board games

thursday13 - get your game on

6:10 AM

Now that the holiday season is upon us, the husband and I have been looking at games and toys for our daughter.  When it comes to the board games we put extra thought into our decisions, knowing full well it'll be us that are playing these games with her.  Thankfully she is beyond playing Cootie. Finally!!

We just started teaching her the adult grown-up version of monopoly.  After our first game it was decided she didn't like being in jail.   Good thinking.

In the spirit of the holiday season my Thursday 13 is a list of  games I played with my older brother when we were kids.  He is three years older and always had an advantage over me, but I always went back for more. Good times!!

1. Battleship:
These kids always looked like they were having a blast. I didn't mind this game but was really horrible at it and I don't recall ever winning. Probably because I wasn't clever about battleship placement.  Hey, I was eight.

2. Billionaire:
This game didn't make much of an impression on me, as evidenced by my lack of billionaire status. I really just liked writing on the pad with the plastic pen.

3. Careers:
Fame? Fortune? Happiness? None of the above.. my brother beat me at this game too. lol

4. Chinese Checkers:
I used to play this game by myself all the time. I loved jumping marbles over each other on the metal board. I even like rolling them around to see which divots they'd get stuck in. The other side has a regular checker board on it. We played that too.

5. Jackstraws:
Finally, a game that didn't rely on cleverness; just a rock-steady hand.  The ladder was my favorite. Oo, and the sword! 

6. King Oil:
This game was ultra fun because you got to move the derricks around and check for oil wells. My brother loved this game so much he bought a vintage one for his son.  May he always strike a gusher.   I wonder about the cross popularity of this game and the tv show Dallas.

7. Mastermind:
UGH!!  Man did I hate this game. Was your color right or wrong? The position right or wrong? The white pegs mean right, right? The black pegs mean wrong color? What? Which? Where?  I could never keep it straight. Boy did this game make me feel dumb.  

8. Mille Bornes:
I liked this game, but not as much as just regular card games like crazy eights and war and gin rummy. At the time I thought we were cool playing this game because it was foreign. lol

9. Monopoly:
Never the banker because I couldn't count as fast or well as my big brother. That is still true to this day. lol. In fact, I still have this game, the exact version pictured.  It's a little worse for the wear but not bad for 45 years old. 

10. Othello:
I still have this game also. Loved how smooth the pieces felt in my hands and loved flipping them over. 

11. Payday:
I remember us owning this game but to be honest I can't recall how to play it.  I'm sure I lost at this one too though, so no worries there. hah!

12. Risk:
Ugh.  Seven extra men at the beginning and yet I could never win this game! I still hate it. (But only because I suck at world domination)

13. Uncle Wiggily:
This is another game I was too young when I played to really remember.  I do remember, however, opening the box and a giant spider jumping out at me.  The hell with you Uncle Wiggily! That was the last time I ever touched that game. 

Did you play any of these games when you were a kid?  What was your favorite toy or game from your childhood?

Visit Thursday13 for more entries.

wordless wednesday

wordless wednesday - meme inside a meme

4:22 AM

 photo credits:
1. jen's feet, 2. Purple Artichoke, 3. lakeland_polktheatre, 4. Cuba Gallery: Green - Rainforest - Nature, 5. Mystery, 6. The Coffee Shop, 7. STORM CLOUDS. KILKENNY, IRELAND., 8. Butterscotch Cheesecake, 9. We Were Young and Beautiful, 10. My GrandMother's Family / A família da minha avó, 11. Sassy, 12. the walleh welcomes scarlet(ish) springtime sunday

I made this mosaic by answering the questions, using each answer to search Flickr for a photo and then plugging the urls into Mosaic Maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favourite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favourite colour?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favourite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favourite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your favorite day of the week?

Visit Wordless Wednesday for more wordless fun!


a traditional thanksgiving

4:44 AM

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday weekend.  Thanksgiving day was hectic for us as the husband cooked like a mad thing almost the entire time.  The food was amazing and we enjoyed hanging with my inlaws.

The turkey breast was brined ahead of time.   It was seriously moist and not, as I liked to call it, Turkified. (That's when the turkey tastes like someone added extra turkey flavoring. What is up with that?)

While the turkey was resting we had a butternut squash soup.  That's pancetta on the top, along with a sprig of cilantro. Yum!  This is usually a much creamier soup but the husband didn't peel the apples so it didn't quite puree as much as he would have liked.  I hardly tasted the much despised curry that went into this!  A new holiday favorite for sure.

The mil made this stuffing based on a recipe from Ina Garten.  I couldn't get enough of it! Those big chunks which you think would be unwieldy are sourdough. They were actually the perfect size. Had they been any smaller I feel sure they would have dissolved into nothing.

There was an amazing gravy to go over the yummy turkey and stuffing which was a combined effort from me, the husband, and the mil.  Ok, so all I did was stir it.   Here's what it looked like as it was thickening. (the freaky looking white swirls are steam)

Last but not least was the yummy pumpkin pie for dessert.  The mil got some kick ass leaf cookie cutters and went to town making her pie look pretty.  I can't wait to try them out on my next pie.

We also had two non-traditional items on the table.  I'm not picturing them here because they just didn't belong. Both were made by the husband. One was shepherd's pie  and the other was risotto.  (I know! Weird huh? Tasty, but weird.)

Now it's time to decide on a Christmas dinner menu, and then we can relax for another year. :)

Did you have traditional fare at your thanksgiving?  

camera critters

Camera Critters - #138 - Rudolph?

6:01 AM

 Every year in December Santa and his reindeer make a stop near our house.  They spend one whole weekend hanging out before they go back to the North Pole to make ready for Christmas.  My daughter loves to visit and is already looking forward to seeing them again this year.

Visit Camera Critters for more critter fun!

charitable causes

Benefit for Jennifer McDonald & family

11:14 AM

My sister-in-law recently asked me if I would donate a piece of jewelry for an upcoming silent auction.  After hearing the details behind the event I was more than happy to oblige.

Her friend, Jennifer McDonald, was diagnosed with brain cancer in October.  Jen has been dealing with pain and numerous surgeries since March of this year. Her husband, Ray, has recently lost his job. They are doing their best through all of this to care for their seven year old son, Jackson.

I cannot even imagine how traumatic this must be for all of them and how insanely expensive the treatment for this disease must cost them.

In an effort to help, friends and family are gathering together to have a dinner and silent auction on December 4, 2010.  The event is sponsored by the Middlebrook Pike United Methodist Church.

If you're in the Knoxville, TN area and would like to attend, please visit here.
You can also donate directly by visiting here.

For all the information related to Jen and her family please visit here.

Here are a few photos of the bracelet that will be up for auction.  I hope you'll be able to attend. 

camera critters

Camera Critters - #137 - Harriet Jones

6:05 AM

It's Saturday which means I get to share another critter with you.  This time it's a duo...a very cheeky raccoon and her baby.

Last November we had the pleasure of  seeing a raccoon in the daylight.  Between the possum and this gal we were beginning to wonder if they were really nocturnal.   We dubbed this one Harriet Jones and she came to see us every morning for several weeks.  Wondering about the name Harriet Jones?  It comes from Dr. Who, the Aliens of London episode. 

One day Harriet showed up with her baby.  We gathered that she'd been scoping us out for food quality and child safety.

My daughter (an avid animal lover and veterinarian-to-be) flipped out over how cute the baby was and promptly named her Delilah. (We gave her a Webkinz raccoon for Christmas last year which now bears the same name.) I love how into animals she is. :)

And now.. Harriet Jones and Delilah:

What's up this way?

C'mon mom, make some room!

Can I eat this little guy?

Hey these leaves look good.

I see you!

Look! We don't even have to climb.

Uh oh, we've been discovered!

We never saw Harriet again after that winter, but during the late summer a full grown Delilah paid us one visit.  She must have remembered our feeder from her childhood. :)

Stop by Camera Critters to check out other participants!



1:30 PM

It's 4 o'clock! I cannot believe the day is gone already! UGH!!
Here are Thirteen things I wanted to do today, but didn't. 

1. Sleep in
2. Take my time writing my Thursday13
3. Have a second cup of coffee
4. Take a shower (Sad, huh?)
5. Fold the Alp-sized pile of laundry in my bedroom
6. Take an afternoon nap
7. Make a pair of earrings
8. Check out more actions in Photoshop
9. Eat spicy Sichuan beef from P.F. Changs 
10. Search the new releases on Neflix watch instantly
11. Read the last chapter of First Grave On The Right
12. Check in on Etsypreneur and fan the new people on Facebook
13. Explore the current theories and possible applications for cold fusion

What did you want to do that you didn't find time for today? 

Visit Thursday13 for more meme fun!



2:47 PM

Fun with photos.  Who knew I would enjoy photography so much?  It seems that the majority of what I post on here is photos.  Hm.

Today I discovered photo editing via something called "actions". In a nutshell, 'actions' are a preset list of steps set up in Photoshop.  I simply downloaded some actions from the web, installed them and clicked "play".  Three hours passed before I even realized. 

I've found that they make jewelry look really lovely, but I think the photos are then not truly representative of the actual jewelry.  I might play around some though and make a few test photos.

Here is the husband - the first photo is straight from the camera; what follows are the photos after actions have been applied.   (If I had been paying better attention I would have made a note of the action that I used and could tell you in the caption. *doh* Next time, I promise.)

Straight from camera


I think this is my favorite

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