Monday, October 29, 2007

Muppets take Halloween

above from right counterclockwise: swedish chef, Dr. bunsen honeydew, kermit, beaker, another bunsen, waldorf, animal, piggy, janis.

for you to compare- everyone, except janis and the swedish chef, is pictured.

the group costume was a hit again this year at my friend matt's party. we didn't get quite as many characters as we would have liked, but is still looked good. it would have been nice to have a gonzo or oscar the grouch. As it turned out, two randoms showed up as another dr. bunsen honeydew and beaker. we let them in the picture; the more the merrier.

A photo for our wedding invitation? steve was really in character all night banging his drum sticks, rattling his chain and yelling one to two word phrases at people. as for me, i kept my eyes closed a lot. i didn't really want to go the extra mile though and talk in a man voice all night.

kermit serenading piggy with the rainbow connection song.

long lost siblings!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chickens and pumpkins...

Yes the kid above looks happy. But five minutes after this was taken he was crying. Seems he got a little to close to a rooster and it pecked at him pretty hard. Come to think of it, this photo may have been taken after that incident. Regardless, this all went down when we visited the extensive chicken, duck, and goose facilities of Christina's Chickens in the City teacher on Nicollet Island. This little island, on the Mississippi River between downtown and NE Minneapolis, is like a time capsule and all the houses are on the National Registry. The tour of the coop was the second and final part of the class Christina took to prepare for getting our hens.

More chickens.

Here is the side of the hen house, taken from their garden.

Thanks to Kelsey and Aaron's foresight my skull pumpkin turned out pretty great. They had a pumpkin carving party Saturday and had all the tools including templates to do it right. The skull was three out of four pumpkins on the challenge meter. It was super fun!

Here is the little animal Christina and Kristen made based on Martha Stewart's advice. Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cupcake and pumpkin heads

just had to post this picture of my friend Jennifer's twins, Anneke and Rowan, wearing the hats that i knit them. they look very toasty.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Operation Redecoration

these pictures are a bit belated (although I can imagine no one has been holding their breath for them), but they represent untold hours of reclaiming furniture, fixing plaster, painting, decorating, etc. We aren't totally done yet, but you get the gist of it. for those of you who haven't been over in a while you will probably not recognize a single piece of furniture (ok, maybe one) it's all in a better place now at ARC.

This is Steve's friend Pat's childhood dresser. we sawed off all decorative, curvey wood pieces to make it look at bit more modern, also painted it and installed new hardware. We decided to leave the incredible hulk contact paper in the drawers. kind of wish we had a before picture. oh well.
you got a glimpse of this in the dinner picture, but here's the whole room. it is nice to have it all done and be able to relax after work at night. now on to work on the upstairs.... urgh.

ps. if it isn't evident, i love halloween decorations!!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The government and the environment

I forgot to post on Monday about the importance of BLOG ACTION DAY. Basically it was organized and backed by the UN to have bloggers post about ways to live a more environmentally friendly and sustainable life. You don't have to build a rain barrel or get chickens to make a a difference. Just swap out a couple of energy guzzling incandescent light bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescent (CFL) ones. Or, save water by turning off your faucet while you brush your teeth.

While I have you thinking about your stance on the environment and ability to change now might be a good time to see what '08 presidential candidate is the best fit for your views. I was pretty surprised by my results when I took this eleven question quiz. The original MPR quiz is not as user friendly, but it has links.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chicago photo journal

Here are a few of my pictures from the botanical garden, the ball park, millenium park and the zoo.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

We're Engaged!

I asked Christina to marry me on Thursday and she said yes!

We had planned a trip to Chicago months ago on account of a sweet airfare deal and the need for a vacation. Little did Tina know I was also planning to propose. We were picked up at O'Hare Wednesday night by my friend Matt. Thursday morning we got a behind the scenes tour of US Cellular Stadium from Matt, since he works for the White Sox.

After leaving the ballpark we caught a Metra train to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. It was chilly and a bit windy, but the rain held off and the sun came out throughout our visit. The garden is amazing. After meandering for over a couple of hours we came into the Circle Garden. It contained several varieties of Christina's favorite flower the Zinnia. Because of a gardener's not-so-stellar timing I made sure we snuck into one of the adjoining side enclosures. Without explaining the entire scene let me say this-- I kneeled to which Christina thought I A) fell down or B) was kidding. Also she was so surprised that I had to ask for her to answer my question. After catching the Metra train back to Chicago we took in Millenium Park and the Art Institute, then met a bunch of friends for dinner. It was a wonderful day.

> Later this week Christina will no doubt post several photos taken at the garden.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

JT at Lambeau

This post is for the hybrid packer and gossip fan. Look its Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel tailgaiting before a Packer game. A friend at work sent me a bunch of these. Interesting?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Dinner Party

We had Christina's mom Kay and family friends Becky and Raymond over for dinner Sunday. It was a celebration of sorts because the dining and living rooms are finally painted and organized. We used zero VOC paint. It doesn't smell at all.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The incredible edible egg

are you sitting down? because for some of you this is going to come as a shock--- we're getting CHICKENS! no, not ones in the frozen section at the grocery store, PET chickens! we have actually been toying with the idea ever since we went to the Green Expo back in may. we have spent the summer gathering information and anecdotes in order to make an informed decision. One reason we would like to get them is, like a lot of people these days, we would like to know where our food comes from. I for one have no intention of eating the chickens for their meat. we are planning on raising them organically. i REALLY like eggs and have always had a strange love for chickens. picture above is all the different types of eggs that come from the instructor's city coop, i like the blue ones! fact i learned from trivia pursuit a few years ago: you can figure out what kind color egg a chicken will lay by looking at the color of the inside of it's ear. silly, no?

Last night the deal was sealed, figuratively speaking, after I attended a Chickens in the City class through Minneapolis community education. it was 3 hours full of all one would need to know about raising chickens in Mpls or St. Paul. We learned about coops, feeding, anatomy, general maintenance and potential problems.

my main concerns prior to the class were noise level and coop cleaning. For some reason I was under the impression that we would have to clean their coop every day. Not so interested in going out there in -30 degree weather and cleaning up daily. apparently it is a once a month or so activity. Also i learned that they are only noisy post-egglaying; i guess it's kind of like they are bragging.

our plan is to begin the permitting process now and to have everything ready to get them (we will get three) in the spring. we have to get 80% of our neighbors within 100 feet from our house to agree before we can move forward. we have gotten a verbal ok from everyone, but one person. stay tuned...... and who's ready for an omelet?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Christina really, really likes this site. It has a ton of amazing inventions and they all are enviromentally friendly. I'm in the process of looking at replacing my crap laminate counter in my kitchen and have looked into sustainable recycled glass, etc. This site has some way more crazy stuff.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cupcake and pumpkin heads

just had to post this picture of my friend Jennifer's twins, Anneke and Rowan, wearing the hats that i knit them. they look very toasty.

This weekend I went up north with a bunch of women for a knitting retreat of sorts. Seven of us went up to my friends Ginny and Catherine's family cabin (they're cousins). I didn't know most of the people in the group prior to going, but i am always up for meeting new people. they all turned out to be very nice, interesting, creative people. My favorite tidbit from the weekend is that one woman, gabriel, used to go to Mister Rogers' house for thanksgiving dinner every year growing up. How great would that have been! Her dad was a producer on the show.
A view of the shoreline outside the cabin. on Saturday the leaves were just starting to change. I love watching the fall leaves change. When we left on Sunday they had noticeably changed color more from the day before. A little moss on the rocks where we hiked.

Basically this is the only finished product I have to show from the weekend. ONE baby mukluk-looking bootie. so if any of my friends give birth to a one-legged child I think I will be set with a present. How many people can say that?

I basically only like to knit baby things because my attention span couldn't possibly last long enough to make anything for any adult (i did make myself a winter hat on the car ride to-and-from Milwaukee for dave's surprise bday party-- the hat took soooo long! and is still not completed).

The other thing I worked on was a cabled-baby hat and it was a total nightmare. Needed 4 very experienced knitters to help me decipher the pattern. Perhaps I will post it when I am finally done. Could be a while though.