Friday, September 28, 2007

Spice...and other Happenings

Flavor of the day...Pumpkin pie spice. I am a sucker for my drive-thru java. Add a little pumpkin pie spice to my mocha and I am ready to break out the Fall/Halloween decorations!

I love that Lance is home for a while. For now, our weekends are not about packing in as much family time as possible. Not dreading the kiss good-bye, always making sure it is a good one, "Just in case something bad happens". A relaxed weekend. Well, that is if getting the master bath textured and primed and having Ausha's 11th Bday sounds relaxing to you...

Going Crunchy posted a response to a comment that I would like to share. Shannon says...
I think some people question putting your life online.....but if you like to write it's kinda the equivalent of the modern day coffee and snapshots with somebody every day. Just virtual. It's a dialogue and discussion.....and I think it's the NYT for real folks. Undiluted life.

Why do I want to share this? So many people do question the "why" of bloggers. I think she summed it up pretty darn good. I originally started my blog to share with my family and friends. At first, I kept the viewers limited to this. After a short while, I decided that there really was a blogger world I wanted to be a part of. Since then, I have gained new friends and commentary that I look forward to everyday. Growing, learning, and sharing all the time. Finding people who have the same interests and share the same views, or not -it's all good. The blogger world has opened up for me in ways I never thought possible. I hope in some way I have influenced or even just made someone smile. I am not afraid to share my life, especially if you really do enjoy my "take" on it...

Photo of Ausha almost 11 years ago...Wow, has it been that long? Time flies when you're having fun! (not a great scan, I know)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fantastic Slide Show...

I never really stopped dancing. The difference now: I am back in the studio with Kelli (whom I completely adore and love). This evening was my first Ballet class...In how many years? I cannot tell you how good it feels to be at the barre again. Actually, I am quite sore now! Core strengthening at it's finest! Although I love tap dance, ballet is where my heart is. I danced En Pointe for three years, my girls play in my old toe shoes. Besides being there for my own satisfaction, I have a wonderful new bond with my daughters. Especially Ausha. She is very serious about her dance future.(That's my girl!) I asked her if she was going to be embarrassed that I was there. "Of course not Mom, I think it's great!" Thank You Ausha. I feel your confidence. Wish me luck. Or better yet, rhythm and grace...

Anyone know who sings this song? Please tell me!

Synthetic Plastics in the Open Ocean

Thank you Shannon for sharing this insightful clip. I hope it scares everyone into making better choices.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My girl...Revisited

What is the DI? Guess I could have been more clear. The DI is the Deseret Industries. The DI is both a nonprofit, vocational rehabilitation facility and a thrift store, sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Established in 1938 as a single thrift store, today there are 46 stores serving people in seven western states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
We also use the Idaho Youth Ranch. The Idaho Youth Ranch provides troubled children and families a bridge to a valued, responsible and productive future.
I like the DI for their selection of clothes. There is a large population of wealthy LDS people in this area and they donate all kinds of good stuff.
My favorite 2nd hand store to visit is the Gold Mine Thrift Shop. (Shannon, you'll like this) Their slogan is: Shop the Gold Mine and Support the Library.
Of course, they are an hour and a half away, so I don't go there too often. Perhaps you have heard of Sun Valley, ID. Lots of super wealthy people who seem change their style before all the tags are removed. (Ketchum is Fun! Check it out)

Photo of my brother Sam, riding in Stanley, ID.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


A little peek into the master bath. New sub-floor, plumbing, lights, wiring, walls, sink, faucet, two shower heads, and counter. Getting closer to seeing the last of the Sheetrock put up, slate right around the corner. Navy showers will be hard when this is done...I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

My Girl...

Another proud moment for Mama...
Ausha was in need of pants. While running errands this weekend, I told her she had a choice. She could pick two pairs of pants from a department store (Target) or she could have five outfits from the DI (2nd hand store). She decided, in her words: "The DI would be better because I am getting more clothes and I am reusing". She walked away with some pretty cute clothes and I only spent $44.00. Good choice Ausha...that's my girl!


September 23rd, Fall is officially here. I was greeted this blustery fall morning by a patient dragonfly. I say patient because I didn't see him as I was folding laundry off the line, almost folding him into the jeans. Patient as I carried him around looking for my camera, then again as I rehung him. Patiently resting while I took 17 pictures to get the right one, he seemed to know when I got it. As I watched him fly off into the overcast sky, "Thank you" was all I could think. Brought a smile to my face and love in my heart for all things good. I welcome Fall with open arms...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Harvest Moon...

Playing our song...Lance is coming home to me today. A ten hour drive and then I can "See you dance again"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Geek In The Pink

How can you not like this guy? I love his enthusiasm! Wish I could hear his taps better though...

Amazing Tap dance

I'M BACK! Being in tap shoes again after 14 years feels so liberating! I can't wait to practice with my kids, they know all the stuff I have forgotten, and go to my next tap class...

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Photo of my first faux paint...Our old Master BedroomBefore and after bedroom (Danny's "Sitting room")

Dining Room...
Back yard...

My Saturday consisted of paint, texture and then paint again. Mimi kept my kids in the evening so I could work on their rental. (Danny is moving out of our basement and into this house) After five years of renting to a family friend, the house was due for some major refinishing. Remember my recycled rock post? (If you do, Thank You for reading my journal with such attention...That's great!) This is the same property. The poor house has holes in the walls, abandoned texture work, a lawn I wouldn't recognize (which is saying a lot because Lance and I lived there about 5 years) and gross smoke on the walls. You know the kind..."If you're going to wipe that wall, you better plan on wiping the whole dang thing". I tend to just paint.

After painting one of the bedrooms(both coats even!) and texturing the ceiling, walls in the kitchen, and the ceiling in the dining room...I have to say "Ouch! My back hurts!" Thank goodness Mimi did all the boring prep work, I was able to just step in with my gear and start pouring on the mud and paint. Wouldn't have got so far on the project if I had prepped also. As it was, I worked until 3:00am..."Ouch!"

Still a bit of texture to work to do, but I think my master bath will be ready for texture first. Ya -that project is moving along steadily, I'll post progress pictures soon. I will tell you I picked up the rest of my slate on Friday, yet another reason to say "Ouch!" Slate is a pretty penny when you want it "just so". Worth the price tag I must say. It's a seller!

Did I say something about slowing down earlier? I knew better as I typed those words. If you haven't noticed, I must always be working on something with my hands. There must be some sort of slowing down though, at some point. (I am a Libra and the whole balance thing is true) Soon the master bath will be done and then it's little projects here and there. No more..."If we take this wall down and move the door here".

Friday, September 14, 2007


In our quest to not eat beef, I have been trying many different menus. Finding Quorn was a life saver...maybe I should say taco saver. Tacos were really my only fret. I love tacos, and ground turkey just didn't do it for me. So, this week I tried Quorn. Loved it! There are so many different meatless products available through this company. If you are "On the wagon", as my girls would say, give this product a try. You will be surprised.

Recipe of the month. Quorn Meatballs with Lime & Roasted Garlic
Photo from Quorn

Why have we stopped eating beef? Stay tuned and you will see...You may change your menu also. (We drink soy milk and it's organic milk for Kaziah -who really does not like the soy)

Soap Nut 101...

Maggie's Soap Nuts. Remember when I found this product? After two weeks of using the nuts as laundry soap, I have fallen in love. First, they wash our laundry...through two cycles! Oh, and I am not a small loading gal...I have three kids, daughters to be exact, a husband, and a new puppy (yes -he makes dirty laundry). I love the fruity smell the nut puts off. Smells like a date.

Second, after they are used as laundry soap, I boil the nuts, leaving them to simmer for about 30 minutes. (The top picture shows the nuts sudding up just by adding cool water to the pan for boiling) I put the "Nut Juice" (named by Kaziah) into my blue glass jar (which I've had forever and never really had a use for) and in a recycled Oxy Clean bottle -last of it's kind in our home.

As I was cleaning up, I realized the soap nuts still had plenty of life to offer. How could I just throw them in my compost when I could still feel the sticky goodness? I grabbed one and began to wash my hands just by rubbing the soap nut on my hand. OH MY!!! There are so many uses for this little soap nut! Besides washing laundry and making a spray cleaner (even a spot remover), I have decided to make reusable mesh sleeves to hold the used, boiled nuts...AKA...our new "bar soap". After adding some lavender oil to the liquid cleaner, I also have a pump action liquid hand soap.

A little tip for those of you willing to try: Be sure to use a spray bottle that has a "large" spray. The Oxy Clean bottle worked well. Even after straining, the "Nut Juice" still had a bit of floating goodness.

How cool is that!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Around the Corner...

I can smell it in the morning air and feel it the crisp breeze...Fall is just around the favorite season. Actually, after a long winter, Spring becomes my favorite season. I think I am slowing down a bit (If this is really possible) for long nights, a good movie and my knitting keeping my lap warm...
Oh, and a Hot Toddy!

Photo, Roxie jumping into the oak leaves Oct-06

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More To Say...

I wanted to be more clear on my town's recycling program. Yes, there is more to the program than I had originally put forth. Basically, I was venting as to the lack of what I want to see in my hometown...At our regular transfer station the following materials are accepted: Aluminum cans, tin cans, newspaper, #1 & #2 plastic bottles, cardboard, magazines, office paper, computer paper, aluminum, copper, brass, radiators, stainless steel. Of course there is the battery, cell phone, scrap metals, and other such available. The only station that accepts glass, besides the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Park, is the Blaine County Recycling Center (the Fossil Beds are closer for me). Also, the curbside includes: cardboard, newspaper, aluminum cans, and tin cans. I am going to contact the National Park and talk to the director again, just to make sure glass is still a go...
And for the veggie and fruit stands, I just have to look harder. They aren't some "every day in the plaza" sort of thing...what a dream that would be. I am searching these people out and have come across some great products that really can't get much more this one, Cowboy Tom's Flapjacks. Looks pretty tasty huh...

One more point, Idaho is GREAT. To get a glimpse into what some of the community and The University of Idaho have been doing, read the article: Living Smart, Living Well in the 21st Century in the University of Idaho Magazine, Fall 2007

If nothing else, perhaps I have "stood up a bit" for this beautiful state I love calling home. After all, I kinda did a bit of bashing last post.


Sharing this post about the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch". Very good read. I highly suggest you check it out and follow the links. Please. This is a problem and we need some sort of movement to open people's eyes...Is the population really this blind?

One Shade Greener:Pop Quiz: How much plastic is in the Pacific Ocean?

a) enough to form an island the size of Texas
b) so much that in some ocean currents the mass of plastic exceeds that of ocean life (zooplankton) by a factor of six
c) it is so prevalent that migratory birds can’t distinguish between plastic and food, and die of starvation, while their bellies are full of plastic
d) we may never know

The answer, sadly, is all of the above.

Photo from The Institute For Figuring

Photos from our "Plastic Mountain"

In our small town of Twin Falls, our curbside recycling is very limited, only accepting cardboard, cans, and newspaper. And, I am sad to say that there are only two of us on our block that actually use this service! Everything else we store in the garage and then make our own trips to the Center (you should see our mountain of plastic...Lance is rarely in town and he is our recycling driver). We are also limited as to what the Center accepts. Can you believe they do not accept glass! Twin Falls is so behind in the times! To recycle the glass we must drive to the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Park. They will recycle it in National Park's pathways...Very cool! But come on! How many people actually know this...I am spreading the word -but then, save the glass and spend gas/money driving it there? Where does the line divide the two evils?

Oh...and don't even get me started on the fruit and veggie stands, all those bloggers out there who make daily trips to the local produce stands: I can't begin to tell you how jealous I am!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Listened to a great interview with Dave Foreman on NPR yesterday. I thought I should share with you, The Rewilding Institute. Dave Foreman is a very inspiring guy to listen to. If you think you are too small to make a difference...Think again!

Rewilding Institute Mission:
To develop and promote the ideas and strategies to advance continental-scale conservation in North America, particularly the need for large carnivores and a permeable landscape for their movement, and to offer a bold, scientifically-credible, practically achievable, and hopeful vision for the future of wild Nature and human civilization in North America.

Mama Always Said...

Clear example as to why your Mama always said "Don't fall asleep with gum in your mouth!" Kaziah was supposed to be having a time-out for not listening, something she tends to be good at. Doesn't look like a time-out to me, looks more like a rare treat...

Plastic Ocean...

Best Life Magazine: Plastic Ocean
"This news is depressing enough to make a person reach for the bottle. Glass, at least, is easily recyclable. You can take one tequila bottle, melt it down, and make another tequila bottle. With plastic, recycling is more complicated. Unfortunately, that promising-looking triangle of arrows that appears on products doesn’t always signify endless reuse; it merely identifies which type of plastic the item is made from. And of the seven different plastics in common use, only two of them—PET (labeled with #1 inside the triangle and used in soda bottles) and HDPE (labeled with #2 inside the triangle and used in milk jugs)—have much of an aftermarket. So no matter how virtuously you toss your chip bags and shampoo bottles into your blue bin, few of them will escape the landfill—only 3 to 5 percent of plastics are recycled in any way".

Marine Debris: How can the Plastic Problem be solved?
We all live on planet Earth, our home in the cosmos. Ocean currents do not distinguish from which wharf or ship marine plastic originates. Cigarette lighters and other plastic wastes that are not properly disposed of have greater consequences than we might initially perceive. A cigarette lighter tossed overboard anywhere in the North Pacific can wind up in an albatross' stomach on Midway Atoll.

Here are some ideas on how to solve the problem:

*Dispose of plastic materials properly.
*Reduce, reuse, recycle! Find out about recycling plastics in your area.
*Be a wise consumer---pay attention to your use and need of disposable products and their fate.
*Show your support, financial and otherwise, for organizations and companies that address pollution issues.
*Educate your friends and family about plastic pollution.
*Write your congressmen about proper plastic disposal, enforcement of illegal ocean dumping, and the need to recycle.
*Recognize our individual kuleana (responsibility), as human beings and as conscientious global citizens, to our Earth, ourselves, our fellow animals, and our future generations.

Just scratching the surface really. A simple web search of "Floating Plastic" can reveal plastic issues many of us are not aware of. Quite scary if you ask me. We know that reducing is ultimately the most important of the three "R"s. We can take it another step further in the reusing part also...great example is gooseflesh.

Photos and info found on web and sited through links.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


The girls wanted a treat and I had a basket full of strawberries on their way out. Instead of letting the kids be picky over their fruit (cutting off the bruises and such) we made ice cream bars. Blended all three of the "But there is hardly any left Mom!" ice cream, a bit of milk, a banana and our "Too gross to eat!" strawberries. After pouring our concoction into to our reusable popsicle trays and letting them sit in the freezer (Do you know how long it takes for ice cream to refreeze when you have three kids asking "Is it done yet?"...definitely longer than usual) they had their treat and a mom whose mind was reeling at all the possibilities of these re-found trays...

Yes...three helpers in the kitchen can equal a messy job when all is said and done.

Hey! I did make that dance outfit for Ausha about 9 years ago...guess this post is titled correctly after all...

The Zipper?

"Are you sure you want to ride the Zipper Ausha?"
"Yep Mom, I do"
"Well, your Dad is riding with you, not me..."
The Zipper is only the biggest, thrill ride at our County Fair. I'm not saying that's a lot...but if your "Almost 11!" -it is. I have only been on the thing a few times myself! (The picture of the "Zipper" has my Ausha in it somewhere!)

We spent the whole day (noon-10:30pm) at the County Fair. Does it say anything about us if I tell you we dragged the kids out of the fair grounds, just to sit in the air conditioned car and drink a beer? Well, we did. Thought we were pretty clever doing so too. Hey was sooo hot and no beer garden in sight...what were we to do?.....

All in all we had a great time. A calf was born in the "Fair's Farm Petting Zoo". Not something you see everyday, that is if you're city folk -as we currently are. The kids each milked a cow, saw lots of animals, found their school artwork in the "School Days" building, and rode plenty of rides. We told the kids they could eat beef "just today" so they could have a corn dog -nope, I didn't get one. Our family picture was taken in the "Old Time Picture Booth" -always fun. We enjoyed the rodeo and left the fair when Roxie had an accident in one of the rides...The carney was a very nice lady, with very few teeth, who said "Don't worry 'bout it Honey, I'll clean it up"
Thank you...Oh's time to leave NOW!

We survived and in the process, remembered why we only go every 4-5 years.......

I wish I had jotted down the name of the "Old Time Picture" couple. Very nice people and a great service. I can say they claim to be "The Best in the West" Thank you for the great photo!


My baby started school today!!! She looks so much older with her name tag on... Ausha and Kaziah were ready to be in school weeks ago. They are all getting so big! Am I really ready to be done having kids? Um....YES!
Roxie starting school signals many changes. Most won't happen until she hits all-day kindergarten. At that point all three of my kids are in school and I can work outside the home. I have to say though, childcare serves us well and I am thankful to be with my kids during this time.