Friday, December 27, 2013

Oh it was a Memorable Christmas...

The Grand kiddos got a new puppy for Christmas...a minature schnauzer.   He is the 3rd family schnauzer that our #2 son has had.  First he had his little boy Schnauzer, Harvey.  Then when #2 Son was in high school, we got Charlie after Harvey had passed on at 14 years of age.
Charlie in 2011

Charlie passed over the rainbow bridge last winter at the age of 15.  Our place has seemed awlfully quiet without a schnauzer to keep the rabbits in line on the farm.  We are thinking of trying to obtain a new 'farm' schnauzer from rescue but first want to get a radio controlled dog door and yard fence up.  Somehow I do not think it would be cool to come home and find out Mr. Skunk or Mr. Racoon had invited himself into the house through the doggie door.

The grandkids combined the names of the first two schnauzers and have named the new one Herley.  Herley seems to be thrilled to have 2 kids of his own for Christmas also.  Course Herley will only get to visit us out on 60 Miles North of Nowhere.  Hence the need for another schnauzer still.

We spent Christmas Eve with the kids and grandkids and sure enjoyed it a LOT.  We were surprised to receive a new 32" LED TV so we can get rid of the Nine Ton Tessie television we currently use and have had it for almost 10 years.  So it's probably at the end of it's use anyway.  Christmas Day was spent with Hubby's family and we got to meet Herley over there.

I find I don't post as many posts to my blog because I only have Windows 8 which I absolutely loathe.  It's hard to find my photos or just navigate.  I bought a 'new' old desktop with Windows 7 and am going to get it set up.  I think I will be much more comfortable.

I sewed fleece bathrobes for the grandkids this year, and a matching one for their little cousin.
The Girls Robes

The Boy's Robe

Fleece sews up so nicely into something like a bath robe.

I did discover mid-project that once you break a needle on your serger, getting a new one into place without the proper needle inserter tool is NOT an easy task!!!  I finally gave up and just used a three thread overlock instead of a four.

I also made four matching stockings which match a tree skirt I did years ago for my daughter-in-law.

and then last, but not least, made a jacket and dress pants for my special little fifth-grader girl....

She had chosen the material and the McCall's pattern and I thought it came out cute as a bug's ear.  So I will probably make this pattern sometime again for the granddaughter.

And I sewed right up to we almost left for Christmas Eve!!!  I need more sewing time I think or less procrastination time.....ha.

Have some projects in mind for next year already.

Hope your Holiday was as great as mine was!

Onward to 2014 and Spring!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Musing

Today is a cold gray day in Wyoming, and it's Veteran's Day.  Both my hubby's dad and my father were World War II vets.  I have a nephew right now who is deployed, something like his fifth deployment.

We salute our Veterans and remember their service.

Which brought Hubby and I to a conversation center around the Cold War era.  They gave all us kids 'lessons' in surviving a nuclear holocaust; quite literally.  I remember taking classes in PE on how to treat radiation sickness and managing a shelter, making sure those who went outside were decontaminated before coming back in. etc.

Holy Smokes!!!  It was sure nightmare stuff.  I was in junior high school during the Cuban missile crisis and we never knew how close we came to Armageddon then.  Turned out not only were all those Cuban missiles ready to go off--they were ARMED!!  Yikes.

Which brings me to the question, would they give those classes to our kids now?  I know it was pretty scary stuff.

One of Hubby's friends said we would all stay in those shelters 90 days, come out and take one look and decide we were sorry we lived through it.

Maybe.  Hopefully, we will never see a nuclear war....ever.  Not our grandkids nor their descendants.

Well enough of this morbid musing....not a pleasant subject.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

When a Good Deal isn't to Be.............

We'll intersperse the genealogy posts with others.

I shuck out cars -- fast.  Commuting 120 miles a day racks up the miles.  So I always look for good buys in used vehicles.  We've found that we really like the old luxury models with big engines -- they get decent gas mileage on the highway (which is what all our miles are) and are so C-O-M-F-O-R-T - able to go down the road in.  Real Road Lizards.

Several Months ago I spied a real buy in the classifieds.  2004 Lincoln Towncar, low miles, good condition. $Low Bucks!!  YES, this I gotta go see.

So I call and the lady says the car is in the lot where her husband works with a For Sale sign on it.  Drive by.

Alrighty then.

And there it sat in all it's glory - the buy of the year EXCEPT

IT was a deep purple.....and I do Mean Purple!!!


it had........

AMERICAN FLAGS on both front fenders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What the heck????

It was positively the most gawdy ugly thing I've ever set eyes on.

Hubby looks at me.  I look at Hubby.......Hubby says "you could paint it"........"Sure, I could paint and when I found out what it will cost, we won't do it.  And I will be stuck.  Not only NO but HXXX NO!  Not even if it's FREE."

And the last I Knew it was still there with it's For Sale sign.

Even a Bargain Hunter has to have her Standards.   I'm still driving the Yaris so you know mine are not all that High.......

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

La Grande Recrue de 1653

The first of my ancestors set foot in the New World in 1653. (A previous post about Pierre DeSautels dit la pointe can be found HERE) I recently discovered some of the motivation for a young 22 year old man to pull up roots in France and sail to Montreal, Quebec Canada.

Prospects for young men in Malicorne France must have been dismal indeed for our Pierre the Pioneer to have thought prospects in New France were better.  The 30 Year War had recently ended and it had decimated Europe.  Germany lost half of it's population to the war.  France was bankrupt in 1647 but did not announce it until 1648.  Pierre's father was a tailor and since Pierre listed that as his occupation he was more likely an apprentice to his father - who probably could no longer afford him in tough economic times.  Prospects must have seemed to be non-existant to young Pierre

By 1650, the village of Montreal had been decimated by the Iroquis Indians.  One in five residents had been killed by them and the village was on the verge of folding.  It was well known that torture was in store if the Indians captured you. Roasting the prisoner alive over a period of several days was one of the preferred methods, followed by cannabilism.

Huge land grants had been given to the first settlers who were to recruit more settlers to work the land; but the original pioneers were more interested in fur-trapping than farming and the venture failed to recruit more settlers.  Slightly more than 100 settlers were living in the Montreal area by 1650.  Collapse of the colony seemed imminent.

The Maison LeBer-LeMoyne built in 1671 in Old Montreal
from Wilkepedia here

In 1651, the head of the settlement , M. Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, went to France to recruit One Hundred souls to bolster the population of Montreal and keep the settlement from failing.  My ancestor, Pierre DeSautels, was one of those pioneer recruits.  He was one of four people on the boat who could write his name and had an education.  After Pierre's boat set sail, it began to leak and they had to turn around.  To keep the new recruits from abandoning ship, literally, they only came back as far as an island off the coast of France to make repairs.  I have to wonder if Pierre did not begin to question his decision to emigrate to the New World!

Pierre the Pioneer was one of the few of the original volunteers of the La Grande Recrue de 1653 who survived the rigors and brutalities of the New World and thrived. Eventually, the long awaited land grant was given to him on Longue Point, and he acquired the surname of dit (from) la (the) Pointe.

An old map of Montreal - Longue Pointe is on the southern side of the Big Island jutting out as the 'bump' on the northerly central end just above the little island. - Hence  Longue Pointe.

Wisely, Pierre did not live on Longue Pointe as the outer settlements of Montreal were easy prey for the Iroquis.  Generations later, however, the family still lived there as my Great-great grandfather, Joseph Maxime DeSotels (DeSautels) was born in Longue Pointe in 1834, as was his father, Joseph Basile DeSotels in 1808.  

Joseph Maxime DeSotels

NEXT:  Coureur Des Bois -
The early French Canadians make their living trapping and followed the rivers helping to settle the Mississippi River country.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Think Fall Was

September 24th this year in Wyoming.  I missed it.

First Snow - September 26th and it was a doozy.

Then in Early October we've had one snow of about 18" (Atlas) which drove east of us and devastated the poor Ranchers in South Dakota.  Our livestock got cold but we poured some hay into all of them and they weathered it okay.

The Beginning of Atlas

Then we've had 2 more snows for about 8" total.....all of which has melted into MUD.

And WINTER isn't even here yet -- this is suppose to be FALL, where did it go?

Oh, and remember I was going to get laid off and retire?? Like not drive to work from Sixty Miles North of Nowhere and looking forward to it?  Not happening.   The gal who was going to do my job in California quit.  So they are stuck with me and I am stuck with driving.

Maybe I need to get a rig like this and pack my roads like they used to for the sleighs (I do have one).


Well I think this should take the drudgery out of a morning commute!!!!  

I have found some interesting information on one of my ancestors and will try to get a post together about him.  Very interesting stuff sometimes!

Drive Safe this Winter....If its bad, I ain't gonna go is my mantra.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My NEW Love well maybe OUR New Love....

When you live 60 miles north of nowhere, entertainment other than watching a prairie dog or an antelope, is quite scarce.  Well we did have satellite television but cannot get anything off the air at all.  That added up to an expensive bill every month - over $70.00 and then we felt like there was very little that suited our tastes.

You see we are old-fashioned and when you are married to a cowboy guy

Darling Hubby on Melody
if it ain't a western it ain't worth watchin!   Even a bad western is better than anything else in their opinion.

So we dropped down to the very basic satellite package ($29.99) and got a Roku.  Wow - what a wonderful little gadget if you have wifi (which believe it or not here out in the boonies we do!).  It was easy to set up and for only $8 a month you can watch some really great westerns on Netflix streaming.  (We had it by mail but dropped that and went to streaming).  

We also subscribed to Hulu Plus but both of us found their interface hard to use and we were not watching it so we just kept Netflix.  So far one of our favorites has been the series from AMC (which is on Netflix) called   Hell on Wheels  which is basically about a former Confederate Soldier, Bohannon, who is a foreman helping to build the Union Pacific across Nebraska.  It's a Great Show, and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good western. Course Longmire is a favorite especially since it's location is set 70 miles north of us but we have already watched all the 2013 episodes before we got the Roku.   That said the streaming usually runs one year behind or at least a couple of weeks but that doesn't bother us in the least.

I also discovered we can watch last night's local news from 60 miles away via streaming through Plex.  We've NEVER had a local news channel.  It's only about 10 minutes of streaming news but hey! AT least it's local.

Even Cowboys sometimes have to get 'modern'.

Course we still :entertain ourselves watching some of the perks to be found 60 Miles North Of Nowhere 

like the Elk (see them on the hillside behind our horses?) and other great Wyoming wildlife.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wyoming's Wildflowers & News from Sixty Miles North of Nowhere

I took these earlier this spring on the little lot on the mountain but just now got them downloaded from my phone to share.

This is a common flower often seen in Wyoming - Yarrow.  The white has washed together so you really cannot see the flower except maybe in the upper left corner.

Not a particulary 'showy' flower and they don't seem to take over a meadow.  Just a few plants here and there.

Then we had a member of the balsamroot family but I am not sure which one.  Maybe hairy balsamroot?  They are a sunflower.

Then there was the delicate yellow Monkeyflower.  Seems like an odd name for such a pretty little flower doesn't it?

Then we had some sort of Columbine, you really cannot see the 'tails' in this photo.

And last and certainly not least, my favorite Wyoming flower -- Lupine.  Lupine blooms briefly but 'moves' up the mountain as the spring snows melt and the weather warms.  You can find whole meadows of lupine covering the entire meadow and the smell of lupine is to die for.  When I die, throw some lupine over me to smell in eternity and I'm good to go!

View to the east of our lot showing a bunch of lupine.

I guess I could call this next photo, how to dress up your outhouse naturally!  The lupine were all over behind it.

I took all these photos with a square of about 50 x 50 feet in five minutes.  Spring on the mountain!  It doesn't get much better than that in Wyoming.

And of course the humans did their favorite thing....

Built a fire in our firepit, ate, and RELAXED.

As pretty as Lupine is and as much as found in the mountains of Wyoming, what did they choose as Wyoming's state flower?  This---usually found wizened and barely clinging to life, found in the mountains and on the plains, basically statewide which may be why it was chosen.  The indian paintbrush --
and is rarely as colorful as this stock photo.  More than fifteen varieties of Indian paintbrushes can be found in the state.  This is the Wyoming Indian Paintbrush which is found statewide at all elevations.

Hopefully I got these flowers identified correctly from a lovely little book given to me by Chestine and Teri and which I have practically worn out.  It's called Wildflowers of Wyoming by Diantha and Jack States.  A very good identification book.   

Sad news here this morning.  I had eight guiena keets that hatched yesterday and this morning all are gone.  Something got them overnight, maybe the other guienas?   The Bull Snake?  A racoon?  I don't know.  But I do know I will try to build a bullet proof cage in the corner for her to set her next nest and then I can lock her in and everything else OUT.  She's never set in the coop before, always out in the prairie and none of those survived either.  Life is not easy if you are a guiena at Sixty Miles North of Nowhere apparently.

Other news -- I am going to be retired.  They are closing the office where I work and at my age, I really don't think anyone in their right mind would hire a grandma with a 60 mile commute.  In some ways I look forward to it and in others, especially the financial end of it, it makes me nervous.  But then I won't have all the car expenses and the take-in, convenience foods, etc.  I can also garden next year and do my canning which I love to do.  And Sewing......maybe I can actually REDUCE those mounds of fabrics.  I am only one shopping trip from having my sewing room featured on an episode of Hoarders..........   And of course, NANA can be on 24/7 call for babysitting those grandkiddos.  My FAVORITE thing to do. 

Last weekend we helped build this for them.

I herded the kiddos while everyone else 'constructed' and 'cuss-structed'!!   At one point they wanted a treat so I gave them each a chocolate covered ice cream cone their mother had for them.  Grandson #1 doesn't like ice cream (WHO ever heard of that) but loves chocolate.  So he ate all the chocolate off his ice cream and wanted another.  No I told him, you have to eat all of it at which he looked at me and said, "Nana you are silly!"  Yeah, I am, kid.  You got me figured out.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Branding Day at Sixty Miles North of Nowhere

The two MIC ready to go (most important cowboys!)
#1 MIC rode her pony over to the corrals.  Pony is MIP (most important pony).  Mom is the MIH (most important handler).  Then we have #2 MIC demanding attention from MIH.
First we separate the calves from their mommas.  See the cow in the Middle here?  She wasn't leaving her baby.  Un-huh.  No way.  They finally had to rope her.  Grandson told me that cow was 'stuck' when his daddy roped her. Yep she was but we got her un-stuck.
Some participants in this ritual were none too happy about the brief separation.
Vaccinating each calf.
Branding each calf with our brand -- see the smoke?  Hot iron right out of the fire.  Does it hurt? Sure it does but only briefly.
MIC #1 practiced her riding.  Grandpa couldn't find the NEW pony blanket Grandma bought her.  C'mon Grandpa!!! The horse blanket is TOOO big.
Our brand on #2 son's saddle.
When you get bored you can always throw rocks, sticks or whatever you can find into the pond.
Ratchet & Melody were not sure what the MIC's where up to with that rock throwing!!
For the finale, you can STOMP in Grandpa's 'broken' water tank, now his cow feeder, which makes  a GREAT NOISE!

And that was the weekend at Sixty Miles North of Nowhere.  It was sure fun.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Drought, Dust, and Climate Change

The recent drought, as in prolonged drought really since 2004, has me dry and not enough water the new 'normal' for Sixty Miles North of Nowhere?

Perhaps.  We thought we would have to sell our cows this year but we just had a stretch of thunderstorms and now everything is green again!

But what if it hadn't rained?  What if we depended on those cows to feed a family like they did back in the dust bowl days?  How awful that must have been for them; scanning a sky for moisture they needed to feed their family, put in a crop, graze cattle.  Looking for rain that never came.

I interviewed a lady who lived through those days in the Red Canyon area near Lander, Wyoming.  She told me she got so desperate she shot prairie dogs to just feed her children.  Can you imagine!!  But she and her kids all survived.

And who can forget the depression era photo, Migrant Mother, by Dorothea Lange...Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California
Taken in a California Migrant Camp for the Resettlement Administration.  To read more click HERE

If you have ever looked into the eyes of desperation, this has to be it.
I recently read where this lady, Florence Thompson, survived the dust bowl as did all her children and they stayed in California.  I'm glad at least this photo has a happy ending.   

I am not sure climate change will have a happy ending.  Maybe I'm glad I probably won't be here to see it, although my grandchildren surely will be.  AND that worries me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Properly Eat a Lime

Brought to you by the Lovely Miss T - #1 Granddaughter
First take a good BITE!

Whoo EEE! It's so sour!

Savor the Flavor!

Yikes, what a Bite!

Miss T -  Toughest Lime Eater in the West

Girls are just so uncool.  Not like us Dudes in the sunglasses - Mr. B,  Da Little Brother

Hope your Memorial Day was Sunny and Fun.  And for that we can thank our wonderful soldiers who protect our freedom to enjoy BBQ's and everything life in the US has to offer.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We Would Like to Take This Opportunity

To Thank BOB; our resident cowdog and homestead Manager for bravely fighting one Pepee LePew (Skunk) the other night in Line of Duty and.....

Enthusastically Greeting the Residents of the Homestead 60 Miles North of Nowhere upon their arrival home, whereupon their eyes began to water it so bad.

Bob Helping Hubby yesterday

Visitors to ye olde Homestead may find it prudent to remain upwind of BOB for the next few days.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Back from the Hiatus!

My old computer strangled to death on it's own guts -- you know Microsoft Windows Poisoning!  So no posting for a while.  A new laptop later I'm online again.  It has Windows 8 which I'm not fond of but at least it works.

I gave my Kindle temporarily to No. 1 Son and DIL thinking it would 'free' me up to do some sewing and it sure did!

Here's some of the projects I've gotten done......
Aprons for Grandson and Granddaughter -- and I made matching aprons for Mom & Dad too.  
Had to order the material off the internet; apparently cherries are popular for sewing.

Fleece bathrobes - my first serger project.  I was happy with how they turned out and will definitely make more of these.

Minnie Mouse Sundress.  The Fabric was $25 a Yard for simple cotton!! Wow they must know grandmothers are suckers for cute fabric.  

Lil cowpokes need little cowboy shirts - toddler size 3 with a bandana that has velcro to hold it.  I used the same sewing pattern I used to use for his daddy.  Glad I saved it.

Now I am working on doll clothes and a really cute short set for Granddaughter's birthday.

Only one cow left to calve and we are done with the herdlet calving.  All black heifer calves so far!! WOW.  That's never happened before.  Going to be hard to determine who goes to the sale barn and who we eat next year.  Might have to go buy a couple of steers.  I don't like to eat the girls.

Grass is starting to come up.  I missed five days of work in April because the cars looked like this (and I ain't complaining -- it REALLY helped out the grass).

This is what happens to your car when you choose your parking space poorly the night before a major spring storm.  A Porch Horse (poor choice).
However the Female in the house observed where there was a 'pocket' created by the winds and parked her car more wisely!

I think I will have to turn on the spam filters on this blog.  I am getting 10 - 12 spam postings a day (which do not go through the filter but DO go to my email.)  I hate those capcuta or whatever they are called things so I have resisted.  They seem to be increasing by the week so probably some robo commenting thing has found me.  Don't click on the links if they go through!!!