Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just a little food for thought!

So today we went to Sundance Resort to do some hiking. My daughter went into the store to purchase a magnet and saw this cute green bag for $3 and bought it for me. Some people collect spoons, thimbles, or charms, but a green bag is my kind of souvenir.

This bag comes from Robert Redford’s place so you know it’s not just an item to carry around your things but a product to help you be a well informed environmentally-friendly consumer. The following information was listed on the bag:

Use this bag twice a week for 2 years and each bag will SAVE:
- 11 pounds of garbage
- 832 plastic bags
- Enough petroleum to drive a car 60 miles

From 1BagataTime.com
- 14 plastic bags contain enough petroleum to drive a car a mile
- 380 billion plastic bags or wraps are thrown away in America each year
- 0 paper bags biodegrade in landfills due to lack of oxygen
- Cities spend up to 17 cents per bag in disposal costs, wasting millions of tax dollars

Monday, July 27, 2009

Zucchini Season

If you have a zucchini plant in your garden, and you have neighbors with a zucchini plant, you probably have a kitchen counter filled with oversized zucchinis just waiting to be shredded. I have a family tried and tested whole wheat zucchini bread recipe that I make each summer, but it is only the end of July, and I am already inundated with the squash. If I intend to not waste any zucchini, I will need to get creative and try more recipes. At recipeezaar.com, there are 2,890 recipes listed when the ingredient zucchini is typed in the search engine. Numerous recipes are available for pie, casseroles, salads, muffins, quiche, and even one for pancakes. Stay tuned for more recipes.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, beaten
¾ cup oil
2 cups sugar
4 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups hard white wheat flour (red wheat also works fine in this recipe)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
½ tsp baking powder
4 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg

Mix eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and then add alternately with zucchini to wet ingredients. Bake in two greased loaf pans for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New York - a once in a lifetime experience for me!

On my recent one and only trip to New York, I thought about many things:

- Filmmakers do a mighty nice job of making New York look cleaner and grander than it really is.

The fountain from the movie Enchanted!

- I like the sun way too much to ever live there.

When it isn't overcast, there are tall buildings everywhere preventing the sunlight on the streets.

- People in New York are not rude. I believe they are just in a hurry. In fact we had several kind gentlemen help us when we were lost and another nice looking business man bought us ice cream simply because he had never met anyone from Utah before.

If you go to New York, know where you are going, do not stand still in the middle of the sidewalk, and when you go to a deli, do not stand in front of the menu board to decide what you want. Just know before you go!

- New York is not a place for a family vacation.

- It made me a little uneasy that department stores felt it was necessary to post security guards at every door.

- Where does all the garbage go?

At the end of each day, there are piles and piles of garbage on the street.

- How many times does the average driver honk his horn in a day?

I came to believe that this sign was never enforced because there was a constant sound of car, truck, bus, bike, and scooter horns honking.

- It really is not necessary to wait for the flashing green sign to cross the street.

No one waits, and if you do, you definitely look like a tourist or Girl Scout.

- 99% of cars are either yellow or black.

And when you get into one it will cost you big bucks for the ride of your life! it was definitely more fun than Lagoon!

Summer Reading :)

Here is a little tasting of recent books that I have read while watching my son play at the pool.

If you are in the mood for just some fun lightreading try:
The Romantic Obsessions & Humiliations of Annie Sehlmeier by Louise Plummer
I have read three of Louise Plummer’s young adult fiction books and enjoyed all three. This one and The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkrnan are just goofy fun!

For the rest of the week I sat behind Woolley and weighed the risks of leaning forward and kissing the back of his smooth neck. The smell of his aftershave hovered under my nose, made me dizzy. What exactly would the rest of my life be like if I kissed that stunning neck? Planted both lips on his skin and left them there like some sucking leech? I pictured the newspaper headlines, GIRL’S LIPS STUCK TO BOY’S NECK. Once I craned my head forward, and Jack leaned over to ask if I had a headache.
Jack was the confusing thing. I still thought him attractive. I still wanted to be around him. He smiled at me, and a warm dizziness took hold of me.
I am crazed, I thought. Soon, I will love every boy in this school. I’ll walk with my tongue extended like a sloppy dog and drool over their looks, their smiles, their poetic greetings: “Hi ya, Annie.”

For a little spiritual thought provoking reading try:
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

“You know that place: where there is just you alone – and maybe God, if you believe in him. Of course, God might be there even if you don’t believe in him. That would be just like him. He hasn’t been called the Grand Interferer for nothing.”

“I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships, so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.”

“Faith does not grow in the house of certainty.”

“I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.”

“Well, I sort of feel obligated to go in and talk to him” (Mack said referring to Heavenly Father)
“Oh” – now Jesus was serious – “don’t go because you feel obligated. That won’t get you and points around here. Go because it is what you want to do.”

If you enjoy historical fiction with some romance try:
These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner

“I keep looking in on him and touching his hands and he squeezes me ever so softly, then I go so he can’t see me crying over him. My head aches bad. I asked Papa couldn’t we turn back and go home. He set his hand on my arm, and said, Girl, there’s never any turning back in life. But don’t you worry, he says. The Lord is watching over us. Then I felt real hollow and low and mean. If He is a watching us, I wish He’d lend a hand now and then.”

“I turned to Jack Elliot and said, If you are too tired to haul water, you are too tired to bathe in it, and I am fit to be tied. Your supper is on the stove and your children are driving me to distraction and April has lost the scissors under the house through a crack in the floor so there will be no haircut tonight. If that don’t please you, then I will put on a uniform and ride out of here tomorrow morning and chase around the countryside and you can wear this apron and tend these crying children and this drafty house from dark to dark and then tell me you think I should haul you a bath.”

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
I had seen the movie years ago with my daughters. I didn’t realize the movie was based on a book - actually very loosely based if you want my opinion. The only resemblance the movie has with the book is that the premise and the names of the main characters are the same. My daughter said I would probably enjoy the book, and she was right. It was a fun and easy read.