Happy Chanukah!

December 17, 2014

At Home:  Chanukah Dinner for Two

It was just Michael and I at home last night celebrating the first night of Chanukah.

At Home:  Chanukah Dinner for Two

Homemade Chicken Soup with Matzoh Ball

At Home:  Chanukah Dinner for Two

Roasted Chicken in the Bag, Potato Latkes, Applesauce, and Carrots

We’ll be doing our annual Chanukah family dinner with Jen and Louis on Saturday.

45 Years Ago Today…

December 16, 2014

On December 16, 1969, Michael and I moved into our house. It was a new build. We were married a year-and-a-half and had been living in a garden apartment in Jackson.

Our House Turns 45

Me in Front of the House, Circa 1970

Not sure when this next photo was taken:

Our House Turns 45

In 1997, we did major renovations both interior and exterior. The latter included changing the exterior color scheme, putting in a new front door, and totally re-landscaping.

And so, here she is on her 45th birthday!

Our House Turns 45

December 16, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle – December 11, 2014

December 11, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle - December 11, 2014

Theme: Common expressions which include the word “through.” That word is eliminated but is indicated by means of the first word of the expression crossing – in essence “going through” – the rest of the words in the expression.

29-Across (8-Down). Eludes a person’s grasp = Slip (through) one’s fingers
36-Across (3-Down). Has an ad that stands out = Cuts (through) the clutter
52-Across (25-Down). Succeeds when it most matters = Pulls (through) in the clutch*
54-Across (30-Down). Making a feeble effort = Going (through) the motions

(*This answer seems a bit off since I think the usual expression is “comes” through in the clutch not “pulls.”)

A few interesting answers:

4-Across. Part of GTO. Answer: Gran. The GTO was a Pontiac Tempest coupe first appeared in 1964. The letters stand for the Italian Gran Turismo Omologato. My first brand new car was the 1964 Pontiac Tempest but not the GTO.

46-Across. Biochemical sugar. Answer: Ribose.

61-Across. Brand name in immunity boosting. Answer: Ester-C.

NYT Thursday Puzzle – December 4, 2014

December 4, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle - December 4, 2014

The theme can be found via 7- Across: Game with its own dictionary = Scrabble + 63-Across: What the three possible answers to each of 26-, 36-, and 44-Across are, leading to 27 possible solutions to this puzzle = Anagrams. The clues to the theme answers are like Scrabble racks with 7 letters in mixed order. Each theme answer has three possible solutions all anagrams of each other.

26A. Play in 7-Across with the rack DEIORRW. My fill: Worried. Other anagrams: Wordier or Rowdier.
36A. Play in 7-Across with the rack DDEEIRS. My fill: Derides. Other anagrams: Resided or Desired.
44A. Play in 7-Across with the rack ADEGNRS. My fill: Ganders. Other anagrams: Gardens or Dangers.

This seemed easy for a Thursday puzzle — at least, to me. I got the theme immediately, and it didn’t take me too long to finish.

A few people answers:

29-Across: Singer on Canada’s Walk of Fame since 2005. Answer: Anka (Paul)

31-Across: One with all the answers? Answer: Siri (the iPhone know-it-all)

56-Across: Governor who said, “I don’t think there’s anybody in America who would necessarily think my personality is best suited to being number two.” Answer: Christie (Chris)

49-Down: “You can observe a lot by watching” speaker. Answer: Berra (Yogi)

Happy Birthday, Mel!

November 28, 2014

My Cousin Eve’s 60th Birthday Party

November 25, 2014

My Cousin Eve turned 60 on Saturday, November 15th. My dad and her dad, my Uncle Sam, were brothers. I’m 12 years older than she.

Eve and Me (1954)

Eve and Me in 1954

On the afternoon of her birthday, family and friends gathered to celebrate.

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Granddaughter Alex

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

(Left to Right) Daughter Hannah, Eve, and Eve’s friend Candy

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Daughter Kate with her daughter Alex

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve, Candy, and Eve’s Husband David

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

The food was prepared by Eve and David’s son-in-law Zach Golper. He and daughter Kate Wheatcroft own the wildly successful Brooklyn bakery, Bien Cuit. (Blog posts about it here, here, and here.)

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

The Miche bread birthday “cake” was definitely unique! Zach decorated it with 60 candles and carried it in all ablaze.

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve did an impressive job of blowing out the candles.

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

There was a sweet dessert.

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Tangerine Tart

Eve's 60th Birthday Party

Happy Birthday, Eve! Wishing you many more years of good health and joy-filled times!

At Home: Fall Colors, New Plants, and Leaf Clean-up

November 22, 2014

Though winter is officially still a full month away, for the past few days, Mother Nature has been giving us more than a hint of things to come — sub-freezing temperatures with high winds making it feel even more frigid. This has made it easy to forget that it’s actually been quite a warm autumn, so much so that leaf turning was a bit late. Colors seemed more brilliant than usual and lasted a lot longer.

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

At Home:  Backyard Fall Colors

We had our autumn shrub pruning. Two plants needed to be replaced.

This one looks very similar to the one alongside the patio that died for no apparent reason.

At Home:  New Plants

Several months ago, we replaced out entire heating and air conditioning system. One of the shrubs that surrounds the air conditioner compressor had become scraggly. So, it was replaced with this one.

At Home:  New Plants

Because it takes a long time for all the leaves on our property to come down, we normally don’t do leaf clean-up until the end of November or beginning of December. However, our township announced that the leaf sweeper would be coming to our block on November 16th. So, despite the fact that there were still lots of leaves on the trees, we had Todd, who takes care of mowing our lawn, come with his crew and do what will be a first round.

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

Todd went onto the roof to clean the leaves out of the gutters. The leaves on the patio and on the back lawn were blown into the woods.

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

The leaves on the front lawn were blown into a neat pile in the gutter ready for the township’s sweeper.

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

At Home:  Leaf Clean-up 2014

Because there was heavy rain on November 16th, the township’s sweeper showed up on the 17th.

Happy Birthday, Louis!

November 17, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle – November 6, 2014

November 12, 2014

NYT Thursday Puzzle - November 6, 2014

Theme: Parting the Red Sea. The word “Parting” (Unclued 37-Across) literally parts “Red” (Unclued 36-Across) and “Sea (Uncluded 39-Across). Other related answers are found throughout the grid.

19A. Leader of a noted 37-Across = Moses
25A. Feast of unleavened bread = Pesach (the Hebrew word for Passover)
54A. Location of 37-Across = Egypt
11D. Beneficiary of the 37-Across, in modern times = Israeli
41D. Loser on account of the 37-Across = Pharoah

NYT Sunday Puzzle – November 2, 2014

November 12, 2014

NYT Sunday Puzzle - November 2, 2014

Title: BP Station

Theme: Initial letters in words in the theme answers are changed from “B” to “P” resulting in silly phrases.

23A. Engraving on an award? = Plaque art
29A. Food critic’s love of fast food, maybe? = Secret palate
48A. Collector of offerings at a revival? = Christian pail
55A. Waterways of Western Australia? = Perth canal
79A. Admonishment to someone eating off your plate at a Polynesian restaurant? = That’s my poi
85A. What’s promising about a K-K-Q-Q-J-J-7 rummy hand? = The three pairs
108A. Buzzer beaters and game-winning catches? = Plays of glory
118A. Place to reel in some freshwater game fish? = Perch pier


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