Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall is Here!

The gate to our property.......
All that's left of the old red truck.

Here's a companion picture for the one in your guest bedroom, Kathi.

Indian summer is a favorite time for me!  Although summer is still the best season, I savor Indian Summer because it is the last hurrah before winter sets in for a looong time here in North Park.

The Haskins meadow with Delaney Butte in the distance.

The hay is up and the cattle are headed for home.
Funny how on the first day of fall I started craving "fall foods".  I guess I started seeing the leaves changing (very late for North Park this year) and digging out my sweaters and warmer clothes and that spurred on my fall appetite!  I also got on the ball and started some fall cleaning projects!  How weird is that!  Here are some pictures and a few of my "fall foods".

The pond looks like a mirror.

Bright red rose hips.

My Favorite Fall Foods

Chili, of course, is an all time favorite at this time of year!  Cream of squash, cream of cauliflower, tomato basil soups, potato soup, Grampa's stew, a new Mexican style stew I made up with Rotel tomatoes, Albondigos soup, posole, Beans and Rice Haitian, making chili sauce, tomato sauce, Italian sauce (anything to use up tomatoes before first freeze), fried mush (or polenta, a new favorite), cornbread, hoe cakes, potato pancakes, chicken pot pie, fall breads and muffins like apple, pumpkin, cranberry, banana, etc., corned beef hash, and chuck wagon beans.  Also anything zucchini to get them used up ( I found a great new recipe called Italian Zucchini Casserole with pepperoni, cottage and mozzarella cheeses, onions and fresh tomatoes that is really tasty!).  Pickled beets and eggs are a must using fresh beets from the farmers market! Hot apple cider or wassail, hot buttered rum, all kinds of hot chocolate, and, of course, all kinds of bar cookies but especially that all season favorite, Brownies!

  OK that's enough food fantasies for the day!  Now I'm going outside to take some fall pictures.

Our cabin in fall.

Oh the beautiful blue fall sky!
Today was absolutely a perfect day for picture taking and hiking so I was gone for several hours and took tons of pictures!  The peak of the fall colors here will be sometime next week, I think, so I may have to go out again but for today I took a lot of "artsy fartsy" pictures.  Some of them will have more meaning for the family but are still pretty.  I think I will have to do another post of just the fall pictures but here are a few to get started.

Fall is coming to the cabin!

Summer's last hurrah.  Indian Paintbrush is still blooming.


Six Years Ago Today

Yep, that is me back in 2004 less than a year before I had surgery!
Today is my Bandiversary!  Six years ago I was in the Almater Hospital in Mexicali, Mexico with a brand new Lapband in place!  What a life changing decision I had made.  I didn't know then whether it would work or not, whether I would never be able to enjoy broccoli again (as one of my daughters pointed out), or even if this was just another of the many attempts I had made to lose weight and never gain it back again only to be disappointed once again.  Well, I am here to tell everyone that it did work and I am at my goal weight and still holding six years later.  I feel so much better with more energy and not so many aches and pains as I did back then.  I sleep better and do not fantasize about food all the time (well maybe I do sometimes but a few bites of it and I am good to go instead of eating way too much and then craving more!).  I can still wear clothes I got 5 years ago and they still fit although they are pretty worn out by now!  My back and feet don't hurt all the time and I just feel healthier. 

Bob, Dr. Aceves and I six years ago in Mexicali 2 days after my surgery.
I highly recommend weight loss surgery to those who are excessively overweight.  There are several new procedures around plus the old standbys so do your research and find out as much as you can if you are thinking about it.  I probably would have done the vertical sleeve if it had been around back then but I am happy with what I have and it continues to work for me.  I am glad I went to Dr. Aceves in Mexico.  Insurance did not cover lapband surgery back then and I am glad it didn't!  He is the best as is the hospital and it's staff.  I am so grateful to them all for such a special experience and for the successful outcome.  Here's to many more years of a normal lifestyle thanks to my lapband!
Me in June of 2011 drinking my morning coffee.  Yes, I still can eat broccoli and drink coffee!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Milk Dud Popcorn

Milk Dud Popcorn

As promised, here is the great, addictive popcorn recipe that Kim's family loves so much.  I had been hearing about it for several years but always pictured it as popcorn with chunks of Milk Duds in it.  Kim finally had all the ingredients in one place and made some for movie watching one evening while we were in Elko.  WOW!  It was great! So here it is compliments of  Kim Jones.

Milk Dud Popcorn


All you need except for a splash of milk which I didn't have so I used some cream.

2 bags microwave popcorn
1 regular size box of Milk Duds
1-2 Tbsp. milk
Pop the popcorn in your microwave following package directions.  When done pour into a large bowl.  Put Milk Duds in a small bowl and add a little milk.  Melt in the microwave until all melted about 1 minute.  Add a little more milk if needed to make the melted candy pourable.  Pour over the popcorn and toss to coat.  Enjoy this tasty snack on movie night or anytime!  Someone said you could do it with Sugar Babies, too, but I haven't tried it.  

I highly recommend you stock up on Milk Duds and popcorn before trying this.  It is so good you will want to make more especially if you have to share it with others!!!

Bob's healthy lunch for today.

My sticky, chocolatey, caramelly Milk Dud Popcorn "35% less fat" lunch! That's what the Milk Dud box said....

Lightning Strikes!

Carla and Izzy enjoy the view at the end of the Hidden Lakes road.

I found this in my archives as a draft so I don't think I ever posted it.  This happened in July during all our heavy rain storms.  I wrote this as an email to a friend and then decided to use it as a blog so here it is! I didn't take any pictures so this is it.

Awhile ago, we had some weather woes of our own! One Tuesday night, I think, we had a huge electrical storm with some very close lightning strikes.  It reminded me of Milwaukee or the PA mountains and the same thing happened.  I was taking a shower the next morning and all of a sudden there was no water!  It just came in about 10 second spurts and then was off for 20 seconds.  Although the lights never went out during the storm I felt sure we must have been hit by lightning.  I went out to the shop to see how the hot tub was doing and there were all kinds of problems out there.  The garage door was making humming noises and the hot tub was blinking on and off in time to the humming of the door!  Really weird.  Oh, and our phone didn't work either.  The phone guy came the next day and found the trouble about 3000 feet from the house.  The wires were fried!  He got that fixed and Bob called Harry Corkle (his nephew who is a building contractor) to see if he knew what might be our problem in the shop and our pump.  And as you may remember from my blog our road is almost washed out too and our little foot bridge is now completely washed out!  What a mess this weather has made this year!

Harry came to the rescue  this past weekend with big dump trucks of gravel to fix the road and all kinds of electrical stuff to test and repair our wiring.  It took 2 days and much digging up of lines and crawling around in our muddy crawl space to get the job done but in the end he determined that our wiring had been hit 8 places in all!!!  We were down here in Nebraska by the time he and Hughie got done fixing it and called us to tell me they had my hot tub back to heating again!  On the way down here we got to thinking that just maybe we needed to call our insurance man and see if it covered any of our problems!  So Bob called this morning and Yes!  it covered everything, so we are happy!