Friday, November 21, 2008

The finished product


We actually added a couple more cases of things after this, but this is not bad for a couple hours of work. You can't beat the price either, and of course the peace of mind this offers is priceless.

Now we just have to figure out where to store it...
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Vanna--I mean Monica...


My dear friend, Monica, showing us how it's done.... :)
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and more Cannery....


They have a very organized system at the Cannery. You order the food that you want to can a couple weeks ahead of time, and when you get there, they have it all ready. You open bags, pour it into large aluminum cans, add a little oxygen freshener thing, seal the cans, add a label, and wa-la! We canned quite a variety today: beans, dried apples and carrots, powdered milk, potato flakes, and wheat. We also purchased some items that were already canned, such as rice, dried onions, powdered drink mix, sugar and oats.

This is Torrey working with our friend, Kevin. Kevin just recently got engaged! Yeah! :)
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Our trip to the Cannery


Recently we checked our food storage, and realized that it had expired many, many years ago....We kept 'stretching' its shelf life, and finally realized that it was now to the point where the only purpose it would serve would be to hasten our deaths were we to ingest it, so we figured we better get ourselves to the Cannery and get some more.

We were delighted to find out that we got to wear these lovely hair nets. :) We were happy to be working with our good friends, the Kibbles. That made it even more fun!
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Excellent new CD


It's been awhile since I've discovered new music that I love to this degree. I saw an online review about this artist, and just on an absolute whim, picked up his new CD last time I was in....okay, Walmart. I can't even think of the last time I bought a new CD that wasn't a throw back to the '70s or '80s where my favorite group was the CARS...Oh how I loved that group...Anyway, if you like soft-ish rock, but not too soft, with a little tiny bit of jazzy orchestra, then you may just fall as deeply in love with Jon McLaughlin as I have. It's the only CD that I play in my car now, and I start right out with #4 (Already In) played over and over about 5 times before I can move on. I just LOVE loving a new artist--there have been several that I loved over the years since the CARS rocked my life, but I think this one is going to have some staying power in my fickle music world. :)
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Home Sweet Home


This morning I walked into my front room and was filled with such a warm and cozy feeling that I just stopped right in my tracks and looked around. What I saw would never grace the pages of a magazine, or make anyone gasp with amazement when they walked in the door. But as I looked around, I was overwhelmed with feelings of appreciation that this was MY home. We have lived in this home for 14 years, and it has become the home of my heart. All around me are the echos of my children running up and down and in and out. There are stains from those little feet that will never come out of the worn carpet, and frazzled edges where the toenails of the world's largest Golden Retriever grabbed as he came racing around the corner to welcome one of his beloved people home. There are many things that should be replaced, or repaired, or repainted, but I say "should be" because they don't need to be in order for us to live here in complete peace and comfort. This house is enough for me. My heart overflows with emotion as I look at the photos on the walls of days gone by--days that will never happen again. As my days with children in this home draw to a close, I am almost overcome with despair. The mother part of me is the only part I really know, and things will be changing soon. I feel a heartbreak of Biblical proportions coming on, but I know that I can cope with that just as I have coped with the first one leaving, the second one leaving, and the third one leaving. I am just grateful for the few months that I have left with my precious baby girl, for she fills our home with laughter and joy, and for that I am eternally grateful. I cannot think of an empty nest right now, for there is too much joy in this moment. There is a home to decorate for the Holidays, and there is a loving and wonderful husband who is my best friend and is truly what makes this house the home that it is. There is a Grandbaby on the way, and new cycles of life for my beloved children with all the joy that new marriages and missions and education and progression bring in such abundance. Yes, there is always change on the horizon, so I will hop on board and make the most of each and every day and just be grateful for the moments that I have to live in my peaceful home, love my incredible family, and let them go with as much grace as I can possibly muster...
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Impossible Cheeseburger Pie


Okay, who remembers this??? I was having one of those "what are we having for dinner?" days as I stared into the fridge at 5:00 tonight. It needed to be easy, cheap, comfort food....What to do? Then it hit me--I hadn't thought of Impossible Cheeseburger Pie for YEARS. It used to be a favorite of our family when the kids were little. It's super easy and quick--even considering that you need to bake it for about half an hour. Please do not be afraid of the ugly photo. I must admit that I went upstairs and made a couple phone calls while it baked, therefore exceeding the baking time by a good 20 minutes or so. :) Oops. But it still tasted delicious, and with some mixed veggies along side, made the perfect quick and easy and cheap meal. Here's the basic recipe--feel free to get creative. You'll love it!

1 lb. lean ground beef (I spiced mine up with a super hot salsa that we could not even eat--PERFECT addition!)
1 large onion, chopped (optional...everything is optional)
season with salt and pepper or whatever, to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (or so....)
1/2 cup original Bisquick mix (I used the lower fat version and it was great)
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
Cook meat and onion or whatever you desire, until browned. Spread in pie plate and sprinkle with cheese.
In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with wire whisk until well blended. Pour into pie plate.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes clean. Or until you get off the phone and remember that you are baking something. :)
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Like Father, like daughter


This one's for you, Shell! :) I knew you would appreciate the fact that Daddy was holding onto the cart just like you always have and probably always will. "Train up a child...." and they will never let go of the cart, right? :) He was propelling me along the best he could so I wouldn't veer off into the baby clothes section. Drat. Too bad it looks like he's propelling us towards the skivvy section. Oops. Didn't notice that until just now. :)
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Our new decor


I love my darling husband more than words can express. He gave me yet another reason to love him this morning, when I pulled out yet ANOTHER darling baby girl outfit that I had purchased yesterday while buying vaccuum bags at Sears. It was not my fault. They force you to walk right past the baby clothes in order to purchase vaccuum bags, so what were Shauna and I supposed to do? Anyway, we narrowed our choices down to this one ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE little dress. I knew I was pushing it with all the baby clothes I have already purchased (I blame Shelli for having a baby girl first) because even the doting Grandpa-to-be was telling me to reign in my purchases. However, when I pulled out this little dress this morning to show him, he melted all over the floor, and we decided to put it right on the wall where we can see it all the time. It's our new decor. Grandpa and Grandma's house....We just can't wait!!!!!
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Oh, Beautiful, for spacious skies...please take me far away


Yesterday was one of those days that you just don't see coming. It started the day before when we took Shauna's little beater car in for new brakes. By the time we were half a block away from the mechanic, those new brakes were squeeling like a very unhappy little piggy. So, we had to take the car back in the next morning to get them fixed correctly. Our regular mechanic was out of town, so 'Rob' was doing all the work. Rob is the assistant mechanic, or something. Now Rob is nice, and Shauna even thought Rob was quite cute, but Rob was not good at brakes. After two false starts home, where I made it about a block before I was forced to turn back and tell Rob that he needed to try harder, I was still sitting in the nearby Jack-in-the-Box restaurant waiting. I had elected to just wait it out instead of calling someone to pick me up and take me home since I was told it would be a quick and easy procedure to de-squeal the brakes. Not so. Rob was being valiant, but to no avail. Finally he had to order new parts since he said the first ones were 'defective' and we had to start the whole process over. I was starting to feel that Rob was slightly defective himself, but being a nice and mostly patient person I tried to keep those thoughts to myself. (As you can plainly see.) Anyway, I had brought some projects with me to work on in my new office in Jack-in-the-box, so I was completely contented for the first several hours. I was also happy to be so close to a reliable food and drink source, just in case. I ended up eating two meals there, and was grateful for the 57 free refills that came with my original drink at 8:30 a.m. However, as the afternoon wore on, my nerves were frayed. Mostly because of the unique and special woman who works there. She was a special one, she was. She referred to herself as the 'crazy lady' and would sing into the drive-thru speaker (and I swear on my life that this is totally true) "Hey, hey, hey, How can we help you today?" and sometimes she would mix it up a little with this version: "Hey, hey, hey, crazy lady's here today." To which I would have to heartily agree. Now some people were slightly amused with this unusual approach, but many, many more were not. Me included. You can either drink 57 cups of diet Pepsi, or hear that song 687 times, but not both. I was struggling. So, I went outside and took this beautiful picture of the fall colors against the gorgeous blue sky. It was a lovely escape while it lasted, but since I was well into my 37th cup, I soon had to go back inside. I got home at 4:00 in the afternoon, after having read an entire book and finishing up quite a few little projects. It actually was a very comfortable and adequate place to wait--much better than the horrific accomodations at my mechanic's place--but by the time I left I was overly caffeinated and feeling, oh I don't know, a little....crazy. Hey, hey, hey.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy, happy birthday, Grandma dear...


Oh, how we love our dear Grandma! We took her to Chevy's for her birthday celebration and had a fun and wonderful meal. The waiters sang the birthday song to her, placed the sombrero on her head, and then brought the free birthday dessert! She was tickled pink to have enough leftovers for another meal tomorrow. :)
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Advancing on the turkeys


I think the overall design of the turkey is kind of intriguing. It might as well say, "aim here"--right? I'm telling you, they are just asking for it.

I think my redneck tendencies are bubbling to the surface--no pun intended.
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Note to turkeys--it's NOVEMBER.....


So yesterday my friend, Kristen, and I were out doing the YES ON PROP 8 door hangers to remind people to vote. We were given the high rent district where there are many mansions. None of which either of us now live or will ever live in. (We have loftier goals) However, it was very fun to sightsee in that area. This is why I was so happy to have Kristen as my partner. Besides being a delightful young woman and a lovely mother of 3 young children, she just happens to be a cross country runner and coach. I'm not. :) She did 100% of the running up to the doors and hanging, while I did 100% of the sitting in the driver's seat of my van, getting a small paper cut on my pinkie from punching out the middle circle on the little paper door hangers....You can clearly see who got the raw end of this deal. My pinkie is doing much better today, thanks for your concern. Anyway, I was beyond grateful for my awesome little partner, who, at the end of the day admitted that her legs were tired from all that mansion running. Some of those inconsiderate folks have driveways that are both long and steep. Now how fair is that to Kristen??? Honestly, I got so tired of waiting down at the bottom of those hills. Like our time isn't precious-- right Kristen?!

Oh--and now for the part about the turkeys. We saw some. The large flock that you see above. It was the highlight of our day, almost. :) Now I know why there are so many letters to the wildlife columnist in our local paper complaining about those ugly beasts. People are constantly writing in saying they just can't get rid of them. They're noisy, stinky, messy, aggressive, highly reproductive, and as you can plainly see, offensively UGLY. They don't look good on anyone's lawn, let alone a mansion lawn. They are not the rich man's pink flamingo by any stretch of the imagination. So, I'm thinking THANKSGIVING. The poor. The needy. The turkey-less. Hey, I grew up slaughtering turkeys and chickens by the hundreds. We spent an entire Christmas day one year chasing, be-heading, and then being chased by headless, blood spurting chickens! My siblings will back me up on that story, since it has burned itself into our subconscience for life, only to be awakened in those tender moments on a psychiatrists couch...So don't think for one moment that I could not "rid" the neighborhood of those swarming turkeys. I so could.

Be afraid, turkeys, be very afraid......
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Torrey's "what the...?" face :)


I'm assuming he's just disappointed because it wasn't written in Italian....
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This is what happens when you vote in California, I guess....Ole~


Torrey was the third person in line to vote this morning because we had to zip him off to the airport for a business trip to Orlando, Florida. Imagine his surprise when he got a "I VOTED" sticker in Spanish. And all this time I thought we were in America....go figure. :) I don't care--Just as long as people vote YES ON 8 they can have a sticker in any language spoken on the planet for all I care. Just Vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
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Monday, November 3, 2008

My sugar cookie recipe

My darling daughter asked for my sugar cookie recipe today, so I thought I'd share it far and's delish!!! :)

Cream 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup shortening

Add 2 beaten eggs, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Alternately add 1 TBL. milk and dry ingredients: 2 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 2 tsps. baking powder.

Refrigerate 1 hour, roll (thickly) and (underbake) at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

When we wonder if there is anymore in us to give...

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"When, in situations of stress, we wonder if there is any more in us to give, we can be comforted to know that God, who knows our capacities perfectly, placed us here to succeed. No one was foreordained to fail or to be wicked.
When we have been weighed and found wanting, let us remember that we were measured before and were found equal to our tasks; and therefore, let us continue but with a more determined discipleship.
When we feel overwhelmed, let us recall the assurance that God will not overprogram us; he will not press upon us more than we can bear (see D&C 50:40)."