Thursday, March 29, 2018

tres leches

A few months back, I bought a collection of fancy fishnets on line. Problem: where do I wear them? I did wear them to our Chosen Sisters group the other night. Also last week I bought 2 skirts. Maybe it was in junior high I last wore a skirt?

I took the kids to the bus stop the other day. Most districts have this week off but not Shanna's. Tessa's backpack weighs almost as much as she does

So cold waiting though the kids run around

So finally, finally something is blooming. Dwarf irises. I do have a lone crocus blooming but it only opens in the sun, which we have not seen in a while

When my friends meet for group, I usually provide dessert unless it is at my house. As soon as I got back from Costa Rica, there was a recipe in the paper for tres leches, which I had maybe too much of in Costa Rica. Chock full of coconut, what's not to like? The 3 milks are, evaporated milk, coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk; all readily available in the tropics. This recipe also called for regular milk in the cake park and whipped cream on top so I guess it would be cinco leches. A mix of the milks and some rum (I chose coconut rum) is allowed to soak into the cake for several hours. Maybe I cooked the cake too long as it didn't absorb much of the milks so it was very sloppy to transport. Even in a box, it managed to get in the box and onto the trunk of the car. I put the whipped cream and garnishes on right before serving. Well it tasted good at least. It made quite a lot so I was able to give some to my kids and to my friend who invited me to dinner the other night.

Our moms' group was fun. A Japanese theme with sushi, miso soup and sake. My Central American dessert didn't quite fit.

What a nasty spring! On the very few days it is warm, it is raining. I've only biked once in the past month and don't have much time to prepare for my big ride.  I do run a lot though. Still haven't gotten any faster but not slower so I guess that is progress. Still haven't lost all the vacation weight so that's frustrating though going out three times this week did not help.

I am relearning Italian in anticipation of a possible trip this fall. Spanish interfered so much. After a very slow start, I am up to 49% competency though I am having trouble with the 'clitive pronouns'

Easter is soon but it will be too cold to have the kids do their hunt outside.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Birthday celebrations

For Tessa's 6th birthday, they rented a swimming pool and invited more than 20 kids. It happened on Josh's 35th birthday. Here he is with Allie

Hannah looking in. She had no interest in swimming

the birthday girl

She loves purple  On her actual birthday, she had a purple cake

purple mouth

later this week, I went to the botanical gardens with a friend

Very nice sunrise this morning but still, very chilly. I can run in the cold but so far, for the entire month I have biked only 9 miles. Have a very long ride scheduled soon

March is flying by. I still haven't gotten to all those projects that I have saved up for when it is too cold to do anything else. I manage to keep busy though. For one thing, exercising takes a chunk of time and will even more so once I am able to bike without getting frostbite. Having 4 vacations in 4 months in which I was eating out of control has not been fun to undo. I am still 3-4 pounds heavier than I was most  of the fall which drives me crazy. But I still fit in my size 4s so I shouldn't whine so much. Plus in my wildest dreams, I never thought I could lose so much weight. I would have been satisfied with being a size 10, but now I am greedy.

The week before, I went back to the Cooking for Survivors that I had missed so much as my travelling days (or babysitting days) interfered. My friend with the many health issues was finally able to come too. Maybe half of the people there are actively fighting cancer and my heart goes out to them. Theme: healthy snacks for breast cancer survivors.  All cancers are invited but as they get a chunk of funding from the Komen foundation, they have to feature breast cancer a few times a year. And it does seem the number one cancer represented there. We do have a few people who never had cancer but are afraid they just might get it. Best snack: roasted cauliflower in Italian herbs. Yeah, I know, it doesn't sound so snack like. She did serve edamame which is always controversial as soy has pseudo estrogens. Not an issue for me as my cancer was not estrogen fueled. And cultures (Asian) that rely on lots of soy have lower rates of breast cancer. But they also avoid fats, dairy and lots of meat so who knows.

So we've gone to various birthday parties and lunches. We got Tessa what she wanted the most but so did her mom so back to the drawing board for that. With her zillions of guests, she got zillions of presents so it isn't like she is deprived. After a year of living with a temporary crown as I had used up all my dental insurance too soon last year, I now have my permanent crown. Yay.

I am not planning to return to a Spanish speaking country soon so I switched my online lessons back to Italian which I had forgotten so much of. And its grammar is so much more complicated than Spanish.

Tonight the Moms meet. My job: dessert. Most of my tres leches (which actually has 5 different milk like products so it should be cinco leches)cake has been made. Many Caribbean nations claim it as theirs including Costa Rica but it is probably Puerto Rican. Lots of coconut and rum so it should be tasty.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

We were photobombed by David Hasselhof

The other day, Naomi was going through the  photo files on my phone looking for photos she didn't have already of her or Maya and came across this one of herself as a 6 year old at Disneyworld.

Why did you put this man in my picture?

I didn't. The original photo I took with an old fashioned film camera (imagine that!) and had scanned it into my computer. I never put it on my phone so I was puzzled how all of this happened. Is my phone infected with some kind of virus that puts strange men into my photos? And again, I never put this photo on my phone though it is buried somewhere amongst zillions of files on my ageing computer.

I never watched Baywatch (no desire to see breasts jiggling) but I realize he is the star of the show. We googled Hasselhof photobomb and got answers. Google did it 5 years ago as an April Fool's joke as part of their 'enhancement' service. I never noticed. I recently put Google photos on my phone so I could share the Costa Rican ones with my fellow travelers and it must have dug out this one.

Spring is technically here but with windchills in the teens, it certainly didn't seem like it as I slogged through my long run this morning.

Monday, March 19, 2018

A visit to the past

Most of these photos I've posted before. Recently I joined Google photos and they have selected a few of my photos to 'enhance'. These are them except the photo of Cuba from the air. This is Parke County, Indiana. Steve is looking through the window

Alcazar Sevilla, Spain

Montara Beach, CA

Cuba as we flew to Costa Rica

Sharon Mills County Park near my hairdresser's

Rime covered chestnut, my yard

my pond, fake and real flowers

sandhill cranes, Island Lake St. Park

my friend's pond, Holland, MI

Verrazano Bridge, NY 

Brooklyn  Bridge, NY

When I was a high school junior, my best friend and I met a pair of boys a year older than ourselves and we became two couples. I became really good friends with my friend's boyfriend. I think I talked to him much more than my actual boyfriend. When he was 16, he was playing around at his friends house with guns. His friend accidentally shot him in the back instantly paralyzing him from the waist down. He spent 6 months in rehab but was left unable to walk. This didn't stop him from driving his car and his speedboat, the latter he designed and built from scratch. You could not tell it was made by a teenager.  During the first year I knew him, he was hospitalized twice: once for awful bedsores. He had no fat or muscle to protect his skin from his sharp bones. Even though he sat on silicone cushions, his flesh was eaten away. And the other for a kidney infection, common for those catheterized.

We went our separate ways once we went away to college, me making a series of bad boyfriend choices. (two years wasted with this now Trump supporter! Dodged a bullet that time). My once boyfriend was the last person probably drafted though he ended up in Germany versus Viet Nam. I still kept in contact with my friend in the wheelchair and even went to his wedding 6 years after I had met him. I didn't like his wife nor she I apparently as he was no longer allowed to speak to me. Not much I could do about that. Nor did I get a thank you note for my gift.

What happened to these guys? There seemed to be no sign of them in cyberspace. I checked every once in a while. I assumed since my friend had so many health issues when he was young, these would not get better with time so he could very well be dead. But no, he is not as I recently found out. And he is doing well, still working but designing cars versus speedboats. His wife however died when she was only 59. And for my old boyfriend who I wasn't too interested in, he still lives alone in his parents' home (they are dead).

Spring is showing some signs of coming. My bulbs are coming up through the ground. I heard peepers while I rode my bike (finally warm enough after 3 weeks of bitter cold). I am signed up for Medicare and a medigap policy. We get almost 12 hours of light now. Yay!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

resale art

last week

but it was pretty sometimes

this is for my wall of heads

My living room is orange, blue and gold

do I need a teapot with teacups attached?

Thursday, March 15, 2018


my father's slide

another of my father's

in Costa Rica

close up

full glory

My father liked to photograph zoo animals. When we lived in the Southern Tier
of NY, off to the Buffalo zoo. Here in Michigan, we were only about 5 miles
from the Detroit Zoo where he had a special parking place and free admission
in return for his photos. Both zoos had peacocks roaming freely. I often was
with him being his Sherpa as he had lots of equipment. Another of my jobs
was to entice peacocks into displaying their tail feathers. They will spread their
feathers to entice females but will do it if a male is close by. My father
constructed a mirror from a large piece of cardboard and foil. Peacocks are not smart;
they will think their image is another male. At the animal rescue center, there were
two males close to each other. The one above went into display mode though the
other didn't. Too bad as it would be a great shot if they had a face off.

On my runs, I often hear the screeches of peacocks as people keep them as pets.
The commercial orchard I run by is only open in the fall.,keeps them in the kids'
petting zoo. So my early morning run past there treats me with the aroma of
frying doughnuts and the jungle sounds of the peacocks.

The sandhill cranes are back as their calls can be heard for a mile and the red wing
black birds are doing their spring trills. The calendar says it is close to spring
but every morning for the past 2 weeks has been twenty or below. Cold, cold,
cold. And one morning, all was covered in black ice so I had to wait to go to
Steve's gym, a time consuming project if I go with him. Our juncos are still
here, snow birds. They know it is still winter.

I'm to select a medicare gap plan today. I guess I can always choose another if
I don't like my choice this year. Our company did give us somewhat subsidized
health insurance but their medigap plan for retirees is extremely expensive
compared to the open market. And renewing a driver's license is going to be
an ordeal as now they have to be TSA compliant if I ever want to fly pass
2020. I have to show up with my birth certificate and marriage certificate.

Waiting for least we have more light

Monday, March 12, 2018

Close ups

this is a close up of a preening peacock's neck. Isn't he beautiful?

The above are close ups of photos I took. As I didn't have a zoom lens, I had to get very close to my subject. Below are my friend's photos. She had a zoom lens but not a telephoto one with her so she didn't need to get as close

the dragon's eye soccer stadium
I think this thrush is their national bird. Of all the colorful candidates, they chose this one
iguana from a distance
more topiaries
mama and baby sloth
white faced monkey high in a tree
anhinga drying its feathers
osprey  These have been re-introduced to Michigan. Some of them are radio tracked and some end up in Costa Rica though the Michigan ones seem to favor Cuba
official Nicaraguan border
motmot bird Notice tennis racquet tail feathers
spider monkeys
a row of well camouflaged parrots
waning crescent moon It looked much more impressive the day before when only a bit was lit up orange just over the ocean, which was to our west. Here the moon rises in the East
hidden iguana  
flying macaws
blue heron  Not the same as our blue herons
Halloween crab
squirrel monkey
our tram was above this one
nesting macaws
oropendula and nests. He is a 20 inch long oriole. They did have Baltimore orioles flying around too (though not here) 

orange fronted parrot
mama and baby squirrel monkeys
me out for a stroll


Blog Archive