Sunday, June 29, 2008


We took the Food Handler's test last week. I need to type up a few more recipes. I've decided to sell my homemade Flax Seed crackers and Hummus, along with Gove's standard whole wheat bread and his new dutch oven bread. We will send in the application tomorrow. Perhaps by the mid July we will be selling our prepared foods at the market and around the neighborhood.

I'm waiting for my transcripts to arrive to Brigham Young University. I will start taking a class every other semester beginning in January. This Fall, I will start with a government class through George Wythe College. I now need to read The 5,00 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen, Federalist Papers, Roots of American Order, and The Virginian (already read), plus the optional reading of The Real George Washington and The Real Thomas Jefferson, which I read a few years ago.
In preparation for all of this, I am going through Cleon Skousen's The Miracle of America, and The Making of America courses on DVD. I will work this week to write an essay for GWC admissions.

Our steep hill sides were covered with a nylon mesh this past week. There is a layer of straw between the mesh. We had 80% Rockie Mountain Wild Flower mixture and 20% mountain grass with a strong root system laid out prior to the mesh going down.
We are hopeful that once the seeds germinate and grow we will have nature (the good part that is) controlling the erosion.

Eli cut our little lawn for the first time last night. There are a couple dried out spots but not much to complain of when you get it for free.

A Little Work, A Little Play...

It was the general consensus to participate in the annual "Kids Parade" held yesterday morning. Before we could leave, I needed to gather veggies from the garden to send with my sister for the local Farmers Market. We had 6 dozen eggs to sell as well.
Somewhere in all this gathering, (the kids were getting Mardi Gras beads to pass out at the parade), we came to realize that we each wanted to go to the market instead.

And what a good choice! Not only was the market in full swing, The Boys and Girls Club was sponsoring an "Athlete Hero Day". The kids could see all kinds of athletic type games going on and free food too.
After selling for a time, I took the kids to register for this free event. They ate lunch thanks to Panda Express and started to participate in the games. I was happily surprised to see each of my children could actually hit a ball. We are not much of a sports family. To name three current athletes might show how little we are involved. Anyway, as you played the games, you received a ticket. At points in the day, a ticket would be called out and a child would receive a prize.
As I was holding all the tickets, we won a prize. It's a really cool backpack. It's in my room right now and I'm down stairs so I'm not runny up to get it. But is has zippers and pockets all over the place and great padding. So I think the Mom is going to use it first for our next hike. There is even a spot for one of those water bags you drink from without using your hands.

The kids had fun. And we sold all but one bag of veggies. In all we earned just over $30. The kids are saving funds for a hoped trip to Williamsburg next Spring.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Butterflies Galore...

I took the kids hiking yesterday. We went up Slate Canyon until we were out of the smog. I don't know the elevation, however, I had to take lots of stops for my lungs and heart.

We hiked the creek along this path about one month ago and the water was flowing. It must have been snow run off because it's a dry creek bed now. As we climbed, we discovered a natural spring.

At this spring, the water was flowing across the walking path and there were butterflies of all types dipping into the water. Honey bees and Wasps were buzzing all around.

We caught a number of butterflies and kept four special colored ones. Now to identify.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I just finished a six hour audio introduction to The Iliad by Homer. This was highly worthwhile in preparing me, and encouraging me to actually read the English version of this great Homeric epic.

There are many great titles you can purchase or encourage your library to provide. I have tried once but did not get to far. I think I will try again!

Have a great summer reading.

The Teaching Company.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Movie...

We just finished watching a family movie that's great for the summer time.
How can I describe this movie without giving it away?
Let's see...
It's a cross between the good parts of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music.
Interestingly, Emma Thompson is one of the main characters but you don't know it until the end.

Our kids gave this moive 5 stars, or rather the girls did. Eli gives 4 stars.
Nanny McPhee

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eat Your Heart Out Dough Boy!

Watch out Dough Boy, there's a new belly in town!
That's right.
He can jiggle like Tevye, and sing a little too.
Unlike Tevye, he can cook a darn good loaf of bread.
Shh. Don't tell anyone, but we had to buy a can of beer to make this amazing bread.
It was so embarrassing to go to our local store. What if our Bishop sees us? We grabbed a brown bag to conceal the guilty evidence.
We didn't even know what a Leger beer was!
Until now. Oh boy. You better watch out.
I wish I took a picture before we cut into this thing of beauty. It was round, raised, golden brown, with a hard chewy crust. The inside was sweet, white, and tender. The butter melted perfectly into the air holes. As we chewed, Mattia said it was like "eating a piece of heaven".

Well, we still have beer left over so Gove is now making 8 loafs. The key is how you cook them. It's in dutch ovens heated to 500 degrees. The credit has to go to Holly who gave this incredible magazine to us.

I highly recommend Cook's Illustrated. It's much better then Sports Illustrated and you actually learn valuable skills for the kitchen.

If your lucky, you might be on our list for free delivery tonight. Then again, maybe not.

P.S. My honey just asked if there might be a Cook's swim suit edition.

My answer to him: Only in our kitchen dear husband..

Changes Are Good, For Now...

I'd like to go to a beautiful beach, were the sand is soft, there are no bugs, and one can just relax and read for many hours with no interruptions. My family is also laying next to me being very quiet.

I'm using this blog back ground until I've had enough of the calm and peaceful life.

How Much Will This Cost Me???

Seven days ago I awoke with a stomachache. By Monday I was having spasms that lasted about 5 seconds. You think a spasm doesn't hurt much? Oh, think again.
I went to the Insta-care Tuesday night, as we were going camping at Lake Tahoe the next night. I and the Maureen, the nurse practitioner, thought the pain was related to my gallbladder.
Not so! Wednesday afternoon I went to the E.R. with the hope of getting a positive answer. I thought if it's just pain, I would 'suck it up' and go with the family. Hours later, the CT showed inflammation around my appendices! trip for the mom.
Thursday morning, still having these 5-6 seconds cramps that really hurt and my abdomen was very sore and I felt I was having rebound tenderness when my abdomen was palpated. I was getting very concerned. As I did not want surgery. I returned to the hospital for a HIDA Scan to rule out my gallbladder. It was normal. Then another CT scan with more contrast, and even a sonogram.

The verdict was not an appendicitis, but rather colitis of my ascending colon. Ouch! It really hurts! The last thing any person wants is intestinal disease.

Yet a new day dawned this morning. No spasms, just a sore lower back.

I am making kefir, which is full of probiotics. I'm sticking to a liquid diet for the most part. I'm using essential oil especially designed for the digestive tract. Positive thinking and prayer. Last but not lest, I'm going to try colon cleansings. The last thing I want is Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's disease.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What Goes Around...

Friday morning I and the kids were out doing nice things for other people. It was after all Friday the 13th. What better day is there for giving of your time?

Remember the saying, 'what goes around comes around'? It happened to us this weekend.

After working all day Saturday, I and Gove were driving home from the store, we saw a couple of guys laying sod. We asked for their card and it turned out to be the owner. He just finished and had two pallets left.He gave them to us! Wow! What a blessing. We had spent the entire day cleaning up out little piece of flat land in preparation for sodding next month and paying someone else to do it. But just that morning I said, "we should consider doing this ourselves and save some money". With the help of my sister and neighbor, we laid sod from about 7ish to 9;30pm and saved a lot of money.

And now our dirt is green.

Sometimes the good you do does come back to you. Not every time nor should it. You would then be compelled instead of giving freely of your time, talents, and energies.

Many thanks have been felt this weekend.

Always A Student...

Fourteen years ago I figured my education was finished. I had graduated with a degree in Nursing. I was capable of caring for myself. What else was there? I could work and play.

Fortunately this attitude started to change about four years ago. I came across a book entitled, "A Thomas Jefferson Education for the 21st Century" by Dr. Oliver DeMille.

At that time, I did not realize the many changes that would influence my life. I began reading classics with no idea where it was going to take me. I started with Pilgram's Progress and Little Women.

Slowly, I came to see myself openly and I hope honestly. I did not like what I was seeing. I saw that I was not progressing within my character development. As a matter of fact, I was years behind. Just living an average life, which means spending a lot of time watching television.

I wanted to become a better person. I have many flaws. Anger, impatience, gluttony, weak self-confidence at times, are just a few to mention. So, I started with increased prayer, scripture study and a 12 step program.

Prayer is key to any improvement I have been blessed with. And forgiveness, humility, repentance, an increase of charity, and scripture study. Improvement take work, effort, sacrifice, and mostly time. Lots of time. Did I mention time? Lots of it. Patience to accept god's time plan and not my own.

Learning. It's fun. It's often hard and requires patience, sacrifice, and endurance. Yet the rewards of new understanding of what is truth is up lifting. Frankly I think it's a gift from God above.

I registered with George Wythe College earlier this week. I have contemplated this before but I'm some what apprehensive of the painful work involved, the sacrifice for reading, the papers to write. Oh boy. Yet, it has felt right. It is going to be another growth and learning opportunity if I am willing to work for it. Spiritual and Intellectual growth require a level of commitment and sacrifice on our part. The rewards are both earthly and eternal.

Forward I will strive to go, with Jesus at my helm.

Cottage Industries...

I recently learned that the Agriculture Department has made changes in the food cottage industry. You can now receive an inspection and may acquire a license for cooking and selling food, without a commercial kitchen.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Our First Harvest...

Eli and I gathered the first of our broccoli. One head had already flowered. We also have some lettuce and small leaves of spinach.

We did not eat these thing this evening because we worked on building a fence until late and I bought mexican from Rancharitos.

It's a good thing we did not eat our garden goodies, this evening as I was cleaning them I found a green caterpillar. We are leaving some food for it to see if it has a preference to a certain veggie.

To bed....sleep...wonderful sleep...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Twenty Years Ago...

I was in the United States Army working as a Medic. I was rather buff then. I once ran in a 10K race somewhere in Germany and took 8th place. Mind you I didn't realize there were places awarded. I was just out for a jog.

Twenty years ago I was pretty good at roller skating. I actually wanted to be a roller derby girl.

Twenty years ago I was eighty pounds slimmer. Let's not talk about this right now...

Yesterday evening I decided to show Beth how to really roller skate. After all I was quite good at turning and using my brakes twenty years ago.

Oh My! What a change in 7,300+ days! I could barely balance, and once I did I thought I'd showoff with the brakes on the skates, when all of a sudden out went my feet and I was flat on my back. I stated to laugh and was reminded of Brother Bear and Father Bear in one of the books where Pa Bear is showing Brother what to do but always did it wrong.

Thank goodness for helmets.

Twenty years, what a change...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Surprised by The Library!...

Guess what!
What's that?
No, it's not that!
It's this... I just won this weeks drawing at the library for the adult/youth summer reading program!
How fun.
I only submitted my review of Walden yesterday and now I'm a winner.
I guess I'm going to try my hand at imitation rock wall climbing.
Oh boy.

I'm feeling lucky. I need two more reviews and then I'm in for the grand prize. This feels like it's going to be a sizzle'n summer vacation for me.

Go ahead, you can rub me three times. I've got the golden touch. Well, at lest for this moment.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fun In Provo...For You and The Kids...

Many family activities are planned for June and beyond. I thought I would provide ideas for fun and learning.

Now until July 26th is the Provo Library Summer Reading Program. There is a chance to get a free State Fair ticket which my kids are totally reading for.

On June 11 and 12th, the BYU Museum of Art is holding a two day Family Art Fest. The theme is "Victorian Knights". This sounds so fun I may take the kids both days.

On June 28th, bring your kids to participate in the Children's Parade. My kids did this last year while I was out of town. This year they want to bring Mardi Gras beads to give to kids.

July 2-5th is Colonial Days! This is a fun experience to see life for our ancestors. The Crandell Historical Printing Museum is a worthwhile tour as well.

July 4th is the Grand Parade. Sadly since my kids spent 5 years at Mardi Gras parades they find all other parades slightly disappointing. that's why they want to give beads at the kids parade.

Let me know of any other fun activities. Free is always great.

Friday's Hike...

This morning we met our new friends for a walk along Bonneville Trails. We wanted to find an out cropping of slate. Instead of taking the dirt path, the kids wanted to walk up the creek. You can see a small water fall behind I and the kids.
Further along the path, Mattia found a deer leg in the water. Many plants that I don't yet know were in bloom. Eli did find a Sego Lilly.

Moss and Lichen.

We found the slate! The kids had fun writing with slate pencils they found.

The only thing missing was our nature books and drawing a picture to remember the experience. There were many yellow blossomed flowers. I think I would have drawn those.

Pond Life...

We went to The Bicentennial Park this week. Bethany believes this insect is a new damselfly.
We found the skin of the nymph. Sadly it did not survive.

Part Ownership...

Here she is!
"Future Fashion Designer of the Year"

My Boy Is Famous!...

As The Garden Grows...

And how does your garden grow?

Goodbye dirt...

And now we have a drive-

They Sent An Answer...

I received an answer to the question I emailed to Goodreads last night.
It turns out that you can only show 20 books at a time on your blog.
Although the fourth page should hold six books to make it a complete shelf, Goodreads just allows two.
I wonder why?
I think I will ask.

We are hiking Slate canyon this morning and biking to Provo Lake this afternoon.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

With fourteen people in attendance this evening, our colloquium discussion was insightful, funny, and an hour well spent.
We discussed the book Walden, written by Henry David Thoreau. This novel was published about 1854. He lived near Walden pond outside of Concord, Mass., on property owned by his friend R.W. Emerson.
I think there are some worth while points for simplification to our lives, and the author decides to test his abilities to a point by spending time over a two year period living a self-centered, semi-secluded life on Walden pond. He doesn't actually live full time in this little house he made for about $14.
As it was suggested this evening, Thoreau was a philosopher, and as such he was experimenting with himself, seeing how far he could push himself in his approach to this lifestyle.
I sometimes pretend our rooms are holding the barest of items. Imagine the ease at vacuuming and dusting. These two items alone would free space in my mind and my planner.

Where Are They Going?...

I'm feeling rather annoyed at the present moment.

Do you see the Goodreads shelves on the right hand side of this blog? Well take a look.
The first shelf is suppose to hold the books I've read.
This shelf should have 28 books but it only shows 20 and every time I add a book, a book drops from the shelf.
I have just sent an email to the company asking what to do.
Do you know what I can do to stop this?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

From The Marriage Of Figaro

My prior post mentioned Mozart in Shawshank Redemption. This is a scene from the opera with English subtitles. It's lovely to hear and visualize.

P.S. We are now listening to Lawrence Welk. Boy this brings back good childhood memories. I'm trying to polka with the girls, just like I did with my siblings long ago.

Go Girl!...

Let me tell you... That girl Bethany is on a roll today!

First, she finds this creature in the playroom. We took the miniature monster to the Bean Museum and low an behold, it's called a Household Centipede. It seems they love to eat insects and yes it's poisonous just like the centipedes with the short legs. Luckily, the centipedes in Provo don't hurt humans. At lest thats what Dr. somebody said.

Secondly, I take the girls to D.I. and she spots with her sharp eagle eyes a
Viking sewing machine for $25. Beth says she'll pay $12.
So I say o.k. and we buy it. It works!
Bethany has already sewed her first bag for her doll or for herself (she isn't sure which). The girl is busting with joy as she has wanted a sewing machine for many months now.

Oh what a beautiful day! Really.

I'm listening to Oklahoma playing on a 35 record. It's great. The girls are dancing.

We bought a turntable at a yard sale while in Park City. It's a Pioneer and about 2oish years old. Gove hooked it to my slightly newer Pioneer receiver and then that is plugged into a Karaoke speaker system. Well, it works.

Did you watch the television version of Shawshank Redemption? I love when Andy plays the Mozart piece. I just found it at Youtube. And didn't know it was Mozart until now. I hope to find this and many other beautiful pieces on record and play them with the windows open and let the glory and beauty flow out into nature.

Well, What Have You Been Doing?...

I'm in such demand by the people of our community, it seems I never have more then a moment to myself!
If only the little people could do more for themselves.
But it's not to be as of yet. And after all I am called MOM. It's true that my community consist of four other members on a daily basis. Yet the demands are many. Honesty I like it all. The good, the bad, and even the ugly for the most part. I'm blessed to get through it all. That truly is a blessing.

O.K. enough of the exciting news lets get to the real fun stuff.

1. Earlier this year we paid $50 for a two night stay in Park City at Westgate Resort. You have to listen to a sells pitch for a time share. We have never used a timeshare so we thought it would be a nice short vacation with a pool for the kids. The resort was fine. The pool was fun you could swim inside to the outside. Overall, I could not sleep on the bed and you find yourself with hidden cost all over the place. Crafts are $4 each, internet is $12/day, the spa is on average $80 for thirty minutes. Plus the yearly maintenance fee on top of the sell price for a piece of paper that says you own a "piece of a unit".
To make this story short: We rather buy our cabin property and live in a tent.
Time share? No thank you.

2. I bought a camera! I have yet to read the instructions. I know! My time is hardly mine these days what with Walden taking up so much of our evenings. It's a Panasonic TZ4. That's all I know. Oh and it has a re-chargeable battery which I didn't know when I bought it. Bonnie, the sales rep at Costco actually talked me out of purchasing a Nikon that was dare I say almost $200 more. Well actually the Nikon was so much more because the Panasonic came with a $70 rebate! Great says I. I'll take it.

Wait until you see our garden!

3. This guy, Henry David Thoreau, does he just love to hear himself talk or write in this case since it's the 1850's?
He certainly goes into a great deal of description. However I enjoyed his chapter on Economy and had a few laughs while at the resort. I forgot the food in the fridge. I hope someone looked inside and at lest ate the four pounds of sliced turkey we bought.

4. Congratulations to us! This morning our irrigation system came on for the first time. It works! Next step is the hydro-seeding. If the weather improves and really decides to become spring or better yet summer, we just might have some wild flowers by September.
This picture is misleading. We actually don't have grass yet. But we do have weeds. Hey, they are green.