30 December 2013

Costco's Off The Hook

One of Kinsey's followers over at "kinseyfineart" on Twitter suggested that she send a copy of the blog post "Costco Stole Christmas" to Costco Corporate and so she did. Within less than twenty four hours she got a reply advising that the information had been forwarded to Costco Kalispell. The next morning she received a call from the Costco store. From what I could hear they had a very cordial conversation and Kinsey got her money back, or she will the next time she gets down to Kalispell. So, the rib-eye may have been sub par but the Costco Customer Service was aces.

In the course of the conversation Kinsey also mentioned that she no longer bought the Costco ground beef because it didn't taste worth a damn (her language not mine). She got no argument on that subject. Kinsey doesn't care for any ground beef that's less that 85-15. Anything less and you might as well not eat it unless you have a hankering for tasteless sawdust. Costco's is 88-12.

What Kinsey found out, that was new to her, is that the way they get the fat content down is to use bull meat. No wonder the stuff tastes so awful.  It's really a riot if the bulls are older. People pay more to eat an inferior product. The bull meat may even be cheaper than steer meat but the vendors can charge more because the fat content is less. That three percent won't mean much to an individual diet, unless of course you eat a couple hundred pounds a day, but think how much that amounts to in the millions of pound sold everyday? What a racket.

Kinsey doesn't know the specifications of the bull meat Costco uses. There are many factors, age is a big one, to be considered but bull meat is generally full of testosterone which she wants no part of. And, bottom line, it just doesn't taste good. She's skipping it.

Me? I'm like Mikey. I'll eat anything! :)

You can follow the Old Girl on TWITTER. She's not on Facebook. Always the contrarian.  She doesn't like it.

Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.

©Kinsey Barnard

26 December 2013


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We did with a notable exception.

Kinsey celebrates Christmas here in the forest with just her best friend. This year that would be me and in years past it was Koty. It turned out to be a really beautiful and sunny day. We hiked up the mountain and wandered around the ranch.

I got lots of toys and demolished them just as quickly as I could. I think I may be what they call and "aggressive" chewer. I got this edible, rawhide stick that was about 14 inches long and cost $9! It was gone in under an hour. I seriously doubt I'm getting another one of those. I also got a stuffed pheasant plush toy. That was missing a leg within about fifteen minutes. And, I got a plastic Frisbee that I know Kinsey thought would really last. I've already chewed big chunks of it off. My Christmas was great!

So, how did Costco steal Christmas? Well, Kinsey has a ritual Christmas dinner that she has been having since she bot this place nearly 12 years ago. She likes to BBQ a big ole rib-eye steak and have a couple of Beefeaters over the rocks. She says that's her perfect meal. A simple girl my Kinsey.

As usual she bot the steak a week in advance so that it could age in the refrigerator, as her father had taught her to do. The extra aging really makes a difference in flavor and tenderness. In years past she could cut that steak with a fork and savor every bite. Not this year. The meat was shot through with tough gristle and it had very little flavor. Even the Beefeater's couldn't make up for it. Kinsey has been a fan of Costco beef for over twenty years but I think this has about finished that love affair. It was none too cheap either at around ten dollar a pound.

Kinsey had already stopped buying the ground beef because it was totally lacking in flavor. She has found that the ground beef at Super 1 is really good and she knows the beef at Safeway is always top drawer. They are more expensive but better to eat no meat than meat of inferior quality. So, she says. I'm not quite so picky. It sounds to me as though that's the last beef she buys at Costco.

My take is that the bloom is off the lily between Kinsey & Costco. I am frequently hearing her grumble about items she had become attached to, that Costco carried for years, being dropped; Garden Burgers, Lighthouse Blue Cheese Dressing, Cafe D'Amore, to name a few. OK, she is a senior citizen (65 next month) and stuck in her ways, but still. She says the toilet paper is still a good buy. I don't use the stuff myself.

Me, I had a terrific Christmas. Lotsa toys, lotsa play and lotsa love. The steak not withstanding, I think Kinsey had a terrific Christmas too because it was a glorious day, in a glorious place and she had me!

Betty Davis eyes?

Me and my new frisbee

The view on our hike.
You can follow the Old Girl on TWITTER. She's not on Facebook. Always the contrarian.  She doesn't like it.

Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.

©Kinsey Barnard

21 December 2013


Merry Christmas everyone! This is my first Christmas with Kinsey. Last Christmas I was too little to know what was going on.

We've been down in the "big city", aka Kalispell , population barely 20k beautiful souls. It was a real nail biter when we left. The road off the mountain had turned to sheer ice and we slid down the hill and into a ditch. Imagine if you will, me in my crate looking through the rear window of the Expedition at a world that is almost spinning. And, me,  always looking at where I've been instead of where I'm going. Kinsey up front saying,  "Hang on Molly! Hang on!". Not comforting. Not comforting at all. But, we made it.

And so, we spent a few days down in the Flathead doing a little Christmas shopping. Kinsey was doing the shopping, I rather feel my existence is gift enough. :) We went to Petco and I'm pretty sure I'm getting some stuff. Golly, I love to go in that store. Everyone treats me like a star and the things my nose picks up? It's nirvana!

The trip back home was another nail biter. It was snowing and the road was just ice. But, we made it and I'm glad to be home where I can run with reckless abandon through the forest. That is all the gift a girl like me really needs.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope everyone can be as happy as me.

Kinsey has already posted her on line card.


You can follow the Old Girl on TWITTER. She's not on Facebook. Always the contrarian.  She doesn't like it.

Be sure and check out Kinsey's new blog The Liberated Photographer.

 ©Kinsey Barnard

13 December 2013


Well, the weather is finally warming up. We're in the low thirties right now and it feels like spring!

Kinsey looked like a cartoon character dashing back and forth to the wood pile. She burned through a lot of firewood in the cold snap. You see, like me, Kinsey was raised on the waste not want not axiom. So, she almost never takes a green tree. Instead she uses dead and diseased trees. The problem with that is the most prevalent dead and diseased trees are spruce which have the lowest BTU. They also burn up really fast. Rarely does a Douglas Fir fall and even more rarely does a Western Larch fall, wouldn't you know?

The biggest thing that's happened around here is that Kinsey's credit card got hacked. In all the decades she has had a credit card it's the first time that happened. But, State Farm Bank was right on top of it and noted the out of the norm charge and shut down the card right away. Way to go State Farm. For those of you who use State Farm Insurance and don't know about their credit card you might want to ask your agent about it. By using it you earn State Farm dollars which you can apply to your insurance premiums. Over the years, Kinsey has saved literally thousands of dollars on her insurance premiums.

Now that it's warmed up I'm hoping Kinsey will spend a little more time out side with me. She did take me for a walk yesterday. She promptly slipped on the ice and fell on her patookie.  No more going out without her micro-spikes.

Below is a beautiful buck that stopped by. The photo's not too good. It's hard to see what an elegant rack he had. Kinsey was talking on the phone at the time and took it without paying much attention. But, it's better than nothing?

Hard to see but this guy has lotsa points
Kinsey's latest post on her blog.

©Kinsey Barnard

08 December 2013


Wow! It has realy been cold this past week. Coldest I have experienced in my young life. Kinsey says that for her the coldest was two or three winters after she moved here, between 2003 and 2005. It was 20 below for five days running!  Now that's cold.

I don't know how she survived seeing as how she's too cheap to turn on the heaters. No kidding. She uses the wood stove exclusively. And, the wood she burns has all been cut and split by hand by her, around eight cords a year. For some strange reason she seems to revel in the spartan life. I'm OK with it because she feeds me good, but r-e-a-l-l-y? She even likes to brag that she spends less than $100/yr on electricity and the house is all electric! Sound to good to be true? Well, she also built a solar array which provides a big assist.

It gets pretty cool in the house in winter. Especially when it's well below zero and Kinsey doesn't wake up in the middle of the night to put more wood on the fire. It gets so cold, when she hoists the coverings the windows are covered in ice. On the inside! I live in an ice house! Again, I don't mind, my coat keeps me warm and toasty but I do sometimes wonder about my guardian. Please, don't call child protective services. I'll be fine.

She likes to tell the story about that earlier cold spell. How, after five days in the -20's she was getting some serious cabin fever. She looked at the weather forecast and even though the thermometer showed -22 the forecast said it was going to be 25 above in the Flathead. She believed it. She packed Koty into the truck, put in the winter survival trunk and headed off down the mountain. By the time she got down to the valley floor it was -28. She pulled out on to 93 and headed south. It was very dark and gray. And, there wasn't a soul on the road. She kept going, longing to get to that 25 degree weather. About twenty miles down the road after seeing no other vehicles and no increase in temperature she got a little panicky. It scared the dickens out of her that there were no other cars on the road. An extremely lonely feeling. She figured if she had car trouble she'd be a crispy critter before help came along and 93 has long stretches of dead space so even calling for help was iffy. She turned the truck around and headed for the barn.

The low reading for this cold snap was 15 below. I'm pretty sure that's gonna be it. There seems to be a warming trend. This morning it's a balmy -2.

©Kinsey Barnard

Kinsey likes to do things like this to me. It's so silly. Like I need a blanket? Like I said, she feeds me well!