feed them and they will come~

Dear Hubby & son hollowed out a long stump with the chainsaw,  filled it with a shovel full of reject cookies and crumbs from the cookie factory (that the local feed store sells) and buried it halfway in the ground and put a very heavy slab of wood and a rock on top.

momma and her little ones ~ notice how momma just picked that big ol' stump out of the ground

full bellies ~ time for a catnap
a coyote passing through

Mr. Shaggy in the process of removing the rock to get at the buried stump ...

... even the crows and the squirrel have to get in on the action

a very ugly mangy wolf
the curious raccoon

and Mr. Bruino

So that's what's roaming around in my back yard these days.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

I just love being able to live so close to nature ~ but it can also have some drawbacks ... such as keeping your grill good and clean so the bear aren't up on the deck checking things out ... and bringing in the bird feeders at night so the bear aren't eating them up and smashing the begeebees out of them ... and making sure the deck door is LOCKED so you don't have unwelcomed visitors of the natural kind wander into the house.  It also makes you VERY cautious when going for a walk.  The big bear doesn't scare me much, but I am leery of the protective momma when she has cubs and I also don't trust that ugly wolf that is full of mange and losing his hair.  I always carry a very hard oak stick when walking the trails... not that it would do me much good I suppose in a charging situation... but it just makes me feel better.  

Here's a pic of my stick that I took last winter ~ that's why there's snow in the photo... lol ... NO it didn't snow here this week.

Last night I had fried up some fish and some potatoes with bacon and onions for supper.  I told Sam he better make sure the bear have something in the stump because I didn't want them checking out the good smell coming from the house.  So far... cookies are keeping them happy.   
Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


homemade italian soft pretzels~

My sister Cheryl at  made homemade soft pretzels ... she inspired me into giving it a try.  Like her... I tweaked around and came up with my own recipe.  Give them a try ... they are a lot easier than you might think.

Here's my recipe:

Homemade Italian Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 Cups warm water
1 Tblsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dry yeast
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp.  dried thyme
4 1/2 Cups flour
1/4 Cup melted butter

Vegetable spray for the pans

10 cups of water
2 heaping Tablespoons of baking soda

1 large egg yolk beaten
Course gourmet salt


Combine the 1 1/2 cups of water, sugar, salt, garlic, marjoram and thyme in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is foamy.  Add the flour and melted butter.

Turn out on to a floured board and knead for 5 minutes.  Return to bowl and cover and let rise until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Give 2 cookie sheets a heavy spraying with vegetable oil

In a large kettle bring 10 cups of water to a boil.  Add the baking soda and continue to boil.

In the meantime, turn the dough on to a oiled board or counter top and divide into 8 or 16 equal parts (depending on the size of pretzels you want).  Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.  Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press the tail piece to the bottom of the U forming a pretzel shape.

Place the pretzels into the boiling soda water for 30 seconds.  They will sink when you drop them in and then float.  Remove from the water with a flat spatula and place onto the well sprayed cooking sheets.

Brush with the beaten egg yolk wash and sprinkle with course salt.
Bake until golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.


Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.



and more critters....

We've been getting quite the critter show on the trail camera.

Even a little lens sniffing by a bear ... so far we have pics of seven different bear on the trail. 

Sam, Ash and Rupert went fishing again ... caught a nice  meal of walleye ~ the bigger one was the biggest that Rupert's ever landed.  It was a little over 24 inches.  Way 2 go Rupe!

There's a size slot on the river by us ~ you can only keep in possession a daily bag limit of 3 and only one can be over 14 inches in length. 
I just have to share this barn pic with you...

It belongs to my niece Jessie ~ It's her little shed where she stores her gardening tools ~ I just think it's so darn cute... and now I want one. lol

I also snapped off this pic at Jessie's place...
her ferns with the eagle ~ too cute ... LOVE your place Jess!!


Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


get together~

We went to another graduation party yesterday ... in the rain... again... 

It doesn't matter the weather though... it was so nice to see some of my nieces and nephews that I haven't seen in awhile and to see the next generation of cousins together.

A cluster of cousins :)

my great niece, Jenna Rae ~ the graduate... and her Great Grandma ~ my Mom

Notice the guy in the background?  That's my Dear Hubby, Slim ... and we wonder where our son Sam gets the "Where's Waldo?" from. lol

This is Lacey ... the pound hound ... she was rescued by my niece Jessie and has proven to be a very good dog:
She sure did endure a LOT of loving from the little ones ...  and I do mean ENDURED...  they just couldn't quit with the hugs and love.

When we got home last night there was a little surprise sitting on the edge of the lawn... six baby cottontail rabbits ~ they must have come out to play a little bit after the rain let up:

Also, look at what else we have in the woods by us:

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


feelin' scrappy~

It's raining cats and dogs out there ...
Can't do any yard work ...
I could do some housework ...
But I'd rather play around and do some scrapwork ...

This is my Great Niece, Summer ~ she is also one of my sister Cheryl's Grand Loves:

This is my daughter Sara and her fiancee Don ~ the one's getting married in August in our back yard:

The character peeking out from behind them is my son Sam.  I could have taken him out of the picture; but he's like our "Where's Waldo?" of the family and I just didn't have the heart to cut him out.  Sara will understand ... Don on the other hand???  Welcome to this whacky family!

I baked!  A homemade from scratch Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with a can of cheaters frosting, Betty's coconut pecan ~  sorry the pictures a little blurry...

I was drooling and holding the camera at the same time and taking the picture wasn't an easy task. lol  But I thought you'd enjoy seeing it Jack and Shirley ... especially you Jack.  I even wrote down the recipe as I was making it just in case you want to go out and get the ingredients and surprise Shirley with a cake.

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease up a 9x13 cake pan.
In a pretty good sized bowl mix together: 

2 cups of sugar
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Then add the wet ingredients:
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pour it into the cake pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center. COOL>> FROST AND ENJOY!!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


better disposition~

I'm feeling better today ... now that I got the "whack the fairies" out of my system from yesterday. lol

I did manage though to tick off a momma and daddy robin so I could get these pictures of their young ones still crammed in the nest.

They have a perfect nesting spot ... right under the eaves of the wood shed.
They're sitting high and dry ... only problem is ~ they are in the way of us piling wood there.  We'll just have to wait them out a few more days until they are big enough to fly the coop.

I have trying for a few years now to grow lupines from seed ~ and finally... they are grabbing hold.
Apparently, they take a few years to become established and don't put out blossoms until the second year.  Next year I should have a ton of them blooming.  I have hundreds of plants popping up now along my driveway from seeds I put in this spring.  I can't wait for that flower show!

My peonies are starting to bloom ~

They are so fragrant!  Love 'em!!

In fact ... I don't think there's many flowers out there that I don't love. 


Sam put the trail camera out to see what's got the dog all upset:

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.