Monday, December 30, 2013

Quote of the Week: 12/30/2013

“Each age has deemed the new-born year The fittest time for festal cheer.” 
-- Walter Scott

Happy 2014 to each of you!
From Granddad's Corner - Jim and Kathi

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy the Macareindeer, and we hope you have a very merry Christmas! Jim & Kathi

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Blogging Around the Christmas Tree (A Kathi Post)

 I love to have our Christmas tree up. Not only is it pretty and fun to have, it's fun to see my ornaments that I haven't seen all year. For the most part, most of the ornaments on our tree are reminders of things to keep close to our hearts.

This picture is one of the ornaments we bought with Nugget in mind. Nugget has several ornaments, but this one is a ceramic grocery bag with dog food, treats, and toys depicted inside. 

It reminds me of unconditional love, 'cause that's what our doggies give to us all.

This penguin ornament reminds me of our niece, Victoria (in the Navy now), because she loves all things penguin. Thinking of Victoria also makes me think about all our nieces and nephews, whom we love. Jim's nephew Grant was the one killed in Afghanistan. Thinking of Grant reminds us to think of our troops, those who are serving and those who served before, those who are living, and those who have passed. So looking at this ornament reminds me of family and of those who might not be able to be home on Christmas day for a lot of reasons, but they can be with us in our hearts.

This watermelon ornament is one I bought myself, just because I love watermelons. Watermelons are Christmas colors, so that we can have Christmas in the middle of summer in a way. 

I also love the grapes we grow in our backyard, and that's what I think of when I look at this ornament of grapes. That also makes me think of my Grandma Lovey, 'cause she always picked grapes and made grape jelly. Because she could do it, I was not afraid to learn. Thinking of Grandma Lovey makes me think of all the grandparents, and the lives they lived, things they did, and things they taught. They are also the reason we have our parents, and having good ones is a huge blessing. Jim and I were both fortunate to have good ones, and I'm fortunate to still have my mom. Seeing these grapes reminds me of how I love them all and how they all love me.

This aspen leaf was given to me by one of the friends I worked with when I worked in libraries. It was one of the best jobs ever because of the people. I still have some of those people in my life today, even if I only see some of them every once in awhile and some I haven't seen in a couple years. Though I don't see them often, they are never far from my thoughts and still occupy a place in my heart. It was a great job, and I met a lot of great people. 

That makes me think of other people I have met in work since then, and I have some good friends from my work at the mining association as well. I don't really have friends in my new workplace, but I'm still really new.

Christmas is a good time to remember friends, old and new, near and far.

Speaking of friends, Jim and I got this ornament of a ristra when we went to New Mexico to visit his friend Bob. He and Bob have been friends since elementary school. When we visited Bob in 2010, he didn't yet know that he had brain cancer. He's been fighting it awhile and is still fighting. That makes me think of courage and living with challenges that we all do, but some are harder and longer fights than others, and some have more or harder challenges that the rest of us. 

Thinking of those challenges makes me think of our friends who have passed. Jim has lost quite a few. I admire him for the way he keeps friends for a long time. He is loyal. He is supportive. He is not afraid. He is goodhearted and faithful. That makes me remember how lucky I am to have him as my husband.

Speaking of his being my husband -- this ornament is about his surname. That makes me think of how funny it is that I now have an Irish last name to go with my Irish first name AND to think of how much we love each other.
That reminds me that I am a lucky girl.

This ornament makes me think of the star of Bethlehem. That makes me think of the birth of Jesus, and how he was sent to us from God. The sacrifice of his Son is the greatest gift we will ever receive. Merry Christmas, all!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Quote of the Week: 12/23/2013

Dogs will love you no matter what; therefore, they channel that eternal and undying love of Christ.

It's Nugget's birthday today. Happy birthday, Nugget!

In honor of Nugget's birthday, if you'd like, you can buy a service member a cup of coffee through Green Beans Coffee, A Cup of Joe for a Joe. It's only $2, and is a nice way to let our deployed troops know that we are thinking of them.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

PREPING: Oldy but goody

Here is a book that comes in handy for all of us who prep. It is titled WOODCRAFT, by Bernard S. Mason.

It covers just about all you would need to know on how to do things, like make a brush den, making tree bark containers, cordage, cups, plates, bowls, and eating utensils, tanning hides, and handmade goggles so you don't go snow blind.

It covers log cabins, furniture, homemade knives -- even totem poles and moccasins. It's kind of a one stop, do all book. Over 500 pages. It's old school. Copyright 1939.

My Dad and I, when I was a little fart, put some of the things in this book to use. I even whittled a spoon years ago that I used for years, until a magpie swooped into my camp and carried it off to who knows where!

So, if you can find a copy, I don't think you will be disappointed. I'm going to get re-acquainted with my copy and maybe do a project or two from it this winter. So, see if you can find a copy and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I have a question. Why is the word "bra" singular, and the word "panties" plural? I mean, who came up with this? Have you thought of such things? Then again, maybe my mind just works differently. Or, maybe I was dropped on my head as a infant.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

METAL DETECTING: The old home stead

Well, I made it out to the old homestead place next to my sister's house. They had already torn down the house. I stayed out of the way of the backhoe and the dump trucks. I took two metal detectors with me. I had Kathi's Lobo Super TRAQ from Tesoro. It is a gold machine for prospecting for them gold nuggets and little pickers. The other detector is a Whites MXT. It can be used for gold prospecting also, but has the extra ability to also be used for relic hunting and for coins/jewelry.

I started out with the Super TRAQ. It will sound off on any metal it comes across. I started with it because I was told that the yard might have a lot of trashy stuff like pull tabs, nuts, bolts, screws, foil, and who knows what else. It did have LOTS of trash. So, I switched over to the MXT. With it I can tune out the trash. The MXT has a digital screen on it, that tells you what it sounds off on. There is a graph also that lets you know if it is iron, brass, nickel, dime, penny, quarter, or a ring.

Along the open parts of this huge yard (almost a full acre) between the fence on the west side and working my way east, I found pounds of scrap metal. There was so much that I could not go more than two feet in any direction. I found strips of sheet metal, wrought iron, flattened coffee cans (modern), bean cans with some of the labels still on them. I found pieces of a screen door with some of the wood still attached. And, of course, pull tabs.

As I was working my way further east, the owner showed up and I walked over and introduced myself. I thanked her for letting me detect the property. I found out that the house had burnt down once before some time in the '70's. At that time, the original homestead house had added on several rooms over the years and had been expanded over the dug out. The well that had originally been more in front of the place was now part of the front porch. 

When it caught fire back in the 1970's, a lot of the furnishings and collectibles from the 1800's were hauled off. Quite a few items were hauled to the dump. The house was scraped from its pad of concrete and the rubble was pushed over to the west side of the property, which would explain all of the scrap metal and stuff. I was also told that area had also been used as a trash area.

As I thanked her for the info, one of the last dump trucks moved from what would of been the front yard. The owner left and I started to work the front yard. After about 15 minutes or so, I got a good tone from the MXT. It said that it was a dime at about 3 inches down. I pinpointed the spot and dug a plug. In the plug was a dime. After a few more minutes, the MXT toned, this time it said penny, 4 inches down. I dug a plug and pulled out a penny. All told, I found about 40 some odd cents. All of the coins are from the 1970's.

As I moved closer to where the front porch was the MXT made a sweet tone, and it said nickel/ ring, 2 inches. I dug a plug, and sure enough, there sat a ring. Nothing fancy or valuable. It was too small for a man's ring, so it might be a woman's ring. It is silver in color, with a band around the outside that might be brass. And this brass, can be spun around the ring. Almost like two rings in one. I also found a small wrench.

All told, I spent 6 hours metal detecting. I picked up lots of trash and found some money and a ring and wrench. It was fun, and I got some good exercise. My knees were a bit sore. But hey, I learned that almost all of the good stuff had been hauled off by the people that lived there. And I learned some history of the place. I mean, can you imagine living there back when and working in your yard, then seeing Indians approaching, and you made your wife and kids get into this hole in the ground next to your home for protection? 

When you're metal detecting and you find stuff, it makes you wonder. What were the people doing when they lost the things we find years later? It would have been nice to have found something from the 1800's. I'm sure, at some point, I will. I'm hoping to find a gold coin one day. And, a diamond ring would be cool. My best find to date is a 14-karat gold pocket watch. But that is a story for some other time.

Monday, December 16, 2013


"Life is like an ice-cream cone; you have to lick it one day at a time."
--Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Deer Hunt

This story was told to me by my dad. It is about a hunting trip my dad had with his stepdad, whom we called Pappy.

Now Pappy, when he was a younger man, was 6 foot tall, worked in the oil fields, and was a wildcatter.

My dad, at the time of this story, was in his teens. It took place here in Colorado, up on the Gore range. My dad, Pappy, Uncle Fay, and some friends were hunting for deer one hunting season. They had stopped to take a break and rest for awhile. They were almost at timber line level, on a ridge, when my dad spotted this little two or three point buck down the ridge a-ways.

My dad pointed it out to everyone, and Uncle Fay said it was too far away for a shot. My dad asked Pappy what he thought, and Pappy said, "Hell, I can hit him from here!" So Pappy found him a comfortable spot on a rock looking down the ridge, took aim while everyone else was telling him that there was NO WAY he was going to hit that buck. They said that it was a waste of time and ammo. But that didn't seem to matter to Pappy. He wanted that buck.  So Pappy took his time aiming, and was thinking he has adjusted for the range and angle of the ridge. He pulled the trigger. BOOM!

Several seconds later, they all watched as the buck made about two steps then fell over. Everyone said it was a damn good shot! Pappy stood up and looked at all of them and said, "I told you I would get him." As everyone stood and watched, Pappy took off down the side of the ridge, going from one rock to another, trying to not start a rock slide. When pappy finally got down to his deer, he laid down his rifle, straddled the buck, got out his hunting knife, and leaned over to slit the buck's throat.

All of a sudden the buck jumped up with Pappy on his back and started to run down the side of the ridge. (I can't say here what Pappy was hollering while on his ride!) So, there was Pappy on this deer's back as it ran down the ridge, with a knife in his hand, and trying to slit its throat. When Pappy told the story, the knife was dull at the time; he said that he forgot to sharpen it before they left camp that morning.

Anyway, Pappy finally brought down his deer. All the while, everyone on top of the ridge was hollering and laughing their heads off. As Pappy was cleaning out the deer, he could not find a bullet wound. Then he rolled the deer over and he found the wound. It seems that he -- how should I say it? -- Pappy hit him in his marble sack. Took it right off!

By the time everyone else got down to Pappy and brought him his rifle, he was nursing some bumps and scrapes. Everyone told him what a great shot he was, that it was the greatest shot they had ever seen! While all this talking was going on, some of the guys were looking at the deer and asked pappy where he had hit the deer (they didn't see any wound.)Before he could say a word, someone rolled the deer on to its back. Everyone looked and saw that the buck was minus a certain part, and they all started to giggle, and then full-on laughed. Poor Pappy, red faced, trying to tell them all that he shot the buck that way on purpose to save the meat. That the angle was off. That if he had hit him elsewhere there would not have been much left of the buck.

I heard it years later and I asked pappy about this story. He turned beet red, lit his pipe, and admitted that it was so. Pappy was a great man, humble and loving. Even with all of his faults. He had a side that was fun, and his eyes would light up if you asked him a question about his life. I truly miss him, as I'm sure he is missed by others.

But he sure left me with a bunch of great stories!

Monday, December 9, 2013


"A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire."

-- Francois de La Rochefoucauld, 
French author and nobleman

Friday, December 6, 2013


Okay, stand me up against the wall and shoot me. The other morning I was cooking my breakfast and I had several slices of bacon in a skillet. The kitchen smelled of coffee and bacon being cooked. Then.... the phone rang.

It was my aunt calling from Laramie, WY. So, instead of letting the call go to voicemail, I answered. I could have sworn that I had turned off the burner. I guess I didn't. We talked for about a half hour. The next thing I know, Nugget is acting like he needs out. But he is wanting to go out the front door, instead of the back door.

As I told my aunt that I needed to go, and was just hanging up the phone,  I caught a whiff of something burning. Nugget would not even go into the kitchen. There was smoke. LOTS of smoke. I took a deep breath, ran to the back door, and flung it open. 

I went to the stove and saw that the burner had not been shut off, but that I had, instead, turned it the other way. All the way down to lower than low. Duh. So there I was with this really hot skillet, and these black things in the bottom of the skillet. (Remember the black snakes that we would light up on the 4th of July on the side walks when we were kids?)

I took a oven mitt, picked up the skillet, and proceeded to take the whole mess out into the backyard. I found a nice level spot away from the house and placed the skillet on a few bricks. I heard someone whistle. It dawned on me, I had run outside in my lounge pants, and a t-shirt. 

I looked, but could not find the culprit. It had to be one of three neighbors. (None of them have confessed yet. ) I ran back indoors, and opened the front door to get a breeze going through the house. Nugget layed in front of the door and flopped down on his side. I swear he made a few of those fake coughing noises and gave me the darnedest look.

I turned on the ceiling fan, and got out our summer fan, and cranked them both on high. I had the summer fan facing into the kitchen to blow the smoke towards the back door. I also grabbed a hand fan to help move the smoke. It took a while. I got the smoke out. I left both doors open for just about the whole day. As the house was airing out, I got dressed and went to check on my skillet. 

The skillet was fine and those black things that used to be bacon? I tossed them further into the backyard. Guess what? The magpies won't even eat those things. Nugget gave them wide berth as he made his midmorning rounds to his poop patch. I cleaned up the skillet and stovetop. Later in the day, I closed the front door, and turned off the fans.

When Kathi came home from work she said that the house smelled of bacon. I told her that I had bacon for breakfast. Nugget gave me a dirty look. I picked up the black bacon the other day, along with all of Nuggets leavings. They were hauled away by the trash guys. 

Man, I'm glad that Nugget can't talk.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Mother-in-Law's Cheesecake Recipe (A Kathi Post)

Last week I told you I was planning to make my mother-in-law's (Dennie's) cheesecake recipe to take to Thanksgiving dinner. I made it and I took it. It was good.

This is the recipe card, straight from her recipe box. It looks like she made it often. I am going to keep it just like it is. She was a wonderful cook, but a messy one. I liked that about her.

The finished cheesecake has a light, fresh taste. My Jim likes it with some pie filling on the top, so that's what we did (strawberry), but it's good naked, too.

Here's the recipe, with my translations:
16 oz. cottage cheese
4 eggs
1 t. salt
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. flour
1 T. vanilla
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice and rind of 1 large orange

Cream the cheese; add sugar and egg yolks. Mix flour and milk. Add to the cheese, sugar and eggs. Add condensed milk, orange, lemon, and vanilla. Beat egg whites and fold into cheese mixture.

(I did this part all in my food processor. I added the salt, though it's not mentioned in the recipe directions. I used a zester to zest the orange.)

For the crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1-1/2 sticks of butter, melted 
2 t. cinnamon
1-1/2 t. vanilla

Mix together and press into an oblong pan. 

(I used a 9x13 pan, but next time I make it I will use a jelly roll pan instead so I had cleaner edges when it's cut).

Pour the cheese mixture into the crust. (Preheat your oven to 350 degrees). Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, then lower the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 35 more minutes. Then turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 1-1/2 hours longer.

I remember Dennie telling me a story about how their pastor stopped by their house (when they lived in Arkansas). She had just turned the oven off and was waiting for the hour and a half to take it out when the pastor arrived. He sat, and sat, and sat, and finally said he guessed she wasn't going to offer him any of whatever it was that smelled so good in the oven, so he guessed he'd leave. She had to show him the recipe with the waiting time instructions just so she could prove she wasn't holding out on him, just waiting for it to be done! He stayed long enough that he could have some before he left.

It does smell really nice in the house when you bake this.

Here's a picture of Jim's Dad and Mom. Now doesn't she just LOOK like the baking-est person?!

I'll write the ending like Jim does:
"So grab a fork, put some fruit on it, and FEED YOUR FACE!"

Monday, December 2, 2013

Subtle-butt (A Kathi Post)

Okay, I know Jim has not seen this because he would have written a really funny post to go along with it.

(This was in the catalog that came in the mail this week.)

I am just trying to figure out how to get one of these strapped to our dog, Nugget! 


"We must not allow the clock and the calender to blind us to the fact, that each moment of life, is a miracle and mystery."
--H.G. Wells,English author