Thursday, September 27, 2012

Master Josh Burgess

Last Saturday, Sept. 22nd, Josh had to "mid-term".
It was held prior to the beginning of a tournament in Rupert. I was excited that it was close to home so we could go watch him. I LOVE watching him in the art of Taekwondo.

The rank of Master has several different forms that have to be demonstrated in front of a judging panel of other Taekwondo Masters.

I was so impressed with the students who showed such respect to their instructor to come to the tournament early to watch Josh and show their encouragement.
Those who would be competing later in the tournament or not.
Pretty darn neat.

So, I tried using my camera to video Josh doing part of one of his forms and his board breaks.

Have you ever been videoing and can't tell if the camera is taping or not?

Yep, have a couple of minutes of the floor, walls....
But trust me, the board breaks were 

Congrats Bud, I love you.
You are a great example of a real gentleman, friend and an amazing instructor.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Prickly Pear Jelly

Genus Opuntia

The fruits of most prickly pears are edible and sold in stores under the name "tuna." Prickly pear branches (the pads) are also cooked and eaten as a vegetable. They, too, are sold in stores under the name "Nopalito." Because of the glochids, great care is required when harvesting or preparing prickly pear cactus. Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that may help keep blood sugar stable.

As I said in my earlier post.
I love Prickly Pear Jelly.
The cactus pads have Large thorns on them.
The fruit, Tiny little needles, Lots of!!!
We used tongs to pick the fruit and I still had to pull tons  a few out of my hands.

No we did not go into the Arizona desert of find our fruit.
We found them right in the middle of town at a local Wally-world!
I am sure my brother was hoping nobody he knew would pass by and we only had one heckler.
Yea, MY SISTER, 'Lene!!
after about a half an hour we had a tote with fruit.

I put duck tape over the lid and set them in the garage to wait for when I decided to go home.

Ok, so the process to make Prickly Pear Jelly isn't hard, but the prep time is a whole different story.
Each fruit had to have the tiny little thorns burned off.
I used the tongs that I used to pick them and held them one at a time over the flame of my BBQ grill.
Towards the end I became a little lazy and would throw several on the grill and roll them around for a few seconds.

Cut the fruit in half or quarters,
I then added them to my steamer/juicer
I let them steam for about an hour.
Then using the juice I was able to make 3 batches of jelly.
Yes, this is the total jars made.

Would you like the recipe?
This is the one my mom and aunt Wanda always used.

3 Cups of juice
1/2 Cup lemon juice
1 box of Sure-Jel (pectin)
4 1/2 C. sugar

Put juices and pectin in pan bring to a hard boil.
When it is boiling add ALL of the sugar at one time.
Bring to a ROLLING boil and keep that rolling boil, stirring all the time for 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Pour into prepared jars,
wipe the rims off,
place warm seals on jars and tighten with rings.
Place jars in pressure cooker.
Process for 15 mins, with out the pressure lock on (basically a hot bath)
Remove from hot bath and place somewhere the jars can set without being bothered for 24 hours.

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Road Trip ~ Surprise!!

For the past several months I have been dealing with... I don't know what you would call it..
Not really personal demons, but events that have taken place in the last couple of years.
Some I have had no control of, others that I believe I should have had control of and even some that I wonder if I had done things different what the out come would be.
Yea, I know I am a bit of a control freak.
All of it had started me on a spiral downwards.

So, I did what I use to do...
I went on a road trip.

I had been planning on going to Southern Utah for a Burgess family reunion.
Kira had said she wanted to go too.
The day before leaving I told Kira she needed to talk to Sergio and decided if she still wanted to go with me because,
I wasn't sure when I was going to come back.
Sergio has been working crazy long hours and he said he didn't mind if she was going to be gone a few days.

Kirk was a little more concerned, because really the last time Kira and I went on a road trip that was only going to be for 2 weeks it ended up being 3 months.

We packed our bags and headed south.

Our first stop was in Brigham City, Utah to go through the new LDS temple that was having its open house.

Hazel was so reverent and sweet while we walked through all the beautiful rooms. Each time she would see a picture of Christ on the walls she would point and  softly say, "Jesus".

It was really warm that day but we enjoyed walking around the grounds and yes, getting refreshed by the water that was given out by the temple volunteers. 

Kira understood that this was not going to be a straight there and back trip.
I was going to stop look and try to heal.

So, we did stop and look a lot.
Finding some interesting things on our drive to St. George, Utah.
Including the Dominguez Escalante Trail (nope never heard of it ether but very interesting, look it up)

When we arrived in St. George, we went for a drive by they St. George LDS Temple.
It is so very pretty.

The next day we headed to Pine Valley, Utah, where the reunion was being held.

Kirk's family has a lot of history here.
It was so fun to hear the different stories and 
walk where I know these noble family members had spent so much time.

The Pine Valley Chapel is so amazing.
I will have to do another post just about it.

The Pine Valley Cemetery has several of the Burgess family members buried there.
I have been to this cemetery before, and can say it still feels like sacred ground.

While driving to see the aprox. location of one of the families saw mills
we saw this pretty little lady hanging out.

At the reunion they had mentioned "Mountain Meadows" and that it was a short distance from Pine Valley.
We stopped at a little store and asked if they could give us directions to it.
It was maybe 10 miles from Pine Valley.

At this place approx. 120 individuals lost their lives in what is called 
It took place Sept. 11, 1857.
The stones are  pilled  on top of one of the mass graves.
They were placed there in 2007.
Reading the markers, one stated that along with a couple of other families the Burgess family had kept watch over the graves of those murdered, so grave robbers or others could not desecrate them.

That evening we went back to our room at the Chalet Motel in St. George, which I would give 4+ stars. Great price, nice size rooms, clean, fridge, microwaves, cable tv, wi-fi and the owners are very sweet. If you wanting breakfast and extras this is not the place to stay. But, there were tons of places to eat near the motel.
When the day was done,
I was tired yet in a strange way felt a bit of renewal.

The next day we had to decide if we were going to stay another day in St. George, head home or what...

WHAT won.... 

Off we went to 

not really we just drove down the strip of Las Vegas.

We didn't do any walking because,
well it was just to darn warm.

Our next stop....

Hazel's favorite show in the world right now is Disney's Cars.
So, you know we had to go find Route 66!!

We arrived in Kingman, AZ at the same time a major wind, dust and rain storm was.
But, we still had to have pictures
Miss H was thinking we were as crazy as her hair was during the storm!

If I am in Arizona, even if it is 6 more hours, I am going to see my family.

Can I just say how much I love my siblings... because I do.

yep, another 4 generation picture.

My mom use to make Prickly Pear Jelly.
and while driving through Utah and Arizona I saw plants LOADED with fruit.
So, I called my brother and asked if he wanted to go get Prickly Pears with me.
He said, YES, but that you have to have a permit to pick them now.
I told him ok I would find out where I needed to get it at.
Morris is thinking we will spend the day on the Ranger driving through the desert and pick fruit and have a good time...sounded good to me,
UNTIL... I found a local Wally-world with plants everywhere full of fruit.
While looking to see what I needed to do to get a permit, one of the pages said, if the fruits are located on private property that you just have to have the owners permission.
I quickly made a call to the manager of said store, who said he didn't see any problem with picking the fruits at their location.

and so we did.
Morris was a little bummed there wasn't a road trip but, we did get to hang out and visit.

I still can not believe that I did not get any pictures with my nieces and nephews.
But, I did get one of Miss H and Ham. Oh, how that little girl loves her cousin.
She will just walk up to him and give him a big hug. So, darn cute.

It is monsoon season, and I have forgot what those rain storms can be like.
It was crazy to drive through the one outside of Kingman.
We also got to have a taste of one while in the "Valley of the Sun". 

It poured!
Even the toads were trying to get out of the rain!

Seeing my family was a huge help...
One concern my father, he had just had knee replacement surgery and at first had not done very well. Seeing him and knowing he was ok...not great, but ok helped.

It was time to get back on the road.
First stop...
Yes, I have been there before and still think it is one of the coolest places!

Do you know what kind of tree this is?
You would think that it would be rough.
But, it is smooth like silk and beautiful.

More places to stop and look

We drove all day in Arizona looking at different thing.
We spent the night in Knab, Utah at a DIVE of a hotel.
It is called the Royal Inn and Suits.
Trust me when I say there was NOTHING royal about the place.
We could not get out of the place fast enough.

Next day, Canyon Lands!

I think this arch is so darn cool!

I had never been to Bryce Canyon.
very pretty and amazing, but more of a place to go if you are a hiker.
Especially, because the entry fee is $25.00. Hiking or not.
I think Kirk would love this place.

And with my OCD with Cemeteries,
We stopped at a few on our road trip.

We arrived back home 7 days later around midnight.

Feeling better and realizing that I have to do this more often.
Kira and Miss H for hanging out with me and being such great travel companions.
Josh for letting me steal your car that gets amazing gas millage.
 Sergio for letting me barrow his girls for the week and
Especially to Kirk...
Thanks sweetheart for understanding me and putting up with me.