Monday, November 30, 2009

Metaphysical Monday

Good Morning! I hope you are all recovering from your long weekend of over indulgence! I cooked another turkey dinner yesterday so that we would not miss out on leftovers, so we did double over indulgence! Still don't like the way my pie crust is turning out, but I guess it just takes practice...

Speaking of practice, I would like to talk a little bit about the religion that I practice. I think that many people think that those of us that don't go to church regularly, and believe in things like Spirit Guides and afterlife are not Christian based. I have found the opposite to be true. I am what I like to call a Naturalist Christian; I believe that God is all around us all the time, and that we have his guidance no matter where we choose to celebrate Him; and for me, it makes the most sense to honor him in the spectacular natural surroundings that he has given us.

I think my issues with organized religion started when I was very young. I'll never forget the first time I showed up in a church by myself as a teenager. It was a Methodist church that my family belonged to in Evergreen, but did not go to often. I was trying to just go in and enjoy a church service because I was going through a difficult time in my life (who isn't as a teenager?) and was hoping for some guidance, or at the very least comfort. I got neither. I got looks of scorn and many curious stares. I could feel the room closing in around me with the unasked questions. "What did she do wrong? Does she need to repent?" I had even overheard someone say that they thought I was pregnant! I was just barely sixteen and this left me with a rather bad taste in my mouth; I left that church bawling my head off.

Now, I know in my heart that there is absolutely no way that God would want anyone to feel that way, or to think a person must sacrifice anything for his love. Not money, not time, not pride, and certainly not the part of you who makes you the strong individual that he created. It feels so wrong to me that churches have become such a huge business, and that there is so much money and conflict involved with them. Just because it is a church group parents are forgetting to make sure their kids are safe. People are giving a good portion of their income to their church even when they can't really afford it, or even just feeling guilty about not doing what the church asks of them; it just doesn't sit well with what I believe God wants for us.

I feel that He would want us to be happy, and to celebrate the love and life he has given us. I feel that He would want us to spend our time taking care of our families and Mother Earth. I feel that God is with me everyday of the week, and in no particular building (especially one that was built with other peoples money)!

I have to laugh about how I picture the Spirit world and how it works. I see it almost like a multi level marketing idea. With God at the very top of the triangle and then various levels of Spirit Guides working their way up the tiers. Now this may sound very simplistic and silly, but it makes a lot of sense to me. I have worked with my Spirit Guides, but I would never claim to have spoken to God. I can only hope that He is watching over me and my guides, but I know that my Spirit Guides would not sway my beliefs or want me to suffer for anyone or anything. In my opinion, God and Spirits only want happiness and prosperity for us.

So...make your very own miracle today and everyday!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Royal Ranch Royalty

Good Morning! We are back in our picturesque little town, but enjoyed ourselves tremendously in another little picture perfect town two states away! We got to spend some qualityt ime with our relatives who have been a part of my whole life, but rarely get to see. My day with my Great Aunt Jaris is one that is burned into my memory. To be able to sit around and chat with my Grandma's favorite sister was time I would not trade for anything. The men all had a great time playing farmer too. They all got to ride in the combine, and Nathan even got to take the load of corn to town in the semi with my cousin. Isabella had a wonderful time with her cousins, especially one that she has become pen pals wih this last year. It was great because they are only one year apart, which is exactly what her Mom and I are, and boy the memories we laughed about from when we were kids! I was a bawling mess yesterday on the way home because my kids kept telling us thank you, and how much fun they had and how they love that part of our family! It is just such a reminder of how important family is, and how important it is to pass that love of family on to the next generations.

So, I bet you are wondering what all of this has to do with Royal Ranch Royalty. I'm wondering if I might be the only person on earth to travel 650 miles to rescue a puppy. It all started out innocently enough. We were on our way to Thanksgiving dinner at my cousins, crisscrossing farm roads when I thought I saw a possum. We had just been talking the night before about them, and I was really hoping to see one while we were there. We got a little closer and saw that it was a puppy with a collar on, we slowed down a little bit and she started running after our truck. Of course the kids and I start yelling at Tom to stop the truck, this little tiny puppy chasing us was more than any of us, including my big bad biker husband could stand. I opened the door and stepped out and that dog was in my arms in about a millisecond! We assumed that since she had a collar she was just a little lost. With our cousins knowing everyone in town, we took her to dinner, sure that the family would be able to tell us where she lived.

That's when we learned that the dog had been around for quite a few days. One of the neighbors had called at least a couple of days before that wondering if the pup belonged to my family. So, apparently when she couldn't find the owner, she dumped the dog again. See, when you live on the outskirts of town, you learn that it is not uncommon for people to take unwanted animals out into rural areas to dump them. Now, this little tiny baby had been dumped twice. We kept her in the truck for the few days that we were there, except when all of the kids were oohing and aahing over her, and she was a perfect angel. As we expected, no one claimed her, so she came hme with us.

Did I mention that she's just a baby? I might have forgotten to mention that she is a Great Dane baby, so she won't be tiny for long. It's really ironic (or just meant to be) that she looks almost identical to our Great Dane Sophie, who we lost many years ago to old age and cancer. The only way we had been able to afford Sophie way back when was because she was a breeder throw back. When I say that, I mean that she was a Harlequinn (white with black spots) that turned out to be black with just a few white markings. I am pretty sure that our baby got dumped for the same reason and the fact that she has a broken tail; thankfully it is not at all painful to her, but very crooked.

As I mentioned, she has been an absolute doll, never chewing or going potty in my truck. We had given her the sleeping bag that I carry in case of emergencies, and she would crawl up inside of it and sleep for hours. She is skin and bones, but that will not take long to fix; she'll be on a bi-hourly feeding schedule for quite some time. I'm thinking she's a couple of months old because she still has her umbilical hernia, and tiny little sharp teeth to go along with it!

I needed another dog like I need a hole in the head, but there is no turning back. Tom and I have been talking about how odd that she had run from everyone else in my family, and had chased us down. Then for her to be just like Sophie really blew our minds; this girl was meant to be a Jeute, whether we were prepared for her or not. We have to laugh, becuase she has very quickly learned to love her blankies, a week in cold corn fields will do that, I figure. Last night when we got home and finally had a chance to relax, she jumped right up on the couch as soon as I sat down with my favorite blanket! She snuggles her little head in and groans with pleasure, it is the cutest thing you've ever seen. Today I will be enforceing the "no dogs on the couch rule", I hope....

So, today's royalty is very well deserved. We are extraordinarily proud to introduce Iowa Jeute, fitting don't you think? A little tiny heart on the mend, and a wonderful surprise gift for us. Even more to be thankful for!

Make a miracle today!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving! I am on vacation, it's true, but I wanted to share my list of things I am thankful for today:

My husband and kids

My parents and sisters

My nieces and nephews

My husband's sisters and brother

My friends

The health of the aforementioned people

The regular readers who have been so supportive of this blog.

My Health

My Ranch

My Llamas and chickens and sheep

My house pets

The health of the aforementioned animals

I know that this sounds a little simplistic, but it is more than I have ever hoped for. Make a quick list today of your favorite things, it really puts things in perspective. Have a wonderful holiday and make a miracle today!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On the Road Again...

Good Morning from Ogallala, Nebraska! We are on our way to see relatives in Iowa for Thanksgiving, and I can't wait! When I was a little girl, we used to go to Iowa every Thanksgiving to see my Mom's Grandma. Although Grandma K. passed many years ago, the pull from a place I've never called home is irresistable. My family there would all be considered "distant relatives", but the distance feels small and we really enjoy our time with our "Iowa Folks".

The beautiful rolling hills that are in between the two small towns that my families live in, always bring a smile to my face. Not at all like the rough terrain we live in, but feeling like home all the while. I don't know if it's the fact that we all live a similar lifestyle, or just their welcoming attitude, but they are family through and through.

We left late yesterday, not until about 6:00, and had to stop on the way to repair my son, Thomas' phone so that he could text while we are away from his teenage friends for so very long, you know, four days. The Verizon store of course took forever, but we had a nice dinner while we waited and off we went.

Nathan had come up with a great way to spend our $100 gift card from the HGTV people, and that was to spend the night in a hotel on our way to Iowa. You know how kids are, a swimming pool is a vacation to them, so we talked Tom into leaving a night early. We rolled into Ogallala at about midnigtht and headed straight to bed at the good old Best Western. We, of course, will swim this morning at eight and head out after that.

I wanted to thank you all for your encouraging comments about our visit from HGTV, I will let you know when I hear anything about an air date. But, for now, have a safe holiday weekend and if you're travelling, do so with the utmost of care! Make a miracle today!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Visit from HGTV, WOW!!!

Good Morning! Did you get my hint? Did you guess HGTV? Not many of you know this, but I am a huge HGTV junkie. So when I got an e-mail just over a week ago from one of their production coordinators who said they wanted to do some filming here at The Royal Ranch (on my birthday, no less), I thought it was a hoax. I did a quick check on the HGTV website, saw there was no show with the name she had given me, and wrote it off.

In the night I just kept hearing a little voice that told me to check into it a little farther. As you know, I am a strong believer in everything happening for a reason, but I am also very suspicious at heart, I am finding out. But, I figured that between it being my favorite channel, and my birthday, this was some sort of sign. Well, lo and behold I went onto the website for High Noon TV and surprise, surprise! The show was real, just not set to air until Spring!

The show is My First Sale, a spinoff of My First Place if you are familiar with their programming. A local family was chosen because they are selling their first home and they want to buy a ranch. Our little piece of paradise was chosen to do lifestyle shots and to teach the family a little bit about life on a ranch. It is a family of six, with four little kids all under the age of about seven, none of whom have been around animals much. The crew from HGTV was three, a producer, a camera man and a sound guy.

After a very busy week of getting our releases in, and getting the house and ranch ready, we were as proud as punch when they pulled in! Although it was a little chaotic (I don't know if my poor chickens will ever recover from being chased so much-ha!), I think the filming went really well. I don't think that we will be on the show very much, but our great critters behaved very well and will definitely not be on the editing room floor. We were filmed quite a bit as we did our regular llama education talk and introduction, all the while trying to teach the kids a little bit of safety when it comes to large, and even small animals.

It was a whirlwind couple of hours. Trying to herd the animals into a certain light, running to get another haltered llama (because one of the little girls bit her sister over holding the lead rope; I don't think that one will make the cut-ha!), and trying to catch the chickens after they were already freaked out for their big debut on TV, is not everyday occurrences here at the ranch. I am now very empathetic towards anyone working with animals on TV, animals are not always ready for film, like our sheep for instance (they spent their time madly trying to get away from everything, scared to death!). But, we did it and they got some great footage; they even paid us $100 for our trouble!

Whether Tom and I make it to the big screen (Yes, I know it's not big screen, but throw me a bone here...) or not, it was fantastic exposure for our businesses. We, of course, were wearing Royal Ranch hats and denim shirts and the producer even reminded Tom to "plug us" once with one of his answers for the home owners questions, so we'll see. They had heard of us through word of mouth and Google, so it was a huge "Atta girl!" that all this hard work we're doing is really paying off. I will post again when I hear it is going to air!

I have to tell you something funny. I didn't blog about HGTV coming until after they were here because I was being superstitious. I had already told you all about The Price is Right and my calendar contest, both of which were a bust and both of which I had shared on this blog. Although it is hard to deal with disappointments anytime; it's a little embarrassing to do it publicly. But, I kept my head held high, and came out on top; this was better than anything I could have tried out for. For HGTV to contact me to want to do a shoot was a dream come true.

Make a miracle today!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Metaphysical Monday

Good Morning! I hope you all had a great weekend and are excited about the short week with a holiday thrown in! I had the most unbelievable weekend; Saturday was my birthday, and we had very special visitors at our ranch yesterday. But, since today is my regular Metaphysical Monday, and I was excited about today's post as well as telling you about our great visitors, you will have to check back in tomorrow to see who our guests were. I'll give you a starts with HG and ends with TV, no, no, I'm not giving you any more info-ha! Now I know you have to come back!

So, back to my birthday. A few months ago when I first started really studying the Metaphysical world, I went into my local book store and was surprised to find out that it is almost entirely metaphysical. That in itself was a pleasant surprise, but on the counter was a flyer for a psychic that was doing readings. I got that feeling in my stomach, you know the one that I talk about quite often in these posts? The feeling that something inexplicable is going on around you, and that you're somewhat of a pawn in a much bigger game? Yes, that's the feeling I got, and before I could even read further, I knew that the readings were scheduled for my birthday.

Now, I have never been to a psychic, and have often thought that many of them are simply pulling on the heart strings of people who are really reaching for something, maybe even anything. But, with all of the upheaval that I was experiencing in my spiritual quest, I felt it was time to at least see how it is done. I did as much research on the guy as I possibly could and talked the old man into coming with me.

You see, Tom is on the fence about this whole metaphysical thing. His very logical brain has a hard time with a lot of it, but living with me, he can't deny that some very strange things happen around here. He is afraid of it, I think, he talks a lot about what if something negative comes from my guides (or a psychic), will I believe it and how will it affect our lives? What if the death card (metaphorically speaking) is played or something?

I have tried quite a few times to explain that the communication with Spirit Guides is never negative. They are there to do just what their title says, guide. Not scare us, or make us feel afraid to live, or afraid to die. They are simply here to help get us through the maze of life. So, I knew that if the psychic had anything at all negative, than he wasn't for real or at the very least, not talking with my guides. I guess I should not say "anything at all negative", because of course we would all want to know if our guides felt that there was avoidable danger; but again, to me that seems like positive news.

To be honest, the whole reason I wanted to go was to test myself. A person who has the ability to connect with their Spirit Guides always feels as if they are making it up, I know for sure I do. I have read this in many of the books as well. Often times the stuff that comes through is not at all clear, sounds like a familiar voice, but mostly information just gets into our brains, we don't know where it comes from, it is just there. So it leaves me with plenty of questions. Am I crazy, or does this really happen to other people? Am I just making it all up and remembering things I didn't know I knew? So, like I said, I figured this was as good as time as any to check it all out. I was also very curious if he would say anything about me having "powers"

Well, the deck was stacked against the guy. He had no hope against my naughty Spirit Guides. I could almost hear them laughing as this poor man struggled through probably one of the worst readings he's ever had. I'm pretty sure he was getting something, and that was a big brick wall. In my mind I kept hearing over and over again that I did not need this guy in the middle, and my communication with my guides was going along just fine.

I almost had to bust out laughing, the psychic just kept saying "I'm having a hard time getting anything"; I, on the other hand was getting plenty of input. They did allow him a few bits of information, but it was all stuff we had already done. We pretty much just ended up talking about publishing books, something we both had in common. The fact that he told us he couldn't get much makes me believe that he is probably legit, just blocked. From the laughing and voices I heard in my mind, I found out that my guides really have a sense of humor. I even looked at Tom multiple times, afraid that he could hear the jokes as well, that's how clearly this was all coming through.

But most importantly, I learned from this session. I learned that I am definitely not crazy, or making things up. I feel strongly that my guides pointed me down that path to teach me a lesson about listening to myself. I am the only one that can take this journey, and that I will learn everything I need to know in due time. I also learned that at least one of my guides is a rebel like me. Now that made me really proud!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Royal Ranch Royalty

Good Morning!  I had started a post for yesterday, when my daughter caught me.  "Mom, you're not allowed to work on your birthday, put your computer away!"  So, who could resist an offer like that, Isabella and I headed off to watch TV laying in my bed, what a luxury it was!  I've got to tell  you, I had one of the nicest birthdays I've had in a long time!  Not that I've had any bad birthdays, but this one seemed even a little better, and I think it started off with my birthday gift from my husband...which leads me to today's Royal Ranch Royalty...Mr. Tom Jeute, come on down!
I talk about Tom every now and then, but I'm not sure I have been able to demonstrate how much this man means to me.  Tom and I met when I was 18 years old, and were married by the time I was 20.  I fell in love with him because of his sense of humor (I tell him it was his cool Harley, so this will be news to him-ha!) and his strong "American freedom" attitude.  He is like me, and looks at "normalcy" in a whole different way, and doesn't get caught up in how things are "supposed" to be done.  We get it done, any way we know how, and we do it together. 
I know that many people thought I was too young to be getting married, especially to someone seven years my senior, but our love is stronger than anything I can imagine, so it made perfect sense to us.  Thankfully my parents could see how much we meant to one another and were very happy to host our wedding at their home, the home I grew up in.  Even back then I was very connected with the earthy side of myself, and had always wanted to get married in the spectacular mountains that I love so much.  A big thank you to all of you who were a part of our special day, and so supportive of our great marriage.
I have to tell you a quick story about my wedding day.  My parents live on North Turkey Creek Road, which is a very curvy canyon.  Tom and all of his groomsmen, plus about twenty other bikers, arrived at our wedding in roaring style.  They had all met at our house a few miles away and had ridden their beautiful and loud Harleys up that canyon that I had learned how to drive in.  We could hear them coming for miles before they were there.  To see all of those big bad bikers ride up in their white tuxes on their noisy bikes, made my heart swell with pride.  Those are the sort of friends you have for your entire life, and I felt blessed to be marrying the "leader of the pack"!
My beloved husband has also given me the life that I couldn't have even dreamed of.  Due to our strong sense of old fashioned parenting, he has made it so that I have been able to stay home with our children all of these years.  Although I have a very difficult job, sometimes I think Tom's is even harder (shhh, don't tell him I said that!), to have to be the sole provider for a family of five is not an easy thing to accomplish.  He is still very involved with parenting as well, which I am so very proud of!  My kids really look forward to their adventures with their Dad.
Speaking of adventures, Tom has been more than supportive when it comes to the crazy business ideas I have come up with, and supports me with everything he has.  But, his adventurous side is a little more daring than mine.  One of his favorite things is being naked (as a matter of fact, Tom is actually Naked Johnny, our logo for Naked~Nure!), yes you read that right.  Not that he is a nudist, just a rebellious guy who likes to shock people every now and then.  Like the time I bought him a helmet for his bike.  Tom really enjoys the freedom his harley brings him, so the helmet was just a concession on his part so I would not worry about him quite so much.  To continue that feeling of freedom, the first time Tom rode his bike with that helmet on he had it and a pair of boots on, that's it!   I'll never forget the look on the neighbors faces as my tall, skinny, and very white husband did a couple rounds around the neighborhood, naked as a jaybird, laughing all the while.  Now that is confidence in who you are!
The picture is of my birthday gift from him.  He made it with love, I know, because he normally does not like to work with wood.  But, knowing that I am such a "green girl" and love everything about the forest, he couldn't have gotten me a better present!  He says my poems are rubbing off on him, so this is what my card had to say:
Just a little something on your special day,
Not expensive or lavish,
There's just no way.
Times are tough and money is tight,
But this gift says;
We'll be alright!

Yes, that's a man that really gets his wife!
Make a miracle today!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not another chicken poem!?!

I think I feel a poem coming on,
No, my mind is not gone.
I will not make it about a hen,
Wouldn't do that to you again.
How about a llama or a sheep?
Now that would be poetry that is deep.
All I know is that it is awful funny,
How they make my world so sunny.
Sheep that can jump so high,
You'd think they're going to touch the sky.
Llamas that love me,
Are very hard workers, you'll see.
As for the hen,
Oops! I'm back to her again...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting Rid of Those Pesky Meds

Good Morning!  Well, once again my family has given me the direction in which I should blog today, I just love that!  Of course with writing a "green" blog, I get a lot of questions about recycling and all sorts of other green habits; but the one my Mom asked me, regarding how to get rid of unused medication really had me stumped.  So... of course I did some research on how to dispose of medications properly.
The EPA has a website that is pretty full of information. It has a list of drugs that are safe to flush, and points out that many drugs have this information on the bottle or in its paperwork.  When in doubt, do NOT flush it, and this applies to all over the counter medicine as well.  I was really surprised to find out that if you have no other options, put the medication in a sealed container with something yucky, like coffee grounds or kitty litter and then put it in the trash. 
Interestingly enough, many states are just now coming up with ways to donate your medicine, which I was sorry to hear.  With as many people as there are who can't afford their medicine, it seems like a great idea.  This is what Louise at the Colorado Health Insurance Insider had to say:
I’m very curious about how the whole thing works. The donated medications can come from medical providers or individuals, but have to be unopened and sealed, and are checked by pharmacists to ensure safety. But who has unused medications sitting around? I know lots of people might have a few pain pills left over from a surgery, but they usually use at least a few pills out of the bottle first. As for medical offices and hospitals, wouldn’t they have a steady stream of need for the medications already? I think it’s a great idea to donate and recycle unused medications – I’m a big fan of donating and recycling just about everything – I’m just not sure where the supply is coming from. But it seems to be coming from somewhere – in states like WY and IA, drug recycling programs have netted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medications for uninsured residents who would otherwise likely have gone without their prescriptions. So far, at least 33 states have passed laws allowing for donation, recycling, and reuse or prescriptions, and these programs are still new – many are in testing and pilot stages, so the full potential is far from realized. It sure beats having the drugs just go to waste in a corner somewhere.
I stringly agree with this opinion.  It would even be worth going through the red tape if we knew the meds weren't going to waste.  I did read a couple of places that organizations like UNICEF take life saving prescriptions to third world countries whose population really needs them.  To be honest, their website was just way too slow to load and didn't have a very good search engine, so I moved on.  It was a little bothersome to me that there really is not a definitive answer as to WHERE to donate your unused meds, and even if you do there are many rules regarding this, like they need to be unopened-What?
So, I guess for now these are the best steps to take if you have medicine that is expired or unused:
  1. Check the EPA website and see if your medication is on the list of things that are safe to flush.
  2. Hope that your state is one of the ones with a recycling program and take it there.
  3. Talk with your Pharmacist, he/she may have a recycling program, or may let you bring it in for them to put in their hazardous material disposal.
  4. If all else fails, try the kitty litter method.
  5. ALWAYS remove the label on the bottle, no matter how you are disposing of it.  Most medicine bottles that I have come across are recyclable, so toss the bottle in the recycling and get rid of the medicine separately.
We really do not want these contaminants in our water, be it ground water or drinking water.  The impact on the environment is still unknown, but medications show up in drinking water all over the world.  As for the ground water, we all know how contamination of it can lead to problems throughout the entire eco-system.  And, shamefully enough, we have to worry about people or kids taking medication that they have no idea what it is.  Recently I heard that identity theft is even becoming a problem; with people taking your personal information off of an old prescription bottle.  What is this world coming to?
I hope this helps, Mom; thanks for the idea!
Make a miracle today!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Not Use My Dryer? You've Got to Be Kidding!

Oh my gosh, dear dedicated readers... I got up this morning to work on today's post, and realized that I never finished and published yesterday's post, how embarassing-ha!  So, here it is...

Good Morning! Don't you just love it when your family does half of your job for you? Well, that is the case with today's post. You know, it was really ironic that Irina (my German exchange sister) sent me a note on facebook regarding clothes lines in America, because I had been thinking of trying to use my dryer a lot less, but thinking about it doesn't really count.  I, of course, will include her huge compliments in the note that I have copied here.

Dear Judy,

I love reading your blog, I am amazed at how much and how professionally and yet with your very personal style you write. I had to laugh hard about the fridge cleaning.
Yesterday I was thinking about the little conversation we had about dryers. There was a long article in our newspaper about the fight FOR clotheslines in the US! I had no idea that there were areas where they were outlawed! Colorado apparantly just passed a law against the outlawing. I found this link to the information in English which I'm sure you'll be interested in, if you didn't already now! Matthias and I made a vow to each other to NOT buy a dryer when we become parents, as friends of ours just recently suggested we probably would.
Much love!

The conversation that she is referring to is one that we had over a post on how green I am.  Well, Irina really put me in my place (LOL), I had blogged about double spinning your clothes because it takes them much less time to dry that way, and she reminded me that they don't even have a dryer, and think that spinning twice is even too much energy to use.  Since that time it has really gotten me thinking.  Why do I only hang bedding out in the fresh air to dry?  Should The Royal Ranch have a clothesline?  Well, of course it should!  And, most importantly how do we as Americans rank when it comes to using our eco-friendly resources?  This is what Irina had to say when I asked her if they were more "green" than most Germans, and how they are compared to us lazy Americans (again, LOL):

Yes, I think we are more eco-aware than the average German. We are e. g. pretty good in not taking the car when train, tram or bicycle does the transportation job, too. But we do have a car (rather Matthias has one), Matthias is car pooling to work, while I take the bicycle or the tram. But we are no heroes and do use the car occasionally.
But I also think that the average German is more eco-aware than the average American. It probably partly has to do with our history and the times during and after WWII where resources were scarce and "saving" was a survival attitude. I remember my Grandma sending me to the bakery (and that was in the 70ies) with the paper bag from the day before, or the day before that. Why getting a new one when the old one was still good? Or wrapping paper. My mother always kept and reused (didn't iron, like some do!), and I do the same thing. The unwrapping takes longer and gets more exciting when you carefully open to not harm the paper, too.
Please feel free to blog about this, but please don't think I'm missioning.
Much Love!

I had to laugh about her thinking she was "missioning", here I am almost eveyday bragging and blogging about how green I am, and they put me to shame!  To a certain extent, I think it is time to be do some missioning when it comes to being earth friendly!  Whether we are coming from an economic standpoint (you know, too broke to afford it?), or for health reasons (sensitive allergies, skin conditions, asthma, etc.)  it is so important that we take care of our Mother Earth.
So...I am going to make myself a clothesline and use it, one more step I can take.   Laundry for me is very simple, as we are a jeans, t-shirt and hoody family, no "work" clothes, so I have just learned to throw everything in the dryer and not think twice about it.  As a matter of fact, I love my dryer because it and my washing machine do my work while I can do other things.  But, maybe that is part of the problem, I should probably do my own work!
I would love a little feedback from my great readers though.  Do you all use clotheslines?  How do you keep your clothes from feeling stiff when you do use one?  Does your town/state have a law regarding clotheslines?  Do you always dry your clothes outside, or do you have an indoor rack?
The pictures are of a clothes rack that my Mom fell in love with when she was visiting Irina a couple of years ago.  I really want to thank my German family for their help on this, Matthias even sent me these pics from the hospital where he was on call!  Speaking of that, when they become parents, does that make me an "American Exchange Aunt"?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Metaphysical Monday

Good Morning! Well, I have spent the last couple of Metaphysical Mondays trying to get the point across as to how similar all sorts of spiritual beliefs are. I have also done this so that as MM progresses, people will understand that this blog is simply written as one woman's observations and experiences. It is important for me to not be offensive while chronicling my spiritual journey and trying to uncover some mysteries that have haunted me my entire life. I, too, am somewhat of a disbeliever in many of the things I have learned and studied in the last few months (gee...has it really only been that long?), which is why this is a difficult lesson for me. I am having to broaden my mind to really wrap it around a lot of the things that I am trying to incorporate into my life.

But, for me, that has come out of necessity, and for you as my reader, you can take it or leave it. Which is what makes this a difficult choice, whether to put this part of me out there or not. Again, that's the whole point. Especially now that I'm realizing that this weird stuff is a part of me whether I like it or not. I had already chosen to put myself out there, by doing this blog and being such a community supporter, and now I know that my oddities have to be out there as well. I am who I am, and that's that.

One of the strangest things that comes to mind is when a couple of years ago I was doing my barn chores at my old vet's. It must have been a warm day, because I had my Yoga capris on(for my male readers, capris are between pants and shorts) with my favorite pink fuzzy socks from Mom and of course my rubber barn shoes. I can't remember why now, but I was having a bad day (probably because I'd had to leave the house in an outfit like that-ha!), I always looked forward to my time with the horses though. On that particular day, the horses came running up like they always did, but clear as a bell, I heard "I love your socks" almost shouted in a voice that I wasn't familiar with. I jumped, thinking someone had snuck up behind me, but there was no one around. It took a couple minutes for it to sink in that it had been the young Philly that I was preparing to feed, she knew I was having a rough day, and complimented me like any good friend would.

My family and I had joked for years that I could talk to our animals, and to a certain extent I believed it. I think that anyone that loves and cares for as many animals as I do, tends to learn the language that they speak. But, I've come to realize since that day, that normally animals think and communicate in pictures, not words. It is easy enough to set the pictures that the animals are sending aside, as just one of my own thoughts. That Philly really taught me a lesson that day, besides scaring the crap out of me!

The lesson that I'm learning is that not everything can be explained away, no matter how hard I try. As a matter of fact, now I am to the point where I wish I hadn't put off this new education for so long, but that is one of the best things about working with Spirit, nothing is given to you that you are not ready to handle.

Make a miracle today!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Royal Ranch Royalty

Look at that snow!
That's my boy!

They even sounded good playing, with frozen
hands and all.

Now, that's dedication.

Platte Canyon High School Marching Band
dancing Thriller

Good Morning!!! Well, there is a foot of snow on the ground, and the Bronco's play today, so I am one happy camper. To lay around snacking and not feeling guilty about not working is a luxury I very rarely take. Since it's such an inside out day, I thought I'd shake up Royal Ranch Royalty a little bit. While I still plan to introduce you to our various critters around here, I would like to broaden my horizon a bit. I am going to also spotlight people or events or organizations or... who I feel deserve to be Royalty for a week. Today I am so proud to aim that shining light on The Platte Canyon High School Marching Band, directed by Jesse Walters and of course, featuring my son Nathan Jeute on the quad toms.

I have mentioned this band and director before, but yesterday their half time show was way above and beyond. As you see by the pictures, half time was practically a blizzard and those kids and Jesse went out onto that field like Champs. Not only that, but they laid down their instruments in the snow covered field and danced Thriller, by Michael Jackson! To see this crowd, full of what I lovingly call Mountain Hillbilly's, on their feet, cheering at the very original "marching band" performance, warmed my heart more than the sun could have if it had chosen to come out, which it didn't.

The Platte Canyon Huskies are in the playoffs, being the only undefeated team, and we were host to the first play off game yesterday. The town really gets into their high school football, and again as I have mentioned, our Sheriff Fred Wegener, calls the game. Blessedly I was working the Dawg House (our Husky version of a concession stand), and was not sitting in the snow most of the time. But, there were plenty of people who were, and were having a great time doing it. The players are outstanding this year, and almost all of our games have ended in a shut out! Really keeps the crowd pumped.

I had heard about the band practicing for the Thriller dance, and had gotten a real chuckle out of the fact that the director, Jesse, had put it to vote whether he should dance with the kids or not. It was, of course, overwhelmingly voted that he perform as well. So, out there in the middle of a couple of inches of snow, they danced. And they did it with marching band pride. Man I love this little town...

Make a miracle today!
PS Thank you Teri Ferradino for the great pics!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another Chicken Poem

Leave it to hen,

to have me writing poems again.

The chickens are free range now,

I love how they follow me, WOW!

We are getting plenty of eggs each day,

A healthy protein, that can be cooked in any way.

Wait, that hen looks a little shady,

Crap, he's a rooster, should we call him Brady?

He is so busy doing his job,

I think I might call him Bob.

My son says, "No, don't put him in the oven!",

"We'll just call him McLovin'!"

I'm just kidding, about the oven thing! I think I might have a future in chicken poetry! What do you think?

Make a miracle today.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Doggy Hints & Tips 101

Happy Friday! While I would never claim to be an expert in the field of training dogs, and my dogs are far from perfect; but I do have quite a bit of experience, that is for sure. So, I thought I'd share a few hints and tips about living peacefully with man's best friend.

First and foremost, I believe in the use of crates. Not only does it cut your house training time in half with a puppy, but it soon becomes the dogs safe haven. Our dogs learned very quickly that when we say "Go to bed, girls" it means a treat is soon to follow. It is so funny to see all of the dogs scramble for their perspective crates when we tell them to go to bed. They patiently wait to be delivered their treats, in the order of hierarchy, with their cute little noses sticking out the door of their "bed". This consistency also makes it easier for neighbors when they have to take care of our place; we simply tell them our command, and it works out great.

Back to my comment on hierarchy. This is one rule that really needs to be followed if you own multiple dogs. I know it is our instinct to root for the underdog (yes, pun intended), but make sure to always feed or give treats to the top dog, and then work your way down the chain of command. This helps reinforce that you are dominant and that you understand their canine language. It also keeps the underdog a little safer.

My favorite training tool is the dogs' favorite tool as well, treats, any kind of treats will do. Choose something very small when you first start working to train or re-train your dog, this way you'll not be overfeeding you friend while working with him/her. Say the command, then the dogs name, and repeat the command. This is important because then the dog knows who you are talking to. This point came up when we were training Rose and Lily at the same time, and they would both do the same thing at the same time; which is not good when you want one to come and one to stay. So, again, make sure to use the dogs name with each command.

It is very important to reward your dog immediately upon his/her accomplishing whatever it is that you are asking of them. For example, if you are using the command sit, hold the treat directly above and a little behind the nose and tell them "Sit, Rover, sit", as soon as his butt touches the floor, give him the treat. It is best to reinforce the command "Good, Rover, sit" as you are giving the treat, it helps remind Rover of the initial command and why he is being given a treat.

Consistency is key when training any animal. Make sure that the entire family always uses the same command, and also make sure the kids are involved in the training process. Again, this reminds the dog that all human members of the family are dominant over him/her. Remind kids that it is never safe to approach a dog that is eating, but on the other hand, make sure that your dog is not food aggressive. If the dog is at all uncomfortable with you approaching it while at its bowl, he/she needs a little work. Start by petting the dog while it eats, and move up to being able to touch the bowl, and then eventually you need to be able to pull the bowl out from under its nose.

Hierarchy is the mainstay of every animal kingdom, and if we learn this and respect it, we will all coexist a little more peacefully with our beloved furry friends. We would not let our children be raised without any manners, and the same should go for our pets.

I think I hear someone coming.... Gigi is ready to "door dash" (this is the term to describe a dog that rips out the door and runs barking to meet his/her guests, my pet peeve) as we speak... Did I mention I'm not an expert? Ha!

Make a miracle today!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cleaning the Fridge Is Cleansing For The Soul

Good Morning! Yesterday, I spent the entire day cleaning my fridge. Well, that's not entirely true, I did get a couple of hours of office work done, but the refrigerator took the entire rest of the day, Tom had to even help me finish up when he got home. So, this has prompted me to add this chore to my seasonal list of house chores. I have a mental list of things I should do with each time change (If you live in AZ, lucky you!), including things like:

  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors. As you know I feel quite strongly about not wasting anything, but this is one case where I make exception (we had a fire in our house when I was a kid, so I am very fire leery), replace the batteries whether you think they need it or not. I also make sure that our renters have new batteries for their detectors as well.

  • Double check our carbon monoxide detector, ours has a battery back up, but is plugged into the wall, so I might only replace that battery once a year, depends.

  • Change or clean out our furnace filter.

  • Change out our water filter.

  • Double check the temp that the hot water heater is on, and really clean the space around it.

  • Change any timers that we have been using over the summer, with the shortening of the days, you might need whatever it is controlling on (for me, that is a lamp, a chicken light, a water trough heater, etc.) for a longer period of time. Also check them for any signs of wear. I know these units are UL tested, but they are a fire hazard if not used properly.

  • And, now, last but not least, I am adding cleaning the fridge to this list.

Back to my disgusting refrigerator. We are not a family to let food sit in the fridge, as it all gets eaten; my family is great about leftovers and taking them for lunches. So, the fridge very rarely needs cleaning out, which is my excuse for letting it get so gross. I started by unplugging it (if your lucky your husband will have a beer fridge like mine to keep stuff cold, but if not a cooler would work great) and letting it just warm up for about an hour. During this time, remove all drawers and shelves and get those soaking in the sink, or if you have a small kitchen (again, like me) use up all of your counter space! Letting the fridge come to room temperature made the scrubbing much easier.

I then went to move the fridge to clean behind it, that is when all hell broke loose! The stuff that was underneath was unbelievable!!! The kids must've spilled something at some point and didn't tell me that it had gone under the fridge, so I had sticky, yucky, hairy (I'm not sure how it got so hairy with only a million pets in the house-ha!) goop accumulating under my fridge. Not only that, but the coils were practically invisible with all of the dust that had collected there. I got the floor taken care of, but Tom had to help with cleaning the coils. We could practically hear the fridge sigh with relief, it could finally breathe!

So, now my refrigerator is singing a different tune (literally), and I'm sure it is running much more efficiently too. I also think all that gunk under there could have been a fire hazard as well. It really was cleansing for my soul, and having a clean fridge is rewarding because it is one job that sees immediate results!

Make a miracle today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Embracing Our Inner Bitch!

Good Morning! I hope you didn't miss me too badly yesterday, for the life of me, I could not think of what I wanted to write about, which is really quite unusual for me. It is very important to me, to always have the best quality writing that I possibly can, and yesterday I had no "quality" in me I guess!

You know, I'll never forget when years ago (I think I was pregnant with my oldest) I was grocery shopping with my Mom, and ran into one of the meanest butcher's I have ever encountered. After some argument, I got what I needed, and said "Thanks a lot as---le", and to turn around an see the look on my Mom's face was priceless. It was a mixture of shock and pride; I think that she was proud of the fact that I didn't let this guy get under my skin, and that I had called him on his very rude behaviour.

We, as humans, and especially as women, seem to have some sort of problem with embracing our inner bitch. That's right, I said it! We all have a bitchy side, and we try and try to cover it up with day to day niceties and pressures. The problem with this theory is that we are just piling things up, and then if you are anything like me, it will erupt over something that really has nothing to do with what you are actually angry about.

I've got to tell you, I am proud of my bitchy side, because it is where I know I will always get the answers that feel right to me. If we learn to deal with issues when they arise, they do not snowball into other problems. I'm not sure why we think that it is not okay to get mad, or call people on crappy behaviour, or tell our husbands when they have hurt our feelings, or any other emotion that might bring conflict into our world. Conflict is what happens every day to every person, and if we just learn to live with it and deal with it in our own bitchy way, it is much easier for us to process. It is okay to not get along with everyone, and it is okay to get your feelings hurt, as long as you face it head on. Quit pretending that you're such a nice person, embrace your inner bitch, and you'll soon be on your way to a more peaceful, less conflicting existence.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Metaphysical Monday

Good Morning! I hope you all had a great, restful weekend. It is time to dive right into our Metaphysical Monday already! My antique (got it from Tom's Grandma, very cool) Webster's dictionary defines metaphysical as "of, or having the nature of metaphysics; of the nature of being or essential reality", don't you hate it when they use part of the word in the definition? Well, here is the definition for metaphysics in that same old dictionary "the branch of philosophy that deals with first principles and seeks to explain the nature of being or reality and of the origin and structure of the world", and my free online dictionary has nothing new to say.

To be honest, I was hoping that in the last 50 or so years, they came up with something a little more definitive and friendlier sounding. I don't know much about first principles, but I do understand "seeking to explain the nature of being or reality". Aren't we all? To understand where we come from and how it affects where we are going and where we want to be in our lives is something that we all strive for. How do our life experiences affect our future, and how will our future affect even the further distant future?

With all of the research I have been doing lately on all things metaphysical I have come across the same thing again and again. The idea that we, as humans, have complete control over our own destiny. Now, I don't mean to say that if you are going through a hard time in life, that it is your fault. As a matter of fact, it is the complete opposite, it is how a person deals with conflict and bumps in the road, that determines how future problems arise. To deal with things unknown can be scary for anyone, but to take a lesson away is all we can be expected to do.

Whether it be numerology, astrology, tarot cards, or working independently with your own Spirit Guides can lead to a more fulfilling lifestyle and to better inner peace. It is all about making conscious decisions, reaffirming those choices, and then having total faith that the universe will work with you accordingly. I am by no means suggesting that everyone change their own personal beliefs, and come to the metaphysical side. Again, on the contradictory. I believe that no matter where your "spiritual path" leads you, that is the path that you need to follow, as long as you do it with all of your heart.

I have also found that a deep appreciation for what you already have, can lead to the things that we are all striving for; wealth, health or even love. Giving back to others can only lead to things coming back, I believe, triple fold. I also think it is a great idea to come up with your own personal prayer or affirmation, and then say it every single day. That is the best way to let the universe know how serious you are about whatever it is you are praying for and would like a little help with. This can be as simple as "Please mighty Spirit, help my body heal", to something much more in depth. Always start any affirmation with some sort of appreciation, ask for what you want, get a very strong picture in your mind (visualize it and it will come...), thank him/her again for their wisdom and prepare for a feeling of peace to wash over you. It is such a relief to know that I always have assistance and guidance just waiting to be tapped into.

Take just a few minutes every day, for yourself and for your family. Connect with the spiritual system that speaks to you, and believe with all of your mind and soul that it is out there just for you, waiting to assist you in whatever way necessary. Have a miracle of a day!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Royal Ranch Royalty

Good Morning! Wow! These Sunday posts are coming closer and closer together is seems like. Our Royalty today is Shasta, she is our oldest cat, and as you can see, she thinks she's a baby. She is quite small, and surprisingly light, but if you just stopped by the ranch, you'd never know she was here.
We tease Shasta that she is a basement dweller, because whenever a visitor comes by she darts to the basement, scared to death. She has a way of draping herself onto your lap, and if she does not get an immediate response, she'll head butt your hand until you pet her.
My sixteen year old was just a baby, when my sister-in-law bought a ranch in Matheson, CO. It wasn't until a few weeks later that the kittens started arriving from the barn cats the previous owner had left behind. Our first visit down there was an exciting one for the kids, but a little bothersome for me. Way too many cats, and little runt Shasta was barely alive, let alone thriving. So, we brought her and one of her brothers home, to bottle feed and raise. I believe that is the reason she is such a baby, and is so very trusting of her family.
On the other hand, she is deathly afraid of strangers and being outside. Shasta went through one of her nine lives, right before my very eyes. Tom and the kids were headed out somewhere (been so long, can't remember...) and as I was waving goodbye to them, I see Shasta fall out from underneath the bottom of the Suburban and just barely miss the back tires as she screamed and ran for the nearest bush! It took me a few minutes to even find her, but when I did, luckily she was fine, just scared out of her mind. She hasn't been outside much since then.
We put in a cat door recently, so I could quit spending my day letting cats in and out, and now that she knows she can get right back in, she is a tad bit more adventurous. She'll sit in front of the clear rubber door and watch for a long time, and then she'll sneak out and belly crawl her way to her favorite planter, where she can roll in the mulch under my Butterfly Bush. What would we do without all of this entertainment?
Have a mircle of a day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Discovering Our Options

Good Morning! I know that you are all probably really sick of hearing me brag about my kids, but this post is one that you'll want to read if you have kids. You see, my oldest son, Thomas, has been having a really hard time with his Calculus class. He is planning on going to the School of Mines for anything math and science related, and had taken Calc as an elective because he can't imagine life without a math class. He has already gotten all of his math credits, by the time he is a junior, so to us, Calc was the only alternative.

The teacher of that class happens to be one that Tom had when he was going to school there, so we really came into it with high hopes. Actually Thomas was a little worried that she would hold Tom's behaviour against him-ha! But, whatever the case, things have not gone well. Thomas has really struggled through and was having physical symptoms of severe stress, like migraines and chest pains-no big deal!!! I mean, I was beside myself that this kid of mine was suffering so badly, and there really wasn't a darn thing I could do about it.

When I spoke with the teacher things just got worse, and we were about to the point we were going to pull him from the class. What bothered Thomas the most, was that he would not have a math class to take for the rest of his time at the school, or until that teacher retired (ha!) to take his beloved math classes. So, we decided to get the counselor involved to see what we could do about re-arranging his schedule. Although our school is very small, they do offer a wide variety of great classes, just with a limited amount of teachers, so scheduling can be a little tricky.

This was probably the best thing that has ever happened to my boy. After talking with the counselor myself by phone, and then her talking with Thomas at school, we have come up with an ingenious plan. Thomas will finish out this semester of Calc at his school, and they have changed his schedule for early dismissal next semester so he will take a college math class at Red Rocks Community College! Thomas will be starting his two year program with Red Rocks, which has a program to lead you directly into the School of Mines, early and we'll be saving money!

When I got off the phone with that counselor I was so happy. Thomas had been getting to a point where I was really worried that we were losing his attention. Saying things like how he couldn't wait to get out of school and get a job; or how school "sucks so bad", this coming from one of the most intelligent people I know, and that's not just his moms opinion! Thomas came home from school that day with a gleam of excitement that I have not seen in quite some time.

Not only will he be getting the stimulation he needs, but he will get a high school credit and a college credit. He will be starting his college classes a year and a half early, and best of all, after he passes the class, our school district will reimburse us for the tuition! Thomas and I both were saying "why didn't anyone tell us this sooner?", so I wanted to pass it along. Even my little genius had said that he was so glad he knew why he had been having such a hard time in that class, it was to point him in a new and more exciting direction!

Have a miracle of a day!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Poem

I wasn't going to blog,

Feeling quite down and in a fog.

Leave it to a hen,

To make me smile again.

I found my first egg today,

Laying there in a bed of hay.

The weight on my shoulder,

That felt like a boulder,

Just up and went away.
Does anyone notice something different about this picture?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sharing The Love

Good Morning! Last week I was at my favorite little gas station/convenience store, and I couldn't help but bust out laughing. They had these rejected bananas on the counter that they were trying to sell. I chuckled and told the gals that those looked like banana bread makings, not a lunch item. They said none of them bake, and of course I do, so they happily dumped the basket of bananas into a bag, and handed them over. This got me thinking....

So, Sunday when I already had all of my baking stuff out for my pumpkin pie and bread, I decided to pull those bananas out of the freezer and make that too. The free bananas were enough for five loaves of bread, which meant that I had plenty to share. I took the first loaf to the nice gals who had given me the bananas, and the second one went to one of our very favorite people here in town.

There is a lady at our local hardware store who knows everything about everything. I mean this gal can take any obscure old broken piece of hardware, and build you a new piece right before your very eyes; all the while trying to save you a buck. She spends her days off volunteering at the local library. And, do you know what she said when I told her that Tom and I thought she did her job so well, and how much we appreciate her expertise? She said "Oh, we all do our jobs well, I can't wait to share this with the guys."

My next stop was my favorite feed store. In a small town like this, and with as much ranch feed as we go through, we have become close friends with the owners. They are great people, but above all, they are huge horse lovers. Last week they lost one of their favorite horses, very unexpectedly, and they were absolutely crushed. I'm not sure if banana bread makes that much difference in a situation like that, but it was worth a shot.

I had to pop in to the propane company to make a payment, so what the heck. We have worked with these guys for close to twenty years, and Tom went to high school them, so the pie that I took them, handily right at lunch time (no I didn't do this part on purpose), brought a smile to their hungry faces. Actually, I teased them, that theirs was only a bribe to not charge me interest from Friday to Monday-LOL!

Well, I couldn't help but try it out, you know, to make sure it was okay to take around town, so we kept one loaf. Now I have one in the freezer for the next person who pops into mind. I had a wonderful day, and I hope I made each of those special friends' day just a little bit better. From one act of random kindness, by the receiving of free bananas, to a town full of workers and business owners who know how much we appreciate them. Maybe I should hit the other two businesses next week-Just Kidding!

Have a miracle of a day!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins...

How to turn these:

Into this:

Good Morning! Like many of you, I'm sure, I have pumpkins that I refuse to not use every last bit of. So, I'd like to share some pumpkin recycling ideas with you. Being the terrible Mom that I am, I waited until after my local store only had very small pumpkins, so I started out with 4 small pumpkins, which is about the same amount I got last year from one medium pumpkin. Start by washing the pumpkins, scrape out the remainder of the innards that didn't get removed when carving, and cut them into pieces and place on a cookie sheet like this:

Bake them in a 350* oven for about an hour. I heard on the Rachel Ray show yesterday, to put the skins up, and I will try it next time, but this method has worked great for me so far. They will come out looking like this:

Let them cool for a while, and peel them. It is easiest to break the piece in half and peel from the middle out, I have found. Keep the peels for the wildlife (or chickens in my case) and put the pumpkin in a bowl. I have tried quite a few ways of mashing the pumpkin, and found my good old fashioned hand mixer did the job best. I have not tried a large food processor, because I don't have one, but my small one didn't work. The pumpkin should come out like this:

To make the crust:

3 cups flour

1/2 cup lard or 1 cup shortening (I used lard because that's what I had for suet making)

1 tsp. vinegar

milk (for consistency)

Place all of the ingredients, except for milk into a mixing bowl, adding it only a little bit at a time, just until it is the right consistency. Combine with hands, it is much more fun that way, and separate into two balls, now you have a spare crust in the freezer also. I put the one that I am going to roll right away in the fridge for a little while before I roll it out, they just seem to need time to "rest". Generously flour your rolling surface and roll 'til you think it's right, we like ours a little thicker, and this is what it looked like:

To make the filling:
Take about 1/4 of your pumpkin, and freeze the rest (you should have three pkgs for the freezer).
Cream together pumpkin, 4 eggs and 1 3/4 cups sugar.
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ginger
Mix well together with pumpkin/sugar mix.
Heat 1 cup of milk and add 1 T. (not tsp.) butter to milk and mix with pie filling.
Pour into crust and bake at 375* for 30-40 minutes, when center of pie is firm, it is done.
Let cool, and top with one small container of whipped topping.

Now, a few other pumpkin recycling ideas. As we all know pumpkin seeds can be roasted by covering with spices (we use garlic salt, pepper and chili pepper) and roasting at 400* for fifteen to thirty minutes. One very good thing I found with the small pumpkins is that their seeds are much more tender. If you don't like pumpkin seeds, still wash and dry them and put them out for the wildlife, they will really appreciate sharing in the Halloween leftovers. This is what ours looked like, and they were delicious.

But, the funniest part of the story is the pumpkin bread I made the same day as this pie. Everything looked beautiful, I put them in the oven and ran to do other things. Well, I could tell that they were done by smell, and was a little surprised the timer had not gone off, but I went to check them anyway. The middle had fallen so badly that my loaves of bread looked like huge pumpkin canyons! This has never happened to me before, so I was quite flustered and for the life of me I couldn't figured out what I had done differently. The next night (Monday) I went to go make dinner, and when I came back into the kitchen to see if the oven was preheated, it was on FIRE!!!! Our element was literally throwing flames as high as the ceiling of the oven! Luckily as soon as I turned off the oven the flames went out, but I got the giggles so badly I couldn't hardly talk; here I'd been beating myself up over three messed up loaves of pumpkin bread, when I'm darn lucky I didn't burn down the house!

Have a miracle of a day!
P.S. Aren't you proud of me for remembering to take pictures? And, no I'm not showing you my failed loaves-ha!!!!