Sunday, April 29, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Love Those Lilacs

The big lilac bushes in our area are just starting to bloom. The only thing better about how they look is how they smell! My mini lilacs are still a week or two away from blooming, but these big guys are really putting on a show.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Out In The Garden

Out in the garden, plants are starting to grow! The peas are up and looking good.
Bruce has a new system for the tomatoes this year. He cut the bottoms out of 5 gallon buckets, buried them, then filled them with a combination of compost and soil. They are spaced far enough apart for the Rototiller to make a pass between to keep the weeds down.
He's preparing a raised bed for other vegetables- beets (yuck.), onions, garlic and carrots. This will also be a year for Giant Pumpkins.
Our compost came from our county dump, where they sell it for $15.00 a truckload. It looks nice and dark, just like compost should. I'm going to need another truckload for the Zinnia patch.
Hopefully we can stay on top of the whole garden thing this year and enjoy the fruits of our labors. At least the ones that taste good.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Since Peter has been home, I've been buying him special milk. According to him, our milk taste like water, compared to NZ milk, so get him his own gallons of Vitamin D, higher fat content milk, which he chugs right from the container.
Peter is out of town this week, and we have an extra unopened gallon of his milk in the fridge. I don't want it to go to waste, so Bruce and I are going to indulge ourselves with some liquid fat this week. But we will be civilized and use glasses.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bee Babies

Breaking news from the beehive: Our bees are making babies!! That's right. I haven't seen them for myself, because I'm not brave enough to open the hive, but the beekeeper man says that there are babies in the beehive. I'm glad the bees are happy enough to reproduce. They love the snow crab trees, which are blooming their hardest:
If you stand by this tree, it hums from all of the bees, busily gathering pollen. Look at how much pollen this bee has on it's legs. Crazy!
I'm loving Spring this year!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

I think of this recipe like Chicken Alfredo with a little ju-ju kick!
 I did not take this photo. Just sos ya knows.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta- serves 4
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
4 oz. linguine, cooked al dente
2 or more tsp. Cajun seasoning- I used Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning. How much you use will determine how spicy you're final product will be. Don't want it too spicy? Use 2 tsp.
2 Tbs. butter
1 thinly sliced green onion
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 (16 oz) can diced Italian tomatoes
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Place chicken strips and cajun seasoning in a Ziplock bag and squish to coat. In a large skillet, saute chicken in butter until chicken is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat and add green onion, tomatoes, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat through. Add hot linguine and Parmesan cheese, toss to coat.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Since my Snow Crabs are blooming, it must mean that Spring has arrived! Yippee!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Super Sudsey!

It's amazing, the things you find on Pinterest. This week I made my own laundry soap! Really! This is what you need to make it:
1 (4 lb 12 oz) box of Borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 (3 lb) container OxyClean
2 bars Fels Naptha or Zote Soap
1 (4 lb) box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1 or 2 (55 oz) bottles of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener
I found all of these on the detergent isle of my bigger Walmart.

Side Note: I like my laundry to smell really nice and I've been using the Purex Crystals for a while. If you like a strong scent, use 2 bottles. If you don't, just use one. 

This makes so much that I used my big punch bowl for mixing. I mixed half of the recipe at a time, making several layers. Before you start, grate the Fels Naptha bars with a fine cheese crater. It really looks like cheese! Next time I'll look for Zote- it's pink and will look a bit more un-cheese-like.
Beware- the Borax is like fine baby powder and will coat your whole room. When I do this again, I think I'll do it outside to avoid the mess. This is what it looks like all mixed up:
Add a label!
Now, here comes the crazy part. You only use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. I told you, crazy!! It works wonderfully and smells great!

I paid $36.26 for the ingredients which filled my 8 quart container with about 3 cups extra. At 2 Tbs. per load, this is going to last a long time! It's a bigger investment at the start, but super cheap over the long run.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

All Smiles

There was a clinic out at the barn last Saturday. The night before, Rocko was turned out in the ring with the jumps to get out some of that extra energy he's famous for. He ran around and jumped the jumps all by himself, and I wasn't even there to see it. At least we know he likes to jump! All that exercise made him tired for the clinic, but that was ok, he and Shannon were awesome, as always.
 It was a day for smiles at that clinic- just look at all of these happy faces!
 The cherry tree in the neighbors yard was accommodating and made a nice backdrop.
 It was a fun day- no wonder there were so many smiles!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Few Hundred New Neighbors

A friend of ours in the ward called us one day and asked if we'd be interested in having a beehive in our backyard. He had a buddy from the next county over who had a bunch of hives and was looking to spread them out across the area. I thought it was a great idea, seeing as how the bee populations are down and pollination hasn't been as good lately. So, our new neighbors arrived a few nights ago, just as the sun was going down.

First, the hive had to go where the morning sun would warm it.
 This old trough we had would make a good support. Don't ask why we have an old trough.
 Then the hive was unloaded and carried to it's new home.
 Mr. Beekeeper put on his protective hood and smoked the hive to keep the bees calm while he opened all of their doors and gave them some nectar to eat until more plants were flowering.
 The next afternoon I wandered out to see if they had enough water. There is a saucer of water on top of the hive now. The bees were very busy, flying in and out. I was brave and walked right up to refill their water and they didn't even care. A few bees didn't survive the move- it probably stressed them too much.
Anyway, these are our new neighbors. I'm sure I'll be keeping you updated on their progress and the progress of our intensely pollinated plants!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

All Around The World

Since I'm the Stake Librarian, I will sometimes make "executive decisions." Like when I reorganized all of the library pictures into a more logical order. (That was just an intelligent move.) Another decision was to take over the bulletin board that sits between to 2 doors that access the library. You probably have a board just like it in your building- the one that has crinkled Mormonads from 4 years ago pinned to it. The Unloved Bulletin Board. Well, our board is unloved no longer.

Last month I had the folks in charge of Emergency Preparedness put information on the board. Lots of people found important stuff there and the board was useful again. This month I did the board:

I made a map of where the 58 missionaries from our stake were serving. Our Stake Conference is later this month and I thought the missionary parents would like it.
 Each ward is color coded. Our missionaries are spread from Seattle in the West to Fiji in the East. 6 weeks ago, Peter would have been the missionary who was the furthest East. Almost half of our missionaries are serving in North America. I had a hard time fitting in all of the kids serving on the east coast.
I had fun with this little project. I already have an idea for May, and then I'll turn it over to the Stake YW to drum up enthusiasm for Girl's Camp. Go love your boards!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Calligraphy Notes

Hey, you piano players out there who accompany singers from time to time- this one's for you!

You know that feeling you get when someone brings you a piece of music and it looks like this: (Cue the music from Psycho.)
The dreaded Calligraphy Notes. For some reason, someone thought it would be cute or special or add more feeling to the music to hand write it in, using some kind of crazy fancy writing. What am I supposed to be playing here? Help me, please.
If you ever get the urge to make your music cute, please take pity on the piano player and don't. Please.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Festivus

We had a fun Easter dinner at Grandma's this year. Good food, including a fancy technicolor Peeps cake,
 And lots of family.
Grandma provided an awesome egg hunt,
 But some of the treats were never found, even when they were hidden in plain sight.
 For some reason, this is my favorite picture of the day:
 I hope you all had a fun Easter too!