Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Frank comes home from the hospital


This is actually old news.  Frank and Ilana came home from the hospital last Wednesday.  In is cute duckie outfit.  I've seen some pictures that make me think that he has already filled out some.  The tummy is rounder.  He is so healthy looking, I am so thankful.

Monday, April 5, 2021


Welcome to our grandson Frank James born this morning to Ilana and Matt.  A big boy 9'8".  He immediately started crying and wanted to eat.  Good signs, I think.  We are all happy and proud of our new family member. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Mongol Empire monument

 We start a new quarter today.  I'm taking the Mongol Empire from Professor Walker.  He's such a hard habit to break.  He posted this picture, a huge monument to the men and horses of the 13th century.  More to come.

Also taking an Ottoman Empire emigration class in Jewish Studies from Professor Naar (the Young Professor), another faculty member known to me.  It really makes sense to take two classes during these zoom times.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Seder Prep

We did the seder by zoom.  We didn't quite have enough vaccinations going and I do like to include people from far away.  We had 18 people from 5 states.  We set it up in the living room so we could include the tv as the monitor.  Dennis wants to start working with 2 cameras so he decided to set up a 'seder cam' focusing on the seder plate (shown in the first picture) and we used it for the Archie McPhee plagues (you have to see them).  He ran up a wire from downstairs.  Now that James is around, he's thinking of asking James to wire it.  That's the thing, when James' is around, projects get done and your bill goes up.

There was a lot of pre-processing for the event.  Suzie and Megan made matza ball soup, Naomi made dessert, Danny made hard-boiled eggs, Nancy made beets.  I made the rest (brisket, charoses, matzah, grape juice, horesradish).  We had all our local people stop by at 1:30 so we could redistribute the food.  So we had 6 households with 9 people.  So Dennis made bags for everybody for this event so everybody would have everything.  In our Event Center (our garage).  As usual I thought I would run out of containers; I don't know how it happened but I ended up with more containers than when I started.

We used the haggadah that Ilana used last year.  I cut some things out but then we added many of them back in anyway.

Friday, March 26, 2021

The famous James

 James, my contractor for many years, has been here this week on a long delayed project to paint (and make repairs) to our downstairs.  Plus he's stayed for dinner the last 4 nights, fun!  I look at the wall behind my computer.  I'm thinking that it was last painted when Dennis' parents pulled an all nighter getting everything ready for me to come home with baby Naomi.  31 years ago.  I can't even remember where everybody slept then but Dennis and his dad split this downstairs rec room into an extra bedroom and office.  That wall by Dennis, that's the 'new' wall.  But James takes care of everything, he's just a little hard to get. But worth the wait. I think we were his very first client when he started out.  So he's painting and repairing the walls for our downstairs.  Amazing how many dings, scars and holes we've managed to accumulate.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Grinder for charoses

 I was thinking about making the charoses.  How I did not like cutting up all those apples.  And I wasn't very good at either.  I have an older low end food processor, maybe that would work.  Then I thought about this food grinder in the back of the cupboard.  It belonged to my grandmother.  I remember my mother using one to make spreads for sandwiches.  Why not try it.  I talked Dennis into getting it out.  It has to be attached to a service.  We managed to do it to the table by turning over the place settings and ratcheting it on.  I tried it and it works.  See all those mashed up apples and walnuts?  I will make the charoses with this!

I went to the store to buy the brisket I ordered.  6 lbs, don't ask the price!  I will cook it tomorrow.  We have to have everything ready to roll by 1:30 on Saturday.  Not enough time!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Planning for seder

So the planning for this year's seder is almost complet.  Ilana hosted last year via zoom but does not want to this year.  So we took it back.  Many of our guests have their vaccines.  But not everybody.  So we almost could do an in-person but not quite.  So we're back to zoom format.  

The advantage (and disadvantage) to zoom is that we can (or can't) all be together.  So we can include people far away.

It's real easy to fill up a seder invite list, everybody wants to come.  Our final number is 17.  9 'local,' 8 remote.  Some in eastern and central time zones.  Relatives, friends, our families.  Our immediate family, my sibs, niece and her fiance, my cousin, a few friends.  We'll share food locally.  Danny and Jessica make eggs, Susanna and Megan make matza ball soup, Naomi makes dessert, Nancy makes beets.  I will supply brisket and various ceremonial items.  We will use the Haggadah that Ilana used last year.  I cut out everything I could think of.  We will have Archie McPhee plastic plagues.  Dennis in charge of zoom.

It will work.

Picture is 'Dayenu' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFnCcZNY-Uo from a 2016 Prairie Home Companion.  I like it because it's so straight up.  Used without permission.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Does it fit?

 The challenge:  Does everything that you need to do a pops farmers market fit in a Prius?

Susanna and Megan were considering hiring somebody for farmers market who had a Prius.  Would it work?  There's a lot of stuff that you need to set up a popsicle stand in farmers market.  We own a 2007 Prius so they came over with their van full of stuff to see if they could make it work.

And it did!  Including two big market coolers, 4 tables, a canopy and much much more.  Who knew?

Teddy (the old dog) was out there helping/getting in the way. 

There could be other sizes of Prius?  We don't know.

We're working on seder which we are hosting.  Zoom.  18 people from around the country participating.  Round robin for the large amounts of food needed.  I just finished making a spreadsheet about it.  Dennis is printing out the Haggadot.  I slashed out all the stuff I didn't feel we needed.  You can do anything you want with a seder.

Suzie agrees to help with the green mold in the barbecue problem.  Turns out there are websites devoted to this situation.  One suggestion (which I could definitely embrace) is to put the cover back on it and hope it goes away.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Still a fan

 Still a fan of Oregon softball.  A picture of outfielder Haley Cruz from the Daily Emerald.

It's been a long time since my kid played for that team (2004-2007).  Not even the same decade!  They have a whole new stadium (I certainly wrote a lot about Howe Field).  Kind of in the same spot.  We've been there once.  Don't know any of the players or their families.  Don't know the coaches any more as Mike White is head coach at Texas and Chelsea is head coach at Cal.  I like cheering for Cal!  Susanna played with and against Chelsea and she was most gracious to us when we visited.

But it's been 17 years since my daughter took the field for the Ducks.  I was thinking that nobody remembers a softball game played 17 years ago.  Talk about ancient history!  The current players were pre-schoolers when she played.  She was always good about talking with the kids and signing autographs afterwards.

One thing about the crazy Pac 12 season.  Gone is the elegant travel pairing.  But this year they play 4 games per trip.  Friday, doubleheader Saturday and Sunday.  But the second game of the Saturday doubleheader doesn't count as a conference game!  Who thought THAT one up?

Go Ducks!