Has anything changed at your home? Especially if you have children, I am assuming it has! It has been amazing to me to see what my parent friends and my teacher friends are doing to keep my favorite population engaged, learning, healthy, and happy. Cheers to you!!!
I have been trying to think of things that will bring a smile and possibly be helpful to others during this time of Covid. My first idea was to make posters of a friendly greeting to have in the window as people walked by. (On a side note....I have really noticed who in my neighborhood has a gym membership, because all of a sudden, they are playing with their dogs outside.)
The weather turned cold at the same time and limited the number of people getting out, so I only got to isolation play with one person this way. I'm not a quitter, though, and I already did the work, so.... I texted it and messaged it to many friends, especially if I knew they were having some trouble with isolation or have a stressful job or even if I was just missing them extra.
Next, I am participating in the "Going on a Bear Hunt" walk. Have you heard of it? People put stuffed bears somewhere on their porch or in their window and then families go for a walk looking for them. My bear has a little homemade medical mask to keep the germs out. He also shares another important message. "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" haha, oh, yes, I have been isolated too long!
Today, I am going to pick up material that has been prewashed, cut, and ironed to make reusable medical masks for area heath care workers and community service heroes. I am really excited about this one (I would sew all the time if the material came prewashed, cut, and ironed). I think this kind of thing is happening all over the country. If you'd like to find something similar, the FB group I found was called Medical Masks for Bozeman. The video instructions are here: You Tube Medical Mask Tutorial
Note: I purchased a heater filter that had allergen, bacteria, and virus filtering properties to cut up and place inside the masks that I made for us. I believe that place that the masks are being donated to have their own filters.
I really want to know what you are doing to stay occupied!!! Leave a comment below!
We just celebrated our 9th anniversary!.....in self isolation....in the middle of a kitchen remodel (in other words - without a kitchen). That is really how our entire marriage has been - a big project, a big illness, or a big quandary that has made it just a bit harder to manage an easy celebration. That is okay, though, because we are tough and we love each other enough that these obstacles just make everything even more special.
So this year, Pinterest was my best friend. Everything needed to be cooked in a small kitchen appliance so I referred to all of the amazing posters for help with this task. My final menu was:
Next is my husbands all time favorite - baked potatoes. Actually, he LOVES any kind of potato far about noodles or rice, so we usually find some kind of potato on our dinner table. I chose an air fryer for the first time to bake the potatoes. I was a little scared that they wouldn't cook all the way, because the potatoes were huge! So - I started early, in case I had to do something different in time for dinner. My air fryer is small, so I could only cook two giant potatoes, and the timer only goes to 30 minutes, so I had to turn it on again when the timer rang.
The potatoes came out nice and crispy on the outside. I learned to throw the potato on the counter to get it all fluffy in the inside from Martha Stewart on tv last week. Must say, that worked great!
Because I had cooked the potatoes so early on the day, I need to keep them warm until dinner, so I wrapped them in foil and put them on warm in the crock pot. This word really well, except that the outer skin was no longer crispy at dinner time. I used this recipe: https://www.simplymaderecipes.com/air-fryer-baked-potatoes/
The final dinner dish is one of my favorites (I don't think so much one of Craig's but hey, this dinner is for my anniversary, too! I fried up 5 pieces of hickory smoked bacon and set aside to cool. Then steamed on 16 oz package frozen broccoli, also setting aside to cool. I chopped 5 green onions with the tops, and shredded one carrot. I put everything so far into one bowl, then added 1 snack box of raisins and 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, I whipped together one cup mayo and 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar and mixed into the broccoli mixture. I wrapped with saran wrap and put in the refrigerator until dinner to cool.
For dessert, I made a kitchen-less version of my husbands favorite pie - Apple, which was Apple Crisp in a Cup with this recipe here: https://www.aheadofthyme.com/individual-apple-crisp/
It tasted wonderful, if I do say so myself, although next time, I will not put in a mug, but use a ramekin so it doesn't look smaller that it is!
I'm not going to lie - the gifts are my favorite part! Craig got me some new photo equipment that I've been wanting and then out did himself with flowers and lotion and even Chokecherry Syrup!! I got him pottery for our 9th Anniversary gift. I got these mugs for $14 each at the best little store in Three Forks - https://www.threeforksfloral.com/ I had been looking for a long time and couldn't believe the bargain!
I really appreciate businesses doing what they can to make this time easier for us. When I found out that I could rent The Invisible Man on the night it was supposed to open in theaters, I was beyond grateful for having something besides dinner to make the evening special for our anniversary. I will say that I enjoyed seeing the movie the first day it was available, but (laughing), it wasn't very romantic lol!
I have been obsessed with coasters for a while now. Specifically, the agate stone look alike ones made of resin. I've spent months planning on exactly how I would make mine - from making the mold to whether I would paint or copper tape the edges. Then I realized that I could buy the agates less expensively than I could make fake ones and had to quickly come up with a new plan to keep my mind occupied. (until I buy some agates, lol).
I had everything I needed - except the tiles - so after a quick run to Home Depot, I was ready to start.
I propped my tiles on go cups so the paint could drip off.
I poured alcohol over a tile, then dripped alcohol ink randomly over the tile in what ever colors I was liking at the moment. Then I turned on the hair dryer and blew the ink around. Here are the results.
After they dried overnight, I sprayed them with clear gloss spay paint and let them dry overnight again. Then I put on these cute cork stickers so they wouldn't scratch furniture.
And then they were ready! I still am going to get some agates and turn into coasters, but I am really happy with these right now. I am looking forward to experimenting with different colors and giving as gifts, too. After all, I can't be the only person with a coaster obsession.
Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held every year on March 17th - the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (AD 385 – 461). He was the foremost patron saint of Ireland. And I’ll use any excuse to celebrate. Although I don’t like corned beef, so we will always find something different.
This year I wanted a sign to put a little pep in my step and up the ante for celebrating. We are demolishing our kitchen, so I took a cabinet and painted it with green chalk paint.
Then I looked through Pinterest to find my favorite Irish saying.
It needed a little more pazazz, so I added some 4 leaf clovers and a pot of gold, and that is where I am calling it good. A little bit of Irish cheer in a disaster zone house! Be looking forward to our Bangers and Mash menu. It should be exciting with no stove. Can’t wait to see how the recipe turns out! - Stay Tuned!!
What are you doing to celebrate?
I received my first piece of Yogo Sapphire jewelry for Christmas and I love it!! My necklace has unfinished stones, but I enjoy the muted color. The necklace can go with just about anything. I appreciate that the Yogo is unique to Montana and so highly valued. Oh, and I ADORE the jewelry store it came from. If you are ever in Bozeman, Montana, check out Miller’s Jewelry – or you can see them online at https://montanayogos.com/
The following information was found at https://montanagems.net/yogo-sapphires/
Sapphires were first discovered in Montana in 1865, in the gravel along the Missouri River. Finds in other locations in the western half of the state occurred up to 1892, and 1894. Yogo sapphires were not recognized or valued at first. Gold was discovered at Yogo Creek in 1866, and though “blue pebbles” were noticed alongside gold in the stream gravel by 1878. It was not until 1894 that the “blue pebbles” were recognized as sapphires. Yogo sapphire mining began in 1895 after a local rancher named Jake Hoover sent a cigar box of gemstones he had collected to an assay office. The assay office then sent them to Tiffany’s in New York, where an appraiser pronounced them “the finest precious gemstones ever found in the United States”. Tiffany’s fell in love with the Montana gemstone and is still a large retailer of the beautiful Yogo sapphires today. Hoover then purchased the location of the original mother lode from a sheepherder, later selling it off to other investors. This became the highly profitable “English Mine”, which flourished from 1899 until early 1920. A second operation, the “American Mine”, was owned by a series of investors in the western section of the Yogo dike. This yogo sapphire mine was less profitable and was bought out by the syndicate that owned the English Mine. In 1984, the Vortex mine opened and found montana yogo sapphires to be gemmy and plentiful. Unlike the gem mountain sapphire mine, these gems didn’t need heat treating for color and clarity reasons. Yogo sapphire mine Lewistown Montana was on a few miners bucket lists.
Jewelry containing Yogo sapphire was given to First Ladies Bess Truman and Florence Harding. First lady Florence Harding was given an “all Montana” ring made from a Yogo sapphire and Montana gold. In 1952, President Harry Truman had received cut yogo’s along with his wife Bess, and their daughter Margret from a yogo mine owner. Many Yogo’s were also sold in Europe, as some Yogo mining was conducted by British interests. Montana yogo sapphires may have been in the personal collections of some members of the British royal family in the 1910’s. Yogo sapphire appeared in the personal gem collections of the Duchess of York, Princess Mary and Queen Victoria of England. Historian’s also believe that montana yogo sapphires, possibly misrepresented as oriental sapphire, were used for the British Royal Crown Jewel Collection. Promotional claims that Yogo’s are in any of the crown jewels of England cannot be conclusively proven or disproven. Claims that the gemstone in the engagement ring of Lady Diana and Kate Middleton is a Yogo sapphire are suspicious; the gem is thought to be of Sri Lankan origin. The story that the gem is a Yogo can be traced to a Los Angles Times article that described the ring as a 9-carat montana sapphire, and quoted Intergem president Dennis Brown’s claim that the gemstone may have come from a British-owned Yogo mine.
What do you do when your friend asks if you want to go feed a baby cow? I get very excited and jump in the car, drive up the mountain and find that calf a bottle!
It turns out that we are not supposed to make friends with the calf. But I don't care. I had fun and I love all babies!
I am a recently retired small town librarian living the dream in Montana in my boujee yet redneck kind of way. Married to a mining engineer and mother to two wonderful young men.