Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Louise's Washington Visit

 So happy to see Louise that I couldn't quit talking long enough for a picture.  Diana, her husband Larry, and Cheryl completed the company. 
The day flew fast.  We talked.  We laughed.  We explored "Jane Eyre".  There were quilts to share.  Family photos to copy. A trip to town for plumbing parts for the men folk.  Lunch was Butternut Squash Soup and Rosemary Bread (w/o the rosemary) and some pasta/chicken salad.

Here are the promised recipes to Cheryl (Louise, please tell her they are here.) for the bread and soup:
                               Rosemary Bread
1 packet dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp)
2 Cup warm water
1 T sugar
2 tsp salt
4 Cups flour
1-2 tsp fresh Rosemary plus more for topping
Olive Oil, Corn meal, Melted butter and salt

Disolve yeast in warm water and sugar.  Add flour, salt, and 1-2 tsp rosemary and stir until blended, DO NOT KNEAD.  Cover and let rise until double. Remove dough.  It will be sticky.  I put oil on my hands for shaping.  Shape long loaf on a cookie sheet coated in oil and sprinkled with corn meal.  Let rise another hour.  Brush top with melted butter and lightly sprinkle with more rosemary and sat.  Bake @425 for 10 min. Reduce heat to 375 and bake until done.  (5-8 minutes)

The Squash Soup is an adaptation of  a Williams-Sonoma recipe

3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Sweet onion chopped
In large soup pot, melt butter. When foamy add onions and cook till tender, about 5 minutes.

3 lbs of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
6 cups chicken broth
Add broth, squash and cook until tender, about 20 minutes

4 apples peeled and chopped (Fuji or Granny Smith work equally well)
Pinch of nutmeg
Add apples and nutmeg, simmer till apples are tender about 15 minutes.

Cool soup and puree in a blender.  Reheat gently and then add
2 cups of half and half.  Serves 12

Louise, Bob, Cheryl, Larry and Diana

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The End

I did continue to learn things last week.  One day I was asking Eli if he really liked first grade.  He gave me this incredulous look and with a little "Duh" informed me he is in second grade. Ok, so I blew that one. I also learned that even in today's world there is nothing that tastes as good to a sick child as homemade chicken noodle soup and tapioca pudding.  Whew, it was nice to know that old fashioned cures are still appreciated.
I also learned it takes exactly 65 minutes to get from Brigham City to Preston and that is with driving through Logan with all the stoplights. And I can find the DI in Logan without any problem, but there was no sign of lace in any form. It was neat to spend a little time with Elizabeth and Ron before the snow flies. The drive to Preston is wonderful therapy.  The farmers were finishing cleaning out their fields and I felt just a little nostalgic for a long ago life.  We didn't have much time to talk about anyone, but we did talk about making little gray stuffed mice to sit on a bigger stuffed pumpkin, which was very important.

There were still piano lessons, football checkout, birthday party, choir concert (which, sad to say I didn't attend), basketball practice and a game, pajama day (when the second grader got to wear his pj's to school all day), and then we got to Wednesday with no school.  There was mutual and other goings on that kept life busy and kids happy.  However, I did get to do one really great thing.  I took Savannah to a wonderful little quilt and fabric store in Brigham City.  I think she has the quilt bug, which is such an exciting thing to see.
I was really concerned about what I was going to do with school out, but we cleaned a little, the kids played a lot, and the anticipation of their parents coming home created an excitement that was fun to watch.  I did bring the children to Orem on Thursday for a change of scenery and then met Kristen and Matt at the Maverick Center in SLC, which has become a meeting place when we need to send kids back and forth.  In the end, even though I am quite exhausted, I am thankful for the time I got to spend with some really neat grandchildren. Savannah asked Kristen if Grandma had ever told her to "stuff it" when she was a little girl.  Guess I must have said "stuff it" at some point in the week.  Hmmm, I wonder if it worked!

One of the very most important things I was reminded of is that as hard as it is, the little moments we get to spend with grown children and grandchildren are such a treat.  Difficult, yes, but ever so worth it. I am thankful for the time, thankful I survived, and thankful Kristen and Matt didn't decide to stay in Paris. Life is good.

In the Meantime, While Dwight is Cogitating .....

Ann did come to see me last Tuesday, and I took several pictures of her just to prove that she was here, BUT, my photographic skills let me down, because, as you can see if you enlarge this picture, it is blurry beyond repair.  Drat it.  Now, she has to come back.  Anyway, we spent a very busy few hours, solving sewing problems, going through stuff, including sorting seashells, etc., and talking a great deal with a little lunch in between.  I think she made it - and life may be a little bit back to normal by now.  And just to alert Judy, who goes to Value Village daily, Ann is on the hunt for lace in any form, even perhaps curtains?  Or, maybe someone else has some?????
Now, Dwight has had a lot of time to think about things, so he can give us his weekly update, right?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Deep Thoughts and Errant Philosophies for October 15 2013

Most of my thoughts could hardly be classified as deep, and everyone already knows all of my philosophies are errant.  Nonetheless, here is the rundown:

  • Ann brought me a box of Honeycrisp seconds for 7 bucks, as in 26 bucks if they had all been beautiful, unblemished, and of comparable size.  From this box, I made 2 batches of applesauce and one big batch of Mother's relish.  I have 7 apples left over.  I was reminded of how Mother would wait for the windfalls in Hart's orchard on the way to Garland where we would pick them up for something like 50 cents a bushel.  Now, sadly, the beautiful apple orchard has long gone to pot and no one has tended it for decades
  • We have been to opthalmologists, cardiologists, oncologists, neurologists, ENTs, dentists, oral surgeons, psychologists, nephrologists, and zodiacologists.  Despite having thousands and thousands of dollars worth of tests and torture administered to me, no one could find anything seriously wrong.  Echo and EKG, normal.  MRI torture machine, stable.  Blood tests, normal.  Attitude, outstanding. Faults, too numerous to mention (Velna says she doesn't have time to list them.)
  • Judy has a new camera but she hardly uses it.
  • Liz is becoming a professional photographer.
  • Steve is now looking at Muddy Gap Wyo for a place to relocate.
  • Louise is living it up in Washington.
  • Ann is having the time of her life.
  • Dwight is taking pictures of The Mountain each and every minute.
  • I love my new immersion blender.  Ten bucks at ShopKo.  Seventy bucks (half price) for new Food Saver so now I won't get discriminated for buying single pounds of hamburger for $3.95 when you can get a big batch for $2.69.  Old one died two or three years ago.  Been buying expensive hb ever since.
  • We are going to try and cook up (so to speak) a food and recipe blog so those of us who know nothing can learn from those who know all.  Reviewing legal requirements and such for recipe reproduction, of which there are many (legal limitations, not recipes).
  • Something was floating around a week or two ago about a resort in Ralston.
  • Connie Sutton wants to know where Steve is.  Steve, get in touch with him.  He'd like that. (Powell).  Velna heard from his wife, who was Laramie High classmate. 
  • There are 2 gazillion labels for this blog and I know not where to plug this in.
Until I have more deep thoughts, which may take awhile to clear out the old ones.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day Three or Am I Still Alive

Friday was  - let's just say we all survived.  It started with me being awakened at 6:00.  Can you believe an 8th grader gets up at 5:30 and that isn't even for early morning seminary?  I woke Lucas up at 6:15, took Savannah to her piano lesson at 6:30, back home to make sure breakfast was getting eaten, lunches were made, shoes were on the right feet, and then back to pick up Savannah at 7:00.  Older kids out the door at 7:10 to catch the bus, high schooler out the door by 7:25 (whatever did he eat for breakfast?).  I do know the leftover TacoTime did serve a great purpose for lunch.  Then it was time to wake up the little first grader, make sure he had on matching shoes, fed him yummy oatmeal, made an extremely healthy lunch sandwich out of peanut butter and marshmallow cream (called a fluffernutter- who would have guessed that one), reminded him he HAD to brush his teeth before he went out the door, and then there was time to catch my breath.  I must admit that as I watched him cross the street (in the crosswalk) I wondered if I should cheer or go put my feet up.

But, there was not time for that. I had things to do.  First there was a hunt to go on to locate a missing roller for the stove drawer.  I remember those days when there just weren't enough hours in the day to do everything I wanted to do, so it was only the really important things, like eating and clean socks that got done until life settled down.  I ran into a really neat little store in Brigham City where they could order the parts and that was done.  Next it was dishes, brush my teeth and comb my hair and head out to pay the nice people in the nice little store. You will never guess what was on the same block - a wonderful little quilt/fabric store that was begging to be checked out.  What a great place to get rejuvenated. I bought a pattern, enjoyed adult conversation with the pleasant women who were working in the store and came home ready to tackle the remainder of the day.

Kids home from school, guinea pigs fed (gross and stinky), pizza ordered (yes, that was on the list of instructions), date night for the high schooler, movie night at home for the youngest, birthday party at a friends house, dishes done, homework done, cats fed, and that was all before 7:00.  TV is tricky to watch - I can't figure out their ROKU system so am going cold turkey on that one.  Now I know why our kids, when they were little, went to bed by 7:30-8:00.

Now came the bigger challenge - waiting up for the birthday party boy to get home and the date young man to check in. I did get some fabric cut out, patterns traced for a wedding dress, and a few games of solitaire played while waiting.   Just as I am about to crash, the door opens and the reports of how their night went are given.  Sleep was such a relief. I am gaining an incredible respect for grandparents who find themselves raising grandchildren.

At least on Saturday there was no school, so we could just get up at our leisure. Time for some shopping, running to a birthday breakfast and then to football check out, some house cleaning - seriously is that even necessary?  Who is going to notice?

Can't wait for the Sabbath.  A day of rest sounds ever so good.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Day One

My Adventure began yesterday (Thursday) about 2:00 when Kristen and Matt left for the airport.  Their suitcases were stuffed to the brim and my first thought was something about just how long do they expect to be gone.  The excitement began about 2:52 when Eli, the first grader came bouncing in the front door.  With a grin from ear to ear, he plunked his backpack on the table and said something about how glad he was that school was done for the day.  When I asked him if it was a fun day at school, he gave me a look of "are you kidding." The look on his face when I asked him about homework suggested it would be wise to give him a little breathing room.  A snack and a little game on the iPad and he was back to good humor and homework did get done, which just consisted of a little reading.  I had to write a note to his teacher about something that was supposed to get done and since I didn't have a clue, please give him a little time for his mom to get home.

Before long the almost 12 year old came home and there was a major sigh of relief to be some place where they felt very safe.  Shoes came off, backpacks were stashed, except he did dig out his homework and did get it done very quickly.  I suspected it was to hurry and get school done so he could have a break. I must admit I didn't have to nag or bribe or anything.  I was impressed.

Then about 5:00 I got a call from Savannah, who walks to the Brigham City Temple every Thursday with a group of her friends where they do baptisms.  How do I complain about having to go pick her up.  What a good girl.

Dinner was supposed to be leftovers, but Kristen had warned me that there weren't many leftovers.  We took a vote and TacoTime won.  Now, that was an adventure.  The drive through was so slow it was crazy, and then when we got up to the window one of the kids remembered I had forgotten something for Brooks.  What do you do?  I drove around the block, but decided not to go through the drive through.  Surely going inside would be much quicker.  Not!  We finally made it home, Brooks got home and we proudly said we had gotten him something from TacoTime.  He had eaten at his friend's.  Cold TacoTime for lunch today seemed to be appealing.  Seriously???

Then as things were starting to settle down, Lucas comes to me and with his big brown eyes said something about how his class had won some kind of a competition and as a reward they could bring treats today.  Tell me how to turn down someone who says something about how it would be alright if he really didn't have a treat, but it would be really neat if he could take something.  So, off we went to the local market to buy some candy (I wonder if that is on the approved list) and I also bought some BarKeepers Friend to help scrub a couple of places.

It was finally bedtime, which included scriptures and prayer.  The discussion about who's turn it was to pray hasn't changed since Paul and I had a house full of little people.  Sleep was such a blessing.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Light Fixture

I meant to include this picture yesterday - These are the light fixtures from the old hotel - thought Steve might be interested in them.  On another note, I see that the good people of Powell are planning a protest at Yellowstone Park entrance.  They are stirred up.  That is, all but the poor farmers who are struggling with snow and mud trying to harvest the sugar beets and such.  The life of a farmer is a very hard one, as we all know. Onward and upward for the day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Continuing the blog posting below - What I Learned on Wednesday

 This geyser in Soda Springs is man made.  It erupts every hour on the hour.
 A "stuffed" badger in the lobby of the Geyser Hotel in Soda Springs
 The check-in desk in the hotel.  I thought that Steve would like the lights.  More below.
 This bear is the window decoration
 This white buffalo (bison?) head is above the bear.
And, this is not the only moose in the hotel lobby - I was just being selective.  As you can see, we had a more interesting than usual day.  I ended up with lots of beautiful scenes for future use. and enjoyment. Hope your Wednesday was a good one.  Now, I'll go back to the everyday stuff.  Actually, this trip was a reward for finishing the garden-flower beds cleanup yesterday.  Hooray!

Things I Learned (and did) on Wednesday

1.  I learned that if you get up early (6:15 a.m.) and work hard for a couple of hours in the sewing room, you can accomplish something.  However, Judy and Ann, the jacket doesn't fit - too big!
2.  I learned that the world is a very beautiful place this fall, and that we live in a beautiful place. We took a trip to a ranch about 8 miles southeast of Soda Springs to take an old rocking chair back to Ron's former sister-in-law.  The trip was well worth it, because fall is in all of its glory.

Next, we stopped in Soda Springs at the Geyser Hotel to have some lunch.  There, we saw the geyser (man made), as well as some of the sights in the hotel.  This hotel has been reclaimed, and is very beautifully done.  The rooms upstairs are furnished in old-fashioned ways.  However, I also took some pictures of some of the stuffed animals that are in the lobby of the hotel.  Here are a few of them.
Oho, now I've learned something new.  There is no way to add these pictures without replicating the above pictures.  If you know how to do this, please tell me.
Next thing I learned today is that coming home after a round trip of about 100 miles is very nice.  
More to add to this later.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Things I learned on Monday

At the risk of exposing how little I really learn along the way, and after being chided by Dwight for not sharing my most exciting life, I thought I would attempt to catch up with my report.  This is much easier than trying to make up a story for Dwight.

So, here goes -
One of the best things I have learned was this morning when I saw Steve's comment on Dwight's last post.  It is delightful to know he still has his sense of humor, even though the photo he has on Facebook doesn't really show that.  I do miss his smile.

I spent time with Dwight and Velna and all we talked about was cooking ideas and what new gadgets they NEED in their kitchen to make the process easier.  Much to my delight they have gone to Shopko, bought some new gadgets and are off and running.  The only item missing is a food processor to help with the chopping, etc.  However, Dwight is somewhat perplexed because I haven't gone to Costco and bought the latest salt and pepper grinder and olive oil mister that he has.  I am holding out.

Judy called and she has been to the fabric store.  She saved me time hunting through the pattern books with an excellent recommendation for a pattern that I REALLY needed.  See what networking does.

I did talk with Elizabeth on Friday, we covered a lot of important stuff, but I can't remember what it was.

Still no Louise, but I hope she is having fun at Diana's.

Oh, and by the way, if you call Dwight's home and get someone who says something about it being the Utah Democratic Party headquarters, do hang up.  If it continues we may need to report the problem to the phone company.

On a more serious note, after listening to conference, I do want to be a better person.  What a delightful feast that was.  It gave me hope, if I can just remember to be good.

I hope you all make this a wonderful Tuesday.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Story Telling Week

OK we have waited and waited and waited to see if Ann has ever learned anything since Wednesday (a month ago?).  I check five or six times a day to no avail.  So now it is time to get things moving again on this here blog.  What we are going to do this week is everyone is going to tell a short story or anecdote, 1-3 paragraphs long, about some event in our childhood.  If you don't have a story, make one up.  We have too much lore in our family history to let it all slumber, so let's get to writing a few bits an pieces.