Wednesday, September 30, 2009


It's nice when a member of your family works for a company that allows the family members special privileges or has a talent that benefits your life.  My daughter, Candice, works for Jet Blue.  She, her husband and children get to fly anywhere that Jet Blue flys, for free!  So do her parents!!  We've gone to Disneyland and to NYC.

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My oldest son, Dan, is an artist.  He is a custom airbrush designer.  I have some beautiful pictures that he has painted.  Here's one of my granddaughter, C8.

My daughter, Jill, is a massage therapist.  She has saved my sorry back on several occasions!

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My son, Jacob used to work at this theater.  His family was able to get in to see a movie for free!  We took advantage of that as often as we could.  The theater closed down (too many freebies) for a few months.

He now has a new job at the local cemetery.  He takes care of the lawn and helps dig the graves.  I haven't asked about the perks that come along with THIS job, but, I have a feeling I won't be taking advantage of them in this life!

Now, if one of my children ends up working for the M&M company, life will be good!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Gentle Reminder

We have all pulled a face

while having a picture taken.

Sometimes it's expected or

 even encouraged.

But, there are times when pulling a face isn't appropriate.

It can be distracting and may even ruin the picture.

That's when we need a gentle reminder by someone with old, gnarly, hands, that there will be a price to pay
if we don't behave ourselves.

And that's usually all it takes!

And so it is with life!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apple Pie Filling

This is a FIRST for me!  Three posts in 3 days!
 Here is the apple pie filling recipe that is super easy - especially if you have someone to help. 

Apple Pie Filling
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup corn starch
1 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 to 3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Put first 5 ingredients in a large pan.  Stir together.  Add 10 cups water.  Cook until thick.  Add food coloring and lemon juice. Remove from heat. This is usually enough to cover 6 to 7 quarts of apples.

Peel, core, and slice apples.  I used this thing to do all the work for me.  It saves alot of time, but, you can still do it by hand.

Fill the quart jars with the slices.  Really push them in tight.  Pour sauce over the apples in the jar.  It may take a while for the thickened sauce to ooze over the apple slices.  (I like to do it one jar at a time so the apples don't darken)  Place lids and rings on the jars and process in a water bath for 20 minutes.  One jar makes an 8 inch pie.  Can also be used for apple cobblers, topping for ice cream, or just out of the jar!

Thought I'd show you how the soup looks when opened and ready to serve.  Tonight for the Women's Conference, I'm taking a crock-pot of the chicken soup.  Here you can see that I have added my bottled chicken and a can of corn to 3 quarts of the vegetable soup.

Here is a picture from an earlier post made with the vegetable soup with beef boullion and tomato soup.  I added green beans, corn and hamburger.

Perfect Fall meal!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vegetable Soup

Hi again! It's me, your friendly, neighborhood, soup-maker with another soup recipe just for you!  I had the day off work so I went to Candice's house to make vegetable soup.
As you can see by the pictures, it's another soup to put on the shelf for later - unless one doesn't seal, then you can eat that one right away!
It's easy, but requires some chopping.
Here's the recipe:

Vegetable Soup
In the bottom of a quart jar add:
1 tsp. salt
2 boullion cubes (beef or chicken)
1 Tablespoon barley
1 tsp parsley flakes

We place the jars out and add all the salt, then all the parsley, etc.
Next add 1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup sliced carrots
You can put as much or as little of the vegetables as you want. This is how we like it.
(It's good to have the kids help.  Just be sure to have sustenance, such as Doritos, to keep them going.)


Fill the rest of the jar with peeled, chopped, potatoes.  Thanks to Jordan, for helping us on this big project!  He saved us lots of time!

Fill each jar with hot water from the tap.

Wipe off tops of jars, place on lids and rings and process in pressure canner at 10# for 40 minutes.

We got 84 jars of vegetable soup!  This soup is good by itself, just heated with a half bottle of water added...or...add the tomato soup (see previous post) and some browned hamburger to the beef flavored soup for a taste treat delight.  I like to add left-over chicken or canned chicken and a can of corn to the chicken soup. It's SO fast when you need a quick meal that fills you up on a cool fall evening or a cold winter night. 

That was not all we did today, we also made 21 quarts of apple pie filling.  This picture shows them BEFORE processing. 

I need to go back to work to get some rest!

Tomatoes? Another recipe.

Are you still getting tomatoes and wondering what to do with them?  Are your neighbors hiding when they see you coming with a bag of, wait...that's zucchini! 
Here's a recipe for tomato soup that you can bottle and use in the winter when the tomatoes are only a memory.  Perhaps we can do a zucchini recipe another day.
Start with a half bushel of tomatoes.  I really can't tell you exactly how much that is.  I just estimate and tonight when I made this soup, I had a few more tomatoes than I needed. 

Prepare the tomatoes by pouring boiling water over them and removing the skin. Blend in a blender until smooth - OR - you can use this handy, dandy strainer to do it all for you and you don't have the seeds when you're done. (Just in case you're wondering, that's not my arm, I think mine is hairier!)  Andy helped me tonight! 

Chop 6 onions. (Here's another time saving device that's almost as good as having your husband help.)

3 large green peppers.

1 bunch of celery.   I don't have a picture of me chopping the celery.  I have to do that by hand because it's too stringy to use the great time saving tool! However, I have a good Cutco knife that's sharp and works great! 

Put all the vegetables in a large pan with a pint of water and steam until tender.  Put the tomato sauce in a different large pan and heat on the stove.

Make a white sauce using 1/2 pound of real butter, 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 1 cup sugar and 3/4 tsp. pepper.  Stir together in a pan on the stove until bubbly.  Add 1 quart of the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer.
Add the white sauce to the tomato sauce then add all the vegetables.  Simmer on the stove for 20 minutes.

Fill quart jars with the soup.  I got 12 quarts. Process in a water bath for 60 minutes or in a pressure canner at 10# pressure for 30 minutes.

While I'm posting this, I can hear the lids seal.  That's music to my ears, even though it doesn't have a good beat.
You can tell by this picture that there are not a lot of vegetables in this soup.  That's because I went overboard on the tomatoes.  However, it tastes SO GOOD! 
If you want to make this recipe and want to use all my handy-dandy time saving devices, (except Andy) you're welcome to them. 
Honest! You just have to come get them.
Here's the recipe:
1/2 bushel tomatoes - juiced.  (5-7 quarts)
1 bunch celery           3 large green peppers
6 large onions             1 pint water
Chop all vegetables.  Cook together with the water until tender.
Make a white sauce:
1/2 lb. butter              1 cup flour
1 cup sugar                1/4 cup salt
3/4 tsp. pepper
Stir until creamy.  Add 1 quart tomato juice to white sauce. Bring to a simmer.
Pour all ingredients together and cook 20 minutes.  Fill quart jars. Process in boiling bath for 60 minutes or pressure at 10# for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

80 years and counting!

If you had a father-in-law who was celebrating his 80th birthday AND he and your mother-in-law were also celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, how far would you travel to be with them?

Would you travel to San Francisco, New York City, Salt Lake City, or even Paris?
How about Salina, Utah? Now - there's a hot spot!
Located in central Utah, in the middle of nowhere is this quaint little town. We went to "Mom's Cafe"...

...where the special of the night was pork roast, potatoes and gravy, green beans and a scone the size of your head. . Three of us ordered it.  The waitress told the third person there were only 2 specials! 

The evening was filled with ooohing and ahhing over homemade cards (or was it carbs)!

It wasn't Paris or even Salt Lake City, but it was fun to be with these wonderful people who appreciated the tiny tokens of love given to them.

We may be cheap, but we sure love you!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Autumn is my favorite season!
Beautiful colored leaves.
Cool, crisp nights.
Harvest of pumpkins, apples, and potatoes.

Fall decorations.
These cute blocks were made by Lori, you should check it out!

We get to wear layers and funky glasses!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Friendly Folks in Orem

Andy and I went to the Timpanogas Storytelling Festival a few weeks ago. We arrived at the Scera Shell, in Orem, just minutes before it started. Once we got there, it appeared that every person in Utah Valley was there. We had taken a blanket to sit on but there wasn't a place to put it! It was wall-to-wall chairs and blankets! The closest place was down to the side of the stage. We would be able to hear but not see. It was getting dark so we figured it would be a great time and place to make-out. (yeah, right)

We had just put down our blanket, when a woman came up and told us she had room for us on HER blanket! (There goes our plan!) We promptly got up and followed her as she searched the crowd for her place. In the meantime, another woman came and told us there were 2 chairs by her group that we could sit in. We thanked the first woman, who was still searching, and followed the second. We were a few rows back from the stage and enjoyed the storytelling in a comfortable, molded, plastic chair.
When it was over, we thanked the woman again, and walked to our car. We talked about how interesting it was, that, with all the hundreds of people who had to sit off to the side of the stage, we were singled out to have better seats. As we pondered it, we both realized why. It's the white hair! Sheesh, I'm 56, NOT 86! Andy laughingly suggested that maybe the people thought he was a good guy to take his MOTHER to the festival! (He was taking his life in his own hands with that comment)
Just so you know, not only are the people in Orem friendly, they take care of the elderly!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Question For You

A local man won a million dollars this week by getting a hole-in-one! His son goes to our school. (all the teachers are expecting a nice Christmas gift from this student) A few of my co-workers and I were discussing the possibilities of winning that amount of money and a question came up.

If you won a million dollars, would you quit your job? There were differences of opinion.

So, now, I'm asking you...if you won a million dollars would you quit your job?

Monday, September 14, 2009


Were you ever involved in a pinewood derby race? Did you help your son make that block of wood into a lean, mean, racing machine? Did you help him paint it with racing stripes and make sure it weighed just enough to qualify by using a glue gun and pennies or screws? Was it a last minute project that had the whole family rushing around to get it done and hoping the paint would dry before the first run down the track?
Or was it all Dad's job? Did he re-live his childhood with his son's race and want the car to be the best design, the fastest and the best paint?

We had a great opportunity in our ward, (our area for our church) to have a party with a chili cook-off AND a pinewood derby! One of the categories was the "unlimited" where anything goes - as long as it fit on the track. We had the old duffers talking smack for months about their fast cars. Andy, my husband was one of them.

Andy has a pinewood derby truck that he had bought over 10 years ago. He realized he had a secret weapon and wanted to keep it under wraps until the night of the race. He had everyone curious about his "car." Andy sent it to our son in Albuquerque, who is a custom airbrush artist, to have it painted.

The truck arrived, beautifully painted and ready to be revealed.

The night of the race, Andy happened to be fashionably late and placed his secret weapon on the table next to the other cars. The race began.

The truck, I mean, Andy, won every race he entered. He was awarded the Gold Award and a 100 Grand candy bar (the stakes were high).
He triumphantly carried the truck home, with a smile on his face and the satisfaction of knowing he beat all the other old duffers!
Saturday morning I noticed that everything had been rearranged on the mantle and the truck had taken it's "rightful place

Victory is sweet!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

More Compassion

When we moved in to our home, 7 years ago, the first people to introduce themselves were the Lees; Carl and Sylvia. They lived across the street and showed up on our doorstep with warm cinnamon rolls, a friendly greeting and an invitation to join in the neighborhood activities.
We weren't the only recipients of their compassionate deeds. They befriended the friendless and took care of the sick. Carl and Sylvia were in their late 70s.

Sylvia had a heart disease that required surgery. During a visit, after she returned home from the hospital, she told me that what this neighborhood needs is "more compassion!" She said that when she got stronger, she and Carl would teach and show compassion to everyone. Imagine our dismay when Sylvia had a stroke and passed away a week later.

Carl lived alone for a year and a half. He became more feeble, but, each Sunday, he walked to church, using his cane. He was dignified, soft spoken and a genuine gentleman.
One evening, there was an ambulance at his home. I ran across the street and found paramedics taking care of Carl. He had fallen, hit his head and layed on the floor for over an hour until he could get to the phone. Even in that condition, he thanked me for coming, asked me to call his granddaughter to let her know he was going to the hospital and apologized for all the blood on the floor. He died 2 weeks later at his daughter's home.
Carl and Sylvia may not have carried out their ultimate goal to make the neighborhood more compassionate, but they left a great legacy for everyone to follow.

The house is for sale. I hope we get as good of neighbors as the second thought, I hope I can be as good of a neighbor as the Lees.
What examples they were to everyone!

Friday, September 11, 2009


I had to go to the dollar store to buy one of these. It only cost a dollar.
Before I left, I checked out a couple blogs and found some creative things that you can make from buying things at the dollar store. These two pictures are from Dollar Store Crafts and they're so cute.
Sticky Note Clipboards
Cute Handbag from Placemat

I also checked Sandra's blog just before I left and saw pictures of adorable candles that she bought at the dollar store. I was excited to go and find something fun, creative, and cute.
I grabbed my dollars and away I went. I found the bucket and looked around to find something that would pique my interest. Before we go on, I need to let you know that I am NOT creative, not one tiny bit! I marvel at the gift of creativity that many of you have and wish I had even the ability to copy your ideas!

Back to the dollar store. I found this little honey. You may wonder what it is.

It's a back support for a car or office chair. I immediately thought of my husband, who uses a small, worn, pillow to put behind his back for support as he drives an hour to and an hour from work. I bought it. After I got it home, I felt ashamed and embarrassed that, once again, I found something that was only practical and not adorable.

Then it hit me! There's no reason I can't be-dazzle and be-jewel this thing. I went to work to make it cute, knowing my husband would greatly appreciate it. I have posted pictures of each step so that you, too, can be as creative as me.
I started with sewing some lovely beads around the outside of the back supporter.

I was hoping to have an informative video, as a tutorial, to show each step but my photographer went out for ice cream!
I then laced ribbon through the mesh.

What would be better than attaching a picture of the love-of-his-life to his back support. Here's a picture of some dark-haired woman!

Now, add some plastic flowers and...

VOILA! A lovely back support made especially for my husband.
And that, my friends, is my Dollar Store find! (I hope he likes it!)

Before I get emails and phone calls, asking me to come to your church and community to teach my skill, I need to let you know - I'm too busy! I'll be writing and publishing craft books!