Monday, December 3, 2018

My Gingerbread House

I am not a baker or a cook; however, I enjoy watching the Food network's baking championship shows.  They inspired me to go ahead and purchase a pre-baked gingerbread house that just needs assembling and decorating.  It's so little, I think it should be called a cottage rather than a house.  The kit even includes some little punch-out cardboard accessories:  an elf, a very small Christmas tree and a snowman.  I had the strange idea that it might be fun to do, so gave it a try.

I got it together without any trouble and proceeded to decorate it with the icing and candy that was included in the kit while my husband took a little nap.  The roof went very well, but icing around the door and windows was very difficult because they were vertical.  The one side wall fell down once when I was putting some little candies on it but then I got it done.  I should have quit then, but decided to just squirt whatever icing I could still get out as snow around the house.  That's when my hand slipped and knocked into the house--down came that wall again so I had to change my plan and gather whatever icing I could for the sides of that wall to get it to stick back in.

That satisfied my little urge for a kitchen adventure.  I wouldn't use the word "fun" to describe it though.  Maybe challenging would be a more accurate description.   Have you tried making anything new this year in the kitchen?

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

I Just Discovered One Note!

Last week I just learned how to use One Note and love it!  It is like a digital notebook where you can take notes, draw, make to do lists, save links, save videos, pics or documents to and have them all handy in one place.  You can organize with as many different sections as you want (think tabs in a notebook).  It has instructions and a tutorial video that shows you how to use it.

It is sort of like having your own private instagram, but you can share your notebook or pages from it if you want. If you share pages, others can also add things to it which you can see as well.

Apparently, another bit benefit is that you can have it on your mobile device, but I don't have any.  The only drawback that I know of so far is that you can't print things from it.

My main use for it so far is to collect pickleball tips and videos in it.  It's pretty cool!

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Enjoyed Watching the Browns First Pre-Season Game

This is the house of a Browns fan on our street.  I must say, I am looking forward to this season because of the new talent we have AND the fact that we have a solid quarterback!  It was actually enjoyable watching the Browns game Thursday night and seeing our draft pick, Baker Mayfield, do well for a change.

Of course, they still struggled with too many penalties and had no running game at all; but still managed to win against the Giants.  I know, it's only pre-season and the Giants didn't have their best guys in for the whole game, but it's better to win than lose those, right?

This is when Brown fans have high hopes so let me enjoy my optimism while I can.  Go Browns!  Win some games this season!!  (I'd like to see them win at least 5 or 6.)  Think that's expecting too much?

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

5 Things I Learned Last Week

1--Did you know that statistically, one out of ten prisoners on death row is innocent?  I learned this when I read The Sun Does Shine (click on link to my review of it).  It was a very moving read for me.

2--I also learned from reading Little Shoes (click link to see my
review) that often eye witnesses are unreliable, but Juries often put a lot of weight on their testimony.  Also, police sometimes form a line-up with the guy they suspect but don't include anyone else who looks anything like him.

3--The cute little 2-yr old female leopard at the Cleveland zoo was moved from the nice new Asian Highlands exhibit back to the Primate building to await her move to the Bronx zoo in a couple months.  This seems so mean.  She had a ball in the new exhibit but because of some faulty construction, it was deemed unsafe for her to stay.  Plus the zoo wanted to move the three new baby leopards, her two brothers and sister, up there and needed to make room for them and the mother.  Both the father and mother are up at Asian Highlands as well.

4--I also found out that the zoo rotates the leopards around in different exhibits now at Asian Highlands so they get more variety and can smell the scent of other leopards.  Above is a picture of Edgar, the zoo's Amur leopard who likes his new home.  I thought that was good!

5--When we were assembling our new electric lawn mower, I learned what a cam lock is.  It is supposed to work easy but we could not get it into the lock position.  It is made of plastic and I was afraid to push any harder because it felt like it would break.  We called a neighbor over to see if he could help us, and he tried too with the same result.  I checked on YouTube, because you know you can learn how to do practically anything from those YouTube videos, but the ones I watched had no problem at all getting it locked into place.  I called the help line and was told to try turning the circular part one revolution.  I tried and couldn't even get it to turn 1/4 of a revolution.  Then I gave up and decided to try again later.  To my surprise, I got the one on the right side to turn and sure enough, then I was able to lock it in place!  Finally, after a few more attempts, the right side turned too and I had to give that side a couple revolutions but finally got it locked into place.  No tools were needed   What a relief! We got it to work but it will take some practice getting used to keeping that cord out of the way and not stepping on it.

Ordered it from Walmart - no tools required for assembly and beats our push mower.  

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Summer Shake Up 2018--The First One Ever for Parma Heights Baptist Church

This year Parma Heights Baptist Church called it quits for sports camp which ran for 10 years and instead of VBS, had one week for a large ministry to kids in the community called Summer Shake Up which combined some good things from Sports Camp and VBS into something brand new.  I took this week for my vacation so I could be a small group leader for 4th graders and had a fun week with the kids, going along through all the activities with them.  I took some pictures and some video of some things and made this video.

Our theme of the week was Philippians 1:6:
God began doing a good work in you and will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.

They did five different main activities twice during the week:  create, Wacky Science, Obstacle Course, Large Group Games and Nature Alive.  It was set up to have something for everyone, not just kids who like sports, but some active things for those who do like to run around.  I felt it was a pretty good mix.  Most importantly, the kids had fun and enjoyed the week.  Everyone who came got caps and a prize bag with several items depending on how many days they came.

The devotions for the week were:  God is the Master Builder (sin entered world), Built Right (Nehemiah), Built New--Inside & Out (Zachaeus), Built with Power (Saul/Paul) and Invited Home Forever (John's vision of heaven).

Over $1,000 was brought in for hygiene items the Chain of Love orphanage in Brazil. 

I was disappointed on Thursday when I took some video with my Flip camera to find out later that I didn't have it on record so missed some really good shots of our group playing that pirate game.  I went over Friday to take some of the younger group, just so I could include it in the video.  Our kids really had fun with that one!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Happy Gotcha Day, Abby!

We are celebrating our dog's 14th birthday!  She's been through so much and has been the best dog we could ever have had!  We got her 9 years ago when she was 5 years old.

She always got along with our cats. 

Shortly after we adopted her, we enrolled in in classes at PetSmart and she passed her Canine Good Citizen test easily.


We loved taking her to the park and she loved the car ride too. 

She loves people and made lots of friends wherever she went.

She used to visit two nursing homes twice a month before she had trouble walking on the slippery tile floors.

She survived being attacked by two Rottweilers while on her evening walk one winter.  She was bitten all over her body and the vet didn't think she'd live, but God healed her and she pulled through!

She used to walk for miles every day (now she can't since she dislocated her shoulder).  She is on pain medication and still likes walking, just not near as far.


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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Cat vs. Dog: Which One Makes Life Better?

We got these shirts from the Humane Society. 

 We currently have a cat and a dog but my husband is closer with our dog and I am closer with our cat, thus the shirts.  Which do you prefer:  a cat or a dog?  Vote now!

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Monday, May 14, 2018

It's Been A While--Summary of What We've Been Up To

Wow, last time I posted anything here was January.  Well, I decided that other things are more important . . . and I've been playing video games on the AARP website trying to beat my high score and trying to make the leaderboard (which are addictive).  It has word games including crossword puzzles which I feel good that I can actually complete now.  It also has some brain games, matching games and strategy games, and more.  I have no idea how other people get such high scores though!

So, here's what I've been up to the last few months:
  •  Still teaching 5th and 6th graders in Sunday School and doing a class newsletter to keep parents informed.   
  •  We had a wellness visit to the vet for Abby, our dog (getting that pee sample was not easy, sorry no picture) and cat including Spunky's dental cleaning that I put off for three years--big bucks there but they are both doing fine.  Abby had some parasites to get cleared up but wasn't a big deal.
  •  I've been eating lots at work with the first Friday free breakfast feasts, secretary's day with a special luncheon catered by Mission BBQ that was really yummy, and cookies, bakery and candy that people bring in as treats.  No wonder I've gained 10 lbs that I do not want! 
  •  Our accountant forgot to actually file our return.  I called him after about 4 weeks waiting for our refund and then he finally filed it. 
  •  Our youth group at church had their annual dessert auction/spaghetti dinner fundraiser and this year I got the item I wanted most in the first round of bidding for $60.  It was pecan/chocolate chip bars that were absolutely delicious and pre-cut!  I also was high bidder at $45 (by accident) on a cute bowling assortment of candy, cookies and cake which was also really good.  (again with the extra pounds!)  The money raised goes to help pay for the teens going on mission trips.
  • Last Saturday I got a 4-drawer file cabinet for just $15 including delivery from the Parma Heights Christian Academy's annual garage sale!
  •  We just had our dead bush removed from the front yard and a couple small trees removed from the back yard.  We never planted these trees, but when the stuff falls in our yard off the neighbors tree, it apparently takes root and starts growing!  It's crazy.
  •  I participated in a free health screening at work which resulted in getting some gift cards:  Amazon, iHop and Walmart.  It's also good to know my numbers were pretty good.  Even though I've put on the extra 10 lbs., my BMI is still in normal range.  Still fighting to keep my blood pressure down.  It's higher than I'd like but then it's always fluctuating within minutes.  The nurse said it's really probably lower than what it showed since doing it during work does not make for a relaxed reading.
  •  We are still reading and posting reviews at Grab a Book From Our Stack blog.  I just finished the Clover Springs Mail Order Brides box set of 5 on my Kindle and loved them!  Rachel Wesson is the author and writes clean historical fiction western romance.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find her books at the library, but have went back to Amazon and loaded a whole bunch more to my Kindle.
    The sock says "A Good Day Starts With a Good Dog
  • For Mother's Day,  my sweet husband got me my favorite candy, chocolate covered cherries--both dark chocolate and light (yes more lbs. coming).  From my cat and dog, I got some special socks.

  •  Finally, I am bummed out.  For a week now, my left hip has been sore and I can't raise my leg high like I used to without pain.  Fortunately, it doesn't hurt all the time, just when I get in and out of the car, or if I'm laying down and get up, or a little when I walk.  Now the weather has finally turned good enough to play Pickleball and I have this nutty hip problem.  Advil helps, but only temporarily.  Boo.

    So, sorry this is so long, and probably boring.  Anyhow, I'm really going to try to get rid of my extra fat right after I finish those cherries!  What have you been up to?
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Saturday, January 20, 2018

January: A Good Reading Month

I love books that I look forward to getting back to and that keep me flipping the pages, not wanting to put it down.  I've read two mysteries this month that fall into this category and we're only halfway through the month!  One is A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena, and the other is Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo.  I really am having a hard time deciding which one I like best, because both had surprise endings that blew me away!

I you do not enjoy reading, it is probably because you are not reading interesting books.  Both these books grabbed my attention right away, are free from gory details and have clean language for the most part.  I highly recommend both these.

Let me know which of these you like better.

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Monday, January 1, 2018

My New Pillow by Spunky Doodle

When Gerard and Karen got new "My Pillows" for Christmas, I got one of their old ones for my cardboard bed box.  I like it because it keeps me warmer and is soft.  I like to kneed it like I used to do when it was on their bed.  Just thought you might like to know what you could do with your old pillows.  Karen covered it with a nice blanket that we got from the Humane Society just for making a donation.

What did your pets get for Christmas?  I was hoping for one of those hamster wheels for cats but did not get that.  Maybe next year.

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