grammy camp highlights - visiting the farm

Grandpa was so excited that the kids were staying for a couple of days - now he'd have a chance to take them to the farm! They had so much fun - it was the highlight of the weekend. Grandpa Evan and Grandma Jean (my parents) worked hard that evening to make some special memories for the Bailee, above, Brookie and Carter.

It was a perfect summer evening - warm and peaceful (except for the sound of the chirping crickets - a sound that Grandma Jean loves). As we walked by the barn - which is one of the most photographed scenes in our valley - Grandpa told the kids about how one end of the barn was about to fall to the ground, and how Grandpa and the neighbors helped rebuild and re-support the east end of the barn.

The first stop was Matt and Michelle's chicken coop. (Our cousins Matt and Michelle live on the farm and take care of things.) They have a huge garden for fresh vegetables and chickens for fresh eggs. Grandma Jean told the kids about her memories of gathering eggs when she was their age.

Grandpa fed the chickens and went into the coop to get an egg for each kid. The brown rooster was really cock-a-doodling (I don't know the correct terminology, though my parents were both raised on farms I wasn't and don't know much about anything.) Carter stood back a bit, not sure about that rooster.

Pictures on the tractor. Carter, who loves trucks, four wheelers, and farm equipment (his 2nd birthday party was a John Deere party), loved pretending to drive the tractor.

Brookie was so cute with Carter - excitedly explaining things to him and helping him. She's wearing the new cute school top we bought that afternoon.

Wow, riding on the tailgate of the pickup. That only happens when Grandpa's driving and only in the big field. Boy was that fun...and scary!

Another fun tradition - sitting on Grandpa's lap and driving the truck! All three kids got a turn. That sure takes me back to when I was a kid.

Tromping through Matt & Michelle's garden, looking for really red tomatoes. The highlight was picking their own ears of corn on the cob and taking them home to eat for dinner.
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[ Gordo says it's good ]

Driving home from work I was thinking about fresh corn on the cob and wondered if the local fruit stand is open - so I drove to 400 North and 50 West and sure enough, the open sign was out and I could see the big wooden tables covered with bushel baskets of tomatoes, zucchini, onions, beets (regret I didn't buy some beets - they still had dirt on them and big beet-greens stems). And there at the entrance...lots of corn. So I loaded up. While bagging my corn, (silk heads down and stems up as directed so as not to rip the bag), I got a kick out of the brown cardboard handwritten sign that said, "Please bring your own bags. Next time." Which I plan to do.

When I got home, I started a quick casserole using good ole hamburger which I fried up with chopped onion, green pepper, and diced zucchini. I added a can of diced tomatoes (saving the garden tomatoes for slicing) and 3/4 of a bottle of makes-any-kind-of-pasta-taste-pretty-darn-good sauce called Newman's Own Sockarooni. While it cooked I got two big pots of water boiling and dumped in a l-pound box of my favorite pasta - the really-quick-cooking Barilla Farfalle Minis (little bowties).

I drained the pasta - there was a lot so I put the pasta into a extra large bowl. Then I mixed into the warm pasta a 16-ounce carton of cottage cheese and a 16-ounce carton of light sour cream. Stirred it all up and added some salt and pepper and a bit of garlic salt 'til it tasted good.

{ NOTE - I only used half of the pasta mixture for my dinner dish - the other half went into the frig and will taste good on another night with chicken or something. }

Next I put the casserole together in a 'vintage' pyrex casserole dish that I got for my wedding (36 years ago on Sept. 4). I put a layer of the extra sauce on the bottom of the dish, then about a 2 inch layer of the mixed-up pasta, then a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese, then I poured all of the hamburger-sauce-veggie mix on top. Into the oven it went, and while it baked I went outside to take pictures of Scott, Mike, and Gordo practicing their climbing skills by going up the ladder to our roof and repelling down the side of the house. Photos tomorrow.

When they finally came in to eat, we cooked the corn and ate the now, somewhat overbaked casserole. Gordo, whose Mom is a gourmet cook, said it was good, and that's when I decided to post it on my blog in case you have some fresh corn, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Yum.
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{ possibilities }

"The question is not who is going to let me: it's who is going to stop me."
quote Ann Rand - graphic design Rhonna Farrer

I'm still not sure why this quote makes me want to put on my running shoes and fly out the back door

(when, in reality, I can't even run anymore).

Just thinking...
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Naomi Peak hike

A little info. from utahtrails.com: Naomi Peak (9,980 feet) stands higher than everything else in the Bear River Range and the Mount Naomi Wilderness. For the first quarter mile, the trail to White Pine Lake and Naomi Peak are the same path. At a junction of trails, a sign points west to Naomi Peak. Entering a predominantly coniferous forest--pine, spruce, fir--the trail gains altitude, eventually breaking out into open meadows. At 1.25 miles, the trail reaches a rocky ledge overlooking a subalpine basin, and continues to a saddle, then up a rocky ridge where, at about two miles, the summit of Naomi appears. Trees now are stunted by harsh living conditions. At about the three miles, the trail tops out at the divide of the Bear River Range, a sign marks the boundary of the Mount Naomi Wilderness, and the peak is not far to the north. Not blatantly obvious, the path does reach the summit, and the route, if not the trail, in almost all circumstances, is plain to see. As with, it seems, all "highest points," the rewards of being there are worth the effort.

Scott and I decided to hike to Naomi Peak - the highest point in the Mt. Naomi wilderness area of Cache National Forest.

We started at Tony Grove Lake - about 30 minutes up Logan Canyon. Tony Grove is one of my favorite places - just walking around the lake or up the gentle slope beyond it is hike enough for me.

But I've always wanted to make the trek to Naomi Peak - and Tuesday was a perfect summer day. Scott had the day off and everything worked out - so we were on the trail before I could think twice.

Scott is getting ready for a BIG hike next week - hiking the "Grand" in the Teton mountains. So this was a good warm up for him. He's in such good shape that he practically ran up the trail. It took him about 3 1/2 hours round trip - me, 5 1/2. (I sent him ahead and he waited on top - then I left the top before he did and he passed me on the way back.) We had stretches of time here and there where we hiked together.

I absolutely loved the wild flowers. They are a bit past their prime, and it was pretty dry on the mountain, but the fields of flowers were still breathtaking.

Yea, the wildflowers and spending the day with Scott made the exhausting 10 miles worth it. I know the sign says 3.8 miles one way. But I think someone miscalculated. It's really more like 10. And the trail back is actually longer than the trial up. And, I don't know how Mother Nature does this, but it truly was uphill both ways. I'm just sayin'.
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summer bridal shower

Just wanted to share some photos from the lovely bridal shower for the bride of our cousin Tyler. My sister-in-law Jill went over the top with the most beautiful food, favors, decorations, and little extras that Jill does so beautifully. I call her Jill-Martha. She's amazing.

It was a perfect summer evening and so fun to relax and visit with Scott's aunts and cousins.

Melanie, mother of the groom; Scott's sisters Patty and Jill; me; the bride, Cami; and mother of the bride, Stacy.

Darling tissue paper flowers decorated the tables and landscaping.

Little cousin Ella couldn't hold herself back - she had to help Cami open every gift.

Marilyn and her darling daughter-in-law Jessica.

When I arrived to help with the shower, Jill gave me and the other 'hostesses' aprons she had made for us to wear. They were beautiful - I wish I could show you every detail and the perfect stitching. Jill is an expert seamstress. Our initials were monogrammed on the pockets.
Mary and Patty (Scott's sisters) in their aprons.

Jill creates the most beautiful invitations, flyers, favors, cards, inserts, booklets etc. She does the graphic design on her computer and then cuts and pastes and ribbons them to exquisite-ness. This is the favor she made with delicious delicate sugar cookies and mints.

Jill is also a wonderful cook - she baked cookies, cupcakes, and individual Boston cream pies for the shower treats. She make chicken salad sandwiches and punch. What did I do??? Just a bowl of fruit. I'll always volunteer to be on the committee with Jill!

I regret that I forgot to take photos when the food was first served. It was beautiful.

Yes, Jill made the tissue flowers - and the table runners under them.
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words that ring true

I like this analogy from church this morning. I have traveled to both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. When I heard the words below, I pictured the scenes in my mind and remembered them to be exactly as described.

When I look at myself and my actions, I know they are also exactly as described. Lots to think about on this Sabbath eve.

There are two seas in Palestine. One, the Sea of Galilee, is fresh, and fish are in it. Splashes of green adorn its banks. Trees spread their branches over it and stretch out their thirsty roots to sip of its healing waters. . . . The River Jordan feeds this sea with sparkling water from the hills. So it laughs in the sunshine. And men build their houses near to it, birds build their nests, and every kind of life is happier because it is there.

The River Jordan flows on south into another sea. Here is no splash of fish, no fluttering leaf, no song of birds, no children's laughter. Travelers choose another route, unless on urgent business. The air hangs heavy above its water, and neither man nor beast nor fowl will drink.

What makes this mighty difference in these neighbour seas? Not the River Jordan. It empties the same good water into both. Not the soil in which they lie, not the country round about.

This is the difference: the Sea of Galilee receives but does not keep the Jordan. For every drop that flows into it another drop flows out. The giving and receiving go on in equal measure. The Dead Sea is shrewder - hoarding its income jealously. It will not be tempted into any generous impulse. Every drop it gets, it keeps.

The Sea of Galilee gives and lives. This other sea gives nothing. It is named the Dead. There are two kinds of people in this world. There are two seas in Palestine.

--quoted by Bruce Barton in The Man Nobody Knows


[ Scrapbook Challenge ]

Here's my blog post for the Adornit August Scrapbook Challenge...........

Summertime and the livin’ is easy…yeah right! If you’re like me (Debbie Raymond, Adornit editor), you’re in a panic right now because it’s AUGUST 10 and the days of summer are flying by. Hmmm, August 10 - that reminds me of something…oh yes, it’s challenge time!

The theme for this month’s “10 in 2010” Scrapbook Challenge is Everyday Giggles. I’m challenging you to scrap about what makes you laugh. I want you to stop and think about the funny things your friends and family say, or the cute things your kids do, or the funny way your pet acts. Believe me, if you don’t record these humorous moments, the memories will be gone.

The challenge requirements for August are:



dimensional flower

These elements are required on your layout. You have until Sept. 10 to create your page and post it to Adornit's Facebook page so we can all enjoy! (And I can enter you in the prize drawing.)

I asked my scrapping friend Nikki Barton to create some layouts for this month’s challenge. She did an awesome job – I was so tickled when I saw her pages! You’ll see that each layout includes the three challenge requirements.

I knew Nikki’s photos would be perfect for this month because of her extra-cute little daughter Avrie…and her extra-funny husband Derek. How cute are those photos!

You can see from Nikki’s layouts, which are made with mostly challenge kit products, that this month’s challenge kit is adorable!

Notice that Nikki used rub-ons, stickers, and dimensional flowers in this special layout about Avrie. The kit has papers and embellishments in pink, blue, and lots of brown – color combinations that everyone loves. You’ll find great basics in this kit and a couple of special extras (like my favorite rub-on!). August’s kit will include all of the fun Adornit product you see in this photo. At only $12.30 plus shipping, the kit will give you at least three layouts with supplies left over for cards and tags.

With the kit, you’ll get a color copy of the sketch shown above –so you can make your first layout in a jiffy! I’ve learned that once you create your fist layout, the creative juices start flowing, and it’s easy to keep scrapping!

So, I challenge you to think about what makes you giggle and make a layout!


{ summer reads }

I sat on my back patio this morning and read a couple more chapters of The Namesake - the fiction book I'm reading right now. Because I love book recommendations from others, I'm going to list the books that I'm working on. However, I do this against my better judgment because everyone has different opinions about what's a good book. Oh well, here goes......

{ just finished }
Linchpin by Seth Godin. I always have a self-help book on my stack of current reads, and this book is one of my favorites ever. I have long admired Seth Godin - his blog was one of the first blogs I ever read - back when no one knew what the word blog meant (remember that?!) As a marketing genius he just "gets it." And he's prolific, with lots of books, free online articles, This book's sub-title "Are You Indispensable?" can apply to your job, your volunteer work, your family - anything and everything you do. Inspiring.

{ currently reading - fiction }
The Namesake. I've read a few books written about and/or by people from India; I especially liked Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan. This book, by Jhumpa Lahiri, is about the trials and triumphs of a young student and his wife who come to America from Calcutta. The writing is beautiful, particularly the author's descriptions. And it's so life enriching to read about other cultures and beliefs.

{ writing inspiration }
Old Friend from Far Way. I have an ongoing love affair with books on writing. I picked up this Natalie Goldberg gem at a little bookstore in Main Street in Park City last Saturday. Her lovely writing makes me yearn to write more. It would be great fun and good practice to go through all the writing exercises in the book.

{ young adult lit }
YA is one of my favorite genres and I almost always like the Newbery winners. When You Reach Me is the Newbery winner for 2010.

{on my e-reader }
There is one genre of books that I don't ever read - I'm not sure why - and that's mystery/crime books. Actually, I do know why...I don't like crime shows on TV or crime movies or anything that depicts murder. So I might not get very far in this book. When I found the book recommendation, though, I was intrigued, so I decided to read it as an electronic download. Here is a little blurb about the book:

"As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one…

To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead?

In a long and distinguished career with the Sûreté du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has learned to look for snakes in Eden. Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets…"

{ my next book to read }


:: out walking ::

I went walking this morning and wore these shoes - shoes that I really really love. The New Balance website says they're "lifestyle" shoes - in other words, the company isn't promoting them as walking or running shoes. Well, at least for walking fast for three miles, they seemed just fine to me. (I just stuck my hands inside them and they don't have a ton of arch support, but then, you've seen all the hoopla about barefoot running - so maybe tons of support is really overrated. ? Who knows.) I do know that these shoes are SO comfortable, lightweight, and really quite cute, and I think I might order another pair because once I get a pair of shoes that feel good, I tend to not wear them because I want to save them for special occasions only, and I want to wear these shoes a lot.

I bought my shoes at Famous Footwear, and the trim is purple not blue as in the picture below, but the shoe seems to be the same otherwise. The fit is true to my usual size 8 size. The price, at $35.99, is awesome. The key is that the words on the side heel HAVE to say ACTEVA ULTRALITE. They truly are ultralite. And lovely in every way.Women's New Balance 662 - Lifestyle

New Balance 662

Women's Lifestyle

Style Number: WL662SB
Price: $35.99
reg: $59.99