Monday, January 31, 2011

365 for January 24-30

Sunday is my day to get ready for the week. I usually cook several meals, on this occasion I baked two loaves of oatmeal cinnamon bread. Most of my baking is done late at night, so when I woke up on Monday I was able to admire my handy work with fresh eyes.

This cute bench is located along busy 3rd Street behind the downtown library. It is a treasure and a spot open for everyone to enjoy.

Thomas is working on some sales material for work and asked me if he could take my camera. When I downloaded the pictures on to his memory stick he had taken 150 pictures of this. So I decided to make it the picture of the day.

When I need to decide which picture to post and I have taken so many good shots, I just cannot. So Here are three pictures for you to enjoy.
Love getting mail, but most of the time I get bills.

Our Daphne is blooming. The amazing fragrance it emanates is hypnotizing.

A self portrait of sorts.

Lunch on Friday was take-out veggie sandwich on light rye, light on the mayo and mustard. Thomas had a turkey sandwich on sliced sourdough with jack cheese. We were celebrating. I survived the first test of the semester. I have a test every other Friday for the next 16 weeks.

It rained overnight on Friday and part of the day Saturday. After a long day at school on Saturday I walked outside to find puddles everywhere on the parking lot asphalt. Reflections are so magical.

It is T's birthday today but he had to work. So I spent the day cleaning house, taking Lily to agility, and getting ready for another week of school. Sometimes I wonder if the direction I am going in is the right one, especially when life is crazy busy.

"I just think that is pretty." Dave Mathews exclaimed on his Radio City Tour CD just as I drove past this tree. I think he is right.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bread, cheese and more yogurt.

This week was bad compared to the last few weeks. I discarded the last butt of some homemade bread that just molded in the bag, the rest of the yogurt I made two weeks ago and about a 2-inch brick of goat cheese that was lost to some hairy blue/green bacteria.

So when I bake two loaves of yummy bread, Thomas and I cannot possibly consumed them fast enough before other critters get to them. I do freeze but these were two different types of bread. The cheese just got lost in the bottom drawer. The yogurt, well lets just say I have failed again at making yogurt.

Truth be told, I also discarded a cup of black-eyed peas. We were just not thrilled with the way they tasted after we cooked them up. We tried to save the beans and ended up making something that was just not edible-worse than the first try. I feel bad and even embarrassed, but I am learning.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

365 for January 15-23

As I am anticipating my school load to increase I have been getting some sewing done. This is a quilt I started a month ago thanks to an online tutorial. I am thinking of making 21 of these Dresden circles for a queen size quilt.

Baking bread for Thomas to enjoy with his morning coffee. I love the no-kneed bread recipe done with sourdough starter.

Spring in Northern California is notoriously cool and damp in the mornings followed by a spectacular 74 degree day.
The contrast is fantastic.

We won this Wii at T's company holiday party and it is still in the box. A long time ago someone described outdoor people vs. indoor people. I can confidently say that we are outdoor people so we are thinking about selling the Wii.

Shiloh Park near Windsor is one of my favorite hikes. I was able catch some me time after school so I went on a hike.

When I got home from school I found Tuxedo catching some sun

and Oscar playing with the Japanese Maple in front of our house.

Oscar on the fence. He was watching us while we were working with the bees.

There are several b-days in January. Every year we celebrate in some way with the Paine-Amerlan clan. This year we went bowling and then to dinner as a group. It was fun to see the family. Aidan the youngest addition to the family is growing up fast. He is 13 months and full of energy.

This is the lake just a block away from our house. Many birds hang-out here before taking flight again. Every time we do a creek walk we pass by this lake and every time it looks so different to me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Death of a hive

Every bee keeper will at one time or another grieve over the loss of a hive. This winter has been a sad one for us we have lost what we considered a strong hive.

Thomas found the bees in a tight small cluster at the center of the hive.

Their numbers dwindled so much as a group they couldn't keep warm. This bundle of bees froze to death.

We found some dead bees on the bottom screen. No real evidence of disease, mites, or other problems.

They still had a full frame of capped honey, but no queen and not enough bees to make it through the winter.

So we begin to try to figure out what happened to the bees.

Food Waste Friday: Almond butter

This is a first. I had to throw an almost full jar of raw almond butter away this week. My heart sank as I was dishing out the rancid content into the trash. The jar has been in my fridge for way too long. What can I say, we have been into peanut butter lately. After I tasted the almond butter and made a face and promptly noticed the "use by" date of 9/2010. I am not one to get crazy around expiration dates but it was nice to get some confirmation that the almond butter was past its prime. Last week I tried making yogurt again. Half the batch came out and half the batch did not. So those two containers were poured down the drain. That is it for my food waste this week.

Friday, January 14, 2011

365 for January 8 - 14

We had dinner at T's parent's home. This retro dish is beautiful, it was a wedding gift for Carl and Kathy. They will be celebrating their 39th year as a married couple. The perfect gift keeps on giving.

Blue skies in January and lots of road kill. The vulture was eating a dead raccoon on the side of the road. The animals belly was exposed and the ugly bird was ripping flesh in strips. Yeah, I know I had to look. It is part of my morbid character. He took off when I got close. Lucky for you I would have taken a picture of him eating.

It is still cold in Santa Rosa and the trees are still dropping their leaves.

Second hand store shopping is on my agenda as often as twice a month. All these items cost me a total of $4 at the As-Is Goodwill store on Yulupa Ave. The jars I use for canning and storing dry goods. The books will make a great gift for a soon to be 4-year-old. The Bell basket should fit on my cruiser bike. The frog is for Cassidy's growing frog collection and the Christmas cookie cutters will be for a crafty project.

Finished knitted objects. The headband is an original design, that just means I made it up. Hope it will fit the recipient. I cannot tell you who it is because it will ruin the surprise.

A lazy day in front of the fire. Thursday was a day to catch-up with emails, knit, clean and cook. Lily watched me from her cozy spot in front of the roaring fire. She gets all the perks.

Don't ask my why I took a picture of my fridge today. Oh, I know why. Thomas and I are making an effort this year to reduce our food waste. That means we took a serious look at our eating habits and got a bit more organized, hence the clean fridge. This year we will try to eat on $100/week. That means I will need to do more meal planning which I love to do because it means I'll be COOKING. I will join hundreds of bloggers and post my food waste as part of Food Waste Friday.

Food Waste Friday

Thomas and I are making an effort this year to reduce our food waste. That means we took a serious look at our eating habits and got a bit more organized, hence the clean fridge. This year we will try to eat on $100/week. That means I will need to do more meal planning which I love to do because it means I'll be COOKING. I will join hundreds of bloggers and post my food waste as part of Food Waste Friday.

I wanted to start my Food Waste Friday post with a proud picture of my pantry--after we cleaned and organized it. I didn't take a before picture because it was just too embarrassing to show you.

My food waste for the week was two 1/2 opened bags of powdered ginger that solidified into a nasty mass hidden under all the stuff in my disorganized pantry. A full bunch of flat leaf parsley I forgot about and a 1/2 eaten cucumber.

In order for me to reduce waste I need to keep organized. A clean pantry and refrigerator is a great start.

Monday, January 10, 2011


The parking space was perfect. I turn the engine off reached for my purse opened the door and stepped out. As I looked at where my stretched out leg had landed I spotted Curious George on the ground with one of his eyes missing.

He was too cute to leave behind.

A black button, some stuffing and a sewing needle did the trick to getting him back in action. I also managed to stuff a squeaky bubble into his tummy to turn him into a proper doggy toy.

Squeak, squeak, squeak!

Update: It has been a week since George came home with me and he is doing well.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Introducing the 365 Project 2011

This year I am taking a picture a day for the entire 365 days of the year. The truth is that I will be showing you a picture corresponding to each day of the year but will most likely take many many more.
So here is my first of what I hope to be a regular blog post.

The first of the year at Mount Saint Helena sometime in the afternoon. This year we will do a fair amount of hiking. St Helena is a yearly event.

We drove to Gualala and back for the day on January 2nd. It was a spectacular day at the coast. On the way home we did some mushroom hunting. For dinner I made roasted finger potatoes with hedge hog mushrooms. There is nothing like fresh shrooms.

This scary looking thing is my failed yogurt-at-home-making experiment. My mother has been making home-made yogurt for years and usually uses a 'starter' from my Lebanese aunts. I don't have that luxury. My start must not been 'live' so my yogurt failed. ( Really it was not the cook.) Home-made yogurt is delicious and nothing like what you buy at the store. Really!

100% Thrift. The lovely jacket was a $6.50 find and the cool Columbia jeans were a a whopping $4.00

We took a few days to visit Euan and his family in Sacramento. It was a surprise B-day visit. I got to spend time with the girls while T & E went skiing.

Some day I will have a wall in my house covered with yarn, in the mean time I just go to my local yarn store and fantasize.

"Oh George, honey what happened to you?" I found this stuffed Curious George on the street. A little TLC and he will be back in action. You see.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Behind the camera

I am often behind the camera rather than the subject of my photography.

On this day both Thomas and I were taking pictures.