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Mpls, MN, United States

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Personal Map

So, this is cool.

"Red means I've just passed through, maybe seen a thing or two.
Amber means I've at least slept there and seen a few things. I have a first-hand idea of what the state is like.
Blue means I've spent a good amount of time in that state.
Green means I've spent a lot of time in that state, weeks at at time on multiple visits – or lived there."
My map suggests I definitely need to spend more time in the southeast. Making it revealed that I either have trouble making decisions, committing, or distinguishing between "a good amount of time" and "a lot of time." I'm still not sure it's perfect (should Idaho be green? Kansas should probably be orange...), but here it is.

Make your own at

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Tonight I consulted my blog because I remembered writing about burning my hands on hot peppers years ago. Since then, I've been good about wearing gloves when I cut chilies, but tonight David used the knife I'd used on the jalapenos to cut tomatoes--and then apparently touched his temple near his eye, as suggested by the burning he noticed moments later. It turns out the blog post wasn't that helpful; I'd already had David smear sour cream on the spot, and I don't think he was too inclined to add more condiments!

We're back in the height of CSA season. Friends here in HR are farmers, and we got in on their first attempt at a CSA. Because they're new to it, they're calling it the "Black Market CSA" and it's limited to only a few people. It started a bit slow, but has been great fun--and the past few weeks, has provided a TON of veggies. New (or at least newish) to me discoveries this year have included collard greens, bok choy, fresh fennel, fava beans, and rainbow chard. We've been eating the greens in two primary forms: earlier in the spring, cooked in homemade peanut sauce and served over brown rice; and recently, whizzed into green drinks with fresh and frozen fruit. David is a good sport about the latter; I haven't really relished them yet but choke them down because they're good for me.

I do, however, relish meals like the ones I made Monday and Tuesday nights:

Monday: Salad with roasted beets, spicy candied pecans, sweet onions, and chevre; fava beans with caramelized onions and fennel; baba ganoush; and a whole roasted clove of garlic, served with French bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and kalamata olives. For dessert (not pictured), baklava! I'd never made baba ganoush, and wish I hadn't put in as much garlic; we got more eggplants yesterday, so I'll probably roast them and throw them in with the existing dip to tone it down a bit. I also screwed up the baklava by pouring the syrup over it before it had cooled; thankfully, 35 minutes in the oven the next day at 275° crisped it up.

Tuesday was more familiar territory: Zucchini and pattypan squash patties (with the aforementioned jalapenos), steamed string beans, and Greek salad. Patties like these (which I've mentioned here before) are one of my summer standbys, especially when we have a CSA. They're great for using up everything from squashes to sunchokes--I just grate/process the vegetables (squeezing out the excess liquid), and throw in a chopped onion, a binder of some sort (eggs, flax seed gel, and/or--as I had to last night--sour cream), something starchy (crumbs of crackers, bread, cereal, chips, etc.), cheese if I have it, and seasonings (including herbs). It's good fried or baked like a casserole.

I have more beets, heirloom tomatoes, and chilies to use. The first two will be easy; anyone have a good recipe for Anaheim peppers?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Christmas Cards

For a while there it seemed doubtful, but I do finally have most of our* (very late) Christmas cards mailed out. There are two or three yet unclaimed, so if you'd like one, send me your address and I'll make it happen! If I sent you a card last year, you're on this year's list.

As is traditional, here is last year's card, with which I was particularly pleased (click to see the larger version):

In the great trajectory of my cards getting weirder and more obscure, this one marked a new high point.  I found the image below as I was searching for the card to post; the reference is Mucha's Princess Hyacinth:

Here are cards from:

*Yes, our! My bicycle only makes an appearance in the postage stamps, but David and the kitties are in this one. Eeps!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This year, I'm thankful for:

-David's family, who hosted Thanksgiving here today and invited my family
-My family, including my mom and P&T,who were here; my talented and beautiful siblings, who were here only in spirit; and my dad, who's in Indiana with his parents
-My SIX living grandparents
-Living within easy driving distance of both of our families
-My wonky, charming house and mushroom-filled yard
-My sweet kittens, even Pobbes, who destroyed another (silk, a gift transported from India) scarf this week
-Scarves, Capilene longies, and SmartWool socks
-My two online classes and the technology that lets me teach remotely
-My phone, on which I'm tapping this
-My few, but tenacious, readers here

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I heard the following blurb on NPR this morning:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Leading with a great pair of legs helps to make it as a model. And apparently, being a 72-year-old granddad doesn't hurt. Liu Xianping advised his granddaughter on her fashion business and thoughts on mix and match, then he modeled the look. The photos went viral. Sales skyrocketed. Here's how to get the look. Pile on the layers and lace and his signature thigh-high red stockings. It's MORNING EDITION.
 Buzzfeed provides some excellent images from the online boutique and the following quotes:

Liu's granddaughter on how the whole thing began:

He picked up one piece and tried to give some advice on how to mix and match. We thought it was fun so we started shooting.

Liu's awesome quote about his modeling:

Why [is it] unacceptable for someone like me to wear women’s clothes? Modelling for the store is helping my granddaughter and I have nothing to lose. We were very happy on the day of the shooting. I’m very old and all that I care about is to be happy.
This definitely makes me to be happy.