Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In the merry merry month of May

A lot of things happen in May in my world. First is Mother's Day. My mother's day is always wonderful and this year was no exception. John planned dinner and Rachel and Jorge did most of the preparation...and by the way, the baked potatoes that Jorge prepared were the best ever...I don't know why but he sure had the touch. In addition to them, G and G Van Dusen came, also Alicia, Drew, Tyler and Leah. G4 went to Bill and Kathy's for dinner. I received some beautiful gifts...a hydrangea in a cool pot from Drew and Alicia, Lovely garden gloves from Courtney and hand-painted plates (with home mede bread and strawberry jam) from Tyler, Leah and Zoe...yes, our granddaughter will be named Zoe, a beautiful necklace from Rachel and a colorful handmade wallet made in Guatemala from Jorge and his mother. The day before Mother's Day John and I (and the Mori's) went to the Palm Bike store in LA to pick out a bicycle for me. (my gift from John) It was a hard decision but I was able to try a few out and decided on an Electra beach cruiser style olive and orange 3 speed bike...with a basket. They didn't have one in stock so I am anxiously waiting for its arrival. Thanks everyone for making my mother's day so wonderful.

Another May happening is the departure of the college students that attend our ward. Each year some go home to return in the fall and others graduate or go on adventurous semesters abroad. This year it feels like more are leaving than usual and I'm very sad. Though I'm thrilled for their new adventures I will truly miss them. They have enriched my life in so many ways and have been tremendous examples to me...I love them all very much and hope the best for them. If any of you are reading this, please don't lose touch with us...we're excited to see all you do.

May is a crunch month at work and so far it hasn't disappointed. The frantic parent calls have begun, the slacker seniors are actually starting to worry, and the countdown to graduation has started. I must admit, this is my favorite time of the work year...I like the chaos.

Finally, I took a vacation day today and went with my girl friends to the Pasadena Showcase Design House...10,500 square feet of extreme opulence and was great. I don't think any of their ideas will transfer to my home...but you never know...I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Night Likes

For those of you who know me well, it comes as no surprise that to relax at the end of a busy work week I like to cook. Unfortunatley, I had to work tonight so cooking went out the window. So, tonight G4 and I went to work together. She watched a high school CIF playoff volleyball game and I worked the gate. Not a bad gig and G4 felt like she had a big night out. I came home and read Niles comment about the bean soup and realized which soup he meant. Therefore, Niles, this recipe posting will fulfill my Friday night cooking need and hopefully, your Saturday night eating need, a win win solution. I give you...Black Bean Soup Enjoy, it's one of my favorites.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Black Bean Soup

Recipe By : Dave Lieberman
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time: 0:20
Categories : Soups & Stews

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
10 slices bacon (preferably hickory smoked) -- finely chopped
2 medium onions -- chopped
6 cloves garlic -- pressed
1 14 1/2 oz canned chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp chili powder
4 15 1/2 oz canned black beans -- drained
salt and pepper -- to taste
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 lime -- juiced

Saute bacon and onions till onion is translucent.
Add garlic and heat through.
Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worchestershire, and chili powder.
Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Gently cook about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

Pick the stems from the cilantro, wash leaves and shake dry.
Coarsley chop the cilantro and stir into soup.
Stir in the lime juice.
Serve with garnish

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NOTES : May also be served with thinly sliced green onions, sour cream and grated cheddar cheese.
Can be kicked up with jalapenos, tabasco and any other sweat inducing hot sauce.

I close with this picture of Jorge and Rachel. I feel like I need to have a picture with each post so I looked through my pictures to find one that would be interesting. I chose Jorge, Rachel's fiancee. Most of you have probably not met here he is. We love Jorge and can't wait for him to be an official part of our family. He's a talented photographer and artist and soon to be graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Hopefully, I will be posting some of his work here soon. Jorge is great, and he cheerfully tolerates the crazy that is the Forester household.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's a start...

So, after talking to my niece, Brecken this morning I decided to do (based on her encouragment) what I've been too embarrassed to do until now...create a blog. My children all have blogs and I love to read them because it is a little glimpse into their world that I don't always see. So, with that in mind, I'm hoping they will enjoy catching little views of my world...and not be too embarrassed or worse...bored! Additionally, I want our extended family to be able to keep up on the comings and goings of the grandmas and grandpas.
That said...this last week I took a vacation day and loaded G4 and GV (Grandma Forester and Grandma Van Dusen) into the Prius and headed to the flower fields in Carlsbad. When the Forester grandparents lived on Lynoak Drive in Claremont, they had a beautiful pepper tree in the center of the front lawn. Around the base of the tree grandma Forester planted ranunculus every year. They were amazing...or as Courtney would say "lovely." As a side note, Grandpa Forester would keep the pepper tree pruned. I remember watching him do this one day and was astounded at the skill and artistic eye he employed as he did this. I never looked at the tree the same again. I still drive by on occaision and mourn the loss of his talent...when I learn more about blogging I will post some pictures of the old Lynoak house.
Back to the ranunculus. There are acres and acres of ranunculus on this hillside overlooking the Pacific ocean that are grown for their seeds/tubers. They come in a variety of happy colors and are a prolific ball of thousands of petals. A sight for we flower worshipers. The day turned out to be cold and drizzley, unlike the 90 degree weather the day before, but we were undeterred and took in all the sights and smells with gusto. Much to GV's joy there was a Rose Walk of Fame garden full of award winning roses, interspersed with test roses awaiting acceptance into some sort of "Rose Establishment Hierarchy." We basked in the beauty until our eyes were full and could take nothing more! We stopped across the street and ate a delicious lunch at King's Fish House and headed north to Claremont. On our trip home G4 assured us that all her bodily functions were working properly and we made a lovely pit stop at the Home Depot and the Arco station in Fallbrook...I love Fallbrook...a post for another day.

So there you have it, my 1st blog post. Hopefully I will improve with time and experience. Feel free to offer advice...positive please. Until next time...I'm off to Prom! TTFN