Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just Call Me "The Mountain Woman"

Yesterday afternoon Bill and I did our daily Pilates.  Afterwards I sat down on the sofa and placed my laptop on my lap and figured I would spend the rest of the afternoon playing on the computer.  After an hour Bill came into the house and said lets go for a little walk.

I put on my hiking boots (I know his kind of walks) and we headed down the driveway.  At the end of the drive we headed down the mountain and ended up in the pines and scrub oaks.  The ground there is very soft and a lot of rocks and lava rocks.  Not the easiest to walk on.  As we headed down towards one of the ravines I told Bill to watch his step but I was the one to lose my fitting and dropped down on the rocks onto my left knee, I did save the camera.  I worry more about Bill he is the one with bad knees.

It just amazes me how the pines trees will grow right up through the dead trees

After I took the photo of the trees we went down in the ravine to cross over to the other side.  I was following Bill.  Bill was at the bottom of the ravine and I was just getting to follow in his foot steps when I spotted a snake that Bill just walked over.  The first thing I thought was it was a rattlesnake looking at the marking on it.  

Bill came back over since I wasn't going to step over the snake too.  He used a long stick to gently pull the snake around so he could get a good look at it.  No diamond shaped head the snake started to go into the rocks no rattles at the end of its tail, not a rattler.  In fact it was not aggressive at all.

Now that I am on high alert for snakes I think I walked most of the way with my head down searching the ground.  After this point Bill turned into Mr. Gassy Pants and I was walking behind him.  OMG that is just not right.  I had to put up with him being gassy the rest of the hike!

This will give you a idea how far away from the house we were and how thick the trees and brush are around our house.  In all this thick forest you find wildflowers and they are beautiful.

Bill and I couldn't believe it we came upon another long dead deer this time a small buck. 

Here we are much closer to our house.  Our little hike ended up being an 1 1/2 hours long.  We watched some TV and then headed up to bed.  Let me tell you both of us could feel that walk as we slowly walked up the stairs to our bedroom.  Before going to sleep Bill said that I was turning into a "Mountain Woman"

Home Sweet Home

Until Next Time,

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Threat of Rain and a Trip to Town

Yesterday was a very gloomy cold day.  We had hail the size of peas and woke up today to a light dusting of snow.  The clouds looked very angry and we waited for a down pour which never happened.

We needed a new wheel barrel so with the threat of rain and thunderstorms we ventured down to town. Another one of my favorite stores is Ace Hardware.  This Ace carries the neatest stuff.  Besides the manly hardware section they also have a hunting and fishing department, clothing and shoes, housewares and my favorite the fabric department, yep I said fabric.  They have patterned fabric I have never seen and the best selection of minky and blanket fabric.  I controlled myself and only bought 4 pieces of remnant fabrics.  

Not sure what I will do with the fabric but I see many possiblities from scrapbooking, card making to sewing.

Bill was very busy this weekend.  He has been cutting wood for our stove.  He wants to make sure we do not run out of wood this winter.  Now that we have one winter under our belts we are finding out how much wood we need, what kind of winter clothing and shoes that are best.  Coming from a state that pretty much has two seasons hot and really hot this is so new to us.

I am going to be sharing a lot of sunsets on this blog.  I am so in awe of the beautiful sunsets here and each night it is something different.  Here is last nights beauty.

Until Next Time,

Memorial Day

It's not about the sales at the shopping mall.  I hope sometime today while you are enjoying time with family and friends think about and say a silent prayer for those who gave their lives for all Americans.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day and officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. Although here are many stories as to the actual beginnings, with over 24 cities claiming to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead". While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Three Magazine Recipes

First off I do have to apologize for the horrible photos.  While finishing off our dinner I broke open a bottle of wine and as my husband will tell you (in his words I'm a cheap drunk) I get a buzz off half a glass of wine.  I didn't even take photos after I plated the food.  Shame on me!

The wine is one of my favorites Merlot from 14 Hands if you ever get a chance to try this wine I'm sure you will enjoy it.  I highly recommend it. 

Texas Brisket
 From Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

3         Medium or 2 Large Onions
1         4 1/2 to 5 1/2 Fresh Beef Brisket (not salted)
1/4      cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4      cup Soy Sauce
1/4      cup Liquid Smoke
1/4      cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4      cup Steak Sauce (I used A1)
1/4      cup Strong Brewed Black Coffee or 1 double espresso

1.     Preheat over to 325 degrees. Slice onions and arrange in center of a roasting pan that will hold the brisket snugly.  Place brisket on top, fat side up.
2.     Whisk together the remaining ingredients; pour over brisket.  Cover pan with heavy aluminum foil, sealing it tightly.  Bake 3 1/2 hours or until tender.
3.     Remove from oven, transfer meat to a cutting board and cover with foil.
4.     Transfer onions to a blender with a ladle or two of liquid from pan.  Blend until smooth;  stir back into remaining liquid in pan. *
5.     Slice brisket across the grain and then if desired, cut the slices in half.  Place slices in the gravy in the pan. Store leftovers in covered container in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze up to 2 months.
Serves 6
*     I did not make the gravy instead I placed the onions with the liquid on top of the brisket.  This way I could use the leftover onions for sandwiches the next day.

Alton Brown's Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes
 From Food TV Magazine

2     Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
2     Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2   tsp kosher salt
1      Chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1      tsp adobo sauce from the pepper can

1.     Put the sweet potatoes in a steamer basket and put the steamer in a large pot of simmering water that is 1 inch from the bottom of the basket.  Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
2.    Remove the steamer basket, pour the water out of the pot and dump the sweet potatoes back into the pot.  Add the butter and salt and mash with a potato masher. Add the chili and sauce and continue mashing to combine. Serve immediately.
Serves 4

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake 
From Southern Living Magazine

1 1/2       cups butter, softened
3             cups sugar
1             (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
6             large eggs
3             cups all-purpose flour
1             tsp almond extract
1/2          tsp vanilla extract
2/3          cup strawberry glaze
1             (6-inch) wooden skewer

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, beating until creamy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
2.     Gradually add flour to butter mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape  bowl as needed. Stir in a almond and vanilla extracts.  Pour one-third of batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (14 cup) tube pan. (about 2 2/3 cups batter)  Dollop 8 rounded teaspoonfuls strawberry glaze over batter, and swirl with wood skewer.  Repeat procedure once, and top with remaining third of batter.
3.     Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour)
Serves 12

Picky Bill loved all three recipes so they are going into the "Keeper" Notebook.  Now to clean up a very messy kitchen.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another Hike

What a beautiful day!  Bill came into the house and said to put on my hiking boots and some jeans that we were going to walk up the mountain above us to the big red rocks.  Let me tell you that was one heck of a hike.  There is a game trail that the deer walk that we took and it goes straight up.  I had to stop many times. (although I made it sound like I was enjoying the view)  The view was unbelievable and worth the sore calves and burning thighs.  Here are just a few of the pictures I took.

 We came across the bones of a deer
 Makes you wonder how long ago the deer died and how it died.  By the bleaching of the bones I think the bones have been there for a very long time.
 I just love how the red rocks look against the green on the mountain.
 Here are our closest neighbors about a 1/2 mile by the crow flies but on the road they are a good mile and a half away above our house.
 Here's the "old dude" Bill.  What a handsome guy.
What a awesome view of the whole town.  The closest dirt road is our driveway.  Up at the top you couldn't even see our house.
I've taken more pictures of dead trees but they have so much character.  You can see how the wind over the years have twisted the trunk and bleach the wood.  

Happy Memorial Day Weekend - Remember those who have fallen.
The Home of the Free because of the Brave
Until Next Time,

Friday, May 27, 2011

Antique Mall Shopping

Bill and I went to town today to pick up our mail and go to the market.  On the way to the market Bill spotted a sign that said "Antique and Craft Mall".  They opened today and will be open everyday until December 2nd.   I found some nice items.  I did miss out on a perfect small Mission Style Desk but the woman told me that they will be bringing in new stuff all the time.  This is going to be my summer hang-out.

 I have been getting cheese boxes like this on ebay.  They are perfect for my Making Memories paint

I am going to use these jars in my craft room perfect for buttons, ribbons, flowers

I am putting this wash basin in my craft room too it will look good next to the antique laundry basket I got not too long ago.   I will use it for fabric and yarn

I love this old ladder I'm not sure where I'm going to put it yet.  It will look so nice with a Indian throw and a cowboys rope.  I'll post some photos once I decorate it and find a home for it.  I can't wait to see what I find on my next trip.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mother Nature At Her Finest

Beauty Surrounds Us

Earth laughs in flowers ~ Ralph Waldow Emerson

Until Next Time,

Favorite Things

New and Old Some of My Favorite Things

Ralph Lauren Colleen Flamestitch Bootie 
 The whole collection is beautiful and I am in love with the Embroidered Margaret Coat
(I would call this my Lotto collection)  

"I was inspired by the spirit of the rugged West, the romance of the prairie and how a modern, stylish woman would wear it." – Ralph Lauren -  Ralph Lauren Spring Runway Collection

Okay now back to reality
The Cuisinart Griddler and Panini Press available at Williams-Sonoma What I like about this Griddle it has interchangeable grills for a flat or panini surface and they are easy cleaning.

 Who doesn't love Cupcakes - Cupcake Vineyards  that is.  My two favorites are Red Velvet and Merlot however I have found them all to be delicious.

When I was much younger my mom would buy Horlicks Chocolate Tablets.  You couldn't find them in the grocery store but at the Drug Store (Sav-on).  I loved those chocolate malted candies.  I don't think you can get them in the States anymore.   Another candy I like that they don't make anymore is the Seven Up Bar by Pearsons.

The Drive-In Theater.  I miss a bunch of us piling into the car and going to the Drive-In.  Gravel on the ground, scratchy speakers, popcorn, soda pop and fright night.  I know there are some still out there but I think in this day and age they have lost their nostalgia.

Lastly is Oprah Winfrey.  I am going to miss her shows that made me laugh so hard I cried and the meaningful shows that also made me cry.  I learned so much from Oprah and her guests and I feel that the show made me a better person.    I see many things in a different light and I also learned how to cope with things in my own life that have been difficult.  With many of her guests I saw myself and it opened my heart to healing.
Thank you Oprah Winfrey for making a difference in my life

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Bread

I went into Great Harvest Bread today to get a loaf of bread to have with Pasta dinner.  Oh My! When you walk in all you smell is bread being baked and today it was Cinnamon Bread being baked.  I picked up a loaf of Asiago Sourdough and Dakota Bread.  I had to try a slice of the Dakota bread and it so yummy.

Ingredients for the Dakota are 100% Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Honey, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Yeast, Millet, Flax, Poppy Seed, Sesame Seeds and Salt.  I am looking forward to having it toasted for breakfast and with all those goodies on it I think my Peanut Butter sandwich is going to be brought to a new level and I will have to try it in a panini sandwich the possibilites are endless.

Until Next Time,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken It's What's for Dinner

I have not made out my list for the market so I took some chicken out of the freezer.  While the chicken defrosted I was pulling items out of the pantry to make a marinade.  Here is what I came up with.

1/4  cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp   Stone Ground Mustard
2 Tbsp   Lipton Dry Onion Soup Mix
1/2 cup  Dry White Wine
1/4 tsp   Freshly Ground Pepper
1/2 tsp   Kosher Salt
1    tsp   Minced Fresh Garlic
1    tsp   Minced Fresh Sage

Wisk together.  Place chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts 4) place in zip lock bag.  Pour in marinade, seal and massage bag making sure all the chicken is coated.  Refrigerate overnight.

Heat skillet with Olive Oil and a pat of butter.  Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

After dinner Bill and I went for a walk and noticed some new blooms.  When we first looked at the property in July I didn't even notice what was in bloom let alone what was planted around our property.  I was too busy admiring the view from the house.

 This is a Sand Cherry and it is Deer - Resistant (things I'm learning)

I have no idea what this is.  Any Ideas?

Until Next Time,
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