Monday, October 19, 2009

My Hero

Did you ever know someone that you really admired and wanted to be like? For many years, for me, that has been my father. His birthday was this weekend, he turned 95. Quite a landmark I think, although he say's he's pushing for 100, and I hope he makes it!
 Born in 1914, he has seen the face of America change for good and evil. I once asked him what the most amazing thing he had seen was, his answer really surprised me. I thought he would say man walking on the moon or the invention of the computer etc. To my surprise he answered, "The washing machine." Why?  Well he remembers his grandmother making her own lye soap, carrying the wash to the outside wash area, where they had a large copper wash tub and wash board. A fire would be made to heat the water, and then the hand scrubbing began, each piece washed and scrubbed individually. Then more water was heated for rinsing or sometimes cold water would be used. Afterwards the clothes had to be wrung by hand and hung to dry. It would take an entire day, sometimes two, to finish the process that todays takes about 2-3 hours with almost no labor involved. I decided he was right, it was a pretty amazing invention. I took this picture of him on the morning of his birthday. I think he doesn't look his age, perhaps a result of a life spent in honest labor and hard work. He just quit driving about 6 months ago and still writes letters and takes short walks daily. Dad I love you, and thank you for the great inspiration you'll always been to me. You'll always be my hero.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Herbs and Spices

I cannot really remember when I started growing my own herbs, but for many years now I have grown as many culinary herbs as possible as well as a few aromatics. I really enjoy working among them in the summer, and like even more the fresh taste and texture in home cooking. Last year I finally broke down and ordered matching bottles and designed my own lable, my husband thinks I'm way over the top, but even he admits they look great and taste even better. The process is for the most part fairly easy and only the small herbs like thyme are "thyme consuming" (hee hee). I often share them with family when I have a bumper crop like this years. My mother got me interested in them originally and I've now read 10-15 books about herbs, the preserving and drying of them.

Putting the Garden to Bed

It's that time of year when we wrap up the harvest and put our garden to bed. Most years I hate to see the garden season come to an end but this was a year of "plenty" and I am really ready to be finished. We just dehydrated the last of the peppers so they'll be ready for soups and casseroles this winter. I still have about three boxes of tomatoes in the garage ripening so I will have one more tomato canning session, sauce I think. At the end of each season I'm always tired, but in a good way. I really enjoy having the bounty of the garden preserved for the coming year. Before you know it I will be planning my garden for the coming year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just a few more of my favorite pics.


Fall in Utah! I love it. It's my favorite season of the year. Earlier this month we visited our daughter in Wisconsin and were hoping to see fall colors but just missed them. Fortunately I did not miss ours too. Most of these pictures were taken in and around Mapleton, a small community nestled up against the mountains here in Utah Valley. These mountains and hills are laden with hardwood trees that seem to set their heights on fire at this time of year. Tonight on the way home from work I was so struck that I when I got home I grabbed my husband and my camera and off we went. Snapping photos constantly I hoped to capture a little of the autumnal feeling. Hope you enjoy these! They are only a sampling of what I saw. Beautiful!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wisconsin Adventure

Guess where we went on vacation this year? Green Bay and Lambeau stadium, where I took a picture of Duane with a cheese head (soooo corny, but I couldn't talk him out of it.) Yes the great state of Wisconsin, where we went to visit with our daughter Anjuli and her husband Chris. They live in the lower south east corner of the state in a lovely little city
called Lake Geneva. Wisconsin was as beautiful as our daughter Anjuli promised us it would be. The city and the lake-front properties were classic and very picturesque. We went to celebrate Anjuli's 28th birthday with her. She and Chris live and work in the area, and are very much in love with the small community they live in. Thier apartment is on a hill overlooking the city and is close enough to walk to work each day, and I can see why she doesn't mind walking.

We had a great time visiting with them and really fell in love with Wisconsin ourselves. The state was as beautiful and diverse as the photos show. Although the weather was mixed, some good - some bad, we still enjoyed every moment of it. Lake Geneva is a gorgeous little city with very few permenant year round residents, about 7500, but tons of summer residents. Many summer homes surround the lake, not just cabins but beautiful homes, cottages, and mansions. We toured the lake on a small ship and in the process got a full history lesson from the ship captain. Later we traveled to central Wisconsin to see apple farms, cheese factories, and some truly amazing scenery. We had a great time and will look forward to visiting again!