Monday, January 31, 2011

Still a bag lady

Remember these bags?

Well, not these exact bags. These are new ones, fresh off the assembly line. They are a couple that I started and didn't get finished before Jess closed the Etsy shop. They've been just lying in waiting (for a purpose) this past year. I finally decided to finish them up and donate them to our local library for their upcoming silent auction fundraiser. It's coming up on February 11th, if any of you local readers are interested in placing a bid. For more details, email me or watch the local paper. Meanwhile, they can be seen displayed in the library.

I also have another one cut out of the blue leaflet fabric, if anyone is interested in purchasing for a gift (or yourself) or whatever. Just give me a holler!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The second first

If you read yesterday's post, you know that Courtney had a couple of firsts this month. The first first was a haircut, and this, her second first, was a trip to the dentist.

Here she is, just before the exam:

All set, with a "bib" and dark glasses to protect her eyes from the bright exam light:

She had complained a few times that her front teeth hurt, so besides a routine checkup, that's why she visited the dentist. Below, I believe they're using a little "pen" x-ray machine to get pics of those front teeth.

She did wonderfully, according to Mommy, and her teeth looked great! Just a little sensitivity in those front teeth, which hopefully will go away. She was very brave through her exam, and she came away with a new toothbrush and some other fun goodies. Going to the dentist is fun! Everyone agree?

(Thanks again, Mommy, for sharing the photos!)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The first of two firsts

Courtney's had a couple of firsts this month. The first first was a haircut. That was a couple weeks ago, but I only got around to asking Mommy for the pics to share last night (after she'd sent me pics of the second first). And I know a lot of you have seen these pics already, but not everybody, plus I just thought they should be blogged (so when Courtney is old and wants to see the story of her life online, it'll all be here ;-) ).

Here's the 'before' shot. Her hair had been in braids. It's naturally curly, but not kinky! :-) Look how long it was!

So here it goes.... Is that an unsure look on her face?

Getting there.....

I love this next one! "YIKES! What have you done?!", perhaps?

And the adorable 'after' (she melts my heart!):

There's still some curl there, but it takes some 'doing' to get it to show up.

Sooooooo pretty!!! (It was sad to see the length go, but at least Mommy still has it!)

It's been pretty straight whenever I've seen it, but that is due in part to winter hats. Although they're definitely a necessity, they do not do anybody's hair style any good!

Come back tomorrow to see Courtney's second first!

(Thanks, Mommy, for the photos!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What snow is good for


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That was Mommy driving in right at the end there.
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Climbing, falling... and giggles. :-)
Ta da!



Monday, January 24, 2011

Another guest post... sorta

These photos were sent to me by my friend Mark, the displaced Minnesotan who now lives in Fresno, CA. He REALLY misses snow and cold. So a couple weeks ago he sent me these pics that he took out there, I guess so I can feel bad that I live here and not there. ;-) No, really he was explaining what his 47-mile drive was like heading home from up the mountain:

"Fresno is and was cloudy and overcast with the temperature in the low 40’s, but just up the mountain at 4,000 ft. and above it is clear, sunny and warm. The temperature at 5,000 ft. yesterday was 55 degrees and snow was melting. This weather phenomenon is call an “inversion layer” where the cold air gets trapped in the valley by the cloud layer and the high pressure system holds the cold air down. So the clouds never burn off and we are cold and damp and the mountains are sunny, warm and full of snow."

This was his view from the highway:

Looks like a frothy ocean, doesn't it?

What an incredible view!

As he drove down, you can see that it was really a cloud layer, or fog.

Look how he's driving right down into it:

And we know what it's like to drive in fog:

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Awesome photos, huh? Thanks, Mark! Somehow, I'm not convinced to move out there, though, despite the view and the warmer temps. I'm not a lover of fog. I'll stay here and continue to complain about the snow and cold. ;-)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Baby, it's COLD outside!

It was 12° BELOW ZERO when I got up this morning. That's not so bad... International Falls, MN, set a new record at MINUS 42°! I guess I can be glad I live down here in the "south".

Still beats California fog, anyway. ;-) Can I show 'em your awesome pics, Mark?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Meatballs!

This came in my Christmas stocking from "Santa":

Actually there were two of them... the other one was bigger. Know what it is? It's a meatball scoop! (It could also be used for melon balls, etc.) Anybody out there love making meatballs with your hands? Y'know... scooping up that sticky mixture and shaping all those little balls? Not me. That's why I didn't make meatballs very often. That's why I was happy to find these tools in my stocking!

I gave them a try last week. Forgive me for the not-so-great photos. I was in a hurry... running late with supper, as usual. Anyway, here's my mixture, all ready to be made into balls:

Below are the first couple of balls:

They came out nicely, although I did have to scrape excess meat off the seam and the hole where the extra squished out. I started using a spatula for that, but being in a hurry, I ended up using my other hand instead. BUT, I still had only one hand sticky (or rather, just my fingers)! And using the tool was MUCH faster than shaping all those balls by hand!

Not a very pretty pan, is it? But if you consider it's been used for a bzillion things over the last 40 years, it's not so bad, is it? It's dark Teflon to begin with, so not quite as burnt as it may appear.

Yes, I baked them. I don't like frying meatballs. Actually, I don't like frying much of anything. Or maybe it's more the fact that I don't like cleaning up the grease splatters afterwards. Yeah, that's it. I DO like eating fried stuff, though. :-)

Here they are, all done:

I'd added a little Italian seasoning to my regular recipe, and then put them into spaghetti sauce. We had yummy spaghetti and meatballs, which Grandpa (and I) heartily approved. I will definitely be doing this again! Bigger meatballs will be fun, too.

Thanks, "Santa"! You know who you are.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The newest pets

Sorry I've been a bit absent (did you miss me?)! We made a quick trip to Des Moines, IA, over the weekend to have our Christmas celebration with Jess and Alex. Watching the weather forecast all last week, we were thinking we weren't going to be able to go, but at the last minute it looked pretty much do-able, so we took off Friday afternoon. The only snowy/blowy roads we had were here as we left, and here again as we got home Sunday evening, and they didn't hinder our driving. So a safe trip was had, as well as a good time, a nice place to stay, and of course lots of good food. Oh, yeah... and some Christmas gifts as well.

The videos below show what we brought back for Courtney (who, along with her mommy and daddy, didn't get to make the trip with us) from J&A. Have you ever heard of the Littlest Pet Shop toys? They seem to be the rage right now. There are many, many different sets of tiny animals and various accessories. Courtney has a growing collection! Here she is using what she got from J&A. Listen carefully!

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Did you notice Courtney's short hair?! She got her first haircut last Thursday! Cute, huh?

Josie wanted to play, too. Or maybe she just wanted to send out a wave to all her fans in blogland! ;)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Daddy

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This is Daddy's nearly-full-time job this winter. And he'll be at it again soon, as today we have a south wind filling in everything he so carefully cleaned out on Tuesday, the day I took the video. Then this weekend, it'll all get filled in again from the northwest, with maybe a little new snow added to it. Aargh.

He's really good at driving backwards, but I think his boss(es) ought to get him a front-mounted snowblower to save on his neck. ;-)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Personally....

I prefer color to all that whiteness! I took these early Sunday morning:

(Click to enlarge.)

As you can see, the clouds were moving in from the west. Remember the old saying: "Red clouds at morning, sailor take warning"? It proved true in this case. It started snowing shortly after that and is only just now (Tuesday morning) beginning to stop. It was very fine snow ("fine" as in small flakes, NOT as in any kind of good or wonderful!), so it accumulated slowly, but I'd say we have around 8" of new stuff. Just waiting for the wind to come up.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And the winner is.....

Time's up! No more entries in the CSN giveaway! Well, for those of you who did enter, the odds are awfully good, since there are only 9 of you!

Okay, get on with it, you say, and just announce the winner, right? (Dale's holding his breath again, I can tell.)

I used Random.org's little number generator, plugged in the numbers 1 & 9, and voila!

And number 9 is .... The Luedtke Family, who said: "Oooh so many choices! One possiblity is a fish tank/aqaurium to place on the low dresser in the kids' room that no longer holds a diaper changing pad.Some sort of excercise incentive for me, as I have only one DVD that I am using, perhaps a big ball or a yoga DVD. And I have had my eye on an immersion blender or a Dutch oven for some time now. Sooo many choices."

Well, you'll have to narrow down your choices now, because you won the $35 gift certificate! I'll be emailing you shortly and sending you the code, so you can make your purchase whenever you're ready. Congratulations!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Can it get any whiter?

So they say. Snowing again right now, and more on the way.

Actually, we have more snow than what's in those pics, too. They were taken a couple days after Christmas. But then we had rain that washed the snow off the evergreens and settled things down a bit. Then we had more snow. And lotsa blow. Enjoy, you warm-climated peoples... ENJOY! (Somebody might as well!)

(Click on photo collage to enlarge.)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Guess who won!

No, not the gift certificate. Time's not up for that yet... you can still enter by leaving a comment!

But who won the "chase the toy" game?

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(Eeyore's just along for the ride.)

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Yep, no question about it. Josie won, although Courtney did have a pretty fast swing there! ;-)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What would you do?

Okay, since Dale's been holding his breath so politely, it's time to let you all in on my secret (before he turns purple and keels over and misses his chance)! The good folks at CSN have offered me a gift certificate in the amount of $35! In the unlikely event that you haven't heard of CSN, let me fill you in. CSN Stores is comprised of over 250 specialized online stores that offer a wide variety of home goods including tools, office furniture, bedding, lighting, outdoor furniture, luggage, handbags, cookware... and the list goes on. In a recent search, I saw these cool corner TV stands. Wouldn't that be just the thing to hold up that new flat screen TV that just has to go in a corner?

So here's the deal: I'm going to give away this $35 gift certificate to one of you lucky readers. Just because I like you all so much. And because you said so many nice things to me when I hit my 1,000th post awhile back! All you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me what you might buy if you win the gift certificate. Only one comment per person, please, and be sure I have a way of contacting you if you are the winner.

I will use a random number generator to pick the winner from the comments I receive. I'll leave the contest open until 5:00 p.m. CST next Monday, January 10th, and I will announce the winner by Tuesday and send the lucky recipient a promotional code to use on their purchase (sorry, this code will not cover international fees).

Soooo.... what would you do with $35 to spend at CSN? Or what catches your eye as you browse through their products?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Who was there?

This was the view from my sewing room a few days before Christmas. Yeah, lotsa snow. But especially take note of the little light-colored spot near the lower right corner of the window.

Here's a closer look, with the photo enhanced a bit so you can see it better:

Yeah, it's a tunnel. A very LITTLE tunnel! What do you think made it?!

Maybe this next photo will give you a clue. Look below the tunnel, right up against the window:

Hmmm. Eeuww.

Okay, now look on top of the snow to where the tunnel exits:

(Click any photo to enlarge.)

Hmmm. Pretty big tracks. Any guesses as to whether the little tunnel-digger is still alive? (I don't know the answer to that.)

Dale, I think you could come up with a pretty good story for this one.

Enough of that. Stay tuned for a great post later this week. Think giveaway! Think CSN!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

"Oh, dear..."

Courtney helped us all get the goodies out of our stockings on Christmas Eve. When she pulled out what was in the bottom of Daddy's, however, it sorta came apart. The inner box slipped out of the outer part, and all the contents went on the floor. Courtney's "Oh, dear" was so cute.

She tried her best to pick them up and replace them in the box....

(Did you notice that adorable cupcake hat with the cherry on top?)

.... but they kept slipping back to the floor.

It was finally decided that a different container was in order, and we scooped them up, put them away, and went on with the evening.

On that note, we'll end the Christmas photos (because I don't have any more). Later this week, I'll have a surprise for you. Yeah, for YOU! Well, one of you, anyway. Do check back!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What's going on here?!

Remember this post? They seem to be at it again! Look!!

They even got Wispy in on it... and Teddy's tipping over like he's joining them, too. (Josie up in her tower isn't too sure about the whole thing, methinks. I see an open eye.) What do you suppose they're up to this time? Waiting for supper? Waiting for Santa? Or weary-of-winter-already-in-December farmers sneaking in another break? ;-)

Anyway, here's wishing you all a Happy New Year that includes some excited anticipation and some restful times, as well! God bless you all!