Saturday, December 31, 2016

Paper Cuts and Squirrel Wars

Abby Lab here.  Dad has been in the basement all day.  He's taking the old upper cabinets from before the kitchen remodel (they are metal from the 40's) and hanging them on the walls in the basement for more foodables storage.

But Mom got REALLY bored upstairs and figured we needed something to keep us occupied.

Then she remembered she had these little paper airplane kits that didn't look TOO hard to put together (I remember telling her when she got them - "SURE, they're for the GRANDKIDS,")

Mom's going to build a fighter plane that we can take outside and lob at the squirrels.

Squirrel Wars!

But first, a little practice with a Scottish Drone.
Then on to American fighter technology, soon ready for takeoff.
Which, after crashing in Iran during a CIA mission, was reverse engineered by the Iranians to make an exact duplicate.
The squirrel has spotted the next plane being built
It's time to fight back!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I knew I shouldn't have worn the red shirt

Abby's asleep in her dog bed, sulking that I wouldn't buy her the Star Trek Captains Chair dog bed for Christmas.  (I got her all kind of Tribble-like stuffies but currently as relaxed is she is in her super poofy dog bed by the couch where we sit before bed, her digestive track set to "stun", we weren't looking to make her extra, extra relaxed).

Yesterday morning, everything outside was covered with frost, with temps down in the 20's and a moist air mass stalking the area. Not a good way to start the day and starting the day feeling icky it was just going to go downhill. 

I got off work early, and am taking a sick day today, due to a stomach/flu bug going around work, someone else taking over my work for a couple of days. I knew I shouldn't have worn the red shirt. (For those of you who grew up on a deserted island and never watched Star Trek, the Red Shirt is the character phaser-cannon fodder taken out quickly in the plot line to alert viewers to danger.)

It began with just the sniffles and a rumbling tummy and by the end of the day, I was part of landing party Kirk, Spock, Dr. McCoy and the Dead Guy, better known as Ensign Ricky in the red shirt. I started out thinking I was going to save the planet and I ended up as the smoking boots behind the giant paper mache boulder.

By the afternoon I was pretty much useless. I felt bad, but making everyone else sick is not a way to keep your team happy. So they sent me home. All I wanted to do is make a pot of tea and something easy, but warm and comforting for dinner.

Aebleskiver.  (recipe in the comments)

click to enlarge photos

No, those aren't donut holes.

The aebleskiver (also spelled ableskiver) are a Danish pastry similar to pancakes with a soft texture inside similar to a popover. They are traditionally served before Christmas with Gløgg, topped with butter (sometimes) and jam (always) and dusted with powdered sugar (they aren't sweet by themselves). To start, you will need a aebleskiver pan, usually made of cast iron, as those conduct the heat the best. The traditional pans can be found in a number of Scandinavian specialty stores or catalogs or you purchase one of the new style ones here.

As they cook on the stove top, thin crusts will form on bottoms of balls (centers will still be wet). This is where the fun begins. You get a slender wood skewer (I use a clean knitting needle) and pierce the crust with one and gently pull shell to rotate the pancake ball until about half the cooked portion is above the cup rim and uncooked batter flows down into cup. You then cook until the crust on bottom of ball is again firm enough to pierce, about another minute, then rotate ball with skewer until the ridge formed as the pancake first cooked is on top. Then you complete cooking, rotating your balls until done. (Don't go there, I have a sharp skewer in my hand).

Have some of your favorite jam ready (Lingonberry!) and powdered sugar. If you want to make filled ones, add a half a teaspoon of jam to the batter just before you make your first turn.

Warning: the first time you make these you might warn anyone around you to stand far away while you work with the pointed needles. There is a chance you might be waving them around and cursing in Norwegian by the time you are done, these do take a batch or two to get the process perfected.

So make a batch and enjoy. But I'll warn you, they won't last any longer than Ensign Ricky.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wabbit Tracks - In Memory of Easy

 Is that my wabbit stuffie that Frankie sent Dad?
 It is!
 Let me get a little closer.
 Hold it still Dad - I'm gonna sneak up on my wabbit friend.
 Almost, careful so I don't startle the wabbit and make it hop off
Dad Threw it!  Surprise!
I love my wabbit!

I am so happy to have fur-ends, and even in my fun, I'll remember those that have left us, especially on this day, remembering my fur-end Easy.

Easy came home today, to live in his family's heart forever, guided by the flames of so many that loved him.

Easy's Mom and Dad are sad - but I know they would not have missed the opportunity to love Easy, even knowing they would someday lose him.  These words are Mom's and I think they sum up why we let love in our lives knowing it may be brief.

"We wake to the earth’s silent ticking, chasing the time that is still unaccounted for, rushing headlong from nights of God's silence to days of great discovery. We can stay in, intact for one slow, sure, unremarkable day, gathering useless possessions and people around us, as what sparked our dream fades to an almost sleeping ember.  For many people, that is their safety. We can just sit and talk about it, the changes we need to make, the things we wish we could do, but talk is just that, talk - arming ourselves with the satisfaction of courage without the inconvenience of risk. Or we can cast off our fear, gather those things around us that are precious, shedding that which only seeks to hinder us and head out into the world, eyes wide open.

What is ahead is unknown, often coming at us, so towering and fast, one can sense from it neither distance nor time. You can treat it with fear, no different than standing on the edge of a cliff, dreading that feeling as the ground falls away, the tiny rocks clamoring down like the first throw of dirt on a pine box. Or you can treat it as a perceived feast, as a wafer on the tongue, a leap of faith into that place that is devoid of time and regret, while that which held you back runs somewhere far afield, away from soundless guns." - TBOB

Angel Easy - this candle is for you.
Because no toy can hold a candle to all the joy and heart you brought to Blogville.  We will miss you always.

Abby Lab and her family

Sunday, December 25, 2016

When Santa Paws is a Geek

Abby Lab here - so I wouldn't go crazy with all the gift openings Mm and Dad let me open my gift box from Frankie and Ernie on Christmas Eve.
 Snow Freak sat atop a whole BAG of squeeky stuffies and balls.
 And a crinkly crunchy wabbit!
They were so fun, but soon it was time for all the toys to go to sleep as Santa Paws would be here soon. Grandpa is staying with cousin Liz so it's just Mom and Dad and I this Christmas/
In the morning - guess what was out in the middle of the rug.

My squeaker stuffies from Frankie and Ernie! I fetched them from the box in the middle of the night.
Then it was time for the presents that Santa Paws left everyone.  First there a couple of things for Mom from Frankie and Ernie's paw-rents.

That was such a sweet thing to do.  Mom does a Secret Santa thing every year where she provides a tree, money for a big dinner and lots of toys to a local family that has a parent out of work and several children.  She was able to do three families this year and had so much fun - Christmas is about giving, not the getting, but the presents at home are fun.

 This is so cool! It looks like ME!
Mom just loved this.  Thanks Frankie and Ernie's Family!!

I had such fun with my new stuffies!

Then it was time to look in the stockings.  I think Santa is a GEEK!
 These look like typical office "stampers"
But they're facebook "Like" and "Dislike".  Bar Har HAR.  Dad doesn't have to do a detailed analysis of a Mil Spec - he can just "like" or "dislike" them.
 F for Effort.

These are hilarious kids answers to questions on tests.


"A liter is?" : A nest of puppies!

"Describe the bonding of SO2":  "It's pretty awesome


"The Sultan had wives and porcupines".

"The jungles of Africa are very dangerous for the people who explore them. There must be hundreds of people who have been mauled to death by a tiger or wino".


What do we mean by 'total' and 'remainder":

'The total is when you add up all the numbers and the remainder is an animal that pulls Santa's Sleigh.

 Bicycle chain luggage ID and engineering formula bow tie.
 Paracord micro USB cable
 Geeky handkerchiefs from Hankensteins, so cool.
 It's a tiny Minion!
That's actually a Thumb Drive!
 Mom and Dad are big Doctor Who fans.

 The ornament and tea infusers are from Mom's author friend Tracy (Sammy Sparrow's First Flight)
 Tea Time
Especially in that Mom's stocking had English tea and goodies in it!

MMM Scotty Shortbreads!

Dad - " I wonder what TSA will think of these if they pat down my feet area?  I wonder where they come UP with ideas like this?"

Mom: " I think it was the lyrics from that Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon  song 'Short, Shark, Socks'"

Dad:  (just shakes head).

Mom liked the sign.  She doesn't teach people to fly any more, but she is still licensed to do so.

Every Christmas dad does a silly DIY sort of gift.  Mom had complained about a virtual meeting that just involved clicking on an endless powerpower.  So Dad put this together.

With a little string - she can click the mouse while getting coffee from the pot!

There's always a new game.  Mom and dad loved Bored games.
What's this?

Santa Paws got Mom THIS game.  It involves holding this big ball out at arms length lifting it up over the head and side to side while uttering HBO words before she takes a shower and goes back to the computer.

Mom and Dad also get each other some practical things, like warm things to wear.

Shirts for important meetings with the boss;

His and hers bathrobes.  Dad needed one as somehow the sash from the previous one was involved in a "chewing accident' (I was looking for the squeaker!)

Mom had two robes, both very old.  The thick fuzzy gray one that was shedding really bad and made her look like Chuck E. Cheese and the $3 thrift shop one that was really skinny, zipping down the front with a Chinese collar.  Dad always asked her when she wore it "when did you join the cult?"

A new hat for Dad.  Dad looks like the Actor that played Crocodile Dundee when he was young. When he travels on a company plane there's someone that sees him regularly that calls him "Dundee". Mom thought the hat was fitting.

Dad has some neat hats.  When Mom met him Dad was 24 and always wore a Federa, the only "Millenial" Mom said she had ever met that did.  Mom's not a Millenial.  Those her age have -"saurus" after their names.

And gloves, we won't mention what happened to the last pair (ahem).

Of course, there will be a warm shirt and jammie bottoms and some parting Holiday Greetings.

Don't Drink and Dress.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

The Johnsons