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Put It Away

ORGANIZATION AT WORK OR HOME

My BLog

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A wedding to get ready for...

Posted on October 25, 2014 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (231)
Now, I am getting ready for Tony and Colette's wedding. I am cooking for 200 one night and 50 the next day, but this will be in Washington state far a way from my kitchen...oh dear.

Then about 2:00 AM one night (when I couldn't sleep for thinking of all the things that I have to do) it occurred to me.

I can make the Pupusa Meat, the Taco meat, and the Spanish Turkey here, then put it in big ice cream tubs, freeze it, then ship it with dry ice to Washington. (Feeding a crowd).

That way when I get there the hardest part is already done. We will only have to set out everything for pile-ons and Bolios. And making Pupusas on Saturday will be much easier with the mixture already done and ready for me.

I just need to compile a list for each meal and send it to Colette's mom so she can have everything ready for me when I arrive.

The thing that concerns me the most is I have taught cooking classes before and know how easy it is to think you have everything you need then to get there and realize that you forgot the spatula or that one spice.

Oh well, we will make do and just do our best. I also just sent Colette a bunch of pictures of Tony from his childhood for the reception. Oh my, that brought back so many happy memories. Fito and I sure had a good time with our house full of children.

And now I have cute little grandchildren to bring me happiness, but I don't have to do the majority of all the work. Cool!

And we are so happy for Colette and Tony! Now only 5 more children to get married...

Some of my cute grand babies:














































































































































































A joyful moment.

Posted on October 25, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (244)






















After my mom’s death, I was really surprised by how much I missed her. When my father passed away it was such a relief as he had had cancer for a third time, it had gone into his bones and he was in such pain that it was pure relief and happiness when he was gone.
I did not miss him so much but still hear his voice constantly telling me things, guiding me, teaching me.

However, with my mom, I guess because I had cared for her for so long, it was as if we had both been mothers to each other. I would walk by her room and look in to see how she was…and then I would remember, oh, she’s gone.

I still wake up in the middle of the night and think, “I need to go check on mom.” I have even gone halfway to her room and then remembered. At times, I am preparing food, or in the grocery store…and so on and think, “I need to heat some up for her.” And then it hits. But I know with time and understanding the wounds we have all heal or at least fade enough that the hurt is not so deep.

Also, the roller coaster of life takes you down, but it also takes you up. Michael John Sagastizado was born shortly after losing my mom. He and Ashley had a hard time in the beginning. She got a virus or bacteria, most likely in the hospital, and was running a high fever and was very sick. Her labor also stalled as her fever went up and she ended up with a cesarean. She tried so hard, but we are just thankful they are both okay and with us.

Michael was in NICU for a few days as he simply could not keep his blood sugars stable. They think it maybe was due to the infection Ashley contacted. But he pulled through quickly and was out in a few days.
He is so handsome and such a happy baby and good nurser. Ashley is such a good mother. It is such a joy to see my daughter and daughter-in-laws have babies and see what great mothers they are and to see what great fathers my sons and son-in-law are. We have truly been blessed.

Sunday evening, a few days after the birth, I was finally allowed into NICU and to hold Michael. He looked a lot like my Michael who was stillborn 13 years ago. I could feel my Michael’s presence and feel the sweet pure spirit of this Michael who just came to be in our family. It was a very spiritual moment of profound happiness and yet a longing for the child I lost.

Tears were running down my face. Then Elizabeth came in and then Rebeca. Rebeca was too young and wasn’t supposed to be in there, however, the nurse realized that she was mature and would not be disruptive.  To see my younger daughters hold my newborn grandson was so gratifying. I use to worry since they were the youngest that they wouldn’t know how to take care of children or know how to handle babies, and so forth.

Now I realize with all of the grandchildren that they will have plenty of opportunities. In fact, maybe just as much as their siblings (although, their older siblings think they are spoiled and do not have to do anything).

Albeit, they have never had to share a Happy Meal like their older siblings did or a myriad of other sacrifices, but they also don’t have a houseful of playmates either…Rebeca’s always looking for someone who will ride a bike with her or go play in the tree house with her. We are all old and boring here. While that would have never happened to her older siblings. There was always someone ready to go outside and explore.

I do have to add that Maria went to be with Ashley while she was in labor and I had her two boys for two days and overnight…and I was worn out! How I raised 9 is beyond me…I definitely had more energy 30 years ago. (But so worth all the work!)















































































































My mom is gone.

Posted on October 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM Comments comments (69)
Now, when we went to Padre Island, I asked my friend, Kathy, to come stay with my mom. She had been slowly going downhill all year, but when I came back from Padre Island, she seemed especially weak. I thought maybe Kathy had been too soft with her and had not pushed her enough to walk or to do others things. (She, herself, told me that Kathy was much nicer to her and not a big meanie like me…)

However, after having been at home for a while, I realized that she simply did not have the strength anymore to do certain things. I called her doctor and he came to see her. He ordered an EKG which showed her heart was failing and warned me that her body was starting to shut down.

I could see the decline but kept telling myself that I would help her get better and then she would be okay, again. I really thought she would live to be 90 plus. But 83 years were enough for her, I guess. Each day, she was able to do less and I had to do more and more for her. Then she became bedridden and I was exhausted.

It was a Friday night and I was so tired. I decided I would call Hospice on Monday as I knew I could not go on as I had. I would have to turn her on to my father’s bed. Change her bed, then change and clean her, then roll her back. She wouldn’t eat any solids and had problems even keeping down liquids.

When I found her dead Sunday morning, it was truly a bittersweet moment. It was bitter as I had lost my dear sweet mother. I’ve had her my whole life. We have lived next door to her or with her for most of our married life…and yet, it was such a sweet relief and happiness knowing that she was now with her beloved Jerry (my dad) and I could see them in my mind’s eye as two deeply-in-love teenagers stealing kisses and holding hands.

She no longer was bound by her old frail body. What joy! And yet, I was so sad at the same time…a very strange feeling.

I spent the day trying to take care of all the thousand things that you must do when someone dies. Calling family and friends, trying to make decisions, and just trying to cope. 

I had spent the night with her and had had music for her to listen to. I had called everyone the day before because I knew death was close. Around 6:00 AM, I went to my room to try to get at least 2-3 hours of sleep as I knew family was coming.

I awoke about 8:30 AM and went to check on her and that is when I found her gone. I knew since she had died at home, I had to notify the authorities as she was not on Hospice. I called the police, but guess the dispatcher didn’t really believe and she sent the ambulance. I told them it was a mistake and they were not needed. Around then the funeral director came and thankfully, the others left.

He was so great and helped take care of everything. What a shame that you cannot even die at home anymore without government meddling in your life.

The next weeks were a whirlwind of decisions, organizing, sorting, cleaning, and trying to take care of everything. She was to be buried in the family plot in Texas, so we had to take her there. Guess what, a coffin fits in a Ford Flex if the seats are all the way forward.

Now, I have to tell you a story about when we took my father’s body to Texas over 10 years ago. We had a van and we had taken the rear seats out to make room for his coffin. We lived in Kansas at the time so it was about 5-6 hours.

We were in a really rural area in the middle of the night when there was a loud knocking inside the van. Talk about frightening! Adrenaline went rushing through both my husband and I. Our hearts were pounding! Then I remembered that my dad was embalmed (I had also seen him dead)…however, that knocking was so freaky. We finally decided that it was something to do with the speakers, but boy were we startled for a minute or two.

I thought everything was taken care of for mom as she had always told me she had a pre-paid funeral plan. She’d say, “I’ve even picked out my coffin…you don’t have to do a thing.”

My advice is to check, check, check. We had to pay more for a different coffin because the one she had chosen would not accommodate her size. Texas now requires for the coffin to be inside a cement box so we had to pay for that. She had bought a stone, but hadn’t paid for the engraving of the stone. I could go on and on.

The day of the funeral, I showed up at the church and one of the sister’s at the church asked me for the sign in book--oops—forgot that…I had stayed up late just trying to get the program done and the eulogy written.

Oh my, there’s so much to do and so much to remember. Thank goodness, my mom had planned for many things. If she had not done that, it would have been so much more difficult.

The funeral was beautiful. There was lots of music which she wanted and her family came to honor her. I think she would have been pleased. She was buried next to her husband, parents, and other family members in Texas.

Fito and I were the first to arrive at the cemetery and the mosquitoes were insane. We had to go back to the car and then spend a few minutes killing the ones that were inside the car. I called my aunt and had her bring repellent. We had to spray everyone from head to toe and they were still pesky.

I guess that’s what makes for stories and sure makes for appreciation of pesticides that kill bugs…ha…please don’t send me to live in a jungle…

Back home to sort, sort, sort. My mom had boxes and boxes of photos, scrap books, history, records, and so on. I have been going through stuff for over a month now and still am not finished. Then decided I, myself, had too much stuff and threw away 5 large trash bags of my own files.

I don’t want my children to have to go through boxes and boxes of stuff wondering what possessed me to keep that. Ha! I’m sure they still will wonder. I have a house full of fascinating stuff (at least to me it is fascinating) oh my…

 Here is the eulogy I wrote for her:

What can one say when one’s mother has passed away? The woman who’s soft caress put you to sleep. The woman who’s nectar of life gave you sustenance? The mother who comforted you, taught you, scolded you, worked with you, guided you and most of all, kept on loving you even when you were unlovable.

Edna Mae Sell Norton was such a mother. She was born April 19, 1931 to Dan and Alnora Sell and grew up in a Christian home. She grew up on a farm and she said one of the reasons she married a city boy was that farms were too much hard work and she would be perfectly happy if she never had to milk a cow the rest of her life.

She could remember only two times when her father was angry with her; one was when she neglected to wash the cream separator and the other was when she wrecked his truck while goofing off with some friends. This not only showed what an even tempered man her father was but also shows what an obedient daughter she was.

She got her first pair of glasses when around eight years old. She remembered her whole life, the wonder of finally- and for the first time in her life- of being able to see clearly. To see the sky, the clouds, a blade of grass, and details on flowers, the world she had not been able to see; was so amazing.

She grew up in Booker, TX where she graduated from high school, was married, and will be buried. While we were growing up, many a summer was spent in Booker: riding horses or motorcycles with cousins, playing Pitch, reading comic books during Grandpa’s afternoon nap, playing croquet on the lawn, and so on.

Mom, or Eddie as she was known in Booker, was a smart, fun, and loving classmate. She kept in contact with her classmates her whole life and was always loved and respected. The pastor who married her wrote an article in the paper about her.

He said “In the year that Edna Mae, or Eddie, as she became known, was a junior in high school, or it may have been in the year she was a senior, I saw something in that little home town paper from the school department that has stayed with me. The school editor was describing the members of the class. I was happy to read the account of this girl. One statement in it was all I remember; this is what I read, “Eddie is a very popular girl in school. She makes good grades and gets along with everyone. She goes to church regular, and is not ashamed that she is a Christian, and wants everyone to know that she is a Christian. Everyone here at the school believes that Eddie will go places.”

Edna was a disciple of Christ her whole life. She continued on in a pattern of service, selflessness, and charity all her days. Several years after Jerry and Edna were married they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They both made many changes in their lives and never looked back.

They had family scripture study, Family Home Evening, took us to church, taught us the doctrines of the church, paid tithing, and did everything the Prophet asked us to do. Mom did each and every calling just as completely and perfectly as she could. If she was librarian; the library was updated, kept in perfect order, and she was there every Sunday to hand out supplies. When she was a teacher; the lesson would be prepared ahead of time, pictures or activities set up in advanced, and missing students called.

When she was Relief Society President, she set a goal to visit every sister in the ward. After about one year she had met this goal and then shortly afterward our Tulsa home sold which had been on the market a long time. She remarked that the house couldn’t sell until she had reached her goal. She also had a sister in this ward that had Bell’s Palsy and mom would visit her almost weekly to care for her needs.

Mom said many times that the reason she married dad was because he was the only man who was smarter than her, and mom was smart. She was a whiz at using a slide rule, and we would always throw a series of big numbers at her and she could always do in her head what we were doing on a calculator. She always received excellent grades and was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She earned a bachelor’s in Chemistry from McMurry College in Abilene, TX.

Right after, she and dad were married they moved to Columbus, Ohio where she was pursuing a Master’s degree in Chemistry. But she abandoned that dream to pursue her life’s one main dream and goal: to be a mother. And a mother she was. In fact, very few women come close to being the type of mother she was; for she truly was a Proverb’s Woman.

She sewed and made us girls matching dresses and Dennis a matching shirt. I remember a Mary Poppin’s dress, a Chitty bang bang Dress, and many more. Getting our hair curled on Saturday night while we watched The Lawrence Welk Show, and of mom at the sewing machine or cooking dinner, when we came home from school.

Family trips, holidays with special treats, and many many decorations. Mom absolutely loved decorating for each and every holiday, birthday, or event. She had three Christmas trees and two Christmas Villages and had seasonal decorations for every occasion.

 Coming to her house was always a welcoming experience with candy in a gumball machine, really good popsicles and ice cream bars, yummy treats and plenty of movies to watch.

When mom and dad moved to Caney, KS they bought a home that had a craft store behind the home. Mom was in heaven. She ran the store for years and taught classes. She could do just about any type of craft you can think of: crocheting, wheat weaving, paper curled art, stained glass, tole painting, embroidery of different types, cross stitch, needle point, quilting, applique, rug making, flower arranging, sewing, and so on. 
She canned and had her food storage. She baked and ground her wheat. She cooked from scratch and delighted in loving her family through special meals.

She belonged to Tulsa Town Tolers, a decorative painting club, and was so proud of the fact that she had a hand- painted Christmas ornament shown in the Smithsonian. She was always busy and organized and did all she could to teach and pass these skill on to others.

She supported Dad in all of his church callings and in his professional life. I never heard her complain when he was called away to do something for the church.

In later years, she became an avid genealogist and many trips that she and dad took- were to areas of the US where they could get genealogical info. She compiled history books of several family lines, was the secretary for the reunion committee for years, and had many Family History books published. She will be praised by both her ancestors and posterity for the many names found, for all the histories she compiled, and for her journals, and children’s and family scrapbooks she made.

Edna Mae Norton truly was a righteous woman of God. Her first love was God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Her second love was Jerry, her beloved. She has missed him so dearly these past 11 years. She would talk to him at night and sing to him. What a joyful reunion Sunday morning must have been; the two holding hands and stealing kisses and catching up on missed events.
Her third love and greatest concern: her children and posterity. She would worry about them, pray for them, ask about their welfare, and hope for their prosperity.

A few weeks ago, family gathered in her room and she bore her testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. To all present, a powerful spirit came down and shone on her. Each person in the room knew and felt a powerful and true witness that the gospel of Jesus Christ is on the Earth today. She bore witness to the power the gospel has to change lives and that it was the best decision that she and Jerry ever made in their lives.

We will miss her and she will be in our hearts and watch over us throughout our lives. May we never forget the amazing example she was to us all and the great service she did for us all. May we honor her by living as she did and as true Disciples of Christ is our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The roller coaster called life.

Posted on October 25, 2014 at 11:56 AM Comments comments (37)
Oh my goodness. It has been months since I blogged, but my life took me on a roller coaster ride and it hasn’t paused long enough for me to get off and write about anything. We went to Padre Island, Texas for several days in August and had a wonderful time.

When we came back home, school was starting and there were so many things to do to prepare. Also, my mother had been getting weaker and weaker and was requiring more of my time. Then she became bedridden and I thought she had just gotten the flu or something. It then became obvious that she was close to death, but I kept hoping that she would pull through. She died the end of September.

A funeral, family coming, taking her to Texas to bury her, organize and sort her things and so forth.

Then Ashley went into labor and Michael was born. Both Ashley and Michael had difficulties, but are fine now.

Then Tony got back from Afghanistan and announced his engagement and wedding on November 8 in Seattle, Washington. I am doing the cooking for the reception (about 200 people) and a family dinner (about 50 people) after the wedding. I have been busy sending invitations, figuring out all that we need to do, tickets, etc.

And then we are driving back his fiancé’s car from Washington to Oklahoma. So I have been planning that trip. I plan to go south down through California to avoid snow…and to see the Redwoods…then go through Arizona (the Grand Canyon) and we will see what else we end up doing. Fito, David, Elizabeth, Rebeca, and I are flying out, then the 3 children and I will drive back. Poor Fito has to fly back to go to work.
Then of course, by then it will be time for Thanksgiving and Christmas and possibly a reception here in Oklahoma. Whew!! No wonder I’m tired.

Now, I will go back to the beginning and give more details in the next few blogs.

Padre Island is a great vacation spot. The beach and ocean are great. Soft, fine sand and miles of beach. We stayed at a hotel that had access to the beach which was wonderful. We went on a dolphin watch and saw some dolphins, but it was so hot that day and it took quite a while for the ship to find the dolphins…Maria’s boys were getting bored, but then had fun.

I can only go to the beach early in the morning or around sunset or I will burn to a crisp bright red. Then I blister, peel, and am just as white all over again, so there is absolutely no reason to try to tan. It is simply impossible.

One morning, Fito and I arose at 4:00 AM. We went to the beach and were the only ones there. It was perfectly black and no light from the dawn was there. The stars were hanging low in the sky over the ocean. The moon was glowing, Venus was brilliant and barely above the waves and the big dipper looked like it was going to scoop water up out of the ocean.

We saw some falling stars, a soft, salty breeze was blowing gently on us and the sound of the waves was reassuring and constant. It was profoundly spiritual, God affirming, and romantic all at once.

There is always something powerful in the wee morning hours right before dawn. It is as if the whole world has gone to sleep, evil has drifted off, and God lets you know he is still in control. I always feel close to him when I am awake at this time.

The next day, Maria and the girls and cousins went to the beach early. They saw the sunrise and had a blast swimming so early before the crowds come and ruin the beauty.

We then drove back to Houston (not wanting to leave the beach and ocean) but wanting to go to Houston to see our grandbabies; which are beautiful, too.

A great trip and a needed break.





































































































































































































































































































































Working in the garden...

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 4:46 PM Comments comments (32)
























Papi made us all go down to the garden one evening this past week. We all complained and didn't want to go, but then when we got there and started pulling weeds something happened.

First of all, there is such a sense of satisfaction when you start to see the ground (not weeds) and start to see an area clean.

Second, it soothes the soul to put your hands and feet into the dirt.

Third, it was like a treasure hunt because we began to find onions and potatoes we had missed from the previous harvest. Then we noticed there were jalapeños, bell peppers, and tomatoes ready to be picked. Then we saw that many of the apples were ready!

How fun to eat food that you grew! (Of course, with God's help).























Even two of Elizabeth's friends helped us. (One of the dangers of visiting us...we think everyone is family...so everyone gets put to work).

However, "Many hands makes light work". How true. Between me, 3 children, 4 nieces and nephews, and 2 friends, we were done in about 40 minutes. Time to play.








































Look at all the yummy stuff. Fito grew these purplish tomatoes this year. They are really ugly, but boy, do they taste good.































































All washed. The potatoes in a bucket to use for later. Some tomatoes and peppers left for later. Bags of onion, tomato, and peepers ready for the freezer. 

Then on a cold winter day, I pull the bags from the freezer and turn them into salsa

I had to add eggs from our chickens. What a great feeling producing your own food. If Fito grows it...I will put it up.

My mom's new friend.

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 10:02 PM Comments comments (80)



















































Here is my Mom with Gandalf. Gandalf is Matthew and Ashley's cat and is very playful and loving. As Ashley is expecting right now, Felipe was fostering Gandalf for them.

He then switched apartments and could not have him anymore. Maria then had Gandalf and boy, did he love running after Alexander and Greyson. But Maria and Travis invited another couple to live with them for a time. The other lady is expecting as well, so Gandalf came to us.

Then my niece, Abby came to visit and she is allergic to cats. We therefore, put Gandalf in Mom's section and kept the door closed.

Mom and Gandalf have become fast friends. He follows her everywhere: to her bath, when she walks, on her bed, on her chair. She has a new friend and is happy. She has always loved cats so this is a very happy ending!

Canning peaches and more, food from the garden.

Posted on July 28, 2014 at 9:56 PM Comments comments (60)










Watermelon and pineapple fruit basket that Rebeca made.





















This summer, we have had watermelon, corn, tomatoes, new potatoes, and onions from our garden. We had several bushels of potatoes and have been eating really yummy foods. I have made Guatemalan New Potatoes several times...Sunday, I made them with Cheddar Cheese soup in a roaster pan.

We have made them with other vegetables, with meat, with eggs...whatever.

We also had a family that gave us a couple of bushels of peaches. I stayed up till 1:00am and canned them (well...I got them all into the jars and then processed them the next day).

About 10 quarts and 13-14 pints. You just put the peaches in boiling water (see where I have a strainer inside the bigger pot). let them boil till skin cracks. Put them in another pan. let them cool enough to peel skin. Pit them and slice them and put them in the jars. Add sugar water to the jars and then seal the jars and process. See my canning page for more info. Once canned, they last about 7 years. Very convenient.

There is nothing quite like growing food and then eating it. It gives you such a sense of satisfaction. And it is yummy!











New potatoes from the garden.














































Spanish Corn. Add a little Cayenne pepper to give it zing.


















Peaches cooling.




























We added watermelon and pineapple juice to this orange juice...great stuff.






























Peaches boiling. Inside strainer which I set inside larger pan of boiling water.



























Peeling, pitting, and slicing peaches.











Leftovers go to chickens.



















See the jars of peaches...how pretty.

Geese, a zip line, and yummy stuff from the garden.

Posted on July 5, 2014 at 9:18 PM Comments comments (67)










































This is the entrance to the vegetable garden. The vines are grapes. The trees are pear, plum, nectarine, peach, and apple.











































We have two families of geese this year on the lake.




























































































Fito is in the process of building a zip-line. He had it working but it broke...he will have to re-do it and make it stronger.

Below is my front flower garden.



































Some yummy stuff from our garden.


































The tomato and pepper plants. Hopefully, we will have a great year so I can make lots of salsa.

Outside projects...a beautiful summer.

Posted on July 5, 2014 at 8:19 PM Comments comments (85)










































This garden and steps were a horrible mess. We redid them and they came out much better. I also made the herb gardens around the patio larger to accommodate more plants.

May was super hot. Most days in the 90s and some reaching 100 degrees. now July has been in the 80s. We even have had a few nights going down to 64. Incredible weather.















































I relaid some of the brick and Fito dug a small ditch on each side to carry away the water when it rains. So far, the ditch has worked really well.
















































Rebeca helped me most of the day. She arranged most of the river rock.










































As you can see, sand would come down the hill when it rained and cover the sidewalk. With the ditch, it now keeps the sidewalk clear. We brought these bricks with us when we moved from Kansas. We gathered these bricks throughout the years when we lived in Kansas. Some came from dumps, some from sidewalks people were taking out. Most are over 100 years old.








































The day we redid these gardens, we had two warm rain showers which we desperately needed. What a blessing! See the permanent volleyball poles Fito put in? We play a lot of volleyball and have fun.
















































Right in the middle of work...and it rains. But the sun popped out again very quickly.














































In the background, you can see Rebeca playing in the rain. In the foreground, you can see how much damage was done to our Rosemary plant. We had a late hard freeze that damaged a lot of the spring plants.






Finally...Tammy blogs again...pure happiness...

Posted on July 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (54)
Oh my goodness. It has been months since I have written anything at all. How is it that someone can be that busy.

I still am doing all the things I usually do; working a couple of days a week, taking care of my mom, cooking, cleaning, making bread each week.

In late winter, I had stopped making bread, as my mom had burned her feet and I was spending so much time with her. But I have found that when I don't have sweet bread, I tend to buy more sweets then gain weight. Baking my own bread is healthier and keeps my sweet tooth at bay.

It also allows me to say thank you each week to certain individuals as I always make a large batch from 18-22 small loaves.

We also have had a continual flow of projects going on for several months now. I think more than anything else these projects have stolen all my time. For example, we decided to build stairs outside to our balcony and then found out that the door, the floor, the baseboard, etc. all had dry rot. We ended up taking out the trim, tile, and so on so we could replace all the rotten stuff.

This is the way of most projects. You are only going to replace one thing, or add something....and then you end up doing much more (and spending more).

I started this blog almost 6 hours ago. I was just sitting in the living room in my pajamas and Jorge (a friend that lives with us right now) informed me that we needed caulking.

We are replacing a door in the dining room. After we realized that the upstairs door was bad, we checked all the other doors and are now re-framing several of them. This house was built in 1987 and these are the original doors. The two doors by the kitchen were okay, but needed to be re-framed.

I had spent one whole day this past week getting the door re-framed and purchasing foam, shims, and so on...but forgot the caulking.

I headed off to the store and bought the caulking. I also looked at some grills and found one I liked. I then went to a second store to pick up some avocados and found the same grill, but much much cheaper.

I had David bring the pick-up to bring the grill and propane tank home. We have a grill, but it is at Maria and Travis' a lot. This was an excellent price and this type of grill keeps the grease from catching on fire.

Well...we just had cheeseburgers, grilled chicken, and grilled corn-on-the-cob. Yum! I also made Guatemalan guacamole. I added some Cayenne pepper and wow it was much better.

I also made some Spanish Potato Salad. I boiled two large baking potatoes until soft.

I peeled off the skin then cut the potatoes up into bite-sized pieces.

I then hard-boiled some eggs, took off the shell, cut them up and added 6 of them to the potatoes. I did 6 more and just had them for people to eat.

I then added 2 large scoops of real mayonnaise, (until it is creamy) salt and pepper to taste, and 2 pinches of Cayenne pepper and a pinch of onion salt.

The Spanish vary this in many ways. I have had it with cooked carrots, cooked cabbage, fresh shredded cabbage, mixed veggies, fresh onion, frozen peas, and so on.

Very yummy.

Now I am back on the couch trying to finish the blog.

I wanted to make some Apple-Coconut bread today, however, I am too full to do that right now.


We went to see the movie “America” yesterday. I made all the children go since it is for the 4th of July. I highly recommend it. It was a great movie and Americans need to understand that there is a reason that millions of people try each year to come here. It is because this land allows people to still dream and pursue their dreams. We have freedom here that few others enjoy.




















































And one of our God given rights is the pursuit of happiness. We sure have found that in our small piece of heaven here on earth. I never imagined that I would ever have such a beautiful home or property on earth.














































This is in the lake behind our property and the children are on a floating mat, playing with their cousins...is this not pure happiness?



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