Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The clouds were hanging low when we drove to Grangeville on Monday morning, we even drove through them a couple of times. Cool, a sure sign of Fall having arrived!

The Elk are on the move, we hear the bulls bugling every now and then (well .. James is, I don't hear a thing).

We met this guy on the road right out of our front gate, isn't he gorgeous?

His herd/harem crossed when we came around the next corner, and assembled in the the upper meadow. 
Waiting for their lord and master to join them and tell them where to go next ..

They're so much larger than the deer. No wonder that hunters prefer them .. much more meat!
I've been looking for some signs of said Fall, and found some berries and the first tiny mushrooms ..

Nature is slowly turning ..

While down the hill we established a new 'routine'. After golfing (before 9 am, cause than it's half price!), coffee with pastries at Crema, and doing our errands, we now have lunch at 'the Rib Guy'!

It's a 'southern' BBQ place with the most amazing ribs and pulled pork and brisket!
Their coleslaw is pretty good also, and they have a wonderful creation they call 'BBQ Sunday', that has meat, beans and coleslaw, topped with a cherry!  Can you say delicious?!

They have buckets with peanuts on the tables, the shells go on the floor, and longhorns on the wall. We love everything about it!

Back at the farm .. now the walls are painted and the carpet is in, we're working on the doors. 
Since we have 14 of those to do (!), James decided to set up a spray-booth in the barn and spray the whole lot, instead of having to roll or brush them!

Good ideas you have hon!

Now the temperatures are dropping, it's a little harder to get the paint to dry, so they go outside in the sun ..

James has also moved to the foyer in the main part of the house, from where he cut an opening into the closet of one of the bedrooms.

Next, he'll create a hallway, which will give excess to the bathroom that's adjacent to that bedroom.


And since the bedroom now lost it's closet, a new one is build into the foyer. Fortunately there's ample room for one.

The whole purpose of this is, that now you have easy excess to the toilet from the foyer (as Rosie is demonstrating), whereas before you had to walk through the whole house to get there. Nice!

Let's see, and what did she do? 
Oh, I worked quite a bit, honestly, and also have been cooking more of those hearty meals now that Fall has arrived ..


One of our favorites: Hunter's style Chicken, or Chicken Cacciatore (made in the IP)
And that good old dutch staple 'hutspot', with meatballs:

Now there are no more fresh berries to be had, my 'baking with blackberries' has almost come to an end.
I've frozen quite a lot though, but I'll save them for later this winter, just to be able to have a little taste of summer!

So far I've made Blackberry hand pies, muffins, coffeecake, cobbler and scones. 
Phew! You can't say we let that season go to waist!

And last but not least another shot of Miss Rosie who might become a permanent fixture here in the Hess household!
Merl' has gotten used to her to the extend that they don't fight anymore, and she now comes in the house regularly.
She loves to play with his toys, he doesn't look at them anymore anyways (to much work), and sneaks bites of his (wet) cat-food when we're not looking.

She's a cutie, and she knows it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

King of the hill

Isn't he gorgeous? I sure hope the hunters won't get him this season. I'm not sure about the deer, but the elk-season starts the 10th of October.
We've been told it will get fairly busy up here with hunters driving around, trying to find 'huntable' acreage, even asking if they can use your land.

There's a season for each gender, like for this little doe, and even for the different seizes of 'spikes' on the bucks.
But for now everything is still very peaceful up here and I am the only one that is 'shooting' anything.

What I really like about this area is its variety. 
During my walks I can be walking around in a heavy forest at one moment:

 And in a wide open meadow, the next:

Like I said on Facebook, there's so much blessed breathing room up here! You're so far removed from the busy rat-race, you'd almost forget it exists!
Life is easy here. Simple, straightforward and peaceful.
I take it!

For some reason I start to see lots of turkeys at the moment:

Weird, I didn't see any over the summer and now they're all around us.

Don't they know 'Turkey-day' is coming up soon?

If I were one, now would be the time I'd go into hiding!

We start to see more and more progress at the job-site now. 
Things are 'coming together' as they say.
We had to make a little bit of a mad dash with the painting, since the carpet guys were coming over yesterday, but we made it!

 The red under-floor ..

And the carpet .. 

The result is amazing!

                 What a difference a little bit of carpet makes!
Still a lot to do, but we're getting there.
Things should move along a little faster now by the way, since we have a new helper since Monday. 
His name is Allen, he's an older gentleman, but he seems (still) capable enough, so we hope he'll stay for a while.
Moving forward!

On a totally different note, here's a thing about Facebook, sometimes you learn something from it .. gasp!
Like this ingenious bread-toaster hack:


Set it on its side, and it becomes a perfect little toaster-oven to heat up your left-over pizza slices!

I also tried a couple of Facebook's recipes, like these apple dumplings:

Image result for apple dumplings

Super easy with crescent dough (from a can)!
And eggplant roll-ups:

Filled with ricotta cheese, delicious and also very easy to make!
And last but not least, and this is actually my own idea, banana-raisin bread with cinnamon and walnut:
Talking about good .. mmm

There's something about when the days are getting cooler, that I start to feel more and more like cooking and baking .. comfort food especially.
And it is getting a lot cooler at the moment. 
This whole week has been in the 60s, with even a little bit of rain here and there, and the last two days it stayed in the 50's with nights in the 40s!

You don't hear me complain, I'm a 'Fall-girl', let's bring it on!                                                          

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Last week I showed some pictures of the (gravel) road down the hill, where it looked fairly 'straight', well .. this is the windy part!
Can you believe the hair-pins on that sucker? And that is just one stretch, there are many more like that!
No wonder the mere 24 miles take us about an hour and a half ..

Here's a picture of one of the trails I took the other day ..

It's where I came across a doe with her twin fawns. Aren't they the cutest?

They didn't notice me for a while until they finally got a whiff of me (I think), and took off!

I'm still followed around on many of my walks by my faithful companion, Rosie. 
She actually smells or hears the deer way before I do, and funny enough she will stop in her tracks and growl!


There's not a tree she hasn't climbed yet!

She's getting more and more comfortable with us, even starts to come into the house sometimes (no, no, we were not going to allow that .. right!) and she and Merlin seem to have made peace of some sorts!
She's not only very sweet but also very playful. Watching her and her antics is better than TV, she cracks us up!

Talking about cats .. what about this print?


That's one biiiiiig pussycat!!
The print on the left in the next picture is from an Elk, also a big one!
I haven't seen it's 'owner' yet but I guess there's one around .. (a mountain lion, that is)
What else? O, we've finally started the painting! Yahoo!
James is spraying most of it, but some parts need to be rolled, and others (that's where I come in) need to be brushed ..


And we're starting to see some colors!

The red is obvious of course, and the others are a light and a dark grey:

Like I mentioned, I've helped painting, mainly 'cutting' the edges and around the ceilings (and now have a stiff neck to show for it), but I've also done some 'hearty' cooking. 
The weather all of a sudden took a turn, and it got real cold for a couple of days. 
It has been overcast and it even rained all day last Sunday!

This was how dark it was at 11am, just before the rains!

Time to bring out the stews and other more filling recipes ..

This is one of my favorites, chicken Cacciatore (hunter-style) in my Instant pot .. and on the plate ..

And of course more baking! Still working on the blackberries, these are some delicious blackberry scones ..

They look a little 'rustic', as always when I incorporate fruit, but they were very good!


Talking about fruit, on my walks I pass this (wild?) apple tree, close to the house ..

I hope I'll be able to pick some before we leave, (or before the bears take them all) and make a pie!
No clue what they are, but they look very nice. 

Well, I'm at the end of this weeks 'tale', nothing more to tell, so let's make this 'the end'.