Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GIVEAWAY: TouchSmart 600, HP's Media-Rich Touchscreen PC

How would you LOVE LOVE to win a beautiful new HP TouchSmart 600 PC ?????? (Me, too!)
TechSavvyMama is having a giveaway for this on her Blog right now.....follow the link below to enter. ...And then read her posts while there......and sign up for her Blog feed, 'cause she has some major rich content! So just GO THERE. NOW. Thank you and Amen. Miss Vic

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

This won't be my typical Christmas letter, full of joyful news, as this year we mourn the loss of John's mom, Dorothy, the 90 year old matriarch of his family.

As I write this, it's a balmy -3 F. at Rawhide Flats. Everyone, including John's 'Big Yaller Dog', Belle are bunched up around the fire.
I think we'd have the horse inside too, if he'd fit - we're such bleeding hearts!

John's happily in control of the remote as it's time for the National Finals Rodeo and NOTHING gets between him and the NFR, (except the darned sat. dish blocking certain channels featuring the rodeo).
John has had a good year, with productive hours in the studio working on bears and fish, elk and horses - a good year of commissions.
He bought himself a new tractor so he's been digging up the sod to clear an area for a shed to protect and house his new toy and to enlarge the garden spot as we had such a good time being farmers this year.
Our worst trial was fighting the critters: voles, moles and mice galore. I shot a porcupine before he blessed Belle with a snout- full and a guaranteed trip to the vet; and to top the usual pests of skunks, coyotes, badgers and muskrats, we have acquired BEAVER, for crying-out-loud!!!

These little sweethearts chewed their way through most ALL of the creek willow and have defied the Fish and Game's traps and every attempt to eradicate or move them. They're holed up in their den, cozy and probably making enough offspring to ensure that Cottonwood Creek will have to be renamed, No Tree Creek.
To say nothing of the war between beast and (wo)man when they start to chew their way through the trees we planted around the property 27 years ago...

We feel blessed that we've had a fairly stable year and look forward to 2010 as an opportunity for us all - to be the best we can be - and to do good deeds and practice good will towards others.

If I could have what I want for Christmas this year, it would be that every person everywhere would have a full tummy and that everyone worldwide would share in the BLISS of a complete cease-fire and cessation of war for 24 hours

...And that it felt so GOOD that everyone would choose to go for a second day....

Call me a dreamer......

Merry Christmas to you ALL !!!! Miss Vic

Sunday, August 30, 2009

WHOA ! Critters on the Ranch !!

Well, life goes on here, on our little ranch....just when we think it's all under control, we discover that Nature is really in control and if we stop clipping, cutting, pruning, planting, planning; that in a mere short time, there would be very little evidence that we were ever here, in our little corner of the world.
Many times, I have said, that we really don't own this land; that it is on loan to us for our lifetime and hopefully we are good stewards of this land while we are here. I guess that is why I keep spraying weeds, picking up garbage that others throw out their car windows, and basically cleaning up whatever I see "looks wrong" in my viewscape. (Someone said I must have made up that word: "viewscape".....well, whatever. I Know what I mean!).

This week, as I was walking the highway that runs in front of our home, and policing the roadsides of trash, (YUCK), I noticed a large limb from our fairly newly planted creek willows was lying down across the creek...and I thought to myself, "Gee, there hasn't been any large wind events to have broken off that limb...."

Then I noticed a pile of trash limbs piled up above the bridge, near where our irrigation pump is in the creek. And. THEN. movement...OH! MY! oh YES !! A BEAVER. Right here, where we've never seen one before.

Then I walk across the bridge and look to find a dam across the creek. A dam of sticks and limbs and mud and rocks....and doing a fairly good job of holding the water and creating a nice pond under the big, cool bridge.

Here!! See the telltale chew marks of the industrious beaver......minute by minute, day-by-day destroying my willow trees. YUP. Nice young sweet willow limbs. HUMPH.

So as I quietly watch, I find there are not one, but TWO lovely little beaver here. They have created a wonderful habitat for themselves and five ducks, two great blue herons, thousands of little silver fish and crawdads and frogs......

So when I called Fish & Game, I'm begging for a live trap....and a PLAN B.
Is there a PLAN B?
Where we could create a beaver pond where we could all co-habitate happily? Where they wouldn't destroy our new willows, and where the dam they have so heartily created didn't have to be blown up by the highway dept, because their new home is going to create a big problem around the road bridge during high water this next winter and spring.
The conservation officer will be here in the next couple days. Hopefully before the beaver have completely ruined our trees, and hopefully, with the Plan B for relocation of our new friends.
Then after I returned home and lay down for my afternoon rest, what to my wondering eyes should appear: but a damned bat flying around the ceiling fans above my bed!!!!
My dear Huggs arrived home, and donning a broom and the Granddaughters purple butterfly net, he promptly dispatched said bat to the outdoors. (OH. And yes, I DID wish for my camera, to catch my big, strong cowboy wielding a purple butterfly net..... ba ha haaaa......)
Meanwhile back at the ranch........Miss Vic

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Can I Keep From Singing??

My life goes on ... in endless song
Above Earth's lamentations
I hear the real though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear it's music ringing
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing?

But though the tempest loudly roars
I hear the truth - it liveth
And though the darkness round me close
Songs in the night - it giveth
No storm may shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging
Since love is Lord of Heaven and Earth
How can I keep from Singing??

God's Peace and Blessings to you..........
Miss Vic

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

Today as I flounder about the house, restless, unable to settle on any one of a thousand things that need to be done, I can only think of the one thing that's on my mind and in my heart: My little Mother-in-law. She is 90, and usually in robust health, but now lies propped in a hospital bed, looking not altogether like the sprightly little woman I've grown to care for over the last thirty years. She wants to die; it was her choice to pull the IVs; she wants to "go see Dad". I can understand her wishes, and we are trying to uphold her choices. After sitting with her these last few weeks and reminiscing about the good (and bad) times she had as a girl, and, of course we have talked about the men in her life: her beloved "Sabie" and her two boys. It is getting harder and harder for me to "let her go". We have become closer in these last two weeks than we have in the last thirty! And her boys have had to learn to talk to each other and respect each other's differences, even though it's still an on-going project. I think now I may understand the answer to Mom Geis' remark the other night. She said, "I've tried to live a good life, and be good to others....why does He leave me lying here so long? Why won't He take me?" I think the answer to her query is that He has left her here to minister to US, her family, for a while longer....until we get ourselves straightened out a bit more. She is a wealth of knowledge, and seems to teach us something new each time we take our turn sitting with her. She and I talk gardening, and flowers; critters and people: mostly family and friends that have been so good to her over the years. It's interesting to observe the friends and family members who sit their "death watch" and read or do needlework and have nothing in the world to say or visit with this little woman. They sit for hour after hour with no interaction, no exchange of love, or knowledge; no healing human touch passes between them! Amazing, this lack of Christian love!

She and I hardly come up for air, as we talk and talk...and laugh and touch each others hand or cheek and gaze into each others eyes! Mom Geis looks intently at me; for the world, trying to memorize my every feature; telling me of my softest skin, and perfect lips.....right down to telling me of her love of the color of my lipstick! We are becoming friends in these, her last hours. I feel sorry for the others, who will never know her THIS WELL; to know her every dream, (to sky-dive from high above!!), and her dissappointments, (the favoritism that was perceived between she and her sister) and the estrangement between she and her eldest son, that has hurt her heart more than anything in her life.

When we die, most of us are never allowed these precious moments to amend the past hurts, to say our thanks. The Lord has given my little Mother in law these last weeks to tell us of her love. What a blessing and a gift.

I am thankful. And sad, today, here on the ranch.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Thunder !!!

Summer on the Prairie can be volatile ! Even though we live in Paradise...(well, some of the time it's Paradise...).

We can very often, get some amazing thunder storms here on the Prairie. After a period of high temperatures, we can generally expect it will usher in some high powered storms. First, the winds start really cooking, and the clouds start building hugely around the edges of our view...

When it gets so dark, it feels like Armageddon....

And then the lightning starts to crack. If you look carefully at this image, you can see the lightning striking "cloud-to-cloud". It looks amazing ... and scarey. But cloud to cloud lightning is fairly harmless. It's when it strikes the ground and rattles the teeth in your mouth that you should be worried about your position!
Now, don't get me wrong. I love to watch a good lightning storm, even though I pace the floor and wring my hands. But I do it from a safe spot ! Don't be watching from the middle of a field!
You don't want to be the highest spot on the golf course!
JULY Suggestions
Independence celebrations won't run short of detonations;
Take some lotion to the ocean, lest you end up fried.
Avoid those bolts that carry volts;
Don't be electrified!

In the meantime......Back At the Ranch...................................Miss Vic

Monday, July 6, 2009

AH.h.h.h.h. Summer !!

Some of the sweetest joys of summer: picnics, travel, family reunions, food, retreats, road trips with friends.....all of which, keep me away from the computer for days and weeks on end!!

One of the best treats of last weeks family reunion of Hugg's family was to see Grt. Gramma Grace holding this sweet baby girl for the first time. There's just something about a baby that makes a Grandmothers arms seem "complete". After having such large families, these women never seem quite right without a baby in their arms.
We had such fun getting to know Hugg's cousins from Alabama! And yes! We ate too much. This predominantly German family really knows how to cook ! It's easy to tell all of the original sisters and brothers from the hundreds of aunts, uncles,cousins,children and grandchildren milling around the park.....they all have this beautiful white hair!....just like my hubby!
Meanwhile...back at the ranch........

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Great Blog

I have recently found some great Blogs on how to help lower those household costs by using coupons for household cleaners and groceries. It's definitely got a learning curve, if you want to coupon in a big way. Right now, I'm still finding the coupon thing a bit frustrating, while I am shuffling through the various small pieces of paper and trying to find exactly the right coupon I am looking for, (even though I have them organized by category in my coupon binder). It often turns out to be a wicked rendition of "52 card pickup", in the middle of the isle at Wal-Mart. while others are pushing through or waiting for me to get my S**t together and move on... Well, like I said coupon usage has a learning curve. But Sweeties Sweeps is another fun site, showing us all the great ways to enter sweeps to win everything from T-shirts and deodorant, to full-out vacations, camcorders, and now a huge contest from Century 21, for cash to build that dream home! Why not at least check it out? We are all busy, but you can expend as much time and energy as you want. For me, just printing off the coupons I need for the products on my grocery list for that week, is enough. But I'll enter an occasional really good sounding contest. And it all depends on how busy I am in that particular week as to how much coupon-ing I do.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I am trying to save a few bucks on the grocery bill........

Learn how to win cash and prizes from Sweeties Sweepstakes.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just Playing

I like challenges. But learning how to take gorgeous pix at night has been a harder challenge for me than it should be. It could be a mental block or something. But it seems that if I get a fairly good shot at night, it's actually an accident! There are several problems for me, in shooting at night. One of them being, I can't see any of the knobs and settings in the dark. Yeah, I know, I know...that's what flash lights are all about! Number two problem is that my glasses get in the way when I am using my camera, so I usually leave them behind in the house.....and that magnifies the problem of not being able to read the settings.....and with the Rebel, if you don't have the settings proper, it simply won't take a picture! And it makes me so furiously frustrated. Especially when it comes to shooting the moon, when you know you simply have seconds to capture just the perfect shot that you want.....
Oh ho hum.
Anyhoo...I thought this was an interesting "accident", while I was trying to capture a lovely moon, a vehicle drove by on the roadway....this was the result of my shutter being open for quite some time, as he passed by......
In the meantime, back at the ranch.........

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Touch of Spring

As spring comes slowly to this mountain prairie, I'm finding snow geese resting alongside the roadway, on their long migration north.
And small pockets of early spring Buttercups that push their fragile stems through the late spring give children and Grandmothers hope of coming warmer weather.

Here, I found a tiny clump growing between the rocks of the ancient old roadbed that curves through our of my favorite landmarks, here: A handplaced rock wall that supports the original roadbed through the canyon where we live...and where my Grandparents lived before us....and pray God, our Grandchildren will live in years to come.
Ah.h.h.hhhhh ......Life here on the ranch......

Miss Vicki

Things that make you go: H.m.m.m.m.mmmmm

Did you ever wonder.....

If there's anybody out there?? that's actually reading this BLOG....

I can't help but wonder. How do I know you're there if you don't "subscribe" or "follow" or comment.....

I wonder if I'm just talking to myself ? Would anyone notice if I stopped posting?

Late at night, this is one of those things that make you go Hm.m.mmmmmm

Miss Vic....back at the ranch.

Sometimes a girl just has to get out of the house and go to lunch with the girls, right?

Well, my Bud, Annie and I have this favorite little bakery that we love to sneak away to. It's in a very small village about 35 minute drive from our little ranch, and Annie and I slip down there...oh..about once a month or so, I guess. It has the most AMAZING food...on fresh, daily baked breads of your choice. I usually opt for this wonderful roasted garlic bread, while Annie usually goes for a calamata olive or a dried tomato bread.

Only this time, she ordered the special, which was on a croissant.....yeah, well, it didn't EVEN compare to MY sandwich. But it's NOT REALLY ABOUT THE SANDWICH at all...It's REALLY about the salad....uh huh. yeah. Baby spinach leaves, with mandarin oranges, slivered almonds...and the dressing....oh! the dressing. Let me just tell you- it's better than sex.
No REALLY. I mean it ! It a yogurt dressing flavored with fresh orange juice and poppy seeds. I'm still trying to re-create it perfectly. (I'll let you know when I've got it just right).
Sadly, it might take me a few more trips to our favorite bakery to sample the dressing. You know. It's all in the name of research, right??? RIGHT?

Just look at this place! The owners purchased a horrible old store in a mostly forgotten little town on the Reservation. They gutted it, (to say the least), and then lovingly recreated a lovely little place of total comfort. They are constantly baking, so there's these wonderful aromas floating in from the bakery....there are wonderful breads, and donuts, and croissants. The dears will slice your bread as you wait, if you prefer....and you can indulge in a cafe' latte, or lunch on a sandwich or soup de jour.....sigh. Or you can shop for the perfect teapot or fancy teacup while you're here. (Friend Laura, this is where your "going-away" teapot came from.)

Just check out this incredible back bar. Don't y'all just want to add on to your abode, just so you can add a back bar like this beauty? And check out those tin ceiling tiles. Ah.h....
I swear, I should have been born 100 years ago, when all of this was common. I just feel so at home in a place such as this. And I would prefer to wear the yards and yards of fabric and lace that one would wear to afternoon tea.
What a lovely place to spend a leisure afternoon with a good friend! Thanks Andrea! And come home soon, so we can road trip back to the bakery!
Meantime...back at the ranch.....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

MIL's 90th Birthday

As a re-cap: This past week-end was my Mother-in-law's 90th birthday. I cooked for an entire day, so that we could stay in, where she could hear better. Yes, I was very tired, but we had a good day with her. I just kept saying to Huggs, "I can't believe I'm cooking all this food for one tiny little woman!" But she had a ball, although over-whelmed with all the attention. And she ate like a bird, so we had food left over for days!! And so did she!
(Hint to self: next time, cook more sanely.)

This tiny woman is still living alone, tending her house. She gardened up until this season and she says she probably wont have a garden this year, but may still plant a few tomatoes.

She had a corner on all the flowers in the valley, and received so many bouquets that I teased her that I'd heard a poor girl had to cancel her wedding because there weren't any flowers to be had, due to some little woman having a birthday party and receiving all the flowers!

This is the Chocolate Caramel Torte Cheesecake Thingy that I made for her birthday party. This is insanely rich....sent me straight into sugar-shock. Want the recipe? I could post it, if anyone cares.......
Meanwhile back on the ranch....................Miss Vic's hips are a bit wider, and I'm planning an additional walk this week!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Long Story, Longer

Yesterday was my MIL's 90th birthday. Since everyone takes her "out", we (I) decided it would be better to "stay in" and I would cook for her. She didn't care what I fixed, as long as it was chicken or pork. And she didn't want birthday cake; she hates cake. And any vegetable would do as long as it wasn't corn, and don't do noodles. Don't invite anyone for makes her too nervous. Maybe she'd invite them for dessert....maybe. (Leaving me wondering just how many to prepare for). We had an out-of-town funeral yesterday morning, too, which meant I had to have the entire meal prepared, packed into coolers in the car, two hours early...attend the funeral and then travel the hour and half to Mom's house.

All prepared a day early: Italian Herbed/Parmesan Chicken, potato salad, baked beans, shepperd's bread, pickled beets, pumpkin butter, Caramel Nut Cheesecake Torte, and a huge pan of Mississippi Mudd for the unknown visitors that may or may not show up.... ACK !!!!!

Okay, we arrived, looking for-all-the-world like the Prize Patrol, there to deliver the multi-gazillion $ check...but No. it was just us: ME: grappling in the bottom of my huge bag for a stray pain pill and gimping up the steps on worn too thin knees and sweet Huggs with an armload of tulips and carrying cold chicken. What a hero. He smiles and we melt. All us old and semi-old women, that is. My rock......and hers. And I guess I just need to be so thankful that she shares him with me.

Or maybe SHE should be thankful to ME for sharing with HER ! yeah ! THATS it !!!

Well, this kitchen cookie, is tired to the max. I spent the entire Sunday...well allot of it anyway, in my bed. With a hotpad. That I moved from knees to hips to ...yeah. well, you get it.
But THE BEST PART OF THE DAY: is that it compelled me to use the old VCR/TV in our bedroom, where I watched one of my all-time favorite movies, Hanford Street, starring Harrison Ford as a fighter pilot during WWII, who tragically falls in love with a dropdead gorgeous nurse. I wish I could tell you to rush to the video store and grab it up and watch it for a great Chick Flick night, but I'm not sure if you would ever find it! The music is fabulous, the love scenes and the tragedy of the whole WW thing always makes me cry....and desperate for love to always be that intense and beautiful.

oh. And yes. I took pix of the birthday Momma, but I am not able to get down to the garage for my camera. Not today. Not yet.
We'll see about tomorrow. K?
Meanwhile back on the ranch................

Miss(ed) Vic

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Free Recipe of the Week - Gooseberry Patch

Free Recipe of the Week - Gooseberry Patch: "Cappuccino Mousse Pie

1/4 c. French vanilla coffee drink mix
2 c. milk, divided
2 3.4-oz. pkgs. instant French vanilla pudding mix8-oz. container frozen whipped topping, thawed
9-inch graham cracker crust
Optional: chocolate curls
Blend together coffee drink mix and 1/4 cup milk in a medium bowl; stir until well blended. Stir in pudding mix and remaining milk; whisk for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup whipped topping; spread into pie crust. Refrigerate for one hour, or until firm. Spread remaining whipped topping over pie. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired. Store in refrigerator. Serves 8."

To check out more from Gooseberry Patch, and to sign up for other free recipies each week,go HERE:

You're welcome!
Miss Vic

I Don't Like The Month of March !!!
I think we should rename this month: MUDD
and that's all I have to say about THAT.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch......

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Graduation Day Ahead !!!

WooHoo !!!

It's Graduation Day tomorrow for Miss Vicki !! I know that none of you have been counting, but .....
It's About Time !!!
Tomorrow marks the end of my formal Physical Therapy for the Total Knee Replacement that I had done exactly four months ago. I will continue to attend the PT clinic on my own, two or three times a week to continue to strengthen the quad muscle necessary to control my new knee and so to negotiate stairs. And also to help prepare my left leg for the same procedure, this coming Fall.
Today, I took, what I call my third "real" walk outside. Yesterday, I walked about a mile or so down the highway, and while walking, gleaned roadside trash. Within a couple hours of my return, I was "busted flat", and in so much pain, I wasn't even functional. But I figured the best way to progress, is to keep up the exercise, and the weather was still warm, so I gave it another go today. I used a little more restraint today, and only walked the highway, and not so far, so I am not in as much pain tonight. I need to find a "middle-of-the-road" approach to my exercise, which has always been impossible for me. For all the years that I have dealt with my disease of Fibromyalgia, I haven't been able to moderate my exercise, so to not "pay" the huge price with over the top pain, later on in the day. And lately, the hard two hour physical therapy sessions have resulted in my having a low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) reaction, almost every session...Everything I do, each day, is to try to be in better physical shape, in better control of my health. Every day is a challenge, as I grow older.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
Miss Vicki

Early Spring Project

One of my favorite past times is to restore abused furniture back to its original glory.
Recently, I picked up this little sleeper for a mear $275.00. I figure when I get it restored back to its original glory, it will be worth $1200.00, not that anyone will pry it from my hands after I spend all the old-fashioned elbow grease to get it cleaned up.

Here's my new little jewel.....residing not in the shop where it should be...but in my bedroom!
Well....this is where the big herculean high school football player dropped it, and,'s right where I cannot ignore it's need to be finished.

Not everyone would be adventuresome enough to put an antique buffet in their bedroom. But it fits beautifully under the huge window in my bedroom. Well, I use the word "beautifully" in a loose tense right now. But it has HUGE potential! And it will hold extra bed linens or just imagine stacking those bulky sweaters and jeans in those cool side cupboards. (Cupboards??? Another term I'm using loosely, this post!)
Stand by for future pictures showing the results of my little beauty. And the best thing about it? Huggs approves and likes it! And he likes the fact that having a project ejects me right out of my winter doldrums! So ONWARD! wood restorers of the world - now go down to the basement or up in the attic; grab that old beauty and get started with your own late winter project. Summers' going to be here with all its "busy-ness" soon enough, and there wont be time for it THEN, so get started now, and enjoy the ride!

I would personally like to slap the hands of whoever caused all the water damage to the top of this lovely old buffet. And to whoever caused the two cigarette burns to the top...there are no words kind enough for this G-rated BLOG. So I am sanding away. And manicures? Forget about it!
Hugs, Miss Vicki

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our JAVA Dinner

A few years ago, good friends Laura and Joel introduced us

to a great meal from the small country of JAVA. Lately, I've

been craving that very meal, so tonight, I whipped up the

ingredients for Huggs and I.

Here's the drill for those of you who would enjoy the adventure.

Like Asian cuisine, this meal centers around a lot of chopping.

Boil up some chicken till fully cooked and tender. Around here, I

use Costco's frozen boneless/skinless thighs. They're not as dry as

using breast meat, but use whatever floats your boat.

While chicken is cooking, use this time to cook your favorite rice.

A nice sticky rice, like Calrose, is fine. I wouldn't suggest quick rice.

It's just too dry. Enough said about that!

THEN, begin to chop and assemble your toppings of choice.

Here are the traditional choices that I remember, not that you

couldn't choose others, but these flavors work really well together.

Chopped ripe tomatoes. I prefer Roma's.
Mandarin Oranges
Pineapple chunks; fresh is awesome, but canned and drained is okay.
Chopped little green onions.
Shredded cheese. We like Cheddar or Colby/Jack.
Chopped Celery.
Slivered Almonds.
Large shredded coconut. I find this at the health food market.
When chicken is done, remove from cooking water to

cool, then chop coarsely, reserving chicken stock.

While chicken is cooling, its a good time to test a glass of your favorite

Thicken the reserved chicken stock into a gravy.

If you don't have enough stock or need to add additional
flavor, you can add canned Swanson's Chicken stock or
increase the flavor with a good quality chicken stock paste.
Flavor gravy with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Assemble ingredients on a lazy susan or buffet for each to

serve themselves.

Start with rice, adding chopped chicken and all other
ingredients and top with gravy.

Some like to add Soy Sauce or Yoshida sauce to taste.

The blend of sweet fruits, the coconut, chicken, tomatoes
and onions compliment the flavor of the chicken and rice
for a simple, delicious meal.

This meal works great for a group or neighborhood meal,
where each member can bring a certain ingredient. And
having all the ingredients laid out for each person to create
their own perfect dish, takes care of the dilemma of
"what if they don't like onions?"

I always make lots of extra when I create this meal,
because its so easy to grab the makings from the fridge
and assemble another masterpiece for tomorrow's lunch!
Bon' Appetit!

Miss Vicki

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'tis the season of love....

I just found a great new BLOG that I've been following, and she, Tech Savvy Mama, has some awesome giveaways going on during this week of love.......check out
to see the latest and best shots and a chance at grabbing your very own Microsoft LifeCam VX-5500 and a Wireless Mobile Mouse 3000..WOO hoo!! I, for one, would love love love to see my sweet (not-so-baby) girl's faces, when I talk to them on the phone....but I may not win. So why dont you all try your hand at winning ! Best of luck!

Meanwhile....back at the ranch....................

Miss Vic

Coffee order at drive-in window....

I'll have a cafe' mocha, vodka, valium latte, to go, please....

Bah ha haaaaa...and it isn't even MONDAY !!!!!


See. Now doesn't that feel better???

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the sun is shining!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

back from the dead.....

Bad weather.

Chronic pain.

Frequent Fatigue

Fibromyalgia Syndrome

equals infrequent

Blog posts


Each day seems to bring new challenges and I am

up to them for about half the day. Then I'm just

DONE. On the days I have PT for my Knee replace-

ment, I come home, take pain meds and go to bed.

Hugs knows that on P T days, he's got to fend for himself when it comes to meals. On the alternating days without PT, I am able to do chores for about half the day...then I have to hit the bed with pain meds for a couple hours.....up long enough to cook dinner, do a load of laundry or read for a couple hours, then back to bed, due to over-whelming pain....I am just sleeping to retreat from the pain. What a shitty way to spend the winter. Is this normal for post surgical pain and fatigue? I don't think so. I feel like I've been hit with a truck. The surgeon and specialists had suspected this is what would happen for me. They are not surprised, and I guess, in all honesty, I am not either. Major pain is just a huge part of my every day. And adding another major surgery just added more for my body to try to deal with. The way I understand what the doc's say, because of my FMS,my brain detects/processes pain incorrectly at an unusally hightened level and is transmitted to my poor body at an highly exaggerated level. But it's not always static. Sometimes, I have hurt myself extremely bad, and just stood there watching the blood flow and thinking "Wow, that should really hurt."

Three months is long enough to whine about my knee pain. I am tired. And discouraged. The PT guys just say, "give it takes a year to heal"

Auggggghhhhhh! A YEAR?!?!?! I don't think so, Scooter! Not this girl.

Nuh uh. No thanks. I'm tired of crawling up the stairs, one at a time like an old woman. Mostly, I guess, I'm just so tired of being tired and this freaking PAIN>>>>>sigh>>>>>>>

God, give me patience...

Okay, thank you for letting me vent. I am just frustrated. My knee is doing fine, and doing everything its supposed to do. I am now able to bend the knee at 123% which is really good! I am just the victim of cabin fever, tired of winter and pain and not being able to go anywhere or do anything.

All will be better tomorrow. That is the wonder of this incredible life! That we can go to sleep on a shitty day, and wake up to a clean slate, to begin again....and hopefully do a better job of it, THIS TIME.

God grant each of us a good night's rest and restoration. And may we meet again with a smile of gratitude, knowing that through His Grace, we have another day to do small acts of kindness, in His name.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.....

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Lady of Shalott

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.

She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot...

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot;
Or when the Moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed.
"I am half-sick of shadows,"said
The Lady of Shalott.
* * * *

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance -
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

-From "The Lady of Shalott" by Alford, Lord Tennyson

...just sharing some literary Bliss....
Note: The beautiful words of Alford, Lord Tennyson were put to music and are beautifully sung by Loreena McKennitt, on her allbum, The Visit . 'Lady of Shallot' is one of my very favorite McKennitt songs. It is a pure, folk-like capturing of Tennyson's poem of an elven woman who is cursed to die if ever she let's herself love. It is a showcase for the singer's voice, which moves over her entire tonal range. ' You can hear MP-3 version on or listen /see on YouTube:

ahhhhhhhhh. You are Welcome......

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...............Miss Vic

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Winter Friends

Here, in Paradise, we like more than anything else (beyond the peace and quiet),the various wildlife that abound. I feed the birds year round, and songbirds enjoy our rich food source. Especially in the cold, bleak days of our long winter, we make sure there's lots of grains and seeds for our feathered friends, such as these winter friends, the California Quail. We sometimes have as many as fifty or so,at a time, feeding here under this planting of birch trees. The Quail seem to love the seeds from these trees as well as the cracked corn that we scatter around. These little guys look like an old Laural and Hardy routine, as they wobble and strut around in the snow - and always a source of hilarity for us is the way they carry on as a bunch of old ladies, gossiping across the garden fence.

We are in awe at how well they can camouflage themselves in the birch trees, as they roost right above the reach of the "Big Yeller Bird Dog" Belle.

These are our "Winter Friends"...ones we look forward to entertaining/and being entertained BY, each year.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch....the wind still blows and the creek runs downhill.
Miss Vic

DO,Please, Try this free sample!

I forgot to tell you!! Do, please, enjoy a free sample of coffee from Dunkin Donuts! Their ad didn't just mysteriously show up on by BLOG...I placed it there for your enjoyment. (I share the things I like...and I like freebies!! in my mailbox.) Therefore....just follow the link for a free sample of coffee to arrive! Yahoo!
Miss Vic

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Great New Read

I just finished a great read and thought I'd pass it along to you. Not remembering where this recommendation came from, I'll just tell you ALL how much I loved it! A biography, written by Judy Blunt, called BREAKING CLEAN. Born into a third generation of Montana homesteaders,Blunt learned early how "to rope and ride and jockey a John Deere," but also to bake bread and can vegetables. She writes so poetically about her belov-ed ranching days in Montana, that you feel that you are there with her, every step of the way, good times and bad. I found myself in this book, and wondered to myself several times, that if I was a decent writer, I could have written this as my life. Not that I ever lived in Montana, and I grew up on a farm, not a ranch....but I'll tell you THIS: some of the troubles she saw in life were definitely My Own !! And the two of us have had about as much trouble keeping our mouths closed. I finished this book in two days. It was that good!
Miss Vic

Meanwhile back at the is blizzarding, blowing, snowing, freezing............and I am whining in the backwoods of Paradise.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Procrastination or Denial ?

Procrastination or denial ?
What is it about the beginning of a new year that makes us look back ? Why are there so many resolutions made, and ultimately ignored, forgotten or broken? At the new year, we have the opportunity to "start anew", even though God knows, we could do that on any day of the week in any month of the year! But for the sake of this post, we'll note that some, (many?) people choose this time of year to set a goal, or many goals, for themselves to accomplish in the new year. The slate's clean. There are no slip ups or failures to haunt us - a perfect time to, well...get perfect! As For me, I usually start a diet on "Monday"; I have used major birthdays,(40, 50) to "become perfect." I was going to quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape, find the perfect job, blah blah blah, before the monumental birthday arrived. We do the same every year, on New Years, stating we'll get in shape, start a diet, drink less wine, hook up the water & sewage lines to the house..(bah ha ha...just joking, here)
But then we let the day slip us by. We easily let the goal for the new year to evaporate like the steam from our first latte of the morning.
And why is it so easy to do that??!?!? Is it denial or procrastination? Is it because in polite society, we don't say to each other,THAT which would hurt the others feelings. We all noticed it over the holiday gatherings; but no one mentioned the elephant in the room: Aunt Tillie who still drinks too much; the extra thirty pounds brother Bob put on this year; the fact that sister has much more grey in her hair this year. And it's not enough that no one in the room says anything to us about that which we already know about ourselves, BUT THAT WE REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT ! Is this the River D'Nile ?? It's so easy to let each day slip by us, without taking the first step toward change. We can avoid the issue day after day, but with me, there is still "The Knowledge", and with it the guilt, because I'm choosing to ignore what I know to be true. Guilt, because I don't care enough about myself to prioritize my needs and take the first step toward health.
If I don't take care of myself, then no one will. If I don't love myself enough to do the things I know need to be done for my health to be good, then no one else will. Forget that its the beginning of the new year. Forget waiting until Monday to start. Forget about waiting for someone else to tell you. (They WONT). We need to take charge of our lives right now and do what must be done to insure that this year is going to be THE YEAR that you turned your life around and got healthy. As for me, I have to prioritize ME time. Prioritize that I am as important as every other member of my household. Make those doctor, dentist, massage appointments. Take those vitamins. Get that exercise and lose that weight. Get out of the house and socialize and enjoy life more.
And now I challenge YOU: Do it for YOU. Do it for those who depend on you to be there and to be well. And do it, as an inspiration to the others around you. You may light a fire this year.

Miss Vic about to fall off her soapbox...back at the ranch.
Happy New Year !!