Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween 'Mystery' Dinner

Tradition: definition...the handing down of patterns of behavior, practices, and beliefs.

Holidays bring tradition. Effectively, they evolve with each generation. Blame it on the genes or blame it on the joy of repetition. To me, repetition brings memories...blessed, wonderful memories.

Halloween is the start to those traditions. As a child, every year my mom served us a Halloween 'mystery' dinner. It was an anticipated event where each of us were given a coded menu where we filled in the order of our dinner. Items were disguised under Halloween surnames, such as 'witch's hair' or 'skeleton bones'. My mom draped the kitchen with blankets to hide the menu while she cooked. We all sat in anticipation for our food to arrive. Once dinner started, we all giggled when our mysterious food items came and we made the connection to their Halloween names.

Now, as it is my turn to be a mother to my small children, I have watched as they have excitedly anticipated the same novelty year after year. Tonight was our Halloween 'mystery' dinner. Ryan's sister, Missy, and her kids joined us. They witnessed the event last year and were excited for a repeat. Here was the menu this year (with their accompanying food items):

Skeleton Bones...string cheese
Frankenstein's dog
Vampire dog bun
Swamp Goop...peanut butter cookie
Witch's Wig...leaf of lettuce
Squirt of Blood...ketuchup

So fun! I love being a mom. Thanks Mom for all of the traditions...which subsequently should be thanked to a long line of tradition makers. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Back in the Saddle

With our yard done. Finally. Ya! And Ryan's brother's reception slated for this Saturday. Glad to be over. I have finally felt the desire and confidence to return to my rewrite of 'I'm Not Cinderella'. It's such a great story, and I have received amazing feedback. I started my 3rd rewrite a couple weeks ago, September 24th. I'm changing the entire book from 1st person to 3rd, and I'm completely changing the intro and first 2 chapters. I want to get into the plot as soon as possible in the book. I will also be changing all of the introductions to the chapters. All in all, it will be a lot of work, but think they are all necessary and beneficial for the story. Wish me luck!

One Peach, Two Peach, Three Peach, Four

I'm 34. Yes, my birthday was last month. And I am happy to announce (but also embarrassed to say) that I canned my first batch of peaches and apples last week. I know, what took me so long? It's not that I didn't grow up with a mother who canned. We had jars of just about everything in the pantry in our mice-infested garage. It's not that I'm against canning. It's just that I never felt the need. Of course I buy things in bulk. But I would freeze my supply and use it for a rainy day. Besides, fresh is better right?

So what has lasted as a comfortable pattern altered when a friend of mine announced she was ordering apples and peaches from Payson, UT. K, who can resist fruit from Utah. I mean...yum! So I signed up and was prepared to chop and freeze, as usual. The peaches came perfect and tough so I waited a few days for them to ripen. However, a few days was enough time for them to soften. I mean really soften. I tried to peel and chop a few but when I froze them with all of the juice they froze together in a large clump. So, after hearing my other friends talk about their tedious adventures of canning their fruit, I decided to venture on the unchartered road of canning. I ran to Wal-Mart, bought their last 4 cases of jars, bought a canning basket, and rushed home to do the 'Mormon Mom' thing - can my fruit.

Final tally: After 5 days (not constant canning...more like 3 batches per day).
27 pints of peaches
12 pints of apples
0 jars unsealed...Woohoo, they all sealed. Ya Me. :-)

And it was kind of fun. Humid but fun. Too bad my hubby doesn't like peaches or cooked apples. At least my kids do.

Grandma, this one is for you!

Why do I keep a blog? This is a question I may ask myself at one time or another. Especially at a time where other technological outlets such as facebook, pinterest, and twitter are proving to be quicker and more efficient. This is my answer: I'm doing it for my grandma. I'm doing it as a journal and an attempt to share with those who live so far away.

You see, my grandma, Grandma Dorothy, lives a 12 hour car drive away. I miss her. I used to visit her on Mondays to help clean house...well, mostly to chat and eat yummy chicken fingers. And then my husband and I moved our family to a different state. I miss those long chats. And those yummy chicken fingers. :-) So, in my effort to keep the connection, I am going to keep a weekly blog about my life and mail a copy to my grandma. Maybe I'll mail it on Mondays. That would be fun. Hopefully in some way I can feel that I can still be where it's always felt like home.

So, Grandma, this one is for you! I hope you like it. Maybe keep these little notes in a folder, and you can laugh at them from time to time. Each excerpt will share a little something about what is going on in my life. It is primarily a journal of my struggles and ambitions of writing, my journey of motherhood, and memories of my happy childhood (which includes you).