Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 233 - 12.30.10 - Doug's Birthday

Quick on the heels of Dave's 30th birthday soiree, we held a casual gathering for Doug's 30th. The vino did flow... cake was consumed, and Doug got the Oreo, centrally located in the sweet treat pictured above.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 232 - 12.29.10 - Dave's Birthday

Last night, we celebrated Dave's 30th birthday at his home, where his lovely wife Amanda had arranged for a private chef to prepare us a traditional kangaroo birthday steak... outstanding stuff. It really put a hop in our step for the rest of the eventing... ahem!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 229 - 12.26.10 - Family Christmas Part Two

Christmas continues with the Bransen clan... including our newest niece, Miss Eleanor.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 228 - 12.25.10 - Merry Christmas

This year, it is a white Christmas to be sure...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 227 - 12.24.10 - Ginger Man Time

Nieces Madison & Jillian made some ginger bread men for Christmas Eve devouring... with a little help from G-Ma "Syllie."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 226 - 12.23.10 - Home For Christmas

Home in Elgin for Christmas. As David Brent would say, "This is a perfect example of the king of laughs he have 'round here..." This Ruduolph dances and sings... relentlessly... he had to be hidden from my nieces in a tall lamp...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 223 - 12.20.10 - The Lot Across The Way (A Series) - Part One

Across the street from our home is an unused lot and an abandoned 3 flat. A few early days home from work leading up to Christmas makes for some bleak looking dusk time shots...

Day 222 - 12.19.10 - 5 More Sleeps 'Til X-Mas

Shopping is done (100% online). Presents are wrapped. Calendar is being watched...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 221 - 12.18.10 - DPG's X-Mas Wreath Cookies

Today, I took a run at a Christmas classic, the green wreath cookie. Liberties were taken with the recipe to suit my personal tastes... Red m&ms instead of Red Hots. Browned butter. Sea salt mixed in. Not too bad for a first go...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 220 - 12.17.10 - Miss Eleanor Eberline

Miss Eleanor Kay Eberline was born today to happy parents Tim and Beth, and ecstatic grandparents Wally and Judi. All are happy she will be home for Christmas...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 219 - 12.16.10 - King of Kong

Ozzie has a new toy... something called a Kong... there is peanut butter inside...he is entertained...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 213 - 12.10.10 - MCA - Viewer Appreciation

Took a trip to the MCA yesterday afternoon... There was an exhibition that explored the role of the viewer in art... It was... engaging...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 213 - 12.9.10 - Goodbye Ronny

6 days ago, a Cubs legend passed away. Ron Santo was the Cubs' radio color man, a talented and Hall of Fame caliber third baseman, and the Cubs' all time biggest fan. His death was mourned and his life was celebrated at the beautiful Holy Name Cathedral tonight, with a public visitation. I was honored to be there...

Day 212 - 12.8.10 - Tree Time - A Holiday Series (Part 5)

Day 211 - 12.7.10 - Tree Time - A Holiday Series (Part 4)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 208 - 12.4.10 - First Snow Fallin'

The first accumulation of the year has arrived...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 207 - 12.3.10 - Houston, Texas (Day 3)

This place has top of the line communications technology... Time to come home...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 206 - 12.2.10 - Houston, Texas (Day 2)

Stuck at the Houston Airport Marriott without a rental car... The indoor / outdoor pool qualifies as supreme entertainment...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 205 - 12.1.10 - Houston, Texas (Day 1)

Work has taken me to Houston, Texas... The airport Marriott in Houston, Texas... This carpet is here to greet me...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 202 - 11.28.10 - Pasta e Fagioli at Last...

The finished product... garnished with homemade croutons, Parmesan, and olive oil... not to bad for beans, garlic, tomatoes, carrots, sage, and onions...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 201 - 11.27.10 - Pasta e Fagioli

Today, I decided to take a crack at an Italian classic... paste e fagioli soup. I first fell in love with this soup at Olive Garden, but as I grew up and my culinary horizons broadened, I discovered that the pasta e fagioli at Olive Garden is not a pasta e fagioli at all. It is still delicious, but not a pasta e fagioli. This is a run at the classic recipe... mistake number 1, the beans must soak overnight... soup tomorrow...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 200 - 11.26.10 - Loving Leftovers

This year, Thanksgiving was held at the Bransen home, and my mom drove in from Elgin for the fantastic meal prepared by Lauren's mom. After the feast, Lauren and I drove out to Elgin to spend the night and spend some time at my childhood home. As the Bransen leftovers made their way to the fridges of various other Bransen family members, my mom, not wanting Lauren and I to miss out on the tradition of leftovers, made turkey, taters, and stuffing, just for Lauren and I to take home. 100% pure leftover gold. Thanks mom.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 199 - 11.25.10 - Happy Thanksgiving

The bird is the word. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 198 - 11.24.10 - Lovely LaSalle County

Already planning for a half day in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday, I was informed late in the day Tuesday that a Wednesday morning court appearance in LaSalle County would be mine. With travel time and the hearing itself, this was my work day in one simple task. It was a nice drive west along I-80 to Ottawa, Illinois, a quaint little town that appeared to be quietly waiting for Thanksgiving. An agreed order was entered before the Court's call, I snapped a photo, and made my way to Park Ridge to relax. Long weekend, commence...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 197 - 11.23.10 - Jumping The Holiday Gun

Normally, I'm against any sort of Christmas prep before Thanksgiving, but on Tuesday Lauren and I picked up some Advent calendars just to be sure our holiday chocolate supply was complete and pre-rationed. Looking forward to December 1st. I bet the first tasty treat will be a wreath... or a bunny... or a beach ball...