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!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

First day of school--Part 2

While I was taking Sophia to the bus, Bill was taking Caroline and Elizabeth to theirs.  Last year he drove them to school every day because for one reason or another we never figured out exactly what time the bus came through the neighborhood.  However, this year the information was easy to find and Bill and I decided they need to ride the bus both to and from school, which makes it easier for him to get to work early.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

First day of school--yes, it's still July

Our girls get out of school early (middle-end of May) and have several 1-2 week vacations which all lead to a very early start to the school year.

The girls had to be to the bus stops at almost the same time and going in opposite directions from the house, so Bill took the older girls and I took Sophia.  Doesn't she look cute in her pink, pink, pink outfit?  (She LOVES pink.)

And here is Sophia and her friendly bus driver:

It's her last year of elementary school as her school goes from Kindergarten to fifth grade.  Wow.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A very nice "shop locally" promotion

We almost always get out of the house on Thursdays because my mother's house cleaners come that day and I need to get the girls out of their way.  Today I took them to 4th Avenue, which is a fun and funky street near the university.  I thought we would window shop up and down the street, which entails about 6 blocks, then go home.  Instead we found announcements for a "Where Is Waldo?" promotion.

The girls got a "passport" at one of the sponsoring stores, then set out to find a 6" cardboard cut out of Waldo in the stores listed.  We found 15 of them!  Some of the store clerks were helpful and some weren't.  I did notice about half the clerks' eyes darted to the approximate location when I told them we were looking for Waldo.  LOL.

Holding the passports in our hands kind of gave us permission to walk all over various stores and even restaurants while we looked for Waldo.  It was fun.  And of course it got us into more than a dozen stores we never would have gone into.

When it was all over we did not stop at one of the interesting restaurants that dotted the street because they were a little more than my budget would allow, but we did stop at a Dairy Queen in the district, which was actually a very rare event for my girls.  No inside seating, only outside.  Two Blizzards and a large sundae, please.