Something Not So Dreary

Yesterday our daughter came home from college.  It’s not a huge thing as it’s only about 45 minutes (2 hours during rush hour) driving time to get home.  But still, it’s nice seeing her.

I did the stereotypical guy thing yesterday; cook meat on a grill.  Perhaps not so stereotypical, I also made up a fruit salad, a pasta salad and twice baked potatoes.

Our daughter is not a huge meat eater.  She likes a good steak, but like me, she wouldn’t want to eat that every day.  She loves the fruit and pasta salads, but the twice baked potatoes are special.  This morning, I got a text message from her,   “Dad.  I really wouldn’t mind if you made more twice baked potatoes.  I’d come home to get them.”

I have a red 3 ring binder that is full of my favorite recipes that I’ve found, created , heard about, or adapted to my own use.  I’d guess there are 50 pages in the book and they date back to my college days.  The twice baked potatoes recipe is among them.

I will need to make copies for her.

Rambling

Our daughter seems to be adjusting to dorm life very nicely.  The arrangement is 2 girls in one room and two girls in the adjacent room with common bathroom for both rooms.  So far the only issue has been one girl in the adjoining room that is running a bit wild and annoying the other three girls.  When everyone was moving in, I met “wild child” and her parents.  My guess is that it’s a case of her never being allowed any freedom at home and now she’s not sure how to live without a parent keeping things under control.  Everyone is hoping she settles down.  I think she will settle down once she realizes the hangovers and people making fun of her drunkenness are not as fun as it seemed a few weeks ago.


This summer was the final year of a lady’s 27 years of driving the school bus.  Since then, the school has been looking, without success, for a new driver.  Until they find a regular driver, I’m driving the bus every morning.

This means the alarm clock rings at 4:45am instead of 5:30am and the day ends, as usual, with me getting home around 7pm.

They have someone that has stepped up to the challenge and is studying for their class B commercial driver license with the P and S endorsements.   While driving the bus is a lot of fun, I will be glad to get the extra 45 minutes “sack time” each morning.


The old Volvo I drive to work had a slight oil leak that I fixed.  The oil from the leak contaminated the insulators on the spark plugs and that was causing a misfire–the engine was running rough and getting worse than normal gas mileage.  After cleaning things, the engine is now running perfectly.  This isn’t bad for a car with close to 400,000 miles on it.

 

Today is the Day.

In about 2 hours, we will be leaving with our daughter to move her into the college dorm.

It’s hard to believe the time has gone by so quickly.

I can remember lots of things.  The evening before our daughter was born, we stopped by a grilled chicken place and had a light dinner.  It was  the last time we ate out as a couple.  At midnight, labor started.  Just before 5:30am we left for the hospital.  Seven hours later, we were a family.

I remember the feeling of awe looking at her in the little plastic basket on the scale.  I remember looking at her tiny fingers, toes, nose, eyes and ears.  I remember her cry sounding like a tiny kitten.  I remember the excitement of all four brand new grandparents.

We have a picture of our daughter getting on  the bus for the first day of kindergarten.  The last day of 8th grade, we have a picture of her getting off of the same bus.  This time, my wife was driving the bus.

Driving lessons. Driving test.  First car crash..thankfully a very minor one.  Prom. boyfriend.   High school graduation.

And now, a bit more than 18-1/2 years after it started, college.  We raised her to be a hard worker, unafraid of showing her intelligence, capabilities and confidence and I hope it carries her far .  While we will still be offering “life lessons”, we will no longer be center stage.

This is how it always has been and how it should be.

 

Sourdough Waffles

Today was one of the sourdough feeding days.  Instead of drying the starter out to save it, I keep it in the refrigerator and feed (or use and replenish) the starter a couple of times a week.  But before I can feed it, I have to let it warm up on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours.

Our daughter noticed the starter out on the counter and asked if I could make sourdough waffles tomorrow.  She had even picked out a recipe at  King Arthur Flour sourdough waffle   for me and got the strawberries at the store.  It is not possible for me to say no to sourdough waffles (or pancakes).

The sourdough sponge is in a bowl–waiting until tomorrow morning and so is the old Griswold cast iron waffle iron.

High School Graduate

It was about now in 1997 when my wife’s pregnancy test showed the two lines (pregnant).  I was excited.  My wife was not quite so excited at first, but as time went on, and she could feel baby’s movements, her excitement level went *WAY* up.

Our daughter was born in early January, 1998.   We left for the hospital around 5am and she was born at 12:30pm.  She weighed 6-1/2 pounds and was just over 20 inches long.  I still remember the feeling of amazement and awe as I looked at her laying in the little plastic bin on the weight scale.  These memories are so strong that it seems that this happened just a few days ago.

Rolling over, crawling, solid food, first words, first steps, planting sunflower seeds, helping me in the garden, reading, first day of kindergarten, school dances, 8th grade graduation, driving license, prom and yesterday, high school graduation.

It’s going so quickly.

 

Daughter. Home on the Range

pistolYesterday I left work early and when I got home, my daughter asked if we could go to the shooting range.  Normally I get home too late to do this.  I happily agreed.  She usually shoots a .22LR rifle, but tonight she wanted to try the pistol out.

The pistol is a Ruger Mark 3 .22LR caliber pistol.  It’s one of my favorite pistols to shoot and it’s a perfect for someone (like her) just learning how to shoot a pistol.

If you look closely at the target, you can see a thick yellow line at the top center of the target.  Those are where the bullets struck the target. I took the picture just after she fired her 8th shot.  When we pulled the target in to check the target,  all 10 shots had hit “right there”.

You are correct, she is not hitting the “bull’s eye”.  Learning to shoot well enough to get the bullet strikes clustered together is the difficult part.  A simple adjustment of the pistol will move the cluster to the bulls eye.

Since it’s my pistol, and it’s adjusted for me, she had to be content with “clusters”.  When she turns 21, if she wants a pistol, I’ll get her one.  I will also buy a *strong* lock box for the pistol…it’s the gun owner’s equivalent of a pool owner’s fence.