Monday, December 22, 2008

Donate usable items before the end of the year!

It is that time of year to donate your usable, unwanted items to charities. Today we are taking several boxes full of usable, good quality items that we don't need to Deseret Industries. Here are some helpful hints for donating:
  1. Make sure that the items are usable...that means in good working condition. I know that Deseret Industries has to throw out a lot of trash that people bring in. If it is trash, then put it out in your own garbage can!!
  2. Donate clothing items that are clean. Put them in the wash first if needed. Charities do not wash clothing first before selling it.
  3. Check with your local charity first if you are uncertain about what they accept and for their donation acceptance times.
  4. Be generous. If you still have items that you have used in years, and aren't likely to use it in the years to come, then give it away. Maybe someone else needs it!
  5. If you want a tax deduction, make sure you get a receipt for your donation and make a list of the items you donated. Keep this information with your important tax records. Your tax preparer will appreciate it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pug and Luigi napping by my feet

I've been working on the computer this morning, posting over on my other blog and thought I'd post a bit here about Pug and Luigi. The dogs like to sleep near me when I'm on the computer. Luigi is under the desk, wrapped up in his fleece blanket, on his bed. You can see his little head sticking out. He is such a sweetheart!

Then, there is Pug. Pug has been gently snoring all morning. He is very funny, even when he is asleep. Every so often he'll wake up from snoring, lick his lips, then lapse back into a semi-comatose state, snoring again.
You gotta just love a pug sometime...they are really fun. Notice how the curly tail is relaxed when he sleeps. In a minute, we are all going out for a walk, then sleepy time is over for the dogs!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Twenty Five Main, St. George, UT ...Cupcakes!

DS #4 had his group cello performance group this morning. This gave me the perfect opportunity to scope out some businesses in St. George this morning, and go to the farmer's market (see my other blog... for the farmer's market report). Anyway, I was driving on Main St. to the farmer's market and noticed this little shop....Twenty Five Main....with a sign that said "cupcakes". OK, maybe you are unaware of how popular cupcakes are lately. I was just checking some food blogs the other day, and came across a cool web site for a mini cupcake store in SLC, so I was motivated to stop and check out Twenty Five Main.

They were just putting the trays of cupcakes out when I arrived. They have a cupcake menu for the week.....hmmmmm....which one should I choose?? Decisions.... I finally picked the banana breadcake. I took it outside and took a bite....oh yea, it was more than was cupcake heaven! I went back inside and took this picture of the cupcakes....are you drooling yet?

I bought 6 more for tonight's dessert. I got 3 peanut butter cup and 3 chocolate strawberry. This place is also a restaurant. The menu looks good, and they had did have tables filled with customers. I will have to check it out for a meal, but for right now, the cupcakes are good enough for me!
Check out their web site:

Desert Scenery

First off, I have been so stinking busy this week, I haven't had time to blog. DS # 4 was recommended for a role in a Disney pilot, so we have been gathering videos of his guitar playing, reading lines for the camera and having his head shots taken. He does attend a performing arts high school, but I was shocked when it was suggested to us.

Anyway, I was just stepping into the backyard, when I saw this cool bird on the back fence....and realized that it was a roadrunner! Cool, I had a roadrunner in my backyard! Had to snap a picture just because, well, would you have believed me?

I think it was yesterday morning when I took DS #4 to school, and saw an incredible sunrise/sky. Had to get a picture of course. I think I'll email this to KSL...maybe it will be featured on the weather segment with Mark Eubank! Let me know if the picture does get on the news, cause I never have time to watch it anymore.

We went to see "Thriller" at Tuacahn Theater last night. What a great performance by the Odyssey Dance Theatre. It was fantastic! I know that this is performed in various cities in Utah this month. If you haven't seen it, mark your 2009 calendar.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pug plays Phase 10 or something funny for Floy

Sunday is a day where we have our young adult children over for dinner (they are welcome any time, but Sunday evening they are usually available). After dinner, we gathered for a game of Phase 10. Pug decided that he wanted to get in on the game.

Now, lest you think that he really likes to play cards, DH had a little cup of dog kibble, and he would put a piece or two up on the table. Pug is so food oriented, that at one point, he nearly jumped up on the table. It was easy to get him so that he looked like he was playing cards.

Pug is a very funny dog. What will he learn next? My friend Floy wanted me to share something funny ......does this count, Floy?! Does your dog do anything funny? Post a comment and share one of your funny dog (or pet) stories.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bad Luigi

First it is Pug, now it is they ever learn? Actually, it is me that never learns because I still need to trim the shrubs.

It was General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this weekend. As always, I learned so much from the speakers. Two of my favorite phrases from the conference are these:
President Monson: Enjoy the journey
Elder Cook: Just because there are rain clouds in the distance, does not
mean it will rain.

Ok, I might not have gotten these word for word, but they are close. Of course, they were just a portion of the talks they gave, but I appreciate these phrases.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Urban Renewal....the store!

One of my favorite stores in St. George is Urban Renewal. It is a home decor/clothing store. There is enough very cool second hand stuff to peak my interest and some new items as well. If you are tired of your own decor items, you can take them there and sell them on consignment. When I was decorating my Mapleton home to sell, I found some items here that were perfect and they were very reasonably priced. They also sell furniture that has been previously used but in good condition. This picture is of the back of the store...the front would have made a better picture, but there was so much traffic yesterday (St. George Marathon being run today).

I saw this wonderfully shabby chic section of fencing and really wanted to buy it, but talked myself out of it. I really have no place to put it. I think you could make a very cool headboard for a twin bed out of one section. If you ever watch HGTV, you have probably seen them do something like that with old fencing.

Anyway, if you ever travel to St. George, Utah, you really should check out Urban Renewal. No, I don't know the owner or anything like that! But now that I think about it, it might be a great place to get a part time job!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A dog's Life

DS #4 is home from school, day # 2, and is a little bored. I was taking pictures of me preparing a recipe, when he took off with the camera and decided to take some pictures of the dogs. Picture number one is of the lovely Pug. Don't you just love this mug? The only person who has been able to get the dogs to sit still for a picture is DS #4.

Picture number 2 is of Luigi, our Italian greyhound, or IGGY as they are known for short. Both dogs are 4 years old.

Luigi is like a refined butler, and pug is like a couch potato, snack eating slob. Pug could eat without stopping for days, but we don't let him. Pugs gets his "weight control" Purina One measured out each morning in a bowl. Luigi gets his food measured also, but his is high protein.

Luigi looks like he could be royalty, whereas Pug looks like.....

.......we think that pug looks like Yoda in the movie Star Wars....maybe that is where they came up with Yoda, by looking at a pug dog. Pug also looks a bit like ET.

I'm beginning to feel a bit like Luigi here, yawning and wanting to nap.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Somewhere over the rainbow....

We had just finished our weekly Sunday dinner, had homemade twinkies with ice cream for DS #1's birthday celebration, when DH called everyone over to the window. All of my boys screamed, "Mom, get the camera!!!", as they know that I love great photos for my blog. Wow, I was impressed with this first shot. You can see a light rainbow to the left, and a darker one on the right.

I decided to check again about 5 minutes later, to see if the rainbows were still there, and behold, it seemed that they were even brighter this time (what do you think?). I took another picture, because, it was just so bright and pretty. Today was very crazy (DS #4 I had to take to the instacare this morning.....had to to it... he needs surgery....not life threatening but still....) and the rainbow was just another tender mercy from the Lord to me.

I decided to see if there were any other parts of the rainbow showing, and yes, there was. On the other side of the yard, just poking out from behind the tree was the other side of the rainbow.
I didn't get to go to church today, but I did get spiritually fed today by reading the Ensign, reverently listening to my DH and DS #1 give blessings of comfort and healing to the rest of the family (everyone is sick here), studying the scriptures and by seeing the beautiful rainbows in the sky. Hope that your Sabbath day was equally wonderful.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bad Pug video

Had to send in the troops to get the bad pug!

Bad Pug

DH gets up earlier than I do, and feeds the dogs. He takes care of this doggy chore Monday through Friday since he gets to the office early. I take over on the weekend, when he prefers to sleep in. Anyway, I get up, get DS #4 up so he can get ready for school. I look out the window to see where the dogs are.......because they have been naughty lately. I know, you're thinking, what possibly could my sweet little pug be doing that is so bad?

It all started with the grapes. My dogs are addicted to the ripe, sweet grapes on the back fence. Luigi (the Italian Greyhound) figured out that he could "climb" a bush, get on the wall, and get to MORE grapes hanging on the other side of the fence. Well, you see that bush to the left of the water feature? That is the shrub that is providing freedom to my dogs. (Note to self: GET THE TRIMMER TOOL OUT THIS WEEK)

Look closely at the picture and you will see our problem dog......yep, that's him, sitting on the top of the wall. (Click on the picture for a closer look at this bad boy!) A side note here....there is a road behind our house that has lots of fitness buffs running, walking and riding bikes up the canyon. There are lots of cars that use this road with the peak period being in the morning and then again in the evening. I haven't gotten pug a city license yet (or Luigi for that matter) and he isn't wearing his collar. He is microchipped however. I am not a totally irresponsible pet owner and we've only been here for less than 2 months....(OK, note to self: LICENSE THE DOGS WITH THE CITY)

DH said that he stood sentry like this for 20 minutes, and he thought it was funny so he didn't make Pug come down from the fence. I'll never get this dog trained because DH just encourages the bag pug behavior....that's another post.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday night......the moon!

Just when I think the landscape can't be more beautiful here in southern Utah, along comes another picture perfect moment.
DS #4 called DH and I outside to see the moon. I was getting a foot massage and didn't want to get up, but DS was persistent, so outside we went. I immediately said, "I need my camera!!!!"
I just love the scenery here! I wish I were a professional photographer there's a thought! Sounds like an excuse for a new camera if you ask me!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sunrise pictures

I went out to get our dog, Luigi, out of the grape vines (yea, the dogs are still eating grapes)and looked up at the a stunning scene. The sun is just coming up and hitting the red rock....lovely!
I'll try and blog more tomorrow.....have a PTA meeting this morning and the RS Presidency is coming to visit me after that. Lori is also heading home this morning. "Big River" last night at Tuacahn was really good! We had a great time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Zion National Park.....our labor day outing!

Yesterday we had a family day at Zion National Park. We drove into the park, through the tunnel and parked in a small parking lot just past the tunnel. We went for a hike on the Observatory Point Trail. The trail is about a mile and a quarter long. It takes you to the Observatory Point, which overlooks the road that goes through the park and surrounding area.

The hike was quite fun! The weather was perfect for hiking, not hot with a little breeze. All four of our sons are Eagle Scouts, however, they are past the point of enjoying camping/anything that resembles scouting, so I guess I was surprised to see that they were enjoying themselves so much.

The only son who didn't make it had a job interview (he found out later that he was hired, and started working today), so he met us later for dinner. Here are DS #1, #3 and #4 acting like goofs on top of a very tall rock.

Here is DS#1 with DH, taking a break at the top. You notice that mom is always taking the pix, which means I am also carrying the camera (bummer).

Here is the magnificent view from the observation point area. Stunning! Click on the picture and you can make out the road that we took to get up the hill to begin the hike.

Anyway, it was such a fun day. We had a blast! There are definitely a ton of tourists at Zion right now, but hoping that by the end of October it clears out a bit. We already have a few more hikes that will take an entire day.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Great farmer's market haul today!

Wow, what a wonderful selection today at the farmer's market in downtown St. George, Utah! I am impressed with the quality as well as the prices. Today I was able to find several items that will be thoroughly enjoyed this week. First of all, I just love the sunflower sprouts from a grower in Veyo. They come to the market every week. I am a regular customer. Gotta have my sunflower sprouts. I have been unsuccessful in sprouting my own......atleast they don't look as good as these. I also purchased some sweet pea sprouts, which are so delicious in a salad or on a sandwich. I like to use the sunflower sprouts in my egg white omelets, with a bit of shredded cheese.

The next great purchase was this bag of stir fry vege mix. Just a buck for this nice little variety of squash, snap peas, carrots, broccoli flowerettes and a pepper. All organic.

Maybe the best buy of the day was for the wonderful lemon cucumbers (behind the orange tomatoes in the picture below). They were only 20 cents each. I love this variety. I cut them up and serve them with a sandwich for "chips". You'll also notice the wonderful array of tomatoes. I got the orange romas to use in the stir fry I'll make for dinner tonight. The yellow tomatoes will be served with tomorrow's dinner. I'll slice them and serve them with some baked chicken, zucchini patties, green beans (pressure cooker prepare with a great recipe from Martha Stewart...I'll post it later) and corn I froze from last week's corn festival. Gotta load up on the veges when they are in season. Besides, I bought some fresh pies for dessert. DS#4 wanted pie instead of cake for his birthday celebration.

The almonds here are soft shelled. I'll put them on a tray to dry out further but we will eat them raw, unroasted. They are easy to get out of the shell. Almonds are good for your heart, eat a few every day!

Here is the total haul! Doesn't it make a lovely picture! Have a great day at your farmer's market or in your garden. My friend Joyce tells me that they are loving the canteloupes from their family garden. I of course am jealous because homegrown canteloupes are the absolute best! I did get some really wonderful ones this week at Smith's for $1 each...not a bad price! By the way, to get a close look at the pictures, just put your curser over the picture and click. Have a great day! check out this link for more farmer's market reports!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Family Night at Dixie Rock

This picture is taken from Dixie Rock and overlooks the city of St. George. Tonight was family night at Dixie Rock.

Dear husband has been wanting to climb to the top of Dixie Rock since we moved here to Southern Utah. The last time we had planned on doing so, there was an electical storm, so, it was cancelled. This past Monday night however, was perfect weather, so off we went. I picked up a box of ice cream treats from the store so we had refreshments as well.

For some reason, I wasn't thinking that this would be a hike of sorts, and I wore thongs. Kind of stupid I admit. Fortunately, the red rock was fairly easy to navigate. I took this picture of a family already at the top when we were just starting to climb up.

Here at the top is DH and DS #4. We were waiting for DS #2 to join us when he got off of work. All of our boys have wanted to make this hike, but we only were able to get 2 of them that could join us.

The sky was just so gorgeous on Monday night. I wish I had a better digital camera so that I could get some nicer pictures.

I finally climbed down when it started to get dark. Some other families were on the top now and the moms were making me a nervous wreck not watching their very young children peering down to the road. Besides, I had thongs on and the descent down some worn steps was on my mind. Another fun family night has come and gone!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bad Outlet? Corn Festival!

What do Bad Outlet, Candy Cabin, Forbidden Doughnut and Too Much Fun Plus One all have in common? These were some of the bands playing tonight at the Enterprise, Utah Corn Festival.

Now that I have your attention, I'll tell you all about the BIG day in Enterprise. It is a big day in the little town of Enterprise. The day begins early with wagon rides, flea market type booths, sales of corn (at various locations in town), small town carnival type rides, yard sales, etc.

We were hungry when we arrived and found this quaint little booth that sold roasted corn on the cob. Check out the cool banner.

Once you pay your $3, the able staff grabs a cob of corn, wraps a napkin around the bottom where the roasted husk has been folded down, and proceeds to dip that corn on the cob into a nice pot of melted butter (yum). You can then go to a table where there is salt and pepper, parmesan cheese and a bunch of other seasonings to sprinkle onto your corn.

The picture below shows the roaster. They place the corn (in the husk) into this huge roaster machine. The girl on the right takes it out and folds the husk back, then it is ready to sell and dip into butter.

Around 6 pm there is a dutch oven dinner. They served some kind of meat, dutch oven potatoes cooked with bacon, rolls, cake and of course, corn on the cob. The production of the meal takes place in the pavillion (pictured below). A huge line forms once the crowd is given the word that the grub is ready. It smelled pretty yummy. We passed on the dutch oven, having decided that we wouldn't be staying long.

We weren't going to stay long, but sat in the shade to listen to a few bands that were playing. By band number 2, we were ready to blast out of there, but band #3 turned out to be quite good. Bad Outlet was their name, and we were impressed with how good they were. They were young in age but were quite professional and had great stage presence for such a young band. They are from St. George. The bands got progressively better. I especially enjoyed Forbidden Doughnut, a band from Cedar City. The band consisted of accountants and a truck driver. Now, unfortunately, my dear husband has decided that he, being an accountant, should be able to form his own band. Guess he'll have to learn how to sing first, LOL. He does play piano, so maybe he'll be on the keyboard!! Anyway, our dear 15 year old son (16 next week) was grumping about the entire "adventure", and criticized the first 2 bands (he being a guitarist and a band member prior to our move) but by band #3 he was not wanting to leave. We were enjoying the music by then until a band called "Typhus" came on. By the end of the screamo band's first number, I turned to look at my husband because I thought I was going to bust a gut, and I wish I could've captured the look on his face. Best described as "what the heck was that"! We left for home after that.

So, now we're home. Soon to be birthday boy is playing his electric guitar hooked up to his "small" amp with the sound level below ear piercing. Next year he is planning on having a band that will play at the Enterprise Corn Festival.
I have 3 dozen ears of corn, and look forward to corn on the cob for Sunday dinner tomorrow night! Our three older sons will show up for dinner and make quick work of gobbling down most of that corn.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pug and Luigi feast on grapes!

In the backyard we have a huge patch of grapevines. These are an untamed mess along the back fence. I have attempted to trim some of this back, because since Pug and Luigi discovered the grapes, they have been pigging out!

So, here are the culprits, Pug and Luigi! In case you are wondering, Pug is an AKC pug dog and Luigi (DS#1 named him when he was a puppy) is an AKC Italian greyhound. Together, they look like mutt and jeff! Pug does better in cooler weather, and actually loved playing in the snow at winter time. Luigi loves the heat and will allow himself to bake in the hot sun....he can't get enough of the heat. Why did we settle on these two breeds of dogs? Well, my DH wanted a pug, and I wanted an indoor dog that didn't shed. We got two dogs that shed and that are exact opposites of each other. But, we love them. My DS's love them. And, they are SOOOOO funny.

When they aren't barking at someone walking their dogs, lately they have been busy eating grapes. At first, I realized that they shouldn't be eating grapes, that they might be deadly. This was after they had eaten tons of grapes. After the days and weeks went by and they were still happily eating grapes, I realized that you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Anyway, pug will get up into the grapes and take a whole bunch off of the vine, take them onto the lawn, and begin his gorging session.
Here is a picture of Luigi just feasting off of the plant. That long nose really is a benefit when it comes to grape picking.
Anyway, after trying out a few of the grapes, I've decided that the dogs are enjoying some really yummy treats. I'm going out to harvest the rest of the grapes so that the dogs don't eat any more!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Up in the Air, Junior Birdmen!

Last night we went to Tuacahn Theater and saw The Sound of Music. It was very good and we had a great time. I'll blog about Tuacahn at another time. Before we went to the theater, my dad called and told me that they would fly up for breakfast in the morning (today).

My parents, Joe (my father, in the plaid shirt) and Billie (my mother), and another pilot friend of my dad's, Ed, flew up this morning. I drove up to the St. George Airport and picked them up. The St. George Airport is on a bluff and has a spectacular view of the St. George area. My dad has flown his plane into this airport several times before so I know exactly where to pick them up and meet them at the plane tie-down area.

After retrieving them at the airport, we went to a restaurant called, The Egg & I. I had heard that this was a nice place to eat breakfast. We placed our order and waited about 45 minutes for our food. We waited about 35 minutes for the waitress to check back with us. Not sure what was wrong in the kitchen/with the staff/etc, but I do know that next time we won't be going there. The general feeling among us is that we should have gone to Cracker Barrel.....oh, well, next visit.

The food was pretty good when it finally came. I took them back to the airport after we ate and got a few pictures of them getting back in the plane and of them taking off. It was so fun to see them on the spur of the moment! I am glad that we live closer and can see each other more often.