Sunday, November 30, 2008

Overdue Gratitude

As I look at the last week - I realize that I am grateful for so many things. Here are a few of them (not necessarily in order of importance):

Health - (especially after the nasty Thanksgiving Day virus that hit my family and I)
Home - a place where I feel safe and loved - my own oasis and haven in the tumultuous world
Family - both my micro and macro. They give me the strength to be, and the freedom to be me. They love for my accomplishments and even my faults (I think) They also help me to laugh!
My freedoms - the opportunity to believe in whatever I want
Employment - there are many who aren't employed right now - my heart and prayers go out to them
Enough - I have food on my table, clothes on my back - possibly much more than many others in the world
Love - those I love and those that love me
Laughter - it keeps the world going, and gets me through difficult times
Friends - those who lift me and pick me up when I need it most
Life - birds, flowers, sunshine, blue skies, green grass and children's laughter
Books - they take me away when I need a quick escape
Adventures - something to dream about
Future - something to plan for
My husband - someone to dream and plan with
Air - clean mountain air to breathe
Stars - to sit on my porch and watch (with minimal light pollution thanks to our town's night sky ordinance!)
Roads - to get around on (when they are open)
Cars - that work
A furnace- need I elaborate?
Children - the promise of tomorrow and their laughter and excitement
Agency - being able to make my own choices and mistakes and be accountable for my actions
Music - where would my life be without it? I'd be expressionless!

I'm sure I could go on and on, but I stop there. Moving along, we had some family come in for Thanksgiving, which we celebrated early on Wed. It was a fairly simple meal, yet enjoyable. Thursday morning I woke up quite early feeling sick (I hadn't felt great on Wed.) and was thrilled when I started to feel better that evening. One of my children got sick Thurs. pm, and my husband the next evening. Needless to say - I am extremely grateful for modern day inventions such as indoor plumbing!
We enjoyed our guests - thanks for braving the weather, and for not being offended when I couldn't properly entertain.

Following are some photos of our dinner. We had the fairly traditional meal - turkey, potatoes & gravy, yams and apples, (candied yams for my brother) cheesy beans, homemade wheat rolls, homemade cranberry sauce (with raisins and walnuts,)and my favorite salad followed later by the pies.

Here we are out for pizza the night before

Dad and the girls hanging out and keeping out of the kitchen that morning

The Turkey

Check out the facial expression on some of these characters!

The pies
Lemon Meringue


Emeril's Banana Cream

(Pumpkin - Not pictured)


The finished puzzle

Finally - on another much less grateful note:

The Birds - my girls saw these on our neighbor's houses. It seemed too 'Hitchcockish' not to photograph. Kind of eerie!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finally Finished!

So, I've been working on this project for a while, and even posted the unfinished product earlier. Here is the final quilted and finished product, just in time for Christmas!

Here's the front

And obviously the back

Monday, November 17, 2008

I guess it has been a while and I should post. This past week I've been pondering some of the changes that are hitting our nation. Suddenly, some of my beliefs have come under virulent attack and I've been interested to feel my own emotions and reactions to these attacks.
Last week I spent a lot of time working on some cleaning projects. While I worked, I listened to the past General Conference. As I listened to some of the talks, I was amazed at HOW much they applied to today, now, especially in response to the backlash from some of the recent election issues. I was particularly impressed with a talk given by Elder Robert D. Hales and Elaine Dalton. They both talked about standing firm and not lowering our standards. No matter what others may say, or what the public opinion may hold, there are absolutes. Some things are wrong no matter how they are painted, and some are right. I've just been thinking about this quite a bit lately. Yep - lots of controversial stuff, but it's been on my mind.

On another note, the food storage challenge is over. We somehow survived. And, apparently, despite their rapturous statements, my kids do NOT like the powdered milk. I think the novelty wore off after um... one glass?
One thing that was tough was being asked to take dinner to someone who was sick, and then the next week being asked to take two dinners to the school teachers. We made chile one day, rice and eastern indian food and I just forgot everything else we did, but we survived. I did find that I need some powdered eggs, cheese and butter. I was surprised to realize how often we just use those types of ingredients and don't really realize it.
I'm sure all of our local grocers will be thrilled to know that the challenge is over as I'm sure they were affected by the challenge as well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Lots going on - sorry about the slacking.

Do you really want my food storage menu from the week?
Monday - Homemade tomato soup and green chile cornbread
Tuesday - Curried vegetables and rice
Wednesday - Fried chicken, au gratin potatoes and veggies (I finally learned to make the chicken and it worked!!)
Thursday - Stew and homemade wheat bread
Friday - work party - yuppie appetizers
Weekend - lost cause...we spent the weekend out of town. My husband got to make up for some lost time this summer (all of those girls'cations we did without him) and hang with the kids for two days. Might I say - he's been in bed tonight since 8:15 pm. :)

So being out of town sort of skewed the food storage thing - I heard they had McDonald's for breakfast. Mexican for lunch (I joined them for a moment), and Perkins (similar to Village Inn) for dinner. Sunday was hotel breakfast, leftover take out and some fresh fruits, veggies, bread, and Halloween candy, with a dinner of tacos back at home. I can just hear how jealous my readers are, and almost see you salivating.

We'll see how next week goes. My kids did state that they wished we could always drink powdered milk - they think it tastes great!

In regards to our trip, well - the snow is officially flying. As we traveled early Sat. am, we happened upon VERY icy roads. As we started down a pass, we saw a car that had moments before slid off of the road and rolled several times moments before it resting upon its roof. We called 911. On our way home we came upon another accident. I swear my blood pressure never goes down between November until June - I really need a winter home somewhere else!

On another note, a friend sent me a link regarding some negative press and religious protestations occurring in several areas in regards to some recent ballot issues. I was amazed at how skewed and biased the articles that I've read have been. I spent some time tonight on the website in the newsroom. If you haven't taken the time, I'd recommend spending some time hanging out there. There is a particularly informative article which is a transcript from an interview with Elders Oaks and Whitman on some of the issues.

And finally on a much lighter note (no pun intended,) one of our kids started singing in her sleep at 4:00 am this morning. I kid you not - singing. 3 different songs, then went back to sleep - well, she was already asleep, but back to where ever she was. She is CONSTANTLY singing or humming, but I thought it was hilarious to note how much a part of her conscious and subconscious it has become. That's my girl!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The food storage challenge

Did you know that in 1913 over 7 feet of snow fell from one storm and 35 mi/hr winds were sustained in my area?
Living in our area, the accesses in and out are very limited. As such, if the road is closed, no one gets in or out. We've had avalanches that took two weeks to clear from the roads - the grocery stores were barren.
In church yesterday we discussed the importance of our being prepared. We were challenged to live off of our food storage for the next two weeks. The point was that it should give us a pretty good idea of what we might need, what we might like, and that we might also see how prepared we actually are.
Kind of interesting to think about - how would you do???

Well, we came home and my husband immediately inventoried our freezer and our pantry. We are up for the challenge - it will be interesting to see how we manage.

While we'd planned on a bigger meal for lunch, my daughter wanted breakfast for lunch so we fared with pancakes and spam (yum, I know.) After taking an easy day, we ended up with some peaches on toast for dinner.

I thought it would be fun to sort of journal this and see how we actually do.
I dare you to try it!