Friday, November 20, 2009

When is November over?

This has been quite a month. Sorry to not post too much. Had my brother in the hospital. Chelsea had an emergency wisdom tooth removal done on Monday, which resulted in the tooth not being pulled after and entire hour and now when she heals we have to go to an oral surgeon. They will probably try again in about 3 months! oh brother!

In between my grandkids had birthdays; Sydney turned 9 on November 4 and Conner turned 7 on November 18! They are all getting so big!

How is your Christmasing coming? I am still in the planning stages, but if you need some cute small gifts, such as homemade hotpads (cute), washclothes (love them) and knitted slippers (simply adorable and warm), all priced under $10, contact me and I will send you pics! I love making these things and my family is tired of getting them for presents! Did I mention I have hair ribbons (corkscrew) and cuddly scarves too? And a couple of awesome granny square afghans (priced to sell at $45)? I am sure I am forgetting something! Anyways, I can mail them to you or you can come to my office in Idaho Falls to see them and buy some!

Hope your holiday spirit is growing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Best Plans........

Okay so for the last 2 weeks life got in the way! Got in the way of all kinds of things! First, I had most of my canning done, the yard work caught up, and was really in the mood to scrap! I was excited to go to Kim Rose's Express the Moment Crop on the 24th! Packed everything up the night before, got up, kissed my hubby goodbye and went to lose myself for a few hours. About 11:00 my husband called to tell me his alternator was gone. No problem I said. Chelsea ran him to the parts store. Problem solved, right? Wrong. At 12:00 he called to say the starter was gone too! Both parts totalled $450! By now my crop was ruined! I couldn't concentrate and felt like I needed to be home at least giving moral support. So I packed up and went home. Got the parts in and everything ran fine, but now we were broke! Luckily, I checked the account and found that I had enough built up in their to cover it and still leave my rainy day fund. But our anniversary was Wednesday and we couldn't even afford to go out. So we rented The Proposal and bought Chinese and had our 32nd anniversary date at home. Which ended up being a really nice evening together!

Then on Thursday I got 2 emails, one from Paypal and one from Bank America telling me someone tried to access my accounts. I promptly went in, changed my user ID's and passwords and added security benefits they offered. Whew I averted that problem, right? Wrong. On Friday I tried to use my debit card and it was declined. Luckily I had my hubby there and he used his. I called the bank and found out that my card had been killed for fraudulent activity. So I ordered a new one and we laughed about it as we finished our shopping. When I got home I checked our checking account and found out that whoever had accessed my account had tried debiting $501 to Western Union. Luckily it was still pending and I called the bank immediately, who forwarded me onto Visa, who killed the transaction. Now I have spent the whole weekend changing every user id and password I own, even on the LDS website! I have also enrolled in every extra security item that my credit cards and dept store cards offered and now get email alerts if someone even sneezes near my account. I have a new debit card and credit cards coming, which means I have to write checks (such a bother) or borrow my husband's debit card. But we were lucky, because we nipped it in the bud. After it is all said and done, I think they got the info from my account, which is the only place I had both info's stored. I changed my password there and notified them of what happened.

So here is my advise to each of you: Check all your accounts, often, say at least once a week. Notify the bank or institution of irregularities immediately. Immediately change you user ID and password on all accounts if you suspect fraud or if you receive an email alert. Sign up for email alerts if your institution offers it. Contact Social Security to see if anyone has requested a new card recently for your number (I never thought of this one). Keep safe!

On the brighter side Halloween was adorable. We did Trunk or Treat at the church and I handed out 120 pieces of candy! I got to see 4 of my grandchildren and then the next day got to see all 6 of them when we got together to celebrate Sydney's 9th birthday! That makes everything else fade away!

So the moral of this story is, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger! I toughened up alot this weekend!

Be in charge of your destiny!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Will I ever finish?

Today I boiled,

and I steamed, and when I was done -

I had canned 9 pints of tomato sauce, 3 pints of clear tomato juice

and 7 pints of freezer carrots!

Don't the carrots look pretty? I've never done freezer carrots before but they weren't hard at all and they smell yummy! As for the tomatoes, I just juice them in my juicer for one hour, then wind them through my vitorio strainer and put in bottles. Then I water bath them for 5 minutes to get the lids to seal. I use this sauce to make speghetti sauce or add with crushed tomatoes. I also can some of the clear juice left over from the tomatoes. It is great to add to your stews, giving a great taste to the stock you already have!

Earlier this week I bottled these pie apples. I still have about 14 more quarts to go, but this was the first batch. They are a little labor intensive and I must advise you to buy an apple peeler and corer (the crank kind works best), otherwise you will be peeling and coring for days! Now here are the recipes for the pie apples and the carrots!

Freezer Carrots
8 Cups of sliced or diced carrots
1 Cube of butter
1 1/2 tsp of salt
2 Tbls of brown sugar
Put everything in a large pan, add enough water that you can see it, but not so it covers all the carrots. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Cool and place in containers and freeze.
Pie Apples
6 qts apples, peeled and sliced
4 1/2 C sugar
1 C Clear gel or cornstarch ( I prefer the Clear Gel)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
10 C water
3 Tbls lemon juice
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large pan. Add the water and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thick. In a clean quart jar add about 1/2 C of filling, add apple slices, using a knife to work them down in. Finish filling with filling to neck, leaving at least 1/2 inch space. Repeat until all jars are full. Wipe mouth of jar with a rag dipped in vinegar (helps the sealing process) put lid and ring on. Process in water bath for 25 minutes. Should make 7 quarts.
We have a bumper crop of carrots and apples this year, so I am sure I will be re-using these recipes over the next week or so. Let me know how they turn out for you!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I won!

Imagine my surprise when I went to visit my friend, Kim Roses' blog at I won a contest! Didn 't really know I was entering one. I commented on what getting back to school meant to me. With it being Chelsea's senior year and all. Well anyways, any of you who read my blog, know I have been having 'senior' moments over Chelsea's senior year! Anyways, thank you Kim, for the lovely prize. I won her September kit!
By the way, Kim has the cutest online store and she has the cutest kits that are a really great value! Her website is and she a discussion board there too. We have gals from all over the US on it! So go on over and check out both places! You'll be glad you did! And if you want to come to a good old crop, join Kim on October 24th! We always do alot of great projects and then you just get the rest of the day to crop! I always get alot done! And everyone brings pot luck goodies and we just eat, scrap, visit and have a grand time! You can get more information on the website, if you are interested!
Oh, and Kim, after reading your blog about Heidi Swapp, I went to Scrapalicious yesterday and bought the heart box kit and the Secrets Kit. I was hoping to get the Energy journal kit, but she was out. You'll have to bring your energy journal to the crop so I can look at it!
Well, today, after work, I am off to Michaels to buy some Artsy Urban by Melody Ross. Tomorrow, in between canning apples and tomatoes, I am scrapping! Some me time!
Check in tomorrow, I will be sharing pics of my apple pie filling and tomato sauce and I have a couple of recipes too!
Ta Ta

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I have never tried putting a video on here before, but here goes! I posted this on facebook, but it really touched me and I wanted to write about it here. This is a YouTube Pantene commercial and it lasts 4 minutes. Melody Ross posted it and and I have to tell you, it made me cry. Here is a link

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Okay, so I know this is boring, but that shows you how boring my life is most of the time! My washer is fixed! I pulled it out today (no small feat since it still had water in it) and when I unhooked the hose some dirt, lint and 2 pennies came out. So I knew there was a clog on the other side of the pump. When Gene got home we tore the back off the machine and he pulled the hose off the other side of the pump. Out popped a coin about the size of a silver dollar that says "Don't quit" on it! Exactly the same size as the opening of the pump! Washer is now getting a work out catching up on our laundry that should have been done Saturday! Had a talk with Chelsea about checking her levi pockets better in the future!

Tomorrow I tackle the apples. I will post my recipe, which is one I got from our Finn Family Cookbook, from Aunt Elaine Finn, my great-aunt. Totally awesome, especially if you like cinnamon! I love old family recipes, they are the best!

Tomorrow is looking up!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Good Grief!

I woke this morning to snow! I so did not want my first post of October to be about snow! But it is! I even took pictures this morning (the scrapbooker in me) but I can't bring myself to post them. Maybe if I don't post them, it won't be true! (clicking my heels together three times)

Tomorrow, we get to tear my washing machine apart. I have one of those front load Maytag Neptunes and normally I love it! Saturday however, it stopped pumping water out of it. I am hoping for a clog, but preparing for a new pump! Sometimes everyday stuff just plain stinks!

As soon as the snow melts, I will pick my pie apples and make apple pie filling, but I refuse to pick them in the snow! It is supposed to be sunny and dry tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Got tO GeT Me sOMe!

I have a new favorite blog! It is and they are the ones putting out Melody Ross's new Artsy Urban collection. It is so dang cute! I borrowed a couple of pictures from their web site to show you what I mean. She has everything, paper packs, bordrs, buttons, stickers, epoxy stickers, all kinds of embellishments!

I love these buttons!
She has these butterflies and another full set of butterflies! I love butterflies!

Can I just say, got to get me some?! I am on my way to Michaels tomorrow to see if they are in yet! I can't wait! I am breaking my 6 month pledge not to buy anything new. This is my reward! :)
I will be dreaming in Artsy Urban tonight! Thanks Melody!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Okay, here it is!

Here is the infamous dress! She chose the colors because they are Ryan's (her date) school colors. I think the dress looks a little like she should be a CanCan dancer, but it turned out cute! There is 12 yards of fabric in this thing! That bodice has to be the hardest thing I ever did, there are 11 different pieces, counting the sleeves! And I have never done so much gathering and not a ruffle on it!

And what makes me the happiest? Last night when we did a trial fit, she said "It is just exactly what I wanted"! I haven't heard that from this child in many years! My heart did a flip flop!

The best part of all? It's done!


Friday, September 25, 2009


.......Am I a tease? Tomorrow, dears, tomorrow! Actually the dress is hanging in the doorway as we speak, waiting for the final fitting to see if the sleeves we stole off one dress will work on this one. I tell you, I cannot design a dress to save me, but give me a box of patterns and I will go to town creating something never seen before!

And did I tell you they are having this dance on the football field? So no high heels? Did I mention this dress was made for high heels? I'd like to know what knucklehead decided on the football field in September for a dance! Oh well.

So until tomorrow, adieu, adieu....................................


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Survived!

I went to the store today! That and the Scout office! Spent money! So, you say! I got in the habit of not spending this past week, with the 7 Day Challenge from and it's hard to break out the debit card again! Paid bills too! I almost felt guilty about it! We need to do it again; I might save a LOT of money to keep on doing it!

But I have to admit, the thought of not having to plan everything way ahead is nice! Now if I can get over my first Cub Scout Pack meeting tomorrow night, I will really relax!

Actually not! You see Chelsea is going to homecoming next week and I have been assigned to create her the coolest, most awesome dress that ever existed! I was assigned after I told her no to a $400 (the most perfect dress ever) dress! So for a mere $120 we will whip her up a tea length dreamy creation, in the colors of red and black (his school colors). This boy better be cute! I will try to send occasional messages out from my prison, I mean sewing room! Come looking if you don't see me for a few days!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Half full, Half empty?

Okay, so have you been over to Awesome site! This week they are having a preparedness drill! We have to go without spending money or going to the store for a week, then each day they throw an additional challenge on. Today's challenge was that your husband's boss is an unexpected dinner guest and he is a vegetarian, you have to have an appetizer, main course and 2 side dishes, then dessert. Since we ate mostly veggies from the garden, that wasn't hard, but not sure someone else would like it! So far I have been a 50 percenter! I have achieved about half the challenge! Is my cup half full or half empty? I like to think half full because I am learning what I need to improve. I actually have the food storage down and going to the store is not a problem! However, yesterday was a pandemic and we couldn't leave the house. I had the medical supplies; except for the surgical masks. The day before was a flood that had us evacuating; since I was canning, that didn't work. But the cool thing about all this? It has me thinking! That is always a good thing!

So if you want to follow along, click on the 7 Day Challenge button at the side of my blog. Check out what we all are doing, maybe join us for the last 4 days! Stretch your wings!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Busy hands........

Been super busy this week. Been in craft mode, with a break between canning stuff! Here's a hint of what I have been doing!

Don't you love yarn? It makes me excited just to see this picture! More to follow tomorrow!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Homemade Bread

Since I got my Bosch Mixer in April, homemade bread has become the norm at our house. I so love making bread now that I don't have wear my arm out kneading it! But so far I have stuck mostly to white bread, even though my husband bought me a Nutramill Wheat Grinder at the same time. I ground up hard red wheat once and mixed it half and half with white flour, but my family wasn't thrilled with it.

I have been buying and storing hard white wheat, but had never used it. so this morning I was feeling brave and got it out and ground up a bunch. Then I mixed bread. Now I must admit I still mixed it with white flour, about 10 C hard white wheat, 6 C white flour. But here are the results!

I have been having my friends telling me it makes almost totally white bread, but I didn't believe them. Here is the results!
It is hard to tell it is whole wheat bread! It has a slightly cream color to it, but that is all. The wonderful thing about it is that the crust is so much softer than white! It is a slightly denser bread; in my case my normal loaves are about 1 lb 4 oz. These ended up weighing about 1 lb 12 oz. But it melts in your mouth! Even though it's 90 degrees outside, I feel a soup and bread night coming on!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Happy September! I can't believe it is the 1st of September! I know I haven't been blogging too much lately, but life seems to have gotten in the way! First our pump went out and was oh so fun to get fixed, then we had 2 birthdays in one week, Bailey and Gene! Add to that that I am in the prime of canning time, and it doesn't leave much time for anything else!

Tonight we are going to have my favorite dinner! I have chuck steaks (Black Angus no less) to grill and I am making a pot of green beans! I love fresh green beans! Here is the pot that is cooking on our stove right now!

In our family we like to doctor them up a bit! I fill the big pot about 1/2 full of beans, put about 5 or 6 cups of water on them, add a TBL of salt and a TBL of sugar, then add about a dozen or so cherry tomatoes from the garden and slice up a couple of slices of bacon. Cover, bring to a boil, and let simmer for about 1/2 hour! It is a bite of heaven, believe me!

Speaking of bacon, we have always put bacon in our green beans. This is tradition handed down from my Great-Grandmother Sarah Finn, to my Grandmother Sarah Alvey, to my mom DeeAnn Malone and to me. It is really good, and quite frankly, my family won't touch store bought beans. If I don't can anything else from the garden, I can 80 or 90 pints of beans every year. Here is our family recipe:

Clean jars and lids and rings, pints or quarts
Green Beans, snipped

In pints, put 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, add about 1/4 C hot water, stir to dissolve. (Double this for quarts.) Fill jar about 2/3 full with beans, then add a 1 inch slice of bacon (put 2 in for quarts). Finish packing beans in jar (and I do mean pack, push down firmly until you have it filled to the neck.) Fill to the neck with more hot water, wipe rim, put lid and ring on. Shake to distribute the salt and sugar.

Fill your pressure cooker with jars, either pints or quarts, according to manufacture instructions. Put the lid on, turn heat on and let pressure rise to 12 lbs. Pressure at 12 to 15 lbs for 20 minutes for pints, 25 for quarts. Turn off heat and let the pressure drop on it's own accord. When pressure drops to zero, open lid and remove jars. Wipe off (they may be a little greasy) and let cool overnight. Label and store in a cool, dark environment.

You should smell my house right now! Nothing like a pot of green beans! Yum! Well I got to go and grill my steaks!

Try something new tonight, okay?


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Bday Honey!

I just wanted to post a quick note for my husband, Eugene! Today is his 51st birthday! For the Next 9 months we will be the same age, until my next bday. He has the exact amounts of minutes and seconds older I am, but I remind I am better looking! :)

Anyways, I just wanted him to know that I can't think of anyone else I would have loved spending the past 32 years with! We really are growing old (that's the yukky part) together. This week has been a trial, with our pump going down and then it not working right when we got it back and having more stuff done. But he has kept his cool and I am so glad I have an expert for a husband, who can fix anything!

Tonight we had everyone here, and it was great! We had a cookout and cheesecake too! I love when we get our family together.

That's all. Now that the house is on an even keel again I should be able to post more! I owe you canning tips, don't I! Check me out on Wednesday!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Doggone it!

Last night at about 10 pm my husband went to jump into the shower; but, no water! We ran to check our well and sure enough the pump wasn't working! I ran around turning off all the sprinklers and such. we let it cool all night, then turned the breaker back on this morning. Still isn't working right! Bummer! We filled all our water storage tanks and the tub. Then we started calling for help. Not looking too promising. Our pump is 27 years old, so chances are it will need to be replaced. A new pump? $500 and 4 or 5 day wait. We're trying to get a local to match the price we can find on the internet, but I don't know! Have you ever tried living without water? We gathered up all the disposable dishes from the trailer, put a tank in every bathroom, so you can flush, and have bottled water to drink. Chelsea went over to her friends to shower. This is the life, eh?


Saturday, August 22, 2009


Okay, so I have had a busy couple of days, not a lot of crafting going on, let me tell you! I had my first pack meeting yesterday, and had to get all the awards, the food for the cookout and get down to the church with everything and set up! Thank heavens for my wonderful husband, who let me drag him along! Here it was 96 degrees and he built me a fire! Then he ran to a friends house to pick up the awards I forgot to pick up! He is a jewel, I tell you what! I knew there was a reason I married all those years ago! Anyways, the cookout went well, and it was really fun, only we didn't have very many there! I am going to have to work on that! It was nice to get to know the families a little better! I still feel like the old filly on the block, but that's okay; I'll just be grandma to everyone! Grandma Cubmaster! What a hoot!

Tomorrow the family is getting together to celebrate Bailey's 5th Birthday, which is actually on Tuesday! Bailey is our total towhead! Here is a picture of Bailey (on the left) with her younger cousin, Maddie. Besides them I have 2 other granddaughter's Sydney and Sarah. then I have 2 grandsons, Conner (Bailey's brother) and Jesson (Maddie's brother). It is so cool to have more girls than boys! I was an only girl (3 brothers) in my family, my husband only 1 brother, and we ended up with 2 boys and 2 girls! So to now have more girls than boys is awesome!

Back to Bailey! She broke her collarbone a few weeks ago, falling of our trampoline! She is doing good and we all are hoping for an awesome, uneventful day tomorrow! Lots of cool gifts too!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Check this out!

I was just blogging along and came across this cute blog, called My Organized Chaos. It is so cute and she has soooooo much on there. Anyways, here is a link to a contest she is running, giving away some totally cute vinyl sayings! She has a link to the company she is getting it from and they have the cutest sayings! So go, enter!


Using What You Have

Let me start by saying, I am a pack rat! I admit it! We have a small room that I use to put my craft stuff in. Let me tell you, it is crammed full! I have an aisle from the door down the center of the room to the craft table, where I have my computer set up right now. The walls on both sides are lined with heavy duty shelves. On those shelves are printers (yes 2), a scanner, a whole shelf of my paper collection, a whole shelf of accumulated designer scrapbook kits, a couple shelves full of fabric, and the rest filled with Sizzix dies, rubber stamps, ink pads, brads and eyelets, buttons, do dads, adhesive, 2 Xyron machines, a laminator and a Cricut and 20 cartridges! Oh and the shelf over the window holds paints, more flowers, more brads, and more buttons! And did I mention my ribbon collection? Or the closet crammed full of yarn?

You get the idea! So about 2 months ago, I decided enough was enough! I cancelled all my subscriptions, as cute as they are, and forced myself to stay away from the craft store. I have been knitting squares from my baby yarn, so I can make patchwork afghans. They are going to be adorable. And if I don't sell them, they will go to the Humanitarian center. And I have started scrapping again. The shear amount of stuff I have overwhelmed enough for awhile, that I couldn't force myself to scrap! Since I began my "Use what you have" campaign, I have felt the old creative juices begin to flow. Here is an example of that ---->

Now the significant thing about these pages are that I used 5 things, paper, flowers, buttons, brads and glitter. That's it. I had this adorable Daisy D paper, but it was really busy, so I cut some of the flowers from it and used them as the basis this page was designed around. Then I made butterlfies from the same paper. Cut them out with my old red Sizzix. Cut 2, stacked them, stapled, then put ribbon down the middle for the body and covered in glitter. Added a button for the head. That's it and they turned out so stinkin cute!
I added color coordinated buttons and flowers and my favorite Thicker stickers, then did the most important thing, told the story of how these pictures all tied together.
So watch as I learn to make do with what I have. This could be interesting! I promise I will buy now scrapbooking supples (with the exception of Kukoyo adhesive, which has been discontinued) until October! Have fun with me and see how well you can do too! Let's see how inventive we get with all we have! And always remember that the reason we scrap is to give our family picture book memories!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Adventures

Okay, so anyone who knows me, knows I knit and crochet all the time. It is how I relax during tax season and how I stay awake when I watch TV! So I have been stashing hot pads, wash cloths, baby blankets and whatnot, away, thinking that someday I will start selling them! My family can't stand anymore afghans or sweaters and my hands have to be busy. So I have been toying with opening up an online store, or at least showing them here! Tell me what you think, okay? and if you live in Idaho Falls area, keep an eye out, because I decided to take a corner of my office and turn it into the Cosy Corner, where I will display my items! Check back in the next week to see what I come up with!


Senior Moment

Tomorrow is the first day of school. So what you say. And usually I would agree with you. But tomorrow is the first day of my youngest daughter's senior year! I am not sure I am ready for this! Because I am not ready to admit I am that old! Not ready to admit I have been raising children for 31 years. Not ready to have an empty nest.

You are probably going to get tired of me boobing about it this year! Chelsea's senior year is going to be a full, fun year! She is a studentbody officer (Publicity Chairman), Senior Editor of the Yearbook Staff, plays in the school's drumline, and managed to squeeze one semester of orchestra (violin) in there too! All this and she is a 3.9something student! Can you tell I'm proud?

And in the midst of all of that, she is a FOX addict! Now I'm sure any of you who have teenagers, know what FOX is! Only the coolest line of clothing spawned by motorbikers, that ever existed! And right now, includes about 75% of Chelsea's wardrobe!

When Chelsea had her birthday last month, let's just say it was a FOX fest! She got FOX shirts, hoodies and even a purse (which I didn't know they made)! And to top it off, I even made her a FOX cake (not an easy feast since it was 90 degrees that day and buttercream frosting melts)!

Today I ventured into Chelsea's picture files and came up with the first 2 pictures! She seems to spend alot of time in the bathroom with her camera, but I have to admit I love some of the results! These pictures were chosen to complete a scrapbook page honoring her 17th birthday. I'll post back when I have it done!

Now in answer to the title "Senior moment", I'm sure you thought I was referring to her senior year. Actually, I'm referring to my getting older. I am having a senior moment today "facing" another last on my list, the last time I send a kid off to public school! I seem to have alot of these Senior moments with Chelsea, but I guess that's what happens when you wait 11 years to have your last child. Believe me I am trying to enjoy them all, every chance I get!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy BDay Greg

Today is Greg, my brother's birthday! I was going to say baby brother, but since he is 47, he is not exactly a baby! He lives in California, and works in the State Penal System, which means he is one of those lucky people that they are furloughing! I wish him peace and hope all is going well! I looked and looked for a picture, to show you, but I don't have any that are as an adult, and I don't think you want to see the 14 year old stuck in my son's high chair! (imagination will do!)

So happy bday Greg, and here's to many, many more! I need somebody to grow old with me!

Love your sister!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Better Hurry!

One of my favorite websites,, has a challenge going on. If you have been trying to get more prepared, for emergencies and such, this challenge is for you! Click on the link in this blog post, or on the button down the right side of my page. Once you are signed up, then sometime in September they will begin this. With no warning (like in real life) you will get an email telling you what creature comforts you get to use for the day! Maybe you'll get electricity, maybe you won't. Maybe you get to go to the store, maybe you don't. You won't know. And each day, for seven days, they will challenge you with something new. The point is to see how well you would do in a real situation and to help you to improve your emergency plans. They want to know your sucesses and even failures; because after all we learn from the failures, right?

So I hope you will join me in September and let's get our Preparedness mojo on!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Getting around to everything

Okay, so I think I have my scrapping mojo on. I haven't scrapped much in the past year, I think I burned out on it. I was busy trying to create the most wonderful pages ever, and forgetting that the main reason I scrap is to create memories for my family. Not only that I was overwhelmed by the mess in my craft room. It is 8x10 and no matter how well I clean it, it is still stuffed to the gills! So this spring I took stock of the $1000's of supplies I had and said, make do. Don't buy just to buy. I cancelled my monthly kits, which was hard to do, because I tell you Scarlet Lime's kits are a sensual experience! ETM's are great too, but when I counted I had 42 kits that had never been opened! So guess what? Over the weekend I opened a couple of Scarlet Lime kits, mixed and matched and made these great pages! I discovered I loved SEI paper and anything Bo Bunny! But I didn't try to overdo it, just simple pages that tell the story!
This was a picture I took of my cats. Now they are all outdoor cats and in the winter they like to line up on the back of a bench we have on our front deck. I don't know if they are trying to absorb heat from the window, or if they just want to try and get some pity from you. but this one morning, Cruiser was sitting on top of Shy and I couldn't resist! I grabbed my phone and snapped this picture, then texted it to my husband. We dubbed them the Stackin Cats after this!
This is some SEI paper from one of Christy Tomlinson's kits! I love how she can pick loud, vibrate pages for her kits, then give us oodles of cute, not mainstream, stuff to go with them. Here I used a couple of expoxy stickers from Colorblok and this wonderful flower that looks like it was made for the paper. It took a dismal winter picture, which was how I was feeling in January and made it so cute!
So if you get a chance find a cute set of kits that fit your personality, but do me a favor, use them! Don't hoard like I have!
By the way, if you get a chance, is doing a Acetate in August blog hop! I tell you, the stuff on each blog is so stinkin cute! I have been afraid to use acetate, but I think I might try after seeing some of their stuff. Check it out, and why you're there, enter their contest. I think it goes until Friday
Okay, here is a tip today to use your garden produce. My beans are coming on and our favorite way to have our first pot of green beans is this: We pick enough beans to feel a large pot, add about 1/2 lb bacon, sliced in bite sized chunks, and dice up a tomato or two from your garden. Cover with water and put on the stove and simmer until beans are done. I've never timed it, but probably about a 1/2 hour. Be sure and add equal parts salt and sugar to flavor it. I tell you, you will crave beans all year long after you have them this way!
Enjoy the day and create some memories!

Monday, August 10, 2009


Okay, so a week ago Sunday, the bishop called me in. Always makes me nervous when he does that. My mind ran through all the jobs opening up in our ward, but something told me not to settle on any one yet. Good thing. We made small talk for a minute, then he asked, " so how do you feel about scouting?" then proceeded to tell me they felt I was perfect to be the cubmaster! I just sat there for a minute, then started to laugh! I don't know if the bishop knew how to take that! But you see, my youngest son is 28 years old. Cub scouting was not my favorite thing to do when my boys were that age, but I suffered through and made sure they completed everything. When Kendall turned 11, I celebrated because I would never have to be involved in cub scouting again (especially the pinewood derby). When Chelsea was born later that year, I secretly thanked God that I had a girl and would not have to do cub scouting again! I told the bishop this, then told him I was willing to try, but don't be surprised if they come to him and ask "Get rid of this woman, please!"

I have a suspicion Heavenly Father is really laughing right now!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Preserving on Wednesday too

Okay, so August is always a busy time at our house since we have lots of August birthdays, school registration and school starting, family reunions; you get the picture. Add to that this year that Gene went to SLC for union meetings Monday and won't get back until tonight, Chelsea goes to Martin's Cove and won't get back until Saturday night, and I have a roaring summer cold, and I haven't been able to or wanted to post. So here is a catchup:

Jeremy turned 30 on Sunday and he and his family shared it with us. I made enchiladas, which are his favorite and they got a gigantic chocolate cake! Here Maddie and Jesson help him blow out all 30 candles! I can't believe he's 30! He isn't even my oldest! Do you know what that makes me? Don't answer!

Next, are the last minute preparations for Martin's Cove for Chelsea. For those of you that don't know what Martin's Cove is, it is a historic site belonging to the LDS church. Thousands of people go through there each year and hear about the pioneers and get to pull handcarts. Some groups sign up to go on a 3 day trek. That is what Chelsea is doing with our Stake. They have to dress in pioneer clothing and they can only take up to 17 lbs of supplies. No phones, no ipods, no electronic anything! Pretty tough for teenagers! :) Anyways, she made her two long skirts herself, but got stuck on the bonnet, which is required. So I finished it for her tuesday morning. She is packed and ready to go tonight! I will miss her!

Now, for preserving Tuesday, which is a day late due to the afore-mentioned cold. Do any of you have one of these, a recipe tin? I was wondering if they are totally obsolete, or if we all still have one? This is mine. I bought it when I was 16 and worked at a Hallmark store. I started collecting recipes right away! When I got married, my grandma, mom and aunts all gave me cards with their favorite recipes. Later, other young mom's in our ward and I exchanged recipes we got from our families, or magazines in the doctor's office, or through some recipe club in the mail. No internet to go search on a moment's notice. Mine is stuffed pretty full. Truth is I have put most of these recipes in ward cookbooks over the years and really don't need the cards anymore. But they are like an old blanket, they bring me comfort. Some of them are in my mom's handwriting. She passed away 4 years ago. So they are like a little piece of her. Some are from my grandma, and my mother-in-law, and they are gone too. So they are nostalgic to me. So I hang onto my card file.

So in honor of Preserving Tuesday, a day late, here is a recipe from the card file. It is for Oatmeal Cake, and I originally got the recipe from Colleen Scott. I just dug it out on Monday to make one for a funeral. I was reminded how good it is. And when I went down to the funeral to help, it was one of the first gone! Enjoy!
Oatmeal Cake
1 1/4 C boiling water
1 C quick oats
1 stick butter
Mix well and let set and cool a little.
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Mix well, combine with first mixture; blend well. Put in 9X13 pan, bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Put topping on it immediately, so it will melt over cake. Let cool, serve.
2 tsp butter
1/4 C canned milk
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C chopped nuts
Mix together. Follow instructions above.
I hope you enjoy this yummy, moist cake as much as we do!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Last day of the month!

So I don't really have anything to say of much importance, but it is the last day of the month and I am trying to post everyday. So I thought I give a shameless plug to National Geographic. If you go to their website (I have a link on the side), you can download wonderful pics, like these! I download some each month and my grandchildren love to get on the computer and look at them.
The pictures run the gammit from nature, to animals, to amoebas! They are all there and some of the most fantastic pictures you ever saw!

Someday I aspire to take something spectacular enough that they want to publish it! That is like a dream of mine! Do you have dreams and goals! I would like to hear about them.
Go and find your dream today!

Movie night!

Okay, so Gene, Chelsea and I went to see Harry Potter. What did you think? I think it is not a movie for anyone under 10. I think it was darker, slower moving and not so action packed. Did I like it? Yes, I did! I loved the play on the crushes between characters. Brings back memories! I definitely think they used this to set up for the final movie; this one really ended kind of slowly. My favorite character: Helena Bonham-Carter (Mrs. Tim Burton) She was deliciously wicked and wacky.

Okay so tomorrow is a busy day. Wood hauling in the morning, cherry canning in the midday (they are finally ripe), maybe raspberries too, and finally, groceries and finishing Chelsea's bonnet for the Martin Cove trek! I am getting excited for her to go!

And with that, I am off to bed!



Tuesday, July 28, 2009

It's Tuesday!

I am really excited because tomorrow I get to can cherries! My tree always produces and I love the pie cherry recipe I posted a couple of weeks ago! Besides the cherries I have strawberries in the fridge that need to be jam, my raspberry patch has been raided a couple of times already and I think by next week I will be saucing my Lodi Apples! I love when this time of year gets here because all that hard work we have been putting into our gardens, starts to pay off!
If you were lucky enough not to have a zucchini crop failure (like we did, thanks Mother Nature) I have a suggestion. Go visit the ladies at, they have posted some awesome recipes to use your zucchini in. I tried the Speghetti Zucchini Bake last night and it was a definite thumbs up! Easy to make too, and even this winter would be possible with dehydrated onions, zucchini and mushrooms. Good use of food storage!
Hope you have a productive day!

Monday, July 27, 2009


I decided I needed a holiday tomorrow, so I went to to see what was on schedule for tomorrow. Imagine my pleasure when I found out it is National Chocolate Milk day! I love chocolate milk! Nothing like it and cookies, or toast, or just about anything!

So in honor of chocolate lovers everywhere, open a cold one in the morning!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Chelsea!

This is a self-portrait of Chelsea, my now 17 year old daughter! Today is her birthday! She is my rough and tumble, violin playing, drumline drumming, electric guitar picking, hunting, biking, animal loving, and what ever she can do today, girl! She is not afraid to try anything new, whether it is tomboyish or feminine. I call her my renassance woman!

She would like you to think of her doing something like this --->

But to me she will always be more like this-->

I recently completed a couple of scrapbook pages of her and decided to share them with you. This one is of her at the beginning of school last fall.

This was more recently, when she got to ride in her dream car ( see July 3 post). But the title really fits Chelsea, my classic beauty!
So in honor of Chelsea, I will refrain from posting the baby pictures I had saved up, at least for now! :) I will, instead, embarrass her with sentiment. 18 years ago, I had 3 kids, the youngest 10 1/2 and thought life was grand! Then I found out that I was having Chelsea! From the moment she came into this world in 1992, she has been a source of love, devotion, humor and precious memories for her dad and I. We are so thankful that Heavenly Father gave her to us and we look forward to many future birthdays with her as we watch her develop into an AWESOME woman!
Happy Bday Chelser-selzer!
Love Mom

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's Tuesday!

Okay today is preserving Tuesday! I was trying to think of a whitty tip to give you. Somehow I don't feel to whitty today. However, it has been a beautiful day today! I got up at 6:30, strapped my tennis shoes on and went out and set sprinklers in the yard. Pulled some weeds. Played with my kittens, Cruiser and Whiner (guess how he got that name). Checked my garden, and found ripe cherry tomatoes! I can't wait until a few more come on. Here is my tip for the day! Do you have a dehydrator? I love mine. Actually after putting it away for a year or two, I got it back out and have been dehydrating like crazy. If you still have rubarb, dehydrate some. This winter you can make a delicious cake. I will give you the recipe at the end. Also, the cherry tomatoes, cut them in half and dehydrate. Keep in a quart jar in the cupboard to add to stews and soups. When you dehydrate the tomatoes, do a couple of trays of celery! That's right, celery! Keep them in a jar and use them in stews and soups or whatever you need celery for. They re-hydrate in 10-15 minutes. I keep them around for when I run out of fresh celery. And if you do the tomatoes and celery together, your house smells incredible.

If you are interested in getting a dehydrator, be sure and buy the Nesco/American Harvester Snackmaster. It is cheap ($59) and you can get extra trays and jerky and fruit leather trays for them! I have gotten them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and also Basic Living in Rexburg, and the Preparedness Store in IF. So check around.

One more tip, when you dry stuff and put it in a quart jar, leave it open for a day or two to make sure there is no residual moisture, then put an 02 pac in the jar and close. The O2 pac will pretty much seal the jar and help keep your stuff fresh longer!

Rubarb Cake


1 1/2 C brown sugar

1/2 C shortening

2 eggs


1 tsp vanilla

1 C buttermilk

Sitr in:

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 C flour

1 1/2 C diced rhubarb

Put in 9 X 13 pan.


1/2 C brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 C nuts

Sprinkle over top. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Have a delicious day!


Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Disneyland!

I was reading some blogs tonight and went to and Tim reminded me that it was Disneyland's 54 birthday! My favorite place on earth! I grew up in Huntington Beach, CA and that's only about 8 miles from Anaheim and Disneyland! I am also only 3 years younger than the park and literally grew up with it! When I was little I used to try to get lost on purpose so I could spend the night in the park! Never happened, but I sure tried! I even made my husband take me there on our honeymoon! If you ever see me, it will be with a Mickey Mouse watch on, since I have 6 of them at last count! So in honor of Mickey and Disneyland I have put this clock on my blog!

So happy bday to the happiest place on earth!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Found Lori

I took some time off from blogging (too much life happening, you know) and when I came back and started reading blogs, I was disappointed not to be able to find my friend Lori. Everyone else's blogs lead to the same now defunct blog! Well no more! This morning I found at least one of her blogs It is really cute Lori, by the way! She mentioned that someone else had challenged her to tell about the first quilt she made! She has a cute story, so go read it! Anyways, I decided to tell you my first quilt story!

My grandma Alvey was a great quilt maker! Her and all of her sisters (7 of them) used to get together to do quilts all the time! It was a big event, with pot luck dishes and tons of visiting! I went a few times in my teens and loved listening to them! When I was 19 I got engaged! The sisters got together and quilted me a tricot quilt (remember those?) with the Idaho Falls Temple in the middle of it. It was very beautiful and had tons of quilting on it! I decided to try my hand at quilt making, however, I decided to make my first one a tied quilt! So I bought blue gingham check for one side and a blue flower pattern for the other, all cotton broadcloth (got a good deal since I was working at House of Fabrics). We put it on on the back covered patio, since it was summer and everyone came to tie! Now my grandma Alvey may have been the quilter, but my grandpa Alvey was the tie-er (sp)! He taught everyone in our family a neat way to tie, learned from his grandma! Anyways, before it was done, not only did the women tie on it, but my now husband, my brothers and my dad tied on that quilt!

I still have the quilt! As a matter of fact, if you check out my bed, after 32 years it is still on it! However, it has become threadbare in a few spots and is pulling apart in others. the other day I told my husband I needed to get rid of it, and he said no way! So I guess I am going to be making another ginham check quilt soon!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane today, Lori! I am so glad I found you again!

Everyone, make a memory today!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Preserving Tuesday

Okay, so I have been toying with this idea for awhile. Tell me what you think. I have been canning all my life, first with my mom, then for the past 30 years on my own. So I have accumulated a little bit of experience and knowledge. I decided that on Tuesdays, I will share a little bit, sometimes some recipes, etc. I hope to get you enthused about canning and preserving food, for health reasons and for monetary reasons. There will be shameless plugs for stores and websites I love, even though I have no part of them as far as ownership. Share with us anything you find that you think will be of interest! Let's get something going!

First off, Tiffany (my daughter) and I went to a Preparedness Fair in April at the Ucon Elementary School (if you were involved, it was awesome!) It inspired me to keep doing the things I do (canning, dehydrating) and try some new ones (sprouting)! One of the ladies had the book, "Putting Food By". As Tiffany and I thumbed through it, we really liked it, so I came home and got on ( a great place to find things cheap), and found it and several other books, so I bought them!

Here are the titles of the books shown in the picture:

Putting Food By, 4th Edition, Newly Revised (Janet Green, Ruth Hertzberg, Beatrice Vaughan) This covers all kinds of preserving, has some recipes and has dietary tips to minimize salt and sugar!

Preserving Summer's Bounty (Edited by Susan McClure and the staff of The Rodale Food Center). This has ended up being my favorite book! Talks about what to grow, how to use it fresh and how to preserve it. Clear language and explanations. Lots of recipes! Excellent Book!

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (Edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine) What can I say, 400 recipes! Some wonderful, some really wild (like Jalepeno Jelly that my daughter swears by)! Yummy stuff!

So let's get canning! Most of the vegetables are not ready yet, but the cherries are starting and you can always do jams, either from your garden or hit the local farmer's markets. Today I am sharing 2 recipes with you, Pie cherries and Kidney Beans. The kidney beans are so easy and you can do them any time of year. The cherries are starting on and some of the fruit stands have Utah fruit now. If I had known how easy it is to can cherries, I would have done it years ago. As it is, I was dragged into it, when my husband planted a pie cherry tree about 7 years ago. Let me tell you, they produce! And when you pick them, you better be ready to can right then, because they don't sit. After figuring that out and buying a cherry pitter (a real time and hand saver) I loved canning them!

Cherry Pie Filling ( from Susan Scott)

6 quarts pie cherries, pitted

7 C sugar 2 tsp almond extract
1 3/4 C Clear gel
9 1/3 C water
1/2 C lemon juice

2 tsp red food coloring

In a saucepan, combine sugar and clear gel. Add water, almond extract and food coloring. Cook on medium heat until thickened (boiling), stirring constantly. Add lemon juice and stir 1 minute. Add cherries. Put in jars and water bath for 30 minutes.

Clear Gel can be hard to find, but I get mine at, either on the internet at their local store.

Pressure-Cooked Beans (from Maureen and Colleen Scott)

In quart jars put:
1/4 C chopped raw onion

1/4 C chopped raw celery

1 1/2 C dry beans (kidney or pinto)

1 1/2 tsp salt

fill jars the rest of the way with water, to the rim. Add lid and ring. Pressure cook 12 lbs for 55 minutes. For pints, use 3/4 C beans and pressure for 35 minutes.

These beans can be used in any recipe calling for storebought canned beans. I use them to make chili, refried beans and in bean salads!

My last tip for the day. Go to! It is an awesome site that can hook you up with pick your own farms, has tons of recipes, canning tips, and links to where to get anything you would ever need! Check them out!

Well all this canning talk has made me hungry! I think I am going to make a cherry cobbler tonight! Hope you try something new today!


Saturday, July 11, 2009


This is pretty much a dog story!

So we went boating today! We got up this morning and decided to run up to Blacktail and put in for a couple of hours. We just boated around for a bit, then put a tube in the water for Chelsea!

At first she was really full of herself, not holding on or anything!

So her dad sped up and started looping around to hit our own rollers! She got serious really fast!

We pulled her around for about an hour and then she was ready to get back in the boat!

We decided to bring our schnauzers, Toby and Missy, to see how they like boating! Missy spent most of her time under Gene or I's feet! She didn't like it at all and was really glad when we went back in!

The big surprise was Toby! He loved it! He kept getting up on the back seat where he could watch Chelsea, and even stood on the very back until I would yell at him to get down! He is a speed demon, that dog!

Here we are before we took off, Toby and Me!

The picture at the beginning is of Gene letting Toby in and out in the tube! He even loved that!
What a dog! What a fun day!

Friday, July 10, 2009

okay we're going to try this. want to see something funny? Watch this!

See if that doesn't make you smile!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


With Michael Jackson's funeral and memorial today, I wanted to say a little about him. I was sad when he died, sad for a life lost too soon, sad for his children, sad for the loss of talent. He was very representative of our generation, being born the same year as me. My husband even shares the exact birthdate with him.
Last night when my husband were talking before going to bed, he commented that his time was shorter on this earth, saying at least he outlasted Michael and Billy Mays. After I slugged him, I got thinking about it, and I guess what he was trying to say was he was facing his mortality. This morning I have been doing that. None of us know when we will go, so make the most of life NOW. I know Michael had a lot of controversy in life, but I choose to remember the good stuff, songs like Rock with You, I'll Be There, Billy Jean and of course Thriller. I remember crowding around our TV with my young children, anxiously waiting for the premiere of the video to "Thriller" We wore out a cassette tape of that album. And who could forget "We Are The World", when it premiered that morning on the radio, and you realized as you listened, that all around the world, everyone else was listening! So, to the gloved one, I tip my hat! Goodbye Michael.

Billy Mays had only entered our lives in the last few years, but he was quite a character! I even watched him on "Pitchmen" one night and was awed by his ability to sell anything! He had a way with people and 50 was too young to die!
So I end with a thought for you today, "Remember Yesterday, Cherish Tomorrow, but Live for Today". Make today the best day yet!

Monday, July 6, 2009

WAW (what a weekend)!

What else would you call it! We had a jam packed weekend and the time of our lives! Friday night we went over to Jefferson Lake to watch fireworks! Jefferson County puts on a wonderful fun fest the day before the 4th and then an awesome fireworks display coreographed by KUPI.

I am still learning to take night pictures, but here are a couple of the fireworks. Saturday morning we had a flagraising ceremony, where my grandma's cousin, Gail Nelson, spoke. It was really nice! I lead the music and even had the kids march carrying flags while everyone sang You're a grand old Flag! Afterwards, the girls served a yummy breakfast. Then it was off to the Rexburg Parade. We sat with a bunch of friends and really enjoyed it! Saw some people from the ward, and of course Chelsea's friends in the dance team. But the whole reason I go, is for this---->
The car wash men from Ray's Chevron! Every year they have a drill team to the song "Car Wash"! It is a hoot, and they aren't bad to look at either!

After the parade, we rushed back to Menan, where we shopped the booths, ate too much, then sat and visited with friends as we waited for the parade to start at 2:00. Chelsea had to go to work at 3:00, so we parked near the end of the parade so she could park her car just beyond and get out! She got to see most of the parade before she had to go! After the parade, we went home, and took a nap to save up energy for the night! Then we went to Artic Circle and out to wait for the fireworks in Menan! Chelsea joined us after she got off work. There were over 25,000 people there for this little celebration and the fireworks were awesome! I wasn't going to take any pictures, but the fireworks were so good I whipped out my Blackberry and snapped a few. Here they are!

Sunday, after church, we came home and chilled out for the afternoon. Jeremy and Niki joined us later and brought some yummy steaks and corn on the cob, which they cooked for us! It was really nice to have them do the meal! Not very often that I get to relax instead of slaving over the stove! :) I added a couple of salads, lots of veggies and even some swiss chard out of our garden! It was an awesome meal! Later we lit some of our 'illegal fireworks', the kind that shoot into the air! It was so funny, cuz Jesson is just like the rest of the guys in the family, right up there wanting to light them and so excited when they go off! Maddie on the other hand, does not like the noise. After about 20 of them, the wind picked up and we had to stop. But Jesson and Maddie and I sat on the porch and watched the lightening. I told them they were Heavenly Father's fireworks, and Maddie liked that they didn't have any sound with them! What a perfect night!

Hope you sparkle today!