Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sweepstakes Reminder

Good morning!  I wanted to take a minute today to remind you of my giveaway for our cool new shirts.  There are two prizes available and you can easily earn two entries.  The shirts have our very original logo on them and are made of organic cotton right here in our great country!  Please check out the post from the original announcement here.

Make a miracle today!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good morning.  Actually, my morning could be better; my son Thomas just happily drove away on his first snowboard adventure.  All day yesterday I had acted very cool, I really tried not to let the fact that he was getting his drivers license bother me and turn me into one of "those" moms.  You know the ones, cries over her children getting older and hangs onto her kids for way too long?  Well, last night I became one of those moms.
It had been a long day.  In usual Judy fashion, a trip to Denver means to pack as much in as we possibly can to avoid multiple trips down the mountain.  So, the kids and I had taken care of all of our returns and had a nice lunch at our favorite place (Carl's Jr.-ha!).  It was when we walked into the DMV that it started hitting me.  I knew how excited Thomas was, but I just felt ill.
He is a fantastic driver and has a very safe car, but what about all of the other idiots on the road?  What about patches of ice?  What about...the list could go on for miles of things a parent worries about when their child gets their drivers license.  I do know one thing, and that is that he is a very cautious driver.  One of his girlfriends was killed on the very same highway that he will have to drive a lot and it affected him tremendously.  He turned 16 in May and was not over anxious to get his license until recently, which was more than fine by me.
So anyway, I got home later than I like and was exhausted.  Thomas had made plans with his friends and was of course ready to go after waiting what seemed like forever for that golden license.  I was still playing it pretty cool until I got the e-mail from my Mom about my cousin having her baby.  Not that I was sad for them (really, what a joyous time!), but it just really struck home that she was having her first baby, and mine was heading out the door for the very first time as an independent person.
As you can imagine, I was a tearful idiot saying goodbye.  I tried to act tough, but it just wasn't happening.  Thomas called me several times throughout the evening and was home two minutes before his curfew.  We all survived it fine, but now I'm wondering when I will get used to it.  Probably never!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Metaphysical Monday

Good Morning!  This is a very difficult morning for those of you who have to go back to work after some time off for Christmas, really, I feel for you!  If you are lucky enough to have a minute to sit in front of the computer, I appreciate that you are stopping by.
A little over a week ago, a dear friend of ours stopped by to tell us a very sad story.  This last summer his daughter married a great young man who is in the service, which of course had us all worrying about his safety in these unsettled times.  Sadly, this brave young man has gone through tragedy that you can't find in any war or battle or political arena.  He has lost his beloved sister.
She was a vivacious 28 year old that had started having seizures a few months before she had a massive heart attack.  They were in the process of finding out why she had the seizures, but obviously were not able to come up with an answer in time. 
The weird thing was, that when our friend told us that she had had the heart attack I got a very strong vision of Christmas lights being unplugged.  I even felt a little odd physically, it was such a strong signal coming through.  I shared my concerns with Tom and we both began praying our hardest for the family. 
On Christmas Eve we found out that the family had honored her wishes that day and allowed her to become an organ donor.  I know that it must have been an agonizing decision as they were very upset they would not be with her when she took her final breath.  It just so happened that one of her friends works for an organ donation group and was allowed to sit in on the surgeries and be with her when she passed.  All of this happened to the sounds of Garth Brooks singing her favorite song "I've Got Friends In Low Places".
I know, it's almost more than a person can bear.  I have not used names on purpose, this story could be any one person's story, but it can also be the story of many.  You see, I am a very firm believer in organ donation.  This noble young woman may have left behind a very sad family, but she has also left behind a long string of people who have a new life, thanks to her unselfishness.  For the patients who received news that they were going to receive a new organ for Christmas, it must have been the biggest of all Christmas miracles.

So, in honor of our nameless Christmas Angel, and many of those before her, I would like to leave you with a link to where you can find answers to any questions you may have and also sign up to be an organ donor if you are not already.  I have also signed up to be a blood marrow donor through Bonfils at a local blood drive.  I did it this way so that I would not have to pay for the tissue sample, if I remember correctly my favorite Denver Broncos paid for it.  So, look for a local blood drive that is offering this test for free, or sign up online here.  No matter where you do it, all of the information gets put into one database, so as soon as your tests come back you are on the list to save a life!
I have since figured out why I had such a strong reaction to this tragedy.  It hits close to home because of the sudden onset of seizures, not unlike myself at almost her same age, but I knew that in some way it would not be just another sad story.  People can have connections to stories without having ever hearing them, but can affect the outcome more than they could dream of.
So, hopefully you will make a miracle today.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Poem

Twas the morning after Christmas,
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a mouse.

I arose with a groan,
Thinking about the mess,
I'd better get up, I said with a moan.

Every surface covered in gifts,
The piles are so tall,
They look like drifts.

My house is full of people,
And as for the trash,
It's as big as a steeple!

I made way too many pies,
I'm sure they're going straight to my thighs.

It was a wondrous day,
Spending time with our families,
But today I need to give the house a  cleaning,
In a very big way!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas!

Good Morning Readers!!!!  I know that today is a busy day for all of you, including myself.  But, I didn't want the day to go by without me saying Merry Christmas!  I have to tell you a funny story real quick though.  Because Christmas day is so busy with going to the Grandparents house, when Tom and I first started our family it became our tradition to do our gifts to the kids on Christmas Eve.  We have my parents every year, and of course Grandma can't resist bringing a few gifts for the kids as well.  Last night my kids got two packages with socks in them and they each got a package of underwear.  From the sincere ecstatic reaction of all three of them you would have thought those undies and socks were made of gold.  I'm wondering if that is saying something about the way I do laundry.  Nah, it's just a family to be very proud of!  Oh, and I almost forgot.  My oldest, who no longer thinks it's acceptable to hug his mom back, gave me a hug when he got his new snowboard, that's the best gift he could have given me! 
It shouldn't be too hard to make your own miracle today, it's in the air!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I may have performed a Christmas miracle...

I'm not sure, but I think I have performed a Christmas miracle.  I got all of my Christmas shopping done in just two days!  Due to budget issues and how Tom's paychecks fell in the month, I was really cutting it close this year, but as I went to bed last night I realized that I am more "ready" for Christmas than I have been in years, I even have all of my handmade gifts done!
I shopped on both Tuesday and Wednesday and each night when I got home my oh so helpful daughter and I wrapped the gifts that I had gotten that day.  Number one, it was really wonderful to have a helper, and number two, the wrapping was not near as overwhelming breaking it up a bit.  Once again, my kids have really stepped up in my time of need.  Thomas and my spare sons have been doing my chores so that I could get out there early in the morning to shop.  Nathan and Isabella have also been more than happy to help with the wrapping, tagging and organizing of the gifts.  Even my dear husband has done something that goes against every grain in his body, he went to the mall with me yesterday after the Christmas luncheon for his shop.
Which by the way I would like to mention real quick.  Tom has been working at the same shop for 23 years and until 3years ago the wives were not invited to the luncheon; it really wasn't a big deal as it almost always falls on Christmas Eve.  But, when they did start inviting the wives I of course had to go with him being a boss and I have enjoyed every one.  It is so very nice of his boss to include us, and it is usually the only "formal" Christmas party we go to.  The owner of the shop gave the guys their Christmas cards right before the party, and I am proud to say that even after a tough year, there was a bonus check in each workers' card!  He gave an emotional speech to them all, saying he sure wished it could have been more because his guys are the best, etc.  I was very proud for Tom, and especially proud of a small business remembering that the employees are what really make the money, not the economy.
Speaking of the economy, I'd like to touch on the subject of Christmas shopping.  As I mentioned, we were on a tight budget this year and I was feeling a little down that it would affect the kids' Christmas.  I know that it may seem silly when there are people starving that I was worried about getting my kids all they wanted, but there are another 364 days of the year that kids have other worries on their minds, and I really like to make Christmas special.  The kids pared their lists down to their favorites, I did lots of research and had my "Super Secret Notebook" (that's what Isabella calls it) entirely organized when I walked out my front door.  I knew what I was going after and most of the time where to go, and without busting the budget too badly I found everything I needed!
So, preparations are looking great here at The Royal Ranch and we look forward to my parents coming later today, and then my in-laws start arriving late in the night.  This year I even get a bonus helper, my sister in law will be here in the morning when we go to "Grandma and Papa's" (my parents), so she will start the cooking for our Christmas dinner with Tom's family while we celebrate with my family!
Really, I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season and try to enjoy yourselves without working yourself into the ground like we tend to do.  Break your to do list down into baby steps, they seem to go a lot quicker that way.  Oh, and don't forget to ask for help when you need it!
Enjoy your miracle today!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Tick Tock", said the Clock

Last year's lights, I'll try to get a pic from this year too!

Good morning!  Well it is only two days left until Christmas and I still have quite a shopping list.  I kind of like to do some things last minute, the crowds always seem a little friendlier this close to the big day; but this year I am feeling the crunch!  So, off I go to "wrap" things up and enjoy the annual Christmas luncheon for Tom's shop!  Hope you all have a fun filled day planned as well!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Winter Solstice, a day late!

One of the blogs that I regularly follow (Katydid and Kid) reminded me that yesterday was the winter solstice.  I always take that as wonderful news because I know it means the days will start getting longer again.  But, that was about as far as my knowledge went on the subject, so I decided to do a little research.  It is really quite fascinating actually; the winter solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years.
In Ireland the Newgrange Tomb was built over 5,000 years ago in honor of this "astronomical" event.  It is still unknown as to why it was built, but the precision of the engineering is uncanny.  The National Geographic website has a very cool video on it here

As you can see it is a rather massive building where the small farming community that built it put the bones and ashes of their loved ones in a room that is down a very long, narrow hall.  The small door that you can see in this picture allows a shaft of light to shine on those remains at the exact time of the winter solstice.  Simply amazing.
It is, and has been for centuries, a time of celebration and ritual for many cultures.  This is what National Geo said on the solstice and Christmas:
Since ancient times people have marked the winter solstice with countless cultural and religious traditions—it's no coincidence the modern holiday season surrounds the first day of winter.

Early church leaders endeavored to attract pagans to Christianity by adding Christian meaning to existing winter solstice festivals.

"This gave rise to an interesting play on words," Yeide said. "In several languages, not just in English, people have traditionally compared the rebirth of the sun with the birth of the son of God."
I guess I will take that as another excuse to feel happy this holiday season.  The entire universe is coming together to celebrate the season, let's do the same!
Make a miracle today!

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Breaking News!" and Giveaway!

Good morning all!  Well, since I have already messed up my week of regular posts by missing yesterday's Royal Ranch Royalty, I figure it is okay to keep the disorganized theme this week, it's just that time of year.  I do want to make sure to tell you that I will be continuing my metaphysical (there must be a problem with blogger, this is not supposed to be a link) posts; I got such wonderful feedback, how could I not?  But, today I have breaking news, that just can't wait!
We have finally gotten our retail line of t-shirts, hats and hoodies up and running.  But, this is so new that it is not even on my e-store yet; you, my devoted readers get first shot at these fantastic t-shirts! 
This all came about when we launched Naked~Nure; people absolutely loved "Naked Johnny", our llama poo handling expert.  I knew I needed to make him more prominent, so I came up with a new logo and had it printed on t-shirts.
I was hoping to have my retail line ready in time for the big Christmas shopping season, but wanting to keep my business local and being very picky about the quality of the products that I will allow our name to be on has made it a slower process than I imagined.  After finding a 100% organic cotton line, that of course had to be made right her in the good old USA, there was a machinery glitch.  That was a quality control issue as well, and was worth the wait for the proper machine to be fixed.  See, my line of products is direct to garment transfer; meaning that the inks are infused into the fabric, so the garment is still very soft and pliable, unlike vinyl logos.

Normally (not including the giveaway, I mean), these t-shirts will sell for $15, which I think is a real bargain for such an original shirt, made in USA and organic!  I am still working on pricing for the hats and hoodies, but if you need an item right away let me know via e-mail at and we can place a special order.  Right now I only have the t-shirts in the "natural organic" color in stock, but we have things set up, so we can special order the hats and hoodies, and the t-shirts in other colors (at least blue and black).  I will also e-mail gift certificates for a specific item or dollar amount (so they can check out Naked~Nure too!) through e-mail/PayPal if you have a gardener on your list that this will fit the bill perfectly for.  Your gardening friends and family are really going to get a kick out of this logo!
Yes, I did mention a giveaway!  To kick this line of cool stuff off with a bang, I am going to give two of these shirts away to you, my dedicated readers and to any new followers!  So, here are the ways to earn yourself entries into my giveaway:

  1. If you're already a follower, just leave a comment that you'd like to be included, and what size you'd like if you win, and that will count as one entry.

  2. If you are not a follower, you must go to the follow tab at the bottom left of this blog and sign up; it is really simple.  Then leave me a comment as to the size shirt you'd like if you win,

  3. For extra entries, blog about this giveaway and come back here and leave me a link, please.

  4. You must enter by noon on January 1st.  I can't think of a better way to start my new year off than by notifying two lucky winners!  My handy dandy computer random number generator will choose a winner on the 1st and I will let the winners know right away!  If I don't hear back from them within 48 hours, I'll be forced to pick another happy winner.

So, once again you have a chance to earn two entries for two great prizes!  I hope to hear from you soon and make a miracle today; tis the season!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I bet you really missed me yesterday,
It is a crazy time of year, in a big way!
Christmas is my favorite time of year,
Getting to spend time with the loved ones I hold dear.
Hopefully, the baking and shopping,
Will soon be stopping.
I will just sit back and listen,
And watch the snow glisten.
To see my kids' smiles,
at all the new styles,
Makes it all worth while (s-ha!)!

As you can tell by the quality of my rhymes, I am running a little bit on low fumes, like the rest of the world.  This picture is one I love; although I rarely get into Denver, I have always loved this beautiful Christmas display.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Suffering in Silence

Good Morning!  This morning, for the first time in a long time, I woke up feeling quite hopeful that my chronic hip pain is going to get better.  I finally broke down and went to the Dr. yesterday.  This all started last week when I was having the worst pain I have had with this stupid hip and my Mom called.  Now, I don't know about you all, but when Mom calls and I'm having a hard time, it is pert near impossible to hide it.  She asked if I was okay and I completely lost it; I was bawling so hard it took me a couple of times to tell her about my pain before she could understand me.
You see, I have had this pain for a long time, I knew it had been at least a year.  It is pain that is sometimes debilitating; I have even moved my morning Coke down to the basement fridge because I can't even get up the stairs until my pain medicine takes effect.  Not a life I would choose to lead, being on narcotic pain medicine most of the time, just to get through my daily tasks.  Thanks to an uncaring doctor who called any attempt I made for alternative medicine (since she could not find an answer) to help this problem "Quackery", I have not been back to see any Dr. since.  That is the same doc that has refilled my pain medicine, without ever contacting me for two years.
That's right, you read that right; I have been suffering in silence from this pain for over two years.  When the doctor that my parents insisted I go see yesterday told me that the last work up for this hip pain was in December 2007, I was shocked, and more than a little embarrassed.
I suffer from the "Gotta Do Everything Myself Syndrome" and feeling that my poor health equals weakness.  That's really funny because as I write that it is quite offensive, I would never look at someone other than myself and expect them to live up to such unattainable and unfair standards.  I think that many women, especially moms, end up taking care of everyone but themselves until we break down; for me it is usually a physical breakdown that leads to a mental meltdown.  It's downright crazy.
Actually, it is called being a martyr.  That word kept popping into my head ever since I went to the doctor yesterday; so I decided to consult with my favorite antique dictionary.  After a few lines of symbols that I don't understand telling me how it fits in the English language and how to pronounce it, etc.; this is the definition:
1) A person who chooses to suffer or die for his faith or his principles.
2) A person who suffers great pain or misery for a long time.
3) A person who assumes an attitude of self sacrifice or suffering in order to arouse feelings of pity, guilt, etc. in others.
So, let's take this one at a time.  First, I do have very strong faith and principles, but how am I supporting those principles if I am too sick to practice my faith?  Secondly, yes I have suffered pain for a long time, but what the hell good does it do me if no one knows about it (I'm kidding of course), really it is laughable.  Lastly, I would imagine that is how my family has felt.  Pity that I never feel good and guilt for not doing more to help out.
So, with waiting so long to take action I have accomplished nothing.  Although I would never want to be considered a martyr, that is what my actions were.  Great, I have proven that I am tough enough to last through two years of pain; now I need to prove that I am tough enough to take care of business when it needs tending to.
I was still afraid of getting bad news, and I was still in pain, the only difference being that now I realize that I have wasted two years in toughing it out for no apparent reason.  We hear it again and again as caretakers; we can't keep giving until we take care of ourselves.  So let's really listen this time.
Make a miracle today (but make it for yourself!).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Recycling Woes

Good Morning!  You know, I really like my blog to always have positive posts, but today I don't have anything to say that I can even slightly turn into a positive response to what is going on in my beautiful state of Colorado.  As you know by now, recycling is a huge part of my life; to a certain extent it is even part of my identity.  I woke up the other morning to this picture, I couldn't think of a better way to describe how I am feeling about recycling at this point in time (crushed and blown off!), my entire driveway looked like this.
You see, for over a year now I have become quite passionate about recycling and the benefits it can have for our community, state, and country (let alone the rest of the world)!  I started recycling programs at each of the kids' schools (which means I cover the entire school district) and my kids are very proud, even my sixteen year old son.  I can't do too much to impress a 16 year old, but I know this program means a lot to all of the kids; my spare sons even talk about how cool it is that I'm in charge of recycling their stuff and tease me that they didn't recycle that day at lunch.  Little Schmucks!!!

Although I have made some dear friends (Thanks Tiffany!), this has pretty much been a thankless job (the teacher at the high school has never once thanked me-how rude!), it is something that I truly believe can make a difference, and really it has.  It has really been a pain in the butt; with the wildlife and wind, but because it is something I truly believe in it has been a labor of love.
The problem that I am currently facing is that all of my drop off locations have been removed.  The few locations that are left are very far away and are very picky as to what they take, and all items have to be separated.  Well, there is no way to get students to separate their recycling; it just isn't feasible.  I called the Shriner's, who are the great group that has provided my oh so convenient dumpsters right by the Costco that I have to go to every now and then anyway.  They told me that Waste Management is removing the dumpsters due to costs.
We had a drop off site at our local Safeway for awhile, and it got shut down because people were abusing the privilege and throwing their trash in the recycling dumpster.  I am almost at a loss for words, almost.  People know what kind of trouble our environment is in, but make it impossible for us to do anything about it.  I really can not fathom going back to my old ways and throwing stuff in the trash, it goes against every grain in my body.
So, I am not only going to sit around complaining about it.  I have friends in high places in two of the local trash services that I am going to talk with to see what the problem really is.  My top is going to blow if it is simply a matter of money or politics!  I will let you know what I find out, but for those of you who have a neighborhood that provides recycling, thank your lucky stars!
I need to go make a miracle today!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cookie Day, Part 2

Good Morning!  I promised you all a follow up post about cookie day and here it is.  I'm not going to spend much time telling you what a great family tradition this is, because I have some great recipes to share.  But, it is a great day filled with time to catch up with the ones you love and get all of your Christmas baking done at once.  I really love the fact that we have such a large variety on the plate when we deliver them to our friends and neighbors.  My Mom is always the hostess, and each of us three girls brings ingredients for two types of cookies; meaning we end up with a minimum of eight kinds of cookies!
We usually do all of our all time favorites, and then sneak in some that may not be quite as fancy as Christmas cookies, but they are ones that everyone likes.  For example we did Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip; easy and quick to get through our baking lines, these are the ones that I really enjoy!  My Mom and sister, Kelly, both had different takes on a cookie that had craisins and white chocolate in them, and they are both delicious.  Hopefully they will keep those recipes for next year.

One of the funnest things for the kids this year was an idea Kelly brought to the table (I just kill myself-ha!), she brought the small pretzels and three kinds of candies (rolos, m&m's and kisses), the kids put one piece of chocolate (either rolo or kiss) on each pretzel and put it in the oven for just a couple of minutes.  Remove and place an m&m on top of each kiss and a pecan on top of the rolos.  These are really cute, taste great and the kids did a great job with them and felt like they were really contributing to Cookie Day, which they were; these were a great filler for the plates of cookies.  So, without further ado, I'll get to my very favorite recipes:

Peanut Blossoms
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1.2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream together the butter and peanut butter, add sugars and mix.  Add egg and vanilla and mix again.  Blend into mixed dry ingredients until combined.  Shape into balls and roll in sugar.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375* for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and place a kiss or star in center and press down just until the cookie cracks.  Bake another 2 or 3 minutes until edges of cookies are brown.  Makes 3 dozen.

Meltaway Dreams (I think this is the entire family's favorite!)
1 cube softened butter
1 cube softened margarine (do not melt)
1/3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. corn starch
1 c. flour
1 small package cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter, margarine and sugar.  Add rest of ingredients one at a time, and blend well.  Drop from teaspoon on to greased cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Bake at 350* for 10 to 15 minutes on top shelf of oven.  To make frosting: sift sugar into cheese a little at a time, add vanilla.  We use food coloring for red and green and put the frosting in a bag, clip the corner and go for it!  Makes 50-60 small cookies.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip
1 3/4 c. oil
2 cups sugar
1 16 0z. can pumpkin (My Mom already had pumpkin, or I would have used my frozen, but if you do, bring down the moist ingredients a bit and add extra spices!
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt
1 bag chocolate chips
Cream oil and sugar.  Add pumpkin eggs, and vanilla, beat well.  Stir together dry ingredients and add to batter.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop in rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.  Cool on rack.  Makes 7 dozen.

So, go make some cookies while you're making your miracle today!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Metaphysical Monday

Good Morning!  This morning I am feuding with my self over this post.  Part of me says to quit MM, and the other half is saying to continue.  I think what bothers me the most is that my previous posts feel as if I am defending myself or my beliefs in some way, which I do not need to do.  Another thing that has bothered me is that I have never gotten a comment on any of these posts.
I don't know if this is an awkward subject, if people think it's just downright loony; or if people aren't into sharing these kinds of things publicly.  I've got to admit, I almost dread these posts because they do not "flow" like my other posts do, I struggle a little bit to write them.  I've realized that's because even I am a little leery of this topic.  So, where do we go from here?
First of all I want to make sure that people are comfortable commenting, even if they don't want to do so publicly.  So I'd like to remind you that you can always e-mail me at to share your story; and if it's okay for me to share it, then I will rewrite it with no names.  If you don't want me to share it that's okay too, but I would like to hear them.  I am also not making any promises, I have decided that if it's something I don't really enjoy writing about than I am not going to write about it.  The whole purpose of this blog is to share my joy of the ups and downs of what I like to call "our little piece of paradise".
But, just in case this is my last post on this subject for a little while, I would like to share a story with you.  A few months after my Grandma had passed, my Mom asked me to make a cookbook for her Stampin' Up! ladies who had been enjoying my cooking at her stamp camps.  I of course could not refuse because it was such a huge compliment, but I was very nervous about putting Grandma's Pumpkin Bar recipe in the book for some reason.  It was quite an internal debate, but I decided to get the recipe out just in case. 
I'll tell you what, I searched for that recipe high and low.  The odd thing was that I knew I had two copies, as my sister had made one copy for me, but I was positive I had one in Grandma's own handwriting that was very special to me.  One morning I took the kids to the bus stop and as I was looking out at the beautiful mountain behind our house (no, that's not some spiritual connection, just me bragging about my beautiful view from the bus stop!) and decided that obviously the recipe was not meant to be in the book, and I had better quit stalling production over one silly recipe.
Although I was crushed I had lost the original, I knew I could get another copy from a family member.  So, to have made the decision (finally!) to not put the recipe in; I headed home to wrap up the cookbook.  There sitting in the middle of my desk was the recipe that was written in my Grandma's handwriting.  I'm not sure I have ever felt as moved as that day, it was like my Grandma had wanted to show me how very strongly she felt that her Pumpkin Bars were a family recipe, that should stay in the family.  My Grandma always did have a strong opinion on things, not unlike myself.  The relief of knowing that she could still communicate with me if she needed to was...well, amazing.
I know that many people have stories like this.  Like our friends Tina and Kevin who have such a strong love for one another, that she was able to save his life from ten miles away.  The point is, do we continue discussing miracles like this or do we sweep it under the rug because others may think it's all in our heads?  I know that to many, myself included, to just have an experience like that is tremendously touching, and a reward in itself.  Maybe it is all too private to share, I don't know.
Anyway, make a miracle for yourself today!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Royal Ranch Royalty

Good morning!  Well, we survived Cookie Day and look forward to telling you more about it another day when I am not so tired and have gathered up a couple of recipes.  Anyway, today is Sunday which means it is time for me to introduce you to this week's Royalty.  Hmmm, who shall I choose?
This is my buddy Jasper.  He came with Marcel, so was in the second group of llamas to arrive here at The Royal Ranch, and the first link of llama rescues in a very long chain.  Jasper and Marcel lived on an organic vegetable farm before they came here.  They were well taken care of, but had no human interaction what so ever.  I was excited to find out that Jasper was actually born on my mentor's (Bobra Goldsmith) farm, so we felt like he was already part of the family.
Jasper is one of the visitors' favorites because he is so pretty; solid black with just the tips of his ears and toes with "spats" of white on them.  That was his name when Bobra named him, Spats.  Jasper was not at all into packing when we first got him; he would just lay down on the trail when he was tired.  That all changed very quickly when I whispered to him one day, "Jasper if you don't work the old man will pull you out of the pack string and there will be no more free rides for you!"
We were hesitant to take him the next trip, as he'd been such a pain on the previous drop camp.  But, I told Tom I'd had a chat with him and to give him another try; I don't think he has laid down on the job since!  He really enjoys his hikes with his humans, just maybe not have to carry anything would be better-ha!  Jasper is now one of my best packers.
When we do drop camps or go to pick up a camp, we usually each have a string of llamas.  With Jasper it is so nice because he is never too picky about his spot in line.  This is very helpful late in the day when one of the boys is getting irritated with the llama behind him and we can just use Jasper to mix it up a bit.  Here at the ranch, he is low man on the totem pole, maybe not last in hierarchy, but close.  He doesn't care too much about that stuff and just prefers to lay in the sun and eat hay instead of messing with his spot in "the club".
Jasper is about 14 years old and is in great health; llamas can live late into their twenties with proper care.  With pack llamas, one has to watch for "falling in the pasterns".  That is when the llamas ankle joint tends to start bending due to the weight of their bodies, or from misuse (carrying too much weight) while packing.  Even at his advanced age, he looks as strong as some of the young llamas.  A little over weight, but not too bad.
We are really blessed to have Jasper, and like I said, he is quite a looker, so he adds to our ranch tremendously!  People just enjoy watching him, as a matter of fact I think he might be the star of the show when HGTV airs the episode we were in.  He sat in the sun with the camera man right in his face, loving the attention, what a ham!
Make a miracle today!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Cookie Day

Good Morning, and happy weekend to you all!  My family has a great tradition; each year we get together and have what we call "Cookie Day".  My two sisters and I head "home" to Mom and Dad's for the day taking as many of the kids as we can pull together at one time.  Each of us brings ingredients for two kinds of our favorite cookies, so we end up with a great variety of the all time family favorites.
But, as usual I am running late, so I will try to post some pics and possibly even some recipes later.  Who knows, you may get a two for one deal out of this.  Really, I just wanted to share the idea because it is a great way to get all of your Christmas baking done while having a great visit with your friends or family!
Make a miracle today!

Friday, December 11, 2009

You are all winners in my mind...

I know I am very blessed,
Because my readers are the very best!
Although we come from different backgrounds,
I think you really enjoy learning about my hounds.
I would never want to offend you in any way,
But, thank God we live where I can say what I want to say!
You all seem to really love my poems,
Thanks for bringing me into your homes!

Wow!  I ended up getting 38 more followers with this giveaway!  That's 380% more people who will be reading my blog (hopefully) and will possibly even share the love with their friends!  The comments that I received were wonderful; one person even put their comment into a poem-very ingenious.  But, I already knew I had the best readers.
So, with all of that said, I am proud to announce the winners of the great Stampin' Up! prizes.  The first prize was won by Nickolay and prize #2 is already on its way to Randominities.  Thank you all so much for your participation and keep coming back; I will definitely be doing more giveaways!
Make a miracle today, seriously, you can do it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Remember the rules of animal rescue...always!

Good Morning!  Good News!  The puppy (Iowa) we rescued from the cornfields in Iowa is all better!  You can no longer see her spine (that really bothered the whole family!), and she is back to being a naughty, pain in the butt, puppy.  I really couldn't be any happier about this, because this dog was on the verge of death.  But, the reason for this post is to remind you all of some rules that I somehow forgot with this adorable very needy puppy.
You know, I have been rescuing animals my entire adult life, so to have made the mistakes I made with her really irritated me!  Every rancher knows that when you bring new livestock in, you put them under quarantine for a time.  Not only does this give the animals all time to get to know each other by sight and scent, but it gives you time to make sure they are not bringing anything contagious on to your farm.  I have always followed this rule to a T with my llamas, especially with many of them coming from weird situations.
But, the tiny innocent puppy made me forget all about the rules!  The first day I took her to the vet, she was really sick.  He got this serious look on his face and said he had to run a couple tests.  Stupid me, asked what tests, and he replied that he was concerned that she had Parvo.  If you don't know what that is, it is a very dangerous disease that is highly contagious to other dogs.  Iowa had already spent time with all of my other dogs, and they could have been exposed without me even thinking about it.  Most dogs die of Parvo, but even if they do survive it is thousands of dollars worth of hospital bills for them.  Many vets don't even like to deal with it as they have to be so careful with contamination and their other patients.  Thankfully the test was negative, expensive, but negative.
So, you think I learned my lesson?  Noooo, I bring her home, with tons of medicine, and let my dog Gigi eat after her.  Well, it was an accident.  Iowa was so sick I was having a hard time getting her to eat or take the medicine she needed.  As I was trying various things, Gigi snuck one of the bowls that we had left down.  Within 48 hours Gigi was almost as sick as Iowa.
I know I've said it many times, but Gigi is a very special part of my life.  We had given her to my Grandma, I had done all of her training at Grandma's house too.  I still have a message from her that says I am the "world's greatest dog trainer"; I laugh/cry every time I hear it.  So, when Gigi came to live with us when Grandma got sick, we already had a strong bond, but I think she is part of my Grandma it is even more so.  Gigi is at my side all the time, always right at my heel.  She is especially protective on my bad brain days (my epilepsy side effects).  As you can imagine, I freaked out when she got sick!
My point is, when I take in a stray, I need to remember my own rules; no matter how cute the rescue!  I am so thankful that the dogs are fine now.  Now if I could just get her to quit chewing on everything;  she even tries to chew on us!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Good Morning!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate my readers.  Boy were my blogging mentors right, a giveaway is the best way to get followers!  Thanks to my Mom, who has provided me with the great Stampin Up! prizes, I have gotten 140% more followers.  Now, I know that when you start out with only ten, it's not too hard to expand, but 140%!!!
So, this is a reminder post of the giveaway.  You only have until  11:59 MST tomorrow to sign up for the giveaway by becoming a follower of this blog.  Extra entries can be earned by leaving a comment on what you like about this blog or you can also blog about it yourself and leave me the link.  That's a chance for three entries for two prizes, and since this is a growing blog, you don't have all that many competitors!
I will let the winners know as soon as I draw the names, if I have not heard from them to claim their prize within 48 hours (noon Saturday) then I will draw another name.  I'm sure that will not be the case, as everyone loves a good prize, let alone some great stamping stuff.
BTW, I got a comment from an anonymous person at 8:07pm last night and I can't add your name into the sweepstakes without knowing who you are- I don't want to miss anyone.  Also, if you are already a follower and would like to be included in this sweepstakes, just leave me a comment here or the original post about this great giveaway!
Wow! I think this might be the shortest post I have ever done!  But, again, I want to tell you how much my followers mean to me.  Not only is it great to hear the feedback, but you are all helping me get my writing career off the ground!  It has really been wonderful to hear from so many nice people that have similar interests to mine, especially since I am learning about how Eco-aware so many people are!  Keep up the good work people!!!
PS: The picture is one I got from my Mom's website, it does not represent the prizes.  Sorry, my camera is not working, maybe Santa will bring me a new one!
PPS:  I will use a random number generator to determine the winners!
Make a miracle today!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thanking Our Soldiers

Good Morning!  My friend sent me this video this morning through Facebook.  I had other things planned to write about today, but this trumped it.  As you probably know by now, Tom and I are hard core patriotic, and support our country no matter what.  Although we are very unsettled (to say the least) about many of the things that are going on in this country right now, it is important to remember those who gave us the right to complain; and to me to have this blog where I can practice my freedom of speech.
Recently when I was in Iowa, my cousin had a cool plaque that said "The Home of the free, because of the brave", I think this may be my new favorite saying.  You see, here in the mountains we have a very strange mix of folks; many of them have moved here to get away from "civilization".  Many, many of them are our veterans who no longer can live in "mainstream society". So, this hits close to home for multiple reasons.
Many members of my family have been in the military (mostly Army, but a proud Marine as well-thanks Joe!) and some of them have seen war and some have not, but they were all in at times when they consciously chose to put their lives on the line for this country.  To be honest, with as opinionated and patriotic as I am, I don't think I could "suffer through" like our soldiers do; and for that matter I don't know many people who could, or would.  It really takes a special kind of person.
My concern is how many special people this country can use up and then set aside before we get ourselves in real trouble.  I say this from second hand experience.  We have a neighbor who was a medic in Desert Storm and has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder terribly.  It takes him months to even get into see a Dr. to see if he is even eligible for certain benefits.  It has taken many months from that original appointment to start receiving the benefits he needs to survive and to not lose his home.
Another friend of ours was an explosives expert in Vietnam and had to really fight for his benefits as well.  He had an entire ranch built around helping fellow veterans and lost the place to foreclosure.  So, not only did it put him on the run (he took off on his horse when they came to close the place down!), but put many other veterans out of their home and jobs as well.
Whether it is during their active duty or after, when things are really settling in that we need to support our troops.  At the very least they deserve a hand shake and a thank you.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Metaphysical Monday

Good morning!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, it is bitterly cold here in Bailey, CO.  I have been thinking a lot lately about my motivations for this weekly series and for trying to expand my spirituality at this time in my life.  I have decided at this point in time, I am not too much in control of the spiritual road in which I have chosen to take.  Not to say that I am at all unhappy with this path, just a little stumped every now and then.
In one of my earliest MM posts I talked about the sudden onset of a noticeable difference in my sixth sense after a dream I had.  My dreams have always been a source of extra sensory information, and often times very scary.  Then, I had some strange coincidences (which by the way, I really don't believe in) with an astrologer who really shed light on many facets of my life.
Which all led to my reading as many books as I could possibly find on this subject, our extra sensory capabilities as humans.  It's kind of interesting, the more I read, the more questions I wonder about.  Many of the books that I have read (I'd be happy to share a reading list if anyone is interested) are written from the vantage point of that specific medium or psychic or philosopher, etc.; so you get to know the person's story a bit.
In almost all of the books I have read the authors talk about "sensory input overload" in their day to day lives.  Bright light, loud noises and crowds are a huge problem for many of them.  A feeling of being different than others throughout life is commonly noted.  It is almost as if I am reading about myself; it is very reassuring that I am not crazy in thinking that there is more for me to do.
You know, that sounds very egotistical, like I have a higher calling than most; and I really don't mean it that way or even feel that way.  It is more a feeling of expectation and that I may not be living up to my full potential.  If I was given extra senses, what for?  And how do I use them to be a positive, beneficial part of society?
I think I am getting closer to the answers; I would love to work in a healing capacity and help people deal with awkward times in their lives (sort of like what I'm going through-ha!).  I hope it will all come together a little more clearly when I am able to spend time on preparing Judy Jeute's Soul Center, "a networking haven for those who like to do things differently" for its Grand Opening in the spring.  I am listening and learning, but the hardest lesson is to be patient for the next lesson that is given to me.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Royal Ranch Royalty

Good Morning!  I hope you are all having a great weekend with Christmas (and yes, you will proudly see the word Christmas in this blog) spirit in the air!  My opinion on this PC "Holiday" craze set aside, I have more important things to discuss today!  Once again today's royalty is very deserving of her title; I am proud to introduce Baby; yes, we know it's not too original, but we didn't name her!
Baby was left here by a previous renter; who obviously turned out to be a bad man.  The renter and his girlfriend had taken her in during a snow storm when she was pregnant and hungry.  That seems to be the extent of the kindness that they would give the cat.  They continued to allow her to have two more litters after we had already taken in two of her kittens (Harry and Gary, our orange tabby's).  I helped them get her fixed and got her shots done so that she could finally regain her strength from her ordeal of surviving in the wild.
Thankfully, Baby only lived with him (his girlfriend came and went) for a year or so before we had to evict him.  A couple of days after he left, he called back to ask us if he could come and get his two cats,; we of course said yes.  The next day Baby was still here.  The jerk called later that day to let us know that he had also left his tarantula in a cage on the front porch.  Now I'm no spider expert, but I know that they are not supposed to live outside in Colorado in November.  Despite my fear of spiders I got the darn thing back to health and quickly found it a new home.
Baby has taken a little longer to recover from her time with that mean man.  She finally started letting Tom get near her after a couple of months, and is still very leery of anything that moves too quickly, but gets better every day.  I've got to tell you though, Baby is one of the meanest cats I have ever come across when it comes to other cats.  She obviously does not remember her sons, as she will violently protect her turf against any and all of our house cats.  Which makes her love of our other barn cat, Shade, that much more ironic.  Shade was Royalty earlier in this series; he is a very special cat that truly has healing abilities when it comes to my various rescues, including Baby.  I call them boyfriend and girlfriend even though they are both fixed and entirely platonic of course!
Make a miracle today!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Puppy Poem

Well, I don't have much to say,
So I think I'll write a poem today.
Not about llamas or chickens or sheep,
I know, I feel like a real creep!
This one has got to be about the new puppy,
Who is as innocent as a guppy.
She is the love of my life,
Having been through so much strife.
She is so very sick,
That she is as thin as a stick.
She is costing us a ton of cash,
But, I would do it again in a flash.
Although we love her dearly,
I am so tired I can't think clearly.
I think if I have to clean up anymore poop,
I just might fly the coop!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Christmas Tree Debate

Good Morning!  Many years ago, we had a live Christmas tree that we had taken out of the house on New Year's Eve.  We had taken great care of the tree while it was in the house, so I didn't think it was all that dry.  That evening at a neighbors bonfire my husband casually tossed our tree onto the fire.  It immediately shot flames about 20 feet in the air!  We all jumped back in surprise, we thought we were going to start a forest fire; we all just stood there in awe for a few seconds.  I couldn't believe that this fire hazard had just been in my living room that very same day.
Needless to say, I bought an artificial tree that year when they were on sale!  It is a very cute tree, that is pre-lit, but after many years of cats climbing it and being weighed down with what seems like hundreds of adorable school made ornaments, the tree is looking a little worse for the wear.  So, this year I am considering a live tree again.  I really miss the smell, not the mess of the pine needles though.  I thought I'd do some research to see which is the most environmentally friendly choice to help me make my decision.
I was a little surprised to find out that real trees win out on this one.  Artificial trees are made with plastic and can not be recycled, so they are looking at many lifetimes in the landfill.  The majority of fake trees are shipped from China (oh, you know how I hate that!) which makes their carbon footprint quite high in just getting into our living rooms.  Even if a tree has to come from a tree farm a couple of states away, it is a much smaller carbon footprint than from across a few oceans.
Another pleasant surprise that I found at one of my favorite websites,, was how beneficial Christmas tree farming is to Americans.  Here is an excerpt from their article:
A single farmed tree absorbs more than 1 ton of CO2 throughout its lifetime. With more than 350 million real Christmas tress growing in U.S. tree farms alone, you can imagine the yearly amount of carbon sequestering associated with the trees. Additionally, each acre of trees produces enough oxygen for the daily needs of 18 people.

In order to ensure a healthy supply of Christmas trees each year, growers must use sustainable farming techniques. For each tree harvested, one to three seedlings are planted the following spring, ensuring a healthy supply of trees.

According to the NCTA, the Christmas tree industry employs more than 100,000 Americans, an important economic consideration in the real versus artificial debate.

Obviously, the Christmas tree that is the easiest on Mother Earth is the tree that you plant when you are done with it.  Even if you are unable to replant it yourself, many municipalities will take them as a donation to beutify your town.  If this is not an option for you due to frozen grounds, space limitations, and you do not have a municipality to donate to, think about taking a family trip to the nearest National Forest cutting area and cut a tree for yourself.  You are helping maintain the forest, and you've had a great family outing in the process.

No matter where you get your live tree, make sure to recycle it.  Check with your city and see if they have a recycling center, and they will turn it into beneficial mulch and either give it back to its citizens or use it themselves.  Another great idea is to find a farm with animals that will enjoy the treat, my llamas look forward to Christmas all year long!

Make a miracle today!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Guilt Free Parenting; Is it really possible?

Good Morning. My Mom once told me that once you become a parent, there is always something you feel guilty about. That has become one of the best pieces of information that she has passed down to me. We all strive to be better parents and want the very best for our children and their children. With that feeling of wanting everything perfect for our kids always comes a sense of not meeting up to our own silly expectations, which leads to feeling guilty.

There are thousands of books out there telling us the "right" way to raise our children, many of them quite successful. But, many of them are not entirely realistic either, even difficult to implant or enforce in many circumstances, and way too tough for my liking. I am more in touch with the "Candyass Parenting Group"!

Yes, that's right I said it. It's no surprise, my husband tells me that all the time! I am a Candyass when it comes to my kids, no other way around it. Now, don't get me wrong, I am a huge believer in discipline and respect; I am mostly talking about making my kids work and do chores. I am still making 2 out of 3 of their beds, and have never really asked for help with the house and such. In my opinion, kids are only kids for a very short time and have many years ahead of work and chores. Why not let them enjoy being kids?

So, now that the kids are getting older, it is time to start feeling guilty that I have been too soft on them, and that they will not be prepared for the "real world". Will my theory of teaching them how to be hardworkers simply by example sink in? What about respect of family and home; will they really get it if I don't drill it into their brains? In the last few days I have learned that the answer is emphatically YES!

When we were in Iowa for Thanksgiving we were there to visit my Great Aunt Jaris among a few generations below her. My kids have not seen Aunt Jaris in a very long time, but understand that she is a very important part of our family. I was so happy at the dinner to be able to help her with her plate and such while the others ran around doing kitchen duty. When it was time to get Aunt Jaris her pie, my son Nathan was standing nearby and piped up "I got it, Mom" and proceeded to take Jaris' order. The adults had to hide our giggles when he came back with pumpkin pie that he had carefully spread the whipped cream on like frosting. He proudly handed it to Aunt Jaris and sat down to visit with her; all of my kids had a nice visit with her throughout our trip. It was so nice that she really got to know them as individuals.

The next day I got to spend the entire day with Aunt Jaris. She couldn't quit talking about how she enjoyed my kids and that she would always remember the adorable piece of pie. In her own words, they weren't bothered by the fact that she was "old and crippled", they were just proud to have spent time with a woman who knows so much about our family and its history.

As you know, this trip ended in us bringing home a new puppy as well. Of course, the puppy got sick (this is a whole entire post in itself), so my days have been absolutely crazy. Yesterday I had to take the pup to the vet, get her home and medicated and situated before I ran off to be Santa's Elf at the elementary school Gift Shop (what a cool thing this is!). From there I ran to my Advisory Council meeting, picked up my recyclable while I was there; with the evening winding up with Nate's basketball game. Needless to say, the kids knew I was tired.

I had asked my oldest son, Thomas, to come right home after school to resume care of the sick puppy. I was nervous about leaving too many instructions at once so I concentrated my note to Iowa's care and simply asked him to toss the llamas their hay and lock up the chickens before dark. Marcel, my lead llama who is spoiled rotten, had other plans in mind; he simply could not believe that the kid did not know to give him his grain. Marcel stared Thomas down while he was up at the barn, and then paced the fence while staring at him through the windows when he came back to the house.

When I got home from the game, Tom couldn't wait to tell me the story. Thomas had finally given in and called him on his cell phone to ask what was wrong with Marcel. Tom told him where to get the grain and to just give it to him by the fence. Paco, our sheep, decided that he wanted some too, so Thomas stood down there scaring the sheep away while Marcel ate his dinner. Later Thomas told me that every time he had turned to come home, Paco would come ripping down to where Marcel was eating!

The mental picture of my teenage son down there guarding the llama's food had me laughing so hard I was in tears. The fact that he had recognized that something was not right on the ranch made my heart swell with pride. He had done all of this after he had followed my puppy instructions to a T, and had even cleaned out her crate before I had gotten home.

The point in all of this rambling is that my family has really stepped up lately. Even if I am a Candyass in my parenting ways. Leading by example has worn off on my kids, they understand how hard Tom and I work to keep this ranch running smoothly. I have also learned that somehow they have absorbed my love of family and the great history it has at hand for anyone interested in listening.

Kids are smart; they know that we are doing the best we can. If I can go to bed at night knowing that my family is happy, healthy and secure, I am the most content woman on earth. Now I just have to learn to let go of second guessing myself, and that guilt is a waste of my time; I'd much rather spend my time enjoying them!

Make a miracle today!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stampin' Up Sweepstakes!!!

Good Morning! Okay people, I have asked nicely quite a few times, and now I'm sick of playing nice. I'm getting down and dirty; that is dirty with Stampin' Up stuff, I mean. You see, I put a counter on my blog a few weeks ago, and I am getting a minimum of 40 hits per day on this blog. The problem is I only have ten followers signed up. The more followers a blog gets, the higher it goes in the search engines. For a person who is trying to really get my name out there and known, this is a game I must play.

First things first, I will never share your information with anyone! I may use it for special offers for Royal Ranch products, but you would want that anyway as Spring time will see lots of changes here at The Royal Ranch. I will be expanding my manure collection, I am getting ready to take Naked Johnny (our logo for Naked~Nure) retail, and we will also be selling one of a kind, hand picked, and very hardy wildflower seeds. Not to mention that my book is almost done and I am getting ready to market it hard. Marcel and I will be going to schools, nursing homes, and anywhere else we are allowed to read our book and get our story out there!

My followers and dedicated readers are always the first to know when we have something new and different going on here, and rightfully so. I plan on doing special discounts for my followers, and hopefully this is just one of many giveaways that will be available on this blog. While I would really like to not play the games of "the big man", it seems in my own beneift to do so in this case. I can't see a better way of getting my writing out there in the world wide web.

So, I asked my blogging mentors how they got so many followers. Every single one of them came back with one word "Giveaways!" Everyone likes to win something, and I have some great sweepstakes and contest ideas...just you wait, this is only the beginning of my bribery-ha! My Mom (who has been a Stampin' Up! representative for many years now) was so very generous to donate today's prizes; as a matter of fact she gave me so much nice stuff that I am splitting the prize into two; this makes it more fun for me, as I will get to notify two happy winners instead of just one. So, here are the details on the prizes:

Prize #1:
1 pkg. Purely Pomegranate card stock (24 sheets total)

1 Purely Pomegranate stamp pad

1 Blue Bayou stamp pad

1 River Rock stamp pad

1 set Alpha Shadows stamps

1 set So Many Scallops stamps

Prize #2:
1 pkg. Groovy Guava card stock (24 sheets total)

1 Groovy Guava stamp pad

1 River Rock stamp pad

1 Around & About stamp set

1 Around the Block stamp set

1 Big Blossom stamp (large approx 4" diameter)

To Enter:

  1. Become a "Follower" of this blog. To do so, just click on the Follow link at the bottom of the left hand column, it will take you through a few quick steps to sign up for great daily humor and stories about our life on the ranch!  To receive this blog in your in box, you can also sign up for it to come to you via e-mail about a day after I post.

For extra entries:
  1. Blog about this sweepstakes and my blog (don't forget to leave me a link in the comment section).
  2. Leave a comment about what you like about my blog.

 It is very easy to get two entries, if not three, and the chances of winning are even higher with two prizes available; so tell your friends. I will randomly draw two winners at noon on Thursday December 10, 2009.  I was trying to get pics of the prizes, but my camera is on the blink; all the more reason to check out Mom's website!
If you are not familiar with Stampin' Up!, there is a few things I would like to share with you about these products. First and foremost, the company has been a great one for my Mom to work with; she has been able to earn a cruise each year, for many years, with them. Also, the quality of product is higher than with any other stamp stuff I have worked with; I have stamp pads that are probably getting close to seven years old and they still work great. The very best part is that all of these high quality products are made right here in the good old USA! So, spread the word and become a follower of a blog that I hope you really enjoy and possibly win some great prizes in the process!

An addition as of 12-9-09:  I have found a great random number generator which I will use to determine the winners.  I'm not sure if pulling the names out of a hat is still acceptable, but I don't have a hat that big-ha!

Make a miracle today!