Sunday, November 28, 2010

23 Days!

As some of you know I've been doing a countdown to my vacation home since about mid September. Now we're down to 23 days and I'm just so excited. I know I haven't written a blog in so long and its not because I've been super busy really, I've just not felt like writing. Poor excuse I know but sometimes you are in the mood to spill your guts and other times you just aren't. Even now I'm sort of blase about writing anything but I feel like I should since its been so long.

I'm trying to think of all the things in Cheyenne I want Mace to see. How do you show your fiance everything from you childhood in a measly two weeks back home? I guess there really is no way. I know he wants to see a few of the museums, the base, my neighborhoods and see the places that are special to me but there just isn't enough time and I know we both want to take the time to enjoy Christmas with my mom. Mom is trying to find her groove with holidays without dad and I know its really hard. I think she is really looking forward to Mace coming down with me because at least that means there will be a guy in the house and some of our traditions will be more normal. It just seems so weird going home to a place where dad is not there to greet us and be a part of the festivities. Seems so empty. Mom and I did our best last year to keep things light and fun but I have to admit it was hard for both of us. At least with Mace there to add his two cents to the conversations and keep football on the tv it will seem a bit more normal.

Well I really can't think of much more to say at the moment. So I'll leave you with my countdown and hope that tomorrow or the next day I'll have something more interesting to talk about.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tribute to Mom

I may not always say the right things to tell you how much I love you, so I thought this poem captured my own thoughts nicely. Happy Mothers Day!

Mom, I look at you
and see a walking miracle.
Your unfailing love without limit,
your ability to soothe my every hurt,
the way you are on duty, unselfishly,
every hour, every day,
makes me so grateful
that I am yours, and you are mine.

With open arms and open heart,
with enduring patience and inner strength,
you gave so much for me,
sometimes at your expense.

You are my teacher,
my comforter, my encourager,
appreciating all, forgiving all.
Sometimes I took you for granted, Mom,
but I don’t now, and I never will again.
I know that everything I am today
relates to you and your loving care.

I gaze in wonder
as I watch you being you—
my miracle, my mother.

By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hard Month for Friends Back Home

Though my thoughts have mostly been turned to work and the nice weather I've had recently, this month has been full of grieving and sadness for some of my friends back home in Cheyenne. It seems as though all bad things come in sets of three. First my friend Mario's father died suddenly and without warning one afternoon, then this past week Bennett Grant a family friend and fellow St. Mary's parishioner passed away, and today I received word that one of my best friend's uncle passed away and she and her family are traveling back to New York for his funeral this weekend.

My heart certainly breaks for the pain and sadness these people are going through and I just wanted to leave a little note that if you guys have a spare moment to send some prayers to these folks and their families I know it would be appreciated.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cocoa and Coffee

My giant pumpkin plant is doing terrifically in the green house. Its up to about 8 leaves and I had to move it up into a bigger pot so the root system didn't run out of room to grow. Mace is still diddling around with his version of "blue prints" for the hoop house he wants to build out the garden. I have an excellent idea on how to do it so we can reuse the structure year after year but apparently this is a "guys" job. Talk about a dumb thing to be egotistical about. Never mind that I've had 3 years of calc, 2 years of advanced trig, and have put that knowledge to good use building reusable seedling cages for aspen up here. Oh well... sometimes it just better to leave things alone. I think there are times that I forget that I'm used to just getting things done and don't really think about that it might not be the girly thing to do. My parents didn't raise a 20 lb weakling that has to be pampered. But maybe there are things like this out there that make guys feel more primal or something... who knows???

But the point is the garden stuff is doing great and thriving despite the cold. I'm always so thankful that Polly has such a nice big green house to start all our seeds in. It really gives us a jump on the growing season which is way to short anyway.

Hmmm other news. I drove into Missoula with Mace Monday evening. He had a doctor's appointment with the neurologist to see if he couldn't get something done about the nerves in his face, jaw, and neck that have been giving him such grief for the past couple years. The doctor basically said that he thought after looking at the CT scans and Mace's neck MRI from a year or so ago that the problem was a chemical imbalance in his nervous system. Basically his neurons are firing inconstantly which is causing overactivity, hypersensitivity, and then of course major major pain. So now Mace is starting up a regiment of different meds that should even out that body chemistry and help. He's supposed to go back in 6 weeks and see where his is from there. If he is still experiencing the same level of pain the doctor is going to order either a PET scan or a full cranial MRI to see if there is something physiologically wrong that the other scans may have missed. We're hopeful that the meds just do the trick and we are able to move on from there. I really feel bad for Mace though, because these are some serious medications they are messing with his body pretty bad though all that should even out as well. I've never seen him so hyper though. Whenever I see him its like hes about ready to jump out of his own skin. So if you all have a minute or two keep him in your prayers and hope that he gets to feeling better soon.

Thats about it from my end of the world. Here are some pictures of Mace's niece and nephew doing some egg searching from Easter. I thought they were cute so why not share. Love you all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We Eloped!!!

Ha ha ... made you read! Happy April Fools Day! Anyone that actually would believe that Mace and I would have eloped doesn't know us very well. Though we've been engaged a really long time there is no way in hell we'd just go and get married without our family and friends... so no worries. And if any of my family is reading this I swear we really didn't do it.

It has been a long and miserable morning for me. I was out in the woods by 3 am and got got home just a few minutes ago. While the time frame itself wasn't a bad thing the weather certainly was. I'm not prone to getting cold even when in 8 feet of snow but when its down pouring the entire time you are out in the woods the cold just seeps into your bones. I usually enjoy my mornings out and about. But there is something about seeing the sky get light but not actually seeing a sunrise because of the rain and fog that is a bit depressing. I tell you GPS is an amazing technology. I was in one of my study sites in literally the middle of nowhere and the fog was so thick that I couldn't even see the trees 10 feet in front of my, but my GPS knew exactly where I was and in what direction I needed to travel to get to my next study plot. I think most people would get really nervous in that position but I had faith in my tools and got home safe and sound.

So here I sit at 1:30 in the afternoon on a very wet, very dreary, and very foggy day and I haven't a clue what to do with myself. I need the bookmobile to show up so I can get some new reading material. On days like this I've found that I spend entirely too much time playing Mafia Wars on Facebook. Who ever knew I'd get a kick out of "boosting loot from a rival mafia boss"? Its way too addicting. But anyway... think I need to go do something productive. Happy 1ST of April everyone!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last Day of March Already???

It seems as though time is flying by entirely too fast these days. While I feel like every individual day creeps along I can see by the date on the calender that the year is speeding by. The other observation that I am continuing to make is that I'm tired. Granted I'm not one that sleeps a bunch and my work schedule is such that I flip flop between working days and working nights which can't be good for my sleep in general but still I don't think I should be as tired as I feel. By the time I come home, be it in the morning or in the evening, both my body and mind are exhausted and I'm not sure why. I'm still forcing myself to do other stuff in the course of my day because it seems like the right thing to do but really I think I need about a 36 hour nap.

Aside from that there isn't a whole lot going on with me right now. I've started all my vegetable plants for my garden and am hoping to be able to take them out of the greenhouse and plant them by mid April (if the weather keeps cooperating). My pumpkin plant is already 2 feet long and sprouting new leaves like crazy. I had to put it in a big 5 gallon pot so that the roots didn't get sick from lack of space. I'm still hoping that I'll end up with a 700 lb gourd this year. Mace and I are going to build a hoop house for it out in his garden so that even if we have some cold nights the plant wont freeze. While I'm glad we started it earlier there are some tricks to it that we have to take into consideration since we still can't plant it for another couple weeks.

On a side note? Does anyone have a really good recipe for shortbread cookies? I tried one that I found the other day online and I just wasn't that happy with it. I want something super buttery like I've had in English Shortbreads over the years. I know they aren't good for me but I think it would be something kind of fun to do as an Easter cookie. So if anyone knows of one feel free to let me know.

With that I think I best be getting off of here and take a shower. I still smell like moss and tree sap from work but figured I'd post something on here before getting too comfy and possibly falling asleep. Love you all and wish you a happy last day of March 2010.

Friday, March 26, 2010


So for the last couple years I've been playing around with some serious baking. I've always loved doing it and I find it quite relaxing after a hectic work week. It makes me think of my mom, sister and grandma. And Mace has been very encouraging of this passion of mine. Of course he is the one that usually benifits from the goodies I make so I think he has a dual purpose. So for this reason we decided to go in 50/50 and buy some nifty kitchen gadgets that we'll both use for the rest of our lives. I'm talking some serious toys here.

I had an older Kitchenaid plain and simple stand mixer for the last couple years and while it did anything I asked of it I could tell it was starting to lose its will to survive especially when I made Divinity. Figuring I would be baking for the rest of my life in some capacity we decided to upgrade to a fancy schmancy 575 watt 6 quart professional series Kitchenaid stand mixer. All I can say is OMG!!! I've been playing with it for the past week and love it! I've made pasta, chiffon cake w/ super fluffy orange frosting, a couple batches of Divinity right after another, and pizza dough to die for. And I'm planning on using it this evening to make dinner rolls and cinamon rolls to feed 40 people for tomorrow's family bbq. I tell you its fabulous and I'm not quite sure how I lived so long without it. Mine looks just like this one --->

Before buying the monster of stand mixers, we also decided to try a Kitchenaid professional series food processor. Again OMG!!! We've been shredding potatoes for hash browns, carrots for salads, and producing fresh salsa for when we had tacos the other night. This think has everything but the kitchen sink! Two weeks ago I made a pie crust that literally melted in your mouth with this sucker and I'm never going to use a bowl and fork again to make crust. Mace has also been using this like crazy and is really finding an interest in cooking and baking as well. Its kind of fund having something to do together in the evenings. I'll have to start taking pictures of my goodies and posting them on here.

With these two gadgets I seriously think I could open up a local bakery and do well but that will be later on in life. The good news though is that these two babies will last a lifetime and hopefully I'll be able to pass them on to my daughters if I'm so blessed if/when I have kids. As if I needed extra encouragement to spend time in the kitchen. I'm like a little kid in a candy shop now and keep scouring the Food Network website for new and interesting recipes to try out. So if any of you have any suggestions let me know... I'm giddy and totally ready for some baking challenges!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forsaken Blog

My Blog my blog... why have I forsaken you? Well to put it bluntly I've had a lot of other shitake to do. But because the weather is getting nicer, I'm spending more and more time out in the field, and I actually get some form of relaxation out of writing on here I do believe I'll be a bit more vigilant about writing once again.

Those reading this blog might recall I live in a land where in most winters I get 10+ feet of snow. Not so much this year. I don't think I've had more than 2 feet total and not a single flake since about mid January. El Nino has really put a damper on my winter snow fun activities. On the positive side however, the lack of massive amounts of snow meant a much easier winter field season for me. I was able to track and tag 4 lynx this year which beats my all time best of 2 in a season the first year I worked up here. All the little kitties are happy and healthy except for the fact that they are inbreeding just a bit too much. It doesnt just happen in the South anymore.... sorry couldn't resist that dig.

Another positive side to the lack of snow is that my garden has been thawed out for a month and I've already started my seeds for this season's Giant Pumpkin. I'm getting about a 2 month jump on the sucker and am hoping that with this much time in the ground I'll be able to have a 700 lb pumpkin to take to the Portland weigh off in the Fall. I know I'm a dork but I can't help it. Growing these giants is a ton of work but they are so much fun too. So don't knock it til you have the guts to try it. This picture was taken a couple days ago when it first sprouted. Now it already has three other leaves and I need to get a hoop house built out in the garden and get it planted before it completely outgrows its pot.

Well I think this is a good start so far. It's probably best if I leave it at that for now so that I'm encouraged to write more later. Hope everyone is well and enjoying spring.