Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The bread was hugely successful while the cheese only appealed to the older half of the family. Jacob had to run back upstairs to stop himself from eating all the brie. Meanwhile, Larry and I keep going back for one more piece. It's a nice change from the usual desserty type thing. The crusty bread, still warm from the oven, is lovely with the honey drizzled and baked brie.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Sunday, December 29, 2013
So far this has been the biggest excitement around here during winter break. Mind you we had had some lovely meals, the highlight being the roast beef I made last week. Meryl wanted to celebrate and picked up a lovely bit of beef from Costco. It was nicely marbled with a good sized fat cap. It roasted to perfection and yielded tasty drippings for the traditional Yorkshire pudding.
We have been mostly slobbing around the house and reveling in our not having to be anywhere in particular. Just the occasional movie, trip to the library, and going to services.
I miss not being up north with my Mom, but I don't miss the horrific drive it usually is to get there this time of year.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
Rebecca took this picture of Nate and Max running around in the yard on Thanksgiving. I had herded the kids outside for our annual picture and was busy setting up the hammock. My hands were full so I gave Rebecca the camera. She took quite a few pictures of her brothers messing around.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Monday was the end of the whole thing and I was very happy to see the plants grow. Theoretically I could have kept a few going over the winter and planted them next spring.
The plants were already starting to lean and wrapped themselves around each other. It was quite a challenge for Nate to tease them apart for the final data collections. It was easier for him to cut each plant flush with the soil and then take all of the measurements. I could see differences between the two groups, but Nate hasn't crunched all the data yet. My guess is the the electromagnets stimulated the most growth.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
He is not the best player on the team, but he has a lot of heart and loves soccer. He understands that practice is something you have to do to get better. His first year of travel soccer has been very challenging, but has remained undaunted. Hopefully this same perseverance will carry through in his other endeavors.
Case in point band. This is not the best rendition of Jingle Bells you'll ever hear, but it is remarkable considering way back in the beginning of September the students were picking out their instruments. It is hard enough to learn to play an instrument and read music, adding in learning how to play in a band makes it even harder. A sort of musical sink or swim situation. so I'm very proud how the band was able to make it's way through Jingle Bells, squeaky clarinets and all. Oh and Max, he is playing the glockenspiel off in the back.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Right now it's pouring outside and the temperature is at a solid 42 and has not budged. I wish it was snow instead. This rainy weather is a bore.
Monday, December 16, 2013
PROXiMITY is an interesting and suspenseful short film, an action movie boiled down to the basics. there is not a whole lot of story, nor character development, and even less dialogue, but the intensity is phenomenal. I found this via Short Film of the Week.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I had just put in all the wet ingredients, buttermilk, oil. and eggs. The final whisking was the next step. Normally I don't use oil in my cooking, but the oil makes the waffles light and crispy. And it turns out, it also makes for an interesting picture.
Friday, December 13, 2013
My high school had a terrible football team, I think they never had a winning season while I was there. The big athletic stars were the soccer team, state champions at least every other year. Also we never had a marching band, so this whole high school football/marching band thing is very alien to me. Dartmouth (our local college) has a football team, but I never went and their marching band is a "scatter band," wasn't much of a point of reference either.
What I have learned the past four seasons is that the game is important, but a huge part of the experience is the socialization. kids get to wander around, eat junk food, talk, goof off, and watch their team in action. I kind of understand the appeal of going to the games. I still don't "get" football, but I can see how being at the game is fun.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Heck we haven't had any snow days or even a two hour delay.
This picture was from Monday. The upper branches have a thin coating of ice while the roads remain clear. Pretty much the ideal ice storm, pretty trees without dangerous road conditions. However I would have enjoyed to sleep in even more.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The first game was brutal. It was at 8:00 am with a cold, driving rain and the temperature at about 38 F. The fields were soaked, puddles and squelchy turf being the order of the day. Our team was on one of the better, if not the best, fields. The one next to us quickly turned into a vast mud pit. I was grateful for my duck boots and having the foresight to bring our boot dryer for Rebecca's cleats. The game was a struggle with the other team dominating us and ultimately beating us 2 to 8.
We came back in the afternoon to no more rain and the temps hovering at about 40. So it was marginally better, if you ignore the stiff wind. The girls played very well. Unfortunately the game ended in a tie. So the girls were cold, wet, tired, and happy for the good effort they put in the the second game. While at dinner we discussed the change in format for the next day. With the threat of an icestorm to the west the tournament organizers decided to speed things up so that people could go home and beat the storm. The remaing games would be penalty kick shootouts.
Sunday dawned grey and very wet. The temperature hadn't changed much and it was still raining. The team warmed up on the field as we waited for the shootout to begin. We have an excellent goalie on the team giving us a bit of hope for a win. Sadly it didn't happen and we lost 3 to 1. Our goalie was devastated, tears running down her face, she felt that she had let the team down,
Then something wonderful to watch happened. Unprompted, the girls started to give the goalie hugs. Soon it was one huge group hug. Tears were soon dried when the goalie realized that nobody blamed her for the loss. What a terrific bunch of girls. They want to win, but they also care about each other. This is the best team ever.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
At first I got small cookie tins, since it was only a few teachers. But over the years, as the number of teachers increased, I had to switch over to gift bags. Thus the focus is on the cookies and not the container.
Each bag has a dozen and a half freshly baked cookies. Each child has six to eight teachers. Throw in a few extras like trumpet teachers, bus drivers, and clinic staff (Max has to stop by daily for medications during the school day) and you have a boatload of cookies. Pictured here were the eighteen bags I made up for today. There was originally 19, but I had already given one to Jacob's trumpet teacher who was here for Jacob's lesson. Anyhoodle, I make up the bags and put them into a grocery bag and it's up to the child to distribute the cookies.We had a successful operation cookie drop today, none were forgotten or misplaced.
Meanwhile when the kids were at school I started making another twelve for the remaining teachers plus another for our garbage collectors. So that's 32 bags or 48 dozen cookies.
Whew, that's a whole lotta baking going on.
Monday, December 09, 2013
A demonstration of how environment affects the acoustical properties of drums. No reverberation is added, the differences are all from where the drumming is being done. I saw this over at Colossal: Art and Visual Culture, No Reverb Added:An Acoustical Experiment in Drumming.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
This story has been floating around on the nets for years. I first read it back in 1999 and it is just as funny now as it was then. It is not for the squeamish, being a rather extreme example of life with dogs. And the best part is that it is true.
I present to you: Dogs in Elk.
I present to you: Dogs in Elk.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
I made a matzoh ball soup using the carcass and leeks. It was fairly easy and tasted great, everybody enjoyed it. Accompanying the soup I made potato latkes. The kids had been pestering me about them all week. Apparently the ones we ate at our congregation's Hanukkah party were not enough. I just needed a night without soccer practice to pull it off. The two worked well together and made for a very yummy meal.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Then we broke out the menorahs and lit the candles for the seventh night of Hanukkah.
Monday, December 02, 2013
since it's movie Monday I found this song that was recorded in the very rare confluence of Hanukkah and the US Thanksgiving. It is a nice upbeat song of thanks for this this very unique time.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
Today, however, was our congregation's Hanukkah party and latke fest. The Rabbi pulled out a few of the temple menorahs and lit them. This one, a Vietnam era helicopter , is my favorite. he rotor can be spun around, though that is not recommended when the candles are lit.