Sunday, November 25, 2007

Home Again

Well after all my promises I only took 9 photos. I meant to take one of the two sweet potato pies that Deb made. Yummy! And I meant to take a few more of the card games but we got way to into the card games and so... here we have our photo's.
I even took the camera to the Chanhassan but had way too much fun with the family and the show. I didn't even take it out of the purse. You guys missed a great show drat. Maybe we can do it again at Christmas. I wouldn't mind seeing this one again.
This is Jim reading in the peace and quiet of the upstairs sitting room. We had to drag him down for some of Jon's pie.

On the way downstairs I took a photo of Joe and Monica's new garage/studio going up next door. Whooie!
Those pies were delicious although he wouldn't tell us his secret for getting the designs onto the crust.

Here are Mom and Deb waiting on some pie.
Chris got up late and wanted breakfast so here he is in his underwear doing some toast.
Then Jeni came in and wouldn't let me take a full frontal. So I took a head and shoulders. Too bad cause she has her hand down there covering up part of his clothing. I will let you guess which part by the nervous look on her face, and maybe by the look on his.
Here is Mom waiting for the rest of us to get ready for the trip to Chanhassan.

I wonder what Christy thinks of this photo?
And here is the first snowfall. It was all gone this morning when we left for home. The only thing it did was to make the grass a little greener.

Note the yard sign.



Thursday, November 22, 2007

We are all here

Except you of course.
Hi Mary,
Jeni and Chris are talking and laughing in the kitchen. Mom is reading (or sleeping) with her earphones on. Jim is reading the paper at the dining room table. Dad and Deb are still in their respective rooms. I am here getting directions to the Chanhassan so we don't get lost this year.
It is snowing!
It is the first real snow of the year.
We are supposed to be at the Theatre by 12 noon.
More later, I am going to take some of those many promised pictures.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Something new for Montana

Hi Nancy -
I'm sorry about moving. It is stressful. Let me know when you're safely there.
Meanwhile, look at what I caught a picture of in my backyard: a real blue jay.

These birds aren't supposed to be in Montana, but I've caught glimpses of them in the past 3-4 years. This one is disappointed that there aren't any more peanuts left. He'd fly in, stuff a whole peanut (shell and all) into his throat, grab another in his beak, and fly off, I assume to stash them somewhere. While he was gone, somebody else showed up: a fox squirrel we named Tiger Woods.

That's because he has big balls. The way he got his name is a much longer story, but it's not really worthwhile. Suffice it to say that Tiger Woods has big balls and so does this squirrel.
That's all for now. Have a really safe trip, and hug Mom and Dad for me when you get there. Love, Mary

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Safe in the yard

Hi Mare,
Safe in the yard is the title. Or as safe as about 20 NO HUNTING signs can make him. Since many of the hunters I discover with deer guts on their hands are right next to my NO HUNTING signs that is not too safe.
He certainly is the right color for this snowless November hunting season.

We are thinking of leaving tomorrow (Monday) for Minneapolis. Unless I have too much to do to get ready. Then we will leave Tuesday. Unless the weather report is bad and then Monday. I am feeling stressed already.

I will take lots of pictures for the blog while I am there.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saving Seeds

Hi Mary,

It is really too late to be out in the garden but it has been a very warm fall. There is even some green still showing in the grass. We will probably have a really cold night soon and then it will start to look like winter but it hasn't happened yet.

Today Jim and I went out and pulled zinnia, marigold, cosmos and morning glory seeds off the plants from our garden. We have bags full. In the spring we only have to buy seeds if we see a really pretty variety. I really like doing that. I remember doing it in Michigan when I was 8 or 9. We had planted four o'clock seeds and Dad showed me how to get the seeds.
Jim wanted to 'clean up' the garden. I have been trying to train him to a more bird friendly winter other words, leave the plants over the winter so the animals and birds can harvest some seeds and use the brush for shelter. I don't seem to make much headway. Every year we have to have a little discussion about it. We did put the tools away and got out the winter bird feeder. So we are getting ready assuming it ever snows. The deer have been a little more visible lately. Most of the corn is off so they have no where to hide except shelter belts and woods like ours. They, I think, are the creatures who keep tipping over the pump in the yard pond. I go out every other day and see it tipped into the deep part. I don't know how that is going to work out this winter when we are gone. Once we get snow I will be able to really see who is walking about in the yard. It is amazing how few animals we see considering the evidence of their footprints in the snow.
I should be making plans for the trip to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving but that isn't for 5 days yet. No sense in rushing it.
We will miss you,

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Weeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllll, I have to make fun of his cookbooks. He only has two. The red Campbell's soup one and the white Campbell's soup one. I take my cookbooks seriously. Doesn't mean I can't use 'cream of' soup occasionally.



Even Ol' Bear remembers...

...we both remember! We remember how you made fun of Jim's Campbell soup cookbooks.

But you just sent us a recipe that calls for canned soup. So I couldn't resist Andy Warhol. How "North Dakota" of you! And how "North Dakota " of me, because I plan to cook it. I love crock pot meals (that's what we call them in Montana - "slow cooker meal" has too many syllables. We're a terse crowd.)

PJ the fatty kitty is on my lap. I can tell he wants a picture of himself posted too, but he kept bugging me all night and I refuse to humor him. Some night I'll have Brian take a picture of him when he's on my lap and I'm typing. He puts his chin on my arm and just leaves it there to be joggled up and down. He doesn't like it when I listen to lectures though - the cord to the earphones irritates him.

I'm actually getting some very small knitting done - headbands. I'm on my third. When I get a minute I'll take a picture. I don't have a minute now - gotta go read something.

Thanks for the fun journey through the back roads of NDak. I'm glad you didn't run out of gas. Just think how confused the terrorists will be when they try to find you resisters out there on the plains! Love you, Mary

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Slow Cooker beef roast recipe

HI Mary,

I was sending this to our nephew Joe Koski and I thought a sleep deprived, hard studying sister might want a slow-cooker recipe. So here is a great one if your husband likes meat. Jim loves this. I like it too as it is very easy!

Here is an original slow cooker recipe from me. I invented it one night when I didn't have the onion soup/dip mix my usual recipe called for. I went to my Spice Islands cookbook and got a recipe for home made onion dip and adapted it for the recipe and it was great. And way better than the mix.
3-4 pound chuck roast
1 can cream of soup... used celery last time, often use mushroom
1 large sweet onion in chunks
1T. beef base...the one that starts with an ingredient called beef, (not salt). I use 'Better than Bouillion' organic.
1T. Worcestershire sauce
1t. Tabasco (or more of course. This amount only adds flavor.)
That's it. Slow cooker overnight on low if you stay up late. I always like it better after 12 hours. Turn it over after 5-6 hours (or in the morning) so it all gets under the juice. Otherwise the top gets hard. Twelve hours makes it fork tender. The onions are yummy. Use the leftover meat and liquid as a base for homemade Vegetable Beef soup.
Alice says 'Hi'. Actually Alice says 'Obey me all you peons' but we pretend she says 'Hi'.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lost in North Dakota

Hi Mary,
I had a fun time at the All-Cooped-Up Retreat at Cooperstown Bible Camp near Cooperstown North Dakota. There were only 19 of us there so we each had our own 8 foot table and our choice of rooms. Sometimes Faye has had as many as 50 there. Then we are crowded. I finished the quilt top I started at Faye's class two weeks ago. The book that is the pattern is called Strips and Curves and you can see why.

I hung it on the curtains at camp to look at it while I worked on other projects. I was going to put flannel on the back and make it a 'cuddle quilt' but I found some black fabric printed with butterflies and think that would work fine and I already own it.
I might go look at the flannels though. ;-)

A fellow camper told me a shortcut home that would save me many minutes so I drove around central and southern Griggs County, North Dakota for 2 and 1/2 hours yesterday. (It only took me 45 minutes to get there) I had a map but the state of North Dakota saves money by only putting county roads and state roads on the map and then only putting numbers on the state roads. So I came to many numbered roads but they weren't numbered on the map and I got really annoyed.
Finally I came to an elevator that had a pickup in front of it. It was labeled Karnak elevator. I went in and the lights were on and the radio was on and the machinery was all working BUT NO ONE WAS THERE!!!!
I wandered around for a few minutes and called out so they wouldn't think I was a robber and then went to look at the plat map. Probably Brian knows about plat maps. Every elevator has one for their county and this one was on the elevator managers door so I searched through it and found the elevator...luckily it is on one of the two railroads that goes through the county...and found out where to go, and left and went there. It was 2 miles north (right out of the driveway) and then east until I hit Highway 32. Once on pavement I was OK because they label pavement in the state maps. My problem was I never found any pavement and because it was cloudy I had no idea which was was north or south or east or west. Or any other direction except up. I kept running into water: sloughs, not navigable rivers that might be shown ON A MAP!!!!, which kept me from going straight.

We had an instant of white round pellets this morning but it was only for 10 minutes so we don't have any real snow but we are getting closer.

Well that is my fine adventure in North Dakota.
Love to you.