Veterans’ Day

Mac & I met in Louisiana while he was serving in the U.S. Army. We moved to California to help his grandparents with a hope of serving at Fort Irwin. As the military was downsizing at the time, they gave him an honorable discharge so we could  move out here where we still are today.  So on this Veteran’s Day I would like to thank all veterans for their sacrifice and dedication. Please join me!

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Last Day of August

Today is the last day of August and also Eat Outside Day. I’ve never been much for eating outside because of the bugs and such. You also have to consider the weather before deciding to eat outside. Here in Southern California it has been over 100 degrees for over a week. The worse part is it is not cooling down much at night. It has been 80 when we get up at 5 or 6 am.  That’s way too hot. If I were to eat outside, I would want to take a cool salad and here is the perfect recipe, Cucumber Honeydew Salad with Feta.

2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
¼ c. olive oil
1 tsp. Honey
¼ tsp. Poppy seeds
1 Honeydew melon, cut into bite-size cubes
1 cucumber, unpeeled & cubed
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. Chopped fresh dill weed

In a large bowl, pour lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and poppy seeds. Add melon, cucumber, onion and dill weed. Toss to combine. Top with feta just before serving.

Photo Albums

Yesterday was crazy here in southern California.  We had a thunderstorm with an inch of rain. That’s really unusual for California but can be expected in Louisiana. I guess the weather is just acclimating us. Even with the heat, 110 degrees, and humidity, I was able to complete 3 photo albums: 1 from Mac’s childhood, 1 from Louisiana and 1 with my son’s school stuff. Today I will try to get my daughter’s album done and maybe the one from when we lived in Germany.

It is sort of cool to see all the pictures from years ago. So much you forget. Anyway – I continue on this quest. Have a great Wednesday!!

Photo Storage

When we arrived here in Southern California 20 years ago, we started saving photos in a 2 drawer safe. This safe is stuffed to the gills with all kinds of things: memorabilia, pictures, empty photo albums, letters, cards, etc. Yesterday I began the process of going through everything to get organized.  This sudden urge was a result of us talking about moving.  We definitely need to downsize before moving so I thought this would be a small start.  I got through the top drawer and have gotten rid of some cards and removed the albums that were in there. I did put the things I am keeping back in the drawer for safe keeping until I go through the second drawer and than decide how to organize everything that is left.

Should I make albums for the kids with there school stuff even though they’re in their 30’s? Do I digitize everything and give them a disk?  Do I fill the albums I have and than take pictures of the rest? Do I buy new albums so everything is in some type of order?

Many choices. The cool part is that we have found some pictures we were looking for and some pictures we had forgotten about. This will definitely be a trip down memory lane. Have a great Tuesday!

Cacao Almond Smoothie

Today being Chocolate Day seems to be the perfect time to share this delicious and frosty drink. You can use cocoa powder if you don’t have any cacao powder. For the milk I used a mixture of almond milk and coconut milk but you can use which ever you prefer.  It’s been really hot here in southern California so this beverage helps cool you off.  Today is supposed to be 109 degrees in Lake Elsinore which means it will be close to 120 here at our house.  Smokin’

 

2 Tbsp. Cacao powder
2 chopped & frozen bananas
3 pitted dates
¾ c. almond milk and/or coconut milk
1 c. ice cubes

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Mirror Stand

We picked up this mirror on a stand when we cleared out a neighbors garage. At first I was thinking I should change this stand. But what would I do? Paint it? Take it apart?

The final decision – no changes. Just cleaning it well and then selling it next weekend for our Mothers Day Sale.

This seems the perfect time to mention that on Mothers Day weekend, May 13th and 14th, we will be having a furniture and home décor sale at our Wood Shop here is sunny southern California. This will be a perfect opportunity to use our Square card reader for payments. We can now take credit card payments which hopefully will help with our sales.

We will have our wine displays, American Flags, mirror stand, oak wood table, outdoor furniture and metal candle holders. This past weekend I put up signs trying to get some conversion picnic table orders so we can get them made by Mothers Day. No orders maybe because it rained all weekend.

Tax Day

Whew!  Just went to the post office and mailed my federal and state tax returns.  I was ahead of the game when I started the federal return the end of March.  Then uh-oh not enough deductions and we have to pay $1800.  Started scrambling to find deductions.  Found more deductions but still end up owing $1300 to the IRS. The good news is that we should get a $900 check from the state of California.  Don’t understand how that happens as California is broke. But who am I to complain.

Figured out why we owed so much.  We only have 5 years or so left on our mortgage.  As we all know, your mortgage is mostly interest until the last 5 to 6 years.  That means we only paid $2800 in interest in 2016.  This year we’ll need to make sure we have more taxes taken out of our pay checks so we don’t have to pay next year.

Has everyone finished their tax returns?  You have several hours to go.  Good Luck!

Spring Begins

Today Spring begins.   Weird as it is foggy here in Southern California.  I guess the cool nights and warm days is the reason.  If you click this link you can find a live shot of the Slooh Observatory in the Canary Islands, Spain.  It is a beautiful view.

**Celebrate the March 2017 equinox with our live telescope show on Monday, March 20! Find out more information—plus, equinox facts and folklore—as we observe the return of sunshine, longer days, and warmer temperatures.

Watch the equinox show below on March 20 to celebrate the arrival of spring! With our friends at Slooh (and their giant telescopes!), we’ll hear from Almanac editor Janice Stillman, who will discuss this season of rebirth, and Almanac astronomer Bob Berman, who will tell us all about the phenomenon that makes this possible while gazing on live views of our Sun. Plus, witness one of the most amazing sights in the night sky–the magical Northern Lights live from the arctic circle. Slooh will explain this amazing natural spectacle as we watch high-energy particles from the Sun rain down and light up Earth’s upper atmosphere!

Astronomically speaking, the equinox falls on March 19 or 20 every year, marking spring’s beginning in the Northern Hemisphere (whereas it announces fall’s arrival in the Southern Hemisphere). The equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, even if our clock times reflect a different time zone.

Meteorologically speaking, in the Northern Hemisphere, the official spring season always begins on March 1 and continues through May 31. Summer begins on June 1; autumn, September 1; and winter, December 1.

  • Weather scientists divide the year into quarters this way to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem because these dates can vary slightly each year.

WHAT IS AN EQUINOX?

At the Vernal Equinox, the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic.

All over the world, days and nights are approximately equal. The name equinox comes from Latin words which mean “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night).

Enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets. See your personalized Sun rise and set calculator.

On the equinox, Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the Sun’s rays about equally because the tilt of the Earth is zero relative to the Sun, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun.  (Note, however, that the Earth never orbits upright, but is always tilted on its axis by about 23.5 degrees.)

Scientific explanation aside, our ancestors were more connected to the Sun than we are today. They observed its pathway across the sky; they tracked how the sunrise, sunset, and daylength changed, using the Sun (and Moon) as a clock and calendar. If you have ever been to Stonehenge or Machu Picchu, you’ll see examples of ancient seasonal markers.

 

**http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox

Christmas Drawing Near

Christmas is only 3 days away.  Here in southern California we are getting rain which has been scarce for about 5 years.  Needless to say we have found a few leaks but nothing serious. Today is Forefathers’ Day which you can read about below if you wish.  I thought I would share a simple table center piece just to get into the spirit.

xmas-decorations-2012_1

 


*Few things are more important to Americans than heritage. Remembering where you come from, and how hard you’ve worked to get where you are are all integral parts of the concept of the American dream. For those reasons, no holiday could be more American in nature than Forefathers’ Day, a holiday that celebrates the first ever pilgrims courageously sailing across the vast ocean they knew very little about at the time, in search of a better life and freedom from religious prosecution. When they set foot on the shores of North America, they themselves were the beginning of a new country that would one day become a world superpower. Now that’s definitely an event worth celebrating.

The History of Forefathers’ Day

Forefathers’ Day is a commemoration of the pilgrims who sailed the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Mayflower, in 1620. As they had left England in search of better days, the Pilgrim Fathers settled on US territory, which they subsequently christened New England. And as they had set sail from Plymouth, England, they decided to give their landing spot the whimsical name of Plymouth Rock. Therefore, Forefathers’ Day is a holiday celebrated mainly in Plymouth, Massachusetts, on December 22. The holiday was introduced to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1769, so it has quite a long history and tradition. However, the joyous occasion was first celebrated in 1769, because 149 years after the forefathers actually arrived in North America, some descendants decided to gather for a feast in honour of their ancestors, who would have been their great-great-grandfathers.

forefathers-day

*https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/forefathers-day/