Friday, September 16, 2011

It's been a year ... well almost

So much for goals, plans, etc. The problem is I have to log on to this site with my old email and then any photos or links are in my new account and so the writing is not so fun. Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'll fix this and get on it. I like to blog so ... here's to the next year, or so.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

If Pioneers Had Cadillacs They Would Have Driven Them

It's interesting to me the behaviors a person chooses. I grew up in a home where we had money, more than enough, but not crazy, a lot like Mad Men. My mother (and her mother before her) was a very good cook. I learned to menu plan, grocery shop, cook, and clean before I was in high school. One strong memory is knowing when to buy radishes, if the price was too high we would just wait a week.

Cooking, menu planning yes, but baking, not so much. I didn't like sweets when I was younger (my, how things change) so I had little desire to learn to make cakes, cookies and other yum-0 things. I do remember making a cake and cupcakes in a white/silver motif that was from a Seventeen magazine article (circa 1968 or 69), but that was the rare attempt.

With my own family I did a lot of baking. Cookies were baked for after school snacks, quick breads were prepared to share with family/friends, and bread was baked weekly to ease the budget. But baking was not a passion so ...

Well. I've revisited the whole baking thing. I REALLY like Kim's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie. I have to choose not to make them weekly 'cause I will eat too many. And now I have found the Classic White Bread recipe courtesy of

Pizza has been a staple here in the Young household. We probably ate it at least 2 times a week--lunch and then for dinner and I don't mean leftovers. We were using Digiorno -- kind of expensive here, though, almost $10 for a frozen pizza. Yikes.

Well. Compliments of Wolfgang Puck I have found the pizza crust that works for me. Yummy, yummy, yummy. And it's easy.

All of this would not be accomplished if it were not for the new KitchenAid stand mixer.

The drudgery is gone. This baby whips up ANYTHING in no time at all. We have cinnamon bread for breakfast, focaccia bread (Williams Sonoma) for lunch or dinner and then cookies or pumpkin/ginger bread for dessert.

Yes, yes it's hard to stay on the diet, but we have incorporated things like bike riding in the evening and small portions are the key to success.

The only down side -- no more eating out; our bodies don't like the food with the artificial additives. (I would like the break, but I just have a glass of wine while I'm cooking and call it good.)

Once, when I was extolling the pioneer virtues of enduring hardship, my father said to me, "If the pioneers had Cadillacs, they would have driven them."

Why suffer needlessly. Enjoy the good life. The right tool for the right job.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Lately I've been thinking about cities. The recognizable architecture, say the Brooklyn Bridge, from the ground or the air you see the bridge and you KNOW it's the Brooklyn Bridge. Interestingly there are those historians who say that if this bridge was not built Brooklyn would have been New York City instead of just one of the five boroughs.

Oahu has one city, Honolulu. Most of the almost 1.3 million population of all the Hawaiian Islands is located in Honolulu. For reference Denver County is 600,000; Los Angeles County 9.8 million. I don't spend much time there, but the second city, Kapolei is close, walking distance to my front door. All the fast food you could dream about (is that more accurately referred to as a nightmare?). Suburbs spread everywhere I guess.

For the first time in recorded history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. Sort of a watershed moment really. For example, do we really need to teach our children animal sounds? Will they ever hear a cow moo? We don't eat cow or pig or sheep, rather beef, pork and lamb. In fact we eat food we could never grow. Do grapes grow in Honolulu? It cost me $8 for a bunch of green grapes this week so I certainly hope I was paying for transport as well as product. I know I can pick a mango or a papaya from a tree in any block, in any direction just here in our sub-division, right, sub-division not farmers market or roadside stand.

Cities are what I remember when I travel. Berlin is not like Munich. LA and San Francisco are VERY different. Chicago is the quintessential American city to me. Various ethic groups, mid-western in sensibility, rolling green lawns in front of large homes, political corruption of a local and national scope. New York is much more international. Los Angeles is so the West Coast--what have you done for me lately. Houston colloquial and quasi-southern.

Chicago. Now that's American. People help even before you ask for help say with directions. When downtown looking for coffee shop or a copy center, just look lost and someone will offer a suggestion (now it may not be the BEST suggestion but the sentiment is certainly worthy of recognition).

Good food. Again, not New York but Rick Bayless Mexican (in the middle of the USA) is to die for. Korean -- yum. And, of course, that beef. Only those from Iowa claim it's better there.

Fashion. Michigan Avenue, the miracle mile has some mighty fine shops and the ladies can really get it together. When you have winters like Chicago does you get to have GREAT winter attire. The "L" makes walking in those shoes possible, too.

Geography. Lake Michigan in the late Spring and Summer. Need I say more. It's beautiful. Beautiful. However, I've been there in late Fall, Thanksgiving and the wind and cold is, well it can best described by Jack. When I took him along with me for my evening walk (the sun was not yet set) after just 10 minutes he sat in the middle of road and would NOT proceed. Until I turned around to head home he would not take another step. It's cold. Really, really cold and I'm talking about the time of the year before it gets REALLY cold.

Cities have distinct personality and unique pleasures, much like people.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thinking About Nothing

Once a friend (John B.) said, "When your husband tells you he is thinking about nothing, he is really thinking about nothing."

At the time I found that hard to believe, but since John didn't really have an agenda when he made this comment (by that I mean he nothing to gain) I thought it was worthy of consideration. So I did a little investigation.

I told several female friends about this comment. The response from ALL of them was something like, "Really? How can you think about nothing?"

Today I came close. I won 500 games of Spider Solitaire.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Important Things

Throughout life you learn things. Some of those things are valuable and some are indispensable. This week I've been reflecting on WHO taught me the important things.

Mrs. Good (really that was her name)
This lady taught a neighborhood "Good News Club" in Chatsworth, CA. I was ten years old and that's when I heard the good news about Jesus and began eternal life.

Mamaw (my maternal grandmother)
This woman was probably the most influential woman in my life. She taught me to sew and while during her lifetime I never met her exacting standards (and I still cannot cut very well) I've sew a lot of pretty good stuff.

Jan H.
This lady helped me grow up in the Lord and just in general. She can drive me crazy at times but she among all of my friends always believes the best and hopes and prays for that best, too.

Ma Lady -- My mom
I called my mother Ma Lady because she told me never to call her Ma. So of course that was what I was going to call her and to keep from getting in trouble I added "lady." I have a very strong sense of self and self worth and while there are a gazillion unresolved issues in our relationship I guess when all is said and done that's a pretty good gift from a mother.

Wendy H./L.
This is a high school friend. We had some fun, wild times including driving to Ventura County line EVERY day one summer until my dad got the gas credit card bill. :-) Wendy was a pretty, smart and very, very fun friend. She taught me to pee outside.

Dr. Bill Bright, Dr. John MacArthur and Dr. Charles Swindoll
All three of these "preachers" taught me how to love God and love my neighbors. I will be eternally grateful.

Living a good life where mylight shines and God is glorified is my goal. These folks and many more have influenced me to the good. Living for what really matters never really gets complicated on its own. Love God. Love others.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This evening I baked "The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie." The recipe courtesy of Kim. Now she says she got the recipe from an online friend but my rule is: if I don't know your friend, it's your recipe.

It's a good thing they turned out. I've been having a problem baking. Cookies turn out more like scones so I threatened to swear off baking if these did not turn out well. No problem. They are DELICIOUS. The magic is the sea salt.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

2C minus 2Tbs cake flour
1 2/3C all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp coarse salt (or sea salt)
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 ¼ C light brown sugar
1C plus 2 Tbs sugar
2 Large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ c bittersweet chocolate (or any kind of chocolate chips that you like)*

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and coarse salt into bowl and set aside.
Using mixer, cream butter and sugars until very light (5 min).
Add eggs (1 at a time), mixing well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Drop chocolate pieces in and then press plastic wrap against dough.
Refrigerate 24-36 hours. Dough can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours. (A couple of hours works.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roll into balls and sprinkle lightly with coarse/sea salt.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown (for my oven 12-13 minutes).

I used my silpat. This is a kitchen tool I cannot live without. Never a burned cookie, biscuit, or even veggies ever again.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Be Careful What You Say

Due to Kim A.s influence I've decided to published my list of things to do. Hers was 101 in 2010 but I'm modifying and taking a look at what to do for the final third of my life.

The first third (0-25/30 years old) is the beginning. Learning how to live, how to be a family girl, get an education – academic and the work related learning progression so you can be a functioning citizen as in get-a-job. Many find a life partner. I did married him at 23 years old. Too young, but so far it's working out okay. Many start a family. I did, all three were born before I was thirty. Too young and if I had to do it over again I would do it the same way just 3 years later.

The second third (+/- 30-60 years old) is the living of life. We built our family. Training and teaching the three to be productive, contributing members of society. We had a lot of fun along the way. Careers were built, a future and a hope. We lived like it really mattered. Sharing Christ in so many different ways. Bringing meals to sick families. Taking care of children (sometimes adult children) so parents could have break. Listening to hurting people, sometimes helping, sometimes just listening. Building baseball parks, teaching VBS, helping pregnant women, cleaning others houses and cars, moving young families into their new home, hosting dinner parties, knowing and loving our neighbors, sewing dance costumes, baking cookies, serving classroom teachers. Essentially living life in the 20th century with the end purpose of knowing that living and being while honoring God would/could/might result in His glory.

The final third (+/- 60 – ? years old) is the reflective time of life. There are still retirement plans to contribute to, but leading the way is now that 2nd third group of people's responsibility. Advice and counsel is the primary function. This can go easy or hard. If you think you are still cool you're not. If you think the polite attentiveness in conversation from those younger is agreement/understanding/awe, it's not. They could learn it the easy way—ask, but they won't. The world is brand new to them and we learn from history that we do not learn from history.

Well, many years ago I heard a preacher end his sermon by saying something like, almost all people start with passion, enthusiam and energy. Most do not finish well. And then he charged us to finish well. Throughout my life these words have come back to mind and I have lived my life differently because I wanted to finish well.

To that end here's my list of what is left to do. (BTW I am NOT yet 60 yo.) I will periodically update my achievements, possibly add to the list but my intention is to make public what I think I should do with the purpose of not letting the time slip away.


1. Find, execute, enjoy the ultimate chocolate chip cookie

2. Learn embroidered smocking and make 3 matching dresses

3. Take watercolor painting class

4. Resume gardening; learn potted techniques for current region

5. Annually read 10 books on a variety of subjects (spiritual growth, fiction, current management strategies, biographies, etc.)

6. Learn wine (history, vintages, regions, taste)

7. Participate in a book club (possibly on line)

8. Maintain at least a cursory knowledge of internet technology advancements (for example Twitter)

9. Daily walk 2 miles


10. Catalog “best” recipes

11. Create silhouettes of grandchildren

12. Participate in local community service projects/ministries

13. Weekly post on blog about subjects of a “timeless” nature

14. Continue to downsize/eliminate possessions

15. Participate in a Bible study

16. Write a letter a week

17. Create “I've Been There” book with notes and impressions


18. Climb Diamondhead

19. Watch the big surf on the North Shore

20. Visit Bishop Museum

21. Swim in the ocean at night (again)

22, Swim one mile in one session (resting between laps is allowed)

23. Travel to San Antonio, TX

24. Travel to SD to see Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills

25. Annually attend 2 live music performances (I'd like one to be Paul McCartney, but who knows)

26. Annual day of solitude for reflection, peace of mind, renewal with God

27. Annually spend a retreat weekend or day with close friends

28.Travel to South America (Peru, Argentina or Chile are the preferred locations)