Tuesday, September 28, 2010


  • It's sad how excited I get on Saturdays when it's time to go pick up our produce basket. Unpacking it is seriously the highlight of my day. This week we got bananas, apples, Asian pears, green plums, peaches, onions, acorn squash, celery, broccoli, romaine lettuce, grapes, and okra. I also ordered the Italian pack and in that we got red onions, garlic, basil, rosemary, flat-leaf parsley, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms. I can't wait to cook.
  • Lorri and I went to Idaho Falls (The Big City) over the weekend to get stuff for the house. The whole time we were there I felt weird, like something was off and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Finally, as we were leaving, I figured out that there were no mountains. It was disconcerting and it's kind of weird that it bothered me so much. I guess the dominant feature in both Orem and Star Valley is the mountains and when you take them away, it's like taking my security blanket away or something.
  • It has been unseasonably warm here lately. Not hot, but like 80 degrees. When your morning starts off around 30 degrees, it's weird to be so warm during the day. I'm ready for it to cool off-I want my hoodie weather!
  • There's a conference for developmentally disabled people coming up in October that a bunch of the clients are going to, and I get to go with them. It should be fun. Laramie, here I come! I've never been to Laramie, but whenever I mention it to anyone up here, they laugh. That's probably not a good sign!!!
  • The Special Olympics are also coming up in October. The clients here are doing bowling and are super excited about it. I love how enthusiastic they are about pretty much everything in life. If ever you are depressed and need a quick shot of gratitude or joy, spend some time with someone who is handicapped or developmentally disabled. They definitely have their grumpy moments, but seeing their faces light up over something simple is pretty darn awesome. It's really hard to be in a bad mood after that.
  • I also love watching them try to figure things out. They have no poker face. You can see the wheels turning and sometimes it takes a little bit, but when they get it, it's like magic.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Say what?

So you know how I've been at my job for less than a month? Well, I was just promoted and am now in charge. I'm happy to see that someone (other than myself) realizes just how fabulous I am!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why I love Star Valley

Yes, I know these could totally apply to a plethora of other locations, but I don't care. Leave me alone, I'm tired (see previous post)!!!
  • There are no traffic lights for miles.
  • There is no mail delivery-you have to have a PO Box. You would think this would be a negative, but I hate having to check the mail every day and I always worry that the postman is going to yell at me for letting the mail pile up, and I also worry about leaving important information out there for somebody to steal. If you have a PO Box, they don't care, and no one can steal your stuff.
  • My town has a population of 431 people. I guess it's actually 433 now. You know how I feel about large amounts of people, right?
  • Everywhere I go is within two blocks of my house. Since I moved here a month ago, I've only had to buy gas once.
  • I love it when the farmers have been cutting hay and then it rains. The smell is divine.
  • It's much more casual here. I barely wear make-up or do my hair anymore and I don't feel bad about that for even a second.
  • It's really easy to get to know people in a small town. There are only so many people to talk to.
  • Because it's so small and everyone knows everyone, there's always help available if you need anything. I was checking the oil in my car one time at the gas station and there was almost instantaneously a guy wanting to help me and then another lady was checking to make sure everything was o.k.
  • It's just plain gorgeous up here. At least every other day, if not every day, I think to myself, "Holy crap, I actually get to live here." I usually don't use the word crap, though.
  • For some reason, life is more calm here. Even when I'm working 80 hours a week, I still feel far less stress being here than in Utah.
  • You can leave your car running here when you run into the gas station and not worry that someone will steal it. I don't actually do this because I still have that "big city" mentality from living in Orem. :)
  • There are lots of cowboys here. Let's take a moment to picture in our minds the tight Wranglers. Yes, life is good here!
I guess to be fair, I should list the reasons why I don't like living here.
  • There's only one grocery store in town and it's small.
  • The cell service sucks at my house, so we had to get a landline. When they hooked it up they switched the lines with someone else in town and they still haven't fixed it, two days later. When Kylie's (whomever she may be) grandma called last night, Lorri had to explain to her that she needed to call our phone number instead of Kylie's. Hopefully it will be fixed soon, but according to Kylie's grandma, we shouldn't count on it.
  • Freakin' tourists! I've only been here a month and I'm already sick of them. Well, to be fair, I'm mostly just bothered by the ones that arrive by the busload. They descend on the gas station (I go to the gas station a lot for beverages), make a mess and then complain that the coffee isn't as good as Starbucks. Well no shit, Sherlock! You're in the middle of Wyoming . . . at a gas station. What do you expect?
  • If you want to buy clothes here your options are basically the Family Dollar or the consignment store. This should maybe go on the list of good things, considering my issues with shopping.
I'm sure as I live here longer (and spend a winter here), I'll find other things that bug me, but for right now, I'm loving it. Life is pretty darn good these days.

tired . . . tired . . .

I apologize in advance if this is not an upbeat, funny post, but I'm tired. Things at work have been crazy and I've been picking up extra shifts right and left. It's only Wednesday and when I finish my shift tonight, I will have already worked over 50 hours this week. For someone who was used to working a maximum of like 10 hours per week at BYU, this has been interesting. Fortunately, for the next two days, instead of working from 9 am until midnight, I'm only working from 4 until midnight. I've been thinking the last couple of days about how exciting it will be to sleep in tomorrow morning, but then I remembered that the cable guy is coming tomorrow morning to finally set up our cable. So yeah.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fruit Crisp

Chop up a bunch of fruit (if it's juicy fruit, mix in a little flour) and dump it in a cake pan. Mix up some flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in some butter until it's chunky. Spread it on top of the fruit. Bake at 350ish until it's brown on top. That's a stupid direction-the mixture is brown already. Bake it until it's even more browned and looks done. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Sorry this isn't a more clear recipe, I just make it without thinking. It's a great way to get rid of extra fruit. Last night I used apples, nectarines and plums. My favorite, though, is rhubarb. I also always make about twice as much of the crisp part because that's my favorite. For the crisp part, I would say I probably use equal parts of flour and brown sugar, and then two parts of oatmeal. Actually, maybe one and a half parts of brown sugar. I don't know. Just make it however you like it!

Beef Taquitos

1 lb. ground beef
1 c. salsa
1. c. grated cheese
flour tortillas

Brown the hamburger, then add in the salsa and cheese. Put about 1/2 cup of the mixture in a flour tortilla and roll it up. Line them up on a greased cookie sheet, then bake them at 425 degrees until they're golden brown.

****I think this would also be good with shredded chicken and with enchilada sauce and cheese on top.

Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

3 tomatillos, peeled and quartered
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
1 c. fresh chopped cilantro
6 green onions
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 T. sugar
1 jalepeno (How on earth do you get the little squiggly over the n?)

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill for 1 hour.

****I was eating it with a spoon before I chilled it and it was delicious. Had I not been serving it for dinner, I may have started drinking it right out of the food processor bowl. I've made other Cafe Rio knock-off recipes, and this is far and away the best. I also drizzled it over a slice of pizza and it was awesome. I'm pretty sure you could drizzle this stuff over anything and it would be amazing.

Green Poblano Rice

1 2/3 c. chicken broth
2 poblano peppers
12 springs cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. oil
1 c. rice
1 small onion, diced
5 garlic cloves

Combine broth and peppers in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer on medium for 10 minutes. Pour into a food processor. Add cilantro and puree. Add salt. Heat oil in the same saucepan on medium. Add rice and onions. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the rice looks chalky. Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer. Add the poblano liquid and cook until the rice is done.

*** The directions said to strain the poblano liquid, but I wanted the extra color and flavor, so I didn't. I also added fresh corn partway through cooking the rice and a little bit of extra liquid because the poblano mixture didn't seem like enough liquid for the rice.

Who knew?

So apparently all it took to get me out of my blogging funk was some delicious food. I should have known! Last night we had a "Use Up All of the Leftover Produce from the Produce Basket" dinner. I made beef taquitos, Cafe Rio tomatillo dressing, poblano rice and an apple, plum and nectarine crisp. It was all delicious and I am now referring to this meal as my get a husband meal because I'm pretty sure that any guy who eats this will quickly fall under my spell. Or at least his stomach will.

*I'm posting the recipes separately so that when I click on the recipes category, they'll show up individually instead of in a post called "Who knew?"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

so . . .

Apparently when I moved to Wyoming, I left my desire to blog in Utah. Admittedly, I've been super busy with work (yesterday I worked from 9am until 1:30, and then 3:30 until 8 this morning), so I haven't had a ton of time, but the truth is, I just don't really care anymore. Hopefully that feeling will go away soon because I do kinda miss it. So until I get back into the swing of things, here are a couple of pictures to tide you over . . .

The place that I work gets produce baskets every week from Bountiful Baskets. Since I go to pick theirs up, I decided to just go ahead and get my own. For 15 bucks, I got honeydew, butternut squash, corn on the cob, tomatoes, bananas, grapes, apples, plums, nectarines, cabbage, romaine lettuce, avocados, mushrooms and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. We also added on the Mexican Pack and for $7.50 we got tomatillos, garlic, onions, limes, jalapenos, and poblano peppers. (You best be believin' I'm going to be making some Cafe Rio tomatillo salad dressing!) This company operates in several states in the area, so I would highly recommend that you check them out. They do this year-round and it's a great deal.

A couple of weeks ago we took the clients to Kemmerer to visit the people who live in another company-owned house down there. Here they are playing at the park there. It was a great park, btw. Should you ever be unfortunate enough to find yourself in Kemmerer, make sure you check out the park.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

awesome blossom, extra awesome

So my friend wrote a viewpoint for the BYU newspaper and now there's drama. All I have to say is way to go, Cary!

UPDATE: Here is BYU's reasoning for taking down the viewpoint. I'm not sure what they considered "offensive content." Would any opposing viewpoint be considered offensive? Do they not screen letters, viewpoints, etc., for offensiveness before printing them? I find quite a few of the letters to the editor in the Daily Universe to be offensive, but I am also mature enough to realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so I just roll my eyes and move on. I would certainly never censor someone else's thoughts. What makes this country great is that we can have differing viewpoints and open topics up for debate without fear of censure or retribution. Or is that just wishful thinking?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

my new best friend

This is my new best friend. She's our neighbor's dog and I have decided she needs to be mine. She's the sweetest thing and she just sits at the front door, waiting for me to come back outside. We have one of those outer doors that would probably normally have a screen, but it's Wyoming, so it's glassed in. I finally had to close the inner, wooden door because she just sits there looking all sad, wanting someone to give her some loves. It always gets me and I end up going outside to pet her for a while. It's possible that I occasionally let her inside.