Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Finery And A Pedicure For Gramma!

Here is my granddaughter in her new Christmas finery. I think she looks like she fits right in to the neighborhood here in Prineville, where the motto is "Forever Country"!
Close up of her "bling" belt.
And to show you why she deserves a bling belt, here she is painting my toes for me. This is after she gave me a foot massage.

Ta daaa!
Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year's Eve.

See you next year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

First Jump

Yesterday I started building my first cross country jump. I had an idea in my head for a simple verticle. It would have two eight foot 2 X 4's, one on top and one on bottom, with big dowels in between. When my husband and I were at the lumber store the other day we couldn't find the dowels but we did find eight foot 2 X 2's. They were probably cheaper than dowels anyway so I got them.
I was going to drill holes through the 2 X 4's. The dowels, or 2 X 2's would go in those holes and be held on with a strip of leftover plywood which I had cut from making Dakota's shed. The hole saw was taking me forever so I ran to the hardware store and got a very expensive "self clearing" aggressive hole saw. It worked a little better. I think that 2 X 4 was very hard. Wil came in then and helped me drill the final four holes on the first 2 X 4. I decided to change the plan a little and just attached the rails with screws through the main cross board (as you can see).
I'll probably set it on a couple of bricks and attach the fence to tree stakes driven into the ground to hold it up. I'll post another picture when that happens so you understand what I'm talking about. Right now the jump is about 26" tall, so when it is set up it will still be less than 30", a very good height for "beginner novice" level, which goes up to 2'11".

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Yesterday evening we had a big surprise. Actually my daughter and I were in on the secret and my husband didn't have a clue. Our son drove up from Bakersfield and got here at about 11:30 pm.

As we've discovered is not uncommon, his gps didn't quite get him all the way here. So when he called our daughter to have us come and get him she was quite inventive and said she had to run to the store for "feminine" items. I volunteered to drive her.

Our son was on the right road, he just hadn't come up far enough. We met him a couple hundred yards down the hill whereupon I turned around and he followed us the rest of the way. We had him wait at the top of the driveway.

Our plan was to drive in, say she forgot she had some in her purse (which would explain why we were back so soon). Then when we were settled she would text him, he would come in, trip the alarm on the driveway and then we would get to watch the show. The "show" would be my husband wondering who was driving up our driveway at that time of night, watching him grab his gun and go see what was going on.

Well, sure enough, he didn't disappoint. But when Carli burst out laughing he began to suspect something was up. He went outside and there was Wil getting out of his truck. Later he admitted it was a very good surprise.
He'll be able to stay with us until Saturday night. Carli will be going back with him and hopefully she won't forget to visit the Amtrak station to get a refund on the return ticket!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bowman Dam And Powder House Cove

Our drive along the Crooked River took us to the Bowman Dam, at the western side of Prineville Reservoir.

From the top of the dam, looking back the way we came.
The road across the dam.
The dam on the reservoir side.
And we ended our drive at the Powder House Cove. This is looking back towards the dam.

This is the "historical building" which we think is the "Powder House". Not a toilet but most likely where the explosives were stored when the dam was being built. We don't know this for sure but it's not a bad guess.

I took a lot of pictures of it because looking at it made the wheels in my head start spinning. And if you know me...


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crooked River Drive: Chimney Rock

Here's some more of those weird rock formations along the Crooked River.

These pictures were taken at the Chimney Rock Recreation Area. One of our favorite camping areas in Kern County, where we used to live, was called Chimney Peak. I just thought that was interesting.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Crooked River Drive

On Christmas Day we all piled into the car to take a little drive down the Crooked River from Prineville to the Prineville Reservoir. I took a lot of pictures so I'll post them over the next three or four days.

One of the first things we saw was a bald eagle. It's hard to tell in this picture but that's what it was.
There are a lot of interesting rock formations.
There are little caves and covered outcroppings everywhere.
Along the way is the very impressive and huge Quail Valley Ranch.
This is the giant indoor arena where they have Angus cattle auctions.
This is their very impressive barn.
It's bigger than our house and shop put together.
This part of the ranch is less than two miles from our house as the crow flies over the buttes. If they have another auction I'd sure like to go. Not that I would be able to afford anything but I'd love to see the place and be a looky-loo!

More tomorrow!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Easy Apple Strudel

I remember my sister and I made a real apple strudel once, long, long ago. I don't remember how she did the dough but I do remember helping her stretch the dough over the kitchen table. Then she filled it and we both carefully rolled it up. When it was done it was delectable!

I've often thought about that time and making a strudel but the thought of making a flaky buttery dough scared me. I don't usually make a very good dough.

So you can imagine how happy I was when I found this recipe. I somehow got hooked up with an online subscription to "Recipe 4 Living" and get occasional emails that have tons of recipes. So here is their simple recipe for apple strudel.


  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 lg. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-oz. package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • Confectioners' sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 c chopped pecans (*my addition)
Heat the oven to 375°. Beat the egg with the water, set aside.

Roll out the thawed dough into a 12" X 16" rectangle.
Peel and core the apples.
Slice the apples thinly.
Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, raisins, nuts. Toss to coat the apples.
Place the mixture on one half of the rolled out dough, leaving at least a one inch edge.
Roll it up, pinch the edges to seal and place seam down on a cooking sheet.
Make several slits along the top and cover with the egg wash.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
Place on a rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar if desired. (Why not?)
Slice and enjoy!
Serve it up warmish or at room temperature with ice cream or slightly sweetened whipped cream, or just plain! Also makes a great breakfast treat.


(Click here to see the original recipe.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Making Cookies

One of my goals while the kids were here was to make cookies with my granddaughter. I figured Russian teacakes would make a good hands on experience. I made the dough and got the small portions ready for her to roll into little balls.
She just doesn't look as excited about the process as I thought she would be.
The cookies are baked and here we are rolling them for the first time in the powdered sugar.
After they cool we roll them in the powdered sugar one more time and then we get to taste.
Still so serious.
How about a smile?
I think most of the pictures were just bad timing. She really did have fun.