Visit to Houston

I had too much time to get ready for this trip. The flight didn’t leave until 1:00 p.m. or so, so I had too much time to pack, which means I didn’t really pay sufficient attention to my packing list and/or what I was actually packing. So when I got to the airport, I realized I didn’t have any books along to read. AAAAAAAA! Must have books. Well, that is easily remedied, they sell books at the airport. OK. Problem solved. I ended up kind of being disappointed in the book I got, but it served to keep me entertained.

Had lunch at the airport at Tamales by La Casita’s, which is relatively new. It is a nice change from the usual spots. I had the tortilla soup, big surprise that I had soup, huh? I wasn’t that hungry after the large breakfast (see last Friday’s entry about LePeep.)

Also, when the bill shows up on your work credit card, it is posted as being in Greenwood Village, which makes the office manager wonder what you are doing there and why you are expensing this meal.

As I settled in on the plane, I thought, “OK, I am going to read my book, and then after the plane levels out I will get out my knitting.” And then I reach into my bag and NO KNITTING. My three different projects are sitting at home on the couch with my BOOKS. Oh, the pain, oh the mental anguish. So I had to just read my new book. And I knew I would need to buy another one before I flew home, because I read really fast and one book wasn’t going to last the entire trip.

We stayed at the J.W. Marriott near the Galleria Mall in Houston. I didn’t even get to shop at the mall, we just walked through it to get to a restaurant once or twice.

It was a nice hotel. I asked for a quiet room, and was put on the top floor, which was actually NOT quiet, because I think the elevator mechanism was right about me. I heard the elevator motors ALL NIGHT LONG. So avoid the top floor if you ever stay there.

The room was perfectly nice, good chocolates on the pillow (they had some herb or seasoning in them which I now cannot remember.)

Do we really need phones in the bathroom? Then again, it is probably more expensive to take the phones down and patch the wall tile than it is to leave the phones there. I did not check to see if the phone worked.

I turned my board loose on their own that night and went out to eat with my best friend from high school, Brian, who works in Houston. Until this summer at our class reunion, I had not seen him for 25 years. So it was extra fun to get to see him again this year. We ate at Pappasito’s Cantina. The parking lot was jam-packed so I was a little concerned about how long we would have to wait, but we were seated immediately. This is apparently a great place for getting together, having your birthday, etc. It was very busy for a Wednesday night.

I had the tortilla soup. Big surprise. It had zucchini in it, which was new and unusual.

And I had the ceviche. I know the soup and the ceviche would fill me up sufficiently, and it did. I am pretty sure I also had some large alcoholic beverage.

They also had EXCELLENT chips and dip, including both salsa and a creamy dip (tomatillo maybe?) that you can see in the background here. Apparently there is a Pappasito’s Cantina in Denver, (well, Greenwood Village), we are going to have to eat there sometime when we are down south.

The next day we had a hotel-catered lunch which was really very good. The mixed greens salad had beets, which I love. The pork loin was well cooked and tender. I did not take any pictures.

That evening we went out to eat at Sullivan’s Steakhouse with another state board. Again, I knew if I enjoyed the appetizers that were ordered for the group (Calamari, Cheesesteak egg rolls, and a couple of other things that they made special for us that I don’t have pictures or recollection of) and wine, I would never be able to finish an entire entree. So I had the raw oysters, mmmmm, I try to take advantage of being closer to the ocean.

They were good, but ever since I had raw cherrystone clams in Boston, oysters just haven’t been the same.

The french onion soup was fine, I recall thinking it could have been warmer. We had a nice bottle of wine, too, no idea what kind it was, tho.

The next day three of us went to Kona Grill and had sushi rolls. It was excellent, fun to have three people so we could order a variety of rolls. No pictures, though, sorry.

That evening we ate at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. I really wanted stone crab claws, but they were just a little spendy. You could only get them by the pound, not any less than that. So I had the “Fin and Shell” seafood stew. This was very good – mussels, crab legs, shrimp, fish, and more. They give you a bib, which was a very good idea in my case. It was quite messy, cracking the crab legs. Sorry for the terrible picture, it was dark in there.

Everyone was very happy with their meals there. One of the sides was got was the best macaroni and cheese I have ever had: MAC & CHEESE Applewood Smoked Bacon, Smoked Gouda & Jalapeno. It was amazing. Not sure I would be able to duplicate it, and not sure Ken would eat the Jalapeno anyway. Yum!

For our last meal (lunch) in Houston, we walked down the street to the Grand Lux Cafe. This restaurant is owned by the same people who own Cheesecake Factory. I had soup and salad – the soup was tomato and white bean, and the salad was the Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese salad. I love beets, and I love them best when someone else prepares them for me. Mmmmm. They were both very good.

We got to go home on Saturday night, so that was kind of nice! Half of the weekend at home!

Friday! And food and crafting stuff

I am continuing to clean up by writing about the photos hanging around on my phone and hard drive – hmmm, lots of them are of food, go figure.

You might think these look like wonderful delightful fried dumplings, but you would be wrong. They were some of the worst dumplings I have ever had. Sad day. I will be avoiding China Wok on Harmony in Fort Collins in the future.


Same thing for the “Special” wonton soup, unfortunately.

I make a crocheted baby afghan, a pieced quilt, and an embroidered quilt for each of my nieces and nephews when they are born (or, hopefully, shortly thereafter, although there is a five-year old who will be getting her embroidered quilt for Christmas this year….). I also offer repair service on these items if they are repairable. This is the latest from my nephew C., age 7.

This was pretty easy to fix.

This one, I am not sure about. It is actually HALF of an afghan I made him (he got two, because he was allergic to one of the yarns in the first one, but he is over that now)  – this aghan kept growing each time it got washed, so I cut it in half and finished the edges so he could have two. This one half is having a problem. I am working on unraveling the tangle right now. Considering I don’t even remember which pattern I used to make this one, I may not be able to have it repaired by  Christmas.

This is the new pumpkin pie bagel from Panera. Apparently this is a seasonal thing.

Their website describes it as: Pumpkin Pie Bagel NEW! Freshly baked bagel featuring pumpkin and spice with a crumb topping and cinnamon sugar mixture, sprinkled with powdered sugar

I thought I might like it because I love the Cinnamon Crunch bagel (which is the highest in calories of all of their bagels, oy vey). Also – what is the point of Cheesecake flavored cream cheese? I tried it because it was also new, but HUH??? It has some brown bits in it that are supposed to be cinnamony-graham cracker crust flavor, I believe. I will stick with my honey walnut from now on. It was not bad, but not better than the Cinnamon Crunch.

It took me forever to remember where I ate the food in this next photo. It is a good thing that my phone puts a date automatically in the photo properties.

This is a crab omelet (or maybe lobster?) with brie cheese and avocado at the Le Peep near my house. I should learn my lesson, I like over-easy eggs or breakfast. But every now and then I get a wild hair and try something else. This was fine, better with the Hollandaise sauce for dipping. The toast was really QUITE well-done enough for me, I really prefer undercooked toast, I might have to start specifying that.

This was the morning I was to leave for a trip to Houston, and the fact that I had TIME to go out for breakfast bodes well for where my head was when I was packing, but that is another entry……

More MEH recipes

I was on a tear trying out new recipes this weekend. The chicken enchiladas were Friday night (they were a keeper, the ONLY one of the weekend), then Saturday lunch was not a new recipe, it was stuffed shells I made two pans of in August and froze for later. Saturday night was uh, some kind of meat (it is just SO wrong that I can’t remember what we ate on Saturday night, must not have been spectacular) and a new recipe for potatoes I wanted to try.

This was good, but I am not sure it was good enough for the effort. That was a lot of work, several dirty dishes,  and they were not that amazing. Not as good as my go-to fattening potato recipe, that is for sure (which I will have to post later because I can’t find it right now…).

Saturday I went to Showers of Flowers, a large local yarn store, on a quest to find some yarn that I THOUGHT I bought enough of when I started the project, but apparently had not, after tearing my studio apart to find the proverbial missing skein. From my internet search, it appeared that this color was now discontinued. However, Showers of Flowers still had 3 skeins, so I bought two. And then I did a little happy dance around the store.  So now I have enough yarn to finish my shawl/shrugigan (which they call the Nancy shrugigan but I call the Christi shrug because my friend Christi made one first) (and it says one skein in the pattern but I used a different yarn because I LIKE TO MAKE MY LIFE DIFFICULT) but I am working on a million other Christmas  and niece/nephew projects.  Plus, I was so inspired by finding the yarn I needed that I bought more yarn, for a different project. Plus a few skeins that were on sale that I am sure I will have a use for.

I also went to the Trollheim Lodge Sons of Norway Christmas craft sale. I bought some new refrigerator towels. These are always good to have. And my old ones are getting very, very stained. I guess I need to do like my mom does and SOAK them in something good (not pure bleach, I guess) to see if it helps. But now I have two new, cheery ones. I have a hard time letting go of some of the old ones because my Grandma made some of them, so I am attached to them.

I THOUGHT I was done with the Octopus Juggling quilted wall hanging, but I did not do the hanger right. I guess there is a reason they make the hanging sleeves on quilts so wide – if you make it narrow, it makes the top of the quilt stick out oddly from the wall. So I am going to have to tear that off and do something different. This not helping with my goal of “finish one quilt a month.”

See it bulging?

There, see it NOW?

Sunday lunch was not something I am going to cook again, so we will just move on from that. Sunday dinner was Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin.   This made the house smell like I was making bread or cookies. The sauce wasn’t too strong on the pork loin, but it didn’t really do much for us either. It was just OK. I think I will stick with my old standard,  which I have only done on the grill. Maybe I will try it in the oven this winter. I think the secret to a good pork tenderloin is standing by with the meat thermometer and pulling that bad boy off the heat when it reaches 145°.

We also had Cheesy Corn, from a recipe I found in one of my Mom’s Reminisce magazines. I don’t know what I was expecting, but this was not as fabulous as I had hoped. It was corn. With cheese. I would rather use my cheese on something else exciting. Ken even turned down the leftovers, so he really didn’t care for it.

Here is the whole plate, including mashed potatoes that were kind of an experiment too, as I had made a while bunch a few weeks ago and froze them. They were OK, needed some extra sour cream to perk them up. No complaints from Ken at least.

Not a stellar job of plating, Iron Chef judges would deduct for presentation.

MaryAnne says she is deducting points because we should have just given HER the cheese instead of putting it on that corn.

More Random and a Trip Home to Sioux Falls

Once upon a time, when it was still warm and the grass was green and not covered with snow, we had two large mushrooms in our yard. I wonder how many of the neighbors wondered just what I was up to, laying on the grass, taking pictures of mushrooms.

The mushrooms survived until a marauding pack of squirrels shredded them and scattered them in little bits all over the yard. It was a mushroom massacre.

Miss South Dakota came to our house to visit (and to go to her friend’s wedding) and we shopped like crazy women for 3 days, looking for things for her wardrobe for the Miss America pageant. We were worn out. Shopping like that is not nearly as fun as just shopping for entertainment. We had a MISSION. By the third day we were making sure to wear comfortable shoes!

And we fit everything in her ONE pretty small suitcase. Cute pink blazer from H & M, lots of good stuff from Macy’s, lots of shoes from Nordstrom Rack, we had hoot at Charming Charlies. Love the leopard shoes!

I did get some sewing done for my Mom’s community club bazaar. I have been able to attend and help a bit with the bazaar the last several years, but this year a friend of mine was getting married the same weekend, so we were in Sioux Falls. I made my traditional three southern belle Barbie dresses, complete with hats and petticoats, wrist warmers and a baby hat from Fancy Image Yarn, and denim pot holders that I found the pattern for on I am making some more of the wrist warmers for Christmas presents. I will be making more of the pot holders too, they turned out well. I am not sure why this is such a terrible picture, or why I didn’t take more, I think I was extremely pressed for time to get these in the mail and to my Mom on time.

Here is a picture from the wedding, featuring two very cool people getting married and a delicious and amazing cake. AND cream cheese mints. Cream cheese mints are very important at midwest weddings. I had a dear family friend make them for our wedding (ahem) years ago. I made them for my grandmother’s 90th birthday party. Planning on making some for Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary next year.

I got to see a niece and nephew. They were having fun jumping in the leaf pile.

We also took some pictures of us as a couple before the wedding. Of course, the one that turned out is the only low-res one. Probably will be unsuitable for printing up copies, darn it. This is seriously, the only one where I don’t look totally nutso.

I don’t know quite how that happened but I am blaming Instagram.

The visit to Sioux Falls was a good time. Got to see a bunch of people I hadn’t seen in a while. Had dinner with a college friend that I don’t get to see often enough. Went up to Brookings and saw my good friend/pageant producer and scanned in a bunch of Miss SD historical pictures, which I haven’t had time to edit yet. Had lunch with him, Miss SD, and Miss SD’s mom. Drove around the SDSU campus and were the typical alumni: “Wow, it has sure changed since we were here!”

New TV and Couch! Out with the Old!

I haven’t posted about the great living room “remodel” yet. Ken has been itching for a flat screen TV for years, and I have been putting him off, because the 19-year old TV we bought before we got married still worked just fine. Granted, it weighed a ton and only got about 60 channels, so we had to run the cable through a VCR so we could get the rest of the channels, but hey, it worked. In my family we don’t believe in getting rid of things if they still work. Or even if they don’t work, you might want to save that for parts for a while. This policy has worked out pretty well for my Dad and his machinery.

I think when Mom and I cleaned out the garage attic (how many years ago now?) we tossed about 6 ancient vacuum cleaners. Vacuum cleaners are not a “keeper.”

Anyway, Ken was director of photography for a local film and got paid for it, so we discussed that maybe a good use for that money would be a new couch for the downstairs living room and a flatscreen TV. He started watching the newspaper for sales.

We were out for breakfast one Saturday morning in September, after we had dropped his car off to be worked on, and he was lamenting that there were no sale ads in the Saturday paper, so I handed him the ad that popped up right in front of me. And there was a TV, on sale, that was just what he wanted. He did some research on the internet to make sure it was an acceptable brand and model and went off with my car to buy it. Well, even with my hatchback, it couldn’t fit in the back of Mimi the Matrix, because it is a plasma TV and can’t be laid flat for transportation, it has to be kept upright. So we got set to have that delivered the next day.

I said that as long as we were doing that, we might as well go ahead and get the new couch then. We only had a love seat in the downstairs living room, as you have to go down stairs to get down there, and a big couch did not fit around the corner of the stairs into the hallway.  So we were limited on our options there. But the loveseat and chair really only gave us space for three people to sit. Then IKEA arrived and saved the day! All of their furniture comes in pieces, so I knew that was idea for our situation. We could get a larger sectional couch, and still get it down the stairs.
So off we went to IKEA and purchased the couch, by buying it on a Saturday, you get to specify that it is delivered on a Sunday, and that means you can choose your delivery time by the hour, rather than just knowing it will get there between 8 and 5 o’clock.
The couch arrived on schedule, the TV arrived on schedule, Ken called our handy teenage neighbor and asked him to help haul the old couch outside, and we were ready to go!

We also had a sewer issue that Sunday morning and THAT repair person did not arrive on time, but that is another story.

The old, huge entertainment center has been moved to a different wall, and a space cleared for the new couch. MaryAnne has to be in the middle of everything, as usual.

Just a few homeless books, waiting to be relocated.

The old loveseat was put outside with a “free” sign on it and was soon gone.

The couch arrived in three rather large boxes. It doesn’t help that I was working on some sewing project that required the back up sewing machine be set up in the upstairs living room at the same time.

Ken was downstairs assembling the couch while I was upstairs stuffing the couch cushions into the slip covers. Not as easy as you might think. There were several different variations, and you had to match them up by shape. This is not something I am very good at.

We were trying to get this all put together so we could go meet our friends from Hot Springs, we often go out for lunch together before they go to the Broncos game. Well, we could have left the couch and TV as they were, except that we were waiting for the drain-rooter man. So we kept on working.

By the time the Broncos game was on that night, it was ready for action. Both of the cats had discovered they could hide UNDER this couch, which made it quite popular. Leo, especially, is always looking for more hiding places.

MaryAnne and her glowing eyes.

More or less cleaned up:

Yeah, I probably need to get something put up on those walls…..

So now we need to get rid of the old entertainment center, which is huge. Ken thinks the smaller bookcases are fine. I think we should get rid of the whole shooting match and get more modern shelves, again, perhaps IKEA. I may take the old taller units for storage space in my studio. But those decisions are many months and many saved dollars down the road….


Back Again! Cats and New Recipe!

The cats started out the weekend keeping us entertained on Friday night with their new box. I had ordered some very small item on the internet and of course it came in a box that was quite large for the item, but just the right size for the cats. Well, the small-sized cat at least. MaryAnne plopped herself down into the box, even though Leo had been doing his best to claim it by rubbing his whiskers all over the flaps. A rousing game of poke-through-the flaps then ensued. And the Leo jumped INTO the box ON TOP of MaryAnne. Keep in mind this box was just barely big enough for MaryAnne, let alone her 20-pound brother on top of her. Needless to say, mayhem ensued. And neither one of them has been back in the box since. Too traumatic, apparently.

It was a good weekend for trying out new recipes. I just discovered a new food blog through Pinterest, Plain Chicken, and saw several things I wanted to try, including these Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas. These were good.

I did have to take the stick blender to the sauce when I discovered I had purchased a chunky salsa, Ken is not wild about chunks of tomato. I personally would like more sauce – I would cover the enchiladas with mild enchilada sauce and then put the remainder of the chicken/sauce on top. Maybe I will try that next time.

These are definitely on the “keep” list.

I don’t have any pictures of the Box Invasion incident, but how about a few pictures of the little darlings being themselves?


Ken fed the little darlings soft food for a treat last night, and one of them (LEO) barfed it off of the end of the bed where I then stepped in it this morning, so that is on the NO  list now, at least for the big Leoski. MaryAnne seems to have a stomach of iron.





Panera Bread New Breakfast Souffle and Las Potrancas

Before I tried the new pasta at Panera Bread, I tried the new breakfast souffle. This souffle is part of the new fall menu, and so it does have information and nutritional data available online.

Panera’s description: Sausage & Gouda NEW! Savory egg mixture, sausage, and smoked Gouda, baked in our sweet croissant dough.

Well, how can that not be good? And it is good, in terms of delicious. Nutritional information: Sausage & Gouda 1 souffle 560 calories, 36 grams of fat. Yowza. Not an everyday breakfast item if you are trying to lose weight.

The gouda cheese is very rich.

Looking at the nutritional information, it is unusual that the lowest calorie (480) baked souffle is the Four-Cheese Baked Egg Souffle. It seems like the spinach and artichoke one would be the best, but it is only the second-best.

I had another breakfast that I was waiting to try – the Good Morning Arvada Skillet at Las Potrancas. The first time I tried to go there, it was on a Sunday, and they were just barely open. It appeared that the appointed cook for the day had not come in. The staffer who was there was telling a customer it was going to be about a 40-minute wait for his multiple (quite a few – like 24 or 30) breakfast burritos he had ordered in advance. So I decided not to hang around that day.

I finally got back on a weekday. The Good Morning Arvada Skillet is described as: “Two (2) egg omelet with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers. green chile and your choice of sausage, ham, bacon or chorizo.” But it is pictured on the menu having two eggs over easy on top, and that is what I wanted.

Here is what mine looked like, sorry for the bad lighting.

This was the greasiest thing I have been presented with in a long time. There was no way to finish. I was not sure how they got it so greasy, unless they fried those hash browns and veggies in a pool of lard. This was an excellent concept, not so much in the execution. I may have to try homemade.

I had a better version at the Ralston Cafe in Arvada last week – sorry, forgot the pictures. Here is their menu. Their version is the Huevos Garcia – sauteed onions and bell peppers topped with two eggs, smothered with green chili and cheddar cheese. This was much better. Still, I think a homemade version could be in the works. The problem is the green chile (or chili) – I have only really had one kind of green chile that I really, really like, and that is Santiago’s. So I would need to buy some of that, and keep from eating it long enough to put it on the hash browns, hmmm, maybe that is an idea. Needless to see, the spicy-averse husband will not be indulging in this breakfast dish.

Panera 2012 Fall Menu – Another New Pasta Dish

Panera still seems to be testing pasta dishes only in certain markets, so I feel it is my duty to the internet to report on the new ones as they arrive on the scene. I was dutifully keeping my receipt to help with this blog entry, and then I got caught up in a flurry of desk cleaning, so…..the newest pasta, which seems to have come out in conjunction with the Fall Seasonal Menu, is Spicy Sausace Rigatoni. Or something approximating that. I am sure the name was on the receipt, which I threw away.  I was hungry and ordered the large – once again, you get this WITH something, a soup or a salad. If you don’t want the soup or salad, you receive a discount of about .49 so it is not worth it.

The pasta was very good. The sausage was quite spicy with fennel seeds. I don’t know about the peas. Are peas really necessary in this dish? The pasta somewhat al dente, not like “homemade in a very good Italian restaurant al dente” but good al dente for a chain restaurant. The peas were not mush. There was quite a high sausage to pasta ratio.The large portion of this is probably way more than anyone needs to eat for lunch. I got the baked potato soup and bread with it, and I saved them for dinner.

The bolognese is still my favorite, but I think this one is now second place. Oh yes, there is cheese on top of it, too. That never hurts.  The fact that they still seem to be testing these means there is no nutritional information out there that I can find, and I am a queen of Googling. Perhaps it is best we not know in this situation.

I had the baked potato soup for dinner.

It was also very tasty, I think I would call this my favorite Panera Bread soup right now.

All I can say about these cookies is that they should be illegal. They are shortbread rather than a sugar cookie. They are amazingly delicious. There is a slight lemony taste to frosting, which helps keep it from being overpoweringly sweet. I could eat several of these, and that would be a bad, bad thing.

There IS nutritional information available on these, no wonder they are so good…..

Nutritional Info – Panera Bread Pumpkin Cookie (95g)
Calories – 450 (from Fat – 190)
Fat – 21g (Saturated Fat – 12g)
Sodium – 160mg
Carbs – 63g (Sugar – 35g)
Protein – 4g

So, again, Panera scores a hit with the pasta, I hope it is well received enough in the trial locations for them to roll it out around the country.


Octoberfest at Red Robin

I should write about Octoberfest at Red Robin before October is over! I am planning a return trip so I can have the pretzels again, need to make sure we do that before the end of October.

When I saw pretzel bites on the Red Robin Octoberfest menu, I knew we would have to try it. So on a Friday night in September, we were there. As a matter of fact, looking at them again has made me so hungry for them I do believe we might go there tonight.
Now, we didn’t go crazy and order the Sam Adams milkshake (I did have the Screaming Red Zombie, which was excellent) or the Pretzel burger, which does look good. I knew I wouldn’t have room for that if I got my fair share (or more) of pretzel bites.

Ken had a beer, I am sure.

Oh, the delicious pretzel bites.

Oh, the delicious cheesy dipping sauce. It had a lovely bite to it, from the beer. The mustard sauce was also delicious, but apparently not photo-worthy in my mind.


I had the chicken tortilla soup. It was fine, not my favorite but not my least favorite. I wanted something small, so I would have room for dessert.

Now, this is not a tall, fluffy cake, and it is not supposed to be. I have checked out the recipes on line, and it is a flat cake. The caramel and ice cream were amazing. The apples, not so much, they appeared to have been dried out and re-hydrated, or they had been out of the cooking liquid too long, or something. They were edible, but not as juicy/syrupy as they should have been.

All in all, a delicious, filling meal. And now we are going to go there tonight so I can have the pretzel bites again……

Adventure to SD, Saigon Restaurant and School of Mines Museum, Rapid City, SD – Part II

While I took a day for shopping and visiting old stomping grounds in Rapid City, I did want to try a new restaurant, and I tried Saigon.  Rapid City does have more diverse restaurant choices than it did (cough, cough) years ago when I was in high school.

I had the egg rolls and the regular meatball pho. This was too much, I should have only ordered one egg roll, as they come a la carte (which I didn’t really realize until I saw the bill, usually there are two to an order, but that was fine – I think they were $1.99 each). The pho was different in that it didn’t come with a big plate of assorted herbs and vegetables on the side, which was fine with me, because I don’t usually use all of that stuff, except for the jalapenos, and I had plenty of sriracha sauce, so I was happy. If you are in Rapid City and are either having a pho fit from being away from home, or have never had it and would like to try something new, I give them two thumbs up. The pho had lots of thin sliced onions, which I definitely like.

Then I visited the SD School of Mines Museum of Geology. Our little country school used to go here for field trips all the time, but it had probably been since grade school that I had been here last. It hasn’t changed too much, and I remembered several things from childhood. One very cool part is the phosphorescent minerals – sorry, no picture, difficult to take pictures of glow in the dark rocks.

Very bitey looking.

Dad used to bring home fossils like these when he was doing dirt work, building dams and such. I am sure there is a box around somewhere filled with them. Kind of like the jar of rattlesnake rattles. But apparently not interesting/valuable enough to be on display in the house. Whereas the rattlesnake rattles apparently ARE valuable and interesting.

More bitey sea monster.

We also would find gypsum “out north” on our ranch. One of my uncles convinced one my cousins that these were rare and valuable crystals, which led him to pack his suitcase full of as many rocks as possible before he flew home. Of course, this was discovered at the airport.

Oh, I WISH we had a collection of Fairburn Agates like this. Beautiful.

Other items of note from the trip: I had been complaining to my mom that it was impossible to buy ring bologna in Denver – we have kielbasa and smoked sausage, but no ring bologna. So she bought me a few and froze them for me. I may have bought a few more. Unfortunately, I think I prefer kielbasa and smoked sausage now, maybe the ring bologna will go in soup!

I also stopped in Hot Springs on the way home and stocked up on Prairie Berry wine – we don’t have anywhere in Denver that sells it, and I like to keep a good supply. Someday I am going to make it up to Hill City and do a tasting. I bought Red Ass Rhubarb, Blue Suede Shoes, Lawrence Elk and Chokecherry Medley. I haven’t cracked one open yet, maybe tonight!