Friday, July 15, 2011

One of My Favorite Movies

The Man From Snowy River

A few nights ago Bob and I watched one of my favorite movies (a Western!) and I was just as impressed with it as I was when I first saw it in the movie theater in Fort Collins in 1982.

Some of the reasons I like it are first, the gorgeous scenery of those Australian mountains and the camera work that went with them. The scenes with Jessica on that cliff and the storms coming over the mountains are breath taking. I also love the scene where the ranchers are all gathering to go after the brumbies. Their costumes and their authentic looks are how I always have envisioned Australian "cowboys". That guy with the beard and the big curvy pipe is my perfect Australian rancher!
The photography is beautiful in this movie.
Another thing I love about this movie is the music. The piano and French horns, oboes, and just the whole thing is beautiful. I even went to youtube and listened to some of the compositions from the movie on it!   From Fuer Elise to Jessica's Sonata to the background music while viewing the horses and mountains, it really sets the mood.
This is Jessica's sonata with some lovely slides to go with it.

This really is a steep cliff.  Notice that the trees are straight.
My favorite part of the movie and the most famous part is when Tom Burlinson rides that horse off the cliff. The first time I saw this scene I figured it was trick photography but after watching it many times and reading notes on the movie I now know it was actually done! I had heard that Tom had done his own riding for this movie but I found the following quote that really surprised me.

Tom Burlinson had never ridden horses much before making this movie and when he took Denny over the cliff to go after the brumbies that was a one-take shot at full gallop down the cliff face.

Jim and Jessica up on the mountain.  Spectacular scenery!
I am not really a true horse person and never watched many Westerns until recently but this film also has excitement, romance and a good story. The horses are beautiful and so are the Hereford cattle (I had to mention them, hehehe.)
The horse scenes are beautiful!
I have included the chase scene and the "descent" over the cliff below. The camera work of the horses crossing rivers, running down a steep cliff, and running through snow is spectacular!

Now I think I need to go get out our video of "Man From Snowy River" and it's sequel and have an evening of visiting Australia once again!

The final scene of the movie.  The Man From Snowy River.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Choosing the Right Mug

Good Morning!  My most favorite thing to do is to sit out in the morning sun and drink my coffee

This morning as I was browsing through my vast collection of mugs, I got to thinking about my ritual of choosing the right mug for the day.   First I wondered if anyone else did this or if they had their one and only special one they had to use or the day wouldn't go right.  Then I realized I chose my mug according to how I wanted my day to go.
I have a whole set of these Norman Rockwell Christmas covers for The Saturday Evening Post.  I use them quite regularly because of their size and I love the pictures!

  I actually have several criteria I use.  One is the way a mug feels on my lips.  I prefer a rather thin mug rather than those heavier thicker ones.  They are for drinking cocoa not coffee.  Then, of course, I have to consider how hot they get in the microwave.  I have a few that get so hot they really burn your lips  and the coffee is still cold!  These I use only when I know I'm not going to reheat my drink or else I heat my coffee in another mug and pour it into the hot lips mug.  You may wonder why I would go to such trouble but each of my mugs has a story and I like the memories as I am sipping my morning beverage.  I really do go through my mugs trying to pick which one will brighten my mood for the day!  OK so I am weird!  My last consideration is how do I want to feel today or what do I want to think about while contemplating my schedule for the day.

Today I am using my Winnie the Pooh mug.  It says "Just a smakerel of Honey...." on the inside lip of it.  I got this mug on a trip to Nationals with a group of students.  We did Disneyland and I like to get souvenir mugs on those kind of trips.  (That's one reason I have so many mugs!)  It also reminds me of Mom and Dad and my sixth birthday when they gave me the book "Now We Are Six".  Dad would read to us every night and I have great memories of us memorizing many of the poems in that book!

Other mugs include one with a fancy handle with the bible verse, "Let the Earth be Glad!" from Psalms.  I like this one on a kind of rainy day.

A Chapman University one for grandmothers that Paul gave me when he was a freshman,

an "I'm an OHS Guardian Angel mug from my days up on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation (so many great memories!)
Side 1

Side 2, I love this mug!

My Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris and Natasha mug from a Universal Studios theme park visit with students, 

a hot lips mug JJ gave me with my name on it, 

World's Best Mom one from Carla,

On the back of this is a description of a loon  from the encyclopedia !
A mug I got at the Mall of America in Minneapolis with a loon on it when I was at a Cluster Meeting with students,

a  mug that has a snowman on a lid  that JJ gave me for Christmas.  I think that one is a hot lips one, too and I  always forget it and get burned! 

Bob has a few favorites too (at least I always use them for his cocoa).  His newest one is a great John Wayne one that Chris (Kathi's and Danny's boy) gave him for Father's Day.  Marianne and Erin have always been my coffee for Christmas people.  Marianne also gets really good cocoa for Bob, and her boys have given us some great travel mugs!  JJ is the tea buyer for Bob.

A few more of the favorites
 I have plenty of other mugs to choose from but I'm sure you get my point.

This is one of a set of "cabin mugs" which must be used by the grandkids for cocoa after a day of playing in the snow!
Now that I have gotten all my mugs out and had a big memory fest, it is time to get to work.  Tomorrow will be another day with another great memory!  I have had so much fun sorting through my mugs this morning I'm going to have to do this with some of my other collections!

In the morning is a great time to sit out because there aren't so many mosquitoes!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Promised Adult Dessert Recipe

These pictures of the Roaring Fork are for my kids to see.  High waters at the old ranch.

Can you believe this was taken on rodeo week end.  I don't remember ever seeing it this high!
As I said a few blogs ago, Carla and I did do some "fancy cooking" before all the excitement came along.  We never did get to try our creations up here but when we got to Danny's we decided to make the same things again only with a few modifications.  The modifications ruined them and no one liked them but the ones we had made up here were waiting for me when I got back and they were excellent.  Also, Skyler liked the non-adult version we made for him.  This is a tasty hot weather treat and we have not had much hot weather lately.  (I actually turned on the heat this morning it was so cold! July 10, 2011).

  I got the basic recipe from a Ladies Home Journal while waiting in a Doctor's office.  It is easy and has only a few ingredients when you make it for kids.  Our biggest problem was I couldn't find my box of craft sticks and Carla tried to use cheapo plastic spoons which can't hold the weight of the Fudgsicle without breaking.  We used fancy glasses to hold them but people with kids might have a better Popsicle maker thingy or we used paper Dixie cups at Danny's.  Since I had to memorize the recipe I didn't notice how many it made or how long it took to freeze them but you can figure all that out.



All you need except for something to freeze them in
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (Eagle Brand)
1/2 Cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 Cup milk
*1 shot heavy cream (1/2 and 1/2 or none at all.  This was one of our little additions)
*2 shots chocolate vodka (we used Godiva which is very expensive but you can use the cheaper stuff and it still will be good.)
*1 shot Creme de Menthe
1 tsp. vanilla
Craft sticks, some kind of paper cup, glass or real Popsicle maker kit
Carla found these family crest cordial glasses for us to use.
*"Adult" additions to the basic recipe.  Kids can have them if you leave out the booze!

Some pricey chocolate vodka but very delicious.  

A shot for the dessert.

And a shot for the cooks!
Mix all ingredients together with a wire whisk.  Then you can get as fancy as you care to with the equipment you freeze them in.  Carla was being very fancy-shmancy and froze our cordial glasses then drizzled Hersheys chocolate sauce on the sides of them hoping they were cold enough to stick.  They did to a certain extent but if you want to try it I would use that chocolate ice cream coating that gets hard real fast so you don't get a puddle in the bottom of the glass that doesn't freeze real well.

Carla drizzles chocolate into the glass.
Carla's fancy-Shmancy frosty glass.

Glasses set up ready to put in freezer to get frosty.
  Fill up you vessels with the chocolate mix and freeze them until hard.  If you have alcohol in them they take a little longer to freeze but they do finally.  Be sure to remember to put sticks in them when they get set up a bit and can hold them up straight.  Then run a little warm water on the glasses or peel off the paper cup or whatever you do with the real Popsicle makers to get them out and you're all set for an icy, chocolatey treat!
Hmmm,  I don't see the cheapo plastic spoon we used for a stick in this one!  But it still was very tasty eaten from a bowl.

  The ones we did at Danny's were not tasty because Carla got too much booze in them and then we decided to put mocha ice cream in them --only about a shot instead of cream and then the worst part was a whole bunch of marshmallows that floated to the top and didn't freeze.  If you want to get creative, don't try these modifications.  We ended up throwing out most of them.  I think plain vanilla ice cream would have worked fine.

Down at the home ranch.
Well, there it is. Have fun and enjoy.  Adjust the booze amounts as you see fit.  Too much, though, may prevent freezing.  Kahlua might be OK instead of mint but that mocha didn't taste right the way we made them.  

Anyone for tubing the Roaring Fork?

More Weather Woes!

Our road at the bridge!

Our road at the bridge 9 hours later!
Click on the pictures to make them bigger and hit the back button to return to the blog.

The old saying "when it rains, it pours", has never been truer, literally, than this past week!  Right after we returned from Danny's big wet, muddy mess we had another fairly exciting and definitely wet mess here!

On Friday night we headed over to Steamboat Springs of an alumni dinner for CSU.  It looked pretty cloudy as we left and there were heavy black clouds hanging on the mountain.  I even mentioned to Bob that it might be raining over in Steamboat.  Well, it began raining hard about the time we got to Muddy Pass and started up Rabbit Ears Pass.   By the time we got to town the rain was so hard it was running down the streets and it was so dark we had to have headlights.    We lucked out and found a parking place right in front of the restaurant but some people said they had to wade through ankle deep water to get to the door!
This was a river running right below our house the night before!
A couple hours later it was time to head home.  The sun was shining on the mountain and there were blue skies over head ( at 8:30 PM).  I was wishing I had brought my camera because there were little patches of clouds caught in the treetops as we started up the pass.  Very cool sight.

  By the time we were on our "home road" about an hour later it was plenty dark and we could see big puddles and little washouts going down into the draw.  Bob commented that it must have rained at home, too, and John would need to get the water stopped on the road before it washed out any further. We pressed on and I began wondering if the river by our house might be high enough to go over the road.  We got to the bridge and the water was roaring under it, but just on the other side we encountered about 10 inches of water rushing over the road and making a big waterfall on the other side before it went back into the river.  Too dark for pictures even if I had my camera!  We drove in water over the road for about 75 feet.  We got home and I had to take a flashlight outside to see how high the river had come up toward the house!  The "kick the can" area of the yard was a little island with water running all around it!  The water came up to the bottom of the hill where the house stands!
Taken from the sandpile, this was running much higher the night before.
Headed back to the main stream!
The next morning I got up early and ran out to get pictures although the water was down a bit.  You could still see where it had been and it was still out on the road but not much of a waterfall and only maybe 50 feet of water across the road.  This was probably 12 hours after it had rained here!
I am standing where the water came to when we came home.
This was a big waterfall.  It's still washing down there pretty good 12 hours later.
Then yesterday afternoon we were headed back to Steamboat Springs for another CSU activity.  The water was off the road and Holy Cow!  The road was washed out with only a big pile of rocks left!
What we came upon that afternoon!

There's the dirt and gravel from the road.  Went down with the waterfall!
A big hole we had to drive around to get across the bridge.
 Still no camera so we picked our way around the worst part and made it.  When we got down to Uncle Albert's old house we noticed the the current owner had come up sometime that day.  He was out on the hill behind the house and we waved to him.  He kind of pointed at the road in front of us and WOW! The whole side of the hill had washed out and slid down onto the road!
The big washout at Uncle Albert house.
We had driven through there the night before and I guess he said Harvat's hired man told him it had slid down not more than 5 or 10 minutes after we had gone by!  ( for those familiar with this place it came down right where the springs are--also I think our phone line since we don't have a phone again).  Big trees and rocks and dirt all came down the hill!  What a mess.  He was lucky it missed the house!
Richard comes to the rescue!
Richard Wamsley was just coming down the hill with his Cat as we got there.  We decided to go around through the meadow and Richard said he'd have it all cleaned up off the road by the time we came home and he did!
Gary is lucky it didn't come down a little farther to the west or he would have lost his house.
I wonder what the weather has in store for us today......

Look at those rocks!