Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Frozen Tundra Science Fun

Boil one cup of water.  Go outside and toss the water up into the air away from your body.




If the temperature is cold enough (minus 20 in this case), this is what happens.




As the boiling water meets the cold air, it instantly vaporizes.  Most of it is turned into a cloud of steam that drifts gently away and some of the droplets that stay together are instantly turned into small pieces of ice that can be seen streaking down towards the bottom left in this photograph.




And all you’re left with is a cloud of water vapor.


Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Max’s new adversary

A new dog moved in recently across the street.  It didn’t take Max long to notice…and by notice I mean became engrossed, absorbed and completely fascinated. 


The first time I let him out I didn’t pay much attention to his puffed up bravado barking…his first rival is the snowplow after all.  Eventually I stepped out onto the deck to see who or what he was barking at.  I didn’t notice much out of place.  It was a bit hard to get him back inside but he did come in and I forgot about it.  The next morning was another story.  After listening to Max’s ferocious hyperactive yippy barking I decided to go outside and see if I could figure out what the problem could be.  I found him stalking his “prey”.




Can you see his “prey’?  Yep, that’s it, the Coldwell Banker sign dog!  Max is furious that Coldwell dog moved into his territory and he spends a large part of his day now “telling off” Coldwell.




Today, out of desperation, I took Max on a walk to meet Coldwell.  I erroneously thought that he might realized A) Coldwell was a sign or

B) Coldwell was friendly.  Unfortunately, Coldwell never backed down from the confrontation, Max still isn’t too happy and I have a nice deep scratch on my foot from where I tried to come between the dogs.  Jeez, I hope they sell that house soon!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Try something new

Have you ever eaten one of these??




It’s not a grapefruit.  Its rind is much thicker.




It is the largest citrus fruit and typically weighs about 2-3 pounds.




It tastes like a sweeter version of a grapefruit and does not have any of the grapefruit’s bitter taste.





It’s a pummelo!


The membrane around the segments is bitter and very tough but the flavor of the fruit is wonderful.  Cayden and I love them.  I am not sure of the availability in your area but they are seldom available in Fargo.  Anytime Cayden and I see one, we grab it. 


If you come across one, take it home and try it.  You’ll love it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sun Dogs

Driving home this morning after taking Braxton to school I saw the most amazing sun dogs.  I see them fairly often in the winter but these were just awesome. 


I am not sure I remember ever seeing sun dogs in Texas.  In case you don’t see them often, they are formed when sunlight is refracted through ice crystals. 


Just one of those beautiful things God gives as a consolation for living in the Frozen Tundra!










Sunday, February 7, 2010

Target Practice

I admit it, I hate Walmart.  Yes, we still go to Walmart because many times it is really the only place that has what we need.  However, just saying “Walmart” makes me tense and irritable.  We even have a brand new Super Walmart close to our house.  It is clean and never crowded.  The experience is much nicer than most Walmarts.


But….I LOVE Target!  I would rather go to Target any day.  Our Target is old, kind of dingy and the aisles are way too close to each other but man I love it.






I would rather go to Target any day.  Our Target is old, kind of dingy and the aisles are way too close to each other but man I love it.

Everything at Target is bright, cheerful and colorful and it makes he happy to browse in their store.   You see, I have realized that I am a colorful kind of girl.  For the first 38 years of my life I gravitated to black, brown and occasionally red when buying anything, especially clothes.  I would have rather been burned alive on the county courthouse steps than wear orange or lime green. (I’m getting off track, bear with me)  Recently I discovered that I was hiding the real me, that loves orange, lime green, yellow, and pink.  Somewhere in there was a girly girl.  Anyway, Target aisles seem to be just full of those colors.



Braxton and I usually go to Target every Sunday.  I stock up on a few basics and spend a couple of hours with Braxton.  He loves to get out of the house and will browse willingly through any store but he enjoys Target too.  Braxton does know that he always gets a “reward” at the end of shopping.  Every week we stop at the Target cafeteria and get an Icee (and a pretzel too).




Now if I love Target, I LOVE Icees.  It takes me right back to my childhood.  I used to go to Kmart with my Mom and she would also buy me an Icee.  I am not a big fan of the blue or red ones (the ones that Braxton drinks/wears).  I only want Coke Icees…or at least until recently.  Target has had Dr. Pepper Icees lately and those are really good.  I am glad Braxton and I get to share something as simple as Icees every Sunday because they truly are connected to some really happy memories in my childhood.



That being said, an Icee is no substitute for a 7-11 Slurpee.  Man Oh Man do I miss Slurpees.  The texture is different, better.  I took 7-11s for granted when we lived in Texas.  Even though there isn’t a 7-11 in Amarillo, there was one just down the street from my family’s house in Dallas.




Unfortunately the closest 7-11 to Fargo is 183.56 miles away in Mannitoba, Canada.  That means you need a passport to enjoy a Slurpee!  We are hoping to visit Winnipeg this spring or summer to check out the Peace Garden.  You can bet I will find a Slurpee!

For what it’s worth

to laugh often and much,

to win the respect of intelligent

people and the affection of children,

to earn the appreciation of honest

critics and endure the betrayal

of false friends,

to appreciate beauty,

to find the best in others,

to leave the world a bit better,

whether by a healthy child,

a garden patch…

to know even one life has breathed

 easier because you have lived.

this is to have succeeded!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

God Bless Dr. Spencer Silver

Do you know who Dr. Spencer Silver is?


Dr. Silver was a research scientist working at 3M who developed the adhesive now used on post it notes…and thereby became practically a saint in my book.


You may have read about my passion for pens but my insane office supply obsession also includes post it notes.  I am a list maker.  I truly do make lists that include “make a list” just so I can cross off the first entry.  Lists keep me focused, they keep me happy.  The only thing better than a list written on a sheet of notebook paper is the same list written on post it notes.  Instead of crossing something off my list I am able to take down one post it note, hold it in my hands and say “DONE!” and crumple it up.  It’s a great feeling.  Does that make me weird?  Don’t answer that.


In my house the post it notes live on my kitchen cabinets.  They are right where I can see them but yet out of the way.  As you can see I have many colors of post it notes (organized by category of course…lol)







Recently I came across something that made me weak in the knees, giddy really.  They make blog post it notes.  With basically just one click you can create a post it note and post it to a blog.  It combines two of my favorite things, blogging and list making.


There are actually a ton of folks in the blogging community who take part in “Post it note Tuesdays”.  The post its can be lighthearted, notes to self, to do lists or even notes left for others.  I spent a little time reading some that were out there and they were tons of fun.  I would love to join in the fun if any of you want to play along on your blog.  All you have to do is go to  You create your post it note and save it to your computer as a jpg. 



Here’s what was on my mind tonight.  What’s on yours?

















Monday, February 1, 2010

Let me introduce you to my new best friend




That’s right, my new best friend is Alice, as in  If you haven’t heard about it yet you have to check it out.  (Thanks Dad for the introduction) 


Alice allows you to shop for household items (other than food) that you might otherwise get at Walmart.  They have toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaners, over the counter medicines, dog food and TONS of other things.  The first time you log in you have to create your personal shopping list and I will admit that it is a pretty arduous task  (it took about 2 hours but you don’t have to do it all at once).  You choose the products you use and choose the brands and sizes you usually need.  It puts all of those products on a virtual store shelf like you see below.  When it’s time to order you just click on the product you need and drag it over to the cart on the right.




Alice keeps track of manufacturer’s coupons too and automatically gives you any that apply to your purchase.  But, the best part is that shipping is FREE.


During the winter we often order our groceries online and have them delivered.  You can’t beat it when it’s 25 below and blowing snow but the grocery store doesn’t have everything I need and even if they did the prices wouldn’t be nearly as cheap as what I find on Alice.  I know not everyone has to contend with horrible weather but everyone has obstacles to getting to the store…working a lot of overtime, 3 school age kids with 15 after school activities, a toddler that hates shopping and makes you hate it too, etc.


I realize that it sounds like this is a paid endorsement for Alice (it’s not) and I am usually not one to get all gushy about things like this but I haven’t found anything not to like.  Check it out!