Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


This is an Indian dish but so mild (if you don't add the heat) that picky eaters like my husband and brother-in-law like it.  It does not have a strong spicy flavor.  I can see children enjoying this lovely dish.  I adapted  this to make it easy and quick to prepare.  I like to use boneless skinless chicken thighs.  6 thighs makes about 4 cups of cooked chicken.  I have also made it by boning a rotisserie chicken to make my 4 cups of chicken.  Rotisserie chicken makes a very quick dish with no loss of flavor. 

If you are using raw chicken  toss 6 chicken thighs or 3 breasts cut into 3 pieces each  in 1 T. oil and some garlic powder.  Broil on a cookie sheet until lightly brown, turning to brown both sides.  Remove from oven.  Continue to broil the drippings in the pan for a minute or two to make some nice brown crusty drippings (but don't burn).  Remove from the oven and add 1 cup of water to loosen the flavorful drippings and save to pour into the sauce.  If you are using a rotisserie chicken boil the bones and skin and use 1 cup of the strained broth for the sauce.   Cut up the cooked chicken into bite size pieces making 4 cups.

Grate 5 cloves of garlic into a large saucepan with 3 T butter.  Add 1/2 chopped onion (about 1 scant cup)  Cook and stir in the butter until the onions and garlic start to brown.  Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1 - 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes and 1 small can of tomato sauce. Use an immersion blender and crush the  sauce until it is a bit smoother.  Add your 1 cup of broth.  Add:
1 tsp. ground Coriander
1 tsp.  ground Cardamon
1 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 - 1 tsp.  Garam Masala (optional, only if you like a little more spice)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (most people can tolerate this much but could be eliminated)
Juice from one small lime
Add the chicken and simmer for 25 minutes - If using rotisserie chicken don't add until the last 10 minutes.  Add 3/4 cup whipping cream and heat through Serve over white or basmati  rice with chopped cilantro on top if desired.   Makes 6 servings. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


(Click on the pictures to see larger size and eliminate the words over the pictures, should you have that problem.  You can then watch it in a slide show)


A morning drive to St. George
Enjoying an afternoon in the temple
Four, packed for Arizona
Stopping for the Wire Canyon slot hike
Lovely slivers of golden light
Bouncing on the tunnel walls
And to our eyes

Route 66
Winslow Arizona
Elegant old Spanish hotel with
The hollyhock garden courtyard
Ornate iron gates and rusty metal animals
A little taste of lovely bread pudding

Painted desert, glowing in the sun
Petrified forest walk
Pressing forward in a stiff wind

Reading Addie Hamblin’s story on the road
Awed by her life of love and service
Anticipating Alpine
Grandmother Iris’s birthplace
Jacob Hamblin’s burial spot
Where it all began

Up the canyon through the tall pines to Alpine
Eerie red sky
Dull light and smoke
A fire in the forest
40,000 acres burn in 2 days
Evacuating Alpine

Find the cemetery, at least
A look at Jacob’s resting place
Clear skies encircle the little burial plot
Reading all the names amid fallen pine needles
Serenity there
Disappointment, I wanted more of Alpine
A peek at Eager
Cedar trees and Sage
Also once home to the Hamblin Clan
A giant, awesome explosion cloud over the forest fire

On to Snowflake
And the precious little temple on a hill
A session with Viki
Peace and joy

Quaint little Jerome
Artsy city on a hillside
Earrings for Maren
Lunch at the old Palace Inn,  Prescott
Old cars and Dog fair

Sedona at last
Surprise red bluff setting
A visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright hillside chapel
Happy to unload for a week
Hot tub, card games, cooking again
Pasta, chicken, grilled tomatoes and Lava cakes

Morning walk at Red Rock Crossing
Ahhhh’s abound
Millions of rocks for millions of cairns
Shallow broad stream
Flowing over rusty colored slickrock

Cathedral  Rock
Rising in the clear blue like a giant castle
Climbing the sheer sandstone cliffs to a view of the world
Not too old to climb yet, but
Sore thighs are the price we pay

Dinner at the Elote Café
Recommended by friends
Arrive at 4:30, queue until 5:00 PM seating
Beautiful presentation, tasty food with a Southwest flare
Recipe book for me
Chef Smedstad coming to sign my book
Can’t wait to cook from it

Grasshopper point hike
Viki swims with phone and float away money ($15)
Lots of galleries but not to satisfy me

Call of the Canyon hike on a cool pristine morning
3 hours of glorious red rock vistas, numerous stream crossings and
Sparkling reflections of sky, stone and wildflowers
 Might be the most beautiful hike ever

Afternoon at Slide Rock
Natures waterslide with all the spills and thrills
Mike and Steve mustering nerve to slide
Finally, zip off to screams and laughs
We women wade
A sweet day for families with children

Cathedral Rock on fire at sunset
Reflections shimmer in the stream below
Dual red images steal my heart
Desire for another sundown here

Last hike, climbing briskly to the Eagle overlook
Back across bridge covered waterways with
Firecracker green grasses in the Red Rock State Park
Windrush Gallery, my kind of art, finally
Paintings to inspire me

A straight shot home, 11 long hours
Finish reading the Hamblin story as the miles melt away
Humbled by this family’s amazing experiences
Wish I could turn it into a novel
Goodby,  sweet Arizona

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have made a Hot Fudge Pudding Cake for years. Fresh out of the oven it is gooey and rich, with only 2 T.  of fat.  It is quick to make with stuff you already have.  But ice cream is a must.  The recipe makes only 6 servings.  If you double the recipe it needs a bigger than 9x13 pan.  I have made it in a 11x14 inch successfully.   You might want to bake it in 2 separate pans if you don't have a larger one.   The rich chocolate flavor is much improved with the addition of chocolate chips in the batter and some vanilla or coffee in the water.


1 C. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
2 T vegetable oil or melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. semisweet chocolate chips

1 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 C. baking cocoa
1 3/4 C. very hot water
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 350ºF.  Mix flour, sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, the baking powder and salt. Mix in milk, oil and ½ tsp vanilla until smooth.  Add 1/3 C. chocolate chips.  Spread in 9 inch square pan or a 7X11 caserole. Mix brown sugar and 1/4 c. cocoa together then sprinkle over batter. Mix 1 tsp. vanilla and (optional) 1 serving of instant coffee powder in the very hot water and pour over batter. (Since I don’t drink coffee I buy the little box that has 10 serving packets in it.) The mocha flavor makes it extra rich.   Bake 30  minutes. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I was asked to talk in church a couple of weeks ago.  This is my talk.


Recently I sat in the Temple reading Enos in the Book of Mormon.  It happened as it does sometimes, I read something I had never read before.  Enos was in the forest praying and contemplating words that he had (quote), “often heard my father speak concerning eternal life,” but that’s not all.  Then he wrote this beautiful phrase new to me but I will cherish it always now.  Enos said he also remembered the words his father said about , “the joy of the saints.”  --the Joy of the Saints—the two things he remembered from his father was, eternal life and the joy of the Saints. I like that a lot!  What kind of things do you think Enos remembered about the “joy of the saints?”  Maybe his father talked about Primary and what a great teacher he had and songs that they sang that he still remembered, or how wonderful it was to have home and visiting teachers who came every month that loved his family.  Maybe he talked about how nice it is to be with good people like we have here every Sunday and how they inspire us to be better.  Maybe he talked about how these good saints all fasted one Sunday when his child was sick or how they brought in food when his wife had a baby.  There are so many good memories when you begin to contemplate the “joy of the Saints.”  With inspiration from Elder Ballards recent Conference talk I would like to talk about how blessed we are to be here together as a Ward Family loving, serving and teaching one another. 

Our 4 years here has been a joy.  I am so impressed with the wisdom and goodness of you wonderful people.  If I had time I could tell specifically how you have touched my life.  When I was a child my family was not active.  My stepfather was an alcoholic and there was domestic violence in my home.  When I went to school I tagged along to Primary in the afternoon with the other children.  I sat on the long wooden benches in the old Wellington church and sang “The Light Divine.”  The sweet spirit enveloped me. That song still makes me cry.  The “joy of the saints” touched me very young.  My mother had a beautiful soprano voice and these good saints invited her to sing and she did and came back to church.  The missionaries came weekly to teach my step-father for 10 years.  I sat there and learned the gospel with him.  He eventually joined but could never give up the alcohol but the “joy of the saints” in that community taught me and loved my dysfunctional family and I knew, when I was young, that I always wanted to be with good loving people like they were.  And I can say that I have had great joy in my church associations, because I have been loved, served and taught in so many ways.

Boyd K. Packer:  "In one sense, we ourselves may participate in an atonement, when we are willing to restore to others that which we have not taken, or heal wounds that we did not inflict, or pay a debt that we did not incur, we are emulating His part in the Atonement."  (CR Oct. 1995)

As Saints in a church community we have numerous opportunities to “participate in an atonement” with our fellow Ward members because we know them and we organize to serve and teach each other.  It is a beautiful thing.

Rabbi Harold Kushner in his book, “Who Needs God” has touched me with his words in support of a religious community.

“It makes an immense difference whether we see ourselves as isolated individuals at war with the rest of the world, or as links in a network of human beings working for each other’s happiness as well as our own and depending on other people to help us find what we cannot get for ourselves.  On this question, the teaching of religion is clear:  ‘It is not good that man should be alone’ (Genesis 1:4) P.99 

“True religion offers to redeem us from loneliness… by teaching us to see our neighbors as ourselves, to be aware of their humanity, their fears and feelings, instead of only being aware of our own.  True religion teaches us not how to win friends but how to be a friend, to be concerned with alleviating the loneliness of others, learning to hear their cry instead of wondering why no one hears ours…When we learn to see the people around us as needing love, as being entitled to love, every bit as much as we are, we discover that we cure our loneliness in the act of reaching out to them.  And furthermore, true religion teaches us that, once we have met God, we may find ourselves widowed and unmarried, unemployed or unpopular, but even then, God’s closeness will protect us from a sense of abandonment and despair. 

“What does religion offer that we lonely human souls need?  In a word, it offers community.  Our place of worship offers us a refuge, an island of caring in the midst of a hostile, competitive world.  In a society that segregates the old from the young, the rich from the poor, the successful from the struggling, the house of worship represents one place where the barriers fall and we all stand equal before God.  (P. 102-103)

“And that is why I feel there is something lacking in the life of a person who says, ‘I believe strongly in God; I don’t need a building or a formal service to find Him.”  Religion is community.  It is the way people learn to relate to each other and to belong to each other in truly human ways. (p. 105)

“In congregational worship, regularly scheduled services on a Saturday or Sunday morning, I have come to believe that the congregating is more important than the words we speak.  Something miraculous happens when people come together seeking the presence of God.  The miracle is that we so often find it.  Somehow the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.  A spirit is created in our midst which none of us brought there.  In fact, each of us came there looking for it because we did not have it when we were alone.  But in our coming together, we create the mood and the moment in which God is present.”  (P. 149) Harold Kushner

I love Moroni  chapter 7.    Mormon talks about the “peaceable followers of Christ” and how he knew they were because of their “peaceable walk with the children of men.”  I know we all want to be “peaceable followers of Christ” as we move through our daily connections.

Of course we are not perfect and we are sometimes offended and offend.  Mormon taught us about charity in this chapter.  He gave us a list that we would do well to contemplate every day.  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,  is not easily provoked,

It is hard not to envy and we so often are puffed up and easily provoked.   This list is not always easy but Mormon gave us the key to success at the end of the chapter.   He said …”pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is;  that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure.”

  I love this scripture! For me it is a key to being a joyful saint
What if the main focus of our prayers every day was not on what we need but on pleading with all of our energy to be “filled with love” --  asking to be guided as we try to become “peaceable followers of Christ.”  Surely this is a prayer that God would answer as he helped us to suffer long and be kind.  Surely many joyful things would happen as we grow to become more like Christ as the scripture promises. 

 I look forward to many more joys with you great Saints of the Fruit Heights 9th Ward as we go forward together as “peaceable followers of Christ,” seeking to participate in an atonement daily as we are guided by the spirit of Christ.  And hopefully our children will recall the “joy of the saints” as Enos did.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen