Friday, December 28, 2012

Can an old dog learn new tricks?

The answer is yes!!

I have been making jam, quite successfully if I do say so myself, for over 40 years now.  I am self- taught.  That is, I read the directions in the pectin package and follow them to the letter - as they tell you that you must - or they will not guarantee the results

We are having a crowd for dinner on Sunday - so I bought a large amount of frozen lasagna - and needed to find room for it in the freezer. I had a large amount of frozen raspberries in my freezer, so I decided to take them out and make jam - since we were pretty much out of jam - having given most of it away as gifts for colleagues of mine.  I am in the habit of buying raspberries and strawberries whenever they are going for a good price - and then I freeze them and mostly make jam in the wintertime - a much better time than summer for making jam, by the way.

Feeling industrious and virtuous, I proceeded to mash the raspberries and measure them out - 5 cups of fruit for 7 cups of sugar.  I carefully measured out 7 cups of fruit, added the pectin, gave it a good stir - and realized that the 7 went with the sugar, not the fruit!!

I was loathe to toss it.  Loathe to consign myself to an absurdly large batch of raspberry syrup - we'd never eat that many pancakes in a century, let alone a lifetime!!

As a teacher, I am always telling my students that knowledge is power - all knowledge is helpful - all knowledge is useful.  I said to myself, "Is this really true?'  Then I said to myself, "5 cups of fruit to 7 cups of sugar is the same ratio as 7 cups of fruit to how many cups of sugar?"  Buffy D. would have been prouder of me if I'd used an X for the unknown, but I was satisfied with my efforts.

A little math later, I figured out that 5 cups of fruit is to 7 cups of sugar as 7 cups of fruit is to 9.8 cups of sugar.  But then I remembered that there was another element to this equation:  the pectin!

Not to be thwarted, I opened another package of pectin and measured it out - it equaled 5 tablespoons.  So then the question became, How many tablespoons of pectin did 7 cups of fruit need?  I was stumped - math is not my forte.  I went out to Harry's office - and he solved the equation rather easily.  He said, "If 5 tablespoons of pectin is used for 5 cups of fruit, then the formula must be one tablespoon for each cup of fruit."  Thus it followed that I needed 7 tablespoons of pectin - so I added two more to the batch.

This story has a happy ending.  This "altered" batch of jam turned out just fine - just like all the others.  So much for Sure-Jell telling you that if you alter the measurements, they can't guarantee your success!

I feel like a regular genius tonight!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Changing roles, changing places!!

When Harry was the bishop of our ward, he had dreamed of having a Ward Youth Conference.  Finally in April of 1999, he had his new counselor - Nathan Ogilvie - get one organized.  It was a great conference - we went to rented houses in Wrightwood over Conference Weekend - watched conference, played games, had scripture scavenger hunts, ate great food, played in the snow, and celebrated Easter together!!  Our son Harry helped with the organization and implementation of the activities.

And now Nathan is the bishop of our ward - and our son Harry is his counselor!

What goes around comes around!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Switching it up for the holidays!!

This year I decided to splurge and got a holiday themed comforter cover and pillow cases.  I was thinking it was kind of "over the top."  But as soon as I did it - I just loved it!

As Bonny likes to say, "Whatever brings you joy!"

And it's not like I can't use it every year - maybe from Thanksgiving to Martin Luther King Day!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

First Christmas!

Our first real Christmas together - not counting the one on our honeymoon when we'd been married for 3 days - occurred in this little house in Provo.  The truck you can barely see on the left was a '41 Chevy three-quarter ton flat-bed pick-up with a sheepherder's cabin on the back - we actually drove it down to LA that year.  That was an experience!  (Let me just say that the windshield wipers were vacuum driven - and they failed - so Harry would stick his gloved hand out every so often to brush off the snow!!  The things you endure when you are young!!)

So now it's the 23rd - and our tree is not up yet - I guess we will do that tonight after Matt and Eliza leave - it's been much more fun to have them here!!  They return Friday night with the rest of our kids.  And the traditional Terrill New Year's celebration!

I'm sure glad we no longer live in the snow!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Some holiday thoughts -

Last year the house was in an uproar because of the water damage we had suffered and the subsequent remodeling that occurred.  We did not put up a tree.  We did not decorate much either - mainly poinsettias on the porch as I recall.

We traditionally don't do a lot of gifts at Christmas.  Harry and I gave up giving gifts to each other several years ago, so we just got some gifts for Noah - who's happy with just about anything you get him.  Individual families have their own celebrations, and we try to make a big deal out of birthdays for the grandkids - who draw names with their cousins for the holidays and seem to love that.

And the big Terrill celebration is on New Year's.  We go on a big bike ride, courtesy of Bruce's fine collection of vintage bikes.  We have breakfast at Clocker's Corners and watch the morning workouts.  We have snacks and tiny hats and talent shows and gift exchanges on New Year's Eve.  We break out last year's predictions and chortle plenty as we read them - and then write new ones for the coming year.  Everyone sleeps over for New Year's and there is usually a goodly amount of Plunkets to be had.  (should that be "there are a goodly amount?")

So when I suggested not getting a tree this year, there was a hue and cry and a general consensus that I was being Scrooge-like in my attitude.

So I have repented and gotten out some decorations.  Even hung Christmas towels in the bathroom and got holiday themed Kleenex boxes!

Of course the carols are in the cd player in the house and the car.

And I'm once again thinking I might get all my cards out before January - a feat I have never accomplished!!

But mostly I'm excited to think about seeing all our kids together.

I love our kids.

I love memories of other Christmas traditions - the Terrill Family Party at Helen's, the Pizza and Pinata party at Grandma Mary's, wrapped boxes of mac n' cheese and dry cereal, new pajamas and matching tee shirts, golden walnuts, toilet paper roll angels, and movies on Christmas afternoon.

"It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the 12th day of Christmas!

I think it goes without saying that on the 12th day of Christmas, I acknowledged the 12 Clayton kids!!

A gift that continues to give - day by day!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On the 11th day of Christmas -

Can't think of a better gift than that of a wonderful heritage - the young lady on the back row at the left as you are facing the photo is the grandmother after whom I was named.  She died young - and I look forward to meeting her one day when "we all sit down in heaven together" as Lucy Mack Smith would say!

Monday, December 10, 2012

On the 10th day of Christmas -

Ten little 5 year olds at Phoebe's birthday party - and a wonderful time was had by all!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

On the 9th day of Christmas -

Nine and growing!!  Now they are Terrills and Bolanders!!  Growth is great as well as "enlarging!!"

Saturday, December 08, 2012

On the 8th day of Christmas -

Eight happy Terrills - now you see them, now you don't!!

Friday, December 07, 2012

On the 7th day of Christmas =-

Seven happy Terrills - well, seven happy members of the extended Terrill clan - I guess Dee is an honorary Terrill!!

We miss Jim - especially at Christmas!!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

On the 6th day of Christmas -

On the 6th day of Christmas, no one was giving me presents - not even my 6 brothers!!  But it's good to have 6 brothers - and a great dad too!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

On the 5th day of Christmas -

I could not get a better gift than the 5 wonderful sisters I have - wouldn't trade them for any number of golden rings!!  (The Mom is an extra bonus!!)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

On the fourth day of Christmas -

On the fourth day of Christmas, no gifts were ever forthcoming.  But who needs gifts when you have the great gift of family? Especially four generations of family together - forever too!

Monday, December 03, 2012

No one gave me anything on the third day of Christmas either, but this is one of my favorite "three" photos.  Maybe The Three Muskateers?  Or The Three Stooges?  Or The Three Little Rascals?

Maybe just my three little brothers - who were indeed a charming, albeit somewhat rambunctious, trio of little boys.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

On the second day of Christmas -

Well, it takes two to tango, now doesn't it??  Harry and I are that tangoing twosome I suppose.  No one ever gave me anything on the 2nd day of Christmas either, but I guess since we have each other, we have enough!!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The first day of Christmas -

No one has ever given me anything on the first day of Christmas.  But if we are talking one here - and we are - a Christmas celebration probably needs at least one tree!!

This was also our first Christmas tree - not our first Christmas - we spent that on our honeymoon in Santa Barbara - but our first tree - so I think it qualifies for the initial post on my 12 days of Christmas idea here.

Last year we did not have a tree.  We were in the throes of remodeling/repairing damage from our water leak.  A tree would have really complicated things.  I truly didn't mind not having one.  Our family comes for the holidays at New Year's time.  But when I suggested not having one again this year, I was accused of becoming Scrooge-like.

I certainly don't want to be perceived as being Scrooge-like!!