Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

When I walked into a nursing facility for work on Tuesday, December 7, I mentioned to a few residents sitting nearby that it was Pearl Harbor Day. Two men later came up and shared personal experiences they remembered on that day.

One of the men was a boy living with his family in Navy housing near Pearl Harbor. His dad left for work down at the harbor not suspecting anything unusual. When the sirens went off, this man (then a boy) and his mother went into an underground bomb shelter. When all was clear and they returned to their home, they found that one side of the house had bullet sprays all across from the living room through the kitchen including through the refrigerator and into a bedroom. His father was safe but lost some of his friends.

Another man, also a young boy at that time, told how during the week after the attack, his dad packed the whole family up and drove from San Diego up to Monterrey to enlist in the army. He was turned down because he had three children, so they returned back to San Diego. Many things were in short supply and couldn't be purchased, like shoes. His father would drive to Mexico and purchase huaraches (leather sandals) for his children. This little boy didn't have a pair of shoes other than the sandals until he was 7 or 8.

Both were grateful for their dad's example of service and patriotism to their country and the freedoms we enjoy. What a great reminder of the American spirit on a tragic day years ago.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Learning Curve

Mike came home from a buisness trip to LA and wanted something light to eat for dinner (having eaten out for two days). He suggested Cream of Wheat. Since only the two of us were home for dinner, he asked if the 4 portion serving was good to make (yes, because it was dinner). So, he measured the water and put it on the burner. While it was heating up, we took care of getting the trash out to the street. When we came back, the water was boiling. I double checked with him that he had done the recipe for four. So I measured the cereal and poured it in as I stirred. It got very thick, very quickly. Then I realized what I had done. I am so used to doubling everything for the family, that by habit, I doubled the amount of cereal for the serving of 4! So Mike whipped while I poured in more hot water! It may take time to remember to cut back on the amount of food to fix for two! Maybe I'll have to call the kids and ask them how much to fix - they are used to cooking for 1 or 2!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Look! Our own little Pups!

Yep, our own little pups! Earlier this summer, we replanted the sego palm Mother gave us several years ago. We took it out of the large plastic pot to replant inside a plastic trash can (with the bottom poked out to allow drainage). We popped off the trunk about 5-8 of the pups. They didn't have any fronds on them but I decided to plant them and see if they grew. Well, 3 of them did! So are we going to end up propagating lots of segos like Daddy??? Mother told us there are plenty more pups up at her house!

Oh, yesterday before our thunder and rainstorm, the large yellow epis blossomed - 3 blooms at once. They were beautiful in the morning and dead by the afternoon. So sad they are shortlived.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Crop is for the Birds!

Our apple tree has two crops each year, a crop ripe in July and then crabapples in December. However, this year, we have had an unseasonably mild summer with just a few heat waves in the 100s. Our apple tree started reblossoming in July before all the other apples were picked (or fell to the ground). The crabapples usually stay small, but this year they are bigger and are already ripe and have started to fall to the ground. We certainly are not going to pick and can these apples so we freely dedicate this crop to the birds - as if we have to give them permission!

Well, I tried three times to upload a little video I took of a house finch chowing down on an apple up in our tree, but with no success. So imagine you saw this video and it made a nice little blog entry. Ha!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Last Friday night, we left our Nashville time share and stayed downtown Nashville in the Renaissance hotel. (Tamara's graduation was Friday night and the time share ended Friday morning.) Mother, Mike and I shared a room with two queen beds that night. At 3 am I woke up to go to the bathroom. I found it in the dark but wanted to find the toilet so I shut the door and turned on the light. When I left, I turned out the light before I opened the door so I wouldn't wake anyone up. I couldn't see a thing of course, as my eyes hadn't adjusted back to the darkness and so was groping around thinking there was a wall (where there wasn't). But all of a sudden I was startled and jumped and screamed! There was Mother standing all of sudden right in front of me. I told her, "I didn't see you there." She didn't say anything. I tried to move to one side to let her go into the bathroom but she moved the same way - several times. So, I reached out to hold her shoulders so I could step around her. But what I found was the closet door mirror! I had been seeing my own reflection in the dark. So I started laughing! And through all this, no one woke up.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some kind of Blessing

This morning, Mike asked me to sign my check from the church for Primary supplies. So, I turned it over, signed it and then decided to look at the amount. $532.00! Wow. They must have made a $500 mistake or there are more blessings to paying tithing and serving in the Primary than I realized! Mike took the check to look at "the mistake." The mistake was with me not putting on glasses! The 5 was really the $ sign! Oh well. I'll just count my many other blessings!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Can eating vegetables get better than this?

Brent and I were hungry for lunch and discussed our options on our way home early this afternoon.  Tired of grilled cheese sandwiches (his specialty) I suggested trying to dip potato bread in our leftover pumpkin pancake batter and frying on the griddle like French toast. It turned out delicious! And I say, doesn’t that count for two vegetable servings!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Going Stag

Today I spent several hours working out in the front yard. It looks much better but there is still another full day’s work to finish it up.  I cleared out the weeds in the front planter and had Brent dig some holes for me to plant some of our plants purchased almost two years ago for landscaping! Much better!


When I was finished for the day, I decided to take a few pictures. My favorite is of the staghorn fern.  My dad originally obtained some staghorn fern plants from a friend of my mother's. He took the old containers apart and replanted the ferns into 4 or 5 large hanging baskets. Mother gave us one of the baskets in October 2003 and we hung it from a tree limb.  It was heavy and not easy, but they did it!


Then we decided to take that tree out since it was so messy and had to move the fern to the front yard magnolia tree.  While hanging there, the wire basket rusted through and the LARGE plant fell to the ground. It sat there for quite some time as it is too heavy for two men to move.


Mike and I decided  last spring (2009) to make a macrame holder out of nylon rope for the staghorn to rehang it. After a botched attempt (wrong shape), Brent used his math skills to help us retie the knots in  a way to fit the plant. Mike had our fence guy build a metal post and cement it deep in the ground to hang the staghorn on. It was not an easy thing to drag the staghorn across the yard (sliding it on boards)  and then hoist it up onto the pole using Brent’s engineered rope pulley with Mike wrapped around the ropes pulling as he walked down the street!  But up it went last spring.

The plant looked pretty sad after being shoved into a macrame net holder with leaves being squished here and there as well as the weIMG_2664ar and tear of the original fall and then travel across the yard. I watered and cared for it, gently pulling leaves through the woven macrame.  And voila! This spring it just took off and is full and beautiful!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

There is Plenty Indeed for my two Hands to Do!

This morning, we headed out to Lake Moreno to help clean up the campground as part of California’s Mormon Helping Hands day. The yucca were all in bloom, the hills still green and wildflowers spotted the landscape. We got our assignment and cleaned out a primitive campsite by shoveling out trash from the fire ring, sifting out broken glass and cleaning up the area. All went well until they fired up the wood chopper and began feeding in downed tree limbs, etc. and spewing it out like volcanic ash! My asthma pleaded for me to hide! We finished our one little area and then left as the boys had so much school work and projects and real work and lessons to prepare and …. But it was a lovely trip to the mountains.   



Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Nifty Little Trick – Maybe!

IMG_2622 This evening I discovered our first spring epi (epiphyllum) blossom in a pot tucked under our lemon tree. Since the blossoms don’t last long whether on the thorny plant or in a vase, I decided to cut the bloom to enjoy inside. By tomorrow night it will be limp and the beauty will be gone.  So, carefully I reached under the tree and across the big pot (the blossom of course was on the farthest side, difficult to reach) to cut the blossom off. But, not careful enough, with my other hand trying to pull away the lemon branch, my thumb brushed along the epi plant producing a thorn now stuck in my thumb.  The thorns are really a little spine that is clear and small and impossible to see –but definitely a bit painful. So, after placing the prized bloom in water, I went to relieve my pain. 

There are two methods that I know of to remove this tiny thorn. 1. Use a roll of tape. 2. Spread a small amount of white glue across the area and after it dries, peel the thorn off with the dried glue.  Well, I didn’t have any white glue (after Brent’s escapade years ago using liquid glue to make mousetraps all over the family room, I switched to glue sticks), so I tried two kinds of tape (scotch and packing) and neither worked. IMG_2621 So, I searched through Chelsea’s desk drawer and found a bottle of white glue!!! But, as one might anticipate,  the glue was no longer runny but was rubbery. After all, the price sticker states I bought it from Thrifty’s which has been closed for many years!  I managed to wipe a damp spot of glue on my thumb and tried to wait until the glob dried. It was obnoxious and I pulled it off too soon with no thorn removed! Brent helped me try the glue one more time. So I’m trying to be patient in letting the glue glob really dry this time. Then hopefully rip and remove to a pain free thumb.  IMG_2619

Monday, April 19, 2010

They got me!

Tonight Mike told Brent, "Mom won't eat these leftovers tonight when she gets home." Brent said, "Well, there's nothing else, what will she eat?" Mike said, "the leftover chocolate cake!" I came home after they were done with their dinner and were studying for their test at school tonight. I opened the fridge and stared and decided I didn't want leftover crockpot scalloped potatoes with ham (it wasn't very good). Then I looked over at the counter and decided a slice of chocolate cake with a spoonful of peanut butter and a glass of milk would make a good dinner. They got me! MMMMmmmm good (ok not so healthy but very good).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Come and See!

Chelsea, Grandma and I toured the newly remodeled and wonderfully updated Mormon Battalion Historic Site while Chelsea was home from school. The statue of the Battalion member is now out in front to greet you along with a cannon, a covered wagon to climb into and great rockers on the patio overlooking Old Town, San Diego. The story line is cute as you wender your way through different stops along the trail.

And we learned a little more about our Harmon relative from Nauvoo and Carthage. Ebenezer Harmon was in Company C. He reached San Diego and re-enlisted in Los Angeles. However, we find out at the Mormon Battalion Site that he was courtmartialed for stealing a cow. There was no record of his death date. From other information, it appears he probably joined his brother in the gold rush and wasn't heard from again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March Flower Dilemma

I love flowers! For the first year my calla lillies bloomed. I can see them while I'm at the kitchen sink. I have such a dilemma. Should I cut them and bring them inside to enjoy or leave them on the bush where they will last longer and I can enjoy them from the kitchen window? How many blooms will there be? Enough to cut and leave on the bush? I look through the bush and see there are more buds starting to form. Ok, I cut three and enjoy them in a tall vase!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Sister Island to St. Kitts: Nevis

Five-Mast Ship - AM
St Kitts and Nevis
Charlestown - Nevis
Primary School
Botanical Gardens
Montpelier Plantation
Golden Rock Nature Trail
Nevis Countryside
Tropical Ice Cream
Raising the Sails

The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis constitute one country and share the same flag. "Nevis" is derived from a Spanish name Nuestra SeƱora de las Nieves which means Our Lady of the Snows. It is a reference to the story of a 4th century Catholic miracle: a snowfall on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. Presumably the white clouds which usually wreathe the top of Nevis Peak reminded someone of the story of a miraculous snowfall in a hot climate. (Source: Wikipedia) Nevis is just south of St. Kitts, a 45 minute ferry ride.

The capitol of Nevis (pronounced knee vus)is Charlestown. We arrived there in the morning and checked out the main street and a few buildings and picked up stamps at the post office. The buildings are built of stone and are very British colonial. We checked out the grocery store on the main road. The outside architecture was great. We went to a few souvenir stores and Carmela bought a Caribbean cookbook and I bought a batik tablecloth. After Mike "interviewed" taxi drivers, we climbed in the taxi for our island tour.

We drove through the small town of Charlestown and then headed out to the Botanical Gardens of Nevis. It was a surprise to see so many Asian statuaries throughout the garden. The orchids were beautiful as well as many other flowering plants.

We left the gardens for Montpelier Plantation where we ate lunch. All of the sugar plantations on Nevis were closed long before those in St. Kitts. The original plantation home was built of stone and was right near their windmill (none of the windmills function anymore, but the stone towers are still there). The verandah of the plantation had a lovely view looking out over the island and the Caribbean ocean.

Our next stop was one we had planned: a 30 minute nature hike at the Golden Rock Nature Trail near another plantation. It was up higher on the mountain into the rainforest so we thought we might see monkeys there. The hike was steep and the trail was rocky and the path not always clear. However, we had a trail map and there were markers for showing us different species of plants and trees. We were glad for the Tarzan like roots that we could hang onto to help us from slipping on the trail. It was a beautiful walk but we saw no monkeys! We thought we could hear their chatter in the distance.

We had hoped to stop at a heritage village but it was too late in the day. We completed our drive around the island and had great fun watching the monkeys playing in the field. Back to Charlestown, we stopped to get some ice cream: tangerine, strawberry and other tropical flavors. Yum. It is always warm in the Caribbean and ice cream sure hit the spot!

On the ferry trip back to St. Kitts, we saw in the distance a sailing cruise ship that started to unfurl their sails. There were 5 masts with 5-6 sails on each mast. They started unfurling at the lower end of the mast and worked up. It was beautiful to watch as the boat literally sailed off into the sunset!