Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year


It's the final day of 2010. What a ride. I have so much to share and yet time is of the essence. I typically take the last couple days of the year to contemplate, ponder, recollect and record my experiences. This year has been different in so many ways. I've experinced amazing lessons, some that brought me to my knees, some lifting me well beyond my comfort zone! I've laughed until I cried and cried until I thought I had no tears left. I've lived with my whole heart, unconditionally allowing it, rather than my mind to guide me. It serves me well, without emotions and heart, my life would be extremely cold and uncomfortable.

I took this picture from our back deck. It's one of my favorite views and often shows up on my facebook profile. I look at this view several times a day and even then, no picture is ever the same. There's a lot of symbology here. The sun coming through the haze, though the natural world appears to be still and lifeless. The torch lamp reminds us that summer is around the corner, yes it's still down the road a bit, but the hint of warmth, good times and being outdoors beckons from the depths of those winter drifts.

My intention for the year relates to that lamp. I am here to be a light; a light for myself, for my family and friends. If I can do one thing to life someone's spirits, make another laugh, smile or come into a new awareness of themselves, life and love, then I've done my job. I have much to think about and much that I still want to accomplish but I am taking a cure from the offering of the winter season and that is to lay low, take rest and rejuvinate. I've been on one heck of a roller coaster ride and I am ready to sit and fully ponder it all.

In these moments as we prepare to close the chapter on 2011, I want to take a moment to wish all of my fabulous blog readers a prosperous New Year. I am delighted that you've been drawn to these words written here. I have no idea how many people actually read this little gem but I want to express my gratitude for the WONDERFUL comments that have come my way. I LOVE to write/share in this way. If you know someone who would enjoy, please, please feel free to pass along this link to your friends and family. I know that I don't get to visit with many of you in person so I am delighted that we can keep up through the cre8tive cowgirl blog. Know that you are loved and appreciated, each and every one of YOU!

So saddle up those ponies and ride! We'll see you on the other side..........in 2011

Robyn

Thursday, December 30, 2010

First Cash.........


Chad came in last night with a large smile on his face. In "Polar Express" style he announced, "The first gift from chickens"................! Translated this means that I sold my first couple dozens of eggs!

We are now getting about 9 eggs a day and have way more than what we can use, so I am selling to those interested in buying farm fresh eggs and I do mean FRESH! It's been a number of years since I've had the joy of feasting on fresh eggs and I must say it is a treat. The yolks are a dark, gorgeous orange, not yellow like the ones in the store. These girls are fed very good grain and luscious green scraps of veggies that they devour quickly. I'll be expanding my culinary skills as soon as I get a few things caught up. I have some custards, cheese cakes and other goodies that I am going to bake up. First thing is to get this house back in shape!

Break time is over. Hope you are enjoying the remainder of 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In Recovery

He feels.well enough to shop at Cabela's. I guess that is a good sign. We went for a check-up on the shoulder; aside from a nasty allergic reaction to the adhesive, tripping over the coffee table, and not able to sleep well in a chair, I'd say he is recovering well. Shopping for guns and ammo seems to be the therapy of choice......as well as "passenger side driving"! He hasn't lost his talent for that since the last surgery! Is it May yet?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just Looks Like a Bunch of Numbers......?


This is what I am up to today; I've spent the morning working on Ki Energy Reports. It's a little thing I do to assist others in knowing how to work with the themes/energies that arrive each month. Though many issues appear to arise in our lives randomly, there's actually a realistic explanation behind it all. This little "map" has helped me (and many others)  make sense of both rewarding and challenging situations. It's not voodoo and it certainly ain't magic. It IS a great tool to help us get to where we're wanting to go, expand our awareness and help us slow down long enough to appreciate the life we have the wonderful, amazing people within it.

I do this every month for clients and friends that request a preview........I'm really glad I took a look at my personal ki energies...........HOLY COW! I'm just going to forget about having any down time for a while. If I don't have that expectation, then it'll just be a nice surprise when/if it shows up. Looks like I am on for a really rockin', transformational time. I'm going to cinch my stampede string down tight..........I'll keep ya'll updated. I've got some important choices that will be coming down to the wire this week.

In the mean time, I have a tree to take down, a kitchen to clean up, a house to undecorate, laundry to wash/dry/fold, children to feed, animals to care for and errands to get done. I've contemplated keeping the Christmas decoartions up for another month, partly because this is a busy week and I'm not sure that I have enough blocks of time to get everything put away neatly and the other part is that I adore the holiday decorations, I'm always a little sad to put them away.

It's almost a new year though and I want to start it off clutter free and as organized as possible. I feel and think better when my home/space is neat and tidy and takes on a spacious appearance........I can't help it, that is the Feng Shui training in me! I need all the clarity I can get! The sad part is my cleaning efforts usually don't last longer than 12 hours, or the next time I cook.

Here's wishing you a wonderful week, wrapping up the final days of 2010!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From The Johnston Family!



Here's wishing you a very bright, fun, and festive holiday season! We've started the morning off right with baking fresh cookies for the "man in red" tonight. He'll be treated to peppermint bark, chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies and...........delicious goat's milk! I might have to whip up cinnamon GML (Goat Milk Latte) so he'll be sure to stay awake the rest of the night.

Our tradition includes eating an early supper, unwrapping a few gifts and then heading off to our little country Church for midnight mass (at 8:30!) We'll celebrate with our friends and then return home to sleep all snuggled in our beds (or chair for Chad!) Tomorrow we'll wake up to stuffed stockings and Santa's treasures then we'll head north to visit family. I am looking forward to seeing our loved ones though I dread the packing and unpacking, it takes much effort to get this crew on the road in winter time. The best place for me to be is right inside my house. I have no problem packing up the camper and gear to travel about the country in warm weather; winter/cold makes me want to hibernate!

So no mattere where you hang your Santa hat tonight, may you be abundantly blessed with joy in your heart, peace in your home and the Spirit of Christmas all around. Happy Christmas one and all!


PS. I want to share a special thanks with my friend Ann. She is our family photographer and one of the few people that my kids (Pryce) will smile for! She does a fabulous job of working with very different personalities and capturing beautiful, creative poses! If you are looking for a personal photographer with creative insight, attention to details and precise editing......she's got it! Please visit http://serendipityshotsblog.blogspot.com/,  email serendipityshots@gmail.com or call Ann @ 402.7501655.


 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas........


Pecos and I just finished our rounds outside. We made sure the hens were all nestled in a clean coop and that the goats had plenty of hay. They have a perfectly good little shed, I'm not sure why they aren't huddled up in the corner; if I were a goat I would be. Either that or I would do that annoying little bleating sound until someone came and rescued me and brought me into their nice cozy house. Clearly I don't think like a goat do I?! The only time I hear that sound out of them is when they want to eat. Once the hay hits their stomach, they are content.

We gathered six eggs today! One was a monster of an egg, delivered by one of the red hens. It's a delicious chocolate brown and was nice and warm to the touch. I held it to my face as it made a nice little cheek warmer. I do love gathering fresh eggs right out of the nest.

Today was spent working on my tech issues. I have had frustrating issues with my cell phone and have been fighting with it for nearly a year. I don't love it but I've gotten by. I am trying a new one out. I don't love it either. I am not sure that I like a touch screen. Time will tell I suppose but already it is frustrating me too. Then to top it off.......my faithful, wonderful, old reliable friend, aka the Kirby vacuume cleaner QUIT!!!! Are you kidding me? What did I do to deserve this horrible catastrophe?! (I'm sort of joking here!) This device is one of my all time favorites and I use it daily. We three kids that cannot hit their mouths it is an essentail. I use it daily. I have no idea how we'll survive (*again, slight humor/sarcasm) This just adds to the frustration as I am not in the mood to spend any more money and certainly not excited about trying to find a Kirby repairman over the holidays! And you can probably imagine what this place will look like if I go without.

Ok. Another deep breath. Since this blog isn't "sugarcoated" I sure hope your day was sweet and that right about now, you are preparing to dive into something tasty and delicious. I rarely drown my misery with food but tonight, tonight, I just may crawl into an oreo ball. Rats.........I haven't made those yet. One more thing to do!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mama's Elves!

Oh the joys of Christmas vacation; messy house, fighting kids, temper tantrums......aaaehem, I mean...YAY the kids are HOME!!!!

Seriously, I do love having all my babies here in the nest! The key to getting HAPPILY through the holidays is keeping these three busy. After chores this morning I put them to work cutting and stuffing."The Boss" (not me) was directing the show, telling his little sister that she wasn't cutting the slips of paper correctly. This in turn made BS pout, cry and put on a "drama show". She also received and escort to her room for a bit. The middle/mild mannered child just made himself a cup of coffee and took it all in! Oh my, We've got quite a range of personalities in this household.

We're not doing a formal Christmas letter this year, instead there's a little slip of paper that leads right to this here little 'ol blog! Instead of a once-a-year update, our family and friends now have access to a daily check in if they so choose. (If you are already a blog reader and you happen to receive a boring white slip of paper, it also makes a dandy bookmark!)

Today's "keeping the kids busy" events include getting our Christmas pictures letters ready for the post office, house cleaning, laudry catch up, tidying (in every room) wrapping and baking. You know, all that stuff that a mom wants to get done so she can relax and enjoy the holiday, kind a thing! Also included is keeping them out of my office, off of my guitar and violin (noise pollution!!!!!) away from the tv/movie, keeping them from tearing each other's hair out, keeping me from tearing my hair out, remembering to breathe and generally not freaking out because this is not my normal daily routine. SERENITY NOW! OK. I think I'm better. I can go back to the kids, kitchen and cleaning. Wish me luck, I'm sure it's going to a memorable holiday season!

PEACE and Blessings!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Note To Self

This is a great reminder, don't you think? Easier said than done sometimes.....as least for me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crafty Gifts



This is just one of the fun little cards I'm making this year for friends. I found a great site that has vitange images and I am having SO much fun with them (wait 'til I post the adroable kitchen/cooking and hen party stamps........FUN, FUN, FUN!)

In addtion to my love for goats, chickens/eggs, knitting and all things garden, I dearly love scrapbooking and card making. I dreamed up this little vision back in September but due to a very accelerated fall, I'm just now getting to putter in my craft room. I love using the Grinch green and berry reds. I couldn't help up add a touch of gold sparkle either. The monogram pin comes off and can be placed on a sweater or scarf. Each one is different and I don't yet have a favorite.................but there was something pretty cool about this design for my friend Colleen. I never know what anything is going to look like. I don't have a map or a guide. I pretty much just sit down and let it "flow"! So even I am surprised when it turns out (again, I am easily entertained, aren't I?!)

I have a few more of these babies to whip out. So far I've taken kids to school. Delivered a few packages and cards, did chores (almost 2 cups of milk today and three eggs this morning, did two loads of laundry, wrapped a few packages, went to BS's Chrismas program (ADORABLE!) made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and planned the final Christmas eve menu (this is my lunch break at 2 pm!)  The guys are loading out our calves and cows to take to corn stalks and the ranch. Chad won't be able to do much until March so we're removing the temptation to work (I hope it works. I've already caught him in the tractor and attempting to wrap gifts with one hand. This is one man that just doesn't stay down for long. God help him heal soon!)

I have a few appointments in town and some last minute gift shopping tomorrow. After that it's just a little wrapping and a lotta baking. I'm waiting until my chef (Sparky) is out of school. He's taken an eager interest in cooking and so I'm going to put him to work~there's plenty of it! He's mentioned cooking up a dish that involves candy canes, chips and shrimp (eeeewwww!) I'm trying to steer him away from that and into a yam dish of some sort!

I always think right about now that I should start working on Christmas to-do's in July. I may do that in 2011. Maybe then I'd actually feel like I was ready?!?! Perhaps being busy adds to the excitment?!

If you are looking for a last minute craft project, think of a card and a pin. Use scraps of ribbon, a vintage tag, glue and sparkles, I bet you'll come up with something great! Send me a picture of your creation and consider joining me for a crafter's weekend in January.

Happy Holidays!



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Milk n Eggs? We Got 'Em!

Two of the "staples" that we are continually using are those pictured above. We no longer have to buy these from the store; obtaining them requires walking only a few steps across the driveway and doing 15 minutes or less of care twice a day. Pretty simple.

The milking part does dictate that we are on site a bit more but that too is easy enough. We don't travel as much as we used to; as the kids are getting older it's easier to stay in one place. My gypsy vibrations have done dormant (but easily re-awaken with the right conditions!)

Several years ago I started researching what it would take to transition into a more self-sufficient lifestyle. I've been on this path for a long time now but this THIS is the first time I've had tangible results. I have to smile when I see this old blue bowl bursting with farm fresh eggs! It is a dream come true and it hasn't been easy. I suppose that is what makes me appreciate it more.

I've had dreams of starting a CSA. I don't know if I have the energy for such endeavors. I'm the kind of girl that has more fun searching for vintage items to decorate her farm stand with than actually selling anything! Paperwork? No thanks! Jumping through a lot of hoops just "aint my bag baby!" I'd love to sell produce and crafts to people who genuinely want such items but I've never been one to "solicit" business. If it comes easily, great. If not, I'm sure a different dream will manifest.

Right now, I'm content to enjoy fresh eggs and milk on a daily basis. Next month I'll start browsing through seed catalogs and start planning my garden. I'm missing my fresh veggies. Eventually I'll have a greenhouse and some cold frames here so I can enjoy lettuce and spinach in December. That's another "down the road" goal.

I have several opportunities that have presented themselves in the last couple of months. At this point I've not decided any particular career path. I'll sit with such choices a bit longer. I have much to think about. This is what I DO know; Santa is going to be served goat's milk right along with those sugar cookies!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Up To Five Now!

Chores around here are a lot easier 1. With help (Pecos is becoming an amazing assistant!) 2. With sunshine. Even when it's cold and my fingers are chilly, I'm a lot happier with a little sunshine shining down.

Chores are not easier with the new "stink-a-pottamus" billy goat. Oh how he needs a bath....or something. Pee-uuu! We've honored the eastern tradition by renaming him Ramses, since we have Egypt and Summeria. He's calm for a buck and integrating well. Not sure he's my favorite. I could find him of he ever got loose....just follow the stink.

The best news of all is.....we are up to five eggs a day. It's so exciting when the girls start dropping eggs! We're about ready to offer some for sale. We're have plenty for our own use; I'm now researching egg recipes (if you have a favorite, please consider sharing with other readers and send ideas my way!)

Chad is doing fine. He's sore but that's to be expected. His shoulder has needed attention for some time now so he's glad that the surgery is over. Now, on to healing.

We are headed to a basketball game. Sparky is playing at halftime. BS will stay home to be her dad's health care assistant (she's actually really good!) She'll get him ice, and snacks and answer his phone too.

I'm looking forward to a day iin my craftroom tomorrow. I'll post some cute card/gifts that I'm working on for friends.

First though, I think I'd better shower. Darned if I don't smell like that goat. Gross!


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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just In Case

Since we're gone for Chad's shoulder surgery today and the Shelf Elf hasn't arrived yet, I've provided behavior instructions along with lumps of coal near the little stockings, hung with care!

Will I need such "props"? Probably not. BS has her Ga to entertain all day (her dream come true!) And the boys are at school practicing for their Christmas program. It was fun to threaten them though.....I suppose there's a bit of elfish humor coursing through my veins!

Christmas is just around the corner so a Mama must use all of her resources. If anyone is interested in adopting this strategy, I happen to know a great place to obtain coal. It is a day's drive or so to get there, so do pack a lunch.

Here's to finding only treasures in your stocking!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pretty much sums up my day.....

Crazy! Silly! Fun! You know, I'm just about to Roll On The Floor Laughing!

Won't you join me?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Yummy-Ummy Cheesy Bread


I'm a bit late with today's post; though I doubt anyone is holding me accountable and holding a deadline above my head. Probably wouldn't work anyway, at least not this week. I'm in the midst of another busy month. Thankfully we are all feeling good. I kept my young daughter at home today thinking she had the flu, she was very "clingy" and complained of a tummy ache so I thought it best she say with Mama. I should have sent her......little miss ball of energy and mischief!

I am pounding away on the key board today, doing those necessary things involved with career and daily life. I have an office to shape up, a basement that needs severe attention and a craft room that has once again become messy~I think the only way to keep this place neat and tidy would be to move out! Even then, the dust would likley overtake the place and I'd be complaining about that!

I did enjoy a brief period of rest yesterday. Chad and I "tweaked" a few things in the hen house. I am happy to report my coop is complete. We installed hinges for the adorable little roost and added a necessary electric waterer. The temperature this morning was a balmy 11 degress above zero. Our counterparts in the northern and eastern part of the state got snow over the weekend, luckily we did not. I spent a glorious morning outside yesterday watching my chickens peck and scratch. After chores, I filled a big mug of hot coffee and plopped my behind on top of the tomato tank to watch the antics of my birds. How fun! (I know, it really takes very little to entertain me.) I realized that this was a moment I've been waiting to enjoy for a long, long time! I've been so focused on getting everything organized, done, completed, set, fixed, situated and all the above that I hadn't really stoped to ENJOY! I think I spent the better part of an hour out there, and then went through the rest of my day smiling and feeling quite refreshed. I may need to head back out to the coop. My boys just got home and they are loud!!! I can tell I'm going to need to channel "super mommy power" to get through this evening!

So without further ado, let me share with you this fabulous cheesy bread. It's "da bomb" baby!

Cheesy Bread


1 loaf bakery French bread
8 oz. pkg. sliced Swiss cheese or American slices or a combination of both
2 T. onion, chopped
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. poppy seeds
1 t. season salt
2 sticks margarine, melted

*kitchen scissors
*wet wash cloth

Using a serrated bread knife, cut slits in the breakd, going all the way through. Spray foil with Pam, and put the break on a large piece of foil, then on a cookie sheet. In the slits place pieces of cheese. I take the slices out and cut them hin half with kitchen sheers. I then put either one or two half slices in between each slit. Combine the last 5 ingredients and pour over the bread. Wrap the foil around the bread. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Let the bread cool slightly and then cut slices apart. The slices can then be halved to smaller pieces. The bread is a delicious, sticky, gooey mess! (I just sliust want you to be prepared!) It won't last long though so be sure to grap your piece right away!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Not Thinkin About Food Today

I've said it before and it's worth mentioning again, thank goodness for mobile blogging; if it weren't for this phone, there would be a lot less posts.

I can't make it to the computer right now, my little BS has the flu. Her brother and I had it last night.

Uncle Chad and Cotter went to Maywood to get feed and the boys are playing downstairs.

I was going to post pictures of cheesy bread today but.......food is not appealing to me at this moment. Please pass the violet tea instead.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Get Your Crunches In



All I want for Christmas is……….Granola! And maybe a few other items?! This recipe is an easy one to whip up and is sure to delight the taste buds! This is an excellent, healthy, packable snack. It’s great on cereal, fantastic sprinkled on ice cream and just darn delicious to munch!

I found this recipe in one of my favorite new books, “The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen, by Terri Edwards and Serena Thompson. It’s a great book, with several tasty recipes and great country decorating tips. It’s given me inspiration in my decorating scheme and revived my love of all things “retro”!

As I mentioned yesterday, this tasty treat could be poured into pint or quart sized jars, wrapped with a festive ribbon and given as gifts. It also makes a great snack for your holiday gatherings and best of all………it’s healthy. I find the nuts to be especially grounding and can help counterbalance all the sugar that is being ingested in the next three weeks!

Happy Crunching!

6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup canola oil
½ cup packed brown suagar
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
½ cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the granola: Heat the oven to 325 F. Combin the oats, coconut, and peacans in a large mixing bowl. Combine the oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well combined.

Bake the granola: Line a large shallow baking pan with foil. Speak the mix in the pan. Bake until browned, about 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes with a large spatula. Cool in the pan on a wire rack; then stir once more. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (but it probably won’t last that long!)

*I make two batches at the same time, just because I had a feeling it would go fast……..and I was right. I make this for BS’s preschool snack and it was a big hit. I also took it up to my family’s house when I went for a visit. My brother stole the bag, thinking it was all his. Our friend, Heath, then stole it from him! And somehow, a small amount of it ended up coming home with me……..how it got back in my cooler is a total mystery………..!

This is a great recipe to keep in mind for the summer months as well. Instead of buying expensive trail mix, mix up this instead and then add other ingredients according to your personal tastes! (I prefer butter brickle bits in it when I'm hiking!)

Enjoy~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Visit To Aunt Robyn's House


Let me introduce you to my sweet nephew, Cotter. He and his older brothers will be staying with us for a few day while their mommy and daddy take a little trip. It's been a while since we've had a little one around here. Aunt Robyn has forgotten what it is like!

We always have fun when the nephews come to stay. My boys will arrive from school here shortly and they'll be very excited to see their little cousins. There are big plans for Christmas movies, toy pistols and the train set. I sort of have a menu plan and I've promised my children that I'll not experiment with new foods, especially soup (which they despise!)

 I know I shared that this would be recipe week, but little peeps take priority. I'll post a fabulous granola recipe tomorrow that can be made ahead of time and then packed in festive jars for homemade gift giving. Several have asked for the recipe and I'm happy to share. I'll post it when this little fella takes a nap (if I'm not taking one too!)

Speaking of which.......hummm. Nope, not enough time to squeeze a nap in......besides BS and her CJ might have a little too much fun. I can hear them giggling from her bedroom. So much for a nap time for the two of them!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deck The Halls With Oreo Balls!



Please excuse the fuzzy picture........I'm blaming it on a sugar high! This UBER YUMMY recipe was shared by my friend Ann. In addition to her fabulous shopping talents, she's a mighty awesome cook! You'll also see here talents behind the lense, next week, when I post the Johnston Family Christmas Picture. If you are looking for a cre8tive, talented, fresh photographer, she's your girl! (Plus she's patient with kids and in my book that is HUGE!)

I think I gained at least 20 extra pounds during a recent overnight stay! I was only going to have just one of these but........we'll just say the ones on the left side, the peanut butter flavored ones, didn't make it past 11 pm! I'm not telling how many I ate (and Ann, when you read this, you need not share that information either! hahaha!)

This recipe is also meets my "fun, fast and flavorful" requirements. We'll be having these at Casa Johnston soon! YUMMM! So from Ann's kitchen, to my computer, here's how to make Oreo Balls


This recipe does come with a disclaimer--I am not responsible for any increase in pant size or addictions that may come from making these...


1 pkg of oreos--any flavor
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese
1 pkg of almond bark--any flavor

In food processor:
Crush oreos (pretty fine)
Add Cream Cheese-process until blended--watch this so it doesn't get too 'gooey
Form balls-place on waxed paper--chill for an hour at least

Dip into melted Almond Bark and sprinkle with colored sugars or sprinkles if you want! Be cre8tive...use flavored almond bark or drizzle with opposite color almond bark--Have fun!

I can promise these will not last long, especially with SPRINKLES!!! I'm off to buy supplies.



Time for Treats!

As promised, today begins with a fun, festive holiday recipe, sent by my friend, Lucy~

Strawberry Candy: 
3-3oz boxes of strawberry gelatin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
 1 pound coconut,
 colored toothpicks
green cake icing

Mix 2 1/2 boxes of the gelatin with the sweetened condensed milk and coconut.  Roll in shape of strawberry.  Roll in remaining 1/2 box of gelatin.  Insert round green tooth pick in the stem end.  Decorate in shape of leaves around stem using green cake icing.  Chill.  Freeze well.

Does this sound delicious and EASY?! It is definitely my kind of treat, fast and flavorful! These would be fun for school, church and other Christmas parties.......if they could make it out of my door! I would definitely have to create these "incognito".......or when BS is at Preschool.

In other news here at the Rafter Lazy H........many of my readers have requested a tree update! I've now posted pictures an facebook, the "Oh Christmas Tree" Album. You'll see Chad, aka "Clark W. Grizwald" has done it again. We have a gianormous tree, even bigger than last year! He found a large, full, beautiful white pine and we did (by the grace of God) get it in the front door! It sat vacant until last night; while I was in class, he and the kids commenced to decorate it. It's looking like the holidays around these parts!!! I will say that finding, cutting, hauling in a tree, getting it to stand straight and decorating it is A LOT of work. That said, it sure is the icing on our Christmas "cake"!



If you have a treat, gift, craft or holiday offering  you'd like to share this month, please send it my way!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Ho, Ho, Ho!




I couldn’t resist showing one of my early Christmas presents. This adorable vintage apron was a gift from one of my best friends, Ann. She is an amazing shopper! Of coarse I'd love anything that she got me and yet one of the things I most appreciate (and she knows this) are gifts from the heart. She’d seen my recent post about the vintage Christmas table cloth and found this apron on Esty shortly after. This adorable apron COMPLETELY MADE ME SMILE! It also reminded me...........I need to start holiday baking!!! So throw on those retro aprons, and head to the kitchen with me!

I have several, delicious recipes and decorating ideas from fabulous blog reader that I am excited to share this week! We have Cheesy bread, Strawberry Candy from Lucy, Ann’s Oreo Balls (I stuffed myself at Ann’s with these babies!) and an adorable family tree decorating idea from Betty! I'll post these ideas here on the Creative Cowgirl blog, so do check in daily! If you have ideas or comments to share, you can either comment below or send them via email (cre8tivecowgirl@gmail.com)!

Today is my catch and straighten day. I’ll be presenting a Mindful Meditation class tonight in North Platte, designed to help us ease into flow of accelerated energies of the holiday season. I have a wonderful client coming tomorrow morning and numerous calls, tasks and to-do’s too boring to mention! Wednesday is my hunt and gather day, with a foot check-up and on Thursday, my three adorable nephews arrive to spend some time with us! We have friends coming over for supper Saturday and our church Christmas party is on Sunday. For some reason, I simply can’t recall what it was like to have any “downtime”! If you have any and would like to get rid of it, I’ll happily take it off of your hands!

Here’s wishing a fun, fabulous week! Stay healthy!
Robyn

Friday, December 3, 2010

My Favorite Christmas CD's

I have a confession to make. I've started listening to Christmas music for a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. (Please don't anything at your computer screens, I can explain!)

Traditional Christmas music has a place in my heart and on my ipod near the 22nd to the 25th of December. I can take Deck The Halls and Rudolph for so only so long. Like eggnog, a little goes a LONG way.

I do love artists and melodies that convey the energy and essence of the winter season. I have searched far  and wide to find artists/albums are ones that I do not tire of. The following are my favorite ones. The voices are pure, beautiful and moves me into a higher state of opening to and embracing the essence and joy of winter. I have a feeling you may like them to.

1. Mediaeval Baebes~ Mistletor & Wine (anything with wine in the title has to be great doesn't it?!)

2. Enya~And Winter Came (Enya, enough said!)

3. Loreena McKennitt (my absolute "haunting and mysterious voice)

4. Michael Tilson Thomas~ Music To Your Ears (this is actually a collection of holiday music presented by At&T. I have no idea how or where it came from I think it might have been a Hallmark freebie/giveaway at one time. It includes Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, which I love!

5. The Ware Patterson Duo~An Angel's Noel (flute and guitar music)

6. Anna Maria Mendieta~Enchanted Christmas (harp and new chamber ensamble)

7. Home For the Holidays Disc A (my favorite "vintage tunes")

Please note I did note included Home For the Holidays, Disc B, because it has "All I Want For Christams is My Two Front Teeth. Two years ago my son's burned me out on the song. It is now banned from the ipod and any speakers in this home.

Enjoy the music and let the celebrations begin!
Happy Ho, Ho, Ho to you!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Afternoon Snack and Another Gift Idea!

Last night I cooked up several acorn squash. I love these perfect little veggies, nothing hits the spot on a cold, windy night like the aroma of a baked gourd coming from the oven.

While scooping out the halves, II had the inspiration to save the seeds, which I usually don't do. I am often in a hurry and it's enough to just get the seeds out! I've never toasted acorn squash seeds but we do it with pumpkin so I figured....why not?

I swirled in a bit of olive oil, sprinkled on some cinnamon, nutmeg and coarse sea salt and then popped them in a 350 degree oven. In less than 25 minutes, I could not figure out what the strange popping noise was! (So I have very short term memory loss?!)

Chad is the one that made the discovery and pulled out the baking sheet. I would say 15-20 minutes were probably adequate. We had a good laugh though because it reminded us of popping corn and.....the seeds were delicious!

If you have squash or even pumpkins left, this may make a simply, tasty Christmas treat. Pair a treat bag of seeds with a favorite mug and cider mix or bake a pie and share the seeds in a decorated glass jar.

They make great little snacks. This bowl was filled to the rim and it doesn't look like it will last 24 hours. I guess that means, "it's a keeper"!

PS, I'm working on the cheese bread recipe...I know it's around here somewhere....

Monday, November 29, 2010

Farm Fresh!

I was so excited to see two dark brown eggs in the nest yesterday! It appears that at least one of the new girls has the egg laying bit figured out. She just started, hers are the gorgeous dark ones.

Camo, the sole survivor from this summer's debacle, has been laying steadily since she moved into her new "digs". She's giving us such fun; her wing was damaged so unlike the reds, she does not fly up to the nesting boxes. Instead she builds herself a warm little spot on the floor, under the boxes, to leave her daily treasure. Yesterday, Pake and I were giggling as we uncovered three that were hidden in the pine shavings. (It is still like an Easter egg hunt with her, and just as exciting, because I have no idea where she's hidden them!)

I must say, this is the boost that I needed. Egypt's milk output has severely diminished, which is probably normal, given the cold and dark conditions. I'll put it this way, I have enough for my cowgirl latte tomorrow and maybe a splash for my chai oatmeal!

We are down to the last three store bought eggs. This is nearing a major milestone, as I've been dreaming of farm fresh eggs for a LONG time! It has become an inspiration for a Barnyards and Backyards article. I'll share the link when it's posted.

Maybe it's time to start collecting egg recipes?!

The North Pole?

Sure feels like it! I was out earlier and did chores as fast as I could. We have an incredibly strong north wind today and man, is she vicious. This is a "screen door killer" for sure. Ours is already hashed and in need of replacement, so it doesn't bother me when it slams hard enough to knock the glass out! It's been re hinged three times already. It's got character now so we'll likely keep it on until spring!

We're settling into our routine after a fabulous time in Durango with family. Though I love Nebraska and always will, the mountains are calling to me, and I am having a hard, hard time staying put. I want so badly to load up and head west. I've always felt this way, but the older I get, the stronger that urge becomes! I LOVE waking up in the mountains, my outlooks shifts, my cares lighten, and I find myself better able to relax.. My ideal location is where I can ride my bike until it snows and then....skii. I'm not a fan of snow and cold, but if that is present, there just as well be a mountain in view!

I'm working on at least two hiking expeditions next summer and possibly a flight to the northwest so that helps. For now, I have plenty to keep me occupied. My month is already filling and I do need to focus. I'll spare you the details except to say that I'll likely be living out of my REI daypack for the next four weeks. I will be home most nights, tucked into the comfort of my warm, cozy bed, but the days will be full, full, full!

Tomorrow I'll post a recipe for the best darn cheese bread this side of the rockies! You're peeps are sure to love this! It goes great Husker Football and chilly (right Zeb, Nell, Jess and Jeni??!!) It's also fabulous for Christmas and New Year's gatherings.

If you have a recipe you'd like to share, consider posting it in the comment section below or send me an email!

Stay warm!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Angle!

Retro Christmas Decor

This holiday season is already looking and feeling different. Remember seeing all those images/posts of clutter moving out the door last spring?

It has paid off; We are down to only two totes of decorations (quite a feat since there were six before!) I've significantly downsized using the same strategies that I present in my "clear clutter" classes. The basic premise is as follows: live only with what you LOVE! I can sure tell a difference; we have quality over quantity in terms of holiday decor.

Something I discovered about myself is that I appreciate the well used and sentimental above the fresh, shimmery and new decor. While I think Grinch green and red are fabulously fun, they look better in a knitted scarf, than on my tree!

I've always had a soft spot for vintage Santas and Christmas decor. I'm known to scour antique stores, tag sales and auctions in search of all things cool and old! This tablecloth was a find at my favorite antique spot in Hill City, SD. I saw in during a July trip to the hills and knew it had a place in my home.

My favorite display this year is my champagne colored tinsel tree. Tucked underneath is an adorable little antique sled, a teddy bear made by my Grandma Ruth, a Snoopy-Jack-In-The-Box, and a tin top that were mine when was little, a wooden train that Chad when he was little and a train that we got for Pecos when he was a year old. (Notice no plastic items!) The display makes me smile every time I walk by.

Our family tree will be downstairs this year since our basement is nearly finished. We'll celebrate with a yummy supper and.....non-alcoholic wine, of coarse!

What's your favorite Christmas decoration/ display? What is the one item (s) that you love and display every year? Please share in the comment section below!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have You Made Your List Yet?

Apparently my children think they are on the "good" list this year?!? The night I taught the Happy Holidays  class, each child penciled in this year's desired items. Chad played "scribe" for the youngest, who's list coincidentally, is the longest. These items really tickled us and I wanted to share them my blog readers.

I warn you, there could be a chuckle or two arising from your within. Keep in mind, this is the actual, UN-EDITED list. Here' goes:

Parker's list: 1. skateboard 2. bottle of non-alchoholic wine (*insert my first laugh here) 3. arrows 4.backpack 5. french roast extra bold coffee (*insert a gasp and giggle here) 6. a knife 7. size 4 boots. the ones that goes up to your knee and black and square toe (Mom's interpretation......just like Wyatt Earp on Tombstone) 8. fake mustach 9. punching bag 10. Hank the Cowdog cd 11. ipod

DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?!?! non-alcoholic wine? coffee? fake mustache? (roaring now!) please note I thought the spelling was cute on his list so I didn't change it when I typed it here

Pake's was just as funny. Here's his:
1 Dove care men's body wash 2. 2 bottles non-alcoholic wine (must not be outdone by siblings!) 3. french vanilla roast coffee (I seriously don't know who had the idea and who borrowed it. Doesn't matter I guess......my boys drink coffee???) 4. more tech deck's with a big ramp like the barn you got us last Christmas (correction...that was Santa that got it.) 5. wii fit plus 6. Colorado Rockies baseball cap 7. Back To The Future I, II, and III (economizing the list, that's smart) 8. mp3 player

Wow.

And last, but certainly not least, here's the youngest's list. Prepare yourself.....it's long
1. bull whip (what for?) 2. clothes (definitely not the kind Mom would pick out)  3. sleeping bag 4. dolly 5. cat 6. catfish 7. turkey 8. bling bling boots 9. fashion gloves with sparkles 10. rearing up black stallion 11. bling bling hair clips 12. non-alcoholic wine (her too????!!!!) 12. nail polish 13. lips (translation, lip gloss, I hope........) 14. monkey spray (what???) 15, books like Rudolph 16. Rudolph movie (no economizing here) 17. skate board kit (she doesn't have a skateboard!) 18. headgear and retainer for the dolly (huh?!? when did THAT become cool?) 19. stuffed animal Maxy (like on the Grinch movie) 20. Tinkerbell fairy dolls (too numerous to mention!)

Santa has is work cut out for him, wouldn't you say?

I'm still laughing about the non-alcoholic wine, fake mustache, Dove care men's body wash, and.......a turkey!

I'm off to make my list. It's pretty simple (relax!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Early Christmas Present

In addition to the wonderful gift, of the removal of the blue storage unit away from the picture window, my coop was finished last!!!!

This is a picture of the view directly as one enters the door; Chad built this cool shelf, enclosed the wall and added a door to get to the hens. This is like my "big girl playhouse"....I LOVE it! By Spring, I hope to have old metal garden chairs and a little table right near the pen. I can't think of a better way to relax with an ice cold glass of tea!

Already the chores are easy. Grain and hay for the goats is right inside. The hydrant is footsteps way. The coop has electricity and even an adorable little roost, (also added last night!)

We now have five hens with more on the way. I hope to be in the egg selling business soon, time will tell.

I'm happy to have a warm place for my hens, we didn't get this done any too early. Temps have been in the 20's, tonight it's a balmy 18 degrees. Yuck. I am not a fan of cold anywhere except inside of freezers. Outside feels just one. I hope the sun shines more soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Just In....

After a two year relationship with a big blue storage unit, I'm moving on. Good bye, "houser of my stuff". Thanks for keeping the mice out and for keeping supplies and tools dry. We'll both be happier with you new location, and I'll enjoy this lovely view of the canyon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fashion Accessory Redux

Remember yesterday I mentioned that I love hats?! Little did I know I'd be sporting this purple, feathered beauty!
Do I look like I am ready to try out for a part in Burlesque?!

This lovely headdress (and fab photo!) come from dear friend and "Bunco Babe" Heather! We met up last night for our monthly dice throwing contest. I'm happy to report that I WON.....for the looser's category. I somehow managed to roll the "1, 2, 3" combination 16, count 'em, 16 times. In Bunko, this is NOT the goal because you loose ALL the points for that game. It doesn't matter if you have five, fifteen or fifty, if your dice show up with a 1, 2, 3....the points are gone and you start over. Yeah....I'm that GOOD.... or bad, depending on how you look at it!

The purple "showgirl hat" goes to the lucky gal who can roll all three dice with sixes on top. I did have the honor of donning it twice last night, both times fleeting! Peggy had the "fastest Bunko on the west" I think I sat at the head table for a grand total of five minutes. Good thing too, with Belle ringing the bell, I was nearly deaf! (She's got quite the arm on her! I have a feeling the neighbors all knew when the rounds ended!)

All in all it was GREAT fun and this bring me to my 3rd cre8tive gift suggestion.....forgo gift giving and opt for quality time spent with friends! What a better way to pass the time during deep autumn and winter evenings! Yes, we all lead busy lives. Yes, we always have all kinds of obligations, responsibilities and to-do's that go on for miles. It may not be easy, convenient or something you feel you can justify time doing and that is JUST THE REASON to take time out to be with friends! It is the people, the human connection, the laughter, the joy, the fun that feeds our inner fires and keeps us going. Without our favorite "peeps" where would we be?

Make a date to celebrate a winter festival with friends. Build a bonfire and sip cider outside under a quilt, watch a movie, whip up a new recipe, play games in front of the fire....the possibilities are endless. Focusing on the experience and time together is truly the greatest of gifts we can give and receive!

And if you're very lucky, maybe you too will end up with a lovely purple head-piece to parade around in?!?!

Hat's off to you Bunko Babes...thanks for the great time!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fashion Accessories

Three of my favorite fashion accessories are 1) hats 2) scarves 3) purses.

My least favorite is a single black boot, the kind I am sporting on my left foot. I do not like. I do not like it one bit. I am ready to be done with it forever. It does not go with ANYTHING!

I am on my way to find out how much longer it has to be a part of wardrobe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Addition....

Here's another view if the T-bag. In addition, it could be used ffor a kid's book bag or overnight bag.

For a child's gift, fill a fun bag with favorite story books, coloring books, markers, colors or other age appropriate art supplies.

For an overnight bag, fill with a new pair of pajamas, cute slippers, and/or a stuffed animal.

If someone on your gift list has a green thumb, fill it with bulbs, seeds packets and/or garden tools.

Do something similar for your your favorite "foodie".....adding a flavorful recipe, spatulas, spoons, loaf of bread, kitchen towel and tea bags!

The ideas are limitless. For more information on "how to" you can request it at your local library or order through your favorite bookstore. There are many other fun ideas worth looking into.

Have fun!

Care To Join Us For A T-Bag?

Blue Sparkle happily agreed to be my model for today's blog post! She's a big fan of T-bags and can now spot a stray t-shirt miles away (atta girl!)

This idea came from a book titled "Simply Sublime Bags". It was my answer to recycling t-shirts and making something purposeful/useful and best of all I got to play with duct tape and staples! (Last year at this time I wasn't as comfortable with the machine in my craft room as what I am now!)

I've since made several bags in a wide array of colors and sizes. I recently converted a cute little 2T Halloween/bat shirt into a mini-sized trick or treat bag. The purple "Julius and Friends" t-shirt, shown here, is one of my favorites! I like the small size, though it's still roomy enough for a water bottle, snacks, notebook, books, scarf, etc. It also quickly converts to a lunch bag.

I have a larger size I use for grocery bags. It actually stores all of my "green bags". It's bright neon green and grabs my attention when I throw it in the front seat to remind myself to take it into the store. (Am I the only one that remembers that I brought bags when I'm ALREADY IN the store? Uggggg!)

Duct tape comes in all kinds of colors, including purplr plaid and tie-dye! The colored versions are a little higher price than the good 'ol original, but they provide fun bursts of color within the bag's lining. This bag spots a bright yellow interior, which I adore!

These bags can be whipped up in less in an hour. They make a great gift and even a fund-raiser or silent auction item. I made several of them with 2nd graders last year.

Small to medium sizes are the easiest to work with. If using large of extra large, make sure to have at least a couple of roles of tape on hand.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cold Weather = Quilts!!!




One of the things I LOVE to do in the fall and winter is wrap myself in the luxurious comfort of a handmade quilt. There’s something deeply comforting when surrounding oneself within such an artistic creation. In the organization efforts of early spring, I realized just how much I love blankets, throws, quilts, etc because I found more than enough of them for myself, the members of my family and any friends who come to visit!, I’ve kept them all too. Nearly everything else went: plastic bottles and cups were recycled, the clothes sold or given away, the decorations donated but the blankets stayed……..you just never know when one will be needed for a road trip, or to throw on a lap while sitting by a campfire. Extras can always go in the horse trailer, the camper, tent or (and this is THE most important one) for building a forts in the living room!

I’ve been a long time fan of the handcrafted. When possible, I prefer to purchase such items as there is definitive vibration that goes missing when the item is mass produced. I am in awe of those who can sew and quilt. I am learning to sew on my grandmother's sewing machine but it is a slow process. Though it is fun, and I enjoy it, I am certainly not as "hooked" on it as I am knitting. I definitely admire those who can take a piece of fabric and turn it into something wearable, useable and beautiful. Quilting nearly blows my mind! I am always amazed at the final result. I've never quite figured out how seemingly contrasting pieces of material can come together and coordinate in such elegant masterpieces.




These quilts are the creations of Mitch Schulte, the brother of my dear friend Shelly. Yesterday, during our visit, Shelly brought this amazing Five Elements Quilts to show me and I knew that I wanted to share it here. It's safe to say that I'll likely NEVER make a quilt! I don't have the drive or the passion for it, though I LOVE that other people do! I don't know Mitch, but I am already a big fan of his talents! (He also created the Star Quilt picuted above!) If you are interested in having Mitch design/create a custom made quilt for you or for your holiday gift giving. Please send me an email. I’ll be happy to share Mitch’s contact information and how you can get in touch with him! What a great idea for a family heirloom, a gift that can be enjoyed for many generations!

In addition, if you have a talent that you'd like to share through this blog, send emails and pictures to cre8tivecowgirl@gmail.com I'll be happy to pass along your offering. Tomorrow's easy, peasy, cre8tive craft idea.......T-bags!

And don't forget..............Cozy Craft Afternoon this Saturday at my place!

Here's to honoring and celebrating the homegrown and handcrafted! Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cre8tive Craft Idea #1



As promised, I have a Cre8tive Christmas Craft to share today! This is one of my favorite and most simple gifts to make. Several years ago I found this recipe holder in a magazine. I would love to give credit to the inventor but alas, I do not know his/her name! I do believe that fabulous ideas are meant to be shared and so I am passing this along to the Cre8tive Cowgirl Blog Readers.......free of charge!!!!




I scoured Goodwill stores and several garage sales to find stray forks that could be repurposed for recipe holders. With a set of needle nose pliers, Chad bent the outer tines in a forwad motion, ends curled and the inner tines, to the back for balance, ends also curled. This was the last one left. I keep it in a drawer with my recipes and pull it out often. I also use it to display any bills or letters that need quick attention on my desk. The goal is to have my desk (like my counters) free of excess clutter, papers and debris. I am happy when my little letter holder is EMPTY (and that doesn't always happen!)

To add a little jazz and pop, one could tie this with a bright red ribbon, set into a basket of homemade bread with a handwritten jelly/jam recipe included. Use your imagination and cre8tive, crafty skills to dream up something superbly fun!

I'll be writing down all kinds of ideas AND taking pictures, so who knows, by next year at this time, perhaps I'll have an official "book" to share! If you have a craft or Christmas idea you'd like to pass along, to be posted on this blog,  please send an email to cre8tivecowgirl@gmail.com.! We are now just under 40 sleeps 'til Christmas!

Tomorrow, I'll feature a really cool, Feng Shui Elements quilt, handcrafted by Mitch Shulte. If you are in the market for a personalized handmade quilt, he may be the guy you've been looking for!

I am watching with amusement as the clouds have come over the canyon, gotten very dark, rained like crazy for two minutes, quit and now the sun is shining brilliantly! I can see the goats romping in their pen and the duck quacking nearby, telling them all "how it is!" I've just finished drawing/coloring several "masterpieces" with my girl. She confidently plastered the "new" copper fridge with her creations. In spite of me directing her to the terrific "art board" just outside her room, desinged for displaying said pieces, she ALWAYS chooses the fridge! We really must have a talk about this...........someday!

Have a wonderful rest of the day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Do You Know What This Means?!?!

I can FINALLY have friends over!!!! (Actually, friends and family are, and always have been welcome with open arms!) This means NO MORE TRIPS UP AND DOWN THE STAIRS to use el bano! I'm terribly excited too, its been a long time coming.

Chad moved all the tools and extra boxes of tile out of the bathroom this weekend. We picked up cups and toothbrush holders as well as towel racks: our "loo" is fully functional~YEE HAW!

To commemorate this wonderful milestone, I'll be hosting a Cozy Craft Afternoon for anyone interested in working on craft and/or holiday projects. I know it can be a pain to load all the supplies up and go somewhere else but it can also fun and relaxing to connect with other crafty cre8tors! I'll have hot cider and coffee ready so feel free to bring a favorite snack to share. We'll have the basement to ourselves, plenty of seating and great music (Christmas music optional!)

And if you aren't into crafting, feel free to come over and just hang out. Maybe you'd like to organize holiday menus or even browse through the array of books on my shelf for ideas? I'm in the holiday mood and I have a feeling it could be contagious! Let this be your warning!

Doors to the craft room open at 1 pm and will stay that way for whoever wants to cook me supper! ha! (Just kidding, though I'd never turn a delicious meal down!)

If you are thinking this sounds like fun, send me an email, text or phone me with your name and number of peeps in attendance! And remember, there's now a fabulous loo on this level, so no running about! Yay!

Here's wishing you all a cozy evening and the start to a productive, enjoyable week. (Ahhh, can you tell I got out of the house today?!?!)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thank Goodness for Books and Knitting

I'm spending my Saturday the same way I spent Friday: in the recliner in my living room. The child that was so sweet and loving yesterday has bounced forward into her own recliner and is commandeering the dvd. It's not a good situation.....I don't think I can stand to watch Trumpet of the Swans ever again, four times was plenty!

My foot feels about the same today. It's sore but not unbearable. I'm trying to keep my mind busy so that I don't think about it. This is a great time to catch up on my knitting and reading. I seem to have a lot of books "saved up" so I'll be in good shape in that department. I'd love to get out the broom and sweep this floor or start tearing into all the laundry but I dare not. I feel good and I know its a bit early for all of that.

I am trying to enjoy the "down time" I really am, I just so badly want to get up and go....without this "robo cop" left boot!! Ok, ok, enough of the complaining already, that's certainly NOT what this blog is about!

The boys are off hunting. This is their first time going and I dare say, the younger two didn't sleep much last night. I have no idea what time the eldest crashed, I'm know I was sawing logs before he shut his computer and new GPS "toy" down.

I've gotten words that Pecos missed a 2x buck and that a doe ran away before Park got his shot off. He also informed his dad that he's ready to come back to the house for a civilized meal and he's about to get tired. He'd also like to warm his toes! (Hummm not sure he'll stick with this hunting thing, time will tell!) Pecos on the other hand could go all day without eating (if he really had to!) And if he were cold, you'd never know it. Hunting is in his blood. He loves it and has aspirations of following in the footsteps of the many great hunters in our family! We have no doubt that he'll stick with it. Little sister gave them all a speech last night, informing them she's like to have deer steak and jerkey, so they better pay attention! I have a feeling she'd like to be shooting something too! Like her Mama, she doesn't love the cold, so for now, we're pretty content to sit in our easy
chairs.

So, back I go to my knitting. I have several scarves I'm working for gifts. I have some fun "blingy" pins and ribbons I'll be adding to jazz them up. I was pretty delighted yesterday to see all three of my children donning scarves I made them last winter (without me telling then to wear them!!!) If my kids like them, I'm pretty sure my friends will!

There may be another post coming this afternoon. I'm working on gathering ideas for easy, fun, cre8tive Christmas crafts! I've promised the Happy Holiday participants that I'd do this and I'm very excited to share! If you have a favorite Christmas dish, craft or tradition to share, please email me or share in the comment section below!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Slowing Down Sister!

Good Frosty Morning! I write to you today from the ultimate, cozy, comfort of my recliner. It's rare that I ever have my bottom here, but today, its necessary.

All this runnin' and gunnin' was so I could take it easy for a few days. I had a huge bone spur removed from the top of my foot yesterday. I knew it was coming so I've had time to prepare myself, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Surgery went very well. I've taken the bare minimum of pain meds and believe it or not, I think I could've gone in and substitute taught for my favorite school today. I know I could have! I love to sub and would have had a great time with the adorable 2nd graders, however, Dr. H. and husband gave out a resounding "NO!"

As much as I've planned for this down-time, it's not easy for a "girl on the go"! I love to be out and about, I love to be doing something productive and I really enjoy connecting with others, so when all my going comes to a screetching hault, it takes a bit to align!

It's easy to do with a cute little chick on my lap and a fluffy grey dog by my side. I have a slew of books and magazines to read and more than enough ideas to fuel this blog, the NAJPA newsletter and December Ki Previews! There's never a time when I'm bored.....EVER!

And what a perfect day to stay in and snuggle down. There's snow on the ground, its cloudy, cold and droopy......but I'm not!
I'm feeling incredibly bright and sunny. I have amazing support in my family and friends. My body is healthy and strong. The "unknowns" that I've been working with are still here but they don't contain the edge they did last week. I'm breathing in and out and for today, that's really all I have to do.

I'm not used to "taking it easy". I didn't get where I'm at today by sitting in a recliner! I am driven and I like to be busy, so this is more of a challenge than I may want to admit. And......I'm sure there are beautiful, brilliant lessons here for me to experience.

PS--- Don't be surprised if you see a lot of blog posts coming up, it looks like I'll have some time for writing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Many Miles Many Blessings

Just a quick note to my sweet blog readers to let you know, I'm still kickin'!

I've gone well over 1400 miles since last Friday. I'm feeling a little tired but it isn't dampening my joy and sheer delight in the many blessings that I've experienced in the last week! I've had the opportunity to facilitate Journey processes, connect with wonderful friends, and students, hang out with fabulous kids, teach a Holiday class, travel, do some Christmas shopping, and most of all, experience unexpected opportunities to receive. Today, I was honored to meet a Lakota Grandfather, Sibby LeBeau. Sibby was a code talker in the war. His humor, stories and giant heart just made my day! He gifted me his manual, "The Medicine Way", How to Live the Teachings of The Native American Medicine Wheel. I can't wait to sit and read Sibby's wisdom. I hope to do this soon! In about five minutes, I'll dash over and get the boys and we'll head to the spaghetti feed at the Community Hall, in
honor of Veteran's Day.

I have much to share and will do so as soon as catch my breath! For now though, these shoes are ready to walk on!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The 'New' Fridge!

Here's a picture of yesterday's cre8tive project. The kids absolutely LOVE it and they've praised my efforts.

I'll agree it is is fun! The shiny coppery look really adds to the space. It needs one more coat, but I'm out and I won't drive 60 miles round trip to go get more!

Today is my last day at home until next Wednesday. I need/want to make it count. I have a coop to clean, herbs to cut, hang and dry, plants to re-pot, and a tile floor to grout. I also have four new birds to settle in! They arrived this morning.

Much to do, much to do, much to do! Here I go, here I go, here I go!

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is It Safe?

NO! Say good bye to "boring white"!

Check Out the Hood!

I've dreamed about having a large copper hood in my kitchen for years.

So rather than pine for something that is not in my budget, I applied my craft cowgirl can-do abilities and painted the existing hood. I used hammered copper Rust-oleum hammered paint, which is very sticky and a little hard to get even. Granted I'm a sloppy painter (no carpet is safe with me around!)

The copper instantly changed the look of the kitchen. Part of what makes it so bright is the white surfaces and appliances, coupled with the sky light. I loathe the white counters. They show everything such as the scorch marks from the last canning episode. It is interesting to note how the copper color warmed the room, making it seem a bit cozier than the stark white.

I'm contemplating slapping some paint on the fridge. I'm not sure yet.....stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day~ Confederate and Union Soldiers

This is a pin given to me by my Grandmother Ruth. She and all of my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, teachers and friends have always been proponents of "the right to vote".

I do feel I was "raised up right", to vote, to support my country and especially those people within it. It is easy to support neighbors and friends and the people we get along with and like. What I've learned is it is just important to stand tall when things aren't going the way we like them to. When the economy, the government and other aspects seem to be headed in the wrong direction, instead of complaining about it, I've learned that we become active and do something.......anything is better than sitting around doing nothing. Voting is an important action, it is what makes us a democratic nation. I'm pretty sure I am "preaching to the choir" as I post this! It's a good bet that regular blog readers are already active voters and safe to say, "Ya'll are my kind of people"!

I am kind of chuckling as we've been talking a lot about politics and history in our household. For Halloween, the boys dressed up as Civil War Soldiers. One from the north (he likes blue) and one from the south (he thought grey was cool!) The oldest knew what was behind the color, the youngest hasn't been in fifth grade American History class. He was absolutly horrified that people would have ever fought to keep slaves. He felt bad about his choice of hat color; this is a kid who is a genuinely LOVES people and animals. He's the humanitarian of the family, without a doubt. We explained that this was an important point in our past and that at times, when it gets really bad and people can't get along, that there are fights, really, really bad fights, like the one going on in Iraq right now. It is hard for a nine-year-old to fathom the concept of war, fighting and killing. We did the best we could to explain honor, standing up and fighting for freedom and the importance of Democracy.

I don't know that I was as clear as I could have been but Paker was ready to go vote at the end of the speech. Of coarse, he was crushed when I explained that he had to wait until he was 18. "Geeze I have to wait until I'm 16 to drive and 25 something to have a cell phone, so its just like everything else, you have to be OLD to have any fun!" 

That made me laugh because my thought, at age 38, is quite the opposite! Did you remember how "cool" it would be to vote someday? Did you wait with joyful anticipation for the day when you could cast your ballot? I had parents, grandparents and one awesome History teacher (thanks Mr. Tuton) that made sure I knew what a privilege it was to do so! I'm very grateful for their positive influences!

So here's to a day to honor our roots, our traditions and most of all to exercise our rights as American citizens! Let's Vote!

Monday, November 1, 2010

And We Have Potatoes

The boys are helping in the garden today, on their fall break. They swear there are "at least 500"!

What I do know, is that I'd better start collecting potato recipes! Looks like we'll have plenty to get through winter with!

Happy Harvest!

Sunday, October 31, 2010