Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Goose and Bug Adventures- Heron Pond part two

As soon as it started to get prettier outside Goose started asking when we were going to be hiking through Heron Pond again.  I really would have preferred to do some new places but she begged and begged so we decided to take their dad along since he'd never been there before.

This place is really easy to find but the directions online are very, very confusing.  I remembered going one way, but when I Google Mapped it, there was a completely different set of directions given and I was too worried to try my way so we went the route it told us to.  It took about 30 minutes longer than it should have.  Next time, trust my gut.

By the time we got there it was about one hour until sundown so we raced through which actually wasn't as bad as it would seem.  There's a lot of scenic paths to hike on but a lot of the path is just through trees so we ran through some parts and it was a lot of fun.  Bug and I raced each other to see who could get to each turn first.

Going in the winter wasn't as fun as in the full foliage of summer but the Cyprus trees are so beautiful that it really doesn't matter what season you go in.  While they may not be thick and lush and green they are still stately and beautiful and worth seeing.

The best part of Heron Pond is the beautiful walkway over the swamp.  It's not very long but it leads you around a corner so when you get to the end you feel like you're smack dab all alone in the middle of a swamp.

The girls are still really disappointed that the big tree isn't really that big.  One of Bug's biggest Bucket List items is to see a giant redwood so anything that isn't comparable she doesn't really care about.


I'm so glad it's now spring and that maybe we can go back to our weekly hiking trips!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Black Creek Hike

There has been a coal leak in the coal mines and all of the water supplies around the mine have been overwhelmed with slurry and gunk.

We took a hike to a creek to see the mess and we couldn't understand why they haven't completely removed the water and dug out the gross mess around it because there's no way they can get rid of it just by pumping fresh water through.

The creek was a thick black mess underneath us.

So bad that we were afraid to even get close to it.

This slurry is killing the local animals and won't stop causing problems until it is 100% removed but unfortunately I don't see it happening any time soon.

Monday, March 21, 2016

S'more Ice Cream Pie

Just to clarify, I'm not really a fan of s'mores.  I like chocolate bars.  I like graham crackers.  I like marshmallows.  But when you get them all together I get a little disgusted.

My family though?  They love s'mores.  All three of them go crazy over any variation and recipe I find that contains that word.

So of course the S'more Ice Cream Pie went over like hotcakes.

The best part was that this pie was easy to make but the worst part was that after you make it you have to wait to eat it.

S'more Ice Cream Pie

- graham cracker crust
- vanilla ice cream
- marshmallow cream
- whipped cream
- graham crackers
- chocolate pieces

Spread softened vanilla ice cream into graham cracker crust.  Freeze long enough to harden slightly.  Mix together half of the whipped cream and half of the marshmallow cream.  Spread over frozen ice cream.  Crunch up graham crackers.  I didn't use a specific amount, I just kept adding until I thought it looked like enough.  Top with chocolate pieces.  I used Hershey Kisses because it was all I had but next time a chocolate bar would probably be easier to work with.  Freeze.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Ducktape Bookmarks

My girls have become obsessed with all things ducktape lately.  They have made me fashion wallets and bookmarks so far.  So when I saw a roll of Star Wars ducktape at Dollar General for only five dollars I knew it had to come home with me for a project.

These bookmarks aren't anything special but it was something fun for me to do for them and now they have one-of-a-king Star Wars bookmarks!

I took a sheet of white cardstock paper and placed ducktape down the length I wanted my bookmark to be.  I lined up the other side as carefully as possible and cut them out.  At first I really wanted to use decorative craft scissors to make the edges pretty but the stickiness of the tape detoured that plan so these are all boring straight-edged.  I cut around the bookmark so that it was as even and straight as possible on both sides.

After that you just take a hole punch to the center of one end.  I found that punching two holes side by side made the garland fit a little better.

I bought this pretty silver tinsel also at Dollar General in the Christmas clearance section for just thirty cents a roll.  I thought it matched the spacey theme of the bookmarks and it just looks fun on them.

Now the three of us have cute new bookmarks!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

My February Book Pile

My February list wasn't as impressive as my January one but considering I was insanely sick for most of the month and didn't feel like doing much of anything besides eating bologna sandwiches and marathoning Elementary, I think it's a pretty decent pile.

I started the month out really strong and had several books finished by the end of the first week but then I crashed and burned when I came down with the worst bug I've ever had in my life.  I was honestly down and out for almost two weeks.  I probably lost like ten pounds.

That was probably a good thing now that I'm thinking about it...

I had even went to the library a few hours earlier and picked up a huge stack of books because I was feeling so confident on how I was progressing through books.  And then about three hours later I was comatose on my couch and crying to leave work because I needed someone to pity me.

One of the books I had picked up at the library was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.  This poor book you guys.  It was the second time I'd checked it out.  The first time I read about five pages and hated it but I was wanting to give it a second chance since I kind of liked the Grisha series.  It is nowhere near my list of favorite series but I liked it enough to finish it and I was really hoping to get into more of this world.  When I went under the black quilt of death and couldn't even drag myself to my bathroom, much less crack open a huge book, I just knew it was the end of that book for me.

It took me three weeks but I finally finally finished it on the last day of February.  It was literally about eight at night and I was frantically reading it because it was due back the next day and I had no renewals available.

Six of Crows wasn't my favorite book of the month but after the plot finally picked up (which took about 150 pages) I actually enjoyed it.  It was a close second for favorite.

My favorite of the month was The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.  I love these kind of slow, easy, Southern historical novels.  This book transported me straight into the plot and I completely fell in love with Kidd's writing.  I've actually owned this book for ages and it's exciting to finally see just what treasures are already under my roof.

The book that made me want to burn it gleefully was The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.  This book was so
I could only manage about twenty pages a day of it and that was pushing it.  This was a book you would read in a college ethics class and nothing more.  Also I see now where calling some 'Machiavellian' came from because wow.  This dude has some issues...

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Goose and Bug Adventures- First hike of 2016!

The weather has been so beautiful and even though it probably means big storms soon I'm just going to smile and enjoy this early spring.

This day was a gorgeous sunny afternoon with mid-seventies temps and I knew it would be a perfect day for getting out of the house and seeing some of the Shawnee National Forest sites we loved so much last summer and have been missing all winter.