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Roomba vs. Robo-Quad

My parents gave me their old Roomba and it just decided to vacuum. Alice has her Robo-Quad (aka. Spider) in high aggression guard mode and is trying to get it to chase the Roomba. Vacuuming just became super fun!
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New Addiction

I can't drink coffee because it gives me fibromyalgia so for the past few years I have taken care of my caffeine needs with tea.

Now I have kidney stones so the doctor says no more tea.

I thought I was done for but then I discovered the joy of Bev-Rev! http://www.bev-rev.com/

I love this stuff! They serve it at the coffee stand at the college and I tried it in steamed milk. It was like a dream come true. I found a distributer in Shoreline and now I own my very own bottle of this magic elixer. It is completely flavorless so you can put it in anything without ruining the beverage.

I've been using it for almost three weeks now with no fibro issues so I think it is not going to give me a problem there. Yay!
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Fruitcake

My father has wonderful memories of the fruitcake of his childhood. He says modern fruitcake (the kind you can buy at the market around Xmas) is horrible. His mother would start making the fruitcake around this time of the year and then she would store it and feed it booze every now and then until next Xmas. It is supposed to be a very dark and rich cake not the yellow cake with candied fruit in it one sees today.

I got out my 1943 edition of The Joy of Cooking and sure enough there were several fruit cake recipes in there. I also found some online. Here is some of what I found: http://www.whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/fruitcakesec.htm , http://southernfood.about.com/od/fruitcakerecipes/r/bl51201b.htm

I am giving serious thought to making a batch of these. I say batch because the recipes in Joy of Cooking make 11 or 12 pounds of cake. I am assuming this will be several cakes. I am intrigued by the challenging nature of the project but I don't actually think I will like these cakes at all. I don't like things that taste like booze and I don't like cakes with fruit and nuts in them. I am not sure my father can or should eat 12 pounds of fruitcake.

Maybe there are others out there with a secret love of fruitcake. If so please share your secret here so I know there is might be a home for my fruitcakes should I succeed in making them.

So, am I a complete fruitcake myself for even considering this? Will I be doing permanent environmental damage by creating indestructible cakes that no one will ever eat and that will never biodegrade? Do any of you have experience with making fruitcake, how about second or third hand stories?
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Sledding

I still love it!

Alice and I took an old plastic sled up to the park near our house. There is a very gentle hill there as well as steeper one. Alice loved the gentle slope but she found the steep run too scary. Our sled is a two person sled so I was with her but even so she was scared.

We ran into a girl from Alice's class there and with a nice dose of peer pressure she gave sledding another try. She and the other little girl went several times together. I did a few runs on my own too.

What fun! We have plans to meet Alice's school friend there again tomorrow for more snow fun.
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Snowing again

There are already 5 inches of snow in my deck and now it is snowing again.

Normally Brian would be coming over today but unless he comes by sled I kind of doubt that is going to happen. I can not imagine trying to get up Capitol Hill to pick him up and it would probably take him all day to get here by bus. We always look forward to Brian's visits so we are sad that it isn't working out.

The work on Evelyn's house was finished just in time for her to move back in right before the snow hit so Alice and I are on our own now.
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Stranger in the snow update

He came by and got his car a little bit ago. I went out and looked on my porch where I found a bag containing the boots and a bottle of wine. I hope he makes it home safely.

There was more car skiing down my street last night. So I know there is a thick layer of ice under all that pretty snow. Around 10 pm last night a driver trying to go up my street slid back and lightly bumped a parked pick up truck. The truck became a sled and slid right out into the middle of 3rd Ave. NW. Nobody knew who the truck belonged to so a some of the neighbors, me included managed to push it just barely back out of the intersection.

Now people are snow boarding down my street. I am trying to get Alice to go with me to the park a couple of blocks away to play in the snow. We have a cheap plastic sled we can try out there.
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Syncronicity

Last week Brian came over on Saturday wearing sandals, as is his usual habit. It snowed and he was stranded here without reasonable footwear to get him to the bus stop and home to Capitol Hill. Luckily, it was just the beginning of this messy weather and I was able to drive him home.

Anyway, I decided it would be a good idea to pick up a pair of boots in his size to keep here in case it ever happens again. I found a nice pair of Timberlines at Good Will and picked them up for a couple of bucks.

Tonight a stranger knocked on my door and asked if he could abandon his car in my extra driveway. Since another car had already crashed into a parked car across the street, I said sure and asked if he was going to be able to get home. He said he was in for a long walk in the snow but thought he'd be okay. Then he looked down at his feet in a kind of sad way and I noticed he was wearing dress shoes. I offered the boots and it turns out they were a perfect fit.

Hopefully they will get him home without frostbite. He'll return them when he picks up his car.
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Shortbread

I've been wondering for a long time if making shortbread with Splenda would ruin a perfectly good cup of butter. I just made a half batch with Splenda and it turns out my fears were groundless. They still have the great buttery texture and taste almost as good as the real thing. Yay.
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Snow day?

Alice's school is closed today for fear of snow. So far we have only wind but eventually we will probably get some snow. We are having a casual day. I went to Goodwill yesterday and got some cheap tree decorations that we will put on the tree today since all of my usual decorations are in Port Townsend in my Parent's attic. Last night Alice and I spent some time painting and glittering little wooden and plaster ornaments we got half price from Joanne's. It was fun and the results are sweet. We might do some more today.
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Alice wants a robot

Alice has been bugging me to get her a robot. Yesterday she asked me to let Santa know that she needs a robot. Does anyone have a good robot recommendation? She is not asking for a specific robot as far as I know. She just says she wants a robot.

I found these on Amazon,
http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Gearbotics-Robot-Motorized/dp/B00004WGJS/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1229128333&sr=1-13

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Gears-Wacky-Wigglers/dp/B0009K6K8W/ref=pd_sbs_t_3

http://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Educational-Science-Kit-Robot/dp/B000RN6CDO/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1229128333&sr=1-8

http://www.amazon.com/Sourcing-Network-Sales-8039-Robotics/dp/B000OF50M4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1229128333&sr=1-4

They all look cool to me and there were lots more too. Any one have experience with robots?