Tuesday, August 31, 2010

hadn't thought of that

i think i was pretty ready for class last night. had a pretty complex syllabus to go thru, some texts to talk about, a really, really fun first project, and even a brainstorming exercise to break the ice.

it could have been successful, but i don't know for sure. because nobody said anything. for THREE HOURS. except for me. i said alot.

doh. this could be a very long semester :)) please Lord, give me some ideas to get them to talk!

Monday, August 30, 2010

on being a beatle

today is my first day of class. so last night, i did what every self-respecting college professor would do, and stayed up way too late reading and watching tv. doh. i hope i get to nap today before class :)

anyway, i got to see my new possible favorite design show, by my new possible favorite design star, emily henderson. she is awesome. i love that finally hgtv figured out what us apartment therapy readers want to see. real homes with really cool things instead of an entire ikea catalogue spit out as us and called 'design.' okay. emily is that girl. last night she styled the house of the guy who wrote glee. i bet kristie lou was a little excited about that.

it was fun to watch how she designed the room. she decided that the guy (his name was ian) was a little bit FDR-chic, a little bit british invasion, and a little bit backpacker traveler. i loved those little bits. i loved how she styled the room, and then restyled it in a different way, and then found the balance between all the themes.

i love that JUST YESTERDAY AFTERNOON i decided that if i had been a grown-up around the time of the beatles, i would have fallen for john, not paul, george or ringo. of course, i would have.

Friday, August 27, 2010

i'm a butter nut

i realized it last winter, when i bought this soup, and surprisingly thought it was SO yummy.

so this year, i decided to grow some butternut squash all by my little self. it was one of the few things that actually thrived in what would prove to be {another} disappointing year of garden harvests.

last night, i finally gave in to temptation and picked one of em. i have about 4/5 left, but they are not ripe yet. this one seemed ready, according to google.

cutting it apart was probably the biggest challenge - as you can tell by my 'hack' job. after that, though, the rest came pretty easily. the skin is about 1/4" thick, you could cut it off in big hunks and then cube it into large pieces.

i forgot to take a photo here. but i arranged the hunks on a baking sheet, rubbed some olive oil on them, and sprinkled em with a little sea salt. oh, and added a cubed onion in there, too. roasted the chunks for a half hour or so at 400 degrees.

then, when the squash was ready (let me tell you, you need to be a strong person to not just eat it straight from the oven at this point, cause those little roasted hunks are yummy) i mixed it with some 'soup stuff' and brought it to a boil. then, into the blender. this is the part that could kill you if you are not careful. pulse slowly, SLOWLY. slowly.

oh my word. yeah, i know it's august and not exactly soup season yet, but that stuff is amazingly flavorful and GOOD. i think kids might even eat it. i topped mine (notice it's a little thick, i ran outta chicken stock) with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped dill weed.

it was so glorious, i completely blew off going to an important orientation meeting for classes that i probably should not have blown off - did not remember until this morning! doh. but yeah, the soup is terrific. make some.

recipe here:

1 large (~3 lb) butternut squash
2 tsp vegetable oil
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
4 ½ c. chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp cider vinegar
½ tsp sugar
pinch cayenne pepper
½ cup heavy cream (I omitted this, 'cause i did not have any on hand)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 1 large, 1 small baking sheet w/ foil. With large knife, split squash in half, scoop out and reserve seeds. Brush cut side of squash w/ 2 tsp oil and sprinkle w/ salt and pepper. Place cut side down on large baking sheet and roast until very tender, ~35 minutes. (note: i peeled and chunked mine, instead of leaving them whole).

Scoop flesh from squash shells and place in a kettle. Add stock, garlic, vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and remaining cumin. Bring to a boil, lower temperature, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 min.

Puree soup until smooth w/ an immersion blender. Stir in cream and bring back just to a simmer. Season w/ salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


okay, i suppose it's kind of cool that on my 48th birthday, i offically became a faculty member at south dakota state. i got my new ID card to prove it, which looks kind of neat compared to my olllllllllllllllllld student ID from 1983-84 that i had somehow saved. i also got a really old school GRADE BOOK to put grades in! esp. funny, considering that i am teaching a hybrid class, that has all sorts of fancy gadgets in it to record grades. visual arts people don't much like ugly online apps, i guess.... :)

is it really crazy that the thing i am sort of MOST excited about is the two new bunny tshirts that i got at the bookstore?!! i can hardly wait to wear one of them to nebraska next month, when i go to see sdsu take on the GIANT nebraska huskers in their home stadium. i feel like i will belong there :)))

ha. oh. and i am feeling ready to teach. finally. i guess that is a good part, too.

Monday, August 23, 2010


drinking some of this stuff today, and thinking perhaps crystal light may have overpromised.

oh, look, it's pretty outside right now........................................

Saturday, August 21, 2010

grey(ish) gardens

i finally got to spend some time in my secret garden this morning. thinking, praying, and resting with siesta. i am so bummed that i have almost not been here at all in august, these days and weeks when it is my favorite time to be here.

have you ever seen the film grey gardens? it's creepy and still kind of cool at the same time. i think little edie and i may have a couple of things in common :)

i was trying to figure out why i love the jungle so much. i think it is starting to make sense to me. in the spring (which i also love, btw) i am the one in control. i plan and look and make the rows and tend to the weeds and have what most people think of as a green thumb. i do my best to create something beautiful.

inevitably, by this time of the season, i have gotten too preoccupied with other things, and start to lose control. or interest. the weeds become bigger and stronger, the plants (esp. this year with all the rain) become GIGANTIC, some die, and some thrive, and some take over the whole shebang. control starts to shift back to its original owner.

and by now, it's more about God's design, how he makes things go together. all of my planning and tending and trying to control things cannot even compare to the crazy, beautiful mess that God allows and manages and creates. his garden is infinitely more beautiful than mine. in some ways, my garden kind of reminds me of hiking last week in the woods. untended by us, but not by him. His hand on every little plant and bug and tree and creature. you can FEEL it.

i feel safe there (and here). covered by peace.

sigh. so joyful of God's creation. so glad that i can enjoy this haven for awhile yet. thank you Lord!

Friday, August 20, 2010

light reading

take a look at my weekend plans. i have 5 of the 6 texts i'll be teaching from, and i DO need to start reading them. classes start in 10 days. yikes.

i think going to school might be kind of challenging :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

one more

okay, so i took a few photos of the vista overlooking duluth, and pasted them into one long picture. i truly did not even SEE the red truck until later on :))

still. lovely place. click on it to see it big.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

things i saw in the woods

...lots of prettiness.

truthfully, i did not fully relax until about thursday. lots of work stress looming threatened my head for several days. i was able to sneak internet from the gorgeous fancy cabin around the bend, which probably was not the best thing :)

however, we did meander into many good places: pie shops; ely and grand marais, mn; hiking trails with vistas, rocks and shoreline for miles; shrooms; beaches with agates and thomsonite that we did not manage to find; mansions and grand gardens; water, water, more water.

i did read not one, but TWO whole books in the evenings! and started a third! i hope i keep in THAT zone, it feels so good to read.

sigh. other worlds are good to visit, but it also will be nice to catch up at home this weekend. my little one seems to be in the mood for lots of lovin' and my yard looks like it has not been attended to for months.

i heart you, north shore!