30 June 2011

T-Ball - Take 2

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Ari took a sabbatical from T-Ball last summer in order to focus on getting more play time on Saturday mornings.  But the lure of being on the same team as Piper and Samuel did him in; he really wanted to play this year. 

I can't believe the season is already over.  All the games were a blast to watch and the kids did a great job.  Ari will move on to South Side next year, so it was fun that he had a chance to play with Piper and Samuel.  Here are some of the highlights:

Piper running to first base as a swarm of children try to field her hit.

Ari eyeing the ball as he was about to make one of his best hits of the season. 

Piper running home, with Samuel behind her and Ari rounding second base.  The kids usually batted one after another and it was neat to see all of them on bases at the same time.

Ari reflecting on the season that was.

24 June 2011

Wii U

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We are big Nintendo fans in our house.  I have owned every Nintendo console since the original NES, and got into the handheld scene starting with the Gameboy Advance.  We mainly stick to first party Nintendo games, Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and the like.  To me, Nintendo makes games the way they were meant to be enjoyed.

We have had a Wii since the second week it was available in 2006.  I would have had it the day it was released, but there were people camping outside stores to get one.  While I am a fan, I am not that die hard.  It would be an understatement to say our Wii has had a lot of use.  Ari has turned into quite a little gamer, and there have been plenty of games to keep us busy over the years.

After nearly five years, our Wii is beginning to show some signs of wear.  Sometimes it takes a few tries before it reads a game disc, and when it does, the fan inside isn't as quiet as it used to be, to say the least.  That's why I was so excited when Nintendo announced it's new console, Wii U, at E3 this year.  With a release date sometime in 2012, I just need our Wii to make it another year.

18 June 2011

Homemade Shower Curtain

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We renovated the bathroom recently.  It badly needed an update, and we were finally able to get it done.  We replaced the vanity, sink, faucet, medicine cabinet, light fixture, and added a cabinet over the toilet for additional storage.  The bathroom looks so much better and I contemplated doing a post about it, but I thought home improvement like this wasn't really the style of latent chestnut.  But, when I made the shower curtain and valance (look in the mirror) and thought that would definitely be worthy of a post.

I don't know where we came up with the idea to make a shower curtain, but I'm glad we did because I am so happy with the way it turned out.  There are a lot more fabric options than shower curtain options, so we were able to get something we really wanted.  I decided to do big stripes because there weren't any pieces of fabric big enough to make the curtain out of a single piece. 

I was able to finish the shower curtain in one afternoon, and it came together rather quickly and simply.  Once I finished the front, I sewed a piece of muslin on the back and it was almost complete.  Our old shower curtain had button holes on it for the shower rings to go through, so I looked in my instruction book on my sewing machine, and sure enough, I could make button holes!

The button hole making process was a lot of fun.  I practiced on a fabric scrap to learn the technique and then I lined up the new shower curtain with the old as a template to see where I needed to but the holes.  It was a little time consuming to do all those holes, but it was done in no time and the new shower curtain was complete!  The room couldn't look better, and I never thought I would have such a sense of pride walking into a bathroom.

11 June 2011

Garden Update

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This year has been quite trying for the garden.  Multiple severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, and flash floods have left my holding me breath as they blow through town.  Thankfully, there was no frost after we made the transition outside.  The tipping point came a week ago when about three inches of rain fell in three hours.

We were out during most of the storm and it was still raining as we pulled into the driveway.  Approaching the door, I looked into the back yard to take a look at the plants, and I couldn't see them.  Thinking my view had just been obstructed by the rain, I grabbed my umbrella to go out to take a closer look.  When I got there, I saw the tomato plants laying flat on their side, being pelted by the rain.  Panic stricken, I ran to the garage to get my tomato stakes.  As it continued to rain, I put the stakes in the ground and gently lifted the plants and tied them up.  I couldn't step one foot in the garden or it would just sink.  Once the tomatoes were staked, I splashed some of the standing water out of the garden and hoped for the best.

To my delight, most of the plants came out unscathed.  I lost some of my little lettuce sprouts, and a basil plant, but everything else bounced back nicely.  The tomato plants were a bit wilted for a day or two, but they look as strong as ever now.  Overall, the garden is looking great!  One of my cantaloupe seeds finally germinated and we were even able to harvest some of our lettuce to eat with our dinner salads.  It's such an exciting time, everything seems to be growing so fast!





07 June 2011

Good Eats 3: The Later Years - Task Manifestation

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As I eagerly anticipate the latest Good Eats book, I have come to the realization that I am going to have to clean out some of my homemade recipe binders.  I have a couple binders full of recipes I have printed from the internet, mainly from foodnetwork.com, and mainly Alton Brown recipes.  Preferring to use the recipes from the Good Eats books, my binders have seen less and less use.

The Good Eats books are wonderful resources, and I am sure Good Eats 3: The Later Years will not disappoint.  Sure, I could go online and print every recipe from the show, but with all the photographs, drawings, science-of-food facts, cooking tips, and food trivia, AB does a phenomenal job making it feel like you are holding a Good Eats episode in your hands.

As for my binders, they will still get some use, and I am thinking about making a new binder, too.  Not every recipe from Good Eats is included in the books.  Stove Top Mac-n-Cheese, Avocado Buttercream Frosting, The Thin, and The Puffy didn't make the cut.  Excluding The Thin and The Puffy is understandable because The Chewy is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe anyone would need.

Back to my original point, I am thinking about making a binder that includes all the Good Eats recipes that are not included in the books.  I have not gone through the books to see how many recipes that includes, so I don't know if I will print all the recipes or just the ones I use.  I just think it would be neat to have every Good Eats recipe at my fingertips.


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