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Monday, December 27, 2010

Pictures

Christmas is over, the new year is about to begin, and life is good!

PB's son, the Marine came out for a visit, he is about to go to Japan for a couple of years.

My son is about to get out of the Army, we hope he can come for his first visit (out here) soon after that.










We had another visitor today, I spooked him or her when I went out the door, that's one of the feral donkeys that roam loose out here.











Then there's Pekoe, my little baby girl, she's only 11 years old, though in dog years, that's pretty old.



This is PB's latest project, he made another pair of sandals, they are still a work in progress, but so far they are working pretty well.




This is a good view of the solar panels on the roof. The ones in the foreground are Harbor Freight solar panel kits, we have wire and deer netting over the panels to protect them from hail. The panels in the background are on a frame and can follow the sun, it's a manual system done with a rope strung through some conduit that goes through the roof over the porch.





All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Since it's after midnight, I can officially wish you a Merry Christmas! There will be no "happy holidays" around here, I give you a full on Merry Christmas as this IS what the "holiday" truly is, no apologies required. Anyhoo, on Christmas Eve, we had our Christmas Eve church special, it was great fun, and it was my piano debut, I was part of a musical trio backing the choir. I played piano, one friend played violin and my other friend played guitar. We all pretty much know how to play our respective instruments, but we all had the same issue to get past, namely playing in public, being nervous, but we each played well, and the choir sang loud enough to mask any mistakes we made, LOL! We practiced a lot, and it paid off, the program went very well, everyone thinks I can play piano now, it will not be long and the church will expect me to start playing at church, the biggest problem about that is PB, he didn't like sitting without me, and somehow I don't think he will sit with me in front of the church (grin)!

I have been eyeballing a keyboard on line, it's the Yamaha YPG-235 76-key Portable Grand Graded-Action USB Keyboard, I listened to it on YouTube today, I had to wipe the drool off of my computer... I have been saving up my Amazon ad credits to purchase this keyboard, so if you love me (or at least enjoy reading my ramblings here), and you are going to be buying something on Amazon anyhow, please go through one of my Amazon links, even if you don't buy what is on the link, just click on the link then go on and buy whatever you were going to buy on Amazon, I'll get the credit from that sale, every little bit helps, thanks!!!!
This is the keyboard:



Here is a video that shows just a tiny bit of what this keyboard is capeable of. I tried to find a video of someone actually playing, but couldn't find one I was happy with, so here is what I did find, a great original song played on the Yamaha YPG-235.



OK, I just found someone actually playing this keyboard, enjoy!




Oh man, do I ever suffer from YTADD, for those who don't know what that is, it's YouTube Attention Deficit Disorder, that's what happens when you are looking for YouTube videos and start looking at all the other videos that show up on the page... I went from looking for videos on the keyboard to watching Yuri Lane, harmonica beatbox extraordinaire! If you have never heard Yuri Lane, look him up on YouTube, you're in for a huge treat.

Yes, Yuri is making ALL those sounds with his MOUTH at the same time he is playing his harmonica! How cool is that?!

All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cookie Recipe

It's getting down to the line, many of us are scrambling to get the last minute Christmas stuff done. Here is a great last minute cookie recipe you can make for yourself, your guests or to give for gifts. You basically use cake mix as the base, from there you can add just about anything you want to customize your cookies. I had an out of date chocolate cake mix, I wasn't willing to toss it out, but I didn't trust using it to make a cake, so I used it to make a batch of chocolate cookies, I did add about a teaspoon of baking powder. They turned out pretty good, not quite as good as honest to goodness scratch made cookies, but they were still homemade and pretty tasty. The only thing I would do differently (on the chocolate ones) is I would add about a half cup of sugar, they weren't as sweet as I thought they should be. Another addition I am thinking of is candied cherries pushed into the center of each chocolate cookie.... yum!

Cake Mix Cookies

Using a purchased cake mix to make cookies is a fun way to save time in the kitchen. This recipe will work with any flavor of cake mix. You can also use Homemade Cake Mix.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients:

* 18 oz. pkg. cake mix (any flavor)
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 egg

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients at low speed until dry ingredients are moistened and dough is thoroughly mixed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes. Cool two minutes on cookie sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool.

If using chocolate cake mix, add 2 Tbsp. water along with egg. You can stir in chocolate chips, coated candy pieces, chopped nuts, or oatmeal. Frost the cookies, using canned frosting, or make sandwich cookies by spreading frosting between two cookies. These Cake Mix Cookies should be stored tightly covered at room temperature so they stay soft.
Original recipe can be found here:
http://busycooks.about.com/od/cookierecipes/r/cakemixcookies.htm



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

A Midnight Snack Gone Wrong

Tonight I went under the skycastle to get a jar of peanut butter. Taking a flashlight, I slipped out the door quietly so I wouldn't wake anyone up (PB or the Pekoe), it was late and all is quiet. I entered the cave like area under the house, it's dark, there are a lot of boxes and stuff down there. Before I entered the space, I check the dirt to see if there are any animal tracks, I an not interested in being down there with any other critters, there is no door, just the opening that goes into the space under the house, I see nothing out of the ordinary. I enter and begin working my way around the boxes and junk under there... then I see it, lying on the dirt, between myself and the peanut butter, a fully intact, (apparently) freshly dead bird, next to the bird is something unidentifiable, it was smaller than the bird, partially eaten, glistening in the light of my LED flashlight... I stop in my tracks, I hear nothing, I look around, I see nothing moving...

...I'm not creeped out by the dead bird, nor the partially eaten unidentifable whatever...

I am however, wondering just exactly what did I disturb that had just been having dinner under there...

I left without the peanut butter...




All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Updates

Yeah, I admit it, I've been ignoring my writing here... so here are the updates I've been neglecting. PB and I are doing just fine, life has been going on more or less as normal. I've been working more, cleaning both local churches now. I've been cleaning my church (our community church) for several months now. The other church in our community, the Baptist one, they have 2 dorm rooms that are typically used for traveling missionaries, each side has 5 or 6 sets of bunk beds, a full or queen sized bed, plus a little furniture here and there, each side has 2 showers, 2 toilets plus a separate room with 2 sinks. They like them cleaned just before new people show up, there is no point cleaning after they leave, everything gets horribly dusty within a few days anyhow, so I clean within a day or so of someone new coming in. I clean the Baptist church sanctuary about once a month, they don't require it any more often.

My church is a different story, I clean it at least once or twice a week, it depends on the the time of the month, food is served on a weekly basis, so I clean after food is served. We also have first Sunday dinner which both churches attend at our church, second Sunday dinner is held at the Baptist church. We eat a lot at church LOL. That means a lot of food spills, crumbs, all the grass, grass burs and dirt tracked in downstairs where the dining and kitchen areas are.

This is on top of the caretaker job I have, plus the various this and that little jobs, usually barter based. I'm not complaining, not at all, I enjoy being busy, I also enjoy having flexible schedules, sometimes I have to juggle things a bit to fit everything in, but all in all it's not bad.

It was bound to happen, being around more people, I finally got sick, I've been down for over a week now, it's finally getting better, but now PB is getting it. It all started out a week ago on Friday, I was leading the praise and worship service at church, it was decided that we would do our Christmas choir rehearsal immediately following the P&W service. I wasn't going to participate in the Christmas special, but it turned out that no one there knew how to work the music player in the church so I stayed to do that. I ended up singing too, I could feel my throat getting sore then. By the next morning, I had a full blown sore throat complete with a dry hacking cough. I thought it would only last a few days, nope, it has lasted over a week now. PB was such a sweetie, keeping the sky castle warm for me. Now it's my turn to nurse him.

I'm sitting here listening to Rush Limbaugh on the internet, it's streaming through a station we used to listen to in the DFW area, that means hearing the "local" news for that area, I have to tell you I don't miss living there, I'm hearing about all the car wrecks and traffic problems, on Dec 22, it will be 3 full years away from all of those headaches, I don't miss any part of it.

Here I sit, blowing my sore nose, glad most of the coughing is over, I went to church yesterday, it was basically the first time I'd been fully dressed in something besides PJs in over a week. I cleaned my church on Saturday, I was still sick but the church needed to be cleaned and I didn't expect to see anyone there. One of the ladies from the church did show up with a box of hay for the manger scene. She fussed at me for getting out while I was still sick, my reply was it needed to be done, we were going to have our first Sunday dinner the next day and I hadn't been up there that week to clean, and it did need it, badly! I also took the opportunity to practice on the piano. I'm getting better and better on it. I played a little before church on Sunday, one of the other ladies up there asked me how many years had I been playing... she didn't believe me that I hadn't been playing all of my life. Those lessons are really paying off! My biggest problem is my fingers get nervous when I am playing in front of anyone. So I need to play in front of people more and more.

That's enough for now, I have to get after the dishes, I've really let things go this last week.




All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!