Kate, on her Minestrone Soup blog, recently held a contest and I was one of the lucky winners. Today's photo is of the huge bag of yarn she sent me. I am still thinking on a good pattern for these skeins. Thanks Kate!
This potted basil was cheaper than buying a bunch of basil from the grocery store. So, of course I knew which one I was getting. I am still waiting to find out for sure if I will have a yard to plant this in. I am starting to get a little antsy for the bank's approval, as evidenced by the stressful dreams I have been having.
Inspired by Beth's cupcake eatin', Jamie and I treated ourselves to some local cupcake goodness from the Cupcake Cafe. I very much enjoyed my hazelnut chocolate cupcake and Jamie said her lemon cupcake was quite tasty. The cafe was cool, too. It reminded me of a cross between Bloc 11 Cafe and Kickass Cupcakes, 2 places in my old neighborhood that I enjoyed frequenting.
After our dinner and dessert, we headed back to Jamie's house where Lucy's snoring and Sylvia's rain CD provided the soothing background sounds to our crafting evening.
Paul and I are 7 years old! We treated ourselves to a nice dinner at Khyber Pass to celebrate another mile marker in our relationship. The photo above was technically taken by Paul as his long arm got a much better shot than mine did. In order to abide by my self-imposed rule of posting photos that I took, here is a photo of the day that I shot:
I am happy to report that the issue we were concerned about with the house has been pronounced "cosmetic" from our contractor and that my dad did a drive-by and declared the house "straight". With those final endorsements, we are going ahead with the deal. We are hoping in less than 2 months that it will be ours. The only things left to worry about are saving our money, getting the bank underwriters to love us and to make sure the house appraises for at least as much as we are paying for it. Until then, we will reside in our nuthouse building filled with creative, loudypants.
One of the great things about having a live-in partner is that on the nights where you are feeling lazy, you can make deals like You Cook-I'll Clean. When I was growing up we often witnessed the You Buy-I'll Fly deal between my parents. It makes for a nice division of duties and everyone gets fed.
April Crafternoon (Happy Birthday Tchazo and Baby N)
Sally, Jill and I enjoyed a great afternoon of crafting today. I realized partway through the afternoon that it was Tchazo's birthday. We gave him some attention, some treats and called it a celebration.
We also had cause to celebrate when I tuned into the LambCam for some show and tell. I noticed one of the nannies was acting strangely. Turns out Nanny McPhee was in labor and we were able to watch the birth of the newest baby angora goat at the Fiber Farm. Talk about excitement! The gang at the farm kindly corralled the nanny into a pen right near the camera so all of the internet fans could be witness to the event.
After many rounds of freezing and unfreezing and then letting the yarn sit in plastic ziplock bags, I feel fairly confident that the moths that I had are dead. I took stock today of the skeins that had been moth infested but that I thought might be OK. I did end up losing the Royal Fiber alpaca yarn. It was broken in too many places to be usable. The good news is that the other two yarns (MVFF and Sunshine Alpacas) I was worried about were able to be wound into yarn cakes with no breakage!
The green yarn is the MVFF yarn, the brown yarn is the Sunshine Alpaca yarn and the orange yarn is going to be made into wristwarmers for Paul.
The Cedar Cultural Center recently installed their new marquee and tonight marked the first night it was lit up. In addition to the momentous, pre-ceremonial lighting, I also got to see Dessa perform during my break from volunteering at the ticket table. I've been hearing great things about her and the little bit that I got to see did not disappoint.
Inspection day was stressful. The inspection took a total of 3-1/2 hours! I now know that the basement is a very, very important part of a house. I also know that cracks and sagging can be bad. I want to be excited that this might be our house, but the might part is holding me back. We are going to need to go through another round of inspections with a contractor to address a potentially big issue. If it is a big issue, we might not proceed with this house. If it is a minor issue with the option of addressing it a year or two down the line, we will proceed. There are also a few other hitches that will need to be addressed with the seller as well. Best case scenario is that those 3-1/2 hours were a very informative introduction to our house. Worst case scenario is that those hours were an expensive lesson in how a house works.
The inspector took photos of every potential issue with the house, so I had to take one to highlight something nice and pretty. See the pretty window? It will all work out fine, just look at the pretty window. Oh yeah, and we still have bank and appraisal hoops to jump through, too!
The weather was beautiful today and, for the first time since starting my new job, I got to take advantage of the scenic area I work in and eat lunch outside. The photo shows the Weisman Art Museum on the left with a little glimpse of downtown Minneapolis on the right.
Per family tradition, we gathered today in rural Wisconsin to celebrate a few birthdays and Easter. As is also the tradition, we took a walk together after the feast. The weather was so nice that we were able to have an egg hunt and eat our dessert outside. Hooray for sunshine and spring weather!
Luckily, the stressful day that we spent negotiating the terms of our purchase agreement, I had some fun distraction from the waiting, waiting, waiting that was happening between each phone call. Mark and Jerri had friends over for a potluck and some Easter egg dying.
Mark, Jerri and Zoe
Justin and Genevieve
Joey and Jake
When this group gets together there is no lack of awesome, homemade food. Many of the foods featured Joey's grandmother's recipes, but with fake meat.
Salad and Spaghetti Pie
Pizza Rustica (I hope I am remembering the name of this one correctly.) This dish was filled with vegetarian meats, ricotta, eggs and other tasty, gooey ingredients.
Focaccia, Almond Cake and Ricotta Pie
We attempted to dye eggs with natural dyes, including beets, turmeric and blueberries. The natural dyes gave mixed results with turmeric being the most effective, and, surprisingly beets being the least effective. My favorites tools are wax crayons and bottled egg dye. I did learn this year that you can color brown eggs as well. The base color actually tones down the brightness of the dye colors and provides a whole new palette.
It is just about 24 hours after seeing the house and we have a signed purchase agreement! It was a nerve wracking day of offers and counteroffers, but in the end we came to a happy medium. Now, all we have to do is get our inspection, financing, appraisal, closing and we can call it ours.
I didn't sleep well last night because I spent the night tossing and turning while my brain was busy mentally unpacking our stuff into the house. People, this is a damn fine house if I do say so myself!
We saw a house tonight that we like. We like it so much that we are preparing to put in a bid tomorrow morning. Our fingers are crossed, that is, they are crossed when we are not using them to crunch mortgage scenarios on the calculator. Any good negotiating mojo you could send our way would be appreciated!
With all of the focus on homebuying, it is easy to take this great space we are living in for granted. This photo documents one of the aspects that I adore about our apartment: huge windows that let in awesome amounts of light.
Birth control pills are a great little invention except for the part where they sporadically make me wake up in the middle of the night, sick to my stomach. After many occurrences, I figured out that the nausea was linked to the start of a new pack. Like last night, at 3:30am. Not fun.
It seems I am all about jumping aboard other people's projects lately. The newest one is from Jennie the Potter.
Here it goes:
The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me.This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. (No refunds... no exchanges!!!!)
2. What I create will be just for you, with love from me.
3. It'll be done this calendar year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. I may even create something totally unbelievable and surprise you!! It will be handmade and may be any medium I choose. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange...or awesome...or lovely!
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note/post of your own and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to it.
Lately it has been harder to find the time, energy and motivation to take photos, write and post to the blog. I know that I don't want to give up on it and I know that I want it to be more than just a place to post finished projects. When I came across Project 365 via Christi's blog, I knew I had found some new inspiration for this blog. I've been thinking about the project for a few days, making sure that it was feasible and that I was going to be comfortable committing to it. I am. And, I am excited about it. I imagine some days it will be hard to chose just one and other days I will have to work to find one. But, in the end, it will be worth the work to see my year compiled in the form of 365 photos.
So, for those that like the condensed version:
Project 365 = 1 photo posted for each of the next 365 days.
All photos will be taken by me.
I will try to post daily, but at worst, will only fall a few days behind real time.
My camera is my new best friend.
I am excited to see where this project takes me (and you!).
Paul and I are officially house hunting. And, thus far, it has been a roller coaster. We looked for the first time last weekend and Paul found a house that he loved. He loved it for what it could become, not what it was, because this house was in serious need of endless amounts of work. It qualified as a rehab house. "Rehab" as in not possessing a kitchen, questionable heating system and countless other things that would need lots of time, energy and money before the house became habitable.
This process qualifies as a roller coaster because during the 3 days it took us to look at this house, talk about it with people, have my dad inspect it and run the numbers, I went back and forth, up and down, numerous times. I went from saying things like:
Yay! I love this neighborhood! This house is so spacious! I love the built-ins and the woodwork! We could walk to the lakes!
to saying things like:
This house needs so much work. I don't want my life to be focused on fixing up our house. I am scared about what else might be wrong with this house. I don't think it is a good sign that I haven't been sleeping because I am worrying about buying this house.
and back again, a few times.
I think I exhausted Paul with my back and forth emotions.
In the end, I had to stick with my gut and my logic and let this house go. Unfortunately, I only came to that realization after we had told our realtor we were going to make an offer. Luckily she is patient with us and understood when I told her that I changed my mind.
We are going to look at some more houses this weekend, this time with a more move-in ready approach. One thing I have learned about myself is that I am not a rehab kind of girl.
I'd call myself a maker. More specifically: a knitter, an urban gardener, a food preserver, a cook, a baker, a reader, an aspiring photographer, a budding sewist and an all-around dabbler.
I enjoy using this space to record the things I see, make, eat, and do. My aim is to capture and share with you much of what floats my boat. Chances are you are here because it floats your boat, too!
My husband and co-conspirator on the much linked to Mega Man hat. He is the house expert when it comes to all things with electrical cords/chargers and/or anything that requires configuring. When I first met Paul he was a smoker and a vegetarian. Now he is a non-smoker who enjoys making smoked meat in his BBQ. Paul recently dove headfirst into brewing beer and is quickly acquiring mad brewing skills. If you are really lucky, he will invite you to one of his Meat Meet Supper Club dinners or Beer Release parties.
Cast of Characters: Tchazo
Tchazo, our Weimaraner, was born 3 days before Paul and I had our first date. During our second date, Paul and I egged each other on about getting dogs. Eight weeks later, Tchazo became a part of our lives! At first I thought he was kind of a jerk because he kept punching me in the face (Tchazo, not Paul!) when I tried to be alpha dog. It turns he is a wonderful dog and puppies in general are cute jerks. Tchazo loves life, especially the parts that include eating, smelling, sunbathing, playing and cuddling on the bed. Also, he is smart and, if you come over, he will likely trick you into scratching his butt.
Cast of Characters: Fanny
Fanny is the most recent addition to our family, joining us in 2008. When we met Fanny at a shelter in Boston, we thought she was a small, adult cat. We were wrong. She must have been less than a year old, because when we brought her home and fed her, she kept getting bigger and bigger and fluffier and fluffier. The shelter named her Faneuil after Faneuil Hall, but we changed her name to Fanny. We think it makes for a lot of entertaining variations. I imagine some searchers who end up at my blog are not getting what they hoped for, given what “fanny” is slang for in a few countries. Our Fanny is a polydactyl cat with a fused or “super” claw. She has taught me that it is possible for cats to cackle, which you would be likely to hear if she spots a squirrel while you are here!
Cast of Characters: Jack
I adopted Jack at about the same time Paul bought Tchazo (see previous note about egging each other on), but since Tchazo was young and needed to stay with his mom for a few more weeks, Jack came into our house first. For a while, he HATED Tchazo but they eventually became 24-7 buddies. After nearly 11 years together, we had to put Jack down in March of 2013. Jack was a little crazy in the head, but we learned how to live with it. His favorite things included licking the floor, lying under the couch and gazing at me longingly. Jack was physically incapable of wagging his tail whilst being petted. I like to think it is because he was soaking up the love so intensely that it required his full concentration.