Monday, August 31, 2009

"can" i do it?

We got a chance to buy some peaches in bulk this week. I love to get fruit that is tree ripened. You just can't get that in the store. So I made some peach jam today and I experimented and made a peach/raspberry/blackberry combo also.Then for dinner I made a recipe called Peach Brown Betty, a cobblerish kind of thing. I think I've got enough fruit left to can a few pints of sliced peaches tonight. I'm forcing myself to say I'm going to do it tonight because I kind of want to wait and finish it tomorrow cuz I'm kind of tired. But the counters are sticky, the floor has been dripped on, the stove is a mess, every utensil in the kitchen is dirty, the canning pot is out of it's storage spot . . . . so I guess I need to just get it done and get the kitchen cleaned up. I am not entirely sure why this has to be such a messy procedure. For any other competent person it probably isn't.
Years ago when we were driving through Utah on our way back from our honeymoon, we picked up some cases of fruit in Brigham City. Dave and I did some canning together those first couple of weeks. It was fun. My mom had done some canning when we were growing up, although I don't remember being involved. Anyway, Dave was shocked that I didn't know how to can fruits and vegetables. I didn't think it was that big of a deal. There's a recipe. You just follow it. He has grand memories of his childhood on the farm spending hours each morning picking the fresh produce in the garden and spending days (weeks? months?) canning to fill the shelves for the winter. But here we were, two young kids living in an apartment in the inner city, both full time working and college . . . and he thought I was going to be canning regularly? I finally had to take him by the shoulders, look him straight in the eye and tell him, "They sell peas at Safeway. ALREADY IN A CAN! All we need is a can opener!"
That was the first of many many times he has been disappointed that he married me.

Monday, August 24, 2009

travel by numbers

1816 Number of miles round trip to Pocatello.
0 Number of miles I drove. (thanks Dave)
11 The number of police we saw between Phoenix and Flagstaff. (We didn't have to meet any of them thankfully)
120 Number of miles I slept in a deep comatose state on the way to Idaho.
9 The number of business calls we answered - business as usual from the cab of the truck on highway 89.
10 Minutes stopped at a scenic overlook of Lake Powell. We've driven by this turnoff for 25 years and never stopped.
1 gorgeous sunset in southern Utah.
45 Cost of a motel room in Panguitch Utah.
Actual conversation:
Me-"we might be arriving late."
Motel- "you know this is a small town right? So don't laugh when I tell you this. If you get here after the office closes, you will be in room 9, just let yourself in. We will leave the door unlocked and the lights on for you and the key on the table. If you need to leave in the morning before we open, just leave the key on the table and leave the door unlocked.
(well, alrighty then. . . )
12 Number of songs on my MP3 that begin with the word "Don't".
(I know, just random meaningless trivia I amused myself with on the road.)
11 Michael Jackson's age when he sang these lyrics, with all the heartfelt passion of an 11 year old boy:
"I don't know why I love you
I don't know, but I do
You never stop your cheating ways
with another guy, you laugh in my face
I know, cuz I feel disgrace
Can't stop, I can't stop crying, can't you see,
Here I'm pleading on my knees
Won't you help me please, cuz I love you."
54 Temperature at 6:38 a.m. in central Utah.
2 Number of adorable nephews we visited. ("great" nephews?? Dave's brother's grandsons)

2 toothaches. One each . . . what are the chances of that? We have a double date with the dentist when we get back to town.
3 Number of very nice repairs and services Dave did for his Dad while we were at his house.
11 Number of minutes that it takes to turn on a computer and get online and open up Facebook on a dial-up computer system. UGH.
5 Friends from Dave's high school we barbequed with.

12 Number of rides Dean gave around the neighborhood on his new Harley Davidson.
140 people attending Dave's high school class reunion.
135 Number of people I didn't know at the high school class reunion.
50 Percentage of songs the band played that weren't even 70's music.
90 Percentage of people at the reunion that didn't want to listen to the band anyway and hung out on the patio to visit.
10 Number of years we have to save up $ . . . 40th reunion will be on a cruise ship!
44 Homecoming queens immortalized in the halls of Highland High School.
3 Number of actual stuffed Rams that are in the hallways of the school. The local taxidermist had some good business with the school over the years. (I don't think we had any stuffed Bulldogs on our school campus. That would have been gross).
5 Number of relatives we got to visit with at father-in-law's house.
3 Fruit stands we shopped at in Brigham city, UT. This one seriously was self serve. Everything was packaged and priced and there was a box to put money in. ( . . . only in Utah!)
1 construction zone.. Will the road/bridge over Hoover dam EVER be finished??
98 Decibels of volume I needed on my MP3 earphones to drown out the fantasy/sci-fi audio book Dave was listening to.
5 Number of hours my MP3 battery failed me so I had to listen to Dave's book "Eragon" from Las Vegas to Phoenix. AAAAAGH!
14 Number of hours we drove straight through today. Why does sitting in a vehicle all day make a person so darn tired?

Friday, August 21, 2009

18 things i love about roxanne

You are sensible. You're good with your money. You love your social life. You are neat and clean. You hate clutter. You have great fashion sense. You love your sisters. You love your brother. You can cook quite well. You eat healthy. You are so darn smart. You can do hard things. You are self motivated. You have many many friends. You are a deep thinker. You can work hard. You were a gorgeous baby. You were a delightful two year old. You are a pretty easy teenager, too. You are independent. You have big plans for your college years. You have big plans for your life. (ok, that is more than 18, but you're just that wonderful!)
Happy Birthday!!!!
After 20+ years of really ugly birthday cakes in this house, I'm making an effort to break away and make some fun cakes this year. I used fondant for the first time today. Although there is a learning curve that I haven't quite mastered yet, it's pretty much like playing with play dough.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

i'd rather be sleeping

I hate this number:
(not the p.m. one, . . . just the a.m. one)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

my personal chef

Melanie passed me a note the other day before church began:
Melanie: What's for dinner tonight?
Me: Who knows? What do you want to cook for us?
Melanie: I have a portfolio of foods I can make. No worries, I'll make dinner.
Me: Really? You're willing to cook tonight? Do you need my help?
Melanie: No Ma'am. I am a one man band. The only think I need help with is finding my MP3. I've retraced my steps sooo many times. I really think I got jacked.
Me: You'd better do a thorough search for it today.
Melanie: Indeed I will. Do we have a plaid coat and a magnifying glass I can use after church?
Here's a video I found this week of Melanie cooking dinner for us when she was about 7??? How can you not love this girl?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

coming home

The last day of our trip was a bit anxiety inducing for me. We had one vehicle with a mechanical problem so we decided to take it in to town for a (hopefully) quick repair so we would feel safer getting home. We had to be out of our campsite by noon and we were short one adult and one vehicle to pack. It was like trying to organize a can of worms. Some of the girls had some camping experience (knew how to pack the tents properly etc), but many did not. Even getting the personal supplies sorted and packed was quite a chore - and the wet clothes and towels . . . everything was damp. We finally handed each girl a garbage bag for their wet, moist, sandy, dirty clothes and towels and made them pinky swear they would get the bag out of their suitcase right away when they got home so it all wouldn't mold.
Our drive home went pretty smooth. At about three hours into the trip, I told one girls stuck in the back of my car that she could trade seats at the next potty stop - which I think was about every 42 minutes at this point. I had to apologize to her when we got home because we went 4 1/2 hours without stopping! Two cars full of girls across two states without having to stop! Miracles do happen.
So, can you get any cuter than this? Here's the whole crew:
And the adults - Holly, Armella and I:
I've got to hand it to Holly. She runs a great little girl scout troop. She runs things by the book, safety first. She is forever enthusiastic about her troop. And I'm not joking about that. She's like the energizer bunny - she keeps going and going and going and going . . . . I don't know how she keeps her energy up. If anyone is looking for a fun girl scout troop for their daughter in Phoenix, let me know and I'll hook you up!

bicycles built for two

Holly chose a very adventurous activity for our last day. Sixteen people. Bicycling. In a group. It took absolutely forever for the rental company to equip sixteen people with bikes and helmets but the girls were (somewhat) patient and finally we were off.Here was the tricky part. Two of the girls in our group didn't know how to ride a bike. (I know, huh? I thought it was an American rite of passage for first graders, but I guess not.) Anyway, our plan was to rent a couple of tandems bikes and have the two girls ride with an adult. Here is what I heard coming from the back seat of my bike "WE'RE GOING TO FALL!!! OHHH, I DON'T LIKE THIS!!! I DON'T WANT TO FALL!! I WANT TO STOP!!! I KNEW I WAS GOING TO HATE THIS!!!" Then five minutes later: "Oh, this is fun. I thought I was going to hate this, but I don't. I can't wait to tell my mom I rode a bike!!" In theory, perhaps, it might have been a good idea. In reality . . . . well, we survived and actually had fun, but it was harder on the adults than we anticipated and turned the tandems back in about half way through the activity and hopped in the van and followed behind the biking group.
To start out, we circled around the city park a few times to make sure everyone was comfortable with their bike and their riding partner. Then we headed out to the streets around the harbor.
The girls did great. I wish I could have snapped a few pictures while we were riding along, it was quite a sight. We rode a few blocks and stopped at a maritime museum, then rode a good distance around the harbor and found a fun little place to eat "Big Daddy O's Beach BBQ". They served up some big food - really big! The hamburgers were as big as our heads. Then we found a gift shop for the girls to buy a few trinkets to remember their trip. All of a sudden we realized no one was watching the time and it was already 7:00! There was a mad dash to return the bikes then we headed back to the beach. Tacos for dinner, fell exhausted into bed, and felt a great deal of sadness that our trip was ending.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

tide pools

Thursday morning while I was up with the early morning swim club, Armella also got up and hiked with a couple girls down to some tide pools, about a 15 minute walk down the beach. These are some of her pictures from that morning as well as some from the next morning because it was so cool, the girls wanted to go again.
We counted 15 starfish in the first 5 minutes we were there.
Later in the day, we drove down to another rocky beach and discovered all kinds of cool and creepy sea life among the rocks.

We ended our afternoon back at the swimming beach with some boogie boards, a little too much wind and some pretty rough waves.
Part of the plan for the week was to get a chance to interview various people about their careers. The girls interviewed the boat captain, the naturalist and then we asked the very young 17 year old beach lifeguard if the girls could interview him about his job. He agreed and I've got to say I had no idea there was that much training involved to be a beach lifeguard. Basically, he attended a brutal boot camp. 400 people showed up for the initial swimming test, and 7 people were eventually hired.
So the girls are asking him various questions, and one question was "what was the hardest rescue you had to do?" He proceeds to tell us that on his second day on the job earlier this summer, a man committed suicide, shooting himself at the top of a nearby cliff and the lifeguards had to dive for his body. He was the one to recover the man's body and swim his remains to shore.
*** (stunned silence from our group) ***
Um, excuse me, Mr. lifeguard boy . . . do you not see these tiny people in front of you with their Little Mermaid swimsuits on???
All we could do was quickly change the topic "So, . . . ummm, . . . how many hours do you work each week?" (Goodness, what was he thinking!)
We ended the day back at camp. When we got back, the wind had tossed our shade canopy head over heals to the next camp while we were gone. Our whole 'kitchen' had been blown around and we had to collect all our belongings around the beach and put things back together again. But with everyone's help, we got everything back into shape and then we had a most delicious foil dinner - individual pizzas smothered with a tons of toppings, then wrapped in foil and warmed over the coals. Yum. AND if that wasn't delicious enough, the girls made two dutch ovens full of sweet, gooey, pecan covered cinnamon rolls dripping with icing! That was a better dinner than I cook in my own kitchen at home.
Did I mention I'm not so good with the dutch ovens? While all that deliciousness was being prepared, I ran the showers. The troop took along a shower tent and we hooked up a garden hose to our water source, a ground faucet nearby, and wah-la!! HEAVEN!! Anyway, everyone got to wash their hair!! I didn't know that could feel so very blissful. It was cold hose water, but it was like heaven nonetheless!
We enjoyed a campfire and at the end of the evening a few girls had to be scooped up dead asleep in their camp chairs and carried off to bed. We all fell into our sleeping bags exhausted from a very fun day.