Saturday, May 30, 2009

Garden Happenin's

Here's the latest and greatest happening in the Madwoman's Garden......

Remember this?

Well, it was the framework for this:


I'm soooo happy and my plants are too! Here's another view:

I'm thinking my little plants will last a lot longer in the searing summer heat. I could hear them breathe a sigh of relief! It's also much easier working under the shade in the garden in the searing summer heat.

And here's Garden Boy chopping up our first batch of homegrown compost.. Why isn't he at work, you ask? Loooong story I'd rather not discuss at this point.

My strawberries are going to love this good stuff!

And the garden poundage total for the month of May:

Edit: 37.9 pounds!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Frugal Friday-Swap Party

I admit, this was not my idea, but I am always open to great ideas. In these tough economic times, getting together for a Swap Party is a good way to obtain needed items and get rid of stuff you no longer use or need.
Here's how it works:

Everyone brings their gently used stuff to a central location. It can be clothes, shoes, kitchen stuff, books, even old magazines. The "stuff" is then displayed on tables and each person gets a ticket for each item they bring. I guess if some items are worth more, you could assign a higher ticket value, but we were very easy going about our Swap Party. Everyone looks over the items and for every item you bring, you can take home an item. This works really well if people who have similar ages of children, etc. get together to swap. We had our Swap Party last Tuesday night.
Stuff is arranged according to categories.
Checking out the goods, with tickets in hand.
If more than one person wants an item, then a drawing is held with each person's name on a ticket. The winner gets the item!
This would be a great idea for teenage girls or mommies with kiddies. One of our guests brought a ton of adorable baby boy clothes! We had scrapbook stuff, shoes, jewelry, toys and books. Everyone brings a treat to share and it's a great time. Then the rest of the "stuff" that is left over gets hauled off to DI or Goodwill-by pre-arrangement ahead of time.
It's a fun way to make the best of a tough economic time.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Families are Forever

In my calling in our little Spanish branch, I have seen the trials and troubles of the members of the branch, and my heart has ached for those who are suffering, either through their own bad choices or the bad choices of others. Tears have literally wet my pillow and I have anguished over how to help. So many times there is nothing I can do.

But days like last Saturday make up for the heartache and stress, for we were witnesses to the ordinance that made these families eternal.

We attended the baptism of this sweet family more than two years ago and watched their progress and set backs. Seeing the children walk in the sealing room, all dressed in white and seeing the joy in their parent's faces, was priceless!This precious sister is my counselor. We are truly sisters, even though she was born thousands of miles away and she & I speak different languages. We speak the language of the heart.

Though the words were spoken in another language, the sealing power was the same. The feeling of joy and love was the same. Truly we are blessed!

Las familias pueden ser eternas!

If you want to know how.....go here

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not Just an Ordinary Umbrella

To the untrained eye, this may look like an ordinary beach umbrella in a stand. But to me, it represents inspiration. Please don't mock my little story.

I have a strong belief in answers to prayers. Years ago, I read a book that completely inspired me, and I have never forgotten some of the things written in it, but I can't remember the title! It was the story of a lady who had one baby, two sets of twins, a set of triplets, and another single baby. She told of how she managed and how she received answers to her prayers. This was more than 25 years ago but I have never forgotten one of her stories.

She said that our Heavenly Father loves us and he is interested in what we are doing. Things that are important to us, are important to Him too. She said our Father knows ALL things-has all knowledge of ALL subjects. She said that one time she was struggling to make a pair of drapes for her house. She couldn't afford drapes in the store and she found some inexpensive fabric. She then prayed about it, asking for help in making the pinch pleats that she had no idea how to make. She recalled that some ideas came into her mind and she proceeded to make the drapes, and they turned out great!

Shortly thereafter, she was speaking with a professional seamstress, who made drapes and other decorative items for homes and began discussing with her the latest drape-making project. To her amazement, the process that the professionals use to make pinch pleated drapes was EXACTLY the same process that came to her mind as she was praying about it.

So here's my little story: I have wanted a large umbrella for my pool for YEARS. I have looked and looked and they are SO expensive. I really wanted to have one for our family Memorial Day fun in the sun party to inaugurate the pool season, but they all cost over $200 for the stand and the umbrella. Things are tight right now-what with one returned missionary and one getting ready to leave! So one morning as I was saying my prayers, an idea popped into my head!

Why not make a stand out of PVC pipe to hold up the beach umbrellas that we had already stashed in our garage. They are only used once or twice a year-but they work just fine. So off I headed to Lowe's. My original idea didn't work, but as I stared at the containers of PVC pipe, I figured out how to put one together! It worked perfectly! All for about $20.

So now I have my pool umbrellas, and a stronger testimony that God loves me and my prayers are important!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let the Summer begin!

Memorial Day brings the kids over to inaugurate the pool season. Each year the little ones progress more and more in their swimming skills and it's so much fun to see their progress!
The two oldest are great swimmers, the next two need more assistance, but this little one is fearless! We have to keep a close eye on her or she will jump in on her own. She was blue and shivering, but she didn't want to get out!
This one prefers to work on her tan. Pool water just doesn't fit into her lifestyle.
And we had FRESH SALSA.....95% of the ingredients from our home-grown garden patch!.

What could be better?-a Memorial Day with water and fresh salsa.

Monday, May 25, 2009

We have a BABY!!!!!

Victoria Rachelle

Born: 12:53 am

May 25, 2009

7.8 oz

20 1/4 inches

Perfectly precious in every way!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

These are for You, GGMA

Some doings of the little people around here, just for you, Great-Grandma....

Soccer boy in action......

Who cares if we win or lose? It's all about the treats!
Kindergarten grad giving her report on seals-(learning how to search the internet for facts in kindergarten!!!)I feel old........

Making cookies with Aunt Liss.....

Can you believe how much she has grown??????

These kids are really well trained on how to pose for the camera......

I'm not proud or anything......

Friday, May 22, 2009

Weather, you Mock me

Last year, we were braving the cold and rain to attend Bubba D's graduation. It had only been a few days since TL had been released from the hospital, so I was very stressed about having him outside in the cold and rain to watch graduation. The decision was made to hold graduation inside, for the first time in 22 years! History has repeated itself. Who would have thought we would have rainy, chilly weather at the end of May AGAIN! However, last night those brave souls did not have the luxury of attending graduation inside but toughed it out with their attendant umbrellas. I thought of you often!

Last week it was 107. My mind just cannot get around the fact that it will be 107+ again, probably within a few days. I cannot express the depth of my loathing for the hot summers here in AZ. There is just no escaping it, unless you leave the 85--- zip code! I try and try every year and bravely face the oven-like temperatures in my car, the wave of heat that envelopes me every time I open the front door, the never-ending sounds of the AC cranking away-that's all you can hear outside in the afternoon-no birds, no nothing-just AC running. I keep a stiff upper lip until about the first of August, and then I crumble. Because for most people the first of August signals the time when summer is winding down-the knowledge that there is only one more month of sizzling summer heat before the blessed respite of fall.....Not us.

For here in the desert Southwest we have summer until Halloween. Seriously. The highs continue to average in the 100s usually until mid or late October. Our little children start the first day of school fresh and new in the morning and come home red-cheeked, sweaty and exhausted. School time is supposed to be the time of fall leaves, plaid skirts and sweater-wearing in the evenings. Not here.

So it is that in August, I finally lose it. When the high is 100 at 10 pm with the low being around 90-ish at 3:00 am.....well, I'm not so brave anymore and I just want to sink down in my air conditioned bedroom and not move until it gets below 80 degrees. I try to bribe myself every year out of the summer doldrums by promising exciting things like....I can plant pumpkins the first of August! It doesn't usually work.

So it is when we have glorious 70 degree wet weather at the end of May, I want to shake my fist and shout, "Weather, You mock Me!"

Baby Watch

Grandbaby #7 Countdown:
No labor yet but:
3 cm dilated.
70% effaced.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Houston, We have Tassles!

Corn tassles I mean!
And you know that means...........ears of corn! Woo-ha!
And my meddling into the secret life of cucumbers.......
Made us some cukes! (only 2 for now-still waiting for more of those pesky male flowers!)

Freak of nature? Triplet tomatoes?
Better than a bouquet of flowers?
Hmmm...I'll think on that one.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Humbly Grateful

He told me yesterday he has his missionary password.

I have no words.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Frijoles Refritos

No news flash here.
Beans are cheap.
I have canned my own jars of whole pinto beans for the last couple of years and I LOVE it! We eat beans a lot more than we used to and they taste SO much better than the kind you buy at the store. So today I'm going to share how I make EASY refried beans from my own home-canned beans. First, a blender:
This is a no brainer. I just throw the beans into the blender and let it do its magic. This is what it looks like: The end product is pretty runny. It works, but I'm going to tell you how to make it better. My friend, Maria, taught me how to do this:Take some garlic and onions and jalapeno and chop them up and saute them with a little oil, or actually a couple of tablespoons of oil....After the onions are soft, take them out and set them aside. Then throw those runny beans in the hot pan and stir.And stir, and stir......
Then something happens to the starch, something scientific which I have no idea how to explain. The beans get thick-maybe the liquid evaporates off....And then you have this:Nice and thick and creamy "refried" beans. You don't have to put in a pound of lard (although that is why the Taco Bell refried beans are so creamy and rich!) and they taste yummy! Then you can slap them on some crispy tortilla shells or in burritos, or whatever.
And then you have to make another batch because everyone loves them so much, they want more!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tricky Little Devils

Green Bean plants, I mean.

I mean, I can go out ready to harvest and take a look at the plant, and not see a thing. Just a green plant.
Then I look a little closer.
And a little closer.
And sheesh! I actually harvested 5 green beans off this one little plant.
Tricky little devils.

And in other news on the gardening front....

TL is creating something else for'll just have to wait and see what it is!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

That seems to be the story of my life. I feel like I am always one step behind.
I am only a week behind on sharing the fruits of my children's gratitude on Mother's Day and saying a big

Thank You!

My offspring always ask me what they can get me for gifts and of course my mind goes

This year I said, "Just get me garden stuff."
Poor kids. How specific is that?
But they came through like champs.
First off was the elegant, completed Sunday dinner when we walked in the door from church (prime rib!)


The gifts were equally awesome and clever (because I have very clever children, you know!)

Handmade "brag book" inside a very fetching clutch purse, just waiting for adorable photos of my grandchildren! (hint-hint-the family professional photographer)

Dontcha just LOVE this green pot? It makes me happy to look at it. I confess, I had to return the little pots that were the original gift because they had no drainage holes in the bottom-but this was the suggestion of the alternative by the gift giver.....(now I just have to get a plant in it-that's me-remember, a day late and a dollar short)

An outdoor clock! How cool is that? I really love clocks and I think this one is going to hang on the fence by the pool so I can look at it every day.

And not to be outdone, of course, some garden gloves, apron and clogs from the coolest store ever....Tar-Jay! I LOVE this color. P.S. They aren't as clean and pretty as they look here now-they are being USED!

Thank you very much my loves!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just the boringest Life Ever

Nothing noteworthy to report.
I'm fresh out of scintillating titles & fascinating posts.

Just a few random facts:

It's hot-100 degree highs for over a week-this Sunday predicted high: 105

I had a conversation with Steve last night in Spanish in front of his friends and nobody understood us. It was awesome.

If you want to spend 45 minutes listening to something amazing, go here:,7341,538,00.html.
{much food for thought}

Thursday, May 14, 2009