Time To Think About Fall Projects?

by Kimberly A. Cook            (Twitter@ Warrior Tales)

My friend Carol and I have a standing joke at the end of each year, our mantra is “Next year I’m going to get organized!” Seems no matter how hard we try, life gets in the way and our to do lists never get completed.

What is it about writing, Fall and organization? Christmas seems to surprise folks each year, even though the day is pretty well set. What do you want to accomplish by the end of this year? Let’s forget about next year right now.

While I try and figure out how I can clean out the garage, purge the unused holiday stuff and knit, write, complete a few books and keep the cat happy, it seems a bit of a daunting task. Think I will pick my top three and go with that.

What’s on your to do list for this year? Here comes Fall!

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Ready For A Round Of Bear Golf?

by Kimberly A. Cook         (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

You never know who might show up to play a round of golf. These guys were playing through when a young bear cub decided to join in. His Mom was watching from very close by, but the lad has got some good moves.

Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Loving Those Fat Guys In The Woods!

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

My newest guilty pleasure is the Weather Channel’s television show “Fat Guys In The Woods.” While the title might seem a little off-putting, it’s a great premise. Creek Stewart, resident survival expert and hottie, teaches three men how to live off the land for five days with a knife, backpack and water canteen or filter. That is all the gear they get. Not one cracker or Oreo.

While these men are from all walks of life, the need to unplug and get back to nature is a life changing event for them. Creek keeps it real and genuinely cares about helping the men make a shift to test themselves and make major life decisions.

Stewart also offers valuable survival tips for everyone and relates the fact we are at the top of the food chain, but pudgy because we’ve lost our survival karma. He thinks we all depend too much on gear and need to know the basics when our gear breaks.

I clicked over to his website and found out he’s an indie published author too. He started as a college sophomore. He quickly learned some author life lessons as well.

In the military we always knew the first thing to go haywire was communications and then whatever piece of equipment you really needed. Improvise, adapt and overcome came from the military and family camping trips. Even the backup plans were usually toast in a matter of minutes.

If you’d like a look at a fun new show that’s educational too, check it out on the Weather Channel on Sunday nights. The show’s tagline is, “Off The Couch and Into The Woods.” In my case, the La-Z-Boy.

Link to Creek’s web site about how he started and became an author:

http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/featured-wilderness-survival-blog-entries/my-most-popular-question-answered-and-how-a-crow-changed-my-life/

 

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It’s Time For A Bunny Break!

by Kimberly A. Cook                     (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

There’s a bit of Fall snap in the air, even though we still have high temps here in Oregon. So what better way to get ready for the coming cool weather than to practice snuggling? What better role model than two baby bunnies!

How cute are these guys who are eating very carefully and sharing. Have a great weekend and Happy Quirky Friday!

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Come To The Purple Side – We Have Muffins!

by Kimberly A. Cook                  (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Been spending a lot of quality time in my food pantry lately. Seems I get in there and can’t figure out why I journeyed into the place. Being stubborn, I refuse to leave until the reason comes to me. Works most of the time.

While waiting, I inventory the contents of my shelves and try to figure out how to use some of the odd food items I tend to purchase. On Saturday I wandered in to get the whole wheat pastry flour, courtesy of Bob’s Red Mill.  Finished reading a new fiction book, “The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café,” by Mary Simses.

Up lose and personal with blueberry muffins. Alas, these muffins are long gone, er, eaten.

Up close and personal with blueberry muffins. Alas, these muffins are long gone, er, eaten.

Her first novel, I enjoyed it greatly and she included a recipe for blueberry muffins. Had to try it. This time of year when the first crisp of the Fall season starts in the air, I want to chow down like a bear going into hibernation – for a decade. Put me in a bakery and I’m going to eat my way from one end of the display case to the other.

In an effort to curb this behavior, I insist on baking, then I give away or freeze the majority to save myself. Granted, I know people eat frozen cookie dough out of the freezer but a frozen muffin will slow me down. (Even though I know I can heat it perfectly for 30 seconds in the microwave to defrost.)

So happily mixing my ingredients together, none with expired dates, I realized the eggs and butter were long past their prime. Drat! Since I had shopping errands to do, I left everything in the middle of the counter and hoped Spec Ops Cat stayed out of it. Due to his strenuous nap schedule, it worked.

Upon my return I made the muffins. They were quite good. Think I needed to bake them a little longer, they seemed a bit pale, like me. Managed to send some home with my Mom and froze the rest, but not before I ate three of them Saturday night watching the U of O Ducks play football.

What is it about watching sweating athletes in great shape on tv make us feed ourselves on their behalf? It’s not like they’re going to burn off our calories or get them in an inter-tv transfer?

I’m going to have to take up competitive push-ups like Puddles the U of O mascot if I keep tucking in these muffins. But now I have my little paws on a recipe for chicken and dumplings from our receptionist at the day job. DUMPLINGS! Where is my Bisquick?  (Do you know that my spell check thinks Bisquick is Bismarck? Isn’t that a donut?)

What is your favorite Fall comfort food? Let the baking games begin!

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Are You Ready For Some Penguins?

by Kimberly A. Cook                        (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Reading the Fall films guide in the paper on Friday, a true wonder appeared. The Penguins of Madagascar have their own movie. Finally! Granted they’ve had a tv show, but they really deserved their own film and it’s arriving Nov. 26, 2014. Tickle me happy!

What better way to get ready for the long Labor Day weekend then to watch a preview of the Penguins on a mission. How to top a long weekend and a Penguins movie trailer? TWO Penguins movie trailers! Have a safe long weekend and Happy Quirky Friday! (Notice the “Top Gun” music? Be still my heart!)

 

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Did You Ever Get Your Favorite Toy?

by Kimberly A. Cook         (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

Last Friday’s post I talked about playing in the dirt with my Matchbox car and travel trailer and I wondered; where is my little yellow convertible? I discovered it several years ago in Mom and Dad’s kitchen junk drawer and promptly airlifted it home with me.

Dived into my box of Happy Meal toys and assorted “must have” fun items I rotate on my desk for entertainment and inspiration. Ta da! There it was, beat up and intact. Checked Google and found www.toycarcollector.com in Vancouver, Washington had all the Matchbox cars for sale.

My fabulous Pontiac convertible survived the kitchen junk drawer, barely. Matchbox cars are tough!

My fabulous Pontiac convertible survived the kitchen junk drawer, barely. Matchbox cars are tough!

Found out mine is a model 39b9 Pontiac Convertible Excel from 1962. Didn’t realize they were made in England. Granted, the windshield is missing on mine, but it looks pretty good. The travel trailer disappeared many moons ago, but the trailers on the toy site didn’t look the same. I’m sure my memory is perfect. Ha!

My little excursion into toyland reminded me of my favorite Christmas toy gift. Okay, there are two. First was my Chatty Cathy who chattered until her voice box broke. Shipped her back to the factory. I remember the trauma of seeing her shipped off in a cardboard box, hoping and waiting until she’d return. Chatty came back in the box and talked for a while, then nada.

The second toy I got at age 21. Barely home from the Army for the holidays, having driven through a Wyoming ice and snowstorm to arrive two days before Christmas, I opened presents at my folks house on Christmas morning. I got an electric train. I cried with happiness. I’d always wanted an electric train. Since Dad worked for the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railroad, then Burlington Northern for 38 years, one would think an electric train would have been in the house.

Sometime that summer the topic of toys had come up and I’d recalled how I never got an electric train. Dad made sure I had one. At 21. He crafted a special round green wooden platform for the train to run on, from his rail inspector and roadmaster days I’m sure. Still have both and think they are coming out this holiday season.

We did have a wooden train set growing up that snapped together, complete with tracks. Wonder where that went? Time for another toy quest!

Have you gotten your favorite toy after a long time or bought one for someone else? Do you still have a favorite toy? What is your toy story?

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