Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our 25th Anniversary

I have read newspaper articles about the 25th anniversary celebration and was really hoping I could have one of those celebrations. Not quite possible right now. We have been able to have some time to reflect on the past 25 years and how grateful we are for our relationship, our family, and all the friends who have touched our lives during the last 25 years though and that is priceless. Okay, that isn’t all we did. We took advantage of a little time off on Friday and went to a Bed and Breakfast on top of Casper Mountain. It was a class act place and I wish we could have stayed a couple more days. Our daughter, Sylvia and children fixed us a picnic dinner to take with us which was out of this world. We had salmon, rice, salad, chocolate dipped strawberries, shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers and some sparkling cider. At the bed and breakfast there was a tower room which was located at the top of the house that had windows on all sides so we could overlook the mountain area all four ways while the sun set. It was gorgeous. There was lots of snow when we arrived and then we woke up to quite a storm and about five to seven more inches which made us wonder if we would get off the mountain. We just left later in the day when it cleared a bit. We brought in the new year with our friends here at the Cove with the traditional toast using sparkling cider, singing of Auld Lang Syne and banging of pans. We all paid for it the next day and could hardly wait to get home for an afternoon nap.
Sunburst Bed and Breakfast on the top of Casper Mountain
Setting out our picnic dinner in the tower room.
Randy waiting for dinner.
A sunset made just for us!!

Busy Month of December

Upon our return to Martin’s Cove from our trip south, we got right back to work and I can’t believe how much we did in a few short weeks. It was really a nice site to drive into the Homestead late at night and see all the Christmas lights on the buildings, a large nativity set up in the yard of the visitors’ center and handcarts decorated all around. Everyone must have been so busy while we were gone because even the Christmas trees were up and the other decorations placed in their spot. We attended our first community event the first Friday of December. We went to the Alcova Chili Cook-off. Now let me explain, Alcova is a community of about 100 counting surrounding ranches. We are sure glad we participated as there were seven pots of chili and we had provided three of them. We had a great time getting to know the attendees and visiting with all. I must say there was mighty good chili and it was hard to vote for only one pot. We were invited to the next event which was the Christmas program at the Baptist Church. I believe we made some neat new friends. An indication of this is being able to go to the little post office and meet up with the residents and receive big hugs. One of our family home evenings was spent caroling to neighboring ranches. We started our evening with pizza from Sloans, which is a small convenience store in Alcova at which we caroled for our supper. Now we didn’t do it totally voice only, we were accompanied with a flute, autoharp and ukulele. We spent the evening driving around 95 miles to carol five different places. Now, that should give you an idea of how out on the prairie we really are with the nearest neighbor about 12 miles away. The fun part of the evening was caroling with several senior missionaries whom were doing it for their first time.
One of the annual winter activities for the Polar Bears is to put on a big Christmas dinner and party for the local neighbors and vendors whom have been a big part of our past year. This year was definitely no exception as the plans went on for over a month and kept each of us very occupied with details of the party from favor cups to lights on the covered wagon stored in the barn along with homemade invitations to proper music selection. The evening was absolutely fabulous with over 84 people attending. Along with music from local talent, a great meal, a couple games, and door prizes to make for a great night, I personally was brave enough to volunteer to take Christmas pictures of those who attended. I must say the pictures turned out great and it was quite a hit for those who attended. I am so grateful for all those Christmas parties we attended while in the Air Force because I was able to share some of the ideas and experiences to help with this party. Even though we were exhausted, we hated to see the evening end.
This is the wagon we decorated. I took the Christmas pictures right in front of the wagon with the trees as added props.
One of the 15 gingerbread houses that were decorated for table center pieces. The details that went into this gingerbread house spilled over into all the rest of the plans.
Sylvia and family were able to join us for the Christmas party. Nana is having fun getting sugar from Patrick, Kathryn, and Addy. Right before Christmas, a beautiful bore frost came through. We had to sneak out while getting ready for the day and morning prayer meeting to take some pictures. I wish the pictures could really show you the beauty of all our buildings, trees, and mountains covered in the sparkling crystals of frost.
Looks like the controls of the Rover are a bit frosted, uh? The steering wheel was a bit chilly to hang onto.
The entrance sign had quite an intriquing look. On December 23, five couples went to the Salvation Army and served the Christmas dinner. Along with completing our assigned task, we entertained with our caroling during various times throughout the day. I am grateful we had the opportunity to bring a good meal and some fun to those who aren’t as fortunate.
This is at the Cove on Christmas Day. The weather was fairly warm and no wind. Just a tender miracle for us.
This is Miracle. Miracle was born in Savage Pocket sometime in late May. When the cows and calves were moved down to around Missionary Village the first part of June, Miracle was missed in the round up. The ranch hand figures he was no older than a couple weeks when he was separated from his mother and other cows. He spent the entire summer and fall in Savage Pocket all by himself with no mother’s milk and no direct water source. When the ranch foreman’s brother came to hunt in November, he saw Miracle and told the foreman about him. With quite a bit of disbelief as to a calf being in Savage Pocket, the foreman and ranch hand went on horseback to check. Miracle was quite curious about the horses and came pretty close to them. They gathered him up and brought him to the corral. He is a little stunted in growth but not a significant amount. I named him Miracle (with agreement of the others) as he really shouldn’t be with us considering no nurturing, coyotes, wolves and whatever else may have gotten him. Now for the rest of the story, Miracle does have friends. If you notice, there is a doe deer right outside the fence. This doe arrived shortly after Miracle was put in the corral and she stays very close by. She has even been seen in the corral with him several times which we haven’t seen any other deer in the actual corral. She doesn’t leave with the other deer that come feed for a while and then head out on the trail or up the hill. She does spook by us but not enough to desert the area. What if she is Miracle’s surrogate mother?? Something to think about.
After decorating for the party one evening, I stepped out of the barn and this is what I saw. Isn't it just gorgeous.
Our infamous Sweetwater River is freezing over.