Thursday, October 29, 2009

Saturday #33-October 24, 2009

Ode to My Bed

Oh how I love thee, my comfortable, warm bed.
Your pillows stacked high...
Your clean, crisp white sheets...

Invite me to lay,
Upon your firm mattress
At the end of the day.

Oh how I love thee, my lovely, nice bed.
In a room painted blue...
With a frame all in yellow...
You're my favorite place
To settle down for slumber
With a smile on my face.

Oh how I love thee, my favorite, soft bed.
On a Saturday morning...
With nothing to do...
But snuggle down deeper,
the covers pulled higher.
To be a lazy late sleeper!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Saturday # 32 - October 17 BBC, We Love Thee

I had the "great pleasure" of seeing this new BBC movie as part of my Saturday O' Fun. Bright Star is about the romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne. Apparently most of the story line is based on their love letters. How would it be, receiving a love letter from John Keats!

Did you know John Keats died at age 25? Tragic, I say! No wonder Fanny spent several years roaming through the woods at night, after his death in a black frock. I love everything about this movie- the costumes, scenery, & acting are beautifully done... and the poetry readings, exquisite! The best thing about this movie.. it's very clean and a true romance. It's absolutely beautiful. Go see Bright Star. (Ops, was I not suppose to tell you he dies?) Go see it anyway.


by: John Keats (1795-1821)

BRIGHT Star, would I were steadfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priest-like task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--
No--yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday #32-October 17, 2009

Tonya, I'm giving fair warning...this posting will probably make you homesick...

First off, the weather on Saturday was pretty much perfect! 70 degrees with clear, blue skies is almost unbelievable in the middle of October. I'm so glad I spent a few minutes outside enjoying the beauty of the day...and the fountains at The Gateway.

I find it amazing how friendship works! Eight years ago I moved to a new city and made some new friends. We started a book club, and for the first couple of years we faithfully met once a month to talk about books, church callings, husbands and children (theirs not mine, obviously) and life in general. Sometimes, it was less about the book, and more about the visit!

And then we all went our separate--some went further North, some further West, some further South and one went way, way, way further East. The book club dissolved somewhere along the way, but our friendships are still strong. And on Saturday four of us got together for lunch and a good visit!

So, to Kim and Melinda and Betsy (and Tonya & Sarah who weren't there), let me just tell you how much you all mean to me! You are all incredible women and valued friends. You inspire and amaze me! And I want to be like all of you when I grow up (never mind that I'm the oldest one in the group).

After lunch we roamed around The Gateway, just visiting. Apparently we've lost "the shopper" in our group, 'cause none of us were all that interested in going into the stores. There was more to see outside anyway. The people watching at The Gateway is highly entertaining! And I will have you all know, it was not this "Amy" who left her mark on the sidewalk...but thanks to the "Amy" who did, because it was a photo opportunity!

Here's a close-up...of the name, not me!

And finally, I'd like to end this posting with this bit of advice....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday # 31 - October 10

Every summer for the past 3 years I have a family tradition.. "Aunt Jenny's Annual Sleep Over." However, since my nieces and nephews are growing in number (and somehow my place is getting smaller), this year I decided to turn it into a one-nighter. It's now officially called "Aunt Jenny's Annual Oktoberfest." Because this special event will now be held in October, unfortunately (or fortunately) these kids will probably not be able to play red-rover or hide-in-sneak outside at odd hours.

Needless to say, we didn't really do the "traditional things" done at Oktoberfest in Europe.. (if so, these kids wouldn't be allowed at Aunt Jenny's). We simply had a very fun time together watching movies (Mall Cop & Home Alone), eating pizza, drinking homemade orange julius, snacking on candy, chocolate donuts, popcorn, etc. (sorry to my two brothers and sister for filling your kids with sugar).

This year I had 10 kids at my house (ages 2-11). This event actually took place on Friday night, however, since it dipped into Saturday, with me spending the next day cleaning up, I'm counting this as a Saturday o Fun activity.

They are all fantastic and so much fun!

These pictures basically tell the story.
My bunny slippers were popular to try on... and all these pictures are bound to appear later in their lives, more likely around mission, college, and marriage time. ;)

Saturday # 29 - September 26, A Thrifty Christmas

Today I helped set-up for the General RS Broadcast & our stake mingle. After the broadcast the ladies had the op to stroll back to the multipurpose room to sample delicious homemade candy (ahh.. white fudge) and view several provident-living-gift-idea displays.

I had to take some shots. Everything on display was very creative, and the best part.. very cost effective too!

Hey y'all, I don't mean to spoil the surprise.. but look what you're getting for Christmas! Are you excited!?

Check out these ancient skates!

Take a closer peek...some of my favorites are the sweater pillow, marshmallow shooter (gotta make this for Amy), mini sewing kit, garden kit, and these sweet smelling lotions and potions (create your own Bath and Body Works via your own kitchen, yeah?)

Wait a minute.. it's way to early to start thinking about Christmas!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saturday #31-October 10, 2009

There is something to be said for starting a Saturday o' Fun at a Las Vegas Buffet. Really! Sushi AND a bran muffin for breakfast? Don't mind if I do, thanks!

I was in Las Vegas (Henderson, really) for the Gordon and June Smith family reunion, sadly without Gordon and June. All my siblings got together this weekend to celebrate:
1. Canadian Thanksgiving (a tradition since my mom is Canadian, and really, we're always looking for a good excuse to eat turkey!)
2. Angela & Tim's anniversary (congrats on 10 years!)
3. Amy M.'s & Brityn's birthday (Happy B-days ladies!)
4. BYU/UNLV football game (which we actually all bailed on going to)

We had a great time being together! It was especially fun to be with all the nieces and nephews--they are all growing up so fast! Oh, and we took a couple of AWESOME family photos! Sorry, I can't post them--it's would ruin Christmas for my parents. But believe me, they are AWESOME! (If you're my friend on Facebook I posted one of them there.)

Fiona, Conlan and I did some "competitive analysis" at a frozen yogurt shop in Las Vegas. I think they enjoyed the "espionage" part almost as much as the frozen yogurt!
And then I couldn't resist making Angela's dreams a reality! I found these great feather eyelashes at the store. I think I found my Halloween costume!

Special thanks to:
  • Max & Brityn for hosting the reunion. They were very kind and generous!
  • Tim for bringing Canadian cookies all the way from Canada!
  • Amy M. for surviving the drive up to Las Vegas!
  • Angela for staying with me on Friday night!
  • The entire family for being good sports during a family photo--it was practically painless!
  • Kendra for making the amazing Zucchini & Ricotta cheese dish!
  • Will for saying, "You sound just like grandma." It's a compliment kid!
  • Sean & Tim for chillin' with me by the pool.
  • Brian & Janelle for caravaning home with me--oh how I wish I could drive AND take pictures of you as you drove past me with your tongues sticking out!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Saturday # 30, October 3rd

Conference weekend! I usually pop a huge bowl of popcorn to snack on while I listen to conference (I like to leave the "old-maid" kernels for the end.. cause "last is the best of all the game"). This weekend I decided to eat something a little more healthy... 2 carrots and 2 cinnamon rolls (not only is conference good for the soul, cinnamon is too).

I loved every talk (Richard G. Scott - personal favorite this session). Occasionally during the afternoon session, sometimes I need to keep my eye lids open (especially after eating a turkey avocado sandwich). Maybe I'll prepare a conference BINGO sheet next time, or simply use toothpicks.

After conference I met my photography class at the AF tabernacle for our class field trip. We spend the next few hours running around town taking pictures.

Side note: While the other class members are on their way to stardom... after two classes, I can honestly say I now know how to officially turn on the camera, put the lens on correctly, and take the lens cap off. Yippee!

My main assignment today was to take a picture of a moving car, with the car in focus, and background in motion.

This shot is probably my best attempt at accomplishing this.. (I wonder what this man is pointing at?)

Also included are random shots of.. "The vehicle I drove before the Honda" & "This tree is such a sap!" And last, "Who knew these leaves could be so green.. even after photo shop" ;)

Fun class for an exciting Saturday o Fun!

Saturday # 28- September 19 " Time Out for Women"

Since Saturday # 27 is a blur to me right now... I'm jumping to # 28.

I had the opportunity to spend Friday and Saturday with friends at Desert Book's "Time Out For Women" in Logan. This event included performers such as Michael McLean and Cherie Call, and presenters, Chieko Okazaki, Mark Mabry (a favorite), Emily Watts, Brent Topp (another favorite), and Jill Manning (3rd favorite).

Friday night, Michael McLean sang & danced around the stage in his cowboy boots... (an image I've been trying to delete my from brain for weeks). Cherie Call (aka.. Jodie Foster's look-a-like) hit the stage next. All the music was beautiful, uplifting and inspirational.

Couple highlights:
I remember this cute lady from my childhood. It's hard to believe she's 82! Then again, it's hard to believe I'm in my 20's. ;)

Sister Okazaki's presentation was titled "Teach them correct principles and they govern themselves." She gave some excellent insight on effective teaching methods and how to keep our lives in line with important truths and principles.

Another favorite speaker was Mark Mabry, photographer and creator of "Reflections of Christ." By giving up worldly pursuits, he was able to accomplish many successful things, including the inspiration to create this remarkable photography.

A big thank you to Chris for inviting us, and also thanks to your parents- they are wonderful hosts!
We had a fun, uplifting weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Saturday # 26 - September 5

I sang Broadway themes all day and snacked on peanut M&M's. I broke my record. I threw about 15 M&M's in the air consecutively and caught them in my mouth... impressed?

I'm studying for a PCPI Certification test... aah, and one other test that I won't mention because is just absolutely PAINFUL and I'm not doing well on the practice tests. hmm.

Anyway, what does PCPI stand for? Professional Card Players International? Nope! it's stands for Print Communications Professionals International (nerdy).

What does this mean for me & my career? (Instant celebrity status through Print Buyer's Anonymous?)
Actually, I'm still trying to figure out what this means... and right now, not a whole lot at this point.

Am I currently working as a Print Buyer?
No, I don't currently buy print in my position. I used to. I'll just leave it at that...

Mr. Roger's Tour:

Offset (sheet-feed) press.. each "box" holds a different color of ink.

Here is a diagram showing how this press operates. Yawn...

According to Mr. Roger's: "As the cylinder turns, the ink is laid upon paper as it is pushed between the blanket and a third turning cylinder called the "impression" cylinder in exactly the same pattern as appears on the plate. A series of sets of cylinders can create color prints using different colors of inks, most commonly cyan, magenta, yellow and black (or "key"), known as "CMYK" four-color printing."

I'm not getting certified to run this press (running this thing is likely to inflict harm or injury to my body). I'm just learning the "artsy" side of this process.

So..for most of my "Saturday-o-Fun" I ate M&M's, sang (mostly hummed) Broadway songs, and studied for the PCPI certification, oh.. and that "other test." yuk!

"These are a few of my favorite things...." kind of..

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saturday # 25- August 29

Is this my Saturday number 25 activity? Maybe... time flies? I'm a slacker blogger. This was either Saturday # 25 or # 26 or 27.
What can I say, my typical summer Saturday morning routine is:
1. Wake up
2. Sit up
3. Knees up, legs flopped over bedside.
4. Hand flapping around for glasses, not found.
5. Eyes glaring at the clock.. 1/2 an inch from my face (I'm blind).
6. 6:30 a.m. "Why did my alarm go off? It's SATURDAY!"
7. Jump back into bed for another 2 hours.

Later I'm sure I shuffled around the house in my bunny slippers & robe snacking on chunks of frozen chocolate followed by a bowl of oatmeal. Plain old oatmeal- Love it! Next, I'm 101% sure I peeked out at my tomatoes. My prize tomatoes, those big red beauties! Then I slowly opened the back door an inch.. my eye searching for neighbors who might catch a glimpse of me in my robe and slippers. When I think the coast is clear I swing the door open and jump from the top step to the patio... hopefully like Wonder Woman.. only with bunny slippers and a red robe. I'm now safely hidden behind my backyard fence. "No one saw me!" Next, I hear my next door neighbor sniff loud! "Oh great!" I then shuffle around the back padio, bunny ears bouncing, as I inspect my tomatoes. I have (had) a tiny little red pepper that is (was) struggling. I usually give it words of encouragement during this plant inspection. Apparently whatever I told this little veggie didn't work, it's dead to me now.

I can't tell you what happens mid-morning nor early afternoon on day # 25. However I do remember that I picked up my two nieces and nephew later that afternoon to see Harry Potter at the Commons. I was a bit frightened halfway through the movie and sat in the food court for 15 mins.. oh wait, maybe it was me sitting with someone else. ;) Either way... I throughly enjoyed some nachos and popcorn during the break. Fun Day!

Saturday #30-October 4, 2009

It's official--Autumn is here! How do I know? Besides the colorful trees, cooler temperatures, and pumpkins on sale at Albertson's--It's the LDS General Conference this weekend. So, in keeping with traditions instilled in me as a youth (thanks Dad!), I cleaned out the garden and got ready for winter while listening to the Saturday morning session. If you missed General Conference visit for the audio & video links. I recommend the talk by Elder Bednar!

Another conference tradition is Borstch for lunch on Sunday. But my mom isn't here to make it, so I made the attempt for the first time ever all on my own. Borstch is one of my favorite things to eat--it's a wonderfully warm comfort food on cold Autumn days. What is Borstch? A Russian vegetable soup, usually made with lots of beets--healthy right? Let me just mention it's made with a pound--yes, I said 1 POUND--of butter! How can it NOT be tasty with a pound of butter?

So, during the break between conference sessions, I ran up to my parent's house and found the recipe in the files (thanks for being so organized Mom!) and then to the grocery store for all the ingredients. The recipe says it makes enough for 8 people. After all was cut, fried, boiled, and stirred, let's just say those 8 people must be GIANTS!! I ended up with at least 5 quarts of Borstch. Here's the recipe. I forgot to take the fancy, food-styled, picture of my bowl of Borstch for the family cookbook--sorry!

1 qt. tomatoes (I used a couple of cans of diced tomatoes from my food storage)
8 med. potatoes
2 large onions (I only used one)
1 carrot (I halved a bunch of little snack carrots)
1 small beet (I used one can of diced beets--drained off the liquid)
1/2 stalk celery
1 lb. butter (to make this a healthier soup, I suggest using only 2 Tbs. of butter here)
1 green pepper (I used a red one 'cause I don't like green)
small bunch of dill leaves
1 good head cabbage (glad it called for a "good" head...I used a pkg. of pre-shredded cabbage)
1 c. heavy cream

Put 1 qt. of tomatoes into a frying pan with 3 tbs. of butter (or just 1 Tbs.) and let it cook for a few minutes.

Pour 3 qts. of water into a 4 qt. pot (5 qt pot would be better) and bring to a boil. Peel 8 med. potatoes, 2 onions, 1 carrot, 1 beet and 1/2 stalk of celery.

Cut 5 potatoes and the beets into haves, cube carrots and chop the celery finely. Put all this into the boiling water and add half to the tomatoes (I held out the tomatoes until the very end) that have been cooking with the butter. Salt to taste and add 1/4 lbs. butter (or half that even). Select a real solid head of cabbage and shred it very finely.

Put 1/2 tbs. butter into a frying pan, chop onions real fine and fry in melted butter for at least 5 min. Watch so that they don't burn. Then add 1/3 of the shredded cabbage, some chopped green peppers and allow to fry.

Be careful that your potatoes do not over-cook. When they are tender enough to mash, take them out and mash them, add the rest of the butter and the cup of cream to the potatoes.

Cut the 3 remaining potatoes into small cubes. Pour them into the boiling potato stock water which you have left and let them boil for about 10 minutes. Then add the fried cabbage (with the onion and green pepper) and the rest of the shredded cabbage. Allow to boil for about 3 min. then pour in the mashed potatoes. Stir very slowly so there will be no potatoes in lumps. Last of all, add the rest of the fried tomatoes (this is where I added all of the fried tomatoes) and the finely chopped dill leaves. When it all comes to a boil, take it off the heat and allow to cool. At this point I put my borstch through the blender--not too much--just enough to smooth it out a bit. Add salt to taste and serve. Serves 8 people.

P.S. I gave some to my grandmother. She left me the best voice mail message about how wonderful the Borstch tasted! Hooray! I'm calling it a success!