Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Images

Delicious spread....a new beans & bacon. ANYTHING tastes great with bacon! I also changed our chiffon pumpkin pie crust to a graham cracker/gingersnap combination. DELISH! Definitely a keeper. Thanks Aunt M and Mom!
We missed our cousins this year, but had a great time playing wii.

TWO babies to hold and kiss!

Fresh celery stalks from my garden to put in the stuffing! Yumminess! They are small, but packed with celery flavor. Black Friday strategizing.Rip-roaring game of Mexican train, including the cheating Elder on my right!
And plenty of sleeping.
Makes for a good Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Feast Without the Calories

This was stolen from Joy For Your Journey, a little Food 4 Thought.....


What is your favorite menu item you will eat at your Thanksgiving Feast?

It's a tossup between the "stuffing" and the chiffon pumpkin pie, all treasured recipes handed down to me from my mother. I have memories of the delicious smell of onions, celery and shredded carrots simmering in about a pound of butter prior to their addition to the bread crumbs. Also, I don't really like traditional baked pumpkin pie, but my grandmother's chiffon pumpkin pie is a must-have every year. It's light and fluffy and full of delicious cinnamony-ness.


What are you most grateful for at THIS moment?

I'm grateful for our Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness. Last night our dear niece lost a baby that they had been working so hard to get. In order to preserve her life, the baby had to be sacrificed. I'm so grateful for the peace and comfort of the gospel and the knowledge we have of eternal life and that families are forever. We can have peace in the midst of pain, through the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We love you, J & M!


What is different about Thanksgiving this year?

We will miss a bunch of our family members, our Elder Bubba D, shivering in Alaska, our son Rick's family, kind of shivering in Utah, but having a grand time and our Amy's family, visiting the in-laws. But we have the addition of our son, the former Elder Steve, his first Thanksgiving home in two years, and get to enjoy los Elderes and our Grandpa's company.

Midnight Snack

Where are you spending Thanksgiving this year and what part of the menu are you preparing?

Here en la casa de Madwoman. I'm cooking pretty much everything except rolls, green beans, jello....and what else are you bringing Jess?

Recipe of the week

Press forward. (see 2 Nephi 31:20)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Men's Room

Today, for lack of a better topic, I'm going to introduce....
"The Men's Room"

the shed located in the nethermost regions of my back yard. It was dubbed "The Men's Room" because there was a vague promise of the installation of a big screen TV with sound system, a place where the men of the family could escape to watch ballgames and "guy" movies. Somehow this never happened, because today "The Men's Room contains...

The beloved chop saw-very useful for all honeydo jobs.The 327 ice chests that we have collected over the years....The saddles for the horses that we have not had for well over 20 years...

The great-grandfather's trunk, which I think is actually very cool, but it's encrusted in dirt and full of horseshoeing tools (for the horses we don't have)......The organized tool wall, which only took me three years of nagging to accomplish. Doesn't it look nice?Important stuff.And the sacred toolbelt, which is always strapped on prior to any "honeydo" jobs.
I have a love/hate relationship with this edifice.
I hate it because it took up the space for some trees/chicken coop/or kid playground for the grandkids.
I love it because there is a place for all the important man stuff that hangs out here so I can have room in my garage to park my car.
I guess there is room in everyone's life for a "Men's Room." So I gave up my chicken coop/trees/playground
But I still like the TV idea.......

Monday, November 23, 2009


Ah's just plumb wore out today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oh My Stinkin' Heck!

I was going to write something entirely different on my blog this morning, but I got this via email yesterday and I couldn't resist:
Cardon on left.
Andrew on right.
Three weeks apart.
Just plumb delicious!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Listen to Your Inner Voice

Nearly three weeks ago, I ventured out to get my annual mammogram. Really, no big deal people. It's not that bad. Except this time, as the technician was manipulating and stretching and poking on the left side, I began to feel distinctly uneasy.

I brushed it off and went on my way, feeling smug for checking off the necessary evil for again another year.

Then two days later, the phone call. I needed to go back for another check, on the left side, plus an additional ultrasound. Earliest available appointment, ten days away.

My heart stopped. Tears flowed. A frantic call to my mother, and my aunt, who is a breast cancer survivor. (don't we always think the worst!!!)

Sorry kids, I didn't tell you. This is the first time most of them are hearing about this.

After the panic subsided, I listened to my inner voice......
It said, "it's probably ok, but if there is something there, it isn't going to go away and it won't do you any good to fuss over it."

So I listened. I lived my life but I asked my husband and son to give me a blessing the day before. How grateful I am for worthy men in my life!

The time arrived. The technician was compassionate. She explained that the earlier xray had not been clear. The tissue was "wadded up" and she needed a little more detailed look for the radiologist. If the first xray was good, then I wouldn't need the ultrasound.

Burden slightly lighter.
Why didn't they tell me on the phone in the first place? It would have saved some unnecessary worrying....

Xray completed and I shuffle off to wait in a tiny room while the dr. looks at the xray. I can go if all is well.

Three minutes later, the welcome words, "you're good to go! It's all normal tissue."

The air whooses out of my lungs. My burden is lifted.

Listen to your inner voice.
My voice was "uneasy" during the first xray. The technician wasn't as careful as she should have been. My inner voice later assured me that all would be well.

Listen to your inner voice, or by whatever name you may call it....The Holy Spirit, The Holy Ghost, your conscious........

It will guide you. It has guided me many, many, many times......
It is a gift from God.

That inner voice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When Life Gives you Basil......

Make pesto!
(last photo probably-since it's getting colder, I think this will die out for the winter......)
Easypeasy recipe that I threw into the blender:

3 cups fresh basil
1 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (cheaper than pine nuts)
4 gloves garlic, peeled
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (I used more)
1 c. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

Put everything into the blender except oil. Turn the blender on and slowly add the oil until it becomes smooth.

I poured it over chicken and served it over pasta.

*****Very, very, very important point.

Do not cook pesto.....

I discovered this, much to my dismay.

Bless my patient family, they ate it anyway.

Pesto needs to be tossed with pasta or meat and gently warmed.

You don't want to see the "after" photo.....

But it tasted good....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


True to the title of my blog, I've gotten myself PHD.

Piled higher and deeper.

We have something EVERY night this week.

I really hate that.

It stresses me out.


My birthday was wonderful.

Chocolate tuxedo cheesecake slice from Cheesecake Factory.
Roses from my guys.
Lunch with my girls.
Abrazos from my hermanas.
A card in Spanish from my husband. (boy those Latins are passionate---whew--somehow it's not as cool written in English)
My new itouch, which has lightened the load in my purse immensely.
Phone calls and wonderful comments. THANKS!

So now we move forward.
Holiday planning and creating.
Activity attending.
Looking for peaceful moments in the midst of frenzied activities.
True that, you say.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Photo courtesy of Pimp my Space
Pardon me while I take the day off to celebrate the 23 anniversary of my 29th birthday.
Yikes, that sounds worse than the real thing!
You do the math.......

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Swim season is done.
Many, many hours of practice.
Meets in the blazing sun every Thursday.
With some on Saturdays.
So now I'm creating a new photo book to remember the moments.
The focus and intensity of competition.
The fun with friendships.
The thrill of victory.
And the agony of defeat.

She qualified again to compete on the varsity level.
She qualified to compete in the State finals.
She came within 2 seconds of an All-American time in her 50 yd freestyle.
She was 8th in the city in backstroke in her division.
She was 15-20th (sorry don't know exactly) overall in the state in her division.
Great season.
Many goals to achieve in the next year.
Congrats Miss Liss!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You

A heartfelt thanks today to those who fought so that I could have the freedoms I have today.
Many made the ultimate sacrifice.

Our hearts were wrenched this year close to home when one of our own in our ward (local LDS congregation) gave up his life in Alfghanistan two months ago. My heart goes out to his sweet young wife, his little girl, and his beloved parents and brothers. He didn't have to go, he didn't have to be where he was, but because of the kind of man he is, he faced great danger and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you SO much. May God bless your family and bring them sweet comfort this day.

Happy Anniversary to the Standages!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No blogging today

I'm working my own Santa's workshop!
Can't wait to share.......after December 25th!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Of Rocks and all that Stuff

Well, I just got my first bloggie award. Yessirreee. From my bloggie friend, Momza. I love her blog because she has fun stories and always makes me feel better after reading her blog.
So the rules are that I have to spread the love. And because I think my offspring are the most talented and bestest bloggers in the world......and because I check their blogs daily, I hereby pass this "you rock" award on to them....
My sis, Louise, whose BIRTHDAY IS TODAY!!!! and is a new Relief Society President.
I also award the "You Rock" bloggie award to my numerous nieces, and Granny J whose blogs happen to be private and so you can't go enjoy them, but you know who you are! So now I guess you accept your award and pass it along......
You girls ROCK!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Messages from the Frozen North

We got a memory card yesterday from our Alaska Boy! Whoo-hoo! So here in a nutshell are a few tidbits of his life for the last 1 1/2 months:

Provo MTC:

On the way to Fairbanks....I THINK this is Mt. McKinley from the airplane (highest point in North America):His trainer.....Cold pictures:It looks like he has enough clothing....

And finally for your viewing pleasure....(if you can stand it).... a video. Two minutes of snow. Which, if you are from the desert, is a great novelty.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mystery Question of the Day

What is this?

Not my lunch.

It's my secret to growing carrots.

It's the little carrot sprouts I thinned yesterday morning. Please have a moment of silence for these little guys....................

I figured out that in order to have carrots, there has to be space for them to grow, and in order to have space, well, unfortunately some of them have to be sacrificed. I guess I could plant one seed at a time 2-3 inches apart, but I'm not organized like that. I usually wait for the sprouts to get large enough to grab easily and I pick the ones that get to stay based on their growth and sturdiness of the plant.

It's also the secret to growing beets, thinning that is. Except this is my beet patch:

Mostly dirt, no plants. Any gardeners out there reading this? I'm having a tough time getting beet seeds to sprout. Any suggestions out there??? Is it because I'm the only one in the family that likes beets? Revenge of the Beet Seeds?? Bad seeds? Anyone????

But on a happier note-my cilantro is finally sprouting!!! Hooray. I can't live without cilantro in my fridge.. It has been a tough one to sprout too. Any suggestions out there in blog land?

Thank you very much for your time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Memory Keeping-Another Obsession

It's probably no secret.
When I get my hands on something interesting, I'm pretty much obsessed with it.
I can't leave it alone.
I think about it all the time when I'm not doing it.
The latest?

Digital scrapbooking.
I started fooling around with Photoshop a few months ago.
And I haven't looked back since.
No more paper stuff for me.
Which is sad, because I LOVE paper.
But digital paper isn't messy.

And you don't have to have shelves to store it.
Recently I joined an on line publishing company called
Then they sent me credits for 7 free 8 x 8 books.
Well, you know what happened next.
I've got two done and sent in to be published.

And I'm having a jolly good time.
At the expense of anything else that needs to be done (OCD remember?)
And also my neck (it's in the perpetual spasm mode)
So here's a few downloads of what I've been working on:

Our San Diego trip.

October 2009 activities
And this is one I created from all the artwork I had saved from my kids....well, not ALL of it. You know how much stuff they bring home? Well I scanned my favorite stuff and then printed it in this little book. At least half of my brood is represented here. The other half needs to be volume 2.
You can find all sorts of templates and stuff so that you don't have to sit there and think about being creative. It's super simple!

Now I'm going to give my spazzing neck a rest.
And think about what my next obsession will be.

P.S. Happy Anniversary to the Brooks!