Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Yes We Can!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

If The World Gives You Apples, Make Apple Cider

Yesterday we ventured out to the Cleveland area to make delicious cider with some friends of ours. This is the second time we've done it and it's always sticky, sweet fun!

I know what you're thinking...I want to make cider too!!!

Well, do not despair, I will share with you the basic steps of cidermaking.

1. Before making cider you need a cider press. Find a friend with one or make one for yourself.

2. Get yourself some apples! Lots of them and of all different varieties. It's the varying flavors of apples that make cider taste so good.

3. Wash the apples. Get all the gunk and possible pesticides (yuk!) off of them.

4. Gather up a large group of friends and family to help with the labor and promise them they'll get the sweet rewards of their hard work.

5. Start cutting. You have to get all the nasty bits out the apples. Say good-bye to worms and rot.

6. Be careful when cutting up the apples. My fingers got a couple of nicks. Oops.

7. Pile up all the yummy cuttings. Eat a little if you want.

8. Place the apples in the press.

9. Turn the wheel, push the apples through and watch as the sweet golden nectar flows. Bees will be your constant companions when making cider. They love it. I've even had a bee sip cider off my fingers. They're wild for the stuff. They don't usually get aggressive they just want to join the party and try and drown themselves too.

10. Using a strainer and a funnel, fill the jugs full of the yummy stuff. Try to refrain from putting your head beneath the spigot and filling your mouth full of cider.

11. Ta-dah! Delicious, homemade cider for all to share!

Side note: You're going to be left with a lot of pressed apples. Give them to your neighboring farm animals or put them in a compost.

Trust me, there's nothing quite as good as your own homemade cider! Yum!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


It's been awhile since I've done any real knitting. I suppose I'm more of a seasonal knitter because as soon as it warms up my projects seem to go into hiding. Of course, that also means that when that autumn chill fills the air and thoughts of apple orchards and warm cider ramble through my mind I suddenly have a desire to knit.

So, the other day I picked up my straight 8s and now I'm working on a scarf from scarfSTYLE by Pam Allen. It's the Misty Garden scarf created by Jo Sharp. I'm using Plymouth Encore Worsted which is completely different from what the pattern calls for, but it's the leftover from my husband's sweater. And I'm liking how it's turning out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Leafy Bug Dude

Apparently, this little guy wanted to go for an early morning ride around town. It's much easier than flying and jumping everywhere.

The sunflowers I planted at my community garden are in bloom. I like them very much.

And here's a public service announcement:
Wear a helmet when riding your bike!
My husband was riding his bike home from work two weeks ago when he was hit by a mini-van. It was the driver's fault. He's banged up, bruised, his knees hurt a lot and he has to do some physical therapy for his neck, back and knees, but, relatively speaking, he's doing good. Also, his helmet cracked, but it protected his noggin from cracking. So, don't trust that people in vehicles are paying attention and wear your helmet. You might think that a bicycle helmet isn't on your list of fashionable apparel, but like my father-in-law says, "In a fight between a car and a bike, the car always wins."

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Minty Afternoon

Yesterday marked the beginning of the Backyard/Patio Garden Project (I'll come up with a better name for it later). It began with a gift. Jonathan's father surprised us with a patio table and four chairs. Yipee! Then, completely unplanned, we all headed to his place. He generously gave us many plant starters from his own garden. After the entire car was filled with plants, Jonathan and I headed home with big smiles on our faces.

Since all the plants were freshly dug up they needed to be put in the ground as swiftly as possible lest they perish. However, before the planting could begin I had to pull out a ton of mint! It must have been a well tended herb garden at one point because I even found chives buried beneath the mint, but now it was obvious some sort of revolt occurred and the mint declared dominance over the realm.

So, I dug the mint up (although I know it will continue to show its head for a long while) and planted hostas, coneflowers and daises!

Currently, the plants are a little stressed out. They just went through the dramatic experience of being ripped from the ground and placed somewhere else entirely. So far, they seem to be holding up and feeling better.

This is Part One of the Project. Part Two will deal with another section of dirt behind the apartment which I will fill with perennials. Finally, Part Three will be the filling of pots and ornamentation!

Enjoy the pictures below. . .

(Behold the Mint Explosion)


Shasta Daisy


Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

Black-Eyed Susan

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Don't Try This At Home!!!

Jonathan had a sudden urge for sangria. We had two bottles of Cherry Wine Sangria from the Chateau Grand Traverse. We'd gotten the bottles over four years ago, so it was probably time to use them. Excited for some fruity goodness, we poured all the ingredients into our lil' decanter when we realized our thin spoon simply wasn't long enough to stir the sugar until it dissolved.

So, being the industrious lad that he is, Jonathan attached the spoon to his power drill...

And away he went...

I was completely and totally worried that he was going to break the glass, but he didn't!

And the sangria was yummy!

I've also been wanting to get started on gardening our small backyard. Of course, when you move, money gets a bit tight at the beginning. Lots of expenses, etc.
The thing is when you need to get your hands in some dirt, you need to do it! So, to assuage my desire to garden, I painted some ol' cans and turned them into pots for impatiens (I bought the impatiens at the hardware store for 94 cents).

I guess the lesson is don't be afraid to use a bit of imagination to solve your problems and to trust that your husband knows what he's doing! Well, I don't know about that last part... :o)

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I walked into My Daily Grind yesterday to discover... own signature drink (look in the upper right hand corner of the pic)!

It all started with a bit of experimentation. Normally, they offer a delicious raspberry lemonade. I've enjoyed it many a time, but one day I decided to ask for a different flavoring. I asked for strawberry and, of course, it was tasty. After that rebellious act (which wasn't actually very rebellious), I decided to try all the fruity flavors (there was even a brief discussion about trying one of the non-fruit flavors, but we came to the conclusion that while hazelnut tastes great in coffee, it probably wouldn't work in lemonade. :oP) Thus began my pioneering adventure in extravagant lemonades. After the strawberry, it was pomegranate. That was followed by passion fruit. All yummy but not quite a taste explosion. Then I asked for peach and I LOVED IT! So, I've stopped at the peach for a bit because it's super tasty, but I will be heading on in my search for crazy, super-flavorful taste combinations.

So, if you're in downtown P-burg, stop at My Daily Grind and have a Princess Peach Lemonade!
Oh, and eat a chocolate-covered frozen banana bite too!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Daisies and Boxes

We cleared out the old apartment, handed over the keys and said our good-byes. We loved the apartment for its character, light and history. Unfortunately, there were many negative conditions that started to pile up without a remedy. Overtime the positive aspects found themselves buried beneath a mountain of inaction and we had to move on.

The fireplace was awesome!

Our new place is lovely and there's even a back porch for a container garden. Hooray! Right now it is full of boxes! However, the yarn has started to make its way out of the boxes.

The yarns yawned, stretched and exclaimed,
"Ooooo, light! We're so excited. Please make us into wonderfully, wonderful socks!"

On a gardening note...
I planted daisies in my parents' backyard last year (my mom loves them). They didn't flower. This year, however, they made a comback. Daisies make a day just a bit better.

Well, back to unpacking and everything else that goes along with moving. Smile!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Hodgepodge of Information

My Aunt Lupe and Uncle Robin came up this past weekend to see my parents' artwork (it was being shown at a local gallery).

And they both enjoyed playing with lil' Brianna...

More milk, please!

Brianna contemplates the meaning of art.

I also finished planting most of my garden. I ended up planting zucchini, cucumbers, beans, onions, lettuce and tomatoes.

Along with the veggies I also planted flowers and herbs, including Thai basil, cilantro and sunflowers.

In the above picture there's lemon thyme, lantana and some angelonia angustifolia (yeah, say that 5 times fast).

I also started knitting one of Plymouth Yarn's Encore 8-hour Baby Blankets. The one I am working on is called Building Blocks Blanket. I'm combining Bright Fuchsia with Summer Coral to create a color I call Raspberry Lemonade. I'm knitting it for Brianna before she goes back to her mama in July.

Ain't she adorable?

And one last thing. We're moving to a new apartment!! It will be within the next week or so. Our current apartment is filled with boxes and we are very ready to go!

As stated in the title, this post is definitely a hodgepodge.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Brief Conversation About Tomatoes

A couple of days ago we put two tomato plants in the garden. A Brandywine and a Furry Yellow Hog (yep, that's its name).

Here's a conversation that occurred in the garden, following the planting of the tomatoes...

Me: (pointing at the Furry Yellow Hog) That tomato will be yellow.

Jonathan: Yellow? What about just having red ones?

Me: It'll be fun to try something new. Besides, most red tomatoes are products of convenience perpetuated by the "man".

Jonathan: The "man"?

Me: Yeah, the "man".

Jonathan: You mean Stalin?

Me: Yes, that's exactly who I mean.

He’s a cheeky one, my husband.

And for your visual pleasure:

A hosta leaf after the rain.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Superman! You Better Work It, Boy!

I went over to Endicott Studio this morning and they had a post about superhero fashion.

What fun!

Here's a link to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that's holding the show entitled, "Superheros: Fashion and Fantasy".


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Green Lantern's Light

The garden received it's official signage today. Whoo-hoo!!!

I, along with Jonathan, set up everything for the garden.

For those geeks that heart comics (me included), there is a superhero symbol in the garden that happened by accident. So, then the question became: Which G.L. is the official guardian of the garden?

Is it Hal? Nah.

Definitely NOT Gardner! Although his name fits best. ;o)

I really like John Stewart, but...

I ended up settling on Ch'p, 'cause he's too cute for school!

hee, hee!

On to other plant-like news. I also helped a bit this morning with the planting of the downtown pots in Bowling Green.

Check them out, if you're heading down to Bowling Green!
They always fill them with beautiful plants and flowers.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Beginnings Of A Garden

Things are starting to move along with my community garden. Last Thursday Jonathan put up the fence for me. It's 24 inch chicken wire with 36 inch stakes. We initially had purchased 24 inch stakes and discovered that wasn't going to work. Luckily, Vicki (the horticulturist) traded us.

As a side note: after putting up the fence we went to see Iron Man.
Tony Stark is my new favorite billionaire playboy. Sorry Bruce Wayne.

On Saturday morning, in the rain and mud, I planted a bunch of marigolds along the perimeter. And I made a little garden of marigolds and one thyme plant at the back of the garden.

I saw these yellow marigolds and fell for them immediately. They are called African marigolds even though they're actually from Mexico. They apparently get fairly large and lovely.

I think the other marigolds I planted are French marigolds. If so, they are also from Mexico. They won't get nearly as big as the African marigolds, though.

Now, I'll need to diagram out the garden to see what will be planted and where. I don't think I'm going to be able to put in everything that I initially planned, but there will definitely be tomatoes (everyone is requesting them).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Garden Fever

I'm lovin' all things gardening right now. This year I'm going to have my own garden at the 577 Foundation. They have a community garden program there and I got in this year. Hooray!! Except that now I'm completely consumed with garden fever. I actually read seed packets in bed last night. I dreamed about planting rows and rows of kohlrabi. I'm not even planting kohlrabi (that dream may have had something to do with the seedling tray I filled yesterday at the 577).

Every individual garden has a name, so I had to come up with one too. What did I choose? Titania's Wild Thyme. Thanks go out to Shakespeare for the inspiration. :o)

I have lots of veggies planned for the garden...
Bell Peppers
Summer Squash
Pole Beans
Celery well as herbs...
Flat-leaf Parsley
Thyme (of course)

...and I'm going to have a raised bed of flowers for cutting.

I'm going out today to get the fencing material as well as bamboo poles for vertical growth. I'm growing both the cucumbers and the pole beans vertically. I also need to get materials for making the raised beds.

I'll leave you with a picture...

This hibiscus caught my eye the other day. I think it's beautiful...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Signs of Spring

A grape hyacinth peaking out from the ground...

A magnolia blossom fully bloomed...

And tulips waking up bright with color...

I love the cold days of winter. The way freshly fallen snow illuminates even the darkest evening. I enjoy every season and every season seems to come when needed. Spring brings with it true renewal and reawakening. Spring gives you a breath of fresh air and lightens your heart a bit. Most important Spring brings strawberries. Sweet, little berries of pure enjoyment. Yum!

I hope everyone is enjoying a breath of fresh air!