Saturday, July 31, 2010


Friendship is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.
Muhammad Ali
1942 -

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Times, They Are A Changin'

I remember when  I was a teenager hearing my parents and their friends discussing my grandparents.  They would talk about how much had happened in their lifetimes.  "They've gone from horses to a man on the moon!" they would exclaim and marvel at how fast the world had changed.

Lately I've been thinking the same thing about my own lifetime.  So much has changed.  And it changes faster and faster every year.  I think about how different things were when I was my children's age and to see it now in their time is fascinating.

Dial telephones, black & white televisions (we got our first color TV when I was a freshman in college!) records, typewriters and more.  There was no cable, not 24 hr news channels, cartoons were only on Saturday mornings, and if you wanted to see a movie you liked more than once you had to wait for it to come on network television, or see if they showed it at a second run theater.

So, what do you remember from your childhood that your children will never experience?  Block parties, grocery stores closing at 9pm, what?  I'd love to hear what changes have happened in your lifetime.

Monday, July 26, 2010

AJ's Staycation Experiment

During our staycation AJ decided to experiment and try to grow a beard.  For the past three weeks he hasn't shaved and, well ....  He's looking pretty scruffy, and a lot like his dad who wears a beard himself.  I had to post these pictures since he's going job hunting this week and will probably shave it off.  Pretty cute!

Friday, July 23, 2010


When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? To surrender dreams - -this may be madness; to seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all - -to see life as it is and not as it should be.
from Don Quixote
by Miguel de Cervantes 1547-1616

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Staycation! - The Adam Richman Experience

As I have posted here before, our family, and especially Kevin, is very much into Adam Richman's show "Man V Food" on the Travel Channel.  A while back we went to a restaurant in Denver, and this time we tried out two of the places he went to in Boulder.

The first place we tried was Beau Jo's, a pizzeria.  It was obviously geared toward the student population that is there in Boulder, but what a lot of fun.  They have what they call "Mountain High" pizza.

The crust on their pizza is very thick and they sort of braid it.  As a special treat they bring you a bottle of honey, and after you are done with the pizza you eat the crust with the honey.  Sort of a built in dessert!  They offer one huge-mongous pizza for $75, if you can believe it.  However, if two people can eat it all, including crust, in one hour you get it for free!

In the morning we tried out this place for breakfast, which is what Adam did on the television show.  Yes, we had breakfast in The Buff!  The waitresses there seem willing talk about the show, and afterwards asked if he steered us wrong in coming to them.  He did not! 

We had their specialty, the Saddlebags. These are giant pancakes with your choice of meat (bacon, sausage or ham) cooked into it, and a couple of eggs on top. Pretty great idea.

Kevin had it like Adam did on the show, one with sausage and one with bacon.  AJ had all sausage and I had bacon.  Stan tried their Pacific Benedict, which was an eggs benedict with smoked sausage.  Really a fun place to visit.  If you want the Adam Richman experience too give these places a shot!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Staycation! (part three)

Yes, we went to the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park today.
For those of you who know Stan, he was more than willing to pose with the hotel's sign.  I loved it!
This may be our Christmas card this year .....
The Stanley Hotel was built in 1909 and was the inspiration for Stephen King's THE SHINING.
We didn't see any ghosts, but we did see ....
The Stanley Steamer!
It's one of a very few that still work.  It was so cute to see.

We found ourselves caught in one major hailstorm on our way back to Boulder and our hotel.  I'll chronicle the rest of our adventures when we get back home. 
I just have to say, staycation is a blast!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Staycation! (part two)

So we decided to spend a couple of days at home during our staycation.  Yesterday we were planning on going down to Pueblo and visiting the River Walk and checking out Sloppers at Gray's Coors Tavern.  But the forecast was for temperatures of 105-110, and I said "No Way!"  Can you blame me?  Today we went and saw the film "Despicable Me," which was adorable, and came home for some homemade Chinese food.  Stan and Kevin have gotten really good.

Here's Stan making his famous fried rice in his wok.  It is amazing!  He buys BBQ Pork at the Asian Market and dices it up to add to it, and it is so good.   Of course we always wind up with so much we have rice for days.  Not that that's a bad thing ........

We do buy pot stickers and egg rolls from Costco.  Stan fries up the pot stickers in his wok and oh my gosh, you'd never know they were frozen!

Kevin made General Tso's Chicken.  His dream is to open a restaurant someday, and it'll probably be an Asian restaurant!

See what I mean?  The men folk know how to put on a spread!

Stan looks happy!

Don't bother me ... I'm eating!

I think Kevin needed to take a rest before tackling this huge meal!

Like I said ... it was delicious!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book Review: The Icing on the Cake

I was interested in reading The Icing on the Cake because the author, Elodia “Dee” Strain, grew up in my parent’s ward. This is her debut novel and it was hoot.

Annabelle Pleasanton is a 24-year-old magazine editor hoping for a fresh chance as a writer after a disastrous first attempt. In an effort to impress her boss she makes a trip from her hometown of Monterey, California to the small town of Los Banos to purchase a Portuguese cake to impress her boss. While there she meets a photographer named Isaac who makes her heart do a couple of somersaults.

After one date Annabelle decides she must end it with her Prince Charming before she gets in any deeper since it has always been her goal to be married in the temple. Low and behold, when she attends the singles ward that Sunday …. well you can probably put the pieces together.

In classic chick lit fashion, Annabelle and Isaac deal with many romantic moments that are fraught with complications while Annabelle navigates her attempts at magazine reporting, planning her best friend’s wedding shower and dealing with interferences from the opposite sex.

The road to romance is never smooth, particularly in romance novels, but Strain infuses hers with some sweet moments, lots of gentle humor, and a sprinkling of gospel/spiritual moments that remind us of what is the highest priority.

I think you’ll like this one if you pick it up. Elodia Strain now has a second book out, and I am looking forward to getting a chance to read that one too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Staycation! (part one)

We started our staycation for 2010, and we are having a blast!  We went up to Denver and stayed a couple of days.  Visited a restaurant, Cinzetti's, that we've been hearing about for the past ten years.  It was so much fun.  Looked like a little Italian marketplace.  It's a buffet, so you should be hungry and feeling well.  I wasn't feeling that good, so I feel like I missed out a little on the experience, but what I did try was fantabulous!

Spent some time swimming then went to Dave and Busters where Stan and the boys had a great pool game that lasted until 11:30 that night! 

The next day we visited the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  What an amazing place.  Since it was near 100 degrees, let me tell you we were happy to be inside their air conditioned wonderment.  Saw an IMax film on the Hubble Telescope that was breathtaking.  Makes me want to double my recycle/reuse efforts and up my green living ways.  The planetarium show was fascinating too.

Kevin and AJ were brave and visited the BodyWorks show.  The idea of it gives me the shivers, but they said it was interesting to view those preserved bodies.  Not for me!

Anyhoo, things have started out fun for us, and I'm excited to see what we do next!

Friday, July 16, 2010


I haven't trusted polls since I read that 62% of women had affairs during their lunch hour. I've never met a woman in my life who would give up lunch for sex.
Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Remembering My Babies

I am missing my babies tonight. 

I know, my boys are here....they haven't gone anywhere, but the little guys I used to cuddle and love and squeeze have grown up.  And tonight I am missing those sweet little guys.  From the time they were little I used to tell them that they were living proof that Heavenly Father loved me.  He wouldn't have sent His most special boys to me to take care of if He didn't love me.  I truly believe that.

Tonight, as this hot summer day comes to a close, I miss those little boys.  And the things I miss are so strange to me.  I miss that musky, sweaty scent they had when they were little and would come in at the end of a summer day ready for their bath and to get into their jammies.  I miss sitting out at the picnic table in the backyard trying to read and having them yell "Watch me Mommy!" every five minutes while they played on the swing set, or climbed the apple tree, or just ran back and forth across the yard.   

Sometimes in the evenings I would put on Elvis Presley records (yes records ... they were fascinated by them) and we would dance together until I was exhausted and they were just getting started.  We would go buy five cent ice cream cones at Thrifty Drug Store then drive up to the top of the hill at the end of our neighborhood and watch the sun set.  They asked some of their most interesting questions during that time.

I miss how AJ would wear an old kerchief of mine around his neck and think he was superman, or how Kevin would carry a stuffed doggie named Shorty with him all the time and introduce him to people he liked.

Every night we would read and read and read together.  One on each side, they would sink into me as much as they could, their eyes getting sleepy as I would make the sound effects and special voices for their favorite books.  And I miss them coming into my bed in the morning.  Sometimes I would pretend to still be asleep and they would pull my eyelids up and ask if I was in there. 

If I could have one wish it would be to go back and see myself then.  Make sure I hugged them enough, kissed them often and told them every chance I had how special they were and how much I love them.  I think I did, but I'd love to make sure.

Forgive me for waxing nostalgic, but I miss my babies.  I posted these pictures, when AJ was 9 and Kevin 7, because I wanted to look at them.  You can look at them too, and maybe go hug your babies before they grow taller than you. 

Friday, July 9, 2010


My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that's nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.
Helen Hayes

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Book Review: A Real Basket Case

I think I should start out by confessing that sadly, I hadn’t heard of this author until recently. She “friended” me on FaceBook and told me she too lives in Colorado Springs. Anxious to read something by a fellow writer from my home town, I went out and got her first book, a cozy mystery called A REAL BASKET CASE. You should get it too.

Beth Groundwater’s debut novel is tightly written with well rounded, fully believable characters. One of the things about cozies is they are usually about amateur detectives who are drawn by circumstances into solving a mystery.

In this case, Claire Hanover has a real doozie thrown at her. While in the middle of a home massage someone enters her home and shoots the man attending to her. Understandably terrified and in shock, a screaming Claire soon finds her husband rushing to the room carrying the gun. Of course the police think they have their man.

Claire, however, is just as certain they do not and sets out to prove her husband’s innocence. Not only is Claire trying to prove her husband is not guilty of murder, she is also trying to convince him that the massage was not a prelude to an affair.

Set in Colorado Springs it was fun for me to watch Claire swallow her fears as she confronts the detective, meets with a drug lord and interviews scurrilous suspects all in an effort to free her husband. Which was another aspect of the book I liked … Groundwater doesn’t have her heroine jump into her investigation lightly. It was hard for her and she had to screw up her courage in order to accomplish some of the things she did, which added a greater level of believability to the story.

What a fun book. Well written, A REAL BASKET CASE is good mystery and filled with characters I’m hoping show up in the second book (I have yet to read it). I would absolutely recommend reading this book. And if you happen to live in Colorado Springs, as I do, you’ll find plenty of familiar landmarks that will add to your enjoyment. PPPLD has a copy of the book as well as the second one if you should want to check it out. Believe me, you won’t be sorry you did.

Friday, July 2, 2010


If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.
Michael Jackson