July 28, 2011

Older Than Dirt

We had the privilege to bask in the glory of this beautiful scenery for a week while in Breckenridge,Colorado celebrating Big Daddy's 70th!!!
I got to Colorado a little early because I wanted to be sure I would be there for all the festivities.  We have learned that flying for free is not as glamorous as one might think.  It has been very difficult and a lot of times, most of the time, it isn't even possible to get on a flight.  So I planned to leave on a Thursday and spend all day in airports if I had to, but I was gonna make it!  And I did!  Actually, without any problems!  {Coming home was a totally different story.}
On Friday night, Elyce, Anita and I went out to dinner at a delicious Cajun restaurant - - it was my first taste of Cajun!  On the way back home we ran across a very beautiful Double Rainbow!
Did I mention that while we were in Colorado we were enjoying a chilly 60 degree weather while the rest of the country was experiencing a heat wave!  The weather was absolutely gorgeous and I could have died a happy person if I happened to get struck by lightning during one of the nightly thunderstorms.
Jordan was able to join us that weekend.
We had a very exciting journey rafting down Clear Creek.  Due to all the rain the mountains were getting each night and the snow that was still melting off the mountains, it made for the highest waters they had ever seen in Clear Creek.  It also made 38 degree water.  So glad we were decked out in wet suits and other cold water appropriate attire.  It was my first time really rafting. {I have rafted down the Snake River in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but that was a leisurely float.}  This experience was terrifying to begin with, but too much fun that you forgot you were scared out of your mind.  It is extremely unfortunate there are no pictures of us in our rafting apparel...we looked good, really good.  It is extremely fortunate we live in a modern world filled with technological advancements so I could help with your mental images of us.
It was really a lot of fun and I can't wait to go rafting again sometime.  We also enjoyed walking down Main Street and looking in all the shops.
 There was a hat store that had every hat you could dream of wearing.
I loved the Sesame Street Beanies.
Dad, Mom, & Ben joined us on Monday night.  It was good to see their beautiful faces,
especially since they came bearing gifts!  {Thanks again for the cute cardi, Mom!} 
Jordan had to go back to work, so he departed Tuesday morning.  I was so happy he was able to come for part of the trip and get a break from work to enjoy the great outdoors with me.
 Luckily, he didn't have to be all alone back home because Cadbury kept him really good company. 

Side Story:  Jordan works with one of the sweetest ladies in this whole wide world and she watched our sweet little Cadbury while we were gone.  She sent Jordan this super cute e-mail a few days into dog sitting when Jordan asked her how he was doing...
She is too cute and as a thank you once I got home I made her some
 Coconut Cupcakes with Blueberry Buttercream Frosting.

Dad's Big Day involved a breakfast of Ebelskivers.
Best way to describe them: Pancake/Doughnut Balls filled with Raspberry Jam.  They were pretty good, but tricky to make.  For sure worth it on a special occasion like your Dad turning 70.  After breakfast, we decided to go check out the Fun Park over at Peak 8.  We rode the gondola up the mountain.
Once at the top we enjoyed the beautiful views.
Ben rode the Alpine Slide.
There was lots of fun stuff to do, but more for little kids to do rather than big kids.  We tried to get Dad to buy the special Senior (70+) $20 Park Pass so we could all be entertained by watching him ride the ponies, go through the wacky mirror maze, take a cruise on the roller coaster and alpine slide, goofy golf, and other exciting things, but he had no interest.  So we went home and did what Dad ♥'s best.  Relaxing.
Each night we looked forward to feeding this ferocious looking guy.
We named him {I actually think him was a her, but whatever} Foxy.  He loved eating our leftover grilled salmon and teriyaki marinated brisket.  He would eat all his stomach desired, then he would haul the rest of the goodies up the mountain to his family which included a mate and two or three kits.
I hope someone else is feeding Foxy now that we are gone.  He was pretty scraggly looking and I would have brought him home if I knew he wouldn't eat my poor little puppy.  :)
To pass the time, we did some shopping at the outlet stores nearby and took a drive to Leadville for some antique shopping.  The drive to Leadville was through the mountains and there were so many mini waterfalls coming off the mountains, it made for a wonderful drive.  This picturesque lake was on the way.
It was an exceptionally fabulous trip! It was so hard to leave the beautiful weather and mountains & the good company and food.  It has been fun to reminisce on stories of Dad throughout the years and I was glad I could be with him to celebrate the official day that made him older than dirt.  I really think he should just start aging backwards now, like Benjamin Button.
By the end of my trip, I felt so good & relaxed.  Then it was time to come home & I got stuck in the airport.  Boo!  Luckily, twelve hours later I was home.  Seriously, I was lucky.  I was minutes away from spending the night in Dallas. 

July 5, 2011

Old Glory

This year we had a pretty low key Fourth!
We tried to get home to Arizona, but alas, it was not in our cards.
So we did the next best thing and relaxed.
I very much missed making french toast and pancakes for all my family and seeing all the nieces and nephews decked out in their Red, White, & Blue best.
I cheered myself up by hanging out in the kitchen and making some scrumptious edibles.
Have you ever had chilaquiles?!  They are so delicious and I thought I would try to replicate the ones we had when we were in Dallas last.  We went to a great place called
and had some that I DREAM about.
Mine turned out really good, maybe not quite as good, but definitely still edible.
2 cups oil for frying
1/4 cup chopped onion
30 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into eights
8 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1 (7.75 ounce) can Mexican style hot tomato sauce {like El Pato}
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Carefully stir in the tortilla strips. Fry until tortilla strips are crisp and golden brown. Remove from heat, and drain on paper towels. Drain the skillet, leaving only a thin residue of oil.
2. Over medium heat, sautee onion. Then add eggs and cook until eggs are firm. Add tortilla strips to the pan.  Season with salt.
3. Mix Mexican style hot tomato sauce and water into the skillet. Reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Top with cheese. Continue cooking until cheese has melted.

Next I made PIE!  I went a little 'summer fruit' crazy at Sam's Club so we had more fruit than we could possibly eat and so I made fruit pies.
Creamy Blueberry Crumble Pie
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
1. Combine 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, salt, and cinnamon. Add eggs and sour cream, stirring until blended.
2. Place blueberries in pastry shell, and spoon sour cream mixture over berries.
3. In another bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter or margarine with pastry blender until mixture resembles course meal. Sprinkle this mixture over sour cream mixture and berries in the pie shell.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes, or until lightly browned. If desired, garnish with additional blueberries and mint leaves.

The Blueberry pie was wonderful! If you have some extra blueberries lying around, do yourself a favor and make this pie.
 Purple Plum Pie
4 cups sliced fresh plums
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pastry shell
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons cold butter or margarine
1. In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients; pour into the pastry shell. For topping, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over filling. Bake at 375 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Cover edges of crust during the last 20 minutes to prevent over-browning. Cool on a wire rack.

The Plum pie was pretty tart!  It should be eaten with lots of vanilla ice cream!
We drove to Fort Gibson to eat dinner {& pie} with my Aunt & Uncle.  Then we enjoyed a spectacular fireworks show.
As we drove home, I sat pondering.  I am thankful for the freedoms I enjoy each & every day.  I am thankful to the brave men & women that protect us each day.  On the flight that officially made my home Oklahoma, I had spent many hours in the airport.  It was a long day.  I spent extra hours in the Dallas airport because we had a very special passenger that would be joining us.  He would not be seated in the cabin though, his journey {which was much, much longer than mine} was in the cargo hold, his seat, a wooden box.  The flight attendant asked us all to stand as he was loaded into the belly of the plane.  Then when we landed here in Tulsa, we were in no rush to EXIT the plane.  We watched out our little windows as his fellow soldiers, one of whom accompanied him the entire journey to make sure he made it home, carried him to his parents, his wife, and his son.  It was a scene that I don't want to forget. 
There is great sacrifice tied to our freedom
 Before the fireworks show started, a prayer was said, the National Anthem was sung, and we all stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.  It's amazing how even though I probably haven't said it in years, I could say it perfectly.

July 1, 2011

Memory Lane

I recently watched
and what a great movie it is! 
I think Peter Pan really had the right idea.  I love the idea of never growing up...of course for me, it is sadly, too late. 
If I had to sum my childhood up into one memory it would be this...
Each morning I would wake and put on a swimsuit.  I ventured out into the backyard and gathered all the summer fruit.
These all would then be tossed into the pool, me following after them.  I would swim and swim and swim and when I got hungry, I would pluck an apricot or a peach floating next to me in the water, and eat it.  Rinse and repeat.
If I had to sum up my childhood summers with a face it would be this one...
Leah, my niece, was born 10 days after me. 
[Right to left:  Bethany, Shawna, Leah, Mom, Me, Christine, Hannah, Aunt Susan, Jeannie]
I loved when she would come stay with us. 
It meant playing 'Mermaids' in the pool or playing 'Add On' on the trampoline.  I was the Queen Bee on the trampoline. I could do every kind of trick. 
 Side Note:  Apparently trampoline skills do not carry with you when you grow up.  The last time I jumped on a trampoline, I had not learned this concept yet.  I learned it the morning after Jordan and I got engaged.  We were in Provo at my Aunt Susan and Uncle Derry's house and they had a trampoline. I thought I would show off my amazing abilities to my new fiancee.  I did one measly back flip that had a little too much umph in it and I bounced right off the trampoline and landed in a heap on the ground, my head cushioning my fall.  Jordan said from the looks of what happened, he thought about slipping that ring quickly off my finger and making a run for it.  He wasn't sure he was ready to commit to a relationship with a quadriplegic.  Lucky for him, it was just my pride that was hurt.  I haven't and probably will not ever enjoy performing my tricks on a trampoline ever again.  See what I mean about growing up...bad news.

There were other faces that bring a flood of memories back to me.
Tawny, Leah's little sister, was like a little sister to me as well.
[Halloween '89]
I remember going shopping and Leah's mom was buying her and Tawny this pink hat and these white sandals.  I had to have them too.  Even though this is probably the only time I ever wore a hat.  {I am not a hat person.  As you can see, I look awful in hats and still do.  Who looks bad in a hat?  I feel like it's just me.}
Another face I always looked forward to seeing was that of my cousin Lindsay.
[Thanksgiving '89]
I have always loved these pictures from when my family visited Lindsay's family in San Luis Obispo.
It must be our really bad hair cuts.  It is like they are so bad, we are cute.  You know, like when you see a dog that is so ugly, it's cute. Like that.

Another random Side Note:  When I think of that trip, I think of the song 'Nothing Compares to You' by Sinead O'Connor.  I think I must have been looking at a stack of Cd's in their home and I had never seen a woman with a shaved head before so this image
and the song are engraved in my memory.

These are all relatives, but there is one more face that I have always considered a relative.  She has always remained a great friend and always pops up in my life when I least expect it.
Our backyard neighbor growing up, Krissy.
Like I said, a part of the family...
I have too many favorite memories with Krissy.  Let's see...
♦ Her and my sister, Bethany, bribing me to eat dog food.
♦ Running 3 miles with her every night and chatting about boys. 
"Working" at American & Import Floors.
[She is moving to Puerto Rico & I hope to make lots of great memories with her there too. ☺]

Since I can no longer be a child, it is fun to go through all my old pictures and reminisce. 
Or there is always J.M. Barrie's method,
"You know that place between sleeping and awake, that place where you can still remember dreaming? That's where I'll always think of you."