Life is good. Sometimes.

Life is good.

It’s early morning. The house is still. Everyone else is asleep. Outside a cold wind blows on another dreary day. Hot water is poured over freshly ground Kenya Kiambu Handege coffee beans. Vermont maple syrup is drizzled over a slice of homemade cinnamon bread soaked in egg, fried in a pan, then sprinkled with a shave of nutmeg. It’s time to window shop on the vintage 1970s and 1980s electronics and camera section of Facebook Marketplace. Life is good.

Submitted for the 100DaysToOffload.

Isolation Photo Project, Day 55

When I woke up this morning, I had a craving for French toast. I don’t know why I did. I just did. But then I looked in the fridge and saw that we had only one egg left. But fortunately, that’s all I needed to make one slice of French toast. That’s what I discovered after doing an internet search for French toast recipes.

I found the Best French Toast Recipe by Jillian Guyette, a food writer for delish. Her recipe is a simplified American version of Pain Perdu. In France, the original recipe is called Pain Perdu which translates as “lost bread”, probably because one of the ingredients is stale bread which would be thrown out if not repurposed.

Of course, now I had something new to try out my food photography skills. This morning I managed to get a combination of kitchen window light, overhead 6500k LED lighting, and the reflector to work together. I like the result, but I keep wishing I had a better background. That blank wall needs a large canvas print.

Saturday 16 May, 2020 | Day 55 | FujiFilm X-T2 | XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR | f/8.0 | ISO 200

We had another beautiful sunny but cool day and we felt it was the right weather for some socially distant outdoor dining. The Brick Farm Tavern offered lunch take out today but with a twist. Customers were encouraged to pre-order food and drink for take-out and sit at any of the many socially distant outdoor tables on the back lawn.

Bhavna and I thought it was a great way to spend some time outside the house. We ordered our food with a growler of New Jersey craft ale, found a table in the corner under a tree. We both enjoyed the experience and Bhavna wants to do it again.

Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.

Isolation Photo Project, Day 5: Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve

Last night I had to ask my wife what day of the week it was. I'm losing track of time as each day blends into the other. Regarding Jeff's isolation project, I'm not sure what day this is1, and I'm not strictly following the rules2, but I want to continue using the project as a distraction. Having something to look forward to is helping with my anxiety. I've also decided to write these posts as the day goes along instead of waiting to the end of the day.

The alarm clock sounded off at the usual 6 AM, and I woke up to take my Synthroid3 then went back to bed and slept for another half hour. I'm using the fact that I don't have to commute to get just a bit more sleep every day, which is helpful considering that I'm going to bed late.

I have a regular rotation of breakfast foods which includes either yoghurt (Siggi's is my favourite brand), bagel thins, lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese, or homemade sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, or oatmeal made in the InstaPot. All of these meals are around 30g of carbohydrates, usually less. I find that my blood glucose stays in range more often if I limit my carbs per meal to about 30g.

This morning I wanted to try something different, and for some reason, French toast popped into my head. I thought it would be easy to make, but I searched a recipe for a recipe anyway. To keep the carbohydrates to under 30g, I sprinkled Monk Fruit in the Raw instead of powdered sugar and skipped the maple syrup.

D&R Canal State Park Trail | 27 March, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

I had my regular endocrinology appointment today. Every six to eight weeks, I do a fasting blood test which the endocrinologist reviews and we discuss and adjust any items to improve diabetes care management. My A1C is down, but I still need to lose some of the weight I gained from the steroids. She wants me to try afrezza. On the drive back home, I stopped on Middleton Road in Plainsboro to capture this photo of people walking along the D&R Canal State Park Trail.

Once I was home, I noticed a group text message started by my friend Angel. We haven't had our regular weekly evening beer at the Brick Farm Tavern. She suggested that we do a virtual drinking session. We kicked around some times and agreed on 7 PM.

Bhavna came home around 2:30 PM, and we decided to enjoy the warm and sunny weather with a hike in the Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve in Hopewell. It had been a while since we had hiked the trail and we got turned around on the path a few times. Kiran remembered that when she was a child, we had attended a session with Sourland Stewards during which she had learned about vernal pools and the amphibians of the Sourlands.

Sourland Ecosystem Preserve | 27 March, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
Mud, rocks, and wood planks | 27 March, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

The trail was even more wet and soggy than the Pryde’s Point-Alexauken Creek Trail that Bhavana, and I hiked earlier in the week. I didn't find many flowers, but I did find the early leaves of Trout Lily. I want to return to this area next week. I am still on a hunt for round-lobed Hepatica, the most beautiful flower I have seen in the Sourlands.

27 March, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

We kept misreading the hiking trail signs and had to double back a few times to find the yellow trail around back to the car. We hiked for about an hour and were exhausted by the end of the hike. My favourite bar and restaurant, The Brick Farm Tavern, re-opened offering a limited selection menu for pickup only. Bhavana called ahead and ordered the Wood Grilled Double Brook Bratwurst.

Beepeeper by Flounder Brewing Co. | 27 March, 2020 | FujiFilm X-T2 | Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

We made it home just in time for me to get a quick shower, pour a teku glass with Beepeeper craft ale from Flounder Brewing, and sit to eat dinner, while on the Zoom session with my friends.

Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.
Sourland Ecosystem Preserve Trail Map
Sourland Ecosystem Preserve Trail Map

  1. I think it's day 5. 
  2. Jeff had mentioned photographing around the house and the back yard or the surrounding woods. I'm going much further afield while still maintaining physical distancing recommendations. 
  3. Synthroid must be taken on an empty stomach a minimum of thirty minutes before eating.