Friday, December 28, 2007
This was the final result. One for my brother and one for Mom. My sister and her husband couldn't make it this year.
Here is Mom "opening" her present.
And here is what she found inside. She has collected some interesting tea sets in the past and this seemed to fit.
David was a little hard to gift this way, he collects farm toys, but I couldn't find anything that I wanted to put in the cake.
He ended up with an Austin Mini Van.
British for where he first was involved in young people's church activities and the van because that is his mode of transport to all those places he takes the kids.
How I made these is covered in another blog. Picture limits made me split the post up.
By the way, that freezer behind Mom is not there anymore! WooHoo! We moved it out to the garage. No more moving things from the freezer to the table to get things out and from the table to the freezer to eat dinner!
Of all the things that were cleaned out of that deep freeze, there was one historical artifact discovered.
Wonderful Hubby and I brought a few bricks of Jacobs Coffee with us when we moved back from Germany, in 1992. It seems that one of those freeze dried, vacuum sealed bricks ended up in Mom's Kansas freezer.
Several years ago, when she moved from Kansas to Georgia, the freezer and it's contents came along with her, an extension cord running out the U-Haul door wherever possible.
This week, when she was emptying that freezer in preperation for it to be moved out to the garage, this brick came out of the freezer! It is a little torn around the edges, but the seal was still good. There was much laughter and happiness at that time and this morning when we made a fresh pot there was great flavor to be enjoyed at our house.
Speaking of that, it might be time for another pot.
Basically you bake a cake and then put a present inside it before frosting it with fondant. This is a picture diary of how I did it.
Originally I was planning on making a cake for each of my family members for Christmas. My sister and her husband couldn't make it to Mom's for the holiday so I only made two of them; one for Mom and one for my brother.
I split the first cake mix into a round and a square cake. Those were combined into one cake, the round cake would be the bottom and the square cake was the top, since I ended up trimming the square one to match the bottom, I realize now that I should have made two round cakes, but I was experimenting.
The second cake mix was made into one large cake that I cut in half to be the top and bottom. The basic process is the same for both so you will get the idea for both of them.
The round cake is Mom's, the miniature teapot set is the present for her. She has collected a few teapots, so I thought this was a cute present.
I cut a hole in the middle of the cake and then put it on the cardboard covered foil bottom, which turned out to be too small and flimsy. I fixed that before I went further. The teapot was put inside a sandwich bag and placed inside the round cake. The square cake was first leveled off and then set on top of the round one and trimmed to fit the round base.
You can see the beginnings of the trimmings in the container at the top of the picture. I used those as another dessert by breaking up the pieces and mixing them with cool whip and canned cherries mix.
The fondant frosting was made and colored with a lot of powdered sugar and elbow grease. The last time I did this I made marshmallow fondant, this time I had glycerin so I made it that way. It was a lot easier and pretty good too. The only problem I had was in the colors. I need to make them brighter. These seemed dull to me. I added more coloring, but the cornstarch that I used to keep the mix from sticking bleached it back out again.
So anyway, after I got the color mixed I rolled out the fondant and wrapped the present.
I forgot to put a nice layer of regular frosting on Mom's cake before I put the fondant on, which made the cake pretty dry when we had a piece. We didn't have any ice cream either, that might have helped, but a nice buttercream would have been great.
This final picture shows you both cakes. I wrapped the one to look like two seperate presents tied with a ribbon. I cut a ribbon of the fondant and ran it around the bottom of the cake and then tucked it in between the two layers. Then I rolled out the top covering and tucked it in too. The ribbons were just rolled out a little thick and layed out on edge to get some depth.
I think they turned out okay. Kind of folk artish, but that is my style.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Anyway, I will get some pictures posted one of these days.
Monday, November 12, 2007
On the way back to Mom's we saw lots of people heading toward Athens for the UGA - Auburn football game. I tried to get a picture of a funny fan bus that we saw, but missed it. Instead we stopped at this metal art store. Turns out a lot of the stuff was made in other countries.
The mixture of art on a wall was pretty cool though...
and this fish tree was fun.
Remember the pig on the roof from July?
This is a covered wagon next to the BBQ place under that roof. I forgot what it is called, the BBQ is pretty good though.
Other than that Billy installed an AC/Heater unit in the sunroom and then found out there was no outlet. He will be moving it to the other window at Christmas. He also changed a couple of lightbulbs and got lots of papers graded.
I managed to be there when the remote quit working on TV2. Now she has to go into the bedroom TV to turn the channel. Yeah Me!
We also went to Lowes and spent waaayyy to much money. That was our trip to GA. Later!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Billy and I haven't been doing much lately. He bought a new bed for his truck, nice metal flat bed. I will put some pictures of it on here when he gets it installed, should be this weekend. In the meantime here are some views of why the bed needs replaced.
The tail light was removed on purpose, but it was held in with a wire contraption. You might notice the excessive bondo around the wheel well.
This is the inside of that wheel well and more bondo on the other side.
I have been walk/running quite a bit. There has been visible success, my clothes fit better and I am feeling a lot better. I think the first step to my change has been returning to an office of healthier people, that other office was crowded with less healthy people.
We went out on Bluestone Lake this weekend. Keith wanted to winterize his pontoon boat and it seemed like a good time to go out, sunny and 85 degrees. Since it is October and shouldn't be warm enough to be out on the water the lake wasn't real busy.
We went out with Keith and Carmen and some kids of a friend. First we headed up to Bull Falls, the water got pretty shallow there so we turned back and went back to the dam.
Every one had a good time, and yes it really was warm enough to swim.
I hope you have been having as much fun!
Monday, September 17, 2007
After the ceremony they stood on the steps for a few pictures and then we headed to the reception and they did the official pictures.
This picture was taken of the wedding couple's first dance. I was on the other side of the room zoomed in and hurried it too much.
BUT I think it turned out really cool - even through the abstract fuzziness their emotion shows through. The flowers are a complete accident. I like it anyway.
This picture on the other hand shows a bit of craziness.
In the past Billy was able to collect a large amount of cash from the groom's uncles in a dare to dance with that groom. Well, they weren't around to make the payment, but it happened again anyway.
There they are doing the dance.
Luckily there was a chance for him to also dance with the bride. She thought it was funny, and he is such a ham.
Odd picture of the trip.
What can I say about this? A big fake horse standing in the back of a Chevy... maybe the horse has wheels so the driver can have a ride if the truck breaks down.
So that is the short story of our trip. We had a good time. There was lots of good wine.
Hopefully the lemon picture will never make it to digits. Yes, I know you don't know what that is referring to, I hope it stays that way. lol
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I was talking to a friend about buying some shoes to train in and he told me about a chain store in Roanoke, VA called Fleet Feet where they make sure you get the right fit.
You can see by the picture that they don't let you leave without at least considering a purchase of more than just the shoes. I was in the store for an hour and bought four different items.
Those are Asics GT-2120s, with Superfeet liners, and Balega socks. The fourth item isn't for everyone to see.
Everything is Very comfortable and I think will do me well in the long run (haha).
I even learned how to tie my shoes so that my heels don't slip!
Saturday, September 08, 2007
So why not buy more toys! Billy and his brother found a deal on another Massey Ferguson.
The first one Billy bought is a MF150 that he got several years ago from a neighbor who wanted to upgrade.
The second one is a MF240 Billy and his brother bought last year when they decided they needed a tractor with a bucket.
This one is a MF165. The previous owner hadn't been using it very much and hated to see it wasting away by the barn, so he gave them a good deal. It needs front tires, but other than that is in pretty good shape.
You might remember a few posts ago I showed you a picture of Billy's latest 'creation' the Hay Wagon, well here it is in all its oddball glory. Don't tell anybody, but they took it on the road today. It was built to shuttle 8 - 10 round bales at a time from the field so that we wouldn't have to make so many runs with the tractor. It was not built to be on the road.
BUT. It has been dry here this summer - no rain since about the 4th of July - because of that the guys not only sold 18 head early this year, they actually started feeding hay to the cows two weeks ago. That puts the spring hay supply in jeopardy, especially if it is a cold winter.
One of the other brothers has a bunch of hay that he isn't going to need, so they bought 30 bales from him today.
To get the hay they had to go down to the farm and that would be crazy to make 15 trips with the truck.
So they set the trailer up and ran a second truck with two more bales on it behind it to provide rear lights. Not the best way to operate, but farm needs supercede the need for tags sometimes.
Anyway, here it is fully loaded.
And getting unloaded.
Speaking of hay -
Shadow aka Cujo REALLY wanted to say hey to anybody that might know him. He wouldn't leave me alone, and then walked away after I took the picture.
What a mutt.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
There used to be chalk boards all the way around the room. The chalk was starting to aggravate his throat by the end of the day, so he used his classroom improvement money to put a wall of white board up. The second white board wall was added this summer when he decided to turn his room sideways. If nothing else it is much brighter in there with the white walls instead of black. There is a lot less dust too.
There are actually a couple more desks in here since this picture was taken. It is a nice big room, but the seams are being pushed this year.
That ends this tour of Mr. Curry's math room.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Unfortunately, when I went back to take pictures I found out that the tree seems to be in distress by the blight too. I really don't know what the Chestnut blight looks like, I looked on line, but all I found so far was pictures of healthy trees. This is the base of the tree and those cracks go up the trunk pretty much as far as I could see. Doesn't look good for the tree.
I sent an email to the WVU contact of the American Chestnut Foundation telling him what we found and we will see if he has anything to say about it. We wouldn't mind being part of the test for a blight free seedling to try. Since the trees like our soil we could try some more, long as they don't fall down and hurt the cows anyway.
In other Ridge news, Billy's nephew and neice built a house a few years ago and now they have just finished building the garage. The next project is cleaning up in front of the garage so they can use it. Eric rented an excavator to dig out some stumps that didn't come out when they cleared the space earlier. In this picture Billy is running the excavator and Eric is moving dirt with the tractor. That hole to the left was a big stump.
Emily spent some time rearranging dirt too. Jake spent time laying in the cool dirt hoping he didn't get buried or jumped on.
Lauren and her mom Jessica sat on the swing and watched. You can see brother Rob's house on the left side of Lauren's head and our roofline on the right side behind Jessica's head. That is just the right distance, far enough for privacy, but close enough for these group projects.
That is all for now. Later!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Who is this mysterious visitor? Mrs. Buttersworth of course! Completly decked out in her vintage glass bottle and yellow metal cap.
This Sunday morning she showed up on the farm looking for the Anderson's at their last known address, which is the mobile home that we set up for Grandma and they borrowed while in between homes for a bit.
Now, there are several problems with how she managed to show up here. First of all, this is not their last permanent address, that was in another county. Second, how she got this particular address I have no idea since it is not a registered location with anyone except the electric company, 911 doesn't even know about it and there is no phone! Third, they only lived there for ... ok, it was more than a few days, but it wasn't permanent! The fourth and most obvious reason for why she showed up was because they are currently in the process of finishing (YEAH!) their move to Germany.
That fourth reason for why she came looking for them actually makes perfect sense. What right minded syrup bottle wouldn't want to move to Germany and be the travel icon for a fun family? How else would she manage to get there but by being packed in their luggage? If she did manage to get to the ocean and find a current that would allow her to travel to Europe, her glass bottle design would survive the float, but the metal cap would surely rust through causing her to sink to unknown depths! And then even if y some miracle she did make it, she would have to rely on the kindness of strangers in a strange land who may not appreciate her American icon status to actually deliver her to a place where she could find the Anderson's. How likely is that?
Well, she was completely disappointed that she missed them and is currently standing on a shelf considering ways of catching up with them, but since they fly tomorrow it doesn't look good. I have an idea that she will travel with us to the various places that we go for a while hoping to find the right connection. If she doesn't find a way to hitchhike over there before we go to visit Germany next summer we will make sure she comes along.
Until then - Mrs B. says Stay Sticky Sweet!
Sunday, July 29, 2007
"I am going to do it" finally resulted in a cleaned out garage.
This is my parking spot... look at the organization!
This is Bill's parking spot... that is space and a clear work bench.
There is a pretty good reason for why it took so long. First it was just not time yet and then Grandma decided it was time to leave the mountain and she moved in next to us so a lot of her stuff moved into the garage. We put up a building to hold it, but there were some heavy pieces, cookstove and coal stoves, along with some odds and ends that just never got moved. That finally got taken care of in the last few weeks and now there is already a project in the work shop end of the garage so that is good.
Which leads us to my obligation and the "If you do I will" promises of that first comment. The other thing that is in the work shop end of the garage is this monster that I promised to buy him if he would get the garage cleaned out and organized.
Notice it is so big that Billy can hide behind it! What did I do?
He is a happy camper now. The Big air compressor is his. Now of course comes the fun part. It has to be bolted in and metal discharge lines need to be run to different points in the garage - for example - I want a connection on my end so I can air up my tires without unrolling 40 feet of hose. I know that is a really minor reason to buy this big of a tank, but it is important to me. I am looking forward to some of the projects we have discussed, it should be fun.
Speaking of fun, I found this piece of foam packing in the office one day a while back. It struck me as pretty funny, maybe you find it funny too.
That is all for now. Later!