Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rescuing pictures off my camera's card

I take a lot of pictures. I think everyone with a disposable camera takes many more pictures than those with a 35mm camera. I guess since you can delete at will and instantly see your pictures, it can get out of hand. Not a nuance of daily living will go unphotographed. Darling daughter had another Bachelorette Night where she cooked Chicken Parmesan Alfredo. It has only a few ingredients and she loves the bland taste of this recipe. There is only chicken, parmesan, half and half, salt and pepper over fettucini. Her apron is from a craft project when she was around 6 years old. Still fits, sort of.

It turned out pretty good and was easy to teach, a winner for sure.
She puts the finishing touches on her recipe box and now has two recipes in it.

Sometime back I harvested the soybeans. I used the same soybeans as last year, Black Jet, to see if it made a difference whether you planted it in the fall or spring. I had a better yield but still dissapointed in the amount of soybeans for the area it took up in my garden. It took up an 8x4 raised bed for a few months and yielded only about 6 servings of soybeans. Not very efficient so I will not be doing this one in the future. I will say though that this is a low maintenance plant so if you have a lot of space, this may well suit your garden.

We also visited the Elisabet Ney museum here in North Austin. She was quite a talented sculptor who lived a very interesting life. They didn't allow us to take pictures inside so these are the only two pictures I have. The building is beautifully preserved and you can learn more about her here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Asian Secrets and Baby's Back!

Often when I see South Americans or Asians on TV, I wonder, 'Whoa! Look at them sweat!! Sure glad I don't live there!!'How do they cope with the heat?'. One way is through food. Cultures that live along the equator use more spices and as one friend from India explained to me, 'It helps you sweat and keep cool'. I never thought of sweating as being a good thing until then. It IS a mechanism for the body to evacuate heat from the body and as the sweat evaporates, cools the surface of the skin. Another way other cultures keep cool is through creative drinks, on ice. One recipe I learned from an interesting Indian woman named Roshan was Watermelon Juice. This was very easy, especially if you have a seedless watermelon. Just blend the watermelon pulp in a food processor and add rose water and sugar to taste. Chill and serve over ice. It's delicious and you can feel your body cool down a few degrees.

One glass for me to take to work and another for everybody else. In Texas, we don't sweat as much as other cultures because we hide in buildings with turbo air conditioning. We admire the sunlight through windows. But don't worry, we surface again in October.

Today I drove 45 miles to pick up a teenager that needed a good home, actually, darling daughter. She went to summer camp with the Girl Scouts. It's her 6th year going to this same camp and she looks foreward to it every year. I like that she earns cookie credits for this camp so when she is selling Girl Scout cookies, she's earning her own way.

When we arrived home, she plopped her stuff just inside the door and went straight to her room to take a nap. Apparently, she stayed up most of the night with her new best friends. After she had risen, she went on to sing ALL the new camp songs she learned. Including one titled, 'I went crazy singing this song'. There's a good reason why it was named that. Then, she described this mysterious incident that happened in the middle of the night where her arm started stinging and swelled up and turned red, waking her up. A trip to the nurse and a dose of benadryl squashed that immune reaction. Hives?

Notice the hollywood sunglasses juxtaposed next to the Converse sneakers. Ahh.... Things are back to chaotic normal:)

Friday, July 2, 2010

DIY Teen Style

Our darling daughter begs us every year to "re-do" her room. Her room has been 're-done' twice in her long 14 years. 'Re-doing' any room is synonymous with 'spending lots of money we shouldn't'. Since I am a Dave Ramsey convert, and since delayed gratification is EXREMEMLY important to teens/early adults, I challenged her to save up her allowance and 're-do' the princess's chamber. So, 7 months later....

We saved money with sweat equity, the wall unit was a collaboration between teen and both parents. Darling daughter learned some valuable skills along the way such as sanding, using a drill and driving a screw. Daughter and daddy spending quality time, priceless!

She was eager to get this project underway and there was no eye-rolling on this project.

She poured over the IKEA catalogue for MONTHS, dreaming of her finished masterpiece. IKEA, the venerable cheap way to decorate, but with Swedish style, both country and contemporary. The white boxes were cheap at IKEA and a way for her to hide a million doo-dads that have some significant meaning even if they never see the light of day again. The photo frame to the left of her desk on the wall is adorable and she can change out the pics at will. right now she filled them with endangered animal pics she downloaded from the internet.

One of her 3 murals is still a work-in-progress.

We switched the sleigh bed for the captains bed so we can get rid of her dresser. Two of her throw pillows and the blanket are from IKEA.

The top of her bookshelf is home to her make-up and jewelry.

While painting at her desk, she knew I was about to take a picture so she whipped her head around and stuck out her tongue faster than the shutter speed for this remarkable pic. "OUCH!" If I tried that, I would be out of work for a month:p