Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Blog Peer Pressure

Blog peer pressure - it's a very real thing. You know what I mean. When you haven't blogged in awhile (because you're too busy) it comes on. You start to imagine all your friends out there visiting your blog and thinking to themselves (in disappointment), "Nothing new...again." It's painful. It's humiliating. I can't handle it any longer!

But, the truth is, life has been a whirlwind. So, I thought I'd redeem myself by summarizing the last 6 weeks.

May 28- June 1 Camping in Yosemite
Hiked to Nevada Falls, in preparation for hiking Half Dome next year. I say this with fear and trepidation. Campsite fees: $80. Gas bill to get there: $300. Ouch. Great food and fellowship in one of the most gorgeous places on earth!

June 8-11 Camping in San Clemente
Had a tire blowout with the trailer on the way down, resulting in $4000 damage to the trailer -flying shrapnel hit side of trailer. Yes, we have insurance. Todd Brooks lost his swim shorts bodysurfing. Todd Brooks lost his wedding ring bodysurfing. It was overcast the whole time but the sun came out just as we were packing up to go. Trailer has been at Mike Thompson R.V. shop since then for repairs. Got new Rainbow sandals at the outlet there. The Bagel Shack rocks!

June 13-15 Resolved Conference in Palm Springs
Great perk of being the wife and kids of an Elder at Grace: free Resolved with reserved front row seating- Nice. Temp in Palm Springs: 115 degrees. Awesome teaching on heaven (John Mac, Randy Alcorn, C.J. Mahaney, Rick Holland) and music by the Resolved band, now known as Enfield. What a privilege!

June 28-July 1 Juniors Camp in Angeles Forest
Nine 6th graders for 3 days. Felt like the mother of nine-tuplets. Killed hundreds of mosquitos in the cabin and ate lots of hydrogenated food. Sleep total for 3 days: 10 hours. (Had to make an exception to my no caffeine consumption habit with daily bottled Starbucks frapps.) Praising the Lord for the opportunity for our whole family to go and serve. A joy to watch our kids love serving. Tom Patton did a great job teaching and we pray hearts were changed!

July 3-6 Camping in Big Bear
Borrowed DeShong's toy hauler which provided incredible lake views! Pontoon boat, jet ski, lots of fishing and 4th of July fireworks show. Very relaxing - caught up on my sleep. Peach cobbler on the barbecue - Yum-O.

Well, it was all great, but pretty near sent me over the edge.

So, now we're home for a bit and I'm loving it. For awhile there, it was a pattern of Trader Joe's, pack, travel, unpack, laundry, Trader Joe's again... yesterday when I was at the checkout the checker guy at the next checkstand looked at me funny and then asked "Weren't you just here a few days ago buying another big load?" "Yes." was my embarrassed response. Him: "That food's all gone?" Me: "Yep." Him: "Wow."

To add to the chaos, we've also been in the midst of construction here for a few weeks as well. The back wall of our house (dining room/family room wall that faces the backyard) was quite a mess, to say the least. To be honest, that side of our house was literally ready to collapse if we didn't do something about it. We had to have the entire wall torn out and propped up so Roy Chacon's crew could rebuild it. We got all new windows and doors as well. We found out that our big floor to ceiling windows were not even tempered glass. Not good around a pool - I am surprised that they haven't shattered by being slammed into with basketballs and other pool items or small children running around the pool when they shouldn't be. We also found out that we had live termites when they tore out all the wood. That's not yummy. Very thankful that we could get this done. We are hibernating in half the house while they work.

I've been so busy and I've really missed cooking. I seriously cannot think of the last meal I made! All my fruit trees are ripe - tons of plums, peaches and apples that I long to make into pies and cobblers. And, unfortunately, no time for the usual making of jam. Tomorrow though, we are having some of Rich's colleagues over for dinner so I am going to make my favorite - Vanilla Peach Pie. I'm doing my standard summer menu for a group:

BBQ Ribs and Chicken with my yummy table mop sauce
Corn on the cob with basil-butter
Caesar Salad
Pasta Caprese Salad (pasta, fresh mozz., fresh basil, diced cherry tomatoes, vinaigrette)
Fruit Salad
Bread Sticks (TJ's)

It's a great menu because I can get some of the items out of the way the day before. Today I made the Caesar dressing, boiled the pasta for the salad, and made the barbecue sauce.

I have to say that I really do make some fine ribs. Costco sells great baby backs and I season them with a little s & p and wrap them in foil packets (cut the ribs into sections first) on cookie sheets. I bake them at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 hours, then I grill them, basting them with my barbecue mop sauce. They turn out so tender and yummy. My sauce is easy: 3/4 c. ketchup, 1 c. bottled hickory barbecue sauce, 1/3 c. orange juice, 2 T. soy sauce, and cayenne powder to your liking. Simmer for awhile- best made the day before. It's my favorite. Tip on the chicken too: Brown it on the grill, then cook in the oven to doneness. That way you don't get chicken jerky on the outside, raw inside. And, you aren't barbecuing as your guests are walking in (dangerous - that is when you burn food.)

So, there, hopefully I've redeemed myself. Happy Summer everyone!

1 comment:

Myra said...

Yep, I'm the one checking your blog everyday and wondering when the new post was coming! Just kidding, but glad to be properly updated, nonetheless!