About The Country Wife Blog

Monday, September 25, 2017

Munchie Monday: Waffles

A few weeks ago we went to Deseret Industries,  a Utah-based thrift store plus training center.  We found several things we needed to set up our apartment to my satisfaction.  Including a Krups Belgian waffle iron.  Dear One was very much against the acquisition but since he likes me to be happy we did not have a knock down, drag out in the store.  Nor later, either!

When we got home I cleaned it up, then after some time had passed to allow for feelings to regularize, I made waffles.  We loved them.

This is what we used for a recipe.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a good-sized bowl.  In another bowl, mix together the milk and eggs then stir in the vegetable oil.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until mostly mixed together.  This made a rather thick dough.

The waffle iron should have been heating all the time that you are making the batter.  When the iron is hot,  at least for the first waffle, grease the waffle iron with either spray grease or a greased paper towel, being careful not to burn yourself.

You need about 1/3 cup of batter in each waffle well, and you need to put the timer on for 3 minutes, so you won't forget to check on them!  Check to see if the waffle is cooked. If so, enjoy it with maple syrup or jam and butter or use it for the base for Eggs Goldenrod.

This recipe makes about 7 waffle squares.  One is enough to eat at once.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mission Week in Review

It is hard to believe weeks come and go so quickly.  We are constantly busy with many things so we do not notice the days passing.

Firsts:  a very sad one--the mother of one of our missionaries called first thing in the morning asking to talk with President.  Her son, the brother of our missionary, had lost the second of his preemie infant twins.  So very sad.

Another sad thing--the mother of a missionary who was scheduled to go home next week called to make different arrangements to meet her son, pick him up from his mission and tour around the mission and the northwest together.  It was complicated but was probably going to work out fine.  That was not the sad thing.

 The sad thing was that just a few hours after getting this together she called to say that the missionary's  father was in the ICU and not expected to live.  This was late in the day so we did not hear the rest of it until morning when we learned that the missionary was on his way home.  Even later we learned that the missionary made it home in time to be with his father before his father died.  Life goes on for these missionaries even when they are serving the Lord full time.  They learn to accept and deal with it and continue on with their service.  They really are wonderful.

And life goes on for, and all around, us, too!  I think last time I mentioned the Jesus scripture reading Project.  Despite my best intentions, it was several days before I read the Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd references.  They were worth reading and being reminded of His glorious shepherding of us all.

Another first for Dear One and me, was that we were there at the office for a 'staff meeting' with President and Sister B.  It was a good meeting.  Moved right along efficiently and got a lot accomplished. I had several assignments which I was able to finally finish before we left for the day.  Honestly, I was afraid that I would forget them if I did not do them immediately.

On a rather hokey note:  we had planned to go to a pizza business that has a buffet of salad and pizza one night a week.  I was too tired to brave the rush hour traffic so we just went home and ate leftovers.

The big excitement in the office was that on Monday the UPS man brought in the five new computers we had been expecting since we arrived in field.  We just watched them sitting there in a pile for a day or two, then one morning at Devotional we had a long discussion about them in the business part of the devotional.   There are seven missionaries in the office, four full-time and three part-time.  The four full-time and one of the part-time missionaries are to get the new computers.  What to do about setting them up was a concern.  Fortunately there is a stake technology specialist who is responsible for this job so we called him and he agreed to come on Friday.  (Finding out who the tech was and contacting said tech was one of my assignments at the staff meeting.)

He came on Friday as planned.  He was there for more than five hours.  When we left the office Friday night, the computers were all up and running, and my computer was connected to my printer.  Because there was a lot more uploading and downloading and side loading to do we left the computers running when we left the office near 6 PM.  The brother technology specialist is a saint, truly.  On Monday morning we will go into the office for a little while before going to help with the newly arriving missionaries and the transfers.  We hope we have thought of everything that needed to be done on the computers before that happens...just in  case the computers do not perform as we need.  We have Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive now.  New stuff.  Hope to up to the challenge....

On the subject of new missionaries:  there are 27 new Elders and Sisters coming!!!  27!  That is a lot. The mission provides a pillow, a fleece blanket, and a comforter for each of them. Plus a lunch and bottle of water. We bought the water at Costco.  On Wednesday I ordered the lunches.  On Saturday Dear One and I went to the storage garages to pick up the bedding and put it in the bed of the mission pick up truck.  We then went to an apartment the Housing missionary (Dear One) arranged for a set of new sisters.  We needed to bring light bulbs, a power strip, and trash bags.  We failed to bring toilet paper! Yikes!

After that we went to the Jacksons' apartment where we ate a wonderful supper of tacos and burritos and apple pie along with chips, French onion dip, vegetables, and homemade hummus while we watched the General Women's Broadcast on LDS.org.  The talks were very uplifting and motivating.

We hope we are ready for transfers, which is tomorrow as I am writing this post.  We still have to get the rest of the mail we have been holding at the office...some for missionaries already here, some for incoming missionaries.  The car is almost as full as it was when we loaded up to come west!!!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Food Friday: Vitamix Tahini and Hummus

When I was looking through the Vitamix Blender cookbook I saw a recipe for hummus. I LOVE hummus.  It tastes good and is good for you, unless you eat too much.

At the Winco Foods store last week we had purchased a couple of pounds of sesame seeds thinking of trying to make tahini in the Vitamix. At least I was thinking of making tahini.  Dear One questioned my wisdom.  Again.

 So, yesterday I gave it a try.

Dear One was watching something on his computer screen from Apple on the couch in the living room.  I was in the kitchen about 15 feet away making tahini, which is made by simply putting 4 1/2 cups of sesame seeds into the blender jar and letting it rip. I did need to keep pushing down the seeds with the tamper.  It made a very loud noise for just about 2 minutes when I stopped it.  Dear One came around the separator wall and asked whatever I was doing!  Can you believe it?!    Anyway, I had made the tahini.


As you can see, I should probably have blended a little longer to get it smoother, or put in some sesame oil, but I did not want to do that.

Since that worked, I got out the recipe for the hummus.

Just about a quart of hummus!! Homemade from start to finish and just plain delicious!

This is what I used:

3 1/2 cups of chick peas (that I had cooked in the Instant Pot last week and which were waiting to be used up)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher coarse salt
4 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Put these ingredients all in the blender jar and slowly move the speed button from 1 to 10 then let it blend at speed 10 for a minute.  It is so light and fresh and delicious.  Have you noticed that sometimes the hummus in the store is sort of thick and sludgy?  Well this is not.  I consider it a success. It is too bad Dear One is not much of a hummus person, except in a pinch when there is nothing else to eat in the snack line.  Funny guy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mission Afghan

Yesterday I was sitting on the couch after a shower and shampoo.  The fans were on since I like to feel the fresh air from the open window.  (If I were a dog, I would be the one with my head out the window in the car with my tongue hanging out enjoying the wind on my face...). All of a sudden I was freezing cold.  I realized in a moment that the only sweater I brought with us was the big old Elizabeth Zimmermann Adult Surprise Jacket made with Hilda Yates' Bartlettyarns.  That is perfect for winter but I did not want to get into wearing in before fall even sets in.

So what should I do?  I had been in the work room taking care of a few more things. I began putting items in the bureau drawers in the bureau Fred from downstairs helped Dear One put in the work room last week. Anyway, I came upon an afghan pattern that I had brought in my luggage by a fluke!


It is a pattern I always wanted to knit but never got to.  Now was the time!  So off I went on a two-hour journey.  Well, if I am going to risk life and limb going out into all this city traffic, I certainly want to get as much done as possible before my nerves give out.

So, I took the Costco receipt with me to make things right there.  (On Friday we had purchased thirteen 2-pillow bags of pillows for the incoming missionaries who will be here on 25 September.  We provide a pillow, a fleece blanket, and a comforter for each missionary.  They bring their own sheets, but in case not, we have a few they can buy. You can imagine the spectacle of a flatbed cart with 13 very slippery bags of pillows driving out of the store trying hard not to bash into any of the other Costco customers.  We did make it to the car and Dear One stuffed them into the trunk and the back seat.  Anyway, when we got to the storage garage to unload the thirteen bags of pillows, we found we had fourteen of them.  Yikes!    Someone had to  go back to Costco and make it right.  That was my first stop.  The girl at the desk was flabbergasted that I would come pay for the extra pillows.

After the Costco stop I went to the beautiful Hillsboro Library to return two books.  After that I went to Joann Fabrics and Crafts to find needles for the sewing machine the nice Relief Society presidency has loaned me (which I discovered I REALLY REALLY NEED!  Today the long slinky skirt that I love but which hangs wrong due to my wretched midriff bulge had had enough of me stepping on it, and the hem started to tear. I have now pinned it and will stitch it sometime soon...).  While there I went through their yarn aisles.  They actually have a lot of them, unlike Michaels which is cutting way back on their yarn aisles.  I found some variegated yarn that I liked and bought it.

There were three more stops: the Asian market so I could get ingredients for Orchid's Cool Tangy Noodles, Pizza Hut for Dear One's pizza fix, then Grocery Outlet for some more bananas for the smoothie machine and scallions for Orchid's noodles, then back to Pizza Hut to pick up the pizza then home.  These long trips are a bad idea because I was so tired when I got home that my resistance was low and I ate two pieces of pizza and tall glasses of dairy milk....

So tired that I was in bed and asleep before 9 PM so I woke up at 11.  Since I knew I would not sleep, I did my Jesus Project reading then went out to start knitting the afghan.  Rats!!!!  I had left the yarn in the car and I was not about to get dressed to go down to get it at that time of night. I looked in my knitting bag and found some yarn I could use for a sample.

This is the sample square:


Of course, it is not blocked but you can get an idea of what it looks like.

Today after Church we picked up the yarn from the trunk and brought it in.  After lunch I sat on the couch and worked up the first "real" afghan square.  After this one you connect them together as you knit. I do not know how that will go but will show it off when it happens.

Here is the first mitered square ready to start square 2:




The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver Stripes collection. I picked up 8 different stripes patterns.  We shall see if they go together well. I think this is the brightest of them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Mission Crafts!

There is very little time/energy left over after a day at the office and whatever running around we need to do before going home.  On the other hand,  it is often possible to make time for a quick craft. In this case, making earrings.

Granddaughter L and I had our ears pierced shortly before we left Vermont on our mission (mine had been pierced when I was in college, let to heal over, pierced years ago, let to heal over, etc I decided it was time to become serious about earrings because most women look fabulous in earrings. Especially dangling ones.)  When in Utah with Granddaughter A, we went to the Michaels store and purchased a small earring tool kit and made some earrings together.  (This sounds like something I might have mentioned before, but I will carry on...). Anyway, I brought the tool kit to Oregon with me thinking I might make  more earrings.

A few days ago I was ready for some new earrings.  This is what I made:


Friend Tammy sported some gorgeous teardrop earrings years ago. I have been wanting some myself ever since.  Finally I found a string of beads at Michaels which had  several of the teardrop-shaped beads so I made them.

The strange black/gray shiny beads came from a glasses holder that I tried out but which drove me nuts because I could see the beads hanging down at the corners of my vision.  They just did not work holding my glasses in place.  (I had been taking off my glasses to see the computer screen but then could not find them because some paper or other had covered them up.  When I wanted to see the sisters across the room I needed the glasses so I was always scrambling to find them, thus the glasses holder.  I tried two different ones.  Neither worked.  Now I just stick my glasses in the front of my shirt.  Of course now my hand is always touching the glasses so they are smeary all the time...Oh well.)

Anyway, that is the second pair of earrings, and those beads work much better as earrings.

The third pair is sort of a bird wings/wings to fly sort of thing.  Rather inept, but still, I do wear them.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Munchie Monday: Four Fruit Smoothie with a Vitamix Scale and Blend App!

We like smoothies at our house.  You know that.

On Friday we were at Costco walking down the main corridor and there, right in front of us, was the Vitamix demonstrator guy. I asked him what he was selling us this time.  He said, "A four fruit smoothie."  He put the blender jar on a little kitchen scale that looks like it is made of stainless steel, and said, "Watch!"  So we did.  It was a really interesting five or ten minutes.

 He connected his iPad to the scale via Bluetooth then started cutting up fruit and putting it into the jar as the iPad told him how much to add then beeped when he had enough in the jar.  After an orange, a slice of fresh pineapple, four strawberries, some agave syrup, some baby carrots, some VEGAN(!!) protein powder, and some ice cubes,  he placed the blender jar on the Vitamix base then pressed the Smoothie button.

In about 45 seconds he had a pretty and delicious-looking smoothie.  He put six little 3-ounce paper cups on a tray.  He told me not to touch them, which I thought was odd, but I did not touch them.  He poured the rest of the smoothie into a large red Solo cup, then handed that cup to me!!  Well, thank you very much, good sir!!!  Dear One drank one of the little cups then shared mine with me. I could not drink it all.

Well,  guess what!  We walked away with the scale AND the vegan protein powder.  And have used the scale multiple times since.  With smoothies at juice bars costing in the neighborhood of $5 a smack, we will pay for this thing in savings very quickly.  Plus, it makes me smile.


Immediately upon arriving home, I made the Four Fruit Smoothie.  Ours does not look like the one in the recipe because rather than using straight ice cubes, I used the ice cubes I had made with "leftover" smoothie earlier in the week...the blueberry and kale smoothie. (One problem I have always had with smoothies is that there was always too much for just two reasonable servings. ) Somewhere I got the idea to put the leftovers in the ice cube tray then use them in the next smoothie.  It works!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mission: Week Four

Week four has come and gone.  In a flash, really.  It is unbelievable how quickly time goes by.

Things I learned this week:  there are so many people and things for which to express gratitude.  I will share some of them.

Each morning when all the office missionaries have arrived we take a short time for a devotional. I have mentioned this before, I think.  Someone gives a thought and someone else prays for us.  (One of my responsibilities is to make up the calendar.)  It is a lovely way to start the day.  We use the same theme for three weeks.  We have one more week on the topic of gratitude.

This week the UPS guy came loaded with boxes.  Multiple days.  He used a hand truck to bring them up and kindly took them to a spot in the office where they were out of the way, more or less, instead of leaving them right front. I am very grateful for that.

One day the Post Office delivery man brought up two boxes that would not fit into our mailboxes downstairs in the lobby.  That was so nice of him.  The next day he, too, came with a hand truck filled with boxes.  Note to self:  if you love missionaries, it is nice to send them mail whether boxes or letters or cards.  Better get doing it.  It makes a difference for the young elders and sisters who are far from home and doing things that do not come naturally.

It seemed like every delivery person who came to the office this week - Fedex, UPS, USPS, Amazon (did you know Amazon has a delivery team?!! I didn't but we received deliveries twice this week from the nice Amazon girl.) each of them came into the office with their loads, and left with a smile. They always seem to perk up when we thank them.

Another thing I am thankful for is the people who make an effort to make our days more pleasant.  Who take time to help us feel important or needed.  One day President came to the office and stopped at my desk for a moment to ask how we were doing, how we were fitting in.  He did not need to do that.  It makes me happy and grateful for moments like that.  So many other times a quick word or a simple smile have the same effect.  I want to do that more often for other people.

This weekend I have been reading in Elder Clayton Christensen's The Power of Every Day Missionaries. I read two chapters.  The first was about teaching people to pray.  Many people learned some rote prayers when they were little children and did not learn to talk with Heavenly Father in their own words. I did, as a child, but that changed when I became a Latter-day Saint where we learned to pray and pray every day all the time.  In this chapter Elder Christensen talks about teaching people to pray for themselves.  It is really a lovely chapter.

The very next chapter is about teaching people how to study the scriptures.  I am so grateful for that chapter.  I have read the scriptures most of my life, but the pattern he suggests will make a huge difference in what I take away from my personal study.  The nuts and bolts of it is:  pray (out loud is best) about what you are going to read, read it,  write a short draft paragraph about what you read, pray again about what you got out of it,  read the passage again, then write a final paragraph about what you read, and finally pray again to talk with Heavenly Father and discuss what you are going to do with what you learned as you studied.  I am going to try this method and see what happens. I can only imagine it will take scripture study to  a vastly different plane.  If anyone else try this, please share it with me.

Probably I have mentioned my "Jesus Project" where I am reading all the verses in the Topical Guide to the Scriptures that are about Jesus Christ in all the scriptures. In March I had gone through the Topical Guide and copied and pasted all the references into a document then fiddled around with it to make it coherent/neat and tidy (to my way of thinking) as a PDF document then printed it out.  It is 63 pages long.  I have been moving along very slowly in this reading, but after a very rocky start, I have been reading at least a few of the references every day.  Today I am on page 12 and the topic:  Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd.  There are 25 separate references.  I hope to get them all read tonight though this will not be the same as the study project from Elder Christensen.  I think I will apply that to my reading of The Book of Mormon.  )If anyone wants a pdf copy of this Jesus Project, just email me and I will send it. ) It is helping me develop a greater relationship with our Savior.

There are other things that I want to share about this week but will put them in other posts as this is getting longer again.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mission: Housing Coordinator...

Dear One's specific assignment is to be the housing coordinator.  With nearly 200 missionaries in the mission, there are a lot of apartments to see to.  There are a few part-time missionaries who help out as housing assistants  whose service is inspecting the apartments of the young missionaries.  The rest of the people have to be housed.  His job is to see to it that there are apartments available and habitable for them.

Some things he does:

Signs lease agreements

Makes sure the rent checks have arrived at the right addresses or get the correct addresses into the "system"

Makes sure the apartments have basic amenities

Deals with apartment managers and their concerns

Moves mattresses into apartments that are to have a second set of missionaries staying there

Closing apartments that are no longer needed because missionaries have gone home

Verify that smoke detectors are checked and working every month

Checks to see that new lease agreements have the proper signatures

Passes along apartment complex messages to missionaries  which come to his email and where the missionary presence might be a blessing to others, as in end of year barbecues, etc.

Makes sure utility bills are paid and up-to-date

Moves furniture from one apartment to another or to the storage garages when not needed

Manages the storage garages

Collects excess kitchen and other items from the apartments and puts in storage garages

Inventories storage garages

Manages about 100 units you might say

Cleans up/organizes the computer files which have been used by multiple housing coordinators with multiple work habits and ideas.

Sources housing for new missionaries

Help move missionaries on transfer days

Helps with  transport of missionaries and luggage for move-ins and move-outs

Help Transportation coordinator, and Finacial Secretary as needed

Remove trailer hitches from missionary cars

Install tires on mission trailer

Keep track of mission truck

Work with Housing Assistants (inspectors)

Attend zone conferences as needed.

Help Spanish missionaries with fleas in their apartment

Teach the High Priests and Elders on the third Sunday in our Ward

Deliver documents to the Mission President's home for his signing

AND generally do anything that is needed - especially as it relates to housing

Oh, and try to keep my wife happy while not allowing her to accumulate too much STUFF! 

You will notice that the last sentence was written by Dear One!!  In my own defense:  I have not accumulated THAT  MUCH stuff...Instant Pot, blender, waffle iron, three 2-gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids, a stainless steel strainer, some cute jars to hold bulk spices, a cast iron frying pan and lid.  Is that so much? :)😊

Monday, September 11, 2017

Munchie Monday: Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats!

We have had overnight steel cut oats before and really liked them.  There may actually be a post sometime in the past year about them.

It seemed like a good idea to try making hot steel cut oats, so I looked for a recipe and found one for a starting place.

This is what I did:

Placed 3 cups unsweetened plain almond milk in the liner bowl of the Instant Pot.  Added 1 cup steel cut oats. Stirred will then put on the cover and pressed the "Porridge" button and let it go.  When it was done, I let it cool down naturally which took about 15 minutes.  Cool down is rather a misnomer because it is only the pressure that cools down, not the contents of the bowl!

When I took off the cover I stirred the contents well and let it sit a few minutes while I diced up a banana and got a cup of frozen blueberries out of the freezer.  After stirring the fruit into the oats, I measured out a cup of the fruit-y oats into each of two bowls.  There was another half cup or more left over but one cup was enough for us to eat.

With the banana in the bowl there was no need for sugar and the milk was already absorbed into the oats.  It was pretty good.  I would not walk across town for it, but still, it was good enough, and rather quick, for a cold morning.  Actually, it wasn't a cold morning, just an experiment, but Dear One did not complain, so it is something we will have again when it really is cold. I hear that it can get down to 30 degrees F. here in the Portland area...


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Mission: Another Week Flew By!

Last Sunday was Fast Sunday.  This is the Sunday each month where we all fast from food and drink for two meals then donate the money we would have spent on eating to the bishop to use to assist the less fortunate members.  We have a testimony-sharing time in our Sacrament Meeting also.  This is almost always a very sweet meeting.  People share their personal testimony of Jesus Christ and His blessings in their lives.  It is uplifting to me.

One woman bore testimony about her son who lives in Houston with his family.  He had been called as bishop one month ago.  Now his home is filled with water and mud because of Hurricane Harvey.  The Relief Society president's home in his ward is also flooded.  The rest of the congregation did not get flooded out.  She wondered why this happened to the two people in the ward who are specifically called to assist the members of the congregation who need temporal as well as spiritual help.  My thought was that it would make them more likely to empathize with those in need.  At least my problems help me see other people with similar problems, and want to help them in some way.  One sweet thing:  the people there in Houston in her son's area were evacuated through chest-high water that was filled with snakes and alligators and no one was hurt!  Providence.

On Monday night we heard there were wild fires in the Columbia River Gorge which is some miles away east from us in the Portland area.  It looked bad on the television.  Tuesday morning I woke up at 4:20 and happened to look out the window.  The moon was full and was the same orange-y red that the sun has been every morning and every sunset since the eclipse.  I thought it was beautiful but it was perplexing.  I have never seen a colorful moon in the middle of the night before.

When we actually got up and I went to iron Dear One's pants,  they looked like they had dandruff all over them!  So did my navy skirt that was waiting on the ironing board just inside the open screened window!  It was overcast outside and smelled like campfires.  The railing was covered with ashes.  When I got to the bottom of the stairs, having used the handrail all the way down, the palm of my hand was black with soot!  So surprising.  Most of the week there was snow-like ashes in the air though by the end of the week it stopped.

Dear One's sister in Florida and my sister in North Carolina are likely to be in trouble with Hurricane Irma.  Lots of natural disasters around the world, and these are only the ones that are affecting people I know about.  I wonder what the message is that the "Weather Man" is sending...!

On Wednesday Sister B. called first thing in the morning to ask if I could attend a meeting at 4.  President and Sister B. and Elder W. were there to talk about Facebook and Instagram and asked for my help with this work.  Yikes!  Now I have to get serious about those two social media arms.  Fortunately Elder W.  was able to help me get started.  I think I will be learning lots more about the use of FB for good purposes.

One of best parts of my job in the office is to participate in our daily devotional. I don't know if I have mentioned this before but every morning about 9 AM the office staff gathers together for business, a spiritual thought/discussion, and a prayer to start the day.  This three-week period we are focusing on gratitude.  So many good thoughts were shared.  Sadly, I did not write them down so I cannot share them on, but one day we did each share something we were grateful for.  It was a beautiful thing to do, and something every person and group can do.  At the end of it, we feel even more grateful, which is a happy feeling.

On Saturday we had our first rain.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Food Friday: Pineapple Citrus Smoothie

For years I have wanted a kitchen gadget that I just could not manage.  Through a series of events, some very very grim, and some ever so sweet, I have been able to realize this dream finally.  I shudder to share it because it is so worldly but it is a fact so I might as well let you know about it.

A new kitchen toy arrived this week:  a Vitamix Ascent blender with a Blender Bowl Starter Kit.  Now I can make smoothies and many other things, plus I can grind up flax seeds and any other hard things I want to grind in small quantities.  There, I said it.  I am so very happy.  As I am writing this, it is Sunday and I have not used the blender today but I used it every other day this week.

The second smoothie I made was a pineapple citrus smoothie.  Dear One really liked it.  (The first one was blueberries, super sweet salad mix, almond milk, and bananas.  I did not tell him what was in it until he asked.  He was impressed that the kale, etc was in it and it was good.   I thought I took a picture of it, but cannot locate that one.)

Here is a picture of the pineapple one:


Pineapple Citrus Smoothie (the way I made it)


3/4 cup water
1 15-ounce can pineapple slices and the juice
1 cup chopped carrots
1 slice lemon, including peel
1 1/2 cups ice cubes

Put all ingredients in the blender bowl in order listed.  Start the variable switch at 1and turn on the power.  Slowly raise the speed to 10 and let it blend for 1 minute.  This is supposed to make 4 servings at 60 calories each servings if you double the pineapple.  I gave it to us in two tall glasses.  There was a half cup left over which I gave to Dear One.  He did not object.

It tasted pretty good. I think it would have been better if I had actually put in the two cups of fresh pineapple the original recipe called for.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mission: The Mail


The mail takes quite a bit of time every day, of course, depending on how much there is.  Usually there is quite a bit.  The postman delivers at 10:30.  Or 11:00 or 12:00.  Or even 1:30 and brings it to the mailbox wall on the ground floor of the building.  I grab the mail tote and the keys to the mailboxes and walk to the end of the hall, take the elevator down to the first floor, go around the fake tree, (and so far, ram my face into one of the branches every time!! I have to fix that...) then open the boxes.  If I find that the mail that was put in there the day before is still there, I just turn around and go back upstairs and work on something else until my next trip down.  One advantage to there not being an actual regular time for the mail is that I get out of my chair multiple times for the mail each day.  Just about every day I have surpassed my step goal on my FitBit.  That is a good thing.

Once the mail arrives I separate out the junk mail and toss it into recycling, put the young missionary mail into alphabetical order, deliver the bills to the finance secretary, any housing mail to Dear One, any mail about cars including oil changes, insurance, and TiWi to the vehicle coordinator.  I keep the mission secretary mail to deal with after I get the other mail forwarded.

To forward mail I look up the addresses of the missionaries and use a mail merge program on the computers (Windows computer, I might add, not the kind I am accustomed to using!) which fortunately some wise person previously set up.  It works perfectly when I get out the procedure manual and follow it precisely.  As I gained confidence later this week (and the mail got later and later--I like to get that done before I eat lunch) I began to make mistakes. I think because my blood sugar was dropping and the old noggin was misbehaving.  The still small voice told me that I should just eat lunch at lunch time and not try to be a hero with the mail.  I guess I will try that out this coming week.

So after getting the "Please Forward To:" stickers made I need to affix them to the envelopes.  Before doing this, each address needs to be edited because the sticker has to be precisely the same thing as what was on the envelope.  For example: if the incoming letter says Elder Thomas Monson, then I cannot forward it to Elder Thomas S. Monson as it says in my system.  Sometimes Elder is left off altogether.  Also, when a whole sheet of peel and stick labels is not necessary I am supposed to delete the "Please forward to" so we can run the partial sheet through the next time, being careful to print the information where there is a label and not where I previously pulled off the label.  Later this week I had an issue with it.  Low blood sure is what I am blaming.  It could not be me, right?!

Often the label has to be cut up in order to fit on the envelope.  So far my cutting technique leaves something to be desired, but I think I will get better as time goes on.

Once the labels are made and affixed to the letters and USPS packages I take them back down to the mailboxes including any mail that others in the office want to mail.  If there are packages that cannot be put into the mailboxes due to overcrowding I return them to the office and the next morning put them on the floor in front of the boxes.

When packages come via UPS or Fedex there is a different procedure. I log in the package on a log sheet indicating who received a package, who was the carrier, what was the date, what zone the missionary lives in, and what was the disposition of the package. I put the zone abbreviation on the package then put the package on the table behind me.  When a missionary comes into the office from that zone, they will hand deliver the package to the owner. Or one of us in the office will deliver it.

Something I learned about mail delivery from the US Post Office delivery man on Friday is that they will forward real letters to people but if I put a "Please Forward To" label on a piece of bulk mail, they will just recycle it.  Well, I can recycle it just as well as they can so that is what I will do in the future.  No point wasting a label that is just going to dumped.

So that is more or less the mail procedure.

May I say that if you have missionaries in the field and you are thinking about sending a letter or a package:  please do it!  They long for mail from home that they can hold in their hands.  They love emails, but physical mail is also greatly desired.  Keep those letters coming!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Munchie Monday: Instant Pot Black Beans and Super Salad

Making black beans in the instant pot is a snap.  PLUS they come out very yummy.

This is the same recipe I shared last week, though I might not have said that I used one pound of bulk black beans.

Soak the beans overnight is lots of water. I drained and rinsed the beans the next morning and tossed them into the pot with:
 4 cups water,
2 Tablespoons chili powder,
2 Tablespoons minced onions,
1 Tablespoon cumin, and
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic.  I pushed  the Beans/Chili button and let it go.

They cooked on high pressure for 30 minutes.

Here I am serving them cold on some Super Sweet Salad Mix from Costco.  There is kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other good things in the mix. I am a little quiet about the contents of the package because Dear One eats this happily mixed with some chopped Spring Mix Greens.

Because we have a small refrigerator I have decided to just buy the two containers of greens and mix them, instead of buying up a large bunch of kale, broccoli, etc to make my own mix.  It goes a long way in keeping the peace.  For some crazy reason some people think an empty refrigerator is an enviable proposition.  I am not one of those people and it is very taxing to go that route.  Having said that, I have personally committed to not buy another fresh item until what is in the refrigerator is used up.  We shall see how that goes.

Re: the above salad, I took it to the office and had it for lunch with a little lemon and pepper seasoning on it.  Tasted great.  Totally plant-based.  Plant-based does good things for my skin, my blood sugar, and my weight, PLUS Dr. Michael Greger in "How Not To Die" reports that it can reverse many of the most vicious chronic illnesses. I do not know how long before results are seen, by my blood sugar is in better control when I am totally plant-based, especially if I lay off the oils, sugar, and salt, too.  What is not to love about that?!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mission: Week Two In Field, including "A Day in the Life"

Two weeks have flown by!  It seems like we have always been here. At least our old life in Vermont seems to be fading into the background.  I could wish that my brain had enough information in it to give me confidence.  I am pretty sure that confidence will come.

Sister B has been a fabulous help, both to me and to the other office couple and other volunteers.  She has been there about five months and is quite confident and knowledgeable.  She is able to answer every question but does not put answers on me.  This week she did not hover close to me as she did last week.  It helped that I had written up a log of my daily responsibilities and then typed it up, adding to is as the week went by.  By the end of the week I made a Google calendar with things the recur on particular days.  There are things that recur weekly, monthly, and yearly.  Quite a few of them!  Having written them down in my own words has made this week less stomach-clenching.

As an overview,  my job is:
to handle the phone (and may I say there are many calls, and some of them difficult-both in content and tone),
collect and forward USPS mail,
accept parcels and get them moved on to their owners,
update the list (IN/OUT Report) of young missionaries either coming, going, or in field,
send requests for name tags (you will notice that all missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a name tag),
be available to assist the other office people in their work as time allows,
be available to the mission president and his wife to assist them however they need.

And whatever else needs doing!

Because the mail procedure is longish, and probably boring, I have put it into a different post.

The "Day in the Life" bit is as follows:

Wake up

Study

Shower and dress

Make and eat breakfast

Make and pack lunches

Head out the door by 7:55 if possible

Get to the office by 8 AM.  (Isn't that great that we are so close to the office!!!  The mentor couple has to drive 45 minutes to get there to help us.  I am so glad we are here now so they can skip that long drive.  The brother has MS.)

Check the voicemails that came in overnight and deal with them.
Put the phone back to live at 8:30.

Turn on the computer.  My computer is the main office computer/server so it needs to be up and running for the other people to use it.

Check the Internet Missionary Operating System for new incoming missionaries.

Check IMOS for referrals and disperse them properly.

Answer the phone calls and transmit them to the proper person.  This entails getting up from my chair and going to the person to tell them they have a call.  Or I could just shout out that they have a call, but that seems so icky to me so I get up and deliver the message that they have a call in person.  Even to the back office where the finance secretary and the supplies volunteer "live". Later this week I sort of learned how to forward phone calls...

At 9 AM I call everyone together for our daily devotional.  I have to make up the devotional calendar each month and make it as fair as possible, considering schedules.  Someone gives a spiritual thought or leads a discussion on a topic and someone else gives a prayer.  We bring up any business that needs to be brought to everyone's attention then we go back to work.

This week our topic was "hope".  It was interesting the different things people brought up.  Brother B used this one on Friday.  He had a paper copy and read excerpts from it.  We had quite an interesting discussion.

Deal with the email that comes in.  The office uses Outlook, not my comfort zone there, but I am beginning to get it.  Some people want to "collect" their own email rather than have me archive it into their folders.  Others want me to just leave it in the inbox for them to deal with on their own time...

Deal with the mail and packages that come in.

Deal with missionaries and others who come to the office...passing them along to the right person.

Have lunch sometime.

Continue to check the IMOS periodically throughout  the day.

Finish work.

At the end of the day, put the phone on auto attendant, log off the computer, shut off the monitor, REMEMBER TO TAKE LUNCH BAG HOME, and lock up the president's office.  If there are still others in the office let them lock the door, otherwise lock all doors and shut off lights.

Leave, hopefully around 5 PM, though it can be later.

Head back home to make supper and collapse, though the collapsing is getting better now.  Bed by 9 PM.  The time zone change is still rather taxing but we will eventually catch up with it and not be so exhausted all the time. I hope.

That is it, more or less.  And that is it for today. I am going to try to send shorter messages.  With more pictures...

Mission: The Stairs

In April with J, A, and the children moved into our home in preparation for our mission, Dear One and I moved upstairs into the bedroom that was my work room.  After son #4 moved out we moved into his room, which had originally been Dear One's work room.

It turns out that it was a good thing to move upstairs, even though it was taxing for me at first.  Four months going up and down stairs at least once, and often several times,  a day, helped me get stronger so I could manage our mission.

As luck would have it, the senior missionary apartments are two bedroom apartments.  Ours happens to be UPSTAIRS!!!  Seventeen steps, to be exact.  Also, the stairs are OUTSIDE!!  (Oregon where we are apparently has rain every day from October to May.  Last winter they had ice.  I am not looking forward to the stairs come winter.)

When we were unloading our car that first day two weeks ago (can it really only be two weeks ago?!!) I thought I would cash it in.  Just carrying myself up the stairs was enough but there was a lot of stuff to go into the apartment. I felt it would have been politically uncool to allow Dear One and the kind other senior missionaries to do all the carrying of the stuff that I brought west with us much to Dear One's consternation.  So I made three trips, I think...though I have now forgotten.

Now, two weeks later, I can walk up the stairs one step after the other rather that one step, bring the other foot to that stair then go up another step.  At least I can do that when my load is balanced.  I even was able to carry a big box up by myself on Thursday!  That made me happy.  Especially since it was a box of something I have had on my bucket list of potential purchases for many years!

These are the stairs.  Seventeen of them!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mission: Bonus Post with video

Here is a video of the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah in case you have not yet seen it.

There is an open house happening until the end of August.  As missionaries in the MTC, we could have felt a little bit like we were in a fish bowl because there were crowds of people coming through the buildings and walking on the sidewalks looking at all the missionaries going about their business, including while we were eating our meals.

The video is about 8 minutes long. It gives a little flavor of the Provo MTC.

You will notice early on when the family is walking down the corridor with the elders there is a map on the wall on your left as you are watching.  That is where almost all missionaries have their photo taken while they are pointing to their mission location.  Dear One and I did that, too.

Looking at the video where the cafeteria is shown, well, it was just about never that empty when we went in to eat our meals. (With 2600-2800 missionaries eating together, it just about could not be that empty!)  The young elders and sisters go in on a specific schedule, every ten minutes a new group enters.  Lines, lines, lines!  But often the young missionaries would allow, or even encourage, the senior missionaries to step to the front of the lines.  Nice kids.

The view from our window as missionaries gather to get on the bus.


Later in the video you see the young missionaries getting onto buses to take them to the airport to head out for their assigned mission fields.  That bus in the video is out front.  I think that may have been for the video because mostly the buses filled with missionaries underneath our residence window.


It was very touching to me to watch them prepare to go out and really "do it".


Monday, August 28, 2017

Munchie Monday: Black Beans and Brown Rice. In the Instant Pot!

With the Instant Pot now in the apartment kitchen I can go to town cooking!

The first things I cooked were brown rice and black beans, two of my favorite foods.

Brown Rice

In Instant Pot I put 1 cup rice with 4 cups water and set the rice timer for 15 minutes.  I let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes but could not wait any longer and finished it.

I drained the rice in a colander afterwards. It was perfectly cooked.  No more of the 40-minutes-to-cook-brown-rice, ending with glue-y stuck-together rice!  So good.  I mixed it with a box of the Rice-a-Roni Broccoli and Cheese mix.  With a little soy sauce.  It was good.

Black Beans

As soon as the rice was out, I drained some black beans that had been soaking for 24 hours -I had expected the Instant Pot on Wednesday, but with the office closed for Zone Conference...no Instant Pot could be received.  Anyway, I drained and rinsed the beans and tossed them into the pot with 4 cups water, 2 Tablespoons chili powder, 2 Tablespoons minced onions, 1 Tablespoon cumin, and 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic.  I pushed  the Beans/Chili button and let it go.  The beans came out soft and luscious!  And so flavorful.

Dear One had already eaten a bowl of the rice.  I put the black beans on top of my rice.  It was great as is but we had some picante sauce in the refrigerator so I put that on to get some more vegetables in.  I took some for my lunch the next day.  So good.

We also had a salad with spring mix greens mixed with "Sweet Kale Mix" which is finely chopped kale, green cabbage, Brussels sprouts, a little red cabbage, (these last greens sliced so finely as to unrecognizable!!  which is a very desirable thing in our home.) as well as some tasty pumpkin seeds with some poppy seed dressing. Very nice salad.  Dear One enjoyed it.  Ignorance is bliss!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Mission: First Week "In Field"

Having now spent our first full week serving our full-time mission, I can say that we have learned a ton!  And there are probably a mega-ton more to learn, just to get up to speed!

One thing I learned as the president's/mission secretary is that there are categories of missionaries.  They are Pre-MTC, MTC, In Field, In Other Mission, and Other.  Pre-MTC is missionaries who have been called to serve but who have not yet arrived at the Missionary Training Center.   MTC and In Field are obvious.  In Other Mission is when missionaries have been assigned to a foreign country mission and who have finished their training at the Provo MTC and are still waiting for their visa to arrive so they can get to their missions.

 In our mission we have one missionary who was assigned to a mission in Portugal but has been serving here for three months.  He is really doing well.  He had a baptism last week and at the transfers this month was assigned to be a trainer!  He is doing really well.

Just like in any group, there is lingo one must learn.  Transfers is a big deal here.  Every six weeks missionaries may be moved.  They are not always moved. In fact, some missionaries stay in the same area for multiple transfers.

Transfers were the week before we arrived so I really do not know at all what it is like.  I just know that the office is closed and all the senior missionaries are at the stake center where the transfers take place. (Stake centers are larger church buildings which may house several wards or branches which are what Latter-day Saints call their individual units/congregations.). Missionaries who are moving to a different area in the mission arrive with their two suitcases having removed ALL of their stuff from the apartment where they previously lived with the current companion.  The next Transfer Day is, I think September 25th.  I will know more then...

On Wednesday Dear One and I went to Zone Conference.  This is a time when all the missionaries  in a particular zone meet together with the mission president, his wife, the assistants-to-the-president (AP's) who are experienced missionaries with more leadership responsibilities and others to receive instruction and inspiration.  Also to have a nice lunch provided by an assigned Relief Society (the women's organization in the Church which is for all women 18 and over).  In our mission three zones meet together.  There are 9 zones in the mission so three meet each day on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of zone conference week which is the week after transfers, I think.

This zone conference was really good.  We arrived in good season, meeting up with some of the other senior missionaries and meeting the Area Medical Director who was very nice.  His wife had a wide roll of masking tape and a Sharpie pen.  Missionaries would come in and hand her a pair or pants or other item of clothing, state their name which she wrote on a length of masking tape, then head into the chapel. She put the tape onto the clothing item and put it on the growing pile on the couch in the foyer behind here.  I finally realized that she was accepting mending jobs for the missionaries.  She spends all Zone Conference day mending for the missionaries.  That is truly an act of love because she does not get to receive any of the inspiration the rest of us get as we sit in the chapel basking in the Spirit.

This time the topic was Personal Revelation and Inspiration.  You might think this would have been a person preaching over the pulpit but that did not happen at all.  There were several Powerpoint Slides on the topic and the AP's and the mission president and his wife and the Sister Training Leaders all led parts of the discussion.  Everyone had the opportunity to participate.  We also each received a journal for recording our own moments of person revelation and inspiration.

The talk that was the basis for the conversation was:

How to Receive Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life by Elder Richard G. Scott.

It is really worth reading.  In our "personal revelation and inspiration" journals was a list of scriptures to read which describe feelings, etc that we receive as we have promptings.  President wants us to record our inspirations from the Holy Ghost and the scriptures and feelings we have so we can recognize those promptings/inspirations/revelations.  He hopes we will share some of them with him when we have personal interviews with him.

We had a lovely lunch:  Hawaiian Haystacks and orange melons of some kind.  Fortunately brownies were brought around afterwards!  Dear One did not eat the chicken sauce on the rice, nor did he eat most of the toppings.  I ate the sauce and all the toppings...onions, tomatoes, olive slices, and several others.  Neither of us ate the melon but we BOTH had a brownie!

On Friday Elder A, the Supplies and something else which escapes my mind right now missionary, senior missionary, brought in these lovely roses.



As far as for us, it was a great week as far as kitchen  goes.  The basics really are here in the kitchen but I am so accustomed now to some luxuries that I had to made some purchases.  On Thursday an Instant Pot arrived.  YAY!!!  Immediately I cooked some long grain brown rice and black beans.

On Friday we went to Best Buy where we indulged in a small Samsung television for our Netflix habit.  If you have any good suggestions of shows to watch, PLEASE let us know.  We are using up all the episodes of "our" favorite shows.

On Saturday this country wife/senior missionary decided to bite the bullet and spend some (well, a LOT) of her retirement funds on a few more kitchen tools.  I will report them as they arrive.  Today we purchased a 12" Lodge cast iron skillet and an Anchor Hocking butter dish and three-part glass set which I thought was a loaf pan, 8 by 8 pan, and a 9 by 13 pan.  Instead the 9 by 13 pan is 10.5 by 14.5.  I guess the brownies will be rather thin...

We also went to a farmers' market and found some rather limp kale, some beautiful bell peppers, and some cherry tomatoes.  Being organic, they rather set back my small stash of cash.  After cutting off the ends of the kale stems and putting them in a glass of water, they look happy now.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mission: WE HAVE INTERNET AT HOME!!!

It is totally surprising how much we use the internet.  Today the internet people came and installed all the parts to make it happen.  We had thought to do it ourselves but then chose to have "them" do the installation for a big price.  Dear One said he would not have been able to do it since it entailed scaling around outside.   Son #3 could have done it but...not here!

Just a short note:  being "in field" is wonderful.  It is also exhausting so far.  Lovely people all working together to support the mission president and all the young missionaries.  (There are nearly 200 of them!). I expect pretty soon we will not be so tired at the end of the day.  I start looking at my watch around 7 PM and longing for 9 PM when I can in good conscience go to bed.  The last time I went to bed before 9 there was a knock at the door just a few minutes shy of 9, so I am trying to stay up.

Soon I plan to put up some pictures of the trip across our magnificent country.






Monday, August 21, 2017

Mission: The Second Week, AND ARRIVAL!!


The second week went in a blur!  The days were filled with training on various office systems which we will be using.  It was totally new and different.  Windows computers with unknown-to-us software packages.  There will be a steep learning curve when we arrive in Oregon, I am afraid.  But with Heavenly Father’s help, and help from the Elder and Sister already there for a few days,  perhaps we can keep the egregious errors to a minimum.

On Tuesday evening for the General Authority fireside we were privileged to learn from Elder Neil L. Anderson, a real joy.  After the fireside which was broadcast to fourteen other Missionary Training Centers, Elder Anderson and Sister Anderson descended the podium and shook hands with many Elders and Sisters.  That was such a kind thing to do.  Eight of their grandchildren from about 5 or 6 years old to teenagers were there on the front row to be with their grandparents.  Elder Anderson asked them to shake hands as well.  So lovely.  One little boy and his older sister or cousin came our way and shook our hands.  That was as sweet as greeting Elder Anderson!

Elder Anderson spoke of the flame of faith and reminded us that the responsibility for keeping the flame bright rests with each of us individually.  We can keep the flame bright by putting ourselves in Our Father’s hands, remembering to pray that we can be an instrument in His hands.  I love that. 

It was bittersweet to have our time at the MTC end.  Senior couples that we had been associating with in our district, at meals, large group meetings, and at firesides peeled off as their training was completed.  Depending on what service they were assigned their training either continued or was complete.  Several of “our” couples left on Friday or Saturday the first weekend.  Others left during the week.  Our “assigned couple”  left on Wednesday.  It was hard to let them go.  Sister L. had picked up a bad cold so we could not even hug goodbye.  Our friends who are going to Tonga leave on the 21st!

Some the missions people will serve are military relations, Church Education System to serve college students with religion classes, humanitarian service, self-reliance training, family history in several different ways such as filming records or training how to do family history work (I would have enjoyed that assignment!), teaching on the religion faculty at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, serving in the Polynesian Cultural Center in various ways, also help local units of the church in whatever ways the local leadership needs. Plus there were three other couples assigned to work in the mission office as we were.   There are others that I heard of but they have slipped my mind.

Places these couples will be serving  London, England, Scotland/Ireland, Romania, Turkey, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines—several couple there, Cambodia, Guam, several missions in Canada,  many missions in the USA, Mexico.  And others!

On our penultimate day we packed up our luggage and put everything expect my medical equipment and overnight bag in the car.  Before breakfast the next day we loaded the last of that into the car and left our room tidy and the trash empties.  We managed not to leave any of our belongings there.  Then off to breakfast, class, and lunch then the final training.  That day was an office simulation where we received assignments to do a sampling of all the things we would be doing when we actually arrive.  The men had more things to do so the sisters finished before lunch.  Dear One and the other men had an abbreviated lunch and were back at it.  They finished by 2:00 or 2:30 and we were on the road headed out of Provo before 3 PM.

That night we stayed in Twin Falls, Idaho in the last king-sized bed for a year and a half!  The room was in a Shilo Inn.  Very nice place, except the refrigerator froze the baby carrots we had gotten to munch on in the car the next day.  Oh, well. I can cook them when we get to Beaverton, I guess.  With a tiny bit of butter and honey they should be pretty good when cooked…

Our last night out we stayed in La Grande, Oregon.  If you are looking at a map you may think we are wusses to only travel a few hundred miles.  Well, I guess we are.  Those 12- and 14-hour days to get to Utah are not something we really want to repeat unless absolutely necessary.

The only “bad” thing that happened on our whole trip (unless you count the frozen carrots) is that at the last motel I managed to leave my cell phone charger.  Not smart at all.  I still have not managed to get a solid answer on how to get it back.  It looks like it will cost $40 to $50 to get a new one so I want to get the other one mailed to us.  Maybe on Monday I can get through to the office.  The receptionist was folding sheets when we got there which answered our question about why no one answered the phone there the two times we called during the day to verify our booking.

As missionaries, we wear a name tag with our name and the name of the Savior on our clothing.  As we have been traveling we have had opportunities to witness to people of the Savior because of those tags.  It is wonderful. 

And now we have arrived!  The other office couple and the mission nurse were at our apartment having helped with cleaning after the new carpet was installed that morning.  They helped carry our stuff up the SEVENTEEN stairs to our apartment.  I made 4 trips and called it good.  Each of the others did about that many and Dear One did at least one more after everyone else had stopped.

It is a two-bedroom apartment with an open kitchen-dining room-living room.  There is a little deck and storage room off the living room.  There is a washer and dryer!!!!  Yay!!! I am so grateful for that.  Almost as soon as our new friends left, I put our dirty clothes going.  Well, no. Actually after they left we climbed back into the car to go get a Costco membership (they have a pharmacy) so we could get bedding, laundry soap, and some food.  After that we went to WinCo and got some more food then went back to the apartment, put away the food, cooked the frozen pizza and made a salad with refried beans on top, made the bed and crawled in.  Barely after 9:00 I was asleep.  I don’t know about Dear One.  We had just finished our prayer when there was a knock on the door. I did NOT feel compelled to put clothes back on and go out to chat with the Elders. They live somewhere in the complex and came to offer to let us follow them to Church in the morning.  That was nice of them.

Church was good.  How can it not be?!  We came home for a quick leftover pizza, veggie burger, and salad lunch then I went to bed to read and nap again.  Still have time change issues. I used to wake up early at home in Vermont.  Now early is REALLY early.  I hope to get caught up with the time zones soon.  Maybe the eclipse will change everything!

At five o’clock we went to the mission nurse’s home for a wonderful dinner which she prepared:  chicken chili which was wonderful, some great bread roll twists that had Italian seasoning and garlic on them, a fabulous salad with I adored, and for dessert some peanut butter cookie dough-marshmallow-peanuts-popcorn-and white chocolate drizzle bars.  They were decadently sweet and delicious.  Dear One accepted one to take home.  Elder and Sister J took the remainder to the office, which we got to go see as the was an emergency phone call from a set of Sister missionaries. They had locked their keys in the car…

So off to the mission office we went along with Elder and Sister J then rode along with them to rescue the sisters.  Beaverton is considered out in the country.  I just shake my head in wonder at this “country”.  It is not Vermont!  NO AT ALL!!  Two Costco’s within fifteen minutes.  Trader Joes and Whole Foods Markets as close.  Many apartment complexes.

Well, we will learn how to get around.  Eventually.  I must say it will be a challenge to go grocery shopping with Dear One.  We have totally different views of so many things.

This is so long.  I am sure no one is still reading, but if you are:  we don’t have internet yet. I hope I can post this using the internet on our cell phone.  The daily updates are probably a thing of the past.  Tomorrow we don’t go into the office until 1 PM because the other office people are going to head south to where they can see the totality of the eclipse.  I will just watch from our balcony/patio.  I remember the last one while working in Hanover—the way the leaves looked, the shadows.  I am sure we will see that from where we are.


Maybe Dear One can get internet for us soon.  I have loved having internet wherever we went because motels always have WiFi.