Friday, June 29, 2018

Camping in the White Mountains

Our view from the top of the hill.

We went camping in the White Mountains the last two weekends, and we are headed back up there this weekend.  The first weekend it was just Dave and I, and all the dogs.  We got up there, set up camp, ate a late dinner and headed to bed. Dave got up before I did on Saturday, that doesn't happen often, and made coffee.  I had an easy weekend full of naps, 4-wheeler rides, card games, naps, and a little champagne.
Stopping for a beer and a little bottle of champagne. 

You see, the last time we were up there was right after my mastectomy (it hasn't even been a year yet) so this year when we went on our long ride and stopped for a break and to enjoy the view, we raised a glass (bottle) to the pure overwhelming gratefulness we feel for coming out of this ordeal with our health, happiness and love for each other.  The last time I was on that spot I wasn't sure if I had a future to look forward to.  So after some tears and recalling a few moments from last year (Capt. Morgan, Dain?) we got on the wheelers and headed further uphill.  It is with a grateful heart I look to move forward.

We found this geological marker on the top of our little mountain.
I need to look it up.

Dave worked hard.  He built a horseshoe pit at our favorite spot.  The boys all love to play horseshoes and there will be many games, bets, and challenges at this pit.  I helped a little, but I was busy a lot of the time, with, you know, naps.

Bear tracks by the beaver pond.

Last weekend our niece and nephew came up and camped at the spot with us.  Again - naps, horseshoes, games, and spending time with people we love.

So, here are some pictures from our weekends.  I'm looking forward to more this weekend when Gman and his people come up for a week.  This is beautiful country and I am one lucky girl to live here.
Can you see the little spider?  I'm surprised I could stay close enough
to take a picture of it.

The old guy gets a chair and a jacket.

The three big dogs...yes I said three.  We have a new addition to our family.

2 years ago:  Peach-Blueberry Pie and Not Following A House Rule
4 years ago:  Grilled Chicken with Zucchini Noodles and Overestimating My Fitness Skills
5 years ago:  Zombie Cocktails and Zombies are a Real Danger

June 29, 2018   Sunrise 3:07 am  Sunset 12:41 am  Temp. H 75/ L 54°F

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Chocolate Donuts and National Days

A couple weeks ago it was National Donut Day, or something like that.  I'm all for national this or that day, but I just can't keep up with all of them.  And while National Donut Day is pretty exciting and a great excuse to eat donuts, I think the Bring Your Pet to Work Day is even more exciting!
I was driving home from work one day and this is what I saw on the grass next to our parking lot.  Yes, that is a man walking a reindeer.  Our campus has the Large Animal Research Station and they must have had some type of open house, or talk.  This reindeer was headed from upper campus back to his home at LARS.  I wonder how many Santa jokes this guy had to put up with that day.

Well, I didn't bring one of my pets to Bring Your Pet to Work Day, but I did bring Keto donuts to the office on National Donut Day.  They were chocolaty, soft, cake donuts without a big of sugar or any grains.  I might have eaten two!

Chocolate Donuts
adapted from All Day I Dream About Food blog
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup Swerve Sweetener
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbsp strong brewed coffee

4 oz. stevia sweetened chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp heavy cream, plus more if needed

Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a donut pan very well. (Not joking about this at all)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, sweetener, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Stir in the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract, thin stir in the coffee until well combined.

Divide the batter among the wells of the donut pan.  I spoon the batter into a large ziplock bag and snip off the end to pipe the batter into the pans. You will make about 8-10 donuts so if you have one pan you will need to bake in batches.

Bake 16-20 minutes, until the donuts are set and firm to the touch.  Remove and let cook in the pan for 10 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cook completely.

In a medium bowl, add chopped chocolate and heavy cream.  Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, stir well, then heat for 10 second increments until chocolate is melted and the cream is mixed in.  Add extra cream to thin the chocolate glaze to desired consistency.  You may return the chocolate to the microwave is it begins to get too stiff.

Dip donuts into chocolate glaze and let set about 20-30 minutes.  

June 19, 2018   Sunrise 2:57 am  Sunset 12:46  Temp H 68/ L 49°F

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Grandpa's Truck

We were in Montana the last 10 days.  My grandma passed away last October and we had her celebration of life last week in Deer Lodge.  I was pretty sick last winter about that time and I don't think I really processed everything.  Going to her empty house, the simple service at her gravesite, and visiting with family, hearing stories about her, and seeing some very old pictures gave me some closure.  She was something else, that is for sure.
My Grandma and Grandpa McFadden. 
I am named after this grandpa.
One afternoon, my step mom, aunt and I sat and looked through photo albums my grandmother had kept.  We looked at pictures of my family, my cousins, relatives I didn't know and pictures of my dad and uncle.  I realized I had never seen any pictures of my dad when he was little.  I sent this picture to the curly haired boy.  We now know where the curls came from.
My dad about 3 years old.

I also found some old pictures of us growing up.  Old pictures are so fun.

L to R:  Me, my sister, my older brother

My mom
We came across the wedding pictures of my step mom and dad, I hope my dad remembers to send me copies of those (hint, if you see this...).

One of the big jobs we had was to move my grandpa's 1950 F-1 Ford truck from the garage into storage.  The truck is mine now and we needed to get it out of grandma's house.  We expected a difficult time, but we rented a car hauler and pulled it back to Helena and into storage.  The goal is to bring it home next summer.  I've got some time to figure out a plan.  We also spent about 6 hours over two days at DMV getting the title changed from my grandpa to me.  All was accomplished and I feel very grateful to my husband, my two brothers that helped, my dad and my uncle.  I can say mission accomplished.
Pushed out of the garage and ready to load.

Ready for the trip to the storage unit.

So, we are home now.  Settled into the new work week and getting back in our regular routine.  Family visits are so fun and I'm looking forward to the next one, next year.

2 years ago:  Surprise!
3 years ago:  Chili Garlic Snack for my Brother
4 years ago:  Donut Strawberry Shortcake and Going to Work at 5:00am

June 12, 2018  Sunrise 3:05 am  Sunset 12:35 am  Temp. H 58/ L 43°F