Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Big Horns, Take Two

I took hundreds of pictures while on the Big Horns last week. Although I do not have the talent or the equipment of many of my friends, I enjoy it immensely. So, let's travel once again across the wonderful roads and trails of the Big Horn Mountains.
Twilight at Burgess Junction
Beautiful streams and glens adorn the Big Horns. I don't think I could ever get too much of them!
Fish in a small lake
The view from on top, somewhere east (I think) of Burgess Junction
Fields of purple lupine in the meadows on the Greybull highway; it would have been much, much brighter about 2 weeks ago.
Laurence and his beautiful, ever-present walking stick.
Gorgeous patch of Indian Paint Brush; the state flower of the State of Wyoming. It comes in Orange (the state flower), pink, red, white, and yellow.
Many, many beaver dams dot the streams

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Big Horn National Forest

A few weeks ago my cousin Viv told me that Uncle John had mentioned how beautiful the Big Horns are in the spring, so he was on my mind while we were there. These pictures are in their own way dedicated to him.

Indian Paintbrush and Bluebells
Shell Falls
Love the ducks!
Indian Paintbrush and Elephant Head

Later I'll be posting my flowers and moose pictures. It was such a fun, fun weekend!

Our Amazing Family

Each June Laurence's family has a reunion in Butler, Missouri. We have been fortunate enough to be able to attend a couple of times.
He has three wonderful aunts that are still with us. They were at the reunion. Although they are getting up in years, they are amazing women! We are so grateful to have Aunt Anna, Aunt Mila and Aunt Ada in our lives! (Thanks to cousin Ruth for sharing this pic with us!! We weren't able to be there this year.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

We Call This Home

Twenty-Four years ago I moved to Colstrip. Laurence was already here. He had been hired for a job that they said would keep him here for 2 1/2 - 3 years. Needless to say, we never expected to be here 24 years later. Colstrip is a unique community. A company town. Although it was established in 1924, it was not incorporated until 1998. There are basically 2 employers; the power plant and the coal mine plus supporting services. The power plant employs about 330 people and the mine about 400.
When driving to Colstrip the stacks from the power plant are the first thing you see from several miles out. It's a view I have definately come to LOVE!
Last Friday, my friend Kit and I went on a tour of the power plant. It was a first for both of us.
The first thing we saw was this to-scale model of the plant. When the plant was built they didn't have auto-cad and this was what they used. It cost $1 million just for the model. (Definately a job for the person still addicted to their Legos!!) They even have scale sized people in it.
The plant is the second-largest coal-fired plant west of the Mississippi. And is capable of producing up to 2,094 megawatts. It is owned jointly by PPL Montana, Puget Sound Energy Inc, NorthWestern Energy, Portland General Electric, Avista Corp, and PacifiCorp. Who knows? Perhaps your power comes from my backyard.
It actually consists of 4 power plants, Units 1, 2, 3 and 4. The shorter ones are units 1 & 2, they were built in the early '70's.
Coal comes to the power plant from the Rosebud Mine. The Rosebud Mine is an open-pit mine and is where Laurence works. Coal for units 3 & 4 comes to the mine via a 4-mile long covered conveyor belt.
Coal for units 1 & 2 is trucked there.
Units 3 & 4 were built in the mid-80's. Their stacks are 692' tall. The stacks for units 1 & 2 are 507' tall.
The plants use an average of 1 train carload of coal every 5 minutes.
The coal is immediately pulverized to a very, very fine powder-- more burning surface.
Things have changed so much over the years. The controllers truly control things from huge computer banks. WOW!
This picture was take from about the 10th floor of the plant. It was such a relief to be outside. Inside was about 120°. They told us that further up it was about 150°, which was why they cancelled that part of the tour.
Two of the cooling towers. The steam goes into the turbines, turns into water as it cools. From there to the cooling towers. Guess what it does there???? You got it..... it cools.More cooling. The water goes to a series of ponds, before going back into the plant and being turned into steam once again to turn the turbines to make electricity.
Kit and I inside the plant.
I do love Colstrip. It is definately home!However, I do look forward to the next chapter of our lives that hopefully will include a WalMart closer than 125 miles, a stake center in my own town (as opposed to 125 miles), a temple down the street (ours is 130 miles), a dentist that is closer than 125 miles..... you get the picture!! But I will miss many things here as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lovell in May

We were in Lovell over Memorial Day. Lots of computer work to be done for Queen Bee. Have I mentioned how much of a Saint my sweetheart is? He keeps their computers going and receives nothing in return. Anyway, I digress..... we were so blessed to be there when Uncle Ron and Aunt Alice were there from Enumclaw, Washington. Uncle Ron, Aunt Alice, Mom and I at the graves of my great-grandparents Fred H. Bassett and Susan Alzina Bassett at the cemetary in Lovell.
Aunt Alice and Uncle Ron at the grave of my grandparents, Everett Baird and Susie Marie Bassett at the Cowley Cemetary. I wasn't in Cowley, I was at the factory helping Laurence with the computers. I stole this one from Mom.
While in Lovell, they went to see my Aunt Helen Walker. Aunt Helen is 102 and will be 103 in September. (If I'm off on this someone let me know, however if I am off it is that she is 103 going on 104). I really admire Aunt Helen. She does so well. She taught me History in the 6th grade. She wasn't my favorite teacher, something about demanding that you do your excuses, making you pay attention, ummmmm all those horrible things that we don't necessarily like but certainly need in a teacher. What a wonderful woman!
This is Uncle Ron, Rebecca Walker (Aunt Helen's daughter-in-law), Aunt Helen, Dean Walker (Aunt Helen's son), and Aunt Alice. Until just the past few years Aunt Helen lived on her own. Now she lives with Dean and Rebecca. Talk about Christ-like people!
A trip to Lovell would never be complete without a trip to the candy factory. Aunt Alice was getting together her purchases to take to Utah to her kids.
I tease her that she looks like Santa with her bag full of goodies. What a fun shopping trip.
Aisling stopped in the factory and I was able to get a quick picture of her and grandma before she headed back to Utah. Sure do love that girl. She's the very best!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How Does My Garden Grow?

I so enjoy my garden. I like to find unusual ways or places to plant things. One of my favorite "containers" is this wicker bassinet I found put out for garbage. I had to remove the ruffles and lace, but now I am lovin' it! (Note to self, do not use both black and white plastic to line the wicker). I really like the way the petunias come out through the hood of the bassinet. So fun. Last year I had it back by the pond, this year I have it in front. I think it is doing better this year. Perhaps it just likes being admired.
A new ice plant is blooming, an orange one to go along with the neon pink and neon gold ones.
The delphinium is doing remarkable this year. If we continue without hail I'm sure it will continue to thrive.
The monarda has just started to bloom well. I got this start last spring. It is a huge plant this year. Monarda attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
My evening primrose that I got at the Colstrip Garden Club perennial sale this spring. It is doing amazingly well for only being here about 6 weeks.
These Barbara Bush petunia's are amazing! They grow quite tall, have gorgeous blooms, are drought resistant and are supposed to freely reseed themselves. So fun!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Love a Good Garage Sale

Laurence and I decided we needed a break today so we went to a yard sale. We were a couple of hours late, which I never do. Boy am I glad I did today! I got this fun lamp for the yard. It is brand new, still had the tags on it. I put in a lightbulb. Now to decide where......
Just had to show off my ice plant pic's......

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Creamed New Peas and Potatoes -- Food Storage Style

Today we had Creamed New Peas and New Potatoes. This is the first time in many years we have had new potatoes in time to go with the new peas.
I tried a recipe that I have seen and heard very good things about, but have never tried. I used what is called "Magic Mix". It is a food storage recipe that was developed by the Utah State University Extension. Magic Mix:
2 1/3 C. Dry non-instant powdered milk
1 C. all purpose flour
1 C. butter, at room temperature
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using electric mixer, mix ingredients together slowly and gradually increase speed until incorporated. Keep mix tightly covered in refrigerator for up to three months. White Sauce:
2/3 C. Magic Mix
1 C. water
In saucepan combine ingredients. Stir rapidly using a whisk over medium heat until it starts to bubble, remove from heat.
I steamed my potatoes then added the peas for the last few minutes. Then I added them to the cooked magic mix. It was delicious!! For the amount I needed, I doubled the magic mix white sauce.
This made the smoothest white sauce I have ever made and definately the easiest!! Laurence and I are totally sold!

I did find this recipe from the Utah State University Extension service which is slightly different.
3 medium potatoes
1 ½ cups Magic Mix
2 ½ cups water
1/8 teaspoon pepper
½ cup frozen peas
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
Peel and cube potatoes; boil in water until almost
tender. Add frozen peas; cook 2 minutes longer.
Add Magic Mix, pepper and salt; stir over medium
heat until thickened.