Monday, January 28, 2013

Ski Utah

This is my west square foot garden.  I think this is the most it's been covered up in a few years.

And this is measuring the amount of snow we got Sunday.  That's my daughter's 12"ruler and it's not even in the deepest spot.  Looks like there is more on the way.  I say, "Bring it On!"

This past week one of the Fund companies spoiled us with a day out at Snow Basin.  We really had a great time.  There was some fog on part of the mountain part of the day but it got better as the day went along.  Porky's face was my favorite spot and we didn't get to ski it nearly as much as I would have liked.  It was wide, well groomed, steep and empty.  Flying down that face was exhilarating.  

J. Kenny took care of our lift tickets, lunch, snacks, etc.  We picked him up at his hotel and drove up to Snow Basin.  The lodge at Snow Basin was beautiful and the Needle's Lodge at the top of the Gondola is where we ate our lunch.  The view was beautiful and they even made me a special gluten free turkey sandwich.

The very next day we went skiing with our children at our local hill.  The snow was more like powdered sugar.  It looked like it and it was sort of sticky too.  Regardless of the snow conditions our littlest one finally figured a few things out and he had a fabulous time on the Blue runs (intermediate).  

My daughter and I agree we were long overdue for a snowstorm.  
Let it storm!

Love my old skis? Hah! 
 I catch an edge once in a while but these are shorter than the last pair I had.  
And my Mountain Hardware ski pants are quite old too but when you buy the good stuff, it lasts.  Right now we are working on getting a generator so we are saving our pennies.  When you have propane and a well pump and the amount of times the power goes out here, we need back-up power. 

I'm also working on updating our food storage.  Our 3 month supply of regular food is looking pretty good.  It's the long term stuff like rice, wheat (for my hubby and kids), and beans that I haven't got up to date. I'm headed to the dry pack cannery soon to work on 12 #10 cans of sugar.  I love those cans.  The mice can't eat through them. The good thing is that I can still keep up with my children on the slopes so I'm going to keep skiing on these old skis until we have the essentials out of the way.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Year in Review - Blessed

I must say that 2012 was a great year for me.  My husband and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary.  I was blessed with an amazing harvest in my garden.  And I spent plenty of time doing fun things with my children and had the energy to do it. The daily migraines have turned into once a quarter migraines.  And so I wanted to spend a little time sharing what I'm grateful for.  This post is all about my husband, his qualities, and how he has blessed my life.  

"Indeed, one of the greatest things a man can do for his children is to love their mother."

I was thinking recently about my dad who just had a total knee replacement and the values he instilled in me as a child.  He set a good example for my by loving my mother.  He also taught me about the kind of man I would want as a husband.  

Tyler is so good about complimenting me. 

He sends me flowers at the most unexpected times.

He always mows the lawn.  He has never asked me to do it. And he is teaching our son to be responsible and work hard without being asked.

He coaches our son's soccer team every spring.

And this year he coached our son's basketball team and our daughter's team as well. 

He loves helping and teaching our children to be careful and creative.  Here our son is using a drill to carve out around a fossil.

He gives our children opportunities to learn by experience and not just by talking to them.

He likes to have fun and loves to laugh.

This winter he went out in the freezing cold to save our house from pouring rain in January.  The ground was frozen and it was hard work but he did it.

He takes time off work to support our children.

He holds hands with our children and in this case he patiently waited while our son, who had just finished kindergarten, read the plaques describing the plants and animals of the area.  

He purchased me a pet. He was not sure about this.  We haven't had a pet before.  Birds were foreign to him. He drove me an hour and a half to the shop to pick up Kiwi and purchased a large beautiful sleeping cage.  He's often seen with Kiwi on his shoulder and he even taught him a trick.

He loves to be outside and he makes sure he takes us with him.  He is so patient as our children learn to ski and board.  And he is an amazing and athletic skier. 

He loves adventure and travel.  This year he took us to Vernal to see the Dinosaur bones in the mountain side. He took us to Yellowstone to explore and hike the area.  He took us to Mt. Timpanogos Cave for a nice hike. He even took us to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Sea World this year.  

He honors his Priesthood commitments.  He is an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood in our church and remains worthy to attend the temple, administer priesthood blessings, and keeps his covenants. He pays his tithing, keeps the word of wisdom and refrains from coffee, alcohol, smoking, illegal drug use, and eats well. 

He loves being outside and takes us hiking.  Oh and in this photo you can see he loves his extended family too. We took 3 nephews with us to Naomi Peak.

He is the gift giver of the family and always makes sure we have an enjoyable Christmas no matter the budget.  

He even waited in line for 30 minutes and then posed with a Disney Princess.

He is strong and exercised every morning except Sunday.

He shows his gratitude for even the silliest gifts.

And he loves me, is kind and gentle.  He never puts watching sports ahead of my needs.  I have never had to ask him to put down the remote. He puts our needs ahead of his constantly. He is observant. He fills my heart with joy.  He makes me want to be a better person. 

Tyler, I love you! Thanks for all you do.

President David O. McKay: “No other success in life can compensate for failure in the home”

“The most important of the Lord’s work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes” Harold B. Lee

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's time to start future garden transplants indoors

I found that as I started to add the potting soil to the peat pots and then added the water that I noticed a spring in my step.  It's amazing what gardening does for me.  It's not just the sunshine or the good food.  A huge part of what makes me happy to garden is the anticipation.  As you can see my set up is not fancy.  A greenhouse is in the dream stage still.   Why do I start my own plants? Check it out below.

You'll need a few things to get started.  A sturdy waterproof table.  This one is from Lifetime.  

Here's a closer look at the setup.

And an even closer look at the adjustable chain. Something to hold up your lights.  I've seen others hang them from long chains attached to the ceiling. I use the ladder game that would just be sitting in the garage. Whatever works for you, use that method.  

Trays to hold your pots.  I like to water into the tray.  Peat pots, old solo cups with holes in the bottom, or pots you've sanitized that you picked up at the garden center in years past. I prefer the peat pots for some things, like peppers, spinach, and just about anything that needs a little room for its roots.

 This is the first year I'm trying celery in a peat pot. I got 22 peat pots/$1.50 last year.

Last year I used these little window sill trays with the tiny discs in them.  They worked fine but I wonder if the peat pot will work better. So I've got both going. If you're going to use these, celery, cabbage, and romaine lettuce do well in these.

Potting soil.  Please don't mix dirt with your potting soil.  Transplants have a hard time with disease and dirt is too compact for the roots.  Potting soil is perfect for transplants.  I live in a dry climate so I use a potting soil instead of a seed starting mix. It holds water a little better, especially when my heater is running 24/7. Again, do whatever works for you.

Something to water your plants with.  Seeds will float away with a harsh stream of water.  Water lightly or water in the tray.

I found that my peppers, which take a very long time to sprout when compared with other vegetables, sprout quicker and more of them sprout with a little heat.  You can get a heat mat sold at garden centers or just use an old heating pad in good condition. I set mine on low and it keeps them the right temperature.  I plug it into the time so it goes off at night.

The fan is used after they sprout.  A little wind resistance cuts back on mold AND it also strengthens the stems and leaves. 

Reasons I start my own transplants:
 #1 It's less expensive.

#2 I have my plants ready when I want them.  Parts of my garden have protective covers which I use in the spring and fall.  That means I can put my plants outside earlier and quite often the garden centers don't have the plants I want when I want them. 

#3 I have fewer problems with onions going to seed when I start them from seed rather than from sets.

#4 I love being around plants.

#5 My children better understand the process of how plants grow.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's THAT time of year again

I'm slowly putting Christmas decorations away. I had the flu and an infection in top of that so I'm a bit behind. Normally I start gardening January 1st. I'm almost done with my heavy duty antibiotic (and no, I'm not one of those. I haven't taken traditional antibiotics since I had my tonsils out at 21. Some of my chemo drugs were actually antibiotics but that's not the same.). Anyway, I started out by dragging the huge bag of potting soil to the mud room door in the garage. Then I begged my husband to find all the pieces to the ladder game. It was only about -2 in the garage. Then my son helped me put the lights on the lifetime table I use. It's located in the heated basement. This morning I strung the lights on the ladder game. And now I'm putting soil and seeds in peat pots and sanitized containers from last year. I'll tell you more soon. My parrot just climbed up the cord and is trying to chew on the blinds!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Sea World

I'd never been to Sea World before so this was an adventure.  We saw 90% of the exhibits before we left for the night. We stopped at California Pizza Kitchen across from the San Diego Temple for dinner and I had the best salad I've ever tasted.
 The penguin exhibit was a lot smaller than I expected but they were still cute.

The Shamu show was great but a little slow.  And when they say SOAK ZONE, they mean soak, not splash. And they are serious.  

I loved the macaws in the Pet show.

And the first whales we saw were the beluga whales. They were so pretty.  One was even feeding a baby.  

The dolphin show the best of the shows as far as what the animals could do.

And the kids had a great time with the manta rays.

There weren't any this big in there but we had a great time petting them.  They are super soft and smooth.

We enjoyed The Polar Express 4-D and it was cool because it was our first 4-D experience.  By the time we got done with all of the parks I was tired of getting sprayed in the face.  

We purchased a drink when we got there and then refills were 99 cents.  I had a hard time convincing my family that root beer outside of Utah has caffeine in it. It was mostly a sprite day.

This was the Shamu Christmas show.  The live choir and sign language choir was great.

And we loved all the Christmas decor.