Friday, May 30, 2008

the cheese stands alone

talk about a study in contrasts. on one hand, i am trying to be a real, true-to-life farmer girl. i like fresh foods, and watching them grow and have dreams of someday again being physically fit and eating well. notice i say "dreams" because i have been a little slow on the action in that area. well, i'm growing stuff, and that's a start.

on the other hand, my significant other works in a packing plant all day. more than that, he LOVES processed food (which is probably a good thing since he works in a packing plant). he likes to grow food too (handy dandy commonality we share), he just would rather pet a plant than eat it.

so, last night when i picked him up from work, and he had a giant grocery bag full of bacon, ham, corned beef, spare ribs, pepperoni, and a giant, humongous, heavy hunk of processed cheese, i was not overly surprised.

in an effort to save money on our grocery budget (we usually share costs, because we usually eat dinner together), he is going to start shopping at the John Morrell store at the plant.

oh goodie. so it appears that this summer i will be going out to the back forty, nurturing and cultivating lettuce and fresh veggies galore, and coming in the house to pair them with salt packed, calorie packed, fat packed processed gunk.

i gotta admit though, that cheese is pretty tasty :))

ps. the photo is blurry because i had a hard time getting him to stand still while posing with the cheese "so i can blog about it."

next time, maybe i'll have something like THIS to post that he has made!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

double sigh

woke up to the pitter pitter PATTER of rain drops this morning. didn't want to get out of bed. if it doesn't quit soon, i'm gonna buy something.

maybe one of these by artist charlie harper.

i mean it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

farmer bob gets happy

what a difference a day makes. after the nearly unbearable cold yesterday, today is seeming milder. no gargantuan winds, and although still no sun, the garden seems happier. or maybe it's just me.

i was able to go out and snap some "before" pics of the garden. so that i can do a comparative analysis and pat myself on the back in august :)

noticed a few new arrivals, like this mandarin lights azalea. i don't have great luck with azaleas in my yard - i think perhaps it needs a warmer spot to grow well. but they do LIVE through the winter, and try to produce flowers every spring. that's really good enough for me!

the potted plants are forgetting they are actually NOT in the tropics...!

and it looks like there is some evidence of new neighbors moving in as well! oh. ps. i have planted a hill of "birdhouse gourds" this year, with hopes of making/carving my own birdhouses this winter!! praying that this works, and that the plants don't eat my house. i hear they get pretty ginormous.

happy day all!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

rhubarb jones

since the day is grey and horrible, and since the temps are supposed to drop down to nearly unbelievable lows tonite, and since i don't want to be crabby since i just posted two days ago about gratefulness,

i am going to talk about rhubarb.

i don't know why i have never planted my own rhubarb, but every spring i start "jonesing" for it pretty bad. gotta have a rhubarb something, even if it's only once a year. usually it's not a prob because i get some from somebody somewhere. like my mom. unfortunately this year, she was stingey and didn't offer any up. my aunt in brookings did give me a little bit of hers a couple of weeks ago. and just this morning my friend lynda emailed me with an offer of more. just to be safe, however, i bought a $2 sprig on clearance, and plopped it in the ground. it'll take a few years, but then i will be sure of rhubarb in hard times. gotta think about the future :)

anyway, i made some muffins over the weekend. really, they are exactly like my grandma's "cake" recipe from way back when, only divided into muffin tins. plus, it sounds better to eat a muffin (or two) than a cake. so here you go. if someone offers you rhubarb, say "why yes, thanks."

Rhubarb Muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups chopped rhubarb

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and sugar.

In another bowl, beat the egg, stir in butter, buttermilk and vanilla.

Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add the egg mixture all at once. Stir until just blended and stir in the rhubarb.

Spoon into greased or paper lined muffin tins.

Combine sugar, butter and cinnamon. Sprinkle a spoonful of topping over each muffin.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

3 days, 3 ways

well, the holiday weekend turned out to hold something for everybody.

saturday was wet and rainy and a great day to do laundry :)

sunday was nearly 80 degrees and perfect to do ALL of the rest of the garden before it's too late,

and today was a good day to lounge around except for a trip to the zoo. just us and 2,000 others. it was fun, and only a couple of the caged animals looked really sad. most were in good moods!

the bears were playing and showing off.

the flamingos were happy and showing off.

the tortoise was hungry.

this little "housecat" was trying to get me to take him home :)

and the humans looked goofy trying to get a pic of the giraffe and themselves together. it was not real successful.

not that he needed us in the pic, anyway.

schwew. relaxing is a good thing.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


i'm kind of glad being grateful is trendy again these days (probably thanks to oprah) because it reminds me to remember to be that way. sometimes, i still struggle with it though...a number of years ago, i actually got a "gratefulness" journal for a gift. i started out filling that journal up with good things to be grateful for...for about 3 days. then, 2 years later, another 3 days. then, just last year, another 3 days.

makes me wonder why i am only grateful for 3 days every 2 years!!

at any rate, i woke up this morning grumbly. the weather is crappy, crappy, crappy. i have quite a bit of work to do this weekend, so i'm stressed about that. phillip has to work, and i have no friends around to do coffee and have fun with. then it hit me like a lightening bolt. thank you God for dryers! really, sincerely, that is what i thought.

see, i've been doing without a dryer for about 6 or 8 weeks. and i VOWED not to go to sears and charge up a big fancy one until i have paid off the last appliances that i desperately needed. in the meantime, i've been going to the laundrymat up the street, which is new and not too stinky and not too full of scary people. (did you know it now costs $2.75 to wash a load of clothes? and $3.75 for the big washers??! crazy.) i also vowed to look for a used dryer on a garage sale this summer, since there's a pretty good chance i could get a cheap one.

anyhoo, when i went to visit kirsten 2 weekends ago, lo and behold, a dryer was sitting on her porch when i arrived. the first words out of her mouth when i saw her were "you don't need a dryer by any chance do you?"

talk about manna from heaven. long story short. rick figured out how to squeeze the "new old" dryer they got on freecycle (they needed a washer, and the people made them take the dryer too, or they couldn't have anything) into the honda, and finally yesterday, phillip rolled it down the stairs.

wha la!! so even if this weekend is grey and rainy and cold, i will come out of it with fluffy comforters and sheets and clean winter clothes to pack away and ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm everything i own clean. and dry. now THAT is something to be grateful for :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


lettuce eat

as i was foraging through the cupboard at lunchtime today, i remembered that i had an awesome stash out back. when the lettuce is ready, it's definitely ready.

now, if i could just go back out there to find a home-grown kit kat bar, it'd be all good.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the cool thing about spring gardens is how much they change from week to week. last week, it was all about plum blossoms and the end of the tulips. this week, it's about lilacs and bleeding hearts. that would be a neat country song, don't you think?!

anyway, so lovely. still LOTS to do, though, including painting the darn greenhouse!

Monday, May 19, 2008

walk in the park

nothing like a nice walk in the woods to discover how very, very out of shape you are. it's kind of hard to concentrate on the peace and tranquility when you are puffing more loudly than the birds are singing.

luckily, a nice dinner was waiting as an incentive to finish... :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

must must must have

why oh WHY do i keep looking over here?!

love love love em.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


phillip and i worked in the yard last night to get all of the "edges" around the house nice and tidy. he did the sidewalks, using the scary edger thingey that seems dangerous to me. i trimmed the edges around the curvy gardens with a hand shears. then, we bagged two huge bags of "edge" for the garbage man.

i cannot tell you how nice it feels to have tidy edges. i sat outside until almost dark last night and admired how nice everything looked. i think it's kind of like when you vacuum the floor in your house, and how you just cannot really relax until it's done....maybe that is just me (and carey).

anyway, the funny part is that the whole time we were working, my "new" next door neighbors were out in the yard too. i wish i could say we were chatting it up over the fence, but instead they were REVVING up the motorcycles to sonic levels. aaaaaaaaaaarrrgggh. i can tell from day one that they will be "sandpaper" people in my life. 2 rednecks, 2 kids (who are woefully absent in most of the activities), and 2 dogs. ZERO attentiveness to aesthetics, as you can tell from the above pic. they do seem happy with their life choices, so i guess i will just have to get used to wearing earplugs, and not looking to the left :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

sunny little things

it was nice to come back from st. paul last night, and wake up to a day filled with sunny things.... little stash of goodies found with kirsten on our shopping expeditions. i think perhaps i had a color theme (SUMMER) going in my head, although i did not realize it at the time!
...a burst of happy from my plum tree. yummmmmmm.

...tulips still on a roll.

...and my "work" waiting for me at the end of the day. awesome.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

munki pjs

tell me it would not be fun to wear these!

they are a brand called munki munki by another super cool fabric designer named heather ross.

love her website!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

going boho

dreary d**n days call for pulling out the big guns, like this beautiful bohemian bedspread i got on clearance for $10 bucks last fall. yes, it's every bit as outlandishly bright as it looks.

and the cat loves fabric almost as much as me, because she was onto it in about 10 seconds. i feel a nap coming on...

wrap up

hair newly dyed and fluffed in anticipation of the evening ... check.

new/old vintage pin attached to blazer for spring-like fashion presence ... check.

appearance of big daddy weave even though lead singer has a throat ache (which doesn't matter much because he still sounds SO good) ... check.

ending the night with a feast of apps at applebees shared with my two concert buddies k and p ... check :)

Friday, May 09, 2008

green life

i think it's kind of funny that my passion for reading has reemerged right along with the spring garden. a natural "offshoot" of that combination is the desire to read books about gardening. not necessarily how-to books, but novels about gardening and natural things.

in that vein, i thought i would share a couple favorites, in fact, i need to dig them up to reread them, because they "go" with my frame of mind right now.

Amy Stewart is kind of a modern garden warrior woman, she is a blogger and has gotten a career somehow out of garden activism, if there is such a thing. i have not read all her books, but her book "from the ground up" is the tale of her first garden. i wish i had written that book :)

"quite a year for plums" is one of my favorite books ever. i think i have blogged about it before. bailey white is an NPR commentator, and southern woman. this book is not so much about gardening, as the kind of people who garden, and their quirks and eccentricities in a small georgia town. love the cover, too.

and just this morning, i ordered a book called "the green year" from Biblio. apparently it's about a woman and her artist husband, who decide to take a whole year off and live off the land. it was written in 1956. i feel lucky i found a copy online, because the author (barbara webster) is not easy to find. one copy i found was nearly $70, but i got mine for $22. ohhhhh, can hardly wait.

if it stays rainy this weekend, i guess i know what i'll be doing :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

ugly truth

ha. i like this ad by a coffee brand called "ugly mug."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

tulip parade

well, it's not exactly holland around here, but the tulips that i thought would never come up ... did.

i like the purple/yellow/orange color combo, but it might just take a couple of years for them to be tuliptastic.

still, they make me happy enough that i bought a few more on clearance to tuck somewhere. happy tulip day whereever you are.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

27 out of 34

try your luck at guessing the correct font.

so, i got 79% correct. probably easier for me than for somebody who doesn't work with fonts for a living. still, i thought the game was HARD. some of those fonts, i have never ever heard of!

forward motion

the paper said this morning that our weather is approx. 2 weeks behind schedule...not too bad considering it feels like MONTHS of delay. since yesterday was so nice out, i got the garden tilled up and ready to go (thanks phillip). now i should be able to put a few crops into the ground (onions/cabbage/lettuce/radishes) barring the rain that is supposed to come this afternoon.

the robins are loving all the fresh dirt, bet the fresh earthworms are mighty tasty!