Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a man!

When Hubby was in fourth grade, the winter began particularly cold and snowy. His teacher wrote a note to all the parents and asked them to send a cross-stitch kit back to school for their child to work on during recesses inside.

There must have been some discussion among the parents of male students because when my Mother-in-law was telling me this little story, she went on to say that the teacher felt it would help ALL the students with their coordination. (As a teacher I'll let you in on a little secret: Almost anything will help coordination at recess time as long as it's not running around the classroom and hitting the child next to them!)

It took him the entire school year.

I'll wager that he was one of the few fourth graders to finish his project ...what a man.

Just hanging around.....

"What do you want to do today?"

"I dunno......"

"If we hang around long enough, he'll feed us..."

Friday, July 24, 2009


This granola recipe was given to me by the school's Home Ec. teacher. I love it! It's great with berries and a little yoghurt in the morning...

Crispy Sweet Pecan Granola

Vegetable oil spray
3 cups old-fashioned (not quick-cooking) rolled oats
1 cup pecans halves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (I use 1/2 Splenda and 1/2 brown sugar)
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with vegetable oil spray.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, pecans, cinnamon, and salt. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is melted. Stir in the oil and vanilla. Remove from the heat and pour over the oat mixture. Stir with a spoon until well mixed.

Divide he mixture evenly between the oiled baking sheets and spread in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and switch the positions of the pans, and then bake until the oats are golden brown and the nuts look well toasted, another 10 to 15 minutes. The oats may feel soft but will crisp as they cool. Let cool completely in the pans.

Yield: 4 to 5 cups (This loose-textured granola will stay fresh for at least three weeks if stored in an airtight container)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last Living Veteran of The Hibiscus Wars Dies…

Ruby the Hibiscus, was declared dead on July 20, 2009, after a lengthy attempt to revive her. She was the longest living veteran of The Hibiscus Wars, outliving Cindy her greatest rival, and many others to numerous to name.

Over 15 years ago Mom bought enough hibiscus plants for all of us. Although we were able to “choose” the plant we wanted there was one particular plant that appeared to be healthier than the rest. Naturally I wanted that one but, because I was on the receiving end, choose the second best plant. In later years, Mom revealed that she was praying I wouldn’t choose the better plant. That selfishness, she felt, was what caused her to loose not just the battle but the entire The Hibiscus War. Her original plant, and many others over years, never lasted long.

Ruby was also known for the Christmas Holiday she produced 58 blossoms in one day! She will be greatly missed on the deck in the summers. May she… Rest In Peace.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Roughing it!

On Sunday night a storm blew in and after 1,000 lightning strikes, some VERY close to the house, we lost power but.....thanks to Scott and Misako for the LLBean emergency, all in one, solar/battery/hand cranked, radio/flashlight! It really came in handy!

The power was off for 10 hours. It was overnight and the temperature was just right for sleeping, no air conditioning required. We survived.

However, the lightning struck two internet towers and we were without internet service until about half an hour ago. (I needed to check my email before posting this harrowing experience.) This was beginning to get REAL scary, I hadn't realized how much we depend on the internet!

This morning Hubby said that the water for his shower never got hot (Welcome to my world, every 5:45 AM of the school year. I just heat it up for those that follow in my footsteps) Then I took my shower and had to keep saying the mantra, "It's just like being in the pool....It's just like being in the pool." I told darling daughter to take her shower quickly. That the water was as warm as it was going to get - the hot water tank is 13 years old and must have gone out. Shortly thereafter I was told the water was NOT the temperature of a swimming pool but more like a mountain stream, fed by freshly melted snow! Then she added, "Didn't the gas man come yesterday and do some work on our gas line?" Dang, the pilot light was out!

The wind's blowing, but life is back to "normal"!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lazy Summer Afternoons

The weather is getting warmer and there is no better way to spend a summer afternoon than with a good book, in a shady spot, with something ice cold to drink. I had forgotten how fun it is to go to the public library and browse through the shelves of books. Sandra Dallas' book Buster Midnight's Cafe was recommended to me but as luck would have it, three other books were there but no Buster Midnight's Cafe! I decided to check out the books on the chance that they would be an "ok" read.

The first book I read, The Diary of Mattie Spencer is just that, the diary of a pioneer woman that travels with her husband to Colorado to homestead - a great summer read!

Now, on to the second book Alice's Tulips. As I picked this book up and thumbed through it I realized the entire book was written as letters to the main character's sister. I was a bit put off, a diary, letters, had Dallas come up with a formula for her books? Were they to similar to be interesting? Just a few pages into this book and the reader is completely caught up in the story. The main character, Alice, struggles to survive on a farm with her mother-in-law while her husband is away fighting as a Union soldier in the Civil War.


The last book in my possession at this time, New Mercies, is set in the South during the depression. The main character has inherited the old family plantation from her Aunt. An aunt that has been murdered. I must admit that I'm only a third of the way through this book but I'm enjoying it enough to post them on my blog and recommend the three to anyone that loves historical novels and a good read. Soon I'll be off to the used book store to find other books Sandra Dallas has written!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Let's Do Lunch"

I had lunch with a long time friend - not old friend - Kendy! We went to the Mustard Seed and enjoyed the food and catching up on everything that's going on in our lives.Thanks for calling Kendy - let's have lunch again soon!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The 4th of July... a trip down Memory Lane

Our 4th began a little early because we went to a Rob Quist concert in Billings on the 2nd. Rob originally was with the Mission Mountain Wood Band (M2WB), a band that began in the early 70's in Missoula Montana. This band was very popular in their day and are making a local come back - the band will be with the Doobie Brothers in Bozeman on September 4th. Rob Quist has been on his own for many years and we go to his concerts any chance we get. I don't like "hard core cowboy music" but have love listening to the Great Northern Band since I heard, Back In Harmony.

Next, it was "Road Trip Time"... off to Melita Island, on Flathead Lake. We hit the road early and arrived in Missoula for a late lunch. It just had to be...

Very few drive-ins still have car hops but Hoagieville does. We have loved eating an occasional Hoagie since dating. It's a pastrami like sandwich with lettuce, swiss cheese sauce, and season salt on a Hoagie bun. The Hoagie salted fries are great too! Not great for the diet but outstanding 4th of July weekend food!
Soon it was on to Flathead Lake and more specifically, Melita Island:

Melita is where Hubbie and I met years ago. It 's a Boy Scout camp. My brothers were there for a week's camping and the family had driven from home for the Wednesday night visitation. As Mom and I walked to the theater area she pointed out this good looking young man gazing off into the distance and brought him to my attention. Very similar to this, only 41 years later...
Little did she know that that "good looking young man" would become her beloved son-in-law!
We had a wonderful time and saw lots of wild life, deer, squirrels, critters, bald eagles, and osprey to name few.
On Sunday, the new generation of excited staff members arrived. Oh, what wonderful times lie ahead for them, things that they haven't even imagined!

Thanks to Chris and Howard for a great weekend!