Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On The Road

Nat and I have covered some miles the last couple days!  Tuesday we were in Bozeman at the VA clinic and today it was Livingston and the eye doctor.  It was good to spend time with Nat—yesterday after our trip to the VA we stopped at the Rib and Chop House in Livingston for a delicious lunch.  Today Nat treated me to what he calls “birthday lunch” at the Senior Center in Big Timber.  Once a month they have a lunch to celebrate all the birthdays in that particular month—the lunch is always roast beef, mashed potatoes, veggies of some sort and for dessert there is cake and ice cream. 

Nat sat on one side of me and on the other side I was privileged to sit beside a 102 year old man—who can still walk unaided, carry on a conversation and make you laugh—I was amazed!  I think he lives with his daughter who was also there.

The cowboy is building a trailer—yep, he is building his own trailer—it kept him occupied and busy while we were stuck inside with all the rain.  Today we finally has sunshine—still had that nasty, cool wind but at least the sun was shining!!

Since I didn’t have any photos of my own I borrowed a couple of Laci’s from Facebook.

Laci labeled this photo on Facebook—“the cutest little polar bear.”  And Mimi agrees!

and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone—great photo Laci and John.

Michael and I have discovered our DSL internet is actually fast enough to stream TV shows and movies.  We neither are regular TV watchers and don’t even have a TV in our house but we did bring in the TV from the motorhome and we are now streaming Downton Abbey.  I watched some episodes of Downton when we were living in Texas.  Any other suggestions for good TV shows to stream? 

Oh, I forgot, I did have a photo—I love waffles with strawberries and whipped cream this time of year when the strawberries are really good.  I found a delicious waffle recipe on line—I refuse to use a mix—which had a “reduce recipe” feature.  You could enter a different serving number and the recipe site would calculate the measurement for the smaller recipe.  Great feature but I still ended up with three waffles—ate one and put the other two in the refrigerator, so I’ve been enjoying waffles often!

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Rain, Rain

One day last week, I think Thursday it started to rain and has rained off and on since then.  I poured about 4.5 inches out of the gauge this morning.  It’s making the farmers and ranchers happy as Montana was deficient in the snow department last winter.  But this girl is ready for some sunshine!  I’ve accomplished a lot while it was raining but still, sunshine would be nice.  Today we had no rain but a nasty cold wind and heavy clouds. 

The cows and barn quilt is finished—I will post photos once I’ve quilted it.  My friend Shirley brought me a small quilt last week, I loaded it on the frame and quilted a super simple curvy line design—it’s for a grandson so we decided to keep it simple.  Again, photos after Shirley has seen the quilt.

Some asked me for the Cheetos recipe:

Cheetos®

Author: Casey Barber

Makes: about 9 dozen cheese curls

Ingredients

CHEESE CURLS

  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup (4¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons yellow cornmeal
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)

CHEESE COATING

  • 2 tablespoons Cheddar cheese powder
  • ½ teaspoon buttermilk powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch

Instructions

  1. MAKE THE CHEESE CURLS: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, salt, and garlic powder at medium-low speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, cornmeal, and shredded cheese. Stir together at low speed until a firm dough forms. Shape into a disc and place on a large sheet of plastic wrap; wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.
  3. Pinch off small pieces of the chilled dough and gently roll between your palms and fingers to form lumpy logs roughly 2 to 2½ inches long and ¼ to ½ inch across. Place on the prepared baking sheets—you can space them fairly close together because they won’t puff up while baking.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the pieces are no longer shiny and are just beginning to brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. ADD THE COATING: Place the cheese powder, buttermilk powder, salt, and cornstarch in a spice grinder or mini food processor and whir for 10 to 15 seconds to blend evenly.
  6. Transfer to a large zip-top bag. Add the cooled Cheetos, seal, and shake gently to coat evenly.
  7. Store the coated cheese curls at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.

The cowboy liked his homemade Cheetos but I’m not sure I want to make enough of these to keep up with his habit!

Lora Elizabeth went to Yellowstone National Park today with her visiting great-grandfather and of course her Mom and Dad!!

As you can see it was a cold, nasty day but it didn’t seem to affect the Yellowstone crowds!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

It’s Good To Be Home

In spite of the crummy weather we are having, it is good to be home.  Last night we were invited to a get together with our neighbors and friends at Craig and Deb’s.  It was very good to see everyone and of course the food was great! 

Yesterday I spent the day working on those dang cows and their barn.  The cow blocks are much smaller than the barn block which I knew when starting the quilt.  Math is not my strong suit and I struggled with sashing widths and lengths—but I think I am on the right track now. 

Over the years I’ve collected so many recipes it’s mind boggling—and I use them.  The recipes are printed from the computer, torn from magazines or hand written—I have a huge three ring binder with plastic sleeves holding this recipe assortment.  That binder is heavy and hard to store—it fits in only one of our motorhome cabinets—so I’ve been thinking of going entirely digital.  Several years ago when we wintered in Florida I organized the recipes, scanning many of them into my laptop.  But, I wanted something a little easier to deal with in the kitchen than my laptop which needs a power cord after a while. 

But how do you get files from a PC to an iPad???  Mr. Google to the rescue as usual and I discovered Dropbox.  I had a Dropbox account, not sure why but I do--this morning I gritted my teeth and started the learning curve.  By the time we left to go to Lonn’s late this afternoon I had more than half those recipes uploaded into Dropbox—I’ve been slacking off lately, not scanning the newer recipes; just cramming loose sheets of paper into the front of the binder—those took a lot of time to scan and upload.  I’m not sure I’m using the most efficient method of saving and uploading but I’m making progress!

Tonight was the best—we headed over to Lonn’s where the rest of the family had gathered—Lora Elizabeth is adorable—see for yourself!!

IMG_2019IMG_2020Mimi brought me this doll from Utah!

IMG_2037IMG_2044I love my Aunt Katie!

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IMG_2055Can you tell this Mimi thinks that baby is pretty special!  John, our grandson-in-law has a visitor—his grandfather flew in from Tennessee and they all will be spending the week over at Lonn’s—I may need to get in some more Lora time!

So far we’ve had over three inches of rain—gonna need paddles soon!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

ATV Video, Chrome and Homemade Cheetos

Here’s that promised ATVing video.  We were trying to find a trail which would lead to the top of the mesa on the west side of Combs Wash—this spot didn’t work, the trail only got nastier.  We tried another route and gave that one up too.  That same afternoon some guys stopped by our boondocking spot—there were three RZRs and one ATV.  The guys told us the RZRs made it up the really bad spot (not shown on this video, this spot was easy compared to the next one we found!!) but they had to winch the ATV up the hill—not my kind of riding to say the least!  Larry was our guinea pig and did not succeed--if Larry can’t do it, this girl sure isn’t gonna try!!

I contacted Rick about the Chrome issues but he doesn’t think the YouTube and JavaScript problems are Chrome related.  Once I grabbed the code from YouTube to embed the video and pasted the code into my blog post on LiveWriter, the normal black box would appear but it contained a frown-ie face and a message, “Unable to execute JavaScript.”  Seems the little frown-ie face guy was lying!!  Winking smile

Rick told me he searched around for solutions and decided to just try posting—the video posted in spite of this message--DSCN1113

so that little frown-ie guy has some explaining to do!! 

Rick did try and explain why Chrome has changed the way it deals with plugins—

Google made the decision to phase out NPAPI plugins in the Chrome browser several months ago and followed that up by disabling API plugins by default with the current version 42. NPAPI plugins use an old plugin API from the Netscape days.

Chrome now supports a new API, called PPAPI, which is not affected by this move at all. Adobe Flash uses the new API in Chrome for example.Google is phasing out NPAPI because it says that it's a big cause of "hangs, crashes, security incidents, and code complexity.” All of the old API based plugins have been removed from Google.”  Not sure I totally understand all this yet, but I’m working on it!  Thanks Rick!

And another Chrome issue, have you recently noticed videos are playing automatically when you scroll over the video?  I along with a whole lot of other people it seems, thought we had that little issue fixed—in the past you could go to Chrome, Settings, Advanced Settings, Privacy, Content Settings, Plugins and click on “Click To Play.”   Now Chrome no longer offers that setting—you follow the same route and instead of “Click To Play,” you can click on “Let me chose when to run plugin content.”  It works on some sites and not on others—I have no problems on Facebook (you can also turn off auto-play inside Facebook) but I do have problems on other websites/blogs.  I have been a long time fan of Chrome—but lately they are getting on my last nerve!  May have to do as Betty suggested and try Firefox!

Most of my day was spent in the kitchen using our vacuum sealer to package all the meat we purchased at Costco yesterday.  I also made some homemade Cheetos—per my husband’s request.  The cowboy never/usually never asks me to make anything in particular—he’s an easy feed but somewhere he ran across this recipe for homemade Cheetos—by George, they are good—they taste nothing like those nasty orange things (which the cowboy loves) but they are good!

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Storms are coming—it’s predicted we will get over three inches of rain in the next few days—better start building that ark!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Mish Mash

I belong to a Facebook group called The Boulder Folder—people in our community post all kinds of photos and information about goings on up the Boulder.  One day last week I happened to notice a post about Tom Brokaw’s Lucky Life Interrupted Dateline video.  Tom and his wife Meredith live in the Boulder valley and spend quite a bit of time here now that Tom is retired from NBC.  Michael over the years has done lots of work on their ranch and the video shows scenes from that ranch.  When I owned the store in town, Cinnabar Creek, and Tom had just written The Greatest Generation, he was gracious enough to do a book signing in our little store one rainy, Memorial Day weekend.  The video is excellent, Tom discusses how his diagnosis of multiple myleoma affected he and his family.

Yesterday afternoon the cowboy was fixing fence, it began to rain and I kept thinking I would hear him returning—nope, it rained and rained, no Michael.  I finally heard the downstairs door shut and I called to him, “did that fence need fixing so bad you had to stand out in the rain, are you just soaked??” and his reply, “I would be a whole lot less wet if I hadn’t fallen in the irrigation ditch!!”

DSCN1106SmileAnd look at that Larry, the cowboy is wearing sneakers again!!

And the lazuli buntings are back:

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Emmi stayed with Nat today while we went to Billings for haircut and pantry restocking—had a great lunch at our favorite place, CJ’s.  The car was packed and it took us a while to unload—sure was glad we had that yearly cash reward check from Costco American Express to help with those purchases!!!

What’s up with Chrome lately??  I’m almost ready to say to heck with it and find another browser—I tried to embed a YouTube video into this post, one of us riding ATVs but keep getting an “unable to execute JavaScript” error.  Michael’s computer has been giving him fits lately—it will frequently go to “unable to load this web page” then in the next second load that same webpage??? 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Amazing Amazon and a Wildlife Drive

Once again I have nothing but praise for Amazon!  Back around the first of February we purchased a Brother printer and shortly thereafter I purchased some non-Brother replacement ink cartridges.  Amazingly the original black ink Brother cartridge lasted until about two weeks ago.  I was not a happy camper when the printer refused to recognize the new ink cartridges but I was even more unhappy after contacting the company, T Surplus.  Emails were very unprofessional—misspellings, wrong words, lower case letters when it should have been upper case—weird and they basically said, “sorry, talk to Amazon.” 

The Amazon listing for these cartridges specifically listed our printer model number for compatibility—so when they didn’t work I felt as if the company should stand behind their product.  Well, that obviously wasn’t going to happen so I contacted Amazon.  In less than a hour I had an email stating I would receive a full refund from Amazon.  And if I needed cartridges order the correct ones then send Amazon an email with the order number—they would authorize FREE overnight shipping!!  Amazing!!  The refund has all ready been credited to my VISA—amazing again!!  Needless to say old T Surplus is going to be reading a very negative review shortly!

Larry and Geri went home to Custer, SD too soon I would say--

Snow in Custerhey, Larry, Mike has some snow shovels in the upper hardware store—should we send you a couple???

We were busy today—routine stuff—laundry, yard work—I mowed the grass for the first time and pulled and sprayed some weeds. 

Late this afternoon we decided to take a drive up the Boulder—I was hoping for a moose or bear but instead we saw these two strange chickens--

DSCN1087Sandhill cranes—strange we haven’t heard any as of yet at our house but spotted these two up the Boulder.

DSCN1096Elk at Crystal Springs—that one is sticking her tongue out at us—it appears they wintered well!

DSCN1100-001And a beaver!!!  A first for me—they are fast little buggers—he was moving so rapidly I had a hard time getting a photo.

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A good day up the Boulder—the sun did shine today.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all those wonderful Mom’s out there.  My Mom lives in Arkansas with her husband Chuck near the rest of my siblings and their families—it’s rare that we get to spend a Mother’s Day together.  Here are some photos of Mom and family. 

Mom and Me blog

My sister Ann and Mom—my only niece, Niki, took her Mom and Grandmother out for dinner last night.

And this is Laci’s first Mother’s Day—happy Mother’s Day Laci!!

Love the hat Lora Elizabeth!