Our life is good, not perfect, a work in progress – but good.

Klien Irons passed away early this morning.  His sweet daughter, Jane, has taken such good care of him, always by his side.  She and her husband Curt had a trip to Hawaii planned, for quite a long time.  Klien has been semi-comatose for a while now, so he’s not been too aware of those around him, so it was a good idea for Jane and Curt to go.  Anyway, their cute daughter, Mary, was with him him.

It reminded me of us losing little mom.  I’m not sure I will ever completely understand how truly blessed we are to have her as our mom.  There was one really good day before we lost her.  We planned her funeral, WITH her, her cute grandkids and great grandkids came down and she shared Skittles with them.  She wanted to talk to all her grandchildren, so we called those that weren’t in town and she got to visit.  Her positive attitude was present that day for sure.  Each one asked her what she was doing, and without exception, she answered “planning a funeral”.  I’m sure those grandsons she spoke with were in tears on the other end of the phone, but had to be so happy that she was – and still is – their sweetheart grandma. Her positive, happy attitude shined brightly right up to the end.  She truly endured to the end with dignity, JOY and grace.

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St. George Marathon

Justin and Chris have been running fools for the past couple of years.  Justin works, currently as assistant manager, at The Running Room in Vancouver, B.C.  Neither of these boys were much interested in physical fitness until around October 2009 when they both started working out and eating healthier.  There was no special diet involved, just healthy lifestyle changes.

Now, 3 years later they just completed their 3rd marathon.  The were selected in a lottery to run the St. George Marathon, which just happened to be on Justin’s 40th birthday.  I still can’t believe that my baby boy is 40.  Anyway, the lottery is used to limit the number of participants to 7,500.  Imagine how that looks running down the road, 7,500 runners, a sea of runners.  They both said it was a hard course and they ran the same times as they did the Vancouver Marathon in May.  However, this course was much harder and higher than sea level, so all in all they were pleased with their times.  Chris ran 3:53, Justin ran 4:24 and Todd (Rick’s brother) ran 4:41.  Great times in my view.

Here are some pictures from race day, Justin’s 40th birthday.

Flowers love fall too

Last night I was tired, just plain tired.  I remembered that my flowers needed watering, I whined to myself, then took Baxter out with me to water.  Being outside on this beautiful fall evening rejuvenated  me, not to the point of going out for a run, but I felt uplifted and happier when I was done.

Have I mentioned I love fall?  So do my flowers and Baxter.

Favorite Fall Recipe

Salsa – spicy salsa – yum.  Since we don’t have a vegetable garden anymore, this year I raided a neighbor’s garden and bought other veggies for salsa.  I used to make this every year – no tomato vines – no salsa.  This year I really wanted to bottle salsa again, so here is the recipe and a couple of pictures of during and after the process.  It turned out yummy.
10 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes

5 cups  chopped seeded green bell peppers

5 cups  chopped onions

2 1/2 cups chopped seeded chili peppers (yellow wax, hot banana, serrano, jalapeno)

1 1/4 cups cider vinegar

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 T sea salt

Chop and mix together.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce and heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2″ head space.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar and screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process jars for 15 minutes from time water boils.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the work in progress and the finished product.

Fun Fall Memories

Growing up on a tree lined street brought many, many leaves.  I don’t remember raking leaves growing up, I think the trees were growing up at the same time.  I do remember, however, raking leaves as the grandsons (my nephews and son) got old enough to help grandma and grandpa Cowan.  It seems that there was a never ending supply of leaves.  Colby, Cameron and Justin would help rake the leaves, mostly after dad had passed away.  It was a weekend affair and they would rake and rake and rake.  Of course there were always leaves to be re-raked, the boys loved playing in them.

I also love the cooler nights of fall in Southern Utah, when you can leave windows open overnight and wake up to the house be cold enough that if it were really winter, the furnace would be running.  I used to love running outside in the cool, crisp fall air, before sun-up.  I don’t so much enjoy dark running anymore.

I love the more relaxed feeling of fall.  I don’t know why I feel more relaxed, I’m just as busy as any other time of year.  And I love decorating for fall, whether it’s because I can leave the decorations up longer, from now until Thanksgiving OR because I love the warm colors of fall.

Candles, I’m a candle junkie, I probably need an intervention.  I have a linen cupboard in “moms” room (another post sometime) that is filled with candles I’ve ordered from Bath and Body.  Fall scents are my most favorite of all, but I delay starting to burn them, trying to hold onto the last vestiges of summer. 

Fall – I love fall, I may even take Baxter for a walk tonight, after all it’s cooler in the evenings now and we both could use the exercise.

Happy fall y’all!

I keep forgetting to update the blog in the evenings.  I guess I work on the computer enough during the day that I don’t want to at night.

Today I have 3 pictures to share.  I’ve noticed lately that I take pictures mostly of sunsets, flowers, clouds (lots of clouds), trees, etc.  I’ve decided that I’m simply in love with nature.  The pictures I have here are things that remind me of fall.  Clouds of course, and a picture of a flower pot at home with Zinnias, which happen to be my current fav flower.  So enjoy.

I remember when I was in Jr. High School I wasn’t very big.  Well actually, I’m still pretty short, just over 5′.  Anyway a friend and I were joking around one day and I climbed into a floor level locker, you know the old ones, about 3′ tall and about 8″ wide?  I folded myself up and fit quite nicely.  I was pretty okay – until – you guessed it, he wouldn’t let me out.  Now I’ve never considered myself claustrophobic, but that was a pretty small space.  It only lasted a minute or less, but that was enough to teach me to not play that game again.

Another memory from Jr. High was the school store where we could spend our parents hard earned money rotting our teeth.  One of my favorite candy bars then was a frozen Butterfinger.  I’d bite just through the chocolate and have the yummy peanut butter left to enjoy.

I also remember that “back then” it was THE thing to wear girdles.  Remember those?  Being just over 5′ tall and I’m sure weighing around 90 lbs. I’m sure I NEEDED that girdle that pinched my tiny waist until I thought I’d scream.  But I didn’t scream, that wasn’t popular, I endured in silence.  Glad that fad is over!

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These Mountains We Climb

Loss. Faith. Triumph.

The House of Hendrix

where joy, imperfection, and grace abound.

The Nuptials of Brian and Cammie Jan

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