Bryan took some classes in broadcasting in college and he is the music encyclopedia. I have invited him to be the music behind my blog. Each month he will make a new playlist for my blog. So make sure you hit play if you don't already hear Bryan's music.

And here is a little note from the music man himself:


Song, music and the written word… it’s a powerful medium to convey thoughts, feelings, or pretty much any emotion.  Everyone has a song that takes them back to a simpler time, a lost love, heartbreak, or whatever.  It makes you feel nostalgic, angry, happy, gets you in the “party mode”, it makes you laugh or cry.  So, in keeping with the theme of this blog (kind of), and Jen’s anxiety about turning 30, I have pulled a few songs off the shelf to try to make a few points; 1) turning 30 is not that big of a deal, 2) life is an adventure, enjoy the ride, and 3) it’s not the destination, it’s the journey that matters.


The first song in the list comes from the “Greatest Hits” album of Gary Allan, “A Feeling Like That” a song that everyone can relate to during some point in their life, and the inspiration for the tag line of this blog.


Second, “This Time Around”, Randy Rogers Band, not because it has anything to do with turning 30, but it tells a story that many know, and, I’ve heard its Jen’s favorite song.


Third on the list, “My Next 30 Years” Tim McGraw, enough said!


Fourth, “Troubadour” George Strait, it’s not where you’re at, but how you got there.


And last but not least, “The Road Goes on Forever” Robert Earl Keen… and the party never ends!



So, this is the first playlist for the “Almost Gypsy Soul” that is Jen Dutton, hope you enjoy it, if you don’t, I guess it will be the last.



Peace and Love, Peace and Love…

BC
kindness.

Especially in the Christmas season, I find myself wanting to leave the house less and less. People are in a hurry, they are rude, pushy and pretty much annoy me. When did I get to be so heartless? Christmas is a time when we should all be happy, helpful and hospitable.

When did we stop caring about others? How awful is it that I sometimes have to "plan" random acts of kindness, I just get wrapped up in my own life and whats going on that I forget the battles that others are fighting are probably much larger than my own.

Last week, shopping in said hurried, pushy and rude environment, I made my way to the dressing room where I saw some money on the floor. I almost left it there because it wasn't mine, but decided I should pick it up before someone who it didn't belong to did. While trying on my clothes, I contemplated on what to do with $200 in cash I had found on the fitting room floor. I knew if it were mine, I'd want it back. I knew I hoped no one would notice it was gone. I knew I had to try to find its rightful owner, but how could I trust that anyone I asked would tell the truth....it wasn't theirs either? So I left my number at the customer service desk, just in case anyone came looking for $200 cash....crazy right? Well they did and the cash made it back to its owner, who was thankful, and I wished them a Merry Christmas.

What do you want someone to do or say to you this holiday season? Say/do that for someone else....it feels good to break the mold of the world around us! (Even when I secretly hoped no one would call and I could say Merry Christmas to self!)



My positive thought for the day, keep reading for my sarcastic thought for the day.
And I have one of these......
And when all else fails....follow this advice.
YAY! Its finally Friday! almost.




Mike is my dad. Mike is a semi-pro hoarder. Mike is extremely hard to shop for. So this year we decided to do an HGTV makeover....complete with homework. I was home a couple weekends ago to start re-painting Mike's bedroom, his task was to clean up all the junk he'd managed to "store" in his room. I finished paining 2 walls and touching up some trim and gave him the homework to finish "decluttering" and to throw his read mail away......He actually did it. Amazing! So Little Sister, Little Sister's boyfriend, Sister and I went HGTV on his room and here is the result. PS. Mike is Kansas State Alumni.


And if you are ever in the neighborhood of the 80828 and want have a good time on Christmas, swing by Mikes. We have Home Alone, the original on VHS showing on the big screen to celebrate the holidays.
"Hey guys! I'm eating junk and watching rubbish, you better come out and stop me!"
~Kevin McAlester


In the spirit of the giving season I thought about sending a care package to WDC, it would have to be quite large as I would need approximately 250 gift packages as there is about 252 "congressional pairs" (with a few leftovers of course). A congressional pair....what is this crazy talking about. A "congressional pair" is 1 democrat and 1 republican. BUT in the spirit of doing my part I have decided I'd better save some money and have decided that I'll send a gift to the leading "Congressional Pair", President Obama and Speaker Boehner.

What could a thirty something from the southwest corner of Wyoming possibly have to give to 2 of the most powerful men in the country that they actually need????

 Now, speaking from experience I'm convinced that this shirt holds the secret to our great Nation rising once again. My mother (bless her heart) was tired of Sister and I fighting, on the verge of losing it she screamed " Get out of the car! You girls are going to walk home.......HOLDING HANDS!" We meekly climbed out of the car, both thinking oh this isn't so bad, as soon as she is over the hill we will drop hands....I mean ya its 2 miles but that isn't that bad. Much to our disappointment and surprise.......she drove behind us the whole 2 miles to make sure we held hands the ENTIRE way......WORST.PUNISHMENT.EVER!

And so I have my Christmas gift for Mr. Obama and Mr. Boehner all wrapped up and ready to go. If this doesn't work I'll be voting for this man in the next election.


Everyday I watch/listen to the news as I eat my breakfast, get dressed and otherwise get ready to trot off to my place of employment. Everyday this week I've stopped to listen about the funerals and memorials honoring all the kiddos and brave adults whose lives were cut short last week in CT. I've heard people ask "Where was God when this happened" He was there. So was the devil.

As we start to try to heal from tragedies such as this one we must remember what is important, what kind of values do we want to pass on to our children so that they may pass them on to theirs someday. Hold them tight, love them, discipline them, teach them respect of others as well as themselves and remember there is a God, we just need to believe, serve and trust.

Try and put your arms around
the 100 year old tree
Climb up on a horse
and let it run full speed
Take a look out at the world from 30,000 feet
on your next flight

Watch a flock of birds
against the morning sun
Close your eyes and listen
to the river run
Catch a firefly in your hand
or a raindrop on your tongue
That's right

Chorus:
There is a God
There is a God
There is a God
How much proof do you need?

Plant a seed and see
what comes out of the ground
Find the heartbeat on your baby's ultrasound
In a few years hear it laughing,
and don't it sound like a song?

Stop and think about
what you don't understand
Things like life and love
and how the world began
Hear the doctor say he can't explain it,
but the cancer is gone

Chorus:
There is a God
There is a God
There is a God
How much proof do you need?

Bridge:
Science says it's all just circumstance
That this whole world is just an accident
But if you want to shoot that theory down,
just take a look around

Oh just look around

Now there is a God
There is a God
Oh there is a God,
How much proof do you need?

Now, There is a God. ~ Trent Willmon



A controversial subject to be sure. Sure they are neat, wild animals, cool to see (maybe I don't know I've never seen one in the wild, but I wonder have they seen me?) You've all heard it, they were here first, they are so beautiful etc etc.

They sound so precious....an integral part of preserving the American West.....but how costly are they?
Table 1. Total wolf mortality in WY from 2003 through September 30, 2012.

Cause of Mortality 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012  Total
Control                    18     29      41     44     63     46      31    40    36    36     384
Natural                     3       0        3       1        2      3        2       2      3     2        21 
Under Investigation 5        1        5       8        5      8        0       8      2     2        44
Unknown                 1        0        0       1        2      8        7       4      5     0       28
Other                       0        6        2       5        3     14       0       4      5     4        43
Total                       27      36       51     59      75    79      40     58     51  44      520

Table 2: Confirmed livestock depredations in WY from 2003 through September 30, 2012.  

     Year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012   Total
Cattle     34     75      54    123    55    41     20      26    35    27^    490
Sheep      7     18      27      38    16    26    195     33    30    105^^ 495
Other       2     10       1         0      1     0       0        1       1*    0         16
Dogs        0       2       1         1     2      0       7        0       1     3**      17
Total        43    105    83    162    74     67    222    60      67   135      1,018
*A horse broke its leg and had to be euthanized after being chased by wolves in a pasture on private property. Six additional horses, 3 calves, and 1 dog were injured in 2011.
** One dog was also injured by wolves but survived.
^   At least 10 additional calves were injured by wolves.
^^At least 4 additional sheep were injured by wolves.

Packs involved in livestock depredations:  Seven packs (New Fork, Ishawooa, Phantom Springs, Clark, Spring Mt, Hoodoo, Green River packs) were involved in >1 depredation. One pack (Green River Pack) was responsible for killing >10 cattle (37% of all cattle depredations). Three packs (Greys River, Prospect, and Dog Creek packs) were involved in >1 sheep depredation. One pack (Greys River Pack) was responsible for killing >53 sheep (50% of all sheep depredations).


Beginning September 30, the State of Wyoming took over management of the State's thriving wolf population. Even so, the Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to monitor the state's actions and progress in managing the wolf population to make sure it doesn't fall below minimum numbers. Fish and Wildlife Service stated, "by all biological measures the wolf has fully recovered." Wolf recovery goals have been exceeded every year since 2002.

--facts and figures complements of the Wyoming Gray Wolf Status Report. Click here to read the whole report.--


Lately there have been numerous signs posted about missing pets in the North Rock Springs area. Earlier this week this gal was harvested as part of Wyoming's Wolf Management Plan......less than 15 miles from town, tracked from a small town near Rock Springs.

photo via Facebook

That close to town aren't we lucky it wasn't someone's small human listed on that MISSING poster at the local convenience store. And by the way congratulations on the hunt and kill of a lifetime, wolf guy!

I still believe that hunting plays a vital role in the circle of life. In order for us all to co-exist there has to be boundaries. You can bet your bottom dollar that the newly opened wolf hunts are being strictly monitored. Game and Fish are watching, the wolf population won't be going extinct again, HOWEVER it must be kept in control or there will come a day where you won't see any wildlife.....no elk, no moose, no deer. And what about ranching and the way of life that feeds the American people.

Compromise......something America needs to learn again.

And so I come to the conclusion wolves are "nice".....as long as they aren't at MY back door.

The most coveted of all coveted items in one's closet......the ugly sweater. A disgrace and embarrassment all those years growing up has turned into the one of the season's best! Ugly sweaters are so awesome that 3 Canadians wrote a 152 page book about the do's and don'ts of ugly sweater parties! Its a bestseller....maybe.

As I wore my ugly sweater with pride today at work, I wondered what exactly is the history of THE ugly sweater? Well its really a quite fascinating tale as told by Martha McCarthy:

'Twas the Night Before Finals: The History of The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party...

Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties originated like the Post-it note: by accident. No, a 3M scientist was not goofing around in a lab, but the birth of the legendary Ugly Xmas Party tradition was one big fat accident. It started with elementary education teachers. They began sporting the sweaters like it was their job. This had a trickle down effect...slowly but surely infecting soccer moms, soccer grandmoms, art and music teachers, retired people, volunteers, PTA-goers, thrift store shoppers and the racks of Kohl's department store. Ugly Christmas Sweater Fever (as it is clinically referred to) had reached epidemic proportions.

No one died, fortunately, but this huge mass of people were really really ridiculously confused. For some reason, they thought they looked good. Really good. Super stylish. Cute as a button. Hollidazzlin. But no, they were sadly mistaken.

They looked hideous. For a long time, the non-Ugly Xmas sweater wearers remained in the closet. No one wanted to make the first move to alert these sad souls of their super sad situation.

A flip switched somewhere around 2007. Many attribute it to white people*. White people and their undying thirst for theme parties. One college co-ed sported a said sweater to a regular Christmas party. Everyone loved "Ugly Sweater Guy." Next thing you know, people are calling their elementary education teachers, their soccer moms and their local thrift stores in search of a sweater to wear to the next party. They know they've seen em...now they must track them down. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5282221


 

Now go! Be merry, wear ugly and designate a driver (preferably one wearing an ugly sweater!)

If you can pin it, you can do it! 

So after months and months of pinning, I admit "I have a Pinterest problem" AND I've finally started actually DOING some of the stuff that I pin.

We had junk food, games and Christmas lights for the big kids....and the little kids too! For my delicious junk food I tried out these rattlesnake bites and they get a big ole' standing ovation (and not just from me)!

And how easy are they you say? Well I'd give them a 2 - as in super easy. I'm not really into measuring things when I cook but here is the recipe I used as a guideline, hopefully I'll be able to recreate them next time.......

  • 1 pound ground beef (I used breakfast sausage)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies (I used jalapenos)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
Directions
  • In a large skillet, cook beef and chilies over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the cream cheese, cumin and chili powder. Cool slightly.
  • Separate crescent dough into 24 triangles. Place 1 tablespoon of beef mixture along the short end of each triangle; carefully roll up.
  • Place point side down 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 2 dozen.
ENJOY!

Disclaimer: This isn't a picture of my rattlesnake bites, I'm new to this blogging thing and I've already decided I'm probably not going to be the best about taking pictures....I'll try to remember....maybe buying a new camera would help?