Monday, October 6, 2008

Snake Encounter!

I apologize for not posting anything for the last few months. I guess that is what happens when you take a job for salary and then work 50- 60 hours per week and get up at 4:00 am.

Anyways, last Monday evening, September 29th 2008 around 7:30 p.m. I had come back to my house from an evening of walking the neighborhood with my neighbor. As I returned to the house and walked up to the front door, out of the corner of my eye to the right and behind me I noticed something on the front porch. I looked behind me and there was a very nicely coiled up and comfortable Diamondback Rattlesnake! Once my brain process what it was I began to scream and franticly open the front door. The door did not open immediately. As I was screaming the neighbor heard me and she ran back towards my house, asking me what was wrong! I then yelled to her that a rattlesnake was on my porch! At that point she stopped in her tracks and said she would be back and would go get her husband.

I finally got the front door open and then Daniel came running to see what I was screaming about! He said “Oh mom it is just a snake”! I said “Fine then you get rid of it”! He of course said “I don’t think so”!

Once my neighbor came back with her husband I was now in the house and peeking out the front door! In the mean time the snake has not moved and only bothered to stick his tongue out and smell us! We have no idea as to how to get rid of it and the only solution we come up with is call 911. Well guess what? 911 will only give you a number to the local snake removal companies. After calling seven companies that will remove a snake for a large fee, no one had anybody in the area that could come out and remove the snake. One company’s did say to me “If you just leave it alone it will be gone in the morning”! DAH! No guarantee that he won’t be back the next day? (Common sense) Snake must be just passing through?!

After that frustration I got an idea, drive to the local fire station and see if I can talk them into coming out? Bad idea, they said “we don’t do that and would have no idea as to how to get rid of it”! When they were explaining this to me, Daniel called and said “the snake is dead”! I asked how and he said “a neighbor came from up the street and killed it with a shovel”! What a novel idea! Daniel explained to me on my drive home that the neighbor had to poke at the snake with a pool net to get it out from under the lip of the house! After aggravating the very comfortable snake, he killed the snake with his shovel!

So lesson learned here, if you find a snake on your porch and have safely walked passed it! Don’t call 911, call a neighbor with a shovel and you will save yourself some time and aggravation!

Oh and during this time a scorpion had been hanging out with the snake, scorpion is no longer living either!

Sorry no pictures, we forgot to take them with all this excitement!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Megan and Making Cookies

I got to spend some time this weekend with my 7 year old niece Megan. And what do you do with a 7 year old little girl? You make cookies!

I had just watched an episode of Alton Brown on the Food Network and it was all about the different ways to make chocolate chip cookies. I wanted to try them myself so I went to my computer and printed the recipe from the Food Network web site. "The Thin" recipe was the one that inspired me and the recipe is as follows:

The Thin
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Good Eats
Three Chips for Sister Marsha

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg 2 ounces milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Hardware: Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Combine the egg, milk, and vanilla and bring to room temperature in another bowl. Cream the butter in the mixer's work bowl, starting on low speed to soften the butter. Add the sugars. Increase the speed, and cream the mixture until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the egg mixture slowly. Increase the speed and mix until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for more even browning. Remove the cookies from the pans immediately. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

After I printed the recipe I went to the cupboards and luckily we had all the ingredients to make them.

As with all little girls, I have learned that it is not just making them it is being able to lick the spatula and the bowl. The batter to her was better than eating the baked cookie.
This is our final product and I must say these were probably the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made.

We had a lot of fun and yes Megan can multi task and eat spaghetti at the same time while making cookies.

Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

So I was convinced by my family to change my hair color.

Why, I am not exactly sure!

No I did not go blond!

So here is a picture of me with my red hair!

And here is my new hair color, black!

Tell me what you think?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Arizona Sunrise

For the last couple of weeks when I leave for work there have been some unbelievable sunrises. Every morning I tell myself I should bring my camera and take a few pictures.

This morning before I left the house I had all the blinds open in our master bedroom and the sun was beginning to raise. I was able to capture a couple of pictures from the back yard before I left.

I decided to take the camera with me and when I drove around the corner from the house, surprise another beautiful sunrise! I stopped in the road only for a second a snapped this picture.

As I drove down Pecos the sun appeared on the horizon and I snapped this picture while driving.

And then this one, with yes a police officer in the left hand turn lane attempting to make a u-turn. "Hello officer, at least I am not text messaging"!
Luckily he did not see me taking pictures while driving and it still made for a great picture!

The Birthday Tool Box

This year I was not sure what to get Chris for his birthday which was February 7th. A few weeks before his birthday I had to take his new truck into the dealership to have them check out and issue with the tire monitoring system. While I was there I remember that he wanted a tool box that GM makes that slides onto the rails that are built into the bed of his truck. So I asked my service advisor if he could order it and he said he could and he would do it the next day when his after market guy is in.

The tool box came in 2 days before Chris’s birthday so Alyssa and I went to the dealership to pick it up and when we got there it was the wrong one. I should have known by how inexpensive it was. Now I am in panic mode because Chris’s birthday is only a day away. So they called several dealerships in the area and were able to locate another one and I would be able to pick it up on Chris’s birthday.

When I got home that evening Chris was in the house with his parents so he still did not know about the tool box. After dinner that evening we had Chris come out into the front drive way. Chris was a little apprehensive, but when I had him look in the back of his truck and see such a huge box his eyes just lit up! He was very surprised and very thankful.

Later that evening after Chris’s parents went home I told Chris lets bring in the tool box so we can look at it. Little did I know that someone else would have so much fun with the new tool box!

Yes, that is Daniel inside the tool box! He acted like a 2 year old who just opened up a present in a big box and then only wanted to play with the box, but this time it was the big present that was so much fun!

Daniel would have us close the lid and then carry him in the tool box around house the house and then he would try and guess what part of the house he was in.

After several minutes of this he decided that it would be just as fun to climb inside it with a flash light and open and close it and act like a Jack in the box!

I never imagined that this tool box would bring so much excitement not only to Chris but Daniel too! It was funny to watch Daniel over and over, open and close this tool box and get so excited, it was if he was 2 years old again!

Then when it was time for him to goto bed I got this kind of a reaction! "NO mom I want to stay in the box"!

Big Boys and their Toys!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Alyssa's 17th Birthday last October 2007

Since Juniper Well Ranch is on of or favorite vacation spots Alyssa wanted to have her 17th Birthday up at the Ranch with 3 of her friends. She brought with her Becky, Brianna and Tori (from left to right).

Becky and Brianna have been up here before with us and this was Tori's first time. We rented them their own cabin so they could do what teenage girls do. Stay up late, sleep in, play games, take pictures and talk about boys.

They even found Smokey one of the Ranch dogs.

On the first evening we all gathered down at the summer house and had Dave & Linda's home made pizzas cooked in a wood burning oven. (From left to right Chris, Daniel, Linda, Dave and another cabin guest and now our friend Steve).

For dessert the girls made sugar cookies, brownies and Smor's in the pizza oven. Steve had never had a Smor's or even know what one was, so the girl's made Steve his first Smor'. (In case you don't know Smor's are made up of roasted (orcharred) marshmallow's in-between a chocolate bar, which is in-between two graham crackers.)

Daniel was definately the designated roasted (orcharred) marshmallow maker or shall I say Pyromaniac!

From the looks and expressions on Steve's face I would say he liked the Smor's made by the professionals.

Once dinner was over and it was getting late it started to get cold so the girl's and another ranch dog, Maximum Bob thought it would be great to do some bun warming!

"Maximum Bob"

Tori, Maximum Bob, Brianna, Alyssa, and Becky warming their buns!

The girls and Daniel decided the next day to go out to the rail road tracks that run along the ranch property to see if they could catch a train to take pictures.

So they headed to the tracks and the girls entertained themselves by taking some very fun pictures while they waited!

These girls sure have learned how to make the rail road tracks look good and us their imagination while waiting for a train!

Then finally a BNSF freight train came in from the south and the girls headed up on a hill to snap more pictures.

And then the train was gone!

The next day the girls met up with Steve and he took the girls out to ride Dusty his horse that he boards out at Juniper Well Ranch. Tori was the only one that had never ridden before and this was the first time any of the girls had ever rode a horse bare back.

Thank you Steve for taking the girls out to ride Dusty, they had a great time!
That evening we gathered again for another great meal at the summer house with the fire pit. We ate and I had made a rice crispy treat cake for Alyssa's birthday. Then the rest of the evening we gather around the fire pit burning a lot of wood to stay warm.

After our evening of fun and burning every thing we could get our hands on, our weekend was finally coming to an end. So the next day we packed up and head out but not before the girls snapped a few more pictures for memories.

As you can see that the girls made their memories with a statue that was on the porch of the cabin all weekend with them.......I think it is Davie Crocket!

I would definately say the girls had a good time and that Alyssa's 17th Birthday was a success! Happy 17th Birthday Alyssa!