Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Project 365: Day 88

Baking Breakfast Bread

One of my favorite breakfast breads is Orange Whole-Wheat Bread (recipe from my Family Circle Encyclopedia of Cooking published in 1990). The texture is really hearty because the recipe calls for "crunchy nut-like cereal nuggets" which I think was their way of saying Grape Nuts. I use the Kashi version of the "crunchy nut-like cereal nuggets". Think of a Creamsicle made into a healthy bread. That is what this recipe is like.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Project 365: Day 87

Longfellow, Home Sweet Home

As we get more settled into the house, have less and less cardboard boxes in our faces and get the yard under control, we are starting to have time to enjoy our new home and neighborhood. After Paul went to the local park to play basketball on Sunday afternoon and I processed all of the strawberries, we each hosted a friend (Gretchen and Doug) for dinner (a version of this fettuccine recipe with beet greens and strawberry shortcake) at the house. And, tonight I was able to join Jamie, Adam and Sylvia for an evening walk and a falafel dinner at their house. It is great to finally be experiencing some stability.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Project 365: Day 86

Strawberry Picking

Yum! Frozen strawberries, strawberry shortcake, strawberry snacks, dried strawberries. Yum.

Project 365: Day 85

June 27, 2009
Glas Wine Tasting

(Lisa, one of the hosts, up front with John talking to others in the background)

My mom, her husband Roger and their neighbors/friends Lisa and Jerry were co-hosts of a wine tasting on Saturday night. The wine tasting was led by John Glas, who came to my mom's house and led us through the process of tasting wine, had us practice wine vocabulary, told us about wine regions of the world and showed us how food and wine can interact in your mouth. It was interesting to taste wine in such a mindful way. Who knew Reislings had could have such an acidic quality? Not me, until I left it in my mouth for a few seconds before swallowing it. Sweet and sour! Who knew wines could smell like cat pee and that could be considered ok by some? Not me, until I smelled the Sauvignon Blanc we were tasting. Yuck! I really enjoyed 4 of the 5 wines we tasted and it was fun to spend time with my mom's crowd. She has a group of neighbors that regularly socialize together. It is a whole different world out there in Maple Grove :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Project 365: Day 84

Jerri's Pedi

As Jerri and I were saying our goodbyes after our lunch date today, she mentioned that she was going to get a pedicure after work. I totally jumped on the opportunity to join her since I have been wanting to get one for weeks. I am glad we went because it meant I got to spend a little more time catching up with Jerri and I learned about the salon she goes to that has FABULOUS massage chairs. It may be dangerous knowledge that I gained today. I might want to go back again soon for a manicure after my hands get worn from all of the yard work I have been doing. Hooray for a little pampering. And, please keep your fingers crossed for Jerri. Her cell phone took a little accidental bath at the salon. We are hoping it will turn back on after drying out for a while.

Camp Needlepoint

At first glance, I totally thought this ad was for a needle-working camp for kids! You can tell where my mind is, huh?!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Project 365: Day 82

We Live Here

And, thanks to Jamie, our front stoop looks much more inviting than when we first moved in.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Project 365: Day 81

Color Inspiration

My new commute takes me past this factory each day. I absolutely love the combination of colors. And, of course, the hodge, podgey, rusted metal look gets me every time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Project 365: Day 80

Sneaky Kitty

Today was a scorcher. It was in the low 90s and humid. Which meant it was time to turn on the air conditioning. I haven't had air conditioning (not even a window unit) in at least 8 years. And then, it was only for a short time. Before turning on the air conditioner we felt the need to follow our inspector's recommendation to clean it out. Cleaning it out consisted of many steps. The first of which was to figure out how to cut the power to it so we wouldn't electrocute ourselves. In the process of running up and down the stairs and in and out of the house, the two doors that keep Fanny out of the unfinished part of the basement were left open. We were outside for a good 2 hours disassembling, cleaning and reassembling the air conditioner. During that time Fanny took her opportunity to explore the grubbiest reaches of the basement. When we came back in, she was upstairs but bearing obvious evidence of her foray into the spiderweb filled corners of the basement.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Project 365: Day 79

Ceremonial Winding of the Skein

Folks, I am back in business! After 2.5 hours of assembly, Paul and I created a yarn cabinet. And, to my utter delight, the swift and ball winder work perfectly on it. Because Paul spent 2.5 hours of his life for my benefit, I let him do the ceremonial winding of the first skein in the new house.

Another reason I can be considered back in business as a knitter is that tonight I went over to a knit night at Brianna's house. For the first time in over a month, I spent a solid chunk of time knitting and made significant progress on my February Lady Sweater. Aahhh! It feels nice to knit again. And, the knit night was attended by a group of intelligent and fun women! The plan is to continue knit night as a monthly event. I hope it happens, because I had a great time.

Part of the reason I am able to knit again is that we have accomplished enough of our settling-in-to-do list that I feel I can spare some time to knit. We had an amazingly productive weekend during which we put in two solid days of work on the house. We assembled, we cleaned, we mowed, and we unpacked. We even had our first fire in the fire pit. To fully break it in, we had to burn a box (our way of marking the end of moving, moving, moving) and I had to roast a marshmallow. Weekends are seriously awesome.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Project 365: Day 78

Breakfast on the Porch

Friday, June 19, 2009

Project 365: Day 77

Trinity 1, Weed 0

This was one stubborn weed. The root was over 2 feet deep! Good thing I am more stubborn.

Project 365: Day 76

June 18, 2009
Showboat Show

My mom and I attended Is There a Doctor in the House on the the Minnesota Centennial Showboat on Thursday. It was a fun show. And, when teamed with the yummy dinner we ate beforehand and the super strong gin and tonics we drank during the show, it was altogether a fantastic evening.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Project 365: Day 75

Ikea Cart Train

The Ikea employees were having a grand time directing this really, really long train of carts back into the store. They were pushing it with a machine and giving portions of it a shove to keep it going in the right direction. It was so long that they had to sprint back and forth with well placed shoves to keep it from crashing. The guy who was doing most of the work was smiling a huge smile as he completed the task. It was such a sight to see that Paul and I stopped to watch before heading in.

(We were there to get this awesome cabinet for yarn storage in my craft room. I can't wait to put yarn in it but first we have to assemble it. The amount and variety of assembly hardware is quite overwhelming.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Project 365: Day 74

Rainy Day And He Can't Go Out To Play

Monday, June 15, 2009

Project 365: Day 73

Farewell, Apartment

As was the case with most everything related to this apartment, getting out of it was a pain in the ass. Without going into the annoying details, let's just say that it took 4 tries to actually get the check that was promised to us and a few conversations in which I was totally patronized. As of tonight we can finally consider ourselves done with that phase of our lives. Adios, landlords!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Happy Sunday

After many days of errand running and doing things outside of the house, I declared today to be "the day of not going anywhere." It was delightful. I worked hard from 7:30am-12:30pm on my to-do list and then enjoyed a yummy lunch and some visits from friends.

On Friday night, my dad brought over some oyster mushrooms that he foraged in Wisconsin. They spanned in size from what I am used to seeing from oyster mushrooms (small) to portabello sized ones.

My lunch included some sauteed mushrooms over field greens with tomatoes, parmesan and some radishes from my dad's garden. I know I have said this many times before, but it is a seriously awesome benefit to be receiving all of these tasty foods from my dad (and others!). I didn't get to partake of this stuff when I lived multiples states away.

In addition to the great foods today, I also enjoyed a few visitors to the house. Jamie came over and brought some really nice plants for our front steps and then we enjoyed some good catching up time on the back deck. Then, as she was leaving, Sally came over to see the house and gave me a gerber daisy plant and some dark chocolate. I am one spoiled girl! As if that wasn't enough, Paul and I had our first dinner on the deck this evening and shared the bottle of wine that our realtor gave us on closing day.

We are so happy to be in Minneapolis, so grateful that we have such great friends and family near us and still somewhat in disbelief that we were able to buy a house less than a year after moving here. It is nice when life balances out those trying times with great times like today.

Project 365: Day 72

Rhubarb Crisp

I really know it is approaching summer time when I get to make rhubarb crisp. Not only is this rhubarb crisp a marker of the season change, it also marks the first time I baked something in our new house. With the oven pooping out in our apartment pre-move, it has been over a month since I have baked something. And, I have to say, I experienced a slight amount of baking withdrawal. So, I am raring to go in this new kitchen and anticipate that this will be the first of many seasonal baked goods. Thanks to Paul's mom Joanne for giving me rhubarb from her garden.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Project 365: Day 71


I spent a fun afternoon today doing decoupage with a group of fun and creative women. My coworker Michele hosted us at her house. Most of the people there covered various sizes and shapes of cans with lids using paper and beads. I opted to cover the dingy plastic light switch and outlet covers from my craft room. I am really excited about how they turned out. It is especially thrilling that I spent less than $4 and now have a new technique to play with. I covered them with photos that I had taken and printed on paper.

Ant update: There are a lot more ants today. I did a little research since reading Mini's comment about keeping them out of the house. From what I read on various websites, I have many chemical options to "treat" them. But, since we haven't seen any in the house and they seem to be moving the other direction, I think I am going to let them be while keeping a close eye on them. Their quantity is really amazing! Check them out (you can click to see a larger photo):

Friday, June 12, 2009

Project 365: Day 70


I joined up with some fellow Ravelers for a lunchtime knitting group today at the Purple Onion. I love knitting on my lunch breaks and they were a fun group, so hopefully we will meet again. On the way back, I noticed this great PBR mural near the Annie's Parlour sign and became quite smitten with them both.

What I am not smitten with is this crazy ant invasion that appeared in our backyard today. What is up with that?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Project 365: Day 69

Sunbathing, Interrupted

The sun finally came out again. I noticed the dogs were looking mighty content on the porch, so I tried to sneak out to get a picture of them both laying there sunbathing. Apparently, I am not a good sneak.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Project 365: Day 68

June Sky

The weather has been nothing but rainy and dreary lately. I was delighted to see a little bit of blue peek through as I was coming home from work today. I hope we start getting some June-like weather soon so I can shed the Smart Wool socks and shoes and bust out the flip flops.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Project 365: Day 67

Planning for the Future

By all accounts, it was in my apple trees' best interest to not grow apples this year. Instead, they are supposed to focus that energy on growing a deeper and better root system. It bummed me out to have to pick off all of these apple babies, but it was a good lesson in home ownership: the choices I make now will impact the future. I had to sacrifice the apple crop from this year in order to hopefully have stronger trees and bigger crops in future years.

Project 365: Day 66

June 8, 2009
Master Gardeners

Paul and I took vacation time on Monday to give ourselves a little more time to move and to start unpacking. It was a wise choice and a much needed day to recover and unpack the essentials before returning to work. I started the day in a magnificently simple and rewarding way: I made tea and took it into the backyard where I alternated between drinking the tea and pulling weeds in the very unkempt rain garden I inherited with the house. The dogs spent their morning assisting me in the weeding by eating as much grass as they could.

Project 365: Day 65

June 7, 2009
The Culprit

This girl is one of the many reasons that our first night in the house was a restless one. Fanny slept almost the whole moving day while hiding from the chaos of the process. Her full day's rest resulted in a full night of jubilant sprinting around the house, walking all over us, meowing and just generally loud behavior that is uncharacteristic of her normal nighttime behavior. In addition to Fanny's attempts to keep us up, we also were awoken by a police car's flood light and flashing lights coming into our window, sirens from the nearby fire station and lots of other unfamiliar neighborhood sounds. In general, this neighborhood is way more peaceful than our last one, but I guess we still need to adjust to the particular variety of noises here before we can sleep through them.

On Sunday, we split our day between unpacking, changing locks, and entertaining visitors. We were visited by each of our parents at some point in the day. My mom came over with breakfast and beautiful flowers. Thank you! My dad came over with tools to fix our doors and ingredients for smores. Thank you! Paul's parents and aunt brought us a ladder, some firewood and a bunch of household and grocery items. Thank you!

We are lucky to be surrounded by friends and family who are willing to pitch in when we move. Although, I think we have nearly worn out our welcome what with moving twice in the same year. We promised them we would stay here for a while!

Project 365: Day 64

June 6, 2009
Moving Day

Despite a dreary, rainy and cold moving day, our hardcore moving posse still got the job done. Paul and I started the day by waking up at 5:30 am. We had the moving van by 7:30 am and the first load to the house by 9 am. After a trip out to suburbia to pick up our new furniture, we met up with our volunteer crew to move the majority of our things. A HUGE thank you to Jill, Jessy, Jamie, Tuyen, Mark, Steve and Paul who helped Paul and I move our stuff in the nasty, un-June-like weather. And, thank you to Matt, who helped with the straggling items left in the apartment after moving day.

Moving day became quite dramatic when we averted two near disasters. The first one was a scary fall on the stairs and the second was the dogs' escape from the fenced yard. The injury didn't require medical attention, just some beer, pizza, ice packs and ibuprofen. And, thanks to a kind motorist, the dogs were found a block away unharmed. We learned our lessons for the day:
1) be careful on the stairs, they are shallow and steep
2) always check the side gate when letting the dogs out in the yard, the dogs are opportunists

Phew! After all the chaos of moving in the rain, I needed to create a little something pretty and peaceful before going to bed. The photo of the day show my little spot of peace amongst the boxes and muddy floors.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Project 365: Day 63

June 5, 2009

On Friday after I got off work, I went straight to the house. (Ah! The house! I still can't believe it!) What that meant was that I finally had my first opportunity to ride the lightrail. It was surprisingly crowded, but very nice and new and smooth. I hope the powers that be follow through with plans to expand the lightrail, but even if they don't, it will still be the best way for me to commute to work (paired with a bus route).

Project 365: Day 62

June 4, 2009

Going to home improvement stores is a million times more interesting and exciting when you own a home! Paul and I went to get some things and in the process, found a bunch of ideas for other things we would like to do the yard or the house in the future. The "to-do" list is already a mile long despite moving into a "move-in ready" house.

Project 365: Day 61

June 3, 2009
Closing Day

Spiral Cowl

The last in the F.O. train and the last in the series of cowls I knit. I was seriously on a cowl kick there for a while. I finished this one as it was starting to get warm so I haven't worn it yet.

Pattern: Spiral Cowl by Keri McKiernan
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Harbor (leftover from Jessy's Clapotis)

This yarn and pattern combo makes everything look tidy and crisp.

I might add a button so that I can fold it over and secure it when I wear it. The jury is still out.

Picots make my heart pitter patter. They are such a neat little trick.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sprout Cowl

Sprout! I love the name of the yarn. It comes in many colors. I had to get the green, because it is called Sprout! Sprout is a new yarn from Classic Elite. It is part of their eco collection. This one is a chunky, organic cotton. I modified the Fir Cone stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's Treasury to be worked in the round. Then, I knit this baby up real quick so I could wear it before it gets too warm. I love it!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Holland Cowl

Another donation for my work knitting group. The donations from the group are going to be given to the Tubman Family Alliance. I hope the recipient knows what to do with a cowl. I also hope the recipient doesn't have an allergic reaction to the yarn like I did!

Pattern: Holland Cowl (slightly modified version of the pattern)
Yarn:Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash Bulky

I cast on 62 stitches and then worked partly in the round (as the pattern called for) and switched to flat 2/3 of the way up to create a part that can fold over. I added a button so it can be worn a variety of ways.

Black yarn is hard to photograph!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mitered Towels

In keeping with the miter theme, I also finally got around to trying out that cute mitered dishtowel pattern from Mason-Dixon's Knitting Outside the Lines.

I knit these in very distracting environments, which is what I am going to use as my excuse for why the tops turned out completely different from one another.

Just like the Ballband Washcloth from their first book, the mitered towels allow the knitter to play with color combos. I made these from my now dwindling stock of miscellaneous cotton yarns. The smaller the cotton stash gets, the crazier the color combos get.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Home Owners!

Hello! I just wanted to pop in for a quick minute (still no internet at home) to give you the news that the closing did in fact happen yesterday. We had a fairly uneventful closing in the morning which left us with a whole marvelous day to spend with the house. We talked about where to put our stuff, we looked closer at our yard (we'll get apples from the trees this year), we met the neighbors (they are friendly and have a beautiful yard), we had lunch at a neighborhood cafe (seriously good burritos), the water works guy came to read the meter, my dad came over, we brought the dogs over to play in the yard and sniff the whole house and, to top it all off, we had pizza and wine on the porch for dinner while the dogs ran around free of leashes. We are happy folks! I will post some photos and some fun tidbits about the house as soon as possible.

Reverse Miter Washcloths

This yarn (Katia Jamaica) has been in my stash forever and a day. I tried making various things out of it but the color always looked weird. Enter super simple reverse miter washcloth. A match made in heaven.

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