Saturday, December 7, 2019

Ramblings of Thanksgiving

I hope everybody had an awesome Thanksgiving.  We took Jasper with us to Indiana for Thanksgiving.  I'm so impressed with how well he did for being in the car so much.  The trip each way was nearly 1000 miles plus all the driving we did while there.  After getting caught in rush hour traffic in Minneapolis on the way there for nearly 3 hours, Mr. B was adamant we were going nowhere near a large city on the way back.

It was nice to see the family again.  My aunt has been ill off and on for nearly a year now, including several hospitalizations, so it was important to get home and see her.  My uncle came up from Alabama too.  With my brother and his family and sister and her family, we were a gathering of 15 around the Thanksgiving table.  My uncle gifted us all with homemade jellies and apple butter (yum).  The jellies were made with beet water as a base.  I'm loving the black raspberry beet jelly.  Even Mr. B has been eating it, I just haven't mentioned the beet part.  He also did a peach beet jelly that he used yellow beets to make.  As I said, I just won't mention the beet part.

Wow, Plymouth has changed.  It's been probably around 8 or 9 years since I was last there.  I swear it doubles in size each time I go back.  I wanted to take the lil dude over to the park but unfortunately, it rained Saturday and I wasn't able to.  He could really have used some serious playtime with all the driving.  I loved the park and spent most of my summers playing there. I loved walking my dogs along the trails by the river.  The city pool was also located in the park and I spent a lot of time there also.  Mom still remembers one of the last times I was back and my spending so much time in the park walking them. Man do I miss those pups, I sometimes wonder if the heartache of losing those 3 pups will ever lessen. 

On Friday we drove down to Monterey and showed Mr. B where I lived.  First, we had to stop and get a haircut for the lil dude as my son hadn't gotten it cut like I'd requested him to.  He looked adorable afterward. We drove by Culver Military Academy and drove around the lake.  I don't think I've been to Monterey since I was about 10 or so years old.  Some things have changed as you can imagine but yet surprisingly some were the same.  I remembered the bar, the post office, the school, and the library.  I hadn't realized the school there had closed. We also drove by the farm.  Mom had told me my step-uncle had stopped milking cows but I hadn't realized he'd torn down most of the milking barn.  It looked so different!

Saturday morning we gathered in Walkerton at the Corner Cup Cafe for a family breakfast before my brother and sister headed home.  Jasper made us all laugh because he kept telling everybody he wanted pancakes and he ate the whole entire thing when he got it. He definitely put away a hearty breakfast.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, car and outdoorAfterward, we headed over towards Breman to a store called Rentown.  It's an Amish owned and run store.  I wish we'd taken the truck so I could have loaded up with supplies there to bring back!  The prices were crazy low compared to what I have to pay here in North Dakota.

Jasper saw an Amish woman putting out cheese into the cooler and went over and picked one out.  I cut it up for us to nibble on for the drive home.  After Jasper took his first bite of the cheese he'd chosen he grabbed the whole container and said "mine!"   I grabbed some German-style bologna for Mr. B.  I bought a package that was at least a pound for less than $3 - it cost me $5.50 for a package at the store the last time I bought bologna at the store.  I picked up several spices and herbs that I knew I needed.

Our next stop was a little scratch and dent store in Wakarusa, also Amish owned and operated.  I picked Jasper up some of the gummy fruit snacks for $1.50 a box.  Mom and my uncle picked up several things while here.  I knew we didn't have a lot of space so I didn't buy very much.  My uncle bought my mom a case of grapefruit for $13.  My uncle stocked up on stuff to take back with him at both stores.

Our last stop was at another Amish business, Kuhn Orchard, to get apple cider, the real stuff - not the store pasteurized stuff.  I bought honey as well and my uncle picked up some pickles, honey and apple cider vinegar. 

We headed home on Sunday morning.  We didn't leave super early but were on the road by 9 am.  We stopped in Mankota for the night.  At least we didn't run into a blizzard going home like we did going.  Mr. B wanted to stop at Country Cat in Sauk Center, Minnesota.  I'm not sure who had more fun Jasper or Mr. B.  Mr. B was eyeing an equipment bag and I told him to get it.  It's large enough it should fit both our stuff in it.  It will make it a lot easier to just be able to grab the bag when we go snowmobiling instead of having to grab everything individually and carry everything out.  Easy to forget things so this bag will be great so we don't forget anything.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Reminiscing of Falls in Maine...

Lately, I've been missing fall in Maine with the beautiful colors.  It's been so many years ago that I lived there, yet the memory of the trees changing each fall is still vivid in my memory. The colors here in North Dakota just don't match the intensity of those I remember in New England.  One day I will have to go back to see if fall is really how I remember it.  It would be wonderful if we could take a motorcycle trip there in the fall.

Today is one of my rare days off.  I'd planned to clean but we're having a problem with rust in the water so that's on hold so no cleaning or laundry today.  I'm working on putting items up on Facebook Marketplace to start downsizing a bit before we move the house so that was my morning project.  I got a nasty comment almost immediately after posting a pair of shoes that I'd only worn twice about his wife having gotten them without foot fungus.  I mean seriously - what is it with people any more.  I'm sure the new shoes his wife bought had been tried on a time or two before her purchasing them.


As winter is starting to show her colors, I've been craving more substantial food along with warming drinks so my cooking has changed in the last couple weeks.  I'm craving a warm drink after supper and before bed, so warm apple cider with a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom and hot chocolate have started making an appearance.

Venison steak with fried potatoes and acorn squash.  This was soooo good!  A little steak sauce and perfection!  I used my air fryer to cook the venison steak and it came out perfect and didn't taste like dry leather.

Homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese dippers.  Another cold-weather meal. (Sorry, bad picture.)

This is a new (to me) set of plates I bought.  The dessert plates and cups have a barn on them.  I paid $10 for 4 cups, 4 dinner plates and 3 bowls.  I love the bowls as they are perfect for soups and pasta dishes.  I imagine you'll see a lot more of this set.

Mr. B and I went on a shopping trip to Minot at the beginning of the month. Mr. B is remodeling the furnace room in the shop and needed supplies.  He took me to a really nice restaurant/bar that I would have never found.  We'd already been seated before I saw this beautiful fireplace or I would have asked to be seated by it. The fireplace is open on three sides so you can have a view of it from nearly anywhere.

The food was really good.  I had a french dip sandwich with sweet potato fries and Mr. B had a burger with regular fries.  We were so full from the meal we just ate a snack for supper after we got home.  I hope we can go back here again to try the supper menu.

It Happened In Scotland audiobook cover art  Lady Fortescue Steps Out audiobook cover art  You Are a Badass audiobook cover art  The 12 Week Year audiobook cover art  

I think I might have finished a couple more audiobooks but I can't remember which ones.  I'm currently listening to the following books.

  The Witch of Little Italy audiobook cover art  The Wealthy Gardener audiobook cover art  Think and Grow Rich audiobook cover art

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Winter Started in October this Year!!!!

Today I'm trying to recover from having been snowbound at work in Devil's Lake for the past three days. My body (previously injured right hip and leg) hurts badly and I need to keep my leg up BUT I have cleaning I'd planned to do over the weekend since I was SUPPOSED to have had it off that still needs to be done. Now I'm trying to recover and get two days of cleaning done in a single day since I have to work for the next three days.  

I've managed to get three loads of laundry done so far including our bedding, cleaned the bathroom, cleaned the bathroom, bedroom and living room.  I plan to run the vacuum and if I have time left I hope to get some cleaning done in the kitchen.

Looking out window at work
Yes, the snow drift is all the way
to the roof!
We just got dumped on this week with snow.  Devil's Lake got over two feet of snow during the two-day blizzard.  Here at the farm they only got a couple inches.  The roads were closed so I couldn't get home and had to stay at work for three nights.  Fortunately, they have rooms for staff that have to stay for any reason.  The last day I ended up having to share my room with an overnight nurse, which felt a little weird.  I just wasn't super comfortable sharing a room where I have my electronics and purse with someone I don't know. 

I looked out one of the windows at work and was started to see the drifts were up to the roof!  I went to take the garbage out and there was a snowdrift blocking the door over 7 feet tall.  I haven't seen this amount of snow in a single storm since I lived in Maine.

A deer eating at the start
of the storm
Thankfully I had packed an extra pair of scrubs and some basic things just in case this storm did really happen.  Lesson learned of additional things I need to include and keep in my vehicle just in case a freak storm happens while I'm at work.  I really wished I'd packed my knitting so I had something to decompress with.  Also, for any time this might happen I need to have something Mr. B can microwave easily to eat when I'm not here to feed him.

I made a wise decision running to Walmart Wednesday night before it got really bad so I could grab some food for snacks and at the last minute decided to get a small package of dinner rolls, meat and cheese for sandwiches just in case.  I was blessed to be able to share my food with others too.

I also plan on suggesting improvements at work for future issues like this so we can work better as employees and feel appreciated. 

Items To Get: Yes I'm one of those crazy people that packs everything including the kitchen sink so I'm comfortable and I have what I need to be able to relax and recharge on my downtime

1.  Electronics:  I did a good job with this but I think I will invest in another electronic wallet and keep a set of cords for my devices (IPhone, Samsung Tablet and Kindle Paperwhite) and a multiple USB charger in my vehicle for freak stuff like this.  I bought a large wallet for our motorcycle trip this year and have everything Mr. B and I need for trips but I think a dedicated one for my work bag would be a good idea.

2.  Food:  A separate bag for food items that I can keep stored in the car, which is always a good winter idea to keep in a vehicle.

Food:  Things that have a long shelf life to be kept in the vehicle.  I will definitely buy individual size containers of fruits and veggies. I may also consider keeping a cooler in my vehicle so that I can keep things in my room.

3.  Bedding:  A travel pillow.  The facility ones were not comfortable.  I'll invest in a Mr. Pillow travel pillow and keep it in the vehicle.

Comfortable sheets:  These I don't need to buy as I have several sets of twin size flannel sheets in my storage tubs so I just need to get a set and put them in my bag. 

Throw/Quilt:  A nice throw blanket to cuddle in would be nice too.

4: Project:  Something to work on during downtimes like knitting or crochet.

5:  Clothes:  More than one set of scrubs.  I had the scrubs I wore to work and one extra pair I'd packed but it would have been nice to be able to have not had to do laundry.  I plan to order some more new ones soon so I'll keep several older sets in my bag.

6.  Laundry Supplies:  A container with a couple laundry tabs and dryer sheets.  I used the facility laundry soap and my scrubs are all scratchy so I need to make sure I have my own on hand if needed.  The facility doesn't use dryer sheets so it's an important item to have.

7.  Clock:  A clock that I can see the time in the dark.  I kept waking up thinking I'd overslept and had to get up and check my phone to see what time it was.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


Good morning! We woke to a gloriously cool morning with the temp in the house about 69'. It was cool enough it woke me up and I almost got up to get a blanket but decided not to and snuggled up with Mr. B instead. I grabbed my heavy winter robe when I got up instead of my cotton one too and when I got dressed I pulled a sweater out of my winter stash to put on. Definitely my type of a morning and a blessing to start the morning on my day off. Temps are supposed to be back up close to 80' again today though so I will enjoy these brief glimpses that tell me fall isn't too far away. I brewed some tea up for ice tea later in the day when it gets warmer.

My patio garden is growing and has started producing. I finally have baby peppers. We've been having temps in the mid to high 80's for the last couple weeks and it's been doing wonders for my garden but depleting my energy - I just don't seem to be able to handle high temperatures like I use to and end up feeling like an overcooked limp noodle with no energy. 

I'm so excited but a bit worried that something will happen to all my glorious tomatoes that are ripening. I have the worse luck with tomatoes for some reason but I keep trying! I have big plans for marinara sauce for those beauties if they ripen. Hadley has already tried to take a bit out of one on the vine and Jasper this past weekend picked one and brought it in and handed it to me so proudly. I hated to scold him but he can't pick until grandma says he can. I've also been craving bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers so I hope my pepper plants produce well. 
Zazzy 2ft 8 Layer Black Mesh Hanging Herb Drying Rack Dry Net

I've also been harvesting my chamomile flowers to make tea with. I bought a dehydrating rack to hang and start dehydrating my herbs. It's a LOT bigger than I thought it would be - 2' across - so it's going to take up some room. I will need Mr. B to put some type of hook up for me to hang it on, probably in Jasper's room so it's not in sunlight. Jasper was trying to figure out what it was for so I picked some sage leaves and put them in it so he could sort of an idea of what I was going to do with it. My son thought it was for Jasper's toys. I have mint, chocolate mint, oregano, sage, rosemary and dill I want to dehydrate.


Jasper turned 4 years old this week!!!! I thought they were going to be up for the entire week so I was caught unprepared when my son announced Monday night they were leaving the next morning. What!!!! So I grabbed a no-bake cherry cheesecake mix out of the cabinet (since I didn't have any cake mixes) and Jasper got a birthday cheesecake. So much for the birthday cake I was going to pick up and his presents. 

I had bought some magnets in car shapes and he designed a transformer on my refrigerator with them. He also used his legos to make a monster that actually looked like a monster so he's getting pretty good!  

We took them to Demolition Derby on Sunday in Balta. He was a little scared of all the noise the cars made but then got into it. He doesn't like loud noises and I should have taken his ear protection I bought when he went to the Mud Truck Fest with us. He helped me take the picture of the cars in the pit with my phone.



From TV series
The Quiche of Death: The First Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin Mysteries Book 1) by [Beaton, M. C.]  The Vicious Vet: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin Mysteries Book 2) by [Beaton, M. C.]  

I am truly addicted to the Agatha Raisin Mystery Series by M.C. Beaton. The two audiobooks I'd already bought and listened to were out of order so I've gone back and started with book 1, The Quiche of Death, and book 2, The Vicious Vet. I bought these on July 30th and I've already listened to both. As I mentioned in my last blog, I have a lot of travel time to listen to books. I've gotten so caught up in these I've listened to them after I've gotten home too. I was going to try and watch the TV series, but immediately took a dislike of the woman they have playing Agatha. In the book, she's described as a stout woman with short brown hair. The actress they have is nothing like the description - she's skinny and BLOND!!!! Seriously, couldn't they have at least dyed her hair brown!

I also ordered a used copy of Trim Healthy Mama Plan off Amazon and the Audible version. I want to get the spiral cookbooks but at over $30 a piece that's a chunk of change so I'm going to investigate Ebay and see if I can find them cheaper. Since my injury, in February, I have packed on extra poundage, which I wasn't surprised about since I was laid up on the couch for over two months. I thought when I started working again I'd drop it but I only dropped a few pounds and the rest needs to go! I've experimented with possibly doing Keto but I've noticed major mood swings every time I've tried to start it. From the research I've done recently I think this approach might be a better option. I'll keep you updated! They sound like a hoot on the podcast I listened to so I added them to my subscribed podcast list. I've been neglecting my podcast though due to my addiction to Agatha Raisin. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


This truck actually runs and drives!
Wow, where has this summer gone! This year is just speeding by like a freight train and it needs to stop so I can get off and enjoy it for a little bit before harvest is upon us! I will try and get a post with pictures of our trip to South Dakota up soon. It was a wonderful trip and I have told Mr. B that I want to retire to Spearfish, South Dakota. Last night I went in the tractor with Mr. B to rake hay. 

Mr. B has already told me that harvest will be early this year as his boss planted barley and it should be ready in about two weeks to start harvesting. With that forewarning, I need to get some projects to occupy myself through November. One of the projects I have planned is to move this blog to Wordpress and out of Blogger. I think the new platform will allow me more creativity - or at least I hope so. I'm extremely limited with Blogger on fonts and add-ons to name a couple things.


My grandson came up and spent the 4th of July with us. The daycare was closed so my son needed me to help and take him as he had to work. I also had to work so Mr. B volunteered to babysit (isn't he awesome!). The weekend after the 4th we went down to Bismarck to Mr. B's brother's for a BBQ with Jasper. We spent the night and then dropped Jasper off at home on our way back. That was one LONG day of driving. There were several families with kids there and they had an awesome time. One family brought a giant blowup bouncy house like you'd see at fairs and it wore the kids out thankfully.

Mr. B and I took off down the road this past weekend for a ride. We road up by Lake Metigoshe and back. That area is so beautiful with the trees. We stopped at a couple bars as it was hot out. The A Frame Bar was where he took me on our first date so lots of good memories there.

Mr. B also surprised me and took me to the State Fair in Minot last Thursday. I didn't think to take photos there. We looked at a lot of hot tubs as we're talking about turning the garage attached to the house into a family/recreation room with a pool table and a hot tub after we get it moved down here. I did pick up a purse from the Harley Davidson stall to use when we're riding. It hangs down the leg and has a strap that buckles at the waist and another on the leg to keep it from flapping around while riding. 



My patio garden is doing great! I'm anxiously awaiting to see if my tomatoes fully develop with no problems. I always seem to end up with blossom rot. My herbs are doing great and I'm already starting to harvest them. I plan to order a hanging drying rack from Amazon to put them in. I'd planned to use my electric dehydrator after watching a video where the guy was talking about how much was taken out of the herbs with any type of heated dehydrating (either electric or microwave methods). I've been putting my chamomile flowers on a cookie sheet with a paper towel to dry.


I've started listening to audiobooks again while driving to work since I have over an hour drive each way. I'm also reading books, although, not nearly as much as I use to. Word of warning: The Agatha Raisin series is addictive!!!
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles, read by Diana Majinger, (LibriVox). 
American Hygge: How You Can Incorporate Coziness Into Your Living Space and Bring Warmth to Your Relationship Without Moving to Denmark by Melanie Morgan (Kindle Unlimited)

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian Moran, read by Tom Pile (Audiobooks)

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, read by Karen Savage (LibriVox)

The Miracle Groom by Lucy McConnell (Kindle Unlimited)

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Audible)

The Enchanged April by Elizabeth von Amim (Audible)

Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist by M. C. Beaton (Chirp)

Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener by M. C. Beaton (Chirp)

Made with Love by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore (Kindle)

The Jane Austen Diet by Brian Kozlowski (Kindle)

Sunday, May 26, 2019


May is here with it's blowing winds and warming days (FINALLY!!!). Vacation plans are starting to push to the front as we prepare to leave for another bike vacation in June. My big news is I gave notice and started working at my new job this week!!! I have to get up earlier though so I'm working on reprogramming my body to get up a little bit earlier each week and hopefully I won't be too sleep deprived. It's so nice to be done at 2:30 pm though!

Other news on the homestead is that we have a house Mr. B bought to move down to our homestead! I'm still getting my head wrapped around it. All the plans I'd had for fixing things in the trailer or now on hold. He's hoping we can get everything moved, the ground leveled, and the foundation put in by winter and then move it down in the spring. It will be at least a year, possibly two, before we will be able to move into it. The inside has some cosmetic things that need to be done before we move in. The outside will need to be painted and a new roof put on.


My mom arrived for a week-long visit last week. The winds were high and the weather cold while she was here so several outings I'd planned (namely going to the Peace Gardens) didn't happen due to the weather. I'd hoped we could spend some time outside doing things like having her help me plant my patio garden and some flowers, but that didn't happen either. What did happen was we got to spend a lot of time indoors relaxing and watching TV and/or working on our craft projects. We also did some bird watching out the window as we have a beautiful yellow finch that has visited us.

Lil dude came up and spent a week also with me while my mom was here. The last day and a half were hard as the weather wasn't nice enough for him to go out outside and work off some energy so we had some issues but otherwise he was a lot of fun to have. He got to see planes at the airport when we picked up my mom and was so excited.


The day my mom left we tried out ND Asia Bar and Grill. They have hibachi tables or regular seating so mom and I decided on the hibachi table. It was such a good meal before she left and she had leftovers to eat for supper so she didn't have to buy airport food on the way home. I was surprised they actually had a lunch menu for the hibachi tables, normally it's a set price whether lunch or supper. I also ordered vegetable sushi, which was really good. Mom ordered chicken and I ordered steak for our meats and the meal came with a broth soup and an Asian-style salad - both were delish! I will definitely be returning to this restaurant.


One of my projects this month has been to start adding my favorite blogs to Bloglovin' so I can start reading them on Bloglovin instead of following them on Facebook. I've gotten so frustrated with Facebook and not being able to see all the blogs I follow because of their algorithms which only allow you to see the top 25 blogs/pages you look at. Considering I have way more blogs/pages I follow than that, something needed to be done.

I've also been noticing a lot of people taking hiatuses from Facebook or all social media lately. I can see the benefit in this and may consider it in the near future. I was listening to a podcast and the gentleman said he'd deleted all social media apps from his phone. Considering the average person spends over 3 hours PER DAY on their phones it's a pretty huge amount of time we could use for something more useful.


When I worked at Walmart I saw college girls constantly buying sugar-free pudding and protein shakes, I'm not over exaggerating when I say they'd buy close to 100 boxes of the sugar-free pudding at a time. I asked them what they did with all of it and they said they made protein shakes from it. So this morning I was trying to figure out something low carb to make for breakfast and decided to try it. I checked out Pinterest and decided on a combination of flavors I wanted and OMG was it good! Honestly, it was so filling I didn't drink the entire thing. I will probably start making these for my breakfasts on days I work so I can drink them on my way to work. Check Pinterest out as there are tons of recipes. Note: A package of pudding I estimate will make at least 3 shakes so keep it in an airtight container after opening.

Pudding Protein Shake

1 container of Premier vanilla protein shake
1 tablespoon PB2 powder
1 tablespoon sugar-free chocolate pudding

Put all ingredients in a blender (I use my Ninja). The more ice you use the thicker the shakes will be  - so adjust the amount of ice to your preference for thickness.


One of my spring/summer projects was to put in a raised bed garden this year. This got put on hold until we get the house moved down here to the homestead so I decided to do a patio garden to satisfy my gardening itch. I bought a package of 10 of these 5-gallon gardening bags to use as planters. I also got a package of 3 of these 7-gallon gardening bags.  I bought 4 tomato plants, jalapeno plant, anaheim pepper plant, and 2 green pepper plants to plant in these.  I used the 7-gallon bags for the tomatoes. I'll see if the tomatoes do better in the 7-gallon or 5-gallon bags.

My Seedsheet - I think this is the salad one
- less than a week after planting

I also ordered some Seedsheets to try - I bought the salad and the herb ones. These are from the Shark Tank show, which I never watch.

Ramblings of Thanksgiving

I hope everybody had an awesome Thanksgiving.  We took Jasper with us to Indiana for Thanksgiving.  I'm so impressed with how well ...