Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowed in

Well, not really. We did get about 3 inches of snow in our part of town, then it switched to freezing rain/sleet which has compacted the snow and made a crunchy, slushy, icy mess. A few people are driving around, the mailwoman delivered as usual, but most are staying in (as we are). A couple of the neighbors with 4-wheelers have been enjoying themselves.... shredding up a bit.
We've had slow steady freezing drizzle/sleet (it seems like) all day. It is picking up right now, switching back to snow as of 1:30pm.

Our back patio at 4:30pm, Fri. and 12noon, Sat.

Ahhhh..... refreshing!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The calm before the storm

A storm is coming. We're under a "winter storm warning" Friday and Saturday, supposed to get a couple inches of snow at least, possibly some freezing rain at some point. Hard to believe it since the weather is beautiful today, sunny and 50F degrees.
Me and everyone else in town ran around getting stuff done today, it was a zoo on Kingston Pike (more than usual). Now I've got enough 'real' food and junk food to last for several weeks.... or maybe just til Monday.
I've got a long list of art face requests that should keep me busy for the duration, not to mention all the half-finished jewelry projects scattered around the place. If I was snowed in for a solid month I might get caught up!!

Just after I posted this, I checked the weather forecast again and naturally they've changed it, now saying less snow is coming. By tonight, the forecast will probably be "warm and sunny". Trying not to think anything obnoxious about weatherpersons right now.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


My cousin forwarded this little funny to me.... I thought you might enjoy it, too, as it's particularly timely:

Cajun in Hell

A Cajun who died went to hell.
The devil assigned him the usual punishment...put him in the mass pit where the heat was melting others. The devil came back sometime later surprised to find the Cajun just sitting around, not even misting, much less sweating. "How come you're not so much as sweating here where everyone else is screaming for relief from the heat?"

The Cajun laughed and said, "Man, I was raised in the bayous of Sout Looziana. Dis ain't nothin' but May in Morgan City to me!"

The devil decided to really put the Cajun through it. He put him in a sealed off cave in the pit with open blazes and four extra furnaces blasting. When he came back, days later, the Cajun was sitting pretty, had barely begun to bead up with sweat. The devil was outraged. "How is this possible!? You should be melted to a shrieking puddle in these conditions!."

The Cajun laughed even harder than before. "Hey, man! I done tole you. I was raised in Sout Looziana. You tink dis is heat?! Dis ain't nothin' but August in Cow Island !"

So the devil thought, 'Alright, a little reverse ought to do the trick.' He put the Cajun into a corner of hell where no heat ever reached. It was freezing and to add to the Cajun's misery, he added massive icebergs and blasting frozen air. When he returned, the Cajun was shivering, ice hung from every part of him but he was grinning like it was Christmas.
Exasperated, the devil asked "HOW!? How is it possible?! You're impervious to heat and here you sit in conditions you can't be used to...freezing cold and yet you're happier than if you were in heaven. WHY?!"

The Cajun kept grinning and asked, "Don't dis mean de Saints won da Super Bowl?"

Who Dat ...... Go Saints !!!!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treasury time

Been a while since I made a Treasury on Etsy, just happened to notice an opening tweet by 3squares (who makes awesome jewelry) and was able to grab one!
Check it out.... "Darkness in the Trees".

A Treasury is like curating a small online art gallery for a few days... you pick a theme or color or random items from Etsy that please you. Treasuries 'expire' and then new ones can be made. Great fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Football and food

It's been a rainy, cold day and we've stayed at home - one of us watching nonstop football and the other in the kitchen, nonstop cooking. The outcome was an impending grudge match between us, AKA The Vikings (boo/hiss) vs. The Saints (geaux!!) well as a loaf of strawberry bread made using this recipe...
It turned out nicely, it is drier than the apple-banana bread I made recently, more like a traditional crusty bread loaf.

....and a batch of vegetable pakoras with a side of tamarind chutney:

I'm ready for a nap.

Friday, January 15, 2010

In progress

Among other things, here are a few items currently on my worktable:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inspiration - Implementation - Issue

Inspiration: While uncovering my bird's cage of his "nightgown", a pretty beach towel, I was inspired by the colors to create a new bamboo bead, featuring mehndi (traditional henna tattoo) designs.

Tape used in masking the edges of the wood bead during painting.

Issue: a reversible bead that's bright, cheerful and fun!

Available in my Etsy shop

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Laurel Falls (again)

On Tuesday we headed over to the National Park for a little snow hiking. Along the way we passed a herd of turkeys all fluffed up against the cold. Temp was about 15F degrees with wind chill around 10F.

We decided to hike out to Laurel Falls (again) because the sub-freezing temps were sure to have created some interesting ice formations. We'd last been out about a month ago to see the high water volume after heavy rains.
The Falls trail was fairly busy, being one of the most hiked trails in the park and a short 2.6-mile roundtrip paved outing. But with the cold it wasn't as crowded as usual.

Ice flow, created just like cave formations... except waaaay quicker.

Below the Falls the river was freezing over.

Here are a couple comparison shots, taken at the overspill below the Falls, one after heavy rain and one in snow/ice:

And now a comparison of Laurel Falls itself, heavy rain vs. snow/ice:

As usual we hiked on past the Falls and the crowd thinned out, but not completely. There were other groups headed toward the old fire tower... more traffic on the trail likely due to roads being closed around the park and thereby limiting hikers' trail choices. We turned back before reaching the trail junction as we got too cold, about 2.6 miles out.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ice ice baby

The Arctic blast continues, with some snow expected tomorrow. We had a few flurries the other day, and with the temps being so cold the flakes were perfect.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year

*administers CPR*
Live, blog, live!
Let's get this baby rolling again.... here we go.

Happy New Year!
Here in Tennessee we're entrenched in an "Arctic blast", as the weathermen are prone to say. It is definitely frigid. The low was 13F this morning. I ventured out to see the nifty ice crystals forming around the yard:

Why does everyone in the neighborhood drive by when I've gone out in my PJs?
Back inside... a snotty, frozen mess.

The cure?
Steaming hot tea and a warm apple-banana muffin.

I used this recipe with a few modifications to make one tasty loaf and 6 yummy muffins.

Here's my version:

To prepare the apples:
2 tbsp margarine/butter
3 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 apple (peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

To prepare the banana bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter/margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup skim milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 very ripe bananas, mashed

Directions for the Apples:
Preheat a medium skillet at medium-high heat.
Add butter and brown sugar and heat till it bubbles.

Add in cinnamon and apples, saute until golden and tender, about five minutes.

Stir in the vanilla and allow the mix to cool.

Directions for the Banana Bread:
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 and grease a small loaf pan and a muffin pan with butter.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each.
In a cup, combine the milk and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk/vanilla mixture. Stir well after each addition.

Add the mashed bananas and mix well.
Finally, stir in the apple mix prepared earlier.

Pour into the loaf and muffin tins.

Muffins bake about 25-30 minutes.
Loaf bakes around 55 to 60 minutes.

They're done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

The muffins will be (are being) eaten now *munch munch*. The loaf will be sliced *nibble nibble* and frozen.
The frozen slices will later be thawed, toasted and possibly buttered *unbuttons jeans*.