Friday, July 17, 2009

Dear deer.....

Thank you for stopping by and helping clean up my yard! I love it when you stop by and make sure all the branches are picked up.
Don't worry about the neighbors dogs, they are all fenced in thanks to their wonderfully thoughtful owners! I love responsible owners don't you?
I hope to see you again sometime, but don't count on getting into the garden as those plants are for us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Creative Home

I finally got one project done for the Oregon home! Yay! I started with a beat up white book shelf I paid $3 for at a garage sale. It's nice and solid wood so I couldn't let it pass. I took it outside and sanded lightly to age it. Then I slapped on some medium colonial blue, and I mean slapped. I did a very light coat, with minimal coverage. After it dried I took the bookshelf outside and went over it with the palm sander again, trying to soften the blue and bring out more of the white. My goal was a worn, antique look without the high price tag. I have been formulating a decor in my head, that hasn't quite fallen into place yet, but our living room will have a ranch house, vintage feel, with a little railroadiana, and Americana thrown in. I don't really want cutesy though so it will take some thought and careful collecting to get the right pieces to decorate with. In the mean time I will use whats on hand and go from there.
Here's the bookshelf fulfilling it's purpose. I know that I won't be leaving the knick knacks and basket on it, at least not all of them, but I wanted to spiff it up for the photo. Our home is a work in progress, from the outside in. I need to get the center foundation stabilized, then out comes the ugly carpet, off comes the dark trim, and the deep base boards which are nothing more than a dirt catcher. The bathroom will need to be remodeled, and then, finally, wood or laminate floors. Oh and the walls will be painted as well. It sure is rewarding to take an older home and make it ours.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Good Neighbors

I am so lucky to have good neighbors here in Joseph! We care and share alike so I'm going to share with you. I was recently gifted a few packages of elk and venison. So I pulled a pack of elk steaks out yesterday and made some chili with what I had on hand. Here's the result and the recipe.

Elk Chili
1 lb. elk steak, cubed
2 T. bacon grease
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1- 16 oz. can black beans, drained ( I saved the juice and froze it to use in soup)
1- 16 oz. can chili beans with liquid
1- 16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 fresh jalapenos, chopped
1 t. each basil, oregano, sage
1 bay leaf
1 T. cumin powder

In a medium size pot saute elk and onion in bacon grease until meat is no longer red. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 45 minutes to blend flavors. Serves 6-8
I ate mine over a bed of chopped lettuce and onion, topped with cheese and Tapatio. We scooped with burner heated corn tortillas. Yummy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'm back!!!!!!!

Hah! You can't get rid of me that easily! While back in Utah there was a lot of yard work to catch up on. Everything was growing like weeds, including my lavender. See the rock in front of it with the shape embedded that looks like a human figure? It was so cool I had to bring it home and put it in a place where folks could see it. Makes a great conversation piece.

As I poked around outside I heard little peeps, and to my surprise and delight mixed with dismay I found these 3 little baby birds sitting in my rock garden. Apparently they had fallen or been blown out of their nest and were feeling a bit lost. I did dig up some worms for them, but was very careful not to touch the little birds as I was afraid mom and dad might not take care of them. They happily gulped down the worms I found.

Then I found another of their siblings sitting all by itself. I took a stick and gently moved it over with the others. I was so afraid a cat would get them as our neighborhood is full of strays, but after 4 days they were still under the tree in the rock garden and I spotted their parents feeding them several times. I sure hope they were able to grow fast enough to escape any cat attack.
Here's more of my garden. The rock path I put in myself using desert rocks I gathered. I trained the neighbors ivy to come over to our side of the fence and added iris, and lamium to give some different color and texture.
Here's the view from my raspberry patch. It's such a pretty and peaceful area, you would never know we lived in the desert.
Look at those raspberries! Let me tell you, they are so delicious! This year has been a good year for them. I hope the kids are picking them while I'm gone.
Here's some strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb jam I made with my fresh raspberries and some rhubarb given me by friends. I'm not sure if it shows, but the jam is such a gorgeous color of red, and it's quite tasty I might add.
So up next, the rest of the story......