Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us

First we went to Spain, then to Kansas City, then to Sioux Falls (twice? three times?).  Today we went for a short run in Lake Herman State Park, then went to Howard, where we enjoyed lunch at Higher Grounds and then off to the Bechen farm.  It was also a good day for garage sales, and we picked up a little music box (pictured here), a 1963 model Wonderland Music Company radio-type thing that plays "It's a Small World" and has a little rotary-dial and a strap.  It works great!  A search of the internet didn't show me anything similar.  I hope nobody realizes it's the holy grail of Disney memoriablila and raids our house!  We'll entertain offers.  Send me a note if you find something, will you?  

Then we ate at our favorite Madison restaraunt, El Vaquero, to include a jumbo sangria which we shared, and then went to Pixar's new movie, "Up," a big pleasant surprise to both of us.  It was a great ending to our anniversary day.  

Thanks, Pixar!  Thanks too to the wife for six good years of married life.  

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thomas Jefferson Comes to Town

Friends the B's visited Monticello this spring and brought back some of Thomas Jefferson's legacy, a packet of corn poppy seeds (papaver rhoeas) that we're planting in our new flower beds in the back yard.  Thanks, Thomas.  Thanks, B's.  

Monday, May 25, 2009

Laying Tree Fabric

Last Thursday Joe B. called and asked if I'd like to lay tree fabric with them, so we set out with Wayne M. at 9:00 am and just 14 hours later we were heading home, the day done and gone.  

It was a good day; here's a photo of late afternoon, just south of Madison, with the fabric laid, the newly-planted trees in place with their protective barrier ready.  A dozen years from now these trees will probably be fifteen feet high.  
It might be the fabric day, or it might be the days moving sod in the yard, but I'm still sore.  Now for a long run!  

New Back Yard

Several days of effort have resulted in a new look for the back yard.  The dedicated rose gardens are gone, though most of the rose bushes are thriving in their new spots further north in the yard.  We took up the sod from the north side, where the old willow fell, and moved it to where the angular gardent was.  We took out two of the biggest, oldest apple trees; it was sad to see them go.  We've got one struggling survivor replacement apple tree from last year still hanging in there, and one new Honey Crisp sapling to augment our apple situation.  

Several of the lilacs I planted last summer along the east side are blooming this year, an amazing thing to me.  Today the lilacs are beginning to fade, but as you can see in the slide show here, the yard is looking healthy!  

Happy Memorial Day!  

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Testing Simple Viewer

I'm trying out SimpleViewer from Airtight Interactive, a tool to create interactive photo slide shows, using a variety of photo editing tools such as Picasa3, which is what I used here. Check it out!

Hmm. Why isn't it loading the full pictures?

Yay! Fixed!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Saved My Husband's Life (and his washboard abs)

Strange juxtaposition of ads on The NY Times, with Maureen Dowd looking on.  

Middle School Slamming

Today we showed up at Madison Middle School and led students through a quick, slam-bang poetry slam in an hour and a half, with a few minutes of training and examples, some writing and revising time, and mostly time for performing.  

I wasn't sure how it would go, but it was part of "May Madness," on the second to last day of school, and they got into it, cheering and booing and having a great time.  It rocked; it slammed.  

Poems ranged from curses on family members to odes to shoes.  The champion won with one poem on a peanut and another cursing someone for not sharing their pizza.  For that performance, he got to raise the slam belt pictured here.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby We Were Born to Run

After long delay I finally finish my phrase from the Bruce Springsteen gala weekend--coming home with songs in our heads and two new pair of running shoes from Marathon Sports in Minneapolis, where the treat people right and offer a 20% (!) discount for members.   We're members now!  

We had a great time playing Settlers of Catan on Sunday night with Casey, April, and Chester, and we spent Monday poking around the city, taking in a jog, getting shoes (see above), and eating.  Then it was BRUUUUUUUUCE!  We were impressed with their playing "Good Lovin,'" never having played it before in concert.  Cool!  We wanted to have signs calling for "Part Man, Part Monkey," but we didn't get them made.  We did get to see one woman's huge pink Cadillac poster when she unfolded it at the restaurant and then later at the concert, and we saw her bouncing with joy when that song hit the playlist.  

Yesterday we both gave our new pairs of shoes a good workout by going for long runs (two plus hours!) in the final big run before the Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Half Marathon, June 7.  Nothing like a long run to poop a guy out.  Sunday it was TOO WINDY!  Today it was TOO HOT! Yesterday morning it was just right.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tramps Like Us

Springsteen was rockin' the house last night, and we were there!  St. Paul was appreciative!  Pics here.  

Monday, May 04, 2009

Powerful Pie

The wife put her talents to work on a German chocolate pie this evening, and it tasted just as good as it looks here.  She claims it was her first pie, from crust to filling.  She got in on a pie-making jamboree on Wednesday to prepare for the Derby Party at Miss Lynn's on Saturday (where we enjoyed mint juleps, a home-stretch sprint from Mine the Bird, and good company--then went to the theatre-people party and karaoke).  The assembled team made crusts galore and the wife came home with two she'd done herself, brimming with new pie-crust skills.  One became a quiche, the other this dandy.

We also enjoyed some delicious stuffed pork chops, asparagus, and sweet potatoes, cooked on the grill and enjoyed out on the porch, a perfect topping to the first day of finals.  

Makes me feel powerful, too!