• Had a day off.
  • Had scheduled doctor appointments throughout the day.
  • Went outside and got in the car to go.
  • It would not start.
  • AAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!
  • Called the first doctor, no problem, rescheduled
  • Called the second doctor, no problem, rescheduled
  • Called the third doctor, Dr. Bruce Sand, they are charging me $50 for a no show even though I called them 4 hours in advance and explained why I couldn't make it. I didn't bother to reschedule, I will just find another oncologist. I don't think they have a legal right to charge me since I have signed nothing stating I know about this policy and was not told about it when I made the appointment.
  • Went to pick up our 300ZX and it wasn't ready, after 3 weeks
  • Paid $1,100 for repair work done so far
  • Drove it home, not running any better
  • Had repairman lined up to do work in rental property in Gila Bend
  • Gave us quote for inside house and outside house
  • Outside quote was too high
  • He refused to do inside work unless we also gave him the outside work
  • No reason to go on, suffice it to say, I am in one of those funks.

I am not a text messager, however, I just learned these great codes from my granddaughter, Maddison. So, be listening for them in conversation with me.

tma: Typical Mormon Answer- going to church, reading your scriptures, saying your prayers,ect.
pmb: Perfect Mormon Boy- a common phrase used at girls camp.
ilgp: I love girls camp- I love girls camp
ctr: choose the right- I'm sure you knew that one.
sfmc: Shopping For Modest Clothing- long sleeves, pants that go down to your knees ect.

Peaches

We bottled peaches, but it is not near as thrilling to show the process. So, let me just tell you about the adventure. I got everything in place. Tarzan started the water boiling to process the bottled peaches on the stove outside on the patio.

Inside, the first batch of peaches went into boiling water for a couple of minutes and then quickly dipped into ice water. The peel came off just as it should and I took my little pairing knife and cut the beautiful peach in half and -- Oh no! -- they were not cling free peaches. The fruit would not come off the pit. Yuck!

By the time I got all the peelings off and the fruit cut into slices (There was no other way to work with the fruit without mangling it) I had a sticky mess in my kitchen. Meanwhile, Tarzan is outside gleefully working in the yard waiting to put the bottles of peaches into the boiling water.

I mixed the syrup for the peaches, 3 cups water 2 cups sugar, brought it to a boil, poured it over the peaches, wiped off the rims, put the sterile lids on along with the rings, tightened the bottles and called in Tarzan to do his part. I was really disappointed because we like peach halves. But, to my delight they turned out real nice.

Now, here is the best part. I still have a few bottles of peaches left over from last year so I made peach cobbler with them and it was P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I used the recipe from How To Cook Like Your Grandmother. I had to modify it just a little because my peaches were bottled and already had a little sugar on them and her peaches are fresh. But, did I tell you it was a P-E-R-F-E-C-T peach cobbler. The crust is excellent and it is so easy. Next, I am going to make a pie with the peaches we froze. My quest to be a Domestic goddess is never ending.

Prickly Pear Jelly
First, you should be sure you have a Tarzan to pick the fruit, it's not called Prickly Pear for nothing. The little white dots on the fruit is cactus prickles. Use tongs and stand back from the cactus. These cactus are in our front yard. Next, you will prepare the fruit. I didn't get all the pictures for that step. Tarzan does this first part and I had to leave to run an errand while he was doing it. But this is what you do. Wash the fruit--handle it with tongs. Rub the fruit on the bottom of the sink to remove the prickles. Then you cut the fruit in quarters and boil it for 10 minutes. You can remove the seeds if you like, we don't bother to do that.

Then put the fruit into a cheese cloth and squeeze the juice out into bowls. Tarzan tells me he strains it 3 times. First, he uses a potato masher and smashes it into a mush, then he puts it through a collander, then he puts it through a wire strainer and finally he puts it through the cheese cloth.

I am putting the recipe next and then there are pictures. There are a few pieces of advice I would give.

  1. This is very sweet jam so don't skimp on the lemon juice.
  2. There is a rule when you are making candy--don't scrape the sides of the pan while it is cooking or it will turn to sugar. I followed that rule for my jam and it turned out great.
  3. My friend from Russia, Boris, makes a rice dish he brings to work from time to time. I have asked him for the recipe and he can't quite give it to me, but he does say this. When you make this dish, you have to be in a good mood. If you are not in a good mood, it won't turn out right. I think that holds true for this jam. Have fun, make it with love, relax and take your time, it will turn out right.
  4. The instructions say to take 5 minutes to add the sugar, I take closer to 10 minutes. Put a little sugar in, stir until it is dissolved and then let it almost boil again stirring frequently.
  5. Oh, yes, and I added a little red food coloring. When we made this last time, as the jelly aged, it lost its natural ruby color, so I thought I would see if a few drops of food color would help it keep its color.
  6. This is called a hot pack, so you don't need to cook it after it is in the bottles, just put the lids on tight and let them pop.

The Recipe

Prickly Pear Jelly

3 ½ cups fruit from Prickly Pears
1 bottle or 2 packages of liquid pectin
Juice from 2 lemons
8 level cups sugar

Remove fine thorns and blossom ends from 3 pounds of ripe cactus fruit. Cut into small pieces, crush and add 1 cup water. Stir until boiling, cover pan and simmer 10 minutes. Place in cheese cloth bag and squeeze out juice. Measure sugar into a separate pan. Bring juice and pectin just to boil, stirring constantly, and begin to add sugar slowly with constant stirring, taking about 5 minutes to add sugar, and keep juice nearly at a boil. Then bring to a rolling boil and boil for one-half minute. Remove from fire, let stand a few seconds, skim, pour quickly into jars and seal hot.






































Next canned peaches

Tarzan and I saw the familiar little sign on the side of the road, "Okra for Sale." So we drove down the country road to a house and the farmer (whose financial situation has improved from our bussiness for a few years now) let us in. We bought all he had picked and all of his cherry tomatoes. Yum. Now, what?

I reached back in the recesses of my mind and searched the Internet for quantities and we pickled and froze okra.

Frozen Okra is the easiest so I will tell you how to do that first. You should remember this-- okra doesn't get slimy until you cut it open, so whole okra is the only way to go.

  • Get your deep pot and fill it with salty water
  • Bring it to a boil
  • Drop a bunch of okra into the boiling water and let it boil for 3 minutes
  • Remove the okra from the water and place it in single layers on large flat cookie sheets and freeze it
  • Once it is frozen, place it in freezer safe Ziplock bags
  • Oh yeah, and put it back in the freezer

When you are ready to cook it, simply put the frozen okra in boiling water and cook it through. It should not be limp, rather it is better if it is still kind of firm. All it needs is salt and butter, but I have a bunch of other ways to use it if you need them just ask.

Pickled Okra
Once I get started on a bottle of pickled okra, I may as well just enjoy the whole bottle without guilt. It is better than pickles especially when the seeds pop in your mouth. Here is what you need:

-Fresh whole okra pods (the smaller okra works best, but it is not necessary)
-1 cup water
-1 quart white vinegar (don't get creative here, this is canning not a gourmet salad)
-1/2 c. salt (there is a special pickling salt, but it is hard to find, so remember the important thing is NO IODINE. We used Kosher salt)
-1 cloves garlic for each bottle
-Dill seed
-Fresh dill weed
-Hot dried chilli peppers (we like the red ones)

Sterilize your jars and lids in a hot boiling water bath (or the dishwasher if you have one).

Wash the fresh okra; drain well. In hot clean pint bottles, pour a little dill seed in the bottom of the bottle, pack the okra pods, as tightly as you can without bruising them, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Add 1 chilli pepper, 1 garlic clove, a little more dill seed and 2 sprigs of dill weed on top.

Combine the water, white vinegar and salt. Bring the mixture to boiling. Pour the hot liquid over the okra pods in the jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Let the bottles stand for 2 weeks before opening.

Yum!, Next--Prickly Pear Jam


I feel the need to write this personal note.

During the time that I have been Relief Society President, I have had the privilege of working with the most awesome women, as counselors, secretaries, teachers and other leaders. The entire time I have been in this position, I have been richly blessed.

Today we had our presidency meeting and I felt the Spirit so strong there. Our secretary, Shannon Taylor-Hutchinson, carefully invited the Spirit to be with us and then each of us in turn contributed to the meeting. Our Enrichment Counselor, Kim Butler, has put together an awesome program for the month of September with great ideas for activities that will serve the sisters well. They are activities that will give the sisters a reason to come and to bring a friend. Our Education Counselor, Amberly Robinson, has the most clear thinking ability. She is able to clearly identify something that needs to be addressed and offer concrete suggestions on how to handle things. She both gives and accepts counsel with such a great spirit, I am always glad to interact with her. Shannon, is so organized and creates such an atmosphere of expectation that we all want to rise to that expectation. She is our constant reminder and cheerleader.

I am so grateful for each one of these sisters and the privilege that is mine to work with them. I love my Heavenly Father and each day I strive to draw close to him. Some days with more success than others, but I always know he is there, that he knows and loves me and meetings like today lift my spirits to the sky and I praise his name.

I always find it interesting to take these tests and see how I come out. I consistently fall in the same category. There is something inside me that needs affirmation. My personality test says I am an extravert, my insides say, I am shy and a loner. That is weird. But, then you look at my Thinking Pattern test and you see that I am a “concrete” and “random” thinker. I guess that says it all. I have made a few comments in orange.


The Giver

You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and usually succeed. Emphasis on the "usually." Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections. Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down. Oh, so true. I live in a dream world a lot of the time. You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine. This surprises me, I don't view myself this way. In love, you are very protective and supporting. However, you do need to "feel special" - and it's quite easy for you to get jealous. Thank goodness Tarzan knows how to make me feel special. At work, you are a natural leader. You can help people discover their greatest potential. I like helping others meet their potential. You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist. I better contemplate this some. While I have a few things published (Ensign, USDLA magazine, SJ college newspaper) I think I would find joy in being a serious writer. How you see yourself: Trusting, idealistic, and expressive. When other people don't get you, they see you as: Bossy, inappropriate, and loud. Oh my gosh, this is so true, I am often viewed as bossy, inappropriate and loud. How can that be when I feel so shy?


Your Thinking is Concrete and Random

You are naturally inquisitive and curious. You're excited by new ideas, and you are a true independent thinker. You are interested in what is possible. You like the process of discovery. You are often experimenting, challenging old ideas, and inventing new concepts. I love learning and finding out about new things and trying new things. Rules, restrictions, and limits don't really work for you. Within limits, this is true. I'm pretty good about following the rules, but I do bristle sometimes. Like the time I was a cub scout leader and sewed a ruffle and a thin piece of lace on the bottom of my cub scout skirt uniform, you would have thought I had committed adultry by the uproar. You have to do things your own way, and you can't be bothered to explain yourself. I hate to say it, but it is true, sometimes I just want to get things done without having to explain to anyone else.