Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Crazy Cat Lady...

So some women develop into a crazy cat lady as time goes on and they are left alone. I, on the other hand, was born a crazy cat lady. Case in point, my very first word was Tigger, our cat at the time's name. Maybe it's because we've had cats since the day I was born, but more likely it was an obsession born into me through generations of crazy cat ladies. It comes from my mother's family, and who knows how many generations it goes back but it's there. As a child I was reading technical books about cats and as soon as I owned my first place I got Mitzi, followed by Jack a year later.
Well now I've been involved with a little kitty rescue the past two months. On Labor Day I was walking around outside and found these soaking wet, freezing, little wild kittens. They were the most pathetic things I'd ever seen, so of course I started feeding them. Well after two months the neighbor started to complain because they were walking on her car so I had to catch them. They will be moving, shortly, to live at my Mom's barn but in the meantime I just had to post their pictures because they are so cute.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Birthday Adventures

My mother's birthday always falls at the same time as the deer hunt, so, while her husband John goes hunting we always go for a birthday adventure. Usually we head south, to the warmth, but this year she wanted to check out Lava Hot Springs in Idaho. After two weekends of horrible weather (one even involving snow) we were blessed with the perfect Indian Summer ever! We left Friday night to go up to Greg's where we were going to be spending the night. Of course, in usual birthday adventure, we accidentally got off the freeway, got lost, found our way back, and then ended up scaring the guy tailgating us with Mom's crazy driving, but we eventually got there in one piece.

The next day, after a leisurely morning, we headed off to Idaho. We stopped in Preston for lunch at this fun little diner (it's across from the bowling alley that was filmed in Napoleon Dynamite). What made it so fun is that it's also an antique store so you're eating amongst all the old prizes.

Since this was very much a road trip we just enjoyed ourselves with stops at random pumpkin patches or a juant down a dirt road to get that perfect Autumn shot. Here's some of the places we saw...

Finally we got to our destination. It was so nice. We went to the hot springs that were at the inn rather than the public ones so that it was a bit quieter. The water was awesome! The big pool was like bathwater and they got hotter from there. How nice is it to be out in your swimsuit in October, in Idaho! It was the best afternoon ever...

Monday, October 13, 2008

The old man comes to town...

Ok so I've been a very lazy blogger lately, truthfully not much has been going on, but a week ago my dad did make one of his stops in Utah. Actually, this is the first time that he has come for a significant time, more than just a weekend that is, so I figured I would post some of the pictures from our time together. We went up to Greg's house so that we could all be together. We had grand plans of all the fun outdoor Autumn type things we could do but Mother Nature had a different idea for us. Saturday morning dawned with chilly temps and a downpour of rain that lasted all day. We hung around the house for a bit but then we finally could stand it no longer and had a showery picnic in the park followed by a trip to the video store. Not very exciting but it was seriously cold! Sunday morning dawned with beautiful sunshine so we decided to go to pumpkin patch, after grabbing a quick lunch (being Sunday in Cache county there wasn't much else to do). We wanted to do some leaf peeping, however, the storm blew back in and as it was late we decided to just head for home. My ride home was more of an adventure however. As it started to rain everyone jumped into their separate vehicles. Jason had already left and Greg was making his way up the drive when I turned the key in the ignition and got...NOTHING! Making a frantic grab for the cell phone to try and stop Greg I discovered that of course I had no cell service. Luckily for Dad and I this other couple was jumping in their car at that moment and were kind enough to jump the car. (Thank goodness I had finally bought jumper cables after the dead battery incident of 2007) Well we get on our way and figure everything is ok, and since I need to get gas, pull of the road in an ugly area of Ogden and of course the car would not start again. My dad thought the battery cable connection was just corroded so after cleaning it we tried again and....still got NOTHING. Well once again we relied on the kindness of strangers and got this little teeny man driving an incredibly huge truck (seriously he couldn't even get the hood open, just had to keep shoving it upwards hoping that it would stay up with enough force behind the shove) came to our rescue. At this time my dad was just puzzling away trying to figure out what was wrong with the car, and since we didn't know we decided it was wise to turn off all other power suckers in the car. It made for a harrowing last few miles when the sun had finally set and we were running without lights. Of course the next day when we had Jason come over to help the thing started up just fine and ran the best it had run all year. It wasn't worth taking in, and that evening I got a small blessing in the fact that my neighbor that I park next to had his father there fixing his car and the man had a tool that he used to test both my battery and my alternator and gave them a clean bill of health. Thank goodness for kind souls! Oh and the cause of all the problems turned out to be a loose ground cable on the battery so all the stall outs and poor idling that my car has been doing were all related to that. I'm pleased to announce that the car is doing great! Anyway, here are some pictures from my weekend vacation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Vacationing....at home?

So last week I took the week of work to do a little vacationing. Years ago I swore I would never take a week off unless I was headed some where fun like Hawaii, Mexico, or back East. Well I've finally come to a point in my life where, for many different reasons, I have no one that can travel with me so due to desperation I was forced to take my week vacation at home. Maybe it's old age setting in or something but, truth be told, it didn't sound as dull or depressing as it used to to be stuck at home. It was so nice to stay up till 2 AM reading a favorite book and then sleep till after 10 the next morning. When I saw the YW pres. that I serve with out for a morning walk I didn't think my usual "man, I hate you" well because I was out for a morning stroll, too, instead driving in to work. (I don't REALLY mean that I hate her :) ) It was fun to have no schedule! Anyway, it gave me some time to catch up on the millions of little projects I always have going on. I took the opportunity to do some scrapbooking (my first time doing digital scrapbooking) and got two of my chairs painted from white to black, and FINALLY finished the quilt that I started something like 5 years ago. (People that know me well know that I'm the queen of starting a project and then getting diverted by something new and never finishing). So here is some of the fruits of my vacation labors....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Canning Part II....back to Clarkston

So I've been feeling so domestic lately and when I was up visiting Greg & Leigh there was an announcement in their ward that they were going to be canning green beans together the next weekend. Well Leigh asked if I'd be interested in coming back and doing that with her, and since I was having such a fun time up there I was glad to. I drove up Friday evening, through the beastly Davis County commute, and got there in time for some chat and dinner. We should have been of to bed bright and early since the bean picking was beginning at 7 AM but we were stupid and stayed up far too late. I at least made it up at 7:00, got dressed, but when Leigh chose to sleep in...well I jumped back in bed. (Ok in her defense her alarm didn't go off :-) ) We made it over to the farm at around 9:00 and luckily for us it was quite a chilly morning, I say this because I've never seen so many beans in my life! We picked only about a 10 foot span and had about 5 gallons. Then we headed back to the canning station. I felt like I'd stepped back in time about 100 + years and that I should be wearing my bonnet. It was just so picturesque and everyone was just pitching in and doing the work all together. Here we were set up next to this little creek, under the trees with some propane stoves going just canning away. While we were busy snapping beans and getting them ready the farms owner started boiling up corn she'd just picked and someone else had made chicken salad we put on homemade rolls, and of course there was homemade currant jelly with homemade bread and even homemade juice! It was all so communal, and dare I say....just what I pictured it must have been like with the early saints. It was kind of strange to us cynical modern city folk, but at the same time so peaceful and we had a great time. Here are just some of the pictures we took. (I'm sure that the good ole country folk thought we were nuts taking all our pictures but what can I say....we're geeks!)

And here is our finished product, 36 pints of beans.

It is such a beautiful area, and it's just so nice to get away from the craziness of life. I may soon be a convert to country life ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Greg & Leigh

Greg and Leigh recently bought their first home. Now that she has finished up her master's program up at Utah State and is working for the school district up there and Greg is getting ready to start the nursing program at Utah State they decided to buy a home in Clarkston, UT. Last weekend Mom and John & I went up to visit. The house is a darling Victorian style built in 1910, but all redone by the previous owners. It also was on a lot that is 1.25 acres and has a garden, orchard, and tons of flowers. I'm so excited for them, although a bit jealous because its totally my style of house too :) It was my first trip to Cache County and I admit I loved it. It was so quiet, and very pretty with the farm land all around framed by the mountains ringing the valley. Clarkston is just a teeny blink of an eye type of town (only about 500 people) but of course being Utah there are two wards. Crazy! Here are just a few pictures of the place...

One of the things we did while we were up there was head up to Idaho to find the graves of my Great Great Grandpa & Grandma. My mother originally thought they were buried in the Preston cemetery so we went there first. After much wandering, and many many mosquito bites later, she remembered that they had actually lived in Franklin, ID. I did have a bit of luck in Preston though because there was an owl living in the graveyard (to bad it wasn't night for the truly creepy cemetery experience right down to a hooting owl). I was glad that at the last minute I'd thrown my super telephoto lens in the bag as he was high up in this tree:

Eventually we lucked out at the Franklin Cemetery because they had a directory of the graves and we quickly were able to find who we were looking for. Looking at the pictures I realized that my great great grandmother's name has been wrong all this time in my ancestor file so now I was able to correct it from Janet to Jenett :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

The World of Canning

So I decided to enter the world of canning, well I've been meaning to for years now but I just have never gotten around to it. My Grandma has a pickle recipe that I just love, as do many of us in the family, and I've always wanted to give it a try. Well this year I finally remembered in time to pick up the ingredients. After a week of trying to track down pickling cucumbers and fresh dill I was ready to give it a whirl. The first step involved setting the cucumbers to soak in a nasty salt water solution that left crusty salt wherever it happened to slosh out of the container.

Then came the fun of loading up the jars. My mom gave me the bright idea of running the jars through the dishwasher first. Not only does it sterilize but by leaving them in there until I needed them it kept them hot.

After wedging as many cucumbers into a jar that I could, and pouring in the stinky brine (that was also full of salt that crusted all over my counter tops) it was time to do the "canning". It did lead to a very humid smelly atmosphere in my house but I think that it worked.

All of my jars sealed, and with just a few minor mishaps such as running out of vinegar and fresh dill weed on the last 5 or so jars (improvising hopefully worked) or pouring boiling water down my leg when I removed the lid to the caner on the last load, I now have 20 quarts of beautiful pickles. The only downside......I don't know how they taste for at least another 6 months :(
Even though it was a lot of work I have to say it was more fun than I expected. The whole process took about 24 hours from the beginning of the soak till the last wipe of the counter top but I actually enjoyed it. Maybe I'll have to try something else soon...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Big Reveal

So finally I've got my house put back together! There was a two week interval there where I was waiting for the flooring guy to come back and finish putting on the quarter round and the trasition strips in the doorway but finally it's all done. I'm so happy with how things turned out. Here are a few pictures of the finished product. There is still a little left to do, like purchasing some baseboards for the bathrooms or painting the chairs for the kitchen table so that they will match, but that just may take awhile as I'm a bit tired of the home improvement for the moment.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Weekend at the Cabin

I'm always behind on my posts, but then I guess that's how I feel about my life too :). a little behind of what's going on. Last weekend my mom decided we needed some family time so she and John, Jason and Clay, and I went up to the cabin for Saturday and Sunday. It was so nice to get out of the heat of the valleys and up into the mountains. When we got up to the cabin it was only 70 degrees! Since it was the opening weekend for stream fishing that was the intent of the men on the trip. We women were on the search for fields of wild flowers. Both of us were moderately successful, but still we never found any flowers as pretty as the ones I'd seen at camp the week before (which was strange since we were in the same mountain area). After lunch the guys went off to fish and Mom and I drove along skyline drive. Here are some pictures of our adventures:

Beautiful Sanpete County down below....

Yup that's a lot of snow in July. The road got pretty sketchy about here and we almost turned around but I'm glad we didn't....

A successful days work. The guys came home home with 9 trout. The next day we had a big breakfast and then went off to Gooseberry to do a bit more fishing and then headed home.

Someone's up to mischief here :)

And there's always a little room for a few more flowers...

I got to take my own souvenier from the trip that I didn't even know about until I was getting in the bath Sunday night and caught a glimpse of it in the mirror. Here's a picture of my crazy bite and keep in mind at the time this picture was taken it was already a week old. Yikes! (that's my side by the way, not an arm or something, it was a big bite!)