OK after ignoring my blog for the last few months I am ready to post again. The massive vortex called life has continued to swirl like the black hole of death. That is an exaggeration but it has been a couple crazy months. We moved out of the monster house and it is for sale $435K any takers? We have finally heard the clarion call of the get out of debt council and we are moving forward as fast as we possibly can. I sold the H3 and that reduced the monthly out flow by about $700 a month. Gas prices have dropped like crazy and that was a big chunk of what we were spending. We now own our cars and only have our houses and one credit card that still are not paid off. I feel some comfort in knowing that there are only those things left, but they are the big things and I am afraid that unless we can sell the monster house it is going to be a long road to financial freedom. I received a new calling in the ward I am now a counselor in the young men's presidency. Looks like lots of camping and lessons to teach are in the future. Yeh! Farmer Joe would be proud of my latest acquisition. 1993 Toyota Land cruiser FJ80 paid cash $1850 And its in sweet condition. Miles are 251,000. I am happy as a tornado in a trailer park. I took the kids out to the desert on Saturday and we dug for Opal. We found one pretty good spot and came back with some pretty big chunks. Opal is a mineraloid gel that is deposited at moderately low temperature. It is transported by water to the surface by hot springs through cracks and fissures in the rock substrate. In our area it is common to find opal deposited in basalt. (Lava flows). The gem contains from %5 to 20% water and after dug out of the ground if not stabilized can crack at room temperature. The gem quality opal has lots of flashes of "fire" blues reds yellows greens and oranges in a mostly transparent rock. But the stone can range from completely white and opaque to black. Fire opal is the most rare and desired. The stones we found were mostly white with some blue and a few had some fire. We didn't find anything of gem quality but in the area we dug people have pulled out some very nice opal. We left early and drove out to the desert south of Boise and started digging about 10:30am. I took Aisling and Brenna and It was a frosty morning with clear skies and no wind. As soon as the sun hit our dig it warmed right up and was quite pleasant. Although the girls stayed in their coats I was in my shirt sleeves pretty quick, nice for a December morning. We drove over some pretty rough terrain and the Fj80 did great. I am tickled pink with that truck. By 1pm the kids were yelling from the truck "Dad I am hungry and you said we would go 10 hours ago!" So it was happy meals on the way home and back to show Challis our finds. I had a ton of fun and expect to head out there again soon to search for that elusive treasure. This might be the beginning of an exciting rock hounding career. Last night I made English muffins, They turned out ok and I got a pretty good raise in my dough, but I am not completely satisfied witht he recipe. If anyone has a good recipe they have personally made and had a good result I would be very interested.