Wednesday, March 24, 2010


How's this for random? This is Marty on Halloween 2009. He likes to dress up and then he likes to take bunches and bunches of children trick or treating. This year because of colds and flu he only took about half of our ranch-residing nieces and nephews and Katelyn and Benjamin (Alex was also sick). We usually make clam chowder in sour dough bowls. In the days when everyone was home we would add chili to the menu.  Here are the recipes:
Happy Halloween--that's right, belated, we haven't gotten our Christmas cards out for two years, either!  Random is good.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We are so privileged to receive this wonderful cross stitch from Beverly, our co-grandparent. Oh my what can we say? It is soooo beautiful! Soooo many hours of work and we feel soooo honored. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Veni Vidi, Vici

While we’re on the theme of Caesar, here’s another famous Latin phrase:

Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). Caesar led many wars. So many that mystical legends began to form around him. He went over to Asia and so totally defeated the army there and finished up the war so quickly that when he wrote an account of it to his friends in Rome he put it in three well-known Latin words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici,--I came, I saw, I conquered."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi day

Today is March 14, or 3.14, which is the number Pi rounded to the nearest hundredth.

Apple Pork Chops

I told some women in Relief Society that I'd give them a recipe for a meal that can be prepared in a few minutes. This one is from I did a "re-do" on the recipe they have online and made it into a crockpot dinner.

• 1 package (6 ounces) cornbread Stovetop Stuffing Mix (1½ cups boiling water, 4 Tablespoons butter)
• 1 can apple pie filling (21 ounces)
• 6 boneless pork chops (1-1½ pounds), ¾-inches thick

 Line a crockpot with a crockpot liner.
 Prepare the stuffing as directed on the package (boil water, add butter, stir in stuffing).
 Put the pie filling in the bottom of the lined crockpot. Lay the pork chops on top of the pie filling. Layer the stuffing over the chops and apples.
 Turn crockpot on low. Cook for six to eight hours or until the pork chops are done (160ºF).

Grandpa John, Melissa, Grandma Loo, Marty and I all thought it was really good. If you want, instead, you could sauté sliced apples in a little bit of butter and cinnamon, but easy is what we're going for here. And have I mentioned (twice) that you need to line your crockpot? We just threw the bag away. ZERO cleanup. Our bags are called "Reynolds® Slow Cooker Liners."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sam--Happy Sixth Birthday

Sam turned six years old on March 7.  Here are a few pictures of Sam.

Sam we love you because you are energetic, happy, very smart, loving, fun and good looking too!
Happy birthday, love,
Grandma and Grandpa Clift

Emergency Electricity and Gas Shut Off Tutorial

The recent earthquakes in the world reminded us of some instructions that we put together in the last century when we lived in Vacaville. They had an emergency preparedness seminar. Peggy and I put on a tutorial on how to turn off your electricity and gas. This information is taken from the handout we made.
During an earthquake or disaster, an appliance may catch on fire or your natural gas piping may develop a leak. I thought that appliance fires were a thing of the past, but a couple of years ago we got a rather urgent call from Melissa that her TV was on fire.  As fortune would have it, we were in the car and nearby. We told her to shut off the electricity to the house. She said she didn't know how. Well, we got there quickly and took care of things. No damage was done to the house (but the TV was toast). Every now and then you hear about a house explosion--natural gas is the problem. So let's get started.

In an emergency, shut the power off to the whole house. Find your power meter. It should look something like this:

The door is already opened on this one. Figure out how to open your door.  Once you open the door, it should look like the picture. Those switch like things are called breakers. They do two things. In case of an electrical short, they're supposed to trip the power off, and they let you use them as a switch to turn off or on the power.  To turn off the power, flip all of the switches to the off position. They are harder to flip than your standard light switch, but they work basically the same way.

OK, now that you can turn the power off to the house, it's time to learn about turning off the gas. This is a gas meter. We'll wait here while you go find yours.

Shutting off the gas takes a little more preparation. You need a wrench to turn the valve. The above picture shows a valve wrench on the valve. We bought it at a local hardware store for a couple of dollars. You can also use an adjustable end wrench or even a pipe wrench.


If you smell natural gas in your house and your stove and oven are turned off, go outside and turn your gas off. Do not turn your lights on or off (things could explode).

1. To close the valve you need to turn it 90 degrees (90 degrees is like an "L" shape, or a right angle). It will be hard to turn, but if you put the wrench on the valve the way it is shown in the first gas meter picture above, you can stand on the end of the wrench to start to turn it.

2. If you had to step on it to get it to start, then to finish turning the valve, turn the wrench around and close the valve the rest of the way. The stem on the valve lines up with the pipe when it is open (straight up and down--see the hand-drawn picture with the "on"/"off". It will be ninety degress (left/right) to the valve when it is closed.

3. Then call the gas company (from a neighbor’s phone) to locate the leak. Once the leak is fixed, they will relight pilots for you.

4. Air out the house after you make the call by opening doors. Don't go back inside, wait for the gas company.

We like to keep the emergency wrench wired to the gas pipe. That way it will be there if we ever need it. Otherwise you may waste precious time looking for a wrench.

These pictures were taken in the last century at our old house. But everything at our new house is essentially the same.  I was trying to remember if I wired a valve wrench on at this house, so I looked. Sure enough, there it was. We are ready.

Things may be a bit different at your house. Go look. Learn about the electrical panel, learn how to open it and shut off the power. Look at your gas meter; figure out how you can turn it off. You'll be glad you're prepared and can even go help your neighbors in an emergeny situation.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Flashback Friday

Danielle and Steven Andreasen (niece and nephew) have a GREAT idea on their blog--Flashback Friday. I think I'll use their idea on our blog, too. A picture and a memory posted on a Friday. Thanks for the idea, Dani! Love you, Auntie Peggy.

I'll start with our wedding day. A random memory I have from that day is that my mouth muscles hurt from smiling so much. The ceremony was sweet, the reception was at my mom and dad's house in the desert (they had a big house that included an indoor patio with a waterfall).

One of Marty's random thoughts about the day was when the temple sealer grabbed our hands, he had grabbed Marty's hand in such a way that it squished his ring into his fingers. It was JUST KILLING him. It was hard to listen in all that pain!

Marty made the decorations--he's artistic, as well as engineerish--and it was good to see so many friends/relatives. The receiving line was in the living room, and dancing was in the family room and into the indoor patio. Marty made our cake stand. Sister Eyre made the cake for us.

Sister Wilcox (in the green dress) got everything ready while we were at the temple (4 hours south). My mom made my dress. My veil and shoes and the cake topper were from her wedding in 1954. The bridesmaids' dresses and flowers were from Patti's wedding.

My brothers, Carl and Ken, and Sister Bullock made up a combo of accordion, drums and organ. Thinking about that combination of instruments seems like it would be awful, but the music was very, very good. Kind of like a cruise ship jazz band.

My new sisters in law sang us "More Than the Greatest Love," which was "our song."  That is my Great Aunt Norma sitting down next to my dad. And from left: Louise Clift, Annette Clift, Christine Aurich, Maurine Nuttall, Juleen Clift.

Below is a picture of us reading our cards and looking at our presents. One thing I would change is that someone else opened our presents. Cards got lost (even though Sister Mortensen had a great 3x5 card system to keep track of these things) and thank you cards were never sent to a percentage of people. Now I always suggest the wedding couple open their own gifts, and when working a present table at a reception I bring scotch tape to make SURE the card is securely taped to the gift. My son Jon and his wife, Michelle, took a picture of themselves opening every single present for extra memories. So thanks 32 years late for your wedding gifts. :)

Our car was VERY decorated, including it being filled with newspaper, and the horn was tied to the lights (we were asked if we were okay by the police when we were at the side of the road later, turning off the horn. We had to explain that it was our wedding day and what someone had done. The officer congratulated us and went on his way.) Marty remembers when he locked up the car after the temple it wasn't fully latched. He never dreamed that "people" would take advantage. We thought about decorations on the outside, but surely not a car FILLED with newspapers. (And by the way, our car was already packed to go to BYU the next day.) He thought he was sneaky enough to hide the car in the garage. No luck.

We stayed in a hotel in town our first night, and the next year we went back there for our anniversary. But our visit was shortened by the lumber yard right next door (yes, I mean RIGHT next door) burning down in the middle of the night. It was lumber, it was huge, and we had to go.