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Tennessee Adventure

I’m not a big sports fan. I like individual sports teams, usually local or college teams.  Wooooo Pig. Sooooie!  Goo Lady Bears!   It wasn’t until the day before we left for Nashville that I found out the NFL draft was in Nashville the same time we would be.  Oops.  Fortunately we’d made reservations for the hotel and had our tickets to the Gatlin Brothers at the Ryman.  The only real issue would be traffic and parking.

It was raining when we left Willard (cue country music background).  Uneventful trip and check in at motel.  Wednesday we toured the Carnton house and the adjoining Confederate cemetery, as well as the Carter houses.  This battle could have been avoided and included a charge even larger than Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. After all the touring and listening to stories of the families involved during and after the battle we ate at South 55. I had their Memphis hot chicken sandwich.  It was almost too spicy but I managed to eat it all. My dad said it was the best chicken sandwich he ever had.

Thursday morning we headed to Nashville  the area around the Nissan Arena was blocked to traffic   We found a parking garage near the Ryman and paid the $30 event fee to be there all day.  We checked out the Johnny Cash museum.  Did you know Leonard Nimoy sang “walk the line” ?    You can check it out on you tube  we are a sandwich and for dessert Dennis and I shared a GooGoo Cluster.   They were advertised on the Grand Ole Opry.  They are also good   Then we went to the Patsy Cline Museum   Also fun   Then spent several hours at the Country Music Hall of fame before ending the evening at the Ryman   Gatlin brothers were good  but Ashley Campbell was amazing.   Daughter of Glen Campbell.   The night opened with Tony Jackson in his first time at the Ryman.   I’d never heard of him before but I bet everyone will soon know his name.

We finished up the backstage tour just as the fireworks were going off over the Nissan Arena.  Crazy traffic but we made it to the hotel without incident

 

Another inch of snow

We got more snow overnight.  Fortunately it all melts in a day or two.  The ground isn’t frozen at the moment.  Tonight we’ll be in the teens but then gradually warm back up over the next few days.  Hurry Spring!

3-D design remains challenging.  Wednesday we were introduced to all the woodworking tools.  We were given the safety rules and shown how they all work.  Then we could choose whatever wood/material we wanted for our next project from the scrap wood bin.  I brought some pieces home to play with.  I have an idea in my head and have did a bit of sketching.  I won’t know how it’s going to work out until I actually assemble the wood.  Will it have balance?  Will I have incorporated 5 different types of junctions?

I finished The Clockmaker’s Daughter.  It was a good book and had a satisfactory “all wrapped up” ending.  It isn’t going to go on my favorite books list though.  I’m now reading Free, Melania.  I’m not exactly sure what the comma in the title means.   (You are) free, Melania?  It’s an unauthorized biography.  The author Kate Bennett is all over the place time-wise in Melania’s life.  For all of that, I’m still reading.

Today I turned in my reading list for the Springfield-Greene County Library Winter Reading Challenge.  My reward?  A gray coffee mug with white snowflakes that says “Winter Reading Challenge”.  I like it.  I’ll drink coffee or tea or hot chocolate out of it.

 

 

 

Winter

It’s mostly cold and dreary with scattered snow.  No accumulation.

Dennis likes his Game Cam.  He has it set up but so far no animals have triggered it.  I got a small box of very nice chocolates.  That is my preference.  I’d rather have a few bites of quality chocolate than a big box of cheap stuff. We celebrated with lunch at Panera and a visit to the library.  We checked out “Best Exotic Marigod Hotel”.   It’s a nice “feel good” movie with both funny and touching moments.  The concept of outsourcing old age (why the retired Brits wind up in India) makes me uncomfortable, but otherwise I enjoyed the movie.

I’m still reading The Clockmaker’s Daughter.  It’s an ambitious saga of the people who have lived in or been affected by Birchwood Manor over almost 200 years.  And of course there is a spirit inhabiting the house.  I find it an enjoyable book.

Saturday we celebrated Zane’s 6th birthday at a (Ninja) Warrior Gym.  They have a special section for kids, including a 6 foot warp wall.  Zane can scale it without difficulty, as could several other of his friends.  The group of kids that Jax & Zane hang out with are not sedentary or overweight.  They may be a minority, but they give me hope for the future.

Last night was square dance lessons.  There were moments when everyone in our square was doing the right steps and headed in the right direction and it was fun.  I’m still at the point that I have to think about what the call was, how to do it, and in which direction I turn.  I suspect I often have the deer in the headlights look.  At some point these steps will become automatic.  Or so I’m told.

Today was a productive day at quilting.  Last week Elizabeth took the fabric for the shashing and border of our current quilt and got it all sewn together.  Today we (Vicki, Elizabeth, Kay, Karen and I) got the backing, batting and top layered & pinned together and got it on the quilt frame.  We were all proud of our accomplishment.

 

 

Snow Surprise

After the weather person predicting snowmageddon that didn’t happen, they played down the remote chance for a few flakes of snow last night.  There were a few sprinkles of rain on my windshield when I arrived for square dance lessons, about 7:15 PM.  About 8 we had our first break.  Someone went outside and came back in saying it was snowing.  We all rushed to the door to look out just like Kindergarten students.  There were a few tiny flakes falling but no one got excited.  When it was time for our 2nd break, the flakes were bigger and coming down steady.  Several people decided to leave.  The rest of us stayed to finish the lesson.  The ground was covered and the flakes were huge and falling fast.  It was 35 degrees so the roads were slushy.  The snow was falling heavy enough that visibility was an issue.  When we got to the farm roads, ours were the first tracks in the snow.  Since there was no traffic I took my half of the road down the middle.  We arrived home without any problem, but it took longer than usual.  I think the official full snow moon was Sunay night, but the snow arrived late.  Since it didn’t get below freezing, most of the snow had melted by the time I got up this morning.

There were plenty of women at quilting.  Elizabeth was laying out the blocks for our current project.  She had already cut the strips for the sashing.  She and I looked it over and moved a couple of blocks around, then called it done.  We both took a photo with our phones because we know better than to trust our memory, especially when each block is different and there are 12 of them.  She brought in her sewing machine and started sewing the sashing to the blocks.  Another group of women were making spring/Easter wreaths.  They had an assembly line set up and had things under control.  I decided I ease on out of the church and check out the library.  I wasn’t looking for a particular book so it was fun to stroll up and down the stacks, just to see what is there.  As soon as I finish The Clockmaker’s Daughter I can turn in my completed Winter Reading Challenge sheet.

 

Snow almost melted

I honestly don’t know how much snow we got but it wasn’t the 4″-6″ predicted.  It was enough to get multiple snowplows out…these two stopped to chat in front of our house.thumbnail_IMG_3821

Unfortunately it was cold enough the next few days that what we had didn’t melt.  Yesterday it got up to 40 with a bit of sunshine, so most of the snow is now mud.

I made Mulligatawny soup to help mitigate the side-effects of snow and cold.  I used the recipe from Big Food, Big Garden blog.  I served it over rice as recipe suggested.  It was spicy enough to open my sinuses.  I used a hot curry powder and the cayenne both.  Next time I’ll use a mild curry powder.  The recipe was a keeper.

Yesterday I had a girls day out with Elizabeth and Vicki.  They are part of the quilting ladies.  We had some already pieced quilt squares donated to the group.  Elizabeth got them trimmed up and Tuesday we laid them out to see what size quilt we could create.  We figured out with the sashing between blocks and 3 borders around the edge we could have at least a double, almost a queen size quilt.   The three of us went in search of and found the fabric we needed as well as a nice cotton/poly blend batting for it.  The store sells several types of batting by the yard–it’s on huge rolls.  So much nicer than the pre-bagged amounts most fabric stores sell.  After we accomplished our mission, we decided to have lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s (right around the corner from FM Store where we got the fabric & batting).  It was nice to relax and have some girlfriend time.  My husband will never refer to my Willard quilting friends as “the wrecking crew”, but you need all kinds of girlfriends.

Dennis and I are in the market for a couple “game cams” to see how many animals lurk around our barn during the night.  We know fox, dogs and coyote pass through the fields behind us, but I’m curious how close they come to our yard and house.    I may not like the answer, but it will let us know how strong our chicken pens needs to be.  We have enough big hawks to know the top will have to be enclosed.

Since watching “Little Big Lies”, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack as well as other Michael Kiwanuka songs.  I’m looking forward to watching season 2.  Last time I checked, I was #37 on 2 copies, so it will be a while.

I finished Ruth’s Journey and recommend it.  You don’t have to be a huge Gone with the Wind fan to enjoy it, but it would help.  I just started The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton.  So far I’m enjoying it.  It’s set in England and jumps around in time, which so far hasn’t totally confused or lost me.

Dennis and I are having a “date night” late this afternoon.  We’re going to have a  beer at Springfield Brewing Co. and indulge in their chips & salsa & queso.  At some point we should probably consider improving our eating habits.

 

Snow Happening

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There was enough snow on the ground at 6:30 AM for MSU to call off classes today.  They may have called them off earlier, but that is when I got up and saw the notice on my phone.  At the moment the snow is taking a break and the birds are rushing the feeders (7:55 AM).  I haven’t been out to see if there’s a glaze (or more) of ice under the snow.  It’s 30 degrees and not supposed to get any warmer.  In fact, tonight temperatures will drop to about 20.  That sounds about right for February weather.

I’m enjoying Ruth’s Journey.  The author is introducing characters and setting the stage for events that take place in Gone with the Wind.  If you like Gone with the Wind, I would highly recommend this book.  Scarlett O’Hara definitely gets her spunkiness from her Grandmother Solange.

This will be a perfect day to make soup and Valentine’s cards.  Some hot chocolate might also be on the menu.  Let the Snow Day begin!

Winter Advisory

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At the moment is 36 degrees and raining.  That will change during the night and all the weather people seem serious about accumulation snow and deteriorating road conditions early Wednesday morning.

Dennis and I enjoyed the Super Bowl.  We were concerned at half-time when the Chiefs were down by 10 points, but like they did during the play-offs, they came back and won the game.

Dennis has been clearing & removing the cross-fencing in the back pasture.  A lot is going on behind our property.  Load after load of gravel has been delivered and 3 distinct “roads” are now apparent.  We think that a maximum of 6 houses might be built back there.  The fact that each house has to have 5 acres give us some hope that our bucolic country lifestyle will continue.  It looks like waterlines may have been put in.  I didn’t realize rural water went down Farm Road 104, but apparently it does.  We’ve seen other utility trucks out there.  I hope they’ll do underground electric rather than set poles.  While we were in S. Padre Island Ozark Electric came by and trimmed up the trees along our powerlines.  I’m glad I wasn’t here to see it.  They did a better job here than some of the places we’ve seen.  Our trees look trimmed rather than butchered.

The broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zinnias and butter crunch lettuce are up and looking good.  I might try to add raised bed/cold frame to Dennis’ list of things to get done before planting time.

Monday was the last “work day” for our first 3-D project.  My dragon looks goofy but I used almost all of my 12′ x 4′ of cardboard.  I have X crossbraced the thighs to support the professor (hopefully).  Besides mega thighs, he has a body, tail, feet (that include sharp scary looking toenails), a long neck and head–with a face that includes eyes and protruding eyebrows, and an open snout/nose/mouth.  The wings are attached but need some more work.  I planned to go in before class wednesday and see if I could add some more texture or depth to them.  With the weather, who knows if we’ll have class.  As I was leaving on Monday, I heard one poor student in tears, telling the professor her project didn’t turn out like she had planned.  After all the bad reviews of his teaching and how cold and uncaring he was, I was shocked to hear him kindly offer to look at it with her and make some suggestions on how she could improve it.  He’d stopped by to look at my dragon several times and had pointed out areas that needed improvement– in a helpful way.  I’m looking forward to seeing all the projects being presented.

After class I went to Nixa for our 2nd square dance lesson.  We reviewed the previous steps and went right on to new ones.  I had fun dancing but left feeling more confused than secure with the new steps.

I’m reading Ruth’s Journey.  It’s a fictional account of Mammy from Gone with the Wind‘s life.  I’m not sure why I thought it was about the actress who played Mammy.  It’s not.  The characters are well developed and so far the plot is moving right along with history.

It was hard to get up and go to quilting this morning.  I didn’t sleep well and it was cold, gray and raining.  I’m glad I went because just hanging out with the other women cheered me up.   There’s nothing like the company of good women to get your life and thoughts back on track.

Willard Groundhog sees shadow

16507998_10158329495670372_7800654886859049921_nIt was a pretty sunrise this morning and already 40 degrees at 7 AM.  I noticed there are weeds coming up in my front yard flower beds.  Since it will be 60 this afternoon, I’m going to soak up some sun and yank those pesky, unwanted, obnoxious insurgents out.  Dennis will be taking down the cross fence (runs N&S) in the back pasture and clearing out the brush.  There are several larger trees that we plan to keep.  Eventually we’ll put in electric cross fencing, running E&W.

Yesterday was sunny and in the 40’s but there was a cold west wind blowing.  Brenda and I walked.  No dogs bothered us.  I noticed Brenda is carrying a stouter stick after a run-in with a German Shepherd last week.  I wasn’t along that day.  She said it took 3 good whacks for the dog to back off.

Meanwhile the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, butter crunch lettuce and zinnia seeds have sprouted and stuck their tiny leaves above the soil.  So far no signs of life in the coleus pots.

Tonights plans are simple.  Nachos and other game appropriate foods and beverages while watching the Chiefs take on the 49ers.