Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Comment-leaving instructions!!

Hello all,

This won't be a very exciting post, but it might be a very helpful one for some of you!

I've been hearing from some of you readers that figuring out how to comment on my posts can be kind-of confusing, so I want to walk you through the process with the hope that I'll get more of your feedback (which I love)!!

If I were more technologically savvy, I'd have screen shots of the steps to help even more, but hope the following descriptions help at least a little bit:

- If you are viewing the post on it's own page (it's the only entry on the page), then the "Post a comment" area should be directly below it. 
- If you are viewing the post on a page with other entries, you can make the "post a comment" area appear by clicking on the "# of comments" link to the left of all the little icons at the bottom of the post.

Once you've found the "Post a Comment" area, follow these directions:

1. Type whatever you'd like to say about the blog, or to me, in the white area.

2. In the drop-down menu next to "Comment as:" select one of the following:
  • If you have a Google e-mail account, and you're signed in, it should show your user name with (Google) next to it.
  • If you'd like me to know that it was you who left the comment, select "Name/URL."  A screen will pop up, and you can enter your name in the designated box.  You don't have to enter a URL to leave a comment - it's optional.
  • If you don't want me to know it was you who commented, select "Anonymous."
3. Once you've made your selection, click the "Post Comment" button.

4. Next, a word verification box will appear.  (Be patient - depending on your Internet connection, this may take a little bit to load.  If it doesn't appear, try clicking "Post Comment" again or refreshing your browser.) This is a security setting.  I'm not going to explain how it works or why they have it (because I don't know).  I just know it's a necessary hoop to jump through (and it probably prevents my blog from being commented on by spammers).  You also have the option to edit your comment in this box. 

5. Type the word/letters you see into the designated box.

6. Click the "Post Comment" button again.

7. Your comment should appear under my post with a notification from Google in a yellow-ish box saying "Your comment was published!" (Exclamation point added by me - it will really be a period similar to the one at the end of this sentence.)

I hope this is clear enough and helps!  Let me know if you have any problems (via Facebook, e-mail, phone, my parents, etc.).  Feel free to test your commenting skills on this or any previous posts!

Happy New Year (a few days early)!!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Favorites of the day:
visiting my jr. high/high school band director and his kiddos with my brother
surprising Dad at work with a milkshake
being home : )

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas : )

I'm often reminded of the many blessings in my life, but during this time of year, these blessings seem to be magnified.  So, as I take a break from packing to go home in the morning, I'd like to reiterate how thankful I am for the people, opportunities, relationships, health, and freedom in my life.

What I am most thankful for, however, is the grace and love of God our Heavenly Father.  I don't want to sound like a cliché Christianese message, but really - what gift could possibly be better than eternal life through the life and death of His one and only Son?!  (Don't forget about the Holy Spirit!  More about that later...)  Anyway, I hope you're able to see past all the "extra stuff" (yes, that's an understatement) today's society has tacked onto Christmas and remember that "it's all just about a little guy." (quote from a friend's first grade student)

May your Christmas and holiday season be full of love, joy, family, and a spirit of giving and gratitude.  Safe travels to those of you doing so, as well!


P.S.  If anyone is craving any sort of homemade "goodie" and does not have the means to curb that craving, let me know - I probably have what you hunger for in my growing collection of treat plates/bags/platters.  Don't get me wrong - it's all very good - but I'm only one person...who is also saving room for Mom's cooking.  : )

Favorites of the day:
the good weather (so far) for travelers
my work schedule that allows me the luxury of going home for an extended period of time!
Oreo balls
getting all gussied up and going to the Nutcracker (for free!) with friends last weekend

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A new Christmastime story...

Dear faithful readers,

My sincerest apologies for the lack of posts lately!  It is, however, the most wonderful time of the year!  (Translation: It's the busiest time of the year.)  I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, though, so instead of telling you everything that's caused me to have little writing time as of late, I'll simply thank you for taking time out of your crazy/hectic life to read my blog!  : )

In honor of the holiday season, I'd like to share a story with you:

At the beginning of last December, I happened upon a Christmas favor I'd purchased on clearance the year before, "Tinsel Tom: The Oddball Bird Pen."  I decided to display him in our townhouse, without saying anything to the roommies.  As I recall, one of my roommates made the decision to chase/scare another roommate with Tom.  Using my best "mom voice," I proclaimed, "He is not yours to use for badness!"  Somehow, the result of this incident was a game of sorts.  Basically, we took turns hiding Tom within the townhouse.  One never knew when or where Tom would pop up.  Here is documentation of his adventures:

Tom chilling out in the fridge.

He gazes at you from behind the computer.

Surprise!  Tom is watching from behind the bathroom door.

Tom sleepily awaits your bedtime.

He won't get hungry while waiting for you in the cupboard!

Tom is happy to help you do your hair.  Just look at his!

He's not afraid to get a little wet while hanging out in the shower.

Tom travels!  He's happy to hide away in your suitcase.

I'd just like to remind you that none of the above pictures were staged.  These were actual places Tom was found hiding.

We took Tom with us to see Christmas lights.  This particular house lights up to music - it's AMAZING!  If you live in or near Lincoln, PLEASE go see it - it's on 112th between A and O.  Go, go, go!! 
You can see that Tom was in awe of it.
I was doing some Christmas shopping a few weeks ago, and found the most remarkable thing - Tom's long lost girlfriend, Tina!  We captured their gleeful and romantic reunion:

Together at last...


Hope you enjoyed the adventures of Tinsel Tom!  Perhaps there will be more to come as he and Tina's adventures continue...

Hopefully, I'll get another post in before Christmas.  If not, though, I'd like to wish you all the merriest of Christmases.  May you and yours have a blessed holiday season!


Favorites of the day:
My brother and a friend are on their way to come hang out at the coop for a couple days!
Christmas music

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Here's the deal: 

I was planning on making caramels (and fudge) to hand out as Christmas goodies.  When I told my mom this, she called me a fool...literally!  She doesn't remember doing so, but this was the first time she'd ever said anything like that to me, so I remember it vividly.  Judging by her reaction to my plan, she knew something about caramel-making that I didn't (which isn't surprising...).

I decided to try it anyway, and took time to start the process this evening.  Using the caramel recipe I found online, I started mixing and stirring and melting and boiling.  Everything was going well UNTIL the candy thermometer was reaching the specified 250-degree mark, but the caramel mixture was about to boil over!  OH NO!!!  My solution was to call 248-degrees good and take the pot off the heat.  I figured everything would be ok, put the sauce in the pan, and let the caramels cool to room temperature.  Once they'd cooled off, they were still pretty runny, so I put them in the fridge and went on with my evening...

...after 3 hours in the fridge, I just checked on them, and discovered they are not cuttable caramels, but spoonable caramel goo.  Woops.  I guess I'll just be handing out fudge this year...and calling grandma for wisdom and tips for next year.  For now, I'd like to apologize to degrees #249 and #250 - next time you will definitely be invited to the caramel-making party...and I'll use a bigger pot.  : )

PLEASE:  If you or someone you know would like some delicious caramel sauce for your ice cream or other dessert (or to eat plain...), let me know!!!  I'd love to spread (no pun intended) some holiday cheer with my failed attempt at this yummy treat.  : )

Happy baking,

Favorites of the day:
the shooting star I saw on my way home was amazing!
the 50-degree weather lately - thanks, Nebraska!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Decorating the Coop, Part 2

Thanks to a few trips to Dollar Tree/Goodwill/Walmart and mom bringing my box of decorations from home, the coop is filled with holiday cheer!  : )

The garland w/ lights is above all the kitchen cabinets.

without lights

with lights!

There you have it!  If you'd like to come see it in person, just let me know! 

Remembering the Reason for the season,

Favorites of the day:
the glow of Christmas lights
the young state trooper who only gave me a warning on my way to church today...
(I guess when I said, "That will never be me [pulled over on this stretch of highway]," I really meant "That will only be me once...")

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Adventure: Oil Change

Get excited!  I just got back from meeting my mom half-way to get my box of Christmas things (thanks, mom)!!  I'm thankful for her willingness to do that, and for my car being in working condition.  Had I not been planning on getting my oil changed this week, that may have not been the's the story:

Usually, I get my oil changed at Jiffy Lube (unless I'm home to have Dad do it), but this time I had a coupon to get it changed and tires rotated at Midas.  So, I went in, they lifted the car up, and discovered the whole undercarriage covered in oil.  Uh-oh!!  Turns out, the hair-band sized piece of rubber that seals the adapter on the oil filter was severed (it had happened recently).  Though I couldn't have diagnosed the problem, I understood it, and gave them permission to fix it.  This meant, however, that I would be there for 2+ hours...with nothing to do.  SO, I called my coworker/former professor/fellow cat lover who hadn't gone into the office, yet.  She graciously agreed to pick me up, and gave me a ride back when we were done working!  (It's so nice to know there are people like her I can call on in times like this!)  I'd planned to pay a pretty penny for all the work, even with the coupon, but the total came to less than the original bill.  I guess I got the "helpless single girl" discount, too.

Someday, I hope to marry a mechanically-minded man (hello, alliteration), like my dad, who can buy the $8 part and replace it himself, so I don't have to pay labor fees the rest of my life.  : )

ALSO:  I have to share this quote from one of my piano students.  While he was playing, I covered his hands with a book so he'd keep his eyes on the music.  When the song was over, he said, “(sigh!) My fingers were getting tired of not getting looked at.”  (By the way, it took a lot for me to be able to type that grammatically incorrect sentence and leave it as is.)

Time to dig into the box of decorations!!  Pictures soon to follow...

Go Huskers!!

Favorites of the day:
Season 3 of "Friends" (keeping me company while I decorate)
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