Happy New Year!

We rang in the New Year here at the McResidence with McDaddy’s two brothers, his sister and their families. In all, there were 19 of us sleeping in this house last night. Twelve of those people were under the age of 11.

We partied like rock-stars until well after midnight.

Or something like that.

This is my sister-in-law, Michelle and I (and the cute cowl she made for my 40th birthday!) just before midnight.

All the while, the kids were going nine kinds of crazy just behind us with blow-horns that I got at the Mart of Walls. [Have you ever had the joy of hearing TWELVE blow horns at one time? If not, you most definitely should.]

Anyway, a few days earlier, I saw a picture on Carrie Ann Innaba’s Facebook page that included a box of envelopes, along with members of her family holding cash money. (If you’ve ever been to a party at my house, you know that I am a sucker for games and prizes, so I am always on the lookout for a new game AND this one seemed fun!)

First, I bought a box of envelopes and a gift card.

Then, I searched my house over for flat items that would fit inside of the envelopes.

(And this is where I should include a picture of those items, but I got over zealous and placed the items in the envelopes before taking a picture.)

I randomly placed 20 coupons for a free frosty at Wendy’s (which I bought for Halloween treat bags and THEN FORGOT ABOUT), six gift cards for free games of bowling (which the boys received months ago when attending a birthday party at the bowling alley), three packets of Kool-Aid (we get wild and crazy up in here, folks!) two bookmarks, a ten-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill in the envelopes.

We sat in a circle (kids and adults) and passed the box of envelopes, pulling one envelope at a time until all the envelopes were pulled. It was so much fun and even the youngest child (3 years old) caught on pretty quick. The even funnier part is that the envelope box fell to the floor as it was being passed and the envelopes spilled out all over the floor. We ended up placing the envelopes in a basket to finish the game out.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, you should go HERE right now and watch our nephew, Noah FINALLY picking a winning envelope after several rounds of picking an empty one. (I’m hoping the link works!)

And of course we ate. And ate. And ate some more.

It was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year and we all had a great time together.

I am looking forward to a wonderful 2014!

You Capture – Light

Earlier this week, we spent a few days with McDaddy’s parents and his sister’s family at a ski resort.

It’s our annual ski extravaganza.

Except, I don’t ski.

Because I am a klutz. And because I can barely walk without tripping over my own feet, so I have no desire to clamp some three-feet long, nine-inch wide sticks to my feet and slide down a hill.

Oh no ma’am.

Instead, I stayed in our posh little room and shot some pictures for this week’s You Capture challenge.

Light.

Natural light, anyone?

I tried to get all fancy with this one because the light was actually reflecting in the metal.

And don’t you love the way the sunlight reflects off of this sucker?

Oh. Someday folks.

Someday.

Off To The Races

Another summer weekend has come and gone and I am so sad because that means that June is almost a memory. Summer is racing by. The weekend temperature here in West Virginia wouldn’t have been any better if I could have handpicked a temperature because it was approximately 80 degrees (my IDEAL temperature) with very little humidity.

I’ll give you a minute to let that sink in.

An ideal temperature with very little humidity is a rarity around here and don’t you think I didn’t praise the good Lord for giving us a break from working up a sweat just by walking from the front door to the car. Now, if I could only get rid of this runny nose, itchy eye allergy fit, I’d be doing good.

I’m ready to poke my eyeball out.

With a fork.

I am debating whether to race to the medicine cabinet take a little something for relief but fear I’ll be all jacked up on Sudafed half the night.

Desperate times, folks.

Hopefully, my west-coast Words With Friends friends and my midnight shift working Words With Friends friends will be up to help me pass the time or else it might be a long night for this girl and her racing mind. Which is unfortunate because I am tired after a jam-packed weekend full of the thing I love the most.

My fellas.

To start the weekend off, McDaddy’s brother Dave and his family drove up (or is it down? I never know) so that Dave, a distance runner, could compete in the WV 5K Championship race on Saturday. And for those of you who aren’t up on your K measurements – 5K is actually 3.1 miles.

Listen.

I don’t know about y’all, but if this girl had to run 3.1 miles, it would take a first repsonse team and three days.

One day for each mile.

Dave however, WON THE RACE with a time of 15 minutes and 4 seconds.

(Picture Credit: Huntington Herald Dispatch)

And not only did he NOT need a first response team OR three days, he actually jogged the course BACKWARD before the actual race.

Oh, and just for fun, he woke up on Sunday morning and ran 20 miles.

Which translates to pure craziness.

TWENTY. FRIGGIN. MILES.

Forget the response team. Just order me the mahogany casket right now.

Unless, you’re talking about the Rat Race. Now that’s a race, I might be able to win.

Congrats, Dave, we are so proud of you!

After waiting for more than five years, can you guess which race we watched on Saturday?

We went to see this little gold mine race car,

Which reminds me a great deal of this little beauty,

Holy crap, I want one of those suckers.

To finish the day off, we hit a nearby race track for some monster truck madness.

And speaking of madness, what would you call a $10.00 sno-cone?

I’d call it craziness.

Or madness.

It was a weekend full of racing for our family.

What did YOU do this weekend?

I’m a little teapot, short and stout

here is my handle, here is my spout.

I remember singing that song in my nursery school class. Or maybe it was Kindergarten. At any rate, I couldn’t help but think of that song when I saw this cute little teapot, also known as the neti pot.

I’ve responded to several e-mail inquiries regarding the neti pot. And before you ask, I solemnly swear that I will NOT display pictures of myself (or anyone else for that matter) actually using the sucker. Now that’s not to say I don’t have pictures of myself with the neti-pot sticking out of my nose, mind-you, because thanks to the flip-around function on the iPhone it is entirely possible to take a picture of yourself while holding the neti-pot in your nostril. It’s not pretty, but I do have it. I’ll spare you the mental picture though because even I have my limits.

This is what I learned this week about the neti pot.

Keep in mind that I have been miserable with nasal congestion for the better part of three months, so I will try just about anything. 

For those of you who have no earthly idea what a neti-pot is or what it is used for, allow me to give you a little background information.

The neti-pot is typically filled with water and some sort of saline solution and is used to irrigate and cleanse the nasal passages. And can I just say if you have never suffered from allergy problems or nasal congestion consider yourself lucky. I happen to live in a city that is surrounded on all sides by chemical plants. In my 37 years of life I have never had the ability to breath clearly. For some reason, the last three or four months have been particularly bad and just since Christmas I’ve used approximately three gazillion tissues.

I did a little online medical research and decided to give the neti-pot a try in hopes that it might help my condition. I recalled an incident that happened years ago when I was visiting McDaddy’s sister and her family. My brother-in-law (who is always one step ahead of the general public when it comes to anything whatsoever) busted out a little ceramic pot that he proceeded to put in one of his nostrils. I classified him as a freak right there on the spot and just about gagged watching the whole thing go down.

Literally.

And here I am, years later, jumping right on the freak train.

So without further ado, here’s how the neti-pot works:

STEP 1: Empty contents of the “all-natural, ultra-fine grain quick dissolving saline solution” packet into the pot.

NOTE: The package suggests that first-time users start with half of a packet until accustomed to the using ‘the system’.

 STEP 2: Fill the pot half full with warm water.

NOTE: Using water that is extremely hot or extremely cold will be a shock to your nose and is not suggested.

STEP 3: Stir thoroughly until dry ingredients have completely dissolved.

Now here’s where it gets tricky.

STEP 4: Lean over the sink with your head bent down so that you are looking into your sink. While holding the little pot in your right hand, insert the spout into your right nostril so that it forms a comfortable seal.

STEP 5:  Breathe with your mouth open as best you can or else you will think you are waterboarding yourself.

STEP 6: Rotate your head so that the right nostril is directly above your left. Raise the handle of the pot toward the sky so that the solution enters the right nostril. Within moments, the salty solution will begin to drain out the left nostril (and probably down the back of your throat). Do that for as long as you can stand it or in my case, until you choke on the saltwater.

STEP 7: Do not inflate or “snort” solution into the nose or you will gag and possibly puke.

STEP 8: Repeat the procedure on the other side.

STEP 9: When the pot is empty (or when you can’t take another drop of salt water in your nose), exhale through both nostrils to clear them of excess mucus and solution. Gently blow your nose into a tissue.

STEP 10: Spend the next hour attempting to get the salt taste out of your mouth.

NOTE: It takes me about forty minutes to complete this process. I can only take the salty contents in small doses, so I must pour, blow, rest, repeat. And it works for me!

I say it all the time people, this blog is about so much more than just entertainment.

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What did YOU learn this week?

You can read the long detailed version of rules here, or follow these easy steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog. and spread the news to your bloggy friends so more people will join in on the fun.

2. Within that post, please mention the What I Learned This Week carnival and link to this post here at From Inmates To Playdates.

3. Then link up with Mr. Linky down below.

4. Visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. Then leave a comment because comments are fun!

A Hot Mess

Just in case you were wondering, I still have a hacking cough.

I haven’t coughed up a lung, but I still might. As of this writing, my lungs are still intact as far as I can tell, but I’ll keep you posted on that because the way I’m hacking, things could change in a hot minute.

We are gearing up for another snow-storm that is due to hit here in West Virginia on Friday. You cannot imagine my frustration about that. We have seen more than our fair share of snow and ice, and as of last Thursday, our school district logged the fifth snow day of the year. Since this is the third week of January, we can probably expect several more. And as is the case anytime a storm is announced, the grocery store at the end of our road will be a chaotic mess tomorrow, so I must remember to stop for Dr. Pepper before the crazies show up to grab a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and the countless other things they must stock up on because “y’all a storm is coming.”

I do not like inclimate weather which is crazy because I live on a hill-top in West Virginia where we have hundred-degree-summers and below-zero-winters. I am a person who likes to be comfortable at all times (gasp!) and so me and the cold weather are not friends. I absolutely hate to bundle up in a big, bulky coat, only to have a crazy fit in the car minutes later because I am sweaty. Then, in an attempt to manage the steering wheel, the coat and two kids hollerin’ from the backseat, I become aggravated.

Which explains how I end up being a hot mess when it’s twelve degrees outside. 

A few days ago, I received a belated Christmas gift in the mail. My sister-in-law drew my name for Christmas and after sending the first gift back because it wasn’t what she thought it would be, she ordered the perfect gift for me.

I opened the box to find these:

Only mine are black.

At first, I was all, “Just what I need. Another pair of black gloves.” And just after the words flew off my tongue, I noticed something on the finger:

The gloves are touch screen friendly which means that I can navigate my beloved iPhone while keeping my fingers warm and toasty. And it’s times like this that I think to myself, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ Because folks, these gloves are pure genius for anyone who uses their beloved iPhone constantly as much as I do.

Genius I tell you. And this pair of black gloves for me!

Visit THAT family for things that might Work For You.