Friday, January 30, 2009

Are you crafty?

I LOVE FUN and this is FUN! DO IT!

Pay it Forward Exchange
I copied this straight from my Mom's blog and I was the first to comment on hers so now it's your turn! This is how it works:

Pay it Forward Exchange is based on the concept of the movie "Pay it Forward". I will send a hand made gift to the first three people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join the PIF exchange.

All the gifts will be made and posted out 'sometime within the next year'. How exciting to not know when your surprise package will arrive!

What you do in return, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. This Exchange is only open to those with active websites or blogs.


I'd love for you to join me! Will you?

Other comments are welcome, but only the first three will be my Pay it Forward recipients. Sounds like fun, right?

No pressure, just fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Are we CRAZY?

So I (Ruth) must start by apologizing for boycotting the blogging world for so long and for not keeping you all posted on the family's adventures. I will get to that in another post, I promise. But as for now this will have to do.
As most of you already know we are indeed expecting our sixth child! We are excited and a little bit nervous about what will happen during the next few months since Jason hasn't had much work, we live in a ever growing smaller three bedroom house with no garage, and our van only seats seven. What a pickle we have gotten ourselves into this time! We remain faithful and know that we will be taken care of. We are grateful for all the help that we have received from our family and our friends who we know care for us so much! We wouldn't be able to do it without the love and support of our family!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This last Wednesday I smoked a 14 pound turkey which turned out really good. It took eight hours and I didn't have enough charcoal. So I used some willow wood from a tree here at home. Willow make a huge amount of smoke! I must say that you can slow cook great food with with or without smoke. I won't use willow again though. The meat had a little too much smoke flavor.

Back in August I mentioned I was making some upgrades to my charcoal smoker-grill. It had some minor issues that were developing and some inadequacies that needed to be addressed.

The wooden tray on the front wasn’t deep enough to hold anything but tools. It was also getting kind of flimsy. There was also an 1/8” gap all the way around the fire door which allows a lot of room for air intake. Heat control was difficult at best because the adjustable vent on the door did not control all of the air intake.I decided to amend the airflow situation. The fix was accomplished by cutting up some gutter from the scrap pile and riveting it to the door on the fire box. I was originally going to cover all four edges with metal fins. However, the day I was working on it was also BBQ night, and I only had time to get two pieces on. It turns out that the additional metal made quite a difference. I can adjust the vent as little as an 1/8” and see a thermometer move shortly thereafter. More air means hotter, less air is cooler. So with the successful change I was stoked!

Some time later I attacked the front tray. I replaced the three boards on the front with a piece of 1/2” plywood. I

cut some metal brackets from some scrap and attached those from the front of the new tray down to the front of the legs. This forms a triangle, the most stable geometric shape, transferring the weight of the tray and its load to the legs below, instead of hinging at the back edge (falling). On top of the plywood tray I applied some thinset and screwed down

some 1/4” Hardibacker. Next, I applied more thinset and placed six 6” x 12” tile cut-offs. The tray surface is now at the same level as the front of the main opening so there is no metal in the

way when I am set a plate down. The finished tray is now 12” by 36”, more than three inches deeper and big enough and sturdy enough to hold half a pig, if I had half a pig.

The thermometers on the grill are the first upgrade I made in June 2007. The left one is on the firebox. The right is on the grill box. I can cook in both boxes but when smoking meat, the meat goes in the grill box which stays between 200 and 250 degrees.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Video Rocker freecycle

Alas, this was a gift that is not receiving proper use, nor do we have the space for it. It sits by a door and collects a multitude of things other than bottoms. Its growing very sad because it spent its youth rocking out, but is now neglected and holds up the wall like a shy young man at an LDS dance.

Please let us know if you can give it new home. It is not exactly like the one pictured but very close (has buttons instead of seams across the front). It is in excellent condition, although its hard to tell under the pile of stuff on it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Score on Freecycle

We've added a page element to our blog, all the way at the bottom right. We are going to list some things that are still useful/in fine shape that we no longer use/can't use. This is in the traditions of If you have questions ask. If nobody claims anything, we will rid ourselves of the stuff after a completely arbitrary period of time. First we have a christmas tree stand used once in 1999. Since then it has lived in a box.
Second is a child's motorized car. Forward/Reverse. One seater. It does not have a charger. But it has a four prong trailer type connection if you can find a charger that works with that. I've charged the battery with a charger that works for 9 volt and AA type rechargeable batteries. I just used a pair of alligator clamp wire connectors. It doesn't work on the rough, uneven terrain at our house. If you have a flat, smooth yard it would probably work great.

I'm not planning on giving this away. This is something I got off freecycle. If any wish to use it let me know. I've leak tested it for air, but not on the water. It has a pump and paddle. And it all fits in a big bag. 400 lb/2 person capacity. I don't know if I would take down the South Fork, but I might.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Darwin is going to get this guy