Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Photo Album

Goldenrod on a foggy morning.

Mixed media art at a local church.

Unknown flowering vine.  Anyone know what it is.

Making a rag rug from wool scraps.  One of the demonstrations at the state fair.

Beautiful zinnia.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Comet C/2012 K1 - PANSTARRS

Heads up for a possible naked-eye comet this month!

Note that all forecasts for comets are based on or about October 15 and are subject to changes in activity.

NOTE that all comet listings are based at approximately midnight local time (05:00 UT) CDT and are listed based on visibilities to the local horizons; some comets which may have set - or others which have not risen at this time - may be included as well if they are spectacular comets for this coming month.  Normally comets brighter than 13th are listed here if they are favorably located for viewing.
Comet C/2012 K1 - PANSTARRS  - this may or may not be the best comet of the year 2014; rising about 2 a.m. local time, VERY low in the southeastern sky and far south of overhead about dawn.  In the southern constellation of Puppis, the comet should be barely naked eye visible at mid-month and exhibit a very well developed west-facing tail away from a large, possibly green, coma.  This is a wonderful opportunity for viewing and imaging a nice comet, but southern locations are favored for the best views.

Torch Lily

Torch Lily
Port Townsend, WA
June 2011

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Keeping Clutter In Check: Guest Room Storage

After a couple weeks off from organizing at Mary Organizes (she was working on areas I don't have in my home), it's now time to get busy again.  This week...the guest room.

I almost got to take this week off too since I had just redone the room and it is looking good.  But then I remembered I needed to get into my 'stash' of Operation Christmas Child goodies I store under the bed.

Time to see what I have... and what I need to get!

Not much to go thru.  I used up a lot of supplies last year.  It's time to start hoarding again!

But I know where I need to start now.

Are you going to do Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes this year?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mercy Packs

Whenever we visit other churches I enjoy looking at whatever missions programs they are involved in.  At that recent Compassion International event where so many children were sponsored, there were a LOT of projects and programs to look at.  (Which didn't surprise me at all considering how hearts were moved to help the children.)

One of the projects was on a table right next to the front door.

What an excellent idea!!

One of the church members I talked to said it has been a very popular project.  It fills the immediate need and is small to pass out a car window that is barely rolled down.

I'm going to make a few of these up, but use some nonrefridgerated "Lunchables" or some such item instead of the energy bars.  And as the winter comes, some glove too.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Little Bird and the Firefly

The summer that Little Bird turned three, she spent the evening at my parent's house while I was visiting.  It was one of those perfect summer nights... low humidity and a slight breeze.  Of course we were out on the deck enjoying it.

The fireflies were out in mass.  Little Bird was fascinated with the flashing lights all over the yard.  So I went out and caught one, putting it in a jar so she could look at it closely.  Well, a firefly in a jar is much more interesting than a bunch of them in the yard.  

After about an hour or so it was time to go back inside.  She wanted to bring the jar in and was rather put out when we told her it was time to let him loose.  No way did she want to lose this prize!

This was a time period where she was very concerned about the 'status' of where her mommy was... and that everyone else was with their mommy too.  So I tried telling her, "We need to let him go so he can be with his mommy.  She's waiting for him and so lonesome."

She cocked her head and gave this one some thought.  I could see it was getting to her.  I was rather smug that I had figured out how to let the bug go without any more fight.

Until she said, "Then catch his mommy!"

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Going Green: Pass It On

As you know, I enjoy recycling, repurposing, and rehoming items rather than sending them to the landfill.  

One little thing I keep out of the dump is magazines.  Subscriptions are so expensive these days that it is just a shame to read and toss!  There are so many things to do with magazines.

Pass them on to a friend.  Better yet, have a swap with friends where you each take a different subscription and pass them round robin so everyone can read many magazines for the price of one.

Bring them to waiting rooms.  It is especially nice if you bring some ladies magazines to the auto shop and men's to doctor offices and hair stylists.  

Schools sometimes want magazines for projects.

Or you can send them to missionaries for them to have in their fellowship/recreation areas.  

I'm boxing these to send up to a missionary friend in Alaska.  All these and a few more fit in a large flat rate box.  Because of the weight make sure you tape it very heavily!!

Before you box them, make sure you clip off all the address labels.

Then pack away!  After getting the main stack in, I curled another stack over on itself (like 2 'U's that are interlocked).  This gets more in the space than just rolling them.  Then at the top I put small 'Guidepost' to fill that area.  This box it packed TIGHT.

And for $17.90 I will get about 50 good magazines off to folks who will look forward to reading them over and over.

What do you do with the magazines you finish?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Knock It Off: Parasaurolophus Door Stop

Anthropology.  What's not to love, right?

The prices, that's what!

This cute little dog door stop has a price tag of $26.  

I'll take a pass on that.

So I decided to make my own.

Meet the Walkabout parasaurolophus door stop!

I took one beat up metal wedge and a toy dinosaur, married them with a bit of E6000 glue, and gussied them with some Krylon bright silver spray paint.

And I can guarantee you with that heavy metal wedge, whatever door it is holding won't be blowing shut on me!

I think he's cuter than the dog too...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rosemary Lemon Basil Marinade recipe

Rosemary Lemon Marinade


• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 cup(s) lemon juice
• 2 teaspoon(s) grated lemon peel
• 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil 
• 1 tablespoon(s) minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
• 1/8 teaspoon(s) dried basil
• 1/8 teaspoon(s) lemon-pepper seasoning


1. In a small bowl, whisk garlic, lemon juice, peel, oil, rosemary, basil and pepper. Pour 1/3 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add your meat. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade, turning occasionally.

2.  Grill your choice of meat as you normally would.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Elephant Child

Eight years ago Himself and I sponsored a little elephant through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ( http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org ).   

  He had been rescued at the age of about 2 months old from an open pit ruby mine he'd fallen into.  The photo is from his rescue being prepped for the trip to Nairobi.  The two guys on the right are elephant keepers from the Sheldrick Trust.

A year after that, as part of our Kenya trip we were able to 'meet' Zurura at the rescue center.  He was about a year old at the time and just cutting his tusks.

He's so dirty because he just finished a good romp in the mud bath.  

Anyone can visit the Sheldrick Trust and watch the babies playtime.  However, sponsors can come later in the day and have one-on-one time with their elephant as they come in for bedtime.

Since 2006 our baby has become all grown up.  He was moved out to the Tsavo location where the young elephants learn to be wild again... under the mentorship of both other ex-orphans and wild elephants.  It's an incredible process.

Here's a photo of our boy this year.  Yes, we still sponsor him and receive regular updates on his progress.  He is now fully in the wild but still makes visits to see his old human friends at his old home.

Today is "Elephant Appreciation Day".  Might you consider sponsoring an elephant to help continue the fantastic work Dame Sheldrick is doing in Kenya?  It's only $50 a year to be a part of something incredible.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

State Fair: What's a Fair Without a Midway? (Part 6)

Last but not least is the carny at the fair.  

Well, I guess it was "least" for us since the midway didn't open until that night.  HUMPH!

Mirror, mirror... whose the FAIREST of them all?

Waiting for the crowds of evening.

Prizes to be won?  Or money to be lost?

I love the fast spinning rides.  Himself does not.

I'm always about a carousel too.

Oh well, maybe next year...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Improv Cooking: Amaretto Cherry Twirls (recipe)

Everyone knows that I am always up for a good challenge... and cooking is one of my favorite challenges of all.  So I was quite excited to find 'Improv Cooking' Challenge.  Each month we are given a pair of ingredients and are to make-up a recipe using those two ingredients.

I was finally (BARELY!) able to join in with the challenge of "Milk and Honey".  This is what I created:

Amaretto Cherry Twirls

1 can of Pillsbury "Big and Buttery" crescent rolls
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
amaretto to cover cherries for soaking
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
approx 1/4 cup honey (less if to your taste)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1-2 tablespoon milk

Chop the dried cherries and cover with amaretto for at least 6 hours.

After cherries have soaked, roll out crescent rolls into one long sheet.  Make sure you get all the pieces well sealed.

Evenly cover surface with first the cherries, then with the chocolate chips.

Drizzle with honey all along the sheet.  I did big zig-zag motions.

Slowly and carefully roll the entire sheet from the short end.  If the seams open as you roll, pinch them closed.

Once rolled into a log, cut into 8 slices with a wide blade knife.  Let the slice fall onto the blade to help you transfer them to the baking sheet.

Pull open the slice a bit to make it look nice.

(Tip:  Use an air bake sheet as the honey caramelizes really fast.  I would also use parchment to make clean-up easier!)

Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.  (start keeping an eye on them at about 10 minutes)

Bake until golden brown.  Remove from baking sheet to cool.

When cool, mix up glaze and drizzle over the twirls.

Then enjoy and wish you'd made more!

Linked up at:

Friday, September 19, 2014

State Fair: Get Informed! (Part 5)

Another fun thing about going to the fair are all the great demonstrations and educational displays.

At this booth the ladies were tatting (a form of lace making).  Some sweetheart in their group made a huge pile of tiny little owls, butterflies, and clovers to give away to the spectators who stopped by.

I picked up a cute little orange owl that I will do something with for my Little Bird.

There was a group demonstrating spinning...

...and weaving.

Not sure why the train was set up, but Little Hoss would have loved it!

Now this girl was going above and beyond in educating the public!

Why you might ask?  

Look under her...

That cutie is only a few hours old!

While his sibling hasn't yet made his arrival!

This display on the amount of sugar in canned drinks has put me off sodas for a while!  Nineteen teaspoons is a little more than a THIRD OF A CUP!!


There were also a several displays on upcycling and repurposing, with a special event being hosted by a very famous repurposer.  Mike Wolfe of the TV show "Antique Archeology" had a special event for kids to bring in something and they would be shown ways to repurpose it.

OK, so it felt good to be a 'kid' again being that we came in on a 'seniors' freebie day!

Car hood and parts into a BBQ grill.

Himself chilling out on a cool bench.  That would be SO easy to make.

This was a fun idea.

I wish she would have been doing the stamping making they advertised.  I would have done that but I wasn't interested in the tile coasters.

Here's a few other things she would explain how to make.

I was really pleased to see the emphasis on recycling and repurposing.