Thursday, January 28, 2010

From Cowboy Poetry to Rosa Parks

This weekend a childhood friend of mine will be showing her wares at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. I was telling my husband that I would love to go. He asked why so I told him it sounds intriguing in a romantic old west sort of way. He says, "Will they have trains?" Which I can't answer because we've never done a thorough exploration of Elko.
So he says to me, "You know the trains are what determined whether you were a pioneer or not." I didn't know or remember this but President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Bill back in 1862. It appears that you weren't considered a pioneer if you took the train to get out west. As a descendant of Utah pioneers and a history major as well as former teacher of history I will give him that one.
Kent had been back to Washington DC last week where he got to go on tours and see some things such as the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I have a dream" speech. From our talk on railroads we went to Lincoln and then Dr. King, where we got on the topic of peaceful versus passive aggressive protests. I think that what Dr. King promoted was peaceful protests as opposed to the passive aggressive type which stop folks from getting to a certain place, or stops a business or clinic from doing what it does. Yes, it's a fine line, but he didn't promote anger, he tried to show the importance black people have in our society. He tried to equal the playing field so to speak for everyone.
And you can't talk about Dr. King without mentioning Rosa Parks and her bravery.

It's nice being married to a historian and all round smart fella! We have the most interesting conversations sometimes that lead from one trail to another.
I still want to go to Elko and see the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, so I can find my friend and her booth as well as checking out the food, art, and shows. If you are in Elko this weekend, look for the Calamity booth. Teri has some very fun and unique vintage cowgirl style jewelry and home decor. She weaves gorgeous saddle cinchas as well for all you horse owners out there.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Games We Play..... the life of a grandma

Today I've been cursed by a wizard, saved by super heroes, found treasure with pirates, took a ride on a motorboat and played "ring around the roses" with a queen. I've worn a sweater with touches of blended fruit and mashed peas, cleaned several sets of hands, and wiped a few fannies over and over again. I've been hit, hugged, slobbered on, and kissed. An adventurous life for sure, and I'm grateful for every moment I have that I can spend with my grandson and the babies I tend.

Elephants in the Oatmeal.....

Dreams often feel so real and yet they can be total nonsense. We often dream of things that scare us or bother us, mixed with things we see on TV or on the internet. Maybe it's something we read, or heard about from someone else that conjured up images in our minds that return in the night. I wonder if snoring has an effect on what you dream or are the dreams caused by the snoring? As in the Christmas Carol as Scrooge is talking to the ghost of Christmas past he says, "You could be a bit of undigested roast beef, or mustard."
Last night and early this morning the windows rattled from the sound of my dear hubby's snoring as he dreamed of elephants in Utah. He lost his elephant and was out to find it, but ran into his wife (not me) who had been in a car accident and let the guy go even though it was his fault. Hubby says he reamed this woman out unlike anything he would do to me. Snoring, fajitas, or what?
So I tortured my hubby this morning was oatmeal and steel cut oats made with a smidge of peach preserves and a handful of walnuts. Topped with about a teaspoon of maple syrup and then low fat milk, it was actually quite good. Part of the heart healthy diet we are trying maintain for my husbands health. I thanked him for not being a brat about the oatmeal as it's not his favorite, and his comment was, "Thanks, my heart feels better already" I'm glad he can find the humor in this, but then I get a call a moment ago where he tells me he will be stopping for a burger on his way home from meetings in town and I say no! He asks about a fish sandwich and of course I have to nix that, to which he says, "I will work it out". He was in a good humor, but I wonder how long that will last as I keep having to say no. He's trying though. We had chicken fajitas last night and he agreed to corn tortillas warmed up over a burner as opposed to flour tortillas. Tonight we will be having leftover Fajita stuff. I wonder if he will be dreaming of elephants in the oatmeal....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts

Doctrine and Covenants 121:45 - "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God".
We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and doing good to all men: indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul--We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. Articles of Faith 1:13
In a talk given by Bishop H. David Burton last October he pointed out that the spelling in English of many individual virtues concludes with the letters ity: integrity, humility, charity, spirituality, accountability, civility, fidelity and the list goes on. The suffix ity means quality, state or degree of being. He talks about the decline in society today as we push aside these virtues. He quotes President James E. Faust who suggested that integrity is the mother of all other virtues. President Faust also suggested that "integrity is the light that shines from a disciplined conscience." From both of these good men, the thought is that as we promote the "ity" virtues within our homes, families, communities and institutions will be improved and strengthened, and faith and integrity will bless individual lives. In closing Bishop Burton states, " I testify and declare that our Heavenly Father expects His children (you and me) to exercise integrity, civility, fidelity, charity, generosity, morality, and all the "ity" virtues. May we have the humility to take the opportunity to act upon our responsibility to demonstrate our ability to do so, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I hope this touches your heart as it did mine.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foodie Friday

Okay, so we were coming through Spanish Fork canyon on our way back from seeing Annie at school the other day. The snow was coming down but it was rather warm out so the roads were slushy and slippery. I'm white knuckling it as I try to read scriptures to my hubby for Sunday school. His cell phone rings and he decides to answer it as it's the doctors office. He stops, almost in the lane of traffic as he listens to test results. I'm poking him and hissing, "get off the road, GET OFF THE ROAD!" He kept brushing my hand away as I'm seeing cars and trucks including huge semis' bearing down on us in the rear view mirror. Then I see flashing lights as a trooper pulls up behind us having seen our situation and the flashers we had set. He asks if all is okay and I tell him that Kent's doctor is on the phone so we pulled off so he wasn't trying to drive and talk at the same time. The trooper yells that we are still out in the road so Kent moves. The trooper leaves, yay? and then the phone call finally ends. I'm chewing on my tongue, not wanting to yell, but already stressed out of my mind about sitting there like a target on an icy road. I behaved myself and found out that the news wasn't as good as hubby had hoped.
It looks like we will be making some changes to our lifestyle, as in getting Kent on a real exercise program and looking for heart healthy recipes. That's easy for me as I really love good tasting healthy food. Kent calls it trendy yuppie food, but he will have to give up the meatloaf and gravy made the old fashioned way if he wants to stick around for a few more years. I checked with his doctor as Kent said his cholesterol levels were fine. I know his doctor hasn't seen what he eats when we go out so I called to find out what the diagnosis meant. Also what about diet? So now I get to be the food nazi, which I'm so good at...hehee!
I found a very tasty looking recipe at RealAge that was provided by Eating Well magazine, which I love, so I thought I would share it with you. We love Salmon, which is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids among other good for you things. As soon as Kent gets back from DC we will be trying this one. I hope you will as well and let me know what you think!

Grilled Salmon with North African Flavors

Our version of the classic North African herb paste known as chermoula serves as both a marinade and a sauce for this richly flavored salmon. If it is too cool to grill outdoors, you can roast the salmon at 450°F for 12 to 15 minutes.
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
Calories 229
Total Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 67mg
Sodium 134mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
Dietary Fiber --
Sugars --
Protein 23g
Calcium 0
Serves: 4 Edit
Total Time: 45 min
U.S. Metric Conversion chart
1/4 cup(s) low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt
1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
3 clove(s) garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) paprika
1 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper , to taste
1 pound(s) center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions (see Tip)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Stir together yogurt, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup for sauce; cover and refrigerate. Place salmon fillets in a large sealable plastic bag. Pour in the remaining herb mixture, seal the bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the bag over once.
Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high.
Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Remove the salmon from the marinade, blotting any excess. Grill the salmon until browned and opaque in the center, 4 to 6 minutes per side. To serve, top each piece with a dollop of the reserved sauce and garnish with lemon wedges.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thoughts on a Thursday

As I looked at this photo my heart broke at the fear and despair on this woman's face. I want to be able to hold and comfort her but that of course is not possible. What I can do though is support those who are able to be there helping. Yes, there are a lot of scam organizations set up to primarily benefit financially from these horrific events, but there is a way to get your donations to the right people.
If you are considering donating to a cause check out their financial stats. They have to state how much of donated money and goods go to the actual relief efforts and not just administrative costs. If they can't give you those numbers, don't donate. There are so many good organizations set up to help during tragic events including the Red Cross, Catholic Social Services and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Aid and Emergency Response Teams. It's good to know that if I donate anything to my church 100% of it will go to those in need. If you have an organization you support please feel free to list that here. We can all do much good during this time as we work together. I know for a fact that those working down in Haiti to help restore some sense of normalcy don't care what organization or church you belong to, and I'm sure those being helped don't either.
I pray the earthquakes will stop and that the relief efforts won't be hampered. I pray that we will know how we can best help from our own little corner of the world. I pray for those who think that our prayers don't matter. Oh yes, I actually had someone tweet that the other day, that prayer doesn't matter. I pray for the comfort and peace that comes from the Savior to warm the hearts and calm the fears of the afflicted. May God bless us all to do the right thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's In a Shoe.....

Surely I can't be the only woman that has a hard time finding a nice pair of shoes that don't feel like something from a torture chamber?! There was a time when shoes were made with real support in the arch and had decent toe room, but that has all been sacrificed to the fashion Gods so now we have to walk around wincing as we mince our way down the street.
Who came up with high heels in the first place? That's an interesting question and here's a possible answer:
The origins of high heels are far from glamorous and rooted in male practicality. Oh yes, MEN wore the original heels. Who whoulda? The earliest known evidence of high heels comes from hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptian tombs. As far back as 4000 BC butchers are thought to have constructed shoes to keep their feet away from the day-to-day "carnage". EWWWW!!!!
In 1500’s, it was men, descendants of the European nobility, who began to wear heeled shoes in order to keep their feet in stirrups when riding. Although there are some references to heels in history prior to this, this is when it became populari for men of the courts and the term "well-heeled" came to suggest “being wealthy” or “able to afford costly shoes.” Then in the 1500's women began to wear a 24-inch heeled shoe named ‘chopines' which were all the rage in Venice, Italy.
Then there was a down swing in style as the new powers that be decided that it was out of place to wear anything higher than 2". Heels have gone up in height and down over the years, depicting style, empowerment to women, and so on.
Nowadays there is an anything goes attitude towards shoes that has left the real woman behind. The desire to look and feel sexy has pushed out feminine practicality to the point that you can't go to a shoe store and find anything comfortable anymore. You can order online, but really? How many women do you know that can just order a pair of shoes and have them fit the first time? My husband can testify to that, especially after following me around yesterday as I tried on shoe after shoe in an effort to find a comfortable and versatile shoe for dress up occasions. As his eyes started to glass over I realized it was a futile search for the time being. I did eventually leave him at his parents while I ran to a little shop that happened to have shoes that actually had an arch that matched my feet! Yay! It only took me 4 hours to find them.....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Running....a wonderful addiction

Yesterday morning as I was out running I heard the "talkie" on the radio share a news blurb about how there's been an increase in depression among people who went to see the movie "Avatar". Because of the vision of how life could be in this fantasy world of Avatar, people I guess took the movie way too seriously.
So this morning the same "talkie" was mulling over the over abundance if you will, of Americans who suffer from depression. His take was that we have turned into a bunch of soft pansies and can't deal with anything. Of course he was railing on the few who really do need to get a life, but there are medical reasons at times for depression and those shouldn't be discounted.
I had a problem with being severely stressed when I was married to my ex. I won't go into details as it doesn't really matter anymore, but I did go see my OB/GYN doctor because I thought I was having terrible PMS. He suggested I change my diet, and exercise, but he did give me tranquilizers as well to calm me when I felt out of hand. I decided to follow the first two things on his list, exercise and diet, and wow what a difference! I never did take the tranquilizers, but I lost 25 lbs, and gained a new found confidence in what I was capable of. My main form of exercise? Running, which is no easy task when it's umpteen below zero, but I would put on tights, and knee high socks and thick fleece jogging pants, a turtle neck, a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket as well as my ski head band and face scarf and off I would go, running around our .6 mile circle until I hit 3 miles. That was almost 20 years ago, and I still love to run, even though I haven't been as consistent as I should be. The chiropractor would have heart failure, but I'm sorry it works for me and doesn't hurt me anymore than any other exercise does. For me, running is my only and favorite addiction. Here's something I found on running if you have been thinking about an exercise program. Oh, and for the record, I lost 15 lbs last year by adding running to my exercise routine.
Running is very good for your health. It provides a great cardiovascular workout, strengthens and tones your muscles. Regular jogging gives better overall physical condition as well as some other health benefits, including mental benefits such as relaxation and reduction of anxiety.

Regular running and jogging is a good way to improve your health and fitness. Many people are concerned about long term damage to joints such as knees, ankles and hips, as a result of running. However, with good quality running shoes and a sensible approach, the risks are minimal, and the benefits of being fitter outweigh those possible risks. There are several beneficial effects of starting a running routine:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Food Storage in Small Spaces

Last night for Family Home Evening we worked on our food storage, yay! Finally I can reclaim my studio and get organized. Our trip to town on Saturday was not only a fish & chips and aquarium fish venture but we also picked up storage drawers for my studio and what are called cansolidators for our canned goods. I know, it sounds weird going out for fish & chips and then buying I love the cansolidators, which are a wonderful way to store a lot of canned goods in small spaces. Shelf Reliance is the name of the company that makes these. They do have large storage racks but these smaller units are so perfect for us. We were able to stack 5 units, which hold 40 cans each so talk about space savings! The beauty of these units is that the cans rotate as you take one out so we can put new cans in the top of each row and take from the bottom to keep things rotating. I still have more canned goods downstairs but this was a great start. It frees up closet space in our bedroom for things such as my sewing "stuff" and our bill box and so on. Now, if someone could come up with a rotating system for bottled foods we would be set! You don't want to see what the middle of my studio looks like right now though as we had to take stuff out of the closet. I will be posting before and after pix on my art blog though. Other places to store food for those who live in small places are under the bed, which I don't like as we always have a herd of dust bunnies living under the bed. Closets, sure if you only have a few clothes and shoes but I don't really know anyone who is that frugal. If you want a great deal on the cansolidators you can find them at Costco and some Walmart stores.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Leftover Magic - Velveeta Weenies

There's something so deliciously creamy and cheesy about Velveeta isn't there?! It was a staple in our home growing up, and my children loved grilled cheese sandwiches with Velveeta slices. I haven't bought any for about 10 years or more though because I thought it had more calories and was more expensive than regular cheese. At least that used to be the case.
I found out over the holidays that Velveeta actually has 1/3 less calories than regular cheese, and now, it's as inexpensive or less than cheddar depending on the week. We used it for our Christmas Eve bash when we usually have cheesy bean dip. I like to use Cheez Wiz so the dip is nice and smooth but the local store was out so I decided to use Velveeta, oh yum! Okay, I realize it's a cheese product, but hey, why split hairs when going for taste and creaminess?
What is this all leading to? In my quest to not let food go to waste I had some leftover items in the fridge that needed to be used. Nathan dogs, Velveeta, leftover sour cream and yogurt, potatoes, and onions that we bought way back in October at 25# for 3.84. Can you see where I'm headed? Well here's what my hubby dubbed Velveeta Weenies.

Velveeta Weenies
2 T canola oil
3 Nathan dogs or any other hot dogs sliced into coins
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cupped cubed Velveeta
1 can Mexi corn with liquid or 1 cup frozen corn plus 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Tabasco, a dash or two

In a large frying pan over medium heat, saute onion in oil for 5 minutes. Add hotdog pieces and brown lightly. Add the cubed potatoes and corn liquid. Cover and turn down heat to medium low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are done. Add cheese and corn. Stir to melt cheese. Add sour cream or yogurt and stir in with a dash or two of Tabasco. Taste and season with a dash of salt and pepper if needed. Serves 6.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Okay, Play My Game

Take these two words WARM and COLD and by changing only one letter each time to make a new word , see if you can go from WARM to COLD in just four steps. This is part of a game you can play to keep your brain functioning and improve mental agility, especially as you age. Aging has it's ups and downs, the upside is that you no longer have to worry about looking like a top super model, just being able to fit in a decent size should win you model of the year I say. And have you noticed that there must be some direct correlation between hair on men and women, as men start losing the hair on their heads, women get more on their face. Thank goodness our eyesight starts to fade as we get older as well, as my husband doesn't seem to see the tiny lines starting to find their way across my forehead and around my eyes. He still thinks I'm a "babe"
So back to mental agility, as we age and our bodies are not as agile as we like, we can still keep our brains sharp and maintain that brilliant wit we are known for...okay, maybe not me, but there are some out there that are quite witty. crossword puzzles, word games, count games, lists, are all ways we can keep sharp. We can also improve mental agility by moving our posteriors around a track or the block several times a week. We don't have to run, walking is great. This can help decrease the risk of dementia as well. Eating right can also help. Eat your fruits and veggies as well as fish to stay alert as well. For more information on this check out
Oh, and yes this was a test....did you get it right?