Sunday, November 18, 2018

Peace and quiet...

I am still deer hunting.  So far I have seen gaggles of geese, flocks of ducks, a bald eagle, two little beavers working on a lodge, a three legged buck, and a buck that had a huge wad of baling twine tangled in his antlers.  I probably should have taken the baling twine buck.  By the time I realized what the green gob that was coming towards me was and that it was attached to a buck it was too late.  Despite a few cold mornings I wouldn't trade a day watching nature with anything.  My job is a constant stream of emergencies and dealing with people.  It is such a blessing to just sit quietly and just watch the world go by.  Sometimes I just need some peace and quiet.

 Meanwhile on the the home front, the turkeys are hanging out around the house.  This old gal decided to spend most of the day sitting in a tree.  

I am forever in awe of the colors nature can provide.  I took the photos below from our deck.  Could we be luckier?   I was happy the camera captured the colors as well as it did.   





There isn't much else going on in our little corner of the woods.  I still have a few more days of hunting.  Maybe I'll get something and maybe I won't.  I will still have some great memories and tales to tell.  Also I will be refreshed from a little peace and quiet.   Where do you find your peace?

Sunday, November 11, 2018

I'd rather be baking...

Today the wind was blowing snow everywhere.  It was the perfect day to stay in the house and bake.  There were several Pinterest recipes I wanted to try.  This morning I made Scottish Pancakes.  I've wanted to try making them for sometime.  They were perfect.  Sorry, no pictures.  I'm not the most astute in the mornings.  You can find the recipe at diethood.com.

Scottish Pancakes
Mix 1                                            Mix 2
1 c. flour                                       1 egg
2 t. baking powder                      3/4 c. 2 T. milk
1/2 t. cinnamon                            1 t. vanilla
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
Blend mix 1 and mix 2 together.  Heat griddle and coat with a thin layer of oil.  Drop batter by 1/4 cup.  Wait until the top bubbles and flip.  Then heat until golden brown.  Delicious.

Next was some Raspberry Chocolate Chip Biscotti.  I found this recipe at thebakermama.com

Raspberry Choclolate Biscotti
1/2 c. butter            3 c. flour                              3/4 c. frozen raspberries
1 c. sugar                3 t. baking powder             3/4 c. mini chocolate chips
2 eggs                      1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla              

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Slowly add dry ingredients.  Gently fold in raspberries and chocolate chips.  Divide dough in half and shape into rectangular loaves.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes then cut into slices.  Flip slices on the sides and bake for 15 more minutes.  Flip again and bake an additional 10 minutes.  Enjoy with coffee.
 The final recipe is Cinnamon Spice Sugar Cookies.  I wanted to try a different type of sugar cookie.  They turned out pretty good.  
Cinnamon Spice Sugar Cookies
Mix 1                               Mix 2                                        Frosting
2 3/4 c. flour                   3/4 c. butter                              2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. baking powder        1 c. sugar                                  1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. salt                            2 eggs                                        1/4 c. milk
2 t. cinnamon                 2 t. vanilla                                 1/4 t. cinnamon
1. t nutmeg
1 t. ginger 
Blend the dry and butter mixtures together.  Chill for 1 hour.  Roll out and cut into shapes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.   Top with frosting.  You can find the recipe at houseofyumm.com
Not only did I get the baking done, but I cleaned my closet and the junk drawers.  Yesterday was the opening of hunting season.  I spent the day out at our prairie property.  I saw lots of deer.  I even saw a 3 legged buck that seemed to get around just fine.  There is nothing better than a day outdoors observing nature. The ducks and geese were everywhere.  The sounds of their quacks and honks filling the fall air.  I didn't see anything I wanted to shoot.  I have a few more weeks.  Do you see the doe in the background of the photo below?  He's looking for love in all the wrong places.

I am a lucky person that I can spend one day outdoors enjoying nature and the next in a cozy cabin baking like crazy.  How did you spend your weekend?  When was the last time you tried a new recipe?  I have to say all three of mine were a thumbs up.  

A huge thank you to all of the Veterans out there.  I appreciate your service.  I understand that freedom is not free.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Running...

I'm reading a book called A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives.  It is a conglomeration of essays about women who achieved things after the age of 40.  I can relate to its emphasis on the fact that you are never too old to start something new.  I started running on my 40th birthday, because I wanted to run a half marathon as a celebration of my age.  Prior to that my last official run was in high school.  I complained the whole time I worked out.  The day after the marathon I swore I was going to burn my running shoes.  Then my friend from Denmark told me to pack my running shoes, because she had entered us in the world's largest 5k.  Three months later I ran the five k and again swore I would never run again.

Funny thing is running kind of grew on me.  It also grew on my running partner, Ella.  Our Sunday runs have become tradition. She watches me like a hawk for any sign of running clothes.  Today she was a little miffed because she had to wear her orange neck gaiter.  It is hunting season and we both wear orange for safety.
As you can see, our route has beautiful views.  I'm lucky we can go out the front door and just run. Ella is a great partner and always stays right with me.  Today was fun because there was a light dusting of snow.   We saw coyote tracks, deer tracks, and even a set of lion tracks.  I was going to take photos  of the tracks, but the snow was so blinding I didn't get very good pictures.  It is funny how my opinion of running has changed.  I enjoy the feeling I get from running.   I believe they call it a runner's high.  Hopefully, the snow will keep at bay for a while and I won't have to change my running shoes to snow shoes.  

This week I stopped by to visit my relatives, Bob and Phyllis.  I was doing a bit of trading.  I had some honey, jam, and a sweet grass braid.  In return I got some hand knitted dish cloths and a little something extra.  Phyllis is familiar with my desire to have a picnic basket for each of my nieces and nephew.   She happened to see one at the old store in Aladdin, WY and she got it for me.  Now my collection is complete.  She even managed to find one that stayed with my red theme.  You can see it a little better at the bottom.  It is a Red Man picnic basket.  It is in perfect shape.  
We had a wonderful visit talking about history, hunting, and food.  She also found a photo of her, her brother and my mom, with her brothers and sister, riding in an old hay cart.  It is just like the one my husband restored.  They talked about how Sonny would push them all over in that cart.  I cannot believe no one lost a hand or finger in those wheels.  It is a great photo.  

It was a good week.  Great company and the weather has been holding.  We had snow yesterday, but this morning was a beautiful day for a run.  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  What is something you started doing after 40?  Do you have a photo of an old hay cart?  


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Thoughts...

I had a birthday and our 24th wedding anniversary this week.  I also attended a funeral on my birthday, which is something everyone should do at least once.  It makes you appreciative.  I have always tried to live by the quote, "Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many."  It is kind of my mantra.  Birthdays are to be celebrated, not shunned.  I am older and wiser than I was last year.  I always think of Susan, a fellow blogger, on my birthday.  I hold her dear to my heart, as her daughter, Kelly, was born in October the same year as me.  Her Kelly, passed away from cancer.  Susan's loss makes me grateful for every birthday I'm lucky enough to get.  
How does one celebrate a birthday?  By eating a big slice of chocolate raspberry cake (made by my loving husband) for breakfast with coffee.  Then towards evening enjoying some Chubby Chipmunk Truffles and Calamity Jane Wine from the Prairie Berry Winery.  Probably not the healthiest way to celebrate, but I had my doctor, dentist, and optometrist appointments today and was certified as very healthy.  I even disclosed my recent indulgences to the doctor.   She said as long as I kept that habit to once a year she thought I was safe.  I always have my yearly checkups all on one day around my birthday, so I don't forget.  It also makes it super easy to schedule next year's appointments.  
Well, that is all I have.  I made it another year and my husband and I are still happily married.  I hope everyone had a great weekend and for those of you that cringe at birthdays, I hope I changed your mind a little.  


Sunday, October 21, 2018

An old hay cart is new again...

My husband is always doing something special for me.  He saw this hay cart on Craigslist and knew I would love it.  It is a small world because when he picked it up the guy selling it had worked with me years ago.  The cart was in terrible condition.  The boards were rotten and none of the bolts matched.
Always fixing things, my husband took it apart, sanded it, and repainted it.


He then replaced all of the boards and the handle.  Luckily the weather was warm so the stain and the paint could dry.
There you go.  One brand spanking new hay cart.  I love it.
It works like a charm.  It is not only utilitarian, but pretty enough that I could use it as decoration.
I had a lot of questions about the painted rocks on my parent's hillside.  It is their brand, the Diamond J Bar.  You can't see the bar very well in this photo.  When I was a kid every few years we would have to repaint the rocks.  You needed to be careful because those rocks have no problem rolling to the bottom of the hill.  It doesn't look that steep, but trust me it is.

That is all I know.  I love my new cart.  My husband is a pretty special fella.  I hope you all had a good weekend.  The weather has warmed up here and we are enjoying a bit of a fall.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bird is the word...

My husband and I made a quick trip back to my parents last weekend.  A person hates to leave the hills during the fall.  The colors are so amazing and fall is very short lived.  

I was able to add a few more birds to my birding list.  The grouse were hard to get a photo of.  They move pretty fast.  This one stopped for a second on the electric lines and I got a quick photo.
Sharp-Tailed Grouse
I already have a red tailed hawk photo, but this one posed, unlike the other one.  We saw tons of them on the drive home and back.  It was heartbreaking that I missed a photo of a bald eagle on the coolest rock sticking up out of the prairie.  By the time we realized it was real and got turned around it had flown off.  We will forever have the picture in our head. 
Red Tailed Hawk
 As you can see, the leaves are just starting to turn at my parent's place.
I think I have a song sparrow photo also, but this guy kept taunting me for a photo. 
 Song Sparrow
 My mother's flower bed. Is always amazing.  Those petunias are all volunteers.  Our short growing season and shady yard would never encourage this type of growth.
It is snowing again and my crab apple tree is filled with robins, flickers, and turkeys.  They are very happy to have some food during our latest snowstorm.
 Northern Flicker
I have looked and looked.  I think this is an orange crowned warbler rather than a yellow warbler.  Yellow warbler's have bars on the wings and the orange crowned doesn't.  If I have mis-identified please let me know. 
Orange Crowned Warbler
 We got about 5-6 inches of heavy wet snow.  The trees are all bent over, because they still have their leaves.  It is supposed to warm up this week.  I hope so.  I'm not quite ready for winter.
 
I hope you are having better weather.  It was a good trip home last weekend and I did enjoy taking it easy this weekend.  I needed a quiet weekend.  Hopefully the roads won't be too icy tomorrow.  

Monday, October 1, 2018

Tired...


It snowed.  No big surprise.  It got me into gear and I tidied up the garden.

I harvested my pumpkin, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and garlic.  I planted more garlic.  Next I tackled the kitchen chores.  I made more caramel apple jam. The garlic went into my favorite Pinterest find.  I quartered the cloves and put them in ice cube trays along with basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.  Then poured olive oil over the top and froze the cubes.

 I packed my crabapple wine and bottled my dandelion wine.  The dandilion wine turned out atrocious.  I have no idea what happened.  

Then to end out the weekend my husband shot a deer with his bow and I needed to get it butchered before it warms up.  I finished up tonight.  I'm looking forward to fresh venison.
Somewhere in the middle of all that I made sour cream donuts.  They turned out great.

I really need a weekend for my weekends.  I'm wore out.  I'm sure things will slow down when winter hits.