Been Awhile, Huh?

Okay… I admit it… I’ve been kinda slackin’ with respect to keeping this blog up to date.  Been silence on the line for awhile… and before that there’s been a lot of Donna’s and my hiking posts… so not much variety unless you’re into the hiking scene.  Not saying that’s gonna end.  My next post will be about an outing that we did recently.  But that’s not all that’s been happening here at Casa Fogelquist.  So I’m gonna try and be better about posting more family stuff.

Just a few of the recent highlights from home:

  1. Spencer and I got our crops in.  So this year there are the usual tomato plants, plus a buncha peppers.  I’ve never done peppers before so this is gonna be a bit of an adventure.  We put in 13 tomato plants… Yeah… that’s quite a few tomatoes huh?  But now that I have a clue how to can, I guess I’m gonna be a canning maniac this year.  So we should be able to absorb the volume.

    Shortly after 'the planting'... all plants in their containers. Kinda barren now but it's not gonna look like this for long.
    Shortly after ‘the planting’… all plants in their containers. Kinda barren now but it’s not gonna look like this for long.
  2. I started a photo site using Smug Mug.  So from now on that’s where I’m going to put the photos that normally accompany these posts.  Of course I’ll put a few photos in the blog but the majority will go to Smug Mug.The address is: http://www.fogfam.smugmug.com

    Just go to the link and cast around a bit.  The photo site is stand alone so now you can just go directly to Smug Mug and look at the pictures without having to wade through the blog.  Only issue is that, now that we have a place to easily post pictures, I won’t be as selective about what pictures I post.  So you’ll no doubt have to slog through a few extras.  Other than that though, it’s all good.

  3. We have joined a CSA… What the Hell is a CSA?  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  This is where you buy a share of a farm’s produce and your share is delivered to a pickup location each week.  Then you just go pick it up.  So in effect we’re getting our produce directly from the farm.  This helps flatten the food supply chain which is good for lots of reasons.  Our farm is the Live Earth Farm in Watsonville.  Go to the link if you wanna read about it.  This is in addition to our massive tomato (and now pepper) supply.   I know I know… what are you people doing?  Good Lord!  Why don’t you just get your food from the grocery store like everybody else?  Well… this is way too big a topic for here, or even another entire post.  Besides I probably wouldn’t be able to stop it from coming off as preachy, so you wouldn’t read it anyway.  But if you’re interested (and I hope you are), here’s a book that can start you on your way… Read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  He has a number of other books too.  You can pretty much read any of them to get the idea.  The concept isn’t new though.  It’s just that Michael Pollan’s approach was compelling to us.  He’s not preachy, or judgmental.  He’s matter of fact, well reasoned and well researched.  And his style is refreshing.  Finally, in our particular case, getting produce mostly from this CSA is more practical than going to the grocery store.  Essentially, it’s almost directly delivered to us.  So it all works out.
  4. A few weeks ago, I got myself an eBike… That’s an Electric Bike if you’re unfamiliar with the term.  This also could be (and will definitely be) the topic for another post… (or several posts actually).  But for now, in a nut shell, I’ll just say that I think this is one of the best purchases that I’ve ever made, in my entire life.  It is SO much fun… and practical… and great exercise.  I just zip by the traffic in Santa Cruz and much of the time, especially with the Santa Cruz area traffic problems, arrive at my destination more quickly than I would by car.   But more about this later.
  5. The boys are done with school for the 2015-16 school year.  Kinda fun having them home again.  Spencer has been gardening, ref’ing, and coaching while Jack is working and riding his bike again.  Kinda fun seeing the school tension relax off their faces.
  6. A couple weeks ago, I bought a bunch of strawberries and made strawberry jam for the first time.  And… it was almost a disaster.  It didn’t set up the way it should and was WAY too sweet.  Jack is the only one helping me to eat it.  I guess I’ll make some adjustments and try again later.   It does taste good though… so at least I have that going for me.   Next time I’ll use a different pectin, not mash up the strawberries as much and add less sugar.  But first I gotta down the jam (syrup) from this batch.  Oh… one REALLY good thing… Donna used it to make strawberry ice cream.  Not gonna lie, it was unbelievably good.  I couldn’t stop myself from going back to the refrigerator to get some more.
  7. We got to host Chris Bauer (One of Donna’s many nephews) for a quick tour of San Francisco.
    Chris and Donna in front of the Lone Sailor statue near the Golden Gate Bridge.
    Chris and Donna in front of the Lone Sailor statue near the Golden Gate Bridge.

    Chris was here in the Bay Area for a conference.  And we were able to steal him away for a quick run through San Francisco and then dinner at the Cliff House Bistro.  Was fun for me to get to hang with him a bit and get to know him a little better.

Okay…  This was just a quick catch up.  There’s more of course but that’s probably enough for this post.

Can't wait to hear what you have to say about this...