Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A couple of weeks ago we were grocery shopping at Winco late at night when I remembered Dan needed some leave in condition. They only had a couple so I just grabbed one and threw it in the cart. The next morning Dan said, "I really like this conditioner". Later on I looked at the bottle and did a double take. I saw the black man and women first then I read it - Sta-Sof-Fro. We both had a good laugh! It says it is good for the whole family.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 12th - A Red Letter Day

Yesterday was my 55th (gasp! I know! I know! It's baffling really) birthday. We had a wonderful day in Boise. Dan took me everywhere I wanted to go - my knight in shinning armour! We slept in and then drove to Horseshoe Bend where I had to get my driver's license renewed [for another 8 years - I will be 63 - that really blows my mind]. Then into Boise where we had lunch at Red Lobster. I should have gotten a picture of the cheesey biscuits, artichoke lobster dip and lobster pizza before it was devoured. It was so yummy! glutten be dammed. Then we went to Sears because we had a $40 gift card to spend that I have been carrying around for 3 years. We finally spent it - on a new mattress set. They were 60% off so we just had to do it! We got a Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid - whatever that is. It seems like it will be good - fingers crossed. It doesn't get delivered until Jan though. That will take our king bed tally to 5! Then we shopped around the mall- so much FUN!!! Oh mall, how I have missed you! I went to Banana Republic and bought some perfume - their classic sent which I love and some other new ones. After the mall we headed to Christy's. We visited a little while with them - except for Brigitte who was in school. Gabe's business is taking off! Brigitte's school Christmas program was today but we didn't know. Next time for sure! We missed all the grandkid's programs this year :(    I picked up the wooden Christmas tree for the vintage tin ornaments for my RS Christmas party on Tuesday. Thanks Gabe for building this amazing ornament holder! I am doing the same theme as Christy did so it was easy & hopefully cute! See a post in a few days....  then we headed to Jayna's house to meet up with her girls and head to Caroline's first gymnastics meet at the fairgrounds. She got a sitter for William. On the way to the fairgrounds we passed Curt who was bringing me a birthday present - a cute Beatles birthday card and gift certificate and a birthday hug (the best!). Such sweet messages from Curt & Kallie (hugs)! Caroline was very nervous at first, but after her floor routine she relaxed some and seemed to be enjoying the vault, bars and beam. She is really good! Caroline was the top scorer for the beam in her group. Most of the girls on her team are 5th grade and have taken for years.  This is Caroline's first year. After the Teddy Bear prizes we headed to Pizzalchick for dinner. Thanks you Tyler & Jayna for dinner! They sang happy birthday to me and we split a giant piece of keylime pie. Yummy! Then Dan and I headed to Winco to get groceries and food I needed for my party on Tuesday. We got home at 10 pm and I got to open some packages that had come - one of which was some fabric, Yes, I am turning into my mother! It certainly was a red letter day! Happy birthday to me!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Canning Peaches!

Every year I try to can a few peaches (we did 150 ears of corn last week - why does everything need done the same time?!) and I always have to stop and think how to do it (after 35 years you would think I would remember how long to process them) so this year I am writing it down so I will have it in my book! We got the most beautiful peaches from Emmett. These peaches are very large and beautiful - not to mention delicious!!! I usually can Hales or Albertas. These are Albertas. You can have 2 canners going at the same time if you start them back to back.

Here are my step by step instructions with pictures:

The day before I want to can I wash all my jars and I make sure I have enough lids. I get out my canner(s) jar and lid lifters. I also bleach my sink the night before! A clean organized work space is a must! I also have my steam mop standing by just in case of of a sticky floor.

get your beautiful peaches and place them in the sink with stopper. If the peaches are large - plan on 2 to a jar or if smaller, then 3 to a jar. Do not put more peaches than you need in the sink. I always have a couple of spares nearby if needed... but you don't want all your peaches to turn brown!

Turn on a half full canner of water and bring to a boil. Put the exact amount of lids in a small pan of water and let boil a few minutes. Then turn off. While the water is boiling (to scald the peaches) get your work station ready. This method works best! sink then cutting board on towels with a bowl for pits and skins, then have your clean jars ready, then your sugar water ( I used this red pitcher and filled it just to the line. I used 2 cups of sugar this time. Next time I think I will add in some lemon juice and pour some into the jars before I add in any peaches. Sometimes I don't put in any sugar. I also sit the pan of lids just behind the sugar water.

Pour the boiling hot water over the peaches to scald them so the skins will just slip off. Fill the canner half way full of hot water and put it on the stove but don't turn it on yet. Let the hot water sit on the peaches for 1-2 minutes then drain. Run cold water as it drains and then fill the sink up with the cold water. The peaches will look brownish.

After a few minutes drain out the cold water and let the peaches drain in the sink. Get a peach and cut it opposite of the natural curve. I know others say to cut it around the natural curve but this way there is the edge of the pit to grab onto and pull it out. Using a filet knife I pull the skins off. This is the magic part. They come right off! Then slice the peaches on the cutting board. I cut mine into semi-large ones - each half into 9 pieces - because these were giant ones!

Place sliced peaches into a jar. These peaches were so large it only took 2! Then shake the peaches down, pour the sugar water until 1/2 inch space at the top of the jars, wipe around the top of the jar with a damp rag, get a lid with the lid lifter and place on the jar, add a ring and then place the jar in the canner on the stove. Repeat until all jars are filled. I turn on the heat when I have 5 jars done. When water reaches a boil start timing. 45 minutes for me since I'm at a higher altitude.

 After the 45 minutes is up raise the peaches up halfway in the canner and place a dishtowel over the top and let cool a bit. Then remove the jars one at a time with the jar lifter. I place my jars in a pan covered with a bath towel - just in case a jar breaks. I have never had one do that but just in case! I use the peach water after canning to scald my new batch of peaches in the sink.

These peaches are just too pretty! Also - remember to soak your fingertips in lemon juice for 15 minutes to turn your yellow nails back to white.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jon Stewart at the 2014 Denver Finals American Ninja Warrior

Jon Stewart Superhero
My brother Jon Stewart, competed in American Ninja Warrior this season and blew us away! I am so proud of him and for what he accomplished! Here is one review I got from Star Cards. He is all over the web! A real inspiration to us all! Way to go Jon for following your dreams!

52-year-young Jon Stewart 
 adds to American Ninja Warrior lore 
One Jon Stewart is 51-years-old and is the host of the Daily Show — the other Jon Stewart is 52 and is the oldest contestant ever to complete an American Ninja Warrior Finals course. Which achievement is more impressive? Well, only one of the Stewarts can scale a 14-foot-high warped wall or navigate a suspended archway by grasping a series of rotating door knobs. Jon Stewart (The Elder), a construction superintendent from Washington, Utah, was the first to complete the ANW Denver Finals course this past weekend after numerous other racers — some half his age — had failed. By doing so, he joined Kacy Catanzaro in making ANW history this season. Athletes in all sports have been competing at an elite level for more years than ever before. Last season, Ray Allen was a key member of the Miami Heat at age 38. This year, Adam Vinatieri is set to kick for the Indianapolis Colts at age 41. New Jersey Devils winger Jaromir Jagr is still skating hard at 42 years of age. But three things set Stewart’s accomplishment apart; 1) he holds down a full-time job apart from obstacle racing, 2) a diverse, sometimes unrelated group of skills, must be mastered to complete an obstacle course, and 3) he’s a full freakin’ decade older than any of the aforementioned athletes! Jon was even interviewed by Men's Fitness and has videos all over the internet. I think we watched his Denver's finals video about 1000 times! Here is Jon's Denver Finals run: 

Here is here video he made for the ANW tryout.

Nope - I did not get that gene! Just in case you are wondering...

Post Note: 9/23/14 Jon broke his shoulder in two places and had to have surgery last night! He is determined to try out for ANW next year though!

Jo's 76th Birthday Surprise!

Jayna put together a surprise birthday party for grandma Crandall! It was fun seeing aunts and uncle and cousins that we hadn't seen for awhile. Jo didn't suspect a thing! It was a fun time for all. Thanks Jayna for putting this together! We also have a new family picture which is always a good thing!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Montana Vacation - Ennis

Tyler and Jayna invited Dan and I on their family vacation to Montana. We visited Ennis where Dan was born and where he lived the first years of his life in our favorite little ghost town of Virginia City. Then on to Yellowstone park. It was reminiscent of the trips we took our children on when they were small. It was a great adventure and we thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Thank you Tyler & Jayna! We managed to all fit into the old white suburban and pulled our white trailer along. I rode in the very back of the suburban on my zero gravity bed! Whenever we stopped I had to remind someone to let me out since I had no way to open the back doors from inside. I had purchased a dvd player for the trip and had brought season 3 of Pretty Little Liars (thanks Christy for getting me hooked! it's the best show!!!) to watch. Or at least I thought. I got all settled in my bed and went to watch my movies only to discover I had left the dvd's home in Garden Valley! Not to fear. When we got to Idaho Falls and stopped for a potty break they had season 3 (the only season they had and the one I needed) so I bought it. I took it as a sign! It was awesome. Dan forgot his wallet at Jayna's house so we had no money! We had to rely on Tyler & Jayna for everything. I felt like a child!  The roles have been reversed! But it was a great trip and the house they rented in Ennis was really nice and right on Ennis lake. It was just beautiful! The lake was perfect for the kids to go swimming - they could touch the bottom a long way out - it was a little disconcerting to see Lila so far out! I kept worrying she was going to drown. We brought party island with us and it was the perfect lake for it. Dan taught the girls how to cast. The girls enjoyed fly fishing from the dock. Lila said," I am so good at this!" and she was! They are all great fly fishing girls! Dan, Jayna & Tyler went fly fishing on the acclaimed Madison river but didn't catch anything. Dan and Tyler entertained us with a game of horseshoes every night. I tried to play Jayna but I'm just terrible!