Surprise! An-Eletter!

April 23rd, 2018

Today, I am going to write to you,  or else!  Procrastination is one of the things I do the very best………sad  isn’t it?

First, I promised I would send the muffin recipe.


From the look of this recipe card it shows that it has been used a lot in the last 50+ years. I believe it came from our friend Pat. She was the secretary in the U. of Minnesota Large Animal Clinic when Bill was a graduate student there. It is a family favorite.

Mix together:

1 C. all-bran

2 C. 100% bran

½ teas. salt

1 C. boiling water

1 Pt. buttermilk



Cream and add to first step:

1 ½ C. white sugar

½ C. Crisco

2 eggs



2 ½ C. flour

2 ½ teas. soda

If you wish add raisins, dates or nuts.  Bake a few at a time. I use muffin tins lined with paper cups.   They are great for unexpected guests.

Bake at 375’ for 20 minutes. 


Bill and I decided we needed a winter get away.  Arizona was a state we had never visited except the Grand Canyon in the winter time.  Can you count that?

It was -3’F. when we left the Bozeman Airport for Mesa, AZ.  Our friends Marinell and Mark would be picking us up at the Mesa Airport.  They had all sort of things to show us.  We didn’t sit still a moment.  We met their friends and learned so much about the Phoenix area.  After two days we moved on.


Mark converted the bathroom closet into a place to display Marinell’ s cross collection.


Perfection at Marinell and Mark’s home!

For years Bill had dreamed of attending golf school. Finally his wish came true. Three days of private lessons in Mesa, AZ. Two professionals and two students! Bill had a grand time. I hope he will remember what he learned and can use the techniques in Bozeman. 

While Bill was having a grand time at golf school, my friend Shirley picked me up and we explored her terrain in Scottsdale. Shirley is a ceramic artist. She showed me her ceramic studio and introduced me to many of her friends. It was SO good to see Shirley and understand her lifestyle after her husband’s death. Shirley is an amazing person and I’m hoping she gets back to Bozeman soon.

Moving on-- now it was time for me to have a long time dream come true. Since I was an awestruck freshman at Iowa State and learned about FLW I had wanted to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West at Scottsdale, AZ. When Bill and I  joined a wonderful 90-minute insightful tour at Taliesin West I knew it was worth the 50+ year wait for this experience. 


Notice bust of Frank Lloyd Wright with our tour guide.



Frank Lloyd Wright is known as probably the best architect in the U.S.


A 150 years ago Frank Lloyd Wright was drawn to Arizona by the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. He created the provocative and inspiring design for Taliesin West, the great architect’s winter camp and desert laboratory. We immersed ourselves at Scottsdale’s only National Historic Landmark as we were welcomed into each room and space to experience one of the world’s most extraordinary architectural sites. We were amazed by Wright’s ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces at his winter home, school and studio from 1937-1959, located on 600 acres of dramatic desert.


Another highlight was touring the Arizona Botanical Gardens. They were absolutely amazing. We realized how little we knew about the desert terrain. Incredible!


Telling time at the botanical garden.


The Chapel of the Holy Cross (this is the view out the windows) has an amazing history which includes Frank Lloyd Wright consultation. Amazing batiks hang in the Chapel.


Ceramic Art Show in the botanical garden

We also spent some beautiful days in Sedona. If you haven't been there I highly recommend a visit.


A scenic hike near Sedona




Back in Bozeman (the real world). Snow had covered the ground for most of the winter season since November. This year had provided record accumulations of snow. Sometimes the snow plowing service would come twice in one day. When the days were gray, the matted brown fall leaves cover the ground, an accumulation of icy snow banks line the lane, and piles of tree branches from the winter high winds made our surroundings dirty and ugly, I wanted to close the blinds and get serious about finishing a scrappy quilt project.  Making soup and taking naps is good but when the sun does not shine for days at a time, it’s hard to think positively.

Mud Season had arrived in the Gallatin Valley by the time we returned from Arizona. In addition to the Mud Season, Lambing Season had arrived. We would shuck off our muddy boots in the back porch. Straw from the barn was tracked into the house. Not only was it ugly outside it was impossible to keep the house clean. I was sick of it.

The upside is that the baby lambs were being born. The little critters are so cute. The ewes are so motherly. They actually talk to their babies. 

This year there are only 5 ewes to give birth. Trips back and forth to the pasture checking on the very pregnant ewes is encouraging. Sue B., the first ewe to have babies, had triplets.  Not a good thing! Nature does not provide for 3 lambs—only two! Preparing the bottles and feeding the bums is frustrating and fun and tiring! So far each of four ewes have given birth to triples. One more to go! Will she give birth to triplets also?  It is so unusual to have only triplet births. We think the last birth may also be triplets.

One more thing.

I promised to send a recipe for Grapefruit Pie to Marinell and Shirley.  The original recipe can from our friend Judy in TX.  All the better to use grapefruit fresh from the tree.


3-4 grapefruit. Drain the sections.

2 pie shells. Baked.

Glaze: 1 C. sugar

2 C. water/juice

5 T. cornstarch

1-3 oz. box strawberry Jell-O.

Mix and boil until thick and transparent. Cool and mix with grapefruit sections.

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. powdered sugar.

Whip together and then add 1 carton (8 oz.) Cool Whip.

Split between 2 pie shells. Pour grapefruit mixture over cream cheese. Chill.

Think Spring!


Sale Kit!

As Yellowstone Park opens for another summer of visitors and beauty, I thought this would be a good time to offer a sale on my "Wildlife of Yellowstone" quilt. It's now 20% off! You may order by following this link or replying to this email for local pick up or delivery.