This is a really simple but fun and interactive gift idea. If you’ve never made butter at home you really have to try this. So amazing to see the transformation. Doing this with family is a great way to teach them about how their ancestors did something basic like making butter. Today we are so far removed from where our food comes from. Click on either of the photos from step by step directions if you need them.
We had a breakthrough in the last week on the route my Dad took to Key West. He had 30 days leave after finishing instructors school in San Diego. I assumed he spent that time with his parents. But this last week my Dad remembered that he went to the Bay area to visit a friend and her family. We are pretty sure that he drove from there to Key West not from San Diego. We also think that he picked up his car in San Francisco. His transfer orders show him flying from Barbers Point in Hawaii to Moffett Field in the Bay area to San Diego and then checking in at the Naval Training Center in San Diego.
He remembers taking a train from San Francisco to Palo Alto where his friend Pat lived and a couple of outings while there. So he must have picked up his car there. He remembers once picking up a car and having to replace the battery. This time makes the most sense because of how long it would have been since he had driven it. You had to turn the car in a couple of weeks before your departure. Then it would have come by boat and sat waiting for him for at least 4 weeks. That would have been 6 weeks and maybe two more weeks of his leave before he picked it up.
Yesterday we got together and plotted his most probable route and likely cities he might have stopped in each night. Her remembered a couple of things along the route. He drove near a small town in Arizona where Pat’s family used to live. He wondered if he had taken the now famous historic route 66. He knows he didn’t drive through New Orléans until a few years later after my parents were married. He also remember taking what was then known as route 41 down through Florida. Adding all of that together we are pretty sure of most of the route.
We know he arrived two days early. He had 13 days for travel. So assuming he left 13 days before he was due in Key West we figure he made it in 11 days. I thought it was his first time really driving cross-country by him self but I found out that when he was in Key West before he drove his motorcycle from Key West to Chicago where his parents were living at the time. On that trip he rain into some cold wet weather. So even though this trip was hot (being early September) it must have been much easier physically than a couple thousand mile road trip on a motorcycle in March.
Here are our current guesses at his stops each night and the number of miles it takes to get there on today’s roads:
- Bakerfields, California (261 miles) 29 August
- Needles, California (272 miles) 30 August
- Holbrook, Arizona (298 miles) 31 August
- Silver City, New Mexico (230 miles) 1 September
- Pecos, Texas (364 miles) 2 September
- Cisco, Texas (239 miles) 3 September
- Shreveport, Louisiana (323 miles) 4 September
- Meridian, Mississippi (306 miles) 5 September
- Albany, Georgia (336 miles) 6 September
- Lakeland, Florida (340 miles) 7 September
- Miami, Florida (279 miles) – 8 September
- Key West, Florida (156 miles) – 9 September
This is pure speculation of course and we ended up with one more day than we think it took him but also a theory on why. My Dad check in at 0915 on September 9th. There really isn’t any place he would have likely stayed past Miami and yet to get from Miami to Key West that early in the morning means he would have to get up really early. So maybe when he got to Miami late he just decided to keep right on going and got to Key West the next morning. Hopefully some more memories will come back to him and we can have more confidence in this trip.
My next task is to look up the historical weather data for the days we think he was in each of these towns so we can use it to flesh out more of what his trip was probably like. I’m really enjoying the time that I get to spend with my Dad working on this project.
Here are several great ways to share the “pumpkin” spirit this fall. Do you have memories of your grandfather’s pumpkin patch, or going to the local farmer to find just the perfect pumpkin. Chances are your family has some tradition that revolves around pumpkins either as jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin pies. Any of these ideas gives you the perfect opportunity to share those memories or even make some new ones.
I finally figured out how to do the faces for the figures. Yeah! The first one I did was the Nutcracker and I didn’t like how he turned out but wasn’t sure what to do about it. He just looked old and not very happy. Bill suggested that the fondant was to bumpy. I was pretty sure this from the texture of the Styrofoam base.
So taking that into account I tried again with man. I put some extra fondant down for his cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. This was to give the flat form of the Styrofoam more of the shape of a face. Then I rolled out a really thin sheet of the fondant (it is actually half fondant and half gum paste) and laid that over the whole face area. I smoothed that out and did a little adjustment to the shaping. Next step was to roll out a thicker layer of skin colored fondant and put that down over the other two layers.So far so good, I was feeling hopeful at this point.
After smoothing that out, I added his ears, a nose, cut in a mouth and poked holes through the fondant for his eyes. I widened the eye holes out a bit and put in two small balls of white fondant and patted that down into an eye shape. Next came two small green balls of fondant for his iris that I smooshed flat and finally two tiny black balls for the pupils, also smooshed flat. I like how he came out! I also got the woman done. There is hope after all! When I get the rest of the faces done, I will probably go back and do the Nutcracker over. But I’ll wait in case time gets critical and I can’t get it done.
We had five kids from the Youth Council come on Saturday. The cars for the Ferris wheel are almost all covered on the outside with licorice. Bill got the pillow blocks for the Ferris wheel axle. The batteries for his drill died so he went to get some new ones and ended up with a new drill. Same price as buying two batters plus it included a charger. Then he got called back into work so he only made a little progress. Bill is thinking about taking a couple of days off this week so he can get some more time in on the Ferris wheel.
Just got word today that Emma won’t be assigned to a training string until November 3rd. If I understand right, the reports for Thursday’s phase reports are turned in the Friday before. If that is the case then we won’t see Emma’s name on the phase report until November 13th, two months after we put her on the puppy truck for San Rafael. I really appreciate our CFR (community field representative) for the heads up on this. I had noticed that it was taking what seemed like a long time for former breeder eval dogs to show up on the phase report, but this is a really, really long time. I was hoping she would show up yesterday.
Fable is growing fast and learning everyday. Some days are a struggle but she is improving. I can’t wait until she can walking nicely with her head collar on. Right now socializing takes ever ounce of attention and patience I have. I’ve continued doing #Inktober drawings of Fable. Here are the last weeks efforts.
When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I imagined doing it with hand prints from every member of the family. The instructions are geared to kids and certainly this would be a great craft for kids to do at a family gathering. But what if each hand was from a different family member. Maybe your family can’t all be together for the holidays. You could have them send a tracing of their hand so they could be included too. I can also see this with candy in the jar instead of glitter. Candy is always a great addition to a project.
An additional idea would be to share something you are thankful about the person whose hand print it is or a story or favorite memory could be shared. You could even write it on the hand print and then attach it to the “turkey”. What love and sense of family that turkey would then represent. You can find the step by step instructions here.
Well, I don’t have total success to report but I did get some writing in (about half of the days). My parents are coming down on Friday, so I should get some time with my Dad over the next couple of weeks. When he called today he wanted me to find a road map for the 50s. I was glad I could tell him that I already had one. I even had it out on my desk from today’s attempt at writing about his cross-country drive to get to Key West from San Diego.
I also called about setting up a SCUBA class. Not surprising there isn’t anything available for October but they haven’t set up November yet. So they will contact me when they get that arranged. I have mixed feelings about taking the class. It’s just an hour so how bad can it be. But I think it will really be helpful in writing this history, so I’ll do it. Maybe it will be more fun than I expect.
I hope I’ll be reporting more writing progress with next weeks update than I did this week.