Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer makes me think about pools and swimming lessons....

When I was young I learned to swim at Halls Pond in Vermont...and then my summers were spent at my grandparents pool....They had this pool that was 8 ft deep at one end...My brothers and I would be in as soon as it opened despite it being freezing cold, and we swam in it all summer long.  I dreamed of being a mermaid.  I'm so jealous that now you can actually buy mermaid fins.  If I was young I would have a pair.  My children got to spend their summers at the local children's pool.  I can't remember how young they were when we started to visit the pool, but we spent every summer until we moved at that pool.  I think it was 550 steps from our house.  We called it the long walk to the pool
The pool opened just a few days after school ended.  Everybody knew that it really did not open on the first day, but we still had to be a part of the group that went down to see if it was open.  They had a snack shack, games and crafts.  We would walk down at 10am and stay until lunch.  Then we would come back at 1pm and stay till closing time.  Those were the best lazy days of summer.
This is "Kevin" The EVIL Life Guard / Swim instructor...I actually thought he was a nice person, but the kids seemed to think he was out to get them.  Perhaps it was because he would tell them he wanted them to play the scrub the pool game...and they all knew they were just helping him clean the pool...He also expected them to do lots of laps across the pool and work when they would much rather just play.. The kids still talk about  "Evil Kevin"...


The last two summers that we lived in New Jersey we watched one of my friends daughters.  I called her my third child.  We were total swim all day never leave the water types, and she was very afraid of water when she came to stay with us, she got over her fear pretty fast though.
We eventually out grew the little pool swim lessons and in the mornings spent our time at the bigger community pool for swim lessons, and then spent our afternoons at the little pool.  One year my daughter spent so much time swimming she got an ear infection, she didn't tell me about it because she knew she would be banned from the water.  When we finally took her to the doctors her ear was pretty much swollen shut.  Oh the things kids will do to swim.

Here are some photo's of the long walk...the kids practically ran down to the pool, but kind of slowly walked back.  That pool was always so cold that you went home and it took forever to warm back up.

This was the saddest moment the sign saying the pool was closing for the summer... Summer was ending, everyone was talking about who their teacher was going to be...I think Summer should be longer and the school year should be shorter.  We miss our Third Child, we often talk about how nice it was to spend our days with her at the pool and hopefully when we get out to New Jersey someday again we can visit with her.  We also miss time at a pool, but the fact was once you reached the age of twelve you were no longer allowed in the pool.  I had always thought if we stayed in New Jersey that my children might have worked at the pool.
The nice thing after a day at the pool was hanging up the towels and having an ice cream snack...
Did you spend your summers at a pool, a lake or the ocean?
Hope you are enjoying your summer!
G.G.



Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer makes me think about camping in Vermont....

Summer brings back memories of camping...I can't say that camping is my most favorite thing to do, but I have lots of great memories of camping with my family...I think I only went camping once as a child...But when my children were young we went camping with my parents every summer....
Camping was a great way to get away from technology, and the Television...My kids learned to bike, and fish and kayak...They got to swim and hike and cook over an open fire....
Most of the time we slept in a tent...But there was one year that it rained so much we got a cabin...I think I like cabins much better than tents...The kids liked the tents better....
Having a week together with family was wonderful...I am so glad we had that time together...Now everyone in my house works, my son is getting ready to leave on a mission..life is just so busy...
I wouldn't mind going back and just relax, sit and try to catch some fish and end the night around the campfire...
Maybe at some point we will figure out camping in Utah...Perhaps my parents need to come out here and find a place to camp for a week with us...
What are your favorite things to do in the summer to relax and get away?
Happy Summer...Hope you are enjoying some lazy days!
G.G.






Thursday, July 7, 2016

Summer Makes Me Think About Morgan Horses.....

There was a time in my life when all I thought about was horses...OK...My whole childhood and teen years was spent thinking about horses... I didn't take photo's of flowers when I was young...I took photo's of horses...That book about the girl who will die if she doesn't get a horse...I'm sure that was written about me...
Every birthday wish...every Christmas list was filled with horse wishes...I remember my family went to Florida one year and you could sit on this tree and make a wish..Yes that wish was horses...And then one night I had a dream I was going to work on a horse farm...and a few days later a lady who had a horse farm called and asked if I would be willing to work for her.... Just out of the blue....
And that's when my horse days began...The very top photo is the first horse I ever worked with...Miss March...She is the reason I got to work with horses, she needed a very light person to ride her to help heal her hurt hip...That very lucky person was me... The horse farm was a breeding farm so there were lots of foals..and not many horses that were actually ridden... I spent my days learning to ride, and helping take care of the foals...and taking photos...I was in Heaven...
Not only did I learn to ride, but I got to take care of some horses that had hard luck stories...This is Intrigue...He was half starved when we got him, and the other horses that had been with him had bitten him up a little...we got him all nice and healthy over the summer and then I got to take him to some Morgan Horse shows...That was a very fun summer for me.
At some point I ended up buying my own Morgan Horse...Andover Wind Pepper... We called her Andi...She was a beautiful horse who taught me a lot...
I don't know now how I did it...High School...A part time job at the local grocery store...and working at the Horse Farm... All I know is If I could go back in time....I would spend a day riding my horse again...
Happy Summer Everyone....
G.G.
Is there a moment in your childhood you would go back and visit?






Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My Foodie Adventure....Cotton Candy Grapes...YUM!

I have to say that I did this when I was young...My parents had this sugar bowl and when I had cereal in the morning I kept scooping sugar into it...I know they were trying hard to get me to eat healthy food in the morning, but I just couldn't stand breakfast foods, and sugar just made everything better.....
My foodie adventure this past  month was trying Cotton Candy Grapes...I had never heard of grapes that taste like cotton candy...I didn't really believe that they would taste like cotton candy either....
If you look at the grapes they look normal....But when you taste them....Well they really do taste like cotton candy...Which is one of my favorite things to eat....I had a lot of fun giving people a grape and watching them react to the taste...There is this look of surprise that they get when they finally taste the cotton candy flavor.
My daughter said after her first taste...Please get  me a whole bowl....She likes sugar as much as I do...
So I had to do a comparison of the grapes and cotton candy...well It was a good reason to go out and buy more of each...The sad thing is these grapes are seasonal and you can't buy them all year long...It used to be you could only get cotton candy if you went to the fair, but now you can get it at a store...But I like the fresh made at the fair better....
The question is how??? How did they get the grapes to taste like cotton candy?  My daughter thought that they coated the outside of the grape with a cotton candy flavor...My son thought that they used special flavored water to water the grape vines...
But from reading articles it sounds like it was how they combined different types of grapes....I'm not sure I totally understand the science behind it all, but I'm sure glad they made them...If you want to try these grapes you need to be at the store when they come in because they sell out really fast.
What new food have you tried?
G.G.
specialty grapes
cotton candy grapes



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Garden Girls Foodie Adventure...Trying a Blood Orange.....

Most of my foodie blogs will be about trying new fruits and vegetables...So last week I tried a Blood Orange.
From the outside the Blood Orange looks just like a normal orange to me...
But once it is cut up ....Well that's a different story...The red color is a natural mutation of the orange fruit, this was not some crazy science project.    It has a blood red color because the fruit contains the presence of Anthocyanins.. a family of antioxidant pigments common to fruits and flowers.  It is supposed to have a mild raspberry flavor...to  me it tasted very much like an orange.  But I could just not get past the blood red color.  Good thing I only bought one.  So if you can get past the strange color and you like oranges you should try this.   I will stick with the original orange thank you. 
So have you tried any new foods in the last few weeks.  Let me know.  Do you like Blood Oranges?
Related sites
Blood Oranges
Blood Oranges a blog by someone who likes them
Blood Orange Recipes.
Have a great day.
G.G.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Temple Square Spring Flowers....

Spring at Temple Square is filled with Tulips...I have to say this is probably my favorite photo from my latest trip into the city...I love the way the sun is coming through the flowers...this will be a future card, and perhaps I'll also frame it and display it in my house...
I thought these yellow flowers were very pretty...I'm not sure what they are, so that will be my next task, to find out their name...I'm collecting flower photos as a new project is to put together a Meaning of Flowers photo dictionary with a photo of every flower....so if you know what this flower is let me know.
So I found this one huge flower in the middle of all these tulips, I'm not sure if it is a double tulip, or what it is, but it looked really interesting.

I love walking around and looking at all the different flower beds...I could spend all day walking the gardens at Temple Square.




I hope you enjoyed the photos...There is a book you can get that explains how they plan the gardens, and what the favorite plants are.  It is an interesting garden book, very technical...If  you want to reproduce their garden techniques this a book to use, I liked the last half that tells more about the plants used.
G.G.




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Garden Girls Foodie Adventure....Trying Artichoke....

I will be the first to admit that I'm a very picky eater...When I read the Calvin and Hobbes cartoons and he is making faces about his food, I think that is me!  I made such horrible faces as a child that my father switched my seat so that when he made something that I hated..Usually Pea Soup, he did not have to watch me...Even now when I make something my children do not like to eat, nothing they do can annoy me as I could make a gagging sound and face that could top them.
I too love dessert and snacks...But I have decided that I need to try healthy food...and my new job is a place where healthy food is all around me. This past week I took the brave step of trying a new food.
Artichoke...
I'm not sure why people are so into eating Artichoke...But I have had many people tell me they love it and they have told me how to cook it, and what they like to dip it in.  Here is the before it's cooked state...
I searched the internet for simple Artichoke recipes and decided to steam it in water with lemon,bay leaf and garlic.The above photo is the steamed Artichoke.   People told me of two things they like to dip it in, melted butter (now that is something I like!) or Mayo...
I liked it best in the butter...But who wouldn't??...I'll admit that it wasn't that bad...I never got to the Heart of it though...People say the heart is the best...And eating a vegetable heart is far more appealing to me than animal heart any day...But the whole getting the choke off the heart was too much....so someday I'll have a friend who is better at this eating good food stuff prepare Artichoke hearts for me... One thing I learned in this crazy food adventure is Artichokes are the flower of a Thistle plant....


And because I tried something new and healthy I had a good treat...Strawberry shortcake...YUM!
So what healthy food do you think I should try next?  Have you tried Artichoke?  What is your favorite way to eat it?
G.G.