Friday, July 30, 2010

My Favorite Pasttime and a Review of "The Roadshow"

My favorite thing to do, when I don't have anything else to do, or when I don't want to do anything else, is read.  I've loved books since the day I could hold a Goldenbook in my hand and chew the corner.  I remember summers, as a child, having my chores to do while Mom and Dad were at work.  My chores were: clean everything in the house, weed the garden, mow the lawn, wash the clothes, hang clean clothes on the line and take care of the pet.  My older brother might say that list was his chores, but I know that's not true.  My baby sister, when asked what her jobs were in the summer, would probably have a cute smile on her face, a far-away look in her eyes and dreamily say, "What are chores?"  Yeah, being the middle child, I was definitely picked on! (Whatever you do, don't ask my brother and sister about that, their memory isn't as good as mine)
We had a table top swamp cooler that was used to cool the house in the summer.  We'd pour ice and water in the back, to wet the cooling pads. It was usually in the kitchen and cooled only the room where it was located. 
After doing ALL my chores, I'd sit in front of that cooler and read books that I had checked out from the library.  If Nancy Drew was included in the library books, I was one happy girl. All this remembrance brings me to the reason for my post.

  I recently read Braden Bell's new book, "The Roadshow".

This book took my breath away.  From the first chapter, Braden develops believable and likeable characters.  I could easily relate to most of their struggles.  It is set in an LDS community but is not "preachy" of LDS doctrine.  The focus is on human strengths, weaknesses and Christian promises of Christ's love and healing power.  The story deals with some weighty, real-life issues but is peppered with humor.  It's a quick read that lifts and inspires. You should put this on your "books to read this summer" list and then read it.  You'll be glad you did.  A word of warning, don't plan on getting your chores done, you won't want to put it down.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Project and Cool Tape Trick

This project under the apricot tree has taken up all of our weekend and the past few days.  Since nothing but weeds will grow in the shade of the gargantua apricot tree, we decided it was time to turn the eye-sore into a place of beauty.  We had to dig down 8 inches to make room for the gravel and sand.

After laying down weed barrier, we brought in gravel.  This handsome guy is my son-ion-law, Andy the Younger. (Yeah, it can be confusing to have 2 Andys in the family)  We invited our family to the parade on the 24th then recruited them to help!  We couldn't have done it without them! 

After tamping down the sand, we're ready for the jig-saw puzzle with the flag stones.

Here's Andy the Elder taking a 30 second break from the hot, grueling work.

A little bit of moss between the stones and we're ready to use this patio extension.  We'll need an umbrella though, not for the shade, but to protect us from falling apricots!

Now for the cool tape trick.  My good friend, Joan, (she's the one who invited me to China) brought over some beautiful sunflowers for my birthday.  She used a trick to make it easier to arrange the flowers.   

She made a grid on top of the vase with scotch tape.  Isn't that cool?  It holds the flowers in place and you don't need a smaller vase or more flowers to make a beautiful bouquet. I decided to make an arrangement using the tape and some gladiolas from my yard.  I'd suggest putting your water in the vase first. 


Have a lovely day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sixty and Counting!

Happy 60th Birthday to Andy!
When someone is this cute, how can you not have a picture parade?

Andy, the oldest, on the left with 4 of his 5 siblings.  Look at those freckles!  If the pic was in color, you'd see that his hair is red.

He was a Super Man even at the age of 17!  Bear Lake has the best sun for a sunburn!  Ouch!

I wasn't his first love.  Bessie, the car he drove in high school, is still in the family.

I took this picture outside our basement apartment, shortly after we were married.  Debonair, don't you think?

Always playing sports, he made the cover of the Utah Power and Light magazine. He's almost as high as the guy in the middle!  Go Andy!

My favorite picture!  You're welcome to copy this pose for your "love" pictures! Not sure why we had it taken.  We'd been married almost 2 years and it was B.C   Trying to figure out who has the most hair, me or him.  I think his moustache is a little thicker than mine though!

Here we are today.  Did I mention it's my birthday also?  (Thanks, Mom and Dad)
You can tell by the number of candles on our cakes, that Andy definitely robbed the cradle!

Happy Birthday, Honey!  Hope we can share many more!


Friday, July 23, 2010


I'm talking apricots! 
They're about 3 weeks behind because of the cool weather we had in June, but they're getting ready!  Today I picked 2 buckets of these golden fruits.

There are still a gazillion apricots in the tree!

This is the view from the ladder.  It's a long way down.

Here's the view from the ground.  Jake and friend climbed to the roof to alleviate the strain on the branches.

Here's my favorite way to pick apricots.  Cut off the brances and pick 'em

without having to reach! You can see I'll get rid of them any way I can!

Believe me, with all the apricots picked and cut off, it hasn't made even a fraction of a dent!  I NEED YOUR HELP!  You know you want these.  I'll even pick 'em for you!  All you have to do is let me know and I'll either take them to your house, meet you somewhere or you can come to my house!  See how easy that is? 
You can email me at and we can make arrangements.


Here's what's going on under the apricot tree!  Nothing grows in the shade of this tree except weeds!  It has been an eyesore for years and we're tired of pulling weeds so Andy has dug down about 8 inches. He has wheelbarrowed the dirt into the utility trailer and dumped it at a farm.  He handles every shovelful of dirt 3 times!  It's a lot of hard work!

This is what's waiting for him when he gets home from work today!  He and the wheelbarrow are getting quite a work out!  Just so you don't think I'm a slacker, I have helped him...a little!  You'll see the finished result in a week or so.

The old saying, "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger", rings true in this case.  Hopefully he'll make it to his 60th birthday on Monday!
Maybe a nice apricot shake will give him strength!
Email me...please!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Restaurant Fodder

Yesterday, Jordan and I ran some errands.  Because it was waaay past lunch time and we were starving, we stopped at a restaurant to get a sandwich.  I ordered the turkey with cranberry sauce and tons of veggies!  We sat in an overflow section of the restaurant and waited for our food.  A group of 3 women were sitting at the table next to us.  I'm assuming these women were friends who hadn't seen each other for a while and were catching up on old times.  They had already eaten and were just visiting.  The woman who was facing me, talked about being a kindergarten teacher.  I immediately related to her.

Our food arrived and we hungrily ate. Since it's impolite to talk with your mouth full, we were quiet and had the privilege of over-hearing the conversation at the next table.

Kindergarten Woman - "Did you know that the flesh will continue to rot?"
Me - "So, Jordan, that's exciting you and Chelsey have found a place to live!"
KW - "They had to put in a drain, you wouldn't believe the blood and pus!"
I take a bite of my sandwich, the cranberry sauce drips on to my plate.
KW - "He had a Pee Bag!"
What?  This is getting out of hand.  My sandwich is looking less appetizing.  I stare at the woman hoping she gets the hint that there are others in the restaurant.  Not sure what I'd do if she actually looked at me; maybe wrinkle up my nose and shake my head, like you'd do to a kindergarten student who has said some potty words, or put my fingers in my ears and say, "la, la, la, la!"  However, she never looked my way.
Me - "Jordan, when's your next Army weekend?"
(Maybe if we keep talking we won't be able to hear her.  Nope, didn't work.)
KW - "He has a colostomy bag.  Every time we change it...."
By this time my heart goes out to this person who is suffering so much. If it's this woman's husband, son, or Dad, I feel sorry for her this appropriate restaurant conversation?
I wrap up the rest of my sandwich, not really hungry any more, then Jordan and I leave. 
There's a lot of suffering in this world. 

On a lighter side, I found $15.00 in my pants pocket this morning! 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tour de Donut - Riding a Bike is Fun to Do...

Saturday dawned bright and early as we loaded the bikes, water, fanny pack,(don't leave home wihout it) camera, our sweet tooth and headed for American Fork to participate in the 3rd Annual Tour de Donut!

Here we are before the race begins.  Jordan and Chelsey, the future Mr. & Mrs., rode a tandem bike that turned out to be a real piece of junk!  They had to end early and took the bike back for a full refund! Too bad!  They look awfully cute!

Andy and I are all smiles because my derrier wasn't screaming in pain at the time!(Now I know why some spandex shorts are padded in the rear)

Camille getting hy - drated before the race!  Speaking of Camille, they announced several times before and after the race that they appreciate,  "Camille from 'Make It Work Mom' for blogging about the race".  They sang her praises then added, "Her mom, Connie, also blogged about us!"  For a second, I was famous!

We did 3 - 7 mile laps.  At the end of the first two laps, we ate donuts.  They were delicious and I thought I could scarf down several but, I must admit, I failed!  I ate only 1 donut at the end of each 7 mile lap! That was a total of 2 donuts!  I just couldn't do it.  Some people ate 20 or more!  One woman smashed 2 donuts together, poured water over them and shoved them in her mouth!  It was a warm morning and all I wanted was water!

(picture from TourdeDonut website)
This is the benefit of having a fanny pack:  remove camera with sticky donut hands,  take a picture of the only other bicyclists on the road and show that they're so far ahead they're almost a memory. (Sigh)  The course was super!  It was flat, along country roads, traffic was minimal and it was well marked. 

I love great big green letters that spell the word "FINISH"!  I found out I came in 3rd in my age group - 55 and older! (I won't mention there were only 4 of us)  I came across the finish line a few minutes before the actual winner, but because she consumed 8 donuts, she had a better net time.

It was fun to share the time with family.  Below is my son-in-law, and Baby Aly right after crossing the finish line .

We were concerned about a 4-month-old riding in the trailer that far in the heat but this is what Aly thought of the whole ordeal!  A little sweaty, a lot smiley!

We posed for our victory picture!  Though we really didn't win, we had a lot of fun and finished with no casualties!  I was very proud of Mr. Cy and Miss Em! 

It was great fun, well organized, good exercise and proceeds went to a good cause.  We're planning on doing it again next year.  Hope you will join us!

p.s. Did I mention I won a raffle?  Free eyebrow waxing!  Woo-hoo!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pinata Breaking at it's Finest!

Pinatas are fun for parties!   At our house, we've had pinatas for Mother's Day, Graduation,  Mission Farewells, kids cleaning their rooms, just about any time is pinata time! 
First you need a pinata.
(google image)
It can be any shape, size, or color; store bought or homemade.

(google image)
Now you need the candy. You can get any kind of candy to stuff into the crevice of the pinata. If I'm trying to watch my sweet intake, I will get the candy that will pull my fillings out, loosen a crown, chip a tooth and isn't chocolate! (I don't consider Tootsie Rolls to be chocolate)  At our last party, I put the candy in individual baggies to prevent the older kids from scooping up the lion's share of the candy and the younger ones from crying because their older sibling, cousin, or grandma got more than them.

You need a rope, twine, or heavy string to hang the pinata from a tree, a swing set,  clothes line, etc.

Next, you need someone intimidating to make sure the rules are followed.
If Troy, with a squirt gun, isn't intimidating enough...

...maybe Unca Dave will do. 
(Is this the terrorist that Dan wrote about from my plane ride?)

Provide something sturdy for hitting the pinata; 
a bowling pin,

tennis racket,

or, if the enforcer uses the blindfold to immobilize your arms, use your head!

A blind fold

and a little spinning (recognize Jacob's birthday outfit?)

adds to the fun, especially for those who are watching. 

When the body of the pinata is separated from the head and the candy won't come out, because it's in baggies, duct tape it together so the fun can continue.

Some pinatas are subborn and won't give up the candy.  That's when the "experts" take over.

Some Kung-Fu kicks,

  a surprise attack,

and a break over the knee,

usually does the trick.

C8's face relects what everyone was thinking, "All that work and this is what we got!"

I need to step it up a notch next time!  Any suggestions?