Tuesday, June 30, 2009


has definitely arrived! My mom picked the black raspberries pictured above at a secret location down by the Mississippi. They are delicious and no bigger than my fingertip. Some of these will be featured in a berry/rhubarb crisp (coming soon to a blog near you).
Everything is blooming. Here is a flower in my sister's yard from last weekend. I think it is called Indian Blanket?
Below is a picture of the Ladderball set we played with over the weekend (have you tried it yet? It's fun even if you have little to no skill).
The last picture is of a new-to-me boardgame called Kragmortha. Very silly and the rules are pretty straightforward.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Visit to Northfield

I visited my sister and bro-in-law last week. They live in Northfield, which is where we all went to college. It is a cute town and makes an excellent day trip since it is located only about 45 minutes south of Minneapolis.

Luckily for me, I was there the week of "Taste of Northfield" which had lots of good food
from local businesses AND...........

..........a re-enactment of the James Gang's raid on Northfield's bank, way back in 18...uh..something. After the robbing of the bank, the citizens of Northfield formed a posse and that was the end of the gang's glory days. Northfield has a whole festival based on this event, called "Defeat of Jesse James Days" which takes place every year the weekend after Labor Day.
Here are the bad guys getting ready to rob the bank. "Get your guns, boys! They're robbing the bank!" (Actual words spoken during the re-enactment - can you tell that I've seen it a couple times?)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Around Town

It's shaping up to be a hot weekend for the the first "official" weekend of summer. Here are some things I will be doing around town or things I wish I could do if there were more hours in the day/money in the bank:
  • Check out a Saints game (www.saintsbaseball.com)- the theme for Saturday is the 30th Anniversary of "The Jerk"
  • Go strawberry picking - most U-Pick places in Minnesota have already opened for business or are opening this weekend (check here for locations: www.farmerdirect2you.com/minnesota-farms)
  • Dine Outdoors or Hide Inside - it's going to be a hot one. If you are like most Minnesotans, you'll want to soak up those sunbeams in a fruitless effort to store it up for those -20 degree days in February. So, find one of the million outdoor patios and enjoy a cool drink (I like the Black Forest Inn and Tin Fish on Lake Calhoun). If you're like me, you hate sweating and never remember to wear sunblock; hide inside a nice cool cave like the Chatterbox Pub and play some games. You'll get a good table anywhere inside because everyone is outside sweltering and trying to keep bugs off their food whilst preventing their napkin from blowing away.
  • Rent a canoe, kayak, or pedal boat from Wheel Fun Rentals (www.wheelfunrentals.com) and explore the Chain of Lakes or Lake Nokomis. They also rent tandem bikes and such at Minnehaha Park.
  • Go see "Up" by Pixar - take your Dad for Father's Day, even. It's a great movie for kids and adults and way better than the commercial/trailer would lead you to believe.

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Little House or The Importance of Curb Appeal

I asked my sister, Emily to make me a little ceramic house for a tabletop garden. She was kind enough to say yes. After a few weeks and a million annoying questions from me (is it done yet? No? How about now?) I received this cute little cottage below. The roof lifts up and there is a sturdy "patio" base.I originally planted the "yard" with Corsican mint and thyme. The thyme was scraggly but hardy. Not so the mint, which died the day after planting, leaving me with the embarrassment of a "lawn" below. Now, I'm not one of those crazy lawn people, and if it was covered in dandelions then we'd be golden, as far as I'm concerned. However, dead and brown lumps of former vegetation wasn't the look I was going for.....
....so I dug up some weeds and planted them. Weeds are supposed to be hardy, right? These better not die or I might have to go with a rock garden/zen garden/sand type of thing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Watercolor Wednesday

Here is a painting that I did a little over a week ago, using watercolor and crayon. I used Photoshop to change the colors on the one below. What do you think? I don't understand the controversy surrounding painters using Photoshop. It's a tool like anything else, right? Unless you are a very traditional artist, mixing your pigments and doing everything as they did pre-1800, I guess. I bet those guys would have loved to have Photoshop, though :)P I guess there are some painters who disapprove of painting from a photograph, but I say whatever works for the artist is okay with me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Nope, not scenes from the 80's horror/sci-fi classic film starring Scott Grimes. Just some little critters we spotted while camping at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park. I believe that the turtle above may be a baby snapping turtle. We rescued him from the road even though he will probably grow up to be one of those horrible, evil creatures that terrified me while swimming in the nearby pond as a kid.
At least two chipmunks lived under our cabin and visited us often. I thought chipmunks had short little stubby tails? I guess there are several different kinds....

Here is a shot of one of the many billions of crayfish that we found at the swimming beach at Father Hennepin State Park. Seriously, there were tons of these guys washed up ashore by the pounding waves (super windy last Saturday). It makes you wonder - how many are in the LAKE, then? And, more importantly, do I want to swim amongst them?