Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stomped on the wrong pest!

After our family's experience with scorpions in the past 10 days (3 year old grandson was stung several days before I was), we are all a little on edge.  I killed one in the hall last night without its causing anyone harm.

 Notice anything wrong with this picture?  Dd said her nerves were so frayed that when she saw this plastic lizard on the floor, she nailed it with her foot!  And *I'm* afraid of dust bunnies and little scraps of fabric from my quilt project.  Sigh.

Camp Laffalotta--Cooking Week!

Thursday:  Bread

Friday:  No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Monday:  Cream puffs

Tuesday:  Easy "Baked" Apples

Wednesday:  Chocolate chocolate chip mug cake

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bill's Saturday activity

Bill has been wanting to make a tree house for the girls for awhile and for some reason Sophia listed one on her birthday wish list.  She might have had some help with that list, I'm thinking.
 You are looking up at the long side with a wall about 3' high.
I guess the male friend next door is going to have to beg for entrance.
Here is the ladder side.  It's mostly open and easy to access. 

Bill had a good, hard day's labor building it and I think the girls, their friends, and the grandchildren are going to enjoy it for years.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poor Spot!

Spot seems to be back to laying eggs.  Happy day!  This is her third in four days, so no complaining from me.  However, this is a chicken who lays ENORMOUS eggs!  No wonder she decided to take a {much earned} break!

The brown egg is a rather average-sized egg, probably a size "Large" in commercial production.

All I can say is, "Ouch!"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today we had a Memorial Day bar-b-que in our back yard.  We invited an empty-nester couple we know, as well as a couple with three young children.  They brought far more food than expected, so combined with what we prepared, we had a huge feast.

While eating, we talked about our fathers, uncles, and grandfathers who served in the military during World War II and the Korean conflict.  In addition we should have mentioned a brother and son who served in the current war in the middle east.  New veterans.

Afterward the children and all the daddies went swimming and the three ladies sat and chatted. 
 It was a good day.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Menu Plan Sunday

Monday:  BBQ cookout


Wednesday:Steak and Potato Salad (with steak from the freezer)

This was a hit.  Everyone liked it.
Thursday:  Poblano chili enchiladas, black beans, rice

Friday:  Pizza

Funny Spot

Caroline's chicken is Spot.  Spot has laid only about five eggs this year.  She molted in Jan/Feb, then laid about three eggs, then stopped.  Two other times (including yesterday) she has laid a single egg.  Good thing for her that she is a pet, not potential dinner.

The red wagon was out on the patio with a blanket in it for pulling grandchildren around.  Spot thought it looked like a nice nesting place and spent quite a bit of time rearranging the blanket to suit her taste.  If only she would put that energy toward making more eggs!

A new quilt project

A pattern for this quilt popped up on my Facebook page and it struck a chord.  Don't ask me why, because on all the patriotic days (Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Pioneer Day) it's typically about 100 degrees here, but for a couple of years I've been wanting to make a patriotic quilt.

In the United States, that means red, white, and blue!  This quilt calls for all different reds, blues, and cream/white/patterned fabrics.  I'll have to say the whites turned out to be browner than I expected, but I'm okay with it.

The next step is to see if I have enough of the background fabrics to make 20 squares 6 1/2" each.  I could use creamy muslin and make them all the same.  Then I'll sew the nine-patches together with the squares to make an 18" nine-patch.  Then I'll start assembling the whole thing.  This one has several rows of sashing outside the medallion, which I haven't ever done before.  Something new.  Another thing I'm thinking of doing is having the whole thing machine quilted by a professional.  I haven't ever done that either.

I can't wait to finish it!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Orthodontist trip with a side trip

I took Caroline to the orthodontist in Nogales today, and coming back over the border was a breeze, so we had time to spare.  When I saw the freeway exit sign for Tumacacori National Historical Park, I decided to take it and see what we would see. 


Not far off the freeway was the site and since it looked interesting and the entry fee was modest, Caroline, Sophia, and I decided to explore it.

There was a neat old Catholic church that was mostly in ruins, but enough remained that there were good artist renderings of what it looked like.  The NPS has done a good job of producing a self-guided tour and adding a new, accessible concrete trail.

Any of our visitors might find themselves in the area looking at this mission as well as another in the area. ;-)


Thursday, May 24, 2012

A surprise in my shower

With my myopic eyesight I never saw it until after the burning, piercing sting on my foot.  Awful!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happy birthday, Sophia!

Today was the big day.  It started off with a tasty birthday breakfast, continued on to lemon cupcakes for the class, a treasure hunt around the house for wonderful gifts (if I do say so myself), and a big chocolate cake. 
[cake picture to be inserted when I figure out what on earth is going on with my computer]
I love you, Sophia!

[a picture of the birthday girl goes here]

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

About the same age as his mommy

LJ is just about the same age Holly was when I got a call one morning from the social worker telling me he had a girl with red hair waiting for me.  She was about 5 1/2 weeks old--LJ is almost 7.  So many similarities in their appearance.  The same hair color (although Holly had more), same eyes, same eyebrows, same stork bite under his hair in the back.  What a gift beyond price she was (and is) to me.

Tomorrow's birthday breakfast

Tomorrow my sweet Sophia turns 8.  Eight!  Tonight as I was frosting the 26 cupcakes she's taking to school tomorrow, I asked her what she wants for breakfast tomorrow.

"Anything I want?"

"Within reason."

"Ice cream?"


"Okay then, I want ice cream, pancakes, and chocolate milk."

"Okay, sounds good to me."

I got out as much as I could tonight to speed things along in the morning.  Everyone's going to enjoy breakfast!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I love seeing this model of Hyundai

I have a close connection to Korea AND to Tucson.  Although if I lived in Korea I would pronounce the name /toook sun/.   ;-)

Menu Plan Sunday

Monday:  Terrific Tuscan Vegetable Soup (recipe from USA weekend Feb. 24-26, 2012)

Tuesday:  Healthified Crunchy Asian Salad that we didn't get to last week
Wednesday:  Layered Mexican Bake, rice, vegetable (this may change since it is similar to something from last week)

Thursday:  Southwestern skillet with cornbread from the freezer

Friday:  Bloomin' Pizza Bread from the freezer

Saturday, May 19, 2012

This canning was not worth it!

Things between my Victorio strainer and me did not go well today and I'm not sure what happened.  From about 28 lbs of Roma tomatoes, here is my result:

Tomato sauce:

6 pints
4 half-pints

 The sauce came out of the strainer much thinner than expected and took a lot of cooking down.  I did get it to a very nice consistency though.  It's all on my pantry shelves now and I love to see my handiwork there, almost as much as I enjoy eating it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Library haul

This afternoon the children and I went to the library.  I had a notice that the book for my book club had come in; in addition, dh had finished reading my book from last month and I had to get it back.

My girls usually like to color a picture while they are there.  They introduced Zachariah to that.

You can see we expect to be enthusiastic readers (plus watch a DVD) this week!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My little Halloween boy

Elizabeth put this cat hat on Zachariah and it was funny to see! I'm so accustomed to seeing it on my girls only and they are a lot bigger than he is. Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Here it is!

Here is my mother's day gift already planted!  Beautiful, isn't it?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Orchestra concert

Caroline and Elizabeth have been taking orchestra lessons twice a week at school. 

The PTA pays for the teacher and the students just have to provide an instrument or borrow one from the school. 

We opted to rent a violin and a viola from a local music store for the school year.

Next Monday will be their last lesson and the instruments will go back the next day.  In August we'll go back, see if they need a bigger size, and get new rentals.

This is one concert during the year I actually look forward to.  It's short and fun.  They've had a terrific teacher this year.

Ice cream afterward!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Wow.  What a nice day my family made sure I had.

It started off with breakfast in bed.  Cereal and milk, with the milk in a separate cup so the cereal would stay crispy on its journey into the bedroom.

In order of age, here's what I received from my family members:

From Sophia I received a sillouhette that is startlingly accurate.

From Elizabeth and Caroline I received flowers in pots with candy in the centers.

From Kevin I received one of my most-anticipated gifts--an hour and forty-five minute Skype call from his mission in Brazil.  He looks and sounds wonderful!

From Conor I received a big box of chocolates.

 From Holly I received a big box of chocolates. 
You can tell the young adults know how much I like chocolate, can't you?

From David and Alicia I received a mother's day card with a cute hand-drawn picture inside it.
My son married a very smart girl. ;-)

From Bill (and the girls) I received three gifts.
The first you'll see the evidence of as soon as the rechargeable (yay!) battery is ready.
My old camera has taken over 6,000 pictures and it is pretty well worn out.

These beautiful roses appeared on my table yesterday:

And the thing I asked Bill for weeks ago is in my back yard waiting.
The person who doesn't live with me and guesses first exactly what it is gets
$1 in his/her PayPal account.

I was very spoiled today, wasn't I?

Meal Plan Sunday

Italian-herbed chicken breasts, brown rice, carrots. The chicken is from Hillshire Farm in the packaged deli case.

Tomato and spinach pasta toss, salad (that we didn't get to last week)

kernel corn, and black beans. Cover and back until it is all melted at 350 (45 minutes or so), then uncover at the en:  Enchilada casserole (enchilada casserole. Layer the corn tortillas, cheese, enchilada sauce, roasted mild green chiles, whole d to get the top bubbly )

Healthified Crunchy Asian Salad

French bread pizza

Saturday, May 12, 2012

After a new haircut

Holly decided Zachie needed a little less hair in this hot weather (100 today). Doesn't he look cute?
Holly is my daughter and Zachariah is my grandson.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Have you tried to photograph a newborn recently?

Oh well. [That's my freckled arm there.]

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Relief Society Homemaking Meeting (or is that "an additional Relief Society meeting"?)

There was a terrific turnout tonight for a beading class. Obviously lots of interest and the cost was only $1 for each kit. I hadn't signed up, so I waited until those who had, had chosen their kits. By the time I got to choose, I didn't like anything left, so I decided to just sit and chat with the others who were making things. This is what my friend Lisa made:
My friend Nancy made a necklace, but since she doesn't have pierced ears, gave me the earrings part of her kit. We decided we'd wink at each other when we happened to both wear our beaded jewelry on the same Sunday.
When I went up to the supply table to ask the teacher how to finish off the earrings I spied a bead kit I hadn't noticed. I'm not sure who it was for, as the teacher paused before telling me I could have it (buy it, of course). It was faceted glass beads with an opalescent sheen, and silver flower beads to make into a bracelet on elastic thread. The color is funny in this picture, but you can get the idea: