Sunday, August 31, 2008

Birthday Weekend in LA

Matt surprised me with a birthday trip to LA and spend the weekend in Torrance at Betsy & Evan's new house. Here are the pics of some of our activities.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NH Vacation Part 3 - Family Reunion

The vacation included a Lawson family reunion of sorts to celebrate Gramps' life. Mom served dinner for the crowd at the Farm where everyone met the newest member, Lilly, caught up and shared stories.

My cousins Mercy, Julia and my second cousin Lilly

Lilly gets to know Betsy

The troops dine al fresco

Betsy & Lilly the next day

NH Vacation Part 2 - The Blueberry Chronicles

There are 6 blueberry bushes behind the house. This has meant numerous years, decades, generations (4 generations at least) of blueberry picking. For my mom, it means August blueberry extravaganzas and year round blueberry baking. For Betsy & me, it means all you can eat free(ish) blueberries during summer visits.

As my mom pointed out, picking blueberries in early August can be overwhelming and even anxiety-inducing. There are just so many to pick. How could anyone possibly pick them all? Even when you spend an hour filling up several vessels (including one's mouth), the bushes still look full of berries. You go back a day later and there are more that have grown and ripened. It's never ending. But it's ok. Blueberry everything (i.e. pie, coffee cake, salsa, sauce, butter, jam, soup, margaritas, muffins - yes, she has a cookbook devoted entirely to blueberries) is worth the stress.

Did I mention the blueberry margaritas and salsa? Yum.

NH Vacation Part 1 - Starting Vacation Mode

To start the New Hampshire vacation, Betsy and I arrived in New London Friday morning, after a short 1 night visit in Boston with Amy and Keri of the Gang. We started the visit right with an afternoon and evening at the cottages on Pleasant Lake. One cottage was vacant so we had a grilled dinner there after enjoying the sunshine on the dock.

I took the opportunity to start a good Summer book

The sun went down but that doesn't stop us from sitting here enjoying the view

The next day we forced it to be a beach day, but to get at least a little exercise before the feasts to come, we biked to Colby Point. The hills seem so insignificant by car.

We spent Sunday night at the Lake Sunapee Yacht Club. It rained but we didn't care because we sat overlooking the water from under the overhang.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Hampshire Vacation

Rather than post 139 pictures in the blog, here's a slide show of our New Hampshire vacation. They are captioned to give you a guided tour of events, location and sometimes even people. I'll post some highlights individually, too.

If you want to see them at your own speed or larger, click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

30 Years Ago

Not sure which month these are from, but they're definitely 1978. Hooray for scanners!

Grandma & Grandpa Taber holding Betsy & me

Dad doing the same

27 Years Ago

Early on, my mom set the birthday cake bar pretty high. Not only were her cakes very tasty, they were works of art. I remember two in particular. One cake was in the shape of a hand when I turned 5 and I was excited to be "a whole hand." The other cake was a school bus. I had always thought these cakes came in the same year because I got to start riding the bus at 5. However, sorting through all the photos at the Farm I came across a photo of the school bus cake, dated 1981, and it was in honor of my 3rd birthday. It seems the height of my school bus obsession was when I was 2 and Betsy was 5 and she got to ride the bus to Kindergarten. Yes, I was once so in love with the big yellow bus that a) my mom made me a replica in icing and b) one day I followed Betsy onto the bus. Mr. Bernstein was startled by my presence and just waited patiently until my mom came out, dressed in her nightgown & robe, and also boarded the bus to retrieve me. Sorry Mom!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Five Minute Test

I heard about this from my Daily Candy email:

See how many of the most frequently used words you can think of in five minutes.
Where: Online at

I pretty much blanked, or just haven't had enough coffee for an 8am quiz, but I'm sure anyone will beat my score of 38.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kitchen Project: Last Task

While we've been using the new kitchen for quite a while now, there is still one glaringly unfinished piece: the backspash between the range and microwave. It remains an uncovered 18"x30" section of backer board, just waiting for tile. All the tile has finally arrived (we ordered it in May, only 1/4 of our order arrived in late June, the rest a few weeks ago) and now we have to actually tackle this project.

The plan is to use three different color tiles, all hand made in Texas or Tennessee or somewhere, to coordinate with blue/red pendant lights. Unfortunately, being handmade, none of them are exactly 2"x4" as advertised. Mostly, they're 1 7/8" x 3 3/4" which leaves us with a bit of extra cutting & filling to do. Oh, well.

Last night we decided to determine the pattern & see how random we could make the color scheme. Here is the winner:

This is an earlier variation, before some Rummikub-like moves.

And our first attempt - tried a basket weave pattern to be different, but it looked too American flag / quilt-like.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vacation from the World

Matt and I have just returned from a week's vacation (give or take a few days) in New Hampshire. Up there, at the Farm, it's like a complete unplug from normal life (we watch little TV, just the boys use the internet and cell phone service is spotty at best). We are still getting back into the swing of things. I will blame this vacation on my delinquent blogging. However, I have back-dated some entries to fill in the July gaps. So scroll down!

I'll upload and post the vacation photos soon - including some great pics of my adorable little second cousin Lilly.