Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Visit to the Blueberry Farm

This afternoon we went to the blueberry farm and picked about 10 pounds of berries. We put them in the freezer to enjoy in the cold winter months to come. Blueberries are very easy to freeze; just put them in bags without washing and place in the freezer.When you're ready to use them, take them out of the freezer, put them in a colander, wash them and they're ready to use.

Tomorrow morning we're heading out for a long drive to Tom and Kelly's lake house in the Pocono Mountains of New York. I'm very excited to see them all, especially Matthew who is perfecting his new walking skill.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Weekend
Here are a few more pictures from this weekend, Cath and Tony hanging out by the grill. If you look closely, you can see that Tony's barbecuing fresh garden vegetables: zucchini, eggplant, green pepper, and tomatoes. Barbecued garden veggies that were picked minutes before are one of the special treats of summer.

Here's Scarlett enjoying her juice while modeling her new sundress. Little girls in sundresses are so cute. We had fun reading stories and playing together.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday in the Park with Scarlett
One of my favorite things to do is to take a grandchild to the park. Cathy and Scarlett came to see us this weekend. Sunday afternoon Cathy went shopping so Tony and I took Scarlett to the park. It was a beautiful afternoon, warm and not too hot, with a little breeze. Scarlett still is very careful on playground equipment but is getting just a little more brave every time we go to the park. She could climb everything on the playground structure, could go down the smallest slide but not the others, and especially enjoyed climbing on the concrete animals. We stayed quite a while and then she fell asleep in the short ride home, having played so much that she slept for a couple of hours.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Last Weekend
After spending some time with Steve, Marta, and Gabriel, we continued on to Cathy, Sasha, and Scarlett's house.

At Mitsuwa Marketplace in Chicago having eaten delicious ramen and sushi:

A close look at Scarlett; she recently began attending a summer school program to her great enjoyment. More information can be found on Cathy's blog.

Saturday morning we went to a small neighborhood park with Scarlett. It was a beautiful day.

I like to be an active grandmother, if possible, so I enjoy the playground too! Scarlett is a very careful girl, so I climbed up the play structure first and then she followed me.

Scarlett in a thoughtful mood at the playground:

When we returned home, our garden had been thriving, producing these delicious vegetables!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yesterday Gabe had a haircut
This is before:

This is after:

Then we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant.
Steve, Marta, and Gabe at the restaurant:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fun with Gabe
Gabriel's family just returned from their vacation so I'm spending a few days with them while Steve and Marta return to work and everyone eases back to daily life. This is such a pleasure for me because I love to spend time with my grandchildren. Let me tell you what we did today:

First we went to McDonald's for lunch. (Gabe's choice.) I know it's not the healthiest food, but we had such a good time talking together.

McDonald's has an excellent play area which Gabe enjoyed.

Then we went to the local library, one of my favorite places. The library in Gabe's town is excellent in design; we could read books and talk quietly without bothering anyone. We stayed there a long time looking at books, magazines, and seeing what was going on.

This evening we baked cookies. I didn't take any pictures but I think I've shown you pictures of Gabe's cookie helping skill before!

Such a glorious day for Gabe and me!
The Barbecue Chef

Tony very much enjoys barbecuing. Summer evenings he can be found at the grill cooking salmon, steak, hamburgers, chicken, pork chops, etc. He's really proud of his cooking and always checks that everyone enjoys what he prepares.

After barbecuing, Tony enjoys eating, a curious fact for someone who is so thin.

The cook's helper: Coco, who is temporarily staying at our house while Steve, Marta, and Gabriel are on vacation.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

At the moment three of my four orchid plants are blooming. I don't know a lot about orchids; sometimes I remember to water them but mostly they thrive on neglect. I remember Tony's brother Gus in the Philippines having an orchid collection attached to a coconut tree in the yard outside his house. There is almost nothing more beautiful than an orchid in bloom.

I've always enjoyed hobbies in my spare time. Several years ago I was into African violets; I was starting new plants and
expanding my collection all the time. They were filling up my living room. I was giving them away to friends and family, anyone who would take them!

Other hobbies that I've enjoyed: exercise (for years I loved to run and still walk a few m
iles almost every day); reading (I keep a list and read about 50 books a year, mostly fiction), knitting (keeps my hands busy while the TV is on); sewing (I used to make clothes and patchwork), and the internet (love to read news, blogs, and whatever is going on). Also we are enjoying our garden and especially right now because it is beginning to produce. Yesterday I picked the first cucumber of the season (so tasty!)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Simple Supper

These are the first green beans from our garden:

And the first zucchini, browning in my pan:

So I made a simple supper:
My rule of life is "simple is best"! This is an easy one pan meal. A non stick pan is used with just a little olive oil. Chop an onion and saute for a couple minutes. Peel and slice some potatoes and saute them. Add any available garden vegetables (zucchini and green beans for today), cook a couple minutes at a fairly high temperature. Then add just a little water, cover, and turn the stove down to low to simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. In the above picture I added one smoked pork chop, cut in two because we eat only a little meat. The pork adds a little salty taste, but you can add spices as you like.

This is too simple to be a recipe, but it is tasty and easy to make. The best thing is the easy clean up with one pot to wash.