Monday, March 28, 2011

Miss Macy, Happy Birthday!

Proud Grandma!

A visit to Montana

First pictures with big brother!

Dylan is 21 today! He can't be that old! No way!

Christmas 2006

Playing some tunes on the piano

High School Graduation

Celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa Cuddy

Playing a little music

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Introducing Cougar Creek Winery's 2011 Amber Dawn White Wine

The first bottling of our 2011 wines.  It has a beautiful golden color. Jon decided it looks like amber, thus the name for one of this year's white wines.

Vibrant and mouthwatering, with a sunbeam of lemon, lime and grapefruit flavors.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In Celebration of the first day of Spring!

I am getting ready for summer by practicing using my new toy, a Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker.  My first attempt is a Blackberry and Raspberry Sorbet.  Yum!

 The dream machine that makes sorbet in 25 minuntes.

 The blackberry/raspberry mix churning into sorbet.

The end result after chilling it for 2 more hours.  I think my my new toy is going to be a lot of fun.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wine Tasting 2011 Vintage

Yesterday I sampled all six carboys to see how the wines are progressing.  I think we are ready to bottle the two white wines.  Due to the cold and rainy summer last year, we had a very poor harvest of grapes.  This year's wines except one, are all a combination of grapes and other fruit juices.

 Samples from the six carboys.  From the left:  Concord Grape Wine;  Concord Grape, Blackberry and Cherry Wine;  Concord Grape and Cherry Wine;  Concord Grape, Blackberry and Cherry;  White Grape Orchard Wine; and White Grape and Pear Wine.  All sample are quite clear and have a nice color. 

 The White Grape Orchard Wine has a beautiful golden pink color.  It definitely has apple and citrus flavors.  The White Grape and Pear Wine has a fruit flavor but less citrus.

The Concord Grape and the Concord and Berry Blend still taste a little acidic and need more time in the carboys to mellow out.  All of the wines are dry and the fruit blends are a nice taste of  berries added to the grapes. This year's wine will be a nice variation to add to Cougar Creek Cellars. 

Welcome to spring, Hope version 2011

Ah, spring.  We just can't get enough of that warm sunshine and fresh air.  This is a photo I took this morning.

This kind of weather leaves me nothing to do but start more plants.  I have started both white and lavender Alyssum, a purple Lobelia, a few basil plants, a packet of delphinium seeds and the next round of Red Robin tomatoes.  It won't be long before I need to start some of the peppers and tomatoes for the garden.

 Baby Alyssum seeds that have just sprouted

 Red Robin Tomatoes - seeding number three

A few fresh basil plants

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is Retired Mountain Lady really retired?

What the heck have I been doing?  Since the big Mardi Gras event is over I have been working on my seedlings for this summer's gardens.  Today I transplanted 165 pansies.  I think I'm going to have enough.  The snow is melting rapidly now and Jon and I have started going for walks.  I think I will try the walk to John and Gail's tomorrow.  It's such a nice hike going over the creeks and then getting high enough elevation to see the lake. Of course I am watching basketball and right now I am cheering for our team, Gonzaga!

 I decided to let this petunia grow in my lettuce patch.  It's so cheery to see the blossoms every day.

 One of four trays of pansies.

 Red Robin Tomatoes

Monday, March 14, 2011

Finally, some sunshine!

The weekend was filled with sunshine in Hope.  The temperature reached 50 degrees for the first time since last fall.  It didn't make watching the news of Japan any better though.  There is so much devastation and so many people who couldn't make it to higher ground.  Mother Nature can be very scary. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cougar Creek Mardi Gras 2011

Once again, Neil and Ann host an awesome party!  Great food!  Jambalaya, Crawfish Etoufee, Chicken Gumbo, Seafood Gumbo, Red Beans and Rice and King Cakes!  King Travis read the proclamation and then it was "let the good times roll".  The Cougar Creek Band played some tunes, we ate all the yummy food and then everyone walked over to our driveway for the parade.  More music, lots of moon pies, beads and other trinkets for the kids.
The float is ready.

King Travis reads the proclamation while an admiring pirate/subject looks on.

Cougar Creek Band getting ready to play some Mardi Gras sounds.

Preparing the Shrimp Remoulade

Queen Cindy

2011 Royalty, Travis and Cindy

The parade begins!  The driveway was a little icy and there were a few bumps in the road, but that's what makes our Mardi Gras better and more interesting than New Orleans' or Mobile's.

The Second Line gets smoked out by the flambeaus!
The brass guys!

Everyone gets some loot!

The end of the line.  Until next year......  
After this celebration Spring can't be too far away!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Krewe of Cougar Creek Mardi Gras Preparations

We are in the final countdown to our big Mardi Gras party and parade on Sunday.  The float has been decorated, Gumbos and Jambalayas are simmering. 

The float partially decorated.  We will wait to finish tomorrow in case it rains tonight.

The throws and Moon Pies.

King Cakes cooling before they are decorated.