Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Red or Blue

I can never remember which one is supposed to be which.
Then I realized in WoW - Horde & Alliance are also red & blue.
Horde is Red. Republicans.
Alliance is Blue. Democrats.
It all makes sense now.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trevor & the Sourdough

Trevor has always liked sourdough bread. Thing is, if we get any, he wants to eat the whole loaf. We don't want to enable this kind of addiction, so we told him he could figure out how to get his own bread.

He went through my cookbooks and found a recipe for a sourdough starter. It has to sit 10 days or something, and then you use it to make your 3 loaves, leaving the last 1/4 to be starter for the next batch in 10 days.

Here's where I'm missing my camera, but I'll plow ahead anyway...

The first loaves were rather heavy. They didn't rise properly, and they were smallish. And heavy. Kind of like eating the dough, only heavy. Did I mention they were heavy?

The second set were better, but still on the small side. They had more air to them, but they kind of spread out while they were rising, and so it was more like sourdough biscotti.

The third time, he put them in a loafpan and a pie pan. These rose pretty well, and baked up better. The pie pan bread was getting close to normal, and it was pretty tasty. The one in the loafpan needed a little more time, but still decent. Also, these were both VERY sour. Trevor was good with that - but I'm not sure they are supposed to be that sour now.

He's trying again this weekend. Different loafpan this time, and another pie pan bread. I look forward to seeing how these turn out.

And yes - Trevor eats most of the bread, and it only takes about two days for them to be eaten.

Good with soup :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I actually clapped

I went to get gas at the local Safeway tonight.


Told the guy to fill the tank. And then I clapped when I saw the total. :)

Yay! Blame Bush!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Wine Tasting

On Saturday, Lee's sister, Myrna with hubby, Doug, came up to go wine tasting with us. Lee was the designated driver, since he's not that into wine.

We have, I think, about 18 wineries within an hour's drive of us, and we'd gotten a brochure with a passport on it. If you visit 5 wineries & get the passport stamped, you are entered into a drawing for an "Umpqua Wine Cellar" (whoohoo!).

Our first stop was at Spangler Vineyards, about 10 minutes away. There were still some grapes hanging on the vines. They offered three different wines to taste, in generous samples, and I liked the sweeter one best.

Then we headed to Abacela Winery. This is one of the bigger ones in the area, and they have gone international now. There was a tasting fee here - 5 wines for $5. I think they were pretty generous with the tasting samples as well. They didn't have any sweet wines really.

Next up was Girardet Winery, and they also had a $5 tasting fee, generous samples, and I think we tried 6 or 7 wines there. They had a GREAT wine. It was $40 for a little half-sized bottle, and it was like wine syrup! And the Gewurztraminer was nice too :)

All the samples were pretty good-sized, so after sampling at Girardet, we took advantage of their little picnic area and ate the nice lunch Myrna had packed. There was carmelized onion fritatta, hummus, artisan bread, and Central Point "Oregonzola" cheese, plus some little chocolates. Super yummy, and exactly what we needed at that point of the day!

Our next stop was Palotai Winery. They like to grow the vines really close to the little road there! There were people still picking in the fields as well. They only charged $2 for tasting, and the servings were small, but there were over 10 wines to sample! Palotai recently won our "Greatest of the Grape" wine competition here, and it was recommended by the guy at Girardet so we could taste Hungarian wine. This photo is pretty much the tasting room, so we were packed in a bit with a couple other groups :)

Our last vineyard was Reustle/Prayer Rock. They have a gorgeous setting, and they are expanding. It looked like they were set up for weddings and other outdoor gatherings there. Really nice. Their tasting room was set up more like a restaurant, and there were little hors d'oeuvres - the honey-cheese & avocado bruschetta were my faves. Of course, the other one had chicken in it... Anyway, again $5 for 5 wines. I like the sweet one best. They don't have a lot of photos of the grounds on their website - mostly the owners & photos of the wine, so I didn't post any of those.

Thank you very much to Myrna and Doug for a very nice outing! We really enjoyed a little time for us to do something more adult-oriented.

Sorry I still don't have a working camera, or there would have been pictures of more stuff... But you get the idea.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hooray for Lee!

My computer can be temperamental at times. It does this stuff like not "seeing" the monitor at start up, or winking out for no reason & rebooting itself (according to Trevor, mostly when he's trying to play WoW), and it ran a lot more slowly than it was supposed to according to the amount of memory it had.

Last Wednesday, I was biking while I was getting reputation for my little gnome to get his elephanty ride when suddenly I was booted from the internet. Connor got upset because he was watching cartoons on YouTube & couldn't access them. We unplugged all the phone lines, turned everything off, plugged stuff in and turned things on again - no luck. Lee had to call Qwest, our ISP.

On my end of the phone, Lee sounds kind of mean, but it's because the guy on the other side knows less than Lee does about what to do. And he doesn't pick up on this, even when Lee is asking him which specific IP address he wants him to use, and gives him 3 or 4 choices.

Lee does whatever the guy tells him to no avail. We still can't log in. And then the guy says they are getting more reports of the internet being down for other people. So it's not our house, it's somewhere else. So they'll call when things are up again, and we all go to bed 3 hours later without hearing anything (Lee did ask the guy not to call after 10:00 pm).

In the morning, everyone is able to log in again - except me. My system keeps trying to come up but gets stuck just after post (black screen with white writing - before Windows comes up). Then it shuts down and tries again. Then again. I'm not sure how many times it tried, because I took a shower during this. When I come out & see the computer is still not up, I let Lee know.

He tries various things, and it's not going to be a quick fix. Something is really messed up. I go to work and Lee's going to work on the system for me. I don't know what all he did, because that's not my thing, but by Thursday night, it's still not going, and I may have lost everything saved on my system! Eeek!

This is a home computer, and really the most important stuff on here are my photos. I typically save them all to CD once a year. But I hadn't saved anything from THIS year yet. That would include the last photos I have of my dad; his memorial; Diana's MADE experience; Leonie's visit; the San Diego trip; Diana going to college, etc. Lately since my camera died, I hadn't added anything - but I was hoping for a new camera once we can do that again. I really wanted to be able to recover my photos, mostly. Anything I've posted in the blog I could recover, but still...

So Friday Lee spent a lot of the day working on my system again. And he saved it! W00t!

There was some bad RAM or something that he had to remove, and he warned me my system might run a bit more slowly - but I haven't noticed the difference yet. I can access my photos, play W0W, and blog :) I'm happy.

I'm going to save my stuff to CD today...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I couldn't find the Nutrition facts easily online for Fat Free Hazelnut, but oh well.

I don't smoke, do drugs, or even really drink much. If I have a bottle of wine I open it's gonna take longer than you're supposed to have a bottle open for me to drink it.

On the plus side, the box of wine I got for a Christmas punch lasted well over 3 months (that's probably not good either).

I exercise regularly and work to keep my weight down.

In any case, this is my vice. Fat Free Hazelnut Coffee Mate in my morning joe.

I've debated about getting half-and-half and hazelnut syrup, but #1 I don't want the additional calories, and #2 somehow the half-and-half would either get used up for other stuff (like hot chocolate) or it would go bad because I wouldn't use it up fast enough.

So I'm sticking with my one vice, at least for now.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Not much help...

I have never lived in a dorm situation. The closest I came was sharing a room with my sister, Carolyn, for 8 months while we stayed in a dorm in Germany. We had shared a room as kids, so it really wasn't a big deal at all.

I lived at home through college. Lee & I bought our condo 3 months before we got married, and I moved in after the wedding. So, I don't have a lot of experience with having to adjust to other people outside family & husband.

Trevor got a little taste of this last year. He shared a room with a roommate for the beginning of the year, and then the roommate moved out. He said Trevor typed too loud on his computer - at least that's what Trevor understood.

Diana's situation is a bit different. Her quad room has its own bathroom and her room is just for her (thank goodness!). The shared part is the kitchen.

It has been determined now that Diana is the only one who goes to bed 'early' between 10:00 & 11:00. Diana really needs her sleep - she's just one of those people that doesn't do well with 4-5 hours a night. She needs at least 7.

I guess everyone else likes to go to bed at 3:00am. We are looking to get Diana some kind of white noise thing, and more batteries for her MP3 player. A lot of it is just getting used to the whole situation. College dorms are noisy. That's pretty much a fact of life. She's still in a much better situation than having to share the bathroom with 3 other girls, and not having someone also sleeping in the same room.

Her roommates might find after the first round of tests that a 3:00am bedtime is a little too late for them as well. Trevor figured that one out & the upshot is he's now attending Community College for this year...

Saturday, October 04, 2008

College/School Update

Trevor is attending the local community college. He rides his bike to the bus stop, and then rides the bus to school. It used to be free for college students, but now it's $45 a term. Still a lot less expensive than using a car since A) He doesn't have a car, and B) He doesn't have a license or insurance.

I've encouraged him to find someone who drives a car in his first period class, however, because then on really nasty weather days he might be able to call them for a ride if he helps with gas :)

For his Chemistry class, he'll be taking a page from Byron's book to make Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream as a project. He had one partner, but another student joined in because that sounds like a good project :)

Diana is settling in to University life. She applied, interviewed and got a job at the Honors College on campus, which is the job she'd hoped to get. It paid better than the other ones she applied to, and hopefully once her work study portion is paid off, it will give her a little more money to play with.

She managed to pay rent after getting her disbursement checks - altho she had a little bump with it being a new account and the bank wanting to hold the funds for extra time. She got it all figured out.

Both kids are looking to outfit their bikes a bit better. They need decent lights because it's already dark in the mornings, and they both need fenders so the spray from the road/sidewalk doesn't end up on their backs.

Connor is supposed to get a one-on-one aide this week, I think. That will help him a lot with consistency at school. I think part of his trouble last year was too many different people reacting in different ways, so he wasn't sure how to react or respond. That's a bad thing for kids with autism. An aide should help settle him down so he can be more successful at school.

Go Kids!