Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What happens When you are Gone too Much

It's time to go to the grocery store.
There's not even any leaves.
Oh well, at least it's easier to clean, right?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Me Duele el corazon

My heart is breaking.
We lost a dear, beloved member of our branch this morning.
I don't know what I'm going to do without her.
It wasn't unexpected.
But we didn't expect it.
And I'm trying to be strong
as the Relief Society President.
But inside I'm scared to death.
Because it's my first funeral.
And my heart is breaking.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pictorial Review

A little glimpse into the life of the Madwoman this past week or so....
Dad's so happy cuz he gets to grill his own dinner for our pre-father's day celebration.
(because we left for Denver on Father's Day)
Now that's a load of beef!
I wasn't quick enough to get the splash----
Take my picture Grandma!!
These girls are too funny.
I had to capture the moment.

Off to Denver......
The highlight of the Denver trip:
Meeting Momza.
We look like twins with our squinty eyes.
But it was the MOST fun!
We talked for hours.
I love her laugh.
I wish I lived in Denver now.
Back home briefly.
We made gold leaf temple pictures.
Verrry fun!

Off to Utah...
You haven't lived until you've eaten a fried pickle at the Garden Restaurant
on top of the Joseph Smith Memorial building.....
or eaten their creme brulee.......deee.vine!
I took this photo in the front row of the conference center.
Because I will never, ever, never sit there in a meeting.
Because it's for the VIP types.
That I will never be.
But I made a memory!
I did not take this photo.
Looking down at the fountain in the conference center.
Just looking at it makes my palms sweat.
But I did take this one.
Looking up.....
This is ON.TOP of the conference center.....
So is this.

Last Saturday......
My sister's yard is made for wedding receptions...

Parents of the groom...(my sissie and hubs!)

Chocoloate covered strawberries with.
(for the uninformed-just about the best chocolate evah!)
More cousins.
And more cousins.
(my family-we make good-lookin' cousins!!)
The bride & groom.
Her dress was!

Now it's back to real life.
Soaking up the lovely 111 temps.
Watching my garden turn into crispy critters.
Redoing the visiting teaching again for about the 1523rd time.
Showering kisses on Jessica's baby.
Aint Life grand?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Random Saturday morning thoughts today in no particular order:

Tomorrow TL & I are headed to Denver.
He's working.
I'm playing.
And meeting my friend Momza, for the first time.
I'm very excited.
I think I need a rest.

Then next weekend we're jaunting off to Salt Lake.
To attend the wedding reception of my nephew.
Who happens to be getting married TODAY.
Congrats Matt & Whit!

Speaking of receptions, I just realized we missed the elevendy-hundredth wedding reception of the month last night.
We had a good reason.

I was the witness in a wedding yesterday.
Nice people.
To ask someone they didn't know.
But I felt touched that they would.

Did you know that there is a Spanish version of "Achy Breaky Heart?"
It's going to take me a few days to get up enough nerve to post the evidence.
And now I have an "Achy Breaky" Body.

I make really good scrambled eggs.
Zucchini Raspberry Jam is really growing on me.

This is the first Saturday in about six months that TL has been home for "honey-do" jobs.
I'm very excited.

Lavender essential oil is my new BFF.
It cures everything.
Just ask TL.

My kitchen is a mess.
It smells like corn.

I need to finish the laundry.
So I can pack.
Cuz I'm leaving on a jet plane.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Fruits of My Labors

Now don't be getting all impressed and jealous with me here.
That bag of red peppers is my ONLY harvest of peppers this year.
We are putting the garden to bed in a few weeks.
The green beans are slowing down cuz the plants are turning into crispy critters.
And I collect a handful of pear tomatoes every other day or so-just enough to put in some salads.
I harvested a couple of huge cucumbers the other day.
But I'm not sure how happy they are going to be with the heat and all.

But I'm in a frenzy of food preservation right now.
The sweet corn season is here.
I put up 10 ziplock bags yesterday and I'm off in a few to go pick up some more.
I figured I paid 1.47 per bag for pesticide free, fresh off the cob corn.
I did enough last year to last us a year.
So that's the goal.
My green bean harvest yielded 16 bags of fresh frozen green beans for my storage.
And those red peppers are awaiting my blender.
Because I found a new recipe for jalapeno jelly I'm going to try.
Cuz the jalapeno pepper plant is going bu-bye too in a few.
And the basil needs to be turned into pesto.

So it's time to get crack-a-lackin'

P.S. The raspberry/zucchini jam is kinda tasty!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zucchini Update

Top photo:
Zucchini Carrot Muffins
Made from homegrown zucchini and carrots (recipe will follow)
These are YUMMMM.

Next photo:
Zucchini ribbons
We didn't have these yesterday but they are good.
Slice the zucchini with a potato peeler.
Steam lightly.
Add salt, pepper, butter and fresh parmesan cheese.

Last photo:
Shredded zucchini in ziplocks.
Which will be placed in the freezer.
Ready for more zucchini carrot muffins  (again ymmmm)
And some other zucchini ideas I have.
Such as a zucchini frittata.

Shhh. Don't tell my family.

And the zucchini raspberry jam.
It's okay.
In a pinch.
On fresh hot, homemade bread.

Now here's the recipe that even an almost 17 yr old girl will eat:

Zucchini Carrot MuffinsDry ingredients:

1 3/4 c. flour (I mix 1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour)
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. ground flax seed
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. salt

Mix together.

In a separate bowl:
Wet ingredients:
2/3 c. buttermilk (I actually use powdered buttermilk)
1 egg
1/2 c. salad oil
1 1/2 c. shredded zucchini
1/2 c. shredded carrot.
Mix wet ingredients.

Then fold the wet and dry ingredients together.
Don't overmix the muffins.
Just like your mama taught you.
Or they will be tough.

Then the yummmyness:

I chop up some pecans (a handful-who knows-I didn't measure)
Then mix the chopped nuts with some brown sugar.
A streusel of sorts (without the butter)
Then I sprinkle it on top of the muffins before,
Placing them in a 350 oven and baking for 30-40 min. depending upon your oven.

You can thank me later.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Projet du Jour

Figuring out what to do with all this.
I'll let you know what happens.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Official!!!

I can now officially announce........

#10 grandbaby is on it's way!!!!

Go here

Now I have to be patient for a few more weeks until I can start working on some more QUILTS!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Goin' Green

Ever since the wedding and we made these centerpieces for the luncheon:
I've pretty much been obsessed with this color of green.......
The gorgeous white hydrangeas, with just a touch of the green....
(they lasted for two weeks!!!)
Not to mention, the gorgeous green hydrangeas of the bridal bouquet....
The bags of leftover limes, which I juiced and froze....
(now I have lots of lime juice for salsa, yummmm)
It's hard to see the color, but these green bowls from Ikea are to die for...
And the first Armenian cucumber I harvested this morning.....

Just a color that makes me smile.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grandma Gushing......

For the benefit of my out-of-town relatives......
Most of these involve water....

First Swim!
Grandma! Take my picture!
She is going to regret this in a few years.....

Double Trouble!!
Birthday Girl!
Complete with black eye...
We seem to have difficulties with that these days...
(Little CB got a black eye when this Grandma was tending him two weeks ago!)
And finally....
Remembering my children's Grandma on Memorial Day.
And finally,
Go see these......

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Potpourri of Garden Produce

Ok-this photo looks verrry strange. Jen, what is wrong with it?

This morning's harvest. Despite the blistering temperatures, my little garden bravely soldiers on! My production from last year is down, because of my poor, sick tomatoes but in the month of May I harvested:

10.3 lbs green beans
9.5 lbs zucchini
30 ears of very small corn
1.5 lb jalapenos
1 lb green chilis

Last year's May production was over 37 pounds~ I didn't divide up the poundage. This year we've decided to put the garden to bed in the next month. I'm going to put black plastic on the soil and sterilize it until September (average temps well over 100 degrees so I'm sure it will sterilize nicely!). I want to get rid of any bad "bugs" that attacked my tomatoes.

The good news is that we have bees again. Two years ago we had a swarm of Africanized bees in our neighbor's yard and we had to have them exterminated. I think bees have a good "memory" because last year I didn't see very many, so we had a low production of squash and cucumbers, melons...none. But they are back this year merrily buzzing away and fertilizing the zucchini, melon and cukes. Everytime I go out there, I say, "I'm friendly, I'm friendly, I like bees, " so that they won't get me!

So there's good and bad this year. I've got 14 quart-sized ziplock bags full of green beans in my freezer so far and I'm feeling smugly self-sufficient at this will last two weeks with green beans every day....But I'm not going to get any juicy, beautiful red tomatoes, just a few yellow pears that are hanging in there.

So I'm now surfing blogs and salivating over their gardens and will do so until next fall when the fun begins again!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Living in Lucifer's Lair

In honor of the fact that it is going to hit 110 degrees today, tomorrow or Monday, depending upon which weather forecaster you dare to believe.....

I'm now describing the facts about living in the desert in the summer. So all you northern folks enjoying your spring/summer frolicking in the green grass, eating fresh strawberries out of your garden and basking in the sun, please feel appropriately sorry for me. And you desert dwellers, feel free to chime in at any time.

I don't know why, but it always seems like the intense summer heat just slams us up side the head. We had a gorgeous May, with only one or two days hitting 100 degrees. So why o why can't the intense heat just sorta slowly creep up on us, kinda like a frog in water beginning to boil? (you know the old story)

Noooo, it has to arrive with a bang, within just a few days. We are ambling along, getting used to the upper 90s and then wham! The predictions of 108, 109, 110 and beyond hit within a matter of a few days.

For the uninitiated, let me describe:

Pretend that you are going to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies. First you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  And after you've mixed up your nice batch of cookies, you open the oven door to place the cooky sheet inside the oven.  You open the oven door...

And blink rapidly at the wave of heat that hits you in the face before quickly shoving the cooky sheet in the oven and slamming the door closed.

That's what it's like here every time I open up my front door in the summer.
Or the car door.

Things you learn when living in the desert heat:

You get up early to try to get everything done outside to avoid the heat. At least it doesn't hit 90 degrees until 9 am.....

Your garden shrivels up and quits producing because no sane plant produces flowers for fruit above about 95 degrees.

In fact, the only flowers that bloom in the summer are strange looking ones that may have been transplanted from the planet Mars. (except for the ever loving boring vinca-periwinkle plant).

You sign up for this weird program with the power company called "Time of Use Plan" desperately hoping that your electric bill will stay under $400 a month.   This means that you must complete all washing, drying, cooking, baking and use of air conditioner prior to 1 pm.  The AC stays below 75 degrees until then, and then it gets turned up to about 82......The entire family languishes for the rest of the day, or at least until 8 pm when the AC temp can be reduced.

The most commonly used words in the mother language repertoire is,

The only time you can visit the Phoenix Zoo is at 7:00 am and be sure to be there on the dot so you can dash back to your air conditioned car at 8:00 am.

You institute a program with your children called "Quiet Time," which they dread and hate every summer and causes extreme mental anguish and psychological trauma even to the time they are adults, until they get their own kids and realize what a great idea it is.  The program is thus:  All extraneous neighbor children, those unrelated by blood or birth, are banished to their own homes in the afternoon. This is when we all quietly watch tv, read books and play happily with our siblings while the heat of the day rages outside. (this works in theory of course)

You grow mold in your home due to the wet towels heaped up constantly by the back door. Of course you can sterilize those towels in about 10.37 seconds by hanging them outside in the blazing sun.

Cold cereal and cantaloupe become the staple on the dinner menu list.

You NEVER EVER go outside without some type of footwear on since merely treading on the sidewalk can cause 2nd degree burns in 10.37 seconds (please see sterilizing towels paragraph above). And especially necessary when you lock yourself out of the house.

Yes, you can fry an egg on the sidewalk but it's really, really messy and doesn't cook all the way through. NEVER try it on a car.

When going outside at midday, it is absolutely silent. No sound of little children happily playing, no birds singing or bees buzzing, just the sound of the humming of all the neighborhood air conditioners.

And because we live in a place that is surrounded by asphalt and concrete, it never really cools down at night.  We've never really had a good ol' fashioned 4th of July here, because it's too dang hot! Who wants to go out at 10 pm and watch fireworks on the grass when it's  102 at 10 pm?????

So feel appropriately sorry for me for choosing to live in the Den of the Devil.  I DESERVE those gorgeous winters..........

I've whined long enough, time to gird up the loins and face the heat. I'll be happy again about October 31st.

Thanks, buh-bye.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm Back

I've been dealing with a very, very sick little computer.
I've been sorta wandering around the last few days, kinda lost, without it.
It's embarrassing how attached I am to my little computer.
Thanks to some very smart guys and some good computer programs.
All the nasty little bugs are gone.

I shoulda listened to my intuition, or the Spirit.
Because it warned me a couple of weeks ago to take action.
And I kept putting it off.
Until it was too late.

And I've had to be without my trusty friend for days and days.
(seemed like that long anyway)

Moral of the story:
Listen to your intuition, or the Spirit.
It can keep you out of a lot of trouble.