Thursday, September 29, 2016

Snake Pit Traffic and See How They Run

On September 6th, I drove to Utah…………aghhhhhh……would you just look at the traffic!  The white car on the right, with the vertical black stripe…well, the license plate reads: VNMOUS.  I’m thinking that it translates into VENOMOUS!  That’s about how I feel when driving through Utah traffic…like a venomous snake pit…just slowly making my way through without getting bit (Sorry to all my Utah family and friends for being so negative but…..).  The traffic at this point was at a total stand-still so I hurried and grabbed my camera and took this photo.


Actually, due to a truck dumping hay along the freeway, there were many stand-stills, not going more the 5 mph at any given time.  Most of the hay had been loaded onto a big trailer by the time I got to it, but it took me over 30 minutes to go from 33rd down to 72nd.


The next evening after arriving in Utah, my daughter and I went to the Hale Theatre in Orem to watch “See How They Run”.  We’re talking HILARIOUS, from start to finish.  I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed laughing so much.  The actors/actresses were fabulous. The following photo is one I used from their website and the next three are pictures I took, showing the stage set-up.





We were sitting on the third row up with a perfect view of the entire play.  Perfect evening………………

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Over 100,000 Viewers

Who would have ever thought.  What started out as a “Mom, you need to keep a journal” turned into over 100,000 views.  My daughter told me to do a blog and set it up for me back in May of 2011 as a form of a journal.  She knew I didn’t do a journal and that I loved photography and thus my blog….Keeping Focused Through Life and Lens, was born.  I never guessed in my wildest dreams that I would ever get over 100,000 views on it and lately, I seem to be getting lots of views each day.  This has been a fun journey looking at each day just to see where all the visitors are from.  The count seems to start over each day, somewhere between 5pm and 6pm.  This is a screen shot of my fact page as of today, September 28, 2016, at 7:51 p.m.  Yesterday alone, I had 130 viewers.

Blog Views

This is a screen shot of where all the viewers came from….


I hope to be able to keep doing this for many years to come.  I really do enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September Horseshoe Tree/Entryway

Since September is basically over, I thought I’d hurry and post about the decorations I used for my monthly horseshoe tree.  I didn’t really have anything for August so I didn’t post, and September decorations were really late in coming.  When I went to Utah a few weeks ago, I finally found something I liked.  I went to Gordmans, a store in Utah, where I found the cutest acorns.  All I needed to do was put some type of hanger on them so they would hang on my tree.  The gold ribbon doesn’t match too well but for this year, it is what it is.


For the top of the horseshoe tree, I found this beautiful, burnt orange colored ribbon…..also from Gordman’s.  One side of it is a burnt orange color and the other side is dark brown.  I love the style of it where it isn’t an all solid ribbon and the colors will work for any of the Fall/Autumn holidays.


They don’t show too well, but the pinecones laying on the desktop are tipped in a burnt orange colored glitter, blending it together with the color of ribbon and the trim on the acorns. 


I purchased the Fall leaf goblets at Ross Dress For Less.  Another store where I can usually find cute decorations.


It was a rush, rush job but I think it all came together nicely.  I’m not what you would call a decorator, but I do have fun looking for items to decorate this little corner of my world.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Freezing Beans and Corn

I’m running a little, well, more than a little late on posting a blog about freezing our beans and corn.  I actually did the beans on August 31st, 2016 and the corn on September 5th.  Our garden gave us much to be thankful for……………….
My husband picked two large bunches of beans for us and then we started giving them away.  We got enough beans to last us the entire year.  The following photos were just from the first picking.



After washing and snapping, they go into a boiling water bath (blanching) for 3 minutes (depending on your altitude).


After blanching, I quickly pour them into a large strainer………


Then right into cold water to stop the cooking process.  The water is supposed to be ice water but our water is pretty cold here and they get two dunkings in the cold water…..


Once again, they get a good straining.


Then they’re off to freezer bags and that’s where they sit, just waiting to to enhance our meals. 


We picked our corn a little early because the night before we did corn, their was a huge raccoon on our back porch.  Yep, time to pick the corn.
We did the corn a little differently this year.  We boiled the corn in their husks, stripped them of the husk and silk, put them in cold water and then cut the kernels off the cob.  With cooking the entire corn first, it made it easier to husk and remove the silk.  Cutting off the kernels goes fast and easy when you place the wide end of the corn on the top of a bundt pan then cut off the kernels, letting them fall in the bundt pan.  Then all that’s left to do is bag and freeze. 
Right or wrong, that is how we did it this year.  I guess only time will tell…………..I’m thinking, it’s going to taste great.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

October 2016 Visiting Teaching Handout - If It Is The Lord’s Plan, It Should Also Be Our Plan!

Well, since today is officially the first day of Fall/Autumn and the October Visiting Teaching message has recently been posted on, I thought I would combine the two and make a Fall-ish handout.
I started making this last evening but I couldn’t seem to come up with a background color that I liked…….the changing of Fall colors has nothing on me….I have changed the background color on this handout more times than I care to admit.
The background I originally had was white but there was such a stark contrast between the dark blue on this page and the white that I decided to put a different color behind it to tone it down a bit.
I’m still not completely happy with the chosen color but if I don’t just hurry and push the little “Publish” button, I could sit here all day changing colors. 

After all that, I decided to also post the white background.  And, when it comes right down to it……I like the white background the best….it shows off more of the original colors in the frame.


Who knows (I do), I will probably still make multiple changes even after I post this.  I still think there may be a few colors I haven’t tried. Ha!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ

I know that the 2016 Young Women’s Theme is ending in January, but this morning I was thinking about the theme, “Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ”, and decided to make a poster for it. 
It was rewarding to me working with this theme that comes from 2 Nephi 31:20 (Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life), keeping me totally focused on Christ.  I found many, many frames to use but then I would look at it and think to myself……no….not this one….it’s not elegant enough for Christ.  I think of when temples are built and how everything is so elegant and beautiful…only the best for Christ, and that is the kind of frame I wanted to use. I ended up choosing a frame that was elegant for Christ, but had the golden bow which added a touch of beauty for  Young Women.
I found numerous pictures of Christ in the red robe, which is the painting I wanted to use.  Many of them were much brighter and showed more color in them but when I blew them up to a larger format, it was the eyes in this one that held my attention.  The face is softened and in his eyes, I saw the compassion and tender mercies of the Lord.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Big Garden Freeze - But All Was Not Lost

I went to Utah on September 6th to visit family, go through bunches of STUFF that had been stored in my grandparents home, and help my sister with some canning.  We ended up canning pickled beets, snapping/freezing beans for her and canning peaches for me.  I know I’ve said many times how much I do not like canning but the end results are beautiful……well…..this time, my sister, her husband, my daughter, and I were all canning together and it was actually fun…all of it!
The morning of my departure, our garden took a hit with frost.  Lots of frost. Thank goodness we already picked, snapped, and froze all our beans and  we had also picked and froze our corn on the weekend before the freeze.  I guess we can owe that to the coons because on Friday night there was a huge raccoon sitting on our back porch so my husband thought we’d better get all the corn picked before the coon got it. Never thought I would be thanking the coons for helping in harvesting our garden.



My husband has grass that encloses our entire garden and you can see how white it is.








Below is the back window of our car……..just to show you how much frost we received.


When I got home from Utah, 9 days later, my husband stated that all was not lost.  There were some hearty veggies that pulled through getting snipped by the frost………cabbage, broccoli, beets and zucchini (although our zucchini didn’t really do too good)..and of course, our potatoes.  My husband puts in many hours tending to our garden and then I do most of the freezing and canning of the veggies.  The Lord truly blesses us each year with a bountiful garden.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Model Airplane Show

On the 27th of August, my husband and I went to a model airplane show at our local airport (well, we do have a runway...sort of).  I was totally amazed at the size of some of the models.  It was actually quite fun watching them fly and show off their models, doing spins, turns, etc.  There was everything from little fun models to huge expensive models.  They were here in our little town last year, too.  If this is something they plan on doing every year, then I plan on attending.  Just a little something fun and different to do.  There were lots more planes than the ones pictured below but if I showed them all, it would have been a major picture overload.

On the three following videos, which are very short due to the smoky, hazy day and the fact that I couldn't see anything in my viewfinder, I show one taking off, one doing tricks, and one landing.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Cumulus Clouds

It’s been a few weeks since taking these photos, but on the 1st of September, we had the most beautiful cloud formations.  My husband and I stood outside for quite some time, just looking at the aweness of the clouds.  I don’t think we have ever seen clouds so stunning and how much they changed as evening drew close.
After searching the net to see what kind of clouds they were, I got the following information from THIS SITE: Cumulus clouds are puffy clouds that sometimes look like pieces of floating cotton. The base of each cloud is often flat and may be only 1000 meters (3300 feet) above the ground. The top of the cloud has rounded towers. When the top of the cumulus resembles the head of a cauliflower, it is called cumulus congestus or towering cumulus. These clouds grow upward, and they can develop into a giant cumulonimbus, which is a thunderstorm cloud.
For a more in depth description of cumulus clouds, GO HERE.