Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Darth Tater

Adam found a shirt at a gas station on the way up here. He loves it so much that he just had to have his picture taken in it before he went to Georgia. (And it just happened to include his other love, the Yukon.) I like this pic of him.

He went to Atlanta for a week for work. Originally, it was going to be 2 weeks, then was cut back to three work days with a weekend stay with his family but was lengthened to one week. He's coming home tomorrow night at almost midnight.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mom & Dad

Mom and Dad just left to go back home. They came for a short visit. (Sorry about there not being a lot of food here). They came late Friday night and we stayed up talking. Jack loves his grandma and kept shaking hands with her and sitting near her and staring at her. Bear kept sitting next to her as well. Mom and Dad said they slept really well. I'm glad they had a better experience on the air mattress than we did!!

On Saturday, Mom and Dad had to exchange their rental car because of some maintenance lights. Afterward, we drove to the gorge near here. it's beautiful but I didn't have my camera with me so I have no pictures of it still. We got out of the car for only a minute because there were bugs all over the place. I was really hoping there were some roads following the river but one way seemed to end at some buildings and the other ended at a dirt road so we didn't take that one. We headed back to Boise for lunch at Cracker Barrel. Mom tried turnip greens and said she liked them but by the next time she took a bite, she had definitely changed her mind. I love them. Then, we stopped at Payless for some shoes for Dad but Mom found a pair instead which ended up matching a skirt she later bought at Walmart. We went bowling next. All three of us were sore in various places afterward. Dad won both times. Mom beat me the second time. We used the bumpers since they were up when we got there. We were looking good! We got 137 (Dad), 128 (Me) and 115 (Mom). The second game was similar with me and Mom switching places and me way below 100. :o) It was a lot of fun. Back at home, we had dinner then later went out for dessert at Dairy Queen. People were pretty tired so we were in bed by 10:30.

Today, we went to church, had lunch afterward and they were on their way. Love you guys. I'll miss you. And to everyone else, please know, you are welcome to come any time. We love visitors.

So before they got here, I discovered that two of my yeast starters went bad. I found mold growing on a raisin in the water and the other one made me want to gag when I sniffed it. I can't imagine it possibly being any good so I tossed them both and started over. This is why I shouldn't have procrastinated. It's going to be the end of the month before I know it and I won't have anything positive to share. Well, the sourdough seems to be doing what it's supposed to so I hope at least that one turns out well.

I tried the powdered milk and I was surprised by how okay it was. I wouldn't want to drink a glass by itself but as long as I drank it with a meal, it wasn't too bad. There was only a slight aftertaste when you swallow that gave it away when drunk while eating. So now I just need to calculate costs and see if it actually does save money and by how much. I don't know if it would be worth it to switch. (But the milk has to be cold so I don't know how you could ge the same results without a fridge.)

In my ward, there's a deaf woman. There were two ladies sitting in front taking turns interpreting for her. I watched them through most of the meeting. It was fun. Some signs came back pretty quickly...I learned a couple new signs but there were some I knew I knew but I just couldn't figure it out. Oh, and there were plenty of signs I didn't know. There is a sign language class every Monday so I will be starting that this week. :o) One of the woman is trying to get me to help with the primary program in 2 weeks. Well, once she sees how little I can remember, I think she'll change her mind.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wild Yeast

Well...way too much of my time today was spent hovering over the 2 yeast starters I have. Currently, I have two started. I'll start the other 2 kinds tomorrow. The water one was started on Monday. The dough one was started this morning, bright & early after dropping Adam off at the airport. The raisins in the water are supposed to all rise to the surface. They slowly move up and look as though they are suspended in gelatin but it's just water. Kind of weird. No bubbles in that one yet though. The other one has some small bubbles in it already(dark bumps are an ingredient in the starter), though certainly not enough to rise a loaf of bread yet. It's a science experiment. It's a lot of fun! :o) I'll give more details later since Valerie is part of the challange group and I don't want to give anything away.

The other experiment I've got going on right now has to do with powdered milk. I was reading someone's blog. This guy hasn't used a fridge in over 30 years. I made a comment on his blog that there was no way I could give up a fridge because I have to have my cold milk. He said that "you CAN get used to using powdered milk". So, for the sake of giving it a shot, here goes nothing! Following some instruction he gave me, I mixed the first batch up tonight and I'll have it with breakfast in the morning. Wish me luck! Childhood memories of powdered milk don't sit so well with me so it will be interesting. Though two thing make me feel better about drinking it now than when I was a child. 1. Powdered milk tastes better the fresher it is...more than a year old is no longer good for drinking, only for cooking. Well, if memory serves me correctly, we had that Eureka milk for a long time before we started drinking it. and 2. The flavor is supposed to have gotten better in the last few years. I don't know if that's true or not but it gives me hope. So I'll let you know my verdict later.
When Adam's out of town, it's always time for food experimentation because I can eat just about anything I make.

Potato Peels & Turkey Skin

I don't remember where I read it but someone said that dogs like potato peels fried in chicken skin. I liked the idea since I don't consume either one and I had both from the turkey dinner with the Mendoza's. I ended up turing up the burner to high and adding some water to the peels & skin to bring out the fat and flavor of the skin. I boiled it until the water was nearly gone. I turned down the heat and took out the skin. Then I left the peels on the heat to evaporate more water. The dogs do like it but Jack will only eat it if it's heated up first. I put a couple cold peels in his breakfast bowl yesterday morning and he refused to eat it. He walked away from his bowl so he didn't eat anything until dinner time. I heated the peels up and he ate it just fine. Adam always tells me I should stop putting human food in their food bowls but he's always criticizing me for not heating up the human food I do give to them...go figure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Security Deposit

Vicki just called me and said she was so happy with her house and how clean it was. Did she not see the few stains on the carpet near the front door? They were obvious to both me and Adam. Oh well. I felt good that she liked it.

We had broken a cement bench not too long after we got there and we told them we had no problem with them taking out the money for the bench from our security deposit when we told them about the bench.

But after seeing that her house had been well taken care of, she forgave us on the bench and we will be getting our full deposit back, including the pet deposit. :o) I guess being paranoid about the carpet helped out after all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Making Yeast

Well, I have finally started my thing for this month's challange. I have had a hard time deciding what to do. I had already had something picked up, and will do it another month but right now, it just isn't fesible since my stuff is lost in boxes. I finally decided that I will be making yeast. I was toying around with the idea but hadn't made up my mind until today.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Valerie asked if she and the kids could come for a visit. We were, of course, glad to have them come. It gave me the motivation I needed to empty the trailer of the boxes. The couches and bed drawers are still in there though. I found my dishes and silverware the day they came but didn't have time to wash them until the day before they left. I had washed all the blankets but when getting ready for their arrival, I found the pillows but not the pillowcases and one of the air matresses I planned on letting them used needed a pump I didn't have so I started blowing it up by mouth but didn't get very far. They got here on Wednesday night, kind of late. The dogs were allowed in but were kept on leashes, tied to the railings while we played a board game. Luckily, they brought a couple of air mattresses and pillows and blankets so I wasn't in as bad a shape as I was fearing.

Thursday they went to the Children's museum while Adam and I worked. The Mendoza's and I were getting ready to run to the grocery store when someone from the ward dropped by with homemade granola, bread sticks and a pizza. That was really nice! While waiting for Adam toget home from work, we took a drive out to Lucky Peak. We stopped to take some pictures and Valerie almost got clobbered by a picnic bench seat that wasn't attatched but despite dropping her camera, nothing was injured/damaged. After dinner, we played two games of bowling. Adam was overworked that day and had to work while at the bowling alley. The dogs were tethered when inside still.

On Friday, the Mendoza's went to the mall while Adam and I worked. The kids joined me on a walk with Jack. They got to pet him for the first time while on the walk. After we got back, they went outside and played with the dogs. All three were throwing balls for Bear but after Jack barked at Sabrina, she went to the safety of the deck and Elisa started playing with Jasmine. It was so great to see my dogs getting along with the kids well enough to trust them alone out there. While they were doing that, we cooked a turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, rolls and gravy. This was the first meal we got to use non-disposable plates, cups and silverware. We waited a little bit then went to Cheesecake Factory for dessert. On the way back to the house, Sabrina managed to make her belly button an outie! Overnight, it returned to an innie.

Saturday, we had a big breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We went to the park and played graces and played on the playground. We bought a soccer ball at Walmart, which really didn't get used and when we were back at the house, I asked the kids if they wanted to give Bear his new ball. Within minutes, he had popped it! Oh well, he'll get a lot of playtime out of a flat ball too, he always does. Then we said our goodbyes. I think they should be home by now, or at least very close!

I stayed up later than I normally do so I will be going to bed early tonight!!

Thanks for coming guys! I really enjoyed your visit!

(These are the most in focus pictures I had of them playing.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I forgot to write in my last blog about how there's an empty building across the street from us. A guy comes everyday and works on it. Yesterday, I went over and started a conversation with the guy that's there everyday. He happened to be the one who owns the building and is trying to make it into his office building when the economy picks back up and there's work for architects again. A couple of days before, I noticed a bunch of grapes growing behind the house and asked if I could have some. I also asked about the clothes drying rack. He said I could have the rack if I dug it up and I could take all the grapes since he doesn't eat them. So after talking to him for a couple more minutes, I went back home.

This morning, I looked out the window to see if he was there yet. He wasn't, so I slipped my shoes on and went over. He ended up driving up while I was about half way through. He came over and started talking to me for about 10-15 minutes before he stared working.

He lived in Atlanta as well, when he first came to America, though not that close to where we lived. So I asked him where he was from. He was born in Iran but lived in Europe more than in Iran. He came to America sometime in the 80's. After asking him where he likes it most, he told me Europe. I asked him why and he said it was because of the culture. Americans tend to isolate themselves from everyone, whether they're in the same space with someone or not. In Europe, people are more social and open to strangers. And here, you may have one or two close friends but if you're not busy, they usually are and there's not much interaction but in Europe, people live a slower paced life, in general and have time for things other than work and count friends as family. The conversation went on but that was the part that struck me because that was what I had been doing this morning. I went at a time I thought I could avoid him. He's a friendly guy, and I don't feel uncomfortable around him, so it wasn't that...that's just my nature. I tend to avoid interaction with others. Why do I do that? Old habits die hard I guess...but I did go over and introduce myself first...so I am slowly crawling out of my self-induced isolation chamber, so to speak.

And I ended up with a grocery bag of grapes...with more left to pick soon. I'll be making juice with them since they have thick skin and seeds, but the taste is DELICIOUS!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Boise

The drive to Boise, once we finally got on our way at 4PM was uneventful. I did have to stop around midnight to rest my eyes and eat something though. But was feeling well enough to make it the rest of the way after that. Gracie kept me entertained...I know, not a good thing while driving but I enjoyed it and she kept me awake that last little bit. She climbed into my lap and started playing with my sleeve, than started playing with my hand and clawing and biting me. Her teeth aren't as strong as I remember other kittens' teeth being.

We got here around 1ish and unloaded our mattress, the dogs' kennels, our blankets and suitcases and promptly zonked out.

The next morning, I was not feeling so good. My stomach was out of whack for a couple of days but got better. Then I got dizzy for 2 days. Adam followed my health trend the next day but instead of getting dizzy, then better, he got sinus problems and is still dealing with those right now. Poor Adam.

Neither one of us has felt especially motivated to empty the trailer. So far, I only managed to empty the garage of the things from the last trailer load so that when we do empty the trailer, we will have the room to pile them into the garage.

I found the zucchini and tomato plants in the front yard was happily surprised by the huge quantity of tomatoes! I think it was two days after I got here, cold weather set in and it snowed. So in the very cold, wet weather, Adam and I went out and picked about 50-60 tomatoes to save them from certain death. Not all of them made it but most of them did. Now I have something to can. :o) Some of the tomatoes left out on the vine, way more than what w pulled, survivied but some did not. We'll see how many more we're able to manage to use. The zucchini didn't fare as well but it did look like a few might still make it.

I took a couple of days off from work when I got her since we didn't get the internet at first. Now I'm back to working and I find it very boring but it's much better than so many other options that I shouldn't complain.

I have made a goal today that I intend to meet! By the time we move again, we will have less stuff, not more!!! I will have to figure out what I'm willing to get rid of...I know there are things here I don't really need, no matter how useful I think it may be to keep around.

House in Boise

Well, I don't have a lot of time to write anything but this is our house here in Boise. These are pictures Adam took while looking at the house initially. So none of stuff is clutured about...plus, he didn't take pictures of all the rooms. I will update later with more rooms.
Pictures are:
1. Front & side of house
2. Downstairs living room
3. Kitchen
4. Backyard
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the floors!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tags 1 & 2

Ok, lets see... Tag #1

The "rules" of the game are as follows:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write 6 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
4. If you're tagged, DO IT and pass on the tag.

6 random things about me
1. I love mangoes.
2. I take way too many pictures of my dogs.
3. I own too many books (and want a whole lot more!).
4. I've had 2 poems and a photograph published.
5. I got sick when we moved here but am better now.
6. I want to buy a small house and never move again.

Tag #2 seems a lot more involved.

5 Things I've Done in the Past 10 Years:
1. Lived in three different states
2. Became interested in farming/ranching
3. Worked with alpacas, chickens, horses, dogs & cats for vacationing ranch owners
4. Gotten married
5. Gone to school to become a dog trainer

5 Things I Wish I Could Do Today:
This one's hard because I want to do EVERYTHING!
1. Train my dogs to be tolerant of all people, inside and outside of the house
2. Have children
3. Invent something useful
4. Get out of debt
5. Be a stronger person

5 Foods I Wouldn't Want to Live Without:
1. Chocolate & Peanut butter concotions
2. Bread
3. Milk
4. Asparagus
5. Mangoes

5 Things I Would Do if I Were a Millionaire:
1. Buy ALOT of land and stock it with all the livestock I want, and even a person to teach me how to take care of the animals and plants I would have
2. Buy all the books I want
3. Have someone design & build an all solar powered car
4. Ride across the country, maybe even the Pan-American Highway
5. Share with people who need it (family first)

5 Places I Have Lived:
1. Lawrenceville, GA
2. Cutler Ridge, FL
3. Dayton, OH
4. Wanship, UT
5. Boise, ID

5 Jobs I Have Had:
1. Ice skate guard
2. Ice cream store manager
3. Janitor
4. Deli sandwich maker
5. Pizza delivery driver

Well, I only know one person on here who you haven't already tagged, Heather so I tag:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grasshoppers, Gracie & CFL light bulbs

I was out mowing the lawn for the last time. I was wearing sweat pants. I sat down at the computer to work and a couple of hours later, something in my pocket was poking my leg and scratching me just a little. I felt my pocket to see if I could figure out what was in there...I didn't rememeber putting anything in there. I felt something, so I stuck my hand in my pocket. Well, I feel something but it's not in my pocket, it's between my pants and my leg. I pulled the band out to see what it was. It was a big grasshopper and I freaked out. I stood up and swatted at him. I managed to get him off of me but in the proccess, I amputated one of his back legs. I called the dogs over to eat the grasshopper but they wouldn't do it. Yuck...I hate bugs crawling on me!

Each night, I tell Adam that he needs to do something toward finding Gracie a new home and he just tells me that she wants to stay so I remind him that if she does, she'll end up as dog food. He finally sent out an email at work yesterday and Gracie has been claimed by a family of four with one other cat. The catch is that they can't take her until after we get back to Boise because they are leaving on vacation today. So he at least gets one last weekend with her. I know Adam is really sad about having to give her up. If he's anything like me, he'll bawl after he gives her up (I did after giving Chewy up). But she'll have a much better life not having to be locked up so she doesn't get eaten.

We've been using CFL light bulbs for a few years, except for in this house since we won't be here long enough to recoup the cost. Anyway, until today, I didn't know that you shouldn't throw them out in the trash. There is mercury in them that, once broken, will seep through the ground and into the water contaminating it. In fact, if you break one, you should leave the room and air it out for 15 minutes before cleaning it up. They should be recycled at special CFL recycle centers. I don't know where any of the recycle centers are but you can go online to find them if you use those bulbs.
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