Thursday, February 24, 2011


Time has flown and it has been a fun time.   I took some time off of work to spend with my Mom while she was here visiting.  Here is a run down of some of the things we did.  (I should probably break this post down into many, but it is an accomplishment just to get it done.)

One our favorite things to do to relax is knit.  Mom came with a lot of extra dish cloth yarn and since we both like home made dish cloths we decided to make a few.  During the down/TV time Mom knitted dishcloths 23 as of yesterday- I made a few of these, but she made the majority of them.  There are so many cute patterns out there and it is a great way to refresh your skills.  They even work great for facial washcloths.  We got our year supply.

We spent a little bit of time at the Family History Library.  It was fun to hear about my anscestors and learn a little about researching.  We did get to a point on one of them that we had to request a marriage certificate to progress any further.  We were in dungeons, looking at some microfilm and the power went out.  Thank goodness for emergency back up lighting.   Kind of funny, but memorable experience.   Hopefully this visit is one of many that Ralph and I make as we pursue some of our history's

We did a little bit of shopping.  Actually we spent three days running around looking in stores and hanging out.  Muphy's law...when you don't have money to spend you find lots of things you like.  We did find some super sales over the weekend and found a few steals.   We did splurge and purchased matching bracelets that we can add charms to.  The first charm we got were mom/daughter charms. Every time I look at it I think of her and how special she is to me.

It feels like I have done a lot of cooking lately. I love it!   Ralph normally takes care a lot of that, but it has been fun to get back into the kitchen and get my hands dirty.  I have made 5 batches of artisan bread since Mom has been here... along with two pots of soup. Here is one of the recipes that tastes so good and is a nice change from the normal food fare.

Picture from Sunset Magazine

Singapore Turkey Stew

  • 1  pound  ground lean turkey
  • 1/2  teaspoon  Chinese five spice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  hot chili flakes
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1  tablespoon  vegetable oil
  • 2  cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1  tablespoon  grated fresh ginger
  • 1  can (13 1/2 oz.) coconut milk
  • 1  can (14 1/2 oz.) fat-skimmed chicken broth
  • 1  head bok choy (12 oz.), rinsed, stem end trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1  can (14 oz.) baby corn, drained
  • 2  Roma tomatoes (about 8 oz. total), rinsed, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4  cup  drained canned sliced water chestnuts
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced green onions
  • 1  tablespoon  lime juice
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, five spice, chili flakes, and salt. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Pour flour onto a large rimmed plate and roll balls in flour to coat lightly.
2. Pour oil into a 4- to 5-quart nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add meatballs in a single layer. Cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned all over and barely pink in the center (cut to test), 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.
3. Add garlic and ginger to pan and stir just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add coconut milk, broth, and meatballs; bring to a simmer. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until meatballs are no longer pink in the center, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in bok choy, baby corn, tomatoes, water chestnuts, green onions, and lime juice and cook, stirring often, until bok choy leaves are wilted and stems are barely tender to bite, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve from pan.

I also got to make breakfast and dinner for Ralph's birthday.  Yes, I threw the diet out the window and had home made biscuits with sausage gravy and soft scrambled eggs.  For dinner we had bbq pork ribs with mashed potatoes, veggies and a salad.  His birthday cake was a peanut butter cake with chocolate filling and a cream cheese frosting.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it before it was devoured by family.  It was very tasty.

Speaking of Ralph's B-day here is a picture of his card... it was fun to make and even more fun to give it to him.  He did express how much he enjoyed home made cards.  I then felt guilty because he is usually the one that gets left off the list.  I know!!!! he should be the first on the list.  I am committing to do much more betterer.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm so tired

So I sit here at my desk in a drug induced state.  I took a zyrtec just before bed last night - slept as hard as a rock.  I still feel like I could be sleeping or napping.  I have been dealing with sinus issues since before Thanksgiving.  I have been doing everything possible that might fix it except go to the Dr.'s.  The zyrtec seems to be doing an ok job - but I can't continue with the "sleepies"  I will have to get a caffeinated beverage to make it through the rest of the day.

Here is another picture of a valentine I sent to my family and once again will clarify that is not my original idea but cute none the less.

Stamps - Be my Valentine
Ink - stazon black
Paper - whisper white, real red, red glimmer paper, Valentine DSP 2010.
Accessories - heart punch, 1 1/4 square punch, red taffeta ribbon, EF

This was my favorite that I did for Valentines.  Poor Ralph, once again, did not get a card. 

Time is ticking and I still have a lot to do today before I leave work.  I just wanted to share the creation

Ta Ta for now

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart Cakes

Smiley from

I hope everyone has a great day and knows they are loved!

 Confession - I love Necco Sweetheart candies.  I have tried these types of candy hearts by other companies - they just don't taste the same.  I especially love them when they are fresh and semi-soft. They have just enough flavor to match their color and they are fun to munch on. 

It was a busy weekend but very productive.  I love having my Mom here to visit and she is so much fun to hang with.  We ran errands on Saturday, as well as attend a gallery showing of some guys metal work (Ralph was attending an open house for a charter school - so Mom and I waited at the library and saw the art showing), grocery shopping, went to meetings (I bailed, but Ralph was good and faithful) and then prepped for sharing time on Sunday.

Ralph's family usually exchanges some kind of treat for Valentines day - I didn't want to be left hanging, so I made one of Ralph's favorite Valentine treats...Heart cakes.  The recipe comes from his Grandma White.  I will just preface that I don't really care for sugar cookies, unless the frosting is just amazing and even then, they are still not my favorites.  These cookies are just different enough - I love them!  Between the almond flavor and oats, the cookies are great by themselves.  The frosting just adds to an already yummy cookie.  Here is the picture of what was delivered to the family yesterday and the recipe.

Heart Cakes
1 Cup butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
2 C rolled oats (I used quick oats)

Cream butter and sugar - add eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Add dry ingredients.  Chill the dough.  Roll out to about a 1/4 in thickness.  Using a heart cookie cutter, cut hearts and place them on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

After they have cooled - frost them with this recipe
3 C powdered sugar
1/3 butter - softened
2 T maraschino cherry juice  ( I used a little bit of cherry flavoring and red food coloring)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
( I used evaporated milk to bring the frosting to the consistency I wanted)

  Ralph's Mom will be coming over for dinner tonight.  We figured since my Mom was already here, we would have both Moms over to celebrate the day.  We will be having linguine with a light tomato cream sauce and scallops, salad, home made bread and turtle chocolate cheesecake for dessert.  The rest of the week will be carrots and celery sticks and lots of exercise.

Ta Ta for now

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines in the mail

Snail Mail that is.  I am doing everything I can to keep the US post office in business.  Apparently they have posted another loss for January - not because of me. is one of the cards that got mailed today.

I have seen this bear used to string up all kinds of goodies - so this is not my original idea, but a cute one none the less. The card was thrown together at 10:30 ish last night because I needed to get it in the mail today in order for it to reach it's destination by Monday.  (coloring done with a blender pen - didn't turn out so great in the picture - looks ok IRL)

Stamps - Under the stars, well scripted
Ink - Black Stazon, chocolate chip, early espresso, soft suede
Paper - chocolate chip, Valentines Bundle DSP, real red, whisper white
Accessories - small heart punch, linen thread, three heart punch

More valentine projects will be posted between now and Monday.  Two more cards to make and several cookie boxes. 

I had the opportunity to participate in a Focus group at Stampin UP - I went with my BFF Wendy (she is so much fun to hang with) and we got see some fun stuff.  Can you beleive they are planning a year in advance.  Wowsers.  The Stampin Up building just exudes "fun".   You walk in a say...gee I would love to work here.  I imagine that your work would still turn into a J-O-B then again maybe not.  Playing with paper, stamps and ink 8 hours a day may not be such a bad idea.  I do get a free stamp set out of the deal.  Made it worth taking the morning off to hang with my friend talking about some of our favorite things.

Mom is here for a visit.  YAY!  We have all kinds of plans - catching up on sleep is at the top of the list for some.   We plan on doing some geneology work, window shopping, hair coloring, reading, cooking, eating, exercising because we ate, and temple attendance.  Good times. 

Since their arrival Ralph & I have been taken off the top of Riley's favorite list by a little black dog named Millie Pups - she puts up with Riley, barely, and all he just wants is to play with her.  He wouldn't even stick around for his morning belly scratch before he had to go check on Millie.  He usually loves to ride in the car to drop me off at work but as soon as we came outside he completely emptied his bladder in one spot (not usual for a boy doggy) and pulled on his leash to go back into the house.  He had no interest in coming with me.  He would rather have stayed home to play with Millie.  Where's the LOVE????

Ta Ta for now

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Daughtry Day and a New Perspective

It is one of those days - feel like listening to Daughtry.  Actually I am feeling kind of pensive today.  It is a good thing, because that is when I usually choose to make good changes in my life.

I went to get my hair cut yesterday and when I saw my hairdresser I was shocked.  First of all let me say - I Love my hairdressr - had the same one for a very long time - tried switching  - nobody does it as good as she does.  So back to the story - She normally has this cute little bob style hair cut.  When I saw her, she was sporting a different hair style.  Short and kind of spikey and she looked about 15 years older than normal.  I am thinking what have you done with yourself?  Holy Cow what do I say to her???  So I said something about a new hairdo and how fun it was to have a new style.  She told me it was a wig.  Ok - that is an easy way to change your hairstyle without it being permanent.  She then told me that she had breast cancer.  Wow!  That wasn't very nice of me, sitting there thinking how horrible she looked and passing judgement without knowing the truth.  Then I felt even sillier as I sat there complaining about my gray hair when here she is having to wear a wig because she is losing hers.  She has a great attitude and chooses not to dwell on the negative.  Talk about a new perspective.

My cousins oldest daughter - had a stroke about 2 weeks ago.  She is only in her early 20's.  This girl is just an angel.  Sweet, thoughtful and full of pizzazz for life.  She will undergo physical therapy as well as surgery to fix a hole in her heart.  What a shock.  You really begin to realize how fragile life is and how precious our loved ones are to us. 

You know...we all have problems and issues that seem ginormous, but thank you very much, I will keep the problems and worries I have.

I am anxious for the work day to be over.  I am not really in the mood to work and when I am home I get to hang with my guys.  I also get to work on valentine stuff as well as clean house for a house guest and her little dog too.  Riley can hardly wait.

Ta Ta for now

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekend Report

Those weekends sure fly by.  I got home from work on Friday and Ralph went to the basement - not sure why, but realized we had a large lake that had formed.  One of the water pipes had broken.  Fortunately the land lord is really good about getting things fixed.  He showed up right away and got to work.  The pipe actually belonged to one of the smaller units in the back, but still flooded our basement.   Thanks to a shop vac and quick skills all was fixed before the evening was over.  We now have an industrial fan blowing to dry everything out.  We didn't have anything on the basement  floor that would have been ruined by the water except for a couple of cardboard boxes.  Whew.

We had a chance to hang out with our monkeys on Saturday evening as their parents attended a dinner for stake leaders and the evening session of stake conference.  After pizza we had the chance to watch Toy Story 3.   The boys said it was their least favorite of the three and they didn't want to watch it.  They watched some Lego flick, the oldest monkey played on her DS and the littlest monkey enjoyed the movie with us.  The movie was not as good as I had anticipated, but entertaining none the less.  We got home around 10:00 pm and made bread for Superbowl Sunday sandwiches.  Bedtime came around 1:30 am

We headed up to the family compound for the game and a feast.  Menu for the day:
Cream cheese with raspberry chipotle sauce and crackers
Shrimp and cocktail sauce
Little Smokies in barbecue sauce
Chicken fingers
Veggies & Dip
Oriental Pork sandwiches with slaw on baguettes
Crepes with cherry filling, hot fudge sauce and whipped cream
Jelly Roll

The game didn't end as I had hoped, but I still had fun watching a good game of football and all the entertaining commercials. This is one of my favorites  

Picture stolen from Just me you and dogs :)
We had brought Riley with us and he had a grand time running around the back yard and playing with the other dogs.  He was a tease to the other dogs and a bit antagonizing as the other dogs tried to rest.  He teased them incessantly.  Kind of funny.  Willy the brittany spaniel just takes his toys and hides them so no one else can play with them.  Gus Gus likes to play, but mostly barks.  He has a high pitch bark that really starts to hurt the ears, so once again the toys get put away.  I didn't mind it too much but Uncle David didn't like it at all.  Riley really misses Sam Sam.

A January birthday card

Ok - here is a picture of the Birthday card I sent out for January.  This one is slightly different - a little more jazzed up that the original, but still so cute.  I got the idea from another Stampin UP demonstrator.  I can't wait to try more pop up cards.
 The little owls pop up and become 3D .  I had a lot of fun making them.
Here are the specs
Stamps - Party Hearty,  On your Birthday
Paper - Soft Suede, Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Chocolate Chip
Ink - Pacific Point, Daffodil Delight, Real Red, Versamark, Early Espresso
Accessories - Texture EF, Owl Punch, dimensionals, 1 3/8 circle punch, 1 in circle punch, Hemp, confetti wheel, large oval punchPhotobucket

What a cute family

Three weeks ago we had the privilege of attending the sealing of my niece and her husband to their little boy that they were able to recently adopt.  He is such a cute little bug and they are such good parents.  We sure do love them.

The sealing took place at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.  As all temple are beautiful so is this one.  I especially liked the natural light and art work inside.  Can't wait to take time to do more ordinances there.  Baby ABC slept through the whole thing.  I was a little surprised that the temple workers didn't allow one of the "grandmas" to hold the baby during the sealing, but then again how do you choose which Grandma.  Both so deserving.

After the sealing we adjourned to a local church for a luncheon put on by the family.  It was very tasty as I had been very good on my diet all week so it tasted extra good to me.  Blimpie sandwiches, chips, cookies and diet coke.   It was also fun to see everyone.  Thanks for inviting us to be a part of this special occasion in your lives!  I am so glad we could make it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Question …am I just neglecting the blog or am I busy enough with other things that I haven’t had a chance to get to it.   Probably a little of both, but leaning on the side of AWOL.   
I finished two birthday cards and 12 swap cards and neglected to get pictures of them before they got delivered to the intended recipient.  I have also been trying to finish some of my Valentine cards and decorations.  I should get the swap cards back and I will attempt to make another birthday card to post because it was so dang cute.
 Smiley from   Pictures to come…
Stake Conference was last week and I ended up participating in both sessions helping out a couple of groups that were singing that had a member of the group cancel out.  I really enjoyed singing one of the pieces. – Lift Thine Eyes – we sang it a cappella and we actually sounded really good.  Thanks to Ralph for helping me work on it.
Smiley from
Our heater is having issues.Smiley from  Of course it would happen when it is the coldest.  The furnace ignites, but the blower and thermostat are not talking to each other.  Fortunately it is just inconsistent and not completely out.  The furnace guy is coming today to take a look at it and hopefully fix it.  One of Riley’s favorite places to hang out is next to the heater vent to keep warm so hopefully for his sake it will be a quick fix.
Washing machine problems…between flooded floors and switching an old machine for an newer old machine it is still not working.   Maybe the Landlord will get a nice refurbished one for us.  In the meantime I guess that means shoving quarters into a laundry mat machine or taking the laundry to an inlaws.
Smiley from
Jack Frost is having a hay day in our neck of the woods.  I haven’t been able to get out during my lunch hour to walk because it is so cold.   I did hear that if we have a couple more days of really cold weather the grasshopper population will be greatly diminished. ???  Convincing Riley that he needs to spend some time walking to get all his gas out is entirely another story.  He doesn’t like the cold, but we don’t like his gas, so we all end up spending time outside.  All I have to say is BRRRR!  On the up side, the cold east wind has cleared out the icky air so at least you can breath - you just freeze your toncils or nose hairs in the process.
Work…let’s just say it is killing me softly.Smiley from
As you can see life at our household never ceases to be dull as I am sure it is the same way at your home.
Have a stupendous day!
Ta Ta for now