Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I spent a long time today doing one of my least favorite things in the world.
I worked in the garden.
I weeded, I dug, I planted.

You see, Frank does all of the work in the vegetable garden so he has this idea that I should be the one to be in charge of the front "flower" garden.
I put flower in quotes because it really isn't a flower garden as much as a weed garden.

Side note:
Allow to me to present some evidence of my beautiful weed garden.

We have some interesting weeds.
Clover.  Everyone is familiar with clover.
A weed that grows from the center out and sends out all these feelers that then root as well.  This one is easy to pull but seems to regrow within minutes.  I swear!  I go inside to wash my hands and I come back and there they are again. Grrr.
And lastly there is a weed that literally shoots little seeds at you if you touch it.  They fly up and hit you in the eye, no joke.  So it's a little depressing to know that as you pull one weed you are planting 100 more.
Also, I not only don't know the names of real plants, I don't know the names of weeds either...so descriptions will have to do.

Back to the story:

I disagree with Frank's idea.
I think he should do all of the gardening, flower and otherwise. He should also mow the lawn. Fix all broken things.  And kill all bugs.
I will do the canning and the reading of novels and the watching of netflix.
Sounds totally fair to me.
Oh, and Frank needs to pay for all of the eating out too, since I hate to cook.

About a year ago (ok a bit more than that) Frank pulled out all of the huge overgrown bushes in the front of the house.
I used to complain about them so he took them out as a Mother's Day gift to me.
I was thrilled.
The glitch was that he mistakenly thought that I would immediately plant a lovely garden in it's place.
I do not have the flower garden gift...I find it incredibly difficult to choose plants and decide where things should go.
I want it to look amazing with flowers and bushes and flowers (I like flowers) but without the effort of picking, buying, planting or caring for said flowers and bushes.
It's a problem.

Look! Dirt without weeds!

So in the spring I finally hired someone to come and give us a plan for the front garden.
And then she had to cancel on us several times (due to totally legitimate emergencies that came up)
so when she finally came, she felt guilty and gave us a plan for only $50!
Woo Hoo!

However I didn't run right out and buy the plants she suggested.
Instead I had Frank pull out even more bushes in the backyard and build me a fence.
So now I have a huge strip of weed garden in the back yard as well.
How do I get myself into these situations?

But today I decided that I had had enough of the weed garden!
I went, with my plans in hand, to the local nursery and asked them to show me the various plants listed and tell me which ones can safely be planted at this time of year.
I bought a few of them.
I came home and got totally dirty and muddy and weeded for hours on end.
Me and my adorable girl gardening gloves

The bad news? I'm not done.
There are so many weeds! I want to cry.

The good news?
I planted a few of the new plants, relocated some of the plants we already had that were in the wrong place and relocated a large number of snails. Ew.

I worked until it got dark outside!
yes, I was that dedicated.

Here's what it looked like when I was done:

What? I told you I worked till it was dark!

Ok seriously, here it is:

5 badly divided day lilies...some are big and some are little but it is what it is...I was tired!
I hope they survive. 
I divided some last year without knowing what I was doing and they survived and grew pretty darn big so hopefully these do the same thing.

You can see a few of the new plants on the left of the picture.
They should fill in and they flower in the spring.

In the back you can see...more weeds.
More work for tomorrow!

I think I'm going to plant some tulip bulbs and maybe, if I'm feeling energetic, some mums for fall color.

I hope I don't wake up to find all that bare dirt refilled with those dang weeds.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A wormy issue

You know how my back porch is covered? And carpeted?
Yes, outdoor carpet.  Not my favorite but it was nice when the girls lived here and were crawling around out there.
My long term goal is tile out there I think.  But it won't happen anytime soon.

Well, anyway, lately we've had a lot of rain.
A lot of rain.
And, as you probably know, when it rains a lot, the worms try to escape the flood and come onto the land.
I have been known to rescue worms that are on my sidewalk drying out.
Well, my carpeted porch is now COVERED in desiccated worms.
I didn't know they were there and didn't save them and they died on my carpet.
And then dried out.

I didn't take a picture because, frankly, it is nasty.
Some of them are kind of stuck to the carpet.
I might go out and try to vacuum tonight sometime...
but I've had a monstrous headache all day and I'm having trouble doing anything.

My goal is to make the porch worm-less by the end of the week.
Yes, I have big expectations for myself!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A rainy Thursday night

Frank has been traveling a lot lately
which is something he used to do all the time
but we have had a break for awhile now and we have both gotten used to him being around.
He's not too excited for the travel but it does mean that things are going well for him at work
so that's a good thing.
I keep thinking I should tag along for some of his trips but then he tells me his itinerary
and I'm like "nah"
Long flights for short stays just don't make me excited.
So instead I am enjoying some "alone time" and binge watching chick shows that Frank would hate.

I keep thinking I will start writing 
"Letters to Frank"
but I haven't done it yet.
I'm afraid the letters would be too boring.

It's been raining quite a bit here in the last week.
Last night it rained quite hard and it actually woke me up!
I have been opening windows and enjoying the lovely fall air
but it's starting to actually feel chilly sometimes which isn't my favorite
since it makes me think of winter.

The mountains have changed color.
I didn't even realize that they did that.
One minute they are grey and stony looking with a bit of green here and there and the next minute they have all this orange and yellow on them.
It really adds a lovely fall feeling to the whole area.

I decided that I would get back on track and go to the gym this week
and then the gym was closed.
So instead I have laid around, read books, and watched tv.
It reopened today
but of course I decided to start again on Monday.

I'm having real issues with cooking when Frank is out of town.
Ok, I have issues with cooking when Frank is in town too...
but it's even worse when he's gone, if you can imagine that.
The other night I had leftover stuffed peppers in the fridge,
bread and sandwich stuff at the ready,
canned stew or chili were all available to me.
I ate some bagged popcorn and called it a night.
I think I also had a string cheese at some point.
I have got to get a grip.
Monday perhaps.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Midnight Musings

I went to bed and fell asleep at about 10
and I was so proud of myself
but now it's midnight and I'm up.
It's going to be a fun night...

My sister recently told me that the problem with insomnia isn't the lack of sleep it's the anxiety over the lack of sleep.
Those who just accept that they are awake at night and then spend their time accomplishing or reading or whatever, do better than those who stress over the fact that they should be sleeping.
So, here I am, blogging and being all accepting of the situation.

The weather has recently turned fall-ish.
We can all feel it.
And everyone in my family has commented on how nice it is outside at least once a day in the last few days.
I think I've said it several times every single day.
I love fall so much!
I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about fall in Utah because I lived in the Northeast.
I mean, come on, no one does fall better than New England.
But I still love the slightly crisp night air and cooler days.
The changing leaves are pretty
(if not quite spectacular)
I sometimes find myself dreading winter instead of enjoying fall and I'm trying not to do that.

I'm working a lot right now.
I have my school district job Monday through Thursday.
Temple volunteering on Friday.
Working at the bookstore on Saturday.
and this Sunday I will start teaching Sunday School.

The school job will end next week and not start up again until January 
and I'm finished at the bookstore at the end of September
so I will soon have a lot more time on my hands.
I'm really looking forward to doing some projects around the house
as well as having more time to spend with my parents.
With my work, we have fallen off on the weekly lunch dates and I want to get those back.

It's interesting how I feel all this need to get a job get a job get a job
but then when I am working 
I feel bad that I'm not available for my Mom and to help my Dad...
and that's the reason I moved here!
So I'm trying hard to focus on the real needs in my life
and they don't really involve money or a job
they involve people and helping and connecting.

I am going to try to keep that in perspective.

In other words, stay tuned for angsty blogs where I stress over job hunting and interviews soon.

It's canning season again!
I just finished canning a bunch of peaches with my perfect sister.
I had my usual freak out that maybe I wouldn't have enough peaches in my life so I bought an extra box (1/2 bushel) to eat and freeze.
Man, I love peaches.

This fall I also plan to can pears even though they are a pain.
I like canned pears even better than canned peaches.
Fresh peaches beat everything though.

I am also contemplating making apple sauce.
My neighbor has an apple tree that I can pick from so I just might do it.
We used to be big apple sauce eaters but that was when there were kids around.
Now, we rarely eat it.
So, I'm wondering if we will eat it more if I make it homemade.
Everything is better homemade.

Which reminds me:
I made a chocolate cake the other day from a mix that Frank bought.
He was craving cake so he picked it up while shopping.
I haven't made a mix cake in quite awhile...
and it was soooo subpar.
Frank went out of town the day after I made it and that cake sat on the counter all week until he got back.
He was so surprised to see it there still!
It is so unlike me to leave anything sweet sitting around.
I wasn't even remotely tempted by that tasteless, airy thing.
Homemade is the way to go.

Who am I??

Tonight we spent some time outside cleaning up the yard.
We picked up wormy apples from the ground
and picked apples off of the tree and threw them directly into the trash.
I have been harassing Frank to cut down the big old apple tree in our yard
but he isn't quite ready to do it.
I would like to plant a peach tree instead.
A very small peach tree.
He isn't against a peach tree but sees that old apple tree as an emergency food source I think.
He is all about emergency prep, after all.

That big old tree is still very full of apples.
We have many more sessions of yard cleaning ahead of us still.

I've been sitting in the living room with the windows open while I blog
and my feet are now frozen.
I'm thinking I might go put my frozen feet on sleeping, warm Frank and see how he reacts.
I'm so much fun!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I am awesome

This is a post to tell you how awesome I am.
Yes, it's a post about canning.
I know lots of people who do more canning than me and they don't feel the need to get on Facebook or write a blog about it like I do.
I know I'm a little silly that way.

But this time, really, I am awesome.
I will tell you why.

I canned chili.
Chili con carne.
And, here's the important part, I don't eat chili!
I hate beans and I can't tolerate things that are too spicy so chili really is out of the question.
But Frank loves the stuff.

Gee, what an amazing wife I am to spend a whole day making something just to make my husband happy.

(Is anyone agreeing with me yet?)

I have made big batches of chili before and frozen it in single serving sizes just for Frank
but the freezer is full and he really wanted some in long term storage so...since I spent the weekend away having a fun football get away, I told him we could spent Monday finally getting his chili made.

Frank filled his garden with all of the ingredients that he would need to make some homemade chili.
We have onions, peppers, hot peppers and tomatoes.  Tons of all of them.

After cutting and cleaning the produce that we needed for the chili, we continued cutting and cleaning until we had dealt with all of our currently ripe produce.
I ended up with several containers of diced tomatoes and lots of hot peppers for the freezer.

It was an all day project I can tell you.

And because we are the way we are and incapable of doing anything small, we made a quadruple batch of chili.
It ended up being 33 jars plus enough leftover to freeze 5 servings as well.

I have a hard time going through all the work of canning for 7 jars of something.
I mean, really, if I'm going to do all that work and effort, I want a bunch of stuff at the end of the day.

Someday I should try just canning a small batch of something.  
Maybe it wouldn't be so much work and I would find that I liked it.
And maybe I would be able to do some thing else in that day besides can.

It was a team effort since we had to chop and clean so many tomatoes, onions and peppers.
And then there was the 12 pounds of hamburger to brown.
This is only half of the hamburger and this is my ginormous canning pot.  It's a LOT of hamburger. My arms were killing me from all the stirring!

We even soaked and cooked our beans.
I have never soaked beans before so I learned something new!
Thank you Internet.

Anyway, we got it all done and had a good time doing it together.

I finished the last canner load after 10 PM

but it feels good to know that if I don't want to cook dinner
(and let's be honest, do I ever want to cook dinner?)
 I can send Frank to get a can of chili for himself and I am OFF THE HOOK!
And I can do this 33 times!

That right there makes it worth it.

And just for your viewing pleasure, here is a shot of what my kitchen looks like when I am canning:

I literally use every bowl and pan that I own and its a total disaster.
My kitchen still hasn't recovered.

Let's talk about some football!

Just to prove that I am living life to the fullest,
I went to Arizona for a quick weekend trip to see the BYU football game.

In the past (when I was a student at BYU to be precise) I was a huge BYU football fan.
I had season tickets and went to every home game.
I even went after having Branden and I took him with me in a baby pack.
I usually went with my brother who is THE biggest football fan.

I haven't been much of a football watcher in many years.
My husband doesn't care about football at all
and neither do my kids.
I always forced the kids to watch the super bowl because I felt it was un-American not to do so.
But I am back in Utah now and all of my family are huge BYU fans
so I've been feeling the pressure to get back on track with football watching.

Side not: the oldest child has become a football fan in the last few years.  No idea how it happened but it's good!

So, anyway, when my brother invited me to go to this game, I was definitely in.

My cousin, Delos, got us a box for this game and it was 

Perfect view, 50 yard line, comfy seats, a private bathroom (the biggest perk in my girl-who-hates-ladies-room-lines kind of way), and room to walk around when stressed about the game.
I felt so privileged and rich.

Except that we didn't order any food for the box because we are all cheapskates...
we just trudged down to the snack bar like all the regular people.
Now we all feel spoiled and want to watch all of our football games from the rich people seats.
Alas, this is probably a once in a blue moon kind of deal for me.

The game was really fun and exciting and stressful and frustrating and awesome.
We won.
That's why my list didn't end in "frustrating".

So many BYU fans were there!
It was LOUD

Even if we hadn't won, I would have had a great time.
Celebrating our win
I love love love spending time with my family and that includes the extended family.
I spent time with cousins, brother, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, and kids of cousins 
(what is that called? I can never remember) 

After the game, the BYU team walked around the perimeter of the field and gave high fives to the fans.
It was a really fun gesture and I loved watching it.

The 11 hour drive each way went by quite quickly as I chatted with Delos.
I hope he enjoyed it as much as I did.
It was a super fun weekend for me!