Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Love at first sight!

That's what I felt yesterday when I unwrapped the BIG box with my and dh's name on it under Mom's tree. I think he kind of got cheated on that end of the gift department, but he'll benefit from the process of my using this new baby. AND, he was delighted that she got it for "us" because he knew I'd been wanting one, plus we "almost" bought one recently, but I said to wait a while longer. hehe.... Mom took me seriously when I said if I ever bought one, I'd buy a red one for everyone to see it! LOL Now I'll have to plan to decorate my kitchen to match my KitchenAid mixer. lol

If you were to ask me to list my favorite colors, red, green, black and silver would be at the top of the list. Those were the colors of my Christmas presents this year. My red mixer, some beautiful antique Jadite dishes from MIL, my black lens for my camera and some silver jewelry that dh picked up in Kuwait on his way home from Iraq.

I feel very spoiled this year with Christmas. Either I've been a really good girl this year or everyone thought I deserved a little something special this year. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baking Cookies

It's that time of year isn't it? Have you ever wondered why it's ok in December to bake so many different kinds of cookies, but yet all throughout the year, you only bake one batch at a time? LOL I've been good this year, I haven't gone overboard. The last batch we baked was because of a Scout function, so I had an excuse. ;)

What are some of your favorite cookies to bake during the holidays? My old standby is your basic chocolate chip cookie, but that's rather boring since I bake those throughout the year. I made snickerdoodles the other night for the scout thing and those were good! They disappeared quickly - even the ones that were left at home have disappeared.

One cookie that I love to bake every Christmas season is Gingersnaps. There's just something about the molasses and spice combination that makes this a Christmas cookie.

I decided while I was making these the other day to share them with you, Pioneer Woman style, so, you get to see the recipe and photos of the process. ;) I'm no Ree, but hey, endure me today, ok? LOL

2 c. all purpose flour (I usually just use self rising flour and skip the added stuff ;) )
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. molasses
1 TBsp ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. shortening (or softened butter)
1 egg

Mix all the dry ingredients. Cream shortening and sugar in a separate bowl. Beat in egg and molasses and then add the dry mixture. That's all the above photo.

Now, form into balls 1 inch in diameter. I never measure to make sure they are one inch in diameter. Do people really do that? Roll in granulated sugar.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. I used to always use my Pampered Chef baking stone for my cookies. But then, I discovered these regular baking sheets from Sam's suit the cookie baking need just fine - plus you can get more done on the larger sheet!

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

I like to sprinkle them with just a pinch more of sugar when they are straight out of the oven and still warm to accept the sugar.

Yield for the recipe is about 4 dozen dependant upon whether or not you have perfectly sized one inch balls to start. :)

I'm not sure if I'm finished in the cookie baking department of December or not. There are still some favorites on my list I haven't gotten to yet. Wedding cake cookies, gingerbread men, MORE snickerdoodles and the list goes on and is added to when I pick up a recent magazine. lol

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun Getaway



We left on Monday for a few days away. We went to the Great Wolf Lodge and spent two nights just hanging out and having fun in the waterpark of the hotel. We did some shopping while we were over that way, but it was too cold to do much. On our second day there, the snow came and made the trip that much more exciting. It was extra nice sitting in the hottub while we looked out the window at the falling snow. :)

The boys had a blast and we did too. We're already planning to go back sometime!

I didn't take my bigger camera. Since dh is back, I have access to my old Sony point and shoot. Man, how it's different from my Xti. I used to love that little camera, now I'm finding it hard to even like it. LOL Oh well, at least the memories were captured one way or the other. ;)


And finally, another family pic of us in the lobby. I'm loving having my family together again to actually get pics like this. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas photo

I toyed with the idea of a family photo. We actually got one the other day at the tree farm, but it didn't meet my standards (some blur and didn't print well). I decided that I wasn't up to trying the tripod and begging for cooperation from the guys in my house, so I just decided the classic kids in front of the tree would do.

And of course, I needed a reason to try my new lens before dh takes it away from me and forces me to wrap it and put it under the tree. *waahhh* I still say I'm going to put the old one in the box. He'll never know....... until ds tells him. I need to pay ds off to be quiet. ;)

Anyway, the photo:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Christmas Tree

A few weeks ago in an instant message chat with dh, he asked what we were going to do when he arrived home from Iraq. Since the boys had been asking me a dozen times a day when we were going to put the Christmas tree up, I told him we were waiting on him to put the Christmas tree up. Then I mentioned to him that we should go to a tree farm and cut our own tree for the first time ever. He loved that idea, so held to it and we made plans to find one in the local area. In the next few weeks, the boys continued to ask me when we were going to put the tree up and I continued to remind them that we were waiting for Daddy to come home before we took on that task.

Kim helped me find a local farm as all the ones I found online were near Topeka or Lawrence and too far to drive for just a tree. Thanks, Kim!

So, last Thursday afternoon, after we'd picked dh up late Wednesday night, we headed out for the tree farm. We chose the cutest little tree. It has a perfect shape and smells so good. But, it's too short. LOL Well, not too short, but shorter than our large artificial tree that's sitting in its box in the basement. Hey, we're novices when it comes to tree farm tree choosing. ;) When we were young, if we got a live tree, we did so by going out in the fields around the house and cutting down a cedar regardless of its size.

You can tell we're in Kansas. Look at that KS skyscraper in the background of this photo. ;)

The tree looks great in the living room. It's overloaded with ornaments and is just waiting patiently on the big fat guy to bring the loot for underneath it. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008


Today was a happy day. A happy birthday day! I have been thinking all day that there's no way my "baby" can be seven years old. But, it's true. 2008-2001 is seven.

We had a small celebration this afternoon with just the four of us. We spent some time at ChuckECheese on Saturday celebrating. This year was not a creative year in the cake department - just wasn't feeling it. He opted for an Omnitrix cake from Ben10. A shaker of green sprinkles and a shaker of white sprinkles made that possible with very little creativity on my part. Gosh, I'm a slacker... He loved his cake though, so all is well!

Showing it off with dad:

Posing with the Ben 10 action figures standing guard:

And this? Well, this is what I got when I said, "show me seven fingers". I also got shown the bite of cake in his mouth. *rolleyes* He's such a little goof. LOL

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Worth the Wait

I just wanted to take a minute and post before we're off catching up on some much needed family time. For those of you who knew he was coming home, he made it! Safe and sound! Yay! We were and are so excited! Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers during these last fifteen months. Wow, what a long time!

He's home for the holidays and home for good!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

cute little metal tree

I found this a few weeks ago at Alco, but decided I didn't want to pay full price ($15) for it. I went in the next week and they were 40% off, so it came home with me. This morning I put some of the cheapie dollar store ornaments we bought last year for something else on my cute little metal tree and put it on the hutch in my laundry room. We walk through my laundry room every day on the way to the backdoor, so it's not your ordinary boring dining room. I've tried to make it a nice part of the house with just a washer and dryer as the furniture pieces. ;)

Anywho.... I love my little metal tree. :)


Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Card

I decided over the weekend as I was cleaning off my desk downstairs that if Christmas cards weren't going to come out of a box from the store this year, I should probably get started on them. I knew I had a zillion other things to do, but well, I tend to have attention issues when it comes to focussing on stuff that really needs to be done - like cleaning the house, etc.

So, I did what any other person with attention and avoidance issues would do and sat down to start on my Christmas cards. LOL The house will get cleaned this week. Really, it will. ;)

These cards will get finished too. I have around six assembled and the makings of some more already stamped waiting for assembly.


I used some Stampin Up stamps and other bits of stuff lying around. I have finally come to love the paper razor thing we got at CKU-M Nashville 2005. I don't know the official name for that little gadget, but I have been using it lately and like it. I just don't like the mess it makes when you shave the paper. (especially a lot of white paper - your lap looks like it's survived a snowstorm afterward LOL)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

Well, I decided to boycott all things retail today and stay inside my house - ALL DAY LONG! The only time I stepped out was to lean out the back door and call the dogs in. I guess I could go and officially step out to take out the trash, but why bother at 9:40 pm?

We survived Thanksgiving. There was a little excitement as my friend's son fell off his ripstick/skateboard two minutes after we arrived at their house. I was still unloading my food from the car and taking it in her house when he fell and screamed bloody murder from the end of the cul-de-sac. Turns out, he put a huge gash in his side when he fell and landed on a rock. Hmmm, flashbacks of our last year.... Neither one of us could call it. The cut was on his hip and was wide, but not deep. So, she just decided to take him to the ER. I stayed with the other boys and they took off to the hospital. All the food was put into the oven and turned on to warm. No stitches because of where it was, but doc said if it had been any other place, it would have definitely gotten stitches. So, our food was warmed over, but it was still good and the fellowship with friends was nice.

My pumpkin cheesecake was "eh". It was neither good nor bad, but I don't think I'll be making another any time soon.

Hey, since Christmas is coming up and it's a season of giving, so you might enjoy the projects and pillowboxes that can be found on this blog. Talk of the Town Lots of creative ideas over there, check out the link. Those pillowboxes would be perfect for sweet little gifts for someone special.

Are you making any gifts this year? I'm still in the "what the heck am I going to do for Christmas" mode. *gasp*

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cheesecake and smoke alarms

That doesn't sound like a good combination, does it? Well, trust me, it wasn't a pretty one.

I decided yesterday that I'd make Pioneer Woman's Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving. I have never owned a spring form pan in my life, so had to go buy one. I got it home, washed it, dried it and set out to make my cheesecake. All was going fine except I couldn't get the crumbs to stay on the sides of the pan. Ok, fine, not a big deal, it'll be good regardless of how high up on the sides the crumb crust is, right? Right.

So, I plopped it in the oven - ok, I didn't plop it because that would have made a big mess and there was already a big mess in my future unknown to me at the time. So, I put it in the oven and set about to get the boys ready for bed as I was cooking it last night. Bake for one hour and fifteen minutes. I came in here and sat down while they were brushing their teeth. Fifteen minutes into the baking, I start to smell this really weird smell. What the heck? I walked into the kitchen and peeked into the oven. Smoke was EVERYWHERE inside the oven. Ok, what is causing that? The timer still read 55 minutes to go, my cheesecake wasn't burning!

Then I saw it, the clear, sticky liquid dripping down from bottom of my spring form pan. And it was THEN that I realized (as a novice spring form pan user) that I should have taken the dang pan apart when I washed it and dried it. See, I was in a hurry to get-er-done like I always am and just assumed skipping that step would be ok. I mean, it was brand new, it wasn't really dirty, right? Well, apparently, there was still water in there somewhere as I put it into the oven and now that was dripping out of the pan and onto the coils and base of my oven causing the smoke. What to do? I slid a cookie sheet on the rack in under the cake to catch anything else that fell and was hoping for the best.

The best came later when smoke continued to pour out of the top of the oven through that little vent in the back stove eye. I opened the kitchen window and turned on the ceiling fans in other parts of the house. The boys asked how they were supposed to sleep with that weird smell in the house. *guilty*

I was tempted to take the cake out of the oven and let the oven stuff burn off, but I knew it would ruin the cake. I was also concerned with the smoke ruining the cake, but I knew that taking it out of the oven would FOR SURE ruin it. And I knew it wasn't what was burning and creating the smoke, so I just left it.

I called my friend whose house we are eating dinner at tomorrow and told her that my pumpkin cheesecake would be really special because unlike the recipe, mine would be infused with a smokey flavor. She laughed at me and actually allowed me to laugh at myself. And then she said, bring it anyway, I'm sure it will be fine.

But, today, as I think about it, I'm not sure it will be fine. I'm really wondering how it tastes. And I'm really trying to decide if there is any way to taste test a cheesecake and smush it all back together so it looks like a piece has never been cut from it. ;)

Next on the list..... cooking a whole turkey for the first time ever. In the past, I've always just cooked turkey breasts. So, this is a year of firsts. Hopefully it won't turn into me scrubbing the oven at midnight again.

Maybe I should take the batteries out of the smoke detector today just in case. ;)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I know Halloween was last month

but we were walking alongside some railroad tracks yesterday when I just happened to look down and see this. I had my camera, so the instant reaction was take a picture of it. I have no idea what it was, but the boys thought it was rather cool and I'll admit it was interesting in an eerie sort of way.

Since I had it open in Photoshop, I decided to try one of Pioneer Woman's actions on it. This is Vintage.

What do you think, eerie, cool or just plain gross?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hey! Could you....



I'm a couple of days late posting these, but I did want to share that the boys and I got to go over and watch the big reveal of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition house in the local area. It was cool being there as part of the crowd of over 1000 people and actually cheering, "MOVE THAT BUS!" Plus, we got to see Ty and the other designers. I *heart* Ty! lol

Hi Ty! *waves*

Hi Michael!

Hi, other designers whose names I can't remember!


And then some volunteers:

I would have loved a shirt. I think I'd have had to volunteer and work to get one though. Ooops... so I took a photo of one instead.

It was a lot of fun to go over and just be part of the crowd. We are excited about watching the show at the end of January just so we can say, we were there!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Guitar Guy

When new neighbors moved in last fall across the street, I noticed the teenage boy unpacking guitars from his car. Thoughts ran through my head about D. always wishing to learn how to play the guitar. A few weeks later, I was actually a decent neighbor and introduced myself to Amy, the mom. We talked about our kids and her son's guitar abilities. He's pretty much a supahstah when it comes to guitar. For a seventeen year old, he truly rocks. I asked her how he felt about giving lessons and she said he'd love to. And so it began. D's journey of learning to play guitar and my friendship with Amy. :)

Billy is a senior this year and Amy has honored me with the privilege of taking his senior portraits. She thinks I'm doing her a favor, but really, she's doing me a favor by just letting me play with my camera. ;) Anyway, Billy hates having his picture taken, doesn't really like attention and considers himself rather shy. But really, he's not. He's a super good kid - except when he calls my favorite eighties music "classic rock from four score and seven years ago" hmmmph. Last week, he was letting Devon listen to Jukebox Hero and informed him that his mom would know the song. lol


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A scrapped layout by ME!

Oh my goodness.... I have been the world's worst scrapbooker this year. I probably haven't even completed a total of ten layouts. How sad is that? I blame it on a number of things. I'll spare you the excuses here.

But yesterday morning was a majorly crazy morning for me in addition to trying to get the boys caught up on schoolwork for the day along with making up some stuff they missed Friday. My head was spinning by noon and didn't really stop until later in the afternoon.

I decided to ditch everything - all the laundry piled on my bed, the clean sheets and blankets that were to be put on my bed and any real life obligations - just to go in my scraproom and complete something. I searched for my corner rounder for a full twenty minutes. That's what happens when you leave things untouched for quite some time. Little boys decide they have free reign over it and the tool disappears. I finally got him to help me look and we found it upstairs in under a chair cushion in the living room. *sigh*

Anyway, I did finish something! Yay me! I won't even begin to look at all of the year's worth of other photos that are left untouched on the computer. Hey, we look at them on the computer, that counts for something, right? ;)


I suppose Christmas cards should be next. Or maybe I'll just buy a box from the store. :D

Monday, November 17, 2008

Soup on a cold day

I'm not the biggest magazine person in the world. Sure, every now and then, I pick one up that interests me in the checkout line at the grocery. So, I will admit to never paying much attention to Every Day with Rachel Ray. I knew it was out there, but I haven't ever bought one. Then, Friday as my friend and I were sitting and chatting while the boys were doing their swim lessons, she handed me her newest copy of the EDWRR mag. I flipped through it and came upon a recipe for soup. Creamy Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup. Ummmm...... that sounded good. So, I grabbed my notepad and scribbled down the recipe. This afternoon after a rather stressful morning and midday, I decided today was the day for this soup. Oh my goodness....... so good! I adapted it for myself because no matter how hard I try, I can never follow a recipe all the way through step for step.

Doesn't this look yummy? Trust me, it was. ;)

I decided to come back and post the recipe and my changes. Reed can't stand mushrooms, so he picked them out of his bowl of soup. But the soup still has a distinct mushroom flavor because you use pureed mushrooms in it. So, if you can tolerate the mushroom flavor, but not the texture, then just leave out the second set of shrooms and see where that leads you. ;) I can't promise this is exact from the mag because my scribbles may not have lead to exact.

Creamy Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup from Nov. 2008 or maybe it was Dec. 2008 Every Day with Rachel Ray Mag
1 oz dried mushrooms
6 cups chicken broth
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
6 carrots coarsely chopped
1 onion coarsely chopped
2 TBS fresh sage chopped
1 6oz box long grain, wild rice
3/4 pounds white mushrooms
1 skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup heavy cream
* Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup broth until rehydrated. Use food processor to puree. (I didn't have dried mushrooms, so I just used canned shrooms that I had on hand and pureed those. ;) )
* Heat 3 TBSP evoo in skillet, add carrots, onion and sage to saute (I didn't have fresh sage, so just added carrots and onions) Add pureed mushrooms and cook one minute, adding salt and pepper
* Add 5 cups broth, rice mixture, sliced mushrooms to stock pot and boil. Add chicken breast, lower eat, simmer until rice is tender and chicken breast is cooked. Remove chicken breast and shred into pieces, add back to soup mixture. Stir in cream, season with salt and pepper. (I already had a cooked chicken breast in my fridge that was extra from the quesadillas we had the other night so I just shredded and used it instead of cooking one along with my rice.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

My felt ornament attempts

Well, after drooling over the ornaments and creations at Bugs and Fishes I decided to see what I could do with the supplies I found scattered around in various places in the basement. Mine look nothing like as cute and creative as hers, but hey, they are rather cute. I spent five minutes the first day trying to remember how to blanket stitch. I finally remembered and then just got to work.

I kinda of like these. I'm not sure what I'll do with them or if I'll make more or not. But for this week, they've kept me busy. :)

First one:

Another fancy round ornament:

And a cookie cutter train that I traced:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Felt Fun


My sister recently asked me if I knew where she could buy kits to make felt ornaments. My immediate response was, "Why do you need a kit?" When God handed out the crafty gene in our family, I took more than my fair share apparently because well, to put it lightly, she doesn't have much of a crafty bone in her body. (sorry, Tam if you ever read this - luv ya, really I do.) Then I told her to look at places like Oriental Trading Company or Family Fun since she was planning to do this with her daughter. Later in the day, she asked what those websites were again. I emailed her back and said do a google search. Heck, I just did a google search and sent her some of the results.

In those results, I had found a blog with the CUTEST felt ornaments. I have entertained myself by scrolling back through this girl's previous blog posts and oohing and aaahing over her cute felt ornaments. Bugs and Fishes She sells them in a local gift shop and possibly online?.

How cute are these little:
Birds and these Reindeer
and these Other Birds
and then there are these Christmas Pudding Ornaments
and these Ornaments
and her post with a photo of a variety of Ornaments

I'm sorry, but who needs a kit when you can find all these cute ideas on the internet? I had no intentions of making any sort of ornaments for our tree this year, but after looking at these and others online, I'm thinking we might have a Felt Fun Day and just sew up some of these. R would be all for it, he's crafty and interested in that sort of thing like his mother. ;) D would go along with it just because.

Oh and I forgot to mention my tree skirt that some of you may have seen before. It's the photo at the top. I made it eight years ago and we still love it every December when we get it out to wrap around the base of the tree. So, felt ornaments would fit the theme there. :)

Here is a close up of one section of the skirt:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Osage Oranges and other stuff


Ever have one of those situations that just make you go "hmmmmm"? I have those quite often. Wasn't that a song from the eighties?

Today, we went out to a little nearby town and joined D. along with his Webelos pack who were camping out for the weekend with the boy scout troop. I had my camera and found a few "things" to photograph while we were out there. It was great just walking around in the woods, climbing some rocks that were once a part of the rock quarry and just hanging out. (It was COLD though and the wind had yet to die down from blowing all week. :/ )

These "horse apples" caught my eye as they were lying in their cluster on the ground. One of them had a hole in the top which made me question, "Do horses really eat those things?" and "What is the real name of those trees and their fruits?" So, of course, when I got home, I googled "horse apple" to find that they are actually Osage-oranges Ok. Now, I know. I won't use that tidbit of information other than possibly take one, cut it in half and see if it really works to keep spiders out of your house (heard that somewhere once...)

The thing that made me go "hmmmm" was tonight when R and I were reading in a book we got from the library this week. It is a Native American alphabet book. I turned to O's page and can you guess what was there? "O is for Osage-orange." How bizarre is that? Now, we know even more than we ever cared to know about Osage oranges, aka, horse apples.

Oh, and just another photo I snapped of some wildflowers out there. Not sure what these were before their leaves fell and left only the berries. I thought they looked really cool with the number of them in this particular area.


I was standing in line at the convenience store earlier patiently waiting my turn to pay. The two people in front of me were buying lottery tickets - scratch cards and PowerBall tickets. I stood there thinking I wouldn't know what to do with either if I'd bought any. Seriously, I've never bought a lottery ticket and wouldn't know for sure what numbers I should check where and when if I did. I told this to the clerk when it was my turn. She just kind of chuckled. But I wonder if deep down she was wondering what rock I've been hiding under for the past ten years. LOL

Do you play the lottery or buy scratch cards? The closest I've come is scratching off a ticket that DH bought once and scratching off the Monopoly cards from my fries at McDonald's.

I guess all this means I should really stop using that phrase, "I'll buy ________ when I win the lottery." Guess you actually have to play to win. I'm just not into that sort of thing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Everyone else is doing it

So, we took some photos today of us in the HUGE pile of leaves in our yard. I was kind of hoping the wind would blow them out of my yard into the unknown, but there are too many, it didn't happen. :\



And, they even convinced me to flop down into the leaves. Ick, itchy! LOL

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lego Man and Indiana Jones

Just a quick post tonight to share what the boys chose to wear last night as their Halloween "costumes".

This year was almost as cheap as last year's costumes. This year, all I had to buy was spray paint for R's costume. D's costume was pretty much a gathering of all we had in the closets and toy boxes, with the addition of a borrowed hat from an acquaintance. :)



Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Gari-Ann - to answer your question about photos of the finished projects, well, I didn't take them yesterday! We had to jet out on an errand to the pharmacy, run back home to eat, then go to a scout meeting. So, I was rushed by the time we did finish carving.

So, that makes for a post for today. :D

R chose a mask type carving from our files for his pumpkin. It's rather strange, but looks kinda cool lit up with the candle inside. And D chose a spider.


The roasted pumpkin seeds turned out well. I should have put more salt on them instead of garlic salt. Hey, it's the first thing I grabbed when I opened the spice cabinet. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Carving pumpkins


This afternoon, we set out to carve our pumpkins. Finally, my children are old enough to really want to do it and not just leave me to the entire process. Oh, yeah, I still did almost all of the work, but they were eager to help and didn't totally abandon me in the process. I think they knew better. LOL D chose a spider for his pumpkin and R chose some weird mask like thing. He has visions of painting it black on one side and white on the other and it being like TwoFace from Batman. Not quite sure we'll get to that, but the idea was a cool one. It was fun, we acted silly and snapped a few photos. D snapped these while we were working. He took over the camera after he was astounded by the fact I even picked it up with pumpkin guts all over my hands. lol He knows how serious and anal I am about cameras. *guilty*

R decided no way was he trying the "pumpkin poop" - look at his tongue hanging out as a sign of disgust! He's a funny boy!

We have the pumpkin seeds drying on paper towels so we can roast them tomorrow for a snack. Do you do this? I never did it as a child and only ever heard of roasting your own pumpkin seeds when I started student teaching. Hmmmm, novel idea. The boys think it's cool and I love the seeds, so we've made it our own tradition.

Side note: After almost two weeks of this crazy headache, I went to the doctor and got some meds. Hopefully now, the headache will go away officially! Thank you Dr. S for the meds! :) Maybe they'll help my ears to stop ringing after being outside today in the coolness and wind.