Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pray For Me, I'm Driving The 93

As my children can verify, Bruce loves a good back road. He and I took a few days off last weekend and went to Las Vegas. By that I mean we eventually made it to Las Vegas, but not on the usual route. We took The 93.

Back in the day, as in before I-15 was built, the main road from L.A. to Salt lake City was Highway 93. Bruce's dad and uncle used to drive this road to get to their military assignments out in the nuclear testing zones of central Nevada, thus the title of this entry. I guess that used to be a big saying back in those days.

The 93 takes off west of Cedar City and heads into eastern Nevada, then curves south to Las Vegas. Sometimes it follows the main Union Pacific line from Utah to California. We stopped at the historic Spanish-style train depot in Calliente, Nevada to have a look around.
They had a hand painted map inside that showed all of the little towns along the railroad route. Bruce loved it.

Now the depot houses city and police offices and a library. The city seems sadly vacant, but the people there still hang on. Driving through the desert we saw fighter jets from Nellis AFB dog fighting above us, which was neat. The whole Highway 93 experience added a bit of time to our drive, but I'm glad we went exploring.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Up On The Housetop

You might remember the big windstorm that almost blew us away early in December. It was crazy and people are still talking about it when they get together. Our insurance company decided that we'd lost so many shingles on the house and tractor shed that some roofing was in order. This is what's happening around here today:
Lots of scraping and stomping going on up there- please, nobody fall off!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's months like these, freezing January and frigid February, that make riding outside year-round difficult. There was a clinic at the barn last week that started at 7:00 in the morning when the outside temperature was a balmy 19 degrees. When it's this cold, Rocko gets ice crystals in the whiskers around his mouth.

Shannon and Rocko did what they could to stay warm.
 Even in the cold they were pretty darn awesome.
They ran inside as soon as they were done. Here are a few more shots from the morning:

Friday, January 27, 2012

The YW Are At It Again?

I'm not sure what is happening here with Lil Missionary. He's acting "silly as", and there is a suspicious pink cup nearby. Maybe the Young Women in Paraparaumu gave him tea cupcakes at the latest feed and they've gone to his head!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quick Caramel Pudding

This dessert really shouldn't work. What dessert do you know of where you can pour 2 cups of hot water over the top of it and it still works out? Voodoo magic, if you ask me.

My MIL gave me this recipe 29 (!) years ago when I married her son. It's an old Stratford recipe that I've made several times over the years. I made it again last week for DUP and the ladies loved it. You probably have everything to make it in your cupboard right now. The cake batter rises to the top and all that water turns into a creamy caramel sauce. Mmm. Make it now.

Quick Caramel Pudding- 8 servings
1/2 c. sugar
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. raisins
Mix dry ingredients. Add milk and raisins and stir until smooth. Spread into a 9" square pan.
1 c. brown sugar
2 c. hot water
3 Tbs. butter
Heat water and butter until hot. pour over cake batter in pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over all. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until brown.

I doubled this recipe for a larger crowd and had a tiny bit of spillage in my oven, so if you double this recipe, use your largest pan. I drizzled a little bit of my complicated vanilla sauce over the top- melted vanilla ice cream. Yum.

Photo Tutorial!

All of the dry ingredients are just sitting there, waiting for the milk and raisins.
Batter is all mixed up.
Spread it in your pan,
Then pour all that water and butter over the top!
The brown sugar made it's own layer under the water. Now don't spill when it's going into the oven!

Old fashioned-y goodness!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One Ferrari, Please

For date night Bruce and I went to the car show in Salt Lake. We're trying to figure out what to do about our car situation. Peter will be home in about 6 weeks, (yeah!), and we want him to have a least a little bit of freedom. In other words, he can't be infringing on our freedom. In more other words, he can't be borrowing our cars all the time, right? We used to have an extra car, the Camry, but it breathed it's last a few months ago. So, we went to see what was on the market, just in case we decide to get a new car...for me! These are a few of our options:

Too small.
Oh, yeah. These would be awesome, but they can't tow my cargo trailer. What a shame.
These would be fun!
Too flashy.
 We really need to work on Bruce's posing skills.
 This truck would come in handy. It had a pull-out BBQ station, a flat screen TV and surround sound. It could pull my trailer, too!
 We didn't make any major decisions, but it was sure fun to see all of the fancy new cars!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winter Whiteness

Finally, we had a decent snowstorm over the weekend! The snowploughs were out in full force:
Xena made cute kitty-prints:
And the neighbors helped clear each others driveways.
I like nice clean snow!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Beginning

I gave this Christus statue to Bruce after he was made Bishop of our ward, 5+ years ago. It's moved to our living room now, because Bruce was released yesterday at our Ward Conference. It's a big change and we're still processing it, but this calling have been a huge blessing to our family. Time for a new beginning!

Bruce keeps saying that he doesn't know what he's going to do with his time. (!) Funny. Mr Type A still won't have enough time to do everything he thinks needs to be done!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tea Cupcakes

One of the perks of living in the Bishop's family is the occasional treat dropped off by the Young Women. The doorbell rang last Tuesday night and when I opened it, there were 4 cute and happy YW, all about age 14. They asked for the Bishop. I stage-whispered that the Bishop was having a bit of a soak in the tub. This they found hilarious. They handed over the goods and ran off.
A bouquet of mini cupcakes! That's what I'm talking about. I couldn't figure out why one of them said, "tea". Then I realized that it was upside-down and really said "eat." And that's just what we did.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kolob Canyon

One Last stop on the road trip- this time at Kolob Canyon. It's just off of I-15, north of St. George and it's inside the boundaries of Zion National Park.
Nice red rock here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Last of the Temple Tour

We're on our way home now and visiting the last temple on our tour. Since it was a Sunday, I thought it appropriate to stop at the St. George temple. The Visitor's Center was playing hymns over an outside speaker which made it even nicer. I love the feel of history at this temple.
6 temples in 7 days. Pretty awesome.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Yesterday I told you how I was a bit intimidated at staying in a mega-resort-casino all by myself. My usual wimpy self would hide out in my room, enjoying my own company. But at this resort they have an aquarium, and I love aquariums. So, I pulled myself together and went venturing out.

It was fun! Complete anonymity in a crowd of Vegas party-ers. There were brides and grooms walking around, people of every culture, dress and sobriety level. It was a great people-watching place, but I was on my way to...Shark Reef. (Sorry, Sister Who Has Been On The Earth The Longest, but this place is just not for you, is it? You can stop reading now, if you want to.)

I could totally relate to the decor of the place, since is was so much like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.
They started us out easy with the Kimodo Dragons, snakes and Piranhas.
Then we walked through an acrylic tube that took us through the shark filled waters.
On to the rays, which you could touch, if you wanted to. Which I didn't. (Slimey, rubbery, gross.)
I loved the jellyfish, even if I don't really understand how they're bodies work.
The lion fish were awesome- I've always liked these guys.
So, I was glad I was brave and ventured forth by myself. Maybe I'm growing up. Just a little bit.