Friday, June 28, 2013

"Dah" moments ...


I've always been one of those on-the-go gals. You know the type. Nighttime meals prepared in a crock pot or a timed oven before you leave for work in the morning; "to do" notes for the entire month attached (in alphabetical order) to the refrigerator; clocks set 15 minutes fast, so you won't EVER be late for anything, and the list goes on and on.

For me, things have to be efficient and doable in just a few minutes ... or I just don't bother. Probably why my ironing stacks up like one of the mountain peaks in the Himalayan range and items that need to be mended? ... Well, no need, because  they just don't fit anyone anymore.

It's also the reason why certain mundane duties are frustrating.
Hate, hate, hate doing things with tape. Any tape. Even with firm determination to keep it simple, the smallest job always ends up a disaster. Just can't seem to get it (the tape)  to roll out in small strips that are sticky on one side and are used to seal up wrapped packages (gifts and food for the freezer, for example) and for the quick repair of small tears in books, photos paper sacks and such.

You can believe me when I say I'm truly all thumbs. And without exception the tape ends up in a large crumpled ball, attached to my every finger, hanging from my hair, and/or firmly attached to everything except what it's supposed to be attached to.

Also irritating and without relief are the products that roll out of those cardboard boxes — such as foil, waxed paper, plastic wrap, etc. The plan is when the appropriate length is reached, you just press the product against the saw-edge of the container and tear it away.
The result?
The perfect size piece to use for whatever project you're about.

Oh. I can pull it out to the appropriate length all right. But the minute I try to cut it away from the rest of the roll, it'll jump out of the box as if possessed and fly into the air ... unrolling as it goes!
Of course I can re-roll it, but then it won't fit in the container anymore. And when I try to jam it back in the saw edge usually ruptures and leaves a torn space in the cardboard ... which I can promise will never be repaired because you have to do that WITH TAPE!

Not too long ago a friend ... OK it was my little preschool grandson offered me some advice.
"Push that in, Nana" he said pointing to the previously unnoticed (for 50 years) tabs located on each end of the container. "That keeps stuff in!"

Dah! 
Have those tabs ALWAYS been there? I'm just sure they haven't. I would have noticed.
... And the next time my grandson comes for a visit? We're going to explore the things I don't know about, you guessed it, ... TAPE!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cleaning ...


Marlene Terry
Our daughter, son-in-law and our two precious grandkids are moving again. Second time in a year to be exact. So in the "new" house we (my daughter, grandchildren and I) are in a dither trying to wipe down every wall, shelf and drawer, clean every window, vacuum up every dust bunny, and remove every bug — even if it's just "stuff that looks like a bug," my little grandson says, before the move-in day this weekend.

You know how cleaning goes.
I started on the kitchen/dining area thinking that I had about a two-hour job ahead of me. Then we moved out the refrigerator. ...Might as well take care of the archives I found underneath. 
Included were the usual Cheerios, Gummy Bears, crayons and more than one snapshot — most notably, a photo of a little boy curled up on a rug in front of a roaring fireplace. I recognized the mantle immediately. ... It's the one in the dining room.
There was also the image of a baby dressed in red jammies against a wintery backdrop.
"Bet that one went out on their Christmas cards that year," I thought as I tossed the junk into the garbage.

Funny how some actions prompt other actions. Because it wasn't long before I found myself going through the little stack of photos I carry with me every day, not because they're timely, because they're important. 
... My sweet little baby daughter (the one who is moving this weekend to the house we're cleaning), 3-months old, in a bright yellow dress asleep on my shoulder; a 2-year-old grandson (he's nearly 4 now) content and happy as can be after helping his mommy plant the garden ... while eating dirt, a mini-sized soccer player. Of course Paris was the most adorable on the team, and all my other grandchildren and children at different ages and experiences in their lives. 
... Also found a few love notes, along with a hand-drawn unicorn and the universe.
"I love you grandma," the universe note said. 
"To a patient mother from a daughter who talks a lot. Love ya Mom," was the message on another.

Couldn't believe that it was suddenly time to quit. And with a sigh, I placed my notes and photos back into my purse for safekeeping.

... Guess I'll just have to finish cleaning tomorrow, I thought, ... and took just enough time to retrieve the photos I'd found under the fridge from the garbage, wipe them off and stack them very carefully in a pile on the counter.


♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.
 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Blast from the Past" ...



Marlene Terry

Had one of those "Blast from the Past" moments a few days ago when driving down the road behind an old Mercury!
Mercurys are a thing of the past now (phased out in 2010), after being launched by Edsel Ford (Henry's son) of the Ford Motor Company in 1938. But there was a day when having a tricked-out Mercury made you the envy of everyone you knew and others too.

I followed it for awhile, the car in front of me, because it was a Mercury that inspired hot rod tendencies in my hubby when he was young. And it was his 1951 model that ended up being our "datin' car."
 
Everyone who lived through the 1960s as teenagers knows that old Chevys and Mercurys were the hot cars of that generation. It was a time when "Draggin' Main" meant you drove your car up and down Main Street to show off your girlfriend of course, but so everyone could see what you'd done to the hot rod, as well. 

It was also a time when no one ever wondered what the make of a car was. We just knew. 
Wings were really important back then, not the kind you fly with, but those that defined a young man's hairstyle and most importantly those that were attached as back fenders. Wings spoke volumes about how "cool" the owner was. 

Also important were low-line lake pipes — long chrome exhaust pipes that were positioned (at least on my hubby's car) along each side and up off the ground only about six inches.
Wikipedia photo: 1951 Mercury
Really! I'm not kidding. Can't remember the term for cars that were so low to the ground you couldn't even get a jack underneath. But that was what the guys wanted and we had one, ... along with a metallic blue finish on the outside and a tuck and roll naugahyde interior.

The trip behind the old hot rod lasted a few more blocks, and I couldn't be sure if it was the sound of "Blue Velvet" coming from the open window of that Mercury or not. But I pretended it was, sang along with those old lyrics anyway, continued cruisin' and felt cool!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Unnecessary worries ...


Marlene Terry
I've been thinking about unnecessary worries lately. 
You know. All those things that crop up during life that we lose sleep over, really can't do anything about and end up laughing at later.

With that said I can recall everything in detail, even though it's been years.
Our oldest daughter had finally earned her driver's license and after some cajoling and a little pouting she'd convinced her dad it was time that we allow her to take the car to town by herself.

Worried about it all night (me not her) and thought of every "what if" you can imagine. ... Think I even prayed for snow and slick roads in order to put off her solo journey. But probably because she and I both needed the experience, plus the fact that it was mid-summer, the day dawned bright, clear and ice-free.

Didn't take her long to bid us goodbye, promise that she would be careful and move on to the garage, car keys in hand and an ear-to-ear smile.
I mean she was finally free of the restrictions and parental control that in her teenage mind had kept her "in a box" ... and might I add kept her safe and sound, too.

In a moment I heard the sound of the garage door opening and watched as she made a perfect exit and was soon headed down the long driveway at our hilltop home.  ... Just enough time for her to get far enough away so she wouldn't notice her mother standing on the front porch with a pair of high-powered binoculars watching her every move.

The problem with those binoculars was all that high power not only magnified the image, it also magnified the MOVEMENT of the image. ... Probably the reason, as I watched her approach the first stop sign on the route, it appeared that she was traveling about the speed of light.
Also the reason I think, that I spontaneously yelled at the top of my voice "STOP DAMMIT!" 
  
I still can't believe that the yell happened in perfect synchronization with the arrival of my Avon lady whose startled, REALLY LARGE EYE, suddenly appeared in my field of view!
I'm sure you'll be glad to know that everything turned out all right. I apologized to the Avon lady for my uncontrolled outburst. And after a few hours my daughter returned home safely.
... Just one of those things that crop up during life that we lose sleep over, really can't do anything about and end up laughing at later!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 



Monday, June 24, 2013

It'll all come out in the wash ...


Marlene Terry Picture
Marlene Terry
“It'll all come out in the wash!” Something my mom used to say whenever I was going through an extraordinarily bad time in my life, or even worse, when I’d done something incredibly stupid, something that almost anyone could have figured out was a bad idea and would have avoided at all costs.

I cringe thinking about how many times I heard that olden days phrase during my growing up years. But by the time I was ready to leave home I was convinced. It was just something that well-meaning people offered up when they didn’t want somebody they cared about to feel bad or worry over problems … especially when it didn't seem those problems would have any serious or long-lasting affect on anything or anyone.

Right! Like the time I used burgundy spray paint on two of my dining room chairs.
… Had a bid from a craftsman who I’m sure would have done a wonderful job in his shop. But, because of the cost, I opted to do it myself in the garage.

So with the chairs placed on large cardboard squares, and me dressed in as close to a HazMat suit as you can get from the local Walmart, I still managed with an aggressive over-spray, to change the white color of every interior wall to a pale pink, my hubby’s brand new running shoes that were sitting innocently by the door, to a slightly darker shade of pink … and I think there are places inside my nose that are still a little rosy, too!

Ended up costing me big bucks and tons of hard work to restore things to a somewhat normal state. It also made me a non believer, at least as far as that particular old saying goes. 
Throughout my life I've tested it many times. And you can believe me when I say that not EVERYTHING will come out in the wash. 

Picture of a washing machine with pieces of paper towel.
… Proof positive is the 600 or so shredded bits of the paper towel you see in the photo today!
The towel itself that I laundered mistakenly with the rest of the whites survived the washing experience just fine ... and didn't come out until I opened the dryer door instead!

Revised quote?
"It'll all come out whenever you least expect it!"
... So it shall be said. So it shall be written.   

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 


Friday, June 21, 2013

Rainy days ...


Marlene Terry Pic
Marlene Terry
Spent some time a few days ago trying to find where the sound was coming from.
Fresh from the days of working almost every waking moment in a business office atmosphere, I'd forgotten.
"Pit ... pit ... pit," it began slowly but surely, and then picked up in speed and intensity.
It was then I noticed. The cloud I'd watched with interest earlier that morning was overhead and letting go of a downpour.

Picture of a cloudy sky"What? I didn't recognize the sound of rain? How pathetic. And for the first time in a long time I left my chores, sat down on the floor in front of a wide-open patio door, and listened and remembered.

Used to love the rain. Kids have a way of doing that. Really doesn't matter what the weather is like, they just adapt ... and happily.

Warm and sunny? Run around outside screaming, laughing and eating as much ice cream as possible.
Snow? Perfect time to build a snowman ... or even better, a snow fort and fill it with snowballs and then wait for unsuspecting friends to walk by on their way home from school.
Wind? Fly kites of course ... the higher the better. But don't forget to run for cover if yours crashes on a neighbor's house.

Picture of a little kid with a rain jacket on standing in a puddle
photo: faithfilledmom.com
Rain though, was always my favorite. I'd walk especially slow through rainstorms because I loved listening to the raindrops patter against the plastic of my umbrella. It was a rhythm and I created many a wondrous song singing along to it. 
I also hoped that by the time I reached the ditch that ran in front of our house, it'd be full. Because that meant wading, jumping and splashing ... sometimes with my boots on but more frequently without.

Rainy nights always meant everyone at home would sleep well. And for me and my little sis, it was a time to dream of journeying to faraway places. It was on those nights that we made plans to build a raft, and when the ditch was swollen with rainwater, sail away in it on an adventure.
... Never happened of course. But oh how the sweetness of those plans remains and returns with the beckoning sound of rain.

Thanks Mother Nature for the rain you sent just for me.
... Refreshing? ... That's an understatement!




♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 
 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Mountain Man ...



Marlene Terry Pic
Marlene Terry

There are definite symptoms to watch for. That is if you’re worried about recent actions of someone you thought you knew, someone you’re very close to and heretofore was predictable and well … normal.

I should have guessed a thousand years ago or so when I was a new bride, that there was mischief afoot. I mean how many honeymoons do you know of that consist of just ONE night in a regular motel with electricity and indoor plumbing with the remaining time being spent out under the stars, camped out?

Verl Terry on a four wheeler with his camouflage jacket and hunter orange hat
Of course being young and in love made me “pooh, pooh,” it all away. And I truly thought after we adjusted to one another and settled in, we’d become the couple next door. But that was before I knew … “egad” … he had Mountain Man tendencies.

Don’t laugh. It's an honest to goodness malady, with symptoms occurring almost anytime during the year but heightened in the fall.
That’s when the sound of a high pitched bugle … “ooh, ooh, and oohhhhhhhh” emanates not from hillsides and forests but embarrassingly, from your own backyard.

It’s also the time for growing beards (them not you), wearing camouflage pants, shirts, hats and shoes … except to church if you’re lucky, trying out the latest skunk scent (only Mountain Men know why), having a pair of binocs handy at all times, and pining away the hours prior to huntin’ season with the classic ‘puppy dog’ soulful expression.

Picture of a truck with a cracked windshield Mountain men drive outfits … not trucks and must refer to them as such. And it’s a plus if the vehicle’s windshield has a crack in it … a long one … nothing that interferes with safely being able to navigate canyons, rocky roads and dark timber, but noticeable enough to make him (the Mountain Man) appear extra outdoors-ish. 
 
Picture of ziplock bags with fish in them 
And when the days of huntin’, fishin’ and fillin’ up the freezer with packages of perch, crappie, sage grouse, elk burger, elk steak, elk roast, and miscellaneous stew meat to name a few, are at an end for the year, a true Mountain Man can only find solace in ... you guessed it ... HIBERNATION! 

... And No! That's much different than a couch potato sittin' on the sofa, surfin' with the remote in order to find the outdoor channel! ... REALLY!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday ...


Marlene Terry picture
Marlene Terry
Welcome to Wonderful Wednesday, the middle of the work week, and the day we head over the hump to weekend fun, adventure and more.

Short blog today because I want to share an amazing optical illusion sent to me in one of those forwarded emails we all get.
I pondered over it plenty when it came in. Even went a little cross-eyed, as I tried to decide if the young man pictured was giving a hug to the seated young woman or it was the other way around.

I'm sure there is will be varied opinions and valid reasoning for whatever you decide, such as those who have European tendencies might think it's OK for the seated woman to have those very hairy legs ... and arms.
The young man on the other hand if he's the one standing, is a dancer for sure. ... Why else would he be so thin and delicate?
Picture of two people hugging in the living room

... As for me?
I just want to know what all those remotes laid out on the table are for!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.  


Just a reminder that we're still looking for Fourth of July recipes, traditions and photos. Email everything to nutshellstories@gmail.com , and then watch for them to be posted in the "Under the Nut tree" section of my blog.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blowing bubbles ...


Don't tell anyone. But I've been shirking some duties lately, in order to spend time in the backyard. 
Picture of Marlene Terry
Marlene Terry

Really no big deal. I was just cleaning up things after some sweet grandchildren spent a Saturday afternoon doing what grandchildren do, and by chance discovered the most fascinating past time.

The kids and I of course, played in the water that day, kicked a ball around for fun, and looked at bugs under a magnifying glass. They even blew some bubbles as long as I would make sure the bubble bucket was full of solution and the wands were prepared and ready.
It took about 10 minutes for them (the grandchildren) to have had enough of most of it. But Pop-pop and Nana? That's another story.

Picture of Marlene Terry blowing bubbles with her grandson
The biggest bubble
After everyone had gone home, my hubby and I got into it. I mean the solution bottle had to be wiped off anyway and the wands needed cleaning as well. So it wasn't long before we were in competition as to who could blow the most bubbles with one dip; who could generate the BIGGEST bubble, and whose bubble would stay up the longest.
I was the winner, and enjoyed "tooting my own horn," so to speak, for the rest of the day.

I'm sure you'll understand. It's sort of like when you volunteer to help a child fly a kite. You as an adult are just assisting, right? It really isn't appropriate to give in to the urge to take off running and leave the child behind. I mean we're just getting the kite up high enough for them, so it won't dive and crash
Picture of Verl Terry blowing bubbles with her grandson
A good try at the biggest bubble
But after the child gives up and leaves, tired of waiting for you to turn over the reel and string, then there really IS no one left to fly the kite but you! ... At least that's what you tell everyone passing by and wondering why a 60ish year-old is acting like someone whose 10 or younger, giggling and screaming whenever the kite comes close to a crash and they're able to save it because of their superior kite-flying skills.

I really don't remember if I ever got to experience bubble blowing in my growing up years. Probably not, as we grew up pretty simply back then, never squandering money on anything but necessities. So I think it's OK that I get to experience it now.
Besides, blowing bubbles that day was so much fun, I'm still smiling at the memory.

And as far as the future goes?

... Whenever one of our grandkids needs help blowing the most bubbles, or the biggest or longest lasting? ... You can be sure we'll be at their side ... to assist, of course!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Propeller seeds ...



Picture of Marlene Terry
Marlene Terry

Heaven knows I love my trees, especially the massive red maple in our backyard. But this is just too much.

Beautiful picture of a maple tree in Marlene's backyard turning colors in the fall
From the end of June to September the tree is the most lovely sight you can imagine. Those leaves that begin bright lime green in the spring, turn slowly to a stunning crimson in the fall.
We — our family and friends — sit happily under its shade for hours, as we listen to the wind chimes propelled by the gentle swaying of its branches, and watch as many different varieties of birds gladly accept  its harboring protection for themselves and their young.

So what's the problem you ask?

I was chatting recently with my sweet hairdresser Debbie, when the conversation turned to her tree ... a fast growing red maple in her front yard.
"Have you ever noticed those little propeller shaped seeds that fall out of maple trees? She asked, as I nearly choked at the thought. "Well we have hundreds that have fallen, germinated and are now growing, living trees that are everywhere! Is there any way to stop that?"

Picture of leaves in the grassHave I seen those little propeller shaped seeds? That's a major understatement. We've endured the yearly seed monsoon for years. During the month of May I watch them develop. And after every wind storm I make it a point to rake them up as thoroughly as possible. 

And why?

Maple trees in the lawn, maple trees in the vegetable garden, maple trees in the flower garden, maple trees growing out of cracks in the cement, maple trees growing from the seed itself with no covering of soil at all, and even maple trees growing from moss on the side of the house. Seeds that don't sprout and grow, blow into and fill up every conceivable cavity, corner and depression IN THE WORLD as well as parts of the human body!  ... And it's driving me crazy!

Believe me when I say I've tried everything.
Weed killer (even thistle prevention) will not take them down ... they're trees.
Mowing the lawn extra short hides them for a day or two, but soon, the seedlings sprout again and THRIVE!

So to answer Debbie's question: After exhaustive research, I found at http://www.ehow.com/how_8563908_stop-maple-trees-producing-seeds.html that a well-timed application of plant-growth regulator (a chemical designed to prevent fruit from forming), minimizes and/or eliminates those pesky seeds.
  
... Now all I have to do is locate a spray tank with the capacity to reach the top of that 100-foot monster.



♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

SUPERMEN ...



Picture of Marlene Terry
Marlene Terry

Because of the upcoming Father's Day holiday, today I'm remembering men in my life, those who have left their influence permanently in my heart and also those whose efforts have helped to make me what I am today.

Marlene Terry's Father's black and white photo
Dad
Dad has been gone now for nearly 50 years, passing away two days following his 49th birthday in 1965.
When I was a little girl I thought he, and my mom too, were movie stars. He was dark and handsome — an impressive man. He also had a way of telling stories (thanks Dad for that gift) that made me and my sisters long for bedtime and the journeys we took through his amazing imagination.
Dad worked hard for his family all of his life. And although he never amassed a great amount of wealth he always seemed thankful and content with the way things were.

I had just one grandfather that I remember. A diligent and determined farmer who was able to cultivate the ground on the steep slopes at Mink Creek, Idaho were he lived his entire life.
Marlene Terry's grandfather's homestead
Grandpa's homestead at Mink Creek. Photo taken from one of his hay fields.
I caught my first fish on Grandpa's farm, rode my first horse (sweet and steady Blanche), and wiled away many happy hours rolling down the hill that declined quickly from the front porch of the house to the barbwire fence far below. I also loved pretending to be the resident blacksmith inside Grandpa's shop. And with his broad smile and sweet hugs, he encouraged it.
A few summers later, I helped to bring in the hay from the fields. My memories include sitting on the back of the truck, scared to death that we were about to roll over and crying with my legs scratched to smithereens by the bales we'd loaded.
It really was a mystery to me back then (not now), why Grandpa truly seemed to love the place he lived and things he'd chosen to do.

Picture of Marlene Terry's Husband: Verl
Superman
Last but not least is my sweet companion. His best trait? Optimism. He absolutely won't accept defeat in anything and won't put up with my occasional pity party, either!
"Look for the blessings," he always says.
And although I don't like to admit it, no matter the situation, those blessings (tenfold) are always there.
When we were young and starting out I honestly believed he was Superman. I was happy to busy myself taking care of our large family and become the mother and homemaker I'd always wanted to be. He on the other hand put on his cape every day and stood guard at the door, blocking and fighting anything that could be harmful to those he loved the most.
He still wears that cape now, albeit past years have brought some kryptonite moments and made the fit a little more difficult. But he's still there at the door, blocking, protecting and making sure life goes on for the two of us as happily as possible.

... Here's wishing that this weekend proves to be especially wonderful for ALL you supermen out there!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Whitewater rafting ...


Marlene Terry Picture
Marlene Terry
Just heard that Idaho's Treasure Valley adventurers can look forward to getting wet (and very cold at times) starting Friday, June 14, when the Boise River opens for floating. For more details read my Community Page

Been there done that. And I'm not talking about the inner tube type float which although is very fun, is nothing at all like the experience you get rafting through the white water on the South Fork of the Boise River.

My sons, Jim "Dundee," adventurer and owner of the raft, and Mike, an unsuspecting first mate, were our hosts that day we put in the river near the Anderson Ranch Dam.

I was prepared I thought. I mean I had cute little snacks packed for everyone and conveniently placed in a cooler. My camera was swathed inside a plastic sandwich bag and attached to a brand new neck strap so I wouldn't lose it, and extra clothes, warm and dry, were rolled up and ready for us to slip into at the end.
Picture of the mountains from the Boise River

It really did start out as a gentle journey, and I was thrilled that my sons made sure I was in the front seat. 
Thought it was just so I could blissfully travel along on that lovely smooth water and view some of the most beautiful country you can imagine.

However, everything soon began to change, and before we knew it we were making snap decisions about what was most important to try and keep inside the boat.

Picture of Marlene rafting on the Boise river with her family
I think I remember wondering for a moment when we steered over to the bank in order for everyone to don their life jackets, why that was even necessary. But we did as we were instructed, and prepared for the journey through Devil's Hole and Raspberry Rapids just ahead.
"A perfect opportunity to walk down the shoreline and snap a photo of what was coming up," I thought.



Picture of the Boise river from the raft
Spray from Boise River's white water  rapids is visible above the trees just around the bend
"NO WAY," was my reaction as I gasped at the sight of the large gaping chasm that the river dropped violently into. "We must be going another way."
... Right! Everybody knows that all rivers have off ramps you can row down if you don't want to continue.

Suffice it to say, after making it through Devil's Hole, Raspberry Rapids wasn't as docile as it sounds. We plummeted over the edge, hit the rapids dead center, and were engulfed in the torrents. My camera, now magically WITHOUT its neck strap, hit the bottom of the raft about the same time Mike, who'd been seated in the back, was catapulted first into the air and then into the river. I ... even lost my gum!

Happily it all turned out all right. We disembarked at the appointed bridge and walked soaked to the skin and freezing up to the roadway where our shuttled vehicle was waiting.

A once in a lifetime experience?
You bet!

Do I ever want to do it again?
Not in this lifetime!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer adventures ...


Picture of Marlene Terry
Marlene Terry

We're on the countdown to summer for sure.
At exactly 1:04 a.m., June 21, we'll officially slip from our conservative actions of spring and enter the most fun and crazy, as well as the longest and warmest season of the year.
And since summer is traditionally family time, we'd love to feature ... in a nutshell, of course  ... some of your favorite places to visit, summer holiday traditions, and treats.
The first of those upcoming warm weather holidays, and almost upon us, is the Fourth of July ... the water fights, fireworks and your favorite recipes (with photos) are all welcome here. Email everything to nutshellstories@gmail.com.

We'll start the ball rolling today with some gorgeous photos and information of a place I bet only a few have seen.
And as an introduction of how it came to be, you have to know that I was a little girl before the "no littering laws," came to be.
Back then it was common for a family motoring along in their auto on a Sunday drive, to dispose of any accumulated garbage ... out the window.
I know. I know. It's sick. Hardly anyone I know of, would feel comfortable doing that now. "Big Mac" wrappers, French fry containers, diapers, soda bottles etc., thrown from MANY vehicles, all displayed along the roadside.
We just wouldn't stand for it, and that's good. There's no doubt that we've come a long way in managing our beautiful world. And I only tell you these things to explain what the mindset of those mentioned hereafter might have been.

Years ago our son, Jim, moved to California, and in addition to his "BIG" city adventures in that state, he takes us along with him on his other discoveries via his smart phone that include photos as well as narrated videos.

Picture of Polished beach glass in someone's handFor instance. I'd never before heard of Glass Beach, a place on the ocean in MacKerricher State Park. But it's somewhere I really want to visit now. That is, it's become a place I want to visit since Jim sent us the photo of what the ocean — assisted by Mother Nature — can do to glass bottles and miscellaneous garbage deposited for years by residents of the area.

Beautiful picture of a beach with polished glass
Actually the beach was known as "the dump," for folks who lived nearby in the early 20th century. But now, as you can see, Glass Beach is a treasure chest of polished rocks and brightly colored jewels (seaglass).

... Hmm. Doesn't it make you wonder what a diaper might look like after years of Mother Nature's intervention? ... Never mind. I really don't want to know.

♦This coming month is the grand celebration of our Nation's freedom, the 4th of July. I want to share your favorite recipes and traditions so email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com and watch for them to be posted at the "Under the nut tree" section on my blog!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Multitasking ...


Picture of Marlene Terry
Marlene Terry

Those who know me are chuckling now. Because after seeing the photo of brown icicle-like formations attached to an ice cream carton, wiener package and other unidentified offerings in my freezer, they know. ... I did it again!

As a mother of eight children, I've always prided myself on my ability to multitask. One thing though, has always escaped my skills that had me dressing three children at the same time, rotating 10-12 loads of laundry so the kids had clean jammies by bedtime, and making sure homework was finished, prayers were said and the dogs, cats and other critters we'd collected, were fed. I've just never been able to master how to get a favorite soda cold in the hurry.

It stands to reason that placing a can inside the freezer for 10-15 minutes is the answer. But it's only the answer if you remember when it was you put the can in there, and then remove it before the inevitable happens ... the flimsy aluminum gives way to the increasing pressure of the freezing soda and ... KABOOM!

Freezer with spilled soda
The last episode sounded like a volcanic eruption. My hubby and I were out on the deck when the explosion happened.
"WHAT'S THAT?" I yelled being startled awake from a nap.
Immediately my mind went into denial as I counted the possibilities.
"I'll be those kids (cute and innocent little neighborhood children) are throwing dirt clods at the house again," I glared evilly at the thought.
"The suction cups gave way on the soap dish in the bathroom and it CRASHED into the tub." I added the emphasis for my hubby''s benefit and so I could be sure that he was listening intently.
"Maybe the neighbors are remodeling again, and they dropped ... " My ongoing rhetoric was briefly interrupted by his calm assessment.
"It just sounds like to me that you blew up another pop," he said.

I wish I'd recorded someway, perhaps notches in a nearby cabinet door, just how many times I've had to empty the freezer and scrub away for hours, at the frozen fizz, stains and soda stalactites created by my inability to achieve success at this one little task.
Not that all the sodas I've placed in the freezer end up the same way. There have been times when the can stretched out like the belly of a pregnant lady four weeks past her due date, and by some miraculous power has held together long enough for me to remove it from the freezer ... before it exploded. Or the time when the bottom of the can bulged out just a little. I opened it anyway, took a drink, and forgetting about the bulge, set it on the counter and watched helplessly as it toppled over, began to roll and poured out its contents as a marker of its journey to the floor.

Guess I'll just take comfort in the fact that I can handle many other jobs all at the same time without failure. And maybe multitasking isn't all it's cracked up to be anyway.
... I also have a difficult time softening butter in the microwave for whatever the reason. ... Always works well though, if you want to "sprinkle" some on your pancakes.