Saturday, January 25, 2020

Cocktail Wednesday - Gin & Sin Cocktail

The first drink for Cocktail Wednesday 2020 was the Gin & Sin Cocktail.

Recipe from here.


For the prep, I juiced three oranges and three lemons.  Then I put ice in the shaker, added the gin, orange juice and lemon juice, a dash of the grenadine and shook the drink and then strained it into the glasses. I forgot the lemon peel garnish.

If I were to re-do it, I would probably add simple syrup.  I made a second batch with two parts orange juice and one part lemon juice.  My SIL liked it better that way. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A Terrible Country - Book #1

So I finished the first book on my list. 

A Terrible Country: A Novel

I enjoyed it.  I could see it as a movie actually .. I wonder if any of it was/is autobiographical.  Anyway, it's about a young man going to Russia to help his aging/ailing grandmother and his experiences.

I'm not good at this book review thing.  So let's just say, I finished it.  I enjoyed it.  On to the next one.

$1 Challenge - Gift Tags

For the $1 Challenge, I'm supposed to buy something for $1 every week.  I may not make it every week but I'll shoot for it (though I'm already behind).

I went to JoAnn's to buy the 2019 J Bear (more on that later).  They were having an 80% off on Christmas items, so it was definitely the time to buy.

We got some candles -- these were not under a dollar -- but were 80% off.

These, however, were:

So, a couple of weeks behind .. but starting out great!

Monday, January 20, 2020

Focaccia Bread (#31)

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I have the day off.  So I decided to make some focaccia bread.  Actually, I had asked my YD what kind of bread to make and she suggested this (as well as a ham and cheese bread).

Here's the recipe I used from


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 ⅓ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

The directions said to mix all the dough ingredients together.  I activated the yeast in the warm water first.

I wasn't sure the yeast was activated but I went ahead and added the other ingredients.  The directions said to knead for 15 minutes -- I did it for only five.

I put the bowl in the slightly heated oven for 1 hour.

and it definitely doubled (so the yeast was definitely activated).

We didn't have a cast iron frying pan, so I used the creuset dutch oven.

After sitting for 20 minutes, I added the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Cooked for 30 minutes (at 20 it didn't look done).

It turned out great -- very tasty with either butter of oil/vinegar.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

In Remembrance ...

Lawrence Edward Wagner 3.27.45 - 1.5.20

My husband's brother passed away this weekend.  He had been sick for a long time -- in May he was not doing well, but made it to my nephew's wedding.  He had liver problems, kidney problems, lung problems, and I don't know what else .. In May, he had trouble walking, but made it there just the same.  We only saw him for a little bit at the wedding.  He and his wife left early ..


The next morning, when we thought we'd have a chance to see him, they ended up leaving early to pick their dog up from the vet ... so basically, the picture above, was the last time I saw him. 

In the fall, when things weren't looking good, my husband flew back east to see him.  Again, he didn't get to spend much time with him, but that was the last time he saw him.   

I didn't know Larry well.  We never lived in the same area.  When we were first married, he was in the Army and stationed at Fort Belvoir in Virginia -- we probably could have spent time together then, but didn't.  Then he moved around a bunch, at one point he was in Hawaii.  He most recently was living in Virginia Beach, but before that he was living in New York.  My company used to send me there a few times a year, so we would see him when we were there.

Here's a picture of the two brothers.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

*Books - The Twelve (or #17)

#17 on my list is to read one book a month.  I am using books from my books page.  Here are the ones I am hoping to read this year:

1 - A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen - Completed

2 - The Rape of Nanking

 3 - Little Women 

4 - The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

5 - Daring Greatly

6 - Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

7 - Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

8 - Starting Now by Debbie Macomber

9 - Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meiste

10 - Between Heaven and Texas by Marie Bostwick

11 - The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black

12 - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

One Second Every Day - 2019

Here is my One Second Everyday video. I didn't take video, or even pictures everyday, but it still covers most of my year. Anyway, I'm going to keep at it. Hopefully, will do better this year ...

The 2020 List of 52

1. Family vacation
2. Attend Gallifrey One - Done
3. Visit Seattle
4. Visit Aunt Mearlene
5. Go to Arizona - Done (didn't post about it, but this post is about bread made in Arizona)
6. Visit East Coast - Done
7. Go to Nevada (state)
8. Wine Tasting
9. See the Grand Canyon
10. Go to Vancouver
11. Blog an average of once a week (so at least 52 posts)
12. Story Corp interviews
13. 1SE  (one second everyday) project
14. Participate in the AtoZ Challenge - DONE (I didn't sign up for the Challenge, but I did post from A to Z in April)
15. Work on scanning old pictures
16. Work on scanning WWI era letters
17. Read one book a month*
18. Re-start cocktail Wednesday
19. $1 challenge
20. Yoga classes (or other such class)
21. Finish Grinch quilt
22. Make three quilts
23. Knit a blanket
24. Make pillow cases
25. Make one wearable (for me? or someone else?)
26. Take 6 different walks/hikes
27. Walk 1,000 fit bit miles
28. Complete "Couch to 5K"
29. Take a bike ride
30. One new thing a month
31. Try a new bread recipe - Done (focaccia bread)
32. Plant garden (tomato plants)
33. Cocktail Wednesday (bi-monthly?) (OOPS - same as 18)
34. Try a new ethnic food
35. Do a beer tasting
36. Add to my "Night Before Christmas" collection
37. Go to estate/yard sales
38. Make new Christmas cookie
39. Try 1 new recipe a month
40. Decorate for Christmas
41. Go to a concert
42. Take a class
43. Bake a pie with homemade crust
44. Watch 25% of Tom Baker episodes
45. Try a new sewing pattern
46. Visit a new / historic / special part of California
47. Make homemade pasta
48. Watch the Prisoner
49. Spend quality time with Nevada
50. Pay it forward
51. Make biscuits and gravy
52. Make a list for 2021...

and the old stand by: eat less, exercise more

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 ...