Saturday, January 24, 2009

I love my guest room

A light bulb popped on in my head and I realized I still had some log cabin and nature photos on my camera! So I downloaded a few onto the hubby's computer. Today we are going to go look at new laptops as well as crossing our fingers that Greg's cousin who's very computer savvy - will be able to retrieve my photos from my crashed computer.

I've been spending time picking up things here and there for the guest room. It's just such an easy room to decorate (yes, I've been neglecting my own room and the loft as well as the bathroom in the basement!) But I love the idea of making a guest feel so comfortable and peaceful at our log cabin.

I got something new for the guest room. Do you know what it is? (By the way, a bed ruffle and a headboard is next on my list!)
shelley 006

I spruced up this garland with a bird and some greenery. Isn't it perfect for my bird themed guest room? My husband claims it's too "chickish."
shelley 007

I picked up this fun little mirror (see the bird on top) so my guests can make sure they look acceptable and not scare me in the morning. Ha,ha!

shelley 009

Thank you again for all of your comments, visits, advice and encouragement on my crashed computer! I will be back to my regular visits to your blogs very soon! Miss you!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Geek Squad are Geeks!!

Thank you everybody for your comments & advice. The Geek Squad was not able to come through (and they were claiming they did not have all of the tools so I thought well then what's the point of you providing service at best buy?!) They quoted $1600 to send out somewhere else and recover - I don't think so! So we are going to call around and see if someone else can do it. Otherwise it looks like I will be getting a new computer next week and crying over all the photos I lost. I do have an external hard drive but I had only put about 30% of my photos on it. I learned a very hard lesson. Meanwhile I'll be using the hubby's computer when I can, so bear with me. I hope to be back full time next week and catch up with all of your blogs. Have a good weekend. (Greg, when will that dog be here?!)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Special Note: My computer crashed!

I am so upset! My computer crashed this morning! I'm typing this from Greg's work computer. Well at least I got this morning's post out (see below)! Anyways, I have taken it to the "Geek Squad" at Best Buy and I should have the diagnosis and prognosis tomorrow morning. Wish me luck! I have a lot of photos that I hope can be recovered! I think I may cry! I might have to go to the hubby's work again to use his computer cuz I don't think I can go 24 hours without visiting someone's blog! (Greg, if you're reading this - a dog and a goat would make me feel better!)

Food for the log cabin guests

I've been perfecting my recipe list of "best dishes" for log cabin guests. While I do like to grill, we need other options in the winter (especially since our weber charcoal grill is under 10 feet of snow right now!)

Guess what's in my cute little birdy box? (No, not a bird!)

It's a recipe box I picked up at a little shop in Gaylord! Now let's make you something since you're my guest.

No, I"m not going to make you peanut butter pine cones! I like to think I'm a better host than that! Though I must say, the Hairy Woodpecker does like my "cooking"!

Let's pull out the recipe for one of the best and cheesiest Baked Rigatoni dishes you will ever try! Yep - it lives up to the hype!

Look at this! Is your mouth watering? Do you want the recipe? I'm going to share it with you! Also, do you have any "winter" dishes you like to make for your guests? Share them here! I just love recipe exchanges! Okay Leedra, now pass the garlic bread and let's eat!

Shelley's Baked Rigatoni (well it's not mine, but I tweaked it!)
  • 1 box Rigatoni noodles
  • 2 large plastic jars of Ragu Traditional spaghetti sauce
  • 2 lbs of either ground beef or turkey if you want to make it healthier

  • 1 tbsp of butter

  • 1 small onion

  • 1 small container of sour cream

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

  • 6 slices of mozzarella cheese (enough for a single layer)

  • 6-8 slices of provolone cheese (enough for a single layer)

  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese (to sprinkle generously on top!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make Rigatoni according to directions, toss w/ butter and set aside. Brown beef in pan with finely chopped up onion and garlic. Drain. Add Ragu sauce and simmer until hot.

At bottom of deep casserole plan, pour a little of the sauce to cover the bottom. Pour 1/2 the noodles on top. Pour a bit of the sauce on top of the noodles to cover. Layer provolone slices in single layer to cover. Spread sour cream on top of provolone slices. Pour some of the sauce on top. Pour the other 1/2 of noodles on top of this layer. Pour some of the sauce on top. Layer mozzarella slice on top of this layer. Pour the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle parmesan cheese generously on top. Bake 25-30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two Loon Videos

These videos go with yesterday's post. I know some of you haven't seen or heard a Loon before so this is for you! Loons have 4 beautiful calls that each have different meanings:

  • Their wail is a long mournful call that you will most often hear at night. They use it to communicate and keep in touch with other Loons nearby.
  • The Tremolo call has 8-10 notes and they will make this noise if they are upset such as if humans or predators are nearby. If you hear this, you are too close to them.
  • The "hoot" is a reassuring low one-note call they use to say hello to their family members.
  • The yodel is made by the male Loon only and it's made up of rising and repeating notes to protect their territory. If you hear this, you should back away.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Loony for Loons!

Some of you already know how much I love Loons! It's why I named my log cabin The Loons' Nest. It's why I am collecting Loon decoys. It's why I became a Loon Ranger for my lake. (Yep, I have authority to protect the Loons!) I think nothing exemplifies the call of the wild until you have heard the tremulous wail of the Loon. I am getting anxious for spring which means my beloved Loon pair will be returning. And I have a new pair that landed on my lake this past summer. I plan on being an excellent host for them and will be hopeful for Loon babies!

Here is my Loon decoy that I have placed on my fireplace.


Common Loons are one of the most loving parents you will ever see! When their babies are very young, they will ride on the backs of their parents for protection. Both the mom and dad feed and take care of their babies.
best mom looking at her babies (2)

The Common Loon needs a long water runway to take off. It is amazing to watch them run across the lake before they take off to fly.
common loon taking off

A few more things about Loons:

  • They can weigh 7 to 12 pounds. The male is larger than the female. The male also has a longer bill.
  • The Common Loon swims underwater to catch fish to eat. They can dive more than 200 feet to find their food!
  • They usually lay 2 eggs.
  • If you come upon a Loon in the water and he rises up and does a loud tremolo call, you are too close and you need to back away.
  • Never disturb or go near a nesting Loon. They are very sensitive and will abandon their nest and their babies will die.
  • Do not use lead sinkers when you fish. If the lead sinker gets lost in the lake and the Loon ingests this, it will die.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Humor from the Log Cabin

Seeing as we've all been talking about the weather quite a bit this past week, thought you would appreciate this Michigan Temperature Conversion Chart. Pay extra special attention my blogger friends from North Carolina, Texas, California and Florida! :-)

Temperature Conversion Chart

@ +70 degrees
Texans turn on the heat and unpack the thermal underwear.
People in Mich go swimming in the rivers.

@ +60 degrees
North Carolinians try to turn on the heat.
People in Mich plant gardens.

@ +50 degrees
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Mich sunbathe.

@ +40 degrees
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Mich drive with the windows down.

@ +32 degrees
Distilled water freezes.
Lake Erie water gets thicker.

@ +20 degrees
Floridians put on coats, thermal underwear, gloves and woolly hats.
People in Mich throw on a flannel shirt.

@ +15 degrees
Philadelphia landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Mich have the last cookout before it gets cold.

@ +10 degrees
People in Miami all die.
Michiganders lick the flagpole.

@ 0 degrees
Californians fly away to Mexico .
People in Mich get out their winter coats.

@ -10 degrees
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Mich are selling cookies door to door.

@ -25 degrees
Polar bears begin to evacuate the Arctic .
Mich Boy Scouts postpone "Winter Survival" classes until it gets cold enough.

@ -30 degrees
Mount St. Helen's freezes.
People in Mich rent some videos.

@ -40 degrees
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Michiganders get frustrated because they can't thaw the keg.

@ -45 degrees
Microbial life no longer survives on dairy products.
Cows in Mich complain about farmers with cold hands.

@ -60 degrees
ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero in the Kelvin scale).
People in Mich start saying, "Cold 'nuff for ya?"

@ -100 degrees
Hell freezes over.
The Lions win the Super Bowl!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A man and his cabin cat

This is a story about a good hubby named Greg. He is a hunter, outdoorsman and has latin blood in him (so yes, there is a little machismo there!) His adoring wife (that's me!) begged him for a kitty. They weren't ready for a dog yet due to their work schedules. Greg protested saying "having a cat isn't very manly" and asking "what exactly does a cat do?" Adoring wife persisted and finally in a moment of weakness, hubby said okay, go to the shelter and go get a cat.

So we got Marvin and the rest became history. Marvin was no ordinary cat. Greg discovered that Marvin like to wrestle with him like a dog. I would watch this man crawl on his knees playing hide and seek with Marvin. Marvin comes to me to be held and loved, but he seeks Greg out to play with. As soon as Greg came home from work, Marvin would rub his cheeks all over Greg's legs, his shoes and briefcase. For some of you that don't know, this means the kitty is marking what's his. This kitty loves him so much and even though Greg won't admit it, I know Greg loves him as much too! The above photo is of the two of them at our log cabin watching the birds together at the bird feeders. It's things like this that melts my heart! (Sorry honey, don't worry - they all know you're a tough guy! I can talk about your sniper skills later.)