Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Day #31- A Walk around the Neighborhood

We had doughnuts at seminary this morning. I ate one.  Then I ate another.  And as I was nearing my normal "turn-around-and-go-back" point on my walk I remembered that fact.  Then I also remembered that I keep telling myself that someday I'll walk the whole loop in our subdivision.  Since it was such a gorgeous morning, and since there wasn't anything pressing on the schedule, today turned out to be that day!  It wasn't bad at all; maybe I'll do it again sometime.

Day #30 - Sewing

I've had several projects on the list that entail sewing, and I was hoping to get some of them done this month.  Just hoping apparently wasn't good enough, so maybe I better do some "planning" for November.  Anyway, one of the things that has become a higher priority is a scripture cover.  I use my scriptures, which is a good thing, and while the pages are in good shape, there's a flap on the cover that I've glued in place a few times.  I figured it needed something more than just glue to protect it.
So, I went searching for a tutorial and found a good one:  Scripture Cover by Delia Creates.  Then I went through the fabric stash looking for something that would work.  Fortunately there was something there.
I think it turned out nicely.  I couldn't find a button or elastic to match, and since I didn't want to take a trip to the store, I made it without the closure, which suits my purposes just fine.  And it was easy enough to do that maybe I'll make another one with the button someday.  (Don't hold your breath!!!)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Day #29 - Bringing the Photo Album Up-to-date

The grandchildren are growing (both in size and numbers) and the children are continuing to have new adventures.  It was time once again to make sure the photo album reflects that.

Our college students!
(We'll give one of them a few years before making her actually study and take exams, but she can enjoy the football game now.)
Our missionary!  He made it to Angola!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day #28 - More Experimenting with Food

Last year I asked my daughters-in-law what some of their favorite holiday traditions were and one of them mentioned that every October there were three foods they made: doughnuts, pumpkin bars, and caramel apples.  I thought it would be fun to add those traditions to our family's celebration but never got around to it.  When we spoke with Michelle this afternoon she told us how much fun she had helping Brad and Cody make and eat their caramel apples, and that was the motivation to finally try at least one of recipes ourselves!
Once we cut it open, it all fell apart, so I guess I need to visit Cody some October and learn how to do it properly.  However, it was still very delicious!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day #27 - Southern Cooking

We've lived in Florida for 12 years now.  (Wow, that doesn't seem possible!)  And, technically, South Florida isn't really "The Deep South" but there are a couple of southern foods we've never really tried.  This month we did.

When we first moved here I figured we should give grits a try.  Not knowing that there was a huge difference between the instant version and the "real" version, I bought a box of instant grits.  I thought that having only single servings of different varieties would be a great way to sample that southern food.  I thought wrong.  I tried a couple of them, took one bite, and threw the rest out.  Sorry Quaker.

A couple of months ago we had one of Wayne's co-workers from North Carolina over for dinner and she gave us a package of "Crook's Corner Stoneground Grits" - the real deal.   On the back were four recipes and we decided to give them a try.  You know what?  I really do like grits, particularly when they're used as a base for something else.  This Shrimp and Grits was delicious!
Regular Grits, Cheese Grits, the shrimp mixture, Shrimp and Grits
Another food I've never really been interested in trying was okra.  However, the next recipe in the Columbia Restaurant Cookbook was Okra Stew Cuban Style, so we gave it a try.  It wasn't as bad (read slimy) as I expected it to be, but we won't bother making it again either.  If you want to try it, let me know and I'll send you the recipe.
By the way, those round balls are plantain dumplings. This stew was definitely an interesting combination of flavors and textures.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day #26 - Preparing for Halloween

It's Chili-Cook-Off time. (Well, it was going to be until Hurricane Sandy changed plans.) Here's the link to the recipe we like to use - Meaty Mushroom Chili - although this year we're going to try it in the crock pot.

One of the many projects I'm working on now is cleaning out old emails.  I came across some Halloween haikus we did for family night a couple of years ago.  Thought you might enjoy some of them.  Find more of them here.  Have fun celebrating Halloween next week!

    Halloween Haiku #13
Skeletons, candy,
Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts and ghouls.
It is Halloween!

   Halloween Haiku #17
Oh, what a delight!
How I love Halloween night!
Though it is a fright!

Dad’s Great Costume
The doorbell rings twice.
A father opens the door.
Children flee screaming

Ode to Edgar Allen Poe
Halloween’s dark night,
Razor blade in apple’s bite,
Ends in ghoulish fright.

Pumpkin Guts and Glory
Cut the pumpkin top.
Scoop out the seeds and damp slime.
Jack-o-lantern scowls.

Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins sitting still
Soaking the midnight moonshine
In the autumn breeze
25 Years of Trick-or-Treating
A cowboy or dog,
Charizard, turtle or cat,
Knight or astronaut,

Pirate or princess,
Mario, wolf or wizard,
5 headed monster,

Darth Vadar, ninja,
Don’t forget Dad’s googly eyes -
Fun costumes galore.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day #25 - More Cracks and Crevices

If you want pictures, go to the original "Cracks and Crevices" post. Thanks to your wonderful advice, now the kitchen sink has been re-caulked and looks pretty again.  I also remembered to caulk around the shower faucet, which we had to remove earlier this month in order to repair the leak.  I'm so proud of my brilliant husband!

And if you ever have to do that un-fun chore (which I hope you don't!), here's a video that was very helpful - Ramona's Plumber. The advice to have the new cartridge and cartridge puller handy before you turn off the water was brilliant.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day #24 - Household Binder Revisited

One of the projects that I've been working on in bits and pieces this month is updating our Family Information Binder.  You can read more about it here. We've made a lot of changes in the last year or two - moving will do that - and it was woefully out of date.  Now it isn't!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day #23 - Long-Distance Parenting

We may be "empty-nesters" but we still want to be involved in our children's lives.  Today was a day to do just that.  These few items may not have been on the to-do list very long, but they still needed to be done.  
First up was figuring out how I was going to vote on the different issues our state faces, and then sending links and recommendations so the college kids can make their own educated decisions.  P.S.  Don't forget to actually fill out and mail in your ballot by next week!
Then it was reviewing GE and major requirements and giving input for registering for Winter Semester classes.  They did just fine picking classes on their own, but it's always nice to have a second opinion.
Finally, I didn't expect it to be such a hard thing, but knowing Elder Steven was flying half-way across the world was difficult.  Of course, everything turned out just great, and he landed safely in Luanda, Angola, but my mother-heart sure wished it could have accompanied him on what might have been a stressful journey, particularly since I knew he was companion-less for the last leg of it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Day #22 - More Little Things

Amongst the regular routine of Monday chores, I was able to cross off a few things, including:
  • Finding some information and mailing it to a friend, along with a belated "Thank You" note
  • Clearing off (and actually cleaning) the kitchen "desk" counter 
  • Organizing another drawer
  • Vacuuming the stairs
However, we also actually FINISHED a project - our series of family home evening lessons comparing the 2001 and 2012 versions of "For the Strength of Youth."  I feel badly we didn't finish it before the kids left, so I hope they reviewed it on their own, but even though I'm way past the teenage years, I'm still grateful for inspired guidance and direction from living prophets.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day #21 - A Not-So-Regular Sunday

It was Stake Conference weekend, and that meant a lot of meetings.  We miss living 2 minutes from the stake center!  So, after getting home after 11 PM on Saturday, we were out the door the next morning by 7:30 in order to make it to the stake center an hour away on time for choir practice.  Then we stayed after the general session for the "new member" session, since organizing that meeting was one of Wayne's high council responsibilities.  However, last Sunday our ward was split and now he's in the bishopric.  Being released was bittersweet, as it usually is.  On the way home we detoured to the hospital so he and the bishop could give someone a blessing.  We'll look at the bright side and be glad there were no starving kids clamoring in the car!  After a belated dinner of leftovers (which were still quite delicious), he had a couple of interviews to take care of.
Amazingly, there was still time to input another family from the Hug Descendants Book into PAF.  We're glad this family had one child and not fifteen!  However, because our new ward isn't recognized by NewFamilySearch yet, that piece of the project (double checking our information with what's in NFS and adding what's missing) will have to wait, but I'm still going to count it as progress on the never-ending to-do list because otherwise we'd have done nothing.  I can't let that happen!  Is it too much to hope that next Sunday can feel a little more relaxing?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Day #20 - A Regular Saturday

Weekends are for family, not to-do lists, although we did cross off one project - finally getting the stereo/tv system working properly since adding another component a few weeks ago (needed to order a different cable). And we also tried out a new restaurant and crossed a park and a shopping center off the list of "things to do in Palm Beach County."  It's been a nice weekend so far, and we still have Stake Conference to look forward to!
Mr. Zhang's Roast Duck 
Statues around the shopping plaza
Margate Park in Wellington

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day #19 - More Vacation

I'm still working away at whittling down the to-do list, but it's not very exciting.  It's too bad there wasn't room in our car to take the drawers and cupboards that need organizing with me.  However, sitting in luxury and getting caught up on some reading was on the calendar for this week.  And that's okay.  Maybe it will give me some motivation to tackle those projects next week!

Fontainbleu Hotel - Miami Beach
The view from our balcony -
which was next to the Intracoastal.
The Tresor Tower
Some of the pools on the property
The boardwalk between the hotels and the beach
It was absolutely gorgeous!
Walking along the beach near sunset
One final sunrise

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Day #18 - Hodge Podge

Today's little chores were just that, a hodge podge of miscellaneous things that have been on the list for a while, including making a phone call to get some information, getting my hair cut, doing the last bit to organize one of the kitchen drawers,
Now that it's empty, what should I put in there?
going through the voting information so we'll be ready to vote intelligently, and making the last of the recipes on the back of the grits package.

None of that is very exciting, but I also made a new computer screen background, so here you go:
Is it any wonder I'm tempted to spend all day at the computer desk?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Day #17 - Curiosity

This isn't really a post of finishing something on the to-do list, but I did add something to my mental list Monday night, and now I can stop thinking about it.  Samuel was born, and I was curious to see how much like newborn Wyatt he looked.

What do you think?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day #15 - Vacation Time (and Day #16)

Wayne had a conference in Miami and invited me to tag along.  So, while he's cooped up in the convention center during the day, I get to enjoy the beautiful hotel.  It doesn't seem quite fair.  
So, while I was admiring the view from our balcony, I also worked on deleting pictures (the ones that have already been saved elsewhere) from my camera's memory cards.  Aren't I blessed?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Day #14 - Perils of Procrastination

One of the things on my list was to buy quinoa at Costco.  However, when I finally got around to doing that, they were all out.  That has happened before, so I wonder why I don't just buy something when I see it - probably because I don't want to be an impulse buyer.  Anyway, instead of plain quinoa they had this rice-quinoa mixture, so I bought a bag of that.
 We tried it with Mushroom Chicken for dinner and it was delicious!  So, while I still need to learn some lessons about not procrastinating, at least this instance turned out okay. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Day #13 - Video Collection

Saturday was filled with too many "current" activities - a trip to the airport plus a couple of church meetings - to be able to find time to cross anything off the "trying to get to" list.  However, we did make progress on a project we've been working on for a long time.  Many years ago we taped several TV movies so we could watch them at our leisure, mainly because the Sunday movies were ones we wanted to see, but not on Sunday.

So, we enjoyed watching Steven Seagal save the day once again, and I even indexed a few batches of draft registrations at the same time.

There's only one more VHS tape to transfer, so I guess this project will be finished before we know it.  Any idea what movie we get to watch next?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Day #12 - More Pictures

A while ago, Wayne brought home the digital frame from his office because he wanted new pictures put on it.  Sometimes it's frustrating when something that should only take a few minutes takes much longer, but persistence + patience = a completed job.

Now instead of looking at a black screen or outdated pictures, he can remember our fun summer vacation!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Day #11 -Yummy Halloween Food

Today's "projects to finish" aren't very exciting, just several little chores that need doing every few months, and today was the day - things like vacuuming under the couch, cleaning a few baseboards and washing the bath rugs.  In addition, I recently found an unpublished blog post; now it's published!    

Okay, I'll start writing this today (11/1/11), and then maybe next year I'll remember to post it early in October!  Well, I almost forgot again, but at least mid-October is better than November again!

Here are some darling ideas for Yummy Halloween Food - found here.
They include:

Orange Pumpkin Pancakes with Black Cinnamon Syrup & Spiders
A Spooky Lunch (muffin tin - cheese stick ghosts, mummy hot dogs, candy in cauldron, banana ghosts, kiwi Frankenstein, bones and blood)
Jack-o-lantern Quesadillas
Tentacle Pot Pies
Jack-o-lantern Burgers
M&M's Pumpkin Cake
Spiderweb Cookies
Spider Rice Krispie Treats

And another site with a lot of ideas for Easy Halloween Party Food - found here.
They include:

Mummy Dogs
Monster Jaws (apple wedges with almond teeth)
Bones n’ Blood (breadsticks and marinara sauce)
Candy Corn Pizza (cheddar and mozarella pizza)
Cheesy Fingers (string cheese with slivered almond)
Dirt n’ Worms (chocolate pudding and gummy worms)
Pumpkin Sammies (sandwiches)
Nutty Ghosts (Nutter Butter cookies)
Witches Wands (dipped pretzel rods)
Spidey Cookies (oreos and licorice)
Spider Web Dip
Slimy Worms on a Bun (hot dogs in bbq sauce)
Witch Hats (kiss on cookie)
Candy Corn Sugar Cookies
Skeleton Cookies
Oreo Bats
Monster Munch
Caramel Toffee Dip
Halloween Cookie Pops
Candycorn Cupcakes
Autumn Pretzel Turtles
Chocolate-Dipped Owls
Caramel Apples
Honey Caramel Apples
Caramel Apple Cider
Shrunken Apple Heads
Mason Jar Lanterns
Glow in the Dark Drinks
Mad Scientist Potion