Saturday, December 17, 2011

New member of the family

 We added a new member to our family today.
Her name is Souri (French for mouse)
Souri is an Australian Shepherd, Great Pyrenees mix.
I think she will make a great farm dog.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Santa Clause is Comiming to town

I'm pretty sure Santa is coming to our place this year.
 I found this sign on top of a big hay bale.

 I might have to write a note to tell him we have cookies and milk at the house so he doesn't forget to come over while he is here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's Begining to look alot like Christmas

Our house is starting to look festive.

I found these pretty bulbs when we moved into this house.

 This is what was printed on the box of ornaments:
        During the dark ages, German natives in remote northern Bohemia originated an art form in glassblowing which not only holds a unique place in the 4000 year history of this ancient art, but has become a cherished part of Christmas tradition. The Germans had learned this skill (a heritage of Egypt) from wandering Venetian tradesmen. They used it to create glass ornaments for adornment of the Tannenbaum (fir tree) in their Yule celebration of  the winter sun solstice. Early Christians adapted this custom of decorating the evergreen to their celebration of the birth of Christ, and thus the Christmas tree was born. Down through the centuries the German glass blowers of Bohemia became famous throughout the world for their blown glass Christmas tree ornaments.

 Happy decorating everyone!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Little men of the Forest

 I took a walk along Antelope lake and discovered the beavers have been very busy chopping down trees and building under water homes.

 Mom used to call them Little Men of the Forest.

 Like people these rodents re engineer the landscape to their liking.
 They burrow into banks of lakes and rivers and build dams out of trees they have gnawed down with their strong teeth. These animals work, work, work, like little lumber jacks and builders to transform swamps and fields into large ponds that the little creatures thrive in.

 Their lodges are home to an extended family of monogamous parents, young kits and the yearlings born the previous spring.

 The lake is freezing over now. I'm sure this family of beavers will be cozy and warm in their homes all winter.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Here's some of the critters that where hanging around the farm today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grand Old Barn

 This barn has been left on the landscape from days gone by.
 It's set back off the road built into the hillside and blends into it's surroundings.

 As you drive by you might notice the red peak and glance over to see this fascinating barn.

 It looks as if it is fading into the land with just a hint of color left to give it's presence away.

 I would love to go explore this mysterious structure and gain incite into it's past lives.

 Look closely at the house behind the barn. Do you see a ghostly figure peering through the window?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Feast

 Friday at noon was opening day of rifle season for deer.
 It's like a National Holiday here. Many of the schools had the day off.

 On the way home from work Dawn and I spotted lots of people dressed in orange driving down the roads, walking in the fields and behind every bush. It seems those poor deer don't stand a chance.

 I've invited some of the wild creatures down to the safe haven of my front yard for a pumpkin feast.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Turn The Page Tuesday- The Help

I've been busier than a one armed paper hanger but I did get this book read.
It is one of the best novels I have read in a long time.
"The Help" is one of those books you keep thinking of long after you finish turning the pages.
These characters stay with you and become part of your life.

This book tells about lady's in the deep south, the maids and the families that they worked for.
It seems the area this book was set in had been left in the past of great prejudice's. The help at most times where treated no better than the slaves.

I keep thinking about the relationship of Abileen, the colored maid who loves and cares for May Mobley, a little white girl who's own mama has little feeling for her  daughter.

Abileen wants May Mobley to grow up and be a nice person with out the mean prejudice's like her mother.

Here is a passage out of the book:

 Miss Leefolt just now noticing her child ain't setting in the same room with her. "She out here with me, Miss Leefolt," I say through the screen door.
 "I told you to eat in your high chair, May Mobley. How I ended up with you when all my friends have angels I just don't know..." But then the phone ring and I hear her stomping off to get it.
 I look down at Baby Girl, see how her forehead's all wrinkled up between the eyes. She studying hard on something.
 I touch her cheek. "You alright, baby?"
 She say, "May Mo bad."
 Then  she say it, like it's a fact, make my insides hurt.
 Mae Mobley," I say cause I got a notion to try something. "You a smart girl?"
 She just look at me like she don't know.
 "You a smart girl," I say again.
 She say, Mae Mo smart."
 I say, "You a kind little girl?"
 She just look at me. She two years old. She don't know what she is yet.
 I say, "You a kind girl," and she nod, repeat it back to me. But before I can do another one, she get up and chase that poor dog around the yard and laugh and that's when I get to wondering, what would happen if I told her she something good, ever day?

I haven't watched the movie that just came out but if it's anything like the book it will be very good!

To check out more good reads go on over to Some of a Kind

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rest Area

 My family always picks on me about having to stop at every rest area while we are traveling.

 I found this cute little rest area on highway 19. We drive past it on our way to Rugby.

 Have you herd the story about the lady that took so long to arrive at her destination?
  She saw a sign that said clean rest rooms next 100 miles.
  She stopped and cleaned every one of them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Carrots, Carrots everywhere

We've had a few hard frosts. Gardening season is over. 
 We dug the last of the carrots today.

Some of them will be stored in the shop in sand so we can have fresh carrots all year long.

 I used my salad shooter to slice a bunch of them thin and froze them in quart size zipper bags. They are delicious cooked and smothered with butter and a little salt.

 Today Dawn and I grated a five gallon bucket of them to freeze, so we can make cakes, muffins, cookies and bread.

 For some reason the soil in our garden is great for carrots. It produces gigantic carrots that are very sweet and tasty.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween Poem 2011

The trail through the woods beckons me.
Come on in.
You never know what you might see.

A peaceful world awaits
in the deep woods, under the tree's.

I wander around from here to there.
Feeling the leaves crunch under my boots
and breathing in the nice fall air.

A deer snorts and runs away.
Flashing his tail as if to say,
What are you doing invading my woods?

The gnarly tree's are a sight to see.
They always seem to fascinate me.

A flock of geese fly overhead.

But now I must hurry to get back home.
It's getting dark, and I'm all alone.

A change is coming in the woods.
A spooky change, that isn't good.

I look at a tree and see a face.
The branch's are arms
trying to grab and hold me in this place.

People will wonder where I've gone.
What has happened to the girl
they haven't seen in so long?

Someday another soul
will be enticed to walk in these woods.
Mine will be the face they see
hidden in this big oak tree.

Beware, beware, don't go wandering around in there!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Apple Butter

It's Apple season!

 I made apple butter last week and it is delish. I got the recipe out of the old stand by cook book "Better Homes and Garden"

Apple Butter
6 pounds tart apples
6 cups cider or apple juice
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

 Core and quarter unpaired apples. In 4-to 6-quart kettle, combine apples and cider. Cook about 30 minutes, or till soft. Pass through food mill. Boil gently 30 minutes: stir over low heat till sugar dissolves. Boil gently, stirring frequently, till of desired thickness. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Adjust lids. Process in boiling water bath (half-pints) 10 minutes. Makes 4 half pints.

Toot-a-loo now I'm off to make apple sauce.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

October is here and the Great Pumpkin is rising out of the pumpkin patch.

Linus: On Halloween night the Great Pumpkin will rise out of the pumpkin patch.
            He flies through the air and brings toys to all the children of the world.
            Each year The Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's got to pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there is not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.
 Yes, I have planted a row of pumpkins again this year. They have grown, spread and produced some huge pumpkins. I'm sure I haven't enough strength to lift these gigantic pumpkins out of the garden.

 My practical husband says no more pumpkins.
 I have told him I am a witch and need my pumpkins. I have promised to plant smaller ones next year. Something I can pick up and tote around instead of these huge monsters.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Little White Hen

 It was quite a surprise to see chicks scurrying around this little white hen.
 She is such a good mama.

 A wild turkey ten times her size came up to check out her chicks. She ruffled up her feathers and chased that no good turkey away.

 I love to see her out clucking to her hatchling's. Showing them where food is and keeping them safe from harm.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bread & Butter Pickles

 We're having a bumper crop of cucumbers, so I decided to make bread & butter pickles.

 I found this recipe in Grandma Lida's cook book.

Bread and Butter Pickles
6 quarts sliced cucumbers
6 medium onions, sliced
1 cup salt
6cups vinegar
6 cups sugar
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 cup mustard seed
1/4-1/3 tsp. cayenne pepper

 Combine sliced onions and cucumbers with salt and let stand 3 hours.
Drain well. Rinse and drain. Combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seed, celery seed and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Add cucumbers and onions and heat just to simmering point. Avoid actual boiling or it will soften pickles. Pack in hot, sterilized jars and seal immediately.
 Makes 9-10 pints.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Turn The Page Tuesday-Sea Glass by Anita Shreve

 I picked this book up at a thrift store last Summer, I think mostly for the cover.
 This novel took me awhile to get into but I'm glad I kept on reading.
 Each chapter is about a different person seeming to have nothing to do with the last. When these people come together it gets very interesting.
 "Sea Glass" takes place during the great depression, an era that has always fascinated me.

 "Young newlyweds starting out their life together in a derelict beach house on the New England coast soon discover how threatening the world around them can be."

 This book starts out with Honora the heroin of this novel.

 Honora sets the cardboard suitcase on the slab of granite. The door is mackereled, paint-chipped-- green or black, it is hard to tell. Above the knocker, there are panes of glass, some broken and others opaque with age. Overhead is a portico of weathered shingles and beyond that a milk-and-water sky. Honora pinches the lapels of her suit together and holds her hat against the wind. She peers at the letter "B" carved into the knocker and thinks, This is the place where it all begins.

This is fascinating to read  when adversary comes how each persons character comes through some good & others bad.

 For more great books to read pop over to Some of a Kind

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Peace Gardens

 We visited the Peace Gardens Saturday.
 These gardens are located on the border of The United States and Canada. They where created to promote peace and are full of beautiful flowers, fountains and walk ways.

 Here is a monument as you enter the Peace Gardens.
This is what is written on the native stone.
To God in all his glory.....
We two nations dedicate this garden and pledge ourselves
that as long as men shall live
we will not take up arms against one another.

Dawn met this little frog and was hoping with a kiss
he would turn into her prince charming.

Here is a picture of the gardens with the peace towers in the distance.
Behind them is a chapel with sayings carved in stones.

Here is a clock made of flowers.
It is different colors at differing times of the year
depending on what is in bloom at that time.

If you get a chance take a trip to the Peace Gardens.

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's a Dogs Life

 This is a spot on the beach in the beautiful Pungent Sound area where Dawn and I traveled last month for my niece Brittany's wedding.

Shortly after arriving at the charming rented cottage we decided to stretch our legs. We found a trail leading down to the beach. This is a spot of beach with houses along the shore.

We sat on a log to take in the views.

Two lady's in sun hats and sandals where walking towards us surrounded by dogs. As they approached I reached out to pet a dog.

The beach gals said only one of the dogs was theirs. The rest had just tagged along for a walk down the beach.

After they passed an old Newfoundland lumbered down from a near by house and sat down right beside me. I petted his soft head for a bit. After awhile he got up and hobbled down the beach.

 Dawn & I decided to walk to the country store to get a refreshing drink.

 Laying just inside the door was a big black lab.

 The young store keep says "Rex, go to the beach. You can't stay in here all day."
 So Rex gets up and heads out the door to the beach.

 It seems as if the dogs in the small town of Indianola are community owned.
Or maybe they own the community?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Things That go Bump in the Night

 Something very strange happened in the dark of the night.
 I suddenly woke out of a deep sleep to my big brave husband turning on the light and scurrying out of the bedroom pulling the door shut behind him.
 What caused such odd behavior was flying back and forth through our bedroom at breakneck speeds, a small black bat.
 I quickly pulled the covers over my head and peeked out to see the man of the house in nothing but his birthday suite peeking through the door and the bat whizzing by right above the bed.
 I pulled the covers over my head again.
 Making a rush decision I slinked over to the patio door and opened the screen, all along hoping that creature of the night wouldn't fly into my hair biting me and passing on a deathly bout of rabies.
 After several more frightening pass's back and forth the bat made a quick exit out the opened door.

  What has happened to my night in shining armour who would stop at nothing to save a damsel in distress?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Home Town

 Growing up in a small town has it's quirks and funny tales. I just visited my home town of Elgin, Oregon.
 My brother Todd & his wife Gidge bought a house & are raising a family in this great little town. The house they bought was our shop teachers home. It has a huge shop in which they found my uncles Phil's name carved on a bench.
 We got to spend the day wandering around Elgin, looking at Grandma & Grandpa Simmons big brick house and homes we lived in as children.
 It brought up old memories of growing up in this small town.

1. We used to walk the dogs to the cemetery and play around there.
2. Running all over town on Halloween night.
3. Having "Black Plastic" as our band for school dances.
4. Being a goat farmer on Cricket Flat.
5. Helping Grandma at her hardware store.
6. Watching bats fly through the night sky catching bugs.
7. Playing in Grandma's huge lilac bush's.
8. Eating BBQ fries and 10 cent ice cream cones at C-zers drive through.
9. Going to the Elgin Stampede (our local rodeo)
10. Walking to the grade school from the high school for lunch, stopping at Vickie's on the way back and missing my first class after lunch.
11. Reading every dog or ghost book at the grade school library.
12. Fishing in Phillips creek.
14. Going roller skating.
15. Santa coming around in a fire truck to deliver treats to all the houses on Christmas eve.
16. Playing "PAC-Man" at the pizza parlor.
17. Watching "Grease" at the theater. The same one my mom used to go to as a girl, with a bullet hole in the screen. Shot by a movie goer who got a little excited when the bad guy came on the set.
18. Buying penny candy at the "corner market"

Tell me some memories of growing up in your home town.

Monday, August 8, 2011


 Today I am preparing for a journey.
 My daughter Dawn and I are taking a trip to my home state of Oregon.
 We will leave early tomorrow morning and travel half way there.
 I've made a date with my sister Susan to explore Elgin Oregon, the small town we grew up in.
 We will stop at Caesar's Drive Inn for lunch. They make BBQ fries to die for. I haven't tasted these succulent potatoes for over 20 years. No dought I will come away with a craving for their tasty burgers and fries which nobody can duplicate.
 From there we will drive over the mountain to visit my Dad & Grandpa, Superior fishermen to tell a few tales.
 After that we will be on our way to my niece Brittany's wedding, which is being held in Washington's beautiful bay's of Puget Sound.
 I am so excited about this trip and have been planning it for months.
P.S. I will post pictures when I return.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Turn The Page Tuesday

 Is it really August already? This Summer is slipping by so fast.
 My book this month for "Turn The Page Tuesday" is
 Luanne Rices "Summer Light" This book has been sitting on my shelf for several years waiting until I was ready to read a romance.

 May Taylor works as a wedding planner, passing on the timeless traditions of her grandmother and mother. The Taylor women have always believed in the presence of magic in everyday life especially the simple magic of true love and family. Yet May's own faith in true love was shattered when she was abandoned by the father of her child. Still, she finds joy in raising her daughter Kylie, a very special five-year-old who sees and hears things that others cannot....

 Martin Cartier is a professional hockey player and sports legend. His father, a champion, taught him to play to win-at all costs. Now Martin's success veils a core of heartache, rage, and isolation. Yet Kylie glimpses the transcendent role Martin will play in May's life and her own--unless his past tears their blossoming love apart. Then only Kylie will see the way home-- and only May will be able to lead them there, if she can believe in magic once more.

This was a fun book to read.
To check out more interesting novels go to Some of a Kind

Friday, July 29, 2011

Veggie Juice

We still had quite a few tomatoes in our freezer and new green tomatoes are coming onto the plants in the garden so I decided it's time to use up some of last years bounty before this years takes over.
We've made tomato juice several times and it gets drank up in a hurry.
It's great mixed with a cold brew.
We vary the recipe according to what we have on hand & add a bit of dried salsa mix.

In a large kettle cook the tomatoes, onions,peppers,celery sticks and water until the veggies are soft and mushy.
                                             Remove from heat and strain in a large bowl
Then put the juice back into the large kettle.
Add the salt, sugar, lemon juice and celery salt.
Boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Pour into jars & process.

Vegetable Juice
12 cups cut up tomatoes
2 large yellow onions, cut up
2 large green sweet peppers, cut up
4 large celery sticks, cut up
8 cups water
1 1/2 T. salt
4 T. sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. celery salt

Monday, July 25, 2011

Singing in the Shower

 Don't you just love to sing in the shower?
The acoustics are great in there.

My favorite song is
One Tin Soldier
Listen children to a story that was written long ago
about a kingdom on a mountain
and the vally far below.
On the montain lay a treasure
buried deep beneeth a stone.
The vally people swore they'd have it for thier very own.

Go ahead & hate your neighbor.
Go ahead & cheat a freind.
Do it in the name of heaven
Justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
come the judgement day
The bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

Now the valley sent a message up the hill
asking for the burried treasure
Tons of gold for wich they'd kill.

Came an answer from the kingdom
With our brothers we will share
all the rich's of our kingdom
all the secrets burried there.

Now the valley roared with anger.
Mount your horses
Draw your swords.
And they killed the mountain people
so they won there just rewards.
Standing on the mountain dark and grey,
turned the stone and looked beneath it.
Peace on Earth was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a freind.
Do it in the name of heaven
Justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowing
on the judgment day.
The bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away.

What have you been singing lately?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Treasure Hunting

Dawn & I went exploring today.
Our expedition took us to Fessedden North Dakota.
A town 37 miles away from our farm.
People said that Fessedden had a great thrift shop
so the treasure hunter in me wanted to go check it out.

 We did find some treasures at the shop.

Strawberry Basket, cards & cream & sugar set

Look at this rock barn where they hold the Wells County Fair.

Up the street we found this neat old brick building.

A couple of bears where standing guard at the high school.

What places have you been exploring lately?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Space

This used to be a gas station in the small town of Anamoose North Dakota.

 Years ago the previous owners moved this cute little building to their home "The Swarze Buffalo Ranch" and set it up as a well stocked bar.
 The barkeep and owner of this ranch passed away ten years ago abandoning this sweet little building to mice, dust, bugs and spiders. It had quite a stench as you opened the door.

 We went to work a bucket of soapy water in one hand and bottle of Windex in the other scrubbing and painting until this building and it's collected treasures where sparkling clean.

 I've claimed this space for now as my painting studio. I've dug out my paints (some that hadn't been used in eight years and where drying up) and brush's. Brought over my painting books for inspiration.

This is my first project.

Just knowing my paints are waiting for me in my new space is such a great feeling.