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.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


This is an easy, rich, penuche topped tart.  I have made it with pecans and almonds and they were both delicious.  Walnuts would be good also.   It makes 10 nice little rich you don't need much to satisfy.  But I couldn't leave it alone after I made it.  Calories don't count if you only eat one inch at a time.  Isn't that true?  But some things are worth the calories.

Melt 6 T butter in a saucepan.  Add 3/4 C brown sugar, 2 T. heavy cream and boil and stir slowly for 1 ½ minutes.  Add ½ tsp. vanilla.   Pour into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan, sprayed generously with Pam, especially the corners.  Chop (big pieces) 1 C of pecans or toasted almonds and sprinkle evenly over the syrup.

¾ C semisweet chocolate chips
6 tbsp butter
3 T. cocoa – Dutch process is nice and rich here but any will do.

Microwave the butter in a glass bowl until melted and add the chocolate chips and stir until melted (the butter should be warm enough to do the job).  Add the cocoa and blend well.  Add ¾ tsp vanilla.

In a different bowl, beat 2 large eggs for 2 minutes until thick and lemon colored.  Add 6 T. sugar one T. at a time for another minute.  Continue beating adding 2 T honey for  1 minute more.  Fold the chocolate into the mixture with ½ C. flour.  Pour over the nuts and bake:

325 for 20 minutes.  It took exactly 20 in my oven but the top should be solid.

Run a knife around the edge and unhook the spring right out of the oven.  Immediately turn onto a plate and remove the bottom pan.  Scrape off any syrup sticking to the pan and smooth onto the cake.  Serve warm (but not hot) or room temperature.    Serves 10 with ice cream or whipped cream. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012


We weren't expecting to see the New Brigham City temple but since we are still here it worked out.  I have never seen so much intricate and varied architectural detail as exists in this temple.  Loved its old fashioned feel and peach symbolism!  It also has lots of ..- marks embedded in designs throughout the building, Morse code for VICTORY.

I wonder why God teased me with Scotland, when he knew we were supposed to go to Spain?  The Scotland call came on Valentine’s Day 2012?  I was stunned with excitement.  I knew Spanish speaking would be better for Mike, with his love of language, with his 5 + years of studying Spanish, with his Spanish ancestry.  But it was Scotland.  I told myself that God wanted me to have my way this time, that we would go Spanish speaking on our next mission. I imagined that God wanted me to be able to teach the Gospel, as I so love to do.

I had 5 weeks of my fantasy.  I traveled in Scotland once.  I saw myself again climbing to the roof of the soot covered Edinburgh Castle, strolling through the quaint villages, spending time along the misty lochs with bagpipes playing in the distance.  I had lots of dreamy images of my beloved UK with its history and quaintness.  I could see myself there again.  But it wasn’t to be and hadn’t I had told Mike that this mission was for him and that I would learn Spanish.  I think God heard.

So, I wasn’t surprised when the change call came, giving us a choice of Indonesia or the Canary Islands.  There was no question we would go to the Canaries.  But 8 months later we are still here.  The visa’s are stalled, sitting in the Spanish consulate in Los Angeles.   

We talked to the Mission Department last week.  A woman from the church is traveling to the consulate in LA to help with the backlog.  There are over 100 missionaries waiting for visas to Spain.  If this lady is able to help and move the visas on to Spain it will be 2-3 more months.  We are looking at December at the earliest and possibly January.  It could be a year since we received our first call.  It has been more than a year on hold in many ways.   We started the process last October.

We were told recently that we can change our mission call if we want.  We talked about it for a short time.  But our thinking has been directed to Spain for so long that it would be hard to change gears now, and then there is this knowing that we are meant to be there.  I am sure that the Mission President would be very disappointed.  We are actually thinking that in the end our assignment might be different.  The YSA program is going through some changes and we are not sure how it will affect us.  We often say to each other that we are not going to have any expectations because it will set us up for disappointment.  What will be will be.  Heaven knows we have gone through enough changes and delays to keep us humble.  At this point nothing would surprise us and hopefully not discourage us.   

Mike knows Spanish grammar inside and out.  His vocabulary is impressive.  He has memorized the entire Prodigal Son and the resurrection story in Spanish from the New Testament.  He has read most of the Book of Mormon in Spanish.  We are reading 5 verses a day from the Book of Mormon as part of my training right now.   Oh me, Spanish scriptures are very difficult! In the meantime we are planning a trip to Cancun to practice our Spanish and get out of our waiting funk.

Mike has chatted on facebook with one of the girls from the YSA group we will be working with in the Canaries.  We are connected to missionaries and some of the YSA kids.  The senior missionaries have internet phone systems that allow us to call and visit easily.   It has been great for asking questions about what to bring and expect.   

Mike studies more than I do.  I try to work at least 2 hours a day, sometimes more. There are times I get depressed, when I am studying, and I realize how difficult language is.  It does not come natural to me like it does Mike.  I think learning Language is very left brained.  Communicating is important to me, that part is right brained.  I have never been one to remain silent.  I will not give up.  I am determined to know Spanish on some level.  I see myself improving and it gives me hope.  Mike and I walk in the morning for an hour and he grills me the entire time.  He is patient, even when I get frustrated.  He has always been a good teacher.

I have memorized a good Spanish testimony.  I have written a few short talks that Mike has translated that I could read.  We both got ipads and the Spanish dictionary and translator has been invaluable.  I bought a Spanish App with 45 lessons.  I am on my last 3 lessons.  It has been good review for me.  Recently I sat waiting in a Doctors office and wrote down over 100 verbs with definitions. It surprised me that I remembered that many.

Last week we ordered the Spanish books and CDs from the church and plan to be tutored via skype.  I didn’t want to do it because I think we are doing fine on our own but Mike thought it would be good for us.  So as soon as I finish my Spanish App lessons we will begin.  I started a Mission blog and there are more musings and information there.  I hope someday I will actually be able to tell some mission stories instead of all this wining…but until then, wining it is.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


 I love the honey mustard flavor.  I liked this a lot. This recipe has a basis from a recipe that is served at Outback Steakhouse called Alice Springs Chicken.This is my version which would serve about 4 people.  It is quick and easy to put together

Pound 8-10 chicken tenders a bit until flat.  Sprinkle with a little seasoning salt.  I used Costco’s Sweet Mesquite Seasoning and I thought it was great with the honey mustard.  I only sprinkled a little as it can overpower.  Cook 4-5 slices of bacon and cut up into ½ inch pieces.  I love pre-cooked bacon from Costco (which I keep in the freezer) because it is crisp after 30 seconds in the microwave. 

Brown the chicken in 2 T. oil in a frying pan.  I didn’t use mushrooms but it is a possibility, 8 oz. browned in the pan after the chicken.  Add a little more oil.   Place in a 9X13 baking casserole, Cover with the mushrooms if chosen.

Stir together:
1/3 C yellow mustard
1/2 C honey
3 T mayo
1 T onion powder or dried onion flakes.
¼ -½ tsp. salt and some generous grinds of pepper (depending on how much salt you put on the chicken)
Stir the sauce into the frying pan to pick up any bits of browned chicken flavor left.

Sprinkle the chicken with the bacon and pour the sauce over the Chicken.  Top with 1 C. grated cheese, Monterey Jack or Cheddar.  Bake covered for 20- 25 minutes.  If cold bake for 30-35 minutes.

Serve with Rice or a baked potato. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I started this painting in January.  In February our first mission call came for Scotland , reporting in May.  I didn't think I would have time to finish it but the call changed to Spain and visa delays have gone on giving me ample time.  The pressure to study Spanish has filled up a lot of my disposable time or it would have been finished long ago.

Two years ago we were in Paris France on a Sunday afternoon.  Look here for photos and story.  The sweetest thing I have ever seen is the bird feeding in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral.  An older man was there with a basket of bread and he would stand the children upon the marble ledges and put bread in their hands.  The birds obviously knew the routine and would jockey for their turn.  The hedge was filled with little birds, waiting for a chance.  The pigeons on the ground pecked for stray crumbs.  The kids would laugh and giggle as the little beaks tickled their fingers.  I couldn't get enough of the charm of it all.

22x28 Oil on Canvas Board - From my photo

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I love Nutella - and this is delicious!  Reheat leftovers in the oven to crisp up the top again.

 12-14 - ½ inch slices of French Bread
1 Jar of Nutella
3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ C. Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
¾ C. sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees .
Paint one side of the French Bread with a generous slather of Nutella.  Top with another slice of bread to make a sandwich.  Cut into 2 or 3 pieces to fit together in the bottom of a well-greased 9X13 baking dish.  Repeat until all the bread fits.
Beat together the remaining ingredients and pour over the bread.  Let sit for an hour for a better soak or not.  15 minutes will work too.
Mix together ½ C. brown sugar , 2 T melted butter and 1 C chopped pecans or walnuts.  Sprinkle on the top of the bread and bake for 40-45 minutes.   Serve warm, with Buttermilk Carmel Syrup or just ice Cream.

Half of the recipe