Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I watched a solar eclipse

Today was the historic solar eclipse.  Not since 1918 has the path of totality covered the US from the Pacific to the Atlantic and not since 1776 has the path of totality made landfall exclusively within the United States.  And before that it was 1257!

So, yeah…pretty epic stuff.

This morning I pondered the eclipse and decided to partake in the excitement.  I chose to make an eclipse viewing box, half for the frugality…the other half for the fun of it.

Because of the historic event, everyday tasks felt special.  Like this morning, I had the oil change done on my vehicle…so I called it the Eclipse Oil Change.  Afterward, I got my hair cut, which was the Eclipse Haircut.  This evening I had an Eclipse Beer…you get the picture. lol

img_4223

I stopped in at Walmart, you guessed it, to do the Eclipse Grocery Shopping.  I needed a cereal box…and almond milk.  How can you eat Eclipse Cereal without milk?!  I haven’t eaten cereal in ages but picked my old time favorite, Cap’n Crunch.

At home I referred to a YouTube video on how to make an eclipse viewing box.  Gathered the supplies, along with a bowl of cereal, and began construction.

img_4194.jpg

Putting the box together was an easy project.  Just alittle craft magic and a few minutes and viola! An Eclipse Viewing Box was born!

img_4207

Now, I’ll give you a few tips.  First, have scissors out when opening the cereal bag.  These bags have gotten seriously ridiculous!  This is as far as I managed with my own human strength.  img_4193

Secondly, to close the box I tried a glue stick.  Didn’t work.  I tried super glue.  Didn’t work.  So I resorted to packing tape.

Now, the wait.  In my area the prime viewing time was 2:45 pm with 90% coverage.  I sat back, watched media coverage of the eclipse across the country and chowed down on some cereal.  It was grrrrreat!

Outside I set up my viewing area.  In researching thrifty ways to view the eclipse I read about the bucket trick and the windshield trick.  Supposedly you could watch the eclipse from the reflection of a full bucket of water.  You could also watch the eclipse on the reflection of a windshield.  As the prime time approached I tried both of these methods and let me tell you…you sure could do either one, if you want your eyes burned out.  I don’t suggest them.

img_4209

I reverted back to my trusty eclipse viewing box which worked great.

img_4211

In my area we had partly cloudy skies.  A few times the clouds passed and blocked the show but ultimately enough was viewable.  img_4222The viewing box allows you to see the moon cover the sun.  I would have loved to have watched more of the moon as it encroach onto the sun, before coverage began.  As such, for the April 2024 eclipse I will purchase some Eclipse Glasses.

Not sure if I suffered a sugar crash from the cereal or all the excitement of the event waned but after coming into the house from the eclipse, I was exhausted.  So an Eclipse Nap was in order!

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Today I made brown sugar

Happy Star Wars Day!!

image

In celebration, I decided to make Wookie Cookies.  I’ve had this Star Wars cookbook since 1998.  I attended the 20th Anniversary of Star Wars exhibit at the Smithsonian in DC and purchased it as a souvenir.

image

Surprisingly I’ve never made the infamous Wookie Cookies.

I prepped all the ingredients only to discover my brown sugar had all dried up.  It also stubbornly wouldn’t budge from the container.

image

Does it look like terrain that an Imperial Walker would traverse?!

I thought my half prepped cookie dough would find its doom in the trash can BUT I did a quick Yahoo search and found I could just make my own.

Brown Sugar recipe
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 tbsp molasses

image

Mix together and there you have it…fresh brown sugar!

image

In my excitement for saving the universe…err, the cookie dough I forgot to take a picture of the blended sugar.  But the picture above provides and example of what it looked like.

By the time I put everything together the clock read 10 pm and suddenly the force was no longer with me.

So the Wookie Cookies will be contined tomorrow…today is Part 6…tomorrow will be Part 1.

Happy May the 4th be with you!

Leave a comment »

Today I made Green Tomato Cake

I hear ya…Green Tomato CAKE?!  “Eeewww!”

That’s what I thought…until I tried it!

image

My dear friend researched some recipes and stumbled upon this gem.  Within a few days of discovering it, she whipped that cake up and brought me a piece.  I took one melt in your mouth bite and fell in love!!  The tomatoes almost tasted like apples!

If you happened onto a game show and they gave you a taste but you had to guess the key ingredient to win $5 million and you had 10 guesses, you would still lose the moola.  Emeril could find himself on the game show and STILL lose!

Sorry…I have full faith in your and Emeril’s taste deciphering abilities but the green tomatoes in this recipe is that deceitful!

I decided to try out the recipe for myself.  I had plenty of green tomatoes as I’ve been collecting them from the farmer market for about 2 weeks now. (The darkest green tomato came from my vine this morning!)

To start, put on some tunes!  You can’t do anything without some music!  I usually cue up the music channel on the TV.  Today I picked Top Hits.

First, I chopped the tomatoes to “All about that Bass” and “Boom Clap” & “Sing“.  Yes, I sung along.  Yes, I danced along too.

image

Then add a tablespoon of salt, mix around and let sit for 10 minutes or so.

While that is sitting, grab your softened butter (1 stick) and 2 cups sugar.  Now, I am infamous for forgetting to sit out my butter.  I have two cheats.  If you’re lucky enough to have a hot day, throw the still wrapped butter into a stainless steel bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set out in the sun.

image

Today however, the clouds decided to dominant the sky.  So option 2: place still wrapped butter into microwave at 10% power for 2-3 minutes.

I creamed sugar and butter together.  I used my handy Kitchen Aide mixer to do all the hard work.  I sung along to “Scream and Shout“.

Next add the 2 eggs.  “Sleeping with a Friend” played as I cracked the shells.  Mix those well with the creamed sugar/butter.

I preheated the oven to “Don’t“.  350°F.  I also greased and floured a 13 x 9 pan.  Ed Sheeran is getting quite a bit of air play today!

Next up, mix dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of baking soda.  “Fallin” playing in the background.

Now this is the point I call the recipe out for being stupid and make some corrections.  What sense does it make to add the raisins and walnuts to the dry ingredients?  And then you’ll add the tomatoes in separately?!  No sense whatsoever!!  Adding the flour will already make the dough stiff and hard to stir.  Then you’ll at the chunky ingredients to make it even harder?!   And then add another chunky ingredient later? Nah Nah says this baker!  I added the flour to my mixture using the mixer and then hand mixed the 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup walnuts and 4 cups of tomatoes in.  Yep, I worked my biceps.  Better I put in some elbow grease than the ingredients be obliterated in the mixer.  All of this was done to “Timber“, “Cool Kids” and “Rather Be“.

image

The oven reached temperature.  The mixture has been appropriately mixed.  The pan has been greased and floured.  We are ready to finish this cake off and bake away.  I scooped the batter into the pan and threw that bad boy into the oven.

I cleaned the kitchen to “Best Day of My Life“, “Habits“, “Trojans“, “Reverse“, “Harlem” and “Rude“.  I always tear the kitchen up when I bake! After about an hour I returned to a baked goodness!!

image

As you can see, I had to perform a taste test.

image

Yumee!! 🙂  This time I sang and danced to my own tune “Mmmm…this cake is good”.

Leave a comment »

Today is this blog’s 1 year anniversary!

Welp, it’s been a year!

1

I could go into how much I’ve learned by doing this project.  How I have done things I never thought I would.  My personal growth…

But yada yada yada…

My blogs are always all about me.  All about my point of view.  My crazy antics.  Today, I want something different…there I go again!  Me me me!

Let’s make this you you you!

Thank you, you awesome peeps!   : )

thank_you

Thank you for reading my ramblings.  : )

Thank you for your comments!  Thank you for your likes!

Without your readership, this would be all for nothing.  You’re crucial to this project!

Look at you beautiful, awesome peeps!!  You’re awesome!!

stat

So again, thank you! : )

On to year number 2!

 

4 Comments »

Today I was adjusted

Today I had my first chiropractic adjustment.

He opened the session with a review of my xrays.  I have a reverse curve in my neck.  A healthy neck has this curve:

healthy neck

Mine curves the opposite way…here’s my xray:

My neck (2)

Yes…I smiled for my xray. : )

As for my lower back…I have a scoliosis (curvature of the spine to the right), hypercurvature of lumbar to sacrum and disc narrowing at L5-sacrum.

Sorry…to see those xrays you’ll have to take me out to dinner, a movie and margaritas.

Sounds pretty bad…the xrays look pretty bad…BUT the doc says I’m fixable…at least structurally : )

On with the adjustment…I’m kind of excited that I can have some pain relief and maybe better range of motion.  But I’m nervous cause what in the heck is the doc gonna do to me?!  However, I’m beyond the paper gown phase so really is there anything else to worry about???

He started with my lower back.  He had me lay down on my tummy on the table.  He explained he’ll put pressure on my bootie, the table is gonna loudly drop to a flat position and I should feel some relief.  Sure enough, he pushed my bootie, the table dropped loudly, my body made some horrible cracking sounds and I felt some relief.  Then, he did this hip wiggle technique where the table end swings from left to right, taking my pelvis along with it.  Next up, he reset the table, found a spot right above my area of pain, pushed down on that point on my spine which caused the table to drop again to a flat position and even more bone shivering cracking sounds.

Honestly, my responses to his techniques got a bit confused during the adjustment.  The first push, uh hell to the yes…that hurt!  (pardon my French) It was right at my most sensitive area.  So right as my body cracked, I said ouch.  Hmm….more like OOooowwwuuch.  Yeah, that’s more accurate.

And not to mention it’s awkward to have a near stranger pushing on your tushie…I responded by saying ouch.

The hip wiggle thing felt good…but I still said ouch.

The push on my upper lower back, I just anticipated the pain…so of course I said ouch.

And it kinda took me by surprise when he pressed down…Ouch.

And the table made a loud slamming noise as it dropped to a flat position…Ouch!

And the whole unknown of what will come next…Ouch!

Pretty much anything he did to me, my response was OUCH!  And just wait, cause in a moment he’s gonna call me out on it!! lol

I didn’t mean to overreact…the ouches just kept coming out of my mouth!

Next, he worked on my neck.  He asked me to lay on my back.  He then felt my neck.  He wiggled (man, there’s quite a bit of wiggling during an adjustment) my head and neck until I relaxed and then he suddenly jerked my head to the right.  ***CRACK***CRACK***CRACK***….wait for it….wait for it….OUCHHHH!

And this is where he asked me “Does it really hurt or are you just taken by surprised?”

I…could…have…died!!!  I didn’t mean to overreact…I know I’ve already said it but really I didn’t!  And I certainly don’t want to be thought one of those kind of patients.  It’s just the first one syllable word that came to mind and fell out of my mouth!  It’s my verbal defense.  My body sounds like it’s breaking into pieces (but oddly there’s great relief that follows) so the least he can let me do is to have my ouches!

Now, I really like this doc so I don’t want to portray him as anything less than awesome.  He was very nice about it.  He explained everything before he manipulated me.  And I’m sure from his point of view he just wanted to make sure he wasn’t killing me or manipulating me more than I could handle.  He has a very nice torture-table side manner.

Then, not only am I trying to relax to allow him to snap my head to the left…I now know it’s coming.  But I have to relax.  And I know I’m gonna hear my bones popping against each other (shudder)…And I have to relax.  But now I have to be aware and censor of what I say.

***CRACK***CRACK***CRACK***

Me: “MMMmmmppphhh” (muffled ouch!)

Really though, it didn’t hurt.

Next up, Electrical Muscle Stimulation (aka EMS)….OUCH!

I’m laying face down on the table again.  The assistant comes in and tapes some electrodes on my lower back.  She then turns a knob that begins sending electric pulses that cause my muscles directly under the pads to vibrate and jerk.  She adjusted it to my comfort level.  The pulses should feel almost like a massage but not too much to cause my muscles to tense.   She placed a cold pad over the electrodes and said she would be back in 10 minutes.

For 10 minutes, my muscles jumped and jerked (slightly).  And I responded by saying…..

Ahhhhh….  It did almost feel like a massage.  And just having 10 minutes of relaxation, I can only say Ahhhhhhh…..

After 10 minutes, she returned and I was able to stand up for the first time with my newly adjusted back.  I almost didn’t want to move so as to not misalign my back again.

I am a bit sore but I can already feel a wonderful change!  If you run your fingers from your skull down your neck towards your spine, you should feel a dip near your hair line.  I’ve never had that….but I do now! : )  In just 1 adjustment!!

1 Comment »

Today I decided to do a Pay It Forward project

While scrolling through Facebook, a dear friend had the following post on her page:

To start this year off in a loving way I’m participating in this Pay-It-Forward initiative: The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year- anything from a book, a ticket, a visit, something home grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer in their FB status and distribute their own joy. Simply copy this text onto your profile, (don’t share) so we can form a web of connection and kindness. Let’s do more nice and loving things for each other in 2014, without any reason other than to make each other smile and to show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable, more friendly and love filled year….”

I read it and thought that is absolutely, totally, completely, really cool!  I responded to her post declaring “I’m in!” and added my smiley face…certainly because this is a smiley face worthy statement!

Then, I beebopped over to my page and pasted the message as well.

I don’t know if y’all have noticed but my posts haven’t been as on time nor spunky as they usually are. Unfortunately, several challenges cropped up in my life which distracted me.  I realized my problems were consuming me, stealing my joy, and overall keeping me in the dumps.  But, do you know the best way to beat those pesky problem monsters?!

Focus on others!!  That’s right…there is no better way to get over yourself than to focus on someone else.  So, this project came at the perfect time for me : )

I cannot wait to see how many respond to my post…I may just surprise them all!! : )

You are welcome to like my Try Something New Everyday Facebook page and participate in this project too!

I’ll keep you posted!

ID-10062444

Leave a comment »

Today I researched photo usage for blogs

Wanna read a blogger horror story?! Click here…if you dare

How absolutely frightful!  Sends chills down me bones…(I would have added a picture of Scooby Doo shivering – Rut Roh Shaggy!)

My heart goes out to Roni…a blogger just bee boppin along, minding her own bees wax, trying to do her little share to make the world a better place and offer some good lovin’ entertainment, then *slap!* a lawsuit comes about.

And the sound of that slap is ALWAYS followed by *cha ching*…

I’ve always wondered what kind of images I can use to pep up my posts. I mean, the black in white text is just soooo boring…my posts need flair!  (I would have add a picture of “Flair Boy” from the movie Office Space…)

Early on I would grab whatever added humor to my posts from internetland…and let me tell ya, they rocked! I found the cutest picture of a puppy sleeping for my “Today I napped“…Oh, and let me tell you the awesome image I found for “Today I embraced my not so inner geek“…a back in the day picture of the hottie Will Wheaton from some teenie bopper magazine I probably subscribed to…and drooled over…and hung up in my bedroom…and still flip through every now and again…

Did I just say that out loud?!

After the first ten or so posts I realized I am a photographer at heart and decided to use my original pictures to add the necessary pizzazz. (I would have added a picture of Pizzazz from Gem and the Holograms – what a throwback!)  Once I started using my own pictures, I never gave my previous posts another thought…

Today though, I finally took the time to properly research this. And boy did it scare me straight!!

I found you cannot just take any image off the internet…more than likely there is a copyright…and if there is a copyright, there is someone who owns the copyright…and if there is someone who owns the copyright, then there is someone who will sue you…and if there is someone who will sue you, then there is a lawyer who will take such case…and if there is a lawyer who will take such case, you lose!

All I pretty much have is my pups…and they are precious to me…and no one else would really put up with their diva ways…(I would have added a picture of Poochie – instead you get another picture of my puppy)Emmy

Also, even though you make no money off your blog OR you weren’t aware of a copyright violation OR you have the intentions of Mother Theresa (You guessed it…I would have posted a picture of that saintly woman!)…none of that matters…you will still get sued…and you will still lose.

What’s surprising about all of this…this information isn’t readily available…I did several Yahoo searches and only found information other bloggers had discovered.

Shouldn’t there be more posts about this from say WordPress or Blogger?!  Maybe even a huge warning before you even write your first post?!  (I would have added a picture of Lost in Space – Danger Will Robinson!  Danger!)

Anyone can start a blog…anyone…have internet connection?  Here is your soap box….free…easy….open to all…knowing this, would it behoove blog sites to inform their customer base?

Maybe they do…I just haven’t dug deep enough…

I send all my love to my fellow bloggers and because of one of them, I have been warned and for that I will be eternally grateful!

I have scrubbed my site of any image that I myself didn’t take.  There are some GIFs that came from royalty free resources which I feel pretty safe about…but honestly I will probably replace those with my own pictures.

I love doing this blog…and I hope you enjoy reading it… : )  Isincerely appreciate your readership!

*stepping off my soap box*

wpid-20140227_160253.jpg

2 Comments »

Today I made Snow Cream (sugar free)

It snowed!! : )

wpid-20140122_080855.jpgI love snow!!

The picture shows how much my pups love the snow…they stepped out on the porch, walked to the edge of the step…and turned around back into the warm house.

All this beautiful snow…and what to do with it?!

SNOW CREAM!

I’m low carbing though so I will make my first attempt to make sugar free snow cream.

I took one heaping bowl of freshly fallin snow.wpid-20140122_092812.jpg

What a beautiful sight!  The snow totally makes the bowl : )

Then gather the other ingredients…vanilla, Splenda and Heavy Cream.

wpid-20140122_092759.jpg

Let me say my disclaimers here.  First, you may question heavy cream…well, I had a thought about that.  Heavy cream has a higher milk fat content than regular milk.  The fat will bind with the snow to keep the snow cream a solid texture rather than milk making the snow cream a wet consistency.   I also figured if the heavy cream became too solid I could cut the mixture with water.  Secondly, Splenda and I no longer consider ourselves BFFs.  Once upon a time we did everything together…coffees, cocktails, baking…a guilt free relationship or so I thought.  After some research I realize Splenda is just an imposter and deep down comprises of just man made chemicals.  Unfortunately I have a doomsday supply of this junk and am at a lost what to do with it.  So, lacking alternatives I will just use it today.

Usually, you just have to eye ball snow cream to achieve the right consistency.  Today however I tried measuring so as to give you awesome peeps a better idea for the “recipe”.

I dumped my snow into a larger bowl.  I added 3 tablespoons of Splenda, 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and 1/4 tsp of vanilla.  Mixed until all the ingredients mingled with the snow.  I will say, the heavy cream made mingling a bit harder but well worth the effort.

The end product:wpid-20140122_100922.jpg

Delicious!  Tastes like a super cold vanilla shake : )

Leave a comment »

Today I’m officially accepting the Versatile Blog Award

image

On Thursday night, I received a message from the lovely GirlyChristina,  that she nominated my humble little blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. Talk about being blown away!  My jaw dropped…my breath was taken away…then I started dancing in the aisles, cause I was in the store at the time.  It’s funny, kinda like New York, people do not look at you strange when you dance in the WalMart…but my moves really aren’t as cool as they seem in my head and I wouldn’t be surprised if I land on the PeopleofWalmart.com site. 

I first met Christina when she commented on my blog post about having a latte.  We’ve been bonded by pumpkin love :).  She leaves the awesomest comments to my posts and even though we’ve only conversed via blogging, I just know she’s a kindred spirit :).

Back to this award, I never even knew you could receive awards for donating your silly, random thoughts to internetland.  Honestly, I feel I win an award each time I get a new follower to my blog.  Once I figure out how to message the followers back I will be sending out my acceptance speeches…”I’d like to thank wordpress for believing in me and giving me 10 gb of space, thank you Yahoo! for always answering my questions with such enthusiasm…(starting to rush because I feel my microphone may cut off or start retracting into the stage) Thank you God, Mom and Dad, absolutely my followers for spending a small part of their day with me…oh gosh, I just know I’m forgetting someone…”

Are you sure you want to reward such ramblings?

So, the Versatile Award has a few rules. I am to nominate 15 blogs I have newly followed or regularly follow and then share 7 things about me.
15 blogs I nominate:
1. Three Brothers’ Whiskey – a start up local distillery
2. (To be continued…I’m struggling trying to do these links on a mobile phone…I hope tomorrow to be able to connect with a computer)

Things about me:
1. My blog is cooler than I am 🙂
2. I love smiley faces and totally over use them.  I even use them in my professional emails. 🙂
3. I’m a tatter.  If you don’t know what that is, I’ll write a blog about it soon.  If you do know what it is, please connect with me!  I collect tatting friendships!
4. Daisies and carnations are my favorite flower.
5. I have been assigned to make a Doctor Who scarf.  Season 12 to be exact…yes, that’s the long one…I welcome sympathy messages.
6. I’m the caretaker (well, ok mom) to 4 dogs, 2 cats and 1 bunnie.  There is no room left in the inn…the inn is closed…door nailed shut with a sign up that screams: No Vacancy!  Unless I come across a needy animal…then its all open doors.
7. I’m the shy, quiet type.

6 Comments »