Wednesday, May 27, 2009


this post is for you. For all the late nights when I have woken you up to pull glass out of my foot when I insisted on rearranging the dishes before going to bed, or for the time when I had to wake you up at 2 a.m. to pull a sewing machine needle out of my finger.........or for the projects I start when you are gone and you later have to finish......... this post is for you.

It all started with that upstairs closet. I know you care alot that I constantly rearrange furniture and rotate seasonal decorations and curtains and pillows and dishes...... (you get the drift, right guys?) And that is why I do it, because I know you care. And for the past few years my decorations have all been a massive tangle in a few huge tubs in the guest bedroom closet. I had a brilliant idea- I would find a dresser to put in the closet and then each season would get their own drawer. (other than Christmas which takes up half of James' garage, because remember, it's all about him.) So I found a dresser. A big, beautiful dresser that I was sure I could carry inside alone. (You know how I love asking people for help.) And since our handy dolly is secured in someones office at the U of M, I had to use Aidan's wagon, and we teetered and tottered our way to the house with only a few small scratches and a broken board - but it's totally glueable.

So - dresser is inside, Aidan is in the tub with a fresh new haircut and I start rearranging the closet. Except the dresser doesn't fit. It is way to huge to fit inside the closet and still be able to open the drawers. No matter how I wiggle and rearrange it just won't work. So now what to do - rearrange the whole room? Bring the dresser down to Aidan's room and bring his dresser's up? Sell it on Craigslist again?

I decide to rearrange the room- and in the midst I fall off the outside stairs and sprain my ankle and also impale myself with a needle that I had to use pliers to get out. (yep, two separate incidents.) A few hours and a few ice packs later, the room is semi-clean, rearranged; I don't exactly love it but I have no time or energy to figure out another plan, because I still have a zillion things to do before I leave for the wedding! My holiday decorations are all neatly stored in their drawers, however all the other items that were in the closet and stashed behind the bed now are the source of an even bigger mess in the closet. Not kidding. I don't even want to take a picture to share with you, it's that bad!

So, James, I want you to know that every time I ran into a snag tonight, every time I had to get the pliers out to pull a needle from my foot, every time I had to refresh my ice pack I thought of you and wondered why on earth I don't heed your advice more often.

I hope this little expert from my life brings you happiness on your journey, honey, and tonight when you go to bed you can say to yourself, "Yep...she admits it........ I am always right." as you drift off to sleep.

Getting it in the door.

The closet before. (Remember it looks worse now!)

Nope, not budging!

See what a charming dresser it is? It was hard to pass up! It just needs the right spot in the house.

I had to rearrange the whole room to accommodate the dresser. I am sure next week it will change again!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


making vanilla-rhubarb jam. My aunt kindly gave me some rhubarb this weekend and I envisioned pints of jam for all this Christmas.

Ummmm, I have two. little. jars.

But- if you are one of the lucky ones who receives a jar - count yourself blessed, because this is some of the yummiest. jam. ever.

I am also trying my hand at making vanilla. Yes - another Christmas present in the works. Apparently it isn't hard at all, it is more about finding the perfect little bottles to put it in. All you do to make vanilla is soak vanilla beans in rum or vodka. I chose rum, and the hard part for me this month will be resisting the vanilla rum, and waiting patiently for it to become full-fledged vanilla extract.

Aidan and I also have been doing some hard-core cleaning, and we spent the evening riding the rides at Como park. Alas, I forgot my camera, but you can be sure we had a great time. Aidan only raised his cute little hand once to ask for a ride to be stopped. Much better than last year.

I also resisted this dress today. (Sometimes I think we should get credit for what we resist- don't you?) I wanted something to wear to Steph's wedding this weekend, something that would allow me to bend, climb ladders, carry heavy objects, and stay unwrinkled and fresh the whole day. This dress would be perfect, but I took the advice of a wise friend who reminded me I have a loaded closet.
Hope you all had a wonderful day too!

Weekend in Review

Aidan and I took a little road trip this weekend. We started in Iowa, at Andrea's farm. Aidan terrorized their baby kitten the whole time we were there. The kitty did die the next day..... but I am sure the two incidents are not related.

After that we went with Nana to the cemetery in Hampton, Iowa, and from there continued on to Fort Dodge Iowa where both of my Grandma's live. We played, sat around, ate and they even put us to work in their yards.

We arrived home last night and found our yard carpeted in helicopters from the silver maple. Ugh, what a mess. And the tree still has branches full waiting to fall, so there is no point cleaning them up yet!

Here he is before we got into the car. Looks like he brought plenty of entertainment for the ride!

Aidan and Reese's

On the trampoline. I am not putting the pictures taken of me on my blog, but I will say that jumping on the trampoline is not as easy as it used to be for me. I did have to make an emergency run to the bathroom!

Yep- he is putting the kitty on the grill. Great idea!

Such a satisfied face.

Andrea's animals were very kind, considering they are not used to being dragged around.

The mother car kept trying to rescue her baby from Aidan.

Andrea washed my mother's car while I bathed the two dogs. So Aidan thought he would wash the brick pillars.

Enjoying a little picnic at HoneyBear's house!

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Memoriam

in me-mo-ri-am:

in memory (of); to the memory (of); as a memorial (to).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CSA box week 3

We picked up our third box tonight, and as we are all heading out of town for the next few days, we had the challenge of trying to eat as much as possible tonight!

We enjoyed this pasta dish tonight, which utilized our fresh asparagus and green garlic. We also tried a gratin similar to this made with sunchokes (which I learned are really called Jerusalem artichokes) parsnips and ramps. Thanks to my new toy I can freeze some of the rhubarb that was in our box, and we will just hope the rest of the food keeps until Tuesday when Aidan and I return home on Monday.

Tomorrow morning Aidan and I drop James off at the airport where he will "take his 14 days" as Aidan calls it. James is going to Brussels and London for his last class in graduate school, and Aidan and I are heading to Iowa for a few days. (not quite as glamorous as Europe!) We will try and blog frequently so that James can stay caught up on our lives, so be prepared for some long, boring, detailed blog posts!

We will have to catch up again after the weekend! Hope you and yours have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Busy weekend

I am obviously still recovering - as I have not been able to make it to the computer to blog lately! We have had lots going on, along with putting in some extra time at work and completing sewing orders that have kept me up late at night.

Last week we went to the annual spring carnival at Aidan's school - my Subaru fit right in with all the other cars in the lot, but it looks like I might need a "Coexist" bumper sticker on the back to really fit in. It is a good thing my parents raised me to be a strong, independent individual who no longer has to cave to peer pressure! When you are raised with a name like "Naphtali" you get used to being different! (Oh- and being Naphtali earned me a free haircut last week. The hairdresser (or "daymaker" as they are called at Aveda) was too chicken to try to say my name out loud, instead quietly asking all the minorities in the lobby if they were Naphtali. I kept waiting....... and for that I was given a free haircut. It was rather amusing.

So where was I? Let's see, the school carnival. I have a few pictures from that, a few from our Johnstock activities last weekend, and a few from when James' mom and brother came for a visit. They also kindly took Aidan overnight on Saturday so James and I could go out and celebrate our 8 year anniversary and his -drumroll please- graduation from Carlson! ( I will blog more about that later!)
P.S. My pictures are in reverse order, but considering there are so many of them, they are going to stay that way!
Enjoying a cup of coffee and a treat before they dropped me off at James' graduation banquet.
Aidan and Jane, a.k.a. Kitty Grandma
We did some shopping at Pottery Barn, and found it hilarious that he saw the box and climbed right in. He obviously can't read yet.

Aidan behaved wonderfully while shopping, because we bribed him with an ice cream cone from the Grand Ole Creamery.
Aidan had his own agenda for Grandma. He really wanted to show her where we go to the Farmer's Market and also take her up to the Endless Bridge in the Guthrie. He is a regular little tour guide! (We had already been to the farmer's market that morning, but he insisited we needed to go back and show her the now empty lot and take her for a little tour.)
Aidan gets a big kick out of burying people in pillows and blankets.
Just like he did to Grandma here.
This was at Johnstock. We used to live in this neighborhood and I still love going there. James and I were always curious about the old Hollywood theater on Johnson street that was boarded up, and they opened it for touring the weekend of the Art-A-Whirl. Aidan and I took a few pictures, mostly for James benefit, but maybe you will enjoy them too.
The city of Minneapolis is trying to sell the theater - it has sat empty for years.
There are still little glimpses of its former glory, but on the whole it was rather dejected looking.

Now we are almost to the beginning of the weekend. Here is Aidan enjoying a balloon sword made by Pirate Pete.

This is at the school carnival. We played a few of the games and he went on a pony ride, but quite honestly his main interest was the playground in the back (under the high power lines!)

The fishing game.

Pony Ride= a 45 minute wait- a 5 dollar ticket - a 2 minute lap around the parking lot.... I think this is where I am supposed to write "priceless" but I am not sure that I agree.
His own cotton candy! This was the highlight of the evening!

Ah...... weekend over, sitting on the deck enjoying some snacks in his new hat!