Monthly Archives: April 2008

My First Share!

Okay, so I received neither trout nor fig jam, but I’m happy overall with my first pick-up from Fair Shares.

Buttercrunch lettuce, a huge bag of shiitake and oyster mushrooms, cheese from Heartland Creamery (um, you know how I feel about them, but fine, I will eat their cheese), spaghetti from Mangia, black beans, a 2.5 lb. chicken, San Luis flour tortillas, peanut butter from Sappington Farmers Market, and salsa.

The chicken is a bit small, so the family who raised them included a note explaining the cold weather had kept the chickens small. Future ones will be around 3.5 lbs.

But, oh my gosh, check out the mushrooms!

For dinner, I cooked half of the spaghetti, combined it with sauted mushrooms, carrots, and ginger (I already had the last two in the refrigerator). Then I topped it with a yummy peanut sauce (using my new peanut butter). Awesome! I also topped some lettuce with a carrot and lemon juice salad that I made over the weekend.

Not too shabby for a thrown together meal.

And I have leftovers for two more meals.


Trying to Look Up

I have some things going against me right now:

  1. My favorite pair of summer pants (and it’s summer-pant wearing weather right now) are coming unsewn below the zipper. Unfortunately, my seamstress is living in Albuquerque at the moment. Hmmm….
  2. Squirrels have savaged three of my tomato plants. The plants have been in the ground for not yet 36 hours. I’m quite sad about this, but I know I can replace the plants this weekend after the Webster Groves herb sale. But I’m also QUITE sad because I’ve cared for these little plants for more than two months now. It hurts. So much.
  3. I’ve only practiced my fiddle twice this week, and I have class tomorrow. Oh, and I never bought a digital tuner. I’m such a slacker.

On the upside:

  1. Porkchop comes home in less than a month.
  2. We’ve been pre-approved for an FHA home renovation loan. The approval amount is alright, but I hope we can buy a place and get it done for much cheaper. The monthly payment amount makes me gasp. I mean, really, I’m glad Wells Fargo pre-approved us for this amount, but ARE THEY NUTS??!! Have they REALLY looked at our income-debt ratio? I sure as hell wouldn’t lend us such money.
  3. Hmmm…I’m trying to think of a third. My parents will take me out to a nice dinner Friday night at the Sidney Street Cafe.

And, I don’t know how to feel about this…

When I came home from work this evening, I observed an unsettled atmosphere on my street. People sitting outside, but quiet and uneasily watching a guy with a dog standing outside one of the 4-family flats. Then I noticed a police car parked in front of my apartment and a police woman taking a report from a guy who lives across the street. My neighbor told me that the guy with the dog had been reported for animal abuse.

I don’t know how to feel about this because I’m sad to hear that this guy was beating his dog, but I’m glad that no one was shot, which is what I thought had happened.

On that note, have a great Tuesday!

Sometimes It’s Hard to Breathe

I wish today were May 15.

If it were May 15, I would be at the airport, ready to leave for Albuquerque to help drive Porkchop back to St. Louis.

It’s going to be a long three and a half weeks.


KETC has some really great shows…unfortunately, the powers-that-be like to schedule all of the best shows at 10:00 pm on Sunday night.

For example, I’ve been wanting to see King Corn since I first heard about it. KETC is showing it right now as part of Independent Lens. Great, terrific, I have to go to bed in about 15 minutes.

What – do they assume everyone has cable and a DVR? Grrrr.

Other Things
My whole weekend centered around food-related activities.

This week is the first pick-up for Fair Shares, so the organizers held an open house on Saturday. We sampled food, met some farmers and other food producers, and learned more about the mechanics of the CSA.

I’m excited for the first week! One of the farmers at the open house has a fig farm, and I’m hoping that we receive some of his fig jam. Yum! Forty-five people will also receive trout this week – crossing my fingers because I love trout.

Today started out rough because I went to La Dolce Via to knit, but I forgot my knitting! Argh! I had tea and a scone anyway and bought a newspaper.

I used the newspaper when I got home to make new bedding for my worms. Then I set out on the task of separating the worms from the worm poop.

This is harder than people make it out to be on the vermiculture websites. They make it sound like you’ll end up with a neat pile of worms if you use the method of repeatedly halving the poop pile and letting the worms crawl to the bottom. The reality is that you still have a big mess of worms and poop.

And then there are the baby worms! It’s impossible to separate the itty bitty worms from the poop.

Hard work, folks. It took me about an hour. In the end, I had a half-gallon of worm poop (half-gallon because I used the container in which my red bean ice cream came).

I used some of the poop when I planted my tomatoes later in the afternoon. Hope we don’t have a big frost…that would be just my luck.

I offered my next door neighbor some worm poop for his plants, but he declined. Later, however, his son accepted my offer of a cherry tomato plant. I hope he takes care of it.

Man, I’m tired. Off to bed now. Work is going to be super busy this week…sigh. And my parents arrive on Friday for a weekend visit. And they’re staying with me, so I have more parent preparations to make.


So, uh, did anyone else just feel that earthquake?

At least, I think it was a little one…

That, or my downstairs neighbors were having some crazy sex.

Something woke me up and was shaking the house, anyway.

Edited to add…5.2!

Three-Minute Update

Ack! I still don’t know where the time is going! Not…enough…hours…

Today, my main accomplishment at work was buying gifts for a baby shower tomorrow (yes, ANOTHER shower – this time for a co-worker who leaves May 1 to meet her son in Ethiopia). As Porkchop said, I’m learning a lot about crib sheets, changing pads, and other things I’ve never fathomed before.

After work, I attended my third fiddling class. Tonight we learned part of the Tennessee Waltz and Liza Jane (or is that Eliza Jane?). Fun!

Fiddling makes me HUNGRY. It’s a crazy core and arm workout.

When I returned home, I found that my tomato plants have taken off. It’s amazing what the sun can do.

Speaking of plants, during the snow showers Saturday morning, my supervisor and I planted some garden things….carrots, beets, chard, peas, lettuce, and onions. We’ll see what happens.

After hanging out with Suzi Saturday afternoon, I started a baby raglan for the baby shower tomorrow. It definitely won’t be finished.

When I wasn’t working on the raglan Sunday, I made food to get me through the week. Robin (aka Poppy Mom) wrote about Martha Stewart’s green chile chicken enchiladas on her newish food blog. For an accompaniment, I prepared rice and beans with roasted sweet potatoes. Yum for both:

(that freaky stuff on the lower right is sour cream)

Tomorrow – I hope to make knitting at Companion Bakery – yay!

April 10 is Finally Here!

Do you know how excited I am that The Office and 30 Rock have new episodes tonight?!

So excited!

And I’m not afraid to admit it.

Look – A Real Update

It appears that when I try to balance a lot of things, my blog is what I drop. But, yay!, I have time to write a little post tonight.

Sunday night, I finally finished my stinking Jaywalkers. Here’s a bad picture:

The jury’s still out. They fit fine, but they’re a bit itchy. Maybe because the yarn includes a bit of mohair. I’m sure I’ll like these socks more during the winter.

I continue to work on my Interlocking Balloons scarf. Next week, I hope to make Wednesday night knitting at Companion Bakery.

Last night, I had my second fiddling class. I’m improving a little, but I find the class kind of difficult. I like to have music in front of me, but the instructor mainly teaches by playing. Even when he recites the fingering, it gets jumbled in my head because I have a hard time with spoken numbers (and letters). But, it’s still fun and pretty low pressure.

This week, we continue to work on scales and variations of “Boil Them Cabbage Down.”

Despite a brush with mold and frantic repotting last Friday night at 10:30, my tomato sprouts are doing well.

Here’s the group:

This is one of the stars, a Fox Cherry:

I think I should take off the little lower leaves, but I’m not sure.

My supervisor and I will try to plant some seeds this weekend. I have some beet and carrot seeds to put in the ground. Melons and squash and tomatoes will follow a couple weeks later. Oh, and I’m looking forward to the Webster Groves herb sale on the 26th!

Last weekend, I ate a bunch of grease-laden food and felt quite disgusting. On Sunday, in an attempt to reverse the state of things, I juiced a lot.

Juice is pretty and tasty:

Mixed-Use Buildings
I spent nearly 3 hours scoping out a residential/commercial building on Cherokee – once with a realtor and once with Porkchop’s dad. Did I ever write that Porkchop is moving back to St. Louis in May? Well, she is, and we’re both ready to get started on finding a building for a print shop and for us to live.

The building has some nice features – a complete tin ceiling in terrific condition and enamel bricks inside – but it would be a lot of work, of course.

Rain Barrels
Suzi and I trekked out to Bonne Terre on Saturday to pick up some barrels that will be converted to rain barrels. The license plate of the guy with the barrels read “IAMNRA.” We were a bit intimidated, but he turned out to be a really good, ecologically minded guy.

Right Now
I’m watching a great show on PBS about Zora Neale Hurston. It’s great because it focuses a lot on her work as a cultural anthropologist, something which is often ignored in discussions.

Have a great night!

City Haiku

Gunfire, squealing tires.
Montana on a weekend
Night. Still alive, thanks.

Kicking it like Claud

Like my grandfather and a couple of my great-aunts, my great-uncle Claud was a mean fiddler. All of my memories of him include a fiddle being played.

I find it quite sad that the fiddle tradition on my dad’s side of the family pretty much died out with the older family members.

In an attempt to bring it back, I had my first intro to fiddle class at the Folk School of St. Louis tonight.

I have no grand visions; I just want to be able to play a little something-something. I don’t think I absolutely suck for tonight being the first time I’ve ever tried to play a violin. Tomorrow night, I’ll start my much-needed daily practice.

If the fiddle doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll try the dulcimer.