As young adults, there is so much expected of us. There are days where you have to multi-task things that really shouldn't be done at the same time; Like filing your nails while driving. I'm a believer in enjoying everything you do and never doing anything simply because you think you "should." But this doesn't apply if you're a slacker. Being lazy is lame.

24 March 2008


We are not normal. We being me and those whom I associate with, specifically this evening. This particular photo was taken at another time. On this occasion the three of us, Michael, Eliza and I were sitting on a love seat at Eliza's house, each with our own laptops propped open on our laps.
Tonight, also at the Clawson residence, there were four laptops on people's laps, this time adding Laverna to the mix. As usual, my chat window was up. Last night incurred some difficulties with a video chat with dear Meo, so once again I tried to connect and see if time had solved the problem. After some patient grumbling, it appeared. We happened to be sitting next to each other, and could hear what one said come from the other computer (with a slight delay of course.) Eliza was looking on rather disgusted, and who could blame her. I sent her a "hello" via chat, and she continued to glare at Michael and I. We just giggled and got back to work...more or less. Though, I must remind her of the extensive chat she and I had via computers, while sitting in chairs kiddy-corner to each other in the Institute. Tonight her father came in at last and declared "Family Hour! Computers away." All four of us shut our screens and proceeded to act like normal communicating humans. For at least that hour.

A new discovery.

What exactly is the point of a library? You would think this is an insane proposition. You would probably say: "To hold books." But per my adventures this afternoon, my observations told me a whole new story.

First use: A construction site. A few weeks ago a friend of mine observed that the University of Utah should have a new mascot. The crane. The only way inside the Marriott Library is the West doors. My entire experience here at the U has consisted of half a library. Thankfully, it appears that work is being completed, but some parts of the library are uninhabitable due to the constant banging.

Second use: A fashion show. Oh wait. That goes for all of campus. Here comes Spring and the new summer fashions...all I have to say is, watch out.

Third use: Nap-time. Ten feet into the library and guaranteed you will find a dosing student. Whether it be a book they rest on, or a chair. Sometimes there are 3 or 4 sleeping people within eye-sight.

Fourth use: An exercise routine. The Marriott Library is huge. Hundreds of shelves hold thousands of books. Forget your run of the mill Dewey Decimal system. This place adds a whole new level of organization! The government papers have an entire section to themselves (good riddance I say, keep the boring stuff out of the way.) Particularly, I was searching for books on Latin and Greek today. Somehow, even though I used the Quick Search, I ended up in the religion section. There were books in other languages, but that wasn't helpful. The language books are located a floor above and on the other side. I found the Greek books there looked around, then headed to where I was told books in Latin were. I ended up back in the religion section. Lugging my backpack back the other way, I found the Latin books 3 shelves away from the Greek. 4 trips us and down the stairs, and about 4 trips back and forth across the floors. With a backpack, who needs a treadmill and weights?

You never know what else a library will do for you. A place to check email, play online games, read Roald Dahl...or simply get lost and never return to civilization. Check out your local library and I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised!

22 March 2008

Lack of blogs

I have attempted to blog for the past few days, and I can't find the patience to sit and write. Spring Break has been...uneventful. I have realized when I have a lack of people in my life each day, their physical presence, a light inside seems to dim. I love people, and each do something for me, more than they could ever know. Online chat has it's benefits, but nothing compares to the presence of real people. This may sound self-pitiful, but it is more an expression of gratitude for all of my wonderful friends. Hopefully my blogging thoughts will come back soon.

17 March 2008

Nearly Successful

As I have much free time during this Spring Break, I decided to try a new recipe today, and hopefully a few more this week. Today was Toffee Bars.

Starting with the bottom layer, sugar and butter, your results are such:The instructions were to add flour and stir by hand, but I found this difficult, so just used the mixer.
After adding flour and smashing into pan:

This bakes for about 15 minutes.

On the stove, you blend sweetened condensed milk and butter, bring to a small boil, keep it there for about 5 minutes, add vanilla, then pour over baked crust. Stick this in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Next is the chocolate. You can either add chocolate chips to the top, or make a sauce. Just some unsweetened chocolate, butter and powdered sugar, and water. My mistake in the chocolate was to over cook it, so it turned out slightly grainy. Here is the finished result:
Next time modifications: Use a smaller pan so bars are thicker. Cooking time will change, but the layers will be thicker. One problem was getting each layer even over the whole thing. Smaller surface area would help. Since layers were slightly uneven, the corners were hard. I also think you should wait until the two layers cool before pouring on the chocolate.

Toffee Bars.

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 sugar
1/4 tsp slat
1 cup flour

Toffee Layer:
1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbl butter or margarine
2 tsp vanilla

Fudge Icing: (or sprinkle chocolate chips)
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (3 Tbl cocoa powder and 1 Tbl cooking oil)
2 Tbl butter or margarine
1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium mixing bowl beat the 1/2 butter, sugar, and salt. Beat until combined. Stir in flour. Press into bottom of an ungreased pan. (recipe calls for 13x9x2-inch, but I suggest something smaller). Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or till the edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, in a heavy medium saucepan heat the sweetened condensed milk and 2 Tbl butter over medium heat till bubbly, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 5 minutes more (it will thicken) Stir in 2 tsp vanilla. (Mine went a little chunky, so use a whisk to smooth it out) Spread evenly over baked layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

For fudge icing, in a small saucepan, melt chocolate and 2 Tbl butter over low heat stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and 1 Tbl vanilla. Stir in enough hot water (1 to 2 Tbl - BE CAREFUL not to get too much) to make icing easy to pour. (NOT liquidey, just a thin-ish icing) Spread evenly over warm cookie. Cool and cut into bars.

Difficulty: 3 - There are a lot of steps and it takes good timing to make sure things don't burn. Watch everything so you don't over cook. It may take a few times to get this perfected (I know it will for me) so don't try this on company!

13 March 2008

Tape Adventures

The tape is supposed to stay on for three days.

The first day I felt odd, but incredibly intrigued at what this tape could do for me. It was almost exciting.

The second day, I showered and obviously it got wet. I had to blow dry it so it wouldn't get my clothes wet. Odd sensation let me tell you. At the end of the day I was feeling as if I had more than just tape. Psychologically, tape keeps bandages on, and it felt like I was wounded. It started to irritate me and I was tempted to remove it. Then I remembered my gratitude blog and quit complaining to myself.

Today, the beginning of day three, I woke up and noticed it is starting to itch! I was once again tempted to remove it, but decided a shower might help. I dried it again this morning. I can still feel it, but think I can last one more day with it on. But it itches like MAD!

People ask if it helps. I think so, but it is hard to tell when the immediate surrounding muscles also ache. But right in between my shoulder blades, I believe it works! Don't you just love medical technology. hee hee.

11 March 2008


Driving home, I drove past a runner on the sidewalk. She was dressed the part, and looked as if she was enjoying herself. She was not the first I had seen that day. As the weather has turned from dismal to beautiful, people have begun to pick up their exercise routines. Even my Solar Systems professor was dressed in biking gear.
As I was observing one particular girl on the corner waiting for the chance to run across the street and taking the opportunity to stretch, shifted in my seat and was reminded of the tape that was placed on my back this morning. My physical therapist has taught me many useful things over the past few months that have been useful in relieving pain. Stretches, use of an exercise ball, taking time out to relax during the day; all useful techniques. Sadly, it has not been enough to make a lasting difference. Today, she suggested a short massage and then applied tape to my back. It provides some extra support to the muscles that struggle to hold together my abnormally straight back.

A thought came to mind while watching the runner. How blessed she is to be able to run. I sit here in the car, with tape on my back just to help support my weak strained muscles from only existing.
I write this only as my experience. Sincerely, I would not have it any other way. We each have our own struggles, downfalls, weaknesses and pain. While I move in my seat to find a comfortable place for my arms, another may be unable to move without causing pain. Another may drive with their feet because of their lack of arms at all!
As hard, and as sad as some ailments may be, I would not wish to remove any of it. We have all had our share of grief in one way or another. Some less, some more than seems necessary or even fair. Incredible consequences come from enduring pain. Speaking only for myself, as I am unable to speak for any others, I am more the person I want to be BECAUSE of pain. Not just in spite, but as a result.
We are here to become the best we can be. We CANNOT become that best without hardship. When your life is over you will have the opportunity to reflect. What will you see? Opportunity? Love? Growth? A better life than you could have planned for yourself?

02 March 2008


Sweet Lime Pie!!!

At Christmas time, a man in my ward brought my family a new recipe to try. He provided the lime juice that is required for it in the form of ice cubes. They've been sitting in the freezer since then, but today they were rescued from their frozen state and put to work.

I've never made a pastry crust before, and this is what happened....I hope it tastes better than it look. The holes are required to prevent the crust from shrinking into itself.

The biggest mistake I made was with the meringue. If you add the sugar too soon, this is what happens. It stops trying to be fluffy and stays a liquid....with lots of bubbles.
Here it is done properly. Nice and fluffy! Yum.

The lime part of it is cooked on the stove, then cooled.

After the lime mixture cools, you fold the meringue into it. It is kinda lumpy looking, but the taste is smooth. It has to set for three hours, then you can eat it!

My mom had a piece and loved it. Not as strong as Key-Lime pie. Just yummy.

Sadly, the crust wasn't very good. It crumbled, but tasted fine. Note to self: Next time use graham cracker crust. Easier. And better.

Heavenly Lime Chiffon Pie
8 inch pre-cooked pie shell (or graham cracker)
1/2c. sugar
2t. unflavored gelatin
3 eggs, separated
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. lime juice
2 t. grated lime peel (optional)
1/4 t. cream of tarter
1/3 c. sugar

Stir together sugar and gelatin in small saucepan. Blend egg yolks, water and lime juice. Stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture boils. Stir in peel. Chill pan in refrigerator, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon.

Beat egg whites and cream of tarter until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 T. at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Fold lime mixture into meringue. Pile onto pie crust. Chill at least 3 hours until set.

Difficulty level:3 - requires multitasking. Not the best one for children to help, since it needs the stove. Slightly time consuming, checking the lime mixture while it cools. Should turn out well if instructions are followed closely.
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