Friday, December 5, 2014

Chicago

In October, I went with Rick to Chicago for a Medical Conference.  Well, he went to the conference.  I did other stuff.
The first day we were there we just walked around town.  The streets were so pretty with the fall decorations.   We walked down to the Navy Pier.  The weather was perfect for walking around town.  There was a kids Halloween thing going on at the Pier.  Millions of kids and other crazies wandering around in costumes.  We walked about 7 miles and finally ended up back at our hotel.  
One thing we were sure to do was go to the Chicago Institute of Art since I did not get to go there last year when we chaperoned MMHS choir tour.  We were across the street at Symphony Hall, yet we never made it to the Museum.  So, I vowed that I would get back to see it one day. 
 It was important for me to see this painting.  We got this as a puzzle a few years ago and I spent the entire Christmas break putting this puzzle together.  I feel very familiar with every inch of this work.  Especially all of the green parts.
Rick caught me taking a selfie!!
It was a lot of fun.  Pretty sure we walked 7 miles that day, too.  And most of it was in the museum.  

I had packed lots of warm clothes. scarves. a rain jacket. boot.
I overpacked.  The weather was super.  Record breaking warm, actually.

A few days after we were at the museum, Rick got done early in the day from his conference and we went to the Skydeck in the Willis Tower.  I had already done this once before, but it was fun to do it again.  Especially since there weren't very many people there since it was during the day on a Wednesday.  We had a lot of fun.  The skies weren't quite as clear as some of the other days that we were in Chicago, but it was still awesome.

I made Rick lay on the glass floor with me.  It's freakier than it sounds.

We took a lot of pictures.  Most of them like this one.

Then we walked to the Bean.  Because.  well. just because.

Can you see Rick?

On Sunday evening we went to a reception for the UMC students and graduates who were attending the conference.  It was pretty formal.  We walked around for a few minutes trying to see if anyone was dressed as casually as we were.  They were not.  Oh well.  We went in.  Rick talked to a few people that he knew from Mississippi.  We fixed a small plate of fancy food from the buffet.  We drank a diet coke while everyone else in fancy gowns and tuxedos drank sparkly stuff in tall glasses.  And then we ran out as fast as we could.  Trying not to laugh.  And when we got out of the hotel.  We took this selfie.  We are not fancy people who drink sparkly stuff in tall glasses. awkward!!

 This was the view from our window.
We were right on the River--Wacker Drive,  between Michigan Avenue and Wabash Drive.  We were on the 21 floor and the view from our window was amazing.  It offered plenty of entertainment for me throughout the week.
I found it quite entertaining to just watch the busy city.

There must have been a fire station on our block because there were sirens about every 5 minutes.  All day long.  And all night long.

We ate at a lot of yummy places...Giardano's Pizza, a sports grill, NafNaf Grill (our favorite).

This is the last meal we had before we took a cab back to the airport.
The Billy Goat Tavern and Grill.
It was a hoot.  Pretty entertaining.  Pretty cheap.   Not the best food.  But worth it for the experience.  I guess.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

This is Halloween

Just needed to document that Halloween really did actually happen.  

And this picture is really scary.  Messy counter.  Honey harvest in the works.  Cactus on the counter.  Pantry door open (what a mess in there).  Mess by the back door.  

She wore this to school.  Seriously.  Oh well.  She didn't get kicked out.

Ever since my MS days, Halloween has been a big deal.  In a fun way.  Not like my neighbors growing up--the Rose family--who celebrated Halloween like Christmas and didn't celebrate Christmas at all.  I've enjoyed having neighborhood parties and Street of Treats.  I kinda think of myself as the Halloween Queen.  (or something like that.)  At least until a couple of years ago.  The year of the anonymous note and other overwhelming issues like bullying and stuff.  Which is why I checked myself out of Halloween last year.  No Halloween Queen for me in 2013.  But, I was back in 2014.  It's kinda hard to put myself out there like I used to.  First I was afraid of another hate note.  And second, I was afraid that nobody would come.  But, thankfully, we had 70 degree, recording breaking weather on a beautiful Halloween Friday night.  A handful of people brought treats.  I set up a table with snacks and water (instead of the planned Hot Chocolate--it was plenty warm without the hot chocolate).  And lots of people came.  My street is more busy now that it is not a dead end street.  So, we went across the street and filled up the Shmule-de-sac.  I passed out flyers to the ward members a couple of weeks earlier (with the help of lots of friends).  It was a great night of visiting with neighbors and exchanging candy.  The kids love it.  And there was still plenty of time for folks to go out and get more sugar by trick-or-treating the old fashioned way.  I had a great Halloween.  It was a good way to end October.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

yard

Last spring when we were getting ready for our Easter Egg Hunt

Hollyhocks are kinda like weeds to me right now, but I sure do like this color.

Hooee in the flower bed just before the peonies started to bloom.

Cole and Tag hanging out in the garden.  Tag would eat the nasty rolly-pollies.

One day I asked Sierra to pick a zucchini.  She texted me this picture and asked which one.

This bowl has lettuce, cilantro, poblano peppers, onion, and tomatillos in it.
Added to rice and garlic to make a tasty/hot green rice dish for dinner.

Cole was helping to bring in the squash harvest a few weeks ago.  Summer said, "Looks like the Grimm Reaper dropped some zucchini."

This was the overflowing cucumber & pumpkin patch.  I got A LOT of cucumbers this year, they just didn't ripen on the days that were convenient for me to can them into pickles.

The pepper and tomato plants.  We had lots & lots of peppers this year.

And finally the beets.  It is hard work to pickle beets.  Good thing nobody else at my house likes them because it was such hard work, I really don't want to share them.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Butterflies

So my neighbors, Mary and Bonnie, who are also sisters introduced the neighborhood to raising caterpillars into butterflies.  I have always wanted to do this.  I had no idea it was happening right here in my own neighborhood.  
Mary and Bonnie are neighbors with a big vacant yard between their homes.
They had gathered caterpillars as kids in Northern Utah.
 
They were thrilled when they were out in the yard this past summer and realized that there were Monarch butterfly eggs on the milkweed growing in the field.
They started gathering eggs, feeding caterpillars, and hatching butterflies.
By the dozens.
After searching milkweed plants all over Mapleton and Springville, they discovered a very interesting thing:  they could only find eggs on the milkweed plants in the vacant yard.  CRAZY!!
Everywhere I went in Mapleton and Springville, I was constantly looking for milkweed plants and checking for eggs.

On July 24, Bonnie came over and asked if I wanted to hunt for eggs with them.  So, I went over and found about 18 eggs and a couple of tiny caterpillars.  Sad to say, I did not have success at my first attempt. 

But, Bonnie was going to Nauvoo in late August and turned over a bunch of her tiny caterpillars for me to take care of while she was out of town.  It really does take daily care to keep these guys alive.
I was afraid I would murder more caterpillars.  But, they all survived.  Well, except one.  He started to make his chrysalis and then ran out of steam and just died.  so sad.

Then I discovered that there was milkweed growing in my very own backyard.
Jackpot!!  I didn't have to go clear across the street to get milkweed.  I sent Cole out to pick milkweed one day and he came back in the house with leaves that had eggs on them.  What a surprise.

I think we had a total of 8 butterflies that survived.  We have learned a lot of statistics about Monarch butterflies.  

It's pretty fun to farm caterpillars, but it is time consuming.  Good thing they have all gone to Mexico for the winter.  We'll be looking forward to spring when the Monarchs return and we have milkweed growing again.  
One thing we learned in the farming process:  you cannot feed your caterpillars milkweed that has been sprayed, it will kill the caterpillars.  
Also, caterpillars will eat each other if they run out of food.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MMHS Homecoming 2014

This is what my kitchen looks like when I make corsages for dances.
Also, I raid my neighbors' yards for supplies.


Summer kept telling me to make hers bigger, so I did!!

Summer went with Trevor.  They had a friend take pictures of them in Provo.
They told her to make them look like engagement photos!! What??

Trevor & Summer are best friends. But, not kissing friends. 





We ordered her dress online and she found her shoes at a thrift store.


They had a lot if fun taking pictures.


Trevor was distracted during dinner.
Trevor is in the SASH band with Summer. He's the drummer.  They played a show earlier in the day.  It was the Food Expo in Provo.  Thousands of people were there to sample the tastes of Provo.  The SASH got free tickets for playing music.  Trevor said, "don't eat too much, we're going to dinner later"
Summer said, "No, eat a bunch, then dinner won't cost you so much tonight!!"
That girl is a thinker!!  And kinda cheap.  Way to look out for Trev!