Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Day After Thanksgiving

Settlers of Catan

Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday.   Thanksgiving is always followed by Black Friday which marks the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.  This is the day when people go to the stores and start buying presents for Christmas.  The retailers also encourage people to do this by luring shoppers with great sale prices on so many items.  Sometimes the sale only last for a few hours depending on the store.  Once a shopper enters a store, she/he is trapped to shop till death.  There are a lot of stories about weird things that people do to be ahead of the line. 

Fortunately for me, I have never gone shopping after Thanksgiving (I think).  I'm usually very tired from all the cleaning and cooking for Thanksgiving.  The rest of the family like it when I am tired because it also means that I do not have any agenda for them.  They are free!  This is the time when they go wild in playing games - board games, computer games or video games.  The only time that they are required to stop is when the time comes for the Christmas tree to be set up.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving At Home

The siblings together again.

Thanksgiving 2011 took place on a cold and rainy day. Fortunately, all of us were together and all cozy in the warmth of our own home. Shannon is back from Irvine for the weekend and we are all happy to a complete home again.  This may not happen very often anymore but we rejoice at every opportunity that we can get. 

Shannon got to meet Lexy River for the first time - although she suspects that Lexy was meant to replace her.  

Thanksgiving dinner with Dave and Haidz.

Dave and Haidz Diezer joined us for the Thanksgiving dinner which made the night a little bit less Lewis-focused.  We met the Diezers at the Folsom Community Church a couple of months ago and we've getting to know each other slowly since then. 

Okay, I was not in the picture but my plate can be seen in the picture - still empty but it would soon be filled with all sorts of  traditional Thanksgiving food.   This year's menu:

Shrimp Cocktail
Fruits (prepared by Haidz)
Pancit (prepared by Haidz)

Main Course:
Grilled Turkey
Yukon old Mashed Potatoes
Giblet Gravy
Italian Sausage Stuffing with Mushrooms
Green Salad
Baked Butternut Squash
Whole Cranberry Sauce
Buttermilk Biscuits

Sparkling Apple Cider
Coffee and Tea

Homemade Pumpkin Pie with Whipped cream
Homemade Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

This year we had to replace our meat thermometer but the one I bought was not properly calibrated.  The turkey ended up being over-cooked but the great thing about grilled turkeys is that they tend to taste better and remain relatively moist even when the skin is already very dark.  The grilled bird is cooked evenly all around - the skin get crispy and very yummy.  Since Tim learned how to grill turkeys in the barbeque we have never went back to baking again.  

In our family, I like the dark meat (drumsticks and wings) while everyone else prefer the white meat (breast).  Everyone look forward to making turkey sandwiches from all the left-overs.  Today I saw Shannon pilled turkey and mashed potatoes drizzled with gravy on top of a piece of sourdough bread.  Miriam always likes to add cranberry sauce on her sandwich. 

After dinner, Brahms set up the game "Perpetual Commotion".

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Tim and I in Watercolor
Apple Hill, November 11, 2011
Original Picture by Brahms Lewis

I'm just learning some layering techniques in Photoshop Elements. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Introducing Lexi

Yesterday, we finally got Lexi (Lexi River Lewis).  It was a long wait and unexpectedly long process but now we have her.  We all agree that she is a nice bunny.  She loves to be petted.  Brahms put his hands on her back just a while ago and she dropped herself flat to the floor as if waiting for a serious prolonged petting session.

When she is out of her pen her favorite destination in the house is the stairs.  She likes climbing up to the second floor which I think is a good stretching exercise for her.  She has been in a cramped cage at the pet store while waiting for someone to adopt her.  Now she is given some time to walk and hop around the house.  Miriam and Brahms brought her to play at the now-vacant-Shannon's room earlier today.  They noticed that Lexy was startled to see another bunny which looked exactly like her.  For a long time she stared at the other bunny in front of the mirror until the urge to inspect the room prevailed.

For a long time Lexi just played on the rug because she would slip on the marble floor.  Soon she learned a technique and defied the threat of the slippery floor. 

Lexi met the first person outside the family - Erich came to see her and petted her for a while. 

Having Lexy is the closest that we will ever get to having a dog or a cat. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guess What?

FUR (Friends of Unwanted Rabbits) finally called us today.  I had two interviews - the first one by Karen and the second was by Kimberly (the boss).  They asked me about the condition of the place where we intend to keep Lexy, the bunny.  They had to know whether we have other pets; if we ever had a bunny before; which part of the house will Lexy be; do we know the appropriate foods for rabbits; do we know about rabbit proofing our home; etc.  Wheww!!!  I think we are qualified!  We have an appointment to go see Lexy and try to interact with her.  Only then will we find out whether we can have her or not. 

Anyway, Miriam is very excited.  She can't stop telling me, " Mommy, you don't know how happy I feel!"  

In the meantime, we wait patiently till Friday at 6:15pm when we find out if we will have a pet rabbit or not. Oh, the life lessons that one learns just by having pets.

25-Minute Meal

Juggling our schedule on Wednesday evenings is a little bit tricky.  Miriam has a play practice at 4-5pm.  Then at 5:45-7:00pm both Brahms and Miriam go to Youth Band practice at church.   They both stay there till 8:30pm for Youth Group.  Therefore, the only time that we can all eat together is between 5:00-5:45pm.   Sometimes I plan ahead so we can have a meal at that time.  However, there are also times when I get busy and forget about the time.  It is during such occasions when I have to rely on quick meals. 

Today I made a fast yummy and healthy meal.  Prep and cooking time was 25 minutes. 

The Menu
Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna (served with soy sauce and wasabi)
Sliced Avocados
Steamed Rice

Rice took the longest time to cook - 20 minutes.   But while it was cooking I had the time to set the table, slice avocados, and sear the tuna.  While we ate Brahms had the time to talk about his history report.  We finished eating in time to leave but they did not have the time to wash their hands.  I had to run to the car and give them all a squirt of hand sanitizer just to neutralize the smell of fish.  It worked! 

Easy-to-prepare wholesome foods are always welcome in our kitchen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Challenging Adoption Process

We have come to a family agreement that Miriam can have a pet rabbit as long as we get one that is litter-box-trained.  A rabbit that has been pre-owned would be a candidate to meet this criteria.  Last Friday we saw Lexy on display at Pet Smart on E. Bidwell.  Miriam got so excited because she expected that she could go home with a bunny that day.  Unfortunately, we have to deal with  adoption procedures.  We have placed several calls to the phone number given to us and sent an email through their website Friends of Unwanted Rabbits but we have not talked to anybody so far.  Miriam checks the phone messages every day to see if they have left a message.  We got one call but missed it. 

So we wait and try to contact the right person some more.  There is nothing like persistence when it comes to getting the right attention.