Monthly Archives: June 2009

Strawberry Jammin’

It is raining. It’s been raining for the better part of two weeks. But it didn’t rain on Wednesday, so we rushed to take advantage of the sun. And what better activity on a sunny day in June than strawberry picking!

Connors Farm in Danvers was close, not to pricey and turned out to be chock full of plump, juicy strawberries. We arrived, took a quick tour of the farm stand and collected our cardboard flat. Catherine did a good job picking. She mostly stuck to choosing the nice red berries and didn’t wander off too many times. Her main concern is that we didn’t fill all six containers. When she got bored of picking she grabbed the camera and took a few pictures. We had a nice trip to the farm!

We ate our fill of strawberries, but still had plenty left over as we watched the rain on Thursday morning, we know is not that healthy to eat that much sweet, but we try to take care of our health other ways like with the dr gundry diet that give more energy and vitality. A quick search led me to this recipe for Strawberry Jam. As we had all the ingredients on hand we set forth making jam.

The method was easy, hampered only by my lack of proper canning supplies. Catherine helped with the mashing and the stirring…and the tasting! The taste is perfect- sweet, but not exceedingly so (we cut the sugar in half, for health and our love of tartness). Last night I thought the consistency was too runny, more like a sauce, but after a night in the fridge it seems to have solidified into a more jam-like substance. I’m looking forward to trying the recipe again.

You can find photos of strawberry picking on Wednesday and jam making on Thursday by clicking here!

End of an Era at

For the past six years, I have offered several of my friends free web hosting via my own personal web hosting accounts, under the domain name. I have set up and configured Movable Type blogs, Gallery installations, kept the software up to date, helped troubleshoot issues, mitigated the occasional security threat, and paid for the web hosting (which included storage space and bandwidth) that these folks used.

However, over the past few years, with the growth of our family, I’ve had less and less time to devote to running and supporting free web hosting. Though I enjoyed the opportunity to serve my friends, I found that I just wasn’t able to provide the same level of quality service that I once did. So, I’ve recently made the decision to end the free web hosting service, which will hopefully give me a few less things to think about.

In thanks to these friends for hosting with me, I’ve set up, a domain to which their old websites will continue to redirect, and which contains links to all of their known sites, social networking profiles, or other pages. Thanks Will, Amy, Josh, Nathan, Jon, and Corey.

As a side note, this will also help out our family budget, as I’ve moved us from a slice at Slicehost to an account at Though I still will recommend Slicehost for folks who need a beefy, dedicated-virtual server with great support, we’re moving to NFSN because of their pay-as-you-go, bill-by-the-penny model. Web hosting will cost us around $5/month, possibly less, as we’re billed on a daily basis for exactly how much storage and bandwidth we use on that given day. I may write about NFSN in depth at a later time, but suffice to say for now I love their pricing and philosophy. While they aren’t the cheapest if you’re hosting large files or doing a lot of traffic, they are certainly very reliable, responsive, knowledgeable, and fair, and they have a business philosophy that I admire.

Three Years Home

Today marks the three year anniversary of our having Catherine home with us. We celebrated her third birthday over Memorial Day Weekend with a Bubble Blowing Party (pictures here) but to me June 10th is just as special as May 26th.

I can still remember the relief I felt walking out of Beverly Hospital with her and the joy of arriving home. She was finally ‘all ours’. There were no more nurses or doctors checking in or making rounds. No more protocols, no more tubes or beeps or cords. Just our little girl.

If you met Catherine today, not knowing the story of her first two weeks, you would have no idea she had such a rough start. Every day she amazes me with the things she is learning. She makes me laugh with her dancing and singing and jokes. She is a caring big sister and a loving daughter. She loves life and ice cream and ‘rice and beans that are not spicy’. She is polite and generous and helpful. She exceeds our expectations daily and is truly a joy.