Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's Christmas, and with the kids grown, and no family around, it just seems like any other day. Christmas is fun with kids around. I remember when I was a kid, we had to wait until my dad finished his cup of coffee. He managed to drag out that cup of coffee so long, we didn't think he'd ever finish it. I know he did it to make us squirmy kids suffer. I could have done it with our kids, but I don't like coffee. I suppose I could have done it with my morning chocolate milk. Tim did it though, and then he thought we needed to eat breakfast first. That didn't fly with anyone. Adults have a cruel streak in them at certain times of the year. Also, everyone knows when the kids are really little, the boxes, bows, ribbons and paper are the best part. We could have saved a lot of money by just wrapping up empty boxes. One year, when all 3 kids could count, they discovered Alyssa had 1 less present under the tree. I spent the same amount on all 3 of them, but the amount of presents count. I jumped in the car and drove the 1/2 hour into town and went to the only place that was still open, a Thrifty's Drug Store. Not much toy selection there, but I did find a mermaid. All was well with the new count after that and I learned to wrap the same amount of gifts for the kids, even if it was  just wrapped batteries.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Was That Sunshine?

I think I saw sunshine yesterday for about half an hour. I'm not really sure, since it's been raining for 2 weeks and gray and foggy when it's not raining. Whatever it was, it sure was bright. I almost had to close the blinds some, but by the time I was going to close them, it was gone. I saw some more of it for about 10 minutes today, but it was on a distant hill. All our rain saturated ground turned to ice over night, with a very, very, light dusting of snow. It's very slick outside, so I'm inside.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Moose or Bigfoot

Last night, when I was taking the dogs out, a big, hairy, smelly, thing ambled through the trees, just passed the little clearing, not to far from where we were standing in the front yard. It scared all 3 of us. Moose aren't the nicest of critters, and I have heard bigfoot can be tempramental, also. Tim thinks the dogs and I just made it up, because he didn't see anything when he took out the mega light to look. he did smell it, though. I really did hear something really large and saw some huge antlers way up in the air, so I guess that leaves out bigfoot. The ground is so frozen there were no hoof prints and since we have no snow, no prints in that either. Chip was doing his best impression of a gaurd dog, but I could tell he'd turn and run toward the house in a second.  He did have a leash on, since it was very dark outside. Jake was already at the door. Murphy probably would have chased it away, but hewas sleeping in his rocking chair where it was nice and warm. We didn't see or smell anything tonight. Of course, no camera. It was too dark to take a picture, anyway. Besides that, it's hard to take a picture, dragging a puppy on a leash, while quickly walking toward the house. Life is interesting up here.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Two weeks ago, I bought a 6 month old male chocolate poodle( I have been told since then, that they are just called brown, not chocolate) puppy named Chico. I changed his name to Chip. Now he's a chocolate Chip. Some people have a warped sense of humor. It took him a day to learn his new name. He has small dog syndrome. He was the runt of the litter and had no training other than housebreaking and crate training. Now, he gets to unlearn 6 months of doing what he wants. One good thing about Chip, is, he learns fast. Poodles are suppose to be very smart. Our son, Daniel, told me he couldn't believe his mother got a poodle. Our daughter, Amy, says she doesn't know what's worse, owning a chihuahua (she has a cute long haired one named Elsa) or owning a poodle. Jake and Chip get along well, and Chip really wants Murphy to play. Murphy is not impressed. It's a big change having a 7 pound puppy vs a 150 pound lab/horse mix. I am too old for big dogs these days, even though we do miss Dixie. It's funny watching Chip play and fly through the air with the greatest of ease. It's a good thing we don't have 2 dogs flying through the air. We just have 2 dogs running in the house chasing each other all the time. At least they aren't fighting.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

'Tis The Season For....Mud?

Well, it's that time of year again. Mud season. We had an 1 1/2 -2 inches of snow Friday. It sure looked pretty. It started earlier this year than last. Now, we get rain. Snow+ rain= mud. Muddy dog and cat paw prints all over the kitchen floor since they haven't learned to wipe their feet yet. Jake, the dog, hates icky feet. Murphy, the cat, could care less about icky feet. Me, I just get to stay inside so I don't slip and break anything again this year. Oh, and I get to dry off the soggy cat and wipe Jake's feet off. At least, he has learned to stay on the rug until I'm done. Yes, I know. I wanted seasons other than brown, but mud is brown. Remember walking through the mud bare footed as a kid? Splashing in puddles? Snowball fights? Now that I am older, it's hot chocolate with lots of marsmellows, and a good book. Life is good.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


We are having the first snow of the season in my snow globe world. So far, about 1/4" and melting.The National Weather Service says less than 1", which is much better than 80" in 3 weeks like last year, but that wasn't until December, either. Time will tell. After that, more rain. Just what we need; more mud. I have lots to keep me entertained when I'm housebound. This year, I've decided to lear to knit. I took knitting lessons when I was 12 and remember the knit stitch and how to cast on and bind off. I need to relearn the purl stitch. My handspun yarn will look much better knitted than crocheted. Less bulky. First, I have to finish and start another sweater for my grandsons for Christmas. One day, maybe, I'll finish all my started, but not finished, crafts. I have quite a few of them. There are reasons they haven't been finished yet. I look at them periodically, and still have no great desire to finish most them. I guess if I get really hard up for something to do, they'll be on my list somewhere.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life In a Soggy Snow Globe

Fall is here, and so is the rain. No snow yet, but maybe Friday. Our weather lady says it's supposed to be less snowy than last year. Jake, our dog, won't go out in the rain unless you really make him, and then he gives you dirty looks the whole time. He doesn't like to get his feet muddy. Murphy, the cat, comes in one door, only to go out the other door, and then around the house to the first door, only to do it all over again. All day long. Murphy doesn't really mind rain, unless it's pouring heavily. On some trips through the house, Murphy will want his food, so I put it down only for him to decide it's not what he raelly wants. You have to make sure he doesn't see the bottom of his food dish, or he comes and gets you to let you know he needs food. So I shake his dish if there is a lot of food in it and add more if needed. Maybe it has something to do with his starving kitten days before he found us. When we do get snow, the in and out routine will be reversed. Jake will want to stay out and Murphy will be quite happy in his rocking chair by the heater vent. He's no dummy, just weird.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just call me Dr. Doolittle

Yesterday afternoon, about 20 teenage male turkeys came for their grasshoppers. (I really wish they liked wasps.) I should have gotten my camera and taken a movie of them. Instead, I sat in my chair by the front room window and gobbled at them. (Some people have waaay to much time on their hands.) Gobble, gobble, gobble. And then there was an answering gobble. I gobbled again and got another answer. In a few seconds, all the turkeys stopped eating and looked at me. (They know a weird human when they see and hear one.) Anyway, after this went on for a few minutes, one bigger turkey came up to the window and stared in and gobbled at me. It was pretty funny, the turkey and I, gobbling at each other through a window. If I had enough bread, I would have started the "here turkey, turkey" call and tossed them a few pieces. Last winter, when the turkeys came by, they all charged the front door when they saw me through the window, knowing they would get bread. They were stuffed turkeys afterwards. I know, you aren't suppose to feed wild animals, but the turkeys expect it, since I'm not the only one who feeds them. I have to make sure the turkeys aren't around when I take my hike to the mail box. It would be even funnier if I had to explain to people that I was mobbed by a flock of turkeys looking for food and good conversation.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall in the air

Fall is in the air. It only got to 63 today and it's suppose to get down to 34. It seems earlier this year. The leaves are starting to change colors and the wildlife are starting to fatten themselves up for winter. Soon, I will be confined to the house in my snow globe world. It's suppose to be in the 70's and 80's this week, so I have time to gather food and things to keep me occupied during winter. I guess the little squirrel that lives in our woods, and I, will be busy. I think we have another month or two or three before really cold weather hits. I don't know if I will be ready, but the squirrel will be.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Funny Sight

Today, we had two different flocks of wild turkeys come thru the yard. The first group were younger than the second. They were feeding on the grasshoppers. The second flock were chasing grasshoppers and jumping to catch them in the air. It was funny seeing them jumping and crashing into each other for a tasty bug. I wish they had come earlier in the summer when the grasshoppers were really bad. Now, they are just about done for the year. Any grasshopper removal helps.

Monday, August 31, 2009

11 Half Pints of Peach Butter. Yum!!

I made Peach Butter last Thursday, and boy, is it good. I made it in the crock pot using a recipe I found on It was very easy. I made 11 half pints and a little bit more for 2 sandwiches. I think I will have to try other crock pot methods for jams. I want to try apple sauce soon and cinnamon apple jelly using store bought apple juice. The peach butter tastes very good on my homemade fresh bread and homemade granola. The only problem is, I'm trying to lose weight.
I will get to dehydrating the potatoes soon. The moles have found the ones not harvested yet. I guess we have to look out for other critters besides sheep and deer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm finished with tomatoes

Today I finished canning tomatoes. OK, I put the finished sauce in the freezer and didn't "can" it. I weighed the remaining tomatoes that I used today and had 13 1/4 pounds, so I figure I started with about 25 pounds. I like thick sauce, so all together I had 5 1/2 pints of spaghetti sauce. We had spaghetti for dinner. It was pretty good, put mild. Hopefully, the flavors will get stronger in the freezer. They should. I put enough spices in it.
Tomorrow, I am going to make peach jam, and the next day, I will try making peach butter in the crock pot from a recipe I found at The recipe and instructions looked pretty easy, and I'm all for easy.
Rooting around in the freezer, trying to make room for the spaghetti sauce, I decided I had enough cherries left to make jam. I think I'll need to get more jars for that.
I figure I am either crazy for doing all this canning, or I will be. I'll let you know.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Green Bluff, WA

Yesterday, my mother-in-law, and I went to Green Bluff, WA. Green Bluff is a small community that has orchards and farms that are open to the public where fresh produce and lavender can be purchased. Besides picking your own fruit, you can buy already picked fruit and vegies. There are jams and jellies and syrups and mixes, as well as crafty things, books, household decorations and wine tasting, ice cream, pastries and lots of friendly people. It's a fun place to go. There are live bands, tractor rides, pony rides, BBQ's and many other fun things to do. The first time Tim and I went was in the fall a couple of years ago, and we shot corn cobs out of an air cannon. You had to see if you could get the corn cob into a 55 gallon barrel quite a distance away. We both came close, but didn't make it, and had a lot of fun doing it. If you were lucky to make it, you got $50.00.
My mother-in-law bought a box of peaches and gave me 18 of them. I have to do something with them within the next couple of days. The box probably weighed 20 pounds. Maybe I'll have better luck turning them into preserves than I did with the cherries I bought from Green Bluff when it was cherry season. Peach cobbler does sound good, though.
I bought a box of canning tomatoes and Barbara only took 3, even though I tried to push more onto her. I figure the box weighed 20-30 pounds. I can't remember the name of them, but they are huge and meaty.
Today was spent making spaghetti sauce. I used 20 tomatoes because that's all that would fit in my big pot. They cooked down to 4 cups, and smelled and tasted really good. Tomorrow, I have the last 26 tomatoes to turn into sauce. I guess I'll have to use 2 pans for that. I put the sauce in the freezer. Tomorrow, we will be eating spaghetti and some of tomorrows sauce. Alyssa should be happy to know, I didn't put zucchini in it. The deer ate that. I could have bought some of that, too.
I also got some corn. It was 4 for $1.00, the best price I'd seen this year. I only got 8 ears. I think Tim and I will have to go back this weekend and buy some more. I really need a freezer.
Our home grown Yukon Gold potatoes looked better than the ones we saw up there. Soon, I will try dehydrating the potatoes.
I will also have to get a bunch of apples and pears since our apple and pear tree had blossoms but nothing else.
The pumpkin crops looked to be doing great. After that, will come Christmas trees and the end of the season.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gee thanks, deer

The deer have decided it's time for me to harvest our onions. Up to this point, the deer haven't bothered the onions. Now, they are eating the tops and pulling the onions out of the ground. It does make it easier to harvest if they are already laying on the ground. Unfortunately, it's all the onions at one time and not staggered like I had planned on harvesting them.
The deer haven't tried carrots, yet. Most of them are ready to harvest. Tim dug up more potatoes this evening while I was picking up onions. More to be harvested later. I guess tomorrow, besides baking, I am doing things with fresh produce. I'm going to try dehydrating garlic and potatoes for the first time. The garlic and onions will be dehydrated outside, using my dehydrator. No rain in the forecast, so it's a good time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Murphy, the Special Cat

In early March of 2008, this hairy bag of bones of a kitten ran in the house as Tim was leaving for work.
The kitten looked to be about 3 months old, and just about every bone in his body was visible.
Of course, me being me, I had to feed him and give him a name. Murphy was fitting. I wanted a cat and was told I could have one if it was a outside cat. I didn't want an outside cat, so as Murphy's Law would have it, one showed up. It took the kitten about a day to learn his name was Murphy.
It's a good thing he's cute, because he isn't overly bright. About a month after he showed up, I heard this crying in the distance. Since it was dark, I couldn't see anything. I got a flashlight and saw Murphy in the neighbors tree. He was afraid to come down. The next day and 4 days after that, Amy and I tried to get him down. No such luck. It even rained, snowed and hailed with strong winds, and he still wouldn't come down.
Finally, we got him to jump onto the roof of the house and figured he'd come down. Nope. Up there for another 2 days. The neighbor said he'd come down when he was hungry.
He did get down, but I think the neighbor helped him down. And he was hungry and so happy to be home.
A couple of days later, guess who was back up the same tree and then stuck on the same roof? Yup. Murphy. He still gets stuck in trees, but doesn't climb as high, and he avoids that particular tree. He disappears for a few days and shows up extremely dirty and very hungry. We think he finds holes to go into and has a getting out problem.
Murphy expects to be carried up and down the driveway. I finally, for the most part, have him only wanting carried one way now. Usually, it's when I have my hands full of mail.
He's in the house more than he's out and he has his very own oak rocking chair, but, he has to share with my mother-in-law when she visits. We bought the chair at an estate sale and you could tell it was an orange cats chair.
Tim says Murphy is spoiled. I say Murphy is special. Spoiled or special, Murphy came to the right house that day. I guess he knew a sucker for animals lives here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I'm Melting

Today, in my snow globe world, it got up to 103.3 degrees. Way to hot. Heat and I don't get along. Rumor has it, tomorrow is suppose to be a tad cooler, (only 94 in Spokane), and then a major cool down during the week. I am thinking right now that snow would be nice. If you ask me in late winter, I'll tell you spring would be nice. Some people are never satisfied. One thing bad about the heat, besides it's hot, are fires. We live in a wooded area, and it's dry out here. You'd think with the 123 inches of snow we had last winter, it wouldn't get so dry, but it does. It's still fairly green, for the most part, and the water level in the rivers and streams is going down. The deer were out when it was still hot. Soon they will be fattening up for winter. My cat, Murphy, the spoiled, I mean special, cat decided he needed to sit on laps today. I really didn't need a furry, hot body on my lap. He has his own oak rocking chair right by the AC/heater vent. Next time I write, I will have to tell you about Murphy. The wind has come up. Wouldn't you know it, now I have to close the windows so everything doesn't blow all over. Oh well. That's life in a melting snow globe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More garden info that you don't really want to know

Last night, we had some of our home grown Yukon Gold potatoes. They were really good. Not a bad spot in them and they didn't need peeled. One spaghetti squash is about ready to be harvested. We've never had one before, I hope we like them. We are finally done with radishes and the carrots are slowly growing. We had onions and garlic out of the garden the other night. It's nice going out to the garden and harvesting what you need for a meal. We do have a really bad grasshopper problem that's quite common out here. No more sheep, though. Now, I'll try my hand at canning cherry preserves, as soon as the temperature is out of the 90's. The weather forecaster tells us that our "normal" temperature for this time of year is 84-86. That would be nice. I'm tired of hot weather and there's this small fleeting voice that says it would be nice if it was early fall. That little voice must be out of it's mind, because, after fall comes winter and I'll be living in my snow globe again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A meal from our garden

Last night, we had a very good meal from our garden. I picked a zucchini, an onion and some garlic. I cooked some sausage, made some spaghetti sauce, cut the zucchini in bite sized chunks and mixed everything together and put Parmesan cheese and Italian bread crumbs on top and dotted it with some butter, (OK, it was margarine), and nuked it to microwave perfection, about 6 minutes. I usually bake it in the oven, but it was a hot day and I was in a hurry, so in the microwave it went. We have leftovers for dinner tonight, but I need to add another zucchini to stretch it and fix some garlic bread. Too bad, our salad makings isn't ready to harvest yet. I also made a pistachio Amish friendship cake for desert. Leftovers of that, too.

A flock of turkeys

Yesterday morning, as I was on my trek down the long driveway to get the newspaper, a large flock of turkey's crossed my path. There were 4 females and about 25 young ones about 6 inches tall and one a little bit bigger. The smaller were still fuzzy and the bigger one was at that ugly stage in life with feathers starting to come in. I know turkeys aren't the smartest of critters, but the larger baby must have been hiding when what little brains turkeys have, were being passed out. It was lagging behind and the adults waited several times for it to catch up. Eventually, they'd just leave and it would realize it was alone and run to catch up with the rest. I'm pretty sure it will be a snack for some animal later. I used to bring my camera with me when I was out and about at our place, but nothing seemed to be picture worthy, so I stopped bringing it. I guess I'll have to start bringing it again. I had to look up on the internet to find out what baby turkeys are called. I was close. They are called poults. I thought it was poulets. I know a group of turkeys is called a flock, but I think this was a herd.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who's fiber stash is it anyway?

It seems my spinning fiber stash is now my husbands fly tying dubbing stash. At least it doesn't take much for dubbing, and it's not like I have a shortage or anything. Tim told a friend at work who now wants some, so we went through the stash this evening for him. When our daughter, Amy, was here in June, Tim got here hooked on fly tying, so we made her a verity bag of fiber/dubbing, also. If the other fly tiers where Tim and his friend work see the bag full of fiber, I'll be supplying many people. Next thing I know, I'll be in the custome dyed dubbing supply business, since the fiber I/we are giving away is some I dyed. Now, Tim can't grumble about all my fiber, since he's found a use for it, too. That's a good thing. Now I need more for us. Tim has now found out, that you can never have too much fiber. I could take his feathers and add them to the yarn I am plying. I don't think that would go over very well. Who would have thought feathers could be so expensive.

Friday, July 10, 2009

*^%$#! Sheep!!

This morning at 5:00AM, we heard a thunk on the side of the house and several loud Baaaaa's. The sheep were back. Not 8 this time , but 17, thanks to the populations explosion behind us. They found the garden. We don't need to worry about too many radishes anymore. Apparently, sheep like radishes. They sampled everything else but they should survive. The sheep were careful and walked between the rows of potatoes, though. Tim went out and told them to go home, and they took off. I see they are in the pasture furthest away from us now.
Tim saw a buck, down and speckled fawn in the yard on his trip to get the newspaper out of the box at the street. He said the doe and fawn were playing, chasing each other around. The buck stood up really tall and snorted and stamped his feet when he finally noticed Tim. Then they took off to go wherever deer go during the day. Life is interesting up here.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Garden update

Our garden is doing pretty well. The potatoes are growing nicely. Hopefully, we will get a good crop. The zucchini and spaghetti squash seem to have magically disappearing zucchini and squash. I don't know if deer like them or not. The replanted cucumbers haven't done too much.
We have radishes coming out our ears, and Tim will be so tired of them, since I don't like them.

I harvested some garlic and green onions that were ready. We have a lot more that isn't ready yet. The garlic is hanging on the hand rail of the back steps. No vampires will get in the back door. I thought I would dehydrate the green onion tops. Wouldn't you know, the only place I have to do it is in the house. Now, we can cry up a storm. I wonder if strong onion smell will chase away anything? Visitors, maybe. The deer don't like garlic and onion tops, though they did try them.
The deer have trimmed the pepper plants. The spinach went to seed without getting leaves big enough to harvest. My carrots have managed to end up all over the place and the red leaf lettuce is just now getting around to growing. I hope it doesn't snow in the near future so we can harvest the rest.
All in all, our first garden up here is doing better than we expected. We did eventually put a fence of sorts around it to keep the deer out, but it only worked to confuse them when they got in the garden so they could trample it better.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What! No rain?

Here it is, the 4th of July, and no rain. It has always, more often than not, rained on July 3rd and or 4th. The 3rd was my birthday and it rained the day I was born, and just about every birthday since then, no matter where we have lived. I'm kind of disappointed. It would be better than temperatures in the 90's. We do have a slight chance of thunder storms tomorrow night and Monday thru Thursday, but it won't be the same.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I have embarrassed my kids in public

It was unintentional, but I have embarrassed my kids in public. I used to carry my takli spindle and cotton balls with me for something to do while waiting in doctor's' offices and where ever else I ended up waiting.
After sitting for a bit, I'd pull out the spindle and cotton balls and start to spin. It was a great way to get people to ask about spinning, as well as passing the time. My kids didn't think so. Seems it was "embarrassing" having people stare and then come over to talk. As a formerly very shy person, it didn't bother me any. I liked showing people cotton ball spinning.
I am slowly teaching myself how to tat with shuttles and wonder what the kids would do when I pull out my shuttles?
The way I look at it is, turn about is fair play. My kids have embarrassed me in public too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I caught a bass!

Saturday, I caught a big mouth bass. It was a huge one. Only about 6 inches or so, but it was a big mouth bass. I also caught a perch. It was a pretty fish. Both were released after they had their photo op. One thing that was biting more than the fish was the mosquitoes. We wondered why people were bundled up in hoodie sweat shirts and wind breakers. They were zipped in with the hoods tied snugly. I was zipped up after I was bitten a few times. Next time, bug repellent is a must. It was really pretty at Chase Lake. So many places to see and so much to do up here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Things you can see in one day up here

We like to go for drives on weekends. We see so much that we never expected to see and are amazed by. So many people up here seem to take it all for granted since they see it all the time. I hope we never do. A tank of gas is well worth it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spring in my snow globe world

Spring is so pretty up here. The colors of the wildflowers and the 300 lakes around us plus all the rivers. Wildlife everywhere, except when your family visits and you've bragged about seeing them everywhere. It's a photographers paradise.

Spring time in a snow globe

At long last, it's spring. Almost summer. The wildflowers took their sweet time blooming this year, but are blooming and very pretty now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where's the wildlife?

My parents and oldest daughter are up here visiting us. This is my parents' first visit to our new house. After telling them about all the wildlife that comes through our yard, they were/are looking forward to seeing some. Wouldn't you know it, nothing has come by for them to see. White tail deer have walked right up to the house on the lawn and through out poor garden, which is finally doing well. It's funny, Tim and I both said the first question they'd ask when they got here was how did we find this place, and it was. Even before they got out of their motorhome. We told them the truth. We found this place on the internet. Our daughter was using apricot mango soap only to find out bugs really like it. Wildlife or no wildlife,and being eaten by bugs, I hope everyone has a nice visit. I know I am.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What happens when you live in a snow globe

In the winter of 2008-2009 we had approxamtely 123 inches of snow at our house. After the first big snow that started Dec. 17, Tim finally got to try out his new snow blower. We didn't have one last year and had to pay to be plowed out. Anyway, Tim tromped up and down our 450-500 foot driveway several times clearing the snow. He did a good job of it. So good, I thought I'd go for a walk with him to take the trash out. The trash can was buried under snow, so I had the snow shovel and was using it for a walking stick. We hadn't walked very far, when I slipped on ice that Tim never, not once, slipped on. Leave it to me to do something like that. I felt my arm break when I landed with a thump. I didn't fall hard, just right. Once again, leave it to me to do something like that. I did a good job breaking it. (I believe in doing a job well done.) My left arm had to be surgically repaired and I ended up with 4 pins and 4 screws and external tension devices. At least I'm right handed. My arm is as good as it's going to get now. It looks like my hand is off to the side, but it works. Now I am not allowed out of the house when there is snow and ice in our snow globe world. I can only look out the windows and I know what it feels like to be in a snow globe looking out. It gets old really quick. In the winter of 2006, I stepped off of a 2 inch step and broke my left ankle. It took a steel plate and 10 screws to but it back together. I'm working towards becoming bionic. I'm really tired of braking bones since I've broken others besides these. Maybe this winter, I can work on my crafts to keep me out of trouble. Knowing my luck, I'll probably get tangled in my yarn and trip. Yup. I'm a klutz.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tundra swans

Not too long ago we went to Usk, WA to see the Tundra swans stopping over on their migration to Alaska. We didn't see many that day, but I was able to get some photos of them. Watching ducks and geese fly is a sight to see, but it's nothing compared to seeing a swan fly.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's a sad, sad day

My KitchenAid mixer died this afternoon in the middle of mixing a double batch of cinnamon sugar cookies. It's made double and triple batches of cookies before, so I know I didn't overload it. Now I can't use the grater, slicer, meat grinder and other attachments that I have to go with it. I know, I can do things other ways, but the last time I grated cheese by hand, I grated my knuckles. I'm not allowed to play with sharp instruments because I cut myself. I've had my mixer since 1991. I will go through mixer withdrawals. I'm pretty sure the gears are stripped. I will get it fixed since it will be cheaper than buying a new mixer. Maybe it's my mixers way of telling me I eat too many cookies, which I do. I have to eat the cookies since the robins won't. Anyway, until I can get it fixed, it will be missed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Robin red breasts?

Have you ever wondered why robins are sometimes called robin red breast when their breasts are orange? I don't seem to remember seeing many robins before we moved up here, (but my memory isn't what it used to be) so I never really noticed the color of their breasts. I had to look them up in my trusty Audubon bird book to verify they are robins. Also, I thought they were suppose to be the first birds of spring. The robins up here have been around all year, even in the dead of winter with the snow. They are entertaining to watch doing their commando search for the perfect bugs and then trying to keep them from other birds. They don't like chocolate chip cookies, though. It's OK. I don't like bugs.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's hot!

We moved up here to get away from the heat, but it found us. Yesterday was 93 and today was 92. Not too long ago there was snow on the ground and we were complaining about too much snow. There's just no pleasing some people. I guess I need to summer in Alaska and winter in Washington. At least there was a little breeze that helped. I had to break down and turn on the air conditioner. The ceiling fans just weren't cutting it. There is a towel hanging over the back door and cardboard in the skylight. Those helped. It's a good thing it gets into the 40's and 50's at night. Good sleeping with the windows open weather. I do worry about some critter coming through the windows at night when they are open since they are low to the ground. Who knows. You may get a there's a moose in my house blog. You would think since I've lived most of my life in deserts I'd be used to the heat. I've never done heat well. I just don't do heat. Give me weather in the 70's and I'm happy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Snail mail vs E-mail

A long time ago, I received a post card that says "There's nothing sadder than an empty mailbox". I agree with that. Except for junk mail and bills, I don't get letters in the mail very often anymore. I'm also guilty of not sending letters often anymore. I have a friend who refuses to get a computer, so I write to her and she writes to me. E-mail is nice because you usually get it right away and you can reply as soon as you read it. I'm really bad about sending letters by snail mail because I seem to run out of stamps, so the letter just sits there. When I do write a letter, I,more often than not, call the person up and tell them I wrote them a letter and tell them what's in it so it's not a surprise. Our driveway is 450-500 feet long with the mail box at the end of it. I always walk down there looking forward to getting mail. Any mail, but a letter would be nice. Today I walked to the mail box and there was nothing in it. Not even the usual junk mail or catalogs. How sad. Oh, well. At least I got some exercise.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Missing Pockets

Have you ever thought about pockets before? Or the lack of pockets? All my shorts and most of my capris have no pockets. I need pockets. I carry my house key in a pocket so I don't lock myself out of the house. Now, I have to wear it on a lanyard around my neck. I have no place to carry my cell phone. No place to keep kleenix or bits of paper. No place for my cinnamon candy. But most of all, no place for my hands. What's a pocketless person to do?

Friday, May 22, 2009

My spinning wheels are calling me

Now that I've finished the closet fiasco, (almost), I hear my spinning wheels calling me. All three of them. I never thought of spinning as something I would do. I'd see people at fairs spinning and didn't really give it much thought.
It all started with a white Pygora goat named Q-Tip. She looked more like a cotton ball. That was her name when I bought her. I have a friend who spins, so I'd give her Q-Tip's fleece. One day, Barbara told me I should learn to spin. I tried her wheel, and was hooked. I bought my first spinning wheel, an Ashford Traveler double drive, in 1993. I was really looking forward to being able to pick up my wheel. I bought it from one of "those" people that spin at fairs, no less. I was so disappointed when I first saw it. It came in a little box and had to be assembled and finished.
Once it was together, I was ready to go. It wasn't as easy as I thought. I had to get my hands and feet coordinated. Finally, it clicked, and I was spinning. It was lumpy and uneven, but I made yarn. Yipee!! I was so excited.
Then I used the handcards I bought at a spinning show. They turned my white wool orange. I thought that was weird, but maybe it worked that way. Seems the carders were rusty under the cloth where it couldn't be seen. After running some very greasy wool through them, the problem was solved.
Of course, I had to get my own angora goats so I could have an endless supply of fiber. Then it was dog hair and just about anything else with two ends. I'd send the kids out to brush the dog, and have them save the dog hair while they were brushing. I know they thought I was nuts.
I'd wash the mohair (the hair off of an angora goat) and spread it on towels on the dinning room table. It really didn't smell like a wet goat for long. Really it didn't. It wasn't as bad as dyeing. I'll leave that for another blog.
There's something about making something from animal to finished project. The first lumpy, orangish yarn turned into a bathroom rug and I crocheted a little lamb out of the yarn that wasn't as orange. I call it my recycled lamb. It's stuffed with the last of the orange yarn.
Anyway, I have a large stash (OK. A really, really, large stash) of fiber to spin. It's something to keep me busy with in the winter, since I'm not allowed outside in the winter anymore.
There is no comparison between hand spun yarn and store bought yarn. Hand spun feels warm and alive and has personality, unlike store bought yarn. I must admit, though, that I do have a lot of store bought yarn.
I've gone to schools, libraries and fairs to spin. Yes, I've become one of "those" people. I like to get other people interested in spinning.
I spin for the relaxation and the soothing, calming effect. All is well when I spin.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why do I start these things?

I thought I'd clean my out closet. What a big mistake. When we moved in here a little over a year ago, I just stashed things in my closet (and the guest room) to get them out of the way. I started cleaning my closet out late last year, but took a long break because I slipped on ice and broke my arm. The arm's as good as it's going to get now, so on with the closet fiasco. I took everything out of it and decided I'd straighten up the guest room at the same time. So, everything ended up in the family room. Because I started this, Tim had to rearrange his closet so we could put blankets and pillows in it. (No linen closet to speak of). My closet doesn't have a lot of useful storage in it. That lead to adding 2 extra shelves in the laundry room, which lead to cleaning under the kitchen sink. Now all I need to do is go through books and decide what to keep. The keepers will go in boxes under beds in the guest room because we have no shelves to put them on. I went through boxes marked "misc stuff" and found lots of collector items, according to reruns of the Antique Roadshow, so I kept them. They will also go under beds. Now, I have junk in the family room that wasn't there, flattened and need to be flattened boxes and assorted shelving in the dining room, and smaller boxes if I need them, in the spare bathroom. None of the shelves are suitable for my books. I'm tired of working on it now, since I've made a bigger mess than I originally had, so it's waiting for me. After this, hopefully, most of the house will be the way I want it until one little thing will through it all out of whack again. I can't work on it tomorrow. I'm making cookies, washing clothes reading books I found in boxes, and tripping over boxes as I get to the stereo for my listening enjoyment. Another project for another day. On reason I think I drag it out is, because, if I finish everything, then what will I do?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Baaaaad sheep

Well, the 8 sheep trampled and ate our garden. Tim finally was able to get hold of their owners, who said they didn't know the sheep kept getting out. Other neighbors are tired of the wandering sheep, also. At least I have more seeds left. And I was worried about deer in the garden.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The sheep aren't in a jeep

Yesterday, we had the neighbors sheep in our yard. All 8 of them. They walked through the garden and found the berry plants to nibble on. It's usually their mastiff and great pyrenees teenage puppy. The mastiff goes home if you tell it to. The great pyrenees puppy looks dopey and just goes on his merry way. It would really like it in the house and has tried that. Anyway, I suppose it could have been worse. The 4 cows and 3 llamas could have come over, too.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Rumor has it summer is on the way. At least that's what the weather forecaster says. Today we had winds, thunder storms, lightning, pea sized hail, rain and cool weather. At least we didn't have snow. The storms out here are pretty spectacular with the thunder and lightning. Luckily, they are also short lived. The rain also makes everything so pretty and green. I stare out the windows all the time thinking how lucky we are to live up here in "Gods country" as my husband calls it. The wild flowers are flowering and the trees are getting leaves and flower buds. Baby animals of all kinds. It's great.

Friday, May 8, 2009


It seems that out in this area, Mother's Day weekend is also plant your garden weekend. I wish I knew that in March when I started most of my plants in the house. I'm a desert rat and it seemed like the right time to start the seeds to me. Anyway, my seeds, of course, really took off. The tomatoes are about 18" tall, the peas have wrapped themselves around the tomatoes. My spaghetti squash, zucchini and cucumbers have tendrils intertwined in the venetian blinds and have blossomed. We have green onions and garlic in big flower pots in the living room. The way things are going, I won't have to go far to harvest anything and the deer won't eat them in the house. Everything goes out this weekend. I still have more onions to plant along with potatoes, carrots, radishes lettuce, etc. We had planned on a large garden because, I'm sure, we will also be feeding the white tail deer that come around. There's a lot to learn about living in a snow globe world. Knowing my luck, it will probably snow on Monday.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oh boy! I have a blog.

Well, here I am trying to figure out this blog stuff. Some of it seems easy and some of it seems confusing. I didn't know there was so much to blogging and so much you can do with one. I'll get the hang of it. I have nothing but time. Anyway, if someone asks me if I have a blog I can say yes instead of "huh?". Who'd a thunk.