Saturday, April 12, 2014

Coffee, Dirt and Banana Bread

This morning has been all about smells for  me….. it started when I got up and made my strong coffee (that is a whole another story & often makes me the butt of family jokes!) then  I took Luna, my farm dogette out for  a 2 mile walk and  I smelled the fresh scent of the ground (sniff.....hmmmm… Spring really is here).  Even as a kid, I always loved the smell of dirt, (okay, I know what you are thinking, Yup! she’s weird J) ,  then if you were sitting in my kitchen with me right now, I ‘d slice you up a big thick piece of Banana-strawberry bread.  It just came out of the oven and the aroma of freshly baked sweet bread is divine.   Now that I've eaten a big slice of bread myself…. I know that I had better work outside and shovel some river rock and do some rock packing for a small landscape project as a way to burn off those extra calories.   It ‘s probably a good thing you aren't here… cuz I’d probably try to entice you to help me pack rocks and shovel  some river rock too. And just in case if you were wondering, yes I am wearing my standard overall ensemble  (i.e. from the 3/23/14 blog).  My trusty hired young neighbor kid is off at an FFA conference, so it’s just going to be me and Luna working outside, although she thinks since I am outside that I am her personal tennis ball thrower.  She has this uncanny way of knowing just where I want to be moving rock and goes and sits there, so then I have to throw the ball to get her out of my hair.  She has me trained well…geez.

Banana-Strawberry Bread... fresh from the oven. Recipe also on OMG Desserts page

The winter wheat is starting to grow and green up and I’ve seen a farmer or two starting to seed their Spring crop into the fields.  In the next week, I imagine Spring work on the Palouse will be in full swing with lots of activity in the fields and country gravel roads.

In dog talk it would be "mom quit taking pictures and lets keep walking"

I wonder how many cups of flour is growing out there???? Early stages of winter wheat

As promised, I have posted  my newest cake creation, a newer version of a  peanut butter filled chocolate cake. J
When I experiment, I will tweak the recipes a bit and see what works. Normally I write down what I did… this time I forgot what I had written and had to go back and try to remember and re-create it. This is what a creation of a recipe looks likes (above) and this is the end result (below)......

Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Cake..... Also found on Cake of the Month
Peanut butter and Chocolate.... can it get any better???
I regularly take my experiments to my "personal taste test department", also know as the Latah County Sheriff's Department.  I know when I score big because the next day I got a call from the Sheriff himself, thanking me.

Well glad you stopped in even if you didn't get to help me pack rocks or shovel 'em. I am always happy to hear from you, so feel free to email me at or leave comment. Take care and wishing you a very blessed Easter.  All my best, Gayle

Monday, April 7, 2014

Humor - Life's Sanity Gauge

To survive in my family, you must have not only have a good sense of humor but great one!  J  And as a “relationship test”  Kaitlyn’s significant other came along  last  week-end  to join several family  members to cheer my  youngest daughter on in a crazy annual “pond skimming” contest at Brundage Ski Resort in McCall, Idaho.  This was the first time some of them had met her boyfriend, Daniel and my words of advice to him were, “you gotta be able to dish it out as well as take it!” ( and  we are happy to say he passed with flying colors).   I find myself drawn to people with a healthy funny-bone.  This is why I loved the ski pond skimming event and the people who dressed up all crazy… kindred spirits.  

Left to Right my mom, GG  (green coat), Kaitlyn, Daniel
As her mom, I know this child's look  all too well.... it is when she has done something she probably shouldn't have... (it's that look like "seriously mom, put that d*mn camera away as big sister Jen doesn't know I wore her bathrobe to this event! and when she sees this picture, I'm in big trouble!")

Believe it or not we happen to know  "Tinkerbell" .  His wife was out of town for the
day and later got to see what her hubby does in his free time!  HA HA HA (this was his
very first time as a Pond Skimmer.

The announcer had lots of fun at "Helga's" expense.  His 5 o'clock beard was a nice touch
to the costume
 And because I promised I wouldn't post pictures of Kaitlyn, well.... the ski resort did it for me!  Enjoy!

Because two of the grand-angels were a bit put out that their younger sister showed up on the last blog and not them.... well here is their newest project: chickens.  (Once the chicken coop is done, I will post pictures as daughter Jen has the most amazing decorating ideas. I am always in awe of her sense of style and talent). Can' wait to share what a "shabby chic chicken house" looks like!

Miss B, with her chicken "Lemi" short for Lemon
This is the child that has a gentle soul and animals love her. 

Miss M with her chicken, Valentine.
This is the practical minded child, who named her baby doll, "Dirty" because it was a ratty old doll and yes somewhat dirty, the same child who named their new kitty, Grayie because she was gray in color... and well she wanted to name her new pet chick, "pecker"....luckily her mom was able to convince her to choose a new name for the chick. 
 And so to continue on the humor theme of the blog and that I think it is an essential ingredient in life to survive....  All I know is that humor for me has been a sanity gauge of how well I cope with life.  And I am equally excited to say my sense of humor has returned almost too full force.  There for a while I was a tad worried that it might not come back after a few personal setbacks (you know what I mean if you have been reading this blog for the last year & half).  And to prove I am back to my old self.... I was going to post what I had planned to spring on my new boss for April Fools’ Day.  Unfortunately my Internet was down and so I wasn't able to share.   Here is a picture of the poor serviceman who had the April Fool’s Day service call  ( probably his  worst service call ever).

No Foolin... yes my wifi antennae is on top of the windmill
In a recent blog, I told you I was weird and my sense of humor sometimes got me into trouble…. well, here are some examples of the fun I’ve had at work over the years.   In my varied career, I seem to end up holding high profile, intense jobs where highly charged situations can occur (such as the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and the hospital). So using humor helped office morale…. And here are a few favorites.  (WARNING!   by sheer luck – my bosses either liked me enough or needed me enough to put up with my behavior – so if you decide to copy any of these antics – well please assess your work situation carefully – my own version of a “disclaimer” and if you decide to follow suit, well you are on your own)   =) (but do share your stories, please!)

This year’s April Fool’s joke on my new boss.  Many desk items were “encased in jello”….
coffee mug pen holder

1)     Last year I duck-taped an air horn under my boss’s office chair.  It was great and I laughed myself silly.  After he sat in it and it went off, I peeked into his office and I saw  the chair upside down  and him talking to himself  saying “fine!  Pick on the old guy… wow, this is really impressive”…… But not really too smart on my part as I had to travel to Phoenix 10 days later with him on a business conference and he vowed to get even.  
2)      If there are wooden chairs and they have “seat cushions”, place a whoopee cushion under the cushion.  (make sure and try it out first before anyone else is in the office tho).  This was a particular favorite thing to do to the deputy prosecutor when a sheriff’s officer was coming in to discuss a case with him.  
3)      I also believed in being an “equal opportunity spreader of good –natured harassment” so not only were my office-mates a target, I had my other favorite offices to have fun with…like the County Commissioners office.  So when one favorite commissioner left his briefcase unattended just before a public meeting,  I snuck in, left a realistic replica of a giant pile of dog poop accompanied by a note that said “greetings from Fido” in it a top of his papers…. And somehow he knew exactly where his” present” came from.  So later on that month, it appeared on my desk and before I had a chance to remove it, we had a unofficial surprise visit from our Governor’s office, yes the Governor himself and a few of his staff… and you guessed it, they congregated in my office to chat with the Prosecutor at that time ( a short  spit-fired women – that could make you tremble in fear)… anyway after everyone left  and she spied the “present” on my desk, she said “please tell me that was NOT on your desk the entire time”…. This was a case of where she needed me and couldn't fire me.  I was in trouble for a long time….
4)      Photo-copy pictures of your face smashed up against the copier and then sneak into your boss’s office and put them in all of his picture frames.  I ended up getting all the other office staff to do this too (including our local magistrate judge)  The office was trying out a new color copier, so we all had different “colors” of our faces in his picture frames.  It was an impressive effort.
5)      When one of our prosecutors was leaving to go into private practice, I convinced all of the office staff to take an “official picture of the crew” for her to remember us by.  We all wore our professional suits, but accented our outfits by having one weird accessory.  I had my business skirt, blazer, pearls and "official legal look going on", accompanied by my “green Kermit the frog slippers”, one male deputy prosecutor had on his business suit, and on his feet were flippers (what you wear when snorkeling) the other male deputy had on his shirt, tie, suit coat and a pair of swim trunks…. So you get the idea.  I don’t know if the person leaving ever displayed the picture in her new office or not…. But we all thought we were hilarious.  You know “legends in our own minds”!

And just so you know, sometimes I do get “payback” and I completely deserve it .  I could go on with other antics outside of work, but maybe another time.

Well enough for tonight. When I blog next, I will share a new recipe for a Chocolate cake with a peanut-butter center, an update on farm life and what ever else is going on.  So as I leave you, I hope I have put a smile on your face by sharing some of my more "warped moments" in this goofy farm-chick's life.  As always, feel free to send me an email or post a comment.  I love to hear from you.
All my best, Gayle.