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Showing posts from July, 2013

Day 212: Fish Update

Just to let you know, our fish is still alive! We've had him for six months and have yet to accidentally kill him or let the cats eat him. Hootie is a good little Vietnamese fighting fish.



Day 211: Harvest Has Begun

The tomatoes have started turning red! The harvest season has begun. I got the first green beans and tomatoes off my plants today. Brian has eaten most of them already.

Here are the tomatoes in my garden:


Here they are ready to eat along with some green beans:

Day 210: Beef Empanadas

I made beef empanadas for dinner. It's Gordon Ramsey's recipe. If you ever make the, I recommend letting the cool before you take a bite. The burns on roof of my mouth are proof.


Day 209: Reunion

Brian and I went to my family reunion in Iowa today. It was a lot of fun seeing relatives I rarely get to see. I didn't get many pictures, unfortunately.

Here's a shot of a raucous game is scat:


Here's Brian climbing on the jungle gym, as he tends to do:

Here's the river at the park where the reunion was:


Day 208: Fried Green Tomatoes

I have no patience. I have been staring at my tomatoes growing in the garden for weeks. They just won't turn red!

So, I deciding to jump the gun and cook with the tomatoes anyways. I made fried green tomatoes, and they were delicious.


I used a recipe I found online. It was super-easy and they turned out perfectly crunchy with that sour tomato taste you only get with fried green tomatoes.

You can see in the picture that I couldn't get the coating to stick to the sides of the tomato. It didn't matter; they still tasted great.

Day 207: Brian Cracks Me Up

We had a fun night out celebrating a friend's birthday. My favorite picture from the night was this one of Brian:


Day 206: Joyland

I don't know why, but I love Stephen King's books. So, I might be a bit biased when I say that I loved his crime novel, Joyland. It's got carnys, a ghost and a murder mystery all wrapped up into one. I recommend it.





Day 205: Happy Birthday, Pam!

It was my mother-in-law's birthday today. She made a pineapple upside-down cake, which was super-delicious.

Here's Pam with her cake:


Here's Pam and Kelsey:


And, finally, this is a picture of their enormously long cat, Saucy Jack:


Happy birthday, Pam! Thank you for all the delicious food and great conversation.

Day 204: Steak Night

It's a beautiful night out, so we sat outside and had steak for dinner. It was pretty darned good. Brian even grilled fresh mushrooms and onions to go with the steak.


Day 203: Sleepy Cat

If I don't let Leela outside, all she does is sleep. At least she is adorable about it.


Day 202: The Conjuring

Brian and I saw The Conjuring today. It was a decent, classic horror film. Good scares and no giant plot holes. We liked it. I recommend it if you are into classic ghost stories like the Amityville Horror and Poltergeist. It's directed by James Wan, the guy who directed Saw and Insidious, though I would argue that this movie isn't as "out there" as his previous films. So, don't be put off if you didn't like his earlier work.


Day 201: Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

Some friends came over for dinner tonight, and I made blueberry sour cream pie for the occasion. I got the recipe from the epic tome Pie by Ken Haedrich, a book which has yet to fail me.

Here's a shot before I cut it:


Here's the piece I ate.


Yes, it was delicious.

Day 200: Clearing Out Books

It is time to clean out the library. My shelves are overloaded with books and knick-knacks so I am getting rid of some books. Of course, to get rid of some books, you have to read them first.

This book is one I picked up at a book sale a long time ago.


It has sat on my shelf for many years, unread. Now, I am finally reading it before I let it go, and it is actually pretty good. It has snippets of longer literary works, essays and poems. The selections they make are interesting. It's a good mix of stuff I know and things I didn't know.

So far, one of my favorites quotes is from a poem by Alexander Pope called An Essay on Criticism:
Trust not yourself: but your defects to know,  Make use of every friendand every foe.

Day 199: Bugs in Plastic

As part of my cabinet of curiosities in my office, I have a small collection of bugs in plastic. I really love these things because, frankly, I would not (voluntarily) get this close to one of these insects/spiders in real life. It's cool to be able to look at a black scorpion up close, without fear.

In addition to the scorpion in the center, the bug in the right is a cicada and on the left is a spiny spider.


Day 198: New Skull

I got a new skull for my collection of skull-shaped objects. I picked it up at Typo, a store at the Mall of America. It's a box, which means it could provide storage for my other skull-shaped things.


Day 197: Evil Dead on Bluray

The new Evil Dead movie came out on bluray today. It's as fun as the first time I saw it in theaters.


Day 196: Brian and His Furniture

I swear, I can't go to Target without having Brian purchase some piece of furniture. Today, it was a footstool for his work desk and a giant pillow for sitting up in bed.



Last time, he bought a chair. I don't know how much more furniture we can pack into our little house, though I am sure Brian will find a way to purchase more next time.

Day 195: New Minifigs

I got some new Lego minifigs for my collection. I don't know why, but I just find these things so amusing.


Day 194: Other People's Kittens Are Great

Our friends, Mike and Laura, got a new kitten named Gigi. It's a pretty darned cute cat:


I now believe that all my friends must continually get new kittens so I can go play with them. Get on that, people.

Day 193: Leela Napping

She just looks so adorable when she naps.


Day 192: Happy Me

I had a good day today, and I realized it had been awhile since I had posted a picture of myself. Here I am:




Day 191: Livia Eyes Me With Suspicion

Livia was suspicious of my intentions as I took her picture. She seems to be wondering, "What could this idiot possibly be up to now? Another picture of me? You've got to be kidding me."




Day 190: Garden is Growing!

The garden has grown leaps and bounds over the past month. My tomato plants are taking over the garden, but that's okay because I love tomatoes.


I've even got some tomatoes coming in:


I'm tempted to pick one early and make fried green tomatoes, a food I only really like because I have a soft spot for that movie (it's one of my guilty pleasures).

Day 189: Neil Gaiman

Nicole and I went to see the author Neil Gaiman. He's on tour to promote his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is excellent by the way. Oddly enough, he spoke at my high school in Bloomington. The auditorium has not changed a bit.

Here's a shot of Neil speaking:


Here's his signature in my book:


I could have had it personalized, but Nicole and I looked at the line and thought better of it. Someone else she knew who was there was still in line at 11pm and had at least an hour to go. Neil Gaiman draws quite the crowd.

Day 188: Kebobs

On the heals of a cabin trip, I was inspired to grill. We made kebobs for dinner tonight with chicken, pineapple, onion and red pepper. Delicious. I modified the recipe from a Food Network Magazine recipe this month. Here's a shot of the kebobs pulled off the skewers:



Day 187: Last Day at the Cabin

Today was our last day at the cabin. I didn't get many pictures, but I did take a great one of my sister, Stacey, sitting at the end of the dock:


If you read this: thanks for letting us stay at your cabin, Stacey! We had a terrific time!

Day 186: More Cabin Adventures

Brian had a good time today playing with the slack line we bought my sister's family last year. It's a nylon strap that you can string between trees and walk on. Brian made a pseudo-jungle gym out of it.


We also spent some quality time fishing. I did not catch anything beyond lake weeds. Brian caught a small northern:


Don't worry. We let the little guy go. The fishing excitement was capped off with a beautiful sunset on the lake:


Day 185: Happy 4th of July!

Brian and I went up to my sister Stacey's cabin for the weekend. We had an excellent time.

Her neighbors spend what I can only imagine is an obscene amount of money on fireworks. They rivaled the municipal displays we have seen in recent years. It was great witting on a pontoon in the middle of the lake watching the show.


We even shot off some of our own fireworks. It was entertaining to set them off in the lake. The fish must have been very confused.


There are few things better than a warm campfire with a view of a calm lake:


Happy fourth of July!

Day 184: Cronuts

Brian introduced me to a new pastry that is popular downtown: the cronut. It's like a cross between a croissant and a donut. This is the version from Angel Food Bakery in Minneapolis. I don't think they are called cronuts at that bakery though. Apparently, so New York bakery has trademarked the name. Regardless, they are delicious. I highly recommend them. 

Day 183: Patio is Back in Business

Our patio has regained its former glory with a new gazebo/pergola and a fresh string of lights:


Day 182: Arkham Horror

Tonight, our friend Mike came over and we played a very long, complex board game. Arkham Horror can take 5 hours to play. We did it in about 3 hours, and we won. It was hard though. I recommend it if you are really into board games and used to learning complex game mechanics.