Friday, April 30

that's what people should do with them....

so we've all seen those spare crown royal bags spread about the place - used as armrest covers in the pickup truck, spare change collectors, sacks to keep friday night's poker money in, the list goes on. i mean, what are people supposed to do with them? but, what about turning them into a dress? i guess this exhibit is in the portland airport, posted by the pioneer woman. it's quite pretty and stylish.

cleaning house

i was cleaning out my camera memory cards last night, and forgot i had these photos i took just north of jackson on the national elk refuge on the drive back from pocatello, idaho almost a month ago. it wasn't a very nice day - cloudy and dim - but this is what i ended up with.

immediately north of jackson is the national elk refuge, where hundreds of elk spend the winter, seen at a distance in the first photo. usually there are bison, as well, but this winter was so open - meaning there wasn't a lot of snow in the area - the bison didn't come out of yellowstone national park, which lies just to the north of the refuge. 

and the elk were all very far away, so these are also taken through my zoom lens, which isn't the best at extremely long distances.

but it was pretty - hard not to be in that country. there was no sign of spring when we went through the second week of april.

everybody's favorite predator to hate. in the park they don't run at the site of a pickup, because they haven't been shot at 9438672408 times already.

i don't know about you, but the men i hang out with around here keep a rifle in their pickup, and if they so much as glimpse a coyote while driving through their pastures they slam on the breaks, whip the rifle out, whistle at the coyote for him to stop, and take as many shots as they can.

it's  akin to a housewife trying to rid her kitchen and pantry of mice. you see, the thing is the coyotes are very prolific - they reproduce at amazingly successful rates - and they're hard on livestock. even with all the ranchers' efforts, they're kind of like prairie dogs and mice. there will always be another to take its place. and they're very, very clever.

this is the last you see of the tetons before dropping over the east side of the winds on togwotee pass and down to dubois.

Thursday, April 29

a long to-do list

today puppy lucy and i travel to lance creek for two more horse edition interviews. i intended to not cut it so close with the deadline, but april has been a very busy month. no sooner did we get done with bull test editions and large papers than we had to turn around and start on horse edition, and it didn't really help matters that i took that long weekend for the pocatello trip. and i bought a house. and moved.

last night i spent several more hours cleaning the apt, going home about 9:30, and it's still not done!! it turned out to be a bigger job than i thought, and it doesn't help that i don't know how particular the office staff will be at closing. i don't like the new office staff, so i'm suspicious they'll try to screw me over.

so i didn't get my  laundry machines moved over last night. maybe tonight? and i have to move all of roommate a's stuff out of the garage, too, thanks to the not-so-nice new office staff that wouldn't let me just leave it there another month.

the photo is of the kids, this morning, as i was working on newspaper stuff with my morning coffee. it looks like they all get along, but it's not always so peaceful. :-)

Wednesday, April 28

friend jake's place

so this is where my mares live now - out west of town at friend jake's. the evening we dropped them off was really nice, and i haven't seen them since! it's a little strange to drop out of the daily routine of going to feed them after work, but then not a whole lot is the same with my routine these days.

today is a day in the office, to spend writing and organizing this week's paper and finishing up some horse edition articles before heading out for a couple more horse edition interviews tomorrow in eastern wyoming.

and tonight is washer and dryer night. the him will help me get the machines from the apt, putting my pretty red washer in the basement of the house and putting the dryer and existing washer in the garage for sister m to pick up at some point.

and it might be piano moving night, too, as the piano was left in the house at assist editor h's request.

it'll be nice to have everything all settled and in one place once again, and be able to relax and enjoy the house. last night i was cleaning at the apt until after 9. it's not done yet, and is a bigger chore than i anticipated.

at least i have all my food at the house now!

Tuesday, April 27

i should move more often

so, after not having done any weight monitoring in a long while because of moving and everything else, i stepped on the scale this morning and promptly decided i should move more often! it's proven to be a good weight loss plan.

otherwise, this week is dead week for the horse edition - deadline is april 30. i had to go to laramie today for a meeting on wind energy infrastructure, and i took puppy lucy with me.

last night i didn't get home until 9 because i moved my horses over to friend jake's, and it takes like five hours to travel the road back to his house because there are so many potholes.

this evening i need to go clean my apartment, and i still have plenty of putting away to do here at the house, but i've been doing it little bit little as i've had a few moments.

but for now, i don't have my computer cord and it's going to go dead any second.

oh yeah, the photo was taken last night while i was with the him checking his calves. they've got several, and it was a gorgeous evening.

Monday, April 26

sunny kitchen

this morning was the second morning i've been in the new house. while yesterday morning was cold and gray - it snowed - this morning had a hard frost, but it was clear, which meant i got to see how well the sunrise lights up my kitchen.

although there's more to put away and unpack for the kitchen - it claimed the most boxes, by far - i have plenty of cupboard and drawer space left, and i'm very much enjoying spreading things out. last night i spent some time making sense of my countertop essentials, like the kitchenaid mixer, coffee maker, bread/snack box and microwave. i'm pleased with how it's all coming together, and look forward to have the place picked up and put away.

i have photos of the piles that occupy the rest of my living space, but i'll leave those out and just show you the final product.

sister m came over to casper saturday morning and stayed through sunday morning, which was a big help. we loaded and transported five pickup loads on saturday, and had some help from friend jamie and coworker jody on sunday afternoon with two more loads. all that's left to get in the apt is the washer and dryer, which the him will help me with tonight.

Friday, April 23

1406 South Lincoln

as of 4 p.m. this afternoon, april 23, 1406 south lincoln in casper, wyoming, is listed in my name!!

after signing my full name - christine l hemken - about 93485723486584376 times, the paperwork was finished and i was handed the keys!

it's very exciting!

if it wasn't 13 degrees and foggy and low clouds and windy and misting this evening, i'd be tempted to take a load or two of my boxes over. but it's nasty out, so i'll hole up here at the apt and pack some more and drink my pendleton and pepsi and listen to my country music and chill with my kids - link, lexus and lucy. seriously, there were snowflakes when i came in from feeding the horses a half hour ago.

after closing the him stopped by the office to congratulate me on his way to thermop to brand calves. then i went and met up with friends jake and casey, and friend jake and i went over to the beacon where he bought me a congratulatory drink. and happy hour, so it was times two!

and the other good news? friend jake offered to keep my horses at his place for a quarter of what i've been boarding them for the last couple years. combined with my old rent of $640, that savings will more than equal my monthly house payment. that, and my college loan is about paid off, so in a few months i'll have that extra cushion, too.

if that's not an outright approval from the One who really matters, i don't know what is.

i'm happy with the purchase. it was time to move on to the next step in my life. this is sure a year in developments! new boyfriend, new promotion, new puppy, new house. i suppose a new gooseneck horse trailer would be too much to ask. that might have to wait for 2011. :-)

oh, and i also get to snack on cracklin oat bran while i pack tonight, thanks to the generosity of friend holly from iowa. she found some on sale, and it was our old-time favorite from college, so she sent a box to me. very thoughtful. :-)

Wednesday, April 21


how cute are these cast iron turtles from anthropologie?

they're intended for place cards, but they'd also work for photo displays, or holding recipe cards in the kitchen or small paperweights for when the summer breeze comes through open windows.

i could find lots of excuses to buy them. at $18 each, they're on the pricey side, but still.... splurging is ok once in a while, right?

Monday, April 19


apparently persimmon is just to my liking. i've never eaten it, but i'm partial to the 'sliced persimmon' dining set from anthropologie. 

the pattern on the salad plate is my favorite. it'd be fun to get a set of just the salad plates, then mix them with the white stoneware i already have.

the more i realize how much i like red, orange, yellow and blue combined, the more i think i might try to add some colors other than just the red to my new kitchen.

oh the possibilities....

four days until i can move into my house!! the him will be gone branding in the thermopolis area this weekend, but sister m is coming over from lander saturday morning, and will stay the night with me. who knows, we might be ambitious enough to get everything moved over to the house. it'd really help if i can keep packing stuff up the evenings this week once i'm back in town...

curating collections

"Each horizontal surface is an opportunity to curate a small collection."

a quote from one of my favorite design sites - design*sponge. while i like collections, i don't have very many right now, due to space constraints in my small apt. i do have my whiskey bottle collection - in all shapes and sizes - and my small white ceramic creamer collection, and a small collection of green glass bottles. i'd like to find something offbeat but commonplace to start putting together in my new house. perhaps i will have to visit some thrift shops for inspiration.

i've started packing up my apt, and those collections were the first to carefully fit into boxes. that's where working at a newspaper comes in real handy - no shortage of packing material!! i counted up my pendleton bottles. i forget the exact count of fifths i have, but it was at least 10. i have three half-gallons and one 250 ml, along with four of those little bottles that fit about a shot in them, not sure how much they hold. what am i going to do with them? i'm not really sure. :-) but if i ever need a lot of centerpieces i've got the bottles to stick the fresh flowers in.

no packing going on for me today, as i'm in the small town of dubois in western fremont county, located right up against the east side of the wind river mountains. the joint ag committee is holding their spring interim committee meeting here today and tomorrow, and i'm keeping an eye on them for the roundup. talk about uncomfortable chairs!

i still have no pictures to share... i haven't made it to the store to get a new card reader yet....

Friday, April 16

new lucy post

so it's been a little while since i've updated you on puppy lucy.

my office is now her playpen, and she has all manner of toys that various people have given her, or those she's just claimed as her own without asking questions.

her newest fun thing to do is shred newspapers, as evidenced in the photo. the teddy bear was given to her by coworker paula (don't tell her fiance - it was a part of his valentine's gift this year). the yellow blanket came from coworker jody when she first arrived as the lil' four-week-old pup. the yellow duck came from ross - they have great discounts on dog toys there, like two and three dollars per toy, compared to other stores where they're $10. the orange jacks were donated by her cat brother link. actually, he'd be upset if he knew she'd overtaken his office toys.

and her camera bag isn't even in the photo. it's an old one prior editor j left behind, and it was the the lower shelf of a bookshelf here in my office, and she loves that thing. there are so many corners and pouches to grab on to, and don't even get her started on the shoulder strap....

i bought her a new collar from the farm store murdoch's before we went to pocatello last weekend, because i'm pretty sure she would have outgrown the old one while we were gone. speaking of - that was also donated by link. the him is pleased that now she's getting her own dog stuff and no longer has to have hand-me-downs from the cats.

and speaking of pocatello - the him just now found my missing red camera in his truck, so i'll have a few photos from that trip.

last night lucy and i went riding with assist editor h and her two dogs. we saddled up my two mares and did a big loop through the north pasture, covering hills, the crick, a skunk, sagebrush and cactus. i pulled some out of poor lucy's paw. she wasn't a fan. otherwise, h's dogs enjoyed the outing, and both my horses got exercised, so it was a win-win for all parties involved. plus - it was a gorgeously warm and calm spring evening. i'm glad we spent it well.

Thursday, April 15

a project

so, these cake pedestals - which can be used to display far more than just cakes - run from $63 to $84 over at this website. so, maybe it's just me, but that seems like a lot for what seems like a salvage-store project. what do you think about making them yourself? seems like it would be easy enough to find candlesticks at thrift stores and use a strong adhesive to attach them to the plate part of it. except i don't know where you'd really find the flat, smooth plate they use.... might take some hunting, but it'd sure make a unique collection, and i think it could be a do-it-yourself for less than $84.

of course, i'm particularly drawn to the red one.

Wednesday, April 14

office chairs

as someone who spends a lot of time working on a computer at a desk, i naturally spend a lot of time with my office chair.

it's comfortable and rocks back when i'm thinking, stretching or spacing out. it has arms and is a good height for my desk. but still, the title '5 ways to make your office chair suck a little less' caught my eye as i was browsing

also check out this link: dark walls in small spaces.

from caption: 'If there's one decorating myth that I'd love to see go the way of the dodo bird, it's the one that claims dark wall colors are unfit for small rooms. White walls often expand a space, but dark hues can work their own type of magic in small places, and more often than not the result is dead classy and much harder to get wrong'

i, too am a fan of dark wall colors. especially since, like in this photo, the walls can be way dark, but the room is still bright with the white/cream/tan linens and artwork.

Tuesday, April 13

2010 horse edition

this is the cover image we've chosen for the 2010 horse edition, a piece of work by a woman named lisa norman. it's different than what we've run in the past years, and i think our readers will like it, and it gives layout girl t a lot to work with, as far as the text we need to put on the cover.

a quick update

"a southwest wind of 35 to 45 mph will prevail with gusts over 60 mph. localized wind gusts around 70 mph are possible along outer drive and highway 220 just southwest of casper"

that's what we're dealing with today here in central wyoming. once again another day i'm glad for a desk job. although yesterday i wasn't. yesterday was gorgeous and warm and calm. i spent time in the evening scooping a little bit of my horse pens, and puppy lucy went along on her first horse ride! we didn't go too far, and she wasn't sure about crossing the boggy section of the crick, but she did just fine for being a pretty young puppy.

since getting back to town from idaho i've just been working on getting this week's paper together, and working on making sure we've got our upcoming horse edition covered. assist editor h and i are working on it, as well as two correspondents, one of whom is sister m. the remainder of april looks to be pretty busy, with several out-of-town meetings scheduled, the horse edition deadline and moving! the house is still moving forward as planned.

Thursday, April 8


so here we site in the hotel in pocatello, me, the him, brother b and becky. we're drinking whiskey and rum and watching tv and visiting and relaxing.

the drive today went pretty quickly. i got to the ranch at 5 after waking up at 3:30, and we got into pocatello about 2:30. it was a nice drive, with good weather and new scenery once we got to cokeville, wyo. i'd never been that far before. the him and i drove over with the mutton marshall's wife D, who kept her singing to a minimum. :-)

this afternoon we went to eat at the texas roadhouse here, with becky and i enjoying margaritas while brother b and the him enjoyed long island iced teas. after lots of beef was consumed, we were on our way to the rodeo trade show, where i purchased spur straps for my birthday spurs and a new braided rawhide headstall. i had a good excuse for that, because horse april caught my bit on the fence the other week and broke one of mine.

tomorrow we attend the rodeo, and on saturday we'll go to two performances. we also might stop in at a casino tomorrow, and who knows where else. i brought a bunch of information to try to sell some ads for the roundup's upcoming horse edition, so hopefully i can pick a few things up at the trade show when we go back.

my jeans and shirts are all starched, and i have a new navy blue ariat down vest that was originally $70 and i got it for $20, so excited about wearing that. :-)

long weekends are great.....

Tuesday, April 6

original town of casper

so.. been a lot going on around here, with a short work week for me since i'm taking thurs/fri off to go to the rodeo in idaho. trying to get everything done for the paper by the end of the day wednesday so assist editor h only has a few odds and ends to finish up. it's spring planting feature edition this week, so focusing heavily on crops in the state.

in house news... i got a call from the bank this morning and the appraisal came out just fine, with more repairs required for the loan, but really minor - and i think kind of unnecessary things - like staining the front deck. and scraping and painting something, i'm assuming the garage, since the house has steel siding.

but there's a nice description of the neighborhood: "central casper is the original town of casper and has most of the oldest homes in the city. large mansions intermixed with good quality single family residences... consistently a desirable neighborhood that is close to downtown and is characterized by mature landscaping and large trees."

sounds like a place i'd like to live. :-)

Friday, April 2

giraffes, hedgehogs, cows, oh my

i like this photographer's work. check it out on etsy.

colors i like

so here we go again with a color post on the blog, but there are so many unexpected and pretty combinations that i can't resist.

these all came from the colourlovers blog, which i love to visit.

the top two are pretty similar vintage combinations, while the bottom is more modern combination.

i notice the common theme is they all have orange running through them.... i've always liked the color, that and yellow and red, but i've never been brave enough to put orange in my interior decorating scheme. perhaps i will take the plunge in my new house... as my kitchen is pretty much themed straight red, i could add in the orange and green, perhaps? or my living room has a lot of green, so i could add orange and red? except those walls are mustard yellow... that might not work.

i like the idea of the blue jean wedding colors, esp the blue bridesmaid dress with the orange top boots. there's a chance to finally show off colorful tops! that, and i think that bouquet is really pretty.

meredith culbertson

i just received a call here at the roundup office from an 84-year-old woman named meredith culbertson, who lives in a retirement community in southern california.

apparently she had been mistakingly receiving a roundup paper that was supposed to be delivered to another member of the community. when she found out the rightful subscriber, she let them know and they changed the address to their own. but since then the rightful subscriber has been hand-delivering the paper to her when he's through with it.

now's she's decided to get her own subscription, and she said she just loves our lee pitts column - the cowboy humorist - as well as the column that prior editor jennifer now writes bi-weekly. she says she knows nothing about the cattle business, but is learning about "a whole new world" because of the mistaken newspaper delivery.

it's not much, but a simple phone conversation that gives a hint at the unexpected individuals that read our paper. along with the readers intimately involved in producing cattle here in the state, we've got the meredith culbertsons who we reach out to with our news and information, and i'm glad she can get a glimpse of the week-to-week concerns, happenings and features of agriculture in wyoming.

Thursday, April 1

just a thought

we need to keep leftover margaritas in the roundup office freezer more often, for afternoons such as this.

i think we all needed that.

it's a thursday afternoon, the paper is done and we have the proof here, but i'm not ambitious enough to get through it. i'll go through it, checking for typos, misprints and missing items in the morning. after three of us here in the office go through it, one of us, usually assist editor h, calls up our layout girl t, who lives north of town on a ranch, and gives her the changes, which she enters into the master indesign document before pdf-ing it and sending it to the printer.

then the other odds and ends i have to do tomorrow morning, since coworker jody is going to see her mother for easter weekend, are building a few sale reports from wyoming auction barns and putting together the markets summary for the week, which can be confusing but i've done it the last couple weeks to familiarize myself with the process.

for today, though, i'm just ready to leave the office. i've officially run out of steam.

ugly bathrooms

you know that ugly seafoam green that's often paired with the equally-ugly 80s pink in outdated bathrooms? it looks something like this:

well, what happens if you keep that green and change the accents? something like this:

that's a great way to rework an outdated bathroom, while leaving the tile - the big project - intact.

before and after provided by design*sponge.