Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Baking Therapy

There is something about a clean kitchen that screams to be used. That and my Pinterest addiction have found me in the depths of baking therapy. 

ICU is closed tonight and I'm second to be called in, so what better to do than bake grasshopper poke cake. 

Grasshopper Poke Cake

Ingredients
1-Chocolate cake mix, baked per instructions on box
1-can sweetened condensed milk
1- hot fudge (I think it was about 11 oz jar)
1 package Keebler grasshopper fudge cookies chopped (we ate some dipped in the cool whip and still had plenty of crumbs)
16 oz cool whip (real whipped cream doesn't work well either)
1 package Duncan Hines mint frosting flavoring
1 cup Andes mint chocolate chips

Bake chocolate cake as usual and let cool. For ease I used a triple chocolate cake mix. I'm not certain why but poke cakes turn out better for me if the base is from a mix. 

When cool use the backside of a wooden spoon or clean dowel to poke holes into the cake. Pour sweetened condensed milk over top of cake, ensuring it covering into holes. 

Heat hot fudge until soft, mix in 1/2 of grasshopper cookies and spread over cake. 




Mix frosting flavor packet and cool whip (this is a good point to dip one of the cookies you set aside) then spread over top of fudge/cookie layer. 

Top with rest of cookies and Andes chips. Refrigerate overnight.  



We didn't make it overnight, but I did wait until Charlet was home from Young Women's. 


We did have a yummy skillet lasagna first, my house smelled delicious!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Escape

A while back I posted a few pictures of the cabin on my quick trip up and back. The cabin was not on the list today, but {surprise!} my plans were turned upside down and my solution was a trip up the mountain. We brought the cousins and I was able to get things opened up a little and chase a few cobwebs away. 

Everything is better at the cabin. 

I can picture Grandpa sleeping on the leather couch


Memories of him teaching me to shoot flies with air from an empty pellet gun, bat hunting in the barn, the summer Grandma would bake in the wood oven. 
Not much has changed and there are some high cobwebs that have been there for who knows how long. 

The summer after we had to read "My Side of The Mountain" I felt like that could be the title for my summer. On the backside of the hill away from all the traffic of Kent's Lake road all you can hear is the gurgle of the stream, buzz of insects in the trees and chatter of chipmunks. I'd ride up with Grandpa and after we'd done whatever needed to be done I'd take off and wander all over the hillside, sometimes following the stream down to the road. 

If there is anywhere on earth to go and remember Grandpa its the cabin. His vision, dream, and work. I could almost hear his soft snoring today as I dusted. 

{Heather} 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grief.

Grief is an oft written about subject. K├╝bler Ross has an entire book on what grief is like, the stages it goes through, what to expect. It was all summed up nicely in a cartoon of a giraffe stuck in quicksand. In my time as an oncology nurse I learned quickly what my role was for my patient and their family from diagnosis through death. 

That's a "suppose to" kind of grief.  

I can list things I know about how grief feels. Lonely, isolating, sad, angry, depressed, hopeless, etc. 

What I didn't know is how it can make your body feel. Lungs and heart seem to magically disappear making the chest cavity feel like it belongs to the Tinman. Swallow a marble and you'd most certainly have something resembling a maraca. The cavern ends in your stomach where it's been pierced through with a sword. Legs and arms have turned into wet concrete, heavy and slow to move while the head seems to not be attached, merely observing. 

Loneliness rolls around inside the chest never allowing forgetting to quiet the echo. Sadness balls up tightly around the sword in the belly holding onto it tightly.

Laughter and fake smiles camouflage the tears and pain while a weak "I'm okay" escapes. 


Record breaking storm, really long dark night and then


This. 

We had 2.22 to 2.25 inches of rain in an hour last night, on already saturated ground. It not only was record breaking total for a month but we got it in an hour. Did I mention I was outside in it ?  Well, I was. 

Following the storm was a long, never ending night. A very dark night. 

I walked out of the hospital to this peaceful sky, and said a quiet little prayer that this is a metaphor for my life. 

That said I'm going to bed. My good intentions of making it to Sacrament meeting are dashed by my record breaking tired and headache. 

G'night y'all
{Heather} 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thoughts on Nicholas Sparks

For my birthday movie I picked going to see a Nicholas Sparks movie, and afterwards Maria asked why I picked that movie as we both had mascara raccoon eyes from crying at the ending.  In the chaos of life I'd forgotten that conversation until I downloaded "Dear John" to listen to on the road.  Fairy tale stories of perfect timing, perfect people, perfect couples, perfectly fictional.  I'm not typically a big fan of chick flicks, but somehow his I really enjoy.



My answer for why I love a Nicholas Sparks book/movie/audio book is simple.  It gives me hope.  I know that he does not come close to writing real life and that my life will never mirror anything he writes.  It does give me hope though, that just maybe, sometime I will have someone to walk with in the evenings, sit on the swing and laugh with that can see through "I'm fine" and perhaps doesn't even have to ask.  I have a long list of must have's, very important, would really like, and a few absolutely not.  The must have and absolutely not list are both fairly short.

As I look at my life and reality of living in small town Southern Utah as a single Mom I'm not certain that my list will ever be filled and that's okay too, better than being wrong.

This post was originally a bit longer, decided it should be condensed some -- the whole world doesn't need to know everything about me after all.

~Heather

p.s.  This is the first post I've written or looked at on the computer for a long time, most of my posts come from my phone.  I'm realizing now my formatting is really wonky and I'm not certain how to fix it so if you are dealing with the poor line up just to read my ramblings, thank you.  Maybe someday soon I'll spend some time making it a little prettier in here.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Home again, home again: My tale of woe and flat tires

I needed to get into town as early as possible to get Kaede from the Shirley's. I was bringing 'stuff' not girls back from camp so as soon as my little Vue was loaded up I took off, through Enterprise instead of Pinto because I had a sinus headache and wanted to avoid the dust and washboard roads. 

Just after the right hand turn after Central I pull over because something doesn't feel right. Passenger side rear tire was what was not right. 


I called back to the cabin with a help plea and Bishop and Rick with vans full of girls were on their way. 

Did I mention I had a lot of stuff?  I unloaded 1/2 of the stuff grateful it didn't all need to come out. 


I found my jack in a not where I remember it spot. 

 
And crawl underneath to get my spare. I learned then that 1- I parked on top of biting ant hill 2- there were long pokey sticks that were very, very mean 3- the yellow stickery milky weeds aren't nice either and finally 4- my spare isn't underneath. 

I call Dad (because Dad knows everything, right) to see if he knows where my spare is from when he helped with my tires last winter (yes, that's right these are new tires).  He doesn't know, but suggests looking up an owners manual online {between needing a little google map help to get to camp and this I don't want to see next months phone bill}. I have to stand up in the back of the Vue and tug/pull like crazy to get the carpet up but there was the spare. A donut, but I didn't care. 

Getting the tire out was even more ridiculous and I hated that I was starting to feel like the stereotypical helpless female. Tire out, jack put together and starting to lift up the car when I see my rescue team pull up.  

Yay!

Same time a group of teens from Enterprise stops to help. I am really surprised that as much traffic as was on that little back road that no one stopped until then. 

I stand back and admire their work, realizing just how little that donut looks and I mentally add "full size spare" to my list of requirements for my next vehicle purchase. About that time one of the girls (they all poured out to watch the boys) says "that tire is really small, will you be okay?"  With fake confidence I say yes, it will be fine, just slow.   Any fake confidence leaves when the Bishop looks and says "that doesn't make you feel real confident does it". 

The drive was long and slow but we're home safe and sound. Now I am waiting until Monday praying that my tire can be fixed instead of replaced. 

Girls Camp 2013

I've been at girls camp other years but only for a short chunk of time, usually to teach first aid. I have enjoyed that, really enjoyed going on trek 2 years ago. 

This year the girls left in Wednesday and I came up Thursday night after work. Very late Thursday because, well life happens. 

The last night is usually the spiritual night with quiet time and a devotional then testimony meeting. It's also the night the girls don't have to cook -- this year the bishopric cooked and it was wonderful. 

As I sat sorting through some very close to my heart emotions I thought back to my girls camps. Same (!) camp manual, the big military tent, left over sloppy joe mix for every meal, High Adventure Base, the year with no port-a-potties for a day. Each year had a theme to it, unrelated to what the real theme if the year was but the one constant was the strength of The Spirit that last night. 

To my best knowledge Girls Camp is when I first felt that completely overwhelming fire of the truth of The Gospel. I have no idea what was ever said at any of the devotionals or testimonies shared after but I do remember how I felt and looking back at what I learned. 

I stood in the back last night praying that the girls would get as much as possible from all the work that went into preparing everything that night to be as perfect as possible so the girls could have a spiritual evening. 

Going to camp with Charlet was amazing. Being there but not being "mom" was a great experience. Seeing how much these girls change from being new Beehives to Laurels at their last camp is a perfect timeline of watching these Young Women grow and mature as they learn if their individual worth and develop their own relationship with their Heavenly Father. 

Fireside testimony meeting shot from above. Blurry and shaky and I don't care one whit. 


Monday, July 8, 2013

Things are hard today

Every so often a hard day comes along without a why.  The answers to how are you doing and what's going on are entirely different. Staying inside and ignoring all of the things that must be done seems very tempting -- but today you know that it serves no purpose but to make tomorrow hard too. 

So I'm going to pull up my boot straps {do sandals have boot straps?!?} and walk forward one step at a time, one load if dishes, one corner cleaned. I'm going to take time to read, to pray, to just be. To do something fun for family night, to move forward even a little because I can do hard things.



Picture snagged from Pinterest. 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

God's plan for me




I tried to save it without a screen shot but gave up easily. In some soul searching over the last few years I've learned I'm completely fine with whatever God's plan is for me. I just want to know what it is and if that would include a time frame, thank you very much. 

I know I don't get to know everything when I want to, I also realize its best that way. Some of my best decisions in life have been filled with smaller yet difficult trials. Had I know how hard some of those trials would be I don't know that I would have had the strength to make the same decisions. 

I'd like a crystal ball to fill me in on some things in my life I relunctantly understand its not for the best. If God's plan for me is great {I believe it is} does it really matter if I travel that path alone or if I find someone to walk it by my side?  Faith in the unknown is hard. 

{Heather}

Friday, July 5, 2013

Where do you find motivation?

When life gets overwhelming and your list of things that must be done exceeds the resources you have to do it with where do you find the motivation to do what must be done?

When the demands placed on you are greater than your ability to do where do you find the strength for one more day?

When the laundry pile is no longer a solitary mount Washmore but more closely resembles the Rocky Mountains and the outside heat makes the thoughts of running the dryer makes you start to melt where do you begin?

When all the dishes are dirty and you are certain you remember a sink under them, somewhere where do you find the motivation to not run to Brad's for a hamburger dinner?  

When you've been stuffing emotions like a teenager with dirty laundry under their bed how do you find the time and safety to pull them out?

When your mind wanders and it goes across the street and then to the PICU how do you concentrate on home, family, and you?

When you feel lonely and emotions echo around inside how do you reach out?

How do you procrastinate what must be done?  Why you blog of course. 

Edited to add:

As I was starting to do a little bit of everything this afternoon this poem came to mind. We had to memorize the first stanza for debate I believe, but I think it would be move powerful being recited by someone who feels like quitting. 

Don't Quit


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he'd stuck it out.
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are -
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Monday, July 1, 2013

What Can I Do?

I don't know how many times people have asked if there is something they can do to make things a little easier for me. There are things I've needed, kid shuffling, truck borrowing, muscles for loan, shoulder to cry on, company, a Priesthood blessing, etc. but most of the time the fact is that the hard things are up to me to go through and deal with. 

Neighbors have made all of the life stuff that continues to go on easier while the thick of the trial is wearing me down. The hard stuff?  Sometimes there is no way to share it. The support I felt knowing that people care, even though most don't even know any details or even any vagueness, has got me out of bed when I wanted to hide under the covers.  

Tonight I hope and pray that a friend of mine and her family can feel that same love and support that I know is pouring out to them. It feels so helpless not being able to do anything but keep them in my prayers for now.