Saturday, December 02, 2006

We sang today at the Buffalo Bill Museum and then sat with Santa for a photo. The group has changed a bit from last year.

We are still doing fun songs and having a great time singing.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I came across a comment that we only have one word for snow. One of C.J, Box's books, Winterkill, I think, debates that and gives a list of words. The ones I remember are powder and slush. Anyone have other words that we use for the mantle of white?
I can think of many adjectives, drifting, blinding, gentle, sparkling, deep. I have driven in a whiteout that was probably a blizzard and shoveled 3 or 4 inches of what the weatherman called partly cloudy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whistle While You Work

I heard a new term tonight, "aggressively friendly". It seems our local hospital is taking the Disney approach to quality health care and going out of their way to be friendly.
I have been visiting friends in the hospital the last few days and have noticed that the staff seem on the alert for ways to make you comfortable.

The Disney institute is spreading the magic with seminars and showing the health and hospitality industry how to be more hospitable, "Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test." Their 4 elements of good service would improve nearly any organization.

Quoting an interview on Line Zine " One example is our program called Take Five in which cast members take five minutes out of their day to proactively do something special for a guest. We call it being aggressively friendly. Our cast members look for opportunities for magic moments—those little things that happen for guests that are utter surprises. For example, a housekeeper in one of our resort hotels discovered that a guest was not feeling well so she took the time to get chicken soup from a resort restaurant and bring it back to the guest.

As Mickey would say, "That sure is swell!"

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Friday night we were invited to dinner and the ballet. The St Petersburg Classic Ballet Theater performed in Cody. They were fantastic!
Saturday was an all day coaching session for Yellowstone Harmony. Sherry Feller was a delight to work with. We are selecting songs that we will take to contest in the Spring.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We have been reading a series of books written by C.J. Box. His books are set in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming and have a very distinct Wyoming flavor. I am now reading Trophy Hunt and Johnny is on Winterkill.
These are mystery books with the main character being a game warden.

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Book Query
A book that changed my life, besides the Bible:
Spilt Grape Juice and 12 Steps for the Recovering Pharisee

A book I have read more than once, besides the Harry Potter series:
The Far Arena A wonderful novel about life in Ancient Rome

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island:
My best answer would be an inflatable book, so I Googled that and found this. Not only is there a book, there is a treasure map for the island!

A book that made me laugh:
I Stink by Kate and Jim McMullan. A board book with fragrant presentation of the alphabet

A book that made me cry:
I cry at Hallmark commercials! So pretty much anything that involves tragedy/romance
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Anne Burns would probably fit nicely here. It was recommended by my mother-in-law several years ago. She said it was a pretty good discription of what southern life was like when she grew up.

A book that I wish had been written:

A book that I wish had never been written:
Joseph Smith's book

A book that I have been meaning to read:
Blue Like Jazz, I am at least half way through this one and like it, I just got bogged down and didn't finish it.

I am currently reading:
Open Season by C.J. Box. (just finished this one) He is a Wyoming author with an award winning first book, I checked out his second book today.
Childrens Writers & Illustrators Market 2007

And the Ladies of the Club needs some sort of category of its own. It was a wonderful book written by a woman in her late 80's.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

We had almost an inch of rain this week. That is a fourth of what we have had all year according to the national weather service. That means there is snow in the mountains surrounding us.
We have 3 couches, 3 love seats, and 3 chairs and a few sets of miscellaneous cushions in the shop. I had a very busy month. The college brought in several pieces of weight room equipment to be recovered and the hospital is bringing exam tables. Repairs for the furniture store are coming in steadily and they are opening a new store, so there will be even more.

Yellowstone Harmony celebrated last week. We unveiled our new Sweet Adelines charter by hosting a party. There was food and singing. Howard and Joanne introduced us to new tags.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The inconsistent blogger returns.

My car and sunglasses have been restored to their rightful place, they came back with a whopping bill for replaced seals and a timing belt.

I am 8 lessons into a 12 lesson writing for children class, hoping to learn how to publish a manuscript.

Johnny blogged about our Labor Day drive. We hiked along the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River. There is a place where the river has sculpted the granite into sleek curves. Our friend is peering into a round hole that tunnels all the way through the rock.
The hole reminds me of looking into someone's ear!

There is a wonderfully serene waterfall above the rocks. It is a small waterfall that you can step across at the top. In the bushes above the cascade there are delicate spider webs.

This month at work, I am covering workout equipment from the local college and exam tables from the hospital.

Last week I called up an old skill and helped a friend pack all of her dishes, crystal, and glassware. Today we moved it and carried several boxes up 13 stairs. Whew!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I miss my sunglasses. They are in the little swing-out holder in my car.
I miss my car, too. It is in the shop getting fixed. The day after the long trip my car leaked its oil out in the driveway.
I am thankful this didn't happen on the trip to Estes Park.
Estes Park was wonderful, The Region 8 Sweet Adelines had their big workshop there.
Nine of us from Yellowstone Harmony went to the workshop and had a great time learning from 3 fabulous coaches.
I left for Estes the same day Jason and Christa started home.
Jason and Christa had been here for about a week. We hiked down to Porcupine Falls with them and their dog, Sinapaw.
Earlier in the week Jason and Christa went with Johnny, Cody and Tina on a rafting trip while Griffin and I joined Mark and Nancy in the children's park in Cody.
Griffin had come to see us and Uncle J and Auntie C. Cody and Tina brought him from Colorado. They also brought Blake's motorcycle for Johnny and their dog, Cade.
I saw Griffin again in Estes Park, he came for dinner with his parents and little brother Adam to visit for a couple hours.
We have had a teriffic time with family and friends lately.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Performing in Billings
The performance went quite well. We sang for the biggest audience we have ever had. We all tried not to have that deer-in-the-headlights look when the coordinator said there would be about 1000 people sitting in the grass. It was an outdoor concert, a beautiful evening and the crowd was terrific. Our program flowed smoothly and the sound system was awesome.

We had a fun time together even though we were squeezed into the car for an hour and a half each way. Driving home I saw a deer, a coyote, and several rabbits, on the highway as well as a very big bird that gained altitude in the nick of time. Fortunately we slowed down and missed all of them, a few mice however were road kill.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We have a new photo, a new baritone and a new paid gig. Thursday afternoon we will be traveling to the big city to sing a 45 minute program, opening for another more well-known group.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

We have a new friend, his passion is dance. He is teaching a community education class here.
That class is full, with a waiting list, but he told us he would teach us to dance privately. Saturday afternoon we went with our friends Max and Nancy to the dance studio and learned the basic Salsa steps.
I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We rode the Powell bike path yesterday. It heads north on Absoroka, turns east on Lane 8 then follows the cannel back to 7th street. It is a firm wide path.
Last night we had a cook-out and volleyball in the church yard, then the kids shot fireworks in the parking lot. From there we had a terrific view of the city display.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Left over coffee, a scoop of ice cream and a couple squirts of chocolate syrup in a tall glass with a little milk is a wonderfully refreshing concoction.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Make over
When these booths came to us a couple weeks ago they were blue with the back inset Burgundy. They are now ready to go into a new place in Powell, Joey's.
There are 3 double booths and 2 singles. I finished the last one this afternoon. While I was doing booths, Sandi has been working on tall chairs.
Monday, Boone, the owner of Joey's is coming to pick up the booths and chairs and bring us 20 more chairs. Both of us will be working on those chairs. Boone plans to open Joey's June 30th.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Master of Cylinder Cooking
Many years ago we raised a large garden and canned, froze, or dried our fruits and vegetables. We baked everything from scratch, even crackers; those were good. I made granola, fruit leather and jerky. I have butchered meat and dressed chickens (seems more like undressing them). I went so far as to have a soup stock simmering with meat bones, left over veggies, and cleaned potato and carrot peels. We referred to that as “garbage soup” and one of our friends liked to come over the night it was served because it was so good.
Then one day, to make a quick lunch, I opened 4 different varieties of Nalley chili and heated it up. As I remember, the comment was, “this is good, better than the other chili you make.” So I dubbed it “4 Cylinder Chili” and considered it my own recipe! I slowly abandoned my close to the Earth cooking and accepted more and more processed food. A friend gave me a frig magnet that stated:
I serve 3 kinds of meals
Canned, frozen, and take-out
I may have given up preparation, but I didn’t give up creativity. I don’t just empty a can; I tweak it!

My latest cylinder concoction is South of the Border Beans.
I have only made this in large batches, starting with

10 cans of Pinto beans. Drain some of the cans so that liquid just covers the beans in a slow cooker.

Cut up and fry a pound of bacon, add to the beans.

Stir in a 12 oz. can of pickled, sliced jalepe┼łos and simmer till flavors are blended, add water if it begins to dry. I like to stir in a can of refried beans to thicken it up.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Flywheel by Road Champs

This is a cool toy. Simple, fast, easy to operate, and requires no batteries and it is inexpensive. My co-worker's grandson brought one out to the shop one day and I was hooked. The wheel twists onto the handle, the rip cord launcher pokes through the handle. Pull the launcher the wheel flies off. That's it. Go get it-- repeat. Of course you are not to aim at people or animals, always use it outside, and small pieces could cause choking.

The one I bought looks just like this picture, we had fun with it while the grandsons were here. We played with it in the house and at the park where I aimed it toward squirrel, but no one choked on anything.

The squirrel was fascinated by the wheel. It landed about 4 feet from him. He went over to it and looked down at it then stood there checking it out for a little while.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Traditions to Hand Down

In the early years our family moved often and traditions become flexible as settings change. If something happened more than once, it became a family tradition, but could be just as easily dropped from practice. When we quit moving around the Midwest some rituals were repeated more often and firmly established themselves as a Hill family tradition.

Handprints on the wall is one of the newer commemorations. Grandchildren leave an imprint painted on the wall, memorable events of that visit are later written next to the hand pattern. Adam left his first mark this week, he wasn't a willing participant. Griffin is getting to be an old hand at it and each time you can see growth. The text will include the climbing wall and tractors

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Rock Around the Clock

The Yellowstone Harmony barbershop show is history. It went quite well. We featured several songs from the 50's.

The Pink Ladies entertained in their new poodle skirts.

After the show, singers and friends continued with the traditional Afterglow; a cast party where each group is invited to sing again. The Pink Ladies worked up a song just for this time, a special version of "Old McDonald Had a Farm". The inhabitants of
his farm are:

A lisping snake, with a hith, hith here, there, and everywhere
A stuttering cow, with a mmmoo, mmoo
A dyslexic sheep, with a aab, aaab
An asthmatic duck, with a quwheezeack, quwheezeack
A narcoleptic pig, with a oinkzzzz, oinkzzzzz
A whiney horse, with a moaning neigh, whiney neigh

Each of us represented our own creature donning an appropriate costume. Previous animals repeated their sounds with the introduction of each new noise. By the time we presented the dyslexic sheep, the audience was standing and overwhelmed with laughter. We finished to a roaring standing ovation.

We have a concert in the park coming up next month. We will sing it again.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Cool new way to get hurt.
When my boys were growing up they had the idea that anything worth doing had the threat of serious injury. You didn't just swing in a swing, you stood up and did backflips at the highest point of your arc.
Too bad jump boots were not around when they were younger.

Powerskip boots

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Wop Bop a Loo Bop

I have been sewing this little poodle on black felt skirts. That is part of the Pink Ladies' costume for our show on Saturday.

  1. We will be singing We Go Together from Grease
  2. Dream
  3. Down in The River To Pray
  4. and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

The entire chorus will be doing an Elvis medley and a McGuire Sisters medley and several other songs.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Today was beautiful, time to replace the storm windows with the screens. We had a nice breeze through the house this afternoon, then we shut everything as the breeze changed to a cold wind with just a hint of snow.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tonya and I have been walking 3 miles about 3 times a week. I just came in from today's walk. It is very windy otherwise a nice day. The walk felt good I can't imagine 18 miles and more like Jason does!
Practice last night. We are hammering home the show songs. One month to go. A song I wrote will be featured in the show as a tribute to Sylvia.
Nancy and I go over our class material tonight, tomorrow is the 5th class on our parenting series.
I finished the book I was reading, Eldest. I am excited for the next book, Inheritance, the third in the trilogy.
When we are both home in the evening we have been watching the first season of 24, definately a cliff hanger!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

We spent the day working on our 2 new songs. Afterward some of us sewed costumes. The show is the 13th of May. We have a few other busy Saturdays.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A few flowers would be nice

Two years ago Johnny planted a package of wildflower seeds, nothing came up. Last year we had a rainy spring and the area where he planted bloomed with colorfull flowers. I saved a lot of the seed and planted the area again. All I need is water, I am not counting on rain. I have the soaker hose in place and plan to hook it up to the pump. Till we get the pump going I will be out there sprinkling.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Over the hill and picking up speed
I know several people who might fall into the category of "elderly". Some of you reading this surely think that describes me! In my view, elderly people are 20 to 30 years older than I am.
The senior citizens I know are funny, creative, and quite active. One woman needed a new hose for her garden this year. Her daughter bought her one with a 7 year guarantee. My 87 year old friend quipped, "my new hose will outlive me!" Another was recovering from a surgery in the hospital. The hospital staff was amazed at her appearance, she looked made-up even before breakfast. Her secret: she has her eyebrows, eyeliner and lipstick tattooed on. My octogenarian friend Emma is making party favors for the senior center, she has dozens of tiny decorated hats and cowboy boots covering tables and counters in her apartment, each one a unique creation. My uncle Kenneth celebrated his 90th birthday with a gathering of family and friends. I hope he has a great year.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mmmm Mmmm Good!

It is the middle of March and everyone knows what that means, right!
No, basketball is not the answer I had in mind.
Corned Beef sandwiches!! Not just corned beef sandwiches, but Reuben sandwiches.

The Reuben, as I fix it, is sliced corned beef topped with Swiss cheese on rye bread. This is grilled to a toasty brown. Then sauerkraut and mustard are added.

Now is the time for this delicious repast because St. Patrick's day is when you can buy corned beef in my community. I bought mine late in the day so was not able to pick the quality I usually do. I buy the meat sealed in plastic with a packet of cooking spices. I look for a piece of meat that has a nice even thin slab of fat running through it. There is always fat, it is part of the flavor. The ones I found were unevenly shaped and the fat sort of meandered around everywhere. I still took 2 home and gave them 50 minutes in the pressure cooker. I always trim the fat off before serving.

This is wonderful accompanied by dill pickles and potato chips.

My family enjoys sauerkraut on other sandwiches too. One of my sons dubbed the turkey with sauerkraut the Simeon sandwich. It is about as good as the turkey cranberry sandwich, but that is another post.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Kitchen gadgets
Pet food cans
Hungry doggies
Aging hands
Missy and Lady are American Eskimo dogs. They have been living with us for 14 years.
A few years ago I started feeding them canned food. I have this very useful electric can opener that I dedicated to dog food cans. It made the job easy.
Well, the can makers tried to simplify my life and added a pull tab to dog food cans. My handy dandy kitchen gadget doesn't work now.
Pampered Chef to the rescue. They make a device that fits over the pull tab, pops it up and twists the lid off eliminating broken fingernails.
The can manufacturers must have found out because they made the pop top ring larger and it will not fit into the slot on the opener. So I have been using the stiff finger broken fingernail method of can opening for weeks.
As I was taking pictures and planning this blog entry, I noticed that the new cans have the smaller rings and fit into my opener. I cross my aging fingers and hope the cans stay that way.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Last Saturday I rode to Cody with Sylvia (top left) for rehearsal and a photo shoot. We had a great time with a photographer in his studio. We took promo pictures with the car that I made.

Sylvia and I talked about her upcoming hospital stay, on Tuesday she was having open heart surgery to repair a valve.

On Wednesday, we found out that Sylvia did not survive the surgery. I am sad, the chorus will miss her, she has been a baritone for several years.

Her family has asked us to sing at her funeral Saturday morning.

Sylvia I. Musso April 24 1942-March 7 2006

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Photographer from the Cody Enterprise caught us hamming it up at our table and we made the paper.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Pink Ladies had a table at a Cody business expo. We sang several times and distributed our cards and flyers. The car is cut out of 3 sheets of foam board and painted. We plan to use the car as a stage prop whenever we can.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How We Sang Today!
We delivered over 20 singing valentines today.
We waited at the veterinarian's clinic while he finished a surgery before we could sing to him.
We captivated a 4th grader with a song from his dad.
The lady in the red hat
was delighted.
This excited young man had us sing for his new wife during her hair appointment, they were such a fun couple.
We finished our day
performing for the partying

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I was on the radio this morning. A friend and I went to talk about doing singing Valentines next Tuesday.

Every year our women's barbershop chorus uses this as a fund raiser. We deliver two songs, a card and a rose.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Button Project

250 prong buttons give shape and texture to this velvet couch.
250 prong buttons did something for the shape and texture of my fingers and fingernails, too.