Wednesday, January 02, 2013

This is all HUBBY'S fault...

Ok. You read it here first. I was NEVER going to put games on my phone because my phone is my phone, though I do love the calendar feature. And I got it because I was tired of coordinating three or four calendars (work, volunteer, personal, family) -- it didn't work, no matter what system I used and I always missed something. I have a Nokia Lumia running Windows and I couldn't be happier. Or at least that's what I thought. Both kids and Hubby have games on their phones, but me?????? Noooooooooooo - not for me. Ha.

But Hubby knows how much I love Scrabble. Love it. LOVE it. So he finds me a free (!) Scrabble knock-off. And loads it on my phone. Oyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!  I'm now addicted to "Table Tiles." Addicted. Yeesh. His fault. Entirely.

"Table Tiles" has different rules than Scrabble. You can use slang. You can use some foreign language words, though it seems to be fickle. The phone gets to use them, but I am told "not a valid word." Hmpfh.

So that was my big nit to pick was that Hubby now has me stuck on this game.

Other news: 

1.  Both sweaters are done. Just need to be seamed. Will do that and photograph it.
2.  I started the orange afghan. I bought the Encore 8-hour afghan books. Yes, it's size 13 needles with doubled yarn, so I feel like I'm knitting with tree trunks, but the patterns are lovely and I'm looking forward to getting through them quickly. No, it won't be 8 hours!
3.  I'll intersperse this afghan stuff with smaller stuff - like socks.
4.  I got a gorgeous Siberian Husky calendar for Christmas. Yes, I still miss River.
5.  I also got a phenomenal camera, a Canon EOS Rebel. It's way more whiz-bang than my small Canon "pocket-shooter," which has begun to eat batteries at an alarming rate. And it's tons lighter than the Canon 5D that Hubby uses.

Since Hubby is a professional photographer, he's very comfy with using The Big Camera. I have always been a little skittish of it, though I'm competent with it. Now, though, I have a "mini-me" which, even though a Rebel is idiot-proof, has enough stuff on it whereby I can actually learn to take better pics.

Male cardinals in maple tree
So Hubby had to play with it (of course). Here are some of his shots of the birds who came to visit us this New Year's. As you can see, we have a decently diverse batch of birds, but we are missing some of our "usual suspects." No Blue Jays in a while. Also, we didn't get any shots of the Nuthaches, because they flew away. No doves, either, but some folks actually consider them an annoyance.

And we missed the biggest, fattest brown squirrel you ever saw! We have greys, and we've seen the browns, but seriously - this guy was the size of the back-door neighbor's Chihuahua!!

Small Woodpecker

Large woodpecker
We did get both kinds of woodpeckers. Now, I just have to take Whiz-Bang Camera to Starved Rock so that my friend Susan and I can get the Pileated Woodpeckers that live there! He had to sneak up on the little stinkers, because the bigger one is more shy than the smaller one. The smaller one? Doesn't care. He's eating. Leave him alone. Here's the little guy, on the right. Isn't he cute? He's got lots of personality, too. I've seen him chase off the "scavenger" birds like the grackles. He's fearless when it comes to his suet.

Our New Year's Day? Well, we got a lot done. I finally have an office where I can lay out my yoga mat! I didn't take pictures, though I should have, right? And yesterday, I did my "First Practice." I intend to do one a day, even if it's 10 minutes. Oh, and I'd better figure out my yoga timer! It did time, but it didn't chime.

Most of the stash is organized. The desk has been configured a little differently, and I'm hoping it's more efficient. The Catholic music has been moved downstairs. I don't want to pitch it - there's a ton of it. But I don't use it anymore since we are attending an Episcopal Church across the river. But I also needed the room, so downstairs to the basement it went.

The floor is swept up, the corners are vacuumed, the guitars are put away, and my meditation altar is changed up a bit. I just need to reinflate my balance ball chair, and I'm good to go. Out of the 12 things I had on my to-do list for vacation, I got all but 2 of them done. Success!!!

Hubby baked bread. He does know how to bake, and he's good at it. But he did need a little help because this recipe was a little garbled when it came to the second rise and putting the dough in the pans. Unfortunately, I'm off bread for a while, but I can tell you the smells and visuals were extremely tantalizing! Enjoy, but please don't drool on your keyboard or tablet. You've been warned....

Final rise
Yes, that's a cast-iron loaf pan. It bakes up the most wonderful bread. We use it for everything from sweet nut breads to these whole-grain breads -- and even meatloaf. And yes, it weighs a ton.

Fresh out of the oven
This recipe was one he found online. Our outlet bakery closed, as part of the Hostess fiasco, and he's having "sticker shock" at the cost of bread from the supermarket. This isn't our first go-round with baking bread; I actually enjoy baking it anyway, but usually it's during the colder months. This recipe uses Bob's 7-grain hot cereal, so it's a little heavier than I'm used to working with. It gave the Big Mixer a workout, that's for sure! I thought he was going to blow it up. Wouldn't have been happy about that, for sure! 
Out of the pans

The directions did say to roll the entire loaf in oatmeal, but I prefer it just on the top. With the cast-iron pans, there may be a tendency to scorch, and that would've been nasty. On top looks pretty enough anyway.

And now comes my "artsy-fartsy" shot. I love this. Even Kid #2 said, "Oh, it looks like something out of a Panera display." I guess that's good.   :)

"Glamour shot"
I had to kind of shoot it blind, since I'm short, but this is one thing the Rebel does - it makes you look lots more arty than you may actually be! Hubby has already sliced the loaf and toasted it. He said it held up well. Sometimes, the homemade breads can be a little wonky when you try to toast them or use them in sandwiches. I like a hearty loaf like a potato bread because it holds up well. Maybe one day when I get to eat bread again.

I'm not griping. Yes, I put on about 4 lbs. over Christmas, having lost nearly thirty this summer/fall. I need to get those pounds back off, and I will. And I'm not crying about "never" having [insert food here] ever again. It'll come. It's like anything - a work in progress.

Speaking of which, I do have a few resolutions: daily yoga, blogging here at least once a week, and reintroducing myself to my "elliptiKILL" machine in the basement. Barring any weird health things, I should be ready to get back into the regular routine.

My yoga teacher training starts in February, and that's a year-long process. That will help me with one of my goals, and I'm actually looking forward to it. Always the perpetual student, I guess. Ha - that means I have to put down "Word Tiles" to practice! 

Happy New Year from Quinn
In the meantime, here are the girls, enjoying New Year's Eve with a Himalayan Chew, available at Fun Time Dog Shop. Don't forget, this is an online store that donates all its profits to rescues, and you get to pick the agency on their list. It's a great place to get really good stuff for your dogs. The treats, toys, etc. are all tested by those monsters, the Elkhounds, and if they can't destroy it, you can bet it's sturdy!

Yes, I do dress my dogs. And yes, they usually tolerate it much more when they have a yummy chew. Tippi was savoring hers. Quinn was destroying hers! I did take them away after a while, but that's just so they last a bit longer.
All the best in 2013, from Tippi!

My wish for you and yours: Peace and all good for 2013.

Do something to challenge yourself. Even a small step is a big thing.


1 comment:

Elayne said...

I said the same thing about my phone, But now I am addicted to Words With Friends, Hanging with FRiends, Draw Some and Bejeweled.