Thursday, May 31, 2012

Road Trip to a Real Fort - Worth a Stop

We took a road trip a few weeks ago and I wanted to share one of the stops on our trip. This fort is just off  I-15 where it merges with I-70. It is about a mile off the highway but was worth the stop. 

There are signs on both highways telling you it is a historical site and best of all, it is free and they have personal guided tours. 

The staff were all volunteer and were great. 

The fort was resurrected a few years ago and since that time, they have been adding all the out building as at one time the only thing left was the shell of the fort due to a fire by a squatter sheep herder living there according to the tour guide. 

They built a barn to the exact measurements that was once there. It is built with pegs rather than nails and you can see it in the picture to the right. 

They were planting a garden while we were there. There is a working black smith shop and billows. They have an ice house. There are fruit trees still from the orchard.

They have a video in a cabin that was built and lived in by the man who built the fort. They moved it from another part of the state after the fort was renovated and revived. They also had the voice of an old man who lived at the fort as a child telling a story of his brother accidentally shooting him and claims he was the only person shot at the fort.

They have a bunk house where they tell you where the term "sleep tight" comes from showing how ropes used to hold the bed mattress up and they would tighten the ropes so you would "Sleep tight!" An interesting thing in the photo below, they have a picture on the wall to the right of the fireplace. It is a woman's face looking off to the left. It is made of human hair. I had never seen that before anywhere else.
They have a telegraph room and talk about the kitchen and how many people would stay and how much they would charge. 

They have some actual items from the family that built the cabin in some of the rooms and talk about the work involved in living there. 

The best part was the toy they give you that they make there. It is like a button on a string. You spin it around and around and it keeps spinning as long as you move your hands back and forth. It has "Cove Fort" burned into the wood.

Prince number one had never played with that type of toy before and my girls have all had a similar toy so we enjoyed watching him try to figure it out. He got it after a second but it was cute watching him figure it out. You can see it dangling from his neck in the top photo and playing with it in the car in this photo. The toy is free. The entire tour took about an hour or less. It was nice to have a free tour and visit. 

They mentioned they have a few days where they have a festival and have mountain men etc but I didn't get the details. I'm going to look up and see if they have a site or online calendar and post a link. Here is a link to their page. I am sure you can contact them for more information if you are driving through that way.

It was fun to see the fort and you can see how thick the walls were. I bet they felt very safe living there. Great site to visit if you are passing through!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sauted Sirloin with Mushrooms and Dirty Eggs

I tried something new the other day and it was something the girls enjoyed and I really liked it so we have made it three times in the past two weeks. I took a package of thin sliced sirloin beef stakes and sliced them up. 

I then decided to try using coconut oil rather than the usual olive oil I normally use to saute it in sliced onions along with some crushed garlic and crushed red pepper.

I have made something similar before but the thing that made this meal different was that there was so much fluid due to the coconut oil and onions that I thought how I could utilize the liquid. 
I thought I would make some eggs in it and make them dirty like you would when you use the bacon grease to fry them. 

I cracked in a few eggs and let them boil until they were quite cooked and then flipped them. The girls don't like runny yolks so I broke open the yolk and let them cook all the way through. 
In the pictures today, someone came to my door just after I cracked the eggs into the pan so I asked one of the girls to flip them but it was a bit late so the eggs are more of a scrambled egg.

In the end, it didn't matter what the egg looked like. It tasted amazing as the eggs soak up the coconut oil and the garlic and pepper. 

The coconut oil gave it an interesting flavor and made it taste a bit sweeter than usual. The first time only princess number three was home. she told me she liked it a lot and had a second helping. She wanted more but I thought we should save some for the other princesses.

They appreciated it and had second helpings as well. They all complimented me on it and told me how much they liked it. 

That first experience I didn't add mushrooms. Princess number three doesn't especially like mushrooms. I actually didn't think of adding them until the second try. 

I am sure you could make this meal with any meat including bacon, ham or chicken. It sure was good with the steak though. I am sure this will be one of our new favorites.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grandpa's Golf Lesson

 Something really cute happened this week. If you remember a few weeks ago that Princess Number 4 was on the golf team and they took state so she got to ride on the fire truck down Main Street. Here is a link to that post.   

She hasn't played much and I don't play so she is hoping to get some tips and help anywhere she can. My dad used to play golf every week along with his weekly hike. He was the best golfer I know personally so I suggested that Princess ask Grandpa for some help. 

My dad broke his arm a few years ago and hasn't been able to play competitive golf since. He plays in a tournament once a year now but can't enjoy the weekly game that he did for so many years. 

He was so animated giving Princess four her lesson. They used wiffle balls and practiced in the back yard. Too bad it wasn't the next day when the grass was mowed as it made it harder to hit with the longer grass but with the flooding and graduation, the lawn wasn't a priority. 

The top picture is through the kitchen window. We stood and watched as he showed her his tricks. His wife said, "I love watching him play golf." I also enjoyed watching him teach my daughter. They were the perfect pair. He was excited to pass on his knowledge, especially now that he can't play often and she was a sponge taking it all in.

After he left, she wrote down notes on his suggestions and today I looked out the window to find her hitting wiffle balls at the house in the newly mowed back grass. 

Thanks grandpa for passing your secrets on to Princess number 4. We are grateful for your travel time and willingness to support your grandchildren. We are blessed to have you in our lives! We LOVE you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Princess Number Three is "The One"

 Last week, Princess number three graduated high school. We had so much going on last week that I can't list them or the post would be huge but I just wanted to take a moment and share how proud I am of Princess Number 3. 
She graduated Magna Cum Laud which means she maintained a 3.90 GPA or higher for four years. 

She graduated with a four year academic letter. She had Honor cords in almost every subject. She was in the presidency of the National Honor Society being a three year member.

She spoke at graduation. She did an amazing job. She titled her talk, "The One." 

She talked about how we have all heard the phrase, "It takes a village" however, she then says that it takes "the one" in the village. The one student, the one janitor, the one administrator, teacher, civic leader, military, etc 

She had everyone picture that one teacher that made a difference to them. That one student, that one Janitor that found your phone. 

She then built it up to town, nation, and world. She invited them to all "Be the One" to make a difference. 

She did an amazing job and received many compliments. Princess Number One came down for the event and then rushed off camping. My dad and Step-mother (Only use the term for clarity as she is an amazing mother to our family)
came to be there to support her. They have five graduations to attend in four weeks in three states. What a blessing they are in our lives to be willing to make the trip for each child and make them feel important on their special day. 

They took my niece and princess three out to celebrate as they both graduated. Here they are together. They both are amazing girls and are setting great examples for their siblings.  

Thanks to everyone who came to support Princess number three. You were "the one" to her and she was "the one" to the student body for the past year. 

Congrats Princess Number three, I am proud of you, AND I LOVE you! I KNEW that comment would make you smile. ;-)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Row, Row, Row Your Boat in my Basement

Tonight while I was at Princess number 5's dance recital, we had a flood. I got a call from a frantic Princess number 4 who was just leaving the house when she noticed water through the basement. I wouldn't normally answer during a recital but she new I was there so I thought it may be important. 

She told me it was flooded, that it was bad and asked how to stop the washer from pouring water out. Well, I helped her get the washer off which stopped the flow of water and then when I got home was horrified that it affected three rooms and the hall. 
I spent almost all night sucking up water, removing flooring, ringing out clothes and trying to dry items. We were blessed in so many ways however so I can't complain but pray that the carpet isn't ruined. 

The girls were all off at events and I was grateful when one neighbor brought over their wet/dry vac and I pulled out my carpet cleaner trying to suck up all the water. 

It was hard getting the carpet up as I have a water softener and the washer and dryer on it but the linoleum under was soaked so I will have to pull that all out as well. I don't know if I should claim it but pray that the carpet and pad aren't ruined but think the the pad is for sure and the linoleum for sure. I don't know but am exhausted from scraping wet tile and vacuuming up water. My hands are like sand paper. 

This is a bit too familiar as I had a ton of floods a few years back. Here is a link to that post

Hope your weekend is starting off better than mine~!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Senior Ball, Last Dance

Princess number three went to her last dance as a high school student tonight. It was her Senior Ball. We got this dress at a second hand store for $20. It was strapless so she just added the bolero jacket that I made for her first dance last year if you remember that post, if not, here is a link. We had a little problem with the low back where the back comes together, they make lots of the dresses with a cinch up back so that any size girl can wear it. However, this leaves the back exposed.

Princess is a modest girl and doesn't feel comfortable with that so we took the dress to Walmart and walked around looking for some fabric that would match so she could use it under the ribbon cinch.

We looked at satin ribbon but they were a bit more blue than her dress. We found some marbled fabric that was almost a perfect match.

We had them cut us a 8 inch piece which cost $.33 cents. The jacket was free since I made it and used parts from the dress for the cap sleeve, the entire dress cost less than $21.

The dress was also a bit big so after cinching it, I had to pin the zipper area where the ruffles are but you can't tell. Now, even if she gains weight or her sisters want to use it, it will fit any of them.

If you look at the top two pictures, you will see a photo in the back ground on the wall. That picture is of me holding Princess number 3 as a baby at about two weeks old.

I feel so blessed to have her in my life. I can't believe she has grown so quickly. She is getting everything ready to head off to college and I am glad we took the photo where we did as I love that I see her as a baby to the beautiful young woman she has become.

Princess 3 had fun dancing with her friends and I am going to miss her when she heads off to college.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Princess Number 5 as a Rock Star

As school is coming to a close, things have been getting a bit crazy and I am helping get a girls camp ready and all three princesses are going so this week has been very busy. 

I am also planning a family reunion in a few weeks. I have also been getting Princess number three's stuff ready for college as she may be leaving earlier than planned for a job. 

This morning Princess number 5 finally got to share her talent in public with her classmates in the talent show at school. She was (and is) amazing. She didn't mess up, didn't look at her hands, sang out and looked confident. 

I was upset that the microphones were humming and then they turned them down and then you can't hear her well in the middle but she still did an amazing job. 
You can see her huge smile in the third picture as they had them bow after. 

She also danced with her friend doing a lyrical dance to "The Call" which I blogged about before. Click "here" to view that post.  
It was nice to see her express herself in several creative outlets today. I loved the facial expressions and emotion she put into the dance.  It was a nice day with wonderful things but just busy in general.

My Princesses are definitely growing up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ways to View Solar Eclipse and

My darling daughters enjoyed viewing the eclipse with me. One Princess put on three pair of sunglasses and viewed it through the top of the windshield for a few minutes while eating "hot Cheetos" as you can see by the red fingers. Look at the grin.  

 While we were watching, most of our neighborhood was also out viewing it through film or glasses. However, when we looked over and saw this group looking away from the sun the entire time down at a piece of paper, we wondered what was up.

I couldn't resist and went over to see how they were viewing the eclipse backwards.  They poked a hole in a piece of paper no bigger than a pencil lead poke and then held a white piece of paper about 2 feet out and the eclipse shows through the hole in a shadow on the paper. I don't know with the pictures so small if you can see the moon's shadow on the paper but it was interesting. 

Here is a better picture where you can see the sun in the upper part of the paper. It is small but at least you could see something. 
Here are a few more pictures of the eclipse. I took most through two pieces of dark x-ray film. I also used the tinted portion of the windshield with one piece of x-ray film. There were many ways to view it. 

My sister bought some eclipse paper glasses for them to watch through. I felt sad that I didn't call Princess number one to watch as she said they all walked outside at her in-laws, took a look and said it looks just like the sun and went back inside. 

I remember looking through a pin hole in elementary school at an eclipse but it was only a partial and It was amazing to see the eclipse so close to full. A few more hour drive south and I would have been able to witness the entire ring of fire. 

I couldn't believe how quickly the eclipse crossed the sun. I could see it moving. It was amazing. I moved on through the eclipse ending with a view of a setting eclipse as it went behind the mountain. It was a fun thing to enjoy with my girls. 

Here is a picture of two girls sitting in the car with their glasses enjoying the view.
I highly recommend x-ray film next time you want to view an eclipse. Someone suggested lacing your hands and looking at the eclipse through your fingers. Lets just say, that didn't help! 

Last issue is Google stole my blogger as it won't allow me to use explorer. It is part of the problem with my uploading I think. They want you to use a Google service so they don't support explorer and thus, the late night posts trying to figure it out. 

Please be patient with me while I try to be patient with Google to figure this out.