Let me ‘splain…no, there is too much

So…I blogged on January 1st with the intention to blog again on January 2nd. Today is January 6th; I missed a few days. Here’s what happened:

January 2nd: Hang on…I have to consult my calendar to see what we had on the agenda for that day because I don’t immediately recall anything prior to the Sugar Bowl.

OK. First on the agenda that day was going to the church to help put away all the greenery and Christmas decorations. This was followed by lunch at Schlotsky’s with the Crimson Tide Cachers’ Association. I have been having trouble solving a particular puzzle cache. The cache owner was in attendance, so I plied him for clues for how to solve his puzzle. We also planned a fun geo-adventure with a couple of other cachers for the next day at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.

After lunch, I drove over the my ophthalmologist’s office to pic up some new specs.

fb_glasses_statusWe had hoped to find about 5 geocaches that are hidden in a local park, but it was too cold and windy. We only found one before the unanimous decision to go home. It was a neat cache — you can read about it here, if you’re interested.

We gathered some snacks and beverages to take to a Sugar Bowl party that evening. Y’all. As the seconds ticked off the clock, the overall consensus at the “party” was, “I don’t feel as upset as I did after the Iron Bowl.” We all had such high hopes for this season, and it ended in our rival’s favor. I’m proud of our quarterback, though. From everything I’ve seen about him, McCarron seems to be a kind and remarkable young man. Counting down to next season…

after the cheering ended
after the cheering ended

January 3rd: We got up early to go geocaching in Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. We hiked close to 7 miles and found 19 geocaches. It was a beautiful day!

We also ate, for the first time, MREs for lunch. That is some interesting chemistry at work.

Noah, listening to a chemical reaction cook his lunch
Noah, listening to a chemical reaction cook his lunch
a cache & a trail
a cache & a trail

That’s all I have time to write for now. I’ll sum up Saturday and Sunday later.

Fall TV

I’m not a big TV watcher. Well, I used to be. But the best shows on television ended their runs a few years ago (LOST and 24, just in case you didn’t know).  The only show that I consider “must-see” these days is “Duck Dynasty.” I like to watch it when it airs and then we watch it again later. I watched the bullfrog/golf course episode at least three times; it is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever seen. The last time I remember laughing that hard over a tv show, Rudy Huxtable and her friend Peter attempted to use Cliff’s new juicer to make jelly. The new season of DD starts October 10. I expect more glorious nuggets of Uncle Si’s wisdom, like this gem:

Anyway, there is a new slate of shows for this year. After watching all the teasers for the various network offerings, we decided only one was potentially worthy of our time (other than football, of course). I take that back; we are going to watch 2 shows.

First, we’ve recently started watching the first season of “Once Upon a Time.” It’s actually pretty good. The Queen has cast THE most wicked curse, the curse of all curses, on Snow White, Prince Charming, and the entire realm. Everyone is doomed to live in an alternate reality in a town called Storybrook, Maine, without any recollection of their true identities. It is positively dreadful. Before the queen enacted her curse, however, a good fairy cast a counter-spell that enables Emma, Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter, to begin rescuing the people of Storybrook on her 28th birthday. Somehow she is going to help them remember who they are. Season 2 begins tonight. I guess we’ll just utilize the dvr and try to catch up before season 3 starts next year. The question I have, though, is why does it seem like the curse is affecting Emma? She was placed inside the magical tree/wardrobe thing before the Queen’s curse took effect. If the wardrobe was supposed to protect her from the spell, then why does Emma have to be convinced that their fairytale selves are their true selves? Shouldn’t she already sense that her existence isn’t what it’s supposed to be, thereby making Henry’s assertions ring true to her? Shouldn’t she have “awakened” on her birthday? How did Henry discover that Storybrook wasn’t reality?

The second show we’re going to give a try is Revolution. Somehow, the power goes out everywhere. And by everywhere I mean the whole world is without electricity. Forever. For some strange reason, no one is capable of turning the power back on. I mean, Ben Franklin got out there with a kite and figured it out. Thomas Edison played around in his workshop. But, apparently, no one in the 21st century knows how to think and/or tinker in order to rebuild. As a result, society deteriorates; the USA is dismantled; militias try to maintain control over firearms, food, and people. There are a few, however, who secretly possess the keys to turn the power back on. It’s still too early in the season to write anything substantial about the show. I have enough questions to keep me interested, though. On the negative side, I am not liking the bad language; it’s just so unnecessary.

Most of the time, football is the only thing showing on our tv screen. Sunday, Monday night, Thursday night, and all day Saturday we can find a game. That doesn’t mean we’re all sitting around watching it, but that’s what’s on. I have learned to appreciate the NFL, but I love college football the most. I love the bands and familiar songs, I love cheering for my school (ROLL TIDE!), I love the crazy fans, I love watching an athlete play his heart out, and I absolutely love a good nail-biter.

SO, that’s what I’ll be watching this fall. What about you?

Happy and a Cookie

First, the happy:


If you and I are facebook friends, then I hope you weren’t too put off by my ridiculous amount of status updating during the championship game. I thought we would win the game, but I wasn’t sure how close it would be. I was prepared for another nail-biter. When, in the first minute, Marquis Maze had to leave due to a hamstring injury, I really started to worry. Instead, Bama completely dominated LSU! Our boys played amazingly! LSU only crossed the 50 into Bama territory ONCE. Bama made a few mistakes, but only one penalty the whole game. Though it may not be a perfect game in Coach Saban’s book, that’s close enough to perfect for me.

I am so happy for our school, our city, and our state — three National Championships in a row for Alabama. I was so happy last night, I think I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Here are the highlights. You know, in case you missed the game or just want to watch it again or a dozen times.

Second, the cookie:

I use my iron skillet for almost everything. Cookies are my favorite. So it makes sense that I would pin a recipe for a big chocolate chip cookie baked in an iron skillet. Take a look at this golden brown goodness:

Not only is it a delicious tasting cookie, the texture is the perfect combination of crispy and chewy.

If you have a well-seasoned skillet, then you won’t have to worry a bit about the cookie sticking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Here’s the recipe from Oh, Nuts!:
Dry ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
Wet ingredients: 3/4 cup (6 oz) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups chocolate chips
1.5 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
vanilla ice cream, to serve (optional)

Personal note: I don’t like nuts in cookies, so I didn’t put walnuts or pecans in mine. Also, I used the whole bag of chocolate chips.

Mix your dry ingredients in one bowl. In a separate bowl, combine sugar and butter with stand or hand mixer. Add egg and vanilla. Continue mixing. Slowly add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture until fully combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread dough into your skillet. Bake for 30-40 minutes (depends on diameter of skillet — the smaller the skillet, the longer your cookie will need to bake; smaller skillet = thicker cookie). Keep in mind that your cookie will continue to cook in the skillet for a little while after you take it out of the oven, so it would be best to undercook just a bit. Allow cookie to cool (about 20 minutes).

Make your mouth happy.

Because how can I have a blog called Alabamenagerie and NOT blog about Alabama football? RTR

Pardon the cliché, but the atmosphere in Tuscaloosa is electric. Downtown, Midtown, and, especially, campus are completely a-buzz, and have been since Thursday. We went to the library yesterday and got a little, “HEY, LSU fans are here!” lining River Road near the RV lot on the river. They’re a precious bunch, the LSU fans.

Football Saturdays in Tuscaloosa are one of the reasons I love this town. The traffic is insane, and I rarely leave the house on gameday (unless we have tickets or are going to tailgate) because of it, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Denny Chimes (Bama vs. Arkansas)

Even the birds know what I’m talking about; they’re lying low today, too. As I type, personal jets, filled with fans coming in for today’s game, create continuous screaming Doppler waves. I expect we’ll be hearing them for the next couple of hours before kick-off.

They’re calling today’s match-up the “Game of the Century.” I don’t know about that, but it’s guaranteed to be epic.

Bryant-Denny Stadium (Bama vs. Arkansas)

I don’t think I’d want to attend today’s game, however. Everyone’s emotions are way too high for my liking. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about getting fired up to beat our opponent. But when fans have spent the entire day drinking tasty beverages (besides Dr. Pepper), talking smack, and stoking one another’s devotion, well, there’s bound to be an altercation or two. SEC fans are passionate about their teams.

pic of pre-game hype video

Bama fans are little proud of that number. (I may or may not watch a dozen hype videos on youtube today.) But not too proud to understand that today’s game could end in LSU’s favor. They aren’t #1 for nothing and they are going to fight hard to keep their position. This game, by far, is going to be Bama’s toughest one of the season. That is, if we don’t have to play LSU again for the National Championship.

First TD of Bama vs. Arkansas (We had amazing seats for this game)

The men in my house have been excited and nervous about today for the last two weeks. 7 PM can’t get here soon enough.