Sunday, December 1, 2019

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

And it snowed about 25 inches.
 Our little Christmas tree was buried.
Luckily we have a tractor with a snowblower.  It made clearing the road short work.

 With the discovery of battery operated Christmas lights we put Operation Snoopy's Christmas into effect.  We scouted the steep hill going to our home and found the perfect tree.  Quickly we covered it in lights.  We were in and out without the neighbors seeing us.  If asked we will deny everything.  It wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who did it since we are the only people up here with Christmas lights.  The thing is we are at the end of the road and nobody comes down here, so we've got that going for us.

What's Christmas without a little mystery? Do you decorate for Christmas?  Did you get hit with this last snow?

Sunday, November 24, 2019

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

There is construction down the road.  We are not the least bit excited about having neighbors.  It was great being the end of the road.  There is only one positive to this... Somebody will actually see our Christmas lights.  We are super excited because nobody ever sees our lights. In fact, we even added a few more lights.  Now if they would just drive by when the lights are on.
 I've never been very good at taking photos of Christmas lights.  The camera doesn't quite capture the true feelings lights evoke.  Anyway here is my attempt.  The brilliant blob in the corner of the porch is our one horse open sleigh.
We have always wanted an outdoor Christmas tree.  Our cabin is too small to have one inside.  My wonderful husband stomped down the snow and put lights on our new little tree.  It is out in the middle of nowhere, but it looks fabulous.  I also made a wreath for our door.  We really got into the Christmas spirit. 

 We saw the bighorn sheep for the first time in a long time.  We were on a four lane highway with nowhere to stop.  I wish we could have as they were so majestic jumping around on that sidehill.  You have to look really close to see them.  Below are Mother Nature's Christmas decoration.  Isn't it a beautiful little nest?  It is stonger than it looks.  It is in there pretty solid.  It amazes me they can weave it on there so we'll using only their beak.

That is all I know this week.  Do you have your Christmas lights up?  Do you have an outdoor Christmas tree?  What is your favorite part of the Christmas celebration?


Sunday, November 17, 2019

After the harvest...

I'm afraid I don't have anything special to share.  My husband harvested two deer, so I spent today butchering.  Yesterday, I spent the whole day hunting.  I wish I had taken a photo of the two rainbows against a pink sky.  There was just a lot of deer movement, I was afraid a huge buck would go by while I was piddling around.  My monster did go by, but too quickly and too far away for an arrow.  He looked like a king surveying his territory.  I haven't shot a deer yet,  but what an amazing day.  
I am glad my husband was able to shoot two bucks, as we were out of venison.  Today I made chislick with the tenderloins.  Wow. Amazing.  Just roll tenderloin chunks in a mix of flour, seasoned salt, pepper, basil flakes, and oregano flakes.  Fry in butter.  They melted in our mouths.  It feels pretty good to eat what you have harvested.
Life is pretty good.   I may not have put any meat in the freezer yet, but I have enjoyed the sense of peace sitting in the woods watching the world go by.

What is your favorite way of eating venison?  Have you ever had venison?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

That's why they call it hunting....


I have been hunting for nine days.  Until yesterday, I haven't seen anything to shoot.
Yesterday was different.  Within an hour of entering my blind, a tiny little fawn ran and bucked in the field behind me.  Although I was confident that a buck would stick to the trees alongside the river in front of me, I would turn my head occasionally to check what was happening at my back.
It was during one of these checks that I turned my head forward to see a monster buck staring at me through the trees.  He had seen my movement.  Drat.  Now it was a waiting game.  They don't get that big by being an idiot.  I stayed calm and studied the situation.  Only his head was showing.  The path he was on provided me one shot and one shot only.  We stared at one another for what felt like forever.
I had to wait until he turned his head to pull back my bow. Then I had to pray he took a step forward soon after.  Time stood still. I had to stare at his antlers, so I would know when he turned his head. If you look them in the eye they will know you aren't a tree, but a hunter.  Finally, he looked forward.  I pulled my bow back.  Then he focused on me once more.  
Again time stood still.  My arm started to shake.  I had to shoot while I could still be accurate.  I tried to find him in my peepsight through the brush.  I aimed and let loose.  The arrow flew at the perfect height.  It went right in front of him.

He never moved.  He didn't even flinch.  We stared at each other.  I grabbed another arrow.  I got it in the nock.  I raised for a second shot. He continues to stare. 
Just as I start to pull back he bolts.  He was even bigger than I thought.  In a second he is gone.  I am certain that was my one and only chance.  They don't get that big by making the same mistake twice.
That's why they call it hunting and not shooting.  It wasn't a complete loss.  I will forever have him etched in my memory.  He was truly regal.  It was worth it.  Even if I didn't harvest him, it was worth every minute.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Always moving forward...

Despite snow every other day, it was a great week.  I celebrated my birthday and we celebrated 25 years of marriage.  Life is good.

 My husband made our traditional birthday cake.  Chocolate cake with a raspberry jam filling.  He also smoked some steaks for the occasion.  I made homemade bread this week, along with cinnamon rolls.  I made cucumber and raspberry jelly.  Let's just say we ate well.  Winter is a time to fill the kitchen with comforting scents.  Today I made a wonderful bear roast.  It went great with with the homemade bread.
We spent a lot of time outdoors.  Shoveling, hunting, and running Ella.  I tried to get a quilting pattern and material, so I had something to do during these snowy evenings.  Everything had to be ordered.  I guess I'm in no hurry as it looks to be a long winter.  I found a very useful quilt planning checklist at www.hellomellydesigns.com .  It is great for figuring out how much material needed, a color scheme, and a timeline.

 Despite the fact our cabin seems to be in a snow zone, I love where we live.  It is a place of peace and quiet.  We are surrounded by woods and wildlife.
Ella is happy to sprint through the snow while I plod along in snowshoes.  

Many people say marriage is work.  I feel that ours is a vacation.  I am thankful for everything we have built together.  I look forward to what the next twenty-five will bring.



Sunday, October 27, 2019

Wildlife...

I had the joy of seeing the cranes going over when I was deer hunting last week.  I don't think there is a better experience in the world than a huge group of cranes dipping and diving above you.

 It is funny how they seem to just be going in circles, but before you know it they are gone.  I just found the photos below.  They are only from the end of September.  This was a very late fawn.  I haven't seen him since, but he could have just lost the spots and now looks like everyone else.  Anyway, he was such a cute little bugger I had to post his photos.

I would just like to note that it is no longer green or gold, but a cold blanket of white.  It has snowed every other day the last two weeks.  I need to make a list of winter projects and get on it.

What wildlife do you have around your home?  Do you see the cranes where you are?  Do you have any winter projects planned?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Bah humbug...

 Sorry, I'm a little behind.  It snowed all yesterday.  I didn't post because when it finally stopped around 10:00 pm, we started snowblowing our way out.  It was a long slow process as there was over a foot of wet and heavy snow.  


 Then to top it off, we have another packrat.  I cleaned up the front flower beds on Saturday, because there were still mice making a home there.  Sunday night I went to put something in the shed and two wheelbarrows worth of garden leaves and corn stems were shrewen all over.  It was clean Sunday morning.  I knew right away it was a packrat.  My husband set the live trap and. Sure enough a fat little packrat was peering at me this morning.  His new home is by the golf course halfway to work.  I'm sure where there was one there will be more, so the trap is reset.  I know it wasn't the same packrat as the one we had a few years ago, because that one only had three legs.

That's all I have.  Lots of snow.  On the positive side we have had some beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  The weatherman says it is from volcano eruptions last year.  Have you had colorful sunrises and sunsets too?  Any ideas for making my shed unhospitable for packrats?

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Hibernation...

It was a nice fall while it lasted.  I regret not taking more photos of the leaves.
Now fall is over and winter is clawing it's way in.  The poor trees took the brunt of it.  I have to admit, I pretty much hibernated this weekend.  I did make some apple crisp and chocolate zucchini muffins. After all you need to hibernate on a full belly.
 We did go bow hunting this afternoon.  I had a blast.  There were lots of does and fawns.  They came right up to the blind.  A little rabbit kept me company.  Even though he knew I was next to him, he just hopped around nibbling on everything there was to nibble.  I never saw a buck, but it was an enjoyable sit.

As my husband and I walked out, a fawn came running up to within 10 yards and followed us back to the truck.  He doesn't seem to have a mother and must have been lonely.  The moon was amazing.  It looked like the giant pumpkin rising from the prairie.

Are you ready for winter?  After my flurry of preparation, I know I'm ready for a long winter nap.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

This is the end...

I was very busy tidying up the garden.  I harvested seeds, put away garden decorations, dug up glads and geraniums, pulled the corn and pumpkin vines.  I spread sluggo around the beds.  Hopefully, it puts a dent in the slug population.  Next year, I will be ready for them.  While puttering around, I couldn't help but think of that Doors song, "this is the end, this is the end my friend."  Not only am I hoping it is the end for the slugs, but it is supposed to snow this week.  It also was the last entry in my garden journal.  
Kelly gave me the journal our first Christmas in the cabin. For seventeen years I've documented my projects, plants, the weather, and life in general.  Many an entry was made over coffee on the porch.  I have a new journal ready to go.  I was eager to start using it, until I started writing on the last page of the old one.  This is the end my friend.
I also picked a peck of peppers.  They are perfect roasted.  I cut them up and discarded the seeds.  I drizzled them with olive oil.  I added salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Then I broiled them for 5 minutes, shuffled them around, and broiled for another two minutes.  I let them cool, laid them in a container, and froze them.  Perfect peppers.

Besides drying many of my herbs, I love the olive oil method of preservation.  I take an ice cube trays and fill it with minced garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, and chives.  Pour olive oil over the top and freeze.  These are perfect when browning meat.  I love to use herbs when cooking.  I only have one cube left out of two trays from last year.  I dried mint, chamomile, lavender, basil, rosehips, sage, oregano, and parsley.

Do you use herbs often?  What is your favorite way to preserve them?  Have you had snow yet?  Here is hoping you have a warm week.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Fabulous Fall...

 Fall is always such a busy time of year.  I've been harvesting the little that I have to harvest.  Two pumpkins, some small ears of sweet corn, and peppers.  The only things I've had great luck with this year are my herbs.  Yesterday the weather was so terrible that I hurridly brought all of my herbs inside.  My basils went nuts this year.  We also picked the apples and crabapples.  I left quite a few for the birds, as most were pretty scarred from hailstorms.



This year I tried roasting my peppers and freezing them.  I have to say they are as good as broiled tomatoes.  Yumm...

 I still have quite a few flowers blooming.  My butterfly garden looks great.



The fall fog rolled in fast.  Another weekend came and went as quickly.  I was glad we were able to get the lawn mowed.  I think we set a new record this year.  We mowed every week except for two.  Are you enjoying your fall?  Did you mow a lot?