Wednesday, July 28, 2010

greetings and apocalypse

Argh! So much has gone unblogged! My computer is dying and I've somehow gone from the world's most compulsive email checker to actually missing several important threads entirely in the last week. Oops. Anyway, just popping in to say haaaaaappy biiiiiiirthday to the big N and buen viaje to R and KT!

Blog filler, blog filler, oh, quality links for you! I spent way too much time on the computer at work yesterday googling survivalists and apocalyptic scenarios. For teaching purposes, I swear.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Minnesota picture preview

R posted a tiny sampling of Minnesota pictures... feel free to wander over and admire lakes, rainbows, Katie's repurposed wedding dress, Rebecca lounging, and R's breakfast sausage that he bought at the Austin airport, didn't finish, wrapped in foil, tucked carefully into the side pocket of his carryon, brought all the way to Minnesota, forgot to eat until it was much too late, and then whipped out for one last commemorative photo before it went to its final resting place in the sky Boy Scout camp garbage can.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guess who's getting married on Saturday?

Your faithful bloggers + Richard are heading for the wilds of Minnesota tomorrow, where we will kiss Lauren & Ruth on their face and watch them get married and play cards and ride a boat across a lake and eat a pancake breakfast at a Boy Scout camp. We can't WAIT. See you next week!

Friday, July 09, 2010

More birthday fun

Well, since Graham mentioned it in his last comment, what choice do I have but to share the joys of Cardboard Richard with all of you??? This, my friends, is what R gave me for my birthday this spring. Just what every woman dreams of: a lifesize cardboard cutout of... her spouse. In his undies. It's maybe the most amazing present I've ever received. And I've received a lot of amazing presents in my day.

Even though I find straight people hilarious and I would do almost anything to force Graham to look at pictures of half-naked boys, I have decided to preserve a modicum of R's dignity by cropping out the bottom half. The full uncropped version was taken by my dad, who has vowed to show it to my children as soon as they're teenagers. If you can think of a better moral for why you should be nice to your parents during your adolescence, I'd like to hear it.

Also, you'd better get your eyeful in now, just in case R forces me to take it down as soon as he sees this. And yes, the best part is that he's wishing me a happy anniversary. Even though our anniversary is in November.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Who knows what today is???

R may not be able to keep track of his own birthday (he recently told someone in complete seriousness that his birthday was July 4th... I was forced to gently remind him that there's actually probably another reason why that date gets stuck in his head) but at least he has me to keep track for him. Happy birthday, baby!!!

(Photo by Alexa)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

fourth of

Hit up the JLS farmers market and put a flat of berries on the back of the bike for the first time, easy peasy! My big fourth of july plans involve two kinds of jam and repressing the fact that I'll be back in the classroom in Tuesday.

Inder borrowed some of my pie paraphernalia and came up with gorgeous stars and stripes on her peach pie!

Festive headgear!

Joe reaching dramatically for the overhead lights, looking like he's about to burst into inspiring oratory never ceases to be entertaining.

Steve came home with a flag, and now we're set not just for the fourth, but flag fun year round.

Thar she blooms!

My cukes are starting to bloom! Hopefully there is some actual pollination going on. The Parisian gherkins have been go-getters from the start and the Ace aren't too far behind. The lemon cuke plants are still comparatively runty but looking good.

Hello? Anyone in there? Just planted the dill last week but I'm not sure it's taken...

Next picklewatch update will be my very makeshift trellising, so you can all have a good laugh.

Outside the pickle patch things are popping up all over!

The tomatoes are taking over the front steps.

Even the tiny fig tree is putting out fruit.

Neighborly grapes. Purdy, not so tasty. But the leaves will keep my pickles nice and crispy!

These overhanging plums aren't anything special either, but why oh why didn't I pick them before they took over my bike lane??

Speaking of my bike, check out the new addition! Thanks to my own mad mechanical skills, the wonderful people inside the internet who actually understand how things go together, Steve's extra wrenches, and the old-fashioned full service Ace hardware on MLK, I now sport a Pletscher rack.

Next is to load it up with some Wald folding baskets and really be able to haul groceries. And get back to my bike commuting! That's right, I'm a working girl again... I'll be stepping into my previous life of teaching English to international students, starting Tuesday. Actually, get this. I was paid through the end of June and then offered my summer job on July 1st! My blogging life of leisure may have fooled even me, but I WAS TECHNICALLY NEVER UNEMPLOYED!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

In which I am ridiculous. And count things.

You thought you knew what Rebecca was reading, but the truth might shock you! Stay with us for this breaking story, coming up next.

The 3rd Annual Canada Day Midterm Book Report is brought to you by this tower of olallieberry jam.

Welcome to the 3rd annual Canada Day Midterm Book Report! According to the most advanced listing indicators* Rebecca's reading is in a slump! 2009 saw an increase in books read over 2008 for the period from January 1 - June 30th (from 30 to 34). This trend held throughout the year, with 2009 trouncing 2008 66 to 54. Expectations for 2010 were sky high, and Rebecca started out strong with nothing but 4 and 5 star reads in January, including the sleeper hit Shades of Grey. But at the halfway mark the dreary statistics tell a different story. Rebecca has tallied up a mere 26 books!

Has the reading bubble burst? What went wrong?

Last year showed an upward trend in audiobooks, but Rebecca's investment in more CDs did not foresee the death of her car stereo earlier this year. 2010 consumption of audiobooks has stalled at 3.5 and even if the technical difficulties reverse themselves this is a serious setback. Rebecca added, "And now my commutes are hella boring!"

The real culprit is that red line. The nosedive in young adult books suggests that Rebecca has abandoned her core genre, slashed to a mere 23% of last year's level! "Don't worry," she says. "I'll never tire of reading books below my reading level. "

Rebecca paints a rosier picture than pure numbers might have you believe. "I'm proud of my reading this year. I've read less books just because they were sitting around at the store, and read more from the library. Last year I only read a couple of books hot off the presses, and this year I've already read 7! I finally tackled the last Harry Potter AND read something non-Potter in Spanish."

Furthermore, some experts have raised concerns over the validity of the booklist measure. Unfinished books, reference books, periodicals, and online reading are not valued under the current system. But Rebecca likes counting books. "Um, I read a lot of fanfic online that you don't see here. Which is awesome. But finishing a book comes with a kind of gold star and gets me to tear myself away from the dread machine. And I like counting things."

*goodreads and the old fashioned booklist

The tower of olallieberry jam hopes you have enjoyed this special report. Order your summer jamshares now!