Our Family Mountain Retreat – Place Of Peace

September 26, 2008

Our family mountain retreat in Tabiona, Utah was hard to leave this week-end.  The weather had been just beautiful… sunny, clear, calm and a perfect temperature.  However, the feeling of fall was in the air, even though the leaves were just beginning to change.  Since we had a late spring… everything is about two weeks behind.

After family members left, I stayed an extra day…getting caught up on my computer, designing some Halloween giveaways for this blog and watching a few old movies like Gone With The Wind.  It was a quiet peaceful time.

Next year I’m going to look into getting wireless high speed internet so I can spend more time enjoying the view from our front windows.

I left for home about 8:30 and headed toward Wolf Creek Pass, which is a lovely drive over the top of the mountains… Over 9000 feet to be exact.

As I was just leaving Hanna, I notice a white strip of white off in the distance.  I couldn’t figure what it was for a few minutes.  As I got closer, I could tell it was ice.

Yes, ice.  Ice had formed on the ground and fence next to a sprinkler irrigation system.  It was quite a site to behold against the green and brown of the fields and mountains.

However, it did remind me that winter is closing in soon and I’m not ready for it.  Wasn’t I shoveling snow just a couple of days ago?

Oh well… time sure does fly by!

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Do you have a place of peace… somewhere you can go to rejuvenate your spirit?

Somewhere Over My Rainbow

September 26, 2008

Somewhere Over My Rainbow landed right on top of us at our mt. retreat in Tabiona Utah.  This last week-end, three of my grandkids and I witnessed this beautiful scene from the edge of our property.

There’s no place like this home…. Our home away from home!

Enjoy!

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Check out the guidelines for Fun Foto Friday at the top the page.  Love to have you join us.


Baby Boomer Farmer Grant

September 26, 2008

Meet boomer, Grant Holdaway, better known in these parts as Farmer Grant.  Well…Grant Holdaway may not technically fit into the baby boomer age category, but he’s a great example of staying fit, active, and still going strong at a mature age.  A lesson for all of us true “baby boomers.”

It seems like I’ve been buying veggies from Farmer Grant and his wife Barbara forever.  The first time I remember buying produce and flowers from them was about 40 years ago when their little stand was next to their home down on the Geneva Road… next to the Geneva Steel Plant.  If I remember right… it was called “Grant’s Plants.”

Grant claims he’s been selling produce for over 60 years. In fact, he remembers selling produce to workers who were helping to build Geneva Steel Plant in the 40’s.  Several years ago… Geneva Steel was closed down and dismantled.  Grant’s seen it come and go…all the while, selling produce and flowers to loyal customers.

When they built their new nursery across the street from their home… they named their new location “Vineyard Gardens”… but it’s still “Grant’s” to me and my kids and grand kids.

By the first of May, his green houses are filled with annuals, perennials, herbs, shrubs, irises and roses.  Grant is well known for hybridizing irises… coming up with many new striking varieties.

In early August, after the flower and shrub sells slow down… fresh veggies, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, string beans, egg plant, potatoes, and peppers appear in the front entry of his nursery. For the next several months, I make several trips a week to buy his fresh produce.  Heaven!

His produce is fresh from the field every morning and it’s washed and cleaned before being put it out in baskets on the table. I’ve been to many produce stands and his is absolutely the finest.

I love tomatoes, and this is a mecca for fresh toms… especially if you’re in the business of canning for winter storage.

His cantaloupe are just the best… so sweet and flavorful.

As fall approaches, “Pumpkin Land” is prepared at the nursery for the kids. Halloween decorations are placed among the sprays, fertilizers, flower bulbs, and veggies.

Buses bring school children to visit “Pumpkin Land”.  And…I swear every mom in the county bring their pre-schoolers  to “Pumpkin Land.”  There’s a corn maze, a animal petting zoo… or rather a “looking” zoo… inflated jumping toys and best of all… there’s hundreds of pumpkins in various sizes.  The kids get to choose and purchase their own pumpkins.

Now, all this takes a lot to time and energy, and at 77 years old, Farmer Grant is still going strong.  Along with his employees, he’s continues to make his produce and flower nursery the best in the county.

Now if that’s not enough…this summer, this active man ran the Provo marathon and a 50 mile race through the Wasatch mountains called the “Squaw Peak Fifty Miler.”  Just wears me out just thinking about it.

No slowing down for this farmer.

Thanks Farmer Grant… for being a great example to this old baby boomer.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Did I mention… Farmer Grant was a school teacher until he retired?   Retired?  Doesn’t look like it to me!

Housekeeping Tip For Your Bathroom Sink

September 24, 2008

A housekeeping nightmare can present itself around your bathroom sink, floor, shower or tub.  Have you noticed how static electricity keeps you from picking up a fallen dry hair… and snagging a single wet hair is next to impossible?

For some reason, this is a subject no one wants to discuss… Talking about the hair on our heads doesn’t seem to be a problem… as illustrated by the lovely blond tresses in the photo.

But,  just mention the unsightly hair that falls around the sink, on the bathroom floor or, the strays that adhere themselves to the side of the tub… and it’s off limits for open discussion.

Maybe the uncomfortableness is attached to, “hair in your food” or “loose hair on your shoulder” or just admitting our humanness.  But, face the fact… cleaning a bathroom and confronting “The Hair Problem” haunts all good housekeepers.

Now… I have thick dark hair… and so does my daughter, Katie.  For some reason we shed hair like a Labrador Retriever.  Don’t fret… it seems to grow back over night but loose hair in our bathrooms is a continual problem.

I use to frequently travel for business with a co-worker and we often shared a room at a hotel.  Jumping into the shower and washing my hair became a bathroom housekeeping nightmare.  Wanting to be a compatible roommate, I would spend at least fifteen minutes in the bathroom tiding up my fallen mane before my friend could enter… and she’s thinking… “What in heck is taking so long?”

Well, several year ago, my sister, Sheila, came to my rescue.  She had a cleaning business and serviced homes in the Park City ski area. The tip she shared with me is so simple that you’re going to be surprised!  Toilet Paper… That’s right… simple Toilet Paper does the trick!  Grab a few sheets of paper and wipe the tub, around the sink and the floor. The loose hair attaches to the paper like a magnet. Wow… it really works!I don’t know why it works… it just does.  (Probably creates a static electricity field… who knows!)

Now if you have any better ideas… just let me know.  I’m always open to discuss uncomfortable subjects. (My daughter’s don’t agree… but I just think they’re the one’s who are uncomfortable.)

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S.  Now you can alway use those Pledge “Grab It” dusting cloths. But, toilet paper is handy and cheaper.  And, I know you won’t want to carry dusting cloths in your make-up bag when you travel.  Might raise a few eyebrows!

Utah Wildlife In My Yard

September 23, 2008

Wildlife frequently grace our yard at our mountain retreat in Tabiona, Utah.  Cottontail rabbits, chipmunks, deer, and moose come to call often.  Yes, moose… are among are our most frequent visitors.

I’ve awakened to find a moose cow and a calf chewing on bushes not 3 feet from my head. Thank goodness, there was a few inches of steel between us.  I was inside our trailer at the time.

One summer, my grandsons, Glade and Barrett were with me on the porch of our trailer when we noticed two large black shapes moving through the oak across the yard.  Then, the youngest of the two bull moose emerged to get a drink.  Talk about wildlife… we got a little wild as we ran for the camera.


The other bull moose was much larger and chose to stay hidden in the brush.  After the youngest moose quenched his thirst, they both moved up the side of the hill to another location to nibble on leaves.

So, the other evening, I wasn’t alarmed when I looked out the window, through the pines to see a black shape enter the yard.  “Just an early evening visit from our moose friend,” I thought.  I grabbed my camera and sneaked around the corner of the trailer so I could get a good shot.  It was nearly dark.

Much to my surprise, there was a cow standing in the yard.  No, not a moose cow like I expected… but a cow… cow.  Soon, it was joined by another heifer and they spent a bit of time munching on our grass.

I snapped a couple of shots… and because it was dark… the shutter stayed open for along time.  I couldn’t help but shake, so the photo is a little fuzzy.  This photo, along with the real wildlife photo of the moose, will rest side by side on my fridge.

After the heifers got their fill, they wandered off down the hillside.

One never knows what kind of wildlife will appear in the mountains… but, after this experience… I better be prepared for any wild thing that comes along.

Till Later,

Insightful Nana

Kathy Griffiths

P.S.  I left that heavenly place this morning to come home.  The sun had just come over the mountains and my favorite wildlife was playing in the yard… cottontail rabbits.  Three brown bunnies munched grass in the same spot where my wild visitors had feasted the night before.  What a treat!

White Trash Cooking: Yellow Squash and Zucchini Recipe

September 20, 2008

The phrase: White Trash Cooking is used lightly here… because my Grandma and Momma were far from being “white trash.” My Momma was more of a “Southern Belle.” My kin are from Georgia. I use to think I was raised on “soul food” but after I found a cook book in Arkansas called White Trash Cooking White Trash Cooking (Jargon)and I knew I had mislabeled Momma’s cookin’. Poor folks flavored their cookin’ with salt pork or bacon. It helped to make simple, plain, inexpensive vittles more palatable.

I was raised on this white trash recipe: yellow squash and zucchini. Momma, always used a bit of bacon in her veggies. I know…I know… not the best when your trying to watch those calories and fat intake. What can I say? All I know is… you won’t be leaving the bacon out once you’ve try cooking your yellow squash or zucchini using this tasty recipe…”white trash” or no.

This is all ya need. Simply, huh!


First… cut yourself off a bit of bacon. (abt 1/8 to 1/4 lb.) I keep mine in the freezer… so I get it out and cut off a few chunks. Now how much you use… depends on how many squash you’re going to cook. This pot (4 qt.) will hold about 14 to 16 squash that are about 8″ long. (Feeding my family..ya know.) I like them young and tender.


Fry your bacon so it’s nice and crisp. Watch it carefully now… I burned my kitchen down by leaving bacon cooking on the stove while I left my stove to check on an outside matter. (a story for another time)

Slice up your squash. I like to combine yellow squash with zucchini because it looks so colorful when you serve it… besides it tastes great.


Now don’t panic here. Do not remove the dripping from the bacon. If you get a bit nervous… you can drain off a little of the drippings.. but it won’t taste as good. Drop in all the squash and toss until the drippings coat the squash a bit. Important: Do not add any water or liquid! Add salt to taste.

With the heat on med. low…keep tossing the squash and bacon. You can put on the lid for a bit
but toss often so yellow squash will cook evenly. The cooking process only takes about 10 minutes or so. Don’t over cook so your squash will not become mushy.


Now take a bite. See how good it is? When my family comes over for dinner… you can bet your “white trash” bottom boots… the pan will be left empty.

Enjoy!

Till Later
Kathy Griffiths
InsightfulNana

P.S. I will be sharing more “white trash” recipes with ya’ll. Just how trashy is your cookin’?

P.P.S. Drop in your information below and you’ll be on my newslettter mailing list. You won’t have to add your name again… from now on… you’ll be on my newsletter list I will send you a printable version of all future recipes. For Free! You’ll get other goodies too. Grab yourself a little 5X7 photo album and slide the recipes in it for an Insightful Nana cookbook.

Simply click on the book icon of your choice for purchase or review.

Happy Birthday Katie

September 19, 2008

My baby, Katie, is having a birthday.  Alright… she’s not a baby anymore… she’s going on…. well… you know… “thirty something.”  But… she’ll always be my baby… and by the way… my baby is going to have a baby in a few days.


This photo is as far as I got in trying to snap a picture of her for this blog.  Little Claire didn’t mind being photographed… but mom… no way.

Speaking of photographs… check out Katie’s blog for beautiful photos. You’ll be impressed!   She a professional with a great style.  She’s a very busy photographer and after a short leave of absence…will continue snapping pictures.

She is the proud mom of two little girls…Ella, age 6 and Clare age 4.  They are going to have a little boy join the family and he will have 3 moms… and one dad…Mark!

Happy Birthday Katie… I love you!

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  This new baby will be my 15th grandchild… and boy am I happy… love those grandkids!

Harvesting Garlic

September 19, 2008


My sister, Sheila, and I were in Salt Lake a couple of weeks ago and we ran by a darling plant nursery and gift store to poke around a bit. It’s late in the season for buying anything, but the place was filled with very unusual plants.

As we went up the stairs to the gift store, I spotted this bowl of garlic that had just been pulled from the garden. The bright red bowl made the garlic stand out and I couldn’t resist snapping this photo.

I love cooking with garlic… especially when it’s fresh.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Hey.. how about joining Fun Photo Friday and posting a few of your favorite photos.  Check out the Fun Photo Guildlines at the top of the page.


Great Natural Hair Care Product

September 18, 2008

One great natural hair care product that’s rarely mentioned anymore is vinegar.  Yes, simple household vinegar.  It’s probably one of the simplest homemade hair care treatments available.  Hair care products is big business and the shelves are packed with all kinds of brands.  Leaves a gal wondering which is the best.

I am the oldest of six girls in our family and mom took special pride in the fact we all looked like “dolls” when we marched off to church on Sunday.  One thing I can say is… we were dressed fit to kill (mom make all of our clothes)… and our hair was always healthy and shiny… and I mean shiny.

Mom was one who depended upon natural homemade treatments and products for personal care, and health… which included “honey onion” cough medicine… “walking” around the block to get rid of a headache… to putting a “vinegar rinse” on our hair for care and shine.  The vinegar rids the hair of all soap and build up.

The recipe is simple:  1 /Qt. water to about 1/4 C vinegar (it doesn’t matter what kind).

Now… I know what you’re thinking, “My hair with stink like vinegar.”  Nope.  Put the solution on and rinse it out.  The smell fades and your hair will be squeaky clean… and boy will it shine.

I thought I’d share this little beauty tip…  It’s a great way to save money… as well as confusion on what hair care products to purchase.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  Mom didn’t share the this natural hair care treatment with very many people.  It was kind of our little family secret.

Enjoying The Summer Harvest Of Goodness

September 17, 2008

Yes, I’m enjoying the summer harvest of fruits and veggies. I truck down to my favorite produce store… Farmer Grant’s Vineyard Garden… and load up on veggies a couple of times a week. Tomatoes and cucumbers are my favorites. They’re like Mexican Food…. I could eat it every day.

Today, on my way down to Grants… I was tuned in to Dr. Laura… who sometimes gives me the “willies” because she can be so harsh with folks. But, today… she was quite mild as she discussed the subject of gratitude with a gal who never seemed to be satisfied with anything.

I’ve heard this message many times before… but for some reason it struck me with a little more force than usual. As unsettled as my life is right now… I have a lot to be grateful for. I so often don’t acknowledge the little things in my life. Like… the goodness of a simple meal of tomatoes and cucumbers.

I took my granddaughter, Claire, to the park the other day while her mom, Katie, was on a photo shoot. We stopped and got Chinese food on our way… then sat on the park bench and had a feast. The sun was warm, and the September sky was blue. What more could I have ever wanted… the whole experience made my heart happy.

During this time of turmoil in our Country… I have to step back often, look around, and be thankful for
where I am and what I have right now…. the goodness of my family, friends and yes…tomatoes and cucumbers.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S.  I hope where ever you are… you too can find goodness in your summer harvest… whether it be food, family or friends.

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