Monday, December 29, 2008

Over The River ~ And Through The Woods...

To the grand children's house we went. What a road trip we had! It most definitely could have been worse. The trip home had its moments, from blowing and drifting snow - to 48 degrees - to rain, to ice, to snow. Home is such a nice place to be. It was fun seeing the kids on Christmas. We did not tell 3 of our grand children we were coming. They thought we were going to be there the 26th. They were very happy when they opened the door and there we were. Hugs were had all around.
I now have a new computer with a better graphics card, more memory, and loads of hard drive space. Now I just have to get it set up... which means I might be MIA for another week. I just wanted to pop in and say hello... "Hello" ;o).
I do hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. May the New Year bring you all the joy in the world - and can we please throw in some WORLD PEACE for good measure?!
Be Well
I shall return,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

5 Days left

It really is beginning to feel a bit like Christmas. It has been very cold here. Yet I am finally feeling pretty festive. the packages have been sent - most of the goodies have been made... most of the presents are wrapped... and the sun is shining for the first time in about a week. We did not get as much snow as they had been calling for - but this is doable. Hard to believe the temp is zero in these photos. BRRR. We have been keeping the fire going for over a week. Usually, we let it die down during the day... not this week. No way LOL!

I haven't had much time to blog. I had a pretty large order come in a week or so ago. I had to scan 9 images, clean them up... crop etc - then print 3 copies of each. They look great I might add. Then the client wanted me to cut mattes. I have a matte cutter, but have not cut mattes for awhile... and certainly not in that volume. It brought back my college days. We had to matte all our final projects - which was usually 10 to 20 prints. I was a little intimidated when I started yesterday, but amazingly knocked them out in no time. I guess it is more of a challenge when your grade is on the line.

Today will be a fairly easy day. We leave in a few days to go house sit for a friend. It worked out so nicely. We weren't going to be able to go see the kids (grand babies) until the 26th, because of dog sitting issues. A friend called me and asked when were going to be in Bozeman for Christmas. It turns out that they want to spend Christmas at Old Faithful Lodge... (Who Doesn't?). They need someone to stay with their dogs. WOO HOO... we get to see the family ON Christmas. We don't have to pay lodging, and we don't have to pay a dog sitter - cuz the boys are going with us. Talk about luck! I will get to do some final shopping on Tuesday in Helena, and Wednesday in Bozeman. I love where we live, but at this time of year, I miss the ability to spontaneously shop. I don't miss it the rest of the year. I had just gotten into the mindset to get things finished, when we got all this snow and deep freeze. It is not a good idea to travel at such times. Hopefully Tuesday will be a decent day to be out on the roads. We have to go @ 250 miles. We'll have to have the extra snow clothes, food, water etc. It is funny how prepared you have to be when you live someplace like this.

I am sure looking forward to seeing our grand children. They are just too cute. I made this layout yesterday. Actually I only used one scrap element (Barbara ~ Just Passing Through) papers from her wood meets denim -which is my fav kit of hers - so far, because she is always coming up with such fun stuff. Anyway, the print is 8 x 22 inches. I had a really beautiful frame stored. It is a gift for our son and DIL. They don't have alot of artwork in their house, so I thought this would be fun for them. Aren't they just the cutest kids you ever saw. I should have been a little more creative... next time. LOL

Have a Merry Merry Christmas all - and to all a good day!


OH - I almost forgot - I got an award from Crops - Thanks so much - I want to acknowledge and express my appreciation. Woman, you rock!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter is here

The above photos were taken just the other night (at midnight). The moon was almost full, and I was amazed at how bright the meadow was.

This is the official kick off for our winter. We are experiencing 12 degrees (fahrenheit), and going down... and the wind. It snowed last night, so I was happy... now there is a big ole tree across our drive - so maybe NOT so happy. I am not looking forward to clearing it when it is this cold... but as my motto has always been ~ "it is what it is" ... so off we will go.

The saying goes "be careful what you wish for". Maybe I should not have wished so hard for winter LOL. Actually, this will just be a little inconvenient. We are ready for power outages, in case that is the plan. We have 2 bathtubs full of H2) for flushing - 10 gallons of water for drinking - all the wood we could ever need (with a new row of wood laying in the driveway - ARG!!!) We both have cap lights, and many candles and oil lamps... we are set... although I would prefer the power stay on...

I am going to go address Christmas cards, and make goodies... So have a wondrous day out there in scrapland!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Giving Thanks

I just created a page layout, and I wish to thank Carol for her lovely Christmas kit and add ons - go check her out! She Rocks. I know I need to tweak the page some, but it is a start.
Ciao for now - have to go make some dinner.

Beginning to feel a bit like Christmas

Finally, enough snow to make it at least have the illusion of winter - It is not nearly enough in my opinion, but I will take it. It is such a challenge to get into the Christmas festivities, when there is no snow in Northwest Montana. I truly don't mind decorating for the deer - really I don't... I even have visions of late night gatherings of the squirrels, fox, big cats, deer, and elk. I see them singing Christmas carols around that big ole evergreen. I dream about it, really I do. LOL.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. To me, that is something that should be celebrated every day. What I mean is that no matter what your belief is, it is about giving to those less fortunate, and just trying to promote peace and love everyday, in all that you do. The packages and all the things you are "supposed" to do just don't seem to have much of anything to do with the birth of Christ. Serving at a homeless shelter, giving gifts to Toys for Tots, helping those in need - that, to me, is so much more important than filling the wish list of people who already have too much. Do not get me wrong, I do believe in the joy of children when they receive a gift they really want. Augh, I don't know, I just remember a simpler time, as I am sure many people do.

I have been to town twice in the past 2 days, and quite frankly, it just wears me out. I remember how I used to see signs that said "Drive Friendly" when I lived in Texas. I want a big flashy sign to put on my car that says just that. The people in town were just plain crazy. I do have to admit that I did do a pretty impressive job of getting in and out of town on Monday. I had a dentist appointment about 20 miles from where I was shopping. (yes, novocaine and needles were involved, but I survived LOL). I got to Kalispell at 11:00 and had to leave town by 1:30 to make my appointment. I managed to go to the upholstery shop, Walmart, Costco (grabbed lunch at the drive thru) Ace Hardware, The grocery store, and even picked up a Take and Bake pizza on my way out of town. I even got every single thing on my list.

I have about a week before everything has to be finished... guess I should get to it. Hopefully I will have something nice to show at the end of this busy time. Be well all... TTYS

Friday, December 5, 2008

A New Layout - and a pic or two

Happy Christmas,

I spent longer than I should have working on a new layout for a friend's birthday. I challenged myself on this one. One of these days, I will try to think out of the box as far as how I balance things. I tried a tutorial that I found on Barbara's (Just Passing Through). I had never heard of an OOB before reading it on her blog. I kept meaning to get back to it. My example is not as stunning as hers, but for a first time out, and in light of the image I wanted to use, I did OK. I'll get on some of my buffalo, coyote, bear, and moose photos, and see if I can't come up with some cool stuff. I'm running several images through my mind as I type. For now... this is the one I had to work with. That is my story, and I am sticking t it!!! LOL. Other credit goes to Lesley at Digikeepsakes. She does amazing work - check her out. The paper belongs to Vicki Parker (AWP). The frames are from Linda at Bon Scrappit. They are all very talented ladies - and I am so grateful for all their hard work. Go check them out, and leave them so love it you snag any of their goodies.

For you Crops... here is a photo from last year... the tree, which grew a couple feet this year. Note the really HUGE trees behind the house (shadows). Hope they never fall on us!

This is my exploding Christmas tree - I was experimenting... LOL - kind of like my head after the holidays!

This last one is nothing special, I just like the sparkly stuff.

I am off to go hang some more decs for the deer. Have a lovely evening, and please try to stay warm.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Layout using Barbara's Wood Meets Denim

Where oh where has Eilajean been. Busy Busy Busy! I took some time away from the mountain of work on my desk to play with Barbara's Wood Meets Denim kit. Hop on over to her blog to pick it up. Being a Montana girl, I do truly love my blue jeans. I have a feeling there will be much more for me to use this kit for.

Montana Winter is trying to get here... and I surly wish it would. By now we are usually draped in a blanket of white. Not true this year. They keep promising snow, but it always seems to bypass us. I am still hopeful that we will have a white Christmas.

While I was looking for photos to use in the above layout, I came across some photos of what winter usually feels like in parts of Montana. The first one is from the Beartooth Highway - leading into Yellowstone Park. It is closed in the winter, but people ski there, and ride snow mobiles. It is one of the most beautiful places I know of.

The second is one of my favorite "stop the car" photos. We were driving on US 89 toward Yellowstone. The clouds were amazing, as they were lifting off the mountain. I shot it in Black and White. I processed the film myself in the darkroom. Unfortunately, when the film was in the drying closet, another person opened it without turning it off. My roll was horribly scratched. This is why I truly do love Photoshop.

Speaking of Photoshop... I recently was helping my daughter-in-law get her feet wet with digital scrapbooking. They are her children in the "first snow" layout I did. Anyway, she does not have Photoshop or any photo manipulation software for that matter. I did a google search, and found GIMP. I don't know if anyone is familiar with it, but it is a pretty cool program. I downloaded it to compare it with PS. It has many similar qualities... except that it is free. Free is good... LOL. One thing I really like is that you can open images as a layer. Am I missing something - is that possible in Photoshop? The reason I am even bringing this up... we all know someone who likes to scrapbook - not necessarily "design" but just play with photos and create pages. This would be a great tool for someone just starting out. It also opens png and psd files, which I think is just cool!

We are just starting to get the Christmas decs going. We have the lights on the house - but sill have the 40 foot tree left to wrap in lights... NOT FUN! It is beautiful though, so I suppose it is worth the effort. I just can't for the life of me figure out why we go to so much effort for the deer - who are the only ones who see it... Spoiled wildlife - that's all I've got to say.

I do get excited about Christmas... once the shopping is done. Monday is a trip to the dentist... and I am sure some shopping will be involved. Then, it is onto the cookies. I made magnets last year, now I have to come up with a new idea. Here are the images I used for them. These flowers were all from photos taken on film. I love when film meets digi...

Sorry it has been so long - I will try to be better, but I can promise nothing. LOL! Have a great day!



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let Our Troops Know We Care

As we sit down to eat our Thanksgiving meal, let us remember the men and women that don't have that comfort of family, now and throughout the holiday season. It only takes a second to let them know we appreciate what a sacrifice they all make for our freedom. It is so little to ask... Freedom isn't free... and so many have paid the ultimate price. Look for ways, beyond this to make the holidays better for them.

I found navigation to be strange - so here is the link

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Gift for Crops - (3rd day in a row!)

I am dedicating this mornings post to Miss Carol (Crops2Dawn Creations). If you have not gone to meet the woman, you should. She is awesome... and fun. She has been at battle (figure of speech) with her sisters over the Thanksgiving Dinner. they decided this year to have clams... CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT?

Needless to say, Carol was not thrilled with this concept. Check out her blog, and go back a few posts to get the story. You can also find all the elements and papers used in this layout on her site. Take a cruise down the page to the bottom. She has some absolutely STUNNING fall images.

So, in honor of your quest for a turkey on your table, I present you this layout.

We do get wild turkeys in the yard. The boys love to stare at them though the the bedroom window. Morgan even chased one a year or so ago. I did not know that Turkeys could fly. Yep, they can. LOL.

Max is the one with the "flying nun" ears. I am thinking that his ears should have been clipped and pinned as a pup... but since his first owners tossed his litter by a river (only 2 pups survived), I doubt his ears were a consideration. Some people can be so ignorant. But I will just stay out of that chat room for now.

I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it... I know I am truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for. Have a drumstick for me Crops!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TWO in one day?!

Wow! I was visiting some of my favorite blogs. Apparently as I was having my "snapfish" psychotic break... I missed Barbara Lee's Birthday! This makes me feel pretty terrible, especially since she made me the most BEAUTIFUL card - (by the way Barbara, where did you get that kit - I really like it). I used one of her wonderful kits to make her an "I am a NUKLHEAD" card. I sure hope you had a great day! Barbara gets credit for the kits - Go check out her work, she is awesome... a southern girl with a western flare, and a very kind heart. If you decide to download her work, remember your manners, and leave her some love! Hmmm where have I heard that before?!


Note To Self....

Good Morning. This is my reason for a "note to self". I often find myself driving to or from town, thinking to myself "Self - I sure wish I had my camera". Swan Lake is simply beautiful at sunset, and do you think I have a photo of it. NO, of coarse not! I suppose I have a paranoia of leaving my camera in my vehicle while shopping. I guess that is from too many years in the city. Also, in my own defense, it is really cold here, and cold temps are not good for the camera. The reason I mention this is the photo above. I took this last Saturday (Nov 15) when I was returning from the wedding. I had stopped at the top of the drive to pick up the newspaper. It was that time of day when the sun, setting over the Mission Mountains, was bouncing it's light off the Swan Mountain range to the east. As you can see, the golden larch have been replaced by snow on the peaks. I just wish we had some in the valleys too.

Now, on to the business of a couple of layout pages:

Leaf paper care of Amy Sumrall from her Fall Splendor part of the blog party. I just love this paper! I actually double layered this , rotated the top layer 180 degrees, and erased the bottom half to give it a full circle of leaves. It was perfect for their wedding setting. You will see this paper again, as I used it in 3 layouts.

This is a QP created by Linda Walton (Bon Scrappit). Check her out if you have not already. She is very creative, and talented.
Wordart by Vanessa Fellows - hers is an interesting site, worth a look. Lots of tuts, freebies, and everyday life stuff. Paper ~ Amy Sumrall ~ I meant it when I said I liked it!

This quick page is called Modern Vintage, by
Kim Smith.

I created the best friends image, the frames are Linda Walton's and the paper, of coarse... Amy Sumrall.

I have a great deal of admiration and respect for all the designers out there. I am humbled by the vast talent!

What I do alot of in Photoshop:

I have a mental block when it comes to how you all create such amazing scrap stuff in Photoshop. I mainly use it for image editing. Below is an example of "The Kiss"... I will show the original first, then the fixed image... can you pick out the differences. It is not a quiz, I promise.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hello there, from Eilajean, the very bad BLOGGER!

Good morning Scrapland! I have been missing in action, and am now returning to sanity. Above are a few morning visitors from a few days ago. This photo was taken from my living room window. What you cannot see, or hear... is the whining and carrying on of two black dogs. They get so excited when the elk show up. I have to admit, so do I. I just don't run through the house like they do - from window to window. The deer don't phase them, but these ladies are quite another story.

My Photoshop is working, and I am a happy camper. There is still a good bit for me to figure out, but that is part of the fun. What it can do with Camera Raw images is amazing.

The book... Oh, the book. It was very taxing to learn the program in Snapfish, but I mostly prevailed. I was able to get it in on time to get to free book. I did some scrap pages, and I also used some of their tools. I just didn't have the time or mojo to create 20 pages. I will try to post some of the pages in a day or two. I did have an issue. (which thankfully was resolved.) The mother of the bride, who is a friend of mine, came over to check out the final project. We discussed a couple changes, and proceeded to order the book (including a copy for her). Yep, we ordered the book, without making the changes. It was really not a big deal. The big deal came the next day (yesterday) when I was looking at the book one more time. I have a habit of adding an extra "e" to Novemeber ~ see what I mean!? I do it to September as well... (HELLO EILA - SPELL CHECK!) It might have been OK, except it was on the cover of the book.

Thank You Mrs Miles for the guilded leaves - Also Thank You Barbara (Just Passing Through) for the papers - And Linda Walton - Bon Scrappit (aka Bobby's Girlfriend) for the frame. The wedding theme was a "fall" festivity... sunflowers and leaves. It was beautiful, and I liked this page for a cover. This is not meant to be the official wedding album, it was meant to be a fun book with photos of the happy event, and the festivities that followed (my gift to the happy couple). I think we did it justice.

On to the rest of the story... I realized I have made a dreadful mistake. 24 hours had passed since I ordered the book. They cannot stop an order once it has been placed. They do, however have a 110% Satisfaction Guaranteed. (which they had blown out of the gate, so I was going to make this work. I am no quitter. Have I mentioned this before?) I called the 800 number, and stayed on hold for 1 1/2 hours, yes you see that correctly! I have a headset, so I was not stopped from cleaning house, making, and eating lunch - the usual things one does when on hold. Thank goodness, there was no musac, only silence. When the young lady came on the line, I explained the problem. She credited me with another free book, and sent me to a place to get a label (online) to return the bad book when it arrives. I was then able to go back in and reorder it (corrected, of coarse). Whew, a disaster avoided! Snapfish redeemed themselves, although I do not believe I will be using them for books in the future. It is just not user friendly enough for me. There were limitations I found frustrating.

I am going to have to try Inkubook next. They seem more reasonably priced. My project for the winter is to create two family photo books, hubby's and mine. They will make great Christmas gifts, (next year). I am a huge fan of finding the Christmas gifts throughout the year... I have a closet shelf in our guest room filled with my acquisition thus far. We travel to see the grand kids a week or two before Christmas, so I always have to be finished early. I make chocolate covered pretzels, cashews (have to do something with the last little bit of chocolate at the bottom of the double boiler) - and I also make these WONDERFUL peanut butter chocolate cookies. I use Ritz Crackers (reduced fat ~ they are flakier!) and peanut butter (I used to use Reese's PB, but can no longer find it - which is a true bummer, because it was the BEST!) I make a plate full of sandwiches from the crackers and PB, and dip one at a time in chocolate almond bark. I put on a wax paper covered cookie sheet... let them come to room temp... the chocolate hardens, and you have an amazing treat! They are a favorite. My chocolate factory goes through about 20 pounds of almond bark every holiday season... I kid you not!

This is getting a little long, and I have an appointment with the dentist today, so I should sign off... and say thank you to the ladies who have pooped in to say hello.

ARG!!! I almost forgot. I got another award from the lovely Crops. TY TY TY. (Do you like how I associated dentist with you Crops?!)

I know I am a slacker, and I apologize for not acknowledging it sooner. I do appreciate it. I am supposed to pass it on to seven people, but I am not sure if 7 people total read my rantings. I do appreciate the ones who do. I find that it is nice to meet people who are from different places, with similar passions. You all know who you are, and now you can snag this if you want, cuz it it meant for you. I know, I am terrible at passing on those "pass it on to 10 people" emails too. I may forward them, but I delete the "sent it to 10 people" thing. The ones that make me laugh are the ones that say if you send it to all of your friends, and they send it back, it means you have lots of friends... I don't have LOTS of friends, but I so cherish the few I have... does that make sense? I have friends who I have known for over 30 years... it is not quantity, it IS quality. I have met some quality folks in "bloggerville" and I am thankful for that!

Have an amazing day! I will do the same - 15 degrees and sunny this morning... BRRR!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Home Alone

Have any or all ever seen Home Alone? Remember Macauley Culkin? There is the scene when he screams. Classic movie moment... that is me. I will resurface soon... ARGGG! Snapfish is the pits - I recommend it to no one!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Success At Last

Is it Saturday already? Whew - where on earth did the time go. I (the one who is not a quitter-LOL) have been fighting with my computer. I won! After the whole Photoshop fiasco, I decided to download the trial. (while I wait for my son to deliver mine). When I first got the Photoshop, I had loaded the trial while waiting for the disposition of my case with Adobe. I used it twice, and it just quit working. I would open it, it would come up - an close immediately. So, I removed it from my computer. (or so I thought!). Long story short - the new Photoshop program, like AOL, always leaves a part of itself behind. After six days I was finally able to get the entire thing off my computer - reload - and we are back in business - YAY. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it is definitely faster. It will be fun to get to work on it... later.

I am headed out to a wedding today. I am going to shoot the event for the bride (my gift). My plan is to develop a book for her as the rest of the gift. I have a free book from Snapfish, if I get it ordered by tomorrow at midnight - so I know what I will be doing tomorrow... post-production. I'll be back in a couple of days, and hopefully will have something of interest to share.

ciao until then...


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

Woo Hoo! The Photoshop arrived. Boo Hoo... I can't use it. I checked to see if I could upgrade from CS, which they said I could... and I COULD, if I had the"stand alone" version ~ which they failed to mention. But do not feel sad for me. I have another plan... Since my son is a college student, for a few more months, I am just going to have him buy it for me at the student price (the STAND LONE) version - which will actually cost me less than the upgrade cost at full price. Adobe has agreed to refund my money - they are destroying my serial number, so it can't be used. Again - fine by me. It is useless to me anyway. I did get to play with it for a few minutes before it became inactive (using it as a trial version). It has some cool attributes for editing images. They did take away the contact sheet and the picture package, which I actually use. So, now I am in a quandary. I can always leave my CS on the computer for those two things or just have the "boy" get me the CS3... which I can upgrade later - perhaps on CS8 or something - because, I will have the STAND ALONE version... LOL!!!!

Hummie (of
Hummie's World) posed an interesting question about backing up your files. Where? It got me to thinking how much trouble some scrappers have had with viruses, and crashing systems. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I have 2 external hard drives (which have been known to fail - not mine - but I have heard sad tales of this). I spent yesterday, and today burning all my scrap stuff to DVDs... which wasn't too time consuming, as I only download from a few designers. I also decided to get all my photos backed up to DVD. HOLY TOLEDO!!! I have 97.67 GB of photos on my computer. I decided to move them all to one drive and go from there. I have a few duplicates, but figure I can sort that out later, now that I have them all backed up. I wait for Costco to have a coupon for "buy-one-get-one-free" dvds... so I have plenty. I just do not know what I would do if I crashed. I ask a great deal of my computer, and am surprised it hasn't a million times over. Today, I feel accomplished! Next is the task of deleting the ones I don't want, and filing them in a better order. At least now I am safe, and can get to the rest of it.

I made that Artisan bread last week, and it was quite tasty. I am now trying out the theory that the bread dough can be frozen, so I will report on that later.

It has been rainy for days and days. The mountains just returned... yay. I am off to build a fire and just try to stay warm. Have a great day, and don't forget our Veterans tomorrow. They make our lives so much better!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

First Snow

We did not get the snow we were expecting - which is fine by me. I did receive a photo of three of our grand kids having some fun with the first snow of the year. The date was actually in October... but anytime is a good time to build a snowman - grass and all! I used Vicki AWP's Merry Mistletoe kit, which is available at Scrap 'N Art in the November/December issue... it is worth taking a moment to register. There are loads of interesting tips, ideas and the occasional kit. Check it out!

I had a pretty laid back Birthday. Hubby took me to dinner at our fav local restaurant - the ONLY local restaurant. It was yummy, and we ran into some friends, so I rather enjoyed myself. Thanks for the happy birthday wishes here and in my email. Y'all ROCK! No I have to go see if I can find some Photoshop CS4 in my mailbox...

Funny Story - Hubby ordered the CS4 well in time for my bday - but it had not been released, and shipping was delayed. It obviously was not a secret - but he made the cutest page to wrap as my gift. Do you remember the old game of Concentration (TV show?) Here is his attempt. I thought it was funny. It did take me a minute to figure out how it connected, but I got there.

Typical engineer!!!

Time to go do something productive.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Houston - We Have Lift off!

My photo is not the usual work of art... but the bread sure was quite tasty ~ thank you very much! I feel quite accomplished! I did add a bit of Rosemary to the dough (in the liquid before ever adding the flour). It added a subtle taste that I quite like. We did have the virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. It was a lovely compliment to our steaks. I am glad I gave it the second try. It was well worth it. Thank you Mrs. Miles for sharing!

I am so relieved that we have finally finished with the wood. It brings my heart such joy, as well as my back. LOL! They are calling for snow tonight, so it is none to soon. Snow, I am not sure if I am ready for snow, but I guess when you live in Northwest Montana, it is inevitable. On thing for certain, we will stay warm.

Yesterday, I took a stroll down to the neighbors place with the dogs. Max is quite the "crazy dog" when he gets on a mad run! Fortunately he has never run into me. I am thinking he could do some serious damage. Today I played around and made a layout. I used Barbara's (Just Passing Through) Autumn Leaves papers and frames, Olivia Dorazio created the guilded leaves, and the font I used is Guttenburg MF. Max is in the front (duh!) and Morgan is bringing up the rear.

I'm a little boring today. The fire is lit, and I think I am going to wrap up in a blanket and hang out by the fire. Have an awesome evening everyone!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Great Bread Adventure

Here is where we stand on the "great bread adventure" ~ Saturday was out of the question as I had a reaction to my flu shot. I found myself in bed the entire day. I am much better now. Yesterday, I realized I had no yeast, so I made plans to go to the Mercantile to get it (well before noon). As I was preparing to head out, I got a phone call from a friend who needed my help locating a file on her computer. Two hours later, I was able to get to the store. I returned home pulled out the ingredients, and mixed the H2O with the yeast and Kosher salt (yes - have Kosher salt for Christmas Prime Rib). I also broke up some Rosemary to have inside the bread. Ready for the flour... Silly Eileen, "YOU KNOW you should measure things out on the side just in case ~ "Ring Ring" your niece calls and has questions about her company logo and gift certificates you are helping her create... too late, flour is in water, was that the 2nd half cup or the 4th - equaling two cups? Oh I don't know, let's just split the difference!"

Oh, did I mention? Genius me (who should have probably stayed in bed yesterday too... ) decided wheat flour would be better than white... I used to make bread years ago... that hard stuff where you kneed - punch down - let it rise some more... etc" I knew - back then that you could do as much as 1/2 the wheat flour to the 1/2 white flour - as in 3-ish cups of wheat to 3 1/4-ish cups of white. Now do you think Eileen gave that any thought at all while she was putting the flour into the water instead of a side bowl for accuracy. Oh no, that would make too much sense! Do you think Eileen plugged the words "can I substitute wheat flour for white flour in bread recipes?" into a google search - Oh no... again too logical. Had I done so... this is what I would have found out:
Can I substitute whole-wheat flour in an all white flour bread recipe?

href="" rel="nofollow">FAQ-Food Processors

Yes. You can substitute up to 50% whole wheat flour for white flour in the bread recipe that is in your food processor instruction book. So, if your recipe calls for 4 cups all-purpose flour, you can use 2 cups whole-wheat flour plus 2 cups all-purpose.

The real bummer is that I planned dinner around this bread. I made Spaghetti sauce, mine to be served on spaghetti squash - hubby's on linguine... a lovely salad and so hoped to have this amazing bread for the garlic bread.

So today I start from scratch, as I am NO QUITTER! Have I mentioned that before? ROFL!!!!

an added note - the bread has been mixed and is on the rise. It is a sunny day in the neighborhood - after buckets of rain yesterday. Mr E and I are headed out to finish up the work. We would have finished Saturday, but half the work crew was down (me).

Tomorrow is election day in the states. So all you Americans get your butts out and vote. It matters! When I wake up on my birthday (Wednesday) I want it to be a happy one - so vote for the "correct" candidate please... and I am not going to tell you who that is in my opinion... I have to laugh... on way too many occasions, we get phone calls from one of the parties asking who we plan to vote for. I know it what they do, but if our votes weren't to be private, why then do we go into the booth and close the curtain, and seal our vote anonymously? Just curious!?

Have a happy one everyone, I am off to play in the woods.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Even a Blonde Can Be Taught LOL!!!

Boy Howdy! I decided I would take on the task of snagging some Blinkies. You went to the trouble of having them made, or making them yourselves, I felt I should bring them on over to my page. Simple enough... NO! Not so much. One thing that can be said for me - I am not a quitter. (...And... I am definitely HTML code CHALLENGED) I may not do it the easiest way, but I will get it done. First of all, let me clear something up. I know I have a long list of Blinkies on my site. That is correct. How did I get them there? I went to pages that had them... with links that worked... and snagged the source code... that was the easy route. Today I actually had to use a few extra brain cells. But (Happy Dance) I am pleased to say I did it - checked the links and (YAHOO) they work! A couple didn't have links, so I had to save the picture to my desktop - load into my photobucket - grab the HTML code - copy and paste into my widget - grab the page address, link it and "wala" - well sort of. They kept linking to my photobucket... so I had to use a few more brain cells... delete the first part of my code to the image... confused? Me too... but they are there, an they work.

Mrs. Miles, who is one of my favorite reads, has some great bread ideas on her site. I don't need to link to her on this one... just on principle. You can get there from her BLINKIE!!! Anyway, go to her OCT 20th post. She links you to a site with an easy (no knead) artisan bread. "Why is she telling us this" you might ask? Yesterday I went to town. I picked up a pizza stone for this project, an am planning to give it a shot this weekend. If I don't totally embarrass myself with this attempt, I will post photos. We will just have to see how it goes.

There are two days left before it is supposed to turn down right ugly outside... so I am off to get the rest of the yard work done. I thought I would share a few fun photos with you.

My Hubby and I were married in New Zealand. Wow, I love that place. It reminds me of Montana with shoreline. One of my favorite days was spent in The Catlins (besides the wedding in Arthur's Pass, of coarse!) We were there in March, which is their Fall. We were on the South Island, so it was a little cooler than up north. It was a wondrous place. At some point I will post other photos, but for now, I want to concentrate on this one spot. We were on a beach (Cannibal Bay), by ourselves. The only company we had were a few seals and sea lions flopped around on the beach. I came across a scene between a mama and baby sealion. It was quite comical. It was so easy to to give it captions. One thing I want to point out - the photo quality is SO SO. The reason for this is that I was a total amateur at the time. (No formal education). I say this because I have always had an "eye". I often see the world around me as a photo... but I did not have the mechanics down so well. I did not know that when shooting with color film, you want to buy the professional film and cut the ISO in half. The photos themselves printed nicely, but when scanning the negatives, I find I am working with a lower quality image. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Let the fun begin

They are so cute when they are young

Then... they learn to "talk back"

Does this feel like anything familiar (mom's of teens?)

A moment of peace - ?

Or not!!!


And so am I LOL ~ Have a great day!!!


An amendment to the original post:

Carol has pointed out the photo I seem to have left out - so she used her creative talent to finish the story... Thanks for the additional insight!!! ROFL!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A little side trip

We had company for a couple of days. This morning, we went to breakfast and headed to Seeley Lake to button up the last bit of chores there. I just love when the lake is calm! It was only 32 degrees F (I am metrically challenged... is that ZERO C?) It is back to the wood lot for us. Only four more days to get this done. Everybody have a super fantastic day!
oops! I almost forgot... in honor of the upcoming 19th anniversary of my 29th birthday, DH is gtting me an upgrade for Photosop CS. WOO HOO - the new CS4 is out, and I am SYKED!!!!! I love all that CS3 has to offer (tried the free 30 day trial) but am glad I held out for "4". This is me doing the happy dance around my computer!!! It gives me the stregnth to go pile wood chunks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This, That, and a really tired back!

Fall seems to almost be finished... but the brilliance of the Tamaracks is as stunning as ever! Hunting season has started... not my favorite time. Our older dog Morgan just does not like the sound of gunshots. It started about 3 years ago. Thunder doesn't phase him, but let him hear a faint sound WAYYY in the distance, and he is in full panic mode. Fourth of July is NO fun... We actually have "doggy Valium" for him for that special event. Max, couldn't care less... So for a little while today, I have been forced indoors with a scared little boy.

We have been busily putting up firewood. The shed is full, but we have a few really big ones left to clean up. Carol, are you jealous? LOL - with 2 stoves, you are going to need serious wood! The above photo is the wood-lot currently. That 3rd row will be full by the end of the day... and a fourth row will be in place by the end of the week. Mr Weatherman says it is going to get bad by Sunday. THANK GOODNESS!!!!! I am not sure my back can do another week of this. Ponderosa Pine and Tamaracks are not kind when it comes to the sheer volume of their branches. So far, we have 2 piles (each over 6'7" - hubby's height). Yes, I helped drag them, and pile them. After the first good snowfall, we are going to have a couple serious "bonfires" going. Get out the s'mores can.... (remind me to get back to that... have some new s'mores ideas I will share later in the post. I am thankful that we do have a wood splitter. Hubby runs it while I play "jenga" with the cut wood. It is so sappy and knotty - so I have to twist and turn pieces just so, in order to make the pile secure... few things are as un-fun as when the pile falls over. YUK! So this is where I have been since - hmmm- what day is this, and when did I last post.... tired back, tired brain! LOL!

And there is Max, he likes to help pick up the sticks... but he is not so gifted at getting them onto the piles... in fact I think I have seen him taking the sticks out of the piles. BAAADDD MAX.

Now a little s'mores FYI. A friend came to visit our cabin this summer. We have a cute little s'mores kit.

Isn't it too cute. Ours looks different, but you get the idea. I Had to try and google this to find it. They show up every now and then at Target. Anyway, we keep ours stocked with the marshmallows, Hershey's Chocolate, and Graham crackers. YUMMMM!!!! Just what I need - NOT. Anyway, my best good friend came to hang with us this summer. Se had a new take on them. CHOCOLATE graham crackers, CHOCOLATE marshmallows... and WHITE CHOCOLATE - or - Cookies and Cream candy bars. Now those were good!

Speaking of "GOOD"

I was watching the CBS EARLY SHOW yesterday (I think - I really do have my days messed up) - Anyway, here is a link to some really YUMMY sounding things to do with Pumpkin.

I am talking "VERY YUM!"

Well, time has come for me to head out to the"wood-lot" Keep a good thought for me. I sure wish my niece, who is a Massage therapist in PA, was here to help me out... Oh well, as they say, "it is what it is".