Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Time for a vote!

This is for fun and I would love to hear your responses.
The daughter has observed that a bright pink jersey stands out among jerseys and has mentioned a couple of times that I need to get a bright pink jersey so they, as my support crew, will spot me faster and more easily, when approaching a feed/support zone.

So I began “surfing” around and found this:


polka dot jersey copy

the question is, what do you think? 
I would love to know your thoughts on the idea. . .



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Sunday, July 17, 2011

enjoy a s’more!

picture the classic s’more. . . .

camp-fire, sticks with flame-broiled, blackened marshmallows, chocolate not completely melted, the two first ingredients smashed between two graham crackers that are breaking, where you don’t necessarily want them to break. . .  sweet, sticky, messy. . .  all while you are trying to eat it without making a bigger mess of yourself, within the dirty environment of a camping excursion!


seems how I don’t have an actual picture. . . got that visualized?


now visualize this:

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you can make these in advance, they are very tasty, sweet, they can be slightly messy, but by comparison. . . not too bad, and they are easy! 
Perfect for any BBQ or picnic outing. . .  

the best part is . . .  no campfire required!

How to make these delightful little treats:

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gather equipment and ingredients. . . simple enough.  most of us have the necessary ingredients in our cupboards.  butter, chocolate, corn syrup, honey, salt, baking powder and soda, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, flour, cinnamon, cookie scoop, rubber scraper –or- spoon, cookie sheet, silpat mat –or- parchment paper, piping bag –or- baggie, oven, electric beaters, measuring cups, measuring spoons a bowl and a double boiler (or a metal bowl that fits over a pan of simmering water)  see that’s pretty easy isn’t it.

lets start with the cookies:

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Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars, CREAM not just mix! 

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Creaming takes a minimum of FIVE minutes to accomplish.

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Now add in vanilla, baking powder & soda, salt, cinnamon, honey, and the egg.
Mix again to blend everything together
Now set the mixer to the side and get a spoon or rubber scraper

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and stir in the flour.  Stir until flour is all incorporated or in other words, completely mixed in

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because you will want your cookies to be all the same size, a cookie scoop is important to use

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you don’t want your cookies to stick to the baking surface you use so it is ADVISABLE to line your cookie sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. . .  

I love my silpat mat, but that is a different post for another day

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With your cookie scoop, place round balls of dough on cookie sheet lined with the tool of your choice, then place them in the oven.  it IS NOT necessary to flatten them, just leave those cute little round balls as they are and they will magically flatten to perfect flat round cookies as they bake!

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bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes ~~~ be careful not to over bake them, they WILL NOT look done! and they will flatten as they cool. . . this is okay. . . 

let me repeat that:  it’s okay that they deflate as they cool.

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after the cookies are COMPLETELY cooled, turn them upside down.  I usually switch to parchment at this point, but you can keep them on the silpat mat if you want.  I also pair them up so I have a top and a bottom.  If your cookies are unevenly sized, match the tops and bottoms so they are the same size as much as possible

now make the wonderful, yummy, ooey, gooey, marshmallow filling:

don’t panic. . . . its SUPER easy!

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you will need a double boiler, or a pan that a metal bowl will fit into.  in the bottom of the double boiler put in some water and begin heating it on a med-low temp.  then in the top half of the pan add in egg-whites, sugar, corn syrup, water, vanilla, and salt

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Wash the beaters from creaming the butter and sugar so there is NO greasy remains on them.  now beat the mixture in the pan together.  don’t put it over the hot simmering water until you are ready to beat it.  Notice I said “simmering” not boiling water.  If your marshmallow mixture gets too hot it will be lumpy and separate.  

It’s still usable and tasty, but it’s not as creamy and amazing if you over cook it

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notice how it is beginning to change in color and texture?  keep beating for about 8 minutes

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now you can see how it has tripled in volume and it is white and fluffy, the pan is the same, the filling is just increasing in volume!

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you will know it is ready to use when it is shiny and stands up all by itself like this

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the beaters will look like this
now it’s time to put this sticky, yummy goodness on your cookies!

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fill a piping bag, or if you don’t have one you can use a baggie with a hole cut out of the corner.  It’s just that a piping bag is easier

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and put filling on exactly 1/2 of your cookies!

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put the tops on, and they are ready for the last and by some opinions,
the most important ingredient. . . .


. . . . Chocolate!

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Using a small pan or bowl, over a very gentle heat, melt your chocolate.  If you let your chocolate get too hot, it will "seize" and will be un-usable, also be careful not to let ANY water into your melting chocolate, water causes chocolate to go grainy and seize up too.  Use your favorite chocolate whether it is milk chocolate, semi-sweet, bitter-sweet or any combination of those.  Then simply dip your sandwiched cookies into the chocolate

I put them back on the cookie sheet to cool, which is why I generally use parchment paper or my silpat mat, it’s simply easier to clean up when you are all done.


Then put your cookies in the refrigerator to cool/harden the chocolate
Then they are not so messy and they are ready to eat faster

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if you don’t like chocolate or want a variety to your s’mores you can use white chocolate too
(these aren’t quite all the way cooled, that’s why they are shiny)

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now enjoy your new treat!


I actually found this recipe from My Kitchen Addiction you may enjoy visiting her blog.

For your own personal copy of this recipe click here now you can have it for keeps

The recipe will print with a border around the recipe, cut it out, fold it in half and there you have a 4X5 recipe card that is a perfect fit for your 4x5 recipe box. . .

now. . . that's kind of cool! 



Sunday, July 10, 2011

I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July!

If tomorrow all the things were gone, I'd worked for all my life.
And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.


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I'd thank my lucky stars, to be livin here today. 
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom, and they can't take that away.

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,

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Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free

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Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,

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As we raise our voices in solemn prayer


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God Bless America, Land that I love

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Stand beside her, and guide her

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Through the night with a light from above.

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From the mountains, to the prairies,

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To the oceans, white with foam

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God bless America, My home sweet home

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God bless America, My home sweet home.


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I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.
And I wont forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
I gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. 
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land, God bless the USA.


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“God Bless America” by Irving Berlin
“God Bless the USA”  by Lee Greenwood

“God Bless America”

Need I say more? . . . .





 Oscar Dog does not like fireworks!  
He's hiding. . . . or at least trying to.



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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Head on collision. . .

. . . With A BUG

Honestly, after logging over 7100 miles on my bicycle, I have never experienced this one before.

Can you see the open wound on my forehead?  It’s right between my eye balls! 

yeah, the bright red spot. . . .

This is the result of a head on collision with a huge bug of some kind!  I remember it well, it was in Weston, ID cruising along at about 21 mph, and I saw this thing headed straight toward me. 
With the exception of butterflies,  bugs are typically pretty good navigators and are pretty quick to avert disastrous consequences (think about that pesky mosquito that you try to smack, or the fly and the fly-swatter) and avoid things like my head and stuff like that.  This guy was probably looking at the scenery, enjoying an afternoon fly-by in the country.   As flying critters do, when they see they are about to run into something, he took a sharp correction of direction, but instead of going left, he attempted the upward dive going completely vertical, but it was too late.  He was headed right for my eyes (gratefully, I ALWAYS wear sunglasses).
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Out of instinct, I ducked to avoid the unavoidable.  Unfortunately, he didn’t dart in the best path for him, and probably ended up as a fatality, since this was obviously more than a simple fender-bender!  However, to be honest, I'm not sure of his fate.   It wasn’t until after I was home that I realized that he drew blood!

This unfortunate event, occurred during the MS 150, in the small Idaho town of Weston.  I don’t know if this is the current city building or not, but it appears to be a functioning building anyway.
The MS 150 is a ride that takes place over two days and actually covers 175 miles.  I have always done the Sunday route on Friday, and then the Saturday route with event participants on Saturday, (the reason being is, I do not train or ride on the Sabbath).  The MS 150, is a ride that I look forward to with great anticipation each year, however, being the most expensive ride I participate in, this year I determined that it was out of the budget range and decided to tackle this ride without “Officially Participating”,  meaning I ride the route, but not with the support of the event.  I rode the Saturday route on Friday, followed by the Sunday route on Saturday.  It was a long lonely ride, and I missed the presence, motivation, and the energy of other riders, but I saved some money, which was my objective in the beginning.  And, I still got to ride my bike, that being the most important!

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following the route is not complicated, which is one reason I choose to ride the same weekend.  GPS, will guide you the entire way once you put it in your Device.  For those who don’t have GPS as an option, which is most peeps, they have the road marked well for which direction to go.  they always have three options 40 miles, 75 miles, or 100 miles for Saturday.  For the Sunday route there are two options 40 miles or 75 miles.

Riding in Cache Valley is generally a beautiful experience!
 
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beautiful farms and fields

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Flowers


rivers and streams

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mountains and foothills

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Reservoirs and spill gates, this spring has been so wet and rainy there is TONS of excess water everywhere, this is blacksmith Fork Canyon and the spill gates are still open to full capacity, which is unusual this late in June.

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horizons and hills

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The first time I saw this road, I almost had a stroke!  it's a wonderful long gentle down hill, but then up in the distance you can see how it goes

UP
 
again!

DSC00303 However, once you get there, you realize that it’s an optical illusion at it’s best. 
In reality, it’s just a short, not so up hill. So in less than 5 minutes, the panic is nothing to panic about in the first place and you easily crest the top of this little road.


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just me on the open road somewhere in the country.  I missed riding with people, and I’m confident that I didn’t push as hard as I would have if I had other peeps around me.
(this was before “the bug”, no gleaming red wound)

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One thing that I consistently get distracted by is watching my shadow on the road. . .
I find it amusing

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I have always liked this bridge
I don’t know why but I look forward to riding over it every time I travel this way on my bike

Interesting things along the way. . . .  just part of the scenery

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Old falling hay barns

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Handcarts.
There is probably a youth group getting ready for a “Trek Experience”

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I ride these familiar roads on a regular basis throughout the season and this guy is a regular part of the ride.  I think his job is to keep the grass mowed down along the fence line, because he is in a different spot each time.  Goats are also commonly used for this mowing purpose also.

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interesting yard d├ęcor, perfect for a farm I guess

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The simple life in the country, feels so quaint and romantic. . . .

When I got home on Friday, after 103 miles, I was tuckered out and starving for. . .

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. . . . . Hot Dogs!

Very unusual request for me, but they were fast and more than tasty! 

. . . In fact I ate both of them

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I echo the country folk of Dayton, ID. . .
Thanks again for joining me for my ride last weekend, and please feel free to “Come Again”!



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