Monthly Archives: July 2017

Sweet Cooie’s art (and ice cream), plants, SAME


Sweet Cooie’s is offering free art lessons on different aspects of art on Mondays. Plus, there’s ice cream. There weren’t many kids there, so all three of mine got to paint.

Hannah went very literal –

We had ice cream before lunch, then walked over to the plant shop to look around. Every time we’ve come by (at night) they’ve been closed. We ended up getting a stone plant and a succulent that Grace named Felix.

We went to SAME for lunch, they were having – onion potato soup, zucchini basil soup, chard and roasted veggie salad, kale and feta pizza and eggplant bacon pizza. I really liked the eggplant bacon pizza (everything is better with bacon.) After that we came home, repotted the plants and the girls are playing with friends (or playing video games.)




James mowed, we went grocery shopping, I made banana bread, we went to Koelbel-con, I read my book, we watched a Blake and ate barbacoa. I was a gypsy pirate for the con and as soon as I got there a little boy asked if he could take a pic with me. I was the first pirate he had seen that day, so I obliged and he was so happy – made my day.

Stuff this week – Sweet Cooie’s ice cream and art, plumber comes out (yay!), tinker boxes, working out co-op details, hike and swim, Lakeside night, kitten therapy and art walk, don’t know about the weekend yet.

Dinners this week (starting today)- Barbacoa, alfredo chicken squash, apricot pork chops, cornmeal fried fish, chicken taco soup, (art walk, diner out), grill night.

Summer Squash Chicken Alfredo

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked rigatoni pasta
6 slices bacon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 small zucchini, sliced
2 small yellow squash, sliced
1 cup Alfredo sauce
1/4 cup milk
6 sun-dried tomatoes, softened and chopped
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking dish.
Place the chicken in the prepared baking dish, and coat with the garlic. Bake 25 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. Cool and chop.
(You could also cook it in a pan on the stove.)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place the rigatoni in the pot, cook 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
Place bacon in a skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the zucchini and yellow squash until tender and lightly browned.
In a small bowl, mix the Alfredo sauce and milk. Serve chicken over the cooked pasta. Pour Alfredo sauce over the chicken. Top with zucchini and squash. Sprinkle with sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, Parmesan cheese.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) beer or chicken stock
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese (optional) sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.
Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.



James took me to Kneader’s for breakfast and then we took Maisy on a 3 miles walk to walk off the Kneader’s. I saw this there and thought – I need that on a shirt!

When we were picking her up a fox walked down the street, rolled around on the grass and walked right by our house and jumped over a fence.

I’ve never seen one in this area during the day….made me wonder about leaving Maisy outside without us at home. We went by the Audubon center because I wanted to show James the pond where we swim and I wanted to see how far down you could go (about 1/3rd of the way before it was blocked off.)

Maisy had fun in the water.

Then we went back and took the Platte river path, again Maisy got in the water. She’s funny, she gets in and kind of just splays out and floats. We haven’t taken her swimming with us in a long time because she barks (thinking we’re drowning) and then tries to save us, but she can’t really swim, and we end up dragging her back to the edge.

Bethany took Alex to Sherpa house for lunch, we had sandwiches, I read my book, we went shopping at Goodwill, I read some more and then it was time to go to the show. James bought me Gaffigan tix back before my birthday and tonight was the night. We went to Chuy’s for dinner, then headed over to the center a bit early (parking was horrible last time.)

We parked, got our will call tix, sat by the fountains, got in line and finally got to our seats about 30 min before the show. Better too to early than late!

Image result for gaffigan noble ape

The warm up act was pretty good, but Gaffigan, OMG, I laughed so hard I cried and when he was done my stomach hurt from laughing so much. Laughter might be the best medicine, but I bet it could kill you too. He entered and exited right by our chairs (we had floor tix) and I was mad that both times I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture. We’ve watched his shows on TV, he’s even funnier in person.

Tomorrow is Koelbel-con, I think I’m going as a gypsy pirate.

Unpacking, laundry, Teen night


Wednesday all I did, all day long, was unpack, clean out the car and do laundry. I had to wash the sleeping bags and you can only fit one in at a time, so yeah, took all day. The girls had a friend sleepover so that took up their night. We saw what Joel has been up to recently, shooting things.

Thursday I ran errands, got more books from the library, took Hannah to get her hair cut and took the girls and their friend to the Teen carnival at the DMNS.

Pixie cut.

The girls had fun at the event, but we had to leave at 9 (instead of 10) to get Bethany back home so she could sleep (work at 5am.)

Tomorrow it’s Platte swimming, dentist appointment making, co-op thinking and a busy weekend of my birthday present (yes, it was back in March) of Gaffigan and Koelbel-con on Sunday.

SLC, small town museums, more rain and home


We not only had breakfast at the motel, but since it was not a great stay, we took extra food in the form of bread, cinnamon rolls and muffins – and I’m not sorry. There was a fly in Hannah’s cereal she named it Billy Bob (this becomes important later.)

First stop, the Great Salt Lake, the girls were not impressed.

Next stop, the SLC library. Now, we often stop at libraries on road trips because we like books (and most libraries offer books for sale.) We had books in the car, but we needed more. This was a cool library.

They had free lunches for kids, so we took them up on their offer of – corn dog, carrots, plum, graham crackers and milk. We sat by City hall and ate.

The next stop was the Temple square, because, when in SLC…

Then it was time to hit the road Jack! We stopped in Green River, WY and saw the cute (and informational) Sweetwater county museum.

Here’s where Billy Bob comes back in. I’m driving 80mph in the pouring rain and wind when Hannah put on some Country music. She starts saying, in a drawl, “I sure miss Billy Bob. He was a great friend. If only I could have brought you home. Ohhhhhh, Billy Bob! RIP Billy Bob!” It just cracked me up. Grace then started in, they both drew pictures of Billy Bob, more fake crying and moaning about poor Billy Bob and I was laughing so hard I was crying….you had to be there.

I finally told them to stop before we got in a wreck and I switched the music to something less like a Billy Bob ballad. Still, we laughed for about 20 minutes straight.

We stopped in Cheyenne for dinner, then headed to 25 and got home about 11pm.

Through CA, into the monsoon season of NV, camp {sketchy hotel in UT}


That was a good night of sleep, I guess we were tired or it was the babble of the river. Before we left the area I went through the car and cleaned up it a bit, moved stuff around – it was getting messy and hard to find things. We had breakfast on the road and stopped at Alpine lake in the Stanislaus NF for lunch.

That is the scenic route. We crossed over into NV and as soon as we did we were hit with wind and rain. We kept going through pockets of dry, then wind/rain, dry…etc. I had hoped that we could outrun the storm, I don’t mind putting up the tent and then getting rained on, but the more we drove the worse the weather got. Then, I swear, we were very near to the turn for the site we were going to camp at when lightning started a fire in a field in the other side of the freeway. I took that as a sign that we would be staying in a motel. Since we weren’t camping I decided to drive as far as I could (so we would have less to drive the next day.) We ended up in a motel right on the border of NV and UT. It was pretty sketchy, the AC didn’t work (and my room only had a window, no vents or AC), the toilet kept running, the shower handles were hard to turn and (I found out in the morning) there was a bug in the girls bed. But, they did serve breakfast so…..

New plan for the next day – touring around Salt Lake City and getting home a day early.