Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Groundhog Day

On Feb 2nd, I introduced my crew to Punxsutawney Phil, homemade.  After Googling, we found this great  Family Fun idea complete with photos and instructions.  And we had . . .


He looked so cute and we really enjoyed putting him together.  Mind you, no one in our family likes coconut, but I didn't have to go to the store even for the mounds bar.  Hmmm, kindof makes you wonder about our preparedness lifestyle doesn't it? 

Speaking of preparedness, I'll go ahead and share my favorite story on that subject.  About a year ago, I heard this loud whooshing sound coming from the garage.  You might think I would go investigate right away, and had I been in THAT frame of mind, I might have, but I didn't.  Instead I proceeded to get the kids ready for school, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, and walk out the door to load up the bus.  HOLD EVERYTHING!  Why is water coming out from under the garage door?  Hmmm, I guess I'll look into that when I get home.  La lee la, hum de dum.  I DROVE OFF!  Can you believe it?  I can't either.  An hour later, when I got home, I decided I better check into that whole water deal.  I'm so thankful that the garage door doesn't really seal at the bottom. 

I do wish it only went the one way, but today we're being thankful. 

The water heater had . . . well, the whole thing was just falling apart.  Water was gushing from everywhere and, again being thankful, I stepped DOWN into the garage to shut off the valve.  Having great friends, I was glad for times when things went wrong with their plumbing.  Otherwise I would never have known that such a valve existed.  Also glad for the step because otherwise, our house would have been as flooded as the garage.

See, when I was growing up, we just made a phone call and some guy showed up to fix whatever was wrong.  Usually, it was some guy I'd never seen in my life, and most likely never would again (they always fixed it right the first time and we moved A LOT). 

Anyway, that day, I was so glad to know about said valve.  Now about a year before this mishap, my great friends (really great), Scott and Dianna, replaced their water heater for a Rinnai and gifted us with their slightly used, 50 gal. tank.  As much as I'd love to have a Rinnai, I don't really use enough hot water to justify the expense.  So the 50 gal. tank sat in my garage teasing us about the space it was using without paying rent.  And we just grinned back, knowing someday . . .

Have you ever arrived at the end of the money before the end of the pay period?  Well, it wasn't quite awful, but it was quite inconvenient to have the old water heater spewing for all it was worth.  But I smiled anyway.  Someday had come and we were only inconvenienced at the whole process of moving one tank to it's final resting place and another LARGER (thank you guys so much, D & S) garden tub filling ALL THE WAY TO THE TIPPY TOP tank onto the platform. 

So there you have it, two successes in one post, neither having anything to do with the other except, preparedness.  You had to have known I'd talk about it ;-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Olympics

They have officially begun.  As I watched the Opening Ceremonies tonight with my family, I was hopeful that my children would gain some appreciation of different cultures.  It was wonderful to view the dedication of those dancing.  They danced throughout the entrance of all 82 countries athletes and their support which took over an hour.  I grew tired just watching them.  Yet as the country flags continued to stream out of the entrance, I started to anticipate the show that Vancouver would put on and then the traditional lighting of the torch which signifies the beginning of the games.  And I stared in amazement at the light show, new dancing, beautiful singing, (and OK is KD Lang looking more and more like a man every day???), and knew that I would choose to do none of those things and I could love them anyway.  What a fantastic beginning.  Even though my children came in and out throughout the 3-hour opening, they did ask questions, they did learn a little about Canada and other countries too, and they did gain a smidge of culture knowledge.  I appreciated the glitch at the end, when the 4th of 4 arms which were to light the indoor torch failed to rise, the show continued; the torch runners improvised.  I was able to watch a perfectly planned event have an obvious problem and still be successful.  Yep, I really love the Olympics.  Sometimes, it really is great to have TV.  (Whodathunk that would come from me???)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mmmmm Mmmmm Good

Winn Dixie had a fantastic sale this week.  Ribs were $1.99/lb and that meant an early Valentine's Day treat for my menfolk.  I was singing all day as I thought how much the boys were going to love their parents come 6 o'clock.  At 10, I started preparing the rub and after reading the reviews, decided to modify the heat in this great recipe.  I also found this information to be really useful since I had only cooked ribs once or twice in my whole life.  Rubbing the spices into the meat was really fun, and I even let the littlest man help.  Two racks, rubbed and ready.  Mmmmm.  At about 1:30, after the meat had come to room temperature, it was time to stick them in the hot oven.  Since we have a small convection oven, we thought we'd try out two methods of cooking and see which we liked best; the everlasting home taste competitor's that we are.  Into the gas oven went one and a half racks, and into the convection oven went the last half.  At about 3, we began the spritz routine:  every half hour, squirt 'em with 4:1 apple juice and water, soaking them down.  Then the wonderful aroma started wafting through the house.  And the singing continued.  The aroma quickly became out of this world; the singing, not so much.  While we spritzed and smelled the air, we decided that sides were definitely in order.  The more sides, the more leftovers, or so we thought.  So at dinnertime, there was corn, tasty potato salad, homemade miniTexas toast, and baked beans.  and RIBS!  Plenty of beautiful, tasty, well cooked, fat rendered, sloppy with Sonny's (it won the family taste test) BBQ sauce RIBS!  Plenty!. . . or so we thought.  Then the young men came home.  With their big ole' appetites in tow. 

They smelled the delightful RIBS,
saw the sides, and started singing.

PS  Don't know if it was the convection oven, the hour longer in the convection oven, or the more marbled ribs, but the convection oven ribs won hands down and we even had ONE leftover rib.  What a teaser for later.  (I wonder who will find it first.) 

Monday, February 08, 2010

Mother-In-Law's Quilt

Late, late at night, my dh and I snuck into my mother-in-law's room and draped her with her birthday gift.  Thanks to my friend Kelli, I was able to give her something that she really liked.  We had a quilting class, and while I can sew, I was afraid that this was going to be way above my skill level.  I've only pieced one other quilt; well, technically, it was a table runner.  I stitched it up by hand and that's so very different from machine stitching.  The fabric on this baby kept scrunching together as if I was trying to gather it, which I so wasn't.  I loved the color combination and will definitely try another one.  Maybe I can get those bumps to lay down.

Pie or Lungs?

These are my and my fun neighbor's lungs.  We had pizza night for a birthday party and everyone got to have individual pies.  With only so many cooking pans to go around, DN (dear neighbor) and I got to share.  After I looked at the pictures I thought, "Hey, we could have done the whole 'take a deep breath to blow out the candles'"  LOL  I would sure hate to have all the orange gunk in my lungs.


This is liftoff of a flock of geese in New Mexico.  One of the coolest sites I've ever seen in my life.  Calmly they sat, squaking about what was the latest happenings were, then all of a sudden they lifted into the sky en masse and flew RIGHT OVER MY HEAD.  I just knew I was going to get falling presents.  But, the angels were watching over me and whew! I came away unscathed with photos.  Precious photos of a beautiful site.  Crazy geese!