Monday, May 31, 2010

Home Improvement.

I could really do without spackling the dinning room ceiling due to the previous owner's ability to stick a piece of drywall to the ceiling with bubble gum shortly after walking all over it and leaving footprints (due to the owner before that neglecting a leak in the roof that may or may not have turned into a hole).

I had enough of that - so I watered the garden in back and the plants in front at 11pm. A neighbor walked by and commented on my "midnight yard work".

Tiny Vacation!

On Saturday we took a day trip up to Duluth. I had not yet been that far north in Minnesota (gasp!). We spent some time there driving around and found an Indian place for lunch. We then went along the north shore and stopped at Gooseberry Falls and at the Split Rock Lighthouse. We took Honey with and I think she had a wonderful time. I was very proud of the way that she behaved in such a different environment with so many people, new smells, and other dogs. It was supposed to be around 90 degrees in the Twin Cities on Saturday and only 2.5 hours north in Duluth it was supposed to be in the 70s. Since we were right on the shore of Lake Superior the entire time it didn't get much warmer than the mid 50s. I thought that was an interesting span of temperatures for one day and for such a short distance. I've included some of the most interesting photos below. :)[gallery order="DESC"]

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Creating Food

I'm sitting in bed right now and Honey desperately wants to be with me.  She keeps pacing around the bed but she is not allowed for two reasons.  1: She will most likely attempt to sit on, lay on, or lick the computer.  2: She is shedding like I've never experienced a dog shedding in my life (I don't have very much experience but it's kind of blowing my mind).  She just led me on an uneventful chase through the house.  She was most likely getting annoyed that I had not yet invited her onto the bed and she began to sound a rather soft and deep bark at any little sound she heard while standing quite alert at the door.  Eventually I gave in and she bolted downstairs and had to look at everything.  She then wanted to go outside where she proceeded to just stand there.  When I opened the door she ran in, grabbed a ball, and reluctantly followed me back upstairs.  So here I am, in bed again.  Tyler is in the basement playing a computer game.  So we're three floors apart.  Wow.

Today Tyler mowed the backyard. I was supposed to mow the front but Tyler had to fix up the lawnmower so it would run more smoothly and we were nearly out of daylight and I was nearly out of energy by that point so it didn't happen. It's now on my weekend list. Instead I spent some time weeding the garden and digging up chunks of grass and dandelions from the boulevard in front where I have planted some perennials. After everything I didn't want was gone I filled in the section south of our sidewalk with extra mulch taken from our community garden. It's a step in the right direction. The most exciting next step, in my opinion, is a new fence.

So... on to the point of this post. Tonight dinner was nothing special as I spent much of my energy outside and was out of one of the main ingredients for the dinner I was supposed to prepare tonight. We just had spaghetti. BUT while cooking the sauce I decided to run outside and grab some fresh basil from the garden and toss it in. Yum! And THEN I ran outside and grabbed a ton of fresh spinach from the garden and cleaned it up. I made two bowls and Tyler and I both created some dressing. Mine included olive oil, apple cider vinegar, parsley, and oregano. Quite yummy! I'm not sure about Tyler's. It was just amazing to run into the backyard and grab some food. In my typical negative looking into the future thinking I have to say: I wish I could do this all year round. But how about I calm my brain down and just enjoy the food I have growing in the backyard and not worry about winter until it gets here. Goodness Emma, calm down.

Below are some photos of food. The beef & vegetable soup from last night (which Tyler enjoyed very much, and again for lunch today), the spinach after being washed, and my bowl of spinach and dressing. mmmmmmm!



Check out this animated gifs - I can't help but stare!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dog days of May

This blog has been on the tip top of my brain since I last posted. Imagine that! However I have had THE busiest work week in my 2.5 years at Fraser. Five school meetings (IEP, Kindergarten transition, etc.) for both Case Management clients and FACT clients, multiple Case Management meetings, and many first in-home meetings with families that I am now doing Direction of Behavioral Aide. The majority of these meetings have been off site so I have really racked up the miles thus far this week. The weather has been amazing so it really hasn't bothered me too much, save for being incredibly slow replying to some personal emails (sorry Melanie & Chelsea!) and having thoughts about this blog but not having a moment to breathe until now.

There is some soup cooking in the kitchen, a beef & vegetable soup, that should conveniently be done at about 10:15pm. I tend to start making dinner too late and most of what we eat is homemade so it tends to be time consuming. Tonight has proved to be wonderful for cooking as it's a refreshingly cool one! I wouldn't be surprised if you're slightly confused.. you most likely assume that it's cold here in Minnesota 365 days/year, 24 hours/day. Well my friend... you're wrong! Currently it is a refreshing 71 degrees outside. This is refreshing as the weather the past week or so has been in the 80s during the day, at least. We made it up to 97 at one point last week. The average for this time of year (a few days last week when I paid attention to the news) is 72. The current temp that day was 83 and the record (set last year in 2009) was 95! Woah! A coworker put it quite well on Monday afternoon, we just tell everyone that it's terrible and cold in MN so we don't get all kinds of weird people moving here. Not that I have much right to agree with something like that as I'm not a native Minnesotan...

While writing this I'm also updating the "news" portion of our neighborhood's website. If you haven't yet please check out! We're getting rather involved in the neighborhood here in North Minneapolis, which I love! And by we, I mostly mean me but also a little we. Tyler & I went to a meeting yesterday evening to review grant proposals for facade improvements on Broadway. It was really neat and felt great to be a part of the decision making process that will bring significant change and visual benefits to our neighborhood. :) The grants and being awarded via the West Broadway Coalition. You can learn more about them here. We met in the Northside Art's Collective space which you can learn more about here.

In conclusion, tonight we should be at a concert at The Cedar Cultural Center. I won tickets on twitter to see The Very Best. The two times that I have won tickets from I have been extremely excited to go and very interested in the band/ensemble. However, we somehow fail to go each time. Something about it being free seems to a bit less motivating to rush through our typical routine. We were too slow when arriving home after work and I had this soup dinner scheduled so it just didn't work out. :( Yes, I had dinner scheduled. I plan our dinners weekly so there is no wondering and whining back and forth about what we should do for dinner every night. It also makes grocery shopping significantly easier and slightly more enjoyable. It also helps us stick to the budget.. sometimes. Occasionally I rush through the store and don't total it up as I go. I have recently vowed to contribute my "personal" money to the "family" money whenever I go over the allotted "food" money. We have entirely too many checking and savings accounts. :)

The end.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chlandi Singing

This is too interesting and amazing to not share. Please watch this video and click on the following link for more interesting things.

Chladni Singing from meara o'reilly on Vimeo.

This is inspiring.


I'm going to try this again.  I had good intentions the first time and they fizzled out.  I had succumbed to the thought process that often hinders me from following through my with my good intentions.  In short, I have an idea/plan/good intention.  I start out strong and something along the way causes me to get off track.  That something could be anything but usually manifests itself as my feeling too busy (feeling too busy is not the same as being too busy).  Once that process begins I either jump quickly back into that idea/plan/good intention or I get discouraged and disappointed.  The latter is what happened here.  I got discouraged and decided to never come back.  Well, that's silly.  So here I am trying again.  I suppose having a blog is not the most important thing to get myself all stressed out and risk having great disappointment in myself about.  But it is something that I would like us (tyler & myself) to have.  Seeing as we do not participate in the typical ways to stay connected via the internet (facebook & myspace) maybe this will be useful and interesting to some who wish we were connected in that way.  And now I have found the end of this long paragraph.

Right now I'm sitting in the backyard typing into Text Edit as the internet struggles to reach our concrete patio slab.  I would be upstairs sitting on the porch as I know the internet can find itself there but I'm at my post keeping an eye on the weather.  At my post?  Well, yesterday I hung up a laundry rope since our backyard came with one of those "T" shaped metal poles with hooks and metal hooks placed appropriately on the garage.  While filling the dryer with clothes this morning I remembered the rope!  I just finished hanging up the laundry but the sky looks confusing and the air feels as though rain might be on the way.  The weather was similar yesterday - you know those hot summer days when it may or may not rain but it feels like rain?  And if it does rain it could be all day or for 10 minutes or less?  I opted to risk it and hope to enjoy some air dried laundry, a slightly smaller gas bill, and the having the pleasure of know that I'm being "green".

It's amusing to watch Honey, our pup, right now.  There are squirrels in every yard but ours - which is rather smart of them.  She's peeking out the holes in our not-so-structurally-sound fence.  First looking west to the squirrels in the trees and on the garages that are slightly up hill from us.  Then running diagonally across the yard to peek through the chain link fence to the north.  She runs back to the west and then darts to the east where there is a huge gap in the fence.  Luckily she seems to know better than to escape through these holes/gaps.  Now that she's larger she can't fit through most of the holes.  She has managed to wander into the front yard on a few occasions but is quick to hop into the back as soon as she sees us or we whisper her name.

I don't have much dog experience, save for the little dog that my mom and I had in our apartment for a much too brief period of time, but I would have to say that Honey is quite intelligent.  I know - how can you trust me on that?  80% of pet owners and parents always seem convinced that their dog, cat, child, or other small thing is most intelligent than others.  But in all seriousness she learned simple commands (sit, shake, stay, high five) in her first couple of months with us.  She was potty trained almost immediately for about 9 hours at a time while we were off at work.  She rings a bell to signal whens he wants to go outside  She remembers where she puts toys.  She waits eagerly for the go-ahead when it's meal time or she wants to jump on our bed.  Of course she has her faults.  We probably fell short in the socialization department (which hopefully will not be the case when we have children!!!) and she gets incredibly excited when friends come over.  Granted she is still a puppy so certain things are to be expected.  Unfortunately this gives visitors a much different picture of her than what we experience daily.  She has got to be THE most cuddly pup you have ever experienced.  She's wonderful!  And honestly, I've never met a softer dog.  :)

I suppose it's time to make sure Tyler is waking up and get ready for church.  I'll include a few photos of the backyard.  :) (taken with photoboth so everything is backwards...)[gallery link="file" orderby="title"]