Sunday, October 31, 2010

a love note

Much of our Saturday was spent trick-or-treating, visiting friends while wearing Eden's ladybug costume from last year (which Heidi actually bought on clearance years before Eden and Heather were even thought of, let along conceived or born), and lazing around.  I'll post pictures and a few highlights about that soon.


However, this post is to celebrate the fact that in between all that,


I managed to trade all of this:
tns given quirky 11-10



For ALL of this:
got 11-10
(and even a little bit more that I couldn't fit into the collage)






Dear Etsy (and the trade-a-holics Etsy team),

I love you.



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween! (Observed)

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And, as if these fabulous pictures aren't enough . . .

I have a glorious preview of coming attractions!

You see, if Halloween is here, that means that November is right (like literally right) around the corner! 

Do you know what that means?

It means that it's almost time for . . . 


The Second Annual
RANDOM VIDEO WEEK!

And believe you me, I've got some good ones lined up this year.  
Are you excited yet?
Well, you should be!
But, you're going to have to wait for at least a week.  

but,

Wait with Joy and Breathless Anticipation, okay?




Tuesday, October 26, 2010

lions in the lake (salt lake, that is)

I'm telling you, these lions just keep coming!

This one from Kami, taken in Salt Lake City earlier this month.

(It wasn't possible to pull over, so she took it out her car window while driving by.  That's tenacity!)

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Thanks Kami!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Night Stress

(This set of Haiku's brought to you with a little side wink to Laura)


Tomorrow's Sunday
Getting ready is stressful
Less peace than I want.

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BUT

In January
We start church at eleven
Much easier then.

I shouldn't complain
Some people walk far to church
while I drive two blocks.

My bed calls me now
A few pages of reading
And then only Zzzzz

 Tomorrow I'll say
"No more blogging while sleepy!"
less Haikus, more prose.

Really I will stop
writing anymore haikus
this very minute.













picture of meltdown
(to me a familiar scene)
taken by pinprick

(Okay--I lied.  I couldn't resist one more Haiku.  But really, I'm done now.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ranting and Raving! Beware!

Okay.

So, I try not to talk too much about television shows or movies here, because I like to be a little more on the inclusive side, since I know all too well how it is to read something on line (about say, The Office, or Modern Family, or American Idol, or some other show that I don't watch) and not have a clue about what is being said. 

But, today, I'm breaking that "rule".

So, if you don't watch The Biggest Loser, or you missed the last episode and don't want a spoiler, stop reading now. I just watched the latest episode on hulu, so that's why I'm a day late with this rant. 


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Brendan????? 

What were you thinking?  You were one of my favorites, and now I can hardly stand to look at you!  How could you stoop to game playing at a time like that?  Everyone was getting along so well!  The teams were more or less even, Anna gave up her chance to stack the game in her favor, which I thought was impressive to say the least.  Heck, four of the challenge winners gave up their prized letters from home to help out members of the opposite team!

And then YOU THROW THE WEIGH-IN with a two-pound loss?  What the freak?  A good man (Rick) went home yesterday because of you and your game playing.  Geesh!  You make me so MAD!





Both Eric and I were so mad, that we immediately called up Mark & Krista (my brother and sister-in-law, both of whom are religious "Biggest Loser-ites") so we could commiserate in our disappointment.  I thought that would be enough to soothe my feelings, but apparently it wasn't, because here I am, writing this. 

Okay, now I think I've got it out of my system.

Rant Over. 
(for now)





Sad Face Photo courtesy of FatBack[Dale]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thursday Through This Morning---a spectacular title if I've ever written one

Heather and I just returned from a glorious extra-extended weekend in Cedar City.  (Eric opted to stay in Logan and get caught up on the plethora of projects that he generally has going at any given time.)  Rather than give you a thrilling detailed travelogue of everything we did, and how splendiforous it all was, I think I'll just post a few pictures, with the (pie crust) promise of a more substantial entry (with words and sentences and only one or two pictures) another day.

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(This picture courtesy of Harmony. )


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Not my favorite picture of me, but it captures a good moment, so I'm swallowing my pride and posting it anyway. 



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The End. 



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

that first one looks ultra-mischevious to me

These lovely lions are also courtesy of the lovely Lyn:

From Greece--the National Museum in Athens to be exact: 
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This one (below) was on top of a 60 ft obelisk at Delphi.   Amazing that it survived, don't you think?
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This one is on a building in Napflion that used to be controlled by the Venetians.  (Hence the lion, which was a symbol of Venice)
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Makes me feel like I've taken a quick overseas jaunt!

(I'm craving Kalamata olives and feta cheese right about now as well.)

Thanks Lyn!


Thursday, October 07, 2010

perceptions

In case you didn't know, or haven't noticed, I'm about an inch taller than Eric.





Apparently, this fact is not lost on our little Heather.

Heather is currently in a phase where everything has to have a mommy and a daddy. We've gone to our local (very small) zoo a few times, and every animal there has to have a mommy & a daddy if Heather is going to approve. All Heather's toys have mommies and daddies, all photographs in books have mommies and daddies, and all of the knick-knacks belonging to Eric and I have mommies and daddies too.

Well, last night Eric pointed out to me that everytime Heather points out the mommy and the daddy in the animal kingdom (where they don't have gender-specific clothes or hairstyles that give it away), the mommy is ALWAYS the bigger of the two.

Tonight as we were reading the counting book during story time I did a test of that theory myself and found to my dismay that Eric is 100% correct.  

Me (Pointing to a picture of 10 different-size buttons): Heather, where is the mommy button?
Heather (Pointing to the biggest button):  Right Dare!

Me (Pointing to a picture of 8 different sized cars):  Heather, where is the mommy car?
Heather (pointing to the biggest car):  Right Dare!
Me:  Where is the daddy car?
Heather: (pointing to a smaller car) Right Dare!


This continued with the five kittens, the six cookies, and the four pieces of candy, but I think you get the general idea.  





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Sigh. 

I may never shake that hermanota nickname (you'll have to click all the way to the end of this page to get to the story).

Unsurprisingly, Eric's not a real fan of this new development either.

We'll survive though.  Our egos may suffer a bit, but don't waste any tears on us.  We'll muddle through somehow.







p.s.-- if you're interested in (what in my completely unbiased opinion is) an excellent explanation of the purpose of Early Out in elementary school, and why Iron County residents do it on Wednesdays instead of Fridays, check out what my mom has to say here.  

I'm so proud of that lady.   

Photo courtesy of venadotuerto.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Family that Moves Together, GROOVES Together!

Today I made this for dinner.

It was delicious.

(However, if you don't have fresh celery and do have dried celery, I recommend skipping the celery altogether, rather than using the dried stuff. I used the dried stuff and it ended up being like little pieces of celery rubber in the midst of my otherwise delicious Morccon-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash.)(Eric says he didn't mind it though.)(Eric is easier to please than I am, I guess.)

Then Eric gave Heather a bath while I picked up the house. Then I put Heather in her pajamas. I was half-way through when Heather had a near-meltdown over the fact that (stuffed animal) Bert (a la Sesame Street--Heather's favorite character and a new resident in our home since about three weeks ago) didn't have his night-time diaper on yet. So, we diapered Bert and finished pajama-ing Heather. (Then I very sneakily un-diapered Bert. Nighttime diapers don't grow on trees, you know!)

Then the fun began.

Heather and I started playing "Back" , which then turned into "run around the living room", which then turned into "get dad to play with us and run from the entry-way to the couch and jump on the couch", which then turned into "turn on the peppy tunes and have a free-for-all hop/run/dance/skip/jump-on-couch fest with two almost-40-year-olds and a two-year-old with lots of laughing and panting and cheering".

At one point, I sat in the corner, trying to catch my breath and watched the happy madness. I was reminded of my growing up years--nights spent dancing Zorba the Greek with my parents and siblings, afternoons spent yelling "POSITIONS!" to younger brothers and sister as we waited for the opening strains the West Side Story overture and the beginning of our impromptu movement masterpiece, evenings holding hands with all my family in a circle and doing cultural dances that I had learned that week from San Christopher. For a brief moment, I was taken back to some of my happiest childhood memories, and then, transported right back to one of my happiest grown-up moments.

It was awesome. I didn't get any pictures because I was having too much fun playing, but I'm totally okay with that. Sometimes, it's more important to have pictures in your heart than on your memory card.

Doncha think?



Monday, October 04, 2010

Two Recipes I Made Over the Weekend that Received Rave(ish) Reviews

Not surprisingly, they are both desserts.
(and they are both fairly high-fat desserts)

(you've been warned)

On Saturday, we hosted a casual get-together to celebrate a very important birthday of one of our good friends. (Are you surprised it was casual? Really, have we ever hosted anything else? Casual is all we do. It's casual or nothing around here, so we choose casual nearly every time.)

I didn't take a single picture the whole evening, which is kind of unfortunate, because Heather was in a room full of adoring adults, and spent the entire evening doing tricks and making me proud as punch to be the mother of that darling little girl. I'm hopeless, but at least I realize that I'm hopeless.

So, because I didn't take a picture that night, I'm forced to go back into the photo archives to find a picture of Irene, our birthday girl.

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Picture taken in 2006, at Sea World. (I still have that sweater, and wear it quite frequently. Sadly, the earrings turned an ugly gray and are no more.)(But, this picture isn't about me anyway, is it? Silly Charlotte.)

Anyway, it was a lovely afternoon gathering. Saturday was the opening day of the LDS Church General Conference, so we had it after the Saturday afternoon session ended and before the Priesthood session began. I didn't want to mess with a "dinner" affair (ultra-casual, remember), so I asked anyone who wanted to, to bring either an appetizer or a dessert. I made French Silk Pie, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. They both turned out well (I knew the cake would, since I've made it about 45 times before this), and so I thought I'd share the recipes here.


FRENCH SILK PIE
(the Better Homes and Gardens NEW Cookbook)

(This cookbook is subtitled: "America's #1 Cookbook Since 1930", and I heartily agree. My mother had this cookbook when I was growing up, and now I have my own copy. It is my go-to cookbook for everything from how to steam different varieties of vegetables to how to make stuffed mushrooms and chocolate souffle, and everything in between. I cannot say enough good about this cookbook.)

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My edition of the cookbook
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my mom's edition of the cookbook

Anyway, here's the recipe:

1 recipe Baked Pastry Shell (I just buy the frozen pie crusts at the store. You can get two for less that $2, and I figure that's a small price to pay for me not to have to deal with pie crusts. Besides, if I actually made the pie crust, I'd realize just how much shortening/butter is in that baby, and I could never enjoy a pie again.)
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces (1/2 of a regular size bag)
1/3 cup butter (I used Imperial margarine. Please don't comment on how bad margarine is. I don't want to hear it.)
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons creme de cacao or whipping cream (I used whipping cream. I don't even know what creme de cacao is.)
1 cup whipped cream

Prepare Baked Pastry Shell; set aside. In a medium heavy saucepan combine 1 cup whipping cream, the chocolate pieces, butter, and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Gradually stir half of the hot mixture into egg yolks. Return egg mixture to chocolate mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and begins to bubble (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. (Mixture may appear slightly curdled.) Stir in the 3 tablespoons creme de cacao. Place the saucepan in a bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally, until the mixture stiffens and becomes hard to stir (about 20 minutes).

Transfer the chocolate mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Beat chocolate mixture with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Spread filling in the Baked Pastry Shell. Cover and chill for 5 to 24 hours. To serve, top with whipped cream.


MAE'S PEANUT BUTTER & FUDGE CAKE

(Utah Festival Opera Company Cookbook-1995--Compiled by the Utah Festival Opera Guild)

(During my first summer of employment at the Utah Festival Opera, the guild produced a cookbook to sell before the shows, featuring recipes from the cast, crew, and other associated with the company. I was able to acquire a copy, and I have never been sorry. I have since learned that NO ONE knows how to cook or eat like an opera person, and I have at least three recipes form this book that have become regulars on our table with several others that make occasional appearances.

This particular recipe came from Leslie Jones--who played in The Magic Flute and La Traviata that year. She says: 'This is the official birthday cake for my family. When a cake tastes this good, no fancy decorations are needed, just a big cup of coffee or glass of milk!' I can't personally vouch for the big cup of coffee, but I LOVE this cake with a big glass of milk.)

CAKE:
Mix 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter into ingredients for a standard yellow cake mix. Bake according to cake mix directions.

ICING:
(Note: I often make this cake as a bundt cake or a 9x11, and I find that this recipe makes too much frosting. I've tried halving it, and that just barely makes enough. Maybe I'll try to make 2/3 or 3/4 of the recipe next time. )

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lb confectioner's sugar

Melt butter or margarine in saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa until smooth. Add salt, milk, and vanilla extract. Add confectioner's sugar and stir until fairly smooth. Return the saucepan to the heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is a smooth spreading consistency. ice the cake immediately, or the icing will quickly become to hard to worth with. NOTE: Baking the cake as a single-layer sheet cake is the easiest way to use this recipe, as the icing can then simply be poured over the cake while still in the pan.




And there you have it. Thanks Irene, for a great celebration of an even greater person!




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