Thursday, February 28, 2013

Happy sequestration week

While the initial thought behind sequestration was to make it so horrible and detrimental to our economy that it would force Democrats and Republicans to work together to come up with a compromise to avoid a fiscal cliff, by decreasing the budget and decreasing our debt. Unfortunately, sequestration isn't bad enough for Congress to be able to work together, not to say that sequestration might not be bad enough for the rest of Americans who aren't in Washington. Click here for a rundown on sequestration.

How is sequestration going to affect you and your state? Click here for fact sheets published by the White House on sequestration effects for each state. Click on your state for even more details. CNN has an article that explains sequestration, but to be sure there will be many, many more effects if sequestration is allowed to occur. There will be effects that no one talks about and there will be effects that no one has thought of.

Sequestration isn't the only fiscal "horror story" our country is facing. Let's say we do make it past sequestration without too many detrimental the end of the month we will once again face a government shutdown because the continuing resolution will expire because Congress has not been able to pass a budget for our country.

Lets hope that they can figure out a way to get along up there. Maybe we will know more by March 27........... 4 more years of bickering and doing nothing could be worse for our country than 1 side or the other taking over and getting everything that they want.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What i'm loving wednesday: winter

[Linking up with Jamie at  This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday!]
One kind word can warm three winter months. ~Japanese Proverb
I'm LOVING..........Winter

I love winter! but I hate shoveling snow. As it snowed around here (finally AND 2 days in a row!), I thought about my hatred for shoveling snow....I think if it were either light before I went to work or after I got home, maybe shoveling wouldn't be so bad. So snow and winter go hand-in-hand, how can I love winter if I don't like shoveling snow?

Playing in it of course! Christmas markets, throwing snowballs, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, hot tubbing, cabins and fireplaces, hot snock-o-late, big snowflakes, crisp untouched fields blanketed in fresh snow. It's a clean slate and I love it!

Have a great winter and enjoy all it has to offer!

Here is a picture I took a while back my way home from snowboarding at Beaver Mountain, Utah (a great little ski area btw). This is overlooking Bear Lake, Utah, yes there is a lake under all those clouds.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Little things

I'm sure that all of you remember the "fiscal cliff" and "sequestration" that was looming over the US economy back at the first of the year. A last minute deal "saved" us all......sorta. At FSA, we have been operating on a continuing resolution, meaning we have no budget. We have had additional cuts implemented, hiring freezes etc. As "sequestration" once again looms over us, less than 5 days away we are looking at furloughs....aka mandatory leave without pay. Each day I struggle to find something good about my job, something good about what I do each and every day and everyday I find it harder and harder.

After talking to a few of my producers last week, my hope is renewed. Someone DOES appreciate us, appreciates what we do. We make a difference in their lives when they are struggling just as much as everyone else in the working class, if not more. To hear them say THANK YOU and genuinely mean it....means the world to me and it makes my heart happy.

Monday, February 25, 2013

[Sweetwater series] all trails lead to....

Oregon Trail, California Trail, Mormon Trail, Overland Trail, Cherokee Trail, Pony Express Trail, 1861 transcontinental telegraph line, Overland Express stage line and the 1868 transcontinental railroad, they all lead to Rock Springs, Wyoming.

I moved to Rock Springs, Wyoming in May of 2009. I had never heard anything good about Rock Springs with many referring to it as the "armpit of America." I'm here to tell you that it just isn't true (the armpit is Rawlins). When you get off the pavement, Sweetwater County has so much history, beauty and wonder to show off.

Welcome to Sweetwater series, I'll focus on one unique thing about Sweetwater County (I'll probably throw in some Sublette County too since that is my area for work) in each post of the series. This one is a little sneak peek of some of the things that are up for blogging in the future.

This post has a few shots that I have taken around the county while doing field work for my place of employment, USDA Farm Service Agency. The farmers and ranchers that I have the opportunity to work with each day are some of the hardest working folks I know. These are some of the scenes where they are day in, day out. There are many others that are hard at work throughout this county and I hope to touch on those industries, but I am not around them as much so this will probably be a little lopsided.

So this is where I now call home, right along I-80 about 100 miles from the Utah border. Its a high mountain desert and is 73% public land. The land is rich in natural resources from grazing to coal, from soda ash to wildlife, from sand dunes (second in size only to the Sahara) to oil, from rivers and The Flaming Gorge to crystal clear blue skies under which wild horse herds fill the desert landscape.

The crystal clear blue sky in southern Sweetwater County on a beautiful winter day in February.

A band of sheep out on winter range. Many ranchers, both sheep and cattle, run year-round grazing operations. Some travel as far as 300 miles round trip in a year, trailing from the Colorado state line up to northern Sublette County. Sheep camps can still be seen throughout the desert today.

The best cowdog in McKinnon, making sure those cows get fed on a cold December day.

Come see what southwest Wyoming has to offer you! I have an extra bed and I love visitors!

ps. I took all these pictures.....yay me!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A little bit goes a long way

A beautiful sunny morning we pull up the ski lodge. I jump out chompin' at the bit to jump on the slopes. I decided to take a quick run while people were getting rentals and such lined out. About 3/4 of the way down I come off a 20 foot 360 jump, hit the ground and bust my binding. :( Hey, its my story I'll tell it how I want!

Ok so I'm not really sure what exactly happened, but I think cartwheels might have taken place, under the lift, less than 100 yards from the lift house, but the busted binding part.....that is definitely true! My beautiful Burton bindings.....still on my foot, not attached to my board. Oh the shame as I unstrap and head towards the lodge.......walking........on the ski trail. :(

Lucky for me no one in my group saw the crash. I envision that it looked something like this, with less snowy fluff because I'm here to tell you the broken binding crash hurt a lot worse than this one pictured below.

 Now the best part, I emailed Burton and explained what had happened. They asked that I send a picture of the damage (which of course I didn't take one) so I sent a picture of what was left of the damage and they said give them a call. In 5 minutes they had a brand new set of Burton discs on their way to Wyoming for FREE! Have I said "I love Burton". I love my board and bindings and even though I don't think I could ever pay full price for them, I will be riding Burton for a very long time!

These days great customer service is always a super nice and welcomed surprise!
Hip Hip Hooray for Burton!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

HomeMade: Downstairs bedroom

We have new paint, trim, carpet and hardware in this room. It flooded in the Swimming Pool installation project of 2011 so some things were dried out and upgraded at that time. The color scheme in this room is a metallic copper accent wall with cream colored walls and snowy white trim. Accent colors are found on the bed, curtains and refurbished dress all decked out in sage green.

If you come and visit me, this is where you will get to stay. Fancy huh!?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You've got mail

My friend Football Fan over at Figuring Out the Plot had gotten this from a friend on Facebook, but she recreated hers on her blog to which I was the 5th comment (so I get a prize sometime this year!) and I get to pay it forward! And lets be honest....who doesn't love getting real live mail that isn't a bill so lets blow up my email with comments today!

2013 Inspirational Pay It Forward:  The first five people to comment on this status & re-post, will receive in the next calendar year, an "inspirational" gift or surprise from never know what you will get! If you're 1 of my 5 lucky friends, I'll need your address if I don't already have. The catch is that you have to be willing to post on your page and do the same for others (creative, inspirational (like me) or whatever is authentically you)! Let the posting begin!

I've been in the crafting mood lately and I'm addicted to Pinterest so I'm pretty sure that you will get something way cool from me! Click here if you want to stalk follow me on Pinterest.

Here is a little recap of some of my most recently finished crafty projects......your pay it forward gift could be next!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Piece by piece

It all started with this.....

And its grown into this (minus a couple dirty dishes in the dishwasher).........................

I've become obsessed. That trip to Germany got me hooked on the Polish pottery which I quickly figured out that I wouldn't be able to outfit my whole kitchen in it on my salary so now I'm on mission mis-matched pottery kitchen, piece by piece. Street fairs? I'm there. Antique stores? I'm there. Pottery wheel in the basement businesses? I'm there. My family did good at Christmas, I got several new pieces to add on to the work of art!

AND.....the highlight of my week...... Colorado Transplant Friend asked me to go to a decorate/make your own pottery shop that is in Green River for my birthday! I am so excited to make my own pottery to add to my kitchen lineup, plus we always have a great time together. So what should it be? A plate? A bowl? or something else? Oh the decisions and lets pray that I'm feelin' the creativity on that day!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Outta' here

Not alot of time to blog today as I'm off as the co-planner of our first WY State Convention for quite some time. I get involved for the benefit of "free travel" and then I find myself becoming an active member of an association. Sometimes I wonder why I say 'yes'.

So this morning I'm off to Lodges of the Bighorns for our WYASCOE State Convention between Buffalo and Ten Sleep, WY via Casper. I'm doing all the food shopping in Casper at Sam's before I head up the mountain. We have lots of fun activities planned for our group. Meetings, our National Association President will be joining us, our choice of activities (x-country skiing, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sitting by the warm fire, holding down the bar), Minute to Win It game night and a margarita contest.

Please pray for our success in putting on our first convention and I'll see ya on Tuesday!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

#21.3: Letters to a soldier(s)

I hope that my soldier enjoys celebrating holidays well after the day that they actually occur as his Valentines Day care package is currently sitting on my kitchen counter....still not even boxed up![In my defense, I did get them in the mail approximately one week ago, so they won't be a whole month late!] If I do say so myself though, he will be so excited about the yummy treats that he won't even remember that the Valentines Day box didn't make it in time for Valentines Day!

I attempted made these cute little valentine pretzel buttons,  made jars of cupid kisses, changed up at little bit. Mine had both M&Ms and pretzels in little ball jars, included the ingredients for one of my favorite childhood treats, graham cracker and frosting (with valentines sprinkles) sandwich cookies, some 2-in-1 men's shampoo and AXE that I had some really great coupons for.

I also picked up another soldier. A friend that I met a while back was deployed about 5 months ago. I saw that he was a little homesick on Facebook the other day, so I quickly decided that he is officially adopted. I had already been to the store and picked up items for my other soldier so I was trying to figure out what I could make from what I had stocked away at home. So he is getting these delicious pink cookies......I hope he likes pink. :) and I'm throwing in a loaf of the coveted homemade zucchini bread along with some cupid kisses and the valentine pretzel buttons. I really had my heart set on sending one of those electronic Yahtzee games but I couldn't find one in all of Rock Springs, America. BOO!

After returning from the post office (where I scored Tylie a bag of dog food for $21 bucks, ACE sent me an email this am that any one item under $47 was 47% off until 4 pm today, I'm awesome, my dog loves me) anyway back to the part where I tell you I do not have a picture of my newest adopted soldiers care package because I forgot to take one. Double BOO!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WILW: laugh 'til it hurts

[Linking up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday]

A few years back, OKTrailerPark Friend and Snowboard Friend and I went to Canyons in Utah for a girls weekend. We had a slope side condo, reduced price lift tickets, wine and the resort swimming pool. Now when we vacation we do it up right. We snowboarded and rode the alpine slide by day and by night we soaked in the pool, wore sweatpants, cooked dinner in our condo, played cards, drank wine and watched this YouTube video....over and over and over and over.

Whenever I'm having a sub-par day, I pull this video out. I mean I do have it favorited on my work computer even!

If this video doesn't make you laugh, go to the emergency room NOW! Here is a little note from Ed and Ross's mom, who posted the video. As you can read Ed and Ross were best friends!

wonderful ed ,ross's little welsh mountain pony. he could be naughty sometimes when we took him off lead rein,. the title should read " ROSS & ED'S MISUNDERSTANDS" cos he wasnt really naughty just wanted his own way, some of the time...... while he was bucking ross would say look nan im like a cowboy lol.. ross loved ed and would not part with him,.ED WAS A PERFECT LEAD REIN.... he started to outgrow ed and eventualy allow ed to go to a loving home sold as lead rein as that is what ed does best.... he was 100% as lead rein, i did send ed off to a trainer, to be reschooled for off lead his back checked out, no problems.... got saddler out..... no problems... got dentist out... no problems..... ed was a lead rein pony and NOT A RIDING PONY....ross did not want to stop riding ed, but also did not want to be on lead rein anymore.... please remember i have hours and hours of film of ross and ed together and ed being very good... this was 3 mins of clips taken over a year from when he came off lead rein.... the film was not made for entertainment, it was put together to show trainer he could be stubben,(i decided to put the music on, as niether ross or ed ever got hurt).... he was good most of the time, and lead rein 100%... ross and ed had a bond i have never seen before
ross had been on lead rein with ed for some time, and they had bonded so much on the ground, and ross just had dreams of riding ed up the mountain.... he spend most of his time brushing ed and telling him stories, and when ross was riding ed you could hear ross singing to him.... alot of kids dont have that bond anymore, the push button ponies have got only one job to do, and that is go in the show ring and beat all others, and if they dont god help them, have a tatrum and demand a new pony cos it didnt win anything. ross is not like that... he loved ed for the friendship they had together. and that meant taking him with his faults too..... perfect ponies for perfect riders eh.... well ross is not perfect either...
ross had fun with ed and thats what its all about, ??. ross loved ed with his faults too. ross thought he was perfect.. may i also add that i dont want ross to be a fantastic rider he was the one who wanted to ride, i just wanted him to have fun, and believe me he does, he has riding lessons on pip beause pip listens to him....Ed never ed did teach him a lot.... the other day he was out riding ( i was following) and he went past a gate, a large dog jumped up barking, even though pip is 100% it made him jump and spook to the left, anyone else would have been off on the other side, but ross had full control and stayed calm....... ed taught ross that they are animals with minds of there own and to expect the unexpected, and ross did and is always prepared for anything.... i have seen kids put on bomb proof ponies (i dont believe they exsist) and not even have a hat on, only for the parents say "o its ok the pony wont do anything, and then walk around, a plastic bag flies up, horse spooks and kid comes off with not even a hat on.... guess you can guess out come... child is hurt...ross always wore top range safety hat, body armour, safety stiruups,( did have to get wider pair) and he had a soft landing on soft laid arena... please remember that this is a 6yr old little boy who wanted to learn to ride on his pony. i understand some may not like his riding, but he is a kid, yes his hands and legs are all over the place, he will learn one day when he wants to.... best thing about video, you can sit back years later and laugh about it. ross or ed was never hurt. ross has a bigger pony named pip, pip is as good as gold and 150%, but even pip can have an odd moment once a year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What to do with my life?

After a week filled with sad and negative events, I once again began to question my life path. Where am I going? Am I being who I am supposed to be? Am I doing enough to help others? As I was stalking  reading other people's blogs yesterday, I found a post on the you version bible app for smartphones. Now I am one of those "weirdos" who bypassed the iPhone for the droid (which I love and would make the same choice again and again and again!), but I always wonder if they have that app for droid. Droid has it and its free! which is good because I don't even know how to pay for an app because I like free stuff.

Anyway, through the you version Bible app you can sign up for various reading plans, which I did. I just started the ReThink Life: 40 Day Devotional. Not only will it get me to reading God's Word, but also will get me to thinking about different aspects of my life to make sure that I am making the most of the life that God as given me.

Some of my favorite thoughts/devotionals from the first 10 days of the program are (don't worry, I wont write the whole thing so this won't spoil it for those who want to download the app and take the ReThink Life devotional):

Day1: He is the "the way, the truth and the life" .....Don't be afraid to begin this journey.

Day2: Life is like a railroad track with 2 rails. You have something good going and something bad going on at the same time.

Day3: Our culture constantly bombards us with the thought that we need what we do not have and that we never have enough.

Day4: Unseen things like faith, hope and love are the things that are eternal and the only things that have true value in this life.

Day5: The lives we live will begin to challenge the norm!

Day6: God thinks of me as his "masterpiece" and He has great plans and purposes for my life even today.

Day7: Help me walk in confidence today remembering and knowing that I am a person of worth.

Day8: God's love, grace and forgiveness towards us is something that is hard to wrap our minds around. Sometimes our past begins to haunt us and we feel there is no way God can forgive us.

Day9: Do you ever feel discouraged or defeated.....?

Day10: There are times throughout our lives when we don't feel like we measure up to other's expectations or maybe we have been hurt so much by someone that we feel unloveable, but God sees us in a completely different way.

So I'm now on Day I wrote this post a while ago and never got it actually published. I still recommend this devotional series! Check it out!

Monday, February 11, 2013

My one and not-so-only

Can you do it? Can you pick 1 song.....only 1 and call it your favorite song? I think I can. I've been calling this 1 song my favorite for like 5 years now. It could change tomorrow, but I'm just not sure that it will. ever. forever-ever.

All-time #1: Randy Rogers Band - This Time Around

But then I decided to challenge myself.

On a side note....I had a friend once (we will call him Keith Stone for this story). Anyway I get a call one Sunday morning and Keith proceeded to tell me about the previous nights events in somewhere, Texas, it went something like this:

Keith Stone: Hey bud.
KS's friend: Hey what's up?
Keith Stone: If you challenge yourself to drink 12 Keystone's that you found in your brother's girlfriends front yard while you drive around the loop (which takes 40 minutes), are you an alcoholic?
KS's friend: Uh, yeah bud, that's a little alcoholic.
KS's friend: You aren't still driving right now are you?
Keith Stone: No, I'm sitting in a parking lot waiting for a ride.

Anyway, back to challenging myself......I challenge myself to pick my favorite song of my top 10 favorite red dirt musicians/bands. Now please take into account I've been living out of Oklahoma for almost 1 6 years. WHAT! How did that happen?????? 6 years?????? So here they are my top 10 20 red dirt musicians/band and my top 10  20 songs from them (ok ok, its really 11 21 because of my all time numero uno). In no particular order....................

  1. Aaron Watson - Barbed Wire Halo
  2. Bo Phillips - Perfect Girl
  3. Clint Ingersol - Beautiful As You Are
  4. The Great Divide - Yesterday Road
  5. Micky & The Motorcars -  Pointless Love
  6. Jason Savory - Off My Mind
  7. Reckless Kelly - Stick Around
  8. Casey Donahew Band - Stockyards
  9. Cross Canadian Ragweed - Dimebag
  10. Eli Young Band - Even If It Breaks Your Heart
  11. Jason Boland - Proud Souls
  12. No Justice - Still Missing You
  13. Wade Bowen - Tired of Being Alone
  14. Bobby Dale Band - Crazy Beautiful
  15. James Nicks - Redneck Cadillac
  16. The Dirt Drifters - Hurt Somebody
  17. Josh Abbott Band (with Trent Willmon & Roger Creager) - End of a Dirt Road
  18. Bleu Edmondson - Last Last Time
  19. Stoney LaRue - Feet Don't Touch The Ground
  20. Kevin Fowler - The Lord Loves a Drinkin' Man
I had to make myself stop. Challenge 1, Jen 0. I think I might have a problem.

Enjoy my favorites, look 'em up on iTunes (if you are as cool as me) or YouTube (if you haven't seen the light yet).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Connoisseur of screw top wine

con·nois·seur a discerning judge of the best in any field:  as in a connoisseur of screw top wine (thats me!)

I was never much of a wine drinker, but when I lived in Tennessee I had to learn because my job worked with many of the smaller family owned wineries throughout the state. Now by connoisseur, I mean that I pick my wine by how fun the names and/or labels are.

Now my qualifications as a connoisseur: I visited several wineries while I lived in Tennessee. In the picture above you can see the first one that I went to. When I walked into the building they had a beautiful bar area for wine tastings. As I settled in on a stool, the wine lady (technical term) asked me what kind of wine I liked. I responded that I didn't really know so just start at the top of the list and keep them coming until we get to the bottom. I could tell she wasn't real impressed, but she kept 'em coming! ps. can't go wrong with Muscadine wine in TN!

I furthered my wine connoisseur training in Italy with Military Friend and OKTrailerPark Friend when we visited Europe in 2011. Lets just say Americans have fun in Italy! And I highly recommend the jalapeno pepper wine (I can't remember the exact name of it) and the Proseccco wine from Italy.....fabulous!

As you can see I am clearly qualified to be considered a connoisseur.
Last weeks choices made by old roomie, Simza (before she ditched me and moved home) were: 

We wino together in mind, body, spirit and a couple hundred miles.

Turn Me Red: super cute label which is why I picked it, yummy taste, no refrigeration required which is why I will keep picking it!

RELAX: a name that says just what I needed on Friday night. I'd drink it again, but probably wouldn't be my first choice.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

#15.2: Far-away friend: Stretch

Meet Mr. February of Far-away Friend!

When I was 16 my best friend was Jen (no I was not best friends with myself). We were the Jens. We were asked to go along on a big July 4th trip to Grand Lake with some family friends to babysit. Cowboy Family's ranch is where we were going to spend the whole week. Babysitting in the mountains, campfires, a pool....what more could a girl ask for? Well Cowboy Dad and Cowboy Mom had, you guessed it.......3 Cowboys! I'd like to say I was the responsible 16 year old girl who went about my business and babysat all week....but I'd grow a Pinocchio nose.

This week some of my favorite people and best friendships were etched in stone. Stretch is Cowboy #3's best friend and came over to spend the whole week with us. Stretch, Cowboy 1,2,3 and the Jens......... We high-jacked pitchers from the keg and took off on 4 wheelers for hours on end, we stayed up all night playing cards, we fished, we had boys against girls canoe races (you know who won those without me telling you), we stayed up all night, we had campfires, we ate junk food, we HAD FUN!

Fast forward a few years and I found myself at Western State College in Gunnison, CO without a roommate. Stretch and I became roommates and we were PERFECT roommates. We lived in low-income housing near campus along with several of our friends. We were "Ghetto" dwellers and loved every second of it. I mean the "Ghetto" even had plug-ins for our diesel pickups!

We both liked to get up early and get some stuff done (most of the time), we could watch Friends for hours, we partied together and we studied together. When I was broke and had Tylie it came to buying food for me or food for my dog at one point.....I became Stretch's permanent dinner date for the "Keating Beating" sometimes referred to as the cafeteria. Stretch wrestled in college and was often cutting weight during season. Unfortunately for him, his birthday fell during wrestling season.....good-bye birthday cake. Enter Jen's Jello cake. Jello birthday cake became a favorite of the WSC Wrestling team.

After leaving college and wrestling, Stretch made a life in Kremmling and after a little while started training for MMA fighting....I think he missed wrestling a little bit. I wasn't sure how I would like watching him fight (I had never really watched MMA), but after going to my first fight, I love watching him fight. He is such a class act and goes out there and puts his heart into it. He is a gracious winner and a true inspiration for those around him. No matter what, he hasn't changed a bit in that aspect.

Via CMO Photo
Warning: body slams, awesome punching and tap outs! Make sure you check out the move around favorite!

I have so many awesome memories of life with Stretch back in the day. Today, Stretch has married one of the most amazing gals I've ever met, Mrs. Stretch. She is beautiful, so sweet and so fun. I love them both.

If you are ever in Denver, stalk him on Facebook or Fight to Win MMA and go cheer for him at his next fight! If you don't feel comfortable stalking, you can just get ahold of me and I'll give you the dirt (just tell him I sent you!)

ps. And if you are ever in the need of a dirt/worm cake.....Stretch and I are your people (we even clean up the kitchen so Linda doesn't kill us)!

Thank you for being a great friend Stretch!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WILW: rams & colts

[Linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I'm Loving Wednesday ]

I'm LOVING.......these Super Bowl commercials.
You might have to pause the awesome tunes to get the full effect of these commercials! 

My first Dodge was a 1/64 scale red single cab Ram 2500. It sat on my dresser when I was 16. My second Dodge was a red single cab Ram 2500 circa 1994 and it still sits in my driveway. I love Dodge and I love this commercial. These are the people that makes the world go 'round. Thank God for farmers and ranchers.

Ahh....freaking cute and I love how it shows how close man and animal really can be!

Hands down, Dodge's God Made a Farmer nailed it, but Budweiser's Brotherhood commercial is running a photo finish second in my book.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

#29.2: Spinach & black bean enchiladas

If you can pin it, you can do it!

If you know me at all you know I'm not a big fan of veggies. I'm getting better, but I need me some meat! That being said, I pinned this recipe from The Garden Grazer's blog and its a vegetarian recipe that is delicious! I did make a few I have about 10 lbs of yellow onions from Little Sister's new job in Utah and I don't like olives so I didn't waste any money on those.

And here is my masterpiece, but I will say that rolling corn tortillas is ridiculously impossible!

{For the sauce}
3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder

{For the enchiladas}
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
6 oz. fresh baby spinach
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
3 cups shredded 3 cheese blend (or pepper jack, etc.)
8 whole wheat or flour tortillas

Make the sauce: in a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tomato paste, flour, 2 tsp. cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Cook 1 minute, whisking. Whisk in broth, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cook until slightly thickened about 8 minutes. Salt/pepper to taste, and set aside.

Saute the spinach in olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted.
In a large bowl, combine beans, 2 cups cheese, spinach, corn, green onions, 2 tsp. cumin, and cilantro.
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish, and pour a small amount of the sauce to coat the bottom.
Generously fill tortillas with mixture, roll up tightly with ends tucked in, and place seam side down in dish.
Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas, coating evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top.
Bake about 20 minutes, and garnish with cilantro and/or green onions (optional).


PS. Make sure to make the sauce from scratch....EASY and probably the best enchilada sauce I've had in a long time!

Monday, February 4, 2013


So I am not really sure how I get myself into these things....whenever I sit there and think....why did I volunteer for this I briefly leave this world and go to this......

No lie, my name is Jane in my other life.

Anyway, I am co-planner for our WYASCOE State Convention for work. We have planned a weekend of meetings and skiing snowboarding and food (lots of food) and a margarita contest. Which I am planning on trying out this recipe or this one to win that challenge. We will be out at the small resort for the whole weekend so we need to have activities planned to keep everyone busy. In my mind I have really good, I mean REALLY good ideas, they just don't always go according to plan.

So my fun people what are your thoughts on a Minute to Win It game night? Keep in mind we will have about 25 people aged 12 to retired there. My thought was to break up into teams and then have a person from each team compete in a challenge, then the team with the most points after all challenges is the winner. The games that I was thinking about doing are:

Bite me - Have 5 paper bags cut to varying heights (from 2" to 10") lined up on the ground. The player must grab the bag from the floor and move it to a table. The player's feet may be the only body part to touch the ground and the player may not use his/her hands. To win the player must have all 5 paper bags on the table at the same time in 60 seconds.

Hanky panky - The player must pull all tissues out of the box using only one hand in 60 seconds.

Hangover - The player must hang hangers from a curtain rod (in a chain) in 60 seconds. Hangers may not be altered in anyway. If the hanger slides to the corner, the player must start over. In order to win, the player must hang 6 hangers so that no hook is resting in the corner of another hanger. The hangers must remain in this position for 3 seconds.

Sticky situation - The player bounces a ping pong ball on to a piece of bread that is covered in peanut butter from 15 feet away. The ball must stick to the bread. The player with the most ping pong balls sticking to the bread wins the challenge.

Nose dive - The player puts petroleum jelly on his/her nose. Then the player must pick up a cotton ball with their nose and move it from 1 bowl to another (5 feet apart) without using their hands. The player must move 5 cotton balls in 60 seconds.

Now where my SOS call comes in:
  1. Do you think these games sound fun?
  2. Do you think they are doable?
  3. Do you have any other ideas?
Thank you! and I'll make sure to take pictures to share with you all after the convention!

Pinterest and blog readers to the rescue once again. Thanks, Jane!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The barn by bryan - February 2013

Are you ready to see what he has in store for your listening pleasure this month? A little note from the Music Man to rollout the February tunes for Almost Gypsy Soul.

When the first of the month comes around, I don’t want you to think of anything else but coming to the “Almost Gypsy Soul” and see what is new on the playlist, that’s pretty much all you should be thinking about.  So, I will try not to disappoint. 
This playlist has no direction, no inspiration, no nothing, I literally pulled up Itunes and started scrolling and where the cursor stopped that’s the song that ended up on this list.
This is an experiment in procrastination, if it doesn’t work I promise I will put forth a smidge more effort next time, but for this month this is what you get.  Oh, yeah, songs, I should list the songs, here they are:
“Gunpowder and Lead”, Miranda Lambert:  Don’t mess with is woman!!
It’s hard to Kiss the Lips at Night…”  The Notorious Cherry Bombs:  That chew your ass out all day long.
Crazy Girl”, Eli Young Band:  Yes she is!
Sixgun”, Reckless Kelly:  True, true love…
Things Change”, Dwight Yoakam:  Sometimes they do…
Cry Lonely”, Cross Canadian Ragweed:  Please don’t

There it is, your February “Almost Gypsy Soul” playlist, hope you enjoy it.