Tuesday, June 29, 2010

3 adventures, 3 minibooks

Many thanks to Ali for featuring my destinations :: northfield minibook in her Stories of Summer series. Check out all the creativity happening this summer, from all over the world. So inspiring. I'm thrilled and humbled to be a part of it. Thanks Ali!

I'm crafting minibooks for two more summer adventures in July and August. I'll post more about each - the actual adventure and its crafty outcome - over the next two months. Stay tuned! I'm having great fun putting the bits and pieces together for these next two books.

Still have some photo sticking-down and typewriter journaling to add into my Northfield mini. It was a fabulous adventure.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

oh northfield, how do I love thee? let me count the ways. . .

sidewalk neighborhoods that enjoy summer in their front yards
a riverwalk dotted with flowers
seeing new-to-me flowering shrubs and looking up at them
a store that says what it is
(and a smaller city outside of a major metropolitan area that is committed to a co-op)
a two-story library on a hill celbrating its 100 birthday
with public restrooms right inside the entryway
a weekly gathering spot creating the art of summer saturdays
seeing a crowd
musicians who love to sing
vendors trying new recipes
delicious homemade citrus tea with mint
a popcorn wagon in the central square
preserving the past
diggs on division
many spiral staircases
a twin cities suburban transplant who moved to northfield because of the artisan community, and wanted to showcase their talent through her talent of creating a whimsical, friendly gallery. . . complete with her handcrafted paper birds in the window
angle parking
another new recipe: white plum almond pastry tart
a real deal, old-fashioned bakery
a consignment/vintage clothing shop that organizes separate racks by size
this sign
an old favorite
and a new one

Thursday, June 24, 2010

seen around my home

It's summer. The light is bright enough in my living room in the morning to capture a picture with subdued hues. I'm grateful for the beauty that surrounds me every day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

for the love of dad and beets

My dad loves beets. My mom doesn't love cooking and doesn't have a very adventurous taste palette. This parental combination meant I grew up eating canned beets. Beets are particularly lacking when fresh from a can.

A few years ago I discovered fresh beets while dining out with friends. Imagine my surprise at how fresh beets are utterly full of flavor and crispness. I've picked them up the past two weeks at the farmer's market. This week goldens were a part of my bundle.

I slice them up and toss on a cookie sheet for roasting. Sprinkle on a bit of sea salt, a few twists of the pepper grinder and a drizzle of olive oil, and into a 375 degree oven they go for about 25 minutes. Perfect for a salad. Perfect over warm pasta with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Fabulous.

Thanks dad for so much, including introducing me to beets.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Tina at life.love.paper posted her answers to this list today. Thought I'd share mine.

listening: Alexi Murdoch's All My Days, the Brothers Frantzich and Sarah Bareilles' Many the Miles
eating: Smaller portions. Chobani yogurt. As many fresh fruits and vegetables as I can each day.
drinking: Small mocha skim iced lattes vs. medium.
wearing: Blue vintage bead necklace. Gold/white earrings I've worn almost everyday for the past five months.
feeling: Jazzed and a bit scared about my Loft writing class. Confused by Twitter.
weather: Humid sunshine today. Thankful for a day of dryness.
wanting: A massage.
needing: More exercise.
thinking: Time goes by so fast.
enjoying: Dottie Angel's photos and Caiti's wish.
wondering: Where Season 4 of Man Men will pick up?

What are your currents?

Sunday, June 13, 2010


A few weeks ago my friend Tammy and I went up to Clare's Well to help on spring clean-up day. This was our second year volunteering on this day. It rained. We got muddy. We hauled firewood into summer storage. We scrubbed the sauna. We harvested mint and loaded it into a dehydrator. We dug a short ditch and refitted a drainage pipe on the Sacred Path (for this one, I commented that the Sisters have a lot of confidence in our abilities - neither of us really knew if we were doing this quite right). We put up curtains. We smiled when an older gentleman told us he likes seeing younger people helping out. We enjoyed lunch and watched the rain. We splashed our feet in a clear and crisp Sabbath Pond. And we inspired the Sister's to say this: we enjoy seeing you enjoying your friendship.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

what's making me smile right now

I've had two sorta cruddy days in a row at work this week. People have different agendas for what they believe is important. That's the lesson I need to remember from this experience. I've done my best to influence in a positive way, and I stood up for what I believe, and now the situation is over. Time to move on.

Amidst all the work drama, here's what has brought a smile to my face over the past few days:

1. Brooke and her home featured on A Home for Alice. If you want to read more about the A Home for Alice project, scroll down a bit on the blog page - there's an explanation on the right sidebar. I'm both intrigued and inspired by Alice's creativity and passion for this adventure.

2. Living across the street from this beautiful and calming place. Site of an outdoor concert I could hear in my living room last Saturday, and where I took the photo above on Sunday. This isn't evident, but I was standing behind a painted pig, with a face cut-out for photos. Leftover from the fun the night before.

3. My supervisor's sheer delight about her three week sailing trip in Greece. She left today!

4. Elise's excitement about this sewing project.

5. Telling a student at tutoring tonight over and over again that his answers are correct. He said he doesn't remember ever hearing so many times in a row that he's getting it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

sunday recipe :: rhubarb bran muffins

I love bran muffins. I bought a package of bran last year to make a not yet found bran muffin recipe, and lo and behold, there was a great recipe on the package. Love that. I added rhubarb to my first batch, so that's the only way I've known these muffins. Made some more today from my rhubarb purchase a the St. Paul Farmer's Market yesterday. Actually, I made this batch in a 9x13 pan because I wanted to go for a walk this evening, rather than scoop batter into muffin cups! Baked up just fine!

3 cups unprocessed wheat bran (I used a mix of wheat and oat today)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2-1/2 cups white flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
Cinnamon sugar

Mix 1 cup bran with 1 cup boiling water; stir and let water absorb into bran. Blend sugar and butter in a separate bowl. Combine flour, baking soda and salt separately. Combine moist bran with eggs, remaining 2 cups of bran, buttermilk, blended sugar-butter mixture and flour mixture. Add about 2 cups of chopped rhubarb. I sprinkled mine with a little sugar. Stir well. [My note: there's a lot of separate mixing/bowls going on here. I do the sugar/butter/eggs/buttermilk in a big bowl and add the bran/flour mixture directly to it].

Refrigerate for future use, or bake at once. To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spoon into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 15 minutes. 
***For 9x13 pan, I lowered the temperature to 350 and baked for about 30 minutes.

You need to be a bran lover. . .and they're delicious!

Friday, June 4, 2010

friday firsts

1. First butterfly siting of the summer. About to enter my parking ramp, leaving work for the day.

2. Had a dessert that used carob chips instead of chocolate chips. . . sort of a carob chip brownie. As Tammy said, "don't expect it to taste like a chocolate brownie." It didn't. It was good in a different way.

3. Entered Minnehaha Park from a new direction.

4. Saw where the Minnesota Veterans' Home is located.

5. Walked out on a second floor porch/balcony in a two-story bungalow. These small porches, basically situated on a home's roof, are common features on Twin Cities' bungalow homes. I've wanted to walk out on one for a very long time.

What were your firsts of the day?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

a lovely memorial day weekend

this weekend seemed to be all about flowers - shopping for them, planting them and wanting to plant more of them after a visit to the st. paul farmer's market. trying out a new variety this year. . .torenia, or clownflower. hope it really does like shade!

 the new planter for 2010. decided on some fuscia and a spider plant to compliment the impatiens.

 i'm growing more and more attached to my local library. it used to frustrate me that the location nearest to me didn't have what i was looking for. always needed to make a request. now, it's just part of the deal and i just go with the flow. look at this beautiful sculpture that was just installed by the entrance. love it!

 megan gave me a head's up about the gelato stand at the farmer's market this year. whoa. super good. this is a mix of salted caramel and strawberry rhubarb. delightful.

 more market love. fresh aspargus that i made into pizza using my most favorite trader joe's item - the frozen naan. so simple and so scrumptious.

 dinner at my dining table, with a cool breeze and gentle rain falling outside.
more flowers :)