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:

    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.

Sigh… The End of the Prism

Brief history of the Prism…

It started out as my (Larry’s) commuter car after the 5 speed black Prism that I had before was crushed between two SUVs on the morning commute to Cupertino… can’t remember when that happened.  But it was tragic because not only did the black Prism serve me well but it also was a 5 speed… which are a dying breed.

Brief history on Prisms… They were the same car as a Toyota Corolla, made right here in the Bay Area over at the now defunct NUUMI plant with its incredibly high quality standards and execution.  The plant is now the home of the Tesla but that’s another story.  The Prism was a shockingly economical and a quality vehicle just like the Corolla.   However for some reason the Blue Book value of the Prism was over $1000 less than the same year and features Corolla… Well knowing all this, I just had to buy another Prism.  Unfortunately, they stopped making 5 speeds and they had become kind of rare, so I had to settle for an automatic… Oh well, it was just a commuter car…

This Prism and I commuted over the hill for years… But then an opportune time came for me to upgrade to my dream car… a 5 speed, late-model, low miles, Honda Civic became available and I jumped at it.  And so the Prism was passed on to Spencer.

Sigh… not gonna lie, that turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Prism.

Spencer had three accidents in the Prism.  The first in a parking lot on a rainy day, the next when he rear ended someone on Highway 17 and finally when he rear ended someone else in heavy traffic on Highway 1.  The shop was able to fix the parking lot incident.  We actually did a home repair on the second incident.  But this last one was the final straw.  We just couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again…

The last drive down Whispering Pines… sigh…

Momma Bear’s Birthday

Donna’s birthday is always on 4/13 and it wasn’t any different this year.  The thing that’s different is that we’re all runnin’ around doin’ stuff so it was hard gettin’ all together on a weeknight.  HOWEVER, we lucked out.  Jack’s class that normally gets out after 10PM on Mondays finished early and so Jack came home…. and bonus… he came home bearing an especially fun present from his… not Facebook official…. girlfriend, Kalika.

She made a stunning cake for the occasion.  Now then when we first saw it it looked like just a normal (and now a little lopsided, thanks to all the handling it took to get it to our house) cake.  BUT… when we cut into it… SURPRISE!  … Absolutely unbelievable… my first thought of course was that she stacked all these little cubes into a cylinder… but that was probably not right.  After that it was fun trying to figure out how she did it.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and pretty much stole the show.  That’s okay cuz all our gifts were a little on the weak side anyway.

Thank you Kalika… Yer the best!


Spencer’s 21st Birthday

Spencer turned 21 on Saturday (10/11/14).  How crazy is that?  Both our boys are over 21 now.

We celebrated as a family that evening.  And I, of course couldn’t resist the urge to record the event for posterity.  Spencer was a sport which made it fun.

We took him to the liquor store on Graham Hill Road for his first legal alcohol purchase, then had dinner at El Jardin’s in Santa Cruz.  Spence had the chimichanga… his usual.  Donna and I were a bit over-served so had to rely on Jack to drive us home.

Father’s Day 2014

Okay so this post is a little late… Sorry… Our previous family blog was nuked by GoDaddy so we had to start over with this one.   But this one’s gonna be better. So I guess it’s not all bad news.  And okay, so I woulda been late with this post on the old blog anyway.  But that’s my excuse.

So this year for Father’s Day, someone had the brilliant idea (probably me – genius huh?) of hiking the San Lorenzo River from The Buckeye Trail to the train trestle.  Didn’t seem like all that far…  But it turned out to be 8.8 miles… Oy!


And the river was higher than I thought it would be… double Oy… Isn’t there supposed to be a raging drought happening right now?  What’s with all this water?  But I digress….

Brief summary of the day… We drove down to the parking lot near the Buckeye Trail head, parked and proceeded on foot… Was a pleasant hike down to the river… longer than I thought it would be but still pleasant.  Then it was time to enter the water… Oy… cold… but we were on a mission and quickly got used to the water… Then it was time to hike… Wading wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be… rocks, rocks, rocks… bushes, hardly any sand or anything smooth anywhere… good heavens!  Things weren’t going very fast, or fast enough.  We had dinner reservations… So way sooner than planned we exited the water and took to the trails to dash back to one of our cars and waiting showers… and of course… our dinner reservation.   I could definitely belabor all this… but I’ll let some of the pictures do the talking… My biggest joy (and it was a big one) was getting to spend this time with Donna and the boys.