"Middle children have remarkable diplomatic skills."

-The Secret Power of Middle Children, by Catherine Salmon

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Born To Run

I followed Ron (in my car, are ya kiddin' me??) on his run last Monday. He's going to run the Sound to Narrows again this year, so he wanted to do the course again...a refresher course, of course...C'mon, that made you smile a little bit, right? I do not understand what runners get out of running. I mean, yer talkin' to the girl who took a psychology class to get a needed P.E. credit her Senior year! I'll admit though, that I enjoyed observing his perfect form as I trailed behind him. The morning sunlight cast just enough shadow to beautifully define his calf muscles. The definition would disappear then reappear with each step, placing his landing foot directly under his body. His stride was even and rhythmic and he unknowingly kept time to the beat of Mindy Gledhill's Feather in the Wind, that was playing in my car. We leapfrogged part of the way. He would run ahead and I'd stay behind a bit, watching him. Then I'd drive ahead and park and wait for him to throw in, through the back window, the pungent article of clothing he'd removed as his body temperature acclimated to its environment. Occasionally he'd stop for a quick swig of Gatorade, then be off again. Between miles six and seven is the steepest part of the course, uphill. I fully expected him to slow down or stop or gag and throw up but he kept moving. I drove on past about two blocks and parked half way up the hill. I wanted to see the expression on his face when he was running up the Mt. Everest of the course. Determined was his look, but he had a smile for me just the same. "This is the worst part right here", he said, pointing to the road. Even the Honda was reacting to the gravitational pull of that hill. I'm happy to be his "support team", but I swear I'll never "get" it.
A couple posts ago I had the flag I made out of an old fence. We got it hung up and there was a gigantor space between the top of the flag and the ceiling. So I made this sign using all the scraps (literally) I could find around my art room and the garage.
I bought these alphabet wall stickers (for my grand kids to use) at Dollar Tree. They are what I spelled "America" with.
I used my Cricut machine to cut "the beautiful", but I didn't have any vinyl (grr) so I found a roll of contact shelf paper in my closet and fed it through the machine. Worked like a charm!
I painted the scrap board white, then adhered the stickers, then painted the board black, then I pulled the stickers off very carefully using a straight pin. It's not exactly one of those cool subway signs, but it works....Oh, and the white boarder is done with detailing tape. At least I think that's what it is. I found it in my "adhesive's" drawer, and I can't figure out what else it could be, so that's what I'm calling it. :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The other night I was in the mood for some ice cream with really good carmel sauce. I found a recipe on pinterest that had a bajillion pins on it, and it didn't look complicated at all. So I made sure I had Heavy Whipping Cream and all the other ingredients, and set out to make it. It called for lots of stirring time. Like 25 minutes worth. Well we were skyping with one of our kids, so Ron and I took turns stirring and visiting. It wasn't getting very "golden brown" looking, but I figured it eventually would. And it took forever to thicken up...but the recipe did say it required time...we kinda lost track of time because of our skyping, and before we knew it we had... dust. Yeah you heard me. Like instantaniously, our "carmel sauce" had turned to dry, sweet, dust. What the hay?? It was the weirdest thing I've ever ever done in the kitchen! The likes of which Alton Brown or Bill Nye the Science guy have never seen! Determined to have my sweet tooth satisfied, I switched gears from carmel sauce to fudge sauce. This recipe is from Dorie Greenspan, off of Pinterest, and it is not only delish (like, forget the ice cream-I'll just have a dish of this stuff, delish), it is super easy too.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Getting a little jump on summer decorating

The awesomest man in the world is married to the luckiest girl in the world. Our neighbors were getting new fencing all the way down the back of their subdivision,(wonder how much their HOA fees went up this year), which backs up to the road we drive on everyday. Me, being the junk hound that I am, and my hubby, being the best partner-in-crime ever, took the 'burb' down and loaded up a few sections of what they were tearing out. Ron is so good to be the "Dean" to my "Jerry", the "brawn" to my "brain" (HA!), the "meat" to my "potatoes"...Wait. What?? I couldn't do some of the silly things I get to do, if I didn't have such a supportive, "sure we can do that!", kind of husband. I sure love him. He helped me turn this fence from this:
... ...
To this. Though he wasn't too sure when I asked him to hang it for me, inside the house, he went along with the task & I think he kinda likes it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The color green, in all its many hues, tints and shades is my favorite of all the colors in the rainbow. My love affair with this luxuriant pigment, may have stemmed from the time Christine Emery's mother took us to the Dole Pineapple factory and let us pick out a little treasure to take home with us. We were six, and Christine was mean, bossy, "assertive" by nurture, and she chose name tags for both of us...not really what I would have chosen, but I learned at an early age not to look a gift name tag in the mouth..err whatever. Christine's name tag was red and my name tag was green...and did you get the part where I said they were NAME tags? Well, Christine decided she wanted the green one and I should have the red one. Now I'm no rocket scientist, but shouldn't I have the one that says Kathy, seeing as though that's my name?? I remember looking at her mother thinking, aren't you going to intervene here? When Mrs. Emery figured out what little Miss Bossy Pants was up to, she made Christine give me the green name tag that read "Kathy", and that tipped Christine's apple cart...or should I say pineapple cart...such weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth the likes of which Polynesians hadn't witnessed previously or since. Having won that little victory may have been what started my prodigious liking for the color green. Isn't it weird that I would remember that story? The End.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Friends are the chocolate chips in the cookie of life

I've blogged about my insanely uber-talented friend, Becki. Last weekend we had our pre-ward conference adult dinner/social. She was asked to be in charge of it this year. I know what a monumental (heavy on the mental) task it is because Ron and I did it last year. Becky enlisted her husband and kids (she has such a great family) to do everything from soup to nuts. The dinner was fantastic (pasta, warm bread sticks, "Olive Garden" salad, all kinds of desserts), and they even put together an Italian soda bar. They just did an awesome job. My assignment was to set the tables, and Ron got some guys together to do a guitar sing along, to Kermit the Frog's "Rainbow Connection". I know it sounds corny, but it was actually a really fun, sweet song to sing. So, the Blackners do all this work (Becki pulled it together even though she was sick). Then tonight, what gets delivered to my front porch? Warm, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies! Not only Yumm to the "O!", but look how CUTE they look! And wait. She's thanking ME?? That girl! She doesn't do anything if it's not beautiful! ...and I'm the lucky recipient of her talent and generosity! 'Scuse me while I go pour a big glass of milk!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CURSE you MilkyWay Midnight!

Dear Dark Chocolatey Goodness, Like the sailor to the Siren call, I am powerless to resist your bittersweet temptations when I am waiting in the grocery store checkout line.
...consider my willpower crashed upon the rocks!

Monday, May 21, 2012

We calls 'em like we sees 'em

...Next we'll be touring the Karl Malone Skool of Speech

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Remember the "Post Mother's Day Thoughts" post? It took me a few days to compose it because it was such an emotional (for me) topic. Once again I was unexpectedly and emotionally, transported back to 1981 with this beautiful tribute to her mother, by Calee Reed.
One of my favorite "art" pieces in my kitchen came about quite by accident. I've had these glass cream bottles for many years. I use them for parties and gatherings because they are so fun. They make great centerpieces and add a colorful straw and you have a fun beverage holder.
I brought the cream bottles, crate and all, in from the garage to run them through the dishwasher before an activity one day, and set the dairy crate on the counter and I loved the look of it. Some day I will part with them, but for now I'll just enjoy their beauty.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We hope they call us on a mission!

We put our papers in for our mission. We've been told it will be a few weeks before we hear anything (in Mormon-speak: get our call). To make the time go by faster, we have put up a world map in our entry for our family and friends to guess where they think we might be called to. You put your name on a little tag, put a pin in the tag...
and pin the tag on the map.
Get it? Of course you do...not much to it. And for bonus points which means absolutely nothing at all, you can guess the name of the song our quote over the map came from.
I know, I know, more WORDS Kath?? Yes, more words. I love words and letters and quotes. I know I'm going to have to start editing myself someday. If I was staging this house for someone else, I'd be like "Girl, you have GOT to lose some of these words!" Eh, oh well. Oh, and the person who comes closest to guessing correctly where we get our call will win a pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream. YUM!

Perfect evening

My honey and I went to Steamers for dinner last night - *delish*. We parked our car by this park and after dinner we asked some kids playing basketball to please take our picture - *with our cheapy camera phone. It was a perfect evening spent with my fella.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pinwheel wreath

My step-daughter Erin made a cute spring wreath from a Dollar Tree pool noodle, yarn and flowers. I caught my inspiration for this one from her, using a pool noodle and green clothes line from Dollar Tree, and left over paper scraps.

I love crazy signs

I love to make fun of crazy signs too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I made a cake this morning. From scratch. Mostly from my own little head. I mean is there any recipe that is totally made up by anyone? But it turned out pretty darn yum-o-licious.
I was inspired by a recipe for strawberry lemon bundt cake I got off of Pinterest. I love Pinterest, you can find just about anything on there...the strawberry lemon bundt cake I made the other day looked so good, and it was, except I really don't like chunks of mushy warm fruit in anything. Whether I'm making banana bread or jam, I have to puree the fruit. So having globs of warm strawberries in my cake >shudder<...well, lesson learned. Where was I? Oh yeah, the triple chocolate cake I invented (hey, if Al Gore can take credit for inventing the internet, I can take credit for inventing a triple chocolate bundt cake!) Here's the recipe if you want to try it.
******************************************************************* TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE *1 C. (2 sticks) butter - don't go cheap on me, use the real stuff. *2 C. sugar *3 eggs *1 tsp. vanilla *10 oz. plain Greek yogurt - that's what gives the cake it's moistness! *2 C. flour *1/4 C. baking cocoa powder *1/2 tsp. baking soda *1/2 tsp. salt *1 C. (or more!)really good quality chocolate chips Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. grease and flour a 10" bundt pan. If you want to be super fancy, you can dust your pan with cocoa powder instead of flour. ******************************************************************* Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda, set aside. Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Alternate beating in flour mixture and yogurt until just incorporated. fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared bundt pan. Bake @ 325 for 50 (fifty) minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before turning out onto a serving dish. Drizzle with warm fudge glaze over the top. ******************************************************************* Here's the recipe for the fudge glaze: *3/4 C. heavy cream *1/4 C. light corn syrup *8 oz. bittersweet chocolate- I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips- SOOO GOOD! *1/2 tsp. vanilla Warm the first three ingredients until the chocolate is melted, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Stir until nice and smooth. Drizzle over cake and serve warm. Yumm-O! I know this looks like the Magna Carta of recipes...but it is super easy I promise! Enjoy!

How not to start a talk

We know we've all been there.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Post Mother's Day thoughts

I've had some thoughts on Mother's Day that have been jumping around in my head for the past couple days. These thoughts have gone from my head to my fingertips several times, but I haven't had the courage emotional energy to put them into my computer. This is for my own journaling purposes and not for clever entertainment, like I think I sometimes do. So >taking a deep breath< here goes. Mother's Day was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me for several reasons. Here are some of those reasons in no particular order: All three of our block meetings were spiritually uplifting. There were moments in each of the meetings that the Spirit was nearly tangible for me. Speaking on mothers gave me pause to reflect on the mother I was/am to my children. I gave birth to three amazing children, one of whom chooses not to speak to me. It makes my heart hurt, I miss him that much. I'm married to a man who treats me like a queen, not just on Mother's Day, but every day. When I'd hear women say "I'm married to my best friend", I use think "Nuh uh, that is so hokey". Well it turns out that you can actually be married to your best friend and I am. This best friend came with five (grown) children of his own. They are without their mother, and I know what that feels like. My own mom died when I was 21 and had, just three weeks before her passing, had my first baby. I wanted my kids to know their grandma...how kind and smart and funny she was. I wanted to know her woman to woman, not just child to parent. I've been sad, but not bitter or angry that she was taken from me this earth life at such a young age, because I know that Heavenly Father's plan is what I signed up for in the pre-existence. My dad never remarried after her passing. In hind sight, I wonder if I was encouraging him enough to date again, or if I was comfortable with him being alone. So Ron and I have 8 kids and 16, nearly 18 grand children. His... mine... the lines have blurred with our grandchildren as to their lineage. We just know that we love them all. Our children, while neither one of us can take "credit"(??) for raising all eight of them, were born Erin, Amy, Shannon, Jon, Sean, Janae, Daniel and Christopher, and that mix gives both he and I the ability to relate to all of them as if they were our own respectively. I find that the "mother bear" comes out in me as easily for Ron's kids as my own. I would like to think that when I meet Ron's first Kathy I'll be able to say " I loved your kids and was there for them as if they were my own. Did I do OK?"
Instructions (the English version) to our new Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector:
Or it could just read:

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's not easy being green

I'm sitting in my art room listening to an amphibious symphony going on out back. Our neighbors have a pond and as soon as twilight comes, the "music" begins. It is both annoying and humorous...they are completely silent for a two minute intermission...I timed it...(I wonder if they're stopping to have a Croke-a-Cola?)...then they start back up again in unison for about a minute, then silence again. Off and on for most of the evening. If I had to guess, I'd say there are at least 10-12 froggies in the choir. Their vocal cords really get a workout! Do you think they ever get a human in their throat?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today is my little boy's birthday. I gave birth to him the day before Mother's Day 28 years ago. He was the easiest little baby and the happiest little boy...always climbing on things-I found him sitting on top of the stove burners playing with the salt and pepper shakers...always curious about things-asking a police officer who had pulled me over "Is that your badge?Is that a real gun?Do you have bullets?Can you turn on your siren?Are you going to give my mommy a ticket?"...always mischievous-climbing out of his car seat while I was talking to my daughter's preschool teacher, and taking the car for a "drive"...always sensitive to other children's feelings. I remember when as a teenager, he and I were the same height. Then suddenly overnight, he was 8 or 9 inches taller than me. My little boy has grown to be a much bigger boy man now. He is now a husband and daddy of two precious babies of his own. I don't know how I did as a mom, but if there was one thing I hope I would have taught my son(s) it is this message which was so eloquently delivered by Sister Elaine S. Dalton in the October 2011 General Conference. I was emotional during her talk, and again as I watched this Mormon Message. Happy Birthday Sean Boy.

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's coitens for you, curtains!

My last post was about the new life given to a simple chair. I wanted to breathe some fresh spring air into the dark winter feeling that has permeated our kitchen house for the past 6 or so months. After painting and recovering the chair I needed to wash the windows and curtains on the french doors that lead out back. Good intentions sometimes lead to bad results....
We'll just call these our Halloween curtains, because aren't they just scary?? The arrows point to the shreds and the circle is where they are so knotted together that even if they weren't shredded they'd be impossible to get apart. GAHH!

The re-re-re-re-reincarnation of a chair

This chair has had many lives. Most recently she was this:
But before it was black with french grain sack covering the seat, it was black with black polynesian floral print fabric, before that it was painted red with big cabbage rose print fabric, before that it was (still red) with a red country plaid fabric, before that it was a teal green paint with vintage cowboy fabric, before that it was a solid cream, and it's original life started as a plain dark wood with a nasty old rusty fabric seat. Paint and a little bit of fabric is a super cheap way to make a change in a room, even if it's only in a little corner. So my most recent project went from this:
To this: ......................................................................and BTW, don't you just love that little black chest behind the chair? It was Ron's chest of drawers when he was a little boy. We put a new coat of paint on it and added some new hardware, and now it houses our DVD's.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lemon Monkey Bread

Normally my motto is: If it isn't chocolate, it isn't dessert. But lately I've been really craving sweets on the tart side. I made these flakey rolls of lemony goodness from a recipe I got off pinterest. They were super easy to make...which makes it a problem. The problem being that we could've/would've eaten the whole pan of them ourselves, they are so good. So we shared with the Elders and they appreciated them much more than my waistline would have!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Now I've seen EVERYTHING! (literally)

So I'm driving home from the grocery store, going on the back roads. School has just let out and there are kids walking home, so I have to be extra careful and go slow - like I don't ALWAYS go slow... 'cause I DO... Anyway, there was a group of 3 or 4 high-schoolish age boys walking ahead of me, and ya know how some ghetto kids think it's cool to wear their pants off their "behinds"? I kid you not, this is literally what I saw one of the kids wearing:
BELOW HIS KNEES! Are ya kiddin' me?? When did this NOT become indecent exposure? I didn't have presence of mind to grab my camera phone and snap a picture, but I did roll down the passenger window and yell out these four words like some old lady:
Maybe the four words I yelled shoulda been
I think after my early-bird buffet, I'm coming home to watch Lawrence Welk and settle in with a nice cup of Geritol. G'night.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review 101

Ron and I just finished reading the Prophet's Biography, TO THE RESCUE. Now we are reading MITT ROMNEY - An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics. Here is my book review for each:
= warm and fuzzy
= landing in a blackberry bush bare naked poking your eyes out and losing your favorite earrings ******************************************************************** ...I mean...I love ya Mitt, but R.B.Scott could learn a few things about writing a warm, inviting, I-wanna-know-this-person-in-person kind of biography from Heidi Swinton, is all I'm sayin'. I bought Mitt's book from Deseret Book. Isn't that the only true bookstore in Utah?? It isn't at all what I expected it to be, but we are only about a third of the way thru it, so we'll keep reading through the "briar patch" and hope there is sweet fruit at the end for our effort.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Made it. Ate it. Loved it!

I made Baked S'mores from a recipe I got off pinterest. My picture doesn't look nearly as ooey gooey as theaprongal's, but they sure are yumm-ola!
Yesterday was Activity Day with my Primary girls. I L.O.V.E. this calling. I love these little girls! They are wise beyond their years in many aspects. And they are just plain funny. Yesterday I was on the hunt for some NOWandLATER's for our activity on The Book of Mormon - (Mosiah 2:41- Keeping the commandments blesses you NOW and LATER) I went to three stores to find them, with no luck. Sometimes I have a little dialogue going (in my head when I'm out in public), yesterday's went something like this: "Heavenly Father I've been to three stores. If you think this is a dumb idea, I won't try to find them anywhere else, I'll go home." Then...like the Heavens opened up and golden rays of sunbeams came shining down on this one spot inside Dollar Tree. (cue the Heavenly concourse of Angelic Ahh!)
There they were! I know it sounds kinda goofy, that I would make such a big deal out of finding this one kind of candy just to make a point about a scripture. But that's how I roll. These are my sweet girls.
Camille, Tina, me, Bethany, Ellie and Brooklyn.
At the end of the activity they each got a little tiny chocolate Book of Mormon to take home. Fun day.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lesson learned...eventually.................. (part 2: Y.D.P.O.M.K.)

...so I got a note left on my car at the grocery store asking me to "try to stay in the lines. Thx!!" At first I was annoyed that someone would take the time to write it, after all, there were other stalls to park in. I figured it was an older person, because a younger person would surely have taken the opportunity to be much more snarky in his note. And I was guessing that it was probably a man, judging by the masculine handwriting...I mean, get a life people! Then as I drove out of the parking lot, still on my quest for the item for my object lesson, it occured to me that I was in the wrong here. I had taken up more than my share of a parking space with my big ol' tuna boat of a vehicle. And this person who left me the note really could have been "snarky" or rude, but instead left it as a little reminder and even wrote Thx (thanks) with the two exclamation points after the thx. No confrontation, just six little words ending in thanks. Wow, I got called out on my lousy parking job, and I deserved it. In retrospect, because I was there to pick up something for my primary girls for our activity on the scriptures, I was a little surprised at my not so righteous reaction to the note. Is this the attitude of a Latter Day Saint? It got me thinking...I wonder how many times Heavenly Father has sent us me little messages asking imploring us me to "stay in the lines". Then I wonder what my attitude has been. Annoyance,(un)righteous indignation, or humility? I'm keeping that little post-it note in my art room right above my computer...just as a reminder to "try to stay in the lines."

Your Karma parked on my dogma!

This morning started out so perfect. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and I get to have my Primary girls over this afternoon, what a great day! I'm driving the 'burb', singing a "happy little working song", thinking I sound just like Amy Adams, when in actuality I sound more like Yoko Ono. But I'm all alone so I sound like Amy Adams, and I pull into Fred Meyer's parking lot...Anyone ever try to thread a watermelon through the eye of a needle? THAT's what parking the 'burb' is like in F.M. parking lot. I find a spot, get out of the car and pass a lady who has finished loading her groceries into her car and I ask if she'd like me to take her cart back into the store for her...her response: "Oh thank you, yes. thank you very much!" I'm feelin' appreciated for my "good deed" and I think the Karma gods are going to smile on me and I will find the item I need for my object lesson inside this store. (I'd already been to two other stores with no luck finding it). But a few minutes later, I'm leaving Fred Meyer empty handed and a little frustrated that I can't find this item that I see everywhere except when I want it! Then I get to my car only to find a note that someone has scribbled on a post-it note and left on my drivers side window. Ugh! Did someone back into my car accidentally? Do I have a flat tire that they are warning me about? Umm no. This is what the note read:
ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME?? I get in my car..sit there for a minute..I feel my soul starts to fill with righteous indignation. Doesn't this person know how hard it is to park this bus in this postage stamp sized parking lot? Don't they know I'm here to get stuff for my primary activity? Don't they know I did a good deed by taking someones shopping cart back into the store, saving her five, maybe six steps had she done it herself?? ...Then the ridiculousness of the situation hits me. And I start to giggle at every one of the thoughts I just had. I've got to go and set up for my girls activity. Stay tuned for part two: The Christ-like chapter of this story.