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Sunday, September 2, 2012

NFL, RNC, Serendipity & Dried Stuff

Actually this week across the country presented us with a variety of choices for our viewing pleasure. While we really enjoy watching the NFL games, most of the preseason games were ho-hum and we did not make it through all four quarters in any of them. The weather though in "our neck of the woods" was pretty nice. Almost each morning began with fog and eventually into moderate sunshine with only one or two days requiring the assistance of the a/c.  The beautiful sunshine enhanced the colors of the tree directly in my line of sight from the office window:

This crape or crepe myrtle is stunning in color and is a pleasure to see, we had two of these at our previous home and we checked to see if they were "in-bloom" as well -- they were, but not quite as full as this one.

The RNC was in full bloom as well this week -- after a one day delay due to Hurricane Isaac which landed in New Orleans seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina hit. Sadly there was a lot of damage from Isaac not nearly as much as Katrina though. We did watch the convention and like the NFL we did not always make it through to the fourth quarter. We recorded the events so we could speed through and find the key speeches that we wanted to hear. We will be doing the same with the DNC this coming week.

Ever since my earliest recollection -- and the early days of TV -- I have enjoyed watching the conventions and being amazed that grown folks would dress that way . . .

A Break for a Neighborhood Walk/Local Football (Pop Warner type)

We are fortunate to be able to "walk" to town which we do sometimes -- and to my Brother's as well. On a recent walk we were able to rest a bit and catch the flavor of football a few blocks from our house. It is nice to hear the cheering and see the excitement as numerous games take place on any given weekend.

In between shots of Dino doing his "working" walk, football with all the participants, including a cheer squad can be seen for each game. The "Rec Park" gets good usage.

The Dry Stuff & The Saucy

It's funny though how days unfold in a given week -- for example this week. Every day we have taken part in the handling of our tomato and other crops -- sounds like a big time operation -- lots of my ancestors were farmers so why not. Except it is hardly "farming" but it is hobby gardening and all that that entails.

We have a nice crop of tomatoes and a nice crop of apples and unfortunately only one or two peppers, so far. So what to do. We looked for and found the dehydrator and started our week out with drying some apples and then some tomatoes and then some grapes and then some potatoes.

So the above represents the tomato preparation side of things. Dino got tired of "not getting" any fallen fruit or anything else for that matter and he hit the deck. After washing and removing stems and things we cranked up the dehydrator and turned our laundry room into a sauna -- fortunately we can close off that room. We started drying everything in sight -- and always eating our results. The cherry tomatoes, we weren't sure of -- but they turned into great tasting tomato raisins, very tasty. The grapes we did (the ones from the store -- were okay, but you need a ton, actually about 4 pounds to get one pound . . .

In the above you can see some of the dried results -- tomato slices which have Italian seasonings, some baby potatoes about to be and finished drying (to be used in stew type things when it gets cold) and some of our own apples, sliced and most we have put cinnamon and sugar on and they turn out really delicious. Dino by this time was sittin' up. The top two pics show the yellow cherry tomatoes that we slowly turned into spaghetti sauce -- unfortunately it turned out so well we ate a batch of it before I took a picture of it. We did though freeze several containers again for when it gets colder . . .

Squeezing in Some Family History Work . . .

It used to be the other way around, but it seems that this summer I get to work on genealogy in between doing other projects -- that will probably change though as we get closer to the new year . . . but, last week I showed a "tree" from my side that I produced in WikiTree and this week I have a pedigree chart for Gail's side of the family that also is now in WikiTree as well:

So above you can see Gail, her Parents and her Grandparents. The always nice feature is to see photos of the people . . . the charts and trees are an easy thing to do -- once you locate the photos that you want to use and the format.

Other Projects this Week

We are wrapping up the project in the back -- the arbor and the pool house. The arbor now has a shade attached to the back that not only will give us some relief from the sun whenever we choose to sit out there BUT will protect us from any errant baseballs that might find their way over the fence  . . .  two so far this year . . . and on the arbor we have "grape lights" too.

On the top is the arbor -- unshaded and then shaded and bottom left, grape-light lit . . . In the evening now we have lights (on a timer) in the pool house that come on for awhile. It is really pleasant to have the lights shine through the windows when I take Dino out during the dark. When I went out to take these photos Dino sat by the door watching every move. It is hard to remember that he is only 11 months old.

Even More Family History

This is for my our Cousin Vinny Melissa -- just kidding, it is for all of us . . . one of the nice features of this blog (from blogger) is the search bar at the top of each post. I know that I have written about my Uncle Harold before and by doing a search on "Harold" I see that it was once on Apr 15, 2011 and once again on June 3, 2012. Several years ago after meeting Melissa for the first time and getting to know her as a cousin I had mentioned to her that I really enjoyed meeting her Grandfather Harold (my Grand Uncle) back in the early 1960s. He was refreshing to meet because he was very outgoing and forthright about our family and particularly his take on many of the players.

But, to keep a story short, I had told Melissa that I was a collector of business cards and that I had one from Uncle Harold -- but I could not put my hands on it . . . til now. I have to admit though that it is not the one that I had, it was the one that my Mother had and it got passed over to my older Brother, Marv, who recently released a nice amount of memorabilia to me. And in one of the little books that were my Mother's was Harold's business card:

So -- here is Harold AND his business card. I could just see him handing these out, he was a man about town. One thing that I remember is that he painted too -- it would be nice to see again some of the South Western flavored pictures I seem to remember him doing. There are many artists in the Hiles tree.

And We Ate Well this Week Too!

I have to say it is a real pleasure to enjoy cooking and eating. This week especially it seems that we had great menu items -- and we managed to watch our diets -- somewhat:

The above is just a few of the dietary delights that we had in the last few days. The spaghetti, made with the sauce we made, is not pictured nor are the burgers that are our tradition on Saturday nights -- but they were marvelous . . . the cups above, from The Noble Pig are a new addition to our daily consumption of coffee and tea. Then there are some chef salads, a burrito, some tacos, two delicious rib-eyes, bone-in, and of course the pot of "dem beans" . . . Dino was content with his Nylabone . . . which is replaced with a new one every few days.

And so that was bit of our week -- we are going to a BBQ tonight so we look forward to that.  Have a good Labor Day and see you in a few . . .



Melissa said...

Dan--What a treat to see this photo of my grandfather and his "business" card! I think his enterprise was mainly hanging out at The Blue Front club, but I can just imagine him handing these out to people he met and getting many chuckles in return.

We have only one painting of his, I'm afraid. It's a winter scene with a couple in a sled and I think he used a calendar page as inspiration. My soon-to-be-93-year-old mother painted some really nice still lifes in her younger days (one of which graces a wall in her room at the nursing home.) And I've also tried my hand at drawing, painting and cutting silhouettes over the years, so yes--we are a family of artists, indeed!

Thanks for this post--it made my day. (And not in the same way as "Crazy Uncle Clint" who talks to empty chairs! haha)

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