Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is It The Cauliflower?

I went to the dentist this morning...a new crown was "installed" on the left, and a chipped tooth (result of bad girl ice chewing) was repaired on the right. While I was waiting for those awful shots to take effect (no offense, Dr. Johnson...you are the best dentist on the earth...ever...but I just never will like them shots, no matter what!) I was reading a magazine called "Health". There was a blurb...something about eating cauliflower creating some odd nutrient or enzyme and how that can increase brain power. Finally, I do something that helps me!!! I just adore cauliflower. I have raw cauliflower on my salad every day for lunch. It is my absolute favorite. And one of my "when I am going to die, my last meal will be..." dishes is the cooked cauliflower and cheese that my mother in law is superb at creating! I guess that is why my sweet hubby has called me twice today to spell a word for him: "erythromycin" and "architecture". Sounds like a spelling bee waiting to happen...and all because of that glorious, yummy cauliflower I cannot get enough of!

Friday, April 24, 2009

On Our 29th Wedding Anniversary

Twenty-nine years ago today, at 9:28 A.M. (thank you Jan Mom and Lee), I was sealed to my sweetheart, the love of my life, for time and all eternity in the Mesa, Arizona Temple. Thank you, my sweet Dee, for 29 years of adventure and smiles, of overcoming and dealing with, and for just always being my very best friend. I love you...and here's to an eternity with you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Track Pics

I am soooo thankful for Nate's school website, www.preptv.org, and for the photographer that takes such great pics of him! Though his meets are sometimes far away, I get to see him perform, and I get really good pics!

Vocal Major Recital

Kayty is a Vocal Music Education Major...she wants to be a music teacher, specializing in voice. She took private voice lessons from Helen Broadbent a few years ago, but, as a requirement of her degree, she has to take private lessons at school each semester. Her teacher, in preparation for Mock Juries, had a recital for her students on Saturday night. It was great to hear such talented people!

Black and White Ball

It is sometimes difficult to graduate from high school a year early...you just don't quite fit in anywhere, and, until you become 18, you are still a child. Kayty has enjoyed the Glendale Institute and, though she cannot take classes, has had fun visiting, napping, playing pool, and making friends. They held a Black and White Ball for the Young Adults in the area on Friday night. Here are some pics of her, and her date, Hal. She had a great time, and danced all night!

Kayty and Her Guitar

Kayty took a guitar class during her final year in high school. She is thinking of selling it now, since she has not used it since, and so I took some pics of her with it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Very Best Gift of All!!

What a wonderful birthday gift!

Happy Birthday To My Sweetheart

I have seen many great women pay tribute to their hubbies on their birthday by honoring the many things they do, and enumerate these things according to their new age. Now, at first, I thought this extremely unfair...their hubbies are 30, and mine is now 52. But, as I started, I found I have many things to write, and have an additional 22 years to see just what a true gem that I have been blessed to be married to for time, and for all eternity. I love him, and am thankful for him, and these are just some of the reasons why...
1. He is the most honest person I know. He errs on the side of caution to make sure he never ever is thought to not be truthful. 2. He is dedicated...He gives his all to everything he does: job, church calling, scouts 3. He is kind...to all: strangers, friends, family, animals 4. He has the most gorgeous blue eyes! 5. He keeps all the fluids changed in our cars. 6. He is friendly: he pays attention to the names of the cashier, the waitress, and he speaks to them by name. 7.He is thrifty: he never makes a purchase without much research and talk, 8. He includes me in his life. I have learned more about cars, machining parts, Eli Goldratt, and much more because he shares with me. 9. He has a great memory. He knows measurements of aerospace parts and machining processes, though he has not done that for many years. He knows what album a song is on...DJ'd for 30 years...he knows all the years of classic vehicles and what characteristics each has. 10. He is a power Nazi. Now, that is the term we (family) lovingly call him, but he is the first to not waste power, or any other resource. 11.He is adventurous...he has traveled the world and made friends everywhere simply because he is not afraid to speak, to meet, to taste, and to try. 12. He LOVES our children. He loves each and every one. He worries over them. He prays for them every day. And he loves our children in law as if they are his own. 13. He loves knowledge, and he strives to learn about everything, from tubing on airplane engines, to gears and their metal hardening. 14. His voice...I just always feel peaceful when I hear him speak. 15. The honorable hunter that he is. He taught me that hunters are not like those freaks in "Bambi" that shoot at anything and everything. He is a careful hunter, and makes sure he cooks and eats the things he hunts. We have had dove, quail, turkey, sandhill crane, deer, goat, elk. 16. He is a great plumber, and fixes faucets, broken pipes, valves, and has performed bypass pipe work when we found our contractor had, many years ago, taken our copper pipe and replaced it with polybutelene without our knowledge. 17. He loves babies...Never ever was angry or upset when we had another one on the way...he would have 60 babies, if he could. 18. He is a hiker, and has taken me from the top of Squaw Peak to the forests surrounding Woods Canyon Lake. 19. He is a great concrete worker, and has poured sidewalks, driveways, birms, etc. to make our home beautiful. 20. He is a swimmer: in the lake (a quality learned in his many pre-mormon days of ditching class all day and going out to Saguaro Lake), in a pool. I would never ever have tried lake swimming, without his encouragement. 21. He is a latrine maker...Now this might seem gross to some, but not to a lady who had to camp while they were deer hunting and there were no facilities available. He, and Grampa Ethan, made sure my facilities were comfortable. 22. He is conservative and supports those that want to maintain government as the Constitution indicates. 23. He helps our kids in school...anything anyone has EVER needed for school, he stops what he is doing to provide. Science projects, geology gatherings, you name it, he has done it. 24. He is strong...rarely a jar, a sack of feed, or a box cannot be opened, moved, etc. with him here. 25. He is smart...he knows something about just everything, and loves to share. 26. He is a gardener...which means hard work...here in Phx and 27, Perseverence and
28. Patience. We have tasty snow peas, and our tomatoes are looking just wonderful! 29. He is friendly. When he dj's a youth dance, he knows the youth by name, and cares if they are having a good time. 30. He is a great "Papa". He lives to call Adam and talk on the phone, and just loves to be with Grace as she tries new things, like cotton candy, and snow cones. 31. He fixes our cars...he is a mechanic extrordianire! 32. He is dedicated to our country, and loves it. 33. He loves nature and loves to camp. I have learned to sleep anywhere and cook anything! 34. He is a builder. He designed a courtyard out in front, and, without prior experience, poured the footings, and laid the block. 35. He is an air conditioning specialist. He can install and repair. He is sooo cool! 36. He is dedicated to a years supply. We were married 29 years ago this Fri. and when I married him, he already had a years' supply. 37. He is an engineer. He can see a problem and design a solution to almost everything. 38. He is an expert canner. He started with rice at the church cannery, and even has taught 11 year old boy scouts how to gather prickly pears, extract the juice, and make their own jelly. 39. He is a great fisherman. He loves to be out on the lake, and loves to catch them ol' stripers! We feasted on many a meal from his talents! 40. He helps his friends find jobs. He has put in resumes, searched for jobs, and made sure those who seek truly find. 41. He also makes a mean resume! There has been no failure from the resumes he has prepared. 42. He is a great son. He loves his mom and always strives to make sure she is proud of him. 43. He does beautiful woodwork, and has made me curio cabinets, cupboards, shelves. He takes my dreams and makes them a reality, which means he is also and expert 44. designer! 45. He is the best cook...I gave birth to my last two babies simply so I could eat the wonderful meals he creates. He can make a great pulled pork, smoking the meat to the perfect taste and tenderness. He is also an expert 46. Asian cook. I love the Chinese dishes he makes: kung pao everything, szechwan chicken, and he even makes what I hear is great sushi, though I am not a fan. 47. He is loyal. He keeps confidences,and lives what he believes. 48. He is an expert stone worker and tile layer. Again, I dream it, he does it. I have granite window sills, a beautifully tiled house, granite sewing/craft table, and...well the list goes on and on! 49. He is a great ball coach. He loved to help the boys with baseball, and even got a broken nose when training with Ethan. He even coached soccer when the boys were young, though he knew little about it. 50. He has a lovely singing voice...at least in my book. He sings from the heart, and loves music. 51. He is a great teacher. He loved to work with the youth, teaching Sunday School so he can share the gospel he loves with them. and Last, and most important...52. he loves his Heavenly Father, and his Savior, Jesus Christ. He is always on his knees in prayer, praying for guidance, for direction, for blessings on his family. He loves the scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon. His Faith keeps us whole.

Wow...I still have more...I guess you will have to come back next year for those. Thank you so very much, my dear sweet Dee, for being who you are...and happy, happy birthday.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Trying To Think Happy

This has been a rather bleh day, so I was blogging and read a friends blog about her decorating style. I took the quiz and this is what resulted:

Your personal style is a mix of 1 specific styles:
100% Wine Country Style
Tuscan sun, here we come! The Wine Country style reflects the feelings evoked by the seaside regions of Europe such as the South of France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The style manages to be both refined and casual, such that you can mix beautiful antiques with more rustic wrought iron or wood and the result is both sophisticated and cozy.

Furniture is large and comfortable, colors are bright and cheery, and regardless of the color palette the spaces almost always feel warm. You can easily translate the style into the perfect family environment but you can just as easily emphasize the more formal pieces and make your room the perfect adult getaway.
This IS me...totally. Find yours at www.sproost.com.

Rub Recipe

Basic Pork Rub

1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup paprika
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (the recipe I got said 2 teaspoons, but that seems a lot, even for my heat lover hubby and son!)

Mix in container and then sprinkle on meat and rub in. It is best if you can let it "marinate" for a few hours or overnight before you cook/smoke/grill the meat.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Menu and Make Ahead Make Mom ... uh, no "M" word...but Happy will do!

Too bad...I tried for alliteration, but I ran out of m's. Anyway, I try to have a meal plan for the month...written in pencil, of course...as a map for what we might eat. This prevents too much Mexican and Italian dishes, allows for our love (and Kayty's hatred) of game meat, and saves me tons of time, and precious thought (though I don't know what else I would think about!) The menu changes, depending on the sales at the store, the Food Club box, and even the weather! (Yesterday, I had planned burgers and to cook up the ribs I got in the Food Club box, but it was just too windy to grill. I did put a rub on the ribs, and put them in a zip loc bag to "marinate" so they should be absolutely yummy tonight!) Today was so nice...no thought...them burgers are thawed, and the ribs are ready, and there is some leftover spaghetti sauce and sub rolls...to make garlic bread...to keep Kayty from a beef and pork fury! She won't eat beef, and rarely eats pork - but will eat pepperoni and bacon! I love the rub I use...found the recipe somewhere a couple of years ago on the internet, so I don't know if I can officially share it as my own, or anyone elses, but let me know if you want it. I started using it on our pork shoulder roasts that we were smoking for pulled pork, but it is great on ribs too.


If I was given four hundred dollars today, what is one thing I would spend it on? Hmmm...an interesting question. I could be selfish...my hair is waaaaay longer than Laura Bush's, but I am trying to sell some things on ebay, etc. to justify a Mario's haircut. I need new dress shoes, and everyday shoes, but I just don't like buying shoes (crazy, huh! But, when you have a bunion - we call him Earl - it makes shoe shopping a torture, so it is just easy to wear the old, yet comfy shoes, no matter how bad they look. I saw some cute things for my grandbabies this morning...I could even ship the stuff on my sewing table that has been stacking up, but does my Allison really need her mom to furnish more stuff to pick up? (and there is some candy involved...hey, I am a Grammy, and Grammys are allowed to be unhealthy!)

Only thing I can think of is to buy Dee a real birthday present...not something out of money he earns, but money I have. I think I would buy something for his car restoration. That has been put off indefinitely for now, so if I could get him paint, or an alternator, or whatever, that would be the best!

Now, the challenge...what would YOU do if I gave you $400.00...what ONE thing would you spend it on?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Was Amazing!

It is quiet...Dee is at his friend, Gregg's funeral in Tucson. Nathan is working on his truck. Kayty is at work. I can't stand tv...so I sit here. I begin to think...and, maybe, feel sorry for myself...just a little bit. Things are difficult here...not insurmountable, but difficult. I am going to turn 49 in July (on the 4th, no less...but no fireworks when you get to be my age), and have been going through a periodic "mid life assessment" when I run, when times are quiet. I feel too ... just too...too far away from Adam and Grace, too strapped and behind in credits to go to school...too inexperienced to get anything but uproarious laughter when I submit my resume...too old to dream. Then, as I was checking my google reader, I find this. Just watch and see what it means to make a dream come true.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Post: The Loot

Easter Post: Grandma's Egg Hunt and Dinner

My sweet mother in law, Dorrie, has had Easter Dinner and an egg hunt every year I have been part of this family hunt for 29 years now. Dinner is pot luck, and then the hunt begins.

Easter Post: Deviled Eggs

Another thing we always do: Dad makes deviled eggs...either before or after Church. This year, Nate had everything ready. Dee had bishopric meeting, and then came home and made his famous eggs...then went to church. According to all, they were great! (I was unable to eat...Nate added cayenne to them all!)

Easter Post: Ooops...I Forgot Dying Eggs!

One traditon that we have always had is dying eggs. This year was no exception. I called it "Drop By And Dye" and all were invited to stop by any time afer 7:00 p.m on Friday evening. I had 6 eggs for each adult ready to dye, and had the dyes ready too. They could bring their own eggs, if they wanted too. I felt bad...Ethan was the one that asked about dying eggs, and I just goofed and forgot his new work schedule, so he was asleep (had to work at 3 Saturday morning), but other than that, and a royal fit by Nathan...it was a good night!

Easter Post: Our Sweet Party Girl

When Kayty was hired at Party City, almost a year ago, I breathed a sigh of relief. I feared that she would get hired at a shoe store...and that girl just LOVES shoes...always has, since she was a baby...and that all her earnings would end up on her feet! So, Party City seemed safe. Kayty was rather quiet, just a few close friends shared her celebrations. Well, working there unleashed the Party City Animal within! She loves to find things on sale and put them away. She has three huge boxes under her bed, filled with "girl" and "boy" treats, from the days she had time to teach piano lessons, plates, cups, napkins, candles, banners, balloons, and just about everything you could need! I have also benefitted from her being there: I have sets of pink and blue plastic knives (no forks or spoons, but I am ready if needed) beautiful napkins, and just all sorts of gingerbread house sweets (yes, I am already squirrelling stuff away for next Grammy Day!).

Easter has, in the past, been a holiday I just didn't do much for...dyed eggs...made new outfits when the kids were little, got some goodies, hunted some eggs, but nothing big. And, I kinda felt bad this year, because I am soooo cutting back on EVERYTHING, and, well, my babies are 16 and 18...so, I just didn't get anything. I woke up on Sunday...huge headache, of course...and on our table in the kitchen were three bags: one for Dad, one for Nate, and one for me! All from our cute, sweet party bunny...Kayty. I just cried, for she did what I just couldn't. What a wonder she is!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Second Shot-Putter, First Discus Thrower

I love the Summer Olympics, for their are so many sports there that I enjoy watching: gymnastic, swimming, diving, and the track and field events. I was so impressed when Allison, during her senior year, with little prior athletic experience, set out to train and work out, and made the varsity track team throwing the shotput. I even got to see her at a meet (track meets are long, and it is difficult to figure when an event is.)

Nathan is on the varsity football team, and he spends his "off season" constantly working and prepping for next season. He joined his high school's first track team just to keep his skill level high. He is a thrower as well. The shot put is not his favorite, but he loves the discus, and even holds the school record (A great accomplishment, mind you, but it is their first track team). He likes the work, likes the coach, and has a great time. Who'd have thunk that I would raise two throwers: my oldest baby, and my youngest baby!

The Best Thing About Being A Mom!

You frequently hear the lamentings of society (not moms in particular, though) about the sadness of wasting your life to be a stay at home mom. Now, I have never particularly complained. I just love my job as a mom at home. I have gotten to do the things my mom, who had to return to the work force when my father had a stroke when he was 37, never could do: be a homeroom mom, attend field trips, drive kids places (that job, for me, is never dull...usually a laugh a minute, as you have noted in the past!) I just love to be a part of my kids' lives, and to be able to share in their sometimes sorrows, and oftentimes joys, and today was no exception.

I had a busy morning: cleaning, then APS guy comes to install new power meter for solar system, then vacuuming and getting dinner marinating, then the Qwest guy comes to hook up the new modem (our internet was obsolete, apparantly), then more bed making and laundry, then the City of Phoenix guy comes to inspect the solar water heater (it passed, but we need to repair the garage ceiling where I, and a few other of my older kids have slipped of a board while rummaging through the attic and fell through). All of a sudden, I get the most wonderful call. Kayty's ringtone on my phone is quite unique...it is a recording of her giggling when she inhaled some helium...so crazy and funny. So, I hear this giggling...and I answer, wondering which of her classes is cancelled. I hear the shreiks of an elated teenager...she has a date for the "Black and White Ball!" She is sooooo excited! And I got to hear it from her right then, when the fun is fresh! (Somehow, the excitement wears off as the hours go by.)

I am so very very blessed to have a very hard working hubby who makes it all possible for me to be there for these great times, to be there when they get a date, to be there when they miss too many on a test and need a comforting shoulder, and even when they forget their shorts for P.E. Being a mom at home has rewards that cannot be measured, no matter how old the kids get!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Again, I Must Repent!

I spend a good deal of time "venting" on my blog. It seems that, when I feel like I am just at the end of my rope, I find my blogging friends there for comfort, and I am so very thankful for that. And, maybe, that is the only good thing that came from my complaining over things out of my control in weeks past. Today, though, as I was listening to General Conference, amid all the many things I heard that helped me to see what I need to do and where I need to improve, was a story in a talk, by our beloved prophet, that made me, again, repent, for there are, and have been, many who have suffered far greater trials than I, and stayed faithful and uncomplaining. The story was told by President Thomas S. Monson, during the Sunday morning session. He spoke of a woman who, because of the consequences of World War II, was forced to walk a thousand miles, with her children, to get to the land their corrupt leaders said she could settle in. The story was filled with trials: cold, hunger, ragged clothes, no shoes. One by one, she lost each of her children, burying the first by digging a grave with a teaspoon, and then burying her last...her baby...by digging the frozen ground with her bare hands. She made it, alone, to her destination, and still remained faithful, and uncomplaining. I am so very, very blessed...beyond the wildest imaginations of this dear soul. Please, forgive me, friends, family, and Father in Heaven, for complaining about such a small inconvenience, a small trite little money/job thing. My life is truly blessed, beyond measure, and I will always be grateful for that!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Another Trip To School

I am in better spirits now, so I can think back to this morning and our daily drive. First, Kayty was getting some gum, and read some personalized license plate suggestions...her favorite was ARR PRT (Arrgh Pirate) Nathan did not get it at first, and then told us that he had never heard a pirate say "Aarrgh". Now, I had to ask...I inquired as to what the pirate he had spoken with did say (questioning whether he had ever REALLY seen a pirate), and he replied that the pirate said, "What you selling? Ill buy it for a high price." Kayty and I looked at one another (she gets the front seat today...even numbered day). What can you say to that.

We continued on, passing the yard...the one with the disputed goose on the porch (I say it is ceramic, Nathan says it is a real guard goose!-another argument for another day.) These folks have an emu in their yard. Kayty could not see it, and Nathan again begged for us to get him one! Now, I pointed out that we have chickens, in an enclosure now, because I had a hard time with their frequent "droppings". I pointed out the size of a chicken and compared it to the size of said emu, and questioned the size of the droppings from this creature. He assured me that they were small, pointing out that a huge elk makes very small droppings. I said I would rather have an elk than an emu. He then said that he wanted to ride it to school. He had already spoken with his buddies at school and they thought he should ride in a chariot behind the said emu, and that he should sport a toga! Now, I haven't checked North Pointe's dress code, but I am sure togas are not in the repertoire! I don't know if his buddies were serious (sophomores in high school, don't you know) or whether they just want to see if he would do it.(Now, I really don't put it past him at all.) I did express my concern at the feelings of the ASPCA on using an emu as a towing animal.

We could not pursue, because Nathan had then advised us to roll down the windows rather quickly...gas release was coming (so gross to drive a boy to school.) Then, Kayty put a headphone jack in my ear to listen to my favorite Green Day song: My Shadow (I don't know if this is the title, but I call it that.) I can really get down to it, even though I don't know all the words, so I sub with "la la la la"and I really feel the beat, much to the chagrin of my son, who hunkered down in the back seat, totally humiliated. I don't know what to think. I humiliated a kid who thought it would be a good idea to ride to school being towed by an emu, in a chariot, wearing a toga. I think I should be offended!

Can It Get Worse...

Today is only a few hours old, and already...We found out through a friend and the "machinist gossip network" (better than a Relief Society) that they are announcing this morning an additional two weeks of unpaid furlough, making it 5 total weeks we have to take without pay. I think we have gone beyond my cutting the food budget, etc. We really have been cutting back for years. Dee is now looking elsewhere, and me, who has been blessed to be a stay at home mom for over 27 years, I am now trying to find work. USAA got my application this morning.

And, to top it all off, I have a dental appointment in two hours. I hate going to the dentist with a passion! I have had some awful experiences, though our dentist now is just the best.

That's two things...My mom said that trouble comes in threes....so what is ahead!