Friday, November 29, 2013

Rustic Fireplaces

I enjoyed doing a post with some different ideas of stone facade fireplaces where a flat screen TV had been incorporated since we are currently doing that project at our house.  Woot!

But I thought to balance the fake stone and technology I'd do a post with some more rustic fireplace looks (some still have the tech...I can't get away from it!).


Thursday, November 28, 2013

So thankful for YOU

To those who've stood by me
To those who've left
To those who I've yet to see
I love the people that have made up my journey.
I am proud to have walked with you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

$50 Giveaway

Guys, I know I don't do stuff like this often, but in the kindness of my heart I WANT one of you to win this gift certificate I've been given to give away here on my blog.

It's $50 for an experience.  Yes, an experience (you know--what has been found to bring people more happiness than things?)  It could be put towards an amazing flying adventure, even a flying lesson for yourself, but it could also completely cover some fun little day experiences like a Movie Locations walking tour of Central Park and make it free.  Fun, huh?

Central Park Movie Locations tour

I'm telling girlfriends and I always joked about the reality of the dates on the Bachelor and Bachelorette.  I mean, helicopter ride?

Vegas Flight Lesson

C'mon!  But with this gift someone could seriously be "that guy!"  And not just a "let's ride together and canoodle!"  An actual flight lesson!  As you can tell I'm excited to give this away.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chocolate/Chocolate Cheesecake (gluten free)

We made this gluten-free cheesecake last night and it was a major hit.  It tasted just as good as some of the things I've had at Cheesecake Factory.  In fact, my daughter and I day-dreamed about trying to contract this out to them so they could have a GF dessert to offer too.  It's that good.  And it's easily "normal" by just using normal oreos for the crust.



A pkg of gluten-free oreo cookies (can sub regular ones if not GF)
2 T melted butter

Crush oreos and mix butter and then pat into glass pie pan.

Blend in Blender:

3 pkgs of cream cheese
3/4 C sugar
1 pkg of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
3 eggs

Pour over the crust and bake at 325 for about an hour.  Then (if you possess self-control) let cool in the fridge for 2 or 3 hours.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Even More About Gus

By:  Carl D. Morris

Chapter 3

Back to the drawing board. The cowboys decided it might be better to ride him out inside their corral.. but, this time they'd be better prepared for his bucking. I was told that he unloaded each one of the cowboys that had the guts to get on him and try to force him to run. He bucked them off right there in front of a crowd... This is when Gus was returned to my custody. 

So, I guess this concludes the story of Gus and his bucking. Over the following years, Gus and I had this understanding. If I was going to have fun, hoop and holler and gouge him to make him run... he was going to have a little fun, TOO. By this time, I was quite confident that he could buck me off any time he wanted to. So, I made a sincere effort to never make him want to. He served me many years as an extremely good elk hunting mountain horse. He never bucked me off again. 

There was one more pertinent fact that had a lot to do with Gus flunking obedience school up on the ranch the way he did. Come to find out... "Gus was absolutely terrified of cows." Totally terrified. His eyes would look like saucers and his nostrils would dilate to about the size of pop cans when he saw that he was approaching a cow. I'll bet that even on the day he died, if I tried to make him run and catch a cow, he would have bucked me off. Through the years, I had several people admire Gus and say, "Boy, look at those muscles!! I'd sure like to try him on roping steers.. " I'd think, sometimes out loud, "No you wouldn't.." 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Buy Hand Made

If you can purchase directly from a crafter, it is SO appreciated.  This is my plug for Etsy this holiday season!  Here's my shop and my mother-in-law's.  If you have an etsy shop, let me know in the comments and I'll promote yours too!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

More About Gus

By:  Carl D. Morris

Chapter Two

Well, Gus was young. I figured it would be a good time to work on making him a good saddle horse. A couple of my nephew's friends happened to be at my brothers house.. A conversation started about how Gus had done a good job of bucking me off a few days previous. These young cowboys worked up at a dude ranch. I don't know if it was up the South Fork.. or up the North Fork. They said that they'd like to load Gus up and take him with them.. and work the kinks out of him for me up at the ranch they worked on. I gave them permission to do just that.
The rest of the story I learned in bits and pieces..... one detail at a time... until I had a pretty good understanding of what took place. The rest of this came fully to light long after the "cowboys", a couple of weeks after they took him, brought him back and just turned him loose it the pasture without saying a word.

As I understand it now, one of the incentives for these boys to take Gus and "ride him out" for me was to provide them a way of impressing people up at the ranch... especially the girls.. I suppose there's nothing like a raunchy horse to put on a show of your horsemanship.

Soon after they got Gus up to the ranch, some work needed to be done with some cows. They figured it might be a good way to plunge Gus right into his training. Besides, Gus was showing them that he was very docile... obviously too docile to be much of a bucker. One of the cowboys put on his chaps and spurs and got ready to put Gus through his paces and teach him a thing or two. They rode out to where the cows were, the cows took off running, but Gus was only giving a half-hearted effort to catch them. All he was producing was a slow gallop. So.... wanting more action, while they were slowly galloping, the cowboy started whirling his rope over Gus's head, gave out a yell, and really gouged him with his spurs. Like I said, Gus was galloping... but... well... the people watching all this said that they'd never seen a cowboy fly in the air so high... and hit the ground so hard... as this cowboy did.. It was said that it took a while for him to get up.

(to be continued...)

Spook and Gus

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Horse Named Gus, part 1

By:  Carl D Morris

Gus (recently deceased) was a horse I bought as an approximate 3-year old, green-broke, purebred quarter horse.. His name on the papers was about 2 inches long... and said something about "Gustafson".. The crippled up guy that had him told me he was leaving town right away and would take 350 dollars for him. I bought him and took him home.

My first real ride on him, I was out in the hills by Byron, Wy and riding with brother Bud and some other friends. I could tell Gus was green, but we were doing okay. Toward the end of the ride, somebody thought we should gallop back to the house... and they all took off. I kicked Gus up to a gallop,too. I could tell he didn't much care for that. Everybody was moving out pretty good, so I kicked Gus some more to encourage him to go faster. He went faster... but suddenly, as we were rapidly loping along, he turned loose. I'd never been on a horse that started bucking and twisting at a full gallop. I remember being up in the air.. way above my saddle... travelling at probably 30 miles per hour.

In puzzlement, while I was way up in the air, with nothing solid beneath me, I noticed that I was still holding these two reins in my hand. I could tell this was going to hurt. I remember wondering if it would be better form to hold on to the reins... or just let go of them. I decided I might as well let go of them. It seemed like it took an eternity for me to hit the ground, where I finally landed on my back and came to a skidding, bouncing stop. Where I landed was a combination of sage brush and cactus. Bud said later that when he happened to look back, I was on my way down from way up in the air, and I made a very respectable puff of dust when I landed. It did hurt... I know I was plucking cactus out of my back and scalp for a long time afterwards.

I, many times after that incident, shook my head in shame... for being so naive... maybe even stupid. I promised myself that day, then and there, as I was painfully walking back to the house, that I would never, ever again buy a horse from a man that was in a hurry to sell .... cheap... and was wearing a back brace and could barely walk. Duh..... (More to come later....)

Carl D Morris and granddaughter Shae

Monday, November 18, 2013

Tiny House Exteriors

I love tiny houses and small cottages.  Both for their looks and their efficiency.  It doesn't take much space to meet your shelter needs and sometimes it frees up more space to enjoy outside.  And I LOVE land.

Here are some of my cottage ideas:

I think the thing I don't like about most of these is the second story or loft.  If I was to have a cottage I'd want it to be one story, mostly because I picture being there until I'm old and don't want to be going up and down stairs in case of illness or injury.  A nice little loft or lower level for grandkids might be useful, though. 

Watch for upcoming posts on tiny house interiors and adjoining land.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Banana Oat Blender Muffins (Flour Free)

You guys!  I wanted to document this recipe because these muffins have been my go-to hot warm piece of gluten-free goodness when we are out of GF bread, or regular bread for us non-Celiacs.  And they are pretty dang healthy too.  I add chocolate chips and these fill a cupcake or cookie craving really well.


In a blender mix:

4 bananas
2 C plain greek yogurt
1 C sugar
6 C oats
3 t baking powder
3 C chocolate chips (optional)

Pour the batter into greased muffin pans and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Flour Tortillas

This recipe is for super soft homemade tortillas.  They are really soft and stay that way hours later.  Most of the homemade ones I have made get a little too crispy and don't fold well.  This recipe solves that problem.  How?  Some real fat.  Yep.  I swear by REAL butter and real foods in general whenever possible.  I think fat is a healthy part of our diet.  Here they are.  Enjoy!


4 C Flour
3 t baking powder
2 t salt
1 cube butter
1 1/2 C water

Mix dry ingredients.  Cut butter in with a pastry cutter (like making pie crust).  Add water to form dough.  For into small balls.  Let rest for 10 minutes, then roll into super thin circles (Rolling them as thin as possible is really key.  They puff while cooking.) and cook on a hot oiled cast iron skillet.  Flip them when they start to bubble.  Cooking them very quickly will keep them soft and if you've rolled them thin enough there is little chance they'll be doughy.