Archive for June, 2010

Coffee Bean Fact of the Day- Do NOT try to clean the espresso machine with your fingers, it will cut you and it will hurt! I don’t work for a week so I can’t do any more daily facts of the day! But as soon as I’m back, I will get right on it. ^.^

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Coffee Bean Fact of the Day: Blended drinks (cold drinks) are typically made with flavored powders while hot drinks are usually made with flavored syrups. While both can be substituted for the other, it’s better to stick with the powders for the cold and the syrups for the warm. I’m sure the average person would think the opposite; we’ve all tried pouring regular sugar into cold tea only to have it sink to the bottom and never dissolve, no matter how earnestly we stirred it.  You would think that  powders would dissolve in hot drinks and syrups would stir into cold drinks; I guess it just goes to show that things aren’t always what they seem. ^.^

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Coffee Bean Fact of the Day: I learned the difference between a Cappuccino, a Latte, and the little known competitor, a Brevè. Basically, they are different names for the same thing. A cappuccino has a shot of espresso and four ozs of steamed milk FOAM. A latte, has a shot of espresso and four ozs of steamed milk with a little foam on top. And lastly, the shy guy, Breve, is a shot of espresso and four ozs of steamed half and half. Stay tuned for more interest facts, right out of the coffee cup of Brandy Bratcher. ^.^

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I absolutely LOVE my new job! I work at Ainsworth Flowers and Gifts, and like the name might imply, it is super fun! It’s a flower shop, a gift store, and a coffee shop all in one. I got to make several smoothies and espressos, helped make a candy bouquet, and painted a sign that is going to be on the float in next week’s parade.I’m getting paid $7 an hour, to have fun and make friends. Who could ask for a better summer job?

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I’ve been working on my tan these past few days; Mary, Ashley and I went to Basset’s Agricultural Expo and we really enjoyed ourselves snagging free pens and admiring local artwork (quilts, wood carvings, scrapbooks, jewelry etc).  My right arm is about two shades darker because I stick that one out the window, not to mention my Croc’s tan…. Polka dots anyone? Unfortunately we didn’t get to go to the Extreme Bull Riding (Mark saved a turtle that was wandering around near the highway, we took him to a nearby pond… in this case slow and steady wouldn’t have won the race if it was with a car instead of a hare!) Despite getting there 10 minutes after the show started, I heard a woman at Dollar General today telling the checker that the expo ticket office sold more ticket’s then they had seats for and that they ran out of seats an hour before the show. Even though she had a ticket, she had to stand in the outermost edge of the arena for two hours in order to watch! Besides not getting to go to the bull riding, I think the three of us enjoyed ourselves immensely. It’s always interesting to see the plans that God has for us and how they unfold…

Besides going to the expo, we also went to several yard sales where I found a lot of really great things for super cheap. One yard sale had some really neat things (dare I use the word neat? Yes, yes I do) for only a NICKEL! A nickel! When was the last time you could get ANYTHING for a nickel, not to mention really cool things! I found a miniature bread basket with little pieces of clay bread; they look extremely realistic and are absolutely darling. I also found some wooden blocks with some French Country-esque houses and chickens stenciled on the sides. We also found several really great books and some very nice white linen napkins. Mark and I got a large tote to put all of these things in so when we do have a home for ourselves, we might have a few sweet things to brighten our day, and practical things to enjoy.

Mark bought balloons for me about four days ago and today he surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of different colored daisies! It is honestly one of the most beautiful flower arrangements I have ever seen, being in a small rounded vase with only the color of the flowers and the shape of the beautiful glass to give it beauty. It’s simple, clean, natural and wonderful, I couldn’t love it any more if I had too. He even called the flower shop to describe a flower I had described to him the day before! They actually had it, and I was absolutely tickled to see it again so soon. I will post a picture of gorgeous flower arrangement the second the computer get’s hooked back up (just came back from the ‘doctor’s)

If it isn’t too much to ask, please keep my mom’s boyfriend in your prayers; he’s had a quadruple heart bypass and has been in the hospital for 17 days so far… my grandma was also in for heart trouble for 3 days, and my brother hasn’t been to well either. When it rains it pours, as the Bratcher’s always say. I’ve been considering coming home early, but I’m just taking it a day at a time. Anyway, I love you all and miss you very much. One doesn’t realize how much they love their ‘folks’ and their hometown until they are away for a long time…and the state they are visiting has not only extreme bull riding but extreme weather as well, lol.

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I’ve been reading a lot of books lately; since Mark is often working, I’m at the library reading to my hearts to content. While I probably couldn’t remember all the books I’ve read this summer if you paid me, some of them I particular enjoyed were the  Young Royal books, (historical fiction is one of my all time favorite genres) and a book from the Dear America series, about a boy who worked on the transcontinental railroad. While it isn’t a true story, it is based on a real person and what his experiences probably were like. I enjoyed it immensely because I travel across the VERY same path that the Union Pacific railroad worked to complete. Everything I read was remarkable because it mentioned actual cities that I’ve gone to like McCook, Kearney, and Grand Island. I was thrilled to learn about the great struggle to meet both coasts, that now a person can travel across the U.S.A in a week, while before it took between 6-9 months, with shipwrecks and pirates to worry about to boot. I read about the great railroad race that took place right under my feet, the tracks we use are the tracks I read about them going to great lengths to build. Through the discovery of Nitro Glycerin to the booming temporary cowboy towns of the west, I enjoyed every second of it.

I’m sure you can imagine my excitement then when I heard about a railroad museum in Grand Island…. I found the brochure the Nick brought back from one of his conferences. It boasts workers in period attire and actual ruts from the wheels of covered wagons during the Oregon trail and SO much more! I plan on getting on bended knee and begging Mark; He’s already talked about going to the water park in the same city, so I don’t see why we couldn’t make a day of it and go to both!




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I know I haven’t written in a long time… about three weeks or ever since I’ve come to Nebraska. We’ve been pretty busy here and, when you get out of the regular routine and hum drum of you own life, going into another state with another family, changes everything you normally do. What I mean to say is, at my grandmother’s house, I wake up a certain time, shower at a certain time, from this period to this period I use the computer, then I help with dinner and do the dishes….. over here things are more sporadic, things just happen, and at the last-minute too. I’m not used to is, but I’m enjoying it immensely. So, if you can forgive me, I would like to post a few thoughts today and we’ll see how long it takes for me to come back.

The problem with blogs, I’ve discovered, is that throughout the day I have so many thoughts, (interesting ones too!) but if I don’t write them down, I won’t remember them when it comes time to write. Just yesterday I had a flash of inspiration to write a children’s book (everyone always thought I’d ‘grow up’ and become an author) I had thought of an interesting beginning and worked my way into the first page when a telephone ringing propelled me out of my pool of Energizing Ideas, and I forgot nearly all of it. So what I’m saying is thing: Don’t complain if what I’m writing here is no good, I assure you that I do have some pretty cool theories/ thoughts; I just don’t push myself to get them down on paper in time.

Looking back at my last post, I was in an awfully bad mood… I am glad I went on vacation before I destroyed myself and said something to someone that I ought not have said. Though part of me wishes I would have stayed because many of my family members are sick and/or in the hospital and I feel quite helpless over here.

My mom’s boyfriend had a quadruple heart bypass at the last second, my mom went to Visalia to stay with him. My grandmother decided to go visit them both, and she had started to have pains in her chest and was admitted to the very same hospital. My Poppi (her husband) is elderly and has a difficult time getting around, was unable to go and see her and anxious being stuck at home, not knowing what was going on. I normally would have kept an eye on him, cooked for him, etc, but since I was/ am over here, people had to be called to come in every once in a while to see if he was okay. Meanwhile, my poor brother is at home by himself (mom and Dennis are in the hospital) having a hard time breathing and quite sick. Grandpa dad has been paying for him to go to the hospital and buying his medication, also bringing him food to eat and checking up on him. All in all, I’m over here ‘relaxing’ while my family members aren’t doing very well. I feel guilty for having left them, but how could I have known that all of this would come to pass? I’m considering coming home early, but I don’t see how it would help anything. School doesn’t start until August, I would be doing nothing for months, in everyone’s way. Grandma has come home a few nights ago, and is, apparently doing well. Dennis is rumored to be released in a week or two. My mom is still in Visalia, living out of a motor home. I’ve heard that the rent on the trailer is being raised AGAIN, and since Dennis isn’t working, mom won’t be able to pay the bills. Everyone is worried about everything, I’m over here having fun when I probably shouldnt’ be.

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