Friday, May 29, 2015

Five on Friday: May 29 2015

A quick list today as I've fallen behind in some things I wanted finished this week. The last of the planting; packages to the post office; books to finish reading before their non-renewable due date; endless photos to scan. You get the picture.

1. There was one of those small pork roasts from Costco. You know, the ones that are sold four 3lb-ers in a package. I took it out of the freezer and then came the decisons.

While I had thawed it, I didn't allow myself enough time to use the crock pot on it. You know how it goes. Finally, I did use this recipe.  Very good it was - as was round one of the leftovers and how I suspect the remaining ⅓ will be in quesadillas or some other concoction. btw, I cooked it in the toaster oven since it was one of those almost hot days but not really hot enough to use the a/c. The cusp of summer here.

2. Since I got that voucher from Southwest when coming back from Boston, I have been thinking of where and when.  Do I dare venture to the Southwest in the summer? Will I melt? Where and when??? Not a bad problem to have at all, is it.

3. I just finished Katherine Center's  "Happiness for Beginners" and it surprised me. At first I didn't know why I had picked it. Then when I started reading I thought this might just be some fluff of chick-lit. Then the story got going and I really liked it. A good reminder for me that we choose happiness No Matter What.

4. Somehow the weather for sun tea hasn't arrived yet. That's just as well as I am determined that the small refrigerator go down to the cellar which means I have to clear out a bunch of things in the main fridge so there's room for that iced tea when brewed.

5. As much as I'm enjoying the whole genealogy process, keeping the paperwork and the photos in any kind of order and out of our way is an issue. He has commandeered our dining room table as his own desk is such a total mess there is no way he could work there. I need to find some organization method for us. Suggestions gratefully considered.

See you all next week so go and do something fun this weekend!  I see the Greek Festival ahead. How about you? Whatever you do, look for the big or little things that make you happy. They're there!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

TBT: When Downtown Washington DC Had Department Stores

While going through the many papers and photos that are involved in genealogy, lots of memories come up. Thank god for the internet so I can just google a place or a thing until I get a good answer or a good enough one. Sometimes, that can also show that my memory is skewed.

Woodward and Lothrop was a wonderful department store, in two buildings i.e. almost two full city blocks. MY memory told me that next to Woodies, as it was commonly known, was Hahn's Shoe Store. I had to go there all the time when we moved to Maryland because I had very narrow feet and my school uniform required brown lace up oxfords. I was always fascinated with the x-ray machine and if my mother was getting shoes, I would go and x-ray my feet. It's no wonder I have weak ankles! I probably fried them.

But, in googling images of Woodies, here is a photo that shows the North Building with, no not Hahn's next to it, but Rich's Shoe Store. Rich's is now Madame Tussards and Hahn's I realize is where I 'graduated' to when I could wear more fashionable shoes in high school. No not to school; that required brown and white saddle shoes.  Pretty shoes for weekends and dates eventually. Things like Capezio flats. Hahn's also has fallen victim to the riots of 1968, urban flight to the suburbs, the construction of the Metro etc. Businesses that were once stalwarts of the city are now just memories.

But Rich's ...I don't know what we would have done without you. You were the only game in town for my feet which have served me well over 70 years. I'm sure those well fitting brown oxfords helped!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Getting Back in the Groove

A lot of the recent days and evenings have been spent on Ancestry. com.  I have found a lot of information on my family, my former husband's family and my current husband's family. That's  a lot of family trees!

As our visit to one cemetery did not result in actually seeing any of our family's graves as yesterday's post mentioned, my dh now realizes that the St. Mary's cemetery in DC is more likely to be the one he remembers visiting. Administered by Mt. Olivet, we plan another visit some time in the future. A lot of our travel could involve visiting cemeteries!

You have a good view of the city from one of the hills in Mt. Olivet. That's the capitol center right with the Library of Congress to the left.

We did see this one grave that was interesting and wondered who these two women were and what their relationship was. Sisters? two close friends (but nothing more)? a couple?  A mystery that just fascinates but stays a mystery.

Now after the holiday weekend is over, it's time for me to get back into more of a routine. Not too rigid, but a routine.  Keeping up with the garden and making meals. Just some of life's basics.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

We spent a lot of time in DC yesterday, looking for family graves for my first husband. Fortunately, the weather was gorgeous so it didn't matter too much that we didn't find any. Mt. Olivet has a lot of graves and without the exact locations, they were needles in a haystack.

Today, my dh is thinking that they might be in St. Mary's Cemetery which was an offshoot of Mt. Olivet or vice versa.  St. Mary's is administered by Mt. Olivet so... In any case a bit more research and a day that cemetery staff are present makes this a future visit.

But here is my father a WWII veteran, a veteran whose records either went up in smoke in the fire or drowned in the flood at the Records Center in St. Louis. That center is doomed.

Many thanks to all our veterans wherever they may be. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Five on Friday: May 22, 2015

What to say about this week...lots of good things

1. The boy had eye surgery. No more drooping lids which were both interfering with his vision AND my ability to see his eyes.

No, he's not sleeping. He's talking to me and the recovery nurse while he has the cold compresses on his eyes. The black and blue bruising has already started, and no I didn't beat him up!

2. Soon, like maybe this upcoming week, I'll be getting my iPhone6. So it was therefore time to do a current backup of my 4s. You know overtime you do things like this you see crap once important stuff that you no longer need. Well I also found some apps that I'd bought and never gotroundto using. VSCOcam was one. If you're like me here's a link to a video that walks you through getting started.

3. Outside the front door we have a cherry blossom tree that has a stone bird house. We got it in Seattle and it's as heavy as ...stone. We put it up and a year or so later a family of birds moved in. Then years went by and it remained empty. We wondered how in the heck we could clean it as the stone pebbles are cemented on etc. Well after this frigid winter, we now have a flock of screaming hungry kids in there. Mama is always rushing back and forth and Dad sits up above the family abode fluffing himself up and chirping loudly. These are sparrow sized birds - maybe they are sparrows???- so his size isn't likely to scare any hungry critter. Frankly, I think the racket would be enough to send them packing.

4. I have been pretty good about getting my 3k steps in each day, not always but a lot. Once again, I know I have to leave the house to do more. Maybe today?

5. My son started doing geneology work on when his father dumped or generously gave him a lot of photos from my former mother in law. She was good about writing names and dates on the images she had and fortunately her family was pretty much in VA and DC. Among the many interesting things my son has discovered is that ancestors lived very near where he is now living today. His roots really are here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Travel With Me Tuesday: Boston

My first full day in Boston was April 11. Lots of shopping at the Haymarket for food for a week of breakfasts and some dinners. It's amazing what one can do with a microwave if one's creative. That market is only open on Friday and Saturday so I was glad I arrived in time to get some food bargains.

Monday, May 18, 2015

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 18

Somehow this feels like the week I'm going to get a few projects done. Maybe because summer type weather has sort of come and I have the air conditioning on sometimes in the studio. That makes me feel like doing things. Plus I now have Zyrtec for the pollen except when it rains and damps it down.

But week 18. This week included a trip home from VA when I decided to drive through DC and then later in the week, a trip east to Ocean City. A good bit of highway mileage for the car that gets me 41mpg with my little diesel. I also had a reminder of how dreary that beach town can be in the off season.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Five on Friday: May 15, 2015

Many weeks I try to get some or all the blog posts done in advance, especially this one. I keep a running list of things I find interesting, edible etc. There's rarely an item to wear on this post because I keep my wardrobe pretty simple; always have. Designers and trends have had little interest for me since so much of my life was outside the US and even then, I had inexpensive, ok really cheap, dressmakers to  do my bidding. Now, I stick to solid colors except for some long sleeved blouses that are good for the summer days of a/c. I look for things that won't show spills! Perhaps, I'm just a greedy eater. Don't answer that... Whatever, today I suddenly realized I hadn't done this post. Oh well, my mind is full of stuff, and stuff it is.

1. Sunday I took my dh up to BWI for a flight to Alaska. He had work there and I thought it was just too much of a haul for a short trip and I didn't feel like making it a long trip. So I stayed home. I did go to Costco and Walmart on the way home and got these 6 scallops. The man said they only have the seafood specials on ...special holidays, like Mothers' Day, Memorial Day etc. I must say it was a mighty fine $10 dinner.

2. Tuesday, I went north to Bel Air MD to do something for a friend of mine, and before hand we met up for dinner. Oysters on the half shell for the two of us, 6 each, and then we split a burger with fried oysters  for our main. I love eating with someone who shares my taste! The friend I shared food with has the glasses.  Yes, I was considerably older than most of the others at table!

3. I had great intentions of getting up earlier and going for a walk to the library. Darn it was chilly at 6am, so much so that I just nestled down into the covers and went back to sleep. Good intentions aren't worth a damn. I suppose the next step is to go walking this afternoon???

4. Speaking of walking, I'm doing pretty well on getting the 3k+ steps in daily. I find if I go out for most any chore I rack up many more than I thought I would. Perhaps this means I should do my shopping in stores rather than on line. But then I'd add tax to many things. Health vs wealth. Right now most of my walking is done is scheduled walks inside the house several times a day. Next week I'm upping my goal to 4K. Slow and sure gets back to 10k.

5.  Instead of that morning walk, I did get my heavy duty shoes on for some planting on the deck. That trip sunday netted me a bunch of plants but not too many. I like white flowers and so most of my deck baskets hold herbs and white petunias. I do need more herbs but I did split my arugula which has lasted many a  year despite the last two wretched winters.  3 arugula plants, 9 should be divided chive bunches, and lots of white petunias. Sadly, all that standing does not count towards steps. Boo hiss.

Since the weather has warmed up a bit, perhaps I'll take myself for a walk. Then again, I may just sit in a chair and read! In any case, have a great weekend and be sure to take some time out with Mama Nature. It's her month too!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

TBT: 1949 First the Appendix, Then Chicken Pox

Here I am in the hospital, after having my appendix out. No April Fool's Joke! It was a breeze, even having the staples...metal staples...removed. However, as I was in a ward and was no lover of a cold steel bedpan, I said I could walk to the toilet down the hall. There was one bed that had a curtain around it but NosyParker that I was, I had to stick my head in and say hello to the boy in that bed.

Bad move...he had chicken pox, and yes, after having the appendix out and going home, I too developed a case of chicken pox. Sometimes it's best not to interfere in other people's business. Sometimes I still forget that!

btw, check out the nurse's attire. I do recall liking that as I grew up when you could tell the nursing school by the style and cut of the cap.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tip For Tuesday: Becky Higgins Travel Photo Tips

This video from Becky Higgins YouTube channel is great for the basics in travel photo. I do a lot of these tips but found some new ones. I hope you enjoy it! (If you are one of the few who don't know who Becky Higgins is...she is the 'originator' of Project Life which  made memory keeping so so easy.)

Monday, May 11, 2015

AAM Monday: Project Life Week 17

Skipping week 16 since so much of that is the Boston trip. Not sure if I'll just do a 'home' days to wrap up Boston or not. Remember, no rules!

Week 17 included the birthday lunch for my dh. It was a bit of a comedy of errors but good food all in all and a nice treat from his daughter.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five on Friday: May 8, 2015

We had a good rainstorm move through the area Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, I was in a meeting and only heard the wind but drove home to smell the wonderful post rain scent and see a rainbow in the sky. Hard to take that shot while driving but trust me it was a blessed sight.

1. Rain? we still need more as the few plants I have out were bone dry. Nights have been very very chilly but the dryness also made me hesitate to buy more. I've only given away one of my 10 chive plants. You do know that chives multiply and apparently can handle severe winters.

2. Chives live; figs die.  Sad sad sad to see my neighbors trees crisped to the bone from the cold.

3. Giving my daughter a computer that allows her to connect her camera to it has caused her to blanket Facebook with her photos. Almost like the people who flood Twitter or Instagram with 20 images in a row. Could be worse.

4. I had great intentions of putting my new shoes to the test at the gym but somehow spring fever held that up. Next week??

5. Catching up with this final season of Mad Men makes me think some writer's been smokin' some weed or something.  Weird shows. Weird and flat. It's a shame when the last season leaves you with a Meh feeling. Don appears to feel the same way.

That's all she wrote this week, so see you back here next week unless you are going to Alaska as someone I know is doing. Better him than me! Ciao!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

TBT: And Now She's Driving

Christmas 2005 and my lollipop-eating granddaughter will get her driver's license in two months.  Much has changed but she is still the lovely and lovable person she was back then.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tip for Tuesday: Hummus Pancakes? Thank You Dorie Greenspan!

Most of the time, like Dorie, I make my own hummus. Oh it sounds so wonderful to my ego to say "like Dorie" but it's true. I usually make my own. The only issue is that it means my food processor needs to be washed before the next project and when I make hummus I often have something else in mind to cook/make. I've learned to chop up the onions and veggies first for whatever other dish I'm cooking as I don't care if there is a hint of onion and/or carrot in my hummus. ymmv.

When I'm done making the hummus, I often make a vinaigrette right in the processor bowl. The hummus that's left after a good scraping emulsifies with the oil and vinegar for a nice creamy dressing. 

But I didn't know you could do things WITH the hummus! That's where Dorie's article comes in. Hummus pancakes. 

In her article, Dorie describes how she makes a tahini mayo to top those pancakes. I'll pass on that because I'm not a mayo eater but you probably are. But the idea of pancakes intrigues me. I'm going to make some for a breakfast this week topped by a fried egg. How's that sound? I'd even have that for dinner. 

The recipes for both the hummus, the pancakes and the mayo are in the article. Seriously, if you have a food processor you may never buy hummus again. Bon appetit! and let me know if you try any of these recipes and any tweaks you may make. We cooks like to know those things.

Monday, May 4, 2015

AAM Starting Boston

Somehow last week was full of activity for which I have little to show. However, I do have one page for my Boston trip done. That's a start at least. I hope to get the pages for that trip well under way this week so wish me luck or even better some productivity energy. I suspect I had a dose of spring fever as well as a good dusting of pollen.  Once again, Zyrtec is my friend.

Ok, gotta go make more Boston pages!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Five on Friday: Hello May!

Another day, another month. Wow. Sometimes in the year the days seem to go slowly  but right now it seems like the days are starting to go quickly. Maybe it feels like that because I was up in Boston for almost a week. That really throws me off my routine but that IS the point of a vacation isn't it.

My profound (!) thoughts for the week.

1. It's spring! I always say I don't need to see the cherry blossoms in DC because I have some of my own.

2. Madame Secretary is really getting even better I think. Of course, it's set in my backyard and we know government round here. But the stories are so close to the headlines it's almost creepy.

3. Baking has returned but I'm only getting C- in the course! My RiceKrispie treats tasted great but made a friction' mess in the pan and the bottom was burned. My shortbread would have been great if I had read the recipe through before starting. That is so basic I can't believe I just jumped in without reading.

4. The little mini boot I have to wear at night for my ankle seems to be helping a lot. As the doctor said, she can't or rather doesn't suggest doing anything to remove the calcium deposits that are a bone spur but she can help manage or alleviate the pain. Sometimes, if I'm home most of the day, I will wear the full calf boot which also helps a great deal. A drag to walk in round the house but not terribly hard. This is the big boot. And yes, we go from warm to downright chilly round here. I've still needed that heater now and then

5. I've surprised myself by continuing to enjoy coffee more than I ever did. Of course, it's mild coffee with half and half. Not the Sumatra sludge my dh drinks. Sometimes I even put a bit of hot chocolate in mine to make a real mocha! I can see that as an iced summer drink.

Have a great weekend!

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