Friday, February 26

a beast of a newspaper

well, this week we survived 24 pages that were somehow all filled with the appropriate words. it's not the biggest we've ever done, but it's sure big enough. i don't think assist editor h or myself will know what to do with ourselves when we return to the normal 16 pages.

this week assist editor h wrote about the sheridan college machining dept, the conservation district/nrcs projects out of the buffalo office and the udder quality article, while i wrote the legislative update from this week's wyo farm bureau legislative meeting. i also had to put together the piece on lummis's congressional legislation at the 11th hour this morning.

and that's just what's on the cover :-P there's lots inside.

24 again next week.

p.s. it really bugs me that this image won't center when i publish the post. 

Thursday, February 25

what i miss about georgia

one of the things i most remember about living in georgia for those five years are the flowers that would bloom every spring. in addition to the wild dogwoods in the pine forests, the sheets of purple wisteria and the large white magnolia blossoms, we'd have multitudes of daffodils bloom throughout our horse pastures. i don't know how all those bulbs got there in the first place, but we'd pick them by the fist fulls and bring them back to the house for our mom to put in large vases. they were so bright and cheerful, and i remember warm sunny days and green grass as high as my waist. my mom dug some of the wild bulbs and moved them to her garden plots in the yard.

these pretty daffodils were recently posted on the design*sponge blog.

the new kid

today is lucy's second full day in the office, and she continues to mostly sleep and play a little. she's already catching on to going outside to relieve herself, and i've had to swat her for tugging on the plant vine already. she likes to grab a hold and yank on things.

she's pretty quiet most of the night, waking up at 4:30 to pee. the first night she went in her kennel, but this morning she desperately wanted out and couldn't hold it any longer than it took for her to run out her door. the next thing is getting her to catch on to only going outside, but i think it'll happen soon enough.

sometime within the next week i need to get her in to the vet to get her shots. right now i'm scared to let her out at the horses because of friend's puppy that died recently and suddenly from parvo. it hasn't been very nice, and deep snow anyway.

meanwhile, she's milking the 'baby' thing for all it's worth, living in the lap of luxury. literally.

the resident cats continue to be skeptical, and i'm not sure they're sure she's a dog. no hostility from their end - yet, anyway.

Tuesday, February 23

 just thought i'd share an initial photo of the newest arrival with all of you. she is cute as a button and is currently sleeping in my lap while i work at my desk in the roundup office. no official name as of yet, but thinking something along the lines of lucy or lily.
baby makes six! she joins horses april and jazz and cats link and lexus.

***** puppy update ******

this afternoon i go pick out my puppy, as soon as i get back to casper from working in cheyenne today and yesterday.


a neat thing to do with pretty - but commonplace - cloud photos. 
from a cup of jo.  
and there's something about stacks of old books that i love. 

Sunday, February 21

snow peas

it all started when i went to the grocery store for ingredients in another recipe and happened upon this bag of snow peas when i was in the produce section.

since i had a package of fresh mushrooms that needed to be used, and since i had an aging bag of almonds in my cupboard, i brought home the snow peas and this is what happened:

it's probably one of my favorite recipes ever, and this time, since i didn't have corn starch, i left it out. and i made it with olive oil instead of butter, so i think the modified recipe was a little healthier than the original.

Saturday, February 20

horse play

today is a snowy saturday, filled with shipping heifers, a city-wide chili cookoff, a nap and feeding the frisky horses.

Friday, February 19

blood, sweat and tears

here it is, another edition of the paper all finished up. word is next week we're 24 pages..... i'll be glad when the ads calm down a little bit.

for this week's main article i interviewed the bryants, a beekeeping family in worland. it was very interesting to visit about a topic i know practically nothing about. assist editor h talked to a few people about how bull sales are going so far this season and wrote about the much-feared grasshoppers this summer, while i wrote up a piece from the riverton farm and ranch days on winter horse care and put together the summary on stock growers' legislative reception, which publisher d attended in cheyenne this week.

click on the image to see an enlarged version of the paper.

website updates

ever since we redesigned the roundup website i've tried to keep it fresh and updated, with new content, features, ads and photos. but you know, that really takes a lot of time. so most of my updates are small things, like this new header.

the photo behind it was taken just north of meeteetse, on my trip with the him to cody for a birthday/valentine's weekend.

finishing out with friday

it's been a slow week here in casper, and at the roundup. we're still in the midst of our 20-page papers, which take noticeably more editorial material to fill than our standard 16-page papers. assist editor h and i have kept busy writing and making sure we have enough and don't have to scramble come thursday when production coordinator t puts it all together for the week.

the reason we have more pages this time of year is because it's bull sale season. with many seedstock producers through wyoming, they all begin to hold their spring production sales and spread the word, in part, through the roundup.

here are just a few of wyoming's finest, from when assist editor h went to a sale tuesday:

Heather Hamilton photos

how do you like your coffee?

take the guesswork out of getting someone else a cup of coffee when they specify according to color on these mugs. :-)

then pour the cream from this udderly clever pitcher.

Thursday, February 18


"What Eugene humbly suggested might make colorful place mats are works of art with remarkable complexity that continue to amaze viewers." - American Primitive Gallery, on Eugene Andolsek

take a look at a few of the pieces this guy drew over 50 years, and read the biography at the link above. i'm not usually one for abstract art, but maybe i like these because they're not abstract, but very precise and meticulous. they're all just ink on graph paper that this guy put together at his kitchen table, then put away in trunks because he didn't think anyone would be interested.

click on the image to see them in a larger view.

Tuesday, February 16

the new tabs

just figuring out how to make those work, so i'm not sure how long it will take before they're actually linked to real things. hopefully not too long...

birthday gifts

so this year i didn't get a whole lot for birthday gifts on my actual birthday, but these are the few that have trickled in and i have many more good ones to look forward to, like my spurs from the him, and a custom string cinch with my brand on it, made by a woman in utah, from sister m.

i also receive the customary visa gift card from the roundup staff, which is always anticipated and appreciated. i haven't spent it yet... seems like things like that should be spent carefully and meaningfully. i think there's also a package in the mail from iowa friend h, which i'm looking forward to. i think maybe my parents are sending funds along with which i can purchase the much-wanted photo printer??

on my birthday the him gave me this simple and sweet card. he chose well with the image of the cow dog.

***** TIME OUT FOR PUPPY UPDATE: on the weekend of feb. 27 i'm going to look at the litter of red heeler pups, and hopefully pick one out and pay, and two weeks later i will bring her home. i think i've actually got a name for her, one the him thought up. since my kittens are 'l' names - link and lexus - he suggested i name her lily, and i think that will suit her just fine. feminine, but not too prissy. ok, back to regularly scheduled post ******

he also included this magnet, in all its valentines cheesiness, that made me smile:

on sunday, when we returned from our trip around the state, roommate a stopped by with a gift, and she chose to go with a no-brainer:

and thursday when the him and i met up with the group for dinner at the beacon, friend jamie also showed up with a gift bag, and she also chose to go with a no brainer:

you'd think these people know me or something. or maybe jamie's had to do with that oreo package she brought ice fishing that one time. between me and her 11-yr-old son kolby it was gone by evening... and roommate a's had to do with the 10 empty pendleton bottles now collecting atop my kitchen cupboards.

for valentine's day the him bought me this bill gollings print from the buffalo bill museum gift shop in cody. gollings is an old time wyoming artist, and one of my favorites. it awaits a matte and frame from hobby lobby.

Monday, February 15

the new development

so, as most males in wyoming and through the ranching community, the him chews tobacco. i've never tasted the stuff, but they do it when they're bored, when they're stressed, when they're socializing or relaxing. i don't know if they really need a reason, kind of like most people - myself included - drink coffee.

but, today the him surprised me and said he wanted to quit. i guess it's been giving him bad heartburn lately, which is a good incentive. naturally, it did concern me, but i wasn't about to tell him he had to quit, because i know how it would go over if he told me i had to stop getting coffee in the mornings, in the afternoon, at rest stops, and sometimes simply because i pass by good coffee places around the state.

so we'll see how it goes and if he'll stick with it. from what i've heard from others, if they can do without for a couple weeks, they're good to go. one of his last texts said he was eating dried apples instead, which seems like a pretty good substitute to me!

francs peak

i might have a new favorite mountain. this is francs peak, the same one on my blog header. the header was taken in mid-november when we were out looking for elk, and these were taken valentine's day on the way back to casper from cody. is it not gorgeous?

the photo below is carter mountain, which is just to the north of franc's peak. the him and his family have spent a lot of time on and around it when their family lived and worked at meeteetse.

the black ford at the bottom of the photos is the him's new truck that he's had since early december.

random things

"a reflection of a life well lived over time" - a quote from the pioneer woman's blog, in the home and garden section. her friend hyacinth, who just redecorated her living room, was talking about her decorating philosophy, which i happen to agree with. read the post here.

and another unrelated topic: paychecks. my mid-feb paycheck hit my bank account saturday at XXXXXX amount. then i paid a bill and it was XXXXX amount. then i got my utility bills in the mail and it's XXXX amount. then i paid my student loan, XXX left. then i bought some boots on sale on my recent trip to cody with the him, and it was XX. then i just remembered i still need to pay horse board for february, and it's X. i have one X to live on until march 1. i hate money and bank accounts and bills and being responsible with my funds. but then i think about it again, and it's a challenge, and it's rewarding when you master it and know you're independent and free and can pay your own way in the world.

and back to the student loan thing, it's nice to know that i'm paying that back - almost done!!!! - with a job i obtained because of my education. makes all that money seem worthwhile, apart from the great fun and experiences that were had on the iowa state university campus. this is central campus - always gorgeous in any season, and especially autumn. i'm going to take the him to ames when we visit iowa over july 4th this summer.

photos to come later from the birthday/valentine weekend trip through riverton, lander and cody.

Friday, February 12

book wallpaper

add this to the list of things i think are neat, but are way out of the price range to even consider. maybe there would be a cheaper version available somewhere? from anthropologie:

birthday dinner

because the fire rock restaurant no longer has my favorite appetizer, and because i didn't feel like dressing up and going somewhere fancy, and because i felt like kicking back and relaxing, the him and i went to the beacon for dinner last night.

after work yesterday i went and took my april horse out for some exercise, then met up with the him and we went over to the beacon to meet friends griff, clayton, jamie and kelly. friend heather arrived a bit later, and nothing much exciting happened, just dinner and drinks and visiting and catching up - just what i wanted. i was home and asleep by 9:30.

and today i got up with the intention of arriving at riverton for the farm and ranch days by 10, but i think i actually got here about 11. i just had no ambition to wake up and leave by 6:30 this morning to get here when it started at 9, then it took a bit to get a latte for my drive, then i went in and visited with the office people a little bit, then i forgot my laptop at the apt. by that time i was so far past my ideal departure time that i stopped to fill with fuel and wash the blazer - something i've been meaning to do for about two months now.

this afternoon i'm headed to lander to stay with my sister melissa, whom i haven't seen since we got back from our iowa christmas trip. the him was going to come and stay with us for the evening, but due to work delays today he will show up in lander first thing tomorrow morning to take us to breakfast before he and i head to cody. i'm looking forward to seeing my sister's little house - she's sent me a few photos and it's small but looks like she's got it set up well.

but for the moment i'm still here in sessions, on the fourth of five for the day. this morning was enterprise costs, lunch was a study on the wind river glaciers, which was really interesting, then i just came from winter horse nutrition, which also had some useful information - beyond the basics and right now i'm in the biodiesel section. in wyoming there's a lot of speculation about using oilseed crops like canola, camelina and sunflowers since they grow well in the hot dry climate, especially in the big horn basin.

the last session i'll attend is another horse one, new directions in horse care, so i'm curious as to what he'll have to say. it's a local vet giving the presentation. done at 4, gotta pick up the roundup booth, then i'm free for the weekend.

Thursday, February 11


i'm a color person, what can i say. the brighter, bolder and more vivid the combinations, the better i like them. don't you love all those balloons in the top right photo? well, i know one reader, friend h, who won't. :-) and the pancakes, they kind of weird me out, but still i'm drawn to them. the black cabinets and black countertops - perfect. and what a lovely little old-time camper - summer, come quickly! and the carpet of pale purple flowers beneath the deep green trees, how pretty is that.

a birthday

so today i turn 26, and although the him is dead-set on me being in my 'late 20s' now and no longer in my 'mid-20s,' i disagree. i contend that the years from 24-26 are mid-20s, and after that is late 20s. i did have to concede i'm closer to 30 than 20, but i'm ok with that. i don't wish i was 20 again.

yesterday we had a birthday/office business dinner here at the roundup, with barbecue and chocolate cake. it was quite good, and coworker t even got to come down from the ranch where she lives at kaycee. and i even have a nice gift card from them now, the visa kind you can use anywhere, that i'm taking to cody this weekend.

yes, valentine's day this year will be celebrated with the him in cody with a wonderful retired couple named marvin and janey. even their names are endearing. they're long-time friends of the martinez family. tomorrow i head to riverton for work, then to lander for an evening spent with sister m, and the him will join us there. early saturday we're heading to cody to shop for tack, visit and do whatever we feel like before coming back to casper sometime sunday.

and he's driving and paying and taking care of everything. it's good to be spoiled.

what are your valentine's plans?

Tuesday, February 9

a good one

the him just took me out to dinner at the brand spanky new olive garden here in casper for no other reason than that it's tuesday night.

then i went to feed my hungry horses and he went to meet his brother to pick up his calf payment, and then called to say he was going to walmart, and did i need anything. i said nope, i'm good.

then he just walked in the door with one of those fancy chocolate bars for me. i was on the phone doing an interview for the paper, and when i was done he also handed me a dvd. after looking at it, i said, 'this looks more like something i would pick out rather than you.' and the him says, 'i know, that's why i got it.'

i think i've got a good one, ladies.

Whisky Stones

"Over 150 years ago, a Vermont farmer unearthed a sizable chunk of soapstone while tilling his field.

This chance incident marked the debut of Vermont Soapstone. Realizing its unique ability to maintain warm and cool temperatures, local Vermonters began mining and milling this unusually smooth gray stone for a variety of household and cooking purposes. Today, under the careful stewardship of owner Glenn Bowman, Vermont Soapstone continues to build its unparalleled expertise as America's original fabricators of soapstone – using many of the same techniques first formulated by the original founders.

Being a fan of single malt scotch, Teroforma co-founder Andrew Hellman had pondered this exact question before. After a bunch of searching and testing, we came up with Whisky Stones as the answer. Based on an idea using granite that has been in existence in Scandinavia for centuries, we chose to work with natural soapstone due to its softness (won’t scratch the glass) and its unique ability to retain temperature for extended periods of time.

A few hours in the freezer and the stones are ready to complement your favorite tipple without imparting either flavor or odor." - from

"Ideal for chilling your favorite spirit without diluting its flavor" - i ordered a set of these for the him for valentine's day. i'm also looking for a whiskey decanter thing for him, not sure what they're really called, but something similar to the one seen in 'the return to snowy river,' when harrison sits down for a drink with the banker before the horse race begins.

i like their slogan: "ice melts. whisky rocks."


2Jane - 'the house that imports built'

there are hundreds of interesting things for sale on the internet, the trick is finding them. this morning i stumbled across these wonderful vases:

and these vases look really nice as a group, if you can afford to buy enough for a group at $36 each.

Monday, February 8

superbowl weekend

i didn't do a whole lot this last weekend, and it was fabulous.

saturday morning was spent cleaning. deep cleaning. i washed all my living room blankets - i'm a firm believer in having lots available for cuddling up in - my living room curtains, the throw pillow cases, vacuumed all the ceiling corners, reorganized my desk area, inventoried and organized my spice cupboard and all sorts of good cleaning like that. does anybody else find cleaning as relaxing and refreshing as i do?

i also rearranged a little, as this purple plant is starting to get away from me and i switched out stands to keep it up off the floor.

and my dryer broke saturday night :-( it is quite old, older than me, but i think it can be fixed. everything still sounds like it's working right with the motor, i think it needs a new belt to turn the drum. even though i still air dry a lot of things, i've now become accustomed to having it available. i'm not looking forward to scooting it out of its cubbyhole and taking the back off and figuring out the inner workings of a clothes dryer....

i spent saturday evening cooking some things to eat during the superbowl. while i was cooking, this is what the him was doing. it's blurry, but you get the idea:

he had sat at my dining room table visiting with me for a long time, then moved to the loveseat.

'i won't fall asleep if i'm reading.'

yeah right.

next thing i heard was snoring.

but anyway. i finished up my cooking, and this is some of what i made. not very good photos of the finished product. i need to do better with that.

these are the pepper biscuits i made in my mini muffin tins. they have red and orange peppers in them, and i think they would have been good with some cheddar cheese and chives in the mix as well.

this is the nacho cheesecake dip that i made, and boy did it make a lot. i'll have to put half in the freezer. i should have taken photos of it when we cut into it, but it's basically a savory cheesecake, with cream cheese, chicken and taco seasoning on a crushed tortilla-chip crust.

i think it could have used more seasoning - i like a lot of flavor - and it might be better served warm. and i used two packages of cream cheese and two cans of chicken breast, and next time i'd definitely cut it down to smaller proportions.

i used the canned chicken because i don't cook a lot of chicken anymore. i used to keep a bag of frozen chicken breasts on hand, but now that i hang out with the him and other beef people, 'yard bird' is frowned upon. that, and the beef and pork industries are both united against poultry. but anyway, back to the canned chicken concept. it was actually ok, tasted like normal chicken and flaked easily when i added it to the mixture.

the third thing i made was lemon cookies, which turned out with a shortbread consistency, and a basic buttercream lemon frosting. they were pretty good. lemony, and not too sweet. i don't have a photo of that finished product.

i've been using truvia in my recipes lately, because the him's a diabetic and so i try to go sugar-free when i can. it's pretty good, but it does have a bit of an aftertaste, but maybe that's just getting used to it. and i've made two cookie recipes with it and they both turned out a little crumbly. they were both new recipes so i'm not sure if that's just how they are, or if the truvia has something to do with that.

when will the truvia people start packaging it in bulk so us poor cooks won't have to open all those little paper packages??

so yesterday morning i fed my ponies and cleaned their pens before the snow came, and about 1 the him and i headed over to friend jamie's where a bunch of that crowd was gathered for a lobster and mahi mahi lunch. we hung out with them for a while, then headed to friend heather's to watch the football game.

this is the him and friend jake bs-ing in heather's kitchen.

you see that rather large goblet on the corner of the counter? yeah, that was my crown goblet, and the last one i drank that evening didn't hit me until i was home in bed, thankfully. we had a lovely afternoon/evening watching football, visiting and playing a few rounds of apples to apples.

Thursday, February 4

the iowa farm

my parents sent me this aerial photo of the home place there in iowa. i just got a matte cut for it today, and i had my eye on the frame at hobby lobby, which went on 50 percent off this week.

it's not hung on the wall yet, but i intend to keep it here in my office.

Wednesday, February 3

worland, wyoming

not much to report today... attended two sessions of WESTI Ag Days this morning, and am skipping out on the rest of them. :-)

at noon i'm headed to bryant honey, a local family bee business, for a february feature article in the paper. then after that i'm headed back to collect the roundup's booth, which features samples of our publications, and leaving town to get back to casper. it's 40 in casper right now. 23 in worland. i'm ready to get out of the basin. it's cold here! 3 degrees when i left the hotel this morning.

i finally got the wolf litigation article figured out and written, although i might tweak it after going back and reading it again. after that i've got a couple more things to write for this week's paper, so tomorrow will be a full day in the office getting all the details finished for this week, like news briefs, which are usually time consuming. they're generally around 200 words each, so that means boiling down press releases to the nuts and bolts, and just finding enough of them. tracy generally uses 1,800 words of news briefs in each paper. that's a lot of random news to find! thank goodness for the internet and google.

Tuesday, February 2

putting in an order

today i put in a call to friend francy, who lives west of town near the mutton marshall, and whose female red heeler had pups four days ago. seven total, four females and three males, all red.

i've got a female on reserve. :-)

i suppose i'll give her a call and mosey over there in three weeks and pick one out, then go pick it up in mid-march at six weeks old.

the him and i were just talking - wouldn't it be kinda cool to put a white freeze brand on a red heeler? i'd probably never do it, but it'd look pretty neat.

it's the perfect time of year to get a puppy. it can grow a little bigger in the remaining winter months - which will stretch through april - and about the time it gets warm out it'll be big enough to go along when we ride and start getting the hang of things. after all summer getting out with the cattle and learning to work - the him says brother b's dog sassy, also a heeler, is good for starting pups - it'll be well disciplined and house trained and grown up a little before winter sets in again.

and if i start her on cattle now she'll be useful and know how to work when i start getting my own cowherd put together.

and, since she's a heeler, i'm determined to keep her well socialized through her formative years so she doesn't end up like friend D's female heeler, who he can't take anywhere.

so that's the latest.

aren't red heelers pretty:

i'll keep you posted. :-)

Monday, February 1

the weekend

this was the sunrise at 7:15 a.m. friday morning as i drove down I-25 to cheyenne. i think i was in the wheatland area when it finally broke the horizon.

and this is the moonrise that same day, taken from out at the horses. i was sad the shadows and craters wouldn't show up on my camera, because you could really see the texture on the moon that night. it was very pretty.

saturday morning the him came and picked me up and we went out to chop ice before going to get brother b and friend nick, who were also going to the bit and spur maker in riverton. well, obviously the him chopped ice and i took pictures.

one of brother b's horned cows.

a few of the cows out at krieger's and i'm not sure whose sheep those are.

the trip to riverton went well. i ordered a basic pair of spurs with my C } brand in silver overlay on the band and a pretty flower and leaf filigree design will decorate the shank in silver, as well as a matching silver flower on the button.

brother b's spade bit was done. it's very pretty, with a lot of silver inlay and conchos. the maker wouldn't let him take it until he found suitable rein chains for it, and brother b was quite disappointed. friend nick also ordered a bit. the him's bit is in the works, and brother b's spurs are also in the works. the spur maker has a lot of business from the association. my spurs i'm hoping will be done in march sometime, in time to start riding this spring.

last night the him and i were making a wishlist for our next pairs of boots. we had gone to boot barn and murdoch's that afternoon, looking at boots. there was a pair i liked at murdoch's, but i had just purchased a new phone. this is what i bought:

so far i like it. i stick with lg's because i've had good luck with them lasting a long time, and i'm familiar with the operating system. the all-touch screen threw me for a loop, and the him experience my frustration with trying to scroll without clicking on things last night, but i think it's getting better. i ordered a red silicone case for it this morning, so that'll make it not so slippery and protect its corners. all my electronics eventually end up pretty beat up.

so anyway, i didn't buy boots yesterday, but these are the ones i think i'll have our tack shop person susan order for me: pretty blue boots (i couldn't get the image to save to my computer)

yesterday the him and i also attended highland park church with friend kelly, assist editor h and her friend. the late service was quite full, and it'll be nice to have the new church building to relieve the pressure.

this week i travel to worland for a couple days, in part to pick up the majority of articles for our spring planting edition, which will run the week i'm taking two days off for the rodeo in idaho. hopefully this week's paper is only 16 pages.... that 20 pages last week went off surprisingly well, but filling it two weeks in a row would be a chore.

shhhhhh..... don't tell anyone i put bailey's in my coffee this morning before i came to the office.