An Unexpected Adventure – A Guest Post

Hey all! Emma here. I am here with a GUEST on the blog today! My brother Ethan, whom I so frequently refer to as The Bro in my posts, has agreed to share his latest adventure with you all today. This is something I have been hoping to do for a long time, so I am very excited. So without further ado, may I present…


An Unexpected Adventure – by Ethan


Once upon a time, I was bored. And by bored, I mean pretty much every day I have off. Since my hobbies consist of metal detecting, an adventure, or fishing of some sort, there’s not many times I can fulfill my desires because I cannot yet drive and I must rely on someone else to take me.

So with the help of Google Maps I found a pond and it’s the only body of water within feasible bike riding distance. So without hesitation I packed my equipment and fishing pole into my backpack. Luckily the fishing pole broke down into two pieces so it could be transferred safely. I rode like the wind with high hopes that I may have just found a fishing hole.

Once I arrived I realized what I had found. It was, in fact, a hole. What Google Maps did not tell me was that it was a retention pond from the gobs of parking lots surrounding me. My enthusiasm shrank as I was preparing my tackle and readying my pole. This wasn’t quite the paradise I was hoping for.

Though there were fish that I saw, I was targeting bass and as I gazed across the two acre retention pond I realized that the depth was slightly lacking. (Depth is usually a good thing with bass fishing.)

I strapped on a fake minnow and cast it out. It is my go-to bait. Within minutes a bass had started following my lure up to the shore, where I was standing. And then I knew. I had found my heaven on earth.

A few months later…

Once again here I am, bored, on my day off. I had already begged my parents and sister to take me fishing. With no surprise, they said no. Even though my paradise was an answer to prayers, it felt as though the challenge had left because the pond was so small. But as it was my only choice, I packed my tackle into my backpack. I returned to the pond in hopes of catching a bass worthy of mentioning.

I had walked around and fished half the pond with no success, when finally, I was able to outsmart one of the bass and haul it in. It was no trophy, being sixteen inches and two and a half pounds, and it only partially fulfilled my craving for fishing. I released the bass when another fish came up out of nowhere.

I quickly changed my lure for another presentation when I heard rustling in the leaves. I had seen a bird earlier so I glanced over my shoulder, but the foliage was too thick to see anything. I was having difficulty changing lures and again I heard rustling in the leaves next to me. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.

It was a skunk.

Among the many expeditions I have undertaken, never once have I encountered a skunk so close. It was five feet away, under a bush. I was startled by the white-striped mammal and immediately I dropped my pole and, faster than a bolt of lightning, ran along the trail. I thought it inevitable that I would be taking a bath in tomato juice but to my surprise he didn’t spray. I stopped about thirty feet later, to make sure I was out of range. I had never felt so hunted in my life as I realized it was following me. I yelled and threw a branch near it to try and scare it away, but my attempts were futile. It kept walking along the same path as I, with its own signature waddle.

This saying has never been more true to me: Between a rock and a hard place. On one side there was the retention pond I hoped never to enter. On the other, an eight foot chain link fence, lined with barbed wire. I was truly trapped. With one way to go and the path not wide enough to go around the skunk, I had to simply retreat farther down the trail. It seemed that nothing would stop this juggernaut. (And the definition of juggernaut would be, a massive force, not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped.)

Having retreated all the way, I finally got to the point where it was wide enough to hide in the bushes, hoping it would pass. As I stood in the bushes, not only had the skunk lost sight of me, but I lost sight of it. Thinking I had outsmarted it and it would walk by, I stood there for a while. I couldn’t help but entertain thoughts of the furry ninja sneaking up and ferociously attacking me. With every passing moment I expected to get a closer look at this animal, but it didn’t happen.

Once I realized it wasn’t coming I stepped back out onto the trail. I crept up to where I last saw it and it had vanished. With my experience in the woods I had not forgotten to look up. Yes, up–into the trees. It was no surprise that it hadn’t ventured upward, but I wanted to check, just to make sure. Better safe than sorry.

With further investigation I stumbled upon a hole in the ground. It was in fact the only hiding place that the skunk could be. I deemed it wise to end my investigation there, as provoking the skunk any more, might have resulted in a foul stench on the ride home. I placed a stick over the hole so that I’d know if it crept out again. I hustled to where I’d ended my fishing expedition and packed up. The stick had not been moved, and I made it safely back to the bike, and headed home.

The moral of the story would be: There’s always the chance of adventure in anything that you do, even if you’ve done it over and over again for months.


Thank you Ethan for being a guest on my blog! I hope y’all enjoyed the post. We had a lot of fun putting it together! If anyone has any questions or comments, comment below and Ethan will answer for you. 😉 Ciao! ❤

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A Flamingo Flocking Adventure

Before I can share on my most recent adventure, I should make sure everyone knows what I’m talking about so we’re all on the same page. Flamingo Flocking. Have you heard of it? People place a bunch of plastic yard flamingos in a someone’s yard with a sign that says “You’ve Been Flocked!” The recipient of these birds must then give money to a fundraiser or a charity before the birds will be removed from their yard.

PC: Amazon

For the month of July a group of us has taken to flocking our friends. Our flock is rather puny. Twenty birds. Three of them don’t have stakes. One of them doesn’t have a head. But that’s the best we could do.

And what would you know–we got flocked! You’d think that maybe we’d get a free pass, but no. All in good stead because after all, the money we’re raising is going for a good cause. Since the Bro and I are a part of the group responsible for the flocking, we get the pleasure of moving the birds to a house of our choice. Oooh, the possibilities…we pondered over this for a while, and then picked our victim.

Late Wednesday night the Bro and I drove out to our victim’s house, pink birds in tow. Upon arrival we saw that they were still up, watching TV. We’d have to make sure that they didn’t see us. We parked the car on the side of the road, and just as I was about to close my door, I hear from the Bro,

Don’t lock the car! Do you have the key?”

The reason for the Bro’s inquiry would be this: I have a history of using the button inside the door to lock the car, not the actual key. The members of my family live in a constant state of worry, wondering if I’ll ever accidentally lock the key in the car this way. Of course we all know that I would never do a thing like that. I, of course, had the key safely in my front pocket.

We gathered the birds and crept into our victim’s yard. This was our first time flocking a house, but we knew enough to wear all black. Still, we were careful to move slowly and hunched over so we didn’t give ourselves away. Totally ninja. We decided that we would only take a few birds at a time, sneak up to the house, plant them, and return for more. By doing this we could be sure we wouldn’t make a bunch of racket trying to untangle the birds’ necks from each other.

It was good fun, sneaking back and forth. Also a little disconcerting when I thought about the fact that we were this close to their house and they didn’t know we were there. We staked our flock in their front yard, and I even put one of the stake-less ones on the front porch. Our mission accomplished, Ethan and I decided to run back to our car and git outta there.

On the run back I checked my pocket to make sure I had the key. The pockets in my jeans are so shallow, it’s ridiculous. But yup, the key was still there. Good to go.

I slowed to a walk, panting from the exertion, as we crossed the road to our car. I reached into my pocket for the key…and it wasn’t there. I checked my other pocket, and my back pockets as well. I had just had it, but now it was gone!

I ran my hand through my hair. “I don’t have the key,” I told my brother. I shook my head in disbelief.

“Yeah you do,” he replied. Pretending I don’t have the key had been a prank I’d pulled on him several times, albeit, unsuccessfully. Except this time I wasn’t joking.

No,” I said, “I’m not joking. I don’t have the key.”

Not only was it dark outside, but their yard was also huge. Huge-huge. Hard-to-find-a-key-in-the-daytime-let-alone-at-night-huge. Was this really happening?!

“I did have it,” I said. “I checked before we started running. It must have fallen out while we were running.”

Well, we had to find it, but we couldn’t do it without a light of some sort. I was the only one who had a phone so I turned on the flashlight. It was bright! I tried to shade it with my hand so that our victims wouldn’t see the light out their window. We’d been successful up to this point and we couldn’t get caught now, not while we were looking for the car key lost somewhere in their yard!

“Where did you lose it? Where were you running?” We tried to backtrack as best as we could. The flashlight on my phone was too bright and I worried that they would see the light so I turned it off and used the light that came from the screen instead.

“I think…I think I was over here.” I moved to the right a bit and continued walking forward, towards their house, in search of the little black and silver key.

Then miracle upon miracles–less than five minutes into our search I bent over and picked up the key lying in the grass. “I got it!”

“Oh my gosh. Good. Let’s go!”

Gripping the key tightly in my hand, we booked it back to the car and hopped in. We heaved big sighs in relief. “I can’t believe that just happened,” I said.

“How could you lose it?”

I told him how it fell out of my pocket, then I added, “Wouldn’t it have been funny if I’d locked the phone in the car too?”

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Kozmo the Explorer

kozmo-the-explorer

I have a black lab mutt named Kozmo. That’s him, pictured above, bathing in the summer sunlight, one of his favorite pastimes. And of course I’m bias, as every pet owner should be, but I think he’s the most adorable puppy-wuppy on the planet.

This puppy-wuppy also happens to be eleven years old…so he’s not much of a puppy anymore. But like any mother and her child, I shall always refer to my dog as my baby, no matter how old and gray he gets. We’re best buddies, my mutt and I.

The one thing about Kozmo is that he likes to explore. What dog doesn’t? I can only imagine how monotonous it must be, trapped in the same fenced backyard, day after day, year after year. Like Rapunzel in Tangled, they must wonder what’s out there, beyond their tower.

Kozmo likes to explore beyond his tower when he can, ever since he was a little bitty puppy. Even in his grandpaw-old age,  don’t let him fool you. He still gets excited and can run fast when he wants to.

It wasn’t too long after we got the Koz, a sleek little puppy only a couple months old, that we lost him. He was so tiny (smart?) that he decided to look for the one fence picket that’s spaced a little farther apart than the rest and squeeze right through to freedom. Finally we found him curled up underneath the steps in the garage. I guess as a puppy, the world seemed too big and intimidating for him to go far. Another time he did the same thing, and the neighbor lady caught him. Eventually he grew too large for such shenanigans, thank goodness.

When that happened, Kozy decided that the back gate was a good way to escape. If we happened to forget to close it while working in the yard, he would take advantage of the perfect opportunity. Kozmo would make sure we’re not looking then bam! He’s gone. Off to explore the neighborhood. What’s really fun is trying to catch him. The Koz has a tendency to wait until you’re five feet away before running off again. It’s lovely, truly ‘tis.

Too big to fit through the fence and with the back gate securely locked, Kozmo had to figure out something else. His new plan of escape? When the screen door was open to let in some fresh air, he would push it open with his nose and walk down the stairs, to freedom, the door slamming shut behind him.

This got really annoying, because it would happen all. the. time. Whenever the screen door would slam shut, someone would shout, “Was that the dog?” One time Dad, The Bro and I were working in the yard. Kozmo needed a drink of water so we put him inside. Later, I couldn’t find the dog anywhere, but I finally figured out he’d escaped through the screen door.

To solve this problem we bought a baby gate to put up whenever we wanted the screen door open. It works great!

Oh, and here’s a question for you! Have you ever had your dog run away while hosting a costume party? Kozmo thinks that all our friends come to see him. He’s a very extroverted dog (around most humans; we never did really get around to socializing him with other animals). Using the push-on-the-screen-door-and-escape trick he was able to waltz out into the front yard as we were greeting our guests for the costume party. And off he went, exploring the neighborhood again, before any of us could stop him.

The Bro chased after him first, his black cape flying behind him, as he was dressed like a phantom. Soon he returned, unsuccessful, and Dad went in his place. Kozmo went through a few people’s backyards, but Dad finally got him back. But what’s really funny you guys, is that my parents even dressed up for our costume party. And guess what Dad was? A bum. He ran through people’s backyards, chasing our dog, dressed as a bum. I thought it was hilarious. Dad…not so much.

Another good one is when we got a phone call from some lady, her saying, “I have your dog here. He’s such a good dog. He hasn’t even tried to get the chicken off my grill!”

Yes, he’s such a good dog. Although he’s not a chicken thief, so #score! No, in all honesty, I would say that my puppy is a very good puppy. Once in a while he’s a little naughty, but for the majority of his eleven and a half years, he has been the best (also only) puppy I’ve ever had. He has to put up with me running into him in the night (it’s dark and he’s black) so I can deal with him running away. It’s a “crazy little thing called love”. (Hey Mom…you know what that is? It’s a song. Hahaha…)

Perhaps in a later post I’ll compile some of Kozmo’s silly little quirks, but for now, let me ask you: Can anyone relate? 😀

Much love, Emma xo

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3 Tips for an Improved Sledding Experience

3 Tips for an Improved Sledding Experience | Majestic Adventures

Sledding.

It’s a wonderful winter pastime; a true classic for kids and adults alike. I love sledding. It’s so fun. Of course, in order to sled, you need three things, all of which are essential.

  1. A hill to sled down,
  2. A sled to sled with,
  3. Snow to sled on

All three together, you have an afternoon of fun waiting to happen. For years I have enjoyed whizzing down the hill, running back up, and sliding down again. My brother and I have made ramps and bumps to hit and invented a couple games to play.

Through it all we have accumulated quite a few sledding stories. From those sledding stories, tidbits of knowledge. And those tidbits of knowledge? Well folks, that’s what I am going to share with you today. If anything, my trial and error won’t become your own–that is, you’ll learn something from my past (and failed) experiences.

Sledding Tip #1: Don’t Walk on the Track

There is always a section for walking and a section for sledding. These are always two distinct areas; never one in the same. That way as you’re walking up, other people can sled down. As you’re sledding down, you won’t hit people walking up. Nice, right? Another plus to this is that when the snow freezes hard, your track won’t be a frozen strait of footprints. A frozen track of footprints makes for a bumpy ride. Don’t walk on the track.

Sledding Tip #2: Be Wary of Ice 

Ice is the best thing to sled on because of the speed factor. To feel the wind against your face as you speed down the hill…ahhhhh!!! It’s so fun. One year we arrived to the sledding hill only to discover that everything was covered in a layer of ice. Of course we had to stay and try it out. We slipped and shuffled our way up the hill and soared down. It was a blast! Except we couldn’t make the return trip up. The result of trying was falling flat on your back. Ice is fun, but only in limited quantities!!

Another potential hazard of ice-sliding is not being able to stop your sled when you reach the bottom and possibly hurting yourself. (My mom will be nodding and saying to herself, Mm-hmm, when she reads this.) But as long as you avoid the big ice boulders where snowplows have dumped their snow, then you’re perfectly fine!

Sledding Tip #3: Know How to Steer

I have been sledding for years. I know how to steer a sled. But if you saw me last week, sledding down the hill, trying to hit a snow ramp? You would’ve said to your buddy, “Wow, that chick needs to learn how to steer.” As you watched me circle and circle and circle and circle my way down.48-in-wham-o-snowboogie-alpine-rocket-foam-sled-15498

Last year I broke my sled while sledding. I really love these foam ones because they are nice to land on after hitting a ramp. They are pretty sturdy. Assuming you don’t land on the handle a bunch of times and break it off, like I did. When I found two new foam sleds at Salvation Army, I was stoked! Last week my brother and I got to try them out for the first time. But for the life of me, I just. can’t. stop. spinning. And I have no idea why! I’ve tried shifting my weight, sitting on the back of the sled, the front of the sled, lying on my stomach (I can go mostly straight when I do that). I usually sit on my knees, you see. Anyways, before I had it 100% figured out, I thought I would hit the ramp we made.

Bad choice. Just as I was about to hit the ramp, I turned sideways and demolished it. After rebuilding, I tried again. Only this time, I hit it backwards, flew in to the air, and landed on my side. My brother encouraged me to try it again, so I did…and I hit it straight on!! The landing was less than graceful though.

Oh, here’s another one I just remembered. Instead of ramps, my brother and I decided to make these speed bumps down the track. We dug small trenches and built bumps and hit them. The Bro went and then it was my turn. But as I went down, my sled turned sideways.

“Don’t hit it sideways!” he yelled, but I didn’t hear. As he later described to me, I looked like Superman slamming through a skyscraper and skidding to a stop, leaving a dirt trail behind me.

Practice makes perfect and once I figure out this doggone sled, I should be able to steer just fine. (It’s not me!)


Okay y’all…I think that’s it! All I can think of at the moment, anyways. 😉 All the information in this post has been gleaned from past and personal experiences, though I do not claim to be an expert. 😉  I’d love to hear about your sledding experiences in the comments below. If there’s one thing I love about winter, it’s the sledding…it’s so fun!

Until the next time, folks! Happy Almost New Year!

Emma xo

Let’s Go Fly a Kite

 Lets go Fly a Kite | Majestic Adventures

♫♪Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest heights…♪♫

Yesterday afternoon I was humming this Mary Poppins song as my brother and I took our kites to the nearest place we could fly them. It’s been in my experience that our backyard isn’t the best place. It may or may not have to do with my tendency of letting the kite take as much string as it wants, even with a pine tree looming nearby.

Upon arrival, I was having a semi-hard time getting my kite to stay in the air. The wind was changing directions on us and coming in sporadic gusts. My brother’s kite, which in the sky I thought resembled a blue, green and pink striped flying stingray, caught the wind easily and had little-to-no trouble staying in the sky. His kite was soaring with the birds and mine was mingling with the worms.

“Want to fly mine so I can get yours in the air?” I had been trying for a good twenty minutes with no fruits to my labor, so I agreed. He handed me the little red handle to his kite and set to work.

Something about seeing the kite so high in the sky…. The field is open except along the fence line, where there are big tall maple trees, which is the direction my brother’s kite was flying. But it would be fine, I’m sure, so I let the string go, go, go, and the kite went higher, higher, higher. Soon I had all the string out.

The horror of horrors–the kite started to dip down, right towards the trees. The kite had been a gift from our grandpa and I knew my brother would be none too thrilled to have his kite stuck 50 feet in a tree. I turned tail and ran, pulling the string in at the same time.

When I turned back around, my brother exclaimed, “You were ten feet away from those trees! You’ve gotta be careful.”

Duly noted.

I began to give the kite more string so that I could eventually hang onto the little red handle. I’d dropped it while pulling the string in to save the flying stingray. A strong wind took the kite and pulled the string through my fingers and gave me string burn, the younger sibling of rope burn. It still hurts the same though.

Somehow in my attempt to regain my control, I got string burn on my forearm and where my elbow bends. More string burn to the fingers and I was done–it hurt and I let go of the kite.

The little red handle dragged along the ground as the kite gained more freedom, unrestricted from the string. “Oh no!” It began to lift off the ground, and it all happened so quickly that I didn’t do anything except stand and watch. It was five feet in the air when my brother turned around, jumped after his kite and heroically snagged it.

Now it was coming down. “It’s my kite and I love it!” He saved his kite from nose-diving into the trees by running as quick as he could.

As everything returned to normal, he told me that I should be more careful. He had that look like he thought it was halfway funny, but yet, not. I basically told him I hadn’t meant to let go, but fleeing from something that hurts is my natural reaction to pain. He told me he didn’t really trust my flying judgement anymore and I thought that I might agree with him. I really did–and do–need to be more careful.

In the end, my brother does still trust me. He proved that by actually letting me fly it again, since we never could get my kite in the air. I managed to safely maneuver it without any more close calls. And I say all’s well that ends well.

Right?

 

 

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Baking Flops = Funny Stories

Baking Flops = Funny Stories

I love to bake. It’s fun! (It also has its benefits. Eating. Sampling. Taste testing.) Spending time in the kitchen is fun to me. Unless it’s doing the dishes, in which case I will be the farthest one away from that overloaded sink full of peanut buttery spoons. (Does anyone else feel me on that peanut butter spoon thing? Ew!) I’ve loved to help Mama make cookies when I was little, and later decorate cakes for family events. Pies, cookies, cupcakes, ice cream sandwiches. Well, I guess the last one isn’t really baking per se, but I baked the cookies I used for the sandwiches, so it still counts. (Two chocolate chip cookies + ice cream + wrapped in plastic wrap, foil, and frozen = deliciousness)

(OH. BY THE WAY. IT’S SEPTEMBER PEOPLE!!!!!! Happy September! I love fall, so I am looking forward to this. sweatshirts, hot chocolate, doughnuts, apple cider, colorful leaves. Are you?! :D)

I’ve made many delicious things! Anddddd also many not delicious things. I’ve had a few flops. A few of which has damaged my baking reputation. But I am pleased to tell you my baking has since improved, therefore my reputation as a baker has been restored to its former glory.

But today I am not here to talk about the many successes I’ve had. Because really, what fun is that? It’s much more fun to laugh at ridiculous mistakes, so that is what this post is about. My baking mistakes. You can either sympathize with me or laugh at me.  I will tell you though that I will be chuckling throughout the entire writing of this post, so if you want to laugh, there’s no need to feel badly about it!

Shall we continue? 😀

1. the snickerdoodle incident

One lovely afternoon I was hanging out with my beautiful friend for the day. We thought “Hey, we should bake snickerdoodles in the shape of a giant gingerbread man!” (A chocolate chip version of a giant gingerbread cookie man is shown above.) We pulled out my favorite recipe for snickerdoodles and set to work.

When it was time to put the baking soda in the bowl, I couldn’t find it. I went to the pantry and looked there, and then I rechecked everything just to be sure. No baking soda. I wasn’t sure if you could replace the soda with the baking powder or not. I couldn’t contact my wonderful baking-savvy mother, so what did we do? We Googled it.

Turns out–according to a group forum–that you can replace baking soda with baking powder, you just need to triple the amount and add more sugar to offset the bitterness. With that in mind, I read the recipe, misreading the two teaspoons for two tablespoons…times three. Yes. I added six tablespoons of baking powder into our cookies. *nervous chuckle* And then we added four cups of sugar (as opposed to three) to “offset the bitterness.” Let me tell you. This forum is wrong. Just do the recipe as you would normally do the recipe. Period. It will save you a bellyache due to the consumption of excessive baking powder and mocking (well, not mocking, but good humored laughing and then questions about your future as a baker) from your family. Although now it makes a good joke, so if you’d rather….

We pressed it into our gingerbread man cookie tray and sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar and stuck it in the oven. When we took it out, it had risen at least half an inch over the side. I don’t remember exactly how thick it was, but. O_O It was huge.

Needless to say, it took me months to regain the trust of my brother again, as far as baking went.

And you want to know what the best part was? When Mother Dearest came home she found the baking soda. It was in a huge box under the sink. Go figure.

2. the oatmeal cake incident

It was a bright lovely morning in our household. I was helping my mother out by drying and putting away the dishes she was washing. Not too long ago my mom had baked an oatmeal cake and was letting it cool on the countertop before we delved into its deliciousness. Now, I know that I wasn’t the one who baked the cake, but just wait, you’ll see where I goofed things up.

I took a glass custard cup from the drying rack and wiped it with a towel, and then I went to put it in the cupboard. The cupboard that happened to be right above the cooling oatmeal cake. I don’t remember what happened exactly, all I know is that I went to put the small glass cup on its rightful shelf when it slipped and fell down, crashing into the 9×13 pan and smashing into a zillion pieces…all over the oatmeal cake. And seeing how consuming glass isn’t exactly safe, we had to throw the whole cake out. Oops!

But I think we may have made something else to replace it, though I’m not exactly sure. It was a long time ago. But it’s nice to think that we didn’t lose everything when I broke the custard cup over the cake, and that we got something else out of it. But I really don’t know. All I know is that if I want to eat cake I better be careful when putting dishes away.

3. the cake incident

Baking Flops = Funny Stories | Majestic AdventuresOne summer evening we were invited over to a friends’ house for dinner and a campfire. We brought dessert! (I love dessert.) And I volunteered to bake and decorate two delicious cakes. EEEE! I was so excited. I spent two hours decorating the two cakes, and they turned out gorgeous. There they are, these two pictures I’ve pasted here. Baker Flops = Funny Stories | Majestic Adventures

See them? Are they not gorgeous? I was very please with how they turned out! Sometimes things don’t go the way I planned with cake decorating…I once made a turkey cake for thanksgiving and all the frosting fell off on our way to grandmother’s house. But, that is another flop for another time. Continuing on, as I was saying, I was very pleased with how they turned out. I had baked them, made the frosting, colored, piped…worked my little baker’s heart out, I did!

When it came time to go we covered them and drove over, and they made it without incident. We even enjoyed its deliciousness after dinner. We brought them out onto the picnic table and served them up and everyone got a nice sized piece to eat around the campfire.

You want to know where the flop is, right? Well did I mention that our friends have a big black lab? I was happily enjoying my cake around the campfire with my family and friends when my father called everyone’s attention to the picnic table a little distance away. And there, standing with its two front paws planted on bench, was that dog. And it was eating my cake.

I felt my eyes go wide and my jaw go slack as I watched the dog eat my cake. Her face was right in there too; she wasn’t holding back. She dove right in and helped herself. All that time I spent on the cake…and we didn’t even get to eat it all! I was mad. Now, it’s funny. But then, I was mad. My cake! My beautiful cake!

I know it’s only a cake and it’s not a big deal, but if you were an artist (or maybe you are) and you had just spent two hours drawing this really great picture of a…I don’t know, whatever you like to draw–we’ll just say a pencil. You had just finished drawing this really great picture of a pencil, it had wonderful detail and color–and then your dog came over and ate it. Ate your picture. How would you feel after that? It was only a picture. But it was your picture. That is how I felt. Until a few days later when I was finally able to laugh about it. I no longer hold any grudges against that dog.

The moral of this story: Put your cakes where dogs can’t get to them, or give them a piece before they feel the need to serve themselves.

The end!


Ta-da! And there you have it!

Three of my baking flops have now become public knowledge, all for you, my wonderful readers. 😀 I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them, and that they made you laugh, or smile at memories of your own baking (or cooking!) flops. 🙂 If anyone has a funny baking or cooking flop they’d like to share–I’d love to hear! It would give me a sense of peace knowing that I’m not the only one in the world who adds 6 tablespoons of baking powder to a batch of cookies.

 

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Hiking is Fun! Poison Ivy, not so much.

Hiking is Fun, Poison Ivy is Not | Majestic Adventures

Ever have one of those times where you’re about to go somewhere and you think to yourself “Maybe I should _____ just in case.” And then you contemplate it a bit more and think, “Nah, I’ll be fine” only to wish you had done that thing you didn’t feel like doing in the first place? Ever do that? This was me approximately three and a half hours ago as I contemplated whether or not to wear full-length jeans instead of shorts while hiking in the woods. XD

So why did I hesitate?  The reason I hesitated at changing into jeans is this: it’s 70 degrees F and humid. I was already hot in my t-shirt and shorts, I didn’t even want to think about what I would feel like after I changed. Besides, what could happen in the woods? If we got eaten up by bugs we could spray ourselves with bug spray. If we ran into poison ivy, well, we wouldn’t because we would just say on the path–right? (right?!)

Hehehehehehe.

We arrived at the nature trail we were going to hike through and started out on it.  The bugs weren’t too bad and I was really able to admire God’s handiwork as we meandered through the trail. The afternoon sun was shining through the canopy of trees that were tall above us. It was beautiful out. But it was when we turned off the gravel path and onto the less-traveled one that I started second guessing myself about my choice of attire.

I knew my brother had a destination in mind: he wanted to see if a certain area of the river would be good for fishing, and at first we were fine. The wide gravel path narrowed into a skinny woodchip one, and we stepped over the occasional log that had fallen in our way, no biggy.

And then suddenly we were making our own path, foraging through the thick of the jungle, exploring unknown territory where no man has ever gone before. … Well, maybe that’s a (slight) exaggeration. I’d been back on this particular path many times before but that was months ago (one of which was the time I saw a muskrat) and it wasn’t that overgrown.

“It’s really different back here,” I said.

My brother, who had been smart and worn jeans, kept moving ahead of me. “Why, what was it like the last time you were here?”

“Dead. Well, not dead, but not this grown yet.”

Our woodchip path dissolved into one of our own making as we stomped through the tall grass. And then I saw the dreaded leaves of three. And there was no way I could leave them be, because that was exactly where I needed to go! So I just carefully stepped and hopped over them, wishing I had worn the jeans because I’ve done the poison ivy bit before and didn’t feel like going through it again. My brother showed me where to step so I wouldn’t get into poison ivy, but I don’t think it could be avoided, not with how much poison ivy there was and me without full-length pants on.

We climbed over a tree that had fallen in our path (which was actually kinda fun) and then–hallelujah! A clearing! We were out of the woods. For about a minute, and then we dove straight back in so we could get to the spot at the river we were headed towards. It was riddled with poison ivy. I have no doubt in my mind that I touched some, because there was no avoiding it. After a while I wondered why I was even trying to avoid it anymore, we went through so much! LOL! 😀

But I tried really, really hard not to complain. I tried to think of the positives. It was an adventure, and I love adventures! I was in God’s wonderful creation spending time with my sibling. (Yes, mosquitos and all. I thought bug spray was supposed to discourage them??) I even had something new to write about on my blog. (teeheehee)

A Bookworm's Majestic Adventures | A WordPress Blog

At last we made it to our destination, an open area where there were few trees and even less poison ivy! My brother searched around for worms to use for fishing bait, but all he found was a slug and a lot of ants. And without bait you can’t do much fishing. We were there about 15 minutes before he decided we should just turn back and head home.

I planned what I would do back at home as we walked back the way we came. First I would make a mental note to wear jeans the next time I’m going to go traipsing through the woods. I’d drink a tall glass of water (another note for next time would be to fill a water bottle) and then I’d douse myself in Dawn Dish Soap. Because, little fun fact, Dawn Dish Soap (or Fels-Naptha laundry soap) breaks down the oil of the poison ivy so that it can be washed away.

And I got home and did just that. I’m scratched up from thorny bushes and itchy from mosquito bites–but no poison ivy yet! And hopefully it will stay that way. Time will tell, I suppose! 😉

A little friendly advice from the blogger of Majestic Adventures? While adventures are fun, poison ivy is not. Jeans might be a good idea when hiking. Either that or have plenty of Dawn Dish Soap on hand!!! 😉 (Oh, and bug spray. It’s mosquito season, you know!)

UPDATE!!

It is now two days later and I am here to confirm that, yes, I have poison ivy. The day after writing this post, my ankle started itching with what I thought were mosquito bites. But upon further inspection…it’s poison ivy. Aack!

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Me and the Muskrat

Me and the Muskrat | A Bookworm's Majestic Adventure

No doubt if you’re reading this post you’re either A) a follower of this blog; B) interested in hearing about my encounter with a muskrat; or C) all of the above. With any luck as you’re reading this post you’ll chuckle once, or maybe twice, as that is one of my main goals in life: making people laugh. Let me tell you first though – when it happened, I was scared to death! I didn’t feel like laughing about it until approximately two minutes and seventeen seconds after the ordeal occurred.

It all began one day a few weeks ago when my brother and I thought “Hey, it would be fun to go to a nature trail and mess around there for a little bit.” We were bored and thought, why not? We headed down to the nature trail, set on exploring the area a little bit. We looked at the little river and the ponds, but didn’t see any frogs. It was too early in the year for them to be out yet anyways.

“Hey,” my brother tells me, “want to go look at something down the river? It’s not too far.”

“Okay,” I say. We went down another section of path and starting walking towards the river.

Now we were walking along the high bank of the river. It was brushy and thorny; you had to be careful otherwise you’d walk straight into a pricky thorny plant. My brother led the way since I had no idea what we were looking for, and he stepped over a muddy section of ground. I had on my one and only pair of tennis shoes and did not feel like scrubbing them clean of mud when we got home. There were two long skinny fallen tree branches lying over the mud in an X shape. I thought if I stepped on the sticks they would keep me from sinking into the mud.

As soon as I stepped onto the sticks, I heard this rustling noise. I thought my stepping on the sticks had caused them to bounce up and hit the bush. But then the rustling noise continued, and I wasn’t moving the branch at all. That meant something else was making the noise.

But just to make sure…I look to my left, toward the river, where the sticks were hanging over the edge of the bank. They weren’t causing the noise I was hearing, so me, using the brilliant deduction skills I’ve learned from years of reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden books, deduced that the sound must be coming from my right. How sleuth-ish of me!

So I look to my right.

And freeze.

There was a giant brown furball standing (or was it sitting?) not six feet away from me.

It’s a giant squirrel! Upon another look I realized it was too big to be a squirrel – it was squirrel colored, but with a skinny black tail! This stout furry animal is the muskrat from the title “Me and the Muskrat” but I didn’t know it yet. That first thought was followed by Don’t eat me don’t eat me don’t eat me! I remembered how sharp of teeth squirrels have, and hugged myself, in case it should leap towards me.

muskrat

The animal just sat there. It didn’t move. It just watched me. No doubt wondering what this strange person was doing near its home.

And my brother was oblivious to all this. I shrieked to get his attention.

“What?” he turned around but did not see the ferocious animal sitting less than six feet away from me. He’s looking at the ground.

I shriek again.

He still doesn’t see it. I can’t really blame him though, the thing is brown, and it’s in the woods. Blends in kinda well. “What? The stick?”

I think not knowing what it was was even more scary than knowing what type of animal it was. I like to think that if I had known what it was, I wouldn’t have been as freaked out. Nevertheless, “NO. NOT THE STICK. IT’S RIGHT THERE. HELP ME. HELP ME.” I jumped forward towards him and grabbed the sleeve of his sweatshirt.

And then he saw it! “HEY! That’s a beaver! No, a woodchuck. Hey that’s a muskrat!”

While he was identifying it the muskrat must have decided that humans–particularly a human girl named Emma–make too much noise and were relatively uninteresting. It scampered to the river and jumped in and swam away.

I took a step back and took a deep breath. “Oh my land.”

I went home and Googled ‘Muskrat’ and confirmed my brother’s identification. It was indeed a muskrat that I had met up with. Once was enough. We make a point to avoid each other now, whenever I go back to the Nature Trail. I don’t think he misses me. I don’t really miss him.

And there you have it! Actually when I was reading about muskrats on Wikipedia, I read that they are actually more nocturnal, so that might contribute to the fact that Mr. Muskrat and I haven’t had another chance acquaintance. I’m definitely not nocturnal.

Well, what about you? Ever meet a muskrat? I’ve love to hear how it went! Meet any other animals? I’ve met a raccoon at midnight before, but…that’s another story. 😉 Thanks for reading, my friends! Until next time!

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Note To Self: Corn Nuts and Teeth Jewelry Do Not Mix

Note to Self: Corn Nuts and Teeth Jewelry Do Not Mix

There have to be least 10035346972 reasons why someone would anticipate the glorious season after winter. I’m sure you know them all, so I don’t really need to list them all off. But what the heck, lists are fun. Springtime equals flowers (they smell so pretty), birds (save for when they nest right by your bedroom window and chirp before 5am. True story. You can see the little darlings in the picture above), and the ability to ride your bike without slipping on ice (I may or may not have rode my bike while ice still held claim over the ground…I’m sure you can imagine how that turned out!) Also, if you’re like me, it’s because in just three little (ALMOST TWO) days braces will finally come off your teeth. YAY!!!!!!

Having braces even one day, is, in my opinion, too long. But it did help when my brother told me that braces are “jewelry for your teeth.” Makes them sound kinda snazzy, huh? Nevertheless, my orthodontic adventure has lasted pretty near two years. It’s had it’s ups and downs just like anything, but without a doubt I’m ready for it to end. And that end happens on Tuesday. *hands out pre-celebratory cupcakes that have the magic power to be whatever flavor you wish* And then I can eat Corn Nuts.

Ahhhhh, yes, you think, this is where Corn Nuts come into the picture. Well, what about them?

corn nutsThe thing about Corn Nuts, my friends, is that I have been deprived of them for too long. Waaaaaayy too long. (not the entire two years I’ve had teeth jewelry, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.) If you’re not familiar with this amazingly delicious and (slightly) addictive snack food – YOU MUST GO BUY SOME. YOU ARE MISSING OUT. CORN. AND NUTS. AND SALTY GOODNESS. What can honestly go wrong with this combination??? That is, unless you have braces. I definitely do not recommend these whilst having teeth jewelry. Corn Nuts are, in addition to being known for their amazing deliciousness, very hard. Very hard. So you can imagine what would happen if you tried to eat them with braces. Well, me, not wanting to give up more food than I had to, insisted that eating Corn Nuts would be okay.

Yeah no.

I mean, you have to understand my struggle here. My dad and brother both had their individual bag of Corn Nuts – I wanted some too. I thought it would be okay. My mother wasn’t so sure. She warned me, because of how hard they were, but I insisted. “No, I’ll be okay.” Because if I followed everything the orthodontist told me not to eat, I’m pretty sure I’d only be allowed water and applesauce. Well, that’s a little extreme I guess, but you miss out on a lot of good food with braces, even if having teeth jewelry is pretty snazzy. So I ate the Corn Nuts.

I should have listened to my mother. She is a wise woman indeed.

I was happily chomping away on some salty Corn Nuts. Doing what, I can’t remember. I seem to think that I was spinning in circles on one of those spinny office chairs (because spinny chairs are fun, okay?!), but I’m not exactly sure. Or maybe I was just sitting in a spinny office chair. Or twirling slightly…well I guess it doesn’t matter. As I was saying: Me. Chomping. Corn Nuts. I pop another corn nut into my mouth, chew a couple times, then hear a loud crack.

I stop chewing. What was that? I think. I kinda look around the room to spot anything capable of that kind of cracking sound. Not seeing anything, I continue eating, completely oblivious to what had actually happened. I finish the bag with no further problems, other than my snack being gone and no other ones available for my consumption.

Now we’ll fast forward to my next ortho appointment, which wasn’t too far down the road. As routine while at the orthodontist, they check to make sure none of your brackets are broken.

“Did you realize you had a broken bracket?” The ortho lady asked me during the routine inspection.

And that’s when it all fell into place. The loud crack. Those doggone but seriously awesome Corn Nuts and their very hard hardness. “Nooooo….” Mom would have a fit if she knew – and I knew I had to tell her. Much to my delight no further questions were asked. Corn Nuts are definitely on the list of “Foods Not to Eat While You Have Braces!” and I had a feeling that it wouldn’t go over well if they knew what caused it. Whoops. They re-glued the bracket back on, continued on as usual, and I was on my way.

“So…” I told Mom while on the way home. “The ortho lady asked me if I realized I had a broken bracket…”

And she knew instantly what had caused it. “Emma!” She actually used both my first and middle name – knew I was in trouble then, haha. But my only punishment was that of “Absolutely no more corn nuts until your braces are off!”

Pure. Torture.

So, as you can see, I am most anxious to get my braces off. (TUESDAY.) I had my mother promise me that the day they came off she would buy me a big bag of corn nuts. Ooh, I can just taste them now…well, I would if I could remember what they tasted like. Haha.

You can also adapt this story to fit in with unpopped popcorn kernels – broken bracket and all. Except that story has a happier ending – Mother Dearest still allows me to eat popcorn.

And now you know the reason I titled this post what I titled it. If anyone ever asks me for advice about braces (which they haven’t yet, but when they do I’ll be ready), my advice for them is:

Corn Nuts and teeth jewelry just do not mix no matter how hard you try to get around it.


alright then. you’ve heard about my experience with food you shouldn’t eat with teeth jewelry and broken brackets, so i’m curious: what are yours? also, what are your thoughts on corn nuts? yay or nay? and if you answered nay, how come? what’s your  favorite snack food instead? sunflower seeds? popcorn? cheetos?

 

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