Friday, July 31, 2009


I just got back from NY with knots in my stomach and a very somber disposition.

The one thing that I would like to address in this post is, plan for your death. I know that sounds morbid, but one of the realities of life is that we will ALL say goodbye no matter how young or how old.

My uncle only had his brothers, sister, and nieces & nephews that truly took care of him. He did not have an immediate family member that he shared his thoughts on death or how he would like to be taken care of once gone. It left us playing guessing games and it left my family with a $22,000 bill out of the blue to pay for. We wanted him to have a most beautiful viewing and burial, so all the siblings banned together and paid for the services.

The experience started all of us talking about what "should have been done" , and what we all need to do to prepare for ourselves.

Here are the following suggestions:

  1. Draw up a will. Especially imperative if you have children and want them to go to the proper custodians should you pass away. Also determine who will be in charge of "pulling the plug" should you be hospitalized and on life support.
  2. Talk to someone you ABSOLUTELY trust about what you would like to have done. Do you want to be buried or cremated? How would you like the service to be performed and how will it be paid for?
  3. Make sure that you create a LIFE INSURANCE policy for family members to help cover the costs.
  4. Create a WISH LIST for your belongings. State the items that you would like to give away to various people, so that it does not create conflict once you are gone.
  5. Write your farewell. I sat down and wrote letters to my children and husband expressing my feelings, my hopes and aspirations for their future, and how they have enriched my life. I saw a mom on Oprah one time that left a video diary for her kids once she found out she had terminal cancer, so that they understood her better as well as give them guidance.

I know this is not an easy topic and one that you may ignore, but nothing is tougher on loved ones when they simply DON"T KNOW. Take all the guessing games out, so that they can focus on grieving their loss and supporting one another.

Take some time and consider what you can do to prepare. The truth is once we are gone, we don't need to pick up the pieces, our family and friends do. Let's honor them by giving them all the answers ahead of time.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I will not be blogging for the next 5 days as I am off to NY for my uncle's funeral. He passed away this morning and I will miss him dearly. He always treated me like his daughter.

Goodbye Nelu!!!! We will all miss your presence and tender heart.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I just arrived back from Portland. I took a trip with my dear Kate to meet my husband's cousins & their children for the first time and to reunite with their parents, Aunt Carol & Uncle Marv. Family ties are as important to me as breathing, thanks to my mother's legacy, and it was time for all of us to get acquainted.

I will publish several posts to cover my trip, but for now I will start backwards.

On the plane ride back to Denver, I couldn't stop thinking about how the entire family has accomplished so much. From running marathons, to earning their college degrees, to a comfortable retirement and working from home. There was plenty to be inspired by.

I went there to bond with family, which we did, but also flew home contemplating my own destiny.

Why have I never followed through with my own education? What am I waiting for when it comes to saving money for my retirement? What do I want to do with my life? What can I do to be a further example for my own children? Why am I not making the most of my abilities? The list goes on and on, but the result was the same, I need to make a change. A change for the better and a change for my future.

Is 34 years old too old to start over again? Not if you have 60 more years of life. And even if you don't, how can pursuing your dreams and a secure retirement be any worse than hating the job you show up for day in and day out?

I sat down and listed my interests while infusing it with education requirements and potential salaries. I came up with 5 must go down to the bottom of the page to view them.

In the meantime, thank you.................

Aunt Carol

Uncle Marv

Cousin Chris

Cousin Brishan

and Cousin Larissa............

for inspiring me to take on a new venture to a more meaningful and successful life.


That's right, you get to vote and Post Your Comment on what degree I should pursue, just like you voted on my Zipling (which will take place next month). I love all 5 and I need your help.....

Will it be.......................

A. Dietician/Nutritionist

B. Film Editor

C. Photographer

D. Food Scientist

E. Journalism

I look forward to your vote and your insight!!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Part-Time Vegetarian

As of last week, I made a commitment to myself to become a P/T vegetarian for the sake of my health and the environment.

What does P/T mean? 5 Days out of the week vegetarian.

I am replacing regular milk with goat milk because it is much more beneficial. Giving up red meats and cutting down on fatty cheeses and dairy products. I will be sharing my vegetarian dishes with you.

The first one is Chocolaty Pancakes.
All you need to do is add 5 tablespoons of sifted cocoa to your favorite Pancake Mix or Pancake recipe. I topped my pancakes with sliced strawberries and 100% Maple Syrup. For added health benefit you can add a 1/2 cup of oats to the mix.

Bon appetite!

Daily Clicks

Dragonflies in my garden

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Idea Guy

OK, while driving to Utah at 3 AM, Kurt & I were talking about him contributing to my blog. He came up with the "Idea Guy". Again I am stressing that it was 3 AM and we had been driving for quite a few hours.

Who is the Idea Guy? My husband and his brilliant concepts. Sometimes intuitive sometimes not so bright. Either way I promised him that I would blog his "ideas" without prejudice.

So, what is his first statement to the Blog World? Now remember take everything with a grain of salt.......

"Relationships are like a leaky hose. You patch one hole and another one appears. No matter how much water you pump into that hose, you'll have a leak."

Fave Links

The Good Cook Club mailed me my books along with a plastic envelope and the title Cell Phones for Soldiers. Today that is my fave link . Recycle your cell phone through this site and they will use the proceeds to purchase prepaid calling cards for our American troops to call home.

Don't let that phone take up extra space in your home, recycle it and do something special to connect a soldier with his/her family member.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Throwing A Fun Luau

Over the weekend we attended Joni and Dennis' 6Th Annual Luau Celebration. They started the tradition as a way to celebrate a multitude of birthdays and it was so successful that they have been doing it for 6 years now.

What makes it so great?

The setting for one. The music. The hosts.
People that come from near and far.
Family, friends, co-workers, hairdressers.
From Baltimore, California, Chicago, Knoxville.

The hit every year is Dennis' fruit soaked Vodka.
It first began with strawberries and this year it was pineapple and by far his best concoction yet. The vodka took on the sweet flavor of the pineapple and was so easy to drink. The pineapple on the other hand took on the flavor of the vodka and was near impossible to eat.....unless you like Vodka that is.

The ribs are also the hit of the Party. The food is catered by our friends and theirs that own a restaurant and is always soooooo tasty. Never disappoints.

We are always up for a good time and we had willing
participants at our table. The little two year old thought we were
acting a tad immature ;)

I included a video of my little Miss Kate just cruisin' to the music.
Check it out!

Happy summer and this year think of starting your own tradition!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Southern Utah: Capitol Reef & Goblin Valley

Southern Utah is truly Mother Nature's Blessing!
It is a playground for adults and children alike.
We were so thrilled to spend our last day at the
Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley before heading back home.

Enjoy our tour!

One of the largest Cottonwood Trees we have ever seen!

The boys amused by the intensity of their echoes.

We found a little lizard friend that ran around with us.

Mud tiles!

Now off to Goblin Valley. The last trip my husband took was in his teens and was nostalgic at the thought of being back there. He could not stop bragging until we arrived.

Welcome Alice In Wonderland to a place filled with Giant Mushrooms made of red rock.

Ethan and Lance were off! What "rocks" about this place is that your kids have free range of the entire park. So much sand and soft landings that there is no need to worry, just to allow them to have a grand ole' time.

Even Kate was brave enough to climb on her own ;)

I cannot put into words how amazing Goblin Valley is. We had a blast!
Great place for Hide and Seek!

People of ALL ages would enjoy it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Utah: Loa

We finally made it to Loa. My small town destination.
So, what is in Loa?

One of the smallest Town Halls I have ever seen.

Sheep that are not used to visitors.

Open meadows and glistening streams.

Barns and tractors

All the makings for a peaceful day and appreciation of the simpler things in life.

While Loa is a small town, it is the Epicenter for Wayne County. The elementary school, shopping, and all activities take place here.
Don't underestimate a mini-destination, it too serves its purpose.

I chose the location because of its population, later to discover that it is next to the Capitol Reef National Park and Goblin Valley. What a bonus!! Life does not hand you opportunities by accident.

Wayne County is made up of a few small towns one of them
called Bicknell.
What's in Bicknell?

I was beside myself when I heard of the Pickle & Pinto Bean Pie.
How perfect! I mean sounds kind of nasty, but what a great topic for my blog.I wanted to be your personal guinea pig and try this and report about it.

Mrs. Ekker is a famous Pie Winner and she has sold her place since, but they have remained true to her recipes which made her famous.

Opened my mouth and had the first bite trying to envision what pickles or pinto beans would taste like with a "spoonful of sugar" and some whip cream. I guess anything with whip cream works, right?

Dove in and WOW this is delicious. Very reminiscent of the perfect Pumpkin Pie with all the seasonings; nutmeg,cinnamon, etc. I loved it!!!

The pickles in the pie were similar to lime in a cake that gives it just the correct amount of tartness. You might think I'm crazy, but I could see how this place stays so busy.

Also ate the best Cod Sandwich, and I have eaten in a lot of places. I walked away feeling quite cheery and satisfyingly full. I told Kurt how Sunglow exceeded my expectations and how glad I was to stop by.

Afterwards we retreated at our B&B, The Muley Twist Inn.
Rocked in our rocking chairs with the children in our laps watching the Full Orange tint Moon and star filled sky.

Come back tomorrow to read about our last adventure before heading back to Colorado.The Capitol Reef and Goblin Valley.

And don't forget to leave comments in order to earn your Blog Merits towards my Giveaway.

Happy Birthday


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Utah: Fairview

After leaving Centerville, we took a drive on the wide open road (HWY 89) on our way to discover one of the smallest towns in Utah called Loa.

Before reaching our destination we had to stop for the kids to use the potty. We stopped in Fairview, Utah (completely unplanned) and just happened to park our car in front of a Museum.

On the outside all we saw was a yard full of old wagons and machinery. The vines and greenery hid two entrances to the museum and we decided to go in and check it out.

What we saw inside was so magnificent and educational and fun for the kids.
I only posted a few photographs because I think I snapped about 200 inside.

Aren't you glad our kids do not have to eat in these chairs?
The first walkers were even scarier looking.
So glad for the new safety features.
And yet the infants all survived back then too.


I took a pic of this Quilt because the sign says that it took 120,000 stitches to make
which I found fascinating!

How would you like to get your hair permed with this baby?

Phone switchboard

Food choppers have definitely come down in size since then.
Thank you Cuisinart!

Being the 4Th of July weekend I was moved by this sculpture of one of the greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln.

We spent over an hour at the Museum and the boys loved it so much that they
wanted us to stop in every town and go to one.
If you are ever in town, do stop by. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Such a wonderful hidden treasure.

After Fairview we drove through Manti, Utah and at the end of a barren road stood this fort that reminded me of the Windsor Palace in England (not identical, but just as grand).
This is the Mormon Temple in Manti and truly a marvelous structure with colorful flowers and crisp green trees surrounding it. Come back tomorrow to see what finally happens when we arrive in Loa, population 524.

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