29 July 2009
"Take an interest in his appearance. Keeping his clothes in order is your job; encouraging him to look his best, and admiring him when he does, should be your pleasure."
Clearly, I am succeeding as a housewife. :)
26 July 2009
23 July 2009
I made a trip to the Westside Farmer's Market this afternoon. I love having it so close, even though it's so small. I can typically get anything I need. And that I did. Hooray for fresh veggies and fruits, and maybe even some pie cherries. Maybe. :)
This winter when my guts were being real jerkfaces, I was on a desperate search for any type of ginger candy, just as something extra to try and help out. Search as I might, I came up empty handed. Well, today I just happened upon these at Trader Joe's. I snagged them right up. I tried one out earlier this evening, unsure because although I like gingersnaps and gingerale, I hate ginger. It was strong! Super bite, and even kind of peppery. Not unpleasant, not necessarily tasty, but tolerable, and, with a bite and lingering taste like that, I have to assume they have to help in cases of gut unrest (at the very least, will help my queasy when I fly!).
Hooray for day of scores!
21 July 2009
Typically we take the dogs out back to go out -- out the back door, down the stairs, to avoid the hill o'death. So it'd been a while since I'd looked closely/noticed at my neighbors' (yes, the crazy generator neighbors) garden. I guess I shouldn't have been THAT surprised to discover the five-foot jungle garden o' weeds. Ugh.
File this under "meant to be." I saw the perfectest shirt at Urban on Friday with Brad. For $5. But it was a little big. And the line was looooong. So I put it back. I thought about it for a few days and decided I had to have it. So I ran into Urban on Sunday (good to know for next year -- they keep the cheap stuff on sale after art fair) and found it.... even in a smaller size. Now tell me, was this shirt not made for ME?
It's like a mood ring!
PS Was up late last night (said knots!) and finished, with the help of Guru Jess, of course, my latest hat. Two toned!
19 July 2009
We started the farthest out, down on South U, so we could work our way back closer to the side of town we parked on. It ended up being perfect. We both agree that that side of town is by far the sketchier side, in general, and you could tell that the more premium booth spaces were elsewhere. But we also discovered the crowds are far more manageable, the art seems a little more eclectic and affordable, and many of the emerging and local artists were there, too. Over pizza at NYPD, we decided to make art fair a yearly tradition, and we'll definitely follow the same path next year. (And props to Lisa for being the perfect art fair partner. We have very similar art-fair-tackling philosophies!)
For my birthday, Brad told me to pick out some art, so I even got to bring some of that culture home with me (thanks, hubby!). And while I suspect that the artists far prefer to sell original paintings or big works of art, little folk like me so do appreciate the ones that make available small prints or even cards so I can take an affordable piece of art home.
One of our favorite booths belonged to an artist who did whimsical and colorful paintings of circus folk, dancers, flowers, tequila bottles with faces, and we both grabbed small prints -- Lisa a dancing can-can girl, me a pair of swirly apples. This pic doesn't nearly do it justice (needs a frame), but I <3 it.
Another of our favorite booths belonged to an artist who painted adorably dark/fantastic characters on wood canvases. We spent a lot of time there, oohing and ahhing over the cute birds, bugs, and, of course, dogs (another of my favorites was a brown bear in a canoe). I snagged two cards and a small print (which the artist so kindly gave me a deal on). I nearly died over the sad bunny.
And finally, the booth I stumbled upon earlier in the week and had been plotting my purchase for days... Wacky and zany (and somewhat creepy) pottery. Does this surprise anyone? :) After much deliberation, I settled on an "I'm gonna barf" spoon rest and a two-faced vase.
I really am quite surprised by how much I enjoyed art fair. Is this what happens when you turn 31? You start loving all that you mocked your whole life?! Should be an interesting year.......
16 July 2009
What did I do today? I spent the afternoon at Art Fair with my dad. In Ann Arbor. He lives here now, and, more importantly, he's alive, living a pretty normal (for him) life. He still doesn't remember much about that time last year (or really understand why I have a mini heart attack and turn into nazi daughter every time he has a physical or mental complaint), but otherwise he's HERE. He's him. He has a big fat belly and eats like it's no one's business. He walked all over town. He commented on art and gasped at prices. He had normal old man complaints about tired legs and achy backs. And he was smiling.
I know he's not living the life of his dreams. He'll always have bad days, and I don't know that I'm always the best daughter in those situations. But days like today, when I remember what could have been, I am so thankful that we are where we are.
And this little apple jar (hooray for $6 art!) can be my reminder of what today really meant -- and maybe a little visual kick in the ass when I get impatient or frustrated or just plain lazy.
13 July 2009
Pitting wasn't much of a pain at all with this guy. Some of the smaller cherries I had to knock the pits loose from, but for the most part it pitted, shot the pit in the bowl, and left me with a lovely pitted cherry -- it didn't even squirt me (ok, it did once, right in the eye -- but that was my first attempt!). Once everything was pitted, I set out to make more freezer jam, using this recipe I found, which is basically the recipe I used before (which is basically just the recipe on the SureGel box, so nothing fancy at all). In no time at all, I had six containers of jam; the extra one I kept out for immediate fridge usage.
I also discovered that Heidi is quite mesmerized by cherry pitting. She sat at my feet, silently, the whole time. Then, of course, when I was done, she was back to her normal shenanigans.
In other exciting food news, I got my first summer tomatoes. Mmmm. Of course, I had to then make my first summer tomato, mozzarella, and basil (which I grew!) sandwich. Delish.
Oh yeah, but I was talking about updates, wasn't I? I finished up two knitting projects last week!
and I decided Ella needed a hat, too. They do live in chilly England. Brr!
My first adult hat!
And one last update...
Happy First Birthday to Liz and Aaron's little man! Yeah for Sam! :)
Finally, if you're curious what the pooches got up to this weekend, they had a little fun in the sun...
09 July 2009
First up, dealing with the dough -- I made it yesterday, and it spent the night in the fridge. It was kind of a pain at first, and I started to panic. Why isn't it rolling out? I'm following Jessica's advice! But eventually it started to give and it rolled out pretty nicely -- for me, at least. I'm not looking for round perfection.
Next up, pie! I found this recipe a few days ago, and since it was easy and I had all the ingredients, I figured it was as good as any.
Get in the oven, pie!
Now... get out of the oven!
Ahh, glorious pie!
Now.... time for a piece!
All for me!
Like I already said, it's super super yummy. Cooking toned down the tart cherries, so it has just the right amount of bite, and Jess was right -- this dough is perfect. Think Brad will notice if I eat the whole pie before he gets home?
08 July 2009
The pitter couldn't do the bigger, sweet cherries, but that was ok because I planned on keeping those intact anyway. Pit pit pit!
I have tomorrow planned as the big project day, but, to get a head start, I threw together some dough this afternoon. What a mess that made!
Jessica recommended this dough recipe from Martha Stewart: dough. It says to use a food processor. Well, you can see mine in this pic -- it's tiny! So I decided to try the blender. My blender sucks. Alas (that's for you, Liz!), I ended up doing sort of batches in the tiny processor. I think I added a little too much water, so I threw some extra flour in to de-stickify it a little. Fingers crossed.
Handy tip I read about and tried today: instead of chopping (cold) butter into small pieces, grate it using a large-hole cheese grater. It worked like a charm. (I still can't believe I used TWO sticks of butter in this dough! Holy crap!)
Wish me luck tomorrow as I embark on more old-lady endeavors! :)
07 July 2009
After catching up, lunching, etc., the rain finally cleared and the boys got to lightin' stuff on fire. Fiyah! A mini fireworks show commenced in the parking lot next to Meg's house. Might I add that we dodged sudden death from the neighbors, who were shooting fireworks basically at us. Crazy kids! Shortly after, the city 'works started, and we enjoyed the show from Liz and Aaron's front yard.
After the fireworks, a few of us headed into Lafayette for a few drinks and some (very) (loud) music. And random hipster spotting. Always fun. Some drunk texting may or may not have ensued.
Sunday morning we awoke to a clear sky... and a delicious brunch! Liz cooked up some goodies and the Nemecs joined us at Meg's for some more goodies (mmm waffles). Those crazy kids sure do know how to treat a guest. :) Next up, a haunted tour of Lafayette. Here's what the Haunted Places of Indiana website has to say about our stops:
We also stumbled upon some hilarious graffiti at the high school:
After the ghost hunt, we took a walk with the Nemecs, got some DQ (metallic burn!), had a little pool party with Sam, and then got down to business -- our delayed fourth of July bbq. While everyone so awesomely got the food together, Sam and I had a little hang out session.
Again, thanks to the whole crew for such an(other) awesome spread! Meg made potato salad, Juan made arepas, Aaron grilled corn, and Liz made fried chicken. Yum yum! And even better enjoyed out in the backyard, picnic style.
And what's a summer bbq without a fire?! And roasting marshmallows?!
Seriously, what a great weekend. And might I take a quick moment here to say, for the 100th time, how jealous I am of Meg and Liz's awesome setup. They live next door to each other! Cutest. Ever. They are so lucky to have each other. :) Love you guys!
To take a peek at the rest of my trip, click beeeeeelow: