Saturday, November 30, 2013

And I did it!

NaBloPoMo, I conquered you! I feel like Superman. Or Superwoman. Or Supercat.

Thank you to EVERYONE for reading along.

I have a gift for one lucky reader...a batch of Frank's Famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (if you're allergic, vegan, or gluten-free I'll substitute something else) and a few other goodies. Leave a comment if you'd like a chance to win (I'll leave them open a while longer).

There's only one catch, you have to have ALREADY commented on one of my previous November posts.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Usually Frank's the baker around here, but I decided to try to make calzones by myself.  
He had made them once when I was out of town, and offered me useful tips like:  
don't fill them too full and don't make them too drippy.

I made the dough and let it rise while we went to see Catching Fire.

After the movie, I assembled them with ricotta, italian sausage, spinach, 
and after I took the picture I sprinkled some grated mozarella on top. 
Fold over, brush with olive oil and let sit while the oven preheats a second time 
because someone (me?) accidentally turned it off.

Bake at 450° for 25 minutes.

Let cool a bit and slice.

Served with marinara sauce on the side.

They were good.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Greetings

Thanksgiving Greetings from Me to You!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What Was on the Counter?

So what's odd about this picture?

Not the leftover Halloween candy, the leftover Halloween coconuts!  
I'm not sure why they are out on the counter a month later.  
Perhaps Ernest had been playing with them.

Frank and his best friend had Monty Python-themed costumes.

The coconuts were necessary for the horse trotting noises.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Time Warp Tuesday: Pies

I am cooking for just three people this Thanksgiving, so we are discussing the quantity of pie we need.  I feel that we're still going to make two, pumpkin and apple, and just have lots of leftovers.  I am a big fan of pie for breakfast!

I came across some pictures from Thanksgiving 2004 with my pie men.

At age 14, Frank was already a pie expert.

We must have been cooking for a crowd.  That looks like the basis for 2 pumpkin pies right there.

Even Ernest, at age 8, made an itty bitty pie.

Did anyone notice something odd on the counter?  Something unusual?  Answer tomorrow.

And please join Jenn and Susan for their time warps.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thematic Photographic: In the Foreground

I was in a hurry to take sunset pictures and had the camera on autofocus. My slice, my glimpse, my window of the sunset sky is bordered by trees, which just kept getting in the way.  But I love my trees, and my neighbors' trees, so that's no hardship.

Thematic Photographic is hosted by Carmi, at Written, Inc.

Poppins Up

It's a good time for local Mary Poppins fans like me!

The musical is running at a regional theater until next month, and then Saving Mr. Banks opens.

You will recall I have a fondness for the Poppins.  Spit spot!

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunset Time

We had gorgeous sunset colors last night.

Homer didn't care. He was ready for dinner. Please, not pâté again.

Francine yawned.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Out and About

I saw some interesting mushrooms yesterday.

And a spectacular sunset.

I wonder what today will bring?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bye mom (oh how many times is this now?)

Once again, we took the bridge to nowhere 
to take Ernest to the airport 
for an extended Thanksgiving break.  
I feel so much safer with those suicide barriers in place.

Usually, the traditional burger is devoured upon the return trip.  
This time it was different.  
"Then I won't have to eat an airport lunch," he said.

He's become much more gracious about the now obligatory "Bye, Mom" picture.

Thanks, sweetie.  It means the world to me.
Enjoy Boston and New York and hug your darling from me.

Love, Mom

By the way, this is post #1300.  Wow.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Trebuchet Launching

Frank really wanted to see the trebuchet launch. So did I. And I'd made another sling for it, this one with the rope holes reinforced with washers.  So we headed out to Hogwarts on a cloudy day.

It was finely calibrated.  Twenty pounds of weight would fling a small pumpkin 20 yards, forty would get you 40 and so on.

The pumpkins only had about two good launches before they cracked.

No wonder.  They hit pretty hard.  Look at the divot in the grass.

Ninety pounds got the pumpkins all the way over here.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Inspiration and Cranberry Orange Scones

Frank invited me to a piano recital Monday morning, so I brought Ina Garten's Cranberry Orange Scones. Ina never leads me astray. They were divine.

Frank is once more a tween. Just when you think you've grown out of all those awkward stages, you arrive at another one. No longer a high schooler, but more motivated than the adult students, his kind and lovely teacher coined a "collegiate" level just for him. But he is invited to play with both the high schoolers and the adults.

The adults were coerced into a recital with the lure of coffee and snacks. I commend them for stepping out of their comfort zones.

When Ernest leaves for college next fall, I hope to slide into his piano slot and brush up my rusty skills.  I took lessons long enough to finish the first John Thompson book, but I quit because we did not have a piano.  I hated practicing on this 29-key organ.

Eventually we got a piano, but I did not want to take lessons again.  Of course I regret that now.  I did noodle around (as my sons say) on that piano but I found it really hard to play.  Years later, Ernest had started lessons on that very piano and I mentioned that to his teacher (a different lovely woman who came to our house) and she said, yes this piano is very hard to play.  As in hard to push the keys down. Wow, it wasn't just me!  So when we realized Ernest was serious about music and not just noodling around we got another piano.

Well, here's to scones and inspirations.  What's inspiring you today?

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Potted Potter

Frank and I went to see Potted Potter the other evening.  If you can imagine 7 Harry Potter books reenacted by two people in under 10 minutes per book, well, you'll have a good time.

There was certainly a bit of magic afoot that evening.

Spells MUST have been cast.

There was NO ONE in the ladies' room.

We had LEG ROOM!


And the biggest spell of all, NO ONE PARKED next to us!

Monday, November 18, 2013

It Worked!

I was out for the afternoon and was promised after pictures. This is all I got.

They didn't actually launch anything in our driveway. They took it to a field at school. I guess there is some fine tuning to be done. Ernest took a few more parts with him this morning.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Slow Start Sunday

Everything is moving slowly here this morning.

The continuing trebuchet project was supposed to start at 8:00. Ernest (after he slept late) couldn't locate the student who was supposed to be working on the project with him. So he brought someone else back who is interested in physics. It's now 11:00 and they are slowly just beginning.

The pancake syrup pours slowly.

I'm moving slowly.

Homer is slowly eating kibble because he hates the pate cat food. I always forget.

Hopefully things will speed up a bit as the day progresses.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Weekend Projects

Ernest has plans to make another trebuchet this weekend.  Yes, another.  One isn't enough.  This one has seen a lot of use over the years, flinging things into our back yard.

The additional trebuchet is for a physics project.  It will be substantially bigger.

I was deputized to make the sling to hold the projectile (a 4-5" diameter pumpkin).  Oh, just use my old jeans said Handy, and sew through here and here.  I broke two sewing machine needles trying to sew through the jeans seams. Aaaargh! I cried!  I'm going to do this the proper way.

It was a piece of cake after I cut the jeans apart and squared up the piece on the grain with a rotary cutter (yay, quilting gadgets). Good sewing techniques rule!

This is demonstrated with a 5" rubber band ball.  Imagine the bounce if he flung that!  We'd never find it!  But there are too many years of work in that ball to lose it like that.

What are your plans this weekend?

NaBloPoMo November 2013