We love our technology, but in some ways we are taking the old road.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Apple crisp?

This is the apple crisp my wee little girl made, topped with my homemade ice cream. The apples were from my parents' tree; I froze some last fall.

We used the apple crisp recipe from the 1950s Betty Crocker Boys & Girls cookbook. Now, usually apple crisp is topped with a mixture of oatmeal, brown sugar, butter & cinnamon. This had a topping made of white flour & sugar and butter. The cinnamon was mixed with the apples. It was more like a butter cookie topping - kind of chewy & pale! It tastes good, but I would never call that apple crisp. Our ideas about food do change over time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Old Road in Winter

We got some fresh snow yesterday. It was windy, so it drifted in swirls all over our fields and yard. It took a little work to get out of the driveway this morning, but it sure is pretty.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thing 25

Thing 25 is The Blogger's Toolkit.

Items added
I added statistics collection with Sitemeter. It's so interesting to be able to see those results.

I added a slide show with Picasa.

I added a poll with a Google gadget.

I added a search box. I think that's a good tool to have on any website.

I read and watched the assigned material. I thought the 20 Usability Tips article was particularly useful, and I put some of the tips to use. Because of that article, I (slightly) more formally chose a topic for my blog and wrote sort of a mission/theme statement at the top. I added a subscription button near the top of my blog. I enabled anonymous comments. I added a photo to my profile (although I'm still leery of making my identity too obvious). I plan to follow some of the other tips as I have more posts to work with.

Widgets rejected
I decided not to add speech, because it just didn't make sense for my blog. I didn't add a comment tool, partly because I don't want people to rate each of my posts and partly because it made my blog look cluttered. I didn't do the "added functionality" ones because I didn't fully understand what they did and I came up with 4 other widgets I wanted more. It was the same with the social ones, plus I don't want to enable chatting on my blog. I'll probably come back to some of the listed items, but, here we are to question 3...

How much time?
A lot. I took multiple days (5?) to learn, choose, and then set these things up (obviously not whole days, just some hours of each). I kept up with daily blog posts, too, because my blog just doesn't have that much to work with yet, and I'm following the usability tip on posting regularly! I looked into one gadget/feature per day to keep this from taking up all my time. I did sign up with things like SiteMeter, Feedburner, Flickr, & Picasa, so I had that business to deal with for the first time, too. And I tried some things that I didn't keep on my blog.

All in all, I'm glad to know how to add new functions to my blog. I would have been entirely intimidated if I didn't have this good introduction to widgets.

Wait, wait, I just did one more: the Myers-Briggs analyzer for blogs: http://www.typeanalyzer.com/ . My blog is an ESFP (the performers), which is not what I am! But I think I am an INFP; I've got that paper packed in a box somewhere!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Something has been prowling around our yard, especially around our garage & shed. It could be a dog, but it's probably a coyote.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Garage construction

We built a garage after we moved in. We started it late last summer. We hired people to do the excavating, the concrete work, and the roofing. We hired my dad to build it (he's a carpenter with years of experience). My husband installed the in-floor heat (that's what the orange tubes are). He and his brothers also assisted on the construction, which is why you see two guys up there on one of the pictures.

It has now passed inspection and we've moved all of our junk into it. Goodbye, rented storage space! And, yes, we can still park in it. We have an adorable unfinished loft upstairs. Those gables are so tempting to my kids; they want to sit inside them and write or read a book next to the windows. Maybe when spring comes - the garage isn't heated yet.

I still need to paint the fiber cement siding and cedar trim on the front in the spring.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Main photo

I have to give credit where credit is due. My husband took the picture at the top of my blog. He took some photos from the loft of our new garage before the west wall was put up. It's such a pretty view that we wanted some pictures. Someday when we finish that space, we'll want to put a window looking that direction.

The rise you see in the picture is an old roadbed, abandoned when the road was moved - hence the name of my blog. We live on the old road to... well, if you know where I live, you know where.

Bread pudding

I tried making chocolate bread pudding last night. It was not generally a hit. I liked it better than any bread pudding I'd had before (after all, it was chocolate), but I don't like the stuff generally. My older daughter liked it, and that makes it all worthwhile. She has a peanut allergy, so it's not like she can go trying desserts in restaurants. I like to give her opportunities to try new things at home.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Planning the plantings

We've ordered a bunch of plants from Gurney's and Jung catalogs. So far we've gotten the sweet corn seeds. This spring we'll get lots of bareroot fruit trees and plants. I look forward to the years we start getting fruit; it takes some time. One of the new things we're planting is blueberry bushes.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pond skating

My husband and kids like to go skating on our pond. At Christmas, the cousins joined them. It's great to be able to take a short walk through the woods to our own skating rink. But, yes, my husband has to clear off the ice himself (his brother is helping in the picture).

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thing 24

I am working on Thing 24 by creating a blog and registering it, since I didn't do 23 Things on a Stick last year (I just started working in a library). I think I'm going to enjoy this, since I like to write and I participate in other online activities such as Facebook and discussion boards. I've been reading other people's blogs for some time. I enjoy it as a way to keep up with them. I don't usually read blogs unless I actually know the blogger.

First post

Hello! This is my first post as a blogger. It's about time I join the blogosphere. I'm getting a push because I'm doing this as part of a work-related assignment. You will see my 23 assignments on here between now and mid-May.