Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Patience and Perspective on I-15

Today on my drive to a 3-day conference, I had just passed Willard when traffic came to a halt. Both lanes of vehicles that were just going 75-mile-per-hour stopped.

I looked at the clock, and looked ahead. I couldn't see anything. I hoped that we'd get moving soon, or I'd be late for my conference. I put the car in park, drumming my fingers on the steering wheel impatiently.

Five minutes passed. No one moved an inch.

Ten minutes passed. I've turned my car off now. No change.

And then a Life Flight helicopter landed. And my impatience vanished.

Oh, I thought, someone is really hurt. I sure hope they'll be okay.

And as I continued to sit at a standstill in traffic, I began thinking about these cocoons of steel that we hurtle down the road in at mind-boggling speeds. At any moment any of us are just moments away from disaster. Obviously someone ahead had experienced just such a moment.

It sobered me.

Was it going to be so bad to be a little late for my conference? No.

Would being impatient effect any change? No.

Would sending up silent prayers hurt? No. And, if nothing else, it would help me realize my own blessings and remain calm.

After 25 minutes, traffic began to move. As I inched by the accident scene, there was Life Flight, an ambulance, an extra-large incident vehicle, and numerous police cars. And off to the far right, through the barrow pit and through the chain-link fence and into a parked tanker truck was a mooshed red sports car. No one was near the decimated car. Instead, they were gathered some 20 feet away attending to someone unseen lying in the grass.

As I passed I said one more prayer for the driver and resolved to slow down and be more aware.

Monday, June 17, 2013

2 Loads of laundry -- no soap!

Yup. I had a mental moment.

I'm blaming it on the blog post that consumed most of my morning. That, and having a fairly new washer that has a fancy-pantsy steam clean function that I tried for only the second time this morning.

So there I was, trying to get the socks and underwear load really, really clean and sanitized, and I run the batch without soap. Which I didn't realize until over 2 hours later. That's right -- the steam/sanitize function takes TONS of TIME -- over 2 hours! And for some reason as it was running, the machine experienced a blip that caused it to stop and display an error message. So I go into the laundry room, irritated to be drawn away from the day's important blog post, and figure that it's just easier to start the batch over on the regular cycle that only takes 40 minutes.

Not until that cycle finished and I was transfering the wet socks to the dryer did I realize that neither batch had detergent in it.

Yup. I ran two batches of laundry (2 cycles) without a lick of detergent.

Must be Monday.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Paperclip and String Earrings

This is an update on how the paperclip earrings turned out.

They didn't.

I followed the directions -- even super-glued the ends of the unbent paperclips together. But those ends of the paperclip were what ended up being the problem. They didn't stay glued.

Oh, and as I was wrapping the paperclip in the navy blue crochet thread that I'd chosen, I kept thinking to myself. Wow, this is taking forever. This may be a really cheap craft, but my TIME is worth something.

Then, as I was about 2/3 done with wrapping the first paper clip in string, the ends that I'd super-glued together broke, making the string uneven and frustrating me. I admit it, I'm a perfectionist. I thought about finishing the earrings, but that broken superglue bond bugged me. And I didn't see a sure-fire way around it, so I trashed the paperclip earrings.

Based on my progress on the first one, it wasn't going to be something that I wanted to wear, let alone a gift I could give to someone else.

Fortunately, the Asian Chicken Broccoli Slaw turned out much better.

I can't eat broccoli uncooked, so I sauteed the broccoli slaw and sliced green onions prior to adding the sauce. In retrospect, I'm pretty sure that cooking the broccoli slaw made it a little less appealing to my family initially. My husband asked, "What's this?"

That's not really what I like to hear when presenting a new dish to the family.

Fortunately he tried it, liked it, and happily ate it for dinner.

And the recipe isn't lying when it says the sauce is yummy. I loved it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Summer Pinterest Projects . . .

I'm just thinking out loud here. Don't hold me to this, but . . .

To make this summer fun and interesting I'm planning to make one recipe from Pinterest every week and also try one project idea from Pinterest. Whadayathink? Crazy? Over-reaching? Do-able?

The Paperclip and String earrings  are my first project, and I've already unbent my paperclips and the ends are super-gluing together as I write. (No fingers glued together this time. Yeah!) I'm going to make them using navy blue cotton crochet thread and Elmer's glue that I already have on hand. Ditto the earring findings -- I'm a closet jewelry maker. The net cost to me? Nada.

When I get them finished, I'll post photos, tips, etc. Until then you can check out this site for how to make them yourself.

And now for the first recipe I'm going to try. . .
 -- Asian Chicken Brocoli Slaw --
Saw it on Pinterest today, made up the grocery list, and plan just one itty, bitty change before serving it to my family. . . . I'm going to quickly stir-fry the broccoli slaw in a little sauce before combining it with the rest of the ingredients. (My stomach doesn't like raw broccoli.)

Again, I'll let you know how it turns out.

And, just in case you haven't seen me face to face in a while, I have a new motivational phrase for getting through life's ups and down . . . "Muddle Through."

Sound familiar? It's from a famous Christmas carol, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." It perfectly sums up what life is like most of the time. And, hey, who says muddling can't be fun? That's going to be my own unique spin to muddling . . . FUN! (Someone has to put the fun in dysFUNctional.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March Menu

Here's what's for dinner in March -- just the main dishes. (Unless the menu is lie.)

3/9 -- Steak and oven-baked fries
3/10 -- Oven-baked chicken pasta
3/11 -- Curry rice and vegetables
3/12 -- French toast
3/13 -- Loaded potato soup with breadsticks
3/14 -- Date night (forage)
3/15 -- Home-grilled hamburgers
3/16 -- French dip sandwiches
3/17 -- Crockpot pork roase with veggies (cabbage?)
3/18 -- Green Chili stew (w/ leftover pork)
3/19 -- Homemade pizza w/ green beans
3/20 -- Spicy Thai noodles w/ freezer corn
3/21 -- Date night (forage)
3/22 -- Taco salad
3/23 -- Stew-cube stroganoff over rice or noodles
3/24 -- Crockpot Tortilla Soup w/ bread
3/25 -- Baked potato bar
3/26 -- Grilled cheese sandwiches
3/27 -- Little smokies in a blanket w/ green beans or salad
3/28 -- Date night (forage)
3/29 -- Rice Mexicalli
3/30 -- Pasta alfredo

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seeing the Sights in Northern Utah

If you visit my neck of the woods the week of August 13th - 18, here are some of the things that I'd love to introduce you to!

Of course there is more to see, but these are the highlights that must not be missed!

Can't wait to see you here in Utah!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Who were you at 12 or 13?

Ray Bradbury passed away this week. (Tuesday, May 5, 2012) In my newspaper this morning there was a write up about him. I read it with interest and a little melancholy, but one thing stuck with me -- a quote of his from 1982:

"The great thing about my life is that everything I've done is a result of when I was 12 or 13."

This stayed with me for a couple reasons. First, I teach 12- and 13-year-olds. And we do a brief science fiction unit each year and read a few of Ray Bradbury's short stories. I thought the quote would be perfect to work up into a display during our sci-fi unit.

Second, I really do believe that there is something important that happens at 12 or 13. It's an age when kids are  past childhood, but not quite fully into adolescence. It's a time when they know what they like and what they don't like, and they're dreaming about the future. I deliberately chose to teach 7th grade students because I like that age of kids. They're malleable, flexible, intelligent and ready to laugh.

Ray Bradbury's quote had me thinking about myself at 12 or 13. We moved from our house in Hyrum to live with my Kofoed grandparents while my dad was building our new house. Looking back, I did things then that I still do now. I still write in a journal. I still mow the lawn and work in the yard. I didn't really enjoy cooking then, and I'm not enthusiastic about it now. I did craft projects, played the piano, and enjoyed looking through Country Living Magazine. I took long walks though the neighborhood and noticed landscaping techniques.

I can't completely say that "everything I've done is a result of when I was 12 or 13", but I'm certainly still the same person.