Friday, April 30, 2010

Project: a new desk

The Cranky Old Geezer named himself and I'll agree that he can be cranky. However, there are other times when he could be cranky and, yet, he behaves with real forebearance.

Case in point: I'm working on a new desk. It's really the last big area of disorganized mess in the house, (though there are plenty of small ones). The first picture is my old desk. I can't believe I am putting this in the public domain, but I'm considering it An Historical Picture. it's all about to get better. I'm building myself a new desk.

Which means that things are now even worse, with construction mess everywhere. The second picture is the bottom of my new desk. I"m still working on the top, but I'll post pictures when it's up.

The COG has been a perfect gentleman about the whole mess.


I love these little forget-me-nots, the blue color, the dainty shape of the flower, the tiny dots of yellow at the heart.

The COG regards them as weeds and does his best to erradicate them. I don't bother protesting any more because I know they'll be back next Spring. That's another thing I love about them - their dauntless spirit.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cake Calorie Update

In a comment, David challenged my statement that the Hummingbird Cake had 1 million calories per slice.

So I did the math. The entire cake had 13,132 calories, slightly more than half of that the frosting. The whole cake had 662 grams of fat and no fiber. The whole cake was 318 Weight Watcher points (about twice what I'm allowed in a week)

My teeny tiny slice- about 1/32 of the cake (which was 9 inches in diameter and just two layers high) - was 410 calories, 10 Weight Watcher points.

Was it point worthy? I'm glad I did it once because I had wanted to make it for a long time. But not a second time. I might make the dried pineapple flowers again, though. That's the part I really wanted to make.

So, David, I'll grant that it wasn't a million calories but it might as well have been.

What I saw on the Cape Yesterday

Cranky and I have two well-honed techniques for bird-spotting. First, we look for bird watchers and stare in the directions they are staring in. Second, we go out with Son of.

Yesterday, we employed the second technique on a perfectly beautiful day on Cape Cod.

Spring has sprung and the birds were busy with Springtime activities. We watched two chickadees going in and out of a hole in a tree, clearly nest building. When they were inside the tree, you could hear little thumps and knocks as if they were moving the furniture around.

We also saw lots of Palm Warblers, with their little chestnut caps.

And a Thrasher foraging in the leaves for a tasty snack.

And lots of sweet little Yellow-rumped Warblers.

From the beach we spotted a Fin Back Whale

And finally, a rare sighting of Son of in the dunes of the National Seashore.

All the pictures except the last one are from the internet.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Me and Martha

I made The COG a Hummingbird Cake for his birthday. I have been wanting to make it for a long time but I didn't want to have it in the house. The plan is this: we are going to the Cape to see Son of and ride our bikes and then go out for dinner. We will find time for a teeny piece of cake and, then, we'll leave it with Son of to take to work to share, or to eat himself or to feed to coyotes. Either way, we won't have to ignore it.

This is Martha Stewarts recipe - the flower things are sliced dried pineapple. I only did one pineapple worth of them, not the 4 she recommends. It turns out that it would have been better if I'd done at least 2 so the cake was covered with them. But still, I like the way it turned out.

Over 1 million calories per slice, btw.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Sushi

I made my first sushi today. Aren't they lovely? I know they are far from perfect, but I love them. I didn't have a proper bamboo mat or any instructions,so I was working from memory and not sure which side to roll from, or how much rice to use etc. My next ones will be better. I'll find instructions online.

And the eggs? I bought two little egg shapers - a star and a heart. The eggs I used were too small, so they aren't properly shaped, but they're my first. And I love them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Faces" and Family Resemblances

I've been playing with iphoto and the "faces" feature. With 'faces' you identify a face and then iphoto offers you other pictures it thinks are possibly the same face and you accept or reject them.

I started with Miss T, of course. And the faces that came up frequently as possibly Miss T's, were her mother, her grandmother (that would be me) and both of her female cousins. These are not people who look alike, exactly, but it makes sense that there is a resemblance.

Then, I did Son of.. and the faces that it identified as being possibly Son of, were The COG, his cousin, Tober (Sister Rose's son) , and his aunt, Sister May. You would never ordinarily think of May and Son of resembling each other. I imagine that there is some kind of algorithm about the relative placement of features on the face that iphoto is responding to.

Happy Birthday COG

It's the COG's birthday. He had to work this morning. He spend the afternoon with me at the Apple Store getting my new computer running. And now, tonight, he is makeing travel arrangements so I can go to France in June.

And just now, he brought me a cup of tea. He's a good man. Until next week, when we are going to celebrate his birthday, this is the best I can do to wish him a very happy birthday. (it was made for the Queen Mother's 100th birthday, so disregard the message at the end.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

computer woes

I'll be mostly offline for a day or two. I have a new computer. Today I ran the program which is supposed to move everything from my old computer to my new one seamlessly. It predicted that it would take 8 1/2 hours to transfer, during which I couldn't use either computer. After 8 hours, the link between the two computers was lost and the program on the old computer stopped working.

The upshot is that nothing was transferred.

Am trying something else now, but don't know when I'll be operational. Tomorrow sometime?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter Basket Bubbles

Miss T. got bubbles in her Easter Basket. Maurice the Frenchie enjoyed them, too.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monet in Minneapolis

I haven't blogged for a while but not because nothing has been happening. I"ve been in MN visiting Daughter of, Son in Law of and Miss T. I do have some pictures that I will share in the next few days, but I'm starting with The Kitchen.

I wanted to make a play kitchen for MIss T. Sure, we could have bought one but I wanted to build it. So, that was the project I had in mind when I left. Something like this one. Cute, isn't it. Looks simple. I can do that.

But then, Daughter of and I started to look at what we had and look at pictures and, well, one thing led to another and we thought - hey! why not base it on Monet's kitchen from Giverny? Because why? Well, for one thing, why not. And for another, the tiles are so cool. I mean, who wouldn't rather have this one?

I could mention here that I'm insane. I have my father's voice in my head saying 'no such word as can't'. And, of course, Daughter of, has my voice in her head saying 'you can do anything you set your mind to.' Put us together on a project and it's a natural as rain for a simple Ikeahack kitchen to turn into Monet's kitchen.

So that's what we are doing. And I say 'are doing' because it's still a work in progress. We could have finished the first sad little play kitchen in the week we had, but the more ambitious Monet Play Kitchen will take a little more work. IOW, I'm going back this summer to complete it.

I know you want to see pictures but I first just want to say that this is the most fun I've had in ages. And it's not done. You are seeing a partially completed kitchen. If we'd had just one more day.....

This is the main body of the kitchen, the country sink, the basket drawers and the stove, which will be to the left, plus the beautiful delft tile backsplash (modpodge, Photoshop, and a book with cd from the Amsterdam airport). The stove will be black with brass escutcheons and trim on 2 doors and brass knobs on the top. The faucet for the sink is also brass and the area below the country sink (a melamine bowl from Target) will have a little curtain on it. The counter over the baskets and around the sink will be marble(ish). And the whole will be painted a lovely light color - that's primer you see now.

There will be a little dish rack above the sink (from a disassembled Ikea dish drainer that I brought home to finish here) and hanging copper pans and jelly molds (sprayed Ikea kidstuff) above the stove.

Oh and the refrigerator.... we don't know what Monet had, of course, so we improvised. It will look like a piece of furniture with panelled door and fancy schmancy footed base.

We had no idea what we were doing most of the time. The fancy base on the refrigerator is cut down from an old tv stand. We figured things out as we went along, which takes time. I mean it's all very well to imagine the final product, but how to get to that takes a lot of.... we had to substitute trial and error for actual skill. But what a lot of fun.

I'll blog the final kitchen in the summer when it's finished.