Stuck on You
Zander stopped home in the middle of the day to bring me these pretty glads from the farmer's market downtown. I think they're lovely and they do indeed make me glad. I was in a bit of a funk, even after a fun and delish lunch with Anna and LA. He didn't even know that (about the funk), but magically the flowers arrived anyway.
I don't think I've mentioned Chubby yet. He lives behind us. He is really skinny, really nice, and he fixes cars. Today he's been working on an older guys pimped out Caddy. I think it has solid gold hubcaps, and those spin when the car is NOT moving. Anyway, whenever this guy is over to see Chubby, he's trying to get that bass pumping the entire time... except that he only plays Lionel Richie, and that just doesn't provide a whole lotta bass. I kind of think he's adorable.
Today I've been trying to work outside in between rain drops. I planted the side of our house, where last week we ripped a thornie-yuckie bush right out of the ground. In its place are three mini bushes with little purple flowers that I hope will someday fill out and become regular bushes with purple flowers. Oh, and I also planted some sedum and gave my climbing roses something to climb on. I need something right in front of the little window. Maybe something with height... I'm just not sure what that'll be. Tonight we headed back out to Patio Town to get some gravel for our little patio area. I've got a lot of extra dirt from this increasingly-more-and-more-of-a-pain-in-the-neck project. Any ideas on getting rid of it? To make our trip a bit more fun we had a suburb-date out in Maple Grove. Unhuh, free parking. Unhuh, lotsa strip malls. Unhuh, lots khakis and whiney children. Yes, we could have gone all fancy, but instead we went to Apple Bee's and ate mildly disgusting food but drank it down with big, delicious margaritas.
good and bad news...
ALWAYS good news first. I got a call on Saturday night letting me know that I got the very part-time job at Mosaic on a Stick
! I stopped in on Thursday and left my name/number, I called on Friday to remind them that I'm interested, and then stopped in again on Saturday afternoon to see if the position was still open. On Saturday they were really sweet, but let me know they were really busy and needed some time to figure out who to hire. Then I let them know that I wouldn't really be so persistant if weren't for my Mom that knows them. "Oh your Mom knows us, who is she?" "Oh she's Cheryl Joyce. She took one of your classes." "Cheryl Joyce? We LOVE her!!!" Long story short, they called and offered me the job about 2 hours later. I'll go into work tomorrow morning to talk about the details. I'm very excited.
Here's the bad news. As of this morning, our tree's got a ring. It's coming down. Time to research planting a new tree for the front.
What to do with all that crazy mint? Check out an awesome Mojito recipe
. My girlfriend Beth (who I don't get to see nearly often enough!) also sent this delicious looking recipe for tabbouli.
(Do not add salt or olive oil until just before serving.)
1/2 cup bulghur wheat (fine grind is best, medium works okay)
2 bunches parsley (I prefer flat leaf texture but curly is fine)
1 bunch green onion
Tomatoes - at least 2 cups chopped
Fresh mint. 5 or 6 stalks at least
2 to 3 lemons (to taste!)
Romaine lettuce leaves (garnish & scoopers, optional)
Fresh grape leaves (scoopers - optional)
Soak the bulghur wheat in at least three times its volume of cold water. Fine grind only needs a half hour of soaking. Medium grind needs longer.
Chop the parsley leaves, green onions, mint, tomatoes and cucumbers. I prefer using a knife to a food processor, the processor over does it. The tomatoes should be seeded and cut up into quite a small dice.
Mix veggies and bulghur together. Douse with strained lemon juice. If you are not ready to serve immediately, cover and hold in a cool place. Do NOT add salt and olive oil until immediately before serving.
You may garnish with more diced tomatoes and/or diced cucumber, and stick lettuce or grape leaves around the sides of the bowl to scoop with.
Strangeness in the Night
Yesterday morning I made my way outside, in my robe, to sit on the steps and drink some coffee. That sounds much nicer than what I was really going out there to do... There's been an ugly, bashed up mini-van with the windows rolled down, all the seats totally reclined, sitting outside our house for about a week, and I went outside to see the license plate so I could call the cops. The sheriff's office said that it hasn't been stolen, but I could have it towed if I considered it an eye-sore. Well, I don't want to cause any problems for anyone, so I just told him to put it on file that I think something weird is going on with that van. He was a bit patronizing, but agreed. Anyway, as I was coming back in the house, I noticed a 12 sided dice, some strange pictures (one dated Jan 1979), and a stretchy Santa on our steps. How I missed these on the way out, I'll never know! Anyway, the dice is awesome. "Think or Thwim," "Live off the Fat of the Land Join a Slimmer's Club," "Wishing won't make it Well," "As you Sow so shall you Mow," just to name a few sides. At first I thought the van and the stairway gifts were somehow related. Maybe the driver is leaving me clues and needs me to rescue him??? Ok, maybe not.
Boo is on the case. Together we'll get to the bottom of (drumroll please).......The Mystery of Who Left the Weird Stuff on our Front Steps
My little herb garden has gone crazy, and my mint is taking over. I cut a little to put in my iced tea last night, but seriously, I need some ideas for using it up!
We're back from New York, a place I've always wanted to visit, and also a place I'd love to visit again. Zander had a great convention. He saw lots of cool people from the comic world, and sold a lot o' stuff. We stayed in the cool SOHO neighborhood, which was a great spot to be. Lots of great little shops and bars, and great people (and bird) watching too.
On Saturday while Zander was at the convention, I wandered all the way up to Central Park! There were lots of wonderful stops along the way... Union Square was fun, MoMa was spectacular. I knew it would be a great museum, but I practically squealed when I saw so much unexpected art work from so many of the artists that I teach students about. Frida Kahlo is a favorite, so I was really happy to find her work. It was much smaller than I'd imagined.
I also ate the best hot dog I've ever had outside that museum. Speaking of museums, LA
recommended that I check out the American Folk Art Museum
, and it was absolutely wonderful. One of my favorite pieces was done by a serial killer about 100 years ago. He happened to find a couple of colored pencils in the jail and then proceeded to render the jail's floorplan out of devil faces. These were the devils that told him to KILL, KILL, KILL. Every single floor was filled with so much great stuff... Unfortunately, no photos were allowed.
Alright, I hate pictures of me, and I especially hate it when I don't have any lipstick on (my lips are invisible), but I especially hate it when I've been sweating all day long in the humid, hot jungle of New York. But we are aweful about having pictures taken together, and I'm afraid that our children will someday wonder if we were ever in the same place at the same time... OK, we hit the Empire State Building on Sunday. The view was truly amazing, but the touristy lines weren't. Fortunately for me, the couple ahead of us in line were fighting, and I spent some time figuring out their story. I do think he is in "the mob" and I also think that he isn't bringing home enough "bling" to keep her occupied, so she's spending a LOT of time shopping. He just got the credit card bill right before heading to the Empire State Building, and he is not happy.
I had to save something (italics) to do on our next trip to New York, so this is the closest we came to the Statue of Liberty!
out. If you are in the twin cities and if you are crafty, come to the Craft Conspiracy. We meet on the first Thursday of the month. We're a very new group, and frankly, we eat and talk a lot.
Alright, many of you know that I've been an Atkin's girl, off and on for the last five years. Recently I decided that something about mostly eating meat, cheese and fake sweets just grosses me out. So, I went off of it. And I started my day with whatever the school lounge threw my way. Doughnuts and Tootsie Rolls you say? Oh yeah. Mayo dripping pasta salad with a side of birthday cake? Oh yeah. Dear friends, my favorite jean skirt is tight. Something needs to be done. I can't go back to Atkins. I don't want to count points and measure servings. I do want my jean skirt to fit nicely. I do well with easy rules, especially when there aren't very many. Thus the No S Diet
and quality time spent with the treadmill.
Here's my latest mosaic project. The broken plates, coasters and tiles are all getting glued onto a metal IKEA table. I thought I could leave that little table outside until I got motivated to glue stuff on it, but it rusted!!! So, I'm experimenting with mosaic on a little rust!
The problem with working in mosaic on tables is keeping the surface flat enough to keep your beverage steady. Thus the coasters. If you see any cute ones without cork, let me know and I'll go snatch them up!
This past weekend we made it down to Zander's ten year college reunion. No we didn't ride into Grinnell on a tractor! I was a bit nervous about meeting so many new people, but it really was a great time. It was funny though, we spent a LOT of time talking to people from Minneapolis! I guess that means that we all need to get together a bit more often. Some of the high lites for me (not in any certain order)... 1. Meeting Pip, Zander's theater professor. She is the most centered, loving, welcoming, gracious lady. When I grow up I want to be like her. 2. Meeting Brandy from LooseTooth
She has a cute little hedge hog! It ran around our dorm room with a toilet paper roll on its little head! 3. Getting a hug from Zander's freshman year girlfriend. She's beautiful and sweet. 4. Eating at the Dairy Barn.
I had a Whopper Cyclone. Yummm. 5. Rooming next to Mike
. Yes, they did bust in around 2am wanting to know if we were up to the "devil's business." I don't think it was Emily's idea...
In the last few weeks of school, my 1st graders were all about Claude Monet. They loved it when I'd play the true or false game with them... True or false... Monet had 8 children? True or false... Monet was from Missouri? Well, like all good 1st grade students know... 1. Monet is all about the impression that light and clouds leave on the water and 2. He has a Japanese bridge in his garden. This was one of my favorite masterpieces that came out of that lesson. I love the rainbow and the "I love art" floating in the sky. Truth be told, looking at it makes me feel weepy. I'm sad to leave Turtle Lake. Friday was my last day there and I didn't do that well keeping it together. At the end of the day, a parent brought in her third grade son. He gave me roses. I gave him a hug and cried. This boy has charmed me all year long with his wonderful little chuckle. His pre-school sister cried when she found out I wouldn't be her art teacher. This is the card she wrote for me. Absolutely adorable. I just hugged her and cried again. Bye Turtle Lake! I'll miss you.
My first rose
Alright, I know what you're saying... enough of the boring garden pictures! Well, this is my first garden ever and I'm just a tad excited. I'm not sure what kind of roses I have, but this bush has got about 50 buds on it. The blooms are gorgeous but short-lived. They last about a day and then the petals scatter.