Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rock of Ages

We spent part of the day busting up these concrete posts along our back alley. (I think we busted a few muscles in the process!) They have probably been there for as long as our house has. (Over 100 years) We got economically stimulated, and plan to spend our "refund" on a new fence. Inside one of the posts, we found an old, crumpled up comic page from a newspaper! Unfortunately it was in very small pieces, and we couldn't find any dates. Luckily, we got the job done just as the handle of the sledgehammer broke!

Friday, May 30, 2008

My favorite picture

When I was a little girl, this painting hung in my Granny's guest room. The raspberries and roses have always fascinated me. When Tony and I moved into our first home, Granny gave me the picture so I would have something to hang on my bare walls. I did a crackle finish on the frame, and had a piece of glass cut to fit. ( It had no glass when I received it.) Now it sits on the mantle in my living room, and I have used the colors in it as inspiration for many projects! It is my favorite painting because it is beautiful, and it reminds me that I am loved.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Card Chaos

Today I did NOT wake up and say "I think I will get out all my paper scraps and spend the day making cards". It all started when I looked at my calandar this morning and saw that I have a niece graduating in a few days. Then I remembered 3 or 4 other graduation announcements that are stuck on my bulletin board. I went to get out some cards to send, and realized that I didn't have a single one that would fit for a graduation! ( I keep a bin full of home-made cards). So... I got out the paper, scissors, glue, stickers, ribbon, accessories, etc.... and got to work. Since I had all the supplies out, I decided I might as well make a few extra cards to keep on hand. I'm not a real "froofy" person, so I don't get too fancy with these things. It was fun, but now I need to get to the laundry, cleaning, and other not-so-fun things.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

Today is a cold, wet holiday. We went to the annual Memorial Day parade in Corvallis, and saw a lot of old tractors, and trucks with political candidates trying to look personable. We also went to Grantsdale Cemetary. I don't know anyone buried there, but it is one of my favorite spots! The view is spectacular, and I always feel a sense of peace as I wander among the old headstones. I told Tony that I would like to be buried in this cemetary. He had me write down the phone number to call to buy a plot! Tony is an Idaho boy, but maybe he'll indulge his Montana girl for our final resting spot! I probably won't think about it again until next Memorial Day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Quilt Crazy

My sister makes a lot of neat quilts. As I was looking at her blog, I found this link Right now she is on week 3 of a "star quilt" quilt-a-long. I decided to join in, since the weather is cold and rainy, and I can't be working outside. The picture on the bottom is my inspiration block. It was in a box of "quilt pattern blocks" that was given to me when Tony's grandmother died. ( Her name was Elsie Bodily.) The blues and oranges struck my fancy! So I dug through all my scraps and pulled out the blue and orange pieces for my quilt. I spent the morning making these first 3 blocks, and I'm excited to do the rest! I also like the hand stitching around Grandma Bodily's pieces. I think I'll try that and see how it looks!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Playing with Power Tools

This is a project I made last week. My cat was needing a place to scratch, so I went to the pet store and looked at scratching posts. I thought " I could make one of those!"... so..., I did. The base is part of an old shelf that I kept for putting up in my garage. (Hopefully you'll see my shelf project in a few weeks.) The posts are pieces of a 4x4 fence post that I scrounged from my Dad's back yard. The square platform is another piece of old shelving, and the round platform is an old tabletop that I cut a "peek-hole" in. I covered everything in old carpet pieces that my parents had. ( They keep everthing!) The only piece I bought was the very top, barrel thing. I wrapped the posts with sisal rope, and screwed everything together. It was a fun project, and the cat loves it! I'm just happy he stopped trying to sharpen his claws on my leg!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Chocolate Raspberry Jam

This morning I decided it was time to use up last year's raspberries out of the freezer. I don't eat a lot of jam, but my family does. I found this recipe on-line and it was super-easy! What can be better than raspberries and chocolate? I also canned some raspberry pie filling, but haven't tried it out yet. If it is good, I'll post that recipe also.

Chocolate Raspberry Jam

6 cups frozen raspberries, or 7 pints fresh

3 (1 ounce) unsweetened chocolate squares

5 cups sugar

1 box dry pectin

1 tsp. butter

Mix raspberries, pectin, and chocolate in a large pot. Heat on hight until it comes to a rolling boil. Add the sugar all at once. Heat to a boil again and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and process in jars. This made exactly 5 pints.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Birds and Blossoms

Here's a pretty little bird I saw this afternoon. It's not very clear because I took it through the window! By the time I got my camera and went outside, he flew away. The flower is an apple blossom. I planted an apple tree last year, and now it is covered with blossoms! I'm excited to see if we'll actually get any apples this year!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mothers Day - Love It or Hate It

This is my not-so-lovely kitchen after the kids and Tony made a lovely breakfast in bed for me.

Mothers Day brings a wide variety of emotions; love, pride, guilt, surprise, disappointement, and hope, are a few things that I felt yesterday.

Love brought tears to my eyes as I lay in bed, listening to my children and husband "quietly" preparing heart shaped pancakes and eggs for my breakfast in bed. Pride, when I learned that Jacob mixed and cooked pancakes all by himself. (Laughter when I found he cooked them on low heat, taking about 20 minutes to cook each pancake!) Guilt rose up when I thought of all the mistakes I make, and the times that I make my children frustrated. Disappointment surged when I only had 45 minutes to get ready for church, (because I had to stay in bed while the pancakes were cooking, so I didn't spoil their "surprise" breakfast in bed) and saw that I would have to clean the kitchen after all the cooking. But mostly I felt hope. I have hope that I can do a little better, that despite my faults, my kids know that I love them. I have hope that I can raise my children to be good, independent people. When I look at my kids, I have hope that this world isn't as bad as it looks on the evening news, and if we all try to make our own little corner a little better, the whole world will be a brighter place.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Check Out My Buns

Nice looking buns, huh? We're having a barbeque tomorrow, and I decided to make hamburger buns! They are so -o-o-o easy to make, and taste a lot better than the ones you buy in the store. ( Now, if only I could get my own buns in such good shape!) Here is my recipe.

Hamburger Buns

1-1/4 c. warm water 1 Tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 egg

1-1/2 Tbsp. yeast 1-1/2 c. whole wheat flour 2 c. white flour

Mix everything together in your bread machine or mixer. I set my bread machine on the "dough" setting. Knead well if you are using a mixer. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it raise once. Then punch it down and separate it into balls. The recipe makes 8 large buns or 10 smaller ones. Form each ball into a "disk" about 1 inch thick. Place the disks on a cookie sheet. Cover and let raise about 15 minutes. You can sprinkle sesame seeds on the top if you want. Uncover and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack, then slice in half.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

I've become a blogger

I've decided to join the blogging throng. I'm terrible about writing in a journal, and contacting friends and relatives, so.... maybe this will kill two birds with one stone! Since I have no idea what I'm doing, I'll start out small and simple. Maybe I can find a computer guy that will teach me more?! My cousin just blogged 100 things about herself. I enjoyed it, and decided that sounds like a good place to start.
  1. I love Cheetos
  2. I volunteer during math time at my daughters school
  3. Big spiders terrify me
  4. Snakes and mice don't bother me
  5. I like to bake bread
  6. I like to eat home-made bread
  7. I am trying to grow a miniature lemon tree in my bedroom
  8. My lemon tree only has 2 leaves left
  9. I do all the bookkeeping for our home computer business
  10. I tend to be a neat-freak
  11. I like to read during my free time
  12. I like jazz and country music
  13. I don't like music that "vibrates through me"
  14. My favorite movie/book is Gone with the Wind
  15. I like cats
  16. I just got a little black kitten and we called him Pepper
  17. I like gardening and growing things
  18. Each year I try to grow something new
  19. Last year I grew eggplants
  20. I learned that I don't like eggplant. No one in my family does
  21. This year I am trying to grow blueberries
  22. I like blueberries. So does my husband
  23. I've been married for almost 16 years
  24. I got married in the Logan, Utah temple
  25. During my first year of married life I lived in a garage infested with spiders (see #3)
  26. I have 2 sons and 1 daughter
  27. Both my boys have autism
  28. I speak to school groups and community groups about autism
  29. My favorite color is green
  30. I painted the exterior of my house
  31. I will hire someone to paint the exterior of the house in the future
  32. I like to paint inside
  33. My home is painted with deep, bold colors
  34. I have no sense of fashion
  35. I usually wear jeans
  36. The only bone I have broken is my toe, twice
  37. I've had my wisdom teeth removed
  38. I love being a mom
  39. I hate it when my kids whine and fight
  40. I teach sunbeams in church
  41. I am the ward Girls Camp leader
  42. I worked in the Tetons for a summer
  43. I've traveled in 42 of the United States
  44. I've never been to Hawaii, but plan on going next year
  45. The foreign countries I've been in are Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, and Macau
  46. I want to travel to Scotland
  47. I didn't own a cell phone till 2 years ago
  48. I drive a Chevy Venture mini-van
  49. I live in the same town I grew up in, where my parents and grandparents live
  50. I have an Associates degree in Sociology
  51. I use a lot of post-its
  52. I learned how to make quilts, and I try to make one every year
  53. I like antiques - stuff with stories
  54. I don't enjoy shopping, unless I have a lot of money to spend
  55. I'm a stay-home Mom, although I'm seldom at home
  56. I have 4o cousins
  57. Can you tell that I'm a Mormon? :)
  58. My favorite show is The Office
  59. I have auburn hair
  60. I always paint my toenails
  61. When I was a kid I took two years of piano lessons
  62. Chocolate is my friend
  63. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant
  64. Although Tony and I both have dark hair and eyes, our daughter is blond and blue-eyed
  65. I like to watch hummingbirds
  66. Mopping the floor is my least favorite job
  67. I don't like scrap-booking
  68. I can't seem to screw jar lids on straight
  69. I look forward to the mail every day
  70. I like to give presents to people
  71. I like to get presents from people
  72. My family is the most important thing in my life
  73. I enjoy going to plays and shows
  74. I can fix my own plumbing
  75. I had tick fever when I was 9
  76. I want a motorcycle some day
  77. I like to go fishing, but don't like to kill the fish, so I let them go
  78. I once dated a guy named Robert Redford
  79. Strawberries are my favorite fruit
  80. Green beans are my favorite vegetable
  81. I don't really like ice cream
  82. I love watching summer thunder storms
  83. I am not a very good swimmer
  84. I like to organize and sort things (give me a messy closet, and I'll whip it into shape)
  85. Letting my kids go as they grow up is difficult for me
  86. I'm terrified of sending my boys on missions
  87. Horses scare me, but I want to learn to ride and overcome my fear
  88. I like trying new foods
  89. I tend to get myself into unusual (often comical) situations
  90. I worked at KMart when I was a teenager
  91. I sometimes dream about my high school days, and they usually turn into nightmares
  92. I sleep on my side
  93. I have every Louis L'Amour book
  94. I live two block away from a level 4 biosafety lab (There are 8 in the US)
  95. I just hope if I catch some flesh-eating disease, I'll go quickly! (See #94)
  96. I like to watch people... we are all so absurd
  97. There are wa-a-a-a-y too many remote controls in my house
  98. If I don't write down appointments I forget them
  99. I think I'm a happy, well-adjusted person
  100. Everyone else thinks I'm a fruitcake