Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Horse Laundry 101

Having a horse is tough on a borderline OCD person (like me) when it comes to keeping things clean. Rocko just doesn't have the same point of view about cleanliness as I do! Since none of our horses have been especially tidy, over the years I've developed a system for horse laundry. Horse laundry, if at all possible, goes to the laundromat. Laundromats hate horse owners. Many a front loading washing machine has had it's glass door cracked or broken by a metal horse blanket buckle. And the noise! It sounds like World War III when a horse blanket is being washed, with all the clanking of metal pieces inside a metal drum! In the past I've learned to sneak in the back door, start the laundry and sneak back out. Today I used a new technique.

Here's Rocko's lightweight blanket. It's supposed to be warm this weekend, (50's!!!), so I wanted to get it cleaned up before taking it out to the barn. In it's present state, it almost stands by itself.
Here's my helper.
These are a few of the offending buckles.
I wrapped them in old hand towels and washcloths, then wrapped rubber bands around the bundles to keep them on.
Then I was off the the laundromat. It has an awesome retro sign out front:
In went the blanket, $4.00 worth of quarters and some of my smelly homemade laundry detergent. Only the best for Rocko! Then I turned it on.
There was some clanking, but not like before. I sauntered instead of slinking out. My plan had worked, and Rocko's blanket is now nice and clean. That will last maybe 2 hours, if we're lucky.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Ok, who out there is a fan of oatmeal? I grew up with a regular dose of oatmeal, malt-o-meal and "eggnog" for breakfast. My Brian likes oatmeal too, so I tried this crock pot recipe last Saturday when he and Lindsey were here. It went together in a record 5 minutes, then cooked overnight.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal- serves 6
2 c. chopped apple
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 c. oatmeal
4 c. water
Place apples, brown sugar and cinnamon in slow cooker. Sprinkle oatmeal over the top. Pour water over all and do not stir. Cook 8-9 hours on low.

Yum! Smooth and hot! I'll admit I like my oatmeal a bit sweeter than this turned out, so next time I'm going to add 1/2 c. sugar to the mix. Even though we couldn't get anyone else to try this, Brian and I liked it a lot!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Time To Prune

I'm sure you've been wondering what's been happening out in the grape field, haven't you? I knew you were! Well, it's pruning time! Seems strange to be pruning in what feels like the dead of winter, but that's how it's done.
Pruning is not so bad on a sunny day that's in the mid-forties. This year Bruce was fashion-forward in his Survivor: Zarahemla youth conference t-shirt and his Mickey beanie. All he needed to complete the picture was some good clippers and a helper.
There was a lot of wood growth on the vines this past year and it all had to go.
It's taken Bruce three different Saturdays to get all 6 of the grape rows pruned.
Now we just have to wait for the buds to come in June. Grapes are one of the last plants to bud and it's always stressful to wait!

(Strike a pose!)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Marriage Buster RVs

Last Friday, Bruce and I went to the RV show in Salt Lake. I love the RV show! It's the best place to play the "if I had all the money in the world" game.
For instance: this is the RV I would buy if I had all the money in the world:
It even has an outside TV.
If you need a definition of irony, this is it. "Welcome to the great outdoors! Ignore the beauty of nature around you and play your video games while sitting outside your RV!" Crazy stuff. Sadly, my dream RV is a bit out of our budget at the moment. :) If I show up in your driveway with this baby, you'll know we won the lottery.
I call this one The Marriage Buster.
Now I love my husband, but I could not spent a month driving the Trans-Canadian-Alaskan highway stuck together night and day in this small of a space. One of us would be dead withing the week.
Bruce called this one the Hidey-Hut. (Another Marriage Buster, I say!)
The RV show was fun to go to, and dream...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Saying

A special shout out to my sis- it's her birthday today! Love you!

This week's Sunday Saying:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Sweet Treat

I made these cute Valentines treats for my VT ladies this week. They were super easy and inexpensive to make- just my style!
I found the silicone pan at The Walmarts for just a few dollars.
I melted these candy chips in the microwave and poured them into the pan- first a pink layer, then a white one.
 While the white layer was still liquid, I added the candy. It helps if you put the flimsy mold on a cookie sheet- then you can bang the pan against the counter to get the bubbles out of the chocolate and get those candies settled so they won't fall off.
Easy and cute! What could be better?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Maybe Not A Good Idea

Gus has discovered the wonders of The Dryer.
It's warm in here- sometimes too warm and he has to jump out really fast! Tonight it was just the right temperature.
 He'll climb in on top of a pile of cold wet clothes too, but it doesn't have the same effect.

Safari Valentines For Primary

I lead the music in Primary for my ward. It's a really fun calling and I try to make it interesting for the kids. Thank goodness the presidency pretty much gives me a free rein to do what I want, so we play a lot of games and do holiday-themed activities while we learn the year's songs.

I usually don't share what I'm doing in Primary on my blog, but this idea was just too cute. I'm trying really hard to stay away from candy-based incentives, so when I saw these safari animal valentines on...Pinterest, I thought they'd be perfect for a Valentine's Day singing time.
I've got Primary songs on some,
And other fun activities on others.
I think the kids will love it!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

For His Mental Health

Our cat, Gus, is...energetic. With all the snow we've been having, he's had nowhere to roam and release that 6 month old kitty energy. Basically, he's a cooped up teenager and he's been taking it out on my furniture, my wrists and my ankles. Bad kitty!

We finally got smart and dug pathways through the snow in the backyard so that he could get to some trees. Now he spends a few hours outside everyday, climbing the trees and intently watching birds.  Then he comes inside to collapse from the sheer exhaustion of all that mental stimulation.
My furniture, to say nothing of my ankles, might just survive until Spring.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Super Bowl!

Did your family watch the super bowl? Our always watches it, and then we feast at halftime. Gus and Dad helped Peter with some accounting homework during the first half:
This year's feast included mini sliders (which were SO good!), Shannon's sweet chicken wings and M's jalapeƱo popper dip.

Part way through our feasting, Bruce asked if I had put jalapeƱos in the mashed potatoes, which he was eating by the spoonful. No dear, those aren't potatoes. That's dip.

Monday, February 4, 2013

30 Years Ago

Thirty years ago today, I married Bruce:
Here we are, 3 kids, 2 houses, 10 cars, 3 dogs, 4 cats, 3 horses, 1 Bishop experience, 1 boat, 1 shattered ankle, 2 broken ribs, innumerable trips to Disneyland, several near-death experiences, 1 scooter and 1 tractor later.
Still goin' strong!