Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kingdom Kong 3D

Universal Studios has a new King Kong addition to their Backlot Tour that we hadn't seen, so on Saturday we drove up to Burbank. Universal was very kind to give us Front-of-the Line Passes. Here's Bruce getting ready for the whole experience at Universal's City Walk:Now, the last time I went on the Backlot Tour was when I was a kid, living on SoCal. Maybe I was 6. I remember big foam boulders rolling towards the tram car and thinking, "Well, this is lame." And some parts of the tour are still that way. But not the King Kong part. It was very cool and completely worth seeing. I felt like this:When Peter was little, he would call that huge gorilla, "Kingdom Kong", which always made me laugh. One other backlot thrill, they filmed parts of The Mummy on the backlot, and as we all know, The Mummy is one of the best movies ever made. :)We also saw the new Simpson's Ride while we were there, which is kind of like Star Tours and the old Back To The Future rides. I didn't see too much of that ride, since I was laughing too hard at Bruce sitting next to me. He made more noise than my mom does on Star Tours! One of the most fun things of the day was finding a family of 4 and giving them our Front-of-the-Line passes. We chose a very nice, if heavily tattooed family, who were pretty blown away and very grateful!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mexicans and Mormons

When you travel with our friend Wade, you travel by your stomach, so as soon as we landed in SD we went to lunch at the Old Town Mexican Cafe. They have great, and I mean great, Mexican food. We gorged ourselves on the best guacamole ever, except for Brian's. His is much better. Just a few steps away is the newly remodeled Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center. It was really great and beautifully done with interactive exhibits, artifacts and even gold panning. They even took a souvenir picture of us! There were people from Canada and Europe in our tour group, and a ward's YM/YW with their leaders. Pretty cute. We were really glad we went!If you notice, in this picture, my hair is getting ready to explode into it's "Whoa, I'm in a humid climate and I must puff out to my maximum diameter!" mode. Sigh...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

7-Layer Dip to the Pants

The hubby and I had the chance to go to San Diego on Friday with our good friends, Wade and Kristen, to be wined and dined by the Visitor's Bureau of that most beautiful town. They put us up on the 36th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, (aka. The Ritziest Hotel in Town), and took us to a Padre's game at Petco Park.

So, there we were in the highest Tower Box (See that big brick tower? We were in that highest box):Looking right down on the batter's box:Looking up at the huge bank of lights above our heads:
Eating our meal of hot dogs, pasta salad, 7-layer dip and treats, schmoozing with hotel and travel reps, when a particularly exciting over-the-fence catch happened. Bruce got so excited that he jumped out of his seat, cheering! And promptly flipped his whole plate of food into his lap. Mostly the pasta salad and 7-layer dip part. Chaos! Luckily, in the excitement of the moment, not too many people noticed and he got himself cleaned up pretty fast. I was laughing my head off, and immediately text-ed my kids to tell them about their Dad's mishap. What made it so much more funny was the fact that Bruce can't get through a ball game without slopping something on himself, usually mustard or nacho cheese.

Baseball is so much more fun to watch in person. Here's an attempt at a shot of Petco Park from the 36th floor:Picture quality is going to be a bit sketchy since I'm using my back-up point-and-shoot until my 3rd arm comes back from the camera spa.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pit Crew

Sometimes it seems like a waste of time to get our horses all cleaned up for a horse show. After all, most horses love to sleep in their poo. Sophie's favorite pillow was a pile of poo. They don't care if they're dirty. But when your horse is all clean and shiny, then it all seems more worth it. Thank heavens I've never had a white horse! I'd go insane. We even make their hooves look nice before going into the ring, because we think it might make a difference to the judge. We are all pros at hoof painting.

Last second buffing and shining for Joleen and Archie. Notice Archie's look of long-suffering. Kari calls this the "Pit Crew":Rocko was much better behaved at the 2nd Rose Ranch show- no horses playing next to the ring to distract him! I know he doesn't look very happy in this picture, but it's those ear plugs- they make him look like a mule.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Homegrown Tomatoes and other Goodies

My garden has started producing, and it's great!! The blackberries are ready- some are bigger than my thumb! I took these pictures last week, before the loss of my camera.Is there anything better than home-grown tomatoes? I don't think so!
These guys like them too!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Unfortunately, in the world of horses, sometimes bad things happen. Horses get hurt, or sick, and sometimes they don't get better. That's what happened with Paloma. This is Paloma with Taylor, who owed her:And at the grass show last month with Marja, the lady who was leasing her:
A week after the grass show Paloma colic-ed. The vet operated, but she colic-ed again right after the surgery and had to be put down. Luckily, Marja had bought insurance on Paloma just 2 weeks before. We'll miss her. I'm making shadow boxes for Marja and Taylor with pictures, one of her horseshoes and a piece of her tail. I'd take pictures if I had a camera...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

IHOP Pancakes

Here's the next sister recipe- these are the best pancakes EVER!! If your family likes that occasional breakfast for dinner, like mine does, you'll want to try these.

IHOP Pancakes 8-10 pancakes
1 1/4 c. flour
1 egg
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. sugar
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. vegetable oil
pinch of salt

Preheat skillet to med-high. In a blender or with a mixer, combine all ingredients till smooth. Cook on heated pan.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pony Girl

Meet C. She rode Sonora at the grass show. C is a very intelligent, if somewhat precocious little girl. Her vocabulary is impressive, but it's nearly impossible to keep her on task. At the barn, C has a 30 minute time limit to get herself and the pony ready for her lesson. If she takes longer than 30 minutes, then she has to take the stirrups off of her saddle and have a lesson without them. But she makes a pretty cute photo subject, all the same.

She had lots of barn helpers:And she and Sonora were great in the ring. C kissed to that pony the whole time. I'll bet her lips were sore!It's tough to stay occupied until it's your turn:My favorite: The Wilting MomentAll in all, I think she had a pretty good show.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Yes, I'm camera-less. I bit the bullet and took my camera in to be cleaned. It was long overdue, and I knew things were pretty bad when the salespeople at Inkleys showed each other in amazement just what the inside of my camera looked like. At the Stratford Campout in June I looked through the viewfinder and saw some kind of bug crawling around inside the body of my camera, and that was also a good incentive to send it on in. Who knows what else is in there! I hate not having it. It's a bit like missing my third arm, but I'm sure it's enjoying it's time at the Camera Spa. I just hope it comes back soon!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cream Puff Cake

I got this recipe years and years ago from a friend, Mindy, who lived in my ward. Fancy enough for a ladies luncheon, it's like a flattened eclair, and it's the sister recipe for today.

Cream Puff Cake-
makes a 10x15" pan
1 c. water
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. flour
4 eggs
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 c. milk
3 3.5 oz pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
1 12oz. Cool Whip
1/4 c. chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 400. In a large saucepan, heat butter and w
ater to boiling.Add flour and reduce heat to low. Cook and stir until mix forms a ball.Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. This takes some time, and you won't think it's going to work, but then, magically, it will.Spread over bottom of a 10x15" cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. At this point, you can release some of your inner rage by poking holes in the air bubbles that have formed in the crust, then flattening them so you have a nice, flat crust. Cool completely.In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and milk, and beat until smooth. Add pudding mix and beat until thickened. Spread over cooled shell.
Top with Cool Whip.
Drizzle chocolate syrup over top. Chill.

Props to me: All of these photos were taken with the A mode on my camera- not on Auto. My sisters have inspired me to put on my Big Girl Pants and take a few brave steps. Thanks, sissies!

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's A Shocker, I Know.

I know this will shock you, but I...wait for it...cooked squash the other day! Bruce loves squash, and because I love Bruce, well, you get the picture. He ate every single bite. (Which was a good thing because I wasn't about to touch the nasty stuff!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Construction Zone Horse Show

We were glad just to make it to the 2nd Grass Show of the year since, if you remember, Rocko tried to kill himself in the trailer on the way to the first one. This 2nd show on the grass had it's own set of challenges. The entire stretch of 11400 So. that runs right alongside the show ring was being torn up. First, the grinder, which was bigger than my house, would grind up the asphalt and spit it from a conveyor belt into dump trucks. Then the front loader, which was bigger than 2 of my houses and had a bucket big enough for 2 suburbans to fit in, would come behind and dump huge blocks of cement into dump trucks. A lot of the horses found it...disconcerting, to say the least. If you were lucky or smart, you would time your ride to coincide with the machinery being at the far end of it's work. Rocko was pretty good about it- he does wear ear plugs anyway, but it was just one more crazy thing to deal with. Mostly, he couldn't figure out why he was having to work when there were acres and acres of perfectly good food to eat, right there in front of him! Then there was the heat- 104 one afternoon when Shannon rode. We almost died from the heat. But it wasn't all bad- Shannon and Rocko were Reserve Champions in the Adult Division, and they were 2nd place in the UHJA Adult Hunt Seat Medal!By the last class of the show, Rocko was so tired that he could barely pick up his head, poor guy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We've been horse showing a lot lately, which has been fun, but exhausting! Horse shows mean 14-hour days in the blistering heat and blowing dirt. They mean highs and lows (literally- on both counts!), and barn friends that can be both your best friends and the people who can just get under your skin. It means dealing with diva riders and temperamental horses. Winning everything one day and not being to get your act together the next. And visa-versa! In the end it's worth every sore muscle, bruise and irritation. Working with a 2000 lb. animal that chooses to love you and cooperate with you and be your slave can be very satisfying. I have a bunch of show pictures to share. We'll start with a few from the grass show today.

Lacy the Glamor Girl:Marja's son lost a tooth and was keeping in this tin:N & N:Couldn't resist taking this one of Kari! He he!!This pic of Lacy's little one was one of my favorites:Bear with me and my show pictures for the next few days!