Do you remember Punky Brewster? I don't really remember the whole story line, but I do remember her bad a** shoes that I eventually talked my Momma into buying for me. And then I proceeded to wear the soles off of them. I wore them everywhere and I mean everywhere.
I'm not really sure what made me think of Punky Brewster as I was trying to decide on my costume for Halloween this year, but as soon as those flashy shoes popped into my head, there was no question that Punky Brewster would be making a comeback this year! And yes, I ordered a brand new pair of quite possibly the ugliest shoes I have ever owned for my costume.


And I'll be sporting this outfit at work today and I'm well aware of the fact that I will likely be the only one dressed up.

Well here I go again, changing recipes before I've even tried them the way whoever invented them wrote them. This is supposed to use ground turkey, but I think that is really expensive and when we processed my antelope we didn't add anything to it, so its very lean! I bet its even better for you than turkey!

Click here for the recipe that I changed with the meat type and I substituted pizza sauce for spaghetti sauce that I make from a packet and tomato sauce (jar sauce is too expensive I think so I don't buy it) and I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta (hey I was unemployed for a while, cottage cheese is cheaper)....maybe I'm just cheap, no I do not think that is possible....anyway,  I think I followed the rest of the recipe.






Why anyone would paint a cedar privacy fence white.....beyond me, but I'll be the one dealing with it....next year! In the meantime we did a little work on Tylie's Oasis. This is where she hangs out all day while I'm working. The picture above it what it looks like when we moved in, then we went to this.....and let me tell  you, not by choice.


This is what our yard looked like after the accidental basement swimming pool installation of 2011. BOO! The water line into my house was leaking/broke and left me with a swimming pool rather than a bedroom and bathroom......a week before Christmas, it was a great Christmas gift let me tell ya.


I have very little outside space, but because I'm shut my TV off for the summer, I decided it was high time to spruce up the ole' backyard so there was an awesome space to hangout during the summer and maybe even invite some folks over for some BBQ time!


Grab the button (at the bottom of my page), link up and share what feeds your soul!

This week so many things feed my soul. The fact that we live in a free country, thanks to so many who have sacrificed so much. Friends that really come through. Friends of friends that come through. Thankfulness, gratefulness, honesty, creativity, love, kiddos and Duck Dynasty!


We are thankful for the many, many soldiers past, present and future that selflessly serve our great country and protect our freedoms, and that's a fact, JACK! After the initial Duck Dynasty edition of Letters to a Solider, I received a request for DD care packages for a whole unit that had been deployed. I was a little nervous about "adopting" a whole unit, even if is only for one project, so I "enlisted" a bunch of friends to help me. I knew I had good friends, but this Operation Duck Dynasty proved to me that not only do I have good great friends, but the friends of my friends are great!

I want to give a HUGE shoutout to everyone who helped me with this project, some are fellow bloggers, check 'em out! Some aren't so you won't have a chance to stalk them without being too creepy (better wear your camo!) Thank you, thank you, thank you to Football Fan, Alaskan Mom, Prairie Princess, Oklahoma Girl, Taco Bell Date, Super Mom, Pit Crew Momma, Music Man, Little Sister, FSA Dee. Everyone donated items, money, and time to this project. They crafted, they shopped, they wrote letters, they are awesome! We even had one kiddo use this for one of his community service projects for his 4-H club. I cannot express how much I appreciate each person and all the help that they gave to make this project become a reality.

So what flew overseas this time?


We tried to put quotes on everything because, well lets be honest, those one liners are what makes Duck Dynasty so incredibly awesome! So we have:
  • Uncle Si's tea glass w/ sweet tea - "Help me, I falled and dropped my tea!" Si
  • Donuts - "Hey! the difference between hot and cold donuts, I can eat 6 cold ones and 48 hot ones, that's the difference" Si
  • Duck Dynasty t-shirt - "Do we look like beauty contestants to you?" Si
  • Beards - "Fear the Beard"
  • Nerf guns - " Redneck law. Must have gun. Must shoot regularly." Willie
  • Rubber ducks - "Ducks are like women, they don't like mud on their butts." Phil
  • And of course each soldier had a personalized letter waiting for them

  • Shotgun shells filled with goodies -  "Where I live, I am 911" Phil
  • Acorn snacks - " Squirrel brains, that's where you get your smarts" Miss Kay
  •  Let's Go Fishin' Game - "Better a days catch of fish than a lifetime of crabs" Phil
  • Go Fish and playing cards - "I'm fixin' to old school you boys" Si
  • Summer sausage -  "Forget the chicken and steak, squirrel, duck or gumbo, I'm telling ya, ya can't go wrong" Jep
  • and we can't forget a bunch of other snacks and goodies to tide them over between MREs

 [Linking up with Julia at Black Tag Diaries for Thankful Thursdays]
Thankful Thursdays Button
Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there.  ~Amy Li
This month's far-away friend(s) are none other than my Sisters, Assistant Pack Leader and Little Sister.
Throwback
As much as we can get on each other's nerves, it never fails when we really need something we are always there for each other. And I really don't think anything will ever change that. There has been laughter, tears, jokes, hugs, sleepovers, travel, hours on the phone....you know the drill.

And we are stylish too!


But no matter what, through good times and bad, these two are my best friends. No one understands anything one of the rest of us is going through better than us!



**Don't forget to come back to Almost Gypsy Soul tomorrow and link-up for Soul Food Friday! Share with the world (its a small world) what feeds your soul**


When I was in college I worked at Waunita Hot Springs Ranch each summer. Every Tuesday morning was the Breakfast Ride where we would take trail rides to a spot up in the aspens and pine trees and a hot, yummy breakfast would be cooking in the temporary outdoor kitchen.
Photo via Gordon Patton Photography

Rod cooking bacon, celebrated his 85th birthday this summer.
Every Tuesday, local cowboy poet, John Nelson would perform for guests and employees alike. One of my favorites that he would do is Reincarnation by Wallace McRae.

Photo via Gordon Patton Photography

REINCARNATION
"What does reincarnation mean?"
A cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied, "It happens when
Yer life has reached its end.
They comb yer hair, and warsh yer neck,
And clean yer fingernails,
And lay you in a padded box
Away from life's travails.

"The box and you goes in a hole,
That's been dug into the ground.
Reincarnation starts in when
Yore planted 'neath a mound.
Them clods melt down, just like yer box,
And you who is inside.
And then yore just beginnin' on
Yer transformation ride.

"In a while the grass'll grow
Upon yer rendered mound.
Till some day on yer flattened grave
A lonely flower is found.
"And say a hoss should wander by
And graze upon this flower
That once wuz you, but now's become
Yer vegetative bower.

"The posey that the hoss done ate
Up, with his other feed,
Makes bone, and fat, and muscle
Essential to the steed.
But some is left that he can't use
And so it passes through,
And finally lays upon the ground
this thing, that once wuz you.

"Then say, by chance, I wanders by
And sees this upon the ground,
And I ponders, and I wonders at,
This object that I found.
I thinks of reincarnation,
Of life and death, and such,
And come away concludin':  Slim,
You ain't changed, all that much."


What if reincarnation really was an option and one could choose what to come back as?  I'd choose an otter. Otters are fun, I feel like they play all day, plus they are cute! Even when they are eating its kinda like playing, floating around on their backs, cracking shells on rocks. I think its kinda like eating shell peanuts. I like peanuts. and otters.


Otter chillin' in the harbor in Seward, Alaska

The first Alaskan otter I saw in 2008




What would you choose to be?


Special thanks to Gordon for helping me out with Waunita pictures for this blog!

as in Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest. Of course all the holes are appropriately named Robin Hood style. This 9 hole course was really fun and pretty challenging despite there being no water hazards and only one hole that had sand traps, but don't put it down the middle of the fairway? Then you'll be wishing for water hazards.  Its a mountain course in Sardine Canyon, UT but was a pretty easy walking course....even after the 9 mile hike that Little Sister and I thought we would bust out in the am before golf. Nothin' like gettin in one last round of golf before the snow flies!



In case you can't tell because I look kinda like a boy in that hat, that is me with a sweet t-off swing with the lovely fall color in the background for your viewing pleasure. And away go my golf clubs and out comes the snowboard, because Loveland opened this week!
While I was on furlough, I splurged and drove to Logan so my baby sister could buy me dinner. We managed to stay busy all weekend and didn't spend a ton of money. Win.


Little Sister and I took the doogs for a little walk because I wanted to hike the fall colors. Unfortunately, we were probably a couple weeks late for the high colors, but the lower colors were amazing. We were about 3 miles in when we hit snow, but we made it all the way to White Pine Lake in Logan Canyon. Nine miles later, humans and dogs were tired, but it was a great hike! We celebrated with a 2,000 calorie meal at Texas Roadhouse and 9 holes of golf. Since pictures are worth 1,000 words, I'll just leave you with a few images.


*Woof* Tylie checking in for a little fact checking on the human. We walked 9 miles and my legs are short enough, I trotted alot. I feel bad for that little pain in the you know what cousin of mine.....her legs are like 2 inches long. Sometimes my human goes a little crazy, but I gotta hand it to her she's been walking me alot lately to help me lose weight with her. I mean seriously I'm like 90 in human years, I'm going to look into a wheelchair.....can I still hike with my human if I use a wheelchair? It was a really fun hike, there was lots of snow. I. LOVE. SNOW! and the lake was beautiful and the water tasted amazing! *Woof* Oh wait, the human thinks I should remind you to link up on Friday for Soul Food Friday, she says its a really good one! *Woof**Woof*


I have a lot of Brians and/or Bryans in my life so they have to have some sort of identifying adjective name. Strangely enough most of the Brian/Bryans in my life come from work, just a little side note for you there. Farm Loan Brian is funny, he's a smart ass, and he makes work enjoyable. He just so happens to be my trainer for the Farm Loan Officer Training (FLOT) program, but I usually only see him once a month.

When I walked into the office a couple weeks ago, he looks up and says "Would you like some monkey poo coffee?"......"um, what?! (He has finally lost it, on his way to the nuthouse, I thought)" And he follows with the following.....confirmed by the Google Machine I might add.

Kopi Luwak is a very expensive coffee that is made from coffee beans that are passed through the digestive system of an Indonesian animal, but it's more like a cat than a monkey. (For my purposes and gag reflex, I'll continue to say monkey....it somehow seems less repulsive to me.) Apparently, people who harvest the beans (a shitty job, if you ask me) don't really have to pick through the cat litter to get the beans. The animal processes the beans and excretes them whole, unscratched and without poo. Apparently, passing through the digestive tract gives the beans a unique flavor. No shit!

Crap-puccino anyone?

Monkey poo

by on 5:57 AM
I have a lot of Brians and/or Bryans in my life so they have to have some sort of identifying adjective name. Strangely enough most of the ...
What do you do when you have a plan to set progressive goals, except you fail after just the first month. When I started my most recent weight loss and healthy living push I set fairly lofty goals with the idea that it would keep me motivated to work hard, which I felt like I did. But then a couple weeks ago was weigh in and measure day and its pretty obvious that I didn't work hard enough. I had 2 goals and failed at both of them.

  1. Lose 10 lbs, I lost 4 = 40%
  2. Lose 10 inches, I lost 8.25 = 82.5%
For an overall percentage of 61.25% = failing. Now I'm at a loss of where to set my goals for the second month. Do I go I try to make up where I fell short this month? Do I need to be more realistic about my abilities? And just a little update.....I didn't set any goals, but I did keep going....is it too late to set goals for Phase 2 of Chalean Extreme?

Help me, help me Rhonda!
**Spoiler Alert** I'm about to throw a temper tantrum. If you don't want to read something negative, stop now **Spoiler Alert**

Debbie Downer, Negative Nancy, Pessimistic Patty, Whiney Wendy.....I hate them all however, I've become them all lately. The stress, the uncertainty, the lack of motivation, the lack of feeling of  purpose....its all piling up and I'm not really sure what to do to handle it.....How to get back to my old self....one that I like much more than the person I have become.

I want to go to work and feel productive, I want to go to work and do something....ACTION, help me here people. I want to enjoy life. I want to live life to the fullest, I want to feel a purpose. When the government shut-down on October 1, I was sent home. No work, no paycheck, no contact with my ranchers (interestingly the latter has been the hardest part, I never realized just how much I enjoy talking to these guys each week). Here we are into the third week of furlough and its really starting to eat on me. And when it rains, it pours.....more homeownership problems that will inevitably cost into the thousands happened and I cried bawled like a baby for an hour. Did it help the whole cluster that has made up my life over the last 3 weeks, no....but I felt a little better for a while.

These lyrics by Clint Ingersoll really make me reflect on my current attitude and the desire to change it. Even though he is an unsigned artist in Nashville, this kid can write! and dance!

Hey God, I think I messed me up
cuz this can't be who you meant for me to be
I been so gone for so long
I don't remember who I was
Hey God, I think I messed me up

I can feel this fire fading fast
and it won't be long before its dark and cold
whiskey flame burns brights, but there is no way it can last
I can feel this fire fading fast

Its a crazy thing to dream the blues
wish upon a star of misery
you'll kill yourself dreamin, just to die if it comes true
Its a crazy thing to dream the blues

Hey God, I think I messed me up
cuz this can't be who you meant for me to be
I been so gone for so long
I dont' remember who I was
Hey God, I think I messed me up

Hey God, I think I messed me up.

What do you do to get out of a rut? Kick the blues?
I had a table in college from I think the 50s, then I had no table for a very long time. This was all fine and dandy until I would invite people over for dinner and had no place for them to sit! As I set out on operation dining table I didn't realize just how difficult this would be. I couldn't find a single table that I liked, could afford AND fit in my house! So I decided I would just build a table, can't be that hard, I built tons of furniture in high school shop class and oooooo, think of the money I would save over buying those cheaply built, overpriced things they were selling in the stores.

What did I learn through this project?
  1. barnwood is not as easy to work with as solid oak
  2. I miss the tools that Schmidt had in shop back at ole' LHS
  3. when you think you might save money by doing it yourself....you probably won't
  4. I will name this the procrastination table.......I built it in a day, then proceeded to take a year to finish it.
excuse my awesome photography skills and the blurriness




I thought I'd have about $100 worth of epoxy on the top......$300+ dollars later, its not what I had in my mind, but I do REALLY like it! Best part? My dinner guests have a table to eat off of.....still looking for the perfect chairs to really be able to call it a complete dining set (I need 2 more). Its even been the place of the partial family Thanksgiving dinner!
We all spend too much time on FB, that is correct, I'm including you in this we.....I don't want to be alone so I automatically group everyone into the "too much time on FB" group. Sorry if I offend. I recently "liked" American Cattlemen on FB because of this photo that was shared on my newsfeed.



If you don't think this photo is awesome, well then we just probably can't be friends anymore. So anyway, I had to like American Cattlemen on FB after this photo and now my newsfeed is filled with awesome ag pictures all day......and I love it! There sure are a lot of talented ag folks out there!!! I've included a few of my favorites from stalking browsing the American Cattlemen page. Obviously I didn't take any of these and have done my best to give credit to the photographer. All of the pics are from the American Cattlemen FB page from followers. I look forward to seeing new pictures posted to their page each day....it just might be the Pinterest of Facebook.

Photo by Candi Grubbs

Photo by Susan Williams
Photo by J Lazy S Ranch
 
   


Well, if you have watched the news at all since the beginning of October you know that I have ALOT of time to watch the news. I am was a federal employee with the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA), who now has to figure out how to spend my days without spending money while Congress continues to not talk to each other about the horrible situation that America has realized.

BUT what you probably haven't seen on the news is the awful devastation that South Dakota farmers and ranchers are still trying to assess. Early reports estimate regional cattle losses to be about 5%, with some ranchers losing 20-50% of their herd. Do you know what this means for these guys? It could be the end of their ranch without help. And where should help be coming from? Well normally that would be a task that FSA would be charged with, except we are all at home on furlough and Congress has once again failed to enact a Farm Bill that would contain disaster programs to assist ranchers in times of severe disaster.

As many as 75,000 head of cattle perished in the unusually early and harsh storm. I've seen comments that the ranchers were negligent and committed animal abuse, which makes me want to slap someone, hard! and then kick them in the shin and hope they stub their toe! With over 4 feet of snow and 60 mph winds, its impossible to keep herds together. The cattle head to draws (low lying areas of pastures) to seek refuge from the wind and blowing snow, but when the draws start to fill with drifting snow, the cattle must leave the protection and face freezing temperatures, fierce winds and blowing snow or stay and eventually suffocate as they are covered with drifting snow. The animals become disoriented, lose their calves and become stuck in drifts, fences, ditches etc. Let me be clear this is NOT the fault of the ranchers and it breaks no one's heart more than the rancher and his/her family to see the aftermath of a storm like this. Mother Nature and agriculture is a great life, but it can be ugly and harsh.

Hope Sickler of Real American Cowboy Magazine wrote an amazing special report, Hell Strikes South Dakota - The Perfect Storm, for this under documented storm and true natural disaster. Please, please take time to read about the conditions that western South Dakota ranchers work under and to read the heartbreaking stories of those directly affected by this horrific storm.

Photo via Rapid City Journal

Photo via Rapid City Journal

But one thing that we can be sure of. South Dakota will pull together, pick themselves up and move on the best they can. The rest of the agriculture community throughout America will be there to embrace around them offering any support and prayers that they can. I urge you to do the same.


Links:
Tri-State Livestock News
Rapid City Journal
Beef Magazine
Real American Cowboy Search for "The Perfect Storm"
Its no secret that I like to travel and one of the best inventions ever was not really designed for traveling ease. Yes, of course I am talking about the shower loof-ah. Seriously, packing a wet loof-ah, not this girl, so I give it up in favor of the forefather of bathing accessories, the wash cloth.


And that makes the first shower, after returning to the "real world" oh so much sweeter.

Scrub-a-dub-dub

by on 5:00 AM
Its no secret that I like to travel and one of the best inventions ever was not really designed for traveling ease. Yes, of course I am talk...




This edition of Sweetwater Series is a little bit different because its not a place that can be seen anytime. The Green River Rec Department is the sponsor or co-sponsor of so many cool events for the area. The Green River Arts Council has been putting on the Painting with a Twist event for 2 years now. I think its great that the Rec Department and Arts Council works so hard to bring fun events to the area!


I never win anything, except this one time where I won a free registration to Painting with a Twist! And my artistic background consists of Art101 as an undergrad, the course title happens to be Studio Art for the Non-Artist.

BUT, Painting with a Twist can make an artist out of anyone! Maybe its the wine, maybe its the super cool instructors, maybe its the yummy food, maybe its the wine. Either way, its a really fun time!


Look at that masterpiece!

I win

by on 5:00 AM
This edition of Sweetwater Series is a little bit different because its not a place that can be seen anytime. The Green River Rec Depa...


When I tell people I work for the Farm Service Agency, I either get a knowing nod like "oh you are one of those government employees" or I get a "what do you actually do?".

I've started leading off with working for the US Department of Agriculture because most people have actually heard of that that. We are a small agency within USDA that administers the farm subsidy, disaster and some insurance programs of the Farm Bill. The farm bill is made up of 15 different titles addressing different areas. The 15 titles or parts of the Farm Bill are, the ones that are bolded are the only ones that I directly work with through FSA.
  1. Commodity - provides income support to growers of select commodities
  2. Conservation - provides funding for farm environmental stewardship thought programs that improve management practices, retire less productive land and protect natural resources
  3. Agricultural Trade & Food Aid - funds US agriculture export and international food assistance programs and various WTO obligations
  4. Nutrition - covers domestic food, nutrition and commodity distribution programs such as food stamps and supplemental nutrition assistance as well as purchases of fresh fruit and vegetables in schools and expanded programs for farmers markets and urban gardens.
  5. Farm Credit - offers direct and guaranteed loan program to farmers via 2 government related farm lenders the USDA Farm Service Agency and the Farm Credit System.
  6. Rural Development - funds rural development loan and gran programs, the expansion of rural broadband, water infrastructure and promotes locally produced ag food products
  7. Research - supports agricultural research and extension programs, including bio security and response, biotechnology and organic production
  8. Forestry - fund USDA Forest Service programs that protects forests from threats, restore forests damaged by natural disasters and enhance public benefits from private forests.
  9. Energy - supports the development of bio fuels refineries and research; helps farmers, ranchers and rural small businesses purchase renewable energy systems
  10. Horticulture & Organic Agriculture - encourages the production and consumption of organic agriculture commodities
  11. Livestock - addresses livestock disease prevention and food safety concerns and enhances electronic mandatory livestock reporting
  12. Crop Insurance & Disaster Assistance - protects farmers from risks associated with adverse weather, weather related plant disease and insect infestation
  13. Commodity Futures - covers re-authorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, an independent agency that regulates commodity futures trading in the US
  14. Miscellaneous - expands programs to assist limited resource and socially disadvantaged farmers and addresses rural development, agricultural labor supply and animal welfare.
  15. Trade & Taxes - introduces numerous tax provisions affection conservation and commodity program payments, timber investment, bio fuel production and agricultural income.
Officially called 2008 Food, Conservation and Energy Act and dubbed the Farm Bill, although a very small percentage of the total bill actually goes to farmers and ranchers. See the graph shows that a majority, nearly 80% of the $ goes to food/nutrition for the food stamp program. There are several of these representations floating around, all varying slightly in specific numbers, however the disproportionate amounts are generally the same.


Some folks don't like the idea of a Farm Bill as in subsidies to farmers or farmer welfare as some would call it. In the case of many of the folks that I work with, we are used as a last resort, the final safety net in times of disaster. Even the graph shows that the farmers and ranchers aren't living high on the hog government payments. The face of the farm part of the Farm Bill has evolved over the years, moving towards a risk management tool, a final safety net rather than direct subsidies.

Nearly all FSA programs require the farmer or rancher to carry insurance on their crops to be eligible for disaster payment assistance. For example, the biggest program that I administer is called Non-insurable Assistance Program (NAP). It is an insurance program for crops that are not covered by traditional crop insurance. Producers are required to pay a fee, an insurance premium, for coverage. If they lose more than 50% of their crop, they then qualify for payment of 55% on the difference of loss and 50%. In other words, if they lose 60% of their crop, their payment will equal 55% of 10% or a total 5.5% of expected income. Could you make it on 5.5% of your normal paycheck? Luckily, most farmers and ranchers have more than one type of crop to help absorb some of the risk of disaster, but in a climate of high input costs it makes it harder and harder to absorb losses of any size.





While subsidies may not be ideal, I think its important to realize that they are needed, in a safety net design. We need American agriculture to remain strong, through good times and bad times because we sure don't want to be dependent on other nations for our food supply. While some media would lead you to believe that all farmers and ranchers are getting rich on subsidies, I'm here to tell you don't believe all that you read. In fact yesterday I just heard on the news the following quotes 1) "We have the USDA who just makes payments to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)" and 2) " The Department of Agriculture, why do we need them, farming just happens". Farming won't just "happen" without risk management options available to assist and protect farmers and ranchers during tough times.



And my final question to you...Would you rather your tax dollar go to subsidize a hardworking farmer or rancher, working to provide a safe, affordable food supply who has fallen on hard times through weather related disaster or would you rather your tax dollar go to a growing food stamp program.

With years of political uncertainty and fiscal uproar, the country as a whole and the agriculture world is facing looming deadlines. Current ag legislation expired September 30 and there isn't an appropriations (budgets, money) or a passable Farm Bill in sight to provide a safety net for American agriculture. The longer the government shutdown lingers on the more and more impact it will have on Americans.

Yep, that's right, I've returned to relying on  my Junior High volleyball skills to get me through old folks' volleyball league. Its still not that hard to get down on the floor, but possibly slightly harder to get up than I remember from 20 10 years ago. What! I'm not old enough to say anything "20 years ago...." I just can't. nope. not. possible.

We are the fun team that is mediocre, we have our bright shiny moments often followed by "are you a JH volleyball team" moments. Personally I think we are just saving it up for the tournament, but think what you will.

We play every Sunday during "season", usually back to back games because we are tough like that. Little Sister was in town last week so we talked her into playing on our team even though she has never played vb before. Of course she was good.

Anyway, sorry for the lame pictureless post, disappointing I know, but we usually don't even have a full team much less an extra to play photographer. I guess just use your imagination. And when you do can you picture me as one of those thin girls that can jump really high? Thanks.
Last weekend, Little Sister and I ran down to Ft. Collins to celebrate a wedding with some old friends. Mike met us there and we had a great time!

Before the wedding festivites started we picked up Little Sister's +1 in Laramie, one of her friends from her college softball days. Then we hit up David's Bridal to find me a bridesmaid dress for Little Sister's wedding that is coming up in February. Here is what I'll be sporting in the dead of winter while Little Sister and Little Sister's Boyfriend (I think he needs a new blog name) get hitched, only mine is in coral.


Then we tried lunch at Beau Jo's Pizza, only to find that it had been closed, only to find later that it had really only moved a block or so away. We ended up eating at a brewery in Old Town, which was delicious and had beer so I thought it was a win anyway.

Then we were off to the wedding venue. The wedding took place at the bride's parent's house. It was so pretty and an absolutely beautiful day. It was 25 degrees when we left Wyoming that morning and nearly 70 for the outdoor ceremony. Congratulations to Mick and Kendra! and yes another epic fail on the pictures so I stole these off of Mick's Facebook. I'm responsible like that.



#betterthanamacdouble #skinnymightnotbesobad #dietdoesnthavetobeawful

This recipe is yummy! like really yummy. and super easy, I think it maybe took 15 minutes from beginning to the first forkful. I got the recipe from Zahlmann Zoo Crew blog and I didn't even change it, I actually followed a recipe, that is pretty good.

Just over 5 years ago I started working for the federal government, where I signed on for the job with thoughts of proving the "typical government worker" stereo type wrong, I wanted to be different, I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to help people, particularly agriculture people. Never once did I ever think that in just 5 years at the ancient age of 30 that I would be unemployed and not receiving unemployment checks. Yet here we are.

I would like to extend my gracious thanks to both the President and all Democrats and Republicans of Congress. I am extremely disappointed in the blinders and pettiness that is rampant in Washington with little regard to how your selfishness affects ordinary American citizens who want to do good, who want to go to work (most days) who want to help and serve other Americans. I sincerely hope that you all can make your mortgage payments, pay your bills and afford to go to the grocery store because there are thousands more who will struggle to do these things the longer you decide to not negotiate and compromise. All the voters who chose you to represent them, I'm sure that is what they would want, you to act like 2 year olds. Throwing fits that you don't the the exact toy that you want to play with and instead of picking another toy that looks similar, you are sitting in the corner throwing a fit. I know I didn't vote to sit on my ass at home, not earning a paycheck.

Do I think that something must be done? That America can't continue to spend outside its means. YES.YES.YES! Do I think that this should be done on the backs of thousands of federal employees by essentially unemploying thousands more? NO.NO.NO. And I really believe I would feel this way even if I didn't used to be employed by the federal government.

So I always thought I would be good at retirement and I thought maybe this unexpected unemployment might be a good trial run, however I quickly realized that everything that I thought I would do in retirement costs money and when you have no idea when the next time you will receive a paycheck......that.is.a.MAJOR.problem. And so what does an unemployed federal employee do all day?

Catch supper of course....after all the fishing license is already paid for and groceries aren't free these days!