February – Icy Snowy Winter

Wow it’s February the romance month. It’s been a cold one around here, the snowiest winter in a long time. We have four foot high berms all along the driveway where the plow has thrown the snow. And for the past two days it has been sunny and warming, the driveway has turned to an ice rink. We have half a mile of solid wet ice to get to the road, a slippery mess for sure.

snowball

Ice Driveway
Snowiest Winter

We tried our hand at brewing a little pale ale this year. It was ready for tasting just in time for Super Bowl Sunday. I believe that Steven added a little bit too much sugar to the recipe. We ended up with fountain beer. The only way to drink this, was to set the bottle in a larger container before popping the top.

superbowl-beer

Pale Ale
Making Pale Ale for Super Bowl
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Creamy Salmon Soup

I received this recipe in the mail the other day from the Mayo clinic newsletter. Decided to give it a try. It’s easy to get in a rut with your cooking and just keep making the same recipes all the time. This one was a good one to break out of the routine with.

Creamy Salmon Soup
Creamy Salmon Soup

I substituted canned coconut milk for the evaporated milk, and I used a frozen salmon filet from Costco instead of canned salmon. The corn with some of our canned corn from this year and the potatoes were also from the garden.

  1. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup chopped celery
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1 15-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  5. 2 1/2 cups frozen country-style hash browns with green pepper and onion
  6. 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dill
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  9. 6 ounces pouched or canned pink salmon (bones removed)
  10. 1 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
  11. 1 can (14 3/4 ounces) no-salt-added, cream-style corn

Directions

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute olive oil and celery for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Add the chicken broth, hash browns, peas and carrots, dill and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are done but not overcooked.

Add the salmon, separating it into pieces with a fork. Stir in the evaporated milk and corn and cook until heated through.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :About 1 cup

  • Calories 166
  • Total fat 2.5 g
  • Saturated fat 0.5 g
  • Trans fatTrace
  • Monounsaturated fat 1 g
  • Cholesterol 18 mg
  • Sodium 207 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 26 g
  • Dietary fiber 2 g
  • Added sugar s0 g
  • Protein 11 g
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New puppy in the house

Santa came a bit early this year, bringing a cute little puppy. Karli is a cowdog, a mix between Australian Shephard, blue healer and corgi. She is the cutest little thing, wide eyed and very playful and inquisitive. Will be a nice addition to the family.
https://www.facebook.com/becca.rapelje/videos/1325152727529564/

We have also been busy getting ready for the holidays around here. Making fudge, decorating and shopping.

Karli the Christmas Pupp
Karli the Christmas Puppy

if you are looking for that perfect page to send for Christmas, you can find all you need at Share Christmas

 

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Giving Thanks For This Day

Thanks For Giving Me This Day in Orange and Yellow Colors

 

I may never see tomorrow;
There’s no written guarantee,
And things that happened yesterday belong to history.

I cannot predict the future,
I cannot change the past,
I have just the present moment,
I must treat it as my last.

I must use this moment wisely for it soon will pass away,
and be lost to me forever as part of yesterday.

I must exercise compassion,
Help the fallen to their feet,
Be a friend unto the friendless,
Make an empty life complete.

The unkind things I do today may never be undone,
And friendships that I fail to win may nevermore be won.

I may not have another chance on bended knee to pray,
And thank God with humble heart for giving me this day.

Enjoy more inspirational Stories

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Hot Springs and Fall Colors

img_5828s img_5823s

My traveling buddy and I took off on a Thursday morning, drove to Thermopolis Wyoming in search of hot springs. We found them alright. The town appropriately named has two large pool buildings and one smaller free bath house. All are heated by the thermal springs running underground. Not far from town is a Petroglyph site with cave writings a long a rock wall. It was no wonder that thousands of years ago people settled here with the hot springs so close. It was a fun place to hike and enjoy the minerals baths.

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Thermopolis
Smoking Waters of Thermopolis

The next day it was forward ho as we traveled down to Golden Colorado. Taking a ride through the mountains on the Georgetown Loop steam train. And touring through the Lebanon Silver Mine.

Lebanon Mine tour
Lebanon Mine tour
Traveling on the Georgetown Loop Steam Train
Traveling on the Georgetown Loop Steam Train




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Salsa, Chickens and Thermopolis

We love our salsa, the flavor is wonderful. Becca likes to add smoked-paprika and plenty of different kinds of peppers.
She will put-up 40 or so quarts this year, we add salsa into much of our cooking throughout the year. Yukon Gold Potatoes, we grew a bunch this year, they’re big and they’re delicious. Just about wore me out with all the scrubbing though. This year the entire garden did great. We have been working the same garden spot for many years. Weeding has become easier by never letting any weeds go to seed. So that part was a breeze. Our apple trees are the last to ripen and they are looking good. The apples seem just about ripe, but I’m not sure how to tell for sure. Something about the seeds turn black maybe. I think we’re just days away from fresh apple pie. Oh Yes, Apple Pie!

The chickens are growing nicely, we plan to keep 10 hens and have enough eggs to supply us and another family. That leaves about 20 extra chickens for the freezer. We let the chickens roam around in an acre we have fenced and feed them all our extra zucchini and fruit that grows here. I don’t know if it makes the meat sweeter or the eggs sweeter or just happier chickens.

cloudsand-fieldsMy sister is coming for a visit, so we made up some nice pottery pieces for us to paint while she’s here. Gonna be a Hoot! She likes to come over and spend the week in the pottery studio painting, makes it one relaxing week for all. Becca is then heading out for Thermopolis Wyoming the next week to visit the hot springs there and hike around the petroglyphs in their state park, then on to Colorado to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
The thriving mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume lie two miles apart in a steep, narrow mountain canyon. To connect them, the railroad’s builders designed a “corkscrew” route that traveled twice the distance, slowly gaining more than 600 feet in elevation. It included horseshoe curves, grades of up to 4%, and four bridges across Clear Creek, including the massive Devil’s Gate High Bridge. A wonderful way to view the fall colors, we hear.

Beautiful Flowers in the Neighborhood
Lovely autumn flowers

This is such a nice time of year. The winds are blowing and the air has a crisp coolness to it. The sounds of the wind chimes can be heard throughout the yard. I just love that sound, something about it brings a little peace to my day.

I also received from a friend of ours a wonderful recipe for refrigerator pickles. They stayed nice and crisp, with just the perfect combination of spices. Ready to eat in 24 hours and stays good in the refrigerator, unopened, for about 4 months.

the-mountain

I’m going down the other side
Of the mountain we call “time”
It’s been a lovely journey,
But I’m weary from the climb.

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A young, new preacher was walking with an older,
more seasoned preacher in the garden one day and feeling a bit insecure about what God had for him to do.

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He listens intently to the sounds of the evening,
The old milk cow’s bawl and the sheep bleating,
They loudly protest being locked in for the night,

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Recipes Below
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Becca’s Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe.
The cheese melts beautifully, giving this 30-minute broccoli and cheese soup a smooth texture and mild flavor.

and

Steven’s Crockpot Apple Butter Recipe.
Break out the crockpot to make a batch of this apple butter harvest favorite.

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Thought for Today –

Sometimes we get so obsessed with winning that we forget that letting someone else take the glory is a sign of Greatness.

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Hot Salsa Time

Happy Harvesting, Steven and Becca

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Betty Jo Malone and her Dahlias

I have a girl friend that grows the most beautiful dahlia garden. We were invited over to share in the beauty and take a few photos.  The day was sunny with just a slight breeze. Makes it a bit harder to get the perfect shots when the flowers will not stand still. There were dinner plate sized flowers all the way down to what they call the u2, which is a tiny flower under 2 inches.

We have several shows here in the valley each year, where they compete for different categories. You can enter an individual flower that you have grown or a flower arrangement. The emphasis for the arrangements is how unique you can make them, and what themes you can come up with. This year she borrowed a few of our pottery pieces to incorporate into the arrangements, hoping to win the ribbon.

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Under Montana Skies

The pie-cherries are here again. Man, these cherries really pack a punch, puts a pucker on my lips. Just heavenly to have cherry pie with vanilla ice cream. Guess we should pace ourselves, we still need to watch those calories.

Our garden bounty overflow-ith this time of year. It’s now time to dig them gold potatoes. We like to cook and freeze-um, mashed -n- sliced. Potatoes aren’t the healthiest food, I hear, so we’ll be adding a few beets to each bag. Beets have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support, so adding them to the potatoes makes them pretty and healthy. Beets are fairly new to us; as kids neither of us liked beets. Now we seem to enjoy beet roots and the beet greens. The beet-greens taste a lot like spinach to me. They’re good mixed into many different dishes. Becca made lasagna with beet-greens instead of the pasta, it was just dandy.

More great hiking in Glacier Park this week. You really need to be watchful of the animals in the National Parks though. You don’t see them all that often, but they’re out-there. It’s easy to forget when you are out enjoying the day that-they are also enjoying the day. Did you hear about the guy who, while riding his bicycle ran smack into a big bear, it didn’t end well. Like usual there have been a few bear attacks lately. I know that it’s just not at our parks here, wherever you find wide open spaces you are bound to have dangerous wildlife. Enjoy the great outdoors and be watchful of the animals.

We had a chance to tour a beautiful garden this last week. The work that they put into growing and arranging the plants is phenomenal. Bibler Gardens, a private display garden in Kalispell, Montana designed by Louis A. “Sam” Bibler. Sam landscaped, planted and maintained the gardens at his home from around 1979 until his death in 2002. The extensive gardens, including ponds, waterfalls, sculptures, arboretum, and a log stable with a menagerie of miniature animals, are maintained today according to Sam’s desire to preserve the site as a place of lasting beauty that could be enjoyed by the Kalispell community and visitors to the area.

I’m proud of Becca for falling out of the boat. Look close at the 3rd picture, they call this particular rapid ” The Bone Crusher”.

To find a leader for this hour, would there be any hope?

Perhaps I could view them under my integrity fluoroscope.

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You need 100 points to make it into Heaven.
Have a wonderful weekend and may it be filled
with Peace, Love and Joy!

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Poetry by Ken.
Renew in my strength as we stroll,
For I will comfort and console,
We will while away pleasant hours
Beneath the fragrant rose bowers.

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Once there were four business men.
They were sitting on a bench in a hospital waiting room because their wives were having babies.

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Recipes Below
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Becca’s Organic Mandarin Medley Salad Recipe.

and

Steven’s Orange Blossom Cheesecake Recipe.

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Thought for Today –

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

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Under the Big Sky, Steven and Becca

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Bibler Gardens

I was invited to tour Bibler Gardens with a few a friends from Central School Museum.  We took alot of pictures and a little bit of video. I have to admit my heart is really in the still shots. Capturing the moments in time. Sure you can get a good video sometimes, however you really never catch those once in a lifetime moments on video. Enjoy the slideshow of the gardens and if you get a chance to visit the gardens you will not be disappointed.

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