This BACKHOE has been parked in our front yard for the past couple of days now...the city is working on improving the storm drain system in our neighborhood, a project that is going to take up to six months for them to complete. So far, they've took out some trees and dug up holes here and there. We're hoping that new SIDEWALKS will be part of the new drainage system, since they put in some new sidewalk and a retaining wall at the top of our street. In the meantime, we'll just have to live with the construction eyesore and share space with heavy machinery...
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
We love visiting Bear Hollow Park here in Athens. They have many animals in their zoo, trails, pond, and did I say animals?
We went earlier in January, when it was warm enough to not need a winter coat, so it was really nice.
Our first stop on the trail was the beavers! Beavers! They are the newest mammals added to the park. They are so cute! The whole time they were carrying leaves and twigs into their little pond.
Uh, is this leftover from Halloween or Christmas?
The bobcats are one of my favorites to see at Bear Hollow. Sometimes they are hard to find in their home, but this day they were out and about, grooming one another.
The bears were really active, too! This guy was chewing a branch.
I still think the opossum is cute!
And I think I am cute as an owl!
Hope you enjoyed this trip to Bear Hollow!
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
This year I have been trying to work on at least one project a month for myself. This month I have been doing some embroidery. My friend mailed me a Stitch Kit, which is great because it comes with everything you need to begin stitching. I did not use the provided patterns, so I just drew on my tea towel with a pencil.
I used back stitch and got the hang of it really fast. I embroidered before, but not in a long time.
I used the split stitch on the paws. It was a little tricky going around the curves of my illustration.
Then I added the features to my Nilla embroidery! I love the way the face looks.
Last I added some stars around Nilla for a little pop of color and the stars are fun to stitch!
Monday, January 21, 2013
Raoul and I made a batch of daifuku mochi! It was very simple to make, and was really yummy to boot.
We used the recipe from my candy making book. We also read some recipes online before beginning.
We added some pink food coloring to our mochi dough. Here are the pictures of how it looked when we removed the dough from the microwave. It looked like Play-doh!
We rolled and kneaded the dough after it cooled off some. Careful when it comes out of the microwave, this dough is like lava!
We added some strawberry jam to the center of the mochi, not the usual red bean paste. I was trying hard not to over fill the mochi, or else the jam would ooze out of the ball when I rolled it.
Here is the rolled mochi!
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
My friend Allison and I are taking on trapeze lessons for this year! We are really excited to be doing this together. I took trapeze and silk aerials for 8 years, then I took a break. Allison wanted to get back into it, so we decided to start a class together.
Even though I have not been on the trapeze bar, I feel pretty good about remembering things. I do not feel as strong as I was before, but I am getting back onto the "swing" of things - haha.
Here are some pictures I took of Allison as she was on the trapeze! Looking good!
Monday, January 14, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Happy New Year! Go 2013! We are off to a good start here at the Ranch. I have a few goals for this year, and so far I am doing pretty good keeping up.
I always want to get organized, so my mom gave me this vintage Rolodex! I am entering in my friend's addresses, then I am going to enter them into my computer and iPhone.
To make it more fun, I have added a cute biscuit sticker on to each entry!
Along with filling my address book, I have been trying to write more snail mail this year. So far so good, I have written three letters to my pen pals! I am also trying to use my Japanese stickers and stationery that I collected over the years.
This year I am trying to work on a craft for myself each month of the year. January has got me learning how to embroider. So far it is pretty easy, sort of like drawing with thread! I am enjoying it so far!
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
It's been a while since we've done a Weekend Wind-Down post...December was an especially busy month, culminating in a glorious two-week CHRISTMAS VACATION up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Missy's parents. A couple of days before Christmas eve, we hit the road and headed up north.
We stopped at Trader Joe's and stocked up on FESTIVE ROAD SNACKS...
In South Carolina, we sped by the PEACH-SHAPED WATER TOWER in Grafton...
We took a break and gassed up off of our favorite exit in North Carolina, Exit 82, in Jonesville. There's a gas station there with a decent SUBWAY restaurant attached to it. The bathrooms are clean and so is the restaurant, so we always make a point to make sure and stop there. Next door, there's this old abandoned restaurant called POP POP's that we always wish was still open. How could you not want to eat at a restaurant with a DANCING HOT DOG as a mascot?
In West Virginia, we stopped at Beckley to gas up and stretch our legs. It was the first time on our trip that we saw a good amount of snow and the first indication of how super cold it was going to be up north. HOT CHOCOLATE and SQUASHED PENNY procured, we headed for the Pennsylvania state line...
Just over the border, we stopped for a pee-break at the Pennsylvania Welcome Center and then raided their information center...
Twelve hours after leaving Athens, Georgia, we were finally made it to Missy's old neighborhood. Making our way up the walkway in front of Missy's parent's house, we were greeted by the chilly night air and cozy Christmas lights on the front porch...
FAVORITE MOMENT OF THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
MISSY - Two-week vacation and snow!
RAOUL - Seeing the Toynbee Tiles in person was pretty cool.
WORST MOMENT OF THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
MISSY - End of vacation :(
RAOUL - Fatigue hitting me hard on Friday/Saturday.
FUNNIEST MOMENT OF THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
MISSY - Jordan giving me that giant Snickers bar!
RAOUL - That giant Snickers bar that Jordan got you for Xmas! Also, watching all those episodes of Key & Peele.
WORD OR PHRASE OF THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
MISSY - "Grab the noodles, grab the nuts"
RAOUL - "Toynbee idea in Kubrick's 2001. Resurrect dead on planet Jupiter"
FAVORITE MEAL OF THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
MISSY - Mom's New Year's Eve dinner and Tram's.
RAOUL - Vietnamese food from Tram's...SO GOOD.
WORST MEAL OF THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
MISSY - There was something I made the other night that I wasn't happy with...
RAOUL - Does dinner at Big City Bread count?
FAVORITE TOURISTY THING WE DID IN PITTSBURGH?
MISSY - Phipp's Conservatory...they had it decorated so nice.
RAOUL - Does finding the Toynbee Tiles count? I'll say Heinz History Center.
RESOLUTIONS FOR 2013?
MISSY - Write more snail mail letters; publish a few more zines I've been wanting to do; work on at least one project a month for myself; organize organize organize; start up trapeze classes again.
RAOUL - Get lean in Thirteen.
PERSONAL SOUNDTRACK FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS?
MISSY - Siouxie & The Banshees, Grass Widow, Beirut.
RAOUL - Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift For You, They Might Be Giants, Band Aid, A Very Special Christmas, Herb Alpert, Bjorn Again, No Way Sis, The Singing Saw At Christmastime, The Music Tapes, Har Mar Superstar, Atom And His Package, Poundsign, Suretoss, Bob & Doug McKenzie, Timezone, Beck, Halo Benders, The Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, Throwing Muses, Chain & The Gang.