Monday, December 29, 2014

Snow Log and Barrow’s Goldeneye Ducks

With Christmas being over, things have settled down quite a bit.  Today I went with my good friend to the senior citizen lunch.  We always have a good time visiting with everyone when we go there and the food is super.  Before the lunch, I decided to go to the bridge to see if there was anything new and exciting.  Not a whole lot going on but the area of snow on a log in the water was very tranquil and pretty.  I had my car window rolled down but only for a few seconds……….burrrrr-rrrr-rrr, COLD!  The high today only got to 16 degrees.



There was also a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye ducks swimming in the river.  They are such a pretty little duck.  Besides watching them swim, I enjoy watching them dive under the water.  Entertaining…..I know, like I’ve mentioned before…..I’m easily amused.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Snow

This past weekend my husband and I went to Rigby to visit with our daughter and her family.  We had reports that between Saturday night and Sunday morning, our little town received between 6-8” of snow.  I was excited to hear about the snow cause it meant we would definitely be having a white Christmas.  Yesterday afternoon around 2pm, it started snowing again and we got another 5-6”.  I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas….Just Like the Ones………  There’s just something about snow at Christmas that makes the day a bit more special.  This snow plow was going up our road this morning around 10:30. 



The snow looks super deep in this next picture because of all the snow that had fallen off of our roof and then all the fresh snow that fell on top of it.


Over the Ground Lies a Mantle of White…………………Walkin' in the Winter Wonderland.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Emergency Pop Can Alcohol Stove

I’ve been busy today making emergency pop can alcohol stoves.  I think I will put these in our vehicles and our 72 hour emergency kits.  These are very easy to make and a great little stove for emergency preparedness.  You can go HERE, to see how to make your own stove.  In the video, he uses a knife to cut the top out of the can but a can opener saved me a lot of time and worked great.  My husband and I rarely drink pop so my cousin collected a bunch of empty pop cans for me to make my stoves. 

Here is a picture of our (mostly my cousin) version of the pop can stove kit.  Each kit includes a rectangle tin (7.5”x5”x2.5”…found at Dollar Tree store), 1 pop can stove (cut to desired height to fit in kit), 2 bottles of 91% isopropyl alcohol (the higher percent alcohol seems to burn better), two metal rods (3/16”x5.5”) to fit in tin slots (cut two 1/4” wide and not quite 1/4” deep slots on both of the long sides of your tin, using tin snips) for making it easier to put cooking pans on, matches, and a snuffer (also found at the Dollar Tree store) to extinguish the fire.



After putting my pop can stove and metal rods in place, I was ready to start my fire.


I first poured alcohol into my pop can stove (Whatever amount you use is fine).  Whatever alcohol is not used can be dumped back into my alcohol bottles to use at a later time).  Next I lit my match and held it above the alcohol in my stove.  This takes a little practice to see how high to hold the match.  Alcohol starts burning clear so you may not even know that the fire is going.  Be careful while doing this.



After getting my fire going, I was ready to start cooking.  For today, I just boiled water to see how the stove worked.  You can hardly tell there is a fire but you can slightly see a flame just below the top ridge of the pop can stove.


It wasn’t long before the water started steaming.


I stood watching it for a little while, waiting for it to come to a boil.  It was taking longer than I was patient for so I decided to put a lid on my pot.


Not long after putting the lid on, I started to see steam all around the pot.  I waited a few more minutes before taking the lid off and by that time, my water was starting to boil


To extinguish the fire, you cannot just blow it out, you need to put something over it to snuff it out.  It snuffs out really fast so you can actually even use something plastic to do this.  You don’t need to push the snuffer down……………just drop it over top of the pop can stove and it douses it fairly quickly.  Wait for your stove to cool (this doesn’t take long) before removing the snuffer.


Just like any outdoor fire cooking, this will make your pan black, just like the black you can see on the metal rods in the above picture.  I had fun making these and just knowing I have them while traveling puts me a little more at ease should I break down somewhere.  I guess I should explain that I live over 100 miles from a lot of my destinations with a whole lot of desert and open space in between.  And, if the power ever goes out for any length of time, I know that I have another way of cooking a pot of beans or anything else.  A fun little stove to have.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

100% Free Range Chicken Poop Lip Junk

Ok people….here it is….my new, favorite thing for chapped lips……..100% Free Range Chicken Poop Lip Junk.


As my husband and I were standing at the check-out counter at a Cal-Ranch Store, I noticed an entire container of 100% Pure Free Range Chicken Poop Lip Junk.  I thought, what in the world is this stuff so I picked one up and started reading everything.  Come to find out, it is an all-natural lip balm made in the USA!



I’m trying to purchase things that are more natural, omitting the chemicals, if possible, so I purchased one.  I was just getting over a cold so my lips were super chappy.  I applied this stuff to my lips as soon as we got out to the car and then periodically until bed time.  The next morning when I woke up, my lips were totally healed and smooth.  I kid you not, this is the best stuff I have ever put on to take away dry, chappy lips.  I liked it so well that the next time we went to Cal-Ranch, I purchased another one.  Who knew what chicken poop could do?  Not I, said the little red hen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christmas Festival of Trees/Craft Fair

On the 5th of December, a friend and I went to the Festival of Trees/Craft Fair in Arco, Idaho.  When we first got there, it was pretty crowded but by the time I decided to take some pictures, it had thinned out quite a bit.  I didn’t even take a picture of all the trees…. 




This is how lucky I am.  You’ve probably read it on another one of my posts about how unlucky I am at winning anything.  Well, when we first walked in the door, they gave away drawing tickets and they would randomly call out a number and you could win prizes.  During the drawings, you had to be present to win.  After spending over an hour walking around and looking at everything, my friend and I decided to leave so we gave our tickets to another person.  Not long after leaving, the person we gave our tickets to called me and said that she had won a turkey on the ticket I had given her.  Too Funny!  Like I said…LoSeR with a capital “L”!  With all the stuff there, I only came home with a kitchen dish scrubbie (I love these things) and two scarfs.  We had a good time looking around and then we went to Pickles Place for lunch.  It was fun getting out and just doing something a little bit different.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bear Claw Back Scratcher – Best Ever!

During Thanksgiving, my husband and I traveled to Utah to be with family.  On the way to our destination, I mentioned to my husband that I would like to go to Smith & Edwards to see what everyone talks about.  It reminded me of my years as a youth where my parents would take us all to a store called “Allied”, up in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.  Their motto was “If We Don’t Have It, You Don’t Need It”.  You can read about the old Allied Store HERE.  From the outside of Smith & Edwards, you would never guess how enormous it is on the inside.  I found this picture on the internet to give you an idea of how it looks from the outside:


On the inside of the store, IT’S HUGE – we only covered maybe 1/4 of the store then we needed to leave to continue our trip.  The prices seemed a little expensive on some items but others were pretty reasonable.  We picked up a few things but one of my favorite things was, believe it or not, a back scratcher.



This back scratcher is telescopic and extends out to 27 3/4” long and when it is not extended, it is only 8.5” long.  I’m usually a “door frame” back scratcher but this little gadget puts a door frame to shame.  I like it so much that when my sister and her husband went to Smith & Edwards last week, I had them pick me up another one.  Just out of curiosity, I searched the internet over and I cannot find a back scratcher that looks like the one I purchased, anywhere.  Amazon shows that it has one but when you click on the picture, it goes to an entirely different back scratcher.  Another place had them but they had a minimum order of 5,000 pieces – yeah right!  Oh well, I have two now (in case one breaks I have a spare) and that works for me.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wild Turkeys on Mine Hill Road Route

I needed to go to the bank today and decided to head up towards the mine hill and take a little drive.  On the way there, I noticed some wild turkeys running down the road so I hurried and pulled to the side of the road.  By that time, the turkeys were right where I was so I started snapping pictures.  These turkeys were not nearly as colorful as my last turkey pictures and they didn’t have their tail feathers fanned out but it was still fun watching them.




This male turkey started gobbling and making different kinds of noises and acted like he did not like me invading his territory.  He even ran towards the car while I was taking the video and I wasn’t too sure he wasn’t going to attack the car.  He got pretty close and made me a bit nervous but not enough to stop taking the video and shut the car window.



After watching the turkeys for a bit, they walked away so I headed towards the bridge.  When I got to the bridge, there was a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye Ducks swimming around.  The male has the dark bluish black head the the female has the brown head.


I was also able to see a Belted King Fisher and a large Crane but they both flew off before I could get pictures.  My goodness, the Crane was making an awful noise as he flew off.  After leaving the bridge and heading for home, the turkeys had come back to the same area they were in before so I decided to take a few more parting shots.



Saturday, December 6, 2014

G.E. Unitized Washer/Dryer Combo

Back in September, I wrote about my Kenmore Washer/Dryer Laundry Center.  Can you believe it…………..After many hours of research, and approximately 5-6 months without washing my clothes at home, I decided to purchase a General Electric Unitized Laundry Center. 
It actually has a bigger washing tub than my other unit (we paid an extra $100 for this feature) and I can wash both the top sheet, fitted sheet, and pillow cases in one load.  We like using the plush sheets which are more bulky than regular sheets so I could not wash them all at the same time in my old washer.  I love having the bigger washing tub!  Did I say how much I love having a bigger washing tub?  One thing I don’t like is the fact that if you lift the lid while it is washing, it stops agitating.  I can lift it approximately 3/4” and use a flashlight to look inside to make sure the load of clothes I place in the washer are not too large to get washed thoroughly.  Once I get used to the size of loads I can put in the washer, I’m sure this won’t be a problem.
Inside Washer
As for the control panel on the machine, it is harder to read without my reading glasses and parts of it are confusing.  I much more prefer the one on my old Kenmore.  The Kenmore had better options for dryer heating control and options to have a dryer buzzer.  This machine does not have a buzzer feature letting you know when my clothes are done drying.  Who makes a machine without this feature……??  I have to really pay attention and listen to when the dryer stops so my clothes do not wrinkle before I get to them.
The dryer barrel looks like it might be a bit bigger than my old machine but not enough to really notice.
All-in-all, I think once I get used to this new machine and adjust to its options, it will be one I can surely live with.  After being so long without one and having to go to a Laundromat, this one is perfect, just perfect.  I’m hoping it will last 20+ years like my old Kenmore, and I will be one happy camper. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Black Friday Wal-Mart Shopping

My son-in-law is a super shopper and he asked if I wanted to go to the “Thanksgiving Evening” shopping at Wal-Mart.  What was I thinking……………I said yes………..oooh!  So we (myself, husband, sister, daughters and son-in-law) hopped in our vehicles and headed out to the madness.  This was actually my first time doing this and what an experience it was.  First of all, there was absolutely no parking spaces in the Wal-Mart parking lot so we opted to park quite a ways off and walk.  All around the parking lot, there were policemen and people, lots of people.  The moment you walked in the doors, you were greeted with a mob of people, everywhere!  NOTE: Yes, that is my daughter in front of me with the beautiful red hair.



At this point, I was starting to re-think my decision about going “Black Friday” shopping.  I was there for one reason only………..a big screen T.V.  We currently have a 26” T.V. and a pair of eyes needing a bigger viewing area.  As I am aging, I have noticed that my vision has a harder time focusing on the smaller, 26” screen.  I’m not so sure our larger  T.V. screen isn’t going to be a tad too large but I guess we’ll see how it works when it arrives.  The sale was very well organized and the lines actually moved at a pretty good pace.  I waited/walked in line following a maze (like waiting in line at Disneyland) and then when I got to the end of the line, I was handed a T.V. voucher. 


From there, I got in another line to make payment and then from home, I needed to register my purchase on line.  Now all that is left to do is wait for the “ready for pick-up” email.  By looking at the crowd of people, I would never have guess we would be in and out of Wal-Mart in under an hour, with no visible injuries.