Monday, January 23, 2017

Family ...

So this past summer my Uncle Walter died.  He was 95.  He was an interesting man with an interesting life.  He was the husband of my mother's sister.  She was born in 1920 and is still living in Maryland.  He was younger, born in March of 1921.

I didn't know him well enough to write much.  He was a professor at the University of Maryland, geography I believe.  One of his "hobbies" was making wine -- on a large scale.  The day after the memorial service, I went with my cousins, their families, and a bunch of their friends for a day at the vineyard -- picking grapes, pressing grapes, bottling wine.

This was something I'd been wanting to do for the last few years since I started drinking and appreciating wine.  Nevada and I had talked about going to the east coast for the harvest ...

I had participated in the harvest once before.  Prior to moving to California, the fam and I went to Cremona and picked grapes and pressed some wine.  The kids swam in the pool -- a pool where the water was directly from the Patuxent River ...  It was a good time.  No pictures though.

My uncle also used to love taking pictures.  He had a dark room in the basement.  There were always pictures around their house, usually black & white, of children, grandchildren, houses, Africa...

This is a picture taken by my uncle (notice the camera in the mirror) -- probably pre-children.  You gotta love his Charlie Chaplin-esque pose and my aunt's expression.

The following is the link to a blog post by a friend of Ila & Walter's.

And if you're interested, here's a link to a web site with pictures from Uganda/Kenya.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cocktail Wednesday - French 75

This week's cocktail was a three-peat, the French 75.  Recipe from here.

  • Gin, 2 oz.
  • Lemon juice, 1 oz.
  • Sugar, 1 tsp.
  • ice
  • Champagne

I put the sugar, lemon and gin in the shaker with ice.  poured in glasses, and topped off with the champagne.

Very tasty.  I like it better each time!

Ice cream #1-3 - Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla

So I've used the ice cream maker three times.  Made strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla.  Quite neopolitan!

They were all three delicious.  The strawberry was the best with the vanilla coming in a close second.

I think the next one to make is coffee -- then I'll add toffee to it to make a Coffee, heath-bar crunch which is my favorite Ben & Jerry's favorite.

The vanilla disappeared quickly ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cocktail Wednesday - Strawberry Gin Cocktail

So, we had our first Cocktail Wednesday of 2017 last week.  We've been quite faithful (?) in continuing this tradition started by my friend Shay.

Anyway, last week's drink was a Strawberry Gin Cocktail.  Recipe from here.

  • Gin
  • Strawberries
  • Lemon (fresh lemon juice)
  • Mint (instead of basil -- mix up at the grocery store) 
  • Sugar
  • Club soda
  • Ice

here's me trying to be all artsy with my pictures ...

Basically, you take one strawberry, two mint leaves and 2 teaspoons of sugar and muddle them in the bottom of the shaker.  When you feel like everything is well muddled, you add gin (2 oz) and lemon juice (1 oz), and shake.  You pour that into the glass, with ice, and top off with the club soda (with a strawberry for garnish).  That's it. 

It was tasty, not too sweet, but sweet enough for me - another success!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Google Love

Google has this option in photos where they animate your pictures for you.  Here are some pics of Nate Dog from Christmas that I just love.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pink Elephant

Not sure where to start this.  A few years ago a friend of mine gave me a stuffed elephant pattern.  I put it away, to make, later.  Then at a Christmas party, where we participated in a white elephant gift exchange, one of the kids at the party had a "white elephant" made from this same pattern.  It was so cute, I decided that I would try to make one. 

This was my first try.  I  think the trunk should be a little thicker, but I like it very much.

I haven't quite finished it -- I need to sew up the back still and the eyes are a little crooked.  I plan to make more.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Biography #1 - The Last Lion

The full title is: The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965.  This is Volume 3.

It took me all year to read; I actually listened to most of it.  I have the hardest time reading non-fiction so I figured this would be the best way (  I actually enjoyed it but it was about 60 hours long.

I'd like to give a book report but I'm not great at that.  Churchill is a fascinating character and this obviously delves deeply into the history.  This would be a great book to listen to when taking a very long road trip.

oh and btw, I highly recommend audible -- the narrator was excellent.  I plan to read/listen to volumes 1 and 2 as well.  Not sure when. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

One Second Every Day - 2016

The LIST for 2017

Here is the list for this year.  I finished so few of my "goals" last year that a ton of this year's are going to be "finish ..." or "complete..."  

1. Take a trip with Nevada
2. Visit Yosemite
3. Finish the Couch to 5K program - DONE (finished right before trip to Michigan)
4. Visit the East Coast
5. Make a souffle - DONE!
6. Continue with the 12 biographies (11 to go) ...
7. Finish Grinch quilt
8. Finish making Dalek costume - Done! (didn't blog about it when it was finished, but did wear it at Gallifrey One)

9. Complete Round Robin blog - finished March 24, 2017
10. Trip to Wales?
11. Blog more than last year (not too hard since I only posted 67 times in 2016) DONE (79 in 2017)
12. Go on 6 dates with my husband.
13. Make 6 new breads (maybe even use the bread maker I got from Nevada)(can include scones, biscuits, etc.)
14. Make curtains for the little boys' room
15. Make a 5-year plan
16. Take a road trip
17. Attend a local art and wine festival - DONE
18. Plant thyme, basil, and mint (Done - except it might be Rosemary instead of Thyme)
19. Make/plant a garden with tomatoes, peppers, squash and some other things - Done
20. Go to lunch with someone I haven't seen for a while
21. Make a family photo calendar - DONE
22. Cook something with grandson(s)
23. Try a new ethnic food
24. Try one new recipe a month
25. Take 6 new hikes (#1 Almaden Quicksilver County Park; #2 Sycamore Grove Park; #3 Garin Regional Park; #4 Point Isabel; #5 Stevens Creek County Park; #6 Estivant Pines
26. Make doughnuts
27. Make mozzarella cheese - attempted.  Will try again.
28. One Second Every Day Project - Done
29. Record Story Corps interviews with the boys - DONE
30. Have a 35,000 step day - DONE!
31. Walk 1200 fitbit miles - Done
32. Fondue (have at home or out) -- not just chocolate
33. Do barrel tasting at Raymond - Done
34. Make 6 different ice creams/sorbets/yogurt - 1, 2, 3 - Strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla
35. Watch original Star Wars trilogy
36. Make 6 quilts
37. Make elephant stuffed animal - DONE
38. Clean garage - DONE
39. Have a blind wine tasting party - DONE (Nevada's going away party)
40. Try 3 new restaurants
41. Go to a major league baseball game -- A's, O's, Giants, Nats? - NOPE - BB Season is OVER
42. Go to a museum
43. Visit Nevada (the state)
44. Go to a minor league baseball game - NOPE - BB Season is OVER
45. Take a walk on a beach - DONE, Michigan
46. Make pillow cases for me
47. Make the perfect French Fries
48. Try a new hair color ... DONE - red, going grey
49. Finish watching new Who
50. Get another Night Before Christmas - done
51. Have a 100,000 step week - DONE (8/20-26/17)
52. Make a list for 2018

and as always, get healthier, i.e., exercise more, eat better (and less).

2024 - Week 5 - Jan 29 - Feb 4

Jan 29 - the bed Jan 30 - tomorrow I start the Couch to 5K (using the 10K app)  (Nevada is encouraging me to do this with her. I will start ...