Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Horsehair Coats and Woolies

Bob models his grandfather's horsehair coat.
 As always, you can click on the picture to make it bigger and hit the back button to return to the blog.

A nice warm collar!
The summer after I was married back in 1960, I was checking out an old log shed at the ranch.  I  was thinking of cleaning it out to make it an extra bunk house for company.  In it I found 2 beautiful horsehair coats still in the cleaners bags and a pair of angora chaps.  I asked Bob what the story was on these items and here's what I learned.
The company that made these coats from Grandfather's horse hides.

Look at the long hair on this horse's hide!

Button detail on this coat.
The dark heaviest coat belonged to Bob's Grandfather, George Manville.  Lorena Manville, his grandmother, owned the reddish small coat.  The hides were from horses that had died at the ranch on  the west side of North Park, Colorado, and were skinned.  The skins were sent to Ede's Robe and Tanning Co. in Iowa to be made into these beautiful coats.  We do not have the exact dates but they were made in the 1890s.

Pocket detail on Grampa's coat.
Back view

Side view
A well made lining with soft leather under the arms and an inside pocket.


I model this beautiful coat.  It is quite heavy but not nearly as heavy as Grampa's!

Back view of this coat.

The bottom two buttons are kind of plastic.  I'm not sure they had plastic buttons back then though....

A very well made lining that looks quilted but isn't!

Another look at the lining.

A crocheted button up near the neck.
We kept those coats without ever using them or even getting them out until we moved off the ranch in 1988.  Our daughter Jeanette took them to Laramie,WY where her son Micah showed them to his class at school.  They kept the coats and chaps and took them to Elko, NV when they moved there in 1990.  Jeanette has taken them to show her second grade class every year during Cowboy Poetry Week.  The coats have been drying out for the last 110 years and have become quite fragile.  Jeanette's husband , Ozzie, talked to an Indian friend of his who has worked with hides for most of his life and he feels they could be saved with proper care and the right storage conditions.  We are hoping to find some place that can give them the care they need.

The Angora chaps that we have were made by Bob's Uncle, Clarance Manville, for Bob's father, Harry Manville.  He made them in 1930 for Harry's birthday.

Wow! Woolie angora chaps!

A close up of the angora.  Notice the hand tooled belt.

Reverse side shows the fitted leggings.  You can tell these were really used!
* I took these pictures and wrote up this history for Linda Carlson to look at. She is curator at the Avenir Museum on the campus of Colorado State University.  We are hoping they can use them and maybe keep them from drying out and cracking.  It would be a shame to have the hair fall out or have them fall apart!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Some Picture Updates

I've been taking some pictures of random events around here so I just think I'll post them with a few comments.

Our Trip to Laughlin March 7-10

Bob enjoys some warmer weather and the view of the Colorado River.

Ducks along Laughlin's Riverwalk.

I love walking along the river in my shirtsleeves in March! 


Dr. Seuss Week at Northside

Daisy Head Maizie.  JJ was the only one to wear a dress this Friday!

Lookin' good with that daisy growin' out of your head!

Bernice made these cute Green Eggs and Ham hats for her teacher friends

Green Eggs and Ham Day also fell on St. Patricks day so JJ completed her outfit with trendy leggings and cool shoes!

I read to the second graders one day.  Here I am practicing and then JJ forgot to take my picture with the kids!

Moguli Gets a Haircut

Cute little MO-MO in his before picture

Is this the same dog?  He got his haircut on St. Patricks Day so he is showing off his new neckerchief!

St. Patrick's Day Dinner at the Gold Dust Casino

We had to try their green beer!

It was OK but needed to be Guinness, I guess, to make it right.

Cream of Leek and Potato Soup.  Very Yummy!

Looks like a meal for 4 but it was one serving!  We had lunches and another dinner with the leftovers!  It tasted great!

Spring in Elko March 22, 2011

The tulips are coming up just fine........

Maybe the snow will melt away by the end of the week?

I don't think they will be killed by freezing but who knows!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wacky Wednesday and St. Patrick's Day

JJ forgot to take a picture of me reading to the kids so we had to do a posed one at home
Every year JJ's school has a week of celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday by having special reading events, wearing hats and costumes, and having guests come in and read to the kids.  There are competitions and one is to have the most readers come in.  I was volunteered for that job!  (Bob was too but he declined).  Another one was to try to have everyone in the school bring in as many hats as they could to see if they could get 500 hats like The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.  They didn't make it....

This year his birthday came the week before the big testing time and the students were preparing for testing so they postponed it for two weeks so everyone could enjoy it and have lots of fun with it.

On Wednesday was my big day and it happened to be the day for them to wear wacky costumes.  I took a picture of JJ's before she went to school and put on her Horton ears.  When I got there the 2nd graders were out to recess and it was rainy, cold and very windy!  In fact JJ's umbrella blew inside out and it took about 3 kids and her to put it back to rights! 

JJ is ready for school.  Nike and Moguli can't figure out who she is!
I went inside and visited with my friend Linda, the school secretary and then 3 little boys escorted me to the classroom via the playground, so I had to go out into the wind again instead of through the halls. 

JJ has 23 students with six being girls!  The boys are very cute but a handful.  Anyway they learned my name and that I was Mrs. Jones' mother.  A little girl whispered to JJ, "How old IS your mother?" JJ told me later.  We had to laugh at that.

It turned out that all the 2nd grade teachers decided to bring their students together to hear me read Oh The Places You'll Go! By Dr. Seuss.  The room we gathered in was interesting.  At one end was a little stairway to nowhere with a platform at the top that the kids called the stage.  One of my escorts took me up to the top and that's where I was to read while all the kids sat on the floor.  I decided to sit on the top step to do the reading.  It went pretty well but I had on my glasses that are graduated from close to far and sometimes I had trouble reading the words--oh well, 2nd graders are very forgiving.  The kids then sang me the song they were going to sing in their St. Patrick's Day parade the next day--all 4 or 5 verses of Mollie Malone.

Some of the wacky costumes the kids had:  dyed hair, a bright green wig, a little boy with a Pamper on his head!  The teachers had mismatched clothing and crazy hats.  JJ's Horton ears were very big and flopped back and forth when she moved.  I had on a Cat in the Hat hat.
A closeup of JJ's Halloween shoes and mismatched socks.
 The next day, today, is St Patrick's Day and JJ forgot her hat and horn for the parade. I had to take it into school for her.  Her principal greeted me at the door in his Cat in the Hat suit complete with makeup (whiskers).  He looked quite authentic.  Anyway, all the kids were in the gym having Green Eggs and Ham for breakfast.  I went in to give Jay her hat and checked out the kids plates.  Most had about finished theirs but there were some who hadn't touched their green scrambled eggs!  What a surprise.  Yesterday a little boy told me he wasn't going to eat his because they were green and I told him to close his eyes and pretend they weren't green.  I guess he didn't try that!

Tonight we are going down to the Gold Dust Casino for corned beef and cabbage.  I noticed that potato leek soup comes with it and little boiled red potatoes!  Yummmm!  Maybe I'll take a picture of our meal tonight for all to see.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some New Twists on an Old Favorite

A decadent dessert or brunch item.  Very yummy!
Alright!  A tongue-in-cheek request for a recipe.  I've been trying to think of a recipe  to put on this blog for quite awhile.  After the Naughty Monkey blog and Jason's "ha ha" request for monkey bread, I decided to look up what kind of monkey bread recipes they had on  To my surprise there were many, many versions of this old favorite.  Three of them caught my eye so I decided to try them out.

1.  The first one is called  Caramel Monkey Bread.  "This sticky, sweet pull-apart bread is sure to be a hit at your next brunch."  It is a Smucker's Summer Desserts recipe.  I did not have the hot roll mix so I used frozen roll dough and cut each roll into quarters. The dough had been in JJ's freezer for quite a long time, so didn't raise as well as I thought it should, but they were so good we cleaned them up in one evening except for about one servings worth!

2.  The second one is Bananas Foster Monkey Bread. 
"Just one extra ingredient changes the taste of this classic! Serve with Dulce Leche ice cream for a decadent dessert."  I haven't tried it but it sounds good.  I'm going to make it for JJ's  school snacks on Friday.  I'll keep you posted.

3.  Finally,  there is Orange Monkey Bread.
"A yummy variation of monkey bread."  Haven't tried this one either but it will be the other one I make for JJ on Thursday.


This is the recipe before I messed with it!

 1 (16 ounce) package of hot roll mix.  
1 cup hot water 120-130 degrees F.
2 Tbsp. butter softened
1 large egg
1/2 Cup coarsely chopped nuts
1.  Follow directions on package for making the dough.  Let it rest for 5 minutes.  Coat a 12 cup fluted cake pan with no stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle nuts in bottom of prepared pan.
The pan is sprayed and nuts sprinkled in the bottom.
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
3 Tbsp butter flavored syrup
I cut the thawed rolls into quarters with scissors.  I think I could have just cut them in half if I wanted bigger bites!

2.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in shallow dish.  Cut dough with sharp knife to make about 48, 1 inch balls.  Roll in melted butter, then cinnamon-sugar mixture.  layer in pan on top of nuts.  Combine topping with syrup.  Pour evenly over top of dough.  
All dipped, rolled and layered into the pan ready to raise.
3.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a towel.  Let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in size.  Remove cover.

4.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately invert onto a serving plate.  Let rest 5 minutes.  Remove pan. Serve warm.

The way I did it was to use frozen roll dough you buy in the store. Thaw and then cut into quarters and proceed with step 2.  I actually forgot to mix in the butter flavored syrup and it turned out fine.  I did sprinkle more nuts and some caramel on top of the first layer so it was really caramelly and nutty.  Very decadent!

This recipe and the next ones came from

Bananas Foster Monkey Bread


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 (7.5 ounce) packages buttermilk biscuit dough, cut into quarters
  • 2 ripe bananas, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a loaf pan.
  2. Shake the sugar and cinnamon together in a large plastic bag; add the biscuit dough, bananas, and pecans to the bag and shake to coat evenly. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the brown sugar into the melted butter until completely dissolved. Add the vanilla and stir well. Pour the mixture over the biscuit dough.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.    
 It has been suggested that you can cut the sugar, brown sugar and butter to 1/4 cup each to cut down some of the sweetness.  I intend to do this when I make it on Thursday for the teachers. 

Orange Monkey Bread


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh orange zest
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated biscuit dough, separated and halved


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch Bundt pan.
  2. Toss the sugar and orange zest together in a small bowl. Whisk the orange juice and melted butter together in a separate small bowl.
  3. Roll the biscuit dough pieces into balls. Dip each ball into the orange juice mixture and then roll in the sugar mixture. Arrange the coated balls evenly in the prepared pan. Pour the remaining orange juice mixture over the biscuits.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out onto a serving platter. Serve warm. 
Sounds really good to me so it is on the list for Thursday too! 
All that was left by morning!  I saved the leftover sauce in the dish to put on ice cream!