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Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Another Day of Apple Canning




Yesterday I spent most of the day canning some more apples. I made one of the family’s favorite Sweet and Spicy applesauce and tried a new recipe. The Red Hot apples is an interesting recipe made with red-hot candies, vinegar, water, and sugar.  Can’t wait to try it.

Today was mowing. I spent a few hours working on the mowing. Mowing with a push mowing is a lot of work when you are talking about  two acres.


Baby Blanket



This is my latest project. A baby blanket for a baby that should arrive very soon. This is a cotton and fleece blanket with a satin trim. It should be very warm and cozy.


Highest Sand Dunes in North America



The Great Sand Dune National Park is an odd and beautiful combination of the tallest sand dunes and s and high mountain peaks.  For someone with the time and effort for backpacking, it offers a combination of Alpine tundra,  riparian, and dunes. Most people enjoy the wetlands and  extensive grasslands and shrublands. The children were having such a great time sliding down or playing in the water that runs along the dunes.



This is also an area of historical volatile relations between sheepherders and cattle men, Hispanic and Anglo. The Saint Luis Valley is a high desert and more beautiful that I anticipated. I was expecting Alamosa run down but between with the tourist activities and some business the city is doing better than I expected. It has about 10,000 residents. 



After discovering what this area has to offer I  plan to be back one day. 



Early Apples

I can’t believe how early the apples are. They are not the best-looking apples due to the lack of spraying but they are sure tasty.  After picking about 80 to 90 pounds of apple we began making apple slices for the year. It is great to open a jar to make an apple pie or crisp.




Climbing Mt. Sunflower


As we turned off Old Highway 40 on the well maintained 12-mile gravel road it was not long before the driver was asking if this was the right way. Turning into a pasture with a cattle grate instead of a gate we climbed a small hill to the monument.  As you looked around you could tell it was a high area. You could see miles and miles of gently land. As I looked around I noticed a book library and was surprised. It is the first one I have come across.

I wish I had a book to exchange but now I use a kindle to read when traveling.





Passing of Chimney Rock National Monument

Chimmey Rock Natinal Momument


The thick hard sandstone of Chimney Rock is what is left after the ice age ended and the Piedra River no longer carved out the sea-floor mud. We did not have time to stop and discover the Stone Circle site carved into the Sandstone cliffs the place offers a view of the Great Kiva. It will be a place of interest to spend at least a few hours next time I drive through. 


Durango , Silverton and the Narrow Gage Train Railway

This weekend we made a trip to Colorado to go on the Durango to Silverton on the Narrow Gage Train.  We stayed at a very historic hotel called the Strater Hotel. Built in 1887 the hotel is decorated with beautiful handcrafted woodwork, period wallpaper, and the largest collection of American Victorian walnut antiques which are used to decorate the hotel and guestrooms. It is a beautiful hotel and a wonderful place to stay.  The hotel also has two places to eat that are very popular. 

The Diamond Belle Saloon is a ragtime bar during the evening that is so full you need to get there very early to get a seat. The also serve a late breakfast and lunch. I had a very good broccoli cheddar soup there for lunch.

We had dinner at the Mahogany Grille.  It offers fine dining restaurant decorated with elegant Victorian style. 

Later that evening we walked around Durango.  This city was never a mining town. The new town was founded by the D&RG in 1880. It was a area where miners could go to get supplies and for the railroad meet. Now Dorango is a very busy place with a lot of traffic during the summer and winter with tourists.  Most of the stores are for the tourist trade, dinning and music.  They have a number of realtors. The area is expensive or even Sotheby’s International Realty has an office here.

In the morning after breakfast we told a walk to the sprawling river walk along the Animas River that is very popular with locals, Wilkerson, bikers and joggers. As we walked we watched the white water rafters.

The river is popular among angular fishing for rainbow, brown, Colorado River cutthroat and brook trout. Next time I visit I will need to remember to bring a pole or even better have the time to raft down the river.


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Parking is very limited. We had a parking spot from the hotel. Most other parking is by meter. They even had a parking ticket drop box although I never saw a meter police.


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I really liked the area and want to go back soon.


The Hoen in the Kitchen & Auto-immune Protocol Breakfast Patties

I have had an autoimmune issue that has really show itself in the last couple of years. I had cut back on wheat for a while now but the last couple of weeks I have had some really bad health issues. The Lichen planus has really taken a turn for the worse along with major digestive problems and generally feeling very funky. I decided to start following the Autoimmune Protocol. This is really a life changing way of eating for me. I will not only give up eating nightshade vegetables such as the tomato but also stop eating potatoes and all grains and pseudo-grains. This morning I had homemade pork sausage and a vegetable fruit drink.

Although I have not yet fully started eating this way I am already starting to feel better. The Lichen planus is starting to go away and the itching is not as horrible.

My plan is to begin adding recipes on my blog as I discover new recipes. In the future. I will add more recipes with other ingredients as I am able to tolerate eating more foods.


The pork sausage was very simple. I cooked up a pound and saved the rest for other breakfasts. You do not need to add the turmeric since it does not add any flavor. I use it because it is a great anti-inflammatory.

Breakfast Patties

Ground pork or beef

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

coconut oil


Mix together the meat and spices. Form into 4 patties or 8 small ones. Put the oil in a medium high pan. Add the patties and cook for 7 minutes and turn. Cook for another 7 minutes or until fully cooked.






Tamarind Agua Fresca





Summer is here and tasty, refreshing drinks are great to have. This drink from the tamarind pod ihas a sour lemon type of taste.  I make the drink without sugar  for a change from water without all the sugar.


8 large pods

1/2 cup granulated sugar


Bring a quart of water to boil. Add the pods and sugar.  Let it steep for two hours in the pan or glass or stainless steel bowl. You can use you hands to break up the pos to release more flavor. Strain the pods with a sieve pressing lightly to get more of the flavor out. Taste test the drink. You can add more water or sugar at this point.  cover and refrigerator until you are ready to drink. Enjoy!


On A Wall

Such a nice morning! I decided to take a coffee break on the front porch. On the wall of the porch hangs craftsman style lights.  I am waiting for it to get a little warmer and the bees to become more active before I go out to check them and add the supers for honey.  The bottom picture show the progress of my front garden. I add some wild flower seeds to that dirt patch but still thinking about just putting more mulch down. The plants so far are doing very good. They are a mixture of native and non-native plants that can tolerate low water conditions. I am hoping the bees will find them attractive but so far have not seen any visit. I will check them later today when the bees are very busy.  I started doing the spring canning and did some strawberries in little jars. I froze the rest of the berries to process later. I found out I did not have lids.





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