Thursday, July 29, 2010

A few weeks ago..........

............I bought my own laptop. I envisioned I could blog at the kitchen table, or sit on the couch and blog while Aidan took a bath. I pictured myself busy in the kitchen watching old movies live stream on Netflix. I would no longer have to arm-wrestle James for use of the computer in the evenings when I wanted to do yoga from Yoga Today. Recipes would be at my fingertips. I assumed I would really be on top of things if I had a laptop.

I have been back from vacation for over a week now and the laptop has remained idle at the kitchen table. My wireless reception downstairs is a little spotty, and of course I want to be where the action is! Earlier this week I had the brilliant idea I would blog outside on my front step which was a fine and dandy plan until Aidan got a little wild with the hose. As far as the laptop in the kitchen, right now it is so hot we have our window AC unit running which is just enough background noise that it drowns out my computer speakers, and it is very hard to watch a movie when you are trying to make pickles. And honestly, when forced to choose between heat & movie or AC & quiet I obviously chose the latter. (I was trying to watch "A Streetcar Named Desire" this week because Steph and I are going to see the show at the Guthrie next week. I finally ended up watching it on our TV after I was done pickling. And yes, you read that right. My brother is responsible for my current pickling fever, I will tell you all about it after I finally finish telling you about my trip.)

So that is where I have been folks. Not blogging. Not sitting at my laptop. Just busy. How about you?

Friday, July 23, 2010

can you ever have enough


i can't.



i can look at pictures of the ocean all.day.long.




well actually, (as aidan would say) I would prefer to look at the real ocean, not just a photo, but i guess this will do.



anytime you need a little break you can look at the pictures too.




all in one place.




right here.


(made using fd flickr toys)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The New Colossus

Ever since I was a little girl I loved reading books and biographies about people who came to America in search of a new life. I also loved Emma Lazarus' poem and used to know it by heart.

I was a somewhat dramatic child and some of the stories I read about immigrants first memories of America would move me to tears.



We didn't get to walk on the island, we only took a ferry out. But it was still amazing to see her after all these years.




Maybe next trip.







The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"








Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A trip of "firsts"

We are home now- we had so much fun. I am sure the trip is all I will blog about for the next few weeks, but I want to remember for Aidan's sake.



He had a lot of "first experiences" on this trip. I pulled out a few of the highlights to show you.


First airplane ride. (other than when I was pregnant with him and we flew out to see
Brian and Stace.)





First taxi. (Unplanned. My rental car agency was not exactly forthcoming about their location. Apparently we have two very different opinions about what "located at Logan Airport" means.)



First ferry ride.



First subway ride.




First stay at an Inn.


He was amazed by the king sized bed.... and also really happy to have a television again after a week at Jacob and Kate's! He kept asking me, "Is this really what Kings sleep in?"









Stay tuned- more to follow this week!




Sunday, July 18, 2010

Imagine this




you are strolling down Park Avenue.




you are surrounded by glamour and opulence.




the curbs is lined with Rolls Royce, Mercedes and Lexus.




doormen wait on red carpets to assist slim blond women dressed in black.




handsome gentlemen with perfectly peppered hair accompany them.




suddenly you hear music - or is that what you would call it? Wait a second , it's a boy? Singing at the top of his lungs?




that's right. Amidst the luxury, elegance and decorum of Park Ave we have Aidan singing "Your a Grand Old Flag" at the top of his lungs as he waves his park ranger bear and his little American flag.




all i could do was smile. I kind of think the doormen were smiling too. (at least some of them!)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Did I mention


we had a bumper crop of sour cherries this year?

(we usually have 2 or 3 jars!)



And check out these new one gallon jars from Ball. I found them at Target for only $12.99 - but they aren't stocked at all the stores so I had to do some searching.



I also froze some, Mom, so I can make dad a pie or a crisp when we visit later this summer.

Our cherry liqueur is a big hit on Second Street and last year we skimped on giving it to family so we could enjoy it in our neighborhood, but we found out that some of our family really were looking forward to their annual bottle. So this year we should be able to make everyone happy - with some to spare!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A new favorite at our house

A few years ago i posted about my new cold press coffee maker and how much I loved it. I do, or rather I did love it, but the cold hard truth is it take over 24 hours to brew a pot, uses a whole pound of coffee and i felt like after awhile it started to taste plasticky because the part of the system the coffee soaks in is plastic. And I am picky about things like that. Not to say I don't ever use it. The system still occupies a precious piece of my limited cupboard space and will continue to do so unless Dunn Bros promises me they will never stop selling growlers of

Infinite Black. Just the name sounds enticing, does it not?


Imagine this. A 1/2 gallon jug of dark, rich, black coffee in your fridge, refillable at Dunn Bros. for only $9.95. It lasts us about a week, compared to our usual 2 lbs/week during "hot coffee season."


They have recipes here, but I like it over some ice with some vanilla soy or almond milk.


I hope you are fortunate enough to have a Dunn Bros. near you!



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day one





Well, we arrived after an uneventful flight. Aidan slept the entire time, and couldn't believe he missed the whole trip - and his chance to watch his new X-Men movie in flight........ oh well.










We had a slight snafu with the car rental, but we are here now, safe and sound. I will just show you a few pics from our first day. My computer doesn't have editing capabilities, so I will only post a few.










Aidan wanted to go to the beach so badly that we headed out in the pouring rain. Thankfully the rain stopped by the time we got to the water and so we literally had an entire beach to ourselves. Wonderful! And a perfect chance to stretch our our legs after flying and driving all day.










Tomorrow we are going to New York City to show Aidan the Statue of Liberty. We may take him to Chinatown too and see if his year at Yinghuaa has paid off.










Hope you are having a good week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On a jet plane



That's right. This morning Aidan and I caught the red-eye out of Minneapolis, (thanks for the 4 am ride James!) and before lunch time we will be here.









Well, maybe not here, but very close.














We are going to see Jacob and Kate, (my brother and his wife) for a week. We have many plans of places we want to go and see if the heat wave breaks, otherwise we will just be here. We have had a lot going on of late and I have to admit I am fine if we never leave the ocean . But if we do, we are going to take Aidan to see NYC and the Statue of Liberty. He has been learning about her at school and can tell you all about her in Chinese.






So stay tuned! I did put a few blogposts on "autopublish" and maybe I will even find a chance to blog from CT.





Now, where was I..................?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chinese Math Camp
















Aidan spent two week of his summer continuing his Chinese education at a math camp. I know, he is guaranteed to be a nerd. But nerds get scholarships, right?







The last day they had a carnival for the kids and the parents were invited to come and watch. I took some random pictures, the probably won't be very interesting to you but as I want to have my blog made into a book someday (instead of scrap booking) I am trying to include Aidan's activities so that someday he can enjoy his childhood memories. ( I also can't really explain what is going on in the photos either as all their dialogue was in Chinese) But the point is he had a lot of fun and math was integrated into the program in such a way that when I asked what he was learning he just said, "Nothing. We just have fun all day."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Have I told you


about my new back-pack? It's perfect for a bike-ride.



I bought it at the farmers market on a close-out deal. (And I am supposed to buy one for Leslie, but every time I have been to the market lately that vendor hasn't been there.)


Maybe next week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend



Our entire weekend was rather low-key. We didn't do a whole lot.




I stood up a few of my friends to spend time with James and Aidan. (Sorry)





We went to the farmers market, went bike-riding, grilled in our backyard, napped on the couch, James and Aidan went to a Twins game and we swam, and swam and swam. We chose to forgo the fireworks this year, instead we just did a few at home. Aidan had never seen smoke bombs before and judging by his excitement you would have thought we'd spent a million dollars.

(p.s. the yellow pictures are taken in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie. Aidan wanted to show it to James.)






















































(someone didn't want his photo taken.)



Friday, July 9, 2010

an oldie but a goody






Why is it that despite owning a Wii, PS3, computer, and myriads of games that this vintage battling tops game is still the one we love the most?







Remember playing this in our house in Columbia Heights, Stace?






We received a new one for Christmas but they just don't make them like they used to.










If you ever see one at a thrift store or yard sale snatch it right up for it is fun for children and adults alike.



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Much Neglected




























Unlike relationships with friends and family, a perennial bed seems to thrive even when neglected for a season.


Or at least mine has!


My bold pink hydrangeas are blooming for the first time in my front garden, and I am so excited the all my feather-like astilbe are starting to fill in the back shade gardens between the ferns and the hosta's. I love the variety of textures.





How is your garden doing this summer?