Monday, October 31, 2011

2011 Garden- Part 9, Frosty Weekend

Well, we had our first frost last weekend.  The garden has been winding down over the last several weeks, but we still had a bunch of green tomatoes on the vine.  We covered the ones with the most fruit and let Mr. Frost blow through the garden.  We really only had okra, green peppers and tomatoes left anyway.  The only camera I could find at home that was charged was the iPad.  I'm not impressed.  Oh well.
Here's a look at our sad garden Saturday morning. 
Okra post-frost
Green peppers post-frost.  So sad and droopy.
Tomatoes post-frost, just hanging on the cage
Here are the tomato plants we saved.  They don't look great, but you can see why we tried to save them- they're loaded with tomatoes!

Here's our last big harvest of the year.  We've got lots of green tomatoes in the windows now.  Hopefully some of them will turn.

Do any of you still have stuff growing? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tie Wreaths

Well, I finally got around to making something out of my Dad's old ties- wreaths!  I got the idea from this website a long time ago, but I just kept putting it off.  For Mom's birthday, I decided it was time to give it a try.  Mom had a favorite tie, so I used it for the bow and didn't cut it.  While I was at it, I made myself one too.  I think this will be a sweet reminder of my Dad.
Mom's tie wreath
My tie wreath

I have lots of ties and parts of ties leftover, so I'm sure I'll be making other things too.  Check out this Pinterest page- it has some fun ideas (and crazy ones too)!
Update- 11-2-11:  I'm linking up to the Young House Love Pinterest Challenge too!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Break in NM

My Mom's birthday fell just 2 days before our fall break this year.  It just happened to be one of those BIG birthday years too, so we knew we wanted to do something special.  My brother flew down from Colorado on Thursday, and we drove over from TX on Friday. 
Mom has been working at the McCall's Pumpkin Patch for 3 years now.  She manages payroll, answers emails and phone calls, handles reservations, and all that good stuff.  So we met Mom at the pumpkin patch Friday evening and spent the rest of the night there.  We had yummy food and braved the haunted corn maze and haunted barn.  Of course you also have to shop in the country store and see all the animals too.  (There are lots of other things for kids to do too, but we skip those things since we don't have kids.)  One of the new things this year was a giant rocking chair.  We just had to take advantage of the photo op. 
Me and Josh
Mom and Adam

On Saturday, we took advantage of a rare lazy day and just hung out together at the house.  For dinner, we headed into town to eat at The Melting Pot.  What a treat!  After 2 hours of eating, we left with full, happy bellies.  I tried to take pictures, but it was a little hard.
First course- cheese fondue with bread, veggies, and chips.
Third course- meat and veggies that you cook in pots of simmering cooking broths (2nd course was salad- no picture)
Fourth course- CHOCOLATE with fruit, cake, brownies, rice krispie treats, marshmallows, and cheesecake!!  We pounced on this stuff and ate most of it before I remembered to take a picture :)
Stuffed and happy!

After church on Sunday, we ate lunch and hit the road back to TX.  Our time together as family always passes too quickly, but I enjoy every second of it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lab Quote Friday- A Lesson in Colors and Reactions

I know today is Thursday, but it's really our Friday due to fall break.  Hooray for a long weekend!

The first quote from this week comes from a TA.  Yes, that's right, sometimes our teaching assistants also make me laugh.  I just had to share this one.
Male TA:  I have to give everyone 2 extra points on their lab reports.
Me:  Oh yeah?  Why is that?
Male TA:  Well, on the flame test, everyone wrote down lavender for one their answers.  I thought lavender was pink.  I eventually Googled it and learned that it is really purple.  That was such a guy thing to do!

The second quote comes from a lab where students were testing reactions of different metals.
Lab group 1:  Are any of yours reacting?
Lab group 2:  No, they're all just bubbling.
A few minutes later...
Lab group 1: Did you see a reaction yet?
Lab group 2:  Nope, still just bubbling.
Lab group 1:  Yeah, ours too.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This and That

First of all- Happy Birthday to the best Mom a girl could ask for!  Mom, you are such a wonderful part of our lives!  Just had to get that out of the way :)

I just thought I'd share a few pictures from my recent activities.
I've done a little baking...
White chocolate chip pumpkin spice cookies- recipe found here
Soft pretzels made from Sam's Club pizza dough- yummy!
Pumpkin roll (I've made 3 lately)- recipe found here
And a little crafting...
More TP pumpkins

 I'll share another craft project next week.  It's still a secret for now!

Lab quote Friday will be coming a day early this week because we have a birthday to celebrate in NM.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

TP Pumpkins!

Let's change the topic from snakes to something much more fun- fall crafts!  I have been wanting to make these for months, but had to wait for some seasonal fabric to show up in the stores.  These little pumpkins are made with rolls of toilet paper.  Here's the original link that inspired me. 
I found the newspaper more useful when I crumpled it up a little and wrapped it around the outside securing it with tape.  The taller pumpkin is made from a empty paper towel roll, cut down a little and wrapped with newspaper.  You can really make any size you want and use all kinds of cute fabric.  The "fall" fabric and the owl fabric are just cloth napkins I found at Hobby Lobby.  So cute, cheap and easy!  I'll probably be making more soon.  These are sitting in our downstairs bathroom at the moment.

Rattlesnake Roundup- Brokaw Style

So most of you already know that Josh and I had a rattlesnake in our driveway last night.  Most of you also know the outcome.  Here's the long version of the story.
We've only seen 1 other live rattlesnake on our property in the 2 years we've lived here.  It was a baby one out on our road and Josh refused to run over it.  I was not happy about that.  My snake philosophy is that snakes are fine and I'll leave them alone as long as they're not poisonous or in the house.  If they're poisonous or in the house, they need to die.  Period, end of story.
On nights that we get home after dark, Titus and I go for a short bike ride instead of walking.  I figure it's safer for me and the quicker I wear Titus out, the better.  So after our bike ride last night, I put the bike in the shop and headed back toward the house.  I saw something move on the driveway and immediately shone my flashlight on it.  Yep, a snake.  Check the tail.  Umm, that's a fatter tail than our usual snakes.  Yep, that's a rattler.  I knew Josh was outside somewhere, so here's how it all went down.
Me:  JOSH????  Titus, stay back!
Josh:  Yeah?  I'm right here.
Me:  We've got a rattlesnake in the driveway!!
Josh:  Ok.
Me:  Can you come over here quickly?  He's headed into the garage and I don't want to lose him.  I've got to keep Titus away.  Titus, no, get over here!
(Josh came around the corner and positioned himself between the snake and the garage.)
Me:  What do you want?  A hoe?  A shovel? 
Josh:  Umm...  I don't really know.
Me:  Titus, come with me.  Titus, come.  NOW! 
(I start walking toward the shop with Titus.  I'm already getting a little annoyed because the tools we need should be in the shed next to the driveway where they belong, but I know they didn't get put away and they are somewhere in the shop.  Plus, I already know Josh is not going to want to kill the snake based on previous situations.)
Josh:  It'll probably be fine if we just move it. 
(See, I was right.  Now I'm really annoyed)
Me:  I don't need you to be a scientist right now, I need you to protect our family.  Do you want a shovel or a hoe??!!
Josh:  I don't know if either of those will really work.
Me:  Am I going to have to kill this snake myself?  What tool do you want me to get?
(I really was worried I was going to have to take matters into my own hands.  The snake might not have been the only one in danger!)
Josh:  I guess a hoe.
Me:  A blunt-end one, right?
Josh:  I guess.  If we have one.
(looking, looking...) 
Josh:  Oh!!  A shotgun!  That's what I need!  I need my shotgun!
(All of the sudden, Josh is interested.  Of course, a gun.  Why didn't I think of a gun?!?)
Me:  I don't know which one the shotgun is or where the bullets are.
Josh:  Yes, I definitely need my shotgun!
Me:  I don't know which one it is.  You'll have to get it.
Josh:  Yeah, you come here and keep an eye on the snake and I'll go get the gun.
Me:  Hang on.  Let me get a long stick so I can keep my distance in case it moves.
(I grab the broom)
Josh:  You'll just have to keep moving around so he doesn't get in the garage.
Me:  Take Titus inside with you.
(Josh leaves me with the snake and heads inside.  The snake and I have a stare-down.  I didn't move.  He didn't move.  Josh comes back with his shotgun.)
Me:  Wait!  Let me get inside before you do anything!
(I go inside...  BANG... BANG... BANG...  I go back outside.  I need proof that the snake was dead.  I still wasn't quite sure Josh was going to go through with it.)
Me:  Are you done?
Josh:  Yeah.
Me:  You didn't blast any holes in the driveway, did you?
Josh:  No, I moved him before I shot him.
Me:  Is it dead?
Josh:  Mostly.  It's harder to kill than I expected.  It's still wiggling around some.
(Josh heads back inside, I don't know why.  I start taking pictures of course.  The snake was still moving a little.  Josh came back out with a different gun.  He tells me it was a .22 rifle if that means anything to any of you.  He shot the snake a couple more times.  I went inside to check on Titus.  When I came back out, Josh was removing the rattle.  Trophy I guess.  Titus was pretty interested, but scared at the same time.)
Josh (with rattle in hand):  Here, hold this while I get rid of the snake. 
Me:  I don't want that thing! 
(Josh hands it to me anyway.  Gross, but a little cool at the same time.  I showed it to Titus, but he was more interested in where Josh was taking the rest of the body.  I took some pictures of the rattle since the camera was handy.  Then my camera battery died.  Then Titus came back and wanted to eat the rattle.  Then I went inside.  The End.)

In my dream world, this is how it would have happened.
Me:  Josh, we have a rattlesnake in the driveway!
Josh:  Are you ok?  Don't get too close.  Go inside with Titus, and I'll take care of everything.
Me:  My hero!
The End.

The snake was about 3 feet long.  The black and white stripes are just before the rattle.
Josh's trophy rattle
 Maybe we'll handle the next snake better.  This was not our finest marital moment!  Still adjusting to life in the country...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Roughin' It At Home

Friday was Josh's birthday.  Several years ago, Josh and I started the tradition of camping for our birthdays instead of giving gifts.  We're not always great about making it happen, but we did ok this year.  We were camping just outside of St. Louis for my birthday in July, and this weekend we camped out at home for the first time.  Some of you may not see the point of this, but we thought it was fun.
We threw our iPad, tent, sleeping pads, sleeping bags and some stuff for Titus into the back of the truck and headed out to our designated campsite.  We've had this spot picked out for quite some time.  It's a spot on our property where you can't see our house or any of our neighbors' buildings.  There are trees all around but none directly over the campsite.  So why did we bring our iPad?  For stargazing (and music)!  You see the tent we used is all mesh on the top- perfect for looking at stars!  We found a great little app called Star Walk that is really fun to use.  You just hold the iPad up in any direction and it tells you which constellation/star/planet you are looking at.  It also gives a bunch of info about each one.  Fabulous!  It was a very romantic/nerdy night :)
The red line is the horizon
Our campsite
Titus loves this tent.  He just sits and looks around waiting for something exciting to happen...
... and sometimes something exciting does happen.  This is seconds before Titus took off to see the neighbor's llamas.  See that little white spot to the left of the zipper?  That's one of the llamas.
On Saturday morning we packed things up and headed back to the house.  Just as Josh was about to cook breakfast, we heard a POP and we lost our electricity.  A squirrel had electrocuted himself.  We know this because Josh found the half-paralyzed squirrel laying on the ground by one of our electrical poles.  We called the electric company, Josh put the squirrel out of its misery, and before long our power was restored.
The rest of our weekend was pretty typical, but we did end it with an apple-cranberry pie.  Josh's favorite!
What did you do this weekend?
*FYI- We thought Star Walk was a really fun app.  I could see it being really fun/educational for kids too.  They have it for the iPhone and iPad.