Thursday, August 26, 2010

Comfort food to the rescue

Some days you just need a lunch that isn't good for you.  You know the kind that totally blows your diet but makes you feel oh so good--at least you feel good until later when you think about how much fat and calories you consumed.  But let's not be distracted from the point I'm trying to make:  Sometimes you just need to eat something delicious and satisfying without thinking about what it will do to your waistline.

Today was one of those days.  And this was my lunch.
Nutella and peanut butter on white bread.  One of my favorite guilty pleasures.  But it's not all bad.  Afterall, it was made on Iron Kids bread, right?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Discovering family treasures

Last week I spent two days sorting through boxes in two of my Mom and Dad's storage units.  It was dusty and hot and they had soooo many things.  Some were easy to get rid of--like the boxes of Tupperware glasses and totes of blankets and pillows.  Other were difficult--like the old cookie jar from when I was a kid. But for the most part I was able to detach myself from the things we went through simply by telling myself I had enough stuff of my own back home.  In fact, sorting through all those boxes made me make a mental note to go home and sort through all the things that fill our house to overflowing--but more on that later.  For now I just want to tell you about the things that I couldn't let go.

First I have to explain that I love antiques and old family heirlooms.  Our family doesn't have many, and I'm OK with that.  Before my family moved from Logan, Utah to Houston, Texas a little over 19 years ago, my Grandma Stay gave me two things that I treasure. 

1.  This mirror, which hangs above our piano:
I'm told belonged to my Great Grandma Gunn

2.  This simple cardboard box:

Although it doesn't look like anything special, I love this box.  It is full of papers that belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa Stay and gives me a unique peak into their life.  Inside the box are things like:

 Old insurance policies

My Great-grandfather Stay's business card

A letter of reference written for my Grandpa Stay

The receipt for a Kelvinator refridgerator
purchased by my Grandparents in 1925:

And an article that one of my Grandparents
 saved from a newspaper in 1907.

How cool is that?

I love these little bits of history.  So it shouldn't be too surprising that the things that I had difficulty parting with in Mom and Dad's storage units were things that my Grandparents once owned. 

The first things I claimed were my Grandfathers' tool boxes. 

The first one belonged to my Grandpa Birrell 

It is full of all kinds of metal bits and pieces. 
Not sure what was his and what added by someone else, but that doesn't really matter to me.

This box one belonged to my Grandpa Stay. 

He made the box and even put his name on it. 

It is full of old tools. 
I am not sure if they belonged to Grandpa or my Dad. But once again the contents really don't matter. I just love that I have something that was made and used by my Grandpa.

But my favorite pieces of history were found in another box that belonged to my Grandpa Stay.

It is pretty beat up and at first glance looks like something that should be put in the trash pile.  But then you open it up and discover it is a treasure box:
Inside I found these:

And this:

And this:
My most exciting discoveries came from this box. 
Once again, it doesn't look impressive.  But it's contents are wonderful!

I discovered old family photos:
Most of these are damaged and unmarked.  I have no idea who most of the people are or how I'll ever find out.  But they still are amazing.

I found the announcement of my great-grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary:
I love the pictures they included in the announcement:
I found an envelope addressed to my grandparents that contained some wonderful old postcards of the Nauvoo Temple and Carthage Jail:
And the obituary for my Great-grandma Stay:
I was so thrilled to have added these wonderful treasures to the ones that are in my old cardboard box.  

And then I found this:
I couldn't believe my eyes!  It appears to be an original ticket to the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple.  It is in nearly perfect condition, and if authentic is now the coolest family artifact that I own.  So today I am grateful for family treasures, old beat up boxes and my inability to throw them away! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Things that make me smile: #1

#1:  A bumpy start to a new school year
The first day of my baby's Junior year. 
The first alarmed slept through. 
The first time being late to early morning seminary. 

The tone set for a brand new school year. 

The only thing I could do was smile.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Things that make me smile:#2

#2:  Going to my brother's house

Because at my brother's house,
my sister-in-law has fabric  like this:

That magically turns into things like this:
And that makes me smile!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Things that make me smile: #3

#3:  A singing President
I caught a show on Animal Planet yesterday about Presidential Pets.  In it I learned that Lyndon B. Johnson not only loved dogs (he had 7 that lived in the White House), he also enjoyed singing with one
--a mutt named Yuki. 

This just makes me smile!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Things that make me smile: #4

#4:  The happiest basset hound in the world
This is Charlie.

He belongs to Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.  Yesterday she shared the story of Charlie playing on top of their bales of hay.

  I've never seen a Basset Hound look so happy. 

He was almost smiling.  And he really made me smile!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Things that make me smile: #5

#5:  Altered signs

I know this is my second post in less than a week about vandalism making me smile.  Once again, I do not condone vandalism.  But what can I say, the face on this sign just makes me smile!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things that make me smile: #6

#6:  Forgetting where you left your cell phone
Ok, it wasn't the losing the cell phone that made me smile and it actually made me laugh pretty hard.  When I couldn't remember where I left my phone, I called it so I could track it down by it's ring tone.  Only one problem with this plan--someone answered the call.  I was so taken aback that I asked "who is this?"  They responded in a similar with, "What?"  I then apologized for getting the wrong number, hung up and hit the redial button to get the number I called to show up.  Sure enough, I had dialed the wrong number.  Lots of smiles and laughter from everyone in the room when I did that!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Things that make me smile: #7

#7:  Little girls playing with a bride's train

I was at a wedding this weekend.  As the bride walked over for pictures, a group of small girls carried her train so it wouldn't get dirty. 
You could tell they thought the bride was a princess. 
And they loved that long, beautiful train.

They really made me smile.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Things that make me smile: #8

#8:  Stavros Flatly
My brother showed me this video today.  It made me laugh and smile!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things that make me smile: #9

#9:  Random graffiti

Although I don't condone graffiti and find it annoying when people choose to deface public property, I have to admit this piece made me smile.  (Check out the title of the sign in the background and tell me that doesn't make you smile too.)  

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Things that make me smile: #10

#10:  The geology of Southern Utah

Whenever I see sights like this, I have to wonder why I don't live here.  These red rocks make me smile!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Things that make me smile: #11

#11: A new project
At the beginning of the summer my daughters and I planned to put all of our favorite family recipes into a book that would have room to add future favorites.  We've procratstinated this project until almost the last minute.  But we have our binders and are currently compling our recipes.  Finally starting this new project made me smile.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things that make me smile: #12

#12:  A Rock Band Extravaganza

A night of fun with my young women always puts a smile on my face!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Things that make me smile: #13

#13: Seeing your baby successfully pass her driving test

It always makes me smile to see my children succeed.  But this time my smile was extra big because my baby's success meant that I was finished with Driver's Ed FOREVER!!!  Now that is a good feeling!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Things that make me smile: #14

#14:  Learning a new skill

This past week I learned how to bottle meat.  Looking forward to supplementing my food storage using this cost saving skill.   That makes me smile!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Things that make me smile: #16

#16:  An surprising great book bargain

I went to Barnes and Nobel this week to find some books to create family recipe books.  Any trip to BN can not be complete without browsing their bargain books.  I love to look through their art books, and always seem to find at least one that I have to fight against impulse buying.  I usually win, but on some trips the find is just too good to
pass up.  This trip I found such a book , and even though I caved--I ended up with the mother lode of bargains! 

Towards the back of the store we discovered a 75% off table.  Most of the books were pretty uninspiring,
but then I found this:

  It is the most amazing book that contains gorgeous pictures like this:

and this:

and this:

Problem was that the retail price was $75, so even at 75% off I was looking at spending $20 for it--a bargain for sure, but still above what I consider appropriate bargain impulse pricing.   But it was just so beautiful, I couldn't put it down--and instead headed to the checkout counter before I could change my mind.

Then the most wonderful thing happened.  The clerk told me the book was marked down to 14.98 and that the 75% would be taken off of that price.  I almost squealed with delight as she rang up my purchase. 

I still can't  believe I got this book for $4.05. 
Bargains like that make me smile!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Things that make me smile: #17

#17:  A dog that thinks she is a Princess

This is Dakota.  She thinks she is a Princess.  If a pillow ever gets left on the floor, she lays her head on it and goes to sleep.  What kind of dog sleeps on a pillow? 
A dog that makes me smile!