This project was inspired by two things:
1) I've noticed two tires sitting by the barn for about two years. I figured if someone needed them, they would've already used them.
2) Every spring in Cumberland County, there is a tire drop-off and trash trailer weekend in which residents can bring any sized item to centralized locations and dispose of the stuff too large/awkward/non-biodegradable for normal trash pick-up.
I started thinking about how all of those used tires could be recycled (playground "mulch," multi-colored planters, extreme races like the Warrior Dash). Since I don't have a lot of knowledge of breaking down rubber and converting it into a safe bed of playground flooring, I went with Plan B: colorful tire swing for my favorite girl.
I cleaned the tire out well, picked up some indoor/outdoor spray paint in her favorite colors (turquoise and pink), and started working.
Homemade Soft Pretzels (Alton Brown - Food Network.com)
I can turn down sweets. I could live the rest of my life without ever having another french fry. I could be a non-complaining vegetarian if, for some reason, that were necessary. I can not do without my bread.
Big, doughy bagels and pretzels are two of my favorites (although I eat toast like nobody's business and get excited about a plain ol' loaf of regular sandwich bread). I've made homemade bagels before, but found the "time required:enjoyment" ratio a little unbalanced. The recipe below, however, does not fail the "you mean I spent all day making these and they're not much better than what I could go buy at Houchens?" litmus test. The pretzels are fairly quick and easy and, if eaten right out of the oven, really, really delicious. Give them a try.
I am fortunate enough to have thoughtful people in my life who are handy and who realize Easter basket appreciation knows no age limit. Here are some of my favorites...
I love this. He's funny without trying too hard. The message is pertinent and powerful, but not preachy or unrealistic. The argument for creativity, reading, and thinking is so much more eloquent, yet relatable, than I could ever make. When you have an extra 15 minutes, take the time to watch.