Key West: update

Well, I don’t have total success to report but I did get some writing in (about half of the days). My parents are coming down on Friday, so I should get some time with my Dad over the next couple of weeks. When he called today he wanted me to find a road map for the 50s. I was glad I could tell him that I already had one. I even had it out on my desk from today’s attempt at writing about his cross-country drive to get to Key West from San Diego.

I also called about setting up a SCUBA class. Not surprising there isn’t anything available for October but they haven’t set up November yet. So they will contact me when they get that arranged. I have mixed feelings about taking the class. It’s just an hour so how bad can it be. But I think it will really be helpful in writing this history, so I’ll do it. Maybe it will be more fun than I expect.

I hope I’ll be reporting more writing progress with next weeks update than I did this week.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #36 – candy corn jars

candy corn jars from

Not everyone loves candy corns but I do. Then I love most candy. But candy corns have been around for a long, long time so chances are you have some memories, stories or family tradition associated with candy corns. This idea for decorating jars with balloons surprised me. I have never thought of “wrapping” something with a balloon like this. It looks easy and with very little mess, especially compared to using paint. What great conversation started for childhood memories of candy corns. Of course you will need some candy corns on hand to munch on while you reminisce.

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Brit+Co has an easy step by step tutorial here. Just scroll down a bit to get to it. I wonder how it would work to flip the jars over and stuff a string of white lights in them? I bet they would look awesome by our front door on Halloween night. I might just have to pick up some balloons and try this out.

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos37

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

Candy Window: update

Grinch and Max ready for candy

The figures are ready for their faces. I’m trying a fondant/gum paste mixture this year instead of straight fondant. The gum paste is supposed to give the fondant more stretch. This is a key part of the window. If the faces look good the window should be a success. If the faces turn out bad it is hard to make up for it else where. I’ve not done faces on this scale before. I’ve done bigger and I’ve done smaller. Feeling a bit intimidated about getting started but just need to dive in and get going. After I get the first one done, I should feel better about things.

two kids ready for candy

Bill ended up working all night Friday and all day Saturday so no progress on the Ferris wheel structure. But I sorted through the candy that the Youth Council kids picked out for the figures and made a few adjustments because of scale or color issues. I hope they don’t mind too much. I also order some more candy. I need to pick up some chocolate and yellow licorice for hair and then we should be in pretty good shape to move forward with all the candy.

man and woman ready for candy

Pupdate: Fable & Inktober

Fable is learning fast and growing faster. She lives life with everything she has. Giving her all to play or sleeping. Since she got her official “puppy in training” jacket on Monday she has been to the Corn Maze, a Relief Society activity, the grocery store and Bill’s work. The employees at the grocery store flocked to see our new puppy. Fable loved it.

For some projects I’d like to do, I’m working on developing my drawing skills. Nothing serious, just simple cartoonish dog drawings. So I joined a challenge called #Inktober. The idea is do an ink drawing everyday in October. I’ve done nine drawings of Fable so far and posted them on Facebook each day. The drawing above is one of the and here are the rest:

50 Jar Gifts: idea #35 – pancake mix

image from

Jar Gift Idea #34 inspired me to focus on pancakes for idea #35. While not many use sourdough starters in the everyday life, pancakes have a rich tradition in many households. When I think of pancakes, it reminds me of my Dad. I don’t know if he was always the one to cook the pancakes in the morning by the time I was a teenager it had developed into a tradition. Just today when I was talking to my Dad he mentioned needed to go get some more pancake mix. Now days my Dad does all the cooking (my Mom has Parkinson’s) but then it was mostly my Mom other than for pancakes.

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What are your memories of pancakes and family? Are there some fun stories to share? Stir up a batch of pancake mix and share it along with a memory to someone in your family. Or have a family gathering and serve pancakes (some families eat pancakes for dinner too). Then send each household home with their own jar of pancakes mix. A great way to make new memories and call to mind old ones.

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Can’t think of any “pancake” memories? Why not start a new tradition involving pancakes. You can keep it simple or dress it up with fun flavors or fancy toppings. The possibilities are endless.

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If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos36

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

Key West: update

Progress made this last week but somehow managed not to write anything. I finished going through the “Buddy Line” newsletter for the Underwater Swimmers School last week. So far this week, I took the info I pulled from the “Buddy Line” and filed it in the folders I have set up under different subjects as reference when I actually start writing. I think this information will really be helpful. I don’t know of anything else I should gather or research so no more excuses for not to get started. Hopefully once I start writing it won’t be so painful to keep going. I’m committing to have some writing done by next week’s check in. In a perfect world I’d get at least 500 words written five times by then. Wish me luck!

50 Jar Gifts: idea #34 – sourdough starter

This post marks my 1000th post since I started blogging. Wow, that kind of blows my mind. Thanks to all my loyal regulars. I really appreciate your hanging in there with me as I figure out just what this blog is all about.

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Is someone in your family famous for their sourdough bread and/or pancakes? Wouldn’t it be a great gift to share a start from that family sourdough to other family members? You’d want to include the recipe and instructions for caring for the start of course. What a great opportunity to share a family legacy to the next generation along with stories and memories of good food and company.

While my family has no such tradition that I know of my husband loves sourdough bread. I tried sourdough started a couple of years ago but didn’t keep it up well and finally let it go. I still have some of the original dry started that I order off the internet so I might start it up again sometime. But several months ago a neighbor taught a class on natural yeast, similar to sourdough but you keep it in the fridge. Natural yeast has a rich pioneer heritage and keeping it in the fridge makes it much more forgiving to neglect. I’ve made pancakes, muffins and pizza dough with good success. My first attempt at bread wasn’t good so I’ll have to try that again.

But either sourdough or natural yeast are great for sharing in a jar. You can do it straight or dry out some starter and create a starter kit with the jar included for reconstituting your start. If you don’t have a starter of your own and can’t find a friend with an active starter you can get a dried starter from various sources on the internet or follow the directions to make your own.

image from

natural yeast image from

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos35

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.

Candy Window: update

Bill with the Ferris wheel – so far

Another week closer to Christmas. Hopefully we made enough progress too. Bill finished the spokes of the other side of the Ferris wheel on Saturday and the basics of the A-frame to hold it up. He found a motor and gears at Granger this week too. The didn’t have the right size of pillow blocks though. The figures are painted and the additions of pelon are done though they still need painting. I also picked up some fondant and something new to try, gum paste for the faces etc. Five kids from the South Jordan Youth Council came on Saturday and made good progress on putting candy on the cars.

This week I’m working on the faces for the figures and we will see how far I get. In may only be early October but time is starting to feel really short. Sometimes I feel a bit of panic at how much needs to get done. Then I try to take a deep breath and focus on putting in some time everyday and see how much gets done.

Pupdate: Fable

Fable at the Great Salt Lake Marina

Fable is doing fabulous. She is growing and learning and mostly doing great. She is a super sleeper and loves to play and has lots of energy. That is one of the challenges with her, lots of energy. She gets her jacket on Monday and then she will be official to get out and start socializing. That will help lots on using up her energy. Going new places wears puppies out not just physically but mentally too. She had her 12 week shots on Monday and is a healthy puppy of 20 lbs.

We have a GDB Halloween party coming up in a few weeks and I’ve tried to figure out what costume to do for that. I did some research today and I finally have an idea that I really like. It is kind of traditional to dress the pups up with something to do with their name. We haven’t done that much but I wanted to this year with a name like Fable. I thought about doing something with Aesop’s Fables but didn’t really like that too much. But then I found this image via Pinterest and got inspired.

unicorn mask on

Someone in Japan made it and there are no instructions but I think I can figure it out. I’ll do it in black. Fable will be a black unicorn. She will be so cute. I can’t wait to get started on it. Don’t think I have any black yarn though so I’ll need to get some.

50 Jar Gifts: idea #33 – hot drinks

80+ drink mix recipes from

It sure felt cold here today. Summer is a thing of the past (and the distant future) and cold weather has me longing for something warm to drink. I have memories of hot chocolate with graham crackers, hot lemon and honey (for colds). I also remember my Grandma liking Postum. I didn’t think too much of that but it reminds me of her. My Dad likes the hot cider mixes. As an adult I’ve done all kinds of hot concoctions to try to warm myself up. Today I did a lime and honey drink. What memories do you have of warm drinks on cold days? Here are a few ideas for packaging hot drink mixes.


Homemade Cider Mix from The Blessed Hearth

peppermint hot chocolate mix from

salted caramel hot chocolate mix from

If this idea inspires you, let me know. I’d love to share your project here too.jar gift logos34

Want some more ideas? Visit my Pinterest board dedicated to jar gift ideas.