Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
-Mary Oliver

29 October, 2010

How DO you like them apples?

I had an enormous amount of fun last Saturday when I went to an apple orchard with my friends Bethany and Teresa.

It was cold and a little rainy, but very autumnal and very lovely. The orchard to which we went, Minnesota Harvest, is in its last year of business, which is a real shame. It's a beautiful place.

I went there last year with my daycare kids and their families; back then, they offered trail rides, a petting zoo, hot food, tons of local goods (jams, jellies, honey, cookbooks, et cetera) All that was gone, and it was a bit sad to see it so barren this year. But they did still offer all the available apples for tasting.

In the end, amongst the three of us, we ended up with about 60 pounds of apples. I took 20 pounds and the ever ambitious Bethany took 40.

I took my apples to my mom and said "Let's do something with these guys." And now I have three jars of apple butter and eight jars of applesauce which I have placed in my freezer, because that seems less annoying than canning. On the subject of applesauce, I recommend trying it in the same meal as cottage cheese. A winning combination.

As we were leaving to orchard, to the left we saw what appeared to be an airplane hangar painted the brightest yellow you've ever seen. Unable to pass up an opportunity like that, we all immediately agreed we should go see what it was. Turns out it is "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store". This candy store boasts either 57 or 87 kinds of licorice (there was some conflicting signage). To be fair, only about half of the store is candy. The rest is bacon, apples, pies, locally made hot sauce and the like. Also, 20 or so kinds of root beer. Because of the awesome variety, we decided to go for a choose your own six-pack deal and have a tasting later in the evening. After supper. At "Suzette's".

The funniest little restaurant ever. Its menu boasts things like chicken mousse and cranberry pork, but the atmosphere suggests a diner whose specialty is the world's greatest cup of crap coffee. It was a very good meal and afterward we returned to Bethany's house for our root beer tasting.

The winner!

The winner of the root beer tasting competition was Henry Weinhard's Root Beer. It had everything we were looking for; it was indeed, as the company says, a "gourmet elixir, brewed with sassafras, vanilla and honey..." They also use only the "highest quality ingredients". I think it's so good because they use only the highest quality phosphoric acid. But seriously, it was delicious. If I had one here now, I'd be on that root beer like...

wait for it...

ants on an apple.

28 October, 2010

Baby Love

I had two days in a row off this week, something that hasn't happened for a while, so I tripped it out to Ortonville for some Mimi time.

She is staying with my parents while her parents are in Ethiopia going through court to acquire two more munchkins. We did our best to stay busy, but with the chilly, rainy, epically windy weather it was challenging. Our activities included baking...


playing puppy...

and a great deal of our time was spent with this little guy...

That is the cat formerly known as Toby. Due to a hilarious mispronunciation by the little one, we now call him Toady. My grandparents found him in their garage, and my parents got him by default.

The addition of Toady into the household meant that I spent most of my relaxing time off chasing my niece around the house saying "Don't squeeze, Mimi. Remember to be very gentle with Toby. He's just a little baby. Meron! Meron! Don't squeeze him!"

But Toady was far more patient about that then I was.

08 October, 2010

Holy overflow, Batman!

It started innocently enough. I thought I should spiff up the ol' place, what with having extended an open invitation of visitation to the whole of the metro area. I thought "I'll just fill the sink with soapy water and start scrubbing the kitchen, top to bottom." Well, a word or two of advice. If, while waiting for the sink to fill, you decide to put in a load of laundry, don't then think "I'll just fold these freshly dry clothes. And while I'm at it, I'll start cleaning the bathroom, too. And then I'll put all these other things away." If you do this, you will return to a kitchen sink that looks not unlike a giant, microwaved marshmallow.

You know. Like this:

The Boy Wonder looks pretty concerned about all those soapy enemies, doesn't he?

05 October, 2010

Art Crawling

I am feeling wicked uninspired. This is bad. It is especially bad because I am in the throes of preparing for the St. Paul Art Crawl. It's making me crazy insecure. This is the first time I've done something like this, and while it's not even a big deal (because anyone can sign up to do it), I am, after reviewing all of the photos on my computer, fairly confident that none of them is good enough to show to anyone, ever. Because it's one thing to show work to your friends and family. They have to be nice to you. It is an entirely different thing to show your work to strangers. And, well...balls.

This new found insecurity in my photography abilities was exacerbated by me making business cards, at the behest of my mother. So thanks for that, Mom. *wink

I have nothing to do but stare down the imminent failure heading my way. Oh, and also I have to mat and frame a bazillion photos. And thoroughly clean my whole apartment. And rearrange the furniture. And some other things. But other than that, nothing.

My framing/matting system could be improved. I am not really a naturally tidy or efficient person. For example...

That semi circle in the middle? That's where I sit...

And really, I'm probably worrying about nothing. All these visiting strangers I'm concerned about will probably just be two random people who are on their way out and happen to walk past my open door. At least, I kind of hope that will be the case...