Saturday, December 29, 2012

Liza helps out

Dear Lizzie,

I didn't get to play outside today because I was busy trying to be a big helper while you are gone. You're mom is still sick and I think that she really needed my help today because of it.

Today was laundry day! We did a TON of laundry like always but this time I was able to help! I sorta folded some shirts and pants!

Your mom said something about re-folding stuff or hanging it up, I'm not sure. I was just glad I was able to help!

After laundry everyone went to have quiet time and your mom went to lay down. She had told me about that last time she was sick and you came in to help her to I wanted to be a helper too!

I gave her some tissues for her nose! It's been so stuffy that it's starting to turn red so I tried to make sure these were the soft ones.

Then I helped take her temperature and gave her some water.

She said she was already feeling better but I wasn't certain. Her nose still sounded REALLY stuffed up so I looked around and I found this snot sucker. I tried to give it to her but she didn't want it! I can't imagine why not, it would make her feel better I'm sure!

Her loss I guess.

I miss you a bunch. I can't wait to see you again! I'll try to be the big helper in your place but it's pretty hard to do.


PS - Wilbur says he misses you too. And that he likes candy.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Liza's Update

Dear Lizzie,

I'm sorry I didn't write yesterday. You're mom's been sick with a cough and I don't know how to log onto the computer. It's been a pretty busy week with your mom going back to work after the holidays and your sister hanging around the house.

Wednesday I played in the Christmas stuff since Micah said he was going to take everything down this week.
It was neat being up that high but a little scary too. I wasn't sure the stocking was going to hold me!

Thursday I helped take down the Christmas Lights with Micah. It was sad taking them down because they were so beautiful and Wilbur was angry. He kept saying "I want Christmas!" I think he thinks the decorations are Christmas and doesn't realize that Christmas is a day yet.

Friday your mom stayed home from work sick. I felt bad for her so I tried to help out as much as possible by doing some chores.

I fed the cat who kept meowing at me really loud. But he didn't say thank you at all, he just ate VERY nosily.Your mom said he likes the purple cans the best but he ate the green one for me just fine.

Frankly, I think he's a little rude. I was surprised that your sister didn't feed him but your mom reminded me that it's one of the chores that you get to do around here so maybe Kylie just thought I was supposed to do it while you were gone.

I also helped with dishes. Kylie did put these away when your mom asked but I thought it would be nice to give her a hand.
It's been really cold here since you left but no more snow. I kinda wish it would snow so I could play outside again.

I miss you and I can't wait to see you. I hope you are having fun in Las Vegas!



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Liza's winter vacation

At our house we celebrated Christmas early, on Sunday, December 23rd, since Kylie came into town Saturday and Lizzie had to fly to Las Vegas on Sunday.

Sadly for Lizzie she received a doll that I would not allow her to take with her to Las Vegas. I was afraid she would lose her on the flight and she will have lots of other amazing toys for Christmas at her dad's house.

I did, however, promise that I would let her know what Liza (the doll) was doing while she was away. So I will now open up the Blog to Liza (the doll). Take it away Liza!

Dear Lizzie,

I'm sad that we didn't get to play very long on Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing you when you come back in January. Sunday, after the excitement of being opened and finding out that we looked like each other I was just so excited that I napped pretty much the rest of the day.

Monday though I got to play a lot. Monday I helped your step -dad Micah play the video game you got him. I don't think I'm very good though but he was a good sport to let me play.

I also drank one of your small waters. I hope you don't mind.

On Tuesday which was real Christmas for most people it snowed. I went outside with the dogs and played outside since William is still sick. It was colder than I thought and I couldn't stay outside very long.

I'm sorry the pictures are all sideways. I cant really figure out how to turn them the right way in this blog thing.

I miss you Lizzie, I hope you are having fun in Las Vegas and I will see you soon. Your family says to tell you that they love you and miss you.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Peachy Keen

Two years ago, when I was first learning how to can, I experimented and made Peach Butter. For those who don't know, Peach Butter is not actually butter but just really reduced and condensed fruit puree, like jam but thicker.

I made several other things that year too but the Peach Butter was what I got the most feedback on  and it was all very positive.

I decided to make it again this year since it was so well received. The best part of making peach butter, I think, is how amazing the house smells while it's being made.

If you want to make this yourself I will tell you it's incredibly easy but also amazingly time consuming. I used a crock pot and it took about 15 hours for my peach butter to be even CLOSE to the consistency I was looking for.

First you start with amazing peaches. These are Palisade Peaches which are grown in Palisade Colorado and which I purchased yesterday at a farmers market. Now, it's true, these were probably expensive compared to what I could have bought at the grocery store but they are from Colorado, which I love, and their carbon footprint is so much smaller than the ones from Georgia or wherever else peaches are grown.

You peel them which means blanching them and then cooking them down. What you see here is the ring of how far they've cooked down in the crock pot and also that I've used an immersion blender to make them smooth. You could have just as easily mashed them with a fork but they would be a little chunkier.
 I take my jars out of the hot water bath canner where they were sanitizing.

 They are now prepped with the funnel for a cleaner pour.

 Pouring the amazing peach butter into the sterilized jar.

 Placing them back in the boiling water. They then sat there, with the lid on for 20 minutes until they were sealed. I will take pictures of the completed butter later.

Now I'm going to allow them to rest and seal. The great thing about jams and butters is that as they sit the flavors just meld and get deeper and richer.

Now you may be asking, what do you do with peach butter or any fruit butter for that matter? Well you can use it just like jam and put it on toast or in sandwiches. You can also use it for a marinade for meat, particularly pork or chicken, you can spread it on pancakes, you can add it to crepes. It works well as a topper for ice cream or even as a cake filling. Basically it's versatile and delicious.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


You may recall, I have three children.

My oldest child is named Kylie and I tend to call her Ky or Kytito. Kytito is not a real word but rather a poor attempt to make her name sound Spanish. And my mother I believe was the first person to call her that.

My middle child is named Elizabeth. We call her Lizzie. Or LizzieLou. Or Lou. Or PooPoo. When we knew she was a girl I wanted to name her Beth after the character in Little Women. My mother referred to her once, when I was pregnant, as Lizzie. It stuck.

My youngest child's name is William. I fought against that name when I was pregnant because I don't like the name Bill. It sounds too old to me. We have tried numerous nicknames on him but none ever really seemed right. Billy. Will.Willy.Dolichan. Nothing.

Until his daycare provider called him Wilbur. William was just too big a name for such a small boy and so she took to calling him Wilbur. The other kids called him Wilbur. Then we did. Now he does. He responds better to Wilbur or the nickname Bilbur than he does to his own name.

Both grandmothers, Leslie and Linda, hate the name Wilbur. It sounds too old.

But I wish we would have named him Wilbur instead of William.

Bilbur is just perfect.

Sometimes you don't really know a child's name when they are born. You have to learn it over time and experience.


I haven't posted this because frankly I didn't know where to start.

You may have heard, my sweet little town, the town without even a downtown, had a shooting.

If you hadn't heard then, well, we did. On July 20th a man, James Holmes, went to a midnight showing of the new Batman movie and opened fire. He killed 12 people and injured many more.

Friday morning I went to work early. I was pulling into the parking lot at 15 minutes to 6am when I started to get text messages from friends on the East Coast. I didn't understand at first why they were asking me about going to the movies and if I was alright.

I'm 33 but live life at the breakneck speed of 60. Of course I didn't go to a midnight showing of a movie. Are you out of your mind? Some of us have jobs to do. At 6am on a Friday.

But. I've been to that theater. I have taken my children to movies there. Kylie asked if they were hiring earlier in the summer.

My town is small. Most people in Denver make fun of it because we are essentially just a suburb. They talk about it like it's full of gangsters and drug dealers. Lots of people call it Saudi Aurora. (I have no idea why, by the way. It's not as if we are an oil rich city in the desert.)

But Friday morning the people of Aurora and the people of Colorado felt the sting of violence. For all the joking we don't have a high crime rate. We are middle class, working folks. Almost everyone I know works in other cities within Colorado but we live in Aurora. We shop here. We play here. We go to movies here. We live here.

Here it is now, a few weeks later, and for most of the country Aurora is forgotten. A sad situation in a little town in Colorado.

But for us here, we are still healing. And reeling.

Monday, May 14, 2012


I'm not a naturally patient person. I try. I put forth the effort. Sometimes it involves clenching my teeth, putting on a far too large smile and faking it. But I tend to get impatient.

So when the seeds I had planted and set in the window hadn't come up after two weeks I was, shall we say, concerned. I checked out my trusty friend Google and confirmed that I had somehow screwed something up and all my seeds were dead.

And it was possible. I had kept all my seeds together in a single envelope and during a cleaning frenzy they had been placed in my large kitchen window. While perfect for seed starting the window can get very hot and given the strangely warm weather it was completely conceivable that I had fried my seeds.

I grieved. I wept. I moped.

You see, I'm a seed snob. Sure, I could buy the plants from the store but in terms of saving money there is no cheaper way to do it than by planting seeds. PLUS I have the luxury of having heirloom, non-GMO seeds growing things I just can't buy at the nursery. The nursery doesn't carry carrot plants at all but if they did they wouldn't be the sweet Chantenay Red Core kind. And while they have plenty of pepper and tomato plants they don't carry my Sweet Yellow Stuff Peppers or my Fox Cherry Tomatoes.

Too late to place another seed order, I stopped by the nursery on my way home from work one night and picked up another round of green bean and cucumber seeds and resigned myself to buying tomatoes plants in a few weeks when the weather was right.

Imagine then my surprise when I came home to find 2 possible squash/pumpkin plants growing in my front yard. And then in the raised beds I spied 3 sugar snap peas finally poking their heads out.

I could have cried.

Until that point I was pretty sure the only thing I was going to manage for the year was garlic and weeds.

Now, a few weeks later I have 5 -6 squash or pumpkin plants in my front yard (they look the same and I possibly planted both close together), 12 pea plants coming up and at least 3 cucumber plants poking their heads out of the ground. Additionally I have a melon seedling of some kind hanging out with the garlic (thanks 2 year old son) and my potatoes are finally starting to poke their eyes above the dirt.

I suppose it just goes to show. I needed only the faith in the mustard seed. Or was that faith as small as the mustard seed?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Seed Hoarder

I had actually meant to start a few seeds inside in March but it seemed that time kept getting away from me. Today, with only a few weeks to go before when I should be transplanting I took some time, pulled out my seeds, and began to plant.

I love the smell and feel of the potting soil. The colors on the seed packets are always vibrant and make me long for the sweet smell of wet earth and fresh carrots.

I realized though when I pulled out my seed packets that I perhaps have a problem.

Hi. My name is Lacy and I'm a seed hoarder.

Every year I buy my seeds and instead of throwing out what I don't need or better yet, passing them on to others, I put them in Zip Lock baggies, label them and put them in the garden shed.

I was admittedly surprised packets of the same kinds of seeds purchased year after year for now three years in a row. (I'm looking at your Green Beans) Frankly, it was a little embarrassing.

I also noticed that my gardening know how and ability seem to have increased.

When I first started I just grabbed whatever seeds in the garden store looked interesting. Not sure what I was thinking when I bought jalapeno seeds. I don't even LIKE jalapenos!

Now I only purchase heirloom seeds and I think long and hard about how I want to eat what I grow. I wont plant lettuce again since my family are not big salad eaters. We love cucumbers though and I think we need a few more plants around here of those.

This year I'm trying a couple of new things. I'm going to try and grow watermelon and another kind of melon. I've added garlic.

And I threw out the old seeds. Anything from 2010 just had to go. A couple of the 2011's went too.

And I planted tomatoes. Amish Paste and Fox Cherry. I also planted mini yellow peppers. Just for fun. (And because Kylie and Lizzie will eat them.)

Veggiepalooza 2012! Viva la Tomato!

Monday, April 2, 2012

William and Elizabeth

Micah recently became interested in his family tree. Which means I became more interested in mine.

He joined and entered the information from his family bible into the family tree. He did a little research.

He bragged to me one night as he was falling asleep that he had gotten (at that point) all the way back to 1650.

Since I often compete with people over stuff that a)doesn't matter and b)they have no idea was a competition I got up, went to the computer and began researching.

2 hours later I had gotten all the way back to 1044 on one link in the family and declared myself the "winner".

I actually got so far back the first names in my family appear Latin. It's interesting because there is a MARKED difference in a couple of generations between the Latin/Pagan names and when we must have converted to Christianity because the names literally go, Nicol, Leolphi, Leolphus, Lyulph and then Philip. Philip goes on to beget Adam, etc.
And yes, all those names are male names. Somewhere around 1333 we started caring about the women in the family but before that it's only male names.

I confirmed what I've always known about myself. That I come from a pasty people. Lots of Irish/Scottish/English in there with some Danish for good luck.

While this family research is incredibly fascinating I discovered something I find incredibly unique.

In the one branch I've researched pretty thoroughly there are three different generations of brothers and sisters named William and Elizabeth. My paid actually makes the fourth. That would cool in and of itself but as Micah initially pointed out those are both popular names, historically. And he's correct, they are.

Except other popular names don't have that kind of similar pairing. Within the same family line there are Sarahs and Catherines, Roberts and Edwards but never does and Edward and say Sarah show up as a sibling pair but once. No other name combo ever appears as more than once EXCEPT for William and Elizabeth.

I think it's pretty neat actually. I carried on a family tradition without knowing it. Especially because I didn't even want to name my son William. When we did name him William it took Dora/Nana to point out that it was a family name going back to William Doyle.

Which, by the way, there are LOTS of William Doyles in our tree.

Sadly, or maybe not, there is only one Lacy.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The day I realized I'm really a 70 year old woman

who probably lives alone watching Wheel of Fortune and eating canned tuna with her 28 bajillion cats. (Yes, bajillion is the scientific term. Trust me.)

A few weeks ago I had gone to bed, like I tend to do prior to midnight but just barely. I was just slipping into the deep ocean of rest when the dogs started barking. Well, it was probably only one dog but after midnight they both sound the same to me. I stumbled out of bed, opening my bedroom door and hissed into the darkness "SHUT UPPPPPPPPPP". Silence followed.

I closed the door, laid back and bed and took a deep breath. Almost instantly I was free falling into the clouds of slumber when suddenly there went the dog again. I jumped up, angry and prepared to possibly beat something. The barking of course wakes me up and that's awful but it has the potential to wake Wilbur up. And a woken up Wilbur is WAY more terrifying to me than I am to the dogs. Obviously.

As I marched out into the living room I realized that my house was shaking slightly. I could hear music in front of our house on the street and loud voices of teenagers.

I stomped to the front door, flipping on my porch light and yanked open the door.

And this is where you have to really close your eyes and see this this in your minds. Because what the teenagers outside saw was me, with my long hair experiencing a mad case of bedhead and sticking out in all directions wearing a mint green nightgown with cats all over it that hangs roughly down to my knees and does nothing to hide the fact that I gave up my bar earlier in the evening. I also, for affect, was wearing red pajama bottoms with snowflakes on them, in flannel. And I was mad. Very, very mad.

I screamed something to the effect of "Turn that damn music down, I have kids and your going to wake them up. SHUT UP."

I might as well have waved a rolling pin and yelled "you damn kids get off my lawn".

All the kids stopped and stared at me. My blurry vision caught at least one kids jaw drop.

As the neighbor kid began to apologize I slammed the front door, locked it and turned off the front light.

I turned around to see Micah standing there, trying not to laugh and fairly evaluate the situation.

He should have hailed me as a hero because the noise from the street died instantly.

Instead he said something like "I didn't know you had turned 70 on your last birthday".

Whatever. Me and the cats are perfectly content. Now where is my Pat Sajack?

Monday, March 12, 2012

That groundhog is a liar

We had had a very mild winter, despite the pictures in my previous post with all the snow pictures. This weekend while Micah and I were cleaning the backyard of the dog "presents" and old leaves it dawned on my to check my garlic.

There's something I never thought I'd say. Check my garlic. Almost sounds like code for something else coming from me doesn't it?

Anyways, last fall, probably in October, I decided to expand my gardening horizons and picked up three varieties of garlic and then promptly forgot which kinds I had picked up.

In any case I planted them in my half whiskey barrels and walked away. Leaves collected in the barrel and I thought nothing of it really until Sunday.

Sunday I looked in the barrel and initially saw nothing. Which good because it's early March and the chance for snow here is pretty high. I learned that at the end of April 2 years ago when a large snow storm hit after I had transplanted all my peas and tomatoes.

Then, upon closer examination I started to notice a little green.

I've tried to cover them with some leaves but they refuse to be denied sunlight. I truly feel sick to my stomach that they are growing in so early but can hardly blame them. Today we hit 70 degrees at a time when the average temperature is around 54 degrees. So it makes sense that the garlic bulbs think they have hit the jackpot and are sprouting early.

After all, they aren't alone. I found this stowaway in my larger raised beds. This must have been a pea that dropped and hid at some point and has now decided to sprout WAY ahead of schedule.

My yard work assistants were pretty intrigued with all the green. Wilbur offered to help "pick" while Lizzie Lou just wanted to hear what all could be eaten with garlic.

I hope our lovely weather continues because I'd really like for all my plants to live. I really hope that groundhog was a liar and there is no more winter.

Just in case I think I'll pick this weed...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Family Photos

So this FALL I took some family photos but apparently never posted them as I must have forgotten I had a blog or something.

In any case here are a few of my favorites but certainly not all of them.

If you do nothing else check out this last photo of my in-laws and their grandchildren. This is absolutely the best picture of all the ones we took. Having said that please check out MY younger daughter there on the left.

Yes. It truly is the best picture.

Playing in the snow

This winter in Colorado has been mild to say the least. We've had, until recently, very little snow and weather that never got below freezing. Our Christmas was pretty brown and un-holiday like.

Luckily the end of January came and FINALLY Colorado remembered that it's Colorado and not, say, Florida and we got some snow.

Of course we had to run outside and play in it.

Needed to bring a drink with him. Does not care that that it will freeze out here.

I love that picture. The children are in mid-stride running from the evil snow blower. Which they chased and then ran away from multiple times that day.

Couldn't get out of the way fast enough.

Drive way snow angel's are the easiest ones to photograph.

Snot's going on?

While we are not a particularly religious household we do subscribe to the idea of Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Which is to say we broke out snow shoveling equipment and set them to it.

Taking a moment for a little snow shovel guitar.

This is how you clean off Mommy's car - pay attention!

In all we had fun playing in the long awaited snow which melted a few days later. By then we were over that whole below freezing and warming up the cars thing anyways.

It sure was fun having our snow days though. Even Micah enjoyed it.

Don't tell him I posted that.