Friday, April 30, 2010

How Men Think.... and oh just get over yourself!

This morning as my sweet hubby was getting ready for work he walks up to me and says, "Thank you for not being stupid".  Thank you? Lol.... actually we were just talking about a situation at work where someone "Miss Petty" decided to get offended because one of their co-workers has a picture of the Savior and a temple photo up in their room. REALLY? What if there was a picture of the Notre Dame cathedral hanging up in the room? It's a religious  edifice. Ahhhh the silliness of women sometimes. The worst part of this is that the person being bagged on is in the hospital right now so a couple of women have taken it upon themselves to take over her room and change things. So when "Miss Petty" comes to complain to my husband about the pictures his question will be, "What about the tie I'm wearing today, or the cross so and so wears everyday, and oh I think that "Judy" may be thinking about Jesus right now, what do you want to do about that?" I'm sorry for people who even think that way. We don't use the cross as a symbol in our church, but who cares what others do in that regard. It makes them feel good and it means something to them so let them be. So while it wasn't the most romantic thing to say in terms of flowery words, it means so much in terms of how my husband views me.

To those who get offended so easily I say, "Oh, get over yourself and get a life!" And I mean that in the nicest way...;-)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How Do I Tell Them....

There is a weight on my mind that presses down on me in the middle of the night as I lay in bed trying to get back to sleep after getting up for a drink of water. Something I want to say to someone I love very much, but don't know how to tell them without making matters worse. A little child is suffering right now as they wait for their missing parent to take them home. This little one keeps asking when they can go home as they aren't happy with being where they are now, especially since the light of their life has gone elsewhere. A little heart is breaking because someone thought it more important to chase an empty dream that will never be realized. The distance between all of us is tearing me apart as I can't be there to help this little one understand. I hear the stories of what is happening in the new place where this little one has moved and it frightens me to think of what could happen and what is already happening. How do I tell this to the one that I love that sin and selfishness never brings lasting happiness and the most important thing a child needs is two parents close by to love them. Little ones care little about success or following dreams, they want their parents. They need security, hugs, boundaries, a sense of belonging and that is destroyed when a parent goes away for whatever the reason. Satan is loving this as he has destroyed another family by urging both parents to be selfish and unyielding in their desires for worldly pleasures.
Heavenly Father is watching over this little one I know but it still doesn't help to see and hear the pain this little child is going through. Faith is all I have right now to hold on to as time seems to be putting more and more distance between all of us. We are praying for a miracle for this little one, would you say some prayers as well? Thank you.....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yea...what she said.......

                I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back    porch & lovingly filled it with delicious seeds.

                What a beauty of
                a bird feeder it was.

                Within a week we had hundreds of birds
                taking advantage of the
                continuous flow of free and
                easily accessible food.

                But then the birds started
                building nests in the boards
                of the patio above the table
                and next to the barbecue.

                Then came the poop. It was
                everywhere: on the patio tile,
                the chairs, the table ..

                Then some of the birds
                turned mean. They would
                dive bomb me and try to
                peck me even though I had
                fed them out of my own good
                intentions and limited budget.

                Other birds became unruly,
                boisterous and loud. They
                sat on the feeder and
                squawked and screamed at
                all hours of the day and night
                and demanded that I fill it
                when it got low on food.

                After a while, I couldn't even
                sit on my own back porch

                So I took down the bird feeder
                and in three days the birds were
                gone. I cleaned up their mess
                and took down the many nests they
                had built all over the patio.

                Soon, the back yard was like
                it used to be .... Quiet, serene....
                and no one demanding their
                rights to a free meal.

                Now let's see.
                Our government gives out
                free food, subsidized housing,
                free medical care, free education
                and allows anyone born here to
                to be an automatic citizen.

                Then the illegals came by the
                millions.  Suddenly our taxes
                went up to pay for all those
                FREE services. Now we have to
                wait 6 hours to be seen by an
                emergency room doctor.
                Our child's second grade class has
                fallen behind other schools because
                over half the class doesn't speak

                Corn Flakes now come in a
                bilingual box. I have to press
                ‘one’ to hear my bank talk to me
                in English, and people waving flags
                other than 'Old Glory' are
                squawking and screaming
                in the streets, demanding more
                rights and more freebies.

                Just my opinion, but maybe
                it's time for the government
                to take down the bird feeder.

                If you agree, pass it on; if not,
                Just continue cleaning up the poop.





Monday, April 26, 2010

Girlie Girl Headbands

My youngest granddaughter had a birthday recently so I found her this adorable outfit. I love the colors! They are so fresh and Summery! Well feeling guilty for not having more to send, I decided to use a new technique for making flowers out of ribbon scraps of fabric. Luckily I had matching ribbon already in my stash so here are the results of my efforts.
I'm hoping she likes these!

Monday's Muse - America the Beautiful

I believe in the United States of America without reservation.
It is my home, my country, it is my hope, my concern.....
Here I work and rest. Here I build and dream.
Here is security for my loved ones.
Here my toil is rewarded with an unmatched abundance for my well-being.
Here, freedom to live, to think, to worship is mine, guaranteed by law and our Constitution.
Here I am part of the government, able to vote, to serve and to carry my share of the common load.
God grant me wisdom and strength to safeguard my country's welfare with devotion great enough to measure up to her greatness. - Anon

Friday, April 23, 2010

Saying Goodbye - a fresh look.....

       I've never really thought much about the word goodbye, except that it can be painful to say sometimes. I was reading the last page of the Church News today and found some information that made goodbye a more meaningful word and one I will think on with a different perspective.
       Did you know that the word goodbye comes from an expression used in the 16th century, a contraction of the phrase "God be with ye." Other languages have done a similar change in their parting words. For instance the French, adieu, means "to God", which is a shortened form of a dieu (vous) commant, meaning "I commend you to God". In Spanish it's adios, in Portuguese adeus, in Italian it's addio. A more formal form in Spanish is vaya con Dios, meaning "go with God", English is Godspeed
     Gives a whole new meaning to saying goodbye doesn't it? You are sending someone out with God's blessing which is a sweeter, more loving and reassuring way to say goodbye don't you think?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tasty Sides - Nancy's Green Bean Cucumber Salad

My mom was one of the best cooks I know. Oh yes, you can't beat her cooking, I know you can't! She had a variety of dishes that I've never seen anyone else serve, so I wonder if she created these herself, or found them somewhere that will never be revealed in this life. One of my all time favorites, and my oldest daughters as well is Mom's Green Bean Cucumber Salad. This was just one of the ways she used green beans. Another one of my favorites is Chili Green Beans but I will save that one for later in the summer when I have fresh green beans. I use Romaine lettuce in this recipe because it stands up better than other lettuces and has a nice crisp crunch. Mom did use iceberg, probably because is was the least expensive and most readily available when I was growing up. I don't really remember any other kind until I was in my teens.

Nancy's Green Bean Cucumber Salad
1 15 oz. can cut green beans, drained well
1/2 head romaine lettuce rinsed, dried and torn
1 cup thinly sliced and quartered red onion
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 T. cider vinegar
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. course ground pepper
1/2 t. salt
Combine all salad ingredients together.  Toss lightly. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and gently stir into salad. Serve immediately. Yield 6-8 servings

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Recipe of the day - Apple Peel/Core Jelly & Syrup

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I hate to see things go to waste. I realize that apple peels and cores would be great in the compost pile but here's a way to put them to use to make something very wonderful. Did you know, that you could save your apple cores and make a delicious jam or syrup out of them? A few years ago I saw a recipe for apple peel jelly. I can't find my source now, but when I looked it up online and compared the recipes I found with the apple jelly recipe in the pectin box recipes, they are pretty much the same. The only difference is that in one you peel and core the apples, slice them and cover with water. Well all those apple peels and cores that were being wasted actually make a delicious jelly or pancake syrup. Here's what I do. I save all my apple peels that are discarded because of fussy children, and the cores as well by freezing them in containers or ziplock bags. I have a pot that will hold about 2 gallons of liquid so when I get enough to almost fill it up I will place them in the pot, no thawing necessary. I add enough water to cover, and then bring to a boil, turn down to simmer with a cover on the pot and let it cook for about 1 hour. I let it cool and then strain the whole thing in a wire mesh colander. You can use a jelly bag or cheesecloth in your colander if you like your jelly nice and clear. Don't squeeze, just let it drain for a couple of hours. For the standard jelly recipe here are the measurements:

Apple Jelly (Apple Peel) Yield 7- 8oz. jars
5 cups apple liquid or bottled juice
7 cups sugar
1 box pectin

In a large pot dissolve pectin in cold liquid. Stir to get out all the lumps. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to keep from scorching. When it comes to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down add the sugar all at once. Bring to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down again and continue to stir and let boil for 1 minute. Take off of heat and pour into sterilized jars. Secure lids and waterbath for 5 minutes.

Spiced Apple Peel Syrup   Yield 4 1/2 pints or 9 8 oz. jars
6 cups strained liquid
4 - 5 cups sugar (depending on the tartness of the liquid)
1 box pectin
1 tsp. Apple Pie Spice
2 T. freshly grated orange rind

Combine liquid, Apple Pie Spice and orange rind in large pot. sprinkle on pectin and stir until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring all the while and add sugar all at once. Keep stirring and cook until it has boiled for 1 minute. Take off of the heat and pour into sterilized bottles/jars. Secure lids and hot water bath for 5 minutes.

Tuesday Tattle - Fish n Chips. the search goes on

What is it about men that they think if two is good 5 is better? We went to an Italian restaurant Saturday for an early dinner before my SIL's wedding reception. Great food, but as usual we ordered way too much. I had already eaten two large raviolis, a small portion of spaghetti, some salad and garlic bread when my hubby slips another ravioli on my plate. was so good it was too hard to resist. He loves me and thinks I don't eat enough, which is not true. I don't have a super charged metabolism like he does so I can't eat like he does. He also measures food by man portions and forgets that women really can't eat as much.
So the challenge comes this weekend when we visit another fish and chips restaurant.  The name is Hoppers. There are supposed to be other foods on the menu that aren't laden with heart stopping grease and enough calories to last you for a week. I don't see any but click on the name and see the menu and judge for yourself. From the looks of things I'm doomed! So I guess I will have to add an extra mile or two OR twenty to my work out routine......
I will be so glad when the men get off the fish and chips fad and start searching for the greatest grilled halibut or the best Salmon Caesar salad or something. Okay, probably not, huh?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Super Saturday!

Today is a special day for us as we go in to Salt Lake City to see my husbands sister get married to her fiance. This has been a long day, but is a fairy tale story of love and patience. We are so happy for her and her soon to be new husband!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Make a Powerful Difference

The Pine-Sol corporation is holding an essay contest called Powerful Difference in which the winner will get $10,000 for the charity or service organization of their choice. I found out about this through a contact in Martha Stewart's Dreamers Into Doers which helps promote small businesses. Terry Grahl founded Enchanted Make-overs, in which shelters for women and children are getting make overs including painting, new bedding and furniture, window treatments and more. If you've ever had to spend time in one, or visited one, the shelters, not by their own fault, can often be drab and dreary with sparse furnishings and stark walls, due to budget limitations. Through donors and volunteers, Enchanted Make-overs helps make these shelters havens of hope. For me this has special meaning as so many women will avoid these shelters because of the conditions. Let's help Terry make a powerful difference by casting a vote for her. Here's the link:
 Look for Terry Grahl and cast your vote for her daily until the contest closes. Thank you for your help!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Emergency Preparedness Step 1- 72 hour kits

In light of all the earthquakes that have happened already this year it got me thinking. It's really time to get our acts together. Coincidently I happened to pick up our county EP calendar and low and behold there was a great layout of plans and advice on being prepared in case of disaster. The first bit of advice they offer is to create a family distaster plan. Under that heading #1 on the list is to create a distaster supply kit with enough food, water and clothing to last at least 3 days. Include in that a first aide kit and medicines you regularly take. It is recommended that this kit be portable so the best way to approach this is to create a backpack, 5 gallon bucket kit, or some other portable set up so each member of the family can help carry if you need to leave your home for any reason. Here are a couple of links that can help you get started.

I hope we can all get prepared as you never know what's coming and we will make it easier for the emergency responders to help those who aren't able to, such as the elderly and infirm.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A very articulate young man.......

This young man is amazing in his outlook.

Be Still......and listen

Something I really struggle with. I get up each morning on the run it seems, with scripture study, exercise, breakfast and lunch to get ready, laundry, ironing and so the list goes. It seems that the only time I can really "listen" is when I'm running or riding the exercise bike and then I'm not being still. So for today, I want to start taking the time"be still and listen" as that is when we can get the most inspiration from God.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Foodie Friday - Rosemary Citrus Chicken & Couscous Italian

For me it's time to lighten up our dinners and try something different. So I pulled out some ingredients I had on hand and pulled together a dinner my husband says is a keeper. This is a great dinner for two for any occasion, but it would make a wonderful candlelight dinner.

2 chicken breasts with rib meat attached, skinned
1 T. each butter and EV olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T. freshly grated orange rind
freshly grated rind of one lime
1/4 c. fresh rosemary, minced
1 t. Old Bay seasoning
1/2 t. coarse ground pepper,
1/2 orange cut in half. Section half, membrane removed
1 T. honey 
3 green onions chopped
In a large frying pan place butter and oil. Heat to medium low and add garlic, citrus zest, rosemary and old bay seasoning. Cook for 30 seconds and add skinned chicken breasts and orange sections, turning heat up to medium. Over top drizzle honey and cover pan. After 10 minutes turn chicken over. Do this again every 10 minutes until chicken is done, about 30 minutes or until no longer pink in the center. If you like take the pan juices and pour in blender and puree. Use as sauce for the chicken and sprinkle green onions over all.

1 c. couscous
Juice from the other half of the orange and the zested lime plus enough water to equal 1 cup liquid
1 small zucchini, cubed
3/4 c. chopped onion
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 T each butter and EV olive oil
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. course ground pepper
In a medium pot saute onion and Zucchini in butter and oil. Add liquid and bullion cubes and bring to a boil, making sure the bullion has dissolved. Take off of the burner and add the couscous and basil stirring to mix thoroughly. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve with chicken and side salad. So yummy! If you like you can cut back on the oil and butter, but not much. Enjoy!


Square Foot Gardening

Last year I tried out square foot gardening for the first time and I am sold! I built boxes, which you can see examples of in my July 2009 blog posts. I will get organized here and link all garden, cooking and so on posts so they are easy to find. Anyway, I laid down ground cover, which I will be putting a layer of mulch or gravel on around the boxes this year. My friend Helene used pvc pipe to make hoops to put netting over to keep pests such as deer out of the beds, so I did the same thing and it worked great. If you look closely you can sort of see them to the right of the house.
Here is how some of the plants were doing in July last year. I direct seeded a lot of my stuff. You can see basil, baby pac choi, carrots and so on. I was so thrilled with how everything grew!

Peas, lettuce and beans are some of the crops I planted. The beans didn't do as well as I like but hey there's always this year! I may try something different.
 My broccoli and cauliflower went great guns! I really need to rethink which box I plant them in this year. I did them about 12 apart and that was a bit crowded, but hey they did well so maybe crowding was okay.
I would encourage anyone planning on gardening this year for the first time to look into Mel Bartholemew's square foot gardening. The link is to the right.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Straw Bale Gardening

I have discovered a different way to garden that I thought I would share with you. It's straw bale gardening. Some of the benefits are space, no need for a lot of soil, weed free, and easy on your back. There are several links on the internet talking about this process, but from what I can gather you want to stay away from hay bales which are full of weed seeds and go for straw. If you don't have much room to garden and your soil is poor this might be just the ticket for you. I would love to try this but here in our area I might be hard pressed to find straw. I will be on the hunt though. Here's the link to Nichol's Nursery that I found most informative. Let me know if you give it a try and what your results are. Happy gardening!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Home remodeling tips on painting a room

Home remodeling can be so satisfying but there are things to know if you are getting ready to paint. These are some tips I found while getting ready to paint some rooms in our Oregon home.
1.    Begin by washing down your walls with a soft cellulose sponge using warm water and a mild dish washing soap.
    2.    Use blue painter's tape to mask off any trim work in the room.
    3.    Apply primer to the walls in an even coat, and allow to dry completely.
    4.    Roll on the paint in a "W" shape (a new one for me), in a 3x3 foot section, never lifting the roller. Repeat over and over until that whole section is filled in with color. Allow the first coat to dry completely, then apply a second coat the same way.
    5.    Remove the painters tape and stand back to admire your work--streak free!!

Here's a tip for assuring you always get the right paint color if you have to repaint or touch up your room: slide the paint swatch with the name and formula behind your light switch to keep it safe.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Blessed Loved Ones

I know that in most religions Christmas is the official birthday of the Savior, but for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it is today, April 6. Thank you dear Savior for being willing to come to earth and live as a mortal being in order to lead us back home. May we always remember the blessings we enjoy  and show our gratitude by our actions.
Another birthday wish goes out to my mom, and my children's other grandma Evelyn. Though both have gone home to live in God's presence they are loved and remembered for their sweet, kind and gentle natures. We love you Moms!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Muse..... Easter

Easter has always been a challenge for me as we feel it should be even more important than Christmas. Christmas seems to have so many traditions wrapped around it, decorating, cards being sent, food and so on. Some people do the same with Easter to a certain extent, but I think the Easter bunny gets in the way sometimes of making Easter Sunday a sacred experience. We got around that when the kids were smaller by holding our Easter egg hunts on Saturday, but still you see as you go to church Easter Sunday, children too excited about their Easter baskets to really get into the real meaning of Easter.
So what is the real importance Easter has for us as Christians? The atonement, the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father again because the Savior was willing to sacrifice his life for us. So how do we celebrate this? At Christmas there are many caroles and songs that help keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Wouldn't it be nice if we had more Easter music? There are some lovely hymns, and even Handel's Messiah lends itself to Easter at least in part. Cards are something I rarely send at Easter, but what a great opportunity to share our testimony that we know that our Redeemer lives! So I have an Easter resolution to try and make Easter more meaningful. How do you celebrate Easter, and what do you do to make it more meaningful?
For those who don't celebrate Easter, but may celebrate Passover, I would love to hear about your family traditions! Please feel free to share your reasons for celebrating, and how you go about it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter to All

God loved us, so he sent his Son,
Christ Jesus, the atoning One,
To show us by the path he trod
The one and only way to God.

He came as man, though Son of God,
And bowed himself beneath the rod.
He died in holy innocence,
A broken law to recompense.

Oh, love effulgent, love divine!
What debt of gratitude is mine,
That in his off’ring I have part
And hold a place within his heart.