šŸ“· Finished gate camera housing

The housing for the Nest cam at our gate is done. The camera is now better protected from the weather. The only downside is that the infrared light attracts insects. A spider noticed this and is building a web in front of the lens. šŸ˜ 

The housing for the Nest cam at the gate is done!

āš’ Re-grouting kitchen counter

I continued making improvements in the kitchen. Grout between the tiles on the counter was breaking loose. In other places, the grout was so thin that we often had some standing water in between the tiles. To address both problems, I removed the old grout and replaced it with new, mildew resistant grout. Such an improvement, even though we still have an ugly counter.

Regrouting the kitchen counter

ā˜• Re-finishing coffee table

The countertop where we keep the coffee/tea makers wasn't looking so good either. It had some water stains and its finish was looking thin in places. To refinish it, I temporarily replaced the countertop with an upside down cabinet door. I stripped the finish and sanded the countertop in the workshop before coating it with a new finish.

Refinishing the coffee/tea countertop

šŸ½ Re-finishing kitchen table

Last, but not least, our kitchen table needed some work. The table is made from particleboard with a thin veneer. The finish on the veneer was worn through in places. To the point that the veneer started to wear through.

I took a chance and sanded down the finish. Being careful, I kept the veneer below the finish intact. Then patched the worn veneer spots with wood filler. And finally, sprayed a new finish on. This was the first time I use the High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP) spray gun I'd picked up on Craigslist a while back. I'm super happy with the super smooth finish I was able to attain. šŸ‘

šŸ€ 2nd place basketball

Casper's basketball team placed 2nd in the Boys and Girls club league. They played the last few games in the Kaiser Permanente Arena, home of the Santa Cruz Warriors.

The team played really well. The final game for first place was a nail biter! They just lost. The team has come a long way from their first training session. Casper's skills and confidence grew a lot along the way.

2nd place basketball
Casper's team won 2nd place in the basketball tournament.

šŸ‡³šŸ‡± Goodbye Dutch "cookbook"

The Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant (in Dutch only), had a fun cooking column when I attended the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The humorous column covered cuisine from all over the world. I collected my favorite recipes in a notebook. Years later, I brought this notebook with me to the USA.

I rarely cook recipes from this hand made "cookbook" anymore and since I'm the only one in our household who reads Dutch, it was time to let go. But not after photographing a few recipes I might want to hang on to. Including some Southern USA comfort food. šŸ˜‹

De Volkskrant cookbook

šŸ¢ Casper visits Google

Casper came to work with me during a school break. I swear he just comes for the food. And maybe wasting away the time on a device in between meals.

Casper visits Google

āšœ Casper sworn in as Scout

Scout master Scott Caldwell of Troop 633 swore Casper in as a Scout in the troop. Casper now wears the troop's neckerchief.

Casper swearing in as scout of troop 633

šŸŒø Spring is here

It has been nice to notice the weather change. The blossom on fruit trees, the rising temperatures and the sunny days have been a lovely change from the wet winter we've had.

šŸ›€ Hot tub research

Though there is still more work to be done before we can install a new hot tub, we started researching hot tubs. There are only a couple of hot tub stores in Santa Cruz so we must travel to test several brands.

Costco often has attractively priced hot tubs on sale and we want to be ready to make a decision when the next sale comes around. At the moment we don't know how Costco's hot tubs stack up against the competition. So, we've started our due diligence.