Monday, May 31, 2010

Fanime 2010

You see the strangest things on the streets of San Jose, California every Memorial Day weekend....
sometimes you recognize them....

and sometimes you don't.

Sometimes you gotta go, "Awwwwww"....

and sometimes you gotta go, "Eeewwww!"

But you've just got to love their dedication, creativity,

and plain old hard work

to make these wonderful costumes.

This was Teen2's third time at Fanime and my second. Fanime is a sort of convention for gamers/anime fans/cosplayers; but if you have any young folks at home, perhaps they can explain it better. I just enjoy looking at all the great costumes and sometimes wish I could dress up too. Hmmmm, maybe I could be Betty White?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mardi Gras in May?

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! What, you say it's not Mardi Gras? You'll have to tell our Gourmand Club, because last night we definitely thought it was.

We had crayfish, red beans and rice, collard greens, and King Cake for dessert. I've never had King Cake, heck, until last week, I'd never even heard of King Cake, but I made one anyway. It's not really a cake at all. It's sweet yeast bread that's slathered in cinnamon and braided. Kind of like stollen or cinnamon rolls, but iced and sprinkled with colored sugars.
And what a mess I made. I actually laughed out loud at this stage, but when I put it on the fancy platter it looked pretty good. And folks who'd had it before said it tasted good too, but what a lot of trouble just to hide a little plastic baby. Unless I go to another Mardi Gras party I don't think I'll be making this again. If I'm going to go to the trouble to make a sweet yeast bread, I think I'll just finish it off as cinnamon rolls.

But that's what I like about our Gourmand Club; it forces one to try new things, experiment with new recipes, and experience different cultures. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hot Cocoa

This rose is named Hot Cocoa. I love its various shades of dusty brownish red.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sidewalk Art

Teen2 participated in a nice project over the weekend. It was a sidewalk art festival at a local shopping center. Her high school art department has been doing this for several years. This year's theme was Old Masters with a New Twist.
Teen2 chose The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai, painted in 1832. In the original Mt. Fuji is placid and the men on the boat are bowing before the wave, but in her version Godzilla is riding the wave, Mt. Fuji is erupting, and the boatmen are firing weapons at Godzilla. And the sun is the giant red dot of Japan's flag.

This one is Degas' The Dance Class painted in 1874. The students and teacher are all fish! Very nice.

And everyone recognized Van Gogh's The Starry Night, but in this one Batman is on the scene.

This is an adaptation of Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp painted in 1632. Their teacher did this one. I guess he just couldn't resist - he had to be here all day checking kids in and out and passing out chalk, so why not? The faces are his students and that's him on the table. Isn't that a riot? I don't know if he's trying to say they've sucked the life out of him, or just saying a teacher gives and gives of himself, but it's awfully funny.

There were also paintings set up like a gallery in an empty shop. This is Van Gogh's Oleanders painted in 1888 - well actually it was painted by Teen2 in 2009. Anyway, I really like how the instructor makes the kids study and paint the old masters. Maybe we've got a modern day Van Gogh living with us here Amongst The Oaks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Speaking of the Census.....

Did you know the 1930 census is now available online to genealogists? Yep, it is and that's where I've been lately; searching the 1930 census (through to find all those lost relatives in my family tree. And I'm doing fairly well. The trick is to search any and all first names and/or initials, use spouse's names to further refine the search, and just keep digging.

So I've decided to take a break from blogging for a while and concentrate on my genealogy. But I'll post a photo of one of my flowers now and then just to let you know I'm still around. Thanks for visiting us here Amongst The Oaks.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Old Family Photo 1947

Recently we celebrated my great aunt's 99th birthday. There were cards, flowers, cousins, cake and old family photos. This was one of the old photos. It shows a family reunion at my Granny and Grandpa's house around 1947. Six of my grandmother's siblings (out of 11) made it to the party with their spouses and children. So I easily recognize my mom and her siblings, and some of my cousins, but some of those great uncles and second cousins are a mystery. Thankfully, my dad and aunt recognize more of the people and we are gradually figuring everyone out. Thank goodness for these old relatives and their memories. And thank goodness for the ancestor who had the idea to record this occasion on film.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to you
from all of us
here Amongst The Oaks