Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I like Memorial Day! I'm a patriotic person, and I like to fly the flag. I guess, technically, I'm a 1st generation American, (both of my parents were born in Canada), and maybe that has something to do with it. There is a cemetery near my home that I like to visit when people are there, decorating graves. It's a family affair of mostly older folks who bring chairs to sit and visit. I like to think of them remembering loved family members who are gone.We made our own visit to the Ogden cemetary yesterday to put some flowers on my Father-In-Law's grave. He was an amazing man- he knew absolutely everything about everything! He loved his family and died far too early from effects of serving his country. It was a high price for our family to pay. We will all be together again someday.
My own father's grave is a bit far to visit conveniently, and I'm glad that my sister visits to put flowers there. Thanks, Sis! So, happy Memorial Day- enjoy the holiday!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

After the Rain

I caught this shot a few evenings ago when the sun was finally peeking out after the rain. It was pretty intense light shining on the mountains from under the clouds. Clean, washed world!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Southern Fried Chicken Strips

These are super easy to make, and the seasoning is just right! Instead of using chicken tenderloins, I cut up chicken breasts. (Not my picture.)

Southern Fried Chicken Strips

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and buttermilk. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper, salt and paprika. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then flour mixture.
  • In an electric skillet, heat oil to 375°. Fry chicken, a few pieces at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Once a Month Horse Shopping Fun

Every month at the barn I'm in charge of group-buying an item that we can all use to spruce up our "barn image" at the horse shows. It all started last Fall when Bruce and I were in Scottsdale. I took an afternoon to go visit West World, where our Arizona counterparts were holding a show. Their barns all looked so orderly and their horses had fancy coolers and such. I figured there was no reason why MY barn couldn't be just as nice and classy. When I got home I pitched the idea of one new item a month to Kari, and she was just as excited as I was about it. So now I've got a monthly gig. It all starts with a consultation with Kari. We talk about the cool things we could get, and narrow it down to a few great ideas. I go home and research on the Internet, finding the best deal etc. Then I make up a big framed poster board sign to advertise the items in our "locker room", and I make flyers that people can take home. The whole process has it good and bad points- the good being that I am getting all that cool stuff I've always wanted! I have a good core of about 5 or 6 riders at the barn that faithfully buy every Item of the Month, with others picking and choosing what months they participate. I think it's made a big difference in our barn pride- we're "All That AND a Bag of Chips!"For June we are ordering hoodies. Shannon was the guinea pig/model- I thought this was a very cute picture.Other items we've done:Kari and Lon posed for the month we did polo shirts:These coolers caught everyone's eye at the 1st show this year! I got lots of comments from the other barns and trainers on how nice these look. Rocko is very handsome, don't you think?All of my efforts are paying off, I think. I've noticed that the other barns we compete against are starting to get spiffied up too! We are a competitive lot, and will always try to outdo everyone else, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Draper Temple Sealing

Friday afternoon we buzzed over to the Draper Temple to see my nephew, Steven, sealed to his wife, Jaycee. Their Little guy, Mason, was sealed to them too. It was an awesome experience to see their little family all together in the temple.

A gaggle of Stratford Cousins:
The Draper Temple looks a bit Fortress-like to me:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Chicken

I am such a fan of the Crock Pot! Being a morning person, I love fixing dinner in the A.M., putting in the CP and not having to worry about it until it's time for dinner. Plus, the house smells great. This is the kind of CP recipe I like- throw in the meat, cover it with sauce, and you're done! (P.S.- not my photo.)

Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Chicken- 8 servings


  • 2 (18 ounce) bottles barbeque sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves


  1. In a large bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, pineapple with juice, green bell pepper, onion, and garlic.
  2. Arrange 4 of the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour half of the barbecue sauce over the chicken. Place remaining chicken in slow cooker, and pour remaining sauce over the top.
  3. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Few Reception Pictures

I'll admit that it was kind of fun to wander around a wedding reception, taking pictures! I went a little early to experiment with different flash options. Here is a sampling from last night:

The Greeting Table:Yummy Cheesecake and Grandma Seaman's butter mints:Amazing quilts:
Mark & Elizabeth's Carly, who pretty much cleaned up everyone else's plates:Lots of friends to greet:Andrew and friend, impressing us with his BYU ballroom dancing moves:Leah and her sorority sisters, "officially" accepting Daniel:Daniel and Leah's first dance (at least at this reception!):All in all, it worked out pretty well and I'm glad I had the chance to do it!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Tahitian Dance For Daniel & Leah

No Stratford wedding would be complete without the required Tahitian dance. We've found that new in-laws are pretty good sports and like to join in, even if they have no idea what they're getting into. Leah's 2 brothers joined in yesterday and danced with enthusiasm!

This picture says a lot- Ken and Nancy are up out of their seats, straining to catch a glimpse of the precession. On the right side of the picture, my brother-in-law, Kelly, is denying that he knows any of us.Leah's 2 brothers, proudly leading the way past the head table:The happy couple, deafened by Ben's conch shell blast. (Leah's dad is trying to hold it together to the right) : My favorite: Brian in fine Tahitian dance form:What would we do without family traditions?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Daniel and Leah's Wedding

Meet my nephew, Daniel, and his new wife, Leah! They were sealed in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple this morning. It was a beautiful day for a wedding! The tulips were in bloom, and we all had a great time.Here's the happy bride and groom:I like this picture of Bruce:Brian trying to look like Napoleon:Me and my girls:And Shannon, trying her hand at the "Brian Pose".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pineapple Cheesecake Squares

Made this for Mother's Day/ Shannon's birthday. It was totally overshadowed by the Nothing Bundt Cake, but it's still a good, super-easy recipe that I will make again. I'm thinking of ways to use other fruits besides pineapple to mix things up...
Pineapple Cheesecake Squares
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups flour, confectioners' sugar, and almonds. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. While the crust is baking, prepare the cream cheese layer. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in 2/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice. Pour over hot crust and bake for about 20 minutes more in preheated oven. Allow to cool completely.
  3. Make the topping: In a saucepan, combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1 cup reserved pineapple juice. Bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in crushed pineapple. Cool completely. When cool, fold in whipped cream. Spread topping over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lots of Pots

It's pot planting time at my house! And Ive got loads of them! Front porch, back porch, pool house- they all have their assigned containers.Here are all the plants to go in the pots- wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We're A Menace To The Neighborhood

Temporarily. It's that time of year- time to get the pool in shape for summer fun. A few things needed serious fixing this year, the pool cover being one. Some of the stitching on one side had come apart, so the pool cover guys took it away for re-sewing. Now the pool is an open death pit for the neighborhood kidlets. We've wired all the gates closed, and haven't told a soul that the pool is open, so we're hoping that no one notices. The cover should be back in the next few days. That will be good, because the pool is slowly filling up with dirt, leaves and that "cotton" the Cottonwood trees spew forth at this time of year. We also needed to replace the pool filter this year, so the menfolk at my house have been working away with plastic pipes and blue glue. I think Ben is in charge of rebuilding the benches when the fixings done.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lemon Whippersnappers

Odd ingredients, but a very tasty-lemony cookie. The dough is really soft, so put it in the freezer to help it harden.Lemon Whippersnappers- 3 dozen
1 (18.25 oz) package lemon cake mix
2 c. frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. confectioners sugar

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, whipped topping and egg. Mix well until combined. Chill dough for several hours or overnight (or freeze!). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form tablespoons of dough into 1" balls and roll in confectioners sugar. Place the cookies on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet a few inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set, but not browned. Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Kitty Present

The other day I found on my side of the bed:I'm pretty sure it was left there by Xena.It's nice to be loved. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions

Ok, Lindsey just showed us this and it made me laugh so hard- I just had to share it with you all. It made the "Peter has to see this when he gets home" list. *Sorry about some of the language!*

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rocko's Little Friend

In our horse world, we don't see much variety. Most of the horses we deal with are either Warmbloods- a hybrid European mix that's a bit on the slow-thinking side. They have thick bones, but move as beautifully as you'll ever see. Warmbloods are the trendy thing to have right now and some of them are worth tens of thousands of dollars. Sophie was a Swedish Warmblood. Then there are the Thoroughbreds- bred in America, slim, elegant, more old-school traditional, with impressive pedigrees. Rocko is a Thoroughbred. Oh, there are some quarter horses and paints thrown in for fun, but your horse has to be pretty different to really stand out.

Meet Henry.
Ya, we don't many of these at our horse shows. Henry showed up at Lynnleigh Farm with 3 adoring ladies from Tooele. His mane and tail were braided- this wasn't his first horse show. I had to talk to his ladies about him. He is a pony/mule cross. And he did his job pretty well. He jumped all the jumps, and although he tried to run out the gate every time he passed it, we were all impressed. Occasionally Henry would let loose with a "Hee Haw" kind of call that had the other horses a little freaked out. Rocko even hung out for a while with the New Kid on the Block.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lynnleigh Moments

Here are a few more pictures from last weekend's horse show- I guess I was trying to make up for the first two shows of the year where it was freezing, and the indoor lighting was terrible!

Shannon and Moxie, one of Kari's dogs. Moxie is too cute and will take any opportunity to climb into your lap, as much as she is able. Plus, she is always smiling!Rocko looks angry here, and it can be blamed on his earplugs. If you look closely, you can see one in his ear. They are made of that gooshy temperpedic foam and he always gets this look after they are shoved in. They help him to not be as distracted by noises outside the ring.
Cute jumping, even with Ear Plug Ears.Shannon's number got soaked by something wet overnight- we're not sure what- but she still had to wear it in it's soggy, almost falling apart state. Nasty!
The Brian smile! Notice it's fakey-ness, and that slightly-to-the-right angle of the eyes!After almost 2 full days of solid grass inhaling, Rocko took a 20 minute break from eating on Saturday afternoon. He almost took a nap, then noticed the grass and started eating again. Notice the after-braids Afro goin' on.Tomorrow you get to meet Rocko's Little Friend.