Friday, February 24, 2012

Mid-week Randomness

I should be glad that there isn't much to report.  Though I wouldn't mind giving a shout-out if I made a couple million over the weekend.


Update on the chickens:  we are now harvesting about 5 eggs a day.  And one buxom lass gifted us with...

A double yolker!  I know!  It's the little things that make life worth living.  

And since we have such a plethora of eggs, we've revisited the popular Egg McMuffin.  Except we don't call it that.  Just the Egg Muffin.  Because it's WAY better than the Golden Arches.  We also topped today's Egg Muffin off with a hot cup of cocoa (with whipped cream).  And a bit of locally grown oranges.  (From the backyard, mmm).  

Be jealous
As 'The Man' was walking out the door I saw this.  It looked so cool.  The picture doesn't really do it justice but it was this sunny/misty/fog scene.  I guess you just had to be there.

'The Kid' update:

He can now open just about everything.  It started with the front door.  Took me awhile to figure out how he got out to the front yard.  (Hey!  Who left the door open?!).  Until we saw him do it a few days later.  Sneaky.

He can also open the bathroom door.  And play with the toilet water.

And open pen caps.

The door to the stereo.

But not the fridge or the chicken coop.  But it's comin'.  

'The Kid' and I are leaving home for a week.  We'll miss Daddy TONS!  But Lady Chan is excited to visit with her sisters (well, other family too I guess).  Not excited about the snow.  Or the 12 hour car trip.  Ah well.

And for a teaser....

March.  I'm excited to tell you something that's happening in March.

That is all.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day Re-Cap

I've embraced my inner sappy.  I still hate romantic-comedy movies.  But that's beside the point.

Valentine's Day this year was lovely and all of a sudden I can't remember what we did last year.  At all.  I'm guessing since 'The Kid' was two months old we didn't do much.  Even 'The Man' can't remember, and that dude remembers EVERYTHING.

Wow, getting back to the point.  THIS year 'The Man' and I went to dinner.  Very original and adventurous.  Really a departure.

We started out at Sheila's Wine Bar.  They have excellent food.  I mean, EXCELLENT.  I'm not talking about, 'oh this is really the only decent place in town' type excellent.  I'm talking about, I've never found anything remotely close to as good as this place.  Anywhere.  I may not remember much, but I tell you what I'm still dreaming about their Arugula Soup.  That I had LAST year.

Sadly they had a special menu for Valentine's that included the hefty charge of $49.95 per plate AND wine.  Tempting!  And I was so looking forward to eating there.  

So we drove to Brendan's Irish Pub.  (Must've had booze on the brain).  We heard good things.  From my parents.  Which really isn't saying a whole lot since the previous tenants of that venue was Sizzler and my Dad LOVED it.  Hm.  Anyway, we tried.  But Meat and Potatoes I'm a little over.

We then drove to Peking Inn.  This place has been in town FOR-EV-ER.  And nothing says Happy Valentine's Day like Chinese food.  I couldn't find a link, but what I could find was this.

So 'The Man' and I exchanged our Valentine's Day cards in the card.  (I was too embarrassed to bring them into the restaurant).

After we got home 'The Man' and I exchanged some more Valentine's Day goodness.  Here's the pictures.

Cookies!  The MB actually beat me to it this year.  But we all got one.  

Something different.  I think I'm the only one who's been eating them so far.  They're loss is my gain.

The Cards.  'The Kid' even got one.  I'm such a bad Mom.  I didn't make him one.  Next year...I promise!
'The Man' and I had Martinelli's and Strawberries in bed while we watched the Adjustment Bureau.  (And stuff). We are the World's Most Boring Couple.  But you know what?  It was a perfect night.  Cheers!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This is Halloween, This is Halloween

My Monday.  It's worth noting.

Oh. Em. Gee.  

I've been trying to encourage the MB to purge endless amounts of useless 'stuff' in and around the house.  

Including the attic.  (The Parentals are a few boxes shy of being on an episode of HOARDERS).  

<insert shivers here>

Ongoing discussions are frequent here on the why's and wherefore's of the need to KEEP this stuff.  There is NO arguing with this woman.  If she thinks there's a chance she may use it in the next 20 years, IT STAYS.  

But I will count one success.  Or at least a half success.  We've taken down the Halloween costume boxes.  (6 steamer trunk-type boxes).  They are leaving the house.  Granted they are entering her other home.  But with the intention of all the nearby grandchildren putting them to good use.  

Any normal soul would just pack it up and take it away.  Oh NO.  Not this woman.  She has to have a pictorial INVENTORY.  Three guesses as to who gets to be the photographer.  I took a picture of every.  Single. Piece. Of. @&#$. In. The. Boxes.  

Here's a sampling (very small sampling) of what we did. 

 You have no idea how much more there is to this.

The MB, in a very believable 'Evil Witch' Costume

 I could NOT talk her out of using a hanger.  Believe me, I tried.  Hard. 

During shooting.  

 After shooting.  I could breath again.

The MB put this in my bed as a joke.  She thinks she's SOOO funny.

 Having this running around made it that much easier.  But he's cute, so I let him live.

Moral of the story: Don't argue with the MB.  It'll make everything go so much faster. 

Because I really do love Halloween, I have to post this.   


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lantern Festival

So, for Christmas the Chan Clan gifted family members with Chinese lanterns (direct from Malaysia), some red packets, or Ang Pao, and a children's book about the Lantern Festival story.

For some odd reason the MB was determined we would celebrate this year.  So long as my husband and I cooked.  Hm, thanks Ma!  Actually it ended up being a 3 person job because the MB was also adamant that we have dumplings, and I wasn't planning on making them.  (The book also included a recipe for dumplings, as part of the the festival's tradition).

So I gave her a corner to work in...all by herself.  :)

The menu:

The meal was a success.  Aside from the dumpling incident.  I'll explain.

The dumplings called for things like Sticky Rice Flour, Sweet Sesame Seed Paste (for the filling), and black sesame powder.  None of which is found at the local grocery store.  

The Asian market in town is small and sadly lacking.  And a lot of the things on the shelves have been there since I think before the cold war.  For example, the 'sweet sesame seed paste'.  The MB had to dig the contents out of the bottle with a stick and mix it for awhile so as to resemble a 'paste'.  All I can say is that it resembled something coming from 'the south end of a northbound kangaroo'.  With the runs.  The MB tried to get 'The Man' to taste it.  Then me.  We both 'politely' declined.  After trying it herself she excused herself so that she could wash her mouth out.  I then advised her to make a bean paste, after much discussion.  Oy.  

I did, however, kindly (and may I say bravely) try her first experimental dumpling.  Either they are very much an acquired taste or there was something wrong them.  I like to think there was something wrong with them.  She made 18 of them.  I think everyone tried at least one.  My Dad got through two.  But I think he was trying for some bonus husband points.  

The Wanton soup was excellent.  (Did I mention I made it?)  :)  One small change next time.  Add the snap peas at the VERY last.  And put the uncooked wantons on wax paper and not a ceramic plate.  They stick.  That said, it was very yummy.

Chicken Lettuce wraps also very good.  'The Man' helped with the chicken.  I hate cutting/cooking chicken.        

Lychee Nuts!  Mmm.  They were blissfully cool and sweet.  And a nice break from all the heavy, hot foods.  'The Man' made his specialty fried rice.  Always good.

I just didn't have it in me to make a Chinese dessert.  So I opted for the easy, American version.  I heard no complaints.  

All in all a successful evening.  And we managed to impress our dinner guests as well.  (Thank you J-Family for coming!)  The MB told us about the Lantern Festival story and 'The Man' talked about some traditions that he and his family practiced.

Our dinner place settings.  (Grandma Chan gave the napkin/chopstick set to us awhile back).

The MB gave out Ang Pao!  Yay!  We explained the red packet tradition to our friends.  They love the idea.  Who wouldn't?!

 Lanterns!  These came from Malaysia the last time we were there.  (Thanks Grandpa and Grandma Chan!)  I got some battery operated tea lights.  You can't see them glow in this picture but, it was fun I promise.

It was an exhausting night of cooking but I'm glad we did it.  It was fun to eat all the yummy food, talk about traditions from a different part of the world, and be with good friends.  

To learn more about the Lantern Festival, go here.  


Monday, February 6, 2012


Tall ships at the Ventura Harbor over the weekend.  I love tall ships!  So romantic.  Probably not the scurvy part of it.  Or the sea-sickness.  Or bilge rats.  Whatever, it's still romantic!

Hawaiian Chieftan

Pre-boarding anticipation

Chatting with the Cap'n

I'm the King of the World!!!!
 So, I was chatting with some of the ships crew and they were very informative.  I learned that this particular ship was built in 1985.  Yes, you read that right.  Kind of took all the romance out of it.  It was built originally as a cargo vessel.  The man who had the ship built learned that if he had it built a certain way (i.e. tall ship style) he would get a tax break.  Not a bad way to save money I'd say.  Now the ship is used for education (field trips and such) and a few excursions for those willing to pay.  The sail the ship year round up and down the west coast of Northern America.

After our tall ship adventure, we took a quick turn about the arcade that overlooks the harbor.  Noisy but a fun distraction for 'The Kid'.  And for some odd reason the place smelled like pancakes with syrup.
The Harbor Arcade

The Channel Islands Visitor's Center.  At the end of the Harbor.  Yes, that is an elephant seal in the background.  But not a real one.  Did you know that they will travel thousands of miles to reach the the northern shores of California just to breed?  Bet you didn't know that.  

Tide Pool

Cuz I'm bad!  I'm bad!  You know it!  I'm bad!
And we did all this for the price of a $3.00 donation.  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday.


Friday, February 3, 2012

It's What's for Dinner

Last night 'The Man' made dinner.  I didn't even have to ask!  He gets mega-husband bonus points.

He even got creative.  Which is always an adventure.

My guess here is some kind of home-made tempura mixture involving eggs (?), garlic, salt and flour.  I never got around to asking him what was in it.  Perhaps it's better that way.

He scored an A+ for this one.  (Sorry babe, the 'tuna melts' you did the other day...something just wasn't right).  But, I'm pretty sure if I had attempted...oh wait.  I have.  Once I tried making my own fried tempura bananas. (Not knowing what in the world tempura was). 


Scary fail.  

Anywho.  Along with the string bean awesomeness, was 'The Man's' specialty.  Ramen with caramelized onions, broccoli and scallions.  What's that you say?  Ramen?  Yes!  

Normally I save Ramen for things like camping.  Or college.  But with this I've since changed my mind. It's super good.  Or maybe it just tastes so good because I just am so excited I didn't have to cook.  

For dessert?  See's.  Ohh.....


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And we're off!

Internet has been down.  Gr.

Here's a few highlights of the past few weeks.  In picture.

The first, and MOST important is,


A lot of people have been giving me condolences, but I'm rather relieved and excited. So in celebration of our new walker, we splurged on some new shoes.

Here's Daddy and 'The Kid' learning how to put on the new shoes.

Trying to walk in the new shoes.  This is where the term Noodle Legs comes to play!

 Not earth shattering, but, Daddy and 'The Kid' sported their new Arsenal gear.  'The Man' is determined our son will be a fan.

This part IS earth-shattering news!  I made HAPPY FACE BREAD!!!  I figured out what I was doing wrong.  Yeast.  Not enough yeast.  Not NEARLY enough yeast.  Hey,  I never said I was a whiz in the kitchen.

 Papa's 65th birthday...and he's SO excited.  AND I have a new niece who was born on the same day.  (January 25th).

 Lot's of park days.  Rain or shine.  Lady Chan needs to get out of the house.  And because the internet's down I had good reason to leave!  So sad.

 Fun with toast.  And with Papa.  Random I know.  But.  I thought it was cute.  And if I think it's cute, it's going on the blog.