Zolander has landed!

Mission to Earth

For the next 7 years the Zolander landing craft will be exploring the remote eastern edge of the SF bay on the western coast of the American continent on a plant know as Earth. This mission will not only determine the surrounding geology, but will be the final interaction the craft will have with the local population. It will truly test the engineers design and the future of humanity.

Big thanks to all who helped and especially Shannon with the forklift.

Check out Shannon’s Neverwas Haul a giant Victorian House on wheels!

We are so glad to have such a great place for our daughter to play and learn. Thank you APS community!

More pictures

Happy Easter Eggs


Friday was good, but Saterday was even better! We went to a birthday party, dyed eggs and got 4 more wheelchairs to make into something!

Hot on my honey/daddy do list is:

  1. Lady bug
  2. Deco Gargoyle
  3. Earwig
  4. Zeppelin

Homemade Fig Jam

The rains a few weeks ago came at just the right time for our last fig crop of the year making them nice and plump. Conveniently the biggest branch, well out of reach and covered with figs, snapped in the rain giving us figs galore right at our feet! Zolie and I picked them and cut firewood Sunday and started making Jam early Monday morning. After getting things started, Zolie got Kyrsten up to speed so I could get to work. While I was gone the two of them reduced the mix down to very nice jam, canned it and even made beautiful labels. We tried out the new fig jam this morning on pancakes with the homemade butter we made a few weeks back. Yum! Apple butter is next!

Zolie’s Fig Jam

Boiling water (enough to cover figs completely)
4 qts fresh figs (8 cups crushed)
2 cups Sugar
3 cups water
8 slices lemon
Pour boiling water over figs; let stand 15 minutes. Drain and thoroughly rinse in cold water. Pat dry; remove stems. Crush and measure figs; place in large heavy pot. Add 1/4 cup sugar for each cup of crushed figs. Add 3 cups water. Bring to a rapid boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 3 hours or until thickened, stirring occasionally.Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace; add a slice of lemon to each jar. Cover at once with metal lids and screw on bands finger tight. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Yield: 8, 1/2 pints.

Homemade Butter

My daughter Zolie and I thought it would be fun to make butter to go with Mom’s pancakes. My local homeless friend Hank found this great Daisy Churn #4 for me a few weeks back. With the leftover cream from the birthday pies we made last week and a copy of Joy of Cooking from 1964 we got to work. Right away we knew we were in for the long haul when we read “how much slower the process was in threatening or stormy weather”. We looked outside and saw it was still raining. We worked the handle on top of the table, then on the floor and finally we moved out to the living room to catch a movie while we finished. Finally we had what looked like butter. After removing it from the churn and washing with cold water we had to decide what kind of salt to add. We split it up and added French British Maldon sea salt to half and Korean parched salt to the other. The whole time we made it Zolie kept telling me to go slower dad. How she knew that I have no idea. I kept asking her where she lived last and who she was. Old souls make great butter even in the rain!

cranking hard on the table

It’s thicker now and she had to move it to the floor for better leverage.

Home made butter on Kyrsten’s buckwheat pancakes!


The butter tastes great and the little bit of Buttermilk left in pockets of the butter makes it moist on toast.

Buttermilk will get used this Sat. for more Pancakes and fresh butter!

Here is how you can make at home

Make Butter

Tomato Trellis and Family

Zolie amazing Karydis with her Tomato crop

When I was Zolie’s age now my dad put in his first garden at our house in Boise Idaho. Tomatoes have always been grown in our Basque family and we have taken pride in them for generations. I remember us taking first place in the Idaho State fair in the mid 70’s for the biggest tomato! We were just shy of a world record! I recall it taking several jars for mom to can and it was as big as my sisters and I head. Over the years my dad worked out a system of supports for the huge plants we would grow that I still use today in the garden with Zolie. Well now he has improved it and he sent me his updated system and photos of the results (see link below)!


Taxidermy Department at CAL

Taxidermy Department at CAL

After missing the preschool deadline for my daughter Zoile (a week after I met my wife Kyrsten) we thought we should get the jump on college for Zolie, so we took her to CalDay to sign her up for college. We thought she might like taxidermy but she was visibly disturbed by all the dead stuff. She was back to her happy self once we found some live things (bunnies, lizards, and these great stick bugs).


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