Saturday, March 31, 2012

Odd Pix

March 31, 2012   68.4*

I have had the door open all morning...
The girls have been sun bathing all morning...
Our favorite book...
Resurrection card from mom and dad...
It's so dry, even the rocks look thirsty...
Antelope horn hanging on a fence...
Big bull sun bathing. This is the one that won't stay out of the neighbors fence...
Abby
Hi Ho
New found treasure...
Crown of Thorns and Christmas Cactus in my kitchen window...
Rockies...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Granola...Peanut Butter Style


I have had a hankering for granola lately. I usually make a nut granola, but the nuts have been extremely expensive for the last few months. I remembered yesterday, while I was looking at the high cost of nuts, that I had a recipe for granola that uses peanut butter. I fired up this recipe this morning, so we could have fresh granola for breakfast. My house smells like homemade peanut butter cookies. Yummy!

Recipe:

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)



Melt the margarine or butter and peanut butter together in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the honey, vanilla and salt. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and hot throughout. It doesn’t need to boil. Add the oats. Stir until the oats are completely coated with the peanut butter mixture. Turn the mixture into an ungreased cookie sheet, or a large 9 by 13-inch pan. Spread the granola out evenly and bake it at 375° for 10 minutes. It will be brown and crispy. Now remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. Break it up into pieces after it is cooled. Transfer the granola to a jar or sealed canister. Add the dried fruit, if you are using them, when the granola is cool. Serve with cold milk.



Peanut butter and margarine...


with honey, salt and vanilla...


with oats...


Spread on ungreased cookie sheet...


Bake 10 minutes...


Let cool, serve with milk..


Store in airtight container...

Feel free to double or triple the recipe. It should last few weeks in the cupboard or store it in the fridge for longer storage results. It never lasts that long around my house. We eat it dry as a snack.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Number One, Again....

My dearest, Number One, bought me a treasure close to my heart. I know, your thinking diamonds, pearls or even gold. Not so fast. Those things may sound nice to some, but to me, not so much. Don't get me wrong, I treasure my wedding ring and my anniversary ring. They symbolize our marriage and a mile stone in our life together, but I only have so many fingers. I always felt funny not wearing these symbol's of our love and life together. So, without further ado...

















Thank you, Number One for listening to me. I appreciate you fulfilling my wants and needs. It really means a lot to me to be heard in our home...

A five pound bag of Jasmine tea is a lovely treat for me. I will use it everyday. We found a large Oriental grocer in the city. Five pounds of Black Oolong or Jasmine tea can be purchased for $15 bucks. They have a massive selection of teas. They also carry some of the strangest things that I have ever seen and some hard to find items like mushroom boullion.

As I sit here savoring my hot cup of Jasmine tea, writing and planning out my day, I'm ever so grateful to our Heavenly Father for loving me so much. God wants us to feel and see His presence in our lives. Our lives can be so chaotic when we do not hear nor see God in our lives. Sometimes we just have to be still to hear God. We have to stop and listen for God's instruction for our lives.

Psalm 46:10
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”


We have to get that chaos out of our lives, so we can seek the Kingdom of Heaven first. God wants to be the focus of our lives. He wants to be first...

Matthew 6:33
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I pray the peace of God be upon each and everyone of you today and everyday. I pray His mighty hand of protection to be upon us. I pray all obstacles to be removed from our lives, so that we can see and hear our Heavenly Father. In jesus Name I pray,
 Amen and Amen...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Eatin' A Little Dirt Never Hurt No One!

Sunset was a bit hazy for a clear day...

There was no place that was safe from the dust...


After the sun went behind the mountains...

















We had some pretty good winds yesterday. This is normal, however, it is so dry that the winds picked up the dust and dirt which created a hazy dirt filled day. We went to town and were sandblasted on many occasions through the windows of the car. We would try to roll up the windows as fast as we could to escape the blasts of dirt, but we were not always successful.

This flow of dirt gets in your pockets, your mouth, your eyes and in your hair. We always joke that we are getting our minerals from the dirt we are chewing on. I noticed that our roofs and door jams have what looks like dried mud spots on them. It must have rained muddy rain while we were away. It wouldn't be the first time. At least it's not all over the windows like it has been in the past.

In the pictures posted above, the dust is blocking out a whole mountain range. It's not too bad today. It's a little breezy, but not much dust so far. I can at least see the mountain range that was missing yesterday...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thawed out!





While we were away our septic and cistern thawed. Seems strange that they would freeze during the warmest winter we have had here, but it has to do with how much fall rain saturates the ground before the freezing starts. I'm not sure how long they were frozen,(long enough) but I'm sure glad they have thawed.

 We did not do without either of them, we just had to use them differently than turn on the faucet method. Kind of a pain after a while, but at first it's an adventure. I have become a real "mountain momma" not just a pretend one either. I will do what it takes to make things work for the greater good of my family. If it takes extra steps or a mile it is worth it to live out our dreams.

Before we left, we had to move the freezer from the barn into the house. You see, we don't have to plug in our freezer in the winter. There is no need. Nature takes care of it.  Some people only have refrigeration in the winter. We have a normal refrigerator. Some people only plug theirs in during the daytime to conserve power. Our solar system is adequate for our needs and then some.

We are a tough breed out here in the West. You have to have or learn a certain mindset to be able to function in this rugged environment or you will most assuredly leave here with your tail between your legs in defeat. Number One has had to learn skills that he would not ever use in town. We have learned a lot, lived a lot and enjoyed ourselves (most of the time) immensely the last few years. We are a work in progress. We still have a lot of learning to do. We still have a lot of goals to reach. We look forward to what Spring will bring as far as growth on the ranch.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Joplin Missouri

We traveled through Joplin Missouri on our way to our home in the Ozarks. We actually went back there a couple of times to support the local businesses while we were in the Ozarks. I used to shop there regularly. I really liked everything that the town had to offer, especially the friendliness of it's people. I really was in shock when I saw the damage that last year's tornado had done.

There are missing blocks, houses and business's. Most everything that's left looks brand new. Familiar landmarks were gone. I was having a hard time figuring out where I was. Handmade signs and billboards are memorials that represent the pain this town has been through, but they also offer hope and give strength to this community. They still have a ways to go since there are still so many in FEMA trailers. Brick by brick they will prevail.

May God bless each and everyone of you. May He lessen your pain and loss. May He strengthen you and your community. In Jesus Name, Amen and Amen....

Sunday, March 25, 2012

7 Days In Utopia

We just returned from our extended trip(due to the flu) from our home nestled in the Ozark Mountains. It is a beautiful place in the world. Spring is already well advanced. The trees and flowers are blooming, the grass is green and it rained non-stop for five days. This time last year flood waters had overcome the creeks and rivers. The predicted 15 inches never materialized, so no widespread damage. Praise God!

Our little flu turned into a fever driven bug that left us crawling in and out of bed too weak to do much else. Towards the end and in between fevers, we were able to visit a Red Box and rent some movies. We did this by the cloak of night, so we would not infect the innocent. Not only was this our first adventure with a Red Box, (great invention for those who live in town) we also chose an awesome move called " 7 Days In Utopia". I had seen a preview for it before we chopped off the head of our satellite to spend more time enjoying our lives instead of watching a sick version of it on the "boob tube". (my dad's term of endearment for the TV).

Seven Days in Utopia [DVD]

Author David L. Cook's best-selling novel Golf's Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia comes to the big screen in this inspirational sports drama starring Lucas Black and Robert Duvall. Luke Chisolm (Black) has the drive to become a professional golfer. Just when he's on the verge of going pro, however, he buckles under the pressure. In the aftermath of that crushing disappointment, Luke vanishes from the spotlight, uncertain if he'll ever return to the game again. Luke is driving through Texas when he crashes his car in the town of Utopia, and strikes up a friendship with Johnny Crawford (Duvall), a rancher who knows more about the game of golf than the troubled young visitor realizes. Now, the more time Luke spends with Johnny, the more he begins to see life from a new perspective -- a perspective that will not only help Luke to make sense of where he's been in life, but where he's headed as well. Oscar winner Melissa Leo and True Blood's Deborah Ann Woll co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

There is way more to this movie than meets the eye. Be sure and go to the website at the end of the movie. I recommend this movie to everyone....

Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm Back With More Ramblings From The West....

I am happy to report that my back has been healed.I hope to spend more time blogging. During my sabbatical, I have not been able to do much of anything, so I have put on a few pounds. Luckily, the weather has been nice enough to start walking again.

I am very sore from my vigorous walks/jogs. I'm having a time negotiating the stairs. Going up is fine, but coming down is a different story. I know it will take time to get my grove back.

We did some traveling last week in Kansas and it has "greened up" early this year. The crops are what I call  "new green." You know, that beautiful green that we all look forward to that signals the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring? The fields are not dusty or tired looking from the wind constantly blowing in the Spring. There is actually a sign in Kansas that reads, "One Kansas farmer feeds 120 people." Now, that's impressive. Thank you Kansas farmers for all your hard work.

We also met up with some friends of ours from our old stomping grounds this past weekend. We were blessed to have the chance to celebrate our friend Lea Lea's birthday. I can't help but think how grateful I am that her parents chose life. How many best friends have been lost by the act of abortion. It doesn't just stop one heart from beating. It prevents generations from ever existing. Has the cure for cancer or the cure for other terrible diseases been wiped out also? How much has truly been lost? It is not a victimless act. There are many victims in this "cure" for pregnancies.

We managed to catch a bug that renders us useless and we shared it with our friends while they were here. What a birthday present.  Number One caught it first. I kept thinking that I wouldn't get it since it skipped me and jumped on Budreaux( Lea Lea's husband), but the fever hit me this afternoon. I pray that is skips Lea Lea and that Budreaux has a speedy recovery. Sorry guys!




I picked up a new book for $4.12. Wow! It's called "Arguing With Idiots" by Glen Beck. From what I've read, I would recomend it for the comedy alone. I read a few highlights about home his own home ownership debacles and proceeded to roll with laughter. I realized that we all have those types of stories that seemed serious then, but laughable now. Just closing on a house makes my blood pressure skyrocket and then you get to find out what wasn't disclosed about the property or seen by the professional that you hired to make sure your  new house was a sound investment. The book also has a serious side that talks about the true cost of "big government" to our freedoms.

We finally had our satellite turned off. We have been convicted to take the trash out of our home. We actually suspended it for 6 months. It costs $2.50 and we still get the Christian channels, Inspiration channel, hunting/fishing and all the shopping networks you could ever watch in a lifetime. We had stopped watching TV on the Sabbath altogether and realized what we were missing, each other's company. Getting lost in technology can be harmful to relationships and can alter your mood. You know, when you yell at the TV comentator to get a life or worse. Unhealthy to say the least.  Now we read more, play games, talk and work harder. Lot's of benefits.

I would like to thank everyone for sticking with my blog during my recovery. I know that I am disappointed when the blogs that I follow do not have a new post for me to read. I also understand that life happens all the time that can prevent us from doing the things that we enjoy. Thanks, again and God bless.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Promise Of Spring, Grain And Happiness

I saw my first bluebird this morning on the fence post when I looked out the window to see what God had in store for this day. I was unable to snap a picture, because the wind picked up almost immediately. The promise of Spring has come with the arrival of the bluebirds, not quite yet, we have another snow event heading our way.

Yesterday, I noticed that a bull was inside my neighbors fence. I called the rancher who free ranges his cattle in our area to come let him out, however, the bull is back in the fence this morning. He had been in the fenced area for quite sometime before I realized he was actually inside the fence. It's amazing how, like us, the bull doesn't realize he is a captive by his own desire to have more. He had plenty outside the fence, just like us, we have plenty too, but our desires entice us into the captivity of debt. He didn't learn that there was no water inside that fence. Have we learned anything about our personnel and governmental debt? I sure hope that we are smarter than that bull. The bull has destroyed the neighbors fence, but still can't figure out how to get out? I don't think our government has figured out how to get out of debt either. Money cannot buy happiness at all. At best, it helps with day to day needs, however, debt is not money and is certainly not happiness.

A friend of mine asked if I would help her catch a goat that she was milking for a women who's sister passed away and had to leave unexpectedly. She was having a time catching her even with the promise of grain. I love goats. They are smart, funny and love to play. I think that the goat missed it's owner and wanted to keep my friend there as long as she could, however, it was well below freezing and the wind was not helping.


This picture is borrowed, it is a true depiction
of a goat's nature.




The goat's home is not very far from our ranch, so I headed out on a goat catching expedition. I think there was about five or six goats, one old dog and a cat that no one knew was living there until I saw it in the window. The other goats wanted love, so they followed us around like puppies, but Nutmeg, the elusive goat, remained at arms length. Laughing and playing as she ran around and around the small barn. Once cornered, she willingly went inside the milking area and jumped up on the stanchion awaiting her payment of grain.

Nutmeg provides milk for an infant who does not tolerate cow's milk, however, with the arrival of new kids from another goat, Nutmeg is only milked once a day. The new mother will provide the milk in the near future. I had the opportunity to milk Nutmeg and it was a fun experience that helps me make the decision between a cow or a goat. I want both.

Number One helped out yesterday with the goats only to discover how smart they are, they all escaped into the outer paddock. They were having fun teasing the new guy. Number One had a great laugh as they escaped over and over. All the goats received their fill of grain, loving attention and entertainment. Their "momma" is probably already home safe and giving the goats plenty of what we lacked in our efforts to care for them.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

You Are In Our Thoughts And Prayers.....


DOZENS KILLED IN TORNADO SWARMS

Our hearts go out to those who have suffered unthinkable losses in yesterday's storms. I encourage everyone to pray for and reach out to those in need....