Monday, March 31, 2008

How do you spell FUN(nel)?

Funnel Cakes! Adam made these this evening, since we longed for them at Carowinds, but they cost about $8 each. His are cheaper...and better.
They cool for only a moment. Adam's do look a little "snaky," I told him," but that's because he needs a funnel with a wider mouth. The batter was delicious, he says.
With a sprinkling of powdered sugar, they are delectable. We each got one.
Julia got the first one. Poof! It disappeared.
Meanwhile, Philip is registering online for the SAT. Argh! What an arduous process, but a necessity. He got a funnel cake as his reward for his efforts.

All over the blooming yard!

Here's what's blooming in our yard: Our overgrown (for its location) weeping cherry tree, and our lovely Canadian plum, blooming in the front yard. It's a fluffy mass. The middle photo is of my transplanted hydrangea (one of 3, I should say). I'm so thrilled that all three bushes survived the brutal transplant last November. They're in much better light now.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The real last day

This is our final day before returning to school. After this, it's all downhill until graduation! Thankfully, in 2 1/2 weeks, I'll get a 5 day weekend - yippee!! It'll be here before I know it. It's been such a nice break, but it feels too much like summer, and makes us all long to be done with the school year.

Adam got his flower seeds in the mail, and has put them all in their little thumbnails of dirt to germinate.

My blog is doing something weird when I load pictures, so I'm not going to bother today. Besides, it's so cold outside! It feels like January.

Tonight we'll be at the 5th Sunday sing at church, with other area churches. Philip is singing a short solo. You know, that young man has a very nice voice :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Carowinds

Here are four more pics. Julia and Anna rode a little coaster together. We spent a bit of time in the kiddie section of the park.
Beautiful horse on the carousel. This was perhaps the chilliest moment of the day.
Adam, at this moment, was very cold. He was not pleased to be sitting on a horse.
We saw little of the boys. They took off and rode body-jarring, stomach-churning coasters all day. Philip fell down some stairs, bruised himself, but saved his camera!

Today we took the kids to:

Carowinds - our nearest large amusement park. We began the day in light rain, but it cleared soon, leaving us only chilly and breezy.
Picture #2: Julia exiting her very first roller coaster, with her Daddy. It was the "Cyclone."
Picture #3: Adam's favorite ride was Scooby-Doo's Haunted Mansion. Each seat in each car is equipped with a little laser gun, with which the rider tries to shoot little lights inside the dark mansion. He liked it because he always got the highest score (by hundreds) and because it was the only slightly warm place in the park - it was indoors.
Picture #4: The Nighthawk was NOT a ride that our little group went on! We opted for non-upside-down rides :) Philip and Peter did wait 1 1/2 hours to board the Nighthawk, only to be told that it was not working correctly. Philip was miffed.
Picture #5: Here we are embarking on "Rip Roarin' Rapids" a ride that mommy wanted. Daddy was not thrilled at the possibility of getting wet. We did get wet. Oh well - all that wind dried us off again :) I like water rides, but they are chilly in 50 degrees!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our Last Day of Break

I finally mopped the floors today, and this sign now graces our back door. The one who offends the most, will mop the floors next!
Here's the latest on the brick oven. Adam opted to delay construction of the arch, and begin work on the firebox - the heart of the oven. The large lower compartment is wood storage.
Here he is, working on the actual oven, using fire bricks. He got all the sides finished today, with beveled corner bricks.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


This morning, I offer a culinary salute to my old friend, Lisa Bingham, who gave me this waffle iron years ago. My family still thanks you! They were pretty good. I left 2 large squares on the stove, and they disappeared when Philip emerged from the land of sleep.

Adam the yard-man is once again working on his brick oven, since it's now warm enough to do the brick work. He has discovered that he detests laying brick as much as he does plumbing, which is saying something! He wants to get this done, and hopes to finish the arch on the front, today. I'll keep you posted.

He took a break to dig me a bed. See that bucket of bulbs? They need to go into the bed. I wish I had a fairy wand I could wave, and all the little bulbs would spin through the air, deposit themselves in neat little rows, and burrow into their new homes, tucking their tails behind them. Oh well. So much for magic.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

And while we were gone ...

... my hubby cleared (and, boy, do I mean CLEARED) the back portion of our back yard. He rented a 400 lb tiller, and churned the earth. He had previously stripped the ivy out of this part. Doesn't it look loverly? He wants raspberries (we need advice from you, Max) and corn (again, Max), and other veggies. Note the forsythia and rose bushes on the far side.

And, as if that weren't enough, he and Philip moved the Ugly Shed (every gardener needs one :)) to a less conspicuous spot. The skeleton is assembled, and the siding must go back on.

And, when they moved the shed, this is the beautiful floor they found. Wow.

As an aside, here are the bulbs I dug up from around the yard the other day. There were dozens. And many more dozens to go.

Thanks to the IRS, we went and bought some outdoor eating paraphernalia. This is quite an improvement from what we ate on last summer. I plan to spend many evenings here.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Little Trip...

... to see The Old Folks in the Mountains, seemed in order over Break. So we did - just the girls and I. We stopped at Andrews Geyser, just outside Old Fort, NC.

Here are the girls, looking sweet. The geyser is impressive in person. You should stop and see it.

Anna spent the night with her best friend, Jillian, and the next day they went swimming (indoor, of course). They're best buds.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What Philip Did

Philip is on "rocket team" at our high school. They're in final stages of learning rocket design and launching. This was the NASA TARC competition (take-off and recovery competition, perhaps?). They didn't win. They forgot to install something that would allow the parachute to eject, so their rocket plummeted back down to earth. Aren't we all glad teenagers aren't in charge of the space shuttle?

This rocket exploded soon after lift-off. Neither of these photos is of Philip's team's rocket.

He also took some photos at a local park. I like the look of the water in this one.

And a lovely sunset.

The Easter Family Photo

Ta-Da! It's been a long time since we had a picture, all together. This was after church.

Before church, we looked much happier.

BTW: Philip is slated for a haircut in mere moments. Teenagers these days are all into 70s everything, including the hair. We've told him to enjoy it while he has it.

They say photos taken from below are never very good. Ah, well.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cute Little Bunnies

Our church had an Easter egg hunt today, and each child got a bunny - even the big kids, if they wanted one!


To the faithful few who look at this blog, and who occasionally comment (bless you!) -- I've added a "verification" step when you post a comment. Just go ahead and click it (if you are rather new to this blog thing). It won't bite. But it will help me not get so many "spam" comments.


Product Post #4: 26 years at least

I bought this cast-iron skillet when I was about 18. I was on a day trip with my friend, Cathy Nordlof, to Silver Dollar City (which is now Dollywood), and we stopped at a little junk store. It probably cost me $2. It's perfectly seasoned, and was at the time, I think. Some lady must have had it for 20 years in her kitchen, before the 26 years I've added to its working life. We use it every day. Eggs. Pancakes. Grilled cheese. Stir fry.

The bottom says "Wagner Ware, Sidney" It's about 9 or 10 inches across.

Saturday morning is pancakes all around. Notice the M&Ms.
Everybody should have a selection of cast iron. All the fancy, non-stick modern versions just don't seem to hold up.

Product Post #3: Unbreakable

How many glass coffee-presses did Adam go through? I'm not sure. Finally, almost a year ago, he bought this stainless steel one, at Starbucks. We do hope it is the end of our coffee-pressing woes. No glass -- no breakage. And, since the glass IS the thing that broke on the previous one, of course we were left with the "pressing" part (we call it the plunger) left. Happily, that plunger (with the white top) fits perfectly into the new press, so we have a spare! Very nice.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Here's what we did...

with our first day of Spring Break.
*Adam weed-eated (ate?) more in the back yard. He's conquering ivy.
*I made breakfast for 2 girls.
*Adam and I went to the local eatery for a hearty breakfast. He dislikes their plastic plates and cutlery, however.
*I cleaned the kitchen, washed the globes in the dining room chandelier, cleared off/dusted the coffee table and washed the big oval fake-pewter tray that sits on it, finally did my mending on some clothing.
*Julia sat for hours at the table, doing schoolwork that she's been negligent in. We had a distraught email from her teacher yesterday. We must crack down.
*I took Anna shopping for flip-flops that will meet the school's dress code. We also stopped by the school, picked up Julia's school work, stopped by the library, got frozen pizza for the children for tonight, and used part of an old gift-card at Starbucks. Also got Julia's spring shoes for church.
*Julia is still working.
*Went with Adam to our local WONDERFUL garden center. Bought 2 gardenia bushes for out front. The rugosa roses I put there last fall were nice . . . until they lost their leaves, of course. Didn't think about that. Gardenias will be better. Also bought an autumn joy sedum.
*Planted sedum and one gardenia.
*Now: Adam and I will go out this evening with the older folks from our church to a Passion Week performance at a church. Adam will drive the van, and we'll go out to eat first. I've always wanted to go with the old people (because I'm convinced that they're having more fun), and now I get to!
*Philip has spent the day with his rocket-team buddies, out in a field somewhere, shooting off rockets.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Break

Has sprung, at last.

Just look at this camellia bush (tree). Is a tree just a bush that has been allowed to grow wild? In this case, I guess so!

I've never seen so many blossoms on a camellia before.

And another angle.

And the ones that have fallen.

Tonight we have Maundy Thursday service and communion at church. Adam made this delicious matzo bread (unleavened) for the communion.

Today my parents came into town for "grandparents' day" at school with Julia, and then they took Julia and me to lunch at Cracker Barrel.

And now...the whole family gets to crash for spring break. That thump you just heard? That was me, crashing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I forgot!

Here is a belated blogger happy birthday to my boy, Peter, and to my mother, JoAnne. It was fun to have him born on his grandma's birthday all those years ago. And how often do you hear of a 14 year old who doesn't ask for any electronics for his birthday?

Spring Break starts

Tomorrow. We are about as worn to a frazzle (as my g'ma would say) as 2 teachers can be, after a long winter term. There's not much break between early January and mid-March. It's rather a gloomy time of year. Much work is accomplished, but everyone is exhausted from the efforts. And although we love our students, we are ready to NOT SEE them for a week.

Our yard continues to bloom and flourish. I'd take pictures today, but it's presently raining, and I'm reclining on the couch.

Last night Julia, Anna and I watched "The Red Balloon." And then Anna and I watched "Sleepless in Seatle," a great chic flic.

I think I'd better post this before I yawn myself to death.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Beard Goes Bye-Bye

Here's my bushy-faced husband, with his 6 weeks of growth.

Since the play is over, he took it down to a fat handlebar mustache. That's just plain not normal. He wore this for one day, just to irritate his students.

He was going to have another day, with just a short mustache, but when he started shaving, he just COULDN'T WAIT to get all that stuff off his face! Here he is - his cute self! Note the smile of joy.