Thursday, July 30, 2009

Project 365: Day 118

House Guests

Tomorrow I am expecting my first overnight guests to arrive. Abby and Jill are flying in from the east coast so the three of us can spend a fun weekend together in the Mini-Apple. The past few evenings I have been busying myself getting the house ready to host them. I think the craft/guest room is now suitable for these fine ladies to settle into for a few nights.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Project 365: Day 117

Waiting for Red

My mom started a bunch of tomato plants from seeds this year. When we got our house, she brought over 3 baby plants for me to grow. By the time she gave them to me, her labels had become separated from her plants. Since she lost track of which variety was which, these are mystery plants that can only be identified after they ripen. I am eagerly awaiting the transition of all these green tomatoes into red ones! It looks like we will have a decent crop considering 3 of these big plants are squished into our little earth box.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Project 365: Day 116

Aeolian-Skinner Organ

I took a lunch-time tour of Northrup Auditorium's Aeolian-Skinner organ today. Here is a little more history about the auditorium and the organ. It is a magnificent instrument. The intricacy of how it functions and the variety of sounds it can produce really impressed me. The photo above is of the console which is where the organ is played. The 700 or so pipes that make the sound are actually concealed 70 feet above the floor behind decorative grills. Some of the pipes are so large that a person could easily fit inside of them. Magnificent, indeed.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Project 365: Day 115

Roma di Luna

My sister Jessy and I went to hear Roma di Luna play at Loring Park this evening. The concert was followed by a movie (which we didn't stay for) and was hosted by the Walker Art Center. I love how many awesome, free events happen in the Minneapolis parks over the summer. If one had a mind to, one could easily be entertained for free every day of the week during the summer months. I had heard a lot about this band and was glad to finally be able to hear them perform. I enjoyed the concert, the surroundings and the chatting time with my sister.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Project 365: Day 114

Smokin' Hot

After a trip to the farmer's market this morning for ingredients, Paul worked from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm to make dinner for tonight. Shortly after we moved into the house, he bought this mammoth grill that has a sidebox for smoking. Using the grilling book and smoking wood chips my mom gave him for his birthday, he worked hard to create a smoked beef short rib dinner with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled green beans and zucchini. In order for the meal to be fully appreciated, he invited over meat-eating friends Tuyen and Doug. Despite this being Paul's first attempt at smoked ribs, he managed to achieve the red badge of honor. Apparently that means he did it well. I wouldn't know, though, because I was too busy enjoying my veggie burger.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Project 365: Day 113

ArtCar Parade

Paul, Mark, Jerri, Zoe and I all met up alongside Lake Harriet this evening to watch the ArtCar Parade. The last time I saw this parade was in 2003 and since then, I think it has had varied levels of funding and a variety of venues. This year's parade was fun to watch and full of creative artcars, but was no where near the scale of past parades. In past year's cars came from all over the country to participate. It seems the participants have become mostly local people, with even some bicyclists joining in. Some cars I even recognized from seeing them parked in my neighborhood or driving around doing day-to-day activities.

We watched the parade from opposite the Rose Garden. Somehow I have never visited the gardens before. Between the parade, the lake, the garden and the free concert at the bandshell, Lake Harriet was a very enticing place to be for the evening. As Jerri put it on our walk beside the lake shore, being in Minneapolis during the summer is like being on vacation! This is truly a beautiful city with so much green space and so many lakes to be in, on and around.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Project 365: Day 112

Gale Zucker's Photo Workshop Evening

After a long week, I was rewarded with an inspiring and informative workshop at the Yarnery. The Gale Zucker/She Shoots Sheep Shots Photo Workshop Evening was a one of a kind scenario in that it was a photography class that was geared towards learning how to take quality digital photographs of knitting related subject matter and then processing them for use on-line. One of the great aspects of this workshop was that Gale could use some of her many beautiful photographs from Shear Spirit and Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines to demonstrate the way she uses lighting and depth of field to capture her subject matter in a beautiful and informative way.

The workshop covered basic photography information like depth of field, shutter speed and aperture. A large emphasis was placed on using natural lighting to create pleasing images and to highlight the texture of knitted fabrics. I learned a bit about using a light box and now have the idea in my head that if I ever decide to open an Etsy store to sell jewelry, I must get a lightbox. It is true that the 2-1/2 hour workshop was not nearly enough time to delve deeply into any of the aspects of photography, but it was enough time to pick up some new information, play with lighting and get inspired to learn more about my camera's capabilities. And, who better to teach knitters about photographing knits than a professional knitting photographer! If Gale offers this class again, I would recommend taking it. And, if you are really lucky, you may get to be a part of Gale's dream of offering a longer, more in depth version of the workshop.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Project 365: Day 111

Sharing the Wealth

Remember how I said that peas are like gold in my family? Well, I thought the pea season was pretty much over for the year. My dad's garden in the city was pretty well picked out and the farmer's market peas all looked too overripe to satisfy my perfect pea craving. Well, as luck would have it, my dad's Wisconsin garden was planted later and still has perfect peas! My dad came back into town yesterday and made a huge vegetable delivery to our house tonight. Including...a huge bag of peas! Not as precious, but still quite yummy and appreciated, he also delivered cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, collards, chard, kale, radishes, and green beans. Gardener Dad and Vegetarian Trinity make a good team! He grows it and I eat it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Paul's Birthday Evening

Tonight was Paul's birthday celebration. Or, actually, one of his birthday celebrations since he already had a big birthday party and other birthday related visits from family.

We started out the evening with Paul drinking some whiskey I brought him home and opening his gifts. I gave him homemade coupons in each of the envelopes which were good for various gifts, ranging from date coupons to a chest freezer.

After I donned my pretty new dress bought especially for the evening, we headed out for a nice dinner at Craftsman.

The food was excellent! The menu focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. I had a seasonal cocktail that was basically a vodka martini with crushed raspberries, fresh lemon and a splash of prosecco. It was scrumptious. Paul chose one of their many local beers on the drink menu.

Our appetizers included a beet and chevre terrine with microgreens and corn meal crackers. The other plate was locally made gruyere cheese and fruit. Paul had a chicken entree and I had a grilled vegetable sandwich with the most fantastic french fries I have ate in a long time. Paul thought his meal was "very tasty and well done."

After all of that eating, it was good that we had the bike ride home to help with digestion. The Craftsman is in our neighborhood! Yay, Longfellow!

At the moment we are hoping to feel a little less full before bedtime so we can partake of Paul's birthday pie. I think it is Blubarb Pie. Paul thinks it is Rhuberry Pie. Turtle Bread Company calls it Blueberry Rhubarb Pie. No matter what it is called, it looks like a good way to end a birthday.

Project 365: Day 110

My Man's Birthday at Craftsman

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I've planned a fun night to celebrate your birthday, but wanted to start out the day with a happy birthday shout out.


Project 365: Day 109

Serious Sky

After many, many dry days, we finally got some much needed rain. The photo above was what the sky looked like around 5pm. I had forgotten how intense the stormy skies get here. It can feel like dusk in the middle of the day if a powerful thunderstorm moves in with dark rain clouds.

Sylvia's Grumpasaurus

Another F.O. to share...
This time it is for Sylvia's 1 year birthday party. I made her a Grumpasaurus from this fun pattern. It was a challenge to try and get the face to look grumpy with such a minimal amount of embroidery. I think it turned out decently enough to tell that this is NOT a happy dinosaur-like, pea-resembling creature.

The stubby hands and feet make me laugh.

I sewed the comb on backwards. Shhh! Don't tell Sylvia.

There were a two little mistakes in the body part of the pattern (i.e. rows 23 and 34 were repeated) but nothing that I couldn't figure out using a little common sense.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Project 365: Day 108

Crafty Sister

My sister Jessy came over to restring her bracelet while I knitted. She got the job done but not without lots of frustration. It is safe to say that she does not enjoy the jewelry-making process. But, I enjoyed the crafting company in the craft room.

Zoe's Bluebird

A little F.O. to share...
I knit up this little bluebird for Zoe's birthday gift a few weeks ago. I followed this pattern and used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn. As with all little toys I have knit, it was a bit fiddly to make. I was also surprised to figure out partway through knitting it that the distinction between the head and body shapes is made by weaving yarn in and out and cinching it tight. I would have preferred to work knitted shaping, but I guess I can't be too picky since it was a free pattern. I think Zoe likes it because Mark and Jerri sent me a picture of her biting the bird's beak!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Project 365: Day 107

Pretty Day

At long last, we had an summer-like day! The sky was blue with little white clouds, the sun shone, there was a light breeze and it was warm. Hallelujah!

After Paul and I cleaned up the party mess this morning, my mom came over for a visit. She gave Paul a great mix of BBQ related gifts, brought a hydrangea bouquet for us and got to talk gardening with me in the yard. Then, I headed out to meet up with Jerri and Zoe to check out the new Uptown Market. I got a great deal on two little fabric pouches, one to be used for my ipod and one for a knitting accessory kit. The day culminated in a solid chunk of time spent knitting on my Oblique sweater and listening to podcasts while lounging on my brand new futon! The craft room is a much more comfortable place now that there is something big and soft to sit on.

Weekends are a wonderful thing.

Project 365: Day 106

July 18, 2009
Softball BBQ Birthday

Paul and Mark have birthdays that are less than a week apart. Years ago it became their tradition to have a big, joint birthday party. Tradition was set that the day starts with a softball game and ends with a BBQ and a keg. The tradition took a little break while we were living in Boston. Now that Paul and Mark are both back in town and Paul and I have a house that is capable of hosting such an event, the softball/BBQ day has been revived.

Carrie's dog Truman

We started the day off with the softball game at a park in our neighborhood. We played under a sky that looked menacing and temperatures that were unseasonably cool. As hosts and birthday boys, Paul and Mark got to be team captains. They picked teams the old-fashioned gym class way, which means somebody had to get picked last. Gasp! I woke up with a backache which resulted in Paul spending the morning threatening to not pick me for his team. Luckily, I did get selected for his team and it wasn't just because I was the last person left. Everyone played hard and, if they are like me, are feeling quite sore today.

After the game, we headed back to our house for a potluck BBQ, to drink the keg and to properly christen the firepit. Paul and I had made a fire for the two of us a few weeks after moving in, but this was the first time we had a crowd over to fill in the 360 degree seating. We figured out that it is an 18-seater!

Mary and Ronnie brought these cute olive/cream cheese/carrot penguins and Shannon made Paul's birthday cake in his likeness!

It was so much fun to get to know Paul's group of friends better and to be able to host everyone comfortably in our house. The person we bought the house from said he enjoyed entertaining and made a lot of updates to the house with that in mind. I think he did quite a good job of it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Project 365: Day 105

July 17, 2009

Last night Sally, Jamie and I went on a trek out to Cottage Grove to spend an old-fashioned evening at the Drive-In Movies. It was a fun experience and came at just the right time for me. I really needed a night out with girlfriends! We all enjoyed the people-watching and dog-watching before the show and the Harry Potter movie was good. It was very apparent that many families make a night of it when they go to Cottage View. With the kids coming to the show in their pajamas and a double feature on the docket, it can be a long and relatively cheap night of family fun.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Project 365: Day 104

The Moss Piglets

Sally and I met up for our usual Thursday lunch date AND got to listen to some great bluegrass music. The group was called The Moss Piglets and three of the members are from my alma mater Grinnell College. One of the members plays a melodica!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Project 365: Day 103

Fruit Leather

My dad gave me a dehydrator for my birthday. I've been playing around with it lately. So far I have made dehydrated strawberries, cherries and fruit leather. The fruit leathers I made overnight last night. You can make lots of flavors of fruit leather, but I opted for apple since all I had to do was spread the applesauce on the trays and turn it on. After they get done dehydrating you can remove them from the trays and cut them into the size you want. Easy peasy and super tasty.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Project 365: Day 102

Knitting Library

My knitting books have a home in the new house! We made these bookshelves out of old wooden drawers that I rescued from the curb in Somerville about 3 years ago. And, as I have been advised, they leave enough room for growth. My craft room/guest room is coming along nicely. The futon couch/bed is being delivered this week. After that there will just be a few little gaps to fill in before I will have my own personal crafting hideaway.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Project 365: Day 101

And So It Begins

Paul and I ate our first locally grown tomatoes of the season for dinner tonight. And, what better way to eat them than in a Caprese Sandwich. (Has anyone else ever noticed that this famous Italian sandwich is made of ingredients that perfectly match the Italian flag?)The basil is from my dad's garden, the bread is from a local bakery and the mozzarella is from the coop. Which reminds me, did you see that locavore made it into Meriam-Webster? Summer eatin' makes me a happy vegetarian!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Project 365: Day 100

Smashing Cake

Today Paul and I joined Jamie and her family to celebrate Sylvia's first birthday. Sylvia was much more interested in smashing her cake instead of eating it. Maybe she was still full from all of the cake she ate on the 4th of July!

Today also marks my hundredth entry for Project 365. I don't know that I am seeing my life in "a whole new way" but I am finding this project surprising easy to keep up with. I am enjoying the challenge of finding photo-worthy items on otherwise humdrum days.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Project 365: Day 99

Cutting Garden

After a long afternoon of working in the yard, I rewarded myself with a bouquet from our rain garden. Yay! Thanks for planting those, Previous Owner.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Project 365: Day 98

Comfort Zone

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Project 365: Day 97

Eating Out at Gandhi Mahal

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Project 365: Day 96

Trim A Tree

Every since I became friends with Jamie in 3rd grade, one of my nicknames from her family has been Trim-a-tree. The nickname is derived from Jamie's attempt to spell my name on a card that came out Trimatree instead of Trinity. Well, this week Trim-a-tree has a whole new meaning for me. We are having an arborist come to look at our tree because our neighbors have decided that they don't like the part of the tree that hangs over their yard and were about to have another neighbor hack it off. Luckily I was out in the yard when they started the process of cutting it down. Then, tonight I noticed that the tree in the front yard has a branch that rests on a power line. Yikes! Having big trees has a lot of benefits but they also require some TLC to be able to co-exist with neighbors and power lines.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Project 365: Day 95

Knit Tag

The knitters at Borealis Yarn made up this eclectic tag for the column outside of the store. Even though they hung it up ages ago, I haven't seen it until tonight. It has been a long, long time since I have been able to go to a Tuesday night group. I finally made it back tonight. It is still a big enough group that it has to be split between the tables at the front and back of the store.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Project 365: Day 94

Red Wiggler Wormies

Per our request, Jessy gave Paul and I a Worm Factory for Christmas in 2007 and I'm only now getting it set up. Since we were anticipating moving, we held off on ordering worms right away. So, now we are settled and I have worms! The factory is a year round, indoor composting system. The worms speed up the process of composting and, I am told, when they are fully established can eat through 5-7 pounds of food scraps weekly. Plus, when they get really well set up, they will produce worm tea.

The worms were not included with the factory and have to be mail ordered separately. I ordered mine from Worm Woman. You have to use Red Wiggler worms in these composting systems and a typical starting amount is 1 pound which is approximately 1000 worms. Mine were shipped to me in a cardboard box. It was funny to open it up and see them all just chilling in the box.

The worms are now in their new home and have been alive for 3 whole days! I'll have to admit that I am way more excited about the worms than Paul is. Paul is much more smitten with his new BBQ grill, which we used for the first time last night.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Project 365: Day 93

Zoe is 1!

Jerri and Mark hosted a backyard birthday party to celebrate Zoe's first birthday this afternoon. If you check over on Jerri's blog later, I'm sure you will get a good photo recap there. I was too busy chatting up the friends and family to get too many photos, but luckily I did catch this one of the happy family. It was the weekend of birthday parties and there is one more to go next weekend. It is a lot of fun to see the crazy reactions to each baby's first taste of cake.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Project 365: Day 92

4th of July

In the true Land of 10,000 Lakes way, I spent my 4th of July at a lake. Jamie and Adam's family cabin, to be exact. The lake setting was familiar, but the other part of the setting was new to me. All but one couple that gathered at the cabin this afternoon had a baby in tow (not including Adam's parents and Aaron's parents who have already done their parental duties). They were all wonderfully behaved, sweet kids. But, man, is it different socializing amidst mom+dad+baby! It is a world full of diaper changing, breastfeeding, and developmentally appropriate playing that I have minimal to no experience with.

Another reason to celebrate was Sylvia's almost-1-year-old-birthday. She got her first taste of cake. She was slow to recognize that it was food, but once she tasted it, she gleefully made a big ol' birthday mess of it.

Paul and I decided not to head out for fireworks this evening. Instead, we are spending the night at home relaxing and trying to calm the nerves of our dogs. They aren't big fans of the unofficial firework displays being lit off by our neighbors up and down the block.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Project 365: Day 91

Like Gold

When my dad heard that I was moving back to Minnesota, he promised to plant lots of peas in his garden for me. Why peas? Because I have a reputation (deservedly) of being a pea hog. When I was little I would be sent out to the garden to pick the peas. Once out there, I would sit my butt down in the row and eat and eat and eat, barely putting any in the bucket. My dad is out of town, so he called to let me know that his city garden was ripe for the pea picking. I went over on Thursday night and picked a big bag full. I can tell I have grown a little and now understand delayed gratification. I only ate a few in the garden which meant I could bring a bag of the peas for my sister and I to eat during our afternoon on the beach today. Jessy's blissful look above is because these are delicious, heirloom peas that, in our family, are the equivalent of gold.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Project 365: Day 90

Googly Eyes

This sign is posted by the lightrail stop nearest to my house. I am imagining that the other stops have these signs too as they are there to alert pedestrians to the train track. However, I do wonder if all of them have googly eyes like this one does.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Poject 365: Day 89

Clean Up Crew

The dogs now each get a Kong that has a little peanut butter smeared inside of it when we leave them alone. Tchazo is much more dedicated to thoroughness when it comes to licking his Kong clean. So, when we get home and let them out of their crates, Tchazo's first task it to get Jack's Kong and clean up any leftovers. His is quite focused and dedicated to the task. It is sort of mind boggling to think of how many hours he sits in his crate anticipating that moment where he will get to lick the other Kong. Dogs are so much more patient than humans. And, for the record, Jack could care less about this daily event.
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