Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving At Its Roots

With two children now living in the Boston area it made all the sense in the world to spend Thanksgiving there -- yes, right there where Thanksgiving began. We've enjoyed the trips we have made to Plymouth and stepping back some four hundred years in time. Our 2010 Thanksgiving feast was was an amazing spread, shared with a number of international guests Randy and Judianne had invited into their home -- Switzerland, Turkey, China, and Bangladesh. Nobody had any difficulty cleaning their plates, or playing a little football, and we finished with an incredible sharing of musical talents.

We had a Double Bonus weekend, as we were also there for one grandson's baptism and another grandson's Eagle Court of Honor.
The Fam gathered to celebrate Isaac's baptism.
Learning what it feels like to have the Holy Comforter with you!

I don't suppose that a quilt made of fabric displaying insects, butterflies, bugs and spiders would seem like Holy anything. We give the girls a beautiful white comforter tied with pastel ribbons, but what boy would want that?!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I got up this morning and couldn't even eat breakfast until I made a new batch of granola. Randy and I both love this recipe. It's great with yogurt, great with milk and fruit, great sprinkled on ice cream, and Randy loves to sit down with a bowl full just to snack on while he watches TV. It's my daughter-in-law's recipe. They live in the same ward with Mitt Romney. A few years ago they gave the Romneys some for Christmas. They liked it so much they got the recipe, made up huge batches of it, and took it on the campaign trail with them. Enjoy!

8 cups regular rolled oats (no instant oats)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Toss the above ingredients well.

Bring to a boil the following ingredients:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
Pour over granola and toss well. Pour onto baking sheets (will fill two large sheets). Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Stir and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes. Cool and store in air-tight container.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Come to Chicago

Please come to Chicago and spend a day or two with us. I have a new "favorite" to take you to. Today a group of women took another trip into the City for lunch. We went to Xoco, also known as Frontera Grill. It is a Rick Bayless restaurant, and in case you don't know who Rick Bayless is, he's an award-winning chef-restauranteur, cookbook author, and television personality. Some say he has done more than any other culinary star to introduce Americans to authentic Mexican cuisine and to change the image of Mexican food in America. The food was fabulous! We also hit Blommer's chocolate factory on the way and Chicago's huge Crate and Barrel store is just a couple of blocks away. I promise you'll love it!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hello! Hello!

I've been in Boston this past week taking care of my grandchildren. If any of you have tried to reach me by cell, this post may clarify things.

A few nights ago Randy called and said he had had difficulty reaching me because one of the grandkids kept answering the phone, and no matter how many times he asked them to give the phone to grandma they just ignored him. All of the kids here had been in bed for over an hour, so I figured he dialed the wrong number. The next day my daughter called and said, "Oh, thank goodness you answered. I've called several times. Someone answers, but I just keep saying 'hello,' 'hello,' and nobody responds." Wait a minute--that sounds familiar! I didn't hear the phone ring, and how would my phone know to just answer itself. I have a new iPhone -- not because I've wanted one, but because my husband thinks that "the best" is possibly good enough for "Queen Judith." In actuality, all I need is something with buttons you can push and that rings when you are away from home. It still has no contacts in it, no apps downloaded, and it only has a message on my voice mail because Randy helped me put it there. So what do I know about how an iPhone answers itself so that the caller can hear what is going on at my end.

Later this afternoon Trav and Britt called with the same bizarre experience. They call, someone answers, and they can hear me and the children talking to each other. Okay, that's enough! We call my cell phone from the home phone. Sure enough, the voice mail message is three-year-old Charlie talking, talking, talking to me, and it never ends. (Thank goodness there were no bad words from either of us). Somehow my voice mail message had been changed. I knew that butts could place calls, but can butts change your message? Wow, these iPhones are really somethin'. It's all a mystery to me, but somehow I think I've gotten more than I paid for.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Emissions Testing

I've been writing my personal history and it has really made me aware of how many things my mother had to do that we no longer have to do. My mother washed with a wringer washer and hung the clothes on the clothesline to dry. My mother made her own laundry soap out of lye and mutton tallow. My mother had a coal furnace and had to take out the "clinkers" twice a day. My mother mowed the lawn with a push mower, and I mean the old-fashioned kind that only went forward when you provided all the power. My mother watered her garden with irrigation water that ran down a little ditch at the back of our property. She could only use that water when it was her "turn", and that was twice a week at a specified time -- often for an hour during the middle of the night. My mother didn't have a garbage disposal, but rather scraped all our food scraps into a bucket which my dad carried out to feed the pigs. My mother didn't have access to a car except one afternoon per week. My mother was amazing! BUT, there were also some things that my mother DIDN'T have to do, and occasionally I have a day where I spend most of it doing the things my mother didn't have to do. And that is really annoying. Today I had to do only one of them, and I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't want to trade places with my mother.