Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hot Springs, Grandma and Cookies!

For the LOVE of Hot Springs!
Even though our family is frugal, we do allow a certain percentage of our money each month to be able to do something FUN as a family. We sit down with the kids and decide what we will do that month. Most months in the summer we save the money away so we can go on a little family trip.
HOWEVER, during the cold Fall, Winter and early Spring months our favorite thing to do is to go and warm up in the Hot Water and at our local Hot Springs (Heise).

(photo circa 1980...
somewhere along the Colorado River
Kimmie is the one in the yellow swim suit)

It's amazing to me

how the smallest event can make such a big difference in your life.
Since I was the oldest of six kids,
I was the lucky one that got to accompany my parents on a seven day River Rafting Trip (with Moki Mac River Expeditions) down the Colorado River in 1980.
You had to be at least eight years old to go.

This one experience was life changing for me in gaining a LOVE and appreciation for nature and someone that thrives on and LOVES the outdoors in all forms.

I LOVED the river, the ever changing scenery and LOVED camping each night along the river bank in tents, hiking to see Native American Ruins and cooking all of our food over a fire or in dutch ovens.

Along the way
we would stop and enjoy Hot Springs and I was just so fascinated that hot water spontaneously came out of the ground that I was hooked on Hot Springs.
We had a local Hot Springs (Crystal Hot Springs) in the town where I grew up and I have such fond memories of going there in the winter with my parents and being so warm in the water, but have a hair full of ice crystals because it was so cold outside.

I'm SO thrilled to be able to pass similar memories on to my own kids.

Here are some photos
showing some of the FUN and beauty that we have had as a family enjoying local Hot Springs...
My Sweet Ethan...
LOVE this photo SO much!

LAVA Hot Springs July 2007
getting ready for the sun to set so we could enjoy watching the Fourth of July Fireworks be launched off the mountain while we enjoyed soaking in the warm water.

One of our favorite natural Hot Springs...
it's a three hour drive to the trailhead, a two mile hike to the hot springs with 1,000 foot elevation gain the last 1/2 mile of the hike in,
but the view and the HOT water is worth it!!
I just wished we lived closer to this wonderful spot!

My Sweet Grandma
Laura Hannah Hunsaker Tolman

January of this year,
while Tracy's brother and family were visiting from Tennessee, they had certain things they wanted to do while they were here and soaking in Hot Water was on the list.
So, we made the Trek to Lava Hot Springs, despite bad weather and enjoyed very much warming up in the hot water on a cold and snowy winter's day.
One of the fun things about soaking at Hot Springs is getting to meet people from many different places and learning more about them through great conversation. Tracy and I very much enjoy talking and getting to know other people.

I'm not sure how the conversation started, but there was a nice man that said he was from Corrine, Utah. I overheard him talking and kind of went up to him and told him that I graduated from Box Elder High School. We then proceeded to make small talk and he asked who my parents were, what year I graduated, etc...

This sweet couple we met was
Delwin "Butch" and Margie Mills
They told me that my Grandma Laura had delivered 4 out of their 5 children and they LOVED her SO much.
Their fourth child was born with a hole in his stomach and when my grandma asked them what they were going to name the baby they said that they didn't have any boy names picked out because they were hoping it would be a girl.
Apparently, since they were transporting the baby to a different hospital they had to have a name for the baby. They asked my grandma what name she liked. My grandma said "I really like the name Dustin". My grandma then looked up the meaning of the name in a book that they had with baby names at the nurses station and the name Dustin meant "Valiant fighter".
The couple LOVED the name (since their son was struggling for his life) and were so grateful for her suggestion and that's what he was named...thanks to my sweet grandma.

October 20, 1970
Proud Grandma...
holding me after I was born

The couple was sad that my grandma had died before their last child was born. They had never dealt with a nicer, more compassionate nurse than my Grandma and they loved her!

What sweet words these were to my ears
to hear this couple speak so highly of my grandma. I had always been told by my parents and aunts and uncles how wonderful my Grandma was, but to hear it from someone else, meant SO much more to me.

My Sweet Grandma, who was a nurse and had never smoked a day in her life had to fight a battle of lung cancer and only lived a few months after being diagnosed.

Living in a small town
, our Elementary school was right across the street from my Grandma's house and I would go there everyday after school when she was sick and take care of her.
For some reason, my grandma loved, enjoyed and needed the companionship of her eight year-old grand-daughter each day and I cherished those moments of walking to her house each afternoon and hearing her voice SO excited I was there and helping her out, although 32 years later they are just "distant memories" as she died 2 weeks before my 9th birthday. (although I still to this day can remember the "Smell" of her house).
I wished I could have had more years to spend with her.

Four things I remember most about going to my grandma's house...
...her dried fruit that she made on her dehydrator,
...cracking open and eating the pits of her apricots
(they reminded me of the taste of almonds)
...her homemade scones
...and her Carrot Cookies.

And now to Cookies...
I'm grateful for recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next, so I can enjoy making yummy things for my kids that were such a treat to me when I was a young girl going to visit my Sweet Grandma Laura.
Here is her yummy recipe
for Carrot Cookies that are also a favorite at my house as well.

Carrot Cookies (my Grandma Laura's recipe)

¾ cup

¾ cup
REAL butter

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons
baking powder

1 cup
boiled carrots mashed

2 cups flour
1/2 cup
chopped nuts

together sugar and butter.
Then beat in egg, vanilla and baking powder.
Add mashed carrots and then flour and nuts.
Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.
Ice with powdered sugar and orange juice.
is also yummy on the top of the icing. This was my grandma's recipe.

Grandmas hold our tiny hands
for just a little while, but our hearts forever.

My heart is full of gratitude
for my rich heritage, my wonderful memories from my youth and my married life, having all five senses to be able to appreciate and enjoy the BEAUTY of nature and being abundantly blessed with all the things that truly give life meaning...
family, friends, nature in all her beauty, laughter and most of all...a home full of an abundance of Love!!


Connie said...

What wonderful memories you have of your sweet grandma! Sheri Dew has a talk on CD, "4 Things that will Wreck our lives and the 4 Truths that will Save It." In it she talks about how women influence others. She talked about her grandmother and how much she influenced her even though her grandma died when Sheri was still young.
I will make those cookies! Speaking of carrot cookies, in Salt Lake City is a new store called "Dough Girl" It's a cookie store. The cookie that was featured last week was one that had carrots, coconut and curry! Can you believe that? They tasted delicious!
Love the picture of you in 1979 in the hot springs. What fun memories. Talk about influence, look at the influence you have on your family. You're awesome!

Ann Marie said...

Kimmie! Kimmie! Kimmie!!

I came in from a long day working in the yard.. and was sooo happy to see comments from you!
~ You were so kind to go back and read some of my posts. I always cherish your sweet thoughts.. and you are always sooo nice!

I loved this post!
I seriously want to drive up and try out a hot spring for myself!
My body aches a lot... (arthritis) and I'm sure once I try a spring.. I will want to LIVE by one! :)

I also love to meet people from all over. :) ~ And I think it's soo amazing that these people knew your Grandmother.

I adored your old pictures.. and I can see you in her in appearance.. and from the sound of it.. I bet you were much like her in your kindness and generousity.

I want a food deydrater. Seriously.. it brings back many memories for me as well when I smell food drying.. or I taste it.
To this day.. dehydrated Apricot leather is the only "apricot" stuff I like to eat. Weird?

Anyways.. I had so much fun going down your memory lane.. thank you for sharing!!

Ann Marie said...

Oh and.. I am NOT a fan of carrots.
In fact.. the only way I have eaten them is cooked in naughtiness.. ( brown sugar ) like my Mother makes.. but I do like carrot cake.. and those cookies look simply delightful.
I am going to copy the recipe and make it! Yummo!!

Britt said...

I enjoyed reading about your Grandma. How wonderful to have such great memories even though you were only 8 when she died.

So do buy season passes to the hot pools (I'm not sure if they even offer them)? What a fun activity. I think we'd need a season pass though to be able to afford our family to go. haha.

Cherie said...

Kimmie - First (since I read it last - ha ha) I am IN LOVE with the cookie recipe. I love anything with carrots in it. I love carrot cake!! I am excited to try these yummy cookies as I know they will be a hit at my house - well, if anyone else gets to eat them...(insert evil laughter here!). Thanks so much for passing on this treasured recipe :D

I love your hot springs pictures. That is one of the things we have really enjoyed and taken advantage of since moving to Idaho some 20 years ago. We have quite a few around here too (Idaho is just littered with them) but our favorite is the one we go to when we do our big Memorial Day Campout. We have some great memories.
We sometimes go to hot springs in the winter too because there is nothing like sitting in the nice warm Hot Springs and having snow fall on your head - Love it!!

You look like your Grandma - I can definately see a resemblance there. She sounds like THE sweetest woman and the best nurse.
I lost my Grandpa to lung cancer when I was 7 also - How weird is that? He was mostly in the hospital so I did not get to see him very much once he got sick and I loved him more than I can say. I think it is SO great that you got to spend that time after school with your Grandma - Priceless.
And to randomly meet people that not only knew her but she delivered their babies - It IS a very small world isn't it.

I love how your posts cover so many wonderful topics!

Hope life is going great!

Love ya,


Suzanne said...


First of all, thank you for your very loving comments! I really appreciated that love you gave me! Thank you!

Second, I must admit, I am a bit leary about the hot springs. Did you ever see that movie Dante's peak? Where the couple were swimming in a hot spring and the earth had a burst or hiccup of heat from the nearby volcano and it completely boiled the couple to death. Yeah, lets just say I was traumatized watching that as a kid and am scared to DEATH of hot springs! One day I will be brave and drive to Lava Hot Springs, one day! (raising fist in the air!)

I really enjoyed the stories of your grandmother. Bless you for spending time with her. LOVED the story of Dustin! And the cookies look delicious!! You have inspired me to plant carrots in my garden now. I haven't before because I wasn't sure what to make with them, but carrot cookies, now were talkin! Making my banana bread today! Wish me luck not to ruin it! ha! Have a fabulous day! -Suzanne

Candace said...

Great Post!!! That is so sweet about your Grandma!! The cookies are good made with sweet potatoes (yams) too!

Garden of Egan said...

What a beautiful story! I think you look a bit like your grandmother. She's a beautiful woman.
It looks like your family is gearing up for some serious summer fun.
Hope the remodel job is done!
The cookies look like they are so moist and yummy.

LKP said...

...and there's Kimmie circa 2007 still in a somewhat yellow swimsuit. ;) Hey, when you can rock it, then rock it! ::hugs::