Friday, August 31, 2012

oh, do I love friday ....

especially when I'm not going anywhere for the weekend.
When there aren't appointments to run, just a life to straighten out a bit.
Start with the mail pile, move on to juggling and guestimating PTO balances at work,
kitchen mostly spiffy, and on to the fun stuff.
I've probably said this a milliion times, but grocery shopping is
just not my favorite thing in the world to do.
However, sale shopping ranks very high on my list.
It took me a little bit to get back into the groove of cash and sale shopping after
being gone for a while ... but I'm back in the mode again.
Back to this morning ... ads, coupons (I really rarely use them) and the menu plan.

Often times the menu plan goes by what is in the cupboard or the freezer and what I'm in the mood for. Just because pork was on sale last week didn't mean we ate it. I bought it. We didn't eat it ... yet.
That seems to be the way I roll over here.

I'm not carting little people around so it is much easier for me to do this.
I ran through 3 grocery stores today and grabbed the sale items that I wanted.
Jari wanted to come along when I was leaving.
Me: Ummmm. You do realize that I'm bopping in and out of 4 stores?
Him: Oh. Guess I'll stay home.
I actually went to 3 stores, came home to unload, picked him up and went to Costco.

We all come to a point where we're sick of cooking the same thing and have a problem coming up with something new. This calendar thing on my wall really does look like a calendar. The weeks look like weeks and have 7 days going across. Just making sure you don't think I've completely lost it over here. I sort of filled in the overall plan. I have had a moment or two where someone will actually start cooking something from seeing it on the board. You never know when that might happen, so I'm going to try using this system again. In all likelihood, on Monday I won't feel like making what I had on the plan and will want it on Thursday instead. There might be a night where there are no kids home and the meal plan dwindles into soup and a grilled cheese sandwich or an omelet. That's the way it goes over here. Note that my grocery budget does not include things like salmon and halibut. Those are stock piled in the freezer. Yippee! The rest of it ... it's all accounted for I think.

I didn't make it grocery shopping until late this morning, but had time to push my special little mower around the yard, pick up trash back there (read that dog stuff) and clean the pool. Yes, I know I have kids. I just don't sit easily or well when there are things to get done. My lawn rake has apparently had a bit too much sun. When every swipe of the rake yielded a few more broken off ends ... I called that little piece quits and moved on to the plastic bags. One as a glove and the other to hold the accumulation.

Quits in the raking department. I did notice that the handle is incredibly long, straight and begging to be remade into something other than a rake handle. Not today tho. Other projects are screeching at me and the house is empty again for the next little while. Alyx is working, Brock is at school, Anna is gone to Lake Powell (read weeping with jealousy right there) and Tia is off babysitting.

I think I'll take a nap and dream of ideas.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

when you travel

What sits by your feet on teh floor of the front seat of the car?
Does anything sit there or do you have room to shift in your seat when the road gets long?
Not me.
I can barely find enough room to plant my feet on the floor.
There is usually a bag of some sort, a purse and sometimes even a backpack.
I really wish I had a picture of reality for you.
The bag is always filled with magazines from the pile that has grown at home.
I have a few favorite magazines and usually don't manage to sit down and read
them when at home, but they're great on a car trip.
I still feel horrible about doing this, but I actually pitched some in a trash can
outside a gas station on our Minnesota trip. Done and gone.
See how the pages are folded in half?
The fit better in the side pocket of the car door that way.
I page through the magazines and rip out pages of things I like.
It might be food. It might be an idea for crafting.
It might be a website that has something fun.
It is whatever catches my eye that day.
My version of Pinterest. I've been doing this for a long time.
After I oohed and aahed at something while Jari was driving,
he wanted to see what had caught my eye.
He asked me to save the page!
Me thinks there might be hope for some joint crafting someday.

Mondays at work are a bit painful. Getting the brain ready for a 4:30 start in the morning after
a weekend of staying up late just causes a serious challenge.
This evening I put my feet up, grabbed the piles laying around here and managed to
load up the rest of the recycle dumpster!

Maybe I especially enjoy flipping through pages because I can pick and choose what I want to
take away with me. Like having cake for breakfast and losing weight while doing it.
If you know me at all ... I'm all about that!
There are also the photos and quotes that call out to me and
echo the sounds of my own heart.

And being as I worked today and did make dinner ....
some feet up time was definately in order.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

per your request

... and our discussion several weeks ago ... I did it!!

Notice the left side of this page.
It now lists something called Out & About in Arizona.
Back when I actually carried a calendar in my purse it was highlighted in different colors.
I really don't remember, but it went something like this:

Blue for school
Red for appointments like the dentist
Yellow for church activities

I would also add fun things like a Peach Festival here or an antique show there or a parade somewhere else. Sometimes we made it to these things, often times we didn't. I always dreamed of making it to everything and life just seemed to interrupt that process. Dreaming counts for something!

One thing that is sometimes a challenge is figuring out where to take the family on a days outing.
The challenge becomes even bigger when every place seems to have a price tag involved, namely
the price of admission to a museum or the like. So, in my list making I've left off many of those kinds of things. I'm sure there are numerous things out there to go and experience .... I've added just a few to the sidebar. I have to tell you that I don't even know where all of these places are. That may make it worth the journey itself. To go out and discover something new. Some of these places may not charge admission, but I have a feeling it might be cheaper than all the Fry Bread and Funnel Cake you may end up chowing down.

If I can manage to make it to even one of them myself, I'll definately let you know!

If I run across something else going on somewhere I'll add it to the list. If you hear of something, let me know!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

sticks for flowers

There are several distinct disadvantages to leaving all this behind and moving back to life in the city.
In addition to the lack of fresh tomatoes, zucchini and rhubarb (especially rhubarb) growing, I have no sticks. What is a girl to do when she has no woods full of dead sticks laying at her disposal?

One day I looked around and didn't see much other than palm trees ... and mesquite trees.
The mesquite trees had some branches that looked a bit promising.

Of course, I wouldn't have had this grand idea in the middle of winter when the air is deliciously cool. No, this idea would hit in the dead of summer. So, after a dip in what probably qualifies for nearly a kiddie pool, I set to picking branches and avoiding ant hills. Those buggers are vicious on bare toes!

While green branches may work great for other things, my branches needed to dry out a bit. Being as humdity at this time of year is not a problem here, it probably took about 2 minutes.

Once the sticks were dry, they were ready for paint. Being as I am one of those use whatever you have kind of people, I started digging. Freezer paper (still working on using it up before Christmas wrapping starts) to cover the counter, and some black paint. First I used up the last of the spray paint (from some previous project) and then moved on to sponging on paint to finish up the job.

While the sticks were drying, it was time to play with paper. Here, I didn't take any photos of making the little paper flowers. There are plenty of tutorials online to be found. I've done these before and just wanted some more hanging around filling a small piece of my world.

I would prefer a little larger flowers .... maybe later.
For now, I have a stick supply.

Now I keep seeing all these cute ideas for Christmas that involve even more sticks. The tree is probably ready for a decent trimming, but I may not need to. The neighbors trimmed theirs and rather than pitch their own trimmings into their trash bins, they left it on my side of the fence. Being as we forgot to put the dumpster out on Thursday night (and it was already full), there is no hope of getting the neighbors trimmings into the dumpster anytime soon. Might be just long enough for me to go trim off a bunch of sticks for some of those Christmas projects that involve white paint and sparkles.

Friday, August 24, 2012

cookies for lunch

I haven't made a school lunch in forever. Occasionally I get on a good roll and make my lunches for work, but that is incredibly sporadic. Lunch packing has always been a challenge over here. While I was at Mother & Daughter Camp several weeks ago, I managed to get in on a conversation about premaking and prepackaging lunches. Thanks to Caroline ... I am giving this a whirl. Probably not for me, but it will certainly help out a few of my offsprings.

Yesterday I had a short day at work and decided to make some cookies when I got home. I typically don't use shortening for anything ... but rather than using all butter (as I much prefer to do!), I used the trusty Pampered Chef tool and filled it with my shortening. Pushed that bugger up and plopped it in the bowl along with the butter and sugars. On to the adding and mixing. At some point I realized that the mix in the bowl was a wee bit on the wet side. Argh! 1 cup of shortening instead of 1/2 cup had gone into the bowl. Double the recipe and go for caloric intake. I usually don't put butterscotch chips in anything either. I'm not really fond of them. But may as well clean out bags in the cupboard so in they went along with the chocolate.

 And yes .... I'll still eat them!

On to the bagging. What possessed me to buy lunch bags without zippers on them is beyond me, but they worked for this new experiment of mine.

I bagged 3 cookies into each bag, tied or zipped them closed and stacked them in the freezer door. And yes .... a double batch makes a few more than this. The rest are out in the freezer garage. We should be good for weeeeks!

Now all they need to do is grab a bag and plop it in the lunch box.
Alyx is going to test the freezing of peanut butter jelly sandwiches when she goes to work tonite. I've got one of those freezing right now for her. Next we'll try the meat and cheese variety as Brock prefers those in his lunch!

Today it has been a lazy kind of day. Maybe not lazy, but I feel like I'm not accomplishing much of anything. The head is slogging from too much coffee and not nearly enough water. The pool got cleaned, the lawn mowed, a trip to Goodwill done with Alyx. We found a few goodies there which was fun!

Being as it has been so hot, the pulla baking has been nonexistent. When it hits 115 ... Schwan's gets my vote. However, it has been below 100 all day today and then I was treated to a sky that looked like this.

I promptly ran for the pulla ingredients after confirming with my dear hubby that we can stay home this evening. Pulla dough is rising and guess what? The clouds went elsewhere and the sky is blue. Maybe tomorrow we'll see some more rain.

Monday, August 20, 2012

camping in the cool

We headed up camping on Friday and were able to spend some quality time .....

on the freeway ....

with plenty of other people ...

stretched as far as the eye could see.

We did finally make it to our camping spot after driving in and out of several (in the dark)
looking for the perfect spot. In the light of morning it was absolutely perfect!

It has been a while since we tent camped for a weekend.
I think I'm ready to go again next month and believe that
 Duke might agree most heartily with me.
He was in doggy heaven being out of the heat for a while.

We got our naps in here and there ....
the dog more than anyone else!

Saying it is a bit easier camping these days for our family might be a gross understatement.
I well remember (at least I think I might remember a smidgeon) the days of camping with littles.

I have to say that it is a treat to enjoy them during the day and then not have to
put them to bed at night.
I think I've gotten a little spoiled.
Maybe by the next time we're all out in the woods together Dustyn will be walking!

I don't know what the odds are of running into traffic backups going both ways,
especially when the problem both times was a semi on fire but beat the odds we did.
We didn't wait as long on the way home, inching our way along again for a time.
Better than the parking lot on the way up.

We were able to introduce Alexandra to camping which was fun.
She had never been and is willing to go again ... just maybe not next week!

I'm grounding myself for the next few weeks.
I've been gone the past 3 weekends in a row.
It is time to stay home for a few minutes.


Alyx started her job today with opening eyeballs at 5:00 a.m.
Brock started school today and drew the afternoon class so he can work mornings.
Anna & Tia went off with Jenny for the afternoon and aren't home yet.
Jari is off trying to figure out why his truck does the death wobble on the freeway at 75mph.

None of them are home and I made the mistake of cooking something that resembles food.
Leftovers really need to be renamed around here as they don't last long.
I would much rather they disappeared fast and furious down someone's fuel intake than give me constant science projects.
May as well go swish another load of laundry while I still can.
I'm almost ready to install one of those Take A Number machines next to the washer and dryer.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

shoo fly ... now go away

It has been so beastly hot that even the flies are trying to head inside.
And, despite the fact that we don't have littles running in and out, they're managing.
The shade of the patio was starting to feel like the backside of the barn,
with more fly shooing than north country mosquito swatting going on.

Recently I had pinned this on Pinterest and figured I'd give it a try.
I've been avoiding walking into WalMart or Target so am out of Ziploc bags.
For some reason, I have a box of gallon size bags with ties sitting in the drawer
taking up space so I gave it a whirl.
Each bag is filled with water (I probably overfilled them) and I added 5 pennies to each.
I have no clue what the pennies are about, but I saw one place where they added
one penny to the bag and another place where they added 5 pennies.
Being as our change jar is a bottomless one, I figured I could stand to part with 10 pennies. 

I hung a bag at each end of the patio in the heat of the afternoon
when it was probably 115F and expected instant results.
It took until the next day.
The flies were not giving in easily and it was much cooler hanging out on my clean laundry,
under the cover of shade, than flying off somewhere else.
The second day, and since then, I usually have one fly keeping me company.
I'll take his company.
His entire relationship took off and left him behind.
He's probably lonely.

Apparently, the reason this works is that a flies eye is actually
hundreds of eyes and they don't like the reflection of light.
Whatever the reason ... I'm grateful to Pinterest and this website (from where it was pinned)
 on natural fly repellant that has given me peace while enjoying the summer outdoors!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

mother and daughter camp

where the air is cooler, the sun feels warmer and I was able to wear a jean jacket for an hour.
Maybe two hours. I sort of lost track of time.

Tia, Anna, Aimee and Bethany rode up to camp with me on Friday. Tia said it was the funnest ride she has had up there. We took the car and let me tell you .... it was a barrel of laughs. The car sort of had a mishap last winter and when there is weight in the back seat (never mind the trunk was full) the passenger side rear tire rubs on something at every dip or bump in the road. Aimee probably needs a chiropractic adjustment after riding on that side of the car. We could probably rename her Angling Aimee. That was all before we hit the camp road. I've been driving the truck up to camp ... not the car. Since the last time we were there it rained a great big gulley washer and we had some serious ouch moments for the bottom of my car. We made it and I'm so glad these girls came along .. even if three of them ditched me and came back a bit earlier.

We were able to enjoy flag raising and Morning Devotion on Saturday outdoors. The sun was bright enough that some of us found shade to sit in. Presentations for the remainder of camp were held indoors. We had good reminders and I wonder what all those little girls took home with them. I am always amazed that so many of these young people aren't scared to get up in front of a crowd of people and put together a rip roaring howling skit. They aren't afraid to speak when a microphone is put in front of them. I would have turned 59 shades of red and not been able to open my mouth at that age! 

I just love the peace of this special place. Visits around coffee cups at night and water bottles during the day. Friends to share our journeys with. Friends to help us ..... from great tips on packing kids' lunches to sharing the joys of being mothers and daughters. Sunshine filled weekend capped off by a good bout of rain.

Not that I'm counting or anything ... in about 23 days, 2 hours and 29 minutes I can head back up there again. I wouldn't be anxious now, would I?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

a day in jerome

Sometime the middle of July about two days after I came home from Minnesota
and a day after Jari headed for Alaska,
Ronda and I headed to Jerome for the day.
We really weren't interested in museums or mine tours.
I was more in tune with browing shops, having lunch and clicking a shutter. 

Being as shops and lunch didn't take too many hours, we headed for Flagstaff
to get in some visiting time.
I'm doing this again .... sometime soon.

I'm attempting the scheduled publishing.
If this should show up on the blog over the weekend, it doesn't mean I'm blogging.:)
I'll be at Kamp. Most likely with very scattered internet access.

Friday, August 10, 2012

thursdays ....

are grub nite over here. For now ... it works. Lately I've been working shorter days on Thursdays. Here's positive thinking. By the time I'm working longer Thursdays, I'll come home and dinner will be served. Positive or delusional? Maybe a wee bit of both.

I did get cranky yesterday. The temp was somewhere in the 100 teens. The air conditioner running nonstop and not cooling the house below 84ish degrees. About the time the oven had to be turned on I was sort of losing it. I could have nearly died for a dip in my little swimming pool but didn't think I had time. Enough of the cranky. The hard work was done in the kitchen ... without any photos. Shoot!

I did get one while I was still at work. How many potatoes do we peel? I have to say that I did some gulping when I saw this picture come via text. Uhm. Cut down that number please ... these things are mammoth!

When you teach your children to cook, do you start with simple stuff or do you start with tripling recipes? May as well do it BIG ... we went for the tripling of Salmon Chowder. Anna probably developed caluses from the vegie peeler and the dicing knife. It probably qualifies for Marine boot camp in the kitchen. Red Lobster cheese biscuits (I found the recipe I really wanted after the ones we made came out of the oven.) added a bit more to the menu. The poor child won't know how to cook for 2 when we sort of planned to feed about 22 last evening. I really have an ulterior motive going on here. I'm counting down the days years that I'm doing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Don't tell these girls of mine!

It isn't just about the food and it really doesn't have anything to do with my New Years Resolution, but it is a great way to shareour lives with others. A great time for food, fun and fellowship.

Clockwise from upper left: Dustyn (the sole child in the group last evening), Carita Keranen & Ben Wuollet, table of Monopoly Deal,
Ken & Betty Forstie, Bethany Simonson & Anna, Logan Simonson

We'll see who is here next Thursday ... it may be the same crew. They all know what is on the menu.

This morning (and it's time to shag girls to school work as soon as I hit publish over here) I've managed to give up on my scrapbooking program, back up photos to the external hard drive and enjoy a few hours of peace and quiet (the older I get the more I appreciate it!) playing on the laptop. Time to hit the pool, spin another couple loads of laundry ... and pack for camp. The girls and I are headed up to Kamp Kipa this afternoon for Mother & Daughter Camp. Yippee!!! The temp there was a breezy 81F yesterday. You have no idea how ready I am for that.

My July photo project is still underway ... it might just end up being July of 2013 if it takes any longer. August was splendidly cool. I did have to cheat and use one picture from my phone because I loved it and wanted to capture it.