Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Easy Lemon Cake

Now that things are somewhat back to normal, I have been cooking and baking again. My Mom gave me this recipe for an Easy Lemon Cake and it really is easy (and delicious).

Here is the recipe:

Easy Lemon Cake

1 boxed lemon cake mix
4 eggs
1 21 oz. can of lemon pie filling (make sure it is lemon pie filling)

Mix all and put in a greased 9 X 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until cake is done.

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup softened butter
1 box powdered sugar
3 tsp. vanilla

Mix all and frost the cake after it has cooled.

You could add anything to the top of this cake. I put grated nuts on mine and when my Mom made it, she put shredded coconut; both were delicious! Let me know if you give this a try.

Friday, June 24, 2011

We're Home

After a week of evacuation from the fire, we are finally home, safe and sound. All of the grass, trees and bushes were destroyed by fire, and we have some smoke damage on our fence, but other than that, everything is intact. The house smelled of smoke, but I put bowls of white vinegar around and it absorbed the odor. We have found 2 rattlesnakes, one near the garage and the other in the backyard. There are tons of lizards, beetles and other insects all around. Guess the critters are trying to find places to go too.

Our whole area looks like a wasteland; it is so sad. Sadder still to think that all of this was caused by human hands. It is amazing how our community pulled together through this, though. It makes me very proud to be a resident here.

Here is our backyard as it looked a week ago (see the smoke/fire in the mountains behind us):

And here it is now:

Front of our house:

How close it came:

A green agave in the midst of the black:

Here is what it looked like out my kitchen window last Tuesday:

The fire did not even reach our neighborhood that day; that happened on Thursday. I can only imagine what it looked like then.

I am so thankful to be back in our home. We are very lucky and blessed, as there are people who literally lost everything they owned. Now it's time to help our new community as best we can. It's the least we can do.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Evacuated due to Monument Fire

Hello all... just wanted to post while I had the chance to tell you that we have been evacuated from our new home due to the Monument Fire here in Arizona. Today is Day 6 of evacuation... we left Tuesday afternoon and came back briefly on Wednesday, only to be told to evacuate again. We are now at our old house in Tucson sleeping on an air mattress that we fortunately remembered to grab on our way out. Thank goodness our renters are not moving in until July so we had a place to go to; many others not as fortunate.

Mr. S. and the cats and I are all okay. By far this has been the most stressful week of our lives.

The fire went through our neighborhood on Thursday and did some damage, but thankfully our house is still standing. We don't know when we will be allowed to return.

I will post photos once we are back in the house and things settle down. Please pray  that they get this fire more contained soon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I Survived the Move!!

Hello everyone. We are in the new house now, and I just got my Internet hooked up yesterday. I am still surrounded by boxes, and will be for a while longer, as Mr. S. still has several rooms to finish painting (including my craft room).

This morning as I sat outside on our back patio with my coffee, I watched the birds come to our feeder and enjoyed the mountain view and realized how lucky and blessed we are to live here.

It is a big change from where we lived before ... so far we have seen coyotes, roadrunners, hawks, quail, bunnies and many different bird species, and we haven't even been here a full week yet!

Once I get more organized, I will post some pictures so you can see the house. Hope everyone is doing well.