Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Home, Home On The Range

Valentines Day is over. The Happy Tuesday Group staged its first ever (that I know of) game-fest after a game-day feast. Washer toss (like horseshoes only on a much smaller scale) and golf toss tournaments were set up after the assignment of teams. The competition was fierce. Well, as fierce as it could be when you are full from your "Happy Meal." And while the finals had to be rescheduled due to contestants preferring to go take naps than to play well into the dark night of the desert SW, I can tell you that Gayle and Greg were kicking butt just before things broke up for the day. We SHOULD brag it up now in case we get taken out behind the big tent when the games resume.

But never a bunch to slack off, a Sunday at the shooting range was scheduled next. Me and my friends and my now rootin tootin shootin wife traveled to the open range at Bouse for some fun in the sun and the dirt. Those that owned guns brought them out for target practice. For Marilyn, it was her first time even to be around guns let alone to learn about them and fire them, so some instruction was in order, and Don and Linda who pretty much sponsored the activity were first and foremost in  that regard, as were others who gave info and guidance on their respective firearms. In short order, I watched with amazement as Marilyn progressed from total newbie to gung ho Annie get your gun and is-it-my-turn-again shooting enthusiast. And she did well, what with all the expert help of our group of friends many of whom shoot regularly and are pretty much sharp shooters truth be told. We all shot at coins on a tire, some metal flip targets, some clay pigeons, some paper ring targets and a few other interesting contraptions made by Don. It was a hoot, which I guess makes it a rootin tootin shootin hoot of a day. After we picked up at the range, we headed back to camp for "snacks." I use the term "snacks" loosely. More like heavy Hors D'oeuvres. Actually, more like dinner. Whatever. All of the gang are great and creative cooks so any "bite" is a good bite with this crew. Marilyn engaged Donnie in a conversation of re-loading while they had their snacks. Go figure!

Now I am certain you would think after all this FUN that we would be tired and need another nap. Nah! I was only kidding about that. Nope. Instead we staged, again through the graciousness of Johnson Down On The Farm Enterprises, a pig race the likes of which have never before been seen in these here parts of the country. We placed our bets, we rolled our dice, and our little pigs raced around the track just as fast as their little legs could carry them. The hooting and hollering from each race attracted more and more passers by to see what all the commotion was about. Why pig racing of course. What were you thinking? It was the morning volleyball tournament down by the pool? No. No. No. It is senior citizens with guns and racing  pigs, and what could be more fun than that, I ask you????

We have actually been so darn busy having fun of late that I am just happy to come home and watch the cheese wheel we made age!

Rootin Tootin Hootin Gun Shootin, Pig Racin Slide Show:

PS Yes. There is a post script to this posted script! Marilyn and Jude would like all of our readers to know that each of them "plugged" their coin targets from a distance approximating 100 yards or so. (More like "or so" but whatever!!!!)

Monday, February 11, 2013

February Lately

Aye aye aye, it's February already in the winter hideaway. Two cases of bronchitis again this year coupled with some cold and yes rainy weather has made it a tad unpleasant all too often so far this winter but we're hanging in there and truth be told all the sleeping and lollygagging around has felt pretty good. We have become much better at our production of mozzarella cheese and I dare say that it is fairly tasty now. And this morning our very first Farmhouse Cheddar Wheel came out of the cheese press I purchased through a while back and that looks almost respectable- although now the drying and turning and aging and waxing processes will require another two months before the taste trials begin. I am delighted that we selected this as our "activity lessons for the winter" as it has been the perfect weather for staying inside and working on this kind of skill set. A little Romanza music in the background and a little stirring of the curds and whey and life is good.

The salad patch has been excellent this year- no pests of any kind to report and the first harvesting of radishes has been completed and the replantings are up a growing strong.

We had intended to go to Bouse to see the muzzle loading festival that a couple of our friends are active in, but we were under the weather and didn't make it, so it was nice that they rode by the coach on a float one day advertising the activity. Not much else happening- rain again today , so another sleepy time day in the old wild or not-so-wild- west.

Below, this is just a snapshot off the weather channel website showing the "blue hole" or "rain shadow" of the Olympic mountains around the area of Port Townsend to Sequim to Port Angeles, Washington. What you are seeing is the relatively dry and clear skies over an area that is otherwise extremely wet to the point that the Hoh rainforest borders the shadow. We have been researching properties in Washington and carefully considering options. Nothing urgent or pressing (other than cheese) to report at this time! But this is an amazingly fascinating phenomenon and I pull this map up every day to see how often the "rule" actually works. I like the irony of naming an area a "shadow" when in fact it is the only place sometimes where the sun IS shining....