Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What color is this?

Lucky for me, working with the wee folk allows me to hold up paper or crayons and ask, "what color is this?", without appearing suspicious.  Although, every once in awhile one of them will notice how often the question comes out of my mouth. It's a laughing matter to my coworkers and although I laugh along with them, it can be frustrating not to be able to buy a rug, towels or a can of paint without N's assistance. I deal with the clothing issue by wearing only jeans or khakis. That way it doesn't matter what color my shirt is.

My first memory of realizing that the colors I see are different than what the majority of people see, was clothes shopping with my cousin Clarissa. We were looking through a big display of striped socks in a Tacoma mall. Our goal was to find a pair that matched a clothes item one of us had already purchased. It's when we realized we were both afflicted with the same defective genes. We spent the next half hour, joking and laughing while accosting strangers, "excuse me, can you tell me what color this is?"

Not along ago, I learned a niece inherited those genes. She and I shared some links to different online tests, until she found the information below that gives a name to what we have. How many people in my family have this colorblindness? It seems to have originated via my mother's side of the family. Out of 4 children, she and her sister, Betty, both have it. Out of Aunt Betty's 6 children, only Clarissa ended up with CB. Out of my mother's 5 children, 2 sons and 1 daughter have it. All three passed it onto our children. Only my daughter, Fran escaped.

In case it's impossible for you to read the jpeg I pieced together below, here's the link to the original piece. This is the type of color blindness I have. Here's a link to an interesting color blindness test: Color Arrangement Test.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lost roll of film

Yes, I'm guilty. Guilty of needing some news that's not full of gloom and doom. Lucky for me, I caught this story on NPR on Sunday.
JUST what I needed. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My favorite Android apps--so far

I don't think I'm a typical smart phone user, but (to be honest) I don't know exactly what that description includes.  I enjoy my phone, but it's a challenge for me to use it and still be a participant in any other activity. Either I'm messing with my phone or I'm paying attention to you--it's not going to be both.

Three months down the road and I find myself disappointed (not in my phone, love my phone), I thought my brain would automatically grow new paths/dendrites to accommodate this new activity. I haven't noticed it happening. Is there a study available for that? I might volunteer just out of curiousity.

Back to my original ponderings: I have a short list of favorite apps to share and I'd like to find out what yours are.
I'm still trying to decide which Twitter App I like the most. I began with Twidroyd, but when Twitter cut off their service it was a shove/nudge to go out and try some others. I gave Seesmic a try and now I'm test driving TweetCaster.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dutch Baby Recipe

This recipe was a gift from the matchmakers who first introduced N and I -- Pat and Frank Meyer
I'd never heard of a dutch baby until Pat treated me one morning in the late 1970's. Seemed like a simple act of oven magic to this small town girl.
The recipe card has been replaced at least once since then. If I put here, I'll never have to write it again . . . I hope. :)

(Click here for printable version)

Dutch Baby
preheat oven to 425०

Pan Size                     Butter                       Eggs                    Milk & Flour

2-3 qts                       2 Tbsp                          3                          ¾ C each
3-4 qts                       3 Tbsp                          4                          1  C each
4-4 ½ qts                   4 Tbsp                          5                       1 ¼ C each
4 ½-5 qts                   4 Tbsp                          6                       1 ½ C each

Melt butter in 425० oven in cast iron skillet. Mix batter while butter melts. Put eggs in blender; blend at high speed for 1 minute, with motor on gradually add milk then flour slowly, blend for 30 seconds more. Pour batter in pan with butter. Bake 15-20 minutes until puffy and brown. Serve with syrup, honey, jam or fruit.
additions: handful shredded cheese/chopped ham sprinkled over top before sliding into the oven.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The cups of our lives

. . . wait a second. Does that title give the impression this is going to be a post about bras? Sorry! Did not cross my mind until just now. Really. No, not bras. Although I could certainly write a long sad post about shopping for those clothing items.

Back to the original reason for this post's title.

I've gone through a number of coffee makers in my life, as I'm sure you have, too--if you're a coffee drinker. I wager (but I'm guessing) my first (waay back in the late 70's) was either a Mr. Coffee, West Bend or a Procter Silex. It was an automatic drip model and likely a wedding gift. (I've never owned a percolator. Seemed like a cruel abuse of ground beans to me.)  I learned quickly that those replacement carafes sold in stores, were made with people like me in mind. (cue sound of shattering glass)

In the past 20 years, my coffee making has changed for the better. In the early 90's, I began to experiment with buying beans at the grocery store and using their grinder. When it was time to replace the current coffee maker, I did research instead of just looking for the features and price I wanted. One of my first favorites, as far as making a nice full flavored brew, was a Cuisinart. Unfortunately, the "brew pause" feature was poorly designed. The simple mechanism was positioned in such a way that if someone used too much force when replacing the carafe under the basket, it would snap off. And mine did. I kept it as long as I could tolerate the mess resulting from failing to remember not to remove the pot during the brew process. Which can be difficult when you have a family who drinks as much coffee as mine does.
Back to the internet to research.

Up next? A Krups. The reviews on Amazon were spotty. A dripping carafe was enough for many people to rate it just one star. People! It's the flavor! Well, as least it is for me. However the coffee websites rated it high for a mid-priced drip maker.

We've been together for 4-5 years, my Krups and I. It didn't mind at all when I began to grind beans at home and decided to use a gold filter instead of paper. But just recently I noticed the base was staying warm several hours after being turned off. I'm not an electrician, but it didn't seem like a good sign. Instead of doing research again, I picked up a Cuisinart at Costco.

It's true, I probably put more coffee in the basket than average and it was immediately clear this coffee maker wasn't up to the task. The ground beans were being splashed onto and behind the "showerhead", under the filter, under the basket and into the pot where it ended up plugging the drip process and making a mess on the counter. It didn't help that the resulting brew wasn't strong enough for me, either.
The Cuisinart has been thoroughly cleaned and it's back in it's box. A new Krups (exactly like the old one) is in the mail.
{Don't tell my coffee maker, but if I had the budget for it? This is the one I'd buy.}
Krups Moka Brew

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crossed lines of communication

Ever have one of those times when you plan to meet up with someone for lunch and because one of you decided to change restaurants at the last minute, you end up in two different places?
That was me this afternoon.
All I remembered was, "Thompson's".
I was so proud of myself, snagging my favorite secluded table.  I ordered an iced tea and began checking out the St. Patrick's Day specials. A few minutes passed.
"Hmmm, they should be here by now", I said to myself.
Another moment passed,"Oh, crap! I forgot that L decided to change lunch to Spoons!".
There was no way I was going to leave after ordering an iced tea and being so close to home (needed to let pups out). I texted the other two to see if they would come to Thompson's. Nope.
I asked the waitress to order me Irish Stew to go, paid my tab and left.
At least now I feel pleased with myself for thinking ahead for N's quickie-before-band-rehearsal dinner.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Shoes

For better or worse, I've set a record for myself in the shoe ownership department. It's probably a bit pathetic how similar they are. Once I find something I like, I tend to go overboard. Overboard from my perspective, that is.

Brooks Switch 3 Running Shoes (For Women)Somewhere during this tendon/muscle issue it dawned on me how long it had been since I'd bought new athletic shoes. Aha! Maybe the cushioning and support that my feet need is no longer as good in my current shoes. So off I went to my first stop online shopping

I bought my first pair of Brooks shoes after talking to an active nephew. Prior to our conversation, I was a New Balance believer, but the last time I set out to buy a pair I couldn't find any that made my feet happy.  My first pair of Brooks convinced me to switch teams and after my second pair I'm a big fan.

My feet have confirmed my guess that it was time for new. Oh what a difference.

I will admit that neither the Kinesio taping nor the new shoes have cured the feet, but they have eased the pain.  Particularly the end of day pain. Only time will heal (heel?) me.
Have I mentioned how much I miss my daily walk.  (sigh)

Monday, March 7, 2011


I feel like a switch was flipped and it's suddenly, wonderfully, Spring.

Where, oh where are those weed pulling gloves?

The cherry tree is showing no signs of looking like this, but it won't be long . . .

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Homemade Graham crackers or my unexpected day

Ever have one of those days when you feel like you've suddenly been plucked up by the collar, put into a shaker cup and tossed onto a game board to see where you land?

Yes, I suppose you have.

My gameboard tumble today was partially of my own making and a little of N's. We are a team, after all. Our usual game plan is to informally review the week ahead and decide who's doing what--particularly when it comes to Fran's appointments.

She scheduled a last minute appointment with her primary doctor on Monday.  That change distracted me just enough to help me forget about today's appointment. I don't remember exactly when or why my memory retrieved that important bit this morning, except I was already at work, the short folk were in full swing and teacher L was busy assessing.

My mind began to race--how?how?  I knew that N didn't remember, because he had taken his old forester boots to work for a field trip into the woods.  Besides, I had the wheel chair in the back of my car.  I checked to see if sweet Kim could take my PM shift.  When she said no, I quickly went online to schedule a sub--any old sub was going to have to do (sorry L!).

Once it was time for the short folk to pack up to go home, I uncharacteristically helped them with coats and stuffing papers in to backpacks (what's your hurry, here's your hat).  All the time calculating in my head how long it would take to get home, get Fran loaded and drive to the edge of Keizer.  I hate to think what my blood pressure was during those 30 minutes.

Did we make it?  Yes, we did.  We may have missed our mark by 3 minutes, but I consider that a victory after my panic.  Oh and yes, I DID take that wheel chair out of my car!

Here's what I did to relax once we returned home:  Click for link to recipe for homemade graham crackers.