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My Dad’s plum trees are overflowing with “cooking” plums. I couldn’t stand to see them go to waste so we picked a couple of buckets for freezing and drying so we could do something fabulous with them a little later when we had more time. I ended up bringing about 4 dozen back to the city because I was going to experiment with them in my juicer. Before I could find a juicing recipe I stumbled across an “easy plum jam” recipe and decided to go for it. The recipe really is so simple a monkey could do it.

I took a few liberties with the recipe (since I’m clearly an expert) and left the skins on because that’s how my Mom did it. And why not? Peeling plums sounds like a pain. I also used my food processor to chop them rather than doing it by hand. It takes about 30 or so plums to make 1 pint which is all I ended up making. I tried the jam this morning and am happy to report that it’s quite delicious! Not as good as my Mom’s and a little less firm, but definitely edible.

Next time I’m going to make jam at my Dad’s and use my Mom’s recipe. Plus, all the canning stuff is there so I can boil jars like a real expert. Look out Martha…

Plums!

Plums!

Chop, chop

Chop, chop

Cooking...er...preserving?

Cooking…er…preserving?

Jam!

Jam!

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Down to the wire…about 3 more hours of work until I have successfully made it through the Holiday season. After that it’s making the rounds visiting family & friends. Up to St. Helena tonight to visit friends and down to San Jose tomorrow to spend Christmas with The Pookies. Can’t wait!

Merry Christmas to you & yours!

My goal is that the next time it rains I will have new splash-worthy rain boots for puddle jumping. It’s good to have goals, right? And with rain expected next Thursday I better get on it!

I’m really leaning toward the classic Hunter rain boot (color TBD); however, after reading a few reviews I might need to settle for the shorter version…thanks to my…ahem…”big-boned” calves. Those green Sperry Top-Sider boots are tempting too. I think someone might need to do a little personal Christmas shopping this weekend!

Do you have a favorite pair of rain boots? Please share!

Dear Steve Trevor,

I just left Paradise Island and have moved into my new apartment. Since Christmas is right around the corner I thought I’d give you a hint as to what I’d like to find under my Christmas tree. I would hate for you to spend money on jewelry. How many pairs of gold bracelets does a girl need? I don’t actually know what to do with this machine, but it matches my underoos which I think is pretty cool!

Yours Truly,

Diana Prince

..

What a great weekend! Pookie and Mini-Pookie came to SF for a sleepover! We took the bus (Mom would be so impressed) to Fisherman’s Wharf, checked out the sea lions, rode the carousel, got giant pretzels, picked up Kara’s Cupcakes for dessert, AND opened presents! (There will be more on the gifts later this week). So fun!

My apartment is space challenged so MP had dinner on the sofa with her mac & cheese propped on top of my jewelry box which doubled as her “table”. Pookie & I had a fajita picnic on my bed which was less awkward than it sounds. We had to move MP to the kitchen floor for the cupcake part of the program…I think you can see why…

My dear friend Nanny B sent me a sweet care package the other day. (It sure is fun getting stuff in the mail)! As you may know, I am training for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk along with 9 other team members. It’s a 2-day, 39 mile journey to raise money for cancer screenings and research. My team has raised $15,616 so far and we are one of the top SF fundraisers (ranked #7)! The care package was walk related and here’s what it contained:

Contents:
Cutie Patootie socks (I really needed new socks…I busted these open right away)
Water Bottle (Hydration is key)
Luna Bars (Snacks are key)
Foot Creme to “keep my puppies nice and hydrated”

Nanny and her sister also sent me a gift certificate to their spa Glow in Napa. Aren’t they the sweetest? I’m soooooooo excited for a little relaxation!

Last Friday I opened my mailbox to find an absolutely stunning Valentine card created by my Aunt Jill. She makes the most beautiful note cards by hand and each one is a work of art. Receiving a card from Jill has to be like finding the “golden ticket” in a Wonka bar. It instantly makes you feel like the most special person in the whole world. My eyes get bug-eyed and I’m left in awe. I mean, HOW on earth does she make them SO perfectly, amazing?? I’ve saved every card she’s sent because one of these days I’m going to figure out a way to display them.

This Valentine was also extra special because usually I find a handmade Valentine from mumsie in my mailbox. It was comforting to get this very thoughtful, snail mail hug.

My lucky valentine

Masterpieces 1, 2, & 3

I received the most beautimous bouquet of Peruvian Lilies (uncommonly known as Alstroemeria) for my birthday. I’ve had them for over a week and they still look amazing!

Here’s a little trivia from Wikipedia: “Perhaps the most fascinating- and telltale- morphological trait of Alstroemeria and its relatives is the fact that the leaves are resupinate, that is, they twist from the base so that what appears to be the upper leaf surface is in fact the lower leaf surface. This very unusual botanical feature is easily observed in the leaves on cut flowers from the florist.”

Resupinate, shmoopinate…they’re just pretty!

IMG_0952

Check out the super fun wine glass Pookie got me for my birthday! They’re made by “Designs by Lolita” which sounds a little risque, but from what I can tell it’s just good, clean fun. Not only are they cute-to-boot, but each glass has a unique drink recipe on the bottom. And if that isn’t enough…they come with a travel case so you can celebrate in various locations.

“Birthday Cake”:

1oz Vanilla Schnapps
1oz Almond Schnapps
Fill with white wine

IMG_0771

Update: Be wary of using “Lolita” as a tag…I’m getting some interesting Vietnamese spam. Apparently I have “very bootiful website”! Ha!

I went to San Jose yesterday to visit Pookie (aka #7), J, mini-pookie, and to celebrate my birthday a little early. I can’t tell you how thoughtful and unselfish Pookie is…who else would buy me a Vera Bradley sunhat exactly like her own because I’ve been raving about hers ever since she bought it? A proper thank you will be snail mailed, but…I love it, love it, LOVE it!!

Now, hang on to your hat because I was also gifted with a set of torpedos that are used in the pool. I used my nephews to the point of exhaustion over the 4th of July weekend and now I have my very own!

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