mothers day

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Day in MY life!

What a day! I was going to facebook this but I decided there was NO way I could get it all in the 465 (or however many) characters permitted. So here goes:

Went for my 2 1/2 mile walk with Cheryl at the Park in the snow
Went to Home Depot and bought a new toilet seat
Went to Avery Hill Beads and bought some new silver beads (FUN!)
Spent 2 hours at the Doctor's office
went to Ross for Less and took back the toilet seat I bought there yesterday cause it wouldn't work right
went to Michael's and bought a 14 kt gold chain to make another necklace (I got out of there with ONLY that one item...miracle!)
went to America First and deposited the checks from Saturday's boutique
went to Kim's fashions and bought some jewelry to take apart for beads
made a gorgeous brown chunky necklace and earring set
chopped up tomatoes and onions and cilantro and canned 7 pints and 2 quarts of salsa!
and its only 5:45...I still have supper to fix!

All that and it wasn't even a go see dad day!!! Plus we had a tankless water heater installed today! WOW

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meal in a Bag

A few weeks ago there was an interesting article in The Standard Examiner about a book describing a fascinating method of food storage. The premise behind the book was that instead of (or in addition to) the long range method of storing wheat and rice, etc., that we should also store the food that we use everyday. The author came up with about 100 meals that she could store 'in a bag'.

Kecia and I decided to order the book and try bagging up some meals. She brought Emma and Leah up to my house on Monday and was going to bring the makings of 2 or 3 meals and I was going to organize the makings of 2 or 3 additional meals.

She called me at 9 am that morning and said that she had everyone bathed and dressed and fed and was starting to pack the car but had decided that she wasn't going to be able to bring the meal stuff - there was just too much to pack just to get the three of them here. I told her fine, I would have some food ready to bag.

This is what our first two bags looked like. The first recipe we took directly out of the book. I had all the different ingredients already in my fruit room It is called "Roast Beef Dinner" and consists two cans of chunked roast beef (I had bought a case of the beef a year or so ago when I had gone to the Ogden Cannery and helped can the stuff!), one can of beef gravy, one package of potato pearls (we pulled all the air out of the bag we sealed it in with my Seal-A-Meal machine - that was really handy), a can of vegetables and one bottle of water. The water was to reconstitute the potato pearls. We then scanned the recipe from the book and stapled it onto the bag

We put an expiration date of 10/11 - one year from now. The recipe also called for powdered milk but that was just to make the instant potatoes with and I used potato pearls. Each meal will feed about six people and costs about $5 - and comes with however much bottled water needed to reconstitute it or boil pasta in.
This is the other main meal - tuna noodle casserole. It has a can of tuna, cream of mushroom soup and evaporated milk. I need to find some packets of dried cheese to put on the top of it. We also decided we need to buy some mini packets of salt and pepper to add to each meal. Since this was a meal of my own imagination, we simply wrote out the instructions on the outside of the bag. Once we use a 'bag' we will refill it - when we get the plastic bags with better handles on it we will attach a CD sleeve to put the instruction in and we won't have to refill the bags with the same meals. We can refill the bottles of water though to replace what was used in the meal preparation.
The third meal we did was a breakfast. We seal-a-mealed quick oatmeal, added ziplock sandwich bags with sugar and cinnamon, added six packets of hot choc mix and you can see the two bottles of water - I need to buy one more bottle of water to add to this meal to give the water necessary to make the oatmeal AND the hot chocolate.
Here are the three bags we put together. We are looking for better bags that can be reused again and again. I put these three in my coat closet by my 72 hour kits so that if there is an emergency I can grab them and run - and eat a lot better than what I have in my 72 hour kit...not only that but have enough each meal to share with others since there is only Ed and I.
One of the most exciting things about this whole thing was that this was stuff I already have in my food storage - I just needed to organize it. This is what was left over from the food I brought up from the fruit room before I decided which recipes I wanted to sack up. I have cans of chicken and a box of Brown Rice. I have a spaghetti dinner with a vegetable. I have cans of whole potatoes... and I have packages of beans and rice which in and of itself is a complete protein...

The book is full of simple ideas that I can make up into meal bags or I can just take some of my own tried and true recipes and organize them also. Now I just need to start moving things around under my stair well to give me some shelves to store these meals in. Then when I can't figure out what to fix for dinner I can just go downstairs and 'grab a meal'!!

Kec and I had a lot of fun putting these meals together and plan on doing more together and separately in the future. I think it would be fun to get together with all my girls and make up some meals. And it could be a really fun Relief Society Activity too.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Mountain Spot

All summer long you have heard me say "we're going to the mountain"...and off we go, just Ed and I to enjoy each other's phone, no internet...just time away from the hectic lives we lead, enjoying the beautiful mountain retreat. I am not complaining about my life as I truly am spoiled but there are weeks that I am so stressed with constant going going going and running running running and doing doing doing that I NEED my down time to survive. We belong to a private campground in the mountains East of Boise. It is a camp ground literally built on the side of a mountain. We have a fun swimming pool to enjoy, a beautiful commons area covered in grass and surrounded by pine trees (mainly Ponderosa pines) and a club house with a big deck to have parties on. We love the people we have met up in Idaho... our only complaint is that it is so far away from home...5-6 hour drives, depending on whether or not we are hauling a trailer behind us.

This is what my flower garden looked like before I went to work on the weeds.
There are some pretty flowers planted long ago, but it is so inundated with weeds you can't appreciate them at all
I got me a pair of working gloves and a fantastic little hand shovel and went to work. This year I cleaned out the weeds and next year I plan on filling it with flowers! I think I enjoy this because here in Layton the yard has always been Eds - this flower garden in Idaho is mine!! YAY! Now I need to learn about plants that don't take too much water, although we do have access to all we want we don't want to waste it as there is a whole mountain full of people using the same spring!
Frank and Cat said that they have tried planting grass across the street from here several times...but it never took. I think that's because all the seed blew across the road and landed in the flower gardens. The normal weeds weren't hard to get out but the roots on the grass system was a bear. I got blisters on top of blisters this summer cleaning all the grass roots out of the beds.

The grass is going to be an ongoing problem along with the suckers from the wild roses and the various trees around, but if I can stay ahead of the game I can win!! It will just mean spending at least an hour or two every week pulling weeds.
This is a corner of our toy hauler when we went up to the mountain in 2007. We parked on someone else's lot and enjoyed their gorgeous view of the mountain. They had a nice deck overhanging the cliff. We won't be able to do that as we have road and fence right in front of lot - but we have great plans to beautify our little corner of bear mtn.
This is a view from atop the mountain across the canyon looking down on part of Bear Mtn. Mainly you can see the roads traversing the side of the mountain/ I believe the swimming pool is just to the left of the first tree - more than halfway up the 'tree' (the light blue spot). We are WAY across the canyon looking down.
This is a picture of the pool - they heat it with a combination of solar panels (thats the long black stuff you see above the pool) and propane. There is a nice grassy area at the top edge of the pool hidden by the pine trees. Although we have running water and electricity we do not have indoor plumbing (except in our individual trailers), thus the cute little biffy in the lower left hand corner of the picture.
Another view from across the canyon - quite a bit closer. Our trailer is the one to the right of the tree trunk. You can see Frank and Cat's trailer to the left of ours. There are a couple more trailers hidden in the trees - the road zigzags up the mountain side.
Here is our 'new' 2003 Wilderness trailer sitting on the lot. There is a lot of work for us to do to make our lot as pretty and refreshing as many of the older lots are. The open ground at the fore- front of the picture is 'common ground' between us and our neighbors, Frank and Cat. We are going to either plant grass to share, with a fire pit in the middle of it (so we can invite all our neighbors over for an open house and cook s'mores) or we are going to make a 'patio' of flat rocks - again with the fire pit. The hillside behind is going to be terraced so that we can plant flowers AND tomatoes and squash and has to be terraced because it is so steep - but by the end of next year I hope to post a before and after picture showing how pretty and green it turns out.
This picture was taken in August of our old trailer...Ed has been busy leveling out the area - I have one of the most sunny spots on the mountain and I am thankful for it. I love the warmth of the sun. It will be greener though!
This is looking to the East of our trailer - there are two trailer lots on the same level at the end of the road. You can see the outhouse for our level, then there is a beautiful lot next to it that has got so many flowers and bushes planted on the hillside right outside where the door of the trailer would sit. You can see the car and edge of the trailer for Don and Lucinda who live 'at the end of the lane'. The road up the hill takes you to Bobby Lee and Elizabeth's spot.
Another view of our barren hillside that will next year be blooming!

These pavers came out of the unused sand box in the back yard (the grandkids can play in the sand around the swingset now) We are going to use them to make steps up the side of our big hill so we can terrace it and put in a drip system to water the flowers and plants we are going to plant.
i took these pictures this weekend - the sumac in front of my door (across the road) is simply beautiful with the fall colors. The rest of the mountain is just starting to change - but this tree is so striking - and notice please, the absence of weeds!.

another view!

The sumac with the mountains above it

Some of the daisy's I found when I finally got all the weeds cleaned out of the flower gardens.
I think right now Ed and I are being very selfish with our time...but after years of raising kids and working, we are now at the point of our lives when we are ready to retire and boy WE ARE READY. Our little spot at Bear Mtn is OUR spot...just the two of us. We hope to do some more camping and four wheeling with our kids and grandkids with the ATV and the razor and the toy hauler too. The first few years of our retirement I don't know how often we will be or two weeks out of the month maybe. Of course, some of these plans will depend on my dad's health. We hope to go to Germany next summer with Donald and Bonnie, and also head up into Oregon and Washington in our trailer. We figure that when we are sightseeing the North Western states we won't want to haul a four wheeler around so our new trailer will work perfectly. And at some point we want to go on a mission.... probably the fall of 2012.