Monday, July 20, 2009

Canning summer

One local strawberry farm,

one enthused kid,

one mutinous kid

(who would like it noted for the record that she picked more strawberries than the enthused kid),

some 30 lbs of strawberries later,

and one weekend of double, double, toil, and trouble,
fire burn, and cauldron bubble
(blah blah blah)
resulted in a little over 4 gallons of jam.

Strawberry jam. Strawberry honey jam. Sherried strawberry preserves.

All together now: Yum.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July event

My friend Val and I did a triathlon on Sunday. We went into this with a slight disadvantage -- my training schedule got blown all to hell, thanks to a foot injury, and Val's training schedule didn't even happen, thanks to a Wild West vacation and work and other things -- but veni, vedi, vici, anyway. Or, as Dr. Peter Venkman says, "We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!"

We got into town Saturday afternoon, unloaded the dogs, kids, and Pete, and then Val and I went to pick up our race packets. This was a first triathlon for both of us. Being utter novices, we had no idea that they'd be writing our bib numbers and wave group on us for the swim portion of the event. We had a few other errands to run after we'd got ourselves markered up, and some of the looks we got as we sauntered into the stores with our numbered arms and legs made me feel a bit like an escaped convict.

Once we got back to Val's place, we had to get everything organized for the next morning -- and try stuff on for size, of course. Swim caps, goggles, and bib numbers, so sexy.

Too, too sexy.

Val's husband Eric made calendar art for the triathlon. Cute.

I don't have any photos of us doing the actual event, save for the finish. I took it easy, didn't worry about time or place, and had an insane amount of fun. Seriously. I have never done an event that was this enjoyable. (It helped that the weather was perfect, low to mid 60s, and the bike portion was easy, no real hills, and the run portion was flat, flat, flat.) We swam 1/3 mile, biked 15 miles, and ran 3.1 miles, and I came through the finish at 1:59:52 (my watch said 1:59:51). I lost quite a bit of time during the swim-to-bike transition -- 6 minutes! -- but that was mostly due to having to get my foot all braced up. And then I lost more time during the bike-to-run transition -- 2 minutes, 41 seconds -- but that was mostly due to the girls running over and squealing at me through the fence as I hauled the bike to the racks, and jumping up and down and being so darn excited and encouraging that there was no way I couldn't stop and chat with them. I'll work on those transition times for the next triathlon. Which I think shall be in August at Lake Phalen...

Val, who did this thing cold, pretty much no training (the last time she was in the water before this was when we went to a water park over spring break), came in at an amazing 2:17:32. And she poured it on at the end!

After we'd finished, Val said, "We're triathletes!" And you know what? We are!

For the record: since November, I've run 6 5Ks, 2 half-marathons, and completed 1 triathlon, and I have 2 months and 3 weeks to go until the Twin Cities Marathon.

Next event: the St. Paul Triathlon.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Three years ago, I started a little raspberry patch in our backyard. Raspberries take a while to get established, a concept the girls have had a difficult time with. (Patience, my darlings. It truly is a virtue.) The first summer, we had a few berries. The second summer, a few more. Just enough to whet two little girls' appetites.

This summer, we have raspberries.

So many raspberries, in fact, that last night the girls and I were able to make our first batch of jam.

And there are still more to come!

Mmmm. Raspberries.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

The faces of Emma

Outrage (or maybe she was smelling something funny?). Pouty. Cute.

The faces of Morgan

Outrage. Pouty. Cute.

Whenever Emma gets around to waking up (a morning girl, she is not), we'll do a "Faces of Emma" too.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Angry faces, begging faces

Every morning, I give the girls a project. Writing, kitchen science, math fun, painting, nature hunts in the backyard, that sort of thing. Well, this morning the project was drawing. More specifically, cartoon-type drawing. Fun stuff. Very fun stuff.

They really wanted me to draw something.

So I did. 2 quick sketches of the girls*. Took about 3 minutes, max, to do each one. (In other words, this is not exactly fine art, people.) They think these are hi-larious. Funniest thing ever. (They're 10. What can I say.) And they want the world to see the cartoon versions of themselves. So, at their command, I'm posting 'em for the world to see.

Right. Now we're going to go do something really exciting, like clean our rooms. For real. Uh oh, here come the angry faces...

*Yes, I know, they currently have short hair. But I can't quickly draw short-haired girls. So I gave them long hair. Just pretend, OK?