Monday, May 31, 2010

A Retraction and Holiday Weekend

OK - I will take care of the retraction first.  Obama is not the first president to miss the Arlington Cemetary Ceremony - in fact several US Presidents have missed it for other "better" options.  In the Washington Post is an article specifically addressing this issue it reads  "Obama is not the first president to miss the Arlington ceremony. Ronald Reagan spoke at West Point one year, and went to his California ranch another year. George H.W. Bush, a war veteran, did not go at all. Bill Clinton, who did not serve in Vietnam and had a rocky time with the military, went to Arlington all eight years, and George W. Bush, who also avoided combat service in Vietnam, attended from 2003 onward".  So I guess I should let him off the hook since he is attending a veterans activity while he is in Illinois.
Animation from millan.netMemorial Day Weekend - I wish I were in Idaho this weekend with my family.  I miss them!!!  Since we stayed home, we opted for a very productive weekend so far. 
  • Friday night was spent with the "kids"  We had a great time - they are welcome back anytime.
  • Saturday, after we got the kids breakfast and on their way,we spent the majority of the day at the family compound.  We mowed lawn, dug dandelions with Bruce and Susan, planted tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, made sure all was watered and ready for some warm weather coming our way.  I will have to take some pictures to show you before the weeds take over.
  • Sunday I got things started in primary before we headed off to listen to Meish's homecoming.  I sure do love that family and especially that kid.  He served in Hungary and I can't wait to have him over to tell us more about it.
  • Monday - we had a relaxing morning then Ralph went back to the family compound to plant flowers for his Mom.  He also took his Mom to the cemetary closely followed by a couple of his other siblings.  They visited the graves and left flowers at each one they visited.  (weird tradition if you ask me - just like valentines day only for dead people.  Hopefully these people are thought of more than one day a year and that we honor them with how we live our lives)  I stayed at home and cleaned house and did laundry.  Our landlord came by and got our swamp cooler up and running.  I am not quite ready to use it, but I am glad it is hooked up - this coming week is going to get warm. Today is the day to barbecue...we got a last minute invite up to the family compound.  I love hanging out with family - even those that periodically annoy me.  I am sure I do the same back.  Grilled bratwurst, chips, salsa, dip, veggies and fruit.  Ice cream for dessert.  Yummy Stuff!

  Happy Birthday to Ralph's younger brother. This is his 40 year old birthday and does not want a big celebration or hoop-la. But,as I committed, everyone gets a personalized card for their birthday whether or not they actually want to celebrate it.  He really enjoys all aspects of astronomy so I opted for that theme.

I know you gotta love our humor.  It can get a little warped sometimes.  We try to curb it with some family members and the others get the full brunt of it.
Smiley from
I got the idea for the card from someone elses  blog, but can't seem to remember the address.
Paper - Ballet Blue, Basic Gray, Pumpkin Pie, Green Galore, Basic Black, whisper white
Stamps - Pun Fun, Seeing Stars
Ink - Versamark, Black Stazon, blender pens
Accessories - Circle Cutter, Circle Punches, Oval punches, swirls sizzlit die, irridescent ice embossing powder, Pearlescent chalks, border punch, dimensionals, heat gun.

Well, I am off to play some more with my stamp stuff - have a great rest of the weekend.
Ta Ta for now
Animation from

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A list of 10 with Nothing in Common

First and foremost I want to mention a little contest I found to enter for a $100 gift card to Carrabba's. I have never been to the restaurant, but it has been on my list of places to try ever since I watched their program on PBS.  I would love to win the gift card and be able to go with my sweetheart.  Cookin Canuck is the website where I entered by answering the questions "what big things come in little packages".  I don't usually win these contests, but every once in a while I get lucky.  Here is hoping I do!

Second - Obama - Your job is to be the President of the United States.  That means on Memorial Day you need to get your butt to the Arlington Cemetary to place the wreath on the tomb of the unknown soldier.  Not vacationing somewhere else and sending someone in your stead.  I don't think that soldier had that kind of option - neither should you! 

Third - I hate politics - very few people know what is the truth (even the politians have problems with that)and then they try to have an educated discussion with no backing for what they are claiming. Smiley from When Ralph and I discuss them, it ends up in a not so nice disagreement.  I try to keep things to myself, but sometimes I can't help it.  I can't wait until we have a leader that we can both agree on.   You can probably guess when that will happen.

Fourth - We get to have a sleep over with the nieces and nephews tomorrow night.  Hopefully we will keep the oil paint contained to the palette and the doors closed to closets and personal items.  There will be threats on their lives if they get into things without permission.  Once the ground rules are set - we shouldn't have any problems.  I think we will have a healthy dinner, play in the park, eat a treat, watch a movie, read a story and then (hopefully) fall asleep.
Smiley from

Fifth - Please pass some warm weather our way so that the garden won't be so muddy and we can get our tomatoes and peppers planted.  We will probably get everything in on Saturday (I hope) so that we can play on Monday.
Smiley from
Sixth - Tomorrow is my last work day of the month.   I have about a weeks worth of work to cram into 8 hours.  Maybe I will go in early...then again - maybe I won't
Smiley from
Seventh - I am so glad my Mom is home safe and sound and that my brother was able to get moved so he can be with his family.  I hope everything works out.

Eighth - I have lost a total of 10 pounds and 13 inches off of my body.  Ralph has lost 32 pounds and 25 inches off of his body.  We started a program using Isagenix products.  The good thing with this program is that I haven't craved the burgers and french fries, or the desserts.  I just keep telling myself, especially when co-workers bring mini reeses peanut butter cups to work to share...It is all about the results - and changing our habits.  Lets keep it up

Ninth - TV time will dramatically reduce now that Biggest Loser and NCIS are over for the season.  That is ok - more time to spend on my hobbies and get organized.  I got a few goodies in the mail this week - can't wait to get the projects rolling.  I have a banner to make, a couple of birthday cards and some prep for my class that I teach next weekend.  Fun for me!!!
Smiley from

Tenth - Book reviews   I just finished a book called The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - I loved it.  I had a hard time keeping track of characters to begin with, but once I got into it, I really enjoyed the story.   So, so, SO good. A tiny bit reminiscent of The Secret Garden, only in a completely different, grown-up, enchanting way.  Total page turner! It has been awfully difficult for me to tear myself away from it and concentrate on my work.  Loved It!   Another book I finished was They Mysterious Benedict Society 1 and 2.  They are great childrens storys.  They require a little bit of thought process on the readers part as you get to participate in the mystery sleuthing.  Thumbs up for both of them

Ta Ta for now 

Smiley from

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Second Thoughts!
I initially was going to use this post as a forum to thrash on STUPID people who create drama in whatever circle of people they are around. All because they can't get a story straight and heaven forbid they would approach the source of the original information before bad mouthing them. But I am not going to get myself worked up anymore. STUPID people can stay STUPID. I will just leave them wondering why nobody ever wants to be around them. Enough Said!

Last weekend we had the priviledge of riding in Ralph's brother's green Yukon with all six of them. Boy did we have fun!
Smiley from

We left in the a.m. Not as early as originally planned, but come on folks -you can't expect to be out at Stansbury park star gazing well into the a.m. and then expect to get an early start on the road. We were only an hour off of our start time. Not so bad. Monkey #4 asked where we were going. After we explained we were driving into the mountains - monkey #4 said we could see them from the car and we didn't need to go for a drive. Monkey #2 was the first to ask how many more miles and how long till we get there. Monkey #1 was an instigator of a lot of the problems and Monkey #3 probably got away with more than deserved. It wasn't until we made a stop for treats and Mom got in the back seat that we had a little peace and quiet from the Monkey's.Smiley from

We drove through 9-mile canyon and did a little sight seeing of all the amazing petroglyphs left by the Fremont Indians. We stopped for a picnic lunch before we headed up a very short trail to see one of the more famous petroglyphs. I wish we had more time to see all that we had wanted to but because of a mis-calculation of how much time it would take us to get through the canyon we had to cut it short so that we could get to my Aunt's amazing greenhouse to pick up plants for the garden.

We arrived at the greenhouse and picked up tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, flowers, and who know what else. But we are ready to go. Now we just have to get the weather to cooperate with us. Anyway...we got to feed the horses and climb the haystacks and sit on all the tractors at my Aunt and Uncles farm before moving on to the house. My Aunt fixed us strawberry rhubarb crisp with ice cream and home made cookies if you didn't want the crisp. I think all the monkeys had some of both. The monkeys also got a chance to check out the chicken coop to see if there were any extra eggs laying around.

We headed back up highway 6, but not before stopping to get a hamburger and fries. It turns out that the burger joint in the Sinclair gas station in pretty good. I would stop there again. Everyone was full and the trip back was very quiet and restful. Most everyone was asleep.

I love spending my weekends playing. Especially when it can be spent with people we love. I think we all had a great day.

Ta Ta for now
Smiley from

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A healthy recipe to share

One of my favorite dinners to make and eat are "lettuce" wraps.  You get bold flavors from your filling with  cool crispy lettuce for a delicious "hands on" meal 

We always seem to have most of the ingredients, but not always a tortilla or wrap in the fridge. One thing we always have in the fridge is lettuce.  Most of the time we make tacos and wrap the ingredients in a romaine lettuce leaf.  We have done fajita style wrap,  They turn out very tasty and I don't have to chop the lettuce.  I  also love Korean bulgogi with rice wrapped in a "soft" lettuce leaf.  Recently I bought a few of the ingredients to make asian style lettuce wraps.  They turned out quite good and not a lot of calories.  I wanted to share my new found pleasure with you. ( not my picture - but really close to what mine look like)

This recipe is adapted from several that I read, and to be honest I can't give you exact amounts, but I will try

1 lb ground turkey - any protien will work - chicken breast, beef, pork, fish, shrimp and if you really wanted you could do tofu (yucky)Smiley from
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger or ground ginger to taste
Cook turkey for a couple minutes in hot pan  - season with your favorite flavors - I usually add a little bit of lemon pepper
1 bag coleslaw mix. - I have used broccoli slaw or thinly sliced cabbage as well
1 red pepper julienned - you can use any or all colors and heats - I let Ralph add the hot ones to his own
3 scallions diagonally cut
Continue cooking until veggies are to your liking
1/2 C hoisin
1 T fish sauce
Turn to coat all ingredients
chiffonade basil - about 1/3 cup
just enough to wilt
have your favorite Lettuce leafs ready...
Fill your lettuce leaf with mixture - top with:
diced cucumber
gochujang (korean condiment - spicy) mixed with soy sauce - what an amazing flavor!

Happy Eating
Ta Ta for now
Smiley from

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mind the Gap

A common phrase in England to be careful of the space between the train and the station platform.  But in my case I am using it to excuse my lack of updates. 

I have been busy with company and trying to make my transition to Primary as seamless as possible.  I have some awesome counselors and an amazing secretary.  I just hope the bishop lets me keep them for a while.

Mom and Marlene came for a visit last weekend.  Marlene volunteered to start cataloging and organizing my rubber stamp collection. She was a trooper and I hope she didn't wear herself out.  We had a family wedding and reception on Saturday, Moms sister spent part of the day with us on Sunday.  Monday we got a little bit of shopping in. Tuesday they went home whilist I stayed home and recovered from allergy/sinus issues.  Here is a picture of us before we head off the wedding reception.  It pretty much rained the whole weekend, except on Monday which was such a beautiful day.  I am glad we had the time together that we did.

Marlene and I worked on a gift card holder for our wedding gift.  I think it turned out quite well.
 The card opens as you untie the bow to a greeting and the gift card in a cute little holder.  We were in a hurry, so I didn't get a picture of the inside.  The hearts were not my original idea.  How they were decorated and placed was my creation. 

I got to see and visit with my cousin for a few minutes.  My very BFF from...well ever since I can remember.  We were going to do everything together. Get married, have kids, live close.  But, it didn't quite work out that way.  We kind of went our seperate ways when she got married after our first semester of college. She had beautiful babies and I went on to further my education and have some play time.  I spent many years single before I found someone to settle down with.  Life has "happened" to both of us in ways we would have never imagined.  I still love her and consider her my bestest friend ever.  She has an amazing family.  I would love to kidnap several of the kids and adopt them as my own.  She is an amazing Mother and friend.

Signing off for tonight.
Ta Ta for now!
Smiley from