Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fearless Climber

Duane's 1st peek of Mt. Everest. Day 3 of 10 days to base camp

HAPPY Birthday to my younger, amazing brother, Duane, this week.  He's 40 year's old and he's already climbed to the base camp of the tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest.  He's my hero.  His sense of adventure inspires me everyday to climb my mountains.   We have different mountains that we climb.  He seeks out the most adventurous, steepest, challenging, overwhelming ones near and far {and I don't}.  I'm his biggest fan.  I look forward to hearing about his treks and hikes to Half dome, Mt. Whitney, rim to rim of Superstition, and Grand Canyon. 

My mountain isn't a destination it's my daily journey through having F.A.P. and living without a colon and thyroid.  Duane's perspective on climbing a mountain is inspiring.  He's taught me that the view from the top of the world is worth all the pain, training, hard work, foot after foot of miles climbing up a steep trail. 

I can picture a loving Heavenly Father allowing me to face these daily struggles, challenges, a personal Mt. Everest, so when I make it up to the summit I might have a more Godly view of life and love and obtain an eternal perspective. 

I'm grateful to have an adventurous brother, leading the way for me and showing me how it's done.

"Nepal Trip - on top of Cho La, a high pass at 17,650'.
  Hard to climb at places but very satisfying to reach the top. May 2. "
I repeat that little phrase when things get hard...  "Hard to climb at places but very satisfying when I reach the top."  I hope he gets to climb many many more mountains.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Lady of Leisure

THURSDAY was my first day in 17 years that all my children were at school at once and all day.  My friend, Jennifer, teased, calling me a lady of leisure.  I replied that I don't have the budget to be a lady of leisure.  I was more like a stay at home mom/maid.  Lady of leisure sounds like a socialite, pampered mother with perfectly done nails.  Not me.

But I thought a lot about that lady of leisure as I cleaned and organized the piles in my neglected bedroom.  I leisurely thought about it...  Suddenly, the morning had past.  The bedroom cleaned and organized, and then it was time for lunch.  I am a lady of leisure.  Jennifer, I get it!

Here's what this lady of leisure makes herself for lunch.

Perfect angle-hair pasta with tomato sauce and sauteed zucchini.  All freshly picked from my garden. Martha Stewart, the ultimate lady of leisure, taught me this one. 

2 T plus 1/4 t of salt
1 1/2 pounds of Roma's or one 28 oz can Italian plum tomatoes
8 oz pasta,
4T extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves pressed or cut into 1/8 in thick pieces
1/4 t crushed red-pepper flakes
1/4 fresh basil or parsley leaves, loosely packed and torn
parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Boil water, adding 2 T salt, add pasta and cook according to package.
If using fresh tomatoes, blanch them and remove skins and cut into 1/4 pieces or smash them up.
(Martha would take the cores out, take the seeds out, and not smash them up.  But remember she is the ultimate lady of leisure)
Then in a 12 inch saute pan heated on medium, add oil.  Add garlic to pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is lightly golden, 30 seconds.  Add red-pepper flakes and remaining 1t salt.  Cook until garlic is medium golden, 1 minute.
Increase heat to high. Tilting pan at an angle, add tomatoes on the top portion of the pan so it doesn't splatter all over you.  Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until tomatoes begin to break down, 5-6 mins.  If sauce starts to get too dry, add a little water from the pasta.
Drain pasta and add to sauce.  Stir in basil cook a few more minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese. 

This is simply the best!  Let's do lunch some time...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gone Fishin

I started going to Fish Lake 23 years ago.  John took me there on our honeymoon.  I think we've gone every summer since.  I love it so...
Fish Lake is full of family traditions like troll fishing, North Carolina Rummy, watching the deer that graze in front of the cabin, and long walks along the lake. 
I have my own tradition.  I love to go on a walk with my children down to the lake and sit in this most comfortable bench that looks perfectly towards the lake and watch my children play on the shore and climb on the lava rocks near by. The bench has an inscription carved into it.  It reads: 
Mr. somebody and his birthday - 1997
Gone Fishing.  
What a thoughtful family he has. When I sit on his bench I can't help but relax and enjoy the place I'm in and at.  I don't have a  care in the world nagging at me.  Contentment is all I feel.  My love of being a mother, a wife, and enjoying the beautiful scenery and nature consumes my soul.  It charges me up for the rest of the year and last almost until the next summer.  Then  it's time to go back to Fish Lake and go fishin.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Counting My Blessings

Manti Temple Grounds August 7, 2013

When ever we drive to Utah, 10 hours in the car, I always bring along a hand sewing project, a book or two, and a stack of magazines.  I don't know why I pack all that with me in the front seat.  All I really need is the Ensign.  I read it cover to cover and commit to read it the next month cover to cover.  That doesn't happen though.  I especially love the short faith promoting stories in the back.  Then I read the other short articles.  Love those.  I have a short attention span I guess.  Then, feeling guilty that I passed over the First Presidency's message I flip back to that. 
I read and reread President Eyring's message.  Recognize, Remember, and Give Thanks.   What he wrote about really struck a cord with me.  I've been thinking of it ever since.  "Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity."  
 I knew I've been missing something from my life these past few years.  So here I go again.   Blogging {or in my case, Journaling}.  
 I love this picture of the children.  They remind me of how happy and blessed we are as a family.  We have challenges everyday.  Someone {me, usually} ends up yelling about something but at the end of the day I can see how blessed we are to have each other.  
I'm grateful for that long drive to Utah last week and feeling inspired to blog again.  This is for posterity!