Monday, September 28, 2009

So, I have these pants from American Apparel that don't fit me anymore, since I've lost almost 15 lbs (woot woot!). A put them on, as a joke mostly, since he's lost almost 40 lbs (!!!) but they actually look good! They are the kind that are not specific to any gender, just grey denim pants, sort of slim, but not necessarily skinny. I'm trying to convince him to adopt them, but he's not totally into it. It's just funny, that I'm handing down pants to my husband. Ha.

i'm going to jackson

Actually, I just got back, from Jackson Hole. It was the annual trip for A's family. Only about half of us were there, but it was still great. Usually we go in June, and it is almost always cold an rainy. September in Jackson is beautiful. My only complaint is that there were multiple fires going on, which sometimes made it hard to see the Tetons, and made the air smell and taste yucky in the mornings.

The weather was perfect, cool in the mornings, toasty in the afternoon, and chilly at night. The leaves were changing color, and it was just all-around blissful. We always stay at this place called Moulton Ranch, about twenty minutes out of Jackson Hole, and next door the the most photographed barn in the world. It was amazing to wake up, look out the window, and see nothing but golden wheat, sometimes a few buffalo, and the Tetons. Marshmallows by the fire, hikes to secluded lakes, stunning views... I almost wish I lived there. Then I think about the insanely high cost of living.

I just thought of another complaint: mice. We caught three mice while staying at the Moulton Ranch. The first day, a mouse got into our bag of food we had just brought in, and ate through a bag of chips. I was up all night to the sound of mice, or maybe just one mouse. It was bad. The second day we set three traps, baited with chocolate. We promptly caught a mouse, or at least A did, reset the trap, and caught another. We found the last one this morning. It was tiny, and very sad.

On a side note, we got some fresh Idaho potatoes (for free!) in Jackson. Right when we got home, I chopped some up and made some delicious oven fries, complete with fry sauce. Here's how I did it:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees,
Wash and cut 4 medium potatoes,
Soak them in water for 10 minutes or so,
Meanwhile, mix some mayo, ketchup, and barbecue sauce,
Pat the potatoes dry, and toss with some crushed garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper,
Spread on a baking sheet with a silicone mat, I used a Silpat, and try not to overlap the potatoes,
Bake for 15 minutes, then give them a turn, then bake for another 10 minutes.
Dip in your fry sauce, and enjoy eating your delicious and almost guilt-free fries. Yum.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

just say no.

So this week has been busy, stressful, and just hard. I hardly got any hours at work, spent most of my time at school, and have been trying to get this whole church choir thing together. When the Bishop asked me to be the director, he asked me if I had time. How do you say no to the Bishop? Well, I guess "I'm just a girl who can't say no," and I think it comes from my mother, who is always busy serving others.

Today I found out the the usual pianist is having surgery next week and will be out of commission for 6 weeks. All the other possible pianists are people I was counting on to sing. I finally gave in and asked one of them. She was very kind, and agreed, even though I am asking a lot of her at very short notice.

Now, I'm making phone calls, reminding people about the practice. Half of them don't answer. I just got off the phone with one woman who told me that she's decided to simplify her life, and that she's decided that ward choir is one of the things she's cutting. "I'm sorry, but no." I thanked her and hung up the phone, and broke into tears. A few are still leaking out even as I type this.

My first reaction is, well how hard is it to give a half hour on a Sunday morning, singing praises to the God you love? I'm the one doing all the work, all you have to do is show up! My second reaction is, why didn't I say no? Why am I killing myself over this? Am I spreading myself too thin, trying to do so many things that I end up just doing a mediocre job at all of them? I'm having a bit of a crisis, and I'm not even half done with phone calls.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

marta's "healthy" cookies

I was craving a treat tonight, so here's what I whipped up:

1/4 cup Brummel & Brown yogurt/margarine spread
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
2 egg whites
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 scoops milled flax
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks**
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Preheat oven to 375, and line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone liners.

Combine butter, brown sugar, and applesauce in a large bowl. Add vanilla, egg, and egg whites, beating till combined.

Add flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, and flax. Fold in chocolate chunks and almonds.

Scoop dough onto cookie sheet using a number scoop. (I made mine extra big to be almost meal-worthy, or at least two cookies worth, because seriously, I'm going to eat two at a time anyway.)Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, and eat several while the chocolate is still melty.

*I actually use plain whole wheat flour, but remove two tablespoons per cup.
**I used less than two cups simply because that was all I had. By all means, use as much chocolate as you want!

Note: This cookie dough is sticky, be aware! Also, they taste like healthy cookies, but if you are trying to eat healthy and dying for a treat, they will taste delicious! Let me know if you make them, what you think, and any adjustments you make, enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

christmas music in september?

I may have mentioned, but I am the new choir director at church. We were scheduled to perform this upcoming Sunday, but through a series of events (namely, not having access to the library of music, not having a time or place to practice, and not having the list of interested members) that is not going to happen. Instead, our first practice will be on Sunday morning.

I am very scared. This is a lot of pressure, doing something totally out of my comfort zone. I can wave my arm around, and even direct a cutoff, but have no idea how to do the fancy directing, or bring people in and stuff. Luckily, it is for church, so hopefully I'll have some help from up top in this new calling.

So, as far as music selection, I've jumped right into Christmas songs. This is because while I'll be in town this upcoming Sunday, we'll be in the Tetons the next week, General Conference is the next week, and then I'll be in Germany the next two weeks. I already feel like a slacker for being so absentee, but what else can I do? I may have to call an assistant to run rehearsals while I'm gone. Hopefully it will work out.

During church last Sunday, I sneaked into library and perused the music. Most of it I had no idea what it was, or I knew for sure it was not what I wanted. I came out with Set II of the Alfred Bert carols, with "Jesu Parvule" in mind, as well as "Were You There." Tonight, I went to my parents' house for advice on music and the order of the Christmas program. It was great! I love sitting around the piano with my dad, and both my parents have a lot of experience with Christmas programs, so their advice was very helpful. Here is the tentative plan for the program:

What are the Signs
Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus
The Angel Gabriel
Once in Royal David's City
In the Bleak Midwinter
The First Noel
Jesu Parvule
Away in a Manger
Mary's Lulluby
Silent Night
Were You There?
Oh Come All Ye Faithful

I know this is a lot. Some of these will be congregational, some small groups, some by the choir, some solos. Also, I haven't decided for sure on any of them.

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I want

a puppy.
to be done with school.
to go on vacation.
a house of my own.
to relax.
more time.
to read.
new duds.
to live.
to be.

Yes, that is what I want.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In which we DIY a table...

A bought a tile table very similar to this one at the DI at the beginning of the summer for around $30. We had been in search of patio furniture for awhile, but hadn't found anything inexpensive and nice, so we came up with an alternative: we would paint and re-tile this table. Now, I forgot to take any before pictures, so you'll have to deal with during and after.

Here's how things went down.
We completely disassembled the table, removing the middle tile piece. A sanded the top part that was a light colored wood, and stained it a dark brown. We then painted the side pieces and legs a bright royal blue, and chose coordinating blue tiles from Lowe's. The tile cost between $70 and $80. We wanted accent tiles that looked like the beautiful ceramics you can get in Mexico, so we went to a fancy tile store and asked about them. Turns out most tile is 4 1/4 inches, and we needed 4 inch to match the pre-existing tile size. Luckily the fancy store had a whole bunch of sample tiles, in groups of two and three, that were 4 inches and exactly what we were looking for, and they let us take them for free since they were from discontinued lines!

So here are some pictures of the progress. I laid all the tiles down just to get an idea of what it would look like. The table pieces that are grey are just those that I had primed but hadn't painted yet.

For chairs, we have three library chairs that my mom has collected from the DI. I want to paint them yellow, and make some cool all-weather cushions for them. I promise to post the end product!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

American Falls and Round Fries

Yesterday I went on my first business trip, ever. I was pretty excited about it. We went to American Falls, Idaho, which is about 20 minutes outside of Pocatello. We were supposed to leave the office at 5:45 a.m., so I was going to have to leave my house at 5:00. Well, I woke up at 3:30 a.m., then slept through my 4:00 alarm not to awaken till 5:18 a.m., at which point I jumped out of bed, showered as fast as I could, but left my hair dirty in a ponytail, threw on some clothes, and left. I got out into my car, turned it on, and the gas light was on. I ran back inside, asked the sleeping A if I could take his truck, to which he sleepily agreed, adding that he hoped he wouldn't need anything from it that day. I hurried all the way from Murray to Kaysville, a trip that takes 45 minutes. I think I made it there around 6:05 or so. Luckily my boss had been getting things together and wasn't all the way ready to leave when I got there anyway.

So when we reached American Falls, we met with some city staff, the mayor, and a councilmember. After our meeting and getting some lunch at Lucky's, the local diner, we then went on a walk through town. (For lunch I had a chicken ranch pita with round fries, which are like cottage fries.) I'll have to post some pictures later, since I don't have any on my computer. In the future, when I don't have an impending 6 page paper on Descartes to (put off) write, I'll give some details on American Falls, its history, current condition, and ideas I have for what would make it great.

After our walk through, we went back to Lucky's and did some brainstorming over dinner and ice cream before heading back to city hall to meet with a citizen's advisory committee dedicated to Downtown American Falls. (For dinner I had spaghetti and meatballs, with a garlic pita. Dessert was rocky road on a sugar cone. I'm still thinking about that sugar cone.)That meeting went really well, and we discovered some good ideas among the people there. Like I said, when I have more time, I'll post more details for those interested.

The meeting ended around 8:30 p.m., at which point we headed home. I rode with my boss in her snazzy BMW convertible, and we munched on licorice and chatted to stay awake for the 3+ hour drive. I got home around midnight or so, very tired from a long day. The whole day my pants had been falling down, perhaps the only pitfall of having lost some weight, plus got a little sunburn on my neck, and then it was chilly the whole day, inside and outside, and I hadn't brought a jacket. I mostly just felt ill prepared since I had overslept so much. I'm also a bit concerned I have a blood clot from sitting so much, but I'm not sure. Other that that, the trip was great. I can't wait to post about the project!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A week in review...

So the week really picked up on Thursday. We went to the football game, it was great! A smuggled in some hot dogs (fat free)and we were all decked out in our Utes gear. Long story short, we won!

Friday was also great, and probably my favorite day of the week. (Pictures Above) I had to work in the morning, but came home a bit early so we could get ready to head up to the canyon. We put together some tinfoil dinners of chicken and brown rice, with a side of seasoned vegetables. The vegetables were far better than the chicken. Dessert was the usual dutch oven peach cobbler, cake mix and sprite included. It is often snubbed, but is in reality delicious. Millcreek canyon was beautiful. It was cool and even sprinkled a little bit. We played cards while our food was cooking, and just had a good time in general. We had such a nice time that I think we'll be doing it a lot more often.

Saturday included some of our usual routine, mainly going to Costco for samples. Unfortunately I think they are phasing out the key lime pie, my favorite. We also spent a long time out in the garden picking tomatoes. We are in the process of drying all the cherry tomatoes, and we blanched and froze all the roma, cream sausage, and amish paste tomatoes. Saturday evening we went to the Desert Star, a theater that does spoof comedy shows. We saw Snooty and the Beast and had some surprisingly delicious pesto pizza. The show was funny, and the company (A's parents) was great. It was a good night.

Today we went the baby blessing of our latest niece. She slept the whole time and was so cute in her poofy white dress. Lunch after was great. We then enjoyed a leisurely nap, and then went out with A's brother and his cute wife and little girl. We drove around this cool neighborhood in West Valley, where all the houses were designed by the same architect and are very modern. Some of them are a bit rundown, but others were really well maintained and had neat features like interior courtyards and "conversation pits." Now we're just relaxing, looking forward to a holiday tomorrow with my family.

Life is (still) good.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

our laid back anniversary

Yesterday was great. We started off the day standing in line to get tickets to the University of Utah vs. Utah State game on Thursday. Yes, it was waiting in line, but it was great, especially because we got tickets!

Around lunch time, A had to work, and I had a little homework to do, so we took a break from our anniversary for that. In the afternoon we went and saw the movie Up! at the dollar theater. We couldn't have picked a better movie. I cried almost the whole movie, tears of sadness, of "oh that is so cute!" and of happiness. It was a wonderful story of life's adventures, relationships, love, and marriage. Really, the perfect anniversary movie.

After the movie, we did a few errands, and actually went to look at a project car. We probably won't get it, but we just had fun laughing and joking on the way to and from West Valley.

Dinner was at home. I made some teriyaki-pineapple pork roast with brown rice and green beans, served up on my fanciest dishes, which happen to be pink depression glass. Thanks to my mom, I even have some matching pink stemware. We even splurged and had Coke, which we never do. Dessert was meh, I whipped up some banana cream pudding and served it with sliced bananas on top. I sort of forgot to plan dessert.

Now, we may have had a laid-back anniversary day, but we plan on celebrating all week. This weekend will include one night of dutch oven in the canyon, one evening at Desert Star, and we'll be going out to dinner sometime this week too, along with the football game on Thursday. In other words, we're trying to do something fun everyday this week.

Today's adventure? A leisurely bike ride. Well, I rode my bike. A rode his little electric scooter; goggles, helmet and all. It was no Disneyland, but it was delightful.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...