Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving in Japan - Princess Four

Konnichiwa!!!!!! Genki? Beautiful? Yes!? That is what I thought! 
So we will start off this email by explaining the subject line. At the Goeigo mission school. Aka eikaiwa. I was teaching about health words. The asked lots of fun questions. For example what is the word for earwax boogers and that kind of stuff......

One of the words I taught them was blood.  While they were making their sentences. One of the students just says. "I like blood." Turns out she likes donating blood, but it was still a good time!II love English! It really is such a blessing... So many words in Japanese are just English words. And so many people here can translate. I am grateful for English!!! 

I'm also grateful for THANKSGIVING! It was so good! The Yoshiho family tried to make it as American as possible!! I might have eaten sushi, but they made stuffing, and had mashed potatoes, so I just got the best of both worlds!

Brother Yoshiho made a video. It was called, "I found my friend". Maybe I'll share it soon! But yes. So blessed. We did the typical going around the table and saying what we are grateful for! Didn't understand all the Japanese, but it was just happy seeing people give gratitude! 

Wow. I don't even know what to say! We..... taught our 12 year old the word of wisdom, law of chastity, tithing, and fasting all in like 40 minutes. So that was fun! We are praying she. Will receive baptism! 

We have been working really hard on meaningful contacts recently. Meaning we ask them to do something. It has been hard to change our old dendo style, but it feels so much better than the old way. And we are trying to be more consecrated! Christ gave us so much. Giving him our all here on the mission, and in life isn't too much to ask. And, it just works out that when you do what  the Lord asks, you are blessed. So its only a win win win win win situation! 

ALSO LIGHT THE WORLD WAS RELEASED, AND I LOVE IT, AND I REALLY REALLY HOPE YOU ALL CHOOSE TO DO IT!!! YOU ALL SPEAK ENGLISH,  WHICH MEANS YOU HAVE A NEW VIDEO YOU CAN WATCH EVERY DAY!!!!!!  We are not so blessed to have those in Japanese... yet... hopefully we get them, but idk.... but. Really.. This is such a good way to spread Christ's light!!!

No time to explain pictures!!! Sorry!  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Shelves Get a Face Lift - Super Tired For Days

 I have dragged since the holiday as I think I overdid it working long hours and sleeping little as well as lots of travel and driving. I can't seem to shake the exhaustion. I slept most of the day yesterday and woke earlier today and just dragged climbing back into bed but knowing I have so much to get done that I just lay there for over an hour trying to get up. It wasn't my best day! 

I took vitamins this week, have been trying to eat regularly and not overdo but I am just dragging so much. I got nothing done yesterday but forced myself to empty these shelves, wash them and then paint them today. I need to paint the other side of the shelves tomorrow and then let them dry for a day or two before putting anything on them but I have a heater and fan in the garage to help the paint dry but it does feel good to be able to see improvement in some area even if I am not getting to everything I want to get done. 

I have had lots of people writing me on the blog and my youtube channel so I have taken a few hours replying to comments and I did some bills tonight just so I could sit down and work. I think I need some iron as I am just SO tired. I need to buy some red meat tomorrow and see if that helps any. 

I hope I feel better soon as I am really struggling. I hope you have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nasty Spam Type Ham and Water Product Ruined the Holiday Mood

I am so frustrated with this company and their false advertising. Look at this label. What stands out in large print. HAM!!!!  Then comes the smaller "and water" product.

If you look closely at the small portion of the label which with my fading eyesight I missed, you will see that  35% OF THE  PRODUCT IS NON HAM OR WATER ADDITIVES WITH A "PORTION" OF HAM ADDED!

This is the grossest thing ever! The product looks like spam but doesn't taste as good as spam and TWICE now, I have bought it thinking it was ham!!!! Fool me once... But, fool me twice! SO FRUSTRATED at their false advertising. It should read "Ham FLAVORED BY PRODUCT or HAM SLUDGE!" 

There wasn't a stitch of Ham in the entire thing. Just mushy texture that was the texture of cow tongue and I wouldn't be surprised if there were tongue in the product as it has "added ingredients" with a portion of Ham! 

I purchased this as they have a covering over the sludge ball that makes it look like it is ham but it is a plastic wrap of some kind that you have to peel off. It cuts like spam and when you cook it, it burns very quickly as there has to be LOTS of flavoring and sugar in it to give it some less sludgy flavor so I think the sugar caramelizes and causes burning over browning.  I showed the pan at the end as you can see it was just burned. 

The first batch I cut into small pieces and told Princess Five to use it in omelets as I purchased it for her the day we moved her to school as I know she would need protein so I cooked it up and it was so gross but I couldn't return it late at night as I was headed home so I figured in small amounts she could stomach it but this one, it actually tasted bad like some of the "added ingredients" were bad. Not one of us could take more than one bite and I actually spit mine out as it tasted so gross.

I returned it to the store very frustrated today as it is false advertising. I don't think legally they should be able to say "Ham" if it is less than 100% ham. It should say, "Ham byproduct" otherwise. 

I always make up some hash browns, eggs, and bacon or ham over the holidays so that no matter what time people get up, there is always a warm breakfast ready to heat up as everyone gets up at different times. It was frustrating to me not to have the ham but I wasn't going to head out late at night on Thanksgiving eve to return and purchase a new ham so we went meatless breakfasts for the holiday. 

I just figured I would blog this as I think people should beware of false meat. Make sure that you are buying HAM only in the ingredient section. Just because it looks like ham, in now way means it is ham. I will always be checking forever more the ingredients on the ham I purchase and I suggest you do as well!

Have a Blessed and Abundant Day! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Left Overs and Getting Things Sorted Out

When my kids come down a few times a year for holidays, I flatly refuse to do any "projects" as I want them to WANT to come down and I feel that if I make them work or ask them to work while here, they may not want to come next time thinking I will make them work.

I have been very conscious of this as I only have daughters so if I ask my sons-in-law to work when here, I can imagine they would think of me as a burden and I NEVER want that to happen as I love to have them come and I WANT to enjoy my time with them as well. How much fun would I have doing only work when they come.

I get such limited time with them anyway that I want to enjoy our time together playing games, visiting and just enjoying the grandchildren etc.

The night before the girls came to visit for the holiday, I stayed up all night putting two coats of paint on the wall I textured the night before. I wanted the paint to be super dry when we moved the shelving back against the wall. 

I moved the shelves out in the summer while we were in the play and things were absolutely crazy and I had to do most of it by myself with moving sliders and I really wanted to have the girls help me at least move the shelves back against the wall as it was hard getting them away from the wall alone. 

I also am hoping to get the coat closets cleaned out and two of the girls took their ski bibs and down ski jackets and I am excited to get the others to try them on and get rid of all the other stuff in the closet. I have ski goggles, light and heavy gloves, ski pants, jackets and hats.

It has been hard as the girls live in college type housing, except for Princess One, so they don't like to take much stuff as they move frequently and it makes it hard on me now having no children living at home, but still having four kids worth of stuff in all the closets and garage.

I haven't had the ability to get to all the stuff in the back of the garage for years since Princess One's wedding as all that stuff got put in front of Princess Threes bins and Princess Two was serving as a missionary at the time and in moving people in and out and the wedding, things just got buried and if you read the blog, you know that my life has been beyond crazy for years and I have barely kept up with three surgeries, the roll over accident, my mother dying etc and on and on. 

I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW WONDERFUL IT FEELS to be able to be getting through stuff! Poor Princess Three hasn't been able to get to the bins in the garage since she left for college five years ago! We were going to start her T-shirt quilt but were missing a large portion of her high school t-shirts. We found them this week and we can organize / sort them for the quilt over Christmas!

They helped me put the shelves back, stick the organized stuff back on the shelf and move the stuff that needs to be sorted and organized and get to the bins of Princess Two and Three that haven't been touched in years! We even found a bin of yearbooks from Princess One we didn't know we still had out there. She has a home now and has all of her stuff which is wonderful!

We were able to get rid of nearly half of all the stored bins as the stuff in them would have been used if they had them out but since they weren't, we purchased new rice cookers, crock pots, mixers, blenders, casserole dishes, pans, etc. I was a bit frustrated that I have been storing all that stuff for years and then spent more money buying the exact stuff I stored but had to be happy that at least we were getting it out of my garage. 

All three girls found stuff to take "home" with them and we had piles all over the house! Happily, the biggest pile was the "GET RID OF IT" pile! We have many bins in the garage and I had a few piles in the house and after organizing the bins that are staying and putting the shelves back, I was able to make a few stacks of "yard sale" stuff. I was also able to make a path to the "eBay" piles I have had for 15 years! I used to sell on eBay and did well and lost the eBay account in the divorce and thought I would start again but what single mom of five has time to deal with that? NOPE, I am SO glad I can finally get to that stuff.

Obviously, in one day, we weren't going to be able to get it all done but Princess One's bins will all be gone soon along with all the stuff she could use I am getting rid of like pasta with wheat which I can't eat. Princess Two's stuff is now all in her old room closets. Princess Threes stuff is now in a few closets and Princess Fours stuff is in a few spots and Princess Five is sorting her stuff as she comes home. I emptied out her room with her a few weeks back so that she mostly has it in one closet and a few drawers and it feels so GOOD to be able to have the time to get through stuff! 

I wish I had time to get to the garage more but I need to work on the two quilts I have cut and one more that I would like to give out at Christmas so that would be three quilts finished in the next month. I don't know that I will be able to do it but am praying I can get it done! 

I haven't worked on my mothers stuff since last May but have to finish that asap as well. 

Obviously I have plenty to keep myself busy! I am just feeling like I am finally able to get stuff done! It makes me so happy. I started on my sewing room and craft stuff in the past few weeks as well but can only get so much done. 

I am so grateful to the girls for helping me get that stuff done the day after thanksgiving. It was wonderful to be able to throw out some stuff, send home a few bins each with the girls and know that I can get rid of stuff now! I was also grateful for left overs that we could just pull them out and to not have to stop working to cook. 

It was a good day! I for one, am VERY Thankful this Thanksgiving! I hope you had an abundant and Blessed Day as well! 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cheesy Parmesan "Bum" Rolls For Thanksgiving

So, I get up and make our Thanksgiving turkey and meal. By this point with the girls being as old as they are, I figure they know how to make most of the food I made while they were growing up.

For at least the last 16 years or more, we have always had Parmesan Cheesy Rolls for the holiday. I make rolls without cheese sometimes but the cheesy rolls are so much better that when I ask, they all want the cheesy rolls. 

I had Princess Three in the kitchen watching me prepare the turkey and asking questions. I KNOW I have showed them all how to make the turkey and really, here is a link to that post about how I cook the turkey upside down to keep it moist. I was surprised that she had questions, but was impressed that she was interested in learning how I do it. 

I learned this favorite of ours from my sister-in-law years back. I loved them so much that I asked how she made them. When she told me how EASY it was to make them, we were HOOOKED! 

Being gluten free, one thing I miss is rolls. I don't miss many things as I never enjoyed most flour products, but rolls and fresh bread have always been one thing I have enjoyed! 

I am sorry I didn't show the entire process but didn't think to post about it until I had already let the rolls rise. It isn't hard and you will really love how simple these are. 

If you make your own dough or choose to use frozen dough, it is the same. Once you have your dough rolled into balls, you spray the muffin tins with lots of non-stick coating and make sure you get the entire top of the muffin tin and NOT just the hole. 

Get a bowl, I use a dessert cup, and pour in either the shredded parmesan or the powdery "stinky cheese" type of parmesan cheese. I usually pour a small amount in and then refill it as needed so I don't waste the cheese. 

Take THAWED dough that is already rolled into balls and then just roll it into the cheese! If you use the chunky shredded, you can just mix it into the dough or dip it in an egg white or moisten it will a bit of water first so that the shreds will stick to the dough. Then place TWO of the balls into each muffin tin hole! 

I use Rhodes frozen rolls and put them in the fridge the night before I want to bake them so that they thaw some, making them easier to handle. 

Once they are rolled in cheese and you have two balls in the muffin tin, SPRAY the top of the rolls with non-stick cooking spray, or brush with melted butter! This step is important as two things will happen if you don't do this step. One, the tops of the rolls may dry out and crack or get hard and the rolls don't rise as well if they get hard.

The second, is that I have issues with not having things covered in the kitchen. I am a firm believer on never covering food with dish towels or fabric of any kind other than in the bread bowl and use only cloth napkins used only for that purpose. The food is baked by that point. So, to keep the rolls clean and moist, I cover the rolls with plastic wrap. If you don't put the non-stick spray on the top, the rolls rise and the plastic wrap sticks and when you pull the wrap off, the rolls fall and you have flat rolls! If you don't cover them, they can dry out. 

I have done all of the above mistakes and once I started using this method, I have perfect rolls every time.

Once the rolls have risen to the right height, I bake them at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes depending but I set timers for 10 minutes and check them and bake them in the center of the oven. If one side is getting darker at ten minutes, I rotate them and cook the last few minutes on the flipped side so they brown evenly if possible; I also do this when they are rising if one side is closer to a heat source and is rising faster, I will rotate them on the stove or counter so the other side will rise quicker making them more even. 

Check them frequently! I set the timer for 1 min at this point and constantly check and when they look golden, I pull one out and pull the two sides apart and make sue they are fully cooked in the middle.

When they are cooked, they look like a "bum" so they girls call them "bum" or "butt" roles which is totally rude, but take a look for yourself, they really do look like that once they have risen so take it with a grain.... 

Once they are out of the oven, you need to get them out of the pan quickly so they can breath and dry on the bottom. I pull them out and put them right into the bread basket and the ones that are extra, I pull out and turn sideways on the tin until they cool. If they are sticking as they do with the cheese on them, use a butter knife and gently slide it down the side and use it to ring the tin so the cheese unsticks and then you can pull the roll out without breaking it. 

I didn't even have all the rolls out of the tin before the girls were eating them and feeding them to each other in dramatic fashion so I had to stop what I was doing and take a picture because it was so funny they couldn't wait the two minutes for me to get them all out before eating one. That should tell you how much they enjoy these rolls! It looks as if it was steaming up her glasses! 

One of the girls asked during dinner "How many rolls each do we get?" as we have had to ration them in the past so that each would get even amounts as they go fast. I loved her reaction when she as told she could have SIX rolls!

Truly though, I asked about three times at the store yesterday if they thought that one bag of rolls was enough as I know they like to snack and pick at them through the day and several following days. I never throw them out, they always go. She was OVERJOYED to know she could have a full muffin tray just for herself!

I joked while making them that it was rough that I have to cook food I love but can't eat and the girls told me how terrible they will come out and I wasn't missing anything just to make me feel better! It was cute.

I just notice that Princess Three is borrowing Princess Five's apron I made several years ago for Christmas. Here is a link to that post.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving face-timing the little treasured grand children and their amazing parents many times throughout the day. It was so fun to see their cute little faces and now Grand-Prince One is recognizing us and interacting with us and today, I got him to jump with me. It was SO wonderful! Of course we missed Princess Four who is serving as  a missionary in Japan but are excited she is on the downhill side and will be home in six months! 

We are truly blessed and grateful for so much, after all, the "Secret" is Gratitude! Have a BLESSED and ABUNDANT Day!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving in Japan - What a Year For Princess Four

Hellllllllloooooo Minasan! Genki? Bijin? Samui? Wartashi wa hontouni samui desu yo! Everyone healthy? Beautiful? Cold? I am very cold. See the included pictures to see why!  
But this week was great! 100% great!! Wanna know why? Ill tell you why!! 

Year mark. My sister is having a baby BOY!!! I'll be sending them lots of Japanese names for suggestions. IT SNOWED SO MUCH LAST NIGHT!!!! Investigator chan is going to come to Thanksgiving FHE.... This is her first time saying yes to an activity for a LONG Time like at Least 6 months. She is such a doll. I love her! 

And the happiest thing of all, NOA'S MOM GAVE HER PERMISSION TO BE BAPTIZED!! We still need the dads permission. But we taught the mom the first lesson to let her know what we have been teaching her daughter. She wasn't interested, but is willing to let her daughter do what she wants. WAHOOO!!!! Hopefully she will change her mind, but we are just so happy that she said yes. I AM SO URESHIIIIIIII!!!! So happy!!! 

Highlight of the day. Suda shimai jumped in the snow like. Literally belly flopped into the snow... And she didn't realize how painful that is. But it was so cute! She is from close to Tokyo, so snow isn't a norm for her! She also fell this week stepping on crunchy sounding ice. My comp is seriously the best. She also made a scavenger hunt for me for my year mark. I love her! 

It was Elder "Manly's" birthday. WE made a cake. A little bit of a fail, but they said it tasted good, so that is all that matters! Haha 
I have missed winter dendo. It makes it so much easier to stop people walking! Man. I love it! It is so cold. OH by the way, Sister Suda and I are in the most north, most cold area that sisters can go to... So for this thanksgiving I'm giving gratitude to my dear sweet mother who helped me pack to warmest things! 

I really hope you all have a wonderful thanksgiving! I'd love to hear what you're grateful for! I am grateful for all of you and the love and support I Receive! May god bless you! 

The biggest learned point this week was probably yesterday. I had prayed the night before and asked to be forgiven for my shortcomings and failures, and was just feeling kind of blue. But God didn't want that. So the next day during my personal study i read in my usual spot. Mosiha 3:4,

4 For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.

The angel here was talking about declaring to the people about Christ. I just knew that God knew  and understood me. He knows and loves all of us. He wants us to rejoice! And to share the things that we rejoice over! And I get to share the thing that makes me the most Joyful EVERY DAY! This same day we visited Hikari. We all wrote down problems/questions, then read where hikari chan was reading. And all of our questions, except for Hikari's were answered, so legit. Like the same scriptures answered all of our different questions. I know the Book of Mormon is TRUE!!! 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Aishiteimasu! 

Bistare Bistare... Happy year mark!
My scavenger hunt! she got me space socks. Sorry no picture!
More snow. The pictures don't do it justice. There is Sooooo much snow!!! 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Running Out of Steam - Priming the Garage

Last week I posted about how I had more energy and was trying to give up drinking coke for the caffeine as I know it isn't  good for me.

I have been so tired again these past few days that I haven't gotten much done until yesterday when I drank a 2 liter bottle of coke so I could get that section of the garage textured. It took me so many hours just to texture that one wall and I didn't really finish one wall as I ran out of texture and need to finish this section so I can put all the shelving back and all the stuff that goes on the shelving so I can pull out the next section of shelving on the other side of the stairs on that same wall. 

For my first time doing texture, I think it came out fairly well except for where the old drywall tape had come loose and I thought I could restick it using glue sticks or texture but in a few places, it bowed out causing a few lines in the wall so I would share that if you even have the situation where the tape wasn't finished soon after it was put up, remove the tape and use the new fiberglass tape with the holes as it worked much better. 

It was so cold that the texture didn't dry so I had to put a heater and fan in the garage today to try and get it dried so I could paint. I put two coats of primer on the wall today and it took me all day as I was so tired from yesterdays push to get it textured. I am sure a professional could have done both in a few hours but for my efforts, I am proud of myself that being so tired and having so much to do, I could take something new on rather than just putting the shelving back with the wall unfinished again. I knew that I would NEVER remove those shelves and all the stuff on them and pull them away from the wall to finish the garage if I put them back as there is just so much yard, house, camping, tools, emergency prep stuff on the shelves it took me a few days to get the stuff off and move them. 

Knowing I will have the girls home for a few days, and that they will be able to help me get to their stuff, and there is a huge pile of "Ebay" sales stuff I had out there to sell 15 years ago before my divorce when ebay was still a way to make money before everyone learned how to post online. The divorce happened, I lost my ebay account and being single I never had time to get back to it and the stuff has just been stuck in the back of the garage where I never had time to dig it out and get rid of it. 

I am REALLY hoping that with this time of "calm" in my life which I haven't had in so many years, I will be able to get those type of things out of my life! So many things have just really gotten buried as I only had time to deal with emergencies. 

You have NO idea how happy getting this one wall of the garage done makes me. I know it sounds stupid but it is just a start and hope of things to come in my world! Finishing my "list" of things needing to be done! I used to play the piano or guitar every night before bed when things were "done" before my divorce and kids were older. I has been years since I have done either! I am looking forward to a time when my house is in order so I can do that again! 

Have a Blessed Day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

It Only Took 22 Years - Texturing The Garage

I did something today that I have never done before. I textured some of my garage!

I bought some texture a few years back when I updated my bathroom but then got scared and hired a guy to come ad do the skip-trowel on my bathroom wall. So, I have never done texture before. I have done taping and mudding between drywall but never texture.

Due to my lack of experience, I put it off for a few weeks as I was afraid I would mess it up or was just afraid to start another project as I have so many to do. However, I HAD to pull the shelves away from the wall several month back for an issue so I didn't want to put the shelves back on the wall before finishing the wall because finishing the garage was one of the top three things I wanted to get done when we bought the house over 20 years ago! 

I wanted to replace the counter tops. Get new blinds for the family room upstairs and to fishing that garage. It took me over 15 years to get new blinds and I still haven't replaced the counter tops so to get something done on the garage, even if it is only one wall and part of the ceiling, is still something! 

There was one spot where someone stepped on the drywall in the attic and caused the screws to rip through and there was an issue as the drywall was hung just to one side of the stud so there was nothing to screw it into and I screwed it in at an angle prior to the mishap of them stepping on it in the attic so I came up with what I thought was an inspired answer and now I wish I had taken a video of it but I took little metal pieces from an erector set an screwed them into the drywall and wood and then the metal piece held up the other side of the drywall.

I used one short metal piece and two longer and then I just spackled over the metal pieces so there may be al little more texture on that joint area but I don't know that anyone is going to notice it and you can see in the bottom picture how awful it looked. I used the joint tape over the holes where the screws and nails pulled through and it came out great! 

I had a coupon for Ace hardware so I purchased the texture a few weeks back but wasn't sure how much I would need so I purchased another 5 gallon bucket today just for good measure. I started early in the day but it was cold and I went to purchase the other bucket and run some other errands, pay some bills etc and so I got back to it after dark and it was so cold that I had on a hat and socks etc to try and keep warm but I am still trying to thaw.

I am hoping to get the primer and paint done tomorrow so that I  can move the shelves back on Wednesday. Three of the girls are coming home for the holiday and said they would like to go through the bins of their stuff that are stacked in the garage but they can't get to them due to the nightmare the garage has been for many months with all the summer events, surgery, moving Princess five to college, the play etc. 

I wanted to finish the outside stuff before it snowed and it snowed this week so I figured I could work on the garage now as I am done with the yard as it would damage the trees now with the cold to prune the last few trees in the back that I didn't get done. 

All in all, I think the yard is looking better, the house is looking a mess presently as I am sorting stuff from three different rooms and am still working on my mom's history stuff but they ARE getting worked on at night when I couldn't work outside so nothing is stagnant which is WONDERFUL as I haven't been able to get anything off the list for years! 

Have a Blessed Day!