Saturday, December 06, 2008

Seasonal Rolls

6 year old, Jemma was asking for Chinese food tonight and my wife was trying to ascertain what she likes...

You like noodles? Yeah.

Egg rolls? No. I like those um Winter..

Ah, yes.

Spring Rolls!

Later, we are watching a cooking show and she asks to watch, "Boy". We don't know what she means by that and so ask her to describe it. He goes to different places and tries their food.

Acha! Guy Fieri

Final update: My wife tells me that Jemma actually said "Summer" not Winter. You see how memory works? Or rather kind of fails to.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Home Made

Beef Curry with some left-over steak from the other night. Saffron Basmahti rice. The saffron came from flowers grown in our garden and collected with tweezers. A dozen bulbs-worth of crocuses made enough for one pot of rice. At least the flowers are pretty too.

Unpictured, since it was already on the table--a green salad.

Visitor from out-of-town

I haven't seen this friend for around 24 years. He was in the area for business and so it was great to get together.

There have been a lot of changes since then and this is to be expected. What was a happy surprise is how much he seems just like he did from back in the days when we were in school together. Even though our lives are filled with much more responsibility now, he is still the same easy-going guy.

Lots of coincidences too: We were both runners, but we both just ran marathons in the last couple of months after not running one since the 1980's. We each have three children, and each got a dog after never having one or growing-up with one.

Last Thanksgiving morsel

The last of the turkey meat went into this pretty pie made by my wife. She made a bunch of pie dough Thanksgiving day. I made one pie that day and three more the next day (those three went straight to the freezer).

The cheese went well with the meal and is itself very special: Cougar Gold. My wife and I met at WSU, so there is that but the cheese is objectively sublime. The fresh grapes (red are better) made a good counterpoint to the other savory offerings.

Cookie Box

A friend visiting from out of town gave us this tin of cookies. If they taste half as good as the picture on the outside, they will be delicious! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Both are great books to read to your child.

But one is better. The chapters in Around The World in 80 Days are really short. This is good because who can't spare 5-10 minutes most nights before bed? The Hobbit, on the other hand has some very long chapters and so I wouldn't want to read unless I had half-an-hour to spare and still sometimes ended the night mid-chapter.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Gas is cheap again!

This last Summer, we took the Yukon on a couple of long trips and filling the tank was painfull. The self-service stations have limits on what you can spend, which I think they raised as a result of higher prices. So it was quite common to run into a $100 limit and still have room for a couple more gallons of fuel. Yesterday I filled the tank with something like 28 gallons and it was only a few cents over $50. What a deal!

I'm not that fanatical, look at these guys!

I use my lunch break at work to go running and I get my fair share of grief about it when I run in bad weather. Around here that can be a lot of the year. Summers of 90F and high humidity, Winters of heavy snow and rain at any time of the year.

Now, I usually don't let the weather stop me, but I do not run every day. I normally take Saturdays off for running errands. Also, it is nice to take a day off before my traditionally hardest run on Sundays.

There are people, mostly guys but some women, who have run every single day for years. Years! Every single day!

Check it.

There is a guy who has run every day, every single day since July 23rd 1968.

Compared to that guy I am barely an aficionado.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday--We get our baby fix

We missed-out on getting to see our baby nephew on Thanksgiving day, but we got invited to the cradling for the baby of some family friends. The baby was so tiny. You forget how small they are when newly born.

The brother of the mother was also there and he is always friendly and enjoyable to talk to. We got to meet his fiancee, Beth is her name and she is incredibly sweet. Her whole family was there as well: A sister who looks a lot like her, only brunette instead of blond and her parents, who were very pleasant and engaging folks.

Surenna noticed the piano right away and asked for permission to play. She studies the violin, but is able to pick-through songs on other instruments. They had a songbook with the page opened to Ach Du Lieber Augustine and she had fun working through that.

The IKEA store is a long way from our home, but more-or-less right on the way to the friends' place in Plymouth, so we had the grandparents take the kids to the party and my wife and I took the Yukon, with a stop at the store. It was a productive trip, we got tons of cabinets and such for the new room we are working on. Now we will have to redouble our efforts and get that project done! IKEA stores, in case you have never been to one are huge and designed like a maze--you have to go past every department in order to get from the entrance to the check-out. The thing is that it is a kind of nice maze and so you don't mind so much going through it. It does eat up a lot of time though. Don't go unless you need a lot of stuff. Or if you don't mind spending two hours buying three coffee cups.

Thanksgiving misc.

The day was really very laid-back. My wife's brother and his wife were going to come, but had to cancel as their baby was sick. So all we had was us 5 plus my wife's parents. We did some things differently as a result of this:

We didn't stress-out about the meal being in the early afternoon, which made the day more relaxing. I even managed to do some yard work--prune the roses, dig-up the dahlias, put the picnic table into mothballs and rake the leaves away from the crocuses. We all had time to go for a bike ride/walk (some of us rode, some walked) to the Byam School.

Normally I would cook two small turkeys; One in the oven and one on the charcoal grill for that smoky taste. This year I did just one. I have also added another tradition to the mix--focaccia, as a snack around lunch time. My grandmother, who was as we say, "off the boat" made this lovely savory bread all the time. Although she always called it pizza. It is really great and I make a batch of dough anyway for rolls, so it isn't much extra work.

We missed-out on getting to see the little cute baby, but we had a quiet, happy thanksgiving.

Sunday Marathon Training

Kind of a mixed bag today:

1. A couple of miles after I left home it began to sleet and it kept it up the whole way.

2. I pushed much harder than I had been and it seemed to have an effect. Last week I ran 8:45 miles (IIRC) and today it was 8:27.

3. This is the 4th time I have run this same route and today I took a wrong turn. It took me around 0.35 miles to figure this out, so the run was more than 19.5 miles. Maybe my brain was addled by fatigue and cold, which is why I missed my turn. The kicker is that the correct road was only like 10-15 yards past where I went. I could (have) see(n) it from where I turned.

4. The iPod really helps. I don't usually wear it for such long runs because I am afraid that I will get sick of listening to music and then it will be dead weight from that point-on.