Friday, May 31, 2013

Pot o' Gold

I'm kinda busy...looking for that pot o' gold.  I'm pretty sure it's on the edge of my property.... 
See the faint image of a double rainbow?

This was last night's rainbow!  Brilliant. It appeared that the end of the rainbow was not far away at all.  Hurriedly, I snatched up my camera...and in bare feet...stepped outside in the rain to snap some photos.  Yes, it was raining, but the setting sun was peering through a break in the clouds, creating a fantastic rainbow, a promise of protection. 

Then, I saw that the rainbow had stretched into a full arch...and the other end appeared over the neighbor's house. 

 What a show of color!  I hurried to capture a few good the rain...with the sun setting...slowly.... over the mountains.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


OK, so Snooze isn't referring to that inviting afternoon nap...

While in Denver, I was treated to breakfast at a very popular restaurant, Snooze. (Colo Blvd & 8th) There were people lined up outside, waiting to get in. We had a 40 min. wait.  I understand it's like that every day because it's so popular.  They serve breakfast and lunch only.

I ordered "Snooze Continental," which included yogurt, topped with a honey-glazed granola, half of a grapefruit that had a glaze that was very tasty, and an English muffin.  But the point of all this is to share what I found out about the yogurt. (My latest favorite has been Chobani.) However, I could not get over how smooth, creamy, and delicious it was, so I asked the waitress about it.  Turns out that the yogurt is made in Colorado and  is carried in the local stores.  It's called Noosa.  So, I picked up 4 containers on my way out of Denver.  Then, I found out last night from one of my knitting friends that Safeway (right here!!) carries that brand...and it is usually flying off the shelf.  I purchased the honey flavor, but it also comes in blueberry and strawberry/rhubarb. (I think there might be a 4th flavor.)  Oh man, I'm telling you, if you like yogurt, and there's a chance you can taste this brand...IT'S WORTH IT.  It's the best I've EVER eaten. 

Wish you could see their list of enticing flavored pancakes.... but that's another story!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

I've been out of the blogging loop...and jumping through other hoops...

First, the recital for my music students went well...all performed wonderfully.  A nice finish to the school year!  I usually don't teach lessons through the summer.  Everybody gets a break...and all are busy with their summer activities.  Starting up in the fall is always something we can look forward to,...and we'll be ready!

Next, over the Memorial Day weekend, I made a dash to Denver to visit family.  The weather was very warm...yep, it felt like summer!  I took my camera with me...thinking I would snap numerous photos.  But I did not take a single picture!!  What's with that??  I just couldn't be bothered!  Really???  Sorry...can't explain it. 

But, when I got home, I was ready to snap some photos.  (I'm rolling my eyes at myself, here.)

Anyway, Cory found a wonderful cup that looks a bit like the calico cat I miss so much.  She gave it to me on this trip, and I love it.

Also, she gifted me with some very tasty shortbread cookies from her trip to London.  Fantastic!!  I was fortunate enough to get a quick look at the pictures from her trip, too. 

On Sunday we attended an Art Fair downtown; the varied artworks were amazing!  At one booth I found a framed print of a batik painting that I just had to purchase!  I met the artist, had an interesting visit about her work, and she personalized the back of the painting for me.   Very cool.
"Chopsticks" by Beth Erlund

It will be hung above the soon as I can get to it.  Trying to get back in the loop...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A pair of doves

A beautiful little pair of ringneck doves who have been returning residents at my neighbors yard, decided to come to my yard for a visit.  I might not have noticed, but they have been cooing...loudly!  Early in the morning... right outside my window.  It's pretty hard to ignore!  They've found a nice, thick, pine branch to perch on, and they look so comfortable there.

 Of course, when I've gone out to see what singing is about, they've flown to the roof of the shed or the overhead power-line.

I didn't hear them this morning, though....hope they come back. I have enjoyed their visit...and their songs!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Preparing for the recital

I've "typed" the program for the recital on Friday.  I'll need to get copies printed today.  And I'm rehearsing the pieces I'm accompanying; fingers are flying over the keys, trying to remember all the accidentals.

Oh, and I am playing "Pomp and Circumstance" for the Baccalaureate service for our senior class tonight.  Small church, small class, once through the's a pretty easy gig.  I'm just so happy to provide live music.  In most cases, I much prefer it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stitch by stitch...bead by bead...

Slowly, I'm gaining on the Accordion Scarf.  The pattern calls for 25 repeats before knitting the bottom edge.  I'm on the 17th repeat at the moment.  The rows where I add beads go more slowly, but bead by bead, I'm getting closer to the finish line.  When this scarf is blocked, it's supposed to measure 60 inches.  If I have plenty of yarn, and it looks like it might fall short of 60", I may add another repeat or two.  We'll see. 

I've also got the blue cotton shawl sweater going...but it's really slow going.  I'm not spending quite as much time on it.  Once again...stitch by stitch...I'll eventually get the back section completed.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Crazy weather

So, here's a picture of a day of sunshine, warm temps, and bees were buzzing the yellow blossoms on the caragana.  The grass is growing like crazy, and hopefully will fill in the spots where the rabbits were eating and peeing over the winter months...killing the grass!  Not so thrilled about that!!  But that's the way it goes out in the country!

These little guys are getting a big drink of rain water.
I received 10 bare root evergreen trees in the mail from the Arbor Day Foundation.  I barely remembered that I had opted to receive them last year.  But they arrived and needed care right away.  I could not decide where I wanted to plant them, so I dug out old pots of any kind and planted them, placing the pots in areas that were a little protected from the elements. Although you can see the wind yesterday pushed them over a bit; I'll try to correct that. And then...rain.  RAIN?  Yep.  It's been a long time since we've had rain that lasted more than 5 minutes.  It's great!  We need it!  But we can hardly believe it!

Friday, May 17, 2013

They're baaack...

The antelope (from below the hill) are back.  Here they are having breakfast on my lane this morning, nibbling on the new green grass.

It is starting to "green up" around here, but from this picture it's obvious that the trees at the neighbors are just starting to leaf out. So, from a distance, there's only a hint of green today.  In one week, we have gone from brown and dull to green and blooming!  Like everybody else, I'm shaking my head at the crazy weather patterns across the country.

The crab apple trees are blooming in town...and they are beautiful.  I hope to get a picture or two soon.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The aroma was wonderful...

As the artichokes were cooking in the crockpot, the aroma filled the house. smelled great.  I was sure hoping they would taste great too...

I checked them after 3 hours and decided to add another half cup of water.  Then, after 6 hours on LOW, I checked them again, and they were ready to eat.

I heated some garlic butter to dip the leaves in and started picking the artichoke apart, scooping off the good stuff with my teeth.  Oh, was good.  Tender. Tasty.  The garlic butter is a must.  I ate all the good stuff off one artichoke. I refrigerated the other one; not sure it will taste as good as the first one did, fresh out of the crock pot, but we'll see.  This turned out to be a good way to prepare artichokes; I'll definitely give this recipe another go.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Me? Cooking??

I'm not known for my flare in the kitchen...

I do alright...I mean, I'm not starving.  My general motto is that if I can't fix a meal in 20 minutes or less...forget it. Since retiring from education, and not eating the main meal from the cafeteria, I have had to "step it up" in my own kitchen.  Also, since purchasing a Bountiful Basket of fruits and veggies every couple weeks, I've eaten more healthy meals and have had to research how to fix some of the items I've received in the Basket.  Case in point: artichokes.  This week I received two. 

Remember Kathy B suggesting we not put away our crock pots for the summer???  OK, I thought maybe artichokes could be steamed in I looked up a recipe on-line.  Sure enough - it's doable!  I watched a great little video about prepping the artichokes (cutting off the tips of the prickly leaves, removing the flowery heart, and cleaning up the stem).  Then, they went in the crock pot with a cup and a half of water, some lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Oh, and one thing more: they suggested adding some garlic.

I remembered that I had purchased a garlic press...but had never used it.  Hmm.  I scrounged through a drawer of utensils and found it...still in the plastic packaging! works great!  Why didn't I use it sooner???  Oh, Nancy, Nancy, your lack of cooking knowledge and experience is a disgrace. Maybe you better not disclose that info. 

I put the lid on, and set the crock pot on LOW for (maybe) 7 hours.  I would have to check them, as they could be ready to eat in 4.

I'll let you know how it went...

Monday, May 13, 2013


Started watering and mowing growing grass

Planted flirty flowers in pretty pots

Raised a glass of ice-tea at The Middle Fork

Invited friends for a drive into Sinks Canyon
The Popo Agie River before the big spring run-off.

Noted the last evidence of melting snow drifts
The river flows into this cavern and "sinks" into a large underground reservoir. The water surfaces again through cracks and fissures about a half mile away.   

 Gave gratitude for a day of grace

Friday, May 10, 2013

Spring is making me smile...

Yippee!!  Yahoo!!  The leaves of the cottonwood and aspen finally started to pop out!!  We have had crazy days of rain and sun, and the trees have decided it's safe to leaf out!  The temps have settled into spring...thank goodness!  We are all so ready! 

There are two rows stacked so far.

I'm still working on getting all that wood stacked.  When my ukulele student came by for a lesson yesterday, her mom INSISTED that she stack wood while she waited for her daughter.  WHAT???  She was so thankful that I had been helpful to her in another project, that she wanted to help me out with this...Is that something, or what? 

There's still plenty to do... and I hope to tackle more today.

This little creature was hanging on to the wood pile.  Anybody know what he is?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gettin' down on the ukulele

I have piano and voice student who wanted to play guitar too.  But she's still so little, I suggested she start on the ukulele.  So, now a year later, here we are, preparing for her first recital on the ukulele. 

To give her lessons, I had to dust off my old ukulele and relearn what I had stepped away from for years!  It's been really fun, and I've managed to learn a lot of new stuff too.  I decided I needed to graduate to a better (newer) instrument, so at Christmas I was gifted with this standard size ukulele.

Just a month ago, my student was introduced to... and bought a gitalele.  What?  Yeah.  I'd never heard of it either.  It's a 6 string ukulele that looks like a small guitar, but is tuned like a ukulele. It is a pretty nifty instrument!  Evidently there has been a big upsurge in sales and popularity of the ukulele in the last few years.  So, we're right on trend. 

Have you ever heard of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain?  Check out this YouTube link:

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cotton Sweater Shawl

I got started on the sweater shawl that a friend commissioned from me.  I decided to make it out of cotton, rather than wool.  This is a worsted weight yarn, and it's thick and thin, not an even, smooth texture.  Because it doesn't have the "give" that wool has, it's not as easy on the hands, either.  I had to go from size 6 needles down to size 4 to get the right gauge.  That gave the the opportunity to use the glass needles I bought in Reno last fall.  Oh, they are smooth...and are working well with this yarn.
I'm anxious to see how this garment looks and feels as I progress.

This is what the finished wool sweater shawl looked like tied in the front.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Badlands on the Plains...

I finally finished up some needle-felting I started a couple months ago.  I made a backing/frame out of old cedar remnants for this piece, which was wet-felted, machine-stitched, and needle-felted (in that order).  The hills are felted to look a bit like the badlands near Dubois.  One of my friends gave me a rusted ol' horseshoe, and I am also using a railroad spike I found years ago.  Another friend picked up some rusted barbed wire off her dad's ranch, and I used that to frame the weathered cedar. 

Cutting and bending the barbed wire was tough!!  It was really hard on my hands, so I don't know if I'll do that again.  However, the creative aspect was fun.