Thursday, November 28, 2013

I'm out!

We began our Thanksgiving weekend celebration with Gary Palmer's Shrimp Linguine recipe.  So simple, yet so tasty.  The men were on kitchen clean-up duty with Retired Mountain Man in his supervisory role.  

Next, it was a few hands of poker.  James Paul was hard to beat in this game. 

"Read 'em and weep", as Grandpa Jim used to say.  

Tomorrow we begin the Euchre Tournament.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

All in one day!

We started our morning with lots of Evans Brothers Coffee and a nice leisurely breakfast.  Then it was time to go to work.  Things needed to be done.  Once son David gets going he never stops.  He is kind of like the Energizer Bunny. Do you remember that commercial?  He just keeps going and going and going......
Ben driving Grandpa's computer

We all went outside to watch David and Grandpa finish taking down the rain gutters.  I don't think the temperature got above freezing.   Brrrr.   It was cold.  We definitely needed a fire in the fire pit.

Ben did have fun with his sled.  Although there is not a lot of snow on the ground, what is left is really hard and quite slick.  It's perfect to sled down the small hill in the front yard.  Especially if you are four years old.

Next, the guys discuss how to install my new light, which is bigger and heavier than the first one.  Modifications would need to be made.  Since they are "guy, guys", modifications are a piece of cake for them.

I need Tim to come back and carve out a slot in the top of my beam to conceal my lighting wires.   Retired Mountain Man thinks that's another one of my crazy ideas.   OK then.  I will have to buy some kind grape leaf decorative vine thingy to cover them up.  Still more modifications.

TA- DA!   

I should warn you that there's a dragon in my house.  Or is it a whirlwind?    I am are not sure.

We ended the day with a venison hanging up in the basement.  Hooray!  Meat for the winter!

What a great day!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My version of a freak we go

I hate to wear socks or shoes which means that I prefer walking around barefoot most of the time. Why, you may ask?  Well, it's because my feet get hot.

It can be a hazard to not wear shoes and while we're at it, let's just say that I am an accident looking for a place to happen. 

Here is my story:  
I was cooking my breakfast of Egg Beaters and Canadian Bacon and was in the process of transferring it to my plate when a piece of the Canadian Bacon fell to the floor and landed on top of my foot.  It was hot!  Really hot!  I still had the skillet and spatula in my hands.  I tried to flick the bacon off of my foot, but it just stuck to it and kept burning.  I finally dropped the skillet and got the bacon off, but not before I burnt the heck out of the top of my foot.  Son-of-a-$#@!   

At least it was sugar-free bacon

I have been bandaging it and treating it for more than a week now.  It is finally starting to heal, but it has really put a crimp in my style.  I could only wear one pair of shoes and walking long distances caused PAIN.

 I am on the alert for any type of pain these days as it seems to crop up everywhere in my body.  

What the heck is with that?  

If you have the same issues, I recommend either wine or ibuprofen or both.  If that doesn't work, move on up to Jim Beam.

I am thinking that there should have been a warning on the package of Canadian Bacon.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Euchre anyone?

I am just like everyone else who is getting ready for the Thanksgiving Day dinner.  I am busy planning menus, shopping, cleaning house, decorating, etc.  

Retired Mountain Man and I are so excited to see all of our kids and grandchildren this next week.  We are looking forward to  listening to Dylan play the guitar, watching Ben be his latest superhero, enjoying Rylee's artistic creations for the dinner table, and hearing about how Collin destroyed his opponent in his favorite video game.  

My traditional centerpiece thanks to Mandolin Ann!

Last year JP taught us all how to play Euchre.  The rest of the family has never forgiven him for it.

Here's a little refresher course about how trump works.  

The Jack of the trump suit, called the right bower, is the highest card in the deck. The Jack of the same color suit is called the left bower and is the second highest card in the deck. After the right and left bower, the next highest ranking cards are the remaining cards of the trump suit (A, K, Q, 10, 9). For example, if spades are selected as trump, the Jack of spades (right bower) is the highest card followed by the Jack of clubs (left bower). The next highest are all of the remaining spades (A, K, Q, 10, 9).  I will explain how to declare trump in the next step.

If no trump cards are played, the highest card for the hand is the highest card of the suit led, and the rest of the cards are ranked in order.  For example, if spades are selected as trump, no one lays spades, and diamonds are led, the Ace of diamonds is the highest card followed by the K, Q, J, 10, and 9 of diamonds.

NOTE:  The left bower is considered to be the same suit as the trump suit.  For example, if hearts are trump and Player 1 leads with the Jack of diamonds (the left bower), this is considered a heart and anyone that has a heart must follow suit and play it.

Please take the time to look at the four pictures below to better understand the ranking of trump cards.  Do not worry if this seems somewhat confusing at first-- you will catch on!

Mind boggling isn't it? 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My new addiction.

What!  Another addiction?

In the past I had never understood how anyone could get addicted to coffee.  For several years we had Starbucks Coffee at work and I didn't think it tasted any better than Folgers.

Fast Forward seven years later.....

It hasn't been the same for me since the Ice Age Floods Field Trip last September.  They provided Evans Brothers Coffee on the field trip.  It tasted so good and here I am with my latest addiction.

Yes, it's really good.

It's expensive.

 I can't stop buying it.

I don't do latte's or anything like that.  I just want Evans Brothers coffee with a little cream.  Every morning.

I saw this quote on a Facebook share from Erin (SomeeCards) and it is definitely me.

There is no life without water, because without water, there is no coffee.  And without coffee, (Evans Brothers Coffee, that is), I'll kill you all.  


Monday, November 11, 2013

In honor of National Pomegranate Month....

At out band practice last night, our Little Drummer Girl, Julie, brought all of the ingredients for this cocktail.   We thoroughly enjoyed it although it was fortunate that we drank it after we practiced, as the alcohol content seemed very high.  The recipe might have called for a little more alcohol than necessary.

Pomegranate Cosmopolitan
Note: To make this as an individual cocktail, divide the quantities by 6 and chill in a cocktail shaker, strain, and pour.

Makes 6 cocktails
2/3 cup cup pomegranate (or cranberry) juice
16 ounces (2 cups) premium organic vodka, like Washington’s Dry Fly
4 ounces fresh lime juice
4 ounces Cointreau liqueur

Lime wheels,pomegranate seeds and/or raspberries
Pour the pomegranate juice into an ice cube tray and freeze.
Combine the vodka, lime juice, and Cointreau in a large bowl. Add 2 to 3 cups of ice and stir briefly to chill (5 to 10 seconds). Strain into a pretty, clear pitcher. Chill for at least half an hour. Chill 6 martini glasses.

If you are going to serve everyone immediately, put 1 or 2 pomegranate ice cubes in the bottom of each glass and pour the vodka blend over it. If you want this to sit out on the buffet for a few minutes, add the pomegranate cubes to the pitcher and allow guests to serve themselves in the chilled, garnished glasses. 

Garnish each glass with a wheel of sliced lime, pomegranate seeds or raspberries.

They were delicious and beautiful!

We (all of the gals) enjoyed a lively conversation about which actor was the most  good looking, attractive, sexy, etc...
Robert Redford, ( Navy whites in the Way We Were), George Clooney, Gary Cooper, Tom Cruise......(nah, not Tom Cruise).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hope Mountain Blues Wine

It just seemed right to have a Cougar Creek Blues Wine and a Hope Mountain Blues Wine.

The final carboy in the bottles.

One more item crossed off my To Do List. A very big item....

which has needed to be done for several months.  It's no small task, since it requires about 100 clean wine bottles.   The old labels and shrink wrap have to be soaked and removed with a knife.  Then all of the bottles have to be cleaned and sterilized.

The siphon and all equipment must be sterilized between each step of the process.

I soak my corks in boiling water so that they are easier to insert.  Next I apply the shrink wrap and then finally the labels.  Each carboy of wine usually tastes a little different so I create an individual label for each carboy of wine.

I started this process at 10:00 a.m. and finished it at 6:30 p.m.   

I am not making any wine this year.  You can see why.

I will bottle carboy #4 today.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bad note....

My older Yamaha keyboard, an NP 30, has one note that plays very loudly whenever I play it.  Yesterday I decided to take it apart to see if there was anything I could do to fix it.

 After removing 32 small screws on the back, I took the cover off.

 Very carefully.

The location of the bad key.

I did some research online and found out that sometimes there is dust that keeps the contacts from working properly, but I really didn't see that much dust on mine.  I did clean them off and I cleaned off the board.

The photo doesn't show it very well, but there is carbon on the ends of the contacts.  Neither Retired Mountain Man or I could see that anything looked different from one to the next.   I read that one can purchase the carbon compound for the contacts, but I'm sure that would solve my problem.

I put it all back together and yes, I still have the loud sound on the G note.  The only option I have now it to take one of the rubber strips of contacts from another location on the keyboard, (one that I don't play as much) and exchange it.

If that doesn't work then I have to decide whether it's worth it to take it to a repair shop?  I am not sure where that would be.

 Maybe Spokane?

 I hate going to Spokane.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Did you think you could escape it? Do you have Griz Eileen genes?

I haven't posted for quite some time as I have been in Montana helping out my mom, Griz Eileen, who is 89.75 years old.  She fell and broke her knee cap two weeks ago.   I don't think her doctor can believe how fast she is healing.  She is now allowed to bend her knee 90 degrees as long as she is wearing her brace.  She has to use a walker, but that is barely slowing her down.  We are all hoping that we have inherited some of her healthy longevity genes!

Not only is she healing well, she is kicking our butts in the football pool and has been in the lead for three weeks.  She is an amazing woman.

The hunter

One of her favorite things to do, fishing.  This time on Seagull Charters.

She spent the weekend with us at Lunch Peak Lookout.   Of course while we were there, a young man and his elderly father drove up to the lookout.  His father happened to be from North Platte Nebraska and used to announce the Nebraska football games on the radio there.  Griz and Eileen and the announcer enjoyed  a conversation about Nebraska football history, players, and coaches........

Roy and his Cornhusker barbecue grill

And just what is she doing here?  Well, she is at Carlos and Charlie's in Cozumel, Mexico.  She was dancing in the conga line, drinking shots and is standing on a chair dancing to the music.  She has insisted ever since that she "did not do that".

Champagne anyone?
Having some fun on the cruise

Don't worry Ben.  This Grandma will love you, support you and encourage you in everything you do.  Never forget how lucky you are.  You have Griz Eileen genes

You can't escape it.