Day 269: Bell of Newport

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On our road trip North we grabbed my nurse friend (Lola) and drove to Newport. If it wasn’t so bitter cold we would’ve walked right up to this bell boxed in glass. The wind was whipping harshly and I was so glad our destination was indoors.

We drove a couple of circles around the aquarium not because we thought we were lost but because someone with a van too tall to enter the aquarium parking structure. He also had a trailer and couldn’t back out of the situation. We found cheap parking lot just a breezy block away. More on the parking lot is coming soon.

Day 268: Winter Snow

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The only snow I have to report so far. Pretty sad really, but I suppose it is normal for Kentucky. Just wish we had one nice snow.

The sprinkling of snow on my bug was while we were in Northern Kentucky. The worst ice and snow is in January and February for us.

The snow on the windshield was the morning we went on an excursion! Aquarium pictures coming soon.

Day 266: Birdseed Ornaments

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This was birdseed hanging ornaments experiment. I highly doubt I will try it again. It was just too dissatisfying for the amount of work I put into them.

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This was my inspiration. The $10-20 molded birdseed hangers that I saw in TSC. I rushed home to try find it on Pinterest and was not disappointed. I found tons of links replicate this but doing it in real life is always different.

I might recommend using a bundt pan and making the wreaths but don’t waste your time using cookie cutters as a mold. They would have been…okay, if I hadn’t tried to hang them. Even so, some of them came out of the cookie cutters in crumbles.

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For every birdseed ‘cookie’ that broke the chickens got more excited. They got lots of eats that day because after they cleaned up the seed that fell they looked up and saw some more food hanging.
I have some hysterical video of my rooster going for it. He’s just a little two short to reach the birdseed from the railing on the porch.

The wreaths I made were much more sturdy. However, I have to admit I was a little miffed at how poorly my ‘cookies’ did and just threw them out on the ground for my chickens.

Ed. Note: I used less water and more gelatin packs and it helped.
Also, I used greased silicone bundt pans and it was super easy to get the birdseed molds out.
You can use the quantities here but I vehemently suggest a bundt over the finicky cookie cutter bit.

Addtional Ed. Note: This one of those low success crafts. And like other crafters I have read from–Birds never touched them. I had one ornament that actually didn’t crumble. It hung for months and was never touched. Disappointment all around.

Winter Goals Update!

How is she doing? Ashi Danza!! She is doing quite well.

As you may recall, I posted about my winter goals not too long ago. And I am doing so well that I may have to update my challenges.

Bookie Progress

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (meh)
A Gift for a Rogue by Parks (ok)
Gypsy Rizka by Lloyd Alexander (TGR=Thumping Good Read)
Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich (jolly for the season)
Partial read: Drinking Water: A History by Salzman (strong start of lore)

I intend on going back to finish reading the Salzman book but I just got tired of renewing it from the library at present. I am currently reading The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester.

It is a non-fiction book about how the Oxford English Dictionary came about. Fairly interesting so far, but I’m just a couple of chapters into it. The holidays are not friendly for folks trying to get reading done. There is so much to do and obligations (although enjoyable) that one must fulfill.

Don’t worry. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of reading done in the next few months ahead. They are for the most part dead months and terrible weather outdoors sends readers under the covers.

Embroidery Projects 
That I’ve made
-Headbands x2
-Bookmark with a music related quote on it (in progress)

I have a few other projects planned but it seems to take me ages to go from the planning to the stitching phase. I love planning them though.

Recipe Experiments
-Tapioca pudding (utter failure)
-Sausage and potato breakfast bake (amazing yet greasy)
-Golden brownies from scratch/blondies (good if you like that type of thing)
-Nutella cookies (thank you Pinterest!)
-Greek Lemon Chicken
-Hasselback potatoes

Other Goal Updates
I have made pretty much zero progress on my belly dancing and short story writing goals. I did do a quite youtube search for a belly dancing video and found a decent one but haven’t made any moves yet.

I’ve Got Goals and I’m Super Bad

Winter is not my favorite season. Short, cold days for months on end are depressing to me.

Yes, I love playing in the snow and leaning on walls blowing out streams of hot air (pretending I’m smoking), snow angels, caroling, Christmas, and adorable hats…..but this season still gets me down.

I’m no pro but I have decided to fight the winter blues this year by making a list! I know right? Don’t forget to breathe.

My list are winter goals and the deadline is April 1st, 2013. The first day of spring is March 20th but I’m giving myself the extra time.

I tried to pick things that I love doing but never have time for in the summer. Or, things that I keep saying, “gosh, I wanna learn that!”

Here is my list. Small as it seems.

1. Read ten books
2. Embroider at least five projects
3. Learn belly dancing basics and practice (YouTube, baby)
4. Finish writing my short story (dare I share it with the interwebz?)
5. Experiment with at least five new recipes

Explanations:

1. I have lately been neglecting my reading. I have booklists longer than my leg and two librarian siblings that are fantastic at finding me books when I whine around that I wasted time on a dud. Winter time is THE time to make a cup of tea and only leave your snuggle blanket for potty breaks. (Yes, I say ‘potty’ and have no children. Don’t judge me)

2. Embroidery is another thing I tend to neglect. Starting projects is the most difficult thing for me because I currently have no printer (ermehgerd!) and transferring is hard without one. I don’t most of the iron on patterns I own.
Once I get started, I love it!! I have been stitching some headbands to make them less bland looking and hope to share pictures soon.

3. I have been wanting to learn belly dancing since I was (skinnier) in college but never had time with class and work. I am convinced that with only one thing (work) ruling my life I must have more time. I still don’t have money so I can’t take a class from my inspirational friend and belly dancing instructor.
By watching the gagillion videos online I can at least understand the basics of the dance.

4. This summer I did a rewrite of the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea and I nearly finished it. My beef with this story is that the quality that makes you a princess also makes you an ungracious, high maintenance guest in a good samaritan’s household.
My mom would smack the hell outta me (as an adult) if I bitched about how uncomfortable the bed was when this lovely family dragged my pneumonia-ridden butt out of the gutter. Excuse the language, mommy.

5. I love, love, love cooking. However, I have this bad habit of picking a recipe from my book and not wavering. My husband, bless him, likes my cooking and never complains. A good cook, like a teacher or doctor, never stops learning new things.
I have the opportunity to cook for Christmas, bake cookies as gifts and just regular dinners for me and Kit. Why not try something new?

Are you setting goals this winter? Do you have winter projects to help prepare yourself for spring?

I will try to keep my readers posted on how well I am doing with my goals.