Thursday, June 25, 2009

there's a mouse in the house

Those of you that know me,  know that could quite literally be the case out here on the farm.  However, last night was a different case all together.    Destiny's class did an Opera and she played a mouse.  A very good mouse I may add.

That is her there in the middle the "brown field mouse"
That is our friend Kadin in the Middle,  he was the farmer
He had a speaking (singing) part, and did really well.
There is the "field mouse" giving a little mousey attitude to the boy in front of her
The kids after the play,  Hayze was not in this play, it was for grades 1-3 only.
He helped with the doors.

Then, we went to the DQ, like we do after every concert for an ice cream treat.


And we met up with some friends that had just finished baseball.
And then played at the park for a few minutes.

What a great night.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time to Reflect

I am off to Saskatchewan tonight for a funeral.  That is never something I want to do obviously. But I am looking forward to seeing my family and extended family that I rarely get to see except for the odd wedding and funerals.   
My dear Aunt P.K passed away this month and I will miss her dearly.  She was my neighbor growing up and a vital part of who I have become as an adult.  She loved to create, may it be cooking, decorating, sewing, knitting, ceramics, music, gardening and trying new things like the 3d cut and paste craft she did when I was a kid.. you know the stuff that you varnish? I was fascinated with that when she finished that course. (if you know what it is called please leave a comment)  
My own mom had different interests than those of auntie Phyllis so I was lucky to have her next door so that I could also learn new things from her too.  Auntie taught me how to crochet at a very young age (sorry if you were at the receiving end of any of those projects) she gave me the love of crafting, and trying new things.
I in recent years have learned to love the kitchen too, and have on a few occasions been able to gets some tips  from auntie on how to make things just right.  She was always ready to give her advice on anything.  Even on my last visit I  learned how to look after my rose bushes properly.  
I am going to miss her dearly, she was a great person and a loving aunt.
After the kids went to bed last night, I took the time to bake and do some thinking,  I find after I lose someone in my life they are in the forefront of my thoughts almost constantly..  So last night was a great time to reflect and just bake while the kids were fast a sleep.  It was a beautiful time for me.  
I made these:

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes with
Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Yellow Buttermilk Cupcakes
Makes: 36
• 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 1/4 cups sugar
• 5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
• 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting 
Makes: About 5 cups
• 5 large egg whites
• 1 up plus 2 tablespoons sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
• 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until still (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I have been seeing plants sprouting for months on other peoples blogs.  We are finally seeing some results in our flower beds.  Our plants are all perennials.  We just have to weed..  If we get around to it!                                        
 This is our rustic Flower Bed.
If feels so good to see things actually growing ..  The weather has been so cold, actually cold enough to freeze some of my plants that I purchased on mothers day.

Our trees are just a buzz with bees.  I should have taken video so you could hear the hum in the yard.  You can hear it when you open the door.

A new plant on a comeback.  I thought we lost it.
Rock Garden plants are my favorite, they look so strong and rustic.  
This is also planted in rocks, Hayze almost pulled it out, it looks like a tuff of grass in the rocks.
Now,  it is delicate and beautiful.  Isn't it pretty?
Wildflower,  I love the look of this and wish I had more of it.  I will look when it goes on sale.
Not sure the name of it, I am sure I will figure it out.

Finally,  color.  This just opened this morning and actually inspired me to take these pictures.  
Summer is here.



OK,  I know what you are all thinking,  another dog?  I know, I know.  I am thinking the same thing.

While I was away in Phoenix, Jim bought this little puppy for the kids.

Now our track record has not been that good with dogs,  we do really try our best to keep them,  stuff just happens ..  really...  it just happens.   I have thought maybe Spur ( our old dog that has been with us for 12 years) has conspired to get rid of them all..  She is smart you know!  Anyway.  We wish little Bow a long stay and lot's of love.  

He better learn how to be quiet at night shortly or I may have to start my own conspiracy.  I Had Destinys teacher call me today to see if something has been going on because she is so tired in class.  My only answer...  A NEW PUPPY..  we are all feeling it this morning.  I think outside for him tonight.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One last post of Phoenix

Last post from the land of beige.  I am home now and reality strikes almost instantly.  My holiday is a distant memory.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of great relaxing.

We also seen a rat like this as we drove into the golf course property.  Not the cutest rodent out there, however we forgot all about it once we seen how beautiful everything else was.  I forget how lucky we are to be living in a rat free province.   Yuck!


So, over all it was another amazing holiday.  It was equally as exciting coming home to excited kids and a "lonely" husband.  It really warmed my heart when they all had a big smile on there face when I drove it.
Thanks Jean for the hospitality and laughs ..  I had a blast.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 4

Well here is a little update from day 4. As you can tell day 3 was a bit of a write off. We stayed by the pool and had a great time.

We stayed by the pool all day and then went to Gila river casino and watched Lonestar.
It was a great concert, I had a fabulous time. I know the girls did too.
This is a great place to watch a concert, small intimate place. I could share tons of pictures put I will just hi lite a few here.
now prior to the concert beginning I went to get the 3 of us a drinks. The bar wasn't busy, just me and a guy beside me getting a shot of whiskey with a beer chaser. Normal enough I guess. Smiled politely and ordered my drinks, then the bar tender said that I was only allwoed to carry 2 drinks back to my chair. I turned to this "guy" and asked, hey, where are you sitting? Can you carry this drink for me... ??? He kind of motions to the stage and says, ""um I'm not sitting.". and walks away. I say to the bar tender, is that guy in the band? he says ya he is.. I said.. Oh I am an ass... anyway... I look around for someone to help me carry my drinks and he is walking back, says sorry and I express what an ass I am and say thanks anyway. I tell the bartender, I'll take my chances with my 3 drinks and walk to our seats. We had a good giggle and enjoyed the show.
Funny thing is, he recognized me during the show and smiled at us... ( smart ass grin, as if to say ... told ya) But came out after to take a picture with me, and said "any other time I would have carried your drink) how fun is that.
little trivia for ya, Lonestar's lead singer is not the original. Didn't know that tell tonight when I was looking at there site. He sounded familiar to me.. I think the switch was in 2007.

Pictures we took outside the casino, after the concert.
Another great day in the dessert

Friday, June 5, 2009

200 post

Hint, if I have to ask.....

"is this your sext look?"

It probably isn't.

Day 2

Day 2..
La Bella, another great experience. Facial and massage for me and the girls both experienced pedicures and Jean had massage and Stacey had facial.

excited to go to the spa

waiting patiently

I had to get my hair washed. It was greassssy. The ladies drank wine and waited for me. the balcony at the spa

the ladies getting their pedicures
off to shop... and shop.... and shop....

1st stop, Dicks sports
Now why can three woman laugh so much about a store named Dicks?
We laughed when we got there, and we were still making jokes when we were cashing out.

Our truck when we got back to the house at after 11Pm.

what we found in the entrance when we got home

and how we got it out. I laughed so hard, three woman screaming at a inch long gecko.. was a little wake me upper at the end of a very long day relaxing.

Me going through my purchases of the day. Not as much as my traveling partners..but enough just the same.

What a great day. Nothing on our list for the rest of our holiday. More relaxing I am sure.

Sorry to hear it is going to snow back home.

I'll put something in the blender for you.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 1 of our Phoenix Holiday

Well we woke up at 3:30 to start our journey. We arrived in Phoenix at 9:30. Settled in and went for lunch and bought our weeks work groceries. I love shopping in an American grocery store. such neat stuff. Then back to the house for a swim.
Then the girls started pruning. They when to Jeans rental house to prune and when they got back we did her front yard.

Jean on the ladder, this tree is prickly.. not a job for flip flops as Jean found out.

A neat plant waiting to bloom in her front yard.

Jeans front yard.

Stacey hard at it.

Just in time, the ice cream truck.. who knew they still where around? ( yes, I am in lounge pants)

And to top the night off. Jeans neighbour came home. She drives a mustang gt.. had to get a picture of the whole package.. she owns a bar down the road. She has invited us on Friday night. good be eventful.