Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gingerbread Saga

Yes, I know my mom, Grandma Fizz was a Master Gingerbread House Maker and most of us can remember the Christmas get-togethers decorating those houses. In all those years, I have never actually MADE a house. I have made a few gingerbread men cookies. Little did I realize a degree in Architectural Design or some kind of Baking Engineering was required. (Unless you were like Fizz and had taken basic Woodworking classes, or like Bethany, the Cake Decorating Queen). I followed patterns and cut out with a pizza cutter. Little did I realize that the leavening in the dough caused it to expand and mis-shape itself. I made the Royal Icing, which was the easiest part. With no cake decorating tubes (I had given them all away), I just used a knife. One side of the roof broke in half and the top of the end broke off. I repaired these with icing. The roof pieces didn't coincide because of swellage. (Is that a word?) And this end piece looks like......well, I will let you GUYs guess that. Bob noticed it immediately.

One side piece caved in under the roof.

But, it doesn't look too bad from this side. OK, so it looks like a third grader did it. (They could probably do better). Oh, was an interesting? way to spend a snowed-in day.

Maybe next year I will get brave and actually do it as a project with grandkids and all.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Antelope Island Excursion

On Friday, a few of us ventured to the Island. Little Rivulet doing her best to catch up with the rest of the clan heading out to the Great Salt Lake.

Yeah! I touched it! I touched the Great Salt Lake!
This seemed to make them happier than seeing bison.
That were all penned up awaiting innoculations and health exams.

The kids had so much fun playing in the sand...burying each other and somersaulting down the hills.
Sisters comparing great photos.
Fun, but exhausting day. It was windy, cloudy and about 68 degrees.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Arizona Adventure

First some classes in Toe Reading...

On the way home, a stop at Montezuma Well
A sacred, fascinating place.

Anybody know what kind of lizard this is?

74 degree water, infused with CO2, 1 1/2 million gallons of water a day produced from this well. Scientists still don't know where the water comes from, exactly.

Cliff dwellings of the Sinagua who inhabited this area for 300 years around 900 AD.

Stately Arizona Sycamore protecting the outlet of the well...

An amazing trip. Thank you to Suzette and Les who accompanied me! Can't wait to share the fun and valuable information I learned.

Monday, October 6, 2008

SR 150 on route to Mirror Lake, October 5th

I think I got some amazing photos. See if you agree.

Slate Gorge

Mirror Lake

A spectacular view of the backside of Timp

Monday, September 29, 2008

Escalante 2008 and Capitol Reef

Our bags are packed and I can't believe we got all that stuff into the vehicle. 2 tables, tent canopy and all gear, 4- 5-gallon storage bottles, 6 unframed prints, 3 original paintings, 4 large framed prints, tree stump displays, rugs, 8 panels of shelving grid, laptop, camera, food, books, clothes, shoes, pillows, 4 bags of jewelry....etc.We had an outside booth this year. That meant no electricity, but I think it worked well for us. It was nice being out in the light (however hot). We did brave some wind and rain sprinkles. I did more business than last year with less traffic. 95% of my sales were to out of state. We had people from France, Germany, Australia, England and all over the U.S. I changed my display to simplify it with only one and a half tables instead of three and had a "bargain" table of items less than $20. I think I sold more than almost every other vendor. I have a product that is different than most and I do the little cards with cool names and healing properties. People seem to really like that.

We saw this bug and wondered what it was. I said it might be some kind of a scorpion, but was told no. No one we talked to seemed to know what it was. Now Ahenobarbus has identified it as a Wind Scorpion.

Enjoyed some fantastic color on Boulder Mountain...

We were able to visit Capitol Reef on the way home.
We made it to Hickman Bridge!

Another Mollie's what??????

We had many beautiful clouds...
Quite the impressive cottonwood near Fruita...

It was a FUN trip! Met lots of interesting people, made a few art contacts. Met many artists, enjoyed the plein air competition. I sold enough jewelry to pay for the entire trip, motel, gas, food, booth AND our new canopy tent. We went to some very interesting lectures; one by Jerry Roundy on the history of the Escalante area and one by Craig Childs, well known author from Colorado. He has written 11 books. See the link. Secret Knowledge of Water

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Finding Elderberries

Beautiful ride....the leaves are already changing. Near the top of North Ogden Pass... As many of you know, I make elderberry jelly from wild gathered berries. This year we scouted many of the past locations. The North Fork and Coldwater Canyon berries suffered from winterkill. The snow Basin berries were few and far between. The numerous North Ogden Canyon berries had been decimated two years ago by the power company. I had given up on this project for this year. I decided to take Shrek for a ride and chose the Pioneer Trail up the bottom of the Divide and up to the top of the pass. The saddlebags were still tied to Shrek's saddle with plastic bags and clippers. I nearly took them off, but had the impression to leave them on, "just in case." What a surprise! The berry bushes had made a comeback--thousands of berries! After trooping through burdock and hound's tongue burs, I got enough to come home and make about 14 half pint jars.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In Search of Jalapeno Jelly

Who would have ever thought? I had no desire to plant jalapenos, but somehow they appeared in my garden. What to do with them? My neighbor raved on and on about jalapeno jelly and how it was great with Ritz crackers and cream cheese. Hmmmm. I did an internet search for recipes. Got some ideas for ingredients and spent much of the day creating. It actually turned out very good! I made a grocery run to get some whole grain wheat crackers, and made the yummiest little tid bits. If you look very carefully in the photo above, you can see some pale champagne colored jelly on the cream cheese. I was pleasantly surprised and had a difficult time stopping at just eight of them. If you happen to stop by the ranch, please ask for a sample. You may even be able to sneak off with a tiny jar. I think this might be a limited edition jelly.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Craters of the Moon National Monument

The Rift possesses the highest positive magnetic polarity on Earth.
As the magma rose
silica crystals aligned.
You are standing on a magnet
rooted twenty miles deep in electromagnetic reality.
If you're not in tune now, you'll never be.
(Poster in the visitor's center)

A very interesting place. I would have liked to spend longer than just 1 1/2 hours there. There were some great hikes and lava tube caves to explore. Perhaps another time if we're up this way. It's about 70 minutes from Idaho Falls.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Muggle--August 27, 2007 to August 30, 2008

Muggle was chosen out of his litter of six to stay with our family. He was such a sweet, loving cat. He did his own thing, loving to hunt--mice, rats, shrews, birds, grasshoppers, rabbits. But, mostly he just followed us around the yard, climbing trees while we picked peaches or apricots. Nibbling blackberries, following around doing chores. He loved having his tummy scratched and cuddling. He had complete trust in us.
This morning, he came in hobbling on three legs, meowing for our attention and comfort. His right rear leg appeared to be broken with the bone showing through and nasty wound. We don't know what happened, but assume that he tangled with a car. He was just beginning to venture out on the road by himself. We rushed him to the vet, to see if something could be done to treat and set the leg. However, it was badly broken and would have required extensive orthopedic surgery and even then might lose the leg. We made the decision to put him to sleep and then brought him home and buried him close by.
He will be missed by all. Especially, the neighbor girls, who would ring our door bell and ask "Can your cat play with us?"
Daggone, I am having a hard time with this one. Sniff***