Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy Wishes For The New Year

Once again a new year is upon us and another holiday season comes to a close. It truly feels like just yesterday that Miss. Ginger was helping me decorate the tree (she's in the chair, directing), as I was nursing a dislocated wrist and needed all the help I could get what with Mr.24 being out of town and us hosting Christmas Eve dinner...it was quite the adventure, but we managed beautifully.
Miss. Ginger was in charge of guarding the hooks and making sure I picked the proper ornament placement.
I wish she had helped me with the lights, as that took several days and six tries at getting it right. The old lights kept shorting out the new, very frustrating...and there were several midnight runs to the local drug store for new lights (love that they stayed open so late,!). The clerk started teasing me a bit with each visit...but finally, by 3am, they were done, we were supposed to get snow the next morning and I just didn't want to have deal with it then (we got snow)...and now we could decorate since the lights were up and behaving.
 Ginger hung in there like the good little elf that she is, but after a while...
she needed her nap.
She did wake up every now and then to make sure I was staying on task...and thank heavens she did, who knows what I might have put on the tree if she hadn't.
 Once the tree was complete...it was on to other fancying up chores.
 The table needed setting...
 Limpy needed a little antler décor...
 And a few other touches were made (I might just keep the tree in the fish bowl...kind of like it).
(We're babysitting my father-in-laws furniture for the time being...without it, sitting would have been a bit tricky.)
 And then we were ready for the crowd. I wish I had more pictures to share, it got pretty busy. We made Barefoot Contessa's Beef Bourguignon, it was heaven...seriously, lusciously heaven. We tweaked the recipe a bit and it was perfect (longer cooking time, less burgundy-just 2 cups, and less salt)...so good served over German dry potatoes (dry so they can soak up all the yummy goodness.)
And joy of joys, with all that busyness going on, my dislocated wrist actually popped right back into place, and I was thankfully able to enjoy the festivities without any pain.
Now I can receive the New Year with two open, welcoming arms instead of one...and no cast (thought it was broken initially).
Happy New Year wishes to all...may your 2014 be blessed, and filled with the 'Happy' part every step of the way.
Thank you for always checking in on my sporadic blog...I appreciate your visits so much and hope to be spending more time visiting you and blogging in the new year...one of those resolutiony things.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Our 'Deer' New Roommate

 Well without further ado here he is, our new roommate...he's technically named Limpy due to the fact that he was limping when he was spotted by Mr. 24 on a hunting trip...I know, very original, that's why I say 'technically named' as I think he's deserving of a much more majestic name, though one hasn't occurred to me yet.
He officially joined our household the day before Thanksgiving so he was able to take part in the festivities, mostly by just observing everyone and watching us eat though.
 I was very trepidatious about his becoming a part of our home as I'm a huge animal lover and have never liked (read-abhorred) the idea of trophy animals, but Mr. 24 on the other hand grew up in Alaska and didn't even taste beef until he was nine. His family hunted and caught every piece of meat they ate for the first nine years of his life, mostly moose and venison, with rabbits and salmon thrown in for good measure. 
Mr. 24 hadn't been hunting in ages when a neighbor invited him to go several years ago, and thus poor dear Limpy entered our lives. The only thing that eases the thought of his demise for me is the fact that he was already injured and was taken out of his misery. He also ended up being turned into charcuterie...that helped a bit as well, he wasn't 'wasted'.
For several years he lived in Mr. 24's office, but recently the Mr. changed offices, and they can no longer hang out at work together. They might be able work together again someday, but for now, 'Limpy' will be staying with us.
Here he is on the car ride home from the office...
And this is where's he's been for the past six months while I tried to come to terms with him becoming a temporary (or permanent) member of our household (notice the fish art in the background, another office acquirement...I see a cabin in our future).
So far he's blending in well I think, and behaving very respectfully.
I greatly appreciate the fact that he doesn't stare at me while I'm doing the dishes...he prefers to look out the window, which is kind of sad and sweet.
Now maybe we'll focus on getting our mantel put up, we have some old timbers from a now defunct 100 year old flour mill that we've been contemplating using...they would compliment Limpy nicely.
We've been actually getting along so well, that if and when the time comes for him to leave...I just might want him to stay...surprisingly (very surprisingly), he's grown on me!
Now for the new name.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving...how was that already one week ago?!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Finally...Thanksgiving At Our House!

After three years of living in a somewhat limbo-ish state at 24Corners, we are finally going to get to host Thanksgiving dinner here...I'm so excited! We also have a special new 'roommate' that will be settling in before the festivities, tomorrow actually. I'm not sure I'm very thankful that he'll be here, but I'm willing to give him a trial period. He is quite handsome though, so at least he has that in his favor!
Wishing everyone a very Happy & Blessed Thanksgiving (I'm so thankful for you!)...oh yes, and an extremely delicious one too!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Treats & Tricks

Well the latest mischievous bunch of rabble-rousing Halloween welcomers showed up for duty last night...
They were more interested in partying with the Halloween cupcake crowd than actually learning what their official greeter duties would be though, so we'll see if they can pull out of their sugar induced silliness and pull it together for tonight.
The cupcakes on the other hand, have been diligently learning how to scare prospective eaters all morning...very proud of them!
It looks like I'll have be the on double duty tonight though, patiently hanging around, greeting and waiting upon the little princesses and goblins that materialize to collect their treats. One can only hope the P-Crew will lend a hand every now and then...oh wait a minute, they don't have any hands...oh well, their screeching, snickering and sneering will just have to do then.
 Happy Halloween everyone!!! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Bountiful Squirrel

Happy Fall everyone! I know it's been fall for a while now but I'm just now formally acknowledging it as the past month has been a whirlwind of relatives moving in and out along with a host of other assorted 'non fallish' happenings that have finally settled down. I'm so very glad to be able to put my autumnal groove on now...thank heavens it's still October.
I hope everyone has been enjoying the season as much as the little squirrels on our property have. They've been extremely busy this autumn collecting the plethora of acorns that our neighbors magnificent oak tree produced this year. It was an outstanding crop, maybe due to the perfect summer we had (all that sun must have made the baby acorns very happy)...and the squirrels took full advantage of the bounty and were the busiest we've ever seen...they were in an acorn collecting frenzy!
And it seems it wasn't only our squirrels that were having a blast collecting the acorns...my students shared that their squirrels had been up to the same! 
 Miss. C's pretty squirrel had a lovely collection of delicious acorns, and was very adept at balancing them all.
While Miss. N's cute squirrel was running about so fast that her acorns were just bouncing all over the place.
Miss. R's sweet squirrel decided to collect pumpkins along with her acorns...very smart girl!
And poor Mr. M's squirrel was just having a rough time of it due to his trying to collect the largest acorns...took him all day just to get this one home!
Actually, collecting is the easiest part of harvesting acorns...getting them up into the tree is the tricky part!
 Then the real work starts!
My students and I developed a new found admiration and appreciation for these adorably industrious creatures...now, if they would kindly stop digging up all of my bulbs, I'd have an even greater admiration for them!
(Last 2 images: Pinterest) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Touring With Mayhem & Octocakes!

The camps are finally finished...all six of them. There were three Ocean Camps and three Travel Camps, and for some reason, I was able to take lots of pictures during the Ocean Camps, but the travel camps were so busy and crazy...what with bag packing, flying from country to country, making sure all kids were accounted for, etc...that those pictures I'm sorry to say, are few and far between. But since we do have some wonderful ocean pictures...let's just start with them.
Mayhem was a wonderful tour guide! She introduced all of her friends to us, some of whom swam in especially just for this tour...like Sir Finley the Great White, a very friendly fellow (to most of us), and also, Shetland the Sea Horse, who was kind enough to come even though he was ready to give birth at any moment (we were sorry not to see this phenomenon, and the little ones...but it was for the the best, Puget Sound is very chilly, and their home waters are nice and warm). 
After the tours, the students were able to recreate their their adventures.
Miss. C. remembered her fellow tourists as being a bit 'eccentric' (to say the least)...
She also saw a sea turtle, which I completely missed...so cute!
Some students remembered Mayhem as being blue. Octopi do have chameleon skills you know...I think Mayhem was showing them off a bit for her guests. 
 Some students actually saw divers...
Even kitty divers! 
And some saw these cute little pterodactyl fish that would swim by every now and then (middle left)...they were very interesting!
 We saw so much through the submarine portholes. Sushi the Squid was mostly very cheery and on his best behavior...though that wasn't always the case! 
Mr. G. had quite a different, and rather scary experience on his tour (which he absolutely loved by the way)...it seems that a few of the creatures decided to joke around a bit!
I'm just thankful that I was on a different sub (we went four at a time)...I don't think I would have enjoyed having my submarine rammed and cracked by these two naughty creatures at all!
 Mayhem ended up having a stern 'talking to' with Sir. Finley and Sushi after this tour...she was extremely vexed at the whole situation. The pair said they were just trying to have a bit of fun with the 'tourists'...but as you can see, the sub was a complete mess when they were done with it, and the poor vessel had to go to the repair shop straight away.
Yes...very naughty fishies indeed!
Here's Mayhem helping out with the repairs, the sweet girl's always willing to lend a helping tentacle...so professional.
 Thank heavens when Ellie (above) went on her tour, all was set right again and she was able to enjoy the normal and peaceful flow of the swimming sea creatures. They actually lulled her into such a dreamy state that it was quite the ordeal getting her off the submarine (thankfully, there are no images of that). Watching fish swim about can be very relaxing you know...if they aren't trying to rupture your submarine and eat you!
Everyone loved recreating their porthole views though...despite all the drama.
Miss. L. as you see, had a lovely experience. Sushi was back to acting nice and proper...funny though, I don't see Sir Finley...he did the most damage to the submarine though, so Mayhem must have had him in a time out, too bad for him...because after all the submarine rides were over, everyone received a very special treat!
Sweet Miss. J brought them in for all to enjoy.

 It was such a nice surprise, and so very thoughtful...we were all extremely giddy about it!
Well, all except for the poor little Octocake Octopi that were about to be devoured...they were a bit on the nervous side (very Mr. Bill, don't you think?).
 But Mayhem on the other hand was thrilled about it...and from now on, she'll be treating her tourists and friends to after submarining octocakes as well! Nothing like a wave of sugar to help one find their land-legs again after spending time in deep waters of Puget Sound.
A very sweet ending to a very sweet adventure!
Next year we'll be adventuring with pirates, mermaids, and sea monsters...I can hardly wait!