Today, I got to do something I have been looking forward to all year: I got to make prickly pear jelly! 

First, I had an off road adventure in the Jeep to go and find some of the delicious fruits.  Harvesting prickly pear actually isn’t that bad; even though it’s on a cactus, it’s all a matter of watching where you step (to avoid spines in your boots and pants) and wearing gloves.  I got away with minimal damage and a lot of fruit-actually, I got too much, but I plan on making a syrup this next week to put into waffles and *adult* drinks.  And it was nice because I got to drive the Jeep!  Usually when we go off roading Nason drives, so I took advantage of my time in the desert today and took longer than was necessary, so I could put my own mud on the tires. 

When I got home I texted my mother-in-law a photo of the fruits in the bucket, and she came over shortly afterwards with the girls.  We sliced up enough prickly pear to make a double batch of the recipe I found, and then cooked it up.  We took advantage of the time to catch up and talk, and chase after the girls (they kept themselves entertained with Hide and go Seek, the bamboo in our backyard, and the Nerf guns we keep in the living room).  

We had a couple of mishaps, mostly when the mixture on the stove boiled over, covering my stove top in a 

Oops!

 

sticky mess, but we laughed it off and kept going.  And now there is quite a bit of prickly pear jelly cooling in my fridge!  I can not wait to try it out and see how it ended up this year-based on the juice that Nancy and I both tried, it’s going to be so good!  Thank you to Nancy for coming over and helping me today, the help and company was really nice! 

PS: If you want the recipe I used, I found it here.  Although they say to burn the spines off, I actually found it easier to cut the tips off of the fruit and skin them since I do not have a gas stove.  But, to each his own.  Use whatever method works for you. 

The finished product! (One container missing)

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My friend who came over yesterday (this picture is a little old, and was taken on a trampoline)

I love girl talk.  I think it’s fun to get together with one or two friends and just talk about life and love and everything in between.  It is something I don’t get all the time, since I live with my husband, but that’s okay.  It keeps girl talk special.

It’s not that I don’t talk with my husband about those things.  Nason and I have amazing conversations all the time.  We talk about our struggles, and dreams, and we spend more time talking than we do doing most anything else.  It’s just that…girl talk is different.  There is a different dynamic to it which is very special.  I love my husband more than anything in this world, but sometimes I need some time with my friends.

Yesterday I was blessed with some of that time.  One of my good friends came over yesterday and we had a five hour conversation.  It was wonderful.  We talked about our years (since she has been in Flagstaff since last September), and my husband and her boyfriend, and movies and books that we loved, and what we were doing this summer.  We didn’t go and do anything, we didn’t lapse for anything, we just…talked.  It was so refreshing to sit and talk with her, and just spend time getting to know her again, since we hadn’t seen each other in a while.

I am blessed to have my best friend living right down the street from me for now, too.  Usually we do the same thing when we get together.  Sometimes we’ll go out and do something, but most of the time we just sit and talk.  I always enjoy these days, since I learn something new about her every time we talk, and it’s always so much fun to share news and hear her news. 

I love my friends very much, and I’ve missed some of them while they’ve been away at school.  Hopefully I get to reconnect with them this summer, and have some great conversations.