Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Myrtle II A Curse Or A Blessing

Its interesting that after a life time of hard work that we ended up with "Myrtle II". Myrtle I was a cheap Ford 4X4 that we bought from a friend to help her out.  We used her for a while and ended up selling her to someone who thought they might try to love her.  I think they actually wanted her for parts. We didn't miss her or look back after dropping her off.
Throughout our married life we have owned lots of used cars. All the cars were decent looking and we took care of them.  When we had put in our time, so to speak, we finally bought a new car.  Wow!  We finally made it.  It was fun to ride aroudn in a new smelling car that had no dents, scratches, or rust. After three years we traded her in for another new car. That lasted about 5 years.  Then Don decided to take a Crown Financial Ministries class and was convicted that we needed to get out of debt.  Our car was paid for so it was helpful in that decision. Until......
We owned a Dodge Intrepid.  On Poncha Pass she decided to blow the engine.  Of course, this had to happen after we had put a new timing chain, new tires, and a full tank of gas in her.  It would have cost more than the car was worth to do the engine so we sold her for scrap.  Sigh.  Now what? 

We found a Jeep Grande Cherokee that was in excellent condition.  Pretty goldish color, leather seats, CD player, electric seats with seat warmers, and electronic doo-dads that are cool to play with. The price was within our budget so we bought her.  A year later we did tranny work, new tires, air conditioning work, and a few other things.  She runs pretty good now.  So what is the problem?  
 We can't drive her.  Our son-in-law took her to Montana because his car broke down on their move and was in the shop in Alamosa. He needed to get to a job interview in Montana. Their car was still in the shop when he left.  Now we have Callie's car but I can't drive it because she needs it to haul her girls around. We bought a 1992 Suburban to haul kids around in for $3,000 because at the time we were planning a big family trip to California. It is in the shop getting "fixed up to drive".  So what do I get to drive?

Myrtle II was given to us by Denice and Greg when they moved here from Placerville.  "Given!"  That means she ain't worth the green paper the title is printed on.  O, she runs okay.  She is a 1991 Dodge Dakota  standard drive pickup.  Her skirts are torn and rusty.  The handle on the inside driver's door is falling off. The windshield has a huge crack. The air conditioner doesn't work. Plus, the birds like to use her for target practice and the wipers don't work.  She is one sad specimen. But she was FREE!  I prayed, "God, don't make me have to drive that truck!"

Now I have to tell you that she is almost an embarrassment to ride in.  Sometimes she doesn't like the way I shift her gears.  But she keeps on truckin". She is the vehicle that I am left with.  Today I started to complain about why, of all the vehicles I could be driving, I was stuck with her. Don and I worked really hard all our lives to make money to drive a decent car among other things.  How is it that everyone else gets to drive our cars but us? I stopped short in my thought.  Suddenly I felt that she was a blessing. She helped me get to the hospital to visit my husband who had emergency surgery. Without her it would have been difficult to get here. (I'm writing from the hospital room....Don is doing better and sleeping.) And the kids needed vehicles to get on with what they had to do. God was providing for all of us.

I can't complain even though I don't have a new car to ride in.  I don't have a car payment and I can still get to where I need to go.  God promised to take care of my needs so, "Thanks God.  I appreciate Myrtle II very much. I just hope that as I slip into rusty skirts, cracked windshields, and sagging handles that I can be a blessing to someone who may need me to get from here to there.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kiddy Updates

How is it that we can look at this behind and say it's adorable?  I mean look at those pants!  They're huge.  When I wear underwear like that I get the "I can't believe you would wear that!" from my daughters and husband.  But when she does it we go on and on about how adorable she is and what a cute fanny she has.  And just look at those legs!  Excuse me people, but this is called "fat legs"!  But oh how we love to pinch them and squeeze them and goo and drool over how absolutely sweet they are.  And soft too!  Okay they are cute and adorable and precious and soft.  I goo and drool over them as much as anybody if not more.  But I don't think I will get the same reaction when I put on my bathing suit this summer.  In fact, I think I could clear the beach or pool in 6.25 seconds of taking off my towel.   I hate wearing bathing suits!  Not because I am a naturalist, but because I look freakin' freaky!  So the best thing to do is carry my granddaughter around and let people play with her baby fat legs and pat her cute bottom and hopefully they won't even notice me. 

I have to say that Callie is very creative with the hairstyles she does on Abby.  I wouldn't think a kid would sit still for this intricate braid but Abby does.  Well, Callie has to put on a Beranstien Bears video and while Abby watches it Callie can get this done.  Very creative, don't you think? When we take Abby out to church or to the store or park we always get compliments on how beautiful she is and "who does her hair? It is gorgeous!"
From the beginning of parenthood Callie swore she would never put on one of those head bands that is more like a tourniquet than anything on her babies head. When the top of your kids head is turning purple it is time to opt for life instead of a fashion statement. However, when we went to the Summer Festival at Cole Park one of the vendors had these wide style headbands.  Callie decided it was more like a hat than a tourniquet so she bought one.  Since Cate is pretty much bald putting a wide yellow band and a huge silk rose on her head seems to make up for the lack of hair.  Besides, she is really cute in it.
What can I say.  This cheesy grin says it all.  Hey, it is the beginning of summer and if I can get my grandkids to pick dandlions and get them out of my yard then more power to them.  Besides, don't they look adorable?
Davey on the other hand was having none of it. "I ain't puttin' that smelly thing on my head!  It makes me sneeze!"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gooey Sweet Pastry Rolls

Gooey Sweet Pastry Rolls are a fast way to have a gooey stickey bun.  They are rummy.  I saw Ina Garten on the Food Network do a similar one.  You have to be careful that you don't get too much filling in the roll or it won't puff well.  Otherwise, these are easy and very yummy!

In a sprayed muffin tin with 3 1/2 " in diameter cups place a teaspoon of butter, a teaspoon of corn syrup, and a teaspoon of brown sugar.  Drop a few nuts in after that.  I used almonds, but I love walnuts or pecans.
Lay out a sheet of puff pastry that has been thawed in the refrigerator.  It needs to be cold.  Place in on a lightly flowered clean counter top or pastry cloth and roll it just a little bit.  The sprinkle brown sugar to cover the pastry dough.  It should be a think layer.  Getting it to thick will make it hard to puff when baking.  Sprinkle about a quarter cup of chopped nuts, and a quarter cup of raisins or crasins.  Melt a half of stick of butter and gently pour over the top.  You don't have to use all the butter of you pour it carefully.
Gently roll the pastry dough, not to tightly, into a log.  Cut the log into six pieces and place each piece in the muffin tin.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30. As soon as the Pastry Rolls are done turn them out onto a cookie sheet immediately while they are hot otherwise they will stick in the muffin tin. Let them cool a bit before eating as you could burn your mouth and then the whole experience of eating these tasty treats will be ruined. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Savory Egg Pastry Roll-ups

Savory Egg Pastry Roll-Ups are wonderful light puff pastries that are sure to make a hit at breakfast, brunch, or whenever you get the craving.  My daughter posted the recipe on her blog at http://callieandyadams.blogspot.com/2010/06/savory-egg-roll-ups.html.  I took pictures of each step and my grandson, Sebby, was helping.  You will see his little hand in the cilantro picture.  He likes to "cook" with grandma and I like having him as my little chef.  My sister-in-law is making him a little "chef" apron so he can look the part.  Try these delectable delights and let me know what you think.               

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Apple Fritters

Callie made "Apple Fritters" for breakfast.  They are really good.  I think she got the recipe from the "PioneerWoman" cookbook.(go to  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/03/apple-fritters/ )  These are light and flavorful.  We had them with coffee on the deck.  I finished planting the flowers in the pots on the deck and it is fun sitting on the deck for breakfast when the weather is cool and the wind is calm. 

Callie loves to cook and its great having her here. I am getting new recipes and she is putting together the menus.  Sunday morning is a great time for fritters, homemade donuts, and eggs bakes or fritatas.  Very civilized indeed. 

Instead of apples I used fresh peaches.  It was awesome. When you make the icing drizzle try adding two tablespoons of peach syrup.  It is yummy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Family Pictures


These are a few pictures of my family.  I use a Nikon D40 X camera.  But of course it is the subject matter that counts!

Check out the curls on Abby.

Davy and Sebby are best of buddies.
Sebbie is very cool on his bike!

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Own Personal Chef

I am really proud of my daughter Callie.  I am amazed that she loves cooking and is making wonderful recipes.  Since she has been here she is doing most of the cooking.  It is great to have meals planned and made at the right time.  I don't have to do anything. 

Some of her wonderful recipes are home made granola bars.  These are tasty treats that we keep in a plastic storage box on top of the fridge.  She also makes home made herb bread that is out of this world.  She made a fantastic salad tonight and I ate a huge plat of it.  She makes home made donuts too.  Tomorrow we are having black bean burgers.  I can hardly wait.

We will post some of the recipes with pictures so you can see what a great job she is doing!!

She does like having a giant turkey leg at the carnival once in a while...like maybe once a year.  But for the most part she will do her own cooking thanks!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fresh Asparagus, the Best Ever!

The San Luis Valley has some wonderful asparagus that grows along the canals.  You just have to know where to look.  Unfortunately I am not giving away my secret.  But if you ever do find it you will be ruined for life from eating store bought asparagus. 

Greg and Denice came by our house and picked up Don and me to go "harvesting".  We had a wonderful drive.  The day was beautifully warm and the sky was blue.  But after awhile the storm clouds gathered and it began to rain and hail.  But that didn't deter Greg and Don.  They endured the pelting and gathered beautiful specimens.  As soon as we got home I sorted them into spears and others that I would chop.  Tomorrow we are having asparagus quiche.  Yum!  If it doesn't get eaten too fast I will post a picture.

God's Garden


I love having my granddaughters with me.  I love taking them to Sabbath School. They look so pretty in their dresses and Abby's hair all braided cute. It is so fun to see your kids participate and also learn to pray. They are so innocent and willing to do things with you.  I am going to cherish every moment of it.  I mean look at these precious little flowers.  God has a wonderful garden!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Riding the Potato Valley Express Train

On Memorial Day 2010 we went for a train ride on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.  We just did a short trip to Monte Vista called the Potato Valley Express.  Well, what actually happened is that I took Abby and Sebby to ride the train.  I had looked on line at their train schedule and I read that Memoral Day Weekend the train was opening for passengers.  They carry freight all year long, but the tourist season opens on this weekend.  I know the people there and have worked with them on the Gingerbread Express at Christmas time.  So they knew how to get in touch with me.  When we arrived  they told me that particular run wasn't going until Friday. We were very disappointed and decided to go get Callie and Casey, Davy, and Cate and head to the Alligator Farm.

About 3 miles north of town I got a call from the railroad and the ticket agent said they would take us if we still wanted to go.  They would put a passenger car on for us. So we did a quick U turn and made it in time to ride.  We were the only passengers and Jody, our conductor gave us special attention. 

The route is called The Potato Valley Express.  What they do is haul freight and they put a passenger train on right behind the engine. Then they drop freight off at the Co-op or other places along the line,  They may pick up freight too.  Many of the freight cars contain potatos or grain.  Thus the name of the route.

Waving good-bye to our railroad friends.

Grammy, Sebby, and Abby had our choice of any seat in the car.
                                                                                    Visiting with Jody at the park in Monte Vista.
Jody let the kids watch for crossings and radio the engineer that all was clear.  They had to do that because after dropping freight off at the Co-op the train "backed" in to Monte Vista.

Loading back up after getting some lunch at a Mexican Restaurant in Monte Vista.

When we got back to the station Jody took Sebby for a tour of the engine and to meet the engineer.  They let Sebby sit in the drivers seat and blow the horn and bells.  Sebby was thrilled!At the end of the tour Jody gave a Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head to each of the kids.  It was a really fun day and I am glad that we got the chance to do it.  The day was beautiful - it was a perfect day for a train ride!