Monday, December 21, 2009

Vacation Time for Me!!!

I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas! In two weeks I get to go to Disneyland. I haven't been there in at least 3 years and it's my favorite place to be! But I have a new job that will allow me to visit Disneyland and San Diego at least twice a year. Once with my family and once as a training!

Plus they give me great discounts on cruises, Sandles and Beaches Resorts and most hotels I can think of. They may not have any Toronto hotels but they have great pricing on beautiful places like Hawaii, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Seriously, I think this is the job I have been dreaming about!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Perfect Fireside Drink

Well, winter is definitely here. My patio cushions are covered with snow and look like little snow hills. The birds are crowded around the bird feeder fighting for the seeds and the bird bath is iced over. This is the time of year where we all want to curl up on the couch with the fire flickering in the fireplace and sip a cup of warm Cocoa. But the same hot cocoa gets old after awhile. So here are some twists on an old favorite that I'm sure will quickly become family favorites.

Warm Milk
4 Cups Milk
1/4 Sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Warm milk on medium heat just to steaming, stirring often. Add sugar and whip with with a wire whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Ladle and serve immediately. Serves 4-5

Peach Milk
4 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Pureed Frozen Peaches*

Warm milk on medium heat just to steaming, stirring often. Add sugar and whip with with a wire whisk until dissolved. Add Peach Puree and simmer for 3 minutes. Do no boil. Remove from heat. Ladle and serve immediately. Serves 4-5

*Peaches can be substituted for any type of frozen fruit.

I hope you enjoy!!!

The Best Bread Recipe

Working for a Kitchen Store, I find myself making bread more now than ever before. And by using whole grains I don't need the weight loss pills and I am getting healthier! Having tried many, many recipes, I finally asked my Grandmother for my Great Grand Mother's Bread Recipe. Now, you might think that I am prejudice, as this is the bread I grew up on. However, most of the people I work with agree that this is the Best Bread Recipe. It is super soft and absolutely delicious!

1 3/4 Cups Warm Water*
2 Tbls. Butter, softened
3 Tsp. Vital Wheat Gluten**
3 Tsp. Dough Enhancer**
4 1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Tsp. Salt
3 1/2 Tsp SAF Yeast

Add ingredients, in order, in to your Bread Mixer. Allow to mix/knead for 8 minutes to allow the gluten to set. Break into 2 loaves and place in greased bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

*Adjust your water according to your location and the current barometric pressure. You want a good soft dough, but not too sticky.

**I have adapted it just a little from my Grandma's recipe by adding Wheat Gluten and Dough Enhancer. I'm not sure that those were around in Grandma's day, but they sure do help to make my bread perfect.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Panama City Coming soon...

Just to give you a little taste of what's to come... my next planned trip is to Panama City with my Mother and Aunt. It's a get her mind off things, getaway for her. She has had a very difficult year and I am sure that the world renowned nightlife, the snorkeling and the dolphin excursion will be sure to get her mind off things and help her relax. We are staying in beautiful panama city hotel, right on the beach. I can't wait! I'll be back in warm weather, toes in the sand, Margarita in my hand and not a care in the world!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Great Idea for Getting Rid of old Motorhomes!

In my last post I was complaining about having too many junk vehicle hanging around. One of which was an old motorhome that I would not use anymore. The gas mileage is horrid and the interior was done in the '70 (enough said?). But it was in decent condition and everything worked. I have been trying to sell it for months now, but with the economy he way it is, RV's are a luxury most people are forgoing.

So I received a phone call the other day about the motorhome. There was a family, husband, wife and their child that were headed to SLC for "medical travel" is what he called it, and they needed a place to stay. He had decided that the $2000 I was asking for the motorhome and lot rent for the time they were here, would be less expensive than a hotel or an apartment. But he asked that I meet him in SLC so he could look at the motorhome.

After meeting with him I found out that he and his wife were taking their son to the Cancer institute up there and needed a place to stay while they were here. Well, it made sense, but it didn't feel right to me. I just couldn't sell them my motorhome, although the wife seems really excited about it.

After we had agreed on the price ($1800) and we were headed to the bank to get a notorized copy of the bill of sale, I couldn't get the picture of the little guy out of my head and the thought of what his parents were giving up, being here with him for 6 months, off work, in a strange city. We got to the bank and I had them print me out a new bill of sale, this one said $1. I signed it, and handed it to him. He looked at it puzzled and finally looked at me and tried to talk me out of it. I simply explained that it was a benefit to me to get it out of my driveway, and when he was done with it he could recoup the money he spent on it and sell it to someone else that needed it for $1 and it would be well worth it to me.

His wife began to cry and tell me about how her parents and his parents had taken over their mortgage to help them while they were here and all about the stress that their little boys illness has cause and how much this would help them out.

Afterwards, I felt really good and I have two new friends. Just a side note, my bank was really great, they actually took care of all the IRS paper work for me once I had told them what I intended to do and they worked it out so it ended up being a tax deduction for me as well! So if you have a motorhome or trailer that you can't sell and you have the ability to give it up, consider giving it to someone in need. It's just a really good feeling!

I'm tired of owning a Junkyard!

If you were to drive by my house right now, you may have to drive by again just to make sure you are at a house and not a wrecking yard! I currently have 3 trucks, a flatbed trailer frame, MY minivan on jacks, in the process of getting a new axle knuckle, two campers, a trailer and a motorhome!

Now in my Husbands defense, I love one of the campers, MY van and the three trucks. On the other hand, one camper HAS GOT TO GO! The flatbed trailer frame either needs to be a flatbed trailer or scrapmetal. The trailer needs to be adapted to fit on the truck or sold and I need a good motorhome towing to finish the clean up! It's not even worth keeping around!

I understand that my sweetheart loves to play around and tinker with cars, but this is just plain getting to be too much. It's clean-up time!

I Can't Believe This Law!!!

I am amazed! Nearly speechless!!! (Notice I said nearly...) On the news was a story about a car dealership, here in Utah, that collects rain water from their roof, funnels it into an underground cistern where they clean it and use it to wash the cars on their lot.

Now your thinking, "what's so unbelieviable about that?" You even thinking that that is a pretty good idea, use of funds, green initive, eco-friendly idea, right? EXACTALY! I was thinkning the same thing! Now for the unbelievable part....

He was on the news because the city had fined him for doing it! That's right! Obviously, here in Utah, where it's a desert, we don't have alot of water so we have to conserve it. And of course, we are all to stupid to do that ourselves, so our wonderful government has ridden in on its big black stallion to save us from ourselves and they have taken posession of all the water. Yep, that's really what I said... in the state of Utah, the government owns all the water, even the rain water!

So, since they own the water, they can tell us what to do with it. No, you cannot collect rain water to water your plants. Yes, rain barrelsare outlawed. And No, you absolutely MAY NOT use rain water to wash your cars! So next time it rains, everyone remember to quickly hide your vehicle, just in case the governments rain water hits it. You wouldn't want a ticket now, would you?!?

Laptop Problems

For my Daughter's 10th birthday I got her a little netbook. It was of course a major hit. She was thrilled. But now, it's a less than 2 months later and it is no longer working. I didn't buy the most expensive netbook I could find, I bought an Acer Aspire. I had never heard of the brand before, I am more of an HP gal myself, but it was a cute little thing and not terribly expensive, so I bought it. Now, I'm not so sure that was the right choice.

When she turns the computer on it will activly start booting up but then the screen goes black and it's done. It will do the same thing over and over again. I have had my tower do the same thing to me in the past and I solved the problem by pressing F8 and returning it to a state in the past, before it forgot what it was supposed to do. But her's wont give me that option. She could have a virus but I have no way of even running a scan to find out because I can't get as far as the desktop!

Does anyone have any idea what I can do to fix this for her?