Saturday, July 26, 2008

Vamos a la Playa!

One of my favorite photos from years past-2005 at the beach. And we're off to our favorite spot-Seacoast Inn-built probably in 1950-but right.on.the.beach. We head out with the whole fam-damily...minus Elder Steve......we'll miss you bud!
Projected temps for Phoenix-103-104
Projected temps for San Diego-75.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Randomosity at its Finest

I woke up this morning thinking it was a good day to skip the gym, or at least my body told me it was a good fact, maybe it would be a good idea to skip everything today......not....

#1. Random thought of the day.....

This woman is my hero...

I listened to one of her talks yesterday afternoon and was just so....inspired. I love the fact that she is so real and she doesn't speak in that syrupy sweet voice that we all know and love (cough, cough, gag, spit). Go here if you want to spend a lovely afternoon being inspired by her.

#2 Random thought of the day:

To most of you normal people out there this is just a disgusting mess, evidence of my poor housewifery skills....but to my weird way of thinking, actually it is evidence of my healthy diet! I mean really... look at those fiber filled beans, cuke peelings and cantaloupe seeds. Why there's even a random spinach leaf and an apple core! Of course if I was a true-blue granola this stuff would be in my compost bin, but we're takin' baby steps here folks.....

Well, I must pause my randomness for the moment because it's time to go groom myself and head off for the "Sacred Hair Day." The Divine Ms. J. has been off and my tresses are in desperate need of rejuvenation......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Requiem for a Garden

This was the last straw. I am now crying bitter tears in the realization that my garden is done producing....... They say the stages of grief are:

I am now accepting the fact that the garden season here is over for a time--it's just too dadgum hot for any of my little planties to reproduce. But alas, I am like the two-year-old who wants her cake and eat it too.....I want some of those brilliant blueberries and lovely lettuce and crunchy cabbage....and I want to grow it now! Nevertheless, the reality of gardening in the desert is the fact that I can grow lettuce in January and tomatoes in June but that July and August are pretty much the pits. Really, I should be grateful for when I am harvesting my lettuce in January-others are shoveling snow! So for now I will look longingly at garden catalogs, enjoy looking at other people's garden blogs....and plan for the next season!

Some final tributes to my garden this past year...

Dinner made with garden cukes, onions, peppers and herbs from my garden (not the watermelon-dang it!)

A very, very, very small harvest of red potatoes-but yet made fabulous roasted potatoes with olive oil and rosemary...

Onions the size of small planets, or maybe medium-sized cantaloupe....

Large, green peppers-which are supposed to be red.....

Our one and only grape bunch-small grapes but oh so delicious and sweet!

Yes, I am ready to accept, move on and go forward a stronger and better gardener!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Burning Questions of the Hour

Now that I have sweat off half my weight after cleaning the pool, cleaned myself up and dressed for the day.....I have a few burning questions.....

How does a perfectly good newish Victoria's secret bra totally disappear into thin air?

Please advise.

I have to leave in one hour. Do I:
a. Clean the kitchen
b. Work on my currently as yet unrevealed project?

Please advise.

We get to pretend we are rich tonight and go to the Diamondback game, sitting in an ooh-la-la suite. What does one wear to this sort of affaire?

Please advise.

Why is Bubba-D so cheerful these days?

Please advise.

Nature's Fury

Anyone living here locally heard about the big microburst storm we had last night. Well, we were in the middle of it. Fifteen minutes of rain that defied gravity-howling wind and lightening flashes. Mother Nature gave us quite a ride and now I hope I never have to live through a tornado or hurricane.......fifteen minutes was plenty for me! (and the wind speeds never reached tornado or hurricane speeds-just a mere 60 mph)

Power poles just south of us snapped like toothpicks-but we are SO lucky-we still have power. The main road is closed and the only damage we sustained.....

Another stupid roof leak!


The wind picked up that trampoline and flung it across the yard, impaling it on the pool fence and tearing a hole right through it! Umm, that's a pretty powerful wind.


A very dirty pool-

Now all I have to endure are the annoying TV news helicopters buzzing around like pesky flies during the evening, morning and noon news shows......but, if that's all I have to endure, well, I'm mighty grateful. At least I wasn't in the car that got hit by the flying power pole last night!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blogger Slacker

I guess you could say I am a blogger slacker. I'm just kinda living life right now and doing little projects-one of which I am SO excited about but I can't share yet...... Reasons I am not blogging:

1. Because I am catching up on other people's blogs and their interesting lives and they even have interesting links too-which of course takes up all my blogging time.

2. Eating healthfully takes a LOT OF WORK!

3. My carpet in my bedroom FINALLY got cleaned.

4. I have watched this movie at least eleven hundred times so far and it still makes me laugh every time-If you haven't seen it-GO RENT IT NOW!

5. Reading books:Great book.....sound principles of eating-some really yummy recipes-there's a companion cookbook too-

This was a light, fun read, particularly appropriate for this time of year-celebrating our pioneer heritage....

6. Because I am totally lame-I signed up for an on-line Spanish class at the beginning of the summer and I am trying to get through that......

So that's my excuses for being a blogger slacker.......Living life at the moment is more interesting than writing about it I guess....

Thursday, July 17, 2008


1. Conquer Mt. St. Laundry-check (well for at least a couple of days)
2. Reconcile the checkbook-well-it's all been subtracted but I am still not reconciled to the balance.
3. Re-acclimitize to the environment- hahahahahahaha....?... what?
4. Restock the refrigerator- check (is it ever fully stocked?)
5. Become reacquainted with 18 yo old son-mmmm-he still speaks in monosyllables-
6. Wash the car-change the oil in the car-manana.
7. Work on 2.85 hours of dictation-check-plus add another 2.85 hours.
8. Dive back into my church callings-check-sorta-sharing time planned.
9. Spend several hours in veggie and flower about 1/2 hour?
10. Put away all the stuff I bought at BYU Bookstore-check-in a pile by my bed.
11. Read all the stuff I bought at BYU bookstore.....ha hahaha haha.
12. Analyze FH research......ummmmm..still in notebook and on flash drive....
13. Trip to San Diego.....ha hahahaha.....I have two empty boxes for the food...does that count?
Checklist summary-taken a few off-added as many more items on it-does it ever get done?

Here's some photos of other stuff I snagged in Utah. It may be a big secret but I LOVE fabric stores. I love touching the material and looking at the pretty colors. So in order satisfy my fabric fetish-I have taken up making quilts-baby quilts, quilts cuddle up in during the July summers...
This satisfies my country girl 80's fabric color tendencies-with some black thrown in for "coolness."

This oh-so-adorable baby girl quilt is being made in advance-whoever has the next baby girl snags it-I'm trying to be efficient here-I may end up some years getting a multitude of grandbabies and I am just trying to be prepared! (justifying the purchase of course)

Oh, these luciousness of colors-SO much fun. I can hardly wait to do this one!

Last but not least, a future project.....remember these?

Unfortunately that's about all they are good for-cuteness.. If you have a bust size larger than an A cup and hips bigger than 34 inches....well, they are pretty much worthless for normal use, so I found this little number....
I'm trying again=

Ok-I've blogged enough today-back to that checklist!!!

Toddler Hazards

It's not easy being little. This little one has had her fair share of bumps, bruises and biffs. Here's the latest:

The table met Baby B. and the resulting black eye....I promise, she has wonderful parents who live in fear that Child Protective Services will be after them since she is so accident prone!

Teenage view of EFY

Go see this-my Miss Liss view of EFY at BYU.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Eat that Wheat!

Part of replenishing my pantry has been to make some bread. We don't eat a ton of bread, but after coming home and checking the freezer-there was nary a bread loaf to be found. Since we are all eating healthier these days (at least anyone over the age of ffffiffty in this house), and I refuse to pay the high cost of whole grain bread in the store-well-this girl has been busy making fresh bread about every two weeks...using my stored wheat... Anyway-my sister asked me for my bread recipe months ago.......and since she only reads my blog once a month or so....well sissy----here you go!
Disclaimer: First off let me preface this by saying that I have a Bosch. I am not a culinary snob but really, it does make bread making so much faster and easier. I can have five loaves mixed and rising in the pan in less than 1/2 hour (they are rising as we speak). This recipe is from "Chef Brad's" book. On checking his web site-it looks like he is going to be in Utah practically the whole month of August so check him out...Anyways........
Basic Whole Wheat Bread
6 c. hot water
10 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. salt
2/3 c. oil
2/3 c. honey (I use orange blossom...mmmmm...yummy)
3 T. dough enhancer (this is a must-makes the bread light)
3 T. yeast (I use SAF-the best)
2 c. natural white flour
First I dump the water, white flour and all the other stuff in the mixer bowl. (this is not how Chef Brad says to do it....) Then I turn on the mixer and start adding more whole wheat flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Important! Whole wheat bread dough is stickier than white bread dough. It will be sticky to touch but if it cleans the sides of the bowl-it's good. Once the dough isn't sticking to the sides of the bowl (I usually add 2-3 c. more flour-depends on the humidity in your area), then I set my timer (so I won't forget) for about 6-7 minutes and keep that Bosch crankin' so help build the gluten. (the stringy stuff that traps the air bubbles from the yeast and makes the bread rise-it's the same stuff my mom can't eat-she has celiac disease). When the time is up, I dump the whole mess onto the oiled counter and divide up the dough between five loaf pans (sprayed generously with Pam). Then I take each little loaf and pound it into submission-taking out all my I pound it a little and then form it into a loaf. Then you let it sit until the loaves have risen over the top of the pan around 1-2 inches (mas or menos). Bake at 325 until they are done...oh, about 20-25-30 minutes. (Sorry I am not a real precise cook). have fresh hot bread that you take out of the oven-smear the tops with butter, wait a bit-then devour one whole loaf with the kids.....(a requirement-one loaf must always be devoured immediately!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Only in Utah.....

4 cases = one happy son-in-law....

(it's going to rot your innards CB!)

Pardon Me.....

While I take a couple of days to:
1. Conquer Mt. St. Laundry.
2. Reconcile the checkbook
3. Re-acclimatize to the climate-cooler but more humid.
4. Restock the refrigerator.
5. Become re-acquainted with my 18 yo son who spoke only in monosyllables while I was gone.
6. Wash the car-change the oil in the car.
7. Work on 2.85 hours of dictation.
8. Dive back into my church callings.
9. Spend several hours in my flower & veggie gardens repairing the damage.
10. Put away all the stuff I bought (mostly stuff from BYU bookstore)
11. Read all the books purchased from BYU bookstore.
12. Check the calendar I ignored for a week.
13. Analyze and organize all the family history research I did for nearly 2 full days in SLC.
14. Prepare for the next trip to the beach at San Diego with the whole crew in 2 weeks.......

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Scenes from Happy Valley

View outside the front door of my Happy Valley vacation site. I love that the mountains are so close.

I love the cool 60 degree weather every morning.

Overheard conversation from two morning walkers, "I really want to add on to my house..........I know I should be grateful for what I have....." Where else could you overhear this conversation?

The clean cut, ENTHUSIASTIC happy faces of the young adults assisting at EFY.

I love swathing myself in a quilt in a freezing cold basement in July. TL-can I have a basement???????

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Postcard from Deseret

Dear Family and Friends:

We have arrived and are having a great time. Wish you were here.
Love, Me

P.S. I left my camera memory card safely tuck into my computer !@@##^&#&^#(&^

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Choice Land

"And never could be a people more blessed than were they, and more prospered by the hand of the Lord. And they were in a land that was choice above all lands, for the Lord hath spoken it." Ether 10:28

I'm grateful to live in a country where I can worship as I choose, live where I choose, work how I choose, raise my family as I choose.

I'm grateful to my ancestors who came to this land, fought for this land, and in some cases died for this land. I'm grateful for their sacrifices that I may have the life I live today.

I'm grateful for the sacrifices of our Founding Fathers, who were inspired and directed by God to form this country.

God Bless the USA!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Layout

New Layout courtesy of Allie Brown's layouts

Headin' Narth

Well, I'm outa here in a couple of days.....Headin' Narth (do you get the accent?)
I'm headed to my feed my soul...I think Utah is imbedded in my DNA..

For those of you who live in this fair state, you may think I am nuts but ever since I was an infant, every summer, my family headed north to the Mother Land. We made stops beginning in Payson, next to Provo, Murray, Salt Lake, Bountiful, Roy, ending in Logan and then reversing the process all over again, heading south. If I had a chat with any long-time resident of Utah-we would probably be related.....(I'm descended from the 2nd wife of course)......But I dearly adore going to Utah and these days I try to head there at least once or twice a year. To visit family and be restored... I don't have a lot of photos of those travels, but this photo to me epitomizes those yearly treks.

The aunts preparing food. Never ending food......and one of my uncles strolling in the background looking for wildlife or other interesting biological bits of information.....As I said before, we started in Payson and ended up in Logan......with a never ending buffet of hamburgers, potato salad and beans (old family joke). As I married and started my family, we too began the almost yearly trek to Utah and I have passed down the Utah DNA to my posterity......

Make fun of me if you like-but I will always reserve a piece of my heart for the Beehive State.....

So it's EFY at BYU or bust!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Recipe for Disaster

114 degree predicted high temperature today
1 AC unit gone wacko-
1 non-committed AC repair service (can't give me a service time/date yet)
3 days until I leave town

Mix together thoroughly and you have one crazed, frustrated Matriarchal Madwoman!
** was a tiny little part that needed to be replaced and no-it didn't get hot but I was very nervous worrying that my compressor would blow any minute!

Green Stuff

I was intending to post something else today but I just HAD to share my smoothie this morning:

Look at that pretty green color! This tastes absolutely awesome but it is guaranteed to gross your kids out! I ran out of grape juice for my usual smoothie so I substituted orange juice. Here's my crazy, fly by the seat of your pants recipe:
1 c. orange juice
4-5 chunks of fresh pineapple
Handful of fresh spinach
1/2 banana
Generous splash of coconut milk
Handful of ice cubes

Turn that blender on and enjoy.......
This could be titled: "St. Patrick's Day pina colada" or "Kermit's Hula Juice"

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Phytonutrients for Breakfast

Being the sneaky, devious mom that I am, I try to slip in a few fruits or veggies into the family's diet without them taking too much notice. I have had a couple of requests for these recipes, which are kid and teenager approved-even the 17 year old Bubba D grudgingly admits that they are "good." So here's for some delicious, nutritious phytonutrients for breakfast!!

Carrot Zucchini Muffins

1 3/4 c. flour (i use 3/4 whole wheat)
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. salt
2/3 c. buttermilk ( i buy powdered buttermilk and use 2 T with 2/3 c water)
1 egg
1/2 c. salad oil
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. shredded zucchini
1/2 c. grated carrot
1 c. pecans, 1/3 c. raisins (opt) (my family doesn't like raisins...sniff...sniff. but I sprinkle the pecans on top of each muffin before baking)

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together. Fold together. (remember you don't mix muffins to death)
Bake for 35-40 min at 350 degree oven. Watch them come running when they smell these!

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. fresh gingeroot, finely chopped
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. sea salt
1 c. low fat milk or soy beverage
1 egg
1/3 c. canned pumpkin
2 T. canola oil
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. unsweetened dried cranberries

Again, mix dry ingredients together first, then wet. I sprinkle the cranberries and walnuts on the top of the pancakes as they are cooking. We had these for breakfast this morning. YUM!

Banana blueberry pancakes

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine all the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients-including the bananas. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients-don't overmix. Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the griddle and then sprinkle the blueberries on top.

There you have it-a painless way to add extra yummy nutrition to the morning!