Sunday, May 31, 2009


Pretzel - glazed and salted cracker typically in the shape of a loose knot.
May 30, 2009
Obviously not in the shape of a knot. I took the easy route and did "pretzel bites" instead. I made 8 pretzels worth, and they were gone in minutes. Seriously. Yummy and way easy to make. The recipe is below.
During the few years that Calvin had an invitation store at University Mall I fell in love with soft pretzels. With cream cheese dip. I shiver a little bit just thinking about it. Since I hate to drive anywhere, but particularly outside of my zone (to American Fork on the west/south and Orem Center Street on the north - I know, I have issues) I hardly ever get to enjoy the bliss of the sift pretzel anymore. But believe you me, when I do get to the mall, I have a pretzel. No matter what. So the other night I was watching "Throwdown" on the Food Network, and the food was soft pretzels. They looked easy enough, but on "Throwdown" the put the baked pretzels into a boiling water solution to harden up the outside a little bit. Since I like the outside nice and soft, I looked for a recipe that was only baked, no boiling water. I figured I might have to try a few recipes before I found the right one, but I got lucky on the first try. I halved the recipe, but still used a full egg because I don't know how to "half" an egg. I hope you enjoy as much as we did. The kids had them gone in minutes!
2 pkgs active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
6 1/2 cups flour
Additional butter for basting
Coarse ground sea salt
In a mixing bowl, disolve yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in warm water. After the yeast foams, add the remaining sugar, butter, salt, egg and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled in size. Punch dough down. Turned onto a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half. Cut each into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 20 inch rope. Shape into a pretzel. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush lightly with butter after removing from the oven.
Again, I didn't shape mine into pretzels. I used my pizza cutter to cut the ropes into chunks after I had placed the ropes on the baking pan. Also, my oven had them perfectly cooked in 13 minutes. I watched through the oven window since my oven tends to cook a little fast. These were quick and easy enough to do anytime. Happy Baking!


I think it's funny that no matter what random order I select pictures for the upload to blogger, they end up in exactly the reverse order of what I intended. So look at this sequence backwards, I guess.

Above is Jack enjoying his strawberry banana shake, promptly followed by half of my carmel shake. The boy is a bottomless pit!

Because he still thinks it is a race to prove he can finish eating before everyone else, he got the fun of a brain freeze. No matter how many times we tell him to slow down, he just won't listen.

Addie finally got her ice cream.

The ice cream cones come with a little plastic animal on top, a camel in this case, and Addie made sure that she licked it clean. No ice cream went to waste!

Impatient - irritable at any delay or difficulty.
May 29, 2009

The preparing of shakes and ice cream cones was taking far to long for this little girl. She had had far too much excitement in a single day, being the last day of school and all. Her expression is such a thundercloud it makes me laugh. Funny, funny Addie.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Replacement, Academic

Jack needed a new swimming suit this year. He came downstairs, all ready for his first trip to the pool, and the elastic in his swim trunks was completely shot. I wasn't about to drop everything and run to the store, so we pinned it and off he went. The next day I got ready to go get him a new suit, and he instructed me that he was "over super heros" ( his other suit had batman on it) and was ready for something more grown up. Like flowers. But he wanted me to clearly understand that he meant Hawaiian typ flowers, not regular flowers, like I could somehow get confused and pick up the other kind of rose and daisy printed swim trunks that are commonly found in the boys department. Even still, I called him from the store to check if he wanted blue and white flowers, red and orange flowers, or camo. Lane & I were sure he would want camo given the choice, but he needed some time to conference with his fashion consultant (Taylor, apparently) and then decided on the blue and white flowers. Whooda thunk? This is the first picture I took with the new camera, and somehow Jack looks really grown up.

So if anyone is giving out the "Worst Mom Ever" award, please send it directly to me. I was such a horrible mom today! Our jr. high has decided to have an 8th grade completion/graduation ceremony, and I've know for some time that it was today. But somehow, yesterday, that little detail escaped me, and Taylor too, because she asked if she could go shopping with her cousin and I said sure. So today I got up and went over the schedule for the day in my head: Jake to the groomer, Taylor shopping, Jack baseball practice, Jack swimming, Taylor to the library. Anything missing? Nope. Good day. Not too busy. So I went about my day, Taylor went shopping, Jack went to the pool after his baseball practice. I'm relaxing and thinking how nice to have a free evening. So at 6:45 Taylor comes tearing into the house "MOM!! My graduation!!!" Holy crap! Lane had only gone to bed at 5:00, so no point waking him up. But I thought, and Taylor thought, that the ceremony was at 7:00 so we might make it in time since it was down at the HS. While she's quickly changing into a dress, I FINALLY decide to look at the calendar, only to discover that the ceremony started at 6. We went down anyway, tried to hide in the corner. They were reading off names, but were clear to N at that point so she missed her name. I felt so badly. See, Murphy was right. If everything seems to be going well, you obviously don't know what the heck is going on.
We did go and get her certificate when everything was done. She also had a citizenship award as well as an academic award for being on the honor roll all 4 terms. But on the academic award, they misspelled her name "Raylto." Now THAT'S a typo. They told her to bring it to school tomorrow and they would correct it. She blew the whole forgetting thing off like it was no big deal, but I felt so badly that I forgot all about something so important.

Replacement - a person or thing that takes or can take the place of another.
May 27, 2009
Now I get to learn to use another camera, just when I got used to this one. I got what I wanted, and only went $50 over budget.

I hate the learning curve of new technology. I won't admit how long it took me to figure out how to download the pictures to the computer. It sure does take nice pictures though! I'll have to figure out what "apeture" means and how to use it, since this camera has a manual apeture adjustment, as well as shutter speed. I might have to go take a class. My attention span is far too short to read the 3 manuals, yes 3 MANUALS, that came with the camera. Darn that ADD. Ooooh, look - something shiny!

Academic - Relating to scholarly performance.
May 28, 2009
Jack maintained an A average for the course of 4th grade and was awarded an Academic Award at today's Awards assembly.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Strike - A pitched ball swung at and missed by the batter.
May 26, 2009
Jack struck out both his times at bat, but he went down swinging. Our team lost 9 -4.
I have to get a new camera. Right away. I dropped it on the floor at Lane's parents house and the little flippy door thing where the batteries go broke and the little latch thingy came off. (Please note all the technical terms.) We put some duct tape on it and it held for a while, but it is no longer doing the trick. I replaced the duct tape before Jack's game today, but by the time I went to take the picture it had worked loose and I almost missed his at bat because I was fussing with the dumb camera. So at least I have a good excuse to get a new camera. This one has been so great for a rookie like me, and I have finally figured out how to use it kinda well and now I'll have to go through a new learning curve. My dad tells me that Canon is the best, so I'll go out shopping tomorrow and hopefully come home with something new and shiny. Wouldn't it be great if I could find a red one? I bought my phone mostly because it's shiny and red, so why do different for a camera? Anyway, I've done some looking on line and have kind of an idea what I'm after. Unfortunately I way cheap and I want what I want, but I only want to pay $200 for it. That should give the salesman a good laugh.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Treat - any delightful surprise or specially pleasant occasion.
May 24, 2009

So here's the long version of a long story. Yesterday Lane cleaned the carpets, and then it rained. So the carpets took way longer to dry with all that humidity and when we got up this morning the whole house smelled (to me) like wet dog. I put out some bowls of vinegar, but when we came home from church it still smelled like wet dog. We lit some candles and put them around the house, and that helped some. While Lane was barbequing some pork chops, I was making rice pilaf and I decided that if I seared the rice with butter AND garlic it would replace the gross wet dog smell with yummy roasted garlic smell. But as a back -up plan, I decided to make some bread and we could have that for a snack later in the evening. Well, I got the bread going and then I remembered that I'm in charge of dessert for the family dinner tomorrow, so I made some cupcakes. But I still had extra time while the bread was rising, so I made cookies, too. So now I had so much food I decided to invite a few neighbors over. Well, now that I had company coming I thought it might be nice to have a little salad to go with it so I made up a pasta salad. So the neighbors came and visited and we ate almost both loaves of bread, almost all the cookies, and 1 dozen cupcakes. It was funny how one thing led to another, and if I'd had another hour before the neighbors came, I probably would have made something more. We had a good visit and enjoyed the evening rain. Oh, but back to the point of the story. You will be happy to know that there is no more wet dog smell in the house, but there is an overflowing sink of dirty dishes.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bud, Heritage

Heritage - any attribute or immaterial possession that is inherited from ancestors.
May 23, 2009

My Grandma Walker used to gather all the grandkids together on Memorial Day, and drag us, DRAG us, all over the Pleasant Grove Cementery, pointing out our relatives (Hello? half the cemetery!) and telling us stories about them. It was truly the worst form of punishment. Now as an adult I seriously wish I had paid more attention to Grandma. So now I dragged my kids, DRAGGED them, down to the cemetery with my parents but my parents aren't so long winded as Grandma was. I owe my Grandma a serious apology in the hereafter.

There are 2 large Walker monuments (?) like the one pictured, and they are in dire need of a cleaning. I need to find out if we can go down with some sort of lime/mineral deposit cleaner and scrub the markers. That would be a great FHE/service project. We also have some of the relatives, mostly on the Wright side (my dad's mom's family) who have the old sandstone type headstones that are in terrible disrepair. My dad and some of his brothers took 2 of the worst ones and laid them down flat on the ground in cement. There are others that we should do likewise with, but the names and dates erode so badly. I wish that we could replace them with the granite type that is more durable, but that is costly to do. I should go with my dad and photograph all of them before they get so bad that they can't be read at all.

Bud - a swelling on the stem of a plant that develops into a flower or leaf.
May 22, 2009
Again, more of the rosebush I butchered a few months ago. It is thriving! I guess it's stronger and more resilient than I thought. All 3 rosebushes that I hacked away at are doing really well. Now I have a lilac bush that is gigantic and really needs cut back so since the roses survived that gives me courage to attack the lilacs.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random Baseball Pictures

One of our team members, our pitcher, watching the game before ours, waiting for our game to get started. We had a late start again, delayed almost by a full hour. We didn't finish up until after 10, and lost 11-5. They other team was a really good team, probably the best we've played so far.

Another of our team members. He was the top of the batting order tonight, and struck out his first at bat. That is unusual for him.

Our team in the dugout.

Jack warming up before our game.

Jack playing catch before our game.


Recital - A public performance of music or dance
May 21, 2009
Taylor played "Think of Me" from "Phantom of the Opera" and Jack played Medicine Man. They both did a great job - all of the performers did a great job. I always enjoy the piano recitals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Attempt - To try to perform, make, or achieve.
May 20, 2009

Today I attempted to make an apple pie. It tasted good, but it was really ugly. Really ugly. I've only ever made one other pie in my life, also apple, also ugly. It's time to get serious now and figure this out. Any expert tips are welcome.

I made sweet pork enchiladas for dinner with cilantro lime rice. Yummy! My rice turned out really good, fluffly and not sticky, just the way I like it. I have found that it helps to sear the rice with butter before adding the water and for some reason that helps it to not get all sticky and gluey. I also tried out my new Pampered Chef citrus press. I have wanted one for some time and haven't been able to find one anywhere except PC. That is one of the best tools ever! It got every drop of juice out of my lime, even turned the whole rind almost inside out in the process. I got all the lime juice I needed out of a single lime instead of using two like I usually have to. So if your kitchen is full of PC products and you are sure you don't need anything else - you need the citrus press. Seriously. Unless you don't ever use fresh citrus, and then we'll have to talk about that problem first. And while I'm spouting about PC, the other MUST HAVE item is their garlic press. It is the best garlic press EVER!! And again, if you are using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, we'll have to talk about that too, cuz that's just wrong. I heard the best quote about garlic once: If you are wondering whether or not to use garlic in a dish, ask yourself this question - "Is this a dessert?" If the answer is no, ADD GARLIC!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Giggle - to laugh in a nervous or silly way.
May 19, 2009

Tonight's pack meeting. Jack was the "fire" in the skit and had to say "crackle, crackle, crackle" whenever the narrator said "fire." Everytime his turn came up he would just giggle, and be unable to say his part, which is bizarre because Jack has NO PROBLEM talking. Then I saw the picture and thought maybe he was giggling because he knew his fly was down. Makes a mother proud.

In other scout news, Jack has completed all his requirements for his Arrow of Light award. I'll let his scout leaders know that he's finished and we can proceed with the ceremony next month. We'll get Calvin to do it for him. He wanted to earn the "All 20" award in Webelos, but I'm not sure that will happen. It could, he still has until early September, but I don't think he'll get all 20 done. That's a lot of work to do them all!

Taylor and Jack had their rehearsal today for the piano recital on Thursday. Since the lesson is clear out in Cedar Hills, it's just not worth driving home so I told Addie we would go to the nearby park during the lesson. It had been such a nice warm day. So as soon as we pull in to the parking lot at the park, the wind began to blow really hard and it rained. So much for the park! All the moms and kids that were there were running to their cars. So we didn't get to go to the park. We killed some time driving around, the picked up Taylor and Jack and headed for home. As soon as Tay and Jack were in the car, the sun came out, the rain and wind stopped. I guess we just weren't meant to go to the park today, but Addie was crushed. I'll have to take her again to make up for it.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Rally - the feat of mustering strength for a renewed effort.
May 18, 2009
Rule #1 - A team can only score a maximum of 6 runs in each of the first 2 innings. After 6 runs, teams change sides regardless of outs. After the first 2 innings, a team can score as many runs as they can.
Rule #2 - Game time is 80 minutes, then finish the inning.
These are the 2 important rules in appreciating our game tonight. To begin with, it was hot. Over 80 degrees, no shade. So our team is the visiting team again (this is determined by a coin flip) so we are first to bat. Our strongest batters are at the top of the line-up, and they struggled tonight. We got a couple of base hits, a couple of walks, and 1 run scored as the inning ended. We got "6 runned" by the other team when they had their first at bat. I don't remember how many (if any) outs there were. It was not looking good. 2nd inning. It was almost 3-up, 3 down. Our batters just couldn't make it happen. Jack did get a base hit, however, in the 2nd inning, but was left on base. The other team only scored 1 run in the 2nd inning, so at the end of 2 innings it was 7-1. Coach Lane gathered the team around, and gave them some sort of pep talk as we went into the 3rd inning. Some kind of pep talk, indeed. We got base hits and walks, and got the bases loaded, another score, then a grand slam as a result of bases overthrown by the other team and suddenly it was 7-6. Jack got up again and had another nice base hit, and he even scored the tying run. The inning just went on and on, and since the 6 run rule no longer applied, we went all the way through our batting order and then some. The inning ended 14-7. We scored 13 runs in a single inning. The boys and the parents were so excited; Coach Lane was nearly in heart failure from so many close calls. Enough time had lapsed that the game clock had expired during our at bat, so the home team got their last ups and it would be over. They did manage to score 3 more runs and our pitcher struck out the last batter and it was over. What a fun game! We have the best players and parents! I'm sure Lane will correct my version of events, but he's not the one writing the blog so that makes my version the correct one!
Tonight I discovered that my bank had apparently stopped sending paper statements at the end of 2008. I don't know why I was so slow to notice this. I printed them off the bank website and had to go back and balance 4 months of statements. I hate doing it at all, so doing 4 months was a real chore. It's done now, and I hate that I'll have to remember to print them off every month. I'll have to call the bank and see if I can request paper statements. I'm just not smart enough to remember it on my own.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Genuine, Marjoram, Grimy

Genuine - Real and exactly what it appears to be.
May 17, 2009

Here we are on a typical Sunday afternoon - wearing our Cookie Pants and more than a little bit slap happy. We couldn't get the dog to cooperate in the picture, and the kids thought it was positively hysterical. We had a good movie watching day today. After our regularly scheduled episodes of Mythbusters and Food Network Challenge, we watched some good oldies - Beetle Juice, The Princess Bride and The Rookie. Naturally, I got my Sunday nap in and we enjoyed all our yummy snacks.

Marjoram - A plant with sweet-scented leaves, used for seasoning food and in salads.
May 16, 2009

One of my favorite herbs that I grow - no garden should be without it! It is part of the oregano family, but I prefer it over oregano for both the flavor and the way it looks. I always put it in my marinades, in addition to any Italian dishes that I make. Yum! My bush is getting pretty big - if you want some, come and get it! I'm happy to share.

Grimy - thickly covered with ingrained dirt or soot
May 15, 2009

It doesn't show up very well, but both of our feet are totally dirty and disgusting (even by feet standards). We worked in the yard all afternoon, and got a lot done. I had on Crocs, so all the dirt came in, Lane had on socks and sneakers and a little dirt came in, but funnier is his tan line from his ankle socks. We got so much done. We went to the nursery and got all our starts for planting (tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe), plus 4 raspberry bushes (I can taste the jam now!), a new peach tree, another rosemary (my other 2 starts - yes 2 - died), some bushes for the front yard and some chives. We planted some seeds for green onions and basil. I still need to find some dill. We got the kids to move A LOT of rocks from the back yard to the front to fill in the space around the strawberries, and they actually did a great job. We had to enlist the help of my neice Stephanie who foolishly came over to see Taylor (she'll never do that again) and the neighbor boy, Derek, who always wants to help and is a really great help, especially for being 10 and all the distractions that Jack provides. It was a very productive, and tiring, day but such a good feeling to have it all done and out of the way. Now we can just watch it grow and hope for a bountiful harvest.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Beauty - the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and mind.
May 14, 2009

Isn't she pretty? Taylor was very patient with me this afternoon while I posed her all over the yard. It was her end of year choir concert tonight. She sings in the Concert Choir but tried out for and made it into the Chamber Choir for next year. Their concert was very good, as always. The choir instructor at the jr. high is really good and all the kids love him. It's hard to believe that another school year is almost over and my baby is going to be in 9th grade! It gives me an irresistable urge to sing "Sunrise, Sunset."
We went and got our garden plants today. Tomatoes, cukes, and peppers, oh my! Also some basil and cantaloupe. And of course my geraniums. I also got a couple of shrubs for under the living room window. We didn't get any of it planted today, but hopefully tomorrow we can get that done. Growing a garden is a painful exercise in patience, but here we go again. The payoff in August/September is worth it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Appeasement - The policy of granting concessions to potential enemies to maintain peace.
May 13, 2009

This definition just makes me giggle because Lane and I have really gone the rounds on to-own-or-not-to-own a truck. He has a million lame reasons why he needs a truck, and I have a million valid reasons why he doesn't. All kidding aside, we agreed that the time had come to find a truck, but wanted an old beater type so we could still keep the Focus for him to drive to work in, making a truck a third vehicle, meaning I didn't want to spend a ton of money to have something sit in the driveway most of the time. So today I saw a nice looking older truck at a dealership that we drove by and suggested that we go have a look, but he wanted first to go to a dealership of a friend of ours to look again at a truck that we have looked at a bunch of times but can't afford. So when we got to Ty's dealership, there was this truck. We gave it the obligatory "walk around" and tire kicking and were pretty impressed. Lane guessed that it was about an 88 or 89 but it looked like it had been well cared for. Lane popped the hood and I don't think I have ever seen an engine sparkle, but this one did! Ty came out and gave us the keys and we took it for a spin. Keep in mind that I have been the one dragging my feet on getting a truck but I fell in love with this truck. It drove remarkably smoothly for a truck that old (turned out it's a 93) and the interior is very nice, with the exception of a little wear you would expect of a truck this old. The price was exactly what I had been wanting to pay, and so we got it. Maybe now Lane will stop crying in his sleep, for a little while anyway until he starts in again about how he needs a newer truck, and he'll have a million lame reasons why, and I'll have a million valid reasons why not.

In other news, Jack's team played their best game tonight. They beat the other team 11-4 and everyone played so well! Jack struck out once (but did hit a foul ball in the process) and hit a grounder on his second at bat. Unfortunately he hit it straight to first base and he's not a fast runner so he was out at first (not by much!) but we were all so proud that he got a hit. It was such a fun game to watch. The wind started to blow a little bit when the sun went down, (stupid mysterious vortex) but was warmer than last night.

My arms are still unbelievably sore from all those bicep curls. I can kinda straighten the left arm, but I still have to keep the right at a 45 degree angle. This is by far the stupidest thing ever. I do bicep curls all the time and I've never had a problem like this. Surely it's not that I'm pushing 40. There must be another explanation that doesn't hurt my feelings.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The first thing we always have to do when we get to PCMC is let Addie toss coins in the fountain. We have done this since she was old enough to toss things and so now it is tradition. The fun fountain that used to be in side the north lobby is now gone and so we have to use the fountains outside the north entrance. Which means, we always have to use the north entrance even though the cardiology dept is on the south end.

We had a short wait before they came to get us for the EKG and echo. The cardiology waiting room is a big playroom with lots to do, so Addie was disappointed that our wait was so short. She didn't get to finish coloring her picture.

After her vital signs and EKG were taken, (Holy crap! O2 saturation of 91%) Addie changed into a hospital nightgown and got to choose a toy from the prize box. She took the little beany tiger and also got some tokens for the toy machine since she was so good for her EKG. She got a few more after her echo and ended up with a total of 5 tokens (3 bracelets, a ring, and a little rubbery man). She had to have some lab work done and got a prize after that too.

After we were all done we went for some lunch at the PCMC cafeteria. All she wanted was a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, which she eats all the time at home, but whatever. She also had to have her chocolate milk and a pink glazed doughnut. We got out of there pretty quickly, all things considered. We left the hospital around 3:30. Not too bad. And we beat traffic for the most part. We are supposed to go back for another follow up in November.
Our cub scouts held a Mother's Day dinner tonight, so I went with Jack to that. It was very nice. Then we had to leave that quickly to get to his game. Unfortunately he had the late game today and it was cold! I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is some weird vortex over that ballpark where the wind blows ALL THE TIME!!! Jack's team lost, but they had some good hits.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Hydrangea - An ornamental shrub with large clusters of white, pink, or blue flowers.
May 11, 2009
I'm babysitting Lane's grandma's hydrangea that she got for Mother's Day while she is out of town for 2 weeks. It's huge, gorgeous, and I'm not sure I want to give it back when she returns.
Since Grandma is out of town and Lane wanted to sleep since he had to get up early for baseball practice and I got held up at work extra long there was no baking today. In fact, I think I may have forgotten to have dinner! I had two oranges around 4:00 and the kids made themselves sandwiches. I did get some new silicone bakeware in the mail that I had ordered. So much new fun stuff to experiment with, if I can just find some time! Too much stuff is going on this week, and so I think I won't get a chance to do anything at all until Thursday, if then. May is always so busy with baseball games and all the stuff that comes with the school year winding up.
Tomorrow we have a very busy day. We have to go up to PCMC for Addie's check up. It's hard to believe that it's been a whole year since her surgery! It is likely to be a long visit with the usual EKG and chest xray, plus they have scheduled an echocardiogram (sp??) for her this time. The echo alone takes an hour. Then we have to still see the cardiologist after all that, and we always try to eat up there in the cafeteria. That is our way of giving her something exciting to look forward to in our effort to keep the hospital a happy place rather than a scary place. After that I have a Mother's Day dinner with Jack's cub scouts, and then we are scheduled for the late baseball game at 8:00. LONG DAY!! Then Wednesday is piano and a game, Thursday is Taylor's choir performance, and on and on it goes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Popcorn, Jam, Equipment

Popcorn - Small kernels of corn exploded by heat
May 8, 2009

We eat A LOT of popcorn at our house. But it has to be movie theater butter or extra butter. I wonder why I'm not losing weight? Popcorn is an integral part of all movie watching, as well as our "Sunday Routine" of all junk food all day long.

So on Saturday I decided to make jam. Macey's had strawberries on for a good price and since my strawberry plants are just barely flowering I decided to buy some for "jamming." My strawberry plants are kinda hit and miss anyway, since I have to try to keep the neighbor kids out of them. Last summer I found 2 of the neighbor kids sitting down, right in the middle of the strawberry plants, just going to town on them. No wonder I wasn't getting much of a harvest! Anyway, I love making strawberry jam because it smells so good, and the freshly washed and hulled strawberries are GORGEOUS. I could just look at them all day long.

But I have to move the jam making process along, so I typically have 2 or 3 batches going on at any given time. I have this really weird ability when I am doing any kind of canning to dirty every single dish towel I own in the process. Even with freezer jam. Weird, I know. But when it is all finally in the bottles, ready to go the freezer, again I have to just look at it for a while. I love the look of freshly bottled anything, and peaches and jam are the best!

Jam - A preserve made from whole fruit boiled to a pulp with sugar.
May 9, 2009
My first favorite thing to make is bread (surprise!) and my 2nd favorite thing to make is jam, especially strawberry jam. Both of these things should come as quite a shock to anyone who has known me longer than about 15 years. I got married only knowing how to cook spaghetti and Kraft mac & cheese, and even that was iffy because I had a tendency to forget about the boiling water and ruined a few pans by letting them boil dry.

Equipment - A set of tools or devices used for a particular purpose.
May 10, 2009
I got a new baking sheet, new 9" round cake pans, and a decorator set for Mothers Day. Time for some experimenting! I've been watching way too many Food Network Challenges because I have ZERO training, but still think I can do what they do. Oh well, it's just ingredients. I can get more flour and sugar and eggs. But I'm very sure that I over-estimate my abilities.
I also got a new geranium from my parents. I love geraniums! They are such a happy flower. I don't do a lot of flowers in my yard because I would rather dedicate the space to vegetables and herbs. I have a few rose bushes that came with the house. But the only flowers that I ever plant are a couple of geraniums in the front yard because they are so colorful and make me smile.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Catch - To grab so as to stop the motion of.
May 7, 2009

Not a bad "action shot" considering all I had with me was my phone. You'd think by now I would remember to take my camera with me! This is Jack with his cousin Sager warming up before tonights game, which their team lost 5-8. They had a good rally at the end, but still came up short. Jack struck out his first at bat and walked on his second. He was able to score a run on a wild pitch.

These boys came and watched the end of our game while they were waiting for their game to begin. I liked how they were all lined up along the backstop, but all I had with me was my phone and I couldn't really see well what I was taking a picture of. I really like the way it turned out, except for all the shadows. I'll have to try this sort of thing again when I have my camera with me. After 4 months of this, I would think I would be smart enough to take my camera with me wherever I go!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Begin - To take the first step in doing; start.
May 6, 2009

Addie was so excited to begin piano lessons today. By the end of today she had memorized her first song, only 4 measures and only used 2 fingers, but you wouldn't believe how proud she is! She just loves to do anything that is "big," meaning anything that Taylor and Jack already do. After I got back from piano, I stuck some Stouffers enchiladas in the oven (thank goodness for Stouffers!) and walked down to the school to watch Lane's baseball practice. What a great bunch of boys he coaches. They are good team members and everyone was having a good time, and some didn't even want to go home after an hour and a half - they wanted to stay and play more! Then we came home and ate our dinner, and then we went out to play wiffle ball for a while. Not to long after we started playing, we had a few kids from the neighborhood wander over and so we had quite a large group of kids playing. The more the merrier! It was another lovely day, hoping for another good day tomorrow since it's another game day. I also have to take Jack to the eye dr. after school. Another busy day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Pollinate - To fertilize by the transfer of pollen
May 5, 2009
As you can see by the other pictures, I am quite enamored with my apple trees. I guess this is the payoff for all the rain I've had to endure. While I was taking the other apple tree pictures, I noticed that both apple trees were litterally buzzing. There were bees everywhere! But do you think I could get a picture of one? I was nearly blinding myself, looking up into the tree at noon, and it was far too bright outside to see what was on the little view thingy on my camera, so after a while I just started randomly pointing-and-shooting, and hoping that maybe, just maybe, by accident I could get a bee in a picture. Stupid bees won't stay still and pose! Anyway, I accidentally got 2 pictures with bees in, but the other one the bee is almost off the edge of the picture, and this one (somehow) the bee ended up pretty much centered. I'm so hoping that all those blossoms portend a bounteous apple harvest, because I LOVE making applesauce in the fall, and my measly amount of applesauce from last fall is pretty much gone, even after rationing it.

My apple tree

My apple trees look so gorgeous right now! They are fully blooming, aka popcorn popping on the apple tree, and I just couldn't help taking some pictures on this beautiful spring day!