Sunday, May 31, 2009

Project 365: Day 57

Not Connected

We are living in the dark ages for a while :)
Our internet and cable is gone until we settle into the new house. It is amazing how technology centered our lives have become. Just being without it for less than 24 hours has already prompted many an "oh, bummer" moment, when we have wanted to get some info that requires internet access. I think Paul is especially hurting as much of his entertainment and conversations with friends happens via an internet connection. Without cable service, we get 1 or 2 fuzzy channels on the TV. Luckily we will have less technology to distract us from packing. And, luckily the library and nearby coffee shops have wi-fi if we really need it. Anyway, all this is to say that my Project 365 posting will be be lagging behind for a bit. I have access to the internet at work, just not photoshop to process any new photos. So, instead, I've queued up some long overdue F.O. posts to go up through the week.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Project 365: Day 56

A Place to Relax

Yay! New furniture for our house! We will be welcoming these lovelies into our house next weekend. It is much more comfortable than it looks. This sofa passed all of our rigorous testing requirements. Paul and I did the cuddle test, I did the knitting position test and Paul did the slouch test. We have a winner!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Project 365: Day 55


It was a beautiful day today. Sunny. Just the right amount of warmth. A wispy, white cloud every now and then. Light breeze. Beautiful. Instead of getting on my bus at the usual place, I walked a few stops farther down the route so that I could cross the bridge over the Mississippi River looking towards downtown. The detour was well worth it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Project 365: Day 54

It Has Begun

We have started packing. And, Fanny is in heaven because of it. She loves, loves, loves being in and on boxes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Project 365: Day 53

Lily of the Valley

...A little bit of fragrance brought back from WI.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Project 365: Day 52

Calm Before the Storm

This weekend was the calm before the storm for Paul and I. We enjoyed the time up north and now it is time to chip away at the moving preparations. We are coming upon some big dates: closing on June 3rd and moving on June 6th. As I have mentioned before, I am really excited, but I also feel a little hesitant to really BELIEVE that this house is ours. I'm eagerly awaiting that moment when the keys are in our hands. But, until then we will have packing tape and boxes in our hands.

Project 365: Day 51

Jack Flappin'

After a Sunday of walking in the woods, playing frisbee, working in the garden and visiting with extended family, we headed back home. As much as the dogs love going places (especially up north where they roam and explore leash-free), they get worn out and seem to be eager to go home. All we had to do was open up the car door and they jumped in. Their behavior in the car is always much, much better on the trip home. They both enjoyed sticking their heads out for the non-highway portion of the drive. Jack was especially entertaining with his ears flapping in the wind.

Not Fishing

While the gentleman went fishing, the dogs and I stayed at my dad's house to play and relax. My plan was to knit and listen to a bunch of podcasts. I set my chair up and knit for a little bit.

But, Tchazo wanted to play.

Plus, the podcasts were not as appealing as everything I started to hear when I stopped making sounds. There was so much going on! Birds and trees make a surprising amount of noise. I decided to wander around a bit and while doing so I discovered this nest full of very hungry robins.

I also came across a lady slipper orchid.

And, pretty much every time I go up north I end up taking at least one photo of the old International truck that hasn't run since I was a wee one. There is something visually captivating to me about the rusty blue, the big lights and the green overgrowth.

Project 365: Day 50


We're back from a quick but great trip up north!

As planned, Paul did get to go fishing. Much like knitting, fishing is not a cheap past time. After shelling out $53, Paul is now licensed to fish in Wisconsin anytime within the next year. That cost doesn't include poles, bait, and other assorted paraphernalia. Luckily, he was able to borrow all that stuff from my dad. I think they had a good afternoon bonding at the lake, while the dogs and I enjoyed the sights and sounds of being alone on 10 acres of land. I had planned to knit and listen to podcasts, but found that there were way too many other things vying for my attention. Photos and details to come in a different post.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gone Fishing

I don't actually fish, but Paul wants to and he might get a chance this weekend. We are headed out of town for a little bit, so I'll be a bit late in my Project 365 posting. Hope you all have a beautiful, invigorating, refreshing Memorial Day Weekend!

Also, you may notice that if you leave a comment now, you have to type in one of those word verification things. Sorry. I know those are a pain, but I got 13 spam comments in a matter of 5 minutes last night and needed to tighten the commenting process up to see if it gets rid of the problem. I hope this doesn't discourage you from commenting. I love getting comments. It is fun to see that people are checking in on the blog. Makes me feel like I am not just talking to myself!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Project 365: Day 49

Evening Stroll

Only 2 out of 5 people in my office came into work today. So, the other person besides me took pity on me and let me go a little early. It was an excellent way to begin the long weekend. It afforded me a little time to clean up the house before heading over to Jamie's for the evening.

Jamie, Sylvie, Lucy and I took a nice walk around the Nokomis neighborhood and the lake. It was a beautiful evening to be out for a stroll. After our walk, we went back to Jamie's for a little backyard BBQ prepared by Jamie's husband Adam. It is so great to be near enough to Jamie to be able to have these kinds of evenings together more than my usual once a year visit home. Now this IS home! And, our home has a lot of beautiful lakes, parks and neighborhood to walk around.
Bonus! Cute One in the Stroller

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Project 365: Day 48

Hard Times Cafe

Hard Times Cafe was the source of my breakfast today. Yum! I got a huge and dense vegan blackberry almond muffin for $2.

This cafe is a unique business and that is probably an understatement. It is cooperatively owned and run, serves only vegetarian food, is open 22 hours a day, has a free area with clothing and misc. stuff, has really fair pricing, and serves a huge range of clientele largely consisting of punk folks and homeless peeps. It is a rare moment when there is not one or more tall bikes parked outside. (When looking for that tall bikes link, I also came across this info. Now it makes sense why the tall bike gangs congregate at this place!)

I'm hoping to go back soon for a taste of their other offerings.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Project 365: Day 47


The wind today was wicked strong with gusts between 40-50 mph around lunch time. I really wanted to take in some fresh air so I sat outside anyway. While I was out, I witnessed this bird perching on the tallest point of the tree and seemingly windsurfing. He/she seemed to be enjoying the challenge of trying to stay there through the gusts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Project 365: Day 46

Lunch Spot

My lunch breaks are sacred to me. What I do on my lunch break helps to make or break the day for me. It is a very rare occasion when I am willing to work through my lunch break. I must step away from my desk and immerse myself in something else for that hour. Luckily I have a standing, weekly lunch date with Sally that I look forward to each week. One of my other favorite things to do on my break is to find neat spots to sit and knit while listening to a good podcast. The photo of the day today was taken at one of my favorite lunch spots. I listened to a great episode of Cast On (#78) and knit on my February Lady Sweater. I am lucky to work somewhere that offers a great many options for brown bag friendly lunch venues.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Project 365: Day 45

Laundry Night

For the last time before getting our very own washer and dryer in the house, Paul and I had to go to the laundromat. In our house, this is one of the most dreaded and avoided tasks. In order to sweeten the deal, we treated ourselves to dinner at the awesome cafe across the street from the laundromat while our clothes were washing. By the end of the night, we had happily stuffed bellies, clean clothes and we got to spend some good time together. By putting this positive slant on the evening I by no means intend to convey that this chore will be missed or viewed sentimentally, because, boy oh boy, am I looking forward to being able to do laundry at home.

Bonus! Paul eating dinner. Their food is good.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Project 365: Day 44

Stolen Goods

Here is one example of why living in a neighborhood with boarded up houses is beneficial: free lilacs! After passing this yard many times on my daily dog walk, I finally decided to nab some of these fragrant blossoms. Since no one is mowing the lawn, the house has been the recipient of a mondo graffiti tag and the doors and windows are all boarded up, I felt that my theft was excusable. Plus, now my apartment smells amazing.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Project 365: Day 43

Local Eats

Two years ago I heard Barbara Kingsolver speak in Harvard Square. She was touring to promote her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.

Here is a little explanation of the book taken from the website:
Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, this book (released May 2007) tells the story of how our family was changed by one year of deliberately eating food produced in the place where we live.
Soon after I heard her speak, I bought the book and started reading it. It was at a pretty cold time of the year and I very quickly felt the impact of the information in the book when standing in the produce section of the supermarket. As a vegetarian, not wanting to eat produce was a pretty alarming feeling. So, I put the book down (only having read about 50 pages!) and vowed to read it later.

Now, with our impending home ownership and the start of the farmer's market season, I feel much more capable of acting on the information the book presents. I am reading the book and have already gotten way farther into it than last time. It is helping to feed my excitement about being able to grow some of my own food. For the moment, I am focusing that energy on the recently opened Midtown Farmer's Market.

This morning was really cold and grey and windy, but I got up early and went to the farmer's market shortly after it opened. It was worth it because what I purchased, I immediately brought home and ate for breakfast.

Paul and I shared cheese curds from the Ellsworth Dairy Cooperative, locally grown asparagus and bread from a local breadmaker. All of the items were delicious. The asparagus was so fresh that we ate it raw. The cheese curds were so fresh they squeaked. And, the bread was so delicious that it made me giddy!

The bread was made with walnuts, fig and anise. You can bet your bottom dollar that I am going back to this booth next week!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Project 365: Day 42

Bottoms Up

I've been accumulating quite the pile of finished objects. Getting them photographed and posted hasn't been at the top of my to-do list, but I will hopefully get to it soon. For today, here is a little self portrait that shows a sleeveless shirt I finished a few weeks ago.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Project 365: Day 41

Happy Birthday to Jerri!

Mark, Jerri and Zoe

Today is Jerri's birthday. She had an impromptu birthday dinner out, but Paul and I weren't able to go. (We were already committed to our kickboxing class.) We were able to squeeze in a quick stop by the restaurant to give the birthday girl a hug and a gift (that is what Jerri is holding in the photo). I would have liked to skip the class and join them for dinner, but since I skipped my class on Tuesday night, my guilty conscience required me to get some exercise.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Project 365: Day 40

Stash Guard

Thanks to those who helped identify the crabapple tree from yesterday's post. I think you were right on.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Project 365: Day 39

Name That Tree

Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? The branches are lusciously full of fragrant, bright pink flowers. I have begun looking at people's yards with thoughts about what I might want to put in mine. This is a tree I might like to have so it would be useful to know what it is called. If it would help, you can click on the picture to see a bigger version.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Project 365: Day 38

Mail A Mix

This surprise was waiting for me in the mail today. It is this month's version of the M6 CD club, organized by Mark. The club consists of a bunch of friends and friends of friends. One person is assigned to each month. On your month, you make a mix and send it to everyone in the club. On all the other months of the year, you get a mixed CD in the mail. I love getting mail and have been exposed to some good tunes from the club members. This month's edition came with quite the snazzy liner notes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Project 365: Day 37

Mother's Day Dinner

It is hard to believe that in the 7 years that Paul and I have been together, our moms have only met each other once. We sought to celebrate the day and to give them a chance to spend some time together by having them over for a mother's day dinner. I think we all enjoyed the evening and, hopefully, the food. We made Middle Eastern Chickpeas and Spinach over Orzo and Mustard Carrots (both recipes from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites) and for dessert a Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Glaze. Despite a little issue with our oven (it is evil and seeks to burn everything) that resulted in some burnt edges on the tart crust that I needed to cut away, the meal went well. I think it will likely be the last dinner party we host in this apartment. I am already looking forward to all of the goodies I will be able to make with a fully functioning kitchen that has counter tops and an oven that cooks at the temperature it is set on. And, hopefully, these two special ladies will come over to our new place for dinner.

BONUS! Mother's Day Bouquets, because Moms like flowers.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Shepherd's Harvest

At long last, a fiber festival! Lake Elmo, Minnesota is host to the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival today and tomorrow. Sally and I went to the event together. As a former knitter and a lifelong animal lover, Sally was enticed to go mostly because of the animals. There was a bountiful amount of yarn, fiber, soap and animals for me to ogle, fondle, smell, pet and appreciate.

Two of the shearers we saw working at the festival were women. One shearer was shearing the sheep and one was working on the alpacas and llamas. It turns out that alpaca look freakish when completely shorn. Here is proof:

Cute, fuzzy, fluffy alpacas

Freakish, skinny-necked, naked alpacas

I wonder if that explains why some of the llama and alpaca were sheared in a band around their middles, like this one:

Besides sheep, alpaca, llamas and goats, there were also angora rabbits. This woman was spinning right from her rabbit. The animal seemed to be loving the rocking of her legs as she worked the treadles.

I got to fondle lots and lots of yarn, see many beautiful projects, meet some new people and knit with curtain rod knitting needles.

Sally got to try on lots of fun things and made best friends with a whole host of goats in the goat barn.

I was incredibly self-disciplined at the festival and bought just one very special skein of yarn, a pattern, a little bar of goat's milk soap and kettle corn.

Project 365: Day 36

This was the one skein of yarn I bought at Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. It is a gorgeous 100% tussah silk yarn called Penny Lane. The color is a blend of pinkish purple with spots of greyish pink and purple. I plan to knit a shawl/kerchief out of it and am excited to get started so I can see how the colors work up.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Project 365: Day 35


The Monkey sock pattern by Cookie A was a lot of fun to knit. Both the yarn (Dancing Leaf Farm - Sock Hop) and the pattern have held up really well to repeated wear over the last year and a half. A few of the pairs of socks I have knit have gotten stretchy and slouchy. Not these socks. This stitch pattern still fits snugly and the yarn is still pretty crisp considering that these socks get worn regularly. I think I might have to make another pair of Monkeys!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Project 365: Day 34

The Way Home

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Project 365: Day 33


I walk past this building twice each day. It always makes me think of Mark Rothko's paintings. Like this one and this one. The cheery colors next to the blue sky are a happy sight to me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Project 365: Day 32

Woof on a Roof

Monday, May 4, 2009

Project 365: Day 31

Happy May Day!

"May Day brings the winds of change."

Sunday was the annual MayDay parade and festival put on by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. I LOVE this event. I love it for many reasons, including:
  • it is a sensory spectacle full of amazing sights and sounds
  • it marks the arrival of Spring
  • it is truly a community event that involves people of all ages and of many backgrounds in the audience, in the participants and performers and in the volunteers
  • it is rooted in a meaningful message expressed through a theme. this year's message states:

HOBT’s MayDay Parade, Ceremony, and Festival has always been rooted in two important traditional celebrations—the celebration of the Green Root of Earth’s green energy rising in Spring, and the Red Root of human work energy rising from mind, heart and hand.

Our theme this year celebrates the merging of the red and green energies of the world. We cheer on the great merging of the human social justice movements with the environmental movements to remember humans as responsible relatives of the earth.

As we experience the failure of our economic systems built on debt, consumer waste, the theft and sickening of earth resources, we gather to rebuild an economic system that protects and sustains our Earth as a “Common Treasury for All.”

Walking and spinning (and getting a belly tan)!

As I mentioned in my last post, I brought Tchazo with me. We met up with a bunch of friends and my sister at the park. After the parade, Tchazo and I headed home the way we came: on foot. By the time we got home, Tchazo was so parched he drank a whole bowl of water. I was so starved that Paul and headed straight out to partake in a little unhealthy food. We went to The Wienery, which is a little hole in the wall place on the West Bank.

Judging by the sign, one would not think there would be much for a vegetarian to eat, but that would be wrong. The Wienery boasts 3, count 'em, 3 vegetarian dogs (tofu, bratwurst and italian) as a base onto which all sorts of ingredients can be added. But, the real star is their french fries, which are ordered by the potato. As if that wasn't all fantastic enough, the combo price for a dog with toppings, a potato's worth of fries, and a bottomless cup of soda is $5. For reals. Here is a link to their menu since it isn't on their own website.
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