. 
I have faith spring is around the corner.  Thank goodness.  I know I am ready.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Traditions...

We have an early spring tradition at our cabin.  As you may have noticed, the snow on the prairie melts well before the snow in the hills.  Thus, our tradition was created.  Every spring when our spirits are low because the weather is warm, but there is still too much snow to do anything, we take a day long road trip.  The beautiful thing about the hills is that we are surrounded by diverse landscapes.   A day long road trip can take us to the Badlands of Wall, the crazy rock formations around Custer, the prairie of Wyoming, and the river bottoms of the Belle Fourche River.  This time we decided to go up to Belle Fourche, over to Hullett, down to Devil's Tower, past Sundance, to Spearfish, and through the winding Spearfish Canyon.  It was great to get out and do something other than shoveling.

 There were some nice ranches on the trip.

 I wish I knew the story behind this little place.
 The deer and antelope were plentiful.
 This was an abandon coal mine.  There was a nice walking path around it.
 Devil's Tower is amazing.  I like the pivot in the foreground.
and the skies are not cloudy all day!
 Then it was back to reality.  Still it was a nice little trip.  It lifted our spirits.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'm losing ground

This picture is from today...


















This picture is from last week.  I get the distinct feeling I'm losing ground.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

No, I did not snowshoe over a cliff...

I am still here.  I didn't snowshoe off the face of the earth.  I haven't written lately, because after -18 temperatures I've found myself to be quite crabby.  No sense sharing that.  Even the rise in temperature has not improved my disposition.  I'm working on it.   These images did cheer me a bit. 



I'd give anything to see those colors in the garden.  Unfortunately, that will be awhile...
I did see this little guy buzzing around, so maybe there are happier days ahead.  I have appreciated visiting happier more hopeful blogs.  Thank you for the inspiration.  I will keep thinking spring.  


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend winter jaunt...

So maybe I was a bit premature with the whole spring is close theory.  We have averaged about 3-6 inches of snow almost every day since.  I'm afraid to say I haven't done anything very inspiring while housebound.  I did make a little ironing board for my quilting corner.  



I have been doing a lot of snowshoeing.   It does make me feel better to get out and seeing something pretty.

 We had a heavy frost.  I tried hard to capture the individual flakes.  




Home again home again jiggety jog.   I was in a good mood after my weekend jaunt, until I had to shovel for the second time that day.  Since the snowshoeing gives me a different perspective on winter, I thought I'd share a different perspective of our cabin in the woods.  Hope you are all holding tough and finding something to keep you sane this long winter.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A heat wave...

It was a heat wave this weekend.  We got up to 51 degrees on Sunday.  Ella knew as soon as I poured my coffee that we were headed to the porch.  It was wonderful.  I looked through my gardening catalogs and tried to envision what could be under the snow.  As you can see in front is a new addition to my garden.  I have forever wanted an old tool box for a planter.  I found the perfect one in an antique shop.  Of course the poor shopkeeper was using it for a display of old spice containers.  It took him a while to get it taken down.  It is perfect for keeping Ella's pinecones from falling off of the front.  I can't wait to fill it with flowers.



 Don't be fooled by my warm sunny porch.  There is still plenty of snow out there.  We seem to be getting 3 or more inches every night, despite the fact that the weatherman never mentioned it.  
 I tried to get into the greenhouse, but there is too much ice in front.  I just opened the top door and filled my nose with the scent of warm earth.  It will do for another week, but sooner or later I need get in there.  
 Every year I am in charge of making dinner rolls for the officer's banquet.  I enjoy spending the day making bread.  I make a super big batch, so there is plenty for people to take home and a few for us to bring back.  There is something so fulfilling about making bread.  Sorry, no photos of the finished product.   Just know it was a successful day of bread making.

 I was not as successful in my annual bird count.  I didn't have any sunflower seeds.  This made a big impact on my count.  I think last year I had about 20-30 chickadees.  This year I had a whopping 2.  My two white breasted nuthatches made sure they were counted.  I also have at least one downy woodpecker every year.  I did finally get some seeds today.  Not in time for the count, but I'm sure the birds don't mind.


We hit the 50's, so I have high hopes that spring is around the corner.  I hope others had a more successful bird count.