Friday, March 29, 2013

Horse Siblings

Horses are funny about their relationship with each other.  Joe and Jasper get along okay, but Joe is constantly harassing Jasper just a little.  Sometimes they stand nicely by each other.

Sometimes, out of the blue, Joe starts baring his teeth.

Not unlike my children, and children all over the world.

And then they return to being buddies again.  Until next time.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Horse Noses

Horse noses.

They're irresistibly soft.

And velvety.

And I love them.

Just thought I'd share.

And, have you smelled a horse, lately?  I know - silly question, but next time you have the chance, give a horse a little sniff.  You'd be surprised how pleasant they smell - warm and sweet and sweaty.  But maybe you have to be a horse lover to appreciate their aroma!

But, I'm also a dog lover and I rarely love the smell of my dog!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Horse Therapy

The horses happened to all be standing around the watering trough when I went to fill it after work yesterday.  I couldn't resist running in the house to get my camera and capturing some pictures of their beautiful faces in the sunshine.  All while still in my work clothes.  I made them promise not to get me dirty.

Horses have got to be the best form of therapy.  And taking pictures.  And taking pictures of horses.

They give me such joy.

And this morning I started playing around with a website called  It's similar to the instagram app lots of people use on their cellphones.

I never knew what the big deal was with instagram, but it's mysteriously addictive.  You can play around with these different "filters" on your picture and add polaroid-like frames.

I thought I would like this picture when I took it, but I wasn't so crazy when I saw it.  It needed something....

A little cropping, some black and white....

Or maybe just more "pop" of color.  I couldn't decided between the two, so I saved them both.  Gotta love digital photography!

And horse therapy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Nicole made us waffles the other day and decided she also wanted to make homemade orange juice.  Of course, I only had three oranges, so I knew she wouldn't get much juice, but I didn't want to rain on her parade.

She squeezed those oranges for all she was worth.

She even strained the pulp.

But she was more than a little disappointed in the quantity of juice she ended up with.

Always the fair one, she divide the juice into five glasses.  We each had about four (small) swallows.  But, I have to tell you it was de-lic-ious!  I can't remember the last time I had fresh squeezed OJ.  Nicole also made some frozen concentrate OJ, but she didn't like it very much after experiencing fresh orange juice!

Monday, March 25, 2013


My beautiful grandma on her wedding day in 1938.
Mary Ellen Mangini
September 7, 1917- March 22, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Almost Spring

 Nicole and I went out and gave the horses their first real workout of the year.

She got to use her fun new saddle pad that grandma gave her for Christmas.

The horses were very good.  It felt great to get outside and enjoy the warm-almost-springlike air.  My old man (he's 19 now) was really huffing and puffing after climbing a steep hill, but he did great.  I wouldn't want to walk up that hill, so it's hardly fair I make him do it, but like I always tell the kids, life isn't fair!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mary Mangini

This dear woman died this morning at 2:00 a.m.  She was my grandmother, and she was one-of-a-kind.  Full of life for 95 years.  She'd been declining for several months, so her passing was no surprise, but somehow that doesn't make saying goodbye any easier, does it?

She is now happily reunited with her husband who died 23 years ago and my father who left us 18 years ago.  Ellea pointed out that she also gets to see all the dogs she had before this one.  :)

I love you, Grandma Mary.  You will be sorely missed.

Shooting Range

One of the coolest features of the Cabella's store we went to is the "shooting range" in the store.  For only 50 cents, you can test your skill with 20 shots at these targets scattered around a scene.  Shoot the target by the bush and a black bear growls and rises up behind the bush.  Shoot the target by the campfire and the fire glows.  You get the idea.

The lighting was awful and I was again wishing I had my good camera!

All of us had a turn.  It was pretty entertaining for fifty cents!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Wild Animals

We saw a moose while we were in Spokane.  Up close and personal....

Granted it was inside the HUGE Cabella's store.  It's a 125,000-square-feet and we'd heard for years how cool it is and decided it was time to go check it out.

They have some pretty amazing displays all throughout the store.  And yes, they're all "real" animals.

And the best part?  It's free!

They even have a big aquarium with all kinds of fish (trout, catfish, etc).   This is us in front of the aquarium, but all you can see is the reflection off the glass.  Darn cell phone camera.  I was tempted to bring in my nice camera, but it seemed odd to be packing around a big camera like some tourist!  I've gotta invest in a small point and shoot that I can slip into my purse!

Morgan was especially interested in Cabella's.  Who needs a mall?  He even came away with a Cabella's hat.  Just what he needed, another hat!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Red Robin....... YUM!

We did a little more shopping on the Sunday of our little family trip to Spokane and hooked up with niece Shari.  She treated us to a yummy lunch at Red Robin and then we went to see her brand new house she just moved into to.

I usually take pictures of my beautiful drinks, but this is what Nicole and Ellea had.  It was a tasty raspberry lemonade.

And my chicken sandwich (with bacon and guacamole) was so good.  And you can't forget the "bottomless" fries.  I just wish my stomach was bottomless - I couldn't hardly eat any more than I was served!  It was probably a good thing I didn't try, but when they say "all-you-can-eat," I want my money's worth!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

First Practice

Today is the first day of track practice!  Glenn is the junior high coach, and boy is he excited!

It's especially exciting because he's managed to talk Nicole into taking track!  He tried to cajole her into it last year, but she wasn't having it.  I was thinking he wasn't going to get through to her this year either, but somehow he did.  She's kind of excited about it even.  Here she is trying on track shoes in Spokane.  The pair she ended up picking is a crazy-beautiful hot pink and purple.  Trust me, you'll see pictures.

Monday, March 18, 2013


We took an impromptu trip to Spokane over the weekend to do some shopping for Easter outfits, stay in a motel with a pool and just have a little mini-family-vacation.  It was fun.

After a few hours of shopping at the mall (Glenn and Morgan found other things to do, and were very patient with the three women in their lives!), we were hungry.  There was a "Longhorn Barbecue  near our motel so we gave it a try.  It was very yummy.

Morgan even loved his meal.  This boy is painfully picky and usually doesn't enjoy restaurant fare all that much.  One of his new favorites is french dip sandwiches, so he was thrilled with the waitress for making the bbq beef sandwich on the kids menu into a french dip!

Nicole and I fully enjoyed our food, too.  Chicken wings for her and a delish pulled pork sandwich and baked potato with butter, cheese, chives and real bacon for me.

Ellea wanted ribs, and enjoyed them, despite their messiness!

And Glenn's a steak-and-potatoes kinda guy so he enjoyed his big rib eye steak and baked potato with all the trimmings!  We left there stuffed and happy and ready to go enjoy the pool at our motel.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chop Sticks

The food at the Japanese steakhouse was pretty yummy.  Hard to mess up filet mignon and grilled shrimp!

I apparently impressed my companions by using chop sticks.  I don't have wonderful chop stick skills, but I manage.

At the end of our chef's "show," he threw a piece of shrimp at us and we were supposed to catch it in our mouths.  No pressure there!  I had my doubts of my ability in this skill area, but I was game.

Check it out.  Poor Glenn thought he was video taping Becky to my left so you can barely see me, but you get the idea....

Try this link, if the video still isn't showing up...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Early Birthday

Our first big stop in Boise was to eat dinner at a Japanese Steakhouse.  You know, the places where there's a guy standing at a grill in front of you making your dinner?  I've always wanted to eat at one of those restaurants, but never had.  Here was my chance.

For some reason our funny little chef (Tony the Tiger was his name!), asked if anyone had a birthday.  It was decided that mine was the soonest (but not until May!) and he entertained us with a little flaming birthday "cake."

Those are onion rings.  Impressive, eh?  See if you can't decipher what name he uses in the happy birthday song.  He seemed stumped by the name Loretta.  We said he could call me Retta or Lori.  I think he says "Nora."  I'm good with that, too.

(Here's the link if video won't load.)

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Glenn and I had a little getaway to Boise early this week.  I had a business meeting on Monday, so he graciously agreed to tag along so we could could have a couple days away together.  It was delightful.  Ellea was a little bent out of shape that we weren't making it a family getaway, but someday she'll understand.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I'd heard of making colored sugar with food coloring before, but had never actually tried it.  We needed some colored sugar for our Angry Bird cake.  The suggestion I found online was to shake the sugar and food coloring together in a small jar.

I took a small amount of sugar (maybe 1/4 cup) and two drops of food coloring, and gave it a good shake.  I was skeptical that the food coloring would incorporate evenly.

It was an amazing transformation.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but was fully satisfied with the results.  My family was especially impressed with my new-found sugar transformation powers.  I just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Last Game

Ellea's 6th grade team played their final game of basketball this season over the weekend.  They participated in a tournament in Grangeville.  Glenn split his team of 14 girls into two teams so they could get more playing time.  That meant that he coached 6 games instead of 3 over a 24 hour period.  I wasn't too surprised when he went to bed at 8:30 that night!

They played three tough teams, but they played their hardest.

Poor Ellea was stuck guarding this girl who towered over her and outweighed her by a lot.  She plays like a bit of a brute which annoyed Ellea greatly, but inspired her to play what Glenn thought was her best defensive game ever.

Don't they make a nice pair?  I wish I'd snapped a picture of one of the many times Ellea was physically pushing into her, but this will have to do.  Good job, Ellea.  You played a great year of basketball.  It's been fun to watch you learn and grow under your daddy's coaching.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Little Wolf

The Blue and Gold banquet was a big success.  Morgan was awarded his "wolf" badge for completing all the requirements for the year.  Next year, he'll be a "bear" cub scout.

Part of the ceremony is for him to pin a wolf pin on one of his parents.  Don't worry, he didn't even poke me.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cake Bosses

 Morgan has enjoyed being a Cub Scout this year.  They had their annual "Blue and Gold Banquet" last night, and apparently, it's tradition that the Scout and his dad make a cake.  Not just any cake, mind you, but a cake decorated to fill the suggested theme which this year was "Angry Birds."

You might be surprised to find out that Glenn doesn't make very many cakes.  Not only that, but he doesn't frost too many either, let alone decorate them to fit a theme!  He wasn't overly excited about his assignment.

But, being the good daddy he is, he bucked up and did it anyway.

He was more than a little frustrated with me that I was sticking with the idea of it being a father/son project.  I  looked up some ideas on the internet, but was hoping for a little more mom-participation.

I did break down and offer a little guidance, but mostly it was the boys.  (And they let Ellea help a little too, 'cause she thought it looked pretty fun!)

This guy is quite the cake decorator now!  I love a man who can find his way around a pastry bag (or a redneck pastry bag - a Ziploc with a hole snipped in the corner).

Morgan wanted a turn, too.

Look at their handiwork!   And it was surprisingly easy.  I found the idea here.  You simply frost a marshmallow and roll it in colored sugar.  The noses are from a candy corn and attached with white frosting. And, voila - you have an adorable angry bird.

And where there are Angry Birds, there are little green pigs!  (In case you need an Angry Bird education:  this video game is about birds who are protecting their eggs from these little green piggies.  Now you know.)

These boys were very proud of their final product.  And they should be.  It was very impressive.  They're thinking they're the next "Cake Boss" now!

See, the idea is that you catapult the birds from the left side of the screen to knock down the pigs on the right.

So, of course we had to have a bird on a catapult (which was a Kit Kat in its former life)!

The cakes that the Cub Scouts make are all sold at silent auction during the banquet.  We liked ours so much, we decided to bid on it.  Dear Grandma ended up buying it, even though she can't eat it.  Morgan suggested we bake her a gluten-free cake to replace it.  I'm guessing it won't have any angry birds on it, but who knows?!