Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Troy Tree

 This time of year, this is what greets me each morning as I arrive at work.
 I can see it from the top of the hill before I drop into Troy (2+ miles out)
the lights winking at me, then it looks small.
 This is right near where I park.
They line all the light poles in town right now.
There are trees and bells and wreaths too.
My fotos do not do justice.
The entire town is well decorated,
I so appreciate all the effort people make to
create this festive atmosphere in our little town!

Winter Solstice.
Natassia, Silas & Zeek came for a feast of crab legs
and other delicacies.
We then did our opening of the stockings that is our ritual.
Around 9 o'clock other friends arrived and we lit up the longest night
with a big bon fire. Mike has been thinning and slashing, so we
have several big piles to choose from.
It was a lovely way to welcome back the Light!
Even in summer and even though he is VERY slim,
kids will stop Zeek and ask him if he is Santa.
He found this hat in some of his parents old stuff
and Molly sent him this shirt,
(even though she broke the rules and it didn't
fit in his stocking~she is good that way!)
and Ho Ho Ho!
(the rest of us are now on the hunt to find red pants and other accoutrement
to round out this jolly elf!)
{the beard is real!}


 My neighbor friend and I got a wild hair and decided on a Friday outing.
I had this idea that we could drive up to Spar Lake
since we have so little snow this season (so far),
we got really far, way closer to Spar Lake then B thought we would,
but then we got to a sketchy place where whomever preceeded us had
gotten stuck and torn the road up, we got "lightly stuck here.
We promptly got unstuck and started backing down the road.
That was tedious and we thought that turning around would be a better option.
Bad Idea!
We got good and stuck then.
We were making good headway at getting unstuck, but then it started getting dark.
It gets dark awefully early this time of year.
So we started walking, it was good and dark then and we had to walk through the woods.
Also I didn't have any flashlights in the car. I do have this cool spotlight thingie
that Mike got me, but it plugs into the lighter socket, so no good for night walks.
We ended up walking nearly 4 miles. Then we got to the junction of the mine road,
and lucky for us, it was shift change time....we got a ride fairly quickly saving us another
3 miles of walking in the dark.
The next morning Mike drove me up in the pick-up and we easily got the car out,
we both had to back down the hill a mile......Ugh!
But no more getting stuck!

The Cat is in the Bag

  Mike spent a day working at Turner the weekend before Christmas.
He brought his ski bag in by the fire and hung the damp stuff to dry.
Fajouli (Zuli) climbed into the bag by the fire and snuggled in for a snooze. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

O Tannenbaum!

 It's been a few years since we have had a Christmas Tree.
This year I was, somehow, inspired to put one up.
Mike and I went for a walk out back and brought this one home.
It was nostalgic and fun to get out the boxes of ornaments and fancy up the tree.
Our halls are decked.
We are feeling Festive.
But it is looking like we will be home alone for Christmas!
Plans got changed.
We will celebrate as a family on the Solstice, which is really more usual for us.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fire in the sky

 This was my drive home last night!
I kept pulling over to take fotos.
It started out all pink and purple and then burned
into this crazy fire!
Made me really wish for a fancy camera,
these fotos don't do the scene justice, if you can imagine!


And another quote I found when preparing for this mornings yoga class.

“If you would foster a calm spirit,
First regulate your breathing;
For when that is under control,
A heart will be at peace;
But when breathing is spasmodic,
Then it will be troubled.
Therefore, before attempting anything
First regulate your breathing
On which your temper will be softened,
Your spirit calmed.”

Kariba Ekken~17th Century Mystic

spider web in the light

You know how when the light shines perfectly into your windows
that appeared to be clean,  and you suddenly notice how dirty they are?

Or when the sun shines perfectly on a spider web and you see
it as a masterpiece and then the light shifts a bit and you cannot
see it at all?

And you already know how I feel about light:
Light as in not dark,
Light as in not heavy.
Light changes everything.
Particulary perspectives.
Well, this writing really resonated with me
and I had to share, it is so appropriate
in this season of waning light,
 it is a good reminder for us to SHINE!

"When you shine the light of your attention

on something,
It shimmers and dances and makes itself known to you.
Give your complete attention and
wishes of well-being to another person,

and feel your heart lighten up."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The day of the Feast

 This fotos cracks me up!
I was not going to upload it, but then
I just had to, it is so good of Natassia
posing as a hostess!
Silas is predominantly responsible for
 EVERYTHING on this table foodwise.
I made one batch of crackers and some fermented/pickled garlic.
He went over-the-top!
We didn't need dinner after this!
 Here is the keezer.
We always have to buck the trend.
Most people have a "keggerator"
We have a 'keezer'.
This is our contribution to recycling.
We are basically unable to recycle glass here,
and we used to generate plenty.
Like when I would take our glass to the "recycle" center
{they save it in a special area to mine it later}
the attendant would ask if we owned a bar!
{We do take the glass of others who are typically willing
to just toss it, so it wasn't ALL ours~ but mostly}
Now we just have to wash glassware.
And Mike takes a growler to places he would usually take bottles.

The party!
It was very festive.
It was extremely delicious.
It was mostly organic.
We are all grateful and feel exceedingly fortunate.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Basement: Before and After

The "Great Room" before
& After, foto taken from the same angle.

Behind the glass is the freezer and the jelly cupboard
and the pantry.
We are still working on decorating and such.
One step at a time!

Enterepol, before and as the underlayment of hte flooring is being laid.
I didn't get a shot of this room in all of its horrible glory with the concrete floor and the sawdust
and everything tossed about willy~nilly.
But here it is now, with things on shelves and a new plywood floor.
The plywood is so that we can do projects in here without worrying about ruining the flooring.
This is a shot of the Great room from the doorway of the entrepol looking toward the
stairs and sliding glass doors leading out to the woodshed ghetto.
And here it is after organization and purging.
There is still a small pile of lumber that needs a new home
 and a few other loose ends to tie up.
 The TV area. Still some flooring that needs a new home,
but right now it serves as a coffee table of sorts!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

White weekend

I couldn't bring myself to toss the jack O' lantern in the compost
so I perched here on this stump
Now I see I should have carved a face into it so
it would have this snowy stocking hat!
Weekend walk to the paper box
2/3 mile round trip.
An old apple tree in the meadow.
Porcupine Creek.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The town shovels

Snow fell during the night,
blanketing NW Montana in white.

 I started shovelling as soon as I arrived at work,
and soon I was joined by people up and down the block.
There were many trucks with plows on the front,
but quite a gaggle of hand shovellers too.
 The above 3 fotos are of my handiwork at my office.
 above is the library shoveller lady,
and below, in shorts, year round, is 'Twig' from the laboratory out back.
 And here is Tony!
We all love Tony!
And here is also a fine example of why you need all season radials on your lawnmower!
He has chains for it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Morning Moonlight

My morning yoga practice takes place here,
when I lie on my mat I look through this HUGE jade plant out the window.
The last several mornings the moon is still fairly high on the horizon
sending this filtered light through the jade plant.
With my point&shoot camera, this is the best I can do,
and nothing captures the feeling, the magic of this scene!
This morning the temp. was 11° and somehow the light changes at that temp.
It was stunning!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


 Natassia and I took a little road trip to the Flathead for 11~11~11.
We met up with some friends and went to ladies night out in Whitefish.
But first we went with my friend, Helen, of hooping fame &
walked around this lovely property that is full of stone circles and mandalas
and huge crystals and other delightful things.

 The property is roughly 300 acres and the Whitefish River runs through it.
It was an old mill site.
Now it is something like a "StarGate" or portal.
We are not sure what the owner is calling it.
But it was a lovely outing and a lovely day for a walk,
and all the goodness and adventure carried on late into the night.
The full moon and 11~11~11!

My Drive Home

I stopped to get milk from the local cow after work.
And this is my view when I rounded the bend.
It was really much more spectacular than this.
I am suprised this looks this good.
On the teeny screen it was like, " I stopped the car for this"?!

What's Cookin'?

Pumpkin & Sesame Seed Crackers

1 cup pumpkin seeds ( I used raw ones from the store)
1 cup sesame seeds
3 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 egg
1 Tablespoon maple syrup ( I didn't use a full T of this, didn't want sweetness in my crackers)
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons water.
Preheat the oven to 350°
In the food processor mix the pumpkin seeds and garlic and whirl.
Then add salt and oil and syrup and egg and whirl then, if you think you need it,
add some water a teeny bit at at time (I didn't use a full 3 T)
Then add the sesame seeds and whirl some more.

Roll thin (like cracker thin...what is that in milimetres? and how would you measure that? Use your judgement!, think of wheat thins) between two sheets of parchment and then cup into desired size with pizza cutter (ingenious! but I don't have one so I used a knife) bake on a cooky sheet on the lower piece of parchment.

I, personally, think they ought to have salted tops and will do that next time for sure.

Bake until browned to perfection. The recipe says 15 to 20 minutes....
My crackers always seem to need to bake longer than the recipe says.....why?
So I broke off the ones around the edges that were getting really crisp and baked the center ones longer.
These are SO good! Yum!
I got some fancy cheese from Costco (sheeps milk) and a thin slice of it upon these is just dreamy!

I cooked a LOT yesterday!
I am not sure why. It was fun and I did it in streaks, rather than cooking all day.

I made bread, then custard (I had to use up the milk before milk day) and crackers and apple gallette (for the Monday Night Football boys~glad they ain't at my house!), and biscotti and squash soup
and toasted squash seeds I think that might be it.
But it sure was grand this morning when I went to put together my breakfast and lunch for work!

I did all this cookin' while I was alternately: cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming, knitting breaks, general art puttering and even a walk in the break in the snowstorms....
It was a good day!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hamer Acres

Natassia and Silas bought this beautiful property north of Sandpoint.
10 acres.
It has a hay field, lots of timber land,
and little meadows tucked away here and there.

This is a huge old stump from days gone by
serving as a 'nurse tree'.
You can get a better idea of the size of the stump in the first foto
with Natassia and Silas standing beside it.

The Turning

 It is trying really hard to be winter in the high country.
We took advantage of still having access up high and drove up to
check snow depths and take in the view.
We saw two moose.

Gettin' Ready for Winter

Mike has been on the roof a lot lately.
He replaced screws that last winters snow load removed.
He fiddled around with the chimney, cleaned the stovepipe and such
and he added 'snow-brakes' to the dormers to hold the snow on the roof
for insulation and mostly because when the snow builds up on the dormers
it holds there a long time and then when it comes off it damages the lower roof
And feels like an earthquake.
This way, perhaps it will just melt.
The fun thing is that Fajoul, the kitty, loves to join him on the roof!
She climbs that ladder and gets onto the roof and then climbs the roof ladder and walks about.
He tries to keep her off, but she just loves it.

The Gold of Autumn

 Larch tree near the BBQ, this thing is covering our back deck with gold needles.
The pond is covered with a special breathable mesh so that it doesn't fill with needles and then freeze before we can fish them all out. The sides of the driveway are lined with gold!
 This oak is like the larch trees in that it changes colors all the time, from chartreuse in the spring to green to yellowy green to golden, to russet to nearly scarlet.....