Friday, January 29

federal district court

"Now I know why you are the managing editor. Great job and I feel the article is very informative and truthful." - grant stumbough, southeast wyoming resource conservation and development coordinator, upon reading the article proof i sent him....

i wrote an article for this week's paper focusing on monday's jackson meeting of the wyoming infrastructure authority - the one i was supposed to go to but was scaredy and stayed home because of the roads. so, since i didn't go grant and another man named bob whitton from wheatland stopped by the office for a visit and i wrote the article from what they told me about the meeting. grant is well respected in the ag community, so i consider it a great compliment to gain his compliments on my work.


today was a long day working - i woke up at 4:45 to leave for cheyenne at 5:30. there was a hearing at 9 a.m. in federal district court regarding the case of state of wyoming and wyoming wolf coalition versus the department of the interior and the u.s. fish and wildlife service.

have you ever been to a hearing in a federal court? it's a good experience, to see how everything's conducted and how things work at that legal level.

wyoming is arguing their case for delisting of the gray wolf in the state, while maintaining a 'split status,' which means that part of the state, the northwest corner including yellowstone park, would be in trophy game status (and have a hunting season and limited take) while the remainder of the state, which is considered 'unsuitable habitat' for the wolf, would classify them as predators, which means they could be shot anytime, anywhere, on sight - just like a coyote.

that may sound brutal, but it is important for wyoming to maintain predator status elsewhere in the state.

it is imperative that ranchers be able to protect their livestock from marauding wolves.

fish and wildlife themselves have said that only 15 breeding pairs and 150 total wolves are needed in the state, which provides a 50 percent cushion above their absolutely necessary 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves.

wyoming has agreed to maintain those numbers. the fish and wildlife themselves have said it is more than possible to maintain those numbers in the park and wyoming's trophy game area.

but yet, fws refuses to delist in wyoming. for political reasons. because no enviros want their beloved, majestic wolves to be shot. how majestic are these wolves when they're raiding calving grounds, killing sheep and mauling guard dogs?

one of the wyoming attorneys pointed out that there are 1,600 gray wolves in wyoming, idaho and montana. recovery objective was 300, by the way. each of those 1,600 wolves kills two large animals a month. do the math. ranchers are sacrificing livestock and outfitters and hunting guides are losing elk, deer and moose to an out-of-control population of large predators.

and yet, fws wants more control. more wolves. more area.

one thing the wyoming attorneys pointed out today that i thought was very critical was that fws is in the business of managing wolves, and ensuring they don't go extinct. they have a very narrow focus on that goal. however, when recovery occurs, as it has, control is turned back over to the state - who owns all the wildlife in its borders to begin with. and the state is in the business of managing all the interests within its borders. that includes agriculture, hunting, recreation, energy production, etc. it's the state's responsibility to make sure everything works together. and that's why the wolf cannot be a trophy animal in the entire state. in order for those other interests to continue to operate, there has to be some control allowed. otherwise, the wolf rules the state, and everybody else's hands are tied while they're being run out of business.

it's a radical idea to think that wyoming would ever allow one species to put those kinds of controls over everybody within the state's borders.

rancher question: will you go to washington for us?
attorney harriet hageman: of course.

they're prepared to fight this in u.s. supreme court, folks.

wyoming isn't going to roll over and die just because the feds are pressuring for their way of management. and i say more power to them. it's about time somebody stood up for state's rights and told washington where to put it.

that's not even close to the 6,000 words of information i typed out in the two-hour hearing this morning, but those are a few of the key points i mulled over on the 2 1/2 hour drive back to casper this afternoon.

now i'm off to enjoy my weekend. tomorrow is the day i order my custom spurs that the him is buying me for my birthday!! it's very exciting. he's very good to me. i admit - i'm spoiled.

Thursday, January 28

wednesday dinner

yesterday the him was talking about how he was craving cucumber salad, so i was looking for a recipe to make and it turned into a full meal.

i didn't have my little red camera in the apt, so the web photos will have to suffice for you to get the picture.

summery tomato and cucumber salad:

my salad was minus black olives because, although they're a favorite for me, they're not for the him, so i had to leave them out.

green apple, bacon and cheddar sandwiches:

i had never tried the apple/cheddar pairing before, but i know it's a common combination so i decided to go for it in these sandwiches. i used those new little whole wheat flatbread sandwich rounds that they sell now, and it was nice because then we didn't fill up on a whole bunch of bread and they're 100 calories each.

roasted tomato basil soup:

this recipe features fresh-roasted tomatoes, and it actually worked out well because i got them roasting and prepared everything else, and by the time that was done they were ready to go.

i also prepared whole wheat pizza dough for roommate a last night, because she asked about making calzones with my dough recipe, and i told her it should work just fine but perhaps i should handle the yeast. i could imagine that not turning out well.... so anyway the dough turned out perfect and light and fluffy and elastic. made me want to make it into a pizza. but she came by and picked it up after i'd wrapped it and put it in the fridge and she's making calzones tonight, i guess, for her new house people.

all three recipes were pretty good - the him really liked the sandwiches, so good thing i have six rounds left to make more. :-)

here are the recipe links -

i want one

guess what? those aren't old books - those are laptop cases for macbook!!!

i want one.

they're $80. but i want one.

find them here: bookbook.

Wednesday, January 27

for your wednesday morning

for when it's cold and cloudy and wednesday and still the middle of winter, and for when there's still a lot of work to be done on this week's paper, here's something pretty:

and here's what i'm listening to this week - just released tuesday:

and i also see that this gentleman has released a new album:

highly recommended, both. open up your itunes, purchase and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 26

for those of you snowed in...

i've heard about the monster drifts in iowa, and how interstate 35 was closed from the missouri border clear north into minnesota, and how my brother rescued several travelers just in the five miles between my parents' house and his. so, on your 2394875298672039485 day off from school and work today - projects!

i thought this photo jar idea was neat, and was contemplating whether i could get photos to work out in the many whiskey bottles i have, especially the fireball cinnamon whiskey ones, which are pretty wide and flat.

and what better thing to do snowed in than crochet pretty washcloths with leftover yarn? this project makes me want to get my crochet hooks back out. and remember how to crochet. :-)

and these interiors i came across, i like the big mirror at the end of the dining table that makes the space seem a lot bigger.

and who couldn't use more bathroom/wardrobe/shoe/accessory storage?

all of these photos came from the lovely design*sponge block, which is linked at right.

keep warm, you iowans.

p.s. it's clear and calm and sunny and dry and warm in casper today.

Sunday, January 24

off-road lights!

yesterday i went up to the association with the him to meet up with friend jamie, her son colby and the him's brother b. the first order of business for the day was ice fishing. i didn't really fish this time, but rather sat on the shoreline visiting with the him and friend jamie for a couple hours.

and then, when we packed up and went back to the house we all went into the shop to change the oil in my pickup and install the off-road lights that my brother n gave me for christmas.

easier said than done.

but the first thing to do was warm up the shop with the wood stove.

then the him drilled holes in the grill guard, and broke multiple drill bits in the process. it is pretty thick metal. and it was loud. friend jamie doesn't usually stand around with a finger in her ear.

job well done:

and brother b was the electrical engineer of the project. he started by reading the directions, which was a positive sign.

and then he read them again.

and again.

there were problems with the relay switch that came with the wiring package. we ended up leaving it out entirely, concluding that it was meant for the wiring setup on newer trucks, and we finally got the lights to work, about five hours later. i felt bad that it turned out to be such a pain.

this is the him and brother b in deep discussion about what was wrong and why the darn things wouldn't come on.

but, we were finally successful and went into the house to eat becky's delicious chili. we didn't stick around too long, though, because it was already close to 9 and i had to give friend jamie and colby a ride back into town.

and today i was supposed to go to jackson for a meeting tomorrow, but the roads in that part of the state look doubtful and i'm not going to risk it. so i'm deep cleaning the kitchen instead. you know the kind where you take the knobs off the stove and scrub them and where you take everything off the top of the refrigerator and clean it good with comet and a scouring pad.

something just feels better about knowing all the kitchen crannies are clean.

Friday, January 22


sloan photographers.

Best of 2009.

some of there stuff i could do without, but some i could definitely take, and this couple is great for photography inspiration.

birthday meal

check out this birthday dinner the pioneer woman's making today for her husband: delicious menu.

i'll take one of each, please.

Thursday, January 21

vintage kitchens

soooo... with the slow work day today i got to browsing through the 'colour lovers' blog and they had vintage kitchen colors posted, and i followed the trail and ended up at this site, Mid-Century Home Style. it's quite fascinating how efficient the 1940s kitchens were, and the clever storage ideas they incorporated. if i was to build or remodel a kitchen, it'd be along these lines.

and i've always loved the robin's egg blue/red combination, so these first two caught my eye:

in this wood one, i really like the idea of an open kitchen with seating/fireplace/tv at one end. note their 'flat-panel' tv mounted above the fireplace.

and breakfast nooks. every house should have a breakfast nook. the house my family lived in when we were in mt. vernon in eastern iowa had a breakfast nook.

a january sunrise

so, since i get to work so frickin early these days, and with the slightly longer days, the sun rises about when i'm driving to work, instead of after i'm already at my desk.

this morning's was fabulous, and i'd left my little red camera in my vest pocket at the apt, and my big camera was at the office. and, with nature of sunrises, i didn't have time to go back out and find a better place to take the photos, so i took them from my office window. this is what it looked like:

when we move to our new office building downtown i won't have such a good vantage point on the hill anymore. right now we can look out and see the mountain and a ways across town. our new office sits down at the low part of town, and we'll be blocked in by trees and buildings.


it'll be within walking distance of the sandwich shops. :-) and friends salon, where i get my hair cut. and the bakery. so maybe it'll be an ok trade-off.

Tuesday, January 19

family photos

so i wasn't sure if friend holly would appreciate me posting these on facebook, but i rather like how they turned out, so i figured i would post them in the less public audience here.

she'd asked if i'd take some time to try to get some family photos while i was in iowa over christmas, so we go together new year's day and, because of the holiday, every last public building on iowa state's campus was closed, so we went to our favorite downtown coffee shop, cafe diem.

this is what turned out, after photo editing.

Monday, January 18

made right

refer to last friday's post, then continue.

today i mentioned to boss dennis that my raise had only been $22 on my last paycheck. he agreed that didn't sound right, and i went out for lunch. i guess he and coworker paula, who does our payroll, spoke while i was away, because paula told me to go see him when i got back to the office.

and, my raise is much more than $22 a paycheck now. comes out to an amount per hour that i feel is fair, considering how many extra hours i put in.

he also noted that if i wasn't single my taxes wouldn't be so much. :-P

i told him i'd work on that.

so the point is that i'm still loyal to the roundup, and they weren't meaning to screw me over, and i'm glad i worked up the courage to go in and talk to dennis about it. i hate doing that sort of thing.

speaking of the roundup, here's last week's cover, that featured my and assist editor h's trip to denver. the main article and the top one are from the trip.

owl creek

this weekend i took off with the him and brother b for owl creek in hot springs county, up in the big horn basin. we went up to visit with jerry lake, who is a member of the grazing association.

on sunday morning the five of us - which included five-year-old tucker, went out for a drive and to drain some water line for jerry's cowherd. we didn't do much all weekend but drink whiskey, watch football and play a hunting video game. it was nice, and relaxing. these are some photos i took on our morning drive.

i've always had a thing for groves of bare trees in the winter. i think they're pretty. that's owl creek, just above anchor dam.