Saturday, December 28, 2019


The weather cooperated and I was able to go home for Christmas.  Our Christmas is filled with traditions.  One is getting outside and seeing the wildlife.  I miss the sound of the geese.  Their honks filled the air.

Christmas presents are just a small part of the fun.  Cooking Christmas dinner is a family affair.  Everyone chips in and does their part.  Mom's kitchen is a carefully coordinated dance.  As you can see below, pies are the dessert of choice.  

 I'm making a family cookbook, so we really worked to get photos of everyone in the kitchen.  My dad never cooks, except oyster stew.  Funny thing is none of us kids know how to make oyster stew.  We still needed an action shot of him in the kitchen and a plan was hatched.  When he came upstairs, I asked him to stir the gravy and my niece, Sierra, took an action shot.  It was a well coordinated event.   We were successful.    We were so impressed with our little plan that we even got the hired man, Jr, stirring the pot.

 My niece and nephew got radios for Christmas.  They used them to guide the little guy to the trash barrels.  You can see him carrying all the bags, talking on the radio, and being followed by the always in the background farm cat.

For the first time since we were kids, my sister and I did not have to do Christmas dishes.  Instead the two older girls washed and dried.  The whole time pretending they were doing a podcast.  We were able to pursue other interests, like putting together puzzles with the little ones.

 There is only one way to end Christmas day.  We go sledding.  It is probably our biggest Christmas tradition.  Nothing says the holidays like shoving your sister's kids down a precarious hill.  

 Yucca plants, rocks, cactus, trees, and fences aren't going to stop the fun.  Of course, you have to see how many people fit on the sled and inevitably the spills are the best part.  We did break from tradition this year and stopped sledding, before somebody got hurt.  Usually, someone gets injured and heads to the house crying or limping.  I'd like to think we got smarter, but the truth is we just got cold.

It was a great Christmas.  It is good that some things never change.  On the trip home I was able to stop and see my 96 year old grandmother.  Since many of the recipes in the family cookbook will be hers, I asked if she would grant me an action shot in the kitchen.  She was more than happy to oblige.  

That is a run-down of our Christmas traditions.  It made for a great trip.  What are your Christmas traditions?  Do you go sledding?  Does everyone help with the cooking?  Who does the dishes?  What desserts do you have?  Whatever you do I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

 The quilt is coming along nicely.  I am enjoying the repetition of tracing and cutting.  Next weekend the sewing begins.  I'm excited about the new challenge.  Already I'm making changes.  The original pattern isn't for a quilt, but a bed runner.  I think it will make a lovely quilt. 

I don't have much else going on.  I'm wrapping presents, baking babka, and keeping busy.   Ella and I went for our weekly snowshoeing excursion.  It was crazy windy.  The winter solstice came and went quietly.   I am ready for Christmas, which makes the holiday more enjoyable.  Are you ready for Christmas?

Sunday, December 15, 2019

New project...

 Here is my newest quilt project.  It will be against a yellow background, but I don't have the background material yet.  I have four down and six to go.   First, they all get cut out.  Then individually sewn on to the background fabric.  We'll see how it goes.
 My old snowshoes broke, so my husband got me a new pair as an early Christmas gift.  He knew Ella and I would both go crazy if we couldn't snowshoe on Sunday.  Bless Amazon's quick shipping.  We didn't miss a beat.  I really like them.  They seem to be lighter than my old pair.  I even have ski poles, so I'm right up town.

 She loves to run in the snow.  We've had some rather large lion tracks around this weekend.  She must know, because she kept close.  The lions must know mountain lion season doesn't start until after Christmas, because they always come around the cabin a few weeks before the season starts.  After it starts, I don't see another track.

Another weekend has come and gone.  We got quite a bit accomplished.  I'm happy to finally make progress on my quilt.  What are your winter activities?  Quilting, snowshoeing, skiing, crafting, or hibernating?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Goal achieved...

If you have read my blog very often you know I love bread.  Any bread, I'm not picky.  When I was a little girl our neighbors would make lefse.  A Norwegian flat bread made with potatoes, cream, and butter.   I was always a bit confused that it was a Norwegian bread, since our neighbors were not Norwegian.  That was the best bread!  I could have eaten a whole batch.  It has always been a goal of mine to make lefse.  For some reason, it seemed a very intimidating task.  Not anymore.  Today I made lefse for the first time.  It was far easier than I imagined.

First, I took a bowl of leftover mashed potatoes.  I  think it was about 3 cups.  I added 1/2 c. Cream, 1 t. Salt, 2 t. Sugar, 1/2 c. Butter, and 2 c. Flour.  I mixed all up and rolled them into little balls.  I set them in the fridge for an hour.
I lightly rolled them out, being extremely generous with the flour.
I then laid the flat bread on a hot griddle.  The dough will start to bubble.  After about 3-4 minutes, flip it.  Then let that side sit for 3 minutes.  Lay the warm lefse on a flour sack towel and cover.  Continue to stack them in this manner.  Wipe the flour off of the grill with a wet clothes before putting another piece on the grill.
I am super happy with the end result.  I was very thankful I found a great YouTube video on the process.  "Let's make Lefse" by bcgaub.  Those ladies were wonderful.

That was the highlight of my weekend.  I am so glad I finally just dove in and tried making lefse.  A little lifetime goal achieved.  What is something you have always wanted to try making?

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.