Friday, October 30, 2009

What I was Meant to Do!

Today's my day off of work.  This morning I announced that I had 4 days worth of work to do today!  I was ready.  In my mind I organized my day.

My daughter called at 7:30.  During the conversation, she found out I wasn't going to work.  "You have the day off?" she questioned with excitement.  "Why don't you come....."

That was how it all happened.

Forget about the 4 buckets of grapes that need juicing

Forget about the week's worth of laundry.

Those bathrooms don't need to be cleaned until next week.

The lady in our ward who is sick will just have to wait another day for a visit.

Organized closets?  A waste of time!

All of this can wait until tomorrow - when I have 5 days worth of work to do!

THIS is what I was meant to do today.

A Halloween parade at the Divine Miss Em's school is much more important, especially when Em is in it! 

When Em's mother asked if she was going to take her witch's broom to school for the parade, she looked at her mom as if she had gone crazy and said, "Mom, we're NOT supposed to take weapons to school!"
Have a safe Halloween and beware of brooms!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I remember, years ago, being told this joke:   What is mixed emotions?  When your mother-in-law drives your new cadillac off a cliff!"  Since I love my MIL and I don't have a new cadillac, this joke makes no sense to me but I do have some mixed emotions today.
It is with mixed emotions that I say,  "The growing season is officially over!"  Saturday was a beautiful day and I picked all the red tomatoes from these vines.  We had BLTs that were delicious.  There were enough tomatoes to bottle (of course) so I boiled water and poured it over the sink-full of tomatoes to loosen the skins.  It was then that I realized I won't have another fresh, off the vine, tomato until next Summer.  (I meant to pick all the green ones too, but didn't)

I bottled 14 pints of these puppies. (chili sauce)

Speaking of puppies, it is with mixed emotions I introduce you to Henry.  Henry was brought home by my 18-year-old son, Jacob.  Don't get me wrong, I love animals....just not at my house.  Jacob assured me that HE would take care of Henry.  A paper bowl filled with dry food, a size 11 shoe box filled with kitty litter, and that's the end of Jacob's "taking care of Henry"...which, btw, is really Henrietta!   (The gift that keeps on giving - unless we spend money to have THAT taken care of)  I know Jacob has 2 jobs and is a typical 18-year-old with friends but give me a break!  Speaking of jobs...Jacob is back at the theater.

It is with mixed emotions I tell you that we're going to see the Michael Jackson movie, 'This Is It,' for free, at the theater Thursday night.  I think MJ is a musical genius,. I love his music.  Why, oh why, did he have to surround himself with so much controversy? 

Speaking of controversy, it is with mixed emotions I show you this delicious pumpkin cake!  It tastes so good but, for some reason, I'm putting on weight.  Do you think it's the Cool Whip on top of that cake that's packing on the pounds?  Hmmm, that's food for thought.  If you want to know how to make this cake, you'll have to go to Camille's blog Make It Work Mom for the recipe.  We both made it, well let's say that she made it, I took some pictures.  (I'll blame her for cooking it too long.)

Last, but certainly not least, it is with mixed emotions that I tell you about this fabulous give-away.  I really want it and if I tell everyone to go check it out, my chance to win goes down.  Oh well, I'll do it anyway. Go to Jill's blog, Jill's Words, to win this fun, stylish, warm, headband.  Perfect for the cold weather!

I'm going to end my emotional post with this thought. "What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
(John Lubbock) 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Waste Not!

My friend gave me two large boxes of Jonathan apples.  I was excited to make more apple pie filling. When I opened the first box and saw that the apples were the size of large golf balls, I wanted to throw it all out but realized how wasteful that would be so I made applesauce instead.

(Compare the size of the large Red Delicious apple and the small Jonathan)
I got the first box of apples washed, cut in half and cooked until soft.  The apples were put in our handy, dandy strainer (thanks Sheri for the tip about using the drill!)  A few days later, I opened the other box.  Same size but mixed with some Golden Delicious.  Made more applesauce.

It's interesting to see the difference in color of the applesauce.  The one on the left is all Jonathan, the one on the right, the mixture.  I got 20 quarts.

Now this is what's left after the straining.  What do I do with it?  I don't want to waste it.  Could I make apple core jelly like I did the peach pit jelly?  No, probably not since this has been cooked, most of the flavor is already gone.  So what can I do with this "garbage?"

Hmmm, I have an idea!  Get a brown paper bag.

Put a few cups of the apple garbage in the bottom. Fold over the top of bag, staple shut, and place on the door step.

Light a match and there you have it!

Too bad we're not neighbors!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Live In Camelot!

I know it sounds a bit bizarre.  But in Camelot, that's how conditions are!

When it was necessary to move our family from Boise, Idaho, because of my husband's job, we looked in several different  cities.  Each city had positive aspects and some negative ones.  When we came to the city that we live in now, it was very WINDY!   We asked the realtor if this was the way it was all the time.  He assured us that it was that way ONLY until 9:00 in the morning, then the wind stops and it's beautiful the rest of the day.  I looked at him skeptically but he assured us it was true.
Since we have moved here we discovered that he was right.  The wind picks up in the middle of the night, then by 9:00 in the morning,  it's done.  Talking to the folks who have been here their whole life, you would think that the early settlers had planned it that way. 
Here are some advantages to having a windy city:

- No mosquitoes.  I just learned about this one.  During a preparedness presentation we were told that we don't have to worry about West Nile Virus here because the wind keeps the mosquitoes away!

 - No pollution!  That's right!  The canyon wind blows the smog away from our city.  (I'm glad I don't live west of here)

- Roses grow better.  It's been rumored that a good, stiff, breeze actually helps the roses to bloom!

- The flags look beautiful painting the breeze.

- Clothes on the line dry in minutes, as long as you have strong clothespins!

- Pinwheels in the yard look real cool spinning around and around and around.

- Two years ago, at the mouth of the canyon, the city built a wind farm to take advantage of this free energy!

Now I have a question.  Do you think these wind turbines are a work of art or an eyesore?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Win, a Giveaway, and Christmas Service!

Wow!  Look what I won!  It only cost $1200.00!

This is from the nice dentist office that took me in when my own dentist couldn't see me until Thursday!   I found out that the tooth that gave me so much trouble was cracked all the way across and was absessed! So... a root canal, a crown, an antibiotic, pain killers, and a boat-load of money later, it's on the mend. (I hope)  Thanks for all your well wishes and concern. 

This shirt was in the tooth-looking package. 

OK, are you ready for a great giveaway?  No, not this shirt!  I'm keeping IT forever!  Camille, at Make it Work Mom , is having a giveaway of children's personalized shirts. Perfect for your own child, a grandchild,  a niece or nephew. Check it out!

Go here for the giveaway

One more thing.  Shauna, from Trying to Stay Calm is doing service this Christmas.  She's asking for our help in providing Christmas for others.

If you'd like to help her out or learn more about it, click on the button.
There are many good and generous people in blog land!  Working together, we can do so much more!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pain and Apple Pudding

Toothaches are NO FUN!  The throbbing pain penetrates throughout the jaw and head.  There are many home remedies I found online. 

 None of which I tried, but may work for you if you're in need!

Chewing leaves of a guava tree
Placing a garlic clove on the tooth
Pinch of pepper and table salt on the tooth
Clove oil
Chewing a raw onion for 3 minutes,
Rinse mouth with a strong alcohol such as whiskey.
Spray pure perfume on the tooth. (You'll need the perfume after all the other remedies)

I ended up taking a Percocet last night so I could sleep. I called my dentist this morning and after explaining the pain I was in, the receptionist said, "Hmmm...let's see....looks like we can get you in on Thursday at 8:00!
I found another dentist who took me in today.  His home remedy? A root canal! I must be on a roll! That's OK, tomorrow night I'll be out of this pain.
Just so that you don't think I'm a cry baby, I'm including a favorite recipe of ours.
This recipe is one my mom has made ever since I can remember.  To me it's a Fall dessert that can be used for any occasion! 

Apple Pudding
2 cups grated apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (I used 1 whole wheat and 1 white)
2 tsp. soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional but really good)
Cream butter, shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Add grated apples.
Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Add nuts.
Pour into 9x13 greased pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

2 cups brown sugar
2 T. flour
2 T. cornstarch
3 cups water
2 T. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix sugar, flour and cornstarch together.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla.
Cut cake and place on plate.  Pour warm sauce over top.  Can top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

South African Cuisine!

Friday night we had company.  Jordan, who recently returned from serving a mission in South Africa, decided he would cook the meal and tickle our taste buds with the flavors of his adopted South African land.  He turned on some African music,  set out some figurines, got out the curry, (the spice of choice) and donned his Nelson Mandela apron.

He worked hard, chopping, barbecuing, grating, frying and mixing.  It all turned out to be delicious! 
We had Borewors, (farmer sausage.  I won't tell you what my dad said about the look of it.)

Pap (white corn meal)

with tomato gravy,

Chakalaka (beans with onion, garlic, and grated carrots)

and pumpkin fritters (that's the cinnamon pancake-looking treat)

Thanks to Jordan,

we experienced a different culture last night!
Let me just say, that food sticks to your ribs!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reminders and Recipe

It's good to have reminders of all the blessings I have...

...and how to look for the good things, even in trials.

Miracles don't need to happen

to know each day is a gift!

Speaking of abundant blessings, do you have any zucchini left in your garden or grated in your freezer?  Here's a delicious recipe from Laura at Real Mom Kitchen.  She has it as a cake.  We decided to make cupcakes from the recipe.  Absolutely delicious!  We made them for the yard sale and they were a hit!. 

Pineapple Zucchini Cake
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (can Use All White Flour If You Don't Have This, I used all white)
1-¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
Freshly Grated Nutmeg, To Taste (1/4 To 1/2 Tsp
1 Pinch Ginger (about 1/16 Tsp Or So
3 Tablespoons Canola or vegetable Oil
2 whole Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Grated (unpeeled) Zucchini (I peeled most of mine)
1 (20 Oz.) Can Crushed Pineapple In Juice, Drained (reserve juice for frosting)


2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
8 Ounces Low-fat Cream Cheese, Softened (can Use Full-fat Cream Cheese)
2 Cups Powdered Sugar, Approx.
2 Teaspoons pineapple juice
Chopped Walnuts Or Pecans (optional to go on top of the cake)

Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
Combine oil, eggs, and vanilla; stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated zucchini, and pineapple into flour mixture. Batter will be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together. If it still seems too dry, just add a little splash of the pineapple juice.

Spoon batter into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for about 33-35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs and cake is pulling away from sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Spoon batter in cupcake liners.  Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until center springs up when touched. (Makes 24 cupcakes)

To prepare frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and pineapple juice just until smooth. Add a splash of milk or more pineapple juice if necessary (I didn't need any). Spread frosting over top of cake. You can garnish with chopped pecans or walnuts (Right before serving), if desired.

And this recipe can be turned into a Carrot Cake just by substituting shredded carrots for the zucchini.

To all my friends, Have a Good Day!