Thursday, February 25, 2010

Are You Playing, "The Game" ?

I'm not and I never will. I guess that means that I won forever.

Let me explain......

This isn't "The Game" but various family members use the sight of it as a tool to make the other family member lose "The Game".

What is the game you say? Unfortunately, I know very well what it is. Where it came from, I do not know. I'd imagine that some teenager, somewhere thought it up. I don't have time for it (OK, you got me there, I do have the time to blog about it but that's about it.)(Ok, you got me again, I do have time to make people loose "The Game" as you will see later on).

The rules are simple: If you remember that you are playing "The Game", you lost. As long as you forget, you win. Simple enough. That's it in a nutshell.

I've caused several people to loose the game inadvertently (and I must admit, sometimes purposely) over the course of the last year. Just the other day, I was helping my oldest daughter with a word problem that simply stated that a particular ratio had to be set up with games won to games LOST. Two other kiddos as the table muttered, "Oh man, I just lost the game" under their breath. We girls just looked at each other and smiled and proceeded for several minutes to mention the word problem and how to set it up (over and over and over again....heh, heh, heh....).

Another example of how to make someone loose "The Game", is to mention that it's Tuesday night and LOST comes on. Simultaneously, you will hear the mutterings echoing through the house again, "Awe, I just lost the game...." (By the way, if you watch LOST, and play "The Game", you loose for an entire hour while the show is on.)

I've even sent Flair buttons to my son and niece on Facebook that say, "I just lost the game". I don't think they appreciated it very much. I know that when my son received his, I heard, "Ahhhhhhhhrrrrrggggggghhhh, I just lost the game again- geesh, thanks mom!" coming from the next room.

Sometimes I can mention random words or phrases like, parsley, box of chicken, John Locke, meep, or even Noah Webster, and those words will cause various outcries during the day from the two boys that are playing at my house. ( My oldest son's mind works through association- that is why those random words cause him to lose the game- How he associates those things with playing, "The Game" go figure??? The world will never know.....)

So, the moral of the story is, if you didn't know what "The Game" was, you do now. If you know someone that plays "The Game", I've probably given you some ammunition to make them loose "The Game". Anyway you look at it, it's just a game.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What I finally made for ME

I either knit or sew things for all kinds of people. I never, hardly ever, make anything for me (unless you count the curtains last month....). I broke my track record this week. I finally made something just for me.......

This was the beginning of my little project. I saw this yarn during a trip that my sister and I made to our local Hobby Lobby store awhile back. (If you are a relative and follow me on Facebook, you will remember that was back when Janette and I randomly screamed "Hobby Lobby" back and forth in our comments......yes, we finally got to go!).

Janette saw me eye-balling this yarn and she said she was going to buy it for me as part of a late birthday present. Yay!

I worked on it for what seemed like a couple of weeks off and on. Usually, I try to finish a hat in 2-3 days but since it was for me, I took my time. Here is the hat just as I was decreasing to close it up at the top (which, by the way, is my least favorite part of knitting a hat in the first place). That is probably why I took this picture. I needed a break from decreasing (Did I mention that decreasing makes me nervous?) Anyway, this photo clearly shows that I'm on the home stretch.

Hooray! It's done. The hat turned out to be thinner than I had thought but none the less, I still love it. It matches my coat. I actually had a lot of yarn left on the skein when I was done so I decided to make me a matching scarf.

I only have about 4 or 5 inches of the scarf done but it's getting there. Hey, at this rate, I'll have it done by summer!

I'll probably have to buy another skein of the matching yarn so it looks like another trip to Hobby Lobby is at hand!

If you are interested in the pattern I used for this hat, you can do like I did and learn by watching this video from the Knit Picks website.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stationary Yard Critters In The Snow

We managed to get about 3 inches of snow during the quick little winter storm we had several days ago. Believe it or not, there is still some snow in the shady areas of the yard still. I grew up hearing that if snow lies on the ground for a week, another snow will come to cover it up. I've always wondered if that was true. This is the south so I'm just not sure how much merit that old saying holds. I do know that when I was little, I counted each and every day that snow was still around- just hoping that that new snow would hurry up and cover the old snow. Come to think of it, I don't think it ever worked. The snow always melted just shy of 7 days. Oh well....

Here is our favorite tree dude, Melvin. He is sticking his tongue out at the snow. He is saying, "Nah, nah, na, boo, boo, you can't bother me you, you white stuff!"

I came upon these funny little guys in the front yard. Imagine that you are a frog in the snow, holding up a basin filled with snow. Yeah, just like that. Now realize that you are nuts because you are not a frog in the snow, holding up a basin filled with snow. HA!

Poor little guy. He's cute though, with all of that snow drifted on his little nose.... kind of looks like he told a lie doesn't it?

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's snowing again!

The snow is coming down as I type. We will have quite the winter wonderland by in the morning. The kids are thrilled and I am too. I've been to the store. We don't have to go anywhere tomorrow, and the hot chocolate is in the cabinet, so, I guess we are ready for a day of fun in the snow tomorrow!

This is the first object that the snow started to pile up on, outside our front door.

It wasn't long before it started sticking on the ground and trees.

It's funny to think that these bushes were partly covered in water just a couple of days ago with our "flood". They are still "kind of" covered in water if you want to be technical.....

The snow started coming down pretty fast. I love how it looks on the Leyland Cypresses.

After dark, I let the kids play for awhile (until their hair got wet...) because they just couldn't wait any longer. It was quiet except for the snow crunching beneath every one's feet. You know, there is something familiar about that "crunch" of snow underneath your feet. I guess it reminds me of childhood. I haven't heard that "crunch" in a number of years so it was a nice treat to hear it. I know, that's weird.

I'm actually looking forward to playing in the snow tomorrow!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Cleanup BEFORE The Flood

It was time. I had been putting it off for some time. I certainly couldn't use it, that's for sure. Meet, my sewing table.

Somehow, someway, my table became a catch-all....a catch-all that "caught all" fairly quickly too. With that being said, I am throwing caution to the wind and I have decided to be brutally honest here. The photo you are about to see is where I was supposed to create things. Instead, I hit a brick wall each time I walked by the table. Something definitely had to be done....

A real mess that was slowly, but surely growing.....

A might better I would say. There is still too much clutter on the table but I can see that there is a table. (Don't look at the pattern sticking in my "to do" box, Janette!) I even vacuumed afterwards! I threw away 2-30 gallon trash bags of , uhm, well, trash and precious cloth scraps that I had been holding on to for far too long! A couple of weeks ago, I made the curtains you see in the photo and all that the room needs now is a fresh coat of paint. Now if I could figure out how to keep little kiddos from drawing on my rotary cutting mat in INK!

OK, that was the cleaning part. Now comes the flood part.

We are accustomed to having to call for emergency services from time to time since we live near a busy intersection but nothing prepared us for what happened the other night.

Imagine Scott and I sitting on the couch, trying to watch LOST. Then, the familiar sound of a car crash broke our concentration from figuring out what year Kate and Jack were actually in this time. We walked out on the porch, scanned the yard to see where a car landed this time. This time, it was two houses away and we saw sparks flying in the distance....or what we thought were sparks flying.

As it turned out, when a car runs over a fire hydrant, at night, the car lights reflect on the cascading water and give the appearance of sparks. (Oh, and just to let you know, the person was not injured in the car accident)

To make a long story short, here are some scenes from that night:

This was the beginning of our "flood" experience. Believe me, it is very sobering to suddenly see a river of water rushing towards your front door.

Here is the water just touching the siding on the front of the house.

We watched helplessly as the water rose and rose, closer to the top of the foundation of the house. At one point, I pulled the couch out from the wall to see if the water was coming in. Thankfully, it didn't.

It's hard to tell, but this is a river of water that was washing down one side of the house.

Here is the threshold of the basement door. Notice the water pouring out of "Mr. Slither's" escape hatch. (Mr. Slithers is the black snake that I'm petrified of, that lives in the basement and leaves his skin lying around in my path each summer)

This is a photo of just after the water slowed down (thank you Mr. Water Company Employee)

Almost a foot of dirt was washed away from this side of the driveway. The gravel came from across the road somewhere....

This used to be full of mulch if you can believe it. Now the mulch is long gone. you don't even see it in the back yard- it washed down the hill, through the woods, and into a local stream.

Here is the far side of the house where the water rushed down and uncovered the downspout from the gutter. There is still some mulch here but we have a nice little ditch there now that wasn't there before.

Overall, I had no idea that millions of gallons of water could flow that quickly from a fire hydrant. I also learned that, (thank goodness) a water company employee lives fairly close to my house.

Something tells me that we will be hauling mulch in the near future.....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Winter weather in our neck of the woods....

The shear mention of ice or snow in the south causes massive shortages at the grocery stores. You know, bread, milk, peanut butter, and toilet paper. Don't ask me why but those are the things that are generally missing from the shelves right before, during, and several days after a winter storm. Maybe it's a southern thing. Maybe not. Who knows?

I even find myself scanning the pantry shelves when the weather man starts all of this pandemonium. Thankfully, we didn't run out of the necessities during our recent 2 day wintry mix.

These are just a few scenes from our sleet/snow mix.

Here is Melvin. If you follow my blog, you have probably seen him in all of the different seasons. Last winter he even had a runny nose. (The remnants can still be seen here, unfortunately) This year, he fared a might better. The tree to the left of him had a run in with another tree recently but, Melvin's tree persevered.

The roads weren't too bad. (Well, if you can call this slushy mess, not too bad) OK, compared to up north, they weren't too bad. Down in the south, it was shear disaster. There.

The snow plows went up and back down the highway twice that second day. The third day, they came by too, but that trip didn't make much sense to me. They came by scraping bare pavement. What a noise that made! I'd imagine they need new snow plow blades by now.

Red berries (sorry I can't spell their name) Poison- stay away. But they are pretty with sleet and snow on them.

I thought that this looked like an ice flow.

This is the end of the fence that usually tries to claim a victim or two when the sledders slide down towards it. Thankfully, no casualties that day....sort of....

I take a lot of my pictures for my Etsy shop on these rocks. Hey, I even took advantage of the change in scenery and snapped a few that day too. (Mental note, upload new Etsy items...)

These are the trees in which our satellite dish calls home. (It's on the other side with a clear view of the sky so don't worry) Usually when something is on the branches, such as ice or snow, they lean in, and obstruct the dish. Kids panic, parents panic- you get the idea. This time, the branches didn't lean (very much).

Last but not least, I had to include a photo of the two young men in my family that snowboarded down the driveway (or should I say, attempted to snowboard down the driveway). (Notice the snowboard at the feet of Go Cart boy- on the left) I'm not sure if one was snowboarding and the other slipped in front the other, or if both of these nuts were trying to snowboard at the same time. Regardless, our elderly neighbors probably stood at their kitchen window smiling and laughing at their antics for hours!

We are supposed to get a less exciting version of another storm so we'll just have to see what happens next.

I bet the grocery stores are still out of bread, milk, and toilet paper at this very moment......

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We don't cut brownies "straight-like" around here....

You know the feeling. You need chocolate, you don't have a handy dandy mix in the cabinet. What are you going to do? Make them yourself! It is possible- I promise!

I never have to cut the brownies around my house when they get done. Before they are even cooled, somebody, somewhere- from around the house, has already taken care of that little chore. Can't you tell?

A couple of years ago, I came across this recipe. I don't know where it came from but all I know, is that it is good and will make you so sick! (The good, chocolate, fat, overload sick).

If you are trying to loose weight, RUN, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!! Don't read on. If you are a brave soul, get ready- you are less than 20 minutes away from ooey, gooey, chocolaty goodness.

The Best Brownies Ever

Cast of Characters:

1-1/4 cup oil (I say, "forget the oil!", use 2 and a half sticks of butter instead- live dangerously!)
1/4 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract (the real stuff not the chemical, fake stuff)
4 eggs
1-1/2 cup flour (I use bread flour in mine)
1-1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start by mixing the dry ingredients well. Melt or allow the butter to soften (I've always just melted the butter in the microwave, myself). Mix the wet ingredients together with the butter and then mix everything together until just moistened. Pour into a greased 13x9 pan. (Remember all of that butter? Use the butter wrappers to grease your pan.) I use a glass baking dish but you could use a metal- your choice.

Now for the mystery. I never cook anything for a particular time. When it's done, I know it, when it's not, I know it too. I would guess that you need to cook it for 15 minutes and then check on the brownies. When a toothpick (or in my case, a butter knife) comes out clean, it's ready. If not, use your judgment and cook an additional 5-15 minutes depending on your oven and the pan you used. (Sorry I can't be more specific but I'm just one of those cooks that play it by "smell").

Now, doesn't this photo make it look like your hard work will be soooo worth it?