Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas and Bunnies

Well, just thinking.....but if this is any indication, I'm thinking we are going to have a WHITE CHRISTMAS!
OH, and look.....our spirea bush grew a bunny.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Cat Taking Over Magpie Territory

We have a new (stray) mamma cat staying at our home and I don’t think the magpies are liking her too much.  She is now getting the food they thought was theirs. 
She also has 4 babies (two half-siamese, a black & white, and a white and grey stripe) but they are pretty wild.  I can’t even touch the door handle and they are gone.  It has taken me a month to tame the mamma enough to get her to come in and eat.  She even let me pet her this week.
Unlike the magpies, this mamma is a mouser.  She is constantly bringing in mice from the field to give to her babies.
One of the babies was sitting at the edge of the driveway last week and I had to really zoom in to get a picture.  I think this one is so darling and I really want to tame it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Singing Christmas Bears

I went with a friend to the Arco, Festival of the Trees the first week of December.  In the past, we both have really enjoyed attending this event but this year it didn’t have nearly as many booths as in the past and the attendance seemed way low.
After leaving the festival, we met up with another friend and went out to lunch.  When I went up to pay the bill, there was the cutest, horseshoe tree on the counter.  You could actually use this tree for many holidays, just replacing the Christmas bulbs with items matching the holiday.
But, I must admit………….the most exciting and fun part of the day was when we reverted back to our childhood/teenage years in the Family Dollar store.  As we walked past the toy section, they had some singing, Christmas bears sitting on the shelf.  The picture only shows three, but there was actually four bears that sang.  We both were in charge of two bears and on the count of three, we pushed the little buttons on the bear palms and they all started bobbing their heads and singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, all at the same time……..we had a little bear chorus going on.  The way we were chuckling, you would have thought we were a couple of little kids and for a few moments, we were!
I wrote this blog quite awhile ago but I didn't post it because once again, Windows Live Writer (the tool I use to write in before posting to blogs) is on the fritz and won't let anyone post anything.  I decided it had been long enough so I just copied everything from WLW and pasted it all here.  Blogger is very limited as to how you can post things but for now, I guess it will have to do.
In the meantime, my friend knew of someone that could make the horseshoe trees and ordered each of us one.  I love it........a unique item.  For this year, I made a bow from some old ribbon I had on hand and put some ornaments on it that I also had.  For next year, I would like to get a Christmas bow for the top and different ornaments.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Bedroom Window Views

We ended up getting 5.5” of snow yesterday.  Last night, or I should say early morning…..3 a.m. to be exact, I was looking out my bedroom window and the sky was burning with stars.  I say burning because the stars were shining bright, really bright.  It was so beautiful I just laid in my bed and watched them for quite some time.
THEN…………..look what I woke up to this morning.  This is the view I had looking out my bedroom window.  Breathtaking…that’s what it is!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It……………..

I had a lot of errand to run in town today and it wasn’t a day I would have liked to be outside.  I needed to be at M&C Lube by 10am to get and oil change, posted some flyers at the post office for our ward Christmas party this Friday, got parts to fix our utility sick at the Mackay Lumber store and it was our assigned time to clean the church.  My husband was at work and since I was in town and being the R.S. President, I had keys to the church so I just decided to go and get it done while I was out and about.  I got home a little after 1:30pm……a long day to be out when the weather was bad. 
I measured the snow when I got home and it was 5” deep.  I do like taking snow pictures right after it snows and before the snow has the chance to take on the dingy look.  Let it snow, let it snow, let it……..


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ward Christmas Party Poster

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas………………… From Halloween to Thanksgiving and then Christmas, I get excited.  I just love the Holidays at this time of the year, especially the feeling of warmth that comes along with Thanksgiving and Christmas. 
This year, our church ward is having their Christmas party earlier than past years and I’m thinking it is just the start needed to get everyone’s Christmas spirit flowing into action. 
My second counselor in the Relief Society was asked to be in charge of the Ward Christmas Party this year so I told her I would be in charge of making an information poster that we could send by e-mail.  She also printed off a big one for display and smaller ones to give as handouts.
A few years ago, a good friend of mine used one of my photos and turned it into a nativity scene with the Three Wise Men.  As I was thinking of what to use as a background for the poster, I remembered what she had done with my photo.  I took her idea, using my photo as a background, and embellished it with Mary and Joseph, kneeling by Baby Jesus.  I put them in the bottom left-hand corner of the poster then added the wording.  As I played around with it, I decided it needed more, so I added trees.  And then, of course, what would a nativity scene be without a stable, so in it went.  Oh, and wait…….Wise Men, there needed to be Wise Men!
This is my final creation:


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Come, Let Us Adore Him + Drop Sugar Cookie Recipe

Sunday, I gave a lesson in Relief Society titled “Come, Let Us Adore Him, by Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy, that was in the December 2011 Ensign.  The message was beautiful and I also incorporated 4 church video into the lesson…………………

Shepherds Learn of the Birth of Christ:

The Christ Child Is Presented at the Temple:

The Wise Men Seek Jesus:

Glad Tidings of Great Joy: The Birth of Jesus Christ:

These video are and give a beautiful message.  Not only for this special time and season, but anytime!

I made a treat/handout to give to the ladies, forgetting that it was Fast Sunday, so I hid them in the closet until the very end of the lesson.  When I opened the closet door to get the cookies out….mmmmm, the smell in the closet was pretty strong….COOKIES!
I had seen on Pinterest where ladies had taken CD envelopes and put cookies in them to give away as gifts.  I made a circular handout (using a graphic from Google Images) of a Nativity, to tape on the front of the CD envelope.


There is a lady in our ward that is allergic to chocolate so I wanted to find a cookie recipe that was plain, but good, that I could slip inside the envelopes.  I took an old, drop sugar cookie recipe, given to me by Aunt Bunny, many years ago and made them large.
I used my large, plus my small cookie scoops and combined the amounts of dough each one held to make the amount of dough needed per each cookie.


After scooping out the dough and rolling both scoops into a large ball, I put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  The balls of dough were quite large so I was only able to fit 8 cookies on each cookie sheet.


After placing my dough mounds on the cookie sheet, I took a small bowl, dipped the bottom of it in flour, then press each ball into a medium-sized flat circle.


After baking the cookies, I wrapped each one in plastic wrap and stuffed them in the CD envelopes.



This is a very easy drop sugar cookie recipe that I have made many times.  I can’t remember how many regular sized cookies this doubled recipe makes, but from this recipe I got 45 jumbo cookies.  As suggested by a friend, after the fact, you could also dip your bowl in sugar or a cinnamon/sugar mixture before flattening your dough balls.  Now why didn’t I think of that?………….  Your cooking times may vary from the recipe given so watch the first batch closely.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nativity Outside Our Window

I was standing at the wood stove looking out our living room window this evening around 5pm when I saw it…….a Nativity Scene, right outside our window amongst the trees.  I called my husband over and told him to look at our Nativity.  He stated that he couldn’t see a thing and he didn’t have an imagination like mine.  Ok, I thought, I will just take a picture of it and show him that it’s for real……we have our own Nativity.  It’s right there, in plain sight……..can you see it?


I took this picture shooting out the window and through our mini blinds.  I decided to go outside and get a better photo without shooting through the window and blinds but when I went outside, I couldn’t see the Nativity, at all.
I came back in the house, looked out the window again, and there it was.  I loaded my picture and decided to draw on the photo, the shape of the stable and the persons inside so in case you didn’t see it in the first picture, you could vision it with my outlines.


It’s a pretty rough outline, having to use my computer mouse to draw the lines, but I hope it’s good enough for you to see our personal Nativity………..…

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Utensil Holder and........................................ A Magpie Thanksgiving

I came across the cutest Thanksgiving utensil holders at Craftaholics Anonymous.  She has a free download for her utensil holders but I couldn't get it to print clearly so I set off to making my own.  I ended up using four different graphics, layered together, to get a final holder that I liked.  It took me forever to find just the right graphics that weren't copyrighted.  I do enjoy creating, using Microsoft Office Word, and I love making all the graphic layers come together.  When I had the holders all made and printed out, I just folded up the graphic side and used mini glue dots to seal the seams and voilĂ .....I had Thanksgiving utensil holders.

We had our Thanksgiving meal around 6pm last evening, eating by candlelight.  After finishing our meal, we continued to sit around the table by the glow of candles and talked for an hour.  So Nice!

This morning, we took out the turkey scraps, put it just across the fence, and enjoyed watching the magpie's feast on their Thanksgiving turkey.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Major Water Problems

14 days of water problems………..It all started with our water pump (our home gets water from a well) continually kicking on and off.  My husband searched every possible solution to find out where there might be a leak that would cause the pump to continually run.  One-by-one, each area searched was checked off….NO LEAK.  In the meantime, I had a 30 to 40 minute window of time each morning to use water in the house.   While the cows were being watered out by the corrals each morning around 8am, that gave me those precious minutes where I could fill all my jugs, take a shower, fill the tub with water, etc.  I planned my time carefully and quickly to get as much accomplished in that time as possible.  During this time, as mentioned above, I needed to fill the tub so we could dip water out to flush the toilet during the day and night.  To take a bath, I let most of the tub water out, then filled it back up using hot water to get it warm enough to take a bath.  It finally came down to digging up the yard to see if we had a water line somewhere that was leaking.

This is the inside of our well house:

The replacement water pipe needed to be kept it in the house to keep it warm enough so when the time came to place it in the ground, it would unroll easily.

Digging up the yard………………a lot of yard!







When it rains, it pours.  In the process of digging up the yard, a water line was broke which put a lot of dirt in the lines which resulted in clogging up the cold water line going into the house.  Every time we turned the water on, dirt would come out and for a few days, we didn’t have any cold water except for a little that would come out of the kitchen sink.  It took quite a bit of water running and blowing out the lines to get all the pipes flushed out.  We also had the tub trap break under the house, which was so old we couldn’t find parts for, so we didn’t have the tub for a few days, either.  It’s really been a fun process.  Where we were unable to get the correct tub parts to get it fixed, my husband  by-passed getting parts and fixed it using other parts…..how, what, where, why, or when, I can’t answer but as long as I can once again have running water in my home and be able to take my showers, flush a toilet, wash the dishes, wash clothes, etc…..I’m happy.  We still don’t have a working bathroom sink, but that is easily remedied and all is well!

Oh, and did I mention that after all the digging, we did find a leak…..it was approximately 15 feet away from the last hydrant we were digging towards.  Go figure.  I guess, though, in the long run it turned out for the best because while we were at it, we just replaced all the corroded water pipes and found the problem with the tub and saved gallons of water from being empties out underneath our home.

We can always find something to be thankful for, we just need to look a bit harder at times. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Carrot Puzzle

When my husband finished harvesting our garden for the year, to his surprise, he pulled out a carrot puzzle.  There were quite a few carrots that had grown and twisted all together in a clump. 
The sister missionaries came to our home last evening for a visit and we sent them home with some potatoes, onions, cabbages, and yes, the carrot puzzle.  The deal with the carrots was that they had to see if they could get the carrots untangled without breaking any of them.  Oh, sometimes my husband thinks he is so funny.  Actually, it was pretty funny! 
At the point of this picture, the carrots had not been washed but I wanted to show you the carrot puzzle so you’ll have to deal with a little dirt and wilted carrot tops.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Whipped Butter

At our home, we always take a few sticks of butter out of the fridge and keep them in a container in the cupboard.  Our home is always cool enough in the cupboard that our butter never goes rancid before it is all used.  Recently, I came across an article on the internet that said if you whip your butter with a little water, it will give you a nice, creamy, smooth butter.  It didn’t give the amount of butter per water used, so I set off to experimenting.  My final result was to take 4 sticks of butter out of the fridge, leave it on the counter for a few hours, bringing it to room temperature.  When my butter is at room temperature, I mix in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water and beat it with an electric mixture till it is a nice creamy texture.


After it reaches the creamy texture, I place it in the container I had used previously, before whipping the butter.  Our butter is now nice and creamy at all times.



Before I came across the site on how to whip butter, I’d put three sticks in the container and nuke it in the microwave for approximately 10 to 20 seconds and then I’d squish it down into the container.  Even in the cupboard, using this process, the butter would be too hard to spread so we would nuke it for approximately 7-8 seconds before each use, to get it spreadable.
It’s sure nice not having to nuke the butter each time we want to use it.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Butterfly Snowflakes

Here I was…..being so creative….or so I thought. I walked outside yesterday to get some photos of big, beautiful white snowflakes. I thought to myself……wow, they look like big white butterflies, fluttering their way through the sky. I came in the house to download my pictures and I got on Google images and typed in butterfly snowflakes, just to see if I was thinking original, or not. Turns out………….OR NOT! There are lots of backgrounds with snowflakes mixed in with beautiful white butterflies and snowflakes themselves made into butterflies. So much for having a creative thought.  Oh well, it was however, very beautiful outside.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium

On October 21st, my daughter, grandson, and I traveled to Utah for a week stay to visit family and friends.  We had such a great time.  I’m telling you, with the exception of one day, we were on the go constantly!  It was a good go, though.  I went shopping with my sister, daughters, and grandson…..went to a fish fry at my sisters home in Payson (mmmmmm, so good!)…….visited at the homes of both my brothers……took many walks and car rides and one morning I went to breakfast at Kneaders Bakery & CafĂ© with one of my high school friends.  If you’ve never been to Kneaders, GO!  On another day, along with my sister, daughter and grandson, we traveled to Draper, Utah, to go see The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium.  Aaaaamaaaazing!  And the fun thing about it was that it was all decorated using a Halloween theme.  If you ever get down that way, this would be a great thing to do.  Included in the cost of the aquarium are some excellent movies for the kiddos (and kiddos at heart).  The movies are only approximately 15 minutes long but they are packed with rumbling seats, squirting water and 3-D images coming right at you.  Fun!  Go, seriously!