Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - Thanksgiving to New Years

OK - now I am going to sit here and finish up 2014 so I can get on with trying to do a better job of keeping up with this.

In chronological order this is going to take me from Thanksgiving to New Years so here goes.

Laura and I drove back here from Greta's on Monday, Nov 24th, after spending the weekend going to 7 AM hockey games with Tucker.  It was a beautiful unusually warm day for November.

 And as an added bonus we got to see a double rainbow, a couple of times.
 For dinner that night we had a healthy salad.

The next night we went out with the Harrisons and Michael & Doris to Rocco's for dinner.

On Wednesday,  we took a walk down to the boat docks to check on our kayaks.  

It looked like a fall day and I guess it still was and then Karen had us all out to the "cottage" for Thanksgiving.  Francesca stayed with us Wednesday and Thursday night and came with us to Karen's.  

Below is a colorful pan of roasted veggies.
 Jim, Claire, Michael & Doris
 Laura, Francesca and Me
 Kris, Michael, Karen, Larry, Kim (missing - Margie)
 Larry and the grandkids
 John, Francesca and Laura
 A filled to the top crust apple pie that Kris made and we got to take it home
 This was another recipe that Kris made - Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping and we got to take that home too.  She also made the pumpkin pie.
Since I didn't take any more pictures I don't remember what else we did, but I took Laura to the airport on Saturday and the next day we put up our tree.
On Sunday Laura and I were texting with Tucker.  He showed us pictures of the trees they set up and I showed a picture of mine.  Tucker then asked Laura for a picture of hers.

On Monday we had a bunch of neighbors over for dessert since we had those good desserts from Thanksgiving.  Just in case there wasn't enough I decided to make a pumpkin pie.  Unfortunately I didn't have any pie crust, didn't feel like going to the store and didn't want to roll out a crust either but I figured if I googled a no roll pie crust I would find one.  I did and I made it.  It might not have looked to pretty but once the filling was in, who could tell the difference.  And the best part was you made the whole thing in the pie plate.

Just so we have a record of it, this is how we decorated the tree this year, all red.
I bought a pair of really heavy mittens so taking walks outside isn't painful, even on the colest days.  Below is how I look when I need to stay warm.
 The bluejays 
 and robins are still hanging out
 On December 7th, for the first time ever we were around to go to the Christmas concert at St Rita's
The next day we went to a Christmas event at CCR put on by SJFC (will I remember what those letters mean next year or even next month??)
 Our iMac was running really slow so I ordered an additional 4GB of memory thinking it would be easy to install.  After all, I added additional memory to our laptops years ago.

 I tried and tried but just couldn't get the memory to fit in.  I called Crucial (who I ordered it from) and we tested all the memory and they were all working but they would never connect.  After my thumbs were dented from trying to push the memory in for hours over one night and the next morning, I broke down and took the computer and memory to Fixing Fox, a computer place in Pittsford,  I can't remember the owner's name but he was so helpful and it wasn't easy for him to insert the memory either.  It just didn't go in to the two empty slots very easily.  He had to turn the computer on its side and wrap his arms around it and push really hard.  So glad not to have to deal with it anymore.  The only down side, I'm not sure it made that big a difference.  I have to try not to have too many things open at the same time.
I watched the first half of season 7 of Mad Men so I'm ready for the final episodes when they air this year.
We had a bunch of snow so got out our snowshoes and walked around in circles down by the pool.

 I did a bunch of baking, banana bread, oatmeal cookies and finnish coffee bread
That night we went to Geva for a Fisher event and saw a musical version of A Christmas Carol
Now here's something I should have taken a picture of but I'm really slipping and forgot.  I had a plastic bag with pears sitting on top of the toaster oven.  Before dinner, I turned the oven on to preheat and after a while remembered about it.  Here's a picture of what the pears looked like which was nothing compared to what the oven looked like with melted green plastic all over the top.
 I googled how to clean off plastic and tried many of the suggestions but what really worked with little effort was this solvent that we had right in the house.  De-Solv-It Contractors Solvent.  It had to be this heavy duty Contractor one.  The plain DeSolvIt just didn't cut it in the same way.  It came off and looks as good as new.  Have to remember this in case there's a next time.
On December 17th I was able to remotely watch the Brunswick Choral Concert on my iPad
The next day I saw the gas get below $3.00
 Nadine sent a handcrafted balsam pillow with her Christmas card this year.

 We went to the Huggers Christmas Party the day Laura arrived so we didn't have to do a "selfie."
Karen hosted Christmas on Monday for all the locals.
 Just the three of us had a Christmas Eve turkey dinner.

 We had our picture taken with Santa at Ann's party.  Christmas day Audrey & Steve came over for dinner.  I made filet along with the turkey.  Everything was so good.  We had leftovers for days.
For New Years Eve we stayed home and Mary came over for dinner.  A nice relaxing night.  We stayed up to watch the ball drop and I put hats on our picture.


Tracy's Transplant Video

This is such a good story I wanted to save it here.  Tracy is Brittany and Allison's Mom and Brittany and Allison are Larry's grandddaughters.  Tracy was married to Larry's son, Michael.

Last week, we posted a sneak peek of a heart-warming paired kidney exchange. Now, we’re sharing a behind-the-scenes video to tell the sweet story of two families joined together by the gift of life.

Happy New Year's Eve

This is definitely a happy day.  I finally finished my t-shirt quilt that I started in August.  Now I can update this blog which I've been very amiss at since November and then the memoir that I've been talking about for 7 years.  At least during all that time, I've read everyone else's memoirs.

This is the front of the quilt.
 The backing is black fleece.
And it's a good thing I got it done today because when I made my signature piece I dated it 12/2014.
BTW - the binding is a black on black design which you can see at the bottom of this pic.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Smoky Sweet Potato Latkes

This was in the D&C this morning and found it online here:
I have to remember to make these since I did buy 5 pounds of sweet potatoes when they were $.33/lb before Thanksgiving.

Recipe By: Melissa d’Arabian
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Makes 16 latkes
1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 4 cups)
1/2 large yellow or sweet onion, grated (about 3/4 cup)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
Plain Greek yogurt and unsweetened applesauce, to serve
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large colander, combine the sweet potato and onion. Set over the
sink. Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Slowly pour the water over the potato mixture, then let it
drain and cool until easily handled, 8 to 10 minutes. A handful at a time, place the sweet potato
mixture in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible, then transfer to a
large bowl.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg, salt, cumin and paprika, then stir into the sweet potato mixture.
Sprinkle the cornstarch over the sweet potatoes and mix well. The mixture should be moist, but not
wet. If needed, blot excess moisture and add a little more cornstarch.
Use 2 tablespoons of the oil to evenly coat a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the sweet potato mixture
into 16 mounds (each about 2 tablespoons) on the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches
between them. Use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to flatten each.
Using a pastry brush and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, brush the tops of the latkes with oil. Bake
for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. Serve the latkes with a dollop of yogurt and
applesauce. Makes about 16 latkes.
Nutrition information per serving: 60 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 15 mg cholesterol, 6 g
carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein, 70 mg sodium.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Greta Visit 11/19-11/24

I drove to Greta's on Wednesday and got there before Hunter got home from school.  We hugged and he said he was going to lie down because he was tired and had hockey practice in a couple of hours.  Later Greta told me he probably just wanted to play with his electronics.  When Myles came home he played his saxophone for me - first year of lessons and then his trumpet.

 Tucker and Hunter went to hockey practice with Bev and I took Myles to his practice at Chelsea Piers.  What a fantastic place.  So many types of sporting activity all under one roof.

Thursday the boys went off to school after Hunter had to quickly do his homework and then left separately with friends to drive up to Lake Placid and Greta and Charles followed later in the day.

 In the meantime I went to the Stamford Town Center where I spent 3 hours.  I was using MapMyWalk and it said I walked 6 miles although I find that hard to imagine.  It's a good thing I used it because awhile after it said something about 3 hours I realized that was how long I had left money for in the meter so I went rushing out and didn't have a ticket on my window when I got back to my car.  My next stop was to pick up Tucker at his school and I didn't know where I was going so it left me plenty of time to get lost.  It was cold and windy that day so I tried to stay warm in the vestibule of his building where they have 2 beautiful fish tanks at the Brunswick Lower School.
 Speaking of fish, this is Myles new spotted puffer fish.  While he was gone I had to feed the fish 2 frozen itsy bitty prawns which I remembered to do every day.

On Friday I went into the city to see Aunt Harrie.  Because my back was still bothering me and I wanted to get there earlier rather than later, I took the shuttle over to the West Side from Grand Central and then the train down to 14th St.  I'm finally figuring out how to get there the eaisest way possible and was able to stay underground until I could come out on 12th street since it was also cold out.  Then it was only a few blocks walk the rest of the way.
There was a lot of subway entertainment that day.  I had a great visit with Aunt Harrie and I can't believe I never took a picture because I planned on doing a selfie of the two of us.  We had a great Japanese lunch which I picked up at the restaurant around the corner and brought back to the apt.
Saturday morning Tucker and I were at Chelsea Piers in Stamford at 6:30 AM
Being a goalie meant there was a lot of gear to get into.  He had a 7:00 AM game and another one at 10:00.