Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It's been too hot to do much lately. However, I have been playing tennis (yes, in the SUN) for too many days this week! I come home from it just wiped out from exhaustion. Work has been local, which is nice, so haven't had to spend hours driving. Hubby left at 4:40 to go "cowboying" today out at the ranch. He looked so handsome in his cowboy hat this morning! His exhuberance reminded me of small boys and their desires to be cowboys! Just glad they got out before it got too hot. We've had close to 100 degrees for the past 3 days along with a gusty wind in the afternoons. At least it cools off at night.

Dragged out a simple recipe last night---a really crowd pleaser when it comes to the boys: (and so easy for me to make!)


1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
1 jar chunky salsa (about a cup)
1 c. corn (canned or thawed frozen)
3/4 c. Miracle Whip (or mayo)
1 T. chili powder (I use taco seasoning as I have a large contain of it)
2 c. crushed tortilla chips, divided (don't crush too small)
2 c. shredded cheese (I use Mexican four-cheese)

Heat oven to 350. Brown meat, drain. Stir in salsa, corn, mayo & chili powder. Layer 1/2 mixture topped with cheese on top of chips (start with chips), then repeat. Bake 20 minutes. Can top with shredded lettuce and chopped tomato. Makes 6 servings.

Love this in hot weather as you don't have to bake it long (everything is already cooked so you can cut back the time some if you want).

Watching Alex in the Gulf. Hope all that oil doesn't "land" eventually. What a REAL mess that would be. We can hope all that churning does help it dilute and disappear as they hope it will. Time will tell. Glad I don't live in its path (the storm and the oil!).

Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What about this plant?

We have this plant in our backyard that is a mystery to us. Can you help us identify it? It is tall (almost as big as I am) with these enormous blooms on the top. They don't appear to be fragrant but make the plant look topheavy. If you can help identify this weed, please let us know. Could it have been dropped by aliens???

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chicks are fine!

Yup, they are really growing up! The hens are getting big, especially the light colored ones, and Charlie is growing into quite a proud bird. Woke up to his crowing this morning. Not obnoxious, like the hounds next door, but a nice cock-a-doodle-doo for sure.
Sean got home just fine and went to a wedding with his girlfriend yesterday. He's back on board his ship on Sunday and gone for a short cruise (only about a week or so). He's not too excited about that. He's getting itchy feet and wants to get "on" with his life.

The boys have been working hard weed-eating and have one more small job this morning---that is, if they ever get out of bed. They worked hard yesterday and Friday and goofed around outside last evening until dark. Not sure WHAT they did, but they had fun with cardboard and other miscellaeous stuff around the yard. Have to get them up and feed them breakfast so they can get at that last job before it hits 90 here today!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Boy For the Weekend

Well, Sean went home yesterday. Haven't heard when he got home, but feel he made it safely. He had a wonderful visit and it was so good to see him again. He looks in tip-top shape! He's hankering to get through with his stint in the Navy and go back to school, so he's trying to wrangle an early-out to go to college and finish his B.A. on the GI bill. He's due out by April of next year, but he's got this burr under his saddle that keeps pushing him to do it earlier. He even talked about possibly going to the University of Montana, in Missoula, for law school after he gets his Bachelor's. Montana is rated #6 in the country for law schools and many of the lawyers I worked with when I lived in Montana graduated from there. Both Sean and Max were born in Montana.

Max's friend, L, is here to visit and do weedeating with Max until Sunday, so things are never dull around here. They camped out on the boat last night and have two days of weed-eating duty ahead of them. L is saving his money to buy a dirt-bike and Max is collecting for an upright bass. Yeah, they're learning about working hard for the money and saving it for something they want!!! Many adults don't know how to do that yet...

It's supposed to be up in the 90's by Sunday around here and things are going from green to light brown already. I fear this will be a large fire season this year...

Enjoy the day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


No, I'm not talking about the chicken-problem-cat---who, by the way, has not been seen for a couple of days...I'm speaking of our little princess, Kit-Kit. She had us up most of the night. We put her outside at bedtime (which is the usual procedure). By 3:00, she was meowing and clawing at our open bedroom window screen. So, Hubby got up and LET HER IN...I never do that and this is why:

Well, she came in and presumably checked her food dish, then set up a toot of meowing and getting into things---like walking on the desk, walking on us trying to sleep, rummaging around in the closet, tearing on and off the bed at record speeds. Hubby said, "Better let her out" so I got up and called her to the door. She just looked at me like I was crazy and dared me to come after her. When I took a step in her direction, she ran. She just wanted me to chase her. Forget that! I threw up my hands in disgust and went back to bed, muttering to Hubby that she just wanted us to be up with her and refused to go out. Well, she waited until we dozed off again and then started in all over again. This time, Hubby got up and managed to catch her and throw her out. It was about 4:30 when this happened. So much for a restful night. This evening, she goes out and STAYS out!

How about that Wimbledon tennis match---you know, the one that is continuing today---the score is 59-59 and they've been going at it for over 10 hours!!! WOW! How can they even walk off the courts after so much playing? Boy, I'd hate to end up as the lose in that one...what a downer...but then, the winner will be overjoyed!

Have a great day---it's really summer here---expected in the mid-80's.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cuprit found???

Yesterday when Max was outside, he heard a commotion in the Chick yard and upon investigation found our neighbor's long-haired black cat INSIDE the yard. The cat scurried up the corner post and through an opening at the top. Now, if you remember, this is the SAME CAT that I was complaining about attacking our cats, eating our catfood and fighting at night. At least he was found out before killing another chicken! Hubby promptly put up a tangle of wire in the corner to close up the hole and dissuade the cat next time (we hope!).

So, THAT is probably what has been stealing our chickens. If they left any feathers, due to stress, they wouldn't be noticed that much in the yard. We did see scratch marks on the outside of that post, so that cat has been up there before. I'm pretty sure it is NOT Caruso that's going after them. We've called and coaxed him to follow up from INSIDE the yard and he looks like he can't do it. He does TRY, but can't find an opening. Little Kit-Kit doesn't even stalk the chicks, but lays in the outside yard and watches all the commotion.

But we're keeping a close eye on that yard, hoping no more chicks will disappear. The hens were actually outside their shed for a while yesterday afternoon, so they're not as worried as they were. Keep your fingers crossed that we have indeed found our thief!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Good things come to those who wait...

It's been GREAT having the family together again! Sean looks fine with his new glasses and it's fun to watch him tease his "little" brother! He was appalled to find our little TV (that I dragged from Max's room to use--it's a 17") and when I told him about how the other one died, he agreed to help with the cost of a new one. So we went shopping yesterday and he helped me get brand new one along with a new stand for it. The old "entertainment" stand I had was too small for the new TV and it was looking pretty ratty, having been used for almost 30 years. We brought them all back to the house, with Hubby gone and Max at school, and Sean put the "stand" together (it took almost 2 hours!) and set up the TV. Hubby was astounded! Max was delighted! We're all still in shock over the new addition! WOW! I'll provide pics tomorrow for sure.

Last night was Max's 8th grade graduation and party. He wore his black suit and looked stunning. The pics I got of the ceremony were a bit too far away for clear ones, but sufficient. Then the boys went goofy on me when I tried to get a shot of them both!

We went home later and watched Sean's favorite show, WHALE WARS. All I can say is WOW!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010


No sign of the missing chick yet. I'm afraid she may be lost forever. Yesterday, Hubby came home to find all the chicks outside their compound---and Charlie still INSIDE. Hmmm. He had just herded them all back inside when Max and I returned home. So, we all checked the fence line for possible escapes. Hubby thinks they may have scooted under it at one point---perhaps the opening was too tight for Charlie to handle. He blockaded the spots from outside so they can't slip through. So far, no more escapes. At any rate, all 9 chicks are safe and Charlie too.

We're beginning to think they may have all gotten out the other day and then the missing chick wandered off, to be picked off by hawks or neighboring cats or preditors. I keep hoping she will show up, but as time passes, it doesn't look good.

No. 1 son, Sean, is home for a visit---just in time for Max's 8th grade graduation, which happens tonight. Will be posting pics of boys and such soon...It's great to have the family together again!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

And then there were nine...

Ah, a mystery unfolds:

Yesterday morning, things were going smoothly in Chickenland when Hubby first went out to check their feed and water. Then he went off on an errand in his car.

Upon his return, the chickens were all OUT of their fenced in yard---running freely around, accompanied by Charlie. However, when he took count, one was missing. It was one of the yellow, buff ones (which are larger than the brown ones). About that time, I rolled home from my trip down the valley. We managed to herd the "Herd" back into their enclosure (which had been locked from OUTSIDED) with the use of a long rope. Once inside, we checked the fences and all was good. But no sign of Chicken #10.

Back in our yard, Hubby and I searched for ANY sign of the missing chick: feathers, body parts, anything. But we found NOTHING. True, our Caruso was out, but if he had captured a chicken there would have been signs of it---at least some feathers. It was as if someone had gone into the chicken enclosure, captured a hen, then left, locking the door behind them. But why would they do that???

The other possibility is that a hawk swooped down and relieved the Herd of a member. There always seemed to be a buff colored one that separated itself from the group, and probably was the one that was snatched. Well, you can believe I kept my eyes and ears open for any sign of the missing chick. But alas, nothing. When I went out later to look in on them, they were ALL huddled together in the corner of the metal shed, including Charlie, packed together like sardines.

They seemed afraid. Makes me really think it was a flying predator.

So, for their safety, Hubby moved all their food and water and bedding into the metal shed, shoring up the outside edges with escape-proof fencing, along with their comforting light (for one more night at least).

Still hoping the missing chick will materialize, but afraid that wishful thinking at this late time.

What I want to know is HOW the whole herd got OUT of the enclosure in the first place??!!! THAT IS APUZZLEMENT!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Fresh Look

Welcome to my new/old blog. This blog used to be "Blindsided" which is the name of my first mystery novel. However, since I have another published, entitled "The Rat," that title seems inappropriate. My third novel, "Tasting the Wind" will be in publication (hopefully) by the end of 2010. If you are interesting in reading either book, you can find them for sale at or my web-site, If you go through my own site, I will gladly autograph any copies you buy.

Currently, I am in the process of writing a sequel to "The Rat" and hope to have it completed in 2011.