Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Capitol Again!

OK, this photo has nothing to do our sistertour of the capitol, except that it's in the background. But the motion and tone of this photo make it look like I'm being attacked by paparazzi and my bodyguard is about to give 'em what-for, Sean Penn-style. Heh heh heh.
Step sister!
She was awed by the massive amounts of marble.
We hung out a bit and talked about legislation and stuff.
This artist's representation is almost exactly how I remembered the event. Heh! Thanks and credit to sister for the chalkboard drawrings!

Au revoir, sister!

Gold Fork!

On our way back home we trekked out to Gold Fork to languish in the hot springs, as women of leisure do. The six miles out there were spectacular.
However, the melting snow turned the top inch of dirt road to sloppy muck. I was concerned about sister's ability to push the Cooper out of a bog, so parked on this ice bank instead. I'm very resourceful.
The steam made the air warm. It was like we were in a tropical locale, despite the snow!
They have five pools of varying temperatures. One has a white sand bottom!
Guest photographer: Sister! She's obsessed with photographing dilapidated buildings and their accoutrements. I love the wagon wheels.

Roadtrip to McCall!

Sister and I piled into the Cooper for a one-night trip to McCall for some sightseeing and change of scenery!
See? The artist's representation was almost spot-on.
On the road up there were huge globs of melting snow that looked like glaciers.
And our fare for Quiet Magazine Time was plentiful. It's good to have goals: I read every one that sister brought.
Payette Lake is still covered in snow. But was simply lovely.
We dined out. The croquetas were amazing. I call this series "Animated Sister and the Creepy Tooth-picker Behind Her Who Wants to Put His Mother in a Home Because He's Tired of Shelling Out $1,000 a Month to Her and He's 'Not Scared of Her'." I bet he kinda is. Click for a close-up.

Sister Visit!

My sweet sister graciously took time out of her busy schedule to come visit! And the weather complied! We traveled at bit, but also just wandered around, gabbed, dined, and had craft hour: crocheting for sister, beading for me. And we generally drove my husband crazy with our "sisterspeak," a term that has come to refer to the way we talk to each other. Too fast, too referential, and often at a pitch only dogs can hear.
The three of us wandered downtown. Luckily there are rest benches for those who need less time to peruse new hairbands.
We had our faves! Spicy lamb grinders! Note: This is not an actual photo of our lunch, but an artist's representation of the event.

Sister thought I was saying "Spicy lemon grinders." OK, maybe I do talk a little fast on occasion. ;)
We stopped at a garage sale where sister put this stuffed animal hat on her melon. Sort of a Royal Order of Pink Water Buffaloes thing. In looking at the pix I kind of wish we'd bought it...
Sister about to scale Camel's Back.
The Camel has been conquered!

Happy Two!

This month marks two years at the Chicken Ranch! So many fun times! And a lot of hard work too. It's easy to beat ourselves up because it seems like our house is always in complete and utter construction chaos, and as I've mentioned approximately one million times, everything is usually covered in a thin coat of dust. But such is life in the remodel of a 1939 Tudor.

In the past two years we have replaced the furnace, installed an A/C unit, updated the duct work throughout the house, installed all new gutters where there were few before, removed the walls and ceiling in the basement, installed a plumbing manifold system and the bulk of the plumbing for the downstairs (new) bathroom, did a complete remodel of the main floor bathroom including retiling the tub, installed new lighting fixtures on the main floor, replaced the walls in the hall, removed the tile on the main floor and sanded the hard woods, and replaced the windows and doors. I think that's about it.

As such, this pensive pic of my husband in the basement always makes me grin. He seems to be saying, "What have we got ourselves into..." :) Happy two years to the Chicken Ranch! And thank you for coming along for the ride!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


So! A while back we bought into some portion of a cow. And as you know, if we were not intended to eat cows, they would not have been made of delicious steak. However... a small part of them is made of liver. I can handle a small amount of liver, but I'm not a huge fan.

The Wilsons also had a slab of liver with which they needed to do something. Rumors abounded about the one meal that registered as tasty: Leberknödelsuppe. Bavarian liver dumpling soup.
So I'm game. Anything "dumplinged" is better than it was in its original state. And seriously, what was I gonna do with a three and a half pound slab of liver... SO! I donned the nearest thing I could find to "liver grinding" attire.
Combined with the Wilsons 2.5 pounds, we were up to 5 freakin' pounds o organ meats. First, it was sliced into smaller pieces...
Next, grinding up the pieces. It was just a wee-bit "Fargo."

Bread, eggs, onions, garlic, parsley, marjoram... the more stuff, the better!
The final product! Liverfest is a little like tuna canning...or deer carving... You aren't likely to try your creation for MONTHS afterward.

Brew wouldn't have minded testing one or two dumplings...
I'll report back on the success of Liverfest 2010!!

I'm Up To Like 45 Minutes of Fame Here People.

Can you believe it's March? Can you believe it's the public television pledge drive again? Can you believe how much my hair's grown since last year?
This year our gracious volunteer coordinator was able to nix the pique polos for simple black t-shirts. Yay!
Some folks just can't stop doing good! As we carpooled together, we were the last folks to leave. Check out these vids for some live action philanthropy!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

So Long, Oscar!

Well, another year of the Oscars have come and gone... I have to tell ya, my Olympics viewing really killed my Oscar viewing. I'll have to make a note of it for the Sochi Olympics in 2014. I came in at a puny 17 movies viewed. I was able to successfully guess 14 of the 19 categories I was keeping tabs on. Frankly, I did better in my viewing endeavors last year when I was in school!

I thought the show itself was fine, but a little uneventful. No one took a header off the white plexiglass stage. No streakers. No soy bombs. I had great hopes for the hosts, but they were just OK, but nothing ground-breaking. I though Hugh Jackman did a better job last year. My fave dress was this one. Watercolor silk organza. I would like to have seen smaller earrings and a bit of a necklace, but the dress was spectacular. I'm glad Hurt Locker was recognized, but Up! was still my fave movie of the year. See ya next Oscar season! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The New Hanging of the Doors!

First up, more mud on the sheetrock, please. Barely a day goes by lately where my husband doesn't slap some mud up somewhere.
If it don't fit exactly, just wham on it a little. It'll fit.
The first door is almost up! We prefer Johnson Hardware, from Elkhart, Indiana. I know there's a punchline in there somewhere. I took the brass door "pulls" they gave us and made them into tiny hats for our blue men art.
After a slight problem, both doors are almost up! Luckily I saved the day! I test very high for mechanical intelligence. ;) No really, I do! Plus, I love it when the pencil goes behind the ear.
OK, disregard the complete and utter mess... and the crappy leftover curtain ahead. The doors! Look at the doors! They are amazing!! I love them! One day soon I'll actually pull the plastic wrap off them too! :)

It's Curtains For...Us!

OK, so, what to do with all these fabulous new windows? Dress 'em up, of course! After the man of the house hung the rod.
All weekend we vied for control of the tools table. I think I won.
I love love love my sewing machine. It was a Christmas gift from my husband before he was my husband. Near as we could 'member. Partially because it's awesome, partially because it will sew letters. In two fonts. This is the inner "sheer," or "hanky curtain," as we have labeled them. Not an easy fabric to work with.
It feels like I never use my sewing machine, but after pulling all these multi-colored bobbins out, I must sew something. That mustard color on the end is perfect for shortening Levi's. For those of us who ain't as tall as the rest of ye.
The dining room will get this champagne, or pearl colored silk. Lookin' kinda gold here.
The living room gets these bright red silk numbers. They pull that red out of the furniture beautifully!
Because of the dark color and the light behind, i've been having lots of trouble shooting my work. I love the hankies! From inside they feel reserved and Victorian. From outside they feel a little like the house is wearing fishnet stockings. ;)

No More Exposed Wire

OK, so here's the problem: when we removed that silly wall in the living room, there was a light switch in it. So back then, that was simply taped off, curled up, and left for another day. Last Saturday, to be exact.
Fixing this meant tearing up the floor in the attic, which we use as our closet. This one took me a while... Hmm. The ceiling in one room is the floor in another... Hmm... magic!
I LOVE it when the hat gets spun around backwards.
Something something electricity, something something junction box... Feast your eyes on that 1939 lathe and plaster!
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! There's no one in those boots, they were just standing there like that! Trickery!!
And then, suddenly, no more exposed wire! My husband's talents never cease to amaze me. Even when he's wearing a lady's headlamp.