Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Apple-Honey Challah

Today I finally made Apple-Honey Challah. I've been looking forward to it since mid-August, when I got my September issue of Martha Stewart Living.

YUM! The recipe calls for green apples, but since we have so many red ones I just used those. We also only had a glass pie dish, so I used that instead of a cake pan. It worked just fine. My first time making bread went so well that I feel like a pro. It's time consuming, but worth it.

This week I'm participating in Poppytalk's Autumn Color Week on flickr. Today's the theme was green, and I submitted these pictures:

If you're on flickr, join the group and play along! Tomorrow is orange. Click here to see my flickr photostream.

Monday, September 28, 2009

On The Roof

I spotted this little guy on the roof of a garage near our apartment on Friday afternoon. I had to run inside to grab the camera.

At first he was shy, and he ran away. But I waited him out, and got this cool silhouette when he came back to continue his hunt for acorns.

I love fall! Squirrels gathering acorns are so adorable!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Yesterday we attended a memorial service for Eric's grandmother, Mamise (pronounced May-meese, it's a nickname her sister gave her because she couldn't say Mary Louise). She lived to be 91, and had a long, full life. I didn't know her well, but I will certainly remember her fondly. She had a way about her, and I thought she was very funny. Yesterday was a beautiful day, and we spent it remembering her life. I enjoyed listening to the stories of family and friends, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to know her.

I took this picture of Mamise at the beginning of August.

Eric spoke at the service, and I'm including his words below. She was his Nana, and I know he misses her.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Eric Schwarz. I am the oldest son of Jeffrey, as his mom usually called him (especially when he was in trouble), which means that Mamise, who I called Nana, was my grandmother. For the record, my grandmother drove a Camaro Z28 convertible and owned a Super Nintendo.

As one of Nana’s grandchildren, I realize that you won’t find a better grandparent than one who is as passionate about eating candy, playing with toys, and having fun as you are. We would arrive on the Vineyard every summer and scramble into Heaven Between, where Nana had 3 things waiting for us: a fun pack of sugary cereals, several brand new presents, and a collection of perfect skipping stones.

The cereal was devoured and the new Lego sets and puzzles were put together, much to Nana’s delight, but the most meaningful items were the skipping stones. Each one hand-picked from her own beach and saved throughout the year so that they were waiting for us when summer came around. The great challenge was that in order to enjoy the skippers, we had to return them to the sea. And as I watched a particularly good rock bounce across the waves, I would hope for the ocean to bring it back to the beach so Nana could find it again the next year.

Of course the toys waiting for us when we arrived were never enough. Many trips were made down to Brickman’s for even more board games and card games, endless sports equipment, and plenty of water floats.

As much as we loved to play, she seemed to love watching us even more. There were several adventures to Oak Bluffs to ride the Flying Horses or play mini golf. In those cases, I can remember her excitement and pride when we would get the brass ring or make a great putt.

But Nana especially enjoyed watching us play ping pong. She would stand on the back porch of Heaven Above and just be thrilled to watch us hit the ball back and forth. She would always comment about how fast we hit the ball. And it became a game within a game, to do really well and get an enthusiastic response from her. I didn’t realize at the time how much joy that brought her.

For our annual charter fishing trip, we would bring enough GORP and Cheez-Its to last the afternoon, but, Nana would insist on buying us enough snow caps, candy dots, jaw breakers, sour patch kids, gummi worms, gummi bears, and anything else we could scoop out of the bins to last several weeks.

Heading out of Edgartown on a 40 foot boat, like the scene in Jaws, we’d be off to catch blues and stripers and nobody on board was more excited than Nana. When the pole bent sharply, indicating that a fish was on the line, she would let out a cheerful “hey!” as one of us kids worked to haul the fish aboard.

The best moment was when Nana would take her turn to reel one in. We were catching 40-50 inch bass, which was a challenge for me at 17, and there was Nana – 5 feet tall, 90 pounds, 80-something years old – not only fighting this massive fish, but fighting off my dad as he offered to help.

And that’s how I’ll remember her. Out on the water, sun blazing down, fishing pole in hand, a huge smile on her face while fighting to bring in the big one. And never giving up.

Friday, September 25, 2009

On The Fence

A little girl hung her sunglasses on this chain link fence and forgot about them before going in.

I don't know why I find this scene so adorable. Something about the perfect late afternoon sun beams. It's like a last hurrah for summer. She'll come back and get them someday.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Early Autumn Bloom

I saw this on my walk yesterday evening.

Such a pretty color, and it ties right in with the color palette from today's Lost In Thoughts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Screamer

Yearly Inspection?

Over the weekend, this notice appeared on the door to our building.
Yearly inspection? We've lived in this apartment for 2 years and 23 days, and this is the first time we've ever had an inspection. Must have something to do with that mouse I saw a few weeks ago. We haven't had a problem since, but somebody must be having an issue.

Anyway, Monday night I had to empty out all of our kitchen cabinets. I put all of the food into old grocery bags, and piled all of the plates, bowls, glasses, etc. on the counter. What a pain.

The notice said the exterminator would be coming between 9 and 10. Well I work from home, so I know that he showed up at 10:45. He was pretty old and he was probably only here for 15 minutes. I have no idea why I had to empty all of the cabinets (I worked while he was in the kitchen, so I didn't see what he was doing), but it seems like all he did was put a mouse trap in the back of the cabinet under the sink and another one in the crevice between the cabinets and the stove.

Then he went and poked around in the bathroom. He had something with him, but I don't see it anywhere, so I have no idea what he did in there.

After he left I had to put everything back.

I sorta hope this "yearly" inspection really only happens once every 3 years.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Apple, Cheddar & Thyme Galette

We went apple picking on Saturday. I really enjoy walking trough the orchard and choosing my own fruit. It makes the baking that follows more special somehow.

This year I had a new apple recipe to try out. I found it on the beautiful fresh365.

I will make it again, but next time I will use half as much salt is the recipe calls for (in fact, I may try it without adding any salt at all), because I found the salt pretty overwhelming. I think I generally use less salt in my cooking, so this could just be a personal preference. Anyway, I really enjoyed all of the other flavors, so I do want to give it another try.

It was weird to eat something that looked like dessert, but tasted like dinner. It's definitely a savory dish. I had a lot of fun, and it was my very first time using puff pastry. Overall, I'd call the experience a success!

I also made applesauce, because it's my favorite! New comers, you can check out my gramma's fabulous recipe right here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This Is What Happens

This is what happens when you don't have enough flour for the recipe. My Gramma always says that baking is like chemistry and the proportions are crucial. She's right.

I noticed that I didn't have much flower before I started mixing the ingredients, but I decided to give it a go anyway. It doesn't look great, but it still tasted pretty good. Worth the risk, I'd say. I made them last Sunday (and ate the very last one last night).

What's your latest cooking mess (or success!)?

*Speaking of cooking, yesterday's Lost In Thoughts is all about cupcakes. YUM!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Vase

My sister recently went to Alaska. She had a wonderful time and she definitely wants to return at some point. I'm super lucky, because she brought back a beautiful, blue glass vase for me.

Today I made some paper flowers, so the vase wouldn't be so lonesome. I had fun making them, and I was guided by a Zakka Life tutorial (via iDiY). If you want to make your own flowers, don't be afraid to try some variations (I did!). I also added old twisty ties as stems.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Farmer's Market Tomatoes

Way back on the 6th, we visited Emma and Will in Amherst. We took them to brunch at The Lone Wolf, one of our favorite places, and then stopped over at the Farmer's Market.

We also visited Puffer's Pond and enjoyed soft serve ice cream (courtesy of Will) from Franklin (one of UMass's dining halls).

The weather was beautiful and the company was great. It's such fun for us to go back to Amherst for a day.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ingrid Michaelson In Concert

Last night was wonderful. My sister and I went to see Ingrid Michaelson, and she was fantastic (as expected). Since I broke my new camera, I busted out the old Minolta. I was glad to have it, but remembered why we got a new one. And the battery (and the 3 back-ups I brought) completely died at one point. But I did get a few halfway decent pictures during the show.

The show was sold out, but I got tickets about 5 minutes after they went on sale, so we didn't have to worry.

We were so happy to be there. The only downside was that we stood next to the most annoying girls on Earth. You can see one of them chugging her beer. Yes, I'm pointing her out - that's how obnoxious she was. In order to get away from them we had to move to a space where we couldn't see much, but at least we could enjoy the music without some freak hollering in our ears.

Greg Holden, a musician from the UK, opened for Ingrid. He was good, and he sang the best (only?) cover of "Walking On Sunshine" that I've ever heard. Check out his website to find his music.

After the show we waited around while the crowd was clearing and we saw a guy bringing something backstage to have it signed for a fan, so we ran over and asked if he could get our tickets signed for us. HE DID!

Then we went to the merchandise area to buy one of Greg's CDs (we bought Ingrid t-shirts before the show and I already have all of her albums). We got to talk to him and we shook his hand and got his autograph (she signed the real-looking ticket - which I found on the floor after the show - and he signed the paper ticket I printed at home).

And then we saw her sitting there, signing things. Oh. My. God. It's the most startstruck I've ever been. We talked to her and told her how much we love her and that she's our favorite. I probably sounded like a fool, but I don't even care because it was awesome. (I took a few pictures on Emma's camera, and I hope she posts them on her blog.) The show was part of (RED)Nights and they were giving away free posters signed by Ingrid, so we grabbed those too.

AHHHH! It was a supreme adventure (as Emma would say). We walked home in the rain and in total awe.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Guess Who's Visiting This Weekend

My sister's coming this afternoon! She should get here around 3:00, and then the fun will begin.

Tomorrow night we're going to see Ingrid Michaelson at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, and I'm practically bouncing up and down with excitement. We've seen her live once before, so I know it'll be a great show.

Happy weekend, folks.

*Yesterday's Lost In Thoughts was a good one: a beautiful illustration, colorful soap, snuggly stuffed animals, and a music video!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

HBS Picnic On George's Island

We took a school bus yesterday morning. A big yellow one, just like I used to take in kindergarten.

The bus took us from HBS to Long Wharf, where we got on a ferry headed to George's Island (one of Boston's Harbor Islands).

When we got to the island we were provided with a lovely picnic lunch. We ate with some friends we met back in April. We also met some new couples, which was nice.

After eating, we walked around the island and explored Fort Warren a little bit. I got some of our friends (and Eric) to do an awesome wedding-ish photo involving a big jump. Hahaha!

After we made our way to the top of the fort, Eric took a picture of the girls. The little one in front is Kiri's oldest daughter (the younger one was preoccupied during the mini photo shoot).

It was a great day. The sun was out, the company was fabulous, and we got to check out an island!

We were back at HBS around 2:00, at which point Eric and I headed to Harvard to spend the afternoon and evening with his parents. Yeah, we had a pretty successful holiday.

I hope you all enjoyed Labor Day as much as I did! What did you do?

*I put a few other pictures on flickr.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blog Roll

I updated the blog roll in the right side bar. I added some good ones - happy browsing. :)

Goat's Beard

Today would have been an excellent day to spend at Drumlin Farm hanging out with the animals. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the air was dry. It was really a lovely day.

Since I couldn't spend the day at the farm, I looked at pictures instead. This picture is from last year, and it makes me smile. Look at that funny little beard.

It's Lost In Thoughts Thursday, so head on over to ELM.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Moving Day In Boston

Ah. September 1st in Boston. Moving Day. Our apartment is situated right inbetween BU and BC, so September brings tons of new and returning students. But folks aren't just moving in, some have to move out. And that means that the sidewalks are littered with old furniture and the dumpsters are overflowing into the road.

Since we're staying put this year, I took my camera for a little walk.

It was quite the scene. There were bright orange stickers on every piece of furniture on the sidewalk warning people not to take said furniture for fear of bedbugs.

I saw VHS tapes and records, men carrying new couches and old, a girl watching two grown men struggle to move a huge TV, dressers, mattresses, cookie sheets, fouton frames, and the list goes on.

Of course there were moving vans galore, but I especially liked the Gentle Giant. They have an awesome phone number, too: 800-GIANT-MEN (too many numbers, right?)! Amazing.

Welcome to September.


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