Monday, May 27, 2013

Yes! And, no thanks.

There are some definite signs of spring happening around here!  Hooray for lilacs in bloom and rhubarb a-growin'.

I made the first rhubarb crisp of the season this weekend.  Tart and sweet and nutty: delicious!  I followed this recipe but added a few tablespoons of chopped, crystallized ginger.  The crisp ended up a bit too watery, but still made for a great spring breakfast with some yogurt on top.

Now on to the stressful part of my week.  On Thursday, Tchazo had an ultrasound to investigate some alarming blood work results.  The jury is still out on what his issues are but we have eliminated some really dire and major diseases, so that is positive.  He is now eating special, prescription food to see if it will help his organ functions.

Then, the same day Tchazo got his ultrasound, Fanny started to get really sick.  She was vomiting, lethargic and stopped eating and drinking.  When I got home from work on Friday she had some new symptoms that scared us enough to bring her into the emergency vet.  Long story short, after 3 visits, many xrays, IV fluids, medicine, special food, hundreds of dollars and many, many hours of stressful time for us, she is on her way to being fully recovered!

Waiting for the vet's office to open.
Fanny was happy to explore the car since she was feeling a bit better on Sunday.
We were really scared there for a while when xrays showed she had an intestinal obstruction that may need surgery; a $4000 emergency surgery.  Saturday morning, when Fanny wasn't improving much, the emergency vet referred us to Mission Animal Hospital as a possible place to get the surgery at a lower rate.  We are so grateful for the referral.  Dr. Melanie was amazing and the costs of the visits to Mission were a fraction of what the emergency vet charges.

We are relieved to have everyone at home and acting like their normal selves.  I hope things are smooth sailing for a bit on the pet health front.  We've definitely had our share of pet worries over this last year or so.

During the bits of time where I wasn't watching Fanny like a hawk, I worked on getting our garden planted.  We are almost done planting and I'm really excited about it this year.  As soon as we get past this grey and gloomy weather, I plan to get pictures of the garden spaces and of a few finished garments that haven't made the blog yet.

Here's hoping your weekend was a lot more relaxing than mine!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trinity Stays Home

After 5 days away, I am really excited that Paul is on his way home.  He has been in the boundary waters with some friends where there is no cell reception, no stores, no facilities.  Before he left, I took a picture of him with all of his gear (Yep!  That is a keg of homebrew he is holding.).  If the weather on the internet was correct, this was the only time he was dry on the entire trip. I am sure he will return with lots of stories.  He made this video of the trip he took with this same group last year.

BWCA 2012 from PnT Vs the World on Vimeo.

While Paul was hanging out off the grid Tchazo, Fanny and I stayed home and had some good bonding time.

Occupy Tchazo's Crate
I had really wanted to spend the weekend getting our plants and seeds in the garden but the weather did not cooperate.  It has been one big rainfall after another lately, which means the ground is too wet to work even in the times between the storms.  I am aching to get out there and plant, so I really hope this coming weekend fairs better.

I have been enjoying eating as many meals as possible outside.  A particularly enjoyable one included a brand new issue of Interweave Knits and a wonderful gin and seltzer.  For the record, I am a big fan of using seltzer instead of tonic water.  It really lets the gin shine!

After nearly 4 years, we finally have a complete set of deck furniture!  We had the table and chairs custom built for us by Putzin' Bob. We got the table last year and I just picked up the chairs over the weekend.  They are made from reclaimed redwood deck boards and old picnic table parts.  The table needs a coat of sealant to bring the wood color back and then it will be a matching set.  I can't wait to host dinner parties back there this summer!

Tchazo and I found windows of time between rain storms each day to take walks.  He is such a great dog. He gets a little nervous when Paul is gone and walks help calm him down.  I've enjoyed taking new routes each time and taking note of all of the landscaping and plants in my neighbors' yards.

I spied Fanny keeping watch over the neighborhood and the passing cars.

My job has been really busy lately and so have my evenings and weekends.  It was really marvelous to have had this past weekend focus on doing things at home.  No schedule to follow.  No words necessary.  Even though I couldn't get into the garden like I wanted to, I was able to scheme up some landscaping and planting ideas, go shopping for supplies and plants and get a lot of other house projects done.  I re-caulked the bathtub (mold sucks!), did a major purge of the file cabinet (copies of every lease I've ever signed? gone!), cleaned out the garage (sort of - it is still a mess), donated stuff to the thrift store (good riddance!), cooked (simply), cleaned (lots of rain = muddy floors) and even relaxed a bit (watched an entire movie!). As much as I love to go go go and be social, sometimes what my soul needs is some time at home with companions who set a good example for soaking up the day.

I am getting closer to feeling recharged but will remember the lesson I've been relearning: sometimes no plans are the best plans.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Shepherd's Harvest 2013

Well, that is a mighty hefty amount of knitted goods on one person, eh?  That is because I was dressed and ready for the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival and there are no limits on how many knit items you can wear when going to a fiber festival.

The festival is held annually at the Washington Count Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo and has become an annual tradition for me.  It is the biggest and best outdoor fiber event in Minnesota.

I was feeling the siren song of spinning, weaving (of various sorts) and rug hooking yesterday.  I say it was a siren song, because I want to focus on knitting and sewing and jewelry making this next year and adding in more crafts would spread my time and energy too thin.  So, I just took some photos and stepped away from the temptation.

These spinning wheels from Hansen Crafts were new to me.  Are any of you spinning like this?

Flax processing demo

whack! whack! whack! flax.

Hillside Honey!  I got a jar last year and this year I got two!  The price is quite fair and the honey is delicious!  I go through a lot of honey with my weekly granola batches, so it feels wonderful to have a honey stash in the cupboard.

This little boy was really fun to watch.  The musician was playing a jaw harp just for him.  The music made the kid bounce up and down subtly, mesmerized.  Totally fun to watch their interactions!

peg loom weaving

The weather was intense at the festival.  We experienced rain, snow, sleet, and ice as well as brutal winds and a few precious moments of sunshine.  Everyone was really bundled up!  My friends and I had packed a picnic, which we ended up eating in the car.

Rug hooking - Hooker's Wood & Wool

If you wanted to impulse buy a bunny, the offer of to go boxes made it entirely possible.

Rag Rug Weaving - This one was really hard for me to walk away from.  It seems really gratifying!  I took a pamphlet from J. Eldon Co. and will possibly get one of these looms in the future.

 A peak of sunshine!

Other than the honey, I purchased 3 cones of Habu Silk/Stainless Steel yarn and 2 skeins of Merino Laceweight yarn (Sun Valley Fibers).  I plan to make Paulina with these two yarns held together.

A few more notes:
I also liked Brickyard Pottery's sheep pottery.  A sheep spoon rest might be in my future.
I plan to keep this fall fiber festival on my radar.
I'm not exactly sure what this Sheep & Fiber Farm Tour is, but I am excited to find out.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Beer Tasting

first pour of the evening
As you probably know by now, Paul is really into beer and some of his friends are, too.  Last month, a few of them got together for a tasting.  Each person brought one or two special bottles of beer and everyone tasted each beer.  Since we were hosting, I got in on the tasting, too.  It is really fun to have a small portion and pay really close attention to the flavors (and color and mouth feel and all of that fancy stuff).

Since then, more people have shown an interest in participating and the decision was made to make this a monthly event.  Here are a few pics from 2nd tasting, which was primarily held on our back deck (yay!).





Ryan and one of the beers he brought

This time I wasn't the only girl!  Ryan's girlfriend Beth was there, too.  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of her but I did get some pictures of the cute bottle cap candles she made.  I've come to realize the person to my immediate left tends to be missing from my pictures in settings like these.  The lens I use likes a bit more distance from my subject.  Next time I will have to make a point of switching seats for a bit.  Sorry, Beth!

I enjoyed the tasting while knitting away on my Buttercup.

We went through a lot of pretzels as both a palette cleanser and a strategy for warding off the buzz.

photo by Paul
The lineup of the beers we tasted.  My favorites were from Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company.  Bonus: the swingtop bottles get reused for kombucha!

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