Friday, April 27, 2012

Five Facts on Friday

I can't BELIEVE that it has been a week since I posted! I got back from Utah early, early Saturday morning and I've been in mourning ever since. Then we got the wonderful gift of a few days of cooler weather and even rain! So today for my five facts, I'm going to show five photos of my new garden. It's not much to look at yet, but I always have high hopes!

 This is the new cucumber patch......I can't believe I had a brain f**t just now and I couldn't think of the word for cucumber in English!!! (it's pepino in Spanish BTW) The Armenian cucumbers love Arizona best but I always plant other varieties in hopes that I can get a successful crop.
This is what I hope will be the bean patch.....This is the THIRD time I've planted seeds, only to have the birds eat all the sprouts.  !@#$%^ birds!!!
 This is the pepper and squash patch. I found out recently that what I THOUGHT was fabulous compost may be full of ground up drywall......GRRRRR......I'm thinking this is why my plants seem so scrawny. We are hoping to correct the problem with deep watering.
This is the tomato patch. So far, so good, I haven't seen any disease yet in my plants. I have had two years of tomato failure in a row due to some type of wilt......again,the gardener's hope springs eternal!
This is the future pumpkin/melon patch. I still have a bit of swiss chard I'm clinging too along with the rest of the green onions that have yet to be eaten.  I've got a few other little projects going on in the garden, but then I would have had to post more than five photos, right?

So how's your garden coming along???

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five Facts on Friday

I'm writing this on my iPad, so I hope I can get it done with a minimum of errors and frustration. So the five facts will probably be short... 1. I'm in Utah. I love coming up a couple of times a year to pop in on my parents and get a little sisterly love from my Sis in Salt Lake. It feels like this visit is super short for some reason tho..." 2. I love technology, but sometimes I hate it. I love the fact that while I'm away I can communicate rapidly with family, check on how they are on Facebook, send photos through a text BUT last night I was sitting and visiting with my family and we all had our cell phones and we were checking emails, playing games, surfing the web and sending texts. I remarked that it was amazing that we were all together, yet we were somewhat disconnected due to our technology. I could write a whole blog post on the distractions that take us away from what's really important in life. Guilty as charged! 3. I dread going home to the weather. It's supposed to be 99 degrees tomorrow in Phoenix and I've been languishing in the 60s and rainy skies here. For heavens's sake, what happened to spring? 4. I saw two people I knew from my stake here within an hour of each other. It was hilarious meeting someone from home, totally out of context of my normal world. 5. I LOVE the mountains! I took a walk yesterday on the "tree streets" where my parents live in the shadow of the Wasatch front mountains. It was so amazing and the hills were better than any treadmill intervals.....ouch! I wish I could harness that gorgeous mountain and haul it home with me! So that's it for today, see ya on the other side of the weekend. Today my Sis and I are going to the new City Creek mall. So beyond excited!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lumber Jill

I am always loathe to give up my plants from the fall/winter/spring gardening season. But the heat marches on and if I want space for the new plantings, and also to get rid of the old before it fries, I have to clear out the old.
Last week I was working on removing the prolific kale that had grown over the past season.  Much to my surprise, the plants would not yield to my tugging.  After inspection, I realized that a mere shovel was not going to get the job done.  Jessica documented my struggles.....
I always garden with my earrings on. 
It required a hacksaw to "chop" down these babies
Big addition to the compost heap......too bad I don't have chickens.......
Look at the size of that "trunk!" TL had to dig out the roots for me. They were the size of a small bush! I got my workout that morning.......
Lest you think that I tossed all the vegetation, I took the best leaves and did this:
Blanched them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then placed them in ziplock bags. I had about 8 quart-sized bags of kale, ready for the freezer. I will use them in my yummy sausage, kale and potato soup (I think it's an adaptation from Pioneer Woman)

I felt so provident-ish........

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Eve at Grandma's House

No words necessary.....

Amazingly enough, we managed to color about 10 dozen eggs with a minimum of mess and no ruined clothes!

And we all know that frosting tastes much better on the knife than on the cookie!
 Grandpa needed to assist in harvesting the carrots for the Easter Bunny from Grandma's garden.

One little bunny that was too little to participate, the other little bunny was crawling around Grandma's dirty floors getting his knees and hands filthy.....
And we only had one casualty that evening!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Five Facts on Friday

Other bloggers inspire me. I've gotten so many ideas and inspiration, it's truly a blessing (or even a curse because then I get overloaded with ideas-i.e. Pinterest!)

I was reading one recently and she had titled her post "Five for Friday" or something like that.  I preface this post with that information because I am pretty much blatantly stealing her idea-so don't give me any credit for the title. I like it because it's a good way to share, plus who can resist a clever alliteration??

So here's my

Five Facts on Friday:

**This whole week I have felt like my kitchen is always a mess! The only time I wake up with it perfectly clean is when my dear TL cleans it the night before. He cleans better than me. We are trying to eat more whole foods, especially veggies, and so as soon as I clean up one mess, there's another mess starting up. :-/  Chopping fruits and veggies makes a mess!

**Prayer answered:  I was thinking earlier in the week that I wished I had some lemons so that I could juice them and freeze the juice. I had also run out of pecans in my pantry so I was thinking of buying some more. They are SUPER expensive-$12-13 a pound. I guess my thoughts went heavenward, because a few days later, Alyssa came home with a big bag of pecans and lemons! CRAZY!  She and a friend had been having a "photo shoot" in some orchards and they gleaned each a big bag of lemons and pecans.  So now I have a bag of lemon juice ice cubes in my freezer, and we are working on de-shelling the pecans. (now I know why they are so expensive, it's a very labor intensive process, picking out the nuts!)  Also handy home pantry hint, if you didn't already know this, I juice all the lemons and put the juice into ice cube trays. Once the juice is frozen, I put the cubes into ziplock bags and I have about a tablespoon of lemon juice for any recipe. What an awesome thing to know that God cares about my little desires like needing lemons and pecans.

**I've been working in the garden nearly an hour every day this week. I am so behind in the planting schedule for this particular growing climate. I'm scared to death I won't have any harvest before the killer heat hits. We have to plant our gardens super early, mostly February, in order to get any sort of results.  AND there is a very fat family of quail running around my neighborhood because as soon as something sprouts, they are ready to eat them! So I'm on the second go-round of replanting and praying that it is not too late!  I'll post a garden tour soon.

**My brain is so scrambled with all the to-do stuff that sometimes it feels like it is going to explode! Does anyone else feel that way?  I feel that I have so many projects, lists, books to read and topics to study that I will never get it all done. That's why I've been a little more absent on the blog.

** I impulsively bought a new set of the expensive scriptures this week.  I decided that it was high time I had some new ones, as it has been nearly 20 years since I got my old ones.  Sometimes it's hard to mark up the beautiful, crisp, pristine pages but I just dived right in and what a blessing to find "new stuff" that I had never discovered before and it's fun to remark the old favorites. I also ordered some of these books from "The Red-Headed Hostess and I'm super excited to begin a study of the titles of Jesus Christ. Because I'm always a day late and a dollar short, they won't arrive in time for Easter, but in a nutshell, each printed page in the book (or every two pages) has a title of Jesus Christ found in the scriptures.  Each title, when studied, gives insights into His character, life and mission. Can't wait to get them! She offered a $2 discount for the books if you order them before Easter, so if you want one, hurry quick! Although you could just buy a notebook and note the titles on each page.

I think that's five!

Happy Weekend and Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

For most of my adult life, I have served in one capacity or another in the Relief Society. I began attending when I was an 18-year-old bride, when we had Relief Society during the week! (I guess that dates me for sure!)

I've always loved Relief Society. I have learned SO many things from the homemaking meetings, been inspired in the Sunday meetings and tried to faithfully do my visiting teaching (although not always without complaint)

I've had the opportunity to be more "up close and personal" to several of the last general Relief Society presidents, but none has affected me more than Sister Julie B. Beck. I love that on her bio it read, "she was a homemaker when she received her calling."  I love that she is an amazing student of the scriptures, you could tell by looking at them that they were used and loved. I loved how she would speak so much of receiving personal revelation. I loved that she didn't speak down to us, in a "sweet" voice. She is genuine and a strong, faithful woman of God.  I guess this is why I wanted to write a short post on how much I have learned from her, and how much I am going to miss her as the general president. I'm sure Sister Burton is amazing, or she wouldn't have received the call...but there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Sister Beck. 

She came to see us here in Arizona a few months ago, and specifically requested to meet with the Spanish-speaking sisters. What an honor it was! She spoke wonderful Spanish and the sisters loved her for speaking their language. After the meeting was over, there was a foot race to the front to give her "abrazos." I think my first counselor was the first one there!

She told a story that I will never forget and that has remained with me these last few months since she was here. She didn't repeat the story in her training last week, but she spoke of it.  I would like to share what she said.
She said when her mother was young and raising her family, (they had ten children), she made a plan. It was a daily plan to show Heavenly Father that she loved him.  It was a simple plan that consisted of four things.

1.   Get on your knees and pray as soon as you get out of bed.
2.   Read something out of the scriptures.
3.   Get dressed.
4.  Make your bed.

She said those four things were a symbol, a symbol that she was ready to serve and that she would remember Heavenly Father and His Son first before all else. It was something she could accomplish even though she had a houseful of kids.

I will never forget that story, nor will I ever forget the impact that she has made on my life. Thank you so much for your service, Sister Beck! You are my hero!!