Monday, September 20, 2010


It's been 3 months that I've been rowing at Baxter Fitness. I've lost about 20 lbs and 2 pant sizes but I have some more to go...about 20 lbs more and 2 more pant sizes, I think...So I'm up to 4,000 meters x four times a week. As I face west whilst rowing, I've been looking for the coast of China...I wonder how many meters it is to say, Hawaii? I might make that at some point! Jack did his best with the camera angle, don't you think? Oye! A lighter load sure is easier on the body for dancing!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I was half-paying attention to a Martha Stewart thing on The Hallmark Channel the other day...she had a lady on with a great My Cousin Vinny/ Marisa Tomei accent, so I was enjoying her. She did a Chicken Cacciatore recipe and also showed how to dry parsley in the oven. Hers was dark green and fine. She claimed that the dried parsley would stick to the chicken and not get all slimy. Sounded good to me, since I've never been a fan of parsley just floating around. She said that having this dried stuff was like having "gold in your house." No kidding.

So you get a big bunch of parsley, wash & dry it well, and cut it off the stems. So far so good.

Then you put it in the oven at... did she say 350 degrees? for a few many minutes? I wasn't quite paying attention so I figured maybe 10 minutes.

Ooooppps...Euuwwww! After about 5 minutes I noticed a funny smell...sort of like burnt spinach..or decaying cut grass...coming from the kitchen. WHAT? Hummm. Not so good. Maybe she said 250 degrees? And maybe only a few minutes. Maybe I'll try it again sometime...or not.


We picked the first bunches of grapes...most are still ripening. They are large, juicy but still a bit tart because we just didn't have the usual hot summer this year. With cool weather and rain predicted from Friday to Monday, I decided to pick some anyway...

Here they are on the vine. Usually by now they're more purple with some wrinkled ones that are great on cereal. Not yet!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's been a busy week at the old homestead! We finished the Fiberglass Guide and got it printed.

Doesn't it look good! A proud new papa shows his latest baby off. Nice tee shirt too!

Help in the studio always includes a certain black & white unit keeping tabs on Mr. A....

..l.when she isn't hanging out on the patio!

Plants are sooo much happier with the cooler weather! Us too!

Friday, September 10, 2010


By Chase Ashcraft
Some days are so boring for me, especially when my mom & dad are busy working on a manual...whatever that is! Nothing to do with fun stuff for me, that's for sure.

Before I knew it, Mom was saying, "Bad dog, Chase!"

I figured she left these old slippers on the closet floor just for me. Suddenly I had this great taste in my mouth and funny, fuzzy stuff all over the rug. And I was just getting started!

Maybe Mom will leave something even tastier for me next time...maybe an old pair of underwear or some more socks. I keep forgetting to check the hamper...great smells in there after mom has been to Baxter Fitness!

Monday, September 6, 2010


It's Labor Day so naturally we're laboring in the studio whilst Izzie snoozes in the extra office chair and Chase ploops down, extremely bored because I have to work and not play with him. We're working on the latest manual...a fiberglass book of about 120 or so pages. I'm at page 99 today, and bleary eyed from being on the computer too long.

Meanwhile, the tomatoes keep ripening! These will go for marinara sauce.

Peach season is late this year with the 49er peaches just ready now. Some places do get a price for them this year! 9 bucks for 8 peaches at the SOS packing house is a bit much! With the wet, cool spring this year, most everything is late. Seems like the bees didn't like the weather either, as the crop is about 40% down from normal, so prices are much higher. I found these at Harry & David for 79 cents a pound. Now that's more like it!

I tray froze some (about 3 sliced peaches per tray) and then vacuum packed them with my trusty FoodSaver machine. Each pouch will do one crostada. They should be good this winter!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


While we were eating breakfast today, it got real quiet in the dog department. Just like with any 2-year old, it's always good to check when things get too quiet. Sure enough, while we crunched our high fiber cereal, Chase was getting some much needed plastic chewing done! He found a pen on the end table in the great room and decided it needed to be chewed. Luckily this time we got to him BEFORE he had an inky face...but just barely.

He likes to chew the end off and get the ink cartridge out...ummm, good tasting stuff, Maynard!