A Riddle*

We have built-in grill on our patio — it isn’t mobile, it’s attached to the cement. We use it a lot during the summer but it’s getting pretty old. So, here’s your riddle:

If TheLadyoftheHouse says “That grill is going to fall over, and no one listens to her, will it still fall over?”

Here. I’ll help you out and make the riddle a little easier.

If TheLadyoftheHouse says “That grill is going to fall over, and no one listens to her, and a big storm comes along, will it still fall over?”
Well, here’s proof, that those of you who answered “yes” would actually listen to TheLadyoftheHouse, aka Me:

Grill

A big storm did come up and it did fall over. It was probably time, there was a lot of rust on that poor ol’ grill — it’s been here a lot longer than we have. So, we went grill shopping yesterday. Woohoo! New grill!

Hope you’re having a Beautiful Sunday!
XOXO,
Anna

*The title of this post would have been more accurate to say: How I wasted spent my Saturday. I had lots of other things that I would have rather been doing!

Chicken Enchiladas

Boy, you have all certainly been busy while I was gone. I just can’t seem to get caught up, but it’s been fun reading some of your blogs and being inspired. You all need vacations! I don’t think I’ve even whittled my bloglines down 50%, and the weekend is coming again. I always get behind on the weekend. Can you get behind if you’re already behind?

I’m on business travel again until tomorrow, so that means I’m posting a recipe. These chicken enchiladas should be what my little family had for dinner tonight — I made them in advance and left them for my HungryMen. This is one of our favorite recipes for a number of reasons. First, they’re rich and delicious. If you’re on a diet, you should probably just skip this post altogether. (Unless, of course, you have incredible willpower and can eat a very small portion.) Second, they might look a little detailed to make, but they’re really pretty easy. And third, they’re very versatile. I first had them at a VERY nice dinner party, so they dress up well. Or, they can dress down, as we usually have them — nothing fancy. They’re pictured here with the VERY yummy jalapeno poppers that were featured on Pioneer Woman Cooks recently. The enchiladas are looking quite over-done in this picture ’cause I love the cheese nice and crusty brown, but trust me, they’re REALLY good. MeMum and I make them for several people who have visited us and they always ask for the recipe.

Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 T. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chilies
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
8 8-inch flour tortillas
2 8-oz. packages Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
2 c. whipping cream
3 1/2 c. chopped, cooked chicken breast

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat; add onion, and saute 5 minutes. Add green chilies; saute 1 minute. Stir in cream cheese and chicken; cook, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.

Chicken Enchiladas

Spoon 2-3 T. chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down, in a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with Monterrey Jack cheese and drizzle with whipping cream. To lighten, substitute half milk. (But we never do, we’re oinkers!)

Chicken Enchiladas

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and browned just the way you like them.
Yum, Yum. I hope they have some left when I get home!

XOXO,
Anna

Happy Birthday Big Boy!

Birthday BoyToday is TheFirstChild’s birthday! Here he is looking suspiciously like his younger brother. He loved his little bear whose name was Bear. TheFirstChild took Bear with him everywhere. He’s the reason we have 2 yr. old pictures with bears in our family. We wanted to remember Bear forever. It’s a good thing we have this picture, because about a year after it was taken, Bear was lost on an outing.

But, back to the birthday. Hard to imagine it’s been 23 years since my little cherub was born. I’m totally stealing and paraphrasing a fabulous quote from the VERY funny Camillaknits. “That was 17 hours of labor put to good use.” TheFirstChild came into the world with big, wide, blinking eyes, and he’s still wide-eyed, soaking up what the world has to give him. He’s been a great kid and a hard worker (well, unless you count his incredibly messy room.) This, his 24th year, will be a very big one, with a wedding in May. It might be bigger for me … I’ll have to give him up to SweetiePie. I don’t know if I’ll be able to bear it. {Sniff}{Sniff} (Excuse me while I blow my nose.)

Well, I’ll spare you the gushing over my baby. Suffice it to say, I could go on and on … he’ll always be my little sweetie. Thanks for a wonderful 23 years Big Boy — I hope you’re having a great day!

Now, I’m off to make another attempt at reading some of your blogs. I haven’t been very successful the last two days — you’re writing faster than I can read! Don’t you people ever sleep???

XOXO,
Anna

P.S.  Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments about my trip and pillowcases.  You’re all SO very sweet and kind!!!

Back Home.

I’m back from our whirlwind trip … I think. We drove straight through (a 25 hour drive one-way) to Utah, in both directions. We’re all tired, but very refreshed. There’s nothing like a visit to the mountains!
BigDaddy had a great time at the reunion. Here’s a picture of the little cabin where his father grew up.

Log Cabin

Grandpa (born in 1902) was the oldest of 10 children. When Grandpa was around 23 years old, his father died of pneumonia, leaving my Great-grandma to raise 8 children on her own. (Grandpa was on his own by then and the second child died when he was 2 years old.) My Great-Grandma was an amazing woman. The oldest 4 of the 8 children were girls and the youngest 4 were boys, the youngest being only 4 years old when his father died. For most of their childhood, this little cabin was only 2 rooms — a room for my grandparents and a room for all the kids. The door on the far left hand side is a door to the kitchen, but that wasn’t added until the late 1930’s — I can’t imagine where Grandma must have cooked before then, as there’s no fireplace in the main cabin.  Grandma had a hard life.  The older children quit school after the 8th grade to help support the family.  And just a few years after Grandpa died, her third daughter was killed in a sledding accident at age 18.  In spite of everything, she always had a smile on her face and a fresh, home-baked cookie for her great-grandchildren.
Out HouseTo the right is a picture of the outhouse. Indoor plumbing was added at the same time as the kitchen. And below is a picture of a hen house on the property. I took the picture and didn’t even notice the tree growing out of the middle of it. One of BigDaddy’s cousins mentioned that people stop to take pictures of “the shed with the tree growing out of it” all the time.

Hen House

After the reunion, we spent several days just relaxing and enjoying our cousins on MeMum’s side of the family. We stayed with my aunt, another fabulous woman who has raised 7 children and has 26 grandchildren. We cooked and ate and played games. My aunt makes THE BEST sweet rolls. I had to take a picture.

Sweet Rolls

There were a ton of middle-school-age boys and they all had a great time playing a game called fugitive (a nighttime game where everyone tracks down the “fugitive”) and sleeping under the stars. Oh those western skies — the stars at night are SO clear and beautiful. We also worked a little. We helped my uncle paint a fence one day.

Fence Painting

I suppose it was a weak attempt to work off a few pounds gained from all the food they fed us. I don’t think it worked though. Here’s one more farm picture. The long building is my grandfather’s turkey barn. It hasn’t had turkeys in it for many, many years. The farm has been sold now and the new owners will take over in December, so this was my last visit. It’s not the same now, as it was when I was little, so it wasn’t too hard for me to say goodbye.

Grandpa's Barn

The last day, we went up to Salt Lake. The boys checked out some schools and my aunt and I did a little quilt shopping. We visited my ALL TIME favorite quilt shop, Whimsy Cottage (no website yet!) It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside is loaded with all sorts of Kaffe Fassett, Lakehouse Dry Goods, Anna Maria Horner, Batiks, etc., etc.

Whimsy Cottage

We also found a new little quilt shop, Elaine’s Quilt Block. I hate to say it, but we almost didn’t go to Elaine’s — the name just sounds a little…um…un-exciting. But when we were at Whimsy, we told the clerks that we only had time for one more shop and we gave them three choices and said “Which shop would you go to?” They both immediately, and at the same time, said Elaine’s. It’s a great quilt shop. If you live in SLC, you’re very lucky to have such great choices in quilt shops!

So, now, back to work and catching up on all your blogs. Only 1450 posts to read! I squinted in fear when I opened my bloglines. Maybe I’ll be caught up in a few weeks. It won’t be easy though — two family birthdays this week and a trip to New Jersey. It’s a good thing that Labor Day weekend will be here soon to help me get caught up!

XOXO,
Anna

There’s Nice Stuff Going On…

Nice Award

I’m sure you’ve seen it going around. It’s the Nice Matters award. And I’ve been so fortunate to be nominated by Kim and Nicollette, both of whom are the very nicest! I must say though, I can’t possibly imagine how Kim could nominate me after I’ve abused her so much about mashed potatoes. So, Kim, my new nice self is turning over a new leaf. I’m not going to harass you about mashed potatoes anymore. ‘Cause that wouldn’t be nice.

Ok, just kidding. I just can’t do it. Sorry Kim — but at least you know I love you, right? If you want to take away my award you can. But, I still have Nicollette’s award — she just doesn’t know the real me as I haven’t found anything to tease her about yet. Yet!

Ahem. Back to the subject at hand. I need to nominate 7 bloggers who I think are very nice. If only you knew how difficult this is for me. You’re ALL so nice and it’s been so wonderful to “meet” all of you. And, I’m a Libra. I like balance and want to keep you all happy! I usually bow out of the naming part of these nominations, but I’ll give it a go (wouldya look at how that British-speak is rubbing off on me from all the UK blogs! ;-) )

Here are seven VERY nice bloggers:
Jade — she’s a sweetheart, sews like a dream and has the cutest little Bub!
Jill — who is probably too busy to respond right now. She’s been blessed with an adorable new baby boy — remember those first few tiring weeks of new motherhood? That’s where sweet Jill is now.
LucyLocket — who is terribly nice and is going to make a PIF for me and probably thinks I really think her name is Lucy.
Louise — who makes the most beautiful aprons and other wonderful things.
Karen — who has wonderful projects, stories, and fabulous GOATS!
Kahne — one of the first bloggers I “met”, she was so nice to let me know about Flibbertygibbet’s fabric swaps, which have been SO fun.
Which brings me to Gail — who is terribly nice to organize and control all the fabric swappers.
And another Karen — I’ve joked that we were twins who were separated at birth.
And …. oh wait …. that’s MORE than seven? Sorrrrrry. I really could have kept going. I’d love to list all of you — bloggers are the nicest people. But I’m trying to follow the rules, you understand. Thank you very kindly to Nicollette and Kim — you’re both very sweet!

So, for now, I have one very important word:

Roadtrip 3

BigDaddy turned 76 last week. On his birthday we were sitting around talking about the big family reunion that his family has every year and that we never attend. It’s held near the log cabin where his father was reared with 9 siblings, smack-dab in the middle of Utah. So, I said, “Why don’t we just go this year?” And imagine my surprise when he said “Ok!”

Roadtrip 2

So, tomorrow morning we’ll be on our way. 1600 miles one way. Ah LUV me a roadtrip! I’m very excited. Among other things it’s 10 days away from work! WooHoo!!!

Roadtrip 1

The clothes and pillows are packed. Please try to behave yourselves while I’m gone. The worst part about a vacation is knowing the blog-catch-up-hell I’ll face when I return. If you’d all like to take a little break, now would be the perfect time! ;-) I’ll miss you all terribly.

Now it’s off to make a quick batch of cookies, then….off to bed!
XOXO,
Anna