Friday, September 4, 2009

My Cousin, Jane.

This is my cousin Jane (on the far right) and her nine children. You probably count ten, but that is because her oldest is married and so another has joined the picture. I wish you could meet Jane -- she is the sweetest, most positive, resilient individual I know. 

Jane has been on my mind so much lately -- she became a single mother shortly after the birth of her youngest -- twins. Last year she found out she had breast cancer, had a radical mastectomy and has been undergoing chemo treatments. Just last week her house caught on fire due to a faulty dryer wire. The basement and part of the upstairs will have to be gutted and rebuilt. They lost most of their belongings to smoke damage. 

Her sister Ann wrote a note to me after my inquiry as to their well-being, "Jane and her children just keep going, even with a smile on their face, they are amazing souls, who are always teaching me through their example, how to be a better person."

Yes, they are amazing... But how much can one family take?

My heart goes out to you, Jane, but I want to do more. What do you need most right now? How can I best help you?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Peaches O'Plenty

It's the end of August and the first day of fifth grade. The sun shines a comfortable afternoon warmth as I ride my bike home from Washington Elementary.  "Mom? I'm home!" I call as I open the screen door. I find her in the kitchen surrounded by jars of canned peaches. With a sweet greeting, she hands me a beautiful fresh one and gives me a kiss. 

Peaches. Just the sight of one takes me back. A peach holds the sight, sound, and smell of the end of summer. Guess what I've been doing this week? Eating peaches, canning peaches, drying peaches -- right off the tree in our back yard. Hundreds of them! 
Here is my favorite fresh peach recipe (from my mother):

Fresh Peach Pie

Mash 3 large peaches and add 3/4 cup sugar, 3 Tablespoons corn starch, and 1/2 cup water. Cook 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Add 1/4 tsp. almond flavoring and 2 tablespoons butter. Let cool. Slice fresh peaches into a cooked pie shell. Pour thickened sauce over and chill until set. Top with whipped cream.

And I just HAVE to include this one! It's the ONLY recipe Randy uses when it's his turn to make a treat for Family Home Evening! This one uses home bottled peaches.

Randy's Peach Cobbler:

Melt 1/2 cube butter in a baking pan.

1 cup bisquick baking mix
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk

Dribble mixture over melted butter. Arrange sliced canned peaches over mixture. Pour a little fruit juice over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

STUCK on I-80

When a vacation comes to a close, I'm SO anxious to be home. Aren't we all? I wish I could wiggle my nose and be there. Just past Wendover, we found THIS -- Traffic had come to a complete stop and people were roaming the freeway. NOT a good sign.

Curious, Emily and I walked the half mile up the road to see THIS --
The pilot and two passengers had experienced mechanical difficulties shortly after leaving Wendover and made an emergency landing on the freeway. In the process, their wing clipped a semi. It was evident that this was going to be a long wait...

So the girls played in the dirt... 

and had a picnic on the pavement. How many times can you have a picnic on the freeway? Audrey even offered food to the two good-looking blond guys behind us who were obviously on their way to BYU. 
Desperate times call for desperate measures. We had all had too much to drink. Randy found a bush (they have it so easy), Emily who was turning yellow at this point found a nearby RV, and Audrey and I just toughed it out. After over an hour, traffic started moving again and we were on our way (stopping at the next rest stop, of course!)