Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A little of this, and a bit of that.

Last Friday's CSA included escarole, salad mix, sugar snap peas, fennel, arugula, purple scallions. It was also our first week of fruit; I knew we were getting blueberries, but I have to admit to being surprised that it was a full twelve pints of them! DTY sounded very jealous of all the blueberries and I am sure she wishes there was a way I could bring some to her next week when I go out to visit her, but I just can't see how they would survive the trip stuffed in my suitcase. I promised to get her some at the store instead and I think she'll manage with that solution. So far blueberries have been consumed all by themselves, in mixed greens salad, on homemade granola, on Cheerios, and in pie. If there are any left in a day or so they will probably end up in the freezer.
My first foray with fennel last week was to slice it thickly, coat lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, and then roast on a cookie sheet until tender. (I could have done it on the grill, but decided to forgo the lighting of charcoal for just that.) I had been a bit unsure about it, since it tastes kind of like anise/licorice, but it was totally transformed with cooking! This week we sliced it thinly and saut├ęd it until tender, then tossed in the head of escarole that had been separated into leaves with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a wilted salad. That was also very yum, and Hubband and I both enjoyed the opportunity to try some new food stuffs we have never had before. The arugula has also proven to be tasty, despite my original concerns about the "peppery" taste. (Well, that and the fact that my oldest brother said he didn't particularly care for it. I worry if there is a green leafy food that he doesn't like; it might be dangerous. He has been accused of being part to mostly rabbit by several people.)

In the knitting department, I have finished a market bag, which holds a lot of groceries. (I have a five pound bag of flour, a quart of half and half, a pint of cream, and several other things in there, as well as room left over for more stuff if I wanted.) I have also made significant progress on the second Dr. Who Scarf I wave been plugging away at, and another pair of socks about half way done. I hope to have the scarf done before I leave for Portland on Tuesday, but if it isn't, it will be staying home. I will be taking the socks if they aren't done, as well as several other pairs to work on. I am sure there will be a couple of balls of yarn for dishcloths in my bag as well, just in case.

I have been doing some more sewing and have finally gotten something made for Hubband. He gets to have my first two zippers on the new machine! This one is the bigger one of the two, at about 7" high and 5" wide;

and this one is about 5" high by 4" wide. I was happy with the way they came out and hoped they would be useful to him. He is thrilled with them and that they can clip onto his bag or wherever else he wants. (The clip isn't really visible in the picture, but it is on the loop.)

So, after over

seven months, it is finally over. A legal and legitimate process that all parties involved had the right to pursue, has finally come to a conclusion. I am glad it is over, I am impressed with the way it has been handled and the things that the state has learned along the way. I am glad that some rules and regulations are being reviewed and that some will probably be changed. That is all there is to say about that.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Well, that was exhausting.

This morning I had to go outside to do a little bit of plant management. I had more to do, but after tending to the ones out front I had to come in and rest up before I could deal with the ones on the deck. Seriously, I was probably only outside for about ten minutes and I had to just come in and flop! I was hauling about buckets of water and some wet plants, but I do that several times a week so it shouldn't be that big of a deal.

Why was I so exhausted after such a normal amount of activity? This is why (sorry it is tiny and hard to read, I used my snipping tool but it will improve with clicking).

We had all kinds of heat advisories all day to stay inside in air conditioned buildings, go to public places if you don't have AC and you are elderly, young; heck, just alive.

Later on, after I had rested up and drank a glass of water and at least one of ice tea, I went out and tended to the million sixty-six plants on the deck.


It had actually cooled down a little by then, it was only 91° and "RealFeel" of 104°. Trust me, even that little bit was better.

But by about five thirty this evening we had a major improvement with some wind and stuff.

It went back up to 80° for a bit but has stayed nice and is back down to 77°; I can have the AC off and the door open. The animals are all happy because they can go out and hang out on the deck, which is where I am headed right now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This is a year

of a Great Conjunction.
I am sure most of you think of June 21st as the (here in the northern hemisphere) as the summer solstice. It usually is, but sometimes it is on the 20th instead (three times out of 14 years on that chart). Most years, ever since 1985, June 21st has been a day of a small conjunction, but I am sure there are several people out there who know this is pretty much intentional. As then Soon-To-Be-Hubband said when dates were being discussed, "What a great day for a big party." This year is only the fourth time in the last 24 that it has been the Great Conjunction of Father's Day, the Summer Solstice, and our anniversary.
As Hubband put it, "2 * 2 * 2 * 3. Gotta be magic, eh?"
Magic it is Sweetheart, without a doubt.

Yesterday was a lot of fun,

Pharmaknits picked me up about nine, so we could get an early start on our day. We headed north and managed to fit in a trip to Costco, Trader Joe's, two Half-Price books, and lunch. I was happy with a find of some nuts for granola, mini-peppers, and a few other food items. I also scored on a wonderful cookbook. No, I have never checked this out of the library, I don't think they even have it. Several years ago DTE and I were at a Boarder's books and they had a copy that now belongs to her. DTY really enjoyed borrowing her sister's book and cooking from it, so I obtained a copy for her via ABE Books (I think hers came here from across the pond). Well, I have borrowed said book from both of them and copied recipes on occasion over the years, but now I have my very own!
After lunch, we went to Knitter's Palette for WWKIP. We met a lot of folks, some that were new to us, and at least one that used to be pretend and now she is real! Fortunately several of the new friends are now living in my computer too. It was wonderful to spend a day going to new place with a friend and making new ones along the way. We are all looking forward to WWKIP next year (Hopefully we will see the big city folks before then though.)

Of course such a wonderful day with such beautiful weather has a tendency to involve insects. This beautiful little guy had a good time wandering about on my hat

and some construction was happening at home while I was away. (There had been none Friday or before I left yesterday morning. I never cease to be amazed how fast they build stuff.) After the activity around it for the evening settled down, I went ahead and sprayed it. I don't usually go for toxic chemicals, but since it is hanging from the molding of my garage door, I wasn't looking forward to the time it would fall down on me if I didn't do something soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Want to see what was in my mailbox today?

A while back I showed you the first apron in a series of aprons I have been making. That (pink and green) one was for a "Vintage Apron Swap" where the idea was to make (or buy) an apron from "vintage linens and/or pattern." The one I made was from an old tablecloth and some napkins that I had found at a consignment shop. Well, something happened to either the person that was making mine, or the package after it was mailed (which and what is unknown to me). All I know is that one day I had a message from the hostess that I had been assigned an "Apron Angel" and my package would be coming soon. Well, soon has turned into today, and I had a wonderful apron and matching hot pad from Solidia today. It is really wonderful and I love it! (Chan, you might want to look away. Why? Well, because it is, well, that color you don't like very well. It is an awesome apron though!)

She also sent a couple of recipes and one of them is for some cookies that remind her of ones her grandmother used to make, even though the recipe for those were lost when she passed away. I know how much I value family recipes and how hard it would be if a favorite was lost. I am so glad she was able to find this and then shared it with me.

I used it right away to unpack this week's CSA. This week we have Curly Endive, Arugula, fennel, French Breakfast Radishes, (the last week of) asparagus, and peppermint. It's a good thing they include some recipes every week; I have never had fennel before, either for cooking or to eat. I don't know if Hubband has, but unfortunately he will be missing out this week. I am sure there will be a chance to make it up to him latter.
I did make some Mint Water last night from some of last week's spearmint and will make some tonight from the peppermint to see if I notice a big difference. It is pretty yummy and refreshing, almost as good as ice tea! (Though I may well use mint water to make some ice tea for Sunday.)
Mint Water
2 quarts (filtered) water
about 20 clean mint leaves, chopped or torn coarsely
Combine water and mint in container and refrigerate overnight. Strain mint leaves and store water in fridge.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Partial recap of the week

I realized I forgot to show you the beautiful (and tasty!) vegetables we got last week. There was some really, really amazing spring turnips, asparagus, Red Oak Lettuce, Red Russian Kale, Purple Radishes, and spearmint. All that, plus a wonderful newsletter to tell us about the happenings at the farm during the week and a few recipes for inspiration. It turns out there is no waiting in line to pick up our stuff, as it is all dropped off in someone's garage and all I have to do is check off our name and grab out box. Well, starting this week I need to drop off the previous week's box as well. Hubband and I are both pretty excited about having fresh organic local vegetables every week. Pretty soon we will get fruit every couple of weeks as well. I can hardly wait to get this week's box!
I didn't do any Knitting in Public last weekend, but since there is a second chance, a friend and I are going to head north to the big city and hang out on the sidewalk at Knitter's Palette on Saturday. Hopefully the weather will be decent (as in dry and not to muggy/buggy).

These are a couple of pictures we took in the back yard last night before the storm came in. (Yes, I know it looks like that tree is dead, but it actually has stuff growing on about half of the branches, so its not dead yet.)

The sun looked pretty cool trying to break through the clouds; I don't think this really does it justice, but it might give you a small taste of how it looked.

I'll leave you with the pictures Hubband took from the front porch (facing South, in case there are any inquiring minds that want to know).

As you may

remember (well, I guess that depends on how long you've been hanging out here), neither of of the Ds are coming home for the summer. In the past they have been our lawn care service, but since that isn't an option and we knew someone in need of money for vet school this fall, we have a new lawn service. Thus you get a formal introduction:

"Blogland, meet Vet-Girl. Vet-Girl, meet Blogland."

Actually, I do believe that she has met the blog before to see pictures of Miss Oribel and see what DTE might be making noise about from across the room. She was pretty excited to have her very own name here and knew there was a really good chance she would need it. Yeah, she is sweet about indulging me like that, just like the other two.
I think I need to find out her shoe size and favorite colors (or at least if there are any she absolutely can't stand).

Last night's weather

key and radar image, for those of you on the west coast who are tired of their boring and weird weather. (Just in case you want to live vicariously.) I am guessing most of you know where we are on the map.

It appears at least two and possibly three or more tornadoes skipped across southern Minnesota Wednesday evening. Thunderstorms with strong rotation developed rapidly between 7pm and 8pm, producing large hail and tornado reports.

It looks like we might be in for more today.

For awhile Hubband and I hung out in the yard before the rain came, then we watched a poor plane be re-routed around the back side and fly in circles before giving up and heading for MSP
(though they have taken out all the cute little circles that were there last night). This is one of our favorite "What is really happening with the airplane" sites, as well as just watching what is going on at our local (or most any other) airport. Comes in handy for helping Hubband know if he is going to make his connections, be home on a given night, etc. (FYI, we watched the circles on the computer, we live about 20 miles north of our "local" airport.)

Later we hung out on the front porch and watched the lightening in the distance and the sparkly bugs in the yard. I am planning on some of Hubband's pictures of that showing up here soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This one is a special

post for my favorite uncle, the one of wizardly adventures.

So Dearest Uncle, you should go here to see what I wish for you today. (Unless I am a little behind, in which case you know I mean it on time as well as today.)

When the dogs' laundry

is being done, sleeping quarters can get kind of tight.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More sewing

When I was at the quilt show in April, I saw this wonderful fabric. Unfortunately they only had it precut, in a kit. Well, I decided that was alright, especially since it was an apron kit with some interesting patterns. Now, I wasn't sure that my first choice would have been the view that they kitted up, but since I was really drawn to the fabric I was OK with it. Yesterday I spent some time with my sewing machine and got it all made up.

It is totally retro and funky in my opinion, and I wasn't sure I would need to keep it when I was all done, but just wanted to play with that fabric. Well I have decided that it is also totally cool and is for keeps!
I would have made the "flounce" part lined as well if there had been enough fabric, which would have made the whole thing completely reversible which is always a plus with an apron in my book. Next time I make this it will have that minor alteration.


This weekend marks the first of two World Wide Knit In Public weekends. It has always been the second weekend of June in the past and this year is the transition year to the third weekend in June. (More details at the link if you so desire.) So a little bit of thought where and when to knit in public is in order I do believe. I will be making sure I have my "handy-dandy-emergency-knitting-in-my-bag" with me today when I go to pick up our first CSA box from one of my favorite Farmer's Market vendors. Since pick-up time is from 4 to 9, I am thinking there is a possibility of a line to stand in. I am pretty excited to have a new apron and fresh spring veggies tonight; I think that will be a great combo.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Oh look! Here it is Thursday and I have pictures of dogs! Well, pictures that didn't make my personal cut for Blue Bandanna Day yesterday. You know the kind, ones with missing noses, missing heads, the one after the dog gets tired of being messed with and takes the bandanna off her head and you put it back on; you know the kind I'm sure. etc. Anyhoos, for those of you that like looking at dog pictures, here you go!



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Well, I was going to tell

you a particular Oribel story for Whiskers on Wednesday today, but there has been a change in plans. I only had the story, as it just wasn't possible to get pictures at the time without ruining it all. I went out to get pictures of the story setting this afternoon, in hopes of giving reference points so it would make a little more sense, but something better than a story without pictures came along. (Are you all confused by now? Excellent, my mission is accomplished. Good-bye, have a wonderful rest of your day.)

Oh, what is that you are screaming? You still want Oribel pictures and stories, do you now? Well, OK then, I guess I can manage (just not the original one, remember?)

So this afternoon I was out in the yard, wandering around, and I just happened to have a camera with me (funny that should be the case). Naturally there was semi-domesticated-semi-wildlife in the yard with me. She was running about, checking out all sorts of stuff (and probably finding more slugs for me to pick out of her fur), and of course she had to go visit her Very Best Friend Forever Of The Moment.


There isn't a whole lot to add to the pictures, I think they pretty much speak for themselves. I do have a few videos of her climbing adventures, but thy are kind of pixely looking, so I'm not sure if you all really want to see them.
Oh, I will add that today is Portugal Day, and you all should head right over here to see how Sue and her gang are celebrating. (Plus, you never know who you might recognize hanging out at her place today!)