Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fun eggs

I recently stumbled across something on Amazon that I hadn't seen before...egg molds.  I don't quite remember how I happened upon them, but they were so inexpensive and fun that I had to order some.

They took 2 1/2 weeks to arrive from Hong Kong.  As an aside, I had to drive to my post office to pick them up so I could sign for them, since I wasn't home when the carrier tried to deliver them.  Apparently, if something comes from another country, you have to sign for the delivery.  Who knew?  I laughed that the gas to pick them up probably cost more than the purchase price.
I tried them out right away, even though the reviewers on Amazon warned me that these molds need extra-large eggs to fill the mold well.  The result of not heeding their advice was that my stars came out looking more like a flower than a star.  I'm ok with that, though.  I'm a floral kind of girl, after all.

I boiled six large eggs to try them out.  You have to use hot eggs and let them cool in the mold.  I ran cold water over my just boiled eggs and didn't peel them until I was ready for them.  They all stayed hot enough to mold well.  I did have a couple lose some of their shape by the next day-maybe I hadn't let them cool long enough in the mold?

As I packed a salad tonight for Clarence's lunch tomorrow, I put the last heart-shaped egg on top as a surprise.  I still have a "star" egg in the fridge, but thought he might not appreciate a girly egg on his salad when he's eating with the guys.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


It's a sad day at our house today.

Last night our dear friend, the girls' adopted grandpa, went peacefully home to Jesus.  We rejoice for Gordon, but weep for all of us who will miss his presence in our lives.

Less than four weeks ago, we found out he had an aggressive lung cancer.  We will especially treasure these recent days when he lived out his faith and assured all of us that whatever God wanted for him was fine with him.

The only picture I seem to have of Gordon is this silly one:

(You can read about this picture here.)

I am so thankful for the years of friendship we've had with Gordon and his family.  Gordon was always good natured when I teased him (which was often) and I especially appreciated his sweet words of encouragement to the girls through the years.  He was a loving, and well-loved, man and we will all miss him, but take comfort in the assurance that we will see him again someday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's the little things...

Last weekend we realized that every time the coffeemaker cycled on, it would make our ground fault outlet trip and we'd lose power to half of the kitchen outlets.

We, of course, didn't diagnose this problem before our planned visit to The Home Depot.  No, that just isn't our style.  Too easy, ya know.  Instead, later, I picked the girls up from work and took them with me to get a new GFCI outlet.  How hard could it be?

Do you know there are actually choices when you want a GFCI outlet?  I know now.  20 volts vs. 15 volts.  Red and black test/reset buttons vs. all white.  I thought I was doing well when I told the guy who offered to help me that I needed the Decora style.  He told me that's all they come in.  Who knew?  So, bottom line, I knew the info that wasn't necessary but didn't know the answers to the real questions.

Eventually, after a call to Clarence, I managed to choose the right outlet.  As I was leaving the mysterious land of electrical gadgetry, I happened to notice something interesting.  Another call to Clarence to check his willingness to do the additional installation and I happily headed to the check-out with this direct-wired nightlight.

You see, we have a nightlight we turn on in the kitchen every night, in order to safely climb the stairs to our bedroom.  Plus, we had this open slot where we had originally planned I-don't-remember-what (maybe a hard wired switch for our remote control ceiling fan?).  Anyhow, that spot hasn't ever had anything, nor had I ever managed to remember to look for a switch plate cover to cover up the hole.  (I know that's hard to believe, just keeping it real.)

Clarence installed it that night and I am simply delighted.  The gaping outlet hole is gone, and in its place is something perfect for our needs.  No more groping down the steps in the dark if we happened to forget to turn the nightlight on, plus this location actually gives us better light on the stairs themselves.

We all know that the little things can drive you crazy but, in this case, a little thing makes me incredibly happy.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

For Molly

Today is special
I celebrate with haiku
Molly's day of birth

 She laughs easily
And everyone laughs with her
Joy she brings to all

She is beautiful
She is sweet, kind, and loving
Now she's seventeen.

Molly, I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful day, filled with surprises and happiness.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December quiz

We traveled up north for this month's quiz.  The girls and I took the opportunity to make it a weekend away with our friends by leaving Friday afternoon and spending the night at a hotel near the church where the quiz was held.  Clarence drove up Saturday morning, bringing our remaining quizzer and the coach along.

We had a lot of fun spending time with our friends but as far as a strategy for being better rested, it didn't work so well.  None of us slept really well but the kids were still able to quiz well.

Molly's brother Max joined the team this month and did well as a brand-new quizzer.  The team competed in the Senior Teen Veteran A division and came home with the first place trophy.

In individual competition, Allison took first and Molly got third place.  This is only the second month Molly has quizzed, so she is doing amazingly well.

Max came in fourth in individuals, one place shy of getting a medal, but fantastic for a first timer-and he quizzed in the Young Teen Vet division, even though he's a rookie.

Although we saw a lot of cars in the ditches as we traveled, we all made it home safely, ready to quiz another day.
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Friday, November 29, 2013

How to freak out your family for Thanksgiving

First, make sure they hear all about your Vibe vs. Semi accident a couple days prior to the holiday.  Let them know you were unhurt.

The day after the accident, keep your appointment to have skin cancer surgery-the kind where they scrape some skin off, test to see if they got all the cancer, then scrape more skin off until they are sure they have all of the bad stuff off your nose.  Make sure you don't mention the surgery ahead of time to any of the extended family.  It would ruin the effect completely.

Walk out of the surgery appointment with a ridiculous amount of bandaging on your nose, which must remain in place for 48 hours.

Go home, get some sleep.  You've had a stressful week.

Wake up on Thanksgiving with the black eye the surgeon told you to expect.

Now, at long last, all is in place to freak out your family.  Enjoy it.  It's probably the best time you'll have for a while, considering what you've done for fun this week.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful for inconvenience, instead of tragedy

There was a freezing rain advisory until 4 AM Tuesday morning and by the time Clarence left for work around 6, it was still slick.

This fall, the road commission paved about a mile of road between our road and the highway.  We've been enjoying the smooth ride and a little less mud on our commutes.  We have had concerns about how it would differ from years past once the weather changed, so Clarence was taking it slow and cautious as he headed for the highway yesterday.

As he approached the highway, he realized there was no way he would be able to get the car stopped in time, though the anti-lock brakes were working overtime, and he could see a semi truck headed for his intersection.  The braking system allowed him to maintain good control over his steering so he quickly made the decision to aim the car for the shoulder of the highway, heading south on the northbound shoulder.  There was nowhere for the trucker to go, as there was traffic from the opposite direction as well, and he hit the passenger side of our poor little Vibe.

The airbags deployed (so glad we got the driver's side one fixed this summer!) but Clarence had closed his eyes, waiting for the impact, so he didn't see that happen.  He says the airbag didn't hit him, either, since he was almost stopped by then and he sits so far back due to his height.

It seems, to me, an incredibly small amount of visible damage for being hit by a semi.  We're pretty sure it's too old for fixing it to be a viable option, though the insurance adjuster hasn't seen it yet.  We decided to see if we could find a replacement, just in case, especially since we've talked about adding another car to our fleet for several months.

We were pretty excited to find another Vibe, three years newer than ours, though our old one has nicer options than this one.  We'll miss power windows and door locks (hard to remember having a car without those "basics" or a clicker to lock and unlock it-how spoiled we are!).

It made for a busy day, trying to decide between new or used, and looking at what was available.  Even though it was a hassle, I was so thankful it was only an inconvenience when it could have easily been a tragedy.  We feel so, so blessed.
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