Monday, January 31, 2011

Ninety-Three Going on 29


And, oh how I love her so!

TOP TEN RANDOM FACTS ABOUT MY MOM (some of which were news to many of us me):

1.  She went to high school at Madison High in Rexburg, Idaho.

2.  She was married in 1946.

3.  She served a mission at the tender age of 19 in the Northern States Mission.

4.  Her favorite color is blue (you learn something new every day).

5.  Woodrow Wilson was the U.S. Prez the year she was born.

6.  Her least favorite chore as a child was rinsing out her younger siblings' dirty diapers--ew, gross out.

7.  Her father was named Peter Jepson Ricks; her mother was named Emily Elizabeth Arnold Ricks.

8.  The prophet at the time of her birth was Joseph F. Smith.

9.  She walked to school in three feet of snow--uphill both ways.  Kidding!  She walked, rode a horse, rode in a sleigh and sometimes took a bus to school.

10. She was born in the family's old log home in the Lyman/Archer/Rexburg-ish area of Idaho. 

Besides all of this good stuff we found out about revisited about Mom at her recent birthday party, here are a few extra "bet ya didn't know that" facts:  She worked for the original old Mr. Marriott himself when he first started his Hot Shops back east; she graduated from college and went on to teach at both BYU and BYU-I (Ricks College at the time and named for her grandfather);  she sold real estate; she continued to snow ski until she was 81 (didn't want to show up the 30-year-olds so she hung up her boots before she turned 82); she took private-pilot flying lessons; she sewed every single dance dress I wore in high school (well, with the exception of one, and that was only because I thought I was some sort of diva designer and wanted her to perform the impossible.  She tried.  She tried and tried.  She worked like a mad woman on that dress.  On the day of the dance she told me we were going shopping.  That's the day I received my one and only store-bought formal.  I'm praying I wasn't too big of a pill about it all).  And, most importantly, she has always, always, always told me how much she loves me.  Always.  All the other stuff she has done and still does for me is merely icing on the cake.  I always know that I have her unconditional love. 
My mom has been the kindest, most patient, noncritical, selfless, enthusiastic, spunky, and most loving mother a girl like me could ever ask to have!!!


*Oh!  And let's not overlook one last random fact:  Even at 93, Mom always makes sure that anyone and everyone who enters her home is well fed and stuffed to the tippy-top brim.  As you can see, she even talked Jimmer into having a bit of birthday cake and ice cream :D

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Awesome San Diego State University, whose basketball team was ranked 4th in the nation until last night ("was" being the operative word here), got JIMMERED by BYU big time! So glad I was able to hang with Jimmer for a little while before, during, and after the game; it was UNFREDETTABLE! (yuk yuk) Get a load of our sweet photo shoot together. He was so gracious about posing with us, btw. What a sport. But I guess that's what good friends do for each other. Jimmer and me? We're like THIS I hope you know.

Can you spy even a smidgeon of the floor of the court in this video? Nope you say? That's because somebody opened up the security police dam and a whole river of giddy Jimmerers gushed through and flooded the entire place. Cuurrraaazzzzzzy, dude! I swear, my ears are still ringing . . . .  Say what?

And, gosh.  I'm so sorry to report that Jimmer's left foot got trashed by the guy sitting next to me.  I hope this doesn't interfere with Jimmer's jump shot.  It won't, will it?  Please tell me it won't.  Oh, man.  I feel so responsible.  Oh, me oh my.  How am I going to explain this to Coach Rose?  Oh, man oh man.  I'm toast.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Little Loaf on the Prairie

Howdy-do, pardner! Well, slap a sunbonnet on my noggin and call me, "Pioneer Petunia!"

After receiving this from Santa Claus this Christmas, I decided to test it's mettle and see what it's got under the hood. YEEHAW! A fruit smoothie? A piece of cake. A thick milkshake? Piece of cake. Crushed ice? Piece of cake. Grinding raw wheat into a fine, dusty powder fit for down-on-the-prairie breadmaking? Cake. And since we're the proud owners of 2600 pounds (that's TWENTY-SIX HUNDRED POUNDS!!!) of raw wheat kernels tucked away in the dark recesses of our spidery basement, the discovery that I can do something with it other than popping a handful into my mouth to make "wheat bubblegum," (ew) this grinding feature is a very, very good thing.

So there I was in a wheat flour fog (I can't see! I can't see!--name the movie!*), and I decided it was time to cross over that invisible wooden log bridge and embrace my true pioneer-stock ancestry. I was determined to tackle . . . are you ready for it? . . . to tackle making bread. By hand. Without a bread machine. Without the assistance of Rhodes. Without going to my local Macey's and buying a 1.5 lb. unsliced loaf and hiding the bag pretending the bread just popped out of my oven merely minutes before. "Oh, and look, it still needs to be sliced! Yup, must be homemade!"

Have you ever had a moment where you just sit back and go, "Wait. My mother should be doing this, not me!" Yeah. This was that. I was actually kneading on my countertop. Kneading! Flour up to my eyeballs. Just like Mom used to do. I would watch that weekly routine of hers when I was a kid but I never wanted to participate (tomboy time!). Yet, here I was doing that yeast proud! Not too shabbyflabby. Both Christian and I decided the taste and texture of my bread was very much akin to Great Harvest's honey wheat bread. And that's a beautiful thing.

Bread? Piece of cake.

Well, sort of. Confidentially, I'm still getting used to the idea of having something in my mixing bowl that I could actually, um, "kill?" All this talk about not getting my water too hot or else I will "kill" the yeast? That's the part of this whole process that has always held me back from achieving my Pioneer Womanhood Recognition Award. Quite frankly, yeast scares me. There. I said it, and I'm not taking it back.

We shall NOT discuss what happened a day earlier when I tried to make wheat bread in my bread machine. Why drag you down that sad, pitiful road? Nuh uh.

By the way, does anyone need a golden-brown cinderblock that coincidentally is shaped sort of like a very squatty loaf of bread? It's rock solid and will withstand the force of a 200 lb. man jumping on top of it. It's available. It's free. Call me.

Here is a pic of Pioneer Petunia, aka, me.

*"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," only THE BEST comedy on the planet, dontcha know.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tums, Anyone?

I whipped up a batch of what are easily the most ginorm-o cookies I have ever made in my entire lifetime, and, YEEHAW!, are they hunkin' huge--practically a three-course meal, if you ask me. They almost need a room all to themselves. With a private entrance. And a bump-out dining area. And a big, spacious La-Z-Boy for lounging, cuz these cookies are settling in for a long, long visit.

Yes. That is a DoubleStuf Oreo squished
in the middle.

That DoubleStuf Oreo is now hermetically sealed inside bunches of sugar, and other good stuff.

I swear, I may have heard my Silpat groan
under the weight.

Is it just me, or does anyone else see Star Wars
stormtrooper helmets here?

My brave, brave boy. I do pay him well.

"You think I'm going to eat all of it? At one sitting? You don't pay me that well."


What a perfect little perch for the
stormtrooper helmets!

Add a splash of color with an adorable bow . . .

. . . add a hokey homemade card that unfortunately dials back the cuteness factor just a bit, and I'm all set to hoist these off onto my sweet, unsuspecting friend; she's not going to know what hit her. :D

Here are all of the delicious and devilish details (or you could go with calling them the "angelic" details, depending upon whether you think these are sinful or heavenly--your hips, your call on that one, people):

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookie Sandwich

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar

1 Cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla

3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

10 oz bag chocolate chips

1 bag Oreo cookies, I used the Doublestuf

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.

2. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo cookie. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo cookie. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo cookie is enclosed with dough. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Serve with a tall glass of milk, enjoy! Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE cookies.

Oh, these.
Well, uh, gee. Wellllllllllll . . . .
Well, okay. If you must know, we decided we needed to keep a few of these three-course meals for ourselves to serve as part of our food storage. You know, in case of a dire emergency and all that stuff. Just trying to follow the prophet. (Or what have you, ahem.)

This heart attack in cookie form comes to us courtesy of Picky Palate. Please place your blame appropriately.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dear Baby Kimball

Dear Baby Kimball,

Do you know how lucky you are?

Not yet.

Do you know how blessed you are?

Not yet.

Oh, there are so many thousands of things I could tell you about your fortunes and blessings, but today I want to tell you that you are one of the luckiest, most blessed little boys on this earth because you have a momma and a daddy who read to you every. single. day. That, my darling little redhead, will make all the difference in your own world's sphere of experiences, attitudes, outlooks, ambition, everything. Everything.

Someday, I hope you will tell your momma and daddy "thank you" for reading to you. Actually, I KNOW you will someday tell your momma and daddy "thank you" for reading to you, for their reading to you will be, in a large part, what shapes you into the wonderful man you are certain to become. In the meantime, I'll take on that task which is a little difficult for a sweet two-year-old and say, thank you, Momma Ashley and Daddy Jordan, for doing one of the best things you will ever do for my precious grandbaby!

Love you tons,
Grandmama Deedee

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library."

— Jorge Luis Borges

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."

— Frederick Douglass

"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read."

— Abraham Lincoln

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."

— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."

— Emilie Buchwald

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

— Groucho Marx

"Teaching reading IS rocket science."

— Louisa Moats

"Babies are born with the instinct to speak, the way spiders are born with the instinct to spin webs. You don't need to train babies to speak; they just do. But reading is different."

— Steven Pinker

"Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read."

— Marilyn Jager Adams

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all."

— Jacqueline Kennedy

"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. She will not want new fashions nor regret the loss of expensive diversions or variety of company if she can be amused with an author in her closet."

— Lady Montagu, providing advice on raising her granddaughter, 1752

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."

— Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book."

— Austin Phelps

"You may have tangible wealth untold. / Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. / Richer than I you can never be – / I had a mother who read to me."

— Strickland Gillilan

"The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't."

— Mark Twain

"To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."

— Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!"

— A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943

"The good of a book lies in its being read. A book is made up of signs that speak of other signs, which in their turn speak of things."

— Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

And finally, ten points to the person who can name the author of this quote:

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Romp and Circumstance

Another video! Rah! Everybody join in: Rah, rah! People! Okay, at the very least, just fake looking interested--you can count it as your good deed for the day.

Alrighty then! Pay close attention now, boys and girls. There will be a pop quiz (really?) following the video presentation. Remain seated until you have completed the quiz to the best of your ability. No looking on your neighbor's paper, please. This will be graded on a curve, just so ya know. And prizes will be awarded. Yay!

(Those buttoned-down corporate lawyer-types are at it again, looking out for Sony Music, so in order to see our latest shenanigans, apparently you may need to click on the video, then click on the link where it reads, "Watch on YouTube." Here's crossing my fingers that you get through all the red tape and bureaucracy and can actually watch this giddiness.)

Anyone who leaves even one attempt at a correct answer in the comment section of this post will receive an itty-bitty-cute-as-can-be box of chocolates in your mailbox--and I don't mean your email mailbox. I'm talkin' your real, honest-to-goodness, aluminum/rusted/dented mailbox. I am not responsible for any bites taken out of said prize by your real, honest-to-goodness mailman, however. That's between you and him. Don't get me involved in your domestic squabbles; I like to stay on good terms with those deliverers of my Internet shopping habit, so just leave me out of it if one of your brownie truffles happens to go missing from said prize.

I'm feeling super generous, and I really want everyone to win a wee box of deliousambrosiathatsoothesthesoulandcalmsthosefrazzled-nerves goodness, so c'mon, and take a whack at it!

Yuh-um. This little box could be yours . . .

Make sure that I have your real, honest-to-goodness address. FB me or email me at if you think I may not know where you live. Oooh, that last part sounds sorta mafia-ish, doesn't it . . . .

Friday, January 07, 2011

Current News? Um, Probably Not So Current Anymore . . .

What is it with me and Christmas cards? For some reason we just can't sync up to get our timing just right, those darn annual Christmas cards and me. It's the same old song and dance every year: The cards are begun in November, and we're lucky if they see the light of day before the shiny new year. I am, however, feeling somewhat victorious over those pesky cards in that, at the very least, we actually did send out Christmas cards however late they may be . . . . I have many friends who have unwittingly lessened my feelings of guilt at my mailing those outdated-to-the-point-of-being-ridiculous-and-nothing-in-the-note-is-even-remotely-current-or-relevant-anymore cards by telling me that they have decided to simply bag doing Christmas cards altogether--bah humbug and all that jazz. So, ha! A small (and latent) victory is still a victory, yes?

Even though it was, uh, let me see, December 29? 30? February 22?, our completed cards finally(!) hit that mailman like I hit the after-Christmas sales at Tai Pan! BAM! Lookee here:

Click to enlarge

(Even if it is, what, like, March by now?)

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Two Words! First Word! Sounds Like . . .

Whoa nelly, were our holidays ever cheery and bright! We've got lots to catch up on, so let's start with the best part of all: Ashley, Jordan and Kimball arrived from rainy California to shower us with all of their wonderfulness and fun! First up? Charades, Kimball-style!

K! First word sounds like fig? Hmmm, jig? rig? dig? Pig! PIG!!! Is it PIG? Aaaaah . . . I don't know! Let's move on!

K! Second word. Sounds like herd? Ummmm, zerd? ferd? curd? I KNOW IT! I KNOW IT! It's, it's, it's . . .


We win! We win!


Oh, blast.

Oh, I see. Big Bird. Got it.