Halloween 2022

November 1, 2022 7:47 pm

For something new this year we read Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October (a Halloween tale told one day at a time). So we finished reading it on Halloween after dinner, which was orange pancakes, eaten after Corinne got back from swim class. It was fun and the girls even mostly listened to the story. That put us a little behind schedule though, so getting ready for trick or treating was a little rushed and there was very little light left to get any pictures, so they're pretty lousy, oh well.

"We" carved pumpkins on Sunday. By which I mean, I carved pumpkins based on designs drawn by the girls. Though this year Corinne did help scoop some guts out. Heather drew a horse head, Corinne made a square-eyed, pointy-toothed creature, I went with a simple Triforce.

Since I had procured a fog machine to use, in part, for Heather's birthday adventure I set it up along our sidewalk for some extra Halloween ambiance.

Our whole neighborhood was pretty hopping this year with kids. Seems to have completely changed character from when we moved in 10 years ago. Lots of younger families with kids now. I seem to recall things being pretty dead on Halloween when we first got here.

We went down our street and back up the next one over. By the time we got home both girls' buckets were overflowing, so it was a successful night.

Easter Egg Hunt 2022

April 30, 2022 11:13 am

Easter Bunny made another visit this year. The girls had a blast and some "lost" items were re-discovered as having been put away inside plastic eggs last year (which had also happened the previous year, but we thought we checked them last year before putting them away--apparently not).

I also learned the secret to perfect, no-fuss hard-cooked eggs. Fill saucepan with enough water to just reach bottom of steaming basket. Remove basket, bring water to boil. Load basket with eggs (we fit 6) and place in saucepan. Cover and steam for 13 minutes. Immediately transfer to ice bath for 15 minutes. We did 12 eggs this way, some from a new carton some from an old carton. Every single egg peeled flawlessly with no trouble and was cooked through with no over cooking. We did have a couple crack though.

Thanksgiving 2021

November 27, 2021 7:50 pm

On Monday afternoon we went for a hike at Morgan Territory. I like it there. It has some very New England-y sections: trees, mossy rocks, and meandering trails. So much more enjoyable to hike than trails across open terrain in the sun. Corinne ran just about the entire hike (2+ miles!) and only complained about her legs being tired near the end, but she never sat down and refused to move without being carried. So that made it even more pleasant. We brought a couple of walkie-talkies the girls have and Corinne spent most of the time running ahead and talking to us with the radio, which she thought was a blast. Heather wore butterfly wings, because why not?

Mount Diablo in the background

On Wednesday, Corinne helped me make a triple-layer, salted-caramel cheesecake and Heather made pumpkin pie filling while I supervised (I made the pie crust).

And on Thanksgiving we got to enjoy our new dining set for quite the feast. We could actually put the food on the table with us and have a centerpiece!

Corinne wasn't feeling well. She was running a fever and was complaining of nausea and she fell asleep on the couch during the day. She ate most of one roll for dinner and went to bed before dessert. So that took a bit of the excitement out of the day for her. Jess took her for a COVID test Friday morning which came back negative and she's fine now.

We tried a new single-strand braiding technique for the rolls this year which is kind of fun. Clearly we have a little work to do on consistency though.

I spent Friday putting up Christmas lights outside and Jess took down the fall decorations inside. We're going to have to work for our tree this year. None of the local places seem to be carrying grand firs. So we'll have to drive at least 30 minutes somewhere to get one if we want one.

Halloween 2021

November 6, 2021 9:07 am

Just some quick pictures from Halloween.

I made another Halloween trifle. Brownies, orange-colored vanilla cream, more brownies, Cool Whip, and decoratives on top (Reese's Pieces, gummy worms, candy corn, and candy eyes).

Heather was a dragon and Corinne was a bat.

Both girls did actually help clean out the pumpkins this year for the jack-o-lanterns. Heather's design is cat eyes wearing a mask. Corinne designed the goofy face in the middle. I designed the cat face. (I executed all the designs.)

And here's the house decked out:

Ghosties hanging from fishing line, faux-fire lights in the sconces, flicker bulbs strung up in the pergola, and this year's new entry: the inflatable dragon (hiding in the back next to the garage side door).