Sunday, October 28, 2012

Back in MN

view from an airplane window

Hello there!

I am back from my trip to San Francisco with a ton of fabulous memories and a memory card full of photos.   I am working on getting my photos sorted and ready to share with you. I am envisioning these photos as making sense when presented in the form of miniature collections.  It turns out that I tend to take multiple shots on a theme without meaning to focus on that theme (i.e. dogs, signs, public transport)!  I am also working on getting rid of a cold, which took a stubborn hold on me during my last 2 days in San Francisco.

I hope to be back very soon with more pictures!

mountain views from the plane

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Miscellany: Graffiti Boy

This boy greets me at the train stop.  I am quite fond of him.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Miscellany: Light Rail Construction

More scenes from a light rail construction site with a bit of downtown and the Metrodome in the background.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Miscellany: Morphed View

Reflections are so fun to play with.  Especially when they yield fun house effects!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Miscellany: Painting a Stripe

The area near my work has been continually under construction for all of spring, summer and fall as they prepare for and install the newest light rail line.  It has been interesting to see how it all comes together.  FYI, sometimes the paint for traffic lanes isn't actually paint!  It comes on a roll!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Miscellany: Minnehaha Falls

These usually voluminous Minnehaha Falls have run nearly dry due to the drought this past summer.  This photo was taken at the start of the season before the weather here turned super wonky.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fly Away to San Fran

This afternoon I will be winging my way to San Francisco!  I am super excited to spend a week there soaking up a new city, eating amazing California cuisine and seeing a few friends.  In preparation for my trip, I cleaned out my camera's memory card.  Word to the wise, do not let 6+ months of pictures pile up on your memory card!  Holy smokes, that takes a long time to sort through!  Anyway, I pulled some unpublished pictures to keep this space going while I am away.  Have a fabulous week.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Penelope's In Threes

This F.O. post is long, long overdue.  However, I am not surprised, as this sweater has a history of delay surrounding it.  I finished knitting it a year ago!  Then, after a series of failed plans to see the parents of the little one destined to wear it, we finally got together.  Last July.  Which means another 3 months have passed and I am just now getting around to posting about it.

Pattern: In Threes
Rav Link to my project

My modifications included a little crocheted flower and some stripes.  This pattern is so simple and rewarding to knit.  And a little addicting, too.  I have made a few of these!  In fact, I knit the pink one in this post.  Jamie and I did a knit -along so each of her kids would have one!

Buttons are from Hunt and Gather and the little customized label was a gift from my friend Becky.

And, in keeping true to style, the sweater is big enough that Penelope probably won't fit into it until next year.
Hope you like it, little one!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday at the Dog Park

leaves crunching underfoot and falling like rain

Photo bomb!  
I hope your weekend was as wonderful as a trip to the dog park is for Tchazo.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Celebrate the Harvest Festival

A brisk fall Sunday at Gale Woods Farm for their Celebrate the Harvest festival.

a haystack jungle gym!

silo at the working farm
knitting machine demo

examples of using dye from flower petals

Jessica and her llama friend

brick oven for bread baking

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Autumnal Absence

The drought conditions in the midwest yielded something positive.
The brussels from my dad are usually really sandy from the dirt the rain kicks up as they grow.
This year?  Sand-free brussels!
I guess I should have seen that coming.  The busiest time of year at my work coincides with the peak of Minnesota's harvest season.  During the end of August through September, I burn my candle at both ends trying to satisfy my squirrel-like instincts to get as much as I can set aside for winter while also staying late and working through lunches at my job.  So, it should come as no surprise to me that I didn't end up with many pictures or (any!) blog posts over the last month (add to that, very few visits to the gym and way too many slapdash dinners, if we are being honest here).  Still, I didn't see it coming!  Next year, I will know better.

After I thought I had done all of the preserving I could bear to do for the season, my dad showed up with a station wagon full of veggies.  I am grateful for my Dad CSA, but it sure comes at inopportune times and with little-to-no warning!

Tomatoes, cabbages, pumpkins, squashes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli,
kale, collards, chard,  cucumbers, brussels sprouts, cauliflower...
and  probably more that I have already forgotten.
Flats and boxes and bags and burlap sacks full of produce!
That look on his face?  That look says, "Here!  You take it! That way if it rots, you will be the one with the guilt, not me!"  You see, neither of us can stand when veggies go to waste, so he knows if he passes it on to me, I will work my damdest to get it canned/frozen/dried/eaten before it goes bad.  Really, the solution would be to plant less, but that strategy never seems to grow legs.

This time around, I got smart and I started utilizing my dad's strategy.  I identified others who would appreciate veggies and I started to unload them on those people.  I passed on tomatoes and peppers and squash and greens and I kept saying, "Are you sure you don't want to take more?"  Even with my produce-foisting efforts, there was still no shortage of madly squeezing in batches in the dehydrator, blanching and freezing, pickling, roasting, fermenting, slow roasting, milling and canning sauce and baking happening at my house.

dried bell peppers - delicious in winter soups
Cucumber Relish and Tomato Sauce

Throughout all of the processing and preserving that I did, it tended to occur to me to take a picture only once I had gotten to the end of the day.  The point at which I was nearly done and it was time to take the bowl of scraps out to the compost pile.  The point at which I tended to be a bit delirious with fatigue and tending to see my bowl of scraps as a jumbled up timeline of my day's efforts.  I admit, even when I am well rested, I think there is a certain still life-esque beauty to the bits that were left behind.

And then it happened.  The weather got cold.  The plants started to get crunchy and dry and stopped growing.  The harvests got smaller and smaller.  Last weekend, I cooked a whole bunch and then this week, I ate it all!  All of my efforts were for now!  It feels indulgent to spend that time and energy in the kitchen and then eat the results right away.

It is funny how that works.  The seasons here are such a blessing for me.  I tend to go full-force into a few aspect that go along with each season.  By the time the next season kicks in, I am ready to shift focus.  My next focus?  Knitting!  Lots and lots of knitting!  
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