Sunday, September 28, 2014

Meal Plan

This week I'm taking advantage of Jessica's pre-planned menus

I like the menus she posts because she has very approachable food my family likes. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Meal Plan

Monday: Beef stew (beef from the freezer, veggies that need to be used up), biscuits

Tuesday:  Kung Pao Chicken over rice (from last week--didn't get to it)

Wednesday Crockpot chili (I have a lot of salsa that needs to be used up and this uses salsa)

Thursday: Chicken Fajita Bubble-Up Bake, vegetables/fruit

Friday: pizza

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Happy birthday to me!

I didn't plan anything in particular for my birthday, but had a pleasant day of doing what I wanted (shoe horned in around work, of course).

I started off the day with breakfast at IHOP, or International House of Pancakes, as I like to call it.  I had a coupon for a free stack of pancakes, but invited David to come along and he treated me to the hot chocolate, even offering me to order the Lumberjack Special and forget the birthday pancakes.  The pancakes were great and the hot chocolate was nicely piled with whipped cream and the waiter brought me a second one as a birthday bonus.

 
 
I had three books to return to the library, so that was next.  Yes, I'm a geek; I like to read Consumer Reports, so I always read it in the library.  I read the whole September issue, then checked out a couple of books for Conor.

 
 
The library is in the same complex as a Goodwill thrift store, so I stopped in for a quick look in my favorite departments (housewares, linens, children's clothing) and spent a grand total of $1.79 for a new canning jar and a pair of shorts for my grandson.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Meal Plan

Monday: Leftovers from the fridge--spicy chickpea stew, Cuban beans over rice

Tuesday: Asian Beef Noodle Bowls, green salad

Wednesday:  Spaghetti with meatballs, green beans

Thursday:  Kung Pao Chicken over rice

Friday: Slow Cooker White Pizza Dip with tortilla chips and/or pita chips

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lots of Mormon temples being built all over the world--infographic below

A Mormon temple has been announced for my city, but it's still in the planning stage and not included below.  But look at the exciting things happening all over the world:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Look! Look! Look!

The third time is the charm for us with regard to growing our own ocotillo in the front yard, right where I can see it out my office window.  It's my favorite desert plant and on our third try we have a thriving plant.
 
Bill and I thought it was dead because no leaves grew despite regular watering after it was transplanted.  We were thinking about calling the nursery where we got it and pulling it out to return and get our money back.  However, one day we noticed flowers at the tips of two branches (arms?) and the humming birds had discovered the flowers as well.  We knew we had a live plant after all!


Such smart plants, these ocotillos; they grow leaves when it rains, then drop them after a fairly short dry period.  Since plants lose most water through their leaves, this is an adaptation for the desert. They can grow and drop leaves up to eight times a year! 



Monday, September 8, 2014

More rain we really need!

This is a beautiful sight here in the Sonoran Desert:
 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Quilt club!

This morning was my monthly quilt club--a block of the month club.  Each time I go I receive a pattern, instructions from the teacher, and two small pieces of fabric that must be included in that month's block.  There is not enough fabric to sew the whole thing using only those two pieces, so we must add our own fabric and design choices.

 
The two fabrics given in August were the light pink and one of the dark pinks.  I have decided to add one color and to use premium white muslin liberally each month. Since I want a larger quilt than the twelve monthly blocks will make, I decided I need to make thirty blocks this year, so three for each of six months, then two for the remaining six months. 

My second block in August was almost identical to the one above, and my third block was completely different.  The only difference in the seams is because I was not turning this one in, and the corners were all white, I did not sew together two triangles to make the corner squares.  If I had been turning this one in to the quilt shop, I would have had to make them according to the official pattern.  The placement of the colors makes an amazing difference, doesn't it?


Here are the August blocks the quilt shop ladies made:



Ha--I realized the pictures are sideways but . . . they're quilt blocks so it doesn't matter!  I'm thinking of making at least one with color placement like the blue/gold one in the lower picture and I don't know about the others.  The two turquoise fabrics are the must-use fabrics for August.

This is what my niece was doing during the class:


Yes, crocheting.

Friday, September 5, 2014

When cats fly . . . .

Wednesday night I was driving the girls plus a friend home from activity night at Church.  As we neared our neighborhood on the main street, one of my girls asked me if I thought the little grandsons would be in bed already.  I laughed and said, "When pigs fly!"  I had to explain that it meant something was extraordinarily unlikely, just as pigs' flying would be very unlikely.

We dropped off the friend, then went slowly around her street, which is a circle, headed toward our house.

Suddenly two of the girls shouted, "Mom!! There's a cat in the road!"  Instantly I saw reflecting gold eyes and dodged the car to the left as the cat TOOK FLIGHT.  It was an owl--a huge owl sitting in the street and it looked just like a large cat in the dark.

We laughed and laughed as we thought about the "pigs flying" comment just a few minutes earlier and wished I had said, yes, the boys would be in bed when CATS fly!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Our anti-wildlife project

A month or so ago I was checking on the chickens when I heard sounds coming from the storage shed that sounded like Michael Westen was tied up inside.  Thump, thump, thumpety, thump!  While I was wondering what on earth was going on, a little head popped out from the tiny space between the shed and the concrete block fence--a cute little squirrel.

Cute squirrel, but she brought along a number of her friends and relatives and while they didn't get into the shed, they dug around under it and hung around in the side yard all the time.


Bill bought a no-kill trap to take care of things.  This weekend four squirrels were relocated and about 6:30 this morning we caught a fifth.


Like two of the others, she was vigorously try to get out and you can see she was trying to figure out the trigger bar.  The third squirrel actually damaged the mechanical parts, he was so anxious to get out, and Bill had to take the trap apart and reassemble it.

This has been a very interesting experience!