Friday, January 30, 2009

Seasonal Shopping

M has managed to lose THREE hoodies in the last month. One (the new one my mom got him for Christmas) was left at school on Wednesday, and the other two are (in his words) "not lost--I just can't find them." So yesterday we took a trip to Target to get a new sweatshirt or two, since it's January and still rather cool outside in the mornings. I had forgotten that at Target (and many other retailers), January is the month where you can buy swim trunks and T-shirts, but not winter clothing. Last month they had multiple shelves of sweatshirts in all sizes and colors. This month, nothing.

M is wearing one of my old sweatshirts today, and maybe I'll be able to find some cheap hoodies online.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

When To Bloom?

Today I got the clothing right (sweatshirt over a T-shirt), but now my garden is confused. The daffodils are starting to bloom:

There was another plant that had tiny purple flowers, but I couldn't get a good picture of it in the wind.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What to Wear?

Every morning, I get out of bed, and eventually I get dressed. I try to look at the weather forecast, but sometimes I don't have time. I think I've only worn the right clothing one day this week!

Sunday, I wanted to put on something nice for New Year's Eve dinner, and I thought red was a good choice, so I put on a red wool sweater. It was nice and warm that day, and I was quite toasty.

On Monday, I learned from what happened on Sunday, so I put on a cotton sweater. By the time I dropped off the kids at their afternoon activities, the temperature had dropped, so I was freezing all night (I was at rehearsal, so I couldn't change).

Yesterday I got it right--wool sweater with a turtleneck. I was especially glad I was wearing that when the fire alarm went off at 9:30 am, and we all got to spend thirty minutes standing outside in the cold.

Today, when I got up, it was 32 degrees outside, so I went for the wool sweater and turtleneck again. Not the right thing to wear--by the time I picked up B from school, it was nearly 60 here, so I was quite warm again.

I have no idea what I'm going to put on tomorrow morning. Maybe a sweatshirt over a T-shirt?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Year's Cakes

Current mental soundtrack: "Biggest Blame Fool" from Seussical

I don't do a lot of traditional stuff for Chinese New Year, but one thing I rarely miss is the chance to make Chinese New Year's cakes. Many years I manage to make dumplings for dinner, but I didn't get to the Asian supermarket last weekend, so we're going to have an American New Year's Eve dinner tomorrow (steak or roast), followed by Chinese New Year cake.

It's taken me a while to get the dessert recipe right, but I think I finally have it down. My mom always made one big one that had to be steamed for hours, but last year I figured out that it was much faster to make a bunch of small ones. Plus, that makes it easier to freeze the leftovers.

2 pounds sweet rice flour
4 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups water

Lightly grease 8 custard cups (I use Pyrex ones) with shortening. Melt brown sugar in water over low heat until completely dissolved. Mix with rice flour, adding additional water as needed until dough is wet and sticky. Scoop into custard cups. Steam for 1.5 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Slice into thick slices, and pan-fry in oil until lightly browned. Serve hot. Leftover cakes can be tightly wrapped and frozen.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


At M's middle school, all sixth-graders are required to take "Cycle," which consists of woodshop, art, wellness & character education, computers, and pen-in-hand. M is currently in Wellness, and his homework yesterday was to compliment five people he didn't know, and write down all the insults he heard during the day. As soon as B heard this, she immediately started insulting him every time she had a chance. Helping him with his homework :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


PWC had a great concert today--wish y'all could have been there! The weather was more appropriate for a June concert than a January concert--I'm one of those people who's always cold and never breaks a sweat, and I was definitely hot and sweaty by the end of the concert. It was nice to see Anna Banana and mundungus42 again, along with all the other singers. B and I had a smooth trip home, and we're all going to sleep in tomorrow.

Update: No wonder it felt hot--it was 78 degrees outside!

Friday, January 16, 2009


B and I just arrived in San Diego for Sunday's PWC concert. Warm, sunny, 75 degrees here right now. Be sure to come to our concert!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Excitement for the Morning

DH and I took a scenic route to work today. We were quite surprised when we rounded a corner in the hills and saw a guy being arrested in the middle of the road! We had a front-row seat as he was frisked, then put into the back seat of the cruiser. The stretch of road we were on was in the middle of nowhere--no houses or other buildings in sight, so we were quite mystified as to where the guy came from, and why he was being arrested. After the guy was tucked into the police car, we went a little further down the road and saw more police and a car with all of its doors open, being towed away. Our current theory is that the suspect was stopped for driving a stolen car, and made a break for it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Current mental soundtrack: "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think" from Seussical the Musical

Today was the first rehearsal for the spring musical (Seussical Jr.) at B's school. Since the music director is out of town this week, I got to sub as rehearsal accompanist. However, the scripts for the kids haven't arrived yet, so they weren't able to get much singing done. They blocked the opening number, which is pretty complicated!

B is in the Thursday cast (yes, I'm doing this again on Thursday), and she's really excited that she got a solo part. Yertle the Turtle is the judge in the trial scene at the end of the show, and she sings with the Jungle Citizens during the rest of the show.

Seussical was not a musical that I was familiar with, but we bought a CD and have been listening to it in the car. It has a lot of fun music, and I'm looking forward to seeing the show in May.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

Last night we lit a fire in our fireplace. M sat around enjoying the fire for a couple of minutes before his eyes lighted upon our Christmas tree. He thought it would be great fun to burn some branches in the fireplace, and DH agreed, so out came my garden clippers. This is what's left of the tree:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Yesterday, I heard someone on the radio asking listeners if they were planning to "party like it was 1999" or if their plans had been affected by the recession. I guess we would have to say that we are partying exactly the same way we did in 1999: drinking a bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider while watching the ball drop on TV. I didn't get around to taking any pictures of us last night, but here is B in 1999:

We spent the last day of 2008 at the Huntington Library. The new Chinese Garden there is absolutely beautiful--definitely worth a visit. Today, we hung out at my parents' house. We had potstickers for dinner, and the four of us finally finished the 1500-piece jigsaw puzzle we started a couple of days ago: