Sunday, August 30, 2009

Trying Something New

In my opinion, there is nothing tastier than Mexican food. And I really love the authentic kind. A while back Kayla's boyfriend's mom sent us over a few homemade tamales. They were so delicious I decided I would learn how to make them. So I bought this cookbook, Tamales 101. I have not actually made the tamales yet, but one day I will! (When I can buy a steamer, and I get a tad more brave.)There are the most wonderful recipes for sauces in this book. I tried one called Red Pork Chili Sauce.I think it turned out fabulous! And my family really liked it. My granddaughter Kayleeann said it was good, she ate quite a bit of it on chips. And my grandson Gabriel said "I like this kind of food". Here is a picture of a small amount of the finished sauce:

Here is the recipe, in case you want to try it. It makes a whole bunch. When I made it, I only made half of a batch. It was enough to feed about 15 people for dinner, with some left over to freeze for another big dinner! Next time I will make the whole batch and I will freeze a lot of it and have enough for 6 months or more!

Red Pork Chili Sauce
10 ancho (dried poblano) chilies
4 dried California chiles
4 onions, quartered
8 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 to 4 cups pork, chicken, or vegetable stock
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste

Seed the chilies, rinse, and set aside. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove the water from the heat and add the chilies, pushing them down with a spoon so they are fully submerged. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, boil the onions for 25 minutes, until soft.

Remove the soaked chilies from the water, reserving 2 cups of the liquid. In a food processor, blend the chilies, onions, and garlic. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Stir in the cumin into the hot oil, being careful not to burn the cumin. Add the chile mixture and simmer for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of stock, 1 cup of the reserved liquid, and the tomatoes. Add just enough additional stock and reserved liquid to make saucy. Add the sugar and salt and cook for 10 miutes longer, stiring occasionally, until the sauce is the consistency of a thin gravy. Taste and add additional salt and sugar if needed. Set aside to cool. Store I an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
Makes 10 cups.

Don't let the unfamiliar chili's in the recipe scare you off. They are available at grocery stores. I bought them at Harmons. Here is a picture of the chilis.They are on a dinner plate, so you can tell the size of them. The red dried ones are the California chilies. I bought them in the Mexican isle of the grocery store. There was a fairly large bag of them for about 4 bucks. I have enough of them to last a very long time now. The green ones are the Pablano chilies. If they were dried they would be called Ancho chilies. I had a heck of a time finding them in the store at first. Then I asked the produce guy where they were. He told me that they are called Pasilla chilies. Since then, I have learned that here in the western US, the chies are incorrectly called Pasilla chilies.

Sorry I didn't take a picture of the food we ate the sauce on. We were too busy eating to think of that. But it is great on homemade tacos. And it would be good on enchiladas or on any kind of meat. It's good on chips too.

I roasted the Pablano chilies before I used them. Roasting is really easy. If you have never roasted a pepper, you should try it. It makes them taste so much better,and you wouldn''t believe how easy it is! Just stick them on a cooking sheet and stick them in the oven. Roast them under the broiler. Turn every few minutes till the pepper is blackened over much of it. Take the pepper out and put it in a bowl with plastic wrap over it. Let it steam and sweat. After a few minutes, the skin peels off pretty easily.

When I made this sauce, I didn't use most the seeds from the peppers. I was afraid it would be too hot and I wanted my grandkids to enjoy it too. So the sauce was not very hot. I'd say it was only a little hotter than mild. Next time I will use more seeds and make it hotter.

When you cut up chilies, you should use plastic gloves, or just keep plastic wrap between the pepper and your skin. The oils of the pepper do burn skin. You may not know it is being burned till the next day. And for sure, don't rub your eyes!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple Dedication

What a special day this last Friday was. I had the opportunity to go to a dedication session of the new Oquirrh Mountian Temple with my son Travis. We were able attend one of the sessions in the temple! It was so beautiful. And so happy and peaceful. We listened to some speakers who talked on the on the special blessings we have of having temples. And how we should recommit ourselves to go to the temples often. Make it a regular habit to go as often as we can, even if it requires sacrifices of some of our free time. We are so blessed to have so many beautiful temples so close to us. There was of course more talked about, but that is what stuck in my head. When we were singing "The Spirit of God" was a very special moment for me. I couldn't help but to feel the Spirit very strongly.

Here is a Nice Article on the temple dedication that I really enjoyed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Farmer's Market Dinner

The Farmer's Market is now open on Tuesday evening. So this last Tuesday we stopped by the farmers market on the way home from work. The veggies and fruit there were all just beautiful! So much better than what is available at the grocery store. And it was all cheaper than the grocery store too. So we will probably be stopping by the farmers market after work on Tuesdays more often.

We bought some beautiful eggplants, various squashes, green peppers and Anaheim peppers, two different kinds of cucumbers; one Japanese and one lemon cucumber and some big garden fresh tomatoes. When we got home we made a wonderful vegetarian dinner. We made some really good eggplant parmesan, and I made a big pan of sauteed squashed with onions and roasted peppers. We had sides of sliced tomatoes with cottage cheeses. It was all so good, nobody missed the meat.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are You Ready?

Would you like to find out how prepared you really are for an emergency? I have signed up for a little test of how ready I am. Sometime in September, I'll be getting an email each day for 7 days of a mock disaster of some sort. I will be able to see how prepared I am (or not so prepared) for the real thing without having to actually have the real thing yet. It sounded fun, and like it would be a good learning activity.

Click on the picture above and it will take you to the web page with all the info.

There are other areas on that web site that are great tools to learn about food storage and emergency preparedness. There are "Baby Steps" lists and stuff that help you just get started.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Quick Max Update

Max is doing so much better lately! He no longer shakes very much. And he doesn't seem like he feels anymore pain, he doesn't whine. In fact, last week I was carrying in a large armload of laundry to the couch. I couldn't see the floor in front of me and I tripped right over Max. I landed right on top of his back. I expected him to yelp, and be hurt again. But he just looked at me like he was wondering why I was on top of him.

He is getting pretty good at stairs again. And sometimes he runs up them. But other times, as he is running up them, he trips on his own legs and falls sideways a bit. So I do think there is some damage done somehow. But Max doesn't seem to notice at all. Another difference I notice since his injury is he will get on the furniture much less often. He used to bound up onto the couch or recliner very easily. But now if he gets up at all, it is with help from one of us, or he carefully climbs rather than bounding up in a single jump.

Since Max is pretty close to normal now, he is as annoying as ever. He loves to vocalize his opinions to us and to Chloe both inside and outside the house. He likes to say "Hi! I'm here!" to our neighbors over and over. And he likes to stand at the sliding glass door and let us know he wants it opened. I'm pretty sure he thinks he is in charge.

He has discovered a new favorite toy recently. He loves to play with empty water bottles. I think he thinks they are an interactive toy. Since as he plays with them they crackle and make all kinds of noise. Don't even try to drink a water bottle around him. He will jump up and down in front of you expecting you to throw it to him. He is not patient enough to wait for us to finish our drink first. Max and Chloe had a special treat courtsey of my grandson Gabriel a few days ago. Gabriel took them in the back yard and for some reason squirted chocolate syrup all over both of them. He used quite a bit of the bottle before he got caught and stopped. But Max and Chloe didn't seem to mind.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My New Way of Thinking About the Word of Wisdom

I know I have been slacking on keeping up with my blog. To tell the truth, I have been going through some stuff, and just haven't felt like sharing my feelings. But I am over that now. So, time permitting, I will be doing better at sharing what I think and feel.

In my reading this week I came across some scriptures in 1 Corinthians that helped me to think in a new way with more understanding. I have been doing my best to follow the Word of Wisdom now for the last couple of years. I have given up alcohol. Although I sometimes would like a drink or two, especially in social situations. But all in all, it hasn't been that hard.

Giving up coffee has been a different story. I love coffee. I used to drank it every day. My family still drinks it. We have a fancy coffee maker that grinds the beans automatically every morning, then brews really fresh delicious coffee. Let me tell you, it smells wonderful! I've been doing pretty good about not drinking coffee for the last couple of years. But it has been hard. I crave coffee every day.

Now we all know the health benefits of following the Word of Wisdom, but truthfully, it's not been my biggest reason for following it. I can't see how the little bit of coffee I drank could be all that bad for me. So the reason I have been following the Word of Wisdom, is because I am choosing to be obedient to what the Lord has commanded me. And that is a good enough reason to make it so that most the time I am pretty good about it.

The scriptures for this week are in the sidebar to the right. 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17 and 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

To me these scriptures give me another very good reason for me to follow the Word of Wisdom, even when I don't really want to. My body is God's sacred creation. It is a temple for my spirit to dwell in. I should respect it as a gift from God and not defile it in any way. It is a precious gift given to me, and there was a price paid for it. That right there is a great reason to take care of it, but it is not only for me. It is also a temple so that the Spirit of God can dwell in me too. I need to keep it clean so the Spirit of God can be with me. Is there anything better than having the Spirit of God dwell with you? I should do whatever I can to take care of it. I should keep it clean, and treat it with the respect it deserves.

So anyway, that is why I am going to renew my resolve to follow the Word of Wisdom to the best of my ability.

Now I can also see how this can apply to keeping your body morally clean. And keeping it well groomed and neat too. And if I think too long on this line, then I also have to start thinking about keeping my body healthy by exercising too. (Ugh..) I suppose I'll keep working on that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Before and After

See this nice picture I took of my family when we were out camping this last week. Sharaya and Gavin were sleeping in the cars so they were not in the picture. And I was the one taking the picture, so I was not in the picture either. Travis fixed that for me.

Scroll down to see the After picture...


It just cracks me up every time I look at this picture! I should kick Travis' but, but I laugh too much every time I see my face.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Freedoms I am Grateful for

I am grateful for the the freedom I have to travel when and where I want to. I am grateful for the freedom I have to vote, and let my voice be heard. I am grateful for the freedom I have to raise my family in what must be the greatest country in the world. I am grateful for the freedom to play with my grandchildren. And take them camping! I am grateful for the freedom to write whatever I want on my blog!

I am very grateful for all the freedoms I enjoy. I have the freedom to choose. I can choose how I want to live, and the kind of person I want to be. I can choose to follow Christ and his teachings. I can choose to live the gospel. I can choose to obey God of my own free will, and abide by His covenants, so I can have his Spirit with me to guide and direct me.

Here is a very nice little video clip where people from around the world reflect on the freedoms they enjoy.
The Freedom To...

Happy Independence Day

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Glamorous Job

I know the picture isn’t very clear. I took it with my cell phone. This is a circuit board out of one of the cameras the reporters use here at work. It has some problems I am trying to fix. One of the problems is an IC s has about 6 legs that lifted. The legs are so tiny and close together that I have a heck of a time re-soldering them down. This picture doesn’t really show how small everything is. But all the components on the board are surface mounted. I don’t have the proper equipment to do surface mount soldering. I sure wish I did. I use my smallest tip, and it is still too big.

Another problem is seeing the tiny things clearly. The leads on the ICs are less than a millimeter apart. My eyes just don’t go that small. So I have been trying to repair this board wearing 2 pairs of reading glasses at once, plus using my light that has a magnifying glass in the center at the same time. It is still not good enough, partly because I have to use one hand to hold the magnifying glass where I need it, and that only leaves one hand for soldering. It just wasn’t working.

I finally gave up and borrowed a co-workers weird glasses thing that straps to your head. They sure look silly! But at least I could see fairly well, and I still had my hands free. Besides, I’m sure I looked silly wearing 2 pairs of reading glasses anyway. One of my co-workers thought I looked pretty funny, so he graciously took a picture of me so I could share it with the world. Don't look too closly at the glass on the head thing. From this angle, it shows my nose extra wide, with a huge nostril. Nice.
If you are interested in seeing how surface mounted soldering is supposed to be done, Here is a link to someone who has the know how and the equipment to do the job right. I wish I had the equipment and the experience he has for this repair. I think my head might hurt less. Surface Mount Soldering

Friday, June 12, 2009

Max Update

I thought I'd update you on how Max is doing. For just over a week, he has been taking steroids, muscle relaxers, and pain pills. He is better than the first couple of days. But he is not out of the woods yet. He used to be very energetic and was always running around happily. He isn't doing that right now, but he is walking around some. Of course his pain pills could be making him feel a bit lethargic, so maybe that will get better. But he has finished taking his muscle relaxers, and his steroids and he is still hurting. We are still giving him pain pills.

He will not jump up onto our couches like he used to,he just looks at it longingly. He has a very hard time going up and down stairs. He goes down them fairly well, but then going back up is very painful for him. Sometimes as he is walking, his back legs just give out and he stumbles. He is almost always shaking. As he walks around, and even when he is just laying down resting and not moving, he will occasionally yelp. When he does that, he looks back and jumps like he thinks someone or something is hurting him. It's pretty sad. I'm pretty sure he hurts probably most the time, and only yelps when he gets a sharp pain.

Hopefully Max will heal enough to have a nice quality of life. If this is as good as it gets, then I think it will not be good enough. I know that back problems can take a very long time to heal. So we are giving him more time and hopefully he will heal more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sad News

Here is a picture of my Maximus. This picture is a couple of years old. But it shows his active and fun personality. Yesterday we thought that Max was acting sick. He would hardly move, he wouldn't eat, he would whine and shake. It was so sad. We thought he was dying. This morning at about 1:30 am, he started yelping frantically. He was obviously in terrible pain. So we took him to the vet. There is a vet in this area that is open all night long. The vet said that Max's spine is injured somehow. They didn't do an X-ray, because they don't do xrays for this, he needed an MRI. We can't spend the $1500 for an MRI. And another $2000 or more for surgery. So the vet is guessing that Max has a bulging disc, or a broken spine. Basset hounds are prone to spine injury because of their long body. It may heal itself, or if his back is broken, it may get much worse. The vet gave us some pain medications and steroids, and told us what to watch for to know if his spine is getting worse. He has ordered Max to 10 days of bed rest. (Yeah, right). We have to try to keep Chloe (our other basset hound) off of Max. And keep our grandkids off of him too. And just pray that he heals. If he gets worse, and looses the use of his back legs or something, we will have to put him down.

I feel so bad for the sweet little guy. He is the most lovable and fun dog. He wants to be petted and loved all the time. Or he wants to play, or steal your water bottle, or just sit on your lap and get petted. He really is such a part of our family. I wish I could spend the $3000 or $4000 to try to fix him up. But I really can't do that. Please say a prayer or two for Max.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Learning the Hard Way--Teaching by the Spirit

Look who is sitting up! Isn't he just the cutest. This is Gavin, my son Lane's son.

I want to say Hi to all of you. I don't usually have a lot to say on my blog that I think would interest many people. And I still don't have anything too interesting. But I thought I'd share a thing or two.

About a month or so ago I got a new calling at church. I am the Education Counselor for Relief Society in our ward. So far I think I will really like this calling because I can learn so much from it. A few days ago I had a "Teacher's Breakfast" for the relief society teachers and music leaders. They are all pretty new to their calling too, and it was going to be a while till we had a teacher training class. So I wanted us to have our own little mini class on Teaching by the Spirit during this breakfast. It was very good for me to study on this topic. I am not a very strong teacher by nature. But I am starting to learn that I am not really the teacher anyway. The Spirit needs to be the teacher. And I was trying to learn how to invite the spirit into my teaching.

In preparing for the lesson, I was using the scriptures as much as I could. The scriptures, being the word of God, is one of the best ways to invite the Spirit of God into our learning and teaching. I was also using a book "Teaching by the Spirit" by Gene R. Cook. In the book, Elder Cook helps us to understand how we can invite the spirit into our learning and teaching. He also tells us we should be flexible enough in our lesson to allow the spirit to talk to us. When I do my lessons, I usually have all the things planned out that I want to say, and I write them all down. I feel like I am not a very good communicator. I get tongue tied and can't express what I am feeling. So I try to rely on the Spirit when I am in the planning stage of my lesson. So when Elder Cook said that we shouldn't write down our talks, but rely on the guidance and promptings of the Spirit, I thought, Now Way! I just can't do that.

So the night before the lesson, I was just going to put together all the thoughts and things I wanted to cover into a final copy for me to print off. I had my rough draft on a jump drive. When I went to open the file, it wouldn't open. I tried multiple computers in my home and had the same problem. I called the IT guy at my work and asked him if he could open it if I emailed it to him. He tried to also, but it wouldn't open. The file was corrupt. So about a month and a half of studying and preparing was not accessible. I thought I'd be frantic. I am not a teacher by nature, like I said before. But I guess it was time for me to really practice what I had been studying on. So I looked up the scriptures again, and wrote the scriptures references on a paper. I taught the lesson the next morning with scriptures, and a very basic outline, and tried to rely on the Spirit as best as I could.

I don't believe my lesson was elegant. There were times I stumbled for words. But I do believe the Spirit was there. There was more involvement from the ladies then I usually get. I used my outline a bit, but I was very flexible with it. I didn't cover some of the things I had planned. And I relied heavily on the scriptures. I do believe what was covered, was what my Heavenly Father wanted covered. I, by myself, am not a good teacher. But when I rely on the Spirit to guide me, I can do anything the Lord wants me to do.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Yummiest Yogurt

Do you like plain yogurt? A year ago I would have said no. I didn't like it because it was so sharp and tart and not sweet. I only liked yogurt that was sweetened and had fruit. But then I noticed how much sugars some of the yogurts had, so I decided to try making my own to see if I liked the homemade kind any better. I think I now have the perfect recipe. It turns out so thick, creamy and smooth, with just a touch of tartness. It's so good I can eat it plain without sweetening. I enjoy every bite. Here is the recipe that I like the best.

4 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. powdered milk
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. Plain Yogurt

Heat the milk to 185 degrees (just about to boil). Then let the milk cool to 110 degrees. Stir in the powdered milk, and the yogurt. Then put into containers and warm in the yogurt maker for 8 hours. That's it! It's super easy.

I'm sure there are ways to do it without the yogurt makers, but I didn't trust a hot pad or a warm oven to get the temperature right. So I just use a yogurt maker. My friend gave me it for Christmas. And I love it! I make yogurt on my weekend, and have enough to last me all week long.

Here a few things I learned by trial and error:

I use 2% milk, because I don't think I should have as much fat as the whole milk has. But I'm sure whole milk would be even more delicious. I don't like to use the fat free or 1% for yogurt.

The first few times I made yogurt I didn't heat the milk to 185 degrees, because I figured the milk I used was the store bought kind that was already homogenized and pasteurized. So I didn't think I needed to do this step. I just heated the milk to 110, and then added the rest of the stuff. But my yogurts kept coming out kind of runny. So I tried it with heating the milk. For some reason, the yogurt comes out really thick when I heat the milk like the recipe says to.

All yogurts use different bacterias for the cultures. I tried a few different kinds. I tried Dannon, and it was pretty good, but a little too tart for my tastes. I also tried Stoneyfield Farms, and it was my second favorite kind. But my most favorite kind to use is the Oikos Plain yogurt. (In fact, I like this kind just to eat too,)

If you have a yogurt maker that is gathering dust, I recommend you give my recipe a try. It's so good, store bought yogurt will never be good enough again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Any Soldier

I thought I'd post a little about a really cool website. It was started by a soldier that had people he knew send care packages to him addressed to "Any Soldier". Then he would distribute them to soldiers that he knew didn't get mail. Such a cool thing. It was so popular that it has been expanded to include any soldier in harm's way. You, your family, or your church group can put together a care package and send it to a soldier who is serving. Dustin got one not too long ago from a family that didn't even know him. He was quite touched that a family would send him goodies, a letter, and pictures drawn by their children. It is such a cool way to show you care and say thanks for the sacrifice and service to our country!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Review

Can you believe it? I think I am a science fiction fan. A friend at work recommended the book "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. I got the audio book version from the library and Travis started to listen to it. When he was done he said he really wanted me to read it asap, so that we could talk about it. I wasn't all that excited to read it, because it was science fiction, and I'm not too into science fiction. But I had read a few of Card's other books and I thoroughly enjoyed them. I read the first few from his Seventh Son series and one from his Women of Genesis series. So on Travis' recommendation I listened to "Ender's Game". Now I plan on reading at least the next few books in the series. It was a great book. And a great book for teens too.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More Scripture Study for me

I have a goal to try to study the scriptures more often then I do. As I study then I thought I'd post a "Scripture of the Week" on the sidebar of my blog. Now, knowing me, I might not change the scripture on my blog exactly weekly, although I will try.

There is only one way to happiness and fulfillment and that, of course is through Jesus Christ. I'm so thankful for his mercy and redeeming grace so that forgiveness for my sins is made possible. I'm thankful that he has overcame death and has given me the gift of the resurrection. He descended below all things, so that he could comprehend all things. He took upon him our infirmities and our sorrows, so that he would know how to succor and heal us. He is the only way to eternal life and salvation. I will praise him forever and ever for enduring what he endured for me.

Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

MS Walk 2009

Tomorrow morning me and a few friends from work will be participating in the MS Walk in Salt Lake City. We do this every year. It's a lot of fun, and I know it is for a good cause. MS is a pretty rotten disease that usually hits people in the prime of their lives while they are still trying to raise families and hold down careers. It can be very devastating.

I was a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to collect very much in donations this year, since the economy is a bit scary and everyone is trying to tighten their belts. But I was able to get together just over $800! Can you believe that? That is nothing to sneeze at! And that was just me. There are others in my team that did similarly. Of course a bunch of that was company match from my employer. Bonneville International (KSL TV) will match our donations for anything over $25.

I asked fellow employees to sponsor me in this walk. I felt a bit funny asking for money, like I always do. But I figure they can say no if they want. And you'd be surprised at how many people thank me for the opportunity to donate. And they thank me for doing the walk too. There are a lot of people passionate about this cause. Most I asked wanted to help. Even the ones that didn't have much to donate would give me their lunch money, or whatever they had in their pockets. That added up pretty quickly too. I work with awesome, generous people in a pretty cool company.

If any of you are feeling like donating, here is a link to where you can donate online. MS Society

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Not if But When...

It's not if there is an earthquake, but when we have an earthquake. Are you as prepared as you think you are? I know I'm not. If you live in earthquake country then here is a book that you should have in your home. It's free. You can download it online with this link here.

Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country

Or if you are like me, and prefer a paper copy, you can pick one up from the Utah Division of Natural resources.

Natural Resources Map & Bookstore
1594 W. North Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Phone (801)537-3320

If you live in Utah, this book might be extra interesting. It shows our area in quite a lot of detail. It shows why we should prepare and how to prepare. You might not be as prepared as you think. So look into it and be sure. You know there will be an earthquake one day. When it happens, what is likely to happen in our area? This book can give you a pretty good idea. It shows a map of how bad liquefaction will be in what areas. (liquefaction = Scary!) There are lots of good pictures too.

This book is made for Utah, but any of you in the neighboring states should read it too. If you live in the west, you are in earthquake country.

One thing I've learned that I never thought of before. When we have a big earthquake, there will be lots of broken glass. And chances are the power will be gone too. What if we need to try to pick our way through our home at night, or worse yet, at night in winter. With the glass all over the floor, a good pair of slippers (or shoes) by your bed, with a flashlight would be very beneficial. But I can't always find mine, especially if it is dark, and the glass from the windows is all by my bed. So put your slippers and flashlight in a plastic bag and tie it to your bed frame by the head of your bed. That way, if the bed is jumping all around during the quake, you can still find your slippers and light.

Another thing, What is hanging above your bed? Is it heavy, or is it glass? I used to have some nice pictures of some flowers. They were framed and had glass over it. Can you say guillotine? Now my wall is bare above my bed. I'll find something less dangerous to put there.

Here is a list of the top 10 earthquake states. It's a bit suprising that Utah or California is not #1!

1. Alaska 1
2. California
3. Hawaii 2
4. Nevada
5. Washington
6. Idaho
7. Wyoming
8. Montana
9. Utah
10. Oregon

Now just because Utah is #9,, don't let your guard down. A big quake here could be quite devastating. So let's do what we can to prepare now while we can.

One last thing. It could be about 3 days before emergancy help gets to us in a very bad earthquake. So get that 72 hour kit put together as part of your preparation.

Friday, March 13, 2009

72 hour kits made easy

I found this online while I was trying to find info for our Relief Society newsletter. This makes it look easy! I'm totally going to do this, this month!

72 Hour Kit in 10 Steps

Step 1: Find a container
Step 2: Add clothing
Step 3: Add water
Step 4: Plan Meals & buy Food
Step 5: Add Tools & Lighting
Step 6: Add First Aid Supplies
Step 7: Add Shelter & Warmth
Step 8: Add medicine & Vitamins
Step 9: Add Radio & Cash
Step 10: Add other supplies

I have tons of unused backpacks and duffle bags. They will be perfect for this.

I was also thinking of other places that an emergency kit would be good. In your car trunk, at work, and what about your kids school locker. I also want to make sure my kids that have moved out have something like this.

Here are a couple of links to sites on preparedness that looked pretty good.

Food Storage Made Easy
Emergency Preparedness for the PG1st Ward
Other simplified lists from the preceding website(click on the picture to make it big enough to read.)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

MS Awareness Week

This week is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness week. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong and often disabling disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system and destroys the protective sheath (myelin) around the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, scar tissue (sclerosis) forms and disrupts messages from the brain to other parts of the body. Ms is a “prime of life” disease-striking people between the ages of 20 and 50. It comes and goes unpredictably, leaving people to wonder, “Will I become paralyzed, blind, or have trouble walking? Will I be able to continue my career?”

Symptoms of MS are
Abnormal fatigue
Tingling and numbness in extremities
Slurred Speech
Blurred or double vision
Poor balance and coordination
Cognitive problems
Vertigo and dizziness

For the past 6 years or so I have participated in the MS walk here in Salt Lake City. This year, a few of my friends and I have decided to do it again. Our team “Walk On” is currently only 4 people strong. But we are committed to make our team bigger and better than ever. We are inviting you to join us. You can also invite your friends and family. The walk is on April 11th at the Gateway Center in Salt Lake City. It is really a lot of fun. I hope you will consider joining our team, or making a donation to support this worthy cause.

This year my goal is to raise $600. (Although I am really shooting for $1000!) My teams goal is to raise $2500. Anything you could give to help reach that goal is most appreciated. All donations are tax deductible. Of every dollar we raise, 83 cents goes towards programs, services and research to help thousands of Utah families statewide and 400,000 families nationwide touched by multiple sclerosis. If you would like more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, how proceeds from Walk MS are used, or the other ways you can get involved, please visit

Click here to visit my team’s page to join us, or help us with a donation, Walk On.

Click here if you would like to find a walk location in your area, Walk MS. Grab a few friends and have some fun!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Serving His Country

This is my very handsome brother Dustin. He is on his way to Afghanistan to serve his country. He will be apart from his lovely wife and children and I know they will miss him so much. I'll miss him too. Please keep him and his family in your prayers. It must be so hard.

I really love my brother. I'm bursting with pride for him. Maybe "pride" is the wrong word, because I didn't have anything to do with how he turned out to be such a fine man. So why should I be proud. I admire him. He is a good and decent man. He's hard working and smart too. I really wish I was as smart as he is. He is a caring father and husband. He is also pretty funny.
I know he is all grown up now. But I can't help but to think of him as my baby brother. Wasn't he just the cutest little guy? When I was a kid I remember thinking he was the best looking baby I ever saw.

I want my brother to know that I am glad he is part of my family. I will be praying for his safety. And praying for his family's safety too. I will pray for his family and him to be comforted through this difficult and challenging thing they are going through. I love them so much.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cute x4!

You can't watch this and be grumpy! It's possibly the cutest thing ever! I saw it on the Today show. It is a youtube video.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I was expecting some kind of action thriller about fires and rescues and stuff like that, with maybe a little on the guys relationship to make it interesting.

This movie is not like any regular movie. It was a movie about marriage. I recommend anyone who is married, or is going to be married to see this movie. It is a reminder that marriage is a covenant to be there for better and for worse. It is a covenant between the married couple and God. And it shows how to learn to love your spouse, even if they might not deserve the love sometimes. It shows how to love like Christ loves us. And the roll He should play in our marriage. I am not very good at describing things. There's more to this movie than that. So just trust me, and see the movie! It teaches what true married love is, and it is so different than what most other media shows it as.

I am usually pretty good at not crying during movies. I don't think I even cried when I watched Titanic or any other tear-jerker movie. But this movie really hits home, at least it did for me. And I think it will for most people too.

Since I have watched this, I've learned that almost all of the actors were not actors, but members of the church organization that made this movie. I also learned that Kirk Cameron (remember him from Growing Pains many years ago) will not kiss any woman other than his real life wife in his acting career. I think that is so sweet. And it shows how important marriage is to him. There was a kiss scene in this movie, and I've read that his wife stepped into the scene for this. And I didn't even notice in the movie.

In the movie, there is something called the Love Dare. It is a 40 day process to protect and enrich your marriage. I've decided to get the book and do this. The Love Dare Book And there is also a Love Dare Journal online. But even if you get these, please watch the movie too. It's that good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Pretty Cool Perk

When I was at work I needed to drive one of the transmitter engineers to the helicopter so he could hitch a ride up to the top of Farnsworth Peak for his week long shift. The mountain is of course very snowy, so they take either snow cat or helicopter to the top of the mountain. Usually during a shift change they have 2 engineers that go up on the helicopter, and 2 more that come back. This time there was only one that was going up and none were coming back. So there was an empty seat both ways. I didn't really think they would let me take a ride up there just for the fun of it, but Whoo Hoo! They did!
This is a self portrait of me on the helicopter! I wish I had a real camera, but all I had was my cell phone camera. The helicopter is so loud you can't hear a thing. You have to wear the headphones for hearing protection, and the mic thing is so you can talk to people in the helicopter.

Here is 1-80 and the river. Look how tiny the big semis are.

Here is another shot of the freeway.

Look how icky the air in the valley was. I was above the icky air where the sun was shining.

Here is the mountain we were flying to. It's pretty. I texted this picture to my kids and husband while I was in the air! I'm now a texting pro.

Here are the Oquirrh Mountains, quite close! There were 2 tiny little elk. Well, I'm sure they were actually big like elk are. They just looked little from where I was. Sorry I missed their picture. They wouldn't have shown up in the picture anyway.

Here was when we were just coming over the top of the mountain. That was so cool flying up over the peak and then seeing the other side! I wish I could have gotten sompe pictures of the transmitters. But I was on the wrong side of the helicopter, then they took a slightly different angle back, so I didn't get a shot of them. They look really cool too.

Here is Salt Lake City. But you can't tell because of the thick yucky air. I'm sure looking forward to a storm to clean up our air.

This is the helicopter I rode on. Anyway. It was a very fun way to start the day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Buttermilk Bread

A little while ago I ran out of yeast. I went to buy it, and had a hard time spending the money on the one I normally buy. I usually get Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast. I think it is a little expensive. I usually buy the big bag and store it in the freezer. If you store it in the freezer it will last for many years. But I noticed a different one than I that I normally use that was a few dollars cheaper. I figured yeast was yeast. And decided to get the cheaper one. I found out I was wrong when I tried to use this new yeast in my regular recipe for rolls. The rolls came out close to the same as normal, but the flavor just wasn't as good as it normally was. There was less of the good yeasty flavor that homemade bread usually has. That is when I noticed that I had bought Instant Yeast instead of Active Dry Yeast which is what I was used to. Since then I have done a little bit of research online to see the differences between all the different types of yeasts. If you are interested, read here to see the differences.

This last weekend I wanted to make bread to go with some soup I was making. I decided to try to find a recipe that would still have a good flavor even though I only had Instant Yeast. I found a fabulous recipe here on Fleischmann's Yeast Breadworld. They had a lot of wonderful recipes to choose from. But I thought the Buttermilk Bread sounded really good. I'm glad I tried it. My family really liked it. The bread was really soft and the flavor was yummy! And since it was using the instant yeast, it was pretty quick since I didn't need to proof my yeast. I added it directly to my dry ingredients like the recipe said. And I only had to let it raise once instead of twice like you do using Acitve Dry yeast.

Sorry I didn't get my own picture of the bread I made. My family ate it up too quickly.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I want and saw Regina last night. When I heard it was an American opera, I thought that I probably wouldn't like it. But I was so wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The story was very good. There were greedy, selfish family members who would steal from or blackmail anyone to get what they wanted. There was even a plot to force Regina's daughter to marry her first cousin to keep the wealth in the family. These people were really horrible. Especially Regina. She was a cold-hearted monster. But the lady who played her part did a fabulous job. Her Husband was very loveable. He tried to protect his daughter from the family, although he was on his death bed. He and his daughter also did a fabulous job. One of my favorite characters was Birdie, the sweet lady who turned into an alcoholic rather than deal with the horrible family she was married into. And one of my favorite musical numbers was a Blues style duet that Birdie sang with Addie the maid.

The music was so enjoyable. I was afraid that American music wouldn't really fit into an opera style. But it was almost like a musical rather than an opera. The conductor for this opera was Utah Symphony's Keith Lockheart. There was Jazz, Blues, Spiritualism, and I am sure other styles that were very American and beautiful.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How Joseph Smith "Wrote" the Book of Mormon

I found this on You Tube and really liked it. I thought I'd share it. It's only about 4 1/2 minutes long.

If you have never read the "Book of Mormon" I highly recommend that you do. It is a powerful testimony builder of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that Joseph Smith did all he did so I can read the word of God.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fave 5

My kids and I got a new cell phones and a new cell plan. This is my first experience with texting. I find I am pretty slow at it. But my kids really like it. It's really cute they will text me throughout the day and just say hi and stuff. They like to have full conversations by text, which so far drives me crazy. I take way too long to type my message. They will send me 3 or 4 messages in the time it takes me to type up my first reply.
The first day I tried texting I kept texting my husband too. I had him on my "Fave 5" so it was easy to pull him up to send him a message. I texted him a few times and he didn't reply back. I just figured he was busy since he was at work. I texted him asking him where my heartburn medication was. He didn't get back to me, but I found my medicine so I was alright. The next day I came to work and heard about a bunch of layoffs. I was upset that friends had lost jobs, but at the same time relieved that I still had one. So I texted my husband to tell him about it. A few minutes later he texted me back consoling me about the layoffs. A little later I texted him and asked him what my phone number was. He texted me back with it. I was starting to think I was getting good at this texting thing and thinking it was very convenient. Later that day I called him on the phone. I didn't get him; I got a very nice young lady named Heather instead. I was pretty confused for a little bit, until I realized I had entered her number into my phone instead of my husband's. So she was in my "Fave 5" and not my husband. A few minutes later I realized that I had been texting that lady for days! I was pretty embarrassed but did have a good laugh about it.
I can only make changes to my "Fave 5 once a month. So for now "Heather" is one of my "faves", although I won't harass the poor lady anymore or she might think I am a stocker. I'm just very glad I didn't text my husband a secret little sexy note meant only for my husband.