Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Little Piece of History

In 1900 my great-grandparents Robert and Sarah Alice Nelson Baird were called by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help colonize the Big Horn Basin in northwestern Wyoming. They sold their home in Heber, Utah to travel by wagon train to Wyoming; a distance of over 500 miles.
My Great-grandparents Robert and Sarah Alice Nelson Baird
When the group arrived in Wyoming they had to dig a canal that was over 30 miles long. During that summer of 1900 when my great-grandfather was not working on the canal he built a small cabin for his family in Cowley. He and my Great-grandmother lived there until she died. Then his son Dan moved his wife Ona and their family in to the cabin to help my great-grandfather and great-grandfather’s brother Jimmy. Uncle Danny and Aunt Ona lived in that log home for many years. In the mid-1970’s their children and grandchildren tore down the log home to replace it with a nice modern home.
Uncle Danny and Aunt Ona in front of their log home
My mother asked for and was given a slice from one of the logs. It sat in her basement until about a year ago when she gave it to me.  
Laurence doing more detailed chiseling with his dremel tool.

Laurence busily sanding.....

Applying polyurethane. I believe it has close to 8-10 coats.
The first 2-3 coats soaked in immediately the wood was so dry.
No wonder at 110+ years old!

Ready for the clockworks

The craftsman and my clock
Laurence does such BEAUTIFUL work!! Never taking shortcuts, it always shows in the result!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Closet Felon?

In our little town we have an overabundance of deer, turkeys etc.
It is against the law to feed them.

So..... as they come to eat under my birdfeeders daily does this actually make me a Closet Felon???

Friday, January 28, 2011


Have you heard of SwagBucks? I hadn't until recently. I kept running into posts about the free things people were getting through SwagBucks and decided to look into it. It really easy and kind of fun. You gain 30 points for just signing up with them, then you can gain bucks by doing websearches using their search bar. (Which just goes through google anyway). With only 450 Swagbucks you can get something as simple as a $5. Amazon giftcard or other prizes of your choice.

Search & Win
You can sign-up for FREE, and if you sign-up using the link I have here then I get additional swagbucks as well. :)

HAPPINESS Is Like a Butterfly...

At the Butterfly House in South Dakota this beautiful butterfly posed for us.
It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes.
"Happiness is like a butterfly
The more you chase it,
The more it will elude you.
But if you turn your attention to other things,
It will come and sit softly on your shoulder."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I LOVE a Good Deal!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE a good deal!
I am not above dickering, dumpster diving, begging....
Whatever it takes!!
At Laurence's work they decided to replace a laser printer because it was no longer fast enough.
The printer they were replacing was slated to be auctioned. However the auction wouldn't be for nearly a year. By the time the year was up with the printer being stored unplugged in the cold warehouse it would be ruined.
My husband offered to do them a favor and take it off their hands for $75. They accepted his offer and said they would throw in 7 cartridges of toner if he would pay $100. total.
(They had no other printers on site taking that particular toner.)
Yes we are sort of known as the ones that will bring all sorts of "junk" home, but hey, we are the ones they mention it to as well!! (And I do know what to do with true junk.)
So far we've made about 128,000 copies and still running stong. We put in 3 new toner cartridges tonight and still have 2 more.
Lucky us!! We feel so Blessed!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

BrInG On ThE PaStA!

We Try to Be Prepared...
As a family we try to be prepared for emergencies.We think of emergencies in terms of unemployment, natural disasters, financial disasters etc.
We see being prepared in terms of food, water, financial, spiritual etc.
Because of this we tend to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is only wise if you can use or preserve what you buy.

We buy spaghetti in 25 pound boxes.
 That can be a lot of spaghetti!
 I have a bottle that I keep the spaghetti in. It holds about 4 meals for my family.
 I take the rest of the spaghetti and divide it into groups and put it in my food saver bags.
 The food saver and bags vacuum seal the bags.
Hmmmm next time I take a picture of my foodsaver I better polish the stainless steel.....
When I finished I had 7 bags. These won't last more than about a year, so I am not worried about it going bad. When I store more than that I either seal it in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber or in a #10 can with an oxygen absorber.

What do you do to have your family prepared for an emergency?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dif'rent Strokes for Dif'rent Folks

Driving by the lake today,
I was amazed at what I saw.
Do people actually LIKE to ice fish?
Is this actually someone's idea of fun?

Certainly not mine...
My idea of fun would be a beach somewhere,
laying in the sun, under an umbrella
listening to the water.
Oh, and don't forget the good book!

The people at the lake probably think that would be boring.

Will winter ever end?

More Wildflowers (or a way to bring on more spring fever!!)

Yesterday I had such fun pulling out and organizing some of my wildflower pictures, I thought I would share more today.
 Cushion Phlox (Phlox pulvinata) Blooms from April-July
Phlox is one of my favorite flowers. My mother used to have purple phlox in our yard.
 Hookers Onion (Allium acuminatum) blooms May-July
Did you know that there is actually an onion bulb on this. I remember being out in the hills with my dad when I was little and we would eat these. Now it sounds awful.
 Sego Lily (Calochortus nuttallii) Blooms June-August
This is the state flower of Utah. The pioneers ate many sego lily roots when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. It helped them survive.
 Wild Rose (Rosa blanda) late May-July
 Lupine (Lupinus argenteus) Blooms June-July
Up on the Big Horns in June you can see entire meadows just covered with lupine. It is just a purple carpet.

Yellow Stonecrop (Sedum stenopetalum) blooms July-August
Just like any sedum this stonecrop loves dry arid areas with poor soil.
Maybe there is a lesson there for me...
Bloom where I'm planted
Guess I'm not the only one loving mountain meadows!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

If I Could Do It Over Again....

I have commented to Laurence numerous times that if I had my life choices to make over again I would have chosen differently when it comes to my job. I have an associate degree in Landscape and Nursery Management and except for a few years have never worked in the field. If money were no object, I would go to school to learn about photography and then I would be one of those people out there photographing wildflowers and designing my own guide that you would pay big bucks for at the visitor's center so you could identify the wildflowers you saw on your vacation. Instead I just take the pictures for my own enjoyment. Mine would be a guide to the Wildflowers of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. 
Here is the first installment.  
 The pictures above and below are Indian Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata)  it blooms June-September, can grow in poor soil and with drought conditions.

 One-flowered Wintergreen (Moneses uniflora), (above) it blooms June-August. I can't tell you how excited I was when I found this. It is the first time I have ever run onto it. These are so cool. From the top they look like a puffy pillow. The bottom picture is a picture of the blossom that you would see if you were an ant looking up. They grow in shady, moist areas.

 Elephanthead (Pedicularis groenlandica) (above and below) blooms June-August. Don't you love the little blossoms.... you can tell where the name came from. Look at the little ears and trunk!! Love them!

Pussytoes (Antennaria rosea) (above)blooms June-September. So pretty and soft looking. 
Mountain Bluebells (Mertensia ciliata) growing by the water.  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Outside My Office Window

Today is cold and snowy. Since I didn't feel terrific, I decided to keep my camera with me in my office and see what kind of pictures I could get today. Kind of Fun!
I keep the bird feeders right out my window and am able to enjoy it all day, all year long!

The deer are attractive except when they are eating my bird feed or eating my garden!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

God Bless the U.S.A.

I was raised by parents that are very patriotic! I was taught to love this dear land we live in!!

Many of you know that I keep a blog up for a friend of mine because she is teaching school for a year in Xi'an China. She loves it there and has had incredible experiences. I have enjoyed living vicariously through her. (
One thing I know it has done for me is to make me even more grateful for the land I live in.
Do we have problems here? YES!!
Would I want to go someplace else to live permanently?
 I am so grateful for all of the men and women and their families for all their sacrifices.
I have the right to waste my entire day on blogger and facebook if I want...... Thank You!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!!

I must say I'm not a big fan of cold, snow or ice!
During the long days of winter I look back on pictures like these I took in North Dakota last August and remember,
 The Sun WILL Come Out Tomorrow!!

Catheze..... Not Necessarily What Everyone Wants to Talk About Over Lunch!

I had a lovely lunch today!! I went out to lunch with a friend from my "single" days.
Such a fun, fun time!! We met for lunch at a little place and had Mexican. It was really not very warm there, but we had a good time anyway. We met at 1 and left about 6:00.
 Talk about a corporate lunch!!! It was so fun to see her and be able to visit and not have to hurry.
She is quite an entrepreneur and inventor. She has started a business called "Catheze", and although it is a fairly new company she is doing very well with it.

She designed, and now manufactures and sells "The Catheze patented belt is designed to keep your catheter bag in place wherever you choose to wear it. As your bag begins to fill, the weight of the bag is held up with the Catheze belt."
"With Catheze, there is no pinching of your skin, pulling on your catheter tube, or worry of it sliding down your leg. Catheze is great for an active lifestyle. Catheze is lightweight, easy to wear, adjustable, discreet and comfortable."
Never having had to have a catheter I had no idea that something like this would be needed or necessary. You can find her at

I can tell you that if you have a need for such a product, you will never have a better person to deal with than Deirdre!! She is absolutely the BEST!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

They Cannot Read Their Tombstones When They're Gone

I came down to Wyoming to help out my mom.
Actually, now that I think about it I don't think I came to help her out.
I think I came to help me out. I think I just needed a dose of Mom!

I haven't been with my Mom since last October.
Although to many that may not seem like long, but for me it is.

I remember when I was living in Ireland there was a little older lady that loved to recite poetry.
She once recited a poem entitled,
"They Cannot Read Their Tombstones When They're Gone."
all I can remember for sure are the following lines.

"If you think there’s praise that due them,
now’s the time to give it to them.
For they cannot read their tombstones when their gone.”

I think I am going to try to find the rest of that poem.
I remember I recorded it onto a cassette tape.
It's around somewhere. In the meantime I am going to try to live by the words of the poem.

Addendum November 9, 2015
I found the words a couple of times. These are slightly different, but at least it is the basic concept. I just don't want to lose it again. 

When, with pleasure, you are viewing
Any work a man is doing
And you like him, or you love him,
Tell him now.
Do not withhold your approbation
‘Til the parson makes oration
And he lies with snowy lilies on his brow.
For no matter how you shout it
He won’t know a thing about it;
He won’t know the many tear drops that you shed,
If you think that praise is due him,
Now’s the time to give it to him.
Cause a man can’t read his tombstone when he’d dead.
More than fame and more than money
Is your word both kind and sunny
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend.
It give to life a savor
Makes us stronger, and yes, braver
And it gives us true encouragement to the end.
If he wins your praise, bestow it;
If you like him, let him know it.
Let the words of true encouragement be said.
Do not wait ‘til life is over,
And he lies beneath the clover,
Cause a man can’t read his tombstone when he’s dead. 

Author unknown

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You Can't Teach an Old Dog New Tricks.... Not This One Anyway!

If you are ready for a good laugh.... at my expense.... read on!
December 27th we went to the optometrist. All three of us. I have only been wearing glasses for a few years. I have bifocals and hate them. The expense does NOT make me love them any more!!

I decided life would be simpler if I wore contacts. I asked the optometrist and she said I was a perfect candidate. How good is that, not just practically perfect, but PERFECT!! 

I had gone through my daughter getting contacts in high school. I knew she had struggled, but I'm older and of course wiser!!

At the optometrists office I had a hard time getting them in; but I'm a beginner, I should be having problems... RIGHT??

I left them in the prescribed 2 hours, then made my daughter go with me to the restaurant restroom so she could supervise the removal of the contact. It went without a hitch. (More or less)

The next morning I put in the right contact without too much problem. See I told you I am older and wiser than my daughter was when she went through this.

The left contact went in on about the third try... YEAH!! I was so proud of my self. then it happened; I realized it was not in my eye... I didn't think. or was it??? hmmmm walk to the other end of the house for said daughter to check. Nope it wasn't there. Where was it??? We looked everywhere!  Call the optometrist. They put one in the mail for me. Bless their hearts.

Day three. The contact arrived. I make daughter stay in the bathroom with me until I get both contacts in. What to do when daughter goes back to college?

Day four. can't get the left contact in.

Day five... can't get the silly left contact in.

Day six... can't get the stupid left contact in.

Day seven... can't get the ridiculous left contact in....

Day eight.... maybe I should have lasik surgery

Day nine.... YAHOO got the left contact in

Day ten... I hate this contact!!

Day eleven... who's bright idea was contacts anyway???

Day twelve.... still can't get that darn contact in

Day thirteen.... can I tell you I am hating all the time this is wasting and getting me nowhere?!
Go to take the right contact out.... it's not there....       ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!

Day fourteen.... go to optometrist... tell her this brand of contacts is not working for me (fail to mention I lost ANOTHER one).
She gets me two different brands to try. Left one goes in on third try. Right one goes nearly that well.

Eveninng of day fourteen..... take right contact out, put in cute little container, take left one out.....WHAT?!?! This is not real!!Yep, the left one is gone. Folded back in my eye? To the side? On my mother's floor somewhere??

Does someone have the number for a good Lasik Place???

Addendum..... day 15
This morning my eye was matted shut, and blood shot.... there MUST be something in there!!
Call on trusty niece April. Can she see the contact ANYWHERE in my eye????
YEP!!! It is now right on my eye where it belongs!
(I promise it was NOT there last night.....)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Sunday is a day of rest and a day of worship.
 I enjoy the opportunity I have to worship as I wish.
I am so grateful for this blessing!!

Another thing I am grateful for is my dear friend Karen.
Karen and I met in Ireland a little more than 30 years ago.
Karen taught school for 30 years.
Last spring she retired, and took on a new challenge.
She teaches English in China at a university, through BYU.
Because she is really computer illiterate, and cannot access blogspot in China, she sends her information to me and I post it on her blog.
She thinks I am doing her a favor (and we'll let her continue to think that), but I LOVE doing this.
I will miss doing it when she returns to the US in July.
I only wish she would send more pictures.
Because of the time difference she usually sends me her material Sunday after her church and I get it Sunday before mine.
 I post it on Sunday evening.
Take a peek at Karen's blog as she talks about her fun/frustrating/learning experiences in China!!

Another Challenge.... Are You KIDDING???

Most of you know that I am participating in a 30 Blogging Challenge. So far this has truly been fun, entertaining, educational and definately a challenge! Especially since I am doing both this blog and the Queen Bee blog.

Too make my life more interesting my sweet niece Carmen also threw down the gauntlet!! Carmen NEVER takes the easy way..... Here is her challenge. 
  • "Would You Like to Join me in 52 Home Projects? It can be organizing or simplifying something in your home! I will have a linky opened every Saturday for the week. If you would like to join me, you can post your Blog Post to this post so I can come and see! If not, You can cheer me on still in the comment section."
So, what am I thinking of? I decided to join her challenge as well. Now you must know Carmen and I are exact opposites. Carmen has a place for everything and everything in it's place, and she has 4 children, the oldest of whom just turned 7, her husband is in the military and is often deployed leaving her a single parent.

I on the other hand have a pile for everything and nearly everything in a pile.

Although I have no photo to turn in to Carmen, she did only post this today and I saw it AFTER my great accomplishment of paring down, boxing up in the most organized fashion ever (for me) and putting away all of the Christmas decor. I was actually thinking to myself as I put the last box away just how organized it looks this year.

So, this is me, reporting in to Carmen.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ready, Get Set.....

"Let us never forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization." Daniel Webster

I love seed catalogs. I can lay in bed and read them. (I know; I’m pretty boring!) The pictures are so gorgeous! Can I really have vegetables/flowers that look like that? After drooling over my favorite catalogs I do several things. 
  • Make a list of what I want to grow next year
  • Make a list of what seeds I have left over from last year  and what I need.
  • Go to my seed catalog and choose my seeds and varieties.My favorite seed catalog happens to be Stokes Seeds, mostly because it always worked well for my mom and now me. There are many good seed companies out there. I use others for odds and ends (or if there is a great sale!)
Seed Selection: Many flower and vegetable varieties perform better in some areas than in others. Read descriptions carefully. For short-season areas, select earlier maturing varieties. A couple of important dates every gardener should know by heart is the last frost date of the spring and the first frost date of the fall.
There are several resources on the web where you can find this information, but I discovered a cool little tool over at Dave’s Garden. Simply enter your zip code, and you’ll get some useful information about your frost dates.

Here’s what I got back when I entered my zip code:
  • Each winter, on average, your risk of frost is from September 21 through May 12.
  • Almost certainly, however, you will receive frost from October 5 through April 29.
  • You are almost guaranteed that you will not get frost from May 25 through September 7.
  • Your frost-free growing season is around 132 days.
Remember the following as you order:
  • If you need help or have questions, call and ask.
  • Order early to avoid "sold out" notices.
  • Keep a record of your purchases.
  • Locate and understand the company's guarantee policy.
  • Read catalogs carefully for helpul information.They're filled with tips and suggestions to help you make the best choices, and to have a more beautiful garden.
Try not to go overboard. You could use your entire paycheck buying seed and plants.
Place your order and wait (impatiently) for the seeds to arrive.